Monday, May 5, 2008

Minister: I am happy with today's session -

Ahmad Shabery, when met by reporters at the Parliament lobby today, said his ministry would consider extending the live telecast to a much longer period after a rather smooth session this morning.

Ngeh: Ahmad Zahid is 'unscrupulous' -

Perak senior state exco Ngeh Koo Ham has described Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's call for Ngeh to be stripped of his datukship as "unscrupulous" and an attempt to "rope in the palace to fight Pakatan Rakyat".

TNB, SESB Slammed Over "Poor" Power Supply In Sabah - Bernama

KOTA KINABALU, May 5 (Bernama) -- A state assemblyman Monday slammed Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and its subsidiary Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) for allegedly failing to improve electricity supply in Sabah.

Datuk Liew Teck Chan (BN-Likas) alleged that TNB had worsened the power supply situation instead.

Speaking during the debate on the address of Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah opening the 13th State Assembly, he said a 2005 report of the Energy Commission of Malaysia stated that the frequency of power failure in Sabah was much higher than in the other states of the country.

The System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) of TNB in Peninsular Malaysia had dropped from 167.6 minutes in 2003 to 129 minutes in 2004 but for Sabah it rose from 2,279 minutes in 2003 to 2,594 minutes in 2004, he said.

Liew alleged that every time TNB faced a problem, the state government was put under pressure.

"Now, they want to build a coal-powered electricity generating plant in Lahad Datu and again they are putting pressure on the state government to give in to their demands," he said.

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Perak Umno Youth Lodges Police Report Over Karpal's Statement - Bernama

IPOH, May 5 (Bernama) -- Perak Umno Youth has lodged a police report over a statement by Bukit Gelugor member of Parliament Karpal Singh which it deems seditious.

The movement's head, Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, said: "We are asking the police to investigate Karpal Singh under the Sedition Act 1948 because the statement has created uneasiness among the people of Perak particularly with regard to the powers of the Sultan."

Newspapers Monday reported Karpal as saying that Sultan Azlan Shah has no jurisdiction over the transfer of Datuk Jamry Sury from the Perak Religious Department.

"Sultan Azlan Shah did not have any say, as the Ruler of Perak, in the decision made by the state government and, by law, the palace cannot order the state government to reinstate Jamry," the newspapers quoted Karpal Singh as saying.

Last week, Sultan Azlan Shah ordered Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to immediately retract a 24-hour transfer order issued on Jamry who was Perak Islamic Religious Department Director because the transfer order was made without seeking prior consent from the Sultan as the head of Islam and the Raja Muda of Perak as president of the Perak Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs Council.

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BN Component Parties Should Assent To Umno's Struggle For The Malays - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said other component parties in the Barisan Nasional (BN) should take into account Umno's struggle to safeguard the Malay interests.

"Our struggle to safeguard the Malay interest will continue, but not to an extent that it will create fear among our friends in the BN," he told reporters at the parliament lobby here Monday.

In reaction to a statement by MCA vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat that MCA should change its image and to adopt a more multi-racial approach so as not to be erased from the landscape of national politics, Hishammuddin described it as a brave statement with a vision.

Hishammuddin, who is also Education Minister, said the Umno Youth would also adopt a similar approach.

"For example, if we want to discuss the New Economic Policy or the Malay interests in Umno's context, it should be tailored to suit the young generation who truly understand the meaning of the struggle.

"We want to convince the public that the basis of our struggle will not change, but the method on how we want to explain to the grassroots, I think only the BN has the network to do so," he added.


Malaysia drops idea of travel restriction for women - Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia rejected on Monday a proposal to impose restrictions on women travelling overseas on their own following an outcry from women's groups.

Home (Interior) Minister Syed Hamid Albar said his ministry could not impose conditions requiring women to get written consent from their family before they can travel abroad alone.

"There cannot be (such) a rule," the national Bernama news agency quoted him as telling reporters.

"When a person applies for a passport, we don't ask them where they are going. A person who wants to travel, makes his or her own decision to travel and how they are going to do it is up to them."

Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said on Saturday both the foreign and home ministries mooted the idea in response to a string of cases where women travelling alone were used by international drug syndicates to smuggle drugs across borders.

The Foreign Ministry clarified on Monday that Rais's proposal only related to children and women below 21 years of age.

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Kit Siang: Time to relook social contract - The Sun

By Kong See Hoh

PETALING JAYA (May 5, 2008): DAP central policy and strategic planning commission chairman Lim Kit Siang feels the time is ripe for all parties to relook the social contract upon which the nation was founded.

"We have not discussed the social contract since Merdeka" he said.

Speaking to Sin Chew Daily in an interview published today, the DAP veteran and Ipoh Timur MP said in the wake of the March 8 general election, parties from both sides of the political divide and the people should ponder where the country is headed.

He suggested the various political parties organise an all-Malaysian summit to examine the country's achievements for the last 50 years and determine the direction the country should take to forge ahead.

On the possibility that Pakatan Rakyat might lose the support of some Malays for proposing to replace Malay supremacy (Ketuanan Melayu) with people's supremacy (Ketuanan Rakyat), Lim felt that if the country is to head for the development of a Bangsa Malaysia, the emphasis should be on people's supremacy, and to rise above race, religion and party.

