Friday, September 25, 2009

Migrants die in detention

KUALA LUMPUR (Malaysia) - AN OFFICIAL says six Myanmar migrants have died while in detention in Malaysia because of a suspected waterborne disease caused by rat urine.

The immigration department official says the six men - detained for being in Malaysia illegally - fell ill last month. They died in hospital days later. All six had complained of severe internal aches.

The official said on Friday the detainees were believed to have contracted leptospirosis, a disease from water contaminated by rat urine.

He said the detainees likely contracted the disease in another centre. They were transferred together with some 700 others after a riot there.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing protocol. -- AP

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corruption-free candidate, Ada Ka??

Umno should pick a candidate who is free of money politics for the Bagan Pinang state by-election, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

Where can we find one????. Oh yes! find them at the graveyard. The only UMNO branch without any corruption - UMNO CAWANGAN KUBUR

He believes that the Barisan Nasional can win the by-election on Oct 11 with a big majority because the seat is an Umno's stronghold.

Having corruption-free candidates would be a very important factor in Bagan Pinang as well as in the next general election, he told reporters after attending Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan's Aidilfitri open house in Rantau here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Official Secrets Act

Today, we are going to reveal the 18-page Cabinet paper on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco that has thus far cost the Malaysian taxpayers RM12.5 billion of our hard-earned money. Not only three Prime Ministers, but the entire Cabinet was briefed about the status of the project. In the end, the Cabinet endorsed what was going on rather than bring to book those responsible for the disaster that need not have happened. Be reminded that this Cabinet paper is covered by the Official Secrets Act, which means it is a crime to be in possession of it.

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Thursday, September 17, 2009

‘Something not done right’

KUALA LUMPUR: The committee set up to investigate the collapse of Jaya Supermarket in Section 14 in Petaling Jaya found “something not done in the right way.”

A report with findings on the cause of the collapse and the parties involved in the incident was submitted to the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Also in the report were recommendations to strengthen laws and regulations on building demolition to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the committee -- comprising engineers, police, firemen, architects and others -- took three months to come out with its report.

He said the cause of the collapse had been identified but declined to reveal details.

“A building hass to be systematically demolished and if something goes wrong, that means certain things were done not in the right way,” he told a press conference at his office here on Wednesday.

He said his ministry was coordinating the report but it was up to the relevant agencies to take further action against those responsible, if any.

“They have to identify if any parties involved in the demolition works have to bear the responsibility, after seeking legal advice,” he said.

He did not mention which agencies would be taking that role, but it is believed that the Department of Occupational Safety and Health as well as Petaling Jaya City Council were among those involved.

Kong said the stop-work order at the site was still enforced until further notice.

He said the Construction Industry Development Board and Sirim were working on strengthening existing laws and regulations on building demolition.

“They have to come out with standard procedures and proper methods of demolition for different types of buildings,” he said.

He said they were also looking into tightening the requirements for re-development projects.

On May 28, part of the seven-storey iconic Jaya Supermarket in Petaling Jaya collapsed during demolishing works, killing seven construction workers.

Lawyer sues Govt, MACC, cops, newspaper and journos

KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer defending a senior police officer filed a suit at the High Court Registry against 17 defendants from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the police, Utusan Malaysia and its journalists and the Government of Malaysia.

Rosli Dahlan, who is defending Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusoff on Anti-Corruption Act charges brought against him on Nov 2 two years ago, claimed general damages for RM20mil and exemplary and/ or aggravated damages for RM30mil with interests as well as costs for conspiracy.

He is also claiming general damages, exemplary and/ or aggravated damages with interests as well as costs against five defendants for the tort of defamation, and also claimed likewise against six defendants for the tort of assault and false imprisonment.

He also claimed against the Government for the torts of conspiracy, defamation, assault and false imprisonment.

In his statement of claim, Rosli, a partner in a leading law firm, said that following Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s (now the Inspector-General of Police) emnity with Ramli in 2007, the defendants or any two or more of them and Musa, conspired and combined together wrongfully and with the intention of injuring him and/ or causing loss to him by destroying his reputation and integrity.

Rosli claimed that he was victimised for having advised Ramli and Datuk Johari Baharom who were made joint chairmen of a Cabinet Committee and Special Task Force to combat the menace of illegal money-lending in December, 2006.

He claimed that he was unlawfully, improperly and without cause served with a notice on July 17, 2007 and again on August 16, 2007 by two different ACA (now the MACC) officers on the directions of a senior officer.

He also claimed that six other ACA officers illegally arrested him and did an illegal and improper search of his financial position.

