Sunday, August 31, 2008

PM: It’s a caring Budget - The Star

By Yeng Ai Chun and Roslina Mohamad

KEPALA BATAS: Budget 2009 is not about the Government wanting to gain back its popularity but for it to fulfil its responsibility to the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said the Government had a responsibility to the people, adding that the Budget was a “caring budget.”

“If we don’t give, we are accused of being uncaring, that we do not have feelings and we are deaf to the people’s hardship.

“But when we give, we want to be popular. So how now? What do you choose? Give or don’t give?” he said after chairing the Bertam Umno branch meeting yesterday.

When asked to comment about Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s remark that the budget is akin to giving gula-gula (sweets) to the poor and the people in Sabah and Sarawak, Abdullah said Anwar also does the same.

“He also tried to sweeten the people by saying he would cut petrol prices by 70 sen. Isn’t that sweets?” replied Abdullah, adding that the Government had received many good responses to the Budget.

[More at]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anwar sworn in as MP - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Permatang Pauh MP at 10.05am Thursday in a brief ceremony in Dewan Rakyat here.

Anwar, who turned up for the event in a simple black baju melayu, was accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and their daughter Nurul Izzah.

The moment he entered the Dewan, he was instantly surrounded by other Pakatan Rakyat members, including Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

However, only three ministers were present in the House for the swearing-in.

The swearing-in took place in front of Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.

After the swearing-in, Anwar took his place on the first seat on the Opposition block.

[More at]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Anwar, as expected - NST

By : A. Kathirasen, Sharanjit Singh, Lee Keng Fatt, Elizabeth John, Audrey Dermawan, S. Arulldas, Adie Suri Zulkefli, Melissa Darlyne Chow and Sajahan Waheed


As expected, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won the Permatang Pauh by-election yesterday.

He polled 31,195 votes compared with the 15,524 obtained by Barisan Nasional's Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah.

Anwar's majority of 15,671 votes was bigger than that obtained by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the March general election.

The third candidate, Hanafi Mamat, who contested on a Parti Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) ticket, only managed to get 92 votes, losing his RM15,000 deposit in the process.

There were 447 spoilt votes.

With the win, Anwar takes back the seat he had held from 1982 to 1999. In 1998, after he was sacked from government and jailed, Dr Wan Azizah won the seat in the general election that followed. She was returned again on March 8 but resigned on July 31, to force a by-election so that Anwar could return to Parliament.

That Anwar was set to make his political comeback after a 10-year absence, of which six were spent behind bars, became apparent by the time polling stations closed at 5pm.

An estimated 40,000 Pakatan Rakyat supporters swarmed the Tuanku Bainun Teacher Training College grounds to celebrate the victory.

The crowd began to gather at the area from 4pm. Conspicuously missing were Barisan Nasional supporters.

When the crowd grew larger, the field set aside for BN supporters was opened to Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

The crowd cheered each time the returning officer announced Anwar had won in a particular polling station.

Shouts of "reformasi" and "Merdeka" filled the air with supporters waving their party flag.

Dubbed the "mother" of all by-elections, BN was the underdog from the start as Permatang Pauh has long been Anwar's turf.

[More at]

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gov't slashes petrol price by 15 sen - Malaysiakini

The government announces that price of RON97 petrol will go down by 15 sen from RM2.70 to RM2.55 per litre at the pumps beginning midnight, a reduction of 5.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the lower grade RON92 petrol will be slashed by 22 sen from RM2.62 to RM2.40 a litre.

For diesel, the price will go down by eight sen, from RM2.58 to RM2.50.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made the announcement today - two days after he reiterated that petrol prices would not be cut before Aug 31.

It is believed that the announcement was made ahead the crucial by-election in Permatang Pauh to be held next Tuesday.

"The petrol prices were fixed after taking into account the real price of petrol from Aug 1 to Aug 21, as well as the fixing of 30 sen subsidy for both grades," he said in a statement.

[More at]

Friday, August 15, 2008

Saiful swears he was sodomised - The Star

By Loong Meng Yee, Zulklifi Abd Rahman and Nurbaiti Hamdan

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan took the ultimate religious step to maintain his honesty by swearing on the Al-Quran that he was sodomised by his former employer Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He challenged Anwar to also swear on the Quran, and dared him to deny the allegation in Allah's name inside a mosque.

"It is time to honour my responsibility as a Muslim and to stand up for the truth. I deeply understand that if I am lying, I will be cursed by Allah, and woe will befall me, my family and for generations to come," said Saiful, 23, in his first ever meeting with the press at the Dynasty Hotel here.

The lanky young man, wearing a light chocolate baju melayu and black pants, was calm throughout the 15 minutes press conference on Friday. He had first read from a prepared text and answered some questions from reporters before leaving the meeting room.

He had came straight to the press conference at 7.12pm after performing the swearing at the Federal Territory mosque. Saiful was accompanied by father Azlan Mohd Lazim and lawyer Zamri Idrus.

Saiful maintained he had performed the swearing voluntarily and even dared invoke Allah's name because he was telling the truth.

[More at]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Arif Shah is BN candidate - The Star

Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah is the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat by-election.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made the announcement in Permatang Pauh Wednesday night.

Arif Shah is the assemblyman for Seberang Jaya, which is among the three state seats under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency.

The other two are Permatang Pasir, which was won by PAS in the March 8 general election; while PKR clinched the Penanti seat.

The Permatang Pauh seat fell vacant on July 31, when Anwar's wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail resigned to make way for her husband to contest.

Nomination for the by-election is Saturday while polling will be on Aug 26.

[More at]

Friday, August 8, 2008

Anwar pleads not guilty to sodomy, freed on RM20,000 bond - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim walked out of the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on a RM20,000 personal bond without surety after he pleaded not guilty to a charge of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Many PKR supporters welcomed the decision of the judge to allow the bond because the PKR adviser was charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code for committing unnatural sex, a non-bailable offence.

The giving of bail is a discretionary exercise by the Sessions court.

The offence is said to have been committed at Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26.

The prosecution is led by Solicitor-General Datuk Idrus Harun and Attorney-General's Chambers' head of prosecution Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden.

The defence is a nine-man team led by senior lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah.

The whole process of charging, granting bail and leaving the courthouse was over in 90 minutes without much fuss.