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Monday, May 29, 2017

Appoint Qualified Sabahan As UMS VC – Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “The appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) may seem like a routine appointment but therein lies a very important aspect of the Sabah-Federal relationship and the basis of the formation of Malaysia back in 1963” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Assemblyman for Bingkor, Sabah, weighing in on the on-going viral speculation and displeasure that a non-Sabahan will be named soon to replace the outgoing retiring VC.

US banning laptops on all flights into and out of the country?

WASHINGTON - The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on May 28.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Kelly said the United States planned to "raise the bar" on airline security, including tightening screening of carry-on items.

"That's the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a US carrier, particularly if it's full of US people."

In March, the government imposed restrictions on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from 10 airports, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey.

Fighting exacts heavy toll on Marawi civilians

MARAWI CITY -The military launched fresh airstrikes on Sunday to drive out terrorists linked to the Islamic State (IS) group after days of fighting left at least 19 corpses in the streets and hundreds of civilians begging for rescue from this besieged city in Lanao del Sur province.

The crisis inside Marawi City, home to some 200,000 people, has grown increasingly dire as the Maute group terrorists showed unexpected strength, fending off the Army and soldiers who went house-to-house in search of gunmen.

Free Uber rides for Kota Kinabalu Maxis users

KOTA KINABALU - The promotion, which runs until May 31, is being held in conjunction with Kaamatan or Harvest Festival.

For the next three days, Maxis users in Kota Kinabalu can enjoy free Uber rides in conjunction with the Kaamatan or Harvest Festival.

Maxis Sabah head Ng Chak Khin told The Star that the rides would be available for the first 10,000 customers. Until May 31, Maxis and Hotlink users can get four free rides worth a total of RM36 by keying in the promo code MAXIS4GKK.

Kaamatan is a Cultural Event of the KDM Community – Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU -  Kaamatan is a Cultural Event of the KDM Community.  It is an event of great significance to the Orang Asal who understands and respect nature as part of their traditional life.

They understand the forces of nature that affects their lives – light, earth, water, air, the energy of the Sun and the continuity of life beyond the material life.

They understand the interdependence of these forces of nature with their own lives.

They understand the spiritual presence in all living things.  To them God is Nature. Thus, the thanksgiving of the Bambarayon and the sacrifice as well as the portrayal of Huminodun at the centre of the Kaamatan celebration.

Evacuees claimed most Marawi militants are in their teens

ILIGAN CITY: Bold, daring and unusually playful.

This was how evacuees described many of the Maute group terrorists who have besieged Marawi for a week now, prompting Philippine President Duterte to declare martial law for 60 days in all of Mindanao and sending thousands of residents fleeing the city.

The boldness, daring and playfulness may be owing to their young age. The youngest of the terrorists is estimated to be 13 years old.

Implement Abolishment as Announced – STAR

KOTA KINABALU - “Who is the boss?  Prime Minister Najib or the Minister of Transport and his Ministry?  There appears to be utter confusion as to the abolishment of the cabotage policy for Sabah and Sarawak which was announced by PM Najib himself in Sandakan on 6th May 2017,” said Jeffrey Kumin, Information Chief of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) in response to the latest development that the alleged exemption of the cabotage policy appears to be only for a trial period of 6 months according to the press report attributed to the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri James Masing.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Name a main road in KL after Yap Ah Loy, says descendant

Glenn Yap said the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple (pic) near Central Market
was founded by his great-great grandfather Yap Ah Loy and should also be gazetted as a heritage site
KUALA LUMPUR - Yap Ah Loy’s great-great grandson urged the government to name a main road in Kuala Lumpur after the founding father of modern Kuala Lumpur.

Evil Islamist militants kill 19 in south Philippines

MARAWI (Philippines) (AFP) - Islamist militants locked in street-to-street battles with security forces in a southern Philippine city have killed 19 civilians, the military said Sunday, bringing the official death toll from nearly a week of fighting to at least 85.

The violence prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law on Tuesday across the southern third of the Philippines to quell what he said was a fast-growing threat of militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group.

STAR Ready for Polls Anytime

PEKAN NABALU - Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku (STAR) continues to receive strong support from the people of Kiulu with the entry of former leaders and supporters of PBS, UPKO, PKR and PCS during the launching the Party’s election machinery for the 5 polling districts in Kiulu comprising Bongol, Taginambur, Simpangan, Tomis and Tiong Simpodon.   The launching ceremony was officiated by the Party President, Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, cum Assemblyman for Bingkor, in the town of Nabalu on 25th May.

