Saturday, August 24, 2013

DAP offers to help AGC convict ‘correct’ Altantuya killers -

The DAP legal bureau today offered its services to prosecutors in the high-profile murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, suggesting that an overworked Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) may have led to the acquittal of two former policemen previously convicted of the killing.

This comes as Segambut MP and bureau member Lim Lip Eng (picture) lodged a police report in Jinjang here over the Court of Appeal’s decision to free ex-police commandos Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar of their conviction in 2009 of the gruesome murder.

“Give DAP legal bureau the fiat (authorisation order), we will make sure the correct person is prosecuted and convicted,” Lim said in a statement here.

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GENTING HIGHLANDS BUS CRASH: 'We're just glad bus didn't explode'

Investigators from the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) examining the wreckage of the bus that plunged into a ravine in Genting Highlands, killing 37 out of its 53 passengers.

A smoking worker nearly sets rescue crew aflame after wreckage started leaking fuel

RESCUE personnel had a close call when the stage bus they were lifting from Wednesday's crash site started leaking fuel.

About 100 firemen and police personnel at the scene reacted immediately to avert another catastrophe.

As soon as the wreckage was laid down on the road after being hauled up by a mammoth crane, diesel started flowing from the fuel tanks onto the road. Recovery personnel scrambled to put sand and earth as well as sawdust from their rescue vehicles to plug the tanks.

Before anyone could breathe a sigh of relief, a foreign worker ambled into view with a lit cigarette, risking a massive conflagration, just metres from the wreckage.

An alert policeman shouted at the foreign worker, who immediately stubbed out his cigarette.

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GENTING BUS TRAGEDY: 10 hospitalised victims reported stable

MIROS inspecting the bus that was lifted from the ravine at KM 3.6 Jalan Genting-Kuala Lumpur here in Genting Highlands.

Ten victims of the Wednesday's Genting bus tragedy who were hospitalised at the Selayang and Sungai Buloh hospitals were reported to be in stable condition.

Selayang Hospital director Dr Siti Zaleha Mohd Salleh said all eight victims admitted to the hospital, three locals, three Bangladeshis and two Indonesians, were recovering and that some of them might be discharged soon.

"Some have been placed in the orthopaedic and surgical wards, depending on the nature of their injuries.

"As of last night, all eight are still being treated at this hospital although we have been informed that some of the foreign nationals want to be transferred to private hospitals," she said when contacted by Bernama.

On Wednesday, three of those admitted were reported to be in critical condition and the rest semi-critical.

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Bullet-riddled body of missing fishmonger found in Temerloh Read more: Bullet-riddled body of missing fishmonger found in Temerloh

The bullet-riddled body of a 47-year-old fish seller, who was reported missing since Aug 18, was found at Kampung Buntut Pulau here on Friday night.

The body of Abd Majid Abd Rahman was found by villagers near a sand dredging pump at Kampung Buntut Pulau here about 9.05pm.

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Director admits Tanda Putera a work of fiction, defends controversial scenes

The director of the controversial film Tanda Putera, which has upset the opposition, now admits it is a fictional account of events surrounding the May 13 racial riots.

Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba said her film is an interpretation of historical events derived from multiple opinions.

She explained that after certain parties strongly objected to a scene where a character urinated at a flagpole in front of the house of a former Selangor menteri besar, she edited the scene to tone it down.

“I made some slight edits of the scene. There were words that I removed. That scene was acted out according to those who were present at that time.

“I had to make sure I could fit in most of the opinions collected into a two-hour movie. Of course, not all of the responses we got could be enacted in the film.

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PKR: Ex-cops should be re-tried for Altantuya murder, not acquitted

File photo of ex-policemen Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar (heads covered). The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on August 23, 2013 overturned their conviction of murdering Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The Court of Appeal should have ordered a retrial of the high-profile murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shariibuu, instead of acquitting two former police commandos previously convicted of her killing, PKR’s R. Sivarasa said today.

The Subang MP stressed that the appellate court is empowered to do so, especially when there was a number of key witnesses who were not called during the High Court trial that led to the duo’s conviction in 2009.

