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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Penang bodyguard who 'went berserk' shot dead boss on first day of work

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK)- It was his first day at work with his new boss. And it became the last day of his life for the boss, businessman Ong Teik Kwong.

Colombia Plane Crash survivor said he curled up in fetal position before impact

One of the six survivors pulled from the wreckage of the Colombian plane crash that killed 71 people Monday reportedly told South American media he curled up in a fetal position with a bag between his knees before the jet slammed into a mountainside.

"I put the bags in between my legs to form the fetal position that is recommended in accidents," flight technician Erwin Tumiri told Fox Sports Argentina in Spanish. "During the situation, many stood up from their seats, and they started to shout."

Tumiri suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to the hospital treating him. Others found alive amid the plane's mangled remnants suffered more serious injuries, including thoracic trauma and spinal damage. One person had a leg amputated.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Stop bullying us, Orang Asli tell Kelantan government

GUA MUSANG - Two representatives from the Orang Asli community in Gua Musang today urged the PAS-led state government to stop bullying them, saying that they are protesting only because their rights were being trampled on.

Manila put on highest terror alert in 16 years

A terrorist cell formed by a group seeking recognition from the ISIS terror network is already operating and planning a big attack in Manila. This comes as the Philippine capital was placed on its highest terror alert for the first time in 16 years following the arrest of two alleged militants over a makeshift bomb planted near the US Embassy on Monday.

A senior police officer, who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to speak to journalists, told The Straits Times that the two - identified as Rashid Kilala and Jiaher Guinar - were part of a cell in Quezon City's sprawling Novaliches district that security forces had been monitoring for over a month.

Three more suspects being hunted had already likely fled back to their jungle strongholds in the war-torn southern Mindanao islands, police chief Ronaldo de la Rosa said at a news conference yesterday.

Three people arrested in baby selling racket exposé

Malaysian police have arrested three people for allegedly selling babies following an Al Jazeera investigation into the country's underground baby trafficking trade.

A woman and two men were arrested on Wednesday after police raided clinics and homes on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

The woman who was arrested was shown on Al Jazeera's 101 East programme trying to sell a baby to undercover reporters.

Maute terrorists defeated but Butig was left devastated

BUTIG, Lanao del Sur - Military forces have flushed out members of the Maute group and have regained control of this town, but scars of the six-day firefight remain visible as homes and establishments were left with gaping holes from tank and gunfire.

"The town is deserted and the Maute is withdrawing towards the mountain," military spokesman Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla earlier said.

"They have been decimated. The capability to sustain and get back to the fight is no longer there," Padilla added.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Philippines' fight against Muslim insurgents is hitting a new and sticky blockade

Philippine President Duterte campaigned on the idea he could solve one of his country’s stickiest, oldest and most violent political problems. He would make peace with two Muslim separatist groups on the giant southern island Mindanao but use force against a third that’s usually seen as a pack of bandits without political cause. Now, after five months in office, the ever enigmatic Duterte says he wants to negotiate with that bandit group, Abu Sayyaf. Abu Sayyaf has pledged allegiance to ISIS and is known for kidnapping and beheading foreign tourists.

47 Orang Asli released, reunited with families

Activist lawyer Siti Kasim thanks police for their help and absolves them, saying Kelantan forestry department responsible for actions against Orang Asli.

GUA MUSANG - The 47 Orang Asli who were detained by police on Tuesday after refusing to move from a blockade they set up here, were released today.

The men who spent two nights at the Gua Musang police station, were released at 2.50pm and some of them were in tears when they were reunited with their families.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ringgit tops list of monthly Asia forex losses

Emerging Asian currencies were set to post monthly losses in November after Republican Donald Trump's surprise US election win inspired a rousing rally in the dollar.

Malaysia's ringgit has lost 6.1 percent against the U.S. dollar so far this month on bond outflows.

The currency's slide would be the largest monthly depreciation since August last year when domestic markets tumbled as a financial scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) engulfed Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Brazilian Soccer Team Plane Was ‘Doomed’, Expert Says

Early reports state the aircraft suffered an electrical failure but investigators aren't ruling out the possibility that the plane ran out of fuel

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a fairytale bringing Brazil’s celebrated underdogs to the top of the South American soccer league. Instead, a chartered flight to Medellin, Colombia carrying most of the Chapecoense football team and its entourage of journalists and coaches ended in tragedy late Monday.

