Hornbill Unleashed

February 13, 2016

RM1.4m for 4 songs, Sarawak CM tops the chart

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

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem must be the envy of recording artistes for raising RM1.4 million by rendering just four songs.

During a Chinese New Year bash in Sibu last night, the 72-year-old politician sang evergreen hits such as Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t help falling in Love’, Cliff Richard’s ‘The Young Ones’ and ‘Travelling Light’, as well as P Ramlee’s ‘Putus Sudah Kasih Sayang’.

Adenan was accompanied by the band D’Cipta from the state social development and urbanisation ministry.

According to reports, the chief minister managed to garner contributions from 20 donors comprising those from the private sector, NGOs, individuals and guests. (more…)

PBB men for polls: A weakened wing can be disastrous

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

The Barisan Nasional (BN) sharing formula requires a lot of sacrifices and understanding on the part of the component parties.

The BN power sharing concept is the one single element that is absent among the opposition coalition, be it Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or Pakatan Harapan (PH), which is why DAP, PKR, PAS and Amanah are bracing for head-on collisions in the coming Sarawak election.

Inevitably, there are grumbles when coalition partners and party factions do not get what they want, but grumbles don’t often turn to face-offs, allowing BN to go into elections as a single force.

But big or small, all parties will have to lose some and win some, and that is what actually is happening in BN – all in the name of power sharing. (more…)

Bruneians must thank God for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan

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

Thank God for Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan! If not for these three places, especially Miri and Limbang, what would the poor people of Brunei do to regain a bit of sanity, and escape from oppression?

The Bruneian Muslims, like their Malaysian counterparts, shake their heads in disbelief, at their mullahs and leaders, who have no confidence in the rakyat. They think that their faith is fragile, and will be corrupted, by the sight of Father Christmas, or a lion dance.

Brunei is not exactly anyone’s idea of a holiday paradise. In Bandar Seri Begawan’s amusement park, Jerudong Theme Park, visitors complain that it resembles a ghost town and children are annoyed, when things stop at prayer times. (more…)

Opposition loses shine, falls back to pre-2008 times

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

After the twin tragedies of the jailing of ex-opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the passing of former PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the resultingvacuum in leadership has left the opposition near-gutted.

As it stands now, Pakatan Rakyat is all but a memory, Pakatan Harapan seemingly without hope, and PAS totally out of the loop.

This brings political pundits to conclude that the disaster has pushed the opposition so far back to the point where they were before the 2008 general election.

This was particularly so, taking into account the current sentiments – public fatigue when it comes to politics and flagging popular support for the opposition. (more…)

AG drops one, nothing to celebrate

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

Lawyers caution the public from putting too much hopes into the dropping of the sedition charges against Universiti Malaya law professor Azmi Shahrom.

As much as lawyers and the civil society welcome the Attorney General’s action to drop the sedition charge against Azmi, lawyers remind that the AG will still be condemned for not doing so for the others who are also facing the sedition charges.

AG Tan Sri Apandi Ali may get one pat on the back for what he has done today but he would still be pelted with eggs on his face for doing only one right thing.

Lawyers also say that this one case being dropped does not mean that Malaysians are free from the shackles of the Sedition Act. (more…)

Stop hurting depositors, Najib hits out at Tabung Haji critics

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

Pilgrims’ fund Lembaga Tabung Haji has come under scrutiny over its finances, with opposition leaders urging it to disclose its finances. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 12, 2016. Najib Razak urged the opposition to stop “twisting” facts about Tabung Haji, saying that their attempt to spread hate among the people would only hurt Muslim depositors.

Writing on his blog today, Najib said the “irresponsible statements” had caused depositors to lose out on dividends as well as the chance to perform their pilgrimage at a subsidised rate with Tabung Haji.

“There are some who have kept their savings with Tabung Haji for so long, who have reached their twilight years, but because they fell for the twisted statements, they lost their opportunity to perform their pilgrimage. Isn’t that such a waste and a pity?