“Even if the Court of Appeal found defects in the manner the High Court judge analysed the evidence and in the conduct of the prosecution in presenting the case, the proper order to make in this case was to order a retrial and not grant an acquittal,” Sivarasa told reporters here.

“There is ample power under the law in Section 60 of the Courts Judicature Act 1964 to order a retrial which is regularly done in appeals.”

In a decision that stirred controversy yesterday, a three-man panel of the appellate court unanimously ruled that Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar be allowed to appeal their charges.

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After mix-up over bus blacklisted cover up in fatal crash, MCA wants full probe

Blacklisted one day and cleared the next.

Inconsistent information surrounding one of Malaysia’s deadliest bus crashes requires a comprehensive investigation to ensure the victims and families are afforded the “truth and justice” due to them, MCA publicity chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said today.

“As Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has proposed to set up a special investigation committee to probe the cause of the accident, we urge the committee to leave no stone unturned as this issue has befallen several times already,” she said in a statement.

“The findings must be made public.”

On Thursday, a day after the ill-fated bus that plunged into a ravine on Wednesday and killed 37 people, English daily The Star reported that the vehicle was placed on a blacklist by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) prior to its journey to Genting Highlands.

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Putrajaya approves tracking devices, rollout next month to track criminals

The Home Ministry plans to use the electronic monitoring device (EMD) on offenders charged under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 by end of next month.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail confirmed that the government had approved the use of EMDs to track organised and violent crime suspects to ensure they would not commit other crimes while out on bail.

"For me, the faster (this is implemented), the better. Of course, we would like to see this (device) used as soon as possible. We believe that it will be implemented by September," he told reporters after the Crime Prevention Forum, here today.

Abdul Gani (picture) was responding to a comment made by Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) senior analyst, Farah Intan Burhanudin, that the device would be used on suspects caught under Ops Cantas.

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Winners and losers in the Altantuya saga

Altantuya Shaariibuu, the former Mongolian model whose life was ended brutally in Malaysia, but no one faces justice for the crime. August 24, 2013.

The murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu has had more twists and turns than a drive up Cameron Highlands, the latest being Friday's acquittal of policemen Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar.

This has never been a simple criminal case, and today, The Malaysian Insider looks at those who have had their reputations hammered by the case and those who have been let off easy.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

3 Nigerian students die in early morning car crash

The car that the five Nigerians were travelling in was believed to have been speeding before it lost control and crashed into a tree.

Three Nigerian students of a private college here died while two others suffered serious injuries when their car crashed into a tree at Kampung Gebok, Mantin, yesterday.

A police spokesman said the driver of the car was believed to be speeding before he lost control of the vehicle, which then rammed into the tree about 2.30am.

The students, aged 29 to 33, were headed for their hostel when the accident happened.

"Preliminary investigations showed that the the car was speeding on a one-way lane and the driver lost control before it veered off the road and crashed into the tree," he said.

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Man found dead with hands and legs bound

Policemen removing Ibnu Panaharan’s body in Kampung Binaung Baru, Menggatal, Kota Kinabalu, yesterday.

A man was found dead, with his hands and legs bound, and mouth covered with a piece of cloth in Menggatal, near here, yesterday. There were also wounds on his neck.

Police identified the deceased as Ibnu Panaharan, 29. They believed he was killed elsewhere before his body was dumped into some bushes. He had been dead less than 24 hours when his body was discovered at 7am.

His body was discovered by two policemen who were doing a background check on a multi-purpose vehicle that was abandoned by the road, near a water tank, at Kampung Binaung Baru.

City police chief Assistant Commissioner Jauteh Dikun said police had classified the case as murder. They believed more than one person was involved, he added.

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Gang 08 open fire at police 3 gangsters caught after shoot-out

Police forensics team inspecting the car that was used by the three suspects to evade police arrest in Taman Sentosa, Klang, yesterday.

Gang 08 members open fire on police in high-speed chase

SHAH ALAM: SELANGOR police arrested three men, including one with a pistol, following an hour-long car chase yesterday.

