Sunday, June 30, 2013

Daylight robbery in Khairy's home

City Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah says the suspects gained access to the premise through the front door which was unlocked.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has become the latest victim of robbers when his home was hit on Saturday afternoon.

A minister's house was broken into by four men in Bukit Damansara, here, yesterday.

In the 5pm incident, the suspects were believed to have entered the house by climbing up the side fence.

City Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said the suspects gained access to the premise through the front door which was unlocked.

"At the time of the incident, the minister's maid was in the kitchen and the rest of the family was out.

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Floral festival in Putrajaya draws 800,000

ABOUT 800,000 people visited the city's iconic Floria Putrajaya 2013 since the festival began more than a week ago.

Putrajaya Corporation president Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat said the turnout was impressive, although the country was hit by the haze when the festival kicked off on June 22.

Due to the turnout, he said, the event, which was in its sixth year, was still declared a success despite falling short of the one million visitor target.

The event, which was launched by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, featured more than 400,000 species of flowers and plants, as well as activities for visitors over the last nine days.

"Due to the weather, most visitors came at night. This forced us to keep the doors open until 2am," he said during his speech at the festival's closing ceremony yesterday.

Present was Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr J. Loga Bala Mohan.

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DAP leaders to complain to RoS

Ladang Paroi deputy chairman David Dass (right) says he was among those who did not receive any letter to attend the annual general meeting of his branch.

Two Indian-led branches fail to receive notice to convene AGMs

SEREMBAN: DAP has come under another round of fresh allegations that it is marginalising the party's Indian members.

The allegation comes from two Indian-led DAP branches in Negri Sembilan which failed to receive notice to convene their branch annual general meetings (AGMs).

The leaders are upset their branches were removed by their headquarters from a list of branches supposed to hold their AGMs.

DAP Desa Dahlia branch president Richard Francis Soosay said he had no inkling as to why his branch was removed from the list although he had never resigned from the party.

"We have waited patiently until today as it's the last day to issue the notice. The party branch should be given seven days' notice to conduct an AGM according to the party's constitution.

"We believe this is DAP's tactic to marginalise and terminate those branches whose leaders were vocal in their disapproval in the party."

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Schools should close when API touches 200, says Palanivel

Malaysian schools should shut down when the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading touches 200, rather than the current 300 level, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said today.

The minister said he has made the suggestion to the Cabinet yesterday to order for schools to be closed when the API reading touches 200.

This was to avoid threatening the health of students and teachers as an API of 200 indicated that the air level was already unhealthy, he was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama today.

He told this to reporters after visiting the fire prevention and peat soil management project at Kampung Pulau Kempas, Mukim Tanjung 12 in Kuala Langat today.

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Riot: 400 companies postpone minimum wage implementation to start of 2014

Hoteliers and security service providers are among the 400 macro companies with six or more workers nationwide that have been given leeway to defer the implementation of the minimum wage until Dec 31 this year, Human Resource Minister Datuk Richard Riot said Saturday.

He said after Jan 1 next year, his ministry would not give any more exemption to any company that was required to pay the minimum wage of RM800 a month in Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan and RM900 in the peninsula under the Minimum Wages Order 2012 for the private sector.

The latest application letter (for deferment) received was from a plantation company in Sarawak which would be referred to the National Wages Consultative Council for a decision, he told reporters after launching the state-level Pesta Birumuh 2013 and 1Malaysia Support For Housewives and Azam Kerja programmes here.

Micro companies are categorised as those with five workers and below.

He said there were a total of about 12.8 million workers in Malaysia at present, including 1.4 million civil servants and 1.5 million foreign workers.

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Bakun plant triggered power cuts

Firemen putting out the blaze which engulfed three houses in Piasau Jaya, Miri, believed to have been caused by candles.

Energy drop at plant caused safety tripping to be activated

KUCHING: A SEVERE energy drop at the Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) has been identified as the main reason behind the massive power failure which plunged most of Sarawak into darkness on Thursday.

