Hornbill Unleashed

March 6, 2015

Ex-top judge’s disclosure vindicates whistleblower

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

Following recent revelations by former Court of Appeal judge KC Vohrah of questionable actions by ex-chief justice Eusoff Chin, the man who had first revealed judicial corruption in Malaysia feels quietly vindicated.

Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah Idid was the High Court judge who was forced to resign for writing an anonymous letter exposing the matter in 1996, which was sent to a select set of high officials.

Among its allegations, it revealed Eusoff had gone on a New Zealand holiday with VK Lingam, a senior lawyer who appeared before the then chief justice in court on a number of cases. (more…)

1MDB: Dismantled or not, fiery debates expected in Parliament

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

Amidst a Reuters report that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is set to be dismantled, opposition lawmakers are not expected to spare the state investment arm the “bashing” they have promised when Parliament sits for its first session of the year on March 9.

Already, opposition MPs have declared that 1MBD is on top of their agenda for the coming sitting. In fact, several Pakatan MPS have already been harping on the issue for the past weeks.

Notably, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli and Selangor DAP chairman Tony Pua have been holding almost daily press conferences to expose more alleged anomalies or rebut denials issued by individuals linked to operations of the state investment fund. (more…)

Chinese schools don’t deserve GST relief, complains Perkasa Youth

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

Teacher Lau Chooi Lan leading Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Chong Hwa pupils back into their class in Setapak, January 2, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Perkasa Youth condemned Putrajaya’s decision to exempt Chinese independent high schools from the goods and services tax (GST) yesterday, questioning their allegedly special status compared to public high schools.

The wing of the Malay rights group said this exemption was proof Putrajaya has failed to “learn their lesson” when the United Chinese School Committees’ Association (Dong Zong) protested against National Education Blueprint.

“How many more privileges should be given to Dong Zong? Is it not enough, the millions of ringgits allocated for Dong Zong?” asked Perkasa Youth secretary Ruzainie Reezman in a statement. (more…)

Ex-minister exposes dubious Deepak loan in tell-all book

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

ANOTHER NAJIB-ALTANTUYA SCANDAL ERUPTS: The former chairman of Bank Rakyat, Sabbaruddin Chik, has taken a swipe at those involved in his unceremonious ousting from the post, telling it all in a book written by political commentator Shahbuddin Husin.

Sabbaruddin’s tenure was not renewed by Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Hasan Malek after he refused to approve a loan repayment plan for controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan. According to the plan, the book says, Deepak would be allowed to make his repayment with 120 cheques postdated across 10 years. (more…)

Fairland Sarawak, how fair art thou treated? Fret not, Adenan is around!

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

Adenan taking his oath at the swearing-in ceremony“Our relationship with the federal government must be constitutionally correct, according to the Constitution, according to the spirit of the Constitution and according to the spirit of the Inter-Governmental Committee.

The relationship between Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur is different from that between, say Pahang and Kuala Lumpur.

We are an autonomous state according to the Malaysia Agreement. We did NOT join Malaysia. (more…)

Early state polls unlikely, Adenan has every reason to go the full term

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

AdenanWill Sarawak Barisan Nasional chairman, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, call for an early state election?

When the term of Adenan’s government expires in June 2016, whatever the date he picks, for as long as it is within the last 12 months of that term, I don’t see that as early. That I would consider a full term.

I would call it early if he calls for the election in the first six months of this year, meaning his government is short of 12 months.

But does he have any good reason to want to go for an early polls? (more…)

Pakatan’s dream of running Sarawak fading

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

Bickering among the three partners of Pakatan Rakyat in Sarawak is diffusing the dream that it will be able to run the state one day.

The relationship among Sarawak DAP, Sarawak PKR and PAS has been steadily deteriorating over the past months.

When they first formed the coalition in 2010, they did fairly well. The combined forces of the three parties won 15 state seats in the 2011 Sarawak election to form a respectable opposition in the state assembly of 71 seats. (more…)

1MDB says no decision to wind-up

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

There has been no decision to wind-up ailing investment arm 1Malaysia Development Fund (1MDB).According to a 1MDB spokesperson, the firm remains committed to achieving the objectives outlined in its strategic review, which was unveiled last month.

