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Arsenal transfer news: Liverpool keeping tabs on Aaron Ramsey amid January window decision
AARON RAMSEY will reportedly reject any attempts to be sold in the January transfer window and leave the club in the summer, when Liverpool could make a move for him. [...]
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Gabon officers stage apparent coup bid as president abroad
LIBREVILLE: Soldiers in Gabon burst into state radio offices early Monday and called on the people to “rise up”, in an apparent coup attempt as ailing President Ali Bongo is out of the country.Shots were heard the around state television headquarters in Libreville, capital of the oil-rich West African nation, at about the same time as the message was read at 6.30am.Military vehicles blocked access to the boulevard where the offices are located, an AFP correspondent said.The dramatic developments came as Bongo is recovering at a private residence in the Moroccan capital Rabat after suffering a stroke.A message was read on state radio by a person who identified himself as Lieutenant Ondo Obiang Kelly, the deputy commander of the Republican Guard and head of a previously unknown group, the Patriotic Youth Movement of the Gabonese Defence and Security Forces (MPJFDS).He announced a “national restoration council” would be formed.The movement “calls on all young people from forces for the defence and security and Gabonese young people to join us,“ the officer said.Three soldiers wearing the green beret of the Republican Guard were visible on a video of the speech circulating on social media and authenticated by AFP.“We cannot abandon our homeland,“ the officer said.“The eagerly awaited day has arrived when the army has decided to put itself on the side of the people in order to save Gabon from chaos.“If you are eating, stop; if you are having a drink, stop; if you are sleeping, wake up. Wake up your neighbours ... rise up as one and take control of the street,“ he said.‘A difficult period’The officer called on the people of Gabon to occupy public buildings and airports throughout the country.The 59-year-old Bongo has not been back to Gabon since he fell ill in Saudi Arabia on Oct 24. It was revealed last month that he had suffered a stroke.In his absence, the Constitutional Court transferred part of the powers of the president to the prime minister and the vice president.On Dec 31, Bongo addressed the country for the first time since falling ill, saying in a recorded speech from Morocco that he had “been through a difficult period.”The MPJFDS considers the speech “shameful” for a “country (which) has lost its dignity”, the officer said in the speech on state delivered Monday.The Bongo family has governed the equatorial African nation for five decades.Ali Bongo was elected head of state after his father’s death in 2009.He was narrowly re-elected in 2016 following a presidential poll marred by deadly violence and allegations of fraud. — AFP [...]
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Don’t speculate over king’s resignation – IGP
Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun KUCHING: Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun has warned the public not to engage in speculation following the resignation of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday. He urged the public not to issue any provocative statements and hoped no one would exploit the situation. “The police have received reports of several provocative statements made on social media platforms, and we have also opened investigation papers (IPs) and are taking action in accordance with the law. “We will submit  the IPs a soon as possible to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action,” he told a media conference after presenting Jasa Pahlawan Negara (JPN) medals to 347 recipients here, today. The Istana Negara in a statement yesterday announced that the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V had stepped down as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong effective the same day but  did not mention any reason for the resignation. Meanwhile, Mohamad Fuzi stressed that the police still felt that that laws under the Security Offences (Special Measures) or Sosma and the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) should be maintained. “The Royal Malaysia Police wants the laws to be maintained but if there are certain parties who are dissatisfied, we leave it to the committee formed under the Ministry of Home Affairs (to decide),” he said. Prior to this, Home  Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had  announced the government intended to keep the two security laws, but with certain amendments. – Bernama [...]
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MB: Kelantan accepts decision of Sultan Muhammad V to step down as king
Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said the state government accepts the decision of the Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V to step down as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa TUMPAT, Jan 6 — The Kelantan government accepts the decision of the Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V to step down as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said tonight.Ahmad also said that up to this evening, the state government had not received any official notification from Istana Negara on the matter.“As the mentri besar, I just received informal information on the matter tonight. We accept the decision as it is His Majesty’s right,” he said when met after a Maghrib lecture at the Al-Hidayah Mosque, Kampung Laut, here.Ahmad said a meeting will be held with state secretary Datuk Nazran Muhammad and the Protocol Unit of the State Secretariat on the next course of action.He said His Majesty did not mention the matter when he returned to Kelantan to perform the Friday prayers at the Sultan Ismail Petra Mosque in Kubang Kerian two days ago.“His Majesty conducted himself as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (when he returned here on Friday) but ‘wallahua’lam’ (Allah knows better) what happened (afterward),” he said.Sultan Muhammad V was installed as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on April 24, 2017, after taking his oath of office on December 13, 2016.His Majesty succeeded the Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, whose term as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong ended on December 12, 2016.Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy system provides for the election of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from among the nine Malay Rulers on a rotational basis for a reign of five years.Sultan Muhammad V is the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong to step down. — Bernama [...]
