Hornbill Unleashed

May 27, 2015

Et tu Tok Nan? – and we had such high hopes of you!

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

Fifteen months ago when Adenan Satem was handpicked by Taib Mahmud to succeed him as Sarawak’s fifth chief minister, many Sarawakians had initially felt apprehensive but yet somewhat hopeful that a new helmsman at the steering wheel of the state may signal some change at last – after 33 long years of a stringent and tight-fisted rule of one man.

Some naysayers were extremely doubtful as Adenan had himself too risen from the ranks of the same group of PBB veterans and had been seen as more of a follower than a person who could break away from the herd and make for himself his own legacy.

The last five or six months had seen some fresh political will as Adenan began to make waves which endeared him to a large section of the people who had hitherto been known to be very anti-Taib and his past policies. Many were now starting to change their minds. (more…)

PM: 1MDB top guns won’t run away from PAC

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

Prime Minister Najib Razak has assured that 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) current and former top executive will appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“The officials will appear before the PAC, they are not running away,” he said when asked if they would do so, according to Bernama.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of his three-day official visit to Japan, Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the officials had something to sort out.

“They will show up…they will come,” he said after a dialogue with students at the Tohoku University here. (more…)

M’sia first after China to bar ‘Umbrella’ activist

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

Malaysia has set a bad precedent by being the first country out of China to bar an Umbrella Revolution activist, said Joshua Wong who was deported by Malaysia immigration on Tuesday.

He said he had only expected China to ban him, following the Occupy Hong Kong movement which fought for genuine and free general elections in Hong Kong, he said.

“If my memory did not fail me, this is the first ever country which has nothing to do with the Umbrella campaign, that has banned a Hong Kong student activist,” the 18-year-old said in a statement on Facebook. (more…)

Stick to redelineation rulings, Bersih warns EC

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

Electoral reform group Bersih is irked by the Sarawak government’s attempt to legitimise the Election Commission’s (EC) public inquiries in relation to the state’s redelineation exercise.

This is despite the Kuching High Court on May 15 ruling that the notice for redelineation was not in compliance with the requirements of the federal constitution and ordered for the notice to be republished with more detailed information.

The same court yesterday added an additional order, ruling that the initial notice is null and void and has no legal effect. (more…)

Nazir calls 1MDB’s no-show ‘unacceptable’

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

The prime minister’s brother Nazir Razak has described 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) failure to testify at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing scheduled for today as “unacceptable”.

“Your company has triggered a national crisis and you can be too busy to face Parliament? Unacceptable,” he said in a posting on Instagram.

He was referring to 1MDB president Arul Kanda and former chief executive officer Shahrol Halmi’s abrupt request for a 30-day extension before testifying to the PAC, citing important overseas appointments.

The duo only made the request four days before the hearing despite receiving two-weeks notice from the PAC. (more…)

Former judge Syed Ahmad Idid joins G25

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

Former High Court judge Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah is among 11 who yesterday joined the group of prominent individuals known as the G25.

Initially starting with 25 former high ranking civil servants, the group rose to prominence when it published an open letter appealing for rational discourse on Islam last December.

“The list of new members brings the G25 list to a total of 53,” G25 spokesperson Noor Farida Ariffin said in a statement. (more…)

May 26, 2015

Look at your own backyard first before you criticise, SEB CEO tells foregn dam critics

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

State-owned power provider Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotviet has hit out at critics from developed nations over its efforts to build dams to generate power when their own development was done without much consideration to sustainability.

“SEB is guided by the International Hydropower Association’s Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in the development of its hydropower projects,” he stressed at a plenary session “Development versus Sustainability: How can we find the right balance?” at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress here today.
After Murum dam, the state government has given approval for SEB to build the Baleh and Baram dams, possibly next year. (more…)

High cost of morality – but shouldn’t we be educating society?

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

In June 2010, during a raid by the moral police, an off-duty policeman died, when he tried to escape arrest, and fell from the balcony of a hotel room, in Kelantan. During the raid, the moral police found a woman and a pair of men’s trousers in the hotel room. They were later informed about the body.