For nearly 10 hours, most major cities in the largest state was enveloped in darkness and thrown into chaos as public utility systems, such as street lights and traffic lights, failed to function.

Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit yesterday said the problem originated from the Bakun HEP, which led to the shutdown of all power stations, including the Sejingkat, Batang Ai and Mukah coal plants, together with the Bintulu and Miri gas plants.

In apologising to those who had suffered from the blackout, Sjotveit said to protect the integrity of other generators in the system, the safety tripping was automatically activated, resulting in the shutdown of all other power stations in the grid.

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Shisha ‘Haram’, says Perlis fatwa panel

Some believe that shisha should be banned nationwide on religious grounds as it is supposedly ‘more hazardous than cigarettes’

Popularity of substance among students prompts decision

KANGAR: THE Perlis Fatwa Committee yesterday issued an edict banning the sale and smoking of shisha (flavoured tobacco) in the state.

The ban may gather momentum as Perlis’ move to declare it haram (forbidden in Islam) has also received the support of Johor Islamic Religious Council adviser Datuk Noh Gadut, who called for a nationwide ban.

The Mufti of Perlis, Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya, said after an oath-taking ceremony of the state assemblymen here yesterday that the decision to declare the sale and smoking of shisha as haram was made at the Perlis Fatwa Committee’s meeting in Kota Kinabalu on Monday.

“We hope that the state government and the Kangar Municipal Council (MPK) will immediately enforce this ban as we are concerned that it will become an unhealthy trend in the long run.

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Muidin to hang for murdering Dirang

Contract worker Muidin Maidin has been sentenced to death the High Court here for the murder of 4-year old Nurul Nadirah Abdullah, also known as Dirang, on March 1 last year.

Contract worker Muidin Maidin has been sentenced to death the High Court here for the murder of 4-year old Nurul Nadirah Abdullah, also known as Dirang, on March 1 last year.
Johor Baru High Court judge Datuk Abdul Halim Aman ruled that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the 26-year old for committing the offence at the oil palm plantation in Jalan Suria 47, Bandar Seri Alam, Nusa Damai, Masai here between 11.30am on March 1 last year and midnight the following day.

Before delivering judgement, Abdul Halim said that Muidin was a threat to humanity as he had caused an innocent child to suffer a most painful death.

"Your DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid) was found inside the child which meant that there must have been some form of activity, and she must have resisted which explained the signs of pressure on her jaw apparently from your hand trying to stop her screams.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Couple arrested over explosive attack in Sabah

A police bomb squad robot approaching the car where two men were attacked with a homemade bomb in Donggongon on Tuesday night.

The police have arrested a local couple to facilitate investigations pertaining to the explosive attack on a vehicle in the Donggongon town at Penampang.

State Deputy Police Commissioner Sr Assist Comm II Datuk Tan Kok Liang, when contacted said the the couple, aged 38 and 59, were arrested in the Penampang area on Wednesday, a day after the incident.

"Police are still investigating the motive behind the attack," he said on Thursday, adding that initial investigation believed the attack to be personal.

Tan urged the public not to panic as the attack has no connection to any terrorist involvement.

The 9.30pm bomb attack on Tuesday caused a panic lead among residents in the area as some of them living as far as two kilometers from the scene could hear the explosion.

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Kuala Besut by-election to be held by Aug 27

Terengganu state assembly Speaker Zubir Embong (right) and state election commission director Fakhrul Razi Ab Wahab (second right) at a press conference on Kuala Besut by-election at Wisma Darul Iman, Kuala Terengganu

The by-election for the Kuala Besut state seat will be held by August 27 after the notification of its vacancy was received by the state Election Commission (EC) at 10am today.

State assembly speaker Zubir Embong handed the notification letter of the vacancy to state EC director Fakhrul Razi Ab Wahab at the Wisma Darul Iman and the latter said that the notice will be forwarded immediately to the national EC.

Zubir said according to the Article 44 (5) of the state Constitution, any vacancies of the state assembly seats must be filled within 60 days.
Fakhrul Razi said as the notice was received today, the by-election should be held by August 27.

