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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

'Women applied toxic substance with bare hands, practised at KLCC'

The female suspects, detained in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, applied toxic substance on the deceased with their bare hands, revealed inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar.
He also said the pair, who were involved in the Feb 13 attack at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA 2), had undergone training.
Referring to the leaked CCTV footage of the incident, Khalid told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur that it was clear the suspects knew what they were doing.
"Yes, the two female suspects knew the substance they had was toxic. We don't know what kind of chemical was used.
"They used their bare hands," he said, adding that they were instructed to wash their hands afterwards.
The police chief also dismissed speculation that the women thought they were playing a prank on Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
"We do not think they were involved in a 'prank'. We believe it (the act) was planned and they were trained to do it," he said.
Khalid also disclosed that the women, one of whom had a Vietnamese passport and the other an Indonesian passport, had practised administering the substance prior to the attack.
"From our investigations we know they had few exercises (practice sessions) to do that at Pavilion and KLCC. The final act was then performed on the deceased," he said.
Khalid said police this morning applied to extend the two women's remand for another seven days, while a Malaysian man who is believed to be the boyfriend of the Indonesian woman has been released on police bail.

He added that Malaysia has yet to grant permission to Indonesia, which has requested for direct access to its citizen.
Khalid also confirmed that police have identified all seven North Korean citizens who are being sought in connection with the case.
Four of them are believed to have fled the country following the murder, while three others are still here.- Mkini

'Pig gelatin seen as more serious than corruption'

Johor Parti Amanah Negara chief Aminolhuda Hassan has lamented how some religious leaders take issues like pig gelatin and alcohol more seriously than corruption.
Aminolhuda said this following the arrest of four religious officers in Johor by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
"These days, there are some religious leaders who do not take the issue of corruption seriously.
"It is seen as not being as serious as the issue of pig gelatin or alcohol content, even though corruption can bring down a country," he said in a statement today.
Aminolhuda said religious institutions are meant to defend the sanctity of Islam, but they ended up becoming embroiled in corruption.
"As a result, Islamic institutions may not be regarded with respect in future.
"If this disease (corruption) proliferates, It could lead to major problems when the (religious) department tries to address societal issues," he said.
Aminolhuda proposed anti-corruption education be stepped up, including among religious leaders, in a bid to overcome the problem.
"Firstly, corruption should be listed as a sin in the Islamic Studies subject in schools.
"Secondly, a module on corruption should also be promoted in Islamic institutions.
"Thirdly, introduce a special syllabus for religious leaders focusing on scriptures that is consistent in opposing corruption," he said.
Aminolhuda said only then can Islam truly lead Muslims in the fight against corruption.
Yesterday, two officers of the Johor Baru District Religious Education Department were arrested for allegedly taking kickbacks for a book printing contract.
According to theSun Daily, the RM5 million contract was meant to supply books to 175,000 students in 550 religious schools in the state.
One of the arrested officers is reported to be a senior member of the Johor Religious Teachers Association.

In another case, an assistant director and an assistant officer of the Johor State Religious Department were arrested for abuse of power.
They allegedly awarded permits for Muslim pre-marriage courses to an unregistered organisation for kickbacks totalling RM130,000.
The report said the money was allegedly used for pilgrimages, overseas tours and personal use.-Mkini

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PKR sec-gen: Opposition had MPs to bring down PM in 2008

Saifuddin Nasution says letter signed by PKR, DAP and PAS leaders was handed to PM's office, calling for special Dewan Rakyat session, but there was no response.
KUALA LUMPUR: The now defunct Pakatan Rakyat (PR) “had the numbers” in 2008 to topple the government of then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the High Court was told today.
Former Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution said the PR presidential council consisting of PKR, DAP and PAS leaders jointly signed a letter calling for Abdullah to hold a special Dewan Rakyat session.
“The letter was hand delivered to the PM’s private secretary Tajuddin Johar,” he said at the trial of Anwar Ibrahim’s RM100 million defamation suit against Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said the letter was sent to Abdullah as only the prime minister or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong could convene a meeting of Parliament.
Saifuddin, who is now PKR secretary-general, said Anwar, who was the opposition leader, had earlier convinced the council that he had the requisite number of MPs to initiate a vote of no confidence against the prime minister.
“In fact, Anwar briefed PAS leaders, including the late PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat and current president Abdul Hadi Awang, about the move,” he said when re-examined by lawyer R Sivarasa.
Saifuddin said he and his party colleague, Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul, met Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia in Kota Kinabalu on the process to be adopted to bring the no-confidence vote.
He told the court that the opposition preferred to “test the floor” by voting in the Dewan Rakyat whether the prime minister enjoyed the confidence of the majority of the MPs.
“We were not inclined to use the palace unlike what Najib Razak did to bring down the 10-month PR government in Perak,” he said, referring to the takeover of the state government by Barisan Nasional in 2009.
Saifuddin said the special session did not take place because Abdullah did not reply to the letter.
He did not reveal in court the exact number of MPs the opposition had.
Cross-examined by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is appearing for Khairy, Saifuddin said the letter did not provide the names or number of MPs who would support the motion of no confidence.
“They could have used all the instruments of the state to frustrate and neutralise our move,” he said of the Sept 16 plan.
Saifuddin also agreed with Shafee that the opposition’s image would have been dented if they failed to show the numbers if the motion had been allowed.
The opposition won 78 seats in the 12th general election, held on March 8, 2008, but were short of 44 seats to have a majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
Anwar, 69, filed the suit against Khairy following the latter’s “main belakang” remark in a political ceramah at Lembah Pantai in 2008.
Anwar argues that the phrase meant that he is a homosexual, had low morals, had the capability of committing crime and vice.
The PKR de facto leader filed the suit after reading what was reported in Malaysiakini and after watching a video published by the news portal.
Hearing before justice Azizul Azmi Adnan was adjourned to Friday. -FMT

