NGO alleges abuse of power by MBPP councillors


GEORGE TOWN: A non-governmental organisation has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against two Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillors for alleged abuse of power.

Persatuan Surplus Pulau Pinang chairman Sophian Mohd Zain urged the commission to probe the matter thoroughly.

He said the first case involved councillor Sharuddin Shariff who lives in a public housing unit in Sungai Pinang despite receiving a monthly allowance of RM4,000 from the council.

“This is not right at all,” he said before lodging the report accompanied by former MBPP councillor Syazwani Mohd Amin.

Sophian also lodged another report against councillor Azrizal Tahir whom he alleged held two state-appointed posts.

He said Azrizal as a councillor should not have held the Village and Security Development Committee (JKKK) post and receive allowances from both positions.

When contacted, Azrizal urged the complainant not to trouble the MACC by asking them to probe cases with no basis.

He said those who lodge such reports should do their homework first.

“A press conference will be arranged to explain the matter soon,” he said briefly.

Source: Edmund Lee newsdesk@thesundaily.com


MACC reports filed against PKR duo

GEORGE TOWN: Two PKR’s Penang Island city councillors have denied any wrongdoings as alleged by two non-governmental organisations which lodged reports with the state anti-graft body.

One of them, a four-term councillor, said there were no rules or regulations to prevent a councillor from becoming a village development and security committee (JKKK) chairman.

“But under a state policy which was enforced last year, we were advised not to hold the two positions at the same time.

“I have since let go of my JKKK post. I urge the complainants to check with the district office first and not to hurl baseless allegations against us,” he said when contacted.

Earlier, two NGOs – Persatuan Kebajikan Surplus Pulau Pinang and Kota – lodged reports with the Penang MACC over the alleged wrongdoings of the two councillors in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah yesterday.

Persatuan Kebajikan Surplus chairman Sophian Mohd Zain claimed one councillor was the JKKK chairman of Permatang Damar Laut.

“A councillor receives allowance from the local government while a JKKK post is appointed by the state government. This is a conflict of interest.

“We hope the state government will clear the air in the name of CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency),” he said.

Also present was former councillor Noor Syazwani Md Amin, who was terminated from her post in April.

Sophian also claimed that a first-term councillor still had a People’s Housing Programme (PPR) flat in Sungai Pinang despite having an allowance of RM4,000.

The maximum eligible household monthly income for a PPR applicant is RM2,500.

A councillor is entitled up to RM1,200 in allowances for attending meetings and a RM300 mobile phone subsidy.

“How could he still be holding the key to a PPR flat for a RM100 monthly rental? The PPR flats are meant for the poor.

“The councillors are the policy makers in the local government while the PPR flats are under the purview of the council.

“I don’t think the council staff would dare to act against the councillors,” he added.

Sophian hoped the MACC would investigate the matter.

The said councillor could not be reached for comment.

Source: by Tan Sin Chow he Star

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Anti corruption agency MACC to interview Lim, and Norlela who did the right thing


Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will call up Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin to facilitate investigations into the Sungai Lembu’s illegal factory case.

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin are ex­­pected to be called up by the Ma­­­laysian Anti-Corruption Com­mis­­sion (MACC) to give statements over the illegal factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki con­­firmed that both would have their statements recorded at a suitable time.

“This is a normal procedure to call up them up as they have talked about the matter publicly.

“Their statements are needed to complete the investigations,” he said.

Sunday Star reported that the MACC is investigating two letters, which appear to have originated from state executive Councillor Phee Boon Poh, asking that no ac­­tion be taken against an illegal factory.

The letters, written in 2015 and 2016, directed the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) from shutting down the carbon filter-processing factory which has been operating illegally for the past 10 years.

Phee was remanded five days since Saturday together with factory director Edmund Gan Eu Leong, 37, and his father Gan Buck Hee, 70, who is the factory mana­ger.

It is understood that a third MPSP officer has also been summoned to give his statement.

On Friday, two officers from the Enforcement Department and the Licensing Department were also called up.

“They were not arrested,” Azam said.

He added that the MACC also conducted several raids and seized do­cuments from Phee’s office at Kom­­tar and his house in Sungai Puyu.

Yesterday, MACC officers spent more than an hour at his service centre in Jalan Ong Yi How in Butterworth. With them was Phee.

It was learnt that the MACC also raided two of his houses in But­­terworth yesterday.

In Alor Setar, an attempt by lawyers representing Phee and two others to quash their remand order was rejected by the High Court.

Judge Hashim Hamzah told Ramkarpal Singh, R.S.N Rayer and Dev Kumaraendran that their application should have been filed at the Penang High Court as it was the “suitable forum” for the matter.

Ramkarpal said they would file an application at Penang High Court today.

The MACC and several enforcement agencies first raided the factory on Thursday following complaints from villagers that its fumes could affect their health.

Meanwhile, MCA religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker criticised DAP for “bullying and blaming” Dr Norlela for her request to the authorities to take action against the factory.

He said DAP cannot play the victim card now because Malaysians are beginning to see the party’s hypocrisy when it comes to corruption issues.

“DAP should allow the MACC to do its work without any hindrance and own up when their leaders are embroiled in corruption,” Ti said in a statement.

Transparency International Ma­­laysia president Datuk Akhbar Sa­­tar said MACC should be allowed to investigate the case professionally and fairly without fear or favour.

“Let the due process take its course and let us wait for the outcome of the investigations,” he said.

Source: The Star by Crystal Chiam Shiying and Lo Tern Chern

Norlela did the right thing – She’s merely fulfilling her duty to constituents, says state Gerakan Chief

Geroge Town – State Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow has defended Penanti’s PKR assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin, who has been voicing out concerns on the illegal factory operation in Kampung Sungai Lembu.

“What we are concerned about is that the matter had been dragged on for so long.



“Her complaints fell on deaf ears for so long, so you can’t penalized her.



