Hornbill Unleashed

June 28, 2016

Adenan wants talks on second phase of devolution of power to start immediately

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

AdenanChief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem wants negotiations on the second phase of devolution of power on the state’s rights to start immediately now that the federal government has shown response to the state’s request for talks on these matters.

Commenting on the statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri on Saturday in which she noted that the federal government had been equally concerned and very responsive towards the request made by the governments of Sarawak and Sabah, he said he welcomed the approaches that were made.

“I welcome the statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri on administrative and constitutional empowerment in relation to our request to the federal government to consider the Cobbold Commission Report and recommendations, the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report and recommendations, the Malaysia Act and the Malaysia Agreement. (more…)

Wan Junaidi sees red over discriminatory table settings

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Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was angry after observing women sitting at smaller tables at his ministry's buka puasa event. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat IsaDatuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar chided officials from his natural resources and environment ministry for allegedly treating women as second-class citizens.

The Star reported today the minister was angry after observing women sitting at smaller tables at his ministry’s buka puasa event, saying that the tables for guests of both gender should be “balanced and of the same size”.

“Don’t let me walk away from the function I organise.

“Women are not second-class citizens. You listen, the people at the back,” he was quoted saying on the stage at the event.

Wan Junaidi, who had been seated at a big table with a few male VIPs, said he was surprised when he saw the table and its decorations.

Saying that the table was “as if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was coming”, Wan Junaidi also noted that he thought he was to sit to the left or right of the table.

“If you don’t have similar tables for both men and women, don’t come up with this kind of setting,” he added.

The Malay Mail Online

Cabinet reshuffled with eye on coming polls, analysts say

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

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arriving to announce a cabinet reshuffle, at Bangunan Perdana Putra in Putrajaya, June 27, 2016. — Bernama picChanges Datuk Seri Najib Razak made to his Cabinet indicate that the prime minister has shifted his attention to the next general election, after having overcome recent challenges to his leadership.

According to political observers, the new appointments showed that the prime minister was both rewarding loyalists who stood firmly beside him when he faced the height of opposition and shoring up support in key battlegrounds ahead of the coming poll.

Ibrahim Suffian who heads independent pollster Merdeka Center said the biggest clue was the selection of Selangor Umno chief Tan Sri Noh Omar as housing, urban well being, and local government minister, which he said would be a vital portfolio heading into the polls.

“It is clear that Najib is gunning to regain Selangor in the next election,” Ibrahim said. (more…)

Zaid opens Save Malaysia doors to ‘good man’ Husni

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

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (pic) has invited Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah to join the ‘Save Malaysia’ cause. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaDatuk Zaid Ibrahim, a key protagonist in the campaign to unseat Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, today extended an invitation to Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah to join the “Save Malaysia” cause.

Writing on Twitter, Zaid described Husni, who was once his colleague in Umno, as a “good man” who knew enough to want to do something for his country.

“Husni is a good man; and good people can’t stay in the cesspool for long,” he wrote.

Yesterday, it was announced that Husni had quit all his government and political posts. He will, however, remain the MP for Tambun, a seat he has held since 1995.

Husni did not explain his decision but according to Najib, the senior politician decided to quit for “personal reasons”. (more…)

Wanted: Muhyiddin, Mukhriz to break Umno

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

The usual route is out of Umno and into the opposition, but for former deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and ex-Kedah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, who were dropped from Umno for having shared the stage with the opposition, there are a few other options.

One of the option is joining the Citizens’ Declaration with former premier, while another easier one is to stay away until Umno changes leaders and then jumping in again.

The opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan knows this very well, but they have been in talks with the Umno rebel duo long before they were officially sacked from their party, hoping to persuade them to join forces.

Many in Pakatan Harapan parties DAP, PKR and Amanah, however, are not really in favour of taking in ex-Umno bigwigs into the coalition, as they feel that this would just make them a group of former wannabes. (more…)

See: Make public the powers to be devolved now

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

See Chee How

Sarawak, Sabah and the federal government must immediately make public the powers to be devolved to the two East Malaysian states, including details and scope of the autonomous power.

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said statewide town hall meetings and Sarawak-Sabah State Autonomy Key Areas Laboratories should also be immediately held to allow Sarawakians and Sabahans to give their feedback.

He said while agreeing with Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri that the procedures and processes of the devolution of power must be constitutionally correct, he believed both federal and state administrations must not ignore another significant aspect of it — legitimacy of the devolution.

