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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
developers' profits should also be considered for the affordable housing
A regulated housing industry would see more reasonable home
prices," he said to about 300 forum participants and industry
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.
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.
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
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
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.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The High Court today quashed the Home
Ministry’s decision on the suspension of two of The Edge Communications Sdn
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
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.
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.
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
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.