MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



10 APRIL 2024

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Shouting match erupts in Parliament as NIISe, Muhyiddin's son-in-law brought up during debates


KUALA LUMPUR: A shouting match erupted in the Dewan Rakyat when the son-in-law of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and ongoing probe into the National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe) project were raised during debates.

The incident was sparked when Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) mentioned that there were recent newspaper reports claiming that "Pagoh" (Muhyiddin's parliamentary constituency) had awarded the NIISe contract to his son-in-law.

Opposition chief Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (PN-Larut) challenged Khoo to repeat his allegations outside if was brave enough to do so.

Also coming to Muhyiddin's defence was Datuk Awang Hashim (PN-Pendang) who requested Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Alice Lau to order Khoo to retract his statement which was a direct reference made against an MP with ill intentions.

As the House descended into yet another shouting match, Muhyiddin stood up and denied the allegations made by Khoo.

"I have been calmly sitting here listening to the allegations by Kota Melaka.

"I had previously clarified after the issue was raised by the MPs from Jelutong and Ipoh Barat saying that my son-in-law Muhamad Adlan Berhan was awarded the NIISe integrated immigration system when Larut (Hamzah) was the Home Minister.

"These are false allegations to tarnish my reputation and that of my family.

"This is a serious matter," Muhyiddin said as he challenged Khoo to repeat his allegations outside the Dewan Rakyat.

Muhyiddin questioned Khoo for making assumptions based on news reports which he claimed were "fake news".

He said that his son-in-law has since lodged a police report on the allegations made against him.

Lau stepped in to cool things down by asking Khoo to show the newspaper reports which he was referring to.

Several Opposition MPs could be heard calling on Lau to make a ruling and order Khoo to retract his statement.

Khoo later complied with Lau's request but took another jibe on the NIISe issue.

“I will retract my remarks and now I will rephrase my sentence, that everyone can read this from the newspaper, which mentioned that a son-in-law to someone has obtained the NIISe project.

“We know who that person is. Otherwise, those (the Opposition) on the other side wouldn’t have interrupted us,” Khoo said cheekily before resuming his debate.

On Feb 8, it was reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was probing a former prime minister and his son-in-law in relation to a government contract believed to be linked to the NIISe.

On Feb 17, Muhyiddin, who is Perikatan Nasional chairman, was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over claims that a government contract worth over a billion ringgit was handed to his relative. - Star

Continuous heavy rain warning in several states until March 2, says MetMalaysia

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has issued a danger-level continuous torrential rain warning for Kluang, Mersing, Kota Tinggi and Johor Baru in Johor until Thursday (March 2).

MetMalaysia, in a statement at 1pm Tuesday (Feb 28), said that severe-level continuous heavy rain is also expected to hit Pekan and Rompin in Pahang, as well as Tangkak, Segamat, Muar, Batu Pahat and Pontian in Johor.

Meanwhile, the areas expected to experience alert-level continuous rain until Wednesday (March 1) are Manjung, Kinta, Perak Tengah, Kampar, Bagan Datuk, Hilir Perak, Batang Padang and Muallim in Perak, and Cameron Highlands, Lipis, Raub, Jerantut, Bentong, Temerloh, Maran, Kuantan and Bera in Pahang.

Similar weather is also expected to occur in Sarawak, covering Kuching, Serian, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah and Bintulu (Tatau and Bintulu), as well as all areas of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Terengganu. - Bernama

Scheme to boost B40 income better than cash handouts, says Rafizi


Economy minister Rafizi Ramli said there were many problems with past cash aid programmes which did not help the hardcore poor and B40. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Economy minister Rafizi Ramli has defended the recently launched People’s Income Initiative (IPR), saying cash handouts had not benefited the hardcore poor and B40 group in the past.

Rafizi said the government’s programmes to alleviate poverty over the past three to four decades were simply cash aid, with applicants not being asked about their needs and their plans to generate or improve their income.

“What if they say they don’t want to do anything? Then you are in a bind because it could mean you have to keep giving them cash for an unspecified time,” he told reporters after a forum here.

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Rafizi added that cash handouts placed the entire risk of planning and generating income on the hardcore poor though they were not equipped with the necessary knowledge and resources to run a business.

“That’s why we do it by ‘templates’. You have to slot them into a ‘template’. There is a higher chance for success when there is an ecosystem that helps them,” he said in response to criticism of the IPR.

The RM750 million IPR programme involves three initiatives – Inisiatif Usahawan Tani (Intan), Inisiatif Usahawan Makanan (Insan) and Inisiatif Operator Perkhidmatan (Ikhsan).

The programme aims to leverage on the public and private sectors as well as the community to spur economic growth at the grassroots level to address poverty and inequality in the country.

