Hornbill Unleashed

March 28, 2017

Death penalty should be abolished, says Baru

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

Image result for baru bianState PKR chairman Baru Bian wholeheartedly agrees with the call by human rights advocates that capital punishment be removed for all crimes currently punishable by death.

According to him, imposing of the death penalty was believed to act as a deterrent against crime but there is no conclusive evidence that capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

“Those who are about to commit crimes do not stop and sit down to weigh the consequences if they are caught, especially those who commit murder.

“I believe most people do not even know what the penalties are for various crimes except for drug trafficking as that is well-publicised, but even that does not have any deterrent effect, judging from the unabating illegal drug activities in this country,” Baru said in a press statement yesterday. (more…)

About 20 out of 183 dilapidated schools in Sarawak being upgraded using IBS concept

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

Around 20 out of 183 dilapidated schools in the state are currently being upgraded using the Industrialised Building System (IBS) concept.

This was stated in a written reply from the Chief Minister to Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian’s question on the status of repairs to dilapidated schools in Sarawak and how much was needed to repair or rebuild all dilapidated schools during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting in November last year.

According to the statement which was posted on the state PKR chairman’ Facebook page yesterday, the government has approved an allocation of RM366.7 million to upgrade 183 dilapidated schools using the IBS concept and this overall project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Apart from that, seven full replacement projects under the Second Rolling Plan of the 10th Malaysia Plan costing RM244.28 million will also be implemented this year. (more…)

Lawyers bid farewell to CJ on his last federal court sitting

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

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, who turn 67 in October, is going on a mandatory retirement end of this month. — Picture by Choo Choy MayIt was a touching moment for Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria on his last sitting on the Federal Court bench today when two lawyers bade him farewell in an open court.

Justice Arifin, who turn 67 in October, is going on a mandatory retirement end of this month.

Before the start of the first court proceeding for today, lawyers T. Jegadeeson,  who was Kedah and Perlis Bar chairman between 2000 and 2004, and S. Indran gave some parting words to Justice Arifin.

Jegadeeson, 60, commended Justice Arifin for being a judge with good temperament and always providing opportunities for lawyers to be heard. (more…)

With eye on straight fights, STAR leader seeks to join Sarawak Pakatan Harapan

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

STAR president Lina Soo, flanked by the party’s Women head Sylvia John and secretary general Simon Tiong, at a press conference in Kuching March 27, 2017. — Picture by Sulok Tawie State Reform Party (STAR) expressed today its wish to join the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan Opposition in a bid to see straight fights between the Opposition and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 14th general elections due by June 2018.

“We must remember that we have BN as our common enemy so the Opposition parties need to have a single political platform,” STAR president Lina Soo told a news conference here.

She was responding to a statement by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian yesterday that STAR and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) were not invited to join PHS because they were small parties and did not have much support.

“Time and again, because of our arrogance, Barisan is still in power,” she said, without singling out any particular party. (more…)

Finance minister II: RM3b request won’t alter Budget 2016 deficit

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

Johari (centre) said the Supplementary Supply (2016) Bill 2017 that is being debated simply lists down in detail the items that the contingency funds would be spent on. — File picThe government’s Supplementary Supply Bill for RM3.08 billion will not affect the previously projected deficit for Budget 2016, Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said today.

Johari explained that the federal government is merely seeking Parliament’s approval for additional spending that was already accounted for under Budget 2016, and the extra expenditure was also factored into the forecast deficit in October 2015.

“Each time we do (the) Budget, it’ll have a contingency amount. For operatin expenditure, the government will put in RM1.5 billion that is unspecified when we present the Budget each year. Same as for development expenditure, we will have contingency fund of RM2 billion that is not specific to any expenditure item.

“Only (that) according to the Constitution, although the contingency has been approved by Parliament, it is the government’s responsibility to retable the detailed expenditure (under) RM1.5 billion and RM2 billion,” he said in his winding-up speech at the end of the Bill’s debate at the policy stage. (more…)

Pakatan to register as official coalition

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

The party leaders of PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM met earlier in the Parliament building today. — Picture by Kamles KumarOpposition parties in Pakatan Harapan will seek to register the informal pact as an official coalition before the next general election, according to Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu.

He said this was agreed during the pact’s first meeting formally involving Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

“We will be registering Pakatan; 18 senior leaders will be included in the registration ahead of the general election,” he said during a press conference at Parliament today.

The party leaders of PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM met earlier in the Parliament building today.

