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"Mengikut Perjanjian itu, tiap-tiap Negeri akan menerima 5% daripada nilai petroliam yang dijumpai dan diperolehi dalam kawasan perairan atau di luar perairan Negeri tersebut yang dijual oleh PETRONAS atau ejensi-ejensi atau kontrektor-kontrektornya".
- Tun Abdul Razak, Dewan Rakyat (12hb. November, 1975)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Kerajaan Yakin Pemaju Telah Ambil Langkah Pastikan Pembangunan Di Lereng Bukit Selamat - PM

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata kerajaan yakin pihak-pihak yang terlibat dalam pembangunan di lereng bukit telah mengambil langkah-langkah tertentu untuk memastikan projek perumahan di kawasan tersebut selamat.

Oleh itu kejadian tanah runtuh di Bukit Antarabangsa Sabtu lepas bukannya akibat daripada tindakan-tindakan yang "disengajakan" oleh pihak pemaju perumahan, kata Perdana Menteri.

"Apa yang berlaku itu adalah sesuatu yang kita amat dikesali...tapi pihak-pihak tertentu tentu sekali telah pun mempertimbangkan (risiko).

"Apa yang telah berlaku amat mendukacitakan dan kita kena belajar dari pengajaran itu, biar ia jadi pengajaran, kerana ini adalah kali ketiga ia telah berlaku, sebab itu saya dan Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak) telah pun memberi arahan.

"Kita putuskan tidak ada lagi. Jangan lagi bagi sebarang kelulusan kepada pengusaha-pengusaha perumahan di kawasan-kawasan berkenaan (kawasan berbukit berisiko tinggi)," katanya pada sidang akhbar selepas mesyuarat Dewan Tertinggi Barisan Nasional (BN) di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra di sini.

"Saya kira mereka telah mengambil kira tentang kestabilan tanah dan semua kajian teknikal telah dilakukan. Sesuatu yang mereka tidak boleh ketepikan. Mereka sedar tentang keprihatinan kita - tentang membina rumah di lereng bukit.

"Hujan agak luar biasa sekarang ini dan mereka yang bertanggungjawab membina rumah-rumah ini tentu telah mengambil kira faktor-faktor begini," kata Abdullah.

Perdana Menteri mengulas laporan mengenai kemungkinan mangsa-mangsa tanah runtuh di Bukit Antarabangsa menyaman pihak-pihak tertentu kerana mendakwa kejadian itu akibat kecuaian pihak berkenaan.

Abdullah yang juga Pengerusi BN berkata, Dewan Tertinggi BN mengucapkan takziah kepada mangsa tanah runtuh dan amat sedih dan bersimpati di atas kehilangan anggota keluarga mereka.

Bukit Antarabangsa residents to sue gov't

updated 9.50pm Residents of Bukit Antarabangsa hit by a weekend landslide that killed four people said today they were planning to sue the government for cfompensation.

landslide bukit antarabangsa carThe disaster was the latest in a series of slippages in Kuala Lumpur's up-market northeastern suburbs, triggering a frenzy of finger-pointing over who is to blame for the continuing loss of life and property.

"We have set up a legal team which is collecting concrete evidence for us look at before we decide to take any legal action," said N Muneandy, chairman of the residents' association at Bukit Antarabangsa where the landslide hit.

"If we have concrete evidence then we will go against the authorities concerned. It is not our fault at all. We are the victims," he told AFP.

"This landslide occured because of the residents erecting houses on the slopes," he added. "The authorities had ignored signs that appeared over several years," he added.

In 2006, four people were killed and 43 homes destroyed in a nearby suburb and in 1993 a 12-storey Highland Towers collapsed, burying 48 people mainly maids and children."We have the evidence like photographs taken before the landslide and complaints lodged with the local authority," said Muneandy.

Without stating the amount of compensation to be sought, he said some residents had notified the relevant local authorities about the possibility of landslides happening.

"They had reported about fallen trees which indicated that something undesirable could happen, but the local authority only sent people to cut the trees and there were no other preventive measures taken," he added.

Need To Tighten Security

Muneandy also urged the government to immediately form a special committee with representatives of the residents included so that they could be kept informed of any development in Bukit Antarabangsa.

"This is important as the problem involves the safety of our lives and homes, and therefore we want the government to act fast," he said.

Earlier, representatives of the Bukit Antarabangsa residents held a discussion with the landslide search-and-rescue operations chief, Khalid Abu Bakar.

During the discussion, Khalid promised to intensify security surveillance in the landslide area to prevent looting and urged residents with problems to personally come forward to lodge police reports.

"We did get requests from residents who wanted to come in to get their belongings, including their cars stuck among the rubble, but we cannot allow them to do it now as the ground is still unstable and could endanger their lives," he said.

In the latest development, rescuers have this evening found a decomposed body, believed to be missing Sri Lankan maid Lourdes Mary. However, it was later discovered to be the carcass of a dog. The search will continue tomorrow.

Gov't told to remove immunity for local councils

updated 9.35pm In the wake of Saturday's deadly landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa, the Bar Council has urged the government to repeal the statutory immunity granted to local authorities under the Street, Drainage and Building Act.

