Isnin, 24 November 2014
PETANDA membimbangkan akar umbi Umno mula condong kepada puak ekstremis apabila pemimpin nombor dua Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin memanggil penceramah perhimpunan parti minggu ini untuk memberi amaran kepada mereka agar jangan menghentam kaum dan agama lain.
Pada ketika rakyat Malaysia bimbang peningkatan inflasi menjelang pelaksanaan Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) tahun depan, akar umbi Umno membuat keputusan mempertahankan Akta Hasutan dan sama ada menghapuskan sekolah Cina dan Tamil menjadi kebimbangan utama parti itu.
Justeru, untuk memastikan ahli akar umbi tidak lagi mengapi-apikan ketegangan kaum, Muhyiddin memutuskan lebih baik memanggil dan memberitahu agar memperlahankan retorik mereka.
Persidangan kali ini sekali lagi akan menjadikan cabaran terhadap Umno tsunami pilihan raya umum 2008.
Di saat para ahlinya semakin cenderung ke arah puak pelampau Melayu, pemimpin kanannya mahukan jalan tengah sebagai hala tuju untuk parti.
Pemimpin akar umbi Umno yang ditemuramah The Malaysian Insider berkata, secara dasarnya adalah sama ada Umno boleh meninggalkan politik lama perkauman dan mengamalkan politik baru iaitu keterbukaan dan kesaksamaan.
Atau, sebagaimana pemimpin sederhana Umno Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah berkata, ia adalah sama ada Umno mahu menjadi parti yang ditakuti atau disayangi oleh semua rakyat Malaysia.
Pada 11 November, Naib Presiden Umno Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein memberi pecahan topik utama kepada delegasi akar umbi yang mana akan dibahaskan mereka.
Topik yang dijangka menjadi tumpuan adalah sistem sekolah satu aliran dengan sistem sekolah vernakular, Akta Hasutan dan Akta Keharmonian, isu kawalan sosial media dan juga isu kos sara hidup serta kualiti kehidupan, kata Hishammuddin.
"Topik lain adalah peranan GLC (syarikat berkaitan kerajaan) dalam memperkukuhkan ekonomi Bumiputera, etika dalam pemilihan parti dan pindaannya serta penambahbaikkan perlembagaan parti," katanya.
Pakar pendidikan mempersoalkan mengapa topik sekolah vernakular ditimbulkan lagi.
Sebuah forum yang diadakan minggu lepas mendedahkan pereka Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan sendiri mengakui tiada bukti menunjukkan sekolah vernakular sebagai punca kepada perpecahan dalam masyarakat.
Malah, Akta Hasutan adalah janji yang dibuat oleh presiden Umno sendiri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Jadi mengapa tiba-tiba timbul minat dalam topik bersifat perkauman?
"Ia kerana banyak ahli Umno masih terperangkap dalam mentaliti lama," kata pemimpin Umno Kedah, Ramli Yunus.
"Mereka fikir untuk jadi popular di kalangan kaum Melayu, kamu perlu dilihat berjuang untuk kepentingan dan hak Melayu."
Perkara tersebut termasuk pemansuhan sekolah Cina kerana ia dikatakan membawa kebencian kepada kaum Melayu dan mengekalkan Akta Hasutan supaya tiada sesiapa mempersoalkan hak keistimewaan orang Melayu.
Mentaliti itu merupakan sebahagian daripada doktrin pengawasan lama, kata Saifuddin, di mana Umno adalah penjaga survival Melayu dan tanpa Umno, nasib kaum Melayu samar.
Seorang aktivis Umno Selangor, bagaimanapun, membuat spekulasi kemungkinan terdapat niat buruk di sebalik isu melibatkan Akta Hasutan.
Aktivis tersebut yang mahu dirahsiakan identitinya berkata ia mungkin langkah untuk membawa parti tersebut ke arah menjadi sebuah parti masyarakat Melayu, di mana konsep hak keistimewaan Melayu dan raja-raja Melayu diterima pakai.
"Jadi apabila kamu kritik pemimpin Umno, ia juga bermakna kritikan kepada pemimpin Melayu dan kamu boleh didakwa kerana menghasut."
Hasilnya mungkin kritikan keatas polisi kerajaan dan menteri Umno juga dianggap sebagai hasutan kerana juga dianggap serangan kepada pemimpin Melayu.
Pengawasan lwn gabenor
Saifuddin percaya cara perwakilan membahaskan topik semasa perhimpunan nanti akan menentukan keupayaan Umno menyesuaikan diri dengan landskap politik baru di mana kelompok moden, "kelas pertengahan" berpendidikan yang membentuk jumlah pengundi yang signifikan.
"Kita hilang sokongan atas pagar 2008 dan ia semakin banyak pada 2013. Kita juga kalah," kata Saifuddin, merujuk kepada demografi tersebut yang membentuk 30% daripada senarai pengundi.
