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Sunday, June 30, 2019

RUMAH TERBUKA AIDILFITRI KEADILAN DI PERMATANG PAUH HARI INI

Rumah Terbuka Aidilfitri anjuran KEADILAN Pulau Pinang dan Pusat Khidmat Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh di Dataran Rakyat Guar Perahu, Permatang Pauh hari ini (30 June 2019).

Imej mungkin mengandungi: satu atau lebih orang dan orang ramai
Imej mungkin mengandungi: 4 orang, orang berdiri
Imej mungkin mengandungi: 1 orang, berdiri
Imej mungkin mengandungi: satu atau lebih orang dan orang ramai

Kula: Suggestion to bring in African workers for plantation sector dropped


PETALING JAYA: Plantation owners will be informed that the suggestion to bring in Africans to work in the sector would be dropped, says M. Kulasegaran.
The Human Resources Minister explained that his earlier statement about taking workers from Africa for the plantation sector was taken out of context and misconstrued.
"A remark I made in Cameron Highlands yesterday (June 29) that Malaysia may take in workers from Africa to fill gaps in manpower in our plantation sector has been read out of context.
"The issue arose when farmers in Cameron Highlands, in a meeting with me, complained that they were in dire need of foreign workers," he said in a statement on Sunday (June 30).

Kulasegaran said he had told them that he was informed by plantation owners that workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam were no longer keen on working in oil palm estates.

Instead, he said they preferred to work in the sometimes dangerous and difficult occupations unlike their Malaysian counterparts.
He added that bearing in mind that oil palm fruits must be harvested within 21 days of their fruiting or else they become unsuitable for processing, there is, according to plantation owners, an oversupply of fruit in estates because of lack of labour to harvest them.
"It is said the plantation industries are losing some RM10bil a year for the unharvested fruits due to shortage of workers.
"Plantation owners incur huge losses and the country loses out in gaining foreign exchange," he said.
He added plantation owners suggested that to meet the shortfall in labour, the government consider employing workers from Africa, particularly from countries in which Malaysia is heavily invested in the oil and gas sector, as well as in plantation agriculture.
Kulasegaran said that the suggestion seemed understandable, given the reasons for the labour shortfall in estates in Malaysia and that the country is invested considerably in Africa.
"It was in this context that at the town hall session, I floated the idea that the government may have to look to Africa to shore up the labour shortfall in plantation agriculture in Malaysia.
"Also there is a need to get Cabinet approval to this suggestion which has not taken place," he said.
Kulasegaran added that as the Prime Minister has said there is no necessity to bring in workers from Africa, he would inform plantation owners the whole suggestion would be dropped.- Star

Environmental activist's house splashed with red paint


BANTING: Environmental activist Pua Lay Peng is concerned about her family's safety after her house was splashed with red paint on Wednesday (June 26).  
Pua, who was not home at the time, said her sister witnessed the incident.  
"My sister informed me that a blue car with tinted windows was parked outside the house for about 15 minutes.  
"A man in his 20s came out of the car, walked towards the house and splashed red paint at the front door.
"There was another man waiting inside the car and they left soon after," she added.  
The incident happened at 10.30am. She said her sister lodged a police report.  
Pua, who has been speaking out against illegal factories in Banting and Jenjarom, suspects her activism had rubbed some parties the wrong way.  
She declined to comment further, saying that police investigation is underway.  
However, Pua believed that she was the target and not her sister.  
"I worry about my children and hope the police can catch the culprits and bring them to justice soon," she said on Sunday (June 30).  
Pua added that the incident should be a wake-up call to the authorities about the safety of environmental activists.  
"The rakyat feels hopeless because there is pollution everywhere and not much is being done to hold the parties responsible.  
"Meanwhile, the ones doing their part are being harassed in an attempt to silence them," she said.- Star

INDEED, WHEN THE PM DEFENDS A MINISTER’S FAKE DEGREE, WHAT’S THE USE OF LOCAL VARSITIES MEETING THEIR KPIs: ‘NO NEED LAH TO GET PhD. ANYONE WITH A SENSE OF PRIDE WON’T STEAL SOMEBODY’S WORK’ – RAFIDAH FLAYS LECTURERS FOR ‘STEALING’ STUDENTS’ RESEARCH