Among those who also attended include PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. (more…)

Sarawakians to pay RM8.65b debt for RM2.5b Bakun Dam, Opposition claims

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

STAR president Lina Soo, flanked by the party’s Women head Sylvia John and secretary general Simon Tiong, at a press conference in Kuching March 27, 2017. — Picture by Sulok Tawie Claiming the Sarawak government overpaid in acquiring the Bakun Dam project, a state Opposition politician warned today that locals may be stuck paying back the state’s RM8.65 billion debt for the next 50 years.

State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo said the state government should hav only paid Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd (SHSB) a token sum of RM1 for Malaysia’s biggest hydroelectric project instead of RM2.5 billion.

“That should be right price, not RM2.5 billion, because the state government, through Sarawak Energy Berhad, has to take care of liabilities of RM6.15 billion from SHSB, the operator and owner of the dam,” she told a news conference here.

SHSB is a company owned by the federal Finance Ministry Incorporated.

Lina noted that the state government had announced a new funding model for the project, and warned that there would be a hefty price to pay if bonds were to be issued. (more…)

March 27, 2017

Sarawak PKR chief refutes former CJ on Shariah law supremacy

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

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (pic) says Ahmad Fairuz's statement was not supported by any compelling legal argument. ― Picture by Sulok TawieSarawak PKR chief Baru Bian dismissed today former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim’s argument that any laws that contradict Islamic scriptures are null and void.

The senior lawyer said Ahmad Fairuz’s statement was not supported by any compelling legal argument, but based on his personal feeling that anything which contradicted Islam was unconstitutional.

“His simplistic misinterpretation of Article 3 of the Federal Constitution is a contradiction of Article 4, which he conveniently ignores,” Baru said when responding to the former chief justice.

Article 3 refers to Islam as the official religion of the federation, while Article 4 refers to the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land. (more…)

Former chief justice’s statement completely without basis – Baru

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

The statement by former chief justice (ex-CJ) Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim that any laws which run contrary to Islamic scriptures are null and void is completely without basis, says state PKR chairman Baru Bian.

Baru, who is a senior lawyer, pointed out that Ahmad Fairuz’s statement was not supported by any compelling legal argument but on his feeling, as he was reported as saying: “I feel anything which is in contradiction to Islam is unconstitutional”.

Baru stated that the ex-CJ’s simplistic misinterpretation of Article 3 of the Federal Constitution is a contradiction of Article 4, which he conveniently ignored.

“As an ex-CJ, he should know that Malaysia was formed to be a secular country and remains a secular country. Article 3 of the Federal Constitution does not import the meaning that Shariah is the supreme law of Malaysia but on the contrary there is strong legal and academic opinion that Malaysia is in fact a secular country. (more…)

Pakatan Harapan Sarawak say no plans to invite STAR, PBDS Baru

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

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian says the two parties do not have much support in the state. — Picture by Saw Siow FengPakatan Harapan Sarawak (PHS) has no intention of inviting two local Opposition parties to join it as the parties do not have much support among Sarawakians, Sarawak PKR said today.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said the State Reform Party (STAR) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru), led by former PKR members, are small parties, noting that all their candidates had lost their deposits in last year’s state elections.

“However, we are prepared to work and cooperate with them to challenge the state Barisan Nasional in the coming general elections, but will not invite them to join us in PHS,” Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian told Malay Mail Online today.

Baru expressed doubts whether the two parties are able to come up with credible candidates in the general elections. (more…)

Nuclear infrastructure review report to be tabled in cabinet soon

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

The three-phase assessment concluded that Malaysia is thoroughly prepared to develop nuclear power programs . ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaThe final report of the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission Phase 1 will be tabled in the cabinet soon to find out whether it could be made public or not, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

“I need to table it because of time constraint. But there’s nothing much, it’s just a matter of asking the cabinet whether we should make the report public or not,” she told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur heat of the FameLab Malaysia 2017 (FameLab) competition held here, today.

The three-phase assessment, initiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, concluded that Malaysia is thoroughly prepared and has developed a considerable base of knowledge to make an informed decision about introducing nuclear power.

On March 7, the minister said Malaysia has 30 days to respond to the recommendation made by the report that evaluates interested newcomer countries’ status and state-of-readiness in developing nuclear power programmes. (more…)

Report: ‘Third wave’ of Chinese migration as thousands move to Malaysia

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

Malaysia's appeal to Chinese nationals comes from a combination of sunny weather, friendly people and cultural similarities. — Picture by Saw Siow FengAlmost 8,000 Chinese nationals have emigrated to Malaysia since 2002, dubbed the “third wave” of Chinese migration, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

A combination of sunny weather, friendly people and cultural similarities has helped boost Malaysia’s appeal to Chinese seeking to escape the volatile climate and worsening pollution at home, as they sign up under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

SCMP reported that the “third wave” of Chinese migration to Malaysia, after a 15th century influx and the tin mining boom in the 19th century, included foreign workers besides MM2H participants.