Dalam satu wawancara tahun lepas, Saifuddin berkata pengundi atas pagar (pertengahan) tidak konsisten menyokong Barisan Nasional atau Pakatan Rakyat tetapi menyokong parti yang menawarkan dasar yang masuk akal.
Akta Hasutan salah satu contoh menurut Saifuddin, ia disebabkan pengundi pertengahan yang lebih bijak mahu kerajaan terbuka kepada kritikan.
Ramli, yang juga pemimpin Umno akar umbi Kedah juga senada, mengatakan akar umbi Umno masih bercakap mengenai isu-isu tertentu seperti bercakap dengan penduduk kampung.
"Realitinya adalah undi luar bandar yang semakin mengecil tetapi mereka tidak mengembangkan minda supaya mampu bercakap dengan profesional, ahli perniagaan dan mereka yang terpelajar, di mana pengundi seperti ini semakin meningkat.
Pilihan topik juga mencerminkan sama ada Umno memahami isu yang lebih besar dihadapi rakyat Malaysia, di mana ketika ini berdepan dengan kenaikan harga barang akibat pemotongan subsidi dan selepas ini cukai GST pula.
Juga lebih penting adalah sama ada pembahas akan membangkitkan isu mengenai pengumuman kerajaan untuk memansuhkan semua subsidi bahan api bermula 1 Disember ini.
Data daripada pengkaji bebas Merdeka Center menunjukkan isu yang menjadi tumpuan sebahagian pengundi dalam pilihan raya umum adalah melibatkan kos sara hidup.
Tetapi tidak kira sejauh mana perbahasan tersebut akan menjadi panas, Saifuddin percaya isyarat paling jelas datang daripada ucapan presiden, semasa pembukaan dan penutup.
Semuanya bergantung kepada Najib sama ada membenarkan Umno hanyut ke arah menjadi ekstremis atau menjadi lebih bersederhana.
"Ia sama ada Umno mahu meneruskan naratif 'pengawasan' dan takut mendapatkan sokongan, atau menggunakan naratif 'gabenor' dan membuat rakyat menyukai anda dengan mentadbir secara telus dan berkesan," kata Saifuddin. – 24 November, 2014.
Jumaat, 21 November 2014
Miss Honduras was fatally shot as she tried to escape her sister's jealous boyfriend, police and reports said, hours after the siblings were found dead beside a river.
Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, who had been due to fly to London to compete in the Miss World beauty pageant, disappeared with her sister Sofia Trinidad Alvarado six days ago after a party, sparking an exhaustive search.
La Prensa newspaper reported that police were investigating whether Trinidad's boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, shot Sofia Trinidad in the head after he became jealous when he saw her dancing with another man. He then reportedly shot her beauty-queen sister twice in the back as she tried to flee.
Chief detective Leandro Osorio said the bodies of Maria Jose and her 23-year-old sister had been found buried along the banks of the Aguagual River in the town of Arada, in violence-plagued Honduras's northwest.
"We are 100 percent sure that it's them," Osorio said.
Police arrested Ruiz and his alleged accomplice on Tuesday, seizing a Colt-45 pistol and two vehicles.
- Boyfriend is main suspect -
Security Minister Arturo Corrales said there was "no doubt" that Ruiz was behind the crime and that he had been helped by another man, Aris Maldonado Mejia.
"We think that Plutarco led the crime, materially and intellectually," Corrales said.
Police are investigating additional suspects who they believe tried to help cover up the shooting, including by cleaning and repainting a pick-up used in the crime.
On Wednesday, police also arrested the resort's owner Ventura Diaz; his wife Elizabeth Alvarado; and their daughter Irma Nicolle.
Organizers of the Miss World pageant, which begins Saturday, sent their condolences and announced a tribute this weekend in honor of the slain sisters.
"We are devastated by this terrible loss of two young women, who were so full of life," Julia Morley, the pageant's chairwoman, said in a statement.
"We will be holding a special service with all of the Miss World contestants on Sunday, where we will be honoring the lives of Maria Jose Alvarado and Sofia Trinidad, and say prayers for them and their family."
Miss World organizers said they also planned to donate money to a children's home in Honduras in the two women's memory.
Alvarado, who turned heads with her gleaming smile and wavy chestnut hair, was in her last year of university at the Northern Polytechnic Institute, where she studied computer science.
She had participated in beauty contests since she was a young girl.
She was also known in Honduras for her work as a model on popular TV game show "X-0."
She and her sister disappeared outside the northwestern city of Santa Barbara after attending a birthday party for the accused Ruiz at a local resort.
The riverbank where their bodies were discovered was located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.
- World homicide crown -
The sisters were last seen leaving the party in a champagne-colored car.
