Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Another term for Dompok

This story is from HERE
KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok and Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing today retained their posts unopposed, in the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) as president and deputy president, respectively.
The results which were announced after the party’s pre-council meeting here, also saw Arthur Sen and Datin Dr Jaina Sintian become the new youth and wanita chiefs unopposed, from their current positions as deputies.Senator Maijol Mahap, Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, Datuk Wences Angang and Datuk Tan Yong Gee also retained their posts unapposed as vice-presidents.
Datuk Christine Tibok Vanhouten, who did not defend her position as wanita chief, also secured a vice-president’s post unopposed.Earlier, Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh was also nominated for vice-president but he decided not to defend his post by pulling out.
The Upko president is set to announce the appointments for two more posts of vice-president.Dr Marcus, and Donald Mojuntin — who did not defend his youth chief position — are among those rumoured to be appointed.
Upko will hold its delegates conference from Oct 10 to 12.The results for the remaining positions in youth and wanita movements are expected on Oct 10, while those for the remaining supreme council positions are expected on Oct 12.

To All My Visitors - Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Will UPKO do a `SAPP'?

HERE is a story by Newmond Tibin, Sabah BERNAMA's Bureau Chief on UPKO.

KOTA KINABALU, Sun: When Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee announced the party’s decision to leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition on Sept 17, it did not surprise many people as it was expected.
This was because three months earlier, SAPP had given some indication of its intentions. But when United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) yesterday threatened to review its position in Barisan Nasional, it came as a shock; as it was reminiscent of SAPP’s political move.
Upko is the second BN component party in Sabah to make a “strong statement” against BN after SAPP. While SAPP unveiled Sabah-related issues as its political “weapon”, Upko appeared to be unhappy with the way the National Registration Department (NRD) handled the plight of 78-year-old Yong Lee Hua, a Sino-Kadazan, who was issued a red identiy card (IC) with the status of a permanent resident when she went to replace her blue IC that she lost in a supermarket in Penampang last year.

Surprised by the downgrading, Upko deputy president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing was quoted as saying yesterday that taking away the citizenship of a locally-born Bumiputera and forcing the person to take permanent resident status was a shocking display of incompetence from a department rigged with controversies, including dubious ICs issued to illegal immigrants via false Statutory Declarations.
“This action by the NRD infringes the basic rights of Malaysians in Sabah and if it is not rectified, Upko must seriously review its position in Barisan,” said Bumburing, who is member of Parliment for Tuaran.
So will Upko follow SAPP because of its dissatisfaction with the BN? A local political analyst, Iskandar Martin Gayo, believed that Upko may have no plans to pull out of BN for now although the Sabah-based party had been quite vocal of late in airing the grouses and grievances of the people of Sabah.
“I think what Upko wants is for the government to rectify the ’mistake’ of a federal government department and it’s not an ultimatum. There is nothing wrong with it. After all what Upko is fighting for is for the good of the local people in Sabah.
“It’s already an open secret that Sabah is inundated with illegal immigrants and some of them have even managed to acquire the MyKad through dubious means, which ultimately qualifies for citizenship. “How can these people get citizenship so easily when our own people are struggling to get it?” he asked.
He urged the federal government to let Sabahans lead the NRD and Immigration Department in Sabah as they would be more familiar with problems affecting the local population. Iskandar said the state government under Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had been working hard, together with the federal government, to tackle the problem of illegal immigrants.
The issue of illegal immigrants, he said, should not arise anymore as the state and federal governments were serious about solving it once and for all by launching a massive operation to flush out illegals in Sabah recently.
“Recent operations had resulted in thousands of illegal immigrants being sent back to their country of origin. The local people should give the government a chance to complete this gigantic task; all this cannot be accomplished overnight,” he said.
Iskandar hoped the case involving Yong Lee Hua highlighted by Upko was an isolated one and without necessitating it having to think about its position in BN.
He said even Upko president and Penampang MP Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had previously denied that the party would leave BN. Instead, Upko leaders would remain loyal to BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he said. Upko has four MPs — Dompok, Bumburing, Datuk Dr Marcus Majigoh (Putatan) and Datuk Siringan Gubat (Ranau).

UPKO to quit BN too???

Reading comments in the local newspapers from senior leaders of UPKO lately made me conclude that this Sabah-based Barisan Nasional's component member might follow suit Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) led by Datuk Yong Teck Lee to pull out from the national coalition.
UPKO leaders had openly said that the party led by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok will have to review its position in the BN Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The latest is from UPKO Deptuy President Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing, who was commenting on a Sino-Kadazan woman from Penampanag who lost her MyKad and was replaced by the National Registration Department with one that made here just a Permanent Resident.
"What had happened to the 78-year-old Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin was simply outrageous and warrant UPKO seriously reviewing its position in BN," Bumburing the BN member of Parliament for Tamparuli.
Meanwhile, commenting on the same issue, UPKO Secretary-General Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said if the party's objectives were not `heard' by BN then the party could review its position in the coalition.
"UPKO members has the right to decide its position in Barisan Nasional," he said. Tangau is the former MP for Tuaran.
My Say:
Compared to SAPP, UPKO has four Members of Parliament - Dompok (Penampang), Bumbiring (Tuaran), Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (Putatan) and Datuk Saringan Gubat (Ranau). SAPP has two - Datuk Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau).
Yong and Dompok has one thing in common - both were founder members of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and ditched the party to form their own political parties in 1994. SAPP had quit BN on Sept 17, 2008.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Malaysians the top Britain visa abusers

Friday September 26, 2008


LONDON: Malaysia is in the top five countries whose citizens are consistently being denied entry into Britain.

If that is not bad enough, Malaysians are also among the top 10 nationalities who overstay and in the top 20 for overall immigration abuses.

Revealing these statistics, Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamad said most Malaysians who overstayed were from Johor, Perak, Penang and Selangor.

He said Malaysians had been in Britain’s bad books over visa abuses, with about 1,500 of them refused entry last year.

Aziz said Malaysian passports were often abused by nationals from China, Sri Lanka and India to gain illegal entry into Britain.

“And Malaysians are frequently reported as acting as facilitators to arrange for other nationals to enter Britain,” he said when briefing the Malaysian community here on the proposed visa ruling for Malaysians travelling to Britain.
My Say:

While I was in London several years ago, I met Malaysians who had stayed permanently in UK after completing their studies.

There was also one gentleman from Sandakan who made London his home after graduating. When I asked him why he chose to stay on, he told me that he completed his studies in environment on British scholarship.

"My applications for scholarship and loan at home were rejected," he said.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Is this one of them???

This White Rabbit sweet or most commonly known as Gula Susu is still being sold at shops. Looking at the photograph below (from HERE), I notice there is this Gula Susu among them.

SUSPECT PRODUCT: Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai showing one of the food items to be tested.

PUTRAJAYA, Thurs: - Seven out of the 132 products randomly taken off shelves of supermarkets and shops nationwide by the Health Ministry have tested negative of melamine contamination.

Health director-general Tan Sri Ismail Merican revealed this at a press conference this evening in Putrajaya. The products (company brands in brackets) are:

1. Chocolate Coated Wafer (Passion)
2. Oreo White Chocolate Wafer Stick (Kraft)
3. Mini Cornetto Chocomint & Tiramisu Flavour (Wall's)
4. Moo Soft Cookie Sandwich (Wall's)
5. Milk Powder Honey Flavoured (Dutch Lady)
6. Strawberry Flavoured Milk (Dutch Lady)
7. Baby Milk Powder (Frisolac)

The rest of the samples are being tested and test results will be released daily at the Health Ministry's Melamine Watch website.

The public can also call 03 - 8883 3655 and 03 - 8883 3652 (Mon - Fri - 8am to 9pm) or 03 - 8883 3500 and 03 - 8883 3503 (daily from 8am to 5pm, including public holidays) to find out more.

Yesterday, the Health Ministry has took samples of 53 milk-related products produced in China for testing. These included household names including M&M's chocolates, Snickers chocolate bars and the White Rabbit creamy candy, which were among the 53 items tested for melamine contamination yesterday, will know their fate when the test results are released by the Health Ministry at 4pm today. The items, including chocolate, candy, yogurt and biscuits, have been sent to the Chemistry Department for tests on suspicion that they may contain milk tainted by the banned substance, melamine.

The ministry will also start seizing products off shelves if the test results show that they contain dangerous amounts of the substance.

