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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Downed Russian navigator says no warning

The Russian navigator who parachuted out of a warplane shot down by Turkey said there had been no warning before a missile slammed into the aircraft, giving him and the pilot no time to dodge the missile.

The navigator, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin, was rescued by special forces troops who followed his radio beacon and negotiated his release from the insurgents who were holding him.

Tunisia closes border with Libya after deadly bus bombing

TUNIS - Tunisia said Wednesday it is closing its border with Libya, a hotbed of Islamist unrest, a day after a deadly suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

No reason was given, but the interior ministry said earlier the explosive used in the attack that killed 12 presidential guards was the same used to make suicide belts illegally brought from Libya and seized last year.

Correct Filipinos' distorted view of Sabah: Yong

KOTA KINABALU - Malaysia has to launch a campaign to demolish once and for all the Philippine view that they have a claim on Sabah, according to former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President said it is been long overdue for Sabahans, as Malaysians, to insist that Malaysia reset the relationship with the Philippines, to leverage and pressure the Philippines government to cease their support for their "Sabah Claim" campaign.

A-G refutes Kevin Morais murder linked to 1MDB charge sheet

The attorney-general (A-G) has dismissed the claim that the murder of deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais was linked to a charge sheet the latter had been preparing against a "high-ranking government official".

"What was claimed by the brother of the late Kevin is preposterous. Kevin was never involved in the 1MDB investigations," Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali told The Malaysian Insider in a text message from Nanning, China, referring to the controversial state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Share murdered DPP's secrets with us, says IGP

Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has asked Kevin Anthony Morais’ brother to provide the details contained in a pen drive on the investigations which the deputy public prosecutor was working on prior to his murder.

“I suggest he share the contents with us for action to be taken.

“We can’t act if we have no knowledge about the late Kevin’s secrets,” he told Malaysiakini.

Kevin gave me info on probe on powerful individuals: brother

The brother of Anthony Kevin Morais has claimed to be in possession of a pen drive sent to him by the deputy public prosecutor just before he was murdered.

“It is in safe custody in the US with someone who has instructions to release it publicly should anything untoward happen to me for swearing this statutory declaration,” said Charles Suresh Morais.

“The contents of this pen drive clearly and unequivocally reveal the investigation Kevin had been tasked with just before his untimely death, which implicates certain personalities who currently walk the corridors of power in Malaysia,” he added in a statutory declaration today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rais Yatim taken to task for asking S'wak to reconsider adopting English

PETALING JAYA - Netizens took Tan Sri Rais Yatim (pix) to task for asking the Sarawak government to reconsider its decision to adopt English as the official language of the state.

Rais, who is the government's Social and Cultural Affairs adviser, said such a move could sow discord among the people and affect unity between the Peninsular and East Malaysia.

As news of his statement hit social media, netizens said they were firmly behind Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem for making the bold move in adopting English as the official language of administration together with Bahasa Malaysia.

One pilot from jet picked up by Syrian army

The second Russian pilot who ejected from a jet shot down by Turkey has been picked up by the Syrian army, Russia's ambassador to France says.

'One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and killed in a savage way on the ground by the jihadists in the area and the other managed to escape and, according to the latest information, has been picked up by the Syrian army and should be going back to the Russian airforce base,' ambassador Alexandre Orlov told Europe 1 radio.

Russian jet pilot and marine killed in Syria

Russia says one of its pilots was killed and another is missing after their jet was shot down by Turkey over Syria - and a marine involved in their rescue attempt was also killed.

Deputy Speaker chides Parliament staff over ‘scissors salad’ on menu amid English flap

KUALA LUMPUR - Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee was forced to tick off Parliament staff today for the misspelling of the appetiser in a dinner menu served two days ago, after snapshots of it spread on the Internet.

CM undeterred by criticisms against usage of English as state’s official language

BAU: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem has brushed off those who were critical of his emphasis on the usage of English in Sarawak.

Though numerous Malay groups have criticised Sarawak’s adoption of English as an official language alongside Bahasa Malaysia, the chief minister remained firm in his decision which he first announced at the State Civil Service Day last week.