“As a minister in the federal cabinet, Nancy Shukri should immediately take the necessary step to cause Parliament to be notified and to approve the legal and enabling provisions to devolve powers to Sarawak and Sabah, in accordance with the recommendations of the Cobbold Commission and Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) and the safeguards pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement,” he said in a statement yesterday. (more…)

Henry is first Lun Bawang leader ever appointed as deputy minister

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

Henry Sum Agong created history today by becoming the first leader from the Lun Bawang community ever appointed as a deputy minister in the federal cabinet.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak when announcing cabinet reshuffle in Putrajaya today, also announced Henry’s appointment as deputy minister of domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism.

Speaking to Bernama, Henry, who is Lawas MP, expressed his gratitude and proud to have been entrusted by BN top
leadership to help in the federal administration.

He said the Lun Bawang community also felt honoured with the appointment and truly appreciated the commitment of leaders at both federal and state levels, especially Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who had been so supportive to see Lawas’ development. (more…)

Cabinet reshuffle or PM’s new cushion?

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

Today’s cabinet reshuffling was expected, but what was not expected was the men who were brought in and the portfolios given to these personalities. Somehow, they just did not match.

On top of that, it is also surprising that despite the return of Chinese voters to the Barisan Nasional (BN) camp during the recent double by-elections of Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar, MCA – the BN’s Chinese arm – was not given any kind of boost.

Instead, Selangor BN got one foot in and even MIC which had seemed mouse-quiet, albeit all the scurrying and hell-raising within its own party, was given a shot.

Gerakan, a party that is considered to have the life of a fish out of water, was also rewarded – probably for its elegant silence on the PM’s misdoings. (more…)

Deputy minister foresees Dayak ire after Sarawak bypassed in Cabinet shakeup

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

Sarawak Iban leaders have expressed disappointment that following the resignation of Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (pictured), no one from the community has been appointed a full minister in the latest cabinet reshuffle. — File picDeputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said today he expects Sarawakians, particularly the Dayak community, to be upset that he was not made a full minister in today’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Nanta had been tipped for promotion after Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas resigned as plantations and commodities minister following the latter’s appointment as one of three Sarawak deputy chief ministers.

“The Dayaks have been very supportive of the Barisan Nasional in all the general as well as the state elections, so they want to see a few of them as full ministers in the federal government,” he said.

“So, naturally, the Dayaks will be upset,” the Kapit federal lawmaker told Malay Mail Online when contacted over the exclusion of his name in the new Cabinet line-up. (more…)

Two local entrepreneurs to showcase their startups in UK

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

Christy-Ng-ShoesThe recipe for success is creativity paired with hard work. This was proven by two local brains who now have the chance to pitch their online startups to international audiences.

The duo are Christy Ng Shoes founder Christina Mei Mei Ng, 29, and Touristly founder Aaron Sarma, 36.

They defeated 12 other hopefuls who today pitched their startups at the Malaysian Pitch@Palace event held here.

As a reward, they have been presented with the opportunity to pitch their online businesses at the 2016 edition of the UK-based Pitch@Palace event this December.

Present at the inaugural event this morning was the Duke of York Prince Andrew. (more…)

UK-Malaysia ties still strong even after Brexit

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

Vicki-TreadellThe United Kingdom’s historical decision to leave the European Union (EU) will not change the country’s relationship with Malaysia, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell said today.

“Our relationship with Malaysia is good, it’s strong and it is going to get even better. We have been friends for a long time.

“So we have a solid relationship and we will continue working on it,” she told the press when met on the sidelines of the Pitch@Palace event in Mandarin Oriental here.

Commenting on the global market’s volatility resulting from the UK’s surprising decision to exit EU in the Brexit referendum last Thursday, Treadell said that was expected as the market did not respond well to surprises. (more…)

Gov’t plans to allow only female doctors to assist in childbirth

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

The government plans to allow only female doctors to assist in childbirth at public hospitals, Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya said.

However, the plan is on hold because there are not enough female doctors in the obstetrics and gynaecology line, Hilmi told reporters in Balik Pulau yesterday.

“There are more female doctors (than male doctors) in public service but not many female doctors are interested in obstetrics and gynaecology.

“So we have to wait until there are more trained female doctors in this line,” Bernama reported Hilmi as saying, after distributing Hari Raya hampers and contributions to 50 patients at Hospital Balik Pulau. (more…)

Semporna Umno deputy chief says division not crippled by exodus

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

Umno Supreme Council has suspended vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (centre), who is also Semporna Umno division chief. — File picDespite the reported mass resignations of some 300 leaders in the Semporna Umno division yesterday, deputy chief Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran today insisted the chapter remained “intact”.

Nasir, who is Senallang state assemblyman, pointed out that 12 of the 20 elected committee members still held their posts.

