Hornbill Unleashed

October 7, 2014

Light Up Borneo

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Theheat team

It is an irony. Villagers in Bengoh, Sarawak, are among those who have been displaced by a hydroelectric dam project. Yet, they do not have access to electricity – a basic utility for most Malaysians

But thanks to a group of volunteers, they and thousands of others living in remote areas of Sabah and Sarawak will no longer have to spend their nights in total darkness. Their villages will be equipped with micro hydro generators (MHG) to provide artificial lighting.

Bengoh is an isolated community. To reach the village from Kuching, one has to take an hour’s drive and a six-hour hike. (more…)

Najib rejects free consultations

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MARIAM MOKHTAR

My fellow Malaysians and I have saved the Malaysian government, Najib Abdul Razak and the nation hundreds of millions of ringgits. We provided free consultation services to spruce-up Najib’s image, rebuild trust in public institutions and foster good community race relations; but the ungrateful Najib hates local talent and sent the police after us.

That is why Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek is wrong when he said that our culture was to “respect our leaders, respect the nation and be grateful”.

Hasan’s attempt to pull more wool over our eyes, has failed. People who “respect” leaders who steal and spin lies, are devoid of any self-respect. (more…)

When Allah CDs become a casualty in Umno’s politics

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Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is slugging it out with Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for the Umno deputy presidency. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 2, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is slugging it out with Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for the Umno deputy presidency.

This is not the first time Putrajaya has asked to stay a court decision but Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s move in the Jill Ireland case goes beyond public interest.

The refusal to hand back the Allah CDs to the Sarawakian is also the battle to be the next Umno leader after party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak. (more…)

PKR blames corruption for rampant illegal logging

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Mkini

Sarawak PKR blamed rampant illegal logging in the state’s forests and diverse wildlife national parks on weak enforcement by enforcement agencies.

“Illegal logging activities have been going on in many parts of Sarawak due to poor and weak enforcement.

“It has something to do with corruption,” said Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, when asked to comment on a statement made by Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM). (more…)

Sabah, Sarawak not 12th and 13th states

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Sabah Sarawak PeopleJoe Fernandez

Jeffrey Kitingan says constitutional documents say Sabah and Sarawak are equal partners with the peninsula, not 12th and 13th states.

Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan has come under fire for claiming during a public forum over the weekend, “Sabah In or Out of Malaysia”, that Sabah and Sarawak joined the peninsula in a Federation as the 12th and 13th states.

“If the intention of our founding fathers was for Sabah and Sarawak to become the 12th and 13th states, there would have been no need to draw up all the constitutional documents relating to 1963,” said Bingkor Assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan in taking issue with Rahman Dahlan’s claims during the public forum in Kota Kinabalu. (more…)

Fuel price hike is good news to the wise

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Najib petrol naik300Iskandar Dzulkarnain

The money saved on subsidies can go to the PM’s Dept, which will think of ways to use it to make the rakyat happy.

Malaysians had a rude shock when the government announced a fuel price hike on October 1. It kicked off a furore, with many heading for the nearest petrol pump in long queues to fill their tanks in a last ditch effort to save on precious ringgit before the midnight deadline.

So it was indeed a pleasant surprise when Malaysians found out that it was merely a subsidy reduction and not a price hike as claimed. (more…)

Budget 2015 to address inflation

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budget2015K Harinderan

Najib is expected to emphasise measures to make goods and services affordable.

Analysts believe Budget 2015 will focus partly on reducing the impact of inflation on the poor and those earning medium-level incomes.

They say it is likely to delve into allocations and incentives to ensure the welfare of those two sections of society, who together make up the bulk of the Malaysian population. (more…)

Price hikes

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Lim Mun Fah

For many people, price hikes have become the keyword in life over the past few months, and is expected to be the case for the next few months too. It is a little puzzling, resentful and a feeling of helplessness.

The feelings might be particularly strong for people in Johor Baru.

With the toll hikes at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex, in Johor Baru, and the Woodlands checkpoint in Singapore, all vehicles travelling between Johor Baru and Singapore will have to pay higher toll charges.

