Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ezam on why he rejoin Umno - NSTP e-Media

Ezam Ready To Go For Umno Youth Chief Post If There Is Support - Bernama

PETALING JAYA, May 29 (Bernama) -- Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief, Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor, said he was ready to contest the Umno Youth chief post if his leadership could help raise the status of the Malays as a respected race.

However, he said, being new in the party might not allow him to make such a big decision.

Still, Mohamad Ezam said, he would discuss the matter with other Umno leaders before making a decision.

"I have to discuss first with the leadership and with friends. If the post is for party and national interests and in the interest of the Malays, I will seriously consider," he said.

He was asked to comment on the possibility that his entry into Umno was to fill the post to be vacated by current Umno Youth chief, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.


Malaysian opposition shrugs off defections to ruling party - AFP

Malaysia's opposition on Thursday shrugged off a rash of defections to the ruling party, which have come as a much-needed boost for embattled Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Ezam Mohamad Nor, a former senior member of opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim's Keadilan party, is the most prominent of the six who are being welcomed back into the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

He left UMNO in 1999 after the sacking of Anwar, a one-time deputy premier who spent six years in jail on corruption and sex charges before being freed and storming back onto the political scene.

Ezam, who had served as Anwar's political secretary, quit Keadilan last year reputedly after a power struggle with another top party official.

"Ezam's decision will have little impact on the party. We are on an upward trend now," said Keadilan information chief Tian Chua.

Chua said the five others joining UMNO were associates of Ezam who had been "hanging in limbo".

"A few of them have nowhere to go, and UMNO desperately needs some event to show that they can reverse the trend of people leaving and the relevance of UMNO waning," he told AFP.

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University Act to be amended to remove doubts - The Star

By Mazwin Nik Anis

PUTRAJAYA: The amendments to the University and University Colleges Act will see provisions that are “no longer needed” removed in an effort to clear doubts on the purpose of the Act.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings related to the Act because part of its provisions are being politicised by certain quarters.

“Even though there is a need for the Act to be in place, it is not meant to control students’ involvement in constructive activities. This is evident in the level of thinking and understanding showed by student leaders who attended today’s meeting.

“With the amendments, there will be a clearer guideline because we want all students to participate in constructive activities. This is why we give them a chance to further their studies at the tertiary level.

“However, if there are any provisions in the act that are no longer needed, we will amend them to clear doubts on the purpose of having the Act,” he told reporters Thursday after spending almost two hours with student leaders at the student consultative council meeting.

Also present were Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Khaled Nordin and Public Services director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam.

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Anwar Will Run for Malaysia Parliament Once Eligible - Bloomberg

By Haslinda Amin and Angus Whitley

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, freed from prison in 2004, said he'll ``immediately'' contest a parliamentary seat once he confirms his eligibility, part of a plan to topple the government by mid-September.

``If we're absolutely certain of my eligibility, we would opt to do it immediately,'' he told Bloomberg Television in an interview today. Anwar said he doesn't have confirmation from Malaysia's Attorney General that he can hold public office, after serving time in jail on corruption charges he denies.

Anwar, 60, a former Malaysian deputy premier, is seeking to overthrow a coalition that's ruled since independence from Britain in 1957. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, weakened in March 8 elections, is introducing measures to slow inflation and reduce corruption to win back public support.

Anwar, who has calculated he was legally able to be a lawmaker in mid-April, said he may instruct his lawyers to seek an official response from the Attorney General unless he has a ruling by the end of this month.

Malaysian Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail declined to comment when reached on his mobile phone today.

Anwar today repeated claims that his alliance has lined up the necessary 30 defections from Abdullah's coalition to take power. He also said the opposition coalition will discuss who might have the role of deputy prime minister in any potential government that he would lead.

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FT Gerakan Chief Confirms Taking Up Pakatan Rakyat's Offer - Bernama

By Alan Ting

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 (Bernama) -- Federal Territory Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong Wednesday confirmed that he has accepted an offer from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) controlled Selangor government to head a special task force on land management.

Tan, 61, a former deputy minister, has followed the example of former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon, who accepted the PR Penang government’s offer to head two key state agencies - InvestPenang and Penang Development Corporation.

"Yes, I have taken up the offer to be joint chairman of the six-member task force.

I'm thankful to the Selangor Government for the trust they have placed in me and to tap on my experience in dealing with land matters.

"A lot of things need to be done and we have been given three months to come out with a report to the Selangor government on the matter of land titles," he told Bernama when contacted late Wednesday night.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim Wednesday evening announced the formation of the task force comprising six members to be jointly chaired by Tan and Datuk Dr Nik Mohd Zain Nik Mohd Yusof.

Tan was deputy land and cooperative development minister from 1999 to 2004 while Mohd Zain had been the ministry’s director-general from 1996 to 2002.

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Gerakan’s Tan ‘joins’ Pakatan - The Star

By Dharmender Singh and Christina Tan

SHAH ALAM: Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong became the second Gerakan leader to take up a post with an Opposition-led state government.

The Federal Territory Gerakan chief and former Deputy Land and Cooperative Development Minister was named as co-chairman of Selangor's special task force on land issues.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the other co-chairman was former Land and Cooperative Development Ministry secretary-general Prof Datuk Dr Nik Mohd Zain Nik Yusof.

The appointment of Dr Tan means he will now be working for the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

Last month, Gerakan deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon accepted the Penang government's offer to take up the posts of InvestPenang executive chairman and Penang Development Corporation director. Lee later quit Gerakan.

Khalid said Dr Tan and Prof Dr Nik Mohd Zain would head a six-member task force that would study the management of land in Selangor and related policies, issues and problems before submitting suggestions for improvement.

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Foreigners to pay full price for fuel, says Pak Lah - The Star

By Elizabeth Looi

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said an announcement on how this would be done would be made when the time was right.

“Foreigners will definitely have to pay the full price when we make the announcement and (when we) enforce it immediately,” he told a press conference in Parliament here yesterday.

Abdullah said some people had taken advantage of the country’s cheaper fuel prices by smuggling it into other countries for a profit.

He also said the Government would decide on the use of the MyKad for petrol purchases soon.

On another matter, Abdullah said it was all right for Umno members, including those who were MPs, to make constructive criticism against the Government or party policies as long as they got their facts right.

“Our current practice is not like we are going to take serious action against them, but if what was said was factually wrong, then the party must take action,” he said.

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