Maute's main force leaves Lanao town, 49 dead

The military says the situation is 'fluid,' but it aims to drive away the remaining members of the terror group from the abandoned municipal hall 'within the day'

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines – The main force of the Maute terror group that occupied parts of Butig town in Lanao del Sur has left the area, according to the military.

At least 49 members of the local terror group inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS) were killed in days of operations while 21 soldiers were injured, the military added.

Sosma has potential for greater abuses, warn lawyers

In calling for the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) to be repealed, lawyers at a Bar Council forum yesterday said not only does it retain elements from the defunct Internal Security Act (ISA), it also has the potential for greater abuses.

Top of the list of concerns raised was the unrestricted power of the police to detain an individual under Sosma for up to 28 days, without trial.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Explosives, M16 with live bullets found in Lahad Datu

KOTA KINABALU - Several explosives, an M16 rifle with live bullets and several empty magazines were found at a farm in Kampung Tanjung Batu, Lahad Datu on Sunday.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said police did not rule out that the items were likely to be weapons left behind by Sulu militants during the 2013 instrusion.

“Based on initial investigations, we believe that the weapons had been left behind by the militants during the ‘Op Daulat’ as they were found within the operation area,” he said after launching the Sabah chapter of the Malaysian Association of Retired Senior Police Officers (Respa) here today.

Also present were Respa deputy president Datuk Mohd Nawawi Ismail and Sabah Respa chairman Datuk Sulaiman Junaidi.

Abdul Rashid said a 50-year-old man who discovered the items had also been detained to facilitate the investigations. — Bernama

Police summon Al-Jazeera crew to obtain more info on baby-selling activities

PUTRAJAYA - Police have summoned the production crew of international television station, Al-Jazeera, to seek more information concerning its documentary on alleged baby-selling activities in Malaysia.

Warisan wants White Paper on Sabah water scandal

Party secretary-general wants Sabah Government to explain Sabah Watergate and the privatisation of ‘58 or 59’ water treatment plants to six individuals or companies.

KOTA KINABALU - Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) reminded the Sabah Government that it had a duty to issue a White Paper on the water scandal, dubbed Sabah Watergate, in the state.

Philippines officially recognizes Daesh role in south

Omar and Abdullah Maute
ZAMBOANGA - The Philippines president has officially acknowledged that a group battling the military in a town in the south is connected to Daesh.

Analysts have long linked both the Maute Group and related militant outfit the Abu Sayyaf to Daesh, but Duterte's televised comments late Monday are the first official recognition.

“We are not good today because finally, finally, intelligence community advised me that ISIS [Daesh] has finally connected with the group in the Philippines called the Maute," President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised speech late Monday.

There’s a raging war now in Lanao... I will go to Marawi... I am not trying to scare you," he added, ahead of a trip to the region where the Maute Group is currently battling military.

Monday, November 28, 2016

New app WeEat promotes Sabah, Sarawak food

KOTA KINABALU - Foodies rejoice as there is a new mobile app in town that serves to cater to your eating-out needs.

There may already be more than a handful of similar apps, but this newly-launched app is developed by East Malaysians to encompass eateries specifically in Sabah and Sarawak.

Developed by Dexus AP Marketing, WeEat is an app that helps users — or in this case, food hunters, to locate restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and the likes, across East Malaysia.

“The difference between our app and other food hunt is that it provides information to users on where to find the food they are looking for, with exact location accuracy,” said its managing director, SL Ling.

JPJ denies rumours on social media on road tax hike

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) has denied rumours of an increase in road tax for motor vehicles of 880cc and above starting January next year.

“The information is fake, and has been spread through social media and WhatsApp applications lately.

“The department views this matter seriously as it can cause misunderstanding among the public,” JPJ said in a statement Monday.

The rumours started earlier in the day and began circulating on social media that road tax would go up by 25%. 

Police applied Sosma in raid of Empower's office

Police raided the office of women's group Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) in Petaling Jaya this afternoon.

According to organisation's lawyer Honey Tan, the police are investigating the group under Section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy and also under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

"There are several Empower staff currently in the office and we (lawyers) are not allowed to enter.