Take private cars for instance, compared with the charges before August 1, the toll charges at both checkpoints have soared by a total of more than five times as of October 1, from RM5.90 to RM33. (more…)

Catholic church marks new milestone, installs 4th KL Archbishop

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Catholic priest Reverend Father Julian Leow Beng Kim during his ordination ceremony at the Holy Family Church in Kajang today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 6, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Soon after being installed as the fourth archbishop of Kuala Lumpur today, Reverend Father Julian Leow Beng Kim pledged himself and his pastoral office to healing and building the nation which he said was at the “crossroads”.

In his speech at the end of the three-and-a-half hour ordination and installation ceremony today, Leow said people needed to write a fresh narrative for the nation which included mutual respect, interdependence and cooperation.

“We are at the crossroads of our future as Malaysians, a future from a shared past, that we as people of many faiths have built up and sacrificed much for. I truly pray that common sense will prevail and that difficult but right decisions are made always by us and by our leaders. (more…)

Azmin to meet Selangor Islamic bodies over Bible impasse

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Azmin mingling with those who turned up at his Hari Raya Aidiladha open house today. Azmin says he is waiting for an explanation from Jais and Mais on the Bible issue. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 6, 2014.MD IZWAN

Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali is still waiting for the state Islamic authorities to explain the impasse over their seizure of Malay and Iban-language Bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).

“I haven’t received an explanation from Jais and Mais. This will be the next issue we address as we have been focusing on the water restructuring agreement and other matters last week,” Azmin said when met at his Hari Raya Aidiladha open house in Hulu Kelang today.

Meetings with the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais) are in the pipeline, he said, adding that he had to prioritise which of the contentious issues inherited from his predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to deal with first. (more…)

Pope asks bishops to awaken the Church, Julian Leow listens

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Francis Paul Siah

Two weeks ago, Pope Francis met with newly ordained bishops at the Vatican and gave them this message: You are not “fixed-term” bishops that come and go aimlessly but are like sentinels who “awaken the Church.”

The Pope also warned them not to be deceived by the temptation of changing the people. He said they must “love the people” that God has entrusted them to lead and to “imitate the patience of Moses” in guiding them. (more…)

Hitting the home run with sarcasm

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V Shuman

Most Malaysians have extremely high expectations on medical institutions to provide services to us in times of need.

That being said, how many of us actually make room for such services to be administered effectively?

For example, what do you do when you have early symptoms of an illness? Do you drive yourself/ask a relative to take you to a hospital or call for an ambulance?

If you would rather an ambulance come and attend to your “non-life threatening illness”, you will definitely feel the heat after reading this story. (more…)

October 6, 2014

‘Opposition not fuelled by Chinese schools’

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Mkini

Gerakan today dismissed an Umno’s leader’s accusation that Chinese vernacular schools were churning out opposition supporters and instead said such a scenario was caused by Putrajaya’s own weaknesses.

Gerakan Youth deputy chief Andy Yong was responding to Petaling Jaya Utara Umno deputy division chief Mohamad Azli Mohemed Saad who had proposed for the abolition of Chinese vernacular schools.

Mohamad Azli was quoted by the New Straits Times today as saying that Chinese vernacular schools were being “exploited” to “incite hatred” against the government. (more…)

Heads must roll for serious blunders in exam questions

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Sonia Ramachandran

Never has the Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) examination been more highlighted than this year and for all the wrong reasons.

First the Science paper was found to have been leaked, resulting in a postponement of the paper to Sept 30.

This was then followed by the English paper found to be leaked and later the Mathematics and Tamil papers as well, resulting in students having to take all these papers again.

With the national uproar caused by the leaks and demands for heads to roll, one would naturally assume the new examination papers of those that had been leaked will be handled with the utmost care.
(more…)

Be fair, sincere when using Sedition Act, says Pak Lah

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Former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says it is important to implement laws with sincerity. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 5, 2014.TMI

There must be sincerity in enforcing laws such as the Sedition Act, otherwise, there is no point in creating better laws if there was no fair implementation, former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

Believed to be alluding to the recent sedition blitz by Putrajaya, Abdullah wrote on his blog http://www.paklah.net that even if man-made laws were not perfect, sincerity will ensure that these laws were used effectively.

He said laws were created by man and no matter how good they were touted to be, they could never be perfect.

