Hornbill Unleashed

May 28, 2016

Dr M: I’m not concerned about Mukhriz’s future

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
 
Dr Mahathir Mohamad is often accused of masterminding a campaign against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to orchestrate his son Mukhriz’s political ascension.
However, the former premier denied this, claiming that he is acting in the interest of the nation.“I am not concerned about Mukhriz’s future. I am more concerned about stopping Najib from destroying this country,” he said in his latest blog post.Mahathir accused the prime minister’s “henchmen” of repeating this allegation to divert attention from the alleged wrongdoings of their boss and no amount of explanation would stop them.He also claimed that when Najib was unable to solicit unqualified support from Mukhriz, the prime minister “engineered” his removal as Kedah menteri besar. (more…)

Activists Joe and Kallang honoured in Switzerland

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

Komeok Joe and Peter Kallang, two indigenous activists from Sarawak, Malaysia, have been honoured with the Bruno Manser Prize for Moral Courage.

The Prize is named after rainforest hero Bruno Manser and honours personalities who have proven moral courage in defending the environment and human rights.

Komeok Joe and Peter Kallang are the first recipients of the new award and have been chosen for their outstanding commitment in defending indigenous rights in Sarawak:

Komeok Joe, a member of Malaysia’s indigenous peoples network Joas, has been honoured for his enduring struggle for the rights of Sarawak’s indigenous peoples, especially the Penan. (more…)

You want an ‘F’ for your cars, BN MPs?

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

Now, not only royalties, ministers and lawmakers (and some friends) are already kings of the road with their flashing motorcades, BN MPs want free special number plates starting with the letter ‘F’ followed by their parliamentary constituency number?

Well, the ‘F’ they would be getting from the rakyat over this ‘request’ which was made in Parliament, the august house, will have nothing to do with number plates. It would be a word not polite to be said in public.

Yesterday, during a debate on the new number plates for the Federal territories beginning with the letters ‘F’ and ‘V’, in which rakyat was supposed to have been the priority but was not, BN MPs had the audacity to even go as far as to suggest that they be gifted those special number plates.

Vehicles in the Federal Territory of Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur will use the new registration numbers starting with the letters ‘F’ and ‘V’ respectively from next month. (more…)

‘Putrajaya’s drastic plan poses severe threat to Bar’s independence’

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

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru has warned of a severe threat against the independence of the Bar as Putrajaya plans drastic changes to the Legal Profession Act 1976.

Among the changes include granting the minister in charge of legal affairs powers to appoint two members of the Bar into the Bar Council, who will represent the government.

However, the duo will not be eligible to contest positions as office bearers in the Malaysian Bar, namely as president, vice-president, secretary or treasurer.

The minister in charge of legal affairs, Thiru added, would also be empowered to make rules and regulations in respect of the conduct of the elections to the Bar Council and of the office bearers of the Bar. (more…)

May 27, 2016

PKR rep to move motion on Russians eyeing Petronas assets

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

PetronasBatu Lintang Assemblyman See Chee How has confirmed that he would be tabling a private member’s motion in the coming Sarawak Assembly sitting to call upon state lawmakers to seek “immediate clarification and explanation” from the Federal Government on reports that Russia was eyeing Petronas assets.

He was referring to a statement attributed to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in the Tass news agency on Friday.

The Federal Government, he stressed, has no basis to maintain ownership beyond April 2012.

“Negotiation of any Petroleum Sharing Contract (PSC) should rightly be done with the Sarawak Government.”

See, who is also PKR vice-chairman and a senior lawyer in private practice, called on Chief Minister Adenan Satem to issue a statement on the matter. (more…)

The case for closing the gap in Fair Land Sarawak

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

The Sarawak State elections are over.  Three weeks in the deep interior of rural Sarawak was nothing short of an eye opener. I am more fired up and angrier than ever on the amount there is to do; and more eager than ever to do something.

I know more now, the extent of the rot that must be treated. And I feel more helpless than ever about a solution for the social, political and national problems that plague our nation and our people.

What we need now is not just more of what we have been doing, but other tactics and strategies that we have not attempted or even contemplated. And I will be honest in saying that being back at the drawing board is the most immediate place we need to be at.

The elections really tested – in fact absolutely thrashed and battered – my principles, my integrity, my commitment to democracy, my belief that all humans are inherently kind and good natured, and most severely my world views on race and humanity. (more…)

This is why the bus industry has been bogged down

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

In October 2014, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) Chairman Syed Hamid Albar announced that regulatory control over school bus fares would be removed from January 2015. It was a masterstroke.

Earlier, the Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Association had demanded a fare increase of 40 percent.

It would be hard to please everyone — a reasonable increase would face complaints if it was too low from service operators but too high by parents.