Putrajaya to refer Nurul Izzah to parliament rights and privileges committee over Kiram photo

KUALA LUMPUR - The federal government is expected to table a motion today to refer Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar to Parliament's rights and privileges committee on December 2 over recent photos of her with the daughter of Jamalul Kiram III, the man who ordered the invasion of Lahad Datu in Sabah in 2013.

The motion is listed second on Parliament's order paper today and states that the opposition lawmaker’s decision to be photographed with Jacel Kiram went against the former's oath of office as an MP to be loyal to Malaysia and to preserve, protect and uphold the country's Constitution.

Teh resigns as Penang DAP organising secretary

Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu has today tendered his resignation letter as the Penang DAP state organising secretary effective Monday.

The resignation through an email was addressed to the state chairman Chow Kon Yeow and state secretary Lim Hui Ying.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Zaid: Malays won’t end up like Red Indians, but may become ‘criminals, morons’ under ‘gangster’ leaders

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia’s dominant Malay community enjoys special political and economic privileges and will not be marginalised like the Native Americans as alleged, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said today.

Instead, the one-time minister in charge of law said he fears the Malays would become backward if they follow leaders who behave like “gangsters”.

Pairin denies being Trojan Horse for Umno in Sarawak

KOTA KINABALU - Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan has shot down allegations of him acting as a Trojan Horse for Umno to enter Sarawak.

The allegations that Pairin and PBS were paving the way for Umno to enter Sarawak surfaced after the announcement of the party’s plans to spread its wings to Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.

Pairin told a press conference in his office at the State Assembly yesterday that he was accused of being a Trojan Horse for Umno to enter Sarawak and that accusation was published on a website.

Turkey shoots down Russian fighter jet near Syrian border

TURKEY has shot down a Russian fighter jet near its border with Syria, the Kremlin has confirmed.

Turkey said the jet was warned 10 times in the space of five minutes before it was shot down.

Television footage released by Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency appeared to show two pilots parachuting out of a jet downed near the Turkish-Syrian border.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets shot down the war plane, a Russian-made SU-24.

PKR slams PAS for being out of touch with reality

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has described the PAS research centre’s findings on Pakatan Harapan as being out of touch with reality.

Contrary to the claim that the newly formed opposition bloc will have a short lifespan, the Pandan lawmaker said Pakatan Harapan would become stronger with its Common Policies agreement next year.

“The analysis (by the research centre) is far from reality. Pakatan Harapan has learnt from past mistakes and now has a mechanism to make it much stronger.

'Increased terror threats': US issues worldwide terror alert for citizens

Americans have been warned to be alert to possible travel risks, especially during the holidays, following increased terrorist threats around the world.

The State Department issued a travel alert, which will be in effect until February 24, saying current information suggests that militants with the Islamic State, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in multiple regions.

1MDB sells power assets to China's CGN Group to reduce debt

PETALING JAYA - 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is exiting the power business after agreeing to sell its entire energy assets to China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN Group) for RM9.83bil cash.

CGN Group will also assume Edra Global Energy Bhd’s relevant gross debt and cash based on a valuation date as at March 31, 2015.

The deal is expected to be completed in February, the companies said in a joint statement yesterday.

Islamophobia in Britain following Paris attack

LONDON - Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 300 percent in Britain in the week following the coordinated attacks in Paris, according to figures published on Monday.

A "vast and overwhelming majority" of the 115 attacks were against Muslim women and girls aged between 14 and 45 who were wearing traditional Islamic dress, according to the findings reported in The Independent newspaper.

UMNO supreme council meets in Parliament today

KUALA LUMPUR — The UMNO supreme council will convene at the Parliament building today (Nov 24) instead of the party headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre, and will be attended by top leaders including Mr Muhyiddin Yassin and Mr Shafie Apdal.

News of the move, a departure from the council’s traditional meetings on Fridays at the party’s own building, had initially prompted speculation over the change.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Spying on Islamic State instead of hacking them

In the wake of the Paris attacks, the vigilante hacker group Anonymous has declared war on so-called Islamic State using the internet and claims to have shut thousands of Twitter accounts used by IS operatives. But a much smaller online group has also emerged, with quite a different strategy - and they claim they've already thwarted at least one terror attack.