"But, this is no cause for alarm at the moment. We are doing our best to check everything and we hope to get cooperation from the manufacturers, importers and retailers," Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday.

He also said other food products imported from China and suspected of containing melamine had been placed on Level 5 of the six-level Food Safety Information System of Malaysia, which requires that products be detained pending results of sample analysis.

Milk-related products from China have been placed at the Level 6 alert since Sept 13, which means an automatic rejection.

Liow confirmed that there were no dairy products (milk or milk powder) from China sold in Malaysia since last year.

"To sell milk here, you would need a special licence from the Veterinary Services Department. The department has said that none had been given to Chinese companies since last year."

Liow said it was normal for food items to contain a small amount of melamine as a result of using plastic wrappers. A directive from the European Commission said up to 30 parts per million (ppm) of the substance was still safe.

Powdered milk produced by China's largest dairy producer, Sanlu Group, was found to have a melamine content of up to 2,563ppm.

Liow urged doctors who come across kidney disorders suspected to be caused by tainted milk products to report the cases to the ministry.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Musa to consult Prime Minister

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman will be meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah's position as the State Deputy Chief Minister.

Musa said Tan's position was discussed in today's State Cabinet meeting in Kota Kinabalu.

The Chief Minister said Tan, who is also State Infrastructure Development Minister, was present at the meeting. He said the other members of the Cabinet agreed that for now Tan should continue his duties as usual.

Meanwhile, in Tawau the Member of Parliament for Kalabakan Datuk Haji Abdul Ghapur Salleh said Tan should not be allowed to hold on to his government posts now that SAPP was no longer in the Barisan Nasional (BN) fold.

Ghapur said BN could be in trouble if the coalition allowed an independent to hold any position in the government.

He was referring to Tan's statement two days ago in which he likened himself as an independent BN assemblyman and that when he tendered his resignation, Musa told him to continue working instead.

"If such a situation is allowed, I could also calim myself as an independent and hold any position in the government. It shows that everybody could check in and out of BN," Ghapur said.

My Say:

Musa meeting with Abdullah will be another matter that we will have to wait for the outcome.

Chief Minister Musa Aman

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman has something to tell the Press today. He is now chairing the weekly State Cabinet meeting and is scheduled to give a Press conference soon after the meeting end.

It is not exactly known what Musa has to say but given the political scenario in Malaysia, in general and Sabah in particular, he is sure to have comments that will be eagerly being awaited by the people of Sabah.

After the meeting Musa told reporters that the Sabah government employees will receive one month bonus and it will be paid in two instalments, namely before Hari Raya and in December.

“We hope with the bonus payment, we are in the same course as the national leadership and also the 2009 budget which has announced the payment of a month bonus for federal government employees,” he told reporters.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the State Cabinet meeting here, he said the state government would spend about RM32.5 million to pay the bonus to 19,363 state civil servants.

But it was bad news to those working in local authorities like Cty Council, Municipal Council and District Council. They will no bonus for them but the councils have the authority to pay their employees bonus from their own funds.

Race relations cannot be legislated

By Lim Sue Goan
Sin Chew Daily
Publication Date: 24-09-2008 HERE

Other than Umno's power transition plan and Anwar Ibrahim's plan to topple the govenrment, another current hot topic would be to amend or repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), as well as to draw up a Race Relations Act.

The 8 March general elections brought a heavy blow to the turliong party and one of the positive changes is that many politicians and political parties have suddenly become more conscious. They are beginning to firmly opposed undemocratic laws, unlike the Bar Council which has been opposing the ISA alone for over 20 years.

ISA has been in existence since the British colonial era but some politicians only found recently that the act is undemocratic and it violates human rights. Meanwhile, there are still some who do not think there are any problem with the act but only the implementation method should be questioned.

Even more ironically, the government suddenly discovered that there's something amiss with our race relations after 51 years of independence. They are trying to draw up an act to stipulate what should not be said. Would race relations improve just by drawing up a new law?

In fact, the people's thinking and values are more important than an act. Even if an undemocratic act exists, people with modern thinking would not simply use or abuse the act.

Therefore, political leaders and officials at all levels should understand what is meant by universal values, particularly human rights, democracy and the concept of fairness. They must know that all detainees have the right to defence in court and no violence should be involved in any police investigation.

As long as government policy makers and administrators have the idea of fairness, naturally they will be fairer in setting up policies. This can avoid racial suspicion. Fair attitude is much better than a Race Relations Act.

Similarly, if politicians are open-minded and bear in mind that their responsibility is to act fairly, there would be no racial element in their words and deeds. No dispute would be triggered off then.

The Constitution of Malaysia has been amended for several times but most importantly, those who implement the laws should be open-minded in order to correctly and effectively enforce the law.

Inapropriate acts should be amended or repealed while outdated thinking must be corrected. It would be easier to amend inapropriate acts but it is difficult to correct human thought.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Tham: Good Bye SAPP

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party's co-founder and think-tank chief Datuk Tham Nyip Shen (pix) has left the party.

He is the fourth prominent figure in SAPP to leave after the party ditched the Barisan Nasional last week.

Tham, 50, who co-founded the party with current president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, tendered his resignation from the party and as chairman of Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis effective Sept 18.

SAPP had already lost deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan, Youth chief Au Kam Wah and senior vice-president Jimmy Wong.

Tham also resigned as science and technology adviser to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman on the same date.

Before announcing his resignation yesterday, Tham had met with Musa, who is state BN chairman, to thank him for the opportunity to serve at the ministerial-level.

Tham, who was Elopura assemblyman from 1985 to 2004, and served as deputy chief minister from 1998 to 2004, was SAPP's deputy president when it was formed in 1994.

"As a result of recent development in the SAPP, I'm sad to leave the party which I helped found and form," he said, referring to the party's withdrawal from the BN.

"The consequences of the party leaving the BN have also brought me out of the national coalition."

Tham said he would be taking a break from politics but will continue to speak up on issues affecting the state and the people.

He also said that he would not be joining the opposition.

My Say:

My earlier posting on Tham was made from my handphone which unfortunately went `low bat' while I was sending to this blog. This up-date is from HERE

PBS says Deputy Speaker should quit

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)wants Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Vice President Datuk Frankie Chong Yu Chee (pix) to resign as the State Legislative Assembly's Deputy Speaker now than his party is no longer a member of the Barisan Nasional Government.

"He (Chong) is morally obliged to vacate the post," PBS Melalap divisional Secretary Simon Mamat said, adding that Chong's position as Deputy Speaker was no longer relevant since SAPP was no longer part of the national coalition government.

Chong, a former Senator, is the SAPP constituency Liaison Committee's chairman for Melalap in Tenom.

Mamat in a statement said the matter was not about the constitution but more a moral obligation and convention that he (Chong) must vacate the post.

"Chong cannot be amphibious and live in two different sets of environment," he said.

In a statement to the Press in Kota Kinabalu last week, Chong said he would continue to be Deputy Speaker after seeking clarification on his position with the Speaker Datuk Juhar Mahiruddin.

"The Speaker informed me that according to the State Constitution and the law, my position as Deputy Speaker is not affected (by SAPP action to pull out of BN),' Chong said.

Article 15A of the State Constitution says the appointment of a Deputy Speaker is by the Yang Dipertua Negeri.

Chong is one of the two Deputy Speakers of the 60-members State Legislative Assembly, the other being Johnny Mositun of PBS.

Meanwhile, of SAPP Deputy President Datuk Raymond Tan to remain as Deputy Chief Minister and Infrastructure Development Minister, and Chong to keep his Deputy Speaker's post, Sabah DAP's sole Assemblyman Jimmy Wong (Tawau) has this to say: "This is absolutely a big political joke!."

Monday, 22 September 2008

Still on Raymond Tan

Tan sets poser over SAPP membership

Adopted from HERE
KOTA KINABALU, MON: Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah has set a poser over his membership in the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

Asked if he had resigned from SAPP, Tan said: “You have to ask them (SAPP).

Did you ask them whether they are sending a letter to Barisan Nasional (BN) officially, to say SAPP is out of the BN?

“I learnt it from them, that’s how they do it. They declare they are out of BN, so I also declare I’m out of SAPP.”

He spoke to reporters before meeting Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman to discuss his position in the State Cabinet following SAPP’s announced withdrawal from the BN on Sept 17.

