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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Counter-rally to Himpunan 355 to be held on Feb 18

IN MALAYA - A local non-governmental organization (NGO) called Bebas is organising a peaceful counter-rally called "Malaysians Reject Hadi's Bill"  on the same day as the "Himpunan 355" rally organized by PAS.

The rally is in opposition to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 amendments tabled in the Dewan Rakyat through a Private Member’s Bill brought by PAS president and Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Sabah-southern Philippines barter trade ban not lifted

KOTA KINABALU - A barter trade ban between Sabah and the southern Philippines has not been lifted under moves to relax certain restrictions in trade that were imposed in April last year following a spate of Abu Sayyaf-linked kidnappings in the Sulu Sea.

National Security Council  Sabah director Datuk Rodzi Md Saad said that the lifting of the sea trading bans were only for the transshipment of goods imported to Sabah and re-exported to Philippines and Indonesia.

SAPP wants online blog reporter investigated for slander

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has lodged a police report calling the police to investigate Free Sandakan Today (FST) Shaimon Sarmon Jumadi over a statement posted in Facebook which allegedly intented to smear and portray party president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee in bad light with the intention to humiliate and bring him and the party in disrepute before the impending General Election 14 which will be held this year.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

High Court sets dates for Najadi retrial

KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court here has set the dates for the trial of Koong Swee Kwan for the murder of Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi and the attempted murder of his wife.

The trial of the 47-year-old tow truck driver will run from March 16 to March 27, and from March 27 to March 31 and between May 22 and 26.

Australia, Malaysia, China halt MH370 undersea search

The deep ocean hunt for missing passenger jet MH370 has been suspended after nearly three years without result, the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments said Tuesday.

The Malaysia Airlines aircraft disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, carrying 239 people in what has become one of aviation's great mysteries.

The plane "has not been located" in the 120,000 square kilometre (46,000 square mile) search area of the southern Indian Ocean, a statement from the three nations said.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Unmarried couples riding on motorcycles together will be detained by authorities, JHEAT

KUALA TERENGGANU - Unmarried couples in Kuala Terengganu were caught off guard after they were detained for riding together on the same motorcycle.

"I did not know riding motorcycles and with pillion riders who are non-mahram (a woman who is not a close relative) is an offence," revealed a majority of couples arrested at Terengganu Religious Affairs Department (JHEAT), after the 'Ops Bonceng’ was carried out, in Batu Buruk, last Thursday night.

Racial politics not welcome in Johor, ruler warns Mahathir

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar slams former prime minister over constant attacks against development projects in Johor involving mainland China companies.

The Sultan of Johor has criticised Dr Mahathir Mohamad for trying to play “racial politics” in an attempt to drive away mainland China investments from the state, The Star reported in an exclusive interview with the state monarch, published today.

Lajim issued bankruptcy notice

Sabah opposition leader Lajim Ukin has been issued a bankruptcy notice which he claimed was for delayed payments on his credit card.

The notice, which was published in Sabah newspaper Daily Express today, said Lajim, the founder of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, has seven days to settle his RM160,951.81 debt with CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad.

He could also opt to obtain a court order to set aside the notice issued by Messrs Wong & Shim, or counter claim an amount to the bank.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

IS militants from Malaysia killed during Syria airstrikes

KUALA LUMPUR - Three Malaysian militants, including an Islamic State (IS) group leader, were killed on Friday (Jan 13) following airstrikes in Raqqa, Syria, according to reports by Malaysian media citing Bukit Aman counter terrorism unit deputy director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.

The leader who was killed has been named as 50-year-old Zainuri Kamaruddin, also known as Abu Talhah, local media reports said.

Trump’s busy Day 1: Scrap Obama orders, deport illegals

WASHINGTON - Rolling back Obamacare and industry regulations. Deporting undocumented immigrants. Scrapping trade deals. And of course, building that border wall.

It will be an extremely busy first day in the White House for Donald Trump if he lives up to his various campaign and transition pledges to undo the policies of Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency.

Some orders or guidance can be reversed with the stroke of a pen. Other policies will take months or longer to unwind. But he will be able to set efforts in motion on several fronts.

Ex-Sabah Water director, wife expected to file appeal against RM12mil bail on Jan 20

KOTA KINABALU - The lawyer for former Sabah Water Department director Ag Mohd Tahir Ag Mohd Talib and his wife, Fauziah Piut is expected to file an appeal against their RM12mil bail on Jan 20. 

