Tuesday, 29 April 2008

More Election Petitions

Five election petitions were filed in the Kota Kinabalu High Court today. All are seeking for court orders to nullify the victory of Barisan Nasional candidates in the March 8, general elections.

The petitions are against Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahaya Hussin in the Petagas state seat, the against Dr Joachim Gunsalam who won the Kundasang seat and Johnny Goh Chin Lok of the Inanam state seat.

The MPs challanged are Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing (Tuaran) and Datuk Haji Abdul Rahman Dahlan (Kota Belud), both the petitioners are from opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Monday, 28 April 2008

YBs Sworn in Tuesday

The 60 Sabah assemblymen, 21 of whom are new faces, will be sworn in before Speaker Datuk Juhar Mahiruddin at the Sabah Legislative Assembly in Kota Kinabalu tomorrow.

Chief Minister and state Barisan Nasional chief, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, will be the first to take the oath of office followed by the 10 state ministers and18 assistant ministers.

They will be followed by the backbenchers and sole opposition member from the DAP, Jimmy Wong Sze Phin.

Wong, who won the Sri Tanjong seat in the March 8, general elections with a majority of 1,172, is the first assemblyman from the DAP in Sabah.

Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah will open the first session of the assembly on Wednesday.

The House is scheduled to sit for three days from May 5 to 7.

A bill seeking to increase the number of assistant ministers from 14 to 18 will be tabled.

Datuk Frankie Chong Yu Chee of Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) and Johnny Mositun of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) have been appointed as deputy speakers, replacing Datuk Michael Tan Kun Boo of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Datuk James Andrew Vitales of the PBS, whose term were not extended.

Speaker, Deputy Speakers

Datuk Ronald Kiandee

The 222-members Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Haji Mulia took his oath of office and election was held for the two Deputy Speaker posts today.

Santubong Member of Parliament Datuk Haji Wan Junaidi and Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee won when they polled 157 and 140 votes, respectively. Dr Tan Seng Giaw of DAP obtained 81 votes.

It is obvious that one of the Opposition MP did not vote for Tan as there are 82 opposition MPs in the House.

And I have to say here again that Pandikar and Kiandee are from Sabah while Wan Junaidi is from Sarawak. This is the first time in histoy of Parliament where the three posts are all held by leaders from the two States in East Malaysia.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Speaker, Deputy Speaker

When the Sabah Legislative Assembly sit on Monday, the House will have two new Deputy Speakers - Datuk Frankie Chong Yu Chee and Johnny Mositun. This was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman today in Tenom.

Chong and Mositun replaced Datuk Michael Tan Kun Boo and Datuk James Andrew Vitales whose term were not extended.

Chong is Vice President of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) while Mositun is Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Information chief. SAPP and PBS are members of the national coalition Barisan Nasional.

The State Assembly Speaker is Datuk Juhar Mahiruddin, a former Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Meanwhile, it is also now known that a Sabahan, for the first time, will be the Speaker of Parliament. He is Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, a former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. He had also served as Sabah Assembly Speaker, was an Assemblyman, ex-Senator and Sabah ex-Minister of Agriculture and Fishery.

Yet to be confirmed is Beluran's Member of Parliament Datuk Ronald Kiandee appointment as the Parliamnent's Deputy Speaker. The other Deputy Speaker post is being eyed by Sarawakian Datuk Wan Junaidi Tunku Jaafar, the MP for Santubung. Election for the posts will be held on Monday with Kiandee, Wan Junaidi and an Opposition nominee as candidates.

Should Kiandee and Wan Junaidi get the posts, Parliament this time aroud will be under the control (the sitting is) of leaders for Sabah and Sarawak (East Malaysia).

My Say:

A Bernama report last night says Datuk Ronald Kiandee and Datuk Wan Junaidi had been appointed Deputy Speakers. I congratulated Kiandee through SMS. He replied that Monday will be the day, there will be an election but he is optimistic that `it should not be a problem.' I will wait for the result.

More petitions

Consumers Association of Sabah and Labuan (Cash) president Datuk Patrick Sindu yesterday filed a petition at the High Court in Kota Kinabalu seeking an order to nullify the result of the Papar parliamentary constituency.

Sindu contested and lost as an Independent in the seat in the March 8, general elections. The winner was Barisan Nasional's Umno candidate Rosnah Rashid Sharlin. Two other candidates also lost.

He is seeking the order so as to make way for a by-election to be held.

Meanwhile, Cash deputy president Joshua Kong also filed a suit in the same court, almost the same time as Sindu, seeking court order to nulify all the results of the general elections.

Sindu and Kong claimed that the Election Commissions had conducted the elections not in accordance to election laws.

It is interesting to note that Sindu and Kong filed their respective suits themselves, without the services of lawyer.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Kidnappers, Rapists goes to jail

Mohd Sahrizal Suhaili (left) and Mohd Arifin Bidin being led to the court room in Kota Kinabalu yesterday. Both received lengthy jail terms and 45 strokes for kidnapping and raping a university student.

