Hornbill Unleashed

January 20, 2018

Sarawak offers to help palm planters switch as ‘crop apartheid’ looms

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said today that planters switching to other types of agriculture would receive financial assistance from the state government. ― Picture by Sulok TawieThe state government here will subsidise oil palm smallholders in diversifying into other crops to mitigate the effects of the European Union’s move to ban palm oil biofuels starting 2021.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said today that planters switching to other types of agriculture would receive the financial assistance.

“For example, within a family of smallholders, they can rear goats or cattle or fruit crops like pineapple and durian for eligibility to apply for the subsidy,” he told reporters after the opening of the Third International Biohealth Science Conference (IBSC) here.

Uggah, who is also the state modernisation of agriculture, native land and regional development minister, said the strategy would allow one commodity to offset the fall in value of others. (more…)

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Sarawak CM sounds alarm over tuberculosis, says deadlier than dengue

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Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg says every year more people die from tuberculosis than from dengue and HIV-related complications. — Picture by Sulok TawieHealth authorities must shift their focus to fighting tuberculosis (TB), said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg who noted the disease once thought eradicated was making a deadly return.

Citing the Health Ministry’s own data, he said 1,945 of the 25,739 cases proved fatal last year, or nearly 15 per cent more than the previous year.

“Every year more people die from TB than from dengue and HIV-related complications,” he said at the opening of the Third International Biohealth Science Conference (IBSC) here.

“In comparison, there were 237 dengue fever deaths from 101,357 cases last year and 336 deaths from 120,836 cases in 2015,” he said in his speech read by his deputy, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas. (more…)

EPF, PNB assure no govt meddling in Battersea investment bid

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kwsp-pnb-bettersea-1The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) today said their decision to sign a heads of terms (letter of intent) on the purchase of commercial assets in the second phase of the Battersea Station development project was purely an investment consideration.

They said the potential “reorganisation of ownership” of the project in London at an estimated £1.608 billion (RM8.76 billion) was being explored without any government intervention.

“EPF and PNB are steadfast and committed to uphold the trust of the two institutions’ members and unit holders respectively, as well as the Malaysian public, and any inferences that investment decisions are made for any other reason than for the benefit of the people are completely false and malicious,” they said in a joint statement.

The statement was in response to media reports that the owners of the Battersea Power Station, a huge industrial building currently being turned into homes, offices and shops by a Malaysian consortium led by SP Setia are in talks to sell it. (more…)

Selangor BN to object EC’s second redelineation notice

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Noh said the objection would be made on grounds that the EC was seen as still maintaining most of the boundaries used for the 13th general election boundary, which sees a disparity in number of voters, seat distribution and areas of jurisdiction by local authorities. — Picture by Miera ZulyanaThe Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) will submit its protest against the Election Commission’s second notice on its redelineation exercise for the state, claiming that it is unfair and favours Pakatan Harapan.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Noh Omar said the objection would be made on grounds that the EC was seen as still maintaining most of the boundaries used for the 13th general election boundary, which sees a disparity in number of voters, seat distribution and areas of jurisdiction by local authorities.

“For example, under the Klang Municipal Council (MPK), there are three parliamentary constituencies, namely Kapar, with 146,000 voters, Klang, 98,000 voters and Kota Raja, with 110,000 voters.

“Why is it that in the Klang parliamentary constituency, there is less number of voters, where as Klang is a town area. (more…)

If votes are secret, how can minister threaten teachers, lawyers say

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If votes are secret, how can minister threaten teachers, lawyers sayEDUCATION Minister Mahdzir Khalid’s warning to teachers and ministry officers not to support the opposition was illegal, say lawyers.

It also begs the question if Putrajaya has ways to check who civil servants voted for, which violates the principle that a person’s vote is secret, they said.

Chinese-daily Kwong Wah reported Mahdzir as saying that disciplinary action would be taken if civil servants backed the opposition.

Lawyers said the statement was not only unethical, it violated several laws concerning what statements cabinet members could make regarding voters’ choices. (more…)

Mahdzir abused position with remarks on teachers, says Bersih 2.0

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Mahdzir abused position with remarks on teachers, says Bersih 2.0THE education minister has overstepped his powers when he barred teachers and education officers from taking part in the democratic process, said Bersih 2.0.

Calling Mahdzir Khalid’s comments a blatant abuse of his position, the election reform organisation said the remarks violated all principles of governance.

“It (the comments) violates all principles of governance, for a person of his stature to see it fit to threaten those who are subordinate to him ,” it said in a statement tonight.

“Mahdzir’s comment, saying civil servants are welcome to join the government, also displays his ignorance, as he is not able to distinguish the roles and responsibilities of a government from that of a political party. (more…)

PNB And EPF To Bail Out Spiralling Costs Of London’s Battersea Power Station!

