The Johor state legislative assembly session today recorded its congratulations to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on his appointment as the country’s 10th prime minister.
Johor state assembly speaker Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi announced this in his address at the fourth conference of the 15th state assembly session in Kota Iskandar here.
"Congratulations to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was appointed as the 10th prime minister of Malaysia," he said.
Anwar, who is also the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, was sworn in as prime minister on November 24 at Istana Negara by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
In the 15th general election (GE15) on November 19, PH secured the highest with 82 seats followed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) with 73 seats and Barisan Nasional (BN) with 30 seats. Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) won 23 seats, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) six seats, Parti Warisan Sabah (three), Independent (two) while Parti Bangsa Malaysia and Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (PKDM) secured one seat each.
Mohd Puad, who is also the Rengit assemblyman, also congratulated former Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad (BN-Benut), for winning the Simpang Renggam parliamentary seat in GE15.
In addition to that, he also congratulated Johor Opposition Leader Liew Chin Tong (PH-Perling) who won the Iskandar Puteri parliamentary seat and Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (PH-Simpang Jeram) who won the Pulai parliamentary seat.
An hour-long downpour and clogged drains had caused water to overflow onto the Kajang SILK Highway on the Putrajaya route towards Sungai Ramal Luar in Kajang, rendering it impassable at one-metre deep at 5pm today.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Norazam Khamis said on receiving a call, eight fire engines and personnel from the Kajang Fire and Rescue Station (BBP) were rushed to the location.
“On arrival, the fire department sized up the situation and found that the overflow of water onto the road was due to blocked drains following heavy rain for over an hour.
“The estimated water depth was three feet (0.91 m), making the road impassable to any light vehicles. However, there were no casualties reported,” he said in a statement today.
Norazam said surveillance by police and the highway operator showed the flash flood receded about 30 minutes later.
“The Kajang BBP’s operations commander, together with the police, helped smoothen the flow of traffic and no rescue work was necessary,” he said.
Three Bangladeshi men have been arrested in Shah Alam on suspicion of issuing and selling fake work permits to their fellow countrymen since last October.
Shah Alam district police chief ACP Mohd Iqbal Ibrahim said the first two suspects aged between 20 and 30 years were held following a raid at 7.30pm in Kampung Baru Hicom, Section 26, here last Tuesday.
He said further investigations revealed the duo who had been living in Malaysia for the past three years and working in the Hicom Glenmarie industrial area had been forging and selling the fake permits since October.
"The fake permits sold to foreign nationals are readily available and offered at a much cheaper price estimated at RM200 and their customers are mostly Bangladeshis," he said in a statement today.
Mohd Iqbal said the police also seized several equipment including a laptop, a printing machine, three passports, 10 temporary employment passes and four mobile phones.
Following the arrest, another Bangladeshi suspect in his 30s, believed to be an accomplice, surrendered himself at the Shah Alam district headquarters last night.
He said the first two suspects are on remand until Dec 3 while the third suspect will be brought to court today for a remand application and the case will be investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
The Johor state government has tabled the state’s Budget 2023, its first surplus budget after two consecutive years of deficit budgets during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.
The last time the state government presented a surplus budget was in November 2019.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the state’s revenue next year is expected to be at RM1,734.18 million, and the projected state expenditure is approximately RM1,731.74 million, resulting in a surplus of RM2.44 million.
Presenting Budget 2023 for the first time, he said the state’s revenue is expected to increase by 3.75 per cent next year, while its operating expenses for the same period are projected to decrease by 11.56 per cent.
Onn Hafiz said the budget, themed “Maju Johor: Makmur Bersama Rakyat” (Prospering with the People), is a continuation of the state government’s efforts to boost Johor’s economic growth.
“As a caring government, there are various initiatives in Johor’s Budget 2023 which are aimed at reducing the global economic impact and ensure that growth targets can be achieved, which, God willing, will improve the people’s well-being,” he said.
Onn Hafiz said next year's state expenditure consisted of development expenditure of RM600 million while operating expenditure amounted to RM1.12 billion.
He noted that although Malaysia is currently in the recovery phase, the turbulent global economy would have an impact on the country’s economic growth, including that of the state, due to its open economy.
“Johor’s Budget 2023 was drafted with the 3.8 million Johor people always in the hearts and minds of the Johor state government.
“We are in the midst of a challenging economic environment, so it is important to prepare a sustainable and resilient economic plan as well as sufficient reserves to face various future challenges,” he added.
A freelance preacher who pleaded not guilty to nine counts of committing rape, sexual assault and unnatural sex on a teenager in the Klang Sessions Court two days ago was brought to the Sessions Court here today to face another charge with raping the girl.
Muhammad Fathi Na’im Mazlam, 30, also pleaded not guilty to the charge, allegedly committed at a hotel here between 2am and 10am on December 3, 2021.
The charge was framed under Section 376 (1) of the Penal Code, which provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and is liable to whipping, if found guilty.
Judge Tasnim Abu Bakar allowed him bail of RM12,000 with one surety and also ordered him to not intimidate witnesses in the case.
Muhammad Fathi Na’im was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court and to report himself at a police station once a month.
The court set January 17 for mention.