“I understand that some quarters are intent on playing politics by toying with and triggering the people’s hate, yet I urge all to stop this. (more…)

Accept High Court decision, forget judicial review, ashram trustees urged

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

The long tussle between the Vivekananda Ashram trustees and the community over the future of the ashram looks to be almost over with the High Court’s dismissal of the trustee’s application for a judicial review. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 12, 2016.DAP National vice-chairman has urged the Vivekananda Ashram trustees not to appeal the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s dismissal today of their application for a judicial review of the federal government’s decision to gazette the ashram.

M. Kula, who is also Ipoh Barat MP, said in a statement that the trustees should engage with the people if they wished to raise funds instead of developing the historical land.

“The trustees should not have any commercial aims to make money by redeveloping the site. If they have any reason to raise money, discuss it and engage with the community, who will be more than happy to assist,” he said.

Kula said development and commercial activities on the site would compromise the heritage value of the iconic ashram. (more…)

Petition for probe against Najib gains 30,000 signatures

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

A Facebook petition to reopen the investigations into Datuk Seri Najib Razak's donation has gained 30,000 signatures as of yesterday. – Facebook pic, February 13, 2016.A petition to reopen the investigations into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s donation has gained 30,000 signatures as of yesterday, according to the Facebook page “1Juta Desak Buka Kembali Siasatan Terhadap Najib Razak” (one million urge investigations against Najib Razak be reopened).

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli, who announced the petition and the Facebook page on Sunday, said he was quite surprised by the support, adding that he would now go into “hyperdrive” to promote it.

This involved coordinating with other Facebook pages and groups to gain even more exposure and collect signatures faster, he told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

After painting town red, report says Jho Low sold paintings at a loss

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

Over the years, flamboyant businessman Low Taek Jho has been painting the town red with reports of his lavish lifestyle, political connections, and links with 1MDB.

And now according to a Bloomberg report, the young tycoon popularly known as Jho Low has created a stir in the art circle for selling the works of Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Jean-Michel Basquiat which he bought earlier.

The works sold for about US$54 million, which the report claimed saw “unusually steep losses on at least two pieces.”

Quoting those familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said: “The artworks consigned by Low were among the top lots at Sotheby’s evening auction of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art in London this month.” (more…)

30,000 sign petition urging Agong to reopen Najib probe

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

An online petition urging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers to reopen investigations against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has gained 30,000 signatures so far.

This was announced on the ‘1 Juta Desak Buka Kembali Siasatan Terhadap Najib Razak’ (1 million call For Probe Against Najib To Be Re-opened) Facebook page today.

The petition, launched by Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli on Sunday, urges the Malay rulers to not only re-open the probe but also to appoint an independent prosecutor to head the investigations. (more…)

A-G drops sedition charge against Azmi Sharom

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

Associate Professor Dr Azmi Sharom’s statement on the Perak constitutional issue landed him in hot water. Today, the sedition charge against him was dropped. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 12, 2016.The sedition charge against law lecturer Associate Professor Dr Azmi Sharom has been dropped, the Attorney-General’s Chambers said today.

It issued a three-paragraph statement today saying Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has decided to drop the charge against the Universiti Malaya academic.

Apandi said the decision was made after reviewing evidence from all prosecution witnesses who testified in court.

“For the sake of justice, and after reviewing evidence from all prosecution witnesses who had testified in court, I, the attorney-general as the public prosecutor under Article 145 (3) of the constitution, in my discretion, decided to discontinue the prosecution of Associate Professor Dr Azmi Sharom to the charge under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act 1948,” he said in a statement today. (more…)

‘Gov’t to amend acts on child custody in case of change of religion’

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

The government plans to amend three acts concerning child custody and property rights in case there is a change in religion by the husband or wife.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said the acts concerned were the Act 164 Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, Act 505 Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) 1993, and the Act 303 Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) 1984.

“Amendments to the acts were being scrutinised and considered for inclusion.

“The basic principles for consideration include the welfare and interests of the children,” she said when opening the Seminar on Women’s and Children’s Rights and Issues organised by the Sabah Women’s Advisory Council in Sandakan today. (more…)

Spike in prosecution for ‘irresponsible’ online content, says MCMC

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

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) plans to raise netizens’ awareness on self-regulation during their online interactions, considering the increasing number of cases prosecuted.