"And there should be no more distinction between bumiputras and non-bumiputras," he added.

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Parliament sitting starts with Speaker’s ‘lecture’ - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Monday's Dewan Rakyat sitting started off with a 10-minute lecture by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia reminding the MPs not to highlight trivial and technical matters during proceedings.

He said he would not allow MPs to call for point of order unnecessarily unless it was about a substantial issue and was in public interest.

MPs, he said, had wasted too much time during the first sitting last Wednesday when they kept interrupting proceedings on point of order.

Later, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shahziman Abu Mansor said the Government would conduct a research to come up with an Energy Efficiency Master Plan.

He said this would ensure there is energy efficiency in the industries, commercial and domestic adding that the Government would also regulate a law to ensure energy efficiency.

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Lim and Ooi ‘have no courage for open debate’ - The Star

PENANG: The 48-hour deadline has passed and former Pertubuhan Bunga Tanjung (PBT) members are saying Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his chief of staff Jeff Ooi have no courage to debate the matter pertaining to the association for the wives of state assemblymen and MPs.

“Lim has no courage to debate openly with PBT members,” PBT past president Puan Sri Chui Kah Peng said in a press statement.

“We are very disappointed Lim has refused to accept our challenge to defend ourselves and to let him justify his allegations,” she said.

Chui said in view of the rejection and failure by both DAP politicians to respond, “we will continue to take appropriate measures to defend our integrity and dignity.”

However, Lim’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik said PBT members should seriously consider the challenge as it involved some legality and question of ethics on how the funds were transferred and the association dissolved.

In a letter to Chui, he said one of the pertinent questions involved was that all PBT members had lost their rights to run and manage the association after the election results were announced and they did not have the mandate to make any decision on the association and its funds.

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Don’t believe Anwar, urges Liow - The Star

PENANG: The Chinese community has been advised not to be hoodwinked by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s promises.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said Anwar had caused “severe” damage to the community through his many unfair policies when he was Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister.

“He was responsible for putting non-Chinese educated administrators in Chinese schools and he was also against relocating Chinese schools or increasing the number of Chinese schools,” he said at a luncheon with state MCA committee members yesterday.

“But now he is portraying a totally different image. He can promise you the world since he is no longer in power and even the DAP and PAS are placing high hopes on him to bring changes.”

He also criticised PAS for trying to implement the hudud law and hit out at DAP for forming a collaboration with the Islamist party in the five Pakatan Rakyat-led state governments.

“Their collaboration with PAS has raised concerns among non-Muslims who have always been fearful of PAS’ plans to set up an Islamic state,” he said.

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MCA needs to stay relevant - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA, the second largest Barisan Nasional component party which has all along been known as a Chinese-based party since its formation, needs to change by adopting a more multiracial outlook and approach or face the risk of extinction in the national political landscape, says vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

Such a strategic change, he said, might not be drastically apparent at the moment but it was something that the party needed to do to stay relevant in the country’s new political scenario.

“We need to project a multiracial outlook and approach to handle the people’s concerns,” he told Bernama in an interview.

“Of course, I do not rule out the possibility that my agenda will raise eyebrows among the conservative (members) in the party.

“I am also mindful of the possibility that this may be used by my detractors in the coming party elections and put me at risk of losing support within the party.

“(But) I am adamant in my stand. I am strongly convinced that this is the way out for the party if you really want to keep the party relevant.”

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Nasimuddin 'kept illness a secret' - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The late Tan Sri S.M. Nasimuddin S.M. Amin's ailment was not common knowledge, even to his immediate family. At least, not until about two months ago.

At the mosque, family members and even a few of his closest friends admitted that they had no clue of his illness as he had always been active and showed no signs of deteriorating health, aside from his coughing.

His eldest son, S.M. Faisal S.M. Nasimuddin, said: "That was his style. He would put his family and staff first. He had been coughing, but everyone had bronchitis then and we thought he had it, too.

"I hope my father will be remembered for the way he lived and his contributions to the country. We have to ensure that his Naza legacy is continuously nurtured."

Daughter Nur Diana, who looked calm and composed, said news of her father's illness took the family by surprise.

"Everything happened so fast. When he was diagnosed, he was already in stage four."

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'If they're of legal age, they've right to travel' - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: "If a wife was leaving the country to get away from her husband, should she get a letter from him before leaving?"

This question was posed by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong to the proposal that all women travelling out of the country alone be required to have a letter from parents or employers.

"I am sure Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim meant well with his proposal, but it is flawed and inappropriate. People have varying reasons for travelling alone."

Chong said in cases where parents asked him for help to stop their daughters from going overseas, he told them it was not right to hold their daughters against their will.

"If they are of legal age, then they have the right to travel as they please."

Chong said 97 Malaysians were serving jail terms in Taiwan for drug-related offences since 2000. "Of the 97, five are women in their 20s. Does this mean that every time a Malaysian man travels abroad alone, he should also produce a letter from his parents or employers?"

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