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Monday, August 3, 2015

Dr M: Did RM2.6b violate election laws?

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has warned if Umno needed RM2.6 billion to contest the general election, the party might have violated election laws.

"The expenditure statement for each candidate must be reported to the authorities. It is an offence to spend more than a certain amount.

"I apologise if this rule had already been abolished. It was designed to prevent corruption," he wrote on his blog today.

Cops quiz senior MACC officer over 1MDB probe leak

The police are now questioning a senior Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer at his office in Putrajaya.

It is believed this is related to the leak of 1MDB investigations.

Three police officers from the Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department arrived at 2.45pm at the MACC headquarters while the MACC officer in question arrived at 3.10pm.

About 30 journalists present have been ordered to wait outside the MACC headquarters.

Political donations never went to my own account: Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR - It has never been Umno's practice to place money from political donations in the personal accounts of trustees, Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said in his blog on Monday, rejecting claims that he had done the same during his tenure.

Dr Mahathir said while he was the Umno president, he was one of three trustees who ensured that all political donations were deposited into a bank account which was held in trust for the party, Malaysian Insider reported.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hong Kong bra protest after woman jailed for ‘breast assault’

HONG KONG - Dozens of activists including men wearing bras staged a protest in Hong Kong today after a woman was sentenced to three-and-a-half months' jail for assaulting a police officer with her breast.

Around 100 people gathered for the light-hearted “breast walk” protest outside police headquarters in Wan Chai district, with some holding up bras and others wearing them over their tops.

Muhyiddin: I won't shut up on 1MDB

Ousted deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he would not seal his lips on issues like 1MDB, as it is the concern of the people.

He said he felt he had done nothing wrong even though his friends had warned him that his post of deputy president of Umno might be at stake.

"They said 'Tan Sri, now you are no longer the deputy prime minister, please speak nicely (of 1MDB). Who knows - there might be people who want to find fault so much, that your deputy president post might be threatened.’

"I said I won't keep quiet. As a deputy president why should I? I need to speak up," he said during his speech at the Kluang Umno division annual general meeting.

Muhyiddin said there are people who have accused him of being a traitor for speaking on 1MDB.

CM Adenan: Sarawakians must resist racism

KUCHING - Sarawakians must resist racist tendencies which are already rearing their ugly head in the peninsula, says Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

Speaking at the declaration of Kuching as a "City of Unity" yesterday, Adenan warned against the influence of extremism, saying that the worst that was happening in "Malaya" must not be accepted in Sarawak.

"Here, we aren't Chinese, Iban, Orang Ulu or Indians; here we are Sarawakians, we are the same. We are not like Malaya, always disagreeing," Adenan said to loud cheers at Stadium Perpaduan.

60 years of mystery revolving fireflies now unravelled

For 60 years scientists failed to decipher the mysterious chemical reaction that produces light in fireflies’ body.

However, the mystery has now been unravelled with the discovery of extra oxygen electron by the Connecticut College scientist Bruce Branchini and his colleagues at Yale University, a National Geographic report stated.

The extra oxygen electron is responsible for the fireflies’ natural light emission, the study found.

MH370: plane door washed up on Reunion Island

A day after it emerged a plane seat thought to belong to missing flight MH370 had washed up on the island of Reunion, an object believed to be a plane door has been found.

An object believed to be a plane door has reportedly washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion - four days after a fragment of a wing was found.
Both are thought by locals to be connected to missing flight MH 370.
The door was found on the island on Sunday. It was not immediately clear who had discovered the object.

Muhyiddin to meet Johor Sultan today

KLUANG - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is scheduled to have an audience with the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar this afternoon.

According to the ousted former deputy prime minister’s aide, the meeting will be held at the Istana Bukit Serene in Johor Baru at 3.30pm.

“Yes, but not open for coverage. That’s all I can tell,” the aide told Malay Mail Online when asked to confirm reports on the rumoured meeting.

Plane wreckage debris confirmed as from Boeing 777

Malaysian authorities confirmed Friday that plane wreckage washed up on an Indian Ocean island was from a Boeing 777, meaning the part is almost certainly from missing flight MH370.

