Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MACC arrests ex-sec-gen of ministry over RM10mil projec

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested a former secretary-general of a ministry for alleged graft involving a project worth more than RM10mil.

It is believed the 56 year-old Datuk, who was seconded to the Public Services Department pending investigations, was arrested at his office at about 10am Tuesday by a combined MACC task force headed by Penang MACC director Latifah Md Yatim.

Sources said the former secretary-general, who was alleged to have accepted kickbacks over a government grant for a technology project in Penang, is expected to be charged Wednesday.

They said MACC had been investigating the man from early this year and was also expected to slap him with no less then eight charges under the MACC Act.

A MACC statement later confirmed the deatils and said that he would be charged in Shah Alam.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jailed a day for RM5,000 bribe

SHAH ALAM: A sand-mining operator was sentenced by a Sessions Court here to a day’s jail and fined RM30,000 for giving a RM5,000 bribe to an assistant enforcement officer six months ago.

Lee Kui Sun, 47, was charged on May 8 with bribing Nor Zaini Ratiman, of the Hulu Langat district office, as an inducement not to take action against him for transferring and selling sand illegally.

He was accused of committing the offence at Sungai Long quarry in PN8602 Lot 7700 Hulu Langat about 7.30am on April 3.

He was charged under Section 17(b) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

During mitigation, Lee’s counsel Lim Kien Huat said his client, a father of seven, was only a subcontractor as well as being the sole breadwinner for his family.

According to the facts of the case, the MACC Putrajaya, Hulu Langat Land Office and Rela were in a joint operation to check the Sungai Long quarry about 4am on April 3.

During the operation, the enforcement team caught lorries carrying sand out of the area without permit.

About 7am, Lee had approached Nor Zaini and another enforcement officer Mohd Shahril Che Saad, admitted that the sand activities had been carried out without a permit and begged them to settle the matter there.

He then offered RM5,000 to Nor Zaini so that no action would be taken against him.

Lee insisted on giving the money although he was told it was wrong for him to do so, calling his wife to get the money.

The MACC enforcement officer arrested Lee after he handed the money to Nor Zaini.

Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah ordered Lee to be jailed six months if he failed to pay the fine.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Malaysia Boleh: Corruption Case

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA has said it will not prosecute a lawyer who featured in a sensational video where he appeared to broker judges' appointments.

The footage of lawyer V.K. Lingam, released by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 2007, unleashed a furore in Malaysia and cast a shadow over the reputation of the judiciary.

But cabinet minister Nazri Abdul Aziz told parliament on Wednesday that no legal action would be taken because an official probe into the affair had failed to turn up sufficient evidence or proper testimony.

'After (the anti-corruption authorities) investigated those involved in the Lingam tape, there was no evidence to show a criminal offence was committed in relation to abuse of power in the appointment of judges,' he said. 'Therefore the attorney-general's chambers decided there was no further action required.'

At a 2008 Royal Commission into the video, Mr Lingam said he was too drunk to remember the telephone conversation in which he appeared to discuss judicial appointments and also denied he had ever tried to influence the selection of judges.

In the phone call Mr Lingam purportedly assured Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, who was then a judge, that he would push him for a top position, with the help of a prominent businessman and a politician. Ahmad Fairuz went on to be appointed to the nation's number-two post and was quickly elevated to the top position of chief justice. He completed his term and stood down in 2007. -- AFP

RM42,320 for a laptop

KUALA LUMPUR: Who in their right mind would pay RM42,320 for a laptop?

Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara Balik Pulau in Penang not only paid the price but bought two units of the same brand – Acer Aspire-5052ANWXMI, at a whopping price of RM84,640, said the Auditor-General’s Report.

In addition, the college purchased 450 units of computer CAD with network card at RM3.45mil for 12 labs. Each 19-inch monitor costs RM8,500 while a 17-inch monitor costs RM7,500.

“A check with local companies showed that the market price for the latest model is between RM5,350 to RM6,500 each. Worse still the computers, Precision 390 Dell, that were supplied are no longer in the market,” it said.

Also purchased were 15 laser printers, Hewlet Packard P3005X, at the price of RM7,722 each when the market price was about RM5,000 per unit.

In reply, Mara said the equipment were purchased in a lump sump and there was no price breakdown for the laptops.