State deputy police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan said police received a tip-off that three men in a Perodua Viva were acting suspiciously in front of a restaurant at Taman Subang Perdana, here, about 2.30am.

A police patrol car approached the vehicle and instructed the men to step out of the car.

The suspects evaded inspection by reversing it, narrowly missing one of the policemen.

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ALTANTUYA MURDER CHARGE: Two ex-policemen acquitted by Court of Appeal

In this Feb 4, 2009 archive picture, Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar (second from right) and Chief Inspektor Azilah Hadri (left) being led out of Shah Alam High Court

Two former Bukit Aman Special Forces Unit officers today succeeded in their appeal against their conviction for the murder of Mongolian national Altantuyaa Shaariibuu seven years ago.

A three member bench led by Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali allowed the appeal in the Court of Appeal here this morning.

First appellant Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri's fiancee of seven years, Norazila Baharudin, 35, was in tears when she heard the verdict.

"For seven years, we have been through so much. It is not easy for one to stay in prison," she said when met outside the court today.

Smiling while wiping away tears, Norazila, who is an operation manager at a construction firm, said she is extremely grateful to the hard work and effort put in by her fiancee's counsel Datuk Hazman Ahmad.

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GENTING BUS TRAGEDY: Wreckage of bus lifted

The bus that was involved in the recent accident in Genting being inspected by Puspakom and the Road Transport Department (JPJ).Picture shows the police and the Fire and Rescue Department lifting the wreckage of the bus that was involved in an accident in Genting Highlands

The police along with the Fire and Rescue Department today lifted the wreckage from the scene with the use of one crane and two trailers.

Bentong OCPD, Superintendent Mohd Mansor Mohd Nor said the bus would first be inspected at the scene of the accident and later inspected again at the Bentong police headquarters for a final analysis.

"We are unsure on how long the operation will take. There was heavy rain this morning, and the land might not be able to accommodate the weight.

"The ground is also uneven, so if the engineers feel that it's unsafe, we will halt the operation," he said.

Meanwhile 31 out of 37 bodies involved in the Genting bus crash have been identified.

Mansor said 20 out of the 31 identified bodies have been claimed. The claimed bodies were of 11 Chinese men, seven Chinese women, one Malay man and a Indonesian man.

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GENTING BUS TRAGEDY: Families console each other 37 deaths

SOMBRE MOOD AT HOSPITAL: Tears flow freely as loved ones gather to say goodbye to those who died in crash

KUALA LUMPUR: PARENTS wailed openly over the deaths of their children. Over to one side, in a quiet corner, a couple huddled together, the wife trying her best to console her husband, his head buried in his hands, tears dropping in a steady stream.

The mood at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary yesterday was sombre, the air laden with despair and hopelessness as the families of the 37, who died in the country's worst bus crash, gathered to claim the remains of their loved ones.

At the hospital's forensics department, Lee Siew Ying stared blankly. Her face was that of a mother's whose heart had been shattered into a million pieces by the death of her son, Sia Chin Shin, 22, whom she described as "a loving son".

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Genting bus tragedy 37 killed Bus was on JPJ blacklist before Genting crash

The ill-fated bus that plunged into a ravine yesterday and killed 37 people was placed on a blacklist with the Road Transport Department (JPJ) prior to its journey to Genting Highlands.

English daily The Star reported that this was confirmed from checks on the bus’ records in the JPJ website. It is not known, however, the reason for the blacklist.

According to the daily, Bentong OCPD Supt Mansor Mohd Noor revealed that the bus belonged to Genting Highlands Transport Sdn Bhd, a KL-based firm.

The paper also quoted a spokesperson for Genting Malaysia Berhad as saying that the vehicle is a public transport bus.

“It is not ours,” the spokesman said, before offering condolences to the families of the dead and accident victims.

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Pakatan MPs demand A-G explain after ex-cops walk from Altantuya murder

Surendran ( R )said that despite Altantuya’s death over six years ago, no one has been brought to book for the murder. Gobind ( L ) said the Attorney-General must explain why it failed to call material witnesses in support of its case.

