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Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

KOTA BHARU – The extra-ordinary presence of the Kelantan people at programmes organised by UMNO lately should be translated into votes for Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 14th general election, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He said the people’s mandate was crucial for BN to form a government and rule the state  as the coalition was determined to develop Kelantan.

“The Kelantan people not only want development, but also the contents. True that there should be a balance between worldly needs and the hereafter, physically and spiritually, but efforts to develop the people are also important,” he said  when speaking at the Leader With The People programme at the Kelantan Poverty Foundation Complex in Melor, here today.

The event drew a crowd of about 20,000 people and among  those present were UMNO Information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who is also Ketereh Member of Parliament, Kelantan UMNO Liaison chairman  Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and his deputy, Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub.

Ahmad  Zahid said the BN federal government always gave priority to the well-being of the Kelantan people, although the state was under opposition rule.

“The federal government allocates RM12.7 billion under the 11th Malaysia Plan for Kelantan’s development,” he said.

He said the federal government also gave priority to development of the various sectors in Kelantan, such as education, religion, security and social-economy. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today attended the Youth and Sports Ministry Aidilfitri Open House held at Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KLSC), Bukit Jalil, here.

He arrived at 6.30pm and was welcomed by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, spending about 30 minutes at the event which was attended by about 20,000 guests.

Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim and UMNO Youth deputy head Khairul Azwan Harun.

The event was also attended by national athletes while local artistes entertained the guests. – BERNAMA

CYBERJAYA – The National Immigration Control System (SKIN) , which will integrate all existing immigration systems including the Malaysian Immigration System (myIMMs), will be fully implemented in 2021, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Through the SKIN concession agreement between the Home Ministry and Prestariang SKIN Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Pestariang Bhd signed today, he said the implementation of the system would not involve additional allocation from the government but would reduce the spending cost of the ministry and the Immigration Department .

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said SKIN was also expected to provide additional revenue of almost RM800 million per year to the government.

“This system is not just a modernised delivery system and it does not burden the government but brings success to the country,” he told a press conference after witnessing the signing ceremony of the agreement, here today.

Even though SKIN would only start operating in 2021, he said the existing system would continue to be improved and modernised before all these systems were unified as one.

Asked on why the implementation required a four-year preparation period, Ahmad Zahid said: “We are very detailed (for the SKIN) with zero defects … that is our goal”.

At the same time, Ahmad Zahid said the ministry would monitor the preparedness of the system by implementing the test run to ensure that it was able to coordinate and integrate with the existing systems when it was being implemented.

“We will also set the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to make it easier for the officers to monitor the system,” he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister also assured that no sabotage or restraint would occur during the implementation of SKIN. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Deputy Prime Ministeri Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today attends the Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad (PNMB) Aidilfitri Open House at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), here.

Zahid Hamidi, who arrived at 1.40 pm, was received by PNMB chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang and its management line-up and spent half-an-hour at the event which was attended by about 500 guests.

Also present at the event were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan, Malaysian Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali and former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar.

Ahmad Zahid also handed over Raya money to 33 orphans from the Hamidiah Orphanage, Bagan Datuk, Perak. – BERNAMA

ALOR SETAR – Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi attended the wedding reception of Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah’s daughter here tonight.

The deputy prime minister arrived at the Dewan Vimal here at 8.30 pm and was received by Ahmad Bashah and his wife, Datin Seri Hizam Awang Ahmad.

At the ceremony, Ahmad Zahid also sprinkled scented water on the wedded couple Azira Hafiza, 27, and her husband Azrul Haqim Baharum, 26, and spent over an hour mingling with other guests.

Among the distinguished guests were Sultanah of Kedah Tuanku Hajah Haminah, Raja Muda of Kedah Tan Sri Tunku Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah and Raja Puan Muda of Kedah Puan Sri Tengku Maliha Tengku Ariff, Tunku Temenggong of Kedah Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’Adzam Shah and Tunku Bendahara of Kedah Tan Sri Tunku Abdul Hamid Thani.