This group say they were fed up with what they saw as unsophisticated Anonymous tactics. Things came to a head after the Charlie Hebdo attack in January, and after that, the founding members of Ghost Security Group decided to make a clean break from Anonymous.

Hunt for MH370 shifts to area where British pilot believes it crashed

CANBERRA, Australia - The deep sea hunt for a missing Malaysian airliner has shifted to a remote part of the Indian Ocean where a British pilot has calculated that the Boeing 777 made a controlled ditching last year with 239 people aboard, officials said Monday.

The patch of deep ocean southwest of Australia that Capt. Simon Hardy has determined is the most likely resting place of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be searched through December, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is co-ordinating the search on Malaysia's behalf, said in a statement.

Belgian police arrest 16 in anti-terror raids

Belgian police have made 16 arrests in anti-terror raids, but suspected Paris attacks gunman Salah Abdeslam remains at large, the authorities have said.

Some 22 raids were carried out Sunday across Brussels and Charleroi, the federal prosecutor's spokesman said.

Brussels remains on the highest level of terror alert. Universities, schools and the metro system will stay closed on Monday.

Paris-Style Attack in Jakarta 'Highly Unlikely', says expert

JAKARTA - Any attack on the scale of the recent Paris attacks is "highly unlikely" in Jakarta, a senior terrorism expert said on Monday, but she added that foreigners could become targets of groups affiliated with the Islamic State, as the movement continues to attract Indonesians.

Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict and a long-time observer of religious radicalism in Indonesia, says groups that support IS currently are not capable of launching large-scale attacks, due to competence and manpower issues but also because of Indonesian authorities' high levels of vigilance.

All-Bumi ‘Low Yat 2’ to open December with new name, says racist minister

KUALA LUMPUR - A Bumiputera-only gadget mall similar to Low Yat Plaza will finally open its doors at the Mara building in Jalan Raja Laut next month, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.

Previously dubbed “Low Yat 2”, the rural and regional development minister was quoted in Malay portal Kosmo! Online as saying that a new name for the mall will be announced on the launch day.

DAP Youth chief accuses Azmin of ignoring Pakatan Harapan

SERI KEMBANGAN - DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) expressed regret today over the Selangor government’s decision not to acknowledge the new federal opposition pact, Pakatan Harapan.

DAPSY chief Teo Kok Seong said the decision by Azmin Ali’s administration made it look as if the sacrifices by Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) leaders, who had been defending the now defunct opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat (PR), were not appreciated.

Zahid sniffs plotters of anti-Najib rally

KUALA LUMPUR - Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed today that he could smell the “masterminds” behind the plan by 34 Umno branches to hold a rally next month to call for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s resignation.

“I think that there are masterminds using these 34 branch leaders,” he told reporters attending a forum here. “I am not accusing anyone in particular, but as one of Umno’s vice presidents, I’ve caught a sniff of those who are behind this call.”

Zahid said the call would not threaten Najib’s position because the 34 Umno branches represented too small a portion of the 21,000 across the country.

However, he acknowledged that Umno should not “trivialise” the proposed rally.

PKR defends reps’ decision to abstain from voting

Deputy information chief says PKR is more concerned with putting the people’s interest ahead of politics in the issue of land reclamation in Penang.

PETALING JAYA - The action by elected representatives to abstain from voting in the Penang state assembly was a democratic right they exercised and showed they placed the interests of the people ahead of that of politics, Genie Lim of PKR said in defence of the five.

Stop harping on my dubious native certificate or face legal action – Jimmy

KOTA KINABALU - Those who are still harping on the issue of Sabah DAP chairman Jimmy Wong's Sijil Anak Negeri or ridiculing the member of parliament about it are advised to stop doing so.

Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against them, Jimmy said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters, the Kota Kinabalu member of parliament said some quarters were still poking fun at him over the issue.

Philippines security forces to intensify operations against Abu Sayyaf Group

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri directed the newly-installed Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, Major General Mayoralgo Dela Cruz to intensify the operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) to further intensify operations against the Al Qaeda-linked bandit group and all threat elements in the country.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Obama says will not relent in fight against Islamic State

KUALA LUMPUR - President Barack Obama vowed Sunday that the United States and its international partners "will not relent" in the fight against the Islamic State, insisting the world would not accept the extremists' attacks on civilians in Paris and elsewhere as the "new normal."

