Sunday, 31 August 2008

Points to ponder

Ex-Chief Minister Datuk Harris Mohd Salleh was one of the speakers at the Convention for Sabah Issues organised by Sabah-based Barisan Nasional component (BN) member Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) at the Putera Theatre in Bukit Padang nere Kota Kinabalu.

Harris who was Chief Minister during his Party Berjaya Government (1976-1985) talks on various issues and also had a busy time fielding questions from the floor.

Answering a question, Harris said he did no think that Sabah would be joining the opposition because it would be like `out of the frying pan into the fire.'

Instead, he said what was important is for Umno to change, adding that when he was Sabah Chief Minister, he was never accepted as a Malay by Umno.

He said the `budaya cium tangan' (kissing the hand culture) had become embedded deeply in the BN.

"So how can we win if 60 per cent are those `cium tangan',' he said.

Harris was also asked for the reason why he surrendered Labuan to the Federal Government while he was the Chief Minister.

Using the grandfather, father and son terminology, Harris said a father (State Government) would not hesitate to give his son (Labuan) under the care of the grandfather (Federal Government).

He said the father was confident that the son would be taken good care because the grandfather has everything.

"But we never knew that the grandfather would give the son ikan masin (salted fish) and ask him to walk to school, " Harris said.

Friday, 29 August 2008

SAPP's Yong on the National Budget

Reading this article, one will think that the person voicing this is from the opposition. But this is a Press statement is from Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee issued to the Press in Kota Kinabalu on 29 August 2008.

Sugar-coated says Yong

Trust is vital in fulfilling the budget. Can we believe that this government will implement the budget that the PM has tabled today? There are numerous promises in recent years that the PM has yet to fulfill.

There have been so many flip flops such as over the fuel prices, the indecisiveness over the double tracking rail project, uncertainty over the Penang bridge, cancellation of the Singapore bridge and the Port Klang Free Port controversy that the people have lost confidence in the PM.

In Sabah, the suspense over the fate of the coal power plant in the East Coast of Sabah and the blur over whether to have a gas power plant in Kimanis or a RM 3 billion, 500-km gas pipeline to Bintulu have decimated the trustworthiness of the government leadership among the people.

Other examples that have made people to lose confidence abound. For instance, on 10 September 2004 the PM proclaimed a budgetary proposal in Parliament to implement a Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 1 January 2007.

But because the PM did not realize the adverse consequences of a hasty GST, the Minister of Finance, who is also the PM, had to declare eighteen months later (in February 2006) an indefinite deferment of the GST proposal.

Never before was a budgetary proposal (which was later approved by Parliament) failed to be implemented by the government due to ignorance of the implications of a GST in the country.

The 2005 budget too had declared its aim to raise RM 20 billion through PFI (Private Finance Initiative) for infrastructure projects as domestic investment in the economy. Hardly any of this RM 20 billion was raised up till last year.

This budget 2009 is silent as to the future of PFI and did not address the difficulties faced by the construction sector due to increased construction costs in public infrastructure projects.

Economic and corporate management is still suspect. The sale of M.V. Augusta, which Proton Holdings Berhad had sold to a third party for one Euro (RM 5) who then resold the M.V. Augusta for RM 358 million (Euro 70m) last year.

At the same time, the Malaysian corporate sector is still reeling from efforts to mitigate losses over national icon Malayan Banking's purported purchase of PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) for a total of RM 12.7 billion.

This follows soon after Maybank share value lost sharply upon announcement to purchase 15% of a Pakistani bank (MCB Bank Ltd.) at RM 2.17 billion. The PM has yet to effectively explain how confidence can be restored among both domestic and foreign investors.

After the general elections of 8 March, investor confidence was so low that, in the 2nd quarter of 2008 (April to July), domestic investment dropped to RM 2.6 billion from RM6.7 billion (in the first quarter ending March 2008).

Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) was even more bleak, dropping from RM 16 billion to a mere RM 7.3 billion in the 2 quarter compared to the first quarter before the 12th general elections. The budget presented by the PM today did not address this loss of investor confidence.

There is also no sign of the so-called RM 1 billion each allocated to Sabah (and later Sarawak) as announced by the PM on May 30 in Kota Kinabalu. Neither did these RM 2 billions appear in the supplementary budgets of last July's Parliamentary sitting. It remains a mystery where the RM 1 billion for Sabah comes from or will go to.

The one and only sector where hard working people make money for the government is the oil palm sector. But the government jealously had chosen to punish this "golden egg goose" by imposing a wind fall tax of 15% in June 2008, something that oil palm industry is still reeling from and unable to recover.

This budget 2009 did not deal with the issue of the damages caused to the oil palm industry. A form of damage control would be to reduce the foreign workers levies to a flat RM50.00 per worker so as to make it more feasible for employers to register their workers.

Sadly, the budget missed out the subject of foreign workers levies.

This budget is obviously sugar-coated to pacify the people with many unprecedented goodies. But the source of funds has not been adequately explained.
As for inflation, something that affects most people, July saw a high rate of 8.5%, the highest in the last quarter of a century.

For the poor people, the real effect is definitely much more than 8.5%. Pensioners and average persons with bank savings will find that their savings depreciate in value because inflation in wiping out the value of their savings.

I find it disturbing that the PM has forgotten altogether to address inflation. The budget did not even forecast the inflation rate for 2009.

Langkawit's mind

Pensiangan, Api Api next month

Pix: Dr Yee
Kota Kinabalu Election Court Judge David Wong Dak Wah will deliver on Sept 17, this year its judgement on the election petition by Pensiangan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) division chief Danny Anthony Andipai.

Andipai, whose candadicy was rejected on the Feb 24, 2008 nomination day, filed the petition on April9, 2008 seeking the election of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president and Federal Rural and Regional Deputy Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup in Pensiangan be declared null an void.

Meanwhile, Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim will deliver judgement for the Api Api election petition on Sept 15, 2008.