The Sessions Court in Kota Kinabalu on Thursday heard how two local men had kidnapped a 22-year-old Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student in a stolen car, than assaulted, sexually abused and raped her during a 10-hour ordeal which only ended after police came to her rescue.

Mohd Ariffin Bidin, 29, and Mohd Sahrizal Suhaili, 21, who claimed they were driven by Satan to commit the henious crimes, which sent shockwaves across Sabah, felt the full brunt of the law by the time proceedings came to end at the courthouse.

The following is a full report of the case reported by the NST today.

By Joniston Bangkuai

KOTA KINABALU: Two men who kidnapped a 22-year-old university student, raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on them were jailed a total of 101 years and ordered to be given 45 strokes of the rotan.

Mohd Arifin Bidin, 29, was sentenced to 56 years' jail and 25 strokes of the rotan, while his friend Mohd Sahrizal Suhaili, 21, was given a 45-year jail term and 20 lashes.

The sentences were meted out by Sessions Court judge Duncan Sikodol after the duo pleaded guilty to eight charges of kidnapping, raping, forcing to perform oral sex and causing grievous hurt to the girl.

Both accused were unrepresented, while senior federal counsel Suhaimi Ibrahim appeared for the prosecution.

Mohd Arifin and Mohd Sahrizal were jointly charged with kidnapping the girl, a second year student of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, at 6.50pm on April 15 at Kingfisher Park. Each received sentences of five years' jail for this.

They were also jointly charged with causing grievous hurt to the girl between 6.50pm and 5am while travelling from Kingfisher Park here to Kampung Rompon in Tambunan. They were each sentenced to five years' jail and ordered to be given five strokes of the cane for this charge.

Separate charges were framed against the two accused for raping and forcing the victim to perform oral sex.

Mohd Sahrizal, an unemployed from Kota Belud, was charged with raping the girl between 6.50pm and 10pm on April 15 at the old Kota Kinabalu-Tambunan road and forcing her to perform oral sex on him at the same time and place.

He received 20 years' imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan for the former and 15 years' jail and five lashes for the latter.

Mohd Arifin, a fishmonger from Bongawan, was charged with raping the girl twice between 6.50pm and 10pm on April 15 at the old Kota Kinabalu-Tambunan road and between 2am and 4am on April 16 at the same place. He was sentenced to jail terms of 23 years' and ordered caned 10 times for each of the charges.

Sikodol ordered the jail sentences for both accused to run concurrently.

Another Election Petition

Defeated DAP candidate in the Sandakan parliamentary seat Shanty Chong had filed a petition in the Sandakan High Court yesterday seeking order to nullify the victory of Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk V K Liew in the March 8, general elestions.

Liew, who is Liberal Democratic Party's president and is now a Deputy Minister in the Federal Cabinet, won Sandakan polling 8.292 votes against the 8,121 votes garnered by Chong. An Independent candidate David Fong Vun Fui obtained 2,929 votes. Liew won the seat with 186 votes majority.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Anwar Ibrahim in Sabah

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrives Kota Kinabalu this afternoon for a two days working visit. Soon after arrival, he is giving a Press conference at the VIPs Lounge of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

Immediately he will proceed to Hongkod Koisaan (Hall) at the Kadazandusun Cultural Assocation's HQ in Jalan Penampang (Kampung Bahang) to give a talks in conjunction with a thanksgiving ceremony for Anwar's return to active politics.

Anwar is now free to be active in politics, including to contest in elections, following his release from political restriction on April 14.

He will also to accept applications from new members joining PKR, one of them ex-Tawau Municipal Council President and also former State Printing director Datuk Hamzah AMir.

Tomorrow, Anwar will attend a gathering an open dialogue with community leaders at Pacific Sutera Hotel, Kota Kinabalu before leaving for Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, PKR Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan today denied that PKR was not allowed by KDCA to use Hongkod Koisaan for the talks by Anwar. He said John Paujik of KDCA's business arm Sumuni Sdn Bhd had given them the approval via a letter sent to him (Jeffrey) yesterday.

"We are allowed to use the hall from 7pm to 11pm," he said.

Dr Jeffrey made the denial after several quarters said that Hongkod Koisaan was closed for PKR, an opposition party, as KDCA is headed by Barisan Nasional's Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The Late Datuk Maidom Pansai

Ex-Kota Belud member of Parliament Datuk Maidom Pansai passed away 3.30pm on April 20, this year at the Selayang Hospital in Kuala Lumpur after a kidney transplant. He was 61.

He was also a former Senator.

His remains will be brought to Kota Kinabalu, arriving at 7am Wednesday and will be brought to his residence in Kampung Ratau, Kota Belud. He will be buried on Friday, by then all his relatives would had arrived to pay their last respect. His daughter Rosnita Mitchell and family are now on their way home here from America.

Maidom, who is a Justice of Peace, left behind five children.

A family member said Maidom was warded on Feb 14, this year for a kidney transplant which was donated by his oldest daughter Rita Maidom Lampadan.

A born orator Maidom will be best remembered the style he speak whenever he took to the floor to participate in debate in Parliament and the Senate.