According to the 13,000-strong lawyers body, the immunity "encourages a lackadaisical attitude to the approval of plans submitted."

surendran kumaresan 110708 ambiga"Those that approve development plans and those that are duty-bound to protect our environment and the people fmust be called to account. Their acts may amount to criminal negligence which the police ought to investigate," said Bar Council chairperson S Ambiga.

In a landmark Federal Court decision, the Ampang Municipal Council (MPAJ) was found not liable for losses suffered by residents of Highland Towers which collapsed 15 years ago, killing 48 people.

The court unanimously ruled that local authorities such as MPAJ were given full immunity under Section 95 (2) of the Street, Drainage & Building Act 1974 (Act 133) from such claims.

highland tower collapse 091208 01Ambiga said that it was time for the government to put people before profits.

"It is hoped that this tragedy, unlike the Highland Towers incident, will not fade into the past with no lasting solutions," she added in a statement.

MPAJ Defend Itself

In a related development, MPAJ refuted claims that it failed to respond to complaints by residents in Bukit Antarabangsa on numerous issues ranging from soil erosion to tree pruning in the area.

Its public relations officer, Norhayati Ahmad, said immediate action was taken either by the MPAJ or the developers to address the problems.

landslide bukit antarabangsa car"For instance, after receiving complaints about suspected erosion at the main road to Bukit Antarabangsa in September, we immediately sent our experts to the ground and put up the gabion wall to prevent further erosion," she told Bernama today.

Following the landslide which claimed four lives, residents in Bukit Antarabangsa had alleged that the authorities, including MPAJ, had failed to take necessary action to prevent the disaster.

Among others, they claimed that the local council had failed to respond to their complaints on soil erosion in the area a few days prior to the incident.

Meanwhile, Norhayati said MPAJ is preparing to begin the cleaning up and to restore amenities once the search-and-rescue operation is called off.

"We expect to begin work some time next week," she said, adding that the local council is among other agencies assisting the authorities in evacuating residents.

In the latest development, rescuers have this evening found a decomposed body, believed to be missing Sri Lankan maid Lourdes Mary. However, it was later discovered to be the carcass of a dog. The search will continue tomorrow.

Resident Slams MPAJ Staff

Bernama also reported that an Oakleaf Park condominium resident caused a stir at the MPAJ operations centre in Taman Bukit Mewah today when he railed at the staff and workers for not helping him and his family to evacuate.

landslide bukit antarabangsa crowdTumiran Mohd Kasdi, 56, who has been living in the condominium for 15 years, claimed that he, his wife and two children had to walk for 30 minutes in the rain up the slippery road to collect their belongings at about 3pm on Monday and that drivers in two MPAJ four-wheel-drive vehicles did not offer them help.

He said his daughter was still in confinement and had to carry her baby and belongings on the wet and slippery road.

The businessman also claimed that no vehicles had been provided to help them evacuate despite announcements to the contrary.

In another development, the Drainage and Irrigation Department has dispatched a technical team to investigate the causes of the landslide.

Its director-general, Ahmad Hussaini Sulaiman, told Bernama that the team would take some time to complete its report as it involves an extensive area.

Yesterday, Siraj Akbarali, a director of a local engineering firm dealing in slope maintenance, was reported to have said that the likely cause of the landslide was slope failure.

He based his assumption on the fact that residents heard loud explosions like a bomb before the landslide, and explained that the failure could be due to improper drainage which resulted in the increase of the water content in the soil on the slope.

The problem with Mohamed Sabu

When Pas spiritual chief Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat jumped the gun and announced last week that Mohamed Sabu alias Mat Sabu was his choice as candidate for the Jan 17 Kuala Terengganu by-election, he was trying to use his stature to stampede the party into NOT choosing a candidate from the conservative Ulama group led by president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Nik Aziz is now alligned to the party's Erdogan faction, who has thrown itsr lot behind Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader who has close ties with the Turkish leader.

And Mohamed, considered a moderate, is more acceptable to the Erdogan faction.

Here in lies the dilemma before Pas — pick Mohamed, the popular, seasoned campaigner but an "outsider" in the state and face a possible defeat or place the bet on a local boy but a respected Ulama and still face defeat.

It is a Catch-22 situation for the Pas leadership.

Supporters of Hadi are saying a veteran Pas leader like Terengganu Pas commissioner Datuk Mustafa Ali or his deputy Datuk Wan Abdul Muttalib Embong, both locals, stand a better chance against an Umno/BN candidate.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang has also spoken up for Mohamed, saying he was a good candidate and that the party would work hard to win over the Chinese voters, who form 11 per cent of the electorate of about 80,000.

Lim's preference for Mohamed is because the latter is a moderate, and has worked with DAP and human rights NGOs like Suaram and BERSIH over numerous issues ranging from urban squatters to human rights abuses.

Mohamed's supporters — both in Pas and in the opposition ranks — believe that if he is selected it would be easier to woo the crucial Chinese voters who, in the event Malay votes are split equally between Pas and Umno, would be the kingmakers.

It is also easier for the DAP to campaign for Mohamed and more difficult to back Mustafa or Wan Muttalib, who are hardliners and leading conservative voices in Pas.

Both are also lesser known to the Chinese community compared with Mohamed.

These are considerations the Pas leadership is weighing.

The dilemma is compounded by the fact that the voting trend in Kuala Terengganu since the 1986 general election shows that an "outsider" gets fewer votes compared to a local.