A senior police official told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) that, “The 33-year-old lance-corporal climbed out of his hotel room window, when religious affairs department officials raided his room, in the early hours of Saturday.

“The officer was still alive, when he was found on the hotel grounds, but died in hospital later.”

Similar deaths, caused by the moral police have been reported elsewhere. (more…)

Unhappy villagers in Bau want bridges replaced

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

About 15 families living in  Sri’an area in Kampung Barieng, Singgai are becoming increasingly frustrated with a suspension bridge over Sungai  Adis and another two wooden bridges in their village.

These three bridges are part of the access to their homes in Sri’an.

Last Sunday,  some of the affected villagers staged a peaceful gathering at the site of the wooden bridge to show their displeasure and to demand that the relevant government authorities take immediate actions to build new and safer bridges for them.

The villagers vividly remember watching in horror as a funeral party struggled with a casket containing the body of a deceased villager over the wildly swinging bridge in March 2013.The suspension bridge, about 50 ft above the bed of  Sungai Adis is secured by steel cables tied to branches of trees growing on the bank of the river and suffers from excessive swaying. (more…)

AG to decide on S’wak redelineation appeal soon

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

The Election Commission (EC) will know by this week whether it should appeal against the Kuching High Court’s May 15 ruling ordering it to review its proposed redelineation exercise in Sarawak.

Its chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the EC had left it to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to make the decision.

“We leave it to the attorney general whether to appeal or not; we will know the decision by today or tomorrow,” he told reporters after the EC Excellence Award presentation ceremony and Innovation Day 2015 celebration today. (more…)

Religious extremists cause of clampdown on freedom of speech, says Marina

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

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir feels that in their eagerness to enforce Shariah law, the relevant authorities are pushing aside any efffort to debate and discuss the topic. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, May 25, 2015.Rights activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir today blamed overzealous religious extremists for clamping down on freedom of speech adding there was a lack of space for dialogue to discuss public issues.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion titled, Maqasid al Shariah (The Higher Objectives of the Shariah), she said for consensus to be reached in society, there must be debate and discussions beforehand.

In a question posed to the speaker, renowned Islamic scholar Dr Jasser Auda, Marina asked how consensus could be reached if there were restrictions on having dialogues. (more…)

Building places of worship based on demographics not the answer

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

It looks like Malaysians may need to start choosing the location of their homes based on the religious composition of the inhabitants of the housing estates they intend to move in to in light of recent incidents.

One such incident occurred on May 17.

The Malay Mail Online quoted Kuala Selangor MP Irmohizam Ibrahim as saying some 300 to 500 Muslim residents had protested against a planned construction of a Hindu temple at Puncak Alam, Kuala Selangor on that day.

The reason: 95 per cent of the population in the area is Muslim. (more…)

The government has no business in business. Period!

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

The 1MDB fiasco is turning out to be a real disaster for the Malaysian government and for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s credibility.

CIMB’s Nazir Razak is right to call for the resignation of the 1MDB board of directors if they continue to keep their golden silence. Nazir adds that the 1MDB issue must be resolved quickly before it affects investors’ confidence in Malaysia.

As a fully owned Ministry of Finance company, the company is accountable for every single sen of its bludgeoning debt of RM42 billion. However, the company has refused to exercise its public and corporate responsibility to provide a full disclosure of its dealings and financial position. It has pushed the responsibility to the government. (more…)

Two sets of criminal laws not for modern countries, says top Islamic scholar

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

Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and a founding member of International Union of Muslim Scholars Dr Jasser Auda with Global Movement of Moderates CEO Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, at a roundtable discussion on Maqasid Al-Syariah and its Relevance in Finding Common Ground in a Multicultural Society, in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, May 25, 2015.A top international Muslim scholar today shot down the idea of implementing the hudud law in Malaysia, saying that it was unfair as it allowed double standards for the same criminal offence in society.

Dr Jasser Auda, member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, however, said that it was justifiable to have two sets of family laws as that area was related to religion.”There can be parallel laws when it comes to family law. It is a private area that has a lot to do with religion. I can see the wisdom in having that,” he said at a roundtable discussion titled, Maqasid al-Syariah (The Higher Objectives of Shariah) in Kuala Lumpur today. (more…)

S’gor to dangle by hung assembly if PAS quits

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

Should PAS quit Pakatan Rakyat, it is likely that Selangor will end up with a hung legislative assembly.