Asked if he still considered himself a member of the SAPP, Tan replied: “Consider myself? Myself is not important, I think it is more of how SAPP considers me.”

Tan said that since he had not sent any resignation letter to the party, he was leaving it to the party as to how it wanted to go about the matter.

“I asked them during the supreme council meeting (last week) whether it is right to leave BN by just declaring (through announcement). That’s why you have to ask them. I have declared I am out of SAPP. Is it enough or not enough?” he said.

On another question, Tan said he did receive invitations from other BN component parties and even opposition parties like the DAP to join them, and said he would consider all these options.

However, when asked if he had made contact with them, he said he had met many of the parties’ leaders at functions but not particularly on this issue.

Asked if the members who quit SAPP had decided on a new party, a name and the leadership line-up, Tan said they had not reached that stage yet.

“But I told them that they would have to obtain feedback from the grassroots in my constituency and other areas in Sabah. That will take time.

“Many of the grassroots have asked and voiced the option to set up a new party, but a party which can be well accepted by the BN,” he said.

On Sept 17, SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee announced the party’s decision to pull out of the ruling BN coalition, three months after SAPP declared that it had lost confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Following the decision, Tan, who was SAPP deputy president, declared that he was no longer a member but did not submit his resignation. This was followed by the resignation of hundreds of other members in 15 branches in Tan’s Tanjong Papat state constituency.

The 49-year-old politician was among three senior SAPP leaders who disagreed with the party’s decision to leave the BN coalition. The other two are SAPP youth chief Au Kam Wah, who is also the Elopura state assemblyman, and vice-president Jimmy Wong. The SAPP central leadership yesterday confirmed receiving the resignation letters from the duo.

In the last general election, Tan retained the Tanjong Papat state seat with a majority of 3,926 votes. Tan secured 6,418 votes while his opponent, DAP’s Teo Yan Boon alias Anthony, garnered 2,492 votes.

Raymond Tan stays as Deputy Chief Minister

Tanjong Papat assemblyman Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (Pix) will continue to be Sabah Deputy Chief Minister even though Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) had ditched Barisan Nasional (BN).

The SAPP Deputy President met Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman this morning to submit his resignation but was instead asked to stay on with his post in the Sabah State Cabinet.

It's the Chief Minister's prerogative to keep Tan as one of his three deputies. The other Deputy Chief Ministers are Datuk Haji Yahya Hussin (Umno) and Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (Parti Bersatu Sabah).

Tan had wanted to tender his resignation letter from the Cabinet as SAPP was no longer in BN. SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee had on Sept 17 announced that the party who had been with BN for 14 years was pulling out.

Tan was against SAPP's decision to quit BN but had said he was not resigning from the party that he helped formed in 1994.

Musa had said that SAPP members who was not agreeable to Yong's pulling out of BN are welcome to join any to the BN's component parties or they may form a new political party.

At least for now, Tan will be an BN-Independent Assemblyman. He had not resigned from SAPP but actions between the party and Tan of late showed that he was not wanted in SAPP.

And this had been confirmed by Tan.

On Sept 20 (Sarturday), Tan had said that he had not handed his resignation letter as a member of SAPP.

"I feel that probably the party don't want me. It not for me who don't want the party."

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Sarawak the Land of "Hornbills and Frogs"?

When Dr. James Masing commented that no BN members of parliament from Sarawak would jump over to the Opposition as “political frogs” and described Sarawak as “Bumi Kenyalang” (the land of the hornbills), and not “Bumi Kataks” (the land of the frogs) he was not quite right. In fact Sarawak and Sabah were once the “lands of the frogs”.

PBS government was toppled because some of its elected members leap-frogged to the Barisan. In Sarawak we have several “political frogs” and one of the most unforgettable episodes was after the Ming Court affair. According to a book, The Broken Shield (page 149), seven PBDS’ newly elected assemblymen turned “frogs” when they joined SNAP and PBB, reducing its elected representatives to eight only. Since then, PBDS never recovered its strength. Finally PBDS was deregistered on 21 October 2004 due to leadership crisis, when some of its members turned “frogs” following the demise of the party.

At the time when they leap-frogged, they were considered as “heroes” by the BN leadership and their jumping over was “in the interest of the people”. But to the PBDS supporters, they were “traitors”.

Now is Masing right to say that Sarawak is “Bumi Kenyalang” and not “Bumi Kataks”? To me Sarawak is both “Bumi Kenyalang” and “Bumi Kataks”. Sarawak is indeed a multi-racial State made up of “hornbills and frogs”. After all, the “political frogs” are still alive and they have their descendents.Adopted from HERE

Saturday, 20 September 2008

ACA arrests Sabah ex-army chief

Former Fifth Brigade Commander Breg-Gen Datuk Mumammad Yassin Yahya, a witness in the corruption trial of former Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Ramli Yusoff in the Sessions Court Kota Kinabalu was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Friday.

State ACA director Hajah Latifah Md Yassin said Yassin was held after the trial adjourned at 6pm yesterday.

The arrest was prompted by a report to the ACA by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kevin Morais that Yassin had given false evidence under oath while testifying for the prosecution in Ramli's trial.

Ramli, who was a former police chief for Sabah, is on trial before Judge Supang Lian, that he had allegedly used a police aircraft for aerial surveillance of two pieces of land in Ulu Tungku, Lahad Datu, owned by Kinsajaya Sdn Bhd, of which he had an interest.

He was said to have committed the offence at 7.50am on June 15, 2007 at the Sabah Police Air Unit in Tanjung Aru. At that time he was the Commercial Criminal Investigation Department director in Bukit Aman.

The charge is framed under Section 15(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act which carries imprisonment not exceeding 20 years and a minimum fine of RM20,000 on conviction.

On Thursday (Sept 17), DPP Morais had declared Yassin a hostile witness when he detected in his evidence during examination-in-chief several discrepancies with his statement to the ACA.

DPP Morais applied to the court to cross-examine Yassin which was allowed by the judge. The DPP cross-examined Yassin yesterday where the discrepancies were confirmed.

DPP Morais will continue his examination-in-chief of Yassin on Oct 6, 2008. This report is reported HERE

Friday, 19 September 2008

DAP's J Wong: Now I have friends....

The sole Opposition member in the 60 members Sabah State Legislative Assembly, Jimmy Wong Sze Phin said come the next sitting of the Assembly, he will not be alone in the Opposition benches.

"I am expecting at least four joining me sitting on the front raw of the seats facing across from where the members of the State Cabinet are seated," he told me Friday.

The friends which Wong were referring to are four Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) members of the Assembly, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (Tanjong Papat), Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas), Melanie Chia Chui Ket (Luyang) and Au Kam Wah (Elopura).

The four YBs will no longer be seated in the Government's side as SAPP had pulled out from the Barisan Nasional Government on Sept 17.

"I will no longer be lonely," Wong said.

Wong and the SAPP leaders are actually no strangers to each others. Wong was one of the founder member of the party headed by former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Dompok: The effect is not little

YB Dato Bernard Dompok Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (pix)said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) decision to ditch Barisan Nasional on Sept 17, 2008 was not a `little matter.'

"As far as we (UPKO) are concerned, the effect is not `little', said the UPKO president.

On whether the SAPP's decision would effect affect the national coalition government, Dompok said,"Well I am not going to be arrogant to say that we are not affected at all when any member of our family ditches us."

Whether SAPP is a nuisance to BN, Dompok said." If people follow blindly what big component parties dictate, it is not good, not only for the BN but also for the country."

My Say:

Dompok had been consistence on UPKO's support to SAPP not to be sacked from BN after Yong announced that his two Members of Parliament would support a motion of no confidence to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The UPKO's stand will be interesting in the coming days now that SAPP had voluntarily pulled out from BN.

Look What I found

'Enslaved' children denied civil rights in Malaysia
By Erwida Maulia The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 09/18/2008 10:36AM

It is 11 a.m. and three Indonesian children -- two boys and a girl -- are busily picking up palm oil seeds that have been dropped by their parents during harvest on a plantation in Sabah, Malaysia.

The children on the video were employed with ensuring that no seeds went to waste. One of the two boys, 10-year-old Ramdan, later said he could collect up to six sacks of palm oil seeds in a day, with each sack containing around 50 kilograms.

Each sack is worth 1.3 MYR (38 US cents), he added.

