Friday, 31 July 2009

PAS wants all members at anti-ISA rally

PAS has made it compulsory for all of its members to participate in an anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) rally organised by GMI (Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA) or the “Abolish the ISA Movement,” in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

GMI plans to have 100,000 people march to the Istana Negara to hand over a memorandum urging the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the Act.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub claimed that the party's spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and president Abdul Hadi Awang have given the nod for the rally who, according to him, had also decreed that the rally would not be haram or forbidden by Islam.

"Whether the gathering is deemed haram (by others) is immaterial because our top leadership has already given their blessing," Salahuddin told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Salahuddin was responding to an article published in Berita Harian today which featured several religious authorities condemning the proposed gathering as being un-Islamic.

"I urge PAS members not to be influenced by fatwas (edicts) issued by other parties."

Some 50,000 PAS members are expected to take part in the gathering at several locations in the city, including Masjid Jamek, Kompleks Sogo and Masjid Negara.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Awang, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are expected to lead the protest.

Another group of protestors, the pro-ISA group known as Majlis Permuafakatan Ummah (Pewaris), will also be staging a rally to show support for the security law tomorrow.

The pro-ISA rally organisers say they will gather at Padang Merbok and the Central Market before heading towards Dataran Merdeka.

Despite stern police warning to call off the gatherings, both groups remain adamant.

GMI and Majlis Permuafakatan Ummah (Pewaris) have separately said that they would go ahead with their gatherings.

Police have not granted permits for any of these gatherings. Yesterday Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had also warned that stern action would be taken against either group if they disturbed the peace.

Police, in the meantime, have set up roadblocks ahead of gatherings planned by the two groups.

Roadblocks have been set up along Jalan Tun Razak, Taman Connought, Jalan Loke Yew, Jalan Travers and several other entry points into the city by police here.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said his men would screen motorists.

All those planning to attend the illegal gatherings must be prepared to face stern action from us, regardless if they are for or against the use of the ISA.

"We will not compromise as far as security is concerned,’’ he said.

“We apologise if this inconveniences members of the public who are against such illegal gatherings,” he added

Picture; courtesy of the Star : Police road block along Jalan Cheras near Taman Midah.

PAS Permatang Pasir state assemblyman dies

Permatang Pasir state assemblyman Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman from PAS has passed away at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur from heart failure early this morning, Malaysiakini reports.

Mohd Hamdan, 60, had been an elected representative of Permatang Pasir for three terms since 1999. He was also a former state PAS chief for 14 years.

Mohd Hamdan’s body is expected to arrive in Permatang Pasir by 2pm today and will be buried at the Permatang Pasir Muslim cemetery after the Asar prayer.

The Election Commission will now have to call for another by-election within 60 days - the eighth by-election since March 2008 general election - now that the seat has been left vacant with Mohd Hamdan's death.

Permatang Pasir is one of three state seats in Permatang Pauh - the parliamentary constituency held by PKR de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. It is the sole PAS seat in Penang.

The upcoming by-election will be the third by-election in the Permatang Puah constituency in less than one year - the first being Datuk Seri Anwar's victory in August last year after his wife, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, quit the seat.

The other state seat in Permatang Puah, Seberang Jaya, is held by Arif Shah Omar Shah from Umno - the man who was defeated by Datuk Seri Anwar in the by-election for the parliamentary seat.

In KOTA BARU, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said the party would contest in the by-election for the Permatang Pasir state seat, which he said was a PAS stronghold.

In the last general election Mohd Hamdan, who bagged 11,004 votes, defeated Ahmad Sahar Shuib from Umno (5,571) by a majority of 5,433 votes.

Al fatihah.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kosmo! apologises to Yasmin’s family

Kosmo! has apologised to the family of the late filmmaker, Yasmin Ahmad, for publishing a "salacious" article about her one day after her burial.

The tabloid, published by the Utusan Melayu group, apologised on its front page Thursday in a banner headlined: Keluarga Yasmin, Kosmo! mohon maaf (The Yasmin family, Kosmo! seeks forgiveness).

"On Monday 27 July, Kosmo! published a report regarding filmmaker, Yasmin Ahmad, who had just passed away," Kosmo! said.

"The report entitled Takdir Yasmin (Yasmin's divine destiny) has received mixed reactions. Kosmo! is concerned about these reactions." (read Journo to Journo: How Low Can You Go?)

"As a newspaper which is close to its community, Kosmo! wishes to ask for forgiveness from the family of the late Yasmin, her friends and readers who are offended by the report."

The iconic filmmaker and highly acclaimed advertising practitioner died at the Damansara Specialists Hospital here at about 11.25 p.m. Saturday (25 July).

