Hornbill Unleashed

October 1, 2016

Umno Youth gathering calls for Guan Eng’s resignation as Penang CM

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

Umno Youth vice-chief Khairul Azwan Harun said the gathering which was organised by Penang Umno and several non-governmental organisations proved that youths rejected DAP's leadership in Penang. — File picAbout 2,500 Umno youths from Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis gathered at the Gurney Drive roundabout here to call for the resignation of Lim Guan Eng as Penang Chief Minister.

Umno Youth vice-chief Khairul Azwan Harun said the gathering which was organised by Penang Umno and several non-governmental organisations proved that youths rejected the DAP leadership in Penang.

“I urge Guan Eng to resign as chief minister. I do not understand why he loves his post so much when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the opposition de-facto leader from behind the prison bars,” he said in a press conference held after the gathering.

He also urged the police not to allow the Bersih rally planned for Penang because it would disrupt public peace. (more…)

September 29, 2016

Despite retrenchments, job opportunities still positive, InvestPenang says

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

InvestPenang denied that the latest retrenchment exercise by a company based in the state reflected the industry’s employment climate.

The state investment arm’s general manager Loo Lee Lian said a report by a business research and information company, IHS, noted that module shipments would exceed 2015 by 10%, with revenue hitting US$41.9 billon.

“Two other major solar cells and modules manufacturers in Penang are not only unaffected but are actually in expansion mode. This expansion by a solar company will be announced soon,” said Loo, in a statement issued today.

Loo was referring to TS Solartech Sdn Bhd, the solar cell and module manufacturer located in Penang Science Park, which recently announced the retrenchment of 180 operation staff. (more…)

September 27, 2016

Penans appeal for basic amenities, preschool

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Gerawat (sixth from right) and entourage at Long Balau. The Penans in Ulu Seridan are appealing to the government to provide them with basic amenities and preschool facilities for their children.

Among their requests are clean piped-water, 24-hour power supply, telephone connectivity and repairs to schools and longhouses.

Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala, during his visit to remote Penan settlements in the interior of Baram, was inundated with requests from his constituents. During his four-day journey, beginning Sept 22, he travelled to Long Balau in Ulu Seridan on the first day to meet Penans from three settlements.

The journey included a three-hour drive on treacherous logging roads. He was accompanied by new Long Lama District Officer Baru Tai, Penghulu Freddy Abun and longhouse chief (KK) Lagang Tipung of Long Seridan. (more…)

Emulate Selangor’s freedom of information law, C4 tells Penang

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Penang Institute’s Freedom of Information forum discusses the Freedom of Information (FOI) laws of Penang and Selangor, September 27, 2016. — Pix by KE OoiPenang should review its Freedom of Information (FOI) law to follow Selangor’s implementation, said Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) founding director Cynthia Gabriel.

“We found the enactment in Selangor was much better and (while) the enactment was not great, but between the two, Selangor was better,” she said during a FOI forum organised by Penang Institute here.

Among others, she noted that Penang’s definition of the CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) principles was unclear, unlike Selangor.

She also said Selangor’s version has an information officer that will attend to requests.

Selangor also has exceptions that were limited and specific, but this was more expansive in Penang. (more…)

September 26, 2016

Penans’ interest in Murum to be taken care of — Liwan

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Image result for Penans’ interest in MurumThe construction of the Murum hydroelectric power (HEP) dam will not be successfully implemented without the cooperation of all parties, especially the Penans in the area, said Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang.

Liwan, who is also Assistant Minister for River Transportation and Safety, said the Penans were able to accept the development project well after efforts, including ongoing information on the need to implement it was disseminated to the community.

He said the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) also played a role in the successful relocation of the Penans to two resettlement areas, Tegulang and Metalum which were completed.

Together with SEB and Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chuk Pai Ugon, a strategy had been drafted to transform the lifestyle of the Penans, involving the Murum HEP. (more…)

Make two-term limit for Penang CM your legacy, Guan Eng told

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

A Penang DAP backbencher has urged Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pictured) to set an example by implementing the two-term limit on the position of chief minister. — File picLim Guan Eng should take the lead in implementing the two-term limit on the position of Penang chief minister, DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu has said.

Teh, who is Tanjung Bungah assemblyman, also called for same limits for the position of Prime Minister and Mentri Besar.

“The two-term limit can prevent misuse of power. I appeal to DAP to take the lead starting from Penang.

“I appeal to DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng to take the lead, with his position as a chief minister, to make this his legacy in political reform,” The Star Online quoted Teh as saying at a news conference. (more…)

September 25, 2016

Penang Pakatan meets today on redelineation

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lim-guan-engPenang Pakatan Harapan will meet today to seek a common ground to object to the recommended redelineation of electoral boundaries in the state by the Election Commission (EC).

DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said the meeting would be attended by all Pakatan Harapan leaders, but he did not reveal where it was going to take place.

“We will meet at the state level to seek a common ground to protest the redelineation,” he told reporters after opening the Science Corner at Penang Public Library here.

He said the central level meeting, which would be held under the Pakatan Harapan presidential council, had yet to be set. (more…)

September 22, 2016

Guan Eng: No snap polls for Penang, for now

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Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state believed it could consider snap polls as an option later as the redelineation issue takes more time. — Picture by K.E. OoiPenang is not considering early elections for now, state Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

Instead, he said the state government, the local council and 100 voters from each affected constituency will file objections against the Election Commission’s (EC) controversial proposed redelineation exercise, which he asserted to be in violation of the one man-one vote rule.

“For now, we have not discussed the possibility of calling for snap polls,” he said when asked if the state will consider calling for snap polls in Penang before the EC completes its redelineation exercise.

The Penang lawmaker said the state believed it could consider snap polls as an option later as the redelineation issue takes more time. (more…)

September 19, 2016

Reject redelineation as state governments, Pakatan Harapan tells Selangor, Penang

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Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (third from left) chairs a press conference after Pakatan Harapan secretariat meeting, Sept 19, 2016. — Picture by Kamles KumarPakatan Harapan’s secretariat has suggested for the Selangor and Penang state governments controlled by the federal opposition coalition to formally reject the Elections Committee’s (EC) redelineation exercise.

The secretariat’s chief Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the coalition will now be looking into that option as the two states have the power to do so under the Federal Constitution.

“There is a possibility that the Selangor and Penang state governments can object the redelineation.

“Under the Constitution, the state government can object,” he said during a press conference here today after the secretariat’s meeting. (more…)

September 16, 2016

Penan youths losing direction, going astray in towns

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Ezra UdaPenan youths have the tendency to lose direction and go astray when they are working in urban centres.

Telang Usan District Officer Ezra Uda, in expressing his worry about the phenomenon, said about 500 Penan youths, mostly school-leavers, are here working or looking for jobs.

“Most of them work to earn some pocket money while waiting for their results after their Form 3 or Form 5 examinations. Miri is their most preferred destination as it offers many opportunities compared to Marudi.”

Without the experience and qualification, Ezra said most Penan youths ended up working as shop assistants or taking order of food and drinks in coffee shops and small restaurants. The lucky ones were provided with lodging by their employers while others had to rent cheap rooms. (more…)

September 15, 2016

Penang MPs to study new electoral borders with fine-tooth comb

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

penang2Concerned about electoral border revisions in the state, two Penang parliamentarians vowed to analyse the latest re-delineation of constituencies and reveal the changes to Penangites in a week.

Penang Government Electoral Re-delineation Committee members Sim Tze Tzin and Ng Wei Aik said they had met the state Election Commission (EC) to obtain the previous and amended electoral borders.

Sim, who is Bayan Baru MP, said if there were irregularities, the committee would formally protest on behalf of the state government.

“We have requested three items from the EC – the old borders, the new borders and the master list of voters. (more…)

July 30, 2016

Snap polls in Penang: What’s really at stake

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

A view of George Town where a three-way contest will be inevitable if Penang heads to the polls this year. — Picture by K.E. OoiThree-way contest will be inevitable if Penang heads to the polls this year, and this will likely result in greater racial polarisation along urban and rural lines, political analysts forecast.

The ruling DAP and PKR can rest easy in urban seats where the mixed ethnic demography will likely continue to provide strong support; however, their position is less secure in the predominantly Malay rural constituencies where PKR will have to scramble for votes with PAS ― with whom it is still friends ― and Umno.

“PKR won all the seats in Penang based on one-to-one fights, so if there is a split three-way fight, PKR will pay the price,” political scientist James Chin told Malay Mail Online in an interview this week.

The University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute director suspects that PAS is working surreptitiously with Umno to kill off Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), splinter party and the third partner in the Pakatan Harapan pact, if snap polls are called in Penang, and said PKR will be “collateral damage”. (more…)

July 29, 2016

Penang DAP downplays rift with PKR, urges negotiation

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

chow-kon-yeow_penang_pakatan-harapan_6001The Penang DAP has sought to play down any notion of a serious rift with fellow Pakatan Harapan component PKR, after being hit by a volley of reports of a possible rupture between the two parties over DAP’s plan to have snap polls in Penang,

Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow today said it is important that the contentious issues related to the matter be discussed through negotiation within Pakatan after a decision is reached on having the early elections.

“I feel that at this stage issues related to how parties will partake in the early elections do not arise as the decision to hold the elections has not been made yet,” Chow said.

