Thursday, February 02, 2023

MACC quizzes 90 voters over cash handouts in T'ganu

MACC quizzes 90 voters over cash handouts in T'ganu

Anti-corruption investigators have identified up to 90 individuals who had allegedly received cash handouts in Terengganu for voting for a party in the 15th general election, according to MACC sources.

This was part of the agency's investigation into a viral video, which shows people waiting in front of a building to purportedly collect payment from PAS for voting.

So far, MACC has managed to track down about half of the 90 men and women, said one source close to the investigation, and the recipients have been called in to get their statements recorded.

"The man shown in the video giving out the cash to voters had also been summoned for questioning.

"Now the investigators are working to call in as many witnesses to facilitate the investigation. Altogether, there are around 90 recipients identified (to have received the cash).

"There are some difficulties to find them because not all of them reside in Terengganu. Many involved were outstation voters," said the source.

Collecting money, taking oath

Adding further, the agency insider said investigators are expected to be able to wrap up the probe in about two weeks.

According to sources, MACC managed to identify recipients of the cash from documents they seized during the probe.

These documents include those that the recipients had to sign when they wanted to collect the money, on top of having to take an oath.

Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor

After the conclusion of GE15 in November, allegations surfaced on social media that PAS had given money to voters.

PAS election director Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor quickly denied this, claiming that it was just a ploy by rivals to smear PAS and that the Islamic party does not have the funds to pay voters.

In January, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang defended the act of distributing cash to voters.

He reportedly told the media in Terengganu that existing rules only prohibited contesting candidates and their representatives from giving cash to voters, but did not restrict the public from "giving alms".

Will MACC be placed under parliamentary oversight?

Will MACC be placed under parliamentary oversight?

From Hafiz Hassan

A former anti-graft chief once warned individuals against using the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as a political tool.

Then MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya issued the warning following a statement by the opposition that the MACC should be fair in investigating corruption cases even if it involved people from the ruling government.

“MACC for a long time was used as a political tool, people lodge reports just to get at each other. We strive to be professional and we do not want to be used for this platform,” she told reporters.

Yesterday, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin said the MACC was being used as a political tool to destroy Perikatan Nasional (PN) after the anti-graft body froze two of Bersatu’s bank accounts.

It’s the same old same old vitriol against the MACC, irrespective of the government of the day.

The MACC was also called out by PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli in November for being used as a political tool to investigate him but not taking any action against cases of corruption that he had revealed in recent weeks, including alleged wrongdoing involving the littoral combat ships (LCS) scandal.

Rafizi had revealed in a ceramah that his office was “raided” by the MACC, with his staff being questioned for up to seven hours.

The “raid” was confirmed by the MACC, with the anti-graft body saying that it seized some documents from Rafizi’s office as part of its investigation into his asset declaration regarding his data analytics company Invoke Solutions Sdn Bhd.

Last April, it was then DAP leader Lim Guan Eng who asked if the MACC had “become a political weapon used or misused by vested political interests” as observed in a series of what he called “omission and commission” that allowed select government officials and politicians to escape the law while taking a harder stance against others.

In June, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council called on the then government to step up the process of tackling corruption by placing the MACC under parliamentary oversight.

Even Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim had called for the MACC to be legally supervised by Parliament.

The MACC chief then was, and still is, Azam Baki. Azam had then asserted that the MACC was already independent, and that there was no need for the anti-graft agency to come under Parliament.

Lim responded to Azam’s remarks by calling for the MACC to be placed under Parliament for it to be a truly independent institution, claiming the anti-graft body was not independent as it came under the direct purview of the prime minister.

“The MACC must be accountable to Parliament especially when the MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki had allowed MACC to be used as a political weapon against opposition MPs and those who oppose the government,” Lim told a news conference.

Does the above sound familiar?

Given the latest vitriol by Bersatu’s Hamzah, will the current unity government make good the call to place the MACC under Parliament?

As HDB link-up vilified, researchers say country has much to learn from Singapore’s holistic approach to public housing

MM Online:

As HDB link-up vilified, researchers say country has much to learn from Singapore’s holistic approach to public housing

General view of PPR Seri Pantai at Pantai Dalam in Kuala Lumpur January 29, 2023. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Thursday, 02 Feb 2023 7:00 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 — Several researchers have called into question the recent narrative demonising Putrajaya’s attempt to consult Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB), clarifying that the republic is well-known for its successful public housing model.

They told Malay Mail Malaysia could learn to implement effective public housing development, with independent urban researcher Aziff Azuddin pointing to Singapore’s holistic urban planning that takes into account mobility, housing, work and access where HDBs are a thoughtful aspect of that highly-controlled ecosystem.

“As urban public housing, Singapore HDBs are a good standard to follow and Malaysia can certainly learn a lot from it,” he said in a recent interview.

The data analyst and former policy researcher said right now, urban planners in Malaysia seem to work in different silos rather than planning holistically.

“Anyone experiencing trying to walk and find a place to live in Klang Valley would find it evident. The best example is how by design, access to anywhere is incredibly difficult if you don’t own a car or motorcycle,” he said.

He said that in Singapore, residents can live their whole lives without owning a private vehicle because housing is planned alongside transport, and commercial or work access.

General view of PPR Pantai Ria in Kuala Lumpur January 29, 2023. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Additionally, Aziff explained that the HDB model works well in Singapore because land space is limited and the government has to be resourceful with urban planning.

He said Singapore had the foresight to consider important aspects of community living for their HDBs.

“So you see HDB spaces also being used for community activities, alongside it being very accessible for transit and mobility,” he said.

He pointed out that HDBs are public housing with a 99-year lease so that ownership opportunities can be given to others while its pricing is accessible to all.

Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia (ISIS) economic analyst, Qarrem Kassim, concurred that Malaysia needs to review its public housing policy to make it more community-based and wholesome.

He noted that the HDB housing in Singapore is well-kept and in most cases, looks like luxurious condominiums in Malaysia and is equipped with necessary amenities and infrastructure.

Qarrem said the maintenance of the public housing schemes in Malaysia needs to be improved and stakeholders’ engagement is important for the residents to have a sense of ownership so that they will chip in to ensure the housing area is kept clean.

“The government needs to plan out public housing projects strategically and ensure it is well-maintained,” he said.

He said currently, many public housing projects are located far from the city centre and this only worsened the quality of life for its residents.