Also present was Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein.

The couple’s marriage solemnisation was held at the menteri besar’s residence in Seri Mentaloon on Oct 8, 2016. – BERNAMA

KUCHING – The amendments to the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 passed by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly yesterday, should be seen in the context of it being applicable only for Muslims in that state.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the amended enactment only had implications on Muslims in Kelantan and did not involve non-Muslims there.

“I have not received details on the tabling of the bill and of the amendments but I feel what they’ve done should be seen in the context of this law being only for Muslims in Kelantan.”

He said this to reporters at the VIP arrival hall of Kuching International Airport, here, today when asked to comment on the amended enactment which, among others, provides for caning in public for offences such as committing illicit sex, sodomy and alcohol consumption.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, had attended an Aidilfitri gathering hosted by the ministry in Sri Aman.

He said the Kelantan government had the right to table the enactment amendment bill at the state assembly sitting as it had the majority voice.

“However, although the amendments have been passed, these still require the consent of the Kelantan Sultan for implementation,” he added.

The amendment bill also allows religious enforcement officers to handcuff suspects, besides the use of video recordings as evidence in the syariah court hearings.

The bill was tabled by state Islamic Development and Propagation, Information and Liaison Committee chairman, Datuk Mohd Nassuruddin Daud. – BERNAMA

KUCHING – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has donated RM50,000 to toddler Noor Batrisyia Ramlan today to be used for cochlear implant operations.

Ahmad Zahid said the contribution was his and his wife’s personal assistance, as well as a donor whose identity was not revealed.

“I was informed by Piasau State Assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting Chew Yew about this donation but it is still not sufficient for operating and treatment expenses.

“I’ve endeavoured on it and got help from a donor, I am delivering this aid as a sign of his (donor) concern,” he told reporters at the Kuching International Airport (KIA) here today.

Ahmad Zahid handed over the donation to the father of the child, Ramlan Abdul Hamid, 24.

Commenting further, Ahmad Zahid said chronic illnesses should be addressed promptly to reduce risks.

“A late treatment can result in high risks. This contribution is a sign of my concern and that of the donor. So, we give it to Noor Batrisyia,” he said.

The two-year-old toddler was diagnosed with hearing and speech problems, the cochlear implant surgeries at a cost of RM120,000 in both ears were expected to allow her to listen and speak.

At this time Noor Batrisyia, second of two siblings from Niah, near Miri, used a hearing aid.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid, who was on a two-day working visit to Sarawak, arrived at KIA about 7pm on board a special aircraft.

He was received by Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, heads of departments and community leaders around Kuching.

Ahmad Zahid is scheduled to be briefed on the management of rabies by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee secretariat at the Hornbill Skyways hangar here tomorrow morning.

At the event, Ahmad Zahid is also scheduled to hand over donations to families of victims of the rabies outbreaks from Kampung Paon Sungai Rimu Bakung, Serian.

He will then take a helicopter to attend the Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) Aidilfitri bash at the Padang Lama Sri Aman Sports Complex.

Ahmad Zahid is scheduled to leave for Kuala Lumpur at noon.- BERNAMA

BAGAN DATUK – The Registrar of Societies (RoS) has been asked to act professionally in handling the new DAP central executive committee (CEC) re-election in a legitimate and transparent manner, to enable delegates to elect 20 valid and recognised CEC members.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that whatever action taken by RoS would be based on the party’s constitution to safeguard its members.

“The RoS has met me and I have asked him (the director-general of RoS) to act professionally and not emotionally, and that whatever action taken by RoS must be based on the Societies Act 1966 and in accordance with DAP’s constitution.

“This is because RoS is an organisation which looks after the interest of members in any association including political parties.”

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this at a press conference after opening the Bagan Datuk Umno division delegates meeting, here, today.

Yesterday, RoS director-general Datuk Mohammad Razin Abdullah said the appointment of CEC members and those who held key positions in DAP via its re-election on Sep 29, 2013 was deemed unlawful.