The petition was filed on April 9, 2008 by Sabah PKR deputy head Christina Liew's agent Audrey Karen Barry, seeking to nullify Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president and Sabah Resources Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai's win in Api Api in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

In both cases, the petitioners sought to declare the elections' results null and void due to various breaches of the Election Offences Act 1954 and the Elections (Conduct of Election) Regulation 1981.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Dismissed with costs


Election petitions for Tuaran, Kundasang dismissed
Reports by BERNAMA

KOTA KINABALU, THURS: The Election Court here today dismissed with costs, a petition challenging the election of former Sabah Mmnister Datuk Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing as the Tuaran MP in the last general election.

Justice Datuk Linton Albert also dismissed with costs the election petition challenging the result for the Kundasang state seat which was won by Barisan Nasional(BN)’s Dr Joachim Gunsalam.

In dismissing the Tuaran petition, Linton ruled that the election was carried out legally with no evidence to suggest fraudulence or corrupt practices as claimed.

“There is no reason to declare the election void because the several manifestations of bribery, corrupt and illegal practice alleged by the petitioner have not been proven,” he said.

Bumburing, who is UPKO Deputy President, of the BN won the seat with a majority of 6,622 votes, beating arch rival Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) head Ansari Abdullah and independent candidate Ajin Gagah.

The petition was filed by Ansari’s election agent, Lim Ching Ping.

In his 10-page judgment, Linton said the petition was grounded almost entirely on the distribution of hard cash ranging from RM50 to RM700, to parents of poor schoolchildren in schools throughout the constituency under the scheme, aptly called Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pelajar Miskin (KWAPM).

He said the element of “bargaining” had not been established, in respect of the corrupt practice of bribery, to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt.

He gave similiar reasoning in dismissing the election petition filed by defeated independent candidate for the Kundasang seat, Japiril Suhaimin.

Japiril, in asking the court to declare that Dr Gunsalam was not duly elected in the election, claimed that at several villages and schools in Kundasang, Dr Gunsalam or his agents had distributed money to poor students under the KWAPM (Poor Students Group Trust Fund).

Dr Gunsalam won the state seat, garnering 3,597 votes while Japiril secured 1,791 votes. Karim Adam, the PKR candidate, polled 1,180 votes.

God loves them more

Two-headed baby dies after fever
By Emily Cook Health Correspondent 28/08/2008

A two-headed baby born in Bangladesh has died after developing a fever and breathing difficulties.

The boy, named Kiron, died at home three days after being born by caesarean section weighing 5.5kg.

The baby was under police guard after 150,000 people went to the clinic to see the child, who they believed was a god.

Doctors advised the parents to transfer their baby to a hospital in the capital, Dhaka, but they did not have enough money to take him there

Baby with two heads

Two-headed baby under police guard
By Andy Rudd, 27/08/2008

A baby boy born with two heads has been put under police guard in a Bangladesh hospital after a 15,000 strong mob arrived to look at it.

The baby, named Kiron, weighed 5.5kg when he was born on Monday morning by caesarean in Keshobpur.

Gynaecologist Mohamad Abdul Bari said: "He has one stomach and he is eating normally with his two mouths. He has one genital organ and a full set of limbs.

"He was born from one embryo but there was a developmental anomaly."

Doctors have been unable to determine whether the baby has one or two sets of vital organs.

Due to the large crowds gathering at the hospital to try and see the baby, both the mother, 22, and son have been moved to a larger hospital and the police have been called in.

"Around 150,000 people gathered yesterday from different areas. It became tough for us to care for the baby,” Mr Bari added.

"We called police to tackle the situation and they are guarding the hospital in Jessore as well."

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Yong: Malaysia, Be Ready For Change

SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee on the landslide victory of PKR Advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Permatang Pauh by-election 26 August 2008

Kota Kinabalu, August 27, 2008

1. The land slide victory of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim augurs well for non-racial politics in Malaysia. The rejection of racial politics shown in the March general elections has been repeated resoundingly by the voters of Permatang Pauh of whom 69% are Malays.

2. But the BN leadership, especially UMNO, never learn. Instead of strengthening national unity among the people, UMNO tried desperately to whip up racial emotions on the NEP issue by mob demonstrations in Penang immediately after the elections. The orchestrating of the student demonstrations at UiTM by UMNO this month, the inflammatory speeches of their MPs in Parliament and racial instigation against SAPP MPs over the no confidence motion in June all prove that the BN and UMNO are still trapped in the old mind set of racial compartmentalization of Malaysian politics.

3. In fact, after the March general elections, both the PM and DPM had declared that the BN would conduct independent studies on the losses suffered by the BN and why people were rejecting BN. Several high level BN committees were even formed to re-brand BN.

4. But instead of changing for the better with people-friendly policies, the BN government played around with fuel prices at the whims and fancies of the Prime Minister inflicting suffering on the ordinary people. High level corruption continues unabated. And according to news reports quoting senior UMNO leaders, this year's UMNO party divisional and branch elections are the dirtiest and most corrupted by money politics ever in the history of UMNO.

5. When SAPP first declared no confidence in the PM, almost all the BN component parties chose to condemn SAPP instead of solving the issues affecting the people raised by SAPP. SAPP reminds the BN component parties to join the SAPP's move of no confidence in the PM so as to effect change for the better in the country. SAPP now calls on the people in Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, to be ready for change.

The result of the Permatang Pauh by-election 2008, is a testimony that the people including BN and UMNO members are rejecting BN administration.

Party Keadilan's Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim garnered 31,195 votes while BN 15,524 votes, giving a majority of 15,671 votes.

Although BN's total membership in Permatang Pauh is 26,942 ( UMNO 19,442, Gerakan 2,900, MCA 2,400, MIC 1,700, PPP 500 ) but BN managed to secure only 15,524 votes. This shows that a total of 11,271 BN members have opted to support Party Keadilan's Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

As Permatang Pauh is in the home state of the Prime Minister, the failure of BN in wresting Permatang Pauh from the opposition, is an expression of no-confidence on the Prime Minister's leadership.

Issued by SAPP HQ

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Majimbun's Press statement

Press Statement by YB Datuk Eric Majimbun
MP for Sepanggar/ Deputy President of Sabah Progressive Party
26 August 2008


1. About 1,200 people are expected to attend the Convention on Sabah Issues to be held at the Putera Theatre Ballroom in Kota Kinabalu on August 30, from 12.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

2. Organizing Chairman, Datuk Eric Majimbun, said the current political development in the country had prompted SAPP to organize this convention.

