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KUALA LUMPUR — The High Court at Kuala Lumpur before Justice Datuk John Louis O’Hara today heard that aside from a bank clerk from the Jinjang branch, four other bank employees from unrelated divisions at Public Bank Berhad had at about the same time snooped into the private bank accounts of National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp), its related companies, its directors including its chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

“Yang Arif. The opposition had consulted and verified with Public Bank on my confidential banking information many times, not once, not twice but three times,” said Datuk Salleh in his testimony today.

Datuk Salleh had made this discovery after investigations by the Director of IT at Public Bank had revealed that three officers from the PB Card Services and Support Division, the Labuan Branch, and Deposit and Channel Management at its headquarters, had pried into the Plaintiffs’ accounts. One other was from the headquarters that the bank’s mainframe system was unable to identify. These branches, departments and divisions had no connection to the plaintiffs who maintained their bank accounts at the Jalan Hang Lekiu branch.

“The leak and publication had angered the general public and alarmed the authorities. Five days later, I was charged and a further two days later, the authorities under AMLA seized my companies’ assets that were placed with Public Bank. The impact from the leak, news conference, news publication, charges and asset seizures, were also reported in more than 110 media publications. As a consequence, my thriving business at NFCorp and our group of companies, was crippled and collapsed.”

From his observations, NFCorp chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail added that the snoop tied in with the statement given by the opposition PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli who in revealing the 21 bank accounts at a news conference on 7 March 2012, had repeatedly stated that he had verified with his sources at the said bank to confirm the authenticity of the confidential bank documents in his hands.

NFCorp, its related companies, its directors including its chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail are suing Public Bank Berhad for its failure to protect the confidentiality of its customer accounts and which had resulted in the detriment and collapse of the Plaintiffs’ businesses.

In using the leaked customer bank documents, Rafizi Ramli had lied, distorted and misrepresented to the media and the public that Datuk Salleh had taken eight bank loans for the purchase of properties at KL Eco City at the peril of a government loan deposit placed at Public Bank.

“If not for the leak of the confidential bank documents by Public Bank, the news conference of 7 March 2012 would not have been possible but for the bank’s breach of their duty of confidentiality owed to NFCorp and the Plaintiffs in this suit,” said Datuk Salleh.

Rafizi in using the bank documents had brazenly told the media that eight loans were taken and that Datuk Salleh had difficulty in servicing repayments of the loans, and that there was a likelihood that the government loan deposit placed at Public Bank would be compromised. The leak and news reports caused an uproar in irreparable public outrage.

The truth of the matter Datuk Salleh told the court, is that no loans had been taken whatsoever from Public Bank for the purchase of the eight KL Eco City office lots claimed by the opposition.

“What made it even worse was Public Bank did not come out with a statement to clarify that no loans had been taken from them for the eight KL Eco City properties. Nor did they clarify to say that no loans were in jeopardy. Their continued silence on this false fabrication by the opposition to this day is deafening.”

Later, speaking to the media, counsel for the plaintiffs Tan Sri Dr Muhamad Shafee Abdullah said that he intended to subpoena the Chairman of Public Bank Berhad Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Teh Hong Piow to answer for the bank’s integrity and the breach of confidentiality in this matter.

Public Bank, said Tan Sri Shafee, was an award-winning bank which had claimed many accolades to its credit. How it failed to protect its customers’ confidential banking information from prying eyes and leaks, need to be answered.MYNEWSHUB

ALOR STAR: Kampung Sungai Nonang in Simpang Kuala here was hit by a tornado at about 3pm, leaving at least 15 houses damaged.

It also uprooted several trees in the affected area.

A spokesman from the state Fire and Rescue Department said they received a distress call at about 3.07pm.

Earlier there were two landspout incidents in the state after the first in Pendang followed by in Gunung Keriang and Mergong area here last month.

On October 14, heavy rain and strong winds had led to a landspout formation which created havoc in Kampung Alor Besar in Pendang.

On October 31, 72 houses were damaged as 30 km/h speed landspout lashed its fury in Gunung Keriang and Mergong.-NST

SINGAPORE: The demographic trend in Singapore has showed that the number of elderly will increase threefold from 300,000 now to 900,000 by 2030.

With that in mind, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob urged Singaporeans to plan and equip themselves with knowledge on how to care for the elderly.