"The police have been there for about an hour," said Tan.

Empower is an advocacy group aimed at encouraging female participation in the political process.

Activists want former Sabah CM to take MA63 to court

KOTA KINABALU - Borneo rights activists in Sabah and Sarawak want former Sabah chief minister Harris Salleh to seek a Declaration in the Federal Court on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“Harris is not the court. Only the court can declare on MA63,” Daniel John Jambun said, speaking on behalf of rights activists in Borneo.

He added that the law is not just about the letter but the spirit too.

Police chief advises Sabah fishermen to install proper communication systems

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah police have urged fishermen in the state to install proper communication systems on their boats which will enable them to raise the alarm in the event of attempted abductions or attacks from pirates.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Outcast Muslim preacher Zakir Naik allegedly offered M'sian citizenship, says report

PETALING JAYA - Controversial Muslim scholar Dr Zakir Naik has been given a Malaysian citizenship, according to an article published in the Hindustan Times

Naik, who has preached and conducted programmes in Malaysia before, was also alleged by the report to be currently hiding here after his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was recently banned by Indian authorities.

Zunar arrested under Sedition Act for cartoon display

PETALING JAYA - Political cartoonist Zunar has been arrested, said George Town OCPD Asst Comm Mior Faridalathrash Wahid.

"I can confirm that Zulkiflee Bin SM Anwarul Haque @ Zunar (pic) was arrested at IPD Timur Laut," said ACP Mior in a statement on Saturday evening.

He said that Zunar's arrest was made under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948.

"An investigation is also being carried out under Section 504 of the Penal Code," added ACP Mior.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stop work call to Indonesians, failure of Esscom?

TAWAU - The Indonesian Consulate here advised its citizens in East Coast of Sabah to be cautious and stop whatever activities at sea temporarily.

Indonesian Consulate Chief Representative in Tawau, Krishna Dielani said they were advising their citizens involved in commercial and job-related activities at sea here and in Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna to temporarily stop work.

Duterte makes U-turn on Abu Sayyaf, wants talks

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appeared Friday to make a U-turn on peace talks with Abu Sayyaf, the radical Islamist militant group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and beheaded two Canadian nationals this year.

Speaking on a visit to wounded soldiers at a military hospital in the southern city of Zamboanga, the firebrand leader appealed to the group to come to the negotiating table for the good of the population, and appeared to suggest that he would consider federalism for the country’s Muslim minorities.

Friday, November 25, 2016

OMG! 2 years’ jail for missing Friday prayers

KUALA TERENGGANU - Muslim men who do not perform Friday prayers in Terengganu will face a maximum fine of RM3,000 or two years’ jail.

This followed the passing of the bill to amend the Terengganu Shariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir) 2001 by the state assembly here yesterday.

Apart from amendments to Section 16, other amendments made involved Section 19 on failure to respect Ramadan and Section 53 on harassing women in public places.

Local banks reminded to keep an eye on speculative Ringgit trading

Banks in Malaysia have been reminded that they play a key role in curbing speculative trading of the Ringgit internationally during this current period of “undue volatility.”

The recent move by the central bank to clamp down on Ringgit non-deliverable forward (NDF) was made in order to protect real sectors in the economy and genuine investors in the financial system here.

Why Borneo MPs should reject Hadi’s bill

Sarawak 4 Sarawakians reminds MPs of difference between promises and real life situations, giving examples of how non-Muslims rights are even now being affected

KUCHING - A human rights advocate says there’s no reason for MPs in Sabah and Sarawak to be caught up with the rhetoric and polemics in peninsular Malaysia on hudud law.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Impossible for Musa to be unaware of projects - Shafie

He says reports on these projects were sent to the Sabah state secretary and heads of departments

Parti Warisan Sabah (PWS) president Shafie Apdal has questioned how Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman could deny knowledge about projects undertaken by the federal rural and regional development ministry in Sabah.

50 M’sian IS fighters want to come home, says IGP

Khalid Abu Bakar says while the government will facilitate their return home, action will nevertheless be taken against them upon returning to Malaysia

GOMBAK - Around 50 Malaysian Islamic State (IS) fighters in Syria and Iraq want to return home, according to Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

The nation’s top cop warned that while the government would facilitate their return to Malaysia, action would be taken against these militants for breaking the law.

