Friday, May 16, 2008

UM Tops Higher Education Rating - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, May 16 (Bernama) -- Universiti Malaya (UM) has been named the country's top university with a score of 5 (Excellent) in the research-based university category, a study by the Higher Education Rating System (Setara) last year revealed.

"It was the first time the system was used aimed at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of public universities so as to improve quality," Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin told reporters here Friday.

UM was followed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) with a score of 4 (Very Good) each, while Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) had a score of 3 (Good).

For the general category, the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) had a score of 4 (Very Good) each, while Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) had a score of 3 (Good) each.


Malaysia tycoon, others tried to sway judges - inquiry - Reuters

By Soo Ai Peng

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - A Malaysian tycoon and a former government minister were involved in a covert campaign to influence judicial appointments seven years ago, an official inquiry said on Friday, urging for criminal probes.

The inquiry's 186-page report named tycoon Vincent Tan, who controls property-to-gaming conglomerate Berjaya Group and the then de facto law minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, as well as a lawyer known as V.K. Lingam.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government on Friday ordered its chief prosecutor to investigate the three, as well as a retired chief judge and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, whom the inquiry said was also "entangled" in the process.

The inquiry is seen as the boldest move yet by the government to clean up the judiciary, which has been under a cloud since 1988 over its independence and integrity. The report comes just two months after the ruling party suffered a blow at the general elections.

Once regarded as one of the more independent institutions in Malaysia, it has lost credibility since Mahathir clashed with top judges, three of whom were removed in 1988.

The Bar Council, which represents more than 12,000 lawyers in the country, called for thorough, fair and speedy investigations.

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Royal Commission of Inquiry report: Dr M and 5 others to face probe - The Star

By V.P. Sujata

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet has agreed that investigations be made on all allegations levelled against former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and five others identified in the Royal Commission of Inquiry report on the V.K. Lingam video clip.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim said the five others are lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, and former chief justices Tun Eusoff Chin and Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail could not be contacted on whether he would order for the probe immediately.

Zaid said the six would be investigated on offences under the Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act and the Penal Code, which included obstruction of justice.

“All the recommendations in the report are advisory in nature so we have to have another investigation,” he said, adding that the Government had taken note of recommendations on judicial reforms and the establishment of a commission on appointment of judges.

“The Government is in the process of finalising the relevant laws to set up this commission and it will be made known soon,” he said, adding that Government also proposed to include the recognition of “judicial power” as proposed by the Commission.

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PM's Department lodges police report against newspapers - The Star

By Lourdes Charles

PUTRAJAYA: The Prime Minister's Department has lodged a police report against several newspapers for publishing the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip before they were made public.

It is learnt that a senior official from the department lodged a police report on Friday morning at the Putrajaya police headquarters.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Ku Chin Wah confirmed that a report has been lodged but declined to elaborate.

It is also learnt that the police are expected to classify the report under the Official Secrets Act.

The Star and several other newspapers, as well as online news portals, published several of the report's findings and recommendations several days ago.

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Bombs thrown at DAP office - The Star

By Hah Foong Lian and Chan Li Leen

IPOH: Homemade bombs were hurled at the Perak DAP headquarters here but did not cause major damage to the building.

Instead, a wooden board put up at the glass windows of the office caused the explosives to bounce off and land on the road.

A witness said two men on a motorcycle had approached the two-storey Wisma DAP located near the state secretariat building at Bandar Ipoh Raya at 2.20am yesterday.

The security guard of a nearby school, who was on duty, said he saw two men throw things at the window and heard two loud explosions.

The bombs broke the glass windows of the office on the first-floor.

However, a wooden wall behind it prevented the bombs from entering the building.

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Royal Commission on Lingam video clip: Adnan, Tan 'had direct influence' - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Former deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan had direct influence in the appointment and promotion of judges.

This was the explosive observation made in the report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip.

The commission also doubted the evidence given by the two in the inquiry as they had made bare denials to penetrating questions posed by lawyers who appeared for interested parties.

The findings of the commission were in direct contrast to Adnan's testimony: "I had nothing to do with the appointment of judges."

Tan had also testified that he had no links to the judicial appointments.

The NST learned the report also noted that lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam had mentioned Adnan's name 11 times in the 14-minute clip and that the lawyer was speaking to former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

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Billion-ringgit boost for broadband - The Star

By Jo Timbuong

KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and the Government are spending a total of RM15.6bil to ensure that the country will have a top-notch, competitive high-speed broadband infrastructure in the next decade.

The benefits of having such a facility for the people and the nation are expected to be worth many times that amount.

High-speed access to the Internet will provide a boost to telehealth facilities, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said yesterday.

Patients anywhere in the country, and especially in rural areas, will be able to get specialist attention via medical systems connected to the Internet.

In the same way, children could also be educated via Internet-enabled systems that would allow teachers and students to interact despite being hundreds of kilometres apart.

Malaysians would also benefit from better access to e-government services, such as being able to pay utility bills, renew licences, file tax returns, and even lodge police reports online more efficiently.

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Dr M: I met Najib after PM said he won’t stop meeting - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he met Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after the Prime Minister said he would not stop the meeting.

However, he did not disclose what they discussed.

Earlier last week, Dr Mahathir claimed that he wanted to meet Najib after the general election to discuss current issues but that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had not allowed his deputy to do so.

The next day, May 8, Abdullah said he had not prevented Najib from meeting Dr Mahathir.

“After Pak Lah said that, we met. He said he wanted to meet so I met him, lah,” he told reporters yesterday after launching the book Kismet, a biography on the life, contributions and sacrifices of the late Sher Mohamed Allah Baksh.

On the claim by Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan that he had been offered enough money for three generations to join PKR, Dr Mahathir said: “It’s all about money today. If there’s money, they can jump into any boat.

“All of them dare not speak out because of money. They want positions.”

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