“We are intact. The division is not dissolved despite some people saying it is,” he said when contacted today.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Umno division’s vice-chief Datuk Dr Jaujan Sambakong, its Youth chief Mohd Aziz Jamman, Wanita chief Manis Muka Dara and Puteri chief Zakiah Kalipunya announced their resignation from the party following an Umno Supreme Council decision to suspend vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who is also Semporna Umno division chief.

It was then claimed that 300 branch chiefs had also resigned in protest of the party’s alleged abuse of power in suspending Shafie. Both Shafie and Nasir were absent from the event. (more…)

Most parents willing to take on debt to fund kids’ education, survey finds

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

The survey on 411 Malaysian parents saw most of them willing to sacrifice their retirement savings or health insurance payments to ensure their kids get a good education. — File picMajority of parents here are willing to empty out their savings and go into debt to finance their children’s education even as concerns grow over cost, according to a HSBC Bank survey.

Foundations for the Future said in its latest Value of Education report series for HSBC that 57 per cent of the 411 Malaysian parents surveyed said they were willing to take up loans to fund their child’s university or college education despite having saved up earlier.

“Parents are willing to make big sacrifices for the sake of their children’s education.

“They invest time, energy and money — and some even risk their own financial security — to give the next generation a good life,” the bank said in a statement. (more…)

Man claims wife converted to get custody of children

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

Teng Wai Yee

A husband has alleged in a Court filing that his Muslim convert wife unilaterally converted their two children to Islam with the intention to obtain custody.

Lee Chang Yong, in his affidavit dated June 14 claimed that his estranged wife, Teng Wai Yee was using an “impure” tactic to obtain his daughter and son’s custody from him. “I believe that she unilaterally converted our children and had ‘planned’ when she converted to Islam last year,” he said.

“She also used a false address to register for the children’s conversion so that she could do it secretly and in a mala fide way,” he added. “The address on the siblings’ conversion certificates was not the same as Teng’s address or my home address.”

The 46 year-old businessman said in the affidavit that he found out that Teng, who is also known as Aleena Abdullah, did not send the children to school on May 11, and claimed she took them to recite the “Kalimah Shahadah” (affirmation of faith) to convert them to Islam. (more…)

In PM’s Dept reshuffle, is Azalina poised to take over law portfolio?

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

Speculation is rife that the upcoming reshuffle for ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department will see Azalina Othman Said taking over the law portfolio from Nancy Shukri.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed that there was such chatter going on.

However, Azalina herself said she was in the dark on this.

“I don’t even know what will happen in the next 10 minutes of my life, so how to know about this?

“Whatever it is, it is the prerogative of the prime minister to make any changes or directives,” the Pengerang MP told Malaysiakini.

Malaysiakini is attempting to get a response from Nancy, whose fate in the impending reshuffle is currently unknown. (more…)

Sarawak not getting respect, state opposition claims after federal Cabinet reshuffle

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

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen (right) with DAP's Pending state lawmaker Violet Yong Wui Wui at a press conference, June 28, 2016. ― Picture by Sulok TawieSarawak Opposition Leader Chong Chieng Jen accused Putrajaya today of failing to accord the Borneo state that the respect it deserves despite the consistent support it has given the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

To support his argument, the Kota Sentosa assemblyman cited Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s exclusion of a Sarawak MP to full ministership to replace PBB lawmaker Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who was the former federal minister of plantation industries and commodities.

“By right, Najib should have appointed a lawmaker from the state Barisan Nasional as full minister to show his respect, but instead, he exchanged it with a deputy minister,” Chong told reporters here.

He further criticised the national leadership, saying it is not the way to reward the state BN which had won by a landslide in the May 7 vote, keeping 72 out of 82 seats in the state legislative assembly. (more…)

80% fund children’s education from day-to-day income

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

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd RetailMore than 50% of Malaysian parents are willing to go into debt to fund their child’s education, on top of the fact that 80% of them are funding their child’s education from day-to-day income, a HSBC survey revealed.

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd Retail Banking and Wealth Management Country Head Lim Eng Seong said 92% of local parents were funding their child’s education and willing to make sacrifices and risk their own financial security as compared with 60% at the global level.

“Many parents think that funding a child’s education is more important than their other financial commitments like credit card repayment, insurance and contribution to retirement savings,” he said after releasing the Foundations for the Future, the latest report in HSBC’s The Value of Education series.

Asked on allocations for education, Lim said the percentage of allocation that should be set aside was between 10-15% of salary. (more…)

Brexit outcome: Schumacher’s lessons

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

Over 40 years ago, a British economist, E.F. Schumacher, published a collection of essays on the theme of “small is beautiful” which argued that the modern growth-obsessed economy is unsustainable.

