May 31, 2007

MalaysiaKini sued by CM Sarawak Taib

Journalism 101: Do not report on a story that has been reported by foreign press?

(MalaysiaKini) Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday served malaysiakini with the writ of summons of his defamation suit over a series of articles on his alleged involvement in a timber kickbacks scandal.

The 30-page summons, naming malaysiakini and its editor-in-chief Steven Gan, listed the series of articles which carried the allegedly defamatory remarks.

The stories were themselves based on an earlier report by the Japan Times.

In addition to malaysiakini and Gan, Taib has also said that he would similarly sue Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and its group editor-in-chief Mohd Khalid Mohd for defamation.

Two opposition leaders - PKR state chief Wan Zainal Wan Sanusi and the party’s Stampin branch chief See Chee How - have also been sued for distributing leaflets containing articles from malaysiakini and Japan Times. They were served the summons today.

In his affidavit that accompanied the suit, Taib “categorically and completely” refuted the allegations and described them as “absolutely false”.

Taib said that the malaysiakini reports implied that he was corrupt, and that he was unfit to be the Sarawak chief minister, a member of parliament, or to hold the office of president of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu.

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Sirul Azhar Files Appeal Against High Court Decision

As reported earlier by BERNAMA, the three accused facing charges relating to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu failed in their attempt in the High Court here today to gain access to the prosecution witnesses' statements before the commencement of the trial on Monday.

Now one of the accused, Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar is filing for an appeal to access the prosecution witnesses' statements before the commencement of the trial

PUTRAJAYA, May 30 (Bernama) -- Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar who is charged with murdering Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu today filed an appeal against the High Court decision yesterday to deny the defence access to the prosecution witnesses' statements before the commencement of the trial.

The notice of appeal was filed at the Court of Appeal Registry together with a certificate of urgency signed by one of Sirul Azhar's counsel, Hasnal Rezua Merican Habib Merican, for the appeal to be heard before the trial began on Monday.

Sirul Azhar, 35, is jointly charged with C/Insp Azilah Hadri, 30, with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Lot 12843 and Lot 16735, Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year.

Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 46, is charged with abetting the policemen from the Special Force Unit to commit the murder at Bangunan Getah Asli in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, between 9.54am and 11.05am on Oct 18 last year.

All three face the death penalty if convicted.

Sirul Azhar, 35, had sought a court order to compel the prosecution to provide the defence with the 112 witnesses statements. His application was supported by Azilah and Abdul Razak.

Yesterday, Justice Mohamed Zaki Yassin rejected Sirul Azhar's application on the ground that there was no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act that gives an accused person the right to inspect the statements recorded from witnesses by the police under Section 112 of the Code.

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May 30, 2007

Bahana Pencegah Maksiat Videos at Google Videos

Even though this is an old news but this time it is quite interesting. Google Videos is recommending Bahana Pencegah Maksiat videos as the recommended videos. (see the captured screenshot)

"Dah Kahwin Belum?"

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

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May 29, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Michael Backman (The author of Malaysia BODOH)

Read the full interview at Lim Kit Siang's Blog

Exclusive Interview with Michael Backman

1. What was the initial thought that prompted you to write about your “Boleh or Bodoh column”? What was and has been your intention in writing the article?

Malaysia has good people, good resources and a legal system that ought to function. It depresses me that Malaysia hasn’t been more successful than it has and that it is still fighting the old fights of the 1960s.

Malaysia ’s Chinese have accepted the NEP and its successor policies. They define themselves as Malaysians first and foremost and are among the proudest Malaysians. They have learned Malay. Essentially, they have done everything that has been required of them and yet still there is this endless preoccupation with race in Malaysia.

Meanwhile the rest of the world is just so unbelievably dynamic now. Malaysia is looking more and more like a sleepy backwater relative to what’s going on elsewhere in the world.

Many Malaysians don’t seem to understand this. Many like to travel overseas - but when they do, too many look but they don’t see. They don’t see how things in Malaysia could be improved. They don’t want to learn from anywhere else. They think Malaysia is a special case. They should be bringing back new ideas to Malaysia. Instead they just want to bring back duty free.

2. Have you ever considered the impact the column might have upon your relationship with Malaysian government and its people? We understand Rafidah Aziz, Malaysia’s Minister for Trade and Industry, criticised your column by saying you probably know nothing about Malaysia. Has there been any (positive or negative) impact/response from publishing the column?

I write to be read and I write to have an impact, otherwise there is no point in writing. I criticised the space program for Malaysia’s first astronaut - the making of teh tarik and so on - and the Malaysian Government changed its mind on that and announced that the astronaut would be doing sensible scientific experiments after all. Perhaps I had an impact there.

In any event, more than a thousand Malaysians e-mailed me to say that they agreed with my views. If I am giving a voice to those Malaysians who share the same views but feel that they can’t express them then I’m happy to have been of some help.

But then why should I as a non-Malaysian comment about Malaysia? As far as I am concerned, strict notions of nationality are breaking down. We are all involved in each other’s countries now. Malaysians have a lot of investments in Australia. Australians invest in Asia and so on. We all have stakes in other countries and so all should be able to comment on how they are run. The free flow of ideas and openness are good things. The only people who do not like this are politicians in Malaysia and Singapore. You will never hear Australian or UK politicians complaining about those things. So you should ask yourself, why do Malaysian and Singaporean politicians dislike public debate and openness?

As for Rafidah, I know quite a lot about Malaysia. And I know quite a lot about Rafidah, which is why I wrote about the corruption allegations against her in my second column. Rafidah understands her trade brief very well, but she is dictatorial. Look at how she rules UMNO Wanita.

Sadly, I suspect I know more about Malaysia than many Malaysians. One reason for this is because Malaysia’s media is so poor and many things cannot be discussed openly. Ministers like Rafidah would prefer that Malaysians are not told things. Perhaps they have something to hide.