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PNB And EPF To Bail Out Spiralling Costs Of London's Battersea Power Station!Like a development black hole on the South Bank, the Battersea Park development has just swallowed up a gargantuan RM8.6 billion (£1.6 billion) of Malaysia’s public money from the two savings funds EPF and PNB – no doubting that behind the decision would have been the face-saving pressure of the Minister of Finance.

The surprise news hit the headlines in London late on Thursday after it became clear that the Malaysian consortium which had been funding the spiralling costs of the project had pulled out and a bail out was required.

It makes it the most expensive property purchase ever in London, dwarfing the so-called Walkie Talkie Tower sale for £1.3 bn last year.

The cost nightmare of the project is spelt out in the figures. The original Sime Derby/ Setia consortium had bought the development in 2012 for what was already considered an eye-watering £400 million, after it had sat for decades as a crumbling white elephant project on the South Bank. (more…)

EPF, PNB in record UK deal to buy Battersea project

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

A general view shows the Battersea Power Station in London. — AFP picPermodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will reportedly acquire the Battersea Power Station project in the UK for £1.6 billion (RM8.76 billion), a new record in the British property sector.

Various media outlets reported that the state investment firm and private retirement fund will buy out the stakes of Sime Darby Bhd and SP Setia, which are transforming the decommissioned power station into a mixed development that is set to gentrify the area.

According to the Financial Times, the deal will include staggered payments to the two developers as part of their compensation for continuing construction works, while the remainder is due on completion.

The deal remains in early negotiations, according to a separate Bloomberg report, but is expected to go through without major issues. (more…)

January 19, 2018

PKR wants Baram to be made a division

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The state government has been urged to declare Baram as a new division in Sarawak.

The call came from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Baram branch chief Roland Engan.

“Baram, which includes three districts – Marudi, Beluru and Telang Usan – is a huge area and this is a suitable time for it to be upgraded to a division.

“Regardless of whether we win or lose in the coming election, we will continue to fight for Baram to be turned into a division,” he said. (more…)

Bersih 2.0 urges 100,000 voters to stymie Selangor redelineation

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Maria Chin Abdullah said procedures require one spokesman and at least 100 signatures to endorse each objection, saying her group is aiming to collect these from 100,000 people to protest against the EC’s allegedly unconstitutional redelineation. — Picture by Shafwan ZaidonAn electoral reform group urged 100,000 voters today to join objection hearings for the Election Commission’s (EC) proposed redelineation in Selangor, to frustrate what it alleges is an unlawful exercise.

Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said procedures require one spokesman and at least 100 signatures to endorse each objection, saying her group is aiming to collect these from 100,000 people to protest against the EC’s allegedly unconstitutional redelineation.

“While the second display of the proposed redelineation within Selangor has reverted to more or less the same boundaries that used to be in 2013, this does not mean that the current constituencies at both the state and Parliament seats are exempt of malapportionment or gerrymandering,” Maria said.

“It is the duty and right of the voters to protect and ensure that the strength of a vote is equally represented across Malaysia.” (more…)

Islamisation will tear Malaysia apart, says Marina Mahathir

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Islamisation will tear Malaysia apart, says Marina MahathirMALAYSIA is on a slippery slope if the nation carries on with its Islamisation agenda, which will not only divide society, but also promote violence, said Marina Mahathir.

Citing a recent example of a man slapping a Muslim woman for not wearing a headscarf in public, the socio-political activist said Islamisation is not going to be positive or healthy for the nation.

“What could possibly have given the man the idea that he is entitled to harangue and slap a Muslim woman for not wearing a tudung as happened recently in Penang,” she said at a book launch at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.

The footage of a man slapping a woman for allegedly not wearing a headscarf some two weeks ago went viral on social media. (more…)

January 18, 2018

Petros inks first deal

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) – Sarawak’s wholly-owned oil and gas company – has signed its first deal.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday in conjunction with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s working visit here.

Petros signed the MoU with Petrotel Energy Oman LLC (PTO), which has exploration and production rights in Oman, and South Sea Energy (SSE), which is affiliated to Sarawak.

Abang Johari, who will spend five days visiting Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), witnessed the signing of the MoU, which will pave the way for collaborations in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak. (more…)

Prosecution appeals again against ‘balloon girl’s’ acquittal

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Bilqis (right) was previously acquitted on July 1, 2017 by the Magistrates’ Court without her defence being called. — Picture by Miera ZulyanaThe prosecution has again appealed against the acquittal of dance producer Bilqis Hijjas of a charge of “insulting behaviour” for dropping yellow balloons at a 2015 event graced by the prime minister.Latheefa Koya, a lawyer for Bilqis, today said: “Our client just informed that she has been served the notice of appeal.”