Marawi will be a fight to the death, say commanders

KOTA KINABAL - It appears that the battle between militants and Philippine security forces in Marawi will be a fight to the death, according to several military commanders in that country.

The soldiers have encircled the city where Malaysian lecturer-turned-militant Dr Mahmud Ahmad has dug in with at least 90 militants.

With the fighting taking place in a 4km area of the city, Philippine troops are constrained by some 100 civilians there who are reluctant to be evacuated.

28 Malaysians join Maute militants, intelligence official says

PETALING JAYA - Twenty-eight Malaysians have joined the Islamic State-backed Maute militants in the battle against Philippine forces in Marawi City on Mindanao island.

The involvement of 10 Indonesians and a Singaporean — dubbed foreign jihadists by Philippine authorities — with the outlawed Maute terror movement has confirmed suspicion of collaboration among militants from the three countries.

Sheer Arrogance But The Truth Hurts for PBS - STAR

KOTA KINABALU -  “The sheer arrogance and shallow quality of the response by the Secretary General of PBS, if reflective of the type of leadership, certainly does not augur well for the prospects of the party in PRU-14” said Guandee Kohoi, Secretary General of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku, in reply to the emotionally charged and angry response to criticisms against PBS.

Well, as the saying goes, the truth hurts and he must be feeling the hurt caused by the truth of STAR’s earlier statement and criticisms raised against PBS. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Duterte urges IS-linked rebels to halt siege, start talks or ...

ILIGAN CITY, PHILIPPINES - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to Islamist militants on Friday to abandon hostilities and start dialogue in an effort to end their bloody occupation of a southern city that experts called a major blow to regional security.

Duterte said the presence of foreign fighters in street battles that have raged since Tuesday in Marawi City was proof that Islamic State had gained a foothold on the restive island of Mindanao, but there was still a chance for peace.

Former UM lecturer to take over militant leadership if incumbent is killed

KOTA KINABALU - Malaysian lecturer-turned-militant Dr Mahmud Ahmad could soon be the leader of the Islamic State’s (IS) offshoot in the southern Philippines Marawi City.

He is believed to be holed up in the city where the army is battling the Maute group, which has seen 44 people, including two Malaysians, killed.

Dr Mahmud has been identified as the next man to create a bastion of IS in South-East Asia, now under the command of Abu Sayyaf lea­der Isnilon Hapilon.

Isnilon was declared as the Emir of the IS forces in the Philippines early last year but he was reportedly badly injured in an aerial attack on Basilan about two months ago.

A clash that wasn’t, a peace that isn’t

Tension was high in Indonesias West Kalimantan last weekend,  and although police were able to contain the situation, the problem remain.
LAST Saturday, the video clips – real and fake – emerging from Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Indonesia were disturbing.

Saturday was the start of the one-week Gawai Dayak Harvest Festival – an annual festival with many Dayak men and women clad in their traditional costumes, carrying their spears and machetes.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Is there religious freedom in Malaysia? Survey shows one in 10 says no

KUALA LUMPUR, - A recent national survey by market research firm Kajidata showed that around one in 10 Malaysians did not agree that religious freedom is practised here although Malaysia is a multi-faith country.

The survey to gauge Malaysians’ thoughts on the Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) initiative, with a focus on unity and prosperity, also found that roughly the same disagreed with Islam as the religion of the federation.

Philippines claims Malaysians, foreigners fighting alongside rebels

DAVAO CITY - Foreigners are among Islamist gunmen battling security forces in a southern Philippine city, the government said today as the reported death toll from four days of clashes climbed to 46.

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the southern region of Mindanao on Tuesday, hours after gunmen loyal to the Islamic State group rampaged through Marawi city in response to a raid on one of their safe houses.

“What is happening in Mindanao is no longer a rebellion of Filipino citizens. It has transmogrified into an invasion by foreign fighters,” Solicitor-General Jose Calida, the government’s chief lawyer, told reporters in the southern city of Davao.