The debris, part of a plane wing, could provide the first tangible clue towards unlocking the mystery surrounding the Malaysia Airlines plane, which disappeared in March last year with 239 people on board.

"I believe that we are moving closer to solving the mystery of MH370. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean," Malaysia's deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told AFP.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

MACC prosecutor on 1MDB trail also arrested

A Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor who had been handling the 1MDB probe was arrested early this morning.

Will Sabah’s Shafie challenge Umno?

If media reports were to be believed, support for former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his constituency Pagoh is still intact.

How big is the division among the Malays throughout the country – nobody can be sure – as the number can change as political debates progress.

Lets observe how about Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, a former minister of rural and regional development from Sabah. Many Sabahans are at a loss about him apart from people in his constituency, Semporna.

East of Sabah – like Tawau, Lahad Datu and Sandakan – which seem to be full of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s supporters, especially where there are many Indonesians newcomers reside.

'Let BN partners die, Umno can take Negeri Sembilan alone'

Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan today said Umno can capture the state on its own without the need for other BN component parties.

As such, Mohamad said the struggling BN component parties should be left on their own.

"If the others want to die (mampus), then let it be.

"I'm suggesting to (Najib) in the 14th general election, don't follow their demands.

"Instead, give all the Malay majority seats to Umno,” he said during his speech at the Seremban Umno annual general assembly this morning.

In the last general election, with the exception of Umno, other BN component parties were almost completely wiped out in Negeri Sembilan.

Sabah govt silence on the 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers worrying

KOTA KINABALU - The Home Minister who had revealed the impending import of 1.5 million foreign workers from Bangladesh has now been promoted to Deputy Prime Minister. Is this the reason why the Sabah government has chosen to be silent on the issue? Are Sabah BN leaders fearful of offending their bosses at Putrajaya? asked Sabah Progressive Party Secretary-General Datuk Richard Yong We Kong.

Yong: Time for full autonomy for Sabah, Sarawak

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said now is the time for full autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners to Malaya.

"With full autonomy, Sabah (and Sarawak) would not be made to bear the RM600 billion debt of the Federal government incurred as a result of over spending on projects in Malaya," he said.

Cops nab ex-MACC adviser and AG's Chambers man

Police have arrested a former Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) adviser who is a 'tan sri' and an Attorney-General's (AG) Chambers officer.

This is in relation to the special task force's investigation into 1MDB, according to The Star.

The special task force, comprising the police, MACC, Bank Negara and coordinated by the AG's Chambers, is among others, looking at claims that RM2.6 billion was deposited into the private bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Police deny arresting sacked AG Gani Patail

Police have denied arresting former attorney-general (AG) Abdul Gani Patail, who was on Tuesday sacked from his position.
Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief Law Hong Soon warned the public against speculating on the matter, according to Bernama.

The denial came when rumours spread last night that Gani had been arrested and his home raided.

Former federal court judge Mohamed Apandi Ali replaced Gani amid the latter's involvement in the special task force probe on 1MDB.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Bar president maintains Gani’s removal unlawful

The Malaysian Bar today reiterated its stand that the removal of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General was unconstitutional, highlighting another article in the Federal Constitution on the right to be heard in the dismissal of a member of the judicial and legal services.

The Bar's president Steven Thiru, said he disagreed with the new Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali that Gani's removal was lawfully done.

The Scottish way of Sarawak

I was quite amazed by the strong passion of Sarawakians in celebrating the July 22 Independence Day.

Of course, the "Independence Day" celebration did not mean anything has happened to the current relationship between the state and Malaysia.

It all happened 52 years ago.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Speaker not necessarily from Umno but based on merit - Dr Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU -  “The Sabah Speaker plays a very important role under the Westminster system of government.  Its sudden vacancy offers an opportunity for the State Legislative Assembly to appoint the new Speaker based on merits and certain required criteria,” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, commenting on the availability of the post due to the not unexpected appointed of the previous Speaker as a federal Minister in the Cabinet reshuffle.

