Hornbill Unleashed

June 24, 2017

Sabah seeks Sarawak’s input for joint memorandum on tourism tax

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Datuk Masidi Manjun said while the new tax have merits, the state government felt that more clarity and fine-tuning were needed to ensure both states benefited from it. — Reuters picSabah and Sarawak are expected to prepare a joint memorandum seeking improvement to Putrajaya’s tourism tax plan.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said while the new tax have merits, the state government felt that more clarity and fine-tuning were needed to ensure both states benefited from it.

“In the spirit of cooperation with Sarawak and consistent with the previous understanding to come up with a joint stand on the tourism tax, Sabah is inviting the Sarawak tourism ministry to discuss and deliberate on some pertinent issues of the tourism act,” Masidi was reported saying in a statement by New Straits Times on its website today.

Masidi said his ministry was entrusted to deliberate on the matter and to report back to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and the state Cabinet on their findings and proposals. (more…)

Vigil for Bill held simultaneously on Wednesday

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Family members, friends and members of various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) held a candlelight vigil to remember the one-year passing of Bill Kayong on Wednesday night.

Starting at 6pm, the ceremony was carried out simultaneously at several locations across the state.

In Miri, about 1,000 people comprising Bill’s family members, relatives and friends as well as members of NGOs such as Sarawak Dayak Association (Pedas), Terabai Menua (TM), Dayak 360 and many more took part in the candlelight vigil which was held near Tudan traffic light intersection, the location where Bill was shot dead in his vehicle on June 21 last year.

The coordinator of the programme in Miri, Napolean Lawik, who is also a member of Pedas central committee, said more than 300 Pedas members took part in the vigil to remember Bill who was also Pedas former secretary and the person who played a role in the setting up of the association.

“Apart from Pedas members and Bill’s family members, we also received support from various NGOs who also joined us to remember Bill and pray for his soul to rest in peace. (more…)

Sarawak Report looks to crowdfunding to defend Hadi’s suit

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sarawak-report-crowdfunding-1Whistleblower site Sarawak Report has turned to crowdfunding in efforts to raise £30,000 (RM165,000) to defend a suit by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

According to its crowdfunding page, the news portal had raised £15,653 at the time of writing, with 29 days left to go.

In a statement on the page, titled “Defend Sarawak Report”, the news portal said it believed it had a strong case against PAS.

“We believe we have a strong case and need to stand up to the big money that appears to be flowing into their action.” (more…)

1MDB – the jewel of Malaysia’s crown

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‘Diamonds are intrinsically worthless, except for the deep psychological need they fill’ – Nicky Oppenheimer

It was Tiffany’s that made diamonds the in thing for women in the 50s.

Captions like “Diamonds are Forever,” and “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friends,” made Tiffany’s sale go through the roof, literally becoming a household name in the age of conspicuous consumption in the US.

Fortunately for some, the carbon-clad reality hit home, and all that glitters, shine less when bathed in bloody conflict – as clearly exposed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie, Blood Diamond. The abundance of blood diamonds all over Sierra Leone was one of the reasons that had triggered the Sierra Leone Civil War which took place from 1991 to 2002. (more…)

1MDB: Bar wants AG to seek info from DoJ

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George-Varughese-Apandi-ali-DOJS-1The Malaysian Bar has called on the federal government not to sweep aside or absolve anyone implicated in allegations raised by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over alleged misappropriation of funds related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Its president George Varughese said Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali should contact the DoJ to request for relevant information on the civil suits it has filed to seize assets said to be purchased with such funds.

He said although the allegations remain unproven until judgment is delivered by the US courts, it is critical that they also be investigated comprehensively and objectively in Malaysia, in the interest of transparency, accountability and good governance.

“Without having done so, it is premature for the government to disregard these allegations, or exonerate any individual or company of any wrongdoing,” he said. (more…)

DPM cautions against allegations of foreign media

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Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says Malaysians should be positive and fend off all the issues raised by the foreign media. ― Bernama picDeputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today advised Malaysians to be calm and prudent in evaluating the allegations and slander intentionally planned by the foreign media to undermine the country’s image.

He said the people should be positive and fend off all the issues raised by the foreign media.

