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Food aid for 4,200 underprivileged families

SOME 4,200 underprivileged families in Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak will be provided with a monthly food aid for a year, courtesy of Sentuhan Kasih, a charity programme by Petroleum National Berhad (Petronas).

More than RM5 million has been allocated for the programme aimed at improving the livelihood of communities.

In addition to receiving this monthly contribution of RM80 for 12 months, the identified families will also receive RM240 each during festive seasons to help with the celebration.

All contributions will be made via cashless payment, where recipients can obtain essential food items at partnering supermarkets using their MyKad.

Petronas Group Strategic Communications senior general manager Zahariah Abdul Rahman said Sentuhan Kasih is the company’s key Corporate Social Investment (CSI) project aimed at extending a helping hand to society.

“We hope the contribution will help ease the families’ burden in managing their daily expenses, especially for those with many children,” she added.

To reach out to more families in need, Petronas is looking at expanding the effort to other states in Malaysia. The contributions will be administered and distributed through the MyKasih Foundation from this month until March 2019.

Since 2005, Petronas has embarked on several community initiatives including Sentuhan Kasih programmes aimed at contributing to the well-being of society and the nation.

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KPGCC unveils new golf wing

AWARD-WINNING Kota Permai Golf and Country Club (KPGCC) recently unveiled its new golf wing, after almost a year-long closure which saw major renovations and upgrading works undertaken to the original structure.

Renovation works which commenced in mid-July last year were completed at the end of March at a cost of approximately RM13.5 million.

Featuring a “Tropicana Elegance” interior design concept, the overall expansion measures 7,265 sq ft. Significant upgrades can be seen in the male changing room which has been expanded to 6,975 sq ft from its original 4,036 sq ft. The female changing room has also been extended to 2,314 sq ft from 1,905 sq ft.

In terms of locker numbers, male golfers now have 280 lockers (previously 257) at their disposal while female golfers have 122 lockers (previously 88). Even the shower cubicles have increased to 41 units from a previous 16 for males while females have got an additional four more from their previous eight units.

There are also three new VIP rooms (two rooms for four pax and one room for two pax), a new fully-covered golfers’ starting point, two new storage rooms for event organisers and a new locker access card system. Also part of the upgrading exercise are two new air-conditioned waiting lounges.

The extensive project was a joint effort between various parties contracted by KPGCC namely Hicom Gamuda (the developer), Lim Hoo Seng Construction Sdn. Bhd. (main contractor), In Strike Sdn. Bhd. (ID contractor), Garis Architects Sdn. Bhd (architects), Zaidun Leeng Sdn. Bhd. (engineering consultant) and Design Tone Sdn. Bhd. (ID consultant).

The highly-anticipated event was attended by high-ranking personnel from Gamuda Berhad namely executive director Datuk Goon Heng Wah and corporate development director KC Goh. The other attendees included club management officials, sponsors, event partners, committee members as well as contractors, architects and designers involved in the project.

Gamuda club operations and townships director Tang Meng Loon said at the launch, “Our design and planning principles have always been focused on community interaction and bringing people together. These same principles have been applied in the execution of the refurbishment works to the new golf wing.

“Our intention of wanting to create top notch amenities and provide an excellent service structure has finally come to fruition,” he continued. “We are now ready to host any international golfing tournaments as we believe that our world-class facility is well-equipped to handle such events.”

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Once kingmaker PAS now finds uncharted waters stormy

PETALING JAYA — PAS may have forced its way into Malaysia’s mainstream politics, but the Islamist party increasingly seems to be in unfamiliar territory now that it is charting a path on its own.

Its leaders brazenly announced last year the party would be the kingmaker in the general election, but as reality sets in, their tone as they head towards nomination day has developed a softer quality.

Wading into the general election virtually alone, after it decided not to play second-fiddle to DAP in the opposition pact, PAS leaders have reverted to the tune they know best — bolstering Islam and its laws — and tried to position their party as the sole champion of the issue.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is also on a nationwide tour to galvanise supporters and jump-start the party’s formidable election machinery.

