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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

RM150 juta buat PRN Johor, lagi bazir biar kerajaan tak stabil terus tadbir, kata Puad

 

Persoalan mengenai keperluan mengadakan pilihan raya negeri tidak lagi relevan kerana Dewan Undangan Negeri Johor sudah dibubarkan, menurut Mohd Puad Zarkashi. (Gambar Bernama)

PETALING JAYA: Ahli Majlis Kerja Tertinggi (MKT) Umno, Puad Zarkashi menafikan peruntukan bernilai RM150 juta untuk pilihan raya negeri (PRN) Johor yang bakal diadakan adalah suatu bentuk pembaziran.

Beliau berkata, pembaziran sebenar yang lebih tinggi boleh terjadi apabila kerajaan yang tidak stabil terus dibiarkan mentadbir negeri itu.

“Soal pembaziran RM150 juta kerana PRN, pada saya lebih tinggi pembaziran apabila kita membiarkan kerajaan tidak stabil ini terus berjalan” katanya dalam satu wawancara secara langsung di Facebook Dialetika TV Anekdot pada Isnin.

Beliau berkata demikian sebagai membidas hujah Naib Pengerusi Amanah Johor, Suhaizan Kaiat yang mempersoal kewajaran PRN diadakan dan mendakwa anggaran kos sebanyak RM150 juta diperlukan untuk membiayai PRN Johor hanya mendatangkan kerugian.

“Sebenarnya pilihan raya ini jangkaan peruntukannya adalah RM150 juta, kita dah rugi RM150 juta, kenapa PRN? Masa ini patut digunakan untuk membela rakyat, bukan buat pilihan raya” kata Suhaizan.

Menurut beliau, PRN secara mengejut itu akan memberi kesulitan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) yang perlu mendapatkan data pengundi, ditambah pula dengan pengundi baharu berumur 18 tahun dalam masa yang singkat.

“Ini mungkin menyebabkan SPR terdedah kepada kesilapan dalam mengendalikan maklumat pengundi dan ini akan menjejaskan peratusan keluar mengundi,” katanya.

Beliau mendakwa Umno mengambil kesempatan atas peratusan keluar mengundi yang rendah dengan merujuk kepada PRN Melaka yang menyaksikan peratusan keluar mengundi yang rendah membolehkan Umno dan Barisan Nasional memperoleh kemenangan dominan di negeri itu.

Bagaimana Puad berkata, soal keperluan PRN sudah tidak relevan lagi kerana Johor memerlukan kerajaan yang kukuh dan kuat melalui mandat rakyat.

“Dewan Negeri telah dibubarkan, jadi persoalan ini (keperluan adakan pilihan raya) tidak lagi relevan,” katanya.

Pada 22 Jan, Sultan Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar menandatangani notis untuk membubarkan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) selepas mengadap Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad yang membuka jalan kepada pilihan raya diadakan sebelum 23 Mac. - FMT

Covid-19 infections going up, but deaths and ICU cases down

 

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there was a consistent decline in the number of deaths and cases requiring ICU treatment.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded an increasing trend in new Covid-19 cases for the week Jan 16-22, said health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the number of new cases rose by 7.9% from 22,006 in the second week of the year (Jan 9-15) to 23,752 cases in the third week.

The average number of active cases also increased by 2.4%. However, the number of deaths showed a consistent drop of 19%, since the last week of 2021, he said in a statement today.

The number of cases requiring intensive care also recorded a decline of 30.3% to 129 cases from 182 in the previous week.

As for cases requiring respiratory assistance, the figure dropped by 23.5% and has been on the decline for the past 22 weeks, while the average infectivity rate or R-naught (Rt) increased by 2% from 0.99 to 1.01.

Noor Hisham said 88 new clusters were reported in the third week, of which 62 involved educational institutions; 18 at workplaces; 4 among high-risk groups and one each involving community, religious, import and detention centre clusters.

Earlier today, he said the ministry recorded 3,214 new infections. - FMT

'Big Umno win may lead to GE15'

 Experts say the Johor election, which would be held within  two months, could be the last state election before  GE15, as Umno would want to take advantage of its momentum. - NSTP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The prime minister may decide to dissolve Parliament and call the 15th General Election (GE15) if Umno sweeps the Johor snap polls, said political analysts.

They said the Johor election, which would be held within two months, could be the last state election before GE15, as Umno would want to take advantage of its momentum.

