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Saturday, June 23, 2018

BN lost because of Pakatan's single person attack and single logo, says Zahid

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. -Starpic
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. -Starpic
PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional lost because Pakatan Harapan focused their attacks on a single person and because they used a single logo, said Umno acting president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid said that the Pakatan tactic of blaming "one person" for the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal and the rising cost of living due to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) led to Barisan's defeat.
The "court of public opinion" had already "sentenced" this person way before voters went to the polls on May 9, claimed the former deputy prime minister in an interview on Astro Awani on Friday (June 22) evening.
However Zahid did not name former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, though he clearly implied it.
.Zahid said that Pakatan's single logo had also given them an advantage.
"Maybe the non-conventional approach taken by our rivals gave them the edge, such as their decision to use a common logo," he said.
"One of the parties was willing to drop the use of their rocket, and they went through with it although there were voices against this in their party," Zahid told Astro Awani.
Although 60% of the seats contested by Barisan Nasional were in rural areas, Dr Ahmad Zahid said many of the voters were from suburban and urban areas who went home to cast their vote.
"These are the people with open minds who no longer get information from physical media – they get information at the tip of their fingers (digital media)," he said.
Zahid claimed that Umno still had strong Malay support as the 46% of the community voted for the party.
If given the mandate to be Umno president, Zahid said he would not sideline the two other candidates – Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Khairy Jamaluddin – and would practice inclusiveness and listen to their ideas to rebuild Umno.
"It is now my responsibility to rebuild the party, and we will become monitors of the new government," he said.- FMT

DAP’s Nga out of Cabinet contention, says report

Past racial postings and statements, and factional rivalry in Perak DAP, are believed to have scuppered his chances.
A controversial past may have cost Nga Kor Ming a Cabinet position, says media report.
PETALING JAYA: Controversial Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming is believed to have been excluded from possible new Cabinet appointments to be made by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
His exclusion may stem from past controversies about racially-charged statements and online postings, as well as a rivalry between two camps in Perak DAP.
A media report today said Nga was not being considered for any position as minister or deputy minister in what was described as a victory for “the other side”, a reference to a camp aligned with Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran.
Kulasegaran was appointed Human Resources Minister last month, with additional responsibility for Indian affairs, in a first set of Cabinet appointments. Further appointments to fill about 12 additional seats are being considered by Mahathir.
Nga and his cousin Ngeh Koo Ham, also a former Perak DAP chief, are seen as leading one camp within Perak DAP, with Kulasagaran and Kampar MP Thomas Su leading a rival camp.
Kulasegaran has in the past vented his anger on Nga and Ngeh, accusing them of sidelining him, belittling the Indian community and engaging in corruption.
A report in Malay Mail Online today quoted a source as saying that Nga’s past racially-charged statements “do not sit well with the PM who must have been told of the matter”.
Last month, a video was circulated in which Nga was purported to be seen making comments that Mahathir would not live long and that DAP was using him to topple the Barisan Nasional government led by Najib Razak. Nga said the video had been doctored to smear the DAP.
He has also been the subject of past police investigations under the Sedition Act for online postings that were said to be insulting to Malays and Muslims.
Perak DAP contributed seven parliamentary seats to the DAP’s national total of 42 seats in the Dewan Rakyat. -FMT

Bersih denies proposing its former leaders to be EC head

Bersih 2.0 says there is no shortage of other experienced and reform-minded candidates to take over as Election Commission chairman.
Shahrul Aman Saari says former Bersih leaders and good judges are suitable candidates to head the Election Commission.
PETALING JAYA: Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 has denied putting forward the names of its three former leaders for consideration as chairman of the Election Commission.
Bersih’s steering committee said today it recognised that all three had other important responsibilities and roles to play.
The names of former Bersih leaders Ambiga Sreenevasan and Maria Chin Abdullah have both been mentioned as possible heads of the Election Commission. Ambiga said “no” earlier this week when asked if she would assume the post.
The contract of the EC chairman, Hashim Abdullah, was cut short by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and he steps down on July 1.
Ambiga, a lawyer, is a member of an advisory committee to the prime minister which is looking into institutional reforms to be carried out by the new government.
Maria Chin left Bersih to join PKR and was elected MP for Petaling Jaya at the general election last month.
The Bersih committee said today that “there is no shortage of alternative impartial, experienced and reform-minded candidates that are fully capable of taking charge of the EC”.
Today’s statement came in the wake of comments by Bersih’s acting chairman, Shahrul Aman Saari, that there were many suitable candidates, such as former Bersih chairmen, good judges or former judges.
The committee said the statement on Wednesday was to outline criteria for candidates for the position. - FMT

