Ahad, Februari 27, 2011


New spin to ‘ Slumdog Millionaire’ sultan

February 27, 2011

Controversial 'Sulu Sultan' Mohd Akjan Ali's life-story resembles a rags-to-riches tale.

KOTA KINABALU: Until his widely-reported “proclaimation” as the 33rd Sulu Sultan, few outside of Sabah circles knew Mohd Akjan Ali Mohamad.

But his “self-proclaimation” and subsequent contentious call for Suluk descendents in Sabah to give him their loyalty reopened a sore wound in Sabah’s psyche – illegal immgrants and the “covert” Project IC project in the 1990s aimed at increasing Umno’s vote bank in Sabah.

Today these “illegal immigrants”, who are former runaways from the Philippines and Indonesia, form the bulk of Sabah’s citizenry.

They are also now Sabah Umno’s “lifeline”, eating into every aspect of native Sabahans’ rights.

Akjan Ali’s rise is a rags-to-riches tale bearing some semblence to the award-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. (In the movie, an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai won a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s reality show “Who wants to be a millionaire?”)

Akjan, the Ferari-driving millionaire clocking in frequent flyer miles, was once rumoured to have been a carwash boy, cobbler and bus conductor, who spent his days on the city streets in Kota Kinabalu.

But a press release issued by his “interim government of the Sulu Sultanate” press release issued on Feb 7 tells a different story.

If what it says is to be believed, Akjan, now called Sultan Shariful-Hashim II, has lived a charmed life.

The “new sultan”, a Suluk, was born in Jambangan, Nipah-Nipah, Jolo in the southern Philippines on Nov 23, 1957, his virtual government states.

His Malaysian identity card, however, states that he was born in Sabah on July 7, 1957.

Akjan, who recently resigned from Umno,  has himself admitted to being “born in Kudat (Sabah)” who loves his country.

However, he adds that he will give up his Malaysian citizenship before his “actual” coronation as sultan.

His Feb 7 media statement states: “On Nov 11, 1962, he (Akjan) was taken by his uncle Hasirin B Sumabud to Camp Sibaud, Sandakan, for security reason. He later became a Malaysian citizen when Sabah joined the then Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia.”

Opportunistic Akjan

It’s a fact that from 1962 to the late 1990s, many Philippine nationals fled the conflict in the south of their country and settled in Sabah.

Fellow Filipinos whose parents or grandparents came from the Philippines say, Akjan falls into this category of citizens of ambiguous origin.

They are adamant that Akjan was not born in Sabah.

Nothing much is known about his youth but Akjan claims he went straight into business presumably as a sub-contractor at the relatively young age of 19 years right out of school.

According to Akjan’s “interim government” profile, he is today  “among others, the executive chairman and managing director of at least seven companies including Tanah Teguh Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Khazanah Watan, Malaysian Maestro (M) Sdn Bhd, Interise Capital Sdn Bhd, Nautica Technologies Sdn Bhd, Bestcom System Sdn Bhd and Plus Million Synergy Sdn Bhd.

A search on the Internet also revealed a company called Mohd Akjan Holding Sdn Bhd at Wisma Merdeka in the centre of the city’s business  district.

According to political sources, Akjan’s “growth” began in the 1980s when he took the opportunity to get close to former Sabah chief minister Tun Mustapha Harun.

Mustapha had himself nursed an aspiration to become Sultan of Sabah.

Akjan’s link to Mustapha came through Usno legal adviser, the late Abdul Razak Rouse.

It was during this period that Akjan allegedly became involved in helping immigrants from the Philippines apply for permits to live in Sabah.

He was already quite influential among the Filipino community in the city then and was frequently seen around the city’s central market area on the KK waterfront where many of them plied their trade or just hung around.

It was here that he mingled with many immigrants after Friday prayers at the surau at the neighbouring Filipino market and gained Islamic credentials.

Pioneer Umno Sabah member

Akjan is currently chairman of Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (The Islamic Welfare and Sermon Organisation of Malaysia) or Pekida Malaysia, Sabah division, a supreme council meber of Pekida Malaysia, and its international affairs chief.

The position has gained him respect in the eyes of many Filipino Muslims.

When Umno spread its wings to Sabah in the early 1990s, he was among the first to join the party through the Sepangar division.

Sepangar is the site of the Malaysian naval base and, according to sources, was built using immigrant labour.

He was welcomed by the new party that came into existence with the closure of Usno and Berjaya.

Their first task was to recruit new members and regain control of the state after Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) pulled out of the Barisan Nasional coalition.

PBS logoPBS had pulled out from the BN on the eve of the 1990 election and the coalition was desperate to topple the local party from power.

Akjan’s value to the new party was the sizeable number of followers among the Filipino community residing on Pulau Gaya and the squatter colonies in Kampung Likas, Mengattal and Telipok.

According to sources, it was during this time that Akjan and other former Usno leaders were given the task to issue Malaysian ICs to Filipino immigrants and register them as voters.

That project came to be known as the infamousProject IC ”.

New Malaysians

The “new Malaysians” recruited subsequently became Umno members and helped lift Sabah Umno membership to about half a million and thus become the second biggest Umno bastion in the country after Johor.

About a year after PBS was ousted through the wheeling and dealing in the aftermath of the 1994 election, Akjan and other Umno operatives were allegedly arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The arrests were triggered after he was allegedly caught with a briefcase containing about 2,000 ICs at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport on a return flight from Kuala Lumpur.

It is believed that he was detained for allegedly selling the ICs to Filipino illegal immigrants in Sabah for between RM500 and RM3,000.

After his release from a two-year detention, Akjan repositioned himself in Umno at federal level and managed to align himself with former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“Akjan used to call on him in Putrajaya and became the envy of some Umno leaders from Sabah. He even had a kind of second home there (Putrajaya),” said a source.

He is also reputedly close to several influential figures in Sabah society.

Akjan’s efforts paid off and he landed one of the so-called government mega-projects – to build the General Operations Force (GOF) Sabah headquarters and housing for its personnel at Kinarut, about half-an-hour drive from the city, for close to RM200 million.

The project, however, saw several delays and cash injections as the initial allocation was deemed insufficient.

Incomplete project

Critics claim this was mainly due to money disappearing into the pockets of some people. The project remains incomplete to this day.

Filipino workers recruited to build the complex staged frequent strikes due to non-payment of salaries.

At the same time, Akjan bought himself a brand new red Ferrari said to be worth about RM1 million and built a palatial residence in Likas where he owns several properties and plots of land.

Akjan’s success reflects the culture of the Filipino refugees who fled civil strife in the southern Philippines and worked hard to rebuild their lives in Sabah.

If you walk around the capital city and other major towns in Sabah, it would be quite easy to spot Filipino traders who have taken advantage of the situation in the state.

Though many are still poor, there is a sizeable number of traders in the open markets who drive around in luxury cars and have the other trappings of the rich.

The only way to distinguish them from the local is from their distinctive way of speaking or dialect.

Akjan was certainly not part of the Sabahan elite club when he began his rags-to-riches climb.

His story reveals Sabah’s crippling social fabric. The great Sabah experiment that helped boost the population of the state has come at a price.

The government-sponsored “free enterprise” has left just too many important problems unsolved.

For one it has given rise to a growing population of locals who are known for their hostility to immigrants whose large numbers have transformed the city and the state.


