Thursday, April 30, 2009

Boy reveals dark family secret

GEORGE TOWN: A 17-year-old boy kept a dark family secret all to himself for the past three years.
Back in 2006 when he was only 14, his father took him along to bury his younger sister, then 7, at a field near the Sunshine Farlim Hypermarket here.

Yesterday, the teenager led a police team to the open field about 1pm to recover human bone fragments and a skull, believed to be that of his sister.

State Criminal Investigation Department chief Wan Abdullah Tuanku Said said police received a tip-off earlier yesterday that in March 2006, the father had hit his daughter, after which no one ever saw the girl.

"Following investigations, we got hold of the teenager.
"During interrogation, the teenager told us he was with his father on the day the girl was buried," he said.

Wan Abdullah said the teenager then led police to the site where his sister was buried.

He said the forensic team was summoned to the site next to a Tenaga Nasional substation. Also present was state forensic pathologist Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh.

Police found the bone fragments and a skull buried about one metre deep.

Wan Abdullah said there was a crack in the skull.

He said a 40-year-old man has been detained to assist investigations into the case, as well as another where he is suspected of physically and sexually abusing another daughter, aged 12.

The man is believed to have three wives and 10 children.

Shocking news by NSTOnline..

1Malaysia steadily getting traction


THERE may have been some scepticism at home on the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, but people outside the country appear to be attracted to it. This could be seen from the numerous questions on the concept posed to Najib during his two-day visit to Brunei which ended today.

“I was frequently asked by the people whom I met here about the concept. It appears that they have been following developments in Malaysia,” Najib said.

He was speaking at a breakfast meeting with about 250 members of the Malaysian community in Brunei at the Empire Hotel and Country Club here.

Bruneians saw the concept as most appropriate to galvanise the people, irrespective of race and religion, to work together for their common good.

“It (the 1Malaysia concept) is a way forward for us to enhance ethnic relations in Malaysia,” Najib said.
Also present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hisammuddin Hussein, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Deputy Foreign Minister Senator Kohilan Pillay.

Najib hoped that Malaysians in Brunei would embrace the concept as a guide to foster closer ties and understanding with the local people.

He said Malaysia and Brunei had always enjoyed a reliable and cordial relationship at the leaders-to-leaders and government-to-government level and that it should be translated to the ground by the people of both countries.

He advised Malaysians who were either working or doing business here not to create any problem.

On his meeting with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at Istana Nurul Iman on Wednesday, he said it was conducted in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.

“The meeting lasted longer than expected and this showed the good bilateral relations between both countries,” Najib said.

The meeting, which saw both leaders discussing a range of bilateral issues including the demarcation of the Malaysia-Brunei land and maritime border, was scheduled for only 30 minutes but it lasted more than an hour.

The demarcation of the Malaysia-Brunei border, which Najib hoped could be completed soon, is considered crucial as it involved a territorial dispute over Limbang in Sarawak and waters in the continental shelf which is rich in oil and gas reserves.

During the meeting, Najib invited Brunei to invest in the Sabah Devlopment Corridor, the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy and the Iskandar Development Region in Johor.

He said the investment opportunities in the the development initiatives were avenues for Malaysia and Brunei to strengthen economic ties.

Consistent with the desire of both countries to explore new areas of cooperation, Najib said he would be bringing a strong delegation to the annual consultation between Malaysia and Brunei here in early August.

Describing his brief visit here as very meaningful, the prime minister said it has paved the way for a lasting and fruitful relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

Brunei was the second Asean country after Indonesia that Najib visited after his appointment as prime minister.

News by NSTOnline..

Man United beats Arsenal 1-0 in Champions League

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - John O'Shea gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Wednesday in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals, but the defending champion missed plenty of chances to win by a bigger margin.

The fullback scored in the 18th minute after Arsenal failed to clear a corner. United outplayed Arsenal for long spells and had chances of a far bigger victory, but was foiled by three good first-half saves by Manuel Almunia.

The Red Devils look certain to go to next week's second leg without center back Rio Ferdinand, who has a suspected broken rib after a late scramble in front of the United goal.

"He's gone to hospital and we will wait for the outcome of that," said United manager Alex Ferguson. "It doesn't look good at the moment."

The two teams meet again at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium next Tuesday. The winner will advance to the May 27 final in Rome to face either Barcelona or Chelsea, who drew 0-0 in Tuesday's first leg in Spain.

"We had chances and their goalkeeper made two or three fantastic saves," Ferguson said. "The more pleasing aspect is that, before the game I said (to the players) 'Try and win the game without conceding a goal.' We've done that.

"Our forward play was very good and that's given us a good chance."

Arsenal was without injured forward Robin van Persie and Russian star Andry Arshavin, who is not eligible to line up for the Gunners in the Champions League having played for Zenit St. Petersburg earlier in this season's competition. The result was that Arsene Wenger's men rarely created chances at Old Trafford but are fortunate they only have to make up a one-goal deficit at home.

Wenger believes that his team will play far better in the second leg.

"If you look at the clear-cut chances, they were on top," the Arsenal manager said. "The positive is that we are only 1-0 down that we take home, and I am convinced that you will see a different Arsenal team at the Emirates. I believe that we have a good chance to reverse the result.

"I believe that the tie is very open. (United) can have regrets because they didn't score a second goal. It's down to us to make sure they regret they didn't score a second goal."

United's pressure brought some early chances followed by a goal.

Wayne Rooney's looping header in the second minute was finger-tipped away by Almunia, and a well-worked move ended with O'Shea's cross to Carlos Tevez, whose close-range shot was well saved by the Gunners keeper. From the corner, Michael Carrick beat a defender on the left and his cross deflected off Alex Song to the unmarked O'Shea, who drove the ball into the roof of the net.

After the 0-0 draw between Barcelona and Chelsea, that makes fullback O'Shea, who has scored 13 other goals for United, the only player to score in the semifinals so far although he said United should have had more.

"Possibly with the chances we had. Their 'keeper has made a couple of great saves," the Irish international said. "On our first half display we could have been a couple more goals up.

"But we have the goal, we kept a clean sheet and we know we're capable of scoring an away goal at the Emirates. In the second game we need to improve on retaining possession. Overall we have to be happy."

The defending champions maintained the momentum, and the busy Almunia saved a close-range header from Cristiano Ronaldo as well as his follow up shot. Later, he raced off his line to dive at the feet of Tevez as United threatened more goals.

"Almunia had a big game in a big game," Wenger said. "His saves were excellent, top class in every sense. His reading of the game, his decision making, quality, sharpness. He was really top class tonight."

Although Arsenal had a spell of possession before halftime, the Gunners did little to worry United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, with defenders Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic firmly in control of striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

The pattern continued in the second half, with Ronaldo having a shot blocked. After Adebayor made a series of mistakes at the other end, the Arsenal fans began chanting the name of striker Eduardo da Silva.

Adebayor's response was a powerful shot that just cleared the crossbar, but Ronaldo then replied with a 25-meter drive that shook the Gunners bar.

