RSS
Facebook
Twitter

30 June 2013



The tussle is over just one word – shall it be “parents” or “parent”?

The government wants it to be good enough for just one parent to decide for a minor to convert religion and tabled the bill for this on Wednesday. 

But religious groups and civil society leaders have slammed this move as unconstitutional.

They want the key word in the law to remain “parents” so that both parents of a minor must agree to any conversion of religion. 

The bill in question is the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Bill 2013.

Two groups that have raised major concerns are the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) and the Bar Council.

The proposed bill would affect non-Muslims and they also see it as a turnabout of sorts. 

They point out that just four years ago, then Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the government will ban the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.

He said this in response to high-profile cases of children being converted to Islam while one parent objected.

The religious group said in a statement to the media: "It appears that the Cabinet's promise and undertaking on this issue was not sincere."

It added: "If 'parent' is interpreted to mean 'single parent', it will be against the Federal Constitution."

The Bar Council too raised a similar point. In a statement, it said:  "Any legislation that is inconsistent with the Federal Constitution that provides that the consent of only one parent is sufficient for the conversion of a minor to any religion would therefore be unconstitutional."

Bar Council president Christopher Leong urged the government to bring the new law into line with the Federal Constitution.

Leong noted that the under the Constitution, when both parents are alive, both must decide on the conversion of their child who is a minor. 

Only when it is just one parent that is alive, can one parent decide on such a conversion.

The religious group went further than the Bar Council and called for the bill – which lets the Syariah High Court decide whether a person is a Muslim – to be withdrawn until it has been thoroughly debated by all stakeholders. 

It said:  “Bulldozing through this bill is unacceptable and would be unconstitutional, giving no choice to the affected persons to look for remedy through other legal channels locally and internationally."

MCCBCHST’S FULL STATEMENT IS AS FOLLOWS:  

The Malaysian Consuttative Council Of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) vehemently objects to some  provisions  found in the RANG UNDANGUNDANG PENTADBIRAN  AGAMA  ISLAM (WILAYAH-WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN) 2013 tabled in Parliament  for its first reading on 26 June 2013 as they affect the Non-Muslims.

The Bill under disguise of lslamic Laws is unilaterally trying to alter the Federal Constitution by translating  the word "parent" in the Federal  Constitution to mean "lbu atau Bapa" as opposed  to "lbubapa".

Any conversion of a minor by a single parent will cause serious injustice  to the non-converting parent and the children of the marriage - Section 107 (b) "jika dia belum mencapai  umur lapan belas tahun, ibu atau bapa atau penjaganya  mengizinkan  pemelukan agama  lslam olehnya"

This provision  would further  creates social injustice and is contrary to the constitutional scheme of things.

Cabinet held responsible

We hold the Federal Cabinet accountable for this transgression, that is, in spite of the Cabinet decision of 2314/2013 whereby it was decided that a single parent cannot convert a minor child of the marriage.

Despite that public statement, the Cabinet deem it fit to introduce the above provision in D.R. 112013.|t appears  that the Cabinet promise  and undertaking  on this issue was not sincere.

The MCCBCHST wishes to reiterate that any unilateral conversion of their children by one parent encroaches into the lives of Non-Muslims. Such conversions are not only unconstitutional but are morally and ethically wrong.

We ask Cabinet members how they will feel if their children are unilaterally converted. Do not do things to others, which you do not want to be done to you.

Absurd and against the spirit & letter of the Federal Constitution

We must warn that if "Parent"  in Article 12(a) is to be interpreted  to mean "single" parent",  it will go against the spirit and letter of Article 4 of the Federal Constitution  - the Supreme Law of the land.

lf this lnterpretation is advanced,  then there is nothing  to stop the other  single parent to convert  back the child to the Original religion.  No religious law can over-ride the constitution.  

This would  produce  an absurd result and therefore  this could  not be meaning intended.

Reliance on the case of SUBASHINI (2008), may not be in order as the case appears to be wrongly decided due to the following:-

i) The Court did not apply the Statutory Interpretation clause. Art. 160(1) (Eleventh Schedule) under which "words importing the masculine gender include female" and "words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular.

ii) The guardianship of Infants Act, 1961 which provides for equality of parental rights.

iii) lf single "parent"  can convert,  then it would lead to an absurd result, as the nonconverting spouse can similarly by virtue of being a single parent convert back her child to the original faith.

Syariah and not civil court to decide if a person is Muslim or not

We understand  that the Bill also provides for Syariah High Court to decide whether a person is a Muslim or not. See Section 51(3Xb)  (x) and (xi). 

This power has always been with the Civil High Court and not the Syariah Court. 

The amendment  thus proposed  is unconstitutional.

The MCCBCHST, therefore calls upon the Cabinet to withdraw the above Bill, until its provisions have been thoroughly debated by all the stake holders.

Any bull dozing through of the Bill will not be accepted and would also be unconstitutional, giving no choice to the affected persons to look for remedy peacefully through other legal channels locally and internationally. - June 28, 2013.



Seorang menteri yang rumahnya dimasuki pencuri pada hujung minggu lalu mendapat simpati daripada pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“Saya tahu bagaimana rasanya rumah dimasuk pencuri kerana rumah saya sendiri pernah dimasuki pencuri dua kali pada tahun 2009 dan 2010 dan itu merupakan salah satu sebab mengapa saya berpindah ke pangsapuri pada 2011,” menurut Setiausaha Publisiti Kebangsaan DAP Tony Pua dalam satu kenyataan media lewat malam tadi.

Menteri Belia dan Sukan Khairy Jamaluddin mendapati rumah banglonya di Bukit Damansara dimasuki pencuri pada siang hari Sabtu lalu sewaktu hanya pembantu rumahnya berada di rumah.

Pua turut menggesa pihak polis dan kerajaan agar berdepan realiti terhadap kejadian jenayah yang semakin berleluasa di Malaysia. 

Ahli Parlimen Petaling Jaya Utara itu berkata: “Jika kerajaan dan polis tidak mahu menerima hakikat, maka tiada pendekatan yang akan diambil pihak berkuasa bagi membendung isu berkenaan.

“Jika kerajaan dan polis tidak mahu menerima kenyataan, kita pasti berdepan alasan demi alasan daripada pihak polis malah daripada Pemandu sendiri yang menggesa pemansuhan Ordinan Darurat meningkatkan kadar jenayah.”

Polis memberitahu The Malaysian Insider pemansuhan akta berkenaan akan meningkatkan kadar jenayah jalanan dan secara keseluruhannya.

Pua berkata kelemahan polis sebenar dalam membanteras jenayah adalah penempatan pasukan yang kurang tepat dan skala yang berlebihan.

