Malesia

Kami tinggalkan UMNO untuk pertumbuhan, pembangunan Sabah - Salleh

Utusan - 15 min 15 sec fa
KOTA KINABALU 12 Dis. - Bekas Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak berkata beliau dan rakan seperjuangan hari ini mengambil keputusan untuk meninggalkan UMNO bagi membolehkan mereka dan kerajaan negeri dan persekutuan pada masa ini untuk menumpukan pertumbuhan dan pembangunan Sabah di masa hadapan.
Categorie: Malesia

At least 150 lawmakers publicly back PM May ahead of confidence vote

Malay Mail - 24 min 11 sec fa

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is in a precarious position thanks to a no-confidence vote. — Reuters pic Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is in a precarious position thanks to a no-confidence vote. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Dec 12 — At least 150 Conservative Party lawmakers have indicated support for Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of a confidence vote in her leadership later today, based on public statements in the media and social media.

May needs to secure a simple majority -- 158 of 315 lawmakers — o remain leader. A secret ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 GMT.

However, British political commentators report some lawmakers who back May in public say privately they will vote against her. — Reuters

Categorie: Malesia

Why question governor’s Haj allocation? It is his entitlement, says Sabah CM

Malay Mail - 32 min 28 sec fa
Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal says that the Heads of State have entitlements, including for vacations, under the law just like the King and ministers and it should not be questioned. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal says that the Heads of State have entitlements, including for vacations, under the law just like the King and ministers and it should not be questioned. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 12 ― Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has defended the additional RM1.3 million allocation for the Head of State and his entourage to perform the Haj pilgrimage, asserting that it is his entitlement.

Shafie said that the Heads of State have entitlements, including for vacations, under the law just like the King and ministers and it should not be questioned.

“Why question their entitlement, and how they spend their entitlement,” he told reporters, responding to Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai’s query in the state assembly about the hefty additional allocation under the supplementary budget in August for the TYT. 

Shafie pointed out that the cost of things could go up by 10 times more for the Haj pilgrimmage during peak season, unlike during umrah.

“What they should understand is, not to question his rights. It is not an abuse or misuse of power,” he said.

Shafie said that Bangkuai’s party, Parti Bersatu Sabah, should instead question the Sabah Water Department’s dealings where hundreds of millions of ringgit were found in the possession of the top two heads.

“I should ask what did Pairin do as minister of infrastructure during the time,” he said, referring to PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

The Sabah Water Department scandal saw some RM114.5 million in cash and luxury goods confiscated in October 2016 from its director and deputy director. The case is still in court.

Categorie: Malesia

Sivarraajh says won’t appeal Cameron Highlands seat

Malay Mail - 35 min 43 sec fa
In GE14, Sivarraajh won the Cameron Highlands seat by obtaining a 597-vote majority to defeat Manogaran, the PH candidate as well as candidates of PAS, PSM and Berjasa in a five-cornered fight. — Picture by Miera Zulyana In GE14, Sivarraajh won the Cameron Highlands seat by obtaining a 597-vote majority to defeat Manogaran, the PH candidate as well as candidates of PAS, PSM and Berjasa in a five-cornered fight. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

CAMERON HIGHLAND, Dec 12 — “I will not be making an appeal on the last day tomorrow,” said Cameron Highlands MP Datuk C. Sivarraajh on the nullification of his victory for the seat in the 14th general election (GE14).

Sivarraajh who is the former MIC Youth chief believed the decision made by the Election Court on the nullification of Barisan Nasional (BN)’s win did not matter even if he makes an appeal.

“I feel the decision is not fair to me as I had denied from day one that there was no element of corruption. We (BN) do not offer bribe to talk as the Orang Asli community are hardcore BN voters, so there is no logic for us to offer money for their votes.

“But we accept the decision of the court. I believe if I were to appeal and the process of appeal would not make much difference as it is to the same people,” he told Bernama here today.

He was speaking to reporters after the swearing-in of Pahang local authorities (PBT) council members before Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail at a hotel here this evening.

According to Sivarraajh, it is better to prove it through a by-election and regain his dignity with the people of Cameron Highlands.

“Rather than appealing to the court, I am more willing to appeal to the people of Cameron Highlands so as to regain their trust as their representative for the next five years.

