Hornbill Unleashed

May 22, 2015

Finance Ministry admits mistake in redeemed 1MDB Cayman funds

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 4:00 AM

The government admits making a mistake in claiming that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had redeemed its investments in the Cayman Islands in cash, which was then transferred to a Singaporean bank, says Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 21, 2015. The government admitted making a mistake in claiming that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had redeemed its investments in the Cayman Islands in cash, which was then transferred to a Singaporean bank.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah told reporters in the Parliament lobby today that only “units” existed in the BSI Bank Limited Singapore account.“There was a mistake in the sense that, the impression when they (1MDB) said they have redeemed and saved in the Singapore bank, the impression is that there’s cash. Actually, that is savings,” Husni said.

“They are units, backed by sovereign wealth funds. We hope that we can bring it back as soon as possible.” (more…)

May 21, 2015

Is there a hidden agenda for Johor Sarawakians to join Umno?

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

This in itself was highly suspicious and unusual – setting up a Muslim-only party branch for the mostly Christians from Sarawak – who are mainly Ibans and Bidayuhs.

It appears that he had stirred up a political hornets’ nest.

His proposal was met with shock and reprimands with a few smattering of ‘ayes’ and support from both sides of the political divide. However, the continuing debate in the public eye has yet to subside.

PRS president James Masing was the first to shoot it down; then came SPDP party president Tiong King Sing from one corner. But surprisingly, some support came from William Mawan, president of the new breakaway party, Teras plus a couple of PBB spokesmen (I won’t even call them leaders). (more…)

BN’s 1MDB troubles a chink in Adenan’s armour, Sarawak PKR says

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

Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How says although Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud is no longer the state chief minister, many still believe he exerts considerable influence over Tan Sri Adenan. — Picture by Saw Siow FengChief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem may have created a “feel good factor” in Sarawak but the controversies plaguing Barisan Nasional’s (BN) national leadership could give the opposition the fighting chance it needs to survive the coming state polls, PKR said.

Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How pointed out that although Adenan is seen as a popular leader here, the pact he represents has come under heavy criticism of late over its handling of issues like 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“There are many events in the country which are working against the Barisan in the state election, including the controversial 1MDB issues, unanswered questions on the motive behind murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu as well as the severe criticisms against Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak,” the Batu Lintang state lawmaker told reporters today. (more…)

Audit report won’t save your neck, Zaid tells PM

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak does not comprehend the principles of ministerial responsibility, former law minister Zaid Ibrahim says.

It is because of this, Zaid said, Najib keeps stating that all quarters must wait for the audit report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and that he cannot be pushed out of office until his five-year election mandate expires.

“We are a Westminster democracy. The principles by which our government and ministers operate are managed by the conventions, practices and ethics of a parliamentary system. (more…)

MP arrested over Kita Lawan ‘wedding march’

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

Police today arrested PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin for illegal assembly over the March 28 Kita Lawan rally, and released him on police bail after his statement was taken.

He is the 12th person to be arrested for the rally, which saw about 500 protestors demand Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s resignation by marching towards KLCC where his daughter’s wedding reception was held that night.

“We were just merely exercising our rights to peaceful assembly provisioned by the federal constitution and the peaceful assembly act 2011. (more…)

Walk the talk on Parliament reform, Bersih tells Pandikar

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

Bersih 2.0 steering committee co-chair Maria Chin Abdullah says all attempts to meet with Pandikar and federal ministers to discuss Parliament reform drew a blank. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 20, 2015.Inspired by fresh calls by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker for parliamentary reform, electoral reform watchdog Bersih 2.0 urged Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to walk the talk by meeting with civil society to initiate the process towards a transparent and accountable Parliament.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee co-chair Maria Chin Abdullah said to date, all attempts to meet on these matters with federal ministers and Pandikar himself have received no response.

She also urged the Speaker to lead by example, and not to allow debates to carry on into the early morning hours, as was the case with the passing of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the amendments to the Sedition Act. (more…)

Consumers critical, not confused about prepaid GST

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

How much profit the companies are allowed to make, on the other hand, is the point that must be addressed and perhaps regulated by the government of the day.

The average consumer does not expect companies to absorb the cost of the recently imposed Goods and Services Tax (GST), contrary to the reminder by Multimedia and Communications Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek in Parliament.