Yasmin, 51, collapsed while she was presenting a working paper at Sri Pentas, the headquarters of the private television station TV3 on Thursday and was rushed to the Damnsara Specialists Hospital. She suffered from a stroke and brain haemorrhage and died some 48 hours later and was buried on Sunday.

Kosmo!'s report touched off a storm of protest from her friends in the media and advertising industry who called for a boycott of Utusan's publications and that of Chinese daily Kwong Wah Jit Poh (which also published a similar report on the same day) over what they say is "salacious gossip."

A letter was drafted Wednesday by former and current senior journalists protesting against Kosmo!'s story. The letter was addressed to Utusan chairman Tan Sri Hashim Makaruddin and a copy was expected to be sent to the Home Minister.

(Source: MySinchew)

Unidentified DNA Trace Found On Teoh's Blazer, Inquest Told

SHAH ALAM, July 29 (Bernama) -- The DNA trace of an unidentified man was found on the back of the blazer and belt of political aide Teoh Beng Hock who fell to his death at the Plaza Masalam here on July 16, the inquest into Teoh's death was told today before it was adjourned to Aug 5.

Government-appointed lawyer Tan Hock Chuan, who is assisting the inquest conducted by coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, told the court the "mystery man" had yet to be identified although samples of DNA were taken by the Chemistry Department from 102 individuals.

Tan said that besides the DNA trace of the "mystery man", Teoh's DNA trace was also found on the blazer and belt.

"Samples were taken from 102 individuals to determine whether their DNA profile matched the unidentified DNA trace. The DNA profile reports of 90 of the individuals are ready while the remaining 12 have yet to be obtained.

"I was also informed by the investigating officer that two people had declined to have their DNA samples taken," he said. Continue reading here

Related story:
MACC and DAP: Finding the inconvenient truth

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Teoh's inquest postponed to Aug 5

From the Star online

SHAH ALAM: The inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock at the Magistrate's Court here has been postponed to Aug 5 at the request of lawyers representing the family, the Selangor Government and the Bar Council.

Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas granted the request after hearing arguments from Gobind Singh Deo who had said that the lawyers needed time to study all relevant documents, as well to grant the Malaysian Government time to consider the family’s request that a Royal Commission of Inquiry be established to investigate the death.

Azmil Muntapha had earlier granted lawyers appointed by the family and the Selangor Government “interested party” status, allowing them to question witnesses during the inquest, which was expected to last 15 days.

The Bar Council had also led a team to hold a watching brief and who requested “interested party” status.

Tan Hock Chuan, acting for the Attorney-General, said he had no objections regarding the first two groups but said the lawyers holding a watching brief for the Bar Council did not fall within the applicable provisions to be granted such a status.

The Bar Council lawyers, led by Hisyam Teh, told coroner Azmil Muntapha that there may be questions that they would want to ask the witnesses and assured him that all these questions would be relevant.

Coroner Azmil Muntapha, who is also the Shah Alam High Court deputy registrar, finally allowed them to participate, and to question witnesses. Continue here ...

Related Stories:
Teoh's inquest to last 15 days
Najib assures Teoh’s parents of thorough investigation

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Inquest on Teoh's death begins tomorrow

A coroner's inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock kicks off at the magistrate's courts tomorrow, amidst calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into his death.

Subpoenas have been sent out to 77 people to appear as witnesses in the inquest to be conducted by a magistrate sitting as coroner over the nxt two weeks.

Police said subpoenas had been sent to 77 witnesses whom they have interviewed in the investigations into Teoh's death.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said of the 77 subpoened, 28 are
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Corporation Commission (MACC) personel.

It is up to the coroner's court to decide who among them are required to give their testimony.

Read NST online here.

Suspended CCID acquitted of abusing powers

Suspended Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusuff (right) was acquitted by the Sessions Court in Kota Kinabalu on a charge of abusing his powers two years ago.

Sessions Court judge Supang Lian, in her ruling yesterday, held that Ramli had no case to answer as the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against him and ordered the RM20,000 bail and all evidence to be returned to Ramli.

Ramli, 56,was charged under Section 15 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act for abusing his public office through the unauthorised use of a police Cessna Caravan aircraft for pecuniary gain.

The charge provides for a jail term not exceeding 20 years and a minimum fine of RM10,000 on conviction.

Ramli was also charged with failing to declare the ownership of 20,000 Telekom Malaysia Berhad shares, 154,000 Permaju Industries Berhad shares and interest in two office properties worth RM1,032,840 at Megan Avenue II, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, held by Bonus Circle Sdn Bhd, in which his sisters are directors.

