Friday, September 30, 2022

Umno 'Top 5' convenes ahead of supreme council meeting

Umno 'Top 5' convenes ahead of supreme council meeting

Umno’s top five leaders have finally met at the party headquarters this afternoon, ahead of the party’s supreme council meeting scheduled for 8pm tonight.

A photograph depicting the five was shared by Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin on his Facebook page this afternoon.

The top five were supposed to have met on Sept 17 but it was postponed to today due to scheduling conflicts.

It is widely expected that the top five will discuss the election date.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been very vocal about holding elections this year.

Opposition parties, however, have been urging Prime Minister and Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob to only hold elections after the monsoon season is over.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (left) and Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob

The top five is an informal group. Ultimately, it is the supreme council - which normally meets on the last Friday of the month - that decides on party policy.

Typically, supreme council decisions are made public soon after the meeting. On occasion, they are announced the next morning.

The Dewan Rakyat is currently scheduled to reconvene on Monday (Oct 3), amid widespread speculation that Parliament would be dissolved soon.

Ismail Sabri’s government is also scheduled to table a budget for 2023 next Friday (Oct 7).

PM orders criminal investigation against ex-AG Tommy Thomas

PM orders criminal investigation against ex-AG Tommy Thomas

The investigations on former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas will be conducted under Sections 124(1) and 203A of the Penal Code, Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and Section 3 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Friday, 30 Sep 2022 5:03 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has directed that immediate investigations for possible wrongdoing be taken against former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas over the latter’s memoirs.

The prime minister said this was based on the report of the special task force investigating the matter, which was presented to the Cabinet today.

In a statement, Ismail Sabri said the investigations will be conducted under Sections 124(I) and 203A of the Penal Code, Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and Section 3 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009.

“The report was prepared by this team within nine months, since December 2021 to August 2022, detailing each of the allegations mentioned by Thomas in his book titled ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness’.

“Based on the investigation conducted, the team categorised 19 important issues detected in book the into four main topics,” said Ismail Sabri.

The four topics were allegations against the judiciary; the disclosure of government information and secrets; wrongful acts, abuse, and negligence; as well as seditious statements.

On August 29, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the special task force the appointed last year had met 10 times between December 23, 2021 and April 12.

Wan Junaidi said the meetings involved discussions and consultations with relevant individuals and agencies such as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), Royal Malaysia Police, Judicial Services Commission, Office of the Chief Registrar Federal Court of Malaysia, Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry.

The special task force is chaired by Sarawak state legal adviser and former Sarawak state attorney general Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung.

Thomas was appointed as the AG after Pakatan Harapan won the 2018 general election, and resigned after the administration collapsed in February 2020 due to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as the prime minister.

In January, Thomas wrote to Chung and said he has no intention of cooperating with the investigation as the task force’s creation is not only unprecedented but without legal basis, and potentially jeopardises the independence of the AGC.

After Thomas published “My Story: Justice In The Wilderness” in January last year, more than 100 police reports were made against him, most of which were by Umno members.

Ex-research assistant files appeal over counterclaim by Anwar

Ex-research assistant files appeal over counterclaim by Anwar

Yusoff Rawther alleges that Anwar Ibrahim had sexually assaulted him at the PKR president’s home in Segambut in October 2018. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A former research assistant to Anwar Ibrahim has appealed against a High Court decision dismissing his application to cancel several paragraphs in the PKR president’s statement of defence and counterclaim.

Yusoff Rawther filed the appeal at the Court of Appeal on Sept 28.

“The matter is set for online case management on Dec 27, his lawyer, Mahajoth Singh, told Bernama.

Yusoff is appealing against a decision by judicial commissioner John Lee, made on Sept 9, dismissing his application to cancel several paragraphs in Anwar’s statement of defence and counterclaim.

It was in relation to a lawsuit he filed against Anwar on July 14, 2021, alleging sexual assault by the PKR president four years ago.

In his statement of claim, Yusoff alleged that the sexual assault took place on Oct 2, 2018 at Anwar’s residence in Segambut.

He claimed that as a result of the incident, he was accused of plotting to bring down Anwar and damaging his political career, and this affected his mental health.

He is seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages, and interest, costs and other relief as deemed fit by the court.

Zahid brands flood concern a ‘myth’, claims Pakatan dead set on delaying GE15 because Barisan has upper hand

Zahid brands flood concern a ‘myth’, claims Pakatan dead set on delaying GE15 because Barisan has upper hand

Zahid said the Opposition’s flood narrative was similar to the tactic it used in past state elections during the Covid-19 pandemic. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Friday, 30 Sep 2022 1:02 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today criticised Pakatan Harapan (PH) for playing up the public's concern about holding the 15th general election (GE15) during the flood season, branding the issue a 'myth'.

Zahid, who is currently facing several court cases, claimed the Opposition is attempting to buy time by delaying the election in the belief that its reputation can be restored and its popularity increased over time.

"Unlike Barisan Nasional (BN), they are not prepared for national polls by this year. The Opposition, including the ‘enemies’ of Umno and BN, know if Parliament is dissolved (by this year), they are not prepared to face the people," he posted on Facebook.

"When the Opposition does not have this advantage, efforts to delay the general election continue. So, let's not be fooled by such Opposition tactics that are still trying to build weak myths and narratives,” he added.

Under fire for lobbying for the GE15 to be held during the year-end monsoon season that had in previous years claimed lives and damaged properties, Zahid said BN has an advantage since the caretaker prime minister from the ruling coalition is still able to hold official meetings, including chairing the National Disaster Management meeting that handles floods.