“Sejak lapan tahun lalu, Cawangan Siasatan Jenayah terdiri daripada 9 peratus tenaga polis secara keseluruhannya. Sebagai perbandingan, 41 peratus polis beruniform melakukan tugas-tugas pentadbiran.

“Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI) pada 2005 mencadangkan kira-kira 20,000 pasukan beruniform atau 22 peratus kembali kepada tugas hakiki bagi memantapkan tugas polis. Malangnya cadangan tersebut tidak diambil serius oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

“Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan polis harus menerima cadangan RCI dan melaksanakan semua pendekatan yang perlu bagi meningkatkan keberkesanan dan profesionalisme pasukan polis.

“Selagi mereka berlengah-lengah, ini akan meningkatkan kadar jenayah dan menjadikan Malaysia tidak selamat bukan sahaja kepada rakyat malah pembangunan kondusif perniagaan dan pelaburan.”

“Merujuk kepada kes rompakan di kediaman Khairy, Pua berkata tidak kira sama ada menteri atau ahli politik dari Pakatan Rakyat atau Barisan Nasional atau sesiapa yang berada di jalanan akan berdepan trauma apabila berdepan situasi jenayah.

“Kita bersyukur kerana dalam insiden ini tiada yang cedera. Kejadian ini dan yang lalu berlaku sejak kebelakangan ini kepada VIP termasuk ahli keluarga menteri dan pegawai polis membuktikan jenayah bukanlah persepsi semata-mata di Malaysia.

 “Jika menteri dan pegawai polis atasan tidak terlepas daripada jenayah maka bagaimana rakyat biasa dapat tidur lena? Kejadian jenayah telah memaksa penduduk setempat menggunakan perkhidmatan kawalan keselematan peribadi di kawasan kediaman mereka.

“Jutaan ringgit telah dibelanjakan oleh penduduk untuk menggunakan khidmat kawalan keselamatan bagi melindungi kediaman mereka. Statistik jenayah beberapa tahun lalu telah dimanipulasi bagi memberikan rakyat Malaysia persepsi yang salah berhubung isu keselamatan.

Kerajaan mendakwa jenayah jalanan telah berkurang kepada 40 peratus beberapa tahun ini manakala indeks jenayah turun kepada 25 peratus daripada tahun 2007 ke 2011.

“Apa yang kerajaan cuba sembunyikan daripada rakyat Malaysia adalah indeks jenayah telah meningkat kepada 69 peratus pada tempoh yang sama,” jelas Pua.

RCI key witness dies


A former Umno grassroots leader and a key witness in the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) who had been exposing the controversial "Project IC" in Sabah, died yesterday.

Abdul Mutalib Mohd Daud, 51, is believed to have suffered a stroke.

He was an activist who authored books highlighting the project, which generally lashed out at former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He alleged that Dr Mahathir started the programme to give identity cards to foreigners in exchange for votes.

The activist's writings and research on the subject has already been raised several times during the course of the RCI investigation. But, he has died before he could testify in court in person.

Before Mutalib's passing two days before the sixth session of the RCI inquest tomorrow, the former politician had already testified against former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh last week at the defamation trial of PKR leader Chong Eng Leong.

Harris is suing Chong for RM50 million for accusing him of being involved in the Project IC or "Project M", as it is also known.

In the Sabah RCI inquest, eight terms of reference were outlined, including to enquire into the number of immigrants in Sabah who had been issued blue identification cards or citizenship and whether the move was in compliance with the law.

More than 100 witnesses have been called to testify since its first five-day hearing, which begun on January 14. The RCI panel has  been given six months to complete its investigation. - June 30, 2013.

28 June 2013

PM or cabinet must act on IGP, says Gobind

Puchong Member of Parliament Gobind Singh Deo moved a motion today urging the prime minister or the cabinet to take action against Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar following yesterday’s Kuala Lumpur High Court decision which held him responsible for the death of detainee A. Kugan. 

Due to public interest, Gobind said the House should be adjourned for this matter to be debated, whether the IGP was fit to continue in his post. 

The court had ruled that Khalid, in his capacity as the then Selangor police chief, was responsible for Kugan's death. 

Kugan was arrested in Puchong on Jan 14, 2009 and was detained at the Puchong police station overnight before he was sent to the Taipan police station for investigations. 

He was found dead at the lock-up there on Jan 20. 

In making his decision, the judge made a finding that there were elements of a cover-up by Khalid when he failed to classify the investigations into the death as murder, based on the injuries on the deceased's body. 

The judge also said Khalid also failed to clarify his statement over Kugan's death. 

"Due to the findings of the court which were covered by the media extensively, the question now arose whether Khalid is still fit to hold on to his post, or should he be sacked or suspended immediately," said Gobind in a statement. 

"It is clear that this is of public interest and must be dealt with urgently." - June 27, 2013.

Pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) dan persatuan masyarakat awam mendesak Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) mendedahkan syarikat pembekal yang diberikan kontrak dakwat kekal pada pilihan raya umum ke-13 baru-baru ini.

Perkara ini perlu dilakukan dengan segera supaya langkah serta-merta dapat diambil untuk memastikan kontroversi melibatkan dakwat tersebut tidak berulang pada pilihan raya kecil Kuala Besut yang akan diumumkan dalam masa terdekat.

SPR berdepan tekanan selepas pendedahan di Parlimen baru-baru ini dimana bahan kimia dalam dakwat tersebut telah diganti dengan pewarna makanan yang menyebabkan ia mudah ditanggal.

Walaupun dengan pendedahan tersebut, timbalan pengerusi SPR Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan berkata dakwat tersebut akan masih digunakan dalam pilihan raya kecil.

Pengerusi Tenaganita Irene Fernandez berkata SPR menunjukkan sikap "tidak hormat" dengan keputusan untuk meneruskan menggunakan dakwat tersebut tanpa menyelesaikan masalah yang timbul dahulu.

"Ini adalah keangkuhan jelas dan berlagak sombong... apa lagi yang boleh dikatakan?" kata Fernandez kepada The Malaysian Insider.

Fernandez berkata, SPR perlu berhenti memalukan diri mereka sendiri.

Beliau juga menuntut kerajaan mendedahkan butir-butir syarikat yang membekalkan dakwat tersebut.

Presiden Persatuan Peguam Wanita Meera Sambanthar juga senada dengan desakan Fernandez yang menuntut kerajaan untuk mendedahkan butiran kontrak.

"Jika tiada apa yang hendak disembunyikan, maka SPR mesti mendedahkannya. Mengapa mereka memberi alasan walaupun banyak pihak yang mendesaknya?" soal beliau.

 "Ia hanya akan menimbulkan pelbagai persoalan kerana ia sudah menjadi isu nasional."

Pengarah Pusat Pengajian Dasar Awam, Institut Strategi dan Kepimpinan Asia (ASLI) Tan Sri Dr Ramon Navaratnam mengambil tindakan wajar bagi memastikan kesilapan sama tidak berulang lagi.