I totally agree with IGP on Kim’s assassination

Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has put up a very good performance on both investigation and handling of the press conference with regard to the assassination of the North Korean president’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam.
Let me put on record first that the North Korean ambassador, despite having diplomatic immunity, should not be rude when handling this situation.
Right from the beginning, my observations are that Kang Chol has tried to discredit the Malaysian police and the post-mortem being carried out. If he had evidence that Malaysia was colluding with hidden hands, he should provide the evidence instead of ranting away.
Both Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak also deserve the credit for standing up and defending the police investigation into the case.
The North Korean ambassador should not be lecturing Malaysia on human rights, when North Korea itself is known for poor human rights protection.
In fact, it was wrong for him to demand that the body be released to the North Korean government instead of the next-of-kin, not to mention that he should not even object to any post-mortem being carried out by the Malaysian authorities, since this crime took place in Malaysia.
Some myths dispelled
There were attempts to say that the two ladies were only paid a small sum of money to play pranks on the late Kim Jong-nam.
I quote Khalid during his press conference today: “The lady was moving away towards the bathroom. She knew very well that it was toxic, and she had to wash her hands.”
No one, after playing a prank in a public place like this, would walk towards the bathroom and wash herself before escaping in a taxi. The evidences on CCTV are too glaring.
This was all planned and the two lady operatives were most likely being trained to do the job. Immediately after Kim was assassinated, the four North Koreans fled to Pyongyang and till now, no investigation has been carried out by the North Korean authority to arrest these four individuals for further interrogation.
With the arrest of a fourth suspect from a condominium in Jalan Kuchai Lama, it is obvious that this man’s existence in Malaysia is dubious. It is good that a Malaysian gentleman has come forward to reveal that he could have unknowingly sponsored the North Korean man, as would any Good Samaritan.
If, without earning a salary, how could the North Korean survive in Malaysia? Who was funding his stay in Malaysia? I would urge the Malaysian police to establish whether this man could even be a North Korean spy being placed in a friendly nation.
The case has received a lot of publicity, yet the North Korean president has not spoken a word. By now, Jong-un should know that he cannot mess around with Malaysia or treat Malaysia as a killing field.
The Malaysian police should raise a red card to Interpol to look out for these four North Korean fugitives who are believed to have escaped to Pyongyang.
Diplomatic relations have been strained as a result of this murder case; it is time for Malaysia to show that it can no longer tolerate the spat between the North Korean ambassador and the Malaysian authorities over this assassination.

I would suggest that the Malaysian police also treat the abduction case involving a local pastor, Raymond Koh, with great urgency since it involves a Malaysian citizen.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.- Mkini

Malaysian ambassador to N Korea arrives at KLIA

The Malaysian Ambassador to North Korea Mohamad Nizan Mohamad, who was called back to Kuala Lumpur last Monday for "consultations" arrived at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang today.
He arrived on a Malaysia Airlines flight MH0361 from Beijing which touched down at 9.37am, but managed to avoid the press which had been waiting at the exit at the arrival hall and the VIP room.
Media representatives, who had been waiting since 6am, were later informed by the airport staff that Mohamad Nizan had left KLIA.
Last Monday, Wisma Putra called back the ambassador in Pyongyang and ordered North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, to explain his remarks on the death of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Kang Chol had reportedly portrayed that the Malaysian government had a hidden agenda and that it had colluded with external powers in handling Jong-nam's death.
On Feb 13, Jong-nam was at KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2) at about 8am, waiting for his flight to Macau, when a woman suddenly covered his face with a cloth laced with what is believed to be poison.
Jong-nam, who arrived in Malaysia from Macau on Feb 6, sought help at a customer service counter and was rushed to the Putrajaya Hospital, but died on the way.
- Bernama


