Saturday, May 10, 2008

Printing Presses And Publications Act Should Be Repealed, Says Khairy - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 (Bernama) -- The Printing Presses and Publications Act should be repealed, said Rembau Member of Parliament and Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said in the last four years, there had been a certain degree of openness in publishing news but it had not been followed up by institutional reforms or in bureaucratic and legislation matters.

"I think if the government is ready to give that space, then we might as well cement it in an independent regulation, give better training to journalists and do away with bureaucratic restrictions," he said when speaking at the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Freedom Forum entitled "General Election 2008: Press Freedom" held in conjunction with the World Press Freedom Day, here, Saturday. Khairy said an independent regulatory body such as a press council could be set up instead to self-regulate the industry.

"I hope that the media can take the lead in setting up some form of independent regulatory body, perhaps in the form of a Press Complaints Commission.

"At a time when reform is the buzzword, what I really wish to suggest today is for the media to move towards being independently regulated," Khairy said, admitting that this was his personal opinion and not that of his party or the ruling government.

He said the mainstream media must also take the path of reform to remain credible but need to watch out for racial and religious sensitivities.

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Issue Can Be Resolved With Karpal Singh Having An Audience With Sultan, Says Umno Info Chief - Bernama

SHAH ALAM, May 10 (Bernama) -- DAP chairman Karpal Singh can resolve his issue over the Sultan of Perak's jurisdiction in matters of the state administration by seeking an audience with the Ruler, Umno Information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said today.

However, it looks like Karpal Singh does not prefer that course because he has called another news conference to insist that he was right.

Karpal Singh, the MP for Bukit Gelugor, had stated yesterday that he would stand by his remark that the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, did not have the jurisdiction to direct the state government to reinstate Perak Islamic Religious Affairs Department director Datuk Jamry Sury who was transferred out by the menteri besar, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

He had said that what he had raised was purely a legal issue and stressed that he did not at all question the prerogative of the sultan.

Jamry was transferred out by the Pakatan Rakyat state government as it was claimed that he was uncooperative.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin later apologised to Sultan Azlan Shah over the transfer which had not been referred to the sultan as the head of the Islamic religion and Malay customs in the state.

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Karpal Singh in fear of safety following PM’s statement - The Star

By K. Kasturi Dewi

PENANG: Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh fears for his safety now after the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s call the Attorney-General (AG) to decide whether to charge him for questioning the powers of the Perak Sultan.

Karpal Singh, DAP national chairman, said what the Prime Minister had said carried a lot of weight and had serious implications and consequences, which made him worried about his safety.

“I will holding Abdullah Ahmad responsible for any adverse consequences arising from his statement.”

“His (PM’s) statement urging the AG to act quickly because a lot of people were interested to know what would be the appropriate punishment, clearly amounted him to direct the AG to punish me even before I have been charged in court,” he told a press conference at his office in Green Hall Sunday.

“The statement gave the public a pre-conceived idea that I had committed an offence and should be punished. The Prime Minister should mind his language when addressing the issue.”

He said the AG must not be influenced by Abdullah Ahmad’s call and act without fear and favour.

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Public Sector Retirement Age Raised To 58 - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, May 10 (Bernama) -- The mandatory retirement age of public sector employees has been raised from 56 to 58 effective July 1 this year as part of several incentives announced Saturday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

One of the other incentives is the calculation of the pension based on a maximum of 30 years of service, up from the current 25 years, for all public employees effective 1 January 2009.

The derivative pension would be maintained at 100 per cent, also effective 1 January 2009, he said at the public sector Workers' Day gathering at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), here.

Abdullah also said that the contentious Efficiency Level Assessment (PTK) would not be abolished but the method of implementation would be improved from time to time.

The prime minister said that after considering the lifespan of Malaysians, the government decided to raise the public sector retirement age.

"Based on a government study, raising the retirement age will not jeopardise the employment opportunities of fresh graduates.

"This is important as the new generation of public employees should not feel that their opportunities for career development are diminishing but rather increasing," he said.

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Raja Petra: I was threatened - The Star

By M. Mageswari

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin who was released on bail claimed he was threatened by two policemen, who are the accused in the Altantuya murder case, while he was detained at the Sungai Buloh prison.

Raja Petra, 58, said C/Insp Azilah Hadri, 32, and Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, shouted at him when he entered the prison after being charged for sedition.

He was released on a RM5,000 bail at the court premises yesterday.

Unit Tindakan Khas (Special Action Squad) operatives C/Insp Azilah and Kpl Sirul are accused of murdering 28-year-old Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“Azilah and Sirul shouted at me and threatened that something was going to happen to me. So, the prison (authorities) were very worried.

“They assigned two UTK officers to look after me full-time,” he said, adding that he was in the same block as the two accused in the Altantuya case.

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Panel finds Lingam video clip authentic - The Star

Reports by Shaila Koshy, Shahanaaz Habib, M. Mageswari, Audrey Edwards, Loh Foon Fong and Manjit Kaur

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip has found that it was former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim who was talking to prominent lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam on the telephone.

Sources said the five-man panel also found that the video clip was authentic and that the conversation was true in substance.

They said the commission also found that it was lawyer Loh Mui Fah who Lingam was speaking to after his telephone conversation with Fairuz.

Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor presented a two-volume report on the findings to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at the Istana Negara here yesterday.

The commission commenced its enquiry on Jan 14.

The sources said the commission also found that there was sufficient evidence of misbehaviour by certain persons mentioned or identified in the clip.

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Findings ‘should be made public’ - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The findings of the Royal Commission on the controversial Datuk V. K. Lingam tape should be made public, said commission chairman retired Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor.

However, he said this was his personal view and the decision whether to make the reports public was with the Prime Minister.

Haidar handed the Royal Commission of Inquiry report to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at the Istana Negara at 9.30am yesterday.

Four recommendations were made in four volumes of report running up to 186 pages, he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The commission secretary will also submit the report to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who will set a date for it to be discussed in the Cabinet, Haider added.

Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said it was important that the findings be made public immediately. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said at a press conference after the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday that he had yet to read the report.

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It's a purely legal issue, says defiant DAP chairman - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh maintained yesterday that he had not questioned the prerogative of the Sultan of Perak.

He said his statements concerning the Sultan's power to revoke the transfer of a state civil servant was purely a legal issue.

Karpal said he was not perturbed over the numerous police reports lodged against him.

"I have committed no offence and those making reports against me should be prepared to face the consequences of lodging false reports," he said at a press conference here yesterday.

"I will not be intimidated by anyone or any quarter.

"I stand by what I have said because the truth must prevail at all times" the Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament said.

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