Pas leaders estimate that about 2,000 votes will stray from Pas if an outside candidate like Mohamed, who is from Penang, is fielded as the candidate.

As evidence they point to the fact that although the majority of voters voted opposition in the state seats in the Kuala Terengganu constituency in the March 2008 election, the votes for Mohamed in the parliamentary election saw a 2,000 vote shortfall.

This means the 2,000 voted for Pas but not for Mohamed.

"We blame these discrepancies on the 'local-outsider' factor," said a top Pas leader requesting anonymity. "It sounds stupid as we are all Malaysians but it is a known fact that local candidates have an edge over non-locals."

There are larger issues besides the "local versus outsider" issue. Much of this has to do with the Hadi and his vision of the party, Islam and Malay society.

Terengganu is Hadi's home state and he wants to play the key role in the by-election battle and play it his way, Pas insiders said.

"He wants to lead and win and does not want others overshadowing his lead," insiders said referring to both Anwar and Lim as possible individuals who could take the limelight away.

Hadi also feels, they said, that the Malays are finally turning to Islam and to Pas for leadership and direction in the face of uncertainties in Malay society since the March 8 general election.

"He sees opportunity here for Pas and for Islam to lead the way for the Malays at a troubled time... not any other idealogy," they said.

Malay society, they said, has been roiled by Umno's constant harping on the loss of Malay supremacy and attacks on Anwar as a traitor. "All these and other issues have confused and raised fears among the Malays."

"Even the Malay Rulers are re-exerting themselves… Pas leaders believe the conditions are now right for Malays to return to Islam and they want Pas to play the ultimate role as protector and guide for the future," they said.

In this context, supporters of Hadi say, the by-election is crucial for them to show that Islam and Pas is the way forward for the Malays.

10 Jerit activists held, including MP

breaking news updated 8pm Perak and Johor police arrested four activists and detained six other participants in Jerit’s ‘Ride for Change’ campaign, including Sungai Siput PSM parliamentarian Dr D Jeyakumar.

In Perak, those arrested were Yong Chat Wah and Ooi Choon Nam, both 22, who were picked up at the Bukit Gantang Rest area in Taiping, Perak, and taken to the district police headquarters.

According to human rights organisation Suaram, they were arrested for leafleting in the area while those in Kuala Kangsar were detained “as part of the systematic attempt by police to frustrate their campaign”.

anti fta protest at miti 140108 y kohilaJerit coordinator Y Kohila, when contacted, said it was ridiculous for police to claim that Ooi and Yong were arrested for distributing leaflets which do not fulfill criteria of the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

“The Act requires us to provide details like the name of our organisation and full address on the leaflets. We have done so but yet they still arrested our cyclists. As we know it, this is just another attempt to harass and frustrate our campaigners,” she said.

Ooi and Yong had their statements recorded and were released on police bail about 5.40pm, she added.

Jeyakumar, 53, and five others were stopped while cycling near the Kuala Kangsar highway toll exit and sent to the Kuala Kangsar police headquarters for questioning.

They were identified as R Rani, 53, who is Jeyakumar's wife; M Sukumaran, 47; P Jody, 49; M Karthiges, 27, and S Vasuabbrow, 49.

psm federal court pc 051006 jeyakumarWhen contacted this afternoon, Jeyakumar (right) said the six have been told they will be charged with obstructing police in the line of duty.

The six were later released on police bail at about 7.45pm and told to report back to the police station on Dec 23.

"This is really unecessary," said Jeyakumar when contacted later."I had contacted the Kuala Kangsar police station, talked to the police chief and informed them that we will be passing by and gave him my number.

"This is just a group of harmless people, but we have been treated like a threat to national security," he added.

In Johor, another two participants - who were driving a van and a four-wheel drive carrying campaign leaflets - were arrested in Segamat about 2pm. No action was taken against the driver of an accompanying lorry that was transporting the bicycles.

Suaram Johor coordinator Nyam Kee Ham, 25, and Cheng Lee Whee, 26, were released about 3.30pm - the latter on police bail - after their statements were taken, but waited at the Segamat district police headquarters until the vehicles were given back to them.

johor isa cheng lee whee support balai polis pasir gudang 201008 03However, Cheng (left) claimed that she was not told that she was under arrest until after she had given her statement. She will have to report back to the station on Dec 23.

Nyam said: "We are determined to proceed with our journey to our next destination in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, where we will stay overnight."

Allegation Of Sexual Assault

A female cyclist Helen Mary Johnson told Malaysiakini that she had been “sexually assaulted and punched in the face” by a police officer just outside the Kuala Kangsar police staion.

jerit cycling campaign 071208 cylist cycle onto town“I was there to take photos of the police station and to document what happened. The officer came up to me and tried to confiscate my camera,” she alleged.

“I refused to give him the camera and a scuffle followed. The officer grabbed my breast and punched me in the face, causing my lips to bleed.”

The officer, she added, managed to get the camera, but she has lodged a police report against him.

It was also alleged that Lee Huat Seng, who owns the camera, sustained injuries on the arm when he tried to prevent the officer from taking it away.

An Eventfull 16-days Tour

Today marks the seventh day of what has become an eventful 16-day ride to Kuala Lumpur, organised by grassroots coalition Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit).