“She has raised it many times, in the state assembly, to the authorities and Village Security and Development Committee, but there was no action,” he told a press conference after attending the State Delegates’ Conference 2017 at the state Gerakan Heeadquaters in Macalister Road yesterday.

It was reported that Dr. Norlela denied that she was responsible for the action being taken against an illegal carbon filter processing factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu.

She refuted the accusations in a Facebook post on Saturday, saying that she had highlighted complaints from her constituents.

Dr. Norlela said she was disappointed that she was blamed for the arrest of state exco member Phee Boon Poh.

Commenting on several past actions against Dr. Norlela, including having a state allocation to her constituency withheld pending her written explanation for not attending the Yang di-Pertua Negri’s swearing-in ceremony in May, Teng said Gerakan may have differences with other Barisan National component parties, but it never penalized them.

He said that when Gerakan led the government, he had faced criticisms from MCA representatives but no action was taken against them.

Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong opened the event. – The Star

Gerakan defends PKR’s Norlela over Penang illegal factory issue

GEORGE TOWN: Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin should not be penalised for speaking up on the illegal factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu, said state Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow today.

“Being the state assemblyman of the constituency, she had every right to raise questions about the illegal factory.

“She was merely performing her duty,” he said during a press conference here, today.

He was responding to Norlela’s claim that she was treated like a criminal after expressing her gratitude to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for taking action against the illegal factory.

“Thank you to the MACC for solving the issues which have been plaguing the villagers there. We have been doing our best to help the villagers,” she had said in a Facebook posting recently.

She had said that in May this year, she received an 18-page petition, signed by 180 villagers, objecting against the illegal carbon filter factory.

“I raised several questions at the state legislative assembly sitting the same month. The state environment committee chairman had said the factory was burning 2,000 tonnes of sawdust monthly to be turned into activated carbon for water filters,” she had said.

On Thursday, MACC and other agencies raided the factory in Bukit Mertajam after numerous complaints to the authorities fell on deaf ears.

This was followed by further raids at the Seberang Perai Municipal Council licensing department offices and state Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh’s office, service centre and houses.

Phee is being remanded for five days pending investigations into an illegal factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu in Bukit Mertajam.

He was detained after he went to MACC’s office to have his statement recorded on Friday.

Yesterday, Norlela revealed that she had been treated like a criminal since Phee’s arrest.

Source: NST By BALVIN KAUR

MACC gets more statements in illegal factory case

BUKIT MERTAJAM: No one has yet to be charged over the illegal carbon filter processing factory in Sungai Lembu as graft-busters are still investigating the case and gathering evidence.

Three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers showed up at the village yesterday and were seen talking to several residents there for about an hour in a coffeeshop.

Sungai Lembu Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairman Tan Sing Lee and some businessmen staying and running businesses near the factory were later summoned to the MACC office in Butterworth to give statements.

“Initially, they wanted to record our statements at the coffeeshop but on seeing the press, they told us to go to their office instead,” Tan said.

Tan arrived at the MACC office with JKKK secretary Yeo Keng Chuan at about 1.30pm and left about 45 minutes later.

A spokesman for the MACC said it had recorded statements from several people, and that no arrest was made.

“We are still investigating,” he said.

Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, together with factory director Edmund Gan Eu Lee, 37, and his father Gan Buck Hee, 70, were arrested by the MACC on Aug 11.

But all walked free last Monday after their remand orders were set aside by the High Court.

The spokesman said the MACC would be appealing the court decision.

Meanwhile, Gerakan took Penang PKR assemblymen to task for not defending Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin against the barrage of attacks that came after she exposed the illegal factory.

“Why haven’t the men in PKR come to her aid? Are they so afraid of being victimised by DAP?” said state Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong.

“What is also baffling is that the incident happened in the PKR fortress of Permatang Pauh,” he told a press conference.

He claimed that what happened to Dr Norlela was nothing new because Tanjung Bungah DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu was also sidelined for speaking the truth.

Meanwhile in Kota Kinabalu, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said no investigation paper has been opened in the acquisition of the Grand Borneo Hotel by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC), purportedly at a higher market price.

He said it was still premature to suspect any wrongdoings in the purchase of the three-star hotel (in Kota Kinabalu).

“We are not moving in as yet. Our focus is still on the ongoing probe on FIC’s purchases of the two hotels in London and Kuching.

“Besides, there is still a need to compare the valuation reports during the time of purchase and the actual value of the Kota Kinabalu hotel,” he said when contacted.

Azam was asked to comment on a report suggesting that the MACC was to conduct a probe on a third hotel managed by FIC.

The Grand Borneo was said to have been acquired by Felda for RM86.4mil in 2012.

Azam said there were no plans to send MACC officers to Sabah.

Sabah MACC director Datuk Sazali Salbi also said that his state officers were not involved in any probe over the matter.

It is learnt the MACC would focus on completing the ongoing probe first as the remand order for Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad ends tomorrow.

On Tuesday, the former Felda chairman was arrested by the MACC after he was called in to give his statements over FIC’s purchase of hotels in London and Kuching.

The MACC is investigating suspicion of power abuse and corruption in the purchases of the two hotels.

So far, anti-graft officers have visited Mohd Isa’s houses in Selangor, Nilai, Linggi and Seremban, as well as his office at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) headquarters. Mohd Isa is acting SPAD chairman.

It was reported that cash amounting to RM100,000 was seized from a safe in one of his houses. – The Star.

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Datuk Adam Rosly amassed so much wealth under scrutiny by corruption agency


Anti-graft investigators looking into the case of Ampang PKR Youth chief Datuk Adam Rosly’s “unusual” wealth are trying to determine how the 29-year-old amassed a substantial amount of cash and property at his age.

Officers who went to Adam’s house, dubbed by many as “Disneyland castle” in Ampang, seized five cars – a Mini Cooper, a BMW 5 Series, a Mercedes C200, an Audi A6 and a Toyota Vellfire.

