Graft-busting to expand after Selangor Unisel deal and Penang cases


MACC raids Unisel, MBI and contractor’s office … – The Sun Daily

MACC officers conducting raids on University Selangor, Shah Alam on Aug 22, 2017. — Sunpix by Zulfadhli Zaki

 KUALA LUMPUR: After Penang and Selangor, more states can expect to come under the scrutiny of graft-busters.

“It has been ‘hot’ these days. What other states after this? Let’s wait and see,” hinted Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad during his speech at the launch of a play, Bahara Emas, which will be held from October to December nationwide in conjunction with the commission’s 50th anniversary.

He said more arrests and charges against the corrupt would take place from now until the end of the year, adding that the days were numbered for those still blinded by material possessions and money.

On allegations that the MACC’s actions on certain parties were “planned”, Dzulkifli stressed that they were not biased in their investigations.

“We don’t choose our targets. Whoever it is, whether they are politicians, civil servants or corporate figures, we will take action.

“Once a report is received and we have determined that it has a strong basis, we will carry out raids and seize documents.

“Once there is enough evidence, only then will we make arrests,” he said, adding that proper planning must be done before his officers moved in “at the right time”.

Earlier in his speech, Dzulkifli revealed his inspiration to make weekly arrests came from a 2015 Indian action movie called Gabbar Is Back, depicting the protagonist’s mission to rid corrupt officials.

“We want to empower the people to stand up and say no to corruption.

“Why? Because the MACC is here with you.

“We are the people’s voice and machinery,” he said.

Citing a case in Penang which caused pollution and another in Pahang over illegal bauxite mining, Dzulkifli said these cases happened due to issues of corruption and abuse of power.

He pointed out that those greatly affected by corruption were the people and not the ones in power, which was why “the MACC is here to carry out a probe”.

By Royce Tan The Star

MACC probes Unisel campus

 

 

 

 

SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is currently conducting a raid at Universiti Selangor (Unisel) in Section 7 here.

Six uniformed officers from the national anti-graft body arrived at the campus here at 9.50am on Tuesday in two separate vehicles.

Upon entering the campus’ administrative building, the officers were greeted by staff members who brought them up to the offices.

The MACC is simultaneously raiding four other offices of Unisel, Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI) and Jana Niaga Sdn Bhd offices in connection with the case.

Several uniformed officers from the MACC going in to the Unisel main campus’ administration office at 11.10am.

Uniformed MACC officers were also at the Unisel main campus in Bestari Jaya.

They are currently conducting a raid at the university’s administration office which is located inside the library building.

Three officers, meanwhile, arrived at the Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI) office at Bangunan Darul Ehsan, in Shah Alam to conduct a raid.

In KUALA LUMPUR, anti-graft officers are raiding a Jana Niaga office on Jalan 4/76C.

Four officers arrived at 10.25am in a vehicle with heavily tinted windows to conduct the raid.

It is believed the MACC is acting on a report lodged with it against Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and MBI over a dispute between Unisel and its contractor Jana Niaga.

It had been reported that Jana Niaga allegedly received monetary compensation and a new contract from Unisel, despite failing to complete a previous contract.

Source: The Star by danial albakri, m. kumar, andallison lai

Commission raids Unisel, MBI and contractor’s premises to investigate RM16mil payment

//players.brightcove.net/4405352761001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5547980550001

SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) carried out simultaneous raids on five locations in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur in its probe of RM16mil allegedly paid by a Selangor government-owned company to a private firm for maintenance work.

The places raided included the Universiti Selangor (Unisel) main campus and office, two offices belonging to the contractor – Jana Niaga Sdn Bhd – and the Menteri Besar Selangor Incorporated (MBI) office.

In all, officers took away 10 boxes and one suitcase filled with documents relating to the payment made by MBI to Jana Niaga for maintenance work of student accommodations at the Unisel main campus in Bestari Jaya.

MACC officers leaving the Jana Niaga office in Desa Pandan after the raid. Jana Niaga was responsible for maintenance work on student accommodations at the Unisel main campus in Bestari Jaya.

Sources said MBI had allegedly made the payment to Jana Niaga via two transactions of RM10mil and RM6mil in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Initial reports received by MACC showed that MBI had paid Jana Niaga even though its contract had been terminated by Unisel.

The sources added that the MACC probe focused on the reasons why the payments were made even though Jana Niaga had failed to fulfil the contract agreement for the work done in Unisel in 2012.

MACC director of investigations Datuk Simi Abd Ghani said the investigating teams seized documents related to the case from the different locations.

