Hornbill Unleashed

March 30, 2017

Be wary of NCR land devt offers, longhouse folk told

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

Longhouse folk are advised to be wary of offers by companies or individuals to develop their native customary rights (NCR) land through joint venture undertakings.

Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang said it is because some of those offering to do so may not have honest intentions.

“Many companies applied to the state government to develop NCR land but some are not fortunate in their joint ventures whereby the projects failed.

“We do not know the reasons of the projects’ failure. It could be caused by financial problems or it was deliberately made to fail because they already extracted the timber in the area they wanted,” he said during the ‘Nanga Sekuau Agropolitan Plantation Agreement and Deed of Trust Letters’ signing ceremony recently. (more…)

Minister: Illegitimate Malaysia-born kids must get ID from foreign mother’s country

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

Zahid said that it is mandatory under local laws for all births in Malaysia to be registered. —TODAY picChildren born out of wedlock here to a foreign mother are not citizens and should instead obtain identification documents from the latter’s country, said the home minister.

Stressing that children born locally are not automatically citizens, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi cited a constitutional provision that states children born to unmarried couples would take on the mother’s nationality.

“Therefore, a child born to women of foreign nationality out of wedlock, even if the man claimed to be the child’s father is a Malaysian citizen, that child will still be registered as Bukan Warganegara (Non-Citizen).

“Therefore, it is the responsibility of both parents of the child to handle the personal identification document and travel document with the country of origin of the child’s mother through the embassy of the respective country,” he said in a March 21 written parliamentary reply. (more…)

Parliament passes Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2016

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

Azalina described the bill as a reform to provide for a fairer system for social guarantors. ― Picture by Choo Choy MayThe Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2016, which among others, protects social guarantors from being declared bankrupt, was passed by Parliament today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said described the bill as a reform to provide for a fairer system for social guarantors.

“This is because when we look at the definition of social guarantors, they are not guarantors who are profit oriented, but they stood as guarantors for study loans, research grants,” she said when winding up the debate on the bill.

However, she said the social guarantors would still face other process of the law should they were to abuse the provision. (more…)

Najib says BN won’t push Shariah Bill

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

Barisan Nasional will not table amendments to increase Shariah punishments being sought by PAS, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak. — Bernama file picBarisan Nasional will not table amendments to increase Shariah punishments being sought by PAS, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

The prime minister and BN chairman said this was decided by the coalition following its supreme council meeting this evening.

“Therefore it will remain a Private Member’s Bill and if it is presented, it will depend on the Speakers instructions,” he was quoted as saying by the Star Online news portal.

BN previously said it would take over PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s proposal and convert it into a government Bill eventually. (more…)

Azalina: Bankruptcy action against Malaysians ‘last choice’ in proposed law change

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

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said says proposed law changes will also simplify bankruptcy proceedings. — Bernama picBankruptcy proceedings against Malaysians will become a last resort move if Parliament approves proposed changes to the Bankruptcy Act 1967, minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said today.

Azalina said the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2016, which was tabled for second reading at the Dewan Rakyat today, is aimed at reducing the bankruptcy rates in the country.

The proposed amendments will make bankruptcy proceedings the “last choice” instead of the first choice in any enforcement of court decisions, she said.

It will also “create an alternative method to bankruptcy proceedings before an individual is made bankrupt.”

“A bankrupt individual who fulfills the criteria for release has the potential to be released faster to stimulate the country’s economic growth and development and at the same time creditors would benefit when reasonable contributions are made by debtors,” the de facto law minister said. (more…)

Home Ministry says no U-turn on ‘Beauty and the Beast’

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

Actors Dan Stevens (left) and Emma Watson pose for photographers at a media event for the film ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in London February 24, 2017. — Reuters picFinal approval for the screening of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was issued by the Film Appeal Committee (JRKF), which is distinct from the Film Censorship Board (LPF) that sought to edit “gay elements” from the movie.

According to the Home Ministry, parties aggrieved by the LFP’s rulings were free to seek recourse from the JRKF.

It noted that this was done by the distributor of Beauty and the Beast.

“The JRKF is a committee that is independent of the LPF formed under the Film Censorship Act 2002 and is not bound by the LPF’s decisions,” the ministry said in a statement today.
(more…)

March 29, 2017

Act 355 not acceptable even if East Malaysians exempted — Baru Bian

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

The suggestion that the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) will only be applicable to Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia and that East Malaysians are exempted does not make the Act acceptable, says state PKR chairman Baru Bian.

Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, was referring to the commentary by a Chinese national daily that was reproduced in an online news portal yesterday as ‘Pivotal role for Sabah, Sarawak MPs over Hadi’s bill’.

“It has been suggested that the government’s version of Act 355 will only be applicable to Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia, in an effort to win over the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, who have strongly objected to the bill.