Anticipating the present global warming and environmental crisis in our land and oceans, he noted that natural resources should be treated as capital, since they are not renewable and subject to depletion. He further argued that nature’s ability to fight and resist pollution is limited as well – a warning which has still not sunk deeply enough into the corridors of power all over the world.

Besides his somber – and now proven to be correct – message on environmentalism, he made the case for sustainable development and against inappropriate technology transfer to developing countries which, in his view, would not resolve the underlying problems of unsustainable economies.

Schumacher was also amongst the earliest economists to question the appropriateness of using gross national product and other pure economic indicators to measure human well-being. (more…)

Najib’s reshuffle kerfuffle

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What is the purpose of this Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and what agenda is he pursuing with it?

Opposition MPs are calling it “a temporary distraction” as “there is something strange” in the way things are done by Najib this time round. But then again, to the opposition, it is the same people being shuffled around, so it really does not make a difference.

This Cabinet reshuffle is the third since Najib took office post 2013 General Election (GE13).

His first reshuffling exercise was done in 2014 as fulfilling his promises to allocate ministerial positions for MCA and Gerakan that are Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties.

The Cabinet, the biggest in the Malaysian history was then reshuffled again in July 2015 when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin the then deputy prime minister, was replaced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. (more…)

June 27, 2016

Devolution must be constitutional and legitimate

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

See Chee How

The Sarawak and Sabah state government and the Malaysian federal government must immediately make public the list of matters of which the powers will be devolved from the federal government to the 2 East Malaysian states, the details and scope of the autonomous power and should immediately hold statewide Town Hall Meetings and Sarawak Sabah State Autonomy Key Areas Laboratories to allow all Sarawakians and Sabahans to understand the list of areas where autonomous power will be devolved to the Sarawak and Sabah, to have the necessary crucial information, allowing them to ask questions, present their opinions and views, and to make collective decision for the 2 East Malaysian states.

Agreeing with the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Puan Hajjah Nancy Shukri that the procedure and process of the devolution of power must be constitutionally correct, See alerted that the federal and state administration must not ignore another significant aspect of it, that is the legitimacy of the devolution.

“As a minister in the federal cabinet, Puan Hajjah Nancy Shukri should immediately take the necessary step to cause the Parliament to be notified and to approved the legal and enabling provisions to devolve powers to Sarawak and Sabah, in accordance with the recommendations of the Cobbold Commission and Inter-Governmental Committee and the safeguards pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement,” See explained. (more…)

Want a better future? Work within the system, emulate the Chinese, Dayaks told

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

Masing was previously with the now-defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak before co-founding PRS with Sng Chee Hua in 2004. — Picture by Sulok TawieThe Dayak community can have a brighter future by supporting the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and working from “within the system” than by fighting with the opposition to protect their customary land and rights, Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing said.

The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president added that he had learnt from experience that he could not help the Dayaks as an opposition politician for seven years from 1987 to 1994, The Borneo Post reported today.

“We fought hard because we thought we were right, but we couldn’t make it.

“But now we are part of BN, and as part of BN, we will support BN and work within the system for the betterment of the Dayak community. (more…)

Adenan hails Putrajaya’s decision to revisit 1963 Accord

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

adenan-satemsarawakSarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem has hailed the move by the Federal Government to consider the recommendations in the Cobbold Commission Report and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, besides the Malaysia Act and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“This means there’s some response from the Federal Government to our request for talks on these matters,” said Adenan in a statement. “I welcome the approaches made and start negotiations immediately.”

He was commenting on a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri on administrative and constitutional empowerment.

Adenan conceded the process would take sometime. “It’s complex and long drawn out but we are beginning to walk the talk now.

FMT Reporters

Citizenship offer a pack of lies, claims Indian NGO

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

The offer by the federal government to give citizenship to all permanent residents (PR) who are 60 years and above has been described as “laudable” by various quarters.

Although a similar campaign was conducted in June 2014, not everyone is happy about the offer.

“There seems to be a curious scheme behind all this needless campaigns,” said N Ganesan, a member of the Hindraf People’s Movement.

“A closer look will reveal the lies behind all of this,” he added.

Ganesan cited official statistics by the Special Implementation Task Force on the Indian Community (SITF) under the Prime Minister’s Department which has estimated that there are still more than 30,000 people with non-citizen status. (more…)

Malaysia does not need more than 20 ministers

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

The impending cabinet reshuffle provides a chance for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to make transformative changes to the currently dysfunctional cabinet structure.

Three key areas of reform are:

1) Reduce the number of ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department;

2) Appoint a full-time finance minister; and

3) Reduce the size of the cabinet to about 20 ministers.