But what is missing this time is the dark horse persona, as PAS attempts to portray itself as a credible alternative to the ruling Barisan Nasional and the rival Pakatan Harapan opposition pact.

PAS is missing both the underdog quality that has served it well before and the “wow” factor to draw new support, even from among conservative Muslims who are considered its core audience.

Forced to compete in an arena where it must bank on more than just religious matters, PAS appears out of touch with the urban electorate and, to some extent, the rural Malays as it attempts to present its position on bread-and-butter issues affecting the public.

Most worryingly for PAS is that even its religious mainstay is no longer unique, with BN pledging in its manifesto to continue enhancing and strengthening the country’s Islamic institutions if it is returned to power.

While PAS can only pledge at this point, BN can point to its existing efforts to uplift Islam in a manner consistent with the Federal Constitution, which both burnishes its own credentials and undermines the Islamist party’s platform.

This leaves PAS at a critical juncture, one it seems ill-equipped to handle as it struggles to present a proposition that is not based solely on Islam, no matter how noble its original cause may be.

PAS also has no one but itself to blame for allowing its key religious platform to be usurped.

With little new to offer voters and lacking candidates who can lay claim to being intellectual or moderates who can marry Islamic tenets with modern concerns, PAS is in a lonely place.

Both BN and the informal PH pact have presented manifestos rooted in the realities of daily life, but PAS continues to read from its old script, one that is tried and tested, but also one that voters will have heard many times before.

It is not without fresh ideas, however, as young leaders in the party have proposed new paths and methods, but few — if any — survive the conservative eyes of the party’s elders.

This leaves PAS neither able to appeal to its old core or draw in the new and young for its bid to be a serious contender.

The good news is that the party does not have major internal strife to quell heading into the polls, but there remains a gulf between PAS’ hopes and the bitter reality that awaits it on nomination day tomorrow.

As in past elections, PAS will come armed with plans for the afterlife, but scant few on how to help the public between now and then.

It will again trot out its effort to reinforce Shariah laws, to improve Islamic and tahfiz schools, and defend the position of Islam, but will lack focus once forced outside of its comfort zone and into areas such as the economy and government policy.

This is a massive shift from just last year, when it seemed as though it might upset BN in Kedah and regain the state, but it is clear now its support is set to be cannibalised by the splinter Parti Amanah Negara and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Even in its bastion of Kelantan, things appear bleak.

BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak personally launched his coalition’s offensive on the state last week and, after nearly three decades under PAS, the state may again turn blue after GE14 if the coalition’s local leaders can stick to the game plan.

With each passing day, PAS finds itself increasingly out of its depth on a ship sailing headlong into rough political seas.

PPBM shedding crocodile tears over RoS move, BN man claims

PETALING JAYA — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) protests against its provisional deregistration are insincere, says Barisan Nasional strategic communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To.

See-To claimed the opposition party had always intended to contest the general election on PKR’s ticket, despite its apparent action to criticise and challenge the Registrar of Societies.

He said PPBM knew its logo lacked recognition.

“I will tell you this. If I give Parti Bersatu the right to use their logo to contest today, they will not use it. It was something that they didn’t want,” he told attendees at a “You Decide” forum on Wednesday.

See-To pointed out that PPBM will still use PKR’s logo despite securing a court decision that reversed the provisional deregistration.

He said PPBM and PH were still harping on the matter for sympathy.

“So what are they complaining about? It’s only because they want to cheat Malaysians’ vote,” he said.

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Monday allowed PPBM’s application for judicial review and reversed the provisional deregistration applied by the RoS.

The RoS provisionally banned PPBM a day before Parliament was dissolved and gave the party 30 days to comply with its demand for paperwork.

But See-to said PPBM was actually not interested in facts.