“I have worked for five months as the MP and I believe I have brought their issues and problems up to the level of Dewan Rakyat,” he said.

In GE14, Sivarraajh won the Cameron Highlands seat by obtaining a 597-vote majority to defeat Manogaran, the PH candidate as well as candidates of PAS, PSM and Berjasa in a five-cornered fight.   

However, the Election Court on Nov 30 declared the election results for Cameron Highlands as null and void after it was proven that Sivarraajh was aware of the bribery which received his consent. 

Asked if he was chosen again by MIC top leadership as the candidate for Cameron Highlands seat, Sivarraajh said he would be happy to carry out to task as he believed he would receive the support from the machinery and community in the constituency.

Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy when speaking at the ceremony, stressed that council members must show commitment as those who did not attend three consecutive meetings would face allowance deduction and maybe even be dropped as a member.

A total of 232 people received their appointment letters as PBT council members for the 2018 /2020 term.

The members were selected from among politicians and non-government organisations, representing various races and professional groups to serve in three municipal councils and eight district councils in Pahang. ― Bernama

Categorie: Malesia

Keputusan meninggalkan UMNO dibuat secara bersama - Azizah

Utusan - 39 min 38 sec fa
KOTA KINABALU 12 Dis. - Bekas Naib Ketua Wanita UMNO, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun yang turut mengumumkan keluar UMNO hari ini berkata keputusan itu dibuat atas persetujuan bersama demi kebaikan rakyat di Sabah.

Categorie: Malesia

Dr Afif: Breeders have until end of next year to upgrade pig farms to closed system

Malay Mail - 39 min 39 sec fa
Dr Afif Bahardin says the state government hopes all 182 pig breeders in Penang will have enough time to upgrade their farms the end of next year. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon Dr Afif Bahardin says the state government hopes all 182 pig breeders in Penang will have enough time to upgrade their farms the end of next year. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

GEORGE TOWN, Dec 12 ― The Penang government has given pig farms in the state until the end of next year to be upgraded to the closed system without having to apply for the planning permission.

The breeders had earlier been told that the exemption from applying for the planning permission was at the end of this month.

State Health, Agriculture, Agro-Based Industries and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said the state government executive council made the decision today after the pig farmers asked for the extension.

“With this decision, the state government hopes all 182 pig breeders in Penang will have enough time to upgrade their farms,” he said in a statement here today.

He said the exemption was made so that the Pig Farming Enactment 2016 could be fully enforced on January 1, 2020.

“The exemption is applicable to existing pig farms; pig farmers who did not add to their facility, except for biogas facility; and breeders who applied for it during the implementation period of the programme, which is until December 2018,” he said. ― Bernama

Categorie: Malesia

Resignation for good of people, say ex-Sabah Umno leaders

Malay Mail - 44 min fa
Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak says Sabah needs to build a strong relationship with the federal government for the sake of the continued growth and development of the state. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak says Sabah needs to build a strong relationship with the federal government for the sake of the continued growth and development of the state. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 12 ― Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, the Kota Belud Umno Division chief who is one of several Sabah Umno leaders who resigned from the party today, said he and his colleagues decided to leave the party to enable them and the present state and federal governments to focus on the future of Sabah’s growth and development.

Salleh, who is the former federal communications and multimedia minister and former Umno treasurer, said Sabah needs to build a strong relationship with the federal government for the sake of the continued growth and development of Sabah.

“This is the immediate priority as much needs to be done and, with the uncertainties in the global economy, the focus becomes even more important,” he said in a statement. 

Salleh, who is also the former Sabah Umno deputy liaison chief, was responding to the announcement by Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor of the resignation of the entire Sabah UMNO Liaison Committee as well as 14 elected representatives and almost all the division chiefs from Sabah Umno.

He said most of those who resigned joined Umno when the party spread its wings to Sabah in 1994 so that the state would not be isolated from Putrajaya and be left behind while the other states move forward and develop.

However, he said, the 14th general election in May this year changed the entire landscape of Malaysian politics whereby the Umno-led Barisan Nasional is no longer the federal government and Sabah Umno can no longer sway Putrajaya like it used to.