The re-election should be based on the list of delegates entitled to attend and vote in the CEC election on Dec 15, 2012 which involved 2,576 delegates from 865 branches.

This is because only valid and recognised CEC members can appoint individuals to the main positions, in accordance with the Societies Act 1966 and DAP’s constitution.

Hence Ahmad Zahid said, Mohammad Razin’s media statement yesterday was in the interest of what was enshrined in the party’s constitution as well as acting in accordance with the Societies Act 1966.

“I am confident RoS will send an official letter to DAP secretary-general (Lim Guan Eng). The statement issued by RoS yesterday is an explanation to the statements made by DAP leaders before this,” he said. – BERNAMA

BATU PAHAT – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has not ruled out the possibility of creating another Deputy Inspector-General of Police (IGP)’s post especially to address the terrorism threat.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the proposal to re-establish the Anti-Terrorism Department in the Royal Malaysia Police could also strengthen and expand the number of personnel in the terrorism unit.

“I don’t refute, don’t confirm and don’t want to deny the analysis made through the newspaper (English) on the need to create a second Deputy IGP’s post because as Home Minister, who chairs the Police Force Commission, the announcement will only be made after the meeting (either) to confirm or reject the proposal concerned.

“Nevertheless, there is a need to create another Deputy IGP’s post and re-establish the Anti Terrorism Department because we are not only aware the terrorism threat is growing in the region but we must know that PDRM needs to strengthen and expand further its personnel in the terrorism unit by upgrading to a department in Bukit Aman,” he told reporters after opening the Batu Pahat UMNO delegates meeting here today.

For a candidate to be appointed as the second Deputy IGP, the confirmation will only be made upon approval by the Police Force Commission other than obtaining the consent of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Ahmad Zahid was commenting on a report by a local English daily that PDRM was undergoing a major reshuffle, which would see another Deputy IGP post and the upgrading of the Anti Terrorism Unit to the status of a department.

At present, the unit has 200 personnel.  – BERNAMA

TANJUNG MALIM – The organisation of the Malaysian Indian Sports Meet (Sukim) should be continued to highlight the capabilities of more national athletes from the Indian community, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the government was prepared to provide support in various aspects in order to attract the  young generation from the Indian community to take up a healthy lifestyle.

He explained that this was because sports could change the negative lifestyle of the youths which was becoming more worrying.

“The Sukim programme should be implemented in a consistent manner, including the involvement of the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) as well as corporate bodies.

“In addition, I hope it would become a platform to unearth young talents to take up sports and recreational activities besides becoming a place to develop their skills. In fact, the unhealthy lifestyle currently  must be addressed and the implementation of this programme is appropriate,” he said.

The text of his speech was read by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir when officiating the Sukim 2017 at the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) Sports Complex at the Sultan Azlan Shah campus at Proton City, here which was participated by 1,800 athletes and 500 officials from throughout the country today.

Also present were Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam and Deputy Education Minister Datuk Seri P. Kamalanathan as well as Perak MIC chairman Datuk V. Elango.

Ahmad Zahid also congratulated Subramaniam as the president of the  MIC and the Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation on the success in organising Sukim 2017 which was entering its fourth edition.

Meanwhile at a press conference later, Subramaniam said sports activities were also included in the development plan for the Indian community in this country as it was capable of changing the negative perception on the younger generation who were frequently associated with criminal activities.

“If we want to change to a positive perception, we must open up other avenues such as sports and culture.

“The younger generation has the tendency to be involved in these fields. As such, it is easy to attract their interest,” he said.

Thus, he said he would use this platform in the best manner to attract the interests of the youths to raise their involvement besides grooming the young generation to have a healthy lifestyle.

Subramaniam also expressed his intention to continue holding the Sukim so that it could regain the glory of the Indian community in sports achieved in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Sukim 2017 from July 3 until Sunday involved 11 sporting events namely athletics, football, squash, silambam, body-building, taekwondo, karate, tennis, badminton, hockey and kabaddi. – BERNAMA