Sunday, June 29, 2003
Chan gets Transport in minor Cabinet reshuffleCompiled by IVY SOON 22/6/03-29/6/03
CABINET RESHUFFLE (June 25): MCA deputy president Datuk Chan Kong Choy was named Transport Minister in a minor government reshuffle following the resignation of Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik. Chan was Deputy Finance Minister II, a post now held by Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen. Her Deputy Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister post was given to International Trade and Industry parliamentary secretary Datuk Fu Ah Kiow. Another parliamentary secretary from the MCA, Datuk Donald Lim (Transport), was elevated to deputy minister in the Information Ministry. PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas was designated Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, moving from the Housing and Local Government Ministry. PBB Youth leader Datuk Douglas Uggah Embass is now the Deputy Transport Minister. Two MPs were made parliamentary secretaries. They are Ipoh Barat MP Datuk Ho Cheong Sing in the International Trade and Industry Ministry, and Arau MP Datuk Mastika Junaidah Husin, who was appointed to the newly-created post in the Women and Family Development Ministry.
MOGGIE RESIGNS (June 26): Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak president Datuk Amar Leo Moggie has resigned from his party post barely a month before the party elections. Based on the party’s constitution, his deputy, Datuk Daniel Tajem, automatically took over as president until the party holds its triennial delegates conference on July 26 and 27.
BE UNITED (June 22): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad advised delegates to be united, and to love and protect the party in his final winding-up address to the Umno annual general assembly. Dr Mahathir had maintained throughout the assembly that he would leave his government and political posts in October and pave the way for his deputy, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to succeed him.
NO CONTEST (June 23): The three Umno vice-presidents maintained on Sunday that they would support whoever Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi picked as the next deputy party president and Deputy Prime Minister. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib had declared that they would not contest for the position.
HEINOUS CRIME (June 24): Police confirmed that the charred remains of a woman found in Old Klang Road last week were those of Canny Ong. They also said her assailant acted alone when he abducted the IT analyst from a basement car park on June 13 before he raped, stabbed, strangled and dumped her in a manhole. He returned the following day when he allegedly set fire to the body.
MORE POLICE (June 28): The Home Ministry wants the police force to be beefed up with more personnel and better equipment to combat rising crime. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung, responding to calls from the public for tougher action from the police, said there was an urgent need to boost the strength of the force.
STOP VIOLENCE (27 June): Ten women MPs demanded that the authorities take stern action to prevent rising crime, especially following the brutal rape and murder of Canny Ong. The group’s spokesman, Datuk Napsiah Omar, said cases of abduction-rape-murder in the past weeks had led to women worrying about their safety in public places like car parks, bus stops, parks and other lonely spots.
IMPROVE SECURITY (27 June): Police will submit a proposal to City Hall detailing five requirements to be imposed on building owners to improve security and safety at complexes in the city. They called for more security personnel and CCTVs, more frequent patrols and brightly-lit car parks.
FUNDS AVAILABLE (23 June): The National Welfare Foundation has allocated RM4mil to pay for the medical treatment of poor people suffering from chronic diseases, including 10,000 patients undergoing dialysis. National Unity and Social Development Minister Datuk Dr Siti Zaharah Sulaiman said the foundation could only help 25% to 35% of those who appealed for funds although about 200 cases were referred to the foundation daily.
PRICE CONTROLS (June 26): VCDs, other optical discs and all computer software will be made controlled items in an effort to force music and movie industries to bring down the prices. The Government was forced to do this because the industry players were slow to respond to requests to reduce the prices to help fight piracy.
UNEARTHED (June 24): Archaeologists have uncovered centuries-old towers, forts and walls below the former football field of historic Dataran Pahlawan in Malacca. The find was made after a team from the Department of Museums and National Antiquities and Malacca Museum Corporation excavated an area 14m wide and 5m deep.
JI HEAD (June 27): A terror suspect currently detained in Singapore testified on Thursday that Indonesian Muslim ulama Abubakar Ba'asyir heads the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) extremist group and had ordered a series of bloody church bombings. Faiz Abu Bakar Bafana, giving evidence by teleconference in Abubakar’s trial, was the first witness to implicate him in the bombings.
HALT ATTACKS (June 28): In a major boost to Washington’s Mid-East peace efforts, Islamic militants confirmed that they have agreed to halt attacks on Israelis for three months, and Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed in principle on terms for Israeli troop pullbacks in the Gaza Strip and West Bank town of Bethlehem.
BEIJING CLEARED (June 25): The World Health Organisation declared the Chinese capital free of the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) on Tuesday and lifted its warning against travel to the city. Beijing was the last remaining area in the world subjected to a WHO travel warning because of SARS, which originated in southern China, infected more than 8,000 people worldwide and killed more than 800.
POTTERMANIA (June 22): Fans delved eagerly into the fifth book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, at what was billed the world’s biggest book launch after a three-year wait. The first four books sold almost 200 million copies in 55 languages and 200 countries. Sales of the fifth book had broken records and 13 million copies had been printed.