He is alleged to have committed the offences at the office of the Anti-Corruption Agency’s deputy public prosecutor in Putrajaya on Sept 17, 2007.

On April 25, 2006, Ramli had also allegedly breached the Public Servants Rules and Regulations which prohibit him from being involved in business.

The offence, under Section 16 of the Penal Code, alleged that he was a director of Kinsajaya Sdn Bhd.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Yasmin Ahmad Laid To Rest

Yasmin's remains surrounded by friends and relatives at Masjid Abu Bakar As-Siddiq - picture courtesy of the Star

Yasmin Ahmad, 51, the renowned film and advertising director, who died at the Damansara Specialists Centre Saturday night, was laid to rest on Sunday at the USJ 22 Muslim Cemetery in Subang Jaya.

Earlier, her remains were taken to the Abu Bakar As-Siddiq Mosque for the solat jenazah and to allow family members, friends and fans to pay their last respects.

About 200 people turned up at the mosque including residents in the area.

Her remains were later taken to the cemetery and buried at about 1pm.

Yasmin breathed her last at 11.25pm Saturday night. She collapsed while presenting a working paper at the Sri Pentas, TV3's headquarters, on Thursday.

Related articles:
Farewell to Yasmin Ahmad: here
Yasmin's demise also felt in Singapore; here

Film Director Yasmin Ahmad Dies

Innalillahi wa inna illaihi rajii oon

Renowned film and advertising director Yasmin Ahmad died at the Damansara Specialist Hospital in Petaling Jaya at about 11.25 pm Saturday night.

Her death was confirmed by Media Prime Group Chief Operations Officer Datuk Seri Ahmad Farid Ridzuan, who was at the Hospital, when contacted by Bernama.

Yasmin, 51, collapsed while presenting a working paper at Sri Pentas, the headquarters of the private television station TV3 on Thursday and was rushed to the Damnsara Specialists Hospital.

She was reported to have suffered a stroke and brain haemorrhage.-- BERNAMA

Yasmin Will Be Remembered For Her Quality Works ; read here

Read the star report here

Al fatiha.

Semoga Allah SWT mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya dan ditempatkannya bersama para solihin.


Saturday, 25 July 2009

Yasmin's condition not improving

NST online

The family of film-maker Yasmin Ahmad has informed that her condition today has deteriorated.

She remains on life support at the intensive care unit in Damansara Specialist Hospital in Petaling Jaya.

The family has requested that no visitors congregate at the hospital.

Former MIC VP joins PKR

Former MIC vice-president SS Subramaniam has joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) making him the most senior MIC leader to defect to the opposition.

His defection to PKR came exactly a week after former health minister and prominent MCA leader Chua Jui Meng threw his lot with the opposition party.

At a function held in Petaling Jaya City Council this afternoon attended by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the 72-year-old politician also announced that 10 MIC branches in Petaling Jaya would fold and join PKR en masse.

Subramaniam has served as MIC vice-president for 20 years and also a former Selangor MIC vice-chairperson for three decades.

However, his bid for the deputy president post in last year's party polls failed after he was defeated by cabinet minister S Subramaniam.

Subramaniam was also once an assemblyperson for Bukit Raja and a one-term parliamentarian for Segamat, Johor. Read Malaysiakini here and here .

Film-maker Yasmin is still critical but stable

Award-winning local film-maker Yasmin Ahmad is still in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery for bleeding in the brain on Thursday.

Her younger brother Muzaffar Shah said drainage of fluid was being carried out to reduce the pressure on Yasmin’s brain, which was swollen.

“It’s good news that she’s not getting worse. We will not know until 48 to 72 hours after surgery. The doctor will check on her again to see if there’s any change and will let us know,” he said.

“One of the vessels burst due to high blood pressure, causing the stroke. Right now it depends on how she reacts to the medication.”

Muzaffar said his sister was on oxygen support, instead of life support, contrary to some reports. He also refuted reports claiming that this was her second stroke.

“A few years ago, she fainted due to her high blood pressure, but it was a very mild thing. She was observed for one or two days and discharged,” he said, adding that he hoped there would be no more inaccurate reports. - The Star

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Film director Yasmin Ahmad collapses now in ICU (Update)

Critically-acclaimed movie and TV commercial director Yasmin Ahmad underwent emergency surgery at 6pm at the Damansara Specialist Hospital after suffering a stroke. She was admitted to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit after collapsing earlier in the afternoon while attending a meeting at Sri Pentas. She is reported to be in stable but critical condition.


The Star online (update 10:56:03 PM)

Film director Yasmin Ahmad in hospital

Critically-acclaimed movie and TV commercial director Yasmin Ahmad underwent emergency surgery at a hospital here after suffering a stroke at about 4:30pm on Thursday.

