DPM Najib brought progress and changes to FELDA families

Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak announced more new initiatives to upgrade the lives of FELDA families; the second or third generation from the structured land development scheme which was launched in the 50s, to alleviate the lives of rural folk in Malaya. He said this at the awards ceremony to the second annual FELDA Youth Awards in Putrajaya International Convention Centre, where over 3,000 FELDA youth participants from all over the country converged.

The theme of this year’s awards program is “Mengangkasakan minda meneroka era baru“. The title is self explanatory.

Since Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak was given the Cabinet portfolio of FELDA, he has had 32 progressive changes and modifications on the land development scheme, FELDA which encompass the lives of over 112,000 families and one million Malaysians.

Some 20,000 FELDA youths have been trained for various skills and entrepreneurial programs. Today, more programs have been announced. He described the second and third generation of FELDA settlers are “mind settlers” and no longer like their fathers or grandfathers, who were “jungle/estate settlers”.

Bernama.com has the story:

December 10, 2007 16:31 PM

Eight Initiatives To Shape Felda Youths

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PUTRAJAYA, Dec 10 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday announced eight initiatives to shape youths of Felda schemes into a new generation of people.

The deputy prime minister said the initiatives would mould the youths into a generation of healthy, educated, trained and business-savvy people.

Najib, who is in charge of Felda affairs and development, said the first initiative involved sports development in Felda schemes, including the construction of community sports complexes or futsal courts, to promote good health.

Under the second initiative, the new generation would be encouraged to engage in business and become entrepreneurs, he said at the opening of the Felda convention and presentation of Felda youth awards at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, here.

Najib said loans would be provided under the Felda Entrepreneurs Incentive Scheme, the annual ceiling of which has been raised by RM5 million to RM15 million.

The incentive scheme has been allocated a revolving fund of RM100 million, of which RM73.3 million has been approved for disbursement to 4,801 entrepreneurs, he said.

He also said that the “Tunas Mekar” programme run by Felda and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) would be upgraded, with graduates of the programme given a monthly allowance of RM1,000 and trained for 10 months at the industry of their choice.

Companies of Felda Holdings would be made to participate in the training programme to enable more children of Felda settlers to benefit from it, he added.

Najib said the third initiative involved the provision of housing. The government has built and was constructing five medium-cost and low-cost housing projects in the Bukit Goh, Mempaga, Lepar Hilir and Keratong Felda schemes in Pahang and the Pasak Felda scheme in Johor.

He said the government would make available a hire-purchase scheme that would be managed by Felda. “More such housing projects will be implemented in stages in strategic locations in line with our desire to urbanise the Felda schemes,” he added.

The fourth, fifth and sixth initiatives relate to the education of Felda youths, involving their pursuit of diploma programmes, sending excellent students from among the youths to leading universities overseas, and integrated colleges managed by the Felda Foundation to provide the youths with industrial training.

Najib said the seventh initiative involved training children of Felda settlers in various skills at 65 training centres in the country, including at Malaysia Airlines as aircraft maintenance engineers.

A sum of RM50 million has been allocated for this initiative next year.

The eighth initiative involved assisting in the management of 317 Felda youth associations with an allocation of RM1,000 for each association per year, he said.

— BERNAMA

 

 

Published in: on December 10, 2007 at 18:49  Leave a Comment  

Stop talking and do something, please!

PKR Information Chief and former PKN Vice President Tian Chua and PAS Vice President Mat Sabu were arrested earlier today, in connection with their explicit and strategic involvement in the November 10 illegal assembly and demonstration, originally planned from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara. It was understood that they would be charged for violating section 27(5) of the Police Act for unlawful assembly.

Earlier today, some lawyers and activists, which include PKR Vice President R. Sivarasah, PKR Supreme Council member Latheefa Koya, Edmund Bon and Haris Ibrahim were also arrested cited under the same law, for illegal assembly charges as well.