3. This convention is a follow up to a Special Committee chaired by Majimbun which was set for the purpose of collecting, compiling and analyzing issues submitted by the people.

4. The convention will provide an opportunity for views and recommendations to be expressed by the people. The views will be compiled into a document for endorsement by other political parties, organizations and individuals paving the way for it to be adopted as a roadmap for Sabah towards establishing a trustworthy government and a progressive, just and harmonious society.

5. We feel it is important during this critical period for the people to re-connect with the history of Sabah¡¯s independence, the position of Sabah as a state within the Federation of Malaysia as well as the current economic condition of the State.

Among the speakers will be former Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh.

Below is the full text of the statement.

Monday, 25 August 2008

No way says Maximus

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 25 (Bernama) -- Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the PBS Kiulu division was intact, despite claims to the contrary by division chief Sindin Ranggangon that it was dissolved.

"It is nonsense for Sindin to announce the dissolution of the Kiulu division when proper procedures were not followed.

"Sindin has no power to dissolve branches or division," he told Bernama here Monday.

Dr Maximus, who is also science, technology and innovation minister, was asked to comment on Sindin's claims today that the PBS Kiulu Division was dissolved at a special meeting in Kampung Pukak Sunday, with the majority of its office-bearers reportedly resigning their posts.

Sindin, who was issued a show-cause letter recently for suggesting party president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan hand over the leadership to another leader, resigned from the party with immediate effect.

He also declared his intention to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Dr Maximus said the support of the party, especially in Kiulu, remained solid.

"Sindin is not a real loss to the party. He has saved time for the disciplinary committee from holding its next meeting and take the necessary action on him," he said, adding that the party headquarters would appoint an acting division chief among the remaining members of the division soon.

On Aug 14, the PBS disciplinary committee issued a show-cause letter to Sindin for asking Pairin to hand over the reins of the party to other PBS leaders.

He had suggested Dr Maximus as the most appropriate.

Meanwhile, PBS secretary-general Datuk Radin Malleh said there was no provision in the party constitution that allowed an individual to dissolve a division.

Sindin quits, dissolves division

Sindin Ranggangon, who had called on Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (Pix) to step down, had quit the party Saturday. Some 3,000 members of the party in the Kiulu Division followed him.

"We had also dissolved the Kiulu PBS Division," he said Monday. He had been called up by PBS disciplinary committee to explain his action against Pairin but no decision was made apart from issuing him a show cause letter.

Sindin headed the division after defeating the Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Louis Rampas during the party's last election.

Sindin said he was seriously considering joining the opposition party - Party Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Responding to Sindin, Rampas said he respected his decision to resign from the party. "Now it look like I have to start all over again, fillng up membership forms," he said.

Justice Ian Chin goes on long leave

Raised eyebrows as Judge Chin takes leave
25th August, 2008

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Justice Datuk Ian H. C. Chin embroiled in the judicial “boot camp” controversy with former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken long leave, a Sabah-based tabloid reported today.

Court officials believe his leave is prior to going on optional retirement. Justice Chin, the 61 year-old Kota Kinabalu High Court judge, began his leave on Thursday.

But no confirmation was available if he is calling it a day or when he submitted his optional retirement papers.

Legal officials said Justice Chin, who packed many of his things from his office at the court building here before going on leave, has also informed them to postpone cases to next year.

They said the Internet savvy judge has also shut down his website at where he was among the few to post case proceedings and judgments immediately after a trial.

A check showed that the website was no longer available since Friday.

Neither the Sandakan born Justice Chin, nor the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, could be reached for comments.

In June, Justice Chin burst into the media limelight when he made an explosive judicial revelation during an election petition hearing in Sarawak by accusing Dr Mahathir of sending judges to boot camps.

His accusation was that selected judges were sent to the camp to ensure that they got the message in making favourable decisions for the administration of Dr Mahathir.

This saw Dr Mahathir lashing back at Justice Chin in his Chedet blogsite and denying the allegation of sending judges to boot camps with Dr Mahathir’s ex aide Matthias Chang even calling for the judge’s sacking.

Sabah lawyers said they have been hearing about Justice Chin’s intention to go for optional retirement since early this month but could not obtain confirmation as he was a judge who kept to himself.

They said if Justice Chin quit the judicial service where he could remain till the official retirement age of 66, it would be a big loss to the Malaysian judiciary because he was well respected and seen as a no nonsense judge in court.

Justice Chin, who was among the more senior of some 50 High Court judges in the country, began as a lawyer in the early 1970s and has unsuccessfully contested as a Berjaya party candidate twice in the elections.

He was later appointed Judicial Commission and rose to be High Court judge in early 1990s.

Pahit Manis in town

Yesterday evening I received an sms from Kuala Lumpur-based blogger Pahit Manis saying that he had just landed in Kota Kinabalu and would be calling me today.

This blogger, I had known for more then 30 years as he was my boss while I was working for the New Straits Times.

I was with NST in the time of Group Editors PC Shivadas, Datuk A Kadir Jasin, Datuk Ahmad Talib and Datuk Kalimullah Hassan.

The present Group Editor Datuk Syed Nadzri Syed Harun then was my immediate editor.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Count me out says Majimbun

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president Datuk Eric Majimbun, who still maintained his support to any motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, denied he was one of 13 Barisan Nasional(BN) Sabah MPs planning to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat after the Permatang Pauh by-election next Tuesday.

"This is a cheap publicity stunt by the opposition to attract people's attention at the expense of others," said the BN-SAPP MP for Sepanggar.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has said that 13 BN MPs, including two from SAPP, will switch camps if PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wins the seat.

"That is typical of them. He did not even name me when he said 13 BN MPs, including two from SAPP. There are only two SAPP MPs, Datuk Chua Soon Bui and I. So in his statement he must have meant me, but why didn't he say so?"

Majimbun, who was in Permatang Pauh with Chua, MP for Tawau, to observe the election campaign, challenged Jeffrey to name all the other MPs ready to jump ship.

"Going by his statement, the 11 others are from Umno, so why not name them now."

Jeffrey claimed that the 13 MPs had met with him and expressed their support for Anwar. Sabah has 24 BN MPs.

Majimbun, who was Kota Kinabalu Native Court chief judge before entering politics, said he had not been in contact with Jeffery for him to make such a preposterous statement.