Ferguson sent on Dimitar Berbatov for the busy Tevez, and Ryan Giggs stretched his record number of appearances for the club to 800 when he came on for Anderson. - AP

News by TheStar..

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Please help find our baby

Tan Lay Khiaw (left) and her husband, Kee Bak Siang, with a picture of Hao Kit.

KUALA LUMPUR: A 1-year-old boy has gone missing from his home and his family suspects that he has fallen into the hands of a human trafficking syndicate.

The toddler, Kee Hao Kit, was believed to have been abducted by a worker in his father's coconut plantation in Sungai Air Tawar, Sabak Ber- nam, Selangor, 12 days ago.

To date, his family has not received any ransom demand for his release.

Hao Kit's parents, Kee Bak Siang and Tan Lay Khiaw, are worried that their only child may have been smuggled out of the country.

"Nobody has contacted me for a ransom. He is just a baby," said Kee, 33, adding that the family did not have enemies nor did he owe anyone money.
Hao Kit went missing on April 10, when his mother Tan, left their house to go to a nearby shop at 4pm. She left her son in the care of her nephew and niece, both aged 13.

As she was leaving the house, Tan saw three men at her back door who claimed they were waiting for her husband.

"One of them was our gardener, who started working for us five days earlier. He was from Sabah."

When Tan returned home half an hour later, her nephew and niece were playing in front of the house but the baby was nowhere to be found. The two teenagers did not know that the baby had disappeared.

Witnesses told the grieving parents that they saw the child with their gardener who was riding a motorcycle.

The gardener has since gone missing and his mobile phone number is no longer in service.

"I can't asleep at night. Hao Kit is still a baby and needs me to comfort and feed him," said Tan, a housewife.

They have lodged a police report and have sought the help of the media to highlight their baby's disappearance.

A woman contacted them recently, claiming she had seen Hao Kit in Taman Maluri, Cheras. Police checked out the tip-off but to no avail.

Yesterday, the couple sought the assistance of MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong.

The couple urged those who had seen their son to contact them or a nearby police station. They can be contacted at 016-5963109 and the department at 03-21615678.

News and Pics By: NSTOnline

Najib doesn’t depend on me: Dr M

CYBERJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was not acting as a consultant to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Najib Tun Razak.

He added Najib didn’t depend on him for advice, for example, on the appointment of Cabinet members, claiming that some of the ministers who had been appointed by Najib were corrupt.

Dr Mahathir declined to say who they were, but singled out Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Johari Baharom, whom he said should have not been appointed minister and deputy minister respectively.

“Nazri was nasty to me, so of course, I don’t like him.

”And Johari, he had this accusation against him that he had accepted RM5mil to release some people (from jail).

“Of course, he was cleared. But, some people feel that he should have not been made deputy minister,” the former premier told reporters after presenting a speech titled “The MSC and leadership in the information age” at the MSC Malaysia Leadership Talk Series here Wednesday.

Nazri had been a vocal critic of Dr Mahathir when the latter constantly made scathing attacks on his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he was prime minister.

Johari was Deputy Internal Security Minister when he was accused of accepting bribes to release a detainee in 2007.

Dr Mahathir also said he was only giving his personal opinion that the Barisan Nasional should contest if a by-election is called in Penanti, although Najib had indicated that the coalition should focus more on improving the economy.

“I give valid reasons. But, I’m only expressing my opinion. He (Najib) doesn’t have to follow me.

“I give my opinion, but they don’t consult me. I’m not a consultant on every issue,” he added.

However, Dr Mahathir said it didn’t mean that he was opposed to Najib, saying that the Umno president had the right to decide on Cabinet members and their deputies.

News by TheStar..

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Proton unveils its first MPV

KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd’s first multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the Exora, was unveiled to the public in a gala event here yesterday.

Launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the 1.6-litre Exora has already received orders of 2,500 units, even before its launch.

The seven-seater - Proton’s most important model for the year - also marks the company’s entry into the MPV market, which is growing domestically and regionally.

It also represents the Proton management’s response to market needs and consumer demands.

The Exora’s interior is more spacious than other MPVs in its engine class. It also has separate air-conditioner blowers with ceiling mounted vents for the second and third row passengers.

Large doors allow for easy entry and exit, while the second and third row seats can be folded for a flat floor layout when carrying bulky items.

The vehicle has safety features like dual front airbags, pretensioner seatbelts and anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution.

The Exora, which is powered by a 1.6-litre CamPro CPS engine, was the result of an investment of RM450mil and 18 months of intense in-house research and development.

The MPV is available in four-speed automatic version, in trim levels of Mid-Line and Hi-Line.

The Mid-Line Exora costs RM69,998 and the Hi-Line variant, RM75,998 (prices quoted here are for metallic colours only)

News and Pics by TheStar..

Fairus: Clear my name or prepare for expose

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, who quit as Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1 and as Penanti assemblyman, has given PKR a two-week deadline to clear his name, saying he would otherwise expose a state government and party scandal.

In an exclusive interview with Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau, he said he had inside information related to the internal operation of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance.

“That is the reason why the party still does not take any action against me,” he said, adding that it was not convenient for him to elaborate at present and urged the press to be patient.

Mohammad Fairus has been quizzed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for his alleged involvement with illegal quarry activities in the state, and has come under fire by his own party for supposed under-performance.

“I am innocent. They know what I can do. So do not push me (from taking such step)!” he said, claiming that he had been framed by party insiders.

He told Nanyang Siang Pau that he was unhappy with his party for not standing behind him as it had done for Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong and former Bukit Selambau assemblyman V. Arumugam.

“The two of them were just state executive council (exco) members, while I am not only a state exco member but also state Deputy Chief Minister,” he said, denying criticism that he had been neglectful of his constituency and absent from many state government functions.

He claimed that it was all part of a well-crafted plot to frame him.

“I have done my constituency work properly and have the support of my voters. Those on the outside may not understand this because my work and services for the constituency have not been reported in newspapers,” he said.

He added that he would cooperate with the MACC to clear his name over the illegal quarrying issue.

News by TheStar..

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Malaysian student killed in Melbourne crash


A Malaysian student was killed on Saturday when a car in which she was travelling skidded and hit a tree in Apollo Bay, about 190km from here.
Sharon Chua Sook Teng, 35, a MBA student at the RMIT University here, died on the spot.

"It appears that a Toyota sedan lost control on the Great Ocean Road and hit a tree about 10km west of Apollo Bay just after 4.30pm," a police spokeswoman told Bernama.

Another woman, also a passenger in the car, was trapped for some time before being airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition," she said.

The driver, believed to be the husband of the injured woman, was taken to Apollo Bay Hospital and then transferred to the Geelong Hospital for treatment.

The couple, friends of Sharon, were holidaying here from Singapore. Their names have not been released.
Sharon brothers, Poi Hean and Poi Keong, and sister Jennifer flew in here this morning to claim the body.

