Thursday, July 31, 2008

Anwar to contest Permatang Pauh - Malaysiakini

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

Anwar Ibrahim announced today that he will contest a by-election for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat which was vacated by his wife and PKR leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Wan Azizah told a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya this afternoon that she had resigned as member of parliament for the seat but will retain her post as PKR president.

I have officially submitted my resignation letter as Permatang Pauh MP to the House Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia today to make way for my husband to contest as a candidate for Pakatan Rakyat in a by-election as soon as possible," she said.

"This is consistent with our goals towards securing a parliamentary majority and forming a new government within this year," she added, stressing that her decision was the right decision for Malaysia.

"Anwar Ibrahim has articulated a vision for Malaysia that has brought hope to the people. He has the experience and intelligence to reinvigorate our economy, and the charisma and integrity to unite he Malaysian people and restore credibility to our institutions of governance."

Wan Azizah said the people in Permatang Pauh have a special affinity for Anwar, who was their elected representative prior to his sacking as deputy premier and subsequent arrest a decade ago.

[More at]

Monday, July 28, 2008

Doctor: No evidence of sodomy - Malaysiakini

By Beh Lih Yi and P Tarani

There is no evidence that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was sodomised, according to the doctor who examined him four hours before he lodged a police report alleging he was sexually assaulted by PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim.

It is believed that Anwar's former aide Saiful went to two different hospitals on June 28 - the day he lodged the police report claiming that he was sodomised by his ex-boss.

He first went to Hospital Pusrawi (Pusat Rawatan Islam) in Jalan Tun Razak - a government-linked Islamic medical institution - at about 2pm.

According to a copy of the two-page medical report obtained by malaysiakini yesterday, Saiful went to the hospital complaining of 'tenesmus' - a medical term for difficulty and pain in passing motion.

He was examined by Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, the medical officer on duty.

The doctor said that the patient had alleged he was assaulted by the intrusion of a piece of "plastic" in the anus.

Mohamed Osman, according to his medical report which was recorded at 2.14pm, found "zero active bleeding", "zero ulcer or pus", "zero tear and scar" in Saiful's anus.

He also stated that Saiful appeared "alert", "comfortable", "not pale" and did not show any fever symptoms.

[More at]

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Terengganu Executive Councillors Get To Use Mercedes Temporarily - Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU, July 27 (Bernama) -- The 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressor cars purchased by the Terengganu government will be used temporarily as official cars for the state executive council members and senior state government officers.

Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said the cars would be used pending completion of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)'s investigations into the high maintenance cost of the state's fleet of Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars.

He said the ACA had taken the Proton Perdana cars that were used by the state executive councillors and officers.

"So the executive council members and officers will have to use the Mercedes...the prime minister had also said that (we) can use the Mercedes cars once in a while," he told reporters at a dinner with state Umno leaders here last night.

State Tourism and Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee Chairman Datuk Za'abar Mohd Adib arrived to attend the Malaysia Flora Fest 2008 in Johor Baharu yesterday in one of the new Mercedes cars.

Two days ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that the Terengganu government could keep the Mercedes Benzes, but only for use by its guests and not for the state exco members and its senior officers.

[More at]

Exco men use Merc despite Cabinet order - The Star

By Gladys Tay

JOHOR BARU: At least four of Terengganu's eight state executive council members are using newly purchased Mercedes-Benz E200 Kompressor cars despite a Cabinet directive against doing so.

Several of them were seen travelling in the cars to official functions and meetings.

Those who were seen taking rides in the car said they were waiting for Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said to make an announcement at Wednesday's state executive council meeting on when to give up the cars.

Terengganu Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Za’abar Mohd Adib attended the Malaysian Flora Fest here yesterday in his gleaming new black Mercedes-Benz.

“I think the issue is overblown,” said Za'abar yesterday when met after the function.

When asked whether he knew about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's announcement, he said he was aware of it and that Ahmad had already commented about it.

On Friday, Abdullah had announced that all the Mercedes-Benzes bought by the state for its executive council members could only be used for foreign dignitaries.

[More at]

Monday, July 21, 2008

Anwar back at ACA to give statement - The Star

PUTRAJAYA: PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived at the Anti-Corruption Agency headquarters here at 9.50am Monday to continue giving his statement on the alleged fabrication of evidence in the “black eye” incident of 1998.

He was accompanied by lawyers R. Sivarasa and Param Cumaraswamy.

In Anwar's report lodged on July 1, he had alleged that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had fabricated evidence in the “black eye” investigation in 1999.

Musa was the investigating officer and Gani led the prosecutor in the case in which Anwar had been beaten up by the IGP then, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor.

Anwar emerged from the ACA office at 1.15pm.

Commenting on Musa's defamation suit against him, Anwar said, "I’ll be happy to meet him in court."

[More at]

Sunday, July 20, 2008

PM: I've met with PAS leaders - The Star

By Izatun Shari

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi admitted that he had personally met with "highest-level" PAS leaders three times to discuss Islam, Malay unity and other issues.

The Prime Minister however declined to reveal whom the leaders were, merely saying that they were top-level leaders who could make decisions in the Islamist opposition party.

PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was not present during these discussions.

Nik Aziz had earlier said he was open to the idea of “small discussions” between PAS and Umno members, but not to party-to-party meetings.

"We have held meetings, which are at the initial stage. There is no need to give other details. You will make all sorts of speculation," Abdullah told reporters after launching National Cooperative Day here on Sunday.

Abdullah, also Umno president, had previously only indicated that he was "ready to hold" muzakarah discussions with PAS leaders to strengthen unity among the Muslims in the country.

[More at]

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Najib committed to transition plan - The Star

By Jane Ritikos

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says he is committed to the transition plan for him to take over the Umno presidency from his predecessor in 2010, despite an Umno branch in his Pekan constituency nominating him for the presidency.

Najib, who is Umno deputy president, also dismissed his nomination by the branch on Friday saying:

"It is only one branch. There are 134 more branches. The Pekan division that I lead will be committed to the transition plan that I have agreed upon."

As such the Pekan division would nominate Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib to defend their president and deputy president posts respectively at the party election in December, he said.

He said this Saturday after closing the two-day Bumiputra Economic Convention 2008 themed "Leapfrogging the Bumiputra Economy", organised by Federation of Malay Economic Bodies (Gabem) and Umno Youth.

On bumiputra equity ownership, Najib said it appeared to be stagnant at 18% to 19% while the target was to achieve 30% bumiputra equity by 2020.

[More at]

Friday, July 18, 2008

Existing DNA sample too old, says PM -

The authorities require a fresh DNA sample from Anwar Ibrahim because the sample extracted 10 years ago is too old, said Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today.

Anwar ‘no’ to foreign forensic expert - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not agree to the idea of a foreign forensic expert of his choice to draw a DNA sample from him, said lawyer R. Sivarasa.

“They (the police) fail to understand Anwar’s concern as explained this afternoon. It does not address the possible fabrication of DNA (test results) starting with Saiful (Bukhari Azlan) himself,” he said yesterday.

To a question whether Anwar and his lawyers would consider allowing the international expert to carry out the DNA test, he said they could “start to look at that” as the expert might be able to advise them.

However, he said this would not make a difference if there was a possibility that the samples would be tampered with.

He said they would resist any legal action for Anwar to provide a DNA sample because the law does not provide for it.

