Sunday, November 19, 2006

Continuing Fall In Corruption Index A "Wake-up Call," Says ACA D-G - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general wants the continuing fall in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Malaysia, should serve as a "wake-up call" in efforts to rid the nation of the corruption menace.

Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor said the public must realise that the fight against corruption was not the ACA's job merely but also the responsibility of the people from all strata of society.

Interviewed in the RTM's "Selamat Pagi Malaysia" talkshow programme Sunday, he said the slide to the 44th spot from 39th in the Transparency International's latest CPI rating might be due to its study covering more countries now -- 163 compared with 140 previously.

"Normally, the CPI study is only on the civil service and not the private sector. Nevertheless, the findings should be taken as a wake-up call in efforts by all parties to wage an all-out war to wipe out corruption totally," he said.

Zulkipli said the political will to curb corruption in Malaysia was at a "very good level" in the administration stage with the support of the various laws.

He said public awareness on corrupt practices was on the rise but this did not necessarily mean it would be translated into a more positive cooperation to check the menace.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Batal jambatan kekal -- Kerajaan tidak akan tarik balik keputusan Kabinet – PM - Utusan

Oleh Marhaini Kamaruddin dan Rohani Ibrahim

JOHOR BAHRU 14 Ogos – Muktamad. Keputusan pembatalan pembinaan Jambatan Indah menggantikan Tambak Johor adalah kekal dan tidak akan ditarik balik.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata, Kabinet telah membincangkan mengenai projek itu secara teliti dan telah membuat keputusan.

“Beliau (Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad) boleh kata apa sahaja yang beliau suka. Saya Perdana Menteri, saya yang memutuskan apa yang terbaik untuk rakyat,’’ katanya kepada pemberita selepas melancarkan MSC Malaysia Cyber Centre di sini, hari ini.

Dr. Mahathir, bekas perdana menteri yang sejak kebelakangan ini mengkritik hebat pentadbiran Abdullah, semalam berkata beliau hanya akan berhenti daripada mengkritik kerajaan sekiranya pembinaan Jambatan Indah diteruskan semula.

Malah difahamkan Badan Perhubungan UMNO Negeri Johor yang mengadakan pertemuan tertutup dengan Abdullah hari ini turut bersetuju untuk tidak lagi menimbulkan isu tersebut.

Namun ketika ditanya mengenai pendirian Dr. Mahathir untuk terus mempersoalkan kerajaan yang membatalkan projek itu, Abdullah tidak menghalang beliau daripada memberikan apa jua pandangan dan kritikan.

“Tidak apalah... beliau boleh bercakap apa sahaja.’’

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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Jasin MP Alleges 'Middlemen' In Customs Car Sale - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) -- Jasin Member of Parliament Datuk Mohd Said Yusof, who has been locked in a verbal duel with the Customs Department, today alleged "middlemen" were involved in the sale of cars confiscated by the department.

He said he got to know that an individual had made a police report and also took legal action to recover money given to a "middleman" to buy a confiscated car at a special price.

"The individual reported to the Subang police that he wanted to buy a BMW but was cheated. He gave the money to a middleman who claimed to have good connections with Customs officers but the middleman died and the individual is now suing the widow," he told reporters in Parliament House.

Mohd Said, a freight forwarder, created a controversy after a newspaper reported that he asked the Melaka Customs to "close one eye" over the import of a consignment of Indonesian timber that contravened regulations.

Subsequently, he alleged the Customs Department sold confiscated luxury cars at special prices to favoured people in high places.

Mohd Said also lashed out at the department for choosing to use the newspapers to reply to his complaint in the Dewan Rakyat that the luxury cars were sold without going through the tender process.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Mahathir denies he is gunning for PM - AFP

From correspondents in Kuala Lumpur

RETIRED Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad says he is not aiming to unseat his hand-picked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi despite a series of blistering attacks.

"I have no intentions of toppling Abdullah and I am not trying to make a political comeback," he was quoted today as saying by the Star newspaper.

"But something has gone very wrong, and I hope Abdullah will do something about it," he said.

Mr Mahathir last week stepped up his campaign against Mr Abdullah who was handed the top job three years ago, saying his successor had broken his promises and was damaging the country.

Mr Mahathir said he had a habit of "choosing the wrong people" and that he had been "stabbed in the back".

However, in a sign of the veteran leader's waning authority, political leaders have rallied behind Mr Abdullah to pledge their support and loyalty.

They have also criticised Mr Mahathir's comments as damaging and unfounded.

[More at,23599,19445196-1702,00.html]

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mohd Said Will Have To Appear Before Special Meeting - PM - Bernama

JOHOR BAHARU, May 11 (Bernama) -- Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof will have to appear before a special meeting to be attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Barisan Nasional Chief Whip.

Abdullah said he and Najib had agreed that Mohd Said be given the opportunity to "tell his side of the story" at the yet-to-be confirmed meeting.