KUALA LUMPUR — Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz today indicated it would be better to miss key performance indicators (KPIs) or targets set for university teaching staff, than to forcibly ride on their post-graduate students’ work without contribution.
Rafidah, who had lectured in Universiti Malaya in the past, expressed disagreement with the alleged dishonest practice.
When highlighted by a member of the audience to her that local universities’ lecturers and professors were allegedly resorting to exploiting their post-graduate students’ work due to the high KPIs that they have to meet, Rafidah said this should not be the case.
“I agree with you to some extent, but anybody with a sense of pride and self-respect will not resort to this.
“I rather not meet my KPI to be dean or whatever if it means I have to go and steal somebody’s work.
“No need lah, no need to get PhD. If you are good, you are good. You can have 10 PhDs in front of your name, if you are lousy, doesn’t mean a thing. That’s my principle in life,” the former minister of close to 21 years told a public forum.
She gave the comment during a question-and-answer session in the forum.
Earlier in the session where questions were posed to Rafidah, Singapore-based Malaysian academic Syed Farid Alatas who was attending the forum had also raised the same topic of the alleged “widespread dishonesty” in many universities in Malaysia.
“Malaysians have heard of plagiarism, that’s only part of the problem.
“Do you also know that graduate students (PhD) in most universities are forced to co-author their publications together with their professors and supervisors, even with the professors not doing the work?
“So the name of the professor goes on the paper without the professor or supervisor having done anything,” he said.
He said this unethical practice which was “dishonest, demeaning, insulting” is going on in many universities.
“I don’t know whether the ministry realises, word is getting around. Foreign students who are subject to this, who come here, are telling their friends and peers, ‘don’t go to Malaysia, because to have to do this’,” he added.
This issue was one of three issues which Syed Farid cited as examples of easy problems which the Education Ministry could easily take action on and resolve.
Rafidah was speaking at a forum titled “The Current State of Malaysia’s Education System and the Way Forward”, which was jointly organised by Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK) and Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) and held at Universiti Malaya’s law faculty.
MALAY MAIL

Pasir Gudang: Susahkan rakyat, Najib desak Zuraida, Bee Yin letak jawatan

Dalam kejadian pagi tadi, 130 pelajar didapati mengalami gejala sesak nafas dan mual selepas sekolah dibuka semula, tetapi selepas saringan, 30 orang, termasuk 3 orang guru dirujuk ke Klinik Kesihatan Masai dan Pasir Gudang. (Gambar Bernama)
PETALING JAYA: Dalam satu kenyataan keras hari ini, bekas perdana menteri Najib Razak menggesa menteri yang bertanggungjawab dalam insiden pencemaran udara di Pasir Gudang meletakkan jawatan.
Najib berkata, menteri bertanggungjawab dalam insiden berkenaan adalah Menteri Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan (KPKT), Zuraida Kamaruddin dan Menteri Tenaga, Sains, Teknologi, Alam Sekitar dan Perubahan Iklim, Yeo Bee Yin.
“Menteri KPKT dan menteri alam sekitar Pakatan Harapan (PH) yang pernah memberi jaminan bahawa Pasir Gudang sudah selamat patut bertanggung jawab. Letaklah jawatan. Jangan menyusahkan rakyat lagi,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan di Facebook.
Terdahulu, gangguan kesihatan berupa sesak nafas dan muntah-muntah kembali menghantui beberapa sekolah di kawasan Pasir Gudang, beberapa jam selepas sesi persekolahan bermula setelah semua sekolah di situ diarahkan tutup Selasa lepas.
Antara sekolah terjejas ialah Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Tanjung Puteri Resort, SMK Seri Alam Dua, SK Taman Pasir Putih, SK Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Ladang Sungai Plentong, SMK Taman Nusa Damai dan SK Taman Cendana.
Sekurang-kurangnya 3 ambulans Angkatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia (APM) dan Hospital Sultan Ismail dikejarkan ke sekolah berkenaan dipercayai untuk membawa keluar pelajar terbabit.
Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kesihatan, Kebudayaan dan Warisan Johor, Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar dilaporkan berkata, pada awalnya 130 pelajar didapati mengalami gangguan kesihatan berkenaan, tetapi selepas saringan hanya 30 orang, termasuk 3 orang guru dirujuk ke Klinik Kesihatan Masai dan Pasir Gudang.
Jelas Najib, sepanjang 9 tahun beliau menjawat tugas sebagai perdana menteri, insiden melibatkan pencemaran udara tidak pernah berlaku walau sekalipun.
Sebaliknya kata beliau, sejak PH menawan Putrajaya dan mengambil alih pentabiran negara, insiden seperti ini sudah 3 kali berlaku, membuktikan pemimpin PH melakukan kerja secara sambil lewa hingga menggadaikan nyawa pelajar.
Najib berkata, kerajaan PH sebelum ini memberi jaminan bahawa pencemaran udara yang berlaku di kawasan Pasir Gudang sudah 100% dibersihkan, namun hari ini perkara sebaliknya berlaku kepada rakyat.
“Murid-murid sekolah terdedah lagi kepada gas toksik sehingga memerlukan rawatan kecemasan. Sekali lagi, ratusan sekolah diarahkan untuk tutup.
“Hari ini pula, baru 2 jam sekolah dibuka semula sudah lebih 130 murid dan guru yang sesak nafas dan perlukan rawatan kecemasan.
“Ada yang pengsan di depan mata wartawan yang membuat liputan pembukaan semula sekolah. Apa punya ‘bangang’ kerajaan PH ini?” katanya. - FMT

