Politics Archives - New Malaysia News

Domestic ministry blames previous transporters for delay in transporting essential goods to Bario
Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif KUCHING, April 25 — The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry today blamed criminal intimidation and threats of physical harm by the previous transporters as a reason for the delay in delivering subsidised essential items to Bario in the deep interior of Baram, its deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen said today.He said the newly engaged transporters were hesitant to supply the items due to the intimidation and threats.“On receiving the complaints from the new transporters, the ministry officers gave them assurance that it will not succumb to gangsterism and will stand by them to fight off such acts and whatever sabotage these people may do to our transport subsidy programme,” Chong said. “With the assurance given, the new transporters proceeded with the delivery of the liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) diesel, RON95, sugar, rice, flour and cooking oil to Bario under the ministry’s transport subsidy programme yesterday,” he said, adding that these items are sold in Bario region at the same prices as in towns.Chong said the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not allow local thugs to control or influence the transport subsidy programme.  “That is the whole purpose of introducing the open tender system, only those that meet the best qualification points and prices will get the job,” he said.He said the ministry enforcement officers will work closely with the police to ensure that the transport subsidy programme will be implemented smoothly and that the appointed transporters can carry out their obligations safely.Chong dismissed an allegation by the Sarawak State Assembly Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala that the transport subsidy programme is a failure.“Hopefully, he, as the elected representative of the area, can also help to advise the previous transporters not to resort to such unlawful act,” he said.Under the transport subsidy programme, the ministry will pay appointed transporters the whole cost of transporting the seven essential items to the rural areas of Sarawak which are to be sold at the same prices as in the towns.For this year, a total of RM140 million has been allocated for this transport subsidy programme, including about RM80 million allocated for Sarawak.The ministry, through an open tender system, selected and awarded contracts to the newly appointed transporters on April 1. “In the open tender for the selection of transporters, a total of approximately 1,444 applications was received, out of which, 79 were chosen and appointed as transporters for Sarawak,” Chong said.He said the unsuccessful applicants included the previous transporters for the Bario zone who were given the contracts through direct negotiation under the Barisan Nasional government.“This year, the previous transporters for Bario zone failed in the intensely competitive open tender process,” he added. [...]
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Tun Mahathir 5 hari di China hadir Forum  Satu Jalur Satu Jalan
Perdana Menteri Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad tiba di Beijing Capital International Airport di sini hari ini untuk lawatan kerja lima hari ke China dan menghadiri Forum kedua Satu Jalur Satu Jalan (OBOR) bagi Kerjasama Antarabangsa (BRF). Pesawat khas yang membawa beliau dan isteri Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali mendarat di lapangan terbang itu pada 8 malam. Perdana menteri berusia 94-tahun itu disambut semasa tiba oleh Menteri Luar Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, pegawai-pegawai kanan China dan kuasa usaha Kedutaan Malaysia di China Nuryante Mohd Yazid. [...]
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Khazanah Research: Comparable property valuation leads to inflated prices
KUALA LUMPUR (April 25): Housing price discovery using the sales comparison approach is one of the reasons prices of residential units are inflated in certain... [...]
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Dr Mahathir: Malaysia will continue to be friendly to foreign investors
BEIJING (April 25): Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reassured the Chinese business community here that Malaysia will continue to retain a business-friendly attitude with foreign... [...]
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Now, PTPTN wants your views on how it can collect student loan debt
An employee serves a customer at the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) in Kuala Lumpur July 16, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — The National Higher Education Fund Corp (PTPTN) wants Malaysians to suggest ways in which it can collect the RM6.3 billion in arrears from borrowers.PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the body will conduct public consultations “focusing on loan repayment mechanisms” from which the public will be invited to say how best to collect the money owed.“The repayment method for PTPTN has been discussed a lot and has been the focus since Pakatan Harapan became government,” Was Saiful was quoted as saying in The Star newspaper.“It is still the focus as it has yet to be resolved.”Wan Saiful said it will post results and discussion points recorded during discussions with stakeholders, including bankers, economists, parents and student groups, online.These discussion took place from December 2018 until March 2019.“There will also be townhall and roundtable sessions to discuss ideas,” said Wan Saiful.Once all the feedback is collected, it will be forwarded to the Education Ministry for further scrutiny.Among some of the proposals received were deferring loan repayments for those earning less than RM4,000 a month and a scheduled repayment scheme of between 2 per cent and 15 per cent of the borrower’s monthly income.The target is to collect RM2 billion by year’s end.“The minister of education will need to take it to the Cabinet for a final decision,” added Wan Saiful.Since 1997, PTPTN has allocated RM56 billion to help more than three million students. As of December 31 of last year, PTPTN has loans amounting to RM20.7 billion from 1.9 million borrowers. [...]