Geostrategist Associate Professor Dr Azmi Hassan said should Umno secure a majority in Johor, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob would be "forced" to dissolve Parliament as this was the best time for Umno to push for national polls, after securing the mandate in Melaka a few months ago.

Associate Professor Dr Azmi Hassan.

Associate Professor Dr Azmi Hassan.

"Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) are at their weakest point after the Melaka and Sarawak state elections.

"So the plan is (for Umno) to use the state polls to hold elections as a means or prelude to the general election," he told the New Straits Times.

If a win in Johor was not enough for Ismail Sabri to call for elections, Azmi said another state election could happen.

"I can't say where, but it could be in Perak, where Umno is dominant."

Another political analyst, Professor Dr Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid, also said Umno would push hard for GE15 while it had the upper hand against its opponents.

Professor Dr Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid.
Professor Dr Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid.

She said in Melaka, Umno and Barisan Nasional won with more than a two-thirds' majority. Repeating this success in other states that were BN strongholds seemed to be a strategy for the coalition to maintain the winning momentum.

"If Umno wins significantly in Johor, pushing for GE15 would be a wise strategy to garner support at the state and national levels (in Parliament).

On Saturday, Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar agreed to the dissolution of the state assembly to pave the way for a state election.

The Johor state legislature comprises 56 seats divided between Umno (14), DAP (14), Bersatu (11), PKR (7), Parti Amanah Negara (six), MIC (two) and Pas (one).

The Johor government has a slim majority of 28 seats while the opposition has 27 seats.

The state government's position became tenuous following the death of Kempas assemblyman Datuk Osman Sapian, the former menteri besar, last month.

PM: 'Balik kampung' will be allowed, no more travel restrictions

 


PUTRAJAYA: The Prime Minister has reiterated there will be no more travel restrictions and that “balik kampung” for Hari Raya Aidilfitri will be allowed.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that he had addressed this public concern a few days ago, assuring the people that it is back to normal for the economic and social sectors.

This, he added, includes interstate travel.

“I am mentioning this again because there is still chatter that movement control orders will be implemented and travel will be restricted.

“I have received a lot of messages on my social media, voicing their concern that they will not be allowed to travel back to their hometown for Hari Raya.

“So, let me say this again. The government will not impose MCO or travel restrictions and therefore, Hari Raya balik kampung travel can be done,” he said when meeting staff of the Prime Minister’s Department on Tuesday (Jan 25).

On Sunday (Jan 23), Ismail Sabri had said there will be no more travel restrictions and if there is an increase in Covid-19 cases, enhanced MCO would be used in the affected area.

“Please don’t worry, we will not shut down the whole country, states or districts again.

“We will focus on the areas with a lot of infections by enforcing the enhanced MCO,” he had said. - Star

We’re at a new low if people say Gone lah Malaysia!

 

It has been a frustrating 2021 for most Malaysians. Episode after episode involving disasters, political manoeuvres, race and religious extremism, poor decisions, exposes of corruption etc. have only led us to become more and more disenchanted.

Someone asked recently if most columnists and authors of opinion pieces in the Malaysian media have nothing positive to write about, as a good number of them appear to be only painting a grim picture.

My reply was simple. Some writers articulate their thoughts to try and reach out to the masses. Some do it for money while another group prefers to call a spade a spade, even at the risk of being sued or being called up by the authorities.

Those who choose to be honestly critical want to point out the terrible weaknesses that, if left unchecked, will slowly but surely destroy the institutions that should be protecting the nation.

Most writers not only go through social media before putting their thoughts into words but they also talk to their friends, politicians and analysts on the ground to get a grip on the happenings and what is hidden behind the scenes.

This is where I recently found the phrase “Gone lah Malaysia!” being commonly used in many personal chats and comments on social media. Of course, it was mostly related to the poor performance of the government and blatant corruption.

To be honest, it did not only come from frustrated Malaysians who have been deprived of opportunities but also from those who had gained from the social engineering policies that had enhanced their status and all. This, my friends, is quite telling.

The fact is key institutions are showing signs of major cracks with political leaders ignoring them while they fight to remain in power.

The saga involving the head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission versus the Securities Commission Malaysia opened a Pandora’s box of power play.

The SC hastily cleared MACC chief Azam Baki of any wrongdoing despite him telling the whole world that his share trading account was used by his brother.

Two key institutions that are supposed to instil confidence in the nation’s economy and investors are somehow floundering. Azam and his deputies may disagree but their reputation has taken such a beating that it will take some time to recover.

