Don’t take sides in GE14, Patriot tells authorities

KUALA LUMPUR — An ex-military group urged authorities yesterday not to take sides if losers of the 14th general election carried out “last-minute attacks”.

National Patriot Association (Patriot) president Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said such so-called “attacks” may happen at the 11th hour when election results are announced.

“In the likelihood of such an incident, Patriot trusts those in uniform, the police and the military, to stand together with the Malaysian people, to do the right thing and not take sides,” he said.

Mohamed Arshad questioned warnings by the police and defence minister about so-called “last-minute attacks” during the upcoming election, saying he found such statements strange.

“Why would anyone, any sane Malaysian want to carry out a last-minute attack? What is the motive? Barring anyone under the influence of drugs or hallucination, no sane person would want to commit a silly and outrages act of armed violence to disrupt the election,” he said.

“In the unlikelihood of such an incident, we have full trust in our police force to immediately clamp down and arrest the culprit.”

Mohamed Arshad said that while the likelihood of an attack by the Islamic State group was often mentioned, the terror group had no motive to disrupt GE14.

“Our intelligence personnel in the police and the military, with their superb track record, would clamp down any such insidious activities,” he said.

“Knowing our intelligence personnel, they do not fail. Any security breach, any failure, is a plan to fail.”

He also said Patriot was confident the country’s military personnel were disciplined and law-abiding.

On Thursday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said police have identified more than 1,100 people who are classified as potential “troublemakers”.

Fuzi said more than 100 hotspots were identified as risks nationwide in GE14.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein reportedly said action would be taken against any armed forces personnel who plotted last-minute attacks during the election.


What BN, Pakatan are pitching to voters

KUALA LUMPUR — What are the main issues that Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) plan on campaigning in the 14th general election?

Here are a few key issues, as compiled by Malay Mail:

PH: PH will mainly campaign on the economy and high cost of living, with its highlight promise of abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The opposition coalition will organise a “People vs GST” campaign on April 1, marking the third year since the broad-based consumption tax was implemented in 2015, where people will be encouraged to post receipts on social media with the hashtags #RakyatTolakGST and #PeoplevsGST.

“Cost of living and related issues, such as GST, inflation and unemployment, will be high on the campaign trail, especially in the rural areas. It will be explained as a result of the scandals (corruption),” PH chief secretariat Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah told Malay Mail.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) strategist Rais Hussin said corruption and abuse of power have caused “massive” debts — both household and government debt.

“People are suffering. These are the very reasons why people need a government that is not only competent, but with right and good governance, and put back and restore democratic institutions, so that Malaysia will come back to the path towards a developed nation,” Rais said.

The PH election manifesto also promised introducing targeted fuel subsidies, eliminating “inappropriate” debts of Felda settlers, introducing an Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution scheme for housewives, standardising and increasing the minimum wage, deferring the repayment of National Higher Education Fund Corp (PTPTN) loans for those earning below RM4,000 monthly, and RM500 aid for the low-income B40 group to get treatment at private clinics.

BN: BN will campaign on economic stability and sustainability, like the cost of living, employment, increasing purchasing power, and economic well-being of the B40 and middle-class M40 groups.

“Other pressing issues will be at the epicentre of the Umno campaign, such as affordable housing, increase in efficiency and efficacy of the public sectors, reducing economic and social gaps between urban and rural via the New Economic Policy, welfare and well-being of our first responders (Armed Forces, Air Force, Navy, the People’s Volunteer Corps, police, Fire and Rescue Department), good governance and resolute financial management/asset management,” Umno Youth exco Ibdil Ishak said.

Khairul Azwan Harun, who is the Umno Youth vice-chief, said Umno has always been a “moderate” party.

“If you remember the Umno general assembly last year, a lot of talk was on Umno becoming a ‘party of the future’. In our inter-party meetings, the opinions we seek from experts and professionals, there’s a coordinated effort to address issues such as the jobs of the future, sustainability in energy, income inequality, youth extremism, cyber security and even climate change,” he said.

“We will continue to assist the rakyat, both present and future, with our sustainable policies. No, we will not lie to the rakyat about giving heaven on Earth policies to take away GST, provide free education, eradicate all tolls or subsidise petrol.”


