Friday, 16 September 2011

Happy Malaysia Day!

... and an end to the I.S.A !

Najib announces major changes in controvrsial laws

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians received a significant Malaysia Day present in the form of greater civil liberties and democratic reforms under sweeping changes announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Saying that the country is evolving and the people wanted more freedom, Najib outlined the historic announcement in his Malaysia Day eve address that was telecast live on TV.

The changes, he stressed, were to accommodate and realise a mature, modern and functioning democracy; to preserve public order, enhance civil liberty and maintain racial harmony.

All these changes will need to be tabled in Parliament.

Six of the best

- The Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 will be repealed.

In its place, two new laws will be enacted to safeguard peace and order the detention period will be reduced and can only be extended by the courts, except in cases involving terrorism.

Three remaining emergency proclamations to be lifted are:

- Emergency 1969, Emergency 1966 (Sarawak) and Emergency 1977 (Kelantan).Banishment Act 1959 will also be repealed.

- The annual licence renewal requirement for newspapers and publications will be replaced with a one-off permit by reviewing the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

- Reviewing the Restricted Residence Act 1933.

- Allowing greater freedom to assemble by reviewing Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 by taking into consideration Article 10 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees every citizen with the right to freedom of speech and assembly

The Star

Also read The Mole
Life Without I.S.A
A Voice : Ready or not, Malaysians must rise to this new found Freedom
The Scribe: Antara Liberalisasi dan Reaksi kepada Pembangkang
Shanghai Fish : Thanks but no thanks...

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Bernama cameraman killed in Somalia

Journalist killed in shooting attack in Somali capital

A Malaysian journalist has been killed in a shooting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, security officials said.

Initial reports say African Union peacekeepers opened fire on his vehicle. A security official told the BBC the attack was being investigated.

Noramfaizul Mohd Nor had been on a trip with the aid agency Putera 1Malaysia Club, his employer said. Another reporter was wounded in the incident.

Aid staff have been flooding into the country to help famine victims.

'Long list'

The shooting took place near a busy junction known as Kilometer Four and AU troops were involved, security sources and the aid agency said.

Thirty-nine-year-old Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, a cameraman with Malaysia's national Bernama TV, was accompanying Putera 1Malaysia Club, who were carrying out a humanitarian mission, his employer said in a statement.

The wounded journalist was Aji Saregar Mazlan, Bernama added. The team had been due to travel home on Saturday.

Muhideen Mohamed, who works with the charity, said troops from Amisom - the AU peacekeeping force which was patrolling the city - fired on the journalists as they travelled to the airport, where they were based. Read here

Noramfaizul: A true professional, says Bernama chairman

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Salam Aidil Fitri

Wishing everyone a Selamat Hari Raya Eidul Fitri. Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Ramadhan Mubarak

Ramadhan Mubarak to all my Muslim
sisters and brothers!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Nine bodies retrieved from landslide-hit orphanage; 7 remain buried - The Star

Published: Saturday May 21, 2011 MYT 4:54:00 PM
Updated: Saturday May 21, 2011 MYT 10:54:29 PM

KAJANG: A landslide hit an orphanage Saturday afternoon killing nine and leaving seven still buried.

Firemen and villagers managed to pull out nine alive by 10pm from the Rumah Anak Yatim Hidayah, Madrasah Al-Takwa, Jalan Felcra Semungkus, 14th mile, Hulu Langat, near Kajang.

The dead and alive have been sent to the Ampang and Kajang Hospitals.

Rescuers rushing one of the injured children to the ward at Ampang Hospital

"Two landslides occurred simultaneously. All the victims did not have time to escape," said Selangor CPO Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah at a press conference at 6.45pm.

He said all those affected were 20 students attending a motivational camp at the orphanage and four caretakers.

A total of 49 students and caretakers were there but 24 escaped unhurt.

He said the body of the first victim was pulled out from the debris at about 4.30pm while the second body was retrieved at 5pm and the third at 6.10pm. The other two were pulled out at about 7.40pm. The sixth was pulled out at 9.50pm. The seventh and eighth were pulled out at 10.25pm.

The back portion of the orphanage where the landslide occurred

The orphanage was partially buried by the landslides at about 2.30pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Deputy IGP Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said that rescuers were being hampered by wet soil and rain.

He also appealed to the crowd of onlookers to stay back and allow the rescuers to do their work unimpeded.