“If this is the intention of the government, it shows the absurdity of the whole situation and makes it absolutely clear now that their taking over of the bill from PAS and trying to push it through is politically motivated. (more…)

Abang Johari says ‘no’ to hudud in Sarawak

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

Sarawak,-Abang-Johari-Openg,-Shariah-Courts-(Criminal-Jurisdiction)-Act-1965,-Act-355,-stamp-duty,-Adenan-Satem,-Najib-Razak,-Federal-Constitution,-Sarawak-Mps,-Sarawak-rights,The Sarawak government, under its new Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, continues to stand firm against hudud law in the state.

“I want to make it clear that hudud is not applicable to Sarawak and I share the same stand as the late Tok Nan (former Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem).

“We take the same stand but this bill is shariah and not hudud.

“But even if it is shariah, we are concerned because it is discriminatory between Muslims and non-Muslims under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.”

He was speaking after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Sarawak Energy Bhd and Sarawak Forestry Corporation in Kuching today.

Asked whether Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties in Sarawak should vote for the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, he said it would depend on the outcome of the meeting between the prime minister and BN component leaders.


Source :   @ Bernama


Get amendment to Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act passed speedily, govt told

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

The federal government should not delay in getting the amendment to Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act which institutes legal safeguards against unilateral conversions of minors passed in Parliament.

In making this call, PKR Women national vice-president Vook Shiak Ni said the passing of the amendment is of utmost importance to the children, especially regarding religious freedom for children of the many mixed marriages in the country.

“The passing of the amendment is important to resolve issues in court involving spouses who converted to Islam and the religious status of children of divorced couples. But it seems that we are coming to the end of the first Parliamentary session this year and the Bill has yet to be tabled for the second reading although it is in the list,” Voon said yesterday.

Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran was reported to have said on March 26 that the Bill being pushed down in the Parliament Order Paper was proof that the government was not interested in amending the law related to marriages. (more…)

Ulu Ngemah folk agree to have their NCR land developed

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

Ulu Ngemah People Association (PPUN) has clarified that NCR land owners in Ulu Ngemah who have allowed their land to be used for development project have wittingly agreed to it.

The association made the clarification yesterday in response to a recent claim by Thomas Laja Besi that the development of NCR land in Ulu Ngemah was not agreed on by the landowners concerned.

PPUN chairman Magai Sawing told a press conference that his committee had met with Thomas to rectify that the development project only involved those who agreed to be part of the project.

“Thomas understood our explanation and we (PPUN) have sent a letter to him and he said he would not interfere with PPUN’s development matter if it does not affect his own land,” Magai said. (more…)

Parliament passes Supplementary Supply Bill

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

The bill was tabled to seek an additional allocation of RM3.081 billion for several ministries as additional expenditure for services and RM987,761,174 as first additional development expenditure of 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaThe Dewan Rakyat today passed the Supplementary Supply Bill (2016) 2017 after it was debated at the committee stage.

The bill was tabled to seek an additional allocation of RM3.081 billion for several ministries as additional expenditure for services and RM987,761,174 as first additional development expenditure of 2016.

Most of the additional expenditure for services covers Statutory Funds (RM2,248,437,560), Education Ministry (RM297,960,000); Transport Ministry (RM215,709,466); Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (RM128,000,000); Health Ministry (RM104,400,000) and Foreign Ministry (RM24,126,000).

Apart from these, it also involves the Election Commission which will get RM62,780,000.

The bill was tabled for first reading by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz on March 21.

The Dewan Rakyat sits again tomorrow.


Source : @ Bernama


As govt mulls French defence buys, C4 reminds of Scorpene deal

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

cynthia-c4The Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) is calling for transparency in any new defence deal with France amid the ongoing fallout from the Scorpene submarine agreement signed in 2002.

In a statement today, C4 said the defence ministry should reveal details of new agreements in Parliament, following reports that deals would be signed today during French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Malaysia.

But Reuters reported Prime Minister Najib Razak as saying this afternoon that Malaysia had yet to make a decision on buying Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale fighter jets.

“We’re not ready yet to make a decision, but we take note of its success in other countries…,” Najib said at a joint news conference with Hollande here. (more…)

Zaid wants Muslims to speak out against unilateral child conversions

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

zaid-unilateral-child-1Former minister Zaid Ibrahim today appealed to Muslims, urging them to speak up in kindness and fairness against unilateral child conversion.

“I don’t know if I’m going to heaven, but those who have no heart will go nowhere. How can anyone condone a unilateral child conversion?

“It’s not too late for good Muslims to speak up. We need to have capacity for kindness and being fair to others, even if not a Muslim.”

The lawyer turned politician declared on Twitter that “we have lost our soul” if Malaysia did not prohibit the conversion of a child to Islam by one parent at the expense of the other.