“If we are sincere, even imperfect laws can be used to bring good. (more…)

Politicians playing to the gallery with call to abolish Chinese schools, says education group

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Chinese schools have been in existence for more than 100 years before Merdeka and 14% of the 600,000 pupils enrolled in these schools are non-Chinese, says the United Chinese School Committees Association. – Pic courtesy of MCA, October 5, 2014. JENNIFER GOMEZ

A good number of pupils enrolled in Chinese schools are non-Chinese, a vernacular education group said today in response to calls ahead of the Umno general assembly next month that Chinese schools should be abolished because they breed racism.

United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong) deputy president Chow Siew Hon said that politicians, who brought up the issue of abolishing Chinese schools, were only playing to the gallery and were in fact aware that these schools were here to stay.

Chinese schools have been in existence for more than 100 years before Merdeka and currently, 14%, or some 80,000 of the 600,000 pupils enrolled in these schools were non-Chinese, he said. (more…)

Budget 2015: Are civil service bonuses justified?

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SHERIDAN MAHAVERA AND MOHD FARHAN DARWIS

The bonus for civil servants announced in the annual Malaysian federal budget no doubt brings cheer to the public sector, but raises questions on its validity and sustainability amid concerns that the government machinery needs to be trimmed.

If bonuses are a reward for good work, has the civil service on the whole done a good enough job? Could not more public funds be diverted to infrastructure, technology and research? And is the Malaysian civil service of 1.5 million workers, really as bloated as it is perceived to be?

In interviews with an economist, civil servants and those who have left the service, The Malaysian Insider discovered that the more important question was not how much, but which areas to trim, and also whether people will be willing to bear the consequences of a leaner public sector. (more…)

Open Government Partnership for Malaysia?

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MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH

The unprecedented response from the Hong Kong people to the Occupy Central movement has pushed the question of democratic reform to the forefront for the Chinese government, who seemingly is used to the Tiananmen-type response.

The more than 50,000 strong protesters who insisted on Hong Kong’s need for political reforms and democratic elections comes as a surprise as the country has always been viewed as an affluent place that prides itself on its civility and its freedom. (more…)

The Malayssian Dilemma – to speak or not to speak?

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GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR

Professor Aziz Bari’s studied silence under police questioning for alleged seditious comments is in sharp contrast to his vigorous articulation on matters of high constitutional importance.

The action against is seen by many as little more than a continuing attempt to silence any voice that is not in accord with the official ‘wisdom’.

The recent seemingly limitless sedition blitz against a growing number of our citizenry prompts us to ask – in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s lament – “To speak or not to speak, that is the question?” (more…)

Dog days look over for PKR

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TERENCE NETTO

PKR supporters must have felt a frisson of delight over photographs of Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali clambering onto to dump trucks, peering into clogged drains, and peeking into makeshift homes of illegal residents as the newly-installed state CEO took his touch to the streets in the last few days.

To them, these are welcome days of vim and vitality after eight months of embarrassing public feuds and excruciating backroom follies that had engulfed the party’s effort to have Khalid Ibrahim replaced as MB of the state. (more…)

So when should we cut fuel subsidies?

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HAFIZ NOOR SHAMS

Ten months into 2014, I am now resigned to the fact that my projection for the annual inflation rate in Malaysia is too high, with the actual rate being relatively benign.

The reason I had put it so high – it was in the region of 3.5 percent – 4.0 percent compared to what it would likely be, which is 3.0 percent – 3.5 percent – was that I had expected a drastic subsidy cut early on.

It did not happen until yesterday. (more…)

October 5, 2014

UPP makes waves but all is quiet on the Teras front

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From left: Mawan and WongJimmy Adit

New political parties have much to do to prove they are a force to be reckoned with.

 It means they must be seen to be active and to do this they need to keep the media posted. They must create news for the media to partake.
In September last year, the Registrar of Societies approved the formation of five political parties in Sarawak. Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak was one of them. United People’s Party (UPP) came much later.

(more…)

October 4, 2014

Why the fuss now over SPM forecast results?

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Sonia Ramachandran

The education sector in Malaysia is never boring. First there was the UPSR leak for one paper which then later extended to four, to the detriment of Year Six students who had to sit for two papers on Sept 30, with another two in Oct 9.

Then came the uproar over the “reminder” of the ruling against the use of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) forecast results for enrolment into private higher education institutions (IPTS), though the practice of doing so had reportedly been going on for 30 years.