Its chief officer for the network security, enforcement and advocacy sector, Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin, said 16 cases under Sections 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 were reported last year, an alarming increase from merely five cases during the 2013-2014 period.

“There are already two cases so far this year,” he said.

Most of the cases involved posting offensive, obscene and/or pornographic contents on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, short message service, multimedia messaging, and blogging sites. (more…)

Mara to give delayed scholarship for UniKL students by end of Feb

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

Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) will pay the scholarships to 11,186 of its sponsored students at Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) for the July and September 2015 intakes before end of this month.

In giving the assurance, Mara chairperson Annuar Musa said RM264 million had been allocated for these payments.

Meanwhile, he said, payment for the January intake this year would be made next month.

“We are not hiding it (late payments) because Mara is having some problems and must make some adjustments as the cost of sponsorships has increased and we have to settle the payments for our existing sponsored students. (more…)

UM and Internet access privilege

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

Is Internet access a right or a privilege, and should a quota be set?

The question above seems rather sad to contemplate in this day and age, but it seems that the case at Universiti Malaya (UM) has gotten some attention. As such, let us revisit this question in the full context.

Last December, UM decided to revise its policy for Internet usage. It will limit students to a data quota of 5GB and charge for additional usage starting from this March. There has been no mention of the amount of this surcharge at all.

Meanwhile, the UM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin explained that there was no such “surcharge” for using the campus’ free Internet and the quota mentioned was actually a “bandwidth upgrade” from a previous 3GB limit, with plans to extend it to 7GB in the future. (more…)

PM sad Muslims deceived by rumours on Tabung Haji

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

Najib Abdul Razak has expressed sadness that Muslims in Malaysia have been deceived by irresponsible parties with vested political and personal interests, who spread inaccurate information and rumours to the detriment of pilgrimage fund Lembaga Tabung Haji.

“If there were those among the Muslims who were influenced by the rumours until they withdrew their savings from Tabung Haji, this saddens me as according to the terms set, the investors face losses from the lack of returns on their savings and will be unable to perform the Haj in Mecca,” he wrote in a blog post.

He said that the spread of false news without verification can lead to disharmony and distrust of Malaysian society in Islamic financial and welfare institutions. (more…)

Jho Low selling artworks at a loss

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

Jho Low sold a Claude Monet’s painting and a Jean-Michel Basquiat drawing at Sotheby’s recently. – The Malaysian Insider infographic, February 12, 2016.Financier Low Taek Jho has attracted attention for his flashy lifestyle and real estate deals, as well as his connections to the prime minister’s family and the government’s troubled investment fund.

Now Low, better known as Jho Low, is once again creating buzz in the art world. Since February 3, he has sold works by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat, according to three people familiar with the matter. They fetched about US$54 million (RM225 million), with unusually steep losses on at least two pieces.

The artworks consigned by Low were among the top lots at Sotheby’s evening auction of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art in London this month. (more…)

After Azmi Sharom, civil society group wants A-G to drop all sedition charges

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

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan says the Sedition Act goes against the freedom of expression as enshrined in the Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 12, 2016.Following the attorney-general’s decision to withdraw the sedition charge against Universiti Malaya law lecturer, Associate Professor Azmi Sharom, Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) has called for all sedition charges to be reviewed and dropped.

Its coordinator, Amir Abd Hadi, said it was unfair if other sedition charges were to be continued as they were done unjustly and went against the freedom of expression as enshrined in the Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

“The attorney-general should not use the withdrawal of this sedition charge as publicity to cover his controversy with MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) in relation to the prime minister’s donation case. (more…)

Rebel Umno leaders to pressure branches to bolster bid to oust Najib

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

The recent Kedah menteri besar saga saw Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, a critic of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, removed for questioning the Umno president’s handling of 1MDB and an RM2.6 billion donation. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 12, 2016.A group of Umno grassroots leaders unhappy with party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak are ramping up efforts to lobby for his resignation by pressuring branches to submit a motion urging him to step down and for elections to be held immediately.

The Coalition of Umno Branch Chiefs Malaysia (GKCM) intends to do this when Umno branches across the country hold their meetings next month.

“GKCM will lobby the branch meetings beginning this March to submit the motion on Najib’s resignation and that party elections be held,” said GKCM vice-president Rushdan Mohamed.