"I will forward the notice today and the EC chairman will make the announcements. I was informed that the EC will have pre-meeting tomorrow," he said.

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Malaysian magician to perform in London

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian magician Kabir Khan during a press conference on his invitation to perform at London. Kabir is the first Malaysian magician invited to perform at the World Renown Magic Cirlce in London

Malaysian magician Kabir Khan Mohamad Reaz will perform in London at the invitation of The Magic Circle, the world- famous club since 1905 for magicians and magic enthusiasts.

Kabir Khan, 29, will perform in London next month.

His overseas venture will be sponsored by local companies including Kuala Lumpur Tower and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia.

The Penang-born magician told a press conference here today that some of his performances would have a 'Malaysian identity' to promote the country in London.

"Each time I perform, people out there will still want to know about Malaysia because they can't believe we have someone like David Copperfield," he said.

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Met dept forecasts rain for the next few days

The Meteorological Department has forecast rain for several areas in Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Selangor in the next few days.

The department also forecast a few evening downpours in Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor.

In a statement here on Thursday, it said Malaysia is still experiencing the South-West Monsoon which is expected to go on until September.

The rainfall would be due to changing wind directions between 10 and 20 kilometres an hour from west to south west.

Whereas, the interiors of the Peninsular including Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang are expected to experience thunderstorms in the evening and night.

According to the statement, Sabah could expect fair weather in the mornings while a few thunderstorms are forecast in the interior areas and Sandakan.

Fair weather has been forecast for the whole of Sarawak except for Miri and Limbang, which may experience thunderstorms in the evening. -

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Don't take 'smoking is haram' fatwa lightly, Muslims told

Many Muslims in this country are still taking lightly the 'smoking is haram' fatwa, that was decided by the Muzakarah Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs in 1995.

Hence, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Office (Islamic Affairs), Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman urged Muslims, especially in the state, to realise that smoking had been decreed as haram in line with Islamic teachings.

He said the edict (fatwa) issued by the national committee was agreed upon by the Sarawak Fatwa Council.

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Pua jumps into Jonker Walk issue, saying there’s a cover-up

Tony Pua has accused Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz of "covering up" the Malacca state government's closure of Jonker Street.

The PJ Utara MP said that while Nazri had seemingly "appealed" to Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron not to close down the popular tourist spot, he had also reached a "compromise' with Idris.

"Nazri claimed that the CM had ordered Jonker Street to be closed for four weeks to study the traffic flow.

"This is a compromise and it is unacceptable," Pua said.

He said that this was because idris himself had admitted the move was an act of retaliation against the non-Malay community in Malacca.

"I have with me a copy of the memo issued by the mayor of Malacca city council which instructed the full closure of the market, wih no mention of the so-called traffic study."

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Lowering API trigger for school closure

The Health Ministry will on Friday push for lowering the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading that automatically triggers the closure of schools.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the cabinet would be asked to review the decision for automatic closure of schools in areas that experienced a reading of more than the hazardous level of 300.

While he did not specify the quantum, Dr Subramaniam said the trigger might be lowered if the Education Ministry agreed to it.

“We will raise this matter in the next cabinet meeting and sit down with all parties to see how we can approach this matter,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

It was reported that schools in areas that breached the 300 API mark would be automatically closed, while school authorities could also decide to do this if the readings were in the “very unhealthy” range of between 250 and 300.

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said that parents could decide not to send their children to school if the reading was below 250, provided they informed the school authorities.

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Indelible ink was actually food dye, Shahidan tells MP

The Election Commission (EC) today admitted in the Dewan Rakyat that the indelible ink used in the recent General Election was not what it was made out to be.

There were no chemicals used to ensure that it could not be easily wiped off.

"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.

Palanivel off to Jakarta to “put out the fires”

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel who has been flayed online for his belated response to the haze crisis will be off to Jakarta tomorrow where his priority is to "put out the fires".

He said Malaysia wants an immediate solution to the crisis and his main task is to help the Indonesian government extinguish the blaze around Riau in central Sumatra.

