Friday, May 2, 2008

Transport Minister: Independent audit for PKFZ -

Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat says an independent accounting firm will be appointed to conduct an overall audit of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

BNBBC bantah siaran langsung - Utusan

KUALA LUMPUR 2 Mei - Kelab Penyokong Kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BNBBC) mahu kerajaan menghentikan siaran langsung sidang Dewan Rakyat.

Pengerusinya, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing berkata, tindakan segelintir ahli Parlimen pembangkang yang menjerit-jerit pada sidang itu kelmarin sungguh tidak wajar.

Tambahnya, beliau kecewa dengan tingkah laku pembangkang kerana langsung tidak mencerminkan sebagai seorang wakil rakyat.

''Kelmarin segelintir mereka kerap bangun sambil memegang buku Peraturan Mesyuarat Parlimen selain suka menjerit-jerit. Ia hanya mengganggu persidangan sahaja.

''Kita sungguh kecewa dengan tindakan mereka ini semua. Kita merasakan lebih baik kerajaan menghentikan sahaja siaran langsung selama setengah jam itu,'' katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

[More at]

PKR Lodges ACA Report Over Balkis Fund Transfer - Bernama

SHAH ALAM, May 2 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) lodged a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) over the transfer of funds by the Wives of Selangor Assemblymen and MPs Welfare and Charity Organisation (Balkis).

Selangor PKR information chief Mohd Nasharudin Abdul Aziz alleged that the transfer of RM9.9 million to the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti) was against Balkis constitution.

He said the 15-page report was made to Selangor ACA officer Mohd Anuar Ismail.

"We were told this was the first report on the wife of former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo (Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik, who was then Balkis president)," he said.


Govt Approves RM2.4 Bln To Maintain Food Supply This Year - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, May 2 (Bernama) -- The Cabinet, which met today, has approved RM2.49 billion under the Food Security Policy to maintain food supply in the country this year, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed announced Friday.

He said it was part of the RM4 billion announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently to tackle the problem of food supply and escalating prices of food items in the country.

"The situation (food supply) in the country remains stable. However, following developments in the world market, the Cabinet adopted the Food Security Policy three weeks ago," he told a press conference at his office here.

He said his ministry had identified seven steps to be taken to utilise the allocation.

They are

(i)increase rice production,

(ii) have buffer stocks for the commodity,

(iii) provide incentives to food producers,

(iv) implement productivity programmes for the farming, livestock and fisheries sectors,

(v) strengthen FAMA (Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority) to ensure efficient distribution of agricultural produce,

(vi) implement a "Green Earth" programnme and

(vii) manage idle lands for the purposes of food production.

[More at]

Cops investigating Raja Petra under Multimedia Act - The Star

By Lourdes Charles and Kuldeep Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin is being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Section 4C of the Seditious Act for an article he wrote recently titled Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell.

It is learnt that eight police officers from the Federal Commercial Crimes Investigations Department (CCID) visited Raja Petra’s house in Sungai Buloh here at about 9am on Friday.

They seized a laptop and a CPU (central processing unit) before leaving at about 11am.

Raja Petra was summoned to the Federal Commercial Crimes Investigations Department (CCID) department at 4pm Friday after initially being told to report there at 11am Saturday.

He was allowed to leave at about 6pm after he refused to give a statement on the article he wrote and posted on the Malaysia Today online news portal on April 25.

His lawyer William Leong, who is also the Selayang MP, accompanied him.

[More at]

Penang Misses RM1 Billion Investment Due To Lack Of Gas Supply - Bernama

PENANG, May 2 (Bernama) -- The Penang state government claimed today that it had missed a new investment worth RM1 billion in the high-technology industry as the gas pipe built across the Seberang Perai district was not functioning.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said although the gas pipe erected by Petronas from Kuala Lumpur across Seberang Perai Selatan, Tengah and Utara had been completed, no gas was supplied.

He said this had affected the state government's efforts in wooing investment from a German company in the use of solar technology to generate power.

About two weeks ago, the company had expressed interest to invest in the state if there was adequate gas supply, he told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony for the State Assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker and 40 State Assemblymen, here.

"I don't understand why the gas pipe which had been erected could not supply the gas until now whereas Malaysia is one of the gas exporting countries. This is something that we can't accept.