Bernama reported that in ALOR GAJAH, Malacca, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil directed the Social Welfare Department and the 'Skuad Sayang' (Caring Squad) to provide immediate assistance to the orphans and family of the victims.

"I will get in touch with the police to obtain detailed information and the actual cause of the landslide so that my ministry can take follow-up action to assist the victms," she said. - The Star

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Blog House Launches fund to help fellow blogger


Blog House Malaysia has launched a fund for Kerp or Danny, a wheelchair-bound blogger, who has been actively writing since 2007and who is also a former columnist with the Malay Mail.

His wife, Molee, whom he married in March last year, after a courtship of 11 years, has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and the cells have now spread to her lower vetebra requiring radiaton.

Click here to know more about the fund and how you can help.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Analysis: Killing the alibi - Opinion - Al Jazeera

Washington has less reason or justification to wage war in Afghanistan now that Osama bin laden is no more...

The killing of Osama bin Laden is more of a symbolic victory for the Obama administration than a game changer for the US strategy in the "Greater Middle East".

After 10 years of pursuing al-Qaeda's leader, responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US has closed a chapter, but not the book, in its war on al-Qaeda and "international terrorism".

Since the attacks on New York and Washington, "al-Qaeda central" which was being run from the Pakistani Afghan border, has mutated into a global network of affiliates.

US "terrorism experts" have been split over the relevance of "al-Qaeda central" under the direct leadership of bin Laden and his lieutenants, in comparison to the global network of smaller cells and hardcore fighters who pledged allegiance to the leadership, or to put it bluntly, to the brand: "al-Qaeda".
Those who discount the importance of the 'disconnected and on-the-run' al-Qaeda leaders on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan underline the importance of the decentralisation of the group.

They refer to it as SPIN (segmented, polycentric, ideologically networked) group, where al-Qaeda fighters in various parts of the world have increasingly acted on their own without direct orders or logistical and financial support from "al-Qaeda central".

In that way, al-Qaeda was more of a global and post-modern creature or phenomenon than a religious one. continue here : Analysis: Killing the alibi - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Two Malaysians among world's '100 most inspiring people'

Congratulations to Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Zainah Anwar for being included in a New York-based global advocacy’s list of 100 most inspiring people around the world for their work in advocating the rights of women and girls.

Zainah Anwar - who founded Sisters In Islam (SIS) and is the project director of Musawah, an international collaborative group for equality and justice in the Muslim family - and blogger, women’s rights and HIV/AIDS awareness advocate Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir were named in the list put out by Women Deliver.

Zainah and Marina joined the rank of other distinguished personalities including former US first lady Laura Bush, ABC news anchor and tv personality Christiane Amanpour, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, CNN Hero of the Year and anti-sex trafficking activist Anuradha Koirala, talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

The list, announced in New York yesterday, was compiled based on the recipients’ work in improving the lives of women and girls in the fields of health, human rights, politics, economics, education, journalism and philanthropy.

Zainah who occupied the seventh position in the list, said she was informed of her inclusion in the list in mid-February.

Zainah described her biggest achievement was in empowering Muslim women to claim their right to be treated as human beings of equal worth and dignity.

Marina, who occupied the 57th position, said Women Deliver contacted her through her blog last week.

“I am very honoured to be named in the list. I think it’s nice that Malaysia is recognised. It makes people aware of Malaysia and we get international recognition. People will also take us more seriously,” said Marina who is also a SIS board member.

In a press statement released yesterday, Women Deliver president Jill Sheffield said last year had been “widely viewed as the year women’s issues finally came to the fore in international development.

“This list recognises those who successfully navigated the corridors of power, along with those on the front lines, who have worked to expand the rights and choices for girls and women everywhere,” she said. - Excerpts from the NST. For more read here.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Former journalist Swithin Monteiro dies after massive stroke

He was an old friend and a former colleague. I received news of his passing from his brother, Sandy, who sent me a text message at 2.30pm today.

Swithin, former NST and Star journalist turned PR man, died this morning after suffering a massive stroke the day before. He was 58.

He is survived by his wife Margaret Hall and son Justin.

My condolence to his family. May you rest in peace, Swithin.

