Monday, April 14, 2008

20,000 defy police to celebrate Anwar's ban expiry -

About 20,000 people attended a rally in central Kuala Lumpur last night to mark the expiry of Anwar Ibrahim ban from public office, a decade after he was sacked as deputy prime minister.

Big crowd welcomes Anwar's return to electoral politics - NST


About 10,000 people thronged the Sultan Sulaiman Club tonight to welcome Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to electoral politics. Among the crowd was Parti Keadilan Rakyat president and Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, daughter Nurul Izzah, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR vice president Azmin Ali and Batu MP Tian Chua. DAP and Pas leaders also turned up for the event.

When Anwar arrived at 8.50pm, there were shouts of reformasi but no untoward incidents.

Police, including the Federal Reserve Unit and Light Strike Force patrolled the area but people were allowed to move about freely. There was also a large foreign media presence, including television crew.

Anwar, the PKR adviser, was banned from contesting any elections for five years after his release from jail following his conviction of corruption and abuse of power charges.

Tonight at midnight, the ban expired, allowing Anwar to be active in electoral politics. During the last general election he went around the country giving ceramah for his party's candidates as well as those from Pas and DAP.

However, about 30 minutes after Anwar spoke to the crowd, a dozen policemen went on stage to stop Anwar on grounds that he was addressing the rally, which had no police permit.

"The police chief has asked us to stop so we are stopping, but remain peaceful, because soon we will be running this country," Anwar told the crowd, who jeered police as the event was stopped.

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Kepentingan Melayu: Pas, PKR sedia muafakat dengan UMNO - Utusan

Oleh Azman Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR 14 April – Pas dan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) bersetuju untuk bermuafakat dengan UMNO dalam mempertahankan hak dan membincangkan hala tuju orang Melayu di negara ini.

Mereka juga meminta agar permuafakatan itu dapat dibentuk dalam tempoh panjang demi memelihara kepentingan bersama.

Ketua Dewan Pemuda Pas Pusat, Salahuddin Ayub berkata, pada dasarnya beliau bersetuju dengan cadangan tersebut kerana ia membawa kebaikan untuk orang Melayu dan Islam di negara ini.

Katanya, cadangan tersebut bukan satu perkara baru kerana Pas sudah lama meminta UMNO untuk bermuafakat.

“Pas sudah lama menulis surat kepada UMNO untuk bermuafakat demi Melayu dan Islam, tetapi permintaan itu tidak pernah dilayan sebelum ini.

“Apabila UMNO sendiri mencadangkan untuk bermuafakat, saya bersetuju kerana ingin menjaga kepentingan bersama,” katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Semalam, Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO, Datuk Mohamad Norza Zakaria menggesa pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO, Pas dan PKR mengadakan permuafakatan bagi membincangkan hala tuju orang Melayu di negara ini.

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Malaysia Airports Enhances Security At KLIA - Bernama

SEPANG, April 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAB) has stepped up security measures at the KL International Airport following the armed robbery of about RM3.3 million there on April 9.

Its Corporate Communications General Manager Norliza Kamaruddin said the police had posted its armed Special Forces Unit to patrol public areas under their jurisdiction, such as the Departure Hall, the Arrival Hall and the outside of the terminal building.

"To support this enhancement, MAB has also increased patrols of its armed security personnel at various areas at the airport.

"MAB has also positioned plainclothes 'Taskforce' security personnel as well as further increased the frequency of patrols along the perimeter," she said in a statement here Monday.

She said that currently 1,328 CCTV cameras had been installed at KLIA and 30 per cent of the cameras were continuously recording at identified high security risk areas inside the terminal and at the airside where aircraft were parked.

The rest of the CCTV cameras, which had been installed at other locations such as the public areas, were on random surveillance mode but could record by manual activation when required, she said.

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NST Rapped For Reports Belittling Mahathir - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- Cheras Umno head Datuk Syed Ali Al-Habshee has rapped the New Straits Times (NST) editors for publishing reports of opposition party members belittling Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"I am deeply disappointed," he said in a statement Monday.

"I am of the opinion that it is totally improper for a newspaper like the NST to publish such reports as Dr Mahathir has done many good deeds for the people and country," he added.