Points to ponder

Datuk Yong Teck Lee speaking to reporters at the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) HQ at Bornion Centre, Luyang after unveiling of the "Malaysia 1963" bill board on Wednesday, August 20.

The SAPP president said:-

For 45 years, the nation has been struggling with the idea whether the national day (Hari Kebangsaan) should be celebrated starting from 1957 (when Malaya achieved independence) or 1963 (when Malaysia was formed after the Malaysia Agreement with the United Kingdom, Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak).

Both Sabah and Malaya achieved independence on August 31 but on different years; Malaya in 1957 and Sabah in 1963. On 16 September 1963, Malaysia was officially formed and the new Malaysia flag with 14 stripes of red and white and the 14-pointed star was raised for the first time in Malaysia.

At one of the BN Supreme Council meetings last year (2007 being 50 years after Malaya achieved independence), this was debated again, mainly between the UPKO President who favoured 1963 and an UMNO leader who insisted on 1957. As we all know, the federal government defied historical truth and went ahead to declare the 50th Hari Kebangsaan for Malaysia, thereby using 1957.

Today, we see that the authorities still insist on using the historically erroneous date of 1957 for Hari Kebangsaan. What saddens the people is that even the Sabah State Government has mistakenly or obediently adopted the 1957 date by declaring this year's (2008) Hari Kebangsaan as 51st rather than 45th. We note that Sarawak has done the right thing by celebrating the the 45th Hari Kebangsaan and not the 51st Hari Kebangsaan.

SAPP calls on the Sabah State Government to do justice to the early pioneers of Sabah and the founders of the Malaysia to declare 2008 as the 45th Hari Kebangsaan and not the 51st Hari Kebangsaan. People in Sabah (then North Borneo) and Sarawak has nothing but colonial rule to celebrate in 1957. As true Malaysians, we should celebrate 1963.

Our bill board "Malaysia 1963" at our party HQ today is to highlight to the Government and the people that we celebrate Malaysia 1963 and the 45th Hari Kebangsaan. We call on academicians, historians, civil servants and our political leaders to speak up in the interests of history and true facts so that the government will respect history and truth.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Let us pray....


A series of warning letters culminating in a “show cause” letter have been issued by the Home Ministry to the HERALD-The Catholic Weekly in respect of articles carried by the paper which, according to an official from the Home Ministry, were allegedly “politically inclined and touched on Islamic issues”.

The Herald is a weekly publication printed by the Catholic Church in Malaysia. It carries news of current affairs and religious and educational articles with a view to propagating the Catholic faith. The Herald is sold in churches and not by newsvendors. The Herald has a circulation of 13,000 copies per week and a readership estimated at 50,000.

In seeking to control the contents of the Herald, the Home Ministry’s warning and “show cause” letters go against Article 3 (1), Article 10 (1) (a) and Article 11 (3) (a) of the Federal Constitution i.e. the right to freely practice one’s religion, the general freedom of speech and expression and the right of a religious group to manage its own affairs. Such controls would deprive the Catholic community of current information and education relating to their faith and such an act by the authorities is tantamount to a curtailment of religious freedom.

The Honourable Home Minister has said that the Herald should restrict its articles to matter pertaining to religion only. In an article carried by the Sun on 14.8.2008, he was quoted as stating:

“If you are to write on religion, then you are supposed to touch on matters pertaining to:

• questions on rituals,

• adherence to God,

• followers

• and anything related to your divine mission.”

It is significant that the Honourable Minister referred to matters pertaining to the adherence to God, followers and anything related to the divine mission. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the duty of Christians to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of the society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom. This contribution of Christians to society is rooted in love. This love manifests itself in social and political charity. Social charity is to seek the good of all people not only as individuals but as a larger, social community. In order to promulgate social charity, it is necessary to organise and structure society in order that no member of society is left in need. Organising and structuring society requires the application of political charity. This teaching in found in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and for the purpose of easy reference this can be read on pages 207 & 208 under the section “The Way of Love”.

The reporting in the Herald is in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church on social and political charity and on each Catholic’s mission as an adherent of the faith.

Ultimately, the interpretation of what constitutes religious matters should be left to the leaders and adherents of the faith in question. The Home Ministry is not in a position to dictate to Catholics (or for that matter, the proponents of any other faith) the scope of their religion.

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society of Kuala Lumpur calls on the Home Ministry to withdraw its warning and “show cause” letters and maintain the Herald’s publishing permit.

Dated this 18th day of August 2008

Mabel Sabastian
Catholic Lawyers’ Society Kuala Lumpur

This make sense

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee on Tuesday said:

1. Based on preliminary information, it seems that BN will spend more on the Permatang Pauh by-election than the RM 50 million that government is spending on tackling the illegal immigrant woes in Sabah and Labuan.

2. The national BN is already sending thousands of campaigners to Permatang Pauh. Knowing the extent and extravagance of BN campaigning, the costs will likely be in tens of millions of ringgit.

3. Sabah BN alone has announced sending hundreds of people to Permatang Pauh in Penang. UMNO Sabah leaders, youth, wanita, puteri and putera and BN components such as PBS are lining up to impress their federal leaders that they will diligently campaign to ensure a BN victory. For many UMNO divisional delegates, a trip to Permatang Pauh is also a joy trip for the on-going party divisional election campaign.

4. The costs of traveling, accommodation, food and campaigning will definitely amount to millions of ringgit. Where will this money come from? The money will not come from the national BN because the national BN is already near bankrupt by being unable to settle the (High Court) judgment debt of Ringgit 218 milllion as a result of the unpaid election bills of the 2004 general elections. It remains to be seen how the BN will settle the election debts of the March 2008 general elections. And now the BN has to face their most-feared opponent in a by-election.

5. We call on the Sabah government leaders not to allow Sabah to be the milking cow for the BN election debts of RM 218 million and for Permatang Pauh by-election. The reported RM 16 million purportedly sourced from Sabah and intended for the Permatang Pauh by-election that was intercepted by anti-money laundering law enforcement agencies in a foreign country lends credence to our worries.

6. SAPP asks the Sabah UMNO and other BN leaders whether it is in their conscience to waste Sabah peoples' money in this extravagant way.

