Saturday, February 26, 2011

300 homeless as workers’ hostel goes up in smoke

A workers’ hostel was reduced to ashes when a fire broke out at a rubber glove factory in Batu Belah, near here.

Three people were injured in the 9.30am fire which left about 300 foreign workers homeless yesterday.

Two workers were admitted to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital here for serious burns while a third victim was given outpatient treatment

Working together: A factory worker helping a fireman to control the flames at the factory in Batu Belah, Meru, yesterday.

Several boxes of latex gloves were destroyed when the flames spread to a warehouse.

A factory worker, who declined to be named, said the company had not estimated the losses yet.

“We could only try to save as many (latex glove) boxes as possible,” he said at the scene.

Gutsy teen refuses to let the pain take over her life

Chia Wei Yin may have suffered from constant pain and immobility as a child but the gutsy teenager refuses to let Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) stifle her life.

The 19-year-old has, since the age of two, been living with JIA which affects the joints or connective tissues in children below the age of 16.

Chia Wei Yin, 19, is determined to lead a fulfilling life despite living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) since the age of two. With her are (from left) her mother, Leow Mee Ling, 41, father Chia Woon Loon, 52, and brother Chia Wei Yang, 10, who are looking at her inspirational story in the MY WIRA coffee table book.

The bouquets go to Kit Siang’s wife

Marking a milestone: Lim cutting the cake with Neo. Looking on are (from left) Nga, former Perak assembly speaker S. Sivakumar, DAP life adviser Dr Chen Man Hin, Hui Ming (next to Neo), Ngeh, Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh and Aulong assemblyman Yew Tian Hoe.

Despite it being DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang’s 70th birthday bash, it was his wife who stole the limelight.

Known for keeping a low profile, Neo Yoke Tee was praised by DAP members for her support and role in her husband’s long political life.

Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming, who was also the organising chairman for the dinner on Friday, got things going by paying tribute to Neo’s support for her husband.

“Although Lim does not look like the romantic type, he carries only her photograph in his wallet,” he said in his speech.

Mum and child perish in fire

Calven Loke Wai Hoong left home on Friday to carry out his political duties, not knowing that it would be the last time he saw his wife and daughter.

Yesterday, the Federal Territory Gerakan Youth secretary’s world came crashing down when he heard the news that his wife Annie Ong Yen Lee and daughter Artina Loke Xin Yu had died in a fire at their home here.

All gone: Loke (second from left) at the scene of the tragedy. The fire was believed to have started in the kitchen and raged through the house.Bitter loss: Annie and Artina who died in the fire that engulfed their home in Taman Sri Sinar, Kepong.

Loke had been in Malacca with his colleagues to support the Barisan Nasional campaign in the Merlimau by-election.

When he heard of the tragedy, the first thing he remembered was holding his wife and daughter and giving them what was now their last kiss.

Cops arrest 109 Human Rights Party members for illegal assembly

Police have arrested 109 Human Rights Party members, including 8 women, for participating in an illegal gathering in the city to protest the Interlok issue.

City police chief deputy comm Datuk zulkifli Abdullah said police had to act to maintain order and security within the city.

"It is regrettable but we had advised them multiple times to not go forward with it.

"It shows that they have no respect for the law," he said in a press conference at city police headquarters on Sunday.

Of the 109 arrested, aged 18-66, 8 are believed to be the leaders of the group.

"All of the 109 are being investigated under section 27(5) of the police act while the eight leaders are also being investigated under section 45(1) of the Societies Act," said DCP Zulkifli.

Sarawak BN may fall like Berlin Wall, says British anti-Taib crusader

Clare Rewcastle Brown operates Radio Free Sarawak and the Sarawak Report from London.

Barisan Nasional (BN) has held on to power in Sarawak through intimidation, but could still fall just like the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall, said the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who has turned into an internet and radio crusader against Tan Sri Taib Mahmud’s administration.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, who operates radio station Radio Free Sarawak and blog Sarawak Report from Covent Garden in London, told The Malaysian Insider that “every person I have spoken to is scared of the fact that the BN government will know how they vote.”

But she said that even though voters “face naked threats that BN will withdraw vital services from longhouses that vote against them,” the tide of opinion can subtly change and “wash away the foundations of power without anybody quite realising.”

AirAsia X makes Rafidah board chairman, eyes quicker expansion

Rafidah will replace Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun as board chairman of AirAsia X.

AirAsia X is to name former trade minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as board chairman this week, a move seen to help boost the long-haul budget carrier's bid for more international routes.

The carrier, which counts British airline tycoon Sir Richard Branson among its shareholders, has not grown as fast as founder Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes expected following the success of short-haul routes operated by the AirAsia Group.
"The board has decided to invite her to take the post and she has agreed," an AirAsia X source told The Malaysian Insider.

