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Friday, July 21, 2017

13 die from rabies in Kalimantan Barat

KUCHING - The rabies virus, which has taken four lives following an outbreak in Serian district here this month, has also taken 13 lives since July 11 in several areas in neighbouring Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.

Serian and Kalimantan Barat share a common border.

According to Harian Rakyat Kalbar, the rabies virus in Kalimantan Barat has spread rapidly, resulting in the record number of 1,006 cases of human infection.

Another Tongkat Ali coffee product recalled in the US

Bestherbs Coffee is voluntarily recalling its product due to undeclared ingredients including desmethyl carbodenafil, which is structurally similar to the active ingredient in Viagra

PETALING JAYA - A company in Texas is recalling its “New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee” after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voiced concern over the presence of Tongkat Ali in the ingredients.

More than 100 Warisan members join PHRS

Heads and committee members of Warisan’s branches in Beaufort join Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah after losing confidence in the party

BEAUFORT - More than 100 members of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) in the Beaufort district have joined Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (PHRS), claiming they have lost confidence in the party’s leadership and struggle.

Saidi @ Masden Kasneh, former chief of Warisan’s Kamarabau branch, said he and other former members will continue their political struggle with PHRS instead.

Postpone tourism tax to next year, says Sarawak CM

Abang Johari Openg says this is because many local tour agents and hotels have made and paid forward bookings for their packages for early next year

PETALING JAYA - Sarawak wants the federal government to postpone the implementation of the tourism tax until next year.

In a Borneo Post report, Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said this was because many local tour agents and hotels had made and paid forward bookings for their packages for early next year.

Malaysian militant leader killed in Raqa air strikes

KUALA LUMPUR - A Malaysian Islamic State (IS) leader, Muhammad Fudhail Omar, has been killed in an air strike in Raqa, Syria.

It is learnt that the 25-year-old militant was killed during the Syrian security forces’ offensive against the terror group in June.

Shortlisted as a possible replacement for slain notorious militant Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, the former NGO member went to Syria on May 2, 2014.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Free rabies vaccination campaign for dogs in Sarawak

KUCHING - The Sarawak Veterinary Services Department is carrying out a free rabies vaccination campaign for dogs at Mile 10, Padawan, to curb a potential outbreak of the disease.

About 25 officers, led by Kuching Veterinary senior officer Dr Nicholas Jenek, took part in the programme held at the Mile 10 community hall near here.

“We focused on dogs because they carry the rabies virus. We have five teams on duty and we welcome the public to bring their dogs for vaccination,” Dr Nicholas told reporters at the campaign on Thursday.

Cambodia widow sees dead husband in five-month-old calf

KRATIE - Cambodia’s latest social media sensation is a five-month-old calf believed by a villager to be the reincarnation of her dead husband.

Khim Hang, 74, said up to 100 people a day visit her home in northeast Kratie province to see the calf she said behaves very similar to her husband, Tol Khut, who died more than a year ago.

“I believe that the calf is my husband because whatever he does...is in exactly the same way as my husband did when he was alive,” she told Reuters Television.

Two policemen arrested for bringing prohibited items into police lock-up

IPOH - Two policemen have been detained for allegedly bringing prohibited items into the police lock-up here.

Perak Criminal Investigation Department head chief Datuk Gan Tian Kee said the policemen, a corporal and a lance corporal, were arrested at the Sentral police station of the Ipoh district police headquarters about 10pm last Tuesday.

"Following a check, two plastic bags containing battery, cigarettes, bottled drinks, chocolate, toothpaste, card and playing cards were found in a car," he said in a statement today. — Bernama

10,000 Malaysians are in Australia illegally

Nearly 10,000 Malaysians are in Australia illegally after overstaying their work and tourist visas. Malaysians form the largest group of unlawful non-citizens in Australia.

There are more than 64,000 people staying in Australia illegally. The Australian government estimated as many as 12,000 have been there for more than 20 years.

New figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection showed that temporary visitor visas were the mostly likely to be abused in Australia, The Canberra Times reported yesterday.

Seafood prices go up

KOTA KINABALU - The wholesale price of seafood in the state capital and surrounding areas has increased by about 60 per cent compared to last year.