My Say:

My condolence to the Late Maidom Pansai's family. I had the opportunity to know this man in the course of my work as a journalist. We were the best of friend then until we lost contact when I was posted outside Sabah. The last time I saw him was in December last year.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Nazri: Not all ministers clever

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department was in Kota Kinabalu yesterday and speakingto reporters, he said not all ministers are clever.

The full reports by Bernama is reproduced below.

KOTA KINABALU: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz says it is foolish of some Umno leaders to ask Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign.
Saying that they did not seem to understand what democracy meant, he said it was not proper for Umno leaders to press Abdullah to relinquish his posts as prime minister and Umno president as it would mean denying the rights of the people who had voted for Barisan Nasional (BN) to govern the nation.

"In last month's election, the people elected the BN to be the majority in parliament with 140 seats, which entitles the leader of the BN to become the prime minister.

"This means the people, knowing that the BN is entering the election with Pak Lah as the BN's leader, were aware that if the BN won the most seats, then Pak Lah would become the prime minister.

"By asking Pak Lah to step down, they are actually telling the voters: 'Look, you can't have Pak Lah as prime minister.' What right do they have to say that?" he said.

Nazri said it was wrong for the Umno members to ask Abdullah to step down and urged them to stop.

He also said the party should concentrate on governing the country and keep the promises made to the people before they lose their support.

"I think what the rakyat wants now is for us to start governing the country.

"They are tired of being told what to do. Now they want us to govern, not Umno telling them that Pak Lah is not fit to be prime minister," he said.

Asked on his opinions of some ministers who had also urged Abdullah to step down, Nazri said: "Just because they are ministers, it doesn't mean they know everything. Not all ministers are clever.

"But why are you surprised about what the ministers said? The former prime minister also said the same thing. This might make me unpopular, but I think I'm right." --

Thursday, 17 April 2008

DAP Assemblyman Assaulted

Sri Tanjong DAP Assemblyman Jimmy Wong Sze Phin today claimed that he was punched on his chest by a man when he tried to get a road cleared for motorists in the Sabah's eastern town of Tawau.

Jimmy said a car parking lots and a a-two-way roads was closed to make way for a government's function but it remained closed after the ceremony ended.

"My handphone was jammed with calls, SMS so I went to see the situation for myself. There was a traffic jam, no parking spaces so I asked the organiser to clear the parking lots and the road. But a man punched me instead. He also told me that I was boasting. He said `kau tembirang', Jimmy said.

He said a Chief Reporter of a Chinese newspaper who wanted to take photographs of the man punching him was also almost being assaulted by the same man. The journalist escape being hurt as he fled the scene.

My Say:

It my recollection is correct, this is the second time that Jimmay was punched while performing his duties.

Liew plus 1,000 others quits LDP

Ex-Sabah Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Liew Yun Fah today resigned as Vice President of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), one of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional's (BN) Sabah-based component members.

Liew, who is also Merotai assemblyman until the March 8, general elections, is also Merotai LDP head. Following his step are some 1,000 party members together with ex-Vice President Datuk Sia Hiong Ley and Balung divisional chief Raymond Sia.

"With our resignation, the Merotai and Balung divisions are dissolved, " Liew said.

He told the Press at his residence in Tawau that they are still strong supporters of BN and are likely to join a Peninsula-based BN member. Liew confirmed that he had met People Progressive Party's deputy president recently.

"It's a waste of time to stay in the LDP," he said.

My Say:

Looking at the Merotai's result, Soon could had won the seat if it was a straight fight. There were two other Independents and one from Pas. Loners Moktar Ahmad and Salman Nurullah polled 289 and 286 votes, respectively while Pas' Ahmad Abdullah garnered 913 votes.

Liew was not field by his party to defend his seat in the general elections and during the campaign period, he was accused of sabotaging the party by supporting an Independent candidate Soon Ten Fook.

"I campaign hard for the LDP candidate Pang Yuk Ming . If I had campaign for the Independent, Soon could had won, defeated the BN-LDP candidate," he said.

For the record Pang obtained 3,723 votes against the 3,418 polled by Soon. Pang won by just 242vote majority.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Hello, Want To Be Minister???

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Deputy President and Member of Parliament for Sepanggar Datuk Eric Majimbun said he had received calls from from people claiming to be from the Prime Minister's office offering him ministerial position in the Federal Government.

He said the callers also asked him whether he was happy with the ministerial portfolio offered to him.

"You know it's a crank call as Putrajaya do not work that way. I don't take it seriously," Majimbun said. He believed that other MPs had also been receiving similar calls with most of them just listening to what the callers had to say.

In another development, SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee has broken his silence on SAPP having been given no Federal posts despite winning two MP seats in the March 8, general elections.

"I have not answered this but now you ask about SAPP's feeling on the issues, I would say that since it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister, I cannot comment on it," Yong told reporters in Labuan yesterday (Sunday - April 13).

