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MALAYSIA STATE OF SELANGOR FORMER CM JAILED FOR CORRUPTION

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

PUTRAJAYA,Malaysia - The Federal Court here upheld the one-year jail term for Selangor Chief Minister Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo for corruption.
Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the five-man panel, made the order on the grounds that Dr Khir had committed a crime within his knowledge as a public servant for obtaining for himself and his wife two plots of land and a bungalow in Shah Alam.
Justice Zulkefli also rejected the mitigation by defence counsel Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah for Dr Khir to provide free dental service to the poor in lieu of jail term. He said this was only meant for light offences.
  • Other judges on the panel were Justices Ahmad Maarop, Hasan Lah, Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha and Ramly Ali.
  • Dr Khir will be sent to the Kajang prison.
  • On Sept 22, the same panel convicted Dr Khir after dismissing his appeal to set aside his conviction.
  • He was charged with obtaining for himself and his wife two lots of land and a bungalow at Lots 8 & 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1L, Shah Alam, through Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Sham­suddin Hayroni.
  • The land and house were bought at RM3.5million (S$1.13 million), in contrast to the price of RM6.5million paid for it by Ditamas on Dec 23, 2004.
Dr Khir committed the offence knowing that Shamsuddin had dealings with him in his official capacity as mentri besar at the time.
On May 30 last year, the Court of Appeal rejected Dr Khir's appeal against his conviction and upheld the court order for him to forfeit ownership of the property and hand it over to the government.

Source: AsiaOne

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US LAWMAKERS CALL FOR INTERNAL PROBE OF MALAYSIA HUMAN TRAFFICKING RANKING?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WASHINGTON,U.S.A. - A group of Democratic lawmakers called on Monday for the U.S. State Department's internal watchdog to investigate the removal of Malaysia from a list of worst offenders in human trafficking following concerns that politics may have played a role in the decision.
The State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, issued in July, upgraded Malaysia from the lowest tier, potentially smoothing the way for a landmark free-trade deal with the Southeast Asian nation and 11 other countries.
Six members of the House of Representatives, including outspoken trade critics Rosa DeLauro and Louise Slaughter(photo), wrote to State Department Inspector General Steve Linick requesting a probe into why Malaysia was moved up a rung.
They cited reports that Malaysia was not doing enough to tackle human trafficking as well as a Reuters examination, published in August, that said the State Department office set up to independently rate countries' efforts was repeatedly overruled by senior U.S. diplomats.
"We are concerned about the role that possible political influence may have played in the development and content of the TIP Report, particularly as it relates to Malaysia's status,"the letter said.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. State Department officials have denied any political interference in the report. 
Secretary of State John Kerry said last month that he had "zero conversation" within the administration about the Asia-Pacific trade talks relative to the decision on Malaysia's upgrade.

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POPE FRANCIS VOWS TO HOLD CLERGY ACCOUNTABLE TO SEX ABUSE?

Monday, September 28, 2015
PHILADELPHIA,Pennsylvania - Pope Francis met with victims of child-molesting priests Sunday on the final day of his U.S. visit and promised to hold accountable those responsible for the scandal, delivering a powerful warning to American bishops accused of covering up for pedophiles instead of reporting them to police.
The pontiff disclosed the gesture of reconciliation at the start of a meeting with U.S. bishops gathered in Philadelphia for a big rally on Catholic families.
Francis praised the victims as "true heralds of mercy" who deserve the church's gratitude and said sex abuse in the church can no longer be kept a secret. 
  • He promised to "zealously" protect young people and see that "all those responsible are held accountable."

Source: CBC
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CHINESE BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED FOR SMUGGLING MILLIONS INTO USA

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Washington, U.S.A. – A Chinese businessman from Macau has been arrested in New York for smuggling more than US$4.5 million into the United States in cash over a two-year period, according to US authorities.
Ng Lap Seng(photo), who made his fortune in real estate, has been charged with fraud and imprisoned without the possibility of release on bail along with his main collaborator Jeff Yin.
The arrest, announced this week, comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping(photo) visits the United States. Beijing has prioritised bringing to justice those accused of economic crimes who have fled abroad.
According to an FBI investigation report seen by AFP, Ng and Yin made eleven trips to the United States between July 2013 to September 2015, each time bringing with them between US$200,000 and US$900,000 dollars.
In June 2014, for example, Ng landed in New York with a suitcase containing US$400,000 in cash, telling customs officials he intended to use the money to purchase paintings and go gambling in Las Vegas.
FBI investigators are convinced that was a lie.

