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28

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians who discredit or ridicule the Government in whatever way can be barred from travelling overseas for three years.

Those who disparage the Government while abroad will also be barred from travelling abroad again for three years upon their return.

A source said that the Immigration Department had enforced this ruling several months ago in a move to safeguard the country’s image.

“Anyone who runs down the Government or ‘memburukkan kerajaan’ in any manner will be barred from going abroad.

“Only the Immigration Department director-general will be authorised to look into their appeals,” he said, adding that the department would act once there was a request from enforcement agencies such as the police.

Immigration director general Datuk Sakib Kusmi, in an email reply to The Star, confirmed the existence of such a provision, adding that the ownership of a Malaysian international passport was a privilege and not a right.

“The Malaysian international passport is a travel document issued by the Government under the aegis of the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

“So, the Government has the discretion to either issue, defer or revoke the travel document,” he said.

Sakib could not provide statistics on the number of Malaysians who have been barred from leaving the country for discrediting or ridiculing the Government.

However, it is known that those who are bankrupt, have legal cases against them or have yet to pay government loans, are regularly stopped from leaving the country.

Asked if Malaysians who are barred from travelling abroad could challenge this in court, Sakib said they had the right to do so.

He said the Government had initially made a list of offences that could cause a Malaysian to be temporarily barred from leaving the country back in 1995.

Individuals convicted for committing a crime at home or abroad, deliberately damaging passports and visiting Israel without approval are among the offences listed.

They can be barred from travelling abroad for between two and 10 years.

Under the latest ruling, the source said, Malaysians who are caught and deported for overstaying, committing a crime or working without a valid permit abroad will also be barred from going overseas again for two years.

“The names of these offenders will be added to a special blacklist,” he said.

Separately, the source said Malaysians who are negligent and lose their passports three times in five years will not be issued another one for a minimum of two years.

“Negligence means losing your passport if your car is stolen or while you are moving house,” he said.

Those whose passports are destroyed due to carelessness – by leaving the document in clothes put into washing machines, for example – will also be penalised.

“If your passport is destroyed twice, you will be issued with a written warning.

“If it happens three times in five years, then you too will be barred from applying for one to two years,” he said.

40

KULIM – A more concerted effort must be carried out by the government to manage solid wastes in the country before the situation becomes more serious and unmanageable.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said all forms of education currently to boost the awareness of the people must be enhanced, towards this end.

He said among the incentives which had been given towards solid waste management thus far was the “Recycle For Life” card, which enabled cash values to be entered into the card to replace cash when selling recycled goods, and redeemable in selected supermarkets.

“The government must make a more concerted effort to manage solid wastes in the country before the situation becomes critical,” he said when launching the Kulim Municipal Level Recycle For Life carnival and program here, Sunday.

The ceremony was jointly organised by E-Idaman Sdn Bhd and the Kulim Municipal Council.

He said the government also aspired to reduce the number of new garbage landfill dumps because the recycled goods could be used as fuel to generate energy.

Also present were the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek, State Local Government, Water Supply, Water and Energy Resources, Housing and Human Development Committee chairman, Datuk Badrol Hisham Hashim, SWCorp chief executive officer Datuk Dr Zulkapli Mohamad, E-Idaman Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Mhd Saiful Anuar Zainal and Kulim Municipal Council president Md Nordin Yahya. – BERNAMA

129

KUALA LUMPUR – The Home Ministry confirmed that there have been activities to topple the government through undemocratic means but will not reveal details due to security reasons.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said police were still collecting evidence on the matter.

“The government is always serious on anyone who tries to bring down a legitimate government through undemocratic means. It is also aware that this illegitimate effort will affect the country’s economy.

“The government has detected certain activities to topple the administration without going through the democratic process.

“However, evidences of these activities can’t be revealed due to security reasons and police are still collecting detailed collection on this matter,” he told Nasruddin Hassan (Temerloh-PAS) in Parliament.

Nasruddin had asked the Home Minister for evidences of a plot to topple the government.

180

Text: John Teo

All politics may be local and while Malaysians are consumed by heady political goings-on within, it took a more detached foreigner to make a deeper sense of contemporary Malaysian affairs and give them the larger, geopolitical context.

Bilahari Kausikan is no ordinary foreign commentator of Malaysian affairs. He was the top civil servant in Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and remains “ambassador-at-large”. Although he has never served in Malaysia, many of his most senior colleagues cut their teeth serving stints (often multiple stints) in Kuala Lumpur.

Bar Washington and Beijing, no other diplomatic post matters more to Singapore, such is the direct impact — for good or ill — Malaysia bears down on our southern neighbour. Kausikan’s views are thus superbly informed and Singapore being what it is, they will sink in, in capitals beyond.

For longer than anyone cares to recall, Malaysian officials treat Singapore with an odd mixture of brotherly condescension and disguised admiration. This was not helped by the widely held belief that the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) of Singapore retained political influence across the border through its successor DAP in Malaysia, somewhat reinforced by the fact that a sitting MCA president was once arrested while at the other side of the Causeway.

Kausikan’s recent piece on Malaysian developments in The Straits Times disabused us of such notions. Reactions here to what he wrote — not least from DAP — ranged from injured lament that Singapore cared little about the popular clamour for good governance in Malaysia to contrived horror over any attempt by the island republic to insinuate itself into our political discourse.

It goes without saying that Singapore cared first and foremost for its own interest but as the title of Kausikan’s piece had suggested, where domestic developments in the region and particularly in Malaysia are concerned, Singapore is not an island insulated from potentially adverse implications.

Where Kausikan’s thinking can usefully add to that of Malaysians is through its clear if somewhat surprising distillation of what has changed in Malaysia and, more importantly, what has not changed. What is striking is how Singapore’s thinking towards Malaysia has evolved to now accept that matters to do with race are a necessary, unavoidable and possibly immutable factor in the overall understanding of what makes Malaysia tick.