Najib’s second-term cabinet was formed on May 15, 2013, following the fifth May 2013 general election. The cabinet was subsequently reshuffled on June 25, 2014, and July 28, 2015. (more…)

Zaid urges Dr M to redeem himself, give birth to new M’sia

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad is now in a suitable position to redeem himself and lead the formation of a new Malaysia, said one of his stalwart supporters, Zaid Ibrahim.

Zaid said the former prime minister only had to persuade Malays to form a “real coalition of opposition forces”, as well as rally the existing opposition to unite for a common cause that was bigger than just toppling BN.

“Mahathir now has the best chance to give birth to a new Malaysia – and to redeem himself – if he truly wants all Malaysians to live together happily, as equals, to become a prosperous and liberal democracy as stated in Vision 2020,” Zaid said in a blog entry today.

However, he was sceptical that many would join this new opposition. (more…)

Perdana Foundation says it gets no gov’t funds, just rental

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The Perdana Leadership Foundation led by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied it receives government funding.

In a statement last night, the foundation clarified the government only pays rental for an office space in its premises.

This follows Umno president Najib Abdul Razak last Friday announcing the party supreme council has decided the government should cease funding the foundation.

The prime minister added the government should terminate all the staff there, as the office had allegedly been use “as a centre to topple the government by unconstitutional means”.

“We refer to the recent news reports which state the government will be ‘asked to cease all forms of financial contributions to the foundation including all allocation for its maintenance and also its employees provided for the running of the Foundation.’

“The foundation has had no funding from the government related to its management and/or the staff employed by it.

“The government’s involvement in the foundation is purely as a tenant of the tenanted premises for use as the office of the fourth prime minister, for which the government is paying the rentals,” said the foundation.

“The government is also responsible for the salaries of the civil service officers who are assigned to the former prime minister’s office located in the premises,” it added.


Ahead of national polls, Sarawak and Sabah reform parties undergo rebranding exercise

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Soo explained that the name change was to better portray the party as a 'truly Sarawakian and regional party'. — Picture by Sulok TawieThe Sarawak State Reform Party (STAR) and its Sabah counterpart are to go their separate ways after the Sarawak chapter changed its name at its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Bau yesterday.

Now, the Sarawak chapter is known as the Sarawak Reform Party (REFORM), its president Lino Soo told Malay Mail Online today.

She explained that the name change was to better portray the party as a “truly Sarawakian and regional party”.

“It is also part of a rebranding exercise for REFORM to face future elections, starting with the general election due in 2018,” she said. (more…)

Hellfire awaits the corrupt, warns Dr M

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

One cannot use religion to justify vote-buying because hell fire awaits the corrupt, said former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said those who give or receive bribes may not be caught, but they cannot escape divine retribution in the afterlife.

“Givers and recipients of bribes must remember that while they may be able to escape in this lifetime, in the afterlife, the same bribe would not be able to save them from hell fire,” he said in a blog post today.

Referring to the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, he said giving away rice and electrical products is also a form of bribery.

Worse, he said, the recipients were reportedly told to take an oath in the name of God that they will vote for a certain party.

“So if they do not vote a certain way, the giveaway becomes haram (forbidden) for them to consume or use…

“In fact, the giveaway is haram because it is a bribe. Corruption is corruption and it is not halal for either giver or recipient,” he said.

Gerakan and MCA had given out rice to constituents during the campaign period, while both Pakatan Harapan and BN parties gave away electrical appliances at events, some under the guise of “lucky draws”.


All tangled up over the saree

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

There will be Malaysians who do not think before they write (or speak) and there will be Malaysians who continue to be petty. With the advent of social media, no one lives in a cocoon anymore and even a small wrong step can be used to lynch you.

The Ipoh City Council found it the hard way when a circular inviting its staff to a special Hari Raya Aidilftri gathering on July 1 had these words under Attire: Malays – National Dress, Non-Malays – Festival Dress of each, except Saree.

Later, it was reported that the Ipoh City Council has clarified that its employees are not disallowed from wearing traditional saree at its special Aidilfitri gathering on July 1.

“In a statement Saturday, the council said there had been a misinterpretation to the dress code in the invitation sent out to its staff. (more…)

Prudence is just not you, Mr PM

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

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in a message to the rakyat in preparation for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, says Muslims must spend prudently and “What is more important and meaningful is not in wearing new clothes but in having a bond of friendship and togetherness among us”.

As much as there is truth in what he says, the factors weighing on him at present just does not cut him out to say such things.

For, Najib who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, is not only seen to be well to do but has also been said to live a luxurious life (look at the interiors of the house he tweeted his buka puasa tweets from).

