Monday, March 15, 2010




Posted: 15 Mar 2010 09:12 AM PDT

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MCA president takes relection bid to the people

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 06:00 AM PDT

Embattled MCA party president Ong Tee Keat kicked off his campaign today to defend his presidency by taking the battle to the grassroots. Ong began his campaign at Kelana Jaya MCA Division in conjunction with the launch of another 1Malaysia Community Alliance Foundation mobile squad. More in
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Time: 04:06 More in News & Politics

China Press to Give Valid Explanation or Face Stern Action

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 09:15 AM PDT

Stern action will be taken against China Press if it fails to give a reasonable explanation to the Home Ministry regarding its report on the alleged resignation of the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.


Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein

Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said besides issuing a show-cause letter to the newspaper on March 13, the Home Ministry had also asked a representative from the newspaper to be present at the ministry this morning to provide clarification.

"What we have done is the same as what we did with Al-Islam and The Star.

If the explanation is not reasonable, we will view it in that context," he told reporters in the Parliament lobby here today.

Asked about the form of action that can be taken if the newspaper was found to be in the wrong, Hishammuddin said there were many actions that can be taken but he left it to the enforcement side.

"This matter is important as said in the King's speech. The freedom of expression and speech in the new landsacpe must be based on certain principles and the most basic is truth," he said.

The newspaper in a report recently said that Musa would retire before Police Day on March 25 and his place will be taken by his deputy Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

The paper's source said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Hishammuddin had received a letter of resignation, but Hishammuddin and Musa had denied the paper's report.

On the issue of leadership in the police force, Hishammuddin did not deny that a process of transition was taking place but the time and place would only be determined by the government's leadership and not by pressure or the media.

"In this matter it does not revolve around the IGP only as there are four more directors from the seven police force divisions who will retire this year.

One of them has taken leave as normal prior to retirement," he said.

As such, the process of change is seen as a new chapter in the Royal Malaysian Police but need not depend on a certain post or individual only.

"I know who will replace the IGP, I know who will replace Datuk Koh (Hong Sun) in commercial crime (as director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department) and the like. So there is no need to speculate, more so making reports that have no basis whatsover," he said.

Meanwhile, Hishamuddin said today that the proposed amendments to the Internal Security Act (ISA) will be scrutinised by the cabinet on Friday before it can be tabled and debated in the current parliament sitting.

He said although the draft of the amendments was ready, it had to be submitted to the cabinet for approval.

Hishammuddin hoped the bill could be tabled during the current parliament session but said that it was important that the public would also get a chance to give their views on the issue.

"If we just push it for tabling in this session, the people will not be happy," he told reporters at the Parliament building here.

If the bill was to be tabled at the current sitting, Hishammuddin said he would like the matter to be thoroughly debated.

The proposed amendments cover five issues namely the powers of the Home Minister, period of detention, rights and treatment of detainees, public perception that the ISA is misused for political purposes, and detention without trial.

courtesy of Malaysian Digest

‘Buy Malaysian Product’ campaign to be revived

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 09:11 AM PDT

The "Buy Malaysian Product" campaign which stresses on patriotism will be revived next month or in May, said Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Themed "Patriotic Consumers", the campaigned aimed at getting Malaysians to love, buy and used local products, he told reporters after launching the Q292 mobile phone, an Islamic themed mobile phone produced by Ad-Deen Technology Sdn Bhd, at the company's presmises here today.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysians should emulate the people of South Korea who give first priority to products made by their own country.

"The spinoffs of using local goods are very high, among them it helps create jobs for Malaysians, reduce dependency on imports besides helping the local manufacturing industry," he said.

The Q292 model, which retails at RM399, has features like the direction of Mecca, prayer times and various prayers. — Bernama

Perak MB Zambry finds RM37m compensation for railway reserve unacceptable

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 09:04 AM PDT

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir (picture) finds the RM37 million compensation for the railway reserve land in Kuala Sepetang based on the Federal Constitution as unacceptable, the Transport Minister reported yesterday.

He said the statement by Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday lacked consideration for the sentiments and feelings of the people living on the land which has not been used for railway operations since 1941.

"I want to ask you all whether the RM37 million price tag is fair to those who have seen the area. He (Ong) said it was based on the constitutional provisions, but it should also be reasonable," he told reporters after lunch with a visiting delegation of Cambodian Islamic leaders at his official residence, here, today.

"Everybody can base it on the Constitution. What I am saying here is also based on the Constitution; but there must be room to discuss this issue."

Zambry, who regards the RM37 million compensation for the land as exorbitant, said the state government had never raised the issue of current market price when it gave land to the (federal) government for projects for the benefit of the people.