“We must not mortgage our sovereignty and independence to the foreign media to dictate national politics. As a leader, I urge all Malaysians to be together as a force in the defence of the nation,” he said in his Aidilfitri message issued in a statement.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, called on the people to make the new media a medium of unity instead of turning it into a platform to raise sensitive issues that could incite hatred among the communities. (more…)

Bar: Downplaying of DOJ’s serious allegations unacceptable

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The Malaysian Bar has expressed concern over the manner in which Malaysian authorities have reacted to the serious allegations in the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) latest civil forfeiture suit related to 1MDB.

“The allegations implicate officials of 1MDB, their families and other associates – including an individual described as ‘Malaysian Official 1’, who has since been acknowledged to be the prime minister – of wrongdoing.

“In view of the gravity of the claims, the manner in which the civil suits have been downplayed, dismissed, and even denounced by Malaysian authorities, without addressing the substance of the allegations made, is troubling and unacceptable,” said its president George Varughese.

He also noted how local news coverage regarding the DOJ suits appears muted. (more…)

Sarawak accepts implementation of tourism tax

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Sarawak women's sepak takraw squad issue resolvedThe state government has accepted the implementation of the tourism tax which will be enforced from July 1, says Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said the decision was made after the matter was discussed in the state cabinet meeting here yesterday.

Abdul Karim said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had expressed his wish during a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that the tax collection from hotels in Sarawak be channelled directly to the state government without having to go through any department or agency.

“This is one of the requirements the state government presented to the prime minister,” he told a media conference after the Sarawak Cabinet meeting.


Source : The Malay Mail Online by Bernama


BN website’s article claims M’kini made up Mrs MO1’s pink diamond

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A commentary on the BN Backbenchers Council (BNBBC) portal claimed that the US$27.3 million (RM116 million) pink diamond, allegedly acquired using stolen funds and gifted to the wife of Malaysian Official 1, does not exist in the US Department of Justice third civil forfeiture suit on 1MDB.

Instead, it claimed the jewellery was a creation of news portal Malaysiakini. It also went on to name the prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor.

“When checked, the 22-carat pink diamond necklace worth RM116 million was not mentioned in the 251-page filing by the DOJ.

“If the RM116 million diamond was not mentioned by the DOJ, why Malaysiakini as a third party wants to slander and attack Rosmah Mansor? The DOJ did not mention Rosmah Mansor,” said a comment piece published on the BNBBC website. (more…)

What was the BNM forex scandal?

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The headquarters of Bank Negara Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur March 30, 2015. The BNM foreign exchange scandal is one of the largest in Malaysian history. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaOver two decades after it first emerged, a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is finally being established to investigate the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) foreign exchange scandal.

The losses from BNM’s forex trading, alleged to be more than US$10 billion (RM25 billion then), was believed to have happened between 1987 and 1992 when the exchange rate had still been between RM2.3 and RM2.5 to the US dollar.

In an interview with New Straits Times in January this year, former BNM assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid said the cause of such colossal losses was because there were no control and that “nobody knew what was happening”.

The BNM governor at the time, the late Tan Sri Jaafar Hussein, resigned following the scandal and was blamed for it, but after Murad’s revelations, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said his father-in-law had been a scapegoat for “others”. (more…)

Lawyer says Dr M ready to testify in RCI on forex losses

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The lawyer stressed that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has always co-operated with any investigation into the scandal allegedly incurred by BNM. — Reuters picTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has “no problem” in attending any inquiry related to the multi-billion ringgit foreign exchange losses during his time as prime minister, his lawyer said.

Mohamad Haniff Kathri stressed that Dr Mahathir has always co-operated with any investigation into the scandal allegedly incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

“Dr Mahathir has consistently stated clearly that he has no problem in attending any court or inquiry which has been legally formed to answer all the baseless allegations that has been thrown on him.

“It has to be stressed that Dr Mahathir has never been called up to help with the special task force until today,” he said in a Facebook posting yesterday. (more…)

‘Israeli’ WSJ imposing ‘liberal secularist extremist agenda’ here, says Umno info chief

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Tan Sri Annuar Musa has accused the WSJ of trying to impose ‘liberal secularist extremist agenda’ in Malaysia. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaUmno’s Tan Sri Annuar Musa has accused New York-based daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of trying to impose its own “liberal secularist extremist agenda” in the country, while becoming the vehicle of the Opposition.

In a harshly-worded statement, the party information chief also accused the business newspaper of many things, including supporting the Iraq war, which he said had inadvertently caused the rise of jihadist group Islamic State.

“For many decades the Wall Street Journal has been attacking Malaysia’s Umno-led government. Malaysia has long experience of the fake news, politically motivated lies and distortions that the Wall Street Journal publishes,” the Ketereh MP said.