The price breakdown was only done after the equipment was supplied for the purpose assets record and it could not be used as a basis for reference.

“Nevertheless, Mara has created a task force and is conducting a price adjustment for all the equipment,” it said.

The report also stated that the college had paid between RM1,398 and RM2,945 for 204 teaching manuals.

“Checks found that the teaching manuals supplied were bound using comb binding. The teaching manuals obtained at a cost of RM358,476 is a waste because they were never used,” it said, adding that the supplier has been notified to provide the original version of the teaching manual in hard cover.

Mara also spent RM2.08mil buying computer software it didn’t need.

Audits also found many discrepancies in prices paid for the same equipment, including the same LCD projectors that costs RM3,500 and RM8,000 for two different laboratories.

“Swivel stools were also purchased at three different prices – RM340, RM350 and RM450 per unit and they did not even meet the agreed specifications in the agreement.

“Other swivel chairs were bought for between RM810 to RM1,050 per unit when the college had bought the same chair previously at RM336 per unit,” it said.

The report also stated that the German-Malaysian Institute which was picked as the consultant, had proposed a ceiling price of RM84.5mil for the purchase of equipment for the college while the Economic Planing Unit (EPU) fixed the price at RM127.65mil.

“The reason for the higher price was to speed up the process of obtaining the supplies. In the end the agreed contract was fixed at RM112.42mil. Mara had submitted a letter to the Finance Ministry to say that the figure was reasonable.

“Audit found that the agreed price for the purchase of equipment is not reasonable. This is because the approach taken by Mara did not fufill the criteria set by the Finance Ministry, which is to negotiate for the lowest price possible.

'Teoh was killed': Expert

Dr Pornthip, head of the Thai Central Institute of Forensic Science, outside the courtroom in Shah Alam yesterday. -- PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

KUALA LUMPUR - THE inquest into the mysterious death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock took a dramatic turn on Wednesday, after a well-known Thai pathologist said that it was most likely a killing.

Pathologist Pornthip Rojanasunand said the likelihood of a killing was 80 per cent.

Her testimony at the coroner's court is at odds with that of the two government-appointed pathologists involved in the inquest. They felt that Mr Teoh, 30, committed suicide.

Dr Pornthip was hired as an expert witness by the Selangor state government - which is ruled by the Pakatan Rakyat alliance - and her views yesterday suggested that he had suffered injuries before he fell to his death. He was then under detention by a federal anti-corruption commission.

She pointed out that Mr Teoh's skull fracture was not typical of an injury suffered from a fall. Instead, it appeared as if the skull was hit by a blunt force.

She added that, before his fall, Mr Teoh also suffered anal penetration and that he could have been strangled as there were bruises around his neck.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DAP man wants cops to probe graft allegations against MCA’s Liow

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 - Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng wants police to investigate MCA’s newly appointed deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai over graft allegations posted on the Malaysia Today website.
Giving Ringgit 500 million for ‘services rendered’ to your running dog? You have done it.

The website alleges an inappropriate relationship between the Health Minister and a company which has dealings with the ministry.

“We are lodging a police report today because we want to find out the truth ... whether the allegations posted on Malaysia Today on October 14 are true, or whether it is fabricated,” said Lim, who was accompanied by Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo-Burne at the Sentul police station here today.

Lim said he had waited till today to lodge a report because he wanted the health minister to answer the allegations. He claimed that after waiting for five days, no answer had been given by Liow (picture) over the matter.

“We have no concerns at all with MCA internal fighting. We don’t bother and do not want to interfere,” said the Pakatan Rakyat MP.

“It is understood that the letter was penned by a self-proclaimed “Ong Tee Keat Supporter.”

When asked why was the report not lodged with the MACC, Lim said that they were uncertain of the validity of the letter.

“We don’t know if it’s true. If it is, the police should forward the investigation to the MACC. If it is false, the police should take action against the publisher as well as the writer of the article.”

The Segambut MP felt that the letter looked authentic as it was very detailed, and this view was echoed by Kelana Jaya MP Loh.

“I hope that the police will do their job and come up with the facts. What we are asking for is a bit more transparency so that we know whether the allegations are true or not,” said Loh.

Media exaggerating PKR problems

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — PKR’s de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim played down today Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s six months’ leave of absence from the party, but conceded there were problems in the opposition party.