“GKCM is targeting 20 to 30 branches per division to raise the motion. Once enough branches do it, we hope it will reach the division level and be debated.” (more…)

Steep cost of medical degree for M’sians

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

Malaysians sell their properties to finance their children’s pursuit of a medical degree overseas just like their fellow citizens would pawn their land to perform their hajj before Tabung Haji was step up.

Non-bumiputera parents are paying an arm and a leg so that their children can secure their medical, law, engineering or even accountancy degrees overseas at one point. Getting a scholarship for studies abroad is almost an impossibility for non-bumi students, given the stiff competition within.

A sizeable number of parents sacrificed their houses or almost their entire EPF savings to send their children abroad when seats in local institutions of higher learning were limited. (more…)

FBI posts fake site to snare suspects

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

The FBI has been accused of hacking more than 1,000 computers in its effort to trap paedophiles on the Internet. The Washington Times said the bureau secretly took control of a child porn website early last year and began infecting visitors with malware to identify roughly 1,300 individuals who had allegedly logged-on using software designed to browse the Internet anonymously.

In its new strategy to catch people dwelling in the depraved world of online child pornography, the FBI also raised some eyebrows. For almost two weeks, the FBI ran one of the Internet’s largest child pornography websites and allowed users to download thousands of illicit images and videos.

“The Justice Department acknowledged in court filings that the FBI operated the site, known as Playpen, from Feb 20 to March 4, 2015,” said Elizabeth Joh, a University of California Davis law professor who has studied undercover investigations. (more…)

February 12, 2016

Adenan has indeed solved allocation of 11 new seats

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

The boys in Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) have to brace for some disappointments.

They have been clamouring for more seats, asking for Serembu, Bukit Semuja, Mulu and Murum even after it has been said that Murum has been given to PRS.

Just before Chinese New Year, state Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Stephen Rundi was reported as saying the seven new state seats of Tellian, Kabong, Gedong, Stakan and Bukit Goram have been allocated to PBB while Samalaju and Murum, to Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).

He was reported as saying since the seven seats have been allocated, lobbying for them should stop. (more…)

Longhouse chiefs: Listen to us on choice of Meluan candidate

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

rs and supporters of Barisan Nasional in the constituency.

Teacher Roland Duat, quantity surveyor Belayong Jampong and former executive with oil and gas company Elly Lawai Ngelai are lobbying to be the candidate.

All the three have been told to go to the ground, and the evaluation reports on each of them are expected to be discussed soon by the party leadership.

Each of these three has his own strengths and weaknesses.
Roland, for example, has the advantage of being a teacher in the interior and knows the problems facing the rural population. (more…)

Playground politics to show ‘mine is bigger than yours’

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

Despite its name, Kedah Darul Aman, “the peaceful abode”, in northern Malaya, became the unlikely scene of a bitter, internecine, power struggle in Umno Baru.

To those who are familiar with schoolboy playground fights, it is the adult version of “My one is bigger than yours.”

The clash of the titans, between Najib Razak and his mentor, Dr Mahathir Mohamad was a predictable affair. Their proxies battled it out in public. In the end, Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, successfully replaced Mukhriz Mahathir, as MB.

It was more than just a show of strength by Najib’s camp. This was a public spat, between an “educated” man, and someone with an SPM qualification. (more…)

List down Mara’s education loan schemes, Annuar urged

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

Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairperson Annuar Musa has been urged to list down Mara’s education loan schemes that are open for applications.

PKR parliamentarian Rafizi Ramli said this is because checks on Mara’s website showed that none of the education loan schemes were open to applicants.

Mara’s Sistem Pinjaman Pelajaran, Sistem MyEduloan and Sistem e-Pendahuluan are all closed for applications, he said in a statement today.

This, Rafizi said, had only confused and was a source of concern among parents and students, especially after the government’s decision to cut the allocation for education, including Public Service Department scholarships. (more…)

Should Zahid step in and save Malaysia?

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

With all the scandals plaguing the Prime Minister, if the Deputy Prime Minister steps in and takes over, would he be Malaysia’ saviour or a mere opportunist?