“Is being a Muslim more important than being human?” (more…)

Deputy minister: EC to spend around RM5.2m on redelineation exercise

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

Razali said the EC is obliged under the Federal Constitution to carry out the redelineation exercise. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe Election Commission (EC) will spend an estimated RM5.2 million for its ongoing redelineation exercise, Deputy Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim said today.

Razali also said the EC is obliged under the Federal Constitution to carry out the redelineation exercise, which includes the renaming of constituencies and redrawing of electoral boundaries.

“Last year RM3.9 (million), this year maybe around RM1.3 (million), meaning it’s not huge. But that is our responsibility and we will do it,” the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said in Parliament.

“The redelineation is actually required by the Constitution, actually now it is already late, we can’t say we don’t need to do because of the matter raised just now. (more…)

PPBM holds off East Malaysia advance till ‘time is right’

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

PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declined to state a time frame for PPBM’s entry into the two east Malaysian states. — Picture by Saw Siow FengParti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) will be focusing on harnessing its strength in peninsular Malaysia for the 14th general elections, its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

Despite having “comrades” in Borneo Malaysia, he said the party is not forming any chapters in Sabah and Sarawak for the foreseeable future.

“For the purpose of the first phase, we have decided to not form chapters in Sabah and Sarawak, although we have comrades there,” Muhyiddin told a press conference at its headquarters here.

“This is to give more time and focus for us to move our programmes in [the] peninsula, and places where we hope to contest.” (more…)

Final decision after meeting with PM

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

The State Barisan Nasional (BN) will make its final stand on the amendment of Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) after the meeting between Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties in Sarawak and Sabah and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, who attended the first meeting on March 13, said he has previously expressed his concern that the amendment would infringe Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which safeguards equality for everyone is the eyes of the law.

“The state government’s position is very clear and I have also made it very clear that when it comes to Hudud law, it is not applicable to Sarawak.

“This is the same stand made by the late ‘Tok Nan’ (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem) and we are having the same stand,” he reiterated when speaking to reporters after witnessing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) here yesterday. (more…)

Minister warns oil companies, station operators against illegal price hikes

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Hamzah said companies not in compliance can be fined a maximum of RM500,000. — PictureOil companies and petrol station operators who fail to comply with the price of petrol and diesel set weekly, beginning tomorrow, are liable to face stern action under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.

Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said companies not in compliance can be fined a maximum of RM500,000, while for individuals, they face a maximum fine of RM100,000 or three years of jail, if convicted.

“The announcement on the price of petrol and diesel will be made on TV1 at 8pm tomorrow, and the act is there to ensure that all oil companies and petrol station operators comply accordingly.

“If they raise the prices (of petrol or diesel) to more than that set by the government, then, the government will take action,” he told reporters here today after closing a leadership seminar for cooperative affairs officers here today. (more…)

Muhyiddin confident RoS will approve Pakatan’s new pact

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

Muhyiddin_ros_pakatan_600Buoyed by the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) professionalism during its registration, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) is sure that the opposition’s attempt to register its new pact will succeed as well.

“We won’t think about the application being rejected. We have to be positive,” PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin told a press conference here today.

“If we look at PPBM’s registration as an example, our application was approved in 30 days, just as RoS promised. So we hope for the same with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) registration.”

The previous opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat, failed to register as a single entity. The now-defunct coalition blamed this on the RoS, saying that the body was acting like an agent of Barisan Nasional. (more…)

Why award Chinese firm railway deal without open tender? KTMB union asks

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Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi (pic) had said that the agreement was consistent with the said clause, which aims to distinguish train service operations, which is managed by KTMB, from the ownership, management, and maintenance of the train assets that will be managed by RAC. — Picture by K.E.OoiKeretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad’s (KTMB) workers union today questioned the Transport Ministry’s decision to award a railway project without an open tender, calling it “suspicious.”

Referring to the latest Railway Network Access Agreement (RNAA) as a case in point, the union’s president Abdul Razak Hassan said some other negotiations undertaken by the ministry were questionable.

“Why was a Chinese firm given the award to maintain six car sets (SCS) for five years without going through an open tender process?

“Wastage and cronyism do not happen within KTMB, but “direct nego” undertaken by the Transport Ministry is suspicious,” he said in a statement. (more…)

CM: Take-over of Bakun more or less finalised

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Sharbini (third left) and Wong (third right) shake hands as they exchange the signed MoU documents in the presence of Abang Johari (centre), Dr Rundi (second left), Morshidi (left), Dr Abdul Rahman (right) and SFC head of Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation Oswald Bracken Tisen (second right). — Photo by Tan Song WeiThe acquisition of Bakun HEP Dam has “more or less been finalised”, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He disclosed that currently details were being worked out as the state government was exercising its due diligence.

