Hornbill Unleashed

July 20, 2017

On guard for rabies, Penang bans dogs from Perak and Sarawak

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Afif urged dog owners in Penang to ensure their pets are adequately vaccinated. — Picture by KE OoiPenang is on high alert to prevent the spread of rabies to the state and has banned the entry of dogs from Perak and Sarawak.

The Penang Veterinary Service Department (DVS) will also conduct roadblocks to stop the transportation of dogs from Perak into Penang.

“Penang doesn’t have any new rabies cases since the outbreak in 2015 and by September this year, we would be declared rabies free,” state executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin said.

The agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development and health committee chairman told a press conference that the DVS took 32 samples from dogs this year and all tested negative for rabies so far. (more…)

July 12, 2017

Taskforce committees to help Penans get citizenship – Fatimah

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Related imageSarawak Citizens Task Force Committees will go down to the field to help the Penan community get their citizenship.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, however, said it would not be an easy task to look for them as the community is nomadic in nature.

“The government is doing all it can to help this rural community get their citizenship status,” she said.

“For the Penan case, it needs to be looked into one by one and it can be solved under Section 15 (A) of the Sarawak Citizens’ Task Force Committees regulation for children under 18 and below as long as the parents are citizens,” she added.

She was asked by reporters about a report in a local English newspaper that 100 Penan children in Baram did not have citizenship documents. (more…)

June 8, 2017

Penang gov’t files judicial review to challenge EC redelineation

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The Penang government has filed a judicial review to challenge the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation recommendations, and to declare them “invalid and unconstitutional”.

Lawyer Leong Cheok Keng, who is also Malim Nawar assemblyperson, was appointed by the state government to file the judicial review at the High Court in Penang yesterday.

He said the judicial review must be filed within three months from the date of the recommendations, which were gazetted on March 8. Tomorrow is the last day to apply for the review.

“We have also submitted an affidavit based on a report on the redelineation exercise produced by state think-tank Penang Institute, led by research fellow Wong Chin Huat,” said Leong, at a press conference in Komtar today. (more…)

Penang sues Election Commission over redrawing of boundaries

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The Penang state government has filed a suit against the Election Commission over its redelineation exercise. ― Picture by Saw Siow FengThe Penang government has filed for judicial review of the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation exercise.

Leong Cheok Peng, the lawyer appointed to file the case, said they are also applying for the courts to temporarily prevent the EC from submitting its recommendations for the redelineation to the prime minister.

“We are also filing for a judicial review for a declaration that the redelineation recommendations by the EC was against the Federal Constitution,” he told a press conference with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at the latter’s office.

He said there was malapportionment in the redelineation exercise that the EC failed to address, which is unconstitutional. (more…)

April 12, 2017

MACC nab Penang ‘Datuk Seri’ developer and son in land scandal

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It is learnt that both father and son will be taken to the Magistrate's court here tomorrow morning for a remand order. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa A Penang developer with a “Datuk Seri” title and his son were detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today for investigation into a land scandal said to be worth millions of ringgit.

The duo’s detention comes barely two weeks after a prominent “Datuk” who sits on the board of several public listed companies was arrested, remanded and then released in connection to the same case.

The 74-year-old Datuk Seri, who is a well-known developer in Penang, was detained by MACC officers from Putrajaya at the state MACC headquarters here at about 6.57pm today.

The businessman’s 47-year-old son, who is also a Datuk, was arrested by MACC officials in Putrajaya at about the same time. (more…)

March 8, 2017

‘Education key for Penans to enter mainstream devt’ — Liwan

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Education is a key factor for the Penans to get into the mainstream of development, says Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang.

He said the Bakun Charitable Trust (BCT) was thus now offering incentives to Penan children to attend classes at Murum Resettlement Scheme in Tegulang and Metalun.

“We are giving a chance to Penan children to attend school. That’s why we are not focusing on their academic performance now.

“Last year, with the fund from SEB, we gave incentives to Penan pupils to go to school by giving each one RM1,” Liwan said after leading a delegation from ‘Jom Masuk U’ on a courtesy call to Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing at his office here yesterday.

However, he said BCT would soon start to focus on their academic achievements and not merely on their attendance in school. (more…)

March 5, 2017

Sarawak and Penang seat negotiations settled, says Guan Eng

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lim-guan-engParties in the opposition Pakatan Harapan can heave their first sigh of relief over disputed seat allocations for the next elections after cobbling together agreements over contests in Sarawak and Penang.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today confirmed that the coalition has managed to settle negotiations in the two states, but declined to reveal other details on discussions over seats in other places.

He stressed however that the in-depth negotiations have only been held among the three Pakatan Harapan parties of DAP, PKR and Amanah. Deliberations with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) have only been “general” in nature.

