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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sabahan hostage freed, five days after Semporna abduction

KOTA KINABALU - A Malaysian man, abducted off Semporna waters by gunmen on Sept 27, has been freed.

Sabah police confirmed that Ruslan Nasir Sarapin, 39, arrived in Lahad Datu at 7am today.

MH17: Tensions heighten between Russia and The Netherlands

The diplomatic row is deepening between Russia and the Netherlands over the downing of Flight MH17 in Ukraine.

Both countries have summoned each other’s ambassadors for explanations, after Moscow rejected the findings of international investigators implicating Russia in the tragedy, 2 years ago.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed evidence used in the probe as coming from social media and unnamed witnesses.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sabahan woman donates huge part of liver to save teacher’s life

It isn’t every day that one willingly parts with more than half of one’s precious organs to save the life of another, more so if that individual is not a close family member.

However for 27-year-old Sabahan Marie Christie Robert, that decision was made willingly since the recipient was a former teacher whom she loved dearly for his steadfast commitment to helping her pass Mathematics in school.

Sabah Flying Doctor Services terminated after 41 years

Financial reasons cited for non-renewal of Flying Doctor Service, affecting 'thousands of rural villagers across nine districts in the state'.

After 41 years of flying to aid the sick in rural areas in Sabah, the Flying Doctor Services (FDS) has been terminated, ‘The New Sabah Times’ reports.

In confirming the news, Sabah Air Aviation Sdn Bhd CEO Terry Chan said the State Health Department’s decision would affect “thousands of rural villagers across nine districts in the state”.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thai AirAsia flight delayed after sex toy mistaken for bomb

A buzzing sex toy mistaken for a bomb delayed a Thai AirAsia flight to Bangkok on Wednesday morning.

Britain's Daily Star reported that the vibrator caused panic among staff when they heard a loud humming as they were loading a green rucksack onto the plane.

Fearing that it was an explosive device, the baggage handlers radioed for bomb disposal experts who rushed to the runway at Chiang Mai International Airport.

MH17: Footage shows Russian-made missile that downed plane being trucked into eastern Ukraine

An investigation that implicated Russia in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was able to track the movements of a missile launcher thanks to photos and video clips from witnesses.

Cops say Uber still illegal

KOTA KINABALU - Sorry Uber users. No matter how cheap the Uber service fares are and convenient it is for people to get around with the rides, the present rule of thumb for the ride-hailing service is downright illegal.

This was the comment made by City Police Chief ACP M Chandra on the concerns raised by Netizens over the use of ride-hailing apps, which include 'Grabcar.'

Uber, Grabcar are the modern possibilities for operators, consumers

I believe the conventional taxis have served us for so many decades and there are pros and cons of their existence in the cyber-age.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Court drops sedition charges against four Sabah secessionists

KOTA KINABALU - The Sessions Court today dropped sedition charges against four Sabahans for possession of Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) pamphlets.

MH17: Investigators to zero in rocket launch location

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - International prosecutors investigating the downing of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine in 2014 will report their findings on Wednesday, but stop short of naming any culprits.

A surface-to-air missile hit Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people aboard, most of them Dutch citizens.

At the time, pro-Russian separatists were fighting Ukrainian government forces in the region. The Boeing 777 broke apart in midair, flinging wreckage over several kilometres (miles) of fields in rebel-held territory.

Will Muhyiddin be a Malay or Malaysian PM?

A pro-opposition NGO is sceptical of whether Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) pro-tem president Muhyiddin Yassin is the right person for the prime minister’s post.

Based on his previous statements, Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (Mipas) noted that the former deputy prime minister portrayed himself as an ultra-Malay.

Jambun: Harris’ take on ‘constitutional’ documents flawed

KOTA KINABALU - A human rights advocate has been compelled to rebut former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh’s statement on Tuesday that the basis for the formation of Malaysia was not “legally binding”.

Harris, reiterated Daniel John Jambun in a telephone interview, “was party to an illegality” by taking the position that the various constitutional documents on Malaysia were not “legally binding”.

Gun supplier to Abu Sayyaf, warlords lived near Camp Crame police headquarters

The leader and members of a gunrunning gang arrested in San Juan City for allegedly supplying high-powered firearms to the Abu Sayyaf and Mindanao warlords deserve the death penalty, the country’s top cop said on Tuesday.

