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Friday, December 31, 2021

Floods: 73 evacuated from six villages in Kota Marudu

 

KOTA KINABALU: A total of 73 people from six villages were evacuated in Kota Marudu as of 8pm Friday (Dec 31), according to the district disaster management secretariat.

More to come

-Star

King, Queen extend New Year’s Day greetings

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah have extended their 2022 New Year’s Day greetings and prayers for the wellbeing of the people and the country.

"May we be protected from all forms of calamities and be blessed with prosperity and everlasting unity and harmony,” Their Majesties said in a post on the Istana Negara’s official Facebook page Friday (Dec 31).

Unlike before, the eve of the New Year was filled with solat hajat and doa selamat programmes as a sign of respect and sympathy for the people affected by the recent massive floods.

It also followed the announcement made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to cancel the 2022 New Year celebration. - Bernama

Paras Sungai Tembeling naik, pelancong Taman Negara diminta keluar

 

Ketua Polis Daerah Jerantut, Mazlan Hassan berkata 45 pelancong tempatan yang berada di beberapa penginapan di kawasan itu telah mula keluar secara berperingkat sejak pagi tadi. (Gambar Twitter)

PETALING JAYA: Polis meminta semua pelancong yang berada di beberapa tempat penginapan di Taman Negara, Kuala Tahan, Jerantut diminta keluar susulan peningkatan paras Sungai Tembeling.

Ketua Polis Daerah Jerantut, Mazlan Hassan berkata, tindakan itu bagi mengelak mereka terkandas.

Katanya, seramai 45 pelancong tempatan yang berada di beberapa penginapan di kawasan itu telah mula keluar secara berperingkat sejak pagi tadi.

“Trend air Sungai Tembeling yang semakin meningkat bermula di Kampung Bantal, Hulu Tembeling petang semalam, pihaknya bimbang pelancong berkenaan akan terkandas buat tempoh yang lama jika laluan ke pekan Jerantut ditutup akibat banjir.

“Lokasi yang sering dinaiki air ialah Simpang Paya Garok, laluan berhampiran sawmill Jerantut Feri dan laluan Kampung Merting,” katanya menurut laporan Berita Harian.

Mazlan berkata, polis sudah memantau pergerakan pelancong terbabit keluar dengan bantuan pengusaha pusat penginapan masing-masing.

“Operasi mengeluarkan mereka berjalan lancar dan hingga petang ini semua pusat penginapan di Taman Negara termasuk di Kampung Kuala Tahan sudah tidak berpenghuni lagi,” katanya. - FMT

Banjir: Rumah dinaiki air, bomba bantu pindah jenazah warga emas

 

Anggota bomba membantu membawa jenazah ke tempat selamat untuk diuruskan sebelum dikebumikan di Tanah Perkuburan Islam Sungai Pas, Kuala Krai. (Gambar Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat)

PETALING JAYA: Penduduk terpaksa meminta bantuan pasukan bomba untuk membawa jenazah ke kawasan selamat berikutan jambatan di Kampung Sungai Pas, Mengkebang, Kuala Krai ditenggelami air, hari ini.

Ketua Balai Bomba dan Penyelamat (BBP) Kuala Krai, Muhammad Rizwan Ar-Rafee Parsimin berkata, pihaknya menerima panggilan bantuan itu pada 9.22 pagi.

Menurutnya, seramai tujuh anggota ditugaskan untuk menghantar pegawai perubatan Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah (PKD) ke rumah Allahyarham Samsuddin Omar, 63, yang meninggal dunia akibat sakit tua.

“Pasukan bomba membantu membawa pegawai PKD menyeberang jambatan yang sudah dilimpahi air ke rumah arwah dengan menaiki bot untuk mengambil sampel ujian Covid-19.

“Bagaimanapun selepas dua jam, keputusan Covid-19 arwah didapati negatif dan anggota bomba membantu keluarga lelaki itu untuk memindahkan jenazah ke masjid yang terletak di kawasan selamat,” katanya.

