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  1. #1
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    [18/10/2009] : The Star | Current News

    Sunday October 18, 2009
    Cracks in Sabah PKR
    By RUBEN SARIO

    KOTA KINABALU: A split in the Sabah PKR leadership is now out in the open following the appointment of party vice-president Azmin Ali as state liaison chief.

    PKR vice-president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said 18 leaders of the party’s 23 active divisions in Sabah have signed a memorandum voicing their protest over Azmin’s leadership in the state.

    The memorandum had been submitted to PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim “some time ago,” he said yesterday.

    “The issue is not whether his appointment is accepted, it is about certain decisions he made,” Dr Jefrey said when met at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport here to greet former cabinet minister and PKR member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
    On leave: Zaid talking to reporters at a press conference at his house in Tropicana in Petaling Jaya Saturday.

    Dr Jeffrey said the decisions of state liaison leaders should be made after consultation with division chiefs and not be “shoved down the throats of division leaders.”

    Earlier, Sabah PKR deputy state chief Datuk Dr Hamzah Amir dismissed reports of a rift among state party leaders following Azmin’s appointment as state chief.

    Describing the matter as a “non-issue,” Dr Hamzah said 15 of the Sabah PKR division chiefs who purportedly signed the memorandum had disassociated themselves from the document.

    There had been reports that more than half of the 25 Sabah PKR division leaders wanted Azmin replaced immediately with a local state leader as state party chief.

    In the memorandum, the division leaders had proposed the names of three leaders, namely Dr Jeffrey, Dr Hamzah and Datuk Kong Hong Ming.

    Meanwhile, Zaid said he would still be involved in other activities in the party despite his six-month leave from PKR political bureau meetings.

    “I will continue with other party activities such as those strengthening the Opposition,” he said upon his arrival to attend a Hari Raya gathering organised by the Putatan PKR division yesterday.

    To a question, he reaffirmed he had been asked by Anwar to skip yesterday’s event but decided to attend it anyway.

    Zaid added that he would explain his reasons for ignoring Anwar’s request later.

    In Kuala Lumpur, PKR strategy director Tian Chua said he was confident Zaid would continue to carry out duties assigned to him by the party.

    He said knowing Zaid, he would continue to do work for the party.

    Asked if it was true that Zaid took the leave following a disagreement with PKR vice-president Azmin Ali, Chua declined to comment.
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  2. #2
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    Sunday October 18, 2009
    Cuepacs seeks bonus of two months for govt staff

    KUALA LUMPUR: Cuepacs wants the Government to pay the 1.2 million civil servants a two-month bonus this year.

    It hopes the Government will include the bonus in Budget 2010 plus a similar incentive for 400,000 pensioners, said the umbrella body’s president Omar Osman.

    He said this was on top of the RM500 special assistance given to support services staff given out before Hari Raya.

    “We decided on this resolution because the civil service has shown great improvement in efficiency, performance and integrity,” Omar told reporters after a Cuepacs Hari Raya Aidilfitri get-together on Friday.

    He said the resolution on the bonus was passed during a three-hour congress on Friday morning, adding that another resolution passed was for the privatisation of solid waste management in Perak to be postponed in order for the district office staff to be fully briefed on the option.

    He said Cuepacs urged the Economic Planning Unit to postpone the scheme to 2011 so that negotiations for the scheme’s conditions could take place between Cuepacs and the firm that is giving the option.

    It is learnt that a local company, E Idaman Sdn Bhd, wanted to offer options to the staff without negotiating with Cuepacs on the conditions for the scheme.

    “They cannot go ahead with this without talking to Cuepacs first.

    “There must be conditions to be stipulated first,” he said.

    The last resolution was for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to expedite its checks on the 200,000 civil servants who were eligible for time-based salary adjustments.

    According to Omar, the adjustment that was supposed to be implemented in August, had not taken place as yet. It is learnt that these adjustments affected mostly civil servants in grades N1, R1, 27 and 29.
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  3. #3
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    MCA chief finds it hard to accept 'change in friendship'

    KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat says he feels hurt by the “change” in the people he considers his friends because of the “influence of political power.”