However, under a fixed fare regime, there would be no incentive for operators to replace old buses and vans with new vehicles.

It was no surprise many school bus operators preferred SPAD to increase rates across the board so that they could charge regulated fares, without having to compete on quality of vehicles and service. (more…)

The coming by-elections will be the Citizens vs Najib

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

1. To blunt the move for his removal as PM, Najib tries to make the citizens’ movement as opposition parties’ movement. It is not. The signatories of the Citizens’ Declaration are ordinary people, mostly not members of any political parties.

2. And he tries to make out that I have joined the Opposition. He disregarded the fact that the declaration is made not in the name of opposition political parties but in the name of the citizens of Malaysia. I am in this movement as a citizen, not as a member of any party. I have not joined any party.

3. The citizens do not call for the overthrow of the government but only for the overthrow of Najib as PM. If Najib is dropped, the majority party will still be BN. With this, BN will continue to hold power and have the right to appoint a new prime minister. And of course the PM chosen will not be like Najib who practices corruption to win elections and support from the party. (more…)

Enough with unnecessary M’sian records

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

All societies across the globe have concepts pertaining to honour and dignity — and if there is one concept that is uniquely Asian in flavour and execution, it has got to be the concept of “face”. And as far as face is concerned, Malaysia can honestly say that they started something that the world didn’t even know it could, or should, have — unnecessary entries in the Malaysia Book of Records.

Ostensibly started to publish records set or broken by Malaysians, it was created in line with Vision 2020 as a complement to the Malaysia Boleh campaign. There is an annually published book listing the records, with categories of achievements listed under titles including Human Achievements, Human Beings, Human World, Buildings & Structures, and Nature, amongst others.

Recently, it was announced that 13,935 packets of nasi dagang were arranged in a zigzagged line that stretched to 2.58kg alongside Sungai Terengganu before being distributed to the general public. This record prompted T-Kitchen (Terengganu Kitchen, which organised the event) to set its sights towards future records, such as the longest keropok lekor, and anything else related to Terengganu’s culinary heritage. (more…)

Russia to almost double oil and oil products supplies to Asia-Pacific by 2035 — minister

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

The Asia-Pacific Region is currently the driver of energy resources consumption growth, Novak said. “This is objective. The vast number of consumers is there. As far as energy resources supplies are concerned, the national energy strategy assumes deliveries to the Asia-Pacific Region will rose 1.8-2.2 times as compared with the current level. This is relatively to oil and oil products. Total supplies of LNG will grow from 7 to 9 times, including India,” Novak said.

Zarubezhneft may acquire assets of Malaysia’s Petronas

According to Novak, Russia’s Zarubezhneft is exploring the possibility of acquiring the assets of the Malaysian Petronas company.

“Also, Zarubezhneft shows interest in studying the assets of Petronas. The parties are holding consultations about it,” he said.

(more…)

Case closed on 1MDB, Bank Negara says despite Swiss BSI Bank probe

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

Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the investigation on 1MDB was concluded after the firm paid a fine. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced today that its investigation on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was concluded when the firm paid a fine to it, despite Switzerland opening criminal proceedings against BSI Bank over links to the firm.

Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said, however, that BNM would continue to cooperate on the matter.

“As far as we are concerned, 1MDB has paid their compound and with that, that is the conclusion of our investigation within Bank Negara Malaysia’s rules and regulations and the law that we administer,” Muhammad told reporters at the sidelines of the 20th Malaysian Banking Summit here.

“There are other laws administered by other authorities,” he added, when asked if BNM would reopen investigations on 1MDB in light of the Swiss authorities launching criminal proceedings against BSI Bank over money laundering allegations. (more…)

Najib must submit defence against Dr M’s lawsuit

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

Judge Abu Bakar Jais put on hold Najib's bid to strike out the lawsuit, pending the hearing of Dr Mahathir's application to cross examine Najib. — Bernama picThe High Court here today dismissed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to delay filing his defence in a civil suit by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others.

Judge Abu Bakar Jais also put on hold Najib’s bid to strike out the lawsuit, pending the hearing of Dr Mahathir’s application to cross examine Najib, which was set for June 23.

“They have to file the statement of defence … (the court) granted them another 14 days which is the 9th of June,” Dr Mahathir’s lead counsel, Mohamad Haniff Khatri Abdulla, told reporters outside the courtroom.

Dr Mahathir and two others sued the prime minister on March 23 for alleged interference in government investigations on state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and a RM2.6 billion political donation received in the latter’s accounts. (more…)

Dr Mahathir, why don’t you contest in Kuala Kangsar?

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

Dr Mahathir’s attempts to oust Najib Razak as prime minister have been futile so far. At least, it seems so on the surface.

Even his latest million “Citizens’ Declaration” signatures will not amount to much because the power and authority lie with Najib.