Eight accounts under Adam and his wife’s name, with money amounting to RM212,461.41, were frozen.

Adam, who was detained after his statement was recorded at the MACC headquarters on Thurs

day, has been remanded for five days to allow the commission to investigate him.

He arrived at the court complex at 9.30am yesterday, clad in the MACC orange lock-up attire and smiled to the waiting cameramen.

Lawyers Nik Zarith Nik Moustapha and Asyraf Othman, as well as his mother, wife, baby daughter and a group of friends were waiting for him in the courtroom.

Magistrate Nik Isfahanie Tasnim Wan Ab Rahman granted prosecutors’ request for him to be remanded until April 18.

The MACC is investigating the case under the Anti-Money Laun­dering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

Adam’s wealth came to the public’s attention after his political opponents questioned how he was able to afford his castle-style bungalow which they claimed cost RM7mil.

The special officer to Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, however, said he bought the house for RM1mil at an auction.

He also claimed that his money came from business ventures and family inheritance.

A source said the big question was whether Adam was actually involved in “proper” business ventures that brought him that much profit.

“Does he really have a business, did he really inherit a substantial amount of money or did he obtain it from ‘brokering’ or some kind of borrowings. We are sure there are ways for MACC to get to the bottom of this,” said the source.

MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Azam Baki said officers were still investigating the case.

“They are still finding more evidence and going through documents.

“Let them probe and we will see what comes out of it,” he added.

Source: The Star/ANN

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Let there be a better year ahead


It’s not been a year to shout about with a litany of woes plaguing the country and much of the world. But as 2015 comes to an end, it’s time to count of blessings and hope for better times ahead.

IT feels like only days ago that we were wishing everyone a Happy New Year and suddenly it’s time for Merry Christmas. But between Happy and Merry, there has been little joy, has there?

It’s not been a year to look back upon with much fondness.

The ringgit is down, oil prices are down, the economy is down, and many of the people are feeling down, too. And it’s not just in Malaysia. Throughout much of Asia and many countries around the world, it has not been good news.

For us, there was the GST, an all-encompassing tax that has had many people grumbling.

But it brought a hitherto little-known Customs officer to fame. Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy was the face of the tax as the GST director and the man truly believes that this value-added tax is the way to go for the country.

Thus, he worked very hard for it despite the many brickbats. But it was not without its problems. There was the on-off-and-on again prepaid phone card tax problems.

The latest to make the rounds is the supposed GST on tolls. It has been clarified that GST will be charged on the 50sen service charge on Touch ‘N Go top-ups. So, it’s now 53 sen.

Tolls rates may go up soon. And the electricity tariff, too. It’s not going to get lighter on the pocket anytime soon.

Politically, it’s been a problematic year. Almost all parties are in turmoil. The 1MDB controversy and a RM2.6bil donation haunted Umno and saw the Deputy Prime Minister being ousted, only the second time that this has happened in the country. The first deputy prime minister to be ousted was also in the news – he has been sent to jail.

The man who first ousted a deputy, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is also in the news. He wants to oust the current Prime Minister who ousted his deputy. It’s a merry-go-round that’s not so merry. This intense bickering is something that will go down in history.

Talking of history, Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee has been left out of the history books. This man was a true leader. I remember meeting him as a boy when he was the first Chief Minister of Penang. He came over to where the children were, patted them on their heads and told them all to study hard – and he spoke in Tamil! The man was a linguist and one who truly cared for all.

Great man: Wong was the first chief minister of Penang.

The first chief minister of Penang and a member of the Cobbold Commission that first drew up a working Constitution has been ignored in our history books. The reason? They didn’t want too many figures from the peninsula in the books, and wanted to balance the numbers with those in Sabah and Sarawak.

It makes no sense to me. History is history, it’s not a Maths lesson on the law of probabilities. MCA and MIC leaders were there at the birth of the nation and deserve to be recognised. The MCA is now fighting hard to have Wong, who made the declaration of Independence in Penang, recognised as one of the leaders involved in the early years of the nation.

The MIC is also, well … fighting. Why they are fighting is hard to figure out as there are two factions, each claiming to be the rightful leadership.

It’s not just the Barisan Nasional. Things are even stranger on the other side. PKR is working with PAS to ensure the Selangor government is not rocked although PAS leaders are getting friendlier and friendlier with PKR’s arch-enemy Umno. DAP is at loggerheaders with PAS but works with PKR, again to ensure the Selangor government is not shaken.

In Penang, DAP has no time for PAS and PKR leaders are not happy with DAP. It’s a bit confusing. The ongoing rapid development is not helping things either.

Penangites love the island as it is, with as little change as possible. After all, the people are the living heritage of the place. I should know – I am a Penangite myself.

Elsewhere, too, there has been much misery. The two great Penangite sporting Datuks – Nicol David and Lee Chong Wei – have had a forgettable year.

Nicol is no longer the invincible girl she once was and has dropped out of the world No 1 ranking while Chong Wei was embroiled in a doping scandal, and spent the early half of the year serving out a suspension.

His return wasn’t remarkable and after some spectacular flops, he is finally picking himself up and could bring us all good news next year.

And never rule Nicol out. That lass has it in her to come back fighting every time she falls.

So, while much of the major news has been bad, it is the little people who have delivered the good news – those who continued feeding the poor even when the authorities wanted to ban them and throw the homeless into “reservations”, those who continue to teach the needy in the streets and in their homes and those who reach out to help regardless of age, race and religion.

And the year also saw the advent of G25, a moderate movement to stem the tide of extremism. Racial ties have not been at their best with some loud-mouthed leaders but the common folk are the ones rallying together.

The education system has again been called into question with several flip-flop decisions on English and the deaths of five orang asli children in Pos Tohoi. But even out of that came heroes who cared for the rural folk, the poor and the indigenous.

These are the people who we can depend on to keep the country intact – the way it was intended to be by our founding fathers.