Jennifer said the family was waiting for the body to be released by the coroner before being cremated and the ashes taken back to their home in Cheras.

News by NSTOnline..

P/S May her soul rest in peace.. Amen

Eli Wong agrees to stay as exco, rep

SHAH ALAM: Bukit Lanjan rep Elizabeth Wong has agreed to stay on as state executive councillor and assemblyman.

Wong, who had tendered her resignation after revealing photos of her emerged two months ago, was earlier Wednesday asked to stay on by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

In a statement later Wednesday, Wong said, "It is with the greatest humility that I accept the Selangor state’s offer to remain in office."

She also thanked the Sultan of Selangor for his guidance.

"I wish to thank mentri besar and the Selangor exco, my staff, my fellow assemblymen, fellow politicians from Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional, PKR leaders, the Women’s wing of PKR and the grassroots, and my legal team for their support and guidance," she added.

When she had tendered her resignation, Khalid had asked her to go on leave pending a decision.

Khalid told a press conference that asking Wong to resume her duties was the right thing to do, even though she had tendered in her resignation

“The state government believes this is an appropriate and fair decision after taking into consideration views from all quarters, public interest and the fact that police investigations have to date failed to reach a conclusion,” he said after chairing the weekly exco meeting.

Khalid was accompanied by almost all of his exco members, including senior exco Teresa Wong and Datuk Dr Hassan Ali, who is the state PAS commissioner, when making the announcement.

The mentri besar also added that Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had been briefed about the exco’s decision to retain Wong.

Khalid also thanked Sultan Sharafuddin for his stand in not interfering in political decisions and entrusting the state government to make a fair and just decision.

Khalid stressed that morality was of utmost importance to the state's Pakatan Rakyat government.

“We will ensure that this principle is strictly adhered to. Should there be any conclusive evidence of wrongdoings, the state government will not hesitate to initiate the necessary action,” he added.

However, said Khalid, the state government was also equally concerned in protecting the rights to privacy and would do its utmost to protect that right.

He reiterated that Wong was a victim and that even though it was an issue of morality, everyone was innocent until proven guilty.

Wong found herself in a quandary after some revealing pictures of her were sent to the media in early February.

She immediately tendered her resignation as exco member and elected representative citing that it was in the best interest of her party PKR.

Wong was granted long leave while the police conducted investigations and the exco debated on her status as exco member and assemblyman.

When asked if all the exco members had agreed unanimously to reject Wong’s resignation or if the decision to retain her was PKR’s, Khalid said what was discussed at the meeting would not be revealed.

He also stressed that it was the state government’s decision not to accept Wong’s resignation.

She went on leave on Feb 15 after some revealing pictures of her were posted on the Internet, and also tendered her resignation as exco member and assemblyman, saying that it was in the best interest of her party PKR and the state’s Pakatan Rakyat ruling coalition.

Other exco members temporarily took over Wong’s tourism, consumer affairs and environment portfolio. Khalid and senior exco Teresa Kok handled tourism, Ean Yong Hian Wah will oversaw consumer affairs while Rodziah Ismail and Dr Xavier Jayakumar handled environment.

Rodziah also stood in for Wong in carrying out the official duties as Bukit Lanjan assemblyman.

The revealing pictures of Wong were sent to selected media outlets by unknown parties.

She lodged a police report and in the course of their investigations, police obtained a warrant of arrest for one Hilmi Malek, a former boyfriend of the assemblyman.

Hilmi, 32, was issued a notice under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code to come forward and record a statement by March 19, but to date, there has been no word from him. He is believed to be residing in a neighbouring country.

Wong said the past two months have been more than an ordeal for her.

“I have been stripped bare publicly -- both figuratively and literally -- by force and against my will. My personal life has been violated and assaulted by none other than criminals.

“Even up to this evening, I continue to receive threats from unknown persons.

“This is not a scandal, as some have suggested, but a clear criminal act. This is no less a form of criminal intimidation, a form of political violence, and one which, if I chose to retreat into silence, would in turn indirectly affect women, especially women politicians,” she added.

Wong said she was “humbled by the encouragement and support shown by the media, my family and friends, non-governmental organisations, the tens of thousands of people who signed the petitions on my behalf and who wrote to me, and especially my constituents who stood by me in these trying times.”

“I also wish to thank the [olice for their professionalism in addressing the issue at hand and I look forward to them apprehending and charging the criminals soonest,” she said.

News by TheStar Online..

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bangkok turns into a war zone

BANGKOK: Thai soldiers sprayed automatic weapons fire into the air and threw tear gas to clear demonstrators blocking roads across the capital Monday in a major escalation of anti-government protests that have roiled this South-East Asian nation.

At least 74 people were reported injured in the clashes, most of them in a pre-dawn confrontation in which the demonstrators hurled at least one gasoline bomb and, according to the military, fired at the troops.

The protesters were stationed at half a dozen points in Bangkok, including the prime minister’s office where thousands remained encamped, defying a state of emergency that bans gatherings of more than five people.

The demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, saying his four-month-old government came to power illegally.

Protesters commandeered public buses to block several key intersections, set tires on fire and sent two unmanned buses, one of them set on fire, hurtling toward lines of soldiers.

In one of several tense confrontations and cat-and-mouse chases around the city, a line of troops in full battle gear fired volleys of M-16 fire, most of it aimed above the heads of protesters and turned water cannons on the crowd near Victory Monument, a major traffic circle.

Protesters at an intersection near the monument set an empty bus on fire and, after weighing down the accelerator with a bag of water bottles, sent it surging toward advancing soldiers.

The bus swerved and then ricocheted off trees on the side of the road before coming to a halt, with no one injured.

City officials said the protesters have commandeered about 30 public buses and earlier forced military vehicles to halt, in one case climbing on top of two armoured personnel carriers, waving flags and shouting “Democracy.”

The red-shirted demonstrators are supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who want new elections and Abhisit’s ouster. They also accuse the country’s elite -- the military, judiciary and other unelected officials -- of undermining democracy by interfering in politics.

Parliament appointed Abhisit in December after a court ordered the removal of the previous pro-Thaksin government citing fraud in the 2007 elections. Thaksin supporters took to the streets in protest, and their numbers grew to 100,000 in Bangkok last week.

A mob of the red-shirted protesters smashed cars carrying Abhisit and his aides on Sunday. The secretary-general of Abhisit’s office, Niphon Promphan, was dragged from the car and beaten, suffering head injuries and broken ribs.

Abhisit appealed Monday to the demonstrators to return to their homes, saying the government was using “the softest measures possible” against them.

“All the work I am doing is not to create fear or put pressure or to harm any group of people. It’s a step by step process to restore order and stop violence,” he said on nationwide television.

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said the “situation in Thailand is being brought back under control.”

“In the next few hours, several security measures will be established ... to secure major ports, international airports and infrastructure,” he said.

In contrast to a complete security breakdown over the weekend, where a 16-nation Asian summit was canceled after demonstrators stormed the venue, security forces began to take action.