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Waytha Moothy unconcerned about popularity, says his effort will be appreciated eventually
Waytha said many of his policies have been well-received at the community level. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — When National Unity Minister P. Waytha Moorthy was told by a reporter today that he was among the most unpopular Pakatan Harapan leaders close to a year after the coalition took power, he smiled.“When you do things that is [sic] controversial, things that other people don’t do, you don’t become famous,” he told a group interview at his office here on Wednesday.As the minister tasked to unite a nation still reeling from political division, Waytha Moorthy acknowledged that he is nowhere near achieving what he had set out to do nearly a year after he took office.And in the course of doing his job, he has been vilified by both sides of the political divide.But he said this was a necessary sacrifice.To bring together a society torn asunder by partisan and racial schism meant making tough decisions, but Waytha Moorthy is confident that one day the people will appreciate his effort.“Probably I am in that position where I did things which is good for the country at large, but there are some people who don’t like it,” the senator said.“Like ICERD, it is good for the country but it is not understood. And when it is not understood it’s easy to mislead the people and when people are misled, naturally I become a target and I don’t become a favourite, (but) eventually people will know.”Critics accused Waytha Moorthy of conspiring to dismantle Bumiputera privileges after the Pakatan Harapan administration said it would ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).Detractors claimed the United Nations treaty was a back door to subverting Malay political and economic power by giving minorities access to key institutions otherwise reserved for them.The anti-ICERD movement drew huge support among Malays that cut across party lines, which moderate politicians like prime minister in waiting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Umno’s Khairy Jamaluddin said reflected “genuine” grouses that the PH government should heed.The PH administration eventually postponed signing the treaty.But Waytha Moorthy did not view the delay as a setback for his ministership.The senator said many of his policies have been well-received at the community level, who welcomed his unity-themed programmes even as the Opposition continues to accuse him of sowing racial tension by wanting to ratify ICERDWaytha Moorthy claimed residents associations and neighbourhood groups have volunteered in droves to become “agents” of PH’s unity-themed programmes, a sign that his policies have resonated well with the people.He was also responsible for organising the first Orang Asli Convention, which took place on April 20.As many as 133 resolutions were passed at the meeting, most of them to empower the indigenous community with more political and economic rights, as well as more autonomy.Officiated by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Waytha Moorthy said the meeting gave the indigenous community something it never had under Barisan Nasional rule: a voice.He called this his “biggest achievements” to date.Yet the minister was hesitant when asked to rate his performance ahead of PH’s one year anniversary in power.“How can I rate myself?” he said smilingly. [...]
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Johor Umno Youth wants Syed Saddiq to explain revelation about TMJ’s demands
Syed Saddiq said yesterday that the disdain Tunku Ismail had shown him was due to political and business requests he had earlier turned down. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim JOHOR BARU, April 24 — Johor Umno Youth today questioned Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s motive in revealing to the media that Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim had made demands of him in the past.Its chief, Mohd Hairi Mad Shah, asked why Syed Saddiq chose to reveal such things during the interview with the press yesterday, which had nothing to do with the Johor Palace.“I understand that the interview was to share the achievements of ministers and their respective ministries a year after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government came to power after the 14th general election.“Was the statement deliberately issued by Syed Saddiq to cover his own weaknesses and also shortcomings in leading the Youth and Sports Ministry by shifting the issue to TMJ?” asked Mohd Hairi, using the Malay acronym for the Johor Crown Prince.Syed Saddiq had said yesterday that the disdain Tunku Ismail had shown him was due to political and business requests he had earlier turned down.The Muar MP claimed Tunku Ismail had made him feel uncomfortable to the point where he had to refuse the Crown Prince’s requests or risk abandoning his principles.Mohd Hairi said in a statement that Johor Umno Youth believed that Syed Saddiq had intended to paint Tunku Ismail in a negative light as it was generally known that the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Youth chief does not have a good relationship with the heir to the Johor throne.“Johor Umno Youth demands that Syed Saddiq explain his statement that we view as being malicious in nature.“His statement also does not help with the current situation where Putrajaya’s relationship with the Johor Palace is tense recently following the crisis involving the appointment of the state’s mentri besar,” said Mohd Hairi.During the interview yesterday, Syed Saddiq revealed that Tunku Ismail had also demanded the cancellation of a high-profile boxing match featuring Manny Pacquiao on July 15 last year. [...]