This was Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s response on the arrest of some lawyers this morning at the “Freedom of Rights” walk, especially after Bar Council has been denied a Police permit few days ago, as reported by Bernama.com:

December 09, 2007 17:57 PM

 

No Double Standard In Enforcing The Law On Law Breakers – Abdullah

PETALING JAYA, Dec 9 (Bernama) — The Government does not practise double standard when taking action on law breakers even if they are lawyers, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Sunday.

“Even today I’ve been informed that police have arrested eight people (including four lawyers). Even though they are lawyers, if they break the law, definitely action will be taken against them.

“There is no favouritism whatsoever on this matter,” he told reporters after giving away prizes to golfers participating in the MasterCard-ntv7 Platinum Golf Masters 2007 Charity Grand Finals at Saujana Golf Club in Subang, near here.

Abdullah, who is also Internal Security Minister, was responding to reporters’ questions on the arrests of four lawyers and four activists at Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur this morning for participating in an illegal march.

A group of 50 people, including lawyers, activists, bloggers and members of non-governmental organisations, wearing surgical masks, staged a “Peace Walk” to mark World Human Rights Day tomorrow.

They had earlier gathered in front of the Sogo Shopping Complex before walking through the busy Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to the Bar Council building at Jalan Raja, about 2km away.

The group has not only violated the law for not having a police permit to hold an illegal assembly, they have also snubbed the Bar Council’s decision to cancel the assembly very much earlier.

Abdullah said the police took appropriate action in tackling today’s illegal assembly as the participants had defied the law,

“They did not obey the law, they still want to protest and they acted in defiance of the law. Definitely, the police have to take action in accordance with the law,” he said.

The Prime Minister said anti-government actions and defiance of the law must stop as they were of no benefit to the country and the people.

“They are not our culture. These are not the ways we should emulate,” he said.

Asked on the Indian government’s move to steer clear from the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), Abdullah said he appreciated very much the Indian government’s stand.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia enjoyed cordial relations with India based on mutual respect between two friendly and sovereign nations.

“Furthermore, it is based on the understanding that a country’s domestic problem is the sovereign right of that country to take action in accordance with the rule of law and constitutional provisions.

“Therefore, I appreciate very much the Indian government’s stand,” he added.

Earlier, Abdullah received donations totalling RM500,000 from the charity golf tournament for the Taman Bakti Children’s Home in Kepala Batas and the Mentally Retarded Children’s Welfare Association in Seberang Prai Tengah.

Abdullah is the Member of Parliament for Kepala Batas.

— BERNAMA


What is so baffling, why the authorities, namely the Police took 30 days to arrest them, if they clearly defied the law and grounds to charge them in a criminal court?

It goes for the Batu Burok illegal assembly and recently, the HINDRAF organised event which saw protesters clashed with riot Police. So many ruling party politicians, which include Cabinet Ministers already urging the authorities to make swift and stern decision and act on these law defiants, to the limit of the law.

Why is the Government gone SO SOFT and SLOW, in handling the cases of illegal assemblies and street demonstrations lately? Is it the Police or the Minister in charge of the Police and internal security matters who are slacking and dragging their feet in making decision on the handling on this matter?

Enough talk and rhetorics! Enough statements! Do something! Please….

 

*An update as of 3.00pm Monday, 10 December 2007: Correction. Lawyer Haris Ibrahim was not arrested during or after the “Freedom of Rights” march yesterday

*A further update as of 10.30pm Monday, 10 December 2007:

More on the “Freedom of Rights”  marchers who were arrested on Sunday morning, for defiant of law. All eight pleaded not guilty when charged at the Session Court today participating in an unlawful assembly under section 143 of the Penal Code and an alternate charge violating section 27(5) of the Police Act.

December 10, 2007 20:12 PM

Eight In People’s Freedom Walk Claim Trial E-mail this news to a friend  Printable version of this news  

 

By M. Santhiran

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 (Bernama) — Four lawyers and four activists pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here today to two charges of being in an unlawful assembly and failing to adhere to police orders to disperse.

