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Monday, August 3, 2020

Loyalty to Anwar doesn’t excuse ‘betrayal’, PKR’s Fahmi tells Sabah defector Kenny Chua

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil speaks to the press after a meeting with fellow Pakatan Harapan leaders in Petaling Jaya June 12, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil speaks to the press after a meeting with fellow Pakatan Harapan leaders in Petaling Jaya June 12, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil has slammed Inanam state lawmaker Kenny Chua today, after the latter justified him supporting Tan Sri Musa Aman due to purported loyalty to party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In a Twitter post, Fahmi said Chua’s reasoning for retracting his support for Parti Warisan Sabah’s Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was unacceptable.
“I’m sorry, but ‘loyalty’ does not make betrayal okay, nor does it make it okay to be complicit with Musa Aman et al in attempting the takeover of Sabah state government.
“Claim whatever you like,” he wrote.
Earlier today, Chua, former state assistant finance minister said he could not see himself being part of an administration that supports former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Chua, who was Sabah PKR vice president, was one the 13 elected and nominated assemblyman who decided to switch sides and rally behind former Sabah chief minister Musa in his bid to topple the Warisan-led state government.
The attempt, however, was foiled after incumbent chief minister Shafie sought for the dissolution of the state legislative assembly to pave way for a snap state election.
Chua was then swiftly sacked from PKR for switching sides, but he denied allegations that he had been offered huge sums of money to defect. - Star

Foreign nationals seen in viral video over assault of security guard barred from leaving country, says Bukit Aman



KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The two foreign nationals who were featured in a viral video showing a security guard being assaulted at a car park in Wangsa Maju near here will be barred from leaving the country.
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department deputy director (Investigation/Legal) DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said investigations revealed that both the victim and the suspect were Nepalese, aged 26 and 35.
"We have applied to the Immigration Department to bar them from leaving the country and checks found that they are still in Malaysia, ” he told Bernama.
On July 31, a 44-second video recording went viral on social media showing a man slapping and hitting a security guard, believed to be a foreigner, with a piece of wood.
Following the incident, the police opened an investigation paper and were tracking down the victim and the suspect.
According to the police, the incident occurred at a car park of a condominium at Jalan Madrasah, Wangsa Maju on July 7 this year. - Bernama

Hospital Sultan Aminah antara 3 hospital kerajaan di Johor tiada sijil perakuan bomba, kata JBPM negeri

Hospital Sultan Aminah Johor Bahru terlibat dalam 2 insiden kebakaran sejak 2016. (Gambar Bernama)
JOHOR BAHRU: Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) di sini antara 3 hospital kerajaan di Johor yang sehingga kini belum memiliki Sijil Perakuan Bomba (FC), kata pengarah Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia (JBPM) negeri Yahaya Madis.
Katanya, 7 lagi sudah memiliki sijil berkenaan.
“Ketiga-tiga hospital ini sedang dalam proses untuk mendapatkan FC dengan ada daripadanya dijangka selesai (proses mendapatkan FC) selewat-lewatnya tahun depan,” katanya pada sidang media selepas program ibadah korban JBPM Johor, di sini hari ini.
Untuk rekod, HSA terlibat dalam dua insiden kebakaran sejak 2016.
Mengulas lanjut, Yahaya berkata proses mendapatkan FC mengambil masa selain melibatkan kos kerana banyak perkara perlu diberi perhatian termasuk mempunyai Pasukan Tindakan Kecemasan (ERT) sendiri.
Pengarah JBPM Johor Yahaya Madis.
Selain itu katanya, tidak semua bangunan dalam kawasan hospital memerlukan FC.
“Yang perlukan FC ialah contohnya bangunan lebih daripada 5 tingkat dan memiliki sistem pencegahan kebakaran yang tetap. Bangunan setingkat tidak perlukan FC kerana terdapat banyak laluan keluar sekiranya berlaku kecemasan,” katanya.
Mengulas statistik secara keseluruhan, Yahaya berkata, terdapat 2,530 bangunan di Johor yang seharusnya memiliki FC, namun hanya 2,013 mempunyai sijil itu setakat tahun ini.
Jumlah itu merangkumi 26 daripada 81 bangunan kerajaan, serta 1,987 daripada 2,449 bangunan swasta, katanya. - FMT