He said in land acquisition for the building of schools and police stations and for the purpose of government departments and agencies, the state government did not charge premiums according to the current market price but charge the minimum rates in the interest of the public.

"This principle (charging the railway reserve land which is meant for the people, according to the market price) is not right. The minister concerned should know better and look into this. Maybe it's not his fault, but he should be responsible and resolve this."

Zambry said the meeting with the Transport Minister and officials from the Railway Asset Management and other relevant authorities before this were also attended by representatives of the Attorney-General's Chambers who were made aware of the situation.

The Cabinet had on Jan 27 agreed to release the railway reserve land now occupied by 643 squatter families, to the state government as the land has not been used for railway operations since 1941.

The decision was reached following a series of discussions between the Perak government and the relevant authorities that took four to five months after promising to resolve the land issue faced by 300 residents during the Bukit Gantang by-election in March last year.

Most of the residents are fishermen and some have been staying on the land for four generations and pay annual rent to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad and the Railway Asset Corporation, but there are those who do not pay rent. — Bernama

Alamak, Hisham!

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 10:30 AM PDT

It was a farce! Less than 36 hours after denying the resignation of IGP Musa Hassan, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at the Parliament today that the IGP will be replaced when his contract expires in September, and that there will also be changes to the police top brass (read Malaysian Insider).

Yes, the truth is Musa did not resign as reported by the China Press. The terminology 'resign' prompted the Ministry to issue a show cause letter to the newspaper, which also made Hisham so uptight.

I did blame the China Press for such a speculative story but I am of the standpoint that they shouldnt use the word 'resign'. Otherwise, they will be on the save side. I will be, too!

Here are some information I gathered today pertaining to the IGP and the 'resignation' issues.

First of all, it was Hisham who extended Musa's contract for another year in September 2009. At that time, Datuk Najib was already the Prime Minister. It has been a tradition that a new PM would want a new administrative team, which includes the police force.

What prompted Hisham to make such a sudden announcement today? Was he under pressure for extending Musa's contract as the Inspector-general of Police? Did he go against Najib's 'choice of IGP'? Or is there a possibility that Najib doesnt like Musa that much...?

Or maybe Najib has a plan for Musa... an ambassador, perhaps? Where to?

Hisham shouldnt have waited for the China Press to break the silent with its speculation. They could have gotten it from Bukit Aman or from the Home Ministry. We cannot discount the fact that 'secrets' like this can easily find its way to the Press. In this regard, I dont blame the China Press although they applied a wrong terminology.

Just wondering what's on Hisham's mind, actually...

Read also China Press given show cause letter, Utusan got the congrats letter.

Sng Chee Hua..”A Political Comeback..??”

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 06:14 AM PDT

These smses which has been in circulation today has sent tongues and tails wagging,"Eagle has landed..d.Sng to contest Meluan regardless" and the follow up,"not quite to replace w.judat mayb. Mawan may need him to neutralise Masing."

Is this a political comeback of some sort by Sng Chee Hua? Its like the rise of "dayakism" and the posts Taib Era has got something to do with this speculations and rumours circulating.Masing has been very incessant in his statements that Pelagus belongs to PRS and they have found a candidate to replace Larry Sng (son of Chee Hua) and Assistant Minister in CMs office with three portfolios and is partyless after the PRS crisis.

Why Meluan? Why an SPDP seat? We have been harping that  the dayaks are seriously trying to use 1987 as a yardstick. 1994 PBDS came back to the fold and many felt they have been shortchanged by their leaders. The political equilibrium which has been enjoyed by the BN government in terms of stability,unity and harmony for the lasts 16 years is being rattled not only by the Opposition parties of DAP,PKR,PAS and SNAP but also from within BN.

The 5 plus 3 SPDP separatist has somewhat opened the PANDORA BOX. We have found delight for the last 16years in terms of OLD WOUNDS HEALING but political alliances does not lasts forever and the SCARS are still there. We say our politicians have come of age and extreme parochial politics has seen the last of its days but  its coming back with a different version.

On November 9th 2008 nearly 1 and half years ago we wrote"Ming Court 1987 of a reverse version"where the Dayaks are playing the puppet game on the surface but striking it hard quietly as they advance from their rural base.

We also received from a BN YB and Political Secretary said,"No need to wori Bro.What revival is this? Hasn't there been numerous revival which led to the formation of PBDS before? It's just another attempt by disgruntled and frustrated PERSONALITIES TO WIN POWER. Bear in mind that any group that uses race as their battle cry will never succeed. It has been proven by PAJAR and PBDS before.Many have short memory.   

