Thursday, April 10, 2008

Anwar: No motion against PM -

Parti Keadilan Rakyat Advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says the opposition will not be pushing for a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister any time soon.

Ong coy on PKFZ probe details -

Newly appointed Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat was coy about his pledge to probe the RM4.6 billion 'soft-loan' to the Port Klang Free Zone and refused to divulge any details.

可以朋友身份帮助马华‧林良实坚守不问政事 - Sin Chew Daily






Converts To Islam Must Declare Religious Status, Says Abdullah - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, April 10 (Bernama) -- The Federal government will soon make it a requirement for non-Muslims converting to Islam to declare their new religious status to their family members, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said the step was aimed at avoiding problems when they died.

"We do not want the religious department saying the deceased was a Muslim but the family members disputing it because he or she converted on the quiet," he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the National Council on Islamic Religious Affairs here Thursday.

Once the new ruling was in place, he said non-Muslims who converted to Islam must be in possession of documents stating that they had informed their family members about their conversion.

Abdullah said he had informed the meeting that religious issues were ultra-sensitive and must be tackled wisely and did not want them to cause racial tension.

These included the demolition of houses of worship, conversions and funeral disputes, he said.

The meeting also discussed the assimilation of research staff at the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) into the Halal Industry Development Corporation.


HPTC - The End - The Sun

By R. Nadeswaran and Terence Fernandez

PUTRAJAYA (April 10, 2008): The much-maligned proposed High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) in Brickendonbury outside London has been shelved and buried for good.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob drove the final nail into the coffin today when he said there would be no appeals as they would be fruitless.

But more importantly, he assured the public that extravagance and unnecessary expenditure will be things of the past as all projects and programmes - present and future - that involved huge expenses will be reviewed or stopped.

Regrettably, he will not be able to save RM17 million – the "bidding fee" for the Champions Youth Cup (CYC) which Malaysia will host in August. The minister has no choice but to honour the commitments made by his predecessor.

Ismail said as the proposal to develop the Tun Abdul Razak Rubber Research Centre into the HPTC has been rejected by the East Herts Council, there was no use in pursuing the matter any further.

"Even if we appealed, I am certain the council will give the same answer. I’m sure the council has its reasons for not approving it, and if we were to appeal, this process would incur more cost," Ismail said at a specially-called media conference in his ministry to address the HPTC issue.

The council had last October cited green belt zoning and the existence of abundant sports facilities as reasons for rejecting the proposal.

[More at]

6 wounded in shootout at Malaysia's airport - AP

The robbers flee in a getaway car with $1 million in cash after the heist

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Robbers shot and wounded six people before escaping with about $1 million in cash at Malaysia's main international airport Wednesday, police and news reports said.

A group of between four and six robbers opened fire at two currency exchange workers and two security guards accompanying them as they carried a bag of cash outside the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, according to the Bernama news agency.

District police chief Zahedi Ayub told Bernama that two other bystanders were also wounded. Flights were not disrupted, he said.

A district police official confirmed that six people were wounded in an armed robbery, but said he could not provide details. Airport authorities could not immediately be contacted.

The suspects "were dark-skinned and believed to be locals," the news agency quoted Zahedi as saying. "Based on preliminary investigations, it appears that the robbers knew the movements of the victims and it is categorized as an organized crime."

Police have set up road checkpoints to find the robbers, Zahedi said.

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The Sun Front Page (10/4)