Scandal-engulfed 1MDB has roiled the opaque market for fine art, an $64 billion industry where deals of several hundred thousand dollars can be clinched with no questions asked.
Jho Low allegedly spent millions on a Hollywood film, penthouses, luxury hotels, a recording company – and fine art. Last year, Monet’s «Water Lilies with Reflections of Tall Grass» was seized in a Swiss freeport as part of an investigation into alleged graft at 1MDB.
Freeports, one of the last remaining vestiges of Swiss private banking secrecy, have come under increased scrutiny – as now has the art world.
Loan from Sotheby’s
The Monet’s presumed owner? Low, alleged mastermind behind the opaque international money trail to hide billions pilfered from the Malaysian state fund.
The now-AWOL Malaysia businessman is accused of buying works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Rothko and Vincent Van Gogh – even taking out a loan from auction house Sotheby’s, using art as collateral.
1MDB as well as a high-profile spat in Switzerland between Geneva art dealer Yves Bouvier and Russian billionaire collector Dmitry Rybolovlev has raised awareness of just how much money is sloshing through the art world.
KYC for Art Houses
«The art market is an ideal playing ground for money laundering,» said Thomas Christ, of the non-profit Basel Institute on Governance told the «New York Times». And: «We have to ask for clear transparency, where you got the money from and where it is going.»
Sotheby’s told the newspaper it subjected Low to «extensive due diligence» before granting him a $107 million loan; by that time, Low was busy placating the compliance officers of Swiss banks he dealt with. Auction houses insist they have stiffened their compliance requirements, but a preponderance of scandals would indicate there is still much to do.
Art auctions aren’t subject to the same scrutiny as private banks, though some countries such as Switzerland are more heavily regulating major purchases with cash – including art, luxury goods, and even real estate.
– http://www.finews.asia/

It'll be religious dictatorship if Act 355 is amended, says ex-treasurer-general

Malaysia risks turning into a divided "failed state" ruled by a religious dictatorship if the Syariah Courts (Criminal Juridiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 is amended, warns former treasurer-general Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim.
"PAS leaders used to claim that Malaysian laws, which followed the trend of the Western world, were inefficient in reducing crimes and vice activities. In contrast, they argue that Act 355 will allow us to be more advanced in combating crimes.
"I, together with those who disagree with Act 355, are of the view that we will deviate from the principle of the Federal Constitution by implementing strict syariah laws. The Act will scare and split the people of multiracial backgrounds," said Sheriff, whose statement was uploaded on the Facebook page of the G25 Group of Eminent Malays on Monday.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang tabled his motion for a Private Member’s Bill to amend Act 355 in Parliament last April in a move to expand the jurisdiction of the syariah court in passing sentences.
Last November, Hadi proposed amendments to raise the punishment cap of the syariah court to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes of the cane.
The motion to amend Act 355, as sought by Hadi, is due to be taken over by the government and debated in the next sitting of Parliament, which begins on March 6.
Resorting to vice activities for survival
Sheriff in his statement warned that social peace and economic stability would fall apart gradually and the country would become a "failed state" as a result of recession and widespread unemployment and poverty.
This, he said, could be found in many Islamic countries, where crimes and vice activities happened due to poverty and parents would resort to vice activities for survival.
"That is why we see drug smuggling, children trading, robbery and socially bad behaviour (in these Islamic countries)," he noted.
"What is there to be proud of the syariah laws if the country is in a mess? Women would be victimised as usual. Many would not take it and flee to Western countries. When women face pressure in terms of human liberty, the country will not progress fully," he added.
If there is a weakness in the secular laws in Malaysia, he said, the issue could be raised and debated openly in line with the principle of democracy.
"If we were to use the syariah law under Act 355, we must follow what the ulama group have decided because they see themselves as an intelligent group," Sheriff said.
"They forbid any warning from the public, especially from non-Muslims and academicians, who give a different view. They will be accused of going against the Islamic teaching and told to get out of Malaysia.
"This 'religious dictatorship' attitude is worrying and will prevent (us from becoming) a developed state.

"We should learn the lessons of countries that have implemented syariah laws and later regretted and attempted to abolish them for the sake of the social well-being and economic situation of the people," he said.
Sheriff said this 'religious dictatorship' attitude is not suitable for a parliamentary democracy like Malaysia.
"We are ahead of other Islamic countries due to our progressive administrative and legislative system. It will be a loss for us to change this system into a system that has caused the Islamic countries to lag behind," he added.-Mkini