One person thinks DPM Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi may be the former and save himself and Malaysians, especially Malays of Umno, of being further humiliated by an incapable leader.

For in slightly less than seven years as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has accumulated more scandals than all the past Prime Ministers combined, with the distinction that all Najib’s scandals are criminal in nature. (more…)

Unite to save nation: Zaid to opposition and Umno rebels

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

Former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim has urged the opposition and rebels in Umno to unite and face their common foes, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali.

“There is very little we can do about Najib and Apandi now, except to win the next general election. But this is where my frustration begins.

“Why can’t the opposition and Umno dissidents sit down together and unite to face Najib and Apandi while waiting for the next election?

“What we need now is a broad coalition of national leaders who share the view that Najib is a cancer that must be removed,” Zaid wrote in his blog today. (more…)

Private banker at centre of Swiss bank BSI-1MDB link

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

A private banker, caught up in Singapore’s money-laundering probe linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, was a key link between the embattled state investor, a Swiss private bank and a Malaysian businessman connected to the troubled fund.

Yak Yew Chee, a senior banker at Swiss-based BSI Singapore, has emerged for the first time as a key figure in Singapore’s money-laundering probe, according to documents released at Singapore High Court last week.

Yak was not personally at the Singapore High Court last Friday, when he sought to unfreeze his Singapore funds to pay taxes and legal fees. His lawyer agreed to withdraw the petition after the prosecutor raised no objection in allowing Yak to transfer S$1.76 million (RM5.22 million) from his overseas bank accounts. (more…)

‘PAC should disband itself if press statements can explain everything’

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

It is only fitting for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to disband itself if all the alleged transgressions that have been raised can be explained through press statements.

PAC member Tony Pua said this in response to PAC chairperson Hasan Arifin’s statement that no more witnesses would be called before the PAC as it has enough information to table its report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) corporate governance to Parliament.

However, Pua said he was stunned by Hasan’s argument that the PAC need not call any witnesses at all because “1MDB has already issued dozens of press statements to explain everything”. (more…)

Explain how you handle reserves, PKR tells Tabung Haji chairman

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

Tabung Haji has yet to come up with a proper policy on how it handles its reserves, and PKR wants the fund's chairman Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim to explain. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016.Lembaga Tabung Haji must explain to the public its financial reserves policy, following Bank Negara’s request that the haj fund should come up with one, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli said today.

Rafizi said throughout the debate on the fund’s finances over the last month, many missed the fact that Bank Negara had actually written to it on December 19, 2014, advising Tabung Haji to come up with a comprehensive reserves policy.

“It goes to show that this issue was actually raised by Bank Negara more than a year ago but there was no concrete actions taken by Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim. (more…)

Clean up the Cabinet first, Azalina!

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

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, called the rakyat immature and ignorant. She thinks that we cannot handle sensitive information, and that we misunderstand the meaning of freedom of expression and breach of trust.

Surely, minister, it is you, and your peers in the Cabinet, who are immature and cannot be trusted!

Successive PMs have abused their powers, and have lined their pockets with ill-gotten gains via their cronies, friends and party members.

Leaders select spineless “yes-men” to hold important posts in Cabinets; men and women who are afraid to speak-up for the rakyat, and who are afraid to challenge unjust policies and laws. (more…)

PAC urged to probe if BN paid Psy with 1MDB funds

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

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been urged to investigate if BN used 1MDB funds to pay for Korean superstar Psy’s performance at the coalition’s Penang Chinese New Year open house in 2013.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said this question has remained unanswered till this day.

“Probably, PAC can find the answer to this question before it winds up its investigations on 1MDB today and tomorrow, as announced by its chairperson Hasan Arifin,” Lim said in a statement today. (more…)

Gov’t, whistleblowing and information

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

Our Attorney General believes that whistleblowers and journalists should no longer be protected for revealing documents protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

First of all, the OSA is an unjust law. Generally, multiple documents have been made unavailable due to this law to the point that it affects governance and even threatens safety.

A case in point is the case of the two leaked letters from Bank Negara to Tabung Haji (although it is not sure whether these letters were classified under OSA), detailing that their reserves at one point in time were not enough to meet their obligations.