Monday’s first clash began between 4am and 5am, as troops in full combat gear advanced to disperse the protesters, who were occupying a major junction, according to witnesses.

The soldiers fired hundreds of rounds from their M-16 automatic rifles, with Associated Press reporters saying most appeared to have been aimed over the heads of the protesters.

The reporters saw protesters throw at least one gasoline bomb which exploded behind the army line and tear gas floated across the eerie dawn scene.

At the nearby Century Park Hotel, foreign tourists were seen rushing into taxis and heading for Bangkok’s international airport. But others seemed unruffled.

“We’re from South Africa. We don’t scare easy,” said Estelle Jones, a tourist from Johannesburg.

France, Britain, Australia, the United States, South Korea and the Philippines were among countries that issued travel advisories Monday, urging citizens to avoid trips to Thailand and for those already in Bangkok to stay in their hotels and away from protests.

The US Embassy issued a warden message urging Americans “to avoid the areas of demonstrations and to exercise caution anywhere in Bangkok.”

Dr Chatri Charoenchivakul of the Erawan Emergency Coordination Centre said at least 70 people were injured, most of them from tear gas, while two soldiers and two civilians suffered from gunshot wounds. Another four persons were injured in clashes near Victory Monument, he said.

Army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the protesters also used tear gas as well as “weapons” to open fire on the soldiers.

Monday marked the beginning of the Thai New Year, normally the country’s most joyous holiday. The Bangkok municipal government cancelled all its festivities, but despite the rioting many Thais and foreign tourists began engaging in the ritualistic water throwing and general partying.

However, all major department stores, malls and jewellery shops in Chinatown shut their doors.

On Sunday night, ousted prime minister Thaksin, regarded by most of the protesters as their leader, called for a revolution and said he might return from exile to lead it.

Thaksin fled the country last year, before a court convicted him in absentia of violating a conflict of interest law.

“Now that they have tanks on the streets, it is time for the people to come out in revolution. And when it is necessary, I will come back to the country,” he said in a telephoned message to followers outside Abhisit’s office.

The message was broadcast over a video link projected on giant screens and relayed on supporters’ Internet sites. It was unclear where Thaksin was calling from, but the former leader has been spending much of his time in Dubai.

Political tensions have simmered since Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in 2006 amid accusations of corruption and abuse of power. He remains popular in the impoverished countryside for his populist policies.

His opponents -- many in urban areas -- took to the streets last year to help bring down two pro-Thaksin governments, seizing Bangkok’s two airports in November for about a week. -- AP

News and Pics by TheStar..

Malam Kemuncak Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian

GENTING HIGHLANDS, 13 APRIL 2009: Juara Raja Lawak 2, Ahmad Nabil Ahmad atau lebih dikenali sebagai Nabil, telah dinobatkan sebagai Bintang Paling Popular pada Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2008 (ABPBH08) yang sebelum ini disandang oleh Raja SMS, Mawi.

Dengan kemenangan itu, Nail meraih hadiah barang kemas tajaan Rafflesia The Pearl Centre bernilai RM150,000, kereta Nissan Sylphy (2.0) tajaaan Edaran Tan Chong Motor berharga RM109,000, perabot Empire Classic Furniture bernilai RM30,000 serta pakej penginapan bernilai RM8,000 tajaan Hotel Palace of the Golden Horses, selain trofi.

Trofi Bintang Paling Popular 2008 itu disampaikan Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan New Straits Times Press (NSTP), Datuk Hishamuddin Aun yang diiringi Pengarang Kumpulan Berita Harian Sdn Bhd (BHSB), Datuk Manja Ismail, di majlis kemuncak ABPBH2008 di Arena of Stars, malam tadi.

Nabil, 26, meraih 127,524 undi sekaligus menewaskan nama-nama besar lain seperti Mawi, Dato' Siti Nurhaliza, Haji Aznil Haji Nawawi dan Meet Uncle Hussain. Dalam majlis itu juga Nabil turut meraih anugerah dalam 2 kategori lain iaitu Artis Komedi Lelaki Popular dan Artis Baru Lelaki Popular.

Majlis yang bertemakan Sentuhan Tenun itu turut disiarkan secara langsung melalui TV3 serta Hot FM. Anugerah Percapaian Sepanjang Hayat pula diberikan kepada Raja Pop, Jamal Abdillah berdasarkan sumbangan beliau memartabatkan industri muzik tanah air sepanjang pembabitannya dalam dunia seni selama 30 tahun.

Turut mencipta sejarah berulang pada malam tersebut ialah Dato' Siti yang mempertahankan gelarannya selama 12 tahun berturut-turut bagi kategori Penyanyi Wanita Popular sementara Aznil pula terus menjulang trofi Pengacara TV Lelaki Popular bagi 6 kali berturut-turut.

Kumpulan Rabbani juga mencipta kejayaan yang dijangkan apabila mengekalkan kemenangan mereka menerusi kategori Artis Nasyid Popular bagi 8 tahun berturut-turut.

Lebih 5,000 penonton hadir menyaksikan acara lebih 2 jam itu yang dihoskan pasangan pelakon dan pengacara sensasi, Sharifah Shahira dan Adlin Aman Ramlie. Penyanyi yang membuat persembahan ialah Stacy, Aizat, Siti Sarah, Ayu OIAM, Diddy Hirdy, Jeffrydin, L Ramlie, Jamal Abdillah, Dato Siti, Kristal, Farah Asyikin, Faizal Tahir, Anita Sarawak dan Hujan.

ABPBH08 anjuran Berita Harian yang memasuki edisi ke-22 itu terus bertahan sebagai antara majlis pengiktirafan paling berprestij dalam dunia hiburan tanah air kerana menggabungkan semua penggiat seni termasuk dalam bidang perfileman, muzik dan penyiaran.


*Bintang Paling Popular - Nabil

*Pelakon Filem Lelaki Popular - Que Haidar

*Pelakon Filem Wanita Popular - Maya Karin

*Pelakon TV Lelaki Popular - Rosyam Nor

*Pelakon TV Wanita Popular - Dynas

*Penyanyi Lelaki Popular - Mawi

*Penyanyi Wanita Popular - Dato' Siti Nurhaliza

*Artis Nasyid Popular - Rabbani

*Artis Berkumpulan/Duo Popular - Meet Uncle Hussain

*Artis Komedi Lelaki Popular - Nabil

*Artis Komedi Wanita Popular - Noorkhiriah

*Artis Baru Lelaki Popular - Nabil

*Artis Baru Wanita Popular - Stacy

*Pengacara TV Lelaki Popular - Aznil Hj Nawawi

* Pengacara TV Wanita Popular - Fara Fauzana

*Penyampai Radio Lelaki Popular - Faizal Ismail

*Penyampai Radio Wanita Popular - Fara Fauzana

*Anugerah Khas Pencapaian Sepanjang Hayat - Biduan Jamal Abdillah

Berita oleh

Ex-Sabah Minister Mojuntin goes to jail

KOTA KINABALU: Former Berjaya minister minister Datuk Conrad Mojuntin began serving his six-month jail sentence on Monday, for threatening a businessman three years ago.