Their mother, Teresa Munoz, says the same vehicle was at her home earlier that day to pick up Maria Jose, who had just arrived from the capital Tegucigalpa, about 200 kilometers away.
Munoz had made a tearful plea for the safe return of her daughters after their disappearance.
Residents of Santa Barbara held a demonstration demanding their release Tuesday, when hope still lingered that they were alive. Wearing white T-shirts with the girls' pictures on them, they marched with a banner reading "May God protect them."
Honduras, a poor Central American country of eight million people, has the world's highest homicide rate, at 90.4 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012.
The United Nations' special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, warned in July that violence against women was on the rise in Honduras, with a 263.4-percent increase in the number of females killed violently between 2005 and 2013.
Jumaat, 14 November 2014
PENERBIT filem Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman memberitahu punca dia dan suaminya Mohd Eddie Ghazali bercerai adalah kerana ditegur oleh suaminya selepas dia keluar tanpa meminta izin terlebih dahulu.
"Apabila dimarahi, hati saya terluka kerana saya terasa dengan tegurannya itu. Rasa sedih sangat-sangat. Dia telah pun meminta maaf dan memujuk tetapi luka saya itu tidak terubat.
"Bagi saya, jika tidak boleh bertolak ansur mengenai perkara seperti ini saya akan berterusan menjadi isteri yang derhaka. Lebih baik kami berpisah.
"Dia ada usaha untuk mengekalkan rumah tangga ini, cuma mungkin saya yang langsung tidak berusaha," katanya kepada mStar.
Pasangan itu sah bercerai dengan talak satu semalam di Mahkamah Rendah Syariah Gombak Timur di hadapan Hakim Syarie, Shaiful Azli Jamaludin.
Dalam pada itu, Eddie yang sebak dengan perceraian ini berkata, ia merupakan satu pengajaran buatnya agar lebih berdiplomasi dalam menegur seorang isteri.
"Kesilapan saya adalah daripada segi teguran yang kasar sehingga mengundang sebelah pihak terasa hati. Tetapi nak buat macam mana, ia sudah pun berlaku dan hidup mesti diteruskan seperti biasa."
Terdahulu Raja Azmi dan Eddie telah selamat diijabkabulkan pada 13 Oktober 2013.
Samantha Lewthwaite or the White Widow and the world's most wanted woman terrorist, has reportedly been gunned down in war-torn Ukraine by a Russian marksman.
According to The Mirror, Lewthwaite had joined the Ukraine conflict just two weeks ago and was fighting on the side of a pro-government group, Aidar, as a sniper.
The Russian sniper who killed the British terrorist now has a bounty of 630,000 dollars on his head from Ukrainian special services.
Muslim convert Lewthwaite, who was married to London 7/7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, had been on the run ever since she was linked to a failed plot to blow up hotels and a shopping centre in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2011. Interpol made her world's most wanted woman terrorist after her involvement in a Nairobi Mall attack that killed 67 people last September.
Reports last month had said that she had joined the Islamic State (IS) and was one of its most prominent female fighters
PELAKON Ashraf Muslim pernah mencetuskan kontroversi satu ketika dahulu apabila dia membuat keputusan untuk berkahwin lain dengan seorang wanita bernama Wan Sakinah Ahmad Saburi walaupun sudah bergelar suami kepada Dayana Lokman.
Akui ia bukanlah satu perkara yang mudah, Ashraf bagaimanapun memberitahu sebagai ketua keluarga, dia harus bijak menguruskannya agar bersikap adil terhadap kedua-dua isterinya.
"Kehidupan rumah tangga saya okey. Memang susah sebenarnya hidup bermadu ini. Sebagai ketua keluarga, saya kena didik dan jaga keharmonian, sekaligus mendidik isteri serta anak ke arah yang diredhai. Pada masa sama, kami cuba membentuk akhlak yang baik.
"Nikmat bahagia itu InsyaAllah akan terus dirasai. Kena bijak biarpun bukan senang nak berlaku adil. Nak berlaku adil dari segi masa bukan perkara semudah lafaz A,B,C.. kena bertoleransi. Ada masa untuk isteri pertama dan kedua, masa dengan diri sendiri lagi.
"Apa yang penting, kami saling hormat dan tahu tanggungjawab masing-masing. Saya sendiri punya visi yang besar dalam kehidupan ini termasuk dalam aspek rumah tangga. InsyaAllah," ujarnya seperti dipetik daripada laporan Berita Harian.
Menerusi perkahwinan keduanya, Ashraf dan Sakinah telah dikurniakan puteri sulung yang kini berusia tujuh bulan bernama Sarah Ashraf.
