Hornbill Unleashed

January 15, 2017

Sarawak education, beyond the ordinary

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:56 AM

c_pc0019190MOBILE phones are banned in schools – for the good of the school children.

All parents know that. But school administrators are always bothered with confiscating devices, keeping them, listening to pleas of parents, drawing up rules and notices. Unnecessary hassle that will never go away, it seems.

A tech-savvy mother offered this solution: a smartwatch for children which can double as a tracker and locator with attractive band that cannot be removed without a special tool.

Very much a cyber nanny or police, the smartwatch is installed with a GPS system to pinpoint the exact location of the child with a location map on the smartphone or computer of the parent. (more…)

January 20, 2017

No let-up in pursuit of state’s rights – CM

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:03 AM

Image result for Abang Johari Tun OpengChief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg gave his assurance yesterday that the state government will pursue the matter of devolution of power to Sarawak with the federal government.

Giving his first press conference since he was sworn in as the sixth Chief Minister of Sarawak last Friday following the demise of Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, he said the state would continue to negotiate with the federal government, especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, on the rights of Sarawak brought up by Adenan.

“I will pursue the devolution of power. I am very fortunate because I was in the main committee in the process of the negotiation for devolution of power. Therefore, I will continue with what has been negotiated on various subjects within the context of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Malaysian Constitution,” he said after the swearing-in of the new state cabinet at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here yesterday. (more…)

By-election: PKR to meet next week

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:03 AM

Image result for PKR SarawakPKR Sarawak will meet next week to discuss their position with regards to the Tanjung Datu by-election.

Its chairman Baru Bian said a statement would be issued after consultation with the party’s local leaders and a consensus reached.

“We note the announcement today (yesterday) of the nomination and polling dates for the Tanjung Datu by-election to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of former chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday announced Feb 18 as the by-election for Tanjung Datu. Nomination of candidates will be held on Feb 4, while early voting will take place on Feb 12. (more…)

PBB to decide Tanjong Datu by-election candidate this week

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:03 AM

Aband Jo said he does not know how many potential candidates will be submitted to the supreme council for consideration. — Picture by Sulok TawieParti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) will name its candidate for the Tanjong Datu state by-election at its supreme council meeting this Saturday, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg said today.

However, the PBB acting president said he does not know how many potential candidates are under consideration by the supreme council.

“Yes, we will decide on the name of the candidate at the meeting,” he told reporters after witnessing the swearing of state ministers and assistant ministers by the Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at the State Assembly Building here.

Among those widely mentioned as potential candidates are Puan Seri Jamilah Anu, the wife of the late Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, and their two sons, Abdul Aziz and Azizul Annuar. (more…)

BN/PBB hopes Tanjung Datu by-election uncontested

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:02 AM

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman HamzahAssistant minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes to see Barisan Nasional (BN) and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) win Tanjung Datu uncontested in the Feb 18 by-election.

He said winning the seat — which is vacant following the demise of Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem — uncontested “is a very good way to finish it off.”

The Assistant Minister for Housing said: “From what we have seen since the passing of Datuk Patinggi (Adenan), you can see he is very much loved by the people.”

“We know it is democracy and that anybody can contest. But then as a sign of last farewell for his area, we’d love to see (BN-PBB) win uncontested,” he said when met by reporters after the swearing-in ceremony at the State Legislative Assembly Complex here yesterday. (more…)

New CM says no to Umno

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:02 AM

Image result for Abang Johari Tun OpengChief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has given his assurance that Umno will not enter Sarawak.

“As long as I am the chief minister and leader of Sarawak I will not allow Umno to come in,” he told a packed press conference after the swearing-in of the state cabinet and assistant ministers at the State Legislative Assembly here yesterday.

His assurance was a relief to Sarawakians who feared he might let Umno enter the state after he took over the helm of the state government.

The press conference was the first by Abang Johari since he was sworn in as the sixth chief minister of Sarawak last Friday following the demise of Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem. (more…)

Adenan’s successor vows ‘no let up’ in reclaiming Sarawak rights

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:02 AM

New Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg (right), with his deputy Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, speaking to reporters after the swearing of state Cabinet Ministers, January 19, 2017. — Picture by Sulok TawieSarawak will not stop pressing Putrajaya for its rights under the Malaysia Agreement, state Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg said today.

Abang Johari pledged to continue his predecessor Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s autonomy initiatives and said the state Cabinet members will work as a team.

“There will be no let up in our negotiations to reclaim our rights from the federal government,” he told reporters after the swearing in of state ministers and assistant ministers by the Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at the State Legislative Assembly building here.

