Hornbill Unleashed

August 28, 2016

See Chee How compliments Adenan, state govt on breakthrough in talks with Petronas

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:03 AM

Image result for See Chee HowBatu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How appreciates the good efforts of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the state government in their negotiations with the federal government and Petronas.

See, who is state PKR vice-chairman, also congratulated the state administration for the breakthrough in the negotiations, particularly in securing more favourable employment opportunities for Sarawakians in Petronas operations in Sarawak.

“I must put on record my appreciation to the good efforts of the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the state government and congratulate the state administration for the breakthrough in the negotiation with the federal government and Petronas, particularly in securing more favourable employment opportunities for Sarawakians in Petronas’ operations in Sarawak, but I still think that the concession by Putrajaya is still ‘too little too slow’,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

“This is a collective feat of all Sarawakians, with many concerned groups and individuals standing up to the national oil company, expressing their opinions and asserting the State’s rights and interests. Hence, all Sarawakians can applaud ourselves for the modest achievement so far.” (more…)

Christians join in prayers for the nation

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:02 AM

(From right) Ha, Uggah, Bolly, Justin, and Jahar at the ACS Joint National Day 2016 Service. More than 1,000 Christians from various denominations attended the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) Joint National Day Prayer Service 2016 at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre here on Thursday.

The annual event was hosted by the Anglican Church, under the chairmanship of the Very Revd Michael Buma Galami, Dean of Kuching.

ACS chairman Revd Dr Justin Wan, who is Borneo Evangelical Mission (SIB) president, gave the welcoming speech and led the opening prayer.

The raising of the Jalur Gemilang was performed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, while the state flag was raised by Deputy State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion. (more…)

Sarawak reaches amicable agreement with Putrajaya on Petronas employment issue

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:02 AM

Image result for Sarawak reaches amicable agreement with Putrajaya on Petronas employment issueThe Sarawak government and Putrajaya reached amicable agreements with regard to Petronas employment issues following a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Kuala Lumpur on Friday (Aug 26).

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem said State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani will represent Sarawak as a member of the board of directors of Petronas.

“The 192 posts now vacant are to be advertised in local papers and to be filled by Sarawakians. Petronas is to consult the state government if no Sarawakian is suitable for the job,” Adenan announced at a news conferences at the VIP holding room of Hornbill Skyways here today (Aug 27).

Also with him at the conference were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Morshidi.

Adenan said Petronas would provide up to 50 places for Sarawakians to do undergraduate studies at University Technology Petronas. (more…)

Sarawak to review nearly 600 jobs occupied by non-locals in Petronas

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:02 AM

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem (centre), speaking to reporters, says 192 vacant posts must be filled by Sarawakians, Aug 27, 2016. — Picture by Sulok TawieAmid its controversial work permit moratorium, the Sarawak government announced today it will review the 586 positions currently occupied by non-locals in oil and gas giant Petronas.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said a sub-committee will be formed to ensure that Sarawakians will be given priority to be employed by the firm.

“A subcommittee, headed by State Secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Ghani will review the issuance of the work permits to these non-locals and some applications from non-locals which are being frozen,” he told reporters at the Hornbill Skyways Hangar here upon returning from the federal capital.

Adenan confirmed that the issue of non-locals working with Petronas in Sarawak was one of the points discussed with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Petronas chief executive officer Datuk Wan Zulkfili Wan Ariffin in Putrajaya yesterday. (more…)

More Petronas exec jobs for Sarawakians

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:02 AM

Sarawak, Petronas, Adenan Satem, workers, retrenchSarawakians are to fill 95 per cent of non-executive positions in Petronas activities in the state by 2020, Chief Minister Adenan Satem said today.

Sarawakians will also fill 75 per cent of executive positions, and 60 per cent of managerial and management positions by that time.

Adenan said the state government would now consider lifting a freeze on work permits and review all 586 positions for which work permits are sought, to ensure that Sarawakians are given priority in filling the posts.

The state has been at loggerheads with Petronas over the number of Sarawakians employed by Petronas, and froze the issuing of work permits, which are required by Malaysians from outside Sarawak as well as foreign nationals. (more…)

Global uproar overturns burkini ban

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

It is a victory for common sense and human rights, and a defeat for bigotry, when France’s highest administrative court overturns the burkini ban in 25 French towns and cities. Global uproar over the unjust ruling has led to the removal of the prohibition which was imposed in the name of secularism.

In its Friday ruling, the court said burkini ban insulted “fundamental freedoms” such as the “freedom to come and go, the freedom of conscience and personal liberty.”