Death toll in Marawi siege rises to 44

GOVERNMENT clearing operations in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, entered the fourth day on Friday, May 26, with 31 Islamic State group-linked militants and 13 government troopers killed so far, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear whether civilians were among the dead. As this developed, Malacañang announced that President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to fly to Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Friday afternoon to personally assess the situation.

Female Immigration officer injured after being stormed by fleeeing foreigners during operation

PUTRAJAYA - A female Immigration Department enforcement officer was injured after she was crushed by a group of foreigners who were trying to escape on foot during an integrated operation around Jalan Desa Aman Puri Kepong in Kuala Lumpur. 

Immigration Department deputy director-general (operations) Datuk Jaafar Mohamed said besides the woman, several officers suffered injuries in the incident.

Did Jong Nam meet US spy in Langkawi before his murder?

Report says Jong Nam met a Korean-American several times in Malaysia and the two had met again just days before his murder, giving rise to speculation that he was killed over this
Kim Jong Nam, whose murder here set off a diplomatic row between North Korea and Malaysia, apparently met a suspected US intelligence agent four days before he was killed.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Li Shufu, the man who dared to buy Proton

KUALA LUMPUR - Chinese entrepreneur and founder of Geely Automobile, Li Shufu, is the man who dared to buy loss-making national car maker Proton.

After years of dwindling sales and financial losses, it is hoped that finally now, Shufu is the man who would work his “magic”’ in reviving Proton as he did with prestigious Swedish auto maker Volvo.

Given his proven track record in turning round loss-making auto companies, the Malaysian government and Proton’s parent company DRB-Hicom are confident he will herald a new era of growth for Proton.

Thousands flee Philippine city after rebel rampage claimed by IS

PANTAR - Thousands of civilians fled fighting in the Philippines on Wednesday as troops tried to fend off Islamist militants who took over large parts of a city, capturing Christians, seizing and torching buildings and setting free scores of prisoners.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the rampage via its Amaq news agency, and President Rodrigo Duterte defended his decision to declare martial law on Mindanao, the Muslim-majority island where Marawi City is located, to prevent the spread of extremism in the impoverished region.

Police to tighten security at borders following martial law in Mindanao

KUALA LUMPUR - Police will tighten security at the nation's borders, especially in waters adjacent to the Philippines following the declaration of martial law by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in the Mindanao region.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said, however, the department will not increase the number of personnel required for the task.

"We have taken precautions, and are always beware of what is happening in neighbouring country Philippines," he said when contacted by Bernama yesterday.

Jakarta suicide bombing kills three police officers

JAKARTA (AFP) - A suicide bombing attack outside a busy bus terminal in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Wednesday killed three police officers, the latest assault to hit the Muslim-majority country as it struggles with a surge of terror plots.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Priest among 14 hostages taken in siege of Philippines city

Muslim extremists have abducted a Catholic priest and more than a dozen churchgoers while laying siege to a southern Philippine city, officials said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in the southern third of the nation and warned he would enforce it harshly.

The violence erupted on Tuesday night after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf commander who is on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists.

Philippine forces clash with gunmen protecting Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon in southern city

MANILA - Philippine troops and police battled dozens of gunmen protecting one of the world's most wanted Islamic militants in a built-up area of a southern city on Tuesday, authorities said.

At least one policeman was killed in the hunt for Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the infamous Abu Sayyaf kidnap gang and Philippine head of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, according to Philippine military chief of staff General Eduardo Ano.

PBS toothless and has lost its way on Sabah Rights - STAR

KOTA KINABALU - “It paints a grim picture to see PBS leaders spinning tales of their history and falling heads over heels trying to shore up support with their events and dinners now that PRU-14 is round the corner,” said Jeffrey Kumin, Information Chief of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku, responding to news reports of PBS leaders harping the party’s original struggles for Sabah rights.

The PBS of today is no longer the PBS of 1985. It is now weak and powerless and subservient to Umno.  Its voice is muted and has lost the appetite to fight for Sabah rights any more with many of its leaders in comfort zones.

Despite RM-to-RM reward, only 214 civil servants expose corruption cases since 2011

Despite the ringgit-to-ringgit incentive offered to civil servants for reporting on corruption cases among them, only 214 individuals had reported such cases since 2011, with the amount of incentives totalling RM384,000.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner, Datuk Shamsun Baharin Mohd Jamil said the figure was considered small, representing only 0.00001 per cent of the 1.6 million civil servants in the country.

