Tuesday, August 28, 2007

PKFZ, Johor Crimes Among Issues Raised At Dialogue With Rafidah - Bernama

SINGAPORE, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- The annual seminar on business opportunities in Malaysia took place in Singapore today, attended by some 1,000 members of the Singapore business community as well as representatives of state governments and agencies in Malaysia.

As was the case in the past, the participants took full advantage of the opportunity to shoot questions at International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz in a no-holds barred style.

A participant, for instance, spoke of the backlog of pending cases in courts which he said could affect confidence among investors who want speedy settlement in the event of commercial disputes, citing his bad experience in Penang involving a piece of land for development.

Rafidah said the government is equally concerned of matters that could affect investor confidence, hence the decision to set up Pemudah, a special task force to find ways to facilitate business in Malaysia.

"But this is not the norm, but if you are the aggrieved party, you don't care whether this is a norm or not, you just want your problem settled," she said, adding that she would raise the matter with the Cabinet.

She also pointed out that land matters are under the jurisdiction of state governments but assured the business community that they too are committed to ensuring that bureaucratic processes are minimised.

Another participant questioned Malaysia's concern over pollution since the matter was not mentioned in Rafidah's keynote address earlier, but she assured that Malaysia is indeed concerned about the environment, saying:

"Environment is very important to Malaysia. We want to make sure that we have enough forest cover to make sure the environment is not spoilt, but cultural habits also contribute to pollution."

There was also a question about "problems" relating to Port Klang but Rafidah said she was not aware of it.

"I don't think you are talking about Port Klang but about the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ)," she said.

"The problem is not with the port. It's the development of a free zone. These are all commercial ventures and the government is now looking at it ... there was some financial escalation."

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

I’m not with the Opposition, says Dr M - The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has refuted claims that he is on the “Opposition’s side”, stressing his love and loyalty remained strongly with Umno, the country, and his religion and race.

“I have never taken sides with the Opposition. I love my party dearly but this does not mean that I support the party leadership,” he said at a dialogue session with the Malaysian Concerned Citizens Council ad-hoc committee (Prihatin) at the Perdana Leadership Foundation yesterday.

The former prime minister said that when he quarrelled with the late first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, it was because he loved the party and wanted to save Umno.

He said that while loyalty to the party should remain steadfast, members must be brave enough to point out leaders' mistakes so they would not be repeated and “bring about destruction and downfall, and weaken the party”.

“Leaders on the other hand, must not have this misconception that support for Umno means support for them too. When there is victory, leaders think it is because the people support them when the support may just have been for the party.”

Unlike other races, particularly the Chinese, who would use their votes to send a message or make a point, the Malays, he claimed, would blindly support political parties, whether Umno or PAS.

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Cabinet rejects apology from Negaraku rapper - The Star

By Loh Foon Fong

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has not accepted student Wee Meng Chee’s apology for the furore caused by his Negaraku rap videoclip on video-sharing web portal YouTube.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the Cabinet had decided yesterday that they were not in the position to forgive him and that “the law would have to take its course”.

“The offence was not against the Prime Minister or ministers concerned but against the nation,” Nazri told reporters after the launch of the International Conference on Media and Information Warfare: A Global Challenge of the 21st Century here.

“If he had committed an offence, which I think was an offence, then we must allow the Attorney General to investigate and decide whether to take him to court,” he said.

Wee had on Tuesday apologised for the parody and agreed to remove the videoclip from his blog.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Student rapper apologises - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Student Wee Meng Chee, 24, who caused a furore here with his Negaraku rap video clip on YouTube, has apologised for the parody and will remove the video clip from his blog.

“It has taught me a lesson about the spirit of nationalism and race relations. As a Malaysian, I did not intend to shame the country or ridicule any religion.

“To end the controversy, I will remove the video clip from my blog and I hope other bloggers will stop distributing the video clip,” said the mass communications student at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan.

Meng Chee said he also did not have any intention of creating anti-government sentiments or fan racism by writing the song as he was loyal to the King and the country where he was raised, gained knowledge and given the freedom to develop his talent.

He said he wanted to return and contribute to the country.

“I am proud to be a Malaysian and my loyalty to my country has not wavered even though I’m now studying in Taiwan,” he said.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thousands gather in Putrajaya demanding end to marginalisation of Indians -

The overcast and gloomy weather in Putrajaya reflected the mood of the thousands of Indian Malaysians who had gathered at the administrative capital this morning.

There was a reason for this crowd to be in Putrajaya on a wet Sunday. They wanted to tell Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that they should not be further marginalised as Malaysians.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

University student comes under fire for video clip - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian student Wee Meng Chee has frequently courted controversy with his numerous postings on video search engine YouTube, but his latest parody of the national anthem has been severely criticised by politicians.

Wee has come under fire for mocking the national anthem and making statements many found offensive because they contained racial slurs.

His six-minute video clip, which used Negaraku in a Mandarin rap, has been viewed more than 400,000 times since the middle of last month.

Wee, a 24-year-old mass communications student at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan, has insisted that he is patriotic.

“I wrote the song in conjunction with the country’s 50th anniversary of independence and it is my gift to the country,” the Johorean said.

Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum said police would investigate the rap video while MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said Wee had insulted the national anthem.

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Malaysian official allays minorities' religious concerns - AP


Muslim-dominated Malaysia is neither a secular nor a theocratic state, the prime minister said in an apparent bid to make amends after his deputy upset minorities by describing the country as Islamic.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said late on Saturday the country can be best described as a multiracial nation that practices parliamentary democracy with freedom of religion for all.

"We are not a secular state. We are also not a theocratic state like Iran and Pakistan ... but we are a government that is based on parliamentary democracy," Abdullah told reporters after making a speech in the northern state of Penang.

Abdullah's aides could not be immediately reached to confirm the comments.

The prime minister's attempt to take the middle ground comes amid rising concerns among Malaysia's Chinese and Indian minorities that their rights are becoming subordinate to Islam.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak added fuel to fire last month when he said Malaysia is not secular but is an Islamic state that protects the religious rights of minority groups.

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Umno is not racist, says Khairy - The Star

KLANG: Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaludin has refuted allegations by the Opposition that the movement practises racism.

“I don’t understand how the accusation come about – calling us racist. In fact, Umno always emphasises on the power-sharing concept and history has proven it.

“Ijok is a good example, where an Indian candidate was nominated despite a Malay majority in the constituency. This had been repeated in many other constituencies.

“How can we be racist, when we are defending equality?” he asked after opening the Kapar Umno division youth delegates meeting here yesterday.

Khairy also said that Selangor did not need a comprehensive development blueprint from the Federal Government as it was already a well-developed state.

He said such development plans should be channelled to the less developed states such Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

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Friday, August 3, 2007

Anwar a traitor to Malay cause, says Khairy - The Star

KUALA KANGSAR: Umno Youth has labelled Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim – who was once head of the movement – a traitor to the Malay cause.

In making the declaration, Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaludin said: “The (coming) general elections is not about politics but the future of the Malays.”

“Anwar is a puppet of the United States and the Jews, thus he must be hounded until there is no more place for him to run to,” he told a state Umno Youth gathering on Wednesday night.
Among the 5,000 people present were the wing’s former chief Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Deputy Information Minister, and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali.

Khairy said the movement was angered by Anwar’s persistence in wanting to do away with the New Economic Policy, a cause close to the hearts of the Malays.

“He wanted to abolish it simply because he wanted to win the support of the non-Malays,” he said.

In Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Khairy said there should be no more statements from any Barisan Nasional component party leaders concerning demands for extra seats for the parties.

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