The ban prohibited Muslim women from wearing full-bodied bathing suits designed to respect traditional codes of modesty on the beach. If not for the international outrage, the blatant institutionalised Islamophobic rule would have remained in place.

The international community reacted by ridiculing the ban. They shared photos nuns frolicking on the beach and motorcyclists in full gear having a sun tan. Cartoonists poked fun at it with their caricatures while columnists worldwide pointed out the unjust ban was against personal liberty, which is a founding principle of the French republic. (more…)

Tangkap MO1 Demo: Student movement rises

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

The rally has long been in the works and only recently, it has gathered momentum and despite many being skeptical over whether it will actually take place in the present political climate, the Tangkap Malaysian Official 1 (Tangkap MO1) rally happened today on the streets of the capital.

And it did gather quite a crowd of students, a crowd which always tried to be vocal but had been suppressed due to the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA), which controls students from being politically active.

(The UUCA was amended only recently to allow students to hold positions in both political parties and campus organisations, even then with terms and conditions.)

The Tangkap MO1 rally idea was initiated and organised by undergraduates – young faces which have never been in the limelight before. Some dubbed it as the rally by ordinary students.

We took to the streets for Malaysia, says #TangkapMO1 rally organiser

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof speaks to participants near Dataran Merdeka, during a march to call for the arrest of ‘Malaysian Official 1’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 27, 2016. ― Reuters picThe students have taken to the streets today to defend Malaysia and its citizens from so-called unscrupulous leaders, the face of the #TangkapMO1 rally Anis Syafiqah Mohd Yusof said today.

In her speech towards the end of the tertiary students-led public protest here, the pint-sized activist said she worried about the future generation of Malaysia if the issue remains unsolved by the authorities.

“If we didn’t take it to the roads today, I am fearful that our children, the future generation will sleep on the roads.

“I’m not here to fight for my future, but the future and generation of Malaysians,” Anis said to roaring cheers from the hundreds of protesters. (more…)

Gender quota and electoral system

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Sixty five years ago, the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system was first introduced to Malaysia with Malaya’s first municipal election in George Town.  The choice was not surprising – like most former British colonies, we just followed the footstep of our colonial master.

But does FPTP suit us?

Sixty five years later, a conference is finally held – most fittingly in George Town – to revisit the electoral system. The organisers are Penang Women Development Corporation and Penang Institute.

The aim of this conference is to advance women’s representation in electoral politics. Malaysia’s record is appalling – only 10.8% of parliamentarians and 11.5% of state assemblypersons are women.

As of June 1, 2016, we rank 150th out of 191 countries/regions surveyed by the International Parliamentary Union. http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/arc/classif010616.htm (more…)

Najib: NSC Act for national security, not personal design

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

najib-nsc-act-2Prime Minister Najib Razak today stressed that the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 which came into effect recently was for the security of the country and not for personal ends.

“I had emphasised that the decision I took when introducing the NSC Act 2016 was for the security of the country,” he said in his latest posting on Facebook and Twitter today.

Najib said he also highlighted the matter when opening the Cameron Highlands Umno division delegates’ meeting this morning.

The NSC Act 2016, Najib said, was to protect the nation from threats and not as alleged by some parties to be purportedly implemented for his own interest. (more…)

Minister: Sexual abuse allegations ‘unfair’ to Kazim Elias

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said making sexual abuse allegations against Datuk Mohammad Kazim Elias was unfair because it would only give a bad impression on the preacher and the school, Maahad Tahfiz Darul Baraqah. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe people should cease making allegations of sexual abuse in connection with a religious school owned by Datuk Mohammad Kazim Elias as it was unfair to the celebrity preacher, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said such allegations would only give a bad impression on the preacher and the school, Maahad Tahfiz Darul Baraqah.

“Let the police complete their investigations into the case,” he told reporters after opening the Beruas Umno delegates meeting here today.

Claims that several new students of the school were implicated in a sexual assault (sodomy), had recently gone viral in social media.

Mohammad Kazim has lodged a police report over the allegations.

Earlier, Mahdzir, who is also Umno Supreme Council member said in his speech he was confident that Umno had its own strength to face the 14th General Election despite the many challenges.

“As the people have also pledged to support the leadership of Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, I urge everyone to continue the fight,” he added.


We will protest until justice is served, #TangkapMO1 rally-goers say

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Student activists shout slogans as they prepare to march towards Dataran Merdeka, or Independence Square, to call for the arrest of ‘Malaysian Official 1’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 27, 2016. ― Reuters picYouths, mainly college and university undergraduates at the #TangkapMO1 rally today vowed to remain persistent in what they called pursuit for justice amid the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Several students polled by Malay Mail Online today at the sidelines of the rally said they will not hesitate to take their frustration to the streets again should no action be taken against the so-called “Malaysian Official 1”.