Found inside the house located at No. 8 Unit 4, 3rd West Crame St. in Barangay West Crame, San Juan City—just two blocks away from Camp Crame—were M203 grenade launchers, M14 and M16 rifles and thousands of ammunition.

Live stream child sex abuse among rising cybercrime

Live streaming of child sex abuse "involves a perpetrator directing the live abuse of children on a (pre-arranged) specific time-frame through video sharing platforms.

THE HAGUE - Live streaming of child sexual abuse and so-called “revenge porn” is on the rise on the internet, Europe’s police agency warned Wednesday, saying vulnerable children are increasingly falling victim to sexual predators.

Uber gearing up to food delivery

Uber has launched today its “scheduled rides” feature for services offered in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu.

Uber is making a broad international push into meal delivery, with fresh hiring and aggressive marketing as it prepares to take on local rivals in dozens of countries.

In a sign of growing ambition beyond its taxi business, Uber is gearing up to deliver meals in Amsterdam this week just as, the restaurant ordering leader in the Netherlands, lists on the Amsterdam stock market.

Six armed men kidnap fishing boat skipper, rob crew of another

KOTA KINABALU - A group of armed men kidnapped the Malaysian owner of a trawler and robbed the crew of another fishing vessel off Sabah last night, said police.

Sabah Police Commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun said today the incidents happened in the Pulau Gaya waters, off Semporna, and the Tungku waters, off Lahad Datu, at about 9.30pm and 10pm respectively yesterday.

The two boats were five nautical miles apart, and a speed-boat could cover the distance in about 30 minutes, he told reporters here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Two Muktadil brothers killed in Sulu

Nikson (left) and Brown (right)
KOTA KINABALU - Two "Muktadil Brothers” responsible for nearly a dozen kidnappings in Sabah waters have been shot dead by Philippines security forces in the ongoing assault in Sulu.

Philippines intelligence sources said siblings Nikson and Brown were shot dead when they tried to escape after their capture at about 5am Tuesday near Pata municipality in Sulu province.

According to Philippines intelligence sources, the duo had grabbed the weapons of security personnel escorting them and opened fire on the soldiers.

Malaysian cabbies still at it calling for ban of the popular Uber & Grab ride-sharing services

It seems that even with Uber and Grab services making an arguable change for the better in the transportation system of Malaysia as well as being officially legalised, trouble still brews between them and the taxi drivers of our country.

Yesterday saw a crowd of over 100 taxi drivers gather in front of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) demanding for Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Abdul Razak to outlaw the ride-sharing services.

Uber drivers nabbed for operating without 'permits'

KOTA KINABALU - Police detained two Uber drivers here yesterday for transporting passengers without a permit.

The local men, aged 25 and 37, were unemployed and had signed up as drivers with the online transportation network company.

They were seen picking up passengers near Imago mall along Jalan Coastal.

Duterte - No amnesty for Abu Sayyaf

President Rodrigo Duterte says he is rejecting MNLF leader Nur Misuari's suggestion to include the terrorist group in the Mindanao peace talks

MANILA, Philippines – Under his watch, members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) will never be granted amnesty, said President Rodrigo Duterte.

"The Abu Sayyaf were decapitating people like they would just fowls and pigs and goats. And there will be no talks. The Armed Forces is right, rejecting amnesty for them. I will not, I will never. There will never be an amnesty for so much killing," said Duterte on Monday, September 26.

30 illegals, human trafficking suspect nabbed

TAWAU - Thirty Indonesians without identification documents were detained here along with a local bus driver suspected of involvement in smuggling of illegal immigrants to Lahad Datu and Sandakan at about 12.30am on Sunday.

District police chief ACP Fadil Bin Marsus said they had identified and followed the red Isuzu NPR bus from the Shell petrol station at Batu 5, Jalan Apas until RNR Balung where they had stopped the bus and approached the driver.

More jumping ship expected in Sabah, says report

Apart from PKR trio, DAP's Junz Wong is also expected to leave the party soon, says China Press.
PETALING JAYA - More Sabah lawmakers are expected to leave PKR and DAP to either join existing opposition parties in the state or start their own parties, reported China Press.

According to the report, Moyog Assemblyman Terence Siambun is certain to leave PKR, following in the footsteps of Penampang MP Darell Leiking who recently left to join the new party formed by former Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Feds proven unable to protect Sabah - Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “The federal security enforcement, immigration and national registration agencies can no longer be allowed to operate on the same basis as before in Sabah as they have failed to carry out their duties to protect and safeguard Sabah” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) Sabah Chief cum Bingkor State Assemblyman.