“In our strategic review, we stated our intention for TRX (Tun Razak Exchange) and Bandar Malaysia to be run as standalone entities with independent governance structures and responsibility for their own operations and finances, as is presently the case with Edra Energy. (more…)

Enough Sarawakians qualify as teachers, Masing tells minister

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

Sarawak leader Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) today said Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh may have “pulled a fast one” on Sarawak leaders on the controversial posting of large numbers of teachers from the peninsula, particularly from Kelantan and Terengganu, to the state.

Last month, Idris sparked angry reactions from the state government, as well as political leaders across the divide when he tried to justify the postings by saying there were not enough Sarawakians who had graduated from teacher training institutes as they did not have the qualifications to enrol in them in the first place.

The minimum qualification for teacher training is 5As in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). (more…)

1MDB to be dismantled under debt plan

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

Malaysia’s indebted and controversy-ridden state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will be left as a skeletal structure and possibly dissolved under a debt repayment plan in which most of its assets will be sold, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The power and property fund, a pet project of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak with assets worth US$14 billion (RM51 billion), was hit by losses last year and nearly defaulted on a loan payment.

The near-miss drove down the ringgit currency and Malaysian government bonds and prompted calls from opposition leaders to make the fund’s accounts more transparent. (more…)

M’sians are leaving because of bad politicians and bad policies

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

Another friend of mine is migrating to Australia with his young family. He has just completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and was enjoying a solid career in the private education sector here. His reasons are to secure a better future for his children and a more balanced lifestyle for himself.

The World Bank stated in its report in 2010 that more than one million Malaysians are currently living or studying abroad. Slightly less than half of these Malaysians are tertiary educated or professionally trained.

Almost 40 per cent of them are living and working in Singapore alone, making up almost half of all foreign talents in the city-state. The migration trend is getting younger too and a large number of Malaysians who are graduating earlier at the age of 21 to 23 years old have chosen to remain abroad. (more…)

March 5, 2015

Cabinet clears 1MDB of wrongdoings

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

The cabinet has decided that debt-laden state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has done nothing wrong.

It decided this after hearing a briefing from 1MDB and its auditor Deloitte at the cabinet meeting today.

“Cabinet expressed confidence that no wrongdoing has been committed within 1MDB, and their desire for the company to be allowed to implement the proposed outcomes of its strategic review,” said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement.

The decision comes as Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak instructed the Auditor-General to audit 1MDB and present the report for inspection by the Public Accounts Committee. (more…)

Article on Eva Peron (or Rosmah) raises ire

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

Unlike his predecessors, Najib Abdul Razak has a unique problem on his hands – his better half.

For the past six years as the prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons, the latest being her remarks on a hirsute affair.

There were those who came to her defence and accused news portals of spinning the issue.

But what cannot be denied is that Rosmah is a magnet for controversies, especially those of the dazzling kind. (more…)

PKR says it will contest 49 seats in Sarawak polls

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

Sarawak PKR says deputy president Mohamad Azmin Ali wants the state party to ficus on the 49 constituencies it contested in the state election in 2011. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, March 4, 2015.

Sarawak PKR today told their partners in the opposition coalition that the 49 seats they were allocated in the last state election in 2011 “are not up for grabs” and they would contest the same seats in the forthcoming state polls.

Only the 11 new seats that the Election Commission is planning to create are negotiable, said the state PKR election committee deputy chairman Baharuddin Mokhsen.

In the distribution of the 71 seats, DAP were allocated 15, mostly in Chinese majority constituencies, while PAS were allocated only seven. (more…)

What are Malaysian universities for? 

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

This is a further response to the recent debate about “world class” and Malaysia’s higher education. For this debate to be meaningful, we believe a more important question that needs to be asked is “What are Malaysian universities for?”