“He is still in the party and still in the leadership.” said Anwar, who added the former Umno law minister would be going to perform the Haj during his leave of absence.
Murder most foul. You have done it.

Anwar said he did not understand why Zaid's leave was being interpreted in such a negative manner.

“I concede, yes we have to address this, if there are issues to be discuss.” said Anwar, but he blamed the media for sending the negative signal that there was serious infighting in the party and that PKR was unravelling.

Anwar said the problems in PKR were not as major as those in MCA, MIC or even in Umno.

On Friday, Zaid said he would not be attending PKR political bureau meetings because he did not want to be “constrained” and instead wanted to concentrate on his primary purpose of establishing a common platform for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition.

PKR insiders have indicated that Zaid’s decision stems from infighting and his decision to visit Sabah where local leaders are in open revolt over PKR vice-president Azmin Ali's appointment as state chief.

"He (Zaid) is very much in touch with us. He is now in Sabah and later, will be joining the PKR president in Sarawak for a function," said Anwar, who was speaking at the Hari Raya open house of his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, the Lembah Pantai MP.

Anwar said there was no problem with Zaid being in Sabah.

He said the party’s stand was that national leaders should only attend functions organised by branches or divisions which had been endorsed by the state leadership.

Anwar said the reports about the open revolt in Sabah and Sarawak, where local PKR leaders oppose the appointment of Peninsular Malaysia-based vice-presidents Mustafa Kamil Ayub and Azmin as state leaders, were exaggerated and misleading.

He said the appointment of both leaders was a temporary measure and they have been given till the end of the month to obtain consensus on who locals want to lead them.

Meanwhile, Anwar said Zaid may have taken his leave of absence because he is under pressure to strengthen PR as a formal coalition which was the main priority entrusted to him.

“The leaders of all the component parties have agreed that this is our priority.”

However, he said no time frame has been set.

Anwar also denied the problems in PKR were contributed because he had taken his foot off the pedal by travelling overseas rather than handling party matters.

Anwar said he only started going overseas in October and that most of his trips were during the weekends and there was no disruption in his party’s affairs.

He defended his trips and said the international networking was important in the interest of civil society, democracy and international understanding.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

MACC closes case on Lunas assemblyman

ALOR SETAR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has closed its investigation on Lunas assemblyman Mohd Radzhi Salleh who was alleged to have made excessive claims amounting to more than RM148,000 in a 12-month period beginning in March last year.

Kedah MACC director Idrus Jaafar said the decision was made after the Commission found that the claims were valid.

“All his claims were supported with documents, witnesses and recipes and we did not find any ‘hanky-panky’ involved,” he said after the state MACC Raya Open House here on Thursday.

Who's The Real Traitor?

Idrus said that Mohd Radzhi, the former state Tourism, Community Development and Human Resources Committee chairman, was among four politicians in Kedah investigated by the Commission this year.

He said the investigation into the three others would end soon, but declined to elaborate.

In June, Mohd Radzi came out to say he was being investigated by MACC for allegedly making excessive claims.

The allegation was first raised in May by a blogger known only as “penyiasat persendirian” who said that Mohd Radzhi had made 36 trips to Langkawi between March 2008 and March this year, making a whopping RM148,922.65 in claims during the period.

Following the allegation, the state government was reported to have conducted an internal investigation.

On Aug 23, Mohd Radzhi announced that he had quit PKR and declared himself an independent, saying he had lost confidence in the party’s leadership.

On Aug 26, the Sultan of Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah consented to a request by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak to strip Mohd Radzhi of his post.

I did not force the bribe

IPOH: A prosecution witness told a corruption trial he did not force RM9,000 on a former Perak Tengah district councillor in exchange for help in obtaining a project in Seri Iskandar.

Businessman Mohamad Imran Abdullah, 34, whose testimony was based on a video recording shown in the Sessions Court here Thrusday, said PKR politician Usaili Alias did not push away the money that was handed over to him on the evening of Aug 11, 2008.

Mohamad Imran, who acted as the agent provocateur for the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), said he had recorded the transaction at the Excelsior Hotel coffee house here with a pinhole camera given to him by officials from the agency.
Who's The Real Traitor?

”I took out RM9,000 from my briefcase and counted the money into stacks of RM1,000 before handing it to Usaili.