He was also alleged to have pocketed RM2.6 billion into his own account (albeit claimed to have returned most of it), and much shopping is said to have been done by his own family members on handbags and what-nots, not to mention allegations of travelling on private jets. Thus, Najib should know better than to advise anyone on spending prudently. (more…)

Brexit: How much of a generation gap?

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

Remain supporter Elizabeth Mayfield, 19, looked on in despair as the referendum results came in.

“And she knew who she blamed – an older generation that she sees as having secure jobs and gold-plated generous pensions, people who had caused house prices to soar and plunged the country into debt.

“I’m annoyed that baby boomers have messed things up for us again,” says Mayfield, a student at Staffordshire University.

“They’ve voted for something that’s not going to really affect them. They’re not going to have to deal with the consequences.”,” BBC News reported.

It has been a common refrain on social media. Brexit would ruin “a whole generation’s future despite them voting against”, said one Tweeter. Another added: “Thank you baby boomers for the last nail in my generation’s coffin.” (more…)

Did BN score really big in by-elections?

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

The two by-elections outcome was never in doubt. However, the size of the BN majorities has produced an outpouring of analysis from all sides and shades of the political spectrum.

From the government and its support side, there is undoubted relief, especially for the embattled Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. A loss would have imperiled – perhaps toppled – Najib. It was a victory that was savoured as it was larger than most expected.

But was it really “such landslide results” as exulted by the Prime Minister? And so grievous a loss as lamented by the opposition leaders?

One way of viewing the outcome is not simply to view the BN majorities obtained in the two constituencies. The Sungai Besar majority of 9,191 and Kuala Kangsar’s 6,969 were certainly a vast improvement over the simple majorities of 399 and 1082 obtained in 2013. However, the combined BN votes for the two constituencies was 29,453 as against the combined opposition vote of 25,114. (more…)

Aye to new party for Muhyiddin, Mukhriz, Shafie, Facebook poll shows

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

Mukhriz and Muhyiddin were expelled from Umno last Friday, putting an end to over a year of their criticism against the Malay party led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaA new Malay Muslim party may soon emerge in Malaysia if supporters of Umno dissidents Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had any say.

Mukhriz’s fan club started a poll on its Facebook page today asking Internet users if thetrio should set up a new political party, adding that their vote “yes” or “no” might sway either leader to form one.

As at 2pm, the survey has drawn over 5,500 “likes” and 1,300 comments. The Facebook page instead has over 221,000 supporters and most of the comments appear to be supportive of a new party as mooted by sacked Umno deputy president Muhyiddin yesterday when he disclosed he was looking for a “new political platform”.

One Facebook user named Bentara Putera whose comment drew over 100 “likes” voted for a new party, but added a caveat. (more…)

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

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

Last week we heard two incidences which deserve mention for their callous bigotry and blatant racism, and need to be called out.

The first is the now infamous invitation from the Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI) which clearly illustrates the problem we have in this country, where a minority group insists, consciously or unconsciously, on emphasising on racial divisions and the politics of divide and rule. Insisting on putting us into boxes of control to the point that they would dictate to us what we, as individuals and as communities, should wear.

I wouldn’t be surprised if these bureaucrats are bewildered by the ruckus which resulted on social media once the invitation was shared online and went viral. They might have even found it hard to comprehend what was wrong with excluding the wearing of the saree.

Perhaps it is a lot to read into from a seemingly innocuous invitation but this is what happens when the civil service is overwhelming comprised of a particular ethnicity and is allowed free reign to impose their religious values on others. They feel entitled. (more…)

Ganging-up to fight BN won’t work, Zaid tells Opposition

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

Zaid-IbrahimOpposition parties ganging-up to fight Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next General Election will not help save the country from further ruin as this form of unity is superficial and short-lived.

Former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim said this in his latest blog posting when commenting on the call by Anwar Ibrahim that Opposition parties stay united in their fight against BN after taking a beating in the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections due to split votes in both constituencies.

Zaid also said Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir, just sacked from Umno, should not bother finding a new political platform to fight BN as what was needed more was a new political struggle of substance.

“Find a new political struggle. Find the substance,” Zaid implored. (more…)

Najib reshuffles cabinet amid speculation of snap poll

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

NajibPrime Minister Najib Razak Monday announced a cabinet reshuffle, including promoting a trusted ally to manage the economy, in what analysts said could be preparation for a snap election.

Najib, 62, who has survived a massive financial scandal linked to state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), said the shake-up would bolster his administration.

“The reshuffle will boost the government’s ability to pursue development programmes as promised,” he said in a statement.

Analysts and politicians said the reshuffle showed Najib could weather the affair — related to hundreds of millions of dollars of 1MDB money which went missing in complex overseas transactions that have never been fully explained. (more…)

How can the opposition create another Ijok?