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Sungai Klang rehabilitation project to spur economic growth
KUALA LUMPUR (April 24): Sungai Klang is no longer classified as polluted, thanks to the Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) cleaning and rehabilitation project implemented by... [...]
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Dr M: Rule of law must be paramount
In an exclusive interview with The Star, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the people must be able to stand up to the Rulers if their action goes against the Constitution. He said he tried to correct the wrong by setting up a special court for the Rulers, resulting to the 1993 amendments to the Constitution, but unfortunately, the special court was only used once. [...]
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PM arrives in Beijing for Belt-Road forum
This is Dr Mahathir's second visit to China since leading the Pakatan Harapan coalition of political parties to victory in Malaysia’s 14th General Election in May last year. — Reuters pic BEIJING, April 24 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport here today for a five-day working visit to China and attend the 2nd  Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF).The special aircraft carrying him and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali landed at the airport at 8 pm (time is same in Malaysia and China).The 94-year-old prime minister was met on arrival by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah,  high-ranking Chinese officials and Malaysian embassy charge d' affaires in China,  Nuryante Mohd Yazid.He also inspected a guard-of-honour mounted by the country's armed forces.This is Dr Mahathir's second visit to China since leading the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition of political parties to victory in Malaysia’s 14th General Election in May last year.The Prime Minister visited China in August last year. During his first stint as Malaysia's premier from 1983 until 2003, he had visited the country seven times.Besides attending the forum on the Belt and Road initiative along with 36 world leaders and hundreds of representatives, Dr Mahathir will also hold discussions with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and also President Xi Jinping, where issues of mutual interest are expected to dominate the agenda.Dr Mahathir and Keqiang will also witness  the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on enhancing palm oil trade between the two countries and on the RM44 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project in Peninsular Malaysia.China has been Malaysia's largest trade partner for the past 10 years with total trade last year jumping eight per cent to stand at RM313 billion.Known as a leader with a deep affinity for  the latest technology, the Prime Minister will also spend some time visiting China's leading telecommunications company, Huawei Technologies and take a closer look at their cutting-edge technologies. He will also visit Sensetime Ltd, a global leader of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and hold a dialogue session with China's captains of industry as well as the private sector to try to entice them into investing in  Malaysia. The Prime Minister will leave for home on Sunday. — Bernama [...]
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Syed Saddiq: TMJ wanted Pacquiao bout in KL cancelled
Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse at the weigh-in ahead of their world welterweight boxing championship bout in Kuala Lumpur July 14, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim PUTRAJAYA, April 23 — Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim wanted Manny Pacquaio’s boxing match in Kuala Lumpur last July cancelled at the last minute, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman revealed today.The Youth and Sports Minister told reporters that he and Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman held an audience with Tunku Ismail in Johor to explain why the welterweight championship must go on.“It would have caused a diplomatic crisis as six ministers and the president of the Philippines (Rodrigo Duterte) came over,” he said at a special press conference in conjunction with Pakatan Harapan’s first year anniversary in power.In addition, he said the fight was to be broadcast live around the globe by more than 100 television and cable networks, and a cancellation would have resulted in huge losses.He did not explain why Tunku Ismail had wanted the fight between the eight division Filipino world champion and Argentinian Lucas Matthysse cancelled.Syed Saddiq had brought the matter up at the press conference after he was asked about his souring relationship with the Crown Prince of his home state.He said the disdain Tunku Ismail, who is also known as TMJ, had shown him was due to political and business requests he has had to turn down.Syed Saddiq said he had been made to feel uncomfortable to the point where he had to refuse the Crown Prince’s requests or risk abandoning his principles.“Certain requests which I simply could not defend were asked of me and from there the situation didn’t go that well,” Syed Saddiq said. [...]
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Call for effective enforcement on illegal dumping of plastic waste
KUALA LUMPUR (April 24): Malaysia should take its commitment to fight against plastic pollution further by enforcing a total ban on dumping of solid plastic... [...]