One of the reasons is the dwindling catch of fishermen who have seen a reduction of about 50 per cent in the last four months as compared to the same period last year.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Blame Malaysia’s woes on Najib and Mahathir, says author

Saying both squandered the opportunity to do away with ‘apartheid economics,’ William Pesek warns that unless the ‘unaccountable political system’ changes, Malaysia risks experiencing a lost economic decade.

Malaysia’s unenviable state today is due both to Prime Minister Najib Razak and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, says writer Willian Pesek.

Singapore offers SAF assistance to counter terrorism in Philippines

SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen has offered the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) assistance to counter the threat of terrorism in Philippines together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said on Wednesday (Jul 19).

In a media release, MINDEF said the SAF's assistance will include a Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft, use of the SAF's urban training villages for AFP troops, and a detachment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to enhance the AFP's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, MINDEF said.

Indonesia revokes legal status of Hizb ut-Tahrir, officially dissolves group

JAKARTA - Indonesia on Wednesday (19 July) revoked the legal status of hardline Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), officially dissolving the organisation.

Directorate General for the Administration of General Law at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Freddy Harris said at a press conference on Wednesday the government is revoking the status of the organisation’s legal entity to “maintain the existence of Pancasila” as the country’s founding ideology and to maintain "the unity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI)".

Duterte bodyguards wounded in ambush

MANILA - Four of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's bodyguards were shot and wounded on Wednesday by suspected communist rebels a day after the insurgents warned of attacks, authorities said.

Duterte was not in the convoy when gunmen opened fire on two Presidential Security Group vehicles along a highway on the main southern island of Mindanao, they added.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dr M: I am top dog in Pakatan Harapan

PUTRAJAYA - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today proclaimed himself the “top dog” in Pakatan Harapan.

The retired prime minister-turned-government critic was last week announced as the chairman of the four-party Pakatan Harapan, though jailed PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was named the federal Opposition pact’s de facto leader and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail its president.

“In the hierarchy, I am the top dog there,” Dr Mahathir told a press conference here.

Japanese engineers develop headset-less VR system


TOKYO - A virtual reality “space ride” in which viewers feel as if they are flying through the air inside a giant glass ball has been developed in Japan.

Young girls become unwitting ‘porn actresses’

GIRLS as young as nine years old have unknowingly become “porn actresses” after sharing their photos and videos with online friends, reported Harian Metro.

A study conducted by Onemyr Awareness Management showed that young girls’ obsession with indiscriminately befriending people online has caused them to fall into a “virtual trap”.

IT consultant Mohd Ridzman Azzahari said 10 pornographic photos and videos are uploaded on the Internet every day.

Sabah MACC says 'Kautim' is a dirty word

KOTA KINABALU - The colloquial term "kautim" (meaning settle in Cantonese) is a dirty word usually used to reflect graft and this must stop, says the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

Sabah MACC director Datuk Shaharom Nizam Abd Manap said the word "settle" had a similar negative connotation as it implied to solving matters through corrupt means.

It was because of this that the MACC embarked on its 3J campaign – Jangan Hulur (Don't give), Jangan Kautim and Jangan Settle, he said.

Penang DAP man charged with outraging modesty of waitress

GEORGE TOWN - A former Penang Island municipal councillor was charged with outraging the modesty of a part-time nightclub waitress here at a car park two weeks ago.

L Prem Anand, 50, pleaded not guilty to the charge of outraging the modesty of the waitress, under Section 354 of the Penal Code for assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty.

Monday, July 17, 2017

PM courts flak for endorsing monster racist BTN

It would be hypocritical for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to champion moderation while at the same time endorsing the National Civics Bureau (BTN) which is perceived to be promoting racism, said Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto.

"While he advocates the idea of 1Malaysia, particularly during the 2013 general election, being the founding father of the Global Moderate Movement, a self-praising defender of the concept of 'wasatiyah' or moderation, the prime minister continues to fan the flames of separatism and discrimination by feeding the monster of racism under his very own nose, disguised as the BTN in the Prime Minister's Office," she said in a statement today.

No GE14 in September, says Zahid

The next general election (GE14) will not take place in the next three months, says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, allaying fears of a snap polls being called soon.

Zahid told reporters at the Umno Aidilfitri open house, held at the Putra World Trade Centre, yesterday that September, as many had speculated, would be too soon for the next polls, so GE14 “will be held beyond that”.