The Attorney-General must explain how his prosecutors allowed two former police commandos to go free for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu after the Court of Appeal today reversed the 2009 conviction, Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers demanded.

The Court of Appeal overturned Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar’s 2009 conviction of the high-profile murder of the Mongolian woman, reportedly ruling that there was a misdirection by the High Court judge in the trial then.

The DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail must now answer for the prosecution team’s failure to ensure a safe conviction.

“The A-G must explain why is it they failed to call material witnesses in support of their case in this prosecution,” Puchong MP said.

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Azilah, Sirul freed of Altantuya murder charge

Sirul Azhar's lawyer, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, speaking to the media outside the court. The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, August 23, 2013.

Two former police commandos were freed today after the Court of Appeal allowed their appeal and overturned their conviction for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu (pic).

A three-member bench comprising judges Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, Datuk Linton Albert and Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat made the unanimous decision to allow the appeal by former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and former corporal Sirul Azhar Umar.

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GENTING BUS TRAGEDY UPDATE: Police call off search for bodies

Police have called off the search and rescue operation for victims of the bus crash incident, which killed 37 people and severely injured 16 others, at Km3.5 in Jalan Genting near Chin Swee Temple.

Bentong district police chief Superintendent Mohd Mansor Mohd Nor said the police were now concentrating on finding belongings of the bus passengers.

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GENTING BUS TRAGEDY UPDATE: Post mortem on 30 bodies, done - Dead passengers identified

Police have identified at least 15 passengers who were among 37 killed in the Genting bus crash near the Chin Swee Temple yesterday.

Bentong district deputy police chief Deputy Superintendent Wan Azharuddin Wan Ismail said police are still in the midst of ascertaining the identities of the remaining victims.

The tragedy, said to be the worst in the nation’s bus crashes, saw 16 other passengers, seriously injured.

Preliminary police investigations showed the bus was out of control for about 100 metres before it plunged into a 60m-deep ravine at KM 3.5 from the peak of the popular hill resort.

Pahang police chief Datuk Sharifuddin Ab Ghani said the bus had first hit the side of a hill before careening off the road.

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At bottom of Genting ravine, lives cut short in their prime

A relative of one of the Genting bus crash victims weeps in anguish over the loss of his loved one. Thirty-seven people died in the tragic accident Wednesday, when an express bus plunged down a 60m ravine near Genting Highlands. A man weeps silently after confirming that a relative was one of the victims of the tragic Genting Highlands bus crash Wednesday.

All Kwan Chin Yii wanted to do was earn some pocket money when she took up a part-time job at the popular mountain resort of Genting Highlands.

She had just finished her shift that Wednesday afternoon.

Meeting up with her boyfriend Sia Chin Shin near her work place, the couple proceeded to take the journey back to Kuala Lumpur together as planned.

They got on an express bus, and that was the last thing they told their families they were going to do. They never made it home.

"His girlfriend asked him to go pick her up from Genting after she was done with work. He never got home.

"We tried calling both their handphones, but we couldn't get through. We were not sure what had happened," said Sia's childhood friend, who only identified himself as Goh.

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Court allows Putrajaya’s appeal against ‘Allah’ ruling

The Catholic Church today failed to strike out Putrajaya’s appeal against the 2009 landmark High Court ruling that upheld Christians’ right to refer to God as “Allah”.

Court of Appeal Justice Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin ruled that the subject matter of the appeal was “not academic”.

“It is still a live issue,” Abu Samah said in his judgment today.

“The controversy has yet to be resolved,” he said to a packed courtroom.

With the decision, the church will have to duke it out in the courtroom with Putrajaya again next month, prolonging the over four-year-long legal tug-of-war between Muslims and Christians here over one word — Allah.

Abu Samah was heading a three-man Bench that included Justices Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim and Datuk Rohana Yusuf.

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Smaller turnout than expected at ‘Allah’ protest

The highly-anticipated protest against the Catholic Church’s “Allah” appeal today drew a smaller turnout than expected despite Malay rights group Perkasa’s repeated calls for its members and supporters to turn up in a show of Muslim solidarity.