SAPP won in all the seats its contested - two MPs and four State seats - which caused higher expectations among the party's members, and that it was obvious that there was suppressed frustration when the party's performance was not acknowledge with Federal positions.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Datuk Liew suspended

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), one of the Sabah-based Barisan Nasional component party members, today suspended one of its Vice President Datuk Liew Yun Fah, who was also wx-Youth and Sports Minister, for allegedly acting against the party in the March 8, general elections.

LDP President Datuk V K Liew, in announcing this after chairing the party's supreme council meeting, also announced that LDP Merotai Division which is also headed by Datuk Liew Yun Fah was also suspended.

V K Liew said Datuk Liew Yun Fah and the others had been issued with show cause letters which they must respond within 10 days, failing which they would be expelled from the party.

My Say:

This latest move by LDP only confirmed speculation that Datuk Liew Yun Fah did `sponsored' an Independent to contest against LDP's Peter Pang Yuk Ming after he was not re-nominated by LDP to defend the Merotai seat. Datuk Liew Yun Fah won the seat in 2004.

Political Secretaries

Ex-Assistant Minister Jornah Mozihim is one of the 11 Political Secretaries sworn-in before Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman in Kota Kinabalu yesterday afternoon. She was assigned to the Community Development and Consumer Affairs Ministry, the ministry she was the Assistant Minister before the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Musa announced Jornah to defend her Matunggung seat in the general elections but her candidacy was revoked by her party Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan two days before nomination day.

In her place to contest Motunggung was Sarapin Magana who won and was also among the 11 who was made Political Secretary yesterday. Sarapin is now Political Secretary to the Chief Minister.

The others who took their oath of office yesterday as Musa's Political Secretary were Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan (Umno) and Jimmy Wong (SAPP).

The others are Political Secretary to Finance Minister Datuk John Ambrose (UMNO), Political Secretary to Rural Development Minister is Wilfredoline Jakil and Political Secretary to Minister in the Chief Minister's Department John Chin (Gerakan).

Haji Mahlan Zinin (Umno) is Political Secretary to the Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, Abdul Kassim Razali (Umno) is with the Minister of Local Government and Housing while the Political Secretary to the Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology is John Lim (PBS). Isnin Haji Aliaseh (UMNO) is Political Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure Development.

My Say:

Jornah from Assistant Minister to Political Secretary in the same ministry. Interesting what the Rungus community have to say about this as when she was dropped as a candidate, the Rungus had voiced their unhappiness to Pairin and PBS.

Demotion for Jornah? I do not know but Ex-Minister Datuk Kadoh Agundong was in previous State Government was appointed People Development Leader which is a step lower that of a Political Secretary.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Good response or.....


Vacancy: Driver
Department: Sabah Parks

And Sabah Parks received more than 10,000 applicants,State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Haji Masidi Manjun was quoted by Daily Express as saying Wednesday.

My Say:

A check with many of my friends indicated that some of those who had applied for the post of driver in Sabah Parks are those with Form Five qualification. If this is not worrying, I do not know what else is? Unemployment rate is high here.

Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee/Wan Junaidi?

Sabah's Beluran Member of Parliament, Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who won his third term in office in the March 8, general elections had confirmed that he had been told informally of his nomination as a candidate for one of Parliament's Deputy Speaker.

"I will wait for the official announcement," he said.

The other Deputy Speaker post is likely to go to five term MP of Santubung in Sarawak Datuk Wan Junaidi Tunku Jaafar. He said his name was proposed by Sarawak Barisan Nasional leaders to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during his visit to Kuching last week.

Another Sabahan is said to have been nominated as a candidate for the Speaker post. He is former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Haji Mulia.

My Say:

If Kiandee and Wan Junaidi are made Deputy Speaker and Pandikar given the Speaker post, Parliament for the first time will be controlled/headed by leaders from Sabah and Sarawak (East Malaysia).

Petitions against Kurup

Two election petitions were filed in the Kota Kinabalu High Court in Sabah yesterday, both seeking order to declare the election of Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat.

Kurup, who was declared winner of the seat uncontested, had been sworn-in before the King on March 18 as Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister, is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president.

The petitioners are opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate Danny Anthony Andipai and Independent Saineh Usau.

Andipai, accompanied by lawyer and Sabah PKR chief Haji Ansari Abdullah, named Returning Officer Bubudan OT Majalu and Kurup as the first and second respondents, respectively.

Usau through his lawyer Arthur Bonnie named the State Election Officer, Bubudan and Kurup as the first, second and third respondents, respectively.

Both the petitioners are contending that Bubudan had not conducted the election in accordance with the principal laid down under the provision under the Election Act, 1958 and the Elections (Conduct of Election) Regulations, 1981.

They claimed that their candidacies were rejected by Bubudan even though they had complied with all the requirement, amongst others, paid the RM10,000 deposit and another RM5,000 deposit for election materials.

Andipai and Usau claimed that initially the Returning Officer had refused to accept their nomination papers saying that they handed their papers minutes after nomination closed at 10am but were accepted after consulting their lawyers.

Their nomination papers and that of Kurup's were displayed on the notice board during the 10am-11am objection period which both petitioners claimed that they did not received any objection to their candidacies.