Electrical engineering undergraduate Sharan Raj, 23, said the most important point of the rally today was to let the authorities feel the pressure from the public, especially the students.

“Malaysian authorities would have felt the pressure by now. Whether they arrest MO1 or not is another question, but this will raise more awareness. (more…)

M’sian becomes first infected by Zika virus in S’pore

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Zika viruA Malaysian woman is believed to be the first patient infected by the locally-transmitted Zika virus in Singapore.

The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) which have been informed of the Zika virus infection said as the 47-year-old had not travelled to Zika-affected areas recently, she was likely to have been infected in the republic.

She resides at Block 102, Aljunied Crescent and works in Singapore.

“MOH and NEA are working together to carry out vector control and testing of residents in that area with fever and rashes, so as to reduce the risk of further spread,” said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in a statement today. (more…)

TangkapMO1 organiser in quick escape after rally

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

The “Tangkap Malaysian Official 1” rally today ended shortly after 4.30pm, but the lead organiser, Anis Syafiqah, made a quick escape before the media could get to her.

The reason was unknown although a source speaking on condition of anonymity said it was part of the plan, as a precaution against possible arrests.

This is so as the rally organisers were already warned by police that no permission had been granted for rally-goers to gather at the square.

The rally which lasted almost three hours had a better turnout than expected, with 2,000 participants, far surpassing the few hundred that critics were expecting.

One person who failed to show up despite his presence being touted by others, was former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad. (more…)

When our Ais Kosong becomes Teh Tarik…

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

We Malaysians love our food, and we do not care if the stall or restaurant is non-hygienic. For many of us, we keep to the motto: What we don’t know won’t hurt us.

We do not care if the eatery is dumping its waste into the drains below it, or its sinks are clogged, or the plain fact, only one pail is being used to wash and rinse the plates.

Our main concern is that our bellies get filled with yummy food, never mind if in the process, the grease and waste from our eateries are clogging our drains and murdering our rivers slowly.

Studies on the water quality under the River of Life project identified food waste as the main pollutant in eight rivers flowing through Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, reported The Star. (more…)

‘Better to catch MO1 instead of Pokemons’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

mo1-7Although Malaysians have been caught up with Pokemon Go fever, the pressure is on to catch the Malaysian Official 1 mentioned in US court documents, says a DAP member.

Raja Ahmad Iskandar Fareez, the DAP Socialist Youth representative at the Tangkap Malaysian Official 1 rally today, told a crowd of rally-goers:

“Malaysia is having a fever thanks to 1MDB. Instead of catching Pokemons, it is better to catch MO1. It is our right to rise up and fight MO1.”

Raja Ahmad Iskandar said Malaysians were fortunate because students were rising up at the TangkapMO1 rally. (more…)

Remembering biggest live export disaster

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

August 29th commemorates the biggest live export disaster which took place in 1996  when a ship carrying 67,000 sheep on board caught fire and disappeared in the Indian Ocean.

The ship was en route from Australia to Jordan – Australia’s biggest market for live sheep – when fire started in the engine room and  spread to the crew’s quarters, killing one of the 55 crew members, while the remaining crew abandoned ship.

This tragic incident is not the only one, for another similar incident occurred in 1980, when 40,600 sheep were lost in a fire on a ship travelling from Tasmania to Iran.

On the Malaysian turf in February 1998, 2,400 head of livestock were stranded when they arrived from Geraldton in Western Australia on the MV Anomis.

Suddenly, the agent acting for the vessel’s  owners, Agro Livestock Ltd cancelled the contract causing the vessel to be refused entry to Port Klang. (more…)

August 26, 2016

Tengku Adenan’s response prompts Baru to ask if govt serious in curbing corruption

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:03 PM

Baru BianDatuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s statement that he is in fear of being targeted by criminals if he declares his assets publicly, is unacceptable and a poor excuse for the lack of accountability and transparency that many public officials and politicians are guilty of.

State PKR chairman Baru Bian who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said Tengku Adnan’s statement gave the impression that this country was overrun with gangsters and criminals, which did not reflect well on our law enforcement bodies.

However, he said that was not the point. “The issue here is whether the government is serious in its effort to curb corruption, and if it is, the starting point is with exemplary leadership.