General view of PPR Seri Pantai at Pantai Dalam in Kuala Lumpur January 29, 2023. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

“Public housing projects in Malaysia are often built in remote areas and not easily accessible, such as PR1MA which contributed towards the property overhang in Selangor,” he said, referring to the initiative formed under the 1Malaysia Public Housing Act 2012.

He said public housing projects, other than strategically placed, needed better connectivity such as trains and LRTs, not only buses.

“Otherwise, those working in the city centre will need their own transport to travel for work which incurs more costs for them,” he said.

He also pointed out that the allocation of public housing should be inclusive and based on income level instead of ethnic-based.

“We must remember that it should be for the B40 and the B40 does not only consist of Malays, there are also Chinese, Indians and other races in the B40 group,” he said.

He said the Pakatan Harapan federal government should not only look at this issue on an ad-hoc basis but holistically as the issue of property ownership also involved the country’s economy and its citizens’ income level.

“The average Malaysian income is still very low so we are still poor in many ways,” he said.

General view of PPR Pantai Ria in Kuala Lumpur January 29, 2023. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary-general Datuk Chang Kim Loong agreed that Singapore’s public housing model is a good example for Malaysia to emulate.

“Learn from a proven record, for example, Singapore HDB which is the best in the world, from what I read,” he said.

He said the HDB concept can be replicated here with the right town planning or building approval process and with the political will of the government.

Chang said there are now a lot of abandoned and problematic housing projects in Malaysia and the government has to ensure that the B40 group of buyers do not fall victim to such projects.

“The government should adopt the Built Then Sell (BTS) 10:90 concept to ensure that there is no abandonment, especially in the B40 category,” he said.

He said the government did not clarify which aspect of the HDB model that they are looking at and hoped that the ministry would engage with the HBA and stakeholders on this.

“The Minister should engage with us to be transparent on the actual modelling of HDB that our country wishes to emulate,” he said.

Aziff also asked where the government wished to apply the HDB model as Malaysia has a lot more land space compared to Singapore.

“The HDB model, which was designed to maximise limited land, may need a lot of adaptation,” he said.

He echoed Qarrem’s concerns that the country’s current public and low-cost housing model did not take into account important aspects such as accessibility and mobility, proximity to public transit or access to work opportunities.

“In Malaysia, we’re very much concerned with the land ownership which limits where we can build public initiatives like this,” he said.

Aziff also lambasted disinformation by right-wing Islamist and pro-Malay groups who claimed this is an attempt to push urban Malays to the fringes, calling it “fearmongering”,

“The HDB model would benefit urban Malays, especially those among the B40 and working class,” he said.

General view of PPR Kampung Limau at Pantai Dalam in Kuala Lumpur January 29, 2023. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Qarrem said these accusations are a way for the politicians, especially from the opposition Perikatan Nasional, to appeal to the young Malay demography.

“It is their way of winning over young Malay voters so the PH government needs to look at this issue carefully,” he said.

Chang said these claims are a non-issue and pointed out that there is a minimum 30 per cent quota for Bumiputera for all housing projects that must be complied with by all developers.

“Some states (quota for Bumiputera) can be as high as 50 per cent or more on top of the Bumiputera discounts,” he added.

He said these accusations were merely a way for some parties to appear to champion the Bumiputera.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan recently accused the state government of adopting a public housing scheme to change the demography of the island.

He alleged that due to the DAP-led state government’s housing policy, the percentage of property ownership among Malays in the state has remained low at only 27 per cent while 55 per cent of properties in Penang are owned by the ethnic Chinese.

Wan Saiful’s attack is the latest from PN’s attempt to undermine the PH federal government’s effort to learn from Singapore’s public housing formula by claiming that the move would destroy Malay villages and reduce the proportion of Malays living in public housing.

The narrative has since been repeated and amplified by Bersatu’s partner in PN, the Islamist party PAS, and other Islamist and pro-Malay groups.

This comes as Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said that the Singaporean government had given its approval for the country’s HDB flat contractors to visit his ministry next month to share their knowledge on building affordable housing.

The ‘who’s your daddy’ school of politics

The ‘who’s your daddy’ school of politics

This week saw the son of the country’s third prime minister being suspended from his party, the son-in-law of the fifth prime minister getting expelled from his party, the son of the sixth prime minister declaring his intent to contest a party post, and the daughter of the tenth prime minister being made a senior economic advisor to her father.

Wow, it looks like there are no other capable leaders in our nation except the offspring of the leaders themselves. The gene pool in our leadership strata is quite incestuous.

Ostensibly, it’s never what you know, but who your father is, or was. And, this is the case for all political parties in the country including PKR, Umno, DAP, PAS and so on. Our political parties are run like a “family business”.

Of course, our guys are not the only ones who operate like this.

Just in the neighbourhood, Singapore, our noisy but clever neighbour down south, has a prime minister who comes from the “who’s your daddy school of politics” and the same goes for the Philippines and Thailand.

Actually, it is a worldwide phenomenon.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a data scientist, economist, and New York Times op-ed contributor showed in a study that if your father was a US senator, you are 8,500 times more likely to be one yourself.

For me, it’s strange that only with the appointment of the current PM’s daughter, who incidentally was a losing candidate in the last general election, everybody has piped up, and are creating a ruckus.

Civil society movements, and the Malaysian intelligentsia have gone, once again, into overdrive with this “new” issue. New? Really?

Political dynasties have been the norm in Malaysia for such a long time already. And, even in the countries we laud as bastions of democracy and economic prowess, this “problem” is prevalent.

But isn’t it the same in many professions? How many doctors, lawyers, and business tycoons do we know that have their kids in the same “business”?

In some ways, the benefits of getting into politics after your father or mother did, are no different than the benefits in other sectors. When you’re related to some bigwig in your profession, you can turn to them for career advice, and your last name will definitely open a few doors.

I accept that in politics, the consequences are on a much larger scale, and affect the rest of us.

Politicians with the right last name will get doors opened for them, big campaign donations, and votes. It’s a ticket-to-entry that mere mortals like us will struggle to get. It is abundantly clear that in Malaysian politics, you need a “cable” to climb the greasy pole.

I know that most of us want reforms, and we want to see a different trajectory for our country. I suppose this is the cause of the “brouhaha” concerning the appointment of the PM’s daughter.

Even before, Malaysians weren’t very happy with PM5 that his son-in-law led the infamous and powerful “4th Floor Boys” in the PM’s Department.

And, the pressure on PM10 is greater, because the man has positioned himself as a “reformist” prime minister.

