MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Yoursay: The Harapan cabinet that barely makes the grade

YOURSAY | The people have spoken, but will the cabinet take heed of the assessment?
Newday: It is now 19 months since the change of government. It appears we need to be reminded of what was inherited - essentially a government system that was dysfunctional in just about every respect.

Public servants always bent to the will of ministers, their cronies, and became as corrupted in the process. Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor's tenure as federal territories minister comes to mind – the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was used as his personal real estate office; just the tip of a self-serving government.
When assessing ministers' performance, it is only fair to set some context of what was inherited. This is not an overnight fix. Well over 70 percent of the ministers never had government experience before. They spent many years warming opposition benches. So it is to be expected that their performance is far from perfect.
That said, the poll appears to be an accurate reflection of their performance. Those in the bottom five need some serious scrutiny, and potentially should be re-shuffled out of their cabinet posts.
Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali – there are many questions as to his morals and ethics. His ministry apparently underspent 40 percent of its budget; economic affairs equals getting the money flowing and this obviously did not happen.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman needs to be reminded that the world of Twitter is not his office.
Mohamaddin Ketapi may be the most uninspiring tourism arts and culture minister ever. He always appears to be tired and disinterested. This ministry screams out for a dynamic person at the helm who wears his tourism and arts passion on his sleeve. It screams for someone who has a liberal and global outlook.
Education Minister Maszlee Malik – our education system does not need a person with an Islamic education background to reform the curriculum. No matter how hard he tries, he can never have a truly global education outlook that aims to reconnect our students with the world at large. Look at all his advisers - not one with a liberal, secular-based education among them.
Malayan Boey: I think the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) public relations team needs to do more. The public seems unaware of the hard work being done by this ministry in successfully attracting FDI (foreign direct investment) for Malaysia.
This is in spite of the country's reputation and investment climate being constantly undermined by the prime minister - India, China, Singapore, now Saudi Arabia and its allies.
The uncertainty of a "permanent" head of government with a clear and long-term policy direction for businesses does not help in building confidence among both local and overseas investors.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok does not deserve a "failed" rating. Market forces drive the demand for and value of our primary commodities. Our economy remains largely based on export of raw materials rather than added-value products from our raw materials.
But to suggest this, it would mean encroaching into the portfolio of Redzuan Yusof, the entrepreneurial czar. Redzuan looks outside rather than build on and take advantage of what we have inside. He truly deserves his lowest performance ranking.
Mohamaddin is too low profile for his portfolio after the flamboyant Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. Nevertheless, he has allowed the Sabah tourism industry to flourish and Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) to remain the second busiest international airport in Malaysia despite KKIA being constrained by the number and length of its runways due to the short-sightedness of the previous Musa Aman government.
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar should have received a much lower rating. The continuing contamination of Malaysia's environment, including our water resources, rests squarely on his ministry's lack of oversight and enforcement; not Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.
Anonymous 2315071437551281: A government's duty is to bring economic prosperity and social well-being. In doing so, the government formulates policies and implement these policies with economic, regulatory, prescriptive and persuasive strategies.
Judging from this, Harapan's cabinet has failed miserably. Nonetheless, some ministers like Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo have been trying hard to fulfil their duties.
Clever Voter: Focusing on the bottom 20 percent, we have Redzuan, Maszlee, Azmin, Syed Saddiq, Mohamaddin, National Unity Minister P Waythamoorthy and possibly Rural Development Minister Rina Harun. But if we apply not meeting expectations, then we would easily have more than 50 percent of the cabinet.
It is a steep climb for the government to regain its credibility. These individuals are trivial in their thinking, parochial in their outlook and unimpressive in their ideas.
Current and future complexity demands leveraging on diversity, restoring the centre of politics, ethics and compassion. The people have outgrown them, slowly but surely.
Sarawak4Malaysian: It is tragic that the readers think so lowly of ministers who hold critical portfolios. The PM, economic affairs and home ministers are seen with such low esteem because they are perceived to be doing nothing, or making matters worse for the people.
The worst thing about the report card is that they will not do a thing to improve. They will just spew platitudes that they will do better. Unless something miraculous happens, this government will get an ‘F’ on all subjects.
Apanakdikato: Indeed, when the most critical portfolios such as the PMship, education, and economic affairs are under individuals who have been rated as the worst among the whole cabinet, then something is critically wrong about this government.
Bravemalaysian: The results reflect accurately the feelings and perception of the Malaysian rakyat.
Those who scored less than 50 percent should consider resigning as they are not up to the mark.
Those below 30 percent should be sacked immediately, and that includes the PM who has become an absolute liability.
He once said that he will step down once he is no longer wanted. The results show clearly he is no longer wanted. Please honour your word and step down, Mr PM.
Vijay47: Like I always suspected, polls and surveys can easily be manipulated. I mean, look at the figures for Maszlee - he scored 16 percent, which suggests that apart from his mother, wife, children, and the Perlis mufti, there were others who actually voted for him.
Avicenna: The reason certain ministers form the majority of those with less than 30 percent approval is that they can never put aside their religious and racial preoccupation, and focus on the job. The bottom five, Mohamaddin aside, wear their Malay pride on their sleeves.
Anon Two: Unfortunately for the young people seeking a balanced and superior education, Maszlee wins second-last place.
Mahathir is not about to reorganise the cabinet. He needs a few fools lower in ranking than him to burnish his image.
Anonymous_2d09ced0: In most democratic countries, the buck stops at the top. The top should take responsibility and step aside. After all, the PM selects the cabinet. - Mkini