There is an idea among Malaysians that their country is particularly special and unique and that non-Malaysians simply cannot know much about Malaysia. That simply isn’t true. All countries are complex and have their nuances. You can be expert in a country without being from that country. Indeed, sometimes it helps not to be from that country. If more Malaysians sent more time away from Malaysia, they would gain a far clearer picture of what Malaysia is and what it is not.

I have met many Malaysian politicians and business people, spent time in almost every Malaysian state, sat through sessions of the Malaysian parliament and even attended an UMNO general assembly, stayed in kampongs, visited rubber plantations, and so on - that’s more than most Malaysians. I have stayed with Malaysian friends in Damansara, in Ampang and in Pandan Jaya. But Rafidah only stays in Damansara.

3. We understand you’re an expert on Asia’s political and economical affairs. But you seem to have taken an extra interest in Malaysia (like having a special column for Malaysia’s articles on your webpage
( Why Malaysia?

I studied at an Australian university. Many of my classmates were Malaysian students - Chinese, Malay and Indians. I became very interested in Malaysia from that time on.

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Tun Mahathir to rest

Updates on Tun Mahathir from MalaysiaKini:

Former premier Mahathir Mohamad will rest for the next few days and will not attend public functions until after next week, according to his personal aide Sufi Yusof.

Mahathir was discharged last Thursday from the National Heart Institute after recovering from a heart attack.

Other than receiving a possible courtesy call by Kuwaiti prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmed al-Sabah tomorrow, Mahathir is not expected to see anyone else.

“His scheduled is cleared for the next few days. There’s nothing major scheduled,” said Sufi.

He said the former premier still occasionally comes to the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya.

“Today he was in the office. He still comes in once in a while,” said Sufi.

When contacted today, Mokhzani Mahathir said his father was “okay” and confirmed that he is unlikely to be in the public eye any time soon.

Prior to the attack, Mahathir was scheduled to speak at the Nikkei Conference in Tokyo, held for a week from last Monday. He was also to receive an honorary doctorate from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, where he serves as adviser.

The attack, the second in seven months, was initially attributed by family members to exhaustion. Doctors said breathing problems were caused by lung congestion associated with a heart attack.

Released after chest physiotherapy and light exercises, doctors said Mahathir was not in any danger.

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May 27, 2007

Respect the LAW

A small reminder from our DPM. RESPECT the law.

(MalaysiaKini) Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said today that it was up to the people to evaluate for themselves the credibility of political parties and whether they want one that has no respect for the law to lead them.

He stressed that the people should make their decision based on the principles the party holds and what it stands for to ensure they get the best in return, according to a Bernama report

"All parties, Umno included, must respect the laws of the nation. This has always been the stand of Umno and the Barisan Nasional.

"As such, it is up to the people themselves to decide (who they should pick to best lead them)," he told reporters after being interviewed about the `Pekan Fest 2007' carnival on the Selamat Pagi Malaysia talk show.

Najib was asked to comment on PKR advisor Anwar Ibrahim insisting on contesting the president's post at the party's election despite the Societies Act prohibiting him from holding any political position, as five years have not lapsed since his release from prison.

However, Anwar pulled out from the race at the PKR congress in Seremban today paving the way for his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to retain the presidency unopposed.

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May 25, 2007

This time it is Tony Pua VS Khairy

This time it is Tony Pua vs Khairy. I surely would like to see a public debate. It is the official Oxford vs Oxford debate.

(MalaysiaKini) These were the words of DAP leader Tony Pua to his fellow Oxford graduate Khairy Jamaluddin after issuing a challenge to him for a public debate on the civil service issue.

Although the duo, in their early 30s, graduated in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from the same prestigious university, they have ended up on opposite sides of the political fence.

Yesterday, Khairy - who is also Umno Youth deputy chief - lambasted Pua and demanded an apology from him for saying that the civil service had become a ‘dumping ground’ for unemployed Malay graduates.

At a press conference in Petaling Jaya this morning, Pua, a self-made millionaire, once again ruled out the possibility of tendering an apology. He wanted a debate instead.

“Instead of asking the party and myself for an apology, Khairy should do away with emotive arguments as well as semantics and focus on the issues at hand,” he said.

Pua, who is the economic advisor to DAP secretary- general Lim Guan Eng, said the debate could be held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall next Wednesday at 8pm.

Or it could be held at any time or place of Khairy’s choosing, he stressed.

While BERNAMA chose to report this:
PETALING JAYA, May 25 (Bernama) -- The DAP does not deny that there are some non-Bumiputera companies which make Mandarin proficiency a requirement when offering job opportunities.

Tony Pua, the economic advisor to the secretary-general of the DAP, told a press conference here today that based on employment advertisement placements, only a small number did so.

He was commenting on remarks by Umno Youth secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahalan that non-Bumiputera companies practised discrimination when it came to employing Malay graduates.

Pua said sometimes the stipulation was necessary as the employees had to travel to China where Mandarin is the language of commerce.

Pursuant to his remarks that the civil service had become a dumping ground for unemployable Bumiputera graduates, he challenged Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who had asked him to apologise for saying such, to a public debate on the matter at 8pm on May 30 at the Chinese Assembly Hall here or at any time or place of the latter's choosing

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May 24, 2007

Tun Mahathir Discharged From IJN

Latest update on Tun Mahathir's condition.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was discharged from the National Heart Institute (IJN) Thursdayafter receiving treatment there for 10 days.

This follows doctors' satisfaction with the progress he had made to medication, treatment and rehabilitation procedures since admission on May 15.

Dr Mahathir was admitted to Langkawi Hospital on May 14 after having breathing difficulties while on the island before being transferred to IJN's Cardiac Care Unit the following day.

Doctors later confirmed that he had suffered lung congestion associated with myocardial infarction in addition to exacerbation of underlying basal bronchitis of the lungs.

Dr Mahathir, was allowed to leave IJN at 2.50pm, and he was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, his second son Datuk Mokhzani, his personal physician and a few nurses.

When he came out of the lift near the main entrance, he was greeted by several well-wishers, IJN staff and its executive officer Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus.