Khalid Samad attacked on parliament grounds by Umno thugs

Group of 20-30 men chanting 'Hidup Pasir Salak!', presumably supporters of Umno supreme council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman harrass, then attack Shah Alam MP

KUALA LUMPUR - Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad was attacked by a mob as he was approaching the main Parliament building this morning.

Fortunately for the Amanah lawmaker, parliament security officers came to his rescue and prevented the incident from turning ugly. However, it was later learnt that one officer was injured in the melee.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ex-BSI Banker Yeo Jiawei made $13.6 million In 15 Months through 1MDB

Yeo Jiawei, a former employee at BSI Singapore — a private Swiss bank, garnered $13.6 million within 15 months through illegal deals with the scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), prosecutors said Tuesday.

However, the ex-BSI banker said the earnings were simply “referral fees” that were “directly earned.”

Singaporean prosecutors made the allegations on the last day of Yeo’s trial that lasted for 12 days. He faces four charges of obstructing justice.

Abu Sayyaf now targeting merchant ships

On Monday, the piracy reporting center ReCAAP ISC warned that Abu Sayyaf militants are increasingly targeting larger merchant vessels in the Sulu Sea.

Over the course of this year, Abu Sayyaf has abducted nearly four dozen seafarers. Many of the crew have already been returned to their families, and Philippine media reports suggest that Abu Sayyaf has earned millions in ransom payments for their release – an important source of income for the long-running terrorist organization.

Viral video will crash your iPhone

A viral video titled "Honey" has been making the rounds that when played will freeze or lock up your iPhone after about 10 seconds, according to the Verge.

The bug seems to affect most iPhones even with the latest iOS 10.1 or 10.2 beta installed.

The video, which can be shared via a link, seems to cause the iPhone to slow down after about 10 seconds and eventually freeze it – this will happen even if you closed the video midway.

Adenan instructs Sarawak BN MPs to oppose Hadi's Bill

KUCHING - Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has instructed all state Barisan Nasional MPs, including Muslim lawmakers, to oppose the Private Member's Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (RUU355).

Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said state Barisan component parties would not support the Bill that will be read out a second time in Parliament this week.

Killing TPP by Trump, opening the way for China to lead

TOKYO/SYDNEY (Reuters) - An ambitious Asia-Pacific trade pact linking the United States and 11 countries lay in tatters on Tuesday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he would kill the deal on his first day in office on Jan. 20.

Trump's statement appeared to open the way for China to assume the United States' leadership mantle on trade and diplomacy in Asia. The Republican termed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) "a potential disaster for our country."

CIA-link claim preposterous, says Ambiga

Former Bersih chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan has taken Umno information chief Annuar Musa to task over his remarks regarding her successor Maria Chin Abdullah.

She described Annuar’s allegations against the Bersih chairperson as outrageous and irresponsible.

“I dare him to make them on affidavit so that we may cross examine him on it. He is well aware that there is ongoing court proceedings relating to the release of Maria from detention.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Villagers get caught in crossfire between military and Abu Sayyaf

MANILA - Darwisa Jakiram, the village head of a town in Indanan province on Sulu island, knows all too well the threat posed by the Abu Sayyaf group.

She was once kidnapped by the militants and now suffers from stress and high blood pressure whenever she feels they might be in the area.

“I had just withdrawn a lot of money from an ATM in Jolo and was making my way back to my town when a car pulled up and men grabbed me from the tricycle I was riding,” she said. “I was only kidnapped for a few hours until they had the money they wanted but it was traumatising."

Selangor victims cheated of RM20.8mil by Nigerian 'students' in scams

SHAH ALAM - They entered the country as students of local higher institutions of learning. But some of these “students” were found to be members of syndicates that have cheated victims of RM20.8mil in Selangor alone. 

Selangor Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) head Asst Comm Mohd Sakri Arifin said between January and November this year, police received 554 cases of scams amounting to RM20.8mil in losses. 

He said following a 40% increase in crimes related to scams and frauds compared to last year, Selangor police decided to carry out an operation to nab the syndicates. 

