Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Putrajaya to table Race Relations Bill in March

Nazri said such a law was needed to police inter-racial interaction.

Putrajaya will table a Race Relations Bill in March to regulate interaction among the races and foster mutual respect, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz says.

The proposed law would be modelled on Britain’s Race Relations Act, the minister said.

He told Sin Chew Daily in an interview published today the proposed law, which will be used to combat racial extremism, was one of two replacement laws for the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had pledged to abolish the draconian ISA, which allows for detention without trial, in his Malaysia Day speech earlier this year.

KTMB's commuter service gets a boost

Commuter test drive
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar and KTMB President, Dr Aminuddin Adnan having a look at one of the six car sets (SCS) coaches at the KTMB complex depot in Batu Gajah, Perak.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad(KTMB) commuter service is expected to get a shot in the arm in February when four of the 38 six car sets (SCS) it purchased become operational.

Its president Dr Aminuddin Adnan said this would help overcome problems like delays and lack of coaches faced by the service, which was currently using the three-coach Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets.

Anwar wants PM to respond to ETP forecast

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim urged Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to respond to his prognosis that the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) will force Malaysians deeper into poverty and widen the income gap.

The Opposition Leader pointed out that since he made the claim during a speech on December 15, the prime minister had failed to confirm or deny his bleak forecast, which he said was made based on ETP’s own projections.

In his speech, Anwar (picture) had said the ETP would force some 1.7 million Malaysians into poverty by 2020 while corporate giants and government cronies would be enjoying a larger slice of the economic pie.

"Doctors gave me three weeks to live"

This is a story of stage four lung cancer survivor Norliyana Abu Bakar, who battled the disease through courage, hope and sheer will to have a normal life.


Four states still suffering from flooding

The four states struck by floods remain struggling with the situation as of this evening, with Sarawak topping the evacuee numbers.

20 relief centres are temporarily housing 7,592 victims, Bernama Online reported.

The state’s flood operations room spokesman said in Kuching that 20 low-lying areas were hardest hit with floods, the result of a combination of heavy rains and rising tides the past three days.

Kuching’s Kampung Simpok 1,610 residents have been afflicted as have residents in Samarahan’s Sadong Jaya (1,302), Sibu’s Ulu Balingian (424) and Sri Aman’s Pantu (74).

He expects flood victims to increase in the coming days.

Higher employer EPF contribution for RM5,000 and below earners

Members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) earning up to RM5,000 a month will receive a boost in their retirement savings when the revised employers' statutory contribution of 13 per cent takes effect from January 2012.

EPF Public Relations general manager Nik Affendi Jaafar said the one per cent increase from the current 12 per cent would benefit 5.3 million working Malaysians, comprising 92 per cent of EPF's active members.

The employees' contribution rate remains at 11 per cent, he said in a statement today.

Employees aged 55 and above and earning wages not exceeding RM5,000 will also benefit from the revised rate as their employers are now required to contribute at 6.5 per cent, which is an additional 0.5 per cent from the current 6 per cent. The employees continue to contribute at 5.5 per cent.

No decision on Shahrizat, says Muhyiddin

Shahrizat has denied any involvement in the NFC.

The Cabinet has not decided whether Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil must leave government due to the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre scandal, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

The deputy prime minister shook his head and said, “No, no”, when asked if Cabinet had decided on whether the women, family and community development minister must resign or be sacked.

The Wanita Umno chief has faced growing calls to resign, including from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, after repeated allegations including the use of public funds to purchase land and property worth RM27 million unrelated to the national cattle farming project.

Foreign maids must go home after 10 years

Foreign maids who have worked continuously for 10 years in the country are required to return to their home country for six months before they can re-apply for a work permit.

Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said the six-month period was necessary to “break” the maids’ stay as those who worked continuously would be eligible
to apply for permanent resident status after 10 years.

He said this was a normal practice that was not restricted to maids, but also other foreign workers. “However, those who want to appeal for a shorter period can do so.”

Mahmood said there would be no problem in a healthy maid getting a new work permit if she was aged not below 21 and not over 45.

Those who have committed an offence may not get their new permits. By Masami Mustaza

Najib gets bags of petitions to reinstate PPSMI

A group of parents has submitted more than 12,000 petitions appealing to the government to continue the teaching of Mathematics and Science in the English language (PPSMI).

About 15 representatives of the Concerned Parents of Selangor (CPS) were at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya this morning, carrying a dozen plastic bags filled with petitions for the prime minister's consideration.


Khir Toyo gets 1 year jail for graft

Former Selangor Mentri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo was found guilty by the High Court here Friday of knowingly purchasing two pieces of land and a bungalow in Section 7 at a much lower price than its original value from Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Hayroni in 2007.