The Star quoted Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh as saying they acknowledged one of the conditions in all the approval letters for IPTS was each course’s entry qualifications which have no provisions for forecast results. (more…)

Chinese education is not the enemy

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Teacher Lau Chooi Lan leading Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Chong Hwa pupils back into their class in Setapak, January 2, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow FengErna

Vernacular education gets a bad rap in this country. Some think that the only way to foster true unity is to get rid of vernacular schools and force all our children to attend national schools.

One school, one stream, one medium of instruction. Some would call it the fast track to unity. My cynical mind thinks it sounds like the perfect hotbed for indoctrination.

Let’s have a reality check, shall we? Parents clamour to get their children into the best Chinese schools these days and not just Chinese parents. Malays as well as the other races are also vying to get places for their children. (more…)

That downright stupid Act

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Adenan

Jimmy Adit

Putrajaya can forget about extending the Social Workers Act 2012 to Sarawak.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem says Sarawak doesn’t have any need for a law as stupid as this one.

Speaking at the launch of the state-level Women’s Day 2014 in Kuching on Sept 27, he said many laws are very sensible, but some laws are “downright stupid”.

“Can you imagine, a person wants to do good, but you say ‘no’ because the person is not qualified to do it? It’s stupid. Downright stupid.” (more…)

Top budget wish list – house price controls

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Mkini

With Budget 2015 just around the corner, rising housing prices remain a top concern for Malaysians.

According to property listing website iProperty.com, 62 percent of 5,000 respondents surveyed by the website hope measures for control of property prices will be introduced with the budget, to be unveiled on Oct 10.

iProperty chief executive officer Georg Chmiel said this is “not surprising” as respondents said that the affordability level of properties in Malaysia is 7.29, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being not affordable at all.

“Rising property prices, tighter bank regulations on housing loans, topped with the removal of the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS) has made it more difficult for property buyers, especially first time home buyers, to purchase a property. (more…)

The real valid reason for the 20 sen fuel hike

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Ng Kee Seng

The 20 sen per litre RON95 and diesel fuel hike is shocking to Malaysians because the international oil price is down to the lowest in nearly three years.

What then is the real reason for the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government to make such a desperate unpopular decision to further burden the urban and rural poor’s socio-economic woes?

From a macro-economic perspective, the desperado BN is struggling to keep its administration going because it is managing the country with an empty federal coffer amid a federal debt of more than RM800 billion. (more…)

Stop being in denial, pay gap causes graft, Perak Sultan tells Putrajaya

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Sultan Nazrin Shah, said that Putrajaya must tackle income inequality as it is the root of poverty and corruption. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 1, 2014.MUZLIZA MUSTAFA

Putrajaya must stop being in denial about wealth inequality and realise that hardship and poverty are also fuelling corruption, the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, said today.

In a speech, he cited figures that showed the low earnings of a vast majority of households and noted that those struggling to make ends meet were exposed to petty corruption.

The sultan’s speech at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) 47th Anniversary event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today follows debate over Putrajaya’s recent announcement that average household incomes have surpassed RM5,900. (more…)

Limbo between criticism and sedition

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najib300Adrian Lim

Did you know that you could possibly be charged for sedition if someone hacks your Facebook status?

The right to freedom of speech and expression is enshrined in the Federal Constitution under Article 10 (1). This freedom however, is not an absolute right, as Parliament under certain circumstances may impose restrictions as provided under Article 10 (2). As we move into a phase where the demand for information is at an all-time high, we witness that Malaysian society is getting more mature politically. As such, the need for such freedom is all the more justified. However, there is a limbo between what is constructive criticism and what is seditious.

As articulated by most opponents of the Sedition Act, this piece of law has to go because of three distinctive elements: First, the scope of what can be considered “seditious” is in fact a carte blanche for those in power to silence dissidents or critics. Second, the blatant disregard of the truth behind so-called “seditious” goes against the very purpose of having laws enacted. Finally, ignorance of the accused’s motives will result in constructive argument being stemmed. (more…)

Can You Survive On RM2.5K A Month In KL? Here’s How To Do It

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Teh Wei Soon

What do you need to know when trying to live in KL on a shoestring budget?