“This Israeli propaganda paper has targeted successive Umno-led governments. It has condemned them for supporting the development of the Malays as well as the other races in the country. It wishes to impose its own liberal secularist extremist agenda on Malaysia, and has shown blatant favouritism for the opposition for at least the last 19 years.” (more…)

Siti Kasim: Stand with me if you’re against unlawful arrests and prosecution

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Released on bail today, lawyer Siti Kasim reaffirmed her commitment to fight unjust treatment for anyone regardless of gender, race and religion. — File Picture by Choo Choy MayCharged with obstructing a religious officer during a raid on transgenders, Siti Kasim urged Malaysians today to join her in speaking out against unjustified arrests and prosecution.

Released on bail today, the vocal lawyer and social activist reaffirmed her commitment to fight unjust treatment for anyone regardless of gender, race and religion.

“I will always defend the rights of Malaysians from unjust treatments. If you believe that all of us, no matter what gender, race or beliefs should be protected under our law, not to be prosecuted and arrested without lawful justification, then stand with me,” she said in a statement read out by her counsel Roger Chan, outside the Magistrate’s Court here.

“I believe if we protect one, we will empower thousands. (more…)

Everyone must speak English

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Related imageLast week, I was surprised to see a foreigner managing a food truck on his own; selling bottled beverages and local delicacies.

I was even more surprised to hear him speak to me in English as I bought a drink. He appeared to be Bangladeshi.

In contrast, when I recently lodged a police report in the upper middle class neighbourhood of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, a couple of cops who interviewed me could not speak a word of English.

If a foreigner can speak English, why can’t Malaysians?

While politicians fight to be the loudest champions of the cash-strapped rakyat, none of them — either from Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Opposition — seems to actively advocate the strengthening of English-language proficiency among Malaysians. (more…)

Tian Chua: Like PPBM, PKR was initially distrusted too

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Tian Chua (pic) said that the majority of PKR’s leaders were 'very open towards trying to bury the hatchet' with their rival-turned-ally. — Picture by Saw Siow FengParti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) is just experiencing what PKR went through in its early days as the DAP and PAS had initially distrusted it too, PKR’s Chua Tian Chang said.

The party vice-president better known as Tian Chua added he was certain that some DAP members, besides certain PKR members, were also wary of the new party and of the party’s chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“When PKR started, a lot of DAP also [didn’t] trust us, PAS also [didn’t] trust us,” Chua told Malay Mail Online.

“So we understand PPBM a lot better — we were there also, being questioned. When we first started, a lot of people asked, ‘Is Anwar going back to Umno?’. (more…)

Minister confident SPAD will maintain highest level of governance

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Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the government has ensured there were 'checks and balances' in all activities and operations of SPAD. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaMinister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri is confident the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will continue adopting the highest level of governance through the commitment of its chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah and the rest of the SPAD management team.

Nancy, who is the minister in charge of SPAD’s affairs, said the commission’s acting chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, in his capacity as non-executive chairman, would chair SPAD members’ meetings to ensure it was strategically heading in the right direction according to the National Land Public Transport Master Plan.

“All aspects of the administration and management of the commission, including operations, planning, licensing and enforcement are under the purview of the CEO and SPAD management team.

“I believe the momentum and the spirit of teamwork in SPAD’s work culture will continue to improve, to ensure the land public transport transformation plan can be implemented in the interests of the people,” she said in a statement here, today. (more…)

June 23, 2017

PKR’s fears of Bersatu case of deja vu

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At one time, the silence of night was broken by the murmurs of gossip. An Umno stalwart had left the organisation, and a new party had been born.

The defection at the time raised serious questions among opposition leaders.

Would this new entity just be an Umno splinter party? Could their old foe be trusted?

These were the doubts expressed by DAP and PAS almost 20-years ago when then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim left Umno and formed PKR, according to a party leader.

Today, Dr Mahathir Mohamad – the man who spurred Anwar’s departure from Umno – is facing the exact same problem as his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) negotiates with other Pakatan Harapan parties on their shared future. (more…)

‘Morally reprehensible’ to not name GE14 PM candidate, group tells Pakatan

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Kuasa chief executive Praba Ganesan says it is ‘morally reprehensible’ for Pakatan Harapan to not name its prime minister candidate. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaCivil society Kuasa chastised Pakatan Harapan today as being “morally reprehensible” for not naming its prime minister candidate, labelling such a move as deceiving to voters.