There are only two ways in which that power and authority can be taken away from Najib.

One, if Najib can be replaced as president of Umno, then he will automatically cease to be PM. But this will not happen because many warlords and others in Umno are firmly behind Najib. There is just no one in Umno who can challenge Najib for the presidency.

If Mahathir had remained in Umno, he could have at least influenced members or even have taken on Najib directly for the presidency. If there had been a duel between Mahathir and Najib for the Umno presidency, it would have been a clash of the titans, with advantage to Mahathir because he still commands loyalty and respect from many in Umno. (more…)

Will Mahathir put Mukhriz on front line?

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

Let us be very clear that straight fight alone will not guarantee the Opposition – Pakatan Harapan or PAS – a victory over Umno/BN in Sungai Besar or Kuala Kangsar.

Yes, Umno won both seats with wafer-thin margins, 399 in Sungai Besar and 1,082 in Kuala Kangsar. Umno’s valid vote shares were only 50.54 per cent in Sungai Besar and 51.14 per cent in Kuala Kangsar.

Since the Pakatan Rakyat won 49.46 per cent and 47.25 per cent of valid votes in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, why can’t the opposition candidates just ride on these as their solid bases, as long as there is no multi-corner fight?

Simple – Pakatan Rakyat is gone.

If the single opposition candidate is from Amanah or PKR, he or she will simply be rejected by some PAS hardcore supporters. (more…)

Three-cornered bouts imminent as Harapan to name candidates by June 1

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

Three-cornered battles in the upcoming twin by-elections appear imminent as Pakatan Harapan announced that the coalition’s candidates will be unveiled by June 1.

“The Pakatan Harapan presidential council today decided that its candidates for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections will be announced at the latest, by June 1,” said the coalition in a media statement today.

The decision was made in the absence of PKR deputy president Azmin Ali who was unable to attend the meeting held at the opposition leader’s office in the Parliament building.

PAS has remained adamant on contesting the two seats which it lost with narrow margins to BN in the last general election.

Azmin had spearheaded negotiations with PAS to convince the party to withdraw from the Sungai Besar by-election in exchange for a straight fight between PAS and BN in the Kuala Kangsar polls. (more…)

National unity adviser, minister claim surprised by hudud Bill fast-track in Parliament

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

Datuk Heng Seai Kie (pic) says she was ‘taken aback’ when Datuk Seri Azalina Othman put in a motion to move up the Private Member's Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to be read today. ― File picTwo non-Muslim representatives from the Barisan Nasional (BN) Datuk Heng Seai Kie and Tan Sri Joseph Kurup expressed surprise today at the federal government’s decision to bring forward the controversial proposed Shariah law amendments that will enable the rollout of hudud in Kelantan.

Heng, who is adviser on national unity and integration in the Prime Minister’s Department, said she was “taken aback” by developments in the Dewan Rakyat today when Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman put in a motion to move up the Private Member’s Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to be read today.

“I was taken aback. The MCA presidential council met yesterday and we decided we were against hudud,” she told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

“Our stand is always the same. We are of the opinion that hudud is unconstitutional,” she added. (more…)

No change in dividend target, says EPF

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

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is not changing its target of achieving a real dividend of two percent above inflation over a rolling three-year period in spite of the weak equity market.

Chief executive officer Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said should the market improve, then the ability of the pension fund to generate higher returns would be better.

“It is important to have a diversified portfolio of assets across multiple markets globally to account for individual risk in any one asset class or market,” he said.

Shahril told Bernama this when met on the sidelines of a public lecture on ‘Malaysia as the global hub for fund administration – Potential and Challenges’ yesterday organised by BNP Paribas – INCEIF Centre for Islamic Asset and Wealth Management (CIAWM). (more…)

Rafizi says will report Selangor graft claims to MACC next week

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

 Rafizi has come under scrutiny from party colleagues following a leak of his WhatsApp messages last week in which he claimed to have information on demands for cash and sexual favours that allegedly implicate some Selangor government officials. — Picture by K.E. OoiPKR’s Rafizi Ramli said today he will lodge an official report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over claims of corruption within the Selangor government, following a directive from the party’s political bureau on Tuesday night.

“I would like to inform everyone that I will be lodging a report with the MACC on complaints of wrongdoing (in reference to the leaked WhatsApp message) onMonday, May 30 2016, 11.30am at the MACC office in Putrajaya,” the PKR secretary-general said in a statement.

Rafizi added that he hoped the PKR political bureau’s decision would be a precedent that will allow members with information on graft concerning party leaders to lodge reports without being accused as trying to sabotage the party.