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One year on, Saifuddin says the world knows Malaysia no longer a kleptocracy
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during an interview in Putrajaya April 22, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim PUTRAJAYA, April 24 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) has successfully changed international perception of Malaysia that was seen as a “kleptocracy” under Barisan Nasional (BN), Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.“Can you imagine the new foreign minister going to international forums representing Malaysia that used to be synonymous with kleptocracy?“But the international community understands what is New Malaysia,” the foreign minister told a media interview in conjunction with PH’s first anniversary of its first term in office.Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently facing a corruption trial related to a former subsidiary of state investment firm 1MDB that was embroiled in a global financial scandal under his administration.Saifuddin also listed Malaysia’s warming ties with China and Singapore as among his ministry’s achievements.He declined to rate his performance over the past one year on a scale of one to 10.“I think we did fairly well. It’s not fair if I were to self-evaluate. Six or seven is very low, but I don’t want to give a number.”The PH government managed to reduce the cost of the China-backed East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project from RM65.5 billion under the previous BN administration to RM44 billion.Malaysia’s relations with Singapore, however, have grown trickier during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration, as both countries wrangle over water and territorial boundaries. [...]
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Khairy: Sandakan projects finance minister touted were approved under BN
Khairy said PH should not mask the truth and pretend as though these were new initiatives it launched. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Two of the 49 projects Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government approved in Sandakan were authorised during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) time, Khairy Jamaluddin said.The BN shadow finance minister also noted the timing of the announcement, which he said happened to come just ahead of nominations for the Sandakan by-election this weekend.“But what is interesting it that Lim emphasised two projects in Sandakan, which are the runway upgrade at Sandakan Airport and the Sungai Anip flood barrier project,” Khairy wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.The Rembau MP said both were approved during the 2015 tabling of the 11th Malaysia Plan for the period of 2016 to 2020,He also noted that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced the specific allocation for the runway upgrade in May 2017.Khairy then said Lim’s announcements were effectively of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) continuations of BN schemes.“The PH government’s decision to continue planned developments is appreciated. Even if you want to take credit, go ahead,” he added.However, he said PH should not mask the truth and pretend as though these were new initiatives it launched.Lim issued a statement yesterday to highlight the approval for 49 projects in Sandakan, Sabah that were worth a combined RM2.28 billion, including the two Khairy cited.The Sandakan by-election was triggered after the incumbent, Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Stephen Wong, died of a sudden heart attack on March 28.The Election Commission has set nominations for April 27 and polling for May 11.Sandakan has 39,777 registered voters who are 49 per cent Chinese, 44 per cent Muslim Bumiputra and 6 per cent non-Muslim Bumiputra. [...]
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Trump to make state visit to Britain in June
LONDON (April 23): US President Donald Trump will make a state visit to the United Kingdom in June, Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday, a trip... [...]
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Legal community slams Arun Kasi’s 30-day jail term, fine
Zaid Ibrahim said the Malaysian Bar should organise a march to the Palace of Justice in a show of solidarity with lawyer Arun Kasi. — Picture by Miera Zulyana PETALING JAYA, April 23 — The Federal Court’s decision to impose a prison sentence on lawyer Arun Kasi for contempt of court has drawn criticism from the legal community as lawyers and experts took to social media to express their dissatisfaction.Arun was sentenced to a 30-day jail term to be served from today after he committed contempt of court for making disrespectful remarks online regarding a court judgment.Former Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said the Malaysian Bar should organise a march to the Palace of Justice in a show of solidarity.“Don’t let Arun suffer alone. This is the beginning of New Malaysia that we must oppose,” he tweeted.Lawyers for Liberty advisor N. Surendran also tweeted on the matter and said a fine would have been sufficient in Arun’s case.  “Imprisonment for contempt should be imposed only in the most serious cases. More so, since there is no right of appeal from the sentence,” he said.Human rights advocate and legal director of Fortify Rights Eric Paulsen said the sentencing was unnecessary and criticism against the judicial body should not be made an offence.“Justice is not a cloistered virtue and everyone must be allowed to be critical, rightly, wrongly, even being rude or outspoken regarding the judiciary.“Respect for the judiciary cannot be enhanced through contempt proceedings, ie. the courts themselves assessing whether allegations of impropriety against the judiciary are justified.“What is at stake is freedom of speech. It is our right to speak out on matters of public interest and judges and their judgments should not be shielded from criticisms,” he said in a tweet.Lawyer Shanmuga K. said Arun’s sentencing was a first of such a case under the Pakatan Harapan government.He pointed out that even under the previous Barisan Nasional government, such a ruling did not take place.“Has a lawyer in ‘Malaysia lama’ ever been sent to prison for the archaic offence of ‘scandalising the judiciary’ because of a critique of a court judgment?“‘Malaysia baru’ keeps letting me down,” he said in a tweet.Arun was also fined RM40,000 for making hateful statements pertaining to the case of Leap Modulation Sdn Bhd vs PCP Construction Sdn Bhd, where the Federal Court decided to erase a dissenting judgment by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.Arun, however, had previously stressed that his comments were fair criticism. [...]
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