Source: AFP
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MALAYSIAN POLICE ARREST 3 OVER SUSPECTED TERROR PLOT

Saturday, September 26, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian authorities have arrested three people, including a Syrian and an Indonesian national, on suspicion of planning terror attacks against domestic and foreign targets, police and news reports said Friday.
The announcement came a day after the US and Australian embassies had warned their citizens to avoid a popular Kuala Lumpur tourist area on Thursday due to an unspecified security threat.
  • The detainees were planning to "attack important national assets, Western assets, and public spots", a statement by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim said.
  • The statement did not specify their nationalities, but Malaysian news outlets quoted Noor Rashid later telling reporters they were a Malaysian, a Syrian and an Indonesian.
  • The police statement said one of the foreigners had travelled frequently to Yemen.
On Thursday, the US and Australian embassies warned citizens to stay away from Jalan Alor, an outdoor dining strip in central Kuala Lumpur that is packed nightly with foreigners and locals.
Malaysian news outlets quoted Noor Rashid saying the arrests were related to the Jalan Alor threat, and that the detainees were taken into custody on Thursday. 
Muslim-majority Malaysia practises a moderate brand of Islam and has not seen any 
notable terror attacks in recent years. 

Source: Agency
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U.S. EMBASSY ISSUES TERRORISM WARNING FOR STREET IN MALAYSIA CAPITAL

Saturday, September 26, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The U.S. embassy in Malaysia warned American citizens on Thursday to avoid a popular tourist street in the capital Kuala Lumpur because of "credible threat information regarding a potential terrorist act".
The embassy website issued the security warning for Jalan Alor, a street in the popular tourist distict of Bukit Bintang, and the immediate surrounding areas.
Malaysian police officials could not immediately be reached for comment. However, local media said police had increased patrols in Jalan Alor and surrounding areas.
The threat was linked to the arrests of several militants connected to Islamic State in the past month, The Malaysian Insider news portal reported, quoting police sources.

Source: Agency


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HAJJ STAMPEDE: DEATH TOLL RISES TO 717, INJURED 805

Friday, September 25, 2015

MECCA, Saudi Arabia – The death toll from a stampede during the annual haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Thursday has risen to 717 people of various nationalities, the Saudi civil defense said.
It said that the crush, caused by large numbers of people gathering at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, had left 805 people injured.
Thursday's disaster was the deadliest such incident on the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades, and comes nearly two weeks after a crane collapsed in Mecca, killing 100 people.



Source: Daily News...Full Story...
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MALAYSIA NEEDS IMMEDIATE HOUSING RESTRUCTURING

Thursday, September 24, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs a more structured and modernized construction industry or risks having a 'homeless generation' in the future, says National House Buyers Association.
Speaking at the Does Greater Prosperity Come with Less Housing Affordability Forum today, its secretary-general Chang Kim Loong(photo left) said shrinking buyer affordability may result in a homeless generation if no immediate housing restructuring is taken.
"Aside from affordability issues, there is also the concern of investors club purchasing property units in bulk,resulting in escalating house 
prices. 
  • "The affordable bracket should be between RM150,000 and RM300,000, and not more.
  • The government should also take a look at the affordable definition to be correlated to the actual earnings of buyers. 
  • "Capping developers' profits should also be considered for the affordable housing category.
  • A regulated housing industry would see more reasonable home prices," he said to about 300 forum participants and industry practitioners.
Calling for a closer look at a new governance structure to prevent an imminent housing crisis, Khazanah Research Institute research director Dr Suraya Ismail(photo) said a planned and structured construction industry can help address the problem.
"A fragmented affordable housing sector will prohibit innovation and result in an inefficient national housing system. "We need a more responsible and elastic supply of affordable homes by improving the production processes which will lower prices in a shorter development tenure.
"Subsidising 80 per cent of the population is not a feasible option. 
"But modernising and transforming the construction sector would provide the solution," said Suraya.

Source: New Straits Times


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220,000 HOMES IN MALAYSIAN STATE WITHOUT WATER AS PUMP HOUSE SHUTS DOWN

Thursday, September 24, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) announced that 34 areas in Kuala Lumpur and 109 areas in Gombak experienced water supply disruption following the breakdown in the pumping system at the Wangsa Maju Pump House, yesterday.
Syabas executive director of Corporate Affairs Division Priscilla Alfred said as a result, the Wangsa Maju Pump House had to stop operations at 7pm.
She said 146,875 housing units in the Kuala Lumpur area experienced water supply disruption while 77,206 houses in the Gombak area were affected.
For the Kuala Lumpur Territory, the areas involved included the Flat DBKL Dato Keramat, Jalan Padang Tembak, Jalan Semarak, Jalan Gurney, Wisma Tanah, Jupem, Pusat Latihan Telekom, Jalan U-Thant, Jalan Ampang Hilir, Taman Pandan Jaya, Taman Cempaka, Taman Bakti, Taman Nirwana, Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Taman Tenaga, Taman Miharja, Taman Kobena, Desa Pandan and Taman Pandan Utama.
For the Gombak territory the affected areas were Ampang Avenue, Ampang Jaya, AU 1-5, Bukit Setiawangsa, Bukit Antarabangsa, Danau Kota, Taman Bukit Ampang, Taman Cahaya Indah, Taman Hijau, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Ukay Height and Ukay Perdana.
Priscilla said so far, pumping operations had begun at 50% and would reach 100% when the pump repair had been fully completed.
She said Syabas had activated emergency water supply assistance through tanker lorries to the affected consumers and advised them to consume water prudently during the disruption period.