China’s strengthening trade ties with Malaysia is also driving more of its wealthy businessmen to settle down here. Last year alone, Putrajaya announced over RM50 billion worth of Chinese investment . (more…)

‘Big data’ firm denies doing election work in Malaysia

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

Screen grab of the behavioural research company SCL Group's website.Behavioural research company SCL Group denied today a report claiming that Barisan Nasional (BN) was using its “big data” services for the upcoming 14th general elections.

SCL’s South-east Asia head Azrin Zizal said his company — which, according to its website, uses “advanced data analytics” to identify voters — has not done any election work in Malaysia before and that local political parties have yet to engage it for the next general elections.

“We are new to the region,” Azrin, whose office is in Kuala Lumpur, told Malay Mail Online.

“At the moment, we spend most time meeting people to introduce our range of services and expertise. We hope to start building local expertise, especially in the area of data analytics soon. (more…)

What happened to Bill barring unilateral child conversions? DAP MP asks

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

Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran expressed concern that a Bill prohibiting unilateral religious child conversions may not be passed during the current Parliament sitting. ― Picture by Saw Siow FengAn Opposition lawmaker expressed concern today that a Bill prohibiting unilateral religious child conversions may not be passed during the current Parliament meeting.

DAP national vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran pointed out that Putrajaya’s silence on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Bill (LRA) 2016 since it was tabled at the Dewan Rakyat last year showed reluctance in passing the Bill.

“There are now tale signs that the said bill may never be debated and passed by Parliament. I understand there are powerful people who want the bill to be withdrawn at all costs come what may.

“I have been hearing from the ‘grapevine’ that this Bill may ‘not see the light at the end of the tunnel’,” he said in a statement today. (more…)

March 26, 2017

Ex-CJ claims Muslims happy for hudud, not equality

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

Former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim speaks at a special lecture on Islam as the law of the land at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, March 25, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy MayA controversial former chief justice claimed today that Muslims are happy to comply with the controversial Islamic penal law of hudud if it is implemented.

Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim suggested that Muslims do not care about equality, even when hudud is said to result in an unequal punishments for crimes committed by Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Even if you implement hudud in a conservative way, it can only affect Muslims,” Ahmad Fairuz said in a lecture on “Islam as the law of the land” here.

“A statement by Gerakan says no one person should be treated differently, but I say, Muslims are not asking for equality, they’re happy to follow their religion. To have hudud,” he added. (more…)

Any laws contradicting Islamic scriptures invalid, ex-CJ claims

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

Former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim speaks at a special lecture on Islam as the law of the land at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, March 25, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy MayAny laws which run contrary to Islamic scriptures are null and void, said a controversial former chief justice who had once proposed that the English Common Law be replaced by Shariah laws.

In a lecture on “Islam as the law of the land”, former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim had interpreted that the supremacy of Shariah laws is only second to the Federal Constitution.

“I feel anything which is in contradiction to Islam is unconstitutional,” Ahmad Fairuz said.

“The privy council has ruled in a case in Singapore that a law, to be valid, must conform to the fundamental rules laid down by the English law,” he related, saying that this view was then also adopted by Malaysia. (more…)

Blacklisted PTPTN borrowers advised to negotiate repayment

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

More than fifty per cent of PTPTN borrowers who are in the Immigration blacklist and barred from leaving the country. — file picMore than fifty per cent of the 586,863 borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) who are in the Immigration blacklist and barred from leaving the country have come forward to negotiate on their repayment.

PTPTN chief executive officer Wan Ahmad Wan Yusoff said as a result of that,  RM967.9 million in loan repayment had been collected from them as of last JanUARY 31.

The blacklist action by the Immigration Department against the loan defaulters resulted in them being barred from leaving the country, apply for new passport or renew their passport, he said.

He was met after the launch of the PTPTN branch office at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching today. (more…)

Bumiputera, Malay contractors prove ability with MRT, Pan-Borneo projects

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

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed happiness that the impact of the success of the Mass rapid Transit (MRT). — file picNajib Razak expressed happiness that the impact of the success of the Mass rapid Transit (MRT) and the toll-free Pan Borneo Expressway projects proved the ability of bumiputera and Malay contractors to implement mega projects.

He obtained feedback on the matter following his meeting with key industry players and business associations at a roundtable economic dialogue in Putrajaya yesterday.

“I am also happy when I received feedback from the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association that the Malays and bumiputera have benefitted from the ‘carve-out’ policy for the MRT and Pan Borneo projects.