Let’s hope the new year brings up better tidings, even if it is the common man who has to deliver them.

Why not?  By Dorairaj Nadason  – The writer, who can be reached at raj@thestar.com.my, wishes all readers Salam Maulidur Rasul, Merry Christmas and, yes, a Happy New Year once again.

Selangor state of Malaysia in a mess !


Selangor_what a mess

Twists and turns aplenty

It is a mad, mad world in Selangor where the power struggle over the Mentri Besar post has resulted in political crossovers, name-calling, accusations of corruption and talk of fresh elections.

Selangor_KHALID vs WanIT was a day of confusing twists and turns for journalists covering the never-ending saga of the tussle over the Selangor Mentri Besar post.

A press conference by the party’s Selangor deputy chairman Zuraidah Kamaruddin at the PKR headquarters took on a pasar malam atmosphere when two conflicting documents were handed out to reporters.

One document claimed that Selangor supported PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the Mentri Besar post while another document nominated deputy president Azmin Ali as the alternative candidate.

The situation turned even more chaotic when Zuraidah, who is known to be an Azmin ally, read from the document supporting Dr Wan Azizah.

It seemed like Zuraidah had switched alliances and thrown her support behind Dr Wan Azizah.

Before the morning’s excitement could die down, reporters began getting whatsapp images of a sensational letter purportedly written by party secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution to Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Fortunately for Saifuddin, it was a fake letter or else his goose would be cooked. The fake letter had stated that if Khalid resigned, all the allegations of wrongdoing made against him would be withdrawn. It also offered to make Khalid the state economic adviser with a salary of RM50,000 a month.

Even as reporters rushed to verify the authenticity of the letter, the Mentri Besar had made a highly strategic move to invite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate him on the accusations of corruption that Saifuddin had made against him a few days earlier.

Khalid had sent no less than the chief private secretary to the Mentri Besar to lodge the MACC report. It was Khalid’s way of telling his accu­sers: I have nothing to hide, investigate me.

He is so confident that he is in the clear, he has not bothered to wait for his accuser to go to the MACC; he himself is asking the MACC to scrutinise him. It was a slap in the face of his accuser.

As all this was happening, a news portal reported PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali calling PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli “stupid”.

When The Star phoned Mustafa about it, he said Rafizi had made a “stupid comment”.

Rafizi had told a forum on the Selangor crisis that, in the run-up to the general election, PAS had wanted Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah instead of Anwar for Prime Minister. It was his way of explaining PAS’ insistence on supporting Khalid and its opposition to Dr Wan Azizah.

Mustafa is a very courteous politician and he was obviously not impressed by Rafizi’s habit of showing everyone how much he knows about everything.

The media who have been covering the power struggle have often likened what Khalid was going through to a roller-coaster ride but it was reporters themselves who were now feeling like they were on a roller coaster.

Reporters would be chasing one story in the morning. By midday, the story would have been overtaken by new developments and by evening, something new would have happened. That is how convoluted and fast-moving events have been in PKR. It is a mad, mad world in Selangor.

The chaotic press conference yesterday morning was a step forward for the lady president who has been battling public opinion about her candidacy for the challenging job of Mentri Besar.

Zuraidah is not only the party’s No.2 in Selangor, she is also the Wanita chief. Two other Azmin allies, Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Abdullah Sani, were also present at the press conference.

It has been very embarrassing for Dr Wan Azizah that Selangor, where Azmin is the chairman, has been lukewarm about her candidature for the top job in the state.

Azmin would have overtaken her if the matter had been put to a vote in the PKR supreme council meeting that was held to discuss the Mentri Besar candidate and if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had not insisted on her.

Zuraidah’s U-turn suggests that the powers-that-be in the party have been working hard to undermine Azmin’s base by persuading his allies to change sides.

It has also come at a price and Zuraidah has been slammed by Selangor members for betraying her old friend Azmin.

It was also curious that she signed off her press statement in her capacity as Ampang division chief rather than deputy Selangor chairman.

Zuraidah’s U-turn is unlikely to be a turning point for Dr Wan Azizah in Selangor where Azmin still holds sway.

Moreover, very few are convinced that Dr Wan Azizah will ever make it as Mentri Besar.

Going by the commentary coming from PAS, it is evident that the party will not endorse her when it meets on Aug 10. PAS will continue to insist on Khalid.

The chatter among Pakatan politicians is that a snap state election is the only way out of the mess. The Kajang Move which was supposed to stabilise and unify PKR and its Pakatan partners has morphed into an uncontrollable monster that is about to consume the coalition.

But will the Mentri Besar issue be resolved even if Pakatan opts for fresh elections?

There is no guarantee that the three parties can agree on the next Mentri Besar even if they win. In fact, the coalition will probably crack by the time state polls are called.

– Comment by Joceline Tan The Star/Asia News Network

It’s a game of numbers

The role of the Sultan becomes paramount if the political wrangling fails to come up with a solution.

THE raging turmoil in Selangor over the post of the Menteri Besar is testing the tenuous bonds of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partnership. Many riveting issues of constitutional law have come to the forefront.

The Selangor MB was appointed by the Sultan of Selangor and there are five main ways in which the MB’s term can come to an end – resignation, expulsion from his party, defeat in the assembly, dismissal by the Ruler and disqualification due to a criminal conviction.

Resignation: If the MB resigns and the ruling coalition (with 44 out of 56 seats) unanimously nominates a successor, a smooth transition is likely. The Sultan’s constitutional role of appointing a new MB will be largely formal.

Expulsion from party: If the MB digs his heels in because he thinks that he has a working majority of 28+1 in the 56-member assembly, an engaging political scenario may ensue. He may be expelled from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and be reduced to an independent or join another faction.