Past examples of OSA documents include those postmortem reports of disasters, including the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide and the Highland Towers incident. (more…)

Malaysia must not tighten rules on CNY as Brunei has done

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

It will be a sad day if the mullahs and our leaders decide to impose strict restrictions on Chinese New Year celebrations, as in Brunei. Where could the young ones, including the Malays, savour Chinese culture and be part of the multicultural scene?

Open houses, a typically Malaysian trait, are not just the preserve of the leaders, who make a big show of their open houses, with grand claims that 50,000 people attend. They pretend to be multi-cultural for a few days of the year, but the rest of the time, are consumed with hate and division.

Only a naïve politician would think that the rakyat attend their open houses, because they love them. The rakyat who bother to go, are only interested in clawing back some of the money which the leaders have taken, without their permission, to pay for the meals. (more…)

Najib vs Mahathir: The boy who kicked the hornet’s nest

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

Najib Abdul Razak has not seen the last of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The crude methods employed by Umno Baru Kedah, to remove their MB, Mukhriz Mahathir was effective, but they should have resorted to the proper democratic channels. They didn’t!

So, whose fault is that? Everyone’s.

Political leaders may use frogs, or other underhand tactics, to remove various people, for reasons of their own. Or they may want to remove a political party from office, to gain the upperhand in politics.

As individuals, we may object, but our objections do not carry weight. There is no public outcry, no sit-ins, no peaceful demonstrations, not because we are not allowed to protest, but because no one bothers. (more…)

The banker at centre of Swiss bank BSI, 1MDB relationship

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

Yak Yew Chee, a senior banker at Swiss-based BSI Singapore, is a key figure in Singapore’s money laundering probe linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016. A private banker, caught up in Singapore’s money laundering probe linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), was a key link between the embattled state investor, a Swiss private bank and a Malaysian businessman connected to the troubled fund.

Yak Yew Chee, a senior banker at Swiss-based BSI Singapore, has emerged for the first time as a key figure in Singapore’s money laundering probe, according to documents released at Singapore High Court last week.

Yak was not personally at the Singapore High Court on Friday, when he sought to unfreeze his Singapore funds to pay taxes and legal fees. His lawyer agreed to withdraw the petition after the prosecutor raised no objection in allowing Yak to transfer S$1.76 million (RM5.21 million) from his overseas bank accounts. (more…)

Scandals, weak ringgit spurring Malaysians abroad to cash out EPF funds

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

Some Malaysians are making the drastic choice of renouncing their citizenship to withdraw their EPF savings before the age of 55. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016.When Joanne Koo first emigrated to Australia with her young family six years ago, she never planned on renouncing her citizenship as she was eager to hold on to her Malaysian ties, savings and investments.

However, earlier this month, Koo and her husband made a trip to Kuala Lumpur to surrender their Malaysian passports for the sole purpose of making a full withdrawal of their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings. (Savers are allowed full withdrawal at age 55.)

“It was never on our mind to take what my elders see as a drastic step (of renouncing our citizenship). But we’ve been monitoring the situation in Malaysia for a few years now, and we’re not confident,” she told The Malaysian Insider.

Koo, 44, is one of thousands of overseas Malaysians who have been spooked by the financial scandals and political instability plaguing the country over the past two years, and who have decided to withdraw their retirement savings to “safer environments”. (more…)

Is the EC’s malapportionment pro-Malay?

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

There are two major myths about the excessive malapportionment by the Election Commission (EC).

The first is that such malapportionment is pro-rural, hence, constitutional. In reality, the EC had also blatantly carried out anti-rural malapportionment, where by rural constituencies like Baling had substantially more voters than urban constituencies like Alor Setar.

The second is that such malpportionment is pro-Malays. Hence, it should be supported by all who want Malay dominance to stay forever in Malaysia.

In fact, former EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman had said it proudly when he joined Perkasa in November 2013 that three redelineation exercises under him were done to “[ensure] Malays remained in power”. (more…)

PAC to consider more witnesses after getting 1MDB audit report

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

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin says the committee wants to see the auditor-general's report on 1MDB before deciding whether to call more witnesses. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016.The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it would consider calling more witnesses in its hearing on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), but only after seeing the auditor-general’s final report on the company.