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

A week has now passed since the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar twin by-elections on June 18, 2016. Many commentaries and analyses have been written regarding the results.

Having read through most of them, I hope to set the by-election results in the larger context of by-elections which have taken place since the 1999 general election. By doing so, I hope that we can identify the factors which are important for Pakatan Harapan to take into account, moving forward, and some of the issues which are perhaps not as important in the larger scheme of things.

There have been a total of 42 by-elections since the 1999 general election – eight between 1999 and 2004, six between 2004 and 2008, 16 between 2008 and 2013 and 12 since the 2013 general election. (See Table 1 below)

The incumbent party won 34 out of 42 by-elections (81 percent). Of these 34 by-elections, 22 were in BN-held seats and 12 in opposition-held seats. In other words, unless there are unique circumstances, the incumbent, which is BN in most cases, will usually win by-elections. (more…)

Cabinet reshuffle: Noh Omar returns, Husni quits MOF

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

Najib said Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah has resigned due to personal reasons. — Picture by Saw Siow FengSelangor Umno chief Tan Sri Noh Omar is once again a federal minister, this time in charge of Housing, Urban Well Being, and Local Government, as part of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s latest Cabinet reshuffle announced today.

Barisan Nasional (BN) strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan will take over as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the Economic Performance Unit (EPU), Najib told a press conference at his office today.

“I would also like to announce that Finance Minister II, Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah, has decided to quit the government due to personal reasons,” he said.

He will be replaced by current Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.

Abdul Rahman will replace Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, who was not reappointed as senator after his term ran out earlier this month. (more…)

June 26, 2016

Penans weaving their life to modernity

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

A map of Penan villages in Miri Division.The newly set up Miri Women Weaving Association (MWWA) registered on March 14, 2016, primarily to help needy nomadic and semi-nomadic Penans in Limbang and Miri divisions, made a good start with their recent sales of baskets and bags.

Association founder and advisor Shida Mojet said RM10,774 were raised through the sale of the products, all weaved by the Penans themselves with materials donated by the association and the public.

All proceeds were given back to the Penans to improve their quality of life, including revolving fund for the weaving project.

The aim is to assist the Penans to adapt to modernity, educate them on income generation for sustainability and help their children get formal education.

Why Penans and what are their needs? (more…)

Is racism the Malaysian norm?

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

Ever since the news broke about the residents at Waja Apartments in Taman Tun Perak, Cheras openly displaying a banner urging realtors to refrain from renting condominium units to African tenants (‘Say No to African People’), I have waited to see if there would be protests by Malaysians, especially politicians and community leaders, against this blatant racism.

I was sadly disappointed. After all this time, it is only former Miss Malaysia-Universe Deborah Henry who has protested against this blatant racism, saying it is unfair to generalise and stereotype a community for the mistakes of a few: “There’s a thin line between racism and discrimination. One bad person doesn’t equate to an entire community.”

She criticised the action of displaying racist banners in residential areas as unhealthy, saying that instead, these issues need to be dealt with appropriately. It has been reported that such banners against Africans have cropped up in Shah Alam and the Sunway area as well. (more…)

‘Brutal Miri shooting has no place in Sarawak’

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

Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali HasanWhat happened in Miri recently should not have happened in the first place, says Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He strongly condemned the fatal shooting that took the life of PKR Miri secretary Bill Kayong on Tuesday, labelling the killing as ‘having no place in Sarawak’.

“The incident has tainted Sarawak’s pride of being a state that is famous for its peace, harmony and high tolerance among people of different races and religions.

“What happened in Miri (shooting) which took the life of a man should never have happened,” Awang Tengah said after the handover of annual donations by Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) to 59 welfare bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at Wisma Sumber Alam here yesterday. (more…)

Pagoh Umno rejects Muhyiddin’s sacking, slams ‘character assassination’

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

Pagoh Umno and its Youth wing are both standing behind sacked deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, after he was expelled in a unanimous decision at the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.

“The Pagoh Umno branch chiefs have decided to reject the supreme council’s decision to sack Muhyiddin,” said Pagoh Umno information chief Hairul Izam Abd Samat at a press conference recording uploaded by China Press today.

He said one of the reasons they have rejected this decision is because it did not follow proper procedure as stated in the party’s constitution, as Muhyiddin had not been called to defend himself.

Muhyiddin had also been chosen as the party deputy president and Pagoh Umno chief by Umno members throughout the country, said Hairul in the video.

Pro-EU London mourns Britain’s decision to leave union

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

London voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining a member of the European Union in Thursday’s referendum. But its residents awoke to the jarring reality that Britons elsewhere had opted to sever ties with the EU, leaving them to grapple with an unexpected future.