"We are prepared to assist Indonesia by providing manpower and equipment. We can help in putting out the blaze and to bring the rain through cloud seeding," he told reporters at Wisma Sumber Asli in Putrajaya this evening.

"The haze problem is a national issue which has affected tourism, business and the economy. When I visited Muar over the weekend the hospital was packed with people suffering from haze-related illnesses."

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'Keep night market open' - Jonker Street Malacca

Closing tourist site can affect tourism, says Nazri

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz wants the Malacca government to reconsider its decision to close down the state's popular tourist destination, Jonker Walk night market.

"Malacca is a well-known tourist spot and closing the Jonker Walk night market could affect the tourist numbers," he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby here yesterday.

He also said the state highly depended on tourism as it was one of the main economic boosters with its many hotels and other tourist attractions.

"If traffic is a concern, the state can perhaps come up with solutions, such as providing parking spaces that do not congest Jonker Street or provide buses to avoid the double parking which causes jams along the road."

Locals and tourists walking through the busy Jonker Walk night market in search of delicacies and bargains. Residents living in the area say the popular tourist spot causes massive traffic congestion.

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Parliament: Home Ministry takes death in custody very seriously, says Zahid Hamidi

Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi said the Home Ministry was taking the issue of deaths in custody "very seriously".

Responding to Datuk Johari Abdul (Sg Petani-PKR)'s question in Parliament, Zahid promised that his Ministry would not protect any party suspected of causing death in police custody.

"Any incident will be investigated. Action will be taken by the Home Ministry," he said on Wednesday, adding that there had been 231 cases of death in lock-up from 2000 to mid 2013.

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Indonesian woman drug mule nabbed

LANGKAWI AIRPORT BUST: RM665,000 worth of syabu wrapped in foil, hidden in bag's special compartment

ALOR STAR: AN Indonesian woman was detained with 3.501kg of syabu, worth about RM665,000, at the Langkawi International Airport on Friday.

The suspect, 28, from Jakarta had arrived from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang when she was arrested about 11am.

State Customs Department director Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Latif said officers ran a background check on the suspect after an airport scanner revealed an ambiguous object inside her bag.

"A package wrapped with aluminium foil was found hidden inside a special compartment of the bag.

State Customs Department director Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Latif (centre) with his officers showing the drugs seized from an Indonesian woman at the Langkawi International Airport.

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HAZE UPDATE: Brighter skies in Penang, API at 60

Penangites woke up to bright skies after the Air Pollution Index (API) numbers were halved from yesterday's unhealthy levels, after bouts of overnight rain.

Checks with the Meteorological Department website showed the API on the island is at 60, while mainland Prai recorded a 57, as at 9am.

Yesterday, Penang recorded unhealthy air quality levels ranging from 121 to 130, with visibility reduced at to almost a kilometre.

Activities in Penang are back to normal with the improved visibility and API halved to 60 as at 9am.

Its business as usual in Penang as the haze situation improves and the visibility returns to normal. Penang recorded a moderate Air Pollutant Index reading of 62 as at early this morning.

IGP responsible for Kugan’s death in police custody, court rules

Malaysia's national police chief was responsible for the death of detainee A. Kugan, who was physically tortured during interrogation by the police four years ago, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled today in a civil suit.

Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Datuk V. T. Singham said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who was then the Selangor chief of police, is liable to misfeasance in the case

The judge's decision is expected to open the floodgates to possibly many other civil suits against the police,

Singham, in allowing the negligence suit, said he also believed that the injuries inflicted on Kugan could not have been done by one officer and that the senior officers cannot plead ignorance.

"This court also finds several glaring material contradictions between Khalid and other witnesses in respect to the investigation into the death of the deceased," he said.

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Umno's Kuala Besut rep A Rahman Mokhtar dies

Kuala Besut assemblyman Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar (pix) passed away at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah hospital due to breathing difficulties.