Intan will see Putrajaya opening up 800 acres (324ha) of federal government land for the people to participate in agricultural activities.

Insan involves selling ready-made food prepared by participants for as low as RM2 through vending machines, while Ikhsan will see people skilled in maintenance and service recruited for the public sector.

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An estimated 150,000 people are expected to benefit from the initiatives to boost their income.- FMT

Exempt tourists from luxury goods tax, govt told


Under the recently tabled national budget, Putrajaya is planning to introduce a luxury goods tax this year for luxury watches and fashion items.

KUALA LUMPUR: A government MP has called on Putrajaya to exempt tourists from paying the tax on luxury goods, warning it could make the country less appealing to travellers, especially those from China.

Yeo Bee Yin (PH – Puchong) said it would be better for the government to allow tourists to get a value-added tax (VAT) refund, a system practised in Singapore, Australia, Canada, European Union countries, South Korea and Japan.

Under the recently tabled national budget, Putrajaya is planning to introduce a luxury goods tax this year for luxury watches and fashion items.

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The Puchong MP also pushed for the government to table the climate change bill this year, saying it was not impossible to do so.

The former energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister was responding to a statement by the current minister, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who had said it would take two to three years to draft the document as he did not want a “toothless bill”.

Yeo said if Putrajaya felt that climate change was a serious and urgent issue, “then the government needs to act at a similar (pace)”.

“Therefore, I propose that the government draft and table the climate change bill this year. Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she said when debating the supply bill at the Dewan Rakyat.

On the issue of healthcare, Yeo suggested that Putrajaya take a more universal approach when it came to Hepatitis B screening of pregnant women to curb its spread from mother to child.

She also suggested that the government revive the human papillomavirus or HPV vaccination initiative and conduct “catch-up” programmes for those who had missed their vaccine shots.

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The programme was put on hold after schools were shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic, and funds diverted to the national vaccination programme, she said.

Quoting statistics from the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Yeo said more than 500,000 girls had missed their HPV vaccine shots and this could lead to more cervical cancer cases and related illnesses in coming years. - FMT

Implement reforms even if they don’t benefit ruling parties, govt told


Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said youths should not be discouraged if they were ridiculed for their political choices. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government needs to undertake reforms even if they do not bring a positive outcome for the ruling parties, Muda’s Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said.

The Muar MP cited the Undi18 initiative, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, as an example of such reforms.

Perikatan Nasional credited Undi18 for its unexpected success in the 15th general election where it won 74 parliamentary seats.

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And many, the former youth and sports minister said, have pointed out the irony.

“This is the problem when people look at reforms from just one political party’s perspective. It never crossed my mind that fighting for reforms is to help party A, B, or C win.

“They (reforms) are for all Malaysians,” Syed Saddiq said when debating the 2023 supply bill.

He also said youths should not be discouraged if they were ridiculed for their political choices or labelled as uneducated and brainwashed.

He said such labels were not levelled against them when they helped Pakatan Harapan win the 14th general election.

Earlier this month, Syed Saddiq said Pakatan Harapan and its allies in the unity government needed to show Malaysians they were serious about reforms promised in the run-up to the November general election.

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If the government were to backtrack and fail to deliver on their promises, they would lose the public’s support, he warned. - FMT

Anwar praises Hajiji’s prowess in surviving attempted coup


Anwar Ibrahim with Hajiji Noor (left) at a dinner with Sabah’s Cabinet members. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has praised Hajiji Noor’s political astuteness which has helped the Sabah chief minister remain in power despite an attempt to oust him in January.

Anwar said he was impressed with Hajiji’s ability to stabilise the political landscape in the state, the Malay Mail reported.

“Hajiji, even though he is known to be mild-mannered, has used some ‘silat’ moves and stayed in power, and even has a majority now,” Anwar was quoted as saying.

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The prime minister was addressing the Sabah civil service in Kota Kinabalu during his first official visit to the state.

Sabah Barisan Nasional chief Bung Moktar Radin had earlier this year attempted to oust Hajiji from office by announcing that the coalition was withdrawing its support for the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) chairman.

However, Bung’s attempt, which was supported by Warisan, Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat, and an independent assemblyman, failed after Hajiji proved he had the support of the majority of the assemblymen in the state.

Barisan Nasional is part of Anwar’s unity government, which also comprises Gabungan Parti Sarawak and GRS.

Asked if he would want a similar unity government in Sabah, Anwar said it was up to the state government.

“Our position is that we invite everyone. But based on the state’s peculiar experience, I leave it to Sabah to decide.” - FMT

Tok Mat remains Rembau chief, Isa’s son eyes Supreme Council seat


Mohamad Hasan will remain as the party’s number two after Umno agreed to bar a contest for the presidency and deputy presidency.