Katanya, jenazah kemudian dikebumikan di Tanah Perkuburan Islam Sungai Pas, di sini. - FMT

PM sertai program solat hajat, Munajat Perdana

 

Perdana Menteri, Ismail Sabri Yaakob menghadiri Program Solat Hajat dan Munajat Perdana bagi mendoakan kesejahteraan Malaysia sempena Tahun Baharu 2022 di Masjid Putrajaya, yang menggantikan sambutan sempena Tahun Baharu 2022.

PUTRAJAYA: Perdana Menteri, Ismail Sabri Yaakob menghadiri Program Solat Hajat dan Munajat Perdana bagi mendoakan kesejahteraan Malaysia sempena Tahun Baharu 2022 di Masjid Putrajaya, pada Jumaat.

Turut kelihatan hadir, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Hal Ehwal Agama) Senator Idris Ahmad dan beberapa menteri kabinet serta pegawai kerajaan tiba di pekarangan masjid itu kira-kira jam 7 malam tadi.

Program yang dihadiri kira-kira 1,000 jemaah dimulakan dengan sembahyang Maghrib diikuti solat hajat dan zikir munajat serta doa yang diketuai Imam Besar Masjid Putra, Ustaz Salahuddin Ghozali.

Sambutan Tahun Baharu 2022 dibatalkan dan digantikan dengan solat hajat serta doa selamat sebagai tanda menghormati serta bersimpati terhadap mangsa banjir yang melanda di beberapa negeri di Malaysia.

Sebelum ini, Ismail menerusi catatan di Facebook miliknya meminta Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Hal Ehwal Agama) Senator Idris Ahmad, Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia dan Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia supaya menganjurkan solat hajat berkenaan.

Perdana Menteri turut menyarankan masjid di seluruh negara terutamanya masjid negeri agar menganjurkan majlis sama manakala Keluarga Malaysia yang bukan beragama Islam boleh melakukan sembahyang mengikut kepercayaan dan agama masing-masing.

Beliau berharap segala usaha yang dilakukan akan mendapat keberkatan dan Malaysia akan menjadi lebih baik daripada tahun-tahun sebelum ini. - FMT

133 landslides recorded this monsoon season

 

The National Disaster Management Agency says 46 landslide locations nationwide are currently being repaired by the public works department. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven landslides were reported by the minerals and geoscience department today, bringing the total number of landslide incidents to 133 during the current northeast monsoon.

The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) said 55 landslides occurred in Selangor, followed by Pahang (42), Negeri Sembilan (17), Kuala Lumpur (8), Sarawak (6), Terengganu (3), and one each in Melaka and Sabah.

It also said the public works department’s (JKR) disaster operations room had reported landslide incidents at 52 locations, involving, among others, collapsed slopes and damaged or collapsed bridges.

“Forty-six landslide locations nationwide are currently being repaired by JKR during this monsoon season,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Nadma said that as of yesterday, the housing and local government ministry reported that the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation had completed 80.6% of clean-up work in flood-affected areas in five states.

Besides Kuala Lumpur, the states involved are Pahang, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor, with an estimate of over 7,280 tonnes of garbage disposed of. A total of 2,286 workers with 908 machines were involved in the cleaning work.

Meanwhile, following the continuous rain warning forecast until Jan 3, the Malaysian meteorological department (MetMalaysia), together with the irrigation and drainage department (DID), will provide early notifications that are updated from time to time, so that all disaster operations control centres will be ready.

“All state and district control centres are requested to be on alert for the warnings issued by MetMalaysia and DID, and to always be prepared for various possibilities including flash floods, especially in the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak,” it said. - FMT

‘Pentingkan keuntungan’ teruskan operasi, kilang kotak ingkar arahan tutup diserbu

 

Siasatan mendapati wakil syarikat memberikan alasan kilang tersebut terpaksa dibuka demi memenuhi permintaan pelanggan.