The rationale for the speculation on the GE14 date was mainly due to the expected feel good factor expected to follow the SEA Games from Aug 19-31, Merdeka Day (Aug 31), Malaysia Day (Sept 16).

It was reported earlier this month that Najib had sent out a strong indication of a general election happening soon, by his message to Umno divisions across the country.

Tours cancelled after protest

KOTA KINABALU - Foreign tour companies from China and Korea have cancelled their future Sabah tours because of the ‘unfounded’ protest staged by the Sabah Tourist Guides Association (STGA) and Sabah Native Registered Tourist Guide Association (PBBNS) at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) on July 15.

In revealing this here yesterday, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) Sabah State Office director Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar confirmed that the associations had caused the ruckus because of a baseless claim that illegal tour guides from China were involved in the operation.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Johor Sultan’s daughter to wed Dutchman on Aug 14

PETALING JAYA - Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, the daughter of Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar and Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah, will marry commoner Dennis Muhammad Abdullah in a private wedding ceremony at Istana Bukit Serene in Johor Baru on Aug 14.

Dennis Muhammad, formerly known as Dennis Verbaas, from Lisse, the Netherlands, converted to Islam on May 31, 2015, reported the New Straits Times today.

Telegram to shut some public channels after Indonesia ban

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Encrypted messaging service Telegram will shut down "terrorist-related" public channels, its founder said on Sunday, after Indonesia's government blocked access to the platform citing security concerns.

Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population, has seen a resurgence in home-grown radicalism, and has stepped up cooperation with its neighbours to stem a growing presence in Southeast Asia of extremist group Islamic State.

On Friday, Indonesian authorities blocked all access to Telegram, saying it had several forums that were "full of radical and terrorist propaganda".

Abu Sayyaf gunman involved in Sipadan kidnapping captured in Zamboanga

A suspected Abu Sayyaf gunman involved in the Sipadan kidnapping off Sabah 17 years ago has been arrested in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. 

According to Philippines newspapers, Abdulmubin Kudalat Salahuddin was nabbed at 10.45pm Thursday in Sitio Callejon, Barangay Guiwan. 

He is believed to be supplying firearms and ammunition to the Abu Sayyaf group based in Sulu. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Indonesia blocks Telegram application

JAKARTA - The Indonesian government has taken action to restrict the Telegram application in the country, which is believed to be a communication nest for terrorists and radicals.

Indonesia's Communications and Informatics Minister, Rudiantara was quoted by local media today as saying it took stern action after discovering that the social media channel was engaged in excessive negative communication.

He cited negative content such as propaganda of radicalism, terrorism, hate speech, ways to assemble bombs, ways to perform attacks, improper images and others which were in conflict with the laws of Indonesia.

Malaysia is ranked 17th highest in cyberbullying

The advent of affordable computers and easy access to the Internet has made us more dependent on them. Today, one does not even need a computer to access the Internet as other devices (eg tablets, smartphones, even printers!) are capable of doing so.

Children below the age of five are introduced to computers, and by the time they reach their teens, they have become somewhat of a “tech expert”.

'Birth of the Dragon' Trailer: Bruce Lee Squares Off Against a Rival Master in 1960s


Bruce Lee died 44 years ago next week, but he nonetheless remains the most famous — and popular — martial-arts star the genre has ever seen. His legend will only get a further boost via Birth of the Dragon, a new inspired-by-real-events saga that details a famous showdown between the actor and an accomplished master who objected to Lee’s decision to train Caucasian men to fight. Ahead of its late-summer release comes its first trailer (watch it above), which teases a fearsome action saga that doubles as an origin story for Lee’s superstar persona.

Drama behind the Pakatan Harapan curtains

THE reaction out there is still mixed a day after the Pakatan Harapan leadership structure was formalised. Some are elated because it is a major breakthrough in Pakatan’s quest to face off against Barisan Nasional in the general election.

“They passed a big hurdle. It also means one less attacking point against them, although how effective they will be remains to be seen,” said political commentator Khaw Veon Szu.

Others are uninspired, while the bulk of those who follow politics are still unsure what to make of it. The potpourri of mixed feelings is largely centred around one factor or rather one man – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – who is the chairman of the coalition.

He occupies the top tier of the coalition alongside PKR de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Questions have been raised as to who will be calling the shots among the three top guns.