A statement issued by IJN Thursday said Dr Mahathir was expected to continue chest physiotherapy and light exercises as part of his cardiac rehabilitation programme.

Samy Vellu and The "House of Leaks"

This is another case that the PM jumped to stop the quarreling among his ministers and other civil servant. (Remember the spatting between Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharom and Federal CID Director Comm Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee?)

(The Star) The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in Tokyo yesterday that the Public Works Department (PWD) is responsible for maintenance of government buildings and there should be no “finger-pointing” whenever a defect occurs.

Abdullah said: “I’ve told Samy Vellu that the PWD was responsible for matters related to maintenance, don’t quarrel among yourselves, it’s embarrassing.

“It’s alright if you want to talk it over and carry out the repairs jointly …what’s the point of quarrelling with each other to the extent of the people knowing.

”If there’s something wrong, talk to each other, cooperate and do it quietly… what’s the point of quarrelling in the newspapers, one says they’re responsible, the other says it’s your problem.

“Already people are unhappy with what has happened, who is to take responsibility and who is responsible have also become a public issue, two agencies quarrelling…this is not good.

“Whoever is responsible must have the sense of responsibility to make sure what it was responsible to do. It takes action, it carries out its responsibility.”

And now, DAP is calling for a probe for the 'leaks' in Parliament:

(MalaysiaKini) An opposition lawmaker has written to a parliamentary committee seeking for a meeting to be called following complaints of leaking roofs and faulty wiring in the Parliament building.

The letter was sent to the House Committee chairperson Ramli Ngah Talib, who is also the Parliament Speaker on Monday by DAP’s Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai.

Tan wants the committee to discuss matters concerning Parliament’s leaky roofs, wiring, details of the building’s renovation and upgrading, its progress and the contractor’s inefficiency.

“I hope Tan Sri (Ramli’s honorific title) will call a new meeting to discuss the matters which I’ve stated above,” said Tan, who is the only opposition’s representative in the seven-member committee. A copy of his letter was made available to malaysiakini.

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May 23, 2007

NO to Bloggers registration

This is message for all bloggers in Malaysia and to our ministers too. If a country like China (a communist-ruled country) has decided not to register the country's over 20 million bloggers, then how about the mere 20,000 so called political bloggers in Malaysia.

BEIJING, May 23 (Bernama) -- Following opposition from the industry and netizens, China is likely to discard long-harboured plans requiring the country's 20 million bloggers to register themselves, state media said.

A draft published by the Internet Society of China (ISC) encouraged bloggers to register their names with service providers instead of making it compulsory, China Daily reported.

Government departments have been promoting a real-name system for years, arguing it will force Internet users to watch their words and actions, and refrain from slander, pornography and dissemination of other harmful information, the newspaper said.

But the proposal drew protests from Internet users and the industry, it added.

According to the ISC draft, those who voluntarily register themselves may still use pseudonyms and service providers must ensure the confidentiality of bloggers.

The draft was prepared by a group of blog providers and industry experts set up last October to discuss the development and regulations of the industry. China has 144 million Internet users as of March this year.

The China Internet Survey Report 2007 released in January showed the number of bloggers in the country had grown to 20.8 million with 3.15 million active writers.

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May 22, 2007

Malaysia's Mahathir to remain hospitalised until fully recovered: son

latest update on Tun Mahathir :

Kuala Lumpur - Outspoken former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad will remain hospitalised until he has fully recovered after suffering a heart attack, one of his sons said Tuesday.

Mokhzani Mahathir said although his 81-year-old father was steadily improving and responding well to treatment, doctors were not recommending he leave the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur.

"They have not said that they will discharge him any time soon and we are not pushing for it," Mokhzani told AFP.

"We want him to fully recover with a clean bill of health before he is discharged," he said.

Mahathir was transferred out of the cardiac care unit to a regular ward over the weekend after doctors said they were happy with his progress and is undergoing cardiac rehabilitation.

"He's fine and recovering very well. He seems cheerful and is eating well," Mokhzani said, adding that his father was now receiving friends and is also very "chatty."

Mahathir was admitted last Monday after suffering breathing difficulties from lung congestion caused by the heart attack.

Mahathir previously suffered a heart attack in 1989 and had bypass surgery.

He also had a mild stroke in November last year, caused by a clot that restricted blood flow in one of his arteries.

Mahathir retired from office in 2003 after 22 years in power, handing over to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whom he has since accused of nepotism and corruption.

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What's wrong with our Information Minister?

So what's wrong with Bloggers in Malaysia?

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Bernama) -- Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin Tuesday reminded bloggers of their responsibilities in maintaining harmony among Malaysia's multiracial society.

He said bloggers, being the so-called "citizen journalists", must not abuse the freedom given by the government and must be responsible in their writings and actions so as not to jeopardise the unity among the people.

"We do not consider them (bloggers) as a threat but we do not want to return to the era where we depend on rumours (for news)," he told reporters after launching the Malaysian Press Institute's (MPI) new logo here today.

The minister also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MPI and Thomson Foundation, through which both organisations cooperate in organising courses for local and foreign journalists.

MPI was represented by its acting chairman, Datuk Chamil Wariya and Thomson Foundation by its head of regional partnerships, Russel Lyne.

Earlier in his speech, Zainuddin said media practitioners and bloggers had their own roles in developing the nation through their writings.

For that, he said, they must respect the status quo of the social contract which became the pillar of this nation.

"Lately, I found that most of the (political) bloggers have the tendency to question the basis of the social contract which had been agreed upon by our forefathers," he said.

Zainuddin said that about 20,000 out of the 11 million Internet users in the country were actively involved in political blogs.

Earlier there was this report from MalaysiaKini :

Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin has criticised the press for highlighting racial issues which could cause ethnic division across the country.

"To me, press freedom cannot go beyond the time-tested social contract," Zainuddin said, referring to an agreement made by the country's founding fathers in the federal constitution.