Malaysians pouring water down the drain, says minister

The government says the average Malaysian is using 50 litres more than what the UN recommends a day.
KUALA LUMPUR: An average Malaysian uses 219 litres of water a day, way above the 165 litres recommended by the United Nations, a minister said.
Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the people need to stop wasting water.
“We need to lower the amount, we are targeting for each individual to use 180 litres a day by 2025,” he said when summing up the ministry’s policies during the debate on the royal address.
Tuan Ibrahim said the wastage contributed to the high cost paid by the government to operators treating water.
He said his ministry was carrying out research to educate Malaysians on the importance of saving water.
During the debate, some MPs recommended harvesting rain water to wash cars and water plants, while others said untreated water could be channelled to flush toilets.
On Feb 4, the then Pakatan Harapan government had proposed to raise water tariffs.
The proposal received mixed response from the public, although academics said higher rates would allow the government to upgrade infrastructure and provide better services to consumers.
The current water tariff for domestic consumers is RM1.38 per 1,000 litres of water. - FMT

Ex-EC member Ramlan Ibrahim appointed Tourism Malaysia chairman

New Tourism Malaysia chairman Ramlan Ibrahim looks forward to promoting the country as a main travel destination in the region. (Bernama pic)
PUTRAJAYA: Former diplomat and Election Commission member Ramlan Ibrahim has been appointed chairman of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) from today.
Ramlan was an EC member from February 2019 until he resigned at the end of last month.
He joined the Administrative and Diplomatic Service in 1983 and served in various capacities at the Malaysian embassies in Jakarta, the Netherlands and Zagreb, Croatia.
He was appointed deputy high commissioner to Singapore in 2001, ambassador to Bosnia Herzegovina in 2004, and ambassador to the Republic of Korea in 2009. In 2015, he was appointed Malaysia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.
He was appointed secretary-general of the foreign affairs ministry in 2019.
Ramlan said he looks forward to working closely with the management and officers of Tourism Malaysia, the tourism, arts and culture ministry, the travel trade and the media and to promote Malaysia as a main tourist destination in Southeast Asia. - FMT

Accord the women’s ministry its rightful frontline role

Malaysiakini

MP SPEAKS | As the PKR spokespersons for the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry, we humbly suggest that the federal government reorient its focus on protecting and preserving the dignity and wellbeing of women, children, the elderly, the differently-abled, the destitute, victims of domestic violence and abuse, and disaster victims - through the reestablishment of the ministry as a frontline ministry.
Considering that the ministry must devise ways to protect female-headed households, children susceptible to predatory elements, an ageing Malaysian population, and other vulnerable pockets of society - we, therefore, argue that the empowerment of such groups must include the empowerment of the ministry.
Social protection in a pandemic
Like other governments around the world, Malaysia saw to it that one-off cash disbursements are available to households that earned below a certain level. However, the vulnerability in a pandemic is defined not only by one’s state of finances but also one’s accessibility to social protection.
Throughout the movement control order (MCO) period calls for help spiked. The Women’s Aid Organisation saw enquiries to its domestic violence hotlines increase threefold. Another hotline, manned by the tireless professionals of the Health Ministry (MOH), brought to light the need for emotional and mental health support as half of its callers showed signs of anxiety, stress, anger or depression.
Insecurities about food, safety, family, rent and utilities have taken a toll on many. Allaying the common distress brought by the disruption that is Covid-19 is a duty that falls also on the shoulders of the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry, despite the MOH being the first port of call for information on the ongoing pandemic.
We urge a look at New Zealand’s bold “Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy” to future proof vulnerable segments. Weaved into the fabric of PM Jacinda Ardern’s policies since August 2019, it was followed suit by an uncompromising and adequate Covid-19 list of measures - covering financial support, education, safety and nutrition for the young.
This country unrolled financial support such as tax credits, income relief and rent freezes, but also importantly, a funding boost to guarantee the delivery of food assistance, online teaching and learning, and family violence services.
The toothless tiger
Unfortunately, despite its mammoth task, it is as if the ministry has been disarmed. From RM1.9 billion in 2016, the ministry saw its portion of the federal budget increase to RM2.5 billion in 2020, an improvement but with space for more, especially considering the total federal budget of RM297 billion.
The disarmament continued with Perikatan Nasional’s decision to pockmark the credible appointments of activists and professionals as heads of agencies under the ministry. Forced removals of prominent leaders in society, replaced with MPs with glaring lack of relevant experience behoves the question, et tu LPPKN?
It bears reminding that the ministry’s existence is to serve the needs of the underprivileged and the vulnerable, and not to stroke the egos of men.
Additionally, there are 110 social protection programmes in Malaysia spread across more than 20 ministries and agencies. The Housing Assistant Program (PPRT), for example, serves to provide housing for those who are poor or underprivileged yet it is placed under the purview of the Rural Development Ministry when the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry has long stood steadfast in aiding and uplifting the homeless.
As for our social welfare frontliners - the number remains insufficient. As it stands, the ratio in Malaysia is one social worker for every 8,576 citizens - lower than countries such as the United States (one for every 490); Australia (one for every 1,040), and Singapore (one for every 3,448). Indeed, as a revamped front liner ministry, the ministry would be given first dibs in tabling the Social Work Profession Act.
Calling the ministry forward
The PN government moved on June 29 to “reactivate” the Malaysia Social Protection Council (MySPC) - a council that was established in 2016 to pick the brains of the ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Human Resources Ministry and the Economic Planning Unit to develop a holistic and integrated social protection system.
Under Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, then deputy prime minister and former women, family, and community development minister, work had been undertaken to achieve precisely that. 
In fact, a National Social Protection Plan was underway, as was the establishment of a Social Assistance Working Committee. The latter was to be spearheaded by the ministry and was tasked to streamline our motley crew of “fragmented” social assistance programmes.
Now, as the chairpersonship baton of MySPC is passed to none other than Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin; we urge that politics not undo the good work of the past.
Thus far, the ministry’s bills have not made the cut for this parliamentary sitting. Other than the Social Work Profession Act, the Sexual Harassment Act, for example, was ready to have been tabled as early as March, but now has been inexplicably delayed to year’s end. It was needed yesterday.
Accessibility to social protection, welfare and assistance are non-negotiable at all times, but its urgency is accentuated in a pandemic. Every day, Malaysians see security measures from the Home Ministry touted with this very urgency; we say re-centre the role of Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry and advocate for social support measures with equal zeal.