Currently, PAS and DAP have 15 seats each while PKR has 13, excluding independent assemblyperson and former menteri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

There are 56 seats in the state assembly, thus 29 seats are needed to form a government with a simple majority.

Should PAS withdraw, DAP and PKR will have only 28 seats.

Concerns over Pakatan’s future has been under the spotlight following rifts between DAP and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang. (more…)

Muhyiddin say M’sia has best education infrastructure

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

Muhyiddin-Yassin_education_600Nobody can deny the success of the government in providing the best education infrastructure to boost knowledge among the people, said Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the success of the government in providing the best education facilities to the people was internationally acknowledged.

“Nobody can say that this effort (providing the best education infrastructure to Malaysians) had failed. This is one effort which is successful,” he said when officiating the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Jerlun here today. (more…)

1MDB boss and ex-CEO skip PAC meet

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

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president and executive director Arul Kanda will not attend the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting tomorrow on the agency, confirmed PAC chief Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

Earlier, sources told Malaysiakini that Arul and former chief executive officer (CEO) Shahrol Halmi, who was also slated to testify tomorrow, have asked for a time extension.

Nur Jazlan said the reason given for their absence was that the duo are currently on a working trip abroad.

They have asked for a postponement of at least 30 days to prepare the information and documents that PAC requested. (more…)

Entire Cabinet responsible for 1MDB, says Ku Li

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

The entire Cabinet should be held responsible for the problems facing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today, adding that the onus was not on the prime minister alone.

Tengku Razaleigh, popularly known as Ku Li, said that if the Cabinet members were not aware of 1MDB’s issues, they should investigate it rather than point fingers at others.

“Everybody there (in the Cabinet) must be responsible collectively for the problem. You cannot say this is your problem, not my problem,” the former finance minister told reporters when met in the Parliament lobby. (more…)

Ignorance no excuse for 1MDB, Ku Li tells cabinet

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

The entire cabinet should be held responsible for the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) imbroglio, said former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The veteran Umno lawmaker said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should not be solely blamed for this matter.

“Everybody in the cabinet must be collectively responsible for this problem. You cannot say ‘this is your problem, not my problem’,” Tengku Razaleigh said.

The Gua Musang MP, who is popularly known as Ku Li, said the cabinet ministers were equally responsible, irrespective of whether they had knowledge of what transpired. (more…)

PAS rep vows to defend people’s mandate

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

The future of the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government will hang in the balance should PAS decide to withdraw from the coalition.

Whether or not Selangor will remain in the hands of Pakatan, albeit with a razor-thin majority, depends on two PAS assemblypersons Saari Sungib and Hasnul Baharuddin.

The latter indicated that he will not toe the party line should PAS decide to withdraw from Pakatan.

Hasnul (photo) told Malaysiakini that he will defend the Pakatan state government even in the event of a hung legislative assembly. (more…)

May 25, 2015

S’wak, too, absorbs GST for local gov’t services

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

Sarawak will absorb the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for local authorities and government services in the state, said Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

He said the move was part of the state government’s efforts to lighten the burden of the people in the state but did not say when it would be implemented.

Adenan said the GST was outside his jurisdiction as it came under the Federal Government.

He said the state government was aware that the GST had caused the price of various goods in the state to increase, thus becoming a burden on the people. (more…)

Wide support won’t last forever, veteran newsman tells Najib

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

Veteran journalist, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, warns the support for the prime minister will not last forever. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, May 24, 2015.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may enjoy strong support now but a veteran newsman today warned that it would not last forever.

Referring to recent events attended by Najib in his home state of Pahang featuring a sea of supporters, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said the backing he has been getting of late was temporary and could disappear just as swiftly.

“The PM may still have wide support among the people as well as Umno members.

“The sea of people waving the Pahang flags is a proof. And don’t forget he has the support of the monarch of Pahang too.” he said, in reference to Najib’s declaration yesterday that he had the support of the state’s Sultan. (more…)

Alone – If our political situation was a film

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

The best stories are from real life.

