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Sunday, October 22, 2017

‘I DID NOT WANT TO DE IN LOCKUP WITHOUT CLEARING MY NAME’: FURY WHIPS ACROSS SABAH AT NAJIB’S CALLOUS TREATMENT OF SHAFIE

ARTI Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal insisted on a doctor because he did not want to “die in the lockup” without clearing his name, his lawyer Loretto Padua Jr said.
“He was genuinely sick and he wants the people to know what he was not faking to avoid detention and questioning by the MACC.
“He told me that he wants to go through the investigation process but he needed to get better first, so that he can better cooperate with the investigators,”  Padua, who is also Parti Warisan Sabah secretary-general told a crowd of about 100 people at a candlelight vigil at the Federal Administrative Complex in Kota Kinabalu last night.
He said Shafie’s blood pressure was still unstable, but he is adamant that he wants to go through the process, adding that he was determined to assist the MACC in the investigations.
Padua said Shafie’s blood pressure was checked thrice, reading 198/120 at its highest, which was why Shafie had asked to see a doctor.
It was the doctors who insisted that the Warisan president be warded as he was in danger of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.
He said Shafie had explained to him last night that he did not want to die in the lockup before he could clear his name and that was why he insisted on seeing a doctor.
Padua is among the five lawyers representing Shafie and he was the last person to see him at the Sabah MACC headquarters lockup last night where the Warisan president is being held.
He urged those at the vigil to keep their spirits up and continue the Warisan struggle.
Shafie was arrested on Thursday night after being questioned for about three hours by the MACC. He was then warded at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital II after his blood pressure spiked.
The Semporna MP is now serving a four-day remand order which ends tomorrow.
Shafie is under investigation for alleged embezzlement of RM1.5 billion of federal funds meant for projects in rural Sabah back when he was the former rural and regional development minister.
Besides Shafie and his two brothers, Hamid and Yusof, others implicated in the case include Warisan deputy president Peter Anthony, youth chief Mohd Azis Jamman, Umno Tenom Youth chief Jamawi Jaafar, Umno Tawau Youth chief Ariffin Kassim and a 52-year-old Sabah businessman.
Penampang resident Michael Roberts, 42, who was at the vigil, said he hoped MACC officers would conduct the investigation fairly and treat Shafie with dignity as he was a senior citizen.
We are doing this (candlelight vigil) because we want Shafie to remain in high spirits,” he said.
Amid Hussein, 58, said the detention was unfair for a man who had always gone out of his way to help the people.
“I am here for Shafie. I lived in the Tanjung Aru water village before I moved to Sepanggar.
“I remember Shafie came to Tanjung Aru when I still had a home there. He came and provided funds to buy planks and other materials to repair two dilapidated bridges going into our water village,” said Amid.
He felt there was no need for the MACC to detain Shafie and treat him like criminal.
“I know the man. He has already said he won’t run away. Shafie always keeps his word.”
Also present at the vigil were Warisan vice-president Junz Wong, Warisan Wanita chief Munirah Majilis and Youth leader Azis Jamman.
Anger brews in Shafie’s Semporna
IT is like anything other weekend in Semporna, stronghold of Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal.
People are going about their business n the small but tourist-filled east coast town that is the gateway to diving and snorkelling havens of nearby  Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai and Mataking.
There are no signs of discontent in the town of some 130,000 people even as Shafie, a man that has become a big part of their life, was arrested by graft busters from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Kota Kinabalu.