“The main issue of whether there will be an agreement reached or not is more important than the side issues,” he added, stressing that details can be worked out once the decision is made. (more…)

Snap polls in Penang: Why DAP can’t forge ahead alone

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

Political analysts warn that if DAP proceeds with state elections without the explicit consensus of ally PKR, it will widen cracks within the Pakatan Harapan partnership that has been dented in the fallout with former ally PAS. — Picture by Saw Siow FengDespite being the dominant political party in Penang, pundits believe the DAP could be signing the death warrant for the fragmented federal Opposition front in the long run if it proceeds with state elections without the explicit consensus of ally PKR.

Political analysts predict the secular party will likely retain all 19 of its seats out of 40 won in Election 2013 if went ahead, but warned that the decision will widen cracks within the Pakatan Harapan partnership that has been dented in the fallout with former ally PAS.

“If they go ahead with the state polls, it will only create a bigger crack within Pakatan and more problems between DAP and PKR.

“Calling this now when the Opposition front is at its weakest does not make sense. How to go to war when they are weak?” Dr Faisal Hazis, associate professor at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), posited. (more…)

Penang is ‘the’ country?

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

The Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng has taken to pleading in public to try to convince its opposition allies that the best option for Penang is to call for snap polls.

This is because its main ally PKR does not seem to be keen at all to enter an election at the moment, let alone in a state in which it holds three parliamentary seats and 10 state seats.

DAP holds seven parliamentary seats and 19 state seats. PAS holds one state seat. BN has three parliamentary seats and 10 state seats.

PKR’s leaders have been openly questioning the need for a snap polls at a time when the opposition is fractured and recent twin by elections showed that they lost the Malay votes to BN.

BN won with big majorities in the recent Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by elections. (more…)

July 28, 2016

Penang snap polls could cost us all, says Nurul Izzah

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PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar says an early election in Penang would be dangerous to the opposition. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa An early election in Penang would be dangerous to the opposition that cannot guarantee straight fights against Barisan Nasional, PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar said

Elaborating on her party’s rationale for resisting DAP’s push for the early state election, the Lembah Pantai MP said neither party was assured of retaining the seats they currently hold in the Penang assembly.

“We all face that risk. With the possibility of three-cornered fights, theoretically speaking, no one wins but Umno,” she was quoted as saying by news portalMalaysiakini.

PKR and DAP leaders have become increasingly antagonistic over their parties’ difference on the snap poll.

Yesterday, PKR’s Latheefa Koya took veiled swipes at DAP and accused it of acting unilaterally on multiple occasions, after DAP publicity chief Tony Pua questioned the sincerity of PKR’s friendship over its refusal to support the state election. (more…)

July 24, 2016

Why PKR is cold on Penang snap polls

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

An early election in Penang may not work to Pakatan Harapan’s advantage. — Picture by K.E. OoiAn early election in Penang may seem like little risk to Pakatan Harapan parties given how DAP and, to some extent, PKR have enjoyed tremendous public support there since Election 2008.

But PKR’s reluctance on DAP’s plan is not without merit as many party leaders said a statewide election now will result in former ally PAS contesting as a rival, especially in seats currently held by PKR.

PKR officials believe that this will result in three-cornered fights, which could jeopardise the seats the party currently has in the state assembly. Multiway fights in the Sarawak election had already shown the danger to the opposition when their support is divided.

“That is an issue which we are facing. It is quite obvious that it is a given (PAS contesting in PKR, DAP seats if snap polls called) and PKR’s seats especially might be affected. (more…)

July 22, 2016

Penang snap election: Not all about Lim

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

To dissolve the Penang State Assembly and to seek a new mandate from the people of Penang is probably the most difficult decision that the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) has ever made. This move will provide a platform for people’s power to prevail against the dark forces and the first step to re-write the political history of our beloved nation.

After hours of deliberation, the DAP CEC unanimously resolved to dissolve the Penang State Assembly, upon consultation with our coalition partners in Pakatan Harapan.

According to our original plan, after consultation with our coalition partners, DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would explain to the people of Penang and all concerned Malaysians the difficult decision we made. It was unfortunate that the plan was prematurely leaked to the media.

But since it is now known, it is time for us to tell the public our consideration and rationale. (more…)

July 20, 2016

Azmin to meet Guan Eng today over PKR’s stand on possible Penang snap polls

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

It is understood that PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (pic) will brief Lim Guan Eng on PKR's position on the issue of snap elections in Penang. — Picture by Saw Siow FengPKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali will meet Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng this afternoon to discuss the possibility of calling for early elections in the state.

It is understood that Azmin will brief Lim on PKR’s position on the issue of snap elections in Penang.

