Selasa, 13 Mei 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Crisis defused in Terengganu

Posted: 13 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

KUALA TERENGGANU: The constitutional crisis in Terengganu may have been averted after one of the three Barisan Nasional assemblymen who quit Umno retracted his resignation while another is close to being persuaded to return following intervention by top party leaders.

At press time, Bukit Besi assemblyman Roslee Daud is back in the fold and Ajil assemblyman Ghazali Taib was close to returning to Umno. Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim confirmed Roslee had retracted his resignation.

State executive councillor for Tourism and Culture Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee, who is Permaisuri assemblyman, said Roslee had done so after being advised by his Umno colleagues.

However, former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, who ignited the crisis by refusing to go quietly, was still holding out.

It is understood that Commu­nications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek played a key role in the negotiations with Ahmad.

Both are from the Kemaman Umno division, of which Ahmad is chairman and Shabery the deputy.

Ahmad Said, who resigned from Umno on Monday, had taken along with him Ghazali and Roslee, hours after the new Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (pic) was sworn in before the Sultan late that night.

It had been a dramatic day in Terengganu following Ahmad Said's resignation.

Terengganu had been rocked by rumours that more assemblymen would be jumping ship and even that the State Legislative Assembly would be dissolved.

However, it had been an anti-climax, now that one assemblyman has decided to stay with Umno and another is set to do the same. While the negotiations were going on in Terengganu, other Barisan Nasional assemblymen were hunkered down in Putrajaya and they are expected to meet the Prime Minister after the Cabinet meeting today.

Meanwhile, Pakatan wants fresh polls in the state.

Terengganu PAS commissioner Satiful Bahri Mamat claimed that the party was not interested in taking any ex-Umno assemblyman. PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has distanced himself from the controversy, saying the party was not interested in entering a rumah berhantu (haunted house).

Earlier, the palace and the state assembly building in the heart of this oil-rich state were quiet in contrast to the roller-coaster ride of its politics.

Reporters waiting at the entrance of the palace in Bukit Cendering and the state assembly building expecting these places to be a hub of activity yesterday left disappointed.

There was hardly any movement at the palace, except for members of the press milling about at the entrance waiting for the rumoured arrival of the state Speaker.

There were no signs of the state Speaker or Ahmad Razif asking for the Sultan's consent for the dissolution.

Kemasik assemblyman Rosli Othman, Pengkalan Berangan assemblyman A. Latiff Awang, Batu Rakit assemblymen Bazlan Abdul Rahman and Mohd Jidin were forced to deny rumours they would follow Ahmad Said.

At the Mentri Besar's official residence where Ahmad Said was said to be holed up, there was no sign of him vacating what has been his home for the past six years.

Pressmen were led on a cat-and-mouse game with local politicians as both Ahmads (Ahmad Razif and Ahmad Said) have been elusive over their activities.

While the political manoeuvring and negotiations are at an all-time high, state events, including the Terengganu Umno liaison meeting, have been cancelled or postponed.

Burnt alive in a locked container

Posted: 13 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: A five-year-old girl locked inside a modified container was burnt to death in a fire which also damaged six other similar structures used as workers' quarters.

Kabo Boreng was left inside the 6m container by her father Bernados Boro, 29, before he went to work at a nearby chicken farm in Bongawan, 84km south of the state capital.

It is learnt that Bernados and the other workers tried in vain to kick open the door when they saw smoke from the container at about 8.30am yesterday.

Kabo is believed to have accidentally locked herself inside the container. She was alone as her mother was out of town.

Relatives of the family who were at the scene said Bernados sometimes had to lock the door when he went to work or when his wife was not around as he was afraid that Kabo would roam around.

He was just being cautious and did not want his daughter to go missing, said a relative.

But a distraught Bernados told firemen that this time Kabo locked herself in.

Papar Fire station chief Dunstan Peter said: "We asked about the door, and he (Bernados) told us it was his daughter who locked it. However we will investigate further once he is in a better state of mind."

He said the seven containers, which were mainly wood with steel frames, were already 90% burnt when firemen arrived at 8.59am.

"We received the call at 8.34am and could only prevent the fire from spreading further when we arrived," Peter said.

The fire was brought under control at about 9.20am.

Kabo's body has been brought to the Papar district hospital for post-mortem.

Corporate responsibility spurs bid to end poverty

Posted: 13 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Petronas, General Electric, AirAsia and Astro are among the companies which had lent a helping hand to the Government's efforts to eradicate poverty in Malaysia through the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

Through the Raising Living Standards of Low Income Households (LIH) NKRA, the Government sought the cooperation of NGOs and corporate partners to increase the reach and effectiveness of the initiative.

Last year, Astro constructed a school hostel in Ranau, which now houses over 120 students.

The three-block hostel is equipped with a multi-purpose hall and a warden room for students from 10 villages in the area.

Petronas, along with its NGO partner MyKasih Foundation, came up with a programme that benefited 13,500 poor families in Malaysia with "prepaid cards" which they could use to buy essential food items from supermarkets for a period of two years.

Since the start of the Sentuhan Harapan Programme in 2010, which encourages families to improve themselves and learn skills to break free from the poverty cycle, over 5,000 families have participated.

Non-profit group Yayasan Sejah­tera, tasked to help improve the lives of the poor, has been supporting the development of three villages in Pitas, Sabah, and has so far implemented several projects including a subsistence farming programme, a water access programme and a youth empowerment programme.

According to the GTP report released by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday, the collaboration was to leverage on each other's strengths, whether in terms of funding or expertise.

"The support and generosity of these parties accelerated the delivery of aid to key groups targeted in the GTP, thus accelerating our goal to reach all rakyat in need of aid," the report said.

Women, Family and Community Deve­lopment Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said 1AZAM, another project under the NKRA, had done an "excellent job" in eradicating almost all hardcore poverty in Malaysia.

An earlier report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) based on the National Household Income Survey in 2012 showed that poverty in Malaysia had fallen to 1.7%.

The GTP report stated that the achievement had come "much earlier" than expected as the NKRA team had set 2015 as its deadline to drop poverty rates to below 2%.


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