"This hinders our efforts to attract investment in the high-tech industry and as such, we lost a potential investment of almost RM1 billion," Lim said.

As it was a federal project, he wanted clarification to be given on the matter, especially by Petronas itself.

[More at]

Lim Wants Melaka Tengah OCPD Suspended For Manhandling DAP Assemblyman - Bernama

PENANG, May 2 (Bernama) -- DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng wants Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hasssan to investigate the allegation that a DAP state assemblyman had been manhandled by the Melaka Tengah OCPD Thursday.

He suggested that Musa suspended the officer to enable an investigation to be carried out against the officer and appropriate action be taken if he was proven to be guilty.

Speaking to reporters after the swearing-in of the Deputy Speaker of the Penang State Assembly and 40 Assemblymen, here today, Lim, who is also Penang Chief Minister, said a Melaka state assemblyman who was detained by police for allegedly destroying government property yesterday had lodged a police report claiming that he had been attacked and kicked by the officer concerned.

"I believe that the assemblyman would not have lodged a report if there was no basis for it," he said when asked to comment on the detention of three DAP assemblymen in Melaka Tengah yesterday for allegedly cutting 10 metal rods which were left jutting out from the ground in an area at Taman Kesidang, Kampung Lapan, Melaka.

According to press reports, all the metal rods were left jutting out at the site after the project to erect a lamp post and telecommunication transmitter was abandoned six months ago.

However, all the three assemblymen were released at 5.15pm on a police bail of RM2,000 each.

[More at]

Guan Eng turns down PBT debate - The Sun

By Himanshu Bhatt

PENANG (May 02, 2008): Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has turned down the challenge for an open public debate on the contentious issues surrounding the Pertubuhan Bunga Tanjung (PBT), saying that the matter demands legal and technical understanding.

He however welcomed members of the PBT, the organisation for wives of BN elected representatives in Penang, who had invited him to publicly debate the matter, to meet him for discussion.

“This is a question of law. There are implications… Did they act properly? Were they qualified to dissolve the body on March 9?”

Lim reiterated that he wants Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, as adviser of the organisation and husband of PBT head Puan Sri Chui Kah Peng, to explain how they could decide on dissolving the body at its AGM on March 9.

He reasoned that the members’ husbands had then become part of the opposition following the general election the day before, and asked if the wives were still eligible to be PBT members then.

He pointed to Clause 5.1 of the PBT’s constitution which states that the ordinary membership of the group includes wives of state assemblymen and members of Parliament in Penang, except those from opposition parties.

[More at]

Cabinet Wants Live Telecast On Parliament Sitting To Go On - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 (Bernama) -- The Cabinet decided today that Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) continues the trial run on the 30-minute live telecast of the question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat sitting, said Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

The direct telecast on RTM1 which begins at 10am on Parliament sitting days, however, was still subject to review by the Information Ministry, he said.

He said the review, including the cancellation of the live telecast if the commotion that occurred during the Dewan Rakyat sitting on Wednesday was repeated, was to ensure that there was no erosion of public confidence in the august House and that the image of the country was not tarnished.

"The Cabinet is of the opinion that it is too early to come to a conclusion on the cancellation of the live telecast merely based on the incident," he told reporters after the Information Ministry's post-cabinet meeting at Angkasapuri, here Friday.

Ahmad Shabery said the decision on the live telecast was made at the cabinet meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today.

"However, the Cabinet deeply regrets the commotion that occurred on Wednesday, where the image of the Parliament and country was greatly tarnished due to the misdemeanour of the Members of Parliament, especially from the opposition who raised petty issues to the extent that during the 30-minute live telecast only one question could be raised and answered.

"Meanwhile, the whole 90-minute question and answer session, which usually has time for between 10 and 15 questions, could only answer three questions," he said.

[More at]

Naza Group founder Nasimuddin dies - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri S.M. Nasimuddin S.M. Amin, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Naza Group, passed away of lung cancer in California at 1.15am (Malaysian time). He was 54 years old.

The low-profile businessman founded the Naza Group in 1974, starting his automobile business with an allocation of Approved Permits (APs) to import foreign cars.

He made his first million in about a year.

The Group now has 14 business divisions covering industries such as cigarette distribution, credit and leasing, engineering, hotels, insurance, machine tools and parts, manufacturing, motorcycles, property, transport services, plantations and water craft.