“We will pursue with the federal government, especially with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on the devolution of power to the state,” he added. (more…)

Putrajaya loses final bid to claim compensation from Bersih over damages

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 AM

A Federal Court panel today reportedly dismissed Putrajaya’'s application for leave to appeal a previous ruling by the Court of Appeal in Bersih 2.0's favour. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe federal government today lost its final bid to sue electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 for property damages during the latter’s third mega rally in 2012.

A Federal Court panel today dismissed Putrajaya’s application for leave to appeal a previous ruling by the Court of Appeal in Bersih 2.0’s favour and did not give an order on costs.

The panel was chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and also composed of judges Tan Sri Hasan Lah and Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin.

“We won the Bersih 3 case, for the third time. Judge threw out the application, no more appeals. Done and dusted,” the group said on its official Twitter account. (more…)

Despite minister’s remarks, dress code controversy lives on

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 AM

A man carrying a baby walks past a sign enforcing a dress code, outside a government building in Kuala Lumpur, July 15, 2015. Former banker Jude Hazzim’s wife was allegedly confronted by security at the Seremban Land and District Office last month due to her attire. — Reuters picAnother incident of dress codes at government agencies has occurred, just a little over a year after a federal minister said these should not be enforced on visitors.

The latest occurrence was at the Seremban Land and District Office last month, when former banker Jude Hazzim’s wife was allegedly confronted by security due to her attire.

Jude said she informed him that she was reprimanded over her sleeveless blouse and jeans, after which he went to confront the security personnel.

He said they then ignored the security personnel over the matter, and proceeded to the office to complete their transactions. (more…)

UM candlelight vigil tonight for undergrads caught in disciplinary action over rallies

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 AM

Anis Syafiqah said students will hold a candlelight vigil to show support for undergraduates facing disciplinary action from their universities over their participation in rallies. — Picture by Ida LimStudents will hold a candlelight vigil tonight to show support for 13 undergraduates who are facing disciplinary action from their universities over their participation in peaceful rallies.

Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, chairman of student group Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia, told Malay Mail Online that the vigil outside Universiti Malaya’s Kuala Lumpur entrance at 8pm tonight is intended to be in “solidarity” with these students.

“Yes, show of solidarity to all that have been called up and have been taken action on. Now there is already 13 of them,” she said when contacted today.

According to Anis Syafiqah, the list of undergraduates hauled up for disciplinary action so far include four from UM and one from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) over a Tangkap MO1 peaceful assembly, a student from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) over a Tangkap MO1 rally and the Bersih 5 rally last year. (more…)

Bad economy won’t help Pakatan do better in GE14, analysts say

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 AM

Political analysts say the Opposition will need to redouble its efforts to win over rural support. — Picture by Saw Siow FengPakatan Harapan is unlikely to enlarge their voter support for the 14th general election by tapping concerns over the dull economy and weaker ringgit alone, analysts said.

Faisal Hazis from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said one of the reasons that Election 2008 and Election 2013 saw tight competition between the federal Opposition and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) was due to Malaysians feeling the economic pinch amid rising living costs.

But he noted that Malaysia’s relatively low unemployment rate and inflation rate meant its economic squeeze was not as severe as countries in the Middle East which experienced uprisings. Instead, he believes that such economic concerns would, like the previous two elections, only turn the urban voters away from BN.

“Economy is still a factor but more a factor in urban areas, not so much in rural areas, although people are increasingly affected by the economic squeeze,” the associate professor told Malay Mail Online when contacted. (more…)

This is why Umno always has the advantage

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

“An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.”

– Albert Einstein

There are only two kinds of politicians. The first, the kind who knows what is really going on and wants to profit from it and the second, who knows what is really going on and wants to change it. Please do not assume that the former is Umno/BN and the latter is the opposition. That would be a mistake.

I have to admit, of late I find myself estranged from mainstream oppositional politics. I have really no interest in the 1MDB corruption scandal because I know that we are already a “global kleptocracy” (have been for some time ) and that the Umno hegemon is doing everything in its power to retain its death grip on Malaysia. (more…)

Shameful injustice

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

What is the cost of one human life? What if the person is an Islamic State (IS) terrorist? Does his life cost any less? What if the person is a Palestinian? What about an Israeli? Are there different rules of human value for different peoples? What would be that basis? Would it be colour or ethnicity or looks or brains? What then do we humanly mean by rule of law, in any state; is it not more like, all men are brothers, but some are more equal than others?

Recently, a court in Israel found a soldier “guilty of manslaughter, rather than murder”. I do not know the full facts of the case, nor am I really too interested in specifics, but suffice to know that I heard three versions of news reports on the matter; from Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN. To me, it was a simple case story of an act of cold-blooded murder.

