PKR sec-gen: MACC must look into former IGP’s claims and act against politicians for jumping ship

PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks during a press conference at the party’s HQ in Petaling Jaya May 3, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks during a press conference at the party’s HQ in Petaling Jaya May 3, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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PETALING JAYA, May 3 — PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador’s call for the Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe “jumping” politicians must be looked into it.

“Abdul Hamid’s latest reprimand is not something new for us, it only reinforces and confirms our previous statement, the ball is now at the feet of MACC.

“He (Abdul Hamid) who made this revelation is not an ordinary person, he is the head of police, if MACC chooses to remain silent, it is unfortunate for our country,” he said in a press conference at the party’s headquarters today.

Saifuddin also agreed that if MACC were to probe politicians who jumped ship, they should also probe politicians who joined Pakatan Harapan (PH) after the last general election.

“There are Umno MPs who participated in the PH component, our statement is open and applicable to all and at all times, because politics cannot be tainted by practices like this,” he said.

On April 30, in his last public press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters, Abdul Hamid urged the MACC to investigate politicians who switched camps.

He described the country’s political landscape as hancur (destroyed) due to elements of corruption.

“I want the MACC to investigate and take action. Do not be afraid.

“The people are getting sick with the action (of some politicians). At one point we have katak (from) jumping here and there and making noise (switching political camps).

“What is this? There are elements of corruption here. I want MACC to investigate all of the frogs (politicians who switched camps),” Abdul Hamid was quoted saying.

Abdul Hamid also openly admitted to ‘bad blood’ between him and the Perikatan Nasional appointed Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, claiming that the latter had demanded the power to determine the office bearers in the force on the first meeting he chaired as the chairman of the police force commission.

Abdul Hamid stepped down as IGP today and was replaced by Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.

Foreign students’ degrees unrecognised after MQA revokes accreditation for LimKokWing courses

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching (second right) speaks to a LimKokWing University student after a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 3, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching (second right) speaks to a LimKokWing University student after a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 3, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Upon finding out that the accreditation for the course they had taken has been revoked by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA), two student representatives from the LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) expressed concern over their future.

A foreign student representative from the university who only wished to be identified as Mohamad said that more than 800 foreign students are affected by the issue including the visa renewal process that has been delayed up to 14 weeks.

“We, the students, are about to embark on our professional careers with great uncertainty and fear. Numerous Bachelors, MBA (Masters of Business Administration degree) and PhD courses have had their accreditation revoked by the MQA — this is because of LimKokWing’s inability to maintain certain requirements and standards set by the relevant authorities,” one of the students said during a press conference organised by DAP at their headquarters here.

Mohammed said that he started MBA in 2018 before the course was revoked by MQA in 2019 and was told by the university that he can finish the course but the “qualification” might not be recognised.

“It’s not just me, more than 800 foreign students are also going through the same thing,” he added.

Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching said that the program that the students signed up for was fully accredited but then revoked due to unsatisfactory quality of the course.

She suggested that the university should take corrective action towards the issue and reapply for the accreditation.

“So what the university can do is they need to take immediate corrective actions and then reapply for accreditation.

“For last year (since the revocation) until now, remedy action has not been taken or if they have taken any, it’s not good enough to persuade MQA to give them (LimKokWing university) full accreditation. I hope that LimKokWing can sort this out for its students,” DAP’s Kulai lawmaker said.

 

Pandemic boosted e-commerce last year, says Unctad

THE Covid-19 pandemic provided a boost for e-commerce last year, but the digital windfall was not enjoyed equally across the board, a UN study found today.

“Although it will take some time to get the full picture of the impact of Covid-19 on e-commerce … a number of developments point to the strong rise in e-commerce in 2020,” said the report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).

Philippine minister launches expletive-laced tirade at ‘friend’ China

Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin is known for making blunt remarks at times. (AP pic)

MANILA: The Philippine foreign minister today demanded in an expletive-laced message on Twitter that China’s vessels get out of disputed waters, marking the latest exchange in a war of words with Beijing over its activities in the South China Sea.

The comments by Teodoro Locsin, known for making blunt remarks at times, follow Manila’s protests for what it calls the “illegal” presence of hundreds of Chinese boats inside the Philippines 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see… O…GET THE F*CK OUT,” Locsin said in a tweet on his personal account.

“What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province…”.