The 2013 film, ‘The Butler’, which was produced and directed by Lee Daniels, was inspired by real life.

It was co-starred by Oprah Winfrey who earned a Bafta – the British equivalent of an Academy Award – nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, for her portrayal of the wife of the black White House butler named Eugene Allen.

Allen served the Oval Office from the Eisenhower to the Reagan administrations – before and after the civil rights movement. (more…)

SOS: Is there a plan in 11th Malaysia Plan?

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

In a recent BN-controlled newspaper, the following headline screamed out for attention: “There is continuity in all Malaysia Plans, says Najib”. The prime minister further argued that claims that policies in each Malaysia Plan is disconnected from the other are not true, said the prime minister.

Yes, we agree – there is continuity. There is continuity in the unwillingness to put a full stop to the NEP policy. There is continuity in the massive corruption that accompanies every Malaysian Plan.

This has happened especially since the 1980s when the practice of giving out large contracts and concessions without competitive open tenders became institutionalised under former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s version of “crony capitalism”. (more…)

Ministry: Najib didn’t lie, we amended the reply

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

The Finance Ministry clarified that it amended a written reply in Parliament over 1Malaysia Development Bhd to “avoid confusion”.

The clarification comes after former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad accused Finance Minister and PM Najib Abdul Razak of being a “liar” over the matter.

“The Finance Ministry amended the original written reply issued on March 10 to avoid confusion on the financial position of 1Malaysia Development Bhd at BSI Singapore in accordance with Parliamen requirements. (more…)

Disclose compensation in automated traffic enforcement fiasco, says lawmaker

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

Many summonses issued under the Automated Enforcement System are still not settled. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 24, 2015.Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng wants the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to look into the compensation that was paid to two private operators of the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES).

He said that it was crucial that the PAC investigate the matter as it is of public interest.

“The public has the right to know how much the government has paid to the contractors. If the PAC can investigate the cost overrun of klia 2, then they should be able to look into the AES,” he said at a press conference at the Segambut DAP Service Centre.

Lim was commenting on the compensation that was paid to concessionaires Tegap Sdn Bhd and Ates Sdn Bhd, who were given the contract to install and operate 300 speed cameras nationwide under the AES. (more…)

Najib won’t quit over ‘one person’

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

Prime Minister Najib Razak has finally dug his heels in and addressed calls for him to step down directly, reportedly saying he will not do so on account of “one person”.

According to English daily The Star today that frontpaged the headlines ‘I will not quit’, the embattled PM speaking in Kuantan yesterday, claimed he had the support of the people and was not prepared to cave in to calls for him to go.

“Just because one person is demanding it, I have to step down? I will not,” The Star reported him saying during a support rally at the Kuantan Air Force Base. (more…)

Dr M: Najib’s ‘lie’ on 1MDB a criminal act

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

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad today accused Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of lying about the whereabouts of 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s US$1.103 billion (RM3.97 billion) in funds, stating that there could be possible criminal wrongdoing.

He added that such an offence is punishable by up to three years in jail under the Penal Code.

“It is saddening that I can no longer avoid from saying that the prime minister lied,” he said in a blog posting today.

He was referring to Najib’s parliamentary reply on March 10 where he said the amount had been fully redeemed in the form of cash and is now kept at BSI Bank Limited Singapore. (more…)

May 24, 2015

‘Publicise SEIA studies on dams’

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

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem must immediately instruct Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) and Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) to publicise the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) studies conducted on the Baleh Dam and the Baleh hydro electric power (HEP) project, as well as undertake public consultation process before allowing works to commence on the dam project.

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, who made the call, said owing to the close proximity of Bakun and Murum dams to the proposed Baleh dam, the chief minister should also direct that seismological studies be carried out to assess the impact of the dam and the safety and security of the huge population living below the dams, from Belaga and Kapit down to the mouth of Batang Rajang. (more…)

Masing can laugh even as Mat Jenin dreams his Umno dreams

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

Someone claiming to be an Umno pro-tem branch secretary-general challenging Dr James Masing to a debate?