"In terms of control over floods during the monsoon season, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob still has the power in his caretaker and interim government capacity if Parliament is dissolved to pave the way for GE15 by this year,” he said.

Zahid said in such a situation, it is difficult for the Opposition to highlight its role during the monsoon season.

"They will not be able to compete on a level playing field with BN being the interim ruling party after Parliament dissolves,” he said.

The Bagan Datuk MP said the Opposition’s flood narrative was similar to the tactic it used in past state elections during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As a result, the Opposition itself was punished by voters after they used the issue as a campaign to reject the Melaka, Johor and Sarawak state elections. The Opposition will face a repeat of this defeat for GE15,” said Ahmad Zahid.

The pandemic saw 36,369 Malaysians dead.

Umno's Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had on September 22 said that his ministry advised against a general election during the monsoon season due to flood risks.

A former Election Commission (EC) chairman also predicted that Malaysian taxpayers could have to pay up to an additional RM1 billion for the country’s 15th general election if the ruling coalition forces one in November or the heart of the yearly monsoonal floods.

Judge reduces man’s jail term from 1,050 years to 42

Judge reduces man’s jail term from 1,050 years to 42

KLANG, March 7, 2022: The High Court here has set aside a 1,050-year jail term imposed on a 33-year-old man for sexually assaulting his underage stepdaughter.

Judge Datuk Azmi Abdullah, when reducing the jail sentence to a total of 42 years said the earlier decision by a Sessions court judge was “illogical and emotional”.

He, however, maintained the maximum 24 strokes of the rotan allowed by the law as imposed earlier on the man.

Sessions court judge M Kunasundary had on Jan 27 last year ordered the man to serve 10 years in jail on each of the 105 charges, with the sentences to run consecutively from the date of his arrest on Jan 20.

The man, who was unrepresented during his trial, had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his 12-year-old step-daughter 50 times in 2018, 32 times in 2019, and 23 times in 2020.

He had committed the offences at a house in Sungai Way, Petaling, Selangor, from Jan 5, 2018 to Feb 24, 2020.

Azmi, who reversed the sentence to 14 years jail each for the offences, ordered the sentence to run consecutively for only three years, meaning the accused now only had to serve a total of 42 years in prison.


kt comments:

A BRUTE who raped his own 12-year old daughter 105 times in 3 years - The original sentence of 1050 years should have been retained if not increased. 

Respect decision to amend DAP constitution, Guan Eng tells Liu

Respect decision to amend DAP constitution, Guan Eng tells Liu

Lim Guan Eng (left) has brushed off Ronnie Liu’s ‘God save DAP’ remark, saying the party’s constitutional amendment is necessary to plug a ‘loophole’ in the anti-hopping law.

GEORGE TOWN: Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu should respect the decision of DAP delegates to amend the party’s constitution to terminate the membership of elected representatives who do not toe the party line on fundamental issues, says its chairman Lim Guan Eng.

This comes after Liu, a DAP central executive committee (CEC) member, said the party may no longer be “democratic”, and that he would have been removed from the party if the amendment had been in place in the past.

Liu had also said “God save DAP”.

Lim reiterated that the new sacking provision was to plug a “loophole” in the upcoming anti-hopping law, which allowed an MP to remain in his seat despite not being aligned with the party’s ideals.

“If you are serious about getting rid of political frogs, it is a necessary step. It is not just DAP, other parties are doing the same,” he said on the sidelines of an event here.

“There are some who hang on to be elected representatives. They defy party directives, yet they don’t leave the party.

“Those who continuously defy the party’s directive, behaving no different from Barisan Nasional, MCA or even Perikatan Nasional, but remain in the DAP, are they not a thorn in our flesh?

“It is a classic case of someone who looks like a frog, talks and sings like one, too, but they are not technically a frog since they didn’t resign.”

At a special congress on Sept 25, DAP approved a motion to amend its constitution to safeguard the party from this “loophole” in the anti-hopping law.

It follows a similar move by Pakatan Harapan’s component party, Amanah.

Why single out Penang, Guan Eng asks MACC chief

Why single out Penang, Guan Eng asks MACC chief

Lim Guan Eng, who was the Penang chief minister from 2008 to 2018, says he left an administration which had strong anti-corruption practices. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Lim Guan Eng today told Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki to refrain from making “unbacked claims of rife corruption” within the Penang government.

The DAP chairman and former two-term Penang chief minister said Azam was wading into politics by singling out Penang but disregarding other state governments.

Yesterday, Azam told Penang RTM’s Mutiara FM that since 2019, the MACC had received 919 complaints of Penang civil servants allegedly accepting bribes, abusing their power and making false claims.

Lim described Azam’s statement as “very unusual”.

He said it was strange for Azam to suggest that Penang civil servants had become more corrupt “since 2019”, adding that the MACC chief “must show proof”.

Lim, who was the chief minister from 2008 to 2018, said he left an administration which had “stellar anti-corruption practices”.

He said the state government was the first to receive praise from Transparency International.

He also said the auditor-general had commended the Penang government for its good work in battling corruption.

Lim also called Azam “delusional” for claiming that MACC was independent, after Azam said the anti-graft agency should not be parked under Parliament as doing so would put it under the control of politicians.

“Azam must be na├»ve to think the people are so gullible to believe that under him, MACC is free to investigate whoever it wants without having to ask anyone for permission,” he said.

“If that’s the case, why was only (Umno president) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi charged with corruption and not the other Umno leaders and ministers as revealed in the Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) ledger issue?” he asked.

