Friday, March 14, 2008

Street protest in Penang -

Some 1,000 Umno members and supporters protested around Komtar, in Penang on Friday against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s remarks on the New Economic Policy.

Abdullah Leaves It To Umno Youth To Act Against Mukhriz - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, March 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has left it to Umno Youth to take action against Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, who is an executive committee member of the movement, for asking him to step down as the prime minister.

"I am leaving it to Datuk Seri Hishammuddin (Tun Hussein, the Umno Youth chief) to take the appropriate action (against Mukhriz), he told Bernama in an interview at Seri Perdana, the official residence of the Prime Minister here.

He said this when asked to comment on a letter written by Mukhriz and sent to the Prime Minister whereby Mukhriz had urged Abdullah to take responsibility for the Barisan Nasional's poor performance in Saturday's general election and step down as the prime minister.

"A day before he sent the letter to me, he issued a statement voicing support for me and that collective responsibility must be taken for what happened and several other statements that were seen as positive to me.

"Suddenly he has made an about turn... just a day after that he sent the letter, not only to me but also Datuk (Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) and the whole country. "To me this is not good way or approach. This is one reaction from him as a member of Umno Youth, which has already taken a decision to support me and the party leadership.

"He has also stated I and Najib should be supported to lead the party and government...this (letter asking Abduallh to step down) contradicst the stand taken by Umno and the Umno Youth movement," said Abdullah.

[More at]

Selangor PAS reps to contribute 30% of allowance to help poor - The Star

By Dharmender Singh

SHAH ALAM: All PAS MPs, state executive councillors (excos) and assemblymen in Selangor will contribute 30% of their allowances to help the poor in the state.

Selangor PAS Commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Ali said the decision for the contribution by all three categories of representatives had been agreed upon by all those concerned and it was expected to start from the first payments that they receive.

“We talked about a welfare-conscious state in our manifesto before the elections and we feel that it should start from the elected representatives themselves,” he said.

He said the representatives had also been told to bear any costs for victory celebrations themselves as no public funds should be wasted on such functions.

Dr Hasan said all PAS MPs and assemblymen had also been directed to declare their assets and use their own vehicles for transport as no new ones would be provided.

“The assemblymen will declare their assets to the Mentri Besar while the MPs will declare theirs to the party leadership,” he said, adding that they would be given three months to do so.

He said they were also barred from being directly involved in businesses to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure that they were not “too busy” to attend to their voters.

[More at]

I am willing to listen, says Guan Eng - The Star

By Zarinah Daud

PENANG: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Umno leaders need not take to the streets to express their disappointment as they can always meet him on issues affecting Penang Malays.

He said he was surprised that those who took part in Friday's demonstration did not submit any memorandum to the authorities.

"What is the demonstration for? Taking their expression to the street did not help much except for the massive traffic jam they created all over the island leading to Komtar.

"They can always come to my office. I will listen to them if it is in the interest of the people.

"I will entertain all appointments, including those made by Umno leaders," he said.


Don't Listen To Rumours, Says Lim - Bernama

PENANG, March 14 Bernama) -- Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has called on the people of Penang not to listen to rumours which can destroy the spirit of goodwill among the various races in the state.

He said the act by irresponsible parties in spreading the rumours could undermine the new state government's efforts to create harmony in the state.

"This new government is the government of all the people of Penang, irrespective of political background, race or religion. We want to represent all the people in this state," he told reporters after a closed-door meeting with 21 Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at his office here today .

Present were the two deputy chief ministers, Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin and Dr P.Ramasamy.

At the meeting Lim reiterated his promise that the DAP-Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) coalition government would not sideline the Malays and Muslims.

"The position of Islam is not disputed and the rumours that the azan (call to prayer) will not be allowed are untrue. This is the first I'm hearing such stories.

Lim said he also told the NGOs that he would hold a meeting with Mohammad Fairus on the position of the Malays in Tanjung Tokong.

[More at]

Mukhriz calls for PM to quit - Malaysiakini

Umno leader Mukhriz Mahathir has called for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign after the ruling coalition's unprecedented election setback.

As a member of Umno's influential young wing, Mukhriz is the highest-ranking member of the party to openly push for Abdullah to stand down.

"I feel that Abdullah has to take responsibility for our losses and that the honourable thing to do is to withdraw," said Mukhriz Mahathir, who has written a letter to the premier calling for him to quit.

The call adds to the pressure on Abdullah, who heads the ruling (Umno), which leads the Barisan Nasional coalition that was humbled in the March 8 polls.

"By his resignation, then at least the confidence in Umno and Barisan Nasional will be somewhat restored in the eyes not only of the people but also our members," Mukhriz told AFP.

Five days ago, Mukhriz's father, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had made a similar call for Abdullah to quit.

However, the embattled premier won his party's backing in a meeting on Monday and he has vowed not to surrender.

[More at]

Swearing-in called off - The Star

IPOH: The swearing-in of the new Perak Mentri Besar has been postponed indefinitely.

The ceremony, which was scheduled for 4pm at Istana Iskandariah here yesterday, was called off after leaders of the new DAP-PKR-PAS coalition government had an audience with the Regent of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.

Comptroller of the Royal Household at Istana Iskandariah Datuk Seri Raja Mansor Raja Razman announced the postponement.

Perak PAS secretary Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was initially scheduled to take his oath of office as the Mentri Besar before Raja Nazrin.

Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming said that Raja Nazrin wanted a letter of undertaking from all 31 opposition assemblymen indicating their support for the formation of the new DAP-PKR-PAS coalition government.

“The letter should also state that all 31 of them supported the appointment of Pasir Panjang assemblyman Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the new Mentri Besar,” said Nga, who is also Pantai Remis assemblyman.

[More at]

Nazri: We may see end of NEP - The Star

By Shahanaaz Habib

KUALA LUMPUR: The election results signal the beginning of the possible demise of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and special rights for the Malays, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The Umno supreme council member said it appeared that the Malays, especially in the town areas, had become more confident now and felt they could compete with the other races on a level playing field.

“We (Umno) have to really sit down and think. It looks like the educated Malays do not care about Malay rights anymore,” he said when contacted.

“The Malay doctors, lawyers, engineers feel they have made it on their own merit.

“It looks like the NEP is not something that can be used to persuade the Malays to support the Barisan Nasional.

“The Malays are saying ‘you can’t scare us by talking about us losing our rights, because we are here on our own merit’.”

[More at]

DAP decision will affect all Malaysians, says Hisham - The Star

PETALING JAYA: The DAP’s decision to abolish the New Economic Policy (NEP) could cause national instability, said Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

He said in a statement that the NEP had played a crucial task in equity distribution among the rakyat and their economic role, successfully eradicating poverty in many areas since it was introduced in 1971 after the May 13 riots.

Hishammuddin was responding to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s decision to not practise the NEP.

Lim had on Tuesday told reporters that the DAP-led state government would not practise the NEP after his swearing-in as the new Penang Chief Minister, citing the policy as a source of cronyism, corruption and inefficiency.

Hishammuddin said the move would not only negatively affect the Malays, but all Malaysians as well.

“Such irresponsible actions from DAP will only worsen the economic disparity of our multi-racial country.

[More at]