“Taking this new political reality into consideration, my colleagues and I decided to leave Umno so that we can focus on the future of Sabah and ensure Sabah’s growth and development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Beaufort MP and former Wanita Umno vice-head Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun, who also resigned from the party today, said the decision to quit was made for the good of the people of Sabah.

“We (who resigned today) are a team and the decision was made jointly,” she told reporters.

Lumadan assemblyman Matbali Musah said the decision was timely as it places the people’s interests above everything else.

He said the people, especially the constituents of Lumadan, need reforms to address the problems they face. ― Bernama

Categorie: Malesia

Hitachi moves to buy ABB’s power grid unit for US$7b, says report

Malay Mail - 48 min 28 sec fa
The deal would make Hitachi the world’s second-largest heavy electrical equipment maker by revenue. — AFP pic The deal would make Hitachi the world’s second-largest heavy electrical equipment maker by revenue. — AFP pic

TOKYO, Dec 12 — Japan’s Hitachi is moving to purchase the power grid business of Swiss engineering giant ABB for a deal worth as much as US$7.05 billion, local media reported today.

The electronics giant is in “the final stage of talks” to acquire the ABB unit for up to an estimated ¥800 billion, the Nikkei business daily and Jiji Press said.

Hitachi confirmed at its board meeting today the plan to move forward with the deal and the two firms are expected to reach a final agreement as early as this week, according to the Nikkei.

A Hitachi spokeswoman declined to comment, while ABB said it is “in discussions with Hitachi to expand and re-define the existing strategic power grid partnership between the two companies.”

“There can be no certainty that any transaction will occur, or as to the timing, structure or terms of any transaction,” ABB said in a statement.

ABB’s power grid unit manufactures and operates infrastructure including power transmission equipment and control systems in multiple countries.

The two companies announced in 2014 plans to set up a joint venture to market power transmission equipment in Japan.

The Nikkei said Hitachi plans to initially take a stake of around 50 per cent in the power grid unit and over the next few years turn it into a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The deal would make Hitachi the world’s second-largest heavy electrical equipment maker by revenue, behind only General Electric, the paper said. — AFP

Categorie: Malesia

Home Ministry: No more regular legalisation for illegals

Malay Mail - 48 min 43 sec fa
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman (centre) says the ministry will no longer undertake the legalisation of illegal immigrant workers on a regular basis. — Bernama pic Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman (centre) says the ministry will no longer undertake the legalisation of illegal immigrant workers on a regular basis. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 ― The Home Ministry will no longer undertake the legalisation of illegal immigrant workers on a regular basis.

Deputy minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said this was to prevent illegal immigrants from taking the country's laws lightly and deliberately overstaying after their passes expire.

“The frequent holding of the legalisation programme can become a bad culture for the country,” he said.

For that reason, the Immigration Department was taking stringent measures in its operations because his ministry wanted to give a clear message to illegal immigrants that firm action would be taken against them without any compromise, he told the Dewan Negara today.

He was replying to Senator Datuk Chai Kim Sen who wanted to know if the ministry strictly executed corporal punishment on employers who hired illegal immigrants as stated in Section 55B (3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Commenting further, Mohd Aziz said the operation on illegal immigrants would continue until the problem was resolved.

Meanwhile, he said the ministry was working with the Ministry of Human Resources to refine and fine-tune the policy of hiring foreign workers.

“Insya-Allah (God willing), we will soon announce the new policy including levy payments, new conditions, especially for companies wishing to hire foreign workers,” he said.

Earlier, replying to Chai's original question, Mohd Azis said the Immigration Department had conducted 40,306 operations on employers hiring illegal immigrants from 2016 until Oct 31 this year that saw 3,973 employers being arrested for various offences under the Immigration Act.          

In addition, from Jan 1 until Oct 31 this year, 72 employers had been charged under Section 55B (3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63. ― Bernama

Categorie: Malesia

Penang govt still hoping for local elections to be held, says chief minister

Malay Mail - 52 min 23 sec fa
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government had taken all the steps necessary including legislative in efforts to carry out local council elections since some years ago. —  Picture by Sayuti Zainudin Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government had taken all the steps necessary including legislative in efforts to carry out local council elections since some years ago. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Dec 12 ― The Penang state government hopes that the DAP’s aim and efforts to have local council elections held in the state will bear fruit in future.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government had taken all the steps necessary including legislative in efforts to carry out local council elections since some years ago.