Source: – Bernama

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COURT ORDERS MALAYSIAN HOME MINISTRY TO LIFT SUSPENSION AGAINST THE EDGE

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -  The High Court today quashed the Home Ministry’s decision on the suspension of two of The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd’s publications.
In his decision, High Court judge Asmabi Moha­mad said the letter from the Home Ministry dated June 29, 2015 did not state which article they claimed prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order.
Asmabi also ordered the Home Ministry to pay RM15,000 as to cost. The Home Ministry has suspended the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27.
  • The Edge said they received a letter from the Home Ministry stating the action was because of their reporting on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The letter from the ministry said the two publications' reporting of 1MDB were "prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest".
Failure to stop publication for three months will result in the withdrawal of the publishing permits,the ministry’s letter said.

Source:New Straits Times
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MALAYSIAN MP NURUL IZZAH URGES OBAMA TO PRESSURE M’SIAN LEADER?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

WASHINGTON, U.S.A. -  The daughter of detained Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim called on the Obama administration on Friday to put pressure on her country’s prime minister, Najib Razak, to release her father and abandon authoritarian policies.
In an interview in Washington during a visit to lobby US officials and politicians, Nurul Izzah Anwar said it was important that Najib was not able to use a visit to Malaysia in November by President Barack Obama to bolster his position.
Nurul Izzah also said there was no basis for a Malaysian police investigation against her over charges contained in reports.
In pro-government newspapers reporting that she attempted to buy stolen data on state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which is at the center of a scandal involving Najib.
She called the allegations an “attempt to vilify and to tarnish me and to deflect from the fact that $700 million went to Najib’s pocket and $650 million went out and nobody knows where the money is.”
She said she was sticking to her plan to leave Washington on Saturday to return to Malaysia, even though there was the risk of arrest.
  • “I think I have no choice – I mean, I will face it, fight back, as we have done before,” she said.
  • A Wall Street Journal report in July claimed government investigators looking into 1MDB have found that nearly $700 million was transferred into the prime minister’s personal bank account.
  • Najib has denied taking any money from the debt-laden state fund or any other entity for personal gain. 
The country’s anti-corruption unit later said the funds moved to Najib’s accounts were a donation from an unidentified Middle East donor, and did not come from 1MDB.
Nurul said she was asking the U.S. administration to issue a “clear-cut demand for Anwar’s release as a political prisoner.”
At the very least, he should be given access to surgery – a medical intervention is needed as soon as possible, she said.

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INDONESIA ARRESTS 7 OVER SE ASIA HAZE

Saturday, September 19, 2015

 
JAKARTA – Indonesian police have detained seven people whose companies are allegedly connected with illegal agricultural fires that have cloaked Southeast Asia in haze, in rare arrests over the annual smog outbreaks.
They were arrested on Wednesday on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, where authorities have been battling smog-belching blazes which were started to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations, national police chief Badrodin Haiti said.
Police said some of those arrested were executives, but did not give details about all the company employees detained. Officials did not reveal their identities or say which firms they worked for.
They could face up to 15 years in jail and heavy fines if found guilty of breaking Indonesian laws that ban starting forest fires.
Tens of thousands have fallen ill in parts of Indonesia as the haze thickened over the past fortnight, and the smog has led to unhealthy air quality and reduced visibility in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.
“The president’s instruction is clear – law enforcement must be firm so that this will not happen again next year,” Haiti told reporters late Wednesday, announcing the arrests.
President Joko Widodo pledged this week to crack down on companies and individuals behind the fires, and hundreds of extra police and investigators have been sent to haze-hit areas to hunt for those responsible.
They joined military personnel and water-bombing aircraft sent to tackle the fires.
  • In addition to the seven arrested, 133 people have been named suspects, Haiti said. This is a legal step in Indonesia that means investigators have enough evidence to consider filing charges against someone.
Indonesia has come under pressure from its neighbours to halt the smog outbreaks, an annual problem in Southeast Asia during the dry season.
The situation has been made worse this year by an El Nino weather system, which produces tinder-dry conditions in Indonesia and increases the risk of fires.
There were also fears that the haze could affect this weekend’s glitzy Formula One night race in Singapore,  but  organizers  have 
insisted the event will go ahead.

Source:– AFP
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