“After due diligence, we will take over 100 per cent of Bakun Dam. Actually, it’s already there. It’s just a matter of due diligence and formality,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) to confirm SEB’s intent to provide the latter’s turtle landing sites Tanjung Datu National Park, Pulau Talang-Talang Besar and Pulau Talang-Talang Kechil with green energy via a solar centralised system at SEB headquarters here yesterday.

When pointed out that the acquisition of Bakun Dam has been met with criticism by the opposition particularly on the RM2.5 billion acquisition price, Abang Johari said he was ready to furnish them with answers during the upcoming State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting. (more…)

PKR wants child adoption laws to be reviewed

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

Sim-Tze-Tzin--1PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin today expressed dismay that an illegal child adoption syndicate has been operating in Malaysia without any significant action from the authorities since 2012.

At a press conference in Parliament today, Sim referred to a written reply by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the Dewan Rakyat, and said, “This is very worrying. Babies can be bought and sold. This is a very serious crime.”

Sim had asked the home ministry about efforts undertaken to curb the menace following a documentary by international news channel Al Jazeera in November last year which exposed the baby-selling racket here.

The documentary revealed a network involving traffickers, doctors and government officials, all profiting from vulnerable pregnant women and children. (more…)

Bank Negara sees inflation exceeding eight-year high

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Bank Negara Malaysia said in its annual report released last week that inflation will probably average 3 per cent to 4 per cent this year, up from 2.1 per cent in 2016. — Reuters picHigher fuel costs probably pushed up Malaysia’s inflation rate this month to above the 4.5 per cent rate posted in February, though there’s no evidence that price pressures are spreading more broadly in the economy, an official from the central bank said.

Last month’s inflation rate — which was the highest in more than eight years and exceeded the median estimate of 3.9 per cent in a Bloomberg survey — wasn’t a surprise to the central bank, Fraziali Ismail, director of the economics department at Bank Negara Malaysia, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. If oil prices stay where they are, it’s a “question of arithmetic” that inflation would accelerate, he said.

“Typically in the past, there could be second-round effects if the economy is above potential” and there are demand pressures, he said on March 24. “Yes, the economy is on the up, but we don’t see those pressures emanating at the moment.”

Bank Negara Malaysia said in its annual report released last week that inflation will probably average 3 per cent to 4 per cent this year, up from 2.1 per cent in 2016. (more…)

Things may get worse for young job seekers

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

bnm_graduates_600

It’s quite sobering to read Bank Negara’s latest annual report, especially the part that deals with unemployment rates. Youth unemployment hit 10.7% in 2015. This figure is more than three times the national unemployment rate.

Of the 10.7%, 15.3% – the highest percentage of unemployed youths – were young college and university graduates.

While we must consider that the report took in subjects aged 15 to 24, and of that only 16% reported having a tertiary education, the number bodes ill for an entire generation if current trends continue.

Gen Y, the generation that makes up the majority of the report’s subjects, will soon provide the bulk of the work force. One tenth of more than 10 million young Malaysians is not a figure to laugh at, and when we consider that 15% of this number cannot get a job despite having studied for a qualification, we cannot but shudder at the thought of what will happen to our society in the not-too-distant future. (more…)

March 28, 2017

Death penalty should be abolished, says Baru

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

Image result for baru bianState PKR chairman Baru Bian wholeheartedly agrees with the call by human rights advocates that capital punishment be removed for all crimes currently punishable by death.

According to him, imposing of the death penalty was believed to act as a deterrent against crime but there is no conclusive evidence that capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

“Those who are about to commit crimes do not stop and sit down to weigh the consequences if they are caught, especially those who commit murder.

“I believe most people do not even know what the penalties are for various crimes except for drug trafficking as that is well-publicised, but even that does not have any deterrent effect, judging from the unabating illegal drug activities in this country,” Baru said in a press statement yesterday. (more…)

About 20 out of 183 dilapidated schools in Sarawak being upgraded using IBS concept

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

Around 20 out of 183 dilapidated schools in the state are currently being upgraded using the Industrialised Building System (IBS) concept.

This was stated in a written reply from the Chief Minister to Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian’s question on the status of repairs to dilapidated schools in Sarawak and how much was needed to repair or rebuild all dilapidated schools during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting in November last year.

According to the statement which was posted on the state PKR chairman’ Facebook page yesterday, the government has approved an allocation of RM366.7 million to upgrade 183 dilapidated schools using the IBS concept and this overall project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Apart from that, seven full replacement projects under the Second Rolling Plan of the 10th Malaysia Plan costing RM244.28 million will also be implemented this year. (more…)

Lawyers bid farewell to CJ on his last federal court sitting

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

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, who turn 67 in October, is going on a mandatory retirement end of this month. — Picture by Choo Choy MayIt was a touching moment for Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria on his last sitting on the Federal Court bench today when two lawyers bade him farewell in an open court.

