Saturday, April 28, 2012

Larger Bersih turnout, but violence may play into Umno’s hands

Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) initial joy at a larger crowd for this year’s Bersih rally turned sour after demonstrators broke down barricades and engaged in open battles with police yesterday, giving Umno hawks fodder ahead of coming elections.

Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters spent the night flooding social media networks claiming that participants of the rally for free and fair elections, backed by the opposition, attacked police with missiles and even overturned a patrol car.

It has put PR on the defensive, with PKR deputy president Azmin Ali telling The Malaysian Insider “Umno will try to link this to 1998,” a reference to claims that the Reformasi movement caused widespread street violence after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as deputy prime minister.

“This will be widely contested over the media the next couple of days,” said political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

Unruly mob attacks police patrol car

An unruly mob attacked a police patrol car passing Dataran Merdeka early Saturday morning. The incident occurred about 3AM and saw the crowd chanting abuse, hitting the patrol car and banging on its bonnet.

City Deputy Police Chief Datuk Amar Singh confirmed that police had received reports regarding the incident.

He said there was no provocation from the police officers who were in the patrol car, and they were just passing through when the incident happened.

Police are investigating the matter.


Protesters disperse but police remain at Dataran

The protesters have gone home but a strong police presence remains at Dataran Merdeka where protesters had earlier breached a barbed wire cordon, triggering a response from the police that included water cannons and tear gas.

Police said their response was prompted by the violent act of protesters, and by 8pm, 388 protesters had been arrested.

Although the rally and the sit-in to demand free and fair elections was to have been held between 2pm to 4pm, people began gathering in the morning and dispersed well after nightfall.


Bersih admits lost crowd control after police action

Bersih admitted it lost control of the tens of thousands on the streets of the capital today when protesters failed to adhere to strict instructions not to breach the police barricade surrounding Dataran Merdeka. Steering committee member Wong Chin Huat told The Malaysian Insider that Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan had ordered the crowd to disperse some time after 2pm but this message did not reach the crowd of thousands gathered outside the square.

Father appeal for son safety


12-year-old abducted while going to school

A 12-year-old boy who was on his way to Mont' Kiara International School (MKIS) near his home was abducted by two men in a black car.

Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, who was in his school uniform, was grabbed at about 7.35am just a short distance from his school.

According to witnesses, the men, who were in a black sedan, grabbed the boy while he was walking to school, bundled him into the car and sped off.

Nayati, who has dark brown eyes, is about 1.5m tall and weighs 45kg. He was wearing a white polo T-shirt with the school's emblem and dark green shorts. The boy's sobbing parents have appealed to the abductors to release their only son as soon as possible.

Bersih 3.0 Rally Updates

Following are live updates leading up to the planned Bersih 3.0 sit-in at Dataran Merdeka here Saturday afternoon.

4.50pm: Crowds seen dispersing and leaving Dataran.

4.40pm: Police car overturned by protestors near Sogo, says Deputy CPO Datuk Amar Singh

4.35pm: Polic tweet: A police gun has been snatched by protestors. Public urged to be cautious

4.32pm: RapidKL: LRT stations at Plaza Rakyat, Bandaraya, Masjid Jamek and Pasar Seni still closed. Dang Wangi are opened.

4.28pm: Several police jeeps parked outside Maju junction take off in a hurry as protesters kick and throw water bottles at them.

4.20pm: At Masjid Jamek, protestors have still not dispersed. Police are now firing water cannons. Those not affected by water still staying put.

4.13pm: Dataran Merdeka quiet now as protestors have been dispersed. No more tear gas fired.

4.10pm: Malaysian Red Crescent volunteers handing out water to the crowd in front of Sogo.

4.00pm: Tear gas fired again at Jalan Pudu in front of Kota Raya. Protesters running towards Pasar Seni.

Kuala Lumpur in the thick of the Bersih rally (Video)


Protestors break through barricades; cops fire tear gas, water cannons

Following are live updates leading up to the planned Bersih 3.0 sit-in at Dataran Merdeka here Saturday afternoon. 3.47pm:

All those who are arrested are being brought back to the Royal Selangor Club for processing. Weather is quickly becoming dark. Likely to rain soon

3.45pm: RapidKL: Dang Wangi and Pasar Seni LRT stations closed.

3.15pm: RapidKL: Masjid Jamek LRT station closed; passengers heading to the station need to alight at Pasar Seni or Dang Wangi. More tear gas fired to disperse protestors, including at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and near Masjid Jamek LRT station.

3.05pm: FRU personnel have moved into the areas surrounding Dataran Merdeka.

Police and FRU surrounding Dataran Merdeka

The night before Bersih 3.0


Friday, April 13, 2012

Vernacular school issue will cost MCA, say Chinese associations

Attendees jeer at Wee (centre) during the Chinese educationists rally in Kajang, March 25, 2012

MCA risks a worse showing at the coming polls than in 2008 for its poor handling of the vernacular school issue, warned one of Malaysia’s largest groupings of Chinese associations.

