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To stay in power, Najib is wooing PAS, mixing religion with politics

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Prime Minister Najib Razak’s prioritising of Islamic voters could inadvertently nurture a hotbed for misguided religious extremists and fundamentalists.

IN a desperate attempt to win the crucial Malay vote, beleagured Prime Minister Najib Razak is cosying up with old enemy PAS, an Islamist party that is pushing for shariah rule in Malaysia, Bloomberg reported today.

Although an unlikely one, the rapprochement is mutually beneficial to Umno and PAS. Friendly ties with the hardline party may help Najib to burnish Umno’s credentials with Muslim voters, while PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, now that he has the PM’s ear , has a better shot at influencing government policy.

Najib has allowed Hadi to introduce legislation to enhance the punitive powers of the shariah courts, a move that many fear could pave the way for hudud in Malaysia.

Najib is also working with PAS leaders to advocate for the minority Rohingya, who are Muslim, in Myanmar.

Issues of race, ethnicity, the Malay language, and especially Islam are close to the heart of the Malays, said Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, a professor of politics and international studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Najib is well aware of that. In fact, he is banking on it as he models himself out to be a champion of Muslim welfare in the lead up to the next general election, which must be called sometime in the next 12 months.

But this prioritising of Islamic voters is risky, if not “extremely harmful” in a country with large Chinese and Indian minorities and a history of ethnic violence.

“It would also inadvertently nurture a hot bed for misguided religious extremists and fundamentalists to spread their twisted versions of intoxicating ideologies,” said Oh Ei Sun, principal adviser to Malaysia’s Pacific Research Centre.

But Kuala Terengganu Umno chief Sabri Alwi said it was right for Umno to align itself with PAS.

“We are Muslim, PAS is also Muslim, we can stand together,” Sabri had said during Hari Raya.

“PAS is flexible” about its working partners as long as it is to forward the Islamic cause, said Hadi’s son, Muhammad Khalil, who is national chief of the PAS Youth wing.

“We are willing to work with any quarters or parties,” he said last month at the party’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. “What matters is that it benefits Islam and that it benefits Malay Muslims.

“We put Islam as the foundation, and Malays must be the foundation for the country’s ruling political system.”

Kuala Terengganu PAS chief Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah said “PAS equals Hamas,” referring to the Palestinian fundamentalist organisation. “And Umno equals Donald Trump. The two don’t mix.”

Yet, the two “are working together for the sake of the people and Islam. That is important.”

Kamarul Bahrin, who was part of the group that broke away from PAS to form Amanah in September 2015, claimed the party had moved in recent years to weed out more moderate members.

“This election is crucial, it’s make or break,” said Kamarul.

If Umno and PAS continue to mix religion with politics “we will end up as two Malaysias”. – Read more TMI

Annuar wrong to say forex losses were RM30 billion, says Tun M lawyer

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s counsel, Mohamed Hanif Khatri Abdulla, says Bank Negara Malaysia’s losses cannot be determined yet, as investigations are ongoing. – Haniff Khatri FB Pix

PUTRAJAYA August 26, 2017 – Annuar Musa jumped the gun when he said that Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) losses in the foreign exchange (forex) scandal amounted to RM30 billion, said a lawyer representing Dr Mahathir Mohamad, pointing out that the probe is still going on.

“According to the law, any institution tasked with coming to a decision or a recommendation, whether it be the courts or the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), cannot make conclusions until the entire proceedings are completed…,” said Mohamed Hanif Khatri Abdulla, the lead counsel for the former prime minister.

Dr Mahathir is the central figure in the RCI as the forex losses occurred when he was prime minister. He has maintained he was not involved and that the losses were about RM10 billion, as reported by BNM in 1994.

“(Nothing can be concluded) until all the witnesses have given their testimony and all documented evidence are put forward,” said Hanif.

Annuar, who is Umno information chief, yesterday said that the billions in forex losses suffered by the central bank were “real”, while 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s losses were just on paper.

“The RM30 billion losses in the forex trading scandal in 1993 have been confirmed by the ongoing RCI. That is a real loss that the country can never recover. It is not a loss on paper but a real loss that is forever,” he was quoted as saying on Umno Online yesterday.

RCI chair Mohd Sidek Hassan, who is also Petronas chairman, had summarised the proceedings of the first day of hearings on Monday by coming to the “conclusion” that BNM suffered RM31.516 billion in losses.

This was immediately objected by Hanif, who said the RCI was still ongoing and the panel should not arrive at a conclusion on the first day of hearing testimonies.

“[The RCI] did not deny our objection and correction at all,” Hanif said, adding that Sidek no longer made references to the amount of losses since.

The RCI will sit again on Tuesday.