‘Picnic protest’ to stop TTDI construction works

KUALA LUMPUR — More than 50 Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents held a “picnic protest” yesterday against development at Taman Rimba Kiara after construction works began.

Preliminary construction works started at the neighbourhood park on March 14, which saw dozens of trees uprooted to make way for an alternative route into the park as part of a proposed mixed development of high-end condominiums and affordable housing block.

TTDI residents association vice-chairman Clinton Ang said the works were being carried out in bad faith as the project was pending a judicial review.

“We are outraged at the arrogance of the developers for showing no regard to the ongoing judicial review,” he said.

“What is the rush? Let the matter be resolved in court. What if the court decides in the residents’ favour? How would you reverse the damage done?” To show support for the cause, residents brought placards that read “Less invasion, more conservation”, “Parks are for people not Condos,” and “Parks before profits”.

Last year, TTDI residents filed a judicial review to quash the conditional planning permission and development order granted by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to property developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, in which Malton Berhad holds a 51 per cent stake.

TTDI residents were alerted to excavation works conducted on the site by regular park goers, who posted images and videos on social media of construction workers uprooting trees.

Ang questioned City Hall, the custodian of Taman Rimba Kiara, on its lackadaisical attitude towards preserving the park, and why it had allowed construction works to take place without due process.

“So far, City Hall has been silent on the matter. We are troubled by their lack of attention to our plight,’’ he said.

“The irony is that City Hall has been taking good care of Taman Rimba Kiara and they even tagged over 300 trees in the park. We are baffled that they would allow construction to proceed.’’

Also present was Save Kuala Lumpur (SKL) coalition chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, who urged authorities to gazette the KL City Plan 2020 immediately

“The government must take this matter seriously as Kuala Lumpur needs a proper planning framework, with emphasis to save our green and open space,’’ he said.

“Sadly, not many people in power see the value of green and open space to its local community. Which is why we need a detailed structural plan to administer Kuala Lumpur.’’

Abdul Aziz said Kuala Lumpur has always been a green city and it should be kept that way.

“Why are we so obsessed with concrete jungles like New York or London? What we have is unique,’’ he said.

In appreciation of journalists

KUALA LUMPUR ― April 11 has been declared National Journalism Day (Hawana) to commemorate the contributions of the profession since the country’s independence.

The chairman of the national committee organising the celebrations, Datuk Zakaria Abdul Wahab, described the event as a major step towards recognising the importance of journalism to the country’s development.

In a press statement, Zakaria said journalists have played an undeniable role since even before the country was formed, and were increasingly being taken for granted.

“Journalists stoke the fire for independence, disseminate information, strengthen unity, peace and harmony among Malaysians,” he said

“Even though they are unsung heroes they continue to shoulder their duties responsibly, with ethics, and attract the public’s involvement into national development.”

Seven terror suspects held, places of worship among targets

KUALA LUMPUR — Seven individuals have been arrested for terrorism offences, including a suspected plan to attack non-Muslim places of worship and to kill policemen.

The police said in a statement an operation in Johor led to the capture of six Islamic State-linked individuals who had planned attacks on non-Muslim places of worship, kidnappings and the murder of police officers.

“The third suspect aged 30 was working as a security guard, whose job was to handle the purchase of firearms from a neighbouring country. The suspect had done a recce on non-Muslim places of worship around Johor Baru, Johor, as targets,” Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in the statement.

The arrests were carried out between Feb 27 and March 15.

During the first operation on Feb 27, three suspects between the ages of 30 and 46 were caught.

The second arrest took place between Feb 28 and March 1, where three more suspects were arrested.

They were arrested for attempting to purchase weapons, execute attacks, kidnap, and murder.

A third operation was carried out on March 15 in Sabah, where a Filipino Abu Sayyaf member was arrested.

The 31-year-old acted as the right hand man of Furuji Indama, the Abu Sayyaf group leader in Basilan, North Philippines.

He also had links with Malaysia’s Dr Mahmud Ahmad, who had previously joined the group.

The suspect was sought after by Filipino authorities for his alleged links to several kidnapping, ransom and attempted murder cases.

He was also an “improvised explosive device” expert.