There is no escaping the fact that many ordinary Malaysians feel the pinch of the higher cost of living nowadays. Many would readily agree that living in the Klang Valley is a challenge even for fresh graduates, not to mention the hardships faced by lower income families and non-skilled workers.

According to a recent survey conducted by JobStreet.com to see how fresh graduates cope with the exorbitant costs of living in Malaysia, it has revealed that the average basic monthly salary for fresh graduates is RM2,500. Of which, 77% of them said that their salary does not leave them with any savings after spending on essentials. (more…)

Royal muscle – politicians come and go, sultan for life

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RAM ANAND

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealed that he never encountered any problems with the country’s many palaces when he submitted his choice for the menteri besar’s posts. Then again, questioning or challenging the strongman’s judgment were rare traits during his reign.

Unlike the crisis in Selangor, when Mahathir decided on a name, veryone nodded in approval. It would be political suicide to do otherwise.

The recent menteri besar imbroglio witnessed the Selangor palace flexing its muscles, forcing Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim and others to submit, albeit grudgingly. (more…)

October 3, 2014

Another fuel hike but where is the saved subsidy going?

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Sonia Ramachandran

At a time when other countries who are not oil producing are reducing prices of fuel, Malaysia is doing the opposite.

The BBC reported that three major United Kingdom supermarkets, namely Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda cut the prices of petrol and diesel starting Sept 30.

The report stated that a drop of up to five pence per litre was announced by Sainsbury’s and Tesco while Asda said it would reduce petrol by up to one pence and diesel by two.

On Sept 30, the Times of India reported that diesel prices in India is likely to be cut by about Rs1 per litre while petrol price may be slashed by Rs1.75. (more…)

Fuel subsidy reduction a good move to prevent leakage, says Dr M

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Dr Mahathir explains that the cost of living does not rise only because of the increase in fuel costs, as increase in wages will also drive manufacturers to raise their prices. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 2, 2014.

Bernama via TMI

Dr Mahathir explains that the cost of living does not rise only because of the increase in fuel costs, as increase in wages will also drive manufacturers to raise their prices.

The fuel subsidy reduction of 20 sen per litre in the price of petrol and diesel has received the thumbs up from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former prime minister said the move was appropriate in order to avoid financial leakage and misappropriation of the subsidised fuel, Bernama reported today. (more…)

Malaysia one of the most corrupt nations, survey shows

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JENNIFER GOMEZ

Malaysia has been ranked as one of the most corrupt nations and listed as a country which is most likely to take shortcuts to meet targets when economic times are tough, according to a recent survey by Ernst & Young, signalling that the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has failed in its role to transform the economy.Malaysia, along with China, has the highest levels of bribery and corruption anywhere in the world, according to the latest report, Asia-Pacific Fraud Survey Report Series 2013.

This year’s survey polled 681 executives in China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea.

About half of the 681 executives polled on their perception of fraud felt that China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam were the worst in bribery and corruption. (more…)

PKR lawmakers take sedition law protest Down Under

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PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli will be leading a delegation to Australia to highlight the party's protest against Putrajaya's sedition blitz. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 3, 2014.EILEEN NG

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli will be leading a delegation to Australia to highlight the party’s protest against Putrajaya’s sedition blitz.

Six PKR lawmakers are taking their protest against Putrajaya’s sedition blitz to five cities in Australia this month, at a time when governments of both countries have forged closer ties over the Malaysia Airlines’s twin tragedies.PKR vice-president and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli will lead the team to stops in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney from October 17 to 23.

“Part of our trip is to highlight the sedition crackdown and to update them on the Malaysian economy,” Rafizi told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

Minister: Don’t protest over fuel hike, be grateful

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Mkini

Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek wants Malaysians to change their culture from protesting to being respectful and grateful.

Responding to a query if he anticipates protests over the hike in fuel prices, he said it is the people’s right to do so but stressed that the increase is to ensure the nation’s coffers are not depleted.

Therefore, Hassan said there is a need to “revert our culture”, where people should congregate to congratulate the government when it executed a commendable move. (more…)

Sarawak CM urged to act against illegal logging, crony deals

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DESMOND DAVIDSON

An environmental group has called on Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem “to walk the talk” and show his resolve on his recent promises to fight illegal logging in the state.