7. At a time when large numbers of families in Sabah cannot afford an extra meal, people are struggling with petrol prices, children foregoing tuition classes, sick people missing out on medical treatment, tenants worried about over due rentals and electricity bills, the Sabah BN leaders must show that they care enough to do something about the peoples' livelihood. We all know that the worst is yet to come. By year end, families will face the prospects of higher school bus fares and various expenses related to schooling. Low income parents will have to make a heart breaking choice of either to send their kids back to school or to let them work in a tough job market due to economic stagnation with more jobless people. Inflation will rise beyond 8% and ordinary people will have to forgo some basic necessities of life.

8. On the part of SAPP, we shall only send a 3-cadre team to study the by-election for research purposes. Our 2 MPs might spend the week end parliament break to visit the constituency of Permatang Pauh with other MPs.

13 Sabah MPs to ditch BN?

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has claimed that 13 Sabah members of parliament will cross over to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) if PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wins the Permatang Pauh by-election next Tuesday.

He also claimed that the 13 MPs had met with him and expressed their support for Anwar.

“We speak the truth. I am talking about the 13 MPs who will join Pakatan Rakyat after Anwar wins this (Permatang Pauh) by-election... they are just waiting (to crossover),” he told reporters after delivering a talk in Jalan Berapit,Bukit Mertajam Monday night.

Jeffrey said two of the MPs were from the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and the rest from Umno.

The PR needs at least 30 more MPs to be able to form the Federal Government. Sabah has 24 Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs.

Anwar is involved in a three-corner fight for the Permatang Pauh seat, vacated on July 31 by his wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to enable Anwar become an MP. The BN has fielded Seberang Jaya state assemblyman Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah. The third candidate is Hanafi Mamat of Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim). — BERNAMA

My Say:

SAPP MPs identified - Datuk Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau). Who are the other 11 MPs??

Sabah politician again!!!

Another Sabah high-ranking politician comes under ACA scrutiny

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues: Another high-ranking Sabah politician has come under the scrutiny of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) for alleged bribery involving almost RM60 million.

Bernama learnt that the probe on the 48-year-old politician began after the Sabah ACA received 23 reports from a branch leader of a political party last month, pertaining to the matter.

It is learnt that the suspected politician was a former chairman of a housing development company.

Bernama learnt that the Sabah ACA had seized files and documents from the company recently, and recorded statements from several senior officers of the company to facilitate the probe.

It is learnt that the politician had influnced and bribed few senior officials of the housing development company to obtain housing projects under a construction company which he owned.

Bernama also learnt that most of the projects obtained by the politician did not meet the dateline upon completion. Some of them were stalled due to dire financial straits.

The said politician had also allegedly used his power to give sub-contracts to his proxies, which included some high-ranking politicians.

The proxies returned the favour by ’rewarding’ the politician with millions of ringgit.

The complainant in the case, who wanted to be identified only as Zul, said he had sent an official letter to the political party’s supreme council to take futher action against the errant politician.

“In the letter, I had clearly stated the offences committed (by the politician). I hope the ACA will conduct a fair probe into his wrong-doings which were committed since 2004,” said Zul.

Zul said he had also lodged a report at the Semporna police station early last month on the matter.

Bernama also understands that the complainant had made a statutory declaration at the Semporna Magistrate’s Court last month on his ACA and police reports. — BERNAMA

My Say:

When a similar reports was widely published in all the newspapers earlier this month, Labuan Member of Parliament Datuk Yussof Mahal responded openly declaring that `May be I am the one'.

Will the politician indicated in this latest report do the same?

Musa Aman: Nothing to do with me

"I would like to stress here that I have no political and financial connection with this man," Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said of a posting HERE linking him with a Sabahan businessman arrested in Hongkong last Thursday for alleged money trafficking and laundering.

"He is not my nominee and I have no nominee," Musa, Who is also Sabah Finance Minister.

"I know him and as Chief Minister of Sabah I meet a lot of friends and I have many friends," he said when asked by reporters whether he knew Michael Chia as the businessman named in the report.

Malaysia Today quoted a close source of the Hongkong police and Interpol that they had monitored the person's activities for three months.

The reported stated that the businessman who was reported to have had his Malaysian passport impounded was nabbed together with Singapore worth RM16 million inside his baggage while trying to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur at the Chejk Lap Kok Airport.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Just a show-cause letter

Kiulu Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) divisional chief Sindin Ranggangon who called for party president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to step down was yesterday issued a show-cause letter by the party's disciplinary committee.

PBS secretary general Datuk Radin Malleh said Sindin was given two weeks to reply why action should not be taken against him for his action which was against the party's interest.

Radin said the committee noted that Sindin's action was not in the best interest of the party but at the same time acknowledged his right to be heard.

In an immediate respond, Sindin said he would reply the letter within the stipulated time. He reiterated his stand to stay put with PBS.

My Say:

I am optimistic that Sindin is not alone in wanting Pairin to step down as PBS president. The others remain silent for reason best known to them only.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

PBS to sack Sindin???

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) disciplinary committee will meet today to decide on action against the party's head for Kiulu Division Sindin Ranggangon. The meeting will be chaired by PBS deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili.

Sindin is being summoned by the committee for calling Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to resign as PBS president. The meeting was scheduled last week but was postponed to today.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Politically motivated says Labuan MP

Political agenda behind allegation, says Labuan MP
By Joniston Bangkuai and Roy Goh HERE

In what can be considered a rarity among VIPs, Labuan Member of Parliament Datuk Yussof Mahal has come out to say that he may be the high-ranking Sabah politician being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency for alleged abuse of power, forgery and bribery.

Referring to a news report on the matter, Yussof said he felt he should give an explanation to "clear my good name as Labuan MP and Labuan Umno deputy chief".

Confirming that he was awarded contracts to build a RM24.8 million market and a RM10.5 million school in Labuan, he claimed that he secured the contracts through open tender and that he was the lowest bidder.

"Is it a crime for a company to secure a government contract by making the lowest bid, so much so that I am being investigated by the ACA?" he said in a statement faxed to the New Straits Times office in Kota Kinabalu.

Yussof also denied that he had cheated a Kuala Lumpur sub-contractor hired to build the Labuan market.

