Sunday, April 20, 2008

MB Seeks To Have Terengganu Manage Oil Royalty - Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU, April 20 (Bernama) -- Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said Sunday asked the federal government to hand over to the state government the management of the latter's oil royalty which amounts to nearly RM1 billion a year.

He said the time had come for the annual five per cent oil royalty, which was withdrawn in 1999 when PAS captured the state and restored later as the Federal Government Special Fund, to be fully managed by the state government to carry out more development projects.

"We want to be frank. We expect the (royalty) money to be given to us," he told reporters here.

After PAS took over the administration of Terengganu following the 1999 general election, the Finance Ministry announced on Sept 5 2000 that the five per cent oil royalty would be channelled directly to the people through development projects and no longer given to the state government.

Ahmad said the money, via the special fund, was channelled directly to the implementing ministries without any consultation with the state government, resulting in many projects failing to provide the desired impact as they had not taken into account the people's needs.

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希山:將败选归咎巫统‧不认错领袖將嚐恶果 - Sin Chew Daily







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Support For ACA As Independent Body - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 (Bernama) -- Various quarters Sunday welcomed the proposal for the Anti-Corruption Agency to become an independent body, to show the government's credibility in trying to eradicate corruption and abuse of power.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam, for instance, said Malaysians had been waiting for this as they wanted change in the ACA.

"The public will be more daring to lodge complaints on corrupt practices as there will be no interference from other parties. This will also benefit those who are victims of power abuse," he told Bernama here Sunday.

Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he had received the proposal paper from the ACA for the agency to be an independent body.

Abdullah said the proposal would be carefully studied before a decision could be made.

Malaysian Bar Council vice-president Ragunath Kesavan also expressed his support for the proposal.

"This is a good move in efforts to restore the image of the country's judiciary and legal system, besides bringing about transparency of the parties involved," he said.

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PKR Hails Publishing Permit For Suara Keadilan - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sunday lauded the decision by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to approve the publishing permit for the party's newspaper "Suara Keadilan".

"The decision will open up more avenue for criticism and to propagate the party's reformation ideas widely and effectively," its information chief Tian Chua said in a statement Sunday.

He said PKR also welcomed Syed Hamid's announcement to review the Printing Presses and Publications Act as it was in consistent with the demands of PKR and civil society organisations in their fight for the right of expression and for every political party to publish their own newspaper.

The Batu MP said the basis for a nation's progress was press freedom to ensure a transparent government administration and the people could air their views on national policies and the government's decisions on various issues.

The PKR has been publishing the fortnightly Suara Keadilan since June 2005.

Syed Hamid, in an interview with the Sunday Star Sunday, said the government had approved PKR's application for a permit to publish a newspaper.


Malaysia promises press freedom--report - AFP

KUALA LUMPUR--Malaysia's home minister has pledged to review the country's repressive media laws, promising to boost press freedom, a report said Sunday.

"I have told my officers that I want to have a re-look at the Printing Presses and Publications Act so that we can move with the times," Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar was quoted as saying in the Star daily.

He was referring to legislation that requires newspapers and other publications to apply for licenses that are renewed annually.

He added that a publishing permit had been approved for the opposition Keadilan party's newspaper. The party had been applying since its formation in 1999.

Malaysia's media are largely state-linked and kept on a tight leash.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks the country 124 out of 169 on its worldwide press freedom index, and says the main media are "often compelled to ignore or to play down the many events organized by the opposition."

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Olympic torch arrives in Kuala Lumpur - AFP

The Olympic flame arrived in Kuala Lumpur amid heightened security on Sunday after earlier demonstrations fuelled Malaysian fears that foreigners might disrupt the April 21 leg.

The torch, accompanied by Chinese security, arrived by charter plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at about 2:19 am (2349 IST) from Thailand.

The symbol of the Beijing 2008 Games is on the Asian leg of its world tour, which has so far been largely trouble free after embarrassing protests in Europe and the United States earlier this month.

Two Malaysian Olympic officials joined the Chinese Ambassador to meet the torch party, said witnesses.

The torch will now be kept at a secret location before it appears in public on Monday for Malaysian leg, officials said.

Malaysian police have increased security for the torch relay, with local Olympic officials concerned that foreign protesters will try to disrupt the event.

