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Monday, January 30, 2023

Malaysia expresses concern over incidents in occupied East Jerusalem

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is deeply concerned over the rise of deadly incidents in the Palestine's occupied East Jerusalem where lives have been lost and many others wounded.

The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) in a statement said as a matter of principle, Malaysia had always opposed to any hostile acts targeting civilians and strongly condemned the killing of civilians.

"The current violent tension in East Jerusalem is directly stemming from the prolonged Israeli illegal occupation and the Occupier's apartheid policies, desecration of Al-Aqsa, as well as continued aggressions and provocations against Palestinians.

"The occupation must end to avoid vicious cycle of violence," read the statement.

The statement said that Malaysia calls for utmost restraint, stressing necessary steps must be taken to de-escalate the current tensions, with the Israeli regime to immediately halt further provocation and unilateral action in the interest of peace and security.

"Malaysia stands firm by its long-held position that the Palestinians deserve their own independent state, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital," it added.

In one of Jerusalem's deadliest attacks in 15 years, a 21-year-old Palestinian opened fire on people as they came out of a synagogue after prayers on Friday.

The US strongly condemned the attack in East Jerusalem, in which seven people were killed.

A day later, Israeli police said a father and son were shot and wounded by a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in an ambush on the streets of East Jerusalem.

On Thursday, nine Palestinians were killed in an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp. – BERNAMA

LRT disruption: 34 more buses added to provide free shuttle service

 


KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 34 buses have been added to provide free shuttle services from the Hang Tuah LRT (Light Rail Transit) and Masjid Jamek LRT stations following operational disruption between the Bandaraya and Masjid Jamek LRT stations.

Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd said a total of 348 Prasarana personnel, including auxiliary police and support staff, have also been deployed at the stations to help out passengers.

"Based on observations at the major stations like the Hang Tuah LRT and Masjid Jamek LRT during peak hours, passenger movement was smooth and controlled despite congestion with a high volume of passengers due to city folk returning to work after the Chinese New Year holiday," it said in a statement on Monday (Jan 30).

To reduce congestion at several stations, Rapid Rail said that the peak hours in the morning have been extended from 6.30am to 10.30am, while evening peak hours are extended from 4.30pm to 8.30pm involving the Ampang LRT and Monorail services starting Monday.

Rapid Rail also extended its apologies to all passengers affected by the disruption and its appreciation for their patience.

The LRT service for the Ampang/Sri Petaling Line between the Bandaraya LRT and Masjid Jamek LRT stations was suspended on Friday when the track alignment near the Bandaraya LRT station was found to be 'kinked', believed to be caused by a crack in the rail viaduct structure. – Bernama

Not appealing ICJ's Batu Puteh decision was Dr M's failure as PM, says Anwar

 

Pulau Batu Puteh. -filepic

SINGAPORE: It is regretful that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not appeal the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling in awarding legal jurisdiction of Batu Puteh to Singapore, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"We have taken a very strong position expressing our regret for the failure of the then prime minister Dr Mahathir to not appeal when we lost the case at the ICJ. But that's done – the ICJ has given their decision and as a country, we have to respect the decision.

"But we have to express that we actually disagree and it is wrong for any prime minister to ignore this issue of sovereignty. I understand that we lost the case but we did not appeal when we should have done so," he said during a high tea event here following his meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.

He added that while Malaysia respects the decision, it also expresses its "pain" over the issue.

"But should we go to war over Batu Puteh? No, that is madness," he said.

"However, negotiations can be conducted on matters such as the environment or projects there that could affect Malaysia's sovereignty.

"These are the things that we can do other than leaving it, and then continuing tension," he said.

On Feb 3, 2017, the Malaysian government filed an application for a revision of the ICJ's ruling in awarding legal jurisdiction of Batu Puteh to Singapore while Malaysia was awarded Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

However, in 2018, the then Pakatan Harapan government under Dr Mahathir's leadership withdrew the application before its scheduled hearing on June 11, 2018.

On Dec 14 last year, Anwar called for the claim on Batu Puteh to be reviewed through immediate and more meaningful negotiations with Singapore, without jeopardising bilateral relations. - Star

1MDB: Pay up, Anwar tells Goldman Sachs

 

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has demanded that Goldman Sachs Group Inc honour its settlement with the government for its role in the 1MDB scandal, saying the Wall Street firm shouldn’t use its financial strength to dictate terms.

The abuse of the sovereign state fund was made possible because of "complicity” from institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Anwar told Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin in his first interview with international media since becoming prime minister.

"My only appeal is for them to settle this deal with Malaysia because 1MDB is known throughout the world,” Anwar said Monday in Singapore.