Whether Datuk Seri Salleh has done a good job as Speaker and head of the Legislature in the Westminster system, it will be judged by the people and history. Regardless, he should be commended for holding his fort with his two Deputies at the time of many opposition lawmakers in the Assembly.

Missing MH370: Apparent airplane debris found off coast of remote island near Madagascar

Debris believed to be from an airplane is being examined by a experts in a bid to determine whether it is from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

It is currently being examined to see if it is connected to the missing Flight 370. CNN have attributed this report to a member of the French Air Force on location in Reunion.

The debris was spotted off the coast of St Andrea, a small community on the island which is one of the overseas departments of France.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Leaked video: Ex-DPM says Najib admitted to RM2.6b

A leaked video clip depicting Muhyiddin Yassin talking about allegations that millions were transferred into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's private accounts is currently making rounds.

Najib fortifies his position, or so he thinks

And so the curtain comes down on Muhyiddin Yassin. Prime Minister Najib Razak’s decision to replace him with Zahid Hamidi comes as an act of retaliation for his aggressive speech to the Cheras division of Umno, in which he disclosed that not only had he advised Najib to resign from the 1MDB advisory board, but also that none of the cabinet ministers had the faintest idea of what was going on in the scandal-ridden government-owned company.

Sabah Earthquake updates

(29/07/15): A Weak earthquake has occurred at 9:25am 29/7/15,6.0N 116.7E with magnitude 2.4 and depth 10km, 3km Northwest of Ranau,Sabah.Tremors Felt in Ranau.

(27/07/15): A weak earthquake has occurred at 12:10am 27/07/15,6.0N 116.6E with magnitude 4.4 and depth 10km. 8km NW of Ranau, Sabah.Tremors felt in Sabah.

It all starts with 1MDB

OPINION I have been blasted by never ending stream of messages on my mobile since early this morning, all about the imminent cabinet reshuffle.

Ambiga: "AG's removal unlawful"

KUALA LUMPUR - There is a constitutional provision when it comes to removing the attorney-general from his post, former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (pix) said.

"This provision states that the AG serves at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. What I can tell you is that this is not the process to remove the AG," she told a press conference today.

"This is a constitutional appointment and what happened is totally unacceptable and unlawful," she said when commenting on the removal of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

5 reasons Obama should avoid Najib, says TIME

The woes surrounding Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, particularly claims that billions of ringgit from state-owned investor fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) were channelled into his private bank accounts, should give world leaders pause in pursuing ties with Malaysia, says TIME in an online piece today.

The news portal said President Barack Obama should steer clear of Najib, unlike British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is scheduled to visit Malaysia this week, despite needing friends in Asean.

Incomplete 1MDB fact sheet given to ministers, says Muhyiddin

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who many believe was sacked from government for his vocal views on troubled 1Malaysia Development Fund (1MDB), today said he knew "a bit more" about the state investment vehicle than the average Malaysian.

He said cabinet members were given a fact sheet of the firm which had to date chalked up RM42 billion in debt, but it was not comprehensive enough.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Najib replaces deputy, sacks AG in desperate move amid scandal

KUALA LUMPUR - Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday sacked his deputy premier and attorney general as part of a major cabinet reshuffle widely seen as an attempt to tighten his hold on office amid corruption allegations.

Najib has come under mounting pressure in recent months over claims that huge sums of money had been siphoned off from state-owned development company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which he launched in 2009.

AG Gani Patail sacked in midst of 1MDB investigations

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail has reportedly been replaced ahead of his retirement date in October and amidst the ongoing special task force probe on 1MDB, which he is involved in.

The matter was revealed by government news agency Bernama, chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa released a statement this morning stating that Abdul Gani's services were terminated early due to the latter's "health problems".

When contacted, Abdul Gani (photo) appeared surprised about the news.

His replacement was stated as Federal Court judge Mohamed Apandi Ali.

"The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on advice from the prime minister, has consented to Apandi's appointment as the attorney-general effective July 27.

Najib reshuffles Cabinet, dropping five ministers including deputy Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is to reshuffle his Cabinet this week, dropping five ministers including his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, it was reported on  Tuesday.