Armed Forces co-op announces 10% dividend

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu at the opening of the Armed Forces Cooperative’s annual general meeting at the Sungai Buloh army camp. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: The Armed Forces Cooperative today announced a 10% dividend, amounting RM145 million, for its 154,620 contributors.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said the dividend payout is based on the cooperative’s pre-tax profit and zakat of RM184.33 million from a net income of RM313.5 million recorded in the 2018 financial year.
He said the cooperative had an excellent and consistent record of paying dividends, including last year’s positive financial performance, while also noting the RM13.6 million in profits from members’ deposits.
“Despite the country’s economic health not at its very best, the cooperative still managed strong returns,” he told reporters after officiating the opening of the cooperative’s annual general meeting at the Sungai Buloh army camp here today.
Present were cooperative chairman Zulkiflee Mazlan, Royal Malaysian Navy chief Mohd Reza Mohd Sany and Royal Malaysian Air Force chief Affendi Buang.
At the same event, the cooperative announced an online service to serve its members better.
Known as “KT Online”, the service is part of the cooperative’s plans to incorporate digital services and products for its members and clients.
Zulkiflee later also handed over RM450,000 in business tithes from the cooperative to the Armed Forces Veterans Foundation zakat fund. - FMT

Poaching of Sabah wildlife on the rise, says conservation body

A bull elephant that was murdered by ivory poachers in central Sabah. (Sabah Wildlife Department pic)
KOTA KINABALU: A tropical biodiversity research outfit here says there has been an alarming increase in poaching and wildlife trafficking for the past few years in Sabah.
Danau Girang Field Centre director Dr Benoit Goossens said elephants, bantengs, sun bears, pangolins and sea turtles were those specially affected by the rise in poaching.
“In 2019 alone, Sabah lost more than 15 elephants to firearms and poisoning in forest reserve areas and plantations while close to RRM8 million worth of pangolin scales, elephant ivory and wildlife meat in Sepanggar and Tamparuli was also seized.
“And last year, three Bornean bantengs were shot in Paitan Forest Reserve on the same day,” Goossens said in a statement today.
He said the Sime Darby Foundation had allocated RM4 million to the state forestry department to increase the capacity of its “Protect Team”, targeting the eradication of poaching and wildlife trafficking in Sabah.
A poacher sitting on a banteng bull he just shot in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. (Danau Girang Field Centre pic)
Chief Conservator of Forests, Mashor Mohd Jaini, said Sime Darby’s support would “put more boots on the ground” and provide for equipment purchases and the cost of training the rangers.
He added that the Protect Team was formed in 2016 with the support of WWF-Malaysia to monitor two million hectares of totally protected and conservation areas, mainly focusing on illegal forestry activities and forest reserves’ encroachment.
“It also carries out anti-poaching patrols in forest reserves and road blocks at strategic locations. But 24 rangers to cover such an area are not enough. Therefore, the support from the foundation is crucial to allow us to increase our presence in the field and combat wildlife poaching and trafficking,” Mashor said.
Sime Darby Foundation council member Caroline Russell said SDF was also working with the Perak State Park Corporation for the protection of the Royal Belum State Park in Perak by supporting two teams of rangers and Orang Asal as boots on the ground to patrol the state park,” she said.
She added they wanted to avoid a recurrence of the Sumatran rhinos situation whereby the animal is now on the brink of extinction.
“We hope that the communities surrounding our forests will also be our eyes and ears in combatting this criminal act (poaching and trafficking),” Russell said. - FMT

