Saturday, March 29, 2008

重建民政威信‧家全暗吁子根交棒 - Guang Ming Daily






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Malaysian opposition slams government's refusal to free Indian lawmaker - AP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- A Malaysian opposition party on Saturday condemned the government's refusal to release an ethnic Indian activist elected as a state legislator while in jail.

M.Manoharan - a leader of the Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf - was arrested shortly after his group organized a rally in November in which 20,000 Indians protested alleged government discrimination. He has been held since December under Malaysia's Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.

While behind bars, he contested the March 8 election as a member of the Democratic Action Party and won a seat in the Selangor state legislature.

Despite Manoharan's win, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the government cannot free him because he is still a security threat, The Star newspaper reported Saturday.

Calls to Syed Hamid and his aides went unanswered Saturday.

Lim Kit Siang, who heads the opposition Democratic Action Party slammed the government's decision.

"It shows that the Cabinet is not really listening to the people's voice for change toward a more democratic, accountable, just and more progressive Malaysian society," Lim told The Associated Press.

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Dr Mahathir Explains Letter About Terengganu MB's Appointment - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his letter published in several newspapers on Friday was an explanation about the present political scenario particularly the appointment of Datuk Ahmad Said as Terengganu Menteri Besar.

The explanation was based on his understanding about the country's constitution, he said.

"I knew something about the consitution. So I thought there are a lot of confusion and a lot of worry regarding the role played by the Ruler. I feel I should explain based on what I knew.

"It is so that people who are suspicious of what was done by the Sultan will understand his action. His Majesty did not take action arbitrarily and there are reasons," he told reporters after a Perkim function here Friday night.

In the letter, Dr Mahathir said: "A concerned Malaysia has expressed his worry over the role being played by Sultans in the appointment of the menteri besar. His Royal Highnesses have clearly refused to take the advice of the chief minister i.e. the prime minister. Instead, they have chosen on their own a member of the state legislature to head the government."

Further down in the same letter, he said: "The prime minister, as prime minister has no role in the choice of the state menteri besar or chief minister. His naming of candidate who should be the menteri besar is purely a party matter."

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Azalina heads tourism promotion board - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has been appointed chairman of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board while Datuk Seri Mahadzir Khalid was named the deputy.

The ministry's public relations unit in a statement yesterday also said AirAsia chief executive Datuk Tony Fernandes, Datuk Philip Chan of Skrine Advocates & Solicitors, Corston-Smith Asset Management managing director Shireen Muhiudeen and Umno Cheras branch head Datuk Wira Syed Ali Alhabshee were appointed to the new board of directors.

Tourism Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Victor Wee, Malaysia Airlines chief operating officer Datuk Idris Jala, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Ngiam Foon and Malaysian Association of Hotels president Datuk Mohd Ilyas Zainol Abidin were reappointed as members of the board.


Barisan’s 22 reps to back Ahmad - The Star

By R.S.N. Murali

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu Mentri Besar saga has ended with the 22 assemblymen who initially opposed the appointment of Datuk Ahmad Said now supporting his appointment.

Terengganu Umno liaison committee secretary Datuk Rosol Wahid said the 22, who had earlier backed former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, had reconciled with Ahmad.

He said they would now be a united front and support the decision by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to end the controversy over who should be appointed the state's Mentri Besar.

“We are now one big family and abide by the command of our general (Abdullah),” he said yesterday.

The 22, out of the state's 24 Barisan assemblymen, had earlier pledged support for Idris as Mentri Besar. However, the state's Regency Advisory Council appointed Kijal assemblyman Ahmad as Mentri Besar on March 23.

Idris also initially had Abdullah's backing but the Umno supreme council on Thursday decided to endorse Ahmad's appointment.

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Hamid: We can’t just free ISA detainee - The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Hindu Rights Action Force leader M. Manoharan who is being detained under the Internal Security Act cannot be released just because he was elected Kota Alam Shah assemblyman, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said.

“We cannot simply react to political parties’ calls. We have to give priority to public safety and peace and will give due consideration only if there is no threat to national security.”

Manoharan would not be able to attend state assembly sessions while under detention.

He could, however, take the oath as a state assemblyman at the detention camp as this had been done in the past, Syed Hamid said.

Chian Heng Kai and Chan Kok Kit, who won the Batu Gajah and Sungai Besi parliamentary seats respectively on a DAP ticket, were sworn-in in the presence of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and secretary, and camp authorities in 1978.

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