With this in mind former Deputy President of PRS (P182 and N54 YB) Sng Chee Hua might also be picked to join in the fray. The 24 2/3rds majority and 36 overthrowing the BN Sarawak government has been sounded by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang. It will be a political comback of some sort by Sng and he has been itching to get back to what he knows bests.

The smses which has been circulating has also a sting with a deadly venom especially this one,"Someone a GUD Fren has dug the graveyard for Masing." Mawan appears all cool eventhough his name has been implicated and he would be very happy to play a major role in the absence "IF JAMES DOES WALK AWAY FROM BN

Opposition leaders cannot see it happening and many are not James bests friend but they know with PRS dayak leaders with them and also their own the REALITY CAN BE ACHIEVED.

 Will Sng again spoil the Opposition plans..?? He is afterall 8 years younger than Taib Mahmud the CM . Surely he will brush this speculation aside. We will SOON KNOW as the election days draws near………..

Tulang Besi dipanggil beri penjelasan

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 03:21 AM PDT

Penulis blog PAS Abdul Rahman Talib dipanggil memberikan penjelasan berhubung aduan salah laku terhadap tiga pemimpin kanan parti itu yang dilaporkannya sebelum ini. Abdul Rahman yang lebih dikenali sebagai Tulang Besi tampil di pejabat agung PAS di ibu negara kira-kira jam 2 petang tadi. Beliau sebelum ini membuat laporan laporan salah laku itu terhadap timbalan mursyidul am, Datuk Haron Din, timbalan presiden Nasharuddin Mat Isa dan pesuruhjaya Selangor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali.
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Time: 02:59 More in News & Politics

Agong: Lies, distortion in new media

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 02:22 AM PDT

The Agong has expressed disappointment that freedom of expression in the new media has been abused.
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Time: 06:55 More in News & Politics


Posted: 15 Mar 2010 12:06 PM PDT

I am exceedingly interested to witness what would be the scenario in MCA come the 22nd of March. That date is the nomination date for fresh party election is an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) of the party scheduled to take place on the 28th of March.

The acrimonious and the cacophonous crisis in the MCA's leadership lead to the EGM as part of willful and intractable efforts to solve the discordant within the 2nd biggest BN component.

Just days after Ong Tee Kiat (OTK) announced his intention to defend his presidency, Lim Ah Lek, former MCA Deputy President came to the fore requesting Ong Ka Ting to return as President of the party and called on every quarter in MCA to persuade and entice him to lead the ailing party again.

"His willingness to take back the top post is seen as the final solution to the inharmonious party as he is still respected and well regarded by the members and the Chinese community as a whole" Lim was believed to have said..

Ka Ting has a clean bill of record for clean and dirt free image as he stepped down from the leadership honorably when MCA lost heavily with all other components in BN during the last General Election (GE) in March 2008.

He took honorably the accountability for the heavy defeat in the GE and he was the only party top leader who owned up the losses. The chiefs of other components still loiter around with their position and just refuse to leave and continue on with their loose-fitting rhetoric.

He was succeeded by Ong Tee Kiat and since then MCA was toiled by heavy and intense politicking between the top leaders for reasons known to all.

Ong Ka Ting in one of the local TV Channel responded by saying that he has not decided anything but has indicated that he might be in if his presence really can be of consequence to save the party from becoming history.

Former CC members Wong Nai Chee who was once Ka Ting loyalist and aligned himself with Liow Tiong Lai said that Ka Ting could just fit in the struggle to get the party back to normalcy.

This view is shared by at least 30 MCA Division chiefs and among them is Senator Ng Fook Heng, Paya Besar Division Chief who gave positive response to Lim Ah Lek's call for Ka Ting to come back and lead MCA.

Ng says that Ka Ting is still young and energetic and commands respect from the Chinese and he can bring back harmony in the already distorted party.

They believe that it is quite an easy task to convince Liow Tiong Lai as almost all Ka Ting's former followers are now aligned to Liow, and getting the support for Liow will facilitate a smooth re-entry of Ka Ting to MCA Leadership.

The youth and the Wanita wings were believed to be agreeable to consider Ka Ting to be the alternative candidates for the Presidency but OTK in his response to this claim said that one shouldn't take the youth and wanita delegates for granted as they are not voting machines.

They are just as human as us and taking everything for granted can be disappointing.

The die hards of Ong Tee Kiat and Chua Soi Lek believe that the re-entry of Ka Ting will only spoil the soup as they claim that OTK and CSL are also in the road for reform and they say that it is just a normal hiccup in MCA and any other active political parties.