He also claimed that the conspiracy also included defamatory articles in Utusan Malaysia, The Star and the News Straits Times linking him with a senior police officer allegedly with assets valued at RM27mil.

He said he was also defamed in an Utusan article that appeared on Oct 12, 2007 following the caption “Peguam polis gagal isytihar harta didakwa hari ini” (Police lawyer who failed to declare assets charged today).

Although Utusan had published an apology last year, Rosli said they failed to disclose the source of their information.

He also claimed that he was wrongfully arrested, kicked, had his arms twisted and his wrists handcuffed behind his back in full view of the staff members of his firm and detained in the ACA’s lock-up overnight without bail and access to his lawyers.

He named Utusan (Melayu) Malaysia Bhd, Utusan editors Mohd Zaini Hassan and Abdul Rahim Lajis, its reporter Ruhaidini Abdul Kadir, the then ACA deputy director general Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed, ACA deputy director of Investigations and Prosecution Anthony Kevin Morais, ACA officers Saiful Ezral Arifin, Azmi Ismail, Azam Baki, E. Sok One, M. M. Mohan, Moses Lawrence, Augustine S. Manson and Mohd Ridzuan Bahrin as respondents.

He also named Deputy Public Prosecutor Dzulkifli Ahmad, Bank Negara financial intelligence unit manager Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar and the Government of Malaysia as defendants.

The statement of claim was filed on behalf of the Plaintiff by Messrs. Kumar Partnership.

Ex-Immigration DG graft trial

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in the bribery trial of a former Immigration director-general asked for a “short cut” after the prosecution took two days to tender documents for identification.

Lead defence counsel Datuk V. Sithambaram said there were already documents submitted on the application of workers, the levies paid and the visas issued, adding that he did not see how further submission of documents would help the court.

“This is a bribery case and not a case on the procedures taken by the Immigration Department.

“There is no need to further show that there were approvals for the entry of Bangladeshi workers when the permission slips had been submitted as evidence earlier,” he said when witness Ayub Abd Rahman took the stand to identify 21 application forms.

Ayub was testifying at the trial of Datuk Wahid Md Don, 57, who is charged with agreeing to accept RM60,000 from businessman Datuk Low Chang Hian as part payment to expedite approvals for 4,337 visa applications for Bangladeshis to enter the country.

Wahid is accused of committing the offence at his house in Jalan Lembah Ledang, off Jalan Duta, at 10.15pm on July 10, 2007.

DPP Mohd Jazamuddin Ahmad Nawawi then explained that the accused faced charges of expediting the approval of visa applications.

He said the application process had to be shown to the court because these were procedures that had to be followed before the visas were approved.

“We cannot submit it halfway or have a short cut. We know it involves a lot of documents but it is a process that must be followed,” he said.

Sessions Court Judge Rosbiahanin Arifin said she would leave it to the prosecution but said it should also bear in mind the defence counsel’s point.

On Wednesday, 118 documents — application forms, permission slips and temporary approval letters — were tendered. Another 155 temporary approval letters are to be tendered on Thursday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Both MCA sides agree to single EGM

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA will have only one extraordinary general meeting (EGM) by Oct 11 following an amicable solution reached by both camps after a five-hour discussion at Wisma MCA on Monday.

It was also decided that the five proposed resolutions submitted by supporters of sacked deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek will be adopted in the EGM.

Party secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng said he would fix the date and issue a notice of the EGM on Sept 16 to all central delegates based on Articles 30.1 and 30.3 of the party constitution.

Wong said the concensus was reached during the meeting which started at 3.30pm in the best interests of the party and the central delegates.

“President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has agreed to adopt in toto the five motions proposed by the requisitionists,” said Wong at a press conference held at Wisma MCA at 8.30 pm.

The proposed resolutions submited by supporters of sacked deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek are:

> That the members of the general assembly have no confidence in the leadership of president Ong.

> That the presidential council’s decision on Aug 26 in accepting the recommendation of the disciplinary board and the subsequent decision of the central committee (if any) to expel or suspend Dr Chua is annulled.

> Dr Chua be rightfully restored as deputy president of MCA.

> The appointment made by the central committee, including that of deputy president of MCA, be revoked.

> There shall be no disciplinary action taken against any or all of the requisitionists by the disciplinary board, the central committee or the presidential council.

Central delegates would vote on each proposed resolution during the EGM, Wong said.

MACC quizzes Dr Khir

PUTRAJAYA: Former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo had a six-hour interview with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the purchase of his huge bungalow and the alleged abuse of funds from an association formerly headed by his wife.

It is learnt a senior officer interviewed Dr Khir about the two cases shortly after he arrived at the MACC office here at about 8.30am.

