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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Panic-buying nuclear bomb shelters in Japan as threat of war looms

Companies are also selling out of air purifiers to protect against poison gas after warnings Kim could launch deadly sarin

SALES of nuclear bomb shelters and air purifiers to protect against poisonous gases have suddenly surged in Japan as the threat of war with North Korea looms.

Tensions have been rising in the region after repeated missile tests by Kim Jong-un’s despotic regime.

The rogue state recently showed off its new breed of missiles in a massive military parade in Pyongyang.

Sarawak government wants end to cabotage policy

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg and state cabinet view repeal of policy as a way to lessen the price of goods in Sarawak

KUCHING - The Sarawak government has proposed to the federal government to abolish the cabotage policy which requires all goods to enter the state through Port Klang.

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said he and the state cabinet viewed the repeal of the policy as among the ways to lessen the price of goods in Sarawak.

JJPTR promises to return money to investors in May

The reported collapse of the JJPTR scheme may cause “investors” ― including from Malaysia ― previously promised steady monthly 20 per cent dividends to collectively lose RM500 million.

JJPTR's founder Johnson Lee, whose Penang-based forex trading company claimed its accounts were hacked resulting in RM500 million losses, last Sunday reportedly urged “investors” to not lodge police reports as there was still money left in its accounts.

Chinese leader urges U.S. restraint over North Korea in a call to Trump

As  the world braces for a possible North Korean nuclear test, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday urged restraint in a call to President Donald Trump. American's U.N. envoy warned of a strike if Pyongyang attacks a U.S. military base or tests an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Xi's phone call with Trump came amid signs Pyongyang could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test explosion since 2006, or the latest in a rapid series of missile tests, further advancing its ambitions of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland.

Ex-sprinter Watson Nyambek lodges report, mulls legal action

He says the programme has belittled not only he and his father, but the people of Sarawak.

Former national sprinter Watson Nyambek has lodged a police report against a TV production company and is considering legal action over a programme which apparently belittled his late father.

This is despite Primeworks Studios chief executive officer Ahmad Izham Omar issuing an apology on behalf of TV3 and TV9 yesterday.

India says looking into Zakir Naik’s Perkasa appearance

KUALA LUMPUR - An Indian law enforcement agency said it will examine Dr Zakir Naik’s recent visit to Malaysia, after Putrajaya confirmed that the fugitive preacher was granted permanent residency (PR) here five years ago.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which recently served a non-bailable warrant against Dr Zakir, also said it is aware of his visit to an April 16 event by Malay rights group Perkasa here, where he was given honorary membership and an award.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Selangor PAS ready to contest 45 state, 15 parliamentary seats

PAS is ready to contest in 45 out of 56 state seats and 15 out of 22 parliamentary seats in Selangor, barring any other agreements reached on seat distributions for the next 14th general elections.

Selangor PAS commissioner Iskandar Abdul Samad said the decision will be made based on current developments, so long as the party is no longer tied to any arrangements it previously had with the former Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

KK MMEA launches its Voluntary Reserve Team

KOTA KINABALU - The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) here on Saturday launched its district-level Voluntary Reserve Team.

Officiated by its Kota Kinabalu Director, maritime commodore Adam Aziz, the event held at the agency's premises involved 174 volunteers comprising 18 officers and 156 personnel.

"It is set up on the approval of the Cabinet to assist the agency in its tasks. It will serve as a force multiplier in safeguarding the country's waters," he said.

Smoking banned in public parks

KOTA KINABALU: Smoking is now banned in public parks in Sabah, said Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi.

She said public parks in Sabah have agreed to be gazetted as no-smoking zones starting February 1 this year.

Dr Christina said the Health Ministry, through the State Health Department, would be educating the public of the new enforcement from February 15 to May 31.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Philippine troops kill three more Abu on tourist island

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine soldiers have killed three more Islamic State-linked militants on a resort island where they were hiding after a failed attempt to kidnap tourists, a military spokesman said on Sunday.

The Islamist militants from the Abu Sayyaf group were killed in a clash on Saturday on Bohol island, a considerable distance to the north of their strongholds in the far south of the predominantly Christian country.

Two or three of them were still at large, said Colonel Edgard Arevalo, chief of the military's public affairs office.

Two UMS students killed after car crashes into tree

KOTA KINABALU - Two Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) students were killed in an accident after the car they were in smashed into tree along the city’s Likas coastal road during the wee hours of Sunday.