PETALING JAYA: Bukan saja ingkar arahan penutupan operasi, sebuah kilang kotak di Jasin, Melaka turut mengarahkan 112 pekerja yang merupakan kontak rapat 30 kes positif Covid-19 tetap datang bekerja.

Kilang tersebut sepatutnya memberhentikan operasi selepas Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri (JKN) Melaka mengeluarkan notis penutupan selama tujuh hari, susulan 30 daripada 170 pekerja yang disaring dikesan positif Covid-19, semalam.

Bagaimanapun, tindakan tidak bertanggungjawab itu terbongkar selepas premis berkenaan diserbu sepasukan penguat kuasa JKN bersama Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kesihatan dan Antidadah negeri, Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh.

Muhamad berkata, kilang kotak itu diarahkan tutup sehingga 5 Januari depan, namun pihaknya mendapat maklumat ia masih beroperasi.

Katanya, pihaknya juga mendapati syarikat tersebut meminta pekerja yang merupakan kontak rapat kes, bekerja pada hari ini, menurut laporan Utusan Online.

Berikutan itu, katanya syarikat tersebut dikenakan kompuan mengikut Akta Pencegahan dan Pengawalan Penyakit Berjangkit 1988 (Akta 342).

Beliau berkata, hasil soal siasat mendapati wakil syarikat memberikan alasan kilang tersebut terpaksa dibuka demi memenuhi permintaan pelanggan.

“Kita amat kecewa kerana pihak syarikat lebih mementingkan keuntungan berbanding keselamatan dan nyawa orang ramai.

“Mereka memberikan alasan meneruskan operasi untuk memastikan tempahan dapat disiapkan,” jelasnya.

Katanya lagi, kesemua 112 pekerja terbabit telah dipakaikan gelang kuarantin bagi mengawal pergerakan mereka. - FMT

After barring Israeli players, Malaysia risks losing out on hosting international sports meets

 


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has cautioned Malaysia that it may not be able to host future sporting competitions if it continues to bar athletes from entering the country based on their nationality.

This is according to Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Mohammad Nazifuddin Najib (above).

He reportedly told The Vibes yesterday that the IOC relayed this in a recent meeting with OCM in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“We are still waiting for the IOC to officially inform us about this, but we did discuss the matter during our recent meeting with the IOC in Dubai [...]

“They had asked us to discuss with the government and come up with a solution or risk not hosting any competitions.

“We have written to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to bring this up in Parliament as this is a serious matter and requires a pragmatic solution. We hope the ministry will lead the way,” Nazifuddin was quoted as saying.

This comes after Malaysia, as hosts of the World Team Squash Championship, recently denied Israeli athletes visas.

The World Squash Federation later called off the men’s squash tournament altogether, citing these visa issues and the Covid-19 Omicron variant as reasons.

The competition was set to take place in Kuala Lumpur from Dec 7 to Dec 12.

Malaysia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is not the first time Malaysia has been stripped of hosting rights over its move to bar Israeli athletes. Back in 2019, it was stripped of hosting rights for the World Para Swimming Championships after refusing to allow swimmers from Israel to compete.

Issue to be brought to cabinet

Aside from Nazifuddin, OCM president Mohamad Norza Zakaria similarly urged Putrajaya for a solution.

“We will engage with the (Youth and Sports) ministry to bring this up with the government for the best way forward because if we want to continue hosting international tournaments, these are the issues that basically would crop up.

“We take this issue seriously and will also tell the government to look at this immediately because the world sporting fraternity is actually waiting for some feedback from us,” he told a press conference on Dec 29.

In this vein, Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu reportedly told The Vibes that he would bring the issue up to the cabinet in their next meeting but did not stipulate when.

He also said that his ministry would put forward its opinion on the matter.

Warning from IOC

Earlier this month, Israeli news portal The Jerusalem Post said it obtained a letter from the IOC that urged international sporting federations to ensure athletes from all countries could compete and be treated equally without any political discrimination.