Lim claimed that MACC had allowed itself to be used as a political weapon against opposition politicians, threatening them with cases for not supporting the government of the day.

“These cases will magically disappear when opposition MPs defect,” he said.

“No action was taken on his own shares issue. As long as Azam is there, MACC is not the solution to the problem but is now the problem.

“The only way MACC can be independent is by placing it under Parliament, not the Prime Minister’s Department.”

Muda finally in official talks to join Pakatan

Muda finally in official talks to join Pakatan

Top leaders from Muda and Pakatan Harapan's seat negotiations committee announced official talks for the former to join the Opposition coalition today. —

Friday, 30 Sep 2022 4:02 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Leaders from the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) have begun official talks with their counterparts from Pakatan Harapan in a move that could see the nascent youth-based party become the fifth component member of the main Opposition coalition.

The talks, announced through a joint statement by top leaders from Muda and PH's seat negotiations committee today, is expected to lay to rest the suspicion and public squabbling between the two sides that has spanned months, making the Opposition's pursuit for a unified bloc to stand against the Umno-led ruling coalition closer to reality.

“Pakatan Harapan and Muda held an official meeting to discuss the induction of Muda as a PH component member.

“This reflects a serious effort between PH and Muda to unite and galvanise the people’s aspirations and voice at the 15th general election. The discussion was smooth and positive. Issues that were raised will be conveyed to the top leadership at the presidential council meeting that is to take place in the near future,” the statement read.

Muda was represented by four people: its president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and his deputy Amira Aisya Abd Aziz; as well as vice-president Zaidel Baharuddin and information chief Luqman Long.

Representing PH were Bukit Mertajam MP and DAP's national organising secretary Steven Sim Chee Keong; Setiawangsa MP and PKR vice-president Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad; Amanah's youth wing chief Hasbie Muda; and the new president of Sabah-based United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation Datuk Ewon Benedick.

Muda's leaders sought to join PH earlier this month to avoid clashing with fellow federal Opposition parties in GE15.

Muda deputy president Amira stressed that the two sides had more in common than disagreement ideologically.

Amira’s statement came after news reports surfaced that some within the PKR ranks are suspicious of the young party and reluctant to accept it into their fold.

Waytha Moorthy says Loke Siew Fook should not ‘blow hot and cold as and when it suits him’

Support PM fully if people must make do with ‘chaotic’ govt, Waytha tells Loke

P Waytha Moorthy says Loke Siew Fook should not ‘blow hot and cold as and when it suits him’ on the issue of supporting the government.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Advancement Party president P Waytha Moorthy has called for Pakatan Harapan (PH) to give Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yakoob its full support if it believes that the public should accept the current government.

On Wednesday, DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook had said Malaysia must make do with the current “chaotic” government as it remains unfeasible to hold the general election (GE15) in the coming months.

While noting that it was crucial to elect a capable government to resolve the problems plaguing the nation, Loke said holding GE15 soon would only burden the people as the monsoon season was approaching.

In a statement today, Waytha said: “If there is a need to maintain a chaotic government, then the entire PH must give Ismail a blanket mandate to govern without hindrance until the situation is conducive for elections.

“Loke is degrading the intelligence of the people by blowing hot and cold as and when it suits him.

“While I agree the floods may be a factor, there are other pertinent justifications that must be considered.”

He noted the infighting between Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail, who is an Umno vice-president.

Umno and Bersatu are among the key parties in the coalition government that Ismail is leading.

Waytha, a former national unity minister, said that unless the government had a strong mandate to act boldly, it would not be able to tackle issues such as the rising cost of living, the weakening ringgit, and the economic problems faced by the B40 community.

“Under such circumstances, any leader would immediately call for a general election and seek the return of mandate to the rakyat in the larger interest of the country and its people,” he said.

He cited the example of the UK, where elections were not due until 2024, saying the opposition there were pushing for polls now due to the fall in the value of the pound sterling as a result of major tax cuts, rise in interest rates, and inflation.

Give details on corruption cases in Penang, CM tells MACC chief

Give details on corruption cases in Penang, CM tells MACC chief

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has asked the MACC to reveal the number of corruption-related arrests and convictions involving the state's civil servants since 2019.

This came after MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki's remark yesterday that cases of bribery, abuse of power, and making false claims among civil servants in Penang are worrying.

Azam did not provide a breakdown but said that 919 complaints on the transgressions were received from 2019 until now.

Responding to the remark, Chow in a statement today said that while Penang welcomes the MACC's investigations against corruption in the name of good governance, accountability, and transparency, the commission should, at the same time, reveal details of the purported crimes.

"No one is above the law and civil servants, whether from federal, state, or local authorities and agencies, found to be involved in accepting bribes, abuse of power, and making false claims must be investigated and charged as soon as possible.

"At the same time, the Penang state government wants the MACC to be transparent in revealing the number of cases brought to the courts and the number of civil servants found guilty," Chow said.

According to him further, the MACC should be transparent in the matter as the state administration does not want its image, and of its civil servants, to be tarnished only by account of the number of complaints received since 2019.

"The Penang state government is ready to work with MACC to ensure that officers involved in corrupt practices be dealt with severely."

'What's the justification?'

Meanwhile, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang also challenged Azam to give a detailed breakdown of the purported crimes.

"Has Azam the facts and figures to justify his statement? Which is the most, and least corrupt state in the country?

"The MACC chief should not make irresponsible statements against any state without facts and figures," the Iskandar Puteri MP said in a statement.

On Azam's remark that the MACC has received 312 information about accepting bribes and 147 on abuse of power in Penang, Lim dared the former to provide similar figures for other states in the country, complete with the time frame too.