The defiant multiracial group that organised the “Tangkap Azam” demonstration on Saturday may be a bane to the authorities but many Malaysians secretly welcomed it, not knowing how else to send a strong message to the government.

Parliament, which is supposed to be the last bastion of democracy, appears to be an autocratic institution which allows the prime minister and ministers to get away with flimsy or non-answers to important questions.

Even Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun behaves like a school discipline teacher admonishing his students, telling our YBs “I’ll throw you out of the House” with fingers pointed at them.

A far cry from the man that Malaysians once knew. But then that was when he was not in the government, often picking on the then Dewan Rakyat Speaker in his YouTube channel.

What angered many people was when Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told the opposition to accept the SC’s decision. It was a naive statement, knowing how the people have been standing up against corruption of late.

Ismail sank to another low during the one-day special Parliament sitting to discuss one of the worst floods ever experienced by Malaysians. He chose to focus on the opposition-held Selangor, attacking the state government for not jumping into action once the floods hit. He even lamented that opposition elected representatives were not seen in the flood-hit areas.

Instead of talking about national plans to prevent the disastrous effects of floods, he was more interested in running down Selangor, probably to score political points with a possible general election looming. The fact is that he was wrong. Those who hit the ground included representatives from both sides of the divide, just like the absentees.

Ismail forgot for a moment that his home state of Pahang also experienced some devastating floods. Of course, we also had the Umno-Perikatan Nasional states of Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan, Melaka which were also badly hit by floods. Why, even the prime minister’s constituency of Bera was inundated with flood waters.

In retaliation, the opposition claimed ministers had been abroad and failed to return despite Ismail’s orders to do so. So the special sitting flopped miserably when MPs started playing the blame game.

The rakyat was disgusted at these antics but do the politicians care? No, they appear oblivious to the deep-seated anger, frustration and hopelessness among the people prevailing currently.

If the people in power and elected representatives cannot work together to help plan better preparedness for disasters, and are at each other’s throats instead, then the nation is in trouble. The “Gone lah Malaysia” reaction may be justified to an extent.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers, headed by Azhar’s elder brother Idrus, has been making some highly debatable decisions. There are serious allegations of selective prosecution. As usual, the AGC does not seem to provide convincing explanations to try and quell the anger of the people.

Cracks in many of our key institutions are obviously widening. The people have become numb because of the many shocking incidents like the corrupt going free, losers ending up winners, inept leaders being appointed to helm agencies and institutions. The list goes on.

With these and many other questionable actions, I feel we have every reason to worry when people say “Gone lah Malaysia”. Our only hope rests with the more than four million new voters whose names have just been added to the electoral list.

Many believe that these youths will determine whether the same government will remain after the next general election or a new one will emerge. They can collectively help debunk the “Gone lah Malaysia” feeling and steer the nation in the right direction to make it great again. - FMT

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

Gunung Kinabalu bakal miliki balai bomba

 

Farhan (dua dari kiri) bersama pegawai dan anggota bomba Sabah meninjau Gunting Lagadan Hut yang bakal dijadikan lokasi pusat operasi MOSAR. (Gambar Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia)

RANAU: Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia (JBPM) Sabah tidak lama lagi bakal mempunyai balai bomba yang terletak di lokasi paling tinggi di Malaysia atau mungkin di dunia, iaitu di Gunung Kinabalu, di sini.

Balai bomba atau Pusat Operasi Pasukan Mencari dan Menyelamat di Gunung (MOSAR) itu bakal diwujudkan di bangunan bekas asrama penginapan di Gunting Lagadan Hut, Gunung Kinabalu yang dikosongkan selepas kejadian gempa bumi pada 2015.

Apabila beroperasi kelak, ia bakal menjadi satu-satunya balai bomba di kawasan altitud tinggi di Malaysia, iaitu pada ketinggian lebih 3,382.2m dari paras laut.

Timbalan Pengarah JBPM Sabah, Farhan Sufyan berkata, sejak MOSAR ditubuhkan pada 2015 susulan insiden gempa bumi di Gunung Kinabalu pada 5 Jun 2015, tiada bangunan khas yang sesuai untuk keperluan operasi gerak kerja MOSAR.

Katanya, pasukan MOSAR hanya ditumpangkan di bilik penginapan di kawasan Panalaban dan kini keanggotaan MOSAR semakin bertambah, iaitu seramai 42 anggota bagi menghadapi sebarang kecemasan dan bencana di sepanjang laluan ke puncak gunung berkenaan.