Justice Arifin, who turn 67 in October, is going on a mandatory retirement end of this month.

Before the start of the first court proceeding for today, lawyers T. Jegadeeson,  who was Kedah and Perlis Bar chairman between 2000 and 2004, and S. Indran gave some parting words to Justice Arifin.

Jegadeeson, 60, commended Justice Arifin for being a judge with good temperament and always providing opportunities for lawyers to be heard. (more…)

With eye on straight fights, STAR leader seeks to join Sarawak Pakatan Harapan

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

STAR president Lina Soo, flanked by the party’s Women head Sylvia John and secretary general Simon Tiong, at a press conference in Kuching March 27, 2017. — Picture by Sulok Tawie State Reform Party (STAR) expressed today its wish to join the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan Opposition in a bid to see straight fights between the Opposition and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 14th general elections due by June 2018.

“We must remember that we have BN as our common enemy so the Opposition parties need to have a single political platform,” STAR president Lina Soo told a news conference here.

She was responding to a statement by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian yesterday that STAR and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) were not invited to join PHS because they were small parties and did not have much support.

“Time and again, because of our arrogance, Barisan is still in power,” she said, without singling out any particular party. (more…)

Finance minister II: RM3b request won’t alter Budget 2016 deficit

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

Johari (centre) said the Supplementary Supply (2016) Bill 2017 that is being debated simply lists down in detail the items that the contingency funds would be spent on. — File picThe government’s Supplementary Supply Bill for RM3.08 billion will not affect the previously projected deficit for Budget 2016, Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said today.

Johari explained that the federal government is merely seeking Parliament’s approval for additional spending that was already accounted for under Budget 2016, and the extra expenditure was also factored into the forecast deficit in October 2015.

“Each time we do (the) Budget, it’ll have a contingency amount. For operatin expenditure, the government will put in RM1.5 billion that is unspecified when we present the Budget each year. Same as for development expenditure, we will have contingency fund of RM2 billion that is not specific to any expenditure item.

“Only (that) according to the Constitution, although the contingency has been approved by Parliament, it is the government’s responsibility to retable the detailed expenditure (under) RM1.5 billion and RM2 billion,” he said in his winding-up speech at the end of the Bill’s debate at the policy stage. (more…)

Sarawakians to pay RM8.65b debt for RM2.5b Bakun Dam, Opposition claims

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

STAR president Lina Soo, flanked by the party’s Women head Sylvia John and secretary general Simon Tiong, at a press conference in Kuching March 27, 2017. — Picture by Sulok Tawie Claiming the Sarawak government overpaid in acquiring the Bakun Dam project, a state Opposition politician warned today that locals may be stuck paying back the state’s RM8.65 billion debt for the next 50 years.

State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo said the state government should hav only paid Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd (SHSB) a token sum of RM1 for Malaysia’s biggest hydroelectric project instead of RM2.5 billion.

“That should be right price, not RM2.5 billion, because the state government, through Sarawak Energy Berhad, has to take care of liabilities of RM6.15 billion from SHSB, the operator and owner of the dam,” she told a news conference here.

SHSB is a company owned by the federal Finance Ministry Incorporated.

Lina noted that the state government had announced a new funding model for the project, and warned that there would be a hefty price to pay if bonds were to be issued. (more…)

Pakatan to register as official coalition

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

The party leaders of PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM met earlier in the Parliament building today. — Picture by Kamles KumarOpposition parties in Pakatan Harapan will seek to register the informal pact as an official coalition before the next general election, according to Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu.

He said this was agreed during the pact’s first meeting formally involving Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

“We will be registering Pakatan; 18 senior leaders will be included in the registration ahead of the general election,” he said during a press conference at Parliament today.

The party leaders of PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM met earlier in the Parliament building today.

Among those who also attended include PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. (more…)

March 27, 2017

Sarawak PKR chief refutes former CJ on Shariah law supremacy

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

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (pic) says Ahmad Fairuz's statement was not supported by any compelling legal argument. ― Picture by Sulok TawieSarawak PKR chief Baru Bian dismissed today former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim’s argument that any laws that contradict Islamic scriptures are null and void.

The senior lawyer said Ahmad Fairuz’s statement was not supported by any compelling legal argument, but based on his personal feeling that anything which contradicted Islam was unconstitutional.

“His simplistic misinterpretation of Article 3 of the Federal Constitution is a contradiction of Article 4, which he conveniently ignores,” Baru said when responding to the former chief justice.