Around 200 people gathered outside the Court of Appeal here as they awaited the court’s decision on the Catholic Church’s application to dismiss the government’s appeal against the landmark decision to allow non-Muslims to use the word “Allah”.

“We’re not here today to protest but the show solidarity and support to our fellow Muslim lawyers to fight for us.

“Let’s respect one another and don’t do anything to provoke anyone,” Iqbal Hakim from Persatuan Belia Islam Nasional told the crowd.

On Monday, Muslim-Malay supremacy group Perkasa vowed to rally outside the court to protest the church’s attempt to use the word “Allah”, which it has insisted belongs exclusively to Muslims.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bring it on, police tells gangs

The police have sent a clear message to gangsters challenging the forcea - Bring it gangster parade slain gang member funeral in roads and spray graffiti in police station wall.

Genting crash: Bus plunges into ravine

A bus carrying passengers has plunged into a ravine at KM3 going down Genting Highlands at 3pm Wednesday.

Funeral for slain gangsters in Penang brings traffic to a standstill

The funeral processions for slain gangsters in Penang bring traffic to a standstill as many youths on motorcycles accompanied the hearses along the way to the crematorium.

37 dead in Genting bus crash

Thirty seven people were killed in Malaysia's worst road tragedy, after a bus carrying 53 plunged into a ravine near Genting Highlands on Wednesday.

37 dead, 16 injured in Malaysia’s worst accident

Thirty-seven people have been confirmed dead in Malaysia's worst road accident when a bus plunged into a 200-foot deep ravine as it made its way down from the Genting Highlands resort in Pahang this afternoon.

Rescuers gave the death toll as police dog units scoured the undergrowth in the ravine for any more survivors of the accident that happened just before 3pm, some four km from the popular hill resort. The driver, in his 40s, also died in the accident, police said.

The 16 passengers who were rescued, 10 men and six women, were sent to hospitals in Selayang, Kuala Lumpur, Sungai Buloh and Bentong. Some of them suffered severe injuries, said authorities.

There were a total of 53 people in the bus which came from the resort, 55km away from Kuala Lumpur. Initial reports had put the total number aboard the bus at 49.

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Express bus plunges down Genting ravine, death toll now at 37

An express bus carrying 49 passengers has plunged 30 metres into a ravine, some 2km from the Chin Swee Caves Temple en route to Kuala Lumpur near Genting Highlands resort today.Rescuers have so far pulled out 16 people and one body from the wreckage.Two rescue personnels using a crane to get down into the ravine in order to bring the victims up.

Thirty-seven people died in a horrific bus crash near mountain resort Genting Highlands today, in what is arguably the worst road accident involving an express bus in recent years.

Citing Fire and Rescue Department deputy director-general Datuk Soiman Jahid, The Star Online reported that the dead were among 53 passengers who were on board the bus when it plunged down a thirty meter ravine at around 3pm.

Soiman confirmed that 41 of the passengers, including survivors, had been pulled out of the wreckage as at 8.50pm.

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Police promising stern action over Gang 04 graffiti at police station wall

Police will not tolerate any group or gang that seek to challenge the authorities.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said on Wednesday the police would not allow any criminal to challenge or even make fun of the force.

"No criminal can win against the police.

"We will use the full extent of the law to hunt down and bring all criminals to justice," he told a press conference after presenting certificates of appreciation to 50 good drivers in conjunction with Ops Selamat.

Commenting on acts of vandalism at the Kuala Langat police headquarters, Khalid said police have already identified the culprits.

"We have identified those responsible for the graffiti and we will take action," he said.

An assemblyman was shocked when he found a plastic bag containing five bullets in his house's compound.

Meanwhile in Banting the police are promising stern action against gang members, in light of a wall at a police headquarters here being defaced with graffiti of Gang 04 symbols.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Najib brokers peace deal for strife-torn MIC

Palanivel confirmed that the president and deputy president posts would be unopposed. (left).
Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said he will abide by the PM's request. (right)

There will be no contest for the top two MIC posts after the contenders agreed to a peace deal which party sources claim was brokered by Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself.