What we want is just to get our money’s worth for every single sen paid and not be shortchanged.

Based on his response to Titiwangsa MP Johari Ghani, Shabery seemed to believe that critical consumers are unable to comprehend the differences between the GST and the now abolished Sales and Services Tax (SST). (more…)

Wish list for the 11th Malaysia Plan

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will unveil the 11th Malaysian Plan (2016 to 2020) tomorrow in parliament.

This will be the Malaysian Plan that will take us to a developed nation status by 2020. Expectations therefore are very high that this plan will not only chart the course for us to achieve a developed nation status but to show the way forward thereafter.

Below is my wishlist for what I hope will be covered in the 11th Malaysian Plan.

Unfortunately, despite the importance of this plan, none of the opposition parties and members of parliament were consulted during the preparation of this plan even though we represent 52 percent of the voters in the country. (more…)

Court order to be sought to stop more 1MDB buys

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

An application for an injunction will be filed in court next week to stop several funds from making further investments in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), said Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli.

These are the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP), Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) and Lembaga Tabung Haji (Pigrims Fund Board), which have already made such investments in the past.

“We want to make sure that they would think twice or thrice before putting money in 1MDB after this,” he said during a talk in Serdang tonight. (more…)

Better for Najib to stay silent on 1MDB until probe concludes

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

Prime Minister Najib Razak should stop defending the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad and allow all ongoing probes to proceed without his undue influence.

Even as the bi-partisan parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) commenced its hearing on the state-investment arm on May 19, Najib who spoke at the Finance Ministry’s monthly gathering in Putrajaya said he is “very confident” that the recovery plan to reduce 1MDB’s RM42 billion debt will bear fruit.

Online portal Malaysiakini quoted Najib, who is also Finance Minister, as telling the civil servants: “Recovery measures can be done to reduce 1MDB’s total debt and this is what the government is working on.” (more…)

Political risks may bury 11MP, say economists

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

The success of the 11th Malaysia Plan hinges on political stability, which could determine if Malaysia can get the investments required to reach Vision 2020 targets, economists say.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will table the plan in Parliament tomorrow, amid increasing calls for him to resign.

“The key risk for the 11MP is whether, from the political perspective, there is sufficient stability to sustain investor confidence,” economist Yeah Kim Leng said.

Yeah (photo), who is the dean of the Malaysian University of Science of Technology School of Business, said Malaysia has sound fundamentals but this is not enough to offset the political risk. (more…)

‘Absence of civility escalates Dr M-PM spat’

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

It started with polite swipes from the sidelines but has now degenerated into a public mudslinging match between Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The panacea, according to former minister Rais Yatim, is “budi bahasa” or civility.

Responding to a question, he said if this was practised at all levels of leadership, the Najib-Mahathir spat would not have escalated.

“Civility must be included in leadership as well. Perhaps both Mahathir and the prime minister would be uneasy with what I am saying. (more…)

Khairy wants PAC to probe Jho Low over 1MDB, says report

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

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is hopeful the Public Accounts Committee will call for Jho Low to testify over his  alleged involvement with 1MDB. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 20, 2015.Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is insisting that businessman Low Taek Jho be investigated by parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over his involvement in debt-ridden state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), The Star Online reported.

He said public speculation over Low’s involvement in the scandal was too great to be ignored, adding that “whatever way you look at this issue, Jho Low’s fingerprints are all over the place”.

Khairy was responding to the PAC, which yesterday said that “at the moment” it had no plans to call Low, popularly known as Jho Low, to its on-going hearing on 1MDB. (more…)

May 20, 2015

Big BN win expected in Sarawak polls, says political analyst

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

Barisan Nasional will keep its two-third majority in the Sarawak State Assembly in the next state elections, say analysts. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 19, 2015.

The opposition will fail to wrest Sarawak from Barisan Nasional in the upcoming state election and PKR state chairman Baru Bian stands to lose his Ba Kelalan state seat, if the study on the voting trend is anything to go by.

Political scientists Dr Faisal Hazis said statistical studies of the voting trend based on the last general election by Merdeka Centre showed the opposition could at most, win only three rural seats as voters in Sarawak bucked the national trend and were seen to have swung back to the BN.