MACC is investigating alleged siphoning of RM1.5 billion of public funds meant for projects in rural Sabah that allegedly occured when Shafie was rural and regional development minister.
“But it’s simmering. Just below the surface, you can say,” Hisham said as his MP of five terms was on Friday remanded for four days.
“The people are angry alright. Very angry even though we knew, and had been warned that such a day will come after he left Umno and formed Warisan.
“They have been told to expect Umno to pick on Shafie and try to break up the support for him.
“That day has come just as Datuk Seri (Shafie) said it would,” Hisham, who is also Warisan deputy information chief, said.
Support for Shafie is near fanatical in Semporna.
When he left Umno to form Warisan, 90% of Umno’s 485 divisions went with him.
It literally left Umno paralysed in this town where in 2013, six policemen were killed in a botched raid to arrest a wayward Suluk imam in Kpg Siminul.
Parti Warisan Sabah deputy information chief Dato Hisham Fattah says it is widely accepted in Semporna that Shafie Apdal’s arrest is 'selective prosecution’. – The Malaysian Insight pic, October 22, 2017.
Parti Warisan Sabah deputy information chief Dato Hisham Fattah says it is widely accepted in Semporna that Shafie Apdal’s arrest is ‘selective prosecution’. – The Malaysian Insight pic, October 22, 2017.
“The people in Semporna are not showing it openly as they have been told to keep everything under control and in check,” Hisham said.
“There is a time for everything.
“We don’t want to provoke the authorities like holding a rally or demonstration. Probably that’s what the people in Umno had hoped but we told them (Shafie’s supporters) to show their anger and displeasure in the ballot box later,” Hisham said.
Like most Shafie supporters, Hisham echoed the widely accepted view that the investigation and arrest was “selective prosecution”.
He backed his view by asking what happened to the water department money laundering case.
“Why has no one been charged over it when we are hearing that Datuk Seri (Shafie) could be charged as early as on Monday,” Hisham said in reference to the corruption probe into the Sabah Water Department by MACC in 2015 and 2016.
Two senior officers in the department were arrested for alleged abuse of power and the anti-graft busters seized a total of RM52 million cash from various places, including from the house of one of the officers.
Gold, jewellery, luxury brand watches, branded handbags, luxury cars and hundreds of land grants were also seized.
“What happened to the two officers? Why were they not charged till today?
“What about all those cases of misappropriation of million in other ministries the MACC had investigated?
“I don’t hear of their respective ministers getting arrested and questioned,” Hisham said.
“We are angry but we’re not afraid of what they are doing,” Ghulam Miralam, a Bajau like Shafie and most of the people in the town, said.
“I’ve known Shafie for 30 years and in all those years, he had often advised us in the many meetings not to be ‘dirty’.
“That’s why I am convinced Shafie is not guilty of what he is being investigated for.
“This is plain dirty politics,” Ghulam said.
Ghulam said what Umno is really afraid of is Shafie’s ability to cut across the racial lines and get them to fight for a clean government and what is good for Sabah.
Shafie, a former Umno vice president, had a falling out with Prime Minister Najib Razak after he questioned the prime minister over the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) scandal.
Najib then sacked him from the cabinet but not the party. Shafie lter left on his own accord.
“It is obvious why they are doing that to Shafie,” Mohd Jakarah Asmad of Kpg Kubang Pinang, when met at a coffeeshop, said.
“They are trying to destroy his credibility by giving the perception that he is dirty and corrupt.”
Jakarah, a former civil servant who now looks after a polling district for Warisan, said instead of tarnishing Shafie’s image, Umno had made Shafie’s supporters angrier at the party for what it was doing to Shafie.
“It makes us more determined, more determined to remove Umno.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