Opposition lawmakers have called the inquiry politically motivated.

Jailed Pakatan Harapan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was finance minister between 1991 and 1998, while Dr Mahathir, who now chairs opposition bloc Pakatan Harapan, was prime minister between 1981 and 2003.

Lawyers representing Anwar and Dr Mahathir have attempted to disqualify Sidek and Saw Choo Boon from the panel on the grounds that their presence in the RCI would lead to bias as they were formerly members of a special task force probing the forex losses, which later recommended to the cabinet that an RCI be formed.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court later quashed Dr Mahathir’s bid to recuse both men, saying the proceedings were of public interest. – Read more TMI

CLICK READTo stay in power, Najib is wooing PAS, mixing religion with politics

Malaysian and Indonesian fans warned to behave

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SHAH ALAM 26 Aug, 2017 : Football fans watching tonight’s semi-final match between Malaysia and Indonesia have been warned to behave themselves.

Selangor Police Chief Comm Datuk Mazlan Mansor sternly urged fans from both sides to just enjoy the game in a civil manner.

“Police are keeping a close watch on tonight’s game and we will not tolerate any form of provocation,” he said at the closing of the first aid life support training course for the Selangor Mobile Patrol Vehicle unit here.

He said the police will be out in full force to monitor the stadium where an expected 80,000 fans will be watching the game which begins at 8.45pm.

“Uniformed and plain clothes police personnel from Selangor and Bukit Aman will be safeguarding security around Shah Alam stadium tonight,” he said.

Comm Mazlan’s warning comes after two fans of the Myanmar SEA Games football team were injured in a brawl after Monday night’s match with Malaysia.

The men were beaten up at the Shah Alam stadium parking lot close to midnight as fans filed out after the game.

Both of them were brought to Hospital Shah Alam for treatment.

Comm Mazlan said three local men in their early 20s have so far been arrested over the incident and that police are continuing their investigations.

Comm Mazlan also advised football fans to make their way to the stadium as early as possible and that doors will be open at 4pm.

He added fans will need to go through security checks at the doors so they are advised to plan their journey so as to not miss the excitement.

“Win or lose are all part of the game so please mind your behaviours and just enjoy it,” he said.

In order to keep the two groups separate, Malaysian fans are being allowed in Gates B, C and D while Indonesian fans must use gate A. – The Star

PhD student from Malaysia part of team behind black hole discovery

A 27-year-old PhD student from Muar is part of a team that found evidence of a supermassive black hole in a galaxy approximately 38 light years away from Earth.

Nur Adlyka Ainul Annuar presented her team’s findings on Sunday in a paper titled “Black Holes, Green Galaxies, Old Stars & NuSTARs” at the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

The team – which used information from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) – focused on a galaxy named NGC 1448, where evidence of a supermassive black hole was found.

“These black holes are relatively close to the Milky Way, but they have remained hidden from us until now. They’re like monsters hiding under your bed,” said Nur Adlyka

She added that supermassive black holes are sometimes hidden behind gas and dust, saying that these black holes give themselves away when material they feed on emits high-energy X-rays that the NuSTAR mission can detect.

Her colleague Peter Boorman from University of Southampton found evidence of another supermassive black hole in another galaxy called IC 3639.

Speaking on the findings, Nur Adlyka said that NGC 1448 is one of the faintest and most heavily obscured supermassive black holes known to date.

Asked about her background, Nur Adlyka said in an email to The Star that she was fascinated by outer space ever since she was a child, adding that she knew that she wanted to pursue astrophysics as a career when she was 13 years old.

“I was inspired after watching Armageddon and Apollo 13,” said Nur Adlyka, who is currently pursuing her PhD in Astrophysics at the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy at Durham University in the United Kingdom.

The Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) scholar added that astrophysics is an interesting area of science where many exciting discoveries can be made, and said that she is eager to come back to Malaysia after completing her studies this July.

“I really want to go back home and give back to the country by offering my research experience,” said Nur Adlyka.

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Wife released on good behaviour bond, husband jailed and fined for corruption.

ALOR SETAR— The Sessions Court here today released a woman on a three-year good behaviour bond, while her husband was sentenced to a day’s jail and fined RM170,251.25, in default six months’ jail, for corruption.

Judge Zanol Rashid Hussain meted out the punishments on Afizah Md Yusoff, 36, and her husband, Mohamad Reduan Hussain, 39, both lecturers at the Padang Terap Community College.

Azizah was charged with using her position to obtain gratification for a younger sibling by preparing a Government Order number P12000029 for the supply of electrical spare parts worth RM34,250.25 to Syarikat RHA Sepakat Enterprise.

The offence was committed at the college on June 14, 2012.