“This decision is the best present to accompany Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s reminder for the party’s leadership and members to not stray from the original purpose and function of the ‘reformasi’ struggle,” Rafizi said. (more…)

Candlelight vigil for hubby lands activist’s wife in soup with cops

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

Nadzirah Yaakop was called by police here today to answer 34 questions on a candlelight vigil for her detained husband outside the Air Molek Prison in Johor last October. ― Picture by Saw Siow FengNadzirah Yaakop is under police investigation for alleged violation of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 over a candlelight vigil for her detained husband outside the Air Molek Prison in Johor last October.

It has been seven months since the vigil, but the wife of Khalid Ismath was called by police here today to answer 34 questions on the gathering, said to be in solidarity with the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activist who was accused of sedition over allegedly insulting the Johor monarchy.

“Some of the questions include details of the gathering organiser, when it was held and if I had taken part in it and gave a speech and if I did, did my speech contain seditious elements,” Nadzirah told reporters outside the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters here.

She added that the police also asked if there were children present at the gathering and if there were placards condemning the Sedition Act 1948 and demanding Khalid’s freedom. (more…)

By-elections vital test of Malay support, Singapore analyst says

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

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaid Hamidi celebrate with other BN leaders in Kuching May 7, 2016. — Picture by Ahmad ZamzahuriThe June 18 by-elections in Selangor and Perak will be a good gauge of Malay support for Putrajaya and its political foes, according to a Singapore-based analyst.

Dr Ooi Kee Beng of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) Yusof Ishak Institute said recent developments, particularly the results of the May 7 Sarawak polls and brimming distrust between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his newfound allies in the opposition, have unveiled significant socio-political changes on the local front.

Ooi, in an opinion piece carried by Singapore’s The Straits Times today, wrote that the political appetites of the Malay community in particular has vastly diversified and this was demonstrated in the founding of new Malay-based parties in recent years and the apparent crisis in the current Malay leadership.

“And in this context, the coming by-elections carry great significance,” he wrote. (more…)

Penang blocks 1MDB’s Air Itam land deal

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

The Penang state government will freeze 1MDB’s purchase of 234 acres of land in Air Itam until there is “accountability and transparency” with regard to the allegation-riddled firm, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

This comes in the wake of the state legislative assembly passing a motion to block any state transaction with 1MDB last Friday.

1MDB had purchased the Air Itam land for RM1.38 billion before the 13th general election.

Lim said the state is blocking the transaction because it is not confident that 1MDB would facilitate the building of 9,999 homes for the 3,000 families who would be evicted.

“There is public concern on whether the promises are practical and can be fulfilled given the high investment and the fact that (1MDB) does not own 100 percent of the land,” he added in a media statement. (more…)

Easy to undermine this ‘full-disclosure on political donations’ bid

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

Welcoming the “full disclosure” clause in the proposed Political Donation Act, the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) argued today that this can easily be undermined by the country’s existing secrecy laws.

“The C4 Centre welcomes this move (full-disclosure clause), as political financing remains a highly controversial issue within our political domain, with certain parties receiving colossal sums of money without public knowledge or explanation.

“The monetisation of politics has shown its ugliest face in recent times, where frequent association with cronyism, preferential treatment and outright corruption have become commonplace in the nation’s political landscape.

“However, with that said, C4 remains sceptical of the worth of the full-diclosure component, without reforms to incapacitate secrecy laws,” C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel and its freedom of information project officer Simitha Singam said in a statement today. (more…)

May 26, 2016

Alarm over Russian interest

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

See Chee HowThe news that a Russian oil and gas company is contemplating the acquisition of Petronas assets should be of great concern to Sarawakians.

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said this in expressing his shock over this development yesterday.

Speaking to The Borneo Post, See called upon Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to immediately issue a public statement to state unequivocally that the state will not agree to such deal which may compromise the territorial integrity and economic interests of the state.

“I will be tabling a private member’s motion in the coming State Assembly sitting to call upon our state legislative assembly to seek immediate clarification and explanation from the federal government on this disclosure of the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak,” he said in a press statement yesterday. (more…)

A remote longhouse in dire need of clean water

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

Long Panai, a 100-door Kayan longhouse in one of the most remote areas of Sarawak, is currently in dire need of clean water.

It is situated on the left bank of the Tutoh River, which is a tributary of the Baram River. A traveller going to the world famous Mulu National Park in a longboat will have to pass through Long Panai before reaching Long Terawan, the last longhouse on the upper reaches of the river.

For generations, the Kayans have always existed in harmony with nature in this part of Sarawak. Nature provides an abundant supply of food and together with it, an inexhaustible supply of clean water from nearby streams.

When man interferes with nature in the name of development, it usually brings along with it more woes than benefits to the rural folk concerned. Not only has food become scarce but also the once crystal clear Tutoh River has now become murky. (more…)

DAP mustn’t be seen as multi-racial

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

It is in the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) interest that the DAP isn’t seen as a multi-racial party. Two BN single-race based parties, Umno and MCA, are putting as much effort into denying the Opposition party that image as the DAP is in trying to portray itself as one.