Veteran entertainment journalist dies

Frankie D'Cruz
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 19:42:00

KUALA LUMPUR: The arts world and public relations lost an illustrious son yesterday afternoon when Swithin Monteiro, 58, passed away at the University Malaya Medical Centre, Petaling Jaya, after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke at his home on Sunday.

A journalist with both the New Straits Times and Star Publications, Monteiro was well-known as a public relations practitioner, trainer and advisor to several companies active in event management and crisis management.

A veteran and critical journalist who began writing for the print media since he was in school, Monteiro also forayed into live music as a member of Chrysalis Blue, alongside Marion Danker, Derek Surian and Bob Lewis, taking part in the inaugural Bakat TV 1971.

After his long stint in print media, he joined public relations company Burson-Marsteller in the late 1980s as an account supervisor and core member of its media training team, before leaving to establish Silver Tiger Entertainment which helped to launch superstar ethnic fusion group Asiabeat and brought African act Inphanze to perform in Kuala Lumpur.

Monteiro later set up his specialist agency Swithin Monteiro Media-PR which handled numerous government and private corporation projects, acting as advisor to the Ministry of National Unity and Social Development for its ‘Kamu Aku Seiring’ campaign in 2003 and as consultant for the launch of KL Sentral, the Top of the Pubs music competition, the Malaysian International Jazz Festivals, Australian Music Showcase, Le Tour de Langkawi, and JVC Asian Badminton Championships.

Monteiro was noted for his promotion of the local music scene as a committee member of the Musicians Union of Malaysia and an active fund-raising committee member of the Selangor and Federal Territory Eurasian Association.

Monteiro, who was to turn 59 in a few days, leaves wife Margaret Eileen Hall, son Justin, 29, sister Penny, and three brothers - Arnold, Ian and Sandy.

For wake and funeral service details, call Arnold at 012-2511111. The Malay Mail

Pic: Swithin and wife Margaret.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Three questions for Marwan Bishara - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

The US has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements as "illegal" and called for an immediate halt to all settlement building. All 14 other council members voted in favour of the resolution.

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, answers three crucial questions connected with the issue.

Read: Three questions for Marwan Bishara - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Salam Maulidur Nabi

Selawat ke atas junjungan Nabi Muhammad SAW. Dan salam Maulidur Rasul kepada semua umat Islam.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Mubarak Steps down!!

President Mubarak has stepped down after a 30-year rule following more than two weeks of mass demonstrations. Vice President Omar Suleiman announced the resignation on state tv.


Hosni Mubarak resigns as president

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces.

Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, announced in a televised address that the president was "waiving" his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the armed forces.

Suleiman's short statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square, as well by pro-democracy campaigners who attended protests across the country on Friday.

The crowd in Tahrir chanted "We have brought down the regime", while many were seen crying, cheering and embracing one another.

Mohamed ElBaradei, an opposition leader, hailed the moment as being the "greatest day of my life", in comments to the Associated Press news agency.

"The country has been liberated after decades of repression,'' he said.

"Tonight, after all of these weeks of frustration, of violence, of intimidation ... today the people of Egypt undoubtedly [feel they] have been heard, not only by the president, but by people all around the world," our correspondent at Tahrir Square reported, following the announcement.

"The sense of euphoria is simply indescribable," our correspondent at Mubarak's Heliopolis presidential palace, where at least ten thousand pro-democracy activists had gathered, said.

Pro-democracy activists in the Egyptian capital had marched on the presidential palace and state television buildings on Friday, the 18th consecutive day of protests.

Anger at state television

At the state television building earlier in the day, thousands had blocked people from entering or leaving, accusing the broadcaster of supporting the current government and of not truthfully reporting on the protests.

"The military has stood aside and people are flooding through [a gap where barbed wire has been moved aside]," Al Jazeera's correspondent at the state television building reported.

He said that "a lot of anger [was] generated" after Mubarak's speech last night, where he repeated his vow to complete his term as president.

'Gaining momentum'

Outside the palace in Heliopolis, where at least ten thousand protesters had gathered in Cairo, another Al Jazeera correspondent reported that there was a strong military presence, but that there was "no indication that the military want[ed] to crack down on protesters".

Click here for more of Al Jazeera's special coverage

She said that army officers had engaged in dialogue with protesters, and that remarks had been largely "friendly".

Tanks and military personnel had been deployed to bolster barricades around the palace.