Suaram and Jerit coordinator E Nalini described the latest moves by the police as “another attempt to frustrate Jerit’s just campaign but the activists will not be deterred by this and will continue to cycle for change”.

penang jerit cycling campaign 071208 burned bicycleOn Saturday, eight bicycles were damaged, three of these badly, in a fire set by arsonists when the 50-odd cyclists had stopped for the night in Penanti in Seberang Jaya.

Last Thursday - on the second day - one cyclist was detained in Merbau Pulas, Kedah and detained for several hours , for questioning at the Kulim district police headquarters.

The lorry transporting the bicycles were stopped at the Penang Bridge on the third day and escorted to the Bayan Lepas police station.

The bicycles were however returned to the cyclists after a few hours.

Some 50 cyclists, most of them teenage schoolchildren, kicked of the Jerit campaign from Alor Star last Tuesday while a southern team of 15 cyclists began their journey on Saturday from Johor.

However, even before they started their two-week long trip, some of the particapants from the Johor team were detained for questioning.

Despite constant police harassment, the cyclists are determined to reach Parliament House as scheduled next Thursday, where both teams will converge to deliver a six-point memorandum to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The ‘People - The force of change’ campaign is Jerit’s attempt to raise awareness on issues such as food shortages, environmental problems, draconian laws and the financial crisis.

Pak Lah: PPP can quit BN

breaking news updated 7.50pm Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi today said that PPP is free to leave Barisan Nasional since the government has no intentions of amending the Internal Security Act (ISA).

pak lah abdullah ahmad badawi and m kayveas ppp bn"We have no plans to amend (the ISA)... if that is their choice (to leave), what can we do," he told a press conference after chairing the BN supreme council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Last week, PPP president M Kayveas had urged the government to amend the security law before the next general elections, failing which, he warned that his party will pull out of the ruling coalition.

Kayveas, who was not present at today's meeting, could not be reached for comment.

t murugiahIn an immediate reaction, PPP Youth chief T Murugiah expressed shock over the prime minister's statement.

"I don't know what to say, I'm speechless and surprised by it," he said when contacted.

"But i don't think Pak Lah meant what he said that we can leave because he's a nice man... but sometimes, what to do," said Murugiah, who is a deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

According to him, Kayveas would be the best person to comment further on the matter.

'We Want To Win'

In another development, Abdullah told reporters earlier that the BN supreme council did not discuss in detail regarding the controversial call by Umno Youth leader Mukhriz Mahathir to integrate the education system.

Educationists feared that such a move would lead to the eradication of vernacular schools.

BN always adopts an open attitude on sensitive issues, said the premier in response to a question.

bn supreme council meeting 091208 02Quizzed on the speculations that he might not be stepping down in March, Abdullah said: "Don't raise this issue again. Nonsense, all sorts of speculations."

Apart from this, the premier said the supreme council, which met for three hours, also discussed the preparations for the Jan 17 Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Asked on BN's chances, Abdullah replied: "We want to win, we want to win.

"There must be some confidence, otherwise how can I say we want to win. The seat is ours, we have good support and we'll have to work hard."

On whether he expects a swing in votes for the opposition, he said: "Not at the moment... you don't know how the people are going to swing, voters have the habit of swinging at the last minute - for us or somebody else."

Abdullah said the supreme council had also discussed the BN convention scheduled to be held in February.

Polis: Ditemui bukan mayat ke-5 tapi bangkai anjing - Operasi SAR disambung semula pagi esok

Anggota pasukan Bomba dan Penyelamat menggunakan bantuan anjing dalam operasi mengesan mayat pembantu rumah warga Sri Lanka, Lourdes Mary, 30-an yang tertimbus di kawasan tanah runtuh di Bukit Antarabangsa hari ini. Operasi mencari dan menyelamat mengeluarkan mayat pembantu rumah kepada seorang doktor haiwan, Dr Yogeswari itu dihentikan pada pukul 7 malam dan akan bersambung semula pagi esok. -fotoBERNAMA
[DIKEMAS KINI, 7.40 petang] KUALA LUMPUR Bau yang dikatakan mayat sudah reput sebenarnya bukan mangsa kelima yang dikesan, tetapi bangkai anjing, kata Ketua Polis Selangor, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar sebentar tadi.

Sejam lalu polis mengumumkan ada menemui satu lagi mayat di lokasi tragedi tanah runtuh Bukit Antarabangsa dekat sini petang ini - pada hari keempat operasi mencari dan menyelamat (SAR) dijalankan.

Pun begitu, pada sidang media sebentar tadi, beliau berkata: "pegawai telah berjaya sampai ke bilik pembantu rumah, ruang tidur dan seluruh bahagian dapur, namun hanya menemui bangkai anjing."

Pulang Ke Rumah... sebahagian daripada penduduk dari perumahan berhampiran kawasan kejadian tanah runtuh di Bukit Antarabangsa, Hulu Klang berjalan kaki menggunakan laluan alternatif daripada hamparan Mobemat yang dibina Angkatan Tentera Malaysia untuk pulang ke rumah selepas laluan tersebut dibuka pagi ini. Kebanyakan mereka yang menghuni di Taman Bukit Jaya dan Kondominium Oakleaf Park pulang untuk memeriksa keadaan rumah selain mengambil barangan berharga dan dokumen penting. - fotoBERNAMA
Justeru, kata beliau, seorang lagi mangsa yang dilaporkan hilang juga belum ditemui.