“I was also informed that the perception towards bumiputera and Malay contractors is changing with them proving their ability to deliver. “I am proud with the ‘anak bangsaku, Negaraku’,” he said in his blog ‘Kita Di Landasan Tepat’ (We are on the right track) today. — (more…)

PAS: Unilateral child conversion ban a threat to faith, inconsiderate to Muslims

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

Nasrudin Hassan claimed that although Article 11 of the Federal Constitution has guaranteed freedom to worship, the majority Muslims are purportedly being forced to compromise. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaA PAS MP has claimed today that a proposed amendment to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (LRA) to ban unilateral child conversions will rip away a child’s Islamic faith.

PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan also lamented that Putrajaya has allegedly only taken into account the interest of religious minorities, and not mainstream Muslims, with the Bill.

“It is unfortunate that the Government only takes into account the views of only non-Muslims and ignore the demands of the mainstream Muslims,” the Temerloh MP said in a statement today.

Nasrudin claimed that although Article 11 of the Federal Constitution has guaranteed freedom to worship, the majority Muslims are purportedly being forced to compromise. (more…)

At Islamic convention, Mufti Menk offers advice on treating others, black magic

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

Mufti Ismail Menk giving a talk at the Straight Path Convention: The Divine Rights. — Pix by Shazwan Mustafa KamalMany Malaysians turned up in droves to this year’s edition of Islamic mega event The Straight Path Convention today, which will continue until tomorrow with the theme of Divine Rights.

This morning, the audience had listened to international Islamic scholar Ismail Musa Menk from Zimbabwe, who is popularly known as Mufti Menk, to speak on issues of faith and its modern-day challenges.

During his lecture on the convention’s theme, Menk had reminded the public on how Muslims should behave and treat their fellow human beings.

“I call upon all of you to rethink about how we are treating the people in our lives especially those we are responsible for. (more…)

March 25, 2017

Lawyer: Judiciary to blame for case that took 10 years to conclude

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

lawyer_law_new_600The judiciary must ensure a fair trial and accept the responsibility for its failure to ensure the expeditious conclusion of a case, a senior criminal lawyer said.

V Sithambaram said this was particularly so when the delay was not caused by the appellant.

“Article 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution guarantees the right to fair trial by an impartial court and a just decision within reasonable time,” he said.

Sithambaram, a former chairman of the Bar Council’s criminal law committee, said this in his commentary on the judgment penned by outgoing Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria in the murder case of R Amathevelli v Public Prosecutor.

This judgment is among the 22 cases delivered by Arifin which have been compiled in a book titled “Justice Above All.” (more…)

DAP concerned about turn of event on Act 355

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

DAP is concerned about the turn of event regarding the stance of state Barisan Nasional (BN) on the amendment to Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965,  commonly known as Act 355.

DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen  said the state BN under the late chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem had opposed the Bill, but the stance had now changed.

“Initially, when the matter (Act 355) was brought up, Adenan made it very clear to oppose it. All Sarawak MPs should oppose but in the last two months, this clear position has changed.

“Why is there a change on the stance on Act 355? Does it show that Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg is incapable and doesn’t have  the courage to stand up against the  wishes and policies of Umno?” Chong asked. (more…)

In liberalism survey, Malaysians say yes to both free speech and Sedition Act

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

Wan Saiful said that the results of the IDEAS-commissioned survey showed Malaysians' understanding towards the ideology is limited. — Picture by Choo Choy MayDespite voicing support for free speech in Malaysia, a majority of Malaysians polled in a nationwide survey also felt that the government should keep the controversial Sedition Act.

Over three-quarters or 77 per cent of the 1,207 respondents believed Malaysia is ready for freedom of speech and a free media, while just 20 per cent disagreed, think-tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) revealed today.

But when thrown a “trick question” proposing the government retain the Sedition Act ― which critics say suppresses free speech ― and similar laws to guarantee peace and stability in Malaysia, more than half or 60 per cent said yes, leaving just 34 per cent who disagreed.

“Now the Sedition Act is obviously an illiberal law and it has been hotly debated, so we ask them whether you want the Sedition Act to be retained or removed, so usually people who are consistently liberal would say that it should be removed. (more…)

Sarawak BN objections may doom Act 355

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

Najib Abdul Razak could not have reckoned with the objections of BN component parties in Sabah and Sarawak to Act 355 when he announced last November that Umno would “take over” PAS president Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to further empower Syariah courts.

Earlier this week, in a meeting with leaders of these parties, he was taken aback by the near unanimity of their resistance to the Umno move.

The fate of Act 355 – the popular shorthand for the bill initiated by Hadi in May last year and left ever since in a kind of suspended animation until the PM threw the weight of his office behind it – continues to be uncertain.