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SPCA Malaysia: Govt must dispel belief that stray dogs must be eradicated
KLANG: The government must work towards dispelling the belief amongst certain quarters that street dogs are filthy creatures that must be eradicated, says SPCA Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj. [...]
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Klopp expects adapting Keita to be more influential at Liverpool
(Reuters) - Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita is still adapting to the Premier League and will have a greater influence on the team in the second half of the season, his manager Juergen Klopp said. [...]
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Sheffield United vs Barnet: Non-league side shock Championship promotion chasers in FA Cup
Sheffield United 0-1 Barnet: Shaquile Coulthirst scored the only goal as Barnet secured a deserved win at Bramall Lane [...]
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Arsenal's Joe Willock exorcises FA Cup demons at Blackpool in push for Premier League appearances
Arsenal's surprise loss to Nottingham Forest in the competition a year ago seemed to hamper the 19-year-old's development [...]
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Roasted durian draw at Kota Kinabalu food market
A durian delicacy, roasted durian, is a big draw at the Jalan Gaya Food Market in Kota Kinabalu. KOTA KINABALU, Jan 7 — Roasted durians have become a major draw at the Jalan Gaya Food Night Market here which is a popular tourist spot.The delicacy is the brainchild of fruit seller Dennis Chan who wanted to come up with new ideas for durian products.The roasted durian is a new take on the king of fruits, and a change from the popular roasted young coconut which is sold in Jalan Sepanggar, Menggatal near here.Explaining his technique, Dennis said the durians are first wrapped in aluminium foil before they are roasted for 45 minutes over charcoal.He said these durians are sold at RM60 each and cannot be immediately eaten but must be allowed to cool down first.Dennis said although he thought of the idea four years ago, he only started selling the roasted durians at the Jalan Gaya Food Night Market in Kota Kinabalu recently.“Since I started trading here last month, the roasted durians have been popular among tourists from China, South Korea and some local durian lovers,” he told Bernama here.Dennis, who runs the Borneo Fruits Garden in Papar near here, also offers the public, especially tourists, the experience of visiting a local orchard and enjoying fruits like durians and rambutans.The Jalan Gaya Food Night Market which is also known as the Api-Api Food Market @ Gaya Street, is a recent tourist attraction in Kota Kinabalu.It operates from 6 pm until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, selling food, drinks, fruits and local crafts.It was officially launched on Dec 2 last year by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew who is also Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister. — Bernama [...]
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Fund managers hoping for stock rally look to emerging markets
NEW YORK: After emerging market stocks led global equity markets lower in a brutal 2018, some U.S.-based fund managers are betting that the asset class may have the largest rebound in the new year. [...]
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Chelsea transfer news: Frank Lampard confirms talks with Blues over midfielder
DERBY boss Frank Lampard says his attempts to sign Chelsea’s highly-rated Ethan Ampadu on loan were rejected by his former club. [...]
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Dr M to visit Terengganu tomorrow
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to meet with livestock breeders and fishermen in Marang, Terengganu during his working visit to the state tomorrow. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 6 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to meet with livestock breeders and fishermen in Marang, Terengganu during his working visit to the state tomorrow.The get-together with the groups, to be held at the Marang District Council hall, is one of the highlights of Dr Mahathir’s one-day working visit to the state.The visit, also Dr Mahathir’s first to Terengganu after Pakatan Harapan won the general election on May 9 last year, will commence with a meeting with Terengganu educators at the Tabung Haji (TH) Hotel & Convention Centre in Kuala Nerus.Dr Mahathir is also scheduled to spend time with special needs children at Taman Sinar Harapan in Bukit Besar here.Taman Sinar Harapan is a care centre for intellectually-disabled children, aged 14 and below, under the Social Welfare Department that also provides rehabilitation to those with learning disabilities.Dr Mahathir, who is also chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), will also officiate the Terengganu Bersatu headquarters in Ladang Tok Pelam here.Terengganu Mentri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar in a statement expressed his hope that the prime minister’s working visit to Terengganu would strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the PAS-led state government and the federal government for the benefit of the people.“On behalf of the Terengganu government, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Terengganu Darul Iman,” he said. — Bernama [...]
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Resignation and selection of next Agong: What does our Constitution say?