The second term assemblyman from Umno passed away at 10.18am and will be buried at Masjid Teluk Bayu cemetery in Kuala Besut later today.

Dr A. Rahman, 55, was appointed to a second term as the health, women's development, family and community exco chairman after the general election.

He was admitted to the hospital last week and warded in the intensive care unit (ICU) after complaining of chest pains.

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Strong winds blow off roof of 15-storey building

The roof of a 15-storey building housing civil servants was blown off, near Presint 15 here, during a downpour yesterday.

Mohd Ridzuan Mat Shariff, a resident there, said he heard the howling of strong winds and then a loud noise.

"At first, I thought nothing of it and figured the sound was because of the storm outside.

"But then I saw debris and zinc sheets flying about.

"The roof was blown off and fell on the road," he said at the scene.

It was reported that a thunderstorm had also wreaked havoc in nearby areas. In Kampung Datuk Abu Bakar Dengkil, 15 houses were damaged by strong winds.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who was at the scene, said he was informed of the incident by residents about 7pm.

A portion of the roof structure from the building near Presint 15 in Putrajaya which was blown off during a downpour last night.

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'Work together for nation's progress'

Get rid of negative attitude, says king

FOR the first time in history, the opening ceremony of the 13th Parliament yesterday was held indoors because of the haze, with the customary guard-of-honour mounted at the building's banquet hall instead of Parliament Square.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Haminah, who arrived at 10am, were greeted on their arrival by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang before being escorted to the hall where the king took the salute, with the guard-of-honour mounted by 103 personnel from the First Battalion Royal Malay Regiment.

The king, however, did not inspect the guard-of-honour as traditionally practised.

Present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, ministers and diplomats.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah delivering his speech at the opening of the 13th Parliament yesterday.

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Lahad Datu: Police detective nabbed after his phone was tapped

Malaysian police were intercepting the telephone calls of one of its Special Branch personnel soon after a group of people wearing camouflage uniforms were spotted at Kampung Tanduo, a remote coastal village in Lahad Datu district last February.

The High Court here heard on Tuesday that police had also intercepted the telephone conversations of other individuals between two men identified as Datu Amir Bahar and Raja Muda.

A Kuala Lumpur-based Special Branch administrative assistant told Judge Ravinthran Paramaguru that she was tasked to listen to the recordings of the intercepted calls to be translated and transcribed into Bahasa Malaysia.

Testifying as a protected witness on the second day of the trial of Detective Kpl Hassan Ali Basari, the Special Branch administrative assistant said the intercepted calls she had listened to and translated were in Suluk.

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Shuttlers kicked out of training venue as Sukma takes precedence

The World Championships-bound shuttlers were not smiling after a hard day’s work at their national training centre in Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

Besides having to deal with the worsening haze in the country, they have been told that they cannot use the stadium from today onwards as it will be used for the 16th Malaysia Games (Sukma). The Games begin on Thursday and the netball event will be held there.

The shuttlers, who are preparing for the world meet in Guangzhou from Aug 5-11, can only resume training at the stadium on July 8.

With the move to accommodate Sukma, the national coaches will now have to find their own venues for training.

It will also mean that the singles and doubles players will not be training together.

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Chong Wei puts on ‘weight’ and it suits him fine

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is putting on “weight” in his bid for glory at the World Championships in Guangzhou, China, from Aug 5-11.

The 30-year-old has been wearing a new and funky high-tech performance suit in training since last week. Named Lila, it is a locally-made brand and created by Joseph Dolcetti, a former head of the conditioning department at the National Sports Institute (NSI).

Weights are attached to the suit, which uses the Exogen technology (High Performance Exoskeletons), and the wearer can load up to 10% of his body weight.

“Age is catching up. So, I am game to try out anything new in sports science to give me power and speed to keep up with the youngsters. Why not embrace it if it helps. I have tried Lila and I am comfortable with it,” said Chong Wei, the first Malaysian athlete to adopt the new weight training programme.

