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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Congratulations on recognizing Sarawak's own independence - Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “Heartiest Congratulations to the Sarawak government for recognizing Sarawak’s own independence and to all Malaysians in Sarawak on their official celebration of Sarawak Day as the inaugural public holiday” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, State Assemblyman for Bingkor cum President of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and the Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF), to mark the celebration of Sarawak’s Independence Day and its declaration as an official public holiday for the first time in Sarawak.

Islamic State butchers using horrific new 'flying carpet' torture device that snaps SPINES

DEPRAVED death cult Islamic State is using a new torture device dubbed the “flying carpet” to extract confessions from their prisoners.

14 IS suspects nabbed, including a bomb-maker and 1kg IED bomb seized

PETALING JAYA - Anti-terrorism officers have arrested a bomb-maker and seized a 1kg device meant for use against high-ranking police officers.

The man was caught when police conducted raids in five states last week.

A woman and 13 men were arrested on suspicision of being militants of the Islamic State terrorism network.

The bomb-maker was a trusted follower of Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, the Malaysian IS leader in Syria, according to a police press statement.

Calls for Malaysia PM's resignation over 1MDB scandal

Pressure is mounting on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak after calls for his resignation over allegations that $1bn was siphoned from Malaysia's state-owned 1MDB investment fund to purchase luxury properties, works of art and a business jet.

Lawsuits were filed on Wednesday in California by the US Justice Department to seize assets "involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB" over a four-year period.

‘Why can’t they just wait for the general election?’ Penang voters ask

GEORGE TOWN - DAP’s proposal for early state elections here received subdued response from voters polled, with most unconvinced of the party’s given reasons for doing so.

In an informal survey conducted by Malay Mail Online, respondents pointed out that the 14th general election was just two years away.

Most also said there were no issues or problems in the state administration that required a step as major as a premature election to be conducted.

Munich mall shooting: What we know

MUNICH - Nine people were killed and 16 wounded in a shooting rampage by a teenage gunman at a Munich shopping centre yesterday.

Investigators found the body of the suspected shooter, who appears to have acted alone and then killed himself.

Police say the assailant was an 18-year-old German-Iranian who was not previously known to police.

Europe has been on alert in the wake of a string of attacks in neighbouring France and in Belgium.

MH370 pilot 'practised flying suicide mission on flight simulator weeks before the airliner disappeared on same route' (So why are we just hearing about it?)

  • MH370 vanished during a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur back in 2014
  • Pilot Zaharie Shah practised crashing into the Indian Ocean on a simulator
  • The simulated route was similar to the one the plane took before vanishing
  • Officials admit that the likelihood of recovering the doomed plane is fading
The captain of missing flight MH370 practised crashing into the Indian Ocean on a simulator weeks before his plane disappeared, confidential police documents reveal.

Friday, July 22, 2016

US lawsuits link "Malaysia Official 1" to stolen money from 1MDB

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday judgment should be withheld until all the facts are known after the U.S. government filed lawsuits seeking to seize $1 billion in assets bought with money stolen from a state fund he oversaw.

The U.S. Justice Department lawsuits filed in a federal court on Wednesday did not name Najib, instead referring to "Malaysian Official 1". Some of the allegations against this official were the same as those in a Malaysian investigation into a $681 million transfer to the premier's personal bank account.

China and Asean will prosper by working together

Zhao Qizheng says maintaining peace and stability,around the South China Sea – and keeping the momentum of cooperation and development – is in the best interests of all states in the region

China’s position on its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea is consistent and clear.

Nazir: A year ago The Edge was suspended for saying what US now says

CIMB chairperson Nazir Razak has noted how The Edge was once suspended for printing details of the alleged 1MDB fund flows, which is now being repeated yesterday in the US Department of Justice's (DOJ) civil forfeiture filing against properties and assets of figures linked to the sovereign fund scandal.

"Exactly 12 months ago, this headline got them suspended.

"Today, the US attorney-general is saying pretty much the same thing," wrote the younger brother to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in an Instagram posting last night.

Malaysia, China, Australia to suspend MH370 search

KUALA LUMPUR — The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be “suspended” if the plane is not found in the current search area, a statement issued to the next of kin seen by Reuters said today.

Ministers from Malaysia, China and Australia met in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss the future of the search in one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

The statement said ministers had agreed that if the plane is not found in current search area, and in the absence of new credible evidence on its location, the search “would not end, but be suspended”.