Man fails to save family from fire

Fatal fire: A firefighter on the scene of the house fire that killed five people in Kampung Menara Pamilaan in Sabah’s Tenom district.
KOTA KINABALU: A man attempted in vain to rescue his family from a fire that killed five people, including four children at their home.
Sudirman Hajar, 40, suffered burns to his head and hands as he tried to save his family members at Kampung Menara Pamilaan in Sabah’s interior Tenom district, about 200km from here.
Neighbours rushed him to the Tenom district hospital, where he is being treated for burns. His condition is reported to be stable.
The five dead were Sudirman’s wife Khatijah Omar, 35, their sons Sakirin Sudirman, nine, and Zahid, six, and daughter Sapura, three.
The fifth victim was Khatijah’s niece Adira Suhaili, 12, who had come to stay with the family for the holidays.
They were likely to have died of smoke inhalation in the fire that broke out at about 12.30am on Tuesday while they were asleep.
According to witnesses, Sudirman was awoken by the blaze that had already engulfed the house and it was too late for him to alert the family.
A spokesman for the Sabah Fire and Rescue Department said they received a distress call at 12.46am and a team in two fire engines from Tenom town was dispatched.
He said they managed to put out the flames by 1.25am.
“We are still trying to establish the cause of the fire and the losses, which also included a car, ” he said.
Tenom police are also investigating the case. - Star