Expulsion from PKR does not automatically affect the post conferred on him by the Sultan if Khalid retains majority support in the Assembly. For example Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, was in 1969 expelled from her Congress Party. Mahathir Mohamed was left without a party in 1988 because Umno was declared illegal by the High Court. Yet both premiers retained their posts because it is not party affiliation or party posts but requisite number of legislative supporters that count.

No-confidence: If Khalid does not resign, a motion of no-confidence is a looming possibility. Two examples from constitutional history are: in 1976 the BN majority in the Selangor Assembly dismissed its MB, Datuk Harun Idris, because he had fallen foul of the national leadership. In Kelantan in 1977 PAS moved a motion of no-confidence against its own MB, Datuk Mohammed Nasir.

Khalid is not entirely powerless in the face of such a threat. The Selangor assembly is not in session and the power to advise the Sultan to summon the assembly belongs to the MB and not the Speaker or the PKR leadership.

Under Article 70 of the Constitution of Selangor, six months can elapse between one session and the next and Khalid can frustrate PKR by not advising early summoning of the assembly! The Sultan may, of course, frown upon such unreasonable delay.

A motion of no-confidence needs an absolute majority of the total membership i.e. 29/56 legislators. Many permutations are possible. First, PKR’s 13 Assemblymen (Khalid excluded), DAP’s 15, PAS’s 15 and Umno’s 12 may all team up to oust Khalid.

Second, Umno may support Khalid or abstain but all PR partners (43) may unanimously support the motion. Third, PAS may be divided but even if one PAS member supports PKR’s 13 and DAP’s 15, the motion will reach the requisite number 29. A fourth scenario is that PAS’s 15 and Umno’s 12 may abstain. With PKR having 13 (Khalid excluded) and DAP 15, the motion will fail by one vote! Khalid will have a right to continue. PAS’s role is therefore pivotal.

Dismissal by Sultan: The power of the Sultan to dismiss an MB is not explicitly mentioned in the Selangor Constitution. However Common­wealth conventions indicate that the Head of State has a reserve, residual, prerogative power to dismiss the political executive in some exceptional circumstances.

For example, PM Whitlam of Australia was dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr in 1975 due to the budget stalemate between the Senate and the House and Whitlam’s refusal to call an election to resolve the issue.

In the present scenario, the Sultan can remove Khalid in the following three circumstances.

First, if a majority of the members of the Selangor assembly make a written representation to the Sultan that they have lost confidence in Khalid and the Ruler wishes an immediate sitting of the assembly to resolve the issue of confidence and the MB refuses to advice the Sultan to summon the legislature immediately.

Second, because the assembly is in prorogation, the Ruler can follow Perak’s Nizar v Zambry (2010) precedent and personally determine the issue of confidence by taking note of political realities outside the assembly. The Stephen Kalong Ningkan v Tun Abang Haji Openg (1966) ruling in Sarawak that the issue of confidence must be resolved only in the legislative chamber is no more law.

If the Ruler comes to the conclusion that confidence has been lost, he can ask the MB to resign. If the MB refuses, the Ruler can dismiss him.

Third, if the assembly when convened, votes Khalid out, the Sultan can ask him to resign.

Dissolution: If Khalid is defeated by an absolute majority of the total membership, he has two options: resign or advise dissolution. The Sultan has wide discretion to accept or reject the advice. There are precedents from Kelantan (1977), Perak (2009) and Sabah (1994) when the advice to dissolve the assembly was rejected by the Rulers and Governor respectively.

Appointing a new MB: If Khalid resigns or is voted out but the PR coalition is deeply split over the choice of its MB, then the Ruler’s discretion and wisdom can provide the solution. As on many occasions in the States of Australia, the Sultan can choose a compromise candidate of his choice till the coalition puts its house in order.

Can a woman be appointed as MB? The incredible assertion that she cannot, has no basis in federal or State laws. In fact Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution is clear that gender discrimination is forbidden except in explicitly specified areas like personal laws.

A “hung Parliament”: If after a new election, no party or coalition in the assembly has a clear majority, the Sultan’s discretion will become pivotal. He may appoint a minority government or a unity government pending a repeat election.

Sultan’s role: All in all, it can be said that in the following critical circumstances, the Sultan holds the key to keeping things on an even keel:

> the summoning of the assembly in case the MB is reluctant to face a vote;
> the discretion to accept or reject the MB’s advice on dissolution in case it is 28-28 on the confidence vote;
> the discretion to accept or reject a defeated MB’s advice to dissolve the assembly after a vote of no-confidence;
> If on a vote of confidence, the floor is split 28-28 for both sides, the Sultan would have the discretion to allow the MB to continue pending elections;
> the dismissal of the MB in the situations outlined above;
> the choice of a new MB if the majority coalition is hopelessly deadlocked over who should lead it;
> after a dissolution, to allow the incumbent to remain as caretaker MB or to appoint someone else as head of an interim, neutral government pending election that must be held within 60 days after dissolution;
> after the election, the appointment of a minority or unity government if the results indicate a “hung” Assembly with no decisive support for any grouping.

One prays that none of the above exceptional powers will have to be marshalled and that Selangor politicians, despite themselves, are able to put the State’s and the nation’s interest above their compulsion for partisan polemics.

–  Reflecting On The Law by Shah Saleem Farquqi

> Shad Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

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 Those of us who have been lucky enough to travel on business class on MAS will find the airline’s satay simply irresistible. Having lost the nasi lemak fight, we hope MAS will now redeem its image and go to Kajang for a satay …


Malaysia’s poor response following the disappearance of flight MH370 reflected the fact that the country is still way behind in terms of governance. Behind the chaotic information are the flaws in Malaysia’s system of …http://rightwaysrichard.blogspot.com/

Show times: confused of Ibrahims; satay in Kajang, who will be MB Selangor Malaysia?


DS Anwar Ibrahim dan satay kajang di dun kajangYouTube

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Lately, whether by design, fate or plain coincidence, we have been seeing, reading or hearing about people or issues that involve the name Ibrahim.