"How many persons have the MACC charged in court for bribery and abuse of power in Penang, and what are the figures for the other states?

"This is one subject the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on agencies under the Prime Minister's Department should call up Azam to explain and elaborate," Lim said.

Azam fears political interference if MACC placed under Parliament

Azam fears political interference if MACC placed under Parliament

MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki has raised the concern of possible political intervention if the anti-graft agency is placed under Parliament for the sake of transparency.

He stressed that the MACC is already an independent body that can initiate investigations on its own without the need for permission from any parties.

Therefore, Azam said the graft buster’s status should be fiercely defended.

"If we were to put MACC under Parliament, it is likely that we will have to follow policies that are set by politicians at a time when people are calling for us to be free from political pressure,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today at an event in Penang yesterday.

With its existing position, Azam said the MACC does not need to act according to politicians' instructions when investigating.

"A senior minister texted me asking, ‘Am I being investigated?’ I replied, ‘Yes, thank you, sir’. After that there was nothing more," he added.

In comparison, Azam pointed out that MACC's counterparts in other countries which are placed under the legislative branch have to seek permission from the Senate or Parliament to investigate high-profile figures.

Citing Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's Foreign Visa System (VLN) case, he said when the Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd ledger emerged the MACC started investigating all the names mentioned without needing anyone to lodge a report.

"There are a lot of high-profile people on the list. Do I need to ask anyone to start investigating? No, MACC does not need to ask anyone. So, tell me, what is the problem with the present system?”

Instead of putting MACC under the purview of Parliament, Azam said it was more important to ensure the chief commissioner is not abruptly removed.

If a removal is needed, it should be subjected to a tribunal, such as practised in the removal of judges, he added.

However, Azam said the MACC is not against reform.

"We remain open if legislators want to make changes in Parliament (affecting MACC)," he added.

It was reported that the Senate Select Committee on Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption had proposed to place MACC under Parliament to further increase the community's level of trust and confidence in the anti-graft body.

Hamzah: Perlis to get MB from PAS if PN wins state in GE15

Hamzah: Perlis to get MB from PAS if PN wins state in GE15

Perlis will get a menteri besar from PAS if Perikatan Nasional (PN) wins the state in the 15th general election (GE15), said the coalition's secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin.

This, according to him, is because PAS is seen as a "big brother" to Bersatu in Perlis.

"PAS should guide Bersatu (in the coming election), and both parties should stop attacking each other as GE15 nears.

"So, what's wrong in the 'big brother' leading the state if we win GE15?" Hamzah (above) said this during a meeting between Perlis PN leaders at Hotel Seri Malaysia in Kangar, last night, as reported by Utusan Malaysia.

For the record, the current Perlis Menteri Besar is Azlan Man from Umno.

During the meeting, Hamzah also reportedly urged all PN members to not publicise their party's strategies on social media, to prevent their political foes from taking advantage.

Hamzah further claimed that more non-bumiputeras have started supporting PN as the election approaches.

"I'm proud to say that we can prove that no PN leader has been questioned of their integrity," he added.

The question of whether PAS reunites with its former ally Umno or remains with Bersatu in PN is expected to be known in the next few days.


kt comments:

Tempting PAS to stay on with PN, wakakaka

Just a trial balloon, say DAP insiders on talk of Ean Yong eyeing Klang

Just a trial balloon, say DAP insiders on talk of Ean Yong eyeing Klang

Charles Santiago is the current DAP MP for Klang while Ean Yong Hian Wah is the assemblyman for Seri Kembangan.

PETALING JAYA: The brouhaha over DAP stronghold Klang is just a move by a faction in the party to test the water for their man, according to party insiders who support Charles Santiago, the current MP for the constituency.

One of the sources told FMT that members of the faction were supporters of Ean Yong Hian Wah and they saw the Klang seat as a sure win for DAP.

On Tuesday, a news report quoted an unnamed source as saying Selangor DAP might replace Santiago in the next general election with Ean Yong, the Seri Kembangan assemblyman.

The report said Santiago would be offered a state seat in return. It claimed that 28 of the 42 branches in Selangor backed Ean Yong as replacement for Santiago.

Santiago has been increasing his majority in Klang in the three general elections since 2008. He won with a majority of 17,701 in 2008, 24,685 in 2013 and 78,773 in 2018.

“Santiago is always on the ground meeting the people,” said the insider. “He is known as the people’s man in the constituency as he constantly engages them. He has the support of all races.”

On Wednesday, reacting to the report about his replacement, Santiago said he had no plans to move from Klang and was focusing on the impending flood season rather than wasting energy commenting on the story.

Another insider said Ean Yong was eyeing the constituency to make it easier for him to win a seat. “Ean Yong was a two-term exco member in Selangor, but his track record has not been exemplary,” he said.

Ean Yong has apparently been meeting community and business leaders in Klang to gauge their views and possibly convey his desire to stand in the constituency. These groups play an important role in the outcome of an election.

“I was told most of these leaders have told Ean Yong they are comfortable with Santiago as he is not a populist like most other politicians,” the insider said.

He also said he suspected Ean Yong’s men “planted” the story in the media to gauge the reaction of the electorate and the DAP leadership.

Another source said the reaction on social media would be enough to prompt the DAP leadership to “stop rocking the boat in Klang”.

“For obvious reasons, some are also turning the whole debate into a racial issue,” he said. “This move, which may not have any basis, will be used by rivals to say, ‘I told you so. DAP is a Chinese party’.”