Disrupting the peace in our society

Image result for Zakir Naik

‘Unwanted’ preacher continues to stir controversy one way or another and yet there are those who want him to stay on in our country.
CONTROVERSIAL preacher Dr Zakir Naik is like a nightmare that refuses to go away. He was bad news in 2019 and as we move into 2020, he is most certainly going to remain the hot potato that no one wants except Malaysia.
But unfortunately for Malaysia, due to political and religious expediency best known to our politicians, he is still given the VVIP status.
He still keeps his permanent resident status and in the words of at least one Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) examiner, Zakir is an icon in the Islamic world.
Without doubt, he is well-known and well-followed by his legion of fans.
But here’s the oxymoron. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace and custodian of Islam’s most sacred sites, does not even want to accept him.
So does almost all the Islamic nations that Wisma Putra has taken the trouble to call up to offer him a place.
One obscure African nation was prepared to offer him a place, according to well informed sources, but the Indian national understandably turned it down.
In the Prime Minister’s own words, Malaysia has continued to host Zakir because not many countries want him.
“We are trying to find some place where he can go to but at the moment no one wants to accept him, ” said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when asked in July why Malaysia is still allowing Zakir to stay here.
That’s not all. He is banned from speaking in nearly all the states including Johor, Selangor, Melaka and Perak, with Sarawak even
banning him from entering the state. The police have issued a total ban on him from all speaking engagements.
So, it was a bit off tangent, when another controversy involving Zakir cropped up, as if to end the year with a bang, although he had no part in this.
Last week, a UniMAP examiner thought it was necessary to put a question in a test paper, which clearly wanted to imply that Zakir had been unfairly wronged because of the actions of some Malaysians.
The test was held on Dec 29. It is believed to be part of the university’s Ethnic Relations Course.
According to the question, Zakir was one of the icons of the Islamic world and was very active in spreading true Islam.
“He is able to reason and to answer every question that is asked to him. However, in Malaysia, he is no longer allowed to deliver speeches. In your opinion, as a Malaysian, why does this happen?”
The multiple-choice question, which allowed students to choose more than one answer, provided these answers:
1) Malaysians do not bother getting actual information;
2) Malaysians are sensitive and feel threatened for no reason;
3) Malaysians just follow the crowd without verifying any information; or
4) Malaysians are ignorant about their own religion.
Images of the exam paper, with that particular question, have gone viral on social media.
What the examiner has done is literally put the students in a tight spot. To put it bluntly, he has fixed them because all the options almost required the candidate to answer the same preferred answer, although it is presented differently.
The examiner has literally and blatantly imposed his or her view. This is an exam and I can imagine what the student, who oppose this slant, had to go through – which is to forgo a mark, or possibly even be identified by this examiner and punished in future.
But what is even more incredulous is that it is supposed to be a course on ethnic relations. The examiner deserves the boot, really.
It’s as good as saying that the Rulers, as heads of Islam in all the respective states, do not know what they were doing.
Zakir has selfishly and obstinately refused to move out of Malaysia, insisting he has done no wrong and has questioned why he should leave the country, forgetting through it all that he’s merely a guest.
For all the accolades that has been heaped on him, it is unlikely that he will be missed for his lectures because he is not conversant in Bahasa Malaysia and he speaks English with a thick accent.
But there are many others with political, religious and racial interests who are egging him to stay on.
We can safely assume that he is enjoying the latest controversy as it puts him on a pedestal again, and certainly, boost his sense of self-importance once again.
It doesn’t help that the Education Ministry’s Higher Education Department has said it would not interfere in the matter of exam questions from a public university supposedly for “autonomy with accountability”.
“We will not interfere in the conduct of academic programmes as we hold to the concept of autonomy with accountability.
“Through this, the university is responsible to all stakeholders, including students and the public, ” said the department in a statement on Dec 30.
In short, they washed their hands off.
This is Malaysia’s biggest irony – the world doesn’t want Zakir – except us.
And we are left wondering what Zakir can contribute to Malaysia and his “added value” that led him to securing permanent residency here.
It’s better if he just come in as a tourist and spend some money and contribute to Visit Malaysia Year 2020. - Star


KUALA LUMPUR: On Dec 4, 2018, the magistrate’s court here issued a warrant of arrest against fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (pix) or Jho Low to assist in investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Following that, various efforts have been taken by the Malaysian authorities to bring home the 38-year-old businessman throughout this year.
Jho Low is not only wanted by the authorities for his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of 1MDB funds but also as a key witness in the trial involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had on Jan 10 said that the government would continue looking for Jho Low although it was difficult.
The Penang-born businessman was said to have lived in several locations including Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and Hainan in China.
In October, there was a report claiming that Jho Low was spotted at a dinner party in Hollywood but it was dismissed by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
Abdul Hamid had disclosed that Jho Low had been offered asylum in a country. However, he did not reveal the name of the country.
Last month, he also revealed that Jho Low had attempted to purchase assets in Cyprus under the name of an unidentified person.
Abdul Hamid said the information was obtained after the police had arrested several individuals linked to Jho Low.
Police have also been working closely with China’s Public Security Bureau and the Interpol to locate Jho Low.
Negotiations with authorities of a certain country to bring back Jho Low are also still ongoing.
On Oct 18, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Latheefa Koya had confirmed Jho Low’s involvement in the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
However, she said the agency could not verify the exact amount of the funds as long as the fugitive financier was not detained.
— Bernama


