DEATH PENALTY: (Jan 28) Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, announced a Cabinet proposal that rapists who cause the death of their victims will be automatically regarded as murderers and face the mandatory death sentence.
THAI FOOD BAN: (Jan 30) The Agriculture Ministry decided to ban all forms of livestock and seafood products from Thailand to prevent an outbreak of the avian flu in Malaysia.
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: (Jan 26) The Prime Minister reminded all chicken breeders to adhere strictly to all preventive measures introduced by the authorities to prevent the deadly avian flu virus from spreading.
NO DUALISM: (Jan 30) Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the Government does not practice dualism, one system for Muslims and another for non-Muslims, in the administration of the country.
NOT VALID: (Jan 29) The Federal Court has ruled that customary marriages after March 1982, which were not registered, are not recognised under the law.
ILLEGAL RACING: (Jan 28) The Government will come down hard on participants and organisers of illegal racing with amendments to existing laws and greater enforcement.
IRATE MOTORISTS: (Jan 25) Police believe disgruntled motorists may have retaliated, after the Road Transport Department conducted routine checks at a roadblock, by torching vehicles at its Sungai Petani premises.
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: (Jan 26) The Sessions Court in Johor Baru meted out the maximum sentence – 20 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the rotan – on the rapist of 10-year-old Nurulhuda Abdul Ghani.
UP IN ARMS: (Jan 30) A PAS ustaz who told a congregation in Penang that rape victim Nurul Huda Abdul Ghani was punished by God because her parents did not support PAS’ Islamic laws has come under fire from women’s groups.
CLINICAL TREATMENT: (Jan 27) The Prisons Department may complement its rehabilitation programme for sex offenders by including clinical treatment.
CLOSER TIES: (Jan 27) Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Asean leaders have called for efforts to strengthen ties between the countries, either in safety and security matters or development issues.
BETTER RELATIONS: (Jan 24) The presence of Singapore leaders and thousands of visitors from the republic at the National Chinese New Year Open House in Johor Baru signals improving relations between Malaysia and Singapore.
ASYLUM SEEKER ABLAZE: (Jan 27) An asylum seeker died nine hours after he set himself ablaze in front of stunned onlookers outside a United Nations refugee agency in Kuala Lumpur.
NAMES DELETED: (Jan 29) The Election Commission has deleted some 50,000 dubious names or phantom voters from the Sabah electoral roll.
KEADILAN CRISIS: (Jan 26) Parti Keadilan Nasional saw itself in another major crisis when its Youth secretary Lokman Noor Adam was sacked from his post after alleged evidence of him rejoining Umno was submitted to Keadilan leadership.
GREATER GROWTH: (Jan 24) The Agriculture Ministry is looking into providing incentives to generate greater growth in the farming sector in its bid to double or even triple the income of farmers.
ARMED MARSHALS: (Jan 28) Malaysia Airlines is set to deploy armed sky marshals on US-bound flights suspected by American authorities to have terror risks.
GRAFT CHARGE: (Jan 29) KL International Airport's Department of Civil Aviation air traffic services director Zubir Abdullah was charged in the Sessions Court here with accepting a bribe of RM5,000.
EXTRA CASH: (Jan 24) Teachers involved in the special tuition scheme for poor pupils stand to earn between RM250 and RM1,000 extra a month.
CASANOVA CON: (Jan 25) A smooth-talking, suave Casanova in his late 40s is believed to be on the prowl in Kuala Lumpur and has conned and raped at least two women in the past five months.
ForeignMORE COUNTRIES HIT: (Jan 27) The bird flu rampaging through Asia has made the dreaded leap into China and impoverished Lao, as a second Thai boy died of the disease and countries tightened defences against a potential SARS-like epidemic.
CALL FOR PROBE: (Jan 25) Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards called for an independent commission to investigate whether President George W. Bush's administration misled Congress into making its case for war with Iraq and demanded an end to “war profiteering”.
NO WEAPONS: (Jan 24) David Kay stepped down as leader of US hunt for banned weapons in Iraq and said he did not believe the country had any large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons.
TOO LATE: (Jan 26) US and British leaders George W. Bush and Tony Blair are wrong to retroactively justify the invasion of Iraq on humanitarian grounds. Human Rights Watch criticised the West for turning a blind eye to Saddam Hussein's atrocities – such as the 1988 massacre of Kurds – at a time when the level of slaughter could have justified armed intervention.
SAUDI PREPARED: (Jan 28) Saudi Arabia said it was prepared to confront any threats to the security of two million Muslims gathering for the annual haj pilgrimage.
BETHLEHEM RAIDED: (Jan 30) Israeli troops entered Bethlehem in response to a suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem and three Palestinians were shot dead in the occupied territories.
FEAR OF CIVIL WAR: (Jan 25) Iraqis, rattled by daily carnage since Saddam Hussein's fall, fear a sectarian civil war would be the biggest threat to their country.
IN THE CLEAR: (Jan 27) British Prime Minister Tony Blair faced the sternest test of his authority in a knife-edge parliamentary vote on education policy, the first hurdle in a critical two days that could decide his future. He was cleared by senior judge Lord Hutton of blame for the suicide of top Iraq weapons expert David Kelly.
BBC IN CRISIS: (Jan 29) The BBC was grappling with the worst crisis in its history as its head Greg Dyke resigned and the proudly independent world broadcaster was forced to apologise to the British government over a faulty report on Iraqi arms.
INFERNO IN CAIRO: (Jan 27) Rescue teams gave up the search for survivors from a Cairo high-rise that collapsed in flames killing 14 people, mostly rescue workers, and injuring 42.
MYDOOM GLOOM: (Jan 29) The Mydoom worm wreaked more havoc after becoming the biggest Internet virus ever, but the worst damage may be yet to come, experts said as a new strain of the bug emerged.
RM25.5BIL FINE: (Jan 29) ExxonMobil was ordered to pay US$4.5bil (RM17bil) in punitive damages and US$2.25bil (RM8.5bil) in interest for the Alaska 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
ARNIE FINED: (Jan 28) California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would pay US$4.5mil (RM17.1mil) on top of the US$5mil (RM19mil) he already spent to be elected after a judge ruled the actor broke a state campaign finance law by taking out a loan.
HAIR DYE RISK: (Jan 24) According to US researchers, women who have been colouring their hair for 24 years or more have a higher risk of developing a cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Did you find this article insightful?