The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) said the party would likely secure even fewer votes in the coming election for failing to ensure Chinese vernacular primary schools were treated fairly by Putrajaya.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin accused Chinese educationists today of telling “big lies” for claiming the government had sidelined Chinese vernacular schools for decades.

KLSCAH secretary-general Stanley Yong said he had “a strong feeling” that MCA would be rejected by voters, judging from the hostile reception given to MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong at a rally two weeks ago.

Wee, who is deputy education minister, was chased out of the rally after being taunted and jeered by the angry crowd, but not before he was allegedly assaulted by a disgruntled protester.

Bar Council to monitor Bersih 3.0 for violence

Police officers arrest attendees during the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur, July 9, 2011

The Bar Council will deploy a team of monitors during Bersih 3.0 to watch for any incidents of violence and assist those who may be arrested during the April 28 rally, its president Lim Chee Wee said today.

He would not say if the council would participate in the event, Bersih’s third since 2007, but noted that the Bar “respects and protects” the right to assemble under the Federal Constitution, provided it stays peaceful.

“The Malaysian Bar Council is not a member of the coalition of NGOs making up Bersih 3.0,” he said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider today.

Lim expressed hope that the police would offer assistance during Bersih 3.0, pointing out that they had done the same for the rallies after Bersih 2.0 last July 9.

The July 9 event had seen riot police use tear gas canisters and chemical-laced water to disperse thousands of protesters after the government declared it illegal gathering.

Details on PSD scholarship, Tuesday

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says the Government will announce details on the application of the PSD scholarships Tuesday.


Bersih supporters ‘upbeat’, calm during rally, Ambiga tells Suhakam inquiry

Riot police fire tear gas into crowds of Bersih supporters in Kuala Lumpur, July 9, 2011

Bersih supporters ‘upbeat’, calm during rally, Ambiga tells Suhakam inquiry

There were no signs of aggression or violence from Bersih supporters during last year’s July 9 rally, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) was told today.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan testified today in front of an inquiry panel that although “upbeat, (Bersih supporters) remained calm and peaceful” throughout the rally.

“No sign of violence or aggression from the crowd... they responded well to police instruction to retreat,” she said, referring to her encounter with riot police at KL Sentral during the July 9 rally.

Four charged with kidnapping


The accused being escorted out of the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court after being charged with kidnapping yesterday.

A suspended police officer, two security guards and a trader were yesterday charged with kidnapping a millionaire's son for a ransom of RM1.5 million.

Inspector R. Raja Kumar, 44, from the Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman, security guards M. Ramu, 35, and K. Shashi, 25, and trader G. Thiagarajah, 37, claimed trial to the charge which could send them to the gallows if convicted.

HOCKEY: Furious over leak

SPORTCHECK: Coach says problems of 'dark era' were all in the past

Tai Beng Hai

NATIONAL coach Tai Beng Hai was furious yesterday, as not only was his private report to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) council on Tuesday leaked, it was also published in bits and pieces, which gave a negative overtone to the sport.

Yesterday's hastily-called press conference at Bukit Jalil was chaired by newly appointed secretary Johari Aziz, and on hand to answer questions were Beng Hai, his assistant Nor Saiful Zaini, team manager George Koshy and his assistant Stephen van Huizen.

Seven Kampar villages flooded


UNUSUALLY HEAVY RAINFALL: 254 families evacuated

KAMPAR: A TOTAL of 1,145 people from 254 families in seven villages here were evacuated after their houses were hit by floods early yesterday.

They were sheltered at SMK Kampar and Dewan Pulau Bergading. The victims were from Kampung Baru Kuala Dipang, Kampung Kuala Dipang, Kampung Melaya, Kampung Batu 20, Kampung Pisang, Kampung Pasir and Kampung Nyior.

Security personnel and staff from the government departments and agencies assisted in the evacuation.

Water level that rose up to 1m following heavy rains about midnight on Wednesday saw the Sungai Kampar bund bursting and flooding the villages about 5am.

Apart from homes, furniture shops, workshops and hundreds of vehicles and motorcycles were also damaged.

Man missing after Hatyai hotel blast confirmed dead

A missing man after the Hatyai hotel blast has been confirmed as 39 year-old Tan Peng Chan, bringing the number of Malaysian casualties in the blast to two.


Tengku Fakhry, Malay Mail reach settlement over suit

File pix: Kelantan State, Prince Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra (centre) filed a RM 50 million defamation suit against the Malay Mail and 3 others at the Kuala Lumpur Hight Court, Jalan Duta.

The defamation suit by Kelantan prince Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra against The Malay Mail and two others over a report relating to the attempted murder of the Kelantan palace guard, two years ago, has been settled.

Tengku Muhammad Fakhry's lawyer A. S. Dhaliwal, told reporters that High Court Judge Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof recorded a consent judgment in chambers after both parties had reached the settlement.

He however said the amount of settlement cannot be disclosed.