“He is heading there this afternoon to meet the chief minister to discuss the issue of snap election in Penang,” a spokesman from the Selangor mentri besar’s office told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and co-elections director Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail will also be attending the meeting between Azmin and Lim, according to a party source.

“They will be there as well. It will be a briefing on PKR’s stand and concerns about holding snap polls,” the source who asked not to be named told Malay Mail Online. (more…)

Penang yet to decide on snap polls

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

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng shaking hand with Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, during their meeting at Komtar, George Town, Penang on July 20, 2016. — Picture by KE OoiPenang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced today that the state government will have further consultations with its Pakatan Harapan allies before deciding on whether to hold snap elections.

Lim made the announcement after Pakatan Harapan assemblymen and leaders, including Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, and PKR co-elections director Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, met for one and a half hours in Komtar here today.

“After hearing views, we are willing to give more time for consultations with Pakatan allies,” Lim told a press conference here.

“On Monday, the DAP unanimously decided to consult with Pakatan on state elections. It’s on the premise with two allies, not a unilateral decision. Accordingly we arranged this discussions, we are willing to listen to various views.

“In [the] spirit of coalition partners, we should allow space for discussions; we can’t force it through,” he added. (more…)

Penang DAP reps meeting to discuss snap polls

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

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari has confirmed that a meeting regarding the possibility of holding snap elections in Penang is currently underway. ― File picPenang DAP federal and state lawmakers are currently attending a special meeting in Komtar today regarding the possibility of holding snap elections in the state.

Several news reports this morning quoted DAP sources as saying that a notice was sent out to DAP lawmakers regarding the matter.

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari confirmed with Malay Mail Online that the meeting is currently underway.

It is understood that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will hold a press conference later at 2.30pm once the meeting ends.

DAP’s Pakatan Harapan partner PKR has said it does not yet see the necessity to hold an early state election in Penang, ahead of general elections due by 2018. (more…)

July 19, 2016

DAP seeking allies’ views for Penang snap polls, claim sources

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

Sources have claimed that DAP has discussed holding a snap state election in Penang and is seeking the feedback of its coalition partners in Pakatan Harapan.

Malaysiakini learnt that the discussion took place during the party central executive committee meeting held in Kuala Lumpur last night.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that PKR leaders would hold a meeting on this matter tonight.

However, both DAP and PKR leaders have been tightlipped when questioned about this.

Malaysiakini is also attempting to obtain comments from Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. (more…)

PKR confirms will explore Penang snap polls tonight

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

PKR President Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was also invited to attend the meeting as it was an issue that involved the entire Pakatan Harapan. — Picture by Choo Choy MayDiscussions on an early state election in Penang is on the agenda of the PKR political bureau meeting tonight, according to party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She added that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was also invited to attend the meeting as it was an issue that involved the entire Pakatan Harapan.

“Yes, one of the agenda,” she said when asked if the Penang snap polls will be discussed tonight.

“At the moment we have to wait for his (Lim’s) confirmation. Well, DAP has to come any way, we have to discuss it together,” she added when asked if Lim was attending.

She also told reporters when met at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that her party has received positive indication regarding Lim’s attendance tonight. (more…)

July 11, 2016

No plan for Penang snap polls, says DAP

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

Anthony-LokeDAP today rubbished claims of a possible snap election taking place in Penang.

Its national organising secretary, Anthony Loke, told reporters that DAP had not come to the point of calling for a statewide snap polls but if it ever decided to do so, the party would first discuss the matter with its political allies within Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“We will not make a unilateral decision on this. If and when we come to a decision, we will deliberate and justify to the public as well,” he said in a press conference at the DAP headquarters here today.

He said the matter was not even part of the agenda to be discussed in the party’s next Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting.

Accompanying Loke this afternoon was DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua, who said claims of the snap polls were raised by certain quarters and that alone could not be the basis for an action or even a comment.

Suggestions of a snap election in Penang surfaced following Gerakan President Mah Siew Keong’s statement that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s prosecution had swung the Chinese votes back to DAP.

To this, Loke said Mah was right to realise that the political persecution against Lim would only anger the public, and this would obviously work against Gerakan and MCA.

“Politically, this will not benefit the two parties, especially in Penang. It also goes to show that Umno doesn’t care for Gerakan and MCA, but cares only for its own survival.”

Among those who had also commented on a possible snap polls was BN minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

Taking to Twitter, the Kota Belud MP said it was merely “another cheap political stunt” from DAP, very much like the party’s donation drive and the claim that Lim’s arrest was an act of political persecution.

“DAP should start identifying a new chief minister, just in case the court decides that Lim is indeed guilty,” he said.