However, the Returning Officer announced that there was no contest as Andipai and Usau papers were rejected and their were disqualified from contesting. Kurup was declared the winner - uncontested.

My Say:

On record, after Kurup was declared winner, he was punched by a member of the public and had to be escorted by police to his car. He had made a police report and that the country's top police officer had said that the `punching of Kurup' was one of the serious incident during the Feb 24, 2008 Nomination Day for the March 8, 2008 general elections

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

How many election petitions?

After the March 8, general elections several political leaders had openly declared that they would file petitions in the High Court seeking orders to nullify the nominations/results of several parliamentary and State constituencies.

The results of the 12th general elections had been gazetted on April 8, those leaders are now free to file their suits. According to the Election Commission, petitions must be filed not later than April 29, this year.

My Say:

The Kota Kinabalu MP seat was won by DAP's Dr Hiew King Cheu. Will Christina Liew of another opposition party Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) challenged Dr Hiew's victory? The DAP and PKR are both opposition parties and are coalition government in Perak, Selangor, Kedah, Penang and Kelantan.

Nominated Assemblymen

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the president of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), had proposed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman to invoke a provision in the Sabah Constitution for the appointment of Six Nominated Members of the State Legislative Assembly.

Kurup, Pensiangan Member of Parliament and Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister, made the proposal during a meeting with Abdullah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on Monday.

The Sabah Constitution stated that the party that has majority members in the Assembly can nominated six Nominated Assemblymen/Women. The provision is, in spirit, to nominate individuals whose community is not represented in the Assembly.

My Say:

Is such appointment so necessary now that the State BN Government controlled the Assembly with 59 members against a sole DAP Assemblyman Jimmy Wong of Sri Tanjung?

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

And yet another story on Sufiah

Another story from Here about Maths genius.

Being a hooker is summing I love
Shock confession of maths prodigy who turned to life of vice
By Sara Nuwar & Rachel Spencer

MATHS genius turned hooker Sufiah Yusof reveals how she drives men wild... by reciting EQUATIONS to her clients as they have sex.

And the Asian beauty defiantly claims that selling her body for up to £1,000 a time provides her with a far more glamorous life than she ever dreamt of when she went to Oxford University aged just 13.

"My clients love the fact that I can stimulate their minds AND their bodies," she boasts in a shockingly frank interview with the News of the World.

"And I don't believe my education has been wasted—in fact I usually take problem sheets with me to solve before appointments."

Sufiah decided to CONFESS ALL after we revealed how the former child prodigy was working as a £130-an-hour prostitute while studying for a masters in economics.

It is the latest heartbreaking twist to a life that seemed so full of promise—but went tragically wrong when she cracked under the pressure of her bullying father's cruel academic regime and fled university at 15.

Eight years on, he is now in jail for sexually assaulting two girl pupils and Sufiah has somehow convinced herself that her seedy new career is the answer to all her problems.

"People think escorting is sleazy and terrible but I don't see it like that," she says. "I've always had a high sex drive—and now I'm getting all the sex I want—and guys are much better in bed with an escort than a girlfriend.

"I have men who are thrilled about my passion for mathematics. In fact one made me recite equations while he pleasured me, then I gave him oral sex while he chatted about algebra. It drove him wild."

And brainbox Sufiah has worked out that subtracting your respectability to become a prostitute can equal big money.

"I have a nice life and I am in control," she says. "I hate this stereotype society has of escorts being exploited. It is so far from the truth.

"My clients treat me like a princess. One guy I see in London took me shopping on Bond Street. He bought me a beautiful black Gucci dress for £700 and then took me to Selfridges and told me to pick any handbag I liked."

She chose a £600 Gucci clutch. "I'm a Primark and Topshop girl normally! I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

"Later that night we went for dinner. I wore my Gucci dress and sexy lingerie and took great pleasure in peeling it off for him later on back at his hotel."

Sufiah was working as an administrative assistant earning £ 16,000 a year in Manchester when an escort agency boss approached her in a bar four months ago. She'd run up debts of £3,500 in rent arrears and credit cards.

And she was still haunted by her hellish childhood—subjected to her father Farooq's Accelerated Learning Technique where she studied maths day in day out in rooms kept freezing cold to improve her concentration.

So the big rewards the agency boss promised seemed more than tempting. "I have studied so intensely for so many years I wanted to have fun," she says.

She can't see the sordid side of prostitution—and instead likens herself to Belle De Jour—the saucy hooker played by Billie Piper in the TV drama.

"I'd read Belle De Jour's Diary of a London Call Girl and was fascinated," she said. "When this immaculate lady in a designer suit asked if I had ever considered escorting, I found it appealing.

"I went home, researched agencies on the internet and found one I thought looked professional. I sent them photographs and they put me on their site." A couple of days later Sufiah was offered her first client. She recalls: "I felt quite nervous but excited too. I slipped on some black lace underwear and stockings and suspenders and a dress, and just though, ‘Wow, this is thrilling.'

"He was waiting for me at the bar of the Hilton. I expected him to be older but when I saw him he was lovely.

"He was only in his late 20s, tall and handsome. I thought, ‘I can't believe I'm getting paid to have sex with this man.'