Madam Halimah was speaking at the Mosque Befrienders’ Seminar on Saturday morning (Nov 8).

The seminar aims to equip volunteers with knowledge and skills which will spur them to continue to give back to the community.

At the seminar, volunteers of the Mosque Befrienders’ Scheme, which was launched to reach out to individuals and families on long-term zakat assistance, were recognised for their efforts in volunteer work.

As of today, 600 volunteers have joined the scheme.-Channel News Asia

After years of speculations, actress Dynas Mokhtar finally breaks her silence on her marriage.

The 31-year-old confirmed her divorce to husband, Hafizy Hafiz, was finalized on Feb. 25 at the Syariah High Court,here.

Clearly distraught, Dynas stated that ‘communication breakdown’ caused their marriage to fell apart.

Speaking to Bi-Pop, Dynas revealed: “Our relationship was deteriorated by lack of communication. Compared to the early days of our marriage, as the years went by we found out that it’s hard to open up to each other.”

However, the svelte personality said despite the divorce, their children remains as top priority.

“The only thing we could see eye-to-eye on was our kids. We can’t even converse like we normally did; even the slightest slip of the tongue would erupt a fight.”

On how the end of her marriage affected her, the former Beat TV host admitted she has learnt a valuable lesson.

“Now, after all has been said and done, I came to realize that you have to value what your partner has to say. Don’t put words in his mouth, don’t put his words on deaf ears. The problem we had started puny and insignificant, but blew up out of proportion over time.”

“My mother told me that it was a shame my marriage ended this way. But it was written and I had come to terms with it,” Dynas added.

The couple was married on Mar. 15,2008 and have two children together, Khyra Khalyssa dan Mohamed Haqaish.MYNEWSHUB

GEORGE TOWN: Just three days after the headless body of a woman was found floating off the sea here, another woman was found brutally murdered. The body, believed to be that of a foreigner, was found without a head and legs.

The torso and the arms were found stuffed into a luggage bag in Jalan Kebun Bunga here. Penang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the torso was wrapped in a blanket.

“This is the most gruesome case we have come across this year. We believe the crime took place at a different location and the body was dumped here. She could have been dead for between 24 and 36 hours.”-The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Punishing transgenders for cross-dressing contravenes freedom of expression, the Court of Appeal declared Friday, in a landmark ruling.

The panel allowed the appeal of three transgenders who sought to have Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 declared unconstitutional.

The panel lead by Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus ruled that Section 66 contravened multiple Articles of the Federal Constitution which ensured fundamental liberties, including Article 5(1), 8(1), 8(2), 9(2), and 10(1).

“A person’s dress, attire or article of clothing are a form of expression, which in our view is guaranteed under Article 10 (freedom of expression),” he said.

The panel also found that a state legislative assembly has no power to restrict freedom of speech, and that only Parliament could do so within reason.

Currently, Section 66 allows the Syariah Court to punish any man who dresses or poses as a woman with up to six months in prison or be fined a maximum RM1,000; regardless of whether they had Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

“Clearly, the restriction imposed on the appellants and other GID sufferers is unreasonable. Thus from the aspect of reasonableness, Section 66 is unconstitutional,” ruled the court.

Justice Mohd Hishamudin disagreed with the Seremban High Court findings that the Syariah law was reasonable in order to protect society from homosexuality which would lead to the spread of HIV.

“The High Court’s remarks are unsupported by, and contrary to, evidence and is tainted by unscientific personal feelings or personal prejudice,” said Justice Mohd Hishamudin.

He said the High Court judge was “particularly transfixed with homosexual relations” in her reasoning, although the present case has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality but was rather about gender identity.

The Court of Appeal panel, which also included Justices Aziah Ali and Lim Yee Lan, made no order as to costs.

Counsel Aston Paiva represent the transgender appellants, while Iskandar Ali Dewa acted as legal advisor for the Negri Sembilan state government, and senior federal counsel Suzanna Atan acted for the Attorney-General’s Chambers as amicus curae (friend of the court).

Speaking to reporters, Aston said cross-dressers could still be arrested, but were now empowered to challenge it at High Court.