At his press conference earlier, Anwar had said that if there was “compelling evidence one, two, three and four which needs an international expert,” then he would be willing to submit to DNA testing.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cops arrest Anwar - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived at the city police headquarters here in a white Pajero at 1.15pm Wednesday after being arrested by the police.

He had been arrested in front of his house in Bukit Segambut.

His lawyer Sankara Nair said the police told Anwar that he was being arrested for investigations under Section 377C of the Penal Code for alleged "carnal intercourse against the order of nature."

On June 28, his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had lodged a police report alleging that Anwar had sodomised him.

Asked if Anwar was handcuffed, Sankara said he was not.

Anwar started giving his statement to the police at about 2.50pm, said another of his lawyers R. Sivarasa, also the Subang Member of Parliament (MP).

Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said he had called her from the police car to say he had been arrested.

"He asked me to go home to look after the children," she said when met in Parliament lobby earlier Wednesday.

Wan Azizah was at the city police headquarters by 1.30pm, followed 25 minutes later by daughter Nurul Izzah and her husband Raja Ahmad Shahrir.

"It's a feeling of deja vu with what happened 10 years ago," Wan Azizah said, adding that she was unhappy over how the arrest had been conducted.

"We'd already given our assurance that he would be at the police headquarters at 2pm," she said.

[More at]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Anwar Given Until 2pm Tomorrow To Present Himself At KL Police HQ - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been given until 2pm tomorrow to present himself at city police's headquarters to give a statement in connection with an alleged sodomy complaint filed against him by his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Federal Police CID director Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin said should Anwar not heed the warning, the former deputy prime minister faced possible arrest.

"Police will take action under the law if he does not show up. Action will also be taken under the Penal Code against anyone who tries to prevent police if it becomes necessary to arrest Anwar," he told a press conference here Tuesday.

Anwar did not turn up at city police headquarters yesterday to give a statement on the case although it was said he had agreed to do so.

Commenting on reported remarks by Anwar's lawyer, S.N. Nair that his client was awaiting notification under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to present himself for questioning, Mohd Bakri said:"Anwar should have come yesterday as he had agreed he would. This is his case. He should be the one coming to see the police and not the other way round."

Asked if the police were practising double standards where Anwar was concerned because they did not arrest him after the report was made by the 23-year-old Saiful, Mohd Bakri said it depended on investigations and that police could not act hastily.

[More at]

Anwar fails to show up - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim failed to turn up for an appointment with the police yesterday despite agreeing earlier to allow his statement to be taken at the city police headquarters.

Following the no-show, police said they were considering several options to get the PKR de facto leader to give his statement.

CID director Commissioner Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin said police wanted to record Anwar’s statement under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

“He had verbally agreed through his lawyer to come and give us his statement to assist us in our investigations following a report lodged by his former aide who alleged that he had been sodomised by Anwar,” he said at a press conference at the city police headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah here.

Comm Bakri said police issued Anwar with a notice under Section 111 of the CPC to come forward and to give his statement.

Section 111 of the CPC empowers police officers to require the attendance of witnesses.

[More at]

Monday, July 14, 2008

No-confidence motion rejected, Opposition MPs walk out - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected an emergency motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Cabinet, which prompted a walkout by Opposition MPs.

The motion was filed by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail last Thursday.

It was filed as a non-voting motion under Standing Orders 18 (1) and (2).

The motion was rejected in the Speaker's chambers under Standing Order 18 (7). Dr Wan Azizah was informed via a letter.

The matter was not brought up in Dewan.

The motion was rejected by the Speaker due to the "wrong choice of words."

The Opposition MPs walked out after their appeal for him to review his decision was rejected.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders said they were disappointed with Pandikar Amin's rejection of their emergency motion.

They also condemned the police roadblocks across the city, saying the action was "unjustifiable."

[More at]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

No Change Of Government On September 16, Says Shahrir - Bernama

JOHOR BAHARU, July 13 (Bernama)-- Umno members should not be hoodwinked into believing Pakatan Rakyat's claim that it would take over the federal government on Sept 16.

Johor Baharu Umno division chief Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said the change of government would not be realised as the opposition pact had yet to form a shadow cabinet.

"The only decision they have at the moment is to make (Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim the prime minister," he said when opening the delegates meetings of the Johor Baharu division's Wanita Umno branches at Kampung Melayu Majidee here Sunday.

Shahrir, who is also domestic trade and consumer affairs minister, said to enable a shadow cabinet to be formed, the country needed a two-party system but this would not happen in the country as the opposition parties were divided.

"As such, don't give too much attention to them," he said, adding that whatever happened in other countries, would not occur here.

This, Shahrir said, was because of the differences in the civilisations and environment while the country's administration was in order.

[More at]

PM: Malaysia's economy is stable - The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's economy is stable even though the country is faced with global crises such as the increase in fuel and food prices, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"It's stable overall. There is nothing to worry about. We continue to attract foreign investment and we are still a preferred investment destination," the prime minister said.

Malaysia's economy also received positive feedback from other countries, most recently during the Group of Eight Islamic Developing Countries (D8) Summit in Kuala Lumpur, last week, he told Bernama and RTM Radio in an interview at Sri Perdana, the prime minister's official residence, Sunday.

The D8 comprises Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Turkey and Malaysia.

Abdullah said the country's image was also intact, saying, "Those who view Malaysia objectively, it is still good. But those connected to (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim), they would see things differently."

Asked what would be among his priorities from now until the handing over of power to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in June 2010, Abdullah said he wanted to see the development of the five economic corridors speeded up.

[More at]

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Repeat of 2004 election results possible, says PM - The Star

By V.P. Sujata

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has confidence that Malaysians can help Barisan Nasional win big in the next general election similar to the 2004 historical victory.

He also stated that the disastrous results of the March election was a blessing in disguise, adding that there was a lesson to be learnt from it all.

He suggested that if Malaysians could change their attitude and refuse to be beaten, repeating the historical 2004 general elections results was possible.

"I'm used to making history that leaders before me had not achieved.

"The 2004 general election was the best but the 2008 result was the worst which no leader before me had achieved," he said.

Together with positive thinking, he said, the implementation of objectives should also be in order to succeed.

[More at]

Anwar: BN will fall before Najib takes over - NST

SEREMBAN: Parti Keadilan de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Barisan Nasional government would fall before Datuk Seri Najib Razak can take over in 2010.

"Let me assure you, in two months' time, people won't be able to handle the current economic situation and many will revolt," he told a ceramah crowd last night.

Switching from his usual promise of imminent defections, Anwar said the government would be brought down by unrest resulting from the sharp increase in fuel prices.

Since the June 4 hike, small protests have taken place sporadically, culminating in a Pakatan Rakyat bash at the Kelana Jaya stadium last Sunday which failed to attract a large crowd.

In George Town, DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Abdullah had been forced to step down because of his weakened position.

In Kota Baru, Pas spiritual leader and Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said it made no difference to him that Najib would take over as prime minister.

Abdullah had made the announcement at a special Umno meeting on Thursday.


Immigration chief and six others arrested for alleged graft - The Star

By Lourdes Charles

PUTRAJAYA: Immigration Department director-general Datuk Wahid Md Don and six others, including two businessmen, have been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Agency for alleged graft.