Read this doc on Scribd: The Sun Malaysia Cover (10 April 2008)
The nation’s FREE newspaper 30 sen for delivery to your doorstep MEMBER AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATIONS (MALAYSIA) 275,000 COPIES DAILY Award winning newspaper for public service reporting and opinion writing. No. 4489 PP 2644/12/2008 (020369) Thursday April 10, 2008 TELLING IT AS IT IS » 200 given 2nd chance pg2 » Why good rulers should let bad politicians be pg18-19 Extra Disney’s pg26 cool show Judicial renaissance RAJA NAZRIN: INCREMENTAL AND COSMETIC CHANGES NOT ENOUGH TO REVITALISE JUDICIARY has become more educated. “The old model of large and rigid bureaucracies handing out government largesse has also become outdated. And governments can no longer just offer their citizens material wealth. The intangible benefits of development, including an absence of corruption, abuse and repression, and the protection and enlargement of individual rights and freedoms, are now equally important goods that citizens demand and which governments must deliver. “We must not be fooled into believing that to be monetarily rich, only practical expediency matters and that judicial integrity and independence do not. I say ‘monetarily rich’ and not ‘developed’ because there is a very big difference between the two. I do not believe it is possible to be developed without a highly respected judiciary.” Raja Nazrin also listed the features of a judicial renaissance. Judicial power and courage “The courts have unfettered powers to interpret the Constitution, to construe laws, and to declare any law or administrative action that is inconsistent with the Constitution to be void. Preserving and protecting the Constitution require judicial courage.” If the judiciary is filled with the highest calibre of men and women that this nation has to offer, not only in terms of ability but also values, there is nothing to fear. We must never fear truth, knowledge and wisdom. We should always fear their opposites.” Governments can no longer just offer their citizens material wealth. The intangible benefits of development, including an absence of corruption, abuse and repression, and the protection and enlargement of individual rights and freedoms, are now equally important goods that citizens demand and which governments must deliver.” – Raja Nazrin proven to be and will continue to be challenging. They send a clear message that we cannot continue on a course of ‘business-as-usual’.” He said in the current environment, the opinion and decisions of men and women of reason, wisdom and balance in all spheres of life will be in even greater demand than before, especially in the courts of law. “If the judiciary is filled with the highest calibre of men and women that this nation has to offer, not only in terms of ability but also values, there is nothing to fear. We must never fear truth, knowledge and wisdom. We should always fear their opposites. I therefore urge you to press on. May the judicial renaissance grow and flourish under your careful hands and watchful eyes,” he told the judges. He said the reputation of our judiciary can be maintained only if the high standards adopted were consistently adhered to. “In the last two decades, judicial independence and integrity have eroded. The result is a lack of confidence in the judicial system and the complete disregard for the law by some quarters. These are dark stains on our honour and reputation and they have the potential to weaken if not destroy the nation.” PUTRAJAYA: Addressing an issue that has bugged the nation for far too long, Regent of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah yesterday said Malaysia needs nothing short of a “judicial renaissance”. He said undertaking incremental and cosmetic modifications are not enough to revitalise the judiciary. “Without it, one of the three pillars that hold up this nation will remain in a significantly weakened state. Injustices will continue to perpetuate. Efforts at developing social cohesion and nation-building will be severely compromised,” he told the threeday Annual Judges Conference which started yesterday. Noting that the present climate presents an opportunity to press on with much-needed changes, Raja Nazrin said the judicial renaissance that was emerging must therefore not be allowed to roll back. “We must constantly fuel the engines of this renaissance.” “Change is never easy. Resistance must always be assumed. The inertia of the status quo is very strong and this is especially true when the situation is serious and the changes required are huge. “There will be the everpresent temptation to undertake just incremental and cosmetic modifications. We need to recognise that these are not sufficient for the judicial revitalisation and renewal that this country needs and deserves,” he said. Raja Nazrin said the results of the last general election had introduced a greater degree of contestation in policy-making, legislation and administration. “Some of these changes may be transient. Others could well be permanent. Whatever the case, the new political realities have Raja Nazrin listed the hallmarks of a judicial renaissance. respect for the rule of law. He reiterated that the Federal Constitution must be defended by all as it was crafted to cater to the country’s pluralistic character. “Each time an administrative decision is taken that runs contrary to its provisions, the Constitution is in danger of being deemed irrelevant. This is why it is absolutely critical for judges to be sensitive to the spirit that underlies the Constitution.” He said the courts must be uncompromising on constitutional questions. He said the three pillars of government must be highly responsive and accountable to cater to a society that has become more complex and a citizenry that » » Only men and women of the highest integrity and intellect are elevated. He paid tribute to the late Tan Sri Abdul Malek Ahmad, who was made Court of Appeal president in 2004. Malek passed away last year. He also praised those who have dedicated their lives to upholding the sanctity of the law. judicial appointments. “There is merit in the suggestion for the establishment of a Judicial » A transparent mechanism in » Turn to Page 4 » Read the full text of the speech on » » good governance RICE LINE ... Women holding government-subsidised rice walk past residents waiting to buy the staple outside a Manila church yesterday. The Philippines will dismantle an import tariff on private rice purchases to encourage more buyers and boost supplies. In Haiti, people erected fiery barricades and tried to storm the National Palace as protests against rising food prices paralysed the nation’s capital. See PAGE 15. REUTERSPIX

Karpal: We are a secular state - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh has called on Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak not to emulate the proverbial ostrich, which buries its head in the sand and is oblivious to what is happening around it.