The current sitting of Parliament, supposed to end on April 6, may be extended a few days to enable the tabling of the bill. (more…)

‘Sarawak BN may waver over Hadi’s bill’

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

Chong-Chieng-Jen-sarawak-huduhSarawak BN MPs may waver on their stand against Hadi’s bill if the government tables it as specifically applying to Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia, while excluding non-Muslims and East Malaysians.

Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said if a deal had been struck with assurances given that Sarawak would be unaffected by the bill, that would be a “clear-cut lie”.

“After the passing of this bill, like all other bills, all it takes is for one signature of one minister before it will be extended to Sarawak. It will no longer require another debate or resolution in Parliament before it is extended to Sarawak,” Chong said.

He was responding to a front page report by Sin Chew Daily today, which stated that it had received a preliminary draft of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) that will replace PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill. (more…)

Cabinet approves proposed Child Sexual Crime Bill 2017

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

The Cabinet today approved the proposed Child Sexual Crime Bill 2017, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. — Reuters picThe Cabinet today approved the proposed Child Sexual Crime Bill 2017, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

She said the Bill would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat for the first reading next week.

“This Bill is important in addressing the seriousness of sexual crime against children in Malaysia.

“It is also aimed at increasing protection for children from sexual criminals and in looking after the welfare of children,” she said in a statement here.

She added that in general, the Bill addressed sexual offences against children and the punishment, adding to the existing laws on the offences. (more…)

Why we need debates in Malaysia

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

Image result for debates dr mIt is surprising that the police would prohibit a debate between two politicians, and even more surprising that the organisers had to notify the authorities.

If the organisers of the debate between minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had to notify the police under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, what about debates at schools and universities? What about forums or even sleepovers among friends?

The police should not be violating our right to peaceful assembly.

We should be able to gather anywhere and anytime we want to as long as it doesn’t involve violence. Requirements like notifying the police 10 days before an assembly are onerous. (more…)

Malaysians happy with BR1M and want it to continue, study says

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

Slightly more than half of the respondents were happy that the BR1M aid that amounted up to RM1,200 this time around reached the target group. — Bernama picA recent survey by a market research company found that the majority of Malaysians appreciated the government’s effort to provide subsidy through 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) 2017 and that it is not a form of bribery as claimed by some.

The national survey conducted by Kajidata Research Sdn Bhd on 1031 recipients and non-recipients of BR1M under the supervision of Professor Datuk Syed Arabi Idid found 68.7 per cent of the respondents giving the thumbs up for BR1M with 63.9 per cent of them disagreeing that it is a form of bribery.

Dr Syed Arabi Idid who shared the findings with BERNAMA said, hence it is not surprising that 71.1 per cent of the respondents felt that BR1M introduced in 2012 should be continued in the future.

Due to the rising cost of living, 65.1 per cent of the respondents admitted that BR1M had helped alleviate their financial burden with only 25.6 per cent saying otherwise, said the former rector of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Kajidata’s adviser. (more…)

March 24, 2017

Putrajaya to introduce Employment Insurance Scheme

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

Najib said the law is expected to be enforced from January 1 next year, while the interest payment can be made from January 1, 2019. — Reuters picThe federal government has agreed to implement the proposed Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) which will affect an estimated 6.5 million workers in the private sector, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today.

He said a new law is being drafted and will be presented at the next parliamentary sitting in June.

He added that the law is expected to be enforced from January 1 next year, while the interest payment can be made from January 1, 2019.

“The government believes the EIS initiative is a long-term policy that will give a positive impact especially to workers and employers,” he said in a statement this evening. (more…)

Deputy Minister: AG liaising with Swiss AG on SRC International

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

Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali is in correspondence with his Swiss counterpart regarding mutual legal assistance (MLA) for a case involving Malaysia, said a deputy minister.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Razali Ibrahim however said this was over SRC International, and not the RM2.6 billion donation scandal.

“I can confirm it does not involve the RM2.6 billion… but it is likely about the SRC investigation on the individuals involved.

“The SRC probe on (certain) individuals was halted because we are waiting for an MLA, so I believe it is related to this. (more…)

The true meaning of patriotism

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

malaysia-1In most third world countries, patriotism is defined as support for the government of the day. Instead of being debunked, the definition is perpetuated after changes of government.

It is also customary for the regime in power to whip up nationalistic sentiments because many less developed societies tend to mix up nationalism with patriotism.

Nationalism shows its ugly side when citizens of one country rejoice in the downfall of another.

While celebrating a win in sports is healthy nationalism, unsporting behaviour will tarnish the image of the country and its people. (more…)

BNM to introduce new measures to deal with ringgit value

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

BNM-ringgitBank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is planning to introduce new measures to help businesses to deal with the ringgit’s value, Governor Muhammad Ibrahim said.