Professor Stefan Collini from Cambridge University in his book titled “What are universities for?” argues persuasively why universities matter to everyone in society. Universities, he says, are the single most important institutional medium for conserving, understanding, extending and passing on to the next generations the intellectual, scientific and artistic heritage of humankind. Therefore, we believe that as part of our concern for Malaysian universities, it is pertinent to reflect on the role of these societal institutions. (more…)

Najib’s explanation raises more questions than answers

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

Left: Najib and his brothers with their mother Tun Raha and Tun Razak (right)Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has finally broken his usual not so-elegant silence (on things that really matter), dismissing talks about inheritance left by his late father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

Malay dailies Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia today cited Najib, in a statement, as echoing his siblings in saying that the country’s second prime minister was a principled man, who was known for his frugality, integrity and moderation.

But as always, Najib’s so-called answers raise more questions, than silence his critics.

“Throughout his career, Tun Abdul Razak was never involved in corruption or wrongdoings. (more…)

Conflict of interest in Petrosaudi-1MDB-UBG Bank venture

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

“As an executive director of UBG, and chief investment officer of 1MDB, (it) definitely (presents a) conflict of interest,” ACCA certified corporate governance consultant Razly Zakaria told Theantdaily when asked about the situation involving a 1MDB company officer who also held a position in UBG, a bank embroiled in the controversial Petrosaudi deal.

The matter was highlighted by whistleblower website Sarawak Report which had revealed in an article dated March 3 that Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, then chief investment officer of 1MDB, was also concurrently the executive director of UBG Berhad. (more…)

Sirul, living it up in Sydney, should just spill the beans

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

Life must be good being Sirul Azhar Omar – the man on the run after brutally murdering a woman, but still able to enjoy the finer things in life.

Life in a foreign country to escape the gallows in his native Malaysia – check. Internet and mobile phone access while in detention – check.

Getting to feast on his favourite meals cooked by his loving mother – check again.

For those who go “wait, what?” after reading the last line, that’s exactly how the convicted murderer is living the life in Australia. He is currently in Villawood detention centre in Sydney after fleeing Malaysia last October. (more…)

PM calls for public audit of 1MDB

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has instructed the Auditor-General to independently verify 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) accounts.

The audit report will then be passed to the Public Accounts Committee for inspection, Najib said in a statement after the cabinet meeting today.

“If any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” Najib, who is also chairperson of 1MDB board of advisors, said. (more…)

Malaysians don’t hate BN, only corruption and extremism

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

It is safe to assume that Barisan Nasional’s public image is at its lowest ever, with discontentment building as new controversies come to light. These controversies, and more importantly, the way they were handled, have raised doubts among Malaysians till some have begun to question the integrity of the institutions that the nation relies on.

The situation is so bad that every single component of our country’s governance is called into question – the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Even our Constitution – the foundation stone and anchor of all things Malaysian – is fair game.

Extremism is alive and well in our country, and their radical views have seeped into the mainstream, tainting rational thought and poisoning civilised discourse. (more…)

Tycoon’s partying antics draw attention to 1MDB

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

The truth behind the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) and its murky dealings came to light courtesy of Taek Jho Low because his jet-set lifestyle made headlines around the world for its extravagance and ostentatiousness.Sarawak Report editor and founder Clare Rewcastle Brown said the international press is zooming in on 1MDB dealings due to Jho Low making “a spectacle of himself” with his flamboyant partying.

Whistleblower website Sarawak Report has last Sunday published a series of stinging exposes regarding 1MDB and Jho Low, jointly with Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.

Rewcastle Brown told Malaysiakini Jho Low’s blatant display of wealth has gotten the Western media interested in him and they have focused on his links with the beleaguered 1MDB – the state investment arm which is the brainchild of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. (more…)

March 4, 2015

Whistleblower: Lots more on 1MDB and Jho Low

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

There are “thousands of documents” on the dealings of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and businessman Low Taek Jho’s role in the state investment arm in the possession of whistleblower Sarawak Report.This was revealed by its editor and founder Clare Rewcastle Brown in an email interview with Malaysiakini.

In recent weeks, Sarawak Report ran a series of exposés on 1MDB’s 2009 joint venture with Petrosaudi Ltd, highlighting alleged irregularities in the joint venture, and more importantly, publishing damning email communications that purportedly took place among the brokers.