Article 3 refers to Islam as the official religion of the federation, while Article 4 refers to the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land. (more…)

Former chief justice’s statement completely without basis – Baru

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

The statement by former chief justice (ex-CJ) Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim that any laws which run contrary to Islamic scriptures are null and void is completely without basis, says state PKR chairman Baru Bian.

Baru, who is a senior lawyer, pointed out that Ahmad Fairuz’s statement was not supported by any compelling legal argument but on his feeling, as he was reported as saying: “I feel anything which is in contradiction to Islam is unconstitutional”.

Baru stated that the ex-CJ’s simplistic misinterpretation of Article 3 of the Federal Constitution is a contradiction of Article 4, which he conveniently ignored.

“As an ex-CJ, he should know that Malaysia was formed to be a secular country and remains a secular country. Article 3 of the Federal Constitution does not import the meaning that Shariah is the supreme law of Malaysia but on the contrary there is strong legal and academic opinion that Malaysia is in fact a secular country. (more…)

Pakatan Harapan Sarawak say no plans to invite STAR, PBDS Baru

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

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian says the two parties do not have much support in the state. — Picture by Saw Siow FengPakatan Harapan Sarawak (PHS) has no intention of inviting two local Opposition parties to join it as the parties do not have much support among Sarawakians, Sarawak PKR said today.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said the State Reform Party (STAR) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru), led by former PKR members, are small parties, noting that all their candidates had lost their deposits in last year’s state elections.

“However, we are prepared to work and cooperate with them to challenge the state Barisan Nasional in the coming general elections, but will not invite them to join us in PHS,” Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian told Malay Mail Online today.

Baru expressed doubts whether the two parties are able to come up with credible candidates in the general elections. (more…)

Nuclear infrastructure review report to be tabled in cabinet soon

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

The three-phase assessment concluded that Malaysia is thoroughly prepared to develop nuclear power programs . ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaThe final report of the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission Phase 1 will be tabled in the cabinet soon to find out whether it could be made public or not, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

“I need to table it because of time constraint. But there’s nothing much, it’s just a matter of asking the cabinet whether we should make the report public or not,” she told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur heat of the FameLab Malaysia 2017 (FameLab) competition held here, today.

The three-phase assessment, initiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, concluded that Malaysia is thoroughly prepared and has developed a considerable base of knowledge to make an informed decision about introducing nuclear power.

On March 7, the minister said Malaysia has 30 days to respond to the recommendation made by the report that evaluates interested newcomer countries’ status and state-of-readiness in developing nuclear power programmes. (more…)

Report: ‘Third wave’ of Chinese migration as thousands move to Malaysia

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

Malaysia's appeal to Chinese nationals comes from a combination of sunny weather, friendly people and cultural similarities. — Picture by Saw Siow FengAlmost 8,000 Chinese nationals have emigrated to Malaysia since 2002, dubbed the “third wave” of Chinese migration, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

A combination of sunny weather, friendly people and cultural similarities has helped boost Malaysia’s appeal to Chinese seeking to escape the volatile climate and worsening pollution at home, as they sign up under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

SCMP reported that the “third wave” of Chinese migration to Malaysia, after a 15th century influx and the tin mining boom in the 19th century, included foreign workers besides MM2H participants.

China’s strengthening trade ties with Malaysia is also driving more of its wealthy businessmen to settle down here. Last year alone, Putrajaya announced over RM50 billion worth of Chinese investment . (more…)

‘Big data’ firm denies doing election work in Malaysia

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

Screen grab of the behavioural research company SCL Group's website.Behavioural research company SCL Group denied today a report claiming that Barisan Nasional (BN) was using its “big data” services for the upcoming 14th general elections.

SCL’s South-east Asia head Azrin Zizal said his company — which, according to its website, uses “advanced data analytics” to identify voters — has not done any election work in Malaysia before and that local political parties have yet to engage it for the next general elections.

“We are new to the region,” Azrin, whose office is in Kuala Lumpur, told Malay Mail Online.

“At the moment, we spend most time meeting people to introduce our range of services and expertise. We hope to start building local expertise, especially in the area of data analytics soon. (more…)

What happened to Bill barring unilateral child conversions? DAP MP asks

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

Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran expressed concern that a Bill prohibiting unilateral religious child conversions may not be passed during the current Parliament sitting. ― Picture by Saw Siow FengAn Opposition lawmaker expressed concern today that a Bill prohibiting unilateral religious child conversions may not be passed during the current Parliament meeting.

DAP national vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran pointed out that Putrajaya’s silence on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Bill (LRA) 2016 since it was tabled at the Dewan Rakyat last year showed reluctance in passing the Bill.

“There are now tale signs that the said bill may never be debated and passed by Parliament. I understand there are powerful people who want the bill to be withdrawn at all costs come what may.