“It is difficult to insist that all public officials declare their assets publicly when the No 1 public official, the prime minister, does not do so, unlike the top public officials in USA and Hong Kong. (more…)

‘We want Petronas to be sensitive to local needs’

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

Dennis (centre) with NGO members. Sarawakians are not telling Petronas how to run its organisation but are merely asking the national oil and gas corporation to be sensitive enough to the needs of the locals.

In making this statement, PKR Baram secretary Dennis Along said its operations are in Sarawak and are not highly technical at all, therefore positions in its operations can easily be filled by Sarawakians.

“The current state of Petronas staffing is a good indication and a clear reflection of the end product, of the failure by Petronas HR (Human Resource Dept) to recruit more Sarawakians progressively over the years,” claimed Dennis, who was informed on the present situation in Petronas by its former employees who wished to remain anonymous.

According to Dennis, the intake of Sarawakians into Petronas since its presence in the state has been disappointing and consistently low. (more…)

DiCaprio urged to return 1MDB money he allegedly received

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

International NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has urged Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio to return all funds that he and his eponymous foundation allegedly received from 1MDB-linked individuals.

In a letter to the actor, BMF asked DiCaprio to disclose and return any funds that he may have received from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz, his associates Jho Low and Tan Kim Loong as well as Riza’s production company Red Granite Pictures.

“We are deeply disturbed that Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation accepted assets that originate from the proceeds of corruption in Malaysia.

“This is a disgrace and in total contradiction with the declared aims of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. (more…)

Task force on child protection laws to include AGC reps

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


Azalina said the task force would comprise representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers as well as the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

“The task force will also have members from all sorts of background, including parliamentarians, the Malaysian Shariah Legal Association, academicians, and other women-centric NGOs.

“(They will be chosen) based on their expertise and qualifications on the subject,” Azalina said in a statement today.

She added that the task force’s first meeting would be conducted in the near future. (more…)

Stop playing politics with religion

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

MCA Religious Harmony Bureau deputy chairperson Ng Chok Sin is supposed to be a man of peace who promotes religious harmony, but his actions call into question his own integrity, with regard to an issue that is apparently blown out of proportion.

In an article which was published in The Heat Malaysia on Aug 24, 2016, Ng accused the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) of trying to demolish a church in a former plantation known as Braemar Estate.

So much so that, immediately after his article appeared, even the office of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur has to immediately issue a press statement to appeal to certain individuals “to respect the lawful right of the council to carry out their duty” to demolish the remains of an old chapel.

What the public need to know is that, according to the same press statement, the decision “to demolish the unused chapel was made after due process was followed”. (more…)

‘Amend constitution for civil courts to be obeyed on civil marriages’

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

Gerakan Youth deputy chief Andy Yong has urged the government to make an amendment to the Federal Constitution to ensure that the judiciary will be obeyed in matters related to civil marriages.

While Yong applauded the recent decision to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (LRA), he said that there should also be an amendment to Article 121(1) of the Federal Constitution.

He explained that before 1988, the courts derived their powers from Article 121 of the constitution but after the constitution was amended in 1988, they derived their powers from Parliament instead.

“In addition to the amendment of the LRA, I think it is also necessary to amend Article 121(1A) as one may still argue that the supreme law takes precedent over the LRA. (more…)

Make public officials declare assets to Malaysians

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

Image result for Make public officials declare assets to MalaysiansFederal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s excuse for not declaring his assets publicly ― fears of his family getting kidnapped or robbed ― is incredulous, but there is actually no reason to expect him to do so when we don’t have the necessary laws and systems in place for the public disclosure of assets.

Malaysia needs to enact legislation to require high-ranking public officials like Cabinet ministers and state executive councilors, as well as elected lawmakers, to disclose their assets to the general public.

Tengku Adnan says he declares his assets directly to the prime minister every year. According to the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner can access such asset disclosures.

Members of Parliament, however, are not required to declare their assets. According to MACC, Regulation 10 of the Public Officers Regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993 requires all public officials to declare their assets upon their appointment, as well as when they acquire new assets. The asset disclosure also includes information on properties owned by the officer’s spouse and dependent children. (more…)

Three Tan Sri Must clear their name

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

zahrainThe three former Malaysian senior government officers who are alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak must clear their names by issuing statutory declarations, said Malaysia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Zahrain Mohamed Hashim.

They have to do so because the allegations against them were “very serious” and involved national security and an attempt to interfere with the democratic system of the country, he said.

He said that by remaining silent, the three Tan Sris could cause Malaysians to believe that they were involved in the conspiracy.