NURUL IZZAH ANWAR and NOR AZRINA SURIP are Permatang Pauh MP and Merbok MP respectively. - Mkini

Ex-Inanam rep cites misgivings over Dr M, poor economy for defection

Malaysiakini

The former Inanam assemblyperson Kenny Chua has cited Warisan’s backing for former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as among the reasons for his defection from PKR to support former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman’s attempted coup.
He claimed to have done so out of loyalty to PKR and its president Anwar Ibrahim, and hence could not be a part of the Warisan-led state administration.
This is because Warisan has openly supported Mahathir’s bid to become prime minister again and has even expressed willingness to amend Warisan’s party constitution to allow Mahathir and his followers to join the party.
“I've repeatedly said that as a PKR leader in Sabah, it was only right for me to stay loyal to my party president and threw my undivided support for him as the country's next prime minister as what all Malaysians and Sabahans had been promised during the last general election.
“Due to Warisan's support for Mahathir, I, as part of the state government then and as Sabah PKR vice-chairperson then, had constantly been asked by the common people in the streets and PKR supporters in Sabah alike to explain.
“I could understand the negative sentiments the majority of Sabahans harbour toward Mahathir until today for what he had done to the state and its people for so long,” he said, without elaborating on the supposed grievances against Mahathir.
Chua, who was the Sabah assistant finance minister at the time, also denied being offered a bribe to switch sides and said he would welcome an investigation by the relevant authorities.
“But perhaps in all fairness, (those making allegations of bribery) should also call for an investigation on those elected representatives who switched sides to help Warisan form the state government in 2018,” he added in his statement today.
Chua was among the 33 assemblypersons backing Musa’s bid to become chief minister, which was ultimately foiled when the state assembly was dissolved on July 30 to pave way for a state election.
For the record, Anwar has voiced support for Shafie’s state administration, and the party has moved to sack Chua following his defection.
This is despite disagreement between Pakatan Harapan component parties and its allies over who should become prime minister if the coalition manages to retake federal power through defections.
Meanwhile, Chua said there were issues in the state administration that he “didn’t think were right”, such as illegal immigration and statelessness.
He said Sabah also lacks the necessary funds to fuel its development, especially amid the weak economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"So, the state needs funds from the federal government or else it would continue to bleed. Come snap state election, the main issue will be about our economic survival; how we feed our families and how we can create opportunities to sustain our life.
“I'd ask Sabahans to ask Warisan and its partners these important questions. If they said the state has the funds, then ask them to show the money first before you even consider giving them another chance at governing Sabah,” he said.
He also accused Warisan of mistreating its coalition allies in PKR, Upko, and DAP, despite being relatively new to the political scene after its founding in 2016.
“Before even there was Warisan, we in PKR and DAP had been fighting against the government of the day at the time. After Warisan was formed, they came to us asking to be given the majority of the seats to contest in the last general election. And we sacrificed many of our traditional seats to them.
“But just ask any of the coalition partners, especially their grassroots members, if they thought Warisan had been fair to them.
“Don't ask the party leaders. They would always say nice things. Ask their party members on the ground, those who have been in service as community leaders,” he said. - Mkini