Pakatan MPs claim Umno, Perkasa twisting Article 153

Khalid said Umno and Perkasa were intentionally conflating Article 153 with the concept of “Ketuanan Melayu”.

The constitutional provision outlining the special position of Bumiputeras has been manipulated by Umno and is now being used as a weapon of aggression, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers claimed today amid growing debate on the subject.

On Saturday, National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) chairman Reverend Dr Eu Hong Seng said Article 153 of the Federal Constitution is akin to “bullying” if it only protects the rights of one group.

Today, several PR lawmakers suggested that Article 153 was being intentionally conflated with the concept of “ketuanan Melayu”, or Malay supremacy.

NFC chairman: ‘I am not angry but the bull claims better stop’


Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Ismail, the husband of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, deals with the Frequently Asked Questions over the controversy surrounding the National Feedlot Corporation. The Auditor-General's Report described the cattle project as 'a mess'

Question: Your family's name has been smeared.. Are you angry?

Answer: I am not angry because his (Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategy director Rafizi Ramli) allegations are not true.

But I am sad because everyone believes them. Rafizi has made allegations. I pity him. His intentions are not good. We do not even know him. In fact, we were surprised.

But we know it is a political ploy because we have not failed in our business. The first year, we were struggling to find the right people to sell us cattle... in Australia and other countries, marketing experts, and all the know-how. We are new. The second year, we kicked off the project and the third year we are doing a lot better.

Anyone knows that for any big business, the first two years are difficult. But with proper planning and strategies, the third year onwards, there are profits to be shown.

Question: Who leaked out the details?

Answer: Two of my high ranking staff. One resigned two weeks' ago, taking with him a thumbdrive that had half the details. The other resigned about few months ago. We have made police reports against them.

We noticed that the thumbdrive was missing only on Tuesday. The two of them have only half the information that is why they told the opposition half the story.

Datuk linked to NFC case re-arrested

A businessman who was remanded since Thursday to facilitate in the investigation into the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) case was re-arrested today in connection with an alleged cheating case.

His lawyer Datuk Ahmad Damanhuri Mohd Yusof told reporters his client was re-arrested by policemen from the Commercial Crimes Investigation Division of the Dang Wangi Police headquarters after being released from the Bukit Jalil police detention centre at around noon.

Thousands join DPM at X'mas open house

People of all races joined Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the Malaysia Christmas open house at SMK Tinggi Kajang, Monday.


Sarawak hardest hit by floods

Boat passengers had to use the old jetty which could give out anytime soon to cross over to Kampung Seberang Takir in Terengganu. Pix by Rozainah Zakaria.

The overall situation in the four flood-hit states in the country did not change very much as at 6pm today, with Sarawak still having the highest number of flood victims.

A total of 7,592 flood victims, involving 1,632 families were evacuated to 20 relief centres in the state so far.

In KUCHING, the spokesman at the state's flood operations room said 20 low-lying areas in four districts in Sarawak were badly affected by the floods which occurred following heavy rains and high-tide phenomenon over the past three days.

Ramasamy wants The Star to retract report

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P Ramasamy wants The Star to retract and apologise for a report on Dec 23, headlined Distress in DAP continues' quoting him.

If the paper failed to do so, he said Tuesday he would file a lawsuit against the daily.

He said he would send a letter of demand Wednesday, insisting he had never said there was corruption among DAP party leaders nor uttered the words “grand design” to oust him.

“I deny categorically having said that,” he told a press conference at his lawyer's office here on Tuesday.

Continuing his salvo against the paper, he accused it of practising unethical journalism.

DPM: I will investigate

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says his office will investigate claims that one of his aides has been receiving bribes.


Perkasa: Charge people like Rev Eu with sedition

The authorities must charge those who question Article 153 of the Constitution like Christian leader Rev Dr Eu Hong Seng with sedition to safeguard national security, Datuk Ibrahim Ali said today.

“We demand the government use the Sedition Act on anyone who makes statements like this from now on and charge them in court,” the Perkasa chief told reporters today.

He was referring to a statement made on Saturday by National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) chairman Eu, who likened Article 153 to “bullying” for only protecting the rights of one group.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shortlived bonus joy for civil servants

About half of the civil servants employed by the state have been mistakenly paid their half-month year-end bonus twice through a banking error.

State secretary Datuk Farizan Darus said the “double bonus” was erroneously paid out to 3,054 civil servants.

He said the bank had intended to pay the salary for December last Monday and the bonus the following day.

“However, the state government felt it was better to pay everything on Monday and instructed the bank to do so.