Is the DAP a multi-racial party or is its Malay representation a mere window dressing to mask a Chinese-dominated party which is essentially parochial in approach? DAP’s Malay representation has been dismissed as token, and these representatives have been denounced as traitors.

MCA’s contention is that DAP has always depended on Chinese support and it has always ridden on Chinese sentiment and resentment of racial bias in the system.

The party’s Youth Young Professionals Bureau chairman Eric Choo Wei Sern has recently chided DAP Socialist Youth executive secretary Muhammad Shakir Ameer for “trying too hard to portray DAP as a multiracial party”. (more…)

What happened to 1MDB units, MP asks after 1MDB’s funds in BSI Bank shuttered by Singapore

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

The Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday informed BSI Bank it was losing its merchant banking status due to repeated violations of money-laundering regulations and other misconduct. — Reuters picPutrajaya should announce steps to recover US$940 million (RM3.8 billion) 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) deposited in a merchant bank being closed down in Singapore, DAP MP Tony Pua said today.

In a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Pua noted 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy told the Public Accounts Committee as recently as January that the sum held in “units” remained in BSI Bank in Singapore.

“We call upon 1MDB and the minister of finance, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to explain steps which will be taken to withdraw the assets from BSI and which bank they will move these assets to,” he said.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday informed BSI Bank it was losing its merchant banking status due to repeated violations of money-laundering regulations and other misconduct.

Pua said 1MDB should liquidate and repatriate the entire sum to fund its local projects in Bandar Malaysia and Tun Razak Exchange.

“1MDB has adamantly refused to provide bank statements and supporting documents in relation to the (amount) to justify its existence and worth,” he said.

The sum was part of US$2.3 billion that 1MDB deposited in the Cayman Islands after an abortive joint venture with PetroSaudi International.


RAM ANAND


Paying back your PTPTN dues

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

If you’ve ever attended a Muslim funeral, there will be one ritual before departing the house with the dead, in which a member of the family will ask if there are any loans to be repaid before the ceremonial continues.

It is the belief that loans unsettled will hamper efforts in the afterlife to gain entry to Paradise.

Now, with that in mind, why the heck do you want to avoid paying back the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN)?

I support the recent move to stop anyone who has not paid back their PTPTN to take out a car or home loan since graduating.

Truth be told, it hampers the ability of future generations to have the same access to higher education, putting the responsibility solely on government. Whatever is owed to PTPTN hampers it from issuing out loans to the current and future generation of students. (more…)

How Najib will confiscate your passport

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

And now Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s censorship will be exported. Foreign media must be put under control the way the Malaysian media is controlled. All reports must be in praise of 1MDB, Petro Saudi, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Island, the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s private account, the RM2.3 billion which has been returned, the sacking of party members and leaders who failed to praise all the above etc. etc. etc.

How is the foreign censorship and control to be done? Simple. The passports are a privilege. Deprive Malaysians of this privilege.

Take away their passports if they fail to praise Najib when speaking to the foreign media. It is totally and absolutely the democratic thing to do. All democracies in the world take away the passports of their citizens if they tell the foreign media anything bad about their leaders. Malaysians, under Najib’s democracy must do the same. (more…)

Petronas hands over RM464m water treatment plant to Terengganu government

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

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that 1MDB does not borrow any money from public funds. — Reuters picPetronas today officially handed over ownership of a RM464 million water treatment plant which supplies treated water to the Kerteh Integrated Petrochemical Complex (KIPC) in Kerteh to the Terengganu state government.

The handover by Syarikat Bekalan Air KIPC Sdn Bhd (BAKIPC) which operates the plant is six years earlier than the agreed schedule.

Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said under the BAKIPC takeover, the state government agreed to give the ownership to Menteri Besar (Incorporated) Terengganu (MBI) while Veolia Water (Dungun) Sdn Bhd would be the operator of the water treatment plant.

“The BAKIPC treatment plant which has a capacity of 230 million litres of clean water daily for Dungun, began operations in August 2002 to ensure no water supply disruption to KIPC.

“The state government had earlier signed a 20-year water concession agreement with BAKIPC until year 2022 with the option to extend the contract by five years,” he said when speaking at the plant handing over ceremony here.

Also present were Petronas president and chief executive officer Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin and state executive councillors.


Bernama


A chance for Azmin to be new Opposition chief

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

I believe the June 18 by-election in Sungai Besar, Selangor will prove to be one of the most intriguing political events of the year – its significance will be felt right through to the next general election.

This by-election can solidify Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali’s position as the de facto leader of PKR and the Opposition team, provided he makes the right decision and gives way to Amanah to contest the seat.

