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Author: savemalaysia   |   Latest post: Sat, 27 Nov 2021, 3:58 PM


PBB welcomes announcement by Bersatu not to contest in Sarawak election

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021, 3:58 PM

KUCHING, Nov 27 — Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today welcomed an announcement by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) not to contest in the December 18 Sarawak state election.

He said it is a good decision because as friends forming the federal government, it is better for Sarawak to conduct its own state election without Bersatu participation.

“Moreover, GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) has informed that it will contest all the 82 state seats in the election,” he told reporters after attending the launch of the state Youth roadshow programme by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg here.

However, Karim, who is also the state Youth and Sports Minister as well as the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, said Bersatu is new and is not known much in Sarawak.

Before the dissolution of the Sarawak State Assembly, Bersatu had Datuk Ali Biju as its sole State Assemblyman. 

Ali won in Krian on PKR’s ticket in 2016 state election and then defected to Bersatu in 2019. 

Karim said he would not want to say if GPS would cooperate with Bersatu in the coming parliamentary election.

Yesterday, Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said Bersatu would give way to GPS to contest in all the state seats.

The former prime minister said the decision was made taking into account that GPS is capable of winning all the seats to be contested.

“We also have discussed at the party level that we will not contest because we want to ensure that the existing party in Sarawak wins and this is also the wish of GPS leadership,” Muhyiddin said.

GPS chairman Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg had recently said that GPS would contest all the 82 seats in the state election.

Commenting on PAS putting candidates, Karim said the party had contested many times in the past elections and each time they failed to win a seat and most of its candidates lost their election deposits. 

“Why are they still in Sarawak? I also do not know what they want,” he added.

He said question why other peninsular-based parties are still in Sarawak, adding that it is better for them to remain there in the peninsula.



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Health Ministry conducting risk assessment on Covid-19 variant Omicron

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021, 3:58 PM

KAPAR: The Health Ministry is actively conducting risk assessment following the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant Omicron.

Its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this was crucial as Malaysians had started traveling overseas, including to European countries and performing umrah.

"At the same time, we have started reopening our border for fully vaccinated foreign visitors under a travel bubble, which is Langkawi, where visitors no longer have to undergo quarantine.

"(And) on Nov 29, we will begin our Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Singapore. As such, we have been actively conducting a risk assessment to beef up against the variant," he told reporters after the handover of Kapar Health Clinic today. 

He said the move would also see if there was a need to add new countries to the newly-announced travel restriction list.

"Since this development (of the new variant) is quite dynamic, we are monitoring the development on an hourly basis, based on the reports we have been receiving from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other countries on the existence of Omicron worldwide.

"All this will help the ministry to decide whether to expand the restriction travel list.

"We will monitor the history of travellers who have been confirmed with this variant and their travel histories.

"Should the risk assessment of a country increase, the ministry will put the respective country on the red list, where travel restriction will be imposed."

Khairy, however, said, no Omicron variant had been detected in the country as of today, based on genomic surveillance.

Recently, WHO has declared Omicron as a "variant of concern".

The world health body said the new coronavirus had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased re-infection risk.

The new coronavirus was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on Nov 24 and it has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

Yesterday, Malaysia announced a temporary entry ban on foreigners from several southern African countries without permanent resident (PR) status or working visas following the discovery of Omicron.

The travel ban will take effect from today.

Malaysians also were prohibited from visiting South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, on the weekly Covid-19 screening tests for primary school students beginning Monday, Khairy said it would be done randomly on at least 10 per cent of the student population in a school.

As per the strategy, students will undergo a Covid-19 self-test and monitored by their respective schools.

Khairy said the cost of the screening tests would be borne by the Education Ministry.



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Being effective opposition is better than a 'puppet', says Upko veep

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021, 3:57 PM

PENAMPANG: A Sabah state assemblyman said he rather be in the opposition bloc than a "puppet" in the government.

Kadamaian assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick said despite being approached by members from the government bloc to join them, the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) vice-president reiterated his stance to remain with the party.

He disagreed with the view of a Sabah member of parliament (MP) who said that it was useless to be in opposition as the bloc could not bring development to the constituency.

"There is an MP who has become a minister for twenty years but the district represented by him is the poorest district in Malaysia. 

"There is no point in being a government supporter if you cannot fight effectively for the people's rights including the Malaysia Agreement.

"It is ironic and strange to say that it is useless to be opposition elected representatives whereas when there is a chance to become a minister or part of the government, their performance is being questioned," he said during the party special UPKO convention at Penampang Cultural Centre here.

He did not mention who the Dewan Rayat and minister he was referring to but it is believed to be Minister in Prime Minister's Department (Sabah & Sarawak Affairs) who is the Kota Marudu MP.

As for the offer to jump to another party, Ewon said Upko is his home and family which he would remain with irrespective of any situation.

Despite UPKO finding itself in the opposition bloc now after being in the government since its establishment in 1994, Ewon said that did not mean it could not serve and fight for the people.

"Our victories and successes should not be measured by how much we win alone, but how and how many times we rise and continue to fight after experiencing a fall.

"We take lessons and motivation from the history of the original Upko which was established in the early 1960s and its leaders continue to be an effective and quality opposition bloc.

"To me, the quality and effectiveness are easy to translate even if we are in the opposition bloc. We support the good and the right, the wrong we oppose, the right we have to continue."



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Transport Ministry urges airlines to immediately reduce fare

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021, 3:57 PM

PUTRAJAYA: Airline companies in the country need to immediately lower their airfares without having to involve excessive government intervention.