Sementara itu, Ashraf bersyukur apabila drama "Matahari Terbit Lagi" terbitan syarikatnya, Al-Hidayah Production Sdn Bhd yang mengisahkan dunia mualaf berjaya memenangi lima kategori di Anugerah Skrin 2014 iaitu Drama Terbaik, Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik, Pengarah Terbaik Drama, Videografi Terbaik dan Lakon TV Terbaik.
"Terkejut dengan kemenangan besar ini dan pada masa yang sama, saya bersyukur drama bertemakan Islamik dapat diangkat dan diterima sebagai pemenang. Kejayaan ini sebagai pemangkin untuk produksi lain menerbitkan tema seumpamanya.
He may now be China's richest man but Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has admitted in a US television interview that being so wealthy is actually causing him "great pain".
Ma has seen his fortune balloon to $19.5 billion after Alibaba's record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in September, according to data compiled by Forbes magazine.
On Tuesday, the company chalked up a new record -- $9.3 billion of sales conducted through its platforms during Singles Day, its 24-hour shopping promotion and the world's biggest online retail event.
But a successful stock listing and vast fortunes have caused him stress, Ma said in an interview with US business news channel CNBC Tuesday.
"This month I'm not very happy -- I think too much pressure," Ma told the broadcaster.
"Maybe the stock goes so up, maybe people have high expectations on you, maybe I think too much about the future and have too many things to worry about," he said.
Alibaba's share price has been on a steady uptrend since it debuted in New York two months ago. It closed at $114.54 on Tuesday, representing a nearly 70 percent gain from its offer price of $68.
Ma said that people often tell him that being rich "is good" but admitted he found being the wealthiest man in China difficult.
"Yeah, it is good, but not the richest man in China. It's a great pain because when you're (the) richest person in the world, everybody (is) surrounding you for money," Ma told CNBC.
He added that people now looked at him differently when he walked down the street and added: "spending money is much more difficult than making money."
His remarks echoed what he told state media in early October when he said being named China's richest man is "meaningless".
"My happiest days were when I used to earn 90 yuan ($15) a month," Ma once told state media.
He is looking at the possibility to establish a foundation to spend money "in a business way" and may even compete with US billionaire Bill Gates in the field of philanthropy, according to CNBC.
Ma was ranked as China's most generous person after he donated a 1.4 percent stake in his firm to set up a charity focused on the environment, health care and education, according to a survey by wealth publisher Hurun in late October.
FEARING the ongoing crackdown from the authorities, residents in the Cameron Highlands believe the foreign workers have fled to the hills to hide.
Checks by Malay Mail yesterday revealed farms spanning four to five acres were manned by only one or two workers, instead of the previous three or four.
A registered Indonesian farm worker named Suken said he was forced to work on the five acres of his employer’s watercress farm alone after his colleague ran away in fear of the raids.
“He ran away because he heard the authorities were rounding up immigrants whether they have permits or not,” he said.
“I didn’t believe it so I stayed here. But I am scared should they come for me.”
Suken, who has been working in the Cameron Highlands for three years, said he believed foreigners were the employee of choice among farmers because they were willing to work on the farms.
“I earn over RM1,000 a month and I get a place to stay. It is not like we are being treated badly so I am happy to work here,” he said.
Suken refused to reveal where his colleague had gone but his employer Lai Weng Heng, 44, said most of the foreign workers had fled into the forests on the slopes of the hill.
“This only make things worse for us. We are forced to pick and gather the crops ourselves in addition to our other jobs like selling the produce,” Lai said.
“We would hire locals, but they are not interested to work the farms. Some people say we hire foreigners because they are cheap, but we pay them above the minimum wage, so the argument doesn’t hold water.”
The government, had on Sunday, announced it will launch wide-scale operations against illegal immigrants who were allegedly responsible for encroaching about 6,000ha of land in the highlands.
PELAKON dan penyanyi Marsha Milan Londoh mengakui kini menjalin hubungan dengan seorang ahli perniagaan Melayu yang muda dua tahun daripadanya, namun tidak mahu meletakkan harapan terlalu tinggi.
Namun, Marsha berkata dia tidak akan menolak untuk berkahwin jika ditakdirkan jodohnya bersama kekasihnya itu.
"Saya tidak meletakkan sebarang perancangan untuk berkahwin pada tahun hadapan. Buat masa ini, banyak lagi yang saya inginkan dalam kerjaya.
"Tetapi jika sudah ditakdirkan untuk bertemu jodoh dengannya, saya tidak pernah menolak," katanya yang dipetik dari Kosmo!
Dalam pada itu, baru-baru ini menerusi ruangan gosip di sebuah akhbar melaporkan Marsha dikatakan akan memeluk Islam seminggu sebelum berkahwin, bagaimanapun Marsha enggan mengulas lanjut berhubung perkara itu.
