CHARGED: (April 8) Two former opposition MPs were charged with making false Parliament attendance claims.
In the first Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur, former Jeli PAS MP Mohd Apandi Mohamad, 43, claimed trial to 13 counts of making false claims totalling RM31,050 from Nov 11, 2002 to July 27, 2003, and thereby deceiving the Government.
Later, in the second Sessions Court, Ramli Ibrahim, 60, former Kota Baru MP of Parti Keadilan Nasional, was charged with making a false claim of RM792 on Nov 7, 2002 for a return trip between Kota Baru and Kuala Lumpur.
SHIRKERS TO BE CHARGED: (April 9) Some 10,000 youths who were selected for National Service but failed to register for the three-month programme are to be charged in court.
Under the National Service Act, NS evaders can be fined up to RM3,000 or sentenced up to six months’ jail or both.
AYE TO CODE: (April 4) Barisan Nasional leaders have unanimously endorsed the Code of Ethics aimed at keeping the coalition’s elected representatives under check.
Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that under the code, MPs and assemblymen were required to submit a progress report every three months.
EMBASSY TORCHED: (April 7) Three Myanmar refugee seekers set fire to their embassy in Jalan Ru, Ampang in Kuala Lumpur after assaulting a diplomat and a guard.
The intruders, members of the Rohingya Islamic tribe, were believed to have been upset with the embassy after their request for a document to be verified was rejected several times.
RESULTS TO STAND: (April 9) The Election Commission (EC) will gazette the results of the general election next week despite unanswered questions over irregularities on polling day.
EC secretary Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said those dissatisfied with the results could seek recourse in the courts as provided for under the Federal Constitution.
NEW MYKAD DEADLINE: (April 6) Effective April 6, those who do not collect their MyKad within three months of notification by the National Registration Department will be fined RM100.
Previously, applicants had two years to collect their MyKad, failing which they would be fined RM30.
ANTI-TRUANCY COPS: (April 7) Students found playing truant, smoking while in uniform or loitering around shopping complexes in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur during school hours will be taken to the police station.
BACKING FOR TOP POSTS: (April 3) All three Umno vice-presidents want the top two posts to remain uncontested in the party elections in June to ensure the party remains strong and stable following the clear mandate given to the Barisan Nasional by the people.
Vice-presidents Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said the posts of party president and deputy president should not be challenged.
NS GOODIES: (April 6) All the 85,000 national service trainees will get a loyalty programme card entitling them to a lifetime of free and discounted products and services.
A total of 26,000 of them received their Yes2NS card at its launch by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Stadium UiTM, Shah Alam. The rest will get theirs over the next two weeks.
TEACHER MURDERED: (April 6) Pong Teng Choon, a “favourite English teacher” from Penang, was brutally murdered and his body dumped at an oil palm plantation near Baling in Kedah on April 5.
His family last saw Pong, 49, at his mother’s house in Bayan Baru on April 3. The bachelor, who taught at SM (C) Heng Ee, was found sprawled under a bridge at the oil palm plantation in Sungai Tawar.
NEW GROWTH FOR FELDA: (April 6) Felda schemes will be urbanised through integrated farming and agro-based enterprises – a vision advocated by former Prime Minister the late Tun Abdul Razak, who founded the programme.
The task to achieve this is now assumed by his son Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who said the agency would form a brainstorming committee to generate new ideas.
STOP BLAMING US: (April 5) Thailand should stop accusing Malaysia of letting terrorists infiltrate its borders, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
He said it was not advantageous for both neighbours to “play the blaming game” because their relationship was too close.
PROJECT LAUNCHED: (April 3) A pilot project enabling child witnesses to testify via video link while sitting in a separate room in the building has taken off in the lower courts in Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur.
Currently, child abuse victims and children who witnessed crimes have to sit in the witness box like any other witness and face the accused as they give evidence.
STAYING ON: (April 9) Asian allies of the US-led coalition in Iraq were defiant on Friday in the face of spiralling violence and a spate of kidnappings in Iraq.
Japan said it would not bow to the demands of militants who threatened to kill three Japanese they had taken hostage on Thursday if Tokyo did not withdraw its soldiers.
Thailand said it had no intention of pulling out its troops now, and the Philippines said it would keep its peacekeeping contingent in Iraq.
STALWART APPOINTED: (April 5) Sri Lanka's president appointed party stalwart Mahinda Rajapakse to be the country's new prime minister, as Tamil rebels threatened to start fighting again, casting concerns on a shaky ceasefire that halted a two-decade civil war.
President Chandrika Kumaratunga's coalition emerged from voting on April 2 as the single largest political force but failed to win a majority, forcing it to seek partners in a new government.
MASTERMIND DEAD: (April 4) At least three suspects wanted for the Madrid train bombings set off a bomb when cornered in a Madrid suburb on April 3, killing themselves and a policeman as officers raided their apartment.
There may have been a fourth or fifth suspect killed in the blast but investigators were awaiting DNA analysis to be sure, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
SCOPE REVEALED: (April 3) Israel will pull out of all the Gaza Strip and four small settlements in the West Bank by next year, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in an interview published on April 2, revealing for the first time the scope of his unilateral “disengagement” plan.
CHINA DECIDES: (April 6) China stamped its authority on Hong Kong, ruling that it alone would decide if the territory needed electoral reform.
Many in Hong Kong called the widely-expected ruling a crushing blow to hopes of democracy, although financial markets were unruffled and there was little sign of tension in the former British colony handed back to Beijing in 1997.
POLLS HITCHES: (April 5) Shortage of election material, voting cards delivered to dead people and schoolchildren, and confusion over ballots featuring hundreds of names and dozens of party logos bedevilled Indonesia’s second free elections.
Voting in parliamentary elections was delayed in several parts of the country and the polling stations that opened were hampered by a shortage of supplies and confusion over how to mark the ballots, officials said.
UNRELIABLE SOURCES: (April 4) US Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged on April 2 that the “most dramatic” part of his presentation to the United Nations making the case for war on Iraq was based on flawed intelligence.
Powell also said he hoped a commission investigating the US intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction would reveal how the CIA ended up depending on unreliable sources for key evidence he used to argue for war.
Did you find this article insightful?