An airline shareholder confirmed that Rafidah will replace current chairman Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun, who is Fernandes' main partner in the AirAsia group which includes units in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Dr M credits country’s success to Malays’ willingness to share

Malaysia is prosperous and peaceful today because the Malays are willing to share the country with other races, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.

The former prime minister was addressing a 10,000 strong rally here today at the Perak Perkasa Assembly.

“We know that this country is successful because the Malays are willing to cooperate with other races for the past 50 years and have governed the country not just with the Malays but with other races as well.

“We were willing to share the governing of this country,” he said.

Dr M lobbed a few potshots at Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat
Perkasa supporters chanted “Hidup Melayu” at the rally
Participants await the start of the rally at the Perak Malay Perkasa Assembly in Pasir Salak

PM, DPM to visit each state from next month

The goal of the visits is to ensure services to the people were delivered and promises were honoured. -- Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who is also Umno vice-president

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin are scheduled to go on a whirlwind tour of the country starting next month.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said Sarawak would be the first visit for the two leaders in their itinerary.

Felda swing critical for PAS win

PAS needs to gain a substantial swing in votes in the three Felda and one Felcra settlements of the Kerdau constituency in Pahang if it hopes to win the coming by-election, said candidate Hassanuddin Salim.


Hindraf calls same tune, but no 2007 encore

Hindraf’s 2007 protest was widely believed to have been the catalyst for BN’s electoral defeats the following year

The cause remains the same — a call for Indian rights — but Hindraf’s protest tomorrow is unlikely to be a repeat of its famed November 2007 protest, which ground the capital city to a halt and rocked the nation in the process.

Planned by the now-banned organisation to protest Umno’s alleged racism and the use of the “Interlok” novel in schools, tomorrow’s gathering has failed to strike a chord with the Tamil working class, which formed the bulk of the movements supporters then.

This has been compounded by the absence of Indian leaders from the Pakatan Rakyat’s DAP and PKR this time, largely because of the rift between them and Hindraf’s founder and leader, P. Uthayakumar.

Although Hindraf and Uthayakumar still enjoy hardcore support, the bulk of the Tamil masses have fractured, with some joining the Malaysia Makkal Sakthi Party led by former Hindraf leader Datuk RS Thanentheran, now enthusiastically pro-Najib.

Besides Thanentheran, the original “Makkal Sakthi” movement has also splintered into at least four different groups — each under a different leader and financial backer.

None of the four can see eye to eye on anything, let alone come together for a protest at the heart of the city’s centre tomorrow.

That leaves only the emaciated core of Hindraf to carry on with the protest, which is expected to face heavy police action come tomorrow.

US Ambassador: More US-Malaysia collaborations-Malaysia on Obama’s mind

He also says Malaysians generally do not have a hard time getting visas to the US.

The ambassador also spoke about his priorities in helping to further strengthen the US-Malaysia ties, especially in the areas of education, entrepreneurialism, trade and investment.


Today in Pictures - Najib and Muhiyydin in various by election campaign and the heat is up in Merlimau and Kerdau

THE PEOPLE'S MAN... Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak (wearing the Barisan Nasional cap) gets to know the voters at Jengka in "Majlis Ramah Mesra Bersama Pengundi di Felda Jengka 23" in conjunction with the coming Kerdau by-election

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak shaking hands with the people at the launch the 1Malaysia Clinic at Taman Mutiara, Sungai Bedaun in Labuan today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak attends Pekan MCA's Chinese New Year celebration at Pekan Convention Hall.

WELL DONE! Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak presents a bicycle to Satiah a/p Wahab, 13, who had excelled in her UPSR exam results. The PM was in Pekan this morning for a school groundbreaking ceremony there

KERDAU CAMPAIGN: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin walks with Barisan Nasional's candidate for the Kerdau by-election, Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad, this morning to the nomination centre in Temerloh

KERDAU CANDIDATES: Rivals Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad (right) of Barisan Nasional and Hasanudin Salim of PAS shake hands after registering their candidacies at the nomination centre in Temerloh this morning.

MERLIMAU CANDIDATES: Barisan Nasional (BN)'s Roslan Ahmad (right) and Yuhaizat Abdullah of PAS wave to their supporters at the nomination centre this morning


Vincent Tan pledges to donate half his wealth - Berjaya founder pledges half his fortune to charity

Philanthropic entrepreneur: Tan looking at a photo album belonging to Norlina Alawi (right), founder of the Nurul Iman Welfare Society For the Children of People Living with HIV/AIDS, after the launch at Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Berjaya Group founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan has pledged to donate at least half his wealth to charity.

Tan becomes the first Malaysian to pledge this as part of The Giving Pledge, an initiative founded by Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, and philantrophist and financial guru Warren Buffet.