Don’t give in to plantation owners, PSM urges Kula

PSM urges human resources ministry not to dance to tune of plantation owners intent on using cheap labour.
PETALING JAYA: PSM Central Committee member S Arutchelvam has deplored the racial slurs against Africans following a government proposal to bring them into the country to work in plantations.
“PSM rejects such racism against workers from African nations,” he said.
Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran said on Friday that he had discussed this matter with the ambassadors of African nations recently and was waiting for feedback.
He said foreign workers from Vietnam and Indonesia were no longer interested in working here as the salary received was not too different from their countries of origin.
Arutchelvam said Kula, despite coming from a plantation worker background, was listening too much to the demands of plantation owners clamouring for cheap labour.
“PSM is appalled by the minister’s statement because it encourages and endorses a cheap labour policy as the decision will only benefit the plantation owners, rather than the plantation workers.”
S Arutchelvam.
He said on June 16, PSM’s Plantation Workers Support Committee (JSML) held a meeting in Kerling, Selangor, attended by 80 plantation workers from around 40 estates in Malaysia.
“One of their main demands was that wages are low and that the minimum wage of RM1,100 is not enough. They collectively argued for a minimum wage of RM1,500 now.
“They also criticised the National Union of Plantation Workers for not raising wages in their collective agreement and falling back on the national minimum wage.”
Arutchelvam said Kula himself, in his statement, admitted the fact that even the Vietnam and Indonesia workers felt the salary received here is not too different from what they would get in their own country of origin.
“Now, by bringing in foreign workers from Africa, the only motive can be to pay these workers a lower salary.
“Bringing in foreign workers and paying them cheap labour will only frustrate efforts to raise wages of the plantation workers currently working in Malaysia.
“This move will undermine and manipulate wage increases, through the demand and supply mechanism.
“It will also undermine union efforts to raise the wages of these plantation workers.”
Arutchelvam called on the minister to safeguard the interests of the majority working class in the country and “not dance to the tune of the plantation owners”.
He said these owners want to continue perpetuating cheap labour, rather than paying workers decent living wages. - FMT