She was at Sri Pentas at TV3 for a meeting with pop diva Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and her husband Datuk Khalid Jiwa when she reportedly felt unwell and had difficulty breathing.

Siti, who was an ambassador for the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, immediately administered CPR, together with a TV3 panel doctor.

When they could not revive her, they immediately sent to the Intensive Care Unit at the Damansara Specialist Centre. Doctors there administered CPR and stabilised her before performing surgery at about 6pm to reduce the swelling in her brain.

Doctors said she was in stable but critical condition.

A host of Malaysian personalities were at the hospital, including Siti and Khalid, Suria FM’s Engku Emran, TV3 CEO Farid Jamaluddin, and indie filmmakers James Lee, Pete Teo, Liew Seng Tat.

According to former journalist and actress Fatimah Abu Bakar, Yasmin’s parents caught the 7pm flight from Langkawi to be at her side.

Datuk Dr Zakaria Zahari, Yasmin’s brother-in-law, said that her condition was stable but critical and will be monitored.

He requested that the media present at the hospital respect the family’s wishes and leave the premises to pray for Yasmin’s recovery.

Yasmin, 51, the director of Sepet, is particularly well known for the community message commercials she directed for Petronas.

She began her career in advertising as a copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather, eventually rising to creative director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur.

Her movies have won many international awards and have been screened at the Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore and Cannes international film festivals.

Last November, she was inducted into the inaugural Malaysian Advertising Hall of Fame by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia.

First A(H1N1) related death in Malaysia

The star reports that a 30-year-old Indonesian student became the first Influenza A(H1N1) related fatality here, although the cause of death was not the disease itself.

The student, from the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur, died from cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said on Thursday.

The deceased suffered from an obesity problem and had an enlarged heart and liver, he added.

On Thursday, The Straits Times in Singapore reported two more fatalities in the island republic, bringing its toll to three.

Both patients also had underlying medical conditions. They were a 13-year-old boy who had epilepsy and a 55-year-old man with motor neuron disease, a nerve disorder.

The first death, last Saturday, was of a 49-year-old man who had multiple health problems including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Cabinet approves Royal Commission

The Cabinet has agreed to form a royal commission of inquiry to look into the interrogation methods used by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and to determine if it violated any human rights in its treatment of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, Malaysiakini reports. (Read BM here.)

An inquest will also be held to determine Teoh's cause of death, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told reproters after a Cabinet meeting today.

Teoh, 30 was found dead on the fifth floor of Palaza Masalam in Shah Alam last Thursday after giving his statement to the Selangor MACC which had been investigating allegations that certain state assemblymen had misused constituency funds.

Politicians from both Barisan Nasional (BN) and PR as well as the Bar Council have called for a royal commission to be set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding Teoh'sdeath.

Cabinet approves royal commission

The cabinet today agreed to set up a royal commission to look into the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's investigative procedures and to determine if there were any human right violations when Teoh Beng Hock was being interrogated.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul who chaired the meeting - also revealed that an inquest will be held to determine Teoh's cause of death.

The cabinet also instructed the Home Ministry and the police to wrap up its investigations into the matter as soon as possible.

The findings of the investigation will be made public whereas Najib said he will personally inform the family about it.

Teoh, 30, was the former political secretary to a Selangor exco who was being probed for alleged corruption by the MACC.

He was said to have fallen to his death from the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam, which houses the MACC Selangor office, last Thursday.

His family and friends refuse to believe that Teoh, who was to get married the next day, would take his own life.

The case had received widespread media coverage, with both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat politicians calling for a royal commission of inquiry.

He added that in line with the 1Malaysia concept, the cabinet and government institutions are dedicated to providing the best service for the people.

Truth, nothing but the truth

"We want to establish the truth and nothing but the truth... it is important for us to ensure that public faith and confidence in important institutions," Najib expressed.

Asked whether a time-frame has been set for the police to wrap up their investigations and for the formation of the Royal Commission, Najib said:

"I know the police can wrap up investigations very soon. We are talking about a matter of days but the inquest is up to the magistrate to decide. The royal commission will established quite soon.

The prime minister added that the recommendations of the royal commission will be implemented, if they are "consistent with the principles announced".

He also denied reports that MACC officers involved in Teoh's interrogation have been suspended.

"We cannot have a preconceived notion, we have to wait for the results of the investigation.

Officers transfered, not suspended

"They have not been suspended. The lead investigator has been reassigned to the headquarters.

He also clarified that the royal commission's purview is not to determine Teoh's cause of death.

"The cause of death (will be determined) by inquest which is according to Criminal Procedure Code".