"Saya tidak boleh memberi sebarang komen tentang perbezaan agama kami. Perkara itu sangat sensitif dan saya harus menjaga hati kedua orang tua saya."
Sementara itu, Marsha yang ditanya adakah dia akan memperkenalkan kekasihnya itu kepada umum, berkata dia akan memperkenalkan jika dia sudah bersedia untuk melangkah ke fasa seterusnya.
"Jika benar jodoh saya sudah sampai dan saya sudah bersedia untuk melangkah ke tahap yang seterusnya, saya akan memperkenalkannya kepada umum.
"Kurang elok jika saya beritahu sekarang, tetapi akhirnya hubungan tidak menjadi. Akhirnya, kedua-dua pihak yang akan menanggung malu."
Khamis, 6 November 2014
Selangor Umno should be dissolved and restructured following disappointing results in the 2008 and 2013 general elections, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In his blog posting, the former prime minister said Selangor Umno leaders had to face up to reality and step down from their positions.
"They lost in the 12th and 13th general elections, they failed to wrest Malaysia's wealthiest state back from Pakatan Rakyat," Dr Mahathir said.
Dr Mahathir's comments come a week after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak lamented how embarrassed he was that Barisan Nasional (BN) was the opposition in Selangor.
Najib said he felt tired as it was humiliating that BN is mentioned as the opposition in Selangor.
In the 13th general election last year, BN won four parliamentary seats – Sabak Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Tanjung Karang and Sungai Besar – and eight state seats – Sungai Air Tawar, Sungai Panjang, Semenyih, Dengkil, Jeram, Bukit Malawati, Sungai Burong and Permatang.
In GE13, Pakatan Rakyat won 17 parliamentary seats and 43 state seats.
"Today, even if we wanted to choose a candidate for the position of state Menteri Besar, there are no suitable candidates," Dr Mahathir said.
"This would not be an issue if Selangor Umno was prepared to accept new members but it will not happen as Selangor Umno leaders are afraid of being challenged.
"They are afraid that the entry of fresh members might cause them to lose their positions or not be nominated to stand as candidates in the general election."
Dr Mahathir added that Selangor Umno leaders were more intent on strengthening their position instead of the party.
"In order to carry out reforms in Selangor Umno, the first major change which must be implemented is the acceptance of new members.
"However, the new members should be carefully vetted by a body comprising veteran Umno members and members from other divisions."
Dr Mahathir said vetting was necessary as there were always certain quarters who wanted to manipulate Umno for their own personal agenda.
"Next on the list is focusing on the so-called Gen-Y. At the next general election, it is estimated that 2.5 million young voters will be casting their votes," he said.
Dr Mahathir said the Gen-Y voters were not interested in Umno as many of them who had studied abroad had absorbed Western values and cultures.
"For the Gen-Y voters, many of them do not appreciate what the party and nation's leaders have given in terms of educational opportunities.
"Even if the good deeds of Umno were mentioned to them, the Gen-Y would ignore this reminder and wonder why history was being revisited.
"In their minds, it is immaterial which party forms the government as they feel nothing will change," Dr Mahathir said.
He added that Selangor Umno also needed to do a lot more to attract Malay youths to join the party, including getting closer to those who are anti-Umno.
"Umno leaders should have a deep grasp and understanding of the party's history," Dr Mahathir said, adding the party leaders should be sent for courses.
He said Umno had to shed its reputation or image of being a corrupt party, and that its leaders had to lead a moderate lifestyle.
"They need to go down to the ground and build a closer rapport with the public. Do not drive luxury cars when going to the villages."
Selasa, 4 November 2014
The defence must explain how semen stains belonging to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ended up on a pair of underwear belonging to complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the prosecution said in the Anwar's appeal at the Federal Court today.
Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said it was for the defence to prove how Anwar's semen stained the underwear.
When making submissions last week, the defence said that it was for the prosecution to supply the burden of proof and only for the defence to show reasonable doubt.
The defence submitted that the stained underwear was only worn by Saiful two days after the alleged sodomy, and that the pair worn on the day of the supposed crime, June 26, 2008, had been washed.
The defence argued that Anwar's DNA was planted. Shafee said the first doctor to examine Saiful after the alleged sodomy could have introduced stains to the underwear during the medical examination.
It could have been the result of the proctoscope inserted into Saiful for inspection, and when it was pulled out, "what discharge came out is anyone's guess. It could not have been a tidy affair," Shafee submitted.
The prosecution is seeking to convince the apex court that Anwar is "Male Y" – the profile of a male DNA found in Saiful's rectum. While the match has been ascertained, the defence contends that the samples were fabricated, tampered and degraded due to mishandling as well as political conspiracy.
The defence is also arguing that it is up to the prosecution to explain how Anwar's semen got to Saiful's underwear which was not used the day of the alleged act.