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V arrives at the opening of the first session of the 14th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — 1. Can the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) resign from office?Article 32(3) of the Constitution allows the Agong to resign from office before his five-year term ends by writing to the Conference of Rulers. The YDPA can also technically be removed from office by the Conference of Rulers through a majority vote.2. How is the next YDPA selected?Contrary to popular belief, the Deputy Agong i.e. Sultan Nazrin of Perak will not automatically succeed the YDPA post.There is in fact an election process described in the Third Schedule of the Constitution. Malaysia has a unique system whereby the position of the YDPA rotates among the State Rulers. In this respect, there is an “election list”. The current “election list” is arranged in accordance to the states in which the first to the ninth YDPA belonged.The State Ruler at the top of the “election list” shall be offered the YDPA post. It does not go to the Deputy Agong (unless he happens to be at the pinnacle of the “election list”). Neither is there no election process per se whereby any State Ruler can throw his tengkolok in the ring for the YDPA post.A State Ruler on top of the “election list” can only be denied the post in three circumstances. First, if he is a minor. Second, if the Conference of Rulers by secret ballot votes that he is unsuitable by reason of infirmity of mind or body or for any other cause to exercise the YDPA’s functions.Third, if he himself declines the post. If he does not accept the YPDA post, the State Ruler whose state is the next on the “election list” shall be offered, and so on until a State Ruler accepts. This was alluded to in 2016, whereby the Sultan of Johor was offered the YDPA — bypassing the Sultans of Kelantan and Pahang. His Royal Highness eventually rejected the offer on the grounds that he respected the rotation system, and the Sultan of Kelantan became the recently resigned YDPA.It is interesting to note that the Governors of Melaka, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak will neither be offered the YDPA post, nor take part in the balloting process (although they are members of the Conference of Rulers).3. Does the government have a say in the selection process of the next YDPA?Strictly, no. Although Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, this is one of the areas in which the State Rulers have absolute discretion.4. Which State Ruler is in contention for the YDPA post?If one follows the “election list” in accordance with the chronology of the first to the ninth YDPA, the order is as follows:Sultan of PahangSultan of JohorSultan of PerakYamtuan Negri SembilanSultan of SelangorSultan of PerlisSultan of TerengganuSultan of Kedah5. What are the qualifications for and restrictions of the role of YDPA?At the selection process stage, as stated above: The YDPA cannot be a minor. Further, he must not have any infirmities of mind or body or for any other cause to exercise the YDPA’s functions.After the YDPA is elected, he is bound by several restrictions. There is in fact an entire provision in the Constitution i.e. Article 34 which is titled “Disabilities of Yang di-Pertuan Agong, etc.”. Among others, the YDPA:Cannot exercise his many functions as the Ruler of his State, except as Head of the religion of Islam;Cannot hold “any appointment carrying any remuneration” — this implies other paying government or business positions;Cannot “actively engage in any commercial enterprise”;Cannot receive any emoluments accruing to him as State Ruler;Cannot, without the consent of the Conference of Rulers, be absent from the Federation for more than 15 days, except on a State visit to another country.6. Who will be the Head of State for the time being in the absence of the YDPA?Pursuant to Article 33 of the Constitution, the Deputy Agong i.e. Sultan Nazrin of Perak shall exercise the functions and have the privileges of the YDPA during any vacancy in the office. Hence, Malaysia is not functioning without a Head of State as we speak.7. What is the YDPA’s role and is he an important figure in modern Malaysia?The YDPA is our Head of State, but not the head of government (as is the Queen of England). Among others, he is also the Supreme Commander of our Armed Forces.Under a constitutional monarchy, the YDPA has limited powers. He is duty bound to act in accordance with the advice of the prime minister — he has no discretionary powers in this regard (see: Article 40(1A) of the Constitution). This is the hallmark of a democratic nation bound by the rule of law.However, under Article 40(2) of the Constitution, the YDPA has discretionary powers in three areas (and this is where the YDPA can have a huge say over national matters):The appointment of the prime minister;Withholding consent to a request for dissolution of Parliament;Requisitioning a meeting of the Conference of Rulers concerned solely with the privileges, position, honours or dignities of their Royal Highnesses, and any action at such a meeting.It is therefore paramount to the national interest that our next YDPA acts strictly in accordance with the Constitution, and is able to have a collaborative relationship with the current government.The following days will witness much excitement. Will the Sultan of Pahang accept the post, or will he offer it to the Sultan of Johor? Malaysians wait with bated breath as to who will ascend the yellow throne at Istana Negara. *Lim Wei Jiet is an Advocate & Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya. [...]
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Thunderstorm damages more than 20 houses in Ipoh
IPOH: Over 20 houses at Kampung Gugusan Manjoi and Taman Keledang Raya here were damaged during an evening thunderstorm. [...]