"The royal commission will look into the standard operating procedures of MACC.

He stressed that "the process of investigation will be forthright and transparent".

"We regard every human life to be sacrosanct and civil liberties to be valuable."

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Al fatiha: The Ancient Mariner...

Innalillilahi waa inna illaihi ro jii oon. From Him we come and to Him we shall return.

I received this sad news from Tony Yew that our dear friend, Capt Yusof Ahmad, who was also known as the Ancient Mariner, passed away in his sleep early this morning. He was 62.

According to Tony, he went to Capt. Yusof''s apartment after he was alerted of the capt.'s passing by a voice . Upon reaching there he was told that the Capt's body had been taken to the Kelana Jaya mosque for the funeral prayers.

However, by the time he arrived at the mosque, the body was already on its way to Seremban where it will be laid to rest after Zohor prayers.

I last met Capt Yusof two Tuesdays ago at our weekly MRT (mee rebus Tuesday) at my house. He didn't come for MRT last Tuesday. It was the day his 84-year-old year-old mother passed away.

Capt Yusof leaves a wife and four children. My deepest condolences to his family.

Farewell my dear captain, farewell, my friend. You will be greatly missed.

May you rest in peace.

Al fathiha

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Chua Jui Meng joins PKR

Macam mana nak percaya cakap politician.

Two days ago it was widely rumoured that the former Health Minister would be joining the Opposition party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

When he was posed the question Datuk Chua Jui Meng denied it saying that was not the first time that there had been talk of him joining the opposition.”

And today the Star reported that he has joined PKR.

Chua Jui Meng quits MCA, joins PKR

PETALING JAYA: Former health minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng quit MCA to join Opposition PKR on Saturday.

He was also joined by former MCA Senator David Yeoh and former Lumut MP Yap Yit Thong.

Chua said that he was joining PKR to help preserve the two-party system that had emerged after the polls last year.

“I know that I am leaving the comfort and security of my present life for a road less travelled, a tough and rough road and that ahead of me awaits hardships.

“I am prepared for this last hurrah of my life,” he said.

In Kuala Lumpur, MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said he was saddened by Chua’s move.

He expressed regret that Chua left the MCA when the party needed to strengthen itself after the Barisan Nasional lost several states to the Pakatan Rakyat in last year’s general elections.

“We should be united to face hardships together.

“I’m sad for his leaving, but I wish him the best,” Liow told reporters Saturday after opening the TSM Wellness Sdn Bhd pilates and yoga lifestyle club.

Read also:

What compelled me to ditch BN? , here

Chua Jui Meng umum sertai PKR, here

Muhyiddin: Cabinet to consider setting up royal panel

A day after brushing aside the need to set up a royal commission to investigate the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said the proposal will be brought up for discussion at the next cabinet meeting.

He said that requests for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the death of Teoh will be discussed in the meeting, according to a report by the Star.

The views of various quarters would be studied to decide whether or not there is a necessity to set up a commission, he told reporters in Ipoh after opening the National Cooperative Day 2009.

Muhyiddin was responding to calls for a commission to be set up after 30-year-old Teoh, political aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on Thursday after giving statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

In dismissing suggestions for the government to set up a royal commission yesterday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the police were already probing the death.

Pakatan leaders including DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang and PKR de facto leader Datuk Anwar Ibrahim had demanded that a royal commission of Inquiry be set up to investigate the death.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin had also independently called for a royal panel.

Yesterday, 17 civil society groups issued a joint statement demanding for an independent investigation into what they called “the first political death” under Najib Abdul Razak's government.

Police have classified the case as sudden death but have not ruled out foul play.

An autopsy report said Teoh died of multiple injuries caused by a fall from a great height.

No arrests have been made but police said they have questioned 23 people, including 17 MACC officials.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Muhyiddin: No to Royal Commission...

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has brushed off suggestions (read here and here) for the government to set up a royal commission to investigate the death of Teo Beng Hock in Shah Alam yesterday saying that police are already handling the matter.

“The police are investigating and we should just wait until they complete their investigation," the deputy prime minister told reporters after chairing the Cabinet committee meeting on foreign workers here today.

But he made a promise that "no stone will be left unturned" in the probe into the death of the 30-year-old political secretary to Selangor executive councillor and Seri Kembangan state assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Teoh was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after being questioned by officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

He was brought in to the MACC office for questioning on Wednesday evening over investigations into alleged misappropriation of funds by his boss.

Calling on all parties to allow the police to conduct their investigations without any hindrance, Tan Sri Muhyiddin also advised the public to be rational and not hurl accusations at anyone as this would only create more misunderstandings.

He said the Government was not trying to to cover up up the truth adding that it wants a transparent investigation on the matter.

