Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Molest victim still in a trauma

ALOR STAR: The teacher involved in an alleged molest case last week has been temporarily transferred-to a district education
office. But the 16-year-old victim is still too traumatised to return to school.

The victim had to undergo medical counselling because she turns hysterical whenever she sees men.

A psychiatrist from the Alor Star Hospital had given her medical leaveuntil tomorrow.

The girl had initially sought treatment at the Jitra Hospital, but her case was referred to Alor Star Hospital because the doctor felt she needed specialist attention.

The victim also dreads returning to school because of taunts by teachers who supported the alleged perpetrator.

"My friends told me the teachers are saying things about me. They also defended the bad person," she said when met yesterday.

The victim was also too afraid to sleep because the alleged perpetrator kept appearing in her nightmares, she said.

The victim's sister said they had to take the girl for medical counselling on Sunday.

The doctor also prescribed sleeping pills.

"We are giving her all our support at home. But she fears stepping out of the house. The sight of men makes her scream. She is so traumatised," said the 22-year-old sister.

The victim lodged a police report last Wednesday, claiming that the teacher had molested her in a small room inside the art
room at school.

She claimed that the teacher gave her RM15 after caressing her cheek, breasts and thigh.

Kubang Pasu OCPD Supt Mohd Karim Abu confirmed that a report had been lodged.


Travel fair banking on mandatory insurance

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Fair 2007 exhibitors are optimistic that the mandatory
travel insurance imposed on tour packages has restored public confidence.

"We are very confident that this fair will do even better than the previous ones, especially with the mandatory travel insurance schemes we have been told to sell to our customers," said a senior staff of Hwajing Travel and Tours who wanted to be known as Lim.

She said people were more aware of the insurance and taking measures to protect their bookings.

The industry was shaken recently by the closure of a top travel agency causing its clients to lose money from bookings they had made.

Hundreds of exhibitors showed up yesterday to ballot for their booths for the fair scheduled for Sept 7 - 9 at Putra World Trade Centre.

Matta deputy president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said 90% of the booths had been sold.

"We've had a lot of enquiries and things are looking good," he said.

"The rules and regulations this time are stricter and better, thus the high confidence level in exhibitors and public.

"There will be no more cases of tour agendes absconding," he added.

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Some agents breaching Act, says Matta

25 in Johor accused of dodgy practices

JOHOR BARU: Some tour agents, licensed to only deal with inbound tourists, have been found selling tickets for international flights.

Alleging this, the Johor chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) said this was a breach of the Tourism Act 1992.

Chapter chairman Kathryn Lee said inbound tour operators can only sell domestic air tickets while outbound operators are entitled to only sell international air tickets.

She alleged that at least 25 travel agencies in the state had been found to be involved in unscrupulous practices, especially in not adhering to conditions in their operating iicences.

Under the Act, she said, three kinds of licences are issued: for inbound or outbound operators and for ticketing agencies that are eligible to sell tickets of any airline.

"Unfortunately, we have detected that about 15% of our members are not abiding by these rules," she said, adding that Johor Matta was currently gathering more details.

Lee advised the public to contact the association for information regarding any travel agent registered as its member.

Johor Matta is organising a three-day travel fair here from Friday.

Lee said there would be 126 booths, with participation from both local and foreign travel agencies.

Visitors will be entitled to a lucky dip at the entrance, which offers more than 1,000 prizes, including a three-day two-night trip to Macau for two.

Those who buy holiday packages with a minimum deposit of RM500 will be entitled to two lucky draws offering seven prizes.

The grand prize for the lucky draw is a RM5,000 cash voucher and a three-day two-night trip to Macau for two.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

my political blog -

Ooi:l cannot remain a fence-sitter
PETALING JAYA: From just blogging to active participation in politics, Jeff Ooi says he now wishes to be part of the legislative process of parliamentary democracy.

He also wants to share his ideas and collectively contribute towards making Malaysia a greater country.

The DAP held a welcoming party for him here yesterday, attended by fellow bloggers and journalists who wanted to know why he was joining the party.
"Tve stopped believing in the promises of the Government," he said in a statement for his reason to join the DAP.

Reporters, however, were more inquisitive about his neutrality as a blogger, now that he had made a political stand.

"While I have chosen my political platform, I do not want people to misconstrue my intentions, which is why I have launched my political blog - - to
convey my thoughts and agenda. I cannot remain a fence-sitter if change is to happen," he replied.