His application for leave to challenge the Jan 3 High Court decision to sentence him to six months’ imprisonment was not granted by the Court of Appeal that sat here Monday.

The Court directed the former state minister to serve his six-month prison term for criminal intidimation of a businessman.

Justices Datuk Tengku Baharudin Shah Tengku Mahmud, Datuk Md Raus Sharif and Datuk Abdull Hamid Embong heard the application. They also revoked his RM5,000 bail.

Conrad, 60, was sentenced to six months jail and fined RM2,000 in default of three months’ jail for criminally intimidating businessman Doughty Disimon, 30, outside the SJD Cafe and Sports in Donggonggon in Penampang near here at 3.30am on Oct 23, 2005.

The assault incident was linked to the shooting death of 19-year-old fishmonger Anthony Chang.

Conrad, who was state minister youth, culture and sports in the early 1980s, was represented by Zahir Shah with the prosecution headed by Manoj Kumar.

News by TheStar Online..

Thursday, April 9, 2009

David Archuleta, the runner-up of last year’s American Idol made a surprise appearance at SMK Sri KDU in Kota Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

PETALING JAYA: The real world and cyberspace were caught up in the David Archuleta mania as the runner-up of last year’s American Idol made a surprise appearance at SMK Sri KDU in Kota Damansara.

“It was crazy as I did not realise how many kids would be there.

“I did not expect them to be that enthusiastic and have that much energy,” said Archuleta of the big crowd at the school yesterday.

He was mobbed by an equally huge crowd when he landed at KL International Airport on Wednesday.

The students of the school were rewarded with the special visit after having won the “Bring Archuleta To Your School” campaign.

Students were required to answer questions and vote for their schools on the radio station’s website. The school garnered a whopping 65,700 votes.

“I voted for our school so many times. I just kept clicking the submit button (on the website) over and over again!” exclaimed Form 4 student Goh Lih Seng, who added that he enjoyed Archuleta’s music but was never a big fan. “Now I’m a huge fan!” he said.

The 18-year-old singer spent about an hour at the secondary school, posing for pictures with the top students before entering the hall where he was greeted with screams.

Meanwhile, the team from The Star’s youth platform R.AGE was hard at work at the school, keeping fans of the baby-faced singer updated with what was happening.

Using the social networking tool Twitter, which allows people to follow updates of fellow “Tweeple”, the R.AGE team was able to notify anyone with immediate updates and pictures on site, including replies by Archuleta from an interview conducted after the event.

Earlier, Archuleta told the crowd how much he loved Malaysia and what a surreal experience it was for him to be in Malaysia, all the way from Utah, United States.

He also talked to the students about how he got through high school with good grades.

“I wasn’t the smartest in my class but I took my time and worked at (my studies). The effort is what helped me out and got me the grades I wanted,” Archuleta said.

After the event, Archuleta held a press conference at the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. He will perform a special showcase at Sunway Lagoon Amphitheatre at 3pm on Saturday.

* Log on to for more pictures and details on David Archuleta’s visit to SMK Sri KDU.

News and pic by: TheStar Online..

Najib names 28-member Cabinet

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a 28-member Cabinet with 25 ministries that saw eight ministers dropped and seven new faces appointed.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who won the Umno deputy presidency in last month’s party elections, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister.

Najib, who took his oath of office as the new prime minister on April 3, also retained the finance portfolio which he has held since Sept 19 last year following the portfolio swap between him and former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at that time.

Najib’s Cabinet is slightly smaller than his predecessor’s 32 ministers and 27 ministries.

Najib said that the new members of the administration were highly spirited and ready to serve.

Najib was at Istana Terengganu in Kuala Lumpur at about 10:57am where he had a 30-min audience with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan, before leaving for Putrajaya where he announced the new line-up at 3pm.

The premier had spent the last five days juggling names and positions to take into consideration the requests and views of various Barisan Nasional component parties.

The new ministers and deputy ministers will take their oath of office at Istana Negara at 9.30am Friday.


Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

Deputy PM and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

Ministers in Prime Minister’s Department
Unity and Performance Dr Koh Tsu Koon
Law and Parliament Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz
Religious Affairs Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharum
Economic Planning Unit Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop

Deputies: Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim, Datuk SK Devamany, Ahmad Maslan, Senator T. Murugiah

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Finance Minister II: Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadziah
Deputies: Datuk Chor Chee Heung, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies: Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Puad Zarkashi

Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat
Deputies: Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Datuk Robert Lau

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies: Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop, Jelaing Mersat

Information, Culture, Arts and Communications
Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Deputies: Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, Senator Heng Sai Kee

Energy, Green Tech & Water
Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy: Noriah Kasnon

Plantation Industries and Commodoties
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Deputy: Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

Rural and Regional Development
Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal
Deputies: Datuk Hassan Malek, Datuk Joseph Entulu

Higher Education
Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin
Deputies: Dr Hou Kok Chung, Saifuddin Abdullah

International Trade and Industry
Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputies: Datuk Muhkriz Mahathir, Datuk Jacob Dungau

Science, Tech and Innovation
Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy: Fadillah Yusof

Natural Resources and Environment
Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas
Deputy: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup

Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy: Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib

Agriculture and Agro-based Industries
Datuk Noh Omar
Deputies: Johari Baharum, Rohani Abdul Karim

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Deputy: Datuk Dr Abdul Latif

Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy: Datuk Yong Khoon Seng

Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy: Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shilin

Youth and Sports
Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputies: Datuk Razali Ibrahim, Wee Jeck Seng

Human Resources
Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam
Deputy: Datuk Maznah Mazlan

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri
Deputy: Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Housing and Local Government
Datuk Kong Cho Ha
Deputy: Lajim Ukin

Women, Family and Community Development
Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Deputy: Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun

Foreign Affairs
Datuk Anifah Aman
Deputies: Datuk Lee Chee Hong, Senator A. Kohilan

Federal Territories
Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin
Deputy: M. Saravanan

News by TheStar Online..

Altantuya murder: It's death for Azilah and Sirul

SHAH ALAM: Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar,36, were found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu three years ago, wrapping up the country's longest trial ever.

Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin, said the prosecution had proven the case against them beyond reasonable doubt.

He said their defences were essentially ones of denial and of blaming each other and as such, were irreconcilable and unbelievable.

"Thus they have failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case which I find to be irresistibly conclusive on account of the physical and circumstantial evidence adduced before me.

"I therefore now sentence you, Azilah and Sirul Azhar, to death and both of you will henceforth be kept in lawful custody until you are brought to a lawful place where you will be hung by the neck until you are dead," he said.

The defense counsels said they would appeal.

Azilah, is represented by two counsels, Datuk Hazman Ahmad and J. Kuldeep Kumar while Sirul Azhar, is represented by Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Hasnal Redzua Marican and Ahmad Zaidi Zainal.