In the 2018 electoral roll, the constituency had about 55% Chinese voters, 26% Malays and 18% Indians.

DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook has denied that there is any seat swap plan involving Klang. The party has not finalised its candidates list, he said in a Facebook post.

The report about the move to replace Santiago has resulted in an outpouring of support for the Klang MP from netizens.

Twitter user @sivan82 said he would rather vote for Barisan Nasional if Santigao was replaced with Ean Yong, while @iamjoelee urged DAP to think hard before replacing him.

Another Twitter user, @Feekry4u, said he hoped the report was not true, while @adriantai claimed many Seri Kembangan residents were unhappy with Ean Yong’s performance as an assemblyman and wanted to “just vote MCA” again.

Putin to declare annexation of Ukrainian lands in major escalation of war

Putin to declare annexation of Ukrainian lands in major escalation of war

A view shows banners and constructions for a stage ahead of an expected event, dedicated to the results of referendums on the joining of four Ukrainian self-proclaimed regions to Russia, near St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia September 28, 2022. ― Reuters pic

Friday, 30 Sep 2022 7:16 AM MYT

LONDON, Sept 30 ― At a ceremony denounced by Ukraine as a “Kremlin freak show”, Russian President Vladimir Putin will proclaim the annexation of four Ukrainian regions today, escalating his seven-month war and taking it into an unpredictable new phase.

Putin will preside over a treaty-signing on “the entry of new territories into the Russian Federation”, three days after the completion of hastily staged referendums in which Moscow's proxies in the occupied regions claimed majorities of up to 99 per cent in favour of joining Russia.

Ukraine and Western governments described those votes as bogus, illegitimate and conducted at gunpoint. “The Kremlin's sham referenda are a futile effort to mask what amounts to a further attempt at a land grab in Ukraine,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday.

Moscow says people chose freely to return to their “historic motherland”.

The ceremony ― eight years after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine following an invasion and a similar vote ― will take place at 3pm (1200 GMT) in the columned St George's Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, where marble plaques engraved in gold commemorate Russian military heroes.

But despite the triumphal setting, the annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions comes at a perilous moment for Putin.

After months of grinding, attritional warfare, Ukraine seized the initiative this month by routing Russian forces in the northeastern Kharkiv region. Putin last week declared an unpopular partial mobilisation, prompting thousands of fighting-age men to flee the country. Even staunch Kremlin allies have criticised the chaotic nature of the call-up, and Putin himself said on Thursday that “all mistakes must be corrected”.

Nuclear threat

While it holds the vast majority of Luhansk and Kherson regions, Russia controls only about 60 per cent of Donetsk and 70 per cent of Zaporizhzhia, where fighting has raged close to Europe's biggest nuclear plant.

The hurried annexations mean front lines will now run through territory that Russia is declaring as its own, and which Putin has said he is ready to defend with nuclear weapons if necessary.

Some Western politicians called that a bluff ― something Putin explicitly denied. The United States says it has warned Russia of catastrophic consequences if it did use a nuclear weapon.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said yesterday that the Kremlin event was a “freak show”, and legally meaningless. “Non-existent entities cannot enter a country which is disintegrating,” he said on Twitter.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said if Moscow proceeded, it would have “no legal value and deserves to be condemned”.

Kirill Stremousov, a Russian-installed official in Kherson region, published a video of himself next to Red Square, declaring: “Victory is ours. We are Russia.”

The Kremlin has not yet said whether Putin will attend a celebratory concert on the square on Friday evening. He is due to address parliament separately at a later stage, paving the way for it to ratify the annexation process on or before October 7, when he marks his 70th birthday. ― Reuters


kt comments:

Israel occupied the Golan Heights in 1967 and annexed it in 1981. But the international community considers the Golan Heights to be Syrian territory held under Israeli occupation. Only
 the US accepts Israel's annexation and in 2019, became the first country to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territory.

Soon Israel will annex all of Palestine, and again, as predictably guaranteed, the US will once again blindly accepts whatever atrocities Israel perpetuates.

GE15: Which “traitor” has Anwar trained his guns on?

GE15: Which “traitor” has Anwar trained his guns on?

OPPOSITION leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said last night that he will be setting his sights on parliamentary seats of those who had betrayed Pakatan Harapan (PH) come the 15th General Election (GE15).

The Port Dickson MP iterated that he wants to choose such areas to send a message to those who absconded when the then 22-month-old Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration collapsed.

“I want to send out a message that these betrayals, in politics and life, are a matter that cannot be accepted well. You betray the trust; you betray the people who elected you. You betrayed for the sake of money and position. So, I will most likely select areas … seat of traitors,” he pointed out.

But which traitor, exactly?

Recall that in Feb 2020, former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali led 10 MPs in an event dubbed the “Sheraton Move” (dubbed “Langkah Sheraton”) which later saw the fall of the former PH government after only 22 months.

At the time, Azmin led his faction of lawmakers and supporters – dubbed the “Cartel” – out of PKR to throw their support behind Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) which abandoned PH to partner with the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and seize control of the Federal Government.

As a result, PKR had in March 2022 sacked some 11,000 members aligned with Azmin, a move that party secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said was “necessary action” to weed out individuals who had been working hand-in-glove with “traitors”.

So, who exactly is Anwar training his sights on in the upcoming GE15?

Among the seats mentioned were those held by Azmin (Gombak), Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang), Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (Indera Mahkota) and Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara Kumar Ramanaidu (Segamat).

Azmin is currently International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister while Zuraida, Saifuddin and Edmund Santhara are Plantation Industries and Commodities, Foreign Affairs and Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministers respectively.