Gani tightlipped if sudden removal linked to task force

Abdul Gani Patail's service as the attorney-general ended yesterday, after holding the post for 11 years.

Contacted by Malaysiakini, Abdul Gani, who is reportedly in the dark over this development, refused to speculate on his removal.

"I don't want to say a word," he said.

Asked if this was related to the special task force probing 1MDB, he replied: "Never mind. I don't want to say a word. Nanti saya cakap ni banyaklah."

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ringgit hits 17-year low

The ringgit hit a 17-year low on Monday as a global slump in commodity prices added to concerns over sluggish exports, while investors braced for a US Federal Reserve meeting that might take another step toward lifting interest rates.

The ringgit eased 0.1% to 3.8110 per dollar, its weakest since September 1998.

The ringgit pared losses again as the central bank has been spotted intervening to keep the worst performing Asian currency firmer than 3.8100 per dollar, traders said. The currency was pegged at 3.8 between 1998 and 2005.

PKR and Umno are the same, says Wan Azizah

BUTTERWORTH - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is open to forging cooperation with any political party that is committed to a common policy framework, says its president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“I think, we want to be friends with everybody, even Umno. We are the same…we have a struggle.

“We (Pakatan Rakyat) have a common policy framework, whereby our political party members are together with the people in this time of national crisis, and we invite all to resolve this together.”

Too much at stake for 1MDB taskforce to stop in its tracks

KUALA LUMPUR - The probe by a special taskforce on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has reached a stage where it cannot be stopped, even by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak or members of the taskforce itself, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin claimed today.

The former New Straits Times group chief editor said there is far too much at stake for members of the taskforce — which comprises the police, Bank Negara Malaysia, Attorney-General’s Chambers and Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission — to “sabotage or pervert the investigation in favour of any party”.

'Swiss bank trying to block Sabah case evidence'

Swiss bank UBS is reportedly attempting to block the country’s attorney-general from using certain evidence in an ongoing investigation into money-laundering related to Sabah.

NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) yesterday cited Swiss weekly Schweiz am Sonntag reporting that UBS has filed a case at the Lausanne Federal Court against their AG’s office.

“UBS is apparently trying to impede the prosecutors from using evidence they have obtained in an investigation against the bank over its business relationship with Malaysian politician (Sabah chief minister) Musa Aman and his nominees,” said BMF in a statement.

Muhyddin: Najib must answer WSJ’s allegations on fund transfers

The Wall Street Journal's (WSJ) accusation that billions of ringgit was transferred from state-owned funds into the personal accounts of Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a serious matter that needs explaining, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

Breaking his silence on the WSJ expose, the Umno deputy president admitted that the issue had raised many questions that were still unanswered.

Muhyiddin said the issue had caused some worry as it does not involve a small amount but millions of (US) dollars.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Irrational 'overkill' suppresses free speech, says watchdog

The anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International - Malaysia (TI-M) said those implicated in the 1MDB scandal should explain themselves, instead having the government to suspend The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly, and block access to Sarawak Report.

“Our government must not go for the ‘overkill’ in suppressing free speech on the pretext of acting against critics. Let’s get our facts right before we carry out more irrational measures.

Sarawak CM gets 60 per cent Chinese approval

KUCHING - A poll conducted by an independent public polling agency shows that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem has a 60 per cent popularity rating among the Chinese.

The high approval rating is a remarkable swing in the Chinese community whose support has traditionally been inclined towards the opposition.

A reliable source informed The Borneo Post yesterday the agency had informed the stakeholders in the survey it carried out recently.

Yong : Sabah should reject influx of 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers

KOTA KINABALU - The Sabah government should firmly reject the importation of Bangladeshi workers into Sabah from among the 1.5 million workers to be brought in to Malaysia starting later this year, says Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, on Saturday.