The call was made by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong through a post on his Facebook page today.

He described the current air fares, especially to Sarawak, very burdensome for consumers.

He said the government acknowledged the concerns and feedback raised by the public over exorbitant airfares ahead of the upcoming holiday season this year end and early 2022.  

"This is a matter of serious concern to the government and many discussions have been held to resolve this issue which affects many people, from the travellers themselves to the family members they long to reunite with after much time apart due to the Covid-19 pandemic," he added.

Recently, several Sarawak non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have expressed regret over the high fares and reduced in flight frequency to The Land of the Hornbills.

According to Wee, his Ministry has held meetings with Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo on the need to reduce air fares to allow more people to enjoy lower air fares during this year end period.

"Malaysia Airlines has pledged to add additional flights to Sarawak in December, which should result in reduction in fares to the state.

"The Malaysia Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) and Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) are also prepared to approve more flight frequencies," he added.

However, Wee, reminded industry players to refrain from hiking air fares to address wide public perception that this is being done by airlines to recoup losses due to the pandemic.

He said the Ministry had also written to the Sarawak Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin to request that the state government return the decisions of regulating air passenger service frequencies to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM).

"MoT fully understands and aligns with Sarawak's need to contain Covid-19, state governments and their related agencies must do their part to let market supply and demand prevail and fully allow airlines to increase their air passenger service frequencies based on market-driven operational consideration," he added. -- BERNAMA



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Scrap proposal for IPCC and enactment of IPCMC, Gov’t told

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021, 2:59 PM

TRANSPARENCY International Malaysia (TI-M) has reiterated its call for the Government to scrap the proposal for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and consequently for the enactment of the Independent Police Complaints and Monitoring Commission (IPCMC).

“We have recently been served with another report of a death in custody, and the rakyat is still waiting for closure and accountability for the mass graves in Wan Kelian where a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) was conducted, although we have not [received any results] until this day,” TI-M president Dr Muhammad Mohan remarked.

“The Government is strongly advised to disclose this report to the public to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and good governance.”

According to Muhammad Mohan, the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is determined to bulldoze its way through with a watered-down IPCC Bill much to the dismay of the civil society, families of victims, parliamentarians and fellow Malaysians.

“If police misconduct and involvement in organised crime cannot be curbed and controlled by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS) or the Police Force Commission (PFC) then the system of self-regulation is clearly flawed as pointed out by civil society and experts,” Muhammad Mohan said.

The IPCMC was mooted by the Royal Commission to enhance the operation and management of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) in 2005 with the purpose of improving oversight and to allow independent investigation and punishment of errant, abusive and corrupt police officers across rank and file.

“The Pakatan Harapan Government had promised to enact the IPCMC but instead introduced a watered-down version of it with the same name,” commented Muhammad Mohan.

“Several months later, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Government made a U-turn and withdrew the IPCMC bill and mooted the IPCC which not only had less powers but referred all findings back to the PFC for them to decide if and whether any action will be taken by the PFC or their colleagues from PDRM.”

Muhammad Mohan further explained that another glaring difference of the IPCC Act is that it blatantly allowed members of PDRM to be appointed as staff and commission members of the IPCC.

This would mean that PDRM officers will be both in the IPCC investigating police misconduct, and in the PFC reviewing the investigation findings of their police colleagues, he added.

“No other organisations or authority [should be] given full power to investigate its own allegations and abuse and to subsequently decide on the penalties,” opined Muhammad Mohan.

“Even when it comes to corruption which is under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) we have observed PDRM, under the leadership of various Inspector-General of Polices (IGPs), attempted to bypass the MACC under the pretext that it is an ‘internal issue’.

“The rakyat deserves world-class police and law enforcement agencies, and to feel safe when dealing with the law. Similarly, clean and conscientious whistle-blowers should feel safe, protected and supported to tell the truth.

“The IPCMC is empowered to make changes that both penalise corrupt officers and improve the welfare of other officers.

“The draft Act has been ready for more than a decade and entire nation is yearning for integrity. Unfortunately, what is lacking is political will,” he concluded. – Nov 27, 2021



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Police to look into claim ATA IMS whistle-blower beaten by police

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021, 2:58 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 27): The police said on Saturday (Nov 27) they will look into a claim a factory worker of Dyson supplier ATA IMS Bhd was beaten at its station but that they had not received any formal complaints.

British home appliance maker Dyson told Reuters that it was ending its contract with ATA after an audit of the company's labour practices and allegations by a whistle-blower.

Dhan Kumar Limbu, a former ATA worker, told Reuters on Thursday that ATA officials took him to a police station in June, where he was questioned about sharing information on conditions of the factory with activists and then beaten by police.

The police department in Johor, where ATA's factory is located, said it had not received any reports on the matter.

"Johor police takes note of the issue that was reported and will conduct an investigation if what was reported exists," it said in a statement on Facebook.

ATA said on Friday it had appointed consultants to review findings of forced labour in an audit summary it received from Dyson and claims of physical abuse raised by a former worker.

The manufacturer said it had hired a law firm to conduct an independent review of the allegations of physical abuse by the former worker, and a detailed report would be finalised soon.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the ministry will investigate Dyson's decision to sever ties with ATA.

In interviews with Reuters, seven current and former ATA employees said they had worked overtime in excess of limits under Malaysian law and paid recruitment fees in their home countries to labour brokers, a practice activists criticised as a form of debt bondage.

Dyson contributed around 80% of ATA's revenue. Shares in ATA, which made parts for Dyson's vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, had plunged 55% since the Reuters report.



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