Hornbill Unleashed

March 1, 2015

Being Optimist

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM

Bloom where you are planted! Choose to bloom anyway, despite all odds.

THE air was thick and intimidating in the crowded chamber that unusual morning.

An ordinary ex parte application would mean that you are to appear before the Honourable Judge alone but usually not a judicial review that you are required by law to serve on the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The six pairs of learned eyes were testing: “Do you really think that you can get this through?” (more…)

March 2, 2015

Najib’s stepson the key for Low, says report

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

Controversial money man Taek Jho Low’s tunneled his way into the Malaysian elite circle through Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor and her son Riza Aziz, Sarawak Report said.

The whitsleblower website said Penangite Low got into Rosmah’s good books after meeting her son while at school in the UK in 2004.

“Insiders say that Jho Low’s key initial Malaysian contact was the PM’s stepson Riza Aziz, whom he met while at school over in the UK.

“Low spent plenty of time ingratiating himself with Riza’s mother, Rosmah Mansor (below), whom he generally refers to as ‘Madame’ or ‘First Lady’,” the report alleged. (more…)

PetroSaudi, 1MDB say funds payment above board

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

PetroSaudi says the company has paid Malaysia's 1MDB in full and is therefore no longer tied to the company financially or legally. – Pic taken from PetroSaudi website, March 1, 2015.

PetroSaudi International (PetroSaudi) today denied reports that funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) went to third parties, adding that its subsidiaries had received the entire cash for a joint-venture company, while 1MDB confirmed that it received back its investment in full from the deal besides making a profit.

The privately owned oil exploration and production company in a statement today said that upon 1MDB’s exit, PetroSaudi had paid the Malaysian strategic investment fund in full and both parties no longer had any financial or legal relations. (more…)

‘World class’ and Malaysia’s Higher Education 

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

Children Education

PenDaPaT is a registered national society made up of concerned citizens on higher education in Malaysia. We take this opportunity to express our humble thoughts and views about the ongoing debate of whether Malaysia’s higher education is ‘world class’.

We are of the opinion that there are elements in Malaysia’s higher education that can be considered as ‘world class’, but at the same time, we also wish to point out rooms for improvement.

However, there is first a need to consider carefully what we mean by ‘world class’. We believe it is important to recognise and acknowledge that university rankings are merely a benchmark. They are by no means a yardstick of quality. A lot of universities around the world are doing well in whatever they are entrusted by their societies, and this may not always translate into positions on the university rankings. (more…)

1MDB funds went to PetroSaudi, no one else’

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

All funds by fully-government owned firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd invested into a joint venture with Petro Saudi International in 2009 was channelled into Petro Saudi entities, the Saudi Arabian oil company said.

Its statement comes after Sarawak Report and London’s Sunday Times published an expose alleging that 1MDB banked in US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) of the funds for the joint venture into a company linked to controversial money man Jho Low.

“PetroSaudi stated categorically that funds from 1MDB went to Petrosaudi-owned entitites and any other inference is false,”Bernama reported today. (more…)

PMO: 1MDB exposé may be ‘politically-motivated’

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

The Prime Minister’s Office dismissed an expose on how 1Malaysia Development Bhd purportedly banked US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) into a company linked controversial high roller Jho Low as “politically-motivated”.

“Views expressed by certain quarters concerning 1MDB should be examined in light of political motivation.

“However, if any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” it told the UK Sunday Times.

PMO added that PM Najib Abdul Razak (below), who chairs 1MDB’s board of advisors, does not run 1MDB’s day-to-day operations and that 1MDB’s accounts are audited by Delloite. (more…)

Jho Low allegedly siphoned off US$700 million from 1MDB, says website

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

Whistleblower website Sarawak Report claims that Jho Low channelled US$700 million to a company called Good Star Limited, which was owned by Low. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 1, 2015.	Businessman Jho Low orchestrated the 2009 joint venture between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and PetroSaudi International to allegedly siphon off US$700 million from the strategic development fund, whistleblower website Sarawak Report has claimed.

The UK-based website revealed that the 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture company’s US$700 million loan repayment to PetroSaudi in 2009 was a front and the funds channelled to a firm allegedly owned by Low, called Good Star Limited.