The watchdog, which focuses on organisational development for politicians, activists and their groups, lamented that the Opposition are too concerned about their own sentiments on the candidate, rather than focusing on who the voters want.

“They have to put someone there. If not, we at Kuasa feel they are morally reprehensible. I think it’s very insulting to the Malaysian public.

“For example, if you are asking Parti Amanah Negara voters in Selangor to vote for a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia candidate, on the belief that the coaliton will run the country, and if that is so, then they are transferring their vote. They need to know who are they supporting, who will be the prime minister. (more…)

Directly to state’s coffers

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The implementation of tourism tax is unavoidable since it has already been passed in Parliament, and Sarawak will abide by it.

However, the state wants its share of nationwide revenue from tourism tax collection to be channelled straight to the state government and not diverted elsewhere.

Stating this yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak wants a win-win formula for the collection and distribution of the tax. The state’s stand was communicated to the federal government during a recent meeting between Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He disclosed that based on the outcome of that meeting, which took place few days ago, Najib has assured the tourism tax collection will be distributed among the three regions of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. (more…)

Azalina says govt may amend Child Sexual Crimes Act

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Datuk Seri Azalina Othman says the government will look into he Child Sexual Crimes Act to see if it needs further amendments. ― Picture by Choo Choy MayThe government will review the Child Sexual Crimes Act to see if it needs further amendments, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman said today.

Its standard operating procedures (SOPs) will also be scrutinised for further improvements, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department added.

“We will look at the SOPs, we will look at the possibility that we may need to amend the Act,” she told a news conference after the launch of the Special Court on sexual crimes against children by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak here earlier.

“We will monitor the cases and see the effectiveness of the act, to see whether there are loopholes,” she said, referring to the cases referred to the special court. (more…)

Lawyer challenges police and MACC to reopen files on 1MDB

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A lawyer today challenged inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad to reopen investigations into 1MDB, following the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filing against the state fund last week.

Haniff Khatri Abdulla also urged attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali to seek the cooperation from the DOJ, as well as his American counterpart, to gather evidence in order to help the police and MACC complete their respective probes against 1MDB and its former subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd, by July 31.

Apandi, Haniff further said, should also appoint a special team of prosecutors headed by a senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP) or a senior lawyer, among the 18,000 lawyers registered with the Malaysian Bar, to independently evaluate the investigation papers, and he (Apandi) himself should not be heading the team, or decide on the results of the police and MACC probes as “he is clearly conflicted, when he acted as if he is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s personal lawyer.” (more…)

Another bank punished over 1MDB scandal, fined RM43m

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Edmond de Rothschild private bank has become the latest financial institution to be punished over regulatory lapses in relations to money laundering and the 1MDB affair.

According to Luxembourgish-daily Luxembourg Wort, Edmond de Rothschild was slapped with EUR8.985 million (RM43 million) fine.

“The Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) communicated the conclusion of the administrative procedure to Edmond de Rothschild (Europe) on June 21,” the private bank was quoted as saying in a statement.

The bank’s statement did not mention the 1MDB scandal but the matter was detailed in its annual report published this month. (more…)

What was the BNM forex scandal?

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The headquarters of Bank Negara Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur March 30, 2015. The BNM foreign exchange scandal is one of the largest in Malaysian history. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaOver two decades after it first emerged, a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is finally being established to investigate the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) foreign exchange scandal.

The losses from BNM’s forex trading, alleged to be more than US$10 billion (RM25 billion then), was believed to have happened between 1987 and 1992 when the exchange rate had still been between RM2.3 and RM2.5 to the US dollar.

In an interview with New Straits Times in January this year, former BNM assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid said the cause of such colossal losses was because there were no control and that “nobody knew what was happening”.

The BNM governor at the time, the late Tan Sri Jaafar Hussein, resigned following the scandal and was blamed for it, but after Murad’s revelations, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said his father-in-law had been a scapegoat for “others”. (more…)

Dr Mahathir predicts emergency if BN loses next polls

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mahathir-undiDr Mahathir Mohamad today warned that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government will declare emergency and suspend Parliament should it lose marginally at the coming polls.

“The government will refuse to admit defeat. The opposition would be accused of cheating. No evidence would be needed for the government to declare this. The bullies of the BN will be ready to create instability,” the PPBM chairman wrote in his blog today.