FMT Reporters


Snap polls for Penang wasteful, says Gerakan leader

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

Oh-Tong-KeongCalling for snap state elections to gauge the people’s support for the Opposition coalition of Pakatan Harapan following Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s graft case is both wasteful and pointless, Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong says.

Responding to reports of a proposed “referendum” on the matter, Oh felt that leaders in the DAP-led government should be patient and wait for the General Election, slated for May 2018, to be held instead.

He said the “referendum” of sorts was an attempt by the state government to hold a “trial by public opinion” instead of leaving it to the judiciary to determine if their chief minister was innocent of graft allegations.

“Lim’s case is a personal thing, we do not need a state election for that.

“At least former Selangor Menteri Besar Mohd Khir Toyo did not ask for a state election when he was charged in court,” Oh said when contacted. (more…)

July 10, 2016

Resettled Penan community struggles to survive

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

murum-dam-1Three years down the road, the Penan people of Mentalun, Sarawak still struggle to eke out a living following their forceful resettlement to make way for the Murum Dam project.

Upon hearing of the Sarawak government’s RM4.3 billion plans for the Murum Dam in 2013, the Penan villagers carried out a month-long blockade of the project, attracting media attention.

The state government and dam developer Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) eventually reached out and promised some form of recompense and aid for the villagers.

However, it seems these promises have so far proven largely insincere. (more…)

July 7, 2016

19th century Penang church scheduled for RM2.5m restoration

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

The 156-year-old Cathedral of Assumption located at Farquhar Street in Penang. ― Pictures by KE OoiThe 156-year-old Cathedral of Assumption here will undergo restoration works costing RM2.5 million beginning September.

According to Penang Bishop Sebastian Francis, the church will also be extended with two additional wings.

“The church was built in 1860 and it underwent extension works in 1928 so the restoration is based on its condition in 1928,” he told reporters during a working visit by the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today.

“The restoration cost is estimated at RM2.5 million of which RM500,000 will be contributed by the church itself with the balance to be raised from fundraising activities lined up by the fundraising committee,” he said.

Francis said the church has very significant history as it was built by the descendants of the Eurasians who were facing persecution in Ligor and Phuket. (more…)

July 2, 2016

Seriously consider taking leave, anti-graft group tells Penang CM

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

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s best option right now is to go on leave since he is facing corruption charges, anti-graft NGO Centre for Corruption and Cronyism (C4) says.

“In principle, Lim should seriously consider that the best option is to hand over the reins of power to his successor and take leave as chief minister,” C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel told Malaysiakini today.

However, Cynthia acknowledged that the issue is complicated , since the system seemed to be biased against anyone who is not in the same camp as the political leadership.

“They (national leaders) hold the keys to all the institutions, so it’s not a level playing field,” she said.

While she said Lim should go on leave until the court case is concluded, as it is not a level playing field and court cases can drag on for years, it is a bit unfair to him in this case. (more…)

June 30, 2016

Bersih 2.0: Penang CM arrested in ‘selective’ prosecution

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

LGEThe manner in which Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was arrested on Wednesday reflects selective prosecution, says Bersih 2.0 in a statement. “There are many other cases on corruption which have not been dealt with nor with such speed.”

The major cases involve the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, including a revelation by Switzerland’s chief prosecutor that about USD4 billion (RM16.6 billion) appeared to have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies.

Others include the SRC scandal and the fact that Prime Minister Najib Razak was accused of channelling over RM2.67 billion (nearly USD700 million) from 1MDB, a government company, to his personal bank accounts.

“Investigations into all these cases are still pending for more than two years,” said the NGO in the statement. (more…)

What does Penang need: Tunnel or bridge?

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

Recently, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government is prepared to replace the proposed undersea tunnel with a bridge if the federal government gives its approval to the construction of the third bridge in the state.

Penang already has two bridges from the main land, and there has been divided opinions as the state government mulls going over the sea or under the sea.

The discussion on tunnel or bridge not only sparked a rowdy debate that took place Tuesday, besides raising doubts over the transparency of the Penang Government.

Works on the Penang Undersea Tunnel that were scheduled to begin this month but is now said to probably face further delay and possibly a cancellation on the entire tunnel following a hold call on its feasibility study by the state government. (more…)

June 26, 2016

Penans weaving their life to modernity

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

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

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

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

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

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

The impact of Brexit on Penang and Malaysia

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

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

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

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

May 27, 2016

Penang blocks 1MDB’s Air Itam land deal

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

The Penang state government will freeze 1MDB’s purchase of 234 acres of land in Air Itam until there is “accountability and transparency” with regard to the allegation-riddled firm, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

This comes in the wake of the state legislative assembly passing a motion to block any state transaction with 1MDB last Friday.