If he – together with DAP – can ensure Amanah’s victory, then he will emerge the new leader of the Opposition coalition of Pakatan Harapan, unseating Anwar Ibrahim. Even the move by some PKR members to remove Azmin will not succeed.

Amanah’s Mat Sabu, DAP and friends will value Azmin’s contributions and together they can be the new force in Malaysian politics. (more…)

RM2.6b donation: Which version is the correct one?

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

Since the expose by Wall Street Journal in early July last year of the RM2.6 billion into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal banking accounts, there have been numerous diverse and even conflicting versions about the source of the multi-billion ringgit deposits into Najib’s accounts, with the total figure expanding from RM2.6 billion to RM4.2 billion.

The latest and newest version about the source of the RM2.6 billion donation to Najib’s personal banking accounts came from the Director-General of Department of Special Affairs (Jasa) Mohd Puad Zarkashi in his speech in Canberra in his international “Veracity Tour” to “brainwash” Malay students overseas.

Puad told Malay students in Canberra that Najib had told Umno leaders when the Wall Street Journal reported the expose in early July last year that he had “Bank Negara documents” to approve the transfer of the money (RM2.6 billion) into his personal accounts and that he had discussed it with the Bank Negara governor. (more…)

1MDB says has made full payment of BNM fine

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

Bank Negara Malaysia said last month that it had issued a letter of administrative compound to the fund for failing to comply with bank rules. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaScandal-hit Malaysian government fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said today it has made full payment of a fine imposed on it by the country’s central bank.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said last month that it had issued a letter of administrative compound to the fund for failing to comply with bank rules.

“1MDB confirms that it has today made payment, in full, of the compound, in compliance with the decision of BNM,” the fund said in a statement.


Reuters


Hygiene breaches in franchised outlets

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

Consumers who find restaurants that pose a health risk must lodge a complaint with the Food Safety and Quality division in Selangor’s District Health Departments (DHD), the Selangor Health Department director Datuk Dr Balachandran Satiamurti said.

He said this in a report in 2014. Since then, has the hygiene standards in restaurants improved? His statement was only on Selangor, what about the restaurants in Kuala Lumpur or other states?

Let us just focus the Klang Valley.

In the past, we equate questionable hygiene levels to hawker or non air-conditioned restaurants as prices paid are lower compared with air-conditioned restaurants such as fast food outlets and cafes. (more…)

Will Hasan make amends by tabling AG’s Report on 1MDB?

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

Will the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Hasan Arifin apologise for his several breaches of parliamentary privileges in connection with the PAC Report on 1MDB and make amends by tabling in Parliament the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB as he had promised on March 7?

On March 7, Hasan gave a categorical statement that the Auditor-General’s final report on 1MDB investigations would be “declassified” under the Official Secrets Act 1972 once the PAC tables its report to Parliament.

The PAC Report on 1MDB was tabled in Parliament on April 7, and there are no signs that the AG’s final report on the 1MDB will be tabled in Parliament, which will adjourn on Thursday this week.

Hasan had said at the time that Auditor-General Ambrin Buang had explained that the AG’s final report on 1MDB will no longer be a classified document under OSA once PAC tables its 1MDB report. (more…)

Mahathir never interfered in my work, says ex-IGP

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

Former inspector-general of police Rahim Noor has claimed that Dr Mahathir Mohamad never interfered in his work, despite allegations of the former premier having a tight control on key agencies and institutions during his tenure.

According to Rahim, he felt comfortable working with Mahathir because the latter was a professional.

“For 10 years that I was director of the Special Branch and IGP, I always felt at ease.

“There was no interference or disruptions, Mahathir understood that what I was doing was for the country and security (purposes),” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.

Rahim said this included the infamous Operasi Lalang as well, which saw scores of opposition leaders and activists detained under the now defunct Internal Security Act. (more…)

Putrajaya says won’t let 1MDB tap public funds

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

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that 1MDB does not borrow any money from public funds. — Reuters picPutrajaya will no longer permit 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to borrow “public funds”, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said today.

The deputy minister did not, however, specify if this meant taxpayers’ monies or loans from government-linked corporations such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Retirement Fund Incorporated.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that 1MDB does not borrow any money from public funds again after this,” Johari said during question time today.

Johari said so after questions from Datuk Mansor Othman (PKR-Nibong Tebal) regarding the involvement of the Armed Forces Retirement Fund (LTAT) and Muslim pilgrims fund Lembaga Tabung Haji in helping 1MDB financially. (more…)

Flash floods – a case of disservice to the public?

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

Flash floods have been hogging the news in Kuching for a variety of reasons.

Residents have expressed outrage over the apparent lack of urgency by the government, councils and authorities in dealing with the frequent flash floods which inundate various parts of the city after almost every heavy downpour.

