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news without borders

theSun

| WEDNESDAY MAY 20 2009

briefs
Guan Eng lauds BN decision not to contest
GEORGE TOWN: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has welcomed Barisan Nasional’s decision not to contest the Penanti state by-election on May 31, but stressed Pakatan Rakyat will not let its guard down. He praised BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak for following in the footsteps of his father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who in 1975 oversaw the BN’s decision not to contest a parliamentary by-election in Menglembu. Abdul Razak, the then prime minister, led the BN after it was formed in 1973 till his death in 1976. Lim, who is also Penang chief minister, stressed that Pakatan parties will continue to campaign hard to help PKR candidate Mansor Othman win. “There are no guarantees in life, only uncertainties,” he said.

Chua to mobilise BN resources at grassroots
by Giam Say Khoon
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

JOHOR BARU: Police have proposed that the snatch thief responsible for the death of Jamilah Selamat on May 5 be charged under section 302 of Penal Code which carries the mandatory death sentence. State police chief Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Sharif told reporters yesterday investigation papers have been handed to the deputy public prosecutor. “The suspect is a 26-year-old former convict with six criminal records since 2003. He was high on Eramin 5 when arrested in Banang Jaya, Batu Pahat on May 6.” The arrest led to the recovery of Jamilah’s handbag containing her identity card, MyKid card, Maybank card and Anakku card. Mohd Mokhtar said 762 snatch thieves were arrested in Johor last year while 231 were nabbed in the four months since January. Two-month pregnant Jamilah, 32, died two days after falling from her motorcycle during a snatch theft at Ayer Hitam, Batu Pahat on May 3. – Bernama

RazakSAT launch delayed by technical problem
PETALING JAYA: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation said the delay in the launch of RazakSAT, Malaysia’s second remote sensing satellite, was purely a technical issue. Its secretary-general, Datuk Madinah Mohamad, said in a statement yesterday that the delay was due to a technical issue relating to the launch vehicle Falcon 1. “The vibration data analysis showed that it exceeded the safety limit for RazakSAT, causing the launch to be postponed,” she said. Based on this fact, it was agreed unanimously by the ministry, ATSB (Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd) and SpaceX (Space Exploration Technology) that the launch of RazakSAT be postponed until the issue is resolved. “SpaceX is in the process of upgrading the launcher to suit the technical requirement of RazakSAT. The launch date will be confirmed once the technical issue has been resolved and approval obtained from the United States Kwajalein Atoll for the launch,” she said.

EC warns against misuse of ‘pondok panas’
by Bernard Cheah
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

SEBERANG PERAI: The Election Commission (EC) has warned parties involved in the Penanti state by-election to abide by the rules in using the pondok panas (voter registration booths) during polling day on May 31. Its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, said the earlier ban on pondok panas was lifted after representatives from the opposition parties – Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PAS and DAP – had several discussions with them. “We are not rigid but considerate, and the representatives of these parties begged us to allow them to use the booths. But the booths will only be used to check the voters’ registration, not to canvas and get them to vote for their party’s candidate. There must not be any campaigning on polling day.” He said the EC has agreed to provide a table, two umbrellas, six chairs and three computers outside each voting centre to Pakatan Rakyat representatives for the purpose of checking registration. However, he stressed that if this privilege is mis-

used, it will not be given to them again for any other by-election or during the general election. Abdul Aziz said this at a press conference after visiting Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara in Bukit Mertajam, which will be the nomination centre for the by-election on Saturday. He said although the Barisan Nasional has opted out of the by-election, both EC and the police will continue to monitor the situation. He called on all parties who claim to know of phantom voters on polling day to apprehend them and hand them over to the EC as it is a serious offence to use another person’s identity to vote. Meanwhile, Penang police chief Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said police are prepared for the by-election. “The number of police officers deployed will be based on the latest updates,” he said. The by-election will likely see PKR’s Mansor Othman taking on two independent candidates – former Penang PKR wanita chief Aminah Abdullah and former military man Kapt (Rtd) Mohd Saberi Osman. Voters can check where their voting centres are via SMS by typing “SPRMyKad number” and send it to 15888, or visit www.spr.gov.my

MASRY CHE ANI/THESUN

Police want death for Jamilah’s killer

Abdul Aziz (right) and Ayub (left) at the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara which will be used as the nomination centre for the by-election.

PETALING JAYA: MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said yesterday his new role as Barisan Nasional chief coordinator is to mobilise the resources of all BN component parties at the grassroots level so that they operate as one unified team. He said his task covers the four states governed by Pakatan Rakyat – Kedah, Penang, Kelantan and Selangor – and Perak, Negri Sembilan and Johor. Asked why only these states, he said he could not handle all.

“We want to ensure the relationship among the BN component parties is always close and nice so that they will be able to move as a team, by first setting up BN service centres. If we want to achieve the goal of the prime minister of having 1Malaysia, we must move as a team regardless of whether you are from Umno, MCA, MIC or Gerakan,” he said. Chua said it will not be easy for the component parties to operate in such a way as many may not understand, be unhappy with or dislike such a concept. However, he is confident all BN members who love the coalition will support it.

“We are facing a confident Pakatan Rakyat that strongly believes it can take over the government in the next general election. We have to be ready now with our experience, members and machinery that have been tested so many times. “I can bring all (related) issues (directly) to the prime minister but since I come from MCA, I will also inform the party president,” he said. Asked if he will have problems getting cooperation from all component parties since he does not hold any government post, Chua said those with government posts must be more sensitive and keen to work with him as they are the ones who are going to face elections and the people. Asked whether his appointment was a way to prevent him from crossing over to the opposition, Chua said such talk had been going on since last year and it was not true. Asked whose idea it was to create the post, he said he met the prime minister three times on this matter. He said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein were also present at the third meeting. On the statement made by Ong on Monday that he actually met Najib twice on the post, Chua said he was not aware that Ong had talked to Najib on his appointment. “He (Ong) had not told me about that. He might have met Najib over the matter but I don’t know,” he said. On the meeting between him and PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa on the Perak impasse on Monday, Chua said the meeting was in his personal capacity and that the BN and Pakatan should also sit down and talk for the sake of the people in Perak. Earlier, Ong told reporters the outcome of Chua’s meeting with Husam was not binding on the party. He said Chua told him briefly about the meeting which touched on the political impasse in Perak, but clarified that the party had never made a decision on such a meeting. To a question, he said he had never said party leaders must first seek approval to see anybody. “I don’t think I need to sound that autocratic.” On whether MCA agreed with Chua’s stand that the best way to settle the Perak impasse is to dissolve the state assembly, Ong pointed out that the Perak case had been referred to court and even “if you talk about the dissolution of the state assembly, we need the mentri besar to call for it”. “Since the case has yet to be decided by the court, we should wait for the decision.”