Our correspondent said the crowd in Heliopolis was "gaining momentum by the moment", and that the crowd had gone into a frenzy when two helicopters were seen in the air around the palace grounds.

"By all accounts this is a highly civilised gathering. people are separated from the palace by merely a barbed wire ... but nobody has even attempted to cross that wire," she said.

As crowds grew outside the palace, Mubarak left Cairo on Friday for the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Shaikh, according to sources who spoke to Al Jazeera.

In Tahrir Square, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered, chanting slogans against Mubarak and calling for the military to join them in their demands.

Our correspondent at the square said the "masses" of pro-democracy campaigners there appeared to have "clear resolution" and "bigger resolve" to achieve their goals than ever before.

However, he also said that protesters were "confused by mixed messages" coming from the army, which has at times told them that their demands will be met, yet in communiques and other statements supported Mubarak's staying in power until at least September.

Army statement

In a statement read out on state television at midday on Friday, the military announced that it would lift a 30-year-old emergency law but only "as soon as the current circumstances end".


Thousands are laying siege to state television's office

The military said it would also guarantee changes to the constitution as well as a free and fair election, and it called for normal business activity to resume.

Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tahrir Square said people there were hugely disappointed with that army statement, and had vowed to take the protests to "a last and final stage".

"They're frustrated, they're angry, and they say protests need to go beyond Liberation [Tahrir] Square, to the doorstep of political institutions," she said.

Protest organisers have called for 20 million people to come out on "Farewell Friday" in a final attempt to force Mubarak to step down.

Alexandria protests

Hossam El Hamalawy, a pro-democracy organiser and member of the Socialist Studies Centre, said protesters were heading towards the presidential palace from multiple directions, calling on the army to side with them and remove Mubarak.

"People are extremely angry after yesterday's speech," he told Al Jazeera. "Anything can happen at the moment. There is self-restraint all over but at the same time I honestly can't tell you what the next step will be ... At this time, we don't trust them [the army commanders] at all."

An Al Jazeera reporter overlooking Tahrir said the side streets leading into the square were filling up with crowds.

"It's an incredible scene. From what I can judge, there are more people here today than yesterday night," she said.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters havehered
in the port city of Alexandria [AFP]

"The military has not gone into the square except some top commanders, one asking people to go home ... I don't see any kind of tensions between the people and the army but all of this might change very soon if the army is seen as not being on the side of the people."

Hundreds of thousands were participating in Friday prayers outside a mosque in downtown Alexandria, Egypt's second biggest city.

Thousands of pro-democracy campaigners also gathered outside a presidential palace in Alexandria.

Egyptian television reported that large angry crowds were heading from Giza, adjacent to Cairo, towards Tahrir Square and some would march on the presidential palace.

Protests are also being held in the cities of Mansoura, Mahala, Tanta, Ismailia, and Suez, with thousands in attendance.

Violence was reported in the north Sinai town of el-Arish, where protesters attempted to storm a police station. At least one person was killed, and 20 wounded in that attack, our correspondent said.

Dismay at earlier statement

In a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Mubarak said he was handing "the functions of the president" to Vice-President Omar Suleiman. But the move means he retains his title of president.

Halfway through his much-awaited speech late at night, anticipation turned into anger among protesters camped in Tahrir Square who began taking off their shoes and waving them in the air.

Immediately after Mubarak's speech, Suleiman called on the protesters to "go home" and asked Egyptians to "unite and look to the future."

Union workers have joined the protests over the past few days, effectively crippling transportation and several industries, and dealing a sharper blow to Mubarak’s embattled regime.

Monday, 7 February 2011

...And, our heartful thanks to PM Najib and Datin Seri...

... for the timely evacuations of our students from Egypt.

PM and wife’s personal ties a big help

Sunday February 6

KUALA LUMPUR: The Saudi Arabian government has granted unlimited flight access to Malaysia to airlift its citizens from Egypt to Jeddah – a rare move made possible due to the close personal relationship between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor with the Saudi Royal House.

“I am very happy with the Saudi authorities for granting us all sorts of special concessions in the airlifting of our citizens,” said Najib in an interview here yesterday. “They have told us that we can mount as many flights as we need in the rescue mission.

“This is a rare privilege, mostly because of the close personal ties my wife and I have with King Abdullah Abdul Aziz and his family,” he added.

