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KULAI – Former Teluk Intan DAP chief Hew Kuan Yau was today remanded for four days to facilitate investigations into a social media posting that allegedly mocked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Police obtained the remand order through magistrate Ahmad Farid Ahmad Kamal.

Hew, 46, dubbed ‘Superman’ arrived at the Magistrate’s Court at 8.20am wearing the purple lockup uniform.

He was met by his lawyer Chan Kheng Fai and DAP members including Senai assemblyman Wong Shu Qi, Johor Jaya assemblyman Liow Cai Tung, Pengkalan Rinting assemblyman Cheo Yee How and Pekan Nanas assemblyman Yeo Tung Siong.

Hew was detained by police at Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (Komtar) in Penang around 1pm following a police report lodged on March 16. – BERNAMA

IPOH – Perak police have rejected the application for a permit by the organiser to hold a debate between former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Kangsar near here this Saturday.

Perak acting police Datuk Hasnan Hassan said the application was denied after taking into consideration factors like safety and security, public order, upholding the rights and people’s freedom.

He said Kuala Kangsar police chief ACP Ahmad Termizi Abd Haq received the application from a representative of the organiser Kumpulan Media Karangkraf at 3 pm yesterday as per Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

“It was stated in the application that the debate between Nazri and Dr Mahathir would be held on March 25 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Dewan Maktab Rendah Sains Mara, Kati, Kuala Kangsar.

“The Kuala Kangsar police chief has rejected the application and this will be followed with an official notification which will be hand delivered to the organiser today. The organiser has already been informed of the decision (to deny the permit ) yesterday,” he said in a statement here today.

Hasnan said one of the reasons why the application was denied was due to the delay in submitting the notification form as stated under Section 9 (1) of APA 2012.

“The organisers shall produce a notification to the officer in charge namely the district police chief within 10 days before the gathering,” he said.

He also said that the selected venue for the debate, the MRSM Kuala Kangsar, a school, was a protected place as stated in the First Schedule (Section 3 APA 2012).

“Besides, eight police reports have been lodged by the public and local residents who are concerned about their own safety as well as of their families,” he said.

Hasnan also added that in the Third Schedule of the act, it was stated that such an assembly or dialogue was not included in the list of permitted assemblies and asked all parties involved to abide orders by the Kuala Kangsar police chief.

“Stern action will be taken according to the law if this debate continues,” Hasnan said.

— BERNAMA

LANGKAWI – Malaysia wants to collaborate with the other ASEAN member countries to reap the opportunities from the growth in the defence industry in the region which is projected to generate about US$100 billion by 2030.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today said that Malaysia has been producing a number of good components and would be willing to share its technology and knowledge with the other ASEAN members.

“ASEAN (countries) should not be regarded only as end users (in the defence industry) but should upgrade themselves to friendly collaboraters of industry system integrators,” he told reporters after attending the official opening of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017 (LIMA ’17) by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here.

He said the LIMA ’17 which attracted more than 500 exhibitors worldwide to Langkawi can be a stage for ASEAN members to explore further the opportunity for collaboration in the defence industry.

“We should not be left behind in the (development of the) defence industry. We want to go along to participate in the industry,” he added.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Scenes of local and foreign pressmen waiting outside the North Korean embassy to catch embassy officials for comments related to the murder of Kim Jong-nam is slowly diminishing.

Pressmen feel there is no reason to wait outside the embassy because none of the embassy staff or its spokesman Ri Tong-il had issued any statements or talked to the media since Feb 18.

Jong-nam was killed on Feb 13 after two women smeared his face with a dangerous chemical believed to be VX nerve agent at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Klia2) when he was bound for Macau.

The two woman, a Vietnamese and Indonesian national had been charged at the Sepang magistrate court for murder.

South Korean wires, Yonhap news agency correspondent Harrison Choi Hyun-seok said as far as the agency was concerned the case was considered solved and they would be heading back home soon.

“We have been here since day one and even tried to track down Jong-nam’s family in Macau. We have no idea when the body well be claimed by the family and probably, they won’t even claim it,” he said.