The Penang-based Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) wants Adenan to revoke the logging licences of a company it alleged had been felling the protected Tapang tree (Koompassia excelsa) in Sungai Pelutan in middle Baram.

The Tapang, a rare species and an important nesting tree for honey bees, is protected under the Second Schedule of the Sarawak Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 and the penalty for felling the tree is a maximum one year imprisonment, or a fine of RM10,000 or both. (more…)

‘Fuel hike will hurt Sarawak’s rural dwellers’

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Mkini

Eighty percent of Sarawak’s 2.6 million population are expected to be hit hard by the petrol and diesel pump price increase of 20 sen per litre effectively.

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said that the hike will have a knock on effect on the mostly rural dwellers, who are mostly subsistence farmers and fishermen.

He said that the hike would significantly impact the transportation costs of goods used daily by the group which the government has identified as the nation’s poorest. (more…)

Lawyers to march against Sedition Act on Oct 16

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Mkini

The Malaysian Bar today announced that its march against Sedition Act 1948 will be held on Oct 16.

The march, agreed upon by the Bar members at an extraordinary general meeting last month, is dubbed ‘Walk for Peace and Freedom 2014′.

Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong said that the lawyers gather for the march at 10.30am at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, dressed in chamber attire.

He said the Bar believes that lasting peace, unity and mutual respect will be promoted through ‘robust debate, diversity of opinion, and freedom of speech’. (more…)

Global education index disappointed UM, UKM snubbed rankings poll

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TMI

Two top Malaysian institutions, Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), did not submit data for the annual World University Rankings 2014-2015, effectively missing out on the opportunity to be assessed against other universities in the world, says a global education index compiler.Four other Malaysian universities submitted their data but none made it into the top 400 of the rankings, which was released by Times Higher Education (THE) today.

“This is very disappointing as they are essentially holding Malaysia back from being able to benchmark the true standard of its higher education against the rest of the world and, indeed, identify the areas that need improvement,” THE rankings editor Phil Baty told The Malaysian Insider.

In an immediate response to Baty’s comments, UKM’s Strategic Centre deputy executive director (performance assessment) Associate Professor Dr Masturah Markom told The Malaysian Insider that the university preferred to focus on rankings that were fair to its direction. (more…)

October 2, 2014

BN raises prices as real fuel cost drops

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A Petronas tanker is replenishing the supply of RON95 petrol at a petrol station as thousands of Malaysians queued to fill up their cars to full tank in the wake of the price increase from midnight. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 1, 2014.Rajiv Rishyakaran

For a government touting to care about the rakyat, Barisan Nasional & PM Najib sure gets its priorities wrong.

Oil prices are on the down trend if the RON 97 reduction in September are a gauge. The price of RON 97 dropped by RM0.10/litre less than a month ago on September 9th, the cheapest it has been in the last one year.Despite that, the government is now increasing  the RON 95 prices by RM0.20 to RM2.30 at midnight, at a time when there is no clear need for the government to slash subsidies. In fact, the subsidy bill for RON 95 would have been lower than initially projected with the overall downtrend in fuel prices. (more…)

No reason to raise petrol price when crude oil price is at a 3-year low

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Chong Zhemin

Barisan Nasional has decided to increase the petrol prices at a time when the people are suffering from rising cost of living. This is not only a betrayal to the people’s trust but also a huge burden to the people.

And this is done when the international oil price has fallen to the lowest in nearly three years,

Yesterday, India and United Kingdom announced a reduction in petrol prices, making the petrol hike in Malaysia all the more ironic. (more…)

In ‘Allah’ row, court allows SIB’s judicial review bid

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Mkini

The Court of Appeal has allowed Sidang Injil Borneo’s (SIB) bid to initiate a judicial review application over the use of the word ‘Allah’ in all publications for its congregations.

SIB is also seeking permission to import Christian religious books with the word.

The three-member Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Rohana Yusof unanimously decided to grant the leave (permission).

The other judges were Justices Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim. (more…)

‘Church only seeking just solution to Allah issue’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Mkini

The Church and its congregation are merely seeking a just resolution to the Sidang Injil Borneo matter and for the authorities to abide by the agreements Malaya had with Sabah and Sarawak when the two states joined the federation in 1963.