Kuala Lumpur Prosecution director Datin Kalmizah Salleh prosecuted, while lawyer Muhammad Ashraff Mohd Diah represented the accused.
PETALING JAYA: Two anti-corruption groups have welcomed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s order for all government procurements to be carried out by tender, but stress that more must be done to ensure transparency.
In his first address to civil servants yesterday, Anwar said the government’s procurement process could no longer be conducted without issuing tenders so as to deter corruption and leakages.
Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president Muhammad Mohan called this a good move to level the playing field and promote transparency, competitive bidding and good governance, but said further measures were needed to mitigate corruption.
“After the procurement is completed by a proper tender process, the execution of the projects is crucial.
“The projects must be implemented and completed in a timely manner and within the budget, with close monitoring of milestones and prompt action taken should issues arise,” he told reporters.
He said it was also crucial to hold accountable those overseeing the projects should there be any leakage of funds.
Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel deemed the government’s procurement as among the most vulnerable to corruption, with about 42.8% of complaints to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission having to do with the process.
She urged Anwar to enact a law for independent access to information and set up a public service ombudsman panel as long-term measures to ensure transparency in government procurements.
“This will allow complaints to be received in real time and issues in procurement to be rectified promptly,” she said.
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the luxury loafers he was spotted wearing at an official meeting were a gift from the sultan of Johor.
In a tweet last night, Anwar said he received the shoes two years ago from Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
He was responding to a Twitter user who called him out for wearing a pair of Louis Vuitton Major Loafers supposedly worth RM5,500.
“(The shoes) were a gift from Tuanku Sultan Johor two years ago. You want to question me, that’s fine, but don’t resort to slander,” he said.
Anwar’s choice of clothing has been a topic of debate on social media after he wore a baju Melayu and sandals on his first day at the office in Putrajaya.
The Tambun MP, who already said he would forgo his prime minister’s salary, also decided against the use of a new Mercedes Benz S600 as his official car.
PETALING JAYA: A human rights body has spoken against Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s order to the police to act against those who made false claims against him.
Lawyers for Liberty director Zaid Malek said the police should not be called upon to defend the prime minister’s reputation.
“It would be an abuse of power to order police investigations into people who make accusations against him.
“The job of the police is to prevent crime, not to protect the prime minister from insult or criticism,” Zaid said in a statement.
He pointed out that police intervention could only be justified when offenders make statements which incite harm, violence or injury to the public.
His remarks come after PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil revealed that Anwar had directed the police to act against anyone spreading slanderous statements against him such as claims that he is an Israeli agent.
The police are investigating Baling MP Hassan Saad for claiming that Anwar is an Israeli agent.
The case has been classified under Sections 500 and 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for defamation, intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace, and improper use of network facilities, respectively.
Zaid said the investigation went against Pakatan Harapan’s promise in its manifesto to repeal Section 233, and called for it to be halted.
He also said Anwar should file a defamation suit in a civil court if he felt aggrieved by the claims.
“If the police initiate criminal investigations into every accusation or insult towards the prime minister, it will be a slippery slope towards authoritarianism,” he said.
KOTA BHARU: Consumers in Kelantan owe Syarikat Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB) more than RM28.5 million in unpaid water bills as at Sept 30, the state legislative assembly was told today.
Works, infrastructure, transport and utilities committee chairman Azami Nor said that of the amount, RM18.4 million was current debt owed by domestic consumers.
“As at Sept 30, consumers still owe the company a total of RM28,543,688. This is an improvement from the RM33,212,268 owed at the end of 2021,” he said when replying to a question from Adhan Kechik (BN-Bukit Bunga).
Azami said AKSB had carried out collection enforcement activities in all districts in the state, especially in areas that did not have clean water supply problems this year, and provided collection facilities through banks as well as collection agents.
Replying to a question from Hilmi Abdullah (PAS-Guchil) on free water supply for ‘asnaf’ (tithe recipients), Azami said the state government always helped people in need.
“We have 30 lorries that distributed free water supply to asnaf across the state from April 2020 until July this year, at a cost of RM11.5 million. This is one of our social responsibilities,” he said.
SEREMBAN: Negeri Sembilan recorded 8,748 cases of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) meter installation tampering from 2018 to October 2022, leading to losses of over RM93 million .
State urban wellbeing, housing, local government and new village committee chairman Teo Kok Seong said Seremban recorded the highest number of cases at 5,986 with an estimated RM71 million in losses, followed by Port Dickson with 1,342 cases (RM13.8 million), Jempol with 536 cases (RM3 4 million) and Tampin with 412 cases (RM1.9 million).
“In addition, 277 cases were recorded in Kuala Pilah involving losses of RM1.5 million, 178 in Rembau (RM847,464) while Jelebu had 17 cases (RM298,868). Of the total, 423 cases have been charged in court.
“As for water theft, 1,771 cases have been recorded involving losses of RM3 million for the same period,” he said in response to a question from Chew Seh Yong (PH-Lobak) who wanted to know the number of water and electricity supply thefts since 2018, during the state legislative assembly sitting here.
Teo urged those who had information of such thefts to lodge a report to the authorities so action can be taken to prevent further losses.
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