On the the arrest (read here and here ) of several people involved in a protest staged outside the MACC office this morning, he said the police were acting within their powers.

About 300 protesters had gathered (pic left) outside the building demanding that MACC be investigated for Teo's death.

At least seven protesters were arrested. They included Kapar MP S . Manikavasagam and Selangor exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Selangor exco’s aide falls to death

The aide of a Selangor state executive councillor has been found dead at the premises of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam today

Teoh Beng Hock, (picture left) political secretary to Selangor executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah had been taken to the MACC headquarters yesterday evening to assist in the agency’s investigation into the alleged abuse of constituency development funds by several state assemblymen.

His body was discovered by a janitor at 1:30pm on the fifth floor of the building.

MACC investigation division director Shukri Abdull told reporters that Teo was released at 3.45am after his officers had finished recording his statement but it seems he did not go home and was seen loitering in the building.

MACC officers had earlier that day raided (read here, here and here) Ean Yong’s office at the state secretariat building, seizing a desktop computer belonging to the state government and a laptop computer belonging to Teoh.

Selangor Chief Police Officer Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, who was present at the scene this evening, said police would be interviewing the people who were last seen with Teoh.

He said a thorough investigation will be conducted and gave an assurance that "there is not going to be any cover-up" .

DAP leaders have asked for a thorough investigation into Teoh’s death.

Since Tuesday, the MACC has raided the offices and service centres of several assemblymen, including Ean Yong and Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San.

Others under investigation are Teresa Kok (Kinrara assemblyman), Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan), Dr Cheah Wing Yin (Damansara Utama), Edward Lee (Bukit Gasing) and Hannah Yeoh (Subang Jaya).

For full report read here, here and here.

Chua joining PKR?...(Update)

Update: No, he is not joining PKR but yes he has resigned as chairman of the Bakri MCA Division. Bernama has the story here.

Earlier posting:

Malaysiakini reports that former MCA vice-president Datuk Chua Jui Meng is quitting the party to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

He has called for an emergency meeting of his Bakri MCA division in Johor tonight where he is expected to quit as its division chief.

According to the report Datuk Chua will be joining the opposition party at a function to be held this weekend. However, no mention was made of the venue for the event.

Chua, 64, a former health minister and a trained lawyer, has been Bakri MCA division chief for 23 years.

He contested for the MCA president's post twice and lost to Ong Ka Ting in 2005 and Ong Tee Keat in 2008.

Chua, however, could not be reached for comments.

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim declined to comment on the issue when approached during hearing of his sodomy trial today.

Read also the Edge, here.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

PAS wins Manek Urai

PAS candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah has won the Manek Urai by-election by a narrow margin of 65 votes.

Fauzi, 50, garnered 5,348 votes against Barisan candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat, 39, who received 5,283 votes.

The official result was announced by the Election Commission at 9.01pm.

The race for the Manek Urai seat was close as party sources from both the Barisan Nasional and PAS had earlier claimed victory - that they have won by a slim majority.

Ballot box from Manek Urai Baru was first to arrive at tallying centre SMK Sultan Yahya Petra 1, followed by that from Sungai Peria dan Lata Rek.

Voting ended at about 5pm and the voter turnout was 87.33%.

In last year’s general election, Pas candidate, the late Ismail Yaacob, won the seat with a majority of 1,352.

D-day for people of Manek Urai (Update)

Live coverage: here, here and here

Update: 7:52pm

7.38pm: At the PAS campaign headquarters, officials are saying that the party has won by 70 votes (PAS - 5,363 votes, BN - 5,293). However, it is still not clear who has won.

7.35pm: Unofficial results show Umno leading in two polling stations - Manek Urai Baru dan Manek Urai Lama, while PAS is leading in Lata Rek and Chuchoh Puteri. The other polling stations are Temalir, Sg Peria, Sg Sok, Manjor and Laloh.

There are recounts for some ballot boxes.

Update: 6:56pm

PAS claims victory as polling ends - malaysiakini

Jul 14, updated 5.05pm

PAS supporters are already celebrating the victory of its candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah in the Manek Urai by-election.

When the 50-year-old fishmonger arrived at the PAS base around 4.40pm, he was greeted by shouts of 'Allahuakhbar' (God is great) and mobbed by supporters.

It was reported that the BN entrance to the Counting Centre is empty. BN abandoned their election machinery by 3:00pm.

And, deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin left Manek Urai at 5.50pm.

Earlier posting:

Voting for the Manek Urai by-election started smoothly at 8am today when the two contesting candidates visited polling stations in the area, Malaysiakini reports.