Adu polis harga minyak naik


Pemandu berang kenaikan berlaku ketika sedang isi bahan bakar

2011/02/27 WASHINGTON: Pejabat Sherif St John The Baptist Parish menerima panggilan paling pelik minggu ini apabila seorang pemandu meminta bantuan polis kerana pengusaha stesen minyak menaikkan harga ketika dia sedang mengisi minyak kenderaannya, lapor akhbar.

Panggilan itu pada Khamis lalu mengejutkan pegawai polis sekali gus dikelaskan dalam senarai baru, ‘aduan paling luar biasa’.

Aduan yang pernah diterima sebelum ini termasuk tak tahan bunyi anjing menyalak dan ‘anak saya tak mahu pergi ke sekolah.’

Apapun, panggilan paling luar biasa itu mungkin menunjukkan perubahan corak aduan sejajar dengan perubahan era.

Pada 2 petang hari itu, panggilan kecemasan 911 Sherif menerima panggilan seorang pemandu yang ‘naik darah’ melihat harga minyak tiba-tiba naik ketika dia masih mengisi minyak.

Pemandu tidak dinamakan itu memberitahu, ketika dia mula mengisi minyak di stesen itu yang terletak di 901 East Airline Highway, harga di pam adalah AS$3.049 segelen.

Tetapi, ketika dia masih mengisi, harga itu naik kepada AS$3.189 menyebabkan pemandu terbabit bertikam lidah dengan atendan stesen dan kemudian menelefon polis kerana tidak puas hati dengan apa yang dijelaskan.

“Pemandu itu anggap perbuatan stesen berkenaan tidak adil. Selain itu, atendan stesen pula tidak memberi kerjasama menyebabkannya menelefon kami,” kata Kapten Dane Clement.

Bagaimanapun, tiada siapa ditahan dan laporan itu akan diserahkan kepada Pejabat Peguam Negara dan dikategori sebagai ‘aduan sivil.’

Pengurus stesen, Sam Aljousi, berkata pemandu terbabit berhenti di stesen berkenaan ketika harga sedang diubah dan mahu harganya diturunkan.

“Semua orang sepatutnya menunggu (sehingga harga baru ditunjukkan). Jadi, tidak mungkin harga diturunkan. Lagipun, ia dilakukan komputer,” katanya lagi. – Agensi


Pengurus hidup mewah curi duit pelanggan RM1.5j ditahan

SUNGAI PETANI 26 Feb. - Selama ini seorang pengurus sebuah bank di sini melaram dengan gaya hidup mewah sehingga menimbulkan tanda tanya di kalangan rakan sejawatannya.

Setiap kali ditanya, pengurus muda salah sebuah bank asing di sini yang berusia 28 tahun memberi alasan bahawa dia memperoleh harta-hartanya daripada pelaburan.

Bagaimanapun, rahsia pengurus akaun dan khidmat pelanggan itu selama lebih setahun terbongkar apabila dia ditahan bagi membantu siasatan mengenai kehilangan sejumlah besar wang milik pelanggan yang dianggarkan lebih RM1.5 juta.

Lelaki itu ditahan di rumahnya sekitar bandar ini malam Rabu lalu.

Dia ditahan selepas pegawai atasan dan para pelanggan bank tersebut membuat aduan mengenai kegiatannya.

Menurut sumber, suspek terbabit dikatakan bertugas selama tiga tahun di cawangan berkenaan dan mengenali secara rapat pelanggannya.

  • "Rahsianya terbongkar apabila seorang pelanggan membuat aduan mengenai kehilangan sejumlah wang daripada akaun semasa dan deposit tetap miliknya," katanya.
  • Menurutnya, kebanyakan mereka yang menjadi mangsa sebelum itu dikatakan telah meminta bantuan suspek menguruskan pinjaman perumahan.
  • "Suspek kemudian meminta mangsa memindahkan wang daripada deposit tetap ke akaun simpanan dengan alasan mampu meluluskan permohonan dalam kadar segera," katanya.
  • Sumber itu berkata, selepas mangsa memasukkan wang ke dalam akaun simpanan, suspek akan mengambil beberapa maklumat peribadi dan mula memindahkan wang atau mengeluarkan cek atas nama individu ketiga.
  • "Bagi mengelakkan mangsa mengesan, suspek menukar alamat dan penyata akaun akan dihantar ke alamat rumahnya sendiri," katanya.
  • Namun begitu, taktik tersebut berjaya dikesan apabila beberapa pelanggan tampil membuat aduan mengenai kehilangan wang baru-baru ini.
  • Selepas beberapa hari, penyiasat bank tersebut dapat menjejak suspek dan memaklumkan kes itu kepada polis.

Sementara itu, Timbalan Ketua Polis Daerah Kuala Muda, Supritendan Ong Aik Chang ketika dihubungi mengesahkan penahanan tersebut.

Katanya, sehingga semalam 13 laporan telah dibuat terhadap suspek.

Menurutnya, suspek kini direman bagi membantu siasatan di bawah Seksyen 420 Kanun Keseksaan yang memperuntukkan hukuman penjara maksimum 10 tahun dan sebatan serta denda.

"Polis masih menyiasat jumlah kerugian dan bekerjasama dengan bank untuk menyemak kemungkinan terdapat mangsa lain terlibat," jelasnya.


Mobile IC, birth cert services a big draw

February 26, 2011 KENINGAU: About 1,000 people turned out yesterday to apply for identity card and birth certificate, and to register as voters when the relevant government agencies conducted mobile services in Kampong Merampong Apin-Apin here.

The crowd at the mobile service centre.

The mobile services, which involved the National Registration Department, Election Commission, Immigration Department, Native Court and State Islamic Affairs Department (Jheains), were monitored by District Chief, Native Chief, Native Chief representatives and headmen from Bingkor, Apin-Apin, Liawan, Sook and Nabawan.

The community leaders’ task was to ensure the people who registered for the documents and voting right are genuine locals living in the areas they represent.

Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Justin Guka, who witnessed the provision of the mobile services, expressed surprise at the response, saying it shows that many people in the district still do not have identity documents and have not registered as voters.

Justin, who is also Upko Keningau chief, said the organizing committee of the programme had made it compulsory for all community leaders to verify the application forms submitted to the government agencies.

He said this was to ensure no outsiders took the opportunity to apply for the documents and register as voters.

“I would like to thank all the departments and their staff involved in handling the services,” he said, adding that similar services will be provided at other areas.

Among those present to witness and assist in the programme were District Chief Majabin Dalinus, Apin-Apin Native Chief Alexander Kandau, Keningau parliamentary liaison officer Harry Otigil, Bingkor community development officer Stanley Bungkilau and Bingkor People Development Leader Unit staff.


Burglary costs businessman RM40,000

February 26, 2011, PENAMPANG: A businessman lost more than RM40,000 after his house at Taman Rainfield in Kampung Nosoob here was burgled on Thursday.

It was believed that the burglars had gained entry into the house through the main door when the family members were out.

The house owner, who is a car wash operator, realised the burglary after they returned home around 8pm.

Among the possessions and items missing were cash amounting to RM20,000, jeweleries and personal documents which had been kept inside a safety box.

District police chief DSP Madang Usat when contacted yesterday, said police were investigating into the case.

In Lahad Datu, a senior citizen was robbed when two men broke into his house at Taman Muhibbah Phase 3 around 3am yesterday.

mecca bingo atempted robberyThe robbers, armed with machetes, cut the back fence and broke into the house through a window.

They pointed the machetes at the victim’s head before taking jewellery, necklaces and bracelets worth around RM10,000.