Troublemaker US gives Philippines warship after South China Sea Ruling

The United States is finally transferring another warship to the Philippines this week, just days after a lopsided ruling on Manila’s case against China on the South China Sea.

The United States has already transferred two Hamilton-class cutters to its Southeast Asian ally over the past few years, with Manila acquiring the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar in 2011 and the BRP Ramon Alcaraz in 2013. Both warships have since been armed and deployed for patrols, including in the South China Sea.

Defiant PAS exco wants to stop Selena Gomez concert

KUALA LUMPUR - Selangor religious affairs executive councillor Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi ordered today all mosques throughout the state to conduct special prayers (solat hajat) to stop Selena Gomez’s concert from taking place on July 25.

The PAS leader claimed that Muslims would not accept such “extreme” forms of entertainment and that the concert by the US pop singer will invoke God’s wrath if it were allowed to take place.

Nine held over RTD RM1.2 million heist

KUALA LUMPUR - Police have arrested nine people, including the female mastermind, of the RM1.2 million robbery at the Kuala Lumpur Road Transport Department (RTD) earlier this month.

City police chief Datuk Amar Singh said the 40-year-old suspect was a RTD employee who had planned the heist for about two months.

He said police managed to recover RM111,400 of the money.

They also seized several gold chains worth RM5,256 believed to have been bought with the stolen money.

Dureza welcomes MILF-MNLF convergence to end Mindanao conflict

Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza (left)
and Hadji Murad Ebrahim of the MILF
MINDANAO - Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza on Thursday welcomed as “positive” the convergence of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in putting closure to the Mindanao conflict.

The MILF and the largest of three MNLF factions, led by former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema, had twice forged in recent months a deal binding both camps to find a common solution to the now 45-year Moro rebellion.

We’ll keep fighting and reminding Putrajaya of Sarawak’s rights – Adenan

KUCHING - It is the duty of Sarawak to remind officials from Kuala Lumpur of the pertinence of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who pointed this out during Sarawak Day 2016 celebration today (July 22), conceded that “there has been constant erosion of power given to us over the last 50 over years.”

He said Sarawak was in the process of claiming its rights and there had been a response from the federal government – a committee had been formed to work out the details.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DAP should not tie a state-wide election to the fate of one single individual

After Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng was prosecuted on two counts of corruption charges, there have been rumors snap polls would be held in the state to allow the people to decide whether the accusations against him have been politically motivated.

Such a political maneuver while not really surprising might not be warranted.

As a constituent of the Pakatan Harapan opposition pact, DAP must first secure the consent of his allies before a snap election can be called.

Suspected boss of online piracy site Kickass Torrents arrested

The alleged boss of the world's biggest online piracy site, Kickass Torrents, was hit with US criminal charges Wednesday, accused of distributing over $1 billion worth of illegally copied films, music and other content.

The Justice Department unveiled a criminal complaint against Ukrainian national Artem Vaulin, 30, who was arrested in Poland and is wanted by the US for copyright infringement, money laundering and other charges.

MH370 search team wasted two fruitless years looking in the wrong place

Search could be called off as specialists believe plane may have been in controlled glide in final moments, putting plane up to 200km further south of current search zone.

SYDNEY -  Top searchers at the Dutch company leading the underwater hunt for Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 say they believe the plane may have glided down rather than dived in the final moments, meaning they have been scouring the wrong patch of ocean for two years.

Najib unmoved after 1MDB scandal linked lawsuits by US prosecutors

Although US prosecutors say billions of dollars were stolen from a state investment fund that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak founded and oversaw, his government was unmoved today by the allegations.

Yong: Admit failure and go back to the drawing board

KOTA KINABALU - "Another cross-border kidnapping, this time in the vicinity of the infamous location of the 2013 Tanduo incursion, off the heavily guarded Felda plantations," said the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President in a statement, Wednesday.

"In fact, this is the 'ground zero' that is supposed to be the most secure part of Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone), and yet cross border bandits have managed to get away with five other Malaysian hostages.

Ransom of RM20 million for 5 crewmen?

TAWAU - A ransom of RM20 million or 200m Peso is believed to have been demanded by the group which kidnapped five Serudong Shipping Sdn Bhd crew on Tuesday.