Voter will have nine hours, until 5pm, to cast their votes in this crucial by-election. The result is expected to be known by 8pm.

Umno is fielding its Kuala Krai Youth chief Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat as its candidate, while PAS is banking on its Kuala Krai treasurer, Mohd Fauzi Abdullah.

Manek Urai has 12,293 voters of whom 99.2 per cent are Malays, while the remainder are Chinese and Indians.

Voters are casting their votes in nine polling centres - SK Temalir, SK Peria, SK Manek Urai, SK Manek Urai Baru, SK Sungai Sok, SK Chuchoh Puteri, SK Lata Rek, SK Kampung Karangan, and SMK Laloh.

Election Commission chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof is hoping for a 85 per cent turnout as 90 per cent of the voters are local rubber tappers, farmers and fishermen.

There were 1,300 outstation voters while some political parties claimed it could be as high as 2,000.

The state seat fell vacant following the death of PAS assemblyman Ismail Yaacob on May 22.

Manik Urai is the seventh by-election since the general election in March last year and the fifth since Datuk Seri Najib was sworn in as Prime Minister in April. BN won only one - the Batang Ai state seat in Sarawak - of the five by-elections it contested.

Political observers rated this by-election as a close fight between Umno and PAS but concede that the latter still has the advantage.

Manek Urai is a Pas stronghold and the party has never been defeated in this constituency in the last 20 years, except in 2004 when the late Ismail Yaacob did not contest.

In last year’s general election, Ismail regained the seat with a majority of 1,352.

Related articles: Manek Urai: No chance for BN and Manik Urai By Election .

Monday, 13 July 2009

ntv7 host 'reassigned' over Najib scorecard

Malaysiakini reported that ntv7 talk-show host Florence Looi (picture right) has been issued a warning letter and removed from the programme "Point of View" after one of her guests gave an unfavourable rating on premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's first 100 days in office.

Quoting ntv7 sources, the report said she has been transferred to the news desk of the private television station.

Looi was said to have 'breached editorial policy'.

Two guests - author/blogger Syed Akbar Ali and consulting editor Leslie Lau of the Malaysian Insider - were invited on the talk-show, aired on July 5. It was the latter's remarks that landed Looi in trouble.

It seems Looi was verbally told that she should not have asked her guests to rate Najib's performance. As Looi is the host-cum-producer of the programme, she was the only one who received the warning letter

Looi refused comment when contacted, while efforts to reach the management were futile, according to the report.

Ntv7 is one of the four private TV stations belonging to Media Prima Bhd which is closely linked to Umno. The other three stations are TV3, 8TV and tv9.

The report claimed that Media Prima has also spiked news about the mansion that former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is building in Shah Alam. The blanket ban was applied after the ntv7 Chinese news slot at 5.30pm aired the bulletin.

'Point of View' is shown over ntv7 at 6pm on Sundays. Guests are invited from either side of the divide to discuss "hot" and current topics such as the Internal Security Act and the recent PKFZ scandal.

Former New Straits Times group editor Datuk Ahmad Talib is now Executive Director, News and Editorial Operations, at Media Prima, as well as the Executive Director (Editorial) of New Straits Times Press.

Former Berita Harian Sdn Bhd group editor Datuk Manja Ismail is Media Prima news and current affairs editor.

Read Malaysiakini BM versison: Komen negatif Najib: Pengacara ntv7 kena tukar; here.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Najib marks 100th day with a bag of goodies...

... which The Star describes as "gifts" and the NST says are "people-friendly" measures "to improve the lives of Malaysians".

The opposition , on the other hand, called them populist measures which Malaysians have heard before.

These "goodies" were announced by Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre before a crowd of 3,000 in conjunction with his 100th day as Prime Minister yesterday.

It was a gathering like no other - minus the normal protocal - where VVIPS, including Cabinet Ministers were seen sitting among the ordinary people.

"Where we sit s not important, protocal is not important. It does not matter if there was no kompang or bunga mangar.

"Today is all about you, the people of Malaysia. If not for you. I would not be here." he said.

And, here are the 11 goodies, some of which are said to be solutions to long-standing grievances.
1. A 20 per cent discount for users of the pre-paid Smart Tag and Touch n Go cards who pay toll 80 times or more in a month.

2. The government offer for sale of 44,000 units of public housing to people renting these premises in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

3. A 50 per cent discount on the licence renewal fee for hawkers and petty traders in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur with immediate effect.

4. The government's raising by 3,000 the number of taxi permits, the applications for which will be approved over the next three months.