Going back to the foundation for the formation of Malaysia, said Reverend Jerry A Dusing, who initiated the judicial review for Sidang Injil Borneo, “we are not asking for a change but for the status quo to be maintained”.

“This includes that we, being part and parcel in developing a just and harmonious nation, as the bumiputera community, are allowed some guarantees on religious freedom for Sabah and Sarawak,” Dusing said after the Court of Appeal decisiontoday. (more…)

Let’s play government

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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selangor_pr_300Roslan Bistamam

With Azmin in charge of nearly everything that matters, the other nine Excos can just loaf about.

One thing that I have never understood is what do these executive committees (Excos) do?

I have a friend who used to sit in the tourism committee in Terengganu that was headed, of course, by the Exco Member for Tourism and Culture. He said all they did was talk and have tea and cakes.

It was a total waste of time, my friend said. Nothing much was achieved; so he eventually did not bother attending any of the meetings. (more…)

Ranau villagers lose millions

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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sabah povertyJoe Fernandez

Villagers chased out by 100 illegals engaged by a company claiming their NCR land stand to suffer millions in lost earnings.

Several thousand people in three villages in Ranau who were chased out last week by over 100 illegals engaged by a company claiming their NCR land, stand to suffer millions in lost earnings. The company had their crops destroyed as well.

“Each family earns up to RM7,000 a month from rubber alone,” said Sepakat Satu Perjuangan Ranau (SSPR) chairperson Jalibin Paidi in a statement. (more…)

October 1, 2014

Resolve MA63 or dissolve Malaysia Partnership

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM
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jeffreyJames Sivalingam

Jeffrey Kitingan wants restoration of Malaysia as an equal partnership of Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula.

Star Sabah Chief Jeffrey Kitingan wants a new Malaysian Constitution to replace the Federal Constitution, as the way to resolve Putrajaya’s non-compliance on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the basis on which Sabah and Sarawak entered into a federation on Sept 16, 1963 with the peninsular. The MA63 is a constitutional document.

The alternative, warned Jeffrey, was to dissolve the Malaysia partnership.

He was speaking at a public forum, Revisit Malaysia Agreement 1963, in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

‘Malaysia Agreement should be abrogated after S’pore’s departure’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM
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aylaa @ Mkini

Former Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) vice-chairperson Simon Sipaun believes that the Malaysia Agreement should have been abrogated following the separation of Singapore from Malaysia.This is because Singapore, being one of the five signatories, had ceased to be a party to the Agreement, said Simon at a forum titled ‘Revisiting the Malaysia Agreement 1963′.

The Malaysia Agreement was signed in 1963 between United Kingdom, Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore whereby the four latter parties formed a union named Malaysia. Two years later, Singapore left Malaysia to become an independent state.

“Some say the Agreement is [still] valid, some say it is not. I personally think it should be abrogated,” said Simon at the forum organised by Negaraku, which was attended by around 60 people. (more…)

MOE messing with our children

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM
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parents300

Ishmael Lim

The Napoleons in the ministry continue to confirm parents’ suspicions that our education system is chronically ill.

All doting parents feel that their children are extensions of themselves. Although we may deny it, our children are our alter egos. They become vessels for the dreams we never realised. We try to give them what we ourselves never had. It gets terribly personal when the best course we can chart for them gets diverted. So when you mess with our children, you are really messing with us parents.

According to the Ministry of Education, Form Five students may no longer use the results of the SPM trials to gain entry into colleges and institutions running pre-university and foundation courses. The MOE has informed colleges and institutions through a circular that the forecast results will not be admissible as qualifying criteria for enrolment, and that only actual SPM results will suffice for admission purposes. It is understood that the trial SPM exams are not standardised and that secondary schools set their own exams to prepare their students for the real thing. (more…)

Social media and the age of sedition

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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hc-social-media-icons-istock-23515213Scott Ng

Are we allowed to have ideas and opinions? Or must they be state-endorsed to be valid?

The rise of social media has been uneasy in more ways than one. From privacy concerns to ethics, there are many shades of gray that need to be explored before we truly come to understand and integrate it in our daily lives. One such complication is very prominent here in Malaysia – freedom of speech in a semi-democratic society.

Autocratic regimes such as China have long been wary of social media, a useful tool for organising and disseminating information, but one that could spread news of a government’s missteps within seconds of their happening. (more…)

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