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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Storm brings down tent at Kedah BN manifesto launch (VIDEO)

Storm brings down tent at Kedah BN manifesto launch

Three people were injured after a tent blew down in a heavy downpour after the Kedah BN manifesto launch at Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim Shah, Friday. -Star


KUALA LUMPUR – Ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) is seeking to regain the two-thirds majority in Dewan Rakyat which has eluded them since 2008, while at the same time trying to capture the popular vote that was lost for the first time in 2013.
All eyes will be on its component party leaders in the 14th general election as BN hopes to continue governing the country since its formation in 1973.
BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak has yet to announce where they will contest, but here is a quick look on some seats that some of them will be defending:
1. Umno
President: Datuk Seri Najib Razak — Pekan, Pahang
Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to defend his seat in Pekan, Pahang. The son of former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak, Najib has been an incumbent there since 1976.
The only time he nearly lost his seat was during the Reformasi movement of 1999 where he marginally won against PAS candidate Ramli Mohamed with just 241 votes.
Deputy president: Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi — Bagan Datuk, Perak
Zahid’s popularity in his constituency seemed to fluctuate from raking in 12,539 to 14,830-majority votes in 1995 and 2004 respectively, and to slim majorities such as the last election where he won his seat by 2,108 votes against PKR challenger Madhi Hassan.
Pakatan Harapan has yet to announce its candidate there, but the caretaker home minister will be facing the so-called colourful man dubbed “Raja Bomoh”, Abdullah Mat Zin, as an independent candidate.
Vice-president: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein — Sembrong, Johor
The son of the third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn is also expected to defend his traditional seat, where he has successfully taken down all challengers with more than 10,000 majority each election in the constituency that was founded in 2004.
2. MCA
President: Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai — Bentong, Pahang
The caretaker transport minister is expected to go all out for the Bentong seat, that he won by a razor-thin majority of only 379 votes against DAP challenger Wong Tack.
Lately, in order to regain lost grounds among his voter population, Liow has been campaigning that Bentong will be one of Kuala Lumpur Vision Valley’s satelite cities, focusing on tourism.
Deputy president: Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong — Ayer Hitam, Johor
Despite winning by 7,310 votes in 2013, his majority was actually halved when compared to the numbers in 2004 and 2008.
This time around, he might have a tougher battle to fight as the party’s traditional nemesis, the DAP, has plans to besiege and crack open BN’s stronghold state.
3. MIC
President: Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam — Segamat, Johor
Dr Subramaniam will be facing a three-cornered fight this time around against PAS candidate Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil and a yet-to-be-announced PKR candidate.
Although the last election saw the caretaker health minister taking the seat against PKR’s Chua Jui Meng with a slim majority of 1,217 votes, a multi-cornered fight will traditionally benefit the ruling coalition.
4. Gerakan
President: Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong — Teluk Intan, Perak
In the 2014 Teluk Intan by-election, Mah managed to narrowly defeat DAP’s upstart Dyana Sofya Md Daud with a 238-vote margin.
Mah announced this year his intention to defend the seat, which he has held since 1999. However, his challenge comes in the form of Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming, who won Taiping in 2008 and has kept it since.
5. myPPP
President: Tan Sri M. Kayveas — Cameron Highlands, Pahang?
Kayveas and his party have been lobbying to run for the Pahang seat, claiming its party has been working with constituents for the last four years instead of MIC.
He sat out the 2013 polls, and the last time he contested in 2008, he was trounced by Nga in Taiping with a whopping 11,298 majority.
6. Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)
President: Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan — Keningau, Sabah
Pairin has announced he will be hanging up his boots as president and will not seek re-election in the seat that he had first contested in in 1986, when PBS was still an opposition party.
However, his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said earlier this month that BN may need Pairin to defend the seat.
7. United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko)
President: Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau — Tuaran, Sabah
Although it has not been announced yet, Wilfred is expected to be defending his seat in Tuaran that he won with a 5,190-vote majority.
8. Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah
President: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup — Pensiangan, Sabah
Kurup is expected to defend his seat, but it has also been speculated that he may make way there for his son, who is also the party’s deputy president Arthur Kurup.
9. Liberal Democratic Party
President: Teo Chee Kang — Tanjong Kapar, Sabah (state)
Teo won the state seat of Tanjong Kapar in 2013 and is expected to defend it.
10. Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP)
President: Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing — Bintulu, Sarawak
Tiong is expected to defend his seat in Bintulu which he has held since 1999.
Others: Presidents for other Sarawak-based BN parties such as Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) currently hold state seats there, and will not be contesting as Sarawak held its state elections in 2016.
– https://www.malaymail.com

