Hornbill Unleashed

March 1, 2018

MACC freezes bank accounts, seizes luxury cars in Penang undersea tunnel case

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

The four luxury vehicles seized included a Toyota Vellfire, a Mercedes Benz, a Land Rover, and a Hyundai Starex. — Picture courtesy of MACCThe Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) froze today four company bank accounts containing RM3.6 million and confiscated four luxury vehicles and an RM2.5 million house in its investigation into the Penang undersea tunnel project.

The MACC said the bank accounts belonged to a businessman with a “Datuk Seri” title, who was arrested yesterday on suspicion of receiving RM19 million from the main construction company behind the RM6.3 billion project to help stop investigations.

In 2016, the businessman was allegedly involved in a scam where over 200 investors were duped into depositing approximately RM2.2 million into the bank account of an association.

The suspect, together with a forex investment company, allegedly promised the investors, who were mostly students and pensioners, handsome returns. (more…)


November 29, 2017

Penan celebrated the completion of their 15-year long community mapping

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

Penans from 63 villages at Long Lamai in upper Baram celebrated the completion of their 15-year long community mapping efforts over the weekend.

According to executive director of Penan Organisation Keruan, Komeok Joe, 23 maps containing data collected by the 63 villages at a scale of 1:35,000, covering a total area of 10,000 square kilometres in the Heart of Borneo (HoB) have been completed.

The maps record for the first time the local names of 7,000 rivers and creeks, 1,800 mountain ridges and peaks as well as a great number of cultural sites.

“We hope the (Penan) maps will inspire other indigenous groups to pursue further mapping efforts, and thereby document the cultural richness of Sarawak. Maps are important tools to unite the indigenous peoples in their struggle for their ancestral land,” said Komeok in a statement received here yesterday. (more…)

November 21, 2017

Sarawak’s Penan mapping their way to land rights recognition

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Sarawak’s Penan mapping their way to land rights recognitionSARAWAK’S last nomadic tribe, the Penan, have again pressed the state government to recognise their customary rights to land and a forest sanctuary they want called Baram Heritage Forest, by presenting to the government a “detailed community map” 15 years in the making.

A group of nine Penan chiefs, led by Ajeng Kiew, a penghulu of Baram Sungai Patah, flew from the remotest parts of Baram to present the set of 23 maps to Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas last Friday at the state legislative assembly building.

For some of the Penan chiefs, it was the first they had ventured away from their forest homes, let alone fly in a plane.

“For us Penans, it is a historical achievement to have produced these maps,” Komeok Joe, spokesman for the chiefs and the map’s production coordinator, said today. (more…)

Penans want Baram Heritage Forest to be established

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

A call has been made for Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to continue his predecessor the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s effort to establish the Baram Heritage Forest (BHF).

In making this call yesterday, Komeok Joe, who is Keruan Association coordinator, said this was the wish of the Penan communities in Ulu Baram, who also wanted their rights as an indigenous group respected.

According to Komeok, the Penan communities from Ulu Baram, represented by a delegation of 10 individuals including himself, handed over 23 well-outlined maps on the Penan communities to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas last Friday at the State Legislative Assembly Complex in the presence of representatives from the Chief Minister’s Office and state Land and Survey Department.

“We appreciate the deputy chief minister for taking the time to discuss with us and receive the Penan communities’ maps. We hope that the government will take this matter seriously,” he told a news conference at the state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) headquarters here. (more…)

November 8, 2017

PKR rep hopeful state will contribute to flood relief efforts in Penang

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Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has high hopes that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg will emulate the spirit of compassion and magnanimity of his predecessor, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, in donating to flood relief efforts in Penang.

See recalled that Adenan was quick to express concern and empathy of all Sarawakians by contributing RM2 million to the national disaster fund – to be channelled to flood victims – when many states in Peninsular Malaysia were affected by serious flooding at the end of 2014, besides donating RM1 million to Sabah for their disaster relief aid in 2015.

“Our present CM appears to be as sensitive and affectionate to the well-being of the people. I am certain that he will soon announce the state’s contribution to help alleviate the predicament of the flood victims,” he said in a press conference here yesterday.

Besides that, See said there is an urgent need for all Members of Parliament to put in a concerted effort to deliberate on solutions to resolve the flooding problem that seems to trouble and torment Malaysians every year. (more…)

August 15, 2017

Anwar: MACC probe in Penang reasonable

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Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh leaving the court in George Town August 14, 2016. — Picture by KE OoiPKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has backed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in its investigation into an illegal factory in Penang.

While Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan earlier criticised the MACC over the matter, the imprisoned former deputy prime minister pointed out that the agency has also taken decisive action in the cases of Felda Global Ventures and the Sabah Water Department.

“As such, in the case of the illegal factory and resultant pollution being protested by residents in Sungai Lembu, Penang, the MACC’s action was reasonable.

“However, we are concerned that the move to obtain information from (state exco) Phee Boon Poh was excessive, including his remand,” Anwar said in a statement. (more…)

August 1, 2017

Debt to federal govt: Penang, Selangor owe the least

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

audit-selangorPenang and Selangor are states with the least arrears owed to the federal government, according to the 2016 Auditor-General’s Report released today.

Selangor had only RM14.67 million in arrears, while Penang does not owe the federal government anything.

In contrast, the report showed that as of Dec 31 last year, Pahang and Kedah had the highest arrears of RM1.087 billion and RM1.028 billion respectively.

The report said the states did not pay back a sum of RM4.23 billion, in loans, to the federal government. (more…)

July 30, 2017

Where does the tourism tax go? Here’s Penang’s story

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

Tourist arrivals to Penang has been on the rise since 2014. — Picture by KE OoiWhile sceptics are still holding out on the benefits of the federal government’s tourism tax, they might be able to get a good picture by looking at how Penang has bloomed from its collection over the past three years.

Tourism industry players told Malay Mail Online that tourist arrivals to Penang has been on the rise since 2014, when the state government first imposed a room fee for all guests at hotels rated one-star and above.

Hotel room occupancy rates have increased over the years and the state is expected to breach seven million visitors this year, all thanks to the hotel room fees collected and put to good use, said Danny Law, the Penang executive councillor in charge of tourism development.

The hotel room fee is set at between RM2 and RM3 a night, depending on the hotel’s star rating.

Penang has collected a total RM23 million from its tourism tax as at May this year, Law said in an interview this week. (more…)

Zunar cancels cartoon exhibition after Penang Umno Youth plans ‘friendly’ visit

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

Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque (Zunar) seen at Best Western Hotel, Petaling Jaya, October 2, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy MayPolitical cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque said today he is cancelling a cartoon exhibition in Penang scheduled tomorrow after the Umno Youth chapter from the state announced a so-called “friendly” visit there.The man known as Zunar claimed the visit was a threat of physical intimidation, and accused the police of failing to guarantee that they will handle the mob.

“Based on last year’s experience, this is not a normal visit, but more of an act of physical intimidation. Umno Youth under Khairy Jamaluddin has on many occasions become very rowdy and aggressive, as seen at my exhibition venue in Komtar last November.

“Also as per last year, there is no guarantee that the police would take any action to stop them. So, I have no choice but to call off the exhibition due to security reasons,” Zunar said in a statement.

The exhibition titled “Ketawa Pink Pink” was originally plan to held at an open space in Beach Street, George Town. (more…)

July 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…)

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