An Umno supreme council member has threatened to sue Attorney-General Tommy Thomas for allegedly refusing to prosecute two men seen in a recent sex video scandal that implicated Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali.
In issuing the threat, Lokman Noor Adam claimed that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had ordered a cover-up of the case which allegedly involved Azmin and former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz.
“So today I am delivering this letter from my lawyers to Thomas with a seven-day deadline for him to respond.
“If he does not respond, then my lawyers will take legal action against him,” said Lokman at the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) in Putrajaya.
The sex video in question depicted two male politicians in bed. It was spread to reporters on July 11, by WhatsApp.
Haziq subsequently confessed that he was depicted in the video and that the incident took place on May 11 at Four Points Hotel in Sandakan, Sabah.
Azmin has since dismissed the allegation as “vicious libel“.
Tommy Thomas
Lokman further claimed that his demand today was made based on alleged information from within the AGC that there were draft charge sheets prepared against the two men in the video – under Section 377B and Section 377D of the Penal Code – related to committing unnatural sex and gross indecency.
The investigation surrounding the case had begun since June and Lokman reminded that he had also handed police with several results of foreign forensic analysis of the video, but to date, there has still been no official confirmation on the identities of the two individuals.
He further urged Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Commissioner Huzir Mohamed to keep his promise to reveal the identities of those involved in the sex video, to maintain the integrity of the force.
In November, he said police have sent the sex video to a university in the US for analysis.
“Very sure before the end of the year,” Huzir had said, when asked for an expected time for police to obtain the results.
Earlier today, MCA spokesperson Chan Quin Er had also raised the same question to Huzir.

MCA asks if police will reveal sex video analysis

MCA has asked if the police will release details of the analysis by a US expert on a sex video involving a Malaysian politician by today.
In a statement, MCA spokesperson Chan Quin Er said federal police Criminal Investigation Department director Huzir Mohamed had announced in November that the result of the analysis was expected by the end of the year.
“Today is Dec 31. The year and decade will end in a few hours time. We have yet to hear anything about the result of the said analysis, or even the name of the American university to which the video was sent for analysis.
“If the result cannot be ready by the end of 2019, there should have been an announcement regarding a delay and postponement. However, the powers that be have been silent throughout.
“Will the police be able to release the video analysis findings by today? Will the minister’s name finally be cleared, or will we see him charged for an offence under Section 377A of the Malaysian Penal Code? Or perhaps Section 377A is an offence the PDRM no longer takes seriously?” Chan asked.
On Nov 20, Huzir revealed that the video was being investigated by an unnamed US digital forensics expert based in an unnamed university.
He said the expert would determine if the video was authentic and also establish the identities of the individuals depicted.
Asked when the police expected to receive a report from the expert, Huzir (photo) replied, “very sure, before the end of the year”. He did not promise that the report would be made public.
He also revealed that the investigation paper on the matter had been returned to the police by the Attorney-General’s Chambers at least eight times, with fresh instructions for further investigations.
The sex video in question depicted two male politicians in bed. It was spread to reporters on July 11, by WhatsApp.
Then Santubong division PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz subsequently confessed that he was depicted in the video and that the incident took place on May 11 at Four Points Hotel in Sandakan, Sabah.
Haziq claimed that the video was taken without his permission and he urged the MACC to investigate the other person depicted in the video for corruption.
About a dozen individuals, including Haziq, were picked up by the police for questioning. No charge has been laid against anyone.
Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, whom Haziq accused as the other person in the sex video, has dismissed the allegation as “vicious libel”.