THERE is something odd going on lately in Malaysia. For some seriously strange reasons, whether by design, fate or plain coincidence, Malaysians are seeing, reading or hearing about people or issues that involve the name Ibrahim. So let us go through the current hot list.

Anwar Ibrahim

He sure knows how to confuse us. We all thought he wanted to be Prime Minister. Then he said he would retire from politics and take up a teaching career if Pakatan Rakyat failed to capture Putrajaya in the general election.

Well, many of us, being the confused lot that we are, actually believe him, or at least believe in the many things that he has been saying, anyway.

Then, following the decision of the Kajang state assemblyman to vacate the seat, Anwar confused us further by saying he would not be contesting the seat. But he finally announced, after much charade, that he would be contesting after all.

Now, he says that even if he wins the seat, he does not aim to be the Mentri Besar of Selangor. Well, the whole world seems to think otherwise.

He has already confused us enough with his answers on why he is forcing a by-election in Kajang. Until now, no one, including his diehard supporters, can give us a convincing explanation.

Seriously, all of us should really ask him what it is he really wants. This man has to be the master of surprises. No one can beat him at that.

No one can remember him having a liking for football. Horses and jet ski, yes. Suddenly he has donned the colours of the Selangor football team.

If Penang plays against Selangor, we are not sure if he will be wearing anything, given that he is an MP from Penang, which is also a Pakatan-controlled state. That’s pretty confusing.

Well, for sure, he has really given us a few good lessons in politics!

Khalid Ibrahim

This is one sorry Ibrahim. His hair has become more dishevelled lately. He murmurs to himself most of the time and he is doing this even more.

Who can blame him? He has to be careful who he talks to now with his party boss wanting to take over his job. His fellow ADUNs – who all claim they are in politics for the sake of the people – must be having a tough time deciding who they should stand behind now to further their political ambitions.

They have to decide which horse they should back – this mumbling corporate figure or the real political animal, Anwar Ibrahim, who has the magic of getting people to believe what he wants them to believe.

If it’s me, it’s me. If he says it isn’t him, all will nod in agreement, as if under a spell, and repeat that it isn’t him. It’s just a lookalike of me, a body double, a Siamese twin.

Poor Khalid. The only one he can trust is himself. He can only talk to himself.

We all hope he will just hang in there because he is actually a likeable bloke. What you see is what you get from this Ibrahim.

Zaid Ibrahim

Now, this one is tricky. We are just as confused because he has either joined or formed almost every political party in town. And we, being the terribly naïve Malaysians, thought that this sort of thing only happens to Sabahan politicians.

No one is quite sure why he is declaring his candidacy for the Kajang by-election. It can’t be his love for the satay there, for sure. We are not even sure if he knows his way around Kajang or if he even has friends there.

But this Ibrahim can be assured that he will get his 15 minutes of fame every night on prime time TV. Our advice is he should not attempt to sound too philosophical or intellectual during his campaign rounds in Kajang.

That’s because we are already confused. We are not sure if he is seeking the support of Barisan or Pakatan Rakyat supporters. We are not too sure there are enough fence sitters like him. But we are sure he will confuse us during the entire campaign period.

Ibrahim Ali

We can assume that he will be there. He and his gang of merry men never let us down when it comes to providing the comic relief. But he has been saying that he is actually the one who has been delivering the Malay votes for Umno and that without him, Umno would have been in serious trouble.

But the best line from him recently is that there are many troublemakers impersonating Perkasa members! Fuyoh!

Now, that’s interesting! And we, being the confused Malaysians, thought that Malaysian politicians have confused us sufficiently and endlessly but this is the ultimate confusion! Imitation Perkasa members, wow.

Haris Ibrahim

He has been unusually quiet since being initially denied entry into Australia last September. The outspoken activist and lawyer shows up everywhere. He is a permanent fixture in all protests and demonstra­tions. A specialist in this sort of things, we may say. We are not sure if he will add some colour and excitement in Kajang. But he’s definitely another Ibrahim that we can welcome to the Kajang polls, to confuse many of us further.

Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh

He may not be a household name in Malaysia but he would probably get a recognition from the Malaysia Book of Records for being involved in the most number of non-­government organisations. This Ibrahim is involved in every NGO – from Bersih to Gabungan Mansuh ISA to Pemantau to Independent Monitoring Election Commission.

He has served notice that he will be in Kajang in his capacity as chief of the Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel). Are there any hats he is not wearing? Hasn’t he been confused himself before?
We won’t be surprised if he will soon head a Gabungan Cinta Satay Kajang or Stick It Up for Kajang Voters movements.

Rahim Thamby Chik

Well, not quite Ibrahim but close enough. This veteran politician can’t stand the sight of Anwar Ibrahim. Or for that matter anything about Anwar Ibrahim. He is his sworn enemy. Well, Enemy Forever. Not BFF, for sure.

We are not sure whether he will turn up in Kajang with Ummi Hafilda, another sworn enemy of Anwar. She seems to have gone into political oblivion since her marriage to a Pakistani doctor. It seems to be like an extended honeymoon, perhaps to make up for lost time. But we hope to hear from her soon. Looks like she has discovered that there’s more to life than her obsession – Anwar Ibrahim. It’s never too late. All these players hate one another but they can’t stay away from one another either. Isn’t that confusing?

Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi

Brahim LSG Skychef Sdn Bhd, formerly known as MAS Catering, belongs to Datuk Ibrahim Haji Ahmad Badawi, the younger brother of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. This company has been in the news lately.

Those of us who have been lucky enough to travel on business class on MAS will find the airline’s satay simply irresistible. Having lost the nasi lemak fight, we hope MAS will now redeem its image and go to Kajang for a satay war soon.

No one would have thought that there is such a thing as a “very naked” nasi lemak! Chef Wan Ismail took a picture of the very bare nasi lemak that was served in economy class on the route to Bangkok.