Bajau people are born to dive, study shows

A bigger spleen gives them an extraordinary ability to hold their breaths and make deep-sea dives.
A study says the Bajau mutated to have a ‘biological scuba tank’ which gives them oxygen. (Facebook pic)
PETALING JAYA: The Bajau people of South-East Asia, known for their diving skills, have evolved over time to literally become a people born to dive, according to a scientific report.
A study published in the journal Cell said the Bajau had a spleen that was 50% larger than the related Saluan people.
“This suggests that it is Bajau lineage, rather than the actual activity of diving, which is responsible for a larger spleen,” the study said.
The spleen acts as a biological “scuba tank” during long dives, and a larger spleen makes more oxygen available in their blood for diving.
The Bajau are known for an extraordinary ability to hold their breath.
Melissa Ilardo, of the University of Copenhagen, the first author of the study, told the BBC: “It’s not clear how long the Bajau have had this lifestyle, or when exactly the adaptation arose given the genetic data that we have now.”
However, the data showed that the Bajau diverged from the non-diving Saluan around 15,000 years ago.
According to the Economist, DNA analysis also showed a mutation of a gene allowing oxygen to be preferentially sent to oxygen-hungry vital organs.
Another mutation was found to slow down carbon dioxide build-up in the blood stream, a phenomenon associated with extreme diving, and changes in genes associated with muscle contractions around the spleen and responses to low oxygen levels.
The Bajau people live across the southern Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia and, according to rough estimates, number about one million people.
They have been traditionally nomadic and seafaring, and survive by collecting shellfish from the sea floor.
Dr Ilardo said: “When they’re diving in the traditional way, they dive repeatedly for about eight hours a day, spending about 60% of their time underwater. So this could be anything from 30 seconds to several minutes, but they’re diving to depths of over 70m.”
These dives are performed only with a wooden mask or goggles and a weight belt, it said
Dr Ilardo took a portable ultrasound machine to an area of Indonesia where the Bajau live to stuy their spleens. The research team also comparied the genomes (the total complement of DNA in the nuclei of human cells) of the Bajau, the Saluan and Han Chinese. -FMT

DoJ doesn’t have strong case, says 1MDB’s Arul Kanda

Two years after 'sensationalised press conference' on asset recovery, the suits have yet to be heard.
The superyacht Equanimity, allegedly linked to Jho Low, was named in the DoJ asset forfeiture suit. (Reuters pic)
HULU SELANGOR: The delay in the civil lawsuit trial against 1MDB by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) shows that the DoJ does not have a strong case against the company, said 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
He said the asset forfeiture suit had yet to be heard since the DoJ held a “sensationalised press conference” in July 2016, and in March this year asked for a six-month extension period that will end in September.
“It is weird. If the DoJ has a strong case, why is there still no trial after two years?
“To me, justice delayed is justice denied. If there is indeed a strong and legitimate case, then let it be heard,” he told reporters after a talk on issues surrounding 1MDB here last night.
The DoJ has alleged that about US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, the government’s strategic investment fund, from 2009 to 2015.
Arul Kanda said 1MDB, as a company, would assist if it was asked and legal action must be taken under the law if there is indeed any wrongdoing.

“And we all want to have a clear picture and understanding on this,” he said, adding that 1MDB is not a party to the DoJ lawsuit.
On a related matter, Arul Kanda said 1MDB is currently in good faith negotiations with the International Petroleum Investment Company to for the return of a US$3.5 billion (RM13.6 billion) security deposit made to Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (BVI).
He said that 1MDB’s claim was against Aabar BVI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aabar Investment PJS, a company that is fully-owned by IPIC.
“What they (Aabar BVI) has done with the money is not in our knowledge and responsibility, that’s not our company.
“If indeed the DoJ allegation is correct, that Aabar BVI paid that money to purchase properties and others, we cannot claim those assets. Our claim is against Aabar BVI (not the assets),” he said.
In late February, Indonesian authorities in Bali seized the luxury superyacht Equanimity, linked to Low Taek Jho (“Jho Low”) at the request of the DoJ as part of its asset forfeiture suit investigation.
The DoJ claimed that the superyacht was bought using funds siphoned from 1MDB.
However an Indonesian court has ruled that the seizure was illegally conducted and ordered that the yacht be returned to its owner.
The Public Accounts Committee Report on 1MDB stated that the company declared it had paid a total of US$3.51 billion to Aabar BVI in the form of security deposits and payment for the termination of options. -FMT

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rosmah graciously accepts Nurul Izzah's apology, says aide