When contacted, Bilqis — also popularly known as the “balloon girl” — confirmed that she had received the notice of appeal.

“Of course I am deeply disappointed that they are choosing to continue with this wild goose chase. It’s a great misuse of public funds and prosecutorial attention.

“If the direction to continue pursuing me on this case is coming from higher authorities, then I think it only demonstrates their insecurity with even the slightest shows of political resistance, and subsequently the weakness of their hold on a democratic society,” she told Malay Mail in a written response. (more…)

State signs with Petronas for equity participation in LNG production

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he state government has agreed to acquire 10 per cent equity in Petronas LNG 9 Sdn Bhd (PL9SB) which owns the ninth liquefied natural gas (LNG) production train (Train 9) in Bintulu.

A term sheet for the equity participation in PL9SB was signed between the state government and Petronas at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who witnessed the signing ceremony at his office, said the equity participation in LNG 9 is part of the state’s successful negotiation with the national oil and gas company.

“As mentioned by the late (former) Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, this is one of the ways for us to work together with Petronas, which has taken into consideration our interest to participate in downstream activities in Sarawak,” he told a press conference after the ceremony. (more…)

Sarawak gets 10% stake in Petronas LNG facility

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petronas-lng-sarawak-1Energy firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad, or Petronas, says the Sarawak state government will take an equity stake in one of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facilities.

The state government has signed a term sheet with Petronas for an equity participation in LNG Train 9 at the company’s LNG complex in Bintulu, Sarawak, Petronas said in a statement on Monday.

A spokeswoman later confirmed the state would take a 10% stake.

The Sarawak state government said in May it was actively negotiating to buy a 10% stake in the LNG Train 9 facility. (more…)

Now, Sarawak lawyers challenge appointments of top 2 judges

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Md-Raus-Sharif-Zulkefli-Ahmad-Makinudin-The-Advocates-Association-of-Sarawak-1The Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) has joined the Malaysian Bar in challenging the appointments of the chief justice and Court of Appeal president who remain in office after their mandatory retirement.

The AAS, which filed an originating summons in the Kuching High Court on Dec 27, wants an order that Chief Justice Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin be removed from their positions.

In the action, filed through legal firm Messrs Arthur C A Lee & Partners, the AAS named former chief justice Arifin Zakaria, Raus, Zulkefli and the Malaysian government as defendants.

It wants a declaration that Arifin’s proposal to the king on March 30 last year to make Raus and Zulkefli additional judges under Article 122 (1A) of the Federal Constitution is unconstitutional and void. (more…)

Rent-to-own scheme ‘best option’ to help Malaysians own homes

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Chan emphasised that developers participating in the scheme should have the financial resources to play 'landlords'. — Bernama picThe HouzKEY rent-to-own plan finally open for online application is not ideal, but it is currently the “best option” to increase home ownership among Malaysians, according to Datuk Jerry Chan Fook Sing.

The immediate past chairman for the Penang Real Estate and Housing Developers Association said the HouzKEY was a positive step, but added that the actual take-up rate should be subject to several factors.

“Besides having banks structure housing loans to allow lower instalment payment structure, the rent-to-own strategy is the best option.

“But the response from consumers will take time to gauge and the prices of the rent will be dependent on the developers, price, location, size, and property type,” he told Malay Mail when contacted. (more…)

Nik Nazmi gets to contest GE14 after court retains fine over rally

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Pakatan Harapan Youth chief, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad arrives at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya January 17, 2018. ― Picture by Shafwan ZaidonThe Court of Appeal has rejected Putrajaya’s appeal to increase the penalty against Seri Setia Assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who pleaded guilty to violating the Peaceful Assembly Act in 2016.

The three-men panel unanimously ruled that the prosecutor had no merit to appeal for a higher fine, which would have made Nik Nazmi ineligible to contest in the 14th general election should the decision favoured the former.

“Even though you are an assemblyman you are not above the law,” Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki, the leading Judge, said in reading out the ruling.

“However, we unanimously rule that the appeal to increase the penalty by the prosecution has no merit”. (more…)

Petronas awards MCM contracts to five contractors

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Petronas’ subsidiary, Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (PCSB), has awarded its contract for the provision of maintenance, construction and modification services (MCM) at its offshore facilities in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak to five local contractors.

In a statement here, it said the contractors were Carimin Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Dayang Enterprise Sdn Bhd, Deleum Primera Sdn Bhd, Petra Resources Sdn Bhd, Sapura Fabrication Sdn Bhd, and its joint-venture partner, Borneo Seaoffshore Engineering Sdn Bhd.

These five local contractors were selected for the five-year contract which took effect in September last year, with an option to extend an additional year, said PCSB.