PETALING JAYA: Mohamad Hasan was returned unopposed as the Rembau Umno division chief after nominations in the party polls closed two days ago.

Apart from Mohamad, others who retained their posts include Jelebu Umno chief Jalaluddin Alias, Tampin Umno chief Isam Isa and deputy division chief Abd Razak Ab Said, according to the New Straits Times.

Apart from being returned as the Rembau division chief, Mohamad – better known as Tok Mat – will also remain as the party’s number two after Umno agreed to bar a contest for the presidency and deputy presidency.

However, there are contests for other posts.

Negeri Sembilan Umno secretary Mustafa Salim said Ismail Lasim was up against his Kuala Pilah vice-chief, Khairolnezam Shaari, for the top post in the division.

“The race for the Port Dickson Umno division chairman’s post will see a contest between division chief Faizal Ramli and Bagan Pinang assemblyman Tun Hairudin Abu Bakar,” he was quoted as saying.

Mustafa said there would be a three-cornered fight for the post of Rasah Umno chief, with incumbent Hasim Rusdi taking on Helmi Din and Hamizam Abd Razak.

Negeri Sembilan Umno information chief Mustapha Nagoor will be involved in a straight fight for the post of Seremban Umno chief with the division’s vice-chief Mazalan Ma’arof.

Meanwhile, the eldest son of former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad, Najib, is eyeing a spot on the 25-member Umno Supreme Council.

Umno’s elections are being conducted in stages from this month and will conclude on March 18. - FMT

Prosecutors probe PSG’s Hakimi over rape allegation


Morocco star Achraf Hakimi is accused of raping a woman at his home. (AP pic)

PARIS: French prosecutors have opened an investigation following a rape allegation against PSG player and Morocco team star Achraf Hakimi, a source close to the investigation said, confirming reports in several French media outlets including Le Parisien.

The source said the investigation had been opened by the prosecutor’s office of Nanterre, near Paris.

The Nanterre prosecutor’s office said it did “not want to communicate on this ongoing investigation”.

Neither PSG nor Hakimi could immediately be reached for comment.

Le Parisien, which first revealed the investigation, said a 24-year-old woman went to police on Sunday to say she had been raped by Hakimi at his home near Paris on Saturday.

Le Parisien said the young woman did not file a formal complaint but that the prosecutor’s office decides to investigate. - FMT

Egg importer issues Wee letter of demand over ‘misleading’ remarks


At the Dewan Rakyat last week, Wee Ka Siong produced an egg imported from India, a locally produced egg, and an omega egg to compare their sizes and prices.

PETALING JAYA: An egg importer has issued Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong a letter of demand after claiming the MCA president had produced “misleading, misinformed and mischievous” statements on imported eggs from India.

In the letter of demand posted on Wee’s Facebook page, lawyer S Ravichandaran said his client, J&E Advance Tech Sdn Bhd, faced losses and a tarnished reputation as a result of the MP’s “unwarranted statements”.

Wee, who has frequently raised the issue of egg supply in the country, last week produced an egg imported from India, a locally produced egg, and an omega egg to compare their sizes and prices in the Dewan Rakyat.

Ravichandaran claimed that Wee used his parliamentary privilege to state that it took four to five weeks to import eggs via sea passage and claimed that imported eggs appeared to be smaller and of lower quality.

“Viewed in totality, your statement to Parliament, the media, and on social media platforms appear to be motivated by the sheer design to champion and/or advance the interest of poultry farmers in your constituency without regard to the poultry farmers in other parts of the country,” said Ravichandaran in the letter dated Feb 23.

“We are further instructed to demand … that a statement reflecting the true and accurate prevailing conditions as to the current market conditions which necessitate the import of eggs and the actual retail price of imported eggs is disseminated by you as a responsible elected parliamentarian.”

In response, Wee said that he “vehemently denies” making any mischievous or unwanted allegations on the matter, adding that the shortage of eggs was an issue of national interest and affected poultry farmers in Malaysia.

“Further, I have no knowledge of your client’s interest at all, and my statement is made against the decision of the (agriculture and food security) ministry to import eggs in order to solve the issue of a shortage of eggs in Malaysia,” said Wee in his reply, which was also posted on his Facebook page.

“If your client has other information in relation to the benefits of importation of eggs from India, your client is welcome to provide that information to me. I shall act on it as a responsible parliamentarian.”

Agriculture and food security minister Mohamad Sabu previously told the Dewan Rakyat that the move to import eggs from India was a temporary measure to meet demand. - FMT