Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dr M flies back to rousing welcome -

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s supporters, including many Umno branch leaders from Jerlun, Kedah, gave him a rousing welcome at the Subang airport after he arrived from Tokyo Tuesday.

PM: Media should practice voluntary self-censorship -

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says no to the notion of unlimited freedom for the media. His speech was delivered by his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the opening of the Asia Media Summit 2008.

Dr M returns from Tokyo to some fanfare - The Malaysian Insider

By Debra Chong

SUBANG, May 27 — Some had been waiting since 4pm while others started gathering at the layby leading to the private airstrip where Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s plane would touch down from about 5pm. The former prime minister was due back from Japan.

The 300 odd supporters – some from as far as Jerlun, Kedah – and members of the media had gathered by the side of the road to greet Tun Dr Mahathir. Banners and placards welcoming him home were in evidence and every other person was seen wearing a blue badge which read "Perjuangan mu belum selesai." This line echoed the title of a poem Dr Mahathir wrote way back in May, 1996 – "Perjuangan Yang Belum Selesai."

Meanwhile, moisture-laden rain clouds were overhead. Finally, a metallic silver SUV with Dr Mahathir on board headed down the road. It was part of a convoy of cars leaving the area. The time was 6pm and a few drops of rain were beginning to fall.

He popped up through the sun roof and the crowd cheered: “Hidup Tun! Hidup Tun!” Although he looked cheerful, he sounded a tad tired as he addressed the crowd with a megaphone.

Even though he only spoke for a few minutes, he did not miss an opportunity to take yet another dig at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In an obvious reference to the loss of Pedra Branca, Dr Mahathir said, "Dengan Singapura pun takut."

[More at]

MP Asks Why Philippines Has Not Dropped Claim To Sabah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27(Bernama) -- A Member of Parliament from Sabah Tuesday questioned as to why the Federal Government was being overly diplomatic to the Philippines when the republic still did not want to drop its claim to the state.

Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) said the Philippines also still did not show they valued Malaysia's cooperation in trying to help resolve their conflict in Mindanao.

"Why are we being too nice to them when they have not even opened up a consulate in Sabah or dropped their claim to ownership of the state," said the Backbenchers Club deputy chairman when debating the Supplementary Supply Bill (2007) 2008 in the Dewan Rakyat Tuesday.

Monday, another MP from Sabah, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (BN-Tuaran) had urged the government to act fast on the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah following statements by Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari that the dispute over Sabah be referred to the International Court of Justice.

On another matter, Bung Moktar also wanted the governmnet to investigate why Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras KL (RapidKL) did not use 1,000 buses valued at RM500 million used by Intrakota and Parkmay Sdn Bhd to improve public transportation in Kuala Lumpur when they were already available for use.

[More at]

MMA Regrets "Licensed To Kill" Remark - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Tuesday expressed regret over the remark made by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff that doctors were "licensed to kill", when replying to a question in parliament Monday.

MMA president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin said MMA did not condone the notion that doctors were licensed to kill.

"It is unfortunate that the Deputy Health Minister blurted out such a remark. The MMA wishes to impress to the public that doctors are only licensed to heal or alleviate the sufferings of patients from their illness.

"Any death which occurs during the course of treatment is due to the severity of the disease," he said in a statement.

Dr Abdul Latiff caused a stir in parliament Monday when he used the expression "licence to kill" when replying to a question on why the government decided to extend the housemanship period for trainee doctors from one to two years.

The remark caused Dr Abdul Latiff to cross swords with a few opposition lawmakers, prompting Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to order him to retract his remark.


Zero-death target for NS - The Sun

By Tim Leonard

KUALA LUMPUR (May 27, 2008): The Government is now pushing for zero deaths in National Service camps nationwide, ordering camp commandants to rush trainees to hospital even for a mild fever.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Defence Minister, said the top most priority for camp commandants is to ensure no trainees die in camp during national service training.

"I have instructed the commandants to rush any trainee to hospital even though it is just a mild fever. We want to have zero percentage of deaths in the national service. The Government has been entrusted with a huge responsibility by parents and we can’t take this matter lightly."

Najib told reporters this after a meeting with camp commandants in a hotel here today.

A total of 16 deaths have been recorded since National Service started more than four years ago. These deaths took place while the trainees were directly undergoing training. There were also instances where deaths occurred a month or two after the trainee had left the training camp.

The last case was 18-year-old Too Hui Min from Taman Bayu in Selangor, who was undergoing training at the Geo Kosmo NS training camp in Kuala Kubu Baru.

[More at]

Dewan Rakyat: Motion to debate Batu Putih rejected - The Star

By Zulkifli Abd Rahman

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition MPs stood in support of a motion moved by Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian) in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday to debate the loss of Batu Putih to Singapore.

Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian) had sought permission for the House to discuss the weaknesses of the Malaysian legal team in handling the case and the consequences to other overlapping claims by Malaysia and other outstanding issues with Singapore.

His motion was rejected by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, saying that Malaysia had accepted the results on the island brought on by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

However, Salahuddin, who used Rule 18 (3) (b) of the Standing Orders, protested against the ruling and all Opposition MPs stood up to support his call on Pandikar Amin to change his stand.

Pandikar Amin told Salahuddin that he had thought hard about the motion before reaching his decision.

[More at]

Opposition: Boycott Malay papers for fanning racial hatred - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Rakyat alliance has called for an immediate boycott of Malay newspapers Utusan Malaysia and Mingguan Malaysia for what it said was unfair reporting and for allegedly fanning racial sentiments.

In a joint statement issued at a press conference in the lobby of Parliament, Opposition leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the mainstream media had shown signs of opening up since the results of the March 8 polls.

However, many publications still gave wider coverage to Barisan Nasional and its component parties, while stories on Pakatan Rakyat tended to be full of distortion and misinformation to discredit the alliance parties and their leaders, she claimed.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat president was accompanied by alliance members DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Mat Isa in reading out the joint statement.

Dr Wan Azizah said the worst were the two aforementioned newspapers, which she claimed unfairly criticised and demonised Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

She also alleged these publications were always trying to provoke narrow ethnic sentiments, "clearly with the intention of creating anger among Malays against Pakatan Rakyat component parties."


Malaysia takes steps to claim 100 isles, reefs - NST

By : Minderjeet Kaur

KUALA LUMPUR: Government agencies are working feverishly to gather information on islands and marine features which could be eyed by neighbouring countries.

This comes in the wake of the International Court of Justice's decision to award Pedra Branca to Singapore.

The court, however, handed ownership of Middle Rocks to Malaysia, while the status of South Ledge will be decided based on whose territorial waters it is in.

As the claim of ownership extends beyond islands to marine features such as reefs and even rock formations visible only during low tides, the number could exceed thousands.

A maritime expert, however, said the most urgent were about 100 islands, reefs, rocks and other marine features lying in the South China Sea, Straits of Malacca and off Sabah.

Among the claimants are China, Vietnam and Indonesia, a source said.

[More at]

All ministries except three to move to Putrajaya - The Star

PUTRAJAYA: All ministries, with the exception of the International Trade and Industry, Works and Defence, are expected to move to the federal administrative capital by 2010.

Putrajaya Corporation president Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said the construction of buildings to house several ministries was already ongoing while others were in planning stages, adding that the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, and Tourism Ministries were among those that would be moving here soon.

“The three ministries have decided not to move as they consider their location strategic. They will continue to remain at their present location while other ministries operating in Kuala Lumpur are preparing to move to Putrajaya in the next two years or so,” he told reporters yesterday.

Samsudin said there would be more commercial buildings in the federal administrative capital to meet demands for such outlets, adding that currently, the only commercial buildings were the Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd (PjH) building and the soon-to-be opened 26 Boulevard at Precinct 3.


Border towns: No petrol sales to foreign cars - The Star

By Sim Leoi Leoi and Meera Vijayan

KUALA LUMPUR: Petrol stations located in border states like Johor and Perlis will be barred from selling petrol and diesel to foreign-registered cars starting Friday.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said the move, aimed at plugging loopholes in the current subsidy system, was decided during an anti-inflation committee meeting yesterday.

The ban will involve between 200 and 300 petrol stations in Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Perak and the Johor Baru and Kulai areas in Johor.

Currently, petrol stations are not allowed to sell more then 20 litres of petrol to foreign vehicles.

“This move is temporary until we come up with better management of our subsidy system,” he told reporters.

At present, Shahrir said too many foreign-registered cars, particularly those from neighbouring countries, had been crossing into Malaysia to take advantage of the lower fuel and diesel prices.

[More at]

Company sold for RM50,000 - The Star

Brisdale Holdings Berhad, a subsidiary of state-owned company Kumpula Hartanah Sdn Bhd has been sold for just RM50,000 and this this was enough for the Selangor state government to conduct an investigation.

In a research carried out by assemblyman Hannah Yeoh (Pakatan - Subang Jaya), Brisdale Holdings Berhad was sold to GMB Construction Sdn Bhd in a sales agreement that was concluded on August 10, 2007.

Yeoh said the sale was a public knowledge as it was announced at the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) and was also published in Kumpulan Hartanah's 2006 report.

“Kumpulan Hartanah had sold its subsidiary Brisdale through SAP Holdings Berhad (which is also part of Kumpulan Hartanah) to GMB Construction,” said Yeoh.

“Usually the shareholders' agreement is needed for a sale like this, but because the company was sold for less than RM250,000, no such agreement was needed.”

[More at]