According to a source, a Philippines-registered call was made to the shipping firm by one of those taken hostage, Tayudin Anjut, 45, who was the Serudong 3 engineer and Serudong 4 skipper.

In the brief call, Tayudin revealed that he and four other crew are safe and now in Basilan, southern Philippines.

Taman OUG murder: Hitmen hired to kill Datin

The Late Datin Renyce Wong Siew Ling
KUALA LUMPUR - The murder of Datin Wong Siew Ling, brutally gunned down by hired killers at Taman OUG on July 6, was masterminded by a businessman who owed her RM13 million.

Police investigations revealed that Wong wanted to venture into the ceramic business, and gave the money to the businessman and his wife last year.

City police chief Datuk Amar Singh said Wong, however, later asked for the couple to return her money when she found that the business venture was not taking place.

"From investigations, police found that the victim had hired a private investigator to locate the businessman and his wife in her bid to get her money returned.

"Following this, the businessman and his wife engaged the services of two contract killers. This was done via a restaurant owner and his wife, who acted as middlemen," he told a press conference at the city police headquarters, today.

Six new diphtheria cases recorded in Negri Sembilan

SEREMBAN - Six new diphtheria cases have been recorded in the Negri Sembilan from July 18 to 21.

Out of the six people, four are children of the first diphtheria victim, a 41-year-old woman from Rembau, who has been isolated for treatment at the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital (TJH) since July 16.

The four children, aged eight, 12, 15 and 21, have been warded and isolated at the same ward in TJH with their mother since July 18.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Top US, Chinese admirals discuss South China Sea disputes after ruling

The U.S. Navy’s top officer raised U.S. concerns over China’s expansive South China Sea claims in a high-level visit with his counterpart in the Chinese navy.

Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said he met with Adm. Wu Shengli, the commander of the People's Liberation Army-Navy, for three hours and had a “very substantial discussion,” which he characterized as open and honest. The meeting in Beijing came a few days after an international court ruled that many of China's historical claims and island-building offered no legal basis to controlling nearly all of the disputed South China Sea.

British ensured Sabah's rights are safeguarded

The British colonialists have always been portrayed as blood sucking foreign powers bent on imposing their cultures and religion on the poor natives in the country with the intention of enslaving the people and their economy.

But does this description correctly represent the face of the colonialists who, for more than 80 years, controlled the lives of the people in Sabah and then washed their hands and left the people to chart their own destiny in 1963?

"On the contrary! A careful reading of history showed that the British had every intention to safeguard the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians with the hope that the people in the Bornean states will one day chart their own destiny," said political activist Zainnal Ajamain.

This legacy, as Zainnal put it, is found in a series of documents particularly the three documents - the Cobbold Commission Report, the Inter-Governmental Committee Report and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 - which formed the basis for the Federation of Malaysia.

U.S. set to seize $1 billion in assets linked to 1MDB

Authorities are expected to file civil lawsuits as soon as Wednesday
Federal prosecutors are poised to launch one of the largest asset seizures in U.S. history as they step up their investigation into billions of dollars siphoned away from a Malaysian government investment fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

US Republicans nominate Donald Trump for president

CLEVELAND - Republicans formally chose Donald Trump as the party's presidential nominee Tuesday, a landmark moment in American politics and a stunning victory for a man whose White House ambitions were once openly mocked.

After a turbulent campaign that saw Trump defeat 16 rivals and steamroller stubborn party opposition, the tycoon said it was time to "go all the way" and beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.

"This is a movement," he told the delegates via video link.

On the convention floor, states from Alabama to West Virginia took it in turns to pledge their delegates.

Taman OUG shooting: Eight arrested, police said case resolved

KUALA LUMPUR - The murder of a 32 year old real estate agent who was shot dead in broad daylight in Taman OUG has been solved with the arrest of 8 people here and in Perak by KL Police and the Federal Police Elite strike unit Stafoc.

"Yesterday we launched an operation and we arrested eight individuals involved in the murder," said Deputy Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim.

He added that along with the arrests, a gun was seized from those apprehended in Perak which might possibly be the murder weapon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

5 Malaysians abducted by Abu Sayyaf, says Philippines peace adviser

Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza on Tuesday said the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) kidnapped five more Malaysians in Lahad Datu, Sabah on Monday afternoon.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Dureza said: “I heard today that they took five more Malaysians in Lahad Datu and the Indonesians are still there.”