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Why I Have Zero Regrets About My Childless Life
I’d always wanted babies. Probably. Eventually. Possibly. When I graduated from college, in the early 1980s, friends started having them while I remained happily unencumbered. Even after I married, family planning was more like having no plan, other than putting it off until later. When I reached the age when I was supposed to be desperate to be a mother–early to mid-30s–I didn’t feel desperate; I only felt unsure. My sole mistake at the time, I see now, was not trusting that I’d be O.K.–maybe even better than O.K.–with or without a baby. Today, more and more women are choosing not to have children, and while the stigma hasn’t completely lifted, it’s not what it once was. But if the urge to have a child is at least to a degree biological, what does it say about you if you don’t want one? At 57–a childless 57–I still meet young women who wonder why they don’t want a baby more. Should they try to have one anyway? And if they don’t have one, what will their lives be like? The issue is obviously even more fraught for women of childbearing age who are having trouble conceiving and are asking themselves how far they should go with it, how much they want it, if their partner wants it more than they do. When I was in my mid-30s, my then husband and I did try, and fail, to conceive a child. I’d seen other women who wanted babies so much that they almost seemed to be erasing a part of themselves with their anxiety. Though I would have welcomed a child, their yearning seemed foreign to me. My husband and I considered our options. The invasiveness of IVF troubled us, and we didn’t have that kind of money anyway. So we just decided to stop focusing on having a baby, and a baby never came. In social situations around that time, when outsiders would nose into what I believe is private business, the fact that I had taken the path of least resistance gave me an easy out. If anyone asked why I didn’t have children, I could simply say that my husband and I had tried and failed. Not only was it the truth, but it sounded less cold than “I didn’t want any.” And yet even today I rarely volunteer how utterly happy I am with the decision I made more than 20 years ago. Because I never had a child, I don’t really know how to miss the experience of having one. But I do recognize all the things that have come my way as the result of not having kids–and, by extension, being a woman on my own after my marriage broke up: not having children certainly made it less difficult to end the marriage when it became clear that my husband and I had to do so. In some ways, the baby I never had is a part of me. She has given me freedom.   I began my adult life as an almost laughably unambitious journalism graduate, doing proofreading and copyediting and whatever came my way–in fact, doing almost everything I could to avoid writing, because I figured I’d probably fail. But once I started–writing freelance album reviews for 20 bucks a pop–I couldn’t be stopped. By the time I had actually launched any sort of part-time writing career, the do-or-die babymaking years were upon me. At that point, I realize now, my anxiety was highest–so high that it may very well be the reason I couldn’t conceive. My husband was a freelance writer. I had a full-time job as a magazine copy editor; whatever writing I was doing was happening on the side. People knew we were broke, and still, so many of them said, “Let it happen, you’ll figure it all out later.” But what would that mean, exactly, when the writing I was doing was already in the margins of my life? I knew women who had babies and careers–of course, it was possible. Maybe I could be one of those superwomen–getting up early, working all day, taking care of the kid before and after day care, confining my writing to the hours after 10 p.m.–but when I looked at this future, I felt depressed in advance. No matter how helpful my partner promised to be, I knew the bulk of the responsibility often falls to the woman. I also knew that the world didn’t really need extra writers, and I could see myself being too exhausted to put in that additional labor. Who’d really miss my review of the latest REM record? Another, more amazing woman might have gone for it all, but I didn’t feel amazing, not in that way. I had finally found the thing that I loved doing, and now I had to make room for something else–someone else–and that would supposedly make my life complete? Maybe I knew even then that the idea of completeness is dangerous. I doubt there’s any such thing in a life. By choosing openness over some false idea of completeness, I’ve had more enriching work than I ever imagined. My job–these days, as a movie critic–is immensely satisfying, but it’s that much more so because of the freedom I have. Sometimes I go to festivals simply to cover them–and the ability to just go shouldn’t be underestimated–but I have also been invited to run writing workshops and to serve on juries all over the world. I occasionally wonder if my not having children has made me open to experience in ways I might not otherwise be. That’s not to suggest that women with children can’t be equally open. But caring for a child demands a specific focus, for years at a stretch. My runway of opportunity was a straight shot, for weeks, months and years. I could say yes to almost anything I wanted to do. Every yes meant I met a new set of people, a new set of friends. And with every yes, my world got a little bigger.   I have never given life to another person. But I’m amazed and grateful, daily, at how much life has come my way even so. I have friends of all ages. I’ve had incredible romances and some concomitant heartbreak. I [...]
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Barnet and Oldham are toast of FA Cup after shock wins
LONDON (Reuters) - Oldham Athletic and Barnet provided some old-fashioned FA Cup magic with shock victories over more illustrious opponents but English champions Manchester City proved ruthless as they scored seven times in the third round on Sunday. [...]
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