And of all places, the guy wants it to be held at Padang Merdeka! All because Masing does not favour Sarawakians in Johor joining Johor Umno. Masing thinks it could be Umno’s subtle way of finding a footing in Sarawak.

But for a little known so-called Umno pro-tem branch secretary-general in Sarawak to demand a debate with Masing, the president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Senior Minister and Minister of Land Development? It’s the kind of joke I have not heard in quite a while, and Masing must be laughing in his sleep. (more…)

11MP goals based on flawed foundations

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

The just released Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP) strives to inspire, cajole and rally us toward 2020. I have no problem in general with slogans, catchphrases, cheerleading, or even a dash of hyperbole. The document has to contain some of that.

However, the mandate to tug at our hearts does not give licence to toy with the facts.

This 11MP handles some data in a bizarre, anomalous manner. The most prominent of 11MP’s six multidimensional goals rests on flawed foundations.

And it is difficult to believe that errors and confusions – of a most rudimentary nature – are committed innocently. (more…)

Slow recruitment to blame for nurses’ shortage in Sarawak hospitals

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

International Nurses Day (IND) is celebrated around the world on the May 12 every year to mark the contributions nurses make to society.

Nurses and teachers belong to a very special group of people whose functions and duties are highly sought after, who are dedicated to their craft and are usually more often than not underpaid and overworked.

Nurses in Sarawak have been extremely unhappy of late as they have questioned the authorities on why is it that there is an acute shortage of nurses in the public sector (i.e. government hospitals and clinics), and yet there are thousands of jobless graduates waiting in the wings to be employed. (more…)

‘Sack president’ – Did Umno members cheer?

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

The video recording of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s speech at a closed-door Umno event has been making waves, primarily because he wanted the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) directors axed and investigated.

However, there is a second issue concerning claims that a sizeable number of the 400 Umno members present at the Janda Baik function cheered when a call rang out for party president Najib Abdul Razak to be sacked.

Malaysiakini checked with three Umno division leaders who attended the event but only one confirmed that it happened while another was unsure. (more…)

Former S’gor MB mulls leaving PAS

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

Former Selangor menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib is considering leaving PAS, if the party no longer cares about its non-Muslim support base.

He told a forum that the present leadership has neglected the approach of the late Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who was loved and respected by everyone regardless of religion and race.

“We want religious people such as Allahyarham Nik Aziz (photo) as leaders.

“Everyone loves him. The Buddhists love him, Hindus love him […] Now I see it is no longer like that. (more…)

PAS leaders who only know how to read Quran not fit as PM, says Mat Taib

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

Former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib says he is losing interest in PAS because emerging party leaders appeared to be not in touch with real world issues. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, May 23, 2015.Former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib said he is beginning to lose interest in PAS because emerging leaders in the Islamist party appeared to be not in touch with real world issues.

Speaking at a forum in Petaling Jaya today, Muhammad, who is also known as Mat Taib, said of late, he noticed there was the so-called ulama (clergy) coming back from the Middle East who wanted to become leaders in the party.

“They can memorise the Quran and Hadith but when we ask them to explain about 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd), they say they don’t really understand the issue. (more…)

Sultan and people support me, I will stay, says Najib

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

najib,sultanUmno president Najib Razak said today the confidence in him and the support of the people gave him the courage to continue despite the pressure lately.

Najib said the feedback gathered from visits to several states recently gave him confidence that the people would continue to support his leadership.

“We are gathered here today (at RMAF Kuantan air base) with about 12,000 people, in fact we can gather 20,000 or even 40,000, after all in Tawau (Sabah), we saw 40,000 people while in Johor 15,000 people turned up. I know figures are not everything but I can see the sincerity of all of you present. We will win because we work together and when we believe in our leaders, the party will get stronger but when we fight among ourselves, God will take away our power,” he said. (more…)

Survey: PM, BR1M, 1MDB failed to woo voters

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s leadership, Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) did not manage to woo Permatang Pauh voters.

Sixty-three percent of respondents in a survey conducted by Selangor government’s think-tank Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) replied with “no” when asked whether Najib’s leadership managed to push for support for BN in the May 7 by-election.

Only 25 percent out of the 1,075 respondents replied “yes” while 12 percent of those surveyed were unsure.