"It is there in the books and I think that Goldman Sachs should come out clean and deal with Malaysia.”

State development fund 1MDB became the centre of a multi-billion dollar scandal that spawned probes in Asia, the US and Europe. Goldman Sachs in 2020 admitted its role in the biggest foreign bribery case in US enforcement history, reaching multiple international settlements in the billions of dollars to end probes into its fundraising for 1MDB.

The Malaysian government in 2018 turned its attention to Goldman Sachs for its work raising US$6.5bil in 2012 and 2013 for 1MDB.

The bonds were earmarked for redevelopment but all but US$2bil of the money was diverted to pay bribes to government officials, US federal prosecutors said.

Authorities spent years tracking funds that allegedly flowed from 1MDB into high-end art and real estate, a super yacht and the hit Hollywood movie "The Wolf of Wall Street”.

The settlement announced in July 2020 called for Goldman Sachs to pay

US$2.5bil while guaranteeing the return of US$1.4bil of 1MDB assets seized by authorities around the world, in exchange for Malaysia dropping charges against the bank.

Goldman must also make a one-time interim payment of US$250mil if Malaysia has not received at least US$500mil in assets and proceeds by August 2022, according to the bank. However, the two disagree over whether the government had received the US$500mil in proceeds by the August deadline, Goldman Sachs said in a filing last year.

The bank in the filing had also accused Malaysia of having "unilaterally reduced” the value of one asset by US$80mil, while declining to include substantial additional assets in accounting of assets and proceeds recovered.

"Given a fair deal, we are supposed to be paid much more than that, which I intend to deal with them if these things are not settled amicably,” said Anwar in response to Goldman’s claims.

"It’s not my intention - I’m just new in the game. I just want to settle old scores, in the sense of old commitments that we have made. We have to move on.”

Goldman Sachs spokesman referred Bloomberg to the firm’s 10Q filing when reached for comment.

At the time of its filing, Goldman Sachs had said the parties had a three-month window to try and resolve the dispute. The matter would be settled by arbitration should no resolution be reached.

"But if they come and pressure us with this, I will have no choice because I have a mandate from my people, and people are struggling to live and you with your hundreds of billions of profit and squandering, you can’t just get away by ignoring your moral responsibility and financial responsibility,” Anwar said. – Bloomberg

1MDB trials and Rosmah’s appeal will be handled by DPPs, says AG

 

PETALING JAYA: Ongoing 1MDB-related trials and the appeal by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor on her corruption conviction in the solar hybrid case will be handled by full-time deputy public prosecutors (DPPs), says Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun (pic).

"The present team will handle the prosecution," said Idrus when contacted by The Star on Monday (Jan 30) evening.

Idrus was responding to speculations that a private law firm will be replacing former Federal Court judge and lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who passed away on Sunday (Jan 29).

Previously, Sri Ram had worked together with DPPs from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) in two 1MDB-related trials and Rosmah’s appeal on her corruption conviction.

He was appointed as lead prosecutor by then the attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas in 2018.

Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak, 70, is on trial for 25 charges in total - four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.

The current prosecution team in 1MDB is led by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.

When met at the Kuala Lumpur Court complex earlier Monday (Jan 30) after the 1MDB proceedings ended, DPP Ahmad Akram confirmed that he was leading the prosecution in the case for the time being but refused to comment further.

Sri Ram was also lead prosecutor in another 1MDB audit tampering trial involving Najib and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

On March 3, a ruling will be delivered on whether Najib and Arul would have to enter their defence.

Rosmah was found guilty in September last year, on three corruption charges in connection with a RM1.25bil project to provide solar hybrid energy to 369 schools in Sarawak.

Rosmah was appealing to disqualify High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan as the trial judge and to set aside her conviction and sentence.

Sri Ram was also tasked with prosecuting Rosmah, who was facing 12 money laundering charges worth RM7mil and five charges of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board. - Star

Isytihar darurat: Mahkamah tetap kes 20 Mac

 

Peguam Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar (kiri) memohon mahkamah memutuskan sama ada pengisytiharan darurat oleh Agong atas nasihat perdana menteri ketika itu, Muhyiddin Yassin, boleh dicabar.

KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkamah Tinggi menetapkan 20 Mac untuk menentukan sama ada pengisytiharan darurat boleh dicabar, walaupun wujud fasal penyingkiran dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menghalang badan kehakiman mendengar aduan berkaitan darurat.

Hakim Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh menetapkan tarikh sama bagi mendengar permohonan kerajaan untuk membatalkan saman difailkan peguam Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar pada November 2020 itu.