Indonesia’s wrong turn

Voting based on race and religion is the beginning of the end of Indonesia’s nascent democracy and its commitment to pluralism and religious tolerance

After a hotly contested and highly divisive campaign, former minister Anies Baswedan has apparently won the contest for the governorship of Jakarta. He beat the incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known widely as Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent. Ahok, according to Indonesian press reports was an effective and clean administrator and was a shoe-in to be re-elected until he ran afoul of religious groups which accused him of blasphemy.

North Korea says ready to strike US aircraft carrier

The Rodong Sinmun paper likened the aircraft carrier to a "gross animal" and said a strike on it would be "an actual example to show our military's force".

SEOUL - North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a US aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, as two Japanese navy ships joined a US carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific.

US President Donald Trump ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to rising tension over the North’s nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.

Assistant warden in remand for allegedly beating student

KOTA TINGGI - An assistant hostel warden of a private religious school is in remand for four days for investigation in a beating case involving an 11-year-old tahfiz student.

Magistrate Mazana Sinin issued the remand order, which expired this Wednesday, on the 29-year-old man, following an application from the police.

The suspect was detained at his house in Felda Lok Heng Barat here, yesterday, after the student’s mother lodged a police report.

Respect and recognise the rights of Sabah and Sarawak - Law expert

KUALA LUMPUR -  A law expert has urged Putrajaya to recognise the rights of Sabah and Sarawak amidst rising tension over a conflict between civil and shariah laws.

Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said the rights of both states were entrenched in the 20-point (Sabah) and 18-point (Sarawak) agreements as conditions to set up an enlarged federation in 1963.

Among the notable rights to be accorded is freedom of religion.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pyongyang drivers scramble as gas stations limit services in North Korea

Drivers in Pyongyang are scrambling to fill up their tanks as gas stations begin limiting services or even closing amid concerns of a spreading shortage.

A sign outside one station in the North Korean capital said Friday that sales were being restricted to diplomats or vehicles used by international organizations, while others were closed or turning away local residents. Lines at other stations were much longer than usual and prices appeared to be rising significantly.

Seoul on high alert as N Korea readies for army anniversary

South Korea was on heightened alert yesterday ahead of another important anniversary in North Korea, with a large concentration of military hardware amassed on both sides of the border amid concerns about a new nuclear test by Pyongyang.

North Korea will mark the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on Tuesday, as it concludes winter military drills at the same time as US and South Korean exercises running until the end of April, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesperson Lee Duk-haeng said.

Cops nab 6 men for offering Astro content illegally

Police say suspects believed to be part of syndicate that allegedly offers Astro channels illegally via Android set-top boxes at much-lower monthly fees.

Police have detained six men believed to be members of a syndicate that allegedly offers illegal Astro channels with a lower monthly subscription via online streaming and card sharing.

Bukit Aman (Federal Police) Commercial Crimes Investigation Department chief Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the suspects, aged between 39 and 53, were picked up in raids in the federal capital and Johor Bahru since yesterday.

I don't know how I survived: Man who walked away from crushed car in trailer accident

SINGAPORE - The man whose car was crushed by a trailer in the Tuas tunnel on Wednesday (April 19) afternoon has posted a new video of the extremely close shave.

Mr Eddie Wong, who escaped with just bruised fingers, posted a video from his car's dashboard camera on Friday (April 21) night.

The new clip he shared on his Facebook page has been viewed more than 3,000 times in just an hour. It shows the trailer veering suddenly towards his vehicle before the footage ends in a blur.

Hindu priest shot at point blank by gunman miraculously unhurt

GEORGE TOWN - A man believed to be an Ah Long’s agent fired three shots at a Hindu priest at point blank range at his home in Air Itam here Friday night yet missed.

In the 9pm incident outside 14-N, Jalan Satu off Jalan Air Itam, a lone gunman on a motorcycle fired at the priest, in his late 50s, while he was watering his plants.

The priest quickly fell to the ground but the gunman then fired another three shots at him, but all the shots missed.

‘Raja Bomoh’ nabbed in Johor, says report

Controversial shaman Datuk Ibrahim Mat Zin has been arrested by authorities in the early morning yesterday, Malay daily Harian Metro reported today.