So it looks that MCA is facing 3-corner fight for the post of President. But it is also too early to speculate as politic can be very fluid and this fluidity will find its level naturally.

As for concerned observers the new reinvention of the Party's stability formula is badly needed to face the mountable challenges which lie ahead of us.

Thanks………………………………………Aspan Alias

Local government elections give you a choice and a voice

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 03:37 AM PDT

Local government elections encourage the people to be critical and politically well informed and involved. Ultimately, the people have the right to choose and decide on matters that concern them, despite the politicking, says CY

Ong: MCA delegates not 'voting machines'

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 05:20 AM PDT

Delegates who will be voting at the MCA's polls on March 28 were not "voting machines" but people who could make their own choices, said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

He said under the democratic system, anyone could lobby for votes but ultimately it was up to the voter to make his or her own choice.

Ong said this when asked about remarks made by MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong yesterday that the wing would ensure its over 200 delegates would not vote for Ong at the poll.

Ong on Saturday had announced that he would be defending the presidency.

"We are not forcing anyone to vote for this or that candidate. If a leader can control such a number of delegates it must be fantastic, but delegates are not 'voting machines'... they too have their own choices," he said after launching his election campaign at the Kelana Jaya MCA division, here today.

At the event held at an open car park, a van emblazoned with his election theme "Ong Tee Keat for President" was displayed and will be used by the Transport Minister in conducting his campaign across the nation.

Walking the talk

To a question, Ong said in the past few days many had asked whose blessings he had received (in defending the presidency) and that his answer had been it was the people.

"So today as well I tell you what's happening in the past few days. When people asked me who are the big and prominent personalities giving you the blessing... I said I can only think about of people... the man in the street," he said.

Ong further reiterated that he was committed to transforming the party as he had previously pledged.

"If at all a person is committed to his cause, then it is his duty to ensure that he walks the talk. I remain undetered by whatever speculation... by whatever intimidation that may come in my way," he said.

The function today was also attended by Wanita MCA secretary-general Senator Heng Seai Kie, who is also Deputy Information and Communcation Minister, and some 50 supporters.

The party called for fresh polsl to be held on March 28 after two-thirds of the members of its all-powerful central committee, including deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and all four of its vice-presidents, quit to pave the way for the new election.

- Bernama

Musa will go when contract expires

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 05:15 AM PDT

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan says he will leave when his contract expires in September, apparently backtracking a denial on Saturday that he was not stepping down.

While refusing to disclose details, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Monday that a transition process was already in place, with details to be decided by the government.musa_hassan7

"I already know who is going to replace the IGP. I already know who is going to replace the director of the commercial crime division. I already know those who will take over, so there is no need for us to speculate and report news without basis," Hishammuddin was quoted as saying in a report by a web news portal.

Hishammuddin also said that representatives from China Press had been called by the ministry to provide an explanation on their report on Saturday about Musa's "letter of resignation".

He said that while the ministry will listen to their explanations, if found to be unsatisfactory, action will be taken against the newspaper.

Hishammuddin went on to clarify that the reshuffling process did not involve the IGP alone, but also other top-ranking officials within the police force.

Musa denied resignation report

"In this matter it does not only involve the IGP alone but four other directors out of the seven divisions of PDRM [who] will retire this year. In fact one of the directors is already on leave, three or six months prior to leaving the service."

"So the transition is happening and this is an opportunity for us to look at a new chapter in the history of the police," Hishammuddin said.

A news report published by China Press last Saturday had said that Musa would retire on Police Day on March 25 and would be succeeded by his deputy, Ismail Omar. Musa and Hishammuddin has since denied the report.

The report, quoting a source, said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Hishammuddin had received Musa resignation's letter. Musa denied the report on the same day, saying he has "not submitted any resignation
letter to the Prime Minister or anyone."

"I want to know if the source is from official channels or from the underground. I know it is not from the ministry as I have checked with the ministry's secretary general Mahmood Adam who denied any
knowledge," he was quoted as saying by Bernama on Saturday.

Hishammuddin on Saturday had instructed Mahmood Adam to ask the newspaper editor to explain
the report.

Show cause letter

The China Press is given until Saturday to give a written reply to the show cause letter which was issued under Section 8A of the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

If convicted, offenders are liable to be jailed not more than three year or fined not exceeding RM20,000 or both.

"If there are any changes, I will know... I have an excellent relation with the Inspector-General of Police and his deputy. It's impossible that they can resign without my knowledge. The report is a lie and I will take a stern action," he was quoted as saying by Bernama last Saturday.

DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang blasted Hishammuddin for threatening to take action against China Press over the report.

"Is the stability and strength of security in the country and in particular the Malaysian police force so brittle and fragile that a report like that of China Press today could seriously compromise or jeopardize them?" wrote Lim in his blog.

Musa, 59, who is the eighth IGP, has served in the top post for four years since he was appointed on Sept 12, 2006. He was given a two-year contract after he reached the compulsory retirement age in 2007 and
was further extended in 2009. Having served in the police force since 1969. Musa was the investigation officer of the first Anwar Ibrahim sodomy case in 1998.

Last year, Lim spearheaded a parliamentary roundtable that unanimously concluded that Musa should step down.

courtesy of Malaysian Mirror

No more 'Datuk' for seven

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 05:10 AM PDT

Acting Kelantan ruler Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra will strip certain individuals of the datukship for allegedly being disrespectful of the royal institution, a national daily reported Monday.

Sources told The Star that the names of at least two businessmen, now residing in Kuala Lumpur, had already been included in a gazette for the purpose.

The two men would be asked to return their medals to the Kelantan palace with immediate effect.

The sources told the paper that five others would be asked to do the same, as their names are included in another gazette to be issued by State Secretary Mohd Aiseri Alias.

Move related to tussle with brother

Kelantan palace comptroller Abdul Halim Hamad when contacted by the daily, confirmed the matter but declined to elaborate.

The seven are said to be associates of the acting ruler's brother, Tengku Temenggong Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra.

Prior to this, at least eight others, aligned to Tengku Muhammad Faris, had their datukship stripped, purportedly on the orders of the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Ismail Petra.

However, the prince revoked the move, declaring that the letter ordering the stripping of the titles was invalid as it was not approved by the palace.

Recently, the acting Sultan also issued a statement reiterating that he is currently the legitimate ruler of Kelantan, despite the return of his father after a 10-month medical leave from the state.—Malaysian Mirror

Child marriage : 'My daughter was bewitched', claims mother of 11 year old girl

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 05:00 AM PDT

The mother of a young girl who allegedly married a 41-year-old man claimed her daughter was 'bewitched' by the man, believed to belong to a deviant religious group.

Siti Sarnan Mat Ali, 42, alleged that her daughter, Siti Nur Zubaidah, was abducted by the man last month.

She said the man, who already has four wives and six children, approached her husband on Feb 19 and convinced him to send the girl to a religious school in Wakaf Baru.

"My husband came back that night and told me to cook lunch the next day as there would be visitors coming to our house in Pasir Mas.

Siti Sarnan (clasping her hands to her head) is consoled by Shahrizat as she faces a hoarde of newsmen to relate the ordeal of her young daughter.
Nine men came to our house with the man. My daughter was devastated when she learnt that her father had agreed to send her away. She refused to go but relented after my husband persuaded her," Siti Sarnan said.

Girl was in a dazed state whhen found

"Siti Nur Zubaidah cried when my husband and the man took her away," adding that she objected. She relented as her husband, Hussin Mat Salleh, 54, was very persistent.

"I tried in vain to contact them for three days. When my husband returned three days later, he was in a state of confusion. By then, our daughter was missing," said Siti Sarnan

She said a police report was lodged on Feb 21 after the man failed to return the girl as promised.

A Malay paper reported that that the young girl's so-called husband has since abandoned her and she was reportedly found in a dazed state on Friday outside theAl-Ikhwan Mosque in Taman Samudera, Gombak, Selangor.

She has been admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital for treatment and observation.

Siti Sarnan said her daughter is in a state of shock and traumatised by the ordeal.

Absent from school for three weeks

She said her daughter has refused to return to the family home and had asked, instead, that she be taken care of by an uncle in Tanah Merah.

"She had not been going to school for almost three weeks," said Siti Sarnan, adding that although Siti Nur Zubaidah was getting better, she was still in a daze.

She said a police report was lodged on Feb 21 after the man failed to return the girl as promised.

shahrizatSpeaking at the hospital Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said: "The action of this man is irresponsible.

"After taking the girl from her family for two weeks, he left her alone (at the mosque) without any mercy.

"Its fortunate that the girl was saved," she told reporters on Sunday after visiting the girl, accompanied by Siti Sarnan.

Shahrizat said the girl told a doctor that she put up the night with the man at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur for two or three night after their "marriage" but they did not have sex.

Shahrizat asked the authorities concerned to probe into the teaching of the deviant sect, which had purportedly promised a passage to heaven to parents who marry off their underage daughters.

She said she has sent letters to Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan to take speedy action on the matter.