He said the measure would help hedge the ringgit against other currencies, providing a better balance in the country’s foreign exchange market.

“The Financial Markets Committee will make an announcement once the measures are discussed with the industry and businesses,” he told a briefing at the BNM Annual Report 2016 release, as well as the Financial Stability and Payments Report here today.

Meanwhile, Muhammad said BNM would announce the names of financial institutions that failed to follow procedures. (more…)

Azalina: Govt to review mandatory death sentence for drug offences

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

Currently, the law only provides for one sentence for those convicted of drug-related offences — death. — AFP picPutrajaya has agreed to review Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and allow courts to decide on the penalty for drug offences, Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said today.

Currently, the law only provides for one sentence for those convicted of drug-related offences — death.

“The Cabinet has agreed and decided that amendments be done to Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act by including additional clauses which provide discretionary powers to the courts to deal with other sentences, apart from the mandatory death penalty, in certain situations,” she told Parliament.

Azalina, who oversees law matters, said the Cabinet made the decision after Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali presented a case in favour of granting judges discretionary powers.

A former judge, Apandi had previously expressed a wish for discretionary powers instead of sending convicts to the gallows in narcotics-related offences, which also includes those coerced or duped into becoming drug mules.

Azalina said she has instructed the Solicitor-General to speed up draft amendments to the law to be tabled in Parliament.


Source : YISWAREE PALANSAMY @ Malay Mail Online


 

Lawyers: Give automatic citizenship to stateless children adopted by Malaysians

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

Family lawyer Goh Siu Lin supports the automatic citizenships for stateless children adopted by Malaysian parents. ― Picture courtesy of Goh Siu LinPutrajaya should automatically grant citizenship to stateless children born in Malaysia once they are adopted by Malaysian parents, lawyers have said.

Lawyer Raymond Mah asserted the National Registration Department (NRD) has wrongly applied the law with its current practice of only granting citizenship to adopted children in two scenarios: if the biological parents are a married Malaysian couple, or if the biological mother is Malaysian but gave birth without being married.

“This practice is without any legal basis and has unlawfully rendered stateless many adopted children whose biological mother is unknown or is non-Malaysian,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

In Malaysia, a child who is born here out of wedlock to a Malaysian father and foreigner is considered to take on the biological mother’s nationality. The Court of Appeal, in a case last Thursday, said this meant the child’s statelessness was unproven and prevented him from being recognised as a Malaysian citizen. (more…)

When the Censorship Board plays moral guardian

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

The media, or more specifically the entertainment media, plays a very important role beyond serving as a form of escapism and enjoyment. It serves as a reflection of society and, at times, becomes a tool to influence society as well.

In the past week or so, the local media has been blanketed with reports of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ being “banned”. Well, technically it was never banned. Its release was delayed, then cuts were ordered by the Censorship Board, and Disney decided to pull it out from Malaysia.

The reason for this debacle is because there is an apparently gay character in the film by the name of Le Fou who sings a song that is suggestively gay and that he even lifts up his shirt and reveals a love bite on his body. I have not seen the film so I cannot confirm the existence of this scene.

But at the time of writing, it has been reported that the film will indeed be screened in cinemas here in Malaysia without any cuts on March 30. This has been confirmed by the country’s two largest local cinema chains, TGV and Golden Screen Cinemas. (more…)

The day after Act 355 amended

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

The consequences are frighteningly horrendous with a sure descend into theocracy, first for the Muslims, but quite probably eventually for non-Muslims too. Think Iran for instance and how a takeover of the rule of law by religious authorities radically changed the country, making it a fundamentalist Islamic state virtually overnight.

It will be the first major step towards surrendering the rule of law to religious authorities who neither have knowledge of secular law nor the necessary equanimity to be fair regarding such matters.

It will lead down a slippery slope because power so injudiciously surrendered to unelected representatives will be difficult to recover in future. And it raises a wide range of issues whose outcomes will be difficult to predict and increase the level of uncertainty in Malaysia even further.

But first let’s take a quick look at what the fuss is all about. The current Act 355 Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, amended in 1988, provides that: (more…)

Child Sexual Offences Bill to be tabled next week

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

Azalina was confident that the Bill will get the support of all members of Parliament and then passed early next month. ― Picture by Choo Choy MayThe Child Sexual Offences Bill 2017 will be tabled for first reading in Parliament next week, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

She expressed confidence that the Bill, which aims to address child sexual offences holistically and comprehensively, would get the support of all members of Parliament and then passed early next month.

“Tomorrow, the Cabinet will look at the Bill prior to its first reading in Parliament on Monday or Tuesday next week.