On London’s Parliament Square, underneath the impressive clocktower of Big Ben, the fears and anxieties churning in the stomachs of many pro-EU residents of the British capital were not immediately obvious on Friday.

Just one day after more than 17 million voters decided to end Britain’s 43-year relationship with the European Union, the red double-decker buses with open tops were still lurching and braking their way through the city traffic.

Tourists snapped photographs in front of an old-fashioned telephone booth, and commuters hustled along the sidewalks, paper cups of to-go coffee in hand. (more…)

The impact of Brexit on Penang and Malaysia

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

The UK has defied expectations from opinion polls and bookmakers and voted to leave the European Union (EU). Apart from the inevitable plunge in the pound sterling (GBP) and drop in appetite for risk assets, we highlight the economic implications for Penang and Malaysia in four areas:

First, the UK economy is likely to head into a short term recession due to the loss in confidence and the uncertainty surrounding the process of exiting. However, with the GBP sharply lower and with the Bank of England providing stimulus, the negative impact will be mitigated.

Although the UK and Malaysia have long trading relationship, bilateral trade between the two countries have not been large recently. According to the Department of Statistics, exports to the UK ranges between RM10.5 billion (2004) to RM9.3 billion (2015); whilst imports from the UK ranges between RM6.6 billion (2004) to RM7.1 billion (2015). (more…)

‘Vacant ministerial post must be filled by a Sarawakian MP’

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

The vacant ministerial post left by Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in the federal cabinet must be filled by a Sarawakian member of Parliament, said Deputy Chief Minister James Jemut Masing today.

The vacancy is for a Sarawakian and hoped that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak would pick the correct person to replace Uggah.

“There are 14 MPs from Sarawak. Whoever replaces him must be a person who fits the bill,” he said.

Masing was met by reporters after opening a legal firm, Ling Sempurai Hii & Partners Advocates, in Sibu today.

Asked from which party the member of Parliament would be to replace Uggah, he said he did not know, but if Najib so decided that his party – Party Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) was eligible, Masing would appreciate that. (more…)

Look beyond ousting Najib, Rafizi urges Muhyiddin and Mukhriz

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

Sacked Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and supreme council member Mukhriz Mahathir need to look beyond ousting Najib Abdul Razak as prime minister, said PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli.

This was after the Umno supreme council yesterday unanimously jettisoned the duo from the party, and also suspended Umno vice president Shafie Apdal, another critic of Najib.

Rafizi said the room for ousting Najib internally from within Umno is closing, as the prime minister consolidates his power.

“Any hope for Najib to be removed through other means apart from the electoral process, appears difficult as the space in Umno is being shut down. (more…)

Don’t do a Brexit on M’sia, Rafizi urges young voters

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

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli has urged young voters not to allow a Brexit-like situation in Malaysia.

He explained that young voters in the United Kingdom were strongly in support of the country remaining in the European Union (EU) but their turnout fell short during the referendum, leading to a Brexit, or Britain’s exit, from the EU.

“In the referendum yesterday, the turnout of youths was lower compared to their elders.

“Even though they (the youths) were strongly in support of remaining in the EU, older voters who had a stronger turnout, were the deciding factor.

“It is now too late for the youths in the UK. I hope the same situation will not happen to the youths of Malaysia, if they understand the phenomenon in the UK,” he said in a statement today. (more…)

Anwar twists opposition’s ears over twin polls blame game

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

Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has reached out from behind bars to ‘twist’ the opposition parties’ ears over the ongoing blame game, after losing to BN in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.

“The opposition must look at this electoral outcome with humility, and take a hard look at our weaknesses.

“This is no time for excuses or blame,” said the jailed politician in a statement through his lawyers.

Although he is in prison, he said he understood how the results of the recent by-elections do seem to be disappointing to many who have pinned their hopes upon the opposition, to save Malaysia from the current government which he labelled as an “oppressive, corrupt and morally bankrupt regime”.

He said without a change of administration, Malaysia has no hope of a better future or regaining the respect of the world, noting that even though local authorities had washed Prime Minister Minister Najib Razak clean of all complicity in alleged wrongdoings, the latter is nevertheless at the centre of a financial scandal of global proportions. (more…)

Dr M admits corruption in his time but says Najib achieved new heights

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

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that there was corruption during his administration but said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has now taken things to an all new level.

Mahathir said this during an interview with Al Jazeera’s UpFront host Mehdi Hasan, who grilled him about corruption when he was prime minister as well as his campaign against Najib.

“There is corruption in every country. It is the level that counts. I admit that during my time, there was corruption.

“But not on the scale that Najib is involved in, running into billion and billions – tens of billions of ringgit.

“That has never been done or heard of in this country,” he said. (more…)

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