But, for our current prime minister, it is like carrying a “kavadi” with piercings attached to his torso. And, a bunch of jamokes hold on to the rope behind him, and yank him back every time he tries to move the reformist agenda ahead.

Forgive my Thaipusam analogy. I’m already in the festival mood.

Once in a while, PM10, in his stupor, makes a faux-pas, and gets a heftier yank back.

If you are expecting massive reforms in this term from this unity government, I reckon you are living in “cloud cuckoo land”. This is a government of compromise. The ubiquitous “green wave” made sure of this.

PM10, whenever he can, or is allowed to, will fill jobs up with his people. How much more of “his people” can he get, than his first born? It’s probably his attempt to counter all the yanking.

As a nation, if we don’t like the idea of political hereditary dynasties, then we shouldn’t vote for the scions of Malaysian political leaders. You all know the political “brand” names in Malaysia. But as voters, we seem to value brand recognition, and keep electing them again and again.

Even with PM10’s daughter, we kept her as a member of parliament for 14 years. No-one screamed nepotism and cronyism then. In fact, for 10 of those 14 years, she was the darling of the Malaysian “liberals”.

So, how about we all agree that we live in very strange times. If Ahmad Zahid Hamidi can be made the Deputy Prime Minister, surely Nurul Izzah Anwar can be a Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister.

Parents against suggestion to start school at 8am

Parents against suggestion to start school at 8am

Most schools start at 7.30am and end at 1pm.

PETALING JAYA: Many parents are not keen on a proposal for the school session to start at 8am as it will burden those who have to go to work.

Several parents FMT spoke to said it was not a practical idea as most of them start work at 8am or 9am.

Security guard Saffri Kamarudin, 45, said it would affect the daily routine of parents and clash with their working hours. This, he said, would lead to parents continuing to send their children to school earlier so that they could go to their office or place of work on time.

“I start work at 8am and I have to send three children to school. If they all have to attend school at 8am, I will still have to send them earlier. This suggestion makes no sense and is not suitable for parents who work,” he said when met at Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Seri Bidor in Perak.

Clerk Maizurah Idris, 38, agreed with Saffri. If classes were to start later, she said, it would disrupt her schedule. She added that the roads would be even more congested.

“If school starts early, there is time to take care of household chores before I head off to work. I have to send my children early, around 7am, because it coincides with the time I go to the office,” she said.

However, housewife Faridah Abdullah, 36, of Shah Alam, welcomed the suggestion of starting classes at 8am.

“As a housewife, I have no problem with classes starting later as there will be more time for me to prepare food and do my chores before sending my children to school,” she said.

The chairman of the parent-teacher association (PTA) of SK Cheras, Ahmad Hasni Mohamed Jalilah, believed that starting classes later than 7.30am would have a negative effect.

“If school starts at 8am and ends at 1pm, the existing 40 minutes for each lesson will have to be cut short. Teachers will feel pressured to finish the syllabus and there is a possibility that some students may be left behind,” he told FMT.

Nor Zuwairi Zakwa, the PTA chairman of SK Bandar Tasik Kesuma in Selangor, said the suggestion would only benefit parents who worked from home.

Recently, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) senior lecturer Anuar Ahmad urged the government to start classes at 8am in Peninsular Malaysia to ease the burden on teachers, parents and students.

He said the government should be compassionate to teachers, parents and students who had to wake up as early as 4.30am. At present, most schools start at 7.30am.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Activists, NGO leaders silent over Nurul Izzah's appointment

Activists, NGO leaders silent over Nurul Izzah's appointment

Prominent individuals previously vocal on issues of integrity either refuse to comment or cannot be reached.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, in this file picture taken ahead of the 13th general election on May 4, 2013. Photo: AFP

Activists previously vocal on issues of integrity have remained mum on the subject of Nurul Izzah Anwar's appointment as a senior economic and finance adviser to her father, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, amid criticism by those who describe the move as nepotism.

MalaysiaNow's attempts to obtain the views of Maria Chin Abdullah and Ambiga Sreenevasan were unsuccessful as of press time.

When contacted, Maria – a PKR member and the former MP for Petaling Jaya – said she had no comment as many had already aired their views on the matter.

"Many have already spoken, so let that be enough lest it turn into a controversy," she said.

Former Bersih chairman Ambiga, meanwhile, could not be reached.

Nurul's appointment sparked a barrage of criticism, due, among others, to Anwar's staunch objection to nepotism and cronyism during his time in the opposition.

Anwar defended the move, stressing that Nurul's appointment was on a pro bono basis. Nevertheless, the calls have continued for him to re-evaluate her role.

Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor had described Nurul's appointment as unusual, saying such a thing had never been done by any prime minister before.

He also raised concerns that it would be used as a benchmark for other political leaders to appoint family members to important positions in the government.

"If she isn't being paid, her role appears to be more like a social service," he said in a report by Berita Harian.

"It would be better for her to work at an NGO. But instead, she is advising on government policies, managing procurements, making sure that tenders are properly taken care of – that is the work of a government official."

Nurul, who lost her Permatang Pauh seat in the recent polls, said her appointment took effect on Jan 3.

She said her experience as an MP would come in handy when engaging with "experts in navigating economic governance, accountability and evidence-based policies".

She also said she had been busy meeting with business groups and stakeholders as part of the preparations for the upcoming budget to be tabled by her father.

Anwar later defended the appointment, saying Nurul was qualified for the role despite not having a suitable economics background.

He also said that he wanted Nurul to help the government, including by ensuring a transparent administration and the proper award of government tenders.

Economist Yeah Kim Leng said Nurul's appointment meant that her every move would be in the limelight.

Yeah, of Sunway University, said this would force the former MP to be careful and to ensure that none of her decisions could be questioned.

"From an alternative perspective, she will continue to be watched as she is seen as the daughter of the prime minister," he said.

"This will put her under constant pressure to do her best. From this perspective, nepotism will take a back seat while how well she performs, and whether she can come up with good solutions, will be the number one priority."

Vivekananthan is only appeasing his political masters by criticising Ramasamy

Vivekananthan is only appeasing his political masters by criticising Ramasamy

By Jason Raj

M. VIVEKANANTHAN’S recent article criticising Prof P. Ramasamy seems misplaced. Vivekananthan who is a MIC supporter cannot accept the fact that the political fortunes of the MIC have changed for the worse.

In a recent piece, Ramasamy merely pointed out that the MIC having lost the support of Indians should take on a new role as the opposition party.