In another break-in, a shop at Taman Heng Nam, Jalan Silam, Lahad Datu lost RM8,000 worth of air-conditioners and accessories.

The owner noticed his shop was broken into when he opened it yesterday morning.

He said the thief broke the chain lock at the back door of the shop.

Sabtu, Februari 26, 2011


SKMM Akan Siasat Radio Free Sarawak Jika Ada Laporan, Kata Salang

SARIKEI, 25 Feb (Bernama) -- Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) akan mengambil tindakan terhadap dakwaan wujudnya stesen radio haram Radio Free Sarawak sekiranya terdapat laporan polis mengenainya, kata Timbalan Menteri Penerangan Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Datuk Joseph Salang.

Beliau berkata setakat ini, belum ada laporan dibuat mengenainya kepada polis atau Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

"Saya ada mendengar tentang kewujudannya. Saya juga difahamkan ia beroperasi di Melaka, bukan di London, seperti yang dipercayai.

"Jika terdapat laporan mengenainya, SKMM akan menyiasat. Jika kandungannya melanggar Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998, SKMM boleh menyekat siarannya," katanya kepada pemberita selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Pertanian Kawasan Parlimen Julau yang diwakilinya di sini.

Salang berkata oleh kerana stesen radio itu tidak diberi lesen oleh SKMM, maka ia adalah stesen haram.

Pengerusi Kelab Penyokong Kerajaan Barisan Nasional Sarawak Abdul Karim Hamzah hari ini meminta pihak berkuasa mengambil tindakan terhadap stesen radio itu.

Beliau berkata dalam siaran hariannya, stesen itu menghasut rakyat Sarawak supaya menentang kerajaan negeri dan cuba menimbulkan kebencian antara kaum.


Pengasas S'wak Report: Bukan kerja saya jatuhkan Taib

Feb 25, Seorang wartawan Britain yang mengendalikan lamanweb dan radioonline yang kritis terhadap Ketua Menteri Sarawak Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud berkata, tugasnya bukanlah untuk menggulingkan pemimpin tersebut.

NONE"Saya tidak lihatnya sebagai tugas saya untuk menjatuhkan Taib. Itu terpulang kepada rakyat Sarawakian untuk memutuskan," kata Clare Rewcastle Brown dalam sebuah wawancara melalui e-mel dengan Malaysiakini.

Clare mengendalikan lamanweb anti-Taib - Sarawak Report - yang telah mendedahkan dakwaan empayar perniagaan ketua menteri itu dan dakwaan kegiatan rasuah.

Beliau juga bertanggungjawab mengendalikan stesen radio Free Sarawak, yang mulai ke udara November tahun lalu.

"Saya hanya ingin memastikan bahawa mereka mendapat semua maklumat tentang apa yang telah terjadi pada sumber dan kekayaan mereka, supaya mereka dapat membuat pilihan bermaklumat," katanya.

'Bukti mudah diperolehi'

NONEClare berpendapat dia menyediakan "perkhidmatan penting dari jarak yang selamat" demi hak rakyat Sarawak kepada kebebasan media yang dinafikan oleh penggunaan Akta Dalam Negeri (ISA) dan penyalahgunaan kuasa.

"Terpulang kepada rakyat Sarawak bagaimana mereka mahu menyebarkan berita (yang kami sediakan)," katanya.

Bekas wartawan BBC itu, yang memulakan kerjayanya pada tahun 1983, juga berkata tugasnya berdasarkan kepada bahan yang boleh dibuktikan dan dia bersedia menyerahkan bukti kepada pihak berkuasa Malaysia.

Jumaat, Februari 25, 2011


Campaign to stop ‘mother of all threats’

February 25, 2011 SAPP embarks on a signature drive demanding a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the massive illegal immigrants problem in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: All Malaysians regardless of whether they were born in Sabah should support a signature campaign demanding for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on how illegal immigrants obtained citizenships en masse in the state.

The Sabah Progressive Peoples Party (SAPP), in making the call, said the signature campaign was to protect the sovereignty and future of the country.

The party’s Api-Api youth chief, Pang Thien Fook, said this was important as the issue had been going on for almost three decades without closure and had adversely affected the politics and socio-economic environment of Sabah in particular, and Malaysia as a whole.

“It is an undeniable fact that the continuous presence of a huge number of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries like Philippines and Indonesia have became citizens through dubious means.

“The infamous ‘Project IC’ especially, has significantly eroded or usurped the rights of the bona fide citizens in many aspects, from politics to socio-economy.

“There is also constant danger of the sovereignty and security of this country being compromised at any time,” he said.

Pang stressed that Malaysians must wake up and stop the ruling government from constantly abusing and manipulating the electoral process to stay in power.

He said going by the Sabah precedent, the recent accusation by blogger Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib that Umno aimed to deploy the same modus operandi in Selangor to recapture the opposition Pakatan Rakyat ruled state is valid.

Pang claimed that ‘dubious citizens’ dubbed the ‘fixed deposit’ for Barisan Nasional (BN) in Sabah have migrated to Peninsular Malaysia.

Target: 100,000 signatures

SAPP’s signature campaign is due to a recent statement by Home Affairs Minister Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, who denied there was a problem and as such a need to up a Royal commission of Inquiry on the matter.

The campaign which was launched last week is aiming to secure at least 100,000 signatures by the end of next month.

SAPP has already collected more than 11,000 signatures statewide, both online and on the ground via its mobile service booths in various districts.

To push the point home, Pang reminded Malaysians and Sabahans in particular, of a speech by anti-Nazi activist Pastor Martin Niemöller who said:

“When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

“When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”

Said Pang: “Let us all do something to stop this “mother of all threats” before it’s too late.”


SAPP signature drive underway

www.petitiononline. com/pati


Rompak: Dua lelaki dibicara 13-14 April ini

mecca bingo atempted robbery25th February, 2011 KOTA KINABALU: Mahkamah Sesyen di sini menetapkan 13 dan 14 April untuk perbicaraan dua orang lelaki warga Filipina atas dua tuduhan rompak berkumpulan.

Kelmarin Azman Lajahati, 28, dan Rony Rody, 27, mengaku tidak bersalah di hadapan Timbalan Pendaftar Zulkifli Abllah atas kedua-dua pertuduhan itu.

Bagi petuduhan pertama, mereka telah merompak Musman Porin, 21, iaitu sebuah gitar, dua telefon bimbit, wang tunai RM7, kad ATMdan Mykad.

Kedua-dua mereka dikatakan menggunakan sebilah pisau semasa melakukan kesalahan itu pada 11 Februari, tahun ini di tepi jalan raya berhadapan dengan KK Times Square, di sini pada jam lebih kurang 1 pagi.

Kesalahan itu diperuntukan di bawah Seksyen 395/397 Kanun Keseksaan yang boleh dipenjarakan sehingga 20 tahun dan denda dan boleh juga dikenakan sebatan.

Bagi pertuduhan kedua, mereka dikatakan telah merompak Chong Kim Kian, 21, iaitu telefon bimbitnya yang bernilai RM100.

Merek didakwa melakukan kesalahan itu di tempat yang sama pada jam 5 petang pada 14 Februari, tahun lepas. Kesalahan itu diperuntukkan di bawah Seksyen 395 Kanun Keseksaan yang boleh dipenjarakan sehingga 20 tahun dan denda dan boleh juga dikenakan sebatan.

Penolong Penguasa Polis, Sabrina Jinius, akan memanggil 13 orang saksi bagi pertuduhan pertama dan lapan orang saksi bagi pertuduhan kedua.


