Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Rhode Island Advances Gay Marriage Bill

Rhode Island senators advanced legislation on Wednesday that could make the state the 10th in the nation to allow gay marriage.
The legislation passed easily in the House in January, but the Senate vote was seen as a true test for the bill. But it passed 26-12, paving the way for the state to allow same-sex couples to say their vows.
The bill will now return to the House for a largely procedural vote. The vote will likely take place next week, then the bill will go to Rhode Island’s Governor Lincoln Chafee, who supports it.
Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket), the bill’s main sponsor in the Rhode Island Senate, stated of the victory:
“This is a historic piece of legislation, one that literally has been in the works for more than 20 years. This is something that undoes centuries of discrimination against gay and lesbian couples.”
The bill’s chances in the Senate improved when the body’s President Teresa Palva Weed said she would let the bill move forward, even though she opposes gay marriage. The Senate’s five Republicans also announced this week that they would support the measure.
If the gay marriage bill passes in Rhode Island, same-sex nuptials could start taking place on August 1, when the legislation would take effect. However, civil unions would no longer be available as of that date. The state would continue to recognize the civil unions.
Supporters of the Rhode Island same sex marriage bill framed the problem as one of civil rights. They argued for the bill during daylong legislative hearings, explaining that gay and lesbian couples should have the same rights and protections as heterosexual married couples currently have.
The Catholic Church was the most significant opponent of the bill. But the legislation states that religious institutions will be allowed to set their own rules about who is eligible to marry within the faith. It also specifies that no religious leader is required to officiate at any marriage ceremony. No religious group is required to provide facilities or services related to a same-sex marriage.
The exemption helped to soothe concerns from some lawmakers that clergy would face lawsuits for turning away same sex couples. After Rhode Island, Deleware could become the next state to approve gay marriage.

GE13: Explosion rocks BN political campaign in Jawi, police have not ruled out foul play


An election campaign talk attended by about 3,000 people Tuesday was marred by an explosion at the Nibong Tebal Barisan Nasional (BN) operations centre in Jawi, seriously injuring a security guard, and causing panic among the people.

The explosion was believed to have triggered off at the rear area of a stage that was set up for campaign talks, situated next to the operations centre.

During the explosion at 10.15pm, about 3,000 people were gathered to listen to a political talk by Penang Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan.

cheal, 39, said he had arrived at the location about 10 minutes before the explosion and was listening to the talk when the blast occurred near a pile of rubbish.

He added that he and his wife ran as fast as they could to leave the scene of the blast.

"The blast sounded just like a bomb and everyone was caught by surprise. The situation turned chaotic and I saw an injured person being carried away," he said.

Another witness who only wanted to be known as Ahmad, 58, said he was standing close to the stage when the incident happened.

"The impact of the explosion saw rubbish strewn all over the place. Fortunately I was not hit by the flying debris," he told reporters at the scene.

Penang deputy police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar said the security personnel, in his 30s, was injured in his right leg and was sent to the Sungai Bakap Hospital for treatment.

He was reported to be in stable condition.

"We have called in the bomb and forensic unit to investigate the explosion and determine what was used for the explosion," said Abdul Rahim adding that a thorough probe would be carried out.

Meanwhile, state BN chief Teng Chang Yeow said the blast had tarnished democracy and expressed hope that political campaigns would not be marred by similar incidents in the future.