All three channels spoke of “obvious and willing killing of the injured Palestinian with a shot through his forehead by that lone soldier”. It was a military court in Israel that found him guilty of manslaughter but my question is, why was it reframed as “manslaughter” when it was obvious that the criminally-convicted soldier knew that the Palestinian was already badly injured and “essentially captured”? (more…)

Malaysia does not need a miracle, it needs a functional opposition

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

“Justice can sleep for years and awaken when it is least expected. A miracle is nothing more than dormant justice from another time arriving to compensate those it has cruelly abandoned. Whoever knows this is willing to suffer, for he knows that nothing is in vain.”

– Mark Helprin (Winter’s Tale)

While I have always been sceptical of anything that comes out of the Penang Institute, I thought Ooi Kok Hin’s article in the Diplomat hit the target but missed the bullseye. I have argued in various pieces that ultimately what would bring down the Umno house of cards is an economic calamity brought upon by “ketuanan economics” and not any stratagems that the opposition comes up with.

I began the year by saying – “No matter how the government spins it, the economy is in bad shape. And when it gets bad enough, when the money runs out and when political bromides from either side isn’t enough to fill empty bellies, people on their own accord will take to the streets.” (more…)

January 19, 2017

Enforcement, not more laws

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

Najib Abdul Razak has the King Midas’ touch and whatever he handles turns to gold. He used the proceeds from the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) and turned it into a money spinner, called the 1MDB.

Although it brought the rakyat little good and a lifetime of debt, Najib has profited most from 1MDB. It allegedly helped him achieve a ‘win’ in GE13 and maintained his power in Umno Baru.

Despite worldwide condemnation of Malaysian human rights abuses and widespread corruption, the protestations of a former PM, Mahathir Mohamad, and several senior former Umno Baru politicians, Najib is still ‘king’ of the pack and appears invincible.

Like other Malaysians, Najib tends to do things for money. Or prestige. Or power, but rarely for altruistic reasons. The prime minister is supposed to be leader of a multicultural nation, but he is only vocal on Malay matters. When the occasion demands, he will fight for the rights of Muslims, forgetting that the nation has people belonging to many faiths. (more…)

Voon questions powers of PAC to prevent public fund leakages

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

Voon Shiak NiParti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Women national vice-president Voon Shiak Ni questioned the extent of the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) powers and responsibility in curbing the leakage of public funds in the country which is increasingly frustrating the public.

Voon, who is PKR Stampin branch vice-chairperson, pointed out that people were frustrated to see incidents of leakages reported year after year, including in the implementation of development projects.

“Leakage of public funds is a national problem that eats into the coffers. As a result of this, it strips the people of and compromises the projects which are meant for them,” she said in a press statement yesterday.

Citing an example, Voon said it was frustrating to read the news about Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad who admitted that there were ‘leakages’ in Felda. (more…)

Adenan, the ‘Tuan Lawyer’ who loves hunting and angling

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

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem passed away on January 11 due to heart complications. — File picWhenever close friends of the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem were told that ‘Tuan Lawyer’ was visting Sematan, they instantly knew what they had to do.

They would start making preparations to provide food and water as supplies for outdoor pursuits such as mousedeer hunting, angling or netting fish with Adenan in various areas such as Simunsam, Telok Serabang, Pulau Talang Talang or beaches around Sematan.

Sharing his experience with this writer, Sematan Pemanca (community leader) Bujang Zally Man, 74, said the late Adenan indulged in those activities even before serving as the Tanjong Datu state assemblyman.

His love for such pursuits continued when Adenan was elected as the Tanjong Datu in 2006. (more…)

Analysts: Chinese deputy CM in new S’wak cabinet unlikely

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

Speculation on whether Sarawak will have a Chinese deputy chief minister has been pooh-poohed by analysts.

University of Tasmania’s James Chin said the expectations that newly-minted Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg would make such a move were unrealistic.

“It will be a minor reshuffle. Abang Johari likely to keep the same formula where PBB will get two deputy chief minister posts.

“The Chinese community is being unrealistic when it wants the deputy chief minister post. The fact is the majority of Chinese voters still supported the opposition in last year’s state elections,” Chin told Malaysiakini. (more…)

Mystery of the ‘woman signatory’ to Jho Low’s accounts

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

Last week, a startling claim came to light when a Singapore court was told that businessman Jho Low had used companies under the alias Eric Tan Kim Loong for the purpose of setting up four accounts at Falcon Private Bank.

The four Falcon accounts were under Westfield Group Services Inc, Granton Property Holding Limited, Tanore Finance Corp and Midhurst Trading Limited, all of which were beneficially owned by Tan.

Following this, Sarawak Report, quoting sources, claimed that a signatory to the Falcon accounts in Singapore, was a woman.