China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chinese officials have previously said the vessels at the disputed Whitsun Reef were fishing boats taking refuge from rough seas.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about US$3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes each year.

In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled the claim, which Beijing bases on its old maps, was inconsistent with international law.

In a statement today, the Philippine foreign ministry accused China’s coast guard of “shadowing, blocking, dangerous manoeuvres, and radio challenges of the Philippine coast guard vessels”.

Philippine officials believe the Chinese vessels are manned by militia.

Yesterday, the Philippines vowed to continue maritime exercises in its EEZ in the South China Sea in response to a China demand that it stop actions it said could escalate disputes.

As of April 26, the Philippines had filed 78 diplomatic protests to China since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, foreign ministry data shows.

“Our statements are stronger too because of the more brazen nature of the activities, the number, frequency and proximity of intrusions,” Marie Yvette Banzon-Abalos, executive director for strategic communications at the foreign ministry, said.

Duterte for the most part has pursued warmer ties with China in exchange for Beijing’s promises of billions of dollars in investment, aid and loans.

While the Philippine leader still considers China “a good friend”, he said last week: “There are things that are not really subject to a compromise.”

Galeri Petronas ceases operations in Suria KLCC

Employees affected by the closure have been assigned new roles in Petronas. (Petronas pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Galeri Petronas has ceased to operate as a public gallery as of May this year following a realignment of its operating model to adapt to the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the closure of the gallery’s public space, artworks from the Petronas Art Collection remain available for loan to relevant programmes and initiatives.

This is in line with Petronas’s long-standing commitment to promote greater understanding and appreciation of the arts in Malaysia.

Permanent employees affected by the closure have been successfully reassigned to new roles in Petronas.

Galeri Petronas was set up 28 years ago in 1992 championing through the arts much of Petronas’s efforts towards nurturing the development of a holistic society important to Malaysia’s economic and social advancement.

Over the years, the gallery featured countless significant exhibitions, publications and programmes in support of its mission to promote and preserve the Malaysian contemporary arts.

It played a vital role in promoting and giving exposure to local talents and their works and hosted many foreign exhibitions to encourage exchanges between local and foreign artists for their mutual benefit.

Galeri Petronas was also privileged to have collaborated with individuals and institutions that shared the same aspirations and conviction in the role art plays in shaping opinions, instilling values and influencing behaviours of society.

Galeri Petronas wishes to thank the patrons, artists, curators, partners and supporters who continuously provided inspiration over the past 28 years in realising its role to enrich lives and promote thought leadership through the arts.

Undi18 expected to be implemented this year, says Takiyuddin

THE government has given an assurance to implement the Undi18 this year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Takiyuddin Hassan.

He said that currently, the Election Commission (EC) was still looking into several matters before finalising, and expected it to be implemented this July, thus enabling Malaysians aged 18 to vote in the 15th general election.

DAP’s Gobind calls for RCI to investigate outgoing IGP’s claims of political interference

Outgoing Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador speaks at his last press conference in Bukit Aman, April 30, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Outgoing Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador speaks at his last press conference in Bukit Aman, April 30, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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BATU PAHAT, May 2 — DAP deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo today called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate various allegations of political interference within the police force that was recently made by outgoing Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.

Gobind said among the allegations that needed to be investigated include political interference in the administration of the Royal Malaysian Police, the existence of cartels and acts of bribing politicians to jump parties.

“This is not a normal revelation. It is a revelation by the IGP himself, the issue of cartels and corruption in PDRM has a large impact because people are dependent on them.

“For example, if there are cartel practices and a culture of corruption, how can the people be confident in the police force system in this country?” questioned Gobind after officiating the Johor DAP 2021 Ordinary State Convention at the Grand Seaview Restaurant here today.

He was commenting on a recent statement made by Abdul Hamid where he asked politicians to stop meddling in police affairs, and said that a minister should not be the chairman of the Police Force Commission (PFC).

Abdul Hamid also urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate political leaders who make party jumping a culture.

Gobind said the revelation was serious because it had a negative impact on the police force and an RCI should immediately be established to investigate the allegations. 

“When this matter was raised, the counter-statement issued by the government was that this matter would be investigated but internally. The MACC also stated that they were confident that the problem could be resolved internally.

“However this is a matter of corruption. If the allegation is true, then the government must take stern action. But if it is not true, an official statement must be issued and not let the matter hang on,” said Gobind, who is the Puchong MP.