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RM4bil boost for food: Experts to keep watch on prices - NST

By : Marc Lourdes

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has allocated RM4 billion to increase food production in the country and keep prices down.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, echoing a similar statement he made on April 11, said the nation needed to stockpile food in order to ensure security at a time of global supply uncertainties and price rises.

World food prices have shot up in the last year, with rice, the region's staple, costing 165 per cent more.

Abdullah said a large swathe of land in Sarawak would be turned into an intensive padi cultivation area to wean the country off imports.

"There is no longer any space in the peninsula and this area in Sarawak will be the new rice bowl of our country," said Abdullah after a closed-door meeting with Barisan Nasional MPs yesterday.

"We now produce only about 65 to 70 per cent of what we need. The government is trying to turn that into 100 per cent self-sufficiency."

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'Ong and Karpal should apologise to the Tengku Mahkota' - NST

KOTA BARU: The Kelantan People's Action Council (MTRK) said statements by certain parties that the speech by the Tengku Mahkota of Kelantan in Kuala Lumpur last week would destroy the unity and harmony among the various races, were extreme and an insult to the royal institution.

Council chairman Datuk Ibrahim Ali said those involved should apologise and called on the police to take take action against them under the Sedition Act, especially MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and DAP chairman Karpal Singh.

Ibrahim, who is also Pasir Mas MP, said the council supported the comments by the Tengku Mahkota when he opened a seminar on Malay unity at the Putra World Trade Centre last Saturday.

"MTRK appreciates the concern shown by him and for the Malays to unite irrespective of their political affiliations.

"What was voiced by him was a wake-up call for the Malays and should be received open heartedly," he said after a MTRK council meeting here yesterday.

The Tengku Makhota said the special rights and privileges of Malays were not to be questioned and that it was inappropriate for other races to demand equal privileges just because they had Malaysian citizenship.

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Stable Malay mindset vital - The Star

KUALA KANGSAR: Racial prejudice in the country can be erased if the Malay mindset is stable and comfortable of forging harmony, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said yesterday.

He said a stable mindset among the Malays was crucial as it was a precondition to the nation's stability.

“Islam, Malay Rulers' sovereignty, Malay language and the special status of the Malays are among matters that never slipped from the attention of the Malay Rulers.

“The Malay Rulers understand very well that the country's political stability largely depends on the preparedness of the Malay mind to face changes,” he said in his address in conjunction with the 80th birthday of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, at Istana Iskandariah.

He said the Malay rulers were where the people looked to for shelter and protection when they felt that their status as the indigenous race was being undermined.

“This is an honour and confidence in the Rulers when the people are worried in the face of crisis,” he said.

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Vocal MPs rapped for not sending queries to Parliament - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Fourteen Opposition MPs, some of whom had been very vocal when campaigning before the general election, have been heavily criticised on websites for squandering their chance to question the Government on various issues at the first Parliament session to be held on April 28.

Bloggers had reported that 29 MPs, including three ex-Ministers and one former Deputy Minister, had not submitted any question to Parliament.

They had singled out two Opposition MPs, who had been very anti-establishment when they were merely members of political parties or non-governmental organisations, for stinging attacks, accusing them of not doing their job as MPs and betraying those who voted them into power.

The MPs, 15 of whom are from Barisan Nasional, five from DAP and nine from PKR, have been called “irresponsible”, “MPs of the most slothful kind” and “unreliable”.

Since they missed sending questions for the first meeting, they will have to wait till the next meeting in June.


Police score double major success - The Star

By Lourdes Charles

PETALING JAYA: The police have pulled off two major successes in less than 12 hours, busting the largest gun-running-cum-drug syndicate in the country and solving the S$1.5mil (RM3.5mil) heist at the KL International Airport (KLIA).

A team from Bukit Aman and the Selangor Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) rounded up 13 members of the syndicate in three separate operations in the Klang Valley, which began at 7.30pm on Friday.

They recovered eight pistols, a machine gun, three hand grenades, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, drug-making paraphernalia and chemicals.

The armed and dangerous group, high on the police wanted list, is believed to have undergone shooting practice in foreign countries it also operated in.

Sources said intensive intelligence gathering by the NCID led to the syndicate being busted.

In the first raid, the team arrested four men at an apartment block in Taman Kenangan in Kajang and recovered four pistols.

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