By adopting this role, the party can speak on a myriad of issues affecting the Indian community.

Ramasamy is not trying to divert issues so as to hide his weaknesses. Vivekananthan is simply telling to deflect matters unable to accept the sad fact of the political demise of the MIC.

Ramasamy stood in the Perai state constituency in three consecutive elections winning seats with majority. The MIC candidates who stood against him lost badly.

Under the leadership of Ramasamy, Indians in Penang have improved their lot. What the MIC could do in the BN for 60 years, the state government had done in nine years.

In the last 15 years or so, employment of Indians has improved in the state agencies and government-linked companies (GLCs). There was negligible presence of Indians in these agencies when MIC was the representative of Indians.

Through the agency of the Penang Hindu Endowments Board (PHEB), financial grants have been set aside for poor Indians students over the years.

The Penang state has generously made available land to about 10 Tamil schools. More land will be made available to Tamil schools. Under the Barisan Nasional (BN), the MIC couldn’t even provide land grant for one Tamil school in the state.

There is possibility of a new Tamil school being established in Penang with land allocation of four acres. The Rajaji Tamil school in the island was granted a state land worth RM29 mil.

The PHEB with an annual grant from the state not only provides financial grants for poor students but also provides lands for Hindu temples.

Hundreds of temples have been granted land over the years. The Penang state government under Pakatan Harapan (PH) takes care of the Indian community. Generous financial grants are given for the social, economic and cultural activities.

Vivekananthan’s argument against Ramasamy doesn’t serve any purpose. It is merely an empty political rhetoric to appease his masters in the MIC and BN. As I have said earlier, he among others couldn’t stomach the fact that the grand old party of the Indians is on the verge of collapse.

He should have refuted Ramasamy or the Penang state government on the basis of facts and figures. Sadly, in his haste to attack Ramasamy he lost his senses.

By the way, Vivekananthan should be reminded that Ramasamy is the elected DAP state deputy chairman and not appointed. – Jan 31, 2023

Jason Raj is the DAP National Youth (DAPSY) vice-chairman

Some vegetables now cost 160% more, claims consumer group

Some vegetables now cost 160% more, claims consumer group

The Consumers Association of Penang said several retailers, distributors and wholesalers had warned that prices of other vegetables might go up in the coming weeks.

PETALING JAYA: A consumer group has claimed that prices of several vegetables have skyrocketed by more than 160% in the last month.

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) said prices needed to be regulated so that the people would not be burdened.

“CAP calls on the enforcement division of the domestic trade and cost of living ministry to investigate the price increase as average income earners will be badly affected by escalating prices of goods,” its president Mohideen Abdul Kader said in a statement.

He urged the government to take action against traders who hiked their prices excessively and violated the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2010.

“CAP has also been repeatedly calling for the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) to take control of the marketing and distribution of vegetables in the country to eliminate profiteering by middlemen but our call has fallen on deaf ears.”

According to CAP, the price of lady’s fingers had gone up by 166% from RM6 per kg last month to RM16 per kg this month. Similarly, long beans had doubled in price from RM6 per kg to RM12 per kg, tomatoes from RM4.50 per kg to RM10 per kg (a 120% increase), and eggplants from RM7 per kg to RM12 per kg (a 71% increase).

CAP added that several retailers, distributors and wholesalers had warned that prices of other vegetables might go up in the coming weeks.

The Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers’ Association and the Federation of Malaysian Vegetable Farmers Association also corroborated the price increase to FMT.

Govt using MACC as a political tool, says Hamzah

Govt using MACC as a political tool, says Hamzah

Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin says the party will continue to cooperate with MACC in its probe.

PETALING JAYA: Bersatu has accused the government of using the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as a political tool, after the anti-graft agency froze the party’s accounts.

Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin said he regretted the government’s actions and claimed it was aimed at destroying the credibility of the party and Perikatan Nasional.

“Bersatu will continue to cooperate (with MACC) in this probe so that we can put an end to this malicious allegation against Bersatu,” he said in a statement.

He was referring to MACC’s probe into the alleged misappropriation of RM92.5 billion by the Muhyiddin Yassin-led government.

“We can accept the excuse that this measure taken by MACC is part of their investigation into the allegation made against Bersatu.

“Bersatu leaders and officers who have been asked to give their statements to MACC have also been told to fully cooperate (with the anti-graft agency).”

Hamzah also claimed that the move to freeze the party’s accounts was aimed at distracting the people from the Anwar Ibrahim-led government’s “weakness, failure and practice of nepotism”.

He maintained that Bersatu always upheld the principles of integrity and good governance, and urged party leaders and members to remain calm.

Earlier, a party source told FMT that Bersatu’s accounts had been frozen by MACC under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla).

This was confirmed by MACC chief Azam Baki, who said witnesses would be summoned to facilitate ongoing investigations.

The action is understood to have been taken in connection with an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of billions of ringgit meant for Covid-19 stimulus packages.

Muhyiddin, who is Bersatu president and PN chairman, previously denied claims his government had misappropriated RM92.5 billion when he was prime minister. He said he was confident that MACC would clear him of any wrongdoing.

The investigations had earlier seen MACC arrest the CEO of a private company who is alleged to have served as a middleman in the distribution of government projects.

Nothing seditious in articles on SJKC students, say cops

Nothing seditious in articles on SJKC students, say cops

According to the complainant, the articles in NST and Berita Harian created a negative impression about students in Chinese vernacular schools. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: No seditious elements were found in two articles about Chinese vernacular schools (SJKC) published by the New Straits Times (NST) and Berita Harian, police said after a report was filed over the articles.

The article in NST published on Jan 18 was titled “SJKC pupils not keen to learn BM” while that in Berita Harian was more speculative and titled “Murid SJKC tak minat subjek Bahasa Melayu?” (SJKC pupils not keen to learn BM?).

Sentul police chief Beh Eng Lai said initial investigations into the articles found that the headlines could give a negative perception to the public.

However, he maintained that they did not contain elements that were seditious or that could incite racial hatred.

He added that the probe was conducted under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for statements that lead to public alarm and distress and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of network facilities.

Beh said a report was lodged on Jan 21 by the chairman of the Malaysian Chinese Language Council, who was unhappy with the articles.

According to the complainant, the articles created a negative impression about students in Chinese vernacular schools, based on comments made by members of the public on the news outlets’ websites.

“The complainant said the statements made by the news outlets were untrue and caused misunderstandings and disharmony among the races,” Beh said.