”He did not refuse the money and I did not force him to accept it,” Mohamad Imran said, adding that ACA officer Norliza Musa, who was posing as his girlfriend, Usaili’s wife and Perak Development Corporation technician Ruslan Sahat were also present at the time.

Mohamad Imran was testifying against Usaili, 56, who with former PKR executive councillors Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, 57, and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, 52, former Perak Tengah district councillor Zul Hassan, 45, and businessman Fairul Azrim Ismail, 31, face various corruption charges over the proposed multimillion-ringgit development project.

They allegedly committed the offences to help Mohamad Imran obtain the project.

Ruslan was previously charged along with the five accused but the charges against him were dropped following his death in August.

Earlier, the court had watched from the same recording how Mohamad Imran handed over RM1,400 to Ruslan before Usaili and his wife arrived at the coffee house.

”The video shows me counting the money and handing it over to Ruslan. He put the money in his shirt pocket,” Mohamad Imran testified.

The court was shown a total of four video recordings during Thursday’s trial.

According to Mohamad Imran, the first recording was taken during a meeting with Ruslan at the same hotel on Aug 6, 2008, while the second was of their meeting at the First Coffee House here two days later.

Both recordings were made using pinhole cameras.

The third recording, made using a video camera from the ACA, was of a site visit at the location of the proposed project with Ruslan, Usaili and Zul on Aug 10, 2008.

Mohamad Imran told the court he had handed over RM1,000 to Usaili during the site visit but failed to catch it on tape as he was holding the video camera at the time.

Hearing before Judge Azhaniz Teh Azman Teh continues next Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Umno Youth chief proposes RM200 cash gift

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth has proposed that the Government gives a one-off RM200 cash gift for the firstborn of all families as an initial deposit to the National Education Savings Scheme Fund.

The movement also proposed that the Government gives a special discount for the purchase of national cars to first-time parents who have yet to own a car.

These are among the list of initiatives proposed by the movement to help alleviate problems faced by those who have only recently begun working and started their own families.

With numerous responsibilities to bear, including paying off study loans and looking after ageing parents, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the Government should provide certain incentives in order for these people to get a good head start.

In his first address at the Umno Youth annual general assembly on Wednesday, Khairy said the Government should also set up a fund to give housing loans with the lowest interest rates for the first few years upon marriage so that newlyweds could afford their own home.

The Government, he added, should also offer vouchers to parents with infants for purchases such as milk and diapers.

He said as an inclusive party, Umno Youth wanted to be the voice of the younger generation within and outside the party.

"This is what people-friendly should mean in Umno Youth," he said, adding that the list, which had been put forward by the movement in the run-up to the tabling of the 2010 Budget, was specifically geared to the needs of young people.

He said other suggestions include urging the Government to ensure increased job opportunities, especially in strategic sectors like service, information technology and biotechnology.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bagan Pinang: Indian Support For BN?

PORT DICKSON, Oct 10 - Indications are that Indian voters in the Bagan Pinang state constituency will help the Barisan Nasional (BN) win the by-election tomorrow, according to a member of the BN Supporters Club.

R. Nantha Kumar, former Kedah MIC chief, said this was based on the number of members the club had secured in the constituency.

He said the club was set up after many Indians, angry with the MIC, gave their support to the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), adding that the club provided a platform for the Indians who disliked the MIC to express support for the government.

Nantha Kumar said members of the club comprised people of all communities but the Indian members numbered about 2,000.

He said the Indians were disappointed with the PKR leadership which he claimed failed to fulfill its promises after the party had won in the elections, alleging that Teluk Kemang Member of Parliament Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas, whom the Indians had helped to win in the general election, never interacted with the constituents.

"Many now realise that the PKR will not help the Indians. They do not think the PKR will administer the country. Only the BN can help the Indians through Umno," he said.

Another club member, K. Sanjkaram, 32, said he joined the club after being disappointed with the unfulfilled promises of the PKR.

"The Indians have begun to have confidence in the credibility of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Previously, the support could have been 50:50 but now it looks like it is more than 60 per cent," he said.

The Bagan Pinang by-election is a straight fight between Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad of the BN and Zulkefly Omar of PAS. The by-election has been necessitated by the death of state assemblyman, Azman Mohd Noor of the BN, on Sept 4.