“I hope this Bill will be made a law as showing our responsibility as members of Parliament to the people, especially children,” she said when winding up the debate on the pledge of loyalty on the speech by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in Parliament. (more…)

BNM: Ringgit will stabilise gradually, no large outflow

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

Muhammad-Ibrahim-bnmMeasures undertaken by Bank Negara Malaysia have not only helped stem the ringgit’s decline but have also gradually stabilised the currency, says BNM governor Muhammad Ibrahim.

“The impact of measures announced (on Dec 2, 2016) has been significant, and the ringgit has been very stable the last two months and the volatility has improved as well,” he said.

The ringgit is now at 4.43-4.42 versus the US dollar and will improve, he said, adding that volume in the foreign exchange market had also increased to between US$8 billion and US$9 billion.

“The market would (eventually) reflect more closely the fundamental value. (more…)

M’sia short of 1m affordable houses by 2020, BNM estimates

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

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) warns that the country may face a shortage of one million units of affordable houses priced below RM250,000 by 2020.

“The housing market has not been able to provide an adequate supply of affordable housing for the masses. The undersupply of affordable homes is likely to worsen going forward given current trends in income and demographic factor,” said BNM in its 2016 Annual Report released today.

This is despite multiple programmes by the private sector, the federal government and state governments to supply affordable housing, said BNM.

At a press conference earlier today, BNM governor Muhammad Ibrahim pointed out there was a drastic reduction of affordable houses after 2010. (more…)

Sarawak Immigration introduces yearly rotations to curb graft

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

State Immigration director Ken Leben says that officers posted in high risk areas could succumb to temptations from syndicates, March 23, 2017. ― Picture by Sulok TawieImmigration officers in “high-risk” areas will be transferred annually to prevent them from succumbing to corruption, said Sarawak Immigration chief Ken Leben.

Such areas include airports and immigration counters at border checkpoints, which he said were targeted by syndicates.

“This rotation system is one of the measures under our standard operating procedures (SOP) which we have implemented after the arrest of 11 officers for allegedly taking bribes to protect illegal immigrants in Sarawak two weeks ago,” he told reporters here.

The department has also formed a task force specifically for evaluating entry passes for investors and domestic helpers, which he said would remove the responsibility from senior officers. (more…)

Bersih: Hew’s arrest over FB posting against freedom of speech

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

super-man_bersih_600Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 has condemned the arrest of Hew Kuan Yau as being out of sync with the freedom of speech guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

Although the former DAP member has been released on police bail, Bersih said he should not have been arrested in the first place.

“Hew’s arrest is the latest selective action taken against mere Facebook postings deemed to be against certain parties, which are unnecessary punitive measures,” it said in a statement today.

Hew, also known as “Superman”, was arrested on Monday for a comment on his Facebook page allegedly comparing the prime minister and his wife to the title characters in the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. (more…)

March 23, 2017

Islam for Muslims or Islam for all?

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

“Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.”

– John Adams

I was sincerely trying not to write another article on Islam. Every time I write an article on Islam I get the usual hate mail from folks who accuse me of being anti-Islam and anti-Malay. The people who email me are not bad people. Far from it. If you define “good” as opposing Umno and corruption, then these folks fall into the category of “good” as defined by oppositional forces. Personally, I think this is a crappy definition of good but it takes all kinds, right?

Lawyer Aidil Khalid said something in a debate organised by Bebas recently that demonstrates why this country is ultimately doomed. Forget about the fact that non-Muslims are losing the demographic game but this idea of co-existence and mutual gain is anathema to mainstream Islam. If people wonder why when most people migrate they do not want to go to places where there is a Muslim majority, then you have to look no further than the idea espoused by Aidil Khalid. (more…)

Getting to the bottom

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

Najib Tun Razak has held separate meetings with leaders of each Barisan Nasional (BN) component party from Sarawak and Sabah yesterday to discuss their parties’ stance on the amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 which is commonly known as Act 355.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak(PRS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing confirmed the meetings.

“Yes, all BN heads of political parties from Sarawak and Sabah met the Prime Minister on RUU 355 (Act 355). However, details of discussion are not for public consumption yet,” Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, told The Borneo Post.

Najib was said to be meeting top leaders of all BN component parties due to their strong objections to the tabling of the Bill on March 29. (more…)

Report: US preparing criminal charges against Jho Low

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

The United States authorities are preparing to file criminal charges against Penang-born billionaire Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, for involvement in what they believe to be “one of the largest financial frauds in history”.

The Wall Street Journal quoted sources familiar with the probe as saying that the US prosecution’s plans involved filing criminal charges of wire fraud and money laundering against Low and potentially some of his associates.

The sources did not describe the potential timing for when the criminal charges would be filed.