Khairy has few options except to join PN to further his political career

Khairy has few options except to join PN to further his political career

By V. Thomas

FORMER health minister Khairy Jamaluddin who was sacked by UMNO a few days back is now in a dilemma about his political future.

He has stated that he is not going to appeal against his dismissal. He has also commented about his plans of standing for the state assembly elections in Selangor, which he now calls home after his exit from Rembau, Negri Sembilan.

He has rightly stated that Selangor, the most populous, developed and resourceful state in the country is the epicentre of national politics.

His electoral foray in the Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat has made him realise the importance of Selangor, which he intends to use as the launchpad for his political ambition in aspiring to be a future prime minister of the country.

Without a party Khairy will be helpless and will not be able to do well in the impending Selangor state election, which is expected to be held after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Even though Khairy has made it known that he will support Anwar and his unity government, there are some serious impediments to becoming a member of PKR or Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Zahid is the lynchpin of the unity government and Anwar will definitely have to listen to his opinion as otherwise it will rock the boat and endanger his government.

Most probably, despite Khairy’s show of support, Anwar will turn down his request to be a member of the PH parties and that includes all those sacked from UMNO recently.

The next option will be for Khairy to team up with PH especially Bersatu, which is a more liberal party than PAS, whose fundamental Islamic policies he may not fully support.

Bersatu needs to open its doors to not only Khairy but to Tan Sri Noh Omar, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin and others and offer them state seats to contest in Selangor.

An exco position in Selangor, a first-world state, is equal to that of a cabinet minister. With all these ex-Cabinet ministers in Bersatu the chances of Perikatan Nasional (PN) wresting Selangor from PH will be bright.

A recent survey revealed that only the overwhelmingly Chinese-dominated state constituencies are safe for PH, and that for the others especially the mixed constituencies it could turn out to be either way.

As it is the Selangor government administration is mired with problems ranging from environmental to municipal issues, and many supporters who voted for PH in the last three election have become disillusioned and disheartened.

They may think twice whether they still need to support a PH government, which initially promised to be an exemplary one but turned out to be otherwise.

UMNO is weak and may not fare well even in the Malay majority areas in the outlying districts of Selangor, and will not be able to help PH to secure Selangor.

Khairy is already well known in the Sungai Buloh parliamentary constituency, which has two state seats namely Kota Damansara which is mainly urban, and Paya Jaras which is suburban. Both the seats will be a fitting choice for a development-oriented politician like Khairy.

Khairy is already well known in both constituencies and made Sungai Buloh even more popular nationwide when he was “exiled” and he chose to contest for the “no other choice” parliamentary seat.

He lost the election narrowly and it can be attributed to the fact that he did not have big time party support and also due to the loss of support of the Malays for UMNO.

This was clearly-proven by the party’s drubbing in GE15 at the hands of PN. The winner R. Ramanan – although not as well known as Khairy –was able to get the full support of the PH party members who went all out to secure his maiden electoral victory.

Khairy can rely on this newly-built-up support in the two state constituencies should he decide to stand for a state seat.

He can re-build a bright political future using Selangor as his new base. Malaysian politics is in a flux right now and making a decision needs to be carefully considered.

However, when all doors appear to be shut and only PN is bidding you a warm welcome, the decision-making becomes easier.

Anyway, those in the PN leadership are your ex-ministerial colleagues in the previous government with whom you have a good rapport and can establish a binding relationship to fulfil your ambition. – Feb 1, 2023

Police confirm NSTP dailies under investigation for claiming SJKC students not keen to learn BM

MM Online:

Police confirm NSTP dailies under investigation for claiming SJKC students not keen to learn BM

Sentul police chief Assistant Commissioner Beh Eng Lai confirmed that police reports on the matter had been filed on January 21. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Wednesday, 01 Feb 2023 3:07 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — Two national newspapers are being investigated by police for publishing news reports insinuating that Chinese vernacular school students in the country are reluctant to learn Bahasa Malaysia.

The English-language New Straits Times (NST) and the Malay-language Berita Harian, both published by the New Straits Times Press Berhad (NSTP), sparked uproar with Chinese Malaysian education groups accusing the two dailies of sedition in their January 18 articles titled “SJKC pupils not keen to learn BM” and “Murid SJKC tak minat subjek Bahasa Melayu?” respectively.

Sentul police chief Assistant Commissioner Beh Eng Lai confirmed that police reports on the matter had been filed on January 21.

“We are investigating under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998,” he told Malay Mail today when contacted.

Section 505(b) of the Penal Code deals with the publication of statements with the intent to cause, or which are likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public whereby a person may be induced to commit a crime against the State or public peace.

If found guilty, punishment includes a jail term of up to two years, an unspecified fine, or both.

Section 233 of the CMA 1998 criminalises the use of network facilities or network services by a person to transmit communication deemed offensive.

Those found guilty of this offence can be punished with a maximum fine of RM50,000, or a jail term of up to one year, or both.

Malaysian Chinese Language Council (MCLC) president Datuk Eddie Heng Hong Chai held a news conference here yesterday accusing the NST reporter of misleading the public by making sweeping generalisations in the published article about BM in vernacular schools nationwide.

He claimed that the reporter had only interviewed two teachers who were only sharing the difficulties their vernacular school students faced in learning the national language, news portal Malaysiakini reported.

Heng clarified that the vernacular school students were improving their BM scores in recent years, with the average marks topping 90 per cent.

He added that MCLC had written to the news outlets but had yet to receive a response, Malaysiakini reported.

Azmin to make comeback as Selangor MB if PN wins state polls?

Azmin to make comeback as Selangor MB if PN wins state polls?

PERIKATAN Nasional has not ruled out the possibility of nominating Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali to lead the state government again should the coalition win the forthcoming Selangor state polls.

According to Selangor PN Election Machinery Deputy Director Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi, the opportunities are always open to the former Selangor menteri besar to return, although this would be up to the PN leadership to determine the best candidate for the job.

“The opportunities are always open for him (Azmin) and if he succeeds in winning at the state assembly level and brings us towards victory in Selangor, InsyaAllah, with his experience of developing the state, it could be in that direction,” he was reported as saying by Utusan Malaysia.

However, Zulkafperi acknowledged that it would be an uphill battle for Azmin to defend the Bukit Antarabangsa state seat that he won in the 14th general election (GE14).

“The [competition for the Bukit Antarabangsa state seat] is expected to be fierce as less than 50% of Malay voters will certainly be difficult, but his influence could attract voters.

