Appeals court dismisses former TV3 news editor’s appeal in defamation suit

PUTRAJAYA: Former TV3 news chief editor lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal here today against the High Court order for him to pay RM50,000 in damages to Termeloh Lands assistant administrator for slander.

The decision was delivered by a three-man panel comprising Justices Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang who had dismissed Mohd Khaidir Ahmad’s appeal.

Justice Abang Iskandar ordered Mohd Khaidir, 56, to pay RM10,000 in legal cost.

On April 28, last year, the Temerloh High Court allowed the Temerloh Lands officer Mohd Iqbal Zainal Abidin’s defamation claim against Mohd Khaidir and ordered the latter (Mohd Khaidir) to pay damages and also 5% interest per annum on the sum effective the judgment date until settlement.

Mohd Iqbal, 32, sued Mohd Khaidir on Aug 14, 2016 for allegedly posting a negative and erroneous statement about him in his facebook account between May 21 and May 24, 2016.

In his statement of claim, Mohd Iqbal claimed that Mohd Khaidir was angry with him for signing a notice dated May 15, 2015, which was issued to Mohd Khaidir allegedly regarding the unauthorised occupation of government land.

Mohd Iqbal claimed that Mohd Khaidir refused to apologise or retract the defamatory statement even though he had sent him a letter of demand on May 28, 2016.

One of Mohd Khaidir’s lawyer Ikmal Hisam Idris said he would seek instructions from his client on whether to file leave to appeal to the Federal Court.

Mohd Khaidir was also represented by lawyer T. Gunaseelan while lawyer Adnan Seman appeared for Mohd Iqbal. — Bernama

Government needs to spell out scope of coverage under SST: Aeon

KUALA LUMPUR: The government needs to spell out the scope of coverage of goods and services to be taxed under the Sales and Services Tax (SST), said Aeon Co. (M) Bhd.

“It is difficult at this point in time to determine the impact that it will have on the prices of goods and services.

“Maybe there will be some impact on the services,” Aeon Executive Director Poh Ying Loo said.

It is difficult to see the impact until the government provides a clear guideline and coverage, he told reporters after meeting the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) at Menara Ilham here today.

The SST will be reintroduced in September, with the provision of services to be taxed at six per cent and the sales of goods at 10%.

Poh said Aeon viewed its business rivalry, with the increasing number of convenience stores and online retailers, as a challenge that it would need to take on in the competitive retail market.

“The convenience store is a different format presented to the consumers. We need to improve our services and product offering to the consumers,” he added.

Meanwhile, GCH Retail Sdn Bhd (Giant Hypermarkets) said if the prices were to increase after the implementation of the SST, it would not be within the company’s control.

Managing Director Pierre-Olivier Deplanck said the prices were being controlled by manufacturers and importers.

“But as a defender of consumers, we will do everything we can to minimise those increased prices.

“We will reject them (manufacturers) if they come with unreasonable price increases,” he added. — Bernama

Mahathir says unaware of Jho Low’s alleged arrest

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that he is unaware of reports that wanted business man Low Taek Jho or Jho Low has been arrested in China.

“I am not aware of this, but I hope he is arrested and brought back to Malaysia,” he said when met by media at the Parliament session.

He said this is the first time he heard about Low’s arrest after he was asked by the media about it.

“This is the first I’ve heard of his arrest, you seem to be better informed than the Prime Minister of Malaysia,” he quipped.

“All I know is that he is jumping from place to place to avoid arrest. If it is true that he has been arrested, we must find out what for by the Chinese authorities,” he said.

He added that although Malaysia has no extradition treaty with China, if he is arrested, Malaysia can make a request to hand him over to Malaysian authorities.

On Wednesday, Sarawak Report quoted an unnamed Hong Kong radio station as claiming that Chinese authorities have detained the Penang-born businessperson.

On July 11, South China Morning Post said Low had fled to mainland China from Macau, either by car or by a private jet.

Prior to that, the 37-year-old businessperson had run to Macau as Malaysian police closed in on him in Hong Kong.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) had claimed in its civil forfeiture suits that the businessperson was involved in multiple instances where 1MDB funds were allegedly misappropriated.

Mahathir said that Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) head Tun Daim Zainuddin is in China to renegotiate contracts and deals Malaysia has made with the Chinese.