Asked why he left Gerakan, of which he had been a member since 2000, the 51-year-old blogger said he needed a new platform to effectively play his role and achieve his objectives.

Parliament was told that the Suhakam Bill was based on the Paris Principles

Leave us to carry out our duties
Suhakam: We should be in control of our own finances

KUALA LUMPUR: Although Suhakam is supposed to be an independent body with control over its finances, there are certain civil servants who prevent the human rights organisation from carrying out its duties.

Under the Suhakam Act, the Government had to provide it with adequate funds to discharge its functions, its chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman said.

"Parliament was told that the Suhakam Bill was based on the Paris Principles, meaning it should be an independent organisation in control of its own finances, but there are civil servants who feel otherwise," Abu Talib said when asked how
many copies of the newly-launched Malaysian Journal. on Human Rights had been printed and how they would be distributed.

(It cost RM28,000 to print 1,000 copies of the inaugural journal.)

"Our duty is not to make money but create awareness of human rights to all strata," he added.

The 231-page volume touches on modem public order policing, transforming rights, constitutionalism, apostasy and freedom of religion, origins of the Reid Constitutional Commission and social protection for children, he said.

The writers this time include human rights commissioner Datuk K.C. Vohrah, Just World president Dr Chandra Muzaffar, lawyers Datuk Dr Cyrus Das and Pawancheek Marican and academic Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil.

Asked what was the point of educating citizens on their human rights when Parliament had yet to debate any of Suhakam's annual reports, he said: "The people will judge their MPs accordingly. Citizens have the right to choose their government.
The question is whether elections are free and fair."

RapidPenang launched

BUTTERWORTH: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badrawi launched RapidPenang, the state's latest public transport service, when he
flagged offthe buses at Padang MPSP here.

The Prime Minister said the service could be introduced in such a short span of time thanks to the close cooperation between the Federal Government and state government.

"This bus service is one of the efforts by the Government to provide quality, comfortable, systematic and efficient public transport for the people of Penang," he said.

RapidPenang chairman Datuk Abdul Rahim Mokhti said the company targeted 22,000 commuters on the island and 24,000 in Seberang Prai.

He said the service would cover eight corridors, one of which was new.

He said the company would increase its fleet of 150 buses if there were demand.

There will be two city shuttle routes, from Weld Quay to Komtar with a frequency of 10 minutes, and from Weld Quay to ]alan Mesjid Negeri andJalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim every 20 minutes. The fare is RMI per trip," he added.

Rides will be free until tomorrow after which.the fares, between RM1 and RM3, will be imposed.


Pak Lah: Not right to ask for Idris' removal

TAIPING: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) managing director Datuk ldris Jala is a good manager and it is not right to ask him to be removed, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"Idris has managed to tum around the airline and has lot of things on his plate," he told reporters after launching the Perak-level of the Northern Corridor Economic Region.

He was asked to comment on Senator Tajulurus Mohd Zain's call for Idris' removal following a series of delays in MAS flights over the past two weeks.

"It is not right to ask for his removal.

"Idris has already done a lot," he added.

However, the Prime Minister acknowledged that there were flight delays, but pointed out that the airline had already reduced them.


Everyone must join hands to ensure NCER's success

BUTTERWORTH: There should be no excuse from any party, including the private sector, for refusing to participate in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said everyone must join hands to ensure the success of NCER to catapult the nation to greater heights in the next 50 years.

"I don't want to listen to any excuses from anyone, especially those who say they are too busy with their business and taking care of their wealth.

"As long as we can see the moon and the sun, we must not stop at our efforts to ensure that the NCER is in place and well implemented to benefit the more than four million people in the northern states," he said when launching the NCER at Dataran Merdeka Pemuda here.

Abdullah said that unlike those who struggled for independence 50 years ago, the people now did not have to sacrifice their lives and lay down everything.

"I can still remember how Umno youth members had to walk 16kin under the blazing sun to the then Butterworth Recreation Club (Dataran Merdeka Putera) field and stand for hours in the fight for independence.

"They were accompanied by two bullock carts carrying two water containers each to provide drinks for them.

"So there should be no excuse why we should not participate in the NCER as it is done for the interest of everyone," he added.

Abdullah also opened the Dewan Ahmad Badawi which is named after his late father for his deeds and contributions to the country. He later launched the Penang Sentral integrated transportation hub.

More information about Northern Corridor Economic Region

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