It is learnt that ACA officers from the agency’s headquarters here seized about RM500,000 from all of them including more than RM100,000 found in Wahid’s Jalan Duta house.

The seven, aged between 35 and 64, were arrested at various locations in the Klang Valley during a major operation which started on Tuesday and ended on Thursday.

Sources said the ACA officers arrested Wahid at 10.30pm on Thursday, shortly after he was alleged to have received some RM60,000 from a runner purportedly for a deal involving the issuance of work permits and extensions.

ACA director of investigations Datuk Shukri Abdul said seven people had been arrested including a director-general of a government department.

“We are investigating them for alleged involvement in the issuance of work permits to foreign workers,” he said.

[More at]

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Month-long Celebration To Mark Melaka's Listing In World Heritage List - Bernama

MELAKA, July 11 (Bernama) -- The Melaka government is organising a month-long celebration next month to commemorate Melaka's listing in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said several events were being planned for the purpose, including construction of an arch as a landmark.

He welcomed suggestions from the public on the location for the building of the arch.

"Tentatively, we choose August for the celebration in conjunction with the Merdeka celebration," he told reporters here Friday.

He said details on the programmes to be held would be discussed at the next state executive council meeting.

The inclusion of Melaka and Georgetown in Penang as world heritage sites was made on Monday in Quebec, Canada.


Sapp MPs to back Pakatan's motion against PM - Malaysiakini

Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) parliamentarians Eric Enchin Majimbun and Chua Soon Bui have pledged their vote for an opposition motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

In a short joint statement today, the duo said that are finally able to carry out their party's intention as announced by Sapp president Yong Teck Lee on June 18.

"This expression of support reiterates Sapp's loss of confidence in the prime minister and the need for urgent government measures to address issues on Sabah rights and current concerns (inflation) plaguing the state," read the statement issued late this evening.

Last month, Sapp rebelled against BN when its supreme council endorsed party president Yong Teck Lee's call for a no-confidence vote against Abdullah.

Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Chua (Tawau) have however not filed for any motions against the PM since Dewan Rakyat resumed late last month.

Instead, opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Permatang Pauh) filed for an urgent motion of no-confidence against Abdullah on Thursday.

[More at]

Anti-Corruption Agency gets prosecution powers - Malaysiakini

The Anti-Corruption Agency has been granted full prosecution powers which will allow the agency to open a case and proceed with it until the matter is brought before the court.

At present, the agency has to refer its completed investigations to the Attorney-General's Chambers to decide on whether the case could be taken to court.

This dramatic change - which will give the agency more bite and do away with the long-held complaints of its lack of independence - was announced today in a brief statement by the ACA in Putrajaya.

The agency said that this new move would allow it to efficiently and effectively investigate corruption cases.

This will also remove the negative perception that it was the AG's Chambers that was delaying the prosecution of high-profile cases involving politically connected individuals.

The new powers will also boost the government's image in fighting corruption.

"Indirectly this will increase the people's trust in the ACA," said the statement.

[More at]

Najib: It's not easy to willingly give up power - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday urged all Umno members to support the transition plan and continue to support his "boss" Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as president of Umno and prime minister.

For the first time, deputy president Najib addressed the 1,000-odd delegates at a special party meeting after Abdullah had spoken to them.

"It is strange for me to speak after the president. I hope this is the last time ever that I have to speak after the president," said Najib, who was visibly touched by Abdullah's announcement of the transition plan.

He said he was asked to speak after Abdullah "so that I could hear what he had to say and then frame my response".

"I am touched by the prime minister's willingness to fix a date for handing over power and I hope all Umno members will support this," he said to loud applause.

Najib told Umno members he had never asked Abdullah to set a date for handing over power.

"I left it to the prime minister. All I asked for was adequate time to make preparations."

[More at]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Prime Minister to hand over power to Deputy Prime Minister in 2010 -

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to hand over power to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2010.

Abdullah to hand over power to Najib in 2010 - The Star

VIDEO: Prime Minister to hand over power to Deputy Prime Minister in 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced Thursday that he will hand over the reigns of the government's leadership to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in mid 2010.

He said he would also hand over his chairmanship of Barisan Nasional to the Deputy Prime Minister and confirmed that he would not lead the coalition and Umno in the next general election.

However, Abdullah said he would defend his party president's post in the coming party elections in December and that he wanted Najib to remain his number two.

"I took the opportunity to inform the supreme council that I have reached an agreement with Datuk Seri Najib that I will not be leading the BN in the 13th general election.

"This means that we have to set in motion the process of transferring the power. The process would begin with this announcement that I plan to hand over the (Umno) president's post to Datuk Seri Najib by middle of 2010," he said after a special Umno briefing attended by divisional leaders and leaders of the party's Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre.


Pakatan files no-confidence motion - Malaysiakini

By Rahmah Ghazali

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition has today moved an urgent motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Opposition Leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Permatang Pauh) filed the motion at the Dewan Rakyat speaker's office at 3.45pm.

Among others, the motion stated that the 12th general election witnessed a 'political tsunami' which saw five states and the Federal Territories falling into the hands of the Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional being denied a two-thirds majority.

"BN achieved its slim victory by manipulating the Election Commission and through lies.

"The price of fuel was suddenly raised after the elections although the deputy premier - while launching the election manifesto - promised this would not happen.

"BN parliamentarians who rejected this irresponsible action of their leaders are threatened and forced not to speak out.

"This development has caused a crisis of confidence with the prime minister and his cabinet. The people are facing several crises such as an increase in the prices of fuel and foodstuff.

"In addition, the people's confidence in the police, attorney-general and judiciary is also on the decline. Crime and corruption is on the rise."

[More at]

Disappearance of P. Balasubramaniam: Najib: We’re not responsible - NST

By : Ridzwan Abdullah and R. Sittamparam

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday denied charges that the authorities were behind the "disappearance" of private investigator P. Balasubramaniam and his family.

The deputy prime minister shrugged off the claims as baseless.

He was speaking to reporters at the launch of Ibrahim Pahlawan Melayu (Ibrahim, the Malay Warrior), a memoir narrating the life and experiences of former armed forces chief Gen (Rtd) Tun Ibrahim Ismail.

Najib, who is also defence minister, was asked on an ultimatum made by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) for the government to "release" Balasubramaniam.

Hindraf coordinator S. Jayathas, at a candlelight vigil held in Brickfields on Tuesday night, said Hindraf would organise a massive rally in three days' time if Balasubramaniam and his family were not released by then.

Responding to this, Najib replied: "Then I guess you have to ask them (Hindraf)."

Balasubramaniam made headlines last week with a statutory declaration linking Najib with the murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, but retracted it the next day.

[More at]

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Govt to study increase of non-bumi PSD scholarship quota - The Star

By Izatun Shari

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will study the move by the Public Services Department to increase the scholarship quota for non-bumiputras to 45%.

"We will look at it first," Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told reporters Wednesday after launching a book titled Ibrahim Pahlawan Melayu written by former Armed Forces Chief Jen (Rtd) Tun Ibrahim Ismail at the Defence Ministry here.

Najib was asked to comment on the move by PSD to increase the scholarship quota for non-bumiputra from 10% to 45%, which had created dissatisfaction among certain quarters including the Federation of Peninsula Malay Students (GPMS).

GPMS president Datuk Reezal Naina Merican called for the Government to review the move saying that it should be re-evaluated and scrutinised thoroughly.

Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin who is MP for Rembau questioned the move saying that the quota was determined at the discretion of Yang di-Pertuan Agong who had the absolute power over the matter according to Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) vice chancellor Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad, who is former education director also questioned the basis of the department's calculation when raising the quota and whether it considered the racial composition.

[More at]

Sodomy: Anwar turns to Syariah Court - Malaysiakini

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today turned to the Syariah court to clear his name over the sodomy allegation against him by his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar, who was accompanied by his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, filed a complaint against Saiful with the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department.

His lawyers Kamar Ainiah Kamaruzaman and Ahmad Shabrimi Mohamed submitted the complaint this morning to Mohd Ajib, director of the syariah enforcement department.
“On the advice of ulama (Islamic scholars) and my lawyers, I have filed a complaint with the enforcement department of the Syariah Court to have them clear me and my family’s name of the malicious allegation,” Anwar told reporters.

"This slander is a major issue because it involves a sexual crime and the attempt is of course to mislead the Muslim population, to attack me and my character."

The complaint, referred to as qazaf in Islamic law, is to request a probe into ‘false allegations’ pertaining to adultery or sexual misconduct.

[More at]

Cops: Bala in Asean country - The Star

By Lourdes Charles and Andrew Sagayam

KUALA LUMPUR: Private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, who disappeared with his wife and three children last Friday, has been located.

Sources said police here with the help of Interpol traced his whereabouts to an Asean country but declined to name it or say when he would be brought back.

CID Director Comm Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin confirmed this but declined to reveal details.

It is learnt that the private investigator is fine and left the country on his own accord, contrary to reports and rumours that police were behind his sudden disappearance.

Last Thursday, Balasubramaniam rocked the nation with a statutory declaration alleging that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had an affair with murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. He was then represented by lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu.

However, in a press conference called less than 24 hours later, he made a second statutory declaration retracting all those allegations. He even appeared with a new lawyer.

Immediately after the press conference, he left with that lawyer and was never seen or heard by anyone.

[More at]

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Najib on clearing the air over Altantuya allegations - NSTP e-Media

Missing PI makes contact with nephew - Malaysiakini

By Andrew Ong

Private investigator P Balasubramaniam has finally broken his silence and made contact with his nephew R Kumaresan late last night via a short telephone call.

"He said he was okay, but could not talk freely," Kumaresan, who stressed this point several times.

Balasubramaniam, his wife and three children vanished without a trace last Friday following his retraction of a stunning statutory declaration which implicated Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Kumaresan, who is said to be very close to Balasubramaniam's family, said that he also managed to talk to the private eye's wife during the brief exchange, who also said that she was "okay".

However, Kumaresan said that he was still unaware of the whereabouts of his uncle and was coy when asked about further details of the conversation.

[More at]

翁诗杰:多元化思维未普及‧马华暂不宜开放门户 - Sin Chew Daily








[More at]

No-confidence issue is not over, says SAPP - The Star

By Lee Yuk Peng

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah Progressive Party’s (SAPP) deputy president Datuk Eric E. Majimbun (BN - Sepanggar) does not rule out the possibility of filing a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in future.

The party may do so at other times when the political scenario and ground sentiment deem suitable for such action.

At the moment, Eric said it was not suitable to do so.

"I (would) never say it is off," said Eric when asked by reporters at the Parliament Lobby on Tuesday.

Asked whether the party had sent the motion to the Speaker, Eric said "not yet" but the party may do so “ when the time comes.”

Eric, however, thanked the Government for paying more attention to Sabah now.

Asked whether he would leave Barisan Nasional to join the Opposition, Eric said: “We never say we are out of Barisan.

“We are still in the SAPP,” he said.

[More at]

Mahathir: There’s a concerted campaign against Najib - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is convinced that there is a concerted campaign against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and that “somebody is behind it” besides Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The former prime minister said he could not understand why the Deputy Prime Minister was coming under constant attack, adding that he believed the allegations against Najib were all hearsay.

“There is a concerted campaign against Najib. I don’t know why. Not just by Anwar but also by this other chap (Malaysia Today editor) Raja Petra (Kamaruddin) and also a number of others.

“Somebody is working behind this, maybe to undermine Najib’s possibility of challenging the Prime Minister,” he said after calling on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is here to attend the 6th Developing Eight Nations Summit.

Dr Mahathir said there was no proof to the allegations against Najib.

“You can’t just say that I heard somebody did this. This is not proof,” he said.

[More at]

Saiful breaks silence and dares Anwar - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan lashed out yesterday against Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In a posting on his Friendster social networking web-site page yesterday, Saiful issued a challenge to Anwar to swear on the Quran if he was not guilty (of sodomy).

In a police report lodged on June 28, Saiful had accused Anwar of sodomising him.

In the posting, Saiful said the righteous would stand while the wicked would fall.

Saiful was referring to Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin's suggestion that the sodomy allegation against Anwar be solved through a mubahalah.

Mubahalah is an old Islamic practice where the disputing parties would swear on the Quran that they were telling the truth and pray that God's curse would befall the lying party.

Last week, Mohd Asri said that Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who is also Kelantan Menteri Besar, was suited to be the mediator, due to his huge influence in Islamic society.

[More at]

Monday, July 7, 2008

SAPP Aborts No-confidence Motion Against PM - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 (Bernama) -- The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has aborted the planned no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the current sitting of the Dewan Rakyat.

Its vice-president Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui said the decision was taken following the federal government's positive reaction to the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah.

"Whatever we have raised (before) is for the benefit and interest of the people. We won't be pursuing the issue (no-confidence motion) at the moment and we are still in Barisan Nasional (BN).

"As for the show-cause letter, we have until July 29 to reply. We still support the party's (BN) stand and in this letter they want us to explain the motion and why we are not happy with the prime minister," he told reporters before meeting Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia at parliament house here Monday.

Dr Chua, who is Member of Parliament for Tawau, was accompanied by MP for Sepanggar Eric Majimbun.

Asked on the turn of events, Dr Chua said besides action against illegal immigrants, there were still other issues like citizenship, religion, language and native rights which had yet to be resolved by the federal government.

[More at]

Anwar dares PM and DPM to discuss how to tackle oil crisis - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has challenged the Prime Minister and his deputy to a live debate on July 15 to discuss how to tackle the oil crisis and reduce the local price of petrol and diesel.

He said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak kept saying that there was no way that prices could come down in view of the high international oil prices.

“They don’t know how to bring down the prices.

“I am prepared to take on the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and even the whole Cabinet to debate the matter live on television,” he told a rally to protest the fuel price hike at the Kelana Jaya Stadium.

Anwar is already slated to debate the issue live with Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek on July 15.

“There are some people who ask me ‘Anwar are you sure you can conclusively bring down the fuel prices’. My answer is yes,” he said.

[More at]

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A carnival-like Geramm rally -

Several NGOs and Pakatan Rakyat leaders stage a peaceful rally to protest against the petrol hike at Kelana Jaya stadium on Sunday.

PM: I know that people are fed-up with politicking - The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is aware that the people are fed up with the political bickering that is going on in the country and has pledged to give priority to the needs of the people.

"I also know that the people are becoming fed up with the political manoeuvring taking place currently.

"Slandering has become more rampant. One no longer cares whether the accusations are true or otherwise," Abdullah said to Bernama Sunday.

