No truth to viral message on PM’s ‘special announcement’ – Nation


PETALING JAYA: A message which has gone viral on social media that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was due to make an important announcement on Wednesday is false.

The message was accompanied by a screengrab of Najib’s purported appearance on Astro Awani, along with the words “Special announcement by the Prime Minister” and “Watch the live announcement at 11.30am later”.

Although not explicitly stated, the viral message appeared to suggest an announcement about the coming general election.

Sources at the Prime Minister’s Office have, however, said that the message is false.

Astro Awani’s anchor and journalist Ashwad Ismail also tweeted that the screengrab was from 2013.

There have been a number of false messages circulating on social media in recent weeks pertaining to announcements on the general election.

One viral message stated that the parliament would be dissolved on Feb 22 and proceeded to give dates for both nomination and polling days.



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Prime Minister’s Message for Chinese New Year 2018



14 February, 2018


Salam 1 Malaysia.

As we bid adieu to the Year of the Rooster and prepare to usher in the Year of the Dog, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who is celebrating – a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

This celebration is an important celebration for the Chinese community with thousands of years of history, a celebration so rich in tradition that begins with the journey back home for the all-important reunion dinner with the elderly and family on the eve of the New Year.

Great emphasis is placed on the tradition of reunion during this festive period as it continues to embed and cultivate not just the values of filial piety and respect in the next generation, but also strengthens the relationship and bond of one with friends and family.

This tradition, which has been practised from generation to generation for thousands of years, is indeed a respectable custom.

It symbolises the concept of coming together as one.

In Malaysia, religious and cultural festivals have become joyous occasions not just for any segments of the society, but they are celebrated by all.

Perhaps it is the food, the culture and the laughter that unite us in festive celebrations like the New Year.

But I believe it has been ingrained in us since Independence. We live harmoniously as one regardless of race and creed. It has become a way of life and this bond between us is what I believe to be the true spirit of 1Malaysia.

This celebration is a perfect reminder of the many cultures and faiths that make us who we are as Malaysians. Our vast array of traditions and perspectives, our melting pot is what makes us unique, keeping us fresh and dynamic.

Indeed Malaysia is home to many, and all have played important role in building this great nation especially our Chinese brothers and sisters as fellow sons and daughters of Malaysia. Their tremendous contribution is evident in every part of the country be it culturally or economically.

To this end, my heartfelt gratitude goes to the nation-building role played by all Malaysian Chinese since Independence.

I am committed to ensure that no Malaysians will be left behind, that the future of our children will be better than ours and that we will grow stronger and together as one.

I hope that this Year of the Dog will bring prosperity and good health to you and your families and may we continue to be proud and committed to Negaraku, a country that we love.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!



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It’s fake: Viral message warning of robbers dressed as officials to check ID for GE14 – Nation


PETALING JAYA: A viral message warning Malaysians of robbers dressed as officials from the “Department of Home Affairs” actually turns out to be an alert issued to South Africans.

The following message claimed that “authorities” were checking the identification documents of locals, especially with the 14th General Election expected to be called this year:

“Security Alert: Be warned, there is a group going to homes and pretending to be officials from home affairs. They have documents with the letterhead Department of Home Affairs and claim to be confirming that everyone has a valid ID for the upcoming elections. They are robbing homes. Take note there is no initiative like that from the government. Send this on your neighbourhood group chat. They are everywhere and they look presentable.”

A very similarly worded statement was published by the Republic of South African Department of Home Affairs on its website (http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/1047-media-statement-on-elections-scam) in October, 2017.

The Department had warned South Africans to be alert of a group of individuals visiting homes in South Africa, pretending to be officials from the Department.

“They carry with them documents with letterheads purportedly from Home Affairs and claim to be confirming the validity of IDs for the upcoming elections,” said the statement.

“These individuals are criminals who rob households once they gain entry. There is no such initiative from the Department,” it said.

The Department informed that Home Affairs officials are clearly identifiable by name tags, and that household visits will be announced through official government channels.

It seems like the message, which has been circulating among Malaysians recently, is a copy of the Republic of South African Department of Home Affairs’ alert.

It is also important to note that Malaysia has no Department of Home Affairs, instead we have a Home Affairs Ministry.

 



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Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s New Year Message



31 December, 2017


1. In 2017, we celebrated 60 years since the cry of “Merdeka!” rung out in the Padang in Kuala Lumpur. Although we live in a very different world today, one with very different challenges, I believe that the fathers of our independence would be proud to see what their countrymen and women have achieved in the subsequent decades.

2. For Malaysia, 2017 was a year of many milestones.

3. Our economy beat all expectations, with the World Bank revising its estimate for our growth this year upwards not once, not twice, but three times – to a very healthy 5.8 per cent. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and many other respected independent global bodies have commended the Government’s prudent handling of the economy, and recognised that its resilience and competitiveness has been built up, for the good of the Malaysian people. This sentiment has been echoed in the confidence the international community has shown in Malaysia over the past year.