The source revealed that Najib had met party president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and vice-presidents Datuk M. Saravanan and Datuk S.K. Devamany at his residence in Putrajaya on Sunday.

Najib was said to have advised them to concentrate on strengthening the party and avoid a contest which could result in “open warfare” in the party.

The source said the posts of party president and deputy president would not be contested this year.

The presidential election is scheduled for September 22 and the election for other national office bearers — deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 Central Working Committee members — is to be in November.

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Ahmad Zahid defamation suit against Rafizi struck off by High Court

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi withdrew his defamation suit against opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli (pic) after the latter made an open declaration in court that he was satisfied with Zahid's (pic) explanation that he played no role in Boustead Holdings Berhad's transactions to acquire shares in Astacanggih Sdn Bhd and development land parcels from Awan Megah Sdn Bhd.

Rafizi, in the presence of Ahmad Zahid in court today, also stated that he was therefore withdrawing the wrongful statements on the issue of the home minister's involvement, which he had made in his blog on December 29.

Astacanggih is owned by controversial carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan while Awan Megah is linked to Umno politician Datuk Raja Ropiah Abdullah.

Previously, Astacanggih had sued Awan Megah for breach of contract, with Deepak claiming his company had in May 2007 entered into an agreement with Awan Megah to acquire government land that was awarded to them.

Awan Megah was awarded the land and a cash consideration in exchange for developing a defence education centre called Pusat Pengajian Pertahanan Nasional (Puspahanas) in Putrajaya.

The project is currently stalled.

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Was it shootout or execution in Penang, deputy minister questions police

Deputy Minister P. Waythamoorthy has raised questions about the shooting of five Indian gangsters in Penang. He believes the police executed them.

His comments are likely to put pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was criticised heavily by Umno politicians for appointing Waythamoorthy to the administration.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan did so too, saying it would further weaken Indian support for the government.

Waythamoorthy, who is also Hindraf chairperson, said that in the past few years many Indian youths had been shot dead by police who were not able to justify the killings.

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DAP gives Utusan Malaysia 48 hours to answer letter of demand

DAP national legal head Gobind Singh Deo (pic) has given Umno-controlled daily Utusan Malaysia 48 hours to respond to a letter of demand over two defamatory articles.

The two articles headlined "At last the drama has ended" and "Kit Siang manipulated CEC elections?", were dated August 17 and 18.

The first article quoted the Equity Report said to be written by a Father Augustus Chen, while the other report was that DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang had manipulated the party polls last December.

"The article quoting the Equity Report had no verification. Editor Zulkifli Jalil and reporter Kasthuri Jeevendran as well as Utusan Malaysia, have to answer all the allegations," Gobind said at the party's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

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On eve of trial, Catholic priest cautions against raising ‘Allah’

Catholic priest Rev Father Lawrence Andrew has implored Malaysians to refrain from raising the “Allah” issue now that the disputed word has returned to court, after Muslim supremacists declared a rally in protest against the Church tomorrow.

Andrew, who is also the editor of Catholic paper, Herald, said the issue “should not be tried by intimidation or in the media”, in response to Perkasa’s declaration.

“First and foremost, it’s a court case so people speaking about it outside the court is subjudice,” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted yesterday.

Self-declared defenders of Islam, Perkasa, had sparked alarm among Malaysia’s religious minorities with its intent to demonstrate against the Church outside the Court of Appeal while the case is underway as it called to mind the tensions that spiralled into violence four years ago after the High Court ruled “Allah” was not exclusive to Muslims.

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Pray for ‘Allah’ appeal, Archbishop urges Catholics

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam urged Catholics nationwide to pray for tomorrow’s highly-anticipated Court of Appeal hearing.

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam has urged Catholics nationwide to pray for tomorrow’s highly-anticipated Court of Appeal hearing, when the Catholic Church is scheduled once again to duke it out with the government over its right to use “Allah”.

The hearing could see another legal victory for the Church or prolong its legal battle for the right to refer to its God as “Allah”, the word in the centre of a protracted legal battle that has put a major strain on religious ties between Christians and Muslims here.