The Saudi government had granted blanket visas to all those evacuated from Egypt as well as landing rights for the eight RMAF, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia aircraft taking part in the evacuation exercise.

Najib said that when faced with such a crisis, it was diplomatically acceptable for both private and official channels to be used to ensure the rescue operation was successful.

“It is fortunate that we enjoy such a good relationship with the Saudi royal family. I was actually awakened at 2.30am on Thursday by a call from Saudi Arabia confirming the various special concessions for our airlift.

“I think it takes a very special friendship to work until so late to solve someone else’s problem and then to call someone at that hour to tell them about the blanket approval.”

Rosmah said she had also made some calls because she could not stand by and watch the students suffer “as some of them had nothing to eat”.

“As a mother, how could I not act? I feel for all the mothers whose children are studying there. I am glad I could help.

“Some of the Malaysian officials, aware of my Saudi connections, also asked me to assist. My husband was busy so that was why I helped,” she said.

“I could not afford to take any risk by waiting as every minute matters in a situation like this. Waiting a minute could cost lives. That’s why I made the call to the Saudis,” she said.

“Of course, I reported to him (Najib) what I did later.” - The Star

Read “Tugas Wajib Kerajaan Jaga Keselamatan Rakyat" here

Sunday, 6 February 2011

10,000 rescued as evacuation set to end

KUALA LUMPUR: The evacuation of Malaysian students may soon see an end with 10,000 expected to have been moved by the end of yesterday.

Those close to the operation believe it will take only another day, meaning all Malaysians who want to leave Egypt would have done so by the end of today.

Several left Egypt on commercial flights while others chose to remain.

The process, then, will only entail bringing Malaysians evacuated to Jeddah back to Malaysia.

In Cairo, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Senator A. Kohilan Pillay said yesterday that quite a number had decided to remain in Egypt despite thousands of protesters taking to the streets daily.

"Some of them have families here, while others are final-year students who do not want to go before they completed their degrees.

"We advised them to leave but many refused.

"We can only hope that they change their minds and pray for the best," he told the New Sunday Times in a telephone interview.

Kohilan, who is in Cairo to oversee the evacuation, said two Royal Malaysian Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft were flying between Cairo and Jeddah to evacuate Malaysians, while another was ferrying Malaysians from Alexandria.

Also being flown are two aircraft from Malaysia Airlines and two more from AirAsia.

Kohilan said the government had also temporarily suspended plans to evacuate citizens using KD Bunga Mas 5, a Royal Malaysian Navy auxiliary ship.

"For now, we have enough aircraft for the evacuation, but the ship will be on standby."

He said apart from minor delays, the evacuation was going smoothly and had not been affected by curfews imposed by Egyptian authorities.

Asked about the students' educational future in if the situation worsened, Kohilan said he was confident that the unrest would not continue indefinitely and that the students would soon return to their studies.

RMAF chief Gen Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said the three Hercules aircraft would mount nine daily flights between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

He said the flights had faced only minor problems, such as finding time slots due to air traffic and airport congestion.

Rodzali said Bunga Mas 5 was expected to reach Port Taufiq in the Suez Gulf at 9.10pm Malaysian time yesterday. - The NST

Pix above: First-year Malaysian varsity students boarding an RMAF C-130 Hercules aircraft bound for Jeddah at Cairo International Airport yesterday.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Egypt Protests show American Foreign-Policy Folly

While popular uprisings erupt across the Middle East, America stands on the sidelines. Author/writer Stephen Kinzer writes on why the U.S. should abandon its self-defeating strategy in the region.
"The U.S. keeps Mubarak in power—it gave his regime $1.5 billion in aid last year—mainly because he supports America’s pro-Israel policies, especially by helping Israel maintain its stranglehold on Gaza. It supports Abbas for the same reason: he is seen as willing to compromise with Israel, and therefore a desirable negotiating partner. This was confirmed, to Abbas’s great embarrassment, by WikiLeaks cables that show how eager he has been to meet Israeli demands, even collaborating with Israeli security forces to arrest Palestinians he dislikes. American support for Mubarak and Abbas continues, although neither man is in power with any figment of legality; Mubarak brazenly stage-manages elections, and Abbas has ruled by decree since his term of office expired in 2009."