He was commenting on the Sunday Star front-page report on the reaction of the people and community leaders over the political exchanges in the past few weeks.

"My main priority is to pay attention to important issues like the rising prices of fuel and goods, and to continue with the development programmes for the people," he said.

"The government wants to ensure a situation where the people need not worry or be afraid. They should be able to concentrate on their priorities in ensuring they can overcome their current problems and can do their best for themselves, their families and companies or organisations they represent,"

[More at]

18 Witnesses Give Statements On Sodomy Report - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) -- Police have recorded statements from 16 witnesses concerning the report alleging that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had sodomised his aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

"To date, we have recorded statements from 18 witnesses including several doctors who had examined the complainant (Saiful)," said CID Director Datuk Bakri Zinin at a media conference at the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Police Headquarters (IPPKL), here Sunday.

He said the case was being investigated under Section 377c of the Penal Code.

"Police are still in the process of identifying several other individuals believed to be involved in the case and they will be called up very soon to assist investigation," he said.

Bakri said a court order would be issued against anyone failing to turn up to record their statement on the date and time stipulated by the police.

Asked when police would record Anwar's statement, he said: "It's all up to the findings of the police investigation."

[More at]

Thousands Attend Rally Protesting Fuel Price Hike - Bernama

PETALING JAYA, July 6 (Bernama) -- Supporters of opposition parties and extremist organisations Sunday defied orders by the authorities and joined a rally organised by the Coalition Against the Fuel Price Hike (Protes) at the Kelana Jaya Stadium here.

Many of the thousands of demonstrators, including supporters of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), wore red T-shirts and shouted anti-government slogans as they gathered to listen to speeches from their leaders from 10 am to midnight.

The presence of the police and other authorities around the stadium helped to ensure that the rally participants, some of whom were seen to be aggressive, did not resort to any mischief.

Nevertheless, the rally, carrying the theme "Protest of One Million People", forced the residents in the vicinity of the stadium to spend their Sunday "locked" in their homes for fear of their safety due to the presence of a large number of unidentified people in the area.

It is learnt that many of the rally participants who came from outside the Klang Valley had begun to gather at the stadium from as early as 5 am. The rally did not have a police permit.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the police would continue to monitor the rally, particularly the speeches of the opposition party leaders.

"We will monitor their speeches to detect elements of sedition and, if they resort to such a thing, we will conduct an investigation under the Sedition Act," he said when met at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters, here.

He also said that the police had received not less than 10 telephone calls from residents in the vicinity of the stadium complaining about the rally.

[More at]

Thousands at Kelana Jaya to hear Anwar - Malaysiakini

Thousands of people have gathered for the last leg of the anti-oil hike protest at the Kelana Jaya stadium.

MCPXAt the final run of the day-long rally, several top Pakatan Rakyat leaders will be giving their ceramah.

Among the speakers are DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa and the star for the day - PKR's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar who arrived at the venue about 9.45pm when Lim was speaking, took over the rostrum at about 10.15pm.

The rally is organised by the Coalition Against Inflation (Protes).

Organisers said that about 20,000 to 30,000 people were in the stadium to hear Anwar.

Anwar in his talk responded to calls by Umno Youth and Putera Umno for him to swear upon the Quran of his innocence at the National Mosque following a sodomy claim against him.

"They have asked me to swear in god's name. I will do so only if they charge me in the syariah court," he said.

"This was the advice given to me by religious scholars in and out of the country," added the charismatic opposition leader who is fighting accusations of alleged sodomy by his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The police are investigating Saiful's report on the matter and said today that they had taken statements from 18 persons regarding the allegation.

Anwar also told the crowd that if the authorities were to charge him with sodomy at the syariah court, they would then have to produce four witnesses.

[More at]

Najib: The truth will prevail - NST

By : B. Suresh Ram

PEKAN: Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday pledged he would carry out his responsibilities as an Umno member, elected representative and deputy prime minister to the letter, irrespective of the challenges that come his way.

He said he would not let challenges, including slander, keep him from his responsibilities.

"My wife and I will face these challenges.

"The truth will prevail," he said at the joint opening of the meetings of the 139 branches of the Pekan Umno division yesterday.

Najib also said that he would not shy away from helping anyone who sought his help.

"I will continue to receive people at my home to help them in whatever way that I can, including signing a letter of assistance and giving allocations."

He called on party members and leaders of the division to continue helping the people and strengthen the party.

He also told them not to just seek positions in the upcoming party elections.

"The struggle does not end with you gaining positions, but what you do with that position."

[More at]

Anwar has no hope of becoming PM, says Ezam - The Star

IPOH: PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has no chance of ever becoming prime minister, said former PKR Youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor.

Ezam, who was Anwar’s political secretary when he was deputy prime minister, dismissed claims that Anwar had managed to convince 30 MPs to leave Barisan Nasional for Pakatan Rakyat.

“If he had the numbers today, he would be going to the Istana tonight.

“He just doesn’t have the numbers,” he told reporters after a closed-door ceramah at the Perak Umno building here yesterday.

Ezam, who left PKR last year and rejoined Umno last month, said if Anwar was really serious about forming the next government, he could have done so quietly instead of “making noise”.

“The focus should have been on strengthening the party. Instead, they (Pakatan) hold demonstrations to sidetrack the people.

“But you make noise because it’s a psychological war to bind together (a party) that is not strong. Only people who are not strong will make noise,” he added.

[More at]

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Raja Petra quizzed by cops over statutory declaration - The Star

By Kuldeep S. Jessy

KUALA LUMPUR: Raja Petra Kamarudin, the editor of news portal Malaysia Today, was quizzed by the police Saturday over his statutory declaration on June 18 claiming he had knowledge that three other persons were present when the body of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu was blown up on Oct 19, 2006.

He was summoned to the Sentul police station at 5pm Saturday and was allowed to leave at about 7.45pm.

His lawyer William Leong, who is also the Selayang MP, accompanied him to the station. Also present was his wife Marina Lee Abdullah, Pandamaran state assemblyman Ronnie Liew and Batu MP Tian Chua who arrived at about 7.30pm.

Earlier, Liew created a commotion when he had a disagreement with Sentul OCPD Asst Comm Ahmad Sofian Md Yassin who did not allow him to go into the room where Raja Petra was being questioned.

More than 100 people waited outside and inside the police station compound and cheered when Raja Petra walked out.

Some of them were wearing yellow T-shirts with the words ''Justice For All...tantuya'' and the photograph of Raja Petra printed on the front.

[More at]

P.Balasubramaniam And Family Reported Missing By Nephew - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 (Bernama) -- Private investigator P.Balasubramaniam, who was involved in the controversy over the statutory declaration (SD) concerning the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, has been reported missing since Friday together with his wife and three children.

Balasubramaniam's nephew, R. Kumaresan, 27, accompanied by lawyer N. Surendran, lodged a police report on the disappearance of his uncle and his family at the Brickfields District Police Headquarters, here at 5pm Saturday.

Kumaresan said he failed to contact his uncle after Balasubramaniam held the media conference at a hotel here, Friday morning.

"I tried to contact my uncle almost 10 times but failed. Finally at 6pm yesterday, I decided to go to his house and found that Bala's car was there. However, no one was at home," he told reporters after lodging the police report.