1MDB had purchased the Air Itam land for RM1.38 billion before the 13th general election.

Lim said the state is blocking the transaction because it is not confident that 1MDB would facilitate the building of 9,999 homes for the 3,000 families who would be evicted.

“There is public concern on whether the promises are practical and can be fulfilled given the high investment and the fact that (1MDB) does not own 100 percent of the land,” he added in a media statement. (more…)

May 14, 2016

C4 files FOIA application on Penang Transport Masterplan

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

The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) which recently launched its Northern region office in Penang, today conducted a test case to request information on the Penang Highway, Tunnel and Public Transport project under the Freedom of Information Act 2012 (FOIA). The FOIA was passed by the state legislative assembly on 4 November 2011 and gazetted on 2 February 2012.

There are mainly two questions that C4 Center had requested for.

First was information on the agreement signed between the Penang State Government and Zenith BUCG to carry out the feasibility studies, the environmental impact assessment report (EIA), the detailed designs of the three proposed highways and the undersea bed tunnel.

Secondly, information was also requested on the detailed costs related to these projects. (more…)

May 3, 2016

Adenan promises Penans will have own elected representative

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

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem mingling with BN members and supporters from Telang Usan, Mulu and Ba'kelalan, in Miri, May 2, 2016. — Bernama picSarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today said that efforts will be made to have one more state seat specifically for the Penans so that each minority ethnic group is represented in the state assembly.

He said that now, it could be said that almost all minority ethnic groups in Sarawak had elected representatives, either in Parliament or the State Legislative Assembly.

“The Kayan have and also the Kenyah, Lun Bawang and Bisaya,” he said at a gathering with people from Telang Usan, Mulu and Ba’kelalan, here.

In fact, he said, for the 11th Sarawak state election, two new seat were created for the orang Ulu (minority ethnic groups) following requests by the state government, namely Mulu for the Kelabit and Murum for the Kenyah. Polling is this Saturday.

“This is your opportunity to have a voice in the State Legislative Assembly,” he said. (more…)

April 16, 2016

After Penang reps barred from Sarawak, Guan Eng says will try his luck tomorrow

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

Lim will fly to Kuching with state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow tomorrow morning. — Picture by KE OoiPenang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will fly to Kuching, Sarawak with state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow tomorrow morning to see if they will be allowed entry into the state.

“I have written to the Sarawak chief minister on Tuesday to allow Pakatan Harapan leaders to enter the state, so we will see what happens tomorrow, as we will enter Kuching as members of government and parliamentarians,” Lim told reporters today.

He accused the Sarawak government of abusing its powers by stopping leaders from the federal opposition from entering the state.

“I can’t understand why Dr Afif and Malik were not allowed entry. What type of security risks do they pose? They are exco members here,” he said, referring to Penang state excos Dr Afif Bahardin and Datuk Abdul Malik Kassim, both of whom were barred entry into the state this week. (more…)

April 6, 2016

Penang accuses education department of covering up school racism

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

Penang Deputy Chief Minister Prof P.Ramasamy accused the school headmaster and senior assistant (student affairs) of racism by punishing ethnic Indian students who were allegedly involved in a fight with Malay students. — Picture by K.E.OoiThe state education department’s claims that it had resolved a bullying and gangsterism case at a school here was a cover up of the “racism” practised by the school management, Penang Deputy Chief Minister Prof P. Ramasamy alleged today.

He accused the headmaster and senior assistant (student affairs) of SMK Bandar Tasek Mutiara of racism by punishing ethnic Indian students who were allegedly involved in a fight with Malay students.

“They expelled two Indian students but they did not take any action against the other students involved who are Malays,” Ramasamy claimed in a press conference today.

He said state education department director Shaari Osman merely sent a circular to all schools to remind teachers and students to be more sensitive towards each other’s races.

“He claimed the issue was resolved and that the senior assistant was transferred so there was no more issue, but this is not true because the other students involved in the fights were not punished,” he said. (more…)

April 5, 2016

See Chee How : Probe how Penan boy got hurt so badly

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

See (left) comforting the nine-year old Penan boy who was allegedly hit by a brick on his left forehead in the boarding school. With them are the boy’s parents.The Education Department, police and SK Bario must investigate how a nine-year old Penan boy became so seriously injured on his forehead while in the boarding school recently.

Batu Lintang assemblyman and state PKR vice chairman See Chee How, who made the call, said, “We must ensure that boarding schools, particularly those in the rural interior areas, are safe learning houses for our children, bearing in mind that most of these children are away from their parents at tender ages.

“Besides that, it was also highlighted in a Federal Cabinet report that the perception of parents on safety and security of boarding schools are delicate issues that have led to high dropout rates, particularly amongst minority ethnic communities, particularly Penan students.”