“Looking back, we not only passed a motion at the State Legislative Assembly but also drew up an enactment on local council elections.

“Our last resort was to take the case to the Federal Court, which is the apex court, to make a judicial pronouncement on the motion tabled by the state government to enable the holding of local council elections.

“However, the court's decision was not in favour of the state government’s appeal application. For the state government, we have come to the end of our legal efforts. But we hope our struggle will bear results one day,” he said at a press conference, here, today.

Chow was asked to comment on the statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Monday that the government had no plans to hold local council elections due to concerns over possible racial conflicts and rural-urban divide.

DAP secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, who is also Finance Minister, said DAP felt the need for greater democracy as people should have the right to vote in local councillors.

However, Chow who is also national DAP vice-chairman, said any political struggle should be based on the existing legal provisions and the state government left it to Housing and Local Government Minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin to pursue the matter.

“Actually, it (local council elections) is not in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, so we see that after the prime minister’s statement on the issue, the minister (Zuraida) is still voicing the wish to continue with efforts to hold local council elections.

“Hence, we leave it to the minister to continue the struggle as this is outside the jurisdiction of the state government which has done whatever it could,” he said. ― Bernama

Categorie: Malesia

World champion Momota makes electric start to BWF Finals

Malay Mail - 1 ora 58 sec fa
Momota is looking to put the seal on a breakthrough year in which he has risen to number one in the rankings and become world champion for the first time. — AFP pic Momota is looking to put the seal on a breakthrough year in which he has risen to number one in the rankings and become world champion for the first time. — AFP pic

SHANGHAI, Dec 12 ― World badminton champion Kento Momota made a lightning start at the BWF World Tour Finals in China today, rampaging past India's overwhelmed Sameer Verma in just 36 minutes.

The Japanese star is looking to put the seal on a breakthrough year in which he has risen to number one in the rankings and become world champion for the first time.

It is all a far cry from 2016, when Momota was expelled from Japan's team for the Rio Olympics and banned for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino.

The 24-year-old had too much quality and power for Verma -- ranked 14th in the world -- thrashing him 21-18, 21-6 to confirm his status as the man to beat in Guangzhou.

Also untroubled in her opener was the women's number one, Tai Tzu-ying from Tawian, who defeated Zhang Beiwen of the United States 21-15, 21-17 in 30 minutes. ― AFP

Categorie: Malesia

Mass graves found near ex-IS stronghold, says Syria state media

Malay Mail - 1 ora 3 min fa
In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered a number of mass graves. — Reuters pic In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered a number of mass graves. — Reuters pic

DAMASCUS, Dec 12 — Seven mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified bodies have been unearthed near the former Islamic State group stronghold of Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, official news agency SANA said.

Most of the more than 100 bodies recovered so far at the site appear to "have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment before execution," it said, accusing IS of killing the victims.

Work was under way to retrieve the rest of the bodies from the graves in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, SANA said in its report published late yesterday.

It released a video showing forensic experts in protective clothing recovering remains, and corpses laid out on the ground in a row under white sheets.

"After examining the remains, it appears that most of the people were executed by bullets to the head, while their hands were tied," said an unidentified member of the military who appears in the video.

IS has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations.

In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered a number of mass graves in areas previously occupied by the jihadists.

IS proclaimed a "caliphate" over swathes of the two countries in 2014, but has since lost almost all the territory it once held.

Albu Kamal, which lies in the Euphrates Valley near the border with Iraq, was the last major town that IS controlled fully before losing it in November 2017.— AFP

Categorie: Malesia

Permanent pact with PAS? We’ll talk when the time comes, says Zahid

Malay Mail - 1 ora 7 min fa
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks to reporters during the Umno press conference in Kuala Lumpur December 12, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks to reporters during the Umno press conference in Kuala Lumpur December 12, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 ― Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today said that the idea of forming a permanent pact with PAS will be discussed “when the time comes”.

