Prime Minister offered Senatorship but Datuk Seri Anwar turn it down

(13-07-2018)

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had offered Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a senatorship on May 13, three days before the latter received full pardon and release over his sodomy conviction. The senatorship would have paved the way for Anwar to join the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution revealed that Dr Mahathir had made the offer when he visited Anwar at the hospital.

In an interview with a local media, Saifuddin said Mahathir made the suggestion on May 13, three days before Anwar received his full pardon and release over his sodomy conviction. “When (Mahathir) came to visit Anwar, I was at the ward with them. Mahathir invited Anwar to become a member of the administration and wanted to appoint him as a senator. “In a polite manner, Anwar said since Wan Azizah is the deputy prime minister, it’s better for him not to be part of the administration,” he said. “Meaning, the prime minister definitely wanted to include Anwar and there are two ways to do this, either by appointing Anwar a senator, or if he contests in a parliamentary seat (by-election),” he said. “Anwar just thanked the prime minister and said to him, the stage is yours, you should be the one who runs the show.”

This shows Anwar had full confidence and support for Mahathir, said the Kulim Bandar Baharu MP. When Mahathir asked about Anwar’s plan, the latter said he would travel overseas to give talks and tour around the country to thank the voters for supporting Pakatan Harapan, said Saifuddin. Saifuddin, who is also the domestic trade and consumerism minister, said Anwar had stressed that he would return to politics as a Dewan Rakyat member but was reluctant to do it via a by-election at the Pandan seat won by his wife, Dr Wan Azizah. Senators hold the same status as an MP and have commonly been used by BN as a back door to take on a ministerial post. Anwar became a free man on May 16 this year after serving 39 months in jail over a sodomy conviction.

While he had said that he would not seek an immediate return to politics, the PKR de facto leader was also reported as saying that he would be back in Parliament within months and might speed up the process. Saifuddin said PKR has not set a timeline for Anwar’s return to politics, and there was no need to do so. “He had been with the government since the 1980s, he has vast experience. “As much as we did not set a timeline for Dr Mahathir (to step down as the prime minister), we did not set a timeline for Anwar. He can determine himself, whether he wants to have it via a by-election or otherwise, he will decide himself,” he said. “He can determine himself, whether he wants to have it via a by-election or otherswise, he will decide himself,” said the domestic trade and consumerism minister.

“All the PKR parliamentarians have been requested by our PRK de facto leader Anwar and the party president Wan Azizah to support Tun Dr Mahathir and the government, so they can administrate confidently,” he said. Anwar is currently in Turkey undergoing a shoulder operation and recuperating from a spinal operation. Saifuddin also denied allegations that PKR’s internal factions and lobbyists were among the causes for the almost 10-week delay in Tun Dr Mahathir’s finalised 25-members cabinet to be all sworn in, after Pakatan Harapan won the May 9 general election. Tun Dr Mahathir had on May 12 appointed the first three members of his Cabinet while the second batch of ministers was named on May 18. The third batch of 13 ministers and all the deputy ministers were sworn in only on July 2. “It is not true and unfair (to make such an accusation).

The prime minister had asked every party to submit their names to the PH presidential council meeting and urged them to have trust in him, as this is the prerogative of the prime minister,” he said. PKR had submitted 10 names on May 14. “There isn’t any lobbying from PKR, (Not from) Anwar, Wan Azizah or myself, none. We left it to Tun Dr Mahathir,” he said. Some of the names submitted by PKR were not selected, he said. “It was the same for DAP and Amanah,” he said, but declined to divulge those in PKR who had been rejected. However, Saifuddin admitted party deputy president Azmin Ali, who was then Selangor menteri besar, was not in the list of PKR’s ministerial candidates. “PKR was very clear that a Menteri Besar cannot become a minister. Of course, PKR is not stupid, not knowing what is stated in the federal constitution,” he said.