“We are not ruling out the possibilities of Azmin remaining at Bukit Antarabangsa or choosing a different state seat that may side with PN’s victory,” he said.

Zulkafperi further noted that PN’s current preparations were at their best and they are confident in obtaining at least 33 state assembly seats to form the state government.

“I am confident that we can conquer this state through the ummah unification between Bersatu and PAS. We want to see a continuation of the Malay wave and give support to PN to reject PH (Pakatan Harapan) and BN (Barisan Nasional),” he remarked.

Previously, Selangor PAS chief Ahmad Yunus Hairi had expressed his confidence that PN stands a good chance of winning in Selangor at the upcoming state elections.

He said this was based on feedback from voters who said they were “tired of the lies and false promises” from the PH government.

According to Ahmad Yunus, the current Selangor government has failed to solve the problems faced by the people such as the high cost of living, lack of job opportunities, insufficient housing, flooding, water pollution, and poor internet coverage.

He said the people of Selangor want a government that has integrity and can look after them while developing the state.

Six states – Pakatan Harapan-controlled Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, as well as PAS-led Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu – will hold state elections this year. – Feb 1, 2023

MACC confirms Bersatu’s accounts frozen over money-laundering probe

MM Online:

MACC confirms Bersatu’s accounts frozen over money-laundering probe

The logo of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is seen in this file picture taken December 27, 2018. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Wednesday, 01 Feb 2023 5:24 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has frozen Parti Bersatu Pribumi Malaysia’s party accounts, its chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki confirmed today.

National news agency Bernama quoted Azam as saying that two party accounts had been frozen two weeks ago to facilitate investigations under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

He also said that witnesses would be summoned to assist with investigations related to the ongoing probe.

When contacted, Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu confirmed the matter to Malay Mail, adding that the party planned to cooperate fully with the MACC investigation.

“I confirm that the party's account was indeed frozen by the MACC.

“The MACC officers had visited the party's headquarters and done their due diligence.

“The freezing was done in the course of investigations.

“The party has given their full cooperation to MACC on this matter and hopes that the rule of law will prevail.”


26 groups call for cancellation of deep-sea port project in Melaka

26 groups call for cancellation of deep-sea port project in Melaka

The groups say the proposed deep-sea port involves an environmentally sensitive area and will destroy the natural environment along Melaka’s coast.

PETALING JAYA: Twenty-six civil society organisations have called for a proposed deep-sea port construction project in Melaka to be cancelled, on grounds that it is located in a sensitive area.

In a joint statement stating their objection, the groups said the 481ha reclamation project involved an environmentally sensitive area where a main fishing zone, a gazetted marine park and mangroves are located.

“The project is among the largest in Malaysia and would inevitably destroy the natural environment along Melaka’s coast,” the statement said.

“Additionally, the reclamation project is part of the bigger Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (MWEZ) plan that seeks to reclaim 25,000 acres (10,117ha) of land across 33km of the entire Melaka coastline.”

The groups include the Malaysian Nature Society, Gabungan Selamatkan Pesisir Pantai Melaka, Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association, Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (Peka) and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).

They said past experience has shown that reclamation projects were unsustainable despite being promoted in the name of “development”.

“For example, the Melaka Gateway project that was launched in 2014 had promised to bring in RM43 billion in investments and create 15,000 jobs.

“However, today, the project has largely been abandoned while leaving major pollution in the vicinity,” they said.

The Melaka Gateway mixed development was supposed to be on four artificial islands with residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment and lifestyle elements. It was envisioned to have the largest private marina in Southeast Asia by 2025.

The groups also pointed out that Melaka already have two existing ports – Tanjung Bruas Port and Kuala Linggi International Port.

“On the other hand, there are also other major ports along the Melaka Straits, such as Port Klang and Singapore Port,” they said.

FMT has reached out to executive councillor Ab Rauf Yusoh for comment.

The MWEZ project is to be built on reclaimed land, stretching some 22km from Umbai to Tanjung Bruas.

In 2021, Tanjung Kling residents pushed Putrajaya to intervene and prevent MWEZ from proceeding, with an online petition garnering more than 20,000 signatures.

UK faces fresh mass strikes as wage talks derail

MM Online:

UK faces fresh mass strikes as wage talks derail

Large disruption to education and commuter travel is anticipated in the latest mass stoppages by public and private sector workers as the government and company bosses stand firm over wage demands. — Reuters pic

Wednesday, 01 Feb 2023 11:39 AM MYT

LONDON, Feb 1 — Teachers and train drivers dominate a fresh round of UK-wide strikes today aimed at securing pay rises that would ease a cost-of-living crisis caused by soaring inflation.

Large disruption to education and commuter travel is anticipated in the latest mass stoppages by public and private sector workers as the government and company bosses stand firm over wage demands.

The UK is set to see today the “biggest day of strike action since 2011”, with up to 500,000 workers planning industrial action, according to umbrella group the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Others on strike include border force workers carrying out immigration and customs checks at UK air and sea ports.

Britain has witnessed months of strikes from tens of thousands of workers — including also by postal staff, lawyers, nurses and employees in the retail sector — as UK inflation raced above 11 per cent, the highest level in more than 40 years.

‘No magic wand’

“I would love, nothing would give me more pleasure than, to wave a magic wand and have all of you paid lots more,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Monday on a visit to public health workers, who are planning further walk-outs in the coming days and weeks.

“An important part of us getting a grip of inflation and halving it is making sure the government’s responsible with its borrowing, because if that gets out of control that makes it worse and it’s about making pay settlements reasonable and fair,” Sunak added.

kt comments: Kerbau lah, why are you then giving hundreds of millions if not billions to Ukraine?

The latest official data shows 1.6 million working days were lost in the June-November period last year because of strikes — the highest six-month total in more than three decades, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A total 467,000 working days were lost to walkouts in November alone, the highest level since 2011, the ONS added.

“I’ll be working from home” today, charity worker Katie Webb, 23, told AFP.

“I do support the strikes, the rail workers deserve better pay,” she added.

Since late last year, a number of private-sector workers have managed to agree new pay deals with employers, leaving behind employees paid by the taxpayer.

“After years of brutal pay cuts, nurses, teachers and millions of other public servants have seen their living standards decimated — and are set to face more pay misery,” Nowak said ahead of today’s strikes.

Nationwide rallies

Alongside the latest walkouts, unions are due to stage rallies today across the country in opposition to the Conservative government’s plans to legislate against strike action by public sector workers.