Ramon merupakan salah seorang pemerhati semasa pilihan raya 5 Mei lalu, SPR perlu membuat perubahan dan memastikan mengambil tindakan sebelum pilihan raya kecil nanti.

"Mereka (SPR) juga mesti mendedahkan siasatan kepada umum," tambahnya.

Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Shahidan Kassim mengakui di Dewan Rakyat pada Rabu lalu pewarna makanan, bukannya nitrat perak yang digunakan dalam dakwat kekal.

Beliau berkata dakwat tertanggal kerana bahan kimia yang sepatutnya adalah punca dakwat tersebut mudah dibersihkan tetapi juga menyalahkan pengundi yang cuba membasuhnya sebagai punca ia tidak kekal.

Pengerusi SPR Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof juga berhadapan tekanan daripada umum selepas dilaporkan beliau menerima surat daripada Kementerian Kesihatan mengatakan kerosakan buah pinggang dan risiko barah berkemungkinan dihadapi oleh pengundi sekiranya dakwat kekal mengandungi nitrat perak melebihi daripada satu peratus.

Dakwaan Aziz kemudiaan ditolak oleh Menteri Kesihatan Datuk Seri Dr. Subramaniam yang berkata laporan sedemikian tidak pernah dikeluarkannya serta mendakwa mereka tidak menerima permintaan untuk membuat analisis. - 28 Jun, 201

Pasukan keselamatan negara kini dilanda "jerebu kebertanggungjawaban, integriti dan tadbir-urus dua pegawai tertinggi dalam bidang keselamatan, ekoran kredibiliti dan kewibawaan Ketua Polis Negara (KPN) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar dan Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi tercalar, kata Lim Kit Siang (gambar).

Ahli Parlimen Gelang Patah itu berkata, langkah Menteri Dalam Negeri dan KPN nampaknya sedang terkunci kerana kedua-duanya tidak dapat menggunakan kuasa masing-masing ke atas satu sama lain kerana kedua-dua mereka mempunyai pekung tersendiri.

"Apakah ini caranya kerajaan Barisan Nasional memulihkan kepercayaan rakyat dalam negara dan warga dunia terhadap institusi-institusi utama dalam negara selepas PRU13?" soalnya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

"Belum pun dua bulan selepas PRU13, kerajaan Barisan Nasional telah mula berdepan dengan krisis tadbir-urus yang parah," katanya.

Antara perkara yang dibangkitkan Ketua Parlimen DAP itu adalah tindakan dan langkah Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Selain itu, penghakiman pada Rabu, yang menyaksikan hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur Datuk V.T. Singham mendapati Khalid ketika menjadi ketua polis Selangor bertanggungjawab atas kematian A Kugan yang mati akibat kecederaan teruk dalam tahanan polis di balai polis Taipan pada 20 Januari 2009.

Sejarah dalam bidang kehakiman jelasnya tercipta apabila hakim memutuskan keluarga Kugan berhak menerima pampasan sebanyak RM801,700 kerana polis dan kerajaan boleh dipertanggungjawabkan atas kematian Kugan, manakala Khalid pula boleh dipertanggungjawabkan kerana menyalahgunakan kedudukannya sebagai penjawat awam.

Keputusan Presiden Mahkamah Rayuan Hakim Md Raus Sharif menolak permohonan Zahid untuk mengenepikan saman terhadapnya yang dikemukakan oleh ahli perniagaan Amir Bazli Abdullah berikutan serangan yang berlaku pada tahun 2006 juga jelasnya mencalar imej Zahid.

"Rakyat mahu tahu sama ada Najib akan menamatkan perkhidmatan mereka, menggantung, atau mengarahkan kedua-dua mereka mengambil cuti sehinggalah mereka berjaya membersihkan diri daripada tuduhan-tuduhan yang dibuat terhadap mereka.

"Sukar untuk Menteri Dalam Negeri meminta KPN memikul tanggungjawab penuh atas kematian Kugan sedangkan pada masa yang sama persoalan timbul mengapa polis tidak membuat penyiasatan dan mendakwa Zahid atas serangan terhadap Amir Bazli pada tahun 2006.

"Pada masa yang sama juga, KPN tidak boleh menggesa Menteri Dalam Negeri untuk memikul tanggungjawab penuh atas kes serangan pada tahun 2006 itu kerana Khalid sendiri sedang dipertanggungjawabkan atas kematian Kugan dalam tahanan polis pada tahun 2009," kata Lim. - 28 Jun, 2013.


Pemimpin MIC Senator Datuk Jaspal Singh hari ini meragui persaraan Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Datuk V.T. Singham pagi ini mungkin disebabkan oleh keputusannya melibatkan kematian dalam tahanan A. Kugan dua hari lalu.

Bendahari Agung tersebut berkata meskipun benar persaraan Singham itu adalah mengikut proses yang sewajarnya, kerajaan perlu menolak dan mengekalkan hakim tersebut kerana cara pengendaliannya yang tegas dan rakyat Malaysia memerlukan individu yang berprinsip seperti beliau.

"Saya secara jujur berharap beliau tidak dipaksa untuk bersara."

"Jika itu adalah keputusannya sendiri untuk berhenti, saya menggesa kerajaan untuk menolak perletakan jawatannya. Malaysia sangat perlukan hakim berprinsip seperti beliau," kata Jaspal.

Jaspal juga menggesa supaya Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi menunaikan janjinya di dalam Parlimen yang mengatakan tidak akan melindungi pesalah dengan membuka semula kes Kugan dan pembunuhnya mesti didakwa dan dihukum dengan segera.

"Beliau (Ahmad Zahid) perlu tunaikan janjinya," kata Jaspal lagi.

Di samping itu, Jaspal juga menegaskan supaya kerajaan supaya menimbangkan cadangan oleh Singham supaya ditubuhkan Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salahlaku Polis (IPCMC) sebagaimana dicadangkan Suruhanjaya Diraja yang diketuai Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah, malah mempercepatkan penubuhan institusi tersebut.

"Kabinet mesti menyemak semula keputusan tersebut, terutamanya selepas penghakiman oleh beliau."

"Sama ada ia IPCMC atau lain-lain, secara jelasnya polis tidak boleh menyiasat diri mereka sendiri," tambah beliau.

Dua hari lalu, beliau membuat penghakiman mengatakan Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar bertanggungjawab terhadap kematian A. Kugan tiga tahun lalu semasa berada dalam tahanan polis.

Singham yang masih bujang merupakan hakim paling kanan di Mahkamah Tinggi pada ketika ini.

Keluarga Kugan telah memfailkan tuntutan RM100 juta terhadap polis dan kerajaan, secara spesifiknya menamakan Khalid, mendakwa beliau cuba menyembunyikan punca kematian Kugan.