It is learnt that their lawyer will file the appeal at the Kota Kinabalu High Court together with a certificate of urgency. 

Ag Tahir, who was slapped with 12 anti-money laundering charges, and Fauziah, who faced 19 similar charges failed to raise the bail amount as all their assets and bank accounts had been frozen by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jho Low is alias 'Eric Tan' brings new twist to 1MDB saga

A significant twist has emerged with regard to the 1MDB saga where it was disclosed in a Singapore court that billionaire Jho Low had also used a different name in his financial dealings involving Malaysia’s troubled investment fund.

Though investigations into 1MDB transactions are being carried out in various countries, Singapore has been the swiftest, shutting down BSI Bank and Falcon Private Bank for facilitating the laundering of 1MDB-linked funds and charging former employees of these banks.

Ringgit likely to improve against US dollar next week?

The ringgit is likely to improve to 4.40 level against the US dollar next week as sentiment towards the local note has started to improved, a dealer said.

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Vice-President/Head of Retail Research, Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan, said Malaysia’s strong economic fundamentals and the higher crude oil and commodity prices would continue to support the ringgit.

Esszone curfew to stay in place until Jan 30

KOTA KINABALU - Seven districts within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) will remain under a 6pm-to-6am curfew until Jan 30. The security measure will enter its 58th phase tomorrow. It covers the districts of Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan, Tawau, Beluran and Semporna.

Esszone also encompasses waters off Pulau Gulisan, Tanjung Bidadari, Pulau Tambisan, Silam, Tungku, Pulau Adal, Alice Reef, Timbun Mata, Kalumpangan, Batuan Unarang, Pelabuhan, Wallace Bay, Jambongan, Timur Jambongan, Pulau Lihiman, Pulau Pundaras, Torongohok, Pura-Pura and Kuala Sugut, among others.

Philippine Islamist terrorists free Korean and Filipino from cargo ship

MANILA (Reuters) - Islamist militants in the Philippines allied with Islamic State freed on Saturday a South Korean cargo ship captain and a Filipino member of his crew held captive for more than three months on a southern island, an army spokesman said.

Park Chulhong, skipper of the South Korea-registered carrier DongBang Giant 2, and Filipino Glenn Alindajao, were brought to the house of the island's governor after they were released by the militants of the Abu Sayyaf group, Major Filemon Tan said.

Friday, January 13, 2017

ACCCIM: China an invaluable strategic partner

KUALA LUMPUR - China is an invaluable strategic partner that have led to numerous win-win situations in Malaysia, said the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM).

It said China’s investment commitments not only gave a direct boost to the economy but also enhanced investor confidence in Malaysia.

“As such, both the public and private sectors should build on this in order to attract more domestic and foreign investments, thereby enhancing economic development and growth,” it said in a statement yesterday. ACCCIM President Datuk Ter Leong Yap said Malaysia and China had always maintained close bilateral ties since diplomatic relations were first established in 1974.

1 Army officer killed, 4 soldiers wounded in clash with Abu Sayyaf

One military officer was killed and four soldiers were wounded on Thursday as Army troops pursued the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in a gunbattle in Basilan.

The soldiers have been going after the rebels under Furuji Indama alias Abu Dujana in Cabcaban in Sumisip town, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Filemon Tan said.

The firefight started at 7:10 a.m. as troops from the Army’s 19th Special Forces Company of the 4th Special Forces Battalion chased the terrorists.

Former PM Paul Keating accuses Rex Tillerson threatening to involve Australia in war

Former prime minister Paul Keating has accused United States secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson of threatening to involve Australia in war.

Earlier this week, the former Exxon Mobil chief executive said the US would send a "clear signal" to China that its access to artificial islands in the South China Sea would be blocked.

In a confirmation hearing before the US Senate and Foreign Relations Committee, Mr Tillerson also said the US's traditional allies in South-East Asia should also provide "back up" in the region.

Ex-BSI banker Yeo Jiawei splurged US$8.2m on Aussie properties

SYDNEY- Former Singapore banker Yeo Jiawei, accused of laundering money linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, used a tax haven company as part of an US$8.2mil (RM36.6mil) plus splurge on property in Australia's Gold Coast, The Guardian has reported.

Yeo's foray into Australian property began with a US$1.3mil (RM5.8mil) luxury oceanfront apartment in Surfers Paradise, which he bought in 2014 direct from a collapsed developer, the report said.