Under the social contract, citizenship was given to non-Malays - mainly minority Chinese and Indian populations - while the majority bumiputras made up of Malays and indigenous groups, retained special rights and privileges.

May 13 book

Zainuddin pointed the finger at certain media groups for questioning the social contract, at the risk of disrupting racial unity which he said "must be maintained at all costs."

Zainuddin also criticised a controversial book on the deadly 1969 race riots saying it would only arouse anxiety among Malaysians.

While the country has largely maintained peaceful ties between multi-ethnic groups, tensions are rising among non-Malay Muslims, who feel their rights are being undermined.

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May 21, 2007

Khairy wants some answers

Khairy wants answers. Give it to him.

KOTA BAHARU, May 20 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth today sought an explanation from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over his relationship with Paul Wolfowitz who has announced his resignation as World Bank president over ethics charges.

Its vice-head, Khairy Jamaluddin, said Malaysians were uncomfortable with an opposition leader who had offered himself as an alternative leader but maintained close ties with Wolfowitz, a former United States defence secretary, who was involved in the World Bank furore and was allegedly an architect of the ongoing war in Iraq.

"Anwar, as the chairman of the Foundation for the Future, must explain his connection in the furore involving Wolfowitz and the latter's companian Shaha Riza that has led to Wolfowitz resigning as president of the World Bank," he told reporters after a meeting with Kelantan Umno Youth members, here.

Khairy said Anwar had to provide an explanation because it had been reported in the media that the foundation had written a letter last year to the World Bank requesting Riza to be transferred from the United States' State Department to the foundation.

"Anwar must explain his role in the scandal, whereby the woman (Riza) was given a substantial salary rise when she was transferred from the World Bank to the US State Department before she was moved to the foundation," he said.

Khairy said that if it was correct that there had been abuse of power, as reported by the media, then Anwar as chairman of the foundation must provide an explanation.

"Anwar has to explain because this is an irregularity and abuse of power at the international level," he said.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the Malaysia-Singapore Special Committee on the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) was a co-ordinating committee on logistics and was not meant for obtaining the views of the republic on development of the region.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong had announced the setting up of the committee after their informal meeting in Langkawi on May 15.

Report from MalaysiaKini:

Anwar Ibrahim :“I did not appoint Reza to the foundation. She was first assigned by the World Bank through the US State Department to the foundation in late 2005 before I became chair(person),” Anwar said in a statement today.

“The executive committee of the foundation then decided in mid-2006 to regularise the appointment so that she (Reza) advises directly from the World Bank and not the US State Department.”

Anwar was responding to Umno Youth which had highlighted reports of his alleged involvement in the appointment process.

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Undergrads Who Campaigned For Opposition To Face The Music

The post-effect of Machap and Ijok.

JELI, May 21 (Bernama) -- The Higher Education Ministry has identified 38 students from various public institutions of higher learning who actively campaigned for the opposition in the Machap and Ijok by-elections last month.

Its minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said the list of the names had been submitted to the ministry's monitoring committee on the matter for action.

"We have information of their involvement and I have instructed the committee to take action against them as provided for under existing regulations," he told reporters after opening Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Jering's Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) meeting here yesterday.

The Barisan Nasional's candidates, Lai Meng Chong and K. Parthiban won the Machap and Ijok seats respectively in both the by-elections.

Mustapa, who is also Jeli Member of Parliament, said the Universities and University Colleges Act prohibited undergraduates from participating in political activities.

Meanwhile, at the PTA meeting of Sekolah Kebangsaan Jeli 1, Mustapa said students who obtained good results in the last Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) but failed to get places at higher learning institutions, could appeal to be reconsidered for admission to the 20 universities and more than 35 colleges under the ministry.

He said the appeal should be submitted before end of the month.

He also said that the ministry was only sending 40 students to pursue studies abroad this year.

From this year, the ministry would no longer encourage bright students to study overseas, he added.

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May 20, 2007

Tun Mahathir Out Of Cardiac Care Unit

Update on Tun Mahathir's condition"

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Saturday night transferred to the Bunga Raya Ward from the Cardiac Care Unit of the National Heart Institute (IJN).

The former prime minister was transferred at 9.30pm after doctors were satisfied with his steady rate of positive response to treatment and medication, the IJN Corporate Communications Department said in a statement Sunday.

Dr Mahathir is expected to continue to be warded at IJN to allow doctors to monitor his condition and to start cardiac rehabilitation, it added.

Dr Mahathir was admitted to IJN on Tuesday after he was transferred from Langkawi Hospital where he was warded on Monday after he complained of breathing difficulties while on a two-day private visit to Langkawi.

Doctors at IJN had diagnosed the breathing difficulties were caused by lung congestion associated with myocardial infarction in addition to the exacerbation of underlying basal bronchitis of the lungs.

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May 19, 2007

Samy Vellu, The tribe has spoken, it is time for you to go?

DPM is asking about the leaks. While Karpal Singh is asking for Samy Vellu to step down. So what will PM ask Samy Vellu?

Karpal Singh (MalaysiaKini):“In my view, Samy Vellu must step down as works minister. His ability to run his ministry is suspect.

“Someone who is capable enough to avoid disasters in the like of those which have occurred in the last few years within the sphere of the Works Ministry should take over,” Karpal said in a statement.

The Bukit Gelugor MP referred to several incidents which Samy was accountable for including the announcement that extensive renovation is required to fix the leaking roof in Parliament.

“As an architect, I can tell you it is very bad. I don’t want to hide anything from you. There is a lot of work to be done here,” Samy was quoted as saying three days ago

Update from BERNAMA:

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) -- The Public Works Department (PWD) will be asked to explain to the cabinet on why no request was made for allocations to repair the roof when the Parliament House underwent an extensive RM90 million renovation in 2004, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that if repairs to the roof had been included in the massive one-year renovation work, the leaking roof problem now could have been avoided.