"I pledge to donate at least half my wealth for philantrophy, and I hope my public pledge to join the initiative inspires other wealthy Malaysians to join as well," said Tan in his impromptu speech at the launch of the inaugural Berjaya Founder's Day charity carnival today.

PM hits out at those alleging that FELDA settlers treated like slaves

Datuk Seri Najib delivers a speech during his visit at Felda Jengka 23, Kerdau in Pahang today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has criticised the opposition for alleging that the government was treating Felda settlers as slaves without caring for their welfare.

He said that since Felda was set up 54 years ago, the settlers who did not have any land previously could now be proud and enjoy the benefits of their struggles.

"If the people say that we purportedly enslaved the settlers, which slave can afford to own 10 acres of land? Which slave owns a brick house or a semi-brick house or at least the front wall of the house is made of bricks?

"Fortune does not come on a silver platter, this is all because you chose the right government," he said when addressing a gathering of settlers at the Felda Jengka 23, here today.

Also present were the prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Felda Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad.


Former Perak MB on Merlimau

Nizar Jamaluddin, former Menteri besar of Perak commented on the N 27 Merlimau by-election. He compares and analyses the voting patterns and the level of exposure to national issues.


Cops nab Uthayakumar, Hindraf members

Anggota polis bercakap dengan penyokong Hindraf yang merancang untuk mengadakan protes di pekarangan KLCC pagi tadi

Key leaders of the Human Rights Party (HRP), mainly made up of members of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) were detained by police at various spots today ahead of a rally planned by the group at the KLCC here.

HRP secretary-general, lawyer P. Uthayakumar was among the first to be picked up by Dang Wangi police when he was about to leave his house at Pantai Hillpark at about 7.30am.

He was taken to the Sentul police headquarters and was joined by at least 70 others including other leading HRP figures who were subsequently detained.

Among those nabbed was information chief S.Jayathas, the group's Selangor, Perak and Kedah state leaders and two citizen journalists who were making their way to the city for the gathering.

BN Kerdau Candidate: “I have a degree”

BN Candidate for the Kerdau by-election Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad showed the media the original copy of his degree to fend off rumours about his college degree at Al-Azhar University.


Hindraf leader held ahead of ‘Interlok’ protest

Police detained Hindraf founder P. Uthayakumar this morning ahead of a mass protest scheduled to take place at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) shopping centre from 9am.

His wife S. Indradevi confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that the former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee was picked up outside his home in Pantai Hillpark at about 7.45am, just as he was about to leave for the protest.

“About seven policemen cornered him the moment he left.

“They took him to the Sentul police station,” she said when contacted.

Indradevi however confirmed that the protest would go on as planned despite Uthayakumar’s arrest.

“Rest assured, we will go on with it. It will not be called off,” she said.

She later added that Hindraf Information Chief S. Jayathas had also been arrested and brought to the Jinjang police station.

Friday, February 25, 2011

7 new appointments on MACC panels

Blogger Syed Akbar Ali is among five new members of a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) panel who received their letters of appointment from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.

Syed Akbar sits on the Consultation and Prevention of Corruption Panel (PPPR), which had seven of its 11 members retained, and five added to bring the new membership to 12.

All seven members of the Operations Evaluation Panel (PPO) were retained and two members added to raise its membership to nine.

Besides Syed Akbar, who runs the blog “Outsyed The Box”, the other four new faces in the PPPR are Media Prima Bhd chairman Datuk Johan Jaaffar, Limkokwing University president Tan Sri Dr Lim Kok Wing, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Marimuthu Nadason and Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia deputy secretary-general Professor Dr Chin Yew Sin.

Najib handed over the appointment letters at a brief ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office here.

Five more Malaysians missing in Christchurch earthquake

Christchurch earthquake
SEARCH CONTINUES: Rescue workers continuing their hunt for survivors at the Christchurch Cathedral this morning

Five more Malaysians. including a family-of-four, are the latest reported missing following the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday.

Malaysian operations room chief Ayauf Bachi in the city told The Malay Mail this morning that the fifth missing
person was a man, bringing the total to six.

The first Malaysian reported missing was a woman from Sarawak in her 30s who worked at a private company in Christchurch.

Bachi said efforts were being made to visit areas where the five Malaysians were believed to have been to in order to gather more information.

“We are going to Avonside, an eastern suburb in Christchurch, where the family-of-four and the man were believed to have travelled to before the quake.”

Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng joins Kita

Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) president Zaid Ibrahim today announced the admission of Nibong Tebal parliamentarian Tan Tee Beng, into the ranks of his fledgling party.

"I am proud to announce that barely a week after the party's name-change and a new constitution was approved, we have managed to attract a young MP like Tan into our fold," said a beaming Zaid during a press conference at Tropicana, Petalling Jaya.

He praised Tan's decision as a "brave" move, adding that it will further strenghten and galvanise the newly-refrocked party.