The film continues. Ramdan, dressed in a yellow T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans, squats, his head bent to the ground. Next to him is his bucket, in which he places the seeds.

Nearby, and similarly occupied, are a girl and another boy of a similar age to Ramdan.

That was the footage captured by Sahrizal, an Indonesian teacher recently assigned to Sabah to teach children of Indonesian migrant workers. The children in the video were among his pupils.

Sahrizal was among some 100 people grouped in the Forum of Non-Permanent Teachers in Sabah (FGTTS) who recently reported alleged child exploitation in the Malaysian plantation hub to the National Commission on Child Protection.

FGTTS member Khoerul Wajid said most children had to work all day to collect an average of two or three sacks of seeds and that it was their parents who forced them to do so at the bidding of their employers.

Commission secretary general Arist Merdeka Sirait said in a press conference here Wednesday that a fact-finding team his office had sent to Sabah for three days had beheld a scene of "modern slavery", which was affecting tens of thousands of Indonesian migrant workers and their children.

He said the employers made systematic efforts to keep the workers and their children enslaved.

He said local plantation firms sought to continue to "irresponsibly" employ the migrant workers and to offer them no choice but to live in poor-conditions; cooped up in isolated barracks that were cut off from all means of transportation.

Arist said the efforts included employing a system where the workers were forced to work to pay off bogus debts. The commission referred to the mechanism as "bonded labor".

"They work today to pay off debts from previous days. For example, they try to obtain permission to work there, but that's all they work for. But this debt will never be paid off, and it happens to both legal and illegal migrant workers," he said.

Data from the Indonesian consulate general in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, shows there are 200,000 legal and 134,000 illegal Indonesian migrants working on at least 103 plantations. The number of children is estimated at 72,000, all of whom have not been registered by their parents' employers so that their civil rights, including to education, are denied.
An official at the Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia, who asked not to be named, said the Malaysian authorities and Indonesia's Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu were investigating the case.

The National Commission on Child Protection is urging the Indonesian government to use inter-ministerial diplomatic channels to end the reported slavery and to provide more jobs at home.

They are ditching Yong Teck Lee!!!

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah is expected to tender his resignation letter on Monday, and quit from all posts in the state cabinet.

Tan, who is Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president, said he needed to wait until Monday to meet Musa and hand over his resignation letter. Musa is currently out-station

Tan, who is also State Infrastructure Development Minister, was among the SAPP supreme councillors who disagreed with the party’s loss of confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and decision to leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition yesterday.

He has not decided whether he will leave the party.

However, he said he would consider feedback from grassroot supporters to determine his status in the party.

In another development SAPP vice-president Jimmy Wong and the party’s youth chief Au Kam Wah have both resigned from the party. Both said it was against their conscience to remain the party, which pulled out of the Barisan Nasional coalition yesterday.

Au, who is also Elopura state assemblyman, said he will remain as an independent despite getting offers from BN parties and Opposition.

Wong said he would also let Musa decide his position as a Political Secretary to the Chief Minister.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

SAPP Just A Nuisance, Says Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said it was apt that the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) left the Barisan Nasional (BN) as it was a only a nuisance to the coalition.

"They are only a problem in the party and a nuisance. Let them go, it's okay," he said when met at a breaking of the fast function with Cabinet ministers, menteris besar, chief ministers and deputy ministers at the home of Deputy Prime Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here Wednesday night.

He said this when asked to comment about the decision by the SAPP to pull out of the BN at its Supreme Council meeting in Kota Kinabalu Wednesday.

At a press conference following the meeting, SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee announced that the party no longer wanted to be in the BN and chose to be an independent party.

The decision, however, was not well received by two of its leaders, SAPP deputy president and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan and Au Kam Wah, the state assemblyman for Elopura.

On the same issue, Najib said the decision by the SAPP was no surprise as it had been expected.

SAPP, he said, had actually hoped to be expelled from the BN but now had "jumped the gun".

"This development will not affect the BN in any way and we won't be doing a post-mortem on it," he said.


Raymond Tan to quit as Deputy Chief Minister

SAPP Deputy President Datuk Raymond Tan, who left the Supreme Council meeting after it ended with singing of the party's song said he will relinquish his post as Deputy Chief Minister and spoke on behalf of Au Kam Wah that Au will resign from SAPP.

SAPP Women Leader, Melanie Chia and Luyang Asssemblywoman announced she will tender her resignation as Assistant Finance Minister, while another SAPP Deputy President Datuk Liew Teck Chan, who is Likas Assemblyman, also announced that he will resign as deputy chairman of Sedco with immediate effect.

Assistant Information Chief, Chong Pit Fah, also announced his resignation as the vice chairman of Penampang District Council.

Supreme Councillor, Benny Quek also resigned as PKR of DUN N.16 Luyang. Mr CK Yong, Mr Wong Su Vui and Chong Yit Sin also resigned from their respective Municipal Councillor posts in Tawau.

SAPP: Sayonara Barisan Nasional

Yong and SAPP supreme council members at the Prress conference this afternoon

SAPP Supreme Council declares that SAPP is no longer a member of the Barisan Nasional
Press statement by SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee after the SAPP Supreme Council Meeting at Party HQ, Kota Kinabalu on September 17, 2008 (4:30 pm)

The BN has lost its "BN spirit". It was not that the people who did not want the BN, it was the BN who abandoned the people. In spite of repeated appeals from some BN members to other BN leaders to be more sensitive to the peoples' feelings, these leaders continue to treat the people with contempt. Perhaps, after 50 years of uninterrupted government, some BN leaders have got it in their heads that they have a divine right to rule.

On March 8, the people had spoken out loud and clear. The BN paid a heavy price. But yet the BN refuses to learn. The ruthless increase in fuel prices on June 4 and the failure to tackle inflation and economic slowdown have dealt a severe blow to ordinary people. The recent blatant abuse of the ISA against an innocent journalist, an MP and a blogger only confirms that the BN leadership has not learned from their mistakes. The shameful Taiwan trip by 49 BN MPs and the instigation of racial animosities have aggravated the collapse of confidence among the people and leaders, not only on the PM but the BN as well. The PM's budget 2009 was totally uninspiring and has already been discredited even before it was debated in Parliament. The BN has lost its moral authority to rule. Numerical majority in Parliament means little if the people no longer respect you.

Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim's resignation only confirms what many lawyers already knew that is that the Prime Minister and his government has never had the intention to reform the judiciary. Datuk Zaid's exposure about "the BN government being paralysed by internal strife and divisions" has also been known to many people in the BN. In many other countries, such paralysis of government will lead to fresh general elections.

The PM himself appeared drifting, not knowing what has been happening around him. SAPP has nothing personal against the PM and family. None of the matters raised by SAPP concerns his person, his family, son, daughter, son-in-law or businesses. SAPP is only concerned about the issues affecting the country such as the need for good governance, the dangers of racial polarization and injustice of economic imbalances to be tackled effectively.

SAPP hereby proudly dissociates ourselves from these shameful wrong doings of the BN government. SAPP further believes that the BN is not capable of practicing good governance and non-racial politics; that BN has no intention in granting autonomy to Sabah, returning 20% of oil royalties and Labuan to Sabah, implement Borneonisation, review unfair federal laws and departments in Sabah, solve the illegal immigrants problems and remove social and economic imbalances. The BN leadership even refused to recognize historical facts by denying September 16 as Malaysia Day, 45 years.

SAPP had only wanted to see that the legitimate rights of Sabah and the unfairness suffered by Malaysians in Sabah be given due attention with results. The BN must realize that, if not for Sabah and Sarawak, BN would be in the opposition today. But instead of sincerely working to solve the issues raised by SAPP, the BN has chosen to embark on a course of action to destroy SAPP. The SAPP Supreme Council hereby condemns the attempts of BN operatives to destroy SAPP through divide and rule tactics and by abusing the economic resources of the BN State and Federal Governments aimed at instigating SAPP members and leaders to destroy SAPP.

As a matter of fact, by deliberately excluding SAPP from four consecutive meetings of the Dewan Tertinggi and two meetings of the Management Committee ever since the announcement of no confidence on the Prime Minister on June 18, the BN has effectively terminated the membership of SAPP. The SAPP Supreme Council hereby declares that SAPP is no longer a member of the Barisan Nasional coalition of parties.