4. In February, for example, Saudi Aramco announced that it was investing US$7 billion in the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development in Johor – making this Aramco’s largest downstream investment outside Saudi Arabia. HSBC is investing more than RM1 billion to build its new regional headquarters at the Tun Razak Exchange. And many more multinationals are following suit, investing and building up their presence in Malaysia.

5. Why? Well, as Alibaba’s Jack Ma explained, he chose Malaysia to launch the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone outside of China in 2017 precisely because of the efficient, business-friendly environment this Government has been creating.

6. These investments, the new buildings, the new businesses and new infrastructure projects – from the Pan Borneo Highway to public transport such as the superb new MRT in the Klang Valley – are making and will make a real difference to the Malaysian people. More than 2,000 SMEs stand to get easier access to the global market, especially the Chinese market, through the DFTZ, for example; while the first two phases of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT Line have created 130,000 new jobs – 70,000 of which are direct employment.

7. Better still, they were completed ahead of schedule and RM2 billion below budget – which shows that Malaysia has the ability to handle future large scale projects, like the East Coast Rail Line, which will do so much to help the people of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan and boost their local economy.

8. I am fully aware that some amongst us still face challenges and hardship, but the steps we have taken – and continue to take – will ensure that our country’s growth is sustainable and inclusive, spreading to and lifting up all segments of society.

9. Because I want all to share in the nation we are building, and for no Malaysian to be left behind.

10. This is why I announced tax cuts benefiting all middle income earners in the recent budget, allocations for farmers, fishermen, smallholders and rubber tappers, discounts on outstanding loans for students, easier working hours for pregnant women in the civil service, and a host of other measures to help ease the burden on the people and facilitate their full participation in our unique and richly diverse society.

11. Alongside the progress made at home, we have also continued to take a principled position on the global stage, elevating Malaysia’s standing internationally.

12. Our efforts on behalf of our suffering Rohingya brothers and sisters have shifted global opinion, as is shown by the fact that senior American officials have taken a far firmer stance after I raised their plight during my visit to the White House in September. We have been unafraid to insist that ASEAN’s policy of consensus cannot extend to staying silent about this unfolding catastrophe, and we saw results at the November summit when Myanmar made new commitments to resolve this appalling crisis.

13. We also will continue to make clear internationally that Jerusalem cannot be recognised as the capital of Israel. This Government’s solidarity with the Palestinian people is well-known around the world, and nothing will stop us from voicing it and pushing for justice.

14. Our status as a forward-thinking moderate Muslim majority country was recognised when the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques chose Malaysia as the place to establish the King Salman Centre for International Peace, which will be an important institute to combat extremism and promote the true and authentic Islam of which Malaysia is such a good example.

15. Malaysia’s leadership was also recognised at the United Nations, when our Global Movement of Moderates resolution to combat extremism and radicalisation was adopted in a vote at the General Assembly. And the many capitals which have given Malaysian government delegations a warm welcome in 2017, from Washington DC to London, and Riyadh to New Delhi, demonstrate the high regard in which our country is held.

16. Coming back to our achievements at home, there could have been no better way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Merdeka than by Malaysia winning the Southeast Asian Games, with our best ever performance. Our hearts thrilled to see our magnificent athletes taking 145 gold, 92 silver and 86 bronze medals, setting a bar of excellence that is a tribute to the fine young Malaysians who contribute so much to our country.

17. At the same time, 2017 was also marked by challenges and tragedies that will not easily be forgotten.

18. The 23 students and teachers who lost their lives in the fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz school in September. The flash floods and deadly landslide in Penang. The outrageous murder of Kim Jong Nam on Malaysian soil in February. And the sad deaths of Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah of Kedah, who had the unique distinction of reigning as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong twice during his long and illustrious life, and Pehin Sri Haji Adenan bin Satem of Sarawak. Both earned a very special place in their peoples’ hearts, and we sincerely mourn their passing.

19. 2017 also marked a different milestone, for it was a year in which we redoubled our efforts to ensure good governance in all sectors – which included not allowing past mistakes to remain unaddressed. Some politicians such as Lim Kit Siang had long called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the forex losses between 1992 and 1994. Last year we answered that call by forming an eminent panel to investigate. They concluded that Bank Negara incurred losses of RM31.5 billion during that time which, they said, had “a significant negative impact on the economy of the country, whereby it deprived the country of development opportunities.”

20. The Malaysian people had a right to know what had happened in the past, just as it is right that a newly reinvigorated MACC has shown wrongdoers that they will be rooted out, and just as it was right for me to announce last July that the Government is cracking down on the crony capitalism culture created by a former leader. The Malaysian people have paid a heavy price so that a few of friends of this former leader could make enormous profits, no matter what the cost to the people.

21. We made it clear that this has to end. Lapses of governance, in either the private or the public sector, cannot be tolerated. They must be investigated and rectified – not just because this is necessary for Malaysia to continue on its path to high income status, but because the people deserve nothing less.