Ibrahim, the self-styled “Raja Bomoh” or “Shaman King”, was nabbed at a hotel in Segamat, Johor at 2.30am yesterday, according to an anonymous source.

Malay Mail Online is currently seeking verification from Islamic authorities who are seeking his arrest.

Friday, April 21, 2017

New drift modelling research raises new search hope for MH370

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has said new “drift modelling” research by the CSIRO has confirmed its view that the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 lies in a proposed new search area of the Indian Ocean.

The announcement raises hopes that Malaysia, which under international law has responsibility for the investigation into the loss, might be persuaded to the resume the hunt for the Boeing 777 which was suspended in January.

More than 600 attend vigil for Pastor Raymond Koh

MIRI - More than 600 people attended a vigil at the Mei Ann Methodist Church on Thursday night here for Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo, who has been missing for 68 days since he was abducted by unknown men.

Suanna Liew, Koh’s wife, who spoke at the vigil which started at 7pm, said her family was going through a harrowing time without news or clues from the police on his whereabouts, well-being or his abductors.

Abu Sayyaf days are numbered, says police chief

CEBU CITY: “Their days are numbered.”

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Thursday issued this warning after President Duterte offered a P1 million dead-or-alive bounty for every Abu Sayyaf member still in the mountains of Inabanga town, Bohol province.

He told reporters here past midnight that the cash reward dangled by Duterte would be a big help in catching the remaining members of the bandit group.

ISIS claims Paris shooting, one policeman killed

PARIS - A French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris last night in an attack carried out days before presidential elections and quickly claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

President Francois Hollande said he was convinced the “cowardly killing” on the Champs Elysees boulevard, in which the assailant was himself shot dead by police, was an act of terrorism.

Instant permanent residence for Zakir while long queues for others

YOURSAY | ‘Some honest hard-working people couldn’t even get PR status despite being in our country for years.’

usahKes: Look to whom Malaysia opens its doors to - North Korean businesses, ICs (identity cards) for Bangladeshi nationals, and now this – PR (permanent resident) status for an Indian national who is facing charges of money laundering and terrorism activities back in his home country.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Duterte offers 1 million Pesos bounty for every Abu captured, ‘dead or alive’

PHILIPPINE president Rodrigo Duterte has offered a bounty of P1 million for each of the eight remaining Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members who engaged government troops in a gunfight in Barangay Napo, Inabanga, Bohol last week.

Johor Umno exco quits after graft charge

KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Abd Latif Bandi resigned today as Johor state executive councillor after he was charged with 33 counts of corruption involving RM30 million over a housing and land scandal.

Abd Latif, whose housing and local government portfolio was taken over by Mahkota assemblyman Datuk Md Jais Sarday since last month in an acting capacity, thanked his family, friends, colleagues, Mersing residents, NGOs and others who have supported him throughout the legal process.

DAP Zairil to sort it out over 'fake' photo issue

PETALING JAYA - DAP lawmaker Zairil Khir Johari has explained himself to the party's top leadership over controversial photos allegedly depicting him in close proximity with a woman.

Penang DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow said the Bukit Bendera MP had appeared before the party's secretary-general Lim Guan Eng on Tuesday afternoon.

"Since this is an attack on his privacy, Zairil has requested to sort out the issue himself for the time being.

Gabungan is focus on issues, not post

KOTA KINABALU - Gabungan Sabah (United Sabah Alliance) is focussing on the many pressing issues facing Sabah and preparing for the coming general elections and does not want to be distracted by the tussle for posts of any sort, including that of the opposition leader in the Legislative Assembly, said Datuk Mohd Noor Mansor.

Mohd Noor, who is Gabungan Sabah chairman said Gabungan remains focussed and it is not in disarray.

"The President of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Hj. Okin, had told us that he would relinquish the post of opposition leader in the Sabah Legislative Assembly if that is the decision of the Gabungan Sabah. That was last month after Parti Harapan Rakyat and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah had been admitted into the Gabungan Sabah.

Sabah authorities to crack down on deviant religious group

KOTA KINABALU - Islamic authorities here are waiting for a state Cabinet decision as to whether Indonesia-based deviant religious group Milah Abraham will be banned in Sabah, said assistant minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif.

He said at a meeting last May, the religious authorities discussed the activities of Milah Abraham and decided that it was deviant to true Islamic teachings.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hindraf: How was Zakir Naik found fit for PR?