Dureza also disclosed that “there are efforts” from Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari to secure the release of the Norwegian national still held captive by the group.

Boat Owners In Eastern Sabah Have To Inform ESSCom Of Movement Of Vessels

LAHAD DATU - Owners of boats operating off the east coast of Sabah have to inform the operation centre of the Eastern Sabah Security Command of the movement of their vessels.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said this was to facilitate ESSCom in conducting surveillance in the area.

"I ask for cooperation from the boat owners so that the security forces can monitor the movement of boats and facilitate the surveillance in the area to ensure smooth operation of boats," he told a press conference here Tuesday.

26 tourists killed in horrible shocking bus crash in Taiwan

TAIPEI - A Taiwan tour bus carrying visitors from mainland China crashed and caught fire today near the capital Taipei, killing 26 on board.

Footage on local media showed the bus had rammed into an expressway fence with flames blazing from the front.

It was then engulfed by thick plumes of smoke with the fire leaving burned-out wreckage at the roadside.

Manila court dismisses Arroyo’s graft case, orders immediate release

MANILA - The Philippine Supreme Court today threw out a long-running corruption case against jailed former president Gloria Arroyo and ordered her immediate release after almost five years in detention.

The 69-year-old, who was in office from 2001-2010, could be freed later today from the Manila government hospital where she has been held since her November 2011 arrest, her lawyers said.

Philippines rejects conditional talks on South China Sea dispute

The Philippines foreign minister says he has turned down a proposal from his Chinese counterpart to start bilateral talks on their South China Sea dispute, because China wants to ignore last week's arbitration ruling.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague last week ruled that there was no legal basis for Beijing's claims to much of the sea, embodied in a "nine-dash line" that dates from 1940s maps and stretches close to other countries' coasts.

Manila, which lodged the suit against Beijing, welcomed the decision, but China dismissed it as a "piece of waste paper".

"[China's foreign minister] had asked us to open ourselves for bilateral negotiations, but outside, or in disregard of, the arbitral ruling," Perfecto Yasay said, referring to the ruling from The Hague.

5 Malaysians believed kidnapped in Sabah waters

Five Malaysian sailors, reported missing from a tugboat off Lahad Datu waters on Monday, might have been kidnapped.

“We do not rule out the possibility of the five being kidnapped,” Sabah Police Commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun told reporters in Lahad Datu on Tuesday.

He said that no calls were received by the families of the crew of the tugboat, which was found listing in Sabah waters.

Manhunt for three armed robbery suspects

KOTA KINABALU - Police have launched a manhunt for three men, all local Bajaus who were involved in an armed robbery case at Jalan Tuaran on Sunday afternoon.

The suspects were armed with a firearm which is believed to be an air gun, and knives, city police ACP M Chandra said.

During the robbery which occurred at a premises that sells scrap metal the suspect with the firearm fired three shots and injured an employee there.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sarawak ministers in federal cabinet told to aid in devolution

KUCHING - Federal ministers and senior civil servants from Sarawak in peninsular Malaysia have been reminded to help in the devolution of power process from the federal to the state government.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said they must be insistent on the state rights.

"The rights and privileges are enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, Malaysia Act 1963, Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, Federal Constitution and the Cobbold Commission Report," he said.

Duterte met suspected drug lord Peter Lim, tells him to submit himself to investigation

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday met with suspected drug lord Peter Lim in Davao City.

Duterte named Lim as one of the drug triad members operating in the country.

"I will advise you strongly na mag-submit ka to investigation," the President told Lim during their meeting. [I will advise you strongly to submit yourself to investigation.]

Eyes and ears of the people needed to counter cross-border abductions, says expert

Terrorologist Paneir Selvam questions how militants know exactly when and where to carry out abductions despite police patrolling the area.

An expert in the field of terrorism and counter-terrorism has pointed to the likelihood of insiders being responsible for the Abu Sayyaf’s streak of success in abducting locals and foreigners in Sabah waters recently.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gani: Dr M's line-up a fake, I will never enter politics

Former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail has denied involvement in the new party to be formed by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad after his name listed as among the party's top leadership became viral through social media, including Facebook and Twitter yesterday.

"The recent release of a list of people supposedly involved in the formation of the new party is a fake and a lie.

