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Dr M: Strong govt needed to tackle economic woes
BEIJING: Malaysia must return to having a strong government to manage the global financial crisis and place the country back on the growth path, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday. Recalling the Asian crisis over a decade ago, the former prime minister said Malaysia could implement radical and unorthodox measures to recover because the government had two-thirds majority in Parliament to support its policies. The calm political situation then also allowed the government to think through how it could tackle the crisis which had affected Malaysians of all races, he said. “It is important that we try to return to a situation where the government is strong, where the government can have two-thirds majority,” he said after delivering a lecture at Peking University on lessons for Asia from the global meltdown. “Hopefully, if the present government navigates well the economy as well as politics, at the next election, we can win two-thirds majority and go back to the growth path we had for the past 50 years.” Mahathir, who arrived on Tuesday for a three-day private visit, was asked by a Malaysian student if the economic crisis would lead to a political crisis back home. He said a government without a strong majority and beset with demonstrations would not be able to tackle a crisis when it was being attacked and uncertain of its position. “But I think if people are sensible enough, they will give sufficient support to the government,” he said. Mahathir was accompanied by Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, ambassador to China Datuk Syed Norulzaman Kamarulzaman and business tycoon Tan Sri Mokhtar AlBukhary to the lecture, attended by about 200 students. He is a guest of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. He last visited China in 2005, two years after he stepped down as the prime minister. – Bernama

Public now have better opinion of judiciary, says CJ
by Tim Leonard

» See also Page 17

PUTRAJAYA: Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi yesterday praised the delivery system of the judiciary for improving vastly over the last few years and said the public now have a better opinion of the judiciary. Zaki, who officiated at the judiciary’s excellence service awards presentation ceremony at Putrajaya International Convention Centre, said there was also improvement in the quality of service as well as the dedication and commitment shown by the judiciary staff. “The courts are where people seek justice and it is not only the responsibility of the judges or court officials to play their roles but also the support staff,” he said. “A proactive approach in carrying out our duties will enable us to increase our service quality. “Our ability to overcome obstacles

will also make us respected not only in the country but also worldwide. “We have to encourage our fellow colleagues to continue working for progress.” Zaki cited an

example of how draft orders, which once took two months to prepare, now takes less than four days, or 20 minutes at the Federal Court Registrar’s office. “File searches, which once could take a few days, can now be done on the same day,” he said. “That is why a successful system is one which benefits, and is convenient to, all parties, especially the users.” He said he had also instructed lawyers to test the effectiveness of the courts and their views must never be misinterpreted. He said the committee of lawyers from Kuala Lumpur gave good comments on the Federal Court and Court of Appeal in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur for clearing backlog cases, while the committee of lawyers in Selangor was satisfied with the Klang magistrate’s court for clearing cases.

Selangor sultan leaves for heart surgery in US
SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, left for the United States yesterday to undergo heart mitral valve repair or replacement at Stanford University Medical Centre in Palo Alto, San Francisco. He will undergo the surgery on Saturday and will be under treatment at the hospital for three weeks, Selangor State Secretary Datuk Ramli Mahmud said. The sultan left for Singapore on Tuesday and flew to San Francisco from there yesterday morning, Ramli told a news conference, attended by the sultan’s private secretary, Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani. He said cardiothoracic surgeon Prof Dr Alan Yeung and mitral valve specialist Prof Dr Craig Miller would attend to the sultan at the medical centre. Ramli said the sultan has asked the people of Selangor not to worry and to pray for a successful surgery. “I have also asked the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department to seek the cooperation of the mosque and surau committees to recite the Yassin and doa selamat on Thursday (today) and to hold the solat hajat after the Friday prayers in all mosques during the treatment of the sultan,” he said. The sultan was accompanied by his younger brother Tengku Ahmad Shah, medical specialist from Sime Darby Medical Centre Datuk Setia Dr Anuar Masduki, member of the Council of the Royal Court of Selangor Tan Sri Syed Mohd Yusof Tun Syed Nasir, and Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Datuk Zakaria Abd Rahman. – Bernama
Najib and Rosmah are welcomed by Pehin Awang Adanan at Brunei International Airport.


Najib arrives in Brunei
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak arrived here yesterday for a two-day visit to Brunei, his first since becoming the prime minister in early April. Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were met on arrival at Brunei International Airport by Home Affairs Minister Pehin Awang Adanan Awang Mohd Yusof, who is the minister-in-attendance, and his wife Datin Paduka Salmah Hanafiah. Najib’s delegation included Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay. Najib and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah are expected to discuss issues of mutual interest to enhance and strengthen cooperation between the two countries. – Bernama

Assembly sec receives motion to remove Sivakumar
IPOH: The Perak Legislative Assembly Secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri yesterday confirmed his office had received a motion last week to remove V. Sivakumar as assembly speaker at its sitting on May 7. He also confirmed he had posted letters to all the assemblymen on the matter and had attached together with the letters the nomination forms for the new speaker. Although Abdullah said the matter should not have been announced before the sitting, several news portals yesterday reported that Abdullah, in his letter, had stated that the nomination forms for the new speaker should be submitted together with the agreement form of the selected candidate to the assembly office by today at the latest. “The letters were sent administratively. It should have been for the information and action of the assemblymen concerned,” he said when contacted by Bernama. Senior Exco Datuk Hamidah Osman, when contacted, confirmed she had seconded the motion to remove Sivakumar, which was proposed by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Case management of Karpal’s suit on July 2
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court yesterday fixed July 2 for case management of Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh’s RM10 million suit against Utusan Melayu (M) Sdn Bhd over an article on his comments on Islam. Deputy registrar Nazri Ibrahim fixed the date in chambers. In his statement of claim, Karpal, who is also a lawyer, claimed the article titled “DAP diingat jangan bakar perasaan Melayu” (DAP reminded not to inflame sentiments of Malays), published on Aug 25 last year, stated that he made the comments on Islam in his welcoming speech at the 15th DAP National Congress held the previous day. Karpal claimed the words published were false and malicious and intended to destroy his professional and political careers. He sought RM10 million in damages and any relief deemed proper by the court. In its statement of defence, Utusan Melayu claimed the report was an honest mistake and that an apology published by the newspaper was accepted by Karpal as fulfilling his letter of demand. – Bernama