Wanita tersebut yang dipercayai bernama Lourdes Mary, 30an, merupakan pembantu rumah kepada doktor haiwan Dr. N. Yogeswari, yang turut terkorban dalam tanah runtuh tersebut Sabtu lalu.

Setakat ini, mereka yang terkorban dalam insiden tanah runtuh yang menimbuskan 14 banglo di Taman Bukit Mewah dan Taman Bukit Utama awal Sabtu lepas kekal empat orang iaitu Yogeswari, 40, akauntan Eng Yee Peng, 30, Shaiful Khas Datuk Shahrudin, 20, dan warga Indonesia Surinah, 30an.

Kata beliau, operasi SAR yang dihentikan sementara pada pukul 7.30 petang dan akan diteruskan macam biasa meliputi kawasan yang lebih luas.

Anggota tentera darat dari Rejimen Askar Jurutera Diraja (gambar atas dan bawah) berusaha gigih memasang "Moby-mat" di laluan alternatif petang semalam bagi membolehkan penghuni yang terperangkap dalam kejadian tanah runtuh di Bukit Antarabangsa membawa keluar kenderaan dan barangan mereka. -fotoBERNAMA

32 'pengayuh perubahan' ditahan polis

kemaskini 3:32pm Sepuluh lagi peserta kumpulan kempen "Rakyat Pengayuh Perubahan" ditahan polis hari ini di Perak dan Johor selepas 22 mengalami nasib yang sama sejak Jumaat lalu.

Enam daripada yang ditahan dibawa ke balai polis Kuala Kangsar - termasuk ahli parlimen Sungai Siput, Dr D Jeyakumar - sementara dua dibawa ke Taiping.

Program kreatif bagi menuntut perubahan politik dari utara dan selatan Semenanjung itu anjuran Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit) dan dilancarkan di Alor Star, Rabu lepas.

Seorang ditahan dalam perjalanan dari bandar itu, 16 lagi ditahan sewaktu ingin bertolak dari Johor Bahru sehari selepasnya dan lima lagi di Kluang ditahan kelmarin.

Program berbasikal itu dijangka berakhir di Parlimen pada pagi 21 Disember ini dengan acara menyerahkan memorandum kepada kerajaan.

Tuntutan kumpulan pengayuh basikal ini, antaranya, perumahan selesa untuk rakyat, mengawal harga barangan, penggubalan akta gaji minimum RM1,500 dan menghentikan penswastaan air, hospital dan pendidikan.

penang jerit cycling campaign 071208 burned bicycleMalaysiakini difahamkan sekumpulan besar pengayuh ini, termasuk 44 orang di dalam sebuah bas, ditahan di Kuala Kangsar tetapi telah dibebaskan selepas polis mengambil butiran peribadi mereka.

Menurut siaran media Jerit, seorang penyelaras wanitanya mengalami gangguan seks sewaktu ditahan, manakala kamera seorang aktivis turut dirampas.

Sementara itu, di Segamat, beberapa kenderaan kumpulan pengayuh ini seperti lori, van dan pacuan empat roda ditahan polis.

Dua pemandu kenderaan itu ditahan polis.

Semalam, lapan basikal kumpulan ini dibakar sewaktu mereka sedang tidur di Yayasan Aman, Penanti dalam kawasan parlimen Permatang Pauh.


Anwar: Umno stoking racial fires

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today made a series of accusations against Umno to an international audience, citing it as the cause of racial tensions and lack of economic competitiveness.

He also joined those who believe it is possible that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may yet stay on after the Umno party polls in March.

Speaking on a special interview with Riz Khan on satellite television station Al-Jazeera, Anwar said he did not see extremism as a serious threat in the country but blamed the Umno-led governing coalition Barisan Nasional for harming race relations in Malaysia.

"I do not seriously see it as a threat but we will be on our guard. Unfortunately, Barisan Nasional, especially Umno, keeps on harping about Islamic and Malay issues in an extreme way," the former Deputy Prime Minister said.

He also said that while he believed in affirmative action for all marginalised communities, Malaysia as a whole needed economic growth to be propelled and that the Bumiputera-affirming New Economic Policy had been abused by Umno.

"Umno has used the New Economic Policy to enrich themselves with billions going to the families of Prime Ministers but the vast majority of the poor remain marginalised," he said.

He added that under an administration led by him, an affirmative action policy based on needs for all poor people would be established.

"Malaysia is a relatively rich country and we do not need to talk about quotas," he said in reply to a question on whether Indians would enjoy quotas in the way Bumiputeras now do.

The Permatang Pauh MP added that while Malaysia's economic fundamentals were strong, the present government has not been addressing the looming economic crisis.

"The Finance Minister had denied that we are facing a massive problem... RM5 billion from the Employees Provident Fund is being given to its cronies. Singapore will retrench 500,000 workers and Malaysia has 300,000 workers there but there are no tangible measures to address this," he said.

Anwar claimed that there is turmoil now within Umno and dissatisfaction among BN component parties while Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak faces continuous allegations of being involved in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, graft in defence contracts and abuse of power.

As such, he believes that "Abdullah has the upper hand to take the opportunity to prolong his stay" despite Najib already securing the Umno presidency uncontested for the March party polls.