To the horror of this melodramatic chef, he claimed there were no nuts! Chef Wan may seem lembut (soft) at times but no one messes around with his food.

He was terribly pissed off. He whipped out his smart phone and took pictures of the nasi lemak missing the nuts. Err, sorry, I meant groundnuts.

And for Chef Wan, that’s a helluva of a telanjang (naked)! The essential ikan bilis or fried anchovies were not there either.

Well, following a full investigation, just short of a Royal Commission, it was finally revealed that the nuts had to be removed because they had gone stale. Blame the supplier who had gone on Chinese New Year break. Well, someone has to be the scapegoat in the great Malaysian tradition.

Poor Ibrahim, we never thought this would become an issue. This whole thing may seem a little nutty but the moral of the lesson here is, please don’t take economy class passengers for granted. We are not any ikan bilis, okay? We can strip anyone, Datuk or no Datuk, naked.

Well, things are going to get more interesting because the nomination and campaigning for Kajang have not even started yet!

And we still say the Election Commission should extend the campaigning period.

Contributed  by Wong Chun Wai
The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.
 
Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 27 years in various capacities and roles. He is now the group’s managing director/chief executive officer and formerly the group chief editor.

On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.

Quandary over who will be MB

Political drama: (clockwise from right) Khalid is refusing to resign even as Anwar campaigns in Kajang to be the next Mentri Besar; Rafizi has been unable to justify the Kajang Move while Azmin is in Mecca to perform the umrah.

Selangorians are getting mixed signals. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is acting like he is the next Mentri Besar of Selangor while MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is behaving like he is here to stay.

TAN Sri Khalid Ibrahim has looked rather well groomed of late. The Selangor Mentri Besar has been keeping his hair neatly combed and was even seen sporting an Elvis-like pompadour on a few occasions.

Khalid can be rather moody when he is over-worked or if things are not going well, and reporters covering him have learnt to use his hair as a “mood meter”.

If his naturally wavy hair is nicely groomed, it means he is in a good mood and everything is under control. But if his hair is all over the place, it is best to keep the questions short and sweet and not try to be funny with him.

But hair and “mood meter” aside, Khalid has been in an upbeat mood.

He has granted press interviews to one publication after another, talking about a variety of issues from the state water situation to the upcoming Kajang by-election.

It is evident that something big is looming on the water front. Khalid has been dropping hints of a solution over the long-standing water restructuring saga in Selangor.Earlier last week, he made headlines when he said that if the water restructuring exercise were successful, there could be free water not only in Selangor but also for those residing in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

And all this was happening even as PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was busy positioning himself to be the next Mentri Besar via the Kajang by-election.

Khalid’s demeanour and action over the last couple of weeks are not that of a man who is preparing to bow out. All the signs are that Khalid is here to stay and earlier last week, he confirmed that he is not resigning as Mentri Besar while side-stepping questions of whether Anwar will take over.

Khalid’s upbeat mood seems to be premised on two factors. The first factor is the unequivocal support he is getting from PAS in Selangor and the young Turks in the party’s Youth wing who have been critical of the Kajang Move.

Selangor PAS is standing by him and in the event that he is pushed out by his own party, PAS will nominate someone from their own party as the Mentri Besar.

PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang put it a little more diplomatically: PAS will help Anwar win in Kajang, but the Mentri Besar post will be discussed after the by-election.

A PAS politician in Selangor indicated that PAS will welcome Khalid into the party if PKR decides to sack him. That is how far PAS in Selangor is prepared to go for Khalid.

The second reason for Khalid’s buoyant mood is believed to have come about after his weekly audience with the Sultan of Selangor two Wednesdays ago. He got the assurance that the Palace will not interfere in the political situation. The Palace will adhere strictly to its constitutional role and will follow the letter of the law.

A huge load was lifted from his shoulders and he left the royal audience walking on air.

Neutrality on the part of the Palace is crucial to Khalid because he is aware that Anwar and his backers have been trying to establish communications with the Palace.

There was talk that they had attempted to get through to the Palace via a Selangor princess.

For instance, Pakatan Rakyat supporters were shocked when Anwar said that former Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib would be able to advise him on the state’s rural development. They could not understand why Pakatan wanted to be linked with Umno’s “Gold Coast sensation” whom they used to mock as “me no speaking English”.

Mat Taib, as he is known, was briefly married to the Sultan’s younger sister Tengku Zahariah and some claimed that Anwar’s advisors were hoping to capitalise on that.

Unfortunately, Mat Taib has been persona non grata to the Palace ever since the day he eloped with the Princess known as Ku Yah and with whom he has a son who is now grown up with movie star looks to boot.

About a week ago, the PKR newsletter Suara Keadilan splashed a picture of Anwar alongside an uncle of the Sultan on its front page. Inside was another photograph of Anwar seated at the same dining table as Tengku Sulaiman Jalil Shah. The pair were guests at the wedding reception of the son of a Terengganu-based PAS politician.

The Palace wasted no time in clearing the air. On Wednesday, the Sultan’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani issued a statement on behalf of Tuanku advising political parties and politicians not to associate the Selangor Palace with their campaign in the Kajang by-election.

The statement also advised members of the Selangor royalty against being involved or allowing their name to be used by political parties in the by-election.

It is understood that the Sultan’s uncle had never met Anwar until the wedding event. Sources said he was seated at the VIP table when Anwar appeared at his side and joined him. Suddenly, three photographers appeared and started taking pictures of them.

It is learnt that Anwar’s group had also approached a family friend of the Sultan but he told them that as a member of the Royal Selangor Council, he couldn’t be associated with any political party.

The clumsy and amateurish attempts to get through to the Palace do not speak well of whoever is advising Anwar.

It is no secret that the Palace is comfortable with Khalid but, basically, the Palace wants to keep a clear distance from the big time politics taking place out there.

Several days ago, Rafizi Ramli, the man credited with the Kajang Move, said that a party survey showed that only 17% of Kajang voters were critical of the reason for the by-election compared to 25% who approved of it.