PIA special flight brings home hundreds of Pakistanis from Malaysia

Some foreigners who had overstayed rounded up during an immigration raid.
PETALING JAYA: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flew home 250 illegals who had overstayed in Malaysia today, a news report said.
The Business Recorder said they had taken advantage of the four-month “Back For Good” (B4G) amnesty exercise by the Immigration Department, which ended today.
It said most of these Pakistanis had overstayed after the expiry of visas.
The report said Zulfi Bukhari, special assistant to the prime minister, had instructed the Pakistani high commission to mobilise all resources to bring back as many Pakistanis as possible after registering them under the amnesty scheme.
The news report said 8,190 Pakistanis had so far been released by Malaysian authorities.
Under the B4G programme, foreigners who had overstayed had to pay a compound fine of RM700 and show valid flight tickets for them to return to their countries of origin.
Khairul Dzaimee Daud.
In a New Year message posted on Facebook today, immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said more than 180,000 foreigners had taken advantage of this B4G programme.
He said enforcement action to flush out those remaining in the country will begin tomorrow.
He said he intended to round up at least 70,000 illegals in 2020 through sustained operations.
Khairul said in 2020, his department will improve over-the-counter services and its administrative efficiency through the full implementation of its e-payment system in June and the National Integrated Immigration System (NIISE).
He said in 2019, the department had smashed several document forgery syndicates and increased prosecution against employers of undocumented migrants as well as those involved in human trafficking.- FMT

Speed up separation of AG, public prosecutor functions, govt urged

Pakatan Harapan in its manifesto pledged to separate the responsibilities of the attorney-general from those of the public prosecutor.
PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government must expedite its election promise to separate the roles of the attorney-general (AG) and the public prosecutor (PP) for the sake of transparency and accountability, a lawyer said.
K Shanmuga said Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution could be amended to prevent any conflict of interest as currently both positions were held by one individual.
“It is time for the PH government to amend the constitution to pave the way to separate the positions to enable two individuals to be appointed to carry out the different functions,” he told FMT.
Shanmuga said this in response to a High Court ruling yesterday which quashed three charges of misappropriation amounting to RM1 million by former Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) director N Sundra Rajoo.
Judge Mariana Yahaya said the charges could not stand as Sundra Rajoo enjoyed immunity under the International Organisation (Privileges and Immunity) Act from prosecution for acts committed while in office.
The judge also said the discretionary power of the AG cum public prosecutor under Article 145 (3) to institute, conduct or discontinue proceedings for a criminal offence was subject to judicial review now.
“The power of the AG is not absolute but subject to the court’s scrutiny,” she said.
K Shanmuga.
Shanmuga said to his recollection, this was the first time a court had quashed a criminal charge framed by the AG who currently doubled up as the public prosecutor.
This ruling was in line with positions in other Commonwealth jurisdictions, including Singapore, he said.
Shanmuga said it was time for the public prosecutor (PP), who is appointed by the government, to be held accountable for his decisions by the court.
“In the early days, the AG who was also the PP was a minister and was, therefore, accountable to Parliament. The courts were also reluctant to intervene as the people had a remedy through the ballot box,” he added.
PH in its manifesto pledged to separate the responsibilities of the AG from those of the PP.
It said the AG would be appointed from among qualified MPs, and would be a minister acting as legal adviser to the government.
The PP, meanwhile, would be an individual free from political interests with autonomy to carry out prosecutions.
The Malaysian Bar has consistently held that as PP, the AG is required to act independently and impartially, and act as the guardian of public interest, uninfluenced by any political considerations.
It had said the AG was in a position of conflict of interest when politicians from the ruling party were facing the prospect of being prosecuted. - FMT