The US$700 million loan repayment provision was part of the joint venture contract between Petro Saudi International and 1MDB, Sarawak Report said, citing documents it had obtained. It also published those documents with its report. (more…)

‘RM2.5bil 1MDB funds sent to Jho Low’s firm’

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

The RM2.5 billion (US$700 million) listed as a loan repayment from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to PetroSaudi International during 1MDB’s joint venture with PetroSaudi in 2009, was channelled to a company controlled by tycoon Jho Low, online news portal Sarawak Report alleged yesterday.

It claimed it obtained confidential email exchanges and the whole joint venture agreement worth RM3.6 billion between 1MDB and PetroSaudi made in September 2009.

Last week, Sarawak Report revealed contents of the joint venture agreement which stated that 1MDB had to undertake to repay a RM2.5 billion loan that PetroSaudi had taken from its parent company. (more…)

Quantity, not quality, in local varsitities

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

Harith Ahmad, scholar, scientist and a distinguished professor, thinks that it is the lack of racial harmony that prevents Malaysia from taking the lead in the development of science and technology. Given the racial considerations in the realm of public policy, innovations and inventions are never top priority.

I think he was quite mild in his criticisms of the Malaysian political and social system. He did not go into the details as this would have been very unpleasant to himself as an academic and scholar.

But nonetheless, it is not very often that Malay intellectuals like him who are associated with public universities to criticise the system. We must thank him for his bold and well-placed critique as to why science and technology remains in its infancy in Malaysia. (more…)

‘I won’t repeat myself,’ says Bar council chief

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Bar Council president Christopher Leong says he will not be issuing an apology or entertaining any statements made by the group of around 100 Malaysian Bar members, who call themselves the G100.

The G100 had already demanded twice for Leong to apologise over the statement he made on Feb 11 on the conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy.

Previously, Leong had already replied to the group in his statement last Thursday where he said gave a detailed explanation on his earlier statement.

“Just because they wish to repeat themselves does not mean that I have to. I have already given my comment during the Chinese New Year weekend last week,” Leong told Malaysiakini today. (more…)

Najib does not run 1MDB, Putrajaya tells UK daily

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

UK paper The Sunday Times today quoted Putrajaya as saying that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not in charge of 1Malaysia Development Bhd. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 1, 2015.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not involved in the daily operations of the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), UK paper The Sunday Times quoted Putrajaya as saying.

The paper, which had collaborated with whistleblower website Sarawak Report to expose the role of businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low in allegedly siphoning off US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) from 1MDB, was told by Putrajaya that 1MDB was run professionally and had had its accounts audited by international auditors.

“The Malaysian government said the prime minister was not involved in the day-to-day operations of 1MDB, which is run by a professional and experienced team. Its accounts were audited by Deloitte,” The Sunday Times reported in a March 1 article. (more…)

March 1, 2015

Ayer Molek was symptom of malady

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

“You have come here to hammer me?”

This desperate query from a cornered Eusoff Chin, a former Chief Justice, came in the course of the inquiry into the VK Lingam videotape by a royal commission in January 2008.

The inquiry had opened a Pandora’s Box of judicial misdeeds, with the ex-CJ close to its epicentre.

It was a tragicomic moment as both Eusoff and the lawyer representing the Malaysian Bar had come to a point where the enormity of an episode – a holiday to New Zealand during which the CJ and wife were photographed in the convivial company of a senior lawyer – could no longer be evaded. (more…)

Paying more at the pumps? Blame 1MDB

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

The abolition of fuel subsidy system has not only made consumers vulnerable to fluctuation of global crude oil prices but also the volatility in the ringgit as many will discover at petrol pumps tomorrow.

While the government is only expected to announce the official fuel retail prices for March tonight, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli has warned that it will be significantly higher.

Rafizi (right) said the marginal increase in global crude oil price is made worse by the weak ringgit, which is in part caused by the more than RM40 billion debt woes plaguing government-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). (more…)

Will sixth PM survive his sixth year in office?

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak appears to be in a precarious position.

His list of woes is long – 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in the roast pit, Rosmah Mansor in Seri Perdana, Sirul Azhar Umar in Australia, Anwar Ibrahim in Sungai Buloh, brothers on the opposite side and Dr Mahathir Mohamad lurking in the shadows.

With such baggage on his shoulders, speculation is rife on whether the sixth prime minister will complete his sixth year in office.