”The Archbishop of KL calls on Catholics to gather in Churches on Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 from 9am-12noon to pray for a just verdict while the Allah case is being heard at the Court of Appeal,” read a brief text message forwarded to The Malay Mail Online by Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of Catholic weekly Herald.

Yesterday, the Catholic Church’s Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur made a similar plea for prayer for “peace and good sense” to prevail, having voiced its concern that recent statements over the “Allah” issue may reignite sentiments that have been simmering since a landmark 2009 High Court ruling.

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Putrajaya aborts plan to put PTPTN defaulters on bad credit list

Putrajaya agreed today to shelve the proposal to list PTPTN defaulters on Bank Negara’s bad credit list, bowing to widespread criticisms that the move would only add further strain on the livelihoods of Malaysia’s young graduates.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin confirmed the decision via his Facebook and Twitter accounts, saying Cabinet rejected the proposal during its weekly meeting this morning.

“Baru selesai mesyuarat Jemaah Menteri. Alhamdulillah, PTPTN tidak akan meneruskan cadangan untuk menyenaraikan peminjam dibawah CCRIS. Terima kasih pada PM & Menteri-menteri Pendidikan kerana mendengar suara-suara orang muda,” he wrote on Facebook.

[Translation: Just finished Cabinet meeting. Alhamdulillah, PTPTN will not proceed with the proposal to list borrowers on CCRIS. Thank you to PM and the ministers of Education for listening to the voices of the youths.]

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Syabas says can’t pay creditors or replace pipes, despite big bonus RM33.4 million for boss

The Court of Appeal judgement on Tony Pua's appeal against Syabas' defamation suit revealed that Syabas has no funds to replace pipes, or pay its suppliers.

Selangor water supplier Syabas cannot pay its water suppliers and has no funds to replace pipes, its CEO admitted in court documents released today, just after it was revealed last month that its executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail was paid RM33.4 million in remuneration last year.

The Court of Appeal judgment on Tony Pua's appeal against the High Court ruling on Syabas' defamation suit against the DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP, which was released today, also showed Syabas CEO Datuk Ruslan Hassan as conceding that Putrajaya had never supported the tariff hike proposed by the water concessionaire.

“Syabas is currently facing suits by its water suppliers for non-payment of invoices,” the judgment read.

“Syabas has obtained a loan from the federal government to pay the water treatment operators because Syabas are in financial difficulties...the federal government has never agreed with the tariff increase proposed by Syabas,” it added.

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Perkasa to rally against Catholic Church as ‘Allah’ case in swing

Perkasa and other Muslim groups said today they will demonstrate against the Catholic Church outside the Court of Appeal when the religious tussle over the Middle Eastern word for god heads back to the legal arena.

Catholic Arcbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam should brace himself this Thursday should he decide to attend the court hearing to defend the Church’s right to use “Allah”.

Perkasa and other Muslim groups said today they will demonstrate against the Catholic Church outside the Court of Appeal when the religious tussle over the Middle Eastern word for god heads back to the legal arena.

Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali said the planned rally was in support of the Home Ministry in its efforts to prohibit non-Muslims from referring to God as “Allah” in print materials.

“The Court of Appeal’s decision in this case is very important to Muslims,” Syed Hassan said in a statement emailed to The Malay Mail Online.

“Perkasa also calls on other Muslims to join us at Putrajaya in great numbers this Thursday morning. Show our support towards efforts in defending the word “Allah” from being used and misused by other religious believers,” he added.

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Don’t listen to rumours on vernacular schools, says deputy minister

Contrary to rumours, the education ministry has no intention of abolishing national-type Chinese or Tamil schools, its Deputy Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching said.

"Don't believe the allegations that national-type Chinese primary schools or SJK(C) will be abolished. The ministry has no intention of carrying out such an action," the Star quoted Yap as saying.

She pointed out that the National Education Blueprint 2013-2015 specifically mentioned Chinese, Tamil, international and private schools, which clearly showed the ministry would retain these schools.