He said the measures would include the setting up of a National Operations Council, similar to the emergency-era “Mageran” council following the race riots of 1969.

“At that stage the BN may offer monetary incentives to opposition MPs to cross over. Once the BN gains a sufficient majority, the emergency would be lifted and the BN would form a majority government,” said the former prime minister. (more…)

After tiff with Nazri, Sarawak minister says state will accept tourism tax

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Sarawak Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state government will now accept the implementation of the tourism tax which will see customers being charged between RM2.50 to RM20 per hotel room per night depending on the ratings.

However, Abdul Karim said the state government wants a share of the tax to be channelled to Sarawak.

“We want our share from the tourism tax collection to go straight to the state government and not be channelled through other agencies or any other means.

This will be a win-win formula since the allocation will hopefully bring benefit to Sarawak in terms of promoting tourism,” he was quoted as saying in The Borneo Post today. (more…)

Bishop urges NGO to study apostasy, not call for ban

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Catholic bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing urged the Muslim NGO that called for a ban on evangelical Christianity to do research on the reasons on their alleged claim that Muslims in droves are converting to Christianity.

The Centre of Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) asserts that if this trend continues, it would be a threat to national security.

“Calling for a ban on evangelical Christianity would not be the solution to this issue,” argued Bishop Paul.

“Centhra purports to be a body interested in research. Why not research the causes for the alleged conversions?” he asked. (more…)

Why disparage DOJ suit when can’t deny facts?

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Why disparage the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) US$1.7 billion asset seizure suit if  Abdul Rahman Dahlan is not prepared to categorically deny on behalf of Najib Abdul Razak and Rosmah Mansor that they have received US$732 million in cash and a US$27.3 million pink diamond pendant respectively?

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman continued his tirade against the US DOJ again yesterday, accusing the DOJ of publishing a “half-cooked report”.

He even insinuated that the United States of attempting to influence the results of the impending Malaysian election. “Is it because the election is around the corner and some desperate quarters need a leg-up?” he tweeted.

This is on top of the minister in-charge of the Economic Planning Unit berating the US DOJ the previous day, “you (DOJ) mock, you gave the impression that Rosmah and the diamond did something wrong. But in the document you submitted, you didn’t include the diamond as one of the items that you want to seize. It was unnecessary to put the name there.” (more…)

No RCI without cabinet sanction, says retired judge

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Gopal-Sri-Ram-cabinetNo royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on public interest issues can be held without the approval of the cabinet, a retired judge said today.

Gopal Sri Ram said under the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who is head of state, can only act in accordance with the advice of the executive.

“Article 40 states the king is to act on the advice of the cabinet or a minister,” he said.

Sri Ram, a retired Federal Court judge, said this in response to a call by opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to the government to set up an RCI into the 1MDB issue. (more…)

NRD to look into Jho Low’s ‘dual citizenship’

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The National Registration Department (NRD) would look into allegations that Penang-born tycoon Low Taek Jho held dual nationalities in Malaysia and in St Kitts and Nevis.

When asked on the issue, NRD director-general Yazid Ramli said: “We would have to check back on it and see if there are any cases tied to him, perhaps with the Immigration Department and so on.”

Yazid was speaking to reporters in Putrajaya after the closing ceremony of the MyDaftar campaign, which aimed to assist those from the Indian community in Malaysia who lack identification documents.

His comments came in the wake of the third series of lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which revealed that Low supposedly held both Malaysian and St Kitts and Nevis passports. (more…)

Sympathy for petrol dealers, none for consumers – PKR rep

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The government, in planning a new fuel price formula, has been criticised for aiding petrol station operators to ride over uncertain market prices, allegedly at the expense of consumers.

PKR Terengganu’s Bandar assemblyperson Azan Ismail criticised Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hamzah Zainuddin’s call for sympathy for the retailers, asking about sympathy for the people who suffer rising fuel prices.

“The government asks for sympathy for the petrol station operators who face losses when the price goes down unexpectedly.

“But does the government truly cares about the problems faced by the people now? (more…)

Paramount to maintain central bank’s integrity, BNM says of RCI

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Bank Negara Malaysia today stressed the importance of preserving the central bank’s integrity, following cabinet’s decision to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the 1980s foreign exchange scandal.

“The central bank will extend full cooperation to the commission in providing information as required by the law.

“It is important to note that in any country, the legitimacy, integrity and credibility of the central bank are paramount in preserving public confidence in maintaining a sound financial system and a stable economy,” it said in a statement.