In elaborating the sole defence of C/Insp Azilah who testified under oath in January, Justice Mohd Zaki said the first accused had contended that he did not utter those statements relating to the scene which were admitted by the court as evidence of information leading to discovery of facts.

“That he (C/Insp Azilah) was not at the scene of crime at the relevant dates and times and instead claimed that he was somewhere in Wangsa Maju as per his notice of alibi, and that he was not the last person to be with the deceased for he had handed her over to the second accused on the night in question to send her back to Hotel Malaya,” he said.

However, Justice Mohd Zaki noted that C/Insp Azilah did not call any of his witnesses to support his defence and his alibi.

“The law relating to the non-calling of a witness by the defence is well settled,” said the judge.

On the defence of Kpl Sirul who gave his statement in dock on Feb 4, the judge said Kpl Sirul claimed that he was made “the scapegoat”.

“Kpl Sirul claimed that he did not utter all the statements relating to those personal belongings of the deceased which were admitted by this court as evidence of information leading to the discovery of facts under Section 27 of Evidence Act.

“He claimed that he was not at the crime scene but was instead having tea at Devi’s Corner in Sri Hartamas and having “sahur” at Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur and that the deceased had never been handed over to him by the first accused for her to be sent back to Hotel Malaya,” he said.

Justice Mohd Zaki said the law relating to the weight to be attached to the unsworn statement from the dock, which was not subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution, was also likewise settled.

“The weight to be attached to this category of defence may not be the same as one attached to the defence upon evidence on oath,” he said.

However, he said the court must consider it for whatever it was worth having regard to the other evidence available and to see whether the defence had succeeded in casting a reasonable doubt in the case.

In Thursday’s proceedings, Justice Mohd Zaki only read out the final four pages of his 283-page draft judgment.

Kpl Sirul and C/Insp Azilah had claimed trial to murdering the Mongolian beauty between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006 at Mukim Bukit Raja here.

The two were ordered on Oct 31 to enter their defence.

Last October, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was acquited without his defence being called of abetting in the murder of the 28-year-old Mongolian woman.

Eighty-four witnesses out of 198 witnesses had testified in the trial that took 165 days to complete recording their evidence.

In an immediate response, lead prosecutor DPP Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah said it was a fair decision saying that the prosecution had strong circumstantial evidence against both accused.

“Of course, the battle is not over yet. It will be a fight at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court. Only if the Federal Court affirms the decision, is it settled. Let’s wait and see at the appellate court,” he said with a smile.

For now, DPP Tun Abd Majid said the prosecution was satisfied as their hard work had paid off.

“As far as the prosecution is concerned, there was no involvement of anyone else, politically or otherwise,” he added.

Lawyer Datuk Hazman Ahmad, for C/Insp Azilah, said he would file an appeal against the court ruling, probably by next week.

Counsel Hasnal Rezua Merican, acteing for Kpl Sirul, said he would file an appeal against the court decision.

Among those present in court included Mongolian translator Enkhjargal Tsetsgee, who sent a text message to Altantuya’s father over the verdict.

Earlier, over 60 media representatives were screened to the courtroom at 8.50am.

C/Insp Azilah, clad in blue checked long-sleeve shirt and black pants, walked to the courtroom at 9am and jovially chatted with his fiancee Nur Azila Baharuddin and hugged his friend.

Shortly later, Kpl Sirul, attired in black shirt with a matching dark coat and black pants, came and shook hands with his police friends.

In the high profile trial that hogged the local and international media, the duo were charged with murdering Altantuya, who was 28 then, between Lot 12843 and Lot 16735 Mukim Bukit Raja near here, between 10 pm, Oct 19 and 1 am, Oct 20, 2006.

Initially they were tried together with the executive director of Malaysian Strategic Research Centre (MSRC), Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, who was charged with abetment in the murder of Altantuya.

However on Oct 31, 2008, the political analyst walked out a free man after the court found that the prosecution had failed to furnish proof on an important element on the abetment charge.

Abdul Razak since has left to United Kingdom and is said to be taking up a PhD at Oxford University.

While Azilah and Sirul Azhar -- who pleaded not guilty -- were hoping to be released, the prosecution went all out to prove they were the ones behind Altantuya's murder and the disposal of her remains using explosives.

The prosecution team consisting of Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, Noorin Badaruddin, Manoj Kurup and Hanim Rashid, stressed in their submissions that Azilah and Sirul Azhar were the people behind Altantuya's murder.

Based on the evidence gathered from prosecution witnesses, the explosive used to blow up Altantuya's body was probably placed in her mouth.

Manoj noted at the end of the prosecution's case that both accused had the motive to kill and it was a preplanned crime.

Manoj noted that several circumstantial pieces of evidence that the prosecution tried to prove were never denied, explained or answered by both defendants.

"Several of the strong evidence deduced from the testimonies when spun together will make two ropes that are strong enough to hang each one of them.

"The prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt on the actions of the duo calls for their conviction on the murder carried out with the common intention," he had said.

Azilah, who started his testimony on Jan 15, stated that he had no motive to kill or destroy the woman and instead he only met Altantuya to advise her politely not to harass Abdul Razak or create a ruckus outside the latter's home.

Azilah also told the court that he was ordered by a superior, DSP Musa Safri to help Abdul Razak and thus he would not have done something stupid like killing -- especially seeing he was a policeman.

While defending himself Sirul Azhar broke down a few times and claimed he had been made the sacrificial lamb in the murder.

The case has set many records including being the most number of days for hearing (159 days) and 84 witnesses at the prosecution stage and two at the defence stage, and it remained the high profile case for almost two years before Abdul Razak was released.

According to records, Azilah has been incarcerated at the Sungai Buloh Prison for 891 days while Sirul Azhar 895 days.

News by TheStar Online..

p/s Lord, have mercy on them..

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bkt Selambau - PKR wins

10:45pm) Bkt Selambau: Official final results - PKR’s Manikumar wins with 2,403 vote majority. PKR 12,632 votes vs BN 10,229 votes. Independents 1,326 votes. Spoilt votes 415.

(10:35pm) Bkt Selambau: Official results from 61 out of 64 streams - PKR 11,856 votes vs BN 9,708 votes. Independents 1,245 votes.

more news at TheStar..

PKR’s Manikumar wins in Bukit Selambau

By Shannon Teoh

SUNGAI PETANI, April 7 — First-timer S. Manikumar has ensured that Bukit Selambau is represented in the state executive council after a hard-fought but convincing 2,403-vote win over Barisan Nasional's Datuk S. Ganesan.

The PKR candidate polled 12,632 votes to defeat the former Lunas assemblyman who managed 10,229.

The win in the mixed constituency is a fillip for the PAS-led government of Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak as speculation of defections to topple the Pakatan Rakyat continues to swirl.

With Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's MIC also failing to deliver the crucial tie-breaking Indian votes who make up 30 per cent of the electorate here, it also brings the beleaguered party on the brink of irrelevance.