The email indicated that the joint venture, into which 1MDB injected US$1 billion (RM3.62 billion), was being used as a “front” to channel the money into a company controlled businessman Jho Low, who allegedly retains close ties with the family of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. (more…)

Adenan did it in less than an hour but Putrajaya struggles on

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

Adenan in a jovial mood during a TV programme on Feb 25Too often Malaysians can’t get what they want from Putrajaya, which is why there are no answers to issues like ‘pendatang’, those calls to boycott Chinese businesses and close Chinese vernacular schools, and religious bigots and extremists having a field day.

Putrajaya either keeps mum or issues statements that confuse and raise more questions than answers.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Umno-led Barisan Nasional government is incapable of straight talking that too many times even coalition members were forced into shameless public debates because of communication breakdown. (more…)

Transparency International adds pressure to Putrajaya on 1MDB

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

Government-owned strategic investment fund 1MDB is attracting more attention over its allegedly dubious deals overseas with Transparency-International Malaysia the latest organisation seeking answers. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 3, 2015.Government-owned strategic investment fund 1MDB is attracting more attention over its allegedly dubious deals overseas with Transparency-International Malaysia the latest organisation seeking answers.

Pressure is mounting on Putrajaya as anti-graft organisation Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) has joined in the calls for an investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the government-owned strategic investment fund embroiled in a financial scandal.TI-M said a “special high level task force” was needed to probe the debt-ridden 1MDB, adding that an audit of its accounts by the Auditor-General’s office would not suffice as its financial irregularities had drawn international attention and cast doubts over Putrajaya’s commitment to transparency and accountability. (more…)

Has Najib lost the confidence of his cabinet members?

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

A news report claimed that the Cabinet last week rejected a proposed RM3 billion cash injection for the debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

If The Malaysian Insider Feb 27 report titled “Cabinet rejects RM3 billion for 1MDB as debt repayment options narrow” is accurate, it is one of the most damning news for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

However, the report is based on sources and the accuracy is yet to be verified.

Is it possible for the Cabinet to reject the proposal by the Finance Ministry (MoF)? (more…)

Zaid backs ex-foe Azmin for opposition leader

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

In 2010, Zaid Ibrahim quit PKR amid a bitter contest for the number two post with Azmin Ali.

Zaid then accused Azmin, who is now the Selangor menteri besar, and Anwar Ibrahim of being responsible for the irregularities and discrepancies in the party elections.

But now, the former law minister has endorsed Azmin as the best candidate to replace Anwar as the opposition leader in Parliament.

“Azmin has the resources and the political skills to replace Anwar. (more…)

Umno veep keeps mum on 1MDB scandal

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

Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has refused to respond to reports that the Cabinet had rejected 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB)‎ request for a RM3 billion cash injection. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 3, 2015.Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal today refused to respond to reports that the Cabinet had rejected 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB)‎ request for a RM3 billion cash injection.

Shafie, who is the Rural and Regional Development Minister, said he did not have to answer when reporters asked him to comment on the issue.

“‎Where did you hear about that? I don’t have to respond,” he told reporters today after officiating the 49th MARA Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

El Putera

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

It is said, “What’s in a name; that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?” I am not a true Shakespearean and therefore I will claim the popular heritage of this idea and ideal.

This same rose however is on the cover of the first book that I am publishing, consisting of about 40 columns of mine related to the lack of good governance over the ‘Allah’ issue in Malaysia. The actual title of the book can be the subject of another column, so I will not reveal it yet.

But, after March 1 (i.e. my wife’s birthday) the book is ready for sale at the publishers, SIRD in Petaling Jaya. I will make no profits from this print-run; while the publisher only seeks to cover his costs. (more…)

Selangor MB, exco members call on Southeast Asia Anglican Archbishop

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

Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali having a light moment with Archbishop of Anglican Province of Southeast Asia Rev Datuk Bolly Lapok at Bishop’s House, St Thomas Cathedral in Kuching during a courtesy call yesterday.

The Gombak MP and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman was accompanied by, among others, several Selangor exco members and state PKR chairman Baru Bian.

Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali led a delegation for a courtesy call on Anglican Province of Southeast Asia Archbishop, Rev Datuk Bolly Lapok at Bishop’s House, St Thomas Cathedral here yesterday. (more…)

Hudud doctors, laws and the ever-changing world

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

It is simply too naïve to deduce that once a person is punished, society in general will take note of this and hence the very same crime committed by this person will not be repeated by others.

Death sentences and the number of prisoners who have been executed have not deterred people from committing murder. It was never the right remedy nor the right punishment.

There are other types of crime being committed and when caught and brought to justice, the perpetrators would get the punishment that society felt they deserved. (more…)

Sarawak, Selangor top leaders in landmark meet

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

Selangor is ready and willing to see how it can better attend to the welfare and well-being of the large number of Sarawakians who are currently living and working in Selangor.

This was one of the matters discussed during an unprecedented meeting this morning in Kuching between the Menteri Besar of Selangor Azmin Ali and Sarawak’s Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

The two leaders also discussed several other areas that the two state governments could work together in the interest of the people of the two states. (more…)

PKR: Ringgit plunge – not traders – keeping prices up

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

It is the depreciation of the ringgit’s value – not the unscrupulous actions of certain traders – that is keeping the prices of goods high despite the recent drop in oil prices said PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli today.

Rafizi pointed to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) which showed that although the overall prices of locally-manufactured goods had dropped by seven percent over the past year, import prices remained the same meaning the combined prices for goods remained at the same levels.

Hence, he said, the government should not be looking at traders, but should looking at ways and means to bring down the import prices which in turn wpuld bring down the overall prices of goods and services in the local market. (more…)

No easy feat to oust Najib

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

Unlike Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his successor is cast in a different mould.

He had collaborated with Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remove his predecessor from office. And now, Najib Abdul Razak finds himself in a similar situation.

With opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim incarcerated and the opposition struggling with internal problems, the situation appears ripe for the juggernaut in Umno to be unleashed again.

The attacks have intensified, especially the premier’s links on the reported problems faced by his brainchild 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). (more…)

March 3, 2015

Najib must explain emails on 1MDB

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

Regardless of the motives behind the latest expose on 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Prime Minister Najib Razak has been urged to answer to whether the materials produced are true.Anti-corruption NGO Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) also urged that all public institutions, namely the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Auditor General’s office as well as the Public Account’s committee to begin a full audit on 1MDB.

Pua said that Najib cannot disassociate himself from the “heist of the century”.

“The prime minister certainly cannot disclaim responsibility by claiming that he ‘was not involved in the day-to-day operations of 1MDB’,” said Pua in a statement this morning. (more…)

When the judiciary looks to others to defend itself

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

It is sometimes said that justice is always on trial. And that the judiciary, compared to the legislature and the executive, is the least powerful branch.

So when the government leaped to the defence of the Federal Court immediately after the judges there eventually sent Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to jail for sodomy on Feb 10, the verdict came as no surprise.

Prior to that, we have seen how the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail defended the court on what he claimed as attack on the judiciary by certain lawyers. He did the same a few days after the apex court’s verdict was criticized all over the world. (more…)

High time MACC stepped into 1MDB scandal

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

Cynthia Gabriel and its legal advisor Ambiga Sreenevasan2NGO wants particular focus on USD 700 million siphoned out from the government-owned strategic investment company.

C4, the Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism, has called on the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to immediately begin investigations into the financial scandal that the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) has become.

In particular, said C4, MACC should focus on allegations that USD 700 million had been siphoned out from the government-owned strategic investment company into a company owned by a Penangite, one Jho Low. (more…)

Ex-judge, senior lawyer want Shafee disciplined

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

Senior lawyer and government-appointed prosecutor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who has for the past few weeks held open dialogue sessions on Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II conviction, is in further trouble with his peers.

Now, a former Court of Appeal judge and a senior lawyer have presented a motion to the Bar Council for the 69th annual general meeting of the Malaysian Bar to condemn Shafee’s behaviour.