IS PINK DIAMOND FAKE? ROSMAH PLAYS FOR PUBLIC SYMPATHY, CLAIMS SHE’S ‘A VICTIM OF FAKE NEWS & CYBERBULLIES’

I HAVE been a victim of fake news and cyberbullying, says Rosmah Mansor, wife of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“There have been a few Facebook account created in my name when I actually don’t have any social media accounts and am not good at social media.
“I don’t even have a smartphone,” said Rosmah at a seminar on cybercrime at Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
She said those who spread fake news aimed to create conflict and discord in Malaysia.
As the country moved towards becoming a “thinking society”, she said Malaysians must be more discerning and not to be influenced by those who use social media to confuse and poison minds.
On cyberbullying, she said an estimated one in four children daily experienced cyber bullying, which could cause emotional stress and  anger, fear, anxiety, and depression.
She added adults, including highly educated professionals, were also vulnerable to cyberbullying.
“Due to the fear of shame, many are afraid to come forward,” said Rosmah.
Between January and June, 379 cases of cyber harassment were reported, according to statistics from CyberSecurity Malaysia, an agency under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.
The National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) and CyberSecurity Malaysia organised the one-day CyberSafe seminar todayl to raise awareness of security, particularly of children and women, on the internet.
The seminar is a follow-up to the National Seminar on Sexual Offences Against Children at Putra World Trade Centre in March.
The March seminar had discussed the increasingly common use of smartphones, computers, the Internet and social media applications for sexual grooming and child pornography.
The Dewan Rakyat passed the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill in April to better protect children against sexual abuse.
The law came into force in July,
Topics addressed in the seminar today included internet addiction, laws and policy responses to cyber crimes, and psychological and social perspectives of cyber crimes.
Speakers were experts from the police, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia, Attorney-General’s Chambers, and criminologists, among others.
Also present were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Karim, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said, Deputy Education Minister I P. Kamalanathan, NCWO Dr Sharifah Hapsah and CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer CyberSecurity Malaysia.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com

‘EVEN IF YOU NOMINATED ME, I WON’T ACCEPT’: PAS STALWART MAHFUZ TICKS OFF HADI & CO FOR ‘BETRAYING THE PEOPLE’

ALOR SETAR – In a show of defiance, Datuk Mahfuz Omar thanked PAS for dropping him as a candidate in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14).
“I want to say thank you for not nominating me. Even if PAS were to nominate me, I wouldn’t accept it because I will be seen as betraying the people,” he said.
Mahfuz, who won the Pokok Sena MP seat for two terms under a PAS ticket, has been estranged from the party after he showed his support for Pakatan Harapan, which PAS has disassociated itself from.
On Saturday, Kedah PAS deputy commissioner Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said Mahfuz would not be fielded in GE14 due to his rapport with Pakatan Harapan.
 Mahfuz explained that he would reject any nomination from PAS to field him because the party “is not serious in wanting to change the government” and was confident of winning only 40 parliament seats.
“If I became the candidate for a party that only targets to win 40 seats, it will only give BN the mandate to continue ruling,” he said.
On whether he would consider contesting under the Amanah banner, Mahfuz said “that is an issue that does not arise today”.
– ANN

NAJIB TO UNLEASH ISLAMIC BIGOTS ON SABAH: CHRISTIANS WILL BE IN CONTROL IF SHAFIE & LEIKING WIN – NAJIB BRINGS RACIAL POLITICS TO LAND BELOW THE WIND