Monday, 22 April 2013

GE13: Ex-Selangor MB ‘Mat Tyson’ joins PAS, says it’s time for change

Former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib joined PAS today, bolstering Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) campaign to retain Selangor in Election 2013. Muhammad, who helmed the country’s wealthiest state from 1986 to 1997, said Malaysia and Selangor had enjoyed development under Barisan Nasional (BN), but stressed that it was time for change.
Muhammad (pictured) says that Islam must shine from the Klang Valley, Selangor and Shah Alam. “Children will be messed up if development is soulless,” Muhammad told reporters at the PAS headquarters here.
“Look at Shah Alam. Which party can restore the soul? It must be a party that fights for religion,” he added.
Muhammad pointed out that although Islam was the country’s official religion, there were still Malay schoolgirls who did not wear headscarves.
“Say Islam, but look, there are school kids who wear skirts, they also wear baju kurungs, they also wear tudungs (headscarves), so it’s not clear,” he said.
Muhammad’s last post with Umno was as its information chief under former party president Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who stepped down in 2009.
Muhammad said that Islam must grow in the cities as many Malays were living there.
“The Klang Valley, Selangor, Shah Alam must become centres that shine Islam,” he said.
Incumbent Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who is seen as a moderate voice in PAS, will be defending his seat against BN’s Datuk Zulkifli Noordin.
The Islamist party’s pull of Muhammad and several establishment figures will help hone its evolving image as a progressive party bidding for federal power in multi-racial Malaysia at the May 5 polls.
Several corporate figures and senior government pensioners, including high-ranking officers such as former secretary-generals, ex-envoys as well as those from the police and armed forces, have joined PAS at the end of their service.
Among them are former criminal investigation police chief Datuk Fauzi Shaari, former Land and Cooperative Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Nik Zain Nik Yusof and Datuk Ramli Buyong, the deputy vice-president of Felcra Berhad.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

GE13: Fine weather expected on Nomination Day

 Fine weather with several places expected to be cloudy in the morning.

MSN Travel
  The weather is expected to be fine on Saturday morning (April 20) in most places nationwide on nomination day for the 13th general election.

According to the Meteorological Department's website, intermittent rain was forecast in three parliamentary areas in Melaka, namely, Bukit Katil, Kota Melaka and Jasin.

Penang is expected to be cloudy and rain in many places in the morning to be followed by fine weather in the evening while several places in Johor are expected to be cloudy in the morning.

The nomination process will start at 9am.

DAP to field 11 new faces in Selangor

Lim Guan Eng said among the new faces were the party's election strategy director Ong Kian Ming who would contest the Serdang parliamentary seat.

 The DAP will be fielding 11 new faces in Selangor in the 13th General Election, according to its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

He said among the new faces were the party's election strategy director Ong Kian Ming who would contest the Serdang parliamentary seat, replacing the incumbent Teo Nie Ching who has been moved to the Kulai parliamentary seat in Johor.

Besides this, Teresa Kok Suh Sim who won the Kinrara state seat and Seputeh parliamentary seat in the last general election, is only being retained for the Seputeh seats.
Speaking at a press conference at the DAP headquarters here Thursday to announced the name of the party's candidates for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak and Melaka, Lim said Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew was not being renominated to defend his Pandamaran state seat and that his place would be taken over by Selayang Municipal Council member Tan Pok Shyong.

Another notable name to be dropped is Sibu incumbent and Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng, who is suffering from brain cancer. He will be replaced by Oscar Ling Chai Yew.

Meanwhile, M.Manogaran, the incumbent for the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat will move to Cameron Highlands to take on MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

 Following is the DAP's list of candidates for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak and Melaka:

SELANGOR: PARLAMENT: P102 Serdang - Ong Kian Ming (new face) P103 Puchong - Gobind Singh Deo P106 Petaling Jaya Utara - Pua Kiam Wee P110 Klang - Charles Anthony R.Santiago STATE: N4 Sekinchan - Ng Suee Lim N6 Kuala Kubu Baharu - Lee Kee Hiong (new face ) N22 Teratai - Tiew Way Keng (new face) N30 Kinrara - Ng Sze Han (new face)(Subang Jaya municipal councillor) N35 Kampung Tunku - Lau Weng San N36 Damansara Utama - Yeo Bee Yin (new face) N27 Balakong - Ng Tien Chee (new face) N28 Seri Kembangan - Ean Yong Hian Wah. N31 Subang Jaya - Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan N34 Bukit Gasing - Rajiv Rishyakaran (new face) N44 Sungai Pinang - Teng Chang Khim N47 Pandamaran - Tan Pok Shyong (new face) N48 Kota Alam Shah - Ganabatirau Veraman (new face) N52 Teluk Datuk - Loh Chee Heng (new face) N56 Sungai Pelek - Lai Nyuk Lan (new face)

KUALA LUMPUR (All parliamentary seats): P114 Kepong - Dr Tan Seng Giaw P117 Segambut - Lim Lip Eng P120 Bukit Bintang - Fong Kui Lin P122 Seputeh - Teresa Kok P123 Cheras - Tan Kok Wai