Ganesan was nowhere to be found, having told reporters he would not be at the counting centre as BN reels from yet another election setback with the 2-1 defeat in the triple by-elections.

With even the influence of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad failing to swing the tide, tonight's results confirm that the new leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not see a honeymoon period.

Samy Vellu said: “I am certain we have increased Indian support. Even though we are disappointed, we accept the verdict and will work hard to regain the confidence of the Indian community.”

Datuk Johari Abdul, PKR's election director for Bukit Selambau and Sungai Petani MP, said: "Umno may have done well but the other BN component parties have not."

He said BN took most of the Malay areas but PKR won in Chinese and mixed areas even though the Indian support decreased.

news by TheMalaysianInsider..

Ousted Perak MB Nizar (PAS) wins; BN wins in Sarawak

PAS retains Bkt Gantang

TAIPING: PAS’ Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin won the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election with a majority of 2,789 votes.

He beat Barisan Nasional’s Ismail Saffian and independent Kamarul Ramizu Idris.

The 52-year-old former Perak mentri besar garnered 21,860 votes against Ismail’s 19,071. Kamarul Ramizu only managed to secure 62 votes and lost his deposit.

Ismail, 49, is the only local candidate in this three-cornered contest. Nizar, who hails from Kampar, is a registered voter in Pasir Panjang in the southern part of Perak.

Barisan’s expectation of securing more support by fielding a local candidate did not materialise. The coalition managed to get 622 more votes compared with the 18,449 votes it had secured in 2008 general election.

PAS, through Nizar, who was said to be banking on sympathy votes after the Barisan takeover of Perak state, improved its vote count by 1,845 votes compared with the 20,015 votes it garnered in 2008.

The by-election -- largely seen as a referendum on Barisan’s move to capture the state from Pakatan Rakyat by getting three of the latter’s state assemblymen to quit parties of the Pakatan alliance -- was called following the death of its Member of Parliament Roslan Shaharum of PAS in February.

In the last general election, the late Roslan had scored an upset over Umno’s Datuk Abdul Azim Zabidi with a majority of 1,566 votes.

Intermittent rain did not deter voters from coming out to exercise their democratic rights. Turnout was 75.1% or 41,626 of the total 55,562 voters, slightly higher than 72.65% in the 2008 general election.

In fact, the turnout this time was the highest ever for the constituency which was created in 1986. In the last six elections, the average turnout was only 70%.

This semi-rural parliamentary constituency is made up of the three state constituencies of Changkat Jering, Trong and Kuala Sepetang.

Barisan takes Batang Ai

LUBOK ANTU: Barisan Nasional won the remote Batang Ai state constituency in southern Sarawak by a convincing majority of 1,854 votes.

Its candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, 49, from Parti Rakyat Sarawak, defeated Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Jawah Gerang, 55, after garnering 3,907 votes against Jawah’s 2,053.

In the 2006 state elections, Barisan’s Datuk Dublin Unting won against opposition Sarawak National Party (SNAP) by 806 votes in this seat that is made up of 95% Ibans. Unting died on Feb 24 from a stroke.

PKR, which was contesting for the first time in an Iban heartland in Sarawak, gave Barisan a good fight all the way to the finish line, but failed to overcome the powerful election machinery that Barisan had deployed to Batang Ai over the last month.

Mussen is an engineer with the State Agriculture Department, while Jawah was a former five-term MP for Lubok Antu when he was with the now deregistered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak.

8,006 registered voters

1. Jawah Gerang (PKR) .............. 2,053
2. MALCOLM MUSSEN LAMOH (BN)........ 3,907

Majority .................. 1,854
Votes cast .......... 6,019
Percentage ............... 75.32
Spoilt votes ........... 59

news by TheStar..

Monday, April 6, 2009

Updates on Three by-elections today...

PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional’s candidate for Bukit Selambau S. Ganesan is believed to have been the first politician to kick off the nation’s historic triple-play by-elections when he cast his ballot at SJK(T) Ladang Perbadanan at about 8:20am.

The three by-elections are being closely watched not only because of the heightened political scenario but also due to some “firsts” they created.

It was the first time three by-elections will be held in the country on the same day and the first time 15 candidates will fight for a seat.

Also, for the first time, a former mentri besar, who is still an assemblyman, is contesting a parliamentary seat in a by-election.

All in all, 20 candidates are contesting.

The Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah has a record number of 15 candidates -- the highest ever in the country’s election history.

Barisan, under the fresh leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak which promises change under the 1Malaysia concept, has put a lot of pressure on its opponents, with even former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has just rejoined Umno, on the campaign trail.

The Opposition meanwhile believes that Malaysian voters are still supporting PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Voting starts at 8am and ends at 5pm. The results are expected in between 9pm and 11pm.

Bukit Gantang (P59)
The Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election will see a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional’s Ismail Saffian, 49, former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, 52, of PAS and independent Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42.

Malays make up 63.5% of the 55,562 voters in Bukit Gantang, followed by Chinese (27.1% ), Indians (9.1%) and others (0.2%).

The Bukit Gantang seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Roslan Shaharom of PAS on Feb 9.

Ismail is a local unlike Nizar who is a registered voter in Pasir Panjang, where he is also its state assemblyman. Kamarul is from Taiping, but is not considered a factor in the by-election.

Ismail, who is Bukit Gantang Umno information chief, is from Kampung Kubu, Bukit Gantang while his wife is from Changkat Ibol in the same constituency.

Bukit Selambau (N25)
Some 13 independent candidates are up against Barisan Nasional’s S. Ganesan and PKR’s S. Manikumar.

The independent candidates are former Kedah PPP Wanita Chief L. Sarala, insurance manager T. Chandrarajan, businessman R. Loganathan, Arumugam’s special assistant S. Moganakumar, management consultant A. Jayagopal, businessman Venason Michael, businessman Tan Hock Huat, former army personnel Mohd Fazil Abdul Wahab, former army personnel Major (rtd) Anuar Abdul Hamid, quarry operator Husaini Yaacob, contractor Abdul Rahim Abu, town planner Khamis Awang, and businessman Radzi Md Lazim.

There are 35,140 voters registered in Bukit Selambau.

Independent candidate V. Arumu­gam won the seat in the 12th general election and later joined PKR and was appointed state executive councillor. He vacated the seat on Feb 8, paving the way for the by-election.

Batang Ai (N29)
The Batang Ai by-election will see a straight fight between Barisan Na­­sional newcomer Malcom Mussem Lamoh, 49, who will face former five-term Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang, 55, in this rural, predominantly Iban constituency.

The Batang Ai constituency, located near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border, fell vacant following the death of assemblyman Datuk Dublin Unting on Feb 24.

It has 8,006 registered voters, about 95% of whom are Ibans.


Datuk Siti Nurhaliza dan Datuk K sertai PAS???


Datuk Seri Khalid Mohd Jiwa has denied rumours that he and his wife, popular singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin, had joined PAS.