The plan could also be changed or dropped as its investigations continue, the report added. (more…)

State clearly opposition to shariah bill, Sarawak govt urged

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

Rev-Daron-Tan-sarawakThe Sarawak Ministers’ Fellowship (SMF) has called on the state government to make an unequivocal statement opposing the shariah amendment bill, saying the rest of the nation was looking to it to provide leadership in religious freedom as promised to its own people.

Its chairman Rev Daron Tan today expressed concern about the state’s undisclosed stance in spite of earlier expressions of opposition to it.

He said SMF had earlier this month written to every Sarawak MP, asking them to declare their stand on the bill which is expected to be tabled in the current parliamentary sitting which ends on April 6.

The letter had called on the MPs to make a commitment to attend Parliament and vote against the bill, to uphold the wellbeing, peace and justice of the non-Muslim community. (more…)

How to survive colon and rectal cancer

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

Colorectal cancer survivor, Choo Mei Sze speaks to Malay Mail Online during an interview at the National Cancer Society Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur March 21, 2017. — Pictures by Yusof Mat IsaChoo Mei Sze was 27 when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 rectal cancer, a type of cancer that is considered rare among young people.

Now 30, Choo went for a colonoscopy on her father’s insistence after she had a three-week long bout of diarrhoea. This led to the discovery of a tumour in her rectum.

Ten days later, she went for surgery and had most of her rectum and 12 centimetres of her colon removed.

Choo did another surgery to rejoin her rectum to her colon. She did not undergo chemotherapy and currently only takes medicine for acid reflux. (more…)

Commit to new fuel price system, DAP MP tells Putrajaya

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

Tony Pua said the system was still being studied, despite it and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry previously announcing that weekly price setting would begin next month. — Picture by Saw Siow FengTony Pua today urged the government not to go back on a proposal to set ceiling prices for fuel weekly beginning April, following conflicting information on the topic.

He noted that a written Parliamentary response from the Finance Ministry this week said the system was still being “studied”, despite it and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry previously announcing that weekly price setting would begin next month.

“Why did both of the ministries make public announcements on the implementation of the policy commencing on April 1?” Pua asked during a press conference at Parliament today.

“Did the government make a quiet U-turn on the policy without informing the public?” he asked.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin today reiterated that the weekly price mechanism will be implemented on April 1.

“The Cabinet has approved it and we will start next week,” he said.

Prices for RON95 and RON97 petrol as well as diesel are currently determined using a monthly float system.


Source : RAM ANAND @ Malay Mail Online


 

PM: Saudi Aramco’s US$7b investment proves Malaysia not on verge of bankruptcy

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

A Saudi Aramco employee sits in the area of its stand at the Middle East Petrotech 2016, an exhibition and conference for the refining and petrochemical industries, in Manama, Bahrain, September 27, 2016. ― Reuters picSaudi Aramco’s US$7 billion (RM30.9 billion) investment in the Petronas Pengerang Integrated Complex in Johor, is a major testament that Malaysia is not on the verge of bankruptcy.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said it was impossible for the Saudi Arabia state-owned oil company to commit to such a large investment in a country that was going bankrupt.

“I raise this question because, as you know, there has been a lot of fake news lately. Unfortunately, the government’s opponents here in Malaysia often prefer not to engage with us on the facts.

“They create false propaganda ― like the idea that this is a state on the verge of bankruptcy ― some of which sadly gains traction internationally,” he said in his keynote address at the 2017 Global Transformation Forum here today. (more…)

US to charge Malaysia businessman Jho Low in 1MDB scandal: Report

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

US authorities plan to file criminal charges against a businessman suspected to be at the centre of a major corruption scandal that has embroiled Malaysia’s prime minister, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Allegations that huge sums were misappropriated from the Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB have triggered a scandal which has buffeted Prime Minister Najib Razak, who founded 1MDB, though the leader has denied any wrongdoing.

Najib is a family friend of Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, against whom the US plans to file criminal charges of wire fraud and money-laundering, according to the report published on Tuesday (Mar 21).

The planned charges against Low will be separate from civil proceedings filed by the US Justice Department to seize more than US$1 billion in assets believed bought with funds siphoned from 1MDB, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter. (more…)

Following the money on lucrative illegal Indo-M’sia maid trade

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

Ten months after she ran away from home, Yufrinda Selan eventually returned a day before her 19th birthday. But it wasn’t tears of joy that greeted her.

Yufrinda’s family howled as her body, wrapped in a shroud, arrived in a white coffin at their hometown in Batu Putih, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

Her father, Mentusalak Selan, did not dare to open the wooden box as it bore another name – Melinda Sapay.

“I was scared of making a mistake,” Mentusalak said when met earlier this month. (more…)

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