Dr Khir was believed to have used the basement entrance to enter the office and left at 2.30pm unnoticed by pressmen waiting outside.

Deputy director of investigation Sazali Salbi said the MACC was investigating Dr Mohd Khir over the purchase of his palatial mansion in Section 7 Shah Alam as well as alleged abuse of Balkis (Wives of Selangor elected representatives association) funds.

“We will study the contents of his statement and pass it to our officers in the legal and prosecution department for further action.

“If we feel there is a need for us to call him again we will do so,’’ he said, adding that Dr Mohd Khir cooperated with his officers.

The MACC started investigating the former mentri besar following allegations made in a blog, as well as that by DAP Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Swee Lim who claimed the palatial mansion in Section 7 was worth about RM24mil.

Dr Mohd Khir has denied his mansion cost RM24mil as claimed.

He said he bought the place for RM3mil and has denied any wrongdoing in the purchase of the house as well as any alleged malpractice involving Balkis funds.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Barisan Nasional biggest financial scandals

KUALA LUMPUR - A CONFIDENTIAL report by a government-appointed task force probing one of Malaysia's biggest financial scandals has identified serious breaches on the part of several government officials, including a former minister.

The breaches led to billions of dollars in losses at a tottering state-owned transhipment hub, the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ).

The yet-to-be-released report, which will be discussed at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, singles out former transport minister Chan Kong Choy; Madam O.C. Phang, the former general manager of the Port Klang Authority; and board directors of the port agency, for not carrying out their duties with adequate care. More

Friday, September 4, 2009

Police freeze Kuala Dimensi bank account

PUTRAJAYA: Police have frozen the bank account of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the turnky developer of the Port Klang Free Zone, now mired in controversy.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan briefed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on Friday that the account with more than RM140mil was frozen on Thursday.

Najib was briefed by a special task force on PKFZ on Friday.

Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat was present at the hour-long briefing.

The task force is headed by senior lawer Vinayak Pradhan from legal firm Skrine and is assisted by Skrine partner Lim Chee Wee, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Advisory Services (PwCAS) managing director Chin Kwai Fatt and PwCAS senior executive director Lim San Peen.

Earlier reports quoted Port Klang Authority chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng as saying that there was possible conspiracy among five parties over the PKFZ scandal and that various parties had made disputed claims amounted to about RM1.5bil from the project.

He had named the five as Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, its CEO Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, former PKA general manager Datin Paduka O.C. Phang, BTA Architect and the consultant for development work Bernard Tan Seng Swee.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Six months after tree assembly, Pakatan assembles in hotel

IPOH, Sept 2 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Speaker V Sivakumar convened a Perak state assembly “sitting” today at the Heritage Hotel here with 23 other state lawmakers after they were forcibly stopped from entering the state secretariat building this morning.

The sitting, while slammed by Barisan Nasional (BN) as a political ploy, is a move by PR to maintain the stand that it still legitimately controls the legislature nearly nine months after a controversial power grab that is still being disputed.

Sivakumar, who also maintains that he is the legitimate Speaker, presided over the assembly with no BN assemblymen present, even though sitting was arranged for them.

Earlier, police arrested three Perak lawmakers this morning, including state DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham, as they forcibly blocked a group of PR representatives from entering the state secretariat building here to convene a state assembly sitting.

The PR lawmakers, including former mentri besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, who was ousted by BN in the power grab, were engaged in a scuffle with riot police before eventually dispersing.

Besides Ngeh, others arrested included Simpang Pulai assemblyman Chan Ming Kai; Malim Nawar representative Keshvinder Singh, who was kicked by policemen; and a Nanyang Siangpau photographer.

Three other members of the public, believed to be PR supporters, were also detained.

Keshvinder, who sustained injuries during the scuffle, has been taken to hospital.

Police had rolled out barbed wire and placed riot police with water cannons around the Perak state assembly, brandishing a court order barring assemblies within 30 metres of the area.

PR lawyers had tried in vain this morning to set aside the court order, but could not obtain an appointment with any magistrate.

Sivakumar had called for the sitting six months — as required by law — after the last sitting that was forced to be held under a rain tree.

The Pakatan Rakyat government fell last February when three lawmakers quit to turn independent in the 59-seat assembly, locking both Pakatan and Barisan Nasional with 28 lawmakers each.

The Perak ruler asked Pakatan mentri besar Nizar to quit the post but he refused, saying only the state assembly could force his resignation.

The Sultan also rejected Nizar’s advice to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh elections, and instead named BN’s Pangkor assemblyman Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new mentri besar.