"I have never been involved and never will be involved in politics. I am and will always be a professional," he said via the WhatsApp application to Bernama.

The list of the new political party leadership that is said expected to be formed by Dr Mahathir, among others, named former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin as being appointed as president while former Umno vice president Mohd Shafie Apdal as his deputy.

Abdul Gani is listed as a member of the supreme council.

With Uber, Caucasian woman provides a better life for her kids

Passengers stepping into Ms Anna Gibbons' Mitsubishi Attrage are usually surprised to find their Uber driver is a blonde, 6ft-tall woman.

The 44-year-old Briton was once told by a Malaysian man that she was the first white woman he had ever spoken to.

"I've also been asked by a drunk guy one night if I was a Chinese taxi driver in disguise," she said.

Uber said she is the only Caucasian woman out of its "tens of thousands of driver partners", over 98 per cent of whom are Singaporean.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pakistani Facebook starlet strangled by brother in 'honour killing'

LAHORE - A Pakistani social media celebrity whose selfies and videos were deeply polarising in the conservative Muslim country has been murdered by her brother in what police suspect was a so-called “honour killing”, officials said today.

“Qandeel Baloch has been killed, she was strangled to death by her brother, apparently it was an incident of honour killing,” Sultan Azam, senior police officer in Multan, told AFP.

Baloch, believed to be in her twenties, had travelled with her family from the city of Karachi to Muzzafarabad village in central Punjab province for the recent Eid holiday.

China calls for greater global cooperation against terrorism

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called today for greater global cooperation against terrorism, state media said, as the Asian giant seeks greater international support for its anti-terror fight.

Speaking at an Asia-Europe summit, Li said various security challenges — conventional and unconventional — remain prominent even though those regions had remained generally stable and peaceful.

“Acts of terrorism are common challenges faced by every nation. Countries should work more closely to fight terrorism, and build societies that are truly open and tolerant so to root out the soil where it grows,” said Li.

360,000 China tourists likely to visit Sabah this year

KOTA KINABALU - Tourist arrivals from China are likely to reach 360,000 by the end of this year, said state Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Pang Yuk Ming.

Pang said the state recorded around 50% growth in Chinese arrivals from January to May this year compared to the same period last year.

South China Sea issue: China tells Japan to butt out

ULANBATAAR: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday that his country should stop interfering and hyping up the South China Sea issue, as the dispute took center stage at a key regional summit in Mongolia.

China has refused to recognize Tuesday’s ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague invalidating China’s vast claims in the South China Sea and did not take part in the proceedings. It has reacted angrily to calls by Western countries and Japan for the decision to be adhered to.

Running mate Pence backs Trump's call to 'temporarily suspend immigration' from terror-prone countries

Donald Trump's vice presidential running mate has lined up behind him on the question of whether it's appropriate to pause the admission of immigrants to the U.S. from specific nations that are hotbeds of terrorism.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity in an interview that aired Friday night that 'I am very supportive of Donald Trump's call to temporarily suspend immigration from countries where terrorists influence and impact represents a threat to the United States.'

60 killed as Turkish coup bid crumbles after show of Erdogan support

ISTANBUL - An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble today after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets to support him and dozens of rebel soldiers abandoned their tanks in the main city of Istanbul.

At least 60 people were killed in violence that erupted yesterday after a faction of the armed forces attempted to seize power, officials said.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Germany boosts border controls with France after Nice truck attack

BERLIN - Germany will boost border controls at airports as well as road and rail crossings into France after the truck attack in Nice, the Federal Police said today.

“In coordination with the French security authorities the federal police are strengthening their control in the area of cross-border traffic into France,” the police said in a statement.

Only passengers allowed inside airport terminals proposal as a security measure

Malaysia is considering a proposal to allow only the air passengers to be in the terminals at all major airports in Malaysia in order to improve security, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Friday (Jul 15).

He said that during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, it was proposed that only passengers be allowed at the check-in counters while those sending them off should remain outside the terminal building or allowed to be at a designated area.

Trump: "This is war" after Nice terror attack

If elected president, Republican candidate Donald Trump said he would ask Congress for a declaration of war on the Islamic State (IS), according to news reports.

The billionaire real estate mogul had reportedly said this during an interview with Fox News Channel’s after a truck ploughed through a crowd, leaving 80 dead in Nice, France.

“This is war,” he was quoted as saying.