The website alluded that the woman was Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor, prompting the latter’s lawyer to issue a denial. (more…)

Cooking oil turmoil in Sarawak with rush for 1kg bags

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

sarawak_minyak-masak_oil_600Sarawak is still likely to face a shortage in subsidised cooking oil when Chinese New Year comes around, a situation that could result in a costlier celebration as petty traders adjust the prices of their goods to cope.

The domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry (KPDNKK) had reported a shortage of the commodity in Sarawak and Sabah since last November.

In response, the ministry allocated 2,505 tonnes of cooking oil for the state, of which 315 tonnes were distributed in Miri.

However, the additional quota has proven to be insufficient, with the cooking oil shortage most evident in the lack of government-subsidised 1kg polybags. (more…)

Auckland court to hear Jho Low’s relatives over DOJ asset seizures

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

Relatives of controversial Malaysian businessman Jho Low will be opposing the seizure of assets worth NZ$230 million at the High Court in Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday morning.

This is with regard to the seizure of assets by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

These relative are said to be the beneficiaries of a number of New Zealand trusts. They claimed they directly owned assets caught up in the probe of 1MDB, reported NZ Herald today.

In the civil action filed by the DOJ last year, it had claimed that these assets were purchased with money allegedly stolen from troubled Malaysian state fund 1MDB. (more…)

Opposition won’t lose GE14, Anwar disagrees with pundits

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

Jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim disagrees with the views of political analysts that the opposition will be defeated in the next general election.

According to him, the time is now right for a change in government.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his court case in Putrajaya today, Anwar said political pundits had also given the same views in 2008 and 2013.

“The opposition has the capability and we must all start to work together. We must start seat negotiations.

“The time is right for change. It will be tragic for the nation if we allow the abuses (by the present BN government) to continue,” he claimed.


Among others, analysts based their prediction on the opposition being fragmented following the collapse of Pakatan Rakyat, and therefore failing to provide a viable alternative to BN.

Although Anwar was not able to speak more to the media on the purported abuses, he is believed to be referring to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s government, which is facing the 1MDB saga, which has gone through courts in the international arena, except in Malaysia.

Well-known economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram (photo) had last week predicted that the next general election would be held in April and it was very likely that the opposition would lose, with the BN winning.

Penang Institute’s Ooi Kok Hin was also quoted, in an article published in The Diplomat, that there were four reasons for BN to remain in power: electoral malpractices, institutional failures, political fragmentation and societal fault lines.

The opposition is seen as fragmented despite former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Najib’s former deputy Muhyiddin Yassin forming Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and lining itself with the opposition Pakatan Harapan, consisting of PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara.

The biggest question lies with Islamist party PAS, which has broken off from the opposition pact.

 


Source : Hafiz Yatim @ Malaysiakini


 

PBB to discuss preparations for Tg Datu polls

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

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) will meet this Saturday to discuss preparations for the Tanjung Datu state by-election, said its women deputy head Fatimah Abdullah.

Fatimah, who is also Sarawak Welfare, Women and Community Minister, said the meeting would be held at 10.30am at the PBB headquarters in Jalan Bako, Kuching.

“The agenda to be discussed is the preparation for the Tanjung Datu by-election and the vacancy for the post of PBB president,” she told reporters after presenting donations to 150 people at an event held in conjunction with Chinese New Year in Miri today.

The Tanjung Datu by-election is due to be held after Sarawak’s fifth Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who was also Tanjung Datu state assemblyperson, died of heart complications on Jan 11. (more…)

Adenan’s son is leading candidate for Tanjung Datu seat

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

azizulanuar2Azizul Annuar Adenan, youngest son of the late Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem, is the leading candidate for the Tanjung Datu state seat.

A source close to the family told FMT that Azizul was the likeliest person to be fielded for the seat left vacant by Adenan, who died from heart complications last week.

A political analyst from Universiti Malaya, Awang Azman Pawi, had over the weekend, told FMT that Azizul would be a good candidate as he was well educated and widely admired for his humble attitude.

“Azizul has experience in the state planning unit,” he said in an FMT report published last Sunday. (more…)

Court of Appeal allows Anwar’s bid to challenge Pardons Board’s decision

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

The Court of Appeal today allowed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal to refer one question of law regarding his challenge on the justiciability of the Pardons Board decision to the Federal Court.

The Court of Appeal ruled that Anwar will be able to pose his question of law to the Federal Court regarding his challenge on whether the Pardons Board’s decision could be questioned.

The Court of Appeal would not be hearing the case but would case manage the matter for it to be referred to the High Court. Case management had been set for Feb 2 at the High Court.