By convention, the Umno president is also BN chairman and Prime Minister but constitutionally, any MP who commands the majority of Parliament shall be Prime Minister.

Anwar said, however, that he was "not sure" how likely this scenario was, given the fact that this possibility was floated by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, who he said is aligned to Najib.

He also predicted that Najib only "talks about reforms" but would continue to defend "draconian laws and cronyism."

The former Umno deputy president also said he had "no problems that I was part of the system" as he was "the reform voice" and reminded viewers that this was the reason he was "sacked, jailed and beaten up," referring to his removal from government in 1998 amid allegations of corruption and sodomy.

He said that in his time at Umno, his views were well known through his writings and that he had fought for justice, and pushed for media freedom.

"I wrote that we should not insult the Asian intelligence, as if we are not ready simply because it took the United States 200 years, so we need 200 years. We must be stupid and blatantly ignorant then," he said, in an apparent reference to Dr Mahathir's stand that Malaysians are not ready for freedom of speech.

Also on Riz Khan's show last week, Dr Mahathir had said that "the people do not understand freedom of speech and it has caused racial tension."


Najib eager to avoid Fourth Floor syndrome

It is a hazardous occupation being a member of the inner circle. Don't think so? Just ask Rohana Mahmood and Omar Mustapha Ong, widely acknowledged for several years as members of Prime-Minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak's group of advisers/strategists.

Way before it was fashionable to claim to be one of "Najib's people'' and to call the deputy prime minister as "Boss'', both these individuals were doing the spade work for him; from meeting foreign media to burnish his image to providing input for policies and speeches.

But being young, ambitious and with access to the top can be a liability in Malaysia these days. Being pigeonholed as another Fourth Floor in the making can be a career wrecker.

The Fourth Floor was the label used by critics of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to describe the team of young professionals whom he employed as special officers and aides when he became the deputy prime minister.

The critics charged that the young advisers became too influential and had an inordinate say in policy-making.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other Abdullah critics were successful in demonising the Fourth Floor as usurpers of power and as young upstarts.

In late October, Dr Mahathir trained his guns on Omar and Rohana, both of Ethos Capital, and wondered whether they would become Najib's Fourth Floor.

The Malaysian Insider
understands that even before the former prime minister fired his first salvo, Najib's family members and supporters were a bit unnerved with the interview both Rohana and Omar gave to the financial weekly The Edge. The consensus was that it was unnecessary to be talking about their links to Najib and Ethos Capital's ambitions even before the handover of power.

In their defence, the interview was conducted some months before and they did not have any control over when it would be published.

Still, the view from the trenches was that the last thing Najib needed was more baggage, especially carry over from the Abdullah administration.

So in the last few weeks, precious little has been heard about Rohana and Omar. Until this weekend, that is.

published several articles last Saturday on individuals who are likely to carry some influence in the next administration.

Most of them are the who's who of the corporate world here, including Khazanah Nasional's chief Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar; Datuk Azman Yahya; Datuk Shahril Samsuddin of Sapura, etc. Sandwiched in between were Rohana and Omar.

"Out of the family, a name that frequently pops up when asked who is in Najib's milieu is Rohana Mahmood, chairman and partner of Ethos Capital, a RM200 million private equity firm. Rohana and Omar Mustapha, a former special assistant to Najib, are co-founders of the boutique advisory firm Ethos & Co.

Rohana sits on the boards of Paramount Corp Bhd, TH Group Bhd and Dijaya Corp Bhd.

Omar was seen not too long ago in the finance minister's office "just assisting a friend with some perspective,'' as one source puts it.

But speculation about Najib building a "wall of advisers" around him resulted in Omar being asked to return to Ethos.

"The political rationale for Najib to distance himself from the "Fourth Floor boys" syndrome is understandable. That was one of the most criticised aspects of the Abdullah administration. Sources say Najib is not keen to have "filters" between him and the civil service.

And he will likely have more direct dealings with the business sector,'' StarBiz reported.

The Malaysian Insider
has learnt that not many Najib supporters were pleased with Rohana and Omar being included on the list of the next who's who.

They are concerned that political enemies of Najib and the Opposition will accuse him of building his own Fourth Floor and of favouring a select group of individuals. They don't want him to be on the back foot in the same way Abdullah was in the last two years about his association with the Fourth Floor.

The image of the next PM they want to nurture was best captured in a column in The Star on Sunday.

"He has been careful in dealing with the perception of people supposedly close to him, as the media speculates on the membership of his inner circle. Names like Rohana Mahmood and Omar Mustapha Ong have cropped up but these talented people have actually moved on. Najib has kept tight his choice of advisers around him, preferring not to favour anyone, '' said The Star's editor Datuk Wong Chun Wai.


Utusan Malaysia menyeleweng,PAS Selangor kesal - malaysiakini

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 Dis (Hrkh) - PAS Selangor kesal dengan laporan muka depan akhbar Utusan Malaysia di bawah tajuk "PAS akui sukar tadbir Selangor bersama PKR,DAP" (bertarikh Sabtu, 6 Disember 2008) yang sesungguhnya tersasar dan menyeleweng sama sekali dari kenyataan sebenar Pesuruhjaya PAS Selangor, Dato' Dr Hasan Mohd Ali, di dalam sidang media PAS Selangor yang diadakan pada hari Jumaat 5 Disember, 2008 lalu.