“I have been hearing from the ‘grapevine’ that this Bill may ‘not see the light at the end of the tunnel’,” he said in a statement today. (more…)

March 26, 2017

Ex-CJ claims Muslims happy for hudud, not equality

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

Former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim speaks at a special lecture on Islam as the law of the land at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, March 25, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy MayA controversial former chief justice claimed today that Muslims are happy to comply with the controversial Islamic penal law of hudud if it is implemented.

Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim suggested that Muslims do not care about equality, even when hudud is said to result in an unequal punishments for crimes committed by Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Even if you implement hudud in a conservative way, it can only affect Muslims,” Ahmad Fairuz said in a lecture on “Islam as the law of the land” here.

“A statement by Gerakan says no one person should be treated differently, but I say, Muslims are not asking for equality, they’re happy to follow their religion. To have hudud,” he added. (more…)

Any laws contradicting Islamic scriptures invalid, ex-CJ claims

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

Former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim speaks at a special lecture on Islam as the law of the land at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, March 25, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy MayAny laws which run contrary to Islamic scriptures are null and void, said a controversial former chief justice who had once proposed that the English Common Law be replaced by Shariah laws.

In a lecture on “Islam as the law of the land”, former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim had interpreted that the supremacy of Shariah laws is only second to the Federal Constitution.

“I feel anything which is in contradiction to Islam is unconstitutional,” Ahmad Fairuz said.

“The privy council has ruled in a case in Singapore that a law, to be valid, must conform to the fundamental rules laid down by the English law,” he related, saying that this view was then also adopted by Malaysia. (more…)

Blacklisted PTPTN borrowers advised to negotiate repayment

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

More than fifty per cent of PTPTN borrowers who are in the Immigration blacklist and barred from leaving the country. — file picMore than fifty per cent of the 586,863 borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) who are in the Immigration blacklist and barred from leaving the country have come forward to negotiate on their repayment.

PTPTN chief executive officer Wan Ahmad Wan Yusoff said as a result of that,  RM967.9 million in loan repayment had been collected from them as of last JanUARY 31.

The blacklist action by the Immigration Department against the loan defaulters resulted in them being barred from leaving the country, apply for new passport or renew their passport, he said.

He was met after the launch of the PTPTN branch office at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching today. (more…)

Bumiputera, Malay contractors prove ability with MRT, Pan-Borneo projects

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

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed happiness that the impact of the success of the Mass rapid Transit (MRT). — file picNajib Razak expressed happiness that the impact of the success of the Mass rapid Transit (MRT) and the toll-free Pan Borneo Expressway projects proved the ability of bumiputera and Malay contractors to implement mega projects.

He obtained feedback on the matter following his meeting with key industry players and business associations at a roundtable economic dialogue in Putrajaya yesterday.

“I am also happy when I received feedback from the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association that the Malays and bumiputera have benefitted from the ‘carve-out’ policy for the MRT and Pan Borneo projects.

“I was also informed that the perception towards bumiputera and Malay contractors is changing with them proving their ability to deliver. “I am proud with the ‘anak bangsaku, Negaraku’,” he said in his blog ‘Kita Di Landasan Tepat’ (We are on the right track) today. — (more…)

PAS: Unilateral child conversion ban a threat to faith, inconsiderate to Muslims

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

Nasrudin Hassan claimed that although Article 11 of the Federal Constitution has guaranteed freedom to worship, the majority Muslims are purportedly being forced to compromise. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaA PAS MP has claimed today that a proposed amendment to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (LRA) to ban unilateral child conversions will rip away a child’s Islamic faith.

PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan also lamented that Putrajaya has allegedly only taken into account the interest of religious minorities, and not mainstream Muslims, with the Bill.

“It is unfortunate that the Government only takes into account the views of only non-Muslims and ignore the demands of the mainstream Muslims,” the Temerloh MP said in a statement today.

Nasrudin claimed that although Article 11 of the Federal Constitution has guaranteed freedom to worship, the majority Muslims are purportedly being forced to compromise. (more…)

At Islamic convention, Mufti Menk offers advice on treating others, black magic

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

Mufti Ismail Menk giving a talk at the Straight Path Convention: The Divine Rights. — Pix by Shazwan Mustafa KamalMany Malaysians turned up in droves to this year’s edition of Islamic mega event The Straight Path Convention today, which will continue until tomorrow with the theme of Divine Rights.

This morning, the audience had listened to international Islamic scholar Ismail Musa Menk from Zimbabwe, who is popularly known as Mufti Menk, to speak on issues of faith and its modern-day challenges.

During his lecture on the convention’s theme, Menk had reminded the public on how Muslims should behave and treat their fellow human beings.