When it comes to harmony and national unity, many observers like to say that Sarawak and Sabah show good examples to the rest of Malaysia. The argument is that in both states people of various ethnic groups live together side by side without worrying too much about ethnic and religious divisions.
I have visited both states several times and I have also commented positively on ethnic and religious relations there. I have even suggested that if Putrajaya wants to find a solution to the challenges that we face in managing our race and religious relations, we do not have to look far for ideas because a lot can be learnt from Sabah alone.
The Sabah state government recognises that harmony between the different ethnic and religious groups is their strength. In May this year, Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman was quoted as saying that “What is good about us in Sabah is that although we are from different ethnic groups, we can live together in peace, harmony and unity, respecting one another, being tolerant and helping one another like siblings in a large family.”
In fact, before that, in January, he was also quoted as saying “In Sabah, we accept one another and we are not divided by differences. Instead, we grow closer and become more appreciative of each other.”
It is not just those in government who see the uniqueness of Sabah. Even DAP leader Lim Kit Siang once said that there is potential “to make Sabah an example for Malaysia and the world of harmony, understanding and solidarity of diverse ethnic groups, religions and cultures with zero tolerance for extremism.”
Harmony is usually achieved when the different groups within society feel that the other side is not a threat to them. If every group has confidence about their equal place within a community, and the equal places for everybody else too, there is no reason to be suspicious about each other. Many people feel that such an environment exists in Sabah.
Every time I visit Sabah, my fear has always been that the disease we suffer in the Peninsular will eventually reach the state too. I am referring to the disease of insecurity that is sown by politicians in order to create fear among their supporters.
In Peninsular Malaysia, this disease is widespread, and the chief propagator is almost always individuals or groups whose survival is dependent on each ethnic group fearing the other. They continuously win power and influence by exploiting that fear, especially by positioning themselves as the only ones who can protect their supporters from the threat posed by those from other ethnic groups.
I recently visited Kota Kinabalu and I took the opportunity to speak to a few locals there. The number of people I spoke to is relatively small, but enough to make me wonder if the disease has indeed arrived into the state.
I detected a change in attitude among some of the people there. More of them were using a language that I usually hear in the Peninsular but not in Sabah, that is the language of ethnic and religious division.
I heard comments about how Sabahans should ensure that only a Muslim would be the Chief Minister and that office of Chief Minister must not fall into the hands of a non-Muslim. A few people even suggested that Christians and non-Muslims would take over the state government if Sabahan Muslims are not vigilant.
This is a worrying development. Granted, as the general election gets closer, it is expected that many things would be politicised. But for race and religion to be used as an issue, especially in a state like Sabah, is a sign of desperation.
Sabah has a long history of forming a state government without worrying too much about the ethnicity or religion of their elected leaders. It has had a fair share of non-Muslims Chief Ministers including Tan Sri Peter Lo, Tan Sri Joseph Kitingan, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee and Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat.
Power-sharing between the ethnic groups even led to a rotation system for the Chief Minister post, to ensure that the Christian Bumiputra, the Muslim Bumiputra, and the Chinese all have a chance to head the state administration.
This is why I was saddened to see that partisan politics is beginning to create ethno-religious division among Sabahans.
To be more frank, one rather specific accusation I heard was that supporting the new opposition party Warisan Sabah would lead to Christians controlling the state. Even though the party is led by a Muslim, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, their opponents claim that its Deputy President, Darell Leiking, will promote Christianity.
It does not matter to me whether you like or dislike a party like Warisan. That is a matter of personal choice that has to be made by Sabahans themselves. But I believe it is wrong to make religion as a campaigning issue. The focus should be on the real policies offered by the parties.
It troubles me to see some Sabahans beginning to debate politics by using ethnic and religious sentiments. If this continues, Sabah will lose its claim as a state that can be looked upon as an example of ethnic and religious harmony. Politicians in Sabah should think twice about this. They should not destroy the harmony enjoyed by the state just for short term political gains.
(Wan Saiful Wan Jan is the chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, IDEAS)
MYSINCHEW

IS BLANKET BAN FAIR TO OTHER DEVELOPERS WITHOUT THOROUGH PROBE? UMNO-BN RUSH TO POLITICIZE LANDSLIDE, WANTS MOTION TO HALT HILL SLOPE PROJECTS

KUALA LUMPUR – Opposition lawmakers in Penang will table a motion in the next legislative assembly sitting in November to stop all hill slope development projects in the state.
Malaysiakini reported state Opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid saying the motion aims to halt any project until the release of a full inquiry report.
“We hope the state assembly will not block the motion,” she was quoted saying, adding that written questions on the disaster have also been submitted to the state assembly.
Jahara spoke to the media after visiting the landslide site in Tanjung Bungah, together with Umno’s Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhammad Farid Saad.
Seven bodies have been found so far from the 11 workers who were trapped by the landslide when the hill slope next to their construction site collapsed at 8.30am yesterday.
The construction is for the Granito@Permai affordable housing project at Jalan Lembah Permai.
The development consists of a 49-storey building with two towers and 12 levels of car parks. It has 980 units for sale at below RM400,000 and was listed as an affordable housing project.
The cause of the landslide is not immediately known, but the island has experienced repeated flash floods in recent months.
– Malay mail