"The meeting will hear directly from the Honourable MP (Mohd Said) himself on several matters. He will also be queried on some matters," he told a media conference after attending a musical teater entitled "Balada Sang Adi Putera" held in conjunction with the 60th Umno anniversary celebrations at the Johor Baharu Indoor Stadium here Thursday.

Abdullah said besides him and Najib, the meeting would also be attended by BN assistant whips.

Mohd Said is alleged to have asked the Melaka Customs Department to "close one eye" over an illegal import of sawn timber from Indonesia.

The consignment was seized because it had exceeded the limit allowed by the Malaysian Timber Council.

Mohd Said had earlier reiterated that he was merely discharging his duty as an MP to help a Bumiputera company. He had also denied that he had any interests in the firm.

[More at]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Jasin MP Says Sorry To PM - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 (Bernama) -- Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof, the man who allegedly asked Melaka Customs to "close one eye" in a case involving the illegal import of sawn timber from Indonesia, said Wednesday that he had apologised to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said he met the premier after a special briefing for Umno divisional leaders at Putra World Trade Centre, here Tuesday.

"I met him, clasped his hand and informed him that I apologise if I had done wrong," he told a news conference at Parliament lobby.

He, however, declined to reveal the reaction of Abdullah, who is also the Umno president.

The controversy was sparked off by a newspaper report that a MP attempted to interfere with the work of the Melaka Customs which seized a consignment of sawn timber that exceeded the 60-square-inch cross-section area limit permitted by the Malaysian Timber Council.

Mohd Said subsequently said he was the MP mentioned in the report.

The issue resulted in the resignation of Johor Baharu MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad after he supported an abortive opposition motion in the Dewan Rakyat that sought to refer the news report to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee.

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Monday, May 8, 2006

BN MPs Cannot Vote According To Their Conscience, Says Abdullah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stressed Monday that Barisan Nasional (BN) members of Parliament must toe the party line and are not free to vote according to their conscience in any motion moved in Parliament.

The prime minister said that every party member, including BN MPs, has to observe the discipline and must understand this.

"All party members have rules that they must understand and follow. There's discipline for each member... no relaxation or freedom is given for them to do as they like. That's the party rule," he told reporters here.

He was asked to comment on a statement by the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) Monday asking that BN MPs be given the freedom to vote according to their conscience on motions moved in Parliament.

The BNBBC, however, acknowledged the practice in the House of Commons in Britain where the party whip could compel the MPs to vote according to the party's decision in important issues like finance bills, vote of no confidence and second reading of important bills.

Earlier, Abdullah, who is also Umno president, chaired a four-hour Umno supreme council meeting at Menara Datuk Onn here.

Asked why the BN did not adopt the approach of some developed countries which give their party members freedom to decide on any motion tabled, he said the democracy practised by the BN had proven successful until now.

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Sunday, May 7, 2006

BN Principle Not To Support Opposition Motions Stays, Says Abdullah - Bernama

SEPANG, May 7 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional's (BN) principle not to support opposition motions in Parliament stays and should be followed, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Sunday.

"That is a party (BN) decision and right now we will keep to the decision. The principle of supporting the party's stand is a principle that must be followed," the prime minister said.

Abdullah, who is also the BN chairman, told reporters this at the KL International Airport (KLIA) upon his return from a 10-day trip to the Caribbean and the United States.

He also welcomed a suggestion to set up a select committee on guidelines on what MPs can and cannot do.

Abdullah was commenting on Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad's resignation as chairman of the Backbenchers Club (BBC) after the majority of the BN MPs refused to support his stand on an opposition motion to refer an MP to the Rights and Privileges Committee for interfering in the affairs of the customs department.

The motion was tabled by opposition leader Lim Kit Siang after a New Straits report, quoting sources, claimed that the MP had asked customs to "close an eye" to settle a case involving the seizure of sawn timber in Sungai Linggi, Melaka, recently.

[More at]

Friday, May 5, 2006

Najib Accepts Shahrir's Resignation As BNBBC Chairman - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, May 5 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Friday accepted the resignation of Johor Baharu MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad as chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC).

Shahrir said this to reporters after a 20-minute meeting with Najib, who is the BN Chief Whip in Parliament, at the latter's office.

He said Najib also accepted the reasons he gave for his resignation which took his colleagues in the Dewan Rakyat by surprise.

Shahrir announced his decision to quit yesterday immediately after failing to get BN MPs to support a motion in the Dewan Rakyat.

The motion was tabled by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang of the DAP seeking to refer a news report published by the New Straits Times which implicated an unnamed MP to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee.

Shahrir supported the motion but most of the BN MPs voted to reject it.

Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof has since come out to say he is the MP referred to in the news report, which claimed an MP asked the Melaka Customs to "close an eye" over a timber consignment that was seized.

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Abdullah Tables Ninth Malaysia Plan In Parliament - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Friday tabled in Parliament the Ninth Malaysia Plan which will steer the nation's development agenda for the next five years between 2006 and 2010.