On the allegation of forgery to secure a bank loan, he claimed that it was mere slander and he would lodge a police report soon so that the culprits could be brought to justice.

"I believe there is a political agenda behind the allegation because it was raised at a time when the Labuan Umno division election, in which I have offered to contest the chairman's post, is just around the corner," said Yussof, adding that the threats and allegations would only serve to spur him to work harder for Umno and the Labuan people.

The ACA has refused to divulge the name of the politician being investigated for alleged abuse of power, forgery and bribery in a bid to secure three contracts worth RM40 million in Labuan.

Its director-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan said the agency was still investigating the allegations and urged the people not to make any assumptions.

He said the case was being investigated by the ACA headquarters in Putrajaya and its Sabah office.

Ahmad Said was speaking after the opening of the agency's new branch office at the Federal House in Keningau Sabah Tuesday. Also present were Bingkor assemblyman Justin Guka and state ACA director Latifah Mohd Yatim.

According to a Bernama report, a 51-year-old senior politician is being investigated by the ACA for allegedly bribing officers at the Federal Territories Ministry to help his firm win contracts.

The police Commercial Crime Investigation Department and Bank Negara are also probing the politician in connection with the three contracts.

ACA DG confirms investigation

Up-date to my two earlier posting on ACA and Kota Kinabalu Umno Division

Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan said the agency was still investigating the allegations and urged the people not to make any assumptions.

He said the case was being investigated by its Sabah office.

Ahmad Said was speaking after the opening of the agency's new branch office at the Federal House in Keningau Sabah Tuesday. Also present were Bingkor assemblyman Justin Guka and state ACA director Latifah Mohd Yatim.

Ahmad Said said the Kota Kinabalu ACA had met with two Umno members in connection with allegations of money politics during the party's ongoing branch meetings.

The two members met the officers in Kota Kinabalu on Monday to assist investigations, he said.

PM says investigate them

ACA Allowed To Investigate Money Politics In Umno, Says Abdullah

SERDANG, Aug 12 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is allowed to investigate cases involving money politics in the run up to the Umno election in December.

Abdullah, who is also the Umno president, said however they concerned certain cases which enabled the ACA to take action.

"The Umno headquarters had decided and allowed the ACA to come in and investigate," he told in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday.

He said this when asked to comment on a report that a 'Datuk' who is an Umno division head, and the division secretary in Sabah had been interrogated by the ACA yesterday following allegations that they were involved in money politics.

The duo, who are in their 50's, were said to have offered several Sabah Umno branch leaders RM1, 500 each to secure nominations for the divisional election in October.

He said he had not been informed about the person involved and it was possible that there were certain aspects that required the ACA to come in.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Money politics

Two leaders of the Kota Kinabalu Umno Division were detained by Sabah Anti-Corruption Agency for investigation into money politics during the on-going party's elections.

A member of the division alerted me this in a SMS last night.

Several members of the division are scheduled to call for a Press conference at Restoran Sempalang, Sembulan near Kota Kinabalu today to expose about money politics in the division.

Head of the Umno Jalan Tangki Karamunsing Branch Dr Datu Akjan Datu Ali Mohammad confirmed during the Press conference that two top leaders of the Kota Kinabalu Division were detained by ACA on Monday for involvment in money politics.

Datu Akjan claimed that the leaders allegedly give money between RM200 and RM1,000 to members as 'gift' and to arrange for the election of members from the two leaders'camp

He called on the party's leaders to take action against the two division leaders arrestd by ACA. Datu Akjan said the two leaders should be suspended from the party with immediate effect.


Sabah politician probed over RM40m contracts

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is closing in on a high-ranking Sabah politician for alleged abuse of power, forgery and bribery which allowed him to get three contracts worth about RM40 million in Labuan.

Bernama learnt that the politician had allegedly bribed officers at the Federal Territories Ministry, which gives out tenders, to help his engineering firm get the contracts.

In addition, the 51-year-old man is also suspected to have forged documents relating to contracts to obtain an RM8 million loan from a bank in Kota Kinabalu to settle his debts and make progress payments to sub-contractors hired by him for the three contracts concerned.

Bernama also learnt that Bank Negara and the Sabah Commercial Crime Department had instructed their officers to investigate why the bank in Kota Kinabalu had released RM8 million to the politician without proper documentation.

Sabah ACA director Latifah Mohd Yatim declined to comment.

It is also known that several files belonging to the politician, who holds a high-ranking position in a government agency in Labuan, were seized by ACA investigators recently.

Bernama learnt that the Sabah ACA would record the politician's statement soon and wrap up the case for action.

Meanwhile, an official in a federal agency in Labuan said the Sabah ACA had informed him of the investigation and the agency was looking into the matter.

"They recorded my statement last Saturday and we are ready to help the Sabah ACA in its probe.

"We will bring this matter to our board of directors soon.

"We are not going to compromise on the (politician's) wrongdoing," he said, adding that the agency had not yet decided on the action to be taken against the politician.

Bernama learnt that the politician also had ACA and police reports lodged against him by a Kuala Lumpur-based sub-contractor, who was given a contract to build a RM20.5 million market in Labuan. Eventually, the sub-contractor suffered losses amounting to about RM500,000.

The 28-year-old man, who wanted to be identified as Eric, said he lodged a report against the politician at the Sabah ACA headquarters on July 29 before lodging a police report at the Kamunsing station in Kota Kinabalu the following day.

He said he was awarded the contract to build a market in Labuan and received a letter of acceptance (LA) from the politician's engineering firm early this year.

"However, the LA was incomplete and I asked him for a proper documentation.

"The politician was reluctant to do so, saying that I should trust him as he was a well-known.

"I have all the evidence to prove that the politician had misused his power.

"He asked me to begin the construction without signing any documents and only made an initial payment of RM200,000.

"I trusted him and he promised me that he would pay the balance.

"However, on July 14, he sent me a letter of termination of the RM20.5 million contract without notice," said Eric, adding that the politician had made a new agreement with another party to build the market.

He is thinking of suing the politician.

Monday, 11 August 2008

On SAPP again!!!

While UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok wants Barisan Nasional (BN) not to take action against Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) for its declaration to support vote of no confidence on BN chief/Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a Sabah-based BN member Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is singing a different tune.