They were alleged to have participated in yesterday’s “People’s Freedom Walk” in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

Lawyers Amer Hamzah Arshad, Latheefa Beebi Koya, N. Surendran and K. Sivarasa and activists Eric Paulsen, Johny Andu @ Abu Bakar Adnan, Nooraza Othman and Ashraf Ali Sadakathullah also claimed trial to two alternative charges of taking part in the illegal assembly and failing to adhere to police orders to disperse.

They allegedly committed the offences in front of the Kamdar building in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman between 8.10am and 8.50am yesterday.

On the first count of being in an unlawful assembly, the eight were charged under section 143 of the Penal Code. If convicted, they face a term of up to six months imprisonment or fine, or both.

They also face an alternative charge under section 27(5)(a) of the Police Act 1967 of taking part in an illegal assembly which carries a fine of between RM2,000 and RM10,000 or a year’s jail.

The second charge under section 145 of the Penal Code accuses the eight of continuing to be in an unlawful assembly, knowing that the police had commanded them to disperse.

If convicted, they can be jailed up to two years or fined, or both.

They also face an alternative charge of being members of an unlawful assembly and failing to adhere to an order by Supt Che Hamzah Che Ismail to disperse.

In the same court, lawyer Edmund Bon Tai Soon, 33, claimed trial to obstructing a Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officer from removing a banner in front of the Bar Council office in Jalan Lebuh Pasar at about 12.15pm yesterday.

Bon, the Bar Council’s human rights committee chairman, had allegedly committed the offence under Section 186 of the Penal Code and faces up to three years in jail or a maximum fine of RM1,000, or both, if convicted.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail urged the court to deny them bail as the offences were non-bailable or compoundable.

He said the eight had committed a serious offence and urged the court to take a serious view of the case as such illegal assemblies might escalate, resulting in public disorder.

“They may argue that it is not a serious offence but the prosecution will prove that their actions may lead to public disorder and more unlawful assemblies,” he said.

At this juncture, laughter broke out in the courtroom, which was packed mostly with lawyers, prompting Gani to tell the court that this was no laughing matter as it involved national security.

Gani pointed out that the walk itself was not sanctioned by the Bar Council and that the prosecution had video evidence to prove that children were also present during the demonstration.

He argued that the demonstrators had clearly showed their defiance when police repeatedly ordered them to disperse.

On Bon’s case, Gani said it was a serious offence for anyone to obstruct a public servant from discharging his duty.

He said that in this case, the DBKL officer had just removed a banner tied between two trees, in front the Bar Council’s premises.

Gani proposed that if the court decided to grant bail to the accused, the bail should also state that they refrain from taking part in any unlawful assembly, until the case was over.

P. Puravelan, lead counsel for the eight, said the issue of bail was merely to ensure their attendance in court and denying them bail was tantamount to punishing them before the trial even started.

“The AG is just speculating that there will be more street demonstrations,” he said, adding that the “People’s Freedom Walk” was not a demonstration against the government.

He said the Bar Council had been organising the event for the past two years in conjunction with Human Rights Day.

“Even Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk M. Kayveas, had attended the event.”

Another counsel, K. Ragunath, said the burden was on the prosecution to prove why the court should deny bail.

Another counsel, Tommy Thomas, questioned how a gathering of about 100 people could pose a threat to national security.

The fundamental liberty of each citizen of this country was protected under the Federal Constitution, he said, adding that the court should grant bail to all the accused.

Judge S. M. Komathy allowed bail of RM2,000 in one surety and fixed hearing for four days, beginning Jan 28.

For Bon, the judge imposed bail of RM1,000 in one surety and fixed hearing for March 3-5.

All posted bail.

— BERNAMA

 

Published in: on December 10, 2007 at 00:26  Comments (7)