“We’re still in the early stage of our investigations and we will gather strong and sufficient evidence before we proceed,” he added.

MACC officers raided the Unisel main campus in Bestari Jaya and office here, Jana Niaga’s offices in Desa Pandan and Bestari Jaya, and MBI’s office in Bangunan Darul Ehsan here.

At the MBI office, five MACC officers started their inspection at 10.45am and left at 5.50pm with a medium-sized suitcase and a box filled with documents.

Four boxes of documents were taken from the Unisel Treasurer’s office in Section 7 here at 4.30pm after the officers spent nearly seven hours there.

Other MACC officers also went to the Unisel main campus in Bestari Jaya, Kuala Selangor, and left with three boxes of documents at 4.50pm.

A Unisel spokesman said it would give its fullest cooperation to the MACC investigation.

In Kuala Lumpur, four uniformed officers went to Jana Niaga’s office in Jalan 4/76C in Desa Pandan at 10.25am and left carrying two large boxes of documents at 4.26pm.

When approached, one of the officers said the documents were from 2011 onwards. – The Star

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   Zip your lip, says MACC

Those involved in ongoing corruption cases have been warned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission not to make public statements. Its chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad said such acts can be deemed as interfering with investigations and are pun

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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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The money in golf clubs land in the Klang Valley, Malaysia


Price of residential development land nearby chart

Golf course land has been in the spotlight after three golf clubs became the target of developers in Klang Valley.The three are Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (KGSSAAS) Golf Course and Perangsang Templer Golf Club in Templer Park.

The last to join the fray is Perfect Eagle Development Sdn Bhd, which has submitted a proposal to acquire 279 acres of land, which Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia sits on, for a cash consideration of RM296mil.

Perfect Eagle, which made the offer two weeks ago, plans to convert a portion of the golf course for property development.

The deal is still pending approval from its members. But if the offer is accepted by the members, each of the 4,230 members would receive RM70,000 cash each, which is not too bad considering that the golf club membership cost less than RM15,000 when it was started in the mid-1990s.

In 2012, Kelab Rahman Putra also received an offer to buy the club for RM130mil, however it was rejected by the members.

Golf land deals

As for KGSSAAS, the owner – Great Doctrine (M) Sdn Bhd – sold a portion of its golf course – 34.6ha – to Mah Sing Group Bhd last week for RM327.4mil.

To facilitate the deal, KGSSAAS, which currently has a 27-hole golf course facility, would shrink the size of the course to an 18-hole course.

Mah Sing expects the project to have a gross development value (GDV) of RM2.5bil.

In February, Perangsang Templer Golf Club in Templer Park was reportedly to be closed down to make way for a high-end residential and commercial property project that could worth RM1.24bil.

SP Setia Bhd has signed a joint-venture deal with Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS).

KPS, via its unit Cash Band (M) Bhd, is the owner of three parcels of 194.65 acres of leasehold land. SP Setia’s role under the agreement is to develop the land as well as to market and sell the commercial and residential units.

It has been reported that KPS had done a study to evaluate the redevelopment potential of the 18-hole golf course, and said that it was “not-fully optimised in its current form and utilisation”.

It notes that the conversion of the land to mixed development status could unlock the true value of the land.
There is no doubting that golf courses in the Klang Valley are highly attractive to developers.

A quick check indicates that there are over 15 golf courses scattered around Klang Valley, and Petaling Jaya alone has almost six golf courses.

With land scarcity in the Klang Valley and the rising demand for homes, golf land has become hot property.

“As land become scarcer, golf land may become more viable for development as they are generally well located.

“In fact, much of golf land are located in matured locations with established amenities,” says Mah Sing group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.

Nonetheless, he notes that the recent golf land acquisitions was mainly due to the location, land price, payment terms and development potential.

“We do not set out to acquire golf land per se, but we continuously look at landbanks that fit our business model,” he adds.

Traditionally, golf courses in Malaysia are surrounded by lavish bungalow units in a pristine neighborhood. Homeowners would enjoy a tranquil park built within the area, giving them a peaceful environment away from the concrete jungle.

Experts say developers that are targeting golf clubs are actually looking for landbanks for future high-end development.

“Most of the golf courses in the Klang Valley were planned to be part of a comprehensive development with luxury housing and sometimes, commercial components like resort hotel and office park.

“But as time goes by when the development matures and the land and house prices increase in the area, it makes better sense financially for the golf course land to be used for higher value developments such as luxury housing,” says Henry Butcher Marketing Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Tang Chee Meng.