Save Malaysia Airlines by chopping ‘Little Napoleons’, says Nufam

The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia says AirAsia will sink fast in no time if it takes over MAS. (Reuters pic)
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Berhad can do well without the “Little Napoleons” who are running behind the scenes, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) said today, calling for a cleanup “from the top”.
The union also rejected a suggestion that low-cost carrier AirAsia should take over MAS. Nufam said AirAsia would sink fast if it took over the national airline.
In a statement today, Nufam said the government must first know who these “Little Napoleons” are and also ascertain who was behind the failure of Malaysia Airlines.
“If the government is going to pump in more money to rescue Malaysia Airlines, we suggest that there be a total clean-up from the top first. We hope the government won’t make the same mistake it made in 2015 when 6,000 staff were terminated for nothing.”
The future of Malaysia Airlines hangs in the balance after Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said recently that Malaysia is willing to sell the national carrier if there is a good offer.
However, various people objected to shutting down the airline. Among those against it were former prime minister Najib Razak and Malaysia Airlines chief executive Captain Izham Ismail.
This morning, influential blogger A Kadir Jasin suggested that AirAsia Group could save Malaysia Airlines from “dying” as the group had long-haul experience through AirAsia X Bhd.
Kadir noted that AirAsia had “married” Malaysia Airlines before, in a short lived share swap agreement in 2011 that fell through eight months later. He said the share swap deal was not well thought-out and faced a lot of resistance from the public. The situation has now changed, he added.
Nufam said AirAsia was strong in providing low-cost services, with passengers paying for every little comfort while full-service Malaysia Airlines’ cost of the ticket covers everything needed on the flight, from food to blankets.
“You simply can’t compare a durian with mangosteens; it’s totally not the same at all.”
Nufam disagreed that AirAsia was the best party to save Malaysia Airlines. “AirAsia will even sink faster than Malaysia Airlines since it will not enjoy a government bailout.
AirAsia is only the world’s best at its own level, competing with low-cost airlines, Nufam said. “Malaysia Airlines should be competing with Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways or perhaps the Emirates, not with AirAsia or any low-cost airline.”
AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes could play an adviser’s role to help rescue Malaysia Airlines, the union said.
Nufam said if the government wants to save the airline, it must start listening to the grassroots and those who know the airline well. The problem is the government seems to show they “don’t have any clue on how to run the national airline”.
Nufam reminded the government that the union sounded early warnings to the government and Khazanah Nasional over its 12-point five-year Malaysia Airlines Recovery Plan (MRP). Nufam hoped the airline will cease its spending, like buying more planes, for now. - FMT

Repairs completed, traffic on Jalan Batu Ferringhi returns to normal

Workers preparing to remove barriers placed along Jalan Batu Ferringhi today. (PWD pic)
GEORGE TOWN: Busy Jalan Batu Ferringhi, used to go to beaches and holiday resorts, is fully open now to traffic.
This follows speedy remedial work undertaken by the Public Works Department (PWD) over the past five days following a landslide on a road shoulder that closed half the road.
A 50m section of the George Town-bound road was closed since Tuesday night after the landslide that took the lives of four Myanmar workers.
Earlier, it was anticipated that PWD would take a month to finish the work.
The partial road closure had caused a massive traffic jam.
Today, state Public Works Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the PWD had completed work at the affected area by doing sheet piling to shore up the road.
He said the work was completed by 10.30 last night. However, planned extensive repair works have yet to be completed.
The landslide occurred after the workers were engaged by a resort to strengthen a slope next to the road.
Penang Island City Council city engineer Rajendran P Anthony said the resort landowner had now appointed a geotechnical engineer to advise them on what repairs could be carried out on their site.
“We have also received feedback from the Institution of Engineers Malaysia on this matter and we are keeping a close watch on all things here.”
The four Myanmar workers buried alive in the landslide were identified later as Mg Seng Pya, 38, Nai Cho Inn, 49, Mg Htwe, 38 and Aung Tung Aye, 49.
The council said the landowner had carried out the earthworks illegally. - FMT

MACC Should Reveal Its Tunnel Scandal Probe – MIC



PENANG MIC has demanded the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to publicly reveal its investigation’s findings on the multibillion Penang Tunnel Mega Scandal.
Chairman Datuk M. Nyanasegaran said MACC cannot just drag its feet and play a delay tactic to sweep the scandal under carpet like the Bungalow-gate Scandal, thinking that the people would forget it.
“People are well informed about the scandal. They are waiting for MACC next action. People have the right to know on what happened to MACC investigation into the mega scandal,” said the MIC leader.
“MACC must be responsible and accountable over all its investigations. Malaysians want to know what’s the status of its investigation into the tunnel scandal.”
It had been several years since the tunnel scandal broke out, implicating former Penang Chief Minister and current Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, current Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, and former executive councillors, Lim Hock Seng and Malik Kasim.
But until today neither the MACC nor the Attorney-General Tommy Thomas had given a public statement on the status of the case even though many Malaysians have demanded to know about it.
Many have categorised the tunnel scandal as the biggest daylight robbery in the country since the multibillion forex scandal that happened nearly 3 decades ago.
Leaked MACC investigation papers on the tunnel scandal, published in an online media – Malaysia Today, a few months ago, exposed the scandal and the perpetrators behind it.
But MACC till to date has failed to provide any clarity on the authenticity of the leaked investigation papers.
The leaked MACC investigation papers were mainly recorded statements by the tunnel project main contractor, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd’s managing director, Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli.
According to the leaked papers, Zarul paid a bribe of RM22 million to close the MACC investigation and to get the investigation file marked NFA (no further action).
And, this is a fact because the alleged ‘bribe agent’ G.Gnanaraja is now facing trial.
The Bungalow-gate Scandal involved Guan Eng, who had allegedly purchased a bungalow located in Jalan Pinhorn, George Town City, below the market price from a person who had business ties with his state government then.
AG Tommy however, withdrew the bungalow case, which was pending court hearing, almost immediately after he assumed office last year, hence a public storm over a possible cover up.
Nyanasegaran said since MACC under new chief Latheefa Koya had promised to investigate all cases and uphold the rule of law, it should walk its talk on the tunnel scandal.
“Malaysians want to know what happened to the MACC’s tunnel probe. Malaysians want to be sure that MACC under former PKR politician Latheefa Koya is pro-active, clean, impartial and independent,” he said.
“MACC must reveal its real findings over the tunnel scandal. There is now two ways about it, period.” – NTHQiBord, 30 Jun 2019. -nthqibord.com