He was asked to comment on the idea of working together with PAS on a formal platform to strengthen Umno after the mass exodus of Sabah Umno leaders, crippling the party in the state.

“To us, our cooperation with PAS is based on issues.

“The issue that we are cooperating together is based on ICERD. I think to have a permanent collaboration, that will be discussed when the time comes,” the Bagan Datuk MP told a press conference, while referring to the United Nations’ International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Earlier today, Sabah Umno leaders including nine out of ten state assemblymen and five out of six MPs, two party senators, two Umno Supreme Council members and a majority of its state committee opted to quit the party.

Among them was state liaison chief Datuk Hajiji Noor, who said they were also expecting Wanita and Puteri division chiefs to leave. About nine out of 25 youth division chiefs were also believed to be leaving the party.

However, in a statement later, Sabah Umno Wanita chief Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said that the Wing is undecided about renouncing its allegiance to Umno, and would first hold discussions with its members.

“The Wanita Umno wings of Umno divisions will make a decision after finalising discussions with Wanita Umno members, to gauge their response, and will resign en masse if the need arises, and we will send the forms to those necessary,” she said.

The mass exodus has left the party with one assemblyman and one MP in Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin respectively.

Most of its division chiefs also left, with the exception of three, including Bung’s Kinabatangan division.

Sabah Umno said that the unclear political direction of the Malay nationalist party was no longer serving the party’s interest.

Categorie: Malesia

Ongkili lauds reps for leaving Umno, declares Sabah for Sabahans

Malay Mail - 1 ora 12 min fa
Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili says Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) will continue its struggle without Umno for now. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili says Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) will continue its struggle without Umno for now. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 12 ― Opposition alliance Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) will continue its struggle without Umno for now, its deputy co-chairman Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said today after the exodus of leaders from the Malay nationalist party.

He lauded the leaders for making a “bold decision” to leave the party and breakaway from their masters in the peninsula, indicating that GBS aimed to work together with the now partyless elected representatives.

“They have finally decided to follow us ’bebas’ (free). We will wait and see development that follows,” said Ongkili, who is Parti Bersatu Sabah president (PBS), in a statement today.

“I hope and pray that, together, our struggle will always be Sabah for Sabahans first, then other Malaysians,” he added.

Ongkili said GBS will remain a strong opposition front against the Parti Warisan Sabah government and stick to its own agenda of strengthening its grassroots and keeping the state government in check.

“PBS will support what's good for the people, but oppose what’s destructive to Sabah,” he said.

Besides PBS and Sabah Umno, members of GBS are Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah,  Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku and a group of Independent elected representatives.

Earlier today, 14 out of 16 elected representatives of Sabah Umno and a large number of divisional heads announced that they were quitting the party, citing a loss of trust in the leadership.

More members from its Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings are expected to follow.

The leaders have said they will function as independent elected representatives for now until they find a suitable political vehicle.

Categorie: Malesia

Turkey says to launch new operation against Syria Kurd militia within days

Malay Mail - 1 ora 14 min fa
Erdogan has previously threatened to attack areas held by the YPG. — Reuters pic Erdogan has previously threatened to attack areas held by the YPG. — Reuters pic

ANKARA, Dec 12 — Turkey will launch a new operation in Syria within days against a US-backed Kurdish militia that Ankara considers a terrorist group, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today.

"We will start an operation to free the east of the Euphrates from the separatist terrorist organisation in the next few days," Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara, referring to territory held by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey says the YPG is a "terrorist offshoot" of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

"The target is never American soldiers but terrorist organisation members active in the region," Erdogan told the audience at a defence industry summit.

American forces have worked closely with the YPG under the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

There are American forces with the SDF east of the Euphrates as well as in the flashpoint city of Manbij, which is west of the river.

Washington's relationship with the YPG, seen as a key ally, is one of the main sources of tensions between Turkey and the United States. Ankara has repeatedly lambasted Washington for providing military support to the Kurdish militia.

Erdogan has previously threatened to attack areas held by the YPG. In a bid to avoid any clash, the NATO allies agreed a "roadmap" for Manbij in June.

The Pentagon separately yesterday announced US observation posts on the northeast Syria border region intended to prevent altercations between the Turkish army and the YPG despite calls from Ankara not to go ahead with the move.