“The three Tan Sris were appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the integrity of civil servants to serve the ruling government, and they should not get involved in any plot to topple the Prime Minister,” he told reporters here yesterday. (more…)

M’sian students hold ‘Tangkap MO1′ protest Down Under

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

Some 20 Malaysian students in Australia held a ‘Tangkap MO1′ protest ahead of the gathering slated to be held in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

The students gathered at the Australian National University in Canberra to demand the arrest of the Malaysian Official 1 (MO1), who was mentioned 36 times in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) court filings related to the alleged abuse of 1MDB funds.

“The gathering was organised by the Malaysian Progressives in Australia (MPOZ) in solidarity with the ‘Tangkap MO1’ rally in Kuala Lumpur,” said MPOZ in a statement.

Most of the participants were from cities around Australia such as Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, it added. (more…)

Dr Mahathir apologises for amending Federal Constitution

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

Tun Dr Mahathir MohamadFormer prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has apologised for making an amendment to the Federal Constitution which makes it no longer necessary for the approval and signat
ure of Yang di-Pertuan Agong in legalising an act of Parliament.

The amendment to the Federal Constitution was passed in 1994, to allow any law that has been passed by both Parliament and Senate to become law within 30 days, irrespective of the Agong giving his assent.

Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, said it would seem that due to the amendment, the new National Security (Council) Law had become operational even though the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had not signed it.

“However, I would like to point out that the amendment is not for all laws. Some laws passed by Parliament will still need the consent and signature of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. In fact, there are more than 30 proceedings listed in the constitution that still need the Agong’s approval, frequently without the advice of the prime minister. (more…)

Women victims of gaps in laws, policies

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

women_law_600The gaps in laws and policies allow women and girls to fall through the cracks, warned the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) in a statement in conjunction with Women’s Day. “They don’t have access to justice.”

There are more insidious forms, cautioned JAG in a statement by Natasha Dandavati, Advocacy Officer, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO). “This includes the low rate of participation of women in decision-making positions.”

As a result, said the coalition, women and girls continue to suffer from violence and discrimination. “It’s time to close the gaps.”

The gaps obstruct the elimination of violence against women and girls and the achievement of gender equality, it added. (more…)

Child sexual abuse: Only one in 10 reported

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

child-abuseA paediatrician said that for every one case of child sexual abuse reported, nine go unreported.

This is precisely why any information, Dr Zahilah Filzah Zulkifli, said was good information.

At a forum titled “Child Sexual Abuse – What Are You Doing To Stop It”, Dr Zahilah emphasised the importance of training both adults and children on this matter.

“We need to talk about it so there will be awareness as, at the moment, there are still many who don’t know what child sexual abuse is,” she told the forum at Tengku Bainun Children’s Creative Centre here last night. (more…)

Fahmi: How many students could have benefited from 1MDB’s RM42b?

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

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said a good number of students could have benefited from 1MDB’s RM42 billion had its fund not been allegedly misappropriated.

He said this amid the move by National Higher Education Loan Fund (PTPTN) to no longer offer 100 percent loans due to dwindling funds.

“In just five years of operations, 1MDB’s debt stood at more than RM42 billion without profit.

“How many education aid the people could have received from 1MDB if money was not wasted on gambling and alcohol parties?” he said in a statement today. (more…)

Aren’t our children safe even in school?

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

When we drop off our children at the gates of their schools and see them walking in, we expect them to stay safe until we pick them up again.

Usually, we drop them with loads of do’s and don’ts, especially when they are in primary years.

Only the most imaginative of us parents would advice,”Do not follow strangers inside the school compound”, for we do not expect a school of hundreds of students and teachers with security guards  to not to notice a stranger walking around preying upon the children.

Yet, this has happened in a school in Terengganu and it could have been a tragedy had the girl not had her wits about her and screamed. It was also a good thing that there was a CCTV installed in the school. (more…)

Where do we stand on burkini ban?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

We register our protest when ultra-conservative enforcement officers take down posters of a model who is not wearing a tudung in Kota Bharu. We see it as an infringement of non-Muslims’ rights when a shop owner was fined over a poster featuring Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai, which we do not see one bit objectionable.

What about when armed French police confronted a woman on a beach in Nice and made her remove some of her clothing because there is ban on the burkini? The burkini is a full-body swimsuit designed according to Islamic standards of modest dressing.

Do we stay silent over this infraction of religious rights because it is not happening in our backyard? Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, said civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. To quote another activist, Desmond Tutu, if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. (more…)

Bersatu in for setback in Sarawak, Sabah

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would by now have been advised that his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) could be in for a real rough baptism of “non-Malaya” politics if it is to contest for seats in Sarawak or Sabah in the next general election.

Let’s look at this party that was formed with the objective to remove 1MDB scandal-tainted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the next general election.