The unanimous decision was made by a three-member bench led by Justice Rohana Yusof. The other judges are Justice Zakaria Sam and Justice Mary Lim. (more…)

Local grads only as good as Danish high school dropouts

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

Lant-Pritchett_pelajar_600Malaysian graduates have been equated to Danish high school dropouts, despite the government having invested sufficient funds in education and impressive teaching tools in schools.

Harvard professor Lant Pritchett said he had carried out research in Indonesia and found the Indonesian situation to be similar to Malaysia’s.

“Research was done on graduates in Indonesia on literacy, creative thinking and on other aspects and the results were the same as junior high school dropouts in Denmark. The same features appear in Malaysia.

“The reason is because students leave primary school without mastering the subjects and the same with secondary (school students). By the time they reach the tertiary (level), they are left far behind. There is no deep understanding of the materials. Instead, it is rote memorisation, applying theory and regurgitating it during exams,” he told FMT. (more…)

EC using ‘backdoor’ to change boundaries, says think tank

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

Wong-Chin-HuatA think tank has slammed the Election Commission for changing the polling districts of voters, resulting in many now having to cast their votes in different constituencies.

Political and social analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat, from the Penang Institute, said instead of redrawing the boundaries of constituencies, the EC is changing polling districts.

“The change is made to the polling district boundary within the constituency. It is a purely administrative exercise.

“People cannot file objections over this, only a judicial review,” he said, describing the exercise as a “backdoor” way to change the boundaries. (more…)

Police question former Bersih 2.0 treasurer over foreign funding

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

Masjaliza-Hamzah_600Former Bersih 2.0 treasurer Masjaliza Hamzah was questioned by police today as investigations into the alleged foreign funding for the electoral watchdog widened.

Called in as a witness, Masjaliza’s statement was recorded at the Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman this afternoon.

Masjaliza later told reporters that it was a brief session and that all questions were related to Bersih 2.0, its accounts and links to George Soros, referring to the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

“I did not answer any question,” she said, adding that she was simply exercising her rights under Section 122(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code. (more…)

Pundits cast doubt on PAS inclusion under PPBM’s proposed Barisan Rakyat

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

Muhyiddin said a new coalition covering all opposition parties with the tentative name of Barisan Rakyat could be formed to oppose the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. — Picture by Marcus PheongHopes for a cohesive electoral pact among the opposition are dim as analysts predict that PAS is unlikely to join other opposition parties under the new coalition Barisan Rakyat mooted by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

Oh Ei Sun said the proposed Barisan Rakyat would have to at least replace the existing opposition Pakatan Harapan to have any chance, but pointed out the unlikelihood given the animosity between some of the major parties.

“I don’t think BR can be an umbrella for DAP and PAS due to ideological differences. Nor can it be a vessel to accommodate Amanah and PAS due to their political enmity.

“PPBM can try, but I don’t think it would yield much success. In any case PAS nowadays is more akin to a ruling coalition member, having expressed many agreements on the government’s policy proposals,” the adjunct senior fellow at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies told Malay Mail Online when contacted yesterday. (more…)

Now, Terengganu Islamic enforcers say may nab unmarried couples in cars too

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

Terengganu Religious Affairs Department said implementing the anti-vice operation dubbed Ops Bonceng for other vehicles would be different, admitting that religious officers would not be able to observe Muslims in cars. — File picUnder media spotlight for arresting unmarried Muslims couples riding motorcycles together, Terengganu Islamic authorities admitted today that it is considering extending the enforcement to passengers in other vehicles, such as cars.

Despite that, Terengganu Religious Affairs Department (JHEAT) said implementing the anti-vice operation dubbed Ops Bonceng for other vehicles would be different, admitting that religious officers would not be able to observe Muslims in cars.

“There are suggestions to extend [the operation] but we have to see first how Ops Bonceng is being handled,” JHEAT’s chief assistant commissioner (enforcement) Nik Zulhaiza Ismail told Malay Mail Online’s sister publication ProjekMMO.

“We cannot just implement [checking non-mahram] riding in cars together [like in Ops Bonceng] because the enforcers’ eyes cannot see what happens.” (more…)

Anwar’s bid to challenge Pardons Board decision goes to Federal Court

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

A three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Rohana Yusuf ruled that questions of law posed by Anwar regarding the justiciability of the Pardons Board’s decision should be heard by the Federal Court. — Picture by KE OoiPKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to challenge the Pardons Board following the rejection of his royal pardon application will be brought before the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal ruled today.

A three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Rohana Yusuf ruled that questions of law posed by Anwar regarding the justiciability of the Pardons Board’s decision should be heard by the Federal Court, the highest court in the country.