On page six, the newspaper today published Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's labelling of the former prime minister as an old and confused leader.

It also published, on the same page, Puchong Member of Parliament Gobind Singh Deo accusing Dr Mahathir of damaging the country's democratic process and independence of the judiciary.

Syed Ali said the NST was being unfair in it giving a picture about Dr Mahathir from the perspective of opposition leaders who were known never to see the good deeds done by Barisan Nasional leaders and government.

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Abdullah: 'I Don't Want To Leave Party In State Of Turmoil' - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he wants the power transition to his successor to be smooth as this is important for the country.

"I don't want to leave the party in a state of turmoil but in a good, stable condition.

"I can say to (Deputy Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak), 'good luck, that's your problem not mine.' But that should not be the way. We don't want it to be so sudden...where's Pak Lah (Abdullah)? He has quit. That's not the way," Abdullah said.

The prime minister was speaking at a press conference after meeting with senators, members of parliament and state assemblymen from the Barisan Nasional at the Putra World Trade Centre here Monday.

"It was the same before, when (Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) wanted to hand over power to me. That's how we do things," he said in response to calls from some Umno members for him to transfer the reins of power to his successor.

He said he received various views on the power transition, with some wanting it to be as soon as possible while others gave him more time.

"Never mind. I just listen. I have two ears. I am not deaf. In a democracy, everyone wants to talk. So what can we do? If we don't allow them to speak out, they say we are scared... there's no freedom, so let them talk," added the Umno president.

Asked further on the power transition, Abdullah said it was only the view of some quarters and not all the grassroots.

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Abdullah umum tanding jawatan Presiden - Utusan

KUALA LUMPUR 14 April – Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata, beliau akan mempertahankan jawatan Presiden pada pemilihan UMNO Disember ini.

Mengenai pelan peralihan kuasa, beliau berkata, perkara itu akan dibincangkan dengan timbalannya, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak untuk menentukan bila ia akan dilaksanakan.


Nik Aziz: PR will eventually accept Islamic state ideology - The Sun

By Kong See Hoh

PETALING JAYA (April 14, 2008): PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is convinced that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will eventually accept the Islamic state ideology.

In a recent interview with Sin Chew Daily, he stressed that Islam has been "hypnotised" for over a century in Malaysia under the colonial rule, and has even been maliciously described as a negative religion.

The recent anti-Islam film "Fitna" created by Dutch far-right-wing member of parliament Geert Wilders is such an example, he said.

He said Pakatan Rakyat needs some time to accept the Islamic state ideology.

As such, he urged DAP leaders to come to Kelantan to see for themselves what Islam really is; to try to find fault with the state and "tell me where the flaws of Islam are?"

"Are there really problems with Islam? Have I killed the Chinese for Islam? Did I take away Chinese's business licences because I am a Muslim (and they are not)? Or have I chased the Chinese out of Kelantan in the name of Islam?

"I invite them (DAP leaders) to take a trip to Kelantan, (they) don't have to see me, but talk to the Chinese, Indians and Thais here and let these people tell them my misdeeds (if any)."

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Malaysia rally for Anwar's return - BBC News

Malaysia's main opposition party is to hold a rally marking the end of a ban that prevents its effective leader Anwar Ibrahim from running for office.

The People's Justice Party said it would hold a countdown until the ban expired at midnight, defying police warnings that the rally was illegal.

Former deputy prime minister Mr Anwar was jailed in 1998 on charges he says were politically motivated.

Malaysia's opposition parties performed well in recent polls.

They won control of five out of the country's 13 states in March's general election.

The ruling coalition suffered its worst showing in decades, prompting calls for leader Abdullah Badawi to resign.