And there is also news of his cabinet having turned its back on him. (more…)

Walk the talk, Sarawak DAP tells Najib

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Sarawak DAP today reminded Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to keep his promise and not pay lip service in his request for all Malaysians to join him fight against all forms of extremism in the country.

“Walk the talk,” state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said, in response to the prime minister’s appeal which he made last night at the Kuching North City Hall’s (MBKS) Chinese New Year (CNY) open house in Padungan.

Najib made the request in front of more than 5,000 people – most of them Chinese – who had thronged the city’s community hall for the dinner and to watch the fireworks display and appealed to them to join him in the fight to preserve Malaysia’s peace and stability. (more…)

Who will emerge victorious in this greatest ever political saga?

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

Many Malaysians are now at the edge of their seats as the political volatility boils, especially in Umno.

It is only a matter of time before someone gets seriously scalded politically. And it will only be because in Malaysian politics, there are no permanent enemies or friends.

That makes a lot of difference in politics and it is the most critical factor for the agenda of politicians. It is this that makes it so awesome in Umno politics and all so difficult to predict.

Currently, all eyes are on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s struggle for political survival. (more…)

Home ownership still a dream for Malaysians as prices remain beyond reach

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

Home ownership is still beyond the reach of many Malaysians mainly because of the price as shoppers discovered at a property fair organised by Selangor's PKNS in Shah Alam yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, March 1, 2015.

At a property fair in the SACC mall, in the heart of Shah Alam, shoppers’ faces were grim as they milled around the miniature displays of houses, each with a price tag ranging from around RM300,000 to RM1.4 million.

“It’s unreasonable,” said Roslan Mat Sarji, 47, as he studied the glossy pamphlets prepared by the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), the fair’s organiser.

“I’m helping my son look for a house, but the ones on offer here are all out of our range. We can’t afford this.” (more…)

The tell-tale signs of an insecure government

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

Four decades ago, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, fought the communists. Today, Najib fights cartoonists.

Under Najib’s rule, human rights lawyers, academics, cartoonists, a thinking rakyat and the alternative media, have replaced the communists of his father’s era. They are considered the new threats to national security. The reason for the government’s fear is simple. The fear encircles Najib’s government. The PM and his Cabinet are very insecure. They are afraid, of losing power. (more…)

So what’s with Sex Ed 101 in our schools – BN says ‘aye’, PAS a firm ‘nay’!

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

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim has reportedly said that sex education will be introduced in 2016 for boys aged 16 years and above to increase awareness on sexual health issues. It should be specially noted that the said minister comes from PBB, a Sarawak-based member of the Barisan Nasional.

PAS, which is part of PKR, or at least its clerics, have expressed great opposition to this proposal. It says that it will promote the viewing of pornography and that from past experience when Sex Ed was implemented in schools from 1994 to 2010 it had proven “ineffective in reducing unwanted pregnancies” using an incremental figure between 2012 and 2013 as a measure. (more…)

Idris’s statement bracing, and disappointing

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Education Minister II Idris Jusoh’s opinion piece, defending his description of Malaysian universities as world class (published Feb 25), is refreshing – and disappointing. Kudos to him for responding to criticisms in this manner, instead of deriding detractors or going into “I was misquoted” mode.

However, his article merely inflates his original contentious remarks: Malaysian universities are world class because they are a popular destination for international students and Universiti Malaya has a decent spot on the QS university rankings. He hardly brings anything new to the public arena.

In fact, some of the evidence he presents refutes his own position. He also tries to portray critics as having their hearts in the wrong place, instead of fixing his head on confronting their arguments directly. (more…)

February 28, 2015

Another ‘mamangkis’, a distress call of a Christian native in Borneo

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

Yet another cry of distress and a violation of the paramount law of the land. Another ‘mamangkis’ by a native of Borneo!

This time, the distress call has come out loud and clear from Jilius Yapoo, a 47-year-old rubber tapper from Kg Kaiduan in Kinarut, Sabah, who was shocked to discover that his teenage daughter was converted into Islam without parental consent as required by the law.

The mamangkis is a war cry used by pagan ancestors of local natives to rally warriors for battle against the enemy. Now it has been adopted as a clarion call of Christian natives in Sabah for revival. (more…)

Anwar should be allowed to attend parliament 

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat has already made a decision that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim remains as the parliamentary opposition leader and Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh until His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong decides on his petition for clemency after consultation with the Federal Territories Pardons Board. This process may take anything between six months to a year before a decision is made.