Full article read here

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

Wishing everyone a good year ahead and those who are travelling a safe journey.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

NSTP managing editor among FT award recipients

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 09:46:00

PUTRAJAYA: New Straits Times Press managing editor and prominent blogger Nuraina Abdul Samad (pic) is among 256 people conferred awards and medals in conjunction with Federal Territories (FT) Day 2011 today.

Nuraina, daughter of former media icon and National Eminent Journalist, the late Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail, is one of two media practitioners to receive the Panglima Mahkota Wilayah (PMW) award, which carries the title "Datuk". She blogs regularly at

Another media practitioner to receive the award is Kumpulan Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad executive director Datuk Mohd Nasir Ali.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan led the list of people conferred awards and medals. He received the Seri Utama Mahkota Wilayah (SUMW) award, which carries the title "Datuk Seri Utama".

The investiture ceremony at Istana Negara was attended by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Other recipients of the SUMW are Umno secretarygeneral Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Public Bank Berhad non-executive director Tan Sri Thong Yaw Hong. Three people received the Seri Mahkota Wilayah (SMW) award, which carries the title "Datuk Seri". They are Bukit Aman Special Branch director Datuk Seri Akhil Bulat, People's Progressive Party president Datuk Seri M. Kayveas and Malaysian Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association president Datuk Seri Yam Kong Choy.

Besides Nuraina and Mohd Nasir, a total of 32 individuals received the PMW. ... The Malay Mail

Sidek heads FT honours list - The NST

Read here

Sunday, 30 January 2011

BN retains Tenang

Barisan Nasional (BN) retained the Tenang State Assembly seat when its candidate, Mohd Azahar Ibrahim, defeated PAS candidate Normala Sudirman with a bigger majority.

Mohd Azahar garnered 6,699 votes while Normala had 2,992 which gave the BN a majority of 3,707 votes.

In the last general election, the BN candidate, the late Datuk Sulaiman Taha beat Md Saim Siran, from PAS, with a majority of 2,492 votes.

The result was announced by the Returning Officer for the by-election for the Tenang state seat, Md Asri Amir, at the Labis District Council Multi-purpose Hall at about 10.05 Sunday night.

The result was initially expected at 8pm but a major flood that hit the state constituency had delayed the arrival of several ballot boxes.

Also present at the hall to celebrate the BN victory were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who was also the BN election director for the Tenang state seat, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and other BN leaders.

As soon as the result was announced, Mohd Azahar, who was wearing a blue shirt and a 'songkok', was hoisted by his supporters over their shoulders while chanting 'Hidup BN!' (Long Live BN).

Despite the major flood that hit several low-lying areas in the Tenang state constituency, polling went smoothly with 67 per cent or 9,833 of the total of 14,753 registered voters in the constituency casting their votes.

The flood and heavy rain throughout the day had caused the voter turnout to drop this time compared with the 73.52 per cent recorded in the last general election.

Some of the voters had to go to the polling centres by boats and trucks provided by several government agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysian Armed Forces, police and the Malaysian Red Crescent Society.

Mohd Azahar, 39, who is also fondly referred to as 'Tok Ai', was a former Assistant Land and District Administrator for the Rengit sub-district, Batu Pahat, while Normala was a former teacher.

The Tenang by-election was held following the death of incumbent Assemblyman Sulaiman, on Dec 17, last year. -- BERNAMA

D-Day for Tenang...

Today, 14,753 Tenang voters will cast their ballots to elect their next assemblyperson.

Their choice is between Umno's Azahar Ibrahim, 39, a former assistant district officer or PAS' Normala Sudirman, 38, a former remedial teacher.

There are 12 polling districts, each with a polling station. Tenang, located in northern Johor, consists of three Felda settlements, five traditional Malay kampong, three Chinese new villages, 25 modern residential area, one government quarters, four Indian estates and two Orang Asli villages.

Voting is from 8am to 5pm. The vote counting will be done in each polling station soon after the polls are close. The ballot boxes will then be transferred to the main tally centre - Labis municipal hall - where the final result announced. The Election Commission expects the results to be known by 9 pm.

azlanAccording to the weather broadcast, morning in Tenang will be chilly and cloudy, to be followed by heavy rain in the afternoon.

It has been raining all day long over the past few days, dampening the final leg of campaigning for the contesting political parties.

The Tenang state seat fell vacant on Jan 17 when the former assemblyperson Sulaiman Taha from Umno died due to complication of diabetes.