Ibu Kugan, N. Indra menamakan salah seorang pegawai penyiasat mangsa, bekas anggota polis V. Navindran sebagai salah satu lagi defendan.

Ibunya mendakwa defendan-defendan gagal untuk memastikan keselamatan, kesihatan dan kebajikan Kugan semasa berada dalam tahanan polis. Kugan yang pada ketika itu berumur 22 tahun, ditahan di Puchong pada 14 Januari 2009, satu malam di lokap balai polis Puchong Jaya sebelum polis mendapatkan perintah reman.

Beliau kemudiannya dibawa ke balai polis Taipan USJ, Subang Jaya dua hari kemudian untuk disoal siasat. Akan tetapi, empat hari kemudian, beliau ditemui mati. Navindran merupakan satu-satunya orang yang dipertanggungjawabkan untuk kematian Kugan.

Beliau didapati bersalah dan dijatuhkan hukuman penjara tiga tahun.

Beliau kini merayu di mahkamah berhubung hukuman itu. - 28 Jun, 2013.


A member of the Johor royal family and two others were sentenced by the Johor Baru Sessions court to four years’ jail for assaulting a national boxer last year in a brawl.

Tunku Nick Tazuddin Izwan Syah Tunku Qadir, 27, Mohd Arif Husin, 35, and Alex Foo Hee Wee, 41, were sentenced by Judge Zamri Bakar after he found them guilty of injuring Muhamad Farkhan Haron. The jail sentence is to run from today.

They were charged with committing the offence along Jalan Molek 3/2 in Taman Molek between 4.30am and 7am on May 6, 2012. The judge also denied the three a stay of execution pending appeal.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dzul Iswari Mohd Jaafar prosecuted while Zamri Idrus, Norman Fernandez and Masri Mohammad represented the three accused. Counsel Gobind Singh Deo held a watching brief for the boxer.

It was reported that Muhamad Farkhan, who won a gold medal at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos, suffered a broken cheekbone and had injuries to ribs after being beaten by three men.

He missed the 2012 London Olympics because of that.

Muhamad Farkhan, 25, was the winner of the middleweight gold in the Laos SEA Games. He took up boxing at 13 and was nominated for the prestigious National Sports Council awards in 2011. - June 28, 2013.

27 June 2013


Even as Nurul Izzah Anwar of the opposition yesterday threatened to take legal action against the Election Commission (EC) for the indelible ink fiasco, the EC says it will use that ink again for the coming by-election in Terengganu.

“Yes, the indelible ink will be used,” said vice-chairman of the Election Commission Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (pic) when contacted by The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

“We’ll discuss next week if we’re using the same ink as the one used during the 13th general elections,” said Wan Ahmad, referring to the EC meeting next week on the by-election.

The state seat for Kuala Besut is vacant, following the death of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) elected representative, Dr. A. Rahman Mokhtar, 55, yesterday morning from lung cancer.

Meanwhile, the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has threatened legal action to get the entire EC sacked. 

"We will take legal action over this matter," said Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar. "How can we let them get away with this? We, Pakatan Rakyat leaders, will make sure the disparaged and the discredited officials of the EC face the course of the law. It was something so fundamental and crucial."

 The PR has also demanded that a new EC team take charge of the by-election. The MP added that the present commission had five years to bring about reforms but failed to do it.

"How can we allow them to use that same ink, when they have hoodwinked the nation?" she questioned.

The indelible ink was a hot button issue from the day it was announced it would be used. On polling day, voters found the so-called indelible ink was anything but. 

Yesterday, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim revealed to Parliament that food colouring was used.

But Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor defended the use of that ink, saying the EC had been concerned about using too much chemicals.

"We are a responsible government who care about the people. We don’t want to hurt the people.

"We know in India they use the ink and it lasts for 2 months but it is not good."

When it was put to him that that the purpose of the ink was for it to last, Tengku Adnan said that Malaysia did not need the ink.

"We are not a third-world country. We have ICs. They use it because they don't have identification documents," Tengku Adnan responded, referring to India’s lack of personal identity cards.

But the promise to use indelible ink again in Terengganu is surely going to meet strong protest as the by-election there is an important one that could possibly even decide the next state government of Terengganu, as it would lead to a hung state assembly if BN loses this seat.

BN has 17 state legislative seats while PR has 15.

Meanwhile, Wan Ahmad also told The Malaysian Insider that the EC will again elect only non-governmental organisations to be observers for the Kuala Besut by-election.

“There will be observers at the by-election this time,” he said. – June 28, 2013.

No decision yet on GST


The government is still undecided when to table the goods and services tax bill (GST) as it is still under study.

Second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said that based on a 2015 simulation, the government would collect RM20 billion under the existing sales and service tax. But if this were replaced by the GST, the government's revenue would increase by RM 6 billion for 2015.

He said that although it will bring additional revenue and the country's private sector economy will grow, the authorities are still studying the impact of the GST on the rakyat.

"We want to see how much additional the rakyat will have to pay, if there is more to be paid. We are not introducing a new tax and it does not mean that the rakyat will have to pay RM6 billion more in taxes based on the 2015 simulation. That is not how it works."

He said the GST will net taxes from those who try to evade other taxes and hailed it as a more efficient tax system.

The impact is expected to be minimal on the lower-income group as 20 groups of basic items will draw no GST, Husni told reporters.

Husni was elaborating on a question he had been asked earlier by Setiawangsa MP Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari in the House. Fauzi wanted to know to whether the government had properly informed the people how the GST, slated to be set at 7%, would affect them if imposed. – June 27, 2013.

MELAKA, 26 Jun Kira-kira 300 peniaga boleh meneruskan perniagaan mereka seperti biasa di kawasan pasar malam Jonker Walk pada setiap hujung minggu, kata Ketua Menteri Melaka Datuk Idris Haron.

Beliau berkata, arahan penutupan gerai yang kebanyakkannya menjual cenderamata di Jonker Walk itu hanya salah faham, sebaliknya penutupan itu hanya melibatkan laluan kenderaan di kawasan berkenaan.

Jelas beliau, jalan sekitar Jonker Walk yang menjadi tumpuan pelancong itu dibuka semula untuk kenderaan yang ketika ini ditutup bermula 6 petang hingga 12 malam pada setiap Jumaat hingga Ahad bertujuan mengatasi masalah kesesakan lalu lintas.

"Arahan pembukaan jalan ini, berikutan aduan orang ramai dan pelancong mengenai kesesakan lalu lintas di kawasan tersebut terutama pada hujung minggu," katanya kepada Bernama di sini hari ini.

Idris berkata isu menghalang peniaga berniaga di Jonker Walk pada hujung minggu, sengaja dimanipulasikan pihak tertentu demi kepentingan politik mereka.