Under the terms of the contract, the engineering and maintenance services will include Topside Major Maintenance (TMM) and Facilities Improvement Projects (FIP). (more…)

Pastor Koh’s wife again accuses police of keeping her in the dark

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Susanna Liew (left), the wife of Pastor Raymond Koh attends the Suhakam press conference in Kuala Lumpur January 17, 2018. — Picture by Hari AnggaraPastor Raymond Koh’s wife said she was again disappointed by the lack of communication between the police and her family regarding investigations outcome on her husband’s abduction.

Susanna Liew was referring to the latest development in which a man named Lam Chang Nam was charged yesterday at the magistrates court here under Section 365 of the Penal Code for kidnapping.

In a statement today, she said her family was unaware of the charge and only learned about it after the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) had made the announcement that they were suspending their inquiry into Koh’s abduction.

She said despite her son Jonathan Koh appearing multiple times as a witness in court, her family was left in the dark by the authorities. (more…)

January 16, 2018

Sarawak to acquire 10% stake in Petronas’ natural gas facility

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Sarawak to acquire 10% stake in Petronas’ natural gas facilitySARAWAK and Petronas today signed papers to realise the state’s demand for a 10% equity in the national oil corporation’s LNG 9 liquefied natural gas production train in Bintulu.

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, who witnessed the signing of the term sheet at his office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petrajaya, lauded the signing, saying it was part of the state’s successful negotiations with Petronas over its desire to have a greater participation in the oil and gas industry in the state.

The demand for the 10% equity was mooted by former chief minister Adenan Satem.

Currently, Sarawak holds 10% equity the LNG 1 and 3 trains. (more…)

Sarawak opposition politician questioned by police over social media post

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

PBDS Baru president Cobbold John Lusoi (second right) arrives at the Kuching district police headquarters January 15, 2018. — Picture by Sulok TawieParti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) president Cobbold John Lusoi was released on police bail today after police recorded his statement for posting a poison pen letter on social media.

He spent over two hours at the Kuching police headquarters where an investigating officer took his statement.

Lawyer Dominique Ng Kim Ho, who represented Lusoi, said there is no reason for the opposition politician to be detained.

“I have been assured by the investigating officer that there is no instruction from the top to detain him,” Ng told Malay Mail.

The poison pen letter, with the name of a former Sarawak leader and dated March 5, 1990, was said to be disparaging to the Ibans of Simunjan.

Lusoi also lodged a report urging the police to carry out an investigation to find out the origin of the letter and the authenticity of its claims against the Iban community in Simunjan.

PBDS Baru Youth chief Rapelson Richard Hamit and three other party members also had their statements taken by police.


Source : The Malay Mail Online by Sulok Tawie


 

Sabah, Sarawak get the most in rural development funds

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ismail-sabriSabah and Sarawak have been given the lion’s share of rural development funds this year, federal Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with his state counterpart here, Ismail said the federal government had given priority to the Bornean states for rural development.

“52.5% of the rural development budget goes to Sabah and Sarawak while the remaining 47.5% is to be shared by all 11 states in the peninsula.

“Sabah’s share is 23.5% while Sarawak has been given 28.5%. (more…)

Gerrymandering, cheating still evident in second redelineation proposal, says Bersih

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Gerrymandering, cheating still evident in second redelineation proposal, says BersihTHE second redelineation proposal for Selangor’s electoral boundaries, which was released by the Election Commission today, still contains elements of malapportionment and gerrymandering.

Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 said although fewer seats would be affected by the proposed electoral boundary changes, the commission did not address existing distortions in voter representation.

“Our preliminary analysis shows that the EC has reversed most of its proposed changes in the first display,” Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said when contacted today.

“However, issues of malapportionment and gerrymandering still exist. The EC has not corrected these problems,” she said. (more…)

Police report lodged over poison-pen letter on social media

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Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Baru has urged the police to act over a poison-pen letter circulating in social media recently.

Its president Cobbold John lodged a police report on the matter yesterday having been summoned earlier by police to have his statement recorded over a recent post on his social media account regarding letter.

He called on the police to probe the letter as it contained a derogatory word against the Iban community.

“For the sake of Sarawak unity, we do not want such matter (poison-pen letter) to happen here.

“Therefore, we hope that the police will do their work,” he said when met at the district police headquarters in Simpang Tiga, here yesterday. (more…)

Recycle is the in-thing, says Chong

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Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen said there is a need for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be prime minister again to save the country when defending Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) choice of naming the 93-year-old former premier as its candidate for the post.

“Recycle is the in-thing now. Environmentally speaking, we need to recycle to save the planet. In this case, we need to recycle Dr Mahathir to save the country. It’s the same concept but different application,” Chong said.