DAP would keep all the 12 seats they won in the 2011 state election, PKR could be decimated, PAS would still be where they are now – without much support and BN would sweep everything else, the senior lecturer at the Political Studies Department of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said. (more…)

Questions keep flowing but answers remain unconvincing

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

“Good questions outrank easy answers.”

So said American economist and Nobel prize winner Paul Anthony Samuelson once.

In that sense, it would be Rakyat – 1, and Prime Minister Najib Razak – 0.

It is no secret that of late, the premier has been hounded by a flurry of questions from voters who are unhappy with his administration and style of handling certain issues, or the lack of it.

To compound the matter, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad – a statesman well-known for his sharp thinking and wit, even when pushing 90, has stepped up his vocal attacks against Najib. (more…)

People are boringly entertained by incompetent ministers

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

We had been told that goods would get cheaper when the GST is implemented. Some supposedly important individual from the Ministry of Finance had over and over again told the people that they simply did not understand what the implementation of the GST is all about. He even insinuated that a former PM could not understand what the GST is. This shows how crude a person appointed to a position of importance can be.

The GST was supposed to make about 300 items cheaper than before when these goods were then subjected to sales and service tax at 10 per cent but as the prices of these goods did not come down, the traders were blamed for what was happening.

This is one of the classic responses to the GST. “The prices of the majority of products should be reduced, so GST will bring benefit to the rakyat. The prices of cars have been reduced, so why have the prices of other products not declined?” said the man. (more…)

Dr M shoots down PM’s jet defence

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s claim that a new government jet is needed for the safety of the prime minister and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is untenable, says Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Is it going to stop the kidnapping and casual invasions of Sabah or smuggling of arms from across the northern border?

“Or is the security confined to people flying in private jets only?

“This country is being attacked repeatedly by terrorists who killed our police and soldiers. Is this the normal state of things or is this a security problem? (more…)

Gov’t explains why church protesters mollycoddled

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

While many politicians and activists were arrested and remanded for police investigations, the police felt that there was no necessity for Taman Medan church protesters and Abdullah Abu Bakar, brother of Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, to be treated the same way.

This was because the protesters summoned to the police station had given their testimony in full, said the home ministry.

“No arrests had been made on those involved in the rally, as they had given full testimony when summoned to police station. (more…)

Mahathir: Najib rebuts nothing on Altantuya

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has failed to quell the questions surrounding the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, Dr Mahathir Mohamad says.

In his latest blog post, Mahathir said: “Najib rebuts nothing. Beyond saying that the Altantuya case is old, he has rebutted nothing.”

The former prime minister argued that the 2006 murder case is still relevant as the two perpetrators  were only sentenced to death in January.

“The matter is still current because the hanging is to be now. The two were released before. (more…)

I wanted to resign because Parliament seen as rubber stamp, says Pandikar

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

Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia wants Parliament to be independent of the Executive, with the removal of the minister in charge of Parliament. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, May 19, 2015.Among the grouses Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had in wanting to resign was the perception that the Malaysian Parliament was seen as a rubber stamp for decisions by the executive.

The Speaker of the lower house, in explaining his retraction of his resignation letter today, said he had told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that he wanted reforms to be implemented so that Parliament and the Speaker’s office would not longer appear as if they only acted on the orders of the government.

“It is not true that I tendered my resignation because I was unhappy with the toilets or furniture in the Parliament building.

“I tendered based on my desire to restore dignity to Parliament and make it a first-class parliament on par with other parliaments in the world,” he said at a press conference at his official residence in Kuala Lumpur today. (more…)

Dr M on ‘silly’ Najib and 1MDB robbery

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s purported defence of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) mammoth debt is akin to telling the rakyat to remain silent in the face of daylight robbery.

Former prime minister Dr Mahthir Mohamad said this today in reference to Najib’s call to the people not to judge the debt-ridden 1MDB in the court of public opinion but to wait until the auditor-general’s investigation into the matter is completed.

“Asking people not to ask any questions until after the auditor-general’s report comes out is silly. (more…)

1MDB hearing – PM, Jho Low won’t be called now

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

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) does not see any necessity at the moment to call Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak or tycoon Low Taek Jho for questioning on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), according to its chairperson, Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

He said this when asked at a press conference today after chairing the bipartisan committee’s first day of a new round of hearings on the debt-ridden state investment company.

