Selasa, 24 September 2013

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

MCA richer under Soi Lek


BATU PAHAT: MCA's assets grew by RM107mil when Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek took over the helm as party president in March 2010.

Dr Chua said he had to reveal this to counter allegations that he had been selling off party assets.

The MCA, he said, had also appointed tax and financial advisers to re-organise its assets to be more tax efficient.

Dr Chua said the advisers recommended that shares in The Star and Wisma MCA be transferred and registered under the party.

Prior to this, the MCA president is a trustee for The Star.

"Through this we can save a lot of money because the dividend from The Star shares and rental from Wisma MCA will be tax-free as MCA is a political party and so, tax can be exempted.

"Secondly, it is to ensure greater security and protection to the party's assets. To sell off the assets, it will have to be approved by two-thirds of the central committee members," he said at the Batu Pahat MCA division general meeting on Sunday night.

Dr Chua said the party saved RM700,000 in tax every year from the rental, while the MCA's stake in The Star increased from 41% to 42.4% in the last three years.

The party also bought Menara Multi Purpose and registered it under the party and its rental was also tax-free, he said.

Dr Chua said accusations that he had secretly sold off The Star shares were "just nonsense".

"I am sorry that I have to disclose this in order to counter the allegations made by some people within the party who want to smear my name," he said, adding that MCA's accounts were all audited.

In May, Star Publications (M) Bhd clarified that there was no buyout of MCA's shares in The Star.

The MCA is the major shareholder in the media company.

On another issue, Dr Chua said that since the May general election, he had talked less as he believed that the MCA should not "wash dirty linen in public".

However, he said a small number of leaders, would do just that – talk – but did nothing to help the MCA in its transformation process.

He said these leaders had been quiet in the past three years, but became vocal after GE13.

"There are many text messages to scold people, poison pen letters and press conferences held," he said.

"Why is there a need to be fierce? The party will be better today if they are fierce to Umno or the DAP," he said, reminding these few leaders not to belittle the intelligence of the party's grassroots leaders.

During the meeting, the Batu Pahat division passed a resolution to support Dr Chua in leading the MCA and to be re-elected as president in the upcoming party elections.

The division also passed another resolution to protest against deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai's action to call for an extraordinary general meeting, saying that it would be a waste of time and money, and it could potentially cause a party crisis.

Judge lectures heirs to settle estate disputes


KOTA BARU: A Syariah High Court judge lectured the family of the late business tycoon Othman Razak to settle their disputes over the property and shares left behind because many companies have crumbled as a result of such tussles.

Judge Abu Bakar Abdullah Kutty advised one of Othman's wife Habsah Yusof, 53, and his 14 children represented by one of them – Rosjuliena Abdul Razak – to settle the case quickly, if possible, to ensure that the companies under the late tycoon will continue to flourish.

"I sincerely feel many bumiputra companies have folded just because of dispute over assets.

"If these companies were to flourish, there will be more zakat (tithe) contributed to the poor and this is what Islam is all about," he said.

Habsah, who is the plaintiff and represented by counsel Mustafa Kam­al Mat Hasan in the case filed in 2009, is claiming for nine prime lots here worth RM6mil and shares from four companies amounting to RM2mil, including five luxury cars as her right from Rosjuliena and 14 others.

Abu Bakar also said that those having claims in the suit must give way to each other to ensure the court's time is not wasted.

"What can be partly solved here should be agreed by all parties and it would save the court's time and enable the business to continue," he added.

Later, Abu Bakar, ordered half of the shares amounting to more than RM2mil to be partly liquidated and handed to the Amanah Raya (Trusteecompany) where distribution of the shares would be determined by Islamic Inheritance Law (Faraid).

He also ordered one of the luxury cars to be handed to Habsah and another to one of the defendants while another car is sold and the proceeds distributed evenly among both parties.

However, he said the other half of the shares including the disputed land claim will continue and set Feb 16 next year for hearing.

Rosjuliena and 14 others were represented by counsel Ahmad Fazlan Mustapha.

Mukhriz on a mission to restore image of Umno


PETALING JAYA: Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is on a personal mission to restore the image of Umno following targeted attacks to weaken the dominant party in Barisan Nasional.

Many members want to see Umno, which had become the main target of perception games in the last two general elections, regain public confidence.

"Therefore it is pertinent for us to change, or be changed," said Mukhriz.

Mukhriz said his bid for the party vice-presidency was in line with calls to rejuvenate and transform the party.

"I put the party before self," he said.

Mukhriz said Umno must be rejuvenated, as the party would be facing relatively younger leaders from the Opposition front in the next general election.

He said it was pertinent to effectively counter all the false allegations levelled against Umno.

"To regain public confidence, we need to earn the people's trust," he said.

Mukhriz has joined in the fray in a six-cornered race for the three-seat Umno vice-presidency.

Incumbent vice-presidents Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, 60, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, 56, and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, 52, are defending their positions against three other challengers.

The incumbents are being challenged by Mukhriz, 49, former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, 64, and Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, 64.

Mukhriz's decision to enter the fray had caught the attention of political pundits and leaders.

Mukhriz rated his chances of winning at 50-50.

Contrary to popular assumption, Mukhriz said there was no grand design to secure his smooth ascension in politics.

"The fact that I have lost in party elections before shows that there was never any attempt to prop me up just because I am the son of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (the fourth Prime Minister)," he said.

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