Dr. Jeffrey was responding on the video showing an expose by the Indonesian news media of the corruption and easy illegal entry into Sabah by Indonesians with hundreds reportedly arriving everyday practically next door to the security enforcement agencies in Tawau, Sabah.

Uber makes itself part of the public transport route in Australia

In its quest to make itself indispensable, Uber is keen to slide itself into your daily commute.

On Monday, the company announced a partnership in Australia with the travel planning app TripGo, which lets users request an Uber ride to the closest ferry terminal or train, bus or tram station in time for the next departure.

The new service is available in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sunshine Coast and Sydney. While the company would like to partner with other Australian transport apps, an Uber spokesperson told Mashable there are no current negotiations underway.

MH370 wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson won't give up

Amateur sleuth Blaine Gibson
With his passion for travel and love for sleuthing, US man Blaine Gibson is quite the character.

The fedora, the bomber jacket and the consuming quest invite comparisons to Indiana Jones.

While he hasn't quite matched Jones' triumph in finding the legendary chest containing the stone tablets inscribed with the 10 Commandments, it wasn't for a lack of trying. "The Ark of the Covenant, I did not find it. However, I do believe it's in Ethiopia somewhere," Gibson said recently.

The amateur sleuth has had far greater success finding clues from a modern mystery: The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

High Court strikes out taxi drivers’ suit against SPAD

KUALA LUMPUR - The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has succeeded in its bid to strike out a suit by 102 taxi drivers over an alleged negligence.

High Court judge Justice Su Geok Yiam made the order after allowing a striking out application by SPAD.

Justice Su made the rulings on grounds that they should have filed the suit by way of a judicial review and not writ of summons together with statement of claim.

No safe haven for Abu Sayyaf

MANILA - Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, has zero tolerance for any kind of violence except that which will help the country rid itself of the criminals spawning mayhem all over the Philippines. Manila declared war on two fronts. Surrender, flee the manhunt or die, these are the only options open to the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in southern Philippines and the drug peddlers and drug lords all over the country. That evidence available suggests he has no time to pander to any sympathy for these two groups is resulting in them fleeing the battlefield looking for some safe haven.

'By Muslims' halal logo a discrimination, says activist

The proposed new logo specifically for products produced by Muslims is a form of discrimination, says a consumer rights activist.

Former Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) deputy president Mohamed Shaani Abdullah told Malaysiakini there would be no fair play in trade if a racial and religious slant is introduced into a policy.

"I don't see any basis to the (new) proposal... You are actually creating class division.

"You can't create discrimination, and this (new proposal) is a form of discrimination," said Shaani, who now serves as the Society for Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) assistant secretary.

He said the existing halal certification of the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) is awarded based on a regulated standard, recognised both in Malaysia and around the world.

Hostage held by Abu Sayyaf plead for help

An SOS message has been sent out by a Malaysian hostage held by Abu Sayyaf, pleading for help as he has been starving and beaten up.

“We can’t bear it anymore. We are in pain. All of us are sick. We have cuts on our bodies. We are weak. No food to eat. What’s more, we are beaten. There are people who want to shoot us. Please help us.”

Those were the words of Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, one of the five Malaysians abducted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen from Lahad Datu waters in the east coast of Sabah on July 18.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

To catch an extremist: documentary’s online sting exposes Daesh recruiters

It was an elaborate plan: conjure up two perfect undercover “recruits” to lure Daesh’s ravenous online recruiters. The plan worked, but the filmmaker never thought they’d actually talk.

Checks on work permits for non-Sabahans

KOTA KINABALU - The state Immi­gration Department is tightening its checks on work permits for non-Sabahans employed in various industries and businesses here.
The department reminded emplo­yers that non-Sabahan staff must have the permit if they were working in any part of the state, including offshore oil rigs.

Sabah Immigration Department director Musa Sulaiman said the requirement was stated in a letter sent to employers.

M’sian stolen cars now sold in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia

BANGKOK - Vehicle theft syndicates in Malaysia are not limiting their so-called “business” just to the closest neighbouring country, Thailand, but are believed to have expanded to Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

A source, who disclosed the syndicates’ modus operandi, said chances would be very slim to find the stolen vehicles if they reached those Indochina countries.