Shahrizat said investigations should be carried out under the Penal Code or the Syariah Law for marrying off underage girls without permission from the authorities.

"We cannot keep quiet as children must be protected. The Welfare Services Department will provide the girl with counselling and medical help," added Shahrizat, saying that action must be taken to prevent a recurrent of such incident as two underage girls were said to have been married off by the sect.

Another child, aged 10, was reportedly married to a 40-year-old man in Pasir Mas.

Court and child's marriage status

in KOTA BARU, following the public outcry over the issue, Syariah Court said it is the only authority that can determine the child's marriage status.

Kelantan Syarie chief judge Daud Mohamad said the 11-year-old girl, her father and her alleged husband had to first be brought to court before the status of the marriage could be determined.

"The assumption made by the public on the case cannot be taken as grounds to determine their marriage status," he told Bernama here Monday.

Daud said those involved in the child's marriage could be charged as it is an offence under the Kelantan Muslim Family Enactment for a female below the age of 16 to marry without a written permission from the court.

Those found guilty of the offence could be fined up to RM1,000 or six months jail or both, he added. — Malaysian Mirror

Young voters veering towards non-partisanship

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 04:56 AM PDT

Young voters are deemed to be more open and mature in making their choices thanks to the emergence of new media. - Picture by Choo Choy May

More young voters will be seen to be non-partisan in the next general election, according to political observers. The current political trend is said to contribute to this scenario.

Besides that, with the availability of advance information technology and the emergence of the new media, the young generation no longer access information from the conventional media but are churning out information and forming their own opinions.

"They no longer have a classic belief in politics," said Dr Abu Hassan Hasbullah when commenting on young voters and how they would vote in the 13th general election (GE).

The Media Studies senior lecturer at Universiti Malaya added: "Young voters now are more liberal and constructive. Besides, they do not weigh an issue based on political ideology

"They can just change their support or react to a situation any time." Abu Hassan said the young generation are no longer holding on to politicians' words or promises, but would instead evaluate how the parties concerned handle issues.

He referred to current issues which had become more complicated as the political stand made or views given, more often than not confused the public, such as on the "Allah" and oil royalty issues.

Abu Hassan's opinion is in tandem with a survey conducted by the Federation of Peninsular Malay Students (GPMS) where 70 per cent of undergraduates or youths were found to be disinterested in politics, with 10 per cent being pro-government and 20 per cent choosing to be open.

The findings of the study were revealed by GPMS president Jais Abdul Karim during the "kerusi panas" (hot seat) programme over Bernama's Radio24 on March 9.

Political observer Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia sees Malaysian politics as experiencing a political representation deficit since two years ago.

"The political parties are still grappling with finding political legitimacy to fulfil their promises since the political tsunami of March 2008," he said.

This scenario has created a dilemma among the younger generation, of whether the politicians are only representing themselves or voicing the aspirations of the people they represent in their constituencies.

Sivamurugan referred to the current spectacle of party hopping involving Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leaders and members. The action by two Perak PKR assemblymen and one from the DAP to quit their party in February 2009 saw the DAP-PKR-PAS pact losing the state to Barisan Nasional (BN), and lately three PKR members of parliament quit PKR due to their frustrations with the leadership.

Sivamurugan said the absence of a clear structure in the political parties to provide the ascendancy passage for young leaders would also drive the young generation to be non-partisan.

"This is because the young leaders are the bridge or link to the young voters. Only the young leaders will understand the aspirations of their peers. Those who give more space to the young leaders will get the support of the young voters."

It is estimated that seven million young voters will vote in the 13th GE and their support will determine the outcome, whether the victor will be BN or the DAP-PKR-PAS pact which now rules Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Selangor.

Political analyst Dr Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Abdul Latiff said the young voters' support would depend on factors such as demography and their level of education.

"The higher their educational level means they are more open and mature in making choices and will not get trapped by surrounding pressure.

"It also means the decline of heritage politics where if the father is with BN, the son or daughter will vote for BN and likewise for PAS if the father is a PAS member or supporter," said the former Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia lecturer. — Bernama

MCA polls : Insulted by 'tau fung' label

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 04:53 AM PDT

The Hainanese clan is famous for their cuisine, especially their chicken rice, and they like to be referred to as suu-kee (neighbour).

But the name-callings in the run-up to the MCA polls have hit a raw nerve among them when they have been referred to as tau fung (eccentric, in Cantonese).

The remarks were reportedly made by Petaling Jaya Utara MCA division advisor Wong Leong, following a flurry of calls for former party boss Ong Ka Ting to return to mainstream MCA politics and take over the reins once again.