Nur Jazlan said PAC would be calling witnesses as needed as the investigation proceeds, with at least two weeks’ notice to be given to witnesses. (more…)

Now Dr M wants independent commission on 1MDB

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

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants an independent commission to investigate 1MDB's affairs and the government's lack of oversight over the debt-ridden fund's operations. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 19, 2015.Dissatisfied with Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lack of answers on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the time had come for an independent commission to probe the debt-ridden government-owned fund.He said the members of this commission should not be chosen by the government so that it could “scrutinise every act of 1MDB”.

“This is because it is basically going to investigate not just 1MDB but also the government, which has clearly failed to oversee the affairs of 1MDB,” Dr Mahathir said in his latest blog post this evening.

Dr Mahathir said he was skeptical of the Auditor-General’s probe into the troubled state investor. (more…)

May 19, 2015

Fighting to keep Utusan independent

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

The arrest of Said Zahari, the former editor-in-chief of Utusan Melayu, who was born on May 18, 1928, remains one of the world’s most infamous incarcerations, and its implications are still being felt today. Despite the various accusations, including that of being a communist, and other conspiracy theories to justify his detention, Said Zahari was never charged in court.

The true impact of his incarceration on the independence of Utusan Melayu, media freedom and governance of Malaysia, is not realised by many Malaysians.

Said Zahari led the Malays to defend the integrity of Utusan Melayu and stop it from becoming the propaganda arm of Umno. This is highly significant because it was Malays who fiercely resisted a take-over by politicians during a 100-day strike at Utusan Melayu in Malaysia and Singapore in 1961. (more…)

Electoral boundaries: See’s court win may affect opposition

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

With the Election Commission’s re-delineation exercise for Sarawak nullified, the allocation of seats among four warring parties in Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s Barisan Nasional-plus government will not be easy.

Whether Adenan admits it or not, he must have been banking on using the 11 seats created by the boundary redrawing exercise to bring Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) , Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) and United People’s Party (UPP) to the negotiation table.

Unlike Adenan’s own party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), and Dr James Masing’s Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), both of which are clear about what seats are theirs, SPDP and Teras, like SUPP and UPP, are in a bitter struggle of claiming and counterclaiming of the same seats. (more…)

The ‘kampung’ engineers lighting up interior Sarawak

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

Pelepok villagers from a longhouse building a mini-hydro dam with pipes in the jungles of Sarawak with the help of three Bidayuh ‘experts’. The kampong folk were paying up to RM200 a month for diesel for three hours of electricity. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, May 18, 2015.	Early this month, The Malaysian Insider featured the Iban Pelepok longhouse in the forests of central Sarawak which disproved the notion that an indigenous tribe’s success was dependent on their continued support for the government.

In this article SHERIDAN MAHAVERA meets three Bidayuh villagers who are making it possible for others to generate their own electricity and firing their independence.

For most of his life, Simo Sekam was an ordinary Bidayuh padi farmer but in the past few years, this good-natured 54-year-old has turned into a local hero for Sarawak’s remote communities. (more…)

Look at our nation’s history in an objective manner

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

Malaysian history relating to the fight for freedom should reflect the struggle and aspirations of all and not just a select group that was favoured by the British.

A country’s history should be written to mirror the actual struggle of the people and their desire for the future. School children should know what actually happened in the country during its fight to achieve independence.

History therefore should be written in a manner whereby all future generations will be able to identify with their national heritage. Everyone will then be proud of the struggles by all in the past.

It is pointless blaming the British colonial regime for the sad state of affairs confronting the country today. (more…)

How can 1MDB’s RM42b vanish? It did not: PM

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today said the RM42 billion supposedly lost by the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) did not just “disappear”.

In his speech at an Umno Veterans Club event in Kuala Lumpur, he also said he was confident that all problems could be solved as every problem had its own ‘formula’.

“This includes 1MDB. The RM42 billion did not vanish because their accounts have been audited by (international auditing firm) Deloitte. (more…)

Najib’s answers raise more questions on Altantuya 

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

FAQ Najib, Lim kit siangIt was an unprecedented act for the Prime Minister to use FAQ in his blog to clear his name.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was very naïve to think that his FAQ on his blog would put to rest queries on the murder Altantuya Shaariibuu nine years ago.

Indeed, pointed out DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang, the FAQ had the opposite effect on the “conspiracy of silence” among the authorities and the persons involved to avoid inquiring into the Altantuya murder.