5 time capsules in Malaysia that may be opened in 2020

The management of Sunway Putra Mall has confirmed that Dr Mahathir’s time capsule is still in their possession.
KUALA LUMPUR: Many Malaysians are probably unaware that several time capsules are scattered across the length and breath of the Klang Valley.
As 2020 is upon us, perhaps it is time for the man who planted them there, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to finally reveal its contents.
These time capsules are in essence, historical treasure chests that were sealed before being stored or hidden away decades ago, only to be opened after a certain period.
Containing invaluable advice on a variety of topics and issues meant for the future generations of Malaysians, these time capsules were designed to be airtight and are made from tough material that will not decay over time.
Standard procedure dictates that a time capsule is first emptied of air and turned into a vacuum before being filled with oxygen.
This is to ensure that the contents of the capsule, particularly those made from organic material, are not damaged once the capsule is opened.
In Malaysia, there are five time capsules in five locations. Will they be opened in 2020, the year so important to Mahathir’s Wawasan 2020 ideal?
1. Sunway Putra Mall
On June 12, 1987, Mahathir planted a time capsule scheduled to be opened in 2087. This time capsule was buried during the opening ceremony of The Mall in Kuala Lumpur.
It may be hard to find The Mall on any map today however, as it ceased operations after 26 years. The ownership of the site was transferred to the Sunway Group on May 1, 2013.
Standing in place of The Mall is the brand-new Sunway Putra Mall.
According to previous media reports, a spokesman for the new mall has confirmed that the capsule is still safely kept in the office of the shopping centre’s general manager.
However, they declined to show the media any image of the capsule or its exact location.
2. Rawang Rest and Service Area
A series of complicated deals has left the date of the opening of the time capsule at the Rawang Rest and Service Area uncertain.
On Sept 8, 1994, Mahathir buried a capsule at the Rawang Rest and Service Area along the northbound North-South Expressway.
An inscription on the monument erected by PLUS Malaysia Berhad at the rest stop reads: “Di bawah ini terletaknya sebuah kapsul yang mengandungi dokumen-dokumen yang telah ditanam oleh YAB Dato Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad Perdana Menteri Malaysia bersempena dengan Perasmian Penyempurnaan Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan pada 8 September 1994 dan akan dikeluarkan selepas tamat tempoh Konsesi Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan pada 31 Mei 2018“.
(Below is a capsule that contains documents buried by Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad in conjunction with the ceremony of the official maintenance of the North–South Expressway on Sept 8, 1994, and will be unearthed after the expiry of the concession of the North–South Expressway on May 31, 2018.)
The initial concession period began in 1988 and ended in 2018, but was extended until 2030 through an additional concession agreement in 1999 for the purpose of compensating the government for maintaining toll rates as agreed.
This period was then extended to 2038 through the third additional concession agreement signed in 2005 as there were no toll increases from 2005 to 2014.
This time capsule remains buried and it is not known how much longer will it stay that way.
3. Putrajaya Landmark
Below the Putrajaya Landmark is a time capsule scheduled to be opened this year.
The Putrajaya Landmark is located in Taman Putra Perdana in Putrajaya. It is the first national monument built specifically for the Federal Territory of Putrajaya.
Below this monument is a time capsule buried by Mahathir that is supposed to be opened in 2020.
4. Kuala Lumpur Tower
The time capsule at the KL Tower is located close to the mini theatre.
Located next to the mini theatre is another time capsule, placed there on Oct 1, 1996. It was supposed to be opened back in 2018 together with its counterpart in Rawang but nothing came of it.
5. Bursa Malaysia
The time capsule in Bursa Malaysia was planted there by Anwar Ibrahim and Daim Zainuddin.
Here at the stock exchange is a time capsule that was interestingly not planted by Mahathir but rather then Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim and then Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin.
According to a source, these time capsules are to be opened simultaneously in early 2020, but no specific date has been announced.
The source also stated that said date will be announced only by the Prime Minister’s Office and the opening ceremony of the capsule will only take place in Mahathir’s presence.
As the new year kicks off, perhaps Malaysians ought to be prepared for any surprises that may emerge from the opening of these time capsules. - FMT