Last month it ventured into the food business by launching the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant and Market, but still remains most known for its automotive business, holding the local franchise for South Korea's Kia and France's Peugeot, as well as import permits for Mercedes Benz and Mazda.

Nasimuddin was implicated in the AP controversy of 2005, when he was dubbed the "AP King."

[More at]

The Sun Page 8 (2/5)

Read this doc on Scribd: The Sun Malaysia Page 8 (2 May 2008)

8 theSun | FRIDAY MAY 2 2008 news without borders Fiery first-day sitting MANY were glad they came to Parliament on Wednesday to see the first-day sitting of the new Dewan Rakyat where for the first time more than a third of the members are from the opposition parties. And if they are not going to be in Parliament again, that noisy and fiery first day is the picture of the Opposition-enlivened 12th Parliament they are going to carry in their head for a long time. The schoolchildren in the public gallery held their breath as their elders – the people’s representatives – let their hair down and indulged in a frenzy of shouting, insulting, jeering, name calling, fists pumping and all kinds of other gesticulations as they went for one another’s throat. It was different on Monday when they took their oath as MPs and on Tuesday when they gathered to listen to the King’s speech. Then, forgetting their party affiliations, they had exchanged pleasantries and even joked as they milled about in the members’ lounge, in the banquet hall and in the Dewan Rakyat lobby. Thus, members of the public who were there from Monday to Wednesday wondered whether what happened in the chamber during the first sitting was merely for the rakyat’s benefit especially when they knew they were on camera. Taking centre stage was the duel between two old adversaries. Karpal Singh (DAPBukit Gelugor) had called the burly Datuk Bung Moktar Raden (BN-Kinbatangan) “big foot” and the shouter from Sabah responded by referring to the DAP chairman as “big monkey”. It was nothing new between the two and they had merely reprised what they did in the It is a pleasant exchange between old adversaries Bung Moktar and Karpal outside the Dewan. At the Dewan Rakyat by Zainon Ahmad previous parliament. For them it was almost their way of singing the old Indian love song, especially when they later smiled and shook hands outside the Dewan. Even Bung Moktar’s repartee to the wheelchair-bound veteran lawyer that “if you dare, stand up lah” seemed like re-acting of the old script. And as if on cue, members of the Opposition, especially from Karpal Singh’s party, were on their feet shouting their protest. The only difference was there were more of them this time and the whole building seemed to shake when they stood up together. That he was roundly chastised by many NGOs then did not seem to deter Bung Moktar. Neither did it deter Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) especially after Karpal Singh wanted to know why he was recognised by parliament as an independent MP when he stood under PAS ticket during the general election. Many wondered whether the seeming theSun says: Low mark for rowdy MPs – Pg 18 chaos was because of the new Speaker, Sabahan Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, new Dewan Rakyat secretary Roosme Hamzah and many new members who took to shouting “point of order, point of order” like they were veterans. And like the veterans, they thrust their rules book at the Speaker who made several rulings they found unacceptable. They challenged the Speaker further when he said: “I have ruled and my ruling is final.” They peppered him with questions about the oath-taking, about the arrangement of the questions in the day’s order paper and on why the newly-elected Opposition Leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Permatang Pauh) was not given the opportunity to ask the first question. On a number of occasions the Speaker asked everyone to sit down while he lectured them about the procedure and the convention of the house especially, “when I speak, no one else speaks and no one should be on his feet at that time” and “when I make a ruling, it is final”. It was only after 20 minutes that the first question, directed at the finance minister, was asked by Bung Moktar. Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who had been in his seat since 10 minutes before the Dewan convened and was in the House till the end of question hour, answered. After the prime minister sat down the House went into a frenzy again when the Speaker refused to allow supplementary questions – the most interesting part of every sitting of the House – saying that too much time had already been wasted. Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) implored the prime minister to intervene. Abdullah, as leader of the House, stood up and said that “one or two supplementary questions should be alright”. The Speaker then ruled: “OK, one supplementary question.” Wan Azizah’s turn to debate the motion of thanks to the King for his speech on Tuesday came at 15 minutes to adjournment time at 5.30pm after Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (BN-Kulai) and Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) had spoken as proposer and seconder. She did not harangue the House like Kit Siang did when he was opposition leader Top: Pandikar Amin: “When I speak, no one else speaks and no one should be on his feet at that time” and “when I make a ruling, it is final”. Centre: Lim and his team stand up together to protest against the Speaker for refusing to allow supplementary questions. Bottom: Khairy Jamaluddin making a point at the august House during question time. – even if she tried. But she was no less effective. In a clear and masterly voice she said her first duty in speaking as opposition leader is to call for the freeing of all those detained under the ISA. She even did not shout Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) down when he said that she only allowed her cronies to intervene during her speech – she gave way to Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang) instead of him. Instead she said, and quite sweetly too: “Don’t say that. Tak baik.”