The contention in Najib’s FAQ on the Altantuya murder, he noted, was that the case had been “investigated, tried and concluded in the Federal Court” and that two persons had been found guilty of the crime of carrying out the heinous deed of killing Altantuya. (more…)

Najib: I too could be longest serving PM but…

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and former premier Dr Mahathir continued to trade barbs.

While the former premier reiterated that Najib should step down, the latter took a swipe at the former premier stating that he was able to remain in power for more than two decades because of the Umno constitution.

Speaking at an event organised  by the Umno Veterans Club in Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur today, Najib stressed that he did not wish to tread the same path.

He pointed out that he was the first party president elected after the Umno constitution was amended. (more…)

Parents say no to GST in schools

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

Parents of Chinese vernacular school students are up in arms over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) being imposed on computer class fees.

Computer classes have been made compulsory by these schools and parents have to fork out a considerable sum of money for extracurricular activities.

As Chinese vernacular schools are not fully government-aided, parents are required to pay school fees and paying extra for the computer classes is a burden for many of them.

On May 14, a group of irate parents lodged a complaint against Chinese primary schools at the Customs Department in Kelana Jaya for collecting GST on the school’s monthly fees. (more…)

Where’s the balance of RM27bn 1MDB money?

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

najib_mahathir_1mdb_600Purchases of power companies and three parcels of land only come to RM14.7bn

A news report quoted our Prime Minister as saying that “the RM42 billion was not lost; the money was now part of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia land bank”.

In accounting we learned that when we borrow money, the liability side is represented by the debts we owe while the asset side is represented either by cash in bank or the assets we bought through the borrowing we obtained.

In this occasion, I wish to refer to what Tun Dr Mahathir wrote about 1MDB on April 23 which also appeared in some of the news portals. (more…)

Home Ministry now says it’s probing Sirul’s claims

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

Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today confirmed police are probing claims made by former commando Sirul Azhar Umar regarding the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.

Speaking to reporters at Parliament’s lobby, Wan Junaidi also said that police had met the fugitive Sirul at the Australian immigration detention centre in Sydney where he is being held.

“We have met (him), because of what the public is talking about, we had to (visit him) to investigate his (claims),” he said. (more…)

PKR reveals more losses for Tabung Haji in deal with oil and gas company

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

PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli says Muslim pilgrims’ fund Lembaga Tabung Haji incurred millions of ringgit in losses from a single investment with oil and gas support services counter Ramunia Holdings Bhd. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 18, 2015.

Lembaga Tabung Haji has also incurred millions of ringgit in losses from another investment with an oil and gas company, PKR said today, even before questions about the pilgrims’ fund’s purchase of land from debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Tabung Haji’s purchase of shares from oil and gas support services counter Ramunia Holdings Bhd, resulting in losses based on the current price of its shares, had gone unnoticed, PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli (pic, right) said today when debating the Capital Markets and Services (Amendment) Bill 2015 in the Dewan Rakyat.

The Pandan MP said that in 2007, Tabung Haji had progressively bought shares in Ramunia Holdings, and by the end of 2008 held 25% of the company’s shares, which it purchased for between RM1 and RM1.40 per share. (more…)

May 18, 2015

90% stake for NCR land owners in new scheme

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

James-Masing_sarawak_600Sarawak government to try out new initiative at 5,000-hectare site for oil palm

Owners of Native Customary Right land in Sarawak will be able to enjoy 90% benefit from efforts to develop their land in a new state government initiative.

State land development minister James Masing said the new management module for NCR land would be tried out on a 5,000ha site in Pasai Siong in Sibu, to be planted in stages with oil palm by the the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority.

The only drawback was that interested landowners would have to compete with each other for the limited public funds available for the scheme. (more…)

Najib should call GE14 same time as Sarawak polls

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

Needless to say, Malaysia is going through desperate and troubling times. Sadly, there are those who believe that under such circumstances taking desperate actions is justified, like proposing Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the longest serving MP in Malaysia, to be the new prime minister.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad is relentlessly calling for Najib Razak to make way for another Umno Baru leader to take over as prime minister. On the other hand, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang is making a desperate attempt to form a new group of lawmakers from both sides of the political divide in a “Save Malaysia” plan.