He said he had made the police report because he feared for the safety of Balasubramaniam and his family, especially the safety of his wife and children, two boys and a girl aged between five and 11.

"Previously, this thing (disappearance) had never happened as we always keep in touch because I am very close to them," he said.

[More at]

I Have No Knowledge Of Anything - Najib - Bernama

PEKAN, July 5 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he knew nothing about the statutory declaration made by private investigator P Balasubramaniam, retracting the earlier declaration which he made under duress and because he was disappointed with the government.

"I have no knowledge of anything," said the Deputy Prime Minister.

He said this when asked to comment on the latest statutory declaration made by Balasubramaniam yesterday which denied all the allegations he had made that linked Najib to the Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

In his statutory declaration Friday, Balasubramaniam admitted that his earlier statutory declaration was inaccurate and untrue.

At a press conference Friday, Balasubramaniam's lawyer, M Arulampalam clarified that his client had made the statutory declaration on July 1 under duress and because he was disappointed with the government.

Asked whether the earlier statutory declaration by the private investigator had affected his image, Najib replied: "I have to face it, what can I do. I have to accept the fact that in Malaysian politics one can resort to dirty tactics, it's even alright to manipulate the law as long as one's objective is achieved."

Najib said he was leaving it to the authorities to take whatever action against the private investigator.

[More at]

Political drama is a plot by Anwar, says Dr M - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims that all the high-stake political drama now playing before the eyes of the public is a result of the plotting by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"I am not seeking sympathy from anyone. But it is a little bit too much to expect me to forget and forgive something that is happening now as a result of Anwar's plotting.

"Anwar has succeeded in blackening my name in the United States and Europe of course, but also in Muslim countries. They all think I simply threw him in prison for political reasons.

"He never said anything about how he was tried, how he was defended by nine lawyers, how the judge wrote a 360-page judgment against him, how his appeals were thrown out twice," Mahathir said in his blog

Dr Mahathir added, "He (Anwar) has sued me for RM100mil. He has successfully caused my lawyer to lose credibility. Now I have no lawyer to defend me against his suit. I still have this suit against me."

Anwar, he said, had now turned his attention on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

[More at]

Lawyer: Second SD was probably made under duress - The Star

By Shahanaaz Habib

KUALA LUMPUR: Americk Singh Sidhu, the lawyer who had prepared the first statutory declaration for private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, is convinced his client was intimidated to retract his declaration.

He believed the private eye had been coerced “by either threats or promises as I can think of no other reason”.

Balasubramaniam's first statutory declaration which he made public on Thursday in a press conference with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim alleged that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had had a sexual relationship with Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Balasubramaniam had said the police had omitted vital information about Najib's relationship with the murdered Mongolian translator.

Speaking at a press conference at the PKR headquarters yesterday, Americk Singh said his client had made the first statutory declaration voluntarily without duress.

He said he had first met Balasubramaniam two months ago at a restaurant where he was asked to help draft a formal document on the Altantuya case.

[More at]

Friday, July 4, 2008

Military Intelligence Deny Giving Anwar Information About His Safety - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's Military Intelligence on Friday denied that it had been a source of information for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim concerning threats to his safety or that of his family members.

Its director Lt Gen Datuk Mohd Salleh Ismail also denied it had a report on the Mongolian Altantuya murder case as claimed by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin in his statutory declaration (SD) made at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 18.

"Statements made by Anwar that military intelligence had warned him about threats to his safety are not true. He might have other sources of information but certainly not from my department," he told reporters after opening a basic digital photography course at Kolej Multimedia Telekom here.

He said this when asked to comment about Anwar claiming on Sunday that he had received information from government sources and military intelligence that Barisan Nasional (BN) agents planned to harm or assassinate him and also harm his family members and supporters.

Touching on Raja Petra's SD, he said:"Since I took over (as Director of Military Intelligence) I have no knowledge that such a report exists."

In his SD, Raja Petra had alleged that a copy of the report was in the possession of Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also the Member of Parliament for Rembau, and that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had knowledge of it.

[More at]

Malaysia voices displeasure over US statement - The Star

By Mazwin Nik Anis

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has ticked off the United States over what the Government regarded as "meddling into its internal affairs", following a statement by the US state department on recent investigations on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's case.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said a letter was dispatched to the US Embassy Friday morning addressed to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, voicing Malaysia's "displeasure and unhappiness" over the statement.

"The comments were uncalled for and Malaysia takes a serious view in respect of this position. We made it very clear in our letter that we are displeased with the statement. I hope this is taken stock of.

"Malaysia is a sovereign country with its own rules and laws and the United States should not condemn us just because they do not like our system or because they do not approve of our laws," he told reporters Friday after opening the media centre for the 6th Developing Eight (D8) Summit.

On Monday, foreign wires reported that US State Department spokesman Tom Casey as saying the United States would oppose any "politically motivated investigation" or prosecution of Anwar.

"The main point for us is that the rule of law needs to stand above politics," Casey was quoted as saying in the statement, adding the department "hoped there would not be a pattern" because Anwar had faced similar charges in 1998.

[More at]

Kuala Kangsar election petition dismissed - Malaysiakini

By Athi Veeranggan

The Ipoh High Court today dismissed an election petition that challenged the victory of former minister Rafidah Aziz in the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituency.

Election Judge Zakaria Sam ruled that Rafidah's "silly mistake" in failing to sign two out of three sets of her nomination papers in the March 8 general election was not a proper reason to nullify the final outcome.

He added that the election for the seat proceeded freely, fairly and without any corrupt practices.

"Her presence at the nomination centre to submit her papers was enough to prove her consent to accept the nomination to contest," he said.

Since signing and submitting nomination papers were merely part of an electoral process, he said Rafidah's mistake was unsubstantial for the election officer to neither reject her candidacy nor stop the election process.

Moreover, the petitioner did not mention any other wrongdoings like corrupt practices in his affidavit, other than on the ‘missing signature', he added.

He said non-compliance to the requirement to sign all three nomination papers would not have affected the election results anyway, stressing that "it was a mere technical error.'

[More at]

PI retracts stunning statutory declaration - Malaysiakini

By Soon Li Tsin

Private investigator P Balasubramaniam today retracted his stunning statutory declaration which had linked Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The said declaration claimed that Najib had a sexual relationship with Altantuya and that he was the one who had introduced the deceased to political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

In his new statutory declaration dated July 4, Balasubramaniam said that he was forced to make his earlier declaration under duress.

"I wish to retract the first declaration. I was compelled to affirm the July 1 declaration under duress," the new statutory declaration read.

He however did not reveal who forced him to affirm the first declaration.

Balasubramaniam disclosed this during a brief press conference at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur this morning. Also present was lawyer M Arulampalam.

[More at]

Abdullah: Govt stable, don’t believe in rumours - NST

By : V. Vasudevan and Joseph Sipalan

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is safe and stable, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said as he calmed jitters over the country's political outlook.

"This government is a stable government. Please believe that.

"The administration is moving, projects are being implemented.

"Please don't get overexcited about what is happening. There are a lot of rumours. Please don't believe them.

"Don't panic about what is happening," he said after chairing the first meeting of the Northern Corridor Economic Region board of directors yesterday.

Abdullah said there were no security issues or concerns in the country.

He dismissed rumours that an exercise being conducted by the police and army was a prelude to emergency rule.