Previously, international and local reporters would be camping outside the embassy until 11pm and be back at the site as early as 8am but now, less than 10 reporters are seen waiting daily and all will leave the embassy compound by 7pm.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police were currently looking for a VIP among several others to assist in the murder investigation of Jong-nam, including the three North Koreans who are believed to be hiding in the embassy.

Jong-nam is the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) has denied that the “Eyeglass With Candy” sweets have haram ingredients as spread on the social media.

According to Jakim’s Halal Hub Division, the sweets which are round in shape and in various colours, produced by Goodfood Industries Sdn Bhd had valid halal certification.

“The misunderstanding arose when the consumer did not look clearly at the label which has the words ‘free from pig’s products and its derivatives’,” it said in a statement today.

According to the statement, in the process of issuing the certificate, a team of Syariah experts and food experts looked at every ingredient and the production process.

JAKIM also advised the public to be smart consumers and not spread anything without checking. – BERNAMA

Further Remand For Hawker In Single Mother Murder Case

IPOH – A 34-year-old hawker at the general market here has been remanded for another seven days in connection with the murder last Monday of a single mother.

Police today obtained the extension order effective tomorrow through Magistrate’s Court assistant registrar N.Mageswari.

The suspect was detained around 12noon on March 13 after the body of the woman aged 53, who had apparently been stabbed was found in a bedroom on the upper floor of a house at Taman Dato Lew Yap Sip, Ampang here.

Investigations revealed forced entry through the front door and bedroom door, while the curtain and chair in the room were also partly burnt.

The case is being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code. – BERNAMA

KULAI – The police have no leads to the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo, confirmed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

He repeated his advice to the public against over-generating publicity for the case to enable the police to conduct their investigation smoothly.

“Too much speculation in the media could endanger the victim. I am worried, because our investigation is in a stalemate as we don’t have further information on the missing pastor. I believe it is due to too much publicity.

“To the media, individuals and NGO who want to get involved in kidnap cases, shut your bloody mouth; you are putting the victim at a high degree of danger,” he told reporters here today, on the abduction of Pastor Koh on Feb 13.

On the case involving a 31-year-old part-time Uber driver who was charged with demanding RM30,000 from Koh’s son, Jonathan, at Paradigm Mall at 9.46pm on March 6, Khalid said the man was not involved in the pastor’s abduction.

“The people who abducted Pastor Raymond are obviously very meticulous and when people keep blabbering till the whole world knows, we can’t tell what has become of him.

There’s no lead now. I’m with the family. We are worried too,” he added.

Of another kidnap case involving a housewife, he said Malaysian police with the help of Indonesian and Singaporean authorities managed to rescue the victim.

“Yesterday morning we rescued a housewife who was kidnapped 27 days ago in Johor Bahru. We have returned her safe and sound to her family,” he said.

He revealed six individuals had been detained in Batam and 12 others, in Johor Bahru in connection with the case. The suspects have been remanded for seven days from today.

“We will discuss with the Attorney-General with regard to the suspects who were detained by Indonesian authorities in Batam,” he said.

The victim was abducted from her home around 3.30am and brought to Batam before being confined in a house at a farm there.

“In this case, the criminals did not contact the family for almost two weeks. This is where it is important and crucial for the family to cooperate with police, without drawing too much public attention to it.

“Alhamdulillah, it ended successfully,” he noted.

On the possible involvement of the housemaid in the case, Khalid said the element was being investigated. – BERNAMA

Najib Wants 'Economic Sabotage' To Be Stopped

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants certain parties to stop from indulging in economic sabotage in the interest of the people and country.

He said the views and opinions made without facts and basis aimed to undermine the national economy and would create sentiments that could affect the national economy.

“As such, this should not be continued although we have political differences, but national interests should not be gambled away in matters concerning party politics.

“This is of utmost importance because national interest supersedes everything else and this is what I hope for and I appeal that such elements do not crop up,” he said in the oral question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat, here today.

He was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN Kuala Selangor) who wanted to know how the government tackled the pressure on the ringgit and the economic sabotage carried out by certain parties to the effect that national economic stability was jeopardised.