Peguam R Kengadharan berkata Timbalan Pendaftar Mahkamah Tinggi Syeela Marlina Uttaman menetapkan tarikh itu selepas prosiding dalam talian hari ini. Kengadharan berkata beliau memohon penangguhan susulan kematian peguam Gopal Sri Ram semalam.

Katanya, kerajaan dan 10 lain yang telah dibenarkan menjadi pencelah kes itu, tiada bantahan terhadap penangguhan berkenaan.

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Sri Ram dan peguam-peguam lain dijadualkan memberikan hujah lisan bagi kedua-dua isu berkenaan hari ini. Kesemuanya telah memfailkan hujah bertulis tahun lalu.

Kengadharan kemudian memaklumkan FMT beliau berkemungkinan besar akan menghujahkan kes itu bagi pihak Syed Iskandar nanti.

Pada 23 Oktober 2020 perdana menteri ketika itu Muhyiddin Yassin menasihatkan Yang di-Pertuan Agong mengisytiharkan darurat di bawah Perkara 150 selepas dipersetujui Jemaah Menteri dalam satu mesyuarat khas.

Dua hari kemudian, selepas pertemuan Raja-raja Melayu, Agong mengisytiharkan bertitah tiada keperluan untuk darurat diisytiharkan di negara ini.

Berikutan itu Syed Iskandar memfailkan saman pemula di Mahkamah Tinggi di sini, seterusnya kerajaan pada 2021 memfailkan permohonan membatalkan saman itu.

Bekas Perdana Menteri Dr Mahathir Mohamad antara lapan individu dan dua kumpulan hak asasi yang dibenarkan menjadi pencelah dalam kes itu kerana mempunyai kepentingan sahih.

Peguam Kanan Persekutuan Liew Horng Bin hadir bagi pihak kerajaan manakala Annemarie Parvina Vendargon mewakili Majlis Peguam yang bertindak sebagai amicus curiae (sahabat mahkamah). - FMT

TH serah lesen 22 syarikat pengelola jemaah haji tahun ini

 

Tabung Haji berkata jemaah haji boleh memilih mana-mana syarikat yang memiliki Lesen Pengelola Jemaah Haji (PJH).

KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) menyerahkan Lesen Pengelola Jemaah Haji (PJH) kepada 22 syarikat pelancongan tempatan dan anak syarikatnya, TH Travel & Services Sdn Bhd, bagi musim haji 1444H / 2023.

Pengarah Eksekutif TH, Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman berkata, pemilihan tersebut bagi memastikan syarikat pelancongan tempatan terpilih, memiliki kapasiti teguh, kepakaran dan pengalaman mencukupi serta berwibawa, dalam memberikan perkhidmatan terbaik dan menjaga kebajikan jemaah haji negara.

Jelasnya, syarikat pelancongan berdaftar boleh memohon untuk menjadi PJH yang berlesen dan dipilih secara tahunan, setelah memenuhi syarat ditetapkan.

Malah katanya, musim haji kali ini terdapat syarikat PJH yang baharu diluluskan lesen bagi memberi lebih banyak pilihan kepada bakal haji.

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“TH ingin mengingatkan semua bakal jemaah berhasrat ingin menunaikan haji tahun ini, untuk lebih berhati-hati dan memilih pakej yang disediakan oleh syarikat PJH yang dilesenkan ini sahaja,” katanya dalam kenyataan.

Syed Saleh berkata, bakal haji yang berhasrat ke tanah suci melalui PJH perlu mendaftar dengan syarikat pilihan mereka, selepas menerima surat tawaran menunaikan haji.

Beliau berkata, kesemua wakil syarikat terlibat, telah diberi taklimat mengenai terma dan syarat perkhidmatan pakej musim haji dan orang ramai boleh merujuk kepada laman web rasmi TH di pautan www.tabunghaji.gov.my atau hubungi Pusat Panggilan Tabung Haji di talian 03-62071919, untuk maklumat lanjut.

Syed Saleh berkata, mana-mana individu atau agensi pelancongan yang mengiklankan, menawarkan atau mengelola perkhidmatan pakej haji tanpa mendapat kelulusan daripada TH boleh dikenakan tindakan undang-undang di bawah Seksyen 27, Akta Tabung Haji 1995.

Dalam pada itu, beliau turut mengingatkan rakyat Malaysia supaya sentiasa patuh kepada peraturan Kerajaan Arab Saudi dengan menggunakan Visa Haji dan tidak menggunakan visa pelancongan untuk menunaikan rukun Islam kelima itu. - FMT