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The Sun Page 9 (14/4)

Read this doc on Scribd: The Sun Malaysia Page 9 (14 April 2008)
theSun | MONDAY APRIL 14 2008 9 news without borders MCA man tells all on pig farming project Press Digest by Kong See Hoh THE original centralised pig farming plan under the previous Selangor state government was for a bumiputra company to bring in German technology and to utilise funds from United Nations environment programme. MCA traditional agriculture bureau chairman Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng, who disclosed this on Saturday, also revealed a preliminary proposal for the company to impose a RM50 levy on each pig sold by the farmers, for the treatment of effluents. According to a report in Oriental Daily News yesterday, Lee said Tanjung Sepat assemblyman Datuk Karim Mansor, who has been criticising the centralised pig farming project in the Malay dailies lately, was the person behind the plan to have a bumiputra firm bring in German technology for the project. He said the previous state government under Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo had sent a delegation to Germany on a study tour of the German technology used in pig farming, and Mansor and Ladang Tumbuk village head Mohamad Tarmudi Tushiran were part of the delegation. Mohamad Tarmudi was among some 200 people who gathered in front of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building where the Mentri Besar’s office is located to protest the state government’s move to carry on with the RM100 million modern pig farming project in Kuala Langat last week. “Today I want to stress that the RM100 million meant to upgrade pig farming effluent system would not come from the state government. Datuk Karim was to bring in a German company to set up a joint venture company with a bumiputra firm,” Lee told a “tell-all” press conference in Kuala Lumpur. “This joint venture company was to utilise an allocation from the UN fund for environment programme to help (modernise) the proposed centralised pig farming.” Lee said he knew the project like the back of his hand as he had attended all the meetings regarding the centralised pig farming project approved by the previous state government. “Initially, it was suggested that a levy of RM50 be imposed for each pig sold as charges for effluent treatment. But we (the bureau) and pig farmers felt it was too high. The company (tasked with bringing in German pig farming technology) agreed to put the levy talk on hold,” he said. Lee said he hoped the Pakatan Rakyat state government would look into the issue of levy on effluent treatment, which he believed should be reduced progressively. At the press conference, he strongly criticised Karim and Mohamad Tarmudi who, out of personal political interests, made an about-turn on the centralised pig farming project. He also urged Umno leaders to respect the pork-eating culture of the Chinese. Karim was not the only Selangor Umno leader to have washed his hands of the centralised pig farming project. Khir had also denied having approved the project during his tenure. Lee said early last year, then MCA state exco members Datuk Ch’ng Toh Eng and Datuk Tang See Hang obtained the green light from Khir to relocate 132 pig farms in the state to a 460ha integrated pig farming area in Ladang Tumbuk, in the Kuala Langat district. He said most of the 132 farms involved were actually from Ladang Tumbuk or from within the Kuala Langat district. “In January this year, prior to the dissolution of parliament, the Selangor state government approved the project. Among those who gave their support to the project was Karim,” Lee said, adding that there were minutes and records to prove all these. He said based on his knowledge, centralised or integrated pig farming is a good way to modernise pig farming, and he challenged the Pakatan Rakyat to also modernise pig farming in states under its control, that is Perak, Penang and Kedah. Lee also urged Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai to take stern action against pig farmers found still using beta-agonist. It was reported last week that two farms in Selangor were suspected to have been feeding their pigs with the banned growth enhancer. ‘BN must listen’ to win back states WANITA Gerakan chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe says as long as the Barisan Nasional (BN) learns its lesson well from the recent polls setback and starts to listen to the people, it can recapture Penang in the next general election. A report in Sin Chew Daily yesterday quoted her as saying there is an urgent need for BN to change, and apart from admitting its mistakes that caused it to lose big in the election, it has to take a series of remedial measures. Tan, who is Gerik MP and deputy information minister, was commenting on a remark by former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin in a Chinese daily that it would take at least 10 years for BN to win back the four states it lost to Pakatan Rakyat. Speaking to the press after chairing the Gerakan wing’s central committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Tan said as long as BN is willing to listen to the people, “it need not wait for 10 years to resume control of Penang”. She said at the meeting, Wanita Gerakan resolved to call on the government to release the five leaders of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) held under the Internal Security Act. She said the Hindraf five should not be regarded as terrorists who pose a threat to the security of the country. The people have shown their displeasure with the government through the ballot box by electing M. Manoharan, one of the detained Hindraf leaders, as Kota Alam Shah state assemblyman in the general election, she added. Asked if she was worried that she would come under fire from other BN component parties for speaking up, Tan said she was merely conveying the message of the people to the government and what she said reflected the sentiments on the ground. Mei Fun mum on Wanita top post WANITA MCA deputy chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun has neither confirmed nor denied speculation that she would be going for the wing’s top post in the party elections later this year. She told China Press after attending a function in Petaling Jaya on Saturday that it is not the time yet to talk about party elections. “When the time comes, those who want to contest will (make known their intentions to) contest,” she said when asked to comment on talk that she would contest the Wanita top post. She said it was premature for her to talk about party elections as “what is of utmost importance now is to boost party morale and enhance solidarity”. She appealed to party members to refrain from making calls in public for top leaders to resign even if they are not happy with their leadership. Such calls will only split the party, she said.