Retired judge VC George and senior lawyer Tommy Thomas further want the Bar Council to refer the  Umno-linked lawyer to its disciplinary board and take steps to prevent him from continuing to bring the legal profession into disrepute. (more…)

Why BN will retain power in Sarawak polls

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

Talk of an imminent Sarawak state election has gained momentum as Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem receives accolades for his first year as the state leader.He took over as chief minister of Sarawak on Feb 28, 2014. The current term of the present state government ends on June 16, 2016.

Sarawak is a resource rich state but its human development indicators under 50 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule raises questions on who has benefited from the wealth of the state.

It is the second poorest state in the country. The Sarawak government says, “There is a long way to go in eradicating poverty in the state and the focus now is on helping the hardcore poor.” Sarawak has only seven rural clinics out of 212 government-run health facilities in the country. (more…)

Illegal loggers in Sarawak to face heavier penalties

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

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem is taking a strong stand against illegal logging in his state, including amending the relevant law to include jail time for those behind such activity. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 2, 2015.Sarawak will impose heavier penalties against illegal loggers once an amendment to the forestry ordinance is passed in the State Legislative Assembly sitting next month.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the amendment would be to increase and enhance the penalty imposed including a higher amount of compound, the details of which would be furnished during the tabling of the amendment.

“Under the new amendment, those caught in possession of illegally fell logs must explain how they had obtained the log,” he told reporters at a news conference in Kuching today. (more…)

Lawyers move to discuss Shafee’s conduct after Anwar’s sodomy trial

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

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah arriving at the Federal Court in Putrajaya before the verdict was read on opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy appeal, on February 10. His actions in the days after the conviction will now come under scrutiny by the Malaysian Bar at its annual general meeting on March 14. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 2, 2015.

Two senior members of the Malaysian Bar have urged the Bar Council to take action against lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for his conduct after the sodomy conviction of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Lawyer Tommy Thomas and retired Court of Appeal judge Tan Sr V.C. George said that from the time the Federal Court convicted Anwar on February 10, Shafee, has behaved in a repugnant and obnoxious manner which has brought the legal profession into disrepute.

In a motion submitted to the Bar Council ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM) on March 14, the two senior lawyers also urged the incoming council for the 2015-2016 term to lodge a report against Shafee with the Disciplinary Board. (more…)

Azmin assures Christians of religious freedom

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

Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, today met with Sarawak Christian leaders at the Anglican Bishop’s House, Kuching to assure them that PKR will protect moderation and justice for all.

Azmin last year resolved the Bible issue in Selangor when he oversaw the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) return the Bahasa Malaysia and Iban language holy books seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).

A source said Azmin today also told church leaders that PKR will work with them so Malaysia remains multi-religious and multi-cultural. (more…)

This is why 1MDB is in financial ruins today

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

Top right: Jho Low and Mahony (below)Was 1MDB’s development money channelled towards pleasure and debauchery, as well as good causes in the West, instead of helping the intended poor of the country from whence the money has come?

According to an exposé by whistleblower site Sarawak Report on Feb 28, the answer is in the affirmative. And the culprit appears to be billionaire tycoon Jho Low.

What makes the Sarawak Report revelation more interesting is that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also appeared to have played an indirect role in 1MDB signing off a deal which saw billions of Ringgit being siphoned out of the government owned sovereign fund. (more…)

Empower young girls, educate young men

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

It takes two to tango and we must not fall into the trap of thinking that girls don’t want sex, too.

The statistics compiled by the National Registration Department (NRD) are alarming:

• Between 2000 and 2008, there were 257,000 children who were born out of wedlock.

• In 2006 the NRD recorded a figure of 38,258 illegitimate babies, which rose sharply to 44,234, in 2007.

• The figures for 2008, 2009 and 2010 are 46,822, 52,378 and 52,982 illegitimate babies respectively. (more…)

Anwar the political prisoner

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

How prophetic that in 2020, the ideals of a wealthy nation enjoying economic prosperity, social well-being and a world class education, will all be overshadowed by one major event; the release of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim from jail.So, instead of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad being lauded for his vision of a self-sufficient industrialised nation, the irony is that there will be a celebration of Mahathir’s long-term foe being freed.