-- BERNAMA

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dr M wants MCA delegates to vote for a clean leader

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants MCA delegates to vote for a clean leader at the party’s extraordinary general meeting Saturday.

The former Prime Minister said leaders must be clean, adding that it was not the views of the leader’s supporters that were important.

“We have had tainted leaders who appeared to be accepted by the party but general election results will verify or reject the appearance of support,’’ he said in an interview with news portal, Malaysian Mirror.

He said “leaders must be as clean as possible and that it is not one’s supporters opinion that is important.”

Dr Mahathir was asked to give his comments ahead of the MCA EGM where 2,380 delegates will decide the fate of its two leaders, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

“MCA may go to greater heights under your leadership but acceptance by Malaysia’s multi-racial votes is more important,’’ he said.

Dr Mahathir said the winner needed to quickly accommodate those in the losing camp to ensure that the party regained its lost strength and be an “attractive” party again for the Chinese community.

Pahang MB need not pay RM63mil to logging company: Court

PUTRAJAYA: Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob need not pay the judgement debt of RM63mil to logging company Seruan Gemilang Makmur Sdn Bhd for breach of agreement, the Court of Appeal ruled.

Justice Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari, who sat with Datuk Sulaiman Daud and Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha, held that Adnan was wrongly named as the respondent in the judicial review proceeding at the High Court, initiated by Seruan Gemilang, to demand the judgment sum from the state government.

“We allow the appeal with costs, on the principal ground that a wrong entity was named as the respondent in the judicial review proceeding,” Zaleha said in her oral decision Friday.

However, the sum of RM63mil owed to Seruan Gemilang would still need to be paid as the decision would not affect the main judgement ordering the Pahang government to pay RM63mil made by the High Court in 2007, the court held.

Karpal Singh, for Seruan Gemilang, told the media later that he would file for leave to appeal against the Appeal Court’s decision next week, and would issue a fresh certificate to demand debt payment from the Pahang financial officer.

On April 20 this year, Adnan appealed against the Kuantan High Court’s decision, ordering him to pay RM63mil to Seruan Gemilang after allowing the company’s application for a writ of mandamus (compelling order).

Seruan Gemilang filed the mandamus application last year, saying that it had demanded the judgement sum with interest, through a solicitor’s letter, and had furnished an endorsement letter under Section 33 of the Government Proceedings Act 1956, but did not receive any payment.

On May 25, 2007, the Pahang Government was ordered by the Kuantan High Court to pay the company RM37,127,471.60, at eight percent interest per annum from Dec 31, 2000.

Seruan Gemilang filed the suit against the state government and the state forestry director on Dec 2, 2002, seeking RM31 million in damages for breaching a logging concession contract relating to the extraction of timber logs from a 10,000acre plot of land belonging to Umno in Mukim Bebar, Pekan district.

In their statement of defence, the defendants said that Seruan Gemilang was only given a licence to log 7,000 acres because they found that the company was not interested in logging the remaining 3,000 acres.

Counsel Datuk Shafee Abdullah and state legal adviser Datuk Mat Zara’ai Alias acted for Adnan. - Bernama

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Makkal Shakti: An alternative or just pressure group on MIC ?

KUALA LUMPUR: News of the launch on Saturday of new political party Makkal Sakti has raised questions among the Indian community over a hidden agenda.

Will Makkal Sakti become an alternative party or is it just to push for change in the MIC which has represented the Indian community for 63 years, they ask.

Dr S. Sivamurugan, political analyst at the Social Science Faculty of Universiti Sains Malaysia, said Makkal Sakti should not be seen as an alternative party to MIC.

"There is no chance for another party to replace MIC. Makkal Sakti can be an alternative party to address problems of the public which had been overlooked by MIC," he said.

Makkal Sakti could function as a platform to get component Indian parties like the Indian Progressive Front and People's Progressive Party, which refused to cooperate with MIC but which still support the Barisan Nasional, to contribute to the community, Sivamurugan said.

"Indian political parties can cooperate to help the 30% of Indians living below the poverty line. They can help the younger generation get access to job opportunities, educational and welfare aid."

A random survey on Jalan Brickfields and Lebuh Ampang, two shopping areas popular with Indians, yielded similar reactions.

"The MIC had been championing the rights of Indians for a long time but is now disliked as several leaders refuse to allow change in the party.

