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PETALING JAYA: MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) is looking into online reports that link the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) with purchasing spying tools from Italian-based security firm, Hacking Team.
The two Malaysian agencies are listed as clients in the 415GB data leaked by unidentified hackers that broke into Hacking Team’s servers. The hackers also compromised Hacking Team’s Twitter account which they used to publish some of the information.
PMO is listed as still having an active account since it acquired the service in March last year while MACC’s account expired in January last year. The “Malaysian Intelligene” is also listed as active since it signed up in December 2014.
Over 30 other nations are listed, including Singapore and its Infocomm Development Agency which is presumably the Infocomm Development Authority which spearhead’s the country’s IT & telecommunications developments. The United States’ FBI is also on the list.
Hacking Team describes its lawful interception products as “offensive technology” but privacy groups such as Privacy International have condemned the use of such tools.
One of Hacking Team’s tools is the Da Vinci remote control system which allows the victim’s data to be captured, including e-mail messages, passwords, instant messaging chats and even Skype calls. It can also activate the infected machine’s webcam and microphone to record the user’s activity.
We are awaiting comments from the MCMC, and have also contacted national cybersecurity specialist agency CyberSecurity Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR – The government today agreed to pay RM600,000 in damages to the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock as settlement in a negligence suit filed by the family against the government and 13 others over his death.
High Court judge Datuk Rosnaini Saub recorded the consent judgment after counsel Gobind Singh Deo, representing Teoh’s family, informed the court that both parties had agreed to settle the civil suit.
Beng Hock’s father, Teoh Leong Hwee, and mother, Teng Shuw Hoi, as well as fiance, Soh Cher Wei and their son, Teoh Er Jia, were named the plaintiffs in the suit which was filed on Oct 3, 2012.
They named the government, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and 12 others as defendants.
In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs stated that MACC had wrongfully attacked Beng Hock, causing him to be in fear and under extreme duress.
As such, the family was seeking damages for loss of consortium, sorrow and negligence.
The political aide to a Selangor government executive committee member was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam on July 16, 2009, after he was interrogated at the MACC office on the 14th Floor of the same building.
In the statement of defence, the 14 defendants said Teoh’s death was as a result of his own actions.
SEMPORNA – The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is proposing to build a seaweed processing factory in this district to overcome the manipulation of prices by a factory.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said currently, the factory buys seaweed at a low price and this is a challenge to seaweed farmers to market their produce.
He said the government had taken note of the problem in line with the government’s move to expand seaweed cultivation in this district.
“The proposal to build the factory will be incorporated under the 11th Malaysia Plan and will be given top priority,” Ismail Sabri told a media conference after opening the Semporna branch Agrobank and appointment of Agro agents in the state, Sunday.
He had earlier visited the Seaweed Agro Tourism project at Pulau Ligit-Ligitan near Semporna.
The project which began in 2011, involved 25 participants growing seaweed in a 150-hectare marine site. – BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR – The act of inciting hatred, contempt or causing dissatisfaction against the government will no longer be offences under the Sedition Act when an amendment to the act is approved.
The proposed amendments in the 2105 Sedition (Amendment) bill was tabled by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat here, yesterday.
The amendment is in line with the aspiration of the government to be more open and enable the public to give feedback or criticism against the government towards setting up an administration which is transparent and responsible in Malaysia.
This bill is also aimed at deleting paragraph 3(1)(c) of the same act to make the act of sowing hatred or contempt or raising dissatisfaction towards the administration of justice in Malaysia no longer regarded as inciting, and as such, would no longer be dealt with as an offence under the act.
Nevertheless, to protect the sanctity of religions professed by the multi-religious communities in the country, the government proposed that any individual spreading bad feelings, hostility or hatred between any person or group by using religion, is regarded as having committed an offence under the act.
However, to avoid ambiguity, in relation to Islam, religion refers to the Hukum Syarak as codified under any written law and shall not include any deviant teachings.
The amendment of the act is also aimed at amending sub-section 3(3) of the parent act to widen the use of the provision to encompass the indirect publication of seditious materials.
In addition, the amendment also suggested a heavier punishment to be meted out on individuals who committed offences under the act, when it is gazetted.
The amendment to subsection 4(1) was included to increase jail from three years in the original act to a minimum three years and a maximum seven years, and do away with fine.
Meanwhile, the new 4(1A) subsection was included to provide an allocation for a minimum jail term of five years and maximum 20 years for offences under the act, based on the seriousness of the offences.
Also included is a new section, 5A, a provision against allowing a person who is charged with committing an offence under the act to be bailed, and Section 5B, to give the court power to order an individual who had been charged to surrender his travel documents.
PETALING JAYA – The government will undertake a thorough post-mortem to identify the real cause for the extraordinary floods particularly in the east coast after the floods have receded, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the study would cover numerous factors such as the weather change, forest exploitation and intrusion, the cutting of hill slopes besides the lack of infrastructure to divert the water flow to the sea.
“Later after the floods have subsided, we will carry out a thorough post-mortem (to identify) on the reasons that led to the floods,” he said when met by reporters after listening to a briefing on the delivery of flood aid to the east coast at the Subang Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Base, in Petaling Jaya, Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said the operations to ferry flood aid contributions to the victims were going on smoothly despite the limitations in terms of assets and so on.
He said that besides manpower from the public and private sectors as well as the military personnel, resources from the airline companies such as AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) were also being pooled to ensure that all the supplies reached the flood victims according to their needs.
“I am also deeply touched by the public support because according to the reports received, many of the goods that were delivered to the victims came from various groups throughout the country,” he said.
Muhyiddin said he had been informed that so far 200 metric tons of aid, including food and drinks, had been sent to the flood victims from the TUDM Base, Subang which had been activated as the Food Supply Gathering Centre for the flood victims that operates 24 hours daily.
He said that for the time being, priority was given to the delivery of food and medical aid needed by the hospitals in the flood affected areas, adding that the clothes contributed by the various groups would only be delivered after the floods had receded.
Earlier, Muhyiddin spent time visiting the Food Supply Gathering Centre for the food victims at the TUDM Base and received aid contribution in the form of a cheque replica amounting to RM1 million from the chief executive officer and managing director of IJM Corporation Berhad, Datuk Teh Kean Ming. – BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR – Extremely high water levels along with strong currents and bad weather are hampering efforts to reach flood victims and send them aid, but authorities will keep trying, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib in a statement on Thursday said he had been informed of the latest developments and has been in touch with his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is the chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee.
“I have been in touch and have discussed with Muhyiddin to increase efforts to help flood victims especially those in badly hit and high-risk areas.
“I have also asked him to step up operations to send food aid due to the difficulties in reaching certain flood-hit areas,” said Najib.
The Prime Minister explained that among the main reasons why rescuers were facing problems relocating some of the victims and to send them food was because the water level was too high.
“There are strong water currents in some area which are dangerous for vehicles and rescue boats while some evacuation centres have also been inundated by floodwaters.”
Najib said efforts to send aid by helicopter was being hampered at times by bad weather.
In some areas the helicopters had no place to land, as there were no suitable locations close to the evacuation centres.
Najib expressed his faith and confidence in the rescue teams made up of personnel from various government agencies as well as volunteers who were working hard to help as best they could.
They were trying to find ways to get to the hard-to-reach evacuation centres to distribute aid, said the Najib.
“The Government will ensure that all efforts will be done to help all victims affected by the floods which is a major challenge,” he said. – The Star