PPBM which is led by former Umno strongmen, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyddin Yassin did not attend a meeting on seat negotiations between the party and Pakatan Harapan on Feb 28, resulting in a flurry of speculations over prospects for cooperation. (more…)

March 3, 2017

Pakatan, BN join hands over Penang home loan rejection issue

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The joint motion urged the federal government and Bank Negara to immediately resolve the high housing loan rejection rate by commercial banks, especially for low cost, low medium cost and affordable housing buyers. — Picture by K.E. OoiPenang Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional (BN) submitted today a historic joint motion to the prime minister to address high loan rejection rates affecting home buyers in the state.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo said state Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid had signed the joint motion together with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“I believe this is a [historic] moment to have a joint motion signed by the chief minister and opposition leader.

“Never before in the history of Malaysia has both parties put aside their political differences to come together to help the people,” he said. (more…)

February 2, 2017

Aziz Bari: Snap polls in Sabah will trigger Selangor, Penang to act

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abdul-aziz-bari_spr_600 A snap election in Sabah will trigger Selangor and Penang to go to the polls early so that Pakatan Harapan (PH) can retain power, law expert Abdul Aziz Bari said.

Aziz said the decision to hold state elections by PH would further depend on the Selangor government’s legal challenge against the Election Commission (EC) on the redelineation exercise.

“If Selangor fails, the PH leadership will prefer to obtain a fresh mandate from the people based on the current electoral boundaries,” he told FMT.

Aziz said this in response to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s statement that no decision had been made yet on calling for a snap election in Sabah. (more…)

December 26, 2016

Penans deny contractor’s claim of encroachment into plantation

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The group of Penans, with one of them holding up the Dec 22, 2016, issue of The Borneo Post, in a photo-call outside the police station. Clement is fourth from right (wearing stripped T-shirt).Twenty Penans from Suai have denied oil palm contractor Harry Ma’s recent claim that several Penans had intruded into the plantation on Dec 19 morning.

The Penans went to the Miri Central Police Station (CPS) at about 12.30pm yesterday to have their statements taken.

“The alleged incident (on the intrusion) that was published by The Borneo Post on Dec 22 runs contrary to what had actually happened,” said the group spokesperson Clement Olo, when met at the CPS.

He said no Penans did what Ma had claimed on that particular day. (more…)

December 7, 2016

Volunteer group lends a hand to stateless disabled Penans

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Wan with one of the disabled villagers from Long Lamam.Welfare group Hope Place Kuching (Hope) has urged several physically challenged villagers from Long Lamam in Baram to seek assistance from the State Welfare Department with regards to their stateless status immediately.

Without a MyKad, they lose out on the many types of assistance offered by the government, said Hope founder Kelvin Wan.

On Friday, Hope visited Miri Welfare Department just to pursue the matter on behalf of the stateless villagers.

“The main reason of paying the officers the visit on Dec 2 is to help the disabled in Long Lamam to submit their application forms. (more…)

November 30, 2016

SEB committed to supporting education of Penans in Belaga

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Sharbini (sixth right) presents a cheque to Masing while Nyabong (third left), Liwan (fourth left) and others look on. Sarawak Energy Bhd remains committed to supporting the education of the Penans in Belaga and those affected by the Murum HEP by contributing to the Bakun Charitable Trust for the second year.

Its chief executive officer (CEO) Sharbini Suhaili presented a cheque for RM200,000 to the chairman of Bakun Charitable Trust who is also Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing at his office in the State Legislative Assembly building here yesterday.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between SEB and Bakun Charitable Trust last year to provide further education support for the Penans in Belaga District, especially those directly affected by the newly-completed Murum HEP.

The MoU defines how a special education fund worth RM200,000 annually, parked under the Bakun Charitable Trust, will be utilised to support the education needs of the Penans. (more…)

November 29, 2016

Sarawak banking on Penang for more air traffic

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Penang-Kuching-direct-flightMalaysia Airline’s newly-launched Penang-Kuching direct flight will basically tap into the business and leisure markets in the two states and beyond.

“We see potential in the route due to high traffic for business-related travels within the region,” said Alias Suut, Malaysia Airlines Berhad’s (MAB) assistant manager sales (Brunei and Sarawak).

The primary target on the route, he added in a statement in Borneo Post, were premium customers i.e. corporate flights.

“However, we are not discounting the tourism and leisure segment.”

He was commenting on a MAB business-to-business (B2B) session in Penang over the weekend. (more…)

November 18, 2016

39 Penan students finish literacy programme

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Students show off their certificates in a group photo at the closing ceremony.A total of 39 primary school Penan students from Murum recently completed an eight-month educational programme designed to help them improve their reading, spelling and writing skills in Bahasa Melayu and English in order to obtain better results in their first public examination – the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR).