Ditanya sama ada pembukaan jalan tersebut menyukarkan pengunjung dan peniaga, Idris berkata: "saya tidak fikir begitu".

Sebagai contoh, katanya di Oxford City, England peniaga menjalankan perniagaan di kaki lima jalan raya dan kenderaan dibenar melalui kawasan disitu.

Sebuah akhbar bahasa Cina pada Isnin memetik Idris sebagai berkata mesyuarat Exco pada 12 Jun lepas, memutuskan menutup pasar malam berkenaan demi memenuhi hasrat rakyat

Home minister to answer assault suit


Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has exhausted all legal avenues to stop a suit against him from being heard in court. 

The Federal court this morning dismissed the home minister's application for leave to appeal against the lower courts' decision that the suit should go to trial. 

The suit was filed by businessman Amir Bazli Abdullah against Ahmad Zahid for allegedly punching him in the face on Jan 16, 2006 at the Country Heights recreational club in Kajang, Selangor. 

Amir Bazli suffered a nasal bone fracture and a swollen eye. A five-man Court of Appeal bench led by judge Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said the law was settled. 

"The High Court ruled that the case should go to trial and Court of Appeal is of the same view," the judge said. 

"Let this be tried in court and let the court make a finding. He will have avenues to appeal later." Md Raud then dismissed the application with RM5,000 cost.

Amir Bazli filed the suit on July 4, 2007.  

At that time, Ahmad Zahid was the then deputy information minister. 

In his statement of claim,  Amir Bazli  said at about 10pm on Jan 16, 2006, he was at a petrol station in Bangi when the defendant's agents approached him and threatened him. 

They took him forcefully to the Country Heights recreational club in Kajang. 

There, the plaintiff saw Ahmad Zahid with his son-in-law, Hisham and his son, identified only as KK. 

There were also others with them. He said the defendant then punched him in the face, fracturing his nose and causing his left eye to be swollen. 

Amir Bazli said the others also had assaulted him. 

He alleged the defendant had also threatened him by repeatedly saying: "You'll be buried". 

Hisham had also threatened to kill him. Amir Bazli alleged he was held in wrongful confinement at the defendant's home in Country Heights until 2am the next day. 

The businessman is now claiming special damages, general and aggravated damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court. 

Ahmad Zahid, however, denied the allegations and claimed that Amir Bazli had concocted the whole story. 

He said there was no threat and denied even touching the plaintiff. 

In turn, he filed a counter-claim against Amir Bazli claiming to have suffered humiliation and emotional trauma as a result of the accusation. 

The minister further alleged of libel within media reports of the incident. 

In Amir Bazli's affidavit in response, he said he Ahmad Zahid's daughter, Nurul Hidayah who was then a divorcee. 

They knew each other since September 2005 and were in a relationship. 

Amir Bazli claimed he was threatened and assaulted because the defendant claimed he had abducted his daughter. 

Ahmad Zahid had filed an application to strike out the suit against him but was dismissed by the High Court and Court of Appeal in April 2010 and March 2012, respectively. 

The case will now be tried at the Shah Alam High court on Aug 26 and 27. 

Counsel Datuk Shamsul Bahrai Ibrahim represented Ahmad Zahid, while lawyers Karpal Singh, Sangeet Kaur Deo and Gobind Singh Deo appeared for Amir Bazli. 

Speaking to reporters after proceedings today, Amir Bazli claimed he suffered permanent injuries to his head and has lost sight in his left eye. - June 27, 2013.


Once, the 1Malaysia slogan was part of the daily discourse in the country, driven by a prime minister who believed that the fuzzy, warm feeling of togetherness promoted by this concept could supplant deep racial divisions in Malaysia – and yield significant non-Malay gains for Barisan Nasional in the general election.

But after the May 5 elections returned the BN to power without the treasured two-thirds majority in Parliament and popular support, and with a deep feeling of betrayal coursing through the veins of Umno politicians from Datuk Seri Najib Razak downwards, 1Malaysia seems like a concept from a different time.

Even the PM rarely refers to the slogan his administration coined as its motto. His ministers have all but forgotten it and the mood in Umno and Perkasa – raw by overwhelming support of Chinese for the Opposition – is that 1Malaysia was rejected at the polls by the electorate and therefore should be made a historical artifact by Najib.

Just listen to Datuk Ibrahim Ali, the Perkasa chief who contested and lost the Pasir Mas parliamentary seat. He said that the 1Malaysia concept was dead as soon as the Najib administration blamed the Chinese for BN’s poor showing in the elections.

On hindsight, the idea of oneness among the different races could not have worked because it was anchored on a wrong assumption: that the root problems faced by non-Malays could be addressed by dispensing cash handouts through the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M).

Ibrahim noted: “To Najib the best and quick way was to dish out BR1M and keep it coming. This was an insult to the intelligence of non-Malays. After all this BR1Ms, the handouts given towards the development of schools and the MOU with Hindraf, did the Chinese and Indian votes come back?’

“Both BR1M and 1Malaysia have one thing in common. Both will be short-lived."

Ibrahim bristled at suggestions that Perkasa, with its right-wing rhetoric, had made it difficult from the 1Malaysia concept to be truly embraced by non-Malay voters, pointing out instead that the election strategy employed by Najib’s team was muddled.

At times, he said, the campaign was more about “I LOVE PM’’ banners than anything substantial to tackle root causes of unhappiness. Turn back the clock to 2009 and it seems hard to imagine the roiling debate about whether the 1Malaysia concept should be orphaned. Najib had just taken over from Abdullah Badawi and the lessons from the 2008 elections were still clear — non-Malays, especially the Indians had deserted BN over concerns about their place under the Malaysian sun.

Najib and his strategists believed that 1Malaysia, despite it strategic ambiguity, would foster a sense of unity.

Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research executive director Ibrahim Suffian said the 1Malaysia concept was introduced as the Barisan Nasional bloc was unable to address the fundamental issues afflicting the Chinese and Indian communities.

"Hence they went for something simple called 1Malaysia but there was a major flaw in the concept as there was no coherence or regularity.

"The concept of unity was non-existent as to the Malays, they (BN) talk about Malay sensitivities, promoting topics such as Christianisation of Malays for an example and to the Chinese and Indians, differing topics," Ibrahim said.

"The issues surrounding the Chinese community especially were not fully adressed and the Indians, only a fraction.

"The efforts carried out did not reflect the campaign's original or intended spirit. The 1Malaysia campaign was running on a whole different level.

"1Malaysia was the least worst option they could conjure, hence the result," he said referring to BN's worst performance yet, in GE13 results. While he feels that 1Malaysia is not “dead”, Ibrahim says it bears no relevance either as it remains only a slogan.