SAPP is now free from the BN. SAPP shall henceforth use this freedom to pursue our autonomous political path to fulfill our mission to establish a trustworthy government and a progressive, just and harmonious society. We are no longer subservient to BN. We now have the master key to our own house. We shall build a brighter future for our people and the younger generations to come.

SAPP members who hold political appointments in the executive branch of Government shall relinquish their posts by giving the due notice under the constitution and relevant rules and regulations, starting at the Cabinet level.

With our experienced MPs, ADUNs and other party colleagues, SAPP shall provide quality opposition in and outside the Parliament and State Legislative Assembly until the time comes when SAPP is ready to be back in government.

I call on our members to be brave. Do not despair. Remember that one of our party culture seven values is Resilience. From the day we join the party, we knew that things can get very rough for us. Yes, together we shall overcome this difficult period because the people are with us. With the strong encouragement and support of the people, SAPP will succeed in our struggle.

In view of the current fasting month of Ramadhan, SAPP shall only embark on a series of political activities two weeks after Hari Raya. We shall plan a road map to victory in future elections. We shall elaborate how we plan to achieve the eight-points declaration, namely:

(i) Good governance and non-racial politics,
(ii) Autonomy for Sabah,
(iii) 20% oil royalties,
(iv) Return of Labuan,
(v) Review of unfair laws and detrimental departments,
(vi) Borneonisation of the federal civil service,
(vii) Solution to the illegal immigrants issue, and
(viii) Redress economic and social imbalances.

Issued by SAPP HQ.

Tallest vs shortest

World's smallest man meets woman with longest legs
By Mirror.co.uk
He Pingping and Svetlana Pankratova

The world's shortest man and the woman with the longest legs met face-to-face Sept 16, well, sort of.

He Ping Ping, who stands just 29.37in tall, barely reached up to the knees of leggy Svetlana Pankrtova and her record-breaking 51.96in pins.

The 6ft 7in Russian posed with her little friend standing between her legs for the launch of the latest edition of Guinness World Records Book in Central London.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Sept 16 in history

On his day in 1997, I was bestowed the Ahli Setia Darjah Kinabalu (ASDK), the third highest State Award, from the Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Haji Sakaran Dandai. I was unable to attend the ceremony then at Istana Kota Kinabalu because I was in London.

On this day in 2006, I was back in Kota Kinabalu and was invited to receive the award from Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Haji Ahmadshah Abdullah.

Public Holiday in Sabah

The Yang DiPertua Negeri of Sabah since Sept 16, 1963

Today is Sept 16, 2008 - a Public Holiday in Sabah. It was on this day in 1963 that a new nation was born - the Federation of Malaysia. Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya together formed this nation 45 years ago.

Today is also the official birthday celebrations of the Head of State (Yang Dipertua Negeri). The present Yang DiPertua Negeri is Tun Haji Ahmadshah Abdullah, who was sworn-in on Jan 1, 2003.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Dr Yee seat safe

Dr Yee and PBS officials walking out of the Kota Kinabalu High Court Monday.

The Kota Kinabalu election court today dismissed with costs a petition challenging the election of Sabah Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai as Api Api assemblyman in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Api Api Election Petition judgement today

To be updated...

Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim will deliver judgement for the Api Api election petition at 2.15pm today (Sept 15, 2008).

The petition was filed at the Kota Kinabalu court 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.

The petitioner sought to declare the election's result null and void due to various breaches of the Election Offences Act 1954 and the Elections (Conduct of Election) Regulation 1981.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

SAPP to quit BN???

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee said his party will decide on Wednesday (Sept 17) whether to quit from the Barisan Nasional Government.

The supreme council in the special meeting beginning 2pm will discuss SAPP's status in the national coalition.

"We want to resolve any remaining doubts, on the status of SAPP in BN, whether to leave it to BN or we do it ourselves," Yong told the Press in Kota KInabalu today.

BN had issued a show cause letter to SAPP as to why action should not be taken against the party for supporting a no-confidence motion in Parliament against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister.

My Say:

I chance upon a senior member of the party this evening and when I asked about the special meeting on Wednesday, was told that it will just endorsed a decision which was already made sometimes ago.

The story below is from HERE

Kota Kinabalu, (13 September, 2008) 12:45pm: In a press conference held at the Pacific Sutera Resort, Kota Kinabalu Sabah Progressive Party President Datuk Yong Teck Lee announced that the Supreme Council of the party will meet on the 17 September 2008.

"In view of the latest political development with major consequences, the SAPP Supreme Council shall meet sooner at the party headquarters, Kota Kinabalu on the 17 September 2008, " said Yong.

"The developments in recent day are:

(1) the abuse of ISA against a member of parliament, a journalist and a blogger, and whether this abuse of ISA is the start of Ops Lallang 2.”

(2) The disturbing rise in racial animosity which is really damaging for the national unity, adds Yong,

(3) The infamous Taiwan trip by the BNBBC for 49 MPs that has brought ridicule and disrepute to the institution of the Malaysian Parliament and the image of Malaysia.”

Yong also said, "And the collapse of the confidence among the people and now even among the UMNO and BN leaders in the Prime Minister which vindicate the SAPP’s no confidence move against the PM announced on 18 June 2008."

Meanwhile, SAPP led by President Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee put on a yellow ribbon as a sign of protest against the detention of Sin Chew's journalist Tan Hoon Cheng who was detained under the ISA.

This is to express the party solidarity and support for Tan who was arrested because she wrote a story based on what UMNO Bukit Bendera Division Head Datuk Ahmad Ismail said. Datuk Ahmad Ismail has since been suspended by UMNO for three (3) years for his remarks. (See picture above - also in the pix are MPs Datuk Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Chua Soon Bui (Tawau))

Tan was released hours (approximately 2:30 pm) after Yong's press conference.

Anwar Sends Conflicting Signals

By Noor Hayati Muda

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- For months, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been insisting that his three-party Pakatan Rakyat alliance would unseat the Barisan Nasional (BN) government on Sept 16 through defections.

However, since returning to Parliament after winning the Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 26, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor has been making conflicting statements on the exact date for the "takeover" as Sept 16 draws closer. More HERE

I can't stomach this!!!

Breakfast this morning was a bowl of noodle and a bottle of Kopi Sejuk at my favourite coffee shop in Inanam. But this morning, I did not finish the noodle, no thanks to a news report (below) which I was reading, while having my breakfast, from HERE.

(Click on the text to read)


(Click on the cartoon to view)

My Say:

Sabah's cartoonist Langkawit whose work is published in the Kadazandusun page HERE reminds me of my former colleague LAT's.

Carry on producing cartoons Langkawit.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Kurup seeks stay of execution

Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup today filed an application in the Court of Appeal in Puterajaya, Kuala Lumpur for a stay of execution of a Kota Kinabalu Election Court's decision to declare void his win in Pensiangan in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Kurup, who is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president, said his lawyer had also filed an appeal against the Monday's Election Court judgement declaring his seat in Parliament vacant.

He told the Press in Kota Kinabalu this afternoon that in the event that a by-election had to be held, PBRS Pensiangan is ready to take up the challenge to defend the seat.

Asked about his position as Deputy Minister, the lawyer turned politician said: That you have to ask Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi or Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak."

On Monday, Najib said Kurup was no longer Deputy Minister as a person have to be an MP to hold the post.

My Say:

A by-election should be held in Pensiangan and Kurup should defend the seat to proof that he has the supports of the constituents.

RM50K: Sabah PKR reports to ACA

KOTA KINABALU, THURS (Bernama) - The Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) lodged a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) today over the allegation that each of the Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of Parliament who joined the study trip to Taiwan had received RM50,000.

Party Youth chief Abdul Razak Jamil filed the report at the state ACA office at 3.05pm.

“Although BNBBC (Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club) deputy chairman Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin has denied the allegation, we don’t know the truth, so the ACA should investigate,” he told reporters after lodging the report.

He made the report based on Sarawak People’s Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee’s statement in the local press on Tuesday that the MPs who joined the trip were given RM50,000 each. The two SAPP MPs, Datuk Eric Majimbun and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, did not go on the trip.

The group left for Taiwan on Monday to study agricultural projects there and are scheduled to return home next Wednesday.

No RM50,000 Pocket money says Bung

Chris Maskilone, a senior journalist with a Kota Kinabalu-based daily contacted Barisan Nasional Back Benchers Club deputy chairman Datuk Bung Mokthar Radin (pix) for comments on Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee's claim that MPs who joined the overseas trip were given RM50,000 pocket money.