It added that the RCI, which will “put to rest the events that occurred more than 25 years ago”, will not distract the bank from discharging its duties. (more…)

Mahathir-era cabinet must face forex RCI too, says Guan Eng

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limguaneng-mahathirDAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today welcomed the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the forex losses suffered by the central bank in the 1990s.

He said the RCI on the issue was most welcome but also urged “collective responsibility” on the part of those involved.

The cabinet yesterday announced the establishment of the RCI to investigate the central bank’s forex losses in the 1990s, a period coinciding with the premiership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir is now chairman of PPBM, a member party of Pakatan Harapan, and a vocal critic of the Najib Razak administration. (more…)

Wan Azizah: Win GE first, then we discuss PM

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Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya June 22, 2017. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaOpposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail dismissed today calls for Pakatan Harapan to name its prime ministerial candidate before the 14th general elections.

The PKR president said it was more important to win the elections first and then decide the leader based on who has the most support from the other elected representatives.

“We have to win first, then only we can talk about who becomes the prime minister.

“The person that enjoys the majority of supports from the MP will be PM. That’s all,” she said in a news conference at her party headquarters here. (more…)

RCI on BNM forex a political ploy against Dr M, Pakatan claims

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

Opposition leader, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail speaks during a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya June 22, 2017. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaPakatan Harapan leaders claimed today the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the multibillion ringgit foreign exchange losses of the late 1980s to be a political ploy against its newest member Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) communications director Khalid Samad noted the inquiry into the alleged losses incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was only decided on over two decades after Dr Mahathir stepped down from office as prime minister and had turned against the government.

“It is politically motivated. It only has been raised after Dr Mahathir is with the Opposition. If he is not with us, this issue won’t be raised. There is a clear political intent,” he said at a joint press conference at the PKR headquarters here.

The Shah Alam MP said if the RCI later found Dr Mahathir who is now chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) “guilty”, public perception towards the four-party Opposition alliance will also be affected. (more…)

MP wants special 1MDB panel set up

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

nurul-izzah-1mdbLembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar wants an independent and bipartisan parliamentary committee to be established to fully and honestly resolve the 1MDB issue.

She urged the speaker of Parliament, Pandikar Amin Mulia, today to call for an emergency parliamentary session to create this body.

The PKR vice president also called on Parliament to fully disclose, through this committee, the previous Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB, which, she said, had been “wrongfully” classified under the Official Secrets Act.

She said she wanted the committee to “expose and recover all stolen assets and misappropriated resources of the Malaysian people”. (more…)

Report shows more air than substance to BN, PKR election promises in Perak, Selangor

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

Kuasa chief executive Praba Ganesan says Selangor promises 55 things, Perak promises 82 things, and 'we want to know where they are.' — Picture by Saw Siow FengA civil society watchdog tracking the performance of political parties and leaders in Selangor and Perak have found their respective state governments to have failed to keep track of their election promises made since 2013.

In its report card on the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Perak and PKR-led Selangor, Kuasa noted that both state governments had promised many things in their 2013 election manifestos, but their delivery record was dismal as they did not even hold discussions on their unkept pledges.

“Selangor promised 55 things, Perak promised 82 things, and we want to know where they are,” Kuasa chief executive Praba Ganesan told a news conference here today.

He said both political groups have been dragging their feet on making good on their election promises, which he described as a perpetual “work in progress”. (more…)

Wan Azizah: We must win first before talking about PM candidate

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

With jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim out of the race to be Pakatan Harapan’s prime ministerial candidate, questions continue to be raised over his possible replacement.

PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, however, insisted that the coalition’s focus should now be directed towards winning the 14th general election.

“We must win first before talking about the prime minister,” she told a press conference at the party’s headquarters today.

“Anyone can be the prime minister. Even you (the reporter) can be the prime minister,” she quipped in response to repeated questions over Harapan’s discussions over its prime minister candidate. (more…)

Not an attempt to topple Malaysian gov’t, says US embassy

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

The United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) suits related to 1MDB are not aimed at toppling the government of Malaysia, said the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

“No, this is not an attempt to topple Malaysia’s government.

“The goal is to recover the assets and return them for the benefit of the citizens of the affected country,” an embassy spokesperson told Malaysiakini.

The spokesperson stressed that the DOJ suits were part of an initiative to protect US markets and financial systems from money launderers.