"I'd have been thrilled if he chatted me up in a bar. We had a drink then went upstairs to his room and had fantastic sex. I left that night feeling totally elated having had an amazing time with £250 in my purse." Since then, she has built up a base of regular rich clients and sees between five and ten men each week. Her sugar daddies have treated her to fabulous clothes, designer bags, trips on yachts and even helicopter rides.

Sufiah, whose interview can be seen on video at notw.co.uk, brags that she can earn more than £1,000 in a night by having diner with a client and staying over. "It's like they want to rescue me. One man asked me how much I earned a year. I said £60,000. He told me, ‘I'll pay that amount straight into your bank and buy you a flat and you can be my mistress.'

"But I don't want that because I'm happy doing what I do. Now I wonder if I could go back to a normal relationship, where you watch EastEnders and have boring sex. I've got used to being treated like a princess."

It is as if she has run away from reality—just as she ran away from university and her father's dominance at 15.

Sufiah becomes solemn and subdued when she talks of her upbringing. "As I grew older I began to clash with my father," she says. "He was violent on occasions. Because he pushed me so far academically, I became more confident for a girl of my age. I grew up too quickly.

"From 11, I was studying maths all the time. I didn't have any friends. I wasn't in the Brownies. My father said they didn't teach Muslim values. I hardly ever played with other children."

She passed her maths A level aged 12 and started at St Hilda's College, Oxford. "It was an amazing place but I was too young. By the time I was 15 I wanted to be in control of my life. I fought back."

Sufiah sparked a two week nationwide police hunt when she ran away instead of going home at the end of term, saying she'd "had enough of 15 years of physical and emotional abuse". Her father claimed she had been kidnapped and brainwashed by members of a socialist organisation.

But now, speaking about it for the first time, Sufiah says: "I couldn't bear the thought of going home so I ran away. I'd saved up £200 and found a hostel in London for £14 per night. After a week I moved to a hostel in Bournemouth. I knew I could survive on my own."

When she was found in an internet cafe, Sufiah refused to go home and was placed in foster care by Bournemouth social services. She says: "I stayed with two families who were very good to me. My mum and dad would call me and ask me to go home—but I didn't want to."

Her 50-year-old father is now in jail for 18 months after being convicted of sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls he taught at his home in Coventry.

When Sufiah reached 18 she returned to Oxford to continue her studies—and fell in love with fellow student Jonathan Marshall. They married a year later but it barely lasted a year.

"At the time I thought we would be together forever, but we married too young and grew apart," she says.

After the split she moved back to London where she taught maths in the evenings to make ends meet. Then six months ago she moved to Manchester—and stumbled across her new career. "I'm still only young and I can't decide what I want to do," she says. "My escort work provides me with a fabulous life.

"I still enjoy learning and I find it puts me in the right frame of mind for an intelligent conversation with my clients." But she admits not all her sexual encounters work out. "At the end of the day you don't have to sleep with a client if you don't want to. I've done that twice now. Both men were young and very nervous. I just left.

"The dullest client I've ever had was a rich man who talked about cars all night. It was really, really boring."

Sufiah is well aware she could easily find a job in the City where she could match her £60,000 a year sex earnings.

But she said: "I don't want to take anything away from people who do jobs like that but it's not for me. I have a nice life. I don't want for anything."

Her mother Halimahton is now divorcing jailed Farooq and is desperate for her daughter to get in touch with her. "I was shaking when I found out what had become of her," she says.

But talking about her bitter split with her parents, Sufiah says: "I would describe our relationship as estranged.

"I have contact with them occasionally but I couldn't speculate on what they will make of my new life.

"I don't have any regrets. I've never felt more confident about my body and I've had some of the best sex of my life."

Yes! Prime Minister

Yes, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did have as hectic day-long working visit to Sabah yesterday (Monday - April 7). On arrival in Kota Kinabalu from Kuala Lumpur (a distance of 1,018 miles across the South China Sea) about 10am, he met with Sabah Umno leaders for about three hours.

Abdullah then met State Barisan Nasional component party members for another three hours.

The meeting with Sabah Umno who was led by its chief and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) headed by its President Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) led by its President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, UPKO was headed by President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) by its President Datuk V K Liew and Tan Sri Joseph Kurup led his Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS).

All the party's leaders had raised about Sabah's less representation in the Federal Government, illegal immigrants issues, the issuance of Malaysian identity cards to illegal immigrants, amongst others.

Abdullah said:"I met with them separately because I want to give the opportunity to the leaders to speak up on the issues that they feels strongly about. But despite the separate meetings, the issues raised by them were similar. I do recognise that some of it merits consideration."

The Prime Minister's visit to Sabah was the first after the March 8, general elections where the National Coalition Government (Barisan Nasional) suffered the worst elections since the Federation of Malaya gained Independence in 1946 (correction 1957)and the formation of Malaysia when Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya merged on Sept 16, 1963.

Barisan Nasional won 140 of the 222 Member of Parliament seats, less than eight seat for a two-third majority, the remaining seats were won by the Opposition. Abdullah's Government is now ruling the country with only a simple majority in Parliament.