Bung Mokthar, who is Kinabatangan MP and now in Taiwan has this to say:- "We never offered money to the MPs...we are using our own money."

He said there were 10 MPs from Sabah together with 39 other MPs who left for Taiwan Sunday now on study tour of the island nation.

Bung Mokthar also denied that the trip was purposely arranged in order to prevent BN MPs from crossing over to Pakatan Rakyat and form a new Federal Government on Tuesday - Sept 16, 2008.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

SAPP MPs No to RM50,000

Majimbun (centre) presenting gifts to a Muslim resident in Kampung Wariaan, Inanam. Also in the picture is Likas Assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan (left).

Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament were offered RM50,000 `pocket money' to go on overseas trip but two MPs from Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Datuk Eric Majimbun and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui declined to accept and did not join the trip.

SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said his two MPs prefer to continue working for the benefit of the people than leaving Sabah on an organised vocation organised by the BN leadership.

"They are more happy to get together with the rakyat, including to join them during this Holy Month of Ramadan, " the former Chief Minister said in a leaders-and-people gathering in Kampung Warisan, Inanam near Kota Kinabalu.

Yong was referring to the 49 BN MPs, 10 of them from Sabah, who left for Taiwan on Monday on a study tour of the agriculture technology in the island nation.

Meanwhile, Datuk Bung Mokthar Radin, BN MP for Kinabatangan, who is one of the organiser of the overseas trip had been quoted by local newspapers that MPs who joined the study tour look after their own expenses while abroad.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Inanam seat is safe

Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy chief Daniel John Jambun today withdrew his election petition filed on April, 29 seeking court declaration that Johnny Goh Chin Lok (pix) of Barisan Nasional - Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)win in the Inanam state seat in the March 8, 2008 was null and void.

Hearing of the case in the Kota Kinabalu Election Court began on July 14, this year.

The trial was scheduled to continue today before Judge Datuk Zulkifili Bakar but Jambun's lawyer Datuk Chau Chin Tang informed the court that the petitioner was not proceeding with the case.

Chau told the court that after calling 14 witnesses, the petitioner was unable to served subpoenas to another 19 of his witnesses.

Goh's counsel Peter Jino Allion did not object and the judge fixed Sept 22, this year to hear the application proper for the petitioner to withdraw the petition.

Jambun was seeking declaration that the election result in Inanam was void due to various breaches of the Election Offences Act 1954 and Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981.

He claimed, amongst others, that Goh was involved in the distribution of cash ranging from RM450 to RM700 to parents of poor school children in schools in Inanam during the campaign period.

Jambun wanted the court to declare that the election is null and void due to general bribery and intimidation and/or election not conducted in accordance with election law declare that the 2nd Respondent not duly elected and declare that he committed bribery and illegal practice

Bernard Maraat a wounded tiger - Agundong

Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) Vice President Datuk Kadoh Agundong (Pix) this afternoon issued a statement to the Press in Kota Kinabalu responding to former Pensiangan Member of Parliament Datuk Bernard Maraat's statement in the Daily Express (also in my earlier posting) today.

Maraat, who was a former PBRS Secretary General, had stated that it would be a waste of tax payers money for PBRS President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup to appeal against the Kota Kinabalu Election Court's decision yesterday to declare his (Kurup) win in Pensiangan in the March 8, 2008 general elections null and void.

Agundong is a former Sabah Culture, Youth and Sports Minister during the Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBS) Government. He is best known for defeating then Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh in the April 20-21, 1985 State election in Tenom.

Defeating Harris earned this former teacher and Information Department's field officer the nickname of `Giant Killer'.

Below is the Agundong's Press statement.

Najib says Kurup no longer Deputy Minister

Following the Kota Kinabalu Election Court decision to declare the March 8, 2008 general elections result for Pensiangan parliamentary seat null and void, Deputy Prime Minister said Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (Pix) is no longer Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister.

Speaking to Bernama in Kuala Lumpur, Najib said Kurup is no longer a Deputy Minister as the person holding the post has to be a Member of Parliament.

Najib said kurup can be reappointed to the post if he is re-elected.

"Barisan Nasional will appeal against the decision and at the same time, prepare for a by-election," Najib said.

Appeal will waste Tax payers' money

Former Pensiangan MP Bernard S Maraat said appealing against the court decision would be a waste of public funds.

"Kurup should just accept the court's decision with an open heart and allow due process to take place," he said.

Maraat said if a by-erlection were to be held, he would be returning to win the MP seat following popular demand from the grassroots.

Maraat was Kurup's Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) secretary-general until the March 8, 2008 general elections. He quit after Kurup dropped him from defending Pensiangan. Kurup won the seat uncontested. The rest for now is history.

Just last week, Maraat joined Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and was elected the party divisional chairman for Liawan.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Up to PM says Kurup

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 8 (Bernama) -- Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said Monday he would leave it to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to decide on his post as a deputy minister.

This follows a Kota Kinabalu High Court decision to declare his victory in the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the last general election null and void.

Kurup said he did not expect the verdict to favour the petitioner, Danny Anthony Andipai of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, and said that he had instructed his lawyer to apply for a stay of execution of the court's decision and file for an appeal.

The rural and regional development deputy minister said if the appeal still favoured the petitioner, then the Barisan Nasional would make preparation to face a by-election.

"I'm confident that with close cooperation among the BN component parties, we will be able to defend Pensiangan," he told Bernama.

Andipai will be the choice

Andipai (right) and Ansari (left) with party's supporters after the court adjourned this morning.

Sabah head of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Haji Ansari Abdullah said Danny Anthony Andipai will be Sabah's choice to contest should a by-election is held for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat.

"We (PKR) are happy, at last justice is done to us," Ansari told reporters after the Kota Kinabalu Election Court declared that Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's win uncontested in Pensiangan during the March 8, 2008 general elections was null and void.

Kurup, who is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president, was not in court when Judge David Wong Dak Wah delivered his judgement.

Kurup's win null and void

This up-date is from HERE

KOTA KINABALU, Mon - The High Court here today declared null and void the election of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup as the unopposed winner of the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the March 8 general election.

In delivering the landmark judgment, Justice David Wong Dak Wah ruled that the wrongful rejection of the nomination papers of the petitioner, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Danny Anthony Andipai, had breached the petitioner’s constitutional right to take part in the election and the written law relating to the conduct of the election.

In his 36-page judgment, Wong said the decision of the deputy director of the Sabah Election Commission to accept Andipai’s nomination papers was final and could not be overruled by the returning officer, Bubudan OT Majalu, under the pretext that there was an objection during the objection period.

The deputy director was exercising a power provided for by law in making the decision, said the judge who also ruled that Bubudan’s decision to uphold the objection was a wrong decision.

“I find certain aspects of the second repondent’s (Bubudan’s) conduct troubling and when taken in its totality, I can only conclude that the decision made was definitely not one which a reasonable tribunal would come to,” he said.

He made the observation when allowing Andipai’s petition to nullify the election result of the Pensiangan seat which Kurup won unopposed on nomination day on Feb 24.
Andipai had named Kurup and Bubudan as respondents. The judgement was to have been delivered on Sept 17 but was brought forward today.

Outlining what happened on nomination day, Wong said Andipai arrived at the nomination centre at the Nabawan District Council Hall at about 9.35am to file his nomination papers for the seat.

After paying the deposit of RM15,000 he waited his turn but when he tried to submit his nomination papers, Bubudan refused to accept them on the ground that he was late in submitting them.

Andipai argued that it was not his fault but that of Bubudan and his staff and having failed to convince Bubudan, he said that he would be lodging a police report.

However, while the discussion was going on, one of the assistant returning officers, Osman Aganduk, sought the advice of the state election commission which gave the directive to accept the nomination papers.

Wong said the directive, which came from the deputy director of the Election Commission of Sabah, was relayed to Bubudan who then accepted Andipai’s nomination papers which were endorsed with the acceptance time of 10.25am.

Objections closed at 11am and at about 1.25pm, Bubudan announced that Kurup was returned unopposed and declared him duly elected on the ground that the nomination papers of Andipai and an independent candidate, Saineh Usau, were delivered after 10am.

, Kurup can file an appeal against the Election Court's decision in the Federal Court. Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said this was allowed for under the law.

"According to the Election Offences Act 1954, he can file an appeal within 14 days from the day the judgement is passed.