“After the auditor-general’s final report is tabled to us, if there is an absolute need for PAC to get more information in order to prepare the report on 1MDB for Parliament, only then we will consider calling more witnesses,” PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin said in a statement today, after hearing testimonies from former 1MDB president Datuk Shahrol Halmi and the company’s ex-chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh.

Hasan had said the duo were PAC’s final witnesses, adding that the committee had enough information to make an objective, transparent and fair conclusion of its investigations into 1MDB. (more…)

Deepa ruling did not address unilateral conversion issue, says church federation

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

CCM general secretary Dr Hermen Shastri says the Federal Court's decision in the custody case involving S. Deepa and her ex-husband Izwan Abdullah still does not solve the issue of unilateral conversion of children. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016.The recent Federal Court decision in the custody battle of S. Deepa failed to take into account the fact that her two children were unilaterally converted by their Muslim convert father, the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) said today.

CCM general secretary Dr Hermen Shastri said the Hindu mother’s plea to be awarded custody of both children, on grounds that the father had abrogated his responsibilities in not obtaining the consent of the mother to convert them, was not given any weight.

However, he said the judgment which ruled that the civil court should decide the custody of children who were converted to Islam, was an important precedent that a non-converting spouse can resort to the civil courts to address marital grievances. (more…)

Repeat offenders and inconsistency

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

“Sharing is caring” is one of the more modern turns of phrase that has gained widespread acceptance, even if the people using the phrase do not share anything in common at all with the language of culture of origin of the saying.

As a matter of fact, this short utterance is the likeliest and simplest explanation of the success of Facebook, in that people shared absolutely everything about themselves, from what they eat (photo album of 9,000 vegetarian recipes still growing!), to the games they play, and even the exact complications surrounding one’s availability status (“Babe, we’re married, but why is your status ‘complicated’?!?”).

However, FB sharing has reached such a point that it has become rather difficult to tell what is real from what is not, and what is right from what is wrong. (more…)

Mukhriz: Najib angered by my 1MDB, RM2.6b comments

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

Former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir says Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak rebuked him in person for daring to openly raise the questions on the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion ‘donation’ scandals.

“So, actually, and this has been admitted to me by the PM personally, he was dissatisfied, and sore with me, because of my speech (about 1MDB and RM2.6 billion… (inaudible),” Mukhriz says in a video recording of him relating the matter to supporters.

The seven-minute-52-seconds footage of what appears to be a ceramah session was posted on the Mukhriz Mahathir FC (Fan Club) Facebook Page on Tuesday.

According to Mukhriz, this was also why he had to let go of his MB post, not because of other matters, as brought up by the rebel Umno assemblypersons that triggered the string of events, ending with him toppled as head of the Kedah government. (more…)

Will Mukhriz succeed or run out of gas?

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

Following his ouster as Menteri Besar of Kedah, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir put on a brave front and said that “Now, without a position, I am more open to speak my mind, so beware,” he told a press conference.

“Now, I will have more opportunity to fight on and speak out for the people because this will not shut me up,” he replied to the question if his resignation would stop him from speaking out further.

He claimed that Umno is currently at its “weakest point” because “scandals after scandals” have been affecting the federal administration. “We can’t take it anymore, we can’t even hold our heads up overseas” he added.

Is this a last hurrah and an empty boast? Does he really mean his words and should his supporters and other Malaysians take him seriously?
(more…)

We need a national leadership summit, says Zaid

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

Mohamed Apandi Ali is probably one of the most reviled attorneys-general in the history of the country. He now wants to punish journalists and those who leak government “secrets” by whipping them and sentencing them to life in prison.

Now, he stands right alongside Najib Razak in the scale of infamy. The Human Rights Watch based in New York called him Najib’s legal hitman.

Apandi is furious that some civil servants are “leaking” information from government papers and that journalists are reporting on these leaks.