That is the unchangeable reality about Malaysia. That Singapore has belatedly recognised this as providing the bedrock of political stability in Malaysia is welcome but had it dawned immediately after Malaysia Day in 1963, the tragedy of Separation would have been avoided. Kausikan is, in effect, calling upon the Chinese community in Malaysia to avoid a repeat of the conditions which rapidly led to Separation.

It is not difficult to imagine that proceeding anew on such a path will lead to something far worse than the relatively gentlemanly Separation. He thus provides Malaysians a sobering cautionary note and reality check.

On the other hand, there are those Malaysians who are disappointed that the global beacon of clean and efficient governance that is Singapore would seem to care little for Malaysians fighting for the same in their own country. Singapore, of course, never had pretensions to be a moralising crusader such as the United States. But perhaps Malaysians should accept as Singaporeans apparently do that on matters of political governance, theirs is a global exception and therefore truly sui generis.

An official like Kausikan illustriously serving a lifetime under PAP-ruled Singapore is perhaps also better positioned than most to see through the current public clamour in Malaysia for clean governance for what it really is: a cleverly orchestrated play for national political power by DAP which, if successful, will upend the political order in Malaysia as we know it.

DAP supporters and sympathisers naturally are sanguine about any such eventuality but Malaysians should have cause to wonder if the eventual promised land might not turn out more like Fiji, if not Iraq or Syria.

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in March paid personal homage in Singapore to his departed contemporary and intellectual soulmate, both of whom — if not for accidents of birth — might have gone on to become philosopher-kings on much larger stages: Lee Kuan Yew.

A new Kissinger biography by Niall Ferguson posited that the legendary political realist is in fact an idealist. Ferguson argued that Kissinger believed an insistence on “pure morality” is itself “the most immoral of postures” because “it often led to inaction” on the policy front. And action always required picking a lesser evil. Something global statesmen readily recognise and perhaps mere mortals should as well.

 

143

KUALA LUMPUR – The government feels it should not continue to pay very high compensation to highway concession companies to keep toll rates from rising, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.

He said the government had to pay RM510 million in compensation for the January to October period this year following the decision to postpone toll rate increase which should have been implemented in January.

Speaking on TV3’s programme ‘Soal Jawab’ last night, he said the amount was higher compared to the RM403 million compensation paid to concession companies last year.

As such we allowed concession companies to raise toll rates,” he said, adding that the hike was carried out according to the concession agreements signed earlier.

He said the increase only covered highways in the urban areas with a maximum rate increase of RM1.

According to Abdul Wahid, the measure was to enable the government to spend its financial resources for the people such as providing facilities like schools and clinics.

– BERNAMA

149

TENOM – The government will always take a cautious stand over the spread of the Islamic State (IS) ideology and its threat to security, especially in Sabah.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the phenomenon and threat demanded that the government, including the security forces, view the situation as something which is complicated and comprehensive.

“This is because there is a movement to openly support the IS fight, including creating an Islamic territory in this region,” he told reporters after opening the Tenom Umno division annual delegates meeting here Saturday.

Also present were Tenom Umno chief Datuk Rubin Balang; Tenom Umno deputy chief Datuk Raime Unggi, who is also Tenom MP; and Tenom Umno Youth chief Jamawi Jaafar, who is also Umno Malaysia Youth Information Chief.

According to Hishammuddin, armed militant groups from South Philippines, including the Moro National Liberation Front under the leadership of Nur Misuari, had also openly declared support for the IS. – BERNAMA

193

KOTA BELUD – The Government could have been toppled by undemocratic means if no steps had been taken to prevent it from happening, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he was compelled to reveal the plot involving the opposition and some “retired” leaders to put a stop to their plans.

“As Home Minister I had received accurate information about what they intended to do and put a stop to it,” he said during the opening of the Kota Belud Umno division meeting on Sunday.

“Their plan was to set up a unity government. But their real aim was to seize power through the back door,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said.

He said those involved in the plot could not wait until the 14th general election to take on the ruling Barisan Nasional through democratic means.

On Sunday, Dr Ahmad Zahid said he was confident that Malaysians would reject any attempt to undermine the government they democratically elected.

Last week, the Deputy Prime Minister had disclosed that a leading Umno figure was involved in a plot to topple the government through a no confidence vote in Parliament with the support of opposition members.

On another matter, he said Sabah’s status as Barisan Nasional’s “fixed deposit” would be “liquefied” if leaders failed to maintain a close relationship with grassroots members and the people.

“What is important is for us to take care of the people’s needs,” he said, adding that the country must never take its security for granted. – The Star

218

SEMPORNA – Investigate and take action against party members who are said to be involved in any movement to topple the government, said UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said the authorities must investigate in more depth to determine the truth of the allegations.

“If it is proven that there are party members who are involved (in the movement) and it violates the law, then action can be taken because we must understand the democratic system and there are certain regulations that we must adhere to,” he told reporters after making a working visit to Pulau Larapan, near here today.

He said this when asked to comment on the disclosure by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday, on the movement to topple the government masterminded by the opposition and Barisan Nasional (BN) and UMNO leaders.

Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie, who is also the Member of Parliament for Semporna, said his working visit was to ensure that all basic amenities in the villages could be provided in the best manner possible.

“We have visited several basic facilities in this area (Kampung Pulau Larapan) and there are several things that need to be done to ensure that the basic facilities are always in good order.

“We suggest that the relevant agencies such as the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) or other agencies can provide training to the youths in the village so that they can monitor or resolve any problem concerning basic amenities such as electricity supply or the solar system,” he said. – Bernama

218

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.

PasteBin 2

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.

180

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.

– BERNAMA