Yong: I never took away 900,000 acres of land and did not abolish the 400,000 Yayasan share certificates

KOTA KINABALU - In referring to Tan Sri Harris Salleh’s statement on Saturday in the Daily Express, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said:

"It is a sign of a confused man to say that I, through my, “(Yong’s) actions in taking away over 900,000 acres (of land) reserved for Sabahans and the abolition of over 400,000 Yayasan Shares certificates”.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bumburing: Jeffrey not Umno Sabah/BN stooge

Jeffrey has all along been consistent in his struggle for Sabah rights which has been brushed aside even by Umno Sabah

KOTA KINABALU - Tamparuli assemblyman Wilfred Bumburing said it was unbecoming of Sabah Opposition Chief Lajim Ukin to describe Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan as an Umno Sabah/Barisan Nasional (BN) “stooge” just because the latter and not he was included in the 40 per cent Committee negotiating with the Federal Government for the return of 40 per cent of the revenues collected in Sabah.

Fourth person detained in 1MDB probe

PUTRAJAYA - The special task force investigating 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has nabbed a fourth individual to assist in its probe.

The individual, a 48-year-old managing director, arrived at 10.15am Saturday at the Putrajaya magistrate's court, escorted by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers.

Magistrate Nik Isfahanie Tasnim Ab Rahman allowed remand of four days, although MACC requested seven days.

SAPP leaders humiliated and ridiculed because of Junz Wong's lie

KOTA KINABALU - DAP Likas Assemblyman Junz Wong's publication of the Consent Judgement and his retraction and apology in his FaceBook account of the allegation made against Datuk Yong Teck Lee for having received RM50 million from the Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak before the 13th General Election had also brought great relief to Melanie Chia, SAPP Deputy President and the former Luyang State Assemblywoman.

NUJ, CIJ, Geramm, condemn suspension of The Edge

PETALING JAYA - Media groups have condemned the Home Ministry's move to suspend the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27 over its reports on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), calling for a lift of the ban immediately.

The National Union of Journalist (NUJ) noted that this "draconian action" only serves to restrict civil discourse.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Edge's bosses admit to misleading Justo but ...

PETALING JAYA - The Edge Media Group's bosses stepped up and admitted to misleading Xavier Andre Justo in order to obtain documents related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

"Yes, we misled him. But that was the only way to get hold of the evidence to expose how a small group of Malaysians and foreigners cheated the people of Malaysia of US$1.83 billion (RM6.97 billion). His statement confirmed what we have said earlier. We never paid anyone," Datuk Tong Kooi Ong the chairman of The Edge Media Group and Ho Kay Tat the publisher said in a joint statement published on The Malaysian Insider today.

The Edge's publishing permits suspended for three months

PETALING JAYA - The Home Ministry has suspended the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27.

The financial publication said in a statement Friday that they had received a letter from the Home Ministry because of their reporting on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Edge said the letter from the Home Ministry stated that the two publications' reporting of 1MDB were "prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest".

The letter also said that the failure to stop publication for three months would result in the withdrawal of The Edge's publishing permits.

Do not publish info from S'wak Report: MCMC threatens

PETALING JAYA: Action will be taken against media outlets who republish articles from whistle blower website The Sarawak Report, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said today.

In a statement, the MCMC said that it will take action against any quarters publishing false or inaccurate reports, as well as disseminating information which has not been verified yet.

"This includes content published on social media and republication of reports or information from other sources which has not been validated, as this might go against the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998," it said.

WSJ articles self-explanatory, Dow Jones says in reply

Dow Jones & Company Inc has stated that it is not necessary for it to clarify if two articles published by the Wall Street Journal were intended to accuse Prime Minister Najib Razak of misappropriating 1Malaysia Development Berhad funds.

In a reply to the prime minister’s lawyers, the company which owns WSJ, said the report published on July 2 and a subsequent opinion piece on July 6 were self-explanatory as they “were based on available facts”.

Thailand again rejects IGP's request to question Justo

Thai authorities have again rejected a request by Malaysian police to question former PetroSaudi International (PSI) director Xavier Andre Justo over claims that he offered to sell classified information related to troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Bangkok Post reports.

Instead, Thailand's national police chief Somyot Poompunmuang, saying Justo is not a Malaysian, advised his counterpart Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to use proper channels, including the Foreign Ministry.