Part-time waitress molested by DAP rep’s aide

GEORGE TOWN - It was her first day at work as a part-time waitress and the last thing the accounting diploma student wanted to do was to “offend” a customer.

The 21-year-old, who only wanted to be known as Tan, agreed to accompany a customer, whom she identified as a DAP assemblyman’s aide, to his parked car when he was leaving the outlet.

It was a decision she would later regret.

Friday, July 14, 2017

More MH370 Debris Found In Seychelles

VICTORIA, Seychelles - Another two pieces of debris suspected to be from the MH370 aircraft that went missing in March 2014 has been found in the Seychelles and was promptly informed to the Malaysian government.

Reuters reported that the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) has stated that the debris was found washed up on the shores of Farquhar by scientists who were studying birds and turtles at the aforementioned location – which makes up one of many Seychelles islands.

Manhunt on for Malaysia-bound Pakistani after Thai wife found murdered

BANGKOK - Police in Thailand and Malaysia are on the hunt for a Pakistani man who allegedly killed his Thai wife in Bangkok on Wednesday.

A Bangkok court has approved an arrest warrant for Mien Wakas Ahmad (pic), 27, who police believe has fled to Malaysia.

They say Ahmad left the house he and his wife rented in Nongchok district at around 3pm on Wednesday afternoon, took a taxi to Don Muang Airport and flew to Hat Yai before making his way to the Malaysian border.

Maute family members cleared of terrorism, says source

However, they are not allowed to leave Manila

PETALING JAYA - Authorities have cleared seven Maute family members detained en route to Malaysia of involvement in terror activities.

However, the individuals, who were said to be “distant relatives of the Maute Lawless Terror Group”, were not allowed to leave Manila, a regional security source told Channel NewsAsia.

Dr M: We will begin process of freeing Anwar within one week of forming government

PETALING JAYA - Pakatan Harapan has committed to the process of freeing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from jail within one week of forming the next government.

Its newly announced chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic), the former premier of 22 years, said that this would follow the legal process with the application of a royal pardon for Anwar who has been jailed for sodomy.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gov’t to go all out against foreign terrorists, coddlers

In the wake of reported presence of Turkish militants in the country, the Philippine government has vowed to run after groups abetting terrorists and work with other nations in fighting the global threat.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said authorities have yet to confirm the suspected presence of the Fethullah Gulen Movement in the country, but will hold accountable groups in collusion with the terror suspects.

“The military is verifying the statement of Turkish Ambassador Esra Cankorur regarding the presence of Turkish terrorists, particularly the Fetullah Gulen Movement, in the Philippines,” Abella said.

Resolve or dissolve - Dr Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - After 54 long years, the basis of the formation of Malaysia as a federation in 1963 is being highlighted widely. It has thrown up an opportunity to put things right and bring justice for the Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak,” said Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku President, Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, cum Assemblyman for Bingkor.

“Instead of being treated as equal partners, the Borneo States have long been marginalized and treated as colonies of Malaya. Worse still, their oil and gas resources and revenues have been siphoned off to develop Malaya and they end up undeservedly as the poorest States and invariably controlled by the federal government,” added Dr. Jeffrey.

Marawi destruction incites kids to fight terror

MARANTAO, Lanao del Sur — Each day since fighting erupted in Marawi City on May 23, 12-year-old Mustapha would rush to the bank of Lake Lanao in his village of Kialdan here whenever he heard the drone of approaching warplanes.

He would then train his eyes on Marawi City, less than 3 kilometers from Kialdan.

Devastation


The 11th among 12 siblings, Mustapha — whose parents once tended a small grocery store in Barangay Bangolo in Marawi City — said he was being drawn to the same location each day because it was the perfect spot for him to see how the planes dropped bombs on the city.

Airstrike kills 2 soldiers, wounds 11 in Marawi

A PHILIPPINE Air Force fighter jet missed its target in an airstrike Wednesday, July 12, against the Maute terror group in Marawi City, killing two soldiers who were hit by debris from a building where they were taking cover, military officials said.

Eleven other soldiers were slightly wounded and taken to a hospital after being hit by shrapnel when the aircraft dropped its bomb about 250 meters (820 feet) from its target, military spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.

SIS: Where is public caning commanded in the Quran?

KUALA LUMPUR - The Kelantan government should point out the section in the Quran that allows for public caning, Sisters in Islam (SIS) demanded today.