Perak MB mum over PAS claim of MACC probe

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir today declined comment on an allegation by Perak PAS Youth that a state executive councillor was under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"Later. I do not want to answer (now). They are playing the game first. Let them. I will issue a statement later. I have just got back," he said when approached after he had flagged off an Umno Youth motoring convoy headed for the by-election campaign in Merlimau, Malacca, and Kerdau, Pahang, at his official residence here.

Evacuees from Libya delayed

The first batch of Malaysians evacuated from Libya, who were supposed to arrive home today, will have to wait at least another 24 hours.

This is because a Royal Malaysian Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, which was supposed to fly them from Tunisia to Rome, had failed to get landing approval on time from the Italian authorities for the evacuees to catch a connecting flight here.

They only received the clearance to land in Rome at 9.15pm yesterday.

The government had chartered a commercial aircraft to evacuate 131 Malaysians from Tripoli, and ended up picking 55 citizens of other countries.

PAS fields Yuhaizad Abdullah for Merlimau


Nik Aziz says PAS is for everyone

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said today that his party is not extremist, and instead fights for harmony among people of all creeds and races in the country.

He said the allegation that PAS strived only for Islam was not true.

“PAS is increasingly accepted by people of all races because of its approach which is based on Islam,” he told reporters here.

Legal aid foundation launched

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says the National Legal Aid Foundation would provide legal assistance to all Malaysians, earning less than RM25,000 a year, through the arrest, remand and bail hearing.


Woman dies in snatch theft bid on the way to Singapore.

Police forensic personnel examining the spot at Km8.9 of Jalan Skudai, Johor Baru, where a pillion rider was killed yesterday.

A 52-year-old woman was killed in what appeared to be a snatch theft attempt here yesterday.

In the 6am incident at Km8.9 of Jalan Skudai, three men, believed to be foreigners, each riding a motorcycle, allegedly boxed in D. Ganesh, 36, and his sister-in-law, Alamelu Ramasamy, 52, who was pillion riding.

One of the men was said to have tried to snatch Alamelu's pouch bag, causing her to fell backwards and Ganesh to lose control of his machine. Alamelu died on the spot.

Today in Pictures - Snatch thief victim,Najib and Muhiyddin in various functions,Conference of Ruler ,Elephants,water burst, and by election.

BN SUPPORTERS: Members of the Makkal Sakti party decorate their van with BN logo stickers as they show their support for the incumbent party in the Merlimau as well as Kerdau by-elections.

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin make their way to the UMNO headquarters in Kuala Lumpur where the party's supreme council meeting was being held this afternoon. Bottom picture shows party leaders being greeted on arrival by the PM.

MORALE BOOSTERS: In Ipoh, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir (right) flags off a convoy of 169 motorcycles Friday morning. The riders, all members of Perak Umno Youth wing, will be travelling to Merlimau in Malacca and Kerdau in Pahang where they will be assisting the Barisan Nasional election machinery in the upcoming by-elections in the two constituencies.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak (front, right) and (from left) Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz; Chief Justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi; Attorney-General Tan Sri Ghani Patail; Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan (back, right) at the launch National Legal Aid Foundation.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak returned home today after concluding a three-day official visit to Turkey to boost bilateral relations. Najib, accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, arrived aboard a special government aircraft at 4.30pm at the Kompleks Bunga Raya at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang

JUMBO TASK: A wild male elephant, weighing over three tonnes and known among the villagers in Kampung Gagu, Kuala Klawang in Negeri Sembilan as "Buyung Gagu", was caught by the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) today after he escaped their first attempt three years ago. Three female elephants from the National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah, Pahang, were also brought into the forest to pull the sedated 40-year-old male elephant out

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launches the 'Matrikulasi Bersama Masyarakat' programme at Kolej Matrikulasi Kedah near Changlun today. The programme is aimed at strengthening the ties between matriculation programmes and the community.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor (L) enquiring after Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (R) as the two of them make their way to the 223rd meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

A 52-year-old woman was killed in what appeared to be a snatch theft attempt in Johor Baru yesterday.

A GUSHER... A burst water pipe in Johor -- near Jalan Belibis 17, Taman Perling -- sent water gushing 10 metres skyward this morning.


Indians don’t need Hindraf, says Najib

The Indian community does not need Hindraf, the banned Hindu Rights Action Force, because the government has been looking after its interests, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

The prime minister said the Indian community should be with Barisan Nasional which took seriously the future well-being of every race in the country.

“We have taken action on the question of Indian community interests, meaning that they don’t need Hindraf, they only need BN,” Najib (picture) told reporters after chairing an Umno supreme council meeting here.

Commenting on the reported possibility of Hindraf creating trouble at a rally held without police permission this Sunday, he said he wanted the authorities to take appropriate action under the law so that the banned organisation did not re-emerge.

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