“I call upon all of you to rethink about how we are treating the people in our lives especially those we are responsible for. (more…)

March 25, 2017

Lawyer: Judiciary to blame for case that took 10 years to conclude

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

lawyer_law_new_600The judiciary must ensure a fair trial and accept the responsibility for its failure to ensure the expeditious conclusion of a case, a senior criminal lawyer said.

V Sithambaram said this was particularly so when the delay was not caused by the appellant.

“Article 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution guarantees the right to fair trial by an impartial court and a just decision within reasonable time,” he said.

Sithambaram, a former chairman of the Bar Council’s criminal law committee, said this in his commentary on the judgment penned by outgoing Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria in the murder case of R Amathevelli v Public Prosecutor.

This judgment is among the 22 cases delivered by Arifin which have been compiled in a book titled “Justice Above All.” (more…)

DAP concerned about turn of event on Act 355

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

DAP is concerned about the turn of event regarding the stance of state Barisan Nasional (BN) on the amendment to Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965,  commonly known as Act 355.

DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen  said the state BN under the late chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem had opposed the Bill, but the stance had now changed.

“Initially, when the matter (Act 355) was brought up, Adenan made it very clear to oppose it. All Sarawak MPs should oppose but in the last two months, this clear position has changed.

“Why is there a change on the stance on Act 355? Does it show that Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg is incapable and doesn’t have  the courage to stand up against the  wishes and policies of Umno?” Chong asked. (more…)

In liberalism survey, Malaysians say yes to both free speech and Sedition Act

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

Wan Saiful said that the results of the IDEAS-commissioned survey showed Malaysians' understanding towards the ideology is limited. — Picture by Choo Choy MayDespite voicing support for free speech in Malaysia, a majority of Malaysians polled in a nationwide survey also felt that the government should keep the controversial Sedition Act.

Over three-quarters or 77 per cent of the 1,207 respondents believed Malaysia is ready for freedom of speech and a free media, while just 20 per cent disagreed, think-tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) revealed today.

But when thrown a “trick question” proposing the government retain the Sedition Act ― which critics say suppresses free speech ― and similar laws to guarantee peace and stability in Malaysia, more than half or 60 per cent said yes, leaving just 34 per cent who disagreed.

“Now the Sedition Act is obviously an illiberal law and it has been hotly debated, so we ask them whether you want the Sedition Act to be retained or removed, so usually people who are consistently liberal would say that it should be removed. (more…)

Sarawak BN objections may doom Act 355

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

Najib Abdul Razak could not have reckoned with the objections of BN component parties in Sabah and Sarawak to Act 355 when he announced last November that Umno would “take over” PAS president Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to further empower Syariah courts.

Earlier this week, in a meeting with leaders of these parties, he was taken aback by the near unanimity of their resistance to the Umno move.

The fate of Act 355 – the popular shorthand for the bill initiated by Hadi in May last year and left ever since in a kind of suspended animation until the PM threw the weight of his office behind it – continues to be uncertain.

The current sitting of Parliament, supposed to end on April 6, may be extended a few days to enable the tabling of the bill. (more…)

‘Sarawak BN may waver over Hadi’s bill’

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

Chong-Chieng-Jen-sarawak-huduhSarawak BN MPs may waver on their stand against Hadi’s bill if the government tables it as specifically applying to Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia, while excluding non-Muslims and East Malaysians.

Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said if a deal had been struck with assurances given that Sarawak would be unaffected by the bill, that would be a “clear-cut lie”.

“After the passing of this bill, like all other bills, all it takes is for one signature of one minister before it will be extended to Sarawak. It will no longer require another debate or resolution in Parliament before it is extended to Sarawak,” Chong said.

He was responding to a front page report by Sin Chew Daily today, which stated that it had received a preliminary draft of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) that will replace PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill. (more…)

Cabinet approves proposed Child Sexual Crime Bill 2017

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

The Cabinet today approved the proposed Child Sexual Crime Bill 2017, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. — Reuters picThe Cabinet today approved the proposed Child Sexual Crime Bill 2017, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

She said the Bill would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat for the first reading next week.

“This Bill is important in addressing the seriousness of sexual crime against children in Malaysia.

“It is also aimed at increasing protection for children from sexual criminals and in looking after the welfare of children,” she said in a statement here.

She added that in general, the Bill addressed sexual offences against children and the punishment, adding to the existing laws on the offences. (more…)

Why we need debates in Malaysia

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

Image result for debates dr mIt is surprising that the police would prohibit a debate between two politicians, and even more surprising that the organisers had to notify the authorities.

If the organisers of the debate between minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had to notify the police under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, what about debates at schools and universities? What about forums or even sleepovers among friends?

The police should not be violating our right to peaceful assembly.

We should be able to gather anywhere and anytime we want to as long as it doesn’t involve violence. Requirements like notifying the police 10 days before an assembly are onerous. (more…)

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