"BN needs a new, fresh idea and campaign." Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng agreed that the 1Malaysia concept was an "empty election slogan".

"After the GE, we have seen the PM discard it like a used diaper. It was a political exercise that was completely abandoned once they achieved what they wanted.

"It shows that he does not practise what he preaches," Lim added.

He said the prime minister's test would be whether or not he reverses the decision made by Malacca chief minister Datuk Idris Harun to close Jonker Walk.

"Otherwise it is just political vengeance," the DAP secretary-general said.

Batu MP Tian Chua was more scathing. "The 1Malaysia concept is a hollow slogan which has been assigned to things like 1M shops, 1M barbers, 1M gas cylinders.

"Unfortunately, besides putting a label for some products, there was never really any talk about racial integrity," he added.

Tian Chua said while he never thought it was a great concept, he admitted the country needed comprehensive and well-thought out integration policies.

"We need policies that can foster and preserve interracial relationships, " he said, adding that the PM was now more interested in the upcoming Umno elections than racial integration. — June 27, 2013.


Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek mengatakan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebagai seorang yang tamak kerana bersikap tergesa-gesa mahu merampas kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Kuala Besut yang kosong selepas Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar meninggal dunia.

Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia itu berkata sikap pemimpin pembangkang tersebut sebagai tidak menghormati keluarga Dr. A. Rahman yang masih bersedih dan bukannya hanya memikirkan tentang politik.

"Saya rasa Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim perlu sabar dahulu kerana bagi kami perlu hormati keluarga arwah yang masih sedih atas pemergian.

"Inilah sikap orang politik, baginya ia adalah perkara yang menggembirakan... Kemudiaan tunjuk sikap tamak untuk terkam kerusi disitu," kata ahli Parlimen Kemaman itu dalam sidang media di Hotel One World, merujuk kepada ketua pembangkang semasa merasmikan majlis perkhidmatan penyimpanan jalur lebar Awan HeiTech pagi ini.

Menurut Ahmad Shabery, calon bagi kerusi tersebut hanya akan diputuskan selepas keadaan reda bagi menghormati keluarga arwah.

"Bagi saya, ini masih waktu bersedih untuk kami," katanya lagi.

Beliau  menegaskan sebarang perbincangan tentang nama calon tidak wajar dilakukan sekarang memandangkan pihak keluarga masih bersedih dan perlu menunggu notis daripada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) mengenai kekosongan kerusi tersebut.

"Kami belum fikir pasal calon, ia terlalu awal untuk kami... Kami masih menunggu notis daripada SPR," tambah beliau.

Apabila ditanya tentang peluang Barisan Nasional (BN) dalam mempertahankan kerusi Kuala Besut, Ahmad Shabery berkeyakinan gabungan pemerintah tersebut berkemampuan untuk menang memandangkan penyokong pembangkang sendiri telah merasai diri mereka tertipu kerana mengangkat sumpah di Dewan Rakyat walaupun mendakwa terdapat penipuan dalam pilihan raya 5 Mei lalu.

"Kami mempunyai keyakinan mempertahankannya... malahan penyokong pembangkang sendiri rasa diri mereka tertipu dan tersinggung dengan kononnya PRU lepas adalah satu bentuk penipuan.

"Disaat mereka berhimpun di luar Parlimen, pemimpin pembangkang mengangkat sumpah di dalam," ujarnya lagi.

Pada pilihan raya umum ke-13 (PRU13) 5 Mei lepas, A. Rahman mempertahankan kerusi yang disandangnya sejak 2008 dengan majoriti 2,434 undi mengatasi calon PAS Napisah Ismail.

Kerusi DUN Kuala Besut kosong apabila penyandangnya A. Rahman, 55, meninggal dunia di Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah (HSNZ) Terengganu akibat, akibat kanser paru-paru.

Pengarah SPR negeri Fakhrul Razi Ab Wahab hari ini berkata pilihan raya kecil DUN Kuala Besut boleh diadakan selewat-lewatnya pada 27 Ogos depan. - 27 Jun,2013.

 

 

26 June 2013


KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Jun Menteri Sumber Manusia Datuk Richard Riot Jaem telah menafikan dakwaan beberapa anggota Parlimen pembangkang bahawa beliau memiliki ijazah palsu.

Beliau berkata ijazah dan sarjana miliknya, kedua-duanya dalam bidang sumber manusia, diperolehi daripada University of Hertfordshire.

Riot berkata beliau akan menyerahkan kepada peguamnya untuk menentukan tindakan susulan.

"Saya mengambil ini sebagai tuduhan serius terhadap saya. Saya biar peguam saya mengendalikan hal ini. Sebagai menteri bertanggungjawab, saya mesti mempunyai pengetahuan baik dengan apa yang saya lakukan untuk berkhidmat untuk negara," katanya kepada pemberita di luar persidangan Dewan Rakyat di sini hari ini.

Terdahulu, pada sidang media bersama, Anggota Parlimen Serdang Dr Ong Kian Ming, Zairil Khir Johari (Bukit Bendera) dan Anggota Parlimen Stampin Julian Tan menuduh Riot dan Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Dr Ewon Ebin memiliki ''ijazah tak boleh dipercayai''.


KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Jun Kematian anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) kawasan Kuala Besut di Terengganu Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar akibat kanser paru-paru hari ini mewujudkan kekosongan kerusi yang pertama selepas pilihan raya umum diadakan 5 Mei lepas.

Kawasan itu bakal menjadi tumpuan sekiranya pilihan raya kecil diadakan, kemungkinan pada bulan Ramadan, memandangkan Barisan Nasional (BN) membentuk kerajaan negeri Terengganu dengan majoriti mudah apabila menguasai 17 kerusi berbanding 14 kerusi dimenangi PAS dan satu lagi oleh PKR.

A. Rahman, 55, meninggal dunia di Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah (HSNZ) Terengganu hari ini, akibat kanser paru-paru. Pada pilihan raya umum lepas, Allahyarham mempertahankan kerusi itu setelah mengalahkan calon PAS Napisah Ismail dengan majoriti 2,434 undi.

Timbalan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar berkata mesyuarat khas akan diadakan untuk menetapkan tarikh pilihan raya kecil Kuala Besut selepas menerima pemakluman rasmi berhubung kekosongan kerusi itu daripada Speaker DUN.

Katanya mengikut Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri dan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, pilihan raya kecil perlu diadakan dalam tempoh 60 hari daripada tarikh kekosongan.

Fasal 30(1) Undang-Undang Tubuh Negeri menyatakan sekiranya seseorang ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri mati atau menjadi tidak layak untuk menjadi ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri itu maka hendaklah tempatnya itu menjadi kosong.

Menteri Besar Terengganu Datuk Seri Ahmad Said berkata pilihan raya kecil akan diadakan berikutan kematian itu dan menyerahkan kepada SPR untuk menentukan tarikhnya.