IDE deputy chairperson Mohammad Redzuan Othman said Najib was proven to be unpopular in the by-election especially when there were no pictures of him on BN’s posters. (more…)

‘I didn’t say Rosmah is stupid, why is aide prickly?’

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

Former minister Zaid Ibrahim questioned why Rosmah Mansor’s aide insisted that he should accept Rosmah as a “smart and brave woman” when he wasn’t aiming at her at all.

His blog post listed the characteristics that a prime minister’s wife should have.

The ex-de facto law minister said he was not dismissing Rosmah’s contribution to the country in any sense.

“Why is he (Rosmah’s aide) raising all this? I never said that Rosmah is stupid.

“I only suggested in my blog that a prime minister’s wife should not live lavishly. Why so touchy?” the former minister said at a press conference today. (more…)

Shadow cabinet an idea, but it’s not the right time

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

The idea of a shadow cabinet has been around for nearly as long as the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat’s, now seven-year existence.

This is too short a gestation period for this idea to be birthed: Pakatan’s overall ideological incoherence and the factional tensions and fissures within two (PKR and PAS) of its three components prevent the coalition from attaining the critical mass that would make a shadow cabinet a logical step in its maturation.

We have only just got used to the idea that there can be an opposition coalition with enough popular support to successively deny the ruling coalition a two-thirds majority in Parliament. (more…)

Najib + 1MDB = Bad

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

Contrary to what the title suggests, this article has nothing to do with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak or 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

It is a bait for BN cybertroopers who are apparently under instruction to flood the “comments” section in Malaysiakini articles that mention the prime minister or his comatose brainchild.

In the social media era, employing a team of people to push forth an agenda is a common practice among political parties, where cybertroops are trained to attack and defend as and when required.

Unfortunately, the cybertroopers who are airing their views with regard to Najib and 1MDB are inflicting more harm than good on their paymasters. (more…)

Najib: Traders raise prices, I get the blame

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

najib,brim,gstThe action of some traders who exploited the Goods and Services Tax has burdened the people when the tax system was implemented on April 1, said prime minister Najib Razak.

He said the traders should have reduced the prices after Sales and Services Tax was abolished but they did not do so and instead took the opportunity to raise prices by 6% using the GST as an excuse.

“The GST issue is caused by traders, these traders are evil, they are not responsible.

“It is not the government, we have other policies. When traders exploit the situation, the people blame the government and prime minister,” he said. (more…)

Is Najib fighting his battle alone despite the open support?

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

The gathering of almost all the heads of Umno Baru divisions recently came out in support of their president Najib Razak. The Umno Baru youths also carried him on their shoulders to show how ardent their support was for their leader.

And in Sabah recently, it was reported that about 40,000 attended a gathering to show their undivided support to the prime minster.

That would definitely create confidence on the part of the PM who is at the moment besieged by various accusations. (more…)

Marina Mahathir: Malaysia undergoing ‘Arab colonialism’

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

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir speaks to Malay Mail Online in Kuala Lumpur May 22, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow FengDatin Paduka Marina Mahathir has criticised the “Arabisation” of Islam in Malaysia amid the institutionalisation and growing conservatism of the faith here.

The social activist pointed out that that it is very difficult to find traditional “baju Melayu” for women during Hari Raya as Arab attire like kaftans, which are long tunics, became more popular instead over the years.

“This is just Arabisation. Our culture — it’s colonialism, Arab colonialism,” Marina told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview here.

“Kaftans are easy to wear. But what happened to our tradition, culture, everything? It’s lost,” she lamented, pointing out that Malay women below 50 generally do not know how to tie the ‘baju kurung’ skirt so that it falls into pleats and makes it easier to walk in. (more…)

Mkini survey: Household expenses up with GST

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

Average household expenditure in the first month with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rose by up to 21 percent in some categories, according to Malaysiakini readers who participated in the portal’s GST survey last month.

Respondents were told to enter their expenditure levels for nine categories before the GST, and to do so again a month after GST was implemented, to measure the impact of the new tax on their daily lives.