Chong labelled the act of lashing out at their prime minister-designate as a hypocritical act, arguing that leaders of BN Sarawak had all hailed Dr Mahathir as a capable leader when he was the prime minister.

“If Dr Mahathir truly did so many bad things to Sarawak, such bad things were done with the full consent and endorsement by the same BN Sarawak politicians and parties when Dr Mahathir was the prime minister. (more…)

We won’t meddle in running of Sarawak development bank, says CM

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Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari (centre) officially launches the Development Bank of Sarawak’s commercial operations on January 15, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg gave an assurance today that the state government won’t interfere in the running of the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS) although it is the sole shareholder.

“The bank will run professionally like any other commercial business and no politicians will be appointed in the board,” he told reporters after launching the bank’s commercial operations at Menara SEDC Isthmus here today.

Abang Johari however said the bank will have to submit its annual report to the state government to report if it’s making money or otherwise.

He said DBoS, which was incorporated on May 11 last year with a paid up capital of RM500 million, will start giving out loans after the completion of application process, most of which are from the state agencies and state-linked companies. (more…)

Disclose more on proposed LRT system, Chong urges Abg Jo

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State Democratic Action Party (DAP) wants Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to tell Sarawakians more than just saying that his proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) system may be operational in 10 years’ time.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the chief minister had once again avoided touching on the central issues about the proposed LRT system by merely mentioning that it might be operational by 2028.

He stressed the chief minister ought to tell Sarawakians the estimated cost of implementing the proposed project.

“What is his estimated cost of construction of the proposed LRT system? Given that Abang Johari intends to finance the cost of construction with the state’s money and not seeking any federal funding,” he said at a news conference here yesterday. (more…)

Don’t stall inquiry into missing pastors and activist, Suhakam panel says

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Don’t stall inquiry into missing pastors and activist, Suhakam panel saysLAW enforcement officials subpoenaed to testify in the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public inquiry into missing persons must give their full cooperation when proceedings resume tomorrow, head of the inquiry panel Mah Weng Kwai said.

The Suhakam commissioner said one challenge the panel faced in its last round of hearings was the delay in obtaining evidence from police officials who were summoned to testify about the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh.

“The police said (during the inquiry last year) that the investigations papers (IP) are secret, that investigations are ongoing and that they have not completed them.

“If witnesses take the position that everything is a secret, it impedes the inquiry. We hope to see more cooperation from the police and the witnesses,” he told The Malaysian Insight. (more…)

Don’t boycott GE14 for the sake of those who voted, Ambiga pleads

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Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the public cannot afford to waste their votes in the 14th general elections. — Picture by Choo Choy MayRegistered voters must exercise the right of vote instead of boycotting the election or spoiling their votes, activist and prominent lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan pleaded today.

In a statement today, the former chief of electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 said the public cannot afford to waste their votes in the 14th general elections (GE14).

“Every single vote matters. At least do it for the ‘rakyat’ who are voting, so that their efforts are not in vain. This is not the election to boycott or spoil your vote because the nation cannot afford for the present state of affairs to continue,” Ambiga said.

“Voting in GE14 is therefore not just about choosing one side or the other, but also about taking the opportunity to make a statement against a system that would render our fundamental rights, including the right to vote, meaningless,” she added. (more…)

January 15, 2018

PH Sarawak endorses announcement for Tun M as PM

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Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak has fully endorsed the announcement for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Tun M) to be prime minister and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail to be the deputy prime minister if the pact becomes the government after GE14.

PH Sarawak will also be supporting the call to seek royal pardon for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to set the stage for him to take over Tun Mahathir as the eighth prime minister.

The endorsement was announced by PH Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen alongside his deputies namely PKR Sarawak chairman Baru Bian and Amanah Sarawak chairman Fidzuan Zaidi at a press conference this morning.

“To topple UMNO, there is no better person than Tun Mahathir. He has the respect and confidence of the rural Malays which many other leaders in PH lack,” said Chong who is also state DAP chief at the press conference. (more…)

PH Sarawak all for Dr M to return as PM

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

Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak is fully behind Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad returning to lead the country as prime minister should the coalition take over the government after the 14th general election (GE14).

PH Sarawak also fully endorsed having Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as deputy prime minister, and seeking a royal pardon for PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

PH Sarawak chairman and state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen announced the endorsements together with PKR Sarawak chairman Baru Bian and Parti Amanah Negara Sarawak chairman Fidzuan Zaidi at a press conference yesterday.

“To topple Umno, there is no better person than Tun Mahathir. He has the respect and confidence of the rural Malays, which many other leaders in PH lack,” said Chong. (more…)

January 13, 2018

Sarawak BN gearing up for elections with joint committees

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Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg (seated, centre) with other state Barisan Nasional leaders at the press conference January 12, 2018. — Picture by Sulok TawieThe state Barisan Nasional has formed various joint committees in preparation for the upcoming general election, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.