Khalid, more popularly known as Datuk K, said the rumours could have started following their making a courtesy call on Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat at his office in Kota Baru recently.

"It's pure rubbish ... I am an Umno member and support fully the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak," he said.

He added that they paid a visit to Nik Aziz on hearing that the PAS spiritual leader was unwell.

"The night before (our visit to Nik Aziz's office), Siti had a performance at Istana Kelantan which Nik Aziz did not attend and when we asked the reason were told he could not make it because he was not feeling well," he said, adding that as a mark of respect for the menteri besar they called on him at his office the next day to extend their well wishes for him.

News by NSTOnline...

Dr M vs Anwar rematch in Bkt Selambau

By Shannon Teoh

SUNGAI PETANI, April 6 – Some 11 years after sacking him as deputy prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed will go head on against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in a grand finale for the Bukit Selambau state seat.

Having just rejoined Umno, the former prime minister will arrive in Bukit Selambau at 5.30pm today to put the finishing touches on a Barisan Nasional campaign that appears to have whittled away the 2,362-vote margin it lost by in the last general election.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader will start work earlier in an attempt to reduce gains made by BN before addressing a final ceramah as campaigning officially ends at midnight.

Former Umno vice president Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, a Mahathir loyalist, is already in town and believes his arrival will be “a real political factor” as it will not only bring back Umno supporters who deserted BN last year, but also help to tip over non-Malays who “still accord him the highest level of respect.”

“He is a special secret weapon whose presence will overcome internal bickering,” he said.

The final day of campaigning will be crucial, as most analyses are rating the polls at 50-50. Military intelligence sources as well as bookies believe it is too close to call with only police special branch giving BN a slight edge.

Both Umno and PKR back rooms however, seem to lean towards PKR coming into the final stretch a hair’s breadth ahead as Pakatan Rakyat’s machinery builds up steam while BN’s seem to already be looking to tomorrow’s balloting.

They also seem to agree that the Chinese votes will be firmly behind PKR while BN has the edge with the Malays despite the best efforts of Pas among heartland Malays.

But while it is likely that the 80 per cent sweep of Indian votes by PKR will not be repeated, there is uncertainty over exactly how many will swing to BN and this is the margin where the battle will be won or lost.

Reading Indian voters has been impossible due to defections going both ways, the initial uncertainty over Hindraf’s backing for PKR and MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s month-long campaign which nobody can say for sure is having a positive or negative effect.

Various factors have led to PKR candidate S. Manikumar being unlikely to maintain the advantage that previous incumbent V. Arumugam held.

The six Indian and six Malay independents will probably cancel out the effects on Manikumar and MIC’s Datuk S. Ganesan’s final tally and result in a scaling-down of the majority, whoever it goes to.

Sources say that the 13 independents will collect between 2,500 to 3,000 votes in total.

Lower turnouts are also normal for a by-election and total votes are estimated at just over 25,000.

But with this phenomenon usually more significant among non-Malays due to the voters being based outside of the constituency, it will work in Ganesan’s favour.

Despite Umno sources citing unhappiness among rural Chinese over the Pas-led state government, the majority will still go to PKR.

In fact, while Umno will bus in Malay voters, a BN campaign leader told The Malaysian Insider that both MCA and Gerakan are unlikely to do the same as outstation Chinese voters could not be counted on to vote for BN.

PKR election strategist Saifuddin Nasution acknowledges that it will not take four-fifths of Indian votes again, studies show a two-thirds approval of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak among them.

Malays make up just over half of the electorate and BN has made inroads into the seven polling districts previously won by PR with up to three won by PR by just a handful of votes last year set to be turned over.

However, in the four Umno stronghold Malay districts, PKR believes it has made inroads.

“We will still lose those districts, but by reduced majorities,” Saifuddin said, adding that it has achieved this by targetting various opinion makers in local communities to swing pockets of Malay villagers.

Anwar will in fact, be making a visit to one such local leader tomorrow afternoon in a last-gasp bid to pin back gains made by Umno among Malays.

And then on to his final speech tonight, as he looks to put one back over his old boss.

News by TheMalaysianInsider..

Hindraf men not exactly “free” men

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — They are free but they will feel like they are still in jail.

The two Hindraf lawyers V. Ganabatirao and R. Kengadharan have been tied down with numerous conditions as part of their “freedom.”

They cannot leave the districts they live in, must be back home by 7pm, must get written permission from the district police to leave the districts and cannot give any press conference, take part in gatherings of more then five people or take part in organised political activities.

When they were freed and driven to their homes here — Ganabatirao in Kampung Jawa, Shah Alam and Kengadharan in Kelana Jaya — they were taken to the respective district police stations where the rules were read out to them.

While Kengadharan managed to say a few sentences at a press conference at his house, Ganabatirao was too shaken to say even a few words.

But he did tell The Malaysian Insider his disappointment that his “release” had not brought him the freedom he and his family had hoped for.

He was overcome with emotions when asked what was top most in his mind on the long drive from Kamunting Camp yesterday. “We paid the price, we sacrificed for the community but others are enjoying the benefits,” he said.

“We (Hindraf Five) cleared the jungle, tilled the soil, planted the seeds but we suffered in prison while others harvested the fruits,” he said before plainclothes police intervened and stopped him from speaking.

Earlier after his arrival in a police car, about 200 people greeted Ganabatirao with flowers, Tamil mridangam (drum) music and hoisted him on their shoulders and walked to his house at the 8th mile Jalan Kemuning.

His house is part of a settlement of uprooted Indians from estates who had settled in the land since the 1970s and had been given legal titles by the government in the 1990s — ironically after MIC representation.

Most people worked in numerous small scale family-based industries that dot the settlement and had migrated from Perak and Kedah, uprooted after the estates they worked in were redeveloped.

Ganabatirao’s father was uprooted from Teluk Intan while his wife B. Buvaneswary is from Sungei Petani.

His brother Papparaidu, a councillor under the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government and a DAP member, did most of the talking for his brother, his eyes always straying to the plainclothes police officers hanging in the background.

Ganabatirao and the four others were detained since December 13, 2007 for leading the largest Indian uprising in the country on Nov 25, 2007, that helped mobilise Indian support for the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

He and 12 other detainees were freed by Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on his first day as the sixth prime minister three days ago.

Both Ganabatirao and Kengadharan still have their law offices as their wives had been paying the rent but they face a tough job to get their once prospering practices going again.

For one they cannot leave their respective districts without permission and that would hinder their legal practice as most of their work is in Kuala Lumpur.

Most of all they will have to adjust to living as “free” men again because in the detention camp every thing was regulated — from waking up to eating, exercising, reading and lights off time.

But now they have to create a new routine. It will take some adjusting to get use to the fact that now they can turn off the light as they like.

Buvaneswary says she will not stop Ganabatirao from restarting his political work, if he wants to.

But friends of Genga as Kengadharan is popularly known, says he might concentrate on his legal practice.

News by TheMalaysianInsider..


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