"We will ask for an explanation in the cabinet from the PWD... what actually happened, how the leak came about. We (the government) regret such a thing can happen. The expenditure to renovate the Parliament House should have taken into account problems like the leaking roof and so on.

"During the submission (for allocations), there was no request to repair the roof. So we are wondering how come it escaped our attention," he said when asked to respond to Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu remarks on Thursday that the Parliament House roof was in bad condition.

The minister had said: "As an architect, I can tell you that the present condition is severe. We must dismantle the whole structure and build it again with the waterproofing equipment."

Under the RM90 million interior restoration and renovation of the Parliament building in 2005, installing the waterproofing equipment was not included in the contract, Samy Vellu said.

Asked whether the Government would bear the cost to repair the leaks in certain sections of the Parliament House as detected following heavy rain on May 10, the Deputy Prime Minister said the matter would be discussed in the cabinet.

"If the roof of the Parliament House is leaking we have no choice but to repair it because Parliament is a very important institution for the country," he added.

The last time this happened was in April 2005, forcing the Dewan Rakyat sitting to be adjourned to June to facilitate renovation work.

Earlier, Najib attended the convocation of the K-Force Programme at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak at the Sime Darby Convention Centre.

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May 18, 2007

Sorry is the hardest word to say...

I bet this will happen again in the future.

For now, Datuk Shahrizat said the case is officially CLOSED.

(MalaysiaKini) DAP parliamentarian Fong Po Kuan, who bore the brunt of the sexist remarks made by her Barisan Nasional counterparts Bung Mokthar Radin and Mohd Said Yusof, is not satisfied with their public apology.

The two apologised to “all women in the country offended by the remarks” following a meeting with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil this morning.

However, Fong claimed that Bung Mokthar and Mohd Said were not sincere.

"They’re not sincere, especially after what happened on Wednesday where they apologised and later retracted their apologies," she said when contacted.

“They are not remorseful. They are just finding excuses to justify their behaviour by saying it was necessary to do it to defend the government during debates in the Parliament," she added.

Fong, who feels that an apology is not sufficient punishment for the duo, said she will discuss with DAP leaders regarding her next move.

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Tun Mahathir : "I feel much better now"

Latest update from BERNAMA :

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is recuperating from breathing difficulties at the National Heart Institute (IJN), today congratulated the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, on his marriage with Tuanku Zara Salim Thursday.

The former prime minister, accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, at Room 11 of the Coronary Care Unit, followed developments of the royal wedding in today's newspapers.

"I feel much better now," he told Bernama exclusively in his room while flipping through the pages of Utusan Malaysia which had published many pictures and news stories of the wedding at Istana Iskandariah in Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar.

Dr Mahathir said he was not sure when he would be discharged from the premier heart centre.

He thanked the doctors and staff of IJN and Langkawi Hospital for taking good care of him.

Dr Mahathir, who complained of breathing difficulties while on a two-day private visit to Langkawi on Monday, was transferred to IJN on Tuesday from Langkawi Hospital.

The former prime minister said he could now walk around his bed in his room and was not feeling dizzy or had difficulty in breathing.

"I also have no dietary restrictions," he said cheerfully, occasionally cracking jokes with his personal staff in his room.

Upon his discharge from IJN, Dr Mahathir said he would ease up on his hectic schedule on the advice of his personal physician and IJN's consultant cardiologist Datuk Dr Nasir Muda.

Dr Siti Hasmah also thanked the people including the Langkawi folk who prayed and held special prayers at mosques in the tourist island for Dr Mahathir's speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, Dr Nasir said Dr Mahathir would be at IJN for a few more days, without giving a definite date on when the former prime minister would be discharged.

"Dr Mahathir still needs to undergo chest physiotherapy daily and must be under doctors' observation," he added.

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Tun Mahathir is one of "Top 20 Asian progressives"

Michael Backman, the famous Australian journalist that penned "Malaysia BODOH" article, has listed Top 20 Asian Progressives. They are the top 20 modernisers and reformers steering the region towards good business practice, transparency and management excellence. (Article link)

Tun Mahathir is listed as No. 7


Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister from 1981 to 2003, was perhaps Asia's most misunderstood leader. Mahathir had plenty of critics, but the country's impressive development under his stewardship is undeniable. Also undeniable is his popularity among Malaysia's minority ethnic groups, particularly the Chinese, who comprise about 30% of the population. Mahathir managed to persuade different ethnic groups to think of themselves as Malaysians, despite economic and education policies that favoured the majority Malay population at the expense of the commercially successful Chinese minority.

These policies helped to break the nexus between great wealth and (Chinese) ethnicity, thus making the Chinese less of a target politically in the event of unrest. Mahathir also kept a lid on Islamic fundamentalism, showing not just Malaysia but much of the Islamic world that economic progress and Islam can go hand in hand. Under Mahathir, the media and the judiciary lacked independence, but Malaysians enjoy far more political freedoms than the citizens of neighbouring Singapore.

Mahathir resigned as prime minister while still popular and at a time of his choosing. In retirement, he has emerged as a loud critic of the new administration, bringing to Malaysia a level of public debate that few would have thought possible. His regular interventions on policy issues have almost given Malaysia the strong opposition voice that it has not previously had.

He has attacked the government for not doing enough to tackle the widespread corruption, and has criticised the concessions given to foreign firms that invest in an economic zone in southern Malaysia. Even out of office, Mahathir continues to modernise his country.

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May 17, 2007

Dr Mahathir's Breathing Problem Caused By Lung Congestion

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17, (Bernama) -- Lung congestion associated with myocardial infarction caused Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to face breathing difficulty, consultant cardiologist Datuk Dr Nasir Muda said.

He also has an exacerbation of underlying basal bronchitis of the lung, added Dr Nasir, who is attending to the 81-year-old former prime minister, in a statement issued by the National Heart Institute (IJN) here where Dr Mahathir has been admitted since Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir was treated at Langkawi Hospital's Intensive Care Unit on Monday after complaining of breathing difficulty and was flown to the federal capital the next day for further treatment at the IJN.