The court also set aside the High Court’s dismissal of Anwar’s leave application to challenge the Pardons Board’s decision pending the Federal Court hearing on the questions of law.

The Federal Court will now decide if the decision of a Pardons Board can be challenged in court, Anwar’s lawyer N Surendran said today following the decision. (more…)

Zaid predicts ‘Malay Tsunami’ will drown Najib in GE14

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

Political and economic pundits appear united in their prediction that the opposition will not be able to seize federal power in the 14th general election, with some even claiming BN will restore the two-thirds parliamentary majority that has eluded the ruling coalition in the last two general elections.

However, former law minister Zaid Ibrahim criticised the analysts for not having faith in Malaysian voters, and offered a counter prediction on GE14.

“There will be such a huge Malay tsunami against the BN that (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak) and company won’t even know what hit them,” Zaid said in a blog posting.

“Malay voters do not answer questionnaires. They do not want BN and Umno operators to cause them problems, so they pretend that they support Umno – but change is in the air. A huge swing of voters to the opposition is in the offing and we will have a new government after GE14,” he added. (more…)

Court says Anwar can challenge Pardons Board’s decision

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

anwar-makhamahAnwar Ibrahim and his family members today won the right to appear before the Federal Court to determine whether the Pardons Board’s decision making process could be subjected to judicial scrutiny.

A three-man Court of Appeal bench led by Rohana Yusof said two questions of law posed by the appellants need to be argued before the apex court now, following an amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1994.

“We find the appellants had met the requirement under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 to refer the questions before the Federal Court,” Rohana said of the unanimous ruling.

The bench then set aside the decision of the High Court last year to decline the appellants leave for judicial review and also its refusal to refer the questions straight to the Federal Court. (more…)

NGOs want authorities to take safety measures against sex offenders

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

Huckle, pictured in Kuala Lumpur, admitted to 71 offences against children aged between six months and 12 years and was handed 22 life sentences last year. — Malay Mail picThe authorities have been urged to keep an eye on Malaysians, especially sex crime offenders who have been convicted abroad.

Women’s Aid Organisation of Malaysia spokesperson Tan Heang-Lee urged the government to set up a sex offender registry and a tracking mechanism to ensure these offenders would not repeat their criminal activities when they returned.

Several parties had called recently for the setting up a sex offender registry which will enable authorities to monitor the movement of sex offenders.

This came following the revelation of paedophile Richard Huckle, who had sexually assaulted 23 children and babies here, as well as children in Cambodia for almost a decade. (more…)

Kit Siang: No place for 1MDB-deniers in opposition

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

Lim Kit Siang says there is no place in the opposition alliance for those who do not see the seriousness of the 1MDB scandal and its negative impact on the country.

“Malaysians should have no truck with such sheep in wolves’ clothing,” said Lim in a statement today.

Such sheep in wolves’ clothing, he explained, are those in the opposition who do not see anything wrong with Malaysia being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”.

There are those who still want more proof that “MO1”, who was mentioned 36 times in the US Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, or want more evidence about the multi-billion dollar 1MDB global financial scandal. (more…)

Hanging out a goat’s head to sell dog meat

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

I think we shouldn’t let go of the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) debate yet. The issue is just too controversial to be allowed to continue on its present course. This nation cannot let this monster grow further.

BR1M may not be strictly bribery, but it is not a welfare programme either. Let’s not be pretentious, BR1M is a populist measure.

It is a programme that buys time for the government. It is a programme that camouflages the inability of the government and the failure of our economic system to provide the people with a decent living despite them working full-time.

If a welfare programme has become almost ‘universal’, what does that tell us? (more…)

January 18, 2017

Jet, mansions figure in $232m court battle

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:32 AM

An Auckland courtroom will on Friday become a battleground over Manhattan penthouses and a private jet amid allegations that they are the proceeds of a globe-spanning mega-fraud.

The High Court at Auckland is set down to hear a request from relatives of controversial Malaysian financier Jho Low who oppose the seizure of assets worth $230 million alleged by the United States Department of Justice to be the proceeds of crime.

US court filings said the relatives are beneficiaries of a number of New Zealand trusts that are claimed to directly own a number assets caught up the probe of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in July when the DoJ first filed its seizure claims that $5 billion had been misappropriated from the Malaysian state with payments by 1MDB diverted into private Swiss bank accounts and then laundered into artwork, Hollywood films and real estate. (more…)

Ringgit free-falling in Bolehland

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

Malaysia’s ringgit is set for a further skid after skirting an historic low of RM4.50 versus the US dollar at the start of the New Year.

While there remains strong support at this psychological level, the culmination of stimuli strongly suggests the market will break through the floor in coming months.