Johor Umno: Speed up transition of power - The Star

JOHOR BARU: The plan for transition of power from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to his deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should be expedited in an orderly manner, Johor Umno information chief Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said.

Dr Mohd Puad, who is the Batu Pahat Umno Division chief, said Umno had executed the transition of power from one leader to another, as in the cases of the transition from the late Tunku Abdul Rahman to the late Tun Abdul Razak and from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Abdullah.

“At its meeting with Abdullah on Friday, Johor Umno asked the Prime Minister to prepare the plan for transition of power. It is something that has to be carried out,” he said, adding that a number of division chiefs wanted the plan to be carried out quickly.

All 26 Umno division chiefs in Johor except Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who is the Sembrong division chief, attended the closed-door meeting with the Prime Minister. Hishammuddin is in Paris attending the Unesco meeting.

Gelang Patah Umno division chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Sapian said the orderly transition of power from Abdullah to Najib as proposed by the Johor Umno Liaison Committee could enable Umno and the Government to regain the support of the Malays.

He said the execution of the transition of power was the basis of expression of full support by the Johor Umno Liaison Committee for the leadership of Abdullah last Friday.

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Muhyiddin: Polls showed misgivings on Umno leadership - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno will fade away and not be able to make a comeback if no immediate changes are made to the leadership, party vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

“If changes are not made immediately, Umno will also lose power and can never make a comeback,' said the International Trade and Industry Minister.

He said the general election results clearly showed the people's misgivings on the party leadership and now people in and outside Umno questioned its leadership on family links and the system practised.

“I worry if there are no changes made, as demanded not only by Umno members but also by people from outside the party, the people will reject Barisan Nasional and Umno.

“I think the sentiments are boiling at the grassroots. Therefore, if change does not happen in Umno, many adverse things will surface.

“I'm afraid if I don't speak the truth, it can eventually lead to disaster for the Malays and Umno,” he said in an interview with Mingguan Malaysia published yesterday.

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Penang to make auditor’s findings public, says Lim - The Star

By Derrick Vinesh

BUTTERWORTH: The findings of the private auditor into the financial status of Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP), whose reserves fell from RM229mil in 2000 to just RM25.6mil at the end of 2007, will be made public.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the public had the right to know how the council’s reserves had come down.

“If the municipal council had built a lapangan terbang (airport) here, perhaps we can understand.

“But, there is no lapangan terbang and yet the money could terbang (fly),” he said.

Lim said those who were not involved in any mishandling of funds need not fear as the auditing process was merely aimed at improving the council’s performance.

“But the guilty ones who took public money and became very rich will be investigated,” he said when opening Bagan Dalam assemblyman A. Tanasekharan’s service centre in Jalan Bagan Luar here yesterday.

He said the new state government was worried the council would be broke by the end of the year.

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Cops issue warning on pro-Anwar gathering - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Stern action will be taken against those who attend an illegal gathering tonight at Kampung Baru in support of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

City police chief Deputy Comm Muhammad Sabtu Osman said police would not hesitate to exercise whatever measures required, to ensure peace and order.

“Through the Internet, Anwar’s supporters have been urged to go to Padang Sultan Sulaiman near Sultan Sulaiman Club at 8pm to show support.

“We have not issued a permit for the gathering and neither was a permit requested, so I advise all those planning a gathering not to do so as they will be severely dealt with,” DCP Muhammad Sabtu said.

He was speaking after attending a gotong-royong event held at the Darul Falah Orphanage in conjunction with the 201st Police Day celebrations in Bukit Persekutuan here yesterday.