First and foremost Bersatu is Malay-based and in the words of Mahathir, the party “is Malay-based because the majority of Malaysians in the rural and semi-urban areas are comfortable with Umno-type racism”.

Yes, secondly its “Umno-type”. (more…)

Only Putrajaya can decide to repatriate baby panda, minister tells Zoo Negara

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

A zoo employee carries a three-month old female giant panda cub, born to mother Liang Liang and father Xing Xing, on display to the public for the first time at Zoo Negara in Kuala Lumpur, November 17, 2015. — Reuters picZoo Negara has no control over the placement of Nuan Nuan, the offspring of panda couple Xing Xing and Liang Liang, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said today.

The natural resources and environment minister said he was surprised to hear complaints regarding the baby panda’s purportedly high costs, adding that Zoo Negara officials never raised the issue with the government.

“If this is the case Zoo Negara will have to speak to us. Any idea of returning the baby panda after two years will not be decided by zoo or even my ministry.

“I have to refer to the government for this,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted, stressing that the pandas were a vital part of Malaysia’s diplomatic ties with China. (more…)

Dr M apologises for making Agong’s approval for laws unnecessary

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stressed that the Federal Constitution’s amendment did not apply to all legislations and that some laws passed by Parliament would still require the King’s express consent and signature. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad apologised today for amending the Federal Constitution by removing the need for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s signature and approval in lawmaking.

The former prime minister stressed, however, that the amendment did not apply to all legislations and that some laws passed by Parliament would still require the King’s express consent and signature, such as the controversial National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 that came into force earlier this month.

“The consent and signature is still needed if the Act impinges on the authority and position of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“And the National Security Act certainly impinges and makes the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare a state of emergency superfluous and unnecessary. For this Act the assent and signature of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong remains necessary,” Dr Mahathir wrote on his blog. (more…)

Bersih: Freedom of expression jailed

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Bersih 2.0, the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, has condemned the conviction of Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions court earlier today. The Youth Vice-chief of Parti Amanah Negara was sentenced to eighs months’ jail under the Sedition Act 1948 for calling for the release of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during the #KitaLawan rally last year.

It says the conviction is another huge step backwards for freedom of expression in Malaysia. In the first place, the Attorney-General should not have initiated the charged under the flawed Sedition Act, it adds.

Since Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali took office, majority of the sedition cases had to do with criticism of the government or the administration of justice which had been repealed under the 2015 amendments, says a statement issued by Bersih.

Besides Fakhrulrazi, eight other activists which includes Bersih2.0 Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and BERSIH2.0 Manager Mandeep Singh were also charged for participating in the #KitaLawan rally last year. (more…)

What being a Malaysian patriot means

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Singers can leave their mark even when they are long gone. Their iconic songs can be remade by others, even done well, but often pale in comparison to the original. Man In The Mirror forever reflects the tragic genius of Michael Jackson, whilst Dendang Perantauproves that Tan Sri P. Ramlee can still make grown Malaysian Muslims cry every time Hari Raya rolls by, especially if they are abroad.

For Malaysians, August inevitably leads us to remember another local talent gone too soon: Datuk Sudirman Arshad. He left us in 1992, but his contribution to the nation’s Merdeka celebrations in the form of Tanggal 31 is still as infectious and stirring as ever. Within the space of two short minutes, his evergreen composition will get citizens vociferously waving flags faster than a local politician backtracks from a silly statement.

And yet, as anyone who has lived within the last 60 years can observe, things are not quite the same anymore. Whereas the first 40 years had seen the anniversary of Malaya’s independence celebrated with gusto and vigour, the past decade and change has seen a visible apathy creep in. The fireworks are a shadow of the joyously raucous bangs that used to be. Schoolkids no longer get all excited and even the adults tend to be less enthusiastic. (more…)

No conflict as constitution grants AG sole prosecution powers, court told

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

The Malaysian Bar had on March 14 filed its application for leave for judicial review against the Attorney-General and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). — Picture by Saw Siow Feng The choice to prosecute or not is granted solely to the Attorney-General (AG) under the Federal Constitution and cannot be challenged in court, lawyers for the government’s top legal officer asserted today.

There can be no conflict of interest for the AG as alleged by the Malaysian Bar when he acted in accordance to his constitutional role and decided not to pursue legal action after clearing the prime minister of any wrongdoing over an alleged transfer of funds from 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), according to senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh.

“They are saying that he’s appointed Attorney-General [by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong] on the advice of the Prime Minister and therefore there’s a conflict of interest.