Organised by the TUC, the nationwide protests will demand that “the right to strike is a fundamental British liberty”, according to the organisation’s General Secretary Paul Nowak.

Sunak has introduced a draft law requiring some frontline workers to maintain a minimum level of service during walkouts.

The prime minister has defended the plans in parliament as “reasonable” and in line with other European countries.

In France yesterday, protesters launched a new push to pressure President Emmanuel Macron into dropping a pension reform plan, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets and strikes disrupting transport and schools. — AFP

Tengku Zafrul set to run for a seat in Umno Supreme Council

MM Online:

Tengku Zafrul set to run for a seat in Umno Supreme Council

Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the move will be significant in his efforts to build a foundation in the service of politics for the long-term. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Wednesday, 01 Feb 2023 12:03 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has reportedly confirmed today that he will run in Umno’s election for a Supreme Council spot this year.

The move will be significant in his efforts to build a foundation in the service of politics for the long-term, he told Astro Awani.

“Yes, if given the opportunity, I would humbly offer myself to compete for a role in the Umno supreme council to provide service to the party,” he was quoted as saying.

He reportedly called the political landscape increasingly dynamic, which allows healthy and productive competition.

“Politics is dynamic by nature, and what is most important is an effective touch to give dignity to the community and country.

“Umno is an experienced party and the leaders of Barisan Nasional are mature enough to go through ups and downs, so I believe the party’s leaders and grassroots want to see a combination of more dynamic leadership and diverse backgrounds to ensure that the process of strengthening the party after the 15th general elections (GE15) goes well,” he added.

Last week, Tengku Zafrul was reportedly appointed a Kota Raja division committee member amid growing speculation that Umno will field him as its candidate there for the Selangor state election due this year.

He has reportedly been shortlisted as a possible candidate for one of the state constituencies under the greater Kota Raja parliamentary seat: Sungai Kandis or Kota Kemuning.

He is currently in his second-term as a senator, which will expire in 2025.

He was sworn in as a senator in December last year to fulfil Article 43(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution which requires ministers to either be a member of the Dewan Rakyat or the Dewan Negara.

The former banker had contested the Kuala Selangor parliamentary seat in the GE15 last November but was defeated by Parti Amanah Negara’s Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad.

61 Terbunuh Dalam Letupan Masjid Di Pakistan. Kaum Munafik Seribu Bisu. Masjid Di India Tiada Letupan Bom. Saifuddin Nasution Sila Ambil Perhatian

OutSyed The Box

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

61 Terbunuh Dalam Letupan Masjid Di Pakistan. Kaum Munafik Seribu Bisu. Masjid Di India Tiada Letupan Bom. Saifuddin Nasution Sila Ambil Perhatian

1. On Monday, there was a bomb blast in a mosque in Peshawar. Usually, the turkey shoot happens on Fridays. But for the blast to happen on Monday, either the perpetrators had the day mixed up or it would have been a month end special.

2. Whatever it is, 61 people including police officers were killed while 150 were wounded.

3. The attack happened during afternoon worship in the provincial capital of Peshawar, close to former tribal areas along the Afghan border where militancy has been steadily rising.

4. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blast but everyone knows it is the work of one of the usual suspects. No prize for guessing. (OSTB : Tarikat Taliban Pakistan or TTP)

5. What is noticeable is that the mosque is in police headquarters in Peshawar which is in one of the most tightly controlled areas of the city, housing intelligence and counter-terrorism bureaus, and is next door to the regional secretariat. It just goes to show that no place in Pakistan is safe, not even a police headquarters.

But more so, imagine all the preparation that had gone on to make this blast a success.

Pakistan is teetering on a breakup and the collapse will come much sooner than later.

For the Pakistanis, Malaysia provides a safe refuge. Now, how many more Pakistanis will be applying to come and work here. Of course, marrying a local and then staying here on a long term spouse visa and then operating own businesses is a tantalising prospect and opportunity. (OSTB : Menteri KDN Saifuddin Nasution sila ambil perhatian. There will be an influx of Pakistanis everywhere - not just here in Malaysia. Just dont let the Taliban, the jihadis and the mullahs find their way here. We have had enough of those characters here before.)

6. Pakistan has long been a member of the Club of Doom.

7. India can be most relieved with Pakistan leaving the union of India.

8. A Muslim in India can go to a mosque and return home safely. In Pakistan, going to mosque comes with great risk. You can get killed. It is proven.

The above comment was written by Norman Fernandez.

My Comments :

61 insan terbunuh dalam letupan bom dalam sebuah MASJID di Pakistan. Tetapi tidak ada sesiapa pun pemimpin Islam atau pertubuhan Islam di dunia yang membantah pembunuhan beramai 61 orang insan ini. Seolah mereka tidak peduli.

Bagaimana dengan Dr Mahathir? Dr Mahathir pernah berkata orang Islam berhak membunuh orang Perancis. Sebab orang Perancis pernah membunuh orang Islam.

Di masjid Peshawar itu tidak ada pun orang Perancis terlibat. Yang membunuh dan yang terbunuh semua adalah orang Islam. So is it ok? OK ke kalau Islam bunuh Islam?

Apakah parti anak sund@l (ikut tafsir YM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) akan mengadakan bantahan besar-besaran di pekarangan Masjid Kampong Baru pada Jumaat ini? Siap dengan tabung Tin Milo untuk kutip derma 'Mangsa Letupan Masjid Peshawar' yang pasti tidak akan sampai kepada mangsa di Peshawar.

Sheikh Palestin kata duit Tabung Palestin bocor entah ke mana. Rohingya pula tak tahu pun ada Tabung Rohingya. Dulu Tabung Memali sudah dibawa lari jin toyol.

Tabung Mat Indera pun ada ke?

Tetapi siapa peduli apabila 61 orang insan terkorban dalam letupan bom di sebuah masjid di Peshawar, Pakistan? Tiada bantahan, tiada protest, tiada berkumpul di masjid sesudah sembahyang Jumaat.

Why? Kenapa? Sebab tiada Perancis terlibat. Sebab tiada Zionis terlibat. Ini adalah kes Islam bunuh Islam.

So tidak ada bantahan. Tidak ada protest.

Inilah kaum munafik Gred A, 1st Class dalam dunia.

That is why no one respects you.

The whole world not only laughs at you but they spit at you.

By Syed Akbar Ali at January 31, 2023

This is about principles, not Nurul Izzah

This is about principles, not Nurul Izzah

I like Nurul Izzah Anwar. But this is not about her. It is about civil society.