"It is undeniable that corruption among civil servants is at a critical level but it is disappointing that since 2011 until early this year, only 214 civil servants were brave enough to lodge reports on corrupt practices in their midst although the minimum incentive is RM500.

IGP: Suspect detained over missing pastor case

KUALA LUMPUR - A man has been detained by police in connection with the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh (pic), says Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

The Inspector-General of Police said the suspect was picked up in the north of the country last week.

"We believe he is relevant to the ongoing investigation into the abduction of Koh.

"Let us investigate the case thoroughly," he told a press conference in Bukit Aman after launching a blood donation programme here on Wednesday.

Previously, police detained a man in Ampang who demanded a ransom for allegedly kidnapping Koh. However, it turned out to be a hoax and the man has since been charged in court.

Find Koh! Not investigating him, group tells police

Christian Solidarity Worldwide says annual US report highlights how religious freedom violations engaged in or tolerated by Malaysian government are serious

PETALING JAYA - An international Christian organisation has called for the police to enhance efforts to secure the release of Pastor Raymond Koh, instead of trying to investigate allegations that he had tried to proselytise to Muslims.

JJPTR trio released on bail, remand not extended

TAIPING - The remand order for JJPTR founder Johnson Lee and two of his aides will not be extended.

A Taiping police spokesman said they had been released on police bail and would not be sent to any other police contingent.

Reporters were seen gathering at the Taiping courts yesterday, but they left after the spokesman informed them through a text message that their remand would not be extended.

On Monday, Lee and his aides were issued a two-day remand order by magistrate Sharifah Izura Syed Mashor, which expired yesterday.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Autonomy will turn into independence if unfulfilled – Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “The recent poll results showing that 67% of Sabahans wanting autonomy for Sabah to be implemented is not surprising.  In fact, if the pollsters had asked whether the people whether they wanted independence, the results may be similar in numbers,” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, President of STAR who is also the Assemblyman for Bingkor, Keningau, who had long championed for Sabah to be restored as an equal and autonomous partner in the Federation of Malaysia.

UN urges Indonesia to free jailed Jakarta governor

JAKARTA - The United Nations pressed Indonesia on Monday to release Jakarta’s jailed Christian governor and repeal blasphemy laws which they say undermine religious freedom in the Muslim-majority nation.

The call came as the family of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, unexpectedly withdrew an appeal against his conviction and two-year jail term for blasphemy, which had been submitted by his lawyers just hours earlier.

Philippine forces kill another Abu Sayyaf militant

KOTA KINABALU - The Philippine military is continuing its operations against fleeing Abu Sayyaf gunmen, killing a militant known only as Imbo, a key man to the notorious Alhabsi Misaya who was killed in late April.

The Philippines Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) commander Brig-Gen Cirilito Sobejana Jr said Imbo was a key kidnap-for-ransom contact and facilitator keeper of Alhabsi’s firearms and boats used in kidnapping from Bahalaw island off Jolo island in the Sulu province.

Borneo Agenda not only Alive and Kicking but Stronger and Better Supported – STAR

KOTA KINABALU - “The AGENDA BORNEO is certainly alive and kicking.  In fact, the Agenda Borneo is much more active and getting stronger and better supported than it was years ago when Juliana Siton still had her conscience to support it,” said Jeffrey Kumin, Information Chief of the Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku, in response to her wild accusation that the Agenda Borneo no longer exists.

“We are pleased that the Agenda Borneo has even received support globally and that Dr. Jeffrey still has his conscience unlike her who seem to have lost her direction as well,” added Jeffrey.

The calling of Sabah for Sabahans, Sarawak for Sarawakians, even SSKM, and the demands for full autonomy as well as for the restoration of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners and the implementation of the constitutional rights of Sabah and Sarawak are all parts of the Borneo Agenda.

I am disappointed with IGP, says Pastor Koh’s wife

PETALING JAYA - The wife of missing pastor Raymond Koh, Susanna Liew, has expressed her disappointment with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar for investigating her husband's alleged proselytising instead of solving his abduction.

Liew said her trust has been in vain after she had read a report in a Malay daily on April 6 stating that the police are investigating her husband and unnamed others for allegedly trying to convert unnamed Muslim youths in Perlis.

"According to the IGP, Raymond is now being investigated under Section 298 (A)(1) of the Penal Code for trying to disrupt the country's harmony by using religion.