Earlier this month, Anwar said although his supporters and constituents in the Negri Sembilan seaside constituency have asked him to remain in Port Dickson, other supporters have asked him to represent them in their areas.

At that time, Anwar said potential seats included the Tambun parliamentary constituency in Perak which is currently held by Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu who is also currently the Youth and Sports Minister.

But whichever seat that Anwar chooses to contest, it goes without saying that Anwar should exercise caution despite some of the seats being dubbed “sure wins” for the party and/or coalition.

After all, as one Twitter commentator said, “The world can change, and so can people”, and with the battle lines pretty much blurred heading into GE15 you can bet your last penny that there is no such thing as a “sure win”. – Sept 29, 2022


kt comments:

And wherever Anwar competes, you can bet your bottom dollar "someone", indeed especially "Someone" will be taking measures and investing in Anwar's loss in GE15, wakakaka.

We can’t reveal AGC’s orders on judge Nazlan’s case: Azam Baki

We can’t reveal AGC’s orders on judge Nazlan’s case: Azam Baki

Chief commissioner comments on news of investigation papers being in possession of MACC

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Tan Sri Azam Baki has refrained to comment on the instructions from the Attorney-General’s Chambers regarding the concluded investigation into judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who delivered a guilty verdict on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s SRC International case. – The Vibes file pic, September 29, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki will not disclose instructions from Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) on the completed investigation into judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

He said he will refrain from commenting on the matter, reported Free Malaysia Today.

“We have completed our investigation. As I have said before, I am unable to announce what further instructions we (will) receive from the AGC,” he was quoted as saying.

It was reported in early September that the investigation papers in the Court of Appeal judge were returned to MACC after the attorney-general (AG) said they were not with him.

Azam had said it was a normal process for the papers to be sent back to the agency repeatedly for further investigation, he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.

On August 21, AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun said the papers on Nazlan were not with his office.

This came after Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan urged MACC to clarify whether there was a case against Nazlan, while insisting that AGC should state if there would be any further action taken on submitted investigation papers.

This follows developments in Najib’s final appeal in the Federal Court on his SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption conviction, wherein the apex court refused his application to adduce new evidence pertaining to the alleged conflict of interest involving Nazlan.

On May 21, MACC in a statement said it was up to AGC – seeing that the anti-graft agency had completed its investigation of Nazlan, including collecting relevant evidence in accordance with established guidelines and procedures.

Nazlan was the presiding high court judge in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s SRC International trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court which commenced in April 2019 and also delivered the guilty verdict in July 2020.

He was also the judge who convicted and sentenced Najib on charges relating to RM42 million belonging to SRC International in July 2020.

MACC was heavily criticised after it launched an investigation into Nazlan, with senior lawyers and politicians warning that it was an attack on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

The investigation on Nazlan was launched after three complaints were lodged on March 14, April 23, and April 27. – The Vibes, September 29, 2022

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Loke tells Liu to respect DAP's collective decision

Loke tells Liu to respect DAP's collective decision

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said Ronnie Liu should respect and not publicly question the anti-hopping amendment in the party’s constitution that was approved at the party’s special congress last Sunday (Sept 25).

This was after Liu, who is a DAP central executive committee (CEC) member, claimed the party “may not be democratic anymore” following the amendments.

In a weekly live-streamed talk show on DAP’s Facebook page last night, Loke stressed that the decision to amend its constitution was made by the CEC and approved by party representatives.

Therefore, Liu should not question nor challenge the collective decision made by the party, he said.

At the same time, Loke (above) revealed that Liu was the only CEC member who voted against the motion to amend the party’s constitution, adding that Liu did voice his disagreement during in early stages.

He said Liu has the right to disagree and this has been taken into account during the special congress.

However, Liu should respect and follow the party’s decision and uphold the principle of collective responsibility since the decision has already been made, Loke added.

“CEC practices collective leadership. When the decision is made, every CEC member has to follow and defend it.

“Then CEC brings it to the congress and lets the representatives debate and vote. So, on that day, there were only two (representatives) who voted against the motion, one of them was Liu,” said Loke.

‘Decision already passed in congress’

Loke clarified that he did not intend to curtail freedom of speech in the party but stressed the importance of collective responsibility to prevent any sabotage that could affect party operations.

He used the federal cabinet as an example, saying that all ministers are bound by the cabinet’s decision even if any minister disagrees with it.

DAP central executive committee member Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

“If you want to do so (criticise the decision publicly) then you should resign and quit. Then this (quitting) can be considered a principled decision.

“When the CEC makes a decision, CEC members should respect it. And now, it is already passed in the congress, you may keep your disagreement, you cannot question and challenge the decision anymore,” he said.

Loke also pointed out that since Liu does not have a legal background, the Sungai Pelek state assemblyperson was being unreasonable in challenging the decision that was discussed by the legal experts in their party.

He said the party’s constitution amendment committee included Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who are lawyers.

“So, he (Liu) as a CEC member who has no legal background claimed that this is unconstitutional.

“But do you want to listen to him or someone with legal background and experience?” Loke asked.

Amendment to sack party members

On Sunday, DAP moved to amend its party constitution to insert provisions stripping the membership of any of its MPs or state assemblypersons who do not follow party decisions.

The move was decided in connection with anti-party hopping legislation that was introduced into the Federal Constitution via a bill passed by the Dewan Rakyat on July 28.

The first amendment will see any member of DAP who is an MP, state assemblyperson, or appointed senator cease to be a party member if they fail to comply with directives issued by the party’s CEC.