This decision of the Speaker is consonant with Article 48 (3) and (4) (c) of the Federal Constitution.

The State Opening of Parliament by the King is a great state event and the only occasion when the Sovereign attends Parliament in person to open the new legislative term and to read the gracious speech from the Throne outlining the government’s policies and legislative programme for the coming parliamentary year. (more…)

One million Quran and the road to more chaos and uncertainty!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

It was announced by the Islamic Information and Service Foundation that it was planning to distribute free to Malaysians one million translated copies of the Quran in Tamil, Chinese, English and Malay. Its purported goal was to lessen the misconception and alleviate the fear of Islam among non-Muslims.

This very notion in itself is already flawed and very misleading. In Malaysia, no non-Muslim has any fear at all of this religion. In fact non-Muslims in Malaysia know more about the religion than some of the followers themselves.

Islam has already been made as part of the curriculum in the national education policy. The students have already been made to be acquainted with the religion and there is no cause whereby they should be afraid of the religion. (more…)

Is Najib facing a rebellion?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

kadir najib2Kadir Jasin speaks of two recent developments that indicate not everyone in Putrajaya supports 1MDB.

Veteran journalist and persistent 1MDB critic A Kadir Jasin appears to be suggesting that some kind of rebellion, maybe not amounting to a revolt, is possibly brewing in the halls of power against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

In a blog entry today, he refers to two recent developments related to 1MDB – the reported Cabinet rejection of the company’s request for a cash injection to the tune of RM3 billion and the Public Accounts Committee’s call for an immediate audit of the company. (more…)

KC Vohrah: Ex-CJ Eusoff tried to subvert judge

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

In yet another expose of serious transgressions committed by the Malaysian judiciary, it has now been alleged that former chief justice Eusoff Chin tried to influence a Court of Appeal judge who was about to hear the appeal of the controversial Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case in 1995.

The subversion has been alleged by a now retired Court of Appeal judge who made the claims in an in-house publication of the Malaysian judiciary last year to mark the Court of Appeal’s 20th anniversary.

Former Justice KC Vohrah – who sat on the panel hearing the Ayer Molek appeal – wrote in his article that one of the judges of the three-member panel was asked to meet Eusoff. (more…)

For Mawan and Wong, ‘dacing’ is their only hope of salvation

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

When Sarawak BN chairman Tan Sri Adenan Satem said winnable candidates may also come from BN-friendly United People’s party (UPP) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), leaders of the two parties were quick to exploit the statement to their advantage.

Teras president Tan Sri William Mawan called it a test of loyalty and moral obligation of BN component parties when he said:

“It provides a test on whether the parties want to comply or not with what the chief minister had formulated and here lies their degree of loyalty and commitment to serve as members of the BN. (more…)

Enough is enough, Shafee

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

A total of eight, very learned and just men and women sitting as adjudicators in two of the highest and most noble Houses of Justice in this fair land of ours, have seen fit to unanimously decree that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is indeed guilty of sodomising one Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Despite protestations of innocence, prosecutorial impropriety and political conspiracy, we are theoretically obliged to accept this overwhelming conclusion without question and carry on with our lives, whilst Anwar – of course – repays his debt to society by being entertained as a reluctant guest at one of His Majesty’s gaols for the next five years. (more…)

February 27, 2015

Najib told to quit finance post over 1MDB failure

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak must resign from his position as finance minister for the failure of debt-ridden company 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to pay off its debts.

“He must do so in order for a full-time finance minister to take over his duties,” PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said in a statement today.

Pointing out how 1MDB’s failure was no longer a secret, Rafizi said those responsible for the company’s management and decisions must therefore resign before the government agrees to the cash injection in the form of an RM3 billion bailout. (more…)

Billions wasted on MOE’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ IT policy

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

1bestari2Good intentions wasted . . . Less than 5 per cent of teachers make daily use of the ICT facilities provided to them.

Malaysia’s “one-size-fits-all” 1BestariNet and ICT in Education Policy, which doesn’t consider the needs of schools, has wasted billions.

Why did the Auditor-General’s Report find that less than 5 per cent of teachers make daily use of the ICT facilities provided to them? (more…)

Australian immigration minister mum on Sirul

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

Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton was tight-lipped when asked to comment on former police corporal Sirul Azhar Umar.