“As you know we don’t know when the election will be held, but we have to form the joint committees early, including one on the manifesto focusing on Sarawak only,” he told reporters after chairing the state Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting here.

He said the Sarawak election manifesto is in addition to the main manifesto prepared by the federal Barisan Nasional.

Abang Johari said the state Barisan Nasional is upbeat about GE14, saying that it is in a very good position to win almost all the 31 parliamentary seats at stake in Sarawak. (more…)

Chief Justice delivers sole speech at opening of Legal Year

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif is pictured at the 2017 ‘Inns of Court Malaysia’ meeting (ICM) at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya. December 12, 2017. — Bernama picChief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif today took to the stage to deliver the only speech at the 2018 Opening of the Legal Year (OLY) in Putrajaya.

Other stakeholders such as the Malaysian Bar were barred from delivering speeches as part of a new format called the Judicial Year.

Malaysiakini quoted Raus as saying that the decision was made because the Malaysian Bar had been insistent on bringing up the issue of his appointment as Chief Justice (CJ) as well as the appointment of the Court of Appeal president Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin – both of whose tenure had been extended beyond the constitutional retirement age of 66 years and six months.

“So it is not proper for them to raise it here. If you speak on the issue the attorney-general (Mohamed Apandi Ali) may want to respond to it in his speech. I also looked at two pages of a copy of Malaysian Bar president (George Varughese’s) speech and he wants to raise the issue. (more…)

The politics of hope

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for The politics of hope in malaysiaTalk show host Oprah Winfrey delivered a powerful, inspirational speech at the Golden Globes after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, telling sexual predators that “their time is up” and giving girls and women hope for “a new day.”

Winfrey’s speech was so inspiring that some Democrat officials and activists want the American celebrity to run for president in 2020 against Donald Trump.

While America searches for hope as they deal with Trump as president (to the extent of turning to a celebrity based on a single speech), we too in Malaysia are grappling for inspiration in a lacklustre political environment filled with old men running the show as we head into the 14th general election.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a Winfrey equivalent giving us an impassioned speech to lift our hopes for just a few moments in this mad world. (more…)

Bersih praises PH for ‘clarity in direction and focus on policies’

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

maria-chin-phBersih 2.0 has congratulated Pakatan Harapan on its clarity in direction and focus of its policies.

Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah took note of PH’s newly announced leadership.

“This is a crucial time to rebuild Malaysia and requires exemplary leadership to go beyond the upcoming elections.

“It requires commitment in ensuring the implementation of the policies. This has proven to be a challenge for the current government.”

Maria said rebuilding Malaysia was not only the responsibility of politicians, but of voters as well. (more…)

Vote and make a difference, urges Maria Chin

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

maria-chin-voters-malaysia-1Voters must come out in full force to cast their ballots in the 14th general election (GE14) as they could make a difference in the outcome of the polls, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said.

She said in 2008, a high voter turnout for GE12 resulted in the Barisan Nasional (BN) losing five states, including the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, to the opposition and its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

The electoral watchdog chairman said in GE13 in 2013, BN lost the popular votes for the first time, also failing to get back the two-thirds majority.

In that polls, BN only obtained 48% of the popular votes although the ruling coalition secured about 60% of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.

“Voters must come out in full force to at least send a strong opposition to the Dewan Rakyat,” she told the Malaysian Bar’s symposium on “Constitutional Law: Rule of Law in Jeopardy?” here today. (more…)

Anwar’s statements from prison irks Nur Jazlan

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

Image result for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in jailDeputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed is irked by statements issued by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim since he is in jail and needs approval of the director-general of Prisons Department.

“Lately, several statements have been issued by Anwar. I wonder whether he really made the statements,” he said after the anniversary celebration of Anak Minangkabau Johor Welfare Association at Kompleks Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat here, today.

Nur Jazlan said the statements include Anwar’s ‘blessing’ with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) proposal naming former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as their candidate for prime minister’s post.

“If Anwar’s statements were relayed through third parties and were not approved by the Prisons Department, then it is an offence that can affect the jail period.” (more…)

Malaysian Bar: President’s speech at opening of Legal Year removed due to refusal to be censored

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

Bar Council president George Varughese did not want his speech at opening of Legal Year to be censored. — File picture by Choo Choy MayThe office of the Chief Justice had sought to restrict contents of the Malaysian Bar president’s speech at the opening of the Legal Year 2018 ceremony, the Bar revealed today.