Menurut Ketua Penerangan PAS Selangor, Roslan Shahir Dato' Mohd Shahir, di dalam sidang media berkenaan Dr Hasan tidak pernah menyebut bahawa PAS menghadapi kesukaran untuk memperjuangkan serta mempertahankan hak orang Islam dan Melayu di Selangor sebagaimana yang dilaporkan oleh Utusan Malaysia.

"Malah beliau menegaskan dalam sidang media berkenaan bahawa PAS tidak terpinggir dan sebarang anggapan sebegitu tegas beliau sebenarnya dimanipulasi oleh Barisan Nasional untuk menggugat kerjasama baik antara PAS, DAP dan KeADILan di Selangor,"jelasnya dalam satu kenyataan kepada Harakahdaily hari ini.

Tambahnya,Dr Hasan juga tidak pernah menyebut bahawa kadang-kala PAS terpaksa melupakan matlamat perjuangan utama parti iaitu untuk menegakkan syiar Islam semata-mata kerana mahu mengambil hati KeADILan dan DAP sebagaimana dilaporkan oleh Utusan Malaysia.

"Malah yang sebenarnya beliau telah menggariskan dengan jelas bahawa PAS tidak pernah dan tidak akan bertolak-ansur dalam hal-hal berhubung Islam dan kepentingannya di Selangor,"katanya.

Katanya,PAS Selangor merasakan bahawa pihak Utusan Malaysia sangat tidak bertanggungjawab sehingga terlanjur mengeluarkan laporan yang sedemikian rupa yang mencerminkan rendahnya nilai profesionalisma di dalam akhbar berkenaan.

"PAS Selangor beranggapan laporan tersebut berunsur jahat kerana tidak ada mana-mana pihak dari media arus perdana yang turut hadir dalam sidang media berkenaan membuat laporan seperti itu di akhbar-akhbar mereka.

"PAS Selangor ingin menasihatkan pihak Utusan Malaysia agar lebih berhati-hati dimasa-masa yang akan datang dan tidak lagi mengorbankan etika dan profesionalisma kewartawanan ketika membuat laporan sebagaimana yang berlaku ini,"jelasnya lagi.

Tambahnya lagi, dalam pada itu PAS Selangor akan terus mengadakan sidang media setiap dua minggu sekali bagi memberi peluang kepada rakyat Selangor dan seluruh masyarakat Malaysia mendapat maklumat terus darihal peranan dan perkembangan PAS Selangor di dalam kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat negeri ini.

TP - yang hang bangang sangat dok layan geng-geng media perdana tu apahal? lebih 20 tahun dah hang dok kene lanyak, dok kene belit, dok kene fitnah dekat geng-geng media perdana hang tak belajaq apa-apa ke dari situ?

tak penah nak belajaq dari kesilapan langsung..! aku tak salahkan media perdana sebab kerja depa memang memutar belit isu, tapi akau salahkan hangpa yang asyik dok kene belit tapi tak belajar-belajar dari kesilapan.

hangpa dah ada harakah, buat apa nak bergantung pada media perdana lagi? bodoh..!

Malaysia suicides shock Botswana Education Ministry

Botswana Minister of Education Jacob Nkate will travel to Malaysia this week to investigate suicide among Botswana students.

Four students have also died this year due to car accidents. Two fell from the balconies of their apartments after drinking alcohol. This has created an atmosphere of panic among Botswanans in Malaysia and here at home.

The students interviewed in the local media have cited the environment as being hostile hence they resorted to alcohol abuse, ending up in fatal accidents.

Speaking at a media briefing last Thursday, Nkate said the ministry is concerned about the number of deaths occurring in Malaysia. The minister said that a delegation, including counsellors, was dispatched to Malaysia last week to try and talk to the students.

"We will also move the education attache from Beijing in China to Malaysia to be near the students," he said.

The Education Minister said Malaysia is a liberal country where anyone is free to do anything that their heart desires as long as they are on the right side of the law. He said it is the first-year students who are most vulnerable to accidents because they are challenged by being thrust into a very big city in a very different culture.

"Being taken from a rural area like Tsau to a big city like that can shock a rural boy," he said.

There are currently 850 students in Limkokwing University in Malaysia doing courses in design, communications and IT.

Struktur tanah di kawasan Bukit Antarabangsa perlu diuji: Pakar

Kawasan sekitar Bukit Antarabangsa dekat sini yang mengalami kejadian tanah runtuh Sabtu lalu, dikenal pasti mempunyai lebih 70 cerun yang perlu dikaji ketahanannya bagi memastikan keselamatan kira-kira 5,000 penduduk di situ.

Kajian itu penting kerana kawasan bukit berkenaan dan sekitarnya terbentuk daripada gabungan struktur berpasir dan keladak yang tinggi, manakala kandungan tanah liatnya pula rendah, sekali gus mudah runtuh jika dilanda hujan berpanjangan.

Pakar kaji bumi berpendapat, kestabilan struktur setiap cerun di kawasan itu perlu dipastikan bagi membolehkan risiko keruntuhan tanah dan langkah pencegahan yang berkesan dapat diambil untuk menjamin keselamatan penempatan terbabit.