IJN said Dr Mahathir underwent routine checks and treatment, and continued to make steady progress.

It said with the positive response, his medication and treatment was being gradually tapered down.

IJN expected Dr Mahathir to continue with chest physiotherapy and light exercise, and would remain at the Coronary Care Unit for continued monitoring and treatment.

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Shahrizat to tackle 'bocor' MPs

So why they apologized but retracted it?

Why it is so hard for them to just offer their sincere apology?

Updates from MalaysiaKini: Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Mohd Said Yusof were said to have apologised today over their sexist remarks made in Parliament last week.

Their apology was directed to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and all Malaysian women, according to a report in The Star Online.

However when malaysiakini contacted Mohd Said for comment, he denied making any apology.

"Why should I apologise? This was a matter raised during debate in Parliament. This is usual," he said.

so what can Datuk Shahrizat do besides apology?

KUALA LUMPUR (May 16, 2007): The Cabinet discussed the "bocor" issue today and mandated Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil to handle the matter.

Shahrizat has since arranged a meeting on Friday (May 18) morning with MPs Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan), who made the "bocor" remarks in the Dewan Rakyat, and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin), who supported him.

In a statement after the cabinet meeting today, Shahrizat said the press would be informed of any press conference after that.

The statement deflated an anticipation by women non-governmental organisations of some form of decisive action by the Cabinet on this matter which had enraged women.

This morning, an English newspaper (not theSun) had sent out SMS alerts (before Shahrizat's statement) saying Bung Mokhtar and Mohd Said had apologised to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and all Malaysian women over the sexist remarks.

Last week, during a heated exchange about the ceiling leakage in Parliament, Bung Mokhtar was quoted saying "Mana ada 'bocor'? Batu Gajah pun 'bocor' tiap-tiap bulan juga (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month)."

Fong, who reviewed the video recording of the proceedings, said Mohd Said had supported Bung Mokhtar, saying: "When I wanted to debate on the serious issue, there was this scuffle and shouting."

Contacted, Bung Mokhtar said he was not going to say anything pending the meeting with Shahrizat.

Ont the SMS news alert, he said he withdrew the apology statement for the time being. He had also told theSun in the morning he apologised to women "if he actually hurt their feelings".

"Let me brief Shahrizat first on what actually transpired during the debate. Being a good listener and a good leader, I will comply by the Cabinet's decision," he said.

Mohd Said called for a press conference in Parliament at 3pm today, purportedly to explain his side of the story but cancelled it after being informed of the Cabinet's decision.

Bung Mokhtar said he had experienced a similar situation before when an opposition MP had called him 'binatang'and he had objected and asked for the statement to be withdrawn.

"I did not make the remark to all women, I only addressed it to Fong. But since it concerned the DAP, they made a big thing out of a small matter," he said.

Asked on the matter in a function in the Defence Ministry, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who is also the BN chief whip, said the two MPs had not intended to hurt or insult women.

"They uttered the words during a debate as they were angry with the speech made by the Batu Gajah MP (Fong)," he said.

On whether the two MPs should make a public apology, he said the meeting on Friday should be allowed to go on first before any other decision is made.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz felt it was unnecessary for the two MPs to apologise as it would be difficult for MPs to debate in the House in future.

"You cannot control people's emotions all the time. This (Parliament) is not a place where you have academic exercise," he said in a press conference.

"These are all unguarded moments. I don't think the two have (an) agenda against Po Kuan, but it's the unguarded moments. I don't condone, but they all human beings."

However, he said the duo owe an explanation to the women who had been offended by the reports, adding that the cabinet had no directive on how the duo should deal with the situation.

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May 16, 2007

Tun Mahathir Continues To Respond To Treatment

Updates on Tun Mahathir's condition

(MalaysiaKini) His daughter Marina told a press conference at the hospital that her father’s breathing difficulties was unrelated to his heart condition.

“There’s some congestion in the lungs, but the fluid was easily drained with medication,” she said.

She added that Mahathir was not suffering from lung infection or pneumonia.

“He’s getting better. He’s breathing on his own. He just asked for some food. He was a little bit hungry. It's a good sign. His appetite's coming back,” she said.

She added that it was “not clear” when Mahathir would be discharged.

and from BERNAMA :

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued to respond positively to treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) here where he has been warded since yesterday.

IJN said in a statement today that the former prime minister's condition was stable throughout the night and the doctors treating him were happy with his positive response to the treatment.

It said that he was scheduled to undergo routine investigation and chest physiotherapy and was expected to be at the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) for continued monitoring.

Dr Mahathir was admitted to the Langkawi Hospital on Monday after complaining of breathing difficulties. He was transferred to the IJN yesterday.

"Doctors have also advised Dr Mahathir against receiving any visitors apart from close family members," the statement said.

Among those who visited Dr Mahathir today were veteran journalist Datuk A Kadir Jasin and Toh Puan Ena Ling, wife of former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik.

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Women want 'bocor' MPs penalised

This is not the first time such statements have been made by the same MP, refer to MalaysiaKini's "sexist remarks" chart :

(The Sun) The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has demanded an immediate public apology from the two MPs involved in the 'bocor' issue.

It wanted the two - Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin) - to also apologise to fellow MPs and be disciplined by Parliament.

"We are outraged by the sexist behaviour of certain MPs and condemn the remarks made by the two which were extremely offensive to the particular female MP they were directed at," JAG said in a statement read out by Women's Development Collective (WDC) executive director Maria Chin Abdullah.

"Also, in referring to a natural biological function of the female body, the remarks were discriminatory against women in general."

WDC is one of the non-governmental organisations under JAG besides the All Women's Action Society, Women's Aid Organisation, Sisters in Islam (SIS), Women's Centre for Change and Women's Committee of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress.

The statement was read at a 50-woman-strong demonstration held in front of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry here this morning.

It was later handed over to the minister, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who came down 15 minutes after the gathering started and stayed to speak to the group for less than 10 minutes.