Tenang, one of the two state seats under Labis parliamentary seat, has always been a BN stronghold. BN won the seat in the 2004 general election with 5,517 majority but this was slashed to 2,492 in the 2008 general election.

For more read here

Live updates by the star, here

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

BN reps reject constitutional amendment

The BN has rejected a proposed amendment to the Selangor constitution tabled by the Pakatan Rakyat government of Selangor at Monday's special sitting of the state legislative assembly because "it is ultra vires the federal constitution".

Opposition Leader Datuk Satim Diman said that thesitting was "a futile effort and a waste of time" during the debate on the Selangor State Constitution Enactment (Second Part) (Amendment) 2011 Bill, Bernama reports.

BN Reps Reject Proposed Amendment To Selangor Constitution

SHAH ALAM, Jan 24 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) has rejected a proposed amendment to the Selangor Constitution tabled by the PKR-DAP-PAS government of Selangor at today's special sitting of the Selangor Legislative Assembly because "it is ultra vires the Federal Constitution".

"Today's sitting of the assembly is a futile effort and a waste of time," said Selangor Opposition Leader Datuk Mohamad Satim Diman during the debate on the Selangor State Constitution Enactment (Second Part) (Amendment) 2011 Bill.

He was explaining why all the 20 BN assemblymen and the sole independent assemblyman were against the proposed amendment tabled by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim which, among other things, seeks to "restore the powers of the Sultan of Selangor and the Menteri Besar" in the appointment of the State Secretary, State Financial Officer and State Legal Advisor.

(The sole independent assemblyman is Badrul Hisham Abdullah whose Port Klang seat has been declared vacant by Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim and he was prohibited from attending today's sitting of the assembly.)

The amendment to the state constitution was proposed following the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the state secretary effective Jan 1 by the Public Service Commission. The appointment was disputed by the state government because the menteri besar was purportedly not consulted.

Mohamad Satim said the proposed amendment was politically motivated and portrayed the hypocrisy and insincerity of the Selangor government.

He said the BN, during its administration of Selangor, had never neglected or ignored the Sultan of Selangor.

On the appointment of Mohd Khusrin as the state secretary, he said Abdul Khalid himself had not accepted the appointment when Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had given his consent.

"This can be regarded as treason," he said...cont here .

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Tenang by-election: It's a straight fight


The Tenang by-election on Jan 30 will see a straight fight between Barisan Nasional’s Mohd Azahar Ibrahim and PAS’ Normala Sudirman, returning officer Md Asri Amir announced Saturday after nominations closed.

Mohd Azahar, 39, (pix left) is the former Rengit assistant land administrator in Batu Pahat while Normala Sudirman (pix right) is PAS' Labis Muslimat chief and a former teacher.

Barisan wants to increase its majority to more than 5,000 while Pakatan hopes to reduce Barisan’s majority during the 2008 polls.

The Tenang state seat fell vacant following the death of Datuk Sulaiman Taha on Dec 17.

Sulaiman had won the seat by a majority of 2,492 votes in the 2008 general election, defeating PAS’ Md Saim Siran.

There are 14,753 voters including 18 postal voters, in the constituency.

They are made up of 47.5% Malays, Chinese (39%), Indians (12%) and others at 1.5%.

The other state seat in the area is Bekok, held by Tan Kok Hong, also of Barisan.

The MP is Chua Tee Yong, the son of MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. - The Star

For more read here

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Ex-MB Khir to face trial in June

SHAH ALAM: The corruption trial of former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has been been fixed for June 6 to 24.

Judge Justice Mohtarudin Baki fixed the dates Thursday and also moved the case up to the High Court here.

On Dec 6, Dr Mohd Khir was charged with land fraud involving two plots of land and a house in Shah Alam worth millions of ringgit.

He was charged at the Sessions Court here with knowingly purchasing the properties from Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Haryoni in 2007 much lower than its original price.

Dr Khir, 45, is alleged to have committed the offence at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official residence on May 29, when he obtained for himself and his wife Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik the two plots of land and house from Shamsuddin at RM3.5mil.

Ditamas had bought the lots on Dec 23, 2004 for RM6.5mil.

Dr Khir was the Mentri Besar at that time.

Shamsuddin is charged under Section 109 and Section 165 of the Penal Code with abetting Dr Khir in the deal. the Star

Pix: Courtesy of Malaysiakini