The second amendment will add a provision that states the CEC may issue specific directives to any of its elected representatives at the Dewan Rakyat, state assemblies, or appointed senators.

However, on the next day, Liu claimed that only the Registrar of Societies could save the party from deteriorating into an undemocratic entity because of the above-mentioned amendments.

He said if the amendments had been in place in the past, he would have already been removed from the party since he had been vocal about various issues, such as the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad when Pakatan Harapan was in power, the handover of the premiership to Anwar Ibrahim, the arrests of 12 people over links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).

With the amendments, the CEC will have the right to issue any directive targeting any elected representative, he concluded.

“God save DAP,” said Liu


kt comments:

When DAP was adoringly  li;c;k=ing "Someone's" gulis, less than 10 DAP members (maybe even less) spoke out. They were Ramkarpal, Sangeet, Dr Boo and would you believe it, Ronnie Liu, proving he is a "salt of the earth" member of the once-respectful DAP.

We know the "inner coterie" were generally dumb acolytes (guli carriers) of the evil man, so taken by their new taste of cabinet power. Those who spoke up against their idol, like Ronnie did, were swiftly termed as "chauvinistic" by the DAP "inner coterie" for fear of offending their "grandfather" - mfer's

Klang seat swap rumour: Loke says candidates not finalised

Klang seat swap rumour: Loke says candidates not finalised

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook has denied the rumour that there is a seat swap plan involving the Klang parliamentary seat in Selangor.

He clarified that the party has not finalised their candidate list for the 15th general election (GE15).

This is in response to speculation of a seat swap where current Seri Kembangan state assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah was rumoured to replace current Klang MP Charles Santiago.

“The DAP top five committee on candidacy selection has not had a meeting yet and has not made any decision.

“This committee will only have a meeting after Parliament is dissolved. Maybe people might have some discussion on candidacy arrangements, but for now, DAP has made no decision yet.

“Therefore, what was said about the candidate (in Klang) are just rumours or maybe some grassroots opinion. DAP has not decided anything yet,” Loke (above) said in his weekly live-streamed talk show on DAP’s Facebook page last night.

Meanwhile, Selangor DAP chief Gobind Singh Deo said it will be up to the party to decide on the candidates and where they will contest.

“The question of which candidate is going to contest in which seat will be decided by the party when the election is called.

“At this point in time, that is all I can say so let’s wait and see what happens,” Gobind said to Malaysiakini when met at the Kuala Lumpur courthouse today.

Selangor DAP chief Gobind Singh Deo

Klang MP Charles Santiago yesterday said he has no plans to vacate the seat he has held for three terms just yet.

The purported seat swap plan was reported by The Star, citing sources.

Charles said he had not read the article but promised he would do so once he gets more important work out of the way.

The article alleges that Ean Yong has the backing of 28 DAP branches in Selangor to take over Klang.

The plan is reportedly to move Charles to the Bandar Baru Klang state seat, to take over from retiring incumbent Teng Chang Kim.

Late Sulu sultan’s heirs press US$15b claim, target Malaysian assets in Netherlands

Late Sulu sultan’s heirs press US$15b claim, target Malaysian assets in Netherlands

Malaysia has obtained a stay on the ruling pending an appeal, but the award remains enforceable outside France under a United Nations treaty on international arbitration. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Thursday, 29 Sep 2022 9:43 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Heirs of a late South-east Asian sultan today asked a Dutch court for permission to seize Malaysian assets in the Netherlands, their lawyer said, seeking enforcement of a US$15 billion (RM70 billion) arbitration award granted to them against Malaysia’s government.

The petition in The Hague Court of Appeal is an escalation of a long running dispute over a colonial-era land deal that threatens global assets of the Malaysian government and state-owned companies.

Malaysia’s government, which has said it does not recognise the heirs’ claim, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Dutch petition.

A French arbitration court in February ordered Malaysia to pay the US$15 billion sum — the second largest arbitration award on record — to the descendents of the last Sultan of Sulu.

Malaysia obtained a stay on the ruling pending an appeal, but the award remains enforceable outside France under a United Nations treaty on international arbitration.

The heirs of the sultan, who once controlled a territory spanning rainforest-covered islands in the southern Philippines and parts of Borneo island, asked the Dutch court to recognise and enforce the arbitration award.

The heirs wish to take “recourse against assets of Malaysia, which are located in the Netherlands”, according to a copy of the court petition shared by their lawyer.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the filing with Dutch court authorities.

“This filing in the Netherlands will soon be followed by other enforcement actions, of varying types, in multiple jurisdictions,” said lawyer Paul Cohen, a lead co-counsel for the sultan’s heirs from British law firm 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square.

“This may include immediate, direct attachment of specific Malaysian assets in The Netherlands and elsewhere,” Cohen told Reuters in an emailed statement.

The petition did not specify which assets.

Some of Malaysia’s biggest companies have operations in the Netherlands, including state oil firm Petronas and palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantations.

The companies had no immediate comment on the Dutch petition when contacted by Reuters.

In July, two Luxembourg-based subsidiaries of Petronas were seized by court bailiffs as part of the heirs’ effort to claim the award.

Petronas, which has described the Luxembourg seizure as “baseless”, has said it would take legal measures to stave off future seizure attempts in 44 countries where it had assets and limit the company’s funds kept abroad.

The dispute is over a deal signed in 1878 between two European colonists and the sultan for the use of his territory in present-day Malaysia — an agreement that independent Malaysia honoured until 2013, paying the monarch’s descendants about US$1,000 a year.