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Nazri urges Malacca to reconsider decision to close Jonker Street night market

The Tourism Ministry has urged the Malacca state government to reconsider its decision to close the Jonker Street night market, in light of its significance to the tourism industry.

"I would certainly want to see Jonker Street remain," said its minister Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

"What is Malacca without tourism?"

Nazri was speaking to reporters after attending the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's royal address to mark the start of the 13th Parliament on Tuesday.

He was asked to comment on the recent announcement by Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Wira Idris Haron on the closing of the Jonker Street night market.

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Haze: Selangor MB proposes Indonesian farmers carry out burning during rainy season

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has proposed that Indonesian farmers carry out their burning during the rainy season.

Calling it a short-term compromise, Khalid said this would prevent the air from becoming overly polluted.

"Of course it would be ideal to have zero burning. But the poorer farmers have to do this (burn) to fertilise the land.

“They don't have money to buy fertiliser, unless we want to give it to them," he told reporters after giving out prizes at the Selangor Invitational Golf Tournament on Tuesday.

Khalid said it was not possible to stop the culture of a community over a short period of time.

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Jonker Street must never be shut down, say traders

About 100 traders staged a walkabout in Jonker Street to protest the state government’s decision to shut down the famous weekend Jonker Walk.

Carrying placards written in Chinese, the group gathered at about 9pm on Sunday at a stage near the area.

They started chanting “Jonker Walk to stay forever” and “No shutting down of Jonker Walk” as they marched towards the arch near the Tamil Methodist Church for a group photograph before they continued to the Heritage Park.

One of the traders, Yeoh Kim Cheng, said the protest was to bring to the state government’s attention the predicament they faced, adding that “Jonker Street must not simply be shut down”

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Body of Malaysian student killed in Jordan laid to rest

Sumaiyah's parents sprinkling scented water on their daughters grave.

The body of a Malaysian student, Sumaiyah Romli, 21, who perished during an accident in Jordan on Friday was laid to rest at the Al-Bukhary Muslim cemetery, here.

Sumaiyah's body arrived at her family's house in Taman Mutiara here at at 12.35am today.

An entourage transporting the body of 21-year-old Sumaiyah Romli from Penang to Kedah arrived at the housing estate at 12.35am.

Several relatives, neighbours and the victim's friends thronged the house to pay their last respect to Sumaiyah, who was a Public Service Department (PSD) scholar and a first year astronomy and physics student at the University College London in Britain.

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Kelantan football fans storm stadium for FA Cup finals tickets

Kelantan football fans stormed the main entrance of the stadium on hearing the news that tickets for the FA Cup finals between Kelantan and Johor have been sold out in 10 minutes at Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV today.

'Bring the culprits to book' those responsible for haze in Indonesia

An Indonesian villager standing on an oil well as fire burns an oil palm plantation in the haze-hit Bangko Pusako district in Rokan Hilir, Riau province

Indonesia told to enforce laws on Malaysian firms based there if they are found guilty of open burning

PUTRAJAYA: THE ongoing haze has prompted Malaysia and Singapore to push for the 15th sub-regional ministerial steering committee meeting on transboundary haze pollution to be brought forward from Aug 20 to next week.

The Malaysian government has also called on Indonesia to enforce laws on Malaysian companies based there if they were found guilty of open burning.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said Malaysia could not penalise the companies as the offence was committed in another country.

However, he said the government supported Indonesia's move to investigate and prosecute them.

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Today Pic - Haze , Satellite show Haze, Graphic API and Indonesia Fire source

The view of Putra Perdana on a hazy night.

The scene in Port Klang this morning when the pollution index was 319. Earlier in the morning it was 487.

The latest API status from the DOE shows Port Klang with the highest reading of 484

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Haze: Birds wake later, dogs stay indoors

The birds are waking up much later to forage for food the past few days. The cats and dogs are also not too keen on going out.

It seems that humans are not the only ones affected by the haze.

Over the last week, consultant avian, exotic, wildlife and zoo veterinarian Dr S. Vellayan observed that the birds, especially the free-flying painted stock, are getting up about an hour later than usual to look for food.