Chinese state media slams Tillerson over South China Sea

Hong Kong (CNN) - Chinese state media has taken aim at Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, after he suggested a more aggressive strategy toward Beijing in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

In his confirmation hearing Wednesday, Tillerson, the former CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, said that China should be denied access to the islands it has built.

Abang Johari to be new Sarawak CM

KUCHING - Deputy Chief Minister 2 Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg looks set to be appointed the new Sarawak Chief Minister.

PBB senior vice-president Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said Abang Johari had the party's backing to take over from Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who passed away suddenly on Wednesday.

"We all support Abang Jo," Awang Tengah told reporters after leaving Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud's residence at Demak Jaya here Friday.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Oath Stone must 'stay in Keningau'

KOTA KINABALU - The sacred Oath Stone belongs in the Keningau district where it was first erected and honoured and no one has the right, including the government, to move it to another district.

Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku President and the Huguan Siou Lundu Mirongod Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said this is because such action cannot be done without the total consent of the natives of the Interior residency.

Gloomy Brunei becoming more repressive?

Tough times, due mainly to falling oil revenue, is causing the Brunei government to clamp down on dissent and compromise on its policies in order to get China investments, says report.

Brunei is getting into the news for all the wrong reasons.

Once known for its abundant oil wealth and the extravagant lives of its royal family, today the news is about severe shariah punishments, declining oil revenue, media repression, and suppression of the people’s voices.

Eight Indons deported for possessing IS-related material

Malaysian police have deported eight Indonesians after one of them was found keeping pictures pertaining to the Islamic State (IS) in his mobile phone.

According to a source, the group was arrested by Singaporean authorities at the Woodlands Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at about 1.30am yesterday.

Trump's secretary of state pick says China should be barred from South China Sea islands

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state set a course for a potentially serious confrontation with Beijing on Wednesday, saying China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

In comments expected to enrage Beijing, Rex Tillerson told his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that China's building of islands and putting military assets on those islands was "akin to Russia’s taking Crimea” from Ukraine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dong Zhong chief: Adenan will be remembered for UEC recognition

Dong Zhong chairman Datuk Vincent Lau Lee Ming said the death of Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem was a big shock to people in the state.

"It's something which we feel very sad about as he departed so suddenly," said the leader of the Chinese education group.

Lau said Adenan was a dynamic leader.

S'wak declares 7-day mourning period, funeral tomorrow

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who passed away this afternoon, will be laid to rest at the Samariang Muslim cemetery after Zohor prayers tomorrow.

According to Borneo Post, tomorrow has been declared a public holiday in Sarawak, while a seven-day mourning period would be observed in the state.

The public can pay their last respects at the state mosque in Petra Jaya starting at 10.30am.

Sarawak Chief Minister passes away

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem passed away this afternoon - just 14 days before he was supposed to celebrate his 73rd birthday.

Adenan, who took over as the Chief Minister on Feb 28, 2014 passed away at the Kota Samarahan National Heart Institute (IJN), about 1.20 pm, his niece confirmed.

The cause of death has yet to be announced but Adenan had a history of heart problems.

Shortage of cooking oil in plastic pack in Lahad Datu

LAHAD DATU - Lahad Datu district is facing an acute shortage of cooking oil in 1kg packets for a few weeks now and there appears to be no sign of any improvement to the situation, even until yesterday.

Consumers here told The Borneo Post that cooking oil packed in plastic packs are also not sold in any of the supermarkets in town.

“Cooking oil packed in big bottles are available but are being sold at a high price and many consumers could not afford to buy them,” said Cik Nong.

She said the shortage was apparent for a few weeks now and cooking oil packed in plastic packs are not available for sale.

Sabahan youth activist accosted at restaurant

A prominent Sabahan youth activist was accosted by three men at a restaurant in Sandakan today and threatened that if he continued to speak about a certain VIP, something bad would befall him.

The victim, Jufazli Shi Ahmad 27, told FMT the three followed him and his two friends when they went to the Secret Recipe restaurant at Batu 5, Sandakan, at about 2.30pm.

“We didn’t realise we were being followed until after 15 minutes. A man approached me and tapped my cheek, asking me to meet him outside the restaurant.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Man denies supporting IS

KOTA KINABALU - A man from Kota Belud claimed trial to a charge of supporting the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group and possessing photos related to the group at the High Court here yesterday.

Aszroy Achoi, 25, denied both counts framed under the Penal Code when the amended charges were read to him before justice Ravinthran Paramaguru.