Dutton said privacy laws in Australia are quite strict and prevented him talking about individual cases.

“It is difficult for Australian ministers to comment on ongoing matters because of privacy laws and the desire not to prejudice any matter that might be under consideration,” Dutton (left in photo) told reporters today.

He was asked for an update on Sirul Azhar, who is now under immigration detention in Australia where he fled to. (more…)

Putrajaya trying to kill any kind of opposition

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

malaysian flag2Its shotgun approach is initiated by Umno and is probably not supported by other BN parties.

This morning I listened to a local business station which carried an interview with Tom Greatex. He is a British Labour Party politician who is head of the All Party Committee on Malaysia of the UK Parliament. In the interview, although cautious, Greatex expressed great concern with the recent human rights record of the Malaysian Government, especially after all the big talk by the Prime Minister of doing away with the Sedition Act, of political reform and being moderate.

His visit follows the recent statement by the British Foreign Minister who, immediately after the Federal Court’s confirmation of Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction, said that Anwar’s case “raises worrying questions about the independence of the judiciary and rule of law in Malaysia. … The integrity of the rule of law is a key part of its success, as are the values of moderation and tolerance. We encourage Malaysia to recognise the importance of international confidence in its judicial system and to restore trust in its commitment to human rights.” (more…)

Malaysian-owned luxury homes project in London gets panned by locals

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

The Malaysian-owned Battersea Power Station project in London has become the ire of locals. – London property pic, February 26, 2015.The Malaysian-owned Battersea Power Station project in London is constructing million-pound homes, but they are beyond the reach of locals as developers target rich foreigners, reported the British daily The Guardian.

The 42-acre Battersea power station was brought for 400 million pounds in 2011 by a Malaysian consortium, the Battersea Power Station Development Company.

Developers SP Setia Sdn Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd each hold a 40% stake in the company, and the Employees Provident Fund the rest. (more…)

Bar Council: Unethical for Shafee to debate us

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

There will be no live debate between Sodomy II prosecutor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Bar Council president Christopher Leong because the Bar believes this is not ethical behaviour for a public prosecutor.

Leong said this after Multimedia and Communication Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek (below) urged the Bar to debate Shafee.

A public prosecutor speaks for the public office, Leong said, and any clarifications on the case must done in a “clinical, measured and dispassionate manner”.

“There certainly should be no place for roadshows or debates,” he said. (more…)

Will the government move to neutralise the highly vocal Bar Council?

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

“Just display a political party logo on its main doors,” Umno-owned Malay daily Utusan columnist Awang Selamat reportedly insinuated on the Bar Council’s apparent political leaning for seemingly defending Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Awang Selamat’s sentiments encapsulate brickbats from a minority group of more than 100 out of the 12,000 members of the Malaysian Bar, against Bar Council president Christopher Leong’s statement on the jailed opposition leader’s Sodomy II verdict.

Leong’s statement courted criticism from pro-establishment quarters when he used the term “persecution” instead of “prosecution” to describe the trial, conviction and eventual jailing of Anwar. (more…)

Speculation on early election as PM visits Sarawak

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s three-day visit to Sarawak, starting this evening, has sparked off speculation for an early state election as elaborate programmes have been laid down for him and his wife Rosmah Mansor.

During the visit, he is expected to meet with the state BN leaders to discuss the state’s preparations for the coming state election although there is no mention of him meeting them in the programme.

Political observers said that all programmes arranged for Najib and statements made by BN leaders seemed to point to an early election. (more…)

We are pro-rule of law and justice, not pro politics, says Bar Council

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

In a press release, the Bar Council wished to address some issues that have arisen in the past week. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 26, 2015.President of the Malaysian Bar Christopher Leong has defended the Bar’s apolitical stance, saying it was “pro-rule of law and justice” and was neither for the government or the opposition.

Leong said in a statement that the Bar’s move to take issue with the “professional conduct” of a certain prosecutor who has been going on a political roadshow to explain Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction was done out of concern for the rule of law and justice.

“The Bar raises these issues and asks questions because it is pro-rule of law and pro-justice. The Bar is neither pro-Opposition nor pro-Government,” Leong said in a statement tonight. (more…)

February 26, 2015

NYT’s Jho Low exposé connects dots, will it drive the nail home?