The boy was allegedly hit on March 28 by a brick on his left forehead that required 36 stitches. A doctor at a nearby clinic stitched him up and advised his parents to send him to Miri Hospital, but Miri Hospital referred the case to Sarawak General Hospital (SGH). (more…)

April 1, 2016

Penang issues: BN, don’t be hollow and hypocritical

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

A person can choose to sell his property at whatever price he wants to sell. It is his prerogative.

It can be way below market value or far above the market price. It is his property and it is his decision. That is not criminal in nature and he has not committed any crime in doing so.

However, if his property was sold below market value in order to receive kickbacks in return, then it is something else. Whatever kickback he gets out of this deal not only will make good what he had lost in the sale, but he will also reap a greater profit from it. That would involve corruption.

The MP for Tasek Glugor, Shabudin Yahya, had implied an element of corruption in the purchase of a house allegedly bought at below market price by the chief minister of Penang. (more…)

March 25, 2016

Penan artisans learn about handicraft entrepreneurship

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

Fine handicrafts of the Murum Penan artisans displayed at the exhibition. Meragung (centre) and SEB community relations officer Florida Havit explain and promote Penan crafts to a tourist.Penan artisans from Murum Resettlement Scheme received further exposure on handicraft entrepreneurship at the National Craft Day exhibition held at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex recently.

They were among the 500 entrepreneurs and artisans who participated in the exhibition with the objective of exploring opportunities to expand their business locally and to the international market.

Visitors to the exhibition booths included entrepreneurs, craft enthusiasts and tourists from Europe and the United States and also locals.

Four artisans namely Carrick Ulie, Bonny Sanai, Meragung Lawai and Unyang Gasing from Long Wat and Long Malim were sponsored by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to take part in the exhibition which was held from Feb 24 to March 6. (more…)

March 23, 2016

‘More evidence coming’ on Guan Eng’s house buy, Penang Umno Youth pledge

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

Penang state Umno youth wing chief Rafizal Abd Rahim said they were convinced there were corruption elements involved in the chief minister’s purchase of the house at Jalan Pinhorn, George Town. — Bernama picWith the public eye firmly on Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s RM2.8 million home, the state Umno Youth has signalled that more “evidence” will surface this week that they claim will answer questions over the purchase.

The state opposition party’s wing chief Rafizal Abd Rahim said that they were convinced there were corruption elements involved in house at Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, adding that they have shared their findings with federal graft investigators.

However, he was coy when asked if Penang Umno will also make public their purported “evidence”.

“Wait and see, but hopefully we do,” Rafizal told Malay Mail Online at the Umno headquarters today after his wing meeting.

The Umno man said that since the wing has submitted its findings to the MACC, it was only proper for the commission to complete its corruption investigation on the DAP leader first and announce “whether there is corruption or not”. (more…)

March 22, 2016

Muhyiddin: I was offered Penang governor post

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

Former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin revealed that he had been offered plum positions including the governor of Penang.

Muhyiddin, in an event held in Kota Tinggi, Johor tonight, said he was also offered the post of chairperson of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).

“I had even imagined (Penang Chief Minister Lim) Guan Eng in front of me, kneeling and sembah (prostrating) to me.

“Sometimes I feel quite stupid – why didn’t I take the offer? Some ask me why I didn’t accept the posts, and then take RM1 billion, that would be enough,” he told an audience of about 1,500 tonight.

He, however, did not clearly state if the offer for the two posts was made before or after he was sacked as deputy prime minister, nor did he say who made the offer. (more…)

February 29, 2016

The rape of Penang by DAP-led govt

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

Can Penang’s real estate glisten like gold in a softening property market and sustain a high level of activity in the residential and commercial sectors? The word among industry experts is that the market will be resilient on the back of sustained demand from Malaysians.

However, a vote of confidence from Knight Frank Malaysia, a global property consultancy, over Penang’s commercial property appeal as the top draw in Malaysia will serve as a catalyst in foreign purchases as well.

With only 293 sq km to accommodate a population of an estimated 720,000 to 760,000, and a hive of business activity to the tune of billions of ringgit, the island has five developers undertaking RM4.33bil in property projects this year. (more…)

February 26, 2016

Catholic bishop, Penang mufti in inter-faith meet

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

Penang PAS has organised a meeting between state mufti Wan Salim Mohd Noor and a group of Christians led by Bishop Sebastian Francis on Feb 29.

Abdul Rahman Kassim, the state PAS coodinator on interfaith issues, said Parti Amanah Negara vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa will also be present.

State PAS commisioner Fauzi Yusof is expected to lead the party’s delegates to the meeting, which will be held at the state mufti’s office in Komtar.