Erdogan claimed Turkey was not being protected from terrorists but "terrorists were being protected" from possible action by Turkey.

Turkey has previously launched two operations in northern Syria. The first offensive began in August 2016 with Turkish forces supporting Syrian opposition fighters against IS and was completed by March 2017.

Then in January 2018, Turkish military forces backed Syrian rebels to clear the YPG from its northwestern enclave of Afrin.

In March, the operation was completed with the capture of Afrin city. — AFP

Categorie: Malesia

Umno wants new PAC chief after Kiandee’s exit from party

Malay Mail - 1 ora 16 min fa
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks to reporters during the Umno press conference in Kuala Lumpur December 12, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks to reporters during the Umno press conference in Kuala Lumpur December 12, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 ― Umno will be proposing a new list of names for the next possible parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, after its current chairman Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee quit the party.

In a press conference here today, Umno chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that this was keeping true to Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto, that the PAC be led by an Opposition MP.

“The position of the PAC chairman is in the manifesto of the current government.

“If we were to hold on to the principles, definitely we in the Opposition will identify available MPs to replace his (Kiandee’s) post.

“And the notice regarding the matter will be made by the Barisan Nasional chairman to the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat, regarding the position of the PAC chairman, and we will propose the suggested names of MPs who will replace his place,” Zahid added.

Earlier today, Datuk Ronald Kiandee today said he will not resign as the PAC chairman, even though he has left Umno.

The Beluran MP said it will be unfair for PAC if he vacated the position now when Parliament is taking a break.

“Once the chairman resigns, the PAC cannot call for a meeting. It would be an injustice for PAC because they cannot appoint a new chairman until the next Parliament session,” he said.

He said he would leave it to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to decide whether he should resign as PAC chairman.

However, Zahid said Kiandee’s statement was merely his own right.

We refer to what was promised by the current government. That is, an Opposition representative.

“If he’s still with us, we will defend,  but when he has announced to leave Umno, then automatically the leaders who we will suggest, must come from parliamentary members in the Dewan Rakyat,” Zahid added.

Earlier today, Sabah Umno leaders including nine out of ten state assemblymen and five out of six MPs, two party senators, two Umno Supreme Council members and a majority of its state committee opted to quit the party.

Former state liaison chief Datuk Hajiji Noor said they were also expecting Wanita division chiefs to eventually join, as well as Puteri wing division chiefs. About nine out of 25 youth division chiefs were also believed to be leaving the party.

The mass exodus has left the party with one assemblyman and one MP in Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin respectively.

Most of its division chiefs also left, with the exception of three, including Bung’s Kinabatangan division.

Sabah Umno said that the unclear political direction of the Malay nationalist party was no longer serving the party’s interest.

Categorie: Malesia

Freed from jail, Cambodian surrogate mothers raise Chinese children

Malay Mail - 1 ora 17 min fa
Sophea stands with her son outside a shack that makes up part of the family home in Oudong, Cambodia December 7, 2018. ― Thomson Reuters Foundation pic Sophea stands with her son outside a shack that makes up part of the family home in Oudong, Cambodia December 7, 2018. ― Thomson Reuters Foundation pic

OUDONG (Cambodia), Dec 12 ― Sophea was eight months pregnant when Cambodian police told her she would have to keep the baby that was never meant to be hers ― and forfeit the US$10,000 (RM41,813) she was promised for acting as a surrogate for a Chinese couple.

Cambodia banned commercial surrogacy in 2016, and police in June raided two apartments where Sophea and 31 other surrogate mothers were being cared for in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

They were charged the following month with violating human trafficking laws, but authorities released them on bail last week, under the condition they raise the children themselves.

Campaigners say Cambodia’s surrogacy crackdown is unlikely to end the trade as poverty means many women will continue to risk arrest for the chance to earn life-changing sums of money.

For some of the newly-freed women, keeping their baby is a burden as they struggle to get by. For others, it is a relief.

Despite the financial loss, 24-year-old Sophea told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that she was happy the authorities intervened, and that her family had welcomed her baby boy.