He says the factors that drive property developers to buy over golf courses are location, matured neighbourhood, nice environment and large land size.

When asked if there would be more golf land to be gobbled by property developers, he says it would depend on the property market, land prices, consumer preferences and development trends.

An analyst says that the scenario of having golf land being scrapped to make way for property development is not only unique in Malaysia, but also seen in other countries such as in the United States, UK and Singapore.

“It’s a natural evolution as long as the state government approves it,” he says.

“The shortage of suitable development land in the city area has resulted in developers targeting other types of land, and this includes golf courses,” he adds.

He says acquiring golf land at the moment is timely, considering the maturity of the Klang Valley area.

“It would be the right time to develop such land especially if the golf courses are underutilised,” an analyst says.

While Mah Sing scores a hole-in-one with the acquisition of a parcel of land in KGSSAAS, some developers may not find it easy to acquire golf courses.

A major obstacle is getting approval from members.

One of the reasons why Mah Sing was successful with the KGSSAAS deal was because the transaction did not need the approval of members.

That the land was up for sale was also known in the market.

KGSSAAS, located near Stadium Shah Alam’s Section 13, was sold for RM88 per sq ft to Mah Sing.

For Perfect Eagle Development, the acquisition could be tricky, as the consent of members is required.

When contacted, a member of Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia says he would prefer to reject any offer to buy the club land due to the embedded value of the land.

While golf clubs have attracted interest of late, it is not a new phenomenon.

In 2011, Dijaya Corp, now known as Tropicana Corp Bhd, bought over the Japanese-owned Kajang Hill Golf Country Club for a reported RM228mil for 80.33ha freehold land.

The land was then be transformed into Tropicana Heights Kajang, a mixed development project, comprising landed homes, condominiums, apartments, and shop offices with an expected gross development value of RM2bil.

One of the pioneers in developing golf courses is YTL Land & Development Bhd.

The group had scrapped what used to be a nine-hole golf course in Sentul, and converted it into a private gated park for residents in the Sentul West development.

The park, also known as Sentul Park, was formerly the 85-year-old Sentul Raya Golf Club.

In 2001, YTL acquired Taiping Consolidated Sdn Bhd and inherited the whole Sentul Raya project, which spanned over 294 acres of land, including the golf course.

Contributed by  Intan Farhana Zainul The Star/Asia News Network

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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

When the wife is boss


Hubbies fall victim to abuse of high-earning, dominant spouses

PETALING JAYA: Earning less than your wife can be hazardous to your wellbeing as quite a number of men have discovered.

Although incidents of wives abusing husbands rarely appear in the media, the Welfare Department has been receiving cases of men being mistreated by dominant women every year.

Many of the culprits are women who earn more than their spouses.

The Welfare Department received 25 reports from men who were abused by their wives or girlfriends last year, 32 in 2010 and 14 in 2009.

Most cases were reported in Selangor, followed by the Federal Territory, and the offences included threatening injury, causing physical harm, emotional abuse and locking up the men.

The Department of Women Development received four cases of abused men last year, with financial disagreement being the root of all cases.

In each case, “the wife is more dominant in the family and earns a higher income than the husband,” it said in an e-mail.

Women, on the other hand, reported 117 cases of domestic abuse up to June this year, compared to 649 last year and 663 in 2010.

Neuro-psychologist Dr Nivashinie Mohan said that financial stress was the major cause of domestic violence against men.

“Studies have shown that women assault men about as often as men assault women,” she said.

“While men tend to cause more damage because they are usually stronger, women can even the odds with weapons such as knives, high heels and sharp nails.”

Dr Nivashinie said abused men were reluctant to turn to the authorities for fear of appearing “unmanly”.

“Society also teaches men that it’s wrong to hit women, so they don’t retaliate,” she added.

Many of the women who abused men were alcoholic while some could be suffering from certain personality disorders that cause them to be violent towards their partners.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said that some women were breadwinners and abused their husbands for “reckless spending”.

He also encountered four cases of wives becoming violent after learning that their spouses had affairs.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Ting Joe Hang said women might look on spouses who earn less as “useless” and as a result, would abuse them.

He said there may be reasons other than money problems.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Heng Seai Kie said there was no excuse for domestic violence and advised the victims both women and men to contact the Welfare Department or its 104 district offices nationwide or Talian Nur at 15999

By P. ARUNA and YUEN MEIKENG The Star/Asia News Network

Gender segregation slammed!