“This could indicate interference in their vision due to the haze,” said Dr Vellayan who lives next to Zoo Negara in Ampang.

Dr Vellayan, who has worked in the national zoo for 28 years, added that birds had a good filtration system for their nostrils.

Kucing Terbiar Anjing Jalanan (KTAJ) volunteer Rina Zahid noticed that fewer birds were eating food that she puts out for them.

Bukit Beruntong, Selangor, where she lives has been badly hit by the haze in the last three days.

“I hear less birds chirping in the morning,” she lamented.

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Cops hurt in scuffle with protesters

Aswad, a police officer from Sentul police headquarters, sustained injuries to his right eye and nose

A number of protesters lying on the road during a demonstration in front of Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Several police officers were injured while 32 protesters were detained during an illegal demonstration in front of Parliament House yesterday.

This happened about 11.30am when a group of people, who rallied in front of the Parliament's main entrance to protest against alleged irregularities in the 13th General Election, tried to break through the police barricade there.

City police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh said the 29 men and three women, who gathered in the name of "Parliament for the People", had also provoked the officers by throwing water bottles, eggs and splashing paint.

"An officer from the Sentul police headquarters sustained injuries to his right eye and nose, while another officer from Dang Wangi police headquarters sprained his left thumb and broke his front tooth.

"A few other officers also sustained some light injuries during the scuffle," he said.

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Yudhoyono apologises to Malaysia and Singapore on haze

Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yud hoyono has apologised to Malaysia and Singapore over the haze emanating from forest and peatland fires in Sumatra, which has affected air quality in the two countries.

"As the president, I apologise for what has happened and hope for understanding from our friends in Singapore and Malaysia," he told a news conference at the president's office here Monday evening.

"For sure, what has taken place is not on purpose," he said.

Yudhoyono said at the moment, the areas affected by fires in Jambi, Bengkulu, and Riau had been declared as districts under disaster emergency and the central government had deployed maximum manpower to fight the calamity.

He said Indonesia was fully responsible for overcoming the problem and was confident that this would be done soon.

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Haze: DOE offers hourly API readings

The Air Pollutant Index (API) readings will now be updated on an hourly basis.

The Department of Environment (DOE) director-general Datuk Halimah Hassan said the readings will be available at the Natural Resources and Environment website and will be made available on the DOE portal soon.

"We are giving it out every hour due to the public's request," she said.

The updates can be viewed at DOE department

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Haze: Schools close in Manjung district as air quality turns hazardous

Schools in the Manjung district in Perak have closed due to the worsening air quality.

A SMJK Nan Hwa teacher, who declined to named, said schools in the district have been instructed by the district Education Department to close until further notice. .

"All schools will also be closed tomorrow (Wednesday)," she said.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) reading at 9am at Seri Manjung was 322, well into the hazardous zone.

Air quality in Perak started deteriorating in Perak as the haze drifted north.

Perak Education, Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman Dr Muhammad Amin Zakaria said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir was considering closing public premises.

"Normally, if the API exceeds 300, we will have to close public premises.

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Today In picture Haze , Masks , Parliament and more haze

Malaysians do have style, even on hazy days.

 Police form a human barricade to stop protesters from marching into Parliament.

 After and before . . .A view of the KL skyline this morning (top pic) is compared with the same scene taken on May 9

All domestic airports managed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) are operating as usual despite the haze, Kuala Lumpur.

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Identify and punish haze offenders, opposition tells Indonesian ambassador

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and three other opposition members of parliament met with the Indonesian ambassador in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss ways to combat the haze caused by fires raging in Sumatra.

Lim said he told Ambassador Herman Prayitno at the meeting that the first thing to do was to identify and punish the companies responsible for the burning, no matter where the companies are from.

"(It)Does not matter if the companies belong to Indonesia or Malaysia or any other country. But, if they are from here, we are going to suggest to the Malaysian government to get the companies to pay compensation to Malaysians and also to the Indonesians who were badly affected by the haze," Lim told reporters after the meeting.

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