Karpal said this in his response to Azizan's call to him to keep quiet at Pas' intention to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

"What can be a bigger and fundamental issue than Pas' intention to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

"This issue cannot and should not be swept under the carpet. If Pas' efforts to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state becomes a reality, that would mean Hudud laws would be extended to non-Muslims," said Karpal yesterday.

Karpal called on Pas to accept that Malaysia is a secular state with a multi-religious population.


Khalid: Previous government okayed pig project on Jan 30 - The Star

By Wani Muthiah

SHAH ALAM: Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has reiterated that it was the previous state government that approved the centralised pig farming project in Ladang Tumbuk, Mukim Batu in Kuala Langat.

He said records showed that approval was given to acquire 136.4ha for the project under Section 3 (1) (a) of the Land Acquisition Act.

The decision was made at an executive council meeting on Jan 30 where it was also decided that the cost of the acquisition would be borne by a private company and the proceeds channelled to the Selangor state Economic Planning Unit.

Earlier, former mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo told a press conference that the previous state government decided on a smaller project.

“We did not discuss a project costing as much as RM100mil and the state government had also agreed not to come out with any allocation for it,” he said.

[More at]

I owe nobody any apology, says Dr Mahathir - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused DAP chairman Karpal Singh of being a detractor who was moved by pure hatred.

In a two-paragraph open letter to Karpal Singh dated April 3, the former prime minister said the politician was like any of his other detractors who would never believe him (Dr Mahathir) no matter what he said.

“You are moved by pure hatred and I cannot respond to people who can never accept reality. My conscience is clear. I have done what was my duty, and I owe nobody any apology,” Dr Mahathir wrote.

The letter was a reply to Karpal Singh’s earlier open letter stating that the former prime minister had abused the provisions of Article 125(3) of the Federal Constitution during the 1988 judicial crisis.

This led to the setting up of the two tribunals which found Tun Salleh Abas, Datuk George Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh guilty of misconduct.

In his letter, Dr Mahathir also said Karpal Singh would make use of his letter to tarnish his name further.

[More at]

Mukhriz: No point having PM-Dr M meeting now - The Star

By Meera Vijayan

JOHOR BARU: A meeting now between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be futile, as old issues remain unresolved.

Dr Mahathir’s son, Datuk Mukhriz said he did not believe the meeting would be of any use as there were broken promises from the dialogue between the two in 2006.

Mukhriz said that after the meeting when his father had explained where the present Government had gone wrong, Pak Lah had immediately said he himself would address all the issues brought up.

“Shortly after that, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said Proton would answer issues concerning it, but at the end of the day, none of these issues were ever addressed,” he said.

Mukhriz said if the issues had been addressed at that point, perhaps the general election results would have been different.

According to him, the reason Barisan Nasional faced such heavy losses in the elections was because people were not encouraged to speak out, regardless of whether they were from the Opposition or within the party.

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Khairy gets backing for post - The Star

IPOH: Khairy Jamaluddin is the most appropriate person to replace Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as Umno Youth chief, Perak Umno Youth chief Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said.

Pledging his support for the Umno Youth deputy chief, Zainol Fadzi said Khairy had demonstrated the qualities of a leader of calibre during his tenure as the movement’s number two.

“He is also an effective and loyal deputy to Hishammuddin. His ability and experience have been proven time and again in the agenda and political struggles of Umno Youth,” he said in a statement yesterday.


Siva: I was offered RM80mil to cross over - The Star

IPOH: Buntong assemblyman A. Sivasubramaniam has lodged a police report, claiming that he was offered RM80mil to switch to Barisan Nasional.

The Perak assemblyman, who hit the headlines for resigning from DAP and then withdrawing his resignation six hours later, lodged the report yesterday.

He was questioned by the state Anti-Corruption Agency on Tuesday after similar allegations by his fellow party man V. Sivakumar, the Tronoh assemblyman.

Sivasubramaniam said he received the offers through his mobile phone.

Asked why he had only brought the matter to the police after so long, Sivasubramaniam said, “These people are becoming too arrogant and I feel I have to put a stop to this.”

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