The Muslim women’s rights group said shaming and punishment would only create an increasingly repressive environment that would affect women and the poor disproportionately as in Acheh, pointing out that the Indonesian province’s Shariah laws have extended to non-Muslims too.

PMO: Agong's official birthday moved from July 29 to Sept 9

The Government has agreed to move the official birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V from July 29 to Sept 9.

Chinese tourists head to Thailand for preventative HIV drug

BANGKOK - Thailand, which has for years been a hot destination for Chinese tourists, has now also become a draw for those seeking to buy cheap drugs to prevent HIV.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP, is a type of medicine that, if taken daily, can reduce the risk of HIV infection via sexual intercourse by more than 90 per cent, according to health studies.

Several countries recommend the drugs as a weapon to prevent the spread of HIV among people in high-risk groups, such as gay men.

Jho Low cries foul after S'pore prosecutors accuse him of victimising 1MDB?

Malaysian businessman Jho Low has purportedly dismissed Singapore's allegations against him as politically motivated after prosecutors from the city-state accused him of victimising 1MDB.

A spokesperson for the businessman was quoted in a news report as claiming that attempts to link him to those who pleaded guilty in Singapore's 1MDB-related court cases were “based on unfounded assumptions”.

Kelantan seems obsessed with punishment, say groups

Instead of concentrating on punishment, as shown by the move to introduce public caning for shariah offenders, PAS should pay more attention to promoting welfare, they say

PETALING JAYA - The Kelantan government has come under fire for its move to introduce public caning for shariah offenders.

Yayasan 1Malaysia chairman Dr Chandra Muzaffar was quoted by The Star as saying the amendments to the law to introduce public caning reflected PAS’ mentality.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Indonesia president inks decree to ban radical groups

JAKARTA - Indonesia has issued a decree allowing it to ban groups that oppose its official state ideology, in a move seen to target radical Islamists in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

The law, signed by President Joko Widodo on Monday, comes as concerns grow about the influence of hardliners in Indonesia, where a majority of the population practise a moderate form of Islam.

Consult us first, Sarawak DCM tells Federal Government

This way, both the federal and state governments can avoid 'shooting ourselves in the foot', says Douglas Uggah
KUCHING - Like it or not, certain national issues will affect the voting patterns of Sarawak voters, said state Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas.

In an exclusive interview with FMT, Uggah said this was why it would be wise for the Federal Government to consult the state leaders before implementing laws and policies for which the people of Sarawak might not be ready.

Kelantan amends enactment to allow Shariah caning in public

KUALA LUMPUR - The Kelantan state legislative assembly today passed amendments to its Kelantan Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002, which among others will now allow Shariah offenders to be caned publicly.

In a report by New Straits Times Online, deputy mentri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the amendment means that offenders would no longer be caned just in prison.

“However, with the amendment, the sentencing can be carried out in public or prison depending on the court’s decision.

Islamic State manages to get toehold in Asia

The Islamic State terrorist organisation is trying to establish a stronghold in Asia by concentrating on certain areas with Muslim populations.

These emerging hot spots are mostly poor places with strong local Muslim populations, making it easy for IS to find sympathisers willing to take up its violent causes, according to a Forbes report.

Forbes noted that political risk consultancy Eurasia Group had said in its report last year that the IS had “reared its ugly head in Asia in 2016 in a way that indicates it will be a persistent threat to regional security and stability in 2016 and going forward”.

New ceramic coating created for hypersonic travel

Scientists from the UK and China have created a new ceramic coating that could be used to develop a hypersonic plane capable of flying between London and New York in two hours.

The new material is being described as potentially revolutionary in the aerospace industry, for its ability to resist temperatures of up to 3,000° C – the level of heat generated by moving at five times the speed of sound.

Marawi siege turning into a ‘war of attrition

ILIGAN CITY — The Marawi fighting is turning into a war of attrition.

This was how Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) information and peace panel chief Mohagher Iqbal described the two-month long siege in this city as he emphasized the need to “deprive the militants of the opportunity to resupply [so that] the siege cannot last for long.”

“If that is achieved, the militants will only be left with the will to fight. In war, that alone cannot take you far,” he said.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tourists wary about dog meat satay allegations in Bali


BALI - A man selling a popular meat snack called satay approaches tourists on the Indonesian Island of Bali.