Abdullah's parting promised to Sabah before he went back to Kuala Lumpur was `Sabah will be duly rewarded', a promise that the people of Sabah will be looking forward to be fulfill.

My Says:

Fulfilled before the next general elections is what the people of Sabah want the Prime Minister do now.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

PM Coming

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on Monday for a day's working visit. He is scheduled to meet Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders to discuss about latest political scenario in the State after the March 8, general elections.

The Prime Minister will be in Kuching, Sarawak tomorrow for a similar mission.

My Say:

Based on the statements by Sabah leaders, it look like the Prime Minister will have a hectic time in Sabah.

Mayor Explains Why

Up-date of my earlier posting

Kota Kinabalu City Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim today clarified City Hall was adhering directive by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dated Nov 24, 2004 issued through the National Action Council (NAC) for not allowing Kota Kinabalu DAP Member of Parliament Dr Hiew King Cheu to attend the City Hall meeting on March 2, this year.

Iliyas, in a statement today, said that the NAC directive stated that only the ruling Barisan Nasional's (BN) Assemblymen/Women and MPs are allowed to sit in City Hall meetings.

He also said that in was an oversight by City Hall that Dr Hiew was given an official letter to attend the meeting.

Iliyas said he had personally apologised to the MP on the matter and was surprised that the latter went to the Press to politicise the matter.

Another story on Sufiah

The story reproduced from the April 1st issue of the Telegraph is also about Sufiah Yusof which I had posted earlier.

Sufiah Yusof - child genius revealed as prostitute
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 01/04/2008

As celebrated child prodigy Sufiah Yusof is revealed to have become a prostitute, her ex-husband talks exclusively to Neil Tweedie of his shock and sadness

The story of the 'prodigy gone wrong' is always a subject for grim and envious fascination - the obsessed parents, the hothousing, the weird childhood undergraduate career, the dysfunctional later life - but the tale of Sufiah Yusof is bizarre even by the standards of the genre.

A far cry: young Sufiah celebrating taking up her place at Oxford with her sister and father
"Genius on the game," announced a Sunday newspaper. "For sad Sufiah the daily equation she has to solve is simply sex equals £130."

Sunday's News of the World went on to relate how Miss Yusof, admitted to Oxford University at the age of 13, had taken to hiring herself out over the internet as a prostitute - or "Asian escort" as she termed it - at the rate of £130 per hour.

Estranged from her family, she had adopted the working name of Shilpa Lee and set up shop in a backstreet flat in Salford, Manchester.

The article illustrated Sufiah's precipitate fall from grace by juxtaposing covertly-taken photographs of her in the nude with one of her as a young, smiling girl - all innocence and optimism in mortar board and gown.

The epose was the final straw for Sufiah's mother, Halimahton, a devout Muslim.

Yesterday, she left the family home in Coventry to arrange her divorce from her husband Farooq. The couple's marriage was already under intolerable strain following his guilty plea last week on charges of indecently assulting two 15-year-old girls while working as a personal tutor.

The Yusof family's humiliation was complete.

"We want nothing to do with my dad," said Sufiah's brother Isaac Abraham, 26, speaking on the doorstep. "He was so abusive to us. That's why Sufiah had to get away."

Ten years before, Farooq Yusof had been lauded as a pioneer in hothousing - the intensive personal tutoring of young children.

The subject of his experiments in education were his five children. Early life for them was a regime of spartan intensity.

The temperature in the family home was always low to ensure their attention, morning prayers were followed by stretching and breathing exercises.

Television, pop music and anything else that might lead to "shallow thinking" was banned. Fresh air, said Yusof, was essential for a fresh mind.

Punching helped as well.

"It depended on whatever mood he was in," said Abraham. "He used to wake us up in the middle of the night by punching our faces. It was awful what he put us through."

Born in Pakistan, and considered a prodigy himself, Farooq basked in the publicity that followed Sufiah's admission to St Hilda's College, Oxford.

There were inevitable comparisons with Ruth Lawrence and other precocious achievers, but Yusof stressed that his children's achievements were the result of his teaching rather than their brains.

Still, Sufiah was the star, the only one to reach Oxbridge. The problem for Farooq was that she had not only a fine mind but one of her own.

Although younger than her contemporaries, Sufiah took part in the campaign against tuition fees and joined a number of university societies, even attending the odd meeting of the Socialist Workers Party.

While her father was promising "more Sufiahs", as if his daughter was some kind of production-line model, she was growing up.

Eventually, in 2000 she rebelled, running away from Oxford. Two weeks later, she was found in Bournemouth but refused to be reunited with her parents. A bitter email to them followed, describing her childhood as a "living hell".

"I've finally had enough of 15 years of physical and emotional abuse," she wrote, claiming that she had twice tried to kill herself at the age of 11.

Her anguish had been met with the nickname Crybaby Soo-Fi. "Maybe the public will have a different view of you as devoted parents. I'm not Crybaby Soo-Fi any more."