Gun battles rage in Libya, Gaddafi fights on

BENGHAZI, Feb 25 — Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi hit back at rebels holding towns near the Libyan capital yesterday but there was no sign they had broken the momentum of opposition gains that have been closing in around Tripoli.

With a spike in oil prices threatening prospects for a global economic recovery, the United States said it was keeping all options open, including sanctions and military action in response to the Libyan government’s crackdown on the uprising.

But coordinated international action against Gaddafi, who has ruled the oil-rich desert nation of six million for 41 years, still seemed some way off, as foreign governments sought to evacuate thousands of their citizens trapped by the violence.

In a rambling appeal for calm, Gaddafi blamed the revolt on al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and said the protesters were fuelled by milk and Nescafe spiked with hallucinogenic drugs.

Disparate opposition forces were already in control of major centres in the east, including the second city Benghazi. Reports of the third city Misrata, as well as Zuara, in the west also falling brought the tide of rebellion closer to Gaddafi’s power base — though information from western Libya remained patchy.

In Misrata, which opponents of Gaddafi said they had taken on Wednesday, residents said loyalists and foreign mercenaries launched a counter-attack yesterday but had been contained.

“The protesters have overcome the security forces and taken full control of the city,” Mohamed Senoussi, 41, told Reuters by telephone from Misrata, 200km east of Tripoli.

Gun battles in Zawiyah, an oil terminal 50km from the capital, left 23 people dead, a Libyan newspaper said. Al Jazeera quoted residents putting the toll at 100 there.

France’s top human rights official said up to 2,000 people might have died so far in the uprising, which began on February 15.

Western governments, which embraced Gaddafi and his oil in recent years after decades of isolating a leader once branded a “mad dog”, struggled to find a common response to the crisis.

Talk of sanctions against the country, or against Gaddafi and his circle, swirled without clear agreement in view. Even a push by Western states to suspend Libya from the low-powered UN Human Rights Council met with strong resistance from Arab and some other Islamic states, as well as from Russia.

The Swiss government said it had frozen assets belonging to Gaddafi and his family.

Gaddafi, who just two days ago vowed in a televised address to crush the revolt and fight to the last, this time spoke to state television by telephone, and sounded more conciliatory.

“Their ages are 17. They give them pills at night, they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafe,” Gaddafi said.

A Tripoli resident, who did not want to be identified because he feared reprisals, told Reuters: “It seems like he realised that his speech yesterday with the strong language had no effect on the people. He’s realising it’s going to be a matter of time before the final chapter: the battle of Tripoli.”


Tentera Gaddafi bedil masjid

PENUNJUK perasaan antikerajaan berdiri di atas kereta kebal sambil mengangkat senjata meraikan kejayaan mereka menawan bandar Shahat di timur Libya, semalam. - REUTERS

BENGHAZI 24 Feb. - Tentera Libya yang setia kepada Muammar Gaddafi hari ini membedil menara sebuah masjid dengan peluru berpandu antipesawat udara dan senjata automatik selepas berpuluh-puluh penunjuk perasaan antikerajaan enggan meninggalkan kawasan masjid itu.

Ramai penunjuk perasaan yang berkhemah di dalam dan luar masjid itu terbunuh atau cedera dalam serangan ke atas bandar Zawiya, 50 kilometer ke barat Tripoli, menurut seorang saksi yang tidak dapat menyatakan angka sebenar.

Tentera dan militia yang pro-Gaddafi bertindak balas dengan ganas apabila pemimpin veteran itu menyaksikan cengkamannya semakin longgar, selepas Zawiya dan bandar serta pekan lain yang dekat dengan ibu negara jatuh ke tangan pemberontak.

Setelah hampir seluruh bahagian timur negara ini dikuasai oleh penunjuk perasaan, mereka berikrar pula untuk 'membebaskan' Tripoli, di mana Gaddafi bertahan dengan pasukan militia meronda di jalan raya dan kereta kebal berkawal di pinggir ibu negara.

Saksi berkata, serangan ke atas masjid itu berlaku pada 9 pagi ini (3 petang waktu Malaysia), sehari selepas seorang pegawai Gaddafi bernama Abdullah Megrahi datang ke Zawiya dan memberi amaran kepada penunjuk perasaan supaya 'beredar atau mereka akan menyaksikan pembunuhan beramai-ramai'.

"Kami memberitahunya kami tidak akan berganjak, sama ada kami mati atau mencapai kemenangan," kata saksi itu.

Pihak berkuasa sebelum itu menggesa penunjuk perasaan menyerahkan senjata mereka dan menawarkan hadiah wang tunai kepada sesiapa yang menyalurkan maklumat mengenai para pemimpin protes.

Sementara itu, Gaddafi semakin hilang penguasaan ke atas beberapa wilayah hari ini selepas kawasan yang terlepas daripada kawalannya semakin meluas di sebelah timur negara ini termasuk beberapa bandar berhampiran ibu negara Tripoli.

Terdapat empat lokasi strategik yang akan menjadi kunci penentu sama ada Gaddafi mampu terus bertahan atau sebaliknya iaitu ibu negara Tripoli, bandar padang pasir tempat kelahiran Gaddafi di Sirte di sebelah timur dan terminal minyak di Teluk Sirte di Ras Lanuf serta bandar Marsa el-Brega .

Bandar, Benghazi tempat bermula pemberontakan sejak lapan hari lalu telah jatuh ke tangan penunjuk perasaan antikerajaan.

''Kita tahu...Benghazi pada dasarnya telah mengisytiharkan merdeka daripada Tripoli,'' kata penaganalisis Peter Zeihan yang berpangkalan di Stratfor Amerika Syarikat.

Satu laporan dalam Facebook menyatakan berlaku pertempuran di Garyan kira-kira 100 kilometer di sebelah selatan Tripoli.

Wartawan asing melaporkan sukar untuk mendapatkan pengesahan apa yang sebenarnya sedang berlaku di Libya sekarang. - AP/Reuters


Tiga bekas menteri rejim Hosni Mubarak diejek

ZUHEIR Garranah (kanan), Ahmed al-Maghrabi (kiri) dan Ahmed Ezz duduk di dalam lokap semasa menunggu kes perbicaraan mereka bermula di sebuah mahkamahdi Kaherah, kelmarin. - AFP

KAHERAH 24 Feb. - Tiga bekas anggota kanan rejim bekas Presiden Hosni Mubarak diejek oleh beratus-ratus orang yang menjerit 'pencuri' dan 'kamu merompak wang kami' apabila mereka dihadapkan ke mahkamah semalam untuk menghadapi tuduhan rasuah.

Tiga bekas pegawai tinggi yang hadir di Mahkamah Jenayah Kaherah semalam ialah bekas Menteri Perumahan, Ahmed Maghrabi, bekas Menteri Pelancongan, Zuheir Garana dan jutawan keluli, Ahmed Ezz yang merupakan anggota kanan parti pemerintah.

Mereka memakai pakaian banduan dan duduk di dalam kandang besi sementara seorang hakim mengeluarkan perintah membekukan harta mereka.

"Saya tidak mahu dijadikan kambing hitam. Saya tidak bersalah," teriak Maghrabi dari kandang pesalah.

Ezz dan Garana turut mendakwa mereka tidak bersalah.