Press sec: DPM has never met Altantuya - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will not hesitate to seek legal redress over unfounded and unfair allegations made against him in the case involving murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

In a letter sent to Malaysia Today website, the Deputy Prime Minister’s press secretary Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad said Najib did not know and has never met Altantuya, and that it was unfair that the allegations had been made against Najib in the case.

Tengku Sariffuddin was referring to an article titled “Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell” published in Malaysia Today website on Friday, which was written by Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Tengku Sariffuddin said Najib shared the sentiment with the writer that the matter was not about politics and that this case should seek out the truth and justice should be served.

However, he said it was clear that there were those who were not interested in finding justice for Altantuya, but rather the politics connected to the case.

[More at]

MPs don’t want end to broadcasts - The Star

PETALING JAYA: The telecasts must continue – that is the consensus of many MPs, be they from the Barisan Nasional or the Opposition, or minister or backbencher.

They said Wednesday’s “circus” in the august House should not result in live telecasts of proceedings being scrapped.

Even Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Government must be flexible on the issue as it was too early to make a judgement on the telecast.

“I feel the Government should determine if this is a first day phenomenon or if it will continue,” he said at a news conference in Kuching yesterday.

Wan Junaidi, who does not agree that the live telecast be reviewed, said the parliament session had just began and there was a possibility that the attitudes of the members would change in the coming sittings.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said live telecasts should continue as currently it is only a trial period. He said he was, however, disappointed with the Opposition for playing to the gallery.

[More at]

Tsu Koon’s wife seeks open public debate with Lim and Ooi - The Star

PENANG: Former members of the dissolved Persatuan Bunga Tanjung (PBT) have challenged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his chief of staff Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi for an open public debate on the handling of the association’s funds.

Former PBT president Puan Sri Chui Kah Peng has given the DAP politicians a 48-hour ultimatum to respond to the invitation.

“The venue, date and methodology of debate will be discussed between representatives upon the acceptance for a debate,” said Chui, wife of the former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

She said they had faxed a letter of invitation to them at the Chief Minister’s office in Komtar.

“We have sought a public debate on the handling of the association’s funds and the manner in which the body was dissolved as baseless allegations were made against us by the two,” said Chui during a press conference in Autocity Juru.

[More at]

Nik Aziz: MPs could have put Q&A to better use - NST

KOTA BARU: Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is ashamed of MPs who behaved badly when the new parliamentary session opened on Wednesday.

Nik Aziz said those involved were wasting time which could have been put to good use and were not qualified to represent the people.

"What happened in the house was really embarrassing. The MPs should be bringing up the problems of the people they are representing in Parliament and not show bad behaviour," he said yesterday.

Nik Aziz was speaking outside the Sultan Mohamad IV Stadium here yesterday after flagging off a car expedition from here to Malacca.

He was commenting on the session which opened with MPs shouting, bickering and calling each other names on live television.

He, however, hoped the Information Ministry would continue to have live telecast of the question-and-answer session despite the ruckus.

[More at]

Kah Choon rules out switch to Pakatan Rakyat - NST

GEORGE TOWN: Former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon has ruled out the possibility of crossing over to Pakatan Rakyat.

Instead, Lee, who was appointed chairman of the executive committee for investPenang and director of Penang Development Corp last month, said his focus was to attract more investments to the state.

He said he would disseminate information about Penang to businesses.

"I am just a businessman. I will not join any Pakatan Rakyat parties. My political career is over now," he said yesterday.

He was asked to comment on rumours that he would join the DAP or even Parti Keadilan Rakyat after resigning from Gerakan last month.

Lee resigned from all party posts following Gerakan's poor performance in the March 8 general election.

[More at]