The embassy was responding to Umno information chief Annuar Musa, who claimed on Tuesday that the DOJ suits were a pre-emptive strike ahead of the next general election to change Malaysia’s Muslim-led government. (more…)

Wan Azizah: Now let’s have RCI on DoJ allegations

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

wan-azizah-doj Following the government’s announcement of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the massive foreign exchange (forex) loss decades ago, the opposition today demanded a similar RCI to look into allegations by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) that billions had been stolen from 1MDB.

“The Cabinet‘s decision to set up a RCI to investigate the foreign exchange trading loss by Bank Negara is most welcome,” said Opposition Leader and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“Based on the same principle, I demand a RCI be set up to investigate allegations by the DoJ concerning the 1MDB scandal,” she said at a media conference at the PKR headquarters.

The Cabinet yesterday announced the esta (more…)

BNM to provide information to Royal Commission on forex losses

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

BNM says it will provide information as required by the law, to the Royal Commission of Inquiry, related to forex market losses. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaBank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will extend its full cooperation to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in providing information relating to foreign exchange (forex) market losses.

In a statement today, BNM said, it will provide information as required by the law.

BNM welcomed the formation of the RCI by the government to independently investigate the forex losses and put to rest the events that occurred over 25 years ago.

“It is important to note that in any country, the legitimacy, integrity and credibility of the central bank is paramount in preserving public confidence in maintaining a sound financial system and a stable economy,” BNM said.

The central bank said it would like to assure the public and the financial market that it shall not be distracted from discharging its national duty in delivering its mandates.

“We shall be steadfast in safeguarding the nation’s monetary and financial stability, as well as the smooth functioning of the payment systems,” BNM said.


Source : The Malay Mail Online by Bernama


Judge recuses himself from church’s ‘Allah’ case

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

High Court Judge Kamaludin Said today recused himself from presiding over the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church’s application to use the word “Allah” because he once served as senior federal counsel in a similar case.

Justice Kamaludin said he had previously served as senior federal counsel on a case involving the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur against the Home Ministry, Utusan Malaysia reported.

The case involved the Home Ministry’s closure of Catholic newspaper The Herald for using the word “Allah” in its publication.

The current case involving SIB stems from the church’s Sabah branch president Jerry Dusing’s application 10 years ago to use the word “Allah” in SIB’s publications. (more…)

June 22, 2017

DOJ: We’re in the business of facts, not insinuations

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

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said its civil lawsuit to seize 1MDB-related assets includes all relevant details so that reasonable belief can be proven during a trial.

It is responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan who said that the DOJ is insinuating criminal misconduct by prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor by linking her to diamonds allegedly bought using cash misappropriated from 1MDB, even though it has no intention to seize the jewellery.

“The law requires we allege sufficiently detailed facts to establish a reasonable belief that we will prevail at trial,” the DOJ told Malaysiakini through email.

“This means we have to allege enough facts to show a reasonable belief that United States money laundering and other criminal laws were violated and that the subject assets were involved in or traceable to these illegal transactions. (more…)

Remembering Sim Kwang Yang – THE HORNBILL HAS TAKEN TO THE SKY

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

Remembering Sim Kwang Yang, a rare Malaysian thinker politician who died 27 Nov 2014…

SIM KWANG YANG – THE HORNBILL HAS TAKEN TO THE SKY

Many Malaysians think that hornbills are only found in Sarawak. Only a few weeks ago, as I floated in Tasek Kenyir, I watched in awe as hornbill after hornbill flew home to roost at dusk. In fact, I first sighted a hornbill one morning when I was a kid during the fifties on our mangosteen tree in Batu Pahat, Johor. It was a thrilling sighting and I still experience the same thrill every time I sight a hornbill in the wild with its majestic beak and spectacular colours…

Sim Kwang Yang certainly embodied the wild majesty of the hornbill. He represented Bandar Kuching for three terms at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, speaking up not only for his peoples and forests in Sarawak but also about injustice and the environment everywhere in the world. (more…)

Why draw conclusions when probe still on, minister asks DOJ

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

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has questioned the United States’s Department of Justice (DOJ) decision to “draw conclusions” despite admitting that its probe on 1MDB is still ongoing.

Therefore, the minister wondered if the DOJ’s civil forfeiture suits could have something to do with the impending general election.

“The question is why did DOJ publish a half-cooked report which was not completed yet?” he asked in a series of tweets this afternoon.