It was reported that before incumbent president Ong Tee Keat made his announcement to defend the post he was having second thoughts about the presidency.

In the midst of the speculations, Wong Leong reportedly said about the president: "He's Hainanese, and they are known to be tau fung."

ong-tee-keat-hainanese-wong-leongA 'Concerned Hainanese', who declined to disclose his name, said he is perturbed over the statement by the PJ Utara politician.

Misery and disgust

He added that his his clansmen are 'extremely appalled and concerned' that such an irresponsible comment by a politician had made its way into the media.

"This, in return, has caused much misery and disgust among the Hainanese in the country.

"The blatant comment to stereotype the Hainanese in such a degrading and humiliating manner is highly uncalled forl and warrants the strongest condemnation and objection from not only the many Hainanese but all right-minded Malaysians of all races," he said.

He described the remarks as "unprofessional, humiliating, hurtful and of no basis."

He hoped there would be an apology from Wong Leong and the media that carried his remarks '"to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again."

According to the Federation of Hainanese Associations of Malaysia, there are about 300,000 Hainanese in the country, which makes up 5% of the Chinese population in Malaysia.

The Johor chai-tan

Interestingly, in another development, the campaigning by former deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek has also taken a provincial twist when he called on Johor delegates to support candidates from the state.

He had reportedly said that "one of them' would be contesting for a top post."

Chua, a former Ledang MP and minister who had started his political career in Johor is speculated to announce that he would be going for the presidency in the March 28 party polls.

Chua had also reminded the Johor members to support the state's chai-tan (menu list) – which would be disclosed before nomination day on March 22.

The former deputy, who made a comeback to MCA politics after being tainted in a 2007 video sex scandal, stunned party members when he announced his resignation and reportedly aligned himself to vice-president Liow Tiong Lai.

However, the grapevine has it that Chua would also pull the carpet from under Liow's feet and take as his running mate, instead, former first vice-president Kong Cho Ha.

Ong became party president at the party's last triennial elections in October 2008. The next polls is due next year but have been put on 'fast forward' mode after Chua and 21 central committee members resigned. — Malaysian Mirror

Pakatan's local elections plan 'mere rhetoric'

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 04:49 AM PDT

Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang has urged Pakatan Rakyat to arrive at a uniform agreement on local government elections in all its states.

In a response to an article published in the New Straits Times today, headlined 'Kedah says no to local polls', Tan asked Pakatan to clarify if it wants local government elections in all its four states.

"There is no point for Pakatan Rakyat to continue talking about local government elections if it is not even sincere in implementing this in all (its) states," Tan said in the statement.

He noted that a mere letter to the Election Commission would not absolve Pakatan from fulfilling its pledge to implement local government elections.

azizan abdul razak pas and kedahThe NST report had quoted Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Razak as saying that the state would not reintroduce local government elections as the current practice of having political appointees as councillors serves the fine.

He claimed that it is easier to get things done the traditional way, as the councillors are "their own people".

PAS Youth chief Nasruddin Hassan echoed the view in a Harakah Daily report headlined 'Local government elections are not suitable at this time'.

lim guan engkhalid ibrahimIn the past week, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (left) and Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim (right) have confirmed their commitment to restore local government elections.

On March 9, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak shot down the plan, saying it is unnecessary to hold local government elections as this would cause too much politicking.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

MCA president takes relection bid to the people

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 04:47 AM PDT

Embattled MCA party president Ong Tee Keat kicked off his campaign today to defend his presidency by taking the battle to the grassroots.

Ong began his campaign at Kelana Jaya MCA Division in conjunction with the launch of another 1Malaysia Community Alliance Foundation mobile squad.

"The message of transformation should not be just confined to within the party circle, it should not be just confined among the delegates," he said.

"The total number of delegates is only 2400. However we need to keep the largest segment of our populace informed, of not just our presence but also our commitment to the cong tee keat launched campaign trail 150310 speechause."

A similar NGO-assisted squad meant for providing basic health services to the public was launched by Tee Keat (right) at the MCA Annual General Meeting on March 7.

However the vehicle for the squad now carries Ong's image with the words: 'Ong Tee Keat for president'.

Blessing of the people

In what seemed like a subtle jibe at his rivals, he said that he did not have the support of the tycoons but he has the blessing of the people.

When asked about the possibility of former MCA president Ong Ka Ting joining the race, Tee Keat said that the veteran had a right to do so according to the party's constitution.

Based on recent turnout at the party's AGM, it is estimated that Tee Keat's support stands at about one-fourth of the total central delegates.

Tee Keat's move to court the 'men in the street' is seen as a strategy to pressure the delegates to support his bid for the presidency.