Written by IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell and Director of Olympic Solidarity James Macleod, it wanted sports federations to obtain “written assurances” from their governments and to ensure such assurances are implemented.

The letter reportedly cited Malaysia’s decision to refuse Israeli athletes entry to the World Team Squash Championship and Serbia’s move to ban the Kosovo team from competing in the AIBA World Boxing Championship as examples.

The IOC said it wanted to work with both countries to come up with a long-term solution “failing which such countries would, unfortunately, exclude themselves from the right to host international sports events until all the necessary assurances can be obtained and respected.”

This purported letter was not found on the IOC website at publication time. - Mkini

Key court judgments that made headlines in 2021

 Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad was one of the more prominent court cases of the year. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad was one of the more prominent court cases of the year. — Picture by Hari Anggara



KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Like so many other sectors this year, the pandemic impacted Malaysia’s justice system, disrupting hearings in both civil and criminal matters.

However, thanks to the judiciary’s embrace of a hybrid system that saw judges sit in courtrooms while lawyers and their clients made their cases remotely online, hearings were able to proceed to judgment in 2021.

Among them were several high profile criminal prosecutions and constitutional matters such as citizenship issues and the Undi18 vote that led to the government finally gazetting the move to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 – which means youths in that age group can take part in the 15th general election, widely anticipated to be held in 2022.

Here are 10 civil and criminal cases that caught the public eye where judgments were delivered in 2021, in chronological order:

1. Former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad’s corruption conviction

Mohd Isa was found guilty of nine corruption charges involving RM3 million by the High Court on February 3.

He had claimed trial to receiving the gratification from one Ikhwan Zaidel, a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd (GAPSB), through his former special political officer Muhammad Zahid Md Arip.

The gratification was for helping to approve the purchase of the Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak, by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) from GAPSB for RM160 million.

Outcome: Mohd Isa was sentenced to six years in jail and fined RM15.45 million.

2. Malaysiakini fined for contempt of court

For facilitating five readers’ remarks against the judiciary on the news portal’s website, Malaysiakini’s operator Mkini Dot Com Sdn Bhd was found guilty of contempt on February 19 and sentenced to a fine of RM500,000.

The decision was handed down by the Federal Court in a 6-1 decision.

In explaining the “not too lenient” fine, the judges said their decision was based on “public interest” and to discourage others from committing a similar offence.

The offensive comments that five Malaysiakini readers had made against the judiciary had included criticism against the courts over the acquittal of former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman of 46 corruption and money-laundering charges.

Outcome: RM500,000 fine for contempt of court. However, Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan was found not in contempt.

3. Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s RM2m graft case conviction acquittal

The Putrajaya MP was freed on July 16 from one count of receiving for himself a RM2 million bribe in his capacity as former Federal Territories minister.

He was previously sentenced to 12 months’ jail and a RM2 million fine by the High Court.

The Court of Appeal in a 2-1 majority decision held that the RM2 million cheque that Tengku Adnan received from businessman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong was a political donation to Umno.

Outcome: Tengku Adnan’s conviction and sentence of 12-month imprisonment and RM2 million fine quashed. Prosecutors later withdrew its appeal against his acquittal.

4. Implementation of Undi18

Considered one of the most significant decisions handed down by the judiciary in relation to a constitutional amendment, the High Court in Sarawak ruled on September 3 that the federal government and Election Commission (EC) must take steps to implement Undi18 by the end of 2021.

The court had ruled that the EC and federal government had acted “illegally” and “irrationally” when they decided to delay the Undi18 implementation – enabling Malaysians aged 18 onwards to vote in the next elections instead of waiting until they turn 21 – from the promised date of July 2021 to September 2022.

The proposed amendments had been approved at the second meeting of the second session of the 14th Parliament in July 2019.

The federal government later said that it will not be appealing the High Court’s decision.

Outcome: The EC and government’s decision to delay the implementation of Undi18 quashed. The government later gazetted the Bill on November 25 which took effect on December 15.

Despite the gazette, 18-year-old Sarawakians were unable to cast their votes in the state election on December 18.