Wrapping up a nine-day trip to Turkey and Asia, Obama also pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to align himself with the US-led coalition, noting that the Islamic State has been accused of bringing down a Russian passenger jet last month, killing 224 people.

Penang PKR Youth demands apology from Lim over Umno motion

Penang PKR Youth has called Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s accusations against its state assemblypersons over a Umno motion as “baseless” and “regrettable” and wants his apology.

In a statement today, the state Youth arm in a collective unsigned statement said such a statement should not have been uttered by the chief minister against those who have supported his leadership since 2008.

Using English does not diminish the status of the Malay language

KUCHING - Using English as one of Sarawak’s official languages does not diminish the status of the Malay language, said a Malaysian Youth Parliament member.

Syed Nizamuddin Sayed Khassim said this in response to Yayasan Karyawan chief executive Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan’s appeal to the Sarawak government to review its decision to make English an official language in the state.

Guan Eng faces opposition and dissatisfaction within DAP and its ally PKR

KUALA LUMPUR - Factionalism has reared its head in PKR and its leaders must deal with it before its DAP ally is forced to deal with their associates in Penang, state Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng cautioned today.

Lim said he found it “disturbing” when Penang PKR whip Ong Chin Wen and four other party backbenchers had not only abstained from voting on land reclamation in the state legislative assembly last week, but admitted they had informed an unnamed national party leader of their intention to do so instead of state leaders.

Abu Sayyaf leader killed in Mindanao encounter

MANILA - Elite Philippine Navy commandos killed a leader of the Abu Sayyaf extremists linked to the kidnapping of Malaysian nationals from Sabah in an encounter on the island province of Tawi-Tawi, the military reported on Saturday.

In a related development, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino apologised for the beheading of a Malaysian national as he ordered the military to intensify its ongoing operations against the Abu Sayyaf and arrest the killers.

IGP: Nurul Izzah may have committed treason by meeting Sulu ‘princess’

KUALA LUMPUR - PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar may have committed an act of treason by meeting with an enemy of the state, says Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

Photos of Nurul Izzah posing with self-styled Sulu princess Jacel Kiram have stirred controversy, with MPs and the public demanding that the Lembah Pantai MP explain herself.

Photo of Nurul Izzah with Sulu princess strikes raw nerve

KOTA KINABALU - Nurul Izzah Anwar’s explanation on her photograph with Sulu princess Jacel Kiram has failed to appease Sabah politicians, with several leaders expressing disbelief that a leader of her stature would associate with an individual whose family was responsible for the 2013 Lahad Datu invasion that killed 15 Malaysians.

The most outspoken of the disgruntled leaders was Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who suggested the PKR vice-president be banned from the state if she doesn’t apologise and promise never to offend Sabahans again.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Look at Singapore, Sarawak CM tells ‘pseudo-nationalist’ critics of English use

KUCHING - Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem told critics of his decision to adopt English as a “preferred primary language” of the Sarawak administration to look at Singapore as an example of a successful country that prioritises English.

Adenan explained that he was being realistic and accepting of the fact that English is a universal language when he made the announcement to adopt it as an official language of his administration at a state civil service day last Wednesday.

Obama meets Malaysian civil society groups

KUALA LUMPUR - US president Barack Obama met eight Malaysian civil society leaders here, including Bar Council president Steven Thiru, as well as Bersih's Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Maria Chin Abdullah, on the sidelines of the Asean summit Saturday.

Calling them "outstanding, courageous men and women," he said he had wanted to hear directly from them about the issues and challenges they face.

"I want to send a clear message that the United States stands behind the important work they are doing on a day-to-day basis," he said.

TPPA represents more than just trade - Obama

KUALA LUMPUR - The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) represents more than just trade, it is a vision of a better future in the global economy, said United States President Barack Obama.

"The TPP is not just a trade pact. It levels the playing field for everyone and integrate our markets," said Obama.

He said this during his address at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2015 at the Shangri-La Hotel here today.