22. The Malaysian people also deserve more from their politicians. There is an honourable role for opposition parties to scrutinise legislation and hold governments to account. Driven by principles and ethical behaviour, they can and should play a responsible part in nation building.

23. It is neither honourable nor responsible, however, to attempt to sabotage the Malaysian economy by making wild and false claims that could undermine the people’s welfare and livelihoods. Lying about your country for personal political gain is morally wrong – such people are betraying Malaysia.

24. Neither is it acceptable for a former leader to attempt to overthrow a democratically elected government in the hope that his ambitions for his son may be realised. In a democracy all that should matter is the wishes of the people as expressed at the ballot box, not the selfish dynastic desires of one man.

25. Nor is it responsible for politicians to oppose for the sake of opposing – even when they secretly agree that the measures being put forward by the Government are right. We have seen too much of this, whether it be over GST – which almost every reputable economist around the world has praised, and which is a reform that most other countries including India and Saudi Arabia are also implementing – or over 1Malaysia. Opposition figures concede privately that they are in favour of this concept to promote national unity – as all patriotic Malaysians should be – but they have opposed it for deceitful, personal political ends. This is shameful.

26. We can have differences of opinion, of course, but we should still be decent and have decorum. It should not be considered unusual, for instance, to visit longstanding opponents in hospital to express sympathy and good wishes for their speedy recovery. That should be accepted and understood in a civilised society, for we do not believe in, and nor will we return to, the viciousness practised under a former leader.

27. A better way has also been shown by PAS under the leadership of Tuan Guru Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi bin Awang. We are in different parties, but we surmount those divisions when it comes to matters of common interest, such as supporting the causes of the Rohingya and the Palestinians.

28. This is a more mature politics which helps build our country, not attempt to burn it down; it helps unite us, not divide us; and it concentrates on what we have in common, rather than make a weakness of our diversity – which as far as the Government is concerned, is our strength, and we will never cease to defend it.

29. This is the choice that will be presented to the Malaysian people in 2018. A Government that has continued to work for their betterment, with a clear direction and policies to move Malaysia forward in the short, medium and long term – or parties who can only campaign negatively, hoping to cause public anger and unhappiness to win votes, because they have nothing to offer Malaysians but division and populist illusions that would damage the country.

30. Electing the government is a serious business, and we are confident in the wisdom of the people. We are confident that they will see through the false promises of certain parties, knowing who is working for the true interests of all Malaysians, and recognising who has the proven track record that has delivered and is continuing to deliver.

31. In 2018, as we begin to look forward to the middle of this century with our Transformasi Nasional 2050 initiative and the Malaysia of the future, there are many reasons to be optimistic.

32. The World Bank reports that “The Malaysian economy is progressing from a position of strength”, and we expect healthy growth next year and further reduction of the deficit, as we continue to take all steps necessary to build the nation and promote the safety, welfare and happiness of the Malaysian people.

33. We hope that all will support us in this great task. It is a task that our forefathers began, a task that my father continued, and a task that I feel personally responsible for.

34. We were able to witness the embodiment of the dreams of the fathers of Malaysia when the nation came together in celebration after the SE Asian Games. That is the Malaysia this Government is fighting, and will always fight for. A Malaysia of many faiths and ethnicities, of a rich variety of customs, languages and foods, but one which unites as 1Malaysia to be justly regarded around the world as a model of harmony and diversity, an example to developing nations – and to many developed countries too.

35. It is a Malaysia we should be proud of, so let me invite all Malaysians to join us as we welcome 2018 with joy and the spirit of unity in our hearts.

36. May I wish you all a very happy, prosperous and safe New Year.



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It’s fake: Viral message saying men arrested in petrol station murder – Nation


PETALING JAYA: A viral message circulating on social media claiming that the suspects involved in the murder of a man in a petrol station in Johor have been arrested is fake.

The viral post claimed that the assailants in a white BMW bearing the number plate WB79L were arrested 40 minutes after the incident.

The post also featured a picture of two men in handcuffs, one with a green t-shirt and the other in yellow t-shirt, sitting in a police station.

It also praised the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) for its fast action in arresting the suspects.

Johor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Azman Ayob has confirmed that the viral message of the arrest being circulated is fake news, China Press reported.

On Sunday (Dec 17), the victim, believed to be a businessman in his 30s, had parked his Volkswagen Polo at the petrol station to check his tyres when four suspects, who came in a white BMW, got out and immediately attacked him.

The victim was stabbed in the chest and was run over by the BMW twice.

The suspects then threw firecrackers on the ground before fleeing the scene.

Earlier Monday, SAC Azman urged the public to stop circulating incorrect and inaccurate information online as this may jeopardise the ongoing investigation.

Related stories:

Johor petrol station murder: Don’t jeopardise investigation, cops tell public

Horrified by JB murder, Malaysians urge quick action



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Ignore viral message on GE14, says EC – Nation



PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission has advised the public to ignore the dates for dissