Rabu, 6 November 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

Remand extended for duo who allegedly sent out letters with bullets


GEORGE TOWN: The two men arrested for allegedly sending out letters with bullets to local businessmen have had their remand extended pending further investigations.

The duo, 38 and 43, were brought to the remand court here and had their remand extended for another day.

It was reported that the unemployed man and the handphone shop worker had sent out letters with bullets to 10 businessmen between Oct 25 and Oct 28. The letters had instructed them to contact a number and pay between RM20,000 and RM50,000 each.

So far, nine businessmen have lodged police reports.

The police have also submitted their investigation papers to the DPP's office.

The case is being investigated under Sections 384, 385 and 507 of the Penal Code for extortion and blackmail to cause fear and intimidation, and under Section 8 of the Firearms Act (Increased Penalties) 1971.

Support for PAS going downhill


YAN: Analysis of the just-concluded Sungai Limau by-election saw an erosion of Chinese and Malay support for PAS, even though it won the battle.

PAS, which won the state seat by a 60% lower-vote majority, also lost its grip on four of the 13 districts it had won in the last general election.

Barisan Nasional made greater inroads into the PAS stronghold, winning 10 out of the 19 polling districts in the constituency that has been a PAS fortress for the last 18 years.

Barisan received greater support from the elderly, securing the majority in 59% of the 37 polling streams for older voters.

PAS, meanwhile, secured the majority in 67% of the 21 polling streams for younger voters.

According to Sungai Limau MCA by-election operation centre chief Ooi Aik Bee, Chinese support had certainly returned to Barisan.

"In Batu 17, 70% of the 295 Chinese votes went to Barisan. In Sungai Limau Dalam, 79% of the 605 Chinese votes went to Barisan while in Simpang Tiga, 71% of the 285 votes went to Barisan," he said.

Chinese votes could have contributed significantly in helping Barisan win in the Sungai Limau and Kabu Sepuloh polling districts in the closely fought by-election won by Mohd Azam Abdul Samat by a 1,084-vote majority.

He garnered 12,069 votes against Barisan candidate Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim who received 10,985 votes.

In the last general election, the late Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak of PAS won by a 2,774-vote majority in a four-cornered fight.

Barisan has made inroads into Sungai Limau, Kabu Sepuloh, Sedaka and Padang Lumat polling districts previously held by PAS, while maintaining its forts in Simpang Tiga, Selengkoh, Sungai Daun, Sungai Kering, Dulang Kecil and Dulang Besar.

PAS recorded a reduced majority in Bukit Besar, Sungai Dedap, Matang Buloh, Bukit Choras and Gelam 3.

Azam's relatives, who make up a significant portion of the Sungai Limau electorate, could have provided the lifeline for PAS.

Azam did his best in the Bukit Besar polling district, where he secured 1,556 votes compared with Sohaimi who only managed to attract 443 votes.

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said Bukit Besar had recorded an unusually high number of voters, and some of their addresses could be traced to the various pondok schools in the area.

Despite the election results, he said the proposed new road linking Guar Chempedak with Pulau Bunting would be built, while the suggestion to build a port at Pulau Bunting would still be considered.

M’sian ‘Big Brother’ denies squeezing millions from Pentagon


PETALING JAYA: A gregarious Ma­­laysian defence contractor, known as "Big Brother" due to his size, is in the news because of alleged corrupt practices with his United States Navy accomplices.

Leonard Glenn Francis, or "Fat Leonard" as he is known in military circles, has pleaded not guilty in a San Diego court over a shocking corruption case that squeezed millions out of the Pentagon.

Described as "larger than life", the father of five has been given the nickname because he weighs 159kg.

Francis, 58, is known for his extravagance and has a 6,503sqm bungalow in Singapore, which is famous for its lavish Christmas light-ups.

He was arrested on Sept 16 in San Diego while on a business trip and subsequently charged with defrauding the US Navy.

His accomplice, Navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 46, whom Francis calls "Little Brother" or "Little Bro", is alleged to have passed him confidential information on the US fleet's routes.

The information was given to Francis' Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd (GDMA), described on its website as "one of the most trusted brands in the provision of maritime support, notably to the navies of the world".

According to the AP newswire, Francis used prostitutes, luxury hotels, money and tickets to a Lady Gaga concert to "hook" Misiewicz.

They then worked together to move Navy vessels "like chess pieces" to selected ports such as Port Klang and Phuket where he could inflate maintenance and resupply costs by millions of dollars.

"The firm overcharged the Navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, the prosecution alleges," said the report.

Misiewicz is no stranger to attention either.

Adopted by an American woman, he made headlines when he returned to his native Cambodia as a US naval commander in 2010.

Two others have been arrested – GDMA's global government contracts general manager Alex Wisidagama and senior Navy investigator John Beliveau II.

All pleaded not guilty in the federal court case, and face up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery. A hearing on Friday could set a trial date.

It is still unclear how wide the scale of corruption extends but court papers said that other unnamed Navy personnel have received gifts from Francis.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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