LDP wants BN in its next supreme council meeting to take disciplinary action against SAPP over its stated intention to support any no-confidence vote motion against the Prime Minister.

LDP deputy president Datuk Chin Su Phin made this suggestion after the opening of his Api Api Division annual general meeting by Organising Secretary Yong Vui Chung Sunday.

"If no action is taken against SAPP, then other parties may follow suit in the future," he said.

On Dompok's contention that no action was taken against certain Umno leaders for calling the Prime Minister to resign so no action should be taken against SAPP, Chin said supporting no confidence vote and asking the Prime Minister to resign were two different things.

My Say:

Expecting SAPP to reply this evening.

Fake firework Beijing Olympic

Parts of the spectacular Beijing Olympics opening ceremony on Friday were faked because of fears over live filming, it has emerged.

By Richard Spencer in Beijing

Organisers feared it would be too difficult to capture each footprint live so inserted computer graphics for viewers at home and in the Bird's Nest stadium.

As the ceremony got under way with a dramatic, drummed countdown, viewers watching at home and on giant screens inside the Bird's Nest National Stadium watched as a series of giant footprints outlined in fireworks processed gloriously above the city from Tiananmen Square.

What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment.

The fireworks were there for real, outside the stadium. But those responsible for filming the extravaganza decided in advance it would be impossible to capture all 29 footprints from the air.

As a result, only the last, visible from the camera stands inside the Bird's Nest was captured on film.

The trick was revealed in a local Chinese newspaper, the Beijing Times, at the weekend.

Gao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team for the ceremony, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Meticulous efforts were made to ensure the sequence was as unnoticeable as possible: they sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing's smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter.

"Seeing how it worked out, it was still a bit too bright compared to the actual fireworks," he said. "But most of the audience thought it was filmed live - so that was mission accomplished."

He said the main problem with trying to shoot the real thing was the difficulty of placing the television helicopter at the right angle to see all 28 footsteps in a row.

One advisor to the Beijing Olympic Committee (BOCOG) defended the decision to use make-believe to impress the viewer. "It would have been prohibitive to have tried to film it live," he said. "We could not put the helicopter pilot at risk by making him try to follow the firework route."

A spokeswoman for BOCOG said the final decision had been made by Beijing Olympic Broadcasting, the joint venture between the International Olympic Committee and local organisers that is responsible for providing the main "feeds" of all Olympic events to viewers around the world.

"As far as we are concerned, we let off the fireworks - that's what's important to us," she said.

Mr Gao said he was worried that technologically literate viewers who spotted the join might be critical, but comments online suggested more admiration of the result.

Although the event as a whole received rapturous reviews abroad, that has not been entirely the case at home. Some internet comments were hostile, saying that while it looked stunning the contents were vacuous.

Others focused on the sheer numbers of people involved - more than 16,000 performers, mostly from People's Liberation Army song and dance troops.

"That certainly showed China's unique character," said one comment. "Namely, that we have 1.3 billion people."

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Signs of times

Jacky sent to me these interesting pixs which I like to share with my visitors.

Points to ponder

Syed Kechik among those who exploited Native Cert loophole

Kota Kinabalu: Loopholes in the law are among reasons why the Sijil Anak Negeri or Native Certificate (SAN) in the past was abused.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said the law states that if foreigners such as from the Philippines or Brunei have been residing in the State for five years, they could apply for the certificate to state they are natives of this State.

Which explains why former Yayasan Sabah Director Tan Sri Syed Kechik, who is from Peninsular Malaysia, also has a native certificate. Fortunately, this loophole was plugged after the Government stopped the issuance of the SAN in 1982.

The Sijil Anak Negeri certificates previously were issued to genuine bumiputeras to protect their rights such as in land matters.

"There is also provision in the law, the term bumiputera or native in Sabah is defined in at least three statutes," said Malanjum at the District Chiefs and Native Chiefs Conference at Wisma Muis, Thursday.

But unlike the State's counterpart Sarawak, he said the natives there were defined as those who only originated from the State such as the Iban, Bidayuh and Melanau, among others.

He said Sarawak is strict and does not consider Filipinos or Indonesians as natives of Sarawak.

On other developments, he said that the Native Courts could probably clear some of its backlog cases by applying methods used by the Civil Court.

He said normally what the Civil Court does is retrieve files that have not been settled yet and make a master list before setting a date to call for hearing.

If the parties involved in the case failed to respond to the call, the case would be dismissed. "Maybe the Native Courts should take a similar approach," he said.

Meanwhile, Malanjum described the three-day conference as critical since it provides a forum to determine the current position on native laws and customs including their usage and relevance to the present generation of natives.

He said if the conference were to be held annually it could be considered as the Native Law Advisory Council with the main function of giving advice to the authority that manages the affairs of Native Courts.

Such a body, he said existed during the rule of the North Borneo Chartered British Company.

He said it appeared that for the last three years, the rough estimate ratio of cases to that of the native population of Sabah is 4,238:1.2 million or 35 per cent.

"There was a marked increase in cases registered between 2003 and 2005 and then a decline thereafter," he said.

Some districts seem to be receiving more cases than in other districts. The reasons for such trend might be worth examining, he added.

"Is it because of the slow adaptability and applicability by the native laws to the changing economic and social conditions in Sabah thereby generating apathy and loss in confidence in the Native Courts?" he asked.

Or he said it could be due to the thinking that native laws and customs were meant for the past and no longer relevant and necessary today.

"Or is it due to the increasing number of younger natives now preferring to live in town areas? I hope not," he said.

In other countries, Malanjum said interest was growing in the revival and development of indigenous laws.

Citing Canada, he said 'the one thing native people cannot legally do is bargain away their aboriginal rights, treaty rights or reserved land to anyone, other than the Crown in right of Canada'.

He also said that the number of appeals to the Native Court of Appeal is also declining where last year there was only one appeal, which was in Keningau.

He questioned whether it was due to the long delay by the court in disposing the appeals.

Malanjum said if a transformation of the Native Courts is to be seriously considered then the reason or reasons for the downward trend required finding.

"Maybe a working committee can be set up with the main task of examining the present state of the native laws and customs and what changes need to be done," he said.