Hence, the big search for a new prime minister is on! Indeed, big powers and big national job ready for the taking once Najib gives in to the pressure and resigns. (more…)

Group: Who did Adenan consult about Baram dam?

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

Environmental NGO Save Rivers wants to know who Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem had consulted before proceeding with construction with the RM4 billion Baram dam project.

“We question who exactly are the leaders that Adenan has consulted and for whose interests do they really speak? Why did they have a ‘closed-door’ meeting? No one can speak on behalf of others, especially without consultation,” Save Rivers chairperson Peter Kallang said in a statement today.

It was reported yesterday that Adenan had discussed the Baram dam project with the Orang Ulu community, at a meeting in Miri. (more…)

The position of Syariah Court in Malaysian legal system

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

It has been said that Islamic law and the civil law exist as parallel systems in Malaysia. The proposition, while attractive, is grossly inaccurate in law.

As it stands today, the administration of Islamic law is confined to personal law for Muslims and the Syariah court is subordinate to the courts established by the Federal Constitution and under federal law, as this article will show.

The Syariah court has in recent years become a prominent subject in public discussion, not least of all with the constitutional provision that “Islam is the religion of the Federation”.

It is vital that the history of how religion came to be inserted in the Federal Constitution be first examined, objectively and dispassionately, given that the subject is fraught with difficulty. (more…)

Interfaith play set near church protest scene

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

Set at the flats a stone’s throw away from the protest against a church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, an interfaith play staged by the Friendship Group for Inter-religious Service (FGIS) today sets a different tone.

The play was staged at the Palace of Golden Horses in Selangor this evening, but the photos and videos used as the play’s backdrop were shot at the Desa Mentari 2 flats, which is only about 100 metres from the scene of the April 19 protest.

FGIS advisor J Jegathesan explained that the group regularly conducts services in the area and is already familiar with the location and its residents, hence allowing easier access to the scene. (more…)

Enough is enough, PM says of Altantuya case

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak continued to strike back at Dr Mahathir Mohamad by questioning why the former PM is raising the eight year Altantuya Shaariibuu case.

The Altantuya case was first on the list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on his blog.

In his response, Najib questioned why “influential individuals (with) many resources” are resurrecting the case and implicating him in it.

“If they believe (the allegations about Najib’s involvement) to be true, why did they not raise it when the issue erupted eight years ago? Why now?” he asked. (more…)

If child porn is bad, what about child marriage?

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

Recently in London, a young Malaysian adult was jailed for child pornography and the Malaysian rakyat expressed their outrage, and yet, very few Malaysians would dare to speak out against child marriages in Malaysia.

The rakyat were furious that Mara officials and one minister, were contemplating giving 23-year-old Nur Fitri Azmeer Noordin, from Malim Nawar, a Mara maths scholar at Imperial College, a second chance, and allow him to resume his studies when he is released from jail.

Did any Malay minister or official, consider giving a second chance to the child bride, who had been denied the opportunity of a stable future? (more…)

Najib breaks silence, says Airbus purchase for work purposes

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

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today defends Putrajaya's purchase of a new jet, replacing a 16-year-old Boeing. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, May 17, 2015.Finally breaking his silence, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today defended the purchase of a new private jet, saying that it was not for luxury.

In his www.najibrazak.com blog post today, where he answered critics on various issues, had insisted that it was “standard practice” for most world leaders to use official jets.”Not for luxury, but for efficiency in carrying out their duties.”

This follows a report in March where opposition party, PKR, slammed Putrajaya for adding a seventh jet to its fleet. (more…)

DPM’s Sarawak village adoption – just in time for state elections

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

While it may appear noble, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s adoption of two Baram villages actually underscores the slow pace and, indeed at times, non-existent development for our fellow Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak.

Or else no such attention would have been needed in the first place, for despite our nearly half a century of unification as one country, Sabah and Sarawak under federal and state BN rule still lag behind Malaya.

More so, as deputy premier, Muhyiddin is already responsible for the entire nation with the entirety of Sarawak included, not just the two villages. (more…)

Why Mahathir is to blame for weak Malay leadership today

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

In comparison with advanced and developed countries around the world, Malaysia is a relatively young nation with a bulk Malay population from which emerge the top leaders to govern ever since Merdeka in 1957.