Pengarah Pusat Penyelidikan Hakisan Tanah Negara (Nasec) di Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Prof Dr Roslan Zainal Abidin, berkata tanah runtuh Sabtu lalu berlaku kerana hujan berlarutan lima hari dengan jumlah taburan lebih 70 milimeter (mm).

"Jika kita imbas kembali tragedi Highland Towers yang runtuh di kawasan berkenaan pada Disember 1993, jumlah hujan yang mengakibatkan pergerakan tanah sehingga meruntuhkan bangunan itu hanya 30 mm.

"Hakikatnya, kajian kebolehruntuhan tanah di kawasan sekitar Bukit Antarabangsa, termasuk Highland Towers dan Taman Hillview sudah membuktikan struktur tanah di ketiga-tiga kawasan terbabit berisiko tinggi.

"Bagaimanapun, penduduk masih boleh terus menetap di situ, asalkan kerajaan dan pemaju menstruktur semula seluruh kawasan terbabit dengan membahagikannya kepada beberapa zon mengikut tahap risiko.

"Penanaman pokok dan pembinaan tembok penahan saja sebenarnya tidak cukup untuk mencegah runtuhan tanah jika sistem saliran air bawah tanah di situ tidak diperbaiki secara sistematik," katanya ketika dihubungi, semalam.

Pandangan Roslan dipersetujui Pengarah Institut Alam Sekitar dan Pembangunan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Lestari), Prof Datuk Dr Ibrahim Komoo, yang mencadangkan setiap daripada 70 cerun yang dikenal pasti itu dikaji secara berasingan.

"Pengurusan dan inventori cerun di kawasan Bukit Antarabangsa boleh membantu pihak berkuasa mengenal pasti kawasan yang terdedah kepada kejadian tanah runtuh untuk memberikan amaran awal kepada orang ramai," katanya.

Nasec kesal amaran awal tidak diendah

Pusat Penyelidikan Tanah Runtuh Negara (Nasec) Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) kesal kerana amaran awal pihaknya mengenai kemungkinan berlaku tanah runtuh di Bukit Antarabangsa, Hulu Klang tidak diendahkan.

Pengarahnya, Profesor Dr. Roslan Zainal Abidin berkata, pihaknya sebelum ini pernah melaporkan bahawa hujan sekurang-kurang tiga hari berturut-turut serta ketibaan musim peralihan monsun akan menjadi antara penyumbang utama risiko tanah runtuh di kawasan berkenaan.

Beliau berkata, berdasarkan kajian ke atas sampel tanah berhampiran pangsapuri Highland Towers dan Bukit Antarabangsa yang pernah runtuh sebelum ini, para penyelidik mendapati berlaku pergerakan air bawah tanah di kedua-dua kawasan itu selepas hujan turun selama tiga hari berturut-turut.

Siasatan tiga kes salah urus dana awam selesai

Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR), sudah selesai menjalankan siasatan terhadap sekurang-kurangnya tiga kes salah pengurusan dana awam yang didedahkan Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2007.

Pengarah Siasatan BPR, Datuk Shukri Abdull, berkata kertas siasatan semua kes membabitkan laporan berkenaan dapat dilengkapkan selepas pihaknya mengumpul keterangan serta dokumen berkaitan yang diperlukan baru-baru ini.

"Ketika ini, Bahagian Pendakwaan BPR sedang meneliti laporan hasil siasatan yang dijalankan sebelum memutuskan tindakan lanjut yang perlu diambil, sama ada diteruskan dengan proses pendakwaan di mahkamah atau mendapatkan maklumat tambahan untuk mengukuhkan lagi kertas siasatan," katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, semalam.

Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2007 yang dibentangkan di Parlimen pada 29 Ogos lalu mendedahkan wujud banyak kelemahan di beberapa kementerian dan agensi kerajaan.

Antaranya kehilangan peralatan Program Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI) bernilai RM9.56 juta dan kelemahan pengurusan sistem kompaun Jabatan Alam Sekitar (JAS) di beberapa negeri.

Isu lain dilaporkan sebelum ini ialah penggunaan tanah milik Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) dan tunggakan saman trafik, pelaburan RM537.04 juta Composite Tecnology Reseach Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM) yang memiliki anak syarikat berpangkalan di Amerika Syarikat, tetapi mencatatkan kerugian serta pembelian mesin pengimejan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan bernilai RM33 juta.

Turut didedahkan laporan audit itu ialah kelemahan pengurusan berhubung Program Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN) dan projek pangkalan Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) Markas Wilayah Laut 11, Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah.

Shukri berkata, pihaknya berpuas hati dengan kerjasama yang diberikan semua pihak yang terbabit dalam pelaksanaan program dan projek jabatan kerajaan itu sejak siasatan bermula Ogos lalu.

Mengenai dakwaan berlaku penyelewengan dalam prosedur proses tender pembelian 12 helikopter Eurocopter C-725 bernilai RM1.604 bilion, beliau berkata, siasatan mengenainya kini pada peringkat akhir dan dijangka selesai dalam masa terdekat.

Pada 28 Oktober lalu, kerajaan mengumumkan penangguhan pembelian helikopter Eurocopter berikutan krisis kewangan global. Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata, keputusan itu dibuat Majlis Ekonomi Kebangsaan yang dipengerusikannya pada 13 Oktober lalu.