Last Friday, Abdul Hamid alleged that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin — who is the current PFC chairman — had interfered in police matters, causing the existence of different “camps” vying for power within the force.

He also said that the PFC had failed to look into many investigations of police misconduct, with its meetings only conducted four times a year, and in a supposedly unprofessional manner.

Earlier that day, Hamzah, in a surprise announcement, handed over the appointment letter to Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, who will be replacing Hamid as IGP tomorrow.

Report: Malaysia records first Indian Covid-19 variant

The Indian variant is said to be highly contagious and is believed to have caused the sudden spike in infections worldwide. — Bernama pic
The Indian variant is said to be highly contagious and is believed to have caused the sudden spike in infections worldwide. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — Malaysia reported its first case of the B.1.617.1 variant that experts believe to be a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, Berita Harian reported today.

Public health authorities detected the strain after analysing a case involving an Indian national screened at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Selangor, according to Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

“We had detected the first Indian variant (of the coronavirus), with multiple mutations known as B.1.617.1, through an Indian national when we screened him at the KLIA,” he was quoted as saying.

The B.1.617 variant contains two key mutations to the outer “spike” portion of the virus that attaches to human cells, according to senior Indian virologist Shahid Jameel.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India last December, although an earlier version was spotted in October 2020.

The variant, also known as the “Indian variant”, is said to be highly contagious and is believed to have caused the sudden spike in infections worldwide.

BH reported Dr Adam as saying that the Indian variant was discovered alongside 30 other variants of concerns (VOC), including 27 of the B.1.351 variants from South Africa and three variants from the United Kingdom, the UK B.117.

“Unfortunately the IMR report confirmed the first case of VOC B.1.351 in Perak and Kelantan, involving clusters with 10 positive cases in the respective states,” he said.

“Through contact tracing efforts, we also recorded an additional seven cases of the B.1.351 variant and two cases of the UK B.1.1.7 in Selangor,” he added.

The discovery of another UK variant may also suggest there is already community transmission of the highly contagious strain, the paper reported. 

Dr Adham said the case involved a foreign national in Sandakan, Sabah, without any international travel record.

“In fact this is the first case of the UK variant found among someone who has no outside travel record, suggesting local transmission,” he was quoted as saying.

There are currently 48 cases linked to the South African variant B.1.351, eight cases of the UK B.1.1.7 variant, one case of the India B.1.617 variant and two cases of the Nigeria B. 1.525 variant.

 

SOP violation will burden healthcare facilities, Sultan Ibrahim says

THE dangerous attitude of taking the standard operating procedures (SOP) lightly and behaving as though the Covid-19 pandemic is already over will only burden the country’s healthcare facilities, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar said.

In expressing his concern about the critical Covid-19 situation, the Sultan of Johor said the number of cases showed no sign of decreasing and several states, including Johor, have now become high-risk states.

Bow down to the law, not minister, ex-IGP tells cops

Former IGP Hanif Omar (left) has reminded incoming IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah that people are waiting for his action on the alleged cartels in the police force.

PETALING JAYA: Former inspector-general of police Hanif Omar said no minister could order a commissioner of police (CP) against what they were “legally bound not to do”.

This is contained in a congratulatory message to incoming IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah, which is currently making rounds on social media.

Citing a common law case in the United Kingdom, Hanif said this was contained in a decision by Lord Denning in the case between the attorney-general and commissioner of police in 1973.

Hanif, who was the country’s top cop for 20 years, said only the CP could decide the priority he would place on any one of his duties.

“The police must bow down only to the law and not to any other person, albeit his own minister,” he said in a separate message to FMT.

Hanif’s message comes in the wake of outgoing IGP Abdul Hamid Bador’s revelation of home minister Hamzah Zainudin’s interference in police matters.

According to Hamid, an order had been issued by Hamzah to postpone the transfers of senior members of the force decided on earlier.

He also said Hamzah had been pushing to get power to determine where certain police officers should be placed.

Hanif, in his message, also recalled the time he had met Acryl Sani when he returned from his study leave in the UK to find that the latter and his wife were engineers but had chosen to be in the police force.

He went on to say that Acryl Sani had persevered in the force and was now going to helm it.

“Various (police) cartels are waiting for the action you will take,” he said, possibly alluding to Hamid’s allegation that there was a cartel comprising younger police officers who wanted to dominate the force.

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