Kuala Lumpur stopped the payments after a bloody incursion by supporters of the former sultanate who wanted to reclaim land from Malaysia.

The heirs went to an arbitration court over the suspension of payments. Malaysia did not participate in nor recognise the arbitration. — Reuters

Contents of seized phone in Ebit Lew case not checked, says witness

Contents of seized phone in Ebit Lew case not checked, says witness

Ebit Lew (second from right) faces a jail term of up to five years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

TENOM: A police officer who seized a handphone from a witness in Ebit Lew’s sexual harassment case did not check the contents, despite knowing the case was linked to the preacher.

Salwani Hadzir, 40, told the magistrates’ court here that although she was informed the case involved Ebit, she was not aware that it was pertaining to alleged sexual harassment.

“I was only informed by the investigating officer DSP Noor Ashikin Shamsuri that the case involved Ebit Lew,” she told counsel Ram Singh during cross-examination at the preacher’s sexual harassment trial today.

However, Salwani said she had typed in Section 509 of the Penal Code on a set of three photographs of the handphone and SIM card that she seized from Fairuz Abu on Oct 5, 2021 at his house in Alor Setar.

Salwani, a staff officer with the Kedah police contingent headquarters criminal investigation department’s women and children section, agreed with the defence counsel that when she seized the handphone from Fairuz, she knew it contained relevant items with regard to a Tenom case.

Salwani also said she had read news articles on the accused via social media before she went to Fairuz’s house to seize his handphone.

During re-examination, the police officer said she did not inspect the contents of the seized phone as each case material is required to be sent to the police forensics department for analysis.

When asked by deputy public prosecutor Nor Azizah Mohamad why Section 509 was typed out on the labels of the pictures of the seized phone and SIM card, the witness said it was because the investigation being carried out involved that section.

The prosecution today also called its third witness, preacher Firdaus Wong, 39, who is also the founder and president of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as Multiracial Reverted Muslims.

He told the court that the complainant in the case was among several sexual harassment victims that his NGO had helped.

Ebit, 37, is facing 11 charges, including for insulting the modesty of a 41-year-old woman by sending her text messages containing lewd words between March and June last year.

The preacher, who was charged under Section 509 of the Penal Code, faces a jail term of up to five years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

The trial continues tomorrow.

Muda VP says “I’m a doctor”, KL Bar chair says “No, you’re not”

Muda VP says “I’m a doctor”, KL Bar chair says “No, you’re not”

A MALAYSIAN United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) leader who recently cleared the air over her credentials as a doctor has been accused of falsely presenting herself as a public health practitioner despite not having the qualifications to do so.

On Tuesday (Sept 27), MUDA vice-president Thanussha Francis Xavier took to Twitter to clarify that she had been accepted into an Ivy League university with her medical degree, a copy of which she shared as well.

This after a netizen, apparently upset over Thanussha saying minority communities in Malaysia were being sidelined in an interview about her post-graduate studies, accused her of “playing the victim card” and asked where she graduated from, noting that her name was not on the Malaysian Medical Council’s (MMC) registry.

According to news reports, Thanussha studied at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba, in 2010 under a scholarship. She completed her house officer training abroad.

She said on Tuesday that she did not end up submitting for registration as a doctor in Malaysia as she went into politics and because of the “ridiculous contract doctor system”.

She is currently pursuing a Master’s in International Relations at Columbia University in New York, US, after securing a scholarship from the US State Department.

However, Kuala Lumpur Bar chairman Vivekananda Sukumaran pointed out that Thanussha was not qualified to practice as a doctor in Malaysia as she did not complete the local house officer programme.

He also noted that the general definition of a “public health practitioner” refers to a person who conducts the daily work of public health on the front lines of federal, state and local health departments.

“You speak to the press as a public health practitioner when in essence, you’re not qualified to do so in Malaysia,” he said on Twitter, adding: “It’s not about the title you carry, so don’t spin the narrative.”

Vivekananda Sukumaran

Vivekananda also attached a screenshot of the Medical Act 1971, which stipulates, among others, that those who are not registered as doctors but willfully or falsely use the title of a doctor of medicine are guilty of an offence under the Act.

He further asked Thanussha to clarify an old ASTRO Awani Consider This poster of her and fellow MUDA co-founder Mathen Nair that recently made rounds on Twitter. Both were described on the poster as public health practitioners.

“Buck the hell up”

Vivekananda also urged MUDA president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to “buck the hell up”.

“Sorry @SyedSaddiq @partimuda, but you claim to (represent) the new (generation). If you have founders who this lazily (and) sarcastically address credibility issues in public, imagine how it would be if you’re in power!” he said.

As of press time, Thanussha has not responded to Vivekananda on Twitter.

Meanwhile, several MUDA leaders have come to the aid of Thanussha, including Mathen, who similarly uploaded a copy of his medical degree and gave similar reasons for not specialising:

Thanussha has also found an unlikely ally in Health director-general and MMC president Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who joined the debate by tweeting: “Not practising, it’s alright”.

In another reply to a user who asked if the title of public health practitioner can be used by someone not in practice, Noor Hisham said: “Meaning a person qualified as a public health specialist but not practising in this country.”

He has left other similarly cryptic tweets on the matter:

One such tweet was also deleted, leading netizens more confused than ever:

Interestingly, Noor Hisham issued a statement the very next day (Sept 28) to warn Malaysians to be wary of “certain parties” claiming to be registered medical practitioners or medical specialists, adding that no one can certify themselves as medical experts if their names are not in the MMC medical registry. – Sept 29, 2022