RAKYAT’S BUDGET: (Sept 10) Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's first budget is aimed at improving the efficiency of the economy, and that includes having a better tax collection system through the introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) from 2007. The Prime Minister, who is also Finance Minister, announced relief to the poor and needy, gave a boost to agriculture, and liberalised the capital market with the entry of five foreign stockbroking and fund managers.
MEDICAL TREATMENT: (Sept 4) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim left on a Malaysia Airlines flight to undergo treatment in Munich for his spinal condition. Anwar’s surgery was expected to take three to five hours and he would be hospitalised for two to three weeks, depending on whether complications arose.
ANWAR APPEALS: (Sept 8) The Federal Court has fixed Sept 15 to deliver its judgment on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's application to review an earlier decision to uphold his conviction and sentence on four counts of corrupt practices two years ago. On July 10, 2002, a three-man panel upheld the decision of the High Court on April 14, 1999, to convict Anwar on four charges of interfering with police investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him.
NO DEAL: (Sept 4) There was no deal with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to acquit the former deputy prime minister of the sodomy charges against him, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
SPECIFIC DATE: (Sept 7) Many rape cases will have to be withdrawn from trial by the Attorney-General following the landmark Court of Appeal judgment on Monday stating that dates of such offences in the charge sheets must be specific. Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said his Chambers had no choice but to abide by the judgment because it had become a precedent.
KARPAL HEADS DAP: (Sept 4) Karpal Singh became the first non-Chinese chairman of the party, after Lim Kit Siang stepped down. Lim Guan Eng is DAP’s newly-elected secretary-general.
MARINE DESTRUCTION: (Sept 5) One of the country's world-renowned marine dive sites just off Pulau Tioman is set to be destroyed to make way for a RM40mil marina project despite objections from environment authorities. Environ-mental groups have expressed shock and dismay that the marina project in Pulau Tioman's marine park was approved despite it being a protected area. Local villagers are also against the project which threatens their livelihood.
AVIAN FLU: (Sept 6) A girl from Kampung Berlian in Tumpat, Kelantan and a veterinary department worker, both with symptoms of avian influenza, have been admitted to the Kota Baru Hospital for observation. Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said the girl and the worker were admitted to the isolation ward yesterday as a precautionary measure following new cases of avian influenza or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the area.
FAMILY AFFAIR: (Sept 6) A complicated web of more than 100 marriages involving family members of key Jemaah Islamiah leaders, members and their operatives has been uncovered by security agencies across the region. Regional intelligence agencies said while they were aware that such arranged marriages had made the terrorist group into one large extended terrorist family, the extent of the family ties was something they had not expected.
STRAIGHT FIGHT: (Sept 9) The Ba'Kelalan by-election will see a straight fight between Barisan Nasional candidate Nelson Balang Rining and independent candidate Baru Bian. Bian resigned from Barisan Nasional component party Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) to contest as an independent.
UPSR EXAMS: (Sept 6) Year Six pupils nationwide began sitting for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination. A total of 499,629 pupils nationwide are sitting for the three-day examination that ends on Wednesday. Of the candidates, 98.8% are from government schools and the remaining 5,805 or 1.2% from private schools.
HORNBILL AUDIT: (Sept 4) The Transport Ministry, which is probing Friday's crash of a Bell 206 Long Ranger helicopter, will also audit the operations of the state-owned Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd. The ministry has grounded Hornbill's 10 helicopters following the crash near Asajaya which killed all four on board.
HOSTAGE TRAGEDY: (Sept 4) At least 326 people, almost half of them children, died in the bloodbath that ended a school siege by gunmen demanding Chechen independence. President Vladimir Putin ordered a security crackdown in the Caucasus and announced two days of state mourning for the victims. Putin has dismissed Western governments' calls for talks with the Chechen rebels.
JAKARTA BLAST: (Sept 9) A car bomb exploded outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, killing at least eight people and wounding more than 130, in an attack police blamed on al-Qaeda-linked militants. The blast, which came days ahead of Indonesia's presidential election and exactly a month before Australia's general election, bears close resemblance to the Bali and the Marriott bombings. Indonesian police said that the Jemaah Islamiah is responsible for the attack.
GENOCIDE DENIAL: (Sept 10) The Sudanese foreign minister rejected a US declaration of genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, and said the United States was using a humanitarian crisis for political purposes. The United Nations has estimated some 1.2 million people have fled their homes and up to 50,000 people have died from direct violence, starvation or illness in what it describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis
ROYAL WEDDING: (Sept 9) Brunei’s Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah, 30, married teenager Sarah Salleh with a glittering array of foreign dignitaries witnessing Asia's grandest wedding in more than a decade. Thousands of Bruneians lined the streets from the palace to the city centre for the 8km procession to welcome the newlyweds.
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