Pastor Koh abduction: 100 days and still no answers

PETALING JAYA - It has been 100 days since Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted, and there has been no update from the police on investigations into his disappearance.

Report: North Korean cyber warfare cell that worries the West has links in Malaysia

SEOUL - North Korea's main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet security experts.

North Korea has been blamed in recent years for a series of online attacks, mostly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and over a dozen other countries.

At least 22 dead, 50 injured after explosion at Ariana Grande concert in England as evil strikes

At least 22 people were killed and 50 injured Monday night in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that police are treating as a possible suicide bombing.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Curfew in ESSZone waters extended to June 7

KOTA KINABALU - The period of the dusk-to-dawn curfew in the waters off seven districts under the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) which ended today has been extended to June 7, said Sabah Police commissioner Datuk Ramli Din.

Nine Navy men still missing off Johor waters

PETALING JAYA - Nine Navy personnel have been missing since Wednesday after their boat lost contact during a routine patrol in waters off Johor.

The Navy said the boat with an officer and eight personnel was patrolling the waters together with fast attack craft KD Perdana off Tanjung Sedili when both vessels lost communication with each other.

"The Royal Malaysian Navy has confirmed an incident where KD Perdana lost communication with a boat ferrying a Boarding Team in the waters of Sedili at 201300H (8.13pm) on Wednesday," said a Navy statement on Sunday.

Breathtaking image of futsal court in remote Sabah goes viral

If Lord of the Rings' Rivendell had its own elvish futsal team, this is where they would train.

Yong criticises politicians without principle

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee yesterday criticized the opposition parties in West Malaysia for not having principle and honour as they were unable to let go of their government posts even after their parties have gone separate ways.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

‘Defend M’sia as secular nation’

KUALA LUMPUR - All Malaysians must defend Malaysia as a secular country as inspired by the nation’s founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj, said a former Court of Appeal judge.

Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Yunus (pic) said the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (RUU355) was not suitable and would not be accepted by most Malaysians.

The argument that the RUU355 will not affect non-Muslims also cannot be accepted, he said.

Penang court rejects application to remand JJPTR founder Johnson Lee, two aides

BUKIT MERTAJAM - The magistrate's court here has rejected a fresh application to remand JJ Poor To Rich (JJPTR) founder Johnson Lee and two of his aides.  

The trio, led by police, arrived around 10.55am Sunday at the Bukit Mertajam courthouse from the Central Seberang Prai district police headquarters in Bandar Perda. 

At about 1.50pm, their lawyer G. Jaya Prem walked out and announced to reporters that their remand application has been rejected by magistrate Diannee Ningrad Nor Azahar.

What did Melania Trump wear in Saudi Arabia?

RIYADH - What women wear can often be the focus of critique and controversy -- all the more so when the woman is an ex-model, married to the US president and disembarking in Saudi Arabia.

The question of what first lady Melania Trump would wear on her husband's first foreign trip echoes similar debates around Michelle Obama's decision to wear colour -- blue and white -- and not cover her hair on a visit to ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

JJPTR founder, aides rearrested after release

KUALA LUMPUR - Under investigation for cheating, JJ Poor To Rich (JJPTR) scheme founder Johnson Lee and two aides have been rearrested shortly after their release from the Klang police custody and are to be taken to Penang today.

North Klang district police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Yusoff Mamat said the trio would be passed over to Penang police for “their side of the investigation into the money scheme”, The Star daily reported.

Lee and his two senior aides who have not been named were arrested in Petaling Jaya, Selangor last Tuesday following a joint raid by government agencies including the police on eight JJPTR offices.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Trump alleges ‘witch hunt’, denies trying to kill FBI probe

Lashing out after a high-powered special counsel was appointed to investigate events around the 2016 election, Trump denied he ever plotted with the Kremlin to win the White House.

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump declared himself the victim of the “greatest witch hunt” in American political history Thursday and slapped down accusations he tried to quash a probe into collusion between his campaign team and Russia.

I wasn't being rude, says David Teo on slapping incident

KUALA LUMPUR - Film producer David Teo described the incident which saw him being slapped by a fellow artiste at the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue last night, as his “most embarrassing” moment to date.

“This (the incident) was the most embarrassing thing to happen to me ever since I first got involved in the local entertainment industry,” he said.