Her appointment as finance and economic adviser to her daddy, the prime minister, is something that we should not have to write about. Because it should never have happened.

But because it has, we must write about it. Not because we want to vilify Nurul Izzah or Anwar Ibrahim, but because although we like Nurul Izzah, we want civil society to be more than just words.

In truth, Anwar has done a disservice to Nurul Izzah by appointing her.

Amidst the furore, she is put in the unenviable position of having to defend her qualifications for the job. Even daddy has had to step forth to defend her suitability.

Not many are convinced with his advocacy that her academic qualifications make her a great economic adviser to the government. Nor with his throwing out the red herring that she will not be paid.

Whatever the arguments around whether she is qualified for such a position, the fact remains that she ought not to be there. No matter how you spin it, it is nepotism, pure and simple.

Nepotism is anathema to effective governance. Committing it renders loudly espoused principles of civil society mere sermons, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

It is because of all these civil society catchy slogans that I cannot for the life of me, understand how this could have come about.

Unexpected. Unbelievable. Unnecessary.

Considering his coterie of advisers, why didn’t anyone warn PMX of the repercussions of this clumsy mistake?

Surely, for a reform-minded prime minister, a choice between fatherly love and good governance is an easy one to make, because there are other options for Nurul Izzah.

If, as some have postulated, that she is “PM-material” and this is some sort of prime ministerial-training, then this contentious appointment will only taint her record.

If she requires training to be a future prime minister, she would be better off joining the private sector where she will see what the real world is like.

She would learn important skills such as leadership, accountability, organizational development, human resource management, financial responsibility, communication strategy, budget strategy, etc., while being assessed by a boss who is emotionally-objective.

And she would be paid too.

Civil society is undergoing a trial.

Overdue reforms need to be made – to Parliament, education, healthcare, enforcement institutions, and the civil service, as well as for the better administration of our national finance, racial and social justice, equality and inclusion, environmental sustainability; you name it; you know it.

Recommendations for reform, made by the Institutional Reforms Committee in 2018, are available but have been mysteriously kept from the public eye.

With each passing day of abundant talk but little action on the part of our ministers, civil society is fading. We can only take so much of “we are going to do this, and we are going to do that”. Good intentions are fine, but you know what they say about that proverbial road.

Our ministers tend to solve policy errors with denials and spin. Unjust laws are still being used against our youth for holding music gigs, whistleblowers and those who make official reports about the commission of election offences.

Criminal cases have been withdrawn by enforcement agencies without proper explanation. The attorney-general’s prosecutorial discretion continues to be absolute and his conflicting roles as legal adviser to the government and the public prosecutor remain unchanged. The anti-hopping law is nebulous.

Sometimes it feels like we are walking a tight rope without a balancing pole.

We are already paying the price for realpolitik being forced down our throats. Our expectations have been somewhat lowered. We are half-happy. We are anxious all the time with the sword of Sheraton hanging over us.

We understand it is hard for anyone to be in the tenuous position of preaching anti-corruption while a choir of crooks sing from the same pulpit.

Hence, we bend backwards to justify the inconsistencies, to forgive readily.

But it would be difficult for us to accept any intransigence that is an obvious betrayal of fundamental principles. Nepotism is one.

While we have come to expect impunity from previous “un-Madani” governments, we have sacrificed too much to accept the same from this one.

If Anwar does not defend the very principles upon which civil society depends, how can he expect others to do so?

As we applaud the many things PMX is trying to do and the wonderful words he constantly says, we must also raise our voices against his mistakes and oversights.

The democratic civil society that we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the inconsistencies, intolerance and inertia that have set in among our leaders.

Police can’t prevent anyone from lodging a report, says ex-IGP

Police can’t prevent anyone from lodging a report, says ex-IGP

Former IGP Musa Hassan said a person prevented from lodging a police report could file a complaint with the integrity and standard compliance department.

PETALING JAYA: The police cannot stop anyone from lodging a report just because of the complainant’s choice of attire, says a former top cop.

Former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan said the police should not be “chasing” away those who want to lodge a report as it was their duty to help the public.

“If it is an emergency, it doesn’t matter what she wears. She is a victim, so the police have to allow her to make a report,” he told FMT.

Musa was referring to a recent incident in which a woman who intended to file a police report following a car accident was refused entry into the Kajang police station due to her attire.

The woman was dressed in Bermudas, which she claimed covered her knees. However, Kajang police later insisted that the shorts were above her knees.

Musa also said any officer who prevented anyone from lodging a report would be committing a disciplinary offence.

“People can report (the matter) to the integrity and standard compliance department so that action can be taken against such officers.”

He added that Bukit Aman should issue a directive to all police stations, instructing them to allow anyone to lodge a police report regardless of their attire.

Meanwhile, All Women’s Action Society senior programme manager Lilian Kok noted that Azalina Othman Said, who was then a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had clarified in 2015 that there was no dress code for the public when dealing with government departments and agencies.

Nonetheless, Kok said this should be made clear to all civil servants again through briefings or circulars, adding that government departments and agencies were expected to deliver quality services instead of chastising the public for their attire.

“Administrators of hospitals and police stations must be very clear with their employees about their duties in dealing with emergency situations,” she said.

She also said there was no room for moral policing of any kind in places that provided public service, or under any circumstances involving matters of life and death.

“Bear in mind that dress codes are just guidelines and not laws. As such, services cannot be denied to you solely on the basis of your attire,” she said.

I had to save Umno from enemies within the party, says Zahid

I had to save Umno from enemies within the party, says Zahid

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there was a need to prevent any attempt to destabilise the current unity government.

PETALING JAYA: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he had no choice but to purge the party of enemies within it.

Zahid said while he could accept differing views, he would not compromise when it comes to those who questioned Umno’s integrity.

He said Umno was under attack internally and as someone who had been entrusted to lead the party, he needed to put a stop to it.

“The party has to be saved. It cannot afford to have thorns in the flesh,” he said in an interview with Bernama.

His comment came in the wake of the sacking of former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and former Selangor Umno chief Noh Omar.

Former vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein and former information chief Shahril Hamdan were handed a six-year suspension.

They were accused of breaching party discipline.

However, they claimed the action taken against them did not follow proper procedures.

Separately, Zahid, who is also the deputy prime minister in the unity government, said a “firewall” needed to be erected to prevent any attempt to destabilise the administration.