KUALA LUMPUR - Indian rights group Hindraf questioned today how controversial Indian Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik qualified for permanent residency (PR) here.

In a statement today, Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy demanded to know if Dr Zakir had satisfied various prerequisites, such as providing a minimum deposit of US$2 million (RM8.81 million), with the source of funds verified; a certificate of conduct from his country of origin and the government agency which provided the certificate, among others.

Second round voting starts for Jakarta governor's post

JAKARTA - Counting has begun at more than 10,000 polling booths across Indonesia’s capital in a run-off election to decide who will govern Jakarta for the next five years after a campaign marred by religious tensions.

More than 60,000 security personnel have been deployed around the capital where millions of people voted until polls closed at 1pm. Unofficial results are expected within hours.

Recent opinion polls suggest the race is too close to call between incumbent governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, 50, known as Ahok, and 47-year-old former education minister Anies Baswedan.

Selangor cops to record statement from Peter Chong over pastor's abduction

PETALING JAYA - Selangor police will record a statement from former Petaling Jaya councillor Peter Chong regarding the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh.

"We don't know if he can help in the investigation but we will record his statement in the near future. He has said before that he has information, so we have to check.

"The task force is still investigating the case so whatever clues and leads that come up, we will look into it. We have never stopped investigating," said Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Fadzil Ahmat.

Manhunt for four Abu Sayyaf chiefs

LAHAD DATU - Four Abu Sayyaf commanders capable of mounting large-scale kidnappings are being hunted down on both sides of the Sabah and southern Philippines sea borders.

Stop ‘paper conversion’ of villagers to Islam – Momogun

PENAMPANG - The Momogun National Congress (MNC) has urged the National Registration Department (NRD) to stop the “paper conversion” of poor and illiterate Dusun and Murut villagers to Islam by irresponsible NRD officials without these villagers going through actual conversion to Islam.

MNC president Datuk Henrynus Amin in a statement said MNC was deeply disturbed by reports of NRD officials  illegally changing the religious status of unsuspecting Dusun and Murut villagers without getting the necessary consent from those affected.

Abu Sayyaf plot to kidnap tourists from Sabah islands foiled

A chilling plan to carry out large-scale kidnappings of foreigners from tourist island resorts in East Malaysia and the central Philippines has been foiled following the death of Abu Sayyaf leader Muamar Askali in Bohol and the surrender of 11 sub-leaders in Tawi Tawi.

But the threat is still present and security forces of both countries remain on alert.

According to Philippine and Malaysian intelligence sources, Abu Sayyaf leaders had been drawing up plans over the last few months to abduct Caucasian tourists from Sabah islands close to the southern Philippines.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Abu Sayyaf Abduction: Fong relishes freedom, 17 years on

Kidnap victims: The nine Malaysians and two Filipino hostages in their makeshift tent in the jungles of Talipao. Fong is seated third from left
SEMPORNA - For the past 16 years, dive instructor Ken Fong would look at his watch with dread at 8pm every April 23. He’ll be doing the same for the 17th time on Sunday.

Non-Muslims musn’t be forced, says Chinese group on Maghrib closure

Non-Muslim traders shouldn't be subjected to the same policy, to the point that they too, would be fined for not abiding by it, says Chinese community leader.

PETALING JAYA - Non-Muslim traders in Kelantan should not be forced to close their businesses during the Maghrib prayer time, a Chinese community leader from the state said today.

Kelantan Peranakan Chinese Association (PPCK) president Lim Kham Hong was asked to comment on the state government’s policy requiring all traders to stop their activities during the Maghrib prayers.

Why not extradite Zakir Naik, asks Zaid Ibrahim

PETALING JAYA - Former Umno minister Zaid Ibrahim questioned Putrajaya for protecting controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, saying he should be sent back to India to face the law.

Zaid sent out three tweets today soon after Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters in Putrajaya that Naik has Malaysian permanent resident status.

Zahid said there was also no question of extradition of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) founder to India.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pyongyang should not ‘test Trump’s resolve’, says VP Pence

SEOUL - US Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea today not to test Donald Trump’s resolve, declaring that “all options are on the table” in curbing its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

Defying international pressure, the North Sunday test-fired another missile as fears grow that it may be preparing for its sixth atomic weapons test.