Shahrizat said there is no need to be emotional over the matter and bring it to the street as the government is taking it seriously.

"All MPs are expected to be gender-sensitive and not to make sexist remarks. The law is very clear. The language they used was unparliamentary," she said.

"I will bring this up with the Cabinet tomorrow which is the more appropriate channel."

Also present at the gathering were representatives - male and female - of Suaram, Malaysian Youth and Students Democratic Movement, PAS, DAP, Keadilan and even MCA.

Maria said insensitive comments made against woman MP Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) reflected an underlying, deeply entrenched culture of sexism and gender discrimination within Parliament.

JAG also asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who chairs the cabinet committee on gender equality, Shahrizat and the Parliamentary Gender Caucus to take immediate action to end all forms of sexism and discrimination in Parliament.

"We demand that any MP who continues to ill-behave in Parliament should be suspended for six months and his pay and allowances be cut during that period," Maria said.

"Malaysians deserve better quality representatives in Parliament.

She said from from their observation, the recent incident was not isolated.

They have identified three other MPs who have been involved in such sexism since 2001, namely Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading), Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin (BN-Jerai) and Abdul Fatah Harun (PAS-Rantau Panjang).

Felicia Ling, of Cheras MCA Wanita, said the MPs must apologise to their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters for having made such remarks.

Keadilan Wanita chief Fuziah Salleh expressed disappointment with Barisan Nasional MPs as they had kept quiet while the incident was going on last week.

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Videos of MalaysiaKini's exclusive Interview with Tun Mahathir

Part 1: Najib 'scared' he wasn't picked as DPM

Part 2: Dr M: I couldn't sack Samy Vellu

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Updates on Tun Mahathir's condition

Update on Tun Mahathir's condition.

(AFP NEWS) KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's ailing former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is recovering well after being admitted to hospital suffering breathing difficulties, his son and aides said Tuesday.

The 81-year-old was flown from the resort island of Langkawi, where he was admitted Monday, to a specialist heart hospital in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

"The decision to transfer Mahathir... was made after doctors were satisfied at his positive rate of progress to treatment," his aide Sufi Yusoff said in a statement.

"He is okay and he is very fine and is recovering well," Mahathir's son, Mokhzani Mahathir, told reporters.

"He spoke to the family members and told us that he was hungry."

Mokhzani said a team of doctors had done a thorough check-up on Mahathir, including an x-ray and heart tests.

"He will be here for a few more days and he thanked everybody for their concerns and their prayers," Mokhzani said.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who arrived in Langkawi on Monday for two days of informal talks with his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, said he hoped Mahathir's condition will improve.

"I hope he will be looked after and gets good treatment," Abdullah told reporters in Langkawi.

The National Heart Institute on Tuesday said Mahathir, who was admitted to the coronary care unit (CCU), is "awake and conscious" and has had a meal.

"He remained stable with no breathing difficulties and will be monitored in CCU," the hospital said in a statement.

Visits to the former premier are limited to close family members only on doctors' advice, it said.

Scuffles broke out between photographers and hospital security staff, who prevented pictures of Mahathir being taken as he was brought into the clinic.

Earlier Tuesday, an aide, who asked not to be identified, said Mahathir was "calm, relaxed and cheerful," and in stable condition.

The former leader suffered a mild stroke last November which was triggered by a clot that restricted blood flow in one of his arteries.

He also suffered a heart attack in 1989 and had bypass surgery.

Mahathir retired from office in 2003 after 22 years in power, handing over to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whom he has since accused of nepotism and corruption.

While BERNAMA highlights Abdullah Hopes Dr Mahathir Makes Full Recovery as the headline.

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May 15, 2007

'Cheerful' Tun Mahathir in stable condition

Updates from MalaysiaKini :

"The (former) PM is stable. He is being monitored by a team of doctors and specialists from the local hospital," said the aide, who asked not to be identified.

"He is calm, relaxed and cheerful," the aide said, adding Mahathir was conscious.

The aide was speaking ahead of a press conference expected at about mid-day.

While Updates from BERNAMA :

LANGKAWI, May 15 (Bernama)-- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed who was admitted to the Langkawi Hospital Langkawi yesterday after complaining of breathing difficulty was flown to Kuala Lumpur on a special aircraft today for further treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

His press officer, Sufi Yusoff, said the former prime minister had responded positively to the treatment provided by a group of doctors from IJN and the Langkawi and Alor Star hospitals.

"The doctors were satisfied with his positive response and as such, he could be transferred to the IJN." Sufi said.

Dr Mahathir, who arived here yesterday with his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, for a two-day private visit, was driven to the hospital by his private physician, Dr Nasir Muda, after he complained of breathing difficulty and was warded in the intensive care unit.

His son, Datuk Mukhriz, told reporters late last night that his father would be flown to Kuala Lumpur when his condition improved.

Before arriving in Langkawi, Dr Mahathir and his wife were in Bukit Merah, Perak, for a reunion of the "Class of 47" of King Edward College of Medicine, Singapore.

Reporters and photographers who were waiting for Dr Mahathir at the hospital and airport since early morning failed to catch him.

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Tun Mahathir May Be Flown To KL

Update from RockyBru, 10.30am, May 15
The doctors at Langkawi hospital have given the nod for Dr M to be transferred to the IJN in Kuala Lumpur today. Marina just text me to say they are making preparations to fly him back now.


LANGKAWI, May 14 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is being treated at the Langkawi Hospital after having breathing difficulty may be flown to Kuala Lumpur if his condition permits, said his son Datuk Mukhriz today.

He said his father was admitted to the hospital here at 3.50pm and given oxygen.

"If his condition improves, we may transfer him to the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur," he told reporters when met outside the hospital's intensive-care unit late today.

Mukhriz said doctors examining the former prime minister had advised him to rest and that only relatives be allowed to visit him.

Dr Mahathir's wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali was at his bedside, besides their children including Mirzan and Marina and a few other close relatives.