He dismissed the critical group as mainly Barisan Nasional supporters.

“This means that only a small number of Kajang voters are against the by-election,” Rafizi Ramli said at a press conference earlier last week.

Of the remaining group, 21% wanted to know more before deciding, 26% could not care less while 10% pleaded ignorance. Those who wished to know more and those who did not care added up to 47% and they are the undecided voters. It is an unusually big number of undecided voters for a highly-urbanised seat but it also means that candidates have a good chance to canvass for support.

Everyone tells Anwar he will win but he is not taking anything for granted. He has kept a punishing schedule in Kajang. He tried his hand at Chinese calligraphy at a Chinese new village dinner, he went to a church where he received a standing ovation and he attended a futsal game to touch base with the youth. By polling day, he would have covered every housing estate at least twice over.

The Penang born and bred Anwar wants to present himself as somebody who cares for Selangor.

In fact, he had kicked off his campaign by attending a Selangor Football Association event wearing the yellow and red jersey of the state. A witty commentator labelled him “pemain import baru (latest imported player)” for Selangor.

The internal dynamics in PKR has almost eclipsed the by-election as well as the other candidates in the race, namely Barisan’s Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and independent Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Chew Mei Fun is MCA 2014 Kajang By-election candidate – YouTube

The tight and loyal circle around Khalid claimed that their boss has the numbers to survive. Rafizi, on his part, has said that the Mentri Besar issue will not be put to the vote in the State Legislative Assembly.

“Khalid knows that no one can really do anything if he refuses to resign,” said a political insider.
Rafizi has been talking about an Umno plot to topple Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak but the real plot is within PKR to topple Khalid.

The Anwar for MB camp had been bending over backwards for Khalid because they needed him to go without making a scene. They even gave in to his demand to be made the director of election over the party’s deputy president Azmin Ali.

By-elections are normally led by the deputy president of a party and Azmin, who is also the Selangor chief, is a seasoned organiser with a good grasp of the Selangor ground. But he was pressured to back off for Khalid. Azmin has since left for Mecca to perform the umrah.

It is evident by now that Khalid is not interested in any move by Anwar’s advisors to have him sign a post-dated letter of resignation. That was the original plan for a smooth transition.

Khalid was supposed to resign effective March 23 and Anwar, fresh from victory, would be nominated and sworn in as the new Mentri Besar. In hindsight, it was wishful thinking on their part and yet more proof of the lack of experience among Anwar’s advisors.

Anwar is now trapped in a situation where the man he is trying to dislodge refuses to go and is in charge of his election campaign.

There is no denying it – the Kajang Move has become a hot mess.

Some are expecting the Pakatan Rakyat convention on March 8 to involve some kind of call for Anwar to lead in Selangor. It will be tricky but who would object if it is presented as the road to Putrajaya?

The Anwar side sees Anwar, with his charisma and oratory skills, as the catalyst for the Putrajaya dream.

But the Khalid side says that the best advertisement for the Putrajaya dream is the Selangor model under Khalid’s leadership.

In the meantime, they have to tackle the road to Kajang.

Contributed by Joceline Tan
> Joceline Tan can be reached at joceline@thestar.com.my

It is a Malaysian tsunami not Chinese tsunami, based on new aspirations and reality reflected in GE 13 outcome


GE13_popular_votes

BN fared worse this time around compared to 2008. The number of its parliamentary seats dwindled to 133 from 140. As for state legislative assemblies, the figure was even less impressive with 275 compared to 306 previously although the ruling coalition managed to recapture Kedah and legitimise its control over Perak.

For the first time since the 1969 general election, BN garnered less popular votes than the opposition. I agree with debaters who asserted that this is not a “Chinese tsunami” given the fact that the BN’s performance had also worsened in Malay majority states such as Terengganu.

“Please accept the results.” That was the closing remark of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his media conference when accepting the Barisan Nasional’s victory in the 13th general elaction at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Briefly, my preliminary observation is BN cannot be proud or, more so, swollen-headed with its achievement because prior to this it had boasted openly about winning big and securing a two-third majority in the Dewan Rakyat and recapturing states held by the Pakatan Rakyat.

Instead, its achievement is worse than in the 2008 GE because the PR had succeeded in penetrating Johor and won more seats in Sarawak – two states deemed as BN’s fixed deposit – and won additional seats in state legislative assemblies nationwide.

Although the PR had failed in its “Ubah” and “Ini Kalilah” campaign to wrest control of the Federal Government, the pact had nevertheless expanded its presence to all states.

BN had successfully recaptured Kedah and defended Perak, but failed in its attempt to win back Selangor and Kelantan although its propaganda machinery had given the impression that Selangor was already in its hand and there were hopes of winning Kelantan.

With regard to Selangor, its defeat is a major slap in the face for being so boastful.

Penang needs no mention. Both the Gerakan and MCA were totally destroyed.

The bait Najib put before the Chinese produced no results. They openly rejected BN.

Najib was stunned by the outcome and promised changes to Umno. But the poor showing compared to 2008 has made his position vulnerable.

Also, is the outcome of this general election a “tsunami Cina” (Chinese tsunami) as Najib had described them or were they the manifestation of something more significant i.e. a large number of voters no longer accept the BN and the BN-led government as it exists today?

Is it not possible that this is not a Chinese tsunami or ethnic chauvinism but instead a Malaysian tsunami that is based on new aspirations and reality, especially among the young voters?

Although BN has recaptured Kedah, its strength in all state legislative assemblies had fallen.

It almost lost Terengganu as well as surrendered many seats to PR in all states.

On the PR side, it must accept the choice of voters and any dissatisfaction and dispute must be settled in accordance with laws and regulations, and not via street protests.

Wallahualam. – Akadirjasin.blogspot.com/akadirjasin.com.
> A. Kadir Jasin is Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd

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