Anwar annoyed by media reports focusing on transition of power



PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today expressed his annoyance over media reports constantly focusing on the transition of power between Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and himself.
He said the focus should now be on Pakatan Harapan's efforts to carry out the promises made to the people during the 14th general election.
According to the Port Dickson MP, there has been no contradictions or conflicts between himself and Mahathir over the issue which is often portrayed otherwise by external parties.
"For me, what is important is that Pakatan Harapan remains on its grounds in maintaining democracy, safeguarding the interests of the people, eliminating corruption, and avoiding abuse of power," he said in a speech at the opening of Wisma PKR Penang in Bayan Baru today.
He also urged all parties within Harapan to give Mahathir (below) space and time to restore the country's economy.
"My stand, and of PKR, remains firm to give (Mahathir) space to stabilise the country's economy, and there is no reason for me to dispute his sincerity," he said.
He added that he met Mahathir on almost a weekly basis, and there were no contradictions or clash of opinions between them.
Meanwhile, Anwar denied there were any rifts within Harapan as portrayed by the media recently.
He said he was puzzled as to where the reports were coming from, as he found no such problems during his meetings with the leadership line-ups in several states.
"There will definitely be some differences of opinion within the party, and sometimes, they forget that it is democratic and we must allow space for people to give their opinions and criticise, including criticisms towards myself.
"I do not deny there are differences (in thoughts), which must exist in any institution or democratic party, but that is not (meant) having rifts within the party," he said.
Bernama

Time to move from punitive to restorative justice system - minister



Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong said it was time for the country to consider a restorative over a punitive justice system.
Liew (above), who is in charge of law, said this after a gathering of lawmakers with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the law reform agenda this afternoon.
Liew said Mahathir, in his address, said the government must ensure that any law that is introduced or amended is just and upholds the rule of law on top of ensuring that the process is inclusive.
"There are many archaic and draconian laws that are no longer relevant in a New Malaysia which need to be reviewed.
"The law reform process must always consider all quarters including NGOs and minorities to ensure that they are inclusive, holistic and effective.
"Furthermore, leaders must consider global trends and perhaps it is time for the punitive nature of the justice system in Malaysia to shift towards a restorative one in the interest of social harmony," he said in a statement after the gathering. 
Recollecting Mahathir's advice, Liew said the government must ensure that proposed new laws must be to address real problems and backed by comprehensive data.
On Thursday, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad announced the government was moving towards decriminalising personal possession of drugs.
He added that this is not to be confused with legalising drugs as drug use remains an offence but the aim will now be to treat users as patients rather than criminals.  - Mkini

Manganese mine in Kuala Koh sealed: Kelantan MB



The Mineral and Geoscience Department (JMG) has sealed the manganese mine in Aring 11 Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, since June 11 after the mining activities there were found to have been carried out without its permission.
Kelantan Mentri Besar Ahmad Yakob (above) said although the mining licence was issued by the state government, permission had to be obtained from the JMG to carry out mining activities.
“The mining company has the mining licence issued by the state government, but not the permission from the JMG,” he told reporters when met at an event in Lembah Sireh.
Kelantan Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Husam Musa recently called for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate mining activities in Kuala Koh following a spate of deaths in an Orang Asli settlement in Gua Musang.
On the oil royalty claim, Ahmad said the state government had fulfilled the requirements set by the federal government, including withdrawing its legal suit on the matter.
“Right now, the state government is just awaiting feedback from the federal government,” he said, adding that it was hoped the federal government would expedite the oil royalty payment to Kelantan to enable the state government to use it to improve the socio-economic status of the people in the state.
Bernama