"The Federal Court has six months to dispose the case. Until then, it is too early to say whether there will be a by-election for Pensiangan parliamentary seat," he said when contacted by Bernama.

Kurup lost his MP seat

Andipai shaking hands with his lawyer Haji Ansari Abdullah after the court proceeding in Kota Kinabalu today.

Breaking news…

Update 1
Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee sms me that obviously a by-election would be held soon.

To be updated

Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup lost his Pensiangan MP seat today when his win uncontested in the March 8, 2008 general elections was declared null and void by the Election Court in Kota Kinabalu few minutes ago.

Kurup, who is Party Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president, was not in court when Judge David Wong Dak Wah delivered his judgement in a packed courtroom. The petitioner Danny Anthony Andipai is a happy man and so is PKR.

The petition was filed on April 9, 2008 by Andipai, the Pensiangan PKR divisional chief, whose candidacy for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat was rejected by Returning Officer Bubudan OT Majalu on nomination day Feb 24, 2008.

After rejecting Andipai’s papers, Bubudan declared Kurup of having won Pensiangan uncontested.

Andipai was seeking court declaration that Kurup’s win was null and void. He claimed that Bubudan had planned to make available only on counter for delivery of nomination papers by candidates contesting in Pensiangan and the state seats of Nabawan and Sook.

He claimed that the plan was to prevent the timely delivery of nomination papers of other candidates to enable Kurup to be returned unopposed in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Andipai was represented by a team of lawyers - Datuk Chau Chin Tang and Haji Ansari Abdullah while Kurup’s lawyers were Alex Deccena, Hajah Mariati Robert, Wilson Lai Wai Shing.

Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan and Chandra Devi appeared for Bubudan.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Majimbun: Count me out

Sepanggar Member of Parliament Datuk Eric Majimbun is not joining the other Barisan Nasional MPs for their `study tour' overseas.

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president said he had to be with the people in his constituency, particularly the Muslim constituents during this Holy Month of Ramadan.

"It had been a tradition for SAPP leaders to visit Muslims in their respective ares during the fasting month," the former Kota Kinabalu City Native Court judge said Sunday.

The MPs overseas's trip is seen by the oppostion party as a mean to keep the elected representatives from being `courted' by Permatang Pauh's MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to join him to enable him to topple Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi BN's Government and become Prime Minister on Sep 16, 2008.

The BN MPs are expected to come back home on Sept 19.

Pensiangan's Kurup judgement Monday Sept 8

Kota Kinabalu Election Court Judge David Wong Dak Wah, who had earlier fixed Sept 17, this year to deliver judgement on the election petition by Pensiangan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) division chief Danny Anthony Andipai, will be delivering it tomorrow (Sept 8) at 10am.

Andipai, whose candadicy was rejected on the Feb 24, 2008 nomination day, filed the petition on April 9, 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.

Kurup, a former Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, won the seat uncontested.

Wow! Suddenly, Sarawak and Sabah become so important

By Paul Sir in Kuching

I WONDER when was the last time the people of Sarawak and Sabah feel so good in being part of Malaysia as these past few months.

Soon after the March 8 general election, the two East Malaysian states, often deemed by Sabahans and Sarawakians as the forgotten ‘old maids’ in Malaysia, suddenly became so important to the centre.

It is as if, out of the blue, the master is making every effort to return to his first wife whom he had neglected for years in favour of a younger mistress, as the tale goes. He knows that there are now better things at home; so he starts to shower his old wife with renewed love and affection to woo her back.

The case is clear: He needs her more than she needs him.

To put it bluntly, Malaya needs Sarawak and Sabah more (now than ever before) than Sarawak and Sabah need the peninsula.

In a way, I enjoy the way Kuala Lumpur has gone about in courting Sarawak and Sabah. The Barisan Nasional government and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat in Malaya — oh, how much they want to woo East Malaysians now.

The prime minister and his deputy had visited Sabah and Sarawak several times since the March polls, each time delivering goodies and leaving with promises of more deliveries. Oppositionist Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also made similar visits, each time promising better days ahead and each time, leaving his charismatic stamp behind for new Anwarista recruits to savour.

Of course, it is the numbers they want, stupid! What, do you think they consider Sarawak and Sabah so important if we have nothing to offer them? Between the two states, there are 54 seats in parliament — now that’s big deal, man!

Every time the East Malaysian pendulum swings, the guys at the centre will sit up and watch. And right now, the whole nation is looking at September 16.

Will it or will it not happen on September 16?

For the information of the naive minority, September 16 is the day touted by Anwar that the BN government of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will fall and the Pakatan Rakyat coalition which he leads will form the new federal government.

I have written in this column previously that I doubt it could happen. Today is September 6. D-Day is just 10 days away. While it has been said that ‘a week is a long time in politics’, I remain the unbeliever as I write this.

Yah, I know that ‘politics is also the art of the possible’ but the realist in me happens to get the better of me this time around.

Let me put it this cynical way. If there is a new government by September 16, so be it. Or if the same one is still in power on Sept 16, so be it too!

Oh yes, there are talks that a new Pakatan Rakyat federal government will have a Chinese and an Indian as deputy prime minister. That a Kadazandusun will be chief minister of Sabah and a Dayak will helm the Sarawak government.

Then again, the cynic in me will ask what difference does it make if corrupt Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Dayaks were to be chosen as leaders in the new government? If that is the case, I better retreat into my own fantasy island in Talang Talang where I can find peace of mind in watching the turtles hatching — and no politics.

I do find something disturbing too in the run-up to Sept 16. A cousin of mine rang me from Kuching this week asking whether everything will be okay on September 16. He was worried there would be riots and disturbances. I am actually concerned that there are people in the ‘peaceful and tranquil’ East Malaysian states who are anxious about violence taking place as a result of political upheaval in the country. I thought May 13 only happened in Malaya, not in Sabah or Sarawak.

But let’s take consolation from the notes of one reader that “no concerned Malaysian observes current events without some reminder of May 13, and all the more reason they should not be afraid because to capitulate to the threats of the unprincipled would be to enslave oneself all over again. Anyway this is 2008 and conditions were different then. Today, the conflict is not between races where the battle lines are drawn along ethnic divides but purely political.”

I hope my dear cousin Robert who resides in quiet and peaceful Serian now will stop worrying about his imaginary riots and chaos in the aftermath of September 16. Somehow, I’m still a believer of old-fashioned, orderly power transitions in this country and I doubt anything untoward will unfold on Sept 16. I like to reassure Robert and all that I do really trust this sixth sense of mine on this matter. Ahem!

On a brighter note about September 16, I was very glad to receive a SMS from Diana Ningkan this week. She told me that as September 16 approaches, memories of her late father (Sarawak’s first chief minister Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan) started flowing back and she remembers her dad with so much love and pride.

Diana also mentioned how proud she and her Mum (Puan Sri Rosalind Ningkan) were to see portraits of dad on Kuching streets as Sarawak prepares to celebrate its 46th Independence Day on September 16. I share the joys and happiness of the Ningkan family, whom I’m proud to call my friends, on this auspicious day and moment which their patriarch had made possible.

Finally, on the talks about replacing August 31 with September 16 as Malaysia Day, I really have no preference because everyday can be my birthday as long as I’m happy. I do not have to wait for a particular day to be happy.

However, it’s also important that we get on the right side of history. Malaysia was established on September 16, 1963 while Malaya obtained her independence from Britain on August 31, 1957. So let’s get that one correct!

Meanwhile, Sarawakians and Sabahans can continue to bask in the attention given by the centre.

(Comments can reach the writer at paulsir99@hotmail.com)

Prime Minister Anwar on Sept 16????

By Mohd Nasir Yusoff

JAKARTA, Sept 7 (Bernama) -- Malaysian parliamentary opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who brought his aspiration to form the next

government on Sept 16 to the attention of the Indonesian media, failed to state who and how many Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs would cross over to the opposition.

Anwar claimed that he had to bring the matter to the Indonesian media because the Malaysian media had been writing lies on what he said.

"I will only name them at the right time. That is the understanding...agreement with my friends (the BN MPs concerned)," he said.

Although he was repeatedly asked by the local and foreign journalists who were covering his meeting with the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI), he declined to reveal who and how many BN MPs had confirmed that they would cross over to his side.

He said he decided to meet up with ICMI because he regarded such an association as important, just like in Malaysia.