Not knowing how to stop them, he now wants to change the law. He says we should follow China, where those who leak state secrets are punished severely. But what Apandi really wants to punish you for is not leaking state secrets, but Najib’s secrets. (more…)

Najib ticked me off over 1MDB, RM2.6 billion, Mukhriz tells supporters

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

Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir has revealed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rebuked him for raising questions about 1Malaysia Development Berhad. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016. Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said the prime minister rebuked him for raising questions about debt-ridden state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

In a video, the former Kedah menteri besar is seen telling supporters this was why he had to vacate his menteri besar post.

Mukhriz is heard saying, in the clip uploaded on the Mukhriz Mahathir FC Facebook page, that Datuk Seri Najib Razak told him it was not right for a menteri besar to criticise the prime minister, and he must vacate his post.

“This was admitted to me by the PM personally. He was dissatisfied, and sore with me, because of my speech (about 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion ‘donation’),” said Mukhriz. (more…)

Malaysia’s sovereignty lies somewhere between A-G and IGP 

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

Yak Yew Chee, a senior banker at Swiss-based BSI Singapore, is a key figure in Singapore’s money laundering probe linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016. For the last 58 years, brave men in uniform fought and died to protect the sovereignty of the country. By the term “sovereignty”, I mean the power or authority of the country.

If the country is invaded by the Royal Sulu Army, or if the communists attack and set fire to villages and plantations, it is quite clear to see that those two agents were engaged in acts that challenge the sovereignty of the country.

The same is true if a political leader engages in corrupt acts and there is no action taken against the leader. This is because the leader breaks the laws of the land and challenges the power and authority of the Parliament and the Yang DiPertuan Agong, as the supreme authority in the country. (more…)

Your role is to help Najib, Salleh tells Muhyiddin

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

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's continued criticism of the Umno president shows he lacks the quality of being a team player. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016.Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should play his role by assisting the duties of the party president and to show his loyalty and support for the party, said Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.

The communications and multimedia minister said Muhyiddin should not undermine the president’s leadership by making statements that can lead to unnecessary speculation and confusion.

He said as a seasoned politician, Muhyiddin was surely well versed with Umno’s constitution that specifies the deputy president’s duties. (more…)

Portals, websites reminded not to spread defamatory statements

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

News portals and websites have been reminded not to spread defamatory statements or anything that could cause squabbles between people.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Jailani Johari said although news portals and websites put up notices which said they are not responsible for any comments or statements which are published, they are not exempted from existing laws, including under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

“I want to advise them that if they put up any statements, they have to be responsible (for them). We do not want a society which likes to publish stories which are not verified,” he told reporters after launch and press conference of Gerak Khas 2016 at the Finas P Ramlee mini theatre, Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, Jailani said the ministry had held talks with 350 interested parties as well as conducted studies on the proposed amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act which is expected to be tabled in Parliament in March.

He also advised individuals who had been victims of cybercrimes to lodge a report with the authorities so that they could be dealt with through the existing laws.


Bernama


 

Yes, criticise Proton, we want the feedbacks to improve

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

1. Recently, I officiated the first firing of the new engine for Proton. It is not often that an automotive company produces a new engine. Proton’s Campro engine is now more than 10 years old. Obviously it is no longer suitable for today’s cars. So the production of a new engine for Proton is something to celebrate.

2. But unfortunately journalists do not see the significance of this event. We used to export quite a lot of Proton cars to the UK. But since the introduction of new emission and fuel efficiency standards we have not been able to sell any Proton cars in the UK. The development of the new Proton engines by our engineers working with RICARDO of the UK is going to make us once again able to meet the conditions in the UK and Europe. We hope to export our cars to these countries once again.

3. Incidentally the engine will only be used after rigorous testing including running for five million kilometers. It will not be until late 2017 before their installation in Proton cars. After that there will be more tests for each model. Producing a car takes a lot of time. (more…)

OSA not to protect individual leaders, Mahfuz reminds gov’t

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

Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar today urged the government to differentiate between documents that could compromise national security and the ones with risk of compromising its own position.

“I would like to ask the Umno-BN government and Prime Minister Najib (Abdul Razak): why are they so afraid of leaks in so-called ‘secret’ government documents?

“What are they trying to hide from the rakyat? What exactly are the things that the rakyat should not know from the documents kept in secret?” asked Mahfuz in response to attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s reported proposal to strengthen the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA). (more…)

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