Meanwhile, Kelana Jaya Wanita chief Ong Choon Swen announced her intention to contest for a central committee post.

On March 4, former vice president Chua Soi Lek and his supporters and former vice president Liow Tiong Lai's faction had resigned en masse from the central committee.

The resignation of two-thirds of the central committee members forced fresh party elections which will commence on March 28.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

Astro subscribers are all donkeys

Posted: 15 Mar 2010 04:44 AM PDT

This letter is written with the hope of 'enlightening' the millions of Astro subscribers to the high-handed and couldn't care less attitude of our cable TV provider, Astro. I myself have been an Astro subscriber for the past 10 years and still am a subscriber today due to the sad fact that I have grown so accustomed to Astro programmess, I shudder to think of spending a day without them.

Maybe it is due to this fact that Astro has gathered enough nerve to exploit us subscribers to the fullest. From numerous scandals, big and small that rocked this nation, it has been proven time and again that we Malaysians are a patient and forgiving lot. Maybe it is also due to this fact that Astro has grown to become a snobbish, 'couldn't give a damn' conglomerate.

It is time we, the subscribers, stand up and make ourselves heard. It is time we make it clear that we are smart, intelligent consumers who will not bow to giants who monopolise the market. I have listed down the 'Seven Sins' of Astro below with the hope of 'waking' up subscribers.

Ponder over them with a cuppa in front of Astro programmes and see for yourselves what we have been put through.

Sin No 1: Advertisements and commercials

We have been sold and told that there would not be any kind of TV commercials since we are paying for the programmes we are watching. Since the launching of Astro, you will notice that more and more TV commercials have been put into our living rooms. Start counting them and your blood will boil. Is this how a cable TV is supposed to be run?

Sin No 2: Astro-on-demand re-runs

We are paying additional rates for this so called 'Watch when you like, how many times you like' programme named 'Astro-on-demand'. Fine, we get to watch first-hand episodes of Hong Kong dramas and serials. But then again, you will also notice that these same dramas and serials will be aired again over 'Wah Lai Toi' some months later. And mind you, we are also paying for this 'Wah Lai Toi' package. Think, subscribers, think. We have been milked high and dry.

Sin No 3: 'Services currently not available'!

I am sure this is the dreaded punch-line all subscribers hate to see when their favorite programmes are interrupted due to 'bad weather'. This has been Astro's problem from the start and we don't see any effort being done to overcome or improve it. But then, they can say that there are always repeats and re-runs when services are resumed.

Fine, then what about the 'live telecasts' that we missed? Finals like the 'All England' where a Malaysian is playing and capable of winning after seven years? Live football matches where we are being made to pay more? Not to mention the coming World Cup where we are staying up to watch?

Imagine the frustration of staying up late with some hot coffee, sitting on your couch complete with wonderful excuses for going to work late tomorrow wanting to watch your favorite teams play 'live' and all you can see is 'Services currently not available'. Just wonder whether we, as subscribers can just write in to Astro when our bills arrive and tell them 'Payment currently not available'?

Sin No 4: Programme re-runs and re-re-runs

Sure, we all know how these cable TV providers operate. I am sure we can stomach some re-runs. Have you ever experienced switching on your Astro and have the feeling that you have watched this programme before?

But the real 'miracle' is that this same thing will happen to you again and again with the same programme. Then it will dawn on you that this is the same programme that they have repeated over and over again. Switch on channels like HBO, Star Movies, etc and you will know what I mean.

Sin No 5: Wanton price hike

I am sure this needs no elaboration from me. We have been put through this over the years.

Sin No 6: Programme cancellation fees

Ever notice how you are being pampered when you want to add new channels? Notice how efficient they are when you can have your new programmes channeled into your living rooms within half-an-hour with absolutely no connecting fees?

Of course, when you want to cancel these same programmes, you will be at their mercy. A cancellation fee will be imposed. So they are telling us that getting in is simple and free but getting out will cost you. Wake up subscribers, if this is not daylight piracy, then Somalia must be a tourist heaven.

Sin No 7: Unfair programme package

Ever notice how packages are being grouped? We, as subscribers, are not given a free hand to choose which programme we like to see. We are being shoved programmes we don't like just because we choose certain channels and other channels are being 'thrown' in.

Of course, this is a free world and I can just pick up the phone and terminate my Astro. But as a full-blooded consumer, I would not want to see my fellow consumers being exploited the way they are.

Stand up and be heard, then they will see that we mean business. We might then someday be really enjoying our beloved Astro programmes without the two long ears sticking out of our heads.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

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