Resolve definition of ‘Federation’ first, Jambun tells Putrajaya

Article 160 defines Federation as that established by the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957 "which does not exist", says rights activist

KOTA KINABALU - Putrajaya’s compliance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) must begin with resolving the definition of “Federation” in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

Musa claims state not informed of water projects by fed govt?

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said today that he was never briefed on water projects initiated by the federal government and was kept in the dark on the undertakings that amounted to millions of ringgit.

He claimed the former Rural and Regional Development minister, during his tenure, did not inform the state government regarding federal water projects rolled out in the state.

Abu Sayyaf demands 500 million pesos ransom for German hostage

The Abu Sayyaf militants reportedly demanded 500 million pesos (US$10million) in ransom for the German hostage whom they had kidnapped off Sulu forests on November 6.

Sub-commander Alhabsi Misaya released photographs of the 70-year-old hostage, who has been identified as Jurgen Kantner, and disclosed their demand through text messages. However, Misaya did not specify any deadline for paying the ransom or issue any threat against the victim's life if their demand is not met.

Northeastern Japan hit by 7.4 magnitude earthquake

TOKYO - A powerful earthquake rocked northern Japan on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, generating a tsunami that hit the same region devastated by a massive quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011.

The earthquake, which was felt in Tokyo, had a magnitude of 7.4 and was centred off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 km (6 miles), the agency said.

Monday, November 21, 2016

S4S rally outside Sarawak assembly for autonomy

Calling for motion to reverse 1976 Federal Constitution Article 1(2) downgrading Sarawak, S4S group says it unites all parties and is for good of all Sarawakians.

KUCHING - The pro-autonomy advocacy coalition Sarawak For Sarawakians (S4S) held a rally today as the State Assembly met for the final time this year.

Calling for state representatives to reassert their support to reclaim the state’s rights, 400 S4S supporters turned up to demand that a motion be tabled to reverse the 1976 amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, which had downgraded Sarawak’s status from an equal partner in Malaysia to one of the 13 states.

Gabungan Sabah Charter launched

KOTA KINABALU - Gabungan Sabah (United Sabah Alliance) is set to pave the way for better cooperation among local political parties in the State with the establishment of the Gabungan Sabah Charter.

Lajim's party signals interest to join Gabung Sabah (USA)

KOTA KINABALU - Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah headed by Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin is keen to join newly-formed United Sabah Alliance (USA) also known as Gabungan Sabah.

Lajim said his party's struggles were similar to that of Gabungan Sabah which comprises Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), STAR and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

"I will bring this up with the supreme council and we will decide from there," he said after attending the launching of USA's charter here yesterday.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

China: Iron Out South China Sea Disputes Ourselves

China’s President Xi Jinping, in separate meetings with the leaders of the Philippines and Vietnam, said disputes over the South China Sea should be resolved bilaterally, state media reported Sunday.

The comments underscore Beijing’s opposition to involving other countries or international organizations in the maritime territorial dispute, where claimants to the waters also include Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

EC agrees to amendments in Sabah's electoral redelineation

KOTA KINABALU - The Election Commission has agreed to some amendments in the redelineation of Sabah’s electoral boundaries.

EC chairman Datuk Mohd Hashim Abdullah said the amendments involved one of Sabah’s 25 Parliamentary constituencies and three state seats that were increased from 60 to 73.

Mohd Hashim said the amendments would be put on public display from Nov 22 until Dec 21 at various locations for the public to check.

Philippines tries to intercept bandits who snatched fishermen off Sabah

MANILA (Reuters) - Masked gunmen kidnapped two Indonesian fishermen in waters off eastern Malaysia and military units were on alert to intercept them as they headed towards the southern Philippines, the army said on Sunday.

Five men snatched the two fishermen late on Saturday from a Malaysian-registered fishing trawler off Sabah. The army suspects the incident could be the work of Abu Sayyaf rebels.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Bank Negara warns action against NDF traders to stop ringgit slide

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia’s central bank said “prompt supervisory intervention” will be taken against any individuals or banks which are engaged in ringgit trade in the non-deliverable forwards (NDF) market.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said it has been made clear to local banks that onshore opening ringgit prices cannot reference offshore prices or be out of sync with the underlying fundamentals of the economy.