Bersih 2.0 to submit protest against redelineation report

PETALING JAYA — Bersih 2.0 has urged voters to join it in submitting a memorandum to the parliament speaker and the prime minister on Wednesday to protest against the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation report.

It hopes to submit the memorandum to speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Bersih 2.0 executive director Yap Swee Seng said its steering committee will be present at the demonstration, along with its acting chairman Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari.

“We urge the public and all voters to join us at Parliament to voice our protest against the non-transparent and undemocratic process conducted by the EC,” he said.

“We will arrive at eight in the morning at the Parliament gate, so parliamentarians arriving will see that people are not happy.”

Shahrul said the memorandum was to stress several reasons why Parliament should not give effect to the recommendations in the report.

“There are cases pending in the courts with respect to the delineation process conducted by the EC. One of the cases has 107 plaintiffs involving 10,000 voters,” he said.

“Prior to presenting the report to the prime minister, the EC failed to hear objections from many members of the public who submitted objections in conformity with the Federal Constitution.

“The EC also has about six more months to complete its work.”

The EC had on March 9 submitted its final report to Najib, and Putrajaya is to propose the redelienation of electoral areas
on Wednesday.

Shahrul said Pandikar should not allow the tabling and debate of the report until all legal challenges were addressed in court and decided by the judiciary.

Yeo to contest Bakri, new face for Bentayan

KUALA LUMPUR — DAP’s Yeo Bee Yin will replace incumbent Bakri MP Er Teck Hwa in the Johor parliament seat in the 14th general election.

News portal The Malaysian Insight reported DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng making the announcement at a community centre in Bakri yesterday.

Lim also announced a new candidate, Ng Yat How, for the Bentayan state seat.

“Giving up existing seats is not easy but it is this sacrificial spirit that will help the struggle move ahead. This kind of spirit of giving has given us a new momentum to forge ahead,” Lim said.

Er told reporters on Thursday he would not defend his seat in the upcoming polls, claiming there was no pressure from his party’s central leadership for him to step aside.

Yeo is currently Damansara Utama assemblyman in Selangor. The Johor-born’s move followed DAP’s Liew Chin Tong’s shift to Ayer Hitam in the southern state to take on MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.

Nurul Izzah’s hands were tied, says ‘heir apparent’

KUALA LUMPUR — The heir apparent to the Lembah Pantai seat, PKR’s Fahmi Fadzil, said voters should look at the bigger picture when judging the service of incumbent MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

The PKR communications chief told Malay Mail Nurul Izzah could have contributed more during her two terms had she received the allocations she was entitled to from the federal government.

“It has been difficult for Nurul Izzah because she has been denied allocations. If, on average, the amount given to an MP is about RM5 million per year, by right she would have had RM50 million to spend for Lembah Pantai,” he said.

“It is not like she can just take the money away.”

Responding to criticism from Umno’s Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, a likely challenger during the general election, Fahmi said Nurul Izzah would have painted public housing just as he did if she had got federal funding.

Raja Nong Chik, who lost to Nurul Izzah in 2013, has maintained a steady presence in the area and ramped up appearances in recent months.

Some residents previously told Malay Mail they have seen more of him than Nurul Izzah.

Fahmi, formerly Nurul Izzah’s political secretary, claimed she spent every single sen of her salary and allowances as an MP on the community.

“If any of the residents asks for assistance, when it comes to health or education problems, she either would help raise the money herself or spend out of her own pockets,” he said.

Fahmi said voters should also take note of Nurul Izzah’s efforts in raising issues of national concern in Parliament which, he pointed out, was among the duties of a federal lawmaker.

“For instance, two years ago she highlighted malnutrition issues in PPRs (people’s housing projects) and they were brushed off in Parliament until a Unicef report was published recently and brought the same issue to light,” he said.

“What did the Umno ministers say? Nothing, except that the Unicef report is wrong and they blatantly denied the facts.

“Izzah is doing her job. If people feel like she is not, I would like to invite these people to Parliament and see their own MP at work.”

On Raja Nong Chik, Fahmi accused the Umno division chief of abusing the federal government’s facilities for his own political mileage, citing his speeches at Kuala Lumpur City Hall events as examples of such abuse.