The publicity turned ugly. Farooq, it emerged, had a history of dishonesty. Jailed for three years for mortgage fraud in 1992, he had also served time in borstal.

Sufiah returned to Oxford but her early promise was beginning to dissipate. It was then that she met Jonathan Marshall, a law student.

The two fell in love and married in 2004. Jonathan had already converted to Islam. He was 24 and she was 19. The marriage lasted less than two years.

Speaking yesterday from Saudi Arabia, where he works for a leading firm of City solicitors, Mr Marshall explained: "The reason we split was that I became more observant and Sufiah became less so.

"That took her in the wrong direction, away from the direction in which I wanted to go. The teachings of Islam are fundamental to your everyday life, so when paths diverge in that respect it is a major issue.

"She was confused, really. She didn't know quite what she wanted. She wasn't ready to settle down. Basically, she wanted to be a student.

"She wasn't particularly extrovert. She wasn't a difficult person to live with. We simply had different goals, different ideas of where we wanted to be. There were, to my knowledge, no affairs or anything. I never considered such a thing, simply because of the religious basis of our marriage."

Mr Marshall said there was little contact between Sufiah and her family in her final year at Oxford but some bridges were mended when they attended the couple's Islamic wedding ceremony.

He did not gain the impression during the marriage that Sufiah had been subjected to physical abuse by her father as a child. Psychological abuse was another matter.

Sufiah completed her course but failed to take her final exams, ostensibly because of her health. When Mr Marshall secured a job with one of the 'magic circle' law firms the couple moved to London and then, briefly to Singapore.

It was there that they decided to split. On returning to London, Sufiah was admitted to London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) to read economics.

Despite their split in August 2005, Mr Marshall supported her for eight months before taking up a job with his firm in Saudi Arabia. He has remarried and has two children.

"We agreed that I would assist her for a specific time. I felt a moral obligation to help her out while she was still at university. She wanted to concentrate on university and I agreed she should."

Speaking of the weekend's disclosures, he said: "I am completely shocked. It's very sad, actually. It's very shocking that someone can use themself in such a way. I can't fathom why she would do it - especially someone in her situation. Despite the problems with her family she had many advantages which other people don't have.

"It's a particular shock - her coming from a Muslim background. To see pictures of somebody doing that - somebody I knew very closely - it makes me think how did she get to that stage. Quite frankly she knows well enough what she should and should not do.

"My view is that people can blame childhood to a certain extent, but there also comes a point where you have to take responsibility for your own actions.

"She had her advantages: she had someone willing to support her while she was at university. One newspaper told me that it had offered a substantial amount for her story. Personally, I'd rather sell my story than sell myself."

Mr Marshall has no way of contacting his former wife now - except through the mobile number posted on the website on which she advertised her services.

"I really do hope she manages to get her life back together," he said. "She was obviously very able and it's sad that she is not able to use that talent."

Yet, if Sufiah Yusof is to be believed, she has not yet abandoned her academic career - she told the News of the World's undercover reporter that she was studying for a master's degree in economics and had her exams coming up. Even now, she still has something to prove.

Sorry! No Entry MP Dr Hiew

Although officially invited, Kota Kinabalu City Hall had on Tuesday denied Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Dr Hiew King Cheu from attending the City Hall Advisory Council meeting.

Dr Hiew was met at the City Hall's conference hall door by an official saying that he was barred from sitting in the meeting as he is an opposition (DAP) MP. He was told that a clerk made a mistake of sending to him the invitation letter.

He also said that the offical informed him that the directive not to allow him to participate in the meeting came from `higher up'.

Dr Hiew, who wrested the Kota Kinabalu seat from the ruling Barisan Nasional in the March 8, general elections, was not amused saying that City Hall has no right to bar him as he had been given the mandate by the City's residents to represent them.

"Such an action by City Hall only reflected non-transparency but also of the arrogance of BN Government and failure to respect the people wish and aspiration for a good goverance," he told Daily Express

Dr Hiew said it was important for him to attend the meeting since it essentially discuss matters relating to policies concerning public policies and the spending of taxpayers money.

"I will raise this matter in Parliament," he said.

My Say:

Let wait and see what the Mayor has to say about this matter.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

MP: Revive Special Ministry for Sabah/Sarawak

Barisan Nasional (BN) Member of Parliament for Sepanggar Datuk Eric Majimbun said the Federal Government has not been giving much concentration to Sabah and Sarawak in term of development.

Majimbun, who is Deputy President of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), a Sabah-based BN component member, called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdulah Ahmad Badawi to revive the Ministry of Special Affairs for Sabah and Sarawak.

He said the ministry was created when Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore together with the Federation of Malaya formed Malaysia in 1963. The ministry was later abolished and development for Sabah and Sarawak was placed under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry.

Majimbun, who was Kota Kinabalu City Native Court's chief judge before entering politics, said reviving the ministry was vital considering the size of Sarawak alone is bigger than all the States in Peninsula Malaysia put together.

My Say:

I hope Majimbun will raise this matter when the Prime Minister visit Sabah and have a special meeting with Sabah leaders in a date yet to be fixed this month.