Asked for the cause of his father having breathing difficulty, Mukhriz said it could be due to exhaustion.

He was confident that his father would be fine based on Dr Mahathir's latest condition.

"He is in stable condition and is resting. He had asked for a drink. But I am not sure when he could leave (the hospital)," he said.

Dr Mahathir arrived in the duty-free island at 11am today for a two-day day private visit accompanied by his wife and they were expected to return to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

Prior to this, the couple was in Bukit Merah, Perak since Thursday for a gathering with friends from the "Class of 47", King Edward College of Medicine, Singapore.

While relaxing in his room at the Langkasuka Hotel here, Dr Mahathir complained of breathing difficulty and was driven by his personal physician Dr Nasir Muda to Langkawi Hospital.

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May 14, 2007

Tun Dr Mahathir In Stable Condition

Hopefully, things will turn better.

LANGKAWI, May 14 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is being treated at the Langkawi Hospital after complaining of breathing difficulty, is in stable condition, said Kedah Health director Dr Hasnah Ismail.

She said that except for immediate family members, no one was allowed to visit the former prime minister who was warded at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Dr Hasnah said he was admitted to the hospital at 4.15pm.

Dr Mahathir, who is here on a private visit, was resting in his room at the Langkasuka Hotel when he had breathing difficulty and was driven to the hospital by his personal physician, Dr Nasir Muda.

Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, arrived on the resort island at 11am today and were initially scheduled to leave tomorrow.

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Dr Mahathir In ICU At Langkawi Hospital Because Of Breathing Difficulty

A prayer for Tun Mahathir's health.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Langkawi Hospital at 3.50pm today after complaining of breathing difficulty while resting in his room at the Langkasuka Hotel.

His press officer, Sufi Yusni Yusof, told Bernama that the former prime minister was in stable condition and was being monitored by doctors.

Dr Mahathir, who was accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, arrived at the resort island at 11am today for a two-day private visit. They were scheduled to return to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow afternoon.

They were in Bukit Merah, Perak, since Thursday to attend a get-together of the "Class of 47" of the King Edward College of Medicine, Singapore.

Sufi said Dr Mahathir was conscious when he complained of exhaustion. He was taken to the hospital by car by his personal physician, Dr Nasir Muda.

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Samy Vellu : I've done nothing wrong!

Samy Vellu, Work Minister a.k.a the clean minister of Malaysia.

(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: Making unsubstantiated allegations of leaders being corrupt or tainted will not bring any good to the country, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

Defending himself against latest remarks by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Works Minister said he had been investigated and cleared by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

He was commenting on Dr Mahathir's interview with Malaysiakini last week, in which the latter stated that he could not remove tainted leaders like Samy Vellu and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz as he was “powerless.”

Dr Mahathir had said in the interview that the Barisan Nasional would have suffered a serious internal backlash if he had sacked Samy Vellu.

“You ask MIC what they would do if I removed Samy Vellu,” he was quoted as saying.

Samy Vellu countered by saying that he did not see any reason “for anybody to get rid of me”.

“If I am taken to court and proven to be a man who has done something wrong, I would voluntarily resign.''

The MIC leader said Dr Mahathir knew that he (Samy Vellu) had endured three months of investigations by the ACA after several people had made reports.

“The ACA finally came out to say that I had done nothing wrong.''

He said that there must be limitations to such criticism, saying that the prime minister had the right to sack any of his Cabinet members.

“There is no way anybody can say that I can’t be sacked. There was a precedent when an MCA president (Datuk Neo Yee Pan) was sacked. At a stroke of a pen, the minister goes out,'' Samy Vellu added.

Samy Vellu pledged to continue with his work undeterred, adding that there were many programmes to be carried out for the betterment of the Indian community.

This is in response to MalaysiaKini's exclusive interview with Tun Mahathir.
MIC president S Samy Vellu - or any other scandal-tainted leader of Barisan Nasional’s component parties - could not be removed without the ruling coalition suffering a serious internal backlash, said former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“You ask MIC what they would do if I removed Samy Vellu,” said Mahathir when queried why he did not sack his long-time works minister, who was beset by numerous allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

“MIC is scared stiff of Samy Vellu,” added Mahathir, who as leader of the dominant Umno party led the BN coalition in his 22-year tenure as prime minister.

“When it comes to the head of a component party, I don’t have that much liberty to pick who the head should be or to remove the head from being in the cabinet,” he told malaysiakini in an exclusive interview.

“You can see that all the heads of all the component parties are in the cabinet, not because I chose them, but because they were chosen by their party.”

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May 13, 2007

BREAKING NEWS : PM Denied Rumours Spread In Internet That He Collapsed

UPDATES from MalaysiaKini :

Heat exhaustion brings down Pak Lah
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi suffered from heat exhaustion at a function in Lumut in Perak this afternoon.

He said that he was overcome with heat exhaustion while officiating Dataran Hadhari in Lumut’s Teluk Batik.

At a hastily organised press conference tonight, Abdullah, 67, took pains to deny “rumours” on the Internet that he had collapsed during the event.

"I am fine. Don't worry," he said. "I will continue with the programmes that been arranged for me.

"The doctor had conducted several tests on me including ECG, blood and blood pressure and these were found to be normal," added Abdullah who according to Bernama was examined by his personal physician Dr Sanjiv Joshi.

At the event, Abdullah appeared to have lost balance and almost collapsed but was held by Perak Menteri Besar Tajol Rosli Ghazali and Backbenchers Club acting chairman Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar.

Hmm maybe the PM was just taking a nap.

LUMUT, May 13 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied rumours spread in the internet that he collapsed while attending a people feast and officating Dataran Hadhari at Teluk Batik, Lumut at noon.

As reported earlier on RockyBru's site :
I've just been told that the PM collapsed while officiating a handing-over of keys to residents in Lumut. Pak Lah is scheduled to meet his Singapore counterpart during the Lumut retreat.
I'll update whenever I can as I'm on the move. Look out for the news in Bernama too.

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