Full implementation has been fixed for January 3, with the government explaining the gazettement was made so as to meet the deadline of December 31 as ordered by the High Court.

5. Malaysian mothers win right to apply for citizenship for their overseas-born children

On September 9, the High Court made a historic decision that recognised Malaysian women have an equal right to Malaysian men under the Federal Constitution to pass on citizenship automatically to their children born overseas.

The landmark judgment held that Malaysia’s citizenship laws in the Federal Constitution should not be interpreted in a way that discriminates against Malaysian women.

Later on December 22, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the Malaysian government’s application to stay or temporarily suspend issuance of citizenship – even before the appeal proper is heard in March 2022.

Outcome: Government must issue citizenship-related documents upon application to children born overseas to Malaysian mothers that were married to foreigners pending an appeal fixed for 2022.

6. Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan’s acquittal of money laundering charges

The Umno secretary-general was previously charged with failing to declare RM2 million which he had received from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and giving false statements to the Malaysian Anti -Corruption Commission (MACC).

The prosecution said it was withdrawing the two charges after Ahmad consented to and agreed to pay a compound of RM1.1 million, with the Umno leader later discharged by the High Court on September 29.

According to Ahmad’s law firm, the process of resolving the case included several representations sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers over a year’s period.

The MACC later stated that the RM1.1 million compound issued against Ahmad was a punitive act and a form of asset recovery under the country's anti-money laundering law.

Outcome: Ahmad acquitted of his charges. He will not be prosecuted again for the same offence.

7. The Marine cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain murder trial

Six former National Defence University of Malaysia students that caused the death of Zulfarhan in 2017 were convicted by the High Court but escaped the gallows following a protracted trial which lasted some three years.

All six were found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the November 2 decision.

The court had then said while the prosecution successfully proved that Zulfarhan was harmed by the six accused, it failed to prove their intention for murder.

Another 12, charged with voluntarily causing hurt to Zulfarhan to extort a confession from him over a laptop theft, were also found guilty by the court.

Outcome: All six were sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment from the date of their arrest. The other 12 accused were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each.

8. Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International conviction appeal

Possibly the most significant and highly anticipated verdict made this year was delivered via video-conferencing on December 8.

The Court of Appeal had in a unanimous decision affirmed Najib’s conviction and sentencing involving the misappropriation of RM42 million belonging to SRC International.

In their 317-page full judgment, the court ruled that Najib's conduct in relation to the SRC case could not be said to have served national interests as it had turned out to be a national embarrassment.

Najib was appealing the High Court’s decision from July 28, 2020, which found him guilty of all seven charges relating to SRC’s RM42 million.

However, he was granted a stay of execution despite his appeal failure. Najib has since filed an appeal at the Federal Court seeking to overturn the Court of Appeal’s unanimous ruling.

Outcome: Najib’s conviction and his 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine remain even though he is free to walk about pending the apex court’s hearing and disposal of his appeal.

9. Muda’s long journey for official recognition

The Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) won its lawsuit in the High Court, securing an order for the Home Ministry to register it as a political party within two weeks as ordered by the court on December 14.

The court victory was a hard-fought win for Muda, as this is the third lawsuit it had to file in order to be registered as a political party that lasted almost a year long.

The government did not appeal the High Court’s decision.

Outcome: Court ruled in Muda’s favour for it to be registered as a political party. The party was later officially registered on December 23.

10. Constitutionality of vernacular schools

Probably the final landmark decision before the year 2021 wrapped up, the High Court ruled that Malaysia’s vernacular schools were consistent with the Federal Constitution when it rejected a lawsuit seeking for the government to abolish education using Mandarin and Tamil.

Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung, the Islam Education Development Council, and the Confederation of Malaysian Writers Association initiated the lawsuit to push the government to prohibit vernacular schools.

Outcome: High Court affirms constitutionality of vernacular school, lawsuit seeking to declare said institutions unconstitutional dismissed. -  malaymail