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

“There is nothing much new there,” said my friend a former business journo who had himself once traced the money trail left by rich-kid Low Taek Jho, better known by his moniker Jho Low from his hometown of Penang, to the Middle East, Europe, and finally all the way to the palatial penthouses of New York.

He was commenting on the series of ongoing exposés being run by US-based English daily the New York Times on the questionable foreign owners of luxury properties at the heart of the Big Apple.

The articles exposed links between the luxury properties in one particularly prestigious building with foreign personalities, both prominent and shady, including Malaysians like Jho Low. (more…)

Brothers’ stand indicate rift in Najib’s family?

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is not only facing pressure from his political opponents both within and outside of Umno. Things may not be so rosy on the family front as well.

Adding fuel into this cauldron of speculation was the rare statement issued by his four younger brothers, who expressed concern that their late father’s reputation is being soiled.

Hong Kong-based portal Asia Sentinel has earlier this month reported strained ties between Najib’s siblings and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, who since her husband came to power in 2009 has been the centre of a string of controversies surrounding her extravagant lifestyle. (more…)

‘Is Sarawak sincere in stopping illegal logging?’

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

The seizure of illegal logs worth more than RM47 million last year and early this year raises many questions which Sarawak PKR and the general public want answers to from the Forestry Department and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).“The war against illegal logging and timber cannot be deemed to be successful if it is without full transparency and accountability,” said Sarawak Wanita PKR leader and national PKR Wanita Vice-president  Voon Siak Ni said at a media conference Tuesday.

She said: “The campaign may look successful from the aspect of the seizure of the illegal logs but where are the guilty illegal loggers and sawmill operators?

“We are not convinced that while the illegal logs can be traced, the culprits who cut down these logs cannot,” Voon said when commenting on the recent statement on illegal logging by state Forestry Department Director Sapuan Ahmad. (more…)

How should a woman’s body be?

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

It is easy to conceal one’s insecurities; but it takes great courage to reveal some deep-seated fear and a very brave man to lay bare his soul, especially in a public confession. Lecturer and wannabe Malay, Ridhuan Tee Abdullah wrote in his column, that women’s bodies attract rapists. He caused outrage by blaming women for having alluring bodies, which aroused men.

Ridhuan’s remarks are revealing and most unusual. Does he feel uncomfortable in the presence of women? Has he great difficulty suppressing his sexual desires?”

Perhaps he has sexual issues and is confused about his sexuality. One person said, “Did his mother refuse to breastfeed him, as a baby?” (more…)

Of 100 lawyers and magicians in our midst

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

“What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes” – Harry Houdini

It can be safely said that the case of Anwar Ibrahim has manifested a clear divide – supporters of the conviction and sympathisers for the convicted.

A division, albeit in a different context, but a division no less, has now permeated within the legal profession.  This division appears to have drawn life from the press release issued by the president of the Malaysian Bar Christopher Leong on Feb 11, 2015.

Some members of the Malaysian Bar, totalling 100 or so (not quite the 300 Spartans of Thermopylae at this juncture) took offence as to the contents of the press release. (more…)

The conspiracy against Anwar

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

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of jailed leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, sent a petition for pardon to the palace this week. But a senior lawyer says such an application must be signed by Anwar himself. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 26, 2015.I am not a legal expert. I am a simple man on the street but just like everyone else I too have something to say on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case and the direction PKR is heading.

It is time that PKR leaders, members and us supporters wake up from our dream. The party is headless, directionless and confusing. The communications strategy has been poor, stale and people are not buying it.

We are recycling the conspiracy theories that Umno and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak plotted against Anwar and opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat.

There is even a duty roster to hold candles in front of Sungai Buloh prison! And we are making this the core agenda of PKR! (more…)

No GST on maintenance fees for all high-rise units, says deputy minister

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

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan gives out a pamphlet to a participant during a session explaining the goods and services tax at Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur today. –  The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, February 25, 2015.Maintenance fees for all types of stratified residential properties will now be exempted from the goods and services tax (GST), Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today.

He added that this was a shift in the government’s policy on the consumption tax which residents of low and low-medium cost apartments had feared would still be passed to them as consumers.

The exemption would apply to all types of apartments, condominiums and flats, he said of the tax that would be enforced starting April 1.