Housewives’ EPF: Looking for ways around the law

Government agencies and departments to meet in August at a special conference to look into technicalities such as EPF Acts' protection of members' contributions.
Women’s minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says a meeting is to be held on how to provide EPF contributions for housewives. (Bernama pic)
KUANTAN: A special conference to fine-tune the issues on the proposed implementation of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution for housewives will be held in the second week of August, says Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She said several relevant government agencies and departments would be at the special conference to carefully examine the technical aspects that prevented the implementation of the proposal.
“The EPF, the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and the relevant departments will discuss and find the best way to implement it as there are some technical issues such as Section 51 of the Employees Provident Fund Act and the Employment Act 1955 that prevented the implementation.
“In addition, we will also look into ways around the EPF Act that does not allow contributions from its members to be touched and we will ask the Ministry of Finance’s view as its implementation also involves government funding,” said Wan Azizah, who is also Minister of Women, Family and Community Development.
Wan Azizah said this at a media conference in conjunction with her visit to the Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Children’s Home here today.
Section 51 of the EPF Act states that no amount may be assignable, transferable, liable to be attached, sequestered, levied upon, for, or in respect of, any debt or claim whatsoever. Even the Official Assignee was not entitled to or have any claim on any such sum or amount.
Mental illness needs serious attention
Wan Azizah also spoke about the problem of mental illness, when asked to comment on a recent murder case in which a mother slashed her 19-month-old son to death in a Felda settlement, apparently out of depression.
Wan Azizah said mental illness deserved serious attention, not just when there was a tragedy including the loss of life.
“We need to address the problem from the grassroots level and relevant ministries including the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Education Ministry as well as the Housing and Local Government Ministry should work together, as environmental factors also contributed to this problem,” she said.
According to the latest National Health and Morbidity survey, every three in 10 adults over 16 (years of age) suffered from some form of mental health issue. The survey also revealed mental illness is expected to be the second largest health problem in the country after heart disease.
Wan Azizah said Welfare Department statistics showed that the reported number of child abuse cases had increased almost every year, from 4,453 in 2015 alone, to 4,982 cases in 2016 and 5,422 last year. - FMT

Kepong MP: Najib implicated in Taman Wahyu condo deal

Lim Lip Eng claims that Chief Secretary told him that the controversial project for luxury apartments was approved on an order by Najib.
A luxury property project in Taman Wahyu, allegedly approved by Najib Razak, has been halted by City Hall.
KUALA LUMPUR: Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng will lodge a report on Monday with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission about a land deal where parts of a former mining pond were reclaimed for a high-end condominium project.
Lim claimed that Chief Secretary Ali Hamsa had said the project was approved on an order by former prime minister Najib Razak. “We met him on Thursday with several other interested parties. Ali said he acted on Najib’s order,” Lim said.
FMT is attempting to obtain confirmation from Ali.
Work on the luxury condominium project has been halted by Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The land deal involved a joint application by an Umno-linked company and the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia newspaper and publishing group.
Lim said that he was informed by Ali that the companies’ request for a 30% discount was approved by Najib. “But we’re not sure if the discounts were given in the end,” said Lim.
He said the land was acquired by an Umno-linked company and Utusan Malaysia, then sold to Perdana Park City, which later entered into a joint venture with Chinese property developer Country Garden.
Lim said the report to MACC will be made based on the grounds of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and corruption. - FMT

Raus staying on as CJ hurts judiciary, says ex-MP

N Surendran claims that ‘dismal’ human rights record of Raus Sharif as Chief Justice hinders Pakatan Harapan pledges to restore the judiciary's standing.
Chief Justice Raus Sharif (right) and appeal court president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin have resigned and will step down on July 31. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Chief Justice Raus Sharif has been urged by a former MP to leave immediately and not wait to serve out his notice because his continued presence in office and his “dismal record on human rights” would obstruct the recovery of the judiciary.
N Surendran of PKR, a lawyer and former MP for Padang Serai, said that Raus had, in the past, made decisions in favour of the previous Barisan Nasional government in cases where the basic rights of the people were threatened through executive action or legislation.
“His judgments were regressive, and had the clear effect of upholding the excesses and transgressions of the then BN regime,” said Surendran in a statement today.
He said Pakatan Harapan had made election campaign promises to restore public trust in the judiciary, which had suffered under BN rule. Such restoration of trust could not happen while Raus remains the CJ, he said.
Earlier this month, Raus and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin had tendered their resignations from July 31.
They had been under pressure from members of the new government and the legal fraternity after their contracts were controversially extended for three and two years respectively by the previous government shortly before the general election.
They had asked that their resignations take effect over a reasonable period to allow all judicial affairs to be completed.
Surendran’s statement listed a number of cases as examples of Raus’s regressive decisions.
Among them was a Federal Court decision in 2014 to jail PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim for five years on a sodomy charge. Surendran, who was a member of Anwar’s legal team, said the judgement had been globally condemned and shattered the judiciary’s reputation.
In another case, Raus had overturned a landmark decision that struck down a requirement of 10 days’ notice for public assemblies, leading to a spate of arrests or prosecutions of opposition and civil society leaders.
Raus as the presiding judge had also rejected a constitutional challenge on the Peaceful Assembly Act without even hearing the merits, Surendran said. - FMT

Gerakan rejects Mah's resignation

Gerakan has rejected its president Mah Siew Keong's resignation letter, and insists that he will continue to lead the party until its internal polls in November.
Party vice-president Dominic Lau said Mah tendered his resignation letter to the central working committee and central committee after the 14th general election, during which the party failed to win any seats.
"First, he tendered the resignation to central working committee and the committee rejected his letter.
"He also sent his resignation letter to central committee and in its first meeting, discussed and unanimously rejected his resignation.
"We believe that being a responsible party president, he must stay, so our party president is still Mah," he told Malaysiakini today when contacted.
President until the polls
Dominic Lau also revealed that Gerakan will hold its party central election on November 17.
"Therefore, Mah will continue to serve as president until the party election," he said.
Mah failed to defend his Teluk Intan parliamentary seat in the recent 14th general election, losing out to DAP’s Nga Kor Ming by 11,179 votes.
Prior to the election, Mah has promised that he would take full responsibility if Gerakan did not fare better than its previous showing in GE13.
After a central committee meeting earlier today, Gerakan announced that it decided to leave the BN coalition following the coalition’s comprehensive defeat at the polls. - Mkini