Rosmah Mansor has accepted the apology offered by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, whom she had accused of being “disrespectful,” according to the aide of the caretaker prime minister’s wife.
Taking to Facebook, Rizal Mansor said he had informed Rosmah of Nurul Izzah’s reported apology.
Alhamdulillah, Rosmah with an open heart accepted Nurul Izzah’s apology. To her, this is what is taught by Islam and also Malay culture, to always respect each other.”
According to Rizal, Rosmah believes that differences in political views should not be at the expense of good manners and showing respect.
“The young respects the old, the old cares for the young,” he quoted her as saying.
The aide also stated that it would be better for Nurul Izzah to make a personal apology to Rosmah.
“There is nothing wrong with apologising, shaking hands, hugging. It matches the ‘Puteri Reformasi’ (Reformasi princess) persona she carried all this while,” he said.
Yesterday, Nurul Izzah issued an apology after Rosmah said she felt slighted by the former calling her by her name rather than an honorific.
"Honestly, if I had inadvertently called her just by her name, I apologise. I have always done my best to address her by Datin Seri," she told Malaysiakini.
Nurul also revealed that her mother, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and Rosmah had both attended the Tunku Kurshiah College in Seremban.
Speaking to BN women members in Lembah Pantai – where Nurul Izzah is the incumbent MP – Rosmah had said that she was friends with Wan Azizah and frequented the family home in the past.
Their husbands, jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, were once allies in Umno.
‘When would the others apologise?’
In his Facebook post, Rizal also questioned whether other PKR leaders would follow Nurul Izzah’s example and apologise to Rosmah for allegedly defaming her.
“Nurul Izzah has apologised, when would (PKR deputy president) Mohamed Azmin Ali, (PKR vice-president) Rafizi Ramli and others who often slandered Rosmah follow suit?
“I hope their hearts will be more open to practise a more matured and ethical politics,” he wrote. -Mkini

Sacked Umno members to cite party for contempt, says lawyer

The 16 Umno members who sought the intervention of the courts in seeking the party’s dissolution will file a contempt proceeding to challenge their sacking, according to their lawyer Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla.
In a statement today, Haniff said the action filed by the 16 is on basis that the Umno Supreme Council had breached Article 10.16 of the party’s constitution in delaying its party elections until next year.
“Now, when the 16 have taken the Registrar of Societies and Umno to court, the very party constitution which the Umno supreme council has breached is being used to justify the ‘sacking’ of the members,” he said.
Haniff also described the decision announced by Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as being arbitrary and unjust.
“Furthermore, this act of Umno is tantamount to interference with the course of justice.
“Whilst having knowledge of that action and that the 16 are seeking a stay of all Umno activities and affairs, yet Umno has decided to ‘sack’ them,” he said, arguing that it was a clear and blatant act of contempt by the party.
The court action remains valid, Haniff contends, as the ROS was named as its main respondent and their first two demands to the court were made against the ROS, while Umno was named as the second respondent.
According to a New Straits Times report, Tengku Adnan had accused the 16 of being part of an opposition "game" to bring down Umno.
He also said as the secretary-general for both Umno and Barisan Nasional, he could assure that Umno adhered to the rules set by the ROS.
The sixteen, from 11 Umno branches in six states, had yesterday filed an application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court seeking leave to proceed with a judicial review to quash the ROS decision to allow the party a time extension in order to hold its polls.
The 16 are - Salihudin Ahmad Khalid, Noor Halimi Yahya, Mariam Mohd Ishak, Mohd Hafami Hanif, Saharuddin Tukiman, Azaid Jani, Normalawati Hassan, Radiana Abd Manaf, Mohd Raafeek Rahim, Nurul Hanna Mohd Suhot, Kamarul Abd Wahid, Mohd Hikamal Md Hassim, Muzamzamir Abd Wahab, Norizam Jamaludin, Rohani Ahmad and Muhamad Hafizi Hashim.
They also sought the deregistration of Umno under Section 14(2) and 14(5) of the Societies Act 1966 for both provisional and permanent dissolution.
This follows their argument that the last day for Umno branches to hold their elections was on Feb 28, and the last day for the supreme council and 191 divisions to function was on April 19, this year. -Mkini

I’ll call her ‘Datin Seri’ from now on, says Nurul Izzah

PM's wife had accused her of being rude in calling her by name: 'at least call me aunty Rosmah or makcik Rosmah'
Nurul Izzah Anwar says she had inadvertently referred to Rosmah by name.
PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwar has explained that she meant no disrespect when referring to the prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor by name, and said it had come about inadvertently.
Nurul Izzah said there was no malice intended in the way she addressed Rosmah. “Honestly, if I had inadvertently called her just by her name, I apologise. I have always done my best to address her by Datin Seri,” she was quoted as saying.
She told FMT today: “I have already apologised. I will also try to address her with her full ‘Datin Seri’ title from now on.
Rosmah had brought up the matter yesterday, when speaking at a Wanita Barisan Nasional event at the Lembah Pantai community centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Nurul Izzah has been Lembah Pantai MP for two terms.
Rosmah was reported to have said she had been disappointed by Nurul Izzah’s “rudeness”.
“I am not asking her to kiss my hands. I don’t even expect her to call me ‘Datin Seri’ but don’t just call me ‘Rosmah Mansor’, because I am much older than her.”
Rosmah said she had been familiar with the children of Anwar Ibrahim since Nurul Izzah was six or seven years old. “She should at least call me ‘aunty Rosmah’ or ‘makcik Rosmah’,” the prime minister’s wife said.
Rosmah also said she had felt hurt by the lies and criticisms made against her by politicians and their supporters, especially on social media.
Nurul Izzah responded by saying that any criticisms she herself made were based on principle, and not on personalities. “Hence, the consistent reminder for us all to focus on systemic reforms, to ensure no other dictators manage to abuse the office of the prime minister,” she was quoted as saying. -FMT