“I want to confirm the change of policy. All of it. Whether it is a condominium, flat, low or low-medium-cost apartment. All will be exempted from GST.” (more…)

Sarawak has no plans to repeal immigration policy, says Adenan

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

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem says the state government will not repeal its immigration policy to ensure problems in the peninsula will not affect the state. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 25, 2015.

The Sarawak government has no plans to repeal its immigration policy and regulation to ensure the peace and harmony of the multi-ethnic population in the state.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the existing immigration policy is one of Sarawak’s conditions for joining Malaysia as the state was full of outsiders and received external threats.

“The Malays, Chinese, Ibans, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu in Sarawak live in harmony without argument about religion as what happened in the peninsula (more…)

February 25, 2015

On our ‘world class’ tertiary education system

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

rosmah educationIt comes to mind that the idea of calling our local universities “world class” seems to be a bit of a stretch to many lawmakers and even the general public.

My thought on this is simply that such a statement would be relative. If you were to compare our universities to those in Libya, Iraq and current Syria, we would probably be better off.

However, the Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh instead chose to compare our universities to those in the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. (more…)

‘We won’t rank worst if EC did what parliament told’

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

Findings that Malaysia is the worst in the world in electoral boundaries raises doubts over whether the Election Commission (EC) had implemented recommendations by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform which convened in 2012, said PKR.

The Electoral Integrity Project’s 2014 report placed Malaysia as the worst in electoral boundaries among 127 countries surveyed, and in the bottom 25 overall.

However, the EC chief refused to comment on this saying that EIP did not contact it as a respondent for the survey. (more…)

Malaysia Media Circus over Murder Case

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

Malaysia Media Circus over Murder CaseAltantuya’s killer offers to talk, then refuses, law enforcement officials scornful of charges
As many expected, a Kuala Lumpur-based “telephone press conference” didn’t come off with convicted murderer Sirul Azhar Umar, who is sitting in an Australian detention center and has hinted to the independent news portal Malaysiakini at the identities of higher-ups who allegedly said they would pay him to kill the Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.

In what is rapidly becoming a media circus, officials of the fundamentalist opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia [PAS] made 15 calls, as a horde of reporters looked on, to Sirl’s phone in the Villawood high-detention facility but got only his voicemail. A second attempt later got through to the former elite police commando, who was convicted last December in Federal Court along with another police official, Azilah Hadri, of the murder of the 28-year-old expectant mother and translator but he refused to talk. Sirul fled to Australia last year after he and Azilah were temporarily freed by an appellate court on the murder charge. Azilah, however, stayed in Malaysia and is now in custody. (more…)

>Wealth talk taints dad’s name, say Najib’s brothers

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

The four brothers of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today expressed concern over news reports regarding inheritance said to be from their father, Malaysia’s second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein.

Speculation arose after the Prime Minister’s Office told the New York Times that Najib’s lifestyle is not unusual “for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy (of) family assets”.

In an unusual move, four of Najib’s younger brothers issued a rare “private” statement late this evening expressing worry that the name of their father, who was known for his “frugality”, could be tarnished by such talks of family assets. (more…)

With a clear vision, we should know what the nation’s priorities are

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

NajibWhen Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi assumed the premiership of Malaysia in 2003, his call was “Don’t work for me, work with me” which was a very smart slogan.

But as usual, slogan remained as slogan and nothing happened after that. It would have been a tremendous political asset to Abdullah if he had followed it with very substantive actions that would do justice to that slogan. In the end he was ousted as prime minister and Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over.

Najib came out with his 1Malaysia policy on 16 Sept 2010. This was meant to strengthen national unity, ethnic harmony and above all to make the government more efficient. But as it turned out, only the logo had been used for such establishments as 1Malaysia clinics and 1Malaysia people’s grocery stores. (more…)

Anwar’s family seeks last-minute royal pardon

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

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail hands over the petition to a representative from Istana Negara seeking a royal pardon for her husband and de facto party leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today. She was accompanied by her family. – Pic courtesy of Nurul Izzah Anwar, February 24, 2015.The family of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is seeking a royal pardon for his sodomy conviction, a PKR spokesperson confirmed today.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil told The Malaysian Insider that the initiative to seek a royal pardon for Anwar, who risked losing his Permatang Pauh seat, was done by the family and not the party.

The application for a royal pardon has been submitted to the Istana Negara.

Anwar’s 14-day deadline to file the application would expire at the end of today and he would have automatically been disqualified as Permatang Pauh MP. (more…)

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