No money, no honey

The first and the foremost of which is that the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Malaysian central bank, doesn’t have the adequate reserves to scare off the 800 pound gorillas that swing around the forex markets.

With reserves of just under US$100 billion, there is a real risk of a double jeopardy where being forced to sit on the sidelines allows market forces a free-hand to sell and short-sell at will; or alternatively that any persistent attempt at intervention will deplete reserves to dangerously low levels – both scenarios thereby sparking off more panic amongst holders of the ringgit Malaysia. (more…)

Jais’ land grab for mega mosque illegal, appellate court declares

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

The Court of Appeal has declared Jais' acquisition of a 26-acre parcel of land to build a mosque as illegal, Rosli said. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaIn a landmark ruling today, the Court of Appeal declared the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) compulsory acquisition of a private company’s 26-acre land to build a purported “mega mosque” as unlawful and invalid.

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who represented the private landowner United Allied Empire Sdn Bhd (UAE) that had accused the Selangor Islamic body of abuse of power for the alleged land grab, said today’s ruling meant that the land will have to be returned to his client.

“The Court of Appeal has declared the acquisition of 26 acres to build a mosque as an illegal acquisition; it is mala fide, it is not genuine,” he told reporters when met here after the decision was delivered, using the legal term for “in bad faith”.

Landmark ruling (more…)

EC to meet Thursday on Tanjong Datu by-election

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

spr-hashimThe Election Commission will be holding a meeting on Thursday on the by-election for the Tanjong Datu state seat in Sarawak, vacated by the death of former chief minister Adenan Satem.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at the EC’s headquarters here at 9.30am.

EC chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah said it had been officially notified of the vacancy by Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Speaker Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar.

He said the meeting would discuss important matters like the dates for nomination, early voting, polling day and the electoral roll to be used.

“The meeting will also discuss other preparations that are necessary to conduct the by-election,” he said in statement here today. (more…)

Adenan’s death spawns 43 police reports, 6 arrests

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

Mazlan-Mansor_polis_600Six individuals have been called in by police over defamatory comments about the late chief minister, as the week of official mourning for the death of Adenan Satem draws to a close today.

Sarawak police commissioner Mazlan Mansor said the six arrests were made following 43 police reports filed in Sarawak after Adenan’s death last Wednesday.

“I have warned against relying on these devices (social media) for selfish purposes, as we would not be able to help ourselves, and we would end up spreading lies regarding certain individuals,” said Mazlan today at the monthly Sarawak police contingent gathering.

He warned that police would investigate every report and then decide whether charges would be filed.

“I would like to warn again not to play or joke around sensitive matters. The police are always watching,” he said. (more…)

Deputy minister commends 13-year-old boy who lodged police report against Guan Eng

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

Image result for The brave action of a teenager who lodged a police report against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan EngThe brave action of a teenager who lodged a police report against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for issuing misleading statement regarding the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) has been deemed as highly commendable.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said this was because at the tender age of 13, Ahmad Ali Abdul Karim proved that he had better understanding of the law.

“(Lim) Guan Eng should feel embarrassed when the 13-year-old boy shows that he has better understanding of the Federal Constitution.

“Well done Ahmad Ali!” he told reporters after attending a get-together event and a briefing on current issues at Universiti Teknologi Mara Raub, here today. (more…)

Wan Junaidi: Ban lorries instead of ‘kapcai’

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

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar disagrees with the proposal to ban ‘kapcai’ motorcycles (50cc to 150cc) from downtown Kuala Lumpur to reduce carbon emissions.

“The pollution is little from something this small. Only big (vehicles) contribute to the pollution.

“(Banning) small vehicles, I don’t know. The big lorries should be banned instead,” Wan Junaidi told a press conference after attending the ministry’s monthly assembly this morning.

Wan Junaidi’s remark was in response to his cabinet colleague Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s proposal to ban ‘kapcai’ from entering the city centre. (more…)

Mahathir says willing to risk being arrested for lese majeste

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

mahathir-sultan-johorSaying he risks being accused of lese majeste, Dr Mahathir Mohamad today rebutted the criticism of Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar against him.

In repeating his objection to China citizens buying up properties in Malaysia, especially Johor’s proposed Forest City development, Dr Mahathir said: “I hope that in responding to HRH’s challenge I will not be arrested and jailed without trial.”

The former prime minister said: “Let all transactions be transpa­rent. Publish all documents about the investments, the number of workers, their home countries, the buyers, the banks which finance and all expatriation of funds. Do this honestly. No hiding.