In a statement, Bar president George Varughese said that the format of the ceremony was then changed to remove the customary speeches by both the President of the Bar and the Attorney General after he said he did not want his speech to be censored.

“On this occasion, however, the unprecedented attempt to interfere in the President’s speech was nothing less than an assault on the independence of the Malaysian Bar. This is wholly unacceptable.

“As a result, the Bar Council — as the governing body of the Malaysian Bar — had, as a matter of principle, no alternative but to respectfully decline the invitation to attend the Opening of the Legal Year 2018 ceremony. At no time was the invitation to the President of the Bar withdrawn,” Varughese explained. (more…)

Dr M: I’ve not taken a break from politics since 1945

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

Mahathir said that he has yet to pick a parliamentary seat to contest in, despite strong rumours of him contesting in Langkawi. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaFormer prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he has not taken a break from being involved in the country’s politics since 1945, despite retiring from all official posts nearly 15 years ago.

The country’s fourth prime minister, who is now Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman said that he made the decision to step down as the country’s prime minister after 21 years in service back in 2002.

“However, due to the support, I extended my tenure for another year before finally stepping down after leading the country for 22 years.

“I never really had a proper rest and if it was up to me, I never wanted to be the prime minister candidate (for PH). But if I do not accept it, people would say (Lim) Kit Siang will be the prime minister,” he said in jest during his speech at the Kukup Golf and Country Resort here today. (more…)

January 12, 2018

About 300 brave showers for candlelight vigil in memory of former Sarawak CM

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

A portrait of Tan Sri Adenan Satem stands at the site of the candlelight vigil held at the Kuching Waterfront, January 11, 2018. — Picture by Sulok TawieAbout 300 people braved light showers to take part in a candlelight vigil at the waterfront here tonight in memory of former Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who died exactly a year ago due to heart complications.

A spokesman of the organising committee Robert Liew said although Adenan had passed away, his dedication and pro-poor policies were still deeply rooted in the Sarawakian mind.

“As Sarawakians, we all can feel his sincerity and dedications for Sarawak.

“He has done a lot for the state within a short period of three years as a chief minister,” he added.

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary general Datuk Sebastian Ting, who was among those taking part in the candlelight vigil, said party members are forever grateful to the late chief minister for saving SUPP from being deregistered by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) due to an internal crisis. (more…)

400 Sarawak community leaders to discuss definition of communal land

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Related imageSome 400 Bumiputera community leaders from the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Malay and Melanau communities in Sarawak will be attending a seminar on the issue of pulau galau (territorial domain) and pemakai menoa (communal forest reserve) (PGPM) to be held here from January 23 to 25.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also the PGPM task force committee chairman, said the seminar is a prelude to the tabling of the State Land Code amendment during the State Legislative Assembly sitting in May.

“At the seminar we are expecting that we will finally get a right definition of pemakai menoa and pulau galau agreed to by all community leaders.

“We need to agree to the definition that we want to present to the government and at the seminar all communities will come up with what each community perceives to be pemakai menoa and pulau galau and then will sit down to discuss what is the most appropriate definition to be presented to the government,” he said. (more…)

Look beyond Dr M’s age, PKR tells Sarawakians

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

PKR national women vice head Voon Shiak Ni says many Sarawakians have asked her why PH picked Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the Opposition’s choice to be prime minister. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Opposition Leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s age at 93 should not be a factor in one’s voting decision, PKR told Sarawakians today.

“He may be 93 years old, but he is still mentally fit to lead the country again if we win more parliamentary seats,” PKR women national vice head Voon Shiak Ni said at a press conference.

She said Pakatan Harapan (PH) picked Dr Mahathir as their prime minister designate because he still commanded public respect, particularly among the Malays.

Voon said many Sarawakians, including PKR supporters, have asked her why PH chose Dr Mahathir to be their prime minister candidate at such an old age. (more…)

January 11, 2018

Learn from Tok Nan — See

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

IT has been exactly one year since the  untimely passing of our beloved late-chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem and in his memory, let us reminisce on his meaningful govern over our State so that we may remind ourselves of the vision he had for our State and how that vision had moved all of our hearts deeply.

In a statement to The Borneo Post, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How expressed his desire to remind the public of the goals and rights of Sarawak that Adenan had so fiercely fought for in his three-year tenure.

“Imagine… Sarawak enjoying full autonomy and sovereignty over her full territorial realm and bountiful resources as it was pledged by the founding fathers of Malaysia;

“Imagine… Sarawakians of all races living in peace and harmony, working and caring for one another; (more…)

Baru hails former CM as ‘open, courteous leader’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

FOR Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, he remembers Pehin Sri Adenan Satem as a leader who had always been courteous and open to the state elected representatives (ADUNs) from the opposition, even before he became chief minister.