“The bank forgot to withdraw the previous payment instructions, which led to the double payout,” he said yesterday.

RM32m spent but floods persist Shoddy work and poor design cause of problem in Jalan Genting Klang

Jalan Genting Klang

WASTED: The flood prone junction near Jalan Ibu Kota

Despite spending RM32 million to upgrade a 3.2km stretch of Jalan Genting Klang in Setapak, shoddy work and bad design has resulted in flooding in the area whenever there is a heavy downpour.

Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong said the Jalan Genting Klang-Jalan Ibu Kota junction, near the KL Festival City Mall, is 1.65 metres higher than the opposite side of the road, causing water to stagnate after a bout of heavy rain.

“In the original plan, the upgrade stretch was supposed to be raised 1.65 metres but was abandoned for no apparent reason,” Wee said.

“But the stretch in front of the KL Festival City Mall was elevated by 1.65 metres when the mall was being constructed.”

Turf war poser behind fatal shooting

S. Murugesan's family

IN GRIEF: Murugesan’s family members waiting outside the KLH mortuary yesterday

Could a territorial dispute be behind yesterday’s fatal shooting of a man in Kampung Laksamana, Batu Caves?

Police are looking at the possibility behind the incident that left S. Murugesan (pic), 40, riddled with 10 slugs in his body after an encounter with suspected gang members outside a block of low-cost flats about 3am, and his sister-in-law fighting for her life after being shot in the crossfire.

Awang Adek: My conscience is clear

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin has admitted that he received a cash contribution through his personal bank account, as alleged by a blogger.

However, he denied the cash contribution was a bribe, saying it was donated from various quarters for social programmes in Bachok, Kelantan, where he is the Umno division chief.

Awang Adek was responding to an allegation in a blog by one TheWhistleblower711 who claimed a Johor Umno division leader had been awarded a Public Works Department (PWD) contract as a result of cash payments to the deputy minister.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is reportedly investigating the allegation.

Chua: More intense fight

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has predicted more intense fighting in the Pakatan Rakyat as the election draws nearer.


13 items on Christmas price control list

This Christmas, 13 items will be placed under the festive season price control scheme from Friday to Dec 27.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the items included live chicken, standard chicken, super chicken, imported turkey, tomatoes and capsicums.

Grade A, B and C chicken eggs, imported bone-in mutton, and imported bone-in mutton leg also made the list.

Ismail said the ministry had determined the maximum price based on numerous information such as the nationwide price monitoring from January to December, feedback from various government agencies including the Department of Veterinary Services and from discussions with suppliers.

PAS’ Mustafa Ali denies Hasan Ali’s claim

: PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali (right) denied party's Gombak assemblyman Datuk Dr Hasan Ali's (left ) claim that PAS was losing grassroots support because it had deviated from its original struggle of championing Islam.

However, he did not deny the possibility that fence sitters might have doubts as to where PAS was heading.

Speaking to reporters here Thursday, Mustafa said PAS' main policy of championing Islam remained intact and that its members understood this.

Chua: Be wary of political interference

MCA cautions NGOs against allowing their organisation to be 'penetrated' by political parties.


Umno not behind Nasharudin and Hasan, says VP

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants PAS to stop accusing Umno of manipulating two leaders of the religious party — ex-deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa and ex-Selangor commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Ali.

The Umno vice-president told Bernama Online today that Umno does not interfere in PAS.

Ahmad Zahid (picture) said the criticisms by both out-of-favour leaders of PAS shows weakness in the Pakatan Rakyat component party.

He was speaking after attending the Royal Military College's annual parade and prize Presentation Ceremony in Sungai Besi here.

Cops nab Datuk for offering bribe to officers probing NFC

: Cops arrested a Datuk for allegedly trying to bribe officers investigating a commercial crime believed to be linked to the controversial National Feedlot Centre (NFC) funds issue.

Police obtained a court order on Thursday to remand the businessman until Friday.

The remand order was issued against the 45-year-old man by magistrate Tengku Eliana Tuan Kamarulzaman Thursday afternoon at the Bukit Jalil Police Station Temporary Detention Centre, near here.

The man, who was taken in a police car, arrived at the Bukit Jalil Police Station at 9am.

Best PMR results in last four years

A total of 34,271 (7.77%) out of 441,137 students scored straight A's in the 2011 Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations, making it the best PMR results in the past four years, said Education director-general Datuk Seri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.

He said the National Average Grade (GPN) for the examinations improved from 2.74 to 2.71 this year (a lower GPN indicates better results).

(In 2010, the percentage of straight A's scorers was 7.02%.)

"This year's GPN indicator is also the highest of the past four years.

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