Ketiga-tiga mereka, yang menghadapi pelbagai tuduhan termasuk pengubahan wang haram, menyalahgunakan kuasa dan menghabiskan kekayaan negara adalah antara kira-kira 12 bekas menteri dan ahli perniagaan yang sedang disiasat.

Penunjuk perasaan yang menyingkirkan Mubarak selepas 18 hari mengadakan tunjuk perasaan menentang rejimnya, sering kali membangkitkan rasuah meluas dalam kerajaannya sebagai pendorong utama di sebalik pemberontakan mereka.

Egyptian strongman President Hosni MubarakKemarahan rakyat terhadap bekas anggota kanan rejim Mubarak begitu ketara, semalam.

Semasa kenderaan yang membawa Maghrabi, Garana dan Ezz lalu di jalan-jalan di Kaherah menghala ke mahkamah, berpuluh-puluh kereta mengekorinya sambil membunyikan hon dan penduduk berteriak 'itu dia pencuri'.

Apabila mereka tiba di mahkamah, lebih 500 orang yang menunggu di luar menjerit ke arah mereka, 'pencuri' dan 'kamu merompak wang kami'. - AP

Khamis, Februari 24, 2011


Muhyiddin Sedih Ada Pihak Andaikan Berlaku Pergolakan 'Timur Tengah' Di Malaysia

SINTOK, 24 Feb (Bernama) -- Cubaan mengaitkan situasi politik negara Timur Tengah dengan Malaysia dan andaian kononnya negara ini akan mengalami pergolakan yang serupa, adalah sesuatu yang tidak berpijak di bumi nyata, kata Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata dakwaan kononnya kerajaan yang dipilih oleh rakyat akan tumbang merupakan andaian yang tidak bersandar pada dalil yang kukuh.

"Saya rasa sedih dengan suara-suara sumbang yang cuba mengaitkan pergolakan politik di Timur Tengah dengan situasi politik di negara ini.

"Politik di negara kita sama sekali berbeza dengan politik di beberapa buah negara di Timur Tengah kerana kerajaan kita dipilih oleh rakyat dalam pilihan raya yang demokratik dan kompetitif," katanya ketika berucap pada Majlis Perhimpunan Khas Bersama TPM sempena Ulang Tahun Hari Pengasasan Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) ke-27 di sini pada Khamis.

Muhyiddin berkata pilihan raya yang kompetitif itulah yang menjadikan kerajaan di negara ini lebih responsif.

Muhyiddin berkata ciri-ciri kerajaan yang responsif ialah apabila kekayaan negara diagih secara adil, kepentingan rakyat diutamakan dan setiap rakyat tanpa mengira kaum atau agama mendapat peluang yang sama untuk berjaya.

Beliau berkata, sekiranya kerajaan tidak mendengar keluhan rakyat dan tidak melaksanakan tanggungjawab dengan baik, rakyat akan membuat perhitungan dalam pilihan raya.

Katanya fokus kerajaan ialah melaksanakan amanah kepimpinan dengan baik serta mendahulukan kepentingan rakyat dalam segala hal, utamakan pencapaian dan berlaku adil kepada semua.

"Jika amanah kepimpinan ini dapat dilaksanakan dengan baik, saya yakin dan percaya bukan rakyat yang menggulingkan kerajaan, tapi rakyatlah yang akan bangkit menyokong dan mempertahankan kerajaan," katanya.

Pada majlis itu, Muhyiddin mengumumkan peruntukan RM5 juta untuk mengindahkan kawasan sekitar UUM terutama sebatang sungai dalam kawasan universiti itu.

Libya power structures crumble

Libya power structures crumble

February 24, 2011

As popular uprising gains momentum in Libya, the traditional bases of support for strongman Muammar Gaddafi are beginning to collapse.

CAIRO: For decades Muammar Gaddafi has relied on political and tribal rivalries to rule over Libya, but traditional power structures are crumbling as a popular uprising gains momentum, analysts say.

Gaddafi, who came to power in 1969, quickly established himself as a belligerent and unpredictable leader, erasing longstanding power structures and maintaining personal control through an omnipresent security apparatus.

In 1977, he declared Libya a “jamihiriya”, an alternative to capitalism and socialism that, in theory, vested power directly in the people.

But in reality Gaddafi has exercised absolute control, with no political parties and only cosmetic civil society groups, relying on powerful revolutionary committees and members of his Gadafa tribe to crush dissent.

Members of the revolutionary committees, the closest thing to a ruling party, are hand-picked from different Libya tribes based on loyalty with no formal system of membership.

Gaddafi has also played tribes against each other, using a combination of coercion and cooptation to ensure no large alliances tip the balance of power against him.

Tribal affiliation has long played an important role in oil-rich Libya, providing social networks that help advance careers, social mobility and marriage. But their political influence is less clear-cut.

“With urbanisation and development, tribal leaders have less influence on their tribe members,” said Mohamed Fadel, an independent Libyan analyst based in London.

“Tribes function in the same ways as large families, and you can have political divisions within that family.”

On Monday, the leader’s influential son Seif al-Islam warned that Libya could descend into “civil war”, implying that clashes that have killed hundreds in the past week were tribal in nature.

But it appears the fighting has been between the regime and its supporters, regardless of what tribe they come from.

Biggest challenge

In the biggest challenge to cooptation Gaddafi’s 41-year regime, a broad-based movement calling for freedom and reform is overriding the traditional power structures, analysts say.

“Gaddafi had managed to create a balance between all the tribes and clans, but this system had already started to erode,” said Delphine Perrin, an expert on North Africa at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

“Today, that power structure is crumbling with some tribes turning against him,” Perrin said.

Protests demanding regime change erupted in eastern Libya on Feb 15 – four days after the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak in neighbouring Egypt – and spread within days across the country, leaving hundreds dead and scores wounded, according to human rights groups.

In a defiant, sometimes rambling speech on television on Tuesday, Gaddafi vowed to remain in Libya as head of its revolution, saying he would die as a martyr in the land of his ancestors and fight to the “last drop” of his blood.

Over the years, Gaddafi has worked to strengthen his own tribe – the Gadafa – supplying it with arms and money.

“His strong point is the south (Sebha), where his tribe is from and where he brings in mercenaries from Chad,” said an analyst in Libya who asked to remain anonymous.

Libya’s intelligence chief Abdallah Senussi and Gaddafi’s one-time right-hand man Abdelsalam Jallud belong to the other two large southern tribes, the Mgerha and the Hsawna.

“To make Gaddafi fall, you must start with this region,” the analyst said.

In the last few days, certain tribal chiefs, including those from the powerful Werfalla tribe, have lent their support to the anti-government protests, further weakening the Gaddafi regime.

Away from direct political power, what a tribe can do is provide a security net for dissenting voices, said Molly Tarhuni, a Libyan political researcher in London.

“If one in the tribe stands up, the others feel safer doing so,” she said, also pointing to their geographical strength.

“Their ability to mobilise in their location is what makes the Gaddafi regime nervous,” she said. “He will try to isolate them geographically from one another.”


Berita Tidak Berat Sebelah Membolehkan Rakyat Ukur Situasi Sebenar

KUCHING, 24 Feb (Bernama) -- Liputan berita, baik untuk kerajaan mahupun pembangkang, menjelang pilihan raya negeri Sarawak akan datang mesti tepat dan tidak berat sebelah bagi membolehkan rakyat mengukur keadaan sebenar, kata Timbalan Ketua Menteri Tan Sri Dr George Chan.