“Is it because the election is around the corner and some desperate quarters need a leg-up?” he added.

On the DOJ confirming it does not plan to seize the 28 jewellery items received by the “wife of Malaysian Official 1” (MO1), Abdul Rahman asked: “Why? No proof? Weak case?” (more…)

Legal Aid services only for target groups, says Azalina

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

Azalina-Othman_lawyer_600The legal services provided by the Legal Aid Department (LAD) are meant for the target groups such as recipients of 1Malaysia People’s Aid and e-Kasih.

In this regard, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said, there was a need for the department to scrutinise applications from the public to ensure that only those who qualified be accorded the services.

“Legal aid is now given according to income. For me it should not be provided to people who can afford (legal aid) but don’t want to use the services of private lawyers because of the higher fees,” she told a press conference after officiating a Legal Aid Convention here yesterday.

Also present was Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali. (more…)

Here’s how 1MDB can disprove ‘US$4.5b theft’

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

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) in a new filing said that US$4.5 billion (an astonishing nearly RM20 billion) has been allegedly stolen from 1MDB and detailed new spending from the loot. That’s roughly US$850 million (RM3.7 billion) in “stolen” money higher from the figure it had revealed in its earlier filings 11 months ago of US$3.657 billion (nearly RM16 billion) “stolen”.

It is now putting a claim on US$1.7 billion (RM7.3 billion) worth of assets, up from around US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) which it says were bought with stolen money in the US and elsewhere, under money laundering laws. That still leaves some US$2.8 billion (RM12 billion) in assets unaccounted for but one can be sure over time a huge part of that will be traced.

Remember too that the still secret Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB, according to reports, said US$7 billion (a mind-boggling RM30 billion) was still unaccounted for in 1MDB’s accounts. So expect more revelations in future and more stories of obscene spending. (more…)

Minister: SPAD can work with any chairman

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

Nancy said that public perception of the appointee would not affect the commission. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaThe Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is able to function regardless of who is appointed to head it, said Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

She added that public perception of the appointee would not affect the commission as there are safeguards in place, and that SPAD’s chief executive was “very much in control”.

“The prerogative to appoint the chairman lies with the prime minister, and I believe the prime minister has looked into all. He has considered all factors before he agreed to appoint,” said the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of SPAD

“Now, whatever it is, whether people are happy or not happy, on our part, we work with anybody.” (more…)

Cabinet approves royal inquiry on BNM forex losses

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

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement today saying the Cabinet agreed on the formation of the RCI after the special taskforce on the same matter determined there was sufficient evidence to merit further investigation. — Reuters picA Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) will be convened to investigate the billions of foreign exchange losses allegedly incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia nearly three decades ago.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement today saying the Cabinet agreed on the formation of the RCI after the special taskforce on the same matter determined there was sufficient evidence to merit further investigation.

“The formation of the RCI is also to safeguard public interest by establishing the extent to which the foreign exchange losses had affected national reserves,” the statement said.

“This is because the preliminary findings of the special task force found that the actual losses were greater than what was previously presented to former ministers and Parliament.” (more…)

Sarawak DAP calls for emergency state assembly sitting

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

Sarawak DAP has called for an emergency sitting of the state assembly to be held within two weeks from today, following the Kuching High Court’s decision to retain Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyperson

Its chief Chong Chieng Jen, who is also the state opposition leader, said a formal request to the chief minister’s office was made today following the state government’s announcement that it would appeal against the decision.

Among others, Chong noted that emergency sitting must be called as it was unprecedented and ironic that a law-making body is found to have acted unlawfully.

“The Ministerial Motion and the resolution have now brought disrepute and shame to the institution of DUN Sarawak. (more…)

Govt, Shafee ordered to respond to Anwar’s RM9.5 million bank transfer suits

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

zaid-ibrahim_Shafee-Abdullah_600The High Court today ordered the government to respond to a suit by former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to quash his sodomy conviction on grounds that he was denied a fair trial, following a claim that a senior prosecutor had received millions of ringgit from the prime minister.

Lawyer Latheefa Koya said the High Court also ordered counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to file his case in response to Anwar’s application to compel the lawyer to disclose his bank account transactions between August 2013 and March 2014.

Anwar has filed two suits: One over not receiving a fair trial, and the second to compel Prime Minister Najib Razak and Shafee to reveal bank account details.

Anwar filed the suits following allegations that RM9.5 million had been transferred to lawyer Shafee from Najib’s private account. (more…)

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