Khamis, 13 Februari 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Penang forms group to tackle water contamination

Posted: 12 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

GEORGE TOWN: A river and marine pollution task force has been set up to tackle pollution in water bodies of Penang, said State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow.

According to Chow, the task force was formed following several cases of polluted water in Batu Ferringhi and other beaches in the popular tourism belt.

Chow said the task force comprised representatives from the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), Penang Municipal Council, Seberang Jaya Municipal Council and the Department of Environment.

Others include representatives from district offices, the state Economic Planning Unit, Public Works Department, state Fisheries Department, state Agriculture Department and state Veterinary Services Department.

"They will check for the source when water pollution is detected – whether from the indiscriminate disposal of garbage from wet markets or if a sewage treatment plant is responsible.

"They will also look for industrial or commercial waste.

"They will then present their findings and also propose ways to tackle the issue," added Chow during a press conference here yesterday.

On improving drainage, Chow said an allocation had been approved for DID to carry out desilting of rivers in Batu Ferringhi, Sungai Kechil and Sungai Kelian.

Appeal court rejects Anwar's bid to recall ex-officer

Posted: 12 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to recall former Supt Judy Blacious Pereira, a prosecution witness in his sodomy case, over the issue of the retired investigating officer's credibility.

The three-member panel, led by Court of Appeal judge Aziah Ali, unanimously rejected the application made by Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh.

Earlier, Karpal told the court the testimony by the retired investigating officer, popularly known as Jude Pereira, needed to be re-examined because his bid to be admitted as a lawyer was rejected by the Kuala Lumpur High Court last month.

Karpal said the rejection reflected negatively on Pereira's credibility as a witness during the Opposition Leader's sodomy proceedings.

After the ruling, Karpal applied for stay of the prosecution appeal proceedings pending appeal to the Federal Court.

Justice Aziah said Anwar had failed to prove the circumstance that the basis of his application was exceptional.

She held that additional evidence would only be allowed if the court thought it was necessary.

She said the court found that sodomy trial judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah had not only relied on the evidence of Pereira but also evidence from the complainant (Saiful Bukhari) and doctors who testified in the trial.

"The recall of Pereira will not have important influence in the end of the prosecution's case," she said.

Justice Aziah granted Karpal's application, saying: "We are concerned with the continuous delay (to hear the merits of the appeal).

"We are conscious the court has to be fair and seen to be fair and we do not want to deprive the applicant (Anwar) of his remedies if there is any right to appeal," she said.

The panel, which also comprised Justices Rohana Yusuf and Mohd Zawawi Salleh, fixed Feb 28 for case management.

The court initially fixed yesterday to hear the prosecution appeal against Anwar's acquittal on the charge of sodomising former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The prosecution appeal was led by DPP Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Justice Aziah said the High Court decision to reject Pereira's petition to be a lawyer was based on findings by Suhakam that he did not tell the truth during an inquiry.

Anwar was alleged to have sodomised Saiful Bukhari at a Desa Bukit Damansara condominium unit on June 26, 2008.

On Jan 9, 2012, Justice Mohamad Zabidin acquitted Anwar of the offence.

Tourist’s death ‘one in a million’

Posted: 12 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KOTA KINABALU: The death of German tourist Victoria Poulsen, who fell from the 4,095m Mount Kinabalu, was a "one in a million" incident, said Sabah Parks chairman Tengku Datuk Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahmud.

He said accidents or mishaps, even fatal ones, were rare on the mountain, which has attracted over a million people who had climbed up safely for the past 35 years.

"Trekking up the mountain is safe. What is crucial is that climbers must always abide by the rules and regulations," he said yesterday.

He said trekkers are given safety briefings about the do's and don'ts prior to their climb.

In light of the latest incident, however, Tengku Adlin said Sabah Parks would make a review of its Standard Operating Procedures for trekkers, particularly on how rules could be better enforced.

He acknowledged that the move might be difficult to implement.

"We have to see how to minimise instances of people wanting to go to areas that are off limits at 6am on the mountain," he said.

He added that limiting the number of people going up to the summit might be another measure.

On Monday, Poulsen had reportedly fallen down a 30m steep slope after stepping beyond a rope fence and onto an area of loose rocks on the summit. Police have classified the incident as a misadventure.


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