It is also during the pre-Merdeka era where Malay leadership was probably at the height of its prowess and able, along with Chinese and Indian community leaders, to wrought independence from the British led by none other than Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The Tunku is arguably Malaysia’s greatest ever prime minister. It was his astute statesmanship that managed to free the nation from the clutches of the British and he had to thank the support of other Malay leaders for this.

(more…)

Lawyer wrong to label 15-year-old girl as a slut and liar

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

It isn’t surprising why some people view lawyers with disdain and have a low opinion of them. The recent actions of Augustine Liom, the lawyer defending a 60-year-old man charged with impregnating a 15-year-old girl, clearly illustrates the reasons behind the negative perception.

Liom had claimed that the 15 year old had falsely accused his client that they had engaged in sexual intercourse. It would seem that to Liom, most teenage girls these days are such devious creatures capable of seducing innocent and pure minded 60-year-old senior citizens.

How else can anyone make sense of his statement: “So, shocking as it may seem, we could just mistakenly underestimated the guile and craftiness of some of our present-day 15 years old.” (more…)

Nation in urgent need of national integration policy

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

There had been various moves by the government to bring about understanding among the people to lessen the growing animosity towards ethnicity and religion. But the effort seemed to be mere shows and nothing else. The Malay proverb for such lackadaisical effort is “lepas batuk di tangga” (half-hearted effort).

In 2009, the government set up a performance management and delivery unit or Pemandu for short. It was under the charge of Idris Jala and supposed to manage government transformation programmes (GTP) and economic transformation programmes (ETP). It was to oversee what were known as national key result areas. But nothing is mentioned in its task to also oversee the nation’s integrity index.

To the government, this aspect of national development was not of priority. Thus various other attempts at national unity were mere empty displays. (more…)

May 17, 2015

Rep’s home shot at last time, now MP assaulted; what next?

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

The assault on Miri MP Dr Michael Teo must be condemned by all right thinking Malaysians.

It is not only barbaric, but also an affront to democracy. As a physician, Teo has saved many lives; as a politician, he speaks for the politically marginalised.

Teo does not deserve this kind of street justice.

“This is the first time our MP is assaulted,” said Miri Mayor Lawrence Lai.

And he might be right because when I asked around, no one seemed to remember of any violent act against any parliamentarian or assemblyman in Sarawak. None, it would seem, in recent years. (more…)

Media mega-draws reek of envelope journalism

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

The way expensive gifts were thrown at journalists at the Premier Media Night on Thursday borders on ‘envelope’ journalism, yet Prime Minister Najib Razak who was in attendance has the gall to tell  journalists how to do their job while the expensive gifts were dished out.

The golden cow consists of lucky draws for a brand new Peugeot 408 costing over RM100, 000 on-the-road. Other freebies include bicycles and motorcycles, plus electronics such as two iPhone 6 (64 gigabyte) smartphones, Samsung Tab 4 tablets, and Samsung LED televisions of various sizes up to 75 inches, as well as a goodie bag for each guest consisting of an umbrella, crackers, a mug, a notepad, a flashlight, and a book on Islamic inheritance.

Altogether there were more than 600 prizes up for grabs last night for the gala attended by about 1,000 media practitioners, bloggers, civil servants, ministers, and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor. However, journalists from independent news portals like Malaysiakini were not invited. (more…)

EC likely to appeal Sarawak redelineation decision

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

The government is likely to appeal yesterday’s landmark decision requiring the Election Commission (EC) to redo its redelineation exercise for Sarawak.

Sources within the EC and the Attorney-General’s Chambers indicated although no decision has been made, they are awaiting instructions from attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail on what to do next.

“But most likely we would appeal,” said the source, on condition of anonymity.

EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (left in photo) told Malaysiakini yesterday that the commission will study the judgement first. (more…)

If you have a ticket, go to the police before ‘Ops Warta’

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

Could you be among the 6,000 traffic offenders in Sarawak who have been issued with warrants of arrest by the courts?

If you are not sure, then better log on to http://www.myeg.com.my or http://www.rilek.com.my to check your status.

If your name is not there, good for you, but if you do have summonses issued against you, you better pay up before some policemen come knocking on your door with a warrant of arrest soon.

Yes, ‘Ops Warta’ will start on Tuesday (May 18), and the state police will be tracking down the 6,000 traffic offenders who have all been issued with warrants of arrest. (more…)

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