It had been raining dogs as well in this city of cats and Kuchingnites are not amused with having to put up with unnecessary traffic jams, damage to property and the mess which comes with flash floods.

The big question on everyone’s lip is – can these flash floods be prevented, or at the very least, properly managed? (more…)

May 25, 2016

Swiss Bank BSI’s CEO resigns

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

Swiss Bank BSI’s Group CEO Stefano Coduri has resigned with immediate effect, following the announcement that the Money Authority of Singapore instructed the closure of its Singapore branch.

The bank said it is fully cooperating with investigations by the Singapore and Swiss authorities, according to financial portal Bloomberg.

Coduri would be replaced by Roberto Isolani, a serving member of the BSI board, business daily The Edge reported.

The bank said it has undertaken steps to strengthen management, including introducing a new chief risk officer and appointing a new group legal counsel, news agency Reuters reported. (more…)

1MDB: No word yet from S’pore and Swiss authorities

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

Following reports that legal action have been taken by authorities against Swiss-based BSI Bank both back home and in Singapore, supposedly linked to deals involving 1MDB, the sovereign fund today said that it had not received any communication from either authority.

“1MDB notes the media statements issued today by lawful authorities in Switzerland and Singapore.

“1MDB states that it has not been contacted by any foreign lawful authority on matters relating to the company,” read the statement from the government investment arm.

However, it reiterated its public stand that it will cooperate with any and all authorities in any probe.

“1MDB remains committed to fully cooperating with any foreign lawful authority, subject to advice from the relevant domestic lawful authorities, and in accordance with international protocols governing such matters.” (more…)

I’m wondering if Sarawak is on another planet?

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

If Sarawak is part of Malaysia, then why are Malaysians being treated as “them and us” when some Malayans are turned away, by immigration as they try to enter Sarawak?

Why do Malayans need a permit to work in Sarawak? It is commendable that Sarawak protects jobs for the Sarawakians, but why not demand that Sarawak oil is for Sarawak development? Why the double standard?

Why can the word “Allah” be used in Malay bibles in Sarawak, but not in Malaya? Are Malayan Muslims so weak willed that they would be easily confused by Malay bibles, or is the faith of the Sarawakian Muslims much stronger? No! Religion has been politicised.

Why are Malayans treated with suspicion in Sarawak? Or is it a deliberate ploy, by the Sarawak authorities, in collusion with their Malayan counterparts, to stop Malayans from learning about assimilation, mutual respect and tolerance, in Sarawak? (more…)

The alternative mess offered to rakyat

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

In deciding to contest, Amanah the new party may think it has proven its courage to contest against two “giants” but in return it has created a three-cornered-fight – a scenario which no party likes in a by-election.

Looks like it will be a Sarawak state election-situation all over again in the upcoming Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections then.

However, critics say it is only a ‘save face’ move by Pakatan Harapan since PKR has ‘failed’ to negotiate a cooperation with PAS.

In the previous by-elections, both the seats were fielded by PAS candidates in the 2013 General Election (GE) against Umno, losing only by a very small majority. (more…)

Education ministry to study implementing compulsory pass in SPM English

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

The Education Ministry is setting up indicators to determine whether the country is prepared to implement the condition of a compulsory pass in English Language in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said the process involved getting feedback from the public and interested parties, including teachers.

“Meetings with language experts and stakeholders have also been held several times to gather information on how we can implement the condition,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was replying a question from Datuk Abdul Manan Ismail (BN-Paya Besar) who wanted to know the progress on the proposed implementation of the compulsory pass in English Language in SPM. (more…)

Global noose on 1MDB tightens

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

Three international developments today are harbingers of the global noose of the 1MDB scandal that  is closing in, viz:

1) The withdrawal of the BSI Bank’s status as a merchant bank in the city state by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for “serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank’s operations and gross misconduct by some of the bank’s staff” and the reference of six members of the BSI Bank’s senior management and staff to the public prosecutor – after  investigations into the 1MDB scandal in Singapore.

2) Commencement of criminal proceedings by Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) against BSI SA Bank for allegedly failing to prevent offences linked to 1MDB, including offences of money laundering and bribery of foreign public officials.

3) Resignation with immediate effect of Swiss Bank BSI’s Group chief executive officer Stefano Coduri following the announcement by the Money Authority of Singapore on the closure of its Singapore branch and criminal proceedings by the Swiss OAG in connection with their 1MDB investigations. (more…)

Swiss AG opens criminal proceedings against BSI Bank

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

The OAG has opened criminal proceedings against Swiss bank BSI in connection with embattled Malaysian state fund 1MDB. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against Swiss bank BSI in connection with embattled Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), it said today.

“The OAG suspects deficiencies in the internal organisation of the BSI SA bank,” the OAG said in a statement. “It is believed that due to these deficiencies, the bank was unable to prevent the commission of offences currently under investigation in the criminal proceedings relating to 1MDB.”