“So let the truly international Transparency International examine the exposed official documents. Let the people see the documents to prove their genuineness.” (more…)

Felda to sell off London hotel, unprofitable offshore assets

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

Newly-appointed Felda chairperson Shahrir Samad said the agency will liquidate a hotel it owns in London to generate more cash.

He added that the present hospitality asset did not give large returns and did not have any sentimental value for the people in this country.

“(We) have other assets in the United Kingdom. It (the hotel) is not an asset that we feel sentimental about, if it involves hotels that give job opportunities to Felda settlers, that can improve local economies in the country, those we will preserve and hope they prosper, we will not easily let go.

“Not many Malaysians work at the London hotel,” he said at a press conference at Menara Felda today. (more…)

Rafizi: Shahrir evading facts by rubbishing my maths

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

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli said Felda chairperson Shahrir Samad was being evasive by dismissing the numbers he provided with regard to Felda Global Ventures (FGV).

“He continues to evade by rubbishing the numbers I put forward even though those numbers are based on official reports.

“He also claimed that FGV’s delisting on the Bursa was a speculation I came up with, even though he was the one who cleverly revealed his four priorities as Felda chairperson, which was published on the front page of Berita Harian.

“One of those priorities was Felda’s delisting,” Rafizi said in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today. (more…)

Pua sues PM for ‘misfeasance in public office’

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

lawmaker Tony Pua has filed a misfeasance in public office suit against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the government in relation to 1MDB.

The application was filed with the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday by the firm Messrs Thomas Philip, and a copy was sighted by Malaysiakini today.

Pua, who is also DAP national publicity secretary, is seeking a declaration that Najib had committed misfeasance in public office. He is also seeking another declaration that Najib abused his public office to personally benefit from 1MDB funds.

It is understood that this case is fixed for mention on Feb 16.

Following this, Pua is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages to be assessed by the court. (more…)

Kedah Umno pledges to maintain BN victory in GE14

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

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (centre) chatting with the people at the Kuala Ketil public field in Baling, January 17, 2017. Also seen is Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Basha Md Hanipah. — Bernama picKedah Umno has pledged to ensure the state remains under Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming general election (GE).

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, who is also state Umno liaison chairman said he would ensure the entire machinery worked extra hard to ensure a BN victory in the GE.

“The people of Kedah are of different races and this unity must be intensified in the general election, we will defend the Kedah Government and the Federal Government,” he said at the prime minister-people programme in Padang Awam Kuala Ketil here today.

Ahmad Bashah added the blessings enjoyed today, were the result of struggles and sacrifices of past leaders although there were those who denied it for the sake of personal interest. (more…)

Najib: What is the better alternative to GST?

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

najib-razak-gstNajib Razak has insisted the GST would see a financially “healthier” Malaysia, days after a former prime minister vowed to abolish the controversial tax should the opposition come to power.

Likening the goods and services tax (GST) implemented in 2015 to a bitter but effective pill for the economy, the prime minister went on to urge opponents of the 6% tax to “give it a rest” as the GST has contributed RM40 billion in revenue to the government’s coffers.

“It is okay to have differences of opinion but please give us a better alternative than what we are doing today.

“What is a better alternative? Sales and services tax? That will not be enough. (more…)

Paragraph 13(1)(b) of Schedule 6 of the Income Tax Act 1967 gazetted

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

Image result for religious institutions to be exempted from income taxParagraph 13(1)(b) of Schedule 6 of the Income Tax Act 1967 which provides for incomes of religious institutions to be exempted from income tax that was passed by Parliament under the Finance Act 2017 (Act 785) was given the royal assent on Jan 9, and gazetted on Jan 16.

A senior tax consultant, who told The Borneo Post this yesterday, said such clause would come into effect from year of assessment 2017 and subsequent years of assessment.

With this approval, the new approved Paragraph 13(1)(b) reads as follows: “a religious institution or organisation in respect of any contribution received for charitable purposes in the basis year for a year of assessment provided such institution or organisation is not operated or conducted primarily for profit and is established in Malaysia exclusively for the purpose of religious worship or the advancement of religion.” (more…)

Those earning up to RM15k can now buy PR1MA houses

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

Najib Abdul Razak today announced two policy changes to enable more people to own a house under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) programme.

Najib said the two changes to the PR1MA policy were raising the household income eligibility from RM10,000 to RM15,000, and shortening the moratoriam on house sale and rental from 10 years to five years.

“The eligibility income level increase to RM15,000 is to enable more people to own a PR1MA house, apart from the measure of shortening the moratorium period.

“These are all measures taken by the government which is very committed to enabling people, especially the target group, to own a PR1MA house,” he said at a press conference after a PR1MA@Kedah Community celebration event at PR1MA Residency Puteri Jaya 1 in Sungai Petani today. (more…)

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