The government earlier claimed the GST would bring down the price of a long list of goods and services arguing that at six percent, it is lower than the previous sales and service taxes levied on most goods. (more…)

New SOPs, old mindsets 

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

Inevitably, the 10-point agreement which was signed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in the lead-up to the last general election was nothing but a gimmick to win the hearts of the Christian voters.

Najib did the same with one of the Hindraf leaders, P Waythamoorthy, in which he was given a deputy minister post while his brother P Uthayakumar was in jail, but within a short span, even Waythamoorthy saw that Umno’s mentality was simply impregnable.

Recently, a video clip by Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem went viral, showing him strongly condemning “Umno from the peninsular” whose leaders are fond of calling the Chinese “pendatang” (immigrants). It has brought some cheers to his audience during a Chinese New Year event this year – the election is round the corner – in Sarawak. (more…)

Najib not getting grassroots support, says former deputy minister

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

Former Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Affifuddin Omar says grassroots leaders are not supportive of the prime minister. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, May 23, 2015.

The signs are not looking very good for Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a former Umno supreme council member said today, adding that the support the prime minister has been getting so far is not from grassroots leaders.

Speaking at forum titled “In Search for a New Malaysian Leader”, Datuk Dr Affifuddin Omar said this was evident going by what Umno grassroots leaders had to say during the recently concluded Rompin and Permatang Pauh by-elections.

“The ones voicing their support is mostly division heads, but on the ground, the signs are not looking very good, as seen in Rompin and Permatang Pauh recently.” (more…)

May 23, 2015

Anti-graft agency says will unfreeze accounts under probe if salaries affected

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

MACC says frozen accounts in recent sweep against illegal logging in East Malaysia can be released on humanitarian grounds. – Pic courtesy of MACC, May 22, 2015.The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it could partially unfreeze some of the thousands of accounts under its operation against illegal logging and smuggling in Sarawak and Sabah, if the companies under probe can give reasonable justifications why they needed access to their accounts.

These could be the need to meet operational costs or pay staff salaries, the commission’s deputy director (operations), Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, said in a statement today.He defended the commission’s move to freeze accounts of companies suspected of involvement in illegal logging, bribery, as well as tax evasion in Sarawak, and in the smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol and the abuse of the diesel subsidy in Sabah. (more…)

CFM rejects new rules mooted for Alkitab

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

The government has been told to stop adding more restrictions on the distribution of the Malay language Bible or Alkitab, and to enforce the cabinet’s 10-point solution, which was introduced in 2011.

Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) today lamented the increasing limitations on religious freedom in the country, citing the recent cross protest in Taman Medan, Selangor, last month (picture below) and the controversies surrounding the Alkitab.

“Worse, it is now proposed that the import of the Alkitab be subject to newly-announced administrative requirements and procedures in Sabah and Sarawak, albeit in draft form for discussion. (more…)

Two men, one objective

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

zunar,saidZunar, in fighting against the culture of fear, continues the work left unfinished by former Utusan editor Said Zahari.

Two Malays, one 87 years old, the other 53. Their birthdays are within days of one another. Both are Taureans and both live by the pen. You know Zunar, Malaysia’s satirical cartoonist, who was recently given a platform at the United Nations in Geneva to make everyone aware how the culture of fear, imposed by Umno-Baru, strikes at Malaysians.

Very few of the current generation of Malaysians would have heard of Said Zahari, a veteran journalist who was once the chief editor of Utusan Melayu, the first Malay-owned newspaper, started by Yusuf Ishak. Yusuf later became the first President of Singapore. (more…)

Sacking 1MDB board may stifle probe, says Umno minister

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

Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan believes sacking the entire board of 1Malaysia Development Bhd may not help in the investigation of debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 22, 2015. There is no point sacking the entire board of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to take responsibility for the firms’ massive debts as it might slow the ongoing probe into the troubled firm’s dealings, an Umno minister said today.

Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the call by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to have the 1MDB board sacked was understandable so as to calm public anxiety over the issue, but added that such a move would not help in uncovering the truth.”Naturally the first thing the new CEO and the new board members will be asking is more time to understand the issues at hand. How could they answer questions if they didn’t know the head and tail of the issue. (more…)

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