He cited the example where the government almost missed the chance of getting a substantial Saudi Aramco investment of RM31 billion recently because of a sabotage carried out by such groups.

However, he said, the government managed to convince the investors concerned by presenting accurate facts on the actual economic situation in the country.

“Ahamdulillah (with the will of Allah), we managed to convince them that the Malaysian economy is very well handled and we received high ratings from the ratings agencies.

“For example, we are in category ‘A-‘, there are only a few countries in the ‘A’ category, but what was being spread by certain parties was otherwise,” he said.

Earlier when replying to the original question from Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP Kepong) who wanted to know how the government had overcome the pressure on the ringgit, the Prime Minister said the declining currency rate was not unique to Malaysia alone, but the situation was also faced by the regioal currencies which reflected a strengthening of the United States’ dollar. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will not be airing the live telecast of a debate between former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the debate, scheduled to take place in Kuala Kangsar, Perak on March 25, was purely between the two persons.

“The debate is not organised by RTM…We don’t have plans to air the live telecast of the debate,” he told a press conference here today.

Yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said his ministry had approved the permit application for the debate after receiving it from the organiser.

The debate, to be held at the Sultan Azlan Shah Mara Junior Science College (MRSM), has been the talk of the town lately as it would touch on issues including the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF).

Meanwhile, Salleh said the act of sabotaging the country’s economy was now a serious matter and a loss to the people.

He said the allegations by the opposition such as Malaysia was now an unstable country, its Employees Provident Fund (EPF) almost gone bankrupt and the government could not afford to pay the salaries of civil servants were irresponsible act.

“The opposition should criticise the government in a constructive manner and based on facts, not for their political mileage as the act of sabotaging the economy will be detrimental to Malaysians as a whole,” Salleh said.

The minister was commenting on the statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday that Malaysia almost lost a huge investment from Saudi Aramco due to the unpatriotic attitude of certain quarters who channelled incorrect information on this country to the Saudi Arabian oil company.

Salleh said members of the public were urged not to trust unverified information on social media and instead, to refer to SEBENARNYA.MY, a one-stop web portal developed to curb the spread of false news and for the public to check on the authenticity of news spread through social media.

“The government is responsible in providing accurate information to its people. The SEBENARNYA.MY portal is one of the government’s initiatives to provide real news to the society in rebutting slanders being spread on the social media,” he said.

In another development, asked on when the government would ban the screening of the film ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the country should Walt Disney not meet the Film Censorship Board’s (LPF) request for a minor cut involving a gay scene, Salleh said LPF had strong grounds to issue the order.

“We’ll wait for the final decision by LPF,” he said.

In the meantime, Salleh advised the public not to make matters worse over the issue of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea by spreading false news on the social media.

He said this was because Kuala Lumpur would negotiate with Pyongyang on the nine Malaysians who were not allowed to leave the republic.

The diplomatic spat between Malaysia and North Korea began with the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Dr Wan
Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today expressed regrets that there are parties willing
to hurt Forestry Department enforcement personnel.

He said he took a serious view of yesterday’s incident where two of a
10-member enforcement team were shot while on duty at the Dungun Forest Reserve.

“This incident should not be underestimated and I was disappointed that
there are individuals who dare to injure the enforcement personnel who are
protecting our forest,” he said in a statement, here today.

He said the Terengganu Forestry Department and the ministry would fully
cooperate with the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) so that the culprits will be
brought to justice.

He was informed that a team of the State Forestry Department was on a stake
out in Kampung Serdang, Dungun, checking into illegal logging activities and
found an excavator and two types of timber in agricultural land near Bukit Bauk
Forest Reserve.

Wan Junaidi said further inspection revealed that the woods were harvested
in Bukit Bauk Forest Reserve, adjacent to the agricutural land and decided to
seize the excavator.

However, as the excavator was being moved, suddenly three shots were fired.
“Two members – an officer and a mechanic – were hit by shotgun pellets,” he
said.

He added that injuries on both victims were believed to be not serious and
both were taken to hospital for treatment.
— BERNAMA