“Kita ada melakukan tinjauan ke tempat penginapan MOSAR di Panalaban dan ia kurang sesuai dan perlu penambahbaikan.

“Oleh itu berdasarkan perbincangan awal kita bersama Taman-Taman Sabah (TTS) dan mereka (TTS) cadangan supaya Gunting Lagadan Hut dijadikan lokasi pusat operasi MOSAR.

“Bagaimanapun ada beberapa perkara yang kami kena semak lagi dari segi keselamatan dan aset atau pergerakan dan perbincangan lanjut akan diadakan dengan TTS,” katanya ketika ditemui di Gunting Lagadan, Gunung Kinabalu, semalam.

Terdahulu, Farhan dan Ketua Zon 3 Kudat, Sahidih Mahali bersama 15 pegawai dan anggota JBPM Sabah memulakan pendakian pada 22 Jan lalu untuk memantau gerak kerja MOSAR di Gunung Kinabalu.

Farhan (depan) memulakan pendakian untuk memantau gerak kerja MOSAR di Gunung Kinabalu, Sabtu lalu. (Gambar Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia)

Pendakian yang dirasmikan oleh Pengarah JBPM Sabah Md Ali Ismail itu juga bertujuan memantapkan lagi kerjasama strategik antara JBPM Sabah dan TTS dalam aspek penyelamatan melalui MOSAR.

Sementara itu, Farhan berkata, pihaknya akan menyemak semula keanggotaan serta prosedur operasi standard (SOP) MOSAR untuk memberi perkhidmatan yang lebih efektif.

“Selain itu, hasil pendakian kami melihat mungkin beberapa ‘staging area’ bagi memastikan kestabilan mangsa dapat dipantau dari semasa ke semasa.

“Kita tidak boleh membawa mangsa terus ke bawah tanpa melihat kestabilan mangsa itu sendiri dari semasa ke semasa, jadi kita merancang beberapa lokasi sebagai ‘staging area’ bagi memastikan tahap kestabilan mangsa terbabit,” katanya.

Dalam pada itu, Farhan berkata, sebanyak 259 kes penyelamatan dijalankan membabitkan pendaki untuk turun dari Gunung Kinabalu dan tahun ini sahaja, sebanyak enam kes penyelamatan dijalankan.

Katanya, kebanyakan kes yang dijalankan adalah menyelamat pendaki yang mengalami akut gunung atau Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS), kesejukan melampau dan tercedera.

“JBPM juga menasihatkan sekiranya pendaki yang ingin mencabar diri untuk ‘menawan’ puncak Gunung Kinabalu supaya kenal pasti limitasi tahap kecergasan masing-masing.

“Selain persiap diri dari segi fizikal dan mental dengan membuat latih tubi sesuai dengan cabaran pendakian Gunung Kinabalu yang beraltitud tinggi dengan kadar oksigen rendah selain persediaan dari segi pakaian yang bersesuaian yang boleh mengurangkan risiko kejadian tidak diingini termasuk risiko kecederaan,” katanya. - FMT

EC allays fears over objection period for electoral roll

 

A six-month objection period from Jan 24-July 13 has been listed against the names of voters on the latest electoral roll.

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission has allayed fears over a six-month objection period that has been applied on more than 5.7 million new voters on the electoral roll.

EC deputy chairman Azmi Sharom said new voters listed on the Jan 14 electoral roll,. especially those aged 18 and above, would be eligible to vote at any current election.

The objection period would be be an obstacle.

Azmi said the six-month period was to allow voters to review their personal details and make corrections or changes, and to allow objections to be heard –“for example, if someone claims that a registered voter had lied and did not actually live in the voting district”.

A screenshot of the objection period for new voters.

If the objection is upheld, the voter will be placed in their original constituency, he told FMT in an email response.

He said the review and objection period was six months, instead of two months as in the past, because of the massive number of voters on the rolls. The 5.7 million figure includes new voters and those who had applied to change their constituencies.

In future, the review and objection period would be one month from the date the list is gazetted, he said.

He said those who turn 18 will automatically be placed on the electoral roll by the middle of the month following their birthday.

In the past, the new electoral roll was gazetted only every quarter.

He said there would be 756,247 new voters for the coming Johor state assembly elections, of whom 176,618 are aged between 18 and 20 years.

“The total number of voters in Johor now is 2,599,797. Only those whose names are in the gazetted electoral roll on the dates Parliament or state assemblies are dissolved can cast their votes,” he added. - FMT