If our ministers are to be believed, we are already blessed with world class educational institutions. As for social well-being, our prime minister and his family’s socialite existence have made headlines around the world. (more…)

Lack of transparency and accountability. This is why, Najib!

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

Soon after Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak became prime minister in 2009, he unveiled his “People’s First, Performance Now” motto while his Indonesian counterpart Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo was elected based on the belief that he can be the “people’s president.”

While the two seemingly share a similar philosophy for their administrations, founder of think-tank Regional Initiatives for Governance, Human Rights & Social Justice (RIGHTS) Yusmadi Yusoff noted that the manifestation of their leadership is often completely at odds with one another. (more…)

Did 1MDB pay Aabar US$1 billion to terminate options?

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

The stories on 1MDB and the money trail of the first US$1 billion it invested as it appears in today's edition of The Edge Malaysia. – March 2, 2015.The stories on 1MDB and the money trail of the first US$1 billion it invested as it appears in today’s edition of The Edge Malaysia. – March 2, 2015.

The stories on 1MDB and the money trail of the first US$1 billion it invested as it appears in today’s edition of The Edge Malaysia. – March 2, 2015.
In 2012, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), using subsidiaries, issued two bonds totalling US$3.5 billion (RM11.55 billion) bonds to finance the acquisition of power assets from Tanjong and the Genting Group. (more…)

When eyes refuse to see, ears refuse to hear and mouth refuses to speak

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

Between Sarawak and Malaya, while there are similarities, their differences are so pronounced that it does not take much effort to comprehend why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s government is trying so hard to heal the growing polarisation.

The problem is the healing jobs are not quite dissimilar from when you have people looking for the missing MH370 jetliner using bamboo sticks, coconut fruits and some cheap carpet when better, rather proven, ways raise more questions than answers.

Of course, there are times things like bamboo sticks, nuts and mats, plus some jampi spells, work rather well with beetle-chewing grandmas in the absence of Panadol, minyak gamat and the likes. (more…)

March 2, 2015

Najib’s stepson the key for Low, says report

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

Controversial money man Taek Jho Low’s tunneled his way into the Malaysian elite circle through Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor and her son Riza Aziz, Sarawak Report said.

The whitsleblower website said Penangite Low got into Rosmah’s good books after meeting her son while at school in the UK in 2004.

“Insiders say that Jho Low’s key initial Malaysian contact was the PM’s stepson Riza Aziz, whom he met while at school over in the UK.

“Low spent plenty of time ingratiating himself with Riza’s mother, Rosmah Mansor (below), whom he generally refers to as ‘Madame’ or ‘First Lady’,” the report alleged. (more…)

PetroSaudi, 1MDB say funds payment above board

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

PetroSaudi says the company has paid Malaysia's 1MDB in full and is therefore no longer tied to the company financially or legally. – Pic taken from PetroSaudi website, March 1, 2015.

PetroSaudi International (PetroSaudi) today denied reports that funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) went to third parties, adding that its subsidiaries had received the entire cash for a joint-venture company, while 1MDB confirmed that it received back its investment in full from the deal besides making a profit.

The privately owned oil exploration and production company in a statement today said that upon 1MDB’s exit, PetroSaudi had paid the Malaysian strategic investment fund in full and both parties no longer had any financial or legal relations. (more…)

‘World class’ and Malaysia’s Higher Education 

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

Children Education

PenDaPaT is a registered national society made up of concerned citizens on higher education in Malaysia. We take this opportunity to express our humble thoughts and views about the ongoing debate of whether Malaysia’s higher education is ‘world class’.

We are of the opinion that there are elements in Malaysia’s higher education that can be considered as ‘world class’, but at the same time, we also wish to point out rooms for improvement.

However, there is first a need to consider carefully what we mean by ‘world class’. We believe it is important to recognise and acknowledge that university rankings are merely a benchmark. They are by no means a yardstick of quality. A lot of universities around the world are doing well in whatever they are entrusted by their societies, and this may not always translate into positions on the university rankings. (more…)

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