“If not for the crackdown and my arrest, I would have been left in deep regret,” said Sophea, who did not give her real name for fear of backlash from the authorities and members of her community.

“I would have given away my baby,” she said just two days after being released from police custody, settling back into village life at the end of a sandy track that winds through rice fields in Oudong, a 90 minute drive north of Phnom Penh.

Mixed blessing 

Members of the other families said the babies are a mixed blessing.

Instead of receiving US$10,000, the women went home with another mouth to feed, in a country where the average annual income is US$1,490, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“It is a very difficult situation. I worry that my income will not support the whole family,” said Pich, a motorcycle-taxi driver whose wife is carrying what will be their third child.

The 40-year-old, who also requested that his real name not be used, said he never supported his wife’s decision to be a surrogate and that he was ashamed she had gone through with it.

Another surrogate, a 24-year-old woman, went behind her husband’s back to take part in the scheme.

The US$10,000 would have allowed the couple and their two children to move out of the shack they share with 12 members of their extended family, said the woman on condition of anonymity.

“I agreed to give birth at the provincial hospital and look after the baby, but I don’t know how we will get the money to support and raise another child,” she said.

Ros Sopheap, director of the charity Gender and Development for Cambodia, said poverty will likely drive more women to engage in surrogacy ― and that few know the practice is illegal.

“Very few people are aware of what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s against the law,” she said.

“The reality is that these women do this because they are living in poverty. So as long as there is a demand for surrogate mothers, they will continue.”

More arrests 

Southeast Asia has long been a top destination for couples seeking surrogate mothers. Thailand banned the practice in 2015 after several high-profile cases, followed by Cambodia in 2016.

In 2017, an Australian nurse and two Cambodians were jailed for 18 months for operating an illegal surrogacy clinic.

In the country’s most recent surrogacy raid ― just last month ― 11 pregnant women and four facilitators were arrested.

Chou Bun Eng, a secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, said the 32 women were released on humanitarian grounds last week, but that the fate of the latest 11 surrogates is unclear.

Each case will be judged independently and “law enforcement will become stricter” in the future, according to the official.

It would be difficult, she added, for authorities to track down those who organised surrogacy rings, or the Chinese couples who paid for Cambodian women to bear their children.

“Even surrogate mothers did not know nor (have) contact with the one who wanted the babies,” said Chou Bun Eng.

Sophea said she preferred not to know who the biological parents were.

“I will not tell my son what happened in the past,” she said. “I won’t tell him about his actual Chinese parents.”

She said her priority upon returning home was to invite a Buddhist monk to conduct a cleansing ceremony ― in order to rid the family of any bad karma incurred during the ordeal.

Her four-year-old daughter and extended family have also welcomed the baby, she said after the ceremony, which was attended by a dozen relatives and several village elders.

“The whole family loves him,” Sophea said. “My husband (a construction worker) told me: ‘Your son is my son’.” ― Thomson Reuters Foundation

Categorie: Malesia

Polish PM calls for confidence vote to strengthen hand before EU meeting

Malay Mail - 1 ora 17 min fa
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told lawmakers that PIS has brought a decisive change in how economic and social policy is viewed in Poland. — Reuters pic Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told lawmakers that PIS has brought a decisive change in how economic and social policy is viewed in Poland. — Reuters pic

WARSAW, Dec 12 — Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said today he will call for a vote of confidence in the government to ensure it has a mandate for its reforms before this week's summit of European Union leaders.

Morawiecki's nationalist and eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party has overhauled the judiciary and taken more control over public media - attracting criticism from the EU and from rights groups who have accused Warsaw of undermining the rule of law.

With a year left until national elections, the party has shown signs of rowing back on some of the changes - for example letting Supreme Court judges who had been forced to retire return to work - as it seeks to broaden its support base amid signs that its support might be waning.

"It's been three years since PiS came to power ... and we have seen a decisive change in how economic and social policy is viewed in Poland," Morawiecki told lawmakers.

PiS has grown increasingly isolated in the EU because of accusations at home and abroad of a tilt towards authoritarianism.

In recent months, it was also rattled by allegations of corruption at the financial regulator and anger amid some voters over its decision to celebrate Poland's century of independence with far-right groups. — Reuters

Categorie: Malesia

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