Beliau berkata adalah penting untuk media tempatan di Sarawak melaporkan fakta yang tepat, dan bukannya fakta tidak betul dan berat sebelah dalam usaha untuk berlaku adil kepada rakyat yang mahu tahu apa yang sebenarnya berlaku.

"Ia bukan mengenai di pihak mana anda (pemberita) berada. Ia mengenai profesionalisme dan saya amat bangga untuk mengatakan bahawa 99 peratus daripada anda setakat ini membuat laporan berita yang adil," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada majlis makan malam ulang tahun ke-38 Persatuan Wartawan Bahagian Kuching (KDJA) di sini, Rabu malam.

Terdahulu, pengerusi KDJA Alice Wee turut mengingatkan rakan seperjuangannya untuk tidak berpihak dalam laporan mereka, terutama menjelang pilihan raya negeri, dan untuk menyimpan rakaman temubual mereka dan ucapan bagi rujukan masa depan.

Rabu, Februari 23, 2011


Mahalnya Barang Dan Kos Kehidupan Kini!

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Feb (Bernama) -- Bila harga minyak petrol naik, purata pengguna akan turut merasai kesan teori domino ke atas harga barang keperluan harian dan perkhidmatan.

Sejak kebelakangan ini kenaikan harga barang keperluan termasuk petrol seolah-olah menjadi perkara biasa namun ia membebankan kepada golongan berpendapatan rendah.

Pemilik kenderaan yang membayar RM1.85/liter untuk RON95 dan RM2.10/liter bagi RON97 pada Julai lepas kini membayar masing-masing RM1.90 dan RM2.50. Ramai pemilik kenderaan tidak begitu gemar petrol RON95, yang diberi subsidi tinggi, berikutan ia menjejaskan prestasi kenderaan sedangkan penggunaan RON97 meningkatkan perbelanjaan bulanan.

Harga bawang kecil dari India yang dijual pada harga RM4 sekilogram sebulan lepas kini dijual dengan harga RM14 di beberapa tempat, manakala harga sayur, ayam, ikan dan hampir semua barang keperluan telah naik sebaliknya tidak pula berlaku dalam pendapatan bersih orang ramai.

Ramai yang tidak sedar dengan kadar kenaikan yang begitu kerap hingga ada yang berputus asa dan hanya berharap harga akan stabil. Pada masa sekarang, para pengguna hanya membayar sahaja tanpa banyak soal kepada peniaga atau penyedia perkhidmatan kerana beranggapan harga mungkin akan naik lagi pada hari berikut.


Kos pengangkutan awam bukan sahaja telah naik malahan menjadikan perjalanan sukar kepada pengguna.

"Teksi masih ada yang tak mahu guna meter untuk perjalanan dekat. Alasan mereka, tak berbaloi mengambil penumpang, kecuali perjalanan jauh atau pada harga yang dipersetujui dengan penumpang. Hakikatnya tambang tanpa meter lebih mahal daripada harga sepatutnya," kata Sawaliyah Mohd Nor yang terpaksa membayar kadar yang berlainan setiap kali menaiki teksi untuk pulang ke rumah, yang terletak hanya 7 kilometer dari sebuah stesen komuter di Lembah Klang.

Alasan pemandu teksi yang tidak mahu menggunakan meter berikutan kehidupan mereka tertekan kerana harga barang semuanya naik dan mereka perlu mencari lebih wang.

Selain itu, bayaran sewa harian teksi yang perlu ditampung serta harga minyak yang semakin naik, turut menjadi faktor tambang teksi lebih mahal daripada kadar sebenar.

Kalau teksi, yang menggunakan gas asli atau NGV yang lebih murah, pula memberi alasan masa yang perlu diluangkan untuk beratur mendapatkan gas itu setiap kali ia perlu diisi, sebagai satu kehilangan pendapatan.


Ada juga yang melalui pengalaman harian yang berlainan kerana harga barang yang diperlukan seolah-olah tiada beza sejak setahun yang lepas.

"Saya sering makan di kedai yang boleh tahan cantik dan bersih tetapi tak sedar pula kalau harga makanan di sana lebih mahal ataupun tidak? Nasi putih dengan lauk ikan goreng, sayur campur dua macam dengan air lobak merah, lebih kurang RM7 saja. Berpatutan harganya bagi saya. Saya rasa masih mampu untuk terus makan di situ," kata pesara kerajaan Abbas Hasan, yang kini pendidik secara kontrak di Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.

Mungkin harga ini dirasakan berpatutan di Nilai berdasarkan jumlah pengunjung yang sentiasa ramai.


Seorang pelajar Universiti Malaya beranggapan harga barang tidak akan pernah turun.

"Semuanya semakin tinggi. Cuma kita perlu pilih dengan berhati-hati dan pastikan pembelian tidak melampaui bajet seharian," kata Mildred dari Sabah.

Seorang pengusaha gerai makanan Siti Gayah Muhammad menjelaskan bagaimana harga makanan yang dijualnya ditetapkan.

"Kita tengok harga bahan mentah untuk lauk itu. Harga bawang kecil dan besar, putih dan merah, sudah naik berlipat kali ganda, stok pun payah ditemui. Harga sebiji bawang besar Holland bersaiz sederhana ialah 40 sen. Saya beli juga sebab bawang besar India cepat rosak. Akibatnya, sama ada masakan perlu dikurangkan penggunaan bawang atau harga dinaikkan dengan membeli bawang mahal," kata Siti sambil mengacau masakan lemak cili apinya dalam periuk.

Walaupun pembeli berungut, ia terpaksa dilakukan untuk memastikan penjual tidak rugi dengan masakan yang tidak sedap.


Selain kos perjalanan dan makanan yang semakin mahal, tanpa disedari harga bumbung kediaman tempat berteduh juga semakin tinggi.

Beberapa syarikat pembinaan yang ditanya mengenainya, rata-rata menyatakan projek yang menjadi tumpuan syarikat lebih cenderung ke arah rumah mewah seperti rumah dua tingkat, berkembar dua dan banglo.

Sebuah rumah teres dua tingkat yang sederhana sahaja kini boleh mencecah harga sehingga RM1 juta di Lembah Klang manakala banglo pula berharga tiga hingga empat kali ganda jumlah itu.

"Tumpuan syarikat kami ialah rumah yang lebih luas dan selesa. Kualiti pembinaan sememangnya yang paling utama. Bahan yang digunakan juga mempunyai gred yang lebih tinggi. Inilah sebabnya mengapa harga rumah di Selangor lebih tinggi.

Bak kata pepatah, alah membeli menang memakai!" jawab seorang pekerja syarikat perumahaan ketika ditanya mengenai harga rumah yang 30 peratus siap di kawasan projek terbarunya di Shah Alam.

Apa yang menjadi persoalan adakah pembeli mampu membayar ansuran bulanan kalau hanya bekerja makan gaji memandangkan nilai pinjaman yang perlu diambil sangat tinggi.


"Orang yang tinggal di bandar, yang berkereta ke pejabat, perlu berbelanja makan tengah hari pada hari bekerja, bayar tempat letak kereta bulanan, ada sewa rumah dan punya keluarga beranak dua pasti sukar untuk menyimpan RM500 sebulan," kata Datuk Dr Ma'amor Osman, Setiausaha Agung Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia, PPIM apabila diminta memberi komen tentang peningkatan harga barang dan perbelanjaan harian warga Malaysia masa kini.