Jika SPR mengadakan mesyuarat dalam masa terdekat, kemungkinan besar pilihan raya itu diadakan pada bulan Ramadan memandangkan umat Islam dijangka mula berpuasa pada 10 Julai dan Syawal dijangka disambut pada 8 atau 9 Ogos.

Sementara itu, Timbalan Menteri Kewangan Datuk Ahmad Maslan yang ditemui pemberita di Terengganu, menafikan wujud peruntukan yang kononnya pilihan raya kecil tidak perlu diadakan jika kematian anggota DUN dalam tempoh 60 hari selepas pilihan raya umum, dan boleh digantikan dengan calon daripada parti anggota yang meninggal dengan kuasa melantik terletak kepada menteri besar.

Ahmad berkata peruntukan sedemikian tidak wujud dan beliau sendiri telah mengesahkan dengan pihak Peguam Negara.

"(Peruntukan) Akta yang digembar-gemburkan itu tidak wujud seperti yang tersebar luas dalam media soial. Terserah kepada SPR untuk tentukan tarikh pilihan raya," katanya.


 Food colouring, not chemicals, was in the indelible ink used in the general election, the Election Commission (EC) admitted today in the Dewan Rakyat.

"No chemical was used in the ink but it was instead replaced with permitted food colouring," said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim in his reply to Segambut Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng.

His statement was in stark contrast with the EC's claim that it used silver nitrate in the ink. He said the absence of the required chemical was the reason the ink was easily washed off.

Shahidan also said that the expiry date of the ink was four months from the date it was issued but blamed voters for purposely trying to wash off the ink as the reason why it was not permanent.

"How long the ink remains depends on the individual and the efforts put in to wash it off."

In a written response, Shahidan also told the Dewan Rakyat that RM6.9 million had been spent on the ink, with an additional RM200,000 spent on transportation, packaging and storage, bringing the total expenditure to RM7.1 million.

He added that the EC did not plan to release information related to the suppliers for security reasons.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had urged voters to lodge police reports on polling day after many of them showed how easily the ink could be washed off their fingers.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof also announced the formation of a special task force to investigate the reasons why it could be easily washed off.

Barisan Nasional won 133 parliamentary seats in the May 5 polls, 21 seats more than the 112 required to form a simple majority government.

However, this was BN's smallest win since the country achieved independence in 1957. Pakatan Rakyat continues to refuse to accept the results and point to the fact that it had won 51% of the popular vote compared with BN's 48 %.

PR has also filed 39 election petitions to challenge the results in 25 parliamentary and 14 state seats where BN won by small majorities.

Despite the protests against the outcome of the polls, the EC insisted that it had carried out the elections in a fair manner, pointing out that the highest ever voter attendance of 84.84% was evidence of confidence in the electoral process. - June 26, 2013.

25 June 2013

KAWASAN IPU TINGGI MULAI HUJAN


KUALA LUMPUR, 25 Jun Hujan dilaporkan di beberapa kawasan yang

merekod Indeks Pencemaran Udara (IPU) tinggi termasuk di Shah Alam, Selangor

petang ini.

Jurucakap Jabatan Meteorologi berkata Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya dan

beberapa kawasan di Perak juga mengalami hujan petang ini dan ia dijangka

berterusan hingga malam.

Turut mengalami hujan ialah Muar, kawasan yang diisytihar darurat jerebu

Ahad lepas.

Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor dan Seri Manjung, Perak yang mencatat IPU

berbahaya dengan bacaan lebih 300 hari ini, diramal mengalami hujan lewat

petang ini.

Bagi Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Kuala Lumpur dan Terengganu pula,

sesetengah tempat mulai hujan lewat petang ini, kata jurucakap itu ketika

dihubungi Bernama hari ini.

Tengah hari ini, ratusan jemaah menunaikan solat sunat "Istisqa" di Masjid

Negara bagi memohon hujan berikutan masalah jerebu dan cuaca panas yang sedang

melanda negara.

Dalam pada itu, Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Meteorologi Malaysia Che Gayah Ismail

ketika dihubungi berkata latihan operasi pembenihan awan akan diteruskan esok

bagi mencari kesesuaian awan, dengan bantuan Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia

(TUDM).

Dalam pada itu, sehingga 5 petang ini, Portal Kementerian Sumber Asli dan

Alam Sekitar melaporkan Pelabuhan Klang dan Seri Manjung masing-masing

mencatat bacaan IPU 464 dan 290.

Shah Alam dan dua kawasan di Perak iaitu SK Jalan Pegoh, Ipoh dan Seri

Manjung pula mencatat IPU sangat tidak sihat dengan bacaan lebih 200.

Sebanyak 20 kawasan mencatat IPU tidak sihat, 26 sederhana dan satu kawasan

iaitu di Tawau, Sabah adalah baik.

Bacaan IPU antara 0 dan 50 dikategorikan baik, 51 hingga 100 (sederhana),

101 ke 200 (tidak sihat), 201 hingga 300 (sangat tidak sihat) dan 300 ke atas


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has confirmed that he did not sign the now-infamous reconciliation agreement with Pakatan Rakyat brokered by former Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla, saying that he had to obtain the approval of other Umno leaders and that involved a long process.

In an interview with Indonesian weekly Tempo, he said despite not having inked the deal which, among other things, called for Pakatan and Barisan Nasional to accept the May 5 poll results and ensure a peaceful transition of power had the Opposition won, he was committed to it.

Najib said that reconciliation was still possible but only if Anwar accepted the poll results. News of this agreement became public knowledge after its contents were leaked to a regional newspaper in the days after the hotly-contested elections which saw Barisan retain power but with a smaller majority and without the popular vote.

Anwar and Pakatan came under some pressure following the disclosure of the deal to move on and accept the results of the elections.

But the opposition leadear maintained that the agreement was null and void because there was widespread fraud in the polls and that Najib was not a signatory to it.

Tempo said that the idea of the reconciliation agreement came up around the end of April, before Malaysia held its 13th general election.  Anwar visited Kalla at his Jakarta residence and raised the possibility of a plan to end the post-election tension in Malaysia. Anwar asked Kalla to mediate with Najib. Tempo noted that Kalla and Najib are known to be close, due to their Bugis background.

At that time, Anwar was confident his opposition alliance of parties would win the elections. Tempo noted that the issue of reconciliation was in the air two weeks ago following separate meetings between Anwar and Najib with Kalla.

Below, are excerpts of Najib’s interview with the weekly while he was in Jakarta on a private visit.

Is the political climate in Malaysia so hot that you need to play golf in Jakarta?

Well, I haven't had any rest since the elections. By chance, my wife had an event to attend over here, so I came along to relax and play golf, meet up with old friends and observe how things have developed. Relations with Indonesia is important and many issues can be resolved informally.