Tabling of the plan themed "Together Towards Glory, Excellence and Distinction" was televised live by RTM, TV3 and NTV7 to enable the people from throughout the country to follow directly.

The plan outlines the government's policies and programmes to boost the country's capabilities to compete globally, ensure equitable distribution of income and nation's wealth, strengthen national unity and a better quality of life for the people.

The government took more than a year to prepare the plan after consultations with various interest groups including discussions with political and community leaders.

The ninth plan has been published in a 559-page book (Bahasa Malaysia text 587 pages) by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister's Department.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Malaysian ministers pull minorities memorandum - AFP


Malaysia's non-Muslim ministers have withdrawn a controversial memorandum which called on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to protect the rights of religious minorities, local media said yesterday.

Eight of the Cabinet ministers who submitted the unprecedented memorandum -- which critics say constituted a breach of protocol -- have withdrawn it, with only one signatory remaining non-committal, said the New Straits Times.

"As advised by the PM, submitting the memo is procedurally inappropriate. Following his advice, we have withdrawn the memo," Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Ting said in a joint statement to the official Bernama news agency.

But Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Bernard Dompok defended the memo, saying: "To my mind, it is an attempt by myself and my colleagues in the Cabinet to try to help in pointing out what are the possible things that had to be done in order to settle some of the issues that are involved."

"I think that is all contained in the memorandum and I don't think there is anything offensive in that," said Dompok.

The ministers came under fire from several colleagues at Wednesday's weekly Cabinet meeting after they submitted the memorandum, which calls for a review of laws and the constitution where they infringe on minorities' rights.

Their unusual move followed the controversial Muslim burial of well-known mountaineer M. Moorthy last month, despite his Hindu wife's protests, which sparked outrage among religious minorities.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Samy Vellu Says "Not Bothered" By Call To Resign - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Sunday he was "not bothered" by a call by People's Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M. Kayveas to the nine ministers involved in the memorandum controversy to resign from the Cabinet.

He said only Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was entitled to give advice to the nine ministers.

"We know what we are doing. The Prime Minister knows what our problems are. We are not looking for advice from other parties. The Prime Minister's advice is good enough...what he says, we will follow," he said after presenting the President's Merit Awards to 517 Tamil school students who scored 7As in last year's UPSR examination at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

Samy Vellu, who is also the MIC president, said this when asked to comment on Kayveas' statement yesterday that the nine ministers should resign for going against the spirit of the Barisan Nasional.

The memorandum, which asked for a review of laws affecting the rights of non-Muslims, was signed and submitted by nine non-Muslim Cabinet ministers to Abdullah last Wednesday. They included Samy Vellu.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Najib Says Memo By Ministers Improper And Against Cabinet System - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Friday the action by nine non-Muslim Cabinet ministers in submitting a memorandum to the Prime Minister calling for a review of laws that affect the rights of non-Muslims was "improper" and "not nice".

"It is against the Cabinet system and unprecedented," he told reporters at the Malaysian-French Chamber of Commerce annual dinner here Friday night.

The memorandum, signed by nine of the 10 non-Muslim ministers, was handed to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Thursday.

The ministers were Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (Housing and Local Government), Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy (Transport), Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn (Human Resources), Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek (Health), Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu (Works), Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik (Energy, Water and Communications), Datuk Peter Chin (Plantation Industries and Commodities), Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili (Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department).

The exception was Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad who was abroad.

Najib said he hoped everyone would let the Prime Minister make a correct and just decision after considering all views and without any pressure.

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No Need To Amend Article 121 (1a), Says Abdullah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- Article 121 (1a) of the Federal Constitution governing the powers of the civil and syariah courts need not be amended, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Friday.

"Only laws that can create problems and misinterpretations should be studied whether they should be amended to make them clearer," he told reporters after launching a book entitled Antologi Puisi Sasterawan Negara A. Samad Said.

Abdullah was asked to comment on the matter following a joint memorandum submitted by 10 non-Muslim cabinet ministers to him yesterday, urging him to review laws related to conversion of religion.

The memorandum, among others, was signed by Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

Article 121 (1a) states that the Civil Court has no jurisdiction on matters under the purview of the Syariah Court.

The religion conversion issue surfaced following the death of Mount Everest climber Sgt M. Moorthy or Muhammad Abdullah when his widow S. Kaliammal and the Federal Territories Religious Department (Jawi) were involved in a dispute over his burial.

[More at]

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Non-Muslim Ministers Submit Joint Memo On Religious Conversion - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 (Bernama) -- The 10 non-Muslim Cabinet ministers have submitted a joint memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appealing to him to review the laws pertaining to religious conversion.

The memorandum, which details the related laws and recommendations, was signed by all the ministers, including Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting; Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik; Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

The others are Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy; Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn; Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek; Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili; Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui.

According to Dr Ongkili, the memorandum was submitted to the prime minister at the Cabinet meeting Wednesday.

"The proposal will be studied by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of law, Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, and the attorney-general. They will make the neccesary recommendations for further action," he told Bernama when contacted Thursday.

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