Kalau ada pembantu rumah sudah pasti lebih besar perbelanjaannya. Dengan pendapatan bersama, kelamin beranak dua, berumur lingkungan 30 tahun, yang berjumlah antara RM7,000 dan RM8,000, jika ingin tinggal di pinggir bandar pun pasti tidak selesa hidup jika rumah semahal itu menjadi pilihan untuk ditanggung liabiliti membayar pinjaman sehingga 35 tahun lamanya.

Bayaran bulanan kepada bank swasta, jika pinjaman sebesar RM$1 juta itu diambil hari ini, akan ditolak lebih RM$5,000 daripada pendapatan bersih mereka, katanya.


Dr Ma'amor berkata harga barang yang mahal sudah tentunya menggalakkan penggunaan kad kredit dan amalan yang sepatutnya dikikis.

"Pastikan bajet tetap sama. Jangan berikan peniaga satu mesej yang salah. Mereka yang berpendapatan tetap tidak dapat mencari jalan keluar sekiranya harga barang terus naik.

"Misalnya bawang yang menjadi bahan utama dalam hampir semua masakan tempatan naik mendadak baru-baru ini akibat kesan cuaca. Dan ini menjadikannya satu bebanan baru. Mereka yang berniaga tak berapa merasai tambahan beban ini kerana jika harga barang naik, peniaga turut naikkan harga jualannya kepada pengguna," kata Dr Ma'amor.

Beliau melihat kos perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam yang meningkat adalah sesuatu yang perlu dikawal dan dipantau supaya rakyat tidak terus terbeban.

Tambahan pula kenaikan gaji tahunan sekiranya diberikan bukanlah tetap dan kadarnya pada kebiasaan tidak melebihi 5 peratus.

Harga tiket bas ekspres ke negara jiran Singapura meningkat kepada RM95 sehala berbanding tidak RM75 tahun 2010, lebih murah hanya RM4 berbanding harga tiket promosi kapal terbang ke republik ini.

Alasan kenaikan harga ialah kerana musim cuti sekolah.


Harga barang yang semakin tinggi tidak boleh disalahkan kepada peniaga dan pembekal semata-mata, begitu menurut wakil FOMCA.

"Bencana alam seperti banjir, gempa bumi dan cuaca kemarau yang melampau, yang melanda dunia, antara sebab kekurangan bekalan barang keperluan seharian. Lagipun kebanyakan sumber makanan negara ini diimport termasuk gula, tepung dan beras.

"Sudah lumrah, bila permintaan melebihi bekalan, pasti harganya meningkat secara semula jadi kerana bekalan yang teramat terhad ini," kata Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, pengarah komunikasi kumpulan gabungan Persatuan Pengguna Malaysia, FOMCA kepada Bernama baru-baru ini.

Walau apapun, pengguna perlu membuat pilihan keperluan dengan berhati-hati bila harga tidak stabil.

"Barang keperluan biasanya akan stabil pada harga baru dan sekiranya bekalan pulih seperti sediakala, adakalanya penurunan semula harga tidak mendadak berbanding ketika ia dinaikkan. Kadang-kadang ia tak berlaku langsung. Carilah alternatif kalau boleh," Yusof berpesan.

Warga pengguna yang bijak membuat pilihan dan sanggup bersuara pasti akan dapat mengubah keadaan masa kini kepada tahap yang lebih baik.

FOMCA baru melancarkan album lagu tentang hak dan peranan pengguna untuk mengajak warga pengguna tempatan ke arah penggunaan berhemat.

Album yang memuatkan 9 buah lagu itu antaranya memberi fokus terhadap hak pengguna dalam membuat pilihan, untuk bersuara, mendapat alam sekitar yang sihat, pendidikan berguna dan mendapat perlindungan keselamatan.

Album ini akan diedarkan secara percuma kepada stesen media elektronik, peserta program kesedaran pengguna termasuk di sekolah-sekolah.

Pengguna yang bijak pasti akan menikmati kehidupan yang selesa dengan berbelanja berhemat dan mengikut kemampuan diri sendiri, memilih barang dan servis berkualiti yang bertepatan dan berpatutan harganya.


Guru Besar Di Kawasan Luar Bandar Sarawak Mahu Bekalan Elektrik 24 Jam

SIBU, 22 Feb (Bernama) -- Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran Dr Puad Zarkashi berkata beliau akan berbincang dengan pegawai di kementeriannya mengenai permintaan oleh banyak guru besar di sekolah luar bandar untuk mereka terus menikmati bekalan elektrik 24 jam melalui set generator di sekolah masing-masing.

Katanya pada lawatannya ke 11 sekolah di pedalaman daerah Kanowit bermula Ahad, guru besar berkenaan menyampaikan kepadanya mengenai kebimbangan mereka dengan arahan kementerian untuk mengehadkan bekalan elektrik kepada 14 1/2 jam dari April ini.

Bercakap kepada pemberita di Lapangan Terbang Sibu hari Selasa, katanya kerajaan telah membelanjakan kira-kira RM1.05 bilion untuk membekalkan set generator kepada 429 sekolah luar bandar di seluruh negeri.

Katanya amaun itu juga termasuk pemasangan dan pendawaian, tetapi bukan kos diesel untuk generator itu.

"Mungkin kerana kerajaan membelanjakan kos yang tinggi bagi diesel dan sebab itu kementerian mengeluarkan arahan itu.

"Tetapi guru besar berkenaan bimbnag ini akan menjejaskan penghuninya, yang kebanyakannya kanak-kanak, pada waktu malam.

"Mereka juga bimbang bahawa daging dan ikan yang disimpan dalam peti sejuk di sekolah akan rosak jika tiada bekalan elektrik berterusan.

"Bagi guru pula, mereka juga akan terjejas apabila mereka tidak dapat menggunakan komputer atau komputer riba untuk membuat kerja sekolah atau melayari Internet untuk maklumat."

Puad berkata sebab lain arahan itu dikeluarkan ialah kerana Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah sedang dalam proses menyalurkan bekalan elektrik dari grid utama ke semua kawasan luar bandar di negeri ini menjelang 2012 sebagai sebahagian sasaran NKRA.

Oleh itu, kementerian pelajaran turut membuat penyesuaian, katanya.

Mengenai lawatannya itu, Puad berkata ia bertujuan untuk melihat sendiri infrastruktur sekolah luar bandar kerana kadang kala apa yang diperolehinya daripada pangkalan data kementerian adalah berbeza dengan keadaan sebenar.

"Kami melihat ada beberapa kelemahan, contohnya, keadaan kuarters guru, kelas dan sistem bekalan air.

"Sesetengah sekolah perlukan lebih banyak kuarters guru manakala kuarters sedia ada berada dalam keadaan daif, tetapi maklumat ini tidak terdapat dalam pangkalan data kami," katanya.

Selasa, Februari 22, 2011


‘Sulu Sultan’ quits Umno

February 22, 2011 Local businessman Mohd Akjan Bin Datu Ali Muhammad, caught in a controversy over his self-proclamation as the 33rd Sulu Sultan has slammed his critics for blowing the issue out of proportion.

KOTA KINABALU: Self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Mohd Akjan Bin Datu Ali Muhammad, has resigned from Sabah Umno and its Gaya division with immediate effect.

Stating that the controversy over his “coronation” had reached a point of no return, he said he had no choice but to leave the one-and-only political party which he had been with for more than two decades, especially after having contributed to its growth and expansion in many ways.

He, however, said that he reserved the absolute right “to fully explain it” (his contribution to Umno) when the right time comes.