“They would tar and insult those who state facts and opinions they do not like, such as DAP veteran Tan Seng Giaw, who was called a ‘running dog’ for refusing to accuse BN of wrongdoing related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd,” he said.

“If we want to be a mature democracy, we must have intelligent voters who vote based on the correct information.”

He said those who did not toe the party line were similarly maligned, referring to DAP’s Dr Boo Cheng Hau.

Such leaders fell out of favour simply for stating facts, which See-To said, was not always welcomed in opposition parties like DAP.

“So I don’t mind being called a ‘running dog’ if I’m telling the truth, but the truth hurts Pakatan supporters,” he said.

See-To said the public must be free to express their opinions without being attacked and insulted.

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Sabah BN veterans make way for young

KOTA KINABALU — Veteran politicians in Sabah Barisan Nasional are making way for new faces in the general election.

Unveiling the candidate line-up yesterday, Sabah BN chief Tan Sri Musa Aman announced that his son, Hafez Yameni, 41, will be contesting the Sipitang parliamentary seat, taking over from Datuk Sapawi Mohd, who will contest the Sindumin state seat instead.

Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup has stepped aside to make way for his son Arthur, 35, to contest his Pensiangan
parliamentary seat.

Parti Bersatu Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin will not be defending his Keningau seat, paving the way for the party’s vice president Datuk Daniel Kinsik.

However, Pairin will still be contesting his Tambunan state seat.

In Luyang, MCA incumbent Hieu King Chew will be stepping down and making way for Dr Pamela Yong, the daughter of former MCA Luyang candidate Datuk Agnes Shim.

UPKO’s Ceasar Mandela Malakun will be contesting the Penampang parliamentary seat, while Umno Tenom youth chief Jamawi Jaafar will contest the Kemabong seat.

Joseph Kurup said it was time for the state to put up younger leaders and support the next generation.

“It is good that young people start to take over. People like Arthur are visionary and can lead the young into a new era,” he said, adding that he will remain president of the party.

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak will not be defending the Usukan state seat but will contest the Kota Belud parliamentary seat, which was held by Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

Abdul Rahman will be contesting the Sepanggar parliamentary seat instead.

In Semporna, incumbent Bugaya assemblyman Datuk Ramlee Marahaban will contest the Semporna parliamentary seat, while Datuk Razak Sakaran will contest the Bugaya seat.

Family affair in battle for Semporna

KOTA KINABALU — It will be a family affair in Semporna with two brothers set to face their cousin-turned-rival.

Datuk Nasir Sakaran and his brother Razak will contest the Senallang and Bugaya state seats, respectively, going up against Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and his Parti Warisan Sabah.

“I believe Bugaya is still our BN stronghold. Even though I’m a first-timer, I’m familiar with this area. I’ve been working here so long and I’m confident,” said Razak when met at the Umno building after the unveiling of the candidates list yesterday.

Razak, the son of former governor Tun Sakaran Dandai, said family ties will be set aside for the battle as Umno is adamant on seizing the Semporna parliamentary seat from Shafie.

Bugaya, Senallang and Sulabayan are the state seats in the Semporna constituency.

Shafie, who is a five-term Semporna MP, left Umno in 2016 and started his own party with the aim of ousting the state government. Joining him is Sulabayan assemblyman Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, also a close relative of the cousins.

“He is my cousin, always my cousin. In terms of principle and beliefs, we have separated, but we still respect each other for that,” said Razak, who was once Shafie’s political secretary.

Nasir said he was used to going up against relatives and challenges in Semporna, adding that GE14 would be no different.

Shafie, who will announce his party’s candidates tomorrow, is expected to defend Semporna, which he won with a 20,000-vote majority in 2013. He will also take on a state seat, which is likely to be Senallang.

Bugaya incumbent Datuk Ramlee Marahaban has been given the task of challenging Shafie, who will face former Sulabayan assemblyman Datuk Harman Mohamad if he does go for Senallang.

Sabah’s longest-serving assemblyman, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, 77, said this election will be his last and an opportunity to deal with any “unfinished business”.