"Please don't read anything into it. I don't think anyone should be worried. This is an exercise and should not be regarded as something else.

"Rumours here, rumours there. It is as if rumours are lording over us. I am not so wrong to say that Malaysians are very gullible."

[More at]

Anwar: Proof on Najib soon - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Evidence allegedly linking Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to murdered Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu will be released in the next few days.

“The next evidence will come in the next few days. Just be patient. This is not the end. I just want to test the nerve and commitment of the Prime Minister,” said PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He was taking questions from reporters at the press conference where private investigator P. Balasubramaniam – once hired by Abdul Razak Baginda – released a statutory declaration that alleged Najib’s involvement with Altantuya.

Anwar pointed out that when his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter Nurul Izzah met the Prime Minister in Parliament on Tuesday, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave the assurance that he would investigate Anwar’s recent police report against the Attorney-General (A-G) and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) about fabricating evidence in the 1998 infamous “black eye” incident.

Anwar, however, noted that just 10 minutes after Abdullah gave the assurance, he (Abdullah) told reporters he had full confidence in the A-G and IGP.

“So I don’t know what he means by giving that assurance because my police report involves these two key institutions and they had fabricated evidence against me,” he said.

[More at]

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Najib: Statutory declaration just a diversion -

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says the statutory declaration made by private investigator P Balasubramaniam is just to divert public attention from sodomy allegations against Anwar Ibrahim. Najib said this at a press conference at the Parliament Thursday evening.

DPM says statutory declaration is a ‘red herring’ - The Star

VIDEO: Najib: Statutory declaration just a diversion

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak read out a statement at a press conference in Parliament, saying that the statutory declaration by P. Balasubramaniam was a "red herring" by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to divert public attention from the sodomy allegation against him.

Following is a transcript of his statement:

"Firstly, I want to repeat that whatever that had been said is considered sub judice because the case is still under trial in court. However, I wish to repeat strongly that I did not know or have met the Mongolian woman mentioned in the statutory declaration.”

“The statutory declaration, which I consider as a horrible lie, a mere fabrication with malicious intention and slanderous element which aimed to smear my image. I am very sure that this is a very desperate attempt to divert attention from the sodomy allegation that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is facing now.”

“What is important now is not the matter raised as a diversion, (or) red herring, but what people want to know is whether the sodomy case happened or not. I hope the relevant authorities will investigate and make an announcement as soon as possible.”

“On the statutory declaration, because the declaration contradicts the testimonies in court and also with the police report, I leave it to the authorities to investigate fully.

The parties responsible (for the statutory declaration) should be prepapred to accept any consequences if the authorities uncover any legal wrongdoing."


PI Points Finger At No. 2 Leader In New Twist To Mongolian's Murder - AP

KUALA LUMPUR: A private detective claimed Thursday (3 July) that police officers who investigated the 2006 killing of a Mongolian woman deliberately suppressed statements that might have indicated the Malaysian deputy prime minister's involvement in the case.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak did not respond to requests by The Associated Press for comment. Najib's aides said he was likely to comment later Thursday. But responding to rumors in the past, Najib has denied any hand.

The latest claim by private detective Balasubramaniam Perumal, made in a sworn declaration, adds an unexpected twist to the case of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian translator and interpreter who was killed 19 Oct 2006.

Her body was blown up with explosives and only remains were found in a jungle clearing.

A close friend of Najib, Abdul Razak Baginda, is on trial for abetting her murder. Two policemen are on trial with him for murder, which shook Malaysia's political establishment because of the personalities involved and the gruesome nature of the killing. The trial is in a recess.

Abdul Razak, a prominent political analyst, says he had an affair with Shaariibuu, 28, and that she was harassing him for money. Abdul Razak hired Balasubramaniam a few days before Shaariibuu's death to keep her away from him.

At a news conference arranged by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, Balasubramaniam claimed Abdul Razak had told him that Najib had confessed to having a "sexual relationship" with her previously.

Balasubramaniam acknowledged his information was hearsay.

[More at]

Explosive claims linking Najib to Altantuya - Malaysiakini

By Soon Li Tsin

Private investigator P Balasubramaniam has made shocking claims that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had links with murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

He revealed that Najib had also informed his close associate Abdul Razak Baginda that inspector-general of police Musa Hassan would 'take care' of the murder case which implicated Abdul Razak.

He further revealed that his evidence linking Najib to the murdered Mongolian was removed by the police and prosecutors during the murder trial - a move seen to protect the DPM.

These shocking revelations were made by Balasubramaniam in a statutory declaration which he filed on July 1 and was revealed by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in a packed press conference this morning.

Balasubramaniam was the PI hired by Abdul Razak to ‘handle’ Altantuya, who had apparently come over to Malaysia in 2006 to settle some financial issues with Abdul Razak.

Soon after Altantuya was found murdered in an isolated site in Shah Alam, Selangor.

[More at]

Azmin: Anwar will be PM by Sept 16 - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR’s plan to make Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim Prime Minister by Sept 16 is still on track, said the party's vice-president Azmin Ali.

The Gombak MP, however, said with the latest allegations hurled against the de facto leader, there was some “slowing down of the process”.

“I spoke last night to the four Barisan Nasional MPs who want to crossover and they said their commitment has not wavered even with the latest fiasco. So far, there is no change. We are still on track,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

He said following a rally in Shah Alam on Tuesday night, they would be holding similar gatherings in Penang on Saturday and Kuala Lumpur a day after.

He did not dismiss the possibility of street protests.

“Maybe we will use this forum for people to express their anger over what is happening and what is done by the present (Federal Government) leadership,” he said.

[More at]

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Raja Petra's Malaysia Today website hacked and altered - NST


If you click to open the Malaysia Today website just now, you will be greeted by a smiling Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dressed in army fatigues, an obvious picture alteration to the Mel Gibson movie poster “We Were Soldiers.”

The site, edited and owned by the controversial Raja Petra Kamarudin, was hacked since early this morning by a hacker simply known as Gasakdotnet.

The hack appeared to be a political statement alluding to Dr Mahathir’s “battle” for his country when he was prime minister from 1981 to 2003, which also includes the tagline "My Countrymen, My Fellow Malaysian."

In the tradition of movie promotions, the hacked poster is drumming up support for a “movie now showing nationwide”, another statement alluding to Dr Mahathir’s series of lectures and meetings criticising the Prime Minister's policies and management style.

Malaysia Today is no stranger to hacks, which included earlier attacks that prevented surfers from viewing the site.

[More at]

Malaysians Perceive Corruption To Be Declining - Survey - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, July 2 (Bernama) -- A local survey has revealed that Malaysians now perceive corruption in the country to be declining in contrast to findings by Transparency International.

The survey, which was done by the Statistics Department and funded by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), showed that from the total 10 points of the corruption perception index, Malaysia scored 6.79 points compared to 5.10 points in Transparency International's index. The lower the figure the worse the situation.

According to the National Integrity Perception Index Research Report 2007, which was launched, here today, the people's perception on corruption alleviation was expected to be better this year and in the future.

Malaysian Integrity Institute President, Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh when presenting the findings, said this was due to the government's development policy and increase in transparency, including efforts to make the Anti- Corruption Agency (ACA) a fully independent commission.

Speaking to reporters after the launching, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, however, said that both findings should not be compared as they involved different sets of respondents.