In February, Swiss bank EFG International agreed to buy BSI from Brazil-based BTG Pactual for 1.33 billion Swiss francs (RM5.5 billion).

In a separate statement, Swiss financial watchdog FINMA said it found BSI in breach of money laundering regulations in connection with 1MDB.


Reuters


Wife presents ‘birthday boy’ Taib with RM1.5m Bentley

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

Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud received a surprise birthday present from his wife – an RM1.5 million car.

Ragad Taib presented the 80-year-old former chief minister with the white Bentley Continental GT V8 S convertible, affixed with gold ribbons, during a celebration in Kuching last Saturday.

According to sources, the gift also coincided with the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary.

Ragad, 36, who hails from Syria, married Taib in 2010 after the death of his first wife Laila a year earlier due to cancer.

Taib and Laila, who were married in 1959, were blessed with four children, Jamilah, Mahmud Abu Bekir, Sulaiman Abdul Rahman and Hanifah as well as 15 grandchildren. (more…)

Political change and ‘tidak apa’

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

Once upon a time, not long ago, many Malaysians – the majority – believed that change was possible through politics. That was our age of innocence and naivete.

No longer now it seems, given the current plague of scandals and chicanery, and the burgeoning tools of repression and authoritarianism exercised by a government desperate to prevent the fallout from the twin crises of IMDB and donation to the Prime Minister’s account from spiralling out of control and toppling Datuk Seri Najib Razak from his position.

The fish rots from the head. The rot has also set well into the rest of the body politic.

No political figure or body either from or associated with the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has been immune from the sense of disillusionment, betrayal and alienation that is pervasive among members of the public as a result of what is taking place in the country. This can be discerned from the feedback; some expressed angrily, others sorrowfully, seen on a daily basis in the readers’ columns of the social media. (more…)

Chew Mei Fun, more children is no fun!

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

At a time when costs of living is high, social problems among the young are on the rise, it is not right to tell Malaysians to have more children.

At a time when national schools are trying to make head or tail of the ever changing education system, and when parents have to work leaving children with untrained nurseries or at the mercy of maids, it is preposterous to suggest Malaysians have more children.

At a time when we read of governments slashing funds from the future of the youths in scholarship, and study loans are being given higher interests, it in unimaginable for Malaysians to have more children.

Thus, when Women, Family, and Community Development Deputy Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun decides to say having more children is a good thing and asking family to plan to have more children, one wonders if her feet are planted on the same planet as we are. (more…)

Constitution is to uphold justice and rights of all

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

The MCA Religious Harmony Bureau is taken aback by the parliamentary written reply by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic Affairs Jamil Khir Baharom that “legislation that bans unilateral conversion contradicts Article 12 (4), which allows the father or mother to decide the child’s faith.”

MCA strongly reiterates our party’s position that Article 12 (4) on determining the minor child’s religion should be read as “ibubapa” and not “ibu atau bapa”.

In any cases of dispute, then the child’s faith must remain as status quo or as that of the common religion of the parents during his/her birth as announced by the then de facto Law Minister Nazri Aziz in April 2009.

MCA further emphasises that in such cases of dispute, only when the child has reached the age of majority ie 18 years, then shall the minor child select his/her own creed. (more…)

1MDB, the Saudi Prince and letter from Sungai Buloh

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

The steaming hot El-Nino phenomena appeared to have ended. Rain battered the City, flooding roads and submerging cars.

The La-Nina atmospheric phenomena had set in, a genuine Arab prince strode into town and Tourism Minister was hot under the collar – literally – and momentarily losing composure.

Not even the soothing wet feminine touch of La-Nina could cool down the ladies’ man Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz when Prince Sultan Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was asked about “donations”.

This genuine “in-the-flesh” Arab prince is the son of Saudi King, Salman.

He is not the mysterious on-the-paper “prince” that had been dragged out of the woodwork by the defenders of the Prime Minister, (Datuk Seri Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sanrobone), Mohd Najib Abdul Razak. (more…)

May 24, 2016

Rafizi to submit proof on ‘cash, women’ claim to PKR president

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

PKR secretary-general Rafiz Ramli said he will submit to the party president all evidence he has on claims that bribes of cash and “women” were asked of those wanting to strike deals with the PKR-led Selangor government.

This comes after PKR deputy president and Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali said the state cannot probe because the claim was made without any proof.

“I will surrender all evidence to the party president and will wait for the party’s decision on this before deciding whether to report the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision,” Bernama reported him as saying at the Parliament lobby today.

Rafizi has told the WhatsApp group ‘Solidarity for Anwar’ that he had received a complaint from a “bona fide” source that cash and “women” were asked as bribes from those wanting to deal with the state government. (more…)

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