Is that why you met with Jusuf Kalla? Reportedly, you two played golf at Halim.

When I held the post of deputy prime minister, Jusuf Kalla was vice-president. We were counterparts and we have the same background. He is a Bugis and I am Bugis. Our wives are both Minang (people of West Sumatra). During many visits, mostly unofficial, we communicated. This time we played golf together.

Isn't Jusuf Kalla trying to mediate reconciliation between you and Anwar Ibrahim?

It was Anwar Ibrahim who asked Kalla to be a mediator.

What would be the limitations to this reconciliation?

First, the recent elections must be accepted. Anwar Ibrahim had signed the commitment letter in front of Kalla. But so far, Anwar has not officially accepted the results of the elections.

We heard you refused to sign the letter.

As party (United Malays National Organisation or Umno) chairman, I had to get the approval of the other party leaders before I could sign it. It was a long process, but I remained committed (to the agreement). At the time, Pak Jusuf Kalla said that as a Bugis, he must have integrity. Our word is our bond. That's the principle of the Bugis people.

Does this mean you are still for reconciliation?

They must first accept the election results. That is the main point of the agreement and Anwar Ibrahim himself signed it. We continue to monitor developments.

What do you see as the most important aspect of Malaysia-Indonesia relations in the future?

In general, we have discussed trade. We must develop a grade investment momentum. Trade between Indonesia-Malaysia has now reached US$18 billion (RM57.6 billion). We have determined that it should be US$30 billion by 2015.

Isn't that a little ambitious? It's only two years away.

Yes, it's quite ambitious, but we must try to reach the target.

How do you plan to do that?

The two countries must increase the role of the private sector. I want to see not just Malaysia investing in Indonesia, but also Indonesia investing in Malaysia. In principle, we agreed to work together to achieve mutual prosperity for the sake of prosperity. So there cannot be a Malaysia prospering but not Indonesia. Or the reverse, a prosperous Indonesia but not Malaysia.

Are you aware of increasing anti-Malaysia sentiments in Indonesia and vice versa recently?

There are two kinds. First, the sentiment about the cultural legacy of Malaysia and Indonesia. Secondly, sentiments which tend to be more nationalistic, especially in Indonesia, which is more apparent.

Will this prevent the collaboration between the two countries?

The two countries must look at it in a positive way. Sentiments should not disrupt stability, which can be a disadvantage for all. Malaysia and Indonesia are neighbours who must create productive relations. Otherwise, both countries will lose out. - June 26, 2013.

SINGAPURA DILANDA HUJAN BATU



SINGAPURA, 25 Jun Penduduk di Jurong di sini hari ini

mengalami hujan batu ketika hujan lebat dan ribut kencang melanda negara ini

petang ini.

Seorang penduduk di Jurong Timur Vanitha Subramaniam, yang pada masa itu

sedang bekerja, berkata beliau menerima panggilan daripada ibunya memberitahu

mengenai hujan batu itu.

"Ibu saya menggambarkan hujan lebat setengah jam itu seperti air batu jatuh

dari langit," katanya ketika dihubungi di sini.

Sementara itu, Straits Times (ST) melaporkan Agensi Alam Sekitar Nasional

(NEA) mengesahkan kejadian hujan batu yang dialami sesetengah penduduk terutama

yang tinggal di bahagian barat Singapura itu, bukan disebabkan pembenihan awan

di Indonesia.

Ditanya jika hujan batu itu berkaitan dengan jerebu, NEA hanya berkata ia

adalah satu kemungkinan tetapi tidak dapat mengesahkannya.

Bagaimanapun, NEA berkata hujan lebat petang ini bukan toksid.

Kali terakhir hujan batu berlaku di republik ini ialah pada 27 Mac 2008.

Sementara itu, NEA dalam kenyataannya berkata sehingga 9 malam, Indeks

Pencemaran Udara (IPU) tiga jam di republik ini ialah 59, manakala bacaan 24 jam

ialah dalam lingkungan 52 hingga 59.

Untuk tempoh satu atau dua hari akan datang, ia meramalkan angin akan

bertiup dari selatan atau tenggara menyebabkan sedikit jerebu.

Bacaan IPU 24 jam pada Rabu dijangka berada pada tahap sederhana iaitu

51-100.

'Tutup Jonker Walk bukan hukuman pada Cina'


Menteri Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz berkata, penutupan pasar Jonker Walk di Melaka tiada kaitan dengan dakwaan yang menyifatkannya hukuman kepada pengundi Cina di negeri itu.

Sebaliknya, beliau berkata, penutupan pasar malam itu hanya bersifat sementara apabila ia akan ditutup selama empat minggu untuk percubaan.

"Hukuman untuk apa? Tidak ada yang peribadi dengan kaum Cina. Ini tidak benar (hukuman pada kaum Cina)," katanya yang ditemui pemberita selepas majlis pembukaan Parlimen penggal ke-13 di ibu negara.

Katanya, ketua menteri Melaka Datuk Idris Haron juga memberitahunya bahawa penutupan berkenaan dibuat susulan aduan orang ramai yang merungut mengenai kesesakan lalut lintas.

"Jadi (Idris) kata, akan cuba untuk tutup selama empat minggu dan kemudian kita akan tengok keputusannya sama ada penutupan itu akan mengurangkan kesesakan lalu lintas," katanya.

Isu berkenaan timbul susulan dakwaan ADUN Kesidang, Chin Choong Seong bahawa penutupan pasar Jonker Walk oleh kerajaan negeri Melaka merupakan "pembalasan" kepada pengundi Cina yang telah menyokong pembangkang pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 yang lalu.

Laporan Kwong Wah Daily pula pada hari Isnin lalu memetik kenyataan Idris yang berkata, mesyuarat anggota exco pada 12 Jun lalu memutuskan untuk menutup pasar malam berkenaan demi memenuhi hasrat rakyat.

Idris dalam laporan itu turut mengingatkan bahawa pihak yang menyatakan bantahan apabila pasar malam itu ingin diperkenalkan pada 13 tahun lalu adalah DAP.

Pada masa itu, DAP menyelar kerajaan dengan dakwaan menggadaikan hak pengguna jalan demi kepentingan 200 orang pengusaha gerai, katanya.

Kebanyakan warga Melaka pula kini memberi sokongan penuh kepada DAP berbanding calon MCA, katanya.

"Maka kami memutuskan untuk membatalkan pasar malam dan berharap mereka akan gembira," katanya seperti dipetik akhbar itu.

Seramai 100 orang pengusaha gerai berkenaan berhimpun dan berarak di Jonker Street pada Ahad malam lalu untuk membantah keputusan terbaru itu.

  • Blogger news

  • Blogroll

  • About