He said it was Tun Dr Mahathir who appointed Azmin to the post of minister for economic affairs. PKR has six cabinet members out of 28 and at first glance, they are mostly aligned with Azmin. Brushing off allegations that the party is split into two factions – Azmin’s and vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s – Saifuddin said, “My view is that they are all part of the PKR team.”

Meanwhile in another interview, former minister Rafidah Aziz has cautioned that politicising race and religion will halt the country’s progress. Speaking at a business forum in Singapore, she was asked what would hold Malaysia back from realising its full potential. “Politicising things that shouldn’t be politicised, because that will cause a lot of divisiveness, friction and uneasiness. “For example, politicising education, politicising race – there is really no place for that. Politicising religion… no place whatsoever. “So, we should be colour-blind to race, religion, and gender, and get on with governance. Governing does not include all these other factors,” she was quoted as saying in Singapore news portal Today Online. The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) recently resurfaced in the news after Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki objected to how Pakatan Harapan intends to honour its election promise to recognise it for entry into public tertiary institutions.

PAS has also objected to the appointment of non-Muslims to key legal positions in the country, claiming this had caused “restlessness” among Muslims, and questioned if these appointees would be able to defend Islam in legal matters. The Islamist party was commenting on the appointments of Tommy Thomas as the attorney-general, senior judge Richard Malanjum as the chief justice and Warisan’s Batu Sapi MP Liew Vui Keong as the de facto law minister. On another matter, Rafidah brushed off concerns over Malaysia-Singapore ties under Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Asked for her take on the current state of bilateral affairs following Mahathir’s recent remarks about the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) and the “ridiculous” low price Malaysia sells water to Singapore, she said media reports of such remarks should be taken lightly.

“Relationships are built over many decades. Just one wrong interaction does not reflect the kind of relationship we have built up over the years. What you read in the media is not necessarily what transpires. I must be the nastiest person around if you just judge by this,” she was quoted as saying. Singapore had previously said it had not received Putrajaya’s official stance on the HSR, to which Mahathir retorted that the island state “should know what is it we (Malaysia) want to do”. In response to the prime minister’s intention to raise water prices, Singapore had emphasised that the 1962 Water Agreement, which stipulates water be sold at 3 sen per 1,000 gallons, must be honoured. Rafidah is a close ally of Mahathir’s and came out of her retirement from politics to support Harapan during the 14th general election.

She had been part of Mahathir’s cabinet as international trade and industry minister for the most part of his first tenure as premier.

Dr Mazlee : No Flip Flop, No U-Turn and No 60 years to recognise UEC

(13-07-2018)

There is no conflict in the federal government on recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said today. Pakatan Harapan (PH) would not reverse its decision on it. The only conflict in the matter is among the BN leaders, he said. It will not take Pakatan Harapan 60 years to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), says the Education Minister.

Taking a jab at Barisan Nasional, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said Pakatan Harapan would stick to its manifesto and recognise UEC as a legitimate entry requirement for tertiary education. “The only one in conflict is Barisan National (BN), with (MCA deputy president) Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and MCA saying something else, and (Umno Youth chief) Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki saying something else,” Dr Maszlee told reporters in Putrajaya today. “We are going to make sure that in whatever policy decision we make, there will be no U-turn, there won’t be any flip-flop, and it must be holistic” he said. Dr Maszlee also said it would not take “60 years like BN” to get the certificate recognised. Dr Maszlee was speaking to reporters after delivering his monthly address to ministry staff yesterday.

UEC is issued to graduates of Chinese independent high schools and the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia has been pushing for it to be recognised for years. Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching on Sunday said she planned for the UEC to be recognised by the end of the year. In his speech, Dr Maszlee said the Prime Minister had given him three missions – to instill moral values among students, especially honesty and integrity, to strengthen English proficiency and to increase the use of technology in the teaching and learning process in the classroom. To achieve the first mission, he said the Islamic Studies Department (BPI) and other bodies would prepare a manual on cultivating moral values from preschool right up to public higher learning institutions. On the English language mission, Dr Maszlee promised that Bahasa Malaysia would not be sidelined.