“We are saying there’s no conflict of interest on the grounds that Article 145(3) has committed in the hands of the Attorney-General the sole power exercisable at his discretion to institute or not to institute criminal proceedings. (more…)

August 25, 2016

Sarawak appoints first woman deputy state secretary

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

Sarawak has set a milestone by appointing Dr Sabariah Putit as Deputy State Secretary (Administration) – the first woman to hold such a position.

The Borneo Post reported that Sabariah, in her new post, would focus on performance and service delivery transformation in relation to issues such as state civil service transformation, educational attainment of students, state public relations strategy, welfare and sports.

She will be working with the state’s two other deputy state secretaries – Ismawi Ismuni and Jaul Samion.

Sabariah, who was appointed to the post on August 8, paid a courtesy call on Chief Minister Adenan Satem Wednesday. (more…)

1MDB: Investigators eye DiCaprio’s favourite Vegas clubs

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

caprioTwo Las Vegas nightclubs where Leonardo DiCaprio and his “Wolf of Wall Street” friends like to party are being investigated by the authorities.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that the probe is in connection with the alleged theft of billions from 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Investigators are looking at the spending of the Hakkasan and Omnia clubs and those who partied there. The clubs, at the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace, respectively, are owned by the London-based Hakkasan Group.

The Post said DiCaprio often partied at Hakkasan with party animal Jho Low who allegedly gave DiCaprio millions of dollars that originated from 1MDB to gamble with in Vegas, according to US investigators. (more…)

Zaid: Only the stone-hearted will deny 1MDB scandal

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

Zaid-IbrahimThose who claim that they do not understand how the Prime Minister could be at fault over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) saga or that the state-owned investment arm did not incur losses are “stone-hearted” individuals.

The same could also be said of those who alleged that the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) decision to file a 1MDB-related civil suit was to attack the Malay leadership, Zaid Ibrahim said at a forum on the 1MDB scandal in Kuala Lumpur last night.

“Investigations by the Federal Bureau of Intelligence clearly show how 1MDB monies disappeared. Read it first before claiming you don’t understand,” Zaid said, targeting his words at Umno and PAS specifically.

He posted his speech in his blog today. (more…)

Has Interpol M’sia requested for Lee Chee Kiang’s extradition, Baru asks

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:03 AM

Baru BianState PKR chairman Baru Bian wants to know whether Interpol Malaysia has requested for the extradition of Lee Chee Kiang (also known as Dato Stephen Lee), who is wanted by the Malaysian police for the murder of former PKR Miri branch secretary Bill Kayong.

Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, also asked whether the Malaysian government had made a request for Lee’s extradition, especially now that the people had been informed that the Australian police were aware of his whereabouts.

“The information we have received is that the suspect is not in the Interpol wanted list, and we would like the police and the Attorney General’s Office to update us on the status of the case.

“Bill Kayong’s family and friends are still waiting for the arrest of the alleged mastermind behind the killing of Bill and they should be assured that all the necessary is being done to bring the suspect back to Malaysia, notwithstanding the provisions of the Australian Extradition Act 1988,” he said in a press statement yesterday. (more…)

Baru wants update on Kayong murder suspect

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:03 AM

baru-bian-bil-kayongThere are reports the police had sought assistance from Interpol Malaysia to track the alleged mastermind behind Bill Kayong’s murder, noted Sarawak Opposition Leader Baru Bian in a statement.

The information he had received was that the suspect was not on the Interpol wanted list.

He urged the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to update the public on the status of the case.

For starters, Baru would like to know whether Interpol Malaysia has requested for assistance from Interpol Australia.

He also wants to know whether the Malaysian Government has requested for the extradition of the suspect. “We have now been informed the Australian police know the whereabouts of the suspect.” (more…)

‘Federal Govt singing same old tune on development allocations’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:03 AM

baru-bian-2Sarawak Opposition Leader Baru Bian has noted a declaration by Deputy Finance Minister Lee Chee Leong that the Federal Government gives the main priority to Sarawak’s development.

“He said the Federal Government will continue to take proactive measures to develop rural areas.”

He also referred to a statement by Deputy Chief Minister James Masing that the Federal Government had pledged RM24 billion to link all places in Sarawak by road by 2030.

Sadly, said Baru who is a senior lawyer in private practice, he has heard the same tune being sung by the Federal Government since the very beginning.

It goes back to 1963, when Sarawak and Sabah formed Malaysia together with Malaya, he recalled. “It has been a string of empty promises since then.” (more…)

Opposition calls for system on declaration of assets

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:03 AM

baru-bian-asset-1The reluctance of certain public figures to declare their assets was not surprising, said Sarawak Opposition Chief Baru Bian in a statement.