The charge was made under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

Meanwhile, Mohd Reduan was charged with using his position by endorsing the government order.

The offence was committed on June 18, 2012 at the same college. In mitigation, both the accused, who broke into tears, said they had four young children aged between 10 and two years.

The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor A. Hafiizh Abu Bakar from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. — Bernama

TERKINI:Dakwaan jual tanah kepada China, Nazri sifatkan Mahathir ‘gila’

TERBARU: Shahbudin saran Najib sokong hukuman berat kes rasuah di Thailand? 

TERKINI: Apakah Peguam Negara ada kuasa lindungi PM, kata bekas polis

TERKINI: 1MDB – Pengurus bank warga Switzerland di Singapura didakwa menipu urusan Jho Low

TERBARU: Jual tanah negara, Najib beri makna baru FDI – Tun Mahathir

TERKINIDr Mahathir sanggup didakwa di mahkamah buktikan salah laku Najib

TERBARU: Cuti luar negara, Najib cuma luang masa bersama anak, kata pembantu Rosmah

TERKINI: Jemaah Haji selepas ini jangan pura-pura tak tahu sumber wang – Tun Mahathir

TERKINI: Tun Mahathir tak kenal siapa BAHRI yang difitnah pemakan DEDAK

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China submarine visits Malaysia

The arrival of a Chinese submarine in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, is creating waves worldwide with media from the US to India running stories on it and raising questions about China’s naval activities.

According to a New Delhi Television (NDTV) report, the pictures of the submarine – uploaded onto the Royal Malaysian Navy’s official Twitter page – is a matter of serious concern to the Indian Navy.

In the US, The Wall Street Journal headlined its story two days ago this way: “Chinese Submarine’s Malaysian Port Call Signals Regional Power Shift”.

The Chinese Defence Ministry in a statement on Friday to the Journal said the submarine docked in Sabah for supplies and for its crew to rest after anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia.

But the NDTV report said the Indian military doesn’t buy that story. Its report said the Indian Navy has pointed out that “advance military assets” like submarines aren’t “appropriate” for taking on Somali pirates who terrorise the seas in “small skiffs”.

The Indians are worried that Chinese submarines are instead tracking their own submarines and ships in the Indian Ocean.

The Wall Street Journal started off its prominent report this way: “A Chinese attack submarine made an unprecedented stopover in Malaysia this week in a rare public display of China’s expanding undersea force and a further sign of power realignment in Southeast Asia.”

It said a Malaysian navy official confirmed to the Journal that the submarine arrived last Tuesday to stay until yesterday.

It noted that Chinese naval ships had docked in Malaysia before but quoted an analyst as saying a visit from a submarine was “qualitatively different”.

“It signifies a higher level of trust involved on the host country’s part, because of the sensitive nature of submarine operations, as stealthy war-fighting or reconnaissance platforms,” Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney said to the Journal.

The analyst read the submarine visit as a sign that Chinese subs could operate with Malaysia’s approval in the southern extremes of the South China Sea, including around the disputed Spratly Islands, the Journal said.

The American newspaper also hinted that the visit signalled a waning of American power in the region. It noted that the China sub’s visit to Malaysia came as two Russian warships docked in The Philippines, where its president Rodrigo Duterte has called for a shift away from the country’s traditional ally, the US.

The China submarine that visited Sabah is believed to be a Type 039 “Song” class diesel electric submarine.

Last year, Malaysia stepped up military ties with China, including agreeing to buy four Littoral Mission ships.

The presence of Chinese warships in the region is a sore point for a number of countries due to the ongoing South China Sea dispute in which China lays claim to most of the sea despite a number of territories also being claimed by Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Indonesia.

TERKINI:Dakwaan jual tanah kepada China, Nazri sifatkan Mahathir ‘gila’

TERBARU: Shahbudin saran Najib sokong hukuman berat kes rasuah di Thailand? 

TERKINI: Apakah Peguam Negara ada kuasa lindungi PM, kata bekas polis

TERKINI: 1MDB – Pengurus bank warga Switzerland di Singapura didakwa menipu urusan Jho Low

TERBARU: Jual tanah negara, Najib beri makna baru FDI – Tun Mahathir

TERKINIDr Mahathir sanggup didakwa di mahkamah buktikan salah laku Najib

TERBARU: Cuti luar negara, Najib cuma luang masa bersama anak, kata pembantu Rosmah

TERKINI: Jemaah Haji selepas ini jangan pura-pura tak tahu sumber wang – Tun Mahathir

TERKINI: Tun Mahathir tak kenal siapa BAHRI yang difitnah pemakan DEDAK

CLICK READAngered by Mahathir KLCC outfit, govt demands Miss Universe dress as MRT

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