    Adding that though he has experienced many setbacks in politics, “what hurts me the most is the change in friendship”.

    He was responding to a question from the press after opening the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Foo Clan Association’s premises yesterday.

    It has been reported that 20 central committee members signed a memorandum asking Ong to step down after a vote of no confidence at the Oct 10 EGM.

    Other developments yesterday were:

    > Newly-appointed deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai says the central committee will dis­cuss with Ong to find another solution other than calling for a fresh EGM to resolve the party crisis.

    > The proposed EGM has not been fixed but the party is working to convene it “as soon as possible,” says secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng.

    > Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says the solution to MCA’s leadership quandary must not only be legally correct but also morally and politically acceptable.
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  4. #4
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    Published: Sunday October 18, 2009 MYT 12:29:00 PM
    MTUC: Revert EPF cut to 11%

    PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today called on the government to allow the 2.2 million workers, who opted for the 8% Employees Provident Fund (EPF) deductions, to revert to 11% with immediate effect.

    Saying that the economy was recovering, MTUC vice- president A. Balasubrmaniam said EPF contributions were "old age" savings for private sector workers and it was important that the saving percentage be maintained.

    Due to the economic downturn, the Government had in November given the employees the option to either maintain the deductions at 11% or reduce it to 8% for a period of two years from Jan 1 this year.

    According to the EPF, a total of 2.2 million or 40 per cent of workers opted to reduce it to 8 per cent.

    Balasubramaniam said MTUC was now concerned for these 2.2 million workers as they were losing out in terms of dividends and final payout when they reach retirement age.

    He said that although the option was for two years, the government should allow them to revert to the previous deductions now. - Bernama
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  5. #5
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    Sunday October 18, 2009
    Searching for link between Tongkat Ali, honey and sperm
    By SYED AZHAR

    KOTA BARU: The Men’s Health Clinic of University Sains Malaysia Hospital has embarked on two sexual and reproductive health projects to find out whether Tongkat Ali and pure honey can enhance sperm count.

    At least 100 people have been recruited to consume pure extracts of Tongkat Ali at reasonable doses to see whether it would enrich sperm count and produce testosterone (male sex hormones), clinic head Assoc Prof Dr Shaiful Bahari Ismail said.

    “The preliminary results that we have documented are quite encouraging. We will know the outcome by early next year.”

    He said another project, utilising Tualang honey from Kedah or Borneo honey, would start soon following laboratory tests done on rats that showed that they had better sperm count after being fed with the honey.

    “We have had a minor breakthrough with that. This has prompted us to try it on human subjects in two months time,” said Dr Shaiful Bahari, who completed a 12-month fellowship programme in male sexual and reproductive health at Monash University, Australia, in 2006.

    He said those types of honey were found to be suitable for the research because they were collected from bees in an environment that was not affected by pollution.

    These studies on libido were part of a combination of traditional and clinical research into sexual impotence, he said.

    Dr Shaiful Bahari, whose research focused on chronic diseases especially diabetes and hypertension that is hypothetically linked to erectile dysfunction, said the male population began to develop sexual problems from the age of 40.

    “This is variably based on their lifestyle but one thing is for sure that their sperm count would decrease as they grow older as proven by the Massachusetts Male Aging Studies.

    “And when this happens, they would inevitably end up suffering from impotence or erectile dysfunction, which I believe is an indicator to detect major illnesses that is plaguing the male population,” he said, adding that his clinic had treated more that 700 patients so far.

    He also said that the research was primarily done to compare the effectiveness of Tongkat Ali against honey.

    “We will get another 100 test patients with low sperm count and divide them into two groups to find out which is better in terms of erectile and sperm count potency,” he said.

    At present, he said that synthetically-produced ED drugs were being controlled by the Health Ministry to prevent wrong dosage consumption which would have negative impact on users.

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