“Hence, there’s no need for anyone to bring the matter concerning my membership in Umno to the supreme council for deliberation and decision,” he said.

He noted that copies of his resignation letters were submitted to both the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, as well as in Sabah, today.

Akjan said the recent series of attacks in the media and police reports lodged against him by certain organisations and individuals in Sabah on his purported “coronation” as the 33rd reigning sultan of the Sulu Sultanate on Feb 2, were politically-motivated and with malicious intent to “assassinate” his character.

He also regretted that this has subsequently caused his entire family including his children, aged from nine onwards, to be picked up and investigated by the police.

“I shall reserve my right to take legal action against this group of individuals and organisations,” he said.

Informed Special Branch

However, he considered the event a blessing in disguise as it allowed him to see who his true allies and foes are.

Akjan reiterated that what took place on that particular day at one of his properties in Kampung Likas here, was just a “majlis doa selamat dan kesyukuran” (thanks-giving ceremony), following his acceptance of the offer and mandate from the Sulu interim government to be the 33rd reigning Sultan of Sulu.

He said that it was not a coronation ceremony as interpreted and “blown out of proportion by certain individuals and groups with political interest”.

He claimed that prior to the ceremony, he had in fact personally informed and briefed the officer of the Special Branch (SB) of Kota Kinabalu district, of what was going to happen on that day.

“I even invited him and his officers to attend and to witness the ceremony but they said there was no need to do so since I have briefed them on it,” said.

Akjan said he had fully briefed the Special Branch chief and his officers during their meeting at the Hyatt Kinabalu Hotel here. Among others, he informed them that he had turned down the offer by the Sulu interim government and relevant senior officials of the Sulu Sultanate thrice, but subsequently gave in to their plea.

He also swore that he had never lobbied nor was he interested to be the sultan as he fully understands its heavy responsibility, risks and challenges that come with it.

He explained that he was “shortlisted” and offered the position, following a thorough investigation and examination conducted by senior officials of the Sulu interim government and the palace, which confirmed that he is indeed a direct descendant of the last reigning Sultan of Sulu, Paduka Mahasari Maulana Al-Marhum Shariful Hashim 1.

Drop claim against Sabah

Akjan said that one of the main reasons he accepted the offer was that the Sulu interim government and senior palace officials had agreed to his condition to drop the ongoing claim on Sabah by the sultanate.

This will be officially made known to the United Nations (UN) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, he said.

“This was formally agreed in a written agreement which was signed by me during the thanks-giving ceremony. It was witnessed by more than 60 people, including the prime minister of the Sulu interim government, Datu Albi Ahmad Julkarnain, and various representatives of the Council of Royal Datus, the Royal Houses of Maimbung and Patikul,” he said.

He also said he accepted the Sulu interim government’s offer to be the sultan because he wanted to restore the Sulu Sultanate’s long-subdued sovereignty.

Also, he said, “it was partly because of his love for Malaysia since he is a bona fide Malaysian citizen”.

Akjan said that when the day of his actual coronation comes, he will have no choice but to surrender his Malaysian citizenship. Akjan claims he was born on July 7, 1957 in Kampung Limau-limauan, Kudat.

He also said that he has only Malaysian citizenship.

“Let me assert here that I have not gone crazy as what some of my critics have thought. I am fully aware of what I am doing, even if it means I have to sacrifice my Malaysian citizenship and even my life, for my struggle for truth, justice, peace and the betterment of my Muslim brothers and sisters in Malaysia and Sulu,” he said.


SAPP Gesa Kementerian Pelajaran Teliti Masalah Kekurangan Guru Di Sabah

KOTA KINABALU, 22 Feb (Bernama) -- Parti Maju Sabah (SAPP) menggesa Kementerian Pelajaran supaya meneliti masalah kekurangan guru di Sabah dan bukan menjadikan kualiti pendidikan sebagai alasan untuk menutup masalah sebenar.

Bendahari Agungnya Datuk Wong Yit Ming berkata beliau dimaklumkan bahawa guru yang berasal dari Sabah tidak diberi layanan adil untuk berkhidmat di Sabah oleh Jabatan Pelajaran.

"Guru anak tempatan Sabah yang bekerja di Sabah tidak boleh mendapat sebarang elaun perumahan sungguhpun jika mereka ditugaskan mengajar di kawasan luar bandar yang jauh dari kediaman mereka.

"Bagaimanapun, mana-mana guru dari Semenanjung yang mengajar di Sabah layak mendapat elaun perumahan RM1,300," katanya di sini pada Selasa.

See full size imageWong turut menggesa kerajaan negeri Barisan Nasional supaya meminta Jabatan Pelajaran mengubah dasar yang tidak adil itu.

Beliau berkata guru anak tempatan Sabah berhak mendapat layanan saksama seperti yang dinikmati oleh guru dari Semenanjung yang berkhidmat di negeri ini.


UPKO concerned over probe delay into ‘self-proclaimed sultan’

February 21, 2011, Monday KOTA KINABALU: United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) has urged the police to expedite their investigation into the case of Datu Mohd Akjan Ali Muhammad who had allegedly installed himself as ‘sultan of Sulu’.  

“Due to the gravity of the case, it is of paramount importance for the authorities concerned (including the police) to allay the public fears and concern of the existence of a ‘self-proclaimed sultan’ in our midst.

“Therefore any delay in the investigation is certainly a point of serious concern,” secretary general Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said.

Madius in a statement yesterday also urged the police to expediate the probe on the various reports including those which had specifically requested the police to investigate into several issues such as whether or not Akjan is a Malaysian and whether or not his act of calling on Suluks in Sabah to pledge loyalty to him instead of to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was seditious or an act of treason.

He expressed the hope that the police would get Akjan to produce his identification documents and to finally determine on the possibility of the latter becoming a cult figure.

Madius said this when responding to Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Haji Hamza Taib’s statement that investigations into the case was still on going and the police needed time to conclude their probe on Akjan.

“The investigation to establish whether or not Akjan is a Malaysian or not should not take a longer time than necessary because the relevant government department should make available Akjan’s citizenship information to the investigating authorities,” he said and reiteirated that any delay in the investigation was certainly a point of serious concern.

Madius reiterated UPKO’s consistent call for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the allegation that foreigners had been issued with Malaysian identity cards by an alleged ‘Project I/C’ based upon the experience and performance of past investigations by the police into similar police reports previously lodged to ascertain the existence of the alleged project as well as the authencity of the identity cards issued.

“It is UPKO’s committed stand that only an RCI can establish the truth as to Akjan’s real citizenship, especially when it involved someone who had been previously detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for his involvement in a syndicate to issue identity cards to illegal immigrants like himself,” Madius stressed.

Meanwhile when commenting on the announcement by Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi that more teachers from the peninsula would be sent to Sabah and Sarawak, the UPKO secretary general said that the inability of the Ministry of Education to recruit the required number of Sabahans and Sarawakians to undergo the “Kursus Perguruan Lepasan Ijazah” (KPLI) despite having open interviews was something which UPKO viewed seriously.

Madius added that it was public knowledge that many Sabahans had applied to undergo the KPLI and had attended the interviews but were eventually rejected.

“In view of the situation and to respond to Dr Fuad’s concern, UPKO calls upon all unsuccessful applicants for the KPLI to either fax their rejection letters or to surf the party’s website www.upko.org.my for further action.

“Alternatively they can also post the letters to UPKO headquarters and we will forward them to Dr Fuad by way of a memorandum for re-consideration by the Ministry of Education,” he said.