"The anger of the Indian community is directed at the leadership, not the party," former teacher S. Thiagarajah, 40, said.

M. Alice, 58, hoped the presence of a new party would make MIC leaders and members sit up.

"They have been awakened from their sleep and now realise the importance of support from the Indians. If not, they will forget their responsibility as it is the people who put them there," she said.

Nanthini, 33, an officer in the private sector, said the new party would give the MIC competition, which was good for the party.

S. Tamilmagan, 28, a private sector employee, said: "If a new party can bring the Indians together, why not?"

P. Ganesh, 23, a student at a private college, said the emergence of Makkal Sakti would make MIC leaders realise that the party needed change. - Bernama

PAS may seek to postpone Bagan Pinang by-election

PORT DICKSON: PAS may seek an injunction to postpone the by-election in Bagan Pinang on Sunday if it does not receive a favourable response from the Election Commission (EC) on cleaning up the names of voters on the electoral roll.

PAS Bagan Pinang by-election director Salahuddin Ayub said today the party would decide on the appropriate action after a meeting with EC chairman at Putrajaya.

"The names of these 'double voters' have been in existence for many years. We estimate there are about two million names nationwide but no action has been taken by the EC," Salahuddin told reporters at the PAS command centre.

Asked why the party had waited so long to take legal action, the Kubang Kerian MP said it was the right time now as it also involved the voters.

"It’s very relevant because it also involves the voters in Bagan Pinang," he said.

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar cited a report from Bernama which quoted the president of ex-servicemen’s association, Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani, who urged retired servicemen to change their voting status from postal to ordinary voters.

Muhammad also urged retired servicemen to return to Bagan Pinang and vote on Sunday.

Mahfuz questioned whether the retired servicemen will return to vote "or will somebody vote on their behalf?"

PAS has been questioning the transparency of postal votes, which account for 4,604 of the 13,664 voters in Bagan Pinang.

Last week, PAS secretary general Datuk Mustafa Ali said there were only 1,200 servicemen registered as postal voters in the Bagan Pinang constituency.

PKR election director Saifuddin Nasution, who was present, said the party will send an invitation to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to attend a forum with party adviser and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Saifuddin said the forum would be an outlet to explain to the public"who the Malay traitor really is".

"This will let allow parties to explain themselves. We hope Muhyiddin will not continue to attack Anwar and call him a Malay traitor," Saifuddin said.

In August, Muhyiddin reportedly callled Anwar a traitor and refused to apologise to Anwar.

Anwar had demanded an apology and a retraction of the statement, reportedly made at opening of the Sri Gading Umno division meeting.

He also made a similar demand to Utusan Malaysia, which reported the statement and demanded RM100 million from both parties in damages caused by the statement.

Saifuddin also said he welcomed Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to lodge a police report against Anwar on allegations that Anwar had RM3 billion in several master accounts.

Register as a legal entity, Pakatan Rakyat advised

KUALA KRAI: Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof has suggested that the opposition parties register Pakatan Rakyat as a legal entity like the Barisan Nasional to enable them to campaign as a coalition.

"Register with the Registrar of Societies as Pakatan Rakyat and the EC will not disturb any more," he said, referring to the EC's action in taking down the campaign materials of parties that are not contesting in Bagan Pinang on Monday, which turned ugly when opposition supporters surrounded the EC enforcement staff.

The contesting parties in the Bagan Pinang state by-election are PAS and the Barisan Nasional (BN). The other parties did not pay the deposit and have no permit to campaign, Abdul Aziz told reporters after an Aidilfitri celebration here on Monday night.

"That's why our monitoring team took down the flags, symbols and pictures of the parties which were not contesting," he said.

Abdul Aziz said the EC had advised all the parties about this prohibition but many still persisted.

"When we take stern action, I hope that they will accept it with open hearts," he said.

Abdul Aziz also said his vehicle was surrounded during nomination day in Bagan Pinang on Saturday.

"Our vehicle was stopped. We were verbally abused and money was shoved at our faces. I was frightened to look at their faces and worried for our safety, like the vehicle being overturned," he said.

He said that was why the EC had advised the contesting parties not to bring along too many supporters, not more than 5,000, to accompany their supporters on nomination day but it was not heeded. -- Bernama