Others who attended the event were new city deputy city police chief Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk Abu Samah Mat and senior officers from the city police headquarters.

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PSM to join Pakatan Rakyat if offered a place - The Star

IPOH: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) will consider joining Pakatan Rakyat if offered a place in the opposition alliance, PSM central committee member Dr D. Jeyakumar said.

The Sungai Siput MP, who won the constituency on a PKR ticket, said the party could work alongside the PKR-DAP-PAS coalition because of similarities in their ideologies.

“Whether we are part of the alliance formally or informally, we will work with them,” he said when thanking party supporters in Jelapang on Saturday night.

However, Jeyakumar pointed out that they would need to get PSM registered first.

“We have already taken the matter to court and we will see how it works out,” he said.

The party’s application to be a registered party was rejected in 1999 and 2003.

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Mukhriz and Gobind Singh join public spat in defence of their fathers - The Star

PENANG: The public spat between former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and DAP chairman Karpal Singh has now spilled over to their sons.

Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo descended into the arena, in the defence of their fathers.

While Mukhriz accused Karpal Singh of resorting to personal attacks against Dr Mahathir because he was still influential in the political arena even after retirement, Gobind Singh fired salvos at both Dr Mahathir and Mukhriz calling the former premier a dictator. This comes after a series of attacks and personal mudslinging from members of both political “dynasties” in recent weeks.

Gobind Singh said that Dr Mahathir had much to fear if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi remained in power, as Abdullah was capable of exposing more scandals that happened during the Mahathir era, like the Lingam expose.

“He is responsible for the scandals that plagued the Barisan and led to its tsunamic loss in the 2008 elections,” Gobind Singh said in a statement yesterday, adding that Mukhriz should look at the facts before springing to the defence of his father.

Gobind Singh said that the “PM bashing” began when Abdullah made decisions independent of Dr Mahathir.

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CM: I need to meet with Koh - NST

BUTTERWORTH: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is finding it hard to arrange a meeting with his predecessor.

Lim said he did not understand why former chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon was not keen to meet with him.

He said even Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu had offered to meet him.

"It is not urgent, but it is necessary for me to meet Koh to discuss certain matters related to the administration," Lim said after opening Bagan Dalam assemblyman V. Tanasekharan's service centre in Jalan Bagan Luar here yesterday.

On another matter, Lim said the state had appointed independent auditors to investigate the Seberang Prai Municipal Council reserves which had dipped from RM220 million in 2000 to just RM25 million at present.

He said the auditors' findings would be made public and the state government would try to recover the money if it was found to have been misused.

"The public has a right to know how the council's reserves have dwindled so fast."


Strengthen, not attack the party - NST

ALOR STAR: Be constructive, not destructive.

This is the advice from state Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid to Umno members who chose to make personal attacks on certain leaders.

"We will appreciate it if useful information is given by the grassroots who want to rehabilitate the party.

"We should focus on how to strengthen the party at all levels and not make personal attacks against the party leaders," Mahdzir said after attending a briefing by Implementation and Co-ordination Unit (ICU) director-general Tan Sri Khalid Ramli at a hotel here yesterday.

He was asked to comment on party deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement on the right by members at branch and divisional levels to speak on party matters.

"All, including state liaison committee members, Umno Youth, Wanita Umno and Puteri Umno have shown their support to party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib."

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DAP: We are not working to set up Islamic state - NST

IPOH: DAP is not working with or supporting Pas to set up an Islamic state or implement hudud laws.

Party adviser Lim Kit Siang said they did not have any direct connection or agreement with Pas but that changed after the March 8 polls when DAP, Pas and PKR made inroads and took five states.

"Our common aim is to fight for justice, transparency, integrity, good governance and greater democracy, and not creating an Islamic state," he said at a Forum Perdana Bersama Rakyat here on Saturday.

Various issues were raised at the meeting including Indah Water Konsortium's service, the shifting of the Ipoh land office from the city, different water rates for those staying in condominiums and parking facilities for the disabled.

Perak executive councillor Ngeh Koo Ham said the tripartite government wanted to make the state economically strong.

"The state wants to create more jobs," he added.