“What he’s trying to do is to renegotiate the loans and contracts we have made with Chinese companies, because we find that they’re costly and part of the money is not really needed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mahathir reiterated that the highly controversial KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project has been postponed and not scrapped.

He cited high costs as a major factor in the postponement and added that the cost of the rail needs to be reduced.

“At the moment when we look at the finances in the country, we thought we couldn’t go ahead with that. But having studied it, studied the contract with Singapore and the cost of it, we decided that maybe we may have to do it at a later date or reduce the price but the reduction of the price is very difficult,” he said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

He also informed that Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali will be going to Singapore to relay Malaysia’s stand on the matter.

“Singapore wants to know our stand on the rail so Azmin is going there to meet with them,” he said.

Mahathir had in his first month in office initially said that the HSR would be scrapped, before cabinet decided to put it on hold instead.

The Pakatan Harapan government claimed that the HSR would cost RM110 billion, compared to the RM74 billion estimated by the previous BN administration.

Fresh probe into Altantuya’s murder completed, papers sent to AGC

PETALING JAYA: The reopened investigation into the 2006 murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu has been completed, says Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.

“We have completed the investigation and have submitted it to the Attorney General’s Chambers.

“We are waiting for further instructions,” he told a press conference after attending a police function here today.

He said the latest investigation involves statements taken from several witnesses including Altantuya’s father, Dr Setev Shaaribuu.

On June 20, Setev lodged a police report seeking a fresh probe into the murder of his daughter.

Altantuya is believed to have been killed and her body blown up with explosives at a secondary jungle in Mukim Bukit Raja, Klang, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006.

In 2009, former police Special Action Unit members Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri were found guilty of Altantuya’s murder.

The Court of Appeal overturned their sentences in 2013 but upon the prosecution’s appeal, the sentences were upheld by the Federal Court.

Sirul fled to Australia where he was detained by Australian Immi­gration at a detention centre in Sydney after Interpol issued a red notice on him.

He has been at the detention centre since 2015 and is hoping to get asylum there.

Australia does not allow a person on death row to return to their home country.

Tun M: 2 of 10 promises fulfilled in 70 days (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Only two of the “10 promises in 100 days” under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government have been fulfilled, seventy days into its administration, according to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister said the government encountered many unforeseen hurdles when attempting to implement the 10 promises, as well as giving priority to other pressing matters.

He said six other promises were in the midst of implementation, while efforts to implement the remaining two have yet to begin.

“To ensure all promises are done in an organised manner and according to the law, they need time. Not all can be achieved within 100 days.

“It must be remembered that attention must not only be given to these 10 promises. There are other things that also needed to be done. What we prioritise is cleaning up the government from all the damages done by the previous administration, such as corruption and abuse of power.

“The enforcement of laws on crime within the government also needed to be done as well as efforts to retrieve lost money and restructuring of ministries and agencies,” he said in the Minister’s Question Time in Parliament, here, today.

While he did not specify which two promises had been fulfilled, Mahathir was possibly referring to the reintroduction of fuel subsidies and reviewing all mega projects that have been awarded to foreign countries.

PH had in its election manifesto pledged to accomplish 10 promises within its first 10 days of taking power since May 9, with many of those pledges still in the process of implementation.

These include introducing Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scheme for housewives, standardising the monthly minimum wages of employees and abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) – which is expected to be finalised this parliamentary session.

On a supplementary question by Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) over Mahathir’s comment previously that the manifesto was only a guide, the latter maintained that the document must not be regarded as a bible that the government are tied to unconditionally.

“When we tried to implement some of the promises, we found many restrictions including certain old laws under the BN government and civil servants were not clean.

“If we have sinned (by not sticking to our manifesto), then we will responsible. But we will not consider the manifesto a bible,” he said.

On a question of oil royalties to oil-producing states in the country, Mahathir maintained that they would be given 20% of the royalty on the condition that they are only used for the development of the states and not abused for party matters.

“This is not just for Kelantan and Terengganu, but all states that produce oil, based on the profit earned,” he said.

Later when asked by reporters at the Parliament lobby on the matter, Mahathir said: “Yes, everyone will get 20% of profit from their area. If the area produces small profit, then they will get based on that. But it is from the profit, not a cost item.”