Former South Korean president facing possible life sentence

Trial of Park Geun-hye to start within weeks after she was formally indicted on multiple charges of corruption
South Korean prosecutors have formally charged Park Geun-hye over high-profile corruption allegations that could potentially send the former president to jail for life.

The indictment covers multiple charges, including abuse of power, extortion, bribery and leaking state secrets.

Party fiesta a new Sabah absurdity

There are now so many political parties in Sabah that I have lost count! The past big announcement of new parties being registered was in September 2013 in which the Registrar of Societies issued a release of 20 new parties, four for the Peninsula, 11 for Sabah, and five for Sarawak. Sabah leads in party creation and it’s nothing to be proud of!

The Sabah new parties then were: 1. Parti Kebangsaan Sabah (PKS), 2. Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Sabah Bersatu (USNO) Baru, 3. Parti Gagasan Bersama Rakyat Sabah (Parti BERSAMA), 4. Pertubuhan Perpaduan Rakyat Kebangsaan Sabah (PERPADUAN), 5. Parti Kebenaran Sabah (KEBENARAN), 6. Parti Bersatu Bugis Sabah, 7. Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sabah (PERS), 8. Parti Pembangunan Warisan Sabah, 9. Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), 10. Parti Sejahtera Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah (SAPU), and 11. Parti Damai Sabah (PARTI SPP).

OMG! Non-Muslims must abide by Kelantan’s Maghrib shutdown

The PAS-led Kelantan government says the policy will allow non-Muslims to take a break while Muslims observe the dusk prayer.

The Kelantan state government says a policy requiring traders to stop their activities during the Maghrib prayers also applies to non-Muslims.

“They don’t need to cease operations for long, it’s just for 10 minutes,” state local government, housing and sports committee chairman Abdul Fattah Mahmood told FMT.

10 things we know about Zakir Naik so far

1. The enforcement directorate (ED) on Saturday filed a charge sheet against Aamir Gazdar, a close confidante of Dr Zakir Naik, and Harmony Media Limited — a company floated by Naik — for allegedly laundering money on behalf of the controversial televangelist. The ED’s 1,000-page charge sheet lists Naik as an accused in the case. The charge sheet includes the statements of witnesses and several documents, which establish the trail of laundered money.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cops: Peter Chong claimed abducted while tracking missing pastor

KUALA LUMPUR - The strange “disappearance” of activist Peter Chong took another twist as police said he claimed to have been abducted in Thailand after going there to seek information on a Christian pastor’s abduction.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh said Chong, who returned to Malaysia today after going missing for 11 days, had told local police that he had travelled to Thailand to meet someone with information on Pastor Raymond Koh’s disappearance.

Demerit point system in effect, motorists should check status in RTD website

KUALA LUMPUR - Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has advised road users to check with the RTD website to find out if their licence has been slapped with demerit points.

"We don't want to penalise anybody (unnecessarily), but we need to have this strict enforcement so that it becomes a culture, and it will actually enhance road safety culture among Malaysians," Liow said after launching the "Belt and Road Initiative: Malaysia-China Cultural and Arts Year" programme at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Abu Sayyaf leader with RM4.4mil bounty intends to surrender

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Radulan Sahiron, the notorious leader of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, has expressed his intention to surrender due to old age.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said Sahiron has tapped some elders in Sulu to relay his intention to surrender.

“The continuing operation against the Abu Sayyaf, up and down from Talipao, Patikul, Mainbung and other parts of Sulu, this is taking a toll on the part of the Abu Sayyaf particularly to Sahiron,” Galvez said.

IS death toll hits 90 from huge US bomb in Afghanistan

JALALABAD, Afghanistan - The death toll from the American military's largest non-nuclear bomb nearly tripled Saturday, with Afghan officials saying at least 90 Islamic State fighters were killed, as US-led forces conducted clean-up operations over the rugged terrain.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb – dubbed the "Mother Of All Bombs" – was unleashed in combat for the first time, hitting IS positions in eastern Nangarhar province on Thursday.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Govt dealt with illegal immigrants differently in peninsula compared to Sabah

The Malaysian government has over four decades of experience handling illegal immigrant issues, and former Suhakam vice-chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun believes it need not be told of what to do

KOTA KINABALU - When it comes to the illegal immigrant quagmire in Sabah, the government need not be told what needs to be done.

“It is not a new thing, and they (government leaders) are aware of this problem since decades ago,” said Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, a member an anti-graft watchdog who call themselves the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4).