He believed that the vehicle theft syndicates in these countries had strong networking among them that complicated the authorities’ efforts in handling the cross-border crime.

S’wak Report editor to write a book on 1MDB

Clare Rewcastle-Brown says book will be about the story behind the story.

PETALING JAYA - Sarawak Report Editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown is penning a book on the 1MDB controversy, which she described as the “biggest story” in her career, Malaysiakini reports.

The London-based journalist explained that her book will be the story behind the story, specifically how and why she started to cover this controversy surrounding the state investment arm.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Viral videos show Uber drivers get heckling by cabbies

KOTA KINABALU - Two men believed to be Uber drivers were seen getting heckled by taxi drivers here in a video originally shared among cab drivers.

The two videos were uploaded on Facebook on Friday by an Uber driver and became an instant hit among Uber supporters who hit back the meter-less taxi drivers.

Facebook user Miguelmutien claimed based on the angle of the videos it was taken by the taxi drivers themselves.

"They were probably sharing the videos among the taxi drivers before an Uber driver got his hands on them.

"In a way they were helping us to promote our service," said the Uber driver, adding, however, "one of the Uber drivers in the video had to lodge a police report about the heckling."

Sabah on high alert of Abu Sayyaf sneaking in

KOTA KINABALU - Malaysia is on high alert for an influx of Filipinos desperate to flee the Philippine military’s offensive in the country’s south.

The concern comes with the estimated 400 waiting for the “right time” to breach the Eastern Sabah Security Command’s (Esscom) security cordon — elements of the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) assimilating with fleeing villagers to turn Sabah into their outpost.

United Sabah Alliance open to cooperation with Shafie and Leiking

KOTA KINABALU - Opposition parties in Sabah are cautiously welcoming Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to the fray, saying they were prepared to work with his party for the good of Sabahans.

Shafie is taking over an existing local party with the intention of turning it into a multiracial platform with Sabah interests at its core.

It has also won the allegiance of Penampang MP Darrell Leiking, who quit PKR on Wednesday to ally himself with Shafie. Leiking will bring with him crucial Kadazandusun Murut support.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Malaya parties have failed, says ex-Sabah CM

A former Sabah chief minister today claimed that “Malaya parties” have failed and that “Malaya politics have destroyed the country”.

“That is why Sabahans of all races are going back to Sabah parties,” tweeted Yong Teck Lee, who was Sabah chief minister from 1996 to 1998.

Asked why he said so, Yong explained it is because the country is seriously affected by racial and religious polarisation.

AFP rejects Misuari request for halt in operation against Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has rejected the request of Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari to suspend its operations while the latter negotiates with the Abu Sayyaf for the release of the terror group's remaining hostages.

In a radio interview Friday, Armed Forces spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said it is important for the military to continue with their operations even while the negotiations are ongoing.

Canny Ong's murderer hanged today

The rapist and murderer
KUALA LUMPUR - Former aircraft cabin cleaner, Ahmad Najib Aris was hanged to death at dawn today for murdering IT analyst Canny Ong Lay Kian about 13 years ago. Local Malay daily, Utusan reported the execution was carried out at Kajang Prison and his body will be laid to rest at the Muslim Cemetery behind Kajang Hospital.

According to a source, his family members just found out about it from the prison personnel and further said Ahmad Najib’s mother could not come to the prison as she is bedridden at home.

On October 21, 2009, Ahmad Najib failed to obtain the Federal Court’s permission to review his conviction and death sentence against him saying the evidence were strong enough to convict 40-year-old Ahmad Najib for murdering 29-year-old Canny Ong.

Harith leads Funniest Person in the World contest

PETALING JAYA - Funny man Harith Iskander is leading the race in the first round of the Funniest Person in the World contest.

At press time, Harith currently has more than 1.8 million points with fellow Malaysian Dr Jason Leong at over 1.5 million.

Points for the first round are tabulated by combining the likes, shares and follows of each individual comedian’s video on the voting website.

Philippines signals it wants to bring back death penalty just so it can execute Australian paedophile

Prosecutors in the Philippines are calling for the death penalty to be reintroduced as punishment for alleged Australian child sex abuser Peter Scully.

Scully, 52, is accused of directing child sex abuse videos involving torture and selling them through the dark web.

He is being investigated for a total of 75 charges, including the alleged rape of an 18-month-old girl. He has pleaded not guilty.