He said Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) had been tasked with the responsibility of organising a campaign dubbed National Language Decade. He also expressed his wish to raise the standard of DBP to the same level as the British Council and Goethe Institute, which are world-renowned language centres. Dr Maszlee also announced that the National Library would now come under the purview of his ministry, as libraries and resource centres should not be separated from education institutions. Meanwhile, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong pointed out on Facebook that UEC was introduced in 1975, and hence only has a history of 43 years. He urged Dr Maszlee to fulfil Pakatan’s promise in recognising UEC in a straightforward and clear-cut manner and to stop dragging on the issue.

He said Dr Maszlee’s dilly-dallying had resulted in Chinese independent high school leavers missing out on the September intake at local universities. The UEC, which is issued to graduates of Chinese independent high schools, is currently recognised by local private higher education institutions and many universities overseas. It has received limited recognition as an entry qualification in Sarawak, Selangor and Penang.

Meanwhile, two major Chinese education movements have informed Putrajaya that they have no objections to including Bahasa Malaysia qualifications as a criterion for government recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). United Chinese School Committees’ Association (Dong Zong) and United Chinese School Teachers’ Association (Jiao Zong) had expressed this position to Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching today. Following the meeting at the Education Ministry, Dong Zong president Tan Tai Kim told reporters that this was among several issues raised with the deputy minister. “Pakatan Harapan promised to recognise the UEC and allow Chinese independent secondary school leavers to enrol into local universities. “Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are agreeable to the criterion of a credit in the Bahasa Malaysia paper in SPM as a requirement for the government to recognise UEC,” he said.

To maintain the trust of the people, he stressed that Harapan is obliged to fulfil their manifesto promise. He revealed that the association representatives had suggested meeting regularly with the ministry to discuss various issues faced by Chinese schools. They had also requested to meet Education Minister Maszlee Malik. Jiao Zong president Wang Chao Qun added that the Harapan government should employ a new way of thinking and develop a more diverse education policy. Several Muslim groups, such as Majlis Pembangunan Pendidikan Islam Malaysia (Mappim) and Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah), are now calling for a rally to oppose the recognition of UEC, claiming that the unity of the nation will be destroyed otherwise. Referring to this, Dong Zong deputy president Tan Yew Seng replied that the associations welcome any opportunity to have a rational discussion with anyone who has doubts about UEC’s official recognition.

“If there are any particular groups who don’t understand (the issue), we welcome the opportunity to engage with them to look at it rationally and discuss some of the details. ” He denied claims that the UEC syllabus did not reflect a Malaysian context. “Such accusation is misleading and it is not true. The history curriculum is very much localised, the majority of it is talking about our local culture.” Meanwhile, he also stressed that BM is a compulsory subject in all Chinese independent secondary schools, and it is also “part of our national identity”. The UEC is a standardised test which has been administered by the Malaysian Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Working Committee (MICSS) since 1975, which in turn is represented by members of Dong Zong and Jiao Zong.

赴一场假盛会

在伊宁三天,什么都没干。​本来计划到锡伯族自治县察布查尔斯去寻找当年大迁徙的历史痕迹——乾隆于1764年调派四千多名锡伯族军人,连同他们的家眷从沈阳发放到伊犁驻防。这群人走了一年多来多霍城,翌年再次全体调到伊犁河南岸,那是新疆历史著名的集体迁徙记载之一。可惜我们手上的资料错误,结果没找到地点。后来想说到附近的靖远寺去看看,偏又遇上修路,摩托德士去不了。走路嘛,又有点有点意兴阑珊,索性打道回府。回到伊宁市,我和剑强破天荒租了间套房来住,因为套房和标准间的收费只相差8元,才不过70人民币。我们这辈子都没住过套房,既然那么便宜,就过下瘾把。​套房有一个客厅,一间睡房,洗澡间还有浴缸。剑强上了厕所走出来,

叹道:“唉,上一趟厕所也要走那么远。”​我和剑强成天躺在沙发上看电视,有时候还打牌,直到太阳西下,才大摇大摆地出外吃晚餐。下午要是大热天,我们就去买一瓶结冰矿泉水回来,割破塑料瓶,将冰取出来砸碎,泡一杯从果子沟买来的蜂蜜,和着冰块一起喝。空调吹出习习凉风,一面打嗝一面看电视节目,那是我们目前为止最奢华的享受。​离开伊宁市当天,和巴士司机争执了一会儿,因为上车的人都没有对号入座,有人乘机混票,我们没有座位。车上有一帮年轻人因为被司机乱安排座位,早就不满。当我们一开口和司机理论。他们就帮腔,结果司机寡不敌众,大声呼吁乘客对号入座。我看见有人因此而下车,看来就是他们没买票霸占了别人的位子。

这种不愉快的情况在新疆常遇上。人们有时不到车站买票而直接找司机,因为司机愿意给折扣。越是接近出发时间而车还不满的话,司机就以更低廉的价格售票给后来上车的人。之前买票的乘客因此觉得被骗了。​那拉提大草原是我们的下一站。这一趟花了七个小时走了300公里,一路上遇到检查站,公安上车检查身份证也拖慢了我们的进程。途中休息的时候,剑强下车买了冷冻饮料解渴。他上车后指着一个有点肥胖的男人,细声跟我说:“听那个人的口音,像是大马人。他跟人家说是深圳来的,我不信。”​下午6店我们到了那拉提,剑强怀疑的那个大马人看起来和中国人没分别,但只要一开腔说话,就露底了。我们走过去和对方打招呼,告诉我们来自马来西亚,

他听了还想隐瞒自己的身份,最后被我们逼紧了,才讪讪地承认了。不知道是否不高兴我们揭穿他,他没有表现得很热情。​深圳来的大马人和他在巴士上结识到女子柴燕,与我们一起入住同一家宾馆。人多好办事,吃饭时叫了大盘鸡,平时我和剑强都无法享用这道供四人吃的菜肴。当柴燕得知我们都已中国人得名义住这家只招待当地人得宾馆时,她说:“那今天我可是碰上了三个骗子啦。”​吃饱晚饭后,我们四人到对面得山坡去散步。走了没多久,有一条相当急的河川阻挡了我们的去路。我们发现不远处有一座的铁桥,于是就朝那里走去。到了桥头,那里是河水流得最急的地段,有人在看守,说过一次桥就收费1元,来回就2元。铁桥大约40尺左右,有两个老乡骑着马,

斟酌着是否要付费过桥​“过桥为什么要给钱啊?对面没人住吗?”我不满地问。​“公桥被冲断了,这是私人建得,当然要收费。”看守员一脸凶相。​公家桥断了不是应该由政府重建吗?或者村民合力筹建以方便来回,怎么会有人以私人名义建了桥就坐地收费呢?简直是土霸王得行为!那两个骑马的老乡最后决定涉水而过,湍急冰冷得河水淹至马得颈项,看了叫人捏一把冷汗。我们都没有办法,只好不情愿地付了过路费,暮色中得草原令人沮丧。​幸好隔天在那拉提草原举行得哈萨克族节庆那会弥补了许些遗憾。将近七月得新疆有很多盛会陆续举行,蒙古人得那达慕盛会很快开始了,可惜等我们到了蒙古,已过了季节。​那拉提大草原是国家保护区,离镇上十来公里。

一路上见许多哈萨克男女乘卡车或骑马前来盛会地点。草原上搭盖了八个大毡房,还拉了许多气球布置场地,看来有些刻意安排。后来得知盛会是为前来的官方人员而筹办的,难怪仪式开始前有那么多官员剪彩。​既然不是民间自发的盛会,很多节目就是演给人看的。像哈萨克人的婚礼,新娘本来应该哭哭啼啼出嫁才对,但扮演新娘的女人只有哭声没有眼泪。虽然如此,观赏过哈萨克人的赛马大会,吊羊比赛和追姑娘的节目,也算是起码见识过传统文化活动了。​追姑娘是很有趣的节目。姑娘们挥舞马鞭,追着前方的小伙子要鞭打他,如果小伙子对追赶他的姑娘有爱意,就假装跑不过他,等姑娘的鞭子打到身上时,双方爱的盟约就此定下了。