Umno MP: I'm willing to give my seat up to PAS



Umno lawmaker Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said today that he is prepared to give up his Baling seat to PAS for the sake of cooperation between the two opposition parties.
Azeez stressed that Muslim unity, particularly between Umno and PAS, is important for religion, race and country.
"The general election can be at any time. Perhaps three years from now, or even tomorrow, or a year from now. I am confident the people know who they will elect.
"If necessary, with regard to my seat, I am willing to sacrifice myself for the people," he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
Azeez said that the cooperation between Umno and PAS in Kedah can become an example.
"I see the cooperation between PAS and Umno with encouraging turnout every time there is a joint programme," he said.
Azeez won the Baling parliamentary seat with a 1,074-vote majority in the last general election.
He garnered 38,557 votes to PAS' 37,483 and Bersatu's 14,472.
 - Mkini

Be wary of Mahathir, Khairy warns Umno



Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin today warned his party members not to become complacent with Pakatan Harapan's declining popularity.
He said this is because Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was a skilled strategist who could turn the tables on Umno.
"Mahathir is a great statesman... Do not think that Mahathir is not adept at politics. He is a great strategist," Khairy said when officiating the Sungai Buloh Umno meeting in Shah Alam today.
As such, he said Umno must redouble its efforts to win over the people.
"Our concern is in the final years (before the next general election), they would release all the allocations they have been collecting – we will be finished.
"Harapan won't be popular forever, nor will Umno stay popular forever,' he said.
Khairy said Umno cannot hope to win based on disgruntlement against the Harapan government.
"I don't want Umno to win out of hate for Harapan. 
"Instead, Umno must put forward a new offer to the people," he said. - Mkini

Mat Hasan: Zahid's return will kill gossip pitting Umno leaders



Mohamad Hasan, who had been acting as Umno president while Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was on leave, said the Bagan Datuk MP's decision to resume his duties as the party's top leader will help to end gossip that seeks to split the Umno leadership.
"It's good that he has decided to return as there has been a lot of gossips and that is not good.
"Alhamdulillah that he wants to resume his duties. It will kill made-up gossips aimed at pitting our leaders," he told a press conference after officiating the Sepang Umno divisional meeting today.
Earlier today, Zahid announced that he was resuming duties as the Umno president after going on garden leave for six months.
Zahid went on leave in December last year amid pressure for him to step aside after opponents criticised him for allegedly failing to provide direction to the party.
His opponents from within Umno had criticised him for what they claimed was a lack of direction.
Zahid (photo) also presided over an exodus of lawmakers from the party, with threats of further defection if he did not step aside.
Throughout his time as acting Umno president, Mohamad had struck a diplomatic stance on Zahid but his supporters had been critical.
Last month, Tebrau Umno Maulizan Bujang said criticised talks about Zahid returning as the Umno president. 
"It is true some supporters have not returned to Umno as there are still those who think that Umno has not truly changed due to support for leaders who face various abuse of power and corruption charges.
"But with Zahid's teasing, which does not benefit the party, it is hard to create a perception that Umno has truly changed," he said. Zahid is currently facing 87 graft charges.
Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, just hours before Zahid announced his return, had pointed out that Mohamad's brief tenure as acting president saw the party winning three by-elections, namely in Cameron HighlandsSemenyih and Rantau.
A proposal to expel Umno members convicted of corruption and have exhausted all appeals had also created unhappiness, particularly among supporters of Zahid and former Umno president Najib Abdul Razak who is facing 42 graft-related charges.
Mohamad later said the move was aimed to improve the party and not an attempt to oust any leader.
However, he said the amendment was not necessary as the Registrar of Societies (ROS) already bars convicts from being office-bearers.  - Mkini