Rabu, 23 April 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Liow: MCA to decide on Bukit Gelugor contest soon

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 06:25 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA will come up with a decision on whether to contest the Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat soon, says party president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the party will discuss the seat with Barisan Nasional component parties in its meetings.

"The decision will be made soon. We constantly have meetings and can bring it up anytime," he said, adding that the meeting would have to come up with a consensus on the seat.

Liow said this after having a dialogue with 53 representatives from Chinese guilds and associations at Wisma MCA here on Wednesday.

The Bukit Gelugor seat fell vacant after Member of Parliament and DAP stalwart Karpal Singh died in a car accident near Gua Tempurung along the North South Expressway on April 17.

Barisan Nasional secretary general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor had reportedly said the seat would be contested by the MCA as the constituency consisted of 74% Chinese voters.

On the dialogue with the Chinese guilds and associations, Liow said the MCA and the organisations unanimously resolved to reject the implementation of the hudud law in Kelantan, as proposed by PAS via a Private Member's Bill to be tabled in Parliament.

He said the MCA respected Karpal's spirit against the implementation of the hudud law and urged the DAP to "learn from him."

"The DAP should stop playing politics over this matter as it affects the public. The people are wise and can judge for themselves over how this matter is handled, " he said.

On former president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek's criticism of the current party leadership in handling the hudud issue, Liow said the party's stand was very clear.

"We unanimously object the Bill as it will disrupt harmony and the unity of our multi racial society," he said.

When further pressed to respond to Dr Chua accusing the current leadership of being "weak and helpless", Liow said: "He is my past leader. He can say anything he likes. That is history."

It was reported that PAS planned to table the Bill in the next Dewan Rakyat meeting in June to pave way for the hudud law to be imposed in Kelantan.

MCA had urged the DAP to leave Pakatan Rakyat if it failed to stop PAS from pushing its hudud agenda.

MH370 search: New international investigative team to be formed, says Hisham

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 05:13 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has approved the formation of an international investigative team to look into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane, said Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein.

The Acting Transport Minister said the formation of the team was an opportunity for those involved to look at the incident and determine how it related to the aviation landscape in the future, he said.

"We had no problems getting people to agree to come on board because everybody wants to be part of this unprecedented incident," he said at a press conference.

Members of the team, which will be formed in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, will be announced next week, said Hishamuddin.

He said the team would comprise three groups – airworthiness, operational as well as medical and human factors.

He added that the main purpose of the team was to evaluate, investigate and determine the actual cause of the incident so that similar incidents could be avoided.

He also said this was an ideal opportunity to tap the knowledge of international experts, such as those from the United States' National Transportation Safety Board, Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch and France's BEA, among others.

He said the investigative team would not look into criminal aspects under the purview of the Royal Malaysian Police.

The Malaysian Aviation Accident Investigation Bureau, that was established in Dec 2011 under the Transport Ministry, would be the secretariat for the team.

"It is important for the Government to form an independent team of investigators that are not only competent and transparent, but also highly credible," he said.

To a question, Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said they had sent a preliminary report of the incident to the ICAO.

Hishammuddin said they would make the report public because of global public interest, although he did not specify the date.

"There is no way to avoid from making it public. But that information has to come from a credible, transparent and independent source," he said.

The Beijing-bound plane carrying 239 passengers vanished mysteriously in the early hours of March 8.

Its flight was concluded to have ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The search for the plane there, currently headed by Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre, is now into its 47th day.

Whale shark dies after getting caught in fishing net

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 04:42 AM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: A whale shark died after getting trapped in fishing nets in waters off Kota Belud, as villagers and nearby resort workers frantically called in vain for help from authorities.

The seven-metre whale shark died close to the shore of Kg Tituru Laut about 90km from the state capital here.

Fisherman attempting to disentangle the whale shark from the fishing net.

Fishermen from the fishing village towed the whale shark to shore with the help of four boats, before using a tractor to take it to a burial site about a kilometre away.

Manana Borneo Resort operator Sofian Abdul Aziz said that the whale shark was discovered around 8.30am on Sunday and could have died soon after.

"We tried to get help from the Fisheries Department, but they did not come," he said, adding that he had to call State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun for help instead.

The Wildlife Rescue Unit under the Ministry arrived on Tuesday, but the carcass had already been buried by villagers as it was beginning to decay.

According to Sofian, whale sharks are a common sight in the area between Feb and May.

He did not discount the possibility that the whale shark might have been dying and was heading towards the shore.

"Fishermen told us that it was still alive in the nets but it appeared lifeless after a while," he added.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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