Khairy says will debate Rafizi, Ambiga


Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin today accepted PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli’s challenge to debate on education and agreed to debate with Bersih 2.0 co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan on electoral reforms.

“I have agreed to debate @ambiga_s on 25 April re electoral reforms & @rafiziramli on 3 May re PTPTN. Details to come,” he said on Twitter today.

DAP leader defends herself over allegations

Penang Wanita DAP vice-chairman K. Mangleswary refutes allegations that she rose to prominence “suddenly out of nowhere.”


Councillor beaten up over summons

Peter Lim Eng Nam

An irate ratepayer gave Seberang Perai municipal councillor, Peter Lim Eng Nam (pic), 43, a black eye after accusing him of issueing summons against an illegal house extension.

The attack took place in front of Lim’s house in Taman Idaman, Simpang Ampat yesterday.

A friend of his, Goh Bee Thong, 37, fell into a drain after he was punched.

Experiencing an earthquake

Malaysians recall their moments as they felt tremors jolt their homes and offices during the 8.7 earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia.


In schools, politics rears a sinister ‘comic’ appearance

Copies of a political comic book extolling the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government have been circulating among teachers in recent weeks ahead of the 13th general elections, purportedly distributed by state education departments.

The 50-page booklet in full colour featuring caricatures of figures resembling leading national political figures appear to paint those from the ruling coalition in the best positive light.

 A comic depicts a character resembling an opposition leader  A comic depicts a character resembling an opposition leader with his arms around two men.with his arms around two men.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aceh quake rattles Malaysia

People fleeing Banda Aceh after the earthquake yesterday

TSUNAMI ALERT LIFTED: Meteorological Department to continue monitoring

A MASSIVE 8.6-magnitude earthquake hit the Aceh region yesterday, triggering widespread panic and prompting tsunami alerts around the region.

Tremors hit parts of Peninsular Malaysia and even Singapore, following the quake that struck 431km off Banda Aceh, the United States Geological Survey said.

It was followed by an 8.2-magnitude aftershock.

Thumbs up for swift move

Onlookers risking their lives by going near the beach despite the tsunami warning in Kuala Muda, Kedah.

WELL PREPARED: Kota Kuala Muda villagers praise police and Civil Defence Dept

EXCEPT for a few hiccups, residents of Kota Kuala Muda gave the thumbs-up to government agencies which sprung into action when tremors shook the fishing settlement on Wednesday.

Siti Minah Mahmud said she was very thankful to members of the Civil Defence Department for moving her bedridden husband to safer grounds swiftly.

"I panicked when the tremors hit our village and the first thing that came to mind was my husband's safety," said the 62-year-old housewife, whose house in Kampung Kepala Jalan near here was among five villages flattened by tidal waves when a tsunami, caused by a 9-magnitude earthquake off Sumatera, hit the settlement on Dec 26, 2004.

Hawker’s citizenship in limbo because of lost identity card

Identity crisis: H’ng showing his Mykad during the press conference organised by Chong (second from left).

A 65-year-old hawker, who has never been outside the country, is in a fix after the National Registration Department (NRD) clai-med that he had renounced his citizenship and is now a Singaporean.

H’ng Yu Choon, from Penang found that the NRD did not recognise him as a Malaysian anymore when his application for the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) last year was rejected due a problem with his MyKad.

He went to the NRD in Penang to renew his MyKad last month and was told by an officer that their records showed he had migrated to Singapore recently and had opted to be a citizen of the island republic.

The Cranberries Live in Malaysia

The Cranberries brought the 90s back to about 8,000 fans when they performed their all-time-favourites tunes like Zombie, Dreams, and Linger at Stadium Negara Wednesday night. The band also completed their set list with songs from their latest album, Roses


Najib seen winning poll, but party needs new blood

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will likely win elections expected this year, helped by a raft of political and economic reforms, but his party needs fresh blood to be able to hold on its own in the long-term, former leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

Najib has begun unwinding a decades-old affirmative action policy that favoured the Malay majority and eased tough security laws to win back the support of ethnic Chinese and Indian voters who had deserted the party in the last election in 2008.

"The PM's influence is now quite considerable," the 86-year-old Dr Mahathir (picture) told Reuters in an interview in his futuristic Petronas Twin Towers office dotted with antique ceramics.

Doctor was planning his wedding

Condolences: Liow meeting Dr Lee’s father at his house in Kajang where the wake was being held yesterday.

Dr Lee Chang Tat (pic), who was found dead in a restroom at Kajang Hospital, had been busy planning for his wedding ceremony in December.

His sister said there was no reason for the trainee doctor to kill himself, adding that the 29-year-old had registered his marriage last November.
“I did not notice anything unusual in his behaviour. Since his wife is staying with us, he would usually be home after work.

“His wife told me that he was still messaging her as at 2am on Wednesday – the day he was found dead,” she said at their home in Taman Mahkota, Kajang, where the wake is being held.

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