Lead counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram had put the same question to the court during his submission last week. "Where did the semen come from," he had asked.
Co-counsel Ramkarpal Singh had also submitted last week that the prosecution was "completely" reversing the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defence – something he said had "never been the law". – November 4, 2014.
KUALA LUMPUR: ― Tycoon Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng told the High Court here today that his estranged wife could end up stabbing him with a knife if he ever attempted to fix their marriage.
Edmund Bon, who is representing Khoo’s estranged wife Pauline Chai, had asked the billionaire chairman of fashion and interiors brand Laura Ashley if he would try to save his 43-year marriage should the court order a reconciliation process.
“Our marriage is over,” said Khoo, 75, at the hearing that will decide the jurisdiction of the billion-ringgit divorce dispute.
“Although I don’t want it over, it’s over. At night, she can take a knife and stab me,” added the retail and hotel mogul, who has five children with 68-year-old Chai.
Khoo said three sets of senior church leaders had unsuccessfully tried to bring him and Chai, a former beauty queen, back together.
“They all tried their very best and quoted various scriptures, but she just ignored it,” said the magnate.
When Bon pressed Khoo again if he would follow a reconciliation process should the court order it, the tycoon told the lawyer: “I don’t want to risk my life, Mr Bon”.
Khoo also said, “After this divorce started, she’s said so much lies about me.”
An English court ruled earlier on October 17 that England was the more appropriate forum for the case to be heard.
Chai is seeking for the dispute to be decided by the English courts where she stands to gain up to half of Khoo’s estimated £400 million (RM2.1 billion) fortune, possibly the largest divorce settlement in British history.
Khoo, however, is applying to have the case heard in Malaysia, arguing that they were married in Malaysia where he also maintains his official residence. Khoo would risk losing less of his wealth if the trial is held here.
Ahad, 2 November 2014
Every Sunday since that fateful day in 2006 when his daughter was murdered, Chee Ah Sau would head for the police station to get updates on investigations into her death.
No distance was too far for the 58-year-old construction worker from Sungai Petani, Kedah, as he spends his only day off, year after year, looking for answers and clues to her rape and murder. And he became a familiar sight at the Kuala Muda district police station.
He would also ride his motorcycle to Alor Star, almost 70km away, to talk to the Kedah police chief at the state police headquarters about his daughter's case.
"No, it is not too far (to travel by motorcycle)... for my daughter, the distance is short,” Ah Sau told The Malaysian Insider recently.
Ah Sau also went to the Cinta Sayang Club, in Sungai Petani, where his daughter Chee Gaik Yap, 25, was jogging before she was kidnapped and killed, with hopes of finding clues.
"I only visited the police three or four times a month, and mostly I went to the district police headquarters here in Sungai Petani.
"I did that until the police caught the suspect two years ago," he said.
Gaik Yap, 25, a marketing executive, had gone for an evening jog with one of her sisters at the Cinta Sayang Club on January 14, 2006 when she disappeared.
Her semi-nude body with multiple stab wounds was found in Taman Ria Jaya near the club in the wee hours the next day.
While the killing was being investigated, a suspect wanted for the murder left Malaysia for Perth, Australia. The police reportedly watched all entry points into the country for the man, who is the son of a businessman with the honorific Datuk.
Finally on January 17, 2012, the suspect, Shahril Jaafar, 33, was caught by police at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He was charged with Gaik Yap's murder two weeks later.
But Ah Sau’s hopes for justice was short-lived. On June 25 last year, Shahril was acquitted and discharged by the Alor Star High Court without his defence called.
The court ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case, as there was no clear evidence to implicate Shahril in the murder.
Distraught by the court's decision, Ah Sau tried to jump off the balcony of the two-storey court complex, shocking pressmen, who managed to grab him in time.
"I really thought of jumping off the building... of ending my life. I just felt empty when I heard that the suspect was going free.
"I believed that everything was over, that it was the end... my child will never get the justice she deserved," he said.
The press went to town with news of the acquittal and Ah Sau’s suicide attempt. Foreign media from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China also picked up the news.
Despite the setback, Ah Sau vowed to carry on with his quest for justice, no matter how long it took. Days after the acquittal, he begged the late Karpal Singh for help.
Within a week, rallies were held in Sungai Petani and Penang to demand justice for Gaik Yap and to collect thousands of signatures for a petition urging the court to order a retrial.
In January this year, hundreds of people attended a gathering at Wat Siam, the Siamese temple in Sungai Petani where Gaik Yap's cremated remains were enshrined, in a show of support for Ah Sau.
Ah Sau also made a trip to Parliament in June this year with Bakar Arang assemblyman Simon Ooi Tze Min and Sidam assemblyman Dr Robert Ling to highlight his daugher’s case. Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin was tabling a motion in the House on Gaik Yap's case at the sitting.