Anwar who was adamant that his dream of forming the next Malaysian government would materialise on Sept 16, claimed that he faced no problem in achieving this.

Stating that the media in Malaysia was not free and only carried news from the BN government's point of view, Anwar assured the Indonesian and foreign media that the cross-over would definitely happen on Sept 16 although it was reported otherwise in Malaysia.

On the planned overseas trip for BN MPs until Sept 16, he said: "I will have to deal with this when I get back to KL this evening."

He also claimed that he had received positive feedback from the BN MPs in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as from Peninsular Malaysia.

Sept 16

Joseph Tawi

Are we celebrating 45 years of the formation of Malaysia or 51 years of Malaya’s independence?

Malaya obtained her independence from Britain on 31 August 1957 that is 51 years to this day. Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya and Singapore (Singapore left the Federation in August 1965) jointly formed the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 as equal partners and on equal footing. However, Sarawak and Sabah have been relegated to a state equivalent to Perlis or Melaka which are smaller compared to some of the divisions in Sarawak.

In fact if Sarawak were smart enough it should have negotiated for at least, at that time, five “states” comprising the five divisions. One of the divisions headed by a resident should have been headed by a governor. Had this been the case, there would have been at least 17 States in the federation of Malaysia.

Two incidents have helped change the partnerships – one was the proclamation of state of emergency in Sarawak by Parliament when the State Constitution was amended to enable the governor to dismiss Stephen Kalong Ningkan as chief minister in 1966. And the other incident was the May 13 1969 racial riots.

Never mind about all this part of our history as nothing we can do about it. But what I would like to ask here is: why are we celebrating the 31 August as Merdeka Day and not 16 September as Malaysia Day? To us in Sarawak, and for that matter the Sabahans, 16 September has greater historical significance as it was the day we were liberated from the yoke of colonialism when we formed the federation of Malaysia. Celebrating it also means we are honouring the memories of our forefathers and the security forces whose efforts, sacrifices and loyalty in the fight against “Indonesian confrontation” and communist terrorism and as a result of their sacrifices we are today enjoying the peace, prosperity and unity.

Especially, I would like to highlight the sacrifices and dedication of our leaders such as Temenggong Jugah, Pengarah Montegrai, Tun Abang Haji Openg, Yao Cheng Hoe, Ling Beng Siew, James Wong and Remigius Durin anak Nganau who negotiated our terms and conditions of our entry into the federation of Malaysia.

I feel that the least the State government should do is to declare 16 September a public holiday rather than observing the nearest Saturday to 16 September as the birthday of Yang Dipertua Negeri. I do not mean to be disrespectful to the Yang Dipertua Negeri.

By the way, all the five States under Pakatan Rakyat have agreed to declare 16 September as a public day to celebrate Malaysia Day. Bernard Dompok, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and some Sabah State ministers have also voiced similar sentiments.

So far none of the Sarawak leaders has expressed anything to the effect, even though the State acknowledges in its Almanac that 16 September is “Hari Malaysia” with the words printed in small print.

It is really sad.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Two or three Sarawak BN MPs `to jump'

KUCHING: “Two or three” Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs from Sarawak will cross over to Pakatan Rakyat (PR), claimed state PKR advisor Wan Zainal Abidin Wan Senusi, a Sarawak daily reporterd yesterday.

“I cannot mention names because we do not want what has happened to happen again,” he said, claiming that a BN MP had a change of heart after his name was made public earlier this year.

Zainal said most of the MPs from among the ‘over 40’ who had agreed to make the jump come Sept 16 were from Sabah.On Wednesday the state PKR held a press conference, claiming ‘over 40’ BN MPs would jump ship.

And a press statement it issued yesterday, maintained the number at ‘more than 40’.

The statement, signed by Wan Zainal, read: “More than 40 BN MPs are likely to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat on or before the Merdeka Day on 16 September 2008. This will set a new chapter in the history of Malaysian politics.”

PKR state liaison chief Dominique Ng was also tight-lipped about who the 40 MPs are and how many of them are from Sarawak.

“I am not at a liberty to reveal the number. KL (national PR leaders) will do so when the time is right,” he said when contacted.

State BN leaders have dismissed the claim as false and that it would destabilise the country.

For the last few months PR and PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was claiming that he would take over government from the BN.

The claims of massive crossover became louder when on Aug 26 2008, Anwar succeeded to win the Permatang Pauh (in Penang) by-election with a convincing majority.

Sept 16, 2008 has been bandied around by his supporters to be the deadline of the massive crossover.

After the March 8 general election, the BN MPs were at 140 as against PR’s 82.

Out of the 140 BN MPs, 30 are from Sarawak while 24 are from Sabah.

PR would need at least 31 BN MPs to cross over in order to form a government with a very simple majority.

“The move is significant as a show of disillusionment towards the weak and fragile government administration under Prime Minister (Datuk Seri) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” the statement claimed.

Zainal also claimed that he was perplexed as to why BN leaders seemed to view the intending crossover of their MPs to PR as something immoral when opposition-to-BN cross-overs had happened in Sarawak and Sabah before.

“In as far as I can remember the crossing over of elected representatives either individually or by party, is nothing new. We have seen that in Sabah, PBS under (Datuk Seri) Joseph Pairin Kitingan crossed over from BN to join the opposition pact in 1990 and subsequently some years later PBS rejoined BN.

“In Sarawak after a snap state election was called, following the infamous Ming Court incident in 1987, a number of crossing overs by opposition state assemblymen to BN did take place.

“Gramong Juna and Michael Ben from PBDS, a (component) member of the Maju Group, crossed over to PBB-BN.

“Two assemblymen from Permas, another member of the Maju Group, namely Hilary Tawan and Bolhassan Kambar, walked over to PBB-BN.

“Subsequently, PBDS as a party also crossed over to BN to form the BN plus government in Sarawak,” Zainal said.

“The BN leaders then welcomed the crossing-overs with much cheers and gratitude. It was then their turn to take advantage of the crossing overs,” he added.

When contacted for his comment on the same issue, Parliament Deputy Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the crossovers in the 1980s and 1990s were not the same as the bandied sudden change of federal government which would destabilise the country.

He said a political scenario where MPs jumped ship just to form the central government would be illogical in Malaysia because its citizens had ‘first class mentality’ and thus they could see such act as being ‘undemocratic and unprincipled’.

Junaidi, who is Santubong MP, cited Germany as having citizens with first class mentality.

He said the German federal government only governed with a very simple majority like ‘three or four more members’ but its chancellor and government did not experience threats of crossovers.

“German MPs know that crossing over is undemocratic and unprincipled,” he said.

More cracks in SAPP expected

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan has been removed as its Sandakan zone and Tanjung Papat Constituency Liaison committee (CLC) chairman, suggesting deepening differences with party president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.

It is learnt the decision to strip Tan of his CLC chairmanship was made at the party's central working committee meeting on Aug 30.

The Tanjung Papat new CLC chairman is Poon Kee Yang, who also heads the Karamunting CLC.

SAPP secretary-general Datuk Richard Yong confirmed Tan's removal.

Tan, who is one of Sabah's three deputy chief ministers, was among several SAPP leaders who were against the move to support a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Tan, who is Tanjung Papat assemblyman, said he would wait for an official announcement before making any comments.

"In any case, the appointments of CLC and zone chairman are the prerogative of the party president," he said, adding that he would remain as the party's deputy president because he was elected to the post.

It also appears that cracks have emerged in the party with vice-president and Kawang CLC chairman Norbert Chin resigning from the two posts, and several other senior party officials said to be on the verge of quitting.

Chin's place had been taken over by Juil Insing.

Norbert tendered his resignation in July, saying he wanted to concentrate in his legal practice.

Friday, 5 September 2008

SAPP VP quits

One of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)eight Vice Presidents Norbert Chin today confirmed that he had resigned from all posts in the party led by Ex-Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee.

Chin said his resignation had been accepted and ceased to be a member of the party's supreme council effective Aug 30, 2008. He said he resigned to concentrate on his legal practise.

The other VPs are Datuk Frankia Chong,Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, Au Kam Wah, Melania Chia, Datuk Rashid Gador, Shim Paw Fatt, Jimmy Wong and Don Chin.

Chin's resignation seemed to confirm that SAPP is facing a split with more to follow suit.

This `mass resignation' of party's leaders had to do with Yong's decision to call for no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

My Say:

What's next of this party?