He questioned why Raja Nong Chik should be given a platform by City Hall to address the public when he was not an elected representative of the area.

Fahmi also questioned how Raja Nong Chik was financing his service centre in Lembah Pantai as well as his many projects in the area.

He claimed that the former Federal Territories minister was nowhere in sight when all four lifts of Block 102 of the Seri Pantai PPR Flat broke down on the day schoolboy S. Sathiswaran was killed by a falling chair on Jan 15.

“Sathiswaran’s body had to wait for two-and-a-half hours on the ground floor because the lifts could not be used,” he said.

“I also saw a father having to carry his paraplegic children down nine flights of stairs. If Raja Nong Chik is continuously providing his service for the people, why was he not there manually fixing the lifts?”

Fahmi said opposition lawmakers have to fight uphill battles against Barisan Nasional in general and Umno in particular.

“Just yesterday (Monday), I saw one of the schools in Bangsar, SJK (T) Jalan Bangsar, displaying Umno flags on its gate and that is just wrong,” he said.

“What rightfully should be an official government event should not have borne the Umno logo and yet it did.”

Asked if he was prepared to fill Nurul Izzah’s shoes in the event she moves to another constituency as rumoured, Fahmi declined to comment and said only he was ready to contest wherever the party decided to field him.

Zambry: Perak to pick ‘popular’ candidates

IPOH — Barisan Nasional will select candidates for the 14th general election (GE14) based on their popularity and experience, said state BN chairman Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

He said even though their names have been shortlisted, the list is still not finalised as various possibilities could happen at this point.

“I have said in principle we have shortlisted their names but they are not final,” he told a media conference after opening the first term of the Perak Youth State Assembly at Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan yesterday.

“This is because the evaluation of candidates is dynamic and they will be fluid until the final stage before GE14.”

Zambry, who is also the Perak menteri besar, said a rating system is used by Perak BN to assist as well as ensure candidates representing Perak BN are competent and can contribute to the party’s victory. — Bernama


Get set for final lap, Zahid tells Sabah BN

PAPAR ― Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has urged the Barisan Nasional (BN) machinery in Sabah to work harder for the 14th general election (GE14).

“We have been preparing for three years for it. In other words, we have been running a political marathon and need more stamina to reach the finishing line,” he said.

“We are counting the days for two important occasions ― the dissolution of parliament and nomination day. But the most important is polling day.

“So, don’t resolve the people’s problems on that day itself … too short a time, we’ll be out of breath.”

Zahid was addressing the Papar Umno committee members on Friday night.

Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, Papar Umno division chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail, Papar MP Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin and Kawang assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar.

Zahid said all BN machineries must be more vibrant to fight its competitors.

“We have our cheerleaders (supporters) but our opponents too have their cheerleaders. We have to cast them aside as they never liked us anyway,” he said.

“But trust and believe me that we have more people who love us than those who dislike us and I am also very confident that those keeping silent are quite a big group and as leaders we should approach these fence sitters.”

Zahid said there were various styles of approaching people and if BN made the right move, those who had never supported it would decide to jump on its bandwagon.

He said the BN party machinery should also remain united and avoid political demons that were out to create disunity.

“We need to focus on doing our job until it is completed, which is on election day. We have to be in the frontline,” he said.

Zahid also announced a special allocation of RM2.1 million for the Papar parliamentary constituency.

“I have handed over RM1 million to Papar Umno division chief, RM500,000 to Papar MP, RM500,000 to Kawang assemblyman, and RM100,000 to Kampung Benoni Jamek As-Salam Mosque,” he said. He said the allocation be used in the best possible way to assist the constituents in Papar.

In Bagan Datuk, Perak, Zahid urged local tourism industry players to get together and form the Bagan Datuk Tourism Action Association to attract more tourists to the district.

“I want the association to be formed in two weeks and we (the government) will inject an allocation of RM500,000 for tourism promotion,” he said during the “Sembang Santai (chat) with the Deputy Prime Minister” programme organised by the Malaysia Inbound Tourism Association (MITA).

He said an incentive of RM100 would be given to industry players registered with the association for every tourist arrival in Bagan Datuk. — Bernama

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