"That was a new experience for me... going to the Parliament house, wearing a suit," said the soft-spoken Ah Sau.
Asked if he took all the trouble because Gaik Yap – his third child of six who took after him in height and looks – had been his favourite, he said all his children were the same to him.
"It isn't like that. I love them all equally. Gaik Yap was a good girl. She helped around the house and she studied well.
"She was the only one among her siblings who went to university. She attended UUM (Universiti Utara Malaysia).
"There was no rivalry among the siblings. They all got along well," he said.
On June 26 this year, the Court of Appeal heard Gaik Yap's case. On October 13, the bench, led by Justice Linton Albert, unanimously set aside Shahril's acquittal, and ordered him to be remanded immediately for a retrial.
Six days later, Shahril was produced at the Alor Star High Court, which fixed December 28 to 31 for the trial.
"I cannot say whether there is hope or not. It all depends on the court," said Ah Sau.
"Am I happy? I cannot say that either because I don't know what the court will decide... we have to wait and see in December," he said, adding that his wife and their other children might attend the hearing with him.
"Whenever I attended court, at least one of my kids would tag along. This time, they are talking about going but it will depend on whether they can get the days off," he said.
Gaik Yap's death and the struggle for justice for her had taken its toll on the family. Although it is now coming close to nine years, their grief is still raw.
Ah Sau said they still do not talk about Gaik Yap at home or discuss her case.
"My other children wouldn’t ask me even when they missed the court hearings. They would find out from news reports."
The family also had to put up with rumours that they were paid off when news quietened down and the case was stalled for many years in the beginning.
Ah Sau said people asked him how many millions of ringgit he received and when his family was moving from their flat in Paya Nahu to a bungalow.
"Even the police asked me if I had been paid off when I gave a statement. Reporters also asked me when they heard the rumour.
"I was so angry but I could not fight or scold them. Losing my temper would not have helped... the first two years were very difficult," said the grandfather of two boys aged nine and one.
Chee said his family neither wanted nor needed money, not even donations, from anybody as they were only concerned with getting justice for Gaik Yap.
"It is justice that we want... closure after all these years," he said, adding that he once received a donation of a five-digit amount but he never cashed the cheque that was given to him by a Barisan Nasional (BN) politician.
Ah Sau said he was thankful for the support he received from both Pakatan Rakyat and BN politicians, friends, and even strangers.
He said one of the PR reps would drive him to court and stay by his side until court adjourned.
"Now, when I go to court, they won't leave me alone. They always have someone following me everywhere to make sure I don't try anything again," he said, referring to his attempt to jump off the balcony of the court building last year.
Berapit assembly member Lydia Ong Kok Fooi, who is from Sungai Petani, recalled how the local community had rallied to help the family.
"When people heard that a young woman had gone missing, they started a search party even before the police was notified. They went home and brought out their pet dogs to help trace her.
"The people searched the area where she was last seen until early morning. That was the kind of cooperation we had in a small town," she said.
Ong remembered how furious the women in the community, especially mothers and housewives, were when nobody was brought to book for the rape and murder of Gaik Yap after so many years.
"Just a couple of months after the incident, we had gatherings and we also began to collect signatures for a petition.
"We obtained 4,000 signatures for the petition that was later sent to Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) who was the prime minister then.
"Almost every year, since 2006, some event would be organised so that people will not forget Gaik Yap and her family's fight for justice," said Ong. – November 2, 2014.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — With a malevolent laugh, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremists tells the world that more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls have all been converted to Islam and married off, dashing hopes for their freedom.
"If you knew the state your daughters are in today, it might lead some of you ... to die from grief," Abubakar Shekau sneers, addressing the parents of the girls and young women kidnapped from a remote boarding school more than six months ago.
In a new video released late Friday night, the Boko Haram leader also denies there is a cease-fire with the Nigerian government and threatens to kill an unidentified German hostage.
"Don't you know we are still holding your German hostage (who is) always crying," he taunts. "If we want, we will hack him or slaughter him or shoot him."
A German development worker was kidnapped at gunpoint in Gombi, a town in Nigeria's northeast Gombi in July. Police reported he was ambushed as he drove to work.
Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier last week told reporters in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, that he had no new information about a German abductee.
In the new video, Shekau wears a camouflage tunic and pants and the black and white flag of al-Qaida is by his side. He is flanked by masked and armed fighters standing in front of four military pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns. Boko Haram has looted many weapons and vehicles including armored cars from Nigeria's military.
The military has several times claimed to have killed Shekau, and says any new videos are made by a look-alike. But the United States has not removed a $7 million ransom on the head of the extremist leader.