SARAWAK (All parliamentary seats): P192 Mas Gading - Mordi Anak Bimol (new face) P195 Bandar Kuching - Chong Chieng Jen P196 Stampin - Julian Tan Kok Ping (new face) P199 Serian - Edward Anak Andrew Luwak@Edward Luwak (new face) P202 Sri Aman - Leon Jimat Donald ( had stood in a state seat before) P208 Sarikei - Wong Ling Biu (new face) P211 Lanang - Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (had stood in a state seat before) P212 Sibu - Oscar Ling Chai Yew (new face) P213 Mukah - Hai bin Merawin@Bonaventure (new face) P215 Kapit - Ramli Anak Malaka (new face) P217 Bintulu - John Brian Anthony Anak Jeremy Guang (new face) P219 Miri - Lim Su Kien P222 Lawas - Baru Langub (new face)

PARLIAMENT: P135 Alor Gajah - Yeo Shen Li (had stood in a state seat before) P138 Kota Melaka - Sim Tong Him

STATE: N14 Klebang - Liou Chen Kuang N15 Bachang - Lim Jak Wong N16 Ayer Keroh - Khoo Poay Tiong N19 Kesidang - Chin Choong Seong N20 Kota Laksamana - Lai Keun Ban (new face) N21 Duyong - Goh Leong San N22 Banda Hilir - Tey Kok Kiew N24 Bemban - Gandhi Rajan Nalliah (new face)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Malaysian Spring in Bangsar

Over the weekend, some 20,000 'flowers' appeared at Lucky Garden roundabout, only to be taken down by DBKL officers. Angry residents stood by and resisted the act.

GE13: A Malaysian Spring in Bangsar (© Photos by pb4000xl)


A project initiated by Malaysian architect Ng Sek San saw 20,000 "flowers" planted at Lucky Garden roundabout in Bangsar by a group of citizen volunteers with PKR Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah on Sunday morning.
That same evening at about 5.30pm, DBKL officers were seen at the scene, removing the colourful flag "flowers", and hording them into a van. But 30 nearby residents converged at the roundabout to stop the officers from doing so, questioning who gave the orders and why the flags could not be planted. One resident even shouted, "Where is the democracy that was promised by 1Malaysia!"
The officers relented and allowed the residents to remove the flags from their van and continued to replant the "flowers" back on the ground.
GE13: A Malaysian Spring in Bangsar (© Photos by pb4000xl)In a Whatsapp interview, we asked Sek San the purpose of Malaysian Spring, to which he shared, "to spread the message of hope and change, and to get people to participate in the process of making a better Malaysia, through the simple gesture of planting a flower in the street.. Now we want Malaysians to snowball this effort by making their own flowers." His reaction to Bangsar residents who resisted the officers' actions surprised him and he was touched by their actions: "I'm very proud of my community here, I nearly cried on Sunday! Our message to others is that colour (of the skin) is not important to new Malaysia, so they can use whatever colours and material. It is the defiant act of planting a flower to welcome Spring which is more important."


  GE13: A Malaysian Spring in Bangsar (© Photos by pb4000xl) 

GE13: Rosmah denies meddling in selection of candidates

 The Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor today denied allegation by certain quarters that she meddled in the selection of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates.

Describing the allegation as baseless, Rosmah said the BN candidates were chosen by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak together with the top BN leadership.

"In the run up to the general election, I have been the subject of much slander. As the wife of the country's leader, this cannot be avoided.

 "Some people said that I meddled in the selection of candidates. It's not true because if then, I would have known who were nominated or dropped," she said at a hospitality, culinary industry and cooking demonstration at Advanced Technology Training Centre (ADTEC) here Tuesday.

Also present were Selangor Wanita Umno chief, Datuk Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah and chairman of Kota Raja Barisan Nasional division, Raja Kamaruzaman Johari.

In her speech, Rosmah urged wives of BN candidates to accompany their husbands during election campaigns to ensure victory for the party.

"With the cooperation and support of various quarters, we (BN) can retain the leadership of this country, including capturing Selangor from the opposition."

On another note, she urged housewives to always serve a balanced diet to their family members because it was the best place to nurture a healthy eating habit.