“Shortly after he took office, the opposition ADUNs were welcomed by him when we made a courtesy call on him at his office — something that was unheard of during his predecessor’s time. I remember that Adenan was very receptive to our suggestions and ideas when we discussed issues of concern that were affecting the lives of Sarawakians.

“It was also a point of gratification for us that he was ready to recognise and acknowledge the sentiments of Sarawakians — the unhappiness we felt about lagging behind Peninsular Malaysia in terms of development and the failure of the Federal Government to honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), resulting in his initiation of the movement to pressure the federal government to devolve powers to the state in certain areas of concern,” Baru, who is Parti Keadilan Sarawak (PKR) chairman, said when asked to share his memories of Adenan. (more…)

Dayak party says not interested in joining Opposition coalition

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

PBDS Baru president Cobbold John Lusoi says his party will go it alone in the general election. — Picture by Sulok TawieParti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru) has no plans to be a part of Saksama — a coalition of Opposition parties not aligned with Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Harapan (PH) in Sarawak and Sabah.

Its president Cobbold John Lusoi said his party has a different agenda compared to Saksama and other political alliances.

“We will go it alone in this general election,” he told Malay Mail.

Saksama — an acronym for Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya — was formed by Sarawak State Reform Party (STAR), Sabah-based Malaysia United People’s Party (MUPP), Pertubuhan Perpaduan Rakyat Kebangsaan Sabah (Perpaduan) and Parti Sejahtera Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah (SAPU). (more…)

Go deeper to register indigenous Sarawakians, NRD told

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Human rights activist Peter John Jaban (3rd from right) accompanies the 23 applicants in a meeting with NRD officers in Kuching January 10, 2018. — Picture by Sulok TawieThe state National Registration Department (NRD) must make more effort to register stateless Sarawakians living deep in the state’s interior, local activist Peter John Jaban said today.

He said there were many isolated communities in the remote and inaccessible areas of the Borneo state, naming Baram and Kapit as two such areas.

“We urge the taskforce to step up its activities, designing a systematic procedure to ensure access to every community in Sarawak and solve the issue of statelessness once and for all,” Jaban told reporters after leading a group of non-governmental organisations to submit citizenship applications and other identification documents on behalf of 23 stateless people at the state NRD office here.

The 23 applicants included Malay, Chinese, Iban and Bidayuh from Balai Ringin, Serian, Muara Tebas, Bintulu and Selangau. (more…)

Sesco: Copper theft cases at Sarawak electrical facilities on the rise

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Sesco said the thefts resulted not only in power supply interruptions, but also affected public amenities such as street lights and telecommunications services, and put the safety of the public as well as the thieves themselves at risk. — Reuters picSarawak Energy Bhd’s (SEB) operational and retail arm, Syarikat Sesco Bhd, has identified several areas deemed as hotspots, following the increase in copper theft cases reported lately, especially in remote areas targeting its electrical facilities in the state.

In a statement today, Sesco Chief Executive Officer, Lau Kim Swee, said the company’s Auxiliary Police (AP) and the police were working to increase patrols at these high-risk areas.

He said the thieves were getting bolder and more creative, with recent incidents involving vandalising of electrical equipment in broad daylight, especially at secluded areas.

“Apart from that, other initiatives taken to mitigate this dangerous crime include hardening the targets such as reinforcing security at our sub-stations and installations of closed-circuit television and alarm system at certain facilities,” he said. (more…)

January 9, 2018

Too late for Saksama to make any impact — Political analyst

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for Dr Jeniri AmirThe would-be participation of a new political alliance in the upcoming 14th General Election is good for democracy, but it is too late for it to make an impact.

However, the entry of Gabungan Rakyat Saksama (Saksama) into the fray would certainly make democracy livelier, said political analyst Associate Professor Dr Jeniri Amir.

But he believes that Sakasama will not make any political impact in Sarawak, let alone winning any seat in GE14.

“Saksama is a very new political entity. Being a new entity, it will be very difficult for them to win the hearts of the electorates who are already very familiar with Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Harapan (PH). (more…)

Selangor PKR rejects Dr M as Pakatan’s PM-elect

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

Some PKR activists said Selangor PH chairman Datuk Seri Azmin Ali should have been Pakatan Harapan’s choice for prime minister ahead of the 14th general elections. — Picture by Ahmad ZamzahuriSelangor PKR rejected today Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) nomination of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its prime minister candidate.

Selangor PKR communications head Hizwan Ahmad said that with his party’s track record in governing Selangor, whose mentri besar is PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, it was strange that the coalition did not select its PM-elect from PKR.

“The Selangor government is proof that PKR can bring about change in the administration, championing peace and prosperity.

“We find it odd that despite our long fight together and our proven extraordina (more…)

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