Justice For Sisters advocacy manager Nisha Ayub said they would be educating transgenders around the country and encouraging them to challenge similarly prohibitive laws in their states.-The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that lead prosecutor Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had threatened to “put the nail on my coffin”.

He said, as a lawyer, Shafee should not have behaved in such manner as it was not professional.

“He is just too arrogant. He is here as a prosecutor and not as a political nemesis” said Anwar outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.-NST

KANGAR: Another student of an orphanage at the Kompleks Penyayang Dr Siti Hasmah, Jejawi, pleaded guilty in the Juvenile Court here
today to a charge of rioting which resulted in one of their friends to be injured last May.

The student, aged 15, is the sixth student to be charged with the offence.

The other five were brought to the court yesterday where they pleaded guilty to the charge.

They are charged with committing the offence, which resulted in an 11-year-old student to be injured, at the hostel between 1 pm on May 31 and 2 pm on June 1 this year.

Magistrate Norhayati Ibrahim set Dec 24 for sentencing pending a probation report on the students concerned from the Perlis Social Welfare Department.

She offered the student bail of RM500 in one surety, but no one came to bail him out, and he taken to the Kuala Perlis police lock-up.

Deputy public prosecutor Noor Syazwani Mohamad Sobry prosecuted.

The six students were identified after a video clip of them bullying a boy in a red T-shirt went viral on the social media.-BERNAMA

IF the rest of us decent-minded people love to keep our privates clean and impeccably groomed, the full bush is making somewhat of a comeback in South Korea.

The revival of the untrimmed pubic could be shocking to some: the ‘bald’ look was deemed most desirable by Cosmopolitan-style articles across the globe.

Even Cameron Diaz has been raving on about keeping pubic hair natural for a while and even had a chapter called ‘Praise of Pubes’ in her health manual released earlier this year.

However, according to Refinery 29, ‘bush grafting’ is now a thing in Korea.

According to the report, flourishing pubic hair is seen as a sign of fertility and sexual health in Korea.

Now, thanks to a disorder called ‘pubic atrichosis’, defined by the Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors as having ‘an insufficient amount of pubic hair’. Yes, that is an actual mental condition, you can find more info here.

The condition is estimated to affect around 10 per cent of Korean women, combined with changing room peer-pressure, women are increasingly turning to pubic hair transplants.

During the op, hair is taken from the head and planted into the lady garden. The procedure costs from around £1250 (RM6625)  and takes two to four hours.MYNEWSHUB

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) is likely to breach the 2,000 points level by end-2015, following positive external factors, says vice president and head of retail research of Affin Hwang Capital, Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan (inset).

Speaking to reporters here today, Nazri said the movement of the key index next year would be lifted mainly on implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), strong US economic growth and recovery in the Eurozone.

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Vice president and head of retail research of Affin Hwang Capital, Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan.

“The 10-member Asean with a 700 million population will merge into a loose economic pact. It will also be the third largest economic bloc in the world and this is going to be a big boost for Malaysia’s equity market,” he said on the sidelines of a seminar on equity investment.

Nazri expects the FBM KLCI to reach 1,950 by year-end, while in the more immediate outlook, to be at 1,850 next week and ahead of the UMNO General Assembly from November 25-29.

“We will see shares that are politically-connected such as construction, being the focus from about two weeks before UMNO meets and end a month or two after it concludes,” he added.

Nazri said the local equity market would also receive a boost from the release of non-farm payroll data in the US, as well as the loose monetary policy on the part of the European Central Bank and Bank of England.

Benchmark interest rates in the Europe were kept at historic lows after meetings of the policy committees of the European Central Bank and Bank of England on Thursday.

Nazri said the local equity market had grown an average 30 per cent annually since 1977.

As of November 6, its market capitalisation stood at RM1.5 billion, almost double the amount recorded in 2008 at RM780 billion.

Meanwhile, Nazri said Malaysia Airlines would undergo a “very serious transformation” to make the national carrier a profitable entity.

“It is not impossible for MAS to be refloated on Bursa Malaysia in the next three years at a better price of perhaps, RM1.50 or RM2.

“This is because it still has good assets as well as a brand name,” he added.

Yesterday, minority shareholders of MAS approved a proposal for a selective capital reduction and repayment exercise for the company.

As at 4.19pm on Friday, MAS was trading flat at 26.5 sen, with 68.27 million units transacted.– Bernama