On the first count, Aszroy was alleged to have given support to IS through a Facebook account with the user name Yohyo Illa’nur AlSaba Malizia belonging to him, at Kampung Kota Bungan along Jalan Kudat, Kota Belud, between July 5 and 19, 2016.

Ringgit to hit 4.6 to the dollar this year?

The ringgit is forecasted to reach 4.60 against the US dollar in June this year before retracing to 4.30 in early 2018.

Standard Chartered Bank FX Strategist for Asean and South Asia Divya Devesh said the ringgit has been disconnected from fundamentals and can remain under pressure for the first half of 2017.

He said the major risk factors for the ringgit are the US Federal Reserve's rate hikes and the stability of the Chinese Yuan against the US dollar.

IMB: Sulu Sea kidnappings a threat to merchant shipping

The Sulu Sea between eastern Malaysia and the Philippines has become dangerous for merchant shipping due to rising threat of kidnappings, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Tuesday.

The Sulu archipelago is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaeda linked group notorious for kidnappings and, increasingly, piracy.

The IMB report was released just hours after armed men attacked a fishing boat, killing eight fishermen, in what appeared to be a pirate attack off the southern Philippines.

'Costlier CNY celebration this year due to rising prices’ — Association chief

KUCHING - Expensive imported goods and the wet weather will result in the Chinese community having to spend 20 per cent more for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.

Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sarawak president Hu Yu Siang, who stated this, said the weak Ringgit and exchange rate have caused the prices of many imported commodities to increase.

Citing mandarin orange, a must-have for the Chinese community when celebrating Chinese New Year, as an example, Hu said the price for the commodity has increased by 30 per cent.

“A box of 40 to 50 mandarin oranges last year was sold for RM35. This year, the price is RM47 on average. That is an increase of 30 per cent,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Huge 7.2 magnitude quake in Celebes Sea felt in Sabah

No tsunami warning from underwater quake, but seismologists warn of possible aftershocks

Monday, January 9, 2017

Construction sector will suffer an additional RM2 billion with implementation of new foreign worker levy

KUALA LUMPUR - The construction sector may have to bear an additional cost of above RM2 billion, annually, following the new ruling that employers will now be responsible to pay the levy of their foreign workers, effective Jan 1, 2017.

Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) President Foo Chek Lee said the impact included the increase in levy to RM1,850 per foreign worker hired from RM1,200 less than a year ago.

Philippine Armed Forces vows to destroy Abu Sayyaf, other terror groups ‘in 6 months’

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is targeting to destroy Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist and lawless groups in six months’ time, defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday, January 9.

Aside from Abu Sayyaf, the military is also targeting to defeat the Maute Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines.

“For the record, our goal is to defeat the Abu Sayyaf, the Maute etc.,” Lorenzana said in an interview shortly after the joint DND–AFP New Year’s Call 2017 at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. “That was the target given by chief of staff Gen. [Eduardo] Año. Let’s see if we could do that in the next six months. But if not, we can extend it by the end of the year.”

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lajim's party to team up with Gabungan Sabah

KOTA KINABALU - Datuk Lajim Ukin's Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah is teaming up with other local opposition parties within the United Sabah Alliance.

Lajim said on Sunday that his party will join as a "component" of the currently three-party coalition, and not as part of a loose electoral pact.

This adds a fourth member to the coalition, which is currently made up of Parti Cinta Sabah, the State Reform Party and the  Sabah Progressive Party.

With this, the only local Opposition party currently out of the alliance is Parti Warisan Sabah headed by former Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

PTI just out of jail is shot over attack

KOTA KINABALU - Police shot and wounded a habitual criminal after he swung a meat cleaver and a knife at one of them in a parking space at Taman Bukit Setia, Jalan Sepanggar, here, Saturday.

The 35-year-old paperless Filipino, who is responsible for 13 criminal cases in the city and at least one burglary in Keningau between December last year and January, was shot below his armpit and ribs.

The foreigner who was released from prison last October after serving three months for a drug offence, was warded and reported to be in stable condition.

Kuching construction workers unearth Chinese relics

Pottery pieces found at construction site in Kuching believed to be from Qing Dynasty era

KUCHING - To a group of construction workers here, it was just another routine day as they were carrying out work to build a drainage system.

Little did they know that while digging near a police station in Jalan Khoo Yeang here, they would unearth pieces of ancient Chinese pottery.