MCA slams cinema ruling

SHAH ALAM: A controversial ruling by a district council in Selangor banning unmarried Muslim couples from sitting together in a cinema has been shelved, with the MCA slamming the use of religion in politics.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said he was shocked that Islamic values were imposed by the council.

He cautioned that friction among the people could happen in a multi-racial country like Malaysia should religion be used in politics.

Separately, the Kuala Selangor district council (MDKS) had been directed to put the ruling on hold immediately.

It is learnt that the decision was made by the MDKS full board council meeting in May.

MDKS councillor P. Thirumoorthy said the ruling was proposed by a councillor from PAS last year.

State executive councillor Ronnie Liu said the state government was not consulted before the decision was implemented recently.

“I only found out from the press. In other local councils, there is no such ruling. So I will ask the MDKS president to delay the ruling and bring it to the full board for further discussion,” he told a press conference yesterday.

A Chinese daily reported yesterday that the only cinema in Kuala Selangor had recently put up notices reminding patrons of the new ruling.

It is believed that cinema operators who did not abide by the ruling were informed that their licences would not be renewed.

A source from the Lotus Five Star cinema described the ruling as “unbecoming and unfair”.

“This has caused fear among Muslims and deterred them from coming to our place,” he said.

In Petaling Jaya, Selangor MCA Youth chairman Dr Kow Cheong Wei said the DAP kept emphasising the equal status of all parties in Pakatan, claiming that for a policy to be implemented, there had to be consensus by all three parties in Pakatan Rakyat.

“If this is truly the case, then why has this cinema gender separation proposal become law? Is this an act by a unified administration by Pakatan?” he said in a statement.

– The Star/Asia News Network

Related post:

Politics and religion a bad mix !

Practise ‘Addin’, a Malaysian way of life? PAS Vows Hudud for

PAS will close Genting casino if it takes over Pahang

Killer dog’s owner fined and charged again


Elaine Soon Sien Ling outside the court, while her dog Beacon is at the Selangor Veterinary Services Department pound. Pic by Syarafiq Abd Samad

PETALING JAYA: THE owner of the dog which killed an elderly jogger last month escaped custodial sentence after the court heard that the victim’s family had forgiven her for being negligent in the incident.

Elaine Soon Sien Ling, 28, an accountant, heaved a sigh of relief as she could have been sentenced to a maximum of six months’ jail under Section 289 of the Penal Code for being negligent with her pet.

Magistrate Mohd Nazri Omran, however, imposed the maximum fine of RM2,000.

In sentencing her, Nazri said he took into account that the victim’s family had forgiven her and had retracted the police report on the incident.

CANINE ATTACK : OWNER OF KILLER DOG FINED RM2,000 FOR NEGLIGENCE

Source: ntv7.com.my

Soon pleaded guilty when the charge was read to her.

According to the facts of the case, the victim, Yip Sun Wah, 74 was jogging in SS19 Subang Jaya on May 8 when the dog, a cross between a miniature bull terrier and an American Staffordshire terrier, escaped from Soon’s house and pounced on Yip.

The dog, which answers to the name, “Beacon”, only let go of the the victim when neighbours hit it with an umbrella and a cane.

A neighbour, who identified himself as a doctor at the scene of the incident, said Yip died at the scene.

In mitigating for a light sentence, Soon, who was unrepresented, told the court that she had gotten the dog as security measure for her retired mother who was alone at home. She said that their home had been burgled before and that when she got her dog, she had taken it to the veterinarian and it was certified as healthy.

Soon added that on the morning of the incident, she had let her dog loose in the compound but locked the gate and had shut the garbage disposal gate.

She also tendered a letter from the victim’s family, who stated they had forgiven her over the incident and that they had also retracted the police report.

Deputy public prosecutor, Siti Fatimah Yahya pressed for a sentence that would serve as a lesson to the public.

Soon’s father and fiancee were present in court. The accused paid the fine.

Meanwhile, the fate of Beacon, lies in the decision of the court.

State Veterinary Services Department deputy director Dr Fadzilah A’ini Abd Kadir said the dog was still in their care.

“We have not received any instructions regarding the dog,” she said, adding that Beacon was healthy and free of rabies.

Dr Fadzilah said said normally, in such cases, there are three options — put the dog to sleep, send it to the police for training, or return it to the owner.

New Straits Times Friday, Jun 29, 2012

Related posts:

American Pit Bull Kills Jogger !

Pit bull Terrier, a restricted breed; Time to regulate pet shops! 

Dog attacks humans, it’s the owner, not the breed!

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