"The education ministry will safeguard the education of different religions, races and ethnic groups," Yap assured.

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In Borders case, common sense triumphs over bad faith

In the face of Malaysia’s rising religious conservatism, a civil court judge has boldly ruled on reason and common sense to uphold a Muslim storekeeper’s constitutional right to sell a book Islam’s gatekeepers here found offensive.

The court case involving the local Borders’ sale of Canadian author Irshad Manji’s book “Allah, Liberty and Love” has been closely-watched since it hit national headlines last year after Islamic enforcement officials seized the stock and charged the store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz with violating publication and distribution laws.

Five months after pronouncing the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI), the home minister and the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs guilty of abusing their powers to illegally prosecute the bookstore’s Muslim manager, Datuk Zaleha Yusof of the Kuala Lumpur High Court has finally released her grounds of judgment.

Though couched in the language of the court, the judge’s strongly-worded explanation kept to a strict interpretation of the law that has given hope to Malaysians that their civil liberties as laid down in the country’s founding document remain as robust as the day they were conceived half a century ago.

“I am satisfied that the applicants have shown existence of illegality, abuse of discretionary powers, irrationality, unreasonable exercise of power, unconstitutionally and that there exists procedural impropriety on the part of the respondents,” Zaleha wrote in her grounds of judgment released last week.

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Children watched as father assaults mother in a lift

Two small children were caught in a nightmarish situation when their father started beating up their mother in the lift of a private hospital here after an argument.

The incident was recorded on CCTV and went viral on the Internet after it was uploaded on several social networking sites, including Facebook and YouTube.

In the three-minute clip uploaded on Monday by the woman’s younger brother, the burly man is seen repeatedly slapping and punching his tudung-clad wife while their two children watched helplessly.

One of the kids, a five-year-old girl, even pleaded for her father to stop but her requests were ignored.

At one point, the woman’s tudung (headscarf) came off as the man continued to rain punches on her.

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Safety concerns rise as mishaps grow at LRT sites

Questions are being asked whether safety is still a priority at light rail transit (LRT) construction sites after a woman escaped death when a crane crushed her car on Saturday afternoon.

Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) deputy director-general (operational) Mohtar Musri said the department would not hesitate to take legal action against the project contractor, TRC Synergy Sdn Bhd, if it was found to be negligent.

The woman, in her 40s, had parked her car in Jalan USJ 2/3, Subang Jaya, when the crane carrying out piling work for the LRT extension project fell.

“Investigations are ongoing. We will bring the contractor to court if it is proven to be negligent,” Mohtar said.

He said initial findings showed the accident was caused by a structural failure in the crane, which could have been due to overloading.

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Cases involving 04 gang

PENANG police shot dead five members of the notorious 04 gang who had been staying at a service apartment in Sungai Nibong.

The five, all in their 20s, were said to have been involved in he recent spate of shooting cases in the state this year.

ON AUG 8, K. Veerappan, a 37-year-old scrap dealer believed to be associated with Gang 36, was shot dead when he stopped the car he was driving near a traffic light in Anson Road.

The shooting happened after a motorcyclist rode up to the car and the pillion rider whipped out a pistol and fired 14 shots, 10 of which hit Veerappan’s neck, cheek and ab domen.

Earlier the same day, a gunman fired at least six shots at a businessman’s bungalow in Jalan Utama. No one was injured in the incident, believed to be a triad’s warning to the businessman.

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Five dead in shootout at Pantai Jerejak

Police today shot dead in a shootout here five members of a triad gang believed to be also hired killers wanted for murders and attempted murders in three states, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said police believed one of the dead men was the leader of the gang and they were tracking down the remaining members of the gang which had committed the crimes in Penang, Kedah and Negri Sembilan.

The five men were shot dead in an apartment in Sungai Nibong, at 4.30 am during a shootout with a raiding police team from the D9 Special Investigation Division of the Penang CID with the assistance of the Bukit Aman D9 and Kedah D9 divisions.

Police recovered three guns from the dead men, namely a silver Norinco, a silver .38 revolver and a black Walther PPK.

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