On Oct. 17, Nigeria's military chief, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, announced that Boko Haram had agreed to an immediate cease-fire to end a 5-year insurgency in which thousands have died and hundreds of thousands have been driven from homes in northeast Nigeria. And government officials said they expected the Chibok girls to be released any day.
But Shekau denies in the video that he has agreed to any truce and says he is dedicated to fighting and dying a martyr's death to guarantee him a place in paradise.
"You people should understand that we only obey Allah, we tread the path of the Prophet. We hope to die on this path ... Our goal is the garden of eternal bliss," he says.
He said Boko Haram is interested only in "battle, hitting, striking and killing with the gun, which we look forward to like a tasty meal," he said.
The fighting and abductions have continued, with Boko Haram seizing the commercial center of Mubi this week and fighting raging Friday around nearby Vimtin, the village where Badeh was born.
And the only news of the girls has come from Shekau, who appeared to dash hopes that they would be released in an exchange for detained Boko Haram fighters.
"The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long ago married them off," Shekau says with a chortle. The extremist fighters have ordered girls to stay out of Western-style schools and get married. Boko Haram is a nickname meaning "Western education is sinful" in the Hausa language.
An earlier video in May showed some of the kidnapped girls, including two explaining why they had converted to Islam. Unconfirmed reports have indicated the girls have been divided into groups and that some have been carried across borders, into Cameroon and Chad. There also have been reports that they were forced to marry fighters who paid a nominal bride price equivalent to $12.
Some 276 girls and young women were kidnapped in the early hours of April 15 from a boarding school in the remote town of Chibok. Dozens escaped on their own in the first couple of days but 219 remain missing.
The plight of the girls attracted international outrage, with demands that Boko Haram free them. The Nigerian government and military's failure to secure their release has brought criticism that President Goodluck Jonathan is uncaring of their fate.
Shekau in August announced that Boko Haram wanted to establish an Islamic caliphate, along the lines of the IS group in Syria and Iraq. Fleeing residents have reported that hundreds of people are being detained for infractions of the extremists' version of strict Shariah law in several towns and villages under their control.
Shekau's video announcement further discredits the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner who on Thursday formally announced his candidacy for elections on Feb. 14, 2015, in Africa's most populous nation. Nigeria's 160 million people are divided almost equally between Muslims who dominate the north and Christians in the south. The West African nation is the biggest oil producer on the continent and has its biggest economy.
A Sabah church is pressing for action against Datuk Ibrahim Ali, after it was encouraged by the state assembly speaker’s statement against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's support of the Perkasa chief’s Bible-burning call.
Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sabah president Reverend Datuk Jerry Dusing said the failure of Attorney-General (A-G)Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and de facto law minister Nancy Shukri to act against Ibrahim would only embolden such extremists.
"The failure of the A-G and the law minister to act against religious bigotry and extremism can only serve to embolden such extremists to become more incendiary in their posture against non-Muslims," Dusing said in a statement.
He said even Muslim leaders in the government rejected such extremism, citing Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.
Salleh, in a comment on the former prime minister's support of Ibrahim's bible-burning call, said telling Malaysians that it is right for Ibrahim to call for the burning of the Bible was not something Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak would endorse.
Dr Mahathir said on Wednesday that it was not an issue calling for the Bible to be burned as long as there were good intentions.
Dusing said he was encouraged by Salleh’s statement.
“We are indeed very encouraged that the Sabah Speaker pointed out that even if Christians do not protest such statements, Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak will still feel uncomfortable with something like that.
He said Dr Mahathir should speak with a voice of moderation and not of extremism in defending Ibrahim.
He added that Putrajaya must not be seen to be condoning and defending the supremacy of racism and religious bigotry.
In January last year, Ibrahim urged Muslims to seize and burn copies of Bibles which contained the term “Allah” or other religious Arabic words, believing it was the only way to stop non-Muslims from being insensitive to the country’s majority.
Dusing said that although many people, including a law professor, were charged with sedition over the last few months, Ibrahim was spared.
“There are limits to what one can say against another religion.
"Asking for the Holy Scriptures of another religion to be burned violates the most basic of human decency.
"After 51 years of the formation of Malaysia, it is evident to Malaysians that racial and religious polarisation has reached an alarming level."
He added that the formation of Malaysia was based on the understanding that the nation would be multi-cultural and multi-religious, and that religious extremism must not be tolerated and instead be nipped in the bud.
He said it was time for Gani and Nancy to uphold the constitution as the supreme law of the land, so that everyone, regardless of race or religion, is accorded equal protection under the law.
On Monday, the Attorney-General's Chambers said in a statement that Ibrahim's call for bibles to be burned must be viewed in its entire context.
"When studied in its entire context, Datuk Ibrahim's statement is not categorised as having seditious tendencies.
"It was clear Datuk Ibrahim Ali had no intention to create religious tension, but was only defending the purity of Islam."