"If I had my choice it would be death for Scully. I want it to happen," chief prosecutor Jaime Umpa said, according to Fairfax Media.

He added: "We have to send a strong message to others that if they come to the Philippines and torture and abuse our children in this way they will be investigated with the full force of the law and executed."

Security around Sabah's east coast tighten to prevent Philippines influx

KOTA KINABALU - Security forces are stepping up operations and surveillance in waters off Sabah's east coast to prevent Philippines citizens from entering the state.

The move came about following a viral message which claimed that more than 200 Filipinos are waiting at the border islands of Taganak and Bakungan to sneak into Sandakan.

A copy of the message was forwarded to Sabah Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid, who then confirmed that the information was legit.

EPF withdrawals for education doubled

KUALA LUMPUR - The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) reported a 200% jump in overall total approved applications for Education Withdrawals in Q2, 2016 from a year ago.

Malaysia's premier retirement savings fund said on Friday the  number rose to 60,931 involving RM370.39mil from 20,281 approved applications (RM96.86 million) a year ago. This was also an increase from the Q1 2016 of approved applications (RM255.21mil).

Woman arrested for claiming kids were kidnapped for organs

JOHOR BARU - Police yesterday arrested a woman for posting false news about two children kidnapped, murdered and their organs harvested on her Facebook account on Wednesday.

Johor police chief Datuk Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said the 32-year-old woman was picked up at her house in Desa Coal Fields, Sungai Buloh, Selangor at 6.30pm.

He said the suspect had posted the news, claiming two children’s bodies were found on a riverbank in Johor with their internal organs removed, with the intention that it would be seen and read by the public.

Twenty Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender in Basilan

METRO MANILA (CNN Philippines) — Fearing for their lives in the wake of continued military operations, 20 members of the dreaded Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) laid their arms down on Thursday in Sumisip, Basilan, according to the Armed Forces.

In a statement, the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said members of the Sumisip-based ASG under sub-leader Katatong Balaman (alias Tatong) surrendered to the Army's 104th Brigade, under Col. Thomas Donato, Jr. and Mayor Gulam Boy Hattaman.

Five detained in connection with video showing illegal immigrants entering Sabah

TAWAU - Tawau police yesterday arrested five persons, including a man believed to be able to help investigation into the video of Indonesian illegal immigrants said to easily enter the district by paying only RM50 to RM100 to enforcement personnel.

Tawau District Police chief Assistant Commissioner Fadil Marsus said all the illegals, including three women, working as plantation workers, were detained in a house in the Anderasy coconut plantation, Batu 17 near here at about 3.45pm.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Uber confirms investment by KWAP

KWAP CEO Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman
KUALA LUMPUR - Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) has chosen Uber Technologies Inc as its first-ever foreign direct investment, the ride-sharing firm announced today.

This confirms reports yesterday that the civil service pension fund was planning to invest US$30 million into Uber as part of its foray abroad.

“We are excited to make Uber our first direct investment in a foreign company. This is part of our efforts to become a diversified global investor,” KWAP chief executive officer Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad said in the statement issued by Uber.

Australia says no evidence MH370 debris exposed to fire

SYDNEY - Possible debris from missing passenger jet MH370 handed over by a US amateur investigator was not "exposed to heat or fire", Australian authorities said Thursday, following speculation it was blackened by flames.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is coordinating the search for the Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 carrying 239 passengers and crew, added that it was not yet able to link the pieces to MH370.

Singapore's universities takes Asia's No.1 spot and 24th in world ranking

National University of Singapore (NUS) takes Asia’s number one spot and is 24th in the world in the 13th edition of World University Rankings published by Times Higher education.

NUS climbed up two notches from last year's edition.

Nanyang Technological University (54th) has also been ranked in the top 100 list. It was previously ranked 55th.

The calculation of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings has been subject to an independent audit by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Another Indonesian freed by Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY – An Indonesian national was freed by his Abu Sayyaf abductors in Sulu on Thursday morning, the military said.

Major Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said Indonesian Herman Bin Manggak was freed to the Moro National Liberation Front at 11 a.m.

Manggak was abducted by armed men off the water of Sandakan, Sabah on August 3.

Tan said the victim was brought to Camp Teodulo Bautista Station Hospital for medical examination and debriefing before a formal turnover to Indonesian authorities at Western Mindanao Command.
But an MNLF official in Sulu said they rescued Manggak on Wednesday afternoon.  SFM/rga