In a press statement yesterday, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) said that the ‘Literacy for Social Inclusion Programme’ initiated and supported by the corporation was developed specifically for Penan children at SK Tegulang who were lagging behind in their reading skills.

SK Tegulang is one of two primary schools which SEB helped to set up at the Murum Resettlement Scheme.

The literacy programme was facilitated by Dyslexia Association of Sarawak (DASwk) and organised in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak Education Department. (more…)

November 3, 2016

Guan Eng says baffled after EC accepted objection for excluded Penang federal seats

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Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng faces two corruption charges in court. — Picture by K.E.OoiPenang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced today that the Election Commission (EC) only one objection out of nine submitted regarding its proposed redelineation exercise.

Of the nine, eight were submitted by the DAP while the sole objection accepted was by the one filed by the Penang state government, which qualifies a representative to attend the EC’s public hearing on its redelineation exercise.

Handing out copies of the EC notification letter to the state government dated November 2, Lim expressed bafflement on the polls regulator’s notification of the inquiry hearing on two federal seats he said he had not included in his complaint.

The letter was titled in Bahasa Malaysia: First Round Inquiry into the parliamentary constituencies of P.041 Kepala Batas and P.053 Balik Pulau. (more…)

November 2, 2016

Called in for questioning, Penang Bersih cry ‘intimidation’

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Lee accused the police of ‘intimidation’ today. — Picture by K.E.OoiThe Penang chapter of electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 accused the police of “intimidation” today, after a member of its northern peninsula secretariat was questioned over its Bersih 5 rally awareness programme last month.

The secretariat member Lee Chung Lun, who turned up at the Central Seberang Perai district police headquarters at about 1.40pm today, claimed it was a tactic to stop the group from organising future Bersih-related events.

“They called me last night to come in and have my statement recorded over a Bersih 5 awareness programme we held at Sunway Carnival Mall on October 7 where we handed out flyers to the public,” he said.

However, he admitted that the police who called him did not say if they were investigating him or if they only wanted his statement. (more…)

October 10, 2016

Penang Umno Youth to hold second rally against Guan Eng, Bersih 5

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Rafizal (3rd from right) said they will organise a larger Ride Against Corruption to demand for Lim Guan Eng’s resignation and to stop Bersih 5.Penang Umno Youth will hold a second “Ride Against Corruption” rally in a continued bid to call for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to resign and to stop the Bersih 5 rally.

Penang Umno Youth chief Rafizal Abdul Rahim said the rally, dubbed as “Himpunan Bangkit Pulau Pinang 2016 Ride Against Corruption 2.0 “, is to pressure Lim to either step down from his post or take leave pending his corruption cases in court.

“We also want the Bersih 5 rally to be cancelled as it will adversely affect the people,” he said in a press conference at Menara Umno here today.

Penang Umno Youth held its first Ride Against Corruption last week, on October 1, where Rafizal claimed more than 3,000 participants, in red shirts, rode through the streets to demonstrate against Lim and Bersih 5. (more…)

October 9, 2016

Maria unfazed by small Penang turnout

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maria-bersih-penangDespite the presence of Bersih chairman, Maria Chin Abdullah, and local state assemblymen, the Bersih convoy here received a very low turnout.

Less than 50 people wearing the official Bersih t-shirt were in the convoy, which started at Tesco Alma Bukit Mertajam at 7.30am and moved to several public areas including Taman Selamat market and Machang Bubuk morning market.

The convoy had failed to attract the attention of the people in the areas which lie in state and parliamentary constituencies held by DAP and PKR, which both support Bersih.

Maria said Bersih did not expect many people to attend the convoy. “We expected some 30 to 40 people only to join the convoy, as we want to talk to people about what are Bersih’s demands,” she said when contacted. (more…)

October 7, 2016

Penang mulls legal action against owners who rent, sell affordable housing units

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Penang executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo said the application form for affordable housing type A and B clearly states that these units must be occupied by the owners, and that it can only be sold after 10 years. ― Picture by K. E. OoiPenang is looking at legal options to take action against affordable housing unit owners who rented out or sold their units, said state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo.

The state housing development committee chairman said these unit owners, who have been found to have flouted the state rules in relation to affordable housing units, will be faced with legal action.

“I have asked the state legal adviser’s office to furnish me with a legal opinion as to our legal rights and powers against such suspected individuals,” he told a press conference today.

Jagdeep, who chairs the Selection Process Enhancement Committee (SPEC), said the application form for affordable housing type A and B clearly states that these units must be occupied by the owners, and that it can only be sold after 10 years. (more…)

October 1, 2016

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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

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…)

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