Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gerakan press conference -

Dr Koh Tsu Koon speaks at a Gerakan press conference Saturday. Four main points listed are Gerakan's appeal for a mechanism through which complaints regarding the Lingam case can be properly dealt with, the party's donation for China and Myanmar victims, the upcoming party election and a proposal for the setting up of a national food council.

Pak Lah makes historic visit to Buddhist temple -

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became the second Prime Minister to celebrate Wesak Day at the 113-year-old Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur Saturday.

Malaysians Must Co-exist In Peace Although From Different Religions - Abdullah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants the people of this country to continue to live in peace and harmony regardless of their religion.

"There is no religion in this world that wants its followers to create problems for people of other faiths.

"Whether we are Buddhists, Muslims or Christians, we must live together in peace and prosperity in this beloved country of ours," he said in his brief speech during his visit to the Maha Vihara Buddhist temple in Brickfields here which was holding a Wesak Day celebration Saturday.

Abdullah also took the opportunity to wish the Buddhist community in the country Happy Wesak Day which falls on Monday.

He said Malaysia was for people of all faiths with the hope that everyone could receive education and employment to achieve prosperity.

"All citizens have the right to practise their religion and this is one of the special things about this country," he added.

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Abdullah Defends Police Report By PM Dept - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today defended the police report lodged by the Prime Minister's Department against several newspapers for publishing the contents of the findings by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Datuk V.K. Lingam video clip.

Describing the move as "something which is neither right nor appropriate", the prime minister said the report should have been submitted to the government first.

He said the question whether to make the report public or to keep it confidential was for the government to decide.

It was therefore not proper for any quarters to be ahead of the government in revealing the contents, he said.

"This is important. Before the government makes any decision, it was not proper for any party to beat the government to it and reveal the contents of the report," he said.

Abdullah said: "This is not a proper thing to do. Those who have prepared the report may feel something is wrong, something that may be against the law. That is why a police report is made," he said.

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Zaid: Information leaks can lead to public unease - The Star

KOTA BARU: The Federal Government has to control leakages of sensitive information because it can lead to unnecessary unease among the public if the information is released prematurely or if it becomes misinterpreted.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said nowadays there are a considerable level of leakages and the Government is concerned and there is need for tighter control.

“It is the practice of any responsible Government. There is some information that is not ready to be digested by the public ,” he said after opening the National Banks Employees Union (NUBE) sports carnival at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia here Saturday.

On the lodging of police reports against newspapers for publishing the Royal Commission of Inquiry Report on the V.K. Lingam video clip before it was made public, he said: “I am not the person who asked for a police report to be lodged. The media should refer to the rightful parties.”

Zaid said the parties who lodged the report had perhaps felt an offence was committed.

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Malaysia's Mahathir challenges government to charge him - AFP

JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia : Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday challenged the government to charge him for his alleged involvement in a judge-fixing scandal during his rule.

The government on Friday released a report that found evidence of an "insidious" conspiracy to influence the appointment of judges and had listed Mahathir, along with other top figures, as being involved.

Following the release of the report, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's cabinet agreed for the attorney-general's chambers to immediately investigate the allegations against those identified in the report, including Mahathir.

"I welcome it," the 82-year-old influential leader said at a meeting in southern Johor state.

"I want them to charge me in court. Only then will I have the opportunity to expose more conflicts faced by the judges, including those who have implicated me," he told reporters.

The report was prepared by a royal commission that investigated a video clip allegedly showing top lawyer V.K. Lingam brokering judge appointments.

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EC chairman: Cabinet didn't approve of indelible ink - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: It was the Cabinet that did not approve the use of indelible ink during the March 8 election, Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman disclosed Saturday.

He said he was told to take responsibility for agreeing to it.

"The Cabinet gave two very strong reasons why they did not agree to it – security and the law - Article 119, concerning the basic right for everyone to vote, and I agreed with them," he said.

It’s not easy being EC chairperson. I took the rap over the years,” Abdul Rashid said, adding that the commission wanted a review of election regulations.

He said that the commission should have a bigger control over the electoral process under Article 113 to Article 120 of the Federal Constitution.

“This would give us power to control abuses. One important aspect that has to be looked into immediately is the registration of electors registration,” Abdul Rashid said after launching the National Seminar on Elections 2008; Democracy at Work.

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A political thing, says Gwo Burne - The Star

PETALING JAYA: The move to make public the Royal Commission Report is politically motivated, says Loh Gwo Burne, who made the V.K Lingam video clip.

Gwo Burne said yesterday that he believed it was a “political thing” that the report is being made open to the public.

He added it appeared everything was politically motivated, from the beginning of the commission until the present day, with no real attempt to get at the truth.

“Look how much society had to pressure for the Royal Commission to be set up in the first place,” he said.

The Kelana Jaya MP, however, disagreed that investigations should include former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad because he was “victimised” by the people who surrounded him and tried to influence his decisions.

When asked whether he intended to release more of what he recorded at Lingam’s house in December 2001, Gwo Burne said he did not intend to do so in the immediate future.

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Cabinet wants Dr M and five others investigated - The Star

By Shaila Koshy and V.P. Sujata

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet has agreed that investigations be conducted into all allegations 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 were 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 said he would go through the report before announcing whether he would be ordering a probe.

“I will study the recommendations in the report very carefully, after which I will issue a statement at the appropriate time.

“Please give us time to do our job properly,” he said.

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Nik Aziz: Blame Umno for political morass - The Star

KOTA BARU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should not be the only leader to be held accountable for the current political mess in the country, said Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Rather, it is Umno which must bear the blame, as threats of defection, corruption, nepotism and cronyism, are leading the country to face an uncertain outlook, the PAS spiritual adviser said.

He was commenting on the distribution of an unsigned statement in Parliament on Thursday which explained various scenarios which could lead to the “dismissal of the PM”.

Nik Abdul Aziz said the root cause for the political decay in the country could be attributed to Umno purportedly rejecting Islam.

“They have governed on the premise of evicting Islam and Umno is like a party with no brakes.

“What is haram can become halal according to Umno.”

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Malaysia improves on competitiveness ranking - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has improved on its world competitiveness ranking in the International Institute for Management Development's (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008 (WCY08).

In a report issued by the IMD on Thursday, Malaysia moved up four spots to 19th place with a score of 73.2 points out of 100.

Last year, Malaysia was ranked 23rd with 74.1 points. The United States maintained its first placing, while Singapore and Hong Kong maintained theirs at second and third respectively.

RAM Holdings Bhd chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the ranking was a “timely boost” for the economy.

He said the rise was mainly due to significant improvement in the delivery system and other measures taken by the Government to improve efficiency and competition.

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