Pairin, who has on numerous occasions hinted at retirement, said there were several reasons on why he chose to stay and defend his Tambunan state seat.

However, he will give up his Keningau parliamentary seat.

“Apart from sentimental reasons, there is also the question of responsibility and unfinished business. At the request of the people in my division I have to continue for Tambunan,” he said.

Pairin also said he was unfazed at the prospect of going up against his brother Datuk Jeffrey in Tambunan.

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Fast food chain embraces nasi lemak burger craze

PETALING JAYA — It took McDonald’s Malaysia a while but it has finally introduced a burger based on the local perennial favourite, nasi lemak.

The Nasi Lemak Burger appeared on the fast food chain’s menu yesterday. According to McDonald’s Malaysia, the burger was “inspired by the irresistibly familiar taste of our nation’s pride”.

The burger incorporates various elements of the quintessential national favourite: Coconut-flavoured fried chicken thigh, sambal, cucumber slices, fried egg, and caramelised onions between spiced sesame seed buns.

Missing, however, are fried anchovies and roasted ground nuts — ingredients that usually accompany the traditional rendition of the breakfast favourite.

The burger will only be available for a limited time. It remains to be seen if it will be sufficiently popular to earn a permanent spot on the local
menu.

The sandwich was introduced in Singapore last year where a staggering 750,000 burgers sold in two weeks.

A number of local restaurants came up with their own version of the nasi lemak burger after the Singapore McDonald’s craze, the most popular being myBurgerLab’s adaptation.

Based on reviews of the Singapore version, the Malaysian version should live up to expectations.

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ lights up KLCC

PETALING JAYA — Suria KLCC is the latest building to get in on the Avengers: Infinity War hype and will host light shows every night until this weekend in conjunction with the screening of the movie.

Marvel Malaysia announced on Facebook it was responding to calls for a light show to be projected onto the mall beneath the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

The Avengers feature is expected to run nightly at 8.15pm, 8.45pm, 9.15pm and 9.45pm until Sunday.

More than 1,000 viewers tuned in to watch the light show via live stream on KLCC’s Facebook page on Wednesday night.

The mall is only the second iconic structure to project a light show after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building — projected a similar Avengers: Infinity War spectacle until yesterday.

Menara TM in Kuala Lumpur was temporarily transformed into “Stark Tower” earlier this week when an Avengers logo was beamed onto the facade of the building.

Images on social media went viral overnight as Malaysians got excited over the film, which opened in cinemas yesterday.

Suhakam fails in bid to be observer

KUALA LUMPUR — The Election Commission (EC) has rejected the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) application to be an observer at polling stations for GE14.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail confirmed the rejection and said he did not understand the EC’s rationale in doing so, especially since there will be international observers overseeing the country’s election process.

“Free and fair election or its absence is an integral factor of human rights, and Suhakam calls on the Election Commission to recognise and acknowledge fundamental human rights principles relating to elections with integrity,” Razali in a statement yesterday.

Nomination is tomorrow and May 9 is fixed for polling.

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Accept EC’s credibility, says Zahid

BAGAN DATUK — The Election Commission (EC) should be accorded the highest level of credibility in the implementation of laws and regulations pertaining to general elections, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

He said the EC merely enforced the laws and regulations which had been debated and approved in Parliament by the MPs who were the policymakers
and legislators.

“How could the EC be planning to allow the existing government to continue to be in power as the Barisan Nasional has not been in power in Kelantan for 28 years while Penang and Selangor were administered by the Opposition and the BN had lost in Perak at one time?” he asked.

“How could an independent commission favour anyone when there are states in opposition hands? So, its transparency should be accepted by all quarters.”

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the caretaker home minister, was speaking at a media conference after launching the upgrading of Route FT069 from Simpang Empat, Hutan Melintang, to Bagan Datuk, and the FT005-FT069 Elevated Exchange at Simpang Empat, Hutan Melintang, here yesterday.
— Bernama

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