“This goes back to the system of patronage.”

He referred to development projects being used to support the cronies of those in power. “These unjust methods of the government authorities breed corruption.”

That’s the heart of the matter, stressed Baru.

He does not see the situation changing as long as the Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) Government was in power. (more…)

Sarawak cops in the dark over Aussie sighting of brains in PKR man’s murder

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:02 AM

Bill Kayong, an activist and PKR candidate during the May 7 Sarawak election, was shot dead at a traffic light in Miri on June 21. ― Picture taken from Bill Kayong's Facebook pageSarawak police have no confirmation from their Australian counterparts or Interpol regarding an Australian high commissioner’s revelation that the mastermind in Bill Kayong’s murder has been located.

Commenting on Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Rod Smith’s remarks to the effect during a press conference in Kuching yesterday, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mazlan Mansor said they needed corroboration to proceed.

“The disclosure was made by Smith, but we are still waiting for official word from the Australians. Investigations are still ongoing but there has been no update from Interpol either,” he was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post news portal.

He also denied that authorities here have frozen the bank accounts and assets of the fugitive, a “Datuk”, but said the move was being considered.

When asked about the possible issues with extraditing the man said to have planned the murder of the Sarawak PKR leader, Mazlan said the police will work within the constraints of existing laws, both domestic and international. (more…)

End to Petronas-Sarawak controversy ?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:02 AM

Top management : (from left) Petronas executive vice-president & Group CFO Datuk George Ratilal, Wan Zulkiflee, chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, executive vice-president & CEO downstream Md Arif Mahmood and executive vice-president & CEO upstream Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib at the press conference of the national oil company’s Q2 resultsPetroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), embroiled in a controversy with the Sarawak Government over the issue of non-Sarawakians working in the state’s oil and gas industry, believes that the issue will be resolved amicably with all parties able to work something out.

Petronas chief executive officer and president Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said the company’s leadership team has been in continuous engagement with the relevant authorities over the matter.

“We’re very hopeful and we’re confident that this will be resolved soon, taking into account the interests of all parties and stakeholders,” he said at a media briefing to announce the company’s second quarter ended June 30 financial results.

The Sarawak Government had on Aug 7 issued a moratorium on all new applications for work permits of Petronas personnel from outside Sarawak. It was reported that the state government’s decision was prompted by complaints from Sarawakian Petronas officers whose services were terminated or who were retrenched. (more…)

CM: Sarawak will again see development-oriented 2017 budget

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:02 AM

adenan sarawakChief Minister Adenan Satem has envisaged that the state budget for 2017 will again be largely development-oriented like this year.

He said in the 2016 Budget, amounting to RM5.97 billion, 74 per cent of it has been allocated to development expenditure.

“I believe that the 2017 Budget will largely retain the same theme as in the previous year and continue to be development biased, especially for (Sarawak) rural areas.

“It is important that the infrastructure focused policies continue on until 2020 and even beyond,” he said when officiating the one-day Malaysia Development Bank’s Infrastructure Forum 2016, attended by some 100 participants here today. (more…)

Scorpene data leak has ‘no bearing on Malaysia’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Ahmad KamarulzamanThe massive leak of secret data on Scorpene submarines, will not affect the “integrity” of KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Abdul Razak owned by Malaysia.

Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Chief Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said this to FMT when asked whether the leak will impact Malaysia’s submarines.

The leak hit French defence contractor DCNS (which supplies the vessels) and details the combat capabilities of the Scorpene-class submarine designed for the Indian navy.

Malaysia and Chile have variants of the vessel and Brazil is set to deploy it from 2018. Australia has also awarded a contract to DCNS to build submarines.

“The Malaysian submarines, although from the same class (as the Indian navy’s), have their own set of features and different capabilities. It (the leak) will not affect our submarines,” Ahmad Kamarulzaman said. (more…)

Australia keen to work closely with Sarawak

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:01 AM

Smith (right) responds to questions during the press conference. With him is Ting.The Australian government is keen to work closely with Malaysia, particularly the Sarawak government, in various fields to further strengthen cooperation and ties between Australia and Sarawak.

Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Rod Smith said while both Australia and Malaysia enjoyed a strong foundation in relations and cooperation, they could still further strengthen cooperation in many fields.

In Sarawak, he said, oil and gas, goods and agriculture, vocational education and training as well as healthcare sectors were among new areas that had considerable potential for Australian businesses to invest in.

Smith said these were areas he was actively encouraging Australian businesses to explore in Sarawak, given the considerable economic potential apart from the very strong historical ties between Australia and Sarawak. (more…)

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