The workers stumbled upon broken parts of a ceramic plate and a bowl, believed to be about 200 years old, on Friday.

Shapiee Said, 42, said the workers at first thought the ceramic pieces were nothing unusual and continued with their work.

Duterte reiterates desire to finish Daesh-linked group

Interior and Local Government Secretary says local terrorist groups may target popular Jan. 9 religious event

ZAMBOANGA CITY, the Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his desire to put an end to a Daesh-linked group which continues to pose a serious threat to peace in the country's south.

Friday, January 6, 2017

McDonald reportedly removed halal-only cake notice in Miri outlets

McDonald's Malaysia instructed its outlets in Miri, Sarawak to remove the notice allowing only halal cakes on its premises, claimed a political secretary to Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

The aide, Michael Ting, said this followed Miri branches of McDonald's being the only outlets in Sarawak that have followed Peninsular Malaysia in putting up the notice.

"They had received an instruction from their headquarters to take down the notice to complement the tolerant spirit in Sarawak,” he was quoted as saying by Borneo Post.

MH370 search to end in two weeks

The hunt for missing flight MH370 will end in two weeks, Malaysia's transport minister said on Friday, as relatives of passengers demanded authorities push on with the search.

"We're at the final lap within these two weeks," the minister, Liow Tiong Lai told reporters.

"We hope we can find the plane."

Liow did not specify a date but said that a tripartite meeting will be held after a final report is released when the 120,000 square kilometre (46,000 square mile) search ends.

Authorities had previously said the search will end early this year. The last search vessel embarked on its final sweep across the southern Indian Ocean last month.

The Malaysian Airlines jet disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, carrying 239 passengers and crew.

53 of 158 inmates accounted for after Philippine jailbreak

MANILA, Philippines - More than 50 of the 158 inmates who escaped in the biggest jailbreak ever in the Philippines have been caught or killed, officials said Friday, with a manhunt underway for the others.

Of the prisoners who escaped after suspected heavily armed Muslim rebels stormed a jail in the country’s south, 43 have been recaptured and eight were killed.

'Mastermind' of Bangladesh cafe siege killed

DHAKA - An Islamist extremist accused of being one of the masterminds of last year’s deadly siege at a Bangladeshi cafe was killed during a pre-dawn raid Friday in the capital Dhaka, police said.

The bodies of Nurul Islam Marzan and another suspected extremist were found after officers raided a property in Dhaka’s Rayer Bazar neighbourhood, a spokesman for the Dhaka Metropolitan Police told AFP.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

No "non-halal cake" ban for Sarawak McDonald's

SIBU - Political secretary to Sarawak chief minister Michael Tiang has urged the McDonald's management not to bring the "non-halal cake" ban to the state.

He said in a statement that the ban issued by McDonald's management in Peninsular Malaysia was not suitable for multicultural and multi-religious Sarawak.

Ministry Sec-gen, his two sons remanded in corruption probe

PUTRAJAYA - Rural and Regional Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohd Arif Ab Rahman and his two sons have been remanded for seven days in a case involving abuse of power, corruption and money laundering.

The 59-year-old secretary-general and his sons, aged 29 and 34, arrived at the magistrate’s court here in separate cars at 9.40am on Thursday.

They were clad in orange coloured t-shirts bearing the words “LOKAP SPRM” and had their faces covered.

Ministry: S'wak employers exempt from new levy law

It is believed that the new rule could not apply in the state due to Sarawak's autonomy in immigration issues, including in the issuance of permits for foreign workers.

Employers in Sarawak are exempted from having to pay the levy for foreign workers under the home ministry’s newly-introduced Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC), the Borneo Post reported.

10 villages flooded and 7 schools closed in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU - Seven primary schools were closed in Sabah’s northern Pitas district as overnight rains triggered flooding in 10 villages, cutting off main roads.

The affected schools, involving 1,203 pupils and 131 teachers, are SK Pandan Mandamai, SK Sosop, SK Pinggan-Pinggan, SK Mandurian, SK Pinapak, SK Nibang and SK Rokom.

Sabah Civil Defence Department director Col Mulliadi Al-Hamdi Ladin said the situation, however, remained under control.

Court of Appeal reverses High Court decision on transsexual man

PUTRAJAYA - The Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court decision made last July which declared that a person who had gender reassignment surgery is legally a man.

A three-member Court of Appeal panel chaired by Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam allowed the appeal by the National Registration Department director-general after finding that there was merit to it.