Teresa Kok's comment on Tanduo intrusion angers Sabah leaders

KOTA KINABALU - Teresa Kok's statement that the Tanduo intrusion by Sulu terrorists was an old story and not serious is insensitive to the people of Sabah who were badly affected by the incident, says Datuk Juslie Ajirol.

"She has taken the Tanduo incident very lightly when the bloody tragedy had actually left a dark stain on the history of the state," the Sabah MPs Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman said.

Anonymous releases how-to-hack guide for ‘n00b’ beginners who want to fight ISIS online

Anonymous hackers want the public’s help in hunting out and shutting down social media accounts and websites affiliated with Islamic State. “The more the merrier,” the loose-knit hacktivist group said in a message, which included links to how-to guides.

Within days of the Paris attacks on Friday, Anonymous closed 5,500 Twitter accounts as Operation Paris (#OpParis) and Operation ISIS (#OpISIS) gained in popularity.

The Paris attackers - what we know so far

PARIS - One week after the Paris attacks, French investigators have managed to hunt down and kill the ringleader and fully identify four of the seven gunmen and suicide bombers who died carrying out the bloodshed.

As an increasingly detailed picture emerges of a network of European-born jihadists with ties to Syria, investigators are working around the clock to find Salah Abdeslam, an eighth gunman who is still on the run.

Two Arabic speaking men kept from boarding US plane

NEW YORK - Two men were kept from boarding a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia this week because they were speaking Arabic, one of just several incidents reflecting the paranoia sparked by the Paris attacks.

Maher Khalil and Anas Ayyad were told by a gate agent at Midway Airport that they wouldn't be allowed on the plane because a fellow passenger had overheard them speaking Arabic -- and was afraid to fly with them.

17 killed after Mali Commandos storm hotel seized by Islamists

Al-Qaida affiliate group Al Mourabitoun claims responsibility for the attack; security source said drama was over by early evening, two militants dead.

Islamist militants killed 19 people in an attack on a top hotel in the capital of Mali before Malian commandos stormed the building and rescued 170 people, many of them foreigners. Two militants were killed.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced the death toll and said seven people were wounded in the attack, which has been claimed by the jihadist group Al Mourabitoun, allied to Al-Qaida and based in the desert north of the former French colony, claimed responsibility for the attack. Mali has been battling Islamist rebels for years.

Police warn against scare rumour mongering in social media

KOTA KINABALU - Police have denied claims circulating on social media that eight Abu Sayyaf suicide bombers were targeting shopping complexes in the city.

"We strongly deny social media claims Abu Sayyaf suicide bombers were targeting various locations in Kota Kinabalu City in particular and Sabah in general,'' Kota Kinabalu City police chief Asst Comm M. Chandra (pic) said Saturday.

He said the viral messages on Facebook and WhatsApp among other social media platforms were creating uneasiness and fear among the people.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Up to 170 hostages held at Mali hotel after 12 gunmen storm building

Gunmen shouting Islamic slogans attacked a luxury hotel full of foreigners in Mali's capital Bamako early this morning, taking 170 people hostage, a senior security source and the hotel's operator said.

The raid on the Radisson Blu hotel, which lies just west of the city centre near government ministries and diplomatic offices in the former French colony, comes a week after Islamic State (IS) militants killed 129 people in Paris.

170 taken hostage at Radisson hotel by men screaming 'Allahu Akbar'.

Suicide bombers in KL and Sabah according to leak police memo

Police keeping track of all possible threats and increasing their patrols and intelligence surveillance

Malaysian police yesterday confirmed that a leaked internal police communique indicating the presence of suicide bombers in Kuala Lumpur and Sabah was authentic.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed this to online news portal Malaysiakini, saying the police memo was genuine and expressed regret over the leak.

The memo reportedly said that Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had 10 suicide bombers in Kuala Lumpur and 8 in Sabah. The note instructed police to increase patrols and intelligence surveillance.

Three men detained for defying curfew in Semporna

SEMPORNA - Three men were detained by the Marine Operations Force (MOF) in waters of Pulau Gaya yesterday for defying the curfew order imposed in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).

Sabah Region 4 MOF Commander ACP Mohamad Madun said the three men, aged between 22 and 38, were detained in an operation, code-named "Op Taring", at about 3.30am.