While some positive steps had been taken by the State Government towards this end, he said the relevant State authorities charged with managing the affairs of the Native Courts could work together with the study committee of the Law Faculty of the Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

Also, he said it is worthwhile to consider placing the management of the affairs of the Native Courts, District and Native Chiefs under one authority.

This is to prevent the issuance of conflicting policies for Native Courts. This news is from HERE

My Say:

The certificate was issued to Syed Kechik by the Kota Kinabalu Native Court. Recents reports also indicated that there were many certificates issued after it was frozen by the government.

Current Kota Kinabalu City Native Court's chief judge OKK William Majimbun had disclosed that quite a number of fake certificate holders came to see him for verification but rejected them as their certificates were not recorded in the court's registry.

Most of the holders of the certificates were from Sarawak who used the certificate to qualify them to buy land belonging to the Native of Sabah.

Friday, 8 August 2008

I forget!!!

Age must be catching me up fast. I did not remember that Aug 7th was my birthday. By that date in 2009, I will be 54 years old. I had no inkling of this day until my children SMS to me wishing `Happy Birthday, Daddy.'

Having attained this far make me more determined to stay `awake' as long as permitted by the Almighty, and of course I will continue on blogging. By the way, when I reached home 10pm last night, I had two half boil eggs before going to bed.

On my birthday last year, my wife. children and friends gave me a `big' party at my house in Kampung Kionsom, Inanam. No regret not having a party this year, like others, I am too, affected by the high costs of living nowadays.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

SAPP's Yong: Why???

Responding to the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's announcement after the BN Supreme Council meeting last night in Kuala Lumpur that BN needs to study in detail the answer given by SAPP before making any decision:

SAPP president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee said:

1. The SAPP 3-paragraph reply to the BN show cause letter was so simple and clear because it was a mere reiteration of SAPP's loss of confidence on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced on June 18 and endorsed by the Supreme Council on June 20.

What is so complicated that the BN needs to study in detail? Surely, the PM was stingy with the truth by saying that they (BN) needs to study the SAPP letter in detail.

2. In fact, we are totally disappointed that the BN leadership has again put off a key decision affecting Sabah just in order for them to finish a by-election campaign (Permatang Puah) first.

It shows that the BN has put their political interests above that of the people in Sabah.

Yong said towards this end, SAPP would forge ahead with greater force and unity in pursuits of the party's struggle for the people based on the party's Declaration of eight points, to fight against the `taxflation' and rapid rise in costs of living which had caused hardship to the people.

Monday, 4 August 2008

I'll Go says Pairin

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who was last week called to step down by the party's divisional head for Kiulu Sinding Ranggangon, said he would step down.

"I do not intend to hold on as PBS president forever. I will go at the right time," he said when opening the PBS Tanjung Aru and Petagas divisions AGM in Kota Kinabalu Sunday.

Pairin also disclosed that Sindin was airing out his frustration because he was not selected as candidate to contest Kiulu in the March 8, 2008 general elections.He said Sindin had been lobbying for Kiulu but incumbent Datuk Louis Rampas was retained to contest and won the seat.

My Say:

I rest my case.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Famous for the wrong reason

Malaysian prostitute gets 15 years for murder in the UK
By : From Zaharah Othman in London

LONDON:Prostitute Noor Azura Mohd Yusoff was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of karaoke club worker Xie Xing Xing, 23, whose head and body had been severed and dumped in different parts of the city.

The sentence was passed down at the Old Bailey by Judge Forrester after an eight-woman and three-man jury found the 22-year-old and her boyfriend Gian Trach Lon, 26, guilty of the offence, committed at a house in South London that the couple shared.

Noor Azura, collapsed in the dock upon hearing the sentence and, crying inconsolably, had to be helped back to her feet.

Gian, a Northern Ireland-born ethnic Vietnamese, was slapped with a heavier 22-year sentence, on account of two past convictions for violent crimes.

He was also given a five-year jail term, which will run concurrently, for perverting the course of justice by disposing of Xie's body.

During sentencing at the end of the 25-day trial, Forrester took into account the fact that Noor Azura had shown remorse when she was arrested, admitting she had slapped and hit Xie and called her death a "mistake".

The judge also took into account her good behaviour and lack of a previous criminal record.

Defence counsel Peter Carter said he was disappointed with the verdict and is expected to appeal it.

The murder occurred on April 17 last year when Noor Azura, who worked as a prostitute in Birmingham, came home from work to find Gian, Xie and another Vietnamese man, Chanh Ngo. Chanh has since fled Britain.

Xie was overdosed on cocaine. It is unclear what exactly transpired in the house, but Xie sustained two stab wounds in the neck and was then decapitated while still alive.

Her hands were cut off and her body parts were then dumped in the South Dock Marina, in Rotherhithe.

Her body, minus its head and hands, was discovered in the Thames on April 19 in a laundry bag from Noor Azura and Gian's residence.

Her head, which was in another garbage bag, was found floating in the same river a few weeks later but her hands were never found.

During the trial, it was suggested that the motive behind the murder could have been jealousy as Noor Azura was known to be very possessive of Gian.

She thought of him as her husband and would end every text message to him with the words, "your lovely wife".

She had previously sent a text message to Xie's friend, Rui Li, demanding to know if Xie was having an affair with Gian and warning Xie to "leave my boyfriend alone, stay away from him".

Noor Azura had also sent Xie a death threat. This story is from HERE.

My Say:

While I was based in London, I covered a UK football match fixing trial in the Birmingham Crown Court. The case of famous goalkeeper Groballer also involved a Malaysian businessman based in London.

Sindin's sour grapes???

Still on the call by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Kiulu division's head Sindin Ranggangon for party's president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to step down.

PBS Vice President Herbert Timbun Lagadan said Sindin was alone on the call for Pairin to step down. He also disclosed that Sindin was angry for not being appointed People Development Leader for Kiulu after a promise for him to contest in the March 8, general election did not materialised.

Timbon said after not being selected to contest, Sindin had also called on several other PBS divisional heads to ditch PBS for the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Timbon, who is Community Development and Consumers Affairs Assistant Minister and Assemblyman for Kadamaian, said Pairin's leadership is still needed and that stepping down was not in his agenda.