如果男的不喜欢女的,就得拼命崔马奔驰,免得被打到,若不,真的会误了终生。​吊羊比赛没什么劲,男人们在马背上争夺一头死羊,也许没奖励,大家只做个样子而已。​当天天气很好,太阳高照的同时又凉风习习,我和剑强坐在山坡上吃着买来的哈密瓜,看着人群和马群,乐也融融地相聚。盛会虽然有点假,倒也算是良辰美景把。

旅长:暂时不想废除旅游税

(13-7-2018)

新任旅游、艺术及文化部长莫哈末丁哥达比认为,旅游税不太可能被废除!他指出,政府研究了每间房每晚征收10令吉旅游税的措施后,暂时还是会继续实施这项税务。“我现在不能很确定地说我们会废除旅游税。”他周四下午在安邦路的开斋节活动受访时如是指出。莫哈末丁指出,政府将继续进行检讨和审查,以确定是否有必要保留该项税收。

“如果我们选择废除旅游税,就必须要有另一项收益能支撑少掉的税务收入。不过若废除旅游税只会对国家收入造成损失的话,那我们会选择继续保留旅游税。”莫哈末丁拒绝透露税务审查的进一步细节,并补充说暂时不会有任何结论。“我们将与财政部,以及旅游业的主要参与者开会,商讨该不该继续实行旅游税这个问题。”

他也补充,除了旅游税之外,对于前朝国阵(BN)政府实施的任何现有旅游和文化的政策也是如此,这些政策也处于检讨和考虑的阶段中。“如果是好的政策我们将会保留,如果有什么问题我们会做出相应的调整或纠正。”前朝政府从去年的9月1日起征收旅游税,只要是外国游客入住酒店,每房每晚就会征收10令吉的旅游税;而大马公民和永久居民豁免,入住大马文化和旅游部登记的民宿无需缴税。

而大马旅游总会(MATTA)会长拿督陈国良在今年5月则要求废除旅游税,因为他说从外国游客那里征税会出现“适得其反”的效果,影响本地旅游业。公正党主席拿督斯里旺阿兹莎在大选前曾声明,一旦希盟执政中央,将会废除旅游税,理由是过于仓促执行,而且管理不当。

勿过度解读媒体报导 拉菲达:马新关係非一朝一夕建立

(13-7-2018)

(新加坡13日讯) 马来西亚前国际贸易及工业部部长丹斯里拉菲达呼吁,马来西亚和新加坡人民不要过度解读媒体报导和评论,马新关係並非一朝一夕建立,勿因报导和品论而影响两国多年的建交关係。她说,马新关係是数十年来建立,一次错误的交流不能反映两国友好关係,民眾不应「过度詮释」媒体报导。「若你从媒体报导来判断,那么我一定是討人厌的傢伙。」

拉菲达今日出席华侨银行(OCBC)主办的全球財政、经济与生意论坛上,谈及马新双边关係时,呼吁两国领袖不要依赖媒体取得消息。首相敦马哈迪针对隆新高铁展延课题以马新水供问题发言,引起两国人民揣测,他是否会恢復首次任相时对新加坡的態度。当询及马新双边关係时,拉菲达形容,马哈迪是「最亲密的盟友之一」。她认为,马来西亚不应因政治化课题,而延伸出国家分裂、產生摩擦及不安情绪。

她举例,政治化教育和种族最为不应发声,应公平看待种族、宗教和性別。此外,拉菲达呼吁,马来西亚人要实际,在改革期间,不要期待「奇蹟」发生。她相信,人民不希望新政府是得过且过在解决问题。询及政府需要多长时间进行必要改革,拉菲达回应,就好像在询问上苍,可活命多久?「如果需时3年来完成正確的事情,就用3年,而不是冒险在6个月完成。」