5. The introduction of drastic measures to reduce crime and fight corruption.

6. Facilitating applications for registration of births in Sabah and Sarawak.

7. Construction of additional roads in Sabah and Sarawak.

8. Upgrading of water and electricity supply in Sabah and Sarawak.

9. Reduction to RM211 the fee for learning to ride Class B2 motorcycles of 250cc and below, beginning Sept 1.

10. Increasing by RM150 million the allocation for Tekun Nasional, with RM15 million to be made available for young entrepreneurs from the Indian community.

11. Introduction of the new Amanah Saham 1Malaysia (1Malaysia Unit Trust) with a size of 10 billion units.

NST has the full report here .

Read also: Azmi Anshar's Najib's 100 days no honeymoon

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Dr M's online poll survey: More people prefer English

A poll on Tun Dr Mahathir's blog shows that the majority of respondents does not support the teaching of Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia.

The former prime minister said he conducted the poll to gauge the people's sentiment on the issue.

"If there is no other way to publish the poll results, at least through my blog, hopefully government officials would read it," the former premier said yesterday.

Here's the NST report:

Dr M: 80% of poll respondents oppose PPSMI abolishment


KUALA LUMPUR: About 80 per cent of 26,000 poll respondents of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s blog does not support the teaching of Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia.

The former prime minister said he conducted the poll to gauge the people's sentiment on the abolishment the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), reverting it to Bahasa Malaysia and vernacular languages in phases starting 2012.

"If there is no other way to publish the poll results, at least through my blog, hopefully government officials would read it," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Royal Institution and the Malays in the Federal Constitution from the 1Malaysia Perspective Discourse here today.

Asked what was wrong with abolishing the PPSMI, he said it was introduced to enable students to acquire knowledge as most of it was churned out in English.

"It is not about trying to learn English or Malay... it is simply an acknowledgement that today knowledge comes to us in English language.

"Today the knowledge is with the people who write in English and for that reason we want to learn English to acquire knowledge, not to learn English as Science has got a special English language for itself.

"That is why it is important that we use English in order to study Science and Mathematics," he added.

On his meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Dr Mahathir said he appreciated it as the latter briefed him on the PPSMI issue although he was not informed of the decision.

Dr Mahathir said he did not expect the government to consult him whenever they want to change any policies adopted by them.

Meanwhile, the Federal Territories Council of Former Elected Representatives (Mubarak) hoped the controversy surrounding the PPSMI would end with the government's decision.

Its secretary, Datuk Abdul Rahman Sulaiman, said FT Mubarak supported the government's decision and welcome a plan to enhance English learning by increasing the duration of English lessons for all levels of schooling and upgrade English teachers competency.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Dr M: Take this poll on the scrapping of the PPSMI...

...because it might enlighten the Government as to the opinions of the people.

Datuk Dr Mahathir Mohamad is running an online poll on his blog to gauge the public's opinion on the government’s decision to revert the teaching of Maths & Science in English to Bahasa Malaysia in national schools and Chinese and Tamil in vernacular schools.

"I am not surprised over the disappointment and even anger towards the government's decision on the teaching of maths and science," he said in his latest posting.

"Seems to me like the government is not listening to the voice of the people," he added.

In view of this, Dr Mahathir said that a blog poll might enlighten the government as to the opinions of the people.

Visitors to his blog can take a vote as to whether they support or oppose the decision to teach Maths and Science in Bahasa Malaysia.

“ If you support just say Yes. If you don't please say No.”.

“I will then try to let the Government know your opinion.”

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Tan Sri Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that from 2012, the two subjects will be taught in Bahasa Malaysia at national schools.

Expressing sadness on the policy reversal, he said yesterday that schoolchildren would find it difficult to know more about the developments in the field of Science.

Dr Mahathir, who was behind the original policy of teaching both subjects in English, said his intention was to ensure that Malaysians were able to face global challenges at the earliest opportunity.

He said that although the government had sought his views on the matter, it was not reflected in the decision.

The former premier also denied Tan Sri Muhyiddin's statement that he was 'consulted'.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Manek Urai polls: It's one-on-one

The Manek Urai by-election on July 14 will be a straight fight between Barisan Nasional and PAS.

Only two candidates had filed their papers when nominations closed at 10am Monday.

Barisan Nasional candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat, the 39-year-old Kuala Krai Umno Youth chief, will be going up against Mohd Fauzi Abdullah, the 50-year old PAS treasurer for Kuala Krai and a fish wholesaler by trade.

The by-election is being held following the death of the state assemblyman, Ismail Yaacob of PAS, on May 22.

In the 2008 general election, Ismail, a five-term assemblyman, defeated Barisan candidate Zulkifli Omar with a 1,352 majority votes.

The constituency has 12,293 voters.

It is the seventh by-election being held since the March 8 general election last year.

The Star hs the full report here.