"This is the first time such the survey was conducted. It's a good start and will be the benchmark to improve national integrity," he said.

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Malaysia's Anwar vows to seize power - AP

By Vijay Joshi

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has vowed to seize power soon, stepping up his campaign against the government as he fights back an accusation of sodomizing a young worker in his office.

Addressing some 7,000 people on Tuesday night, Anwar accused the ruling National Front coalition government of being corrupt, inefficient and uncaring. He promised to set right the problems plaguing the country, including bringing down fuel prices, which were raised by a whopping 41 percent to 63 percent last month.

The opposition will "rule in a short while" and "the next day we will lower the price of oil," he said to loud cheers in his first public meeting since he was hit by the sodomy accusation last week.

Police are investigating the allegation by a 23-year-old male aide. Anwar, 60, who is married with six children, says he is a victim of a conspiracy by a desperate government clinging to power.

Sodomy, even if consensual, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

The government has denied any hand in the claim.

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I have a strong alibi, says Anwar - The Star

VIDEO: Anwar: We Will Fight

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dismissed the sodomy accusation, saying he has a strong alibi to prove his innocence.

“I have ample proof and witnesses,” he said at a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters here yesterday.

Anwar was silent for a few seconds, then took another question, before replying to a question on his whereabouts on Thursday night last week when his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan alleged that he had been sodomised by Anwar.

The PKR de facto leader declined to elaborate on the matter, saying he had been advised by his lawyers to refrain from doing so.

Compared to the first time when he was charged with committing sodomy in 1993, Anwar said he was well prepared with facts and documents now.

“Back then, the police stole my diary and never returned it. We struggled to think of what happened years ago. This time, events are still fresh in my memory. There is the diary and witnesses.

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Dr M not surprised by sodomy allegation - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was not surprised over the recent sodomy allegation against his former deputy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“I am not surprised at all. He is saying it is a fabrication but he said the same thing last time,” he said when asked to comment on the new allegation.

The allegation came about after a 23-year-old former aide of Anwar lodged a police report on Saturday alleging sodomy. The de facto leader of PKR in turn filed a suit against the aide claiming defamation and malicious falsehood.

Anwar has vehemently denied the accusations and said it was a political conspiracy against him given his plans to return to Parliament.

Anwar alleged that the Government was out to get him, just when he was about to announce where he would be contesting in a by-election. The Government has denied his allegation.

“He will have lots of stories. There is always conspiracy as far as he is concerned. I’m not surprised at all,” Dr Mahathir said in an interview.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Anwar: We Will Fight -

PKR held an impromptu rally Tuesday night in reaction to the sodomy allegations made against its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

PM gives assurance of security - The Star

By Sim Leoi Leoi

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has given an assurance of security for PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the latest police probe against him for sodomy.

The Premier said this Tuesday after meeting with Opposition Leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her daugther Nurul Izzah Anwar for 20 minutes at his office in Parliament building here.

Abdullah said during the meeting, Dr Wan Azizah had asked him to ensure the safety of her husband and that he would not be ill-treated.

“For the Government, we want to ensure the safety for whoever is involved in the case - whether it be the accuser or the accused.

“The laws of the country guarantee their security,” he told reporters here Tuesday.

Abdullah said Dr Wan Azizah had also voiced doubts over the role of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail as both had been involved in the last sodomy case against Anwar back in 1998.

“I want to explain that both the IGP and the AG are professionals, who carry out their responsibilities well.

“At present, there is no need to have a mechanism like a commission to probe the case,” he said.

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Anwar lodges report against IGP, AG - Malaysiakini

By Chan Kok Leong

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today lodged a police report against police chief Musa Hassan and attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail for allegedly fabricating evidence in his trials 10 years ago.

Anwar arrived at the Selangor state police headquarters in Shah Alam at about 2.50pm, accompanied by his lawyer Sankara Nair.

Four of his party leaders, including vice president R Sivarasa and treasurer William Leong, had arrived much earlier at about 2.20pm and waited for Anwar to come to lodge the report.

Outside the station, several other party leaders, including two of PKR's MPs N Gobalakrishnan and Yusmadi Yusoff, were disappointed that they weren't allowed into the police headquarters.

The crowd of supporters, though small in numbers (about 30), were vociferous, especially when led by Gobalakrishnan. And after Anwar had arrived 10 minutes later, the two managed to push through the gates, although they were stopped from following their leader into the police station.

A minor scuffle broke out with Anwar's supporters shouting through the gates, but no untoward incidents took place. Soon after, Gopalakrishnan and Yusmadi managed to get to the entrance of the police station.

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‘Anwar putting on a show’ - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should learn to tell the difference between "reality and play-acting", said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

He said the former deputy prime minister's claim of fearing for his life was baseless.

"I guarantee that his life will not be in danger when police carry out their investigation. We have a legal system here and everyone, including Anwar, must respect it."

Syed Hamid said that since Anwar was released from prison, he had the freedom to do what he wanted as a political activist, both locally and overseas. "Nobody has threatened him. He could move freely making all sorts of statements and allegations.

"We have not taken any action to endanger his life. Why should we do that? His family has done very well in the political arena. This is not a country that stops people from doing what they want to do, so long as it is within the law."

Syed Hamid said Anwar's claims were merely "play-acting" by the Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader to "gain sympathy and make everyone believe his life is in danger".

"This has nothing to do with the government. If a private person reports something, it is the duty of the police to investigate."

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Najib: Chinese will not be left out in Ninth Plan - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Chinese will not be left out in strategies to eradicate socio-economic inequalities in the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

Najib, who gave a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday explaining the details of the third thrust of the strategy framework of the MTR , said an additional explanatory statement needed to be outlined to prevent the issue from being misunderstood by any party.

He added the third thrust, which concentrated on addressing persistent socio-economic inequalities between ethnic groups, would give emphasis on three groups which still lagged behind the other races in terms of income and wealth ownership.

Najib said the three groups were the bumiputras, bumiputras from Sabah and Sarawak and the Indian community.

“This effort will not discriminate against the Chinese community and other groups as outlined under the national philosophy of growth which we had been practising since the 1970s,” he said .

Najib said emphasis would be given to the bumiputras to enable them to have 19.4% equity ownership in the corporate sector, 15% ownership of premises and an average income of RM3,156 each; Sabah and Sarawak bumiputras to have 3% ownership in the corporate sector and have an average income from RM2,063 to RM2,858 each; and the Indians to have 1.1% ownership in the corporate sector, 3.8% premises ownership and an average income of RM3,799.

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Family shoots down conspiracy theory - The Star

By Faslika Das and Ong Eu Lin

PETALING JAYA: Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s family stands by him and stresses that no one put them up to accuse Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy.

An uncle of Mohd Saiful, who did not want to be named, said the family was on its own in this matter.

“We are not getting any backing from the Government. We are on our own but as a family we fully support Saiful.

“We had asked for the Government’s help but they have chosen to back off and not dirty their hands,” he said when met at his house here yesterday.

The uncle added that they had repeatedly called the Inspector-General of Police but were told to stop calling his number.

He said his nephew had initially approached the Bukit Aman police station to lodge his report against Anwar but they turned him away upon learning who he was accusing.

Mohd Saiful eventually found a police station in Kuala Lumpur which was willing to accept his report, his uncle added.

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