“The mufti is prepared to answer questions on the Islamic State, hudud, cases of custody involving children of divorced parents, civil and syariah court rulings and matters pertaining to religious issues that affect non-Muslims,” Abdul Rahman told Malaysiakini. (more…)

February 24, 2016

Sacking of Penang PKR duo in line with collective responsibility, says law expert

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

Law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari says it is the prerogative of the Penang chief minister to sacdk the PKR duo from state-linked companies. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2016.The sacking of two Penang PKR assemblymen from state agencies is constitutional, but it is up to the people to give their verdict in the next general election, a law expert says.

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari said that was the essence of collective responsibility which stood at the very heart of parliamentary system of the government.

“Constitutionally, sacking party member who does not toe the party line is within the bounds of the law,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He said the federal Cabinet and state executive council were under the prerogative of the head of government, which in Malaysia was either the prime minister, menteri besar or chief minister. (more…)

January 19, 2016

Reformed Penan chief eager to see Baram in transformation

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

Alah Beling used to believe that staging blockades here was the only way for the local Penans to defend their rights to the land.

The 58-year-old thought that by doing that, he and fellow villagers could get the state government and logging companies to listen to their plight and attend to their demands.

“Only now I realise how wrong that was. I was detained in Lambir for a month for that. When I got out, there was no change—not even a bit.

“The environmentalists and human rights activists, whom we met then, told us it was the only way for us to get the state government and (logging) companies to listen. Looking back, it was a silly decision on our part,” said the Penan community leader from the Long Beluk resettlement scheme. (more…)

December 31, 2015

Return Taib’s RM1.2m donation to S’wak, Penan leaders tell Aussie varsity

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

Eleven Penan leaders have demanded that Adelaide University in Australia return A$400,000 (about RM1.2 million) in donation received from former Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud.

The letter, sent to Adelaide University vice-chancellor Warren Bebbington and signed by the Penan leaders with their thumbprints, said the donation should be returned to Sarawak as they claimed the money was illegally acquired by Taib.

“When Taib studied law in Adelaide as a young man, he was as poor as we are today. Later on, he decided to become a politician.

“But instead of helping us indigenous people, Taib became greedy and was only interested in enriching himself and his family members,” read the letter, which was signed by former Penan penghulu James Lalo Keso. (more…)

December 11, 2015

Stop harping on RM2.6 billion, Penang Umno tells Muhyiddin, Dr Mahathir

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

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the party's 69th general assembly at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur today. Penang Umno delegate Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir says deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should only speak publicly on issues that strengthen the party. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, December 10, 2015.The grassroots are not concerned over the RM2.6 billion donation or 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), so Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should stop harping on it, a Penang Umno delegate said today.

Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir warned Muhyiddin to stop his “road shows” criticising Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and urged the deputy president to only speak publicly on matters that could strengthen the party.

He also asked former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stop speaking negatively about Umno, adding that every insult he hurled at Najib was an insult to its members.

“To the deputy president, no more road shows on 1MDB. If you want to go on road shows, just talk about how we can strengthen the party,” said Musa when debating at the party general assembly in PWTC, Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

November 26, 2015

Are the PKR five sending a message to the Penang govt?

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

Is there a message when five PKR state assemblymen abstained from voting during a house vote on a motion on land reclamation that was brought by an Umno legislator at the Penang State Assembly?

Did they fully understand their actions or did they misinterpret the system?

Malaysia follows the Westminster system where members of the House vote as a team. To ensure this, a monitor known as Whip enforces party line although in certain rare circumstances the Whip may be relaxed and allow members to vote based on individual conscience – free voting or conscience vote.

Those supporting the reclamation land motion might have used the term free voting or conscience vote too loosely. (more…)

October 2, 2015

Ban on loudspeaker use except for ‘azan’ in Penang mosques

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

The decision on banning the use of loudspeakers outside the mosques and surau except for the prayer call or ‘azan’ and ‘iqamah’ in Penang will be gazetted soon.

This was stated in a letter from the Penang State Mufti Office dated Sept 1 concerning the decision of the Penang State Fatwa Committee meeting on July 1 and 2 and confirmed at the Penang State Fatwa Committee meeting on Aug 23 and 24.

The letter quoting excerpts of the minutes of the Penang State Fatwa Committee Meeting stated that the meeting had agreed that the command decided at the State Fatwa Committee Meeting dated April 7, 2011 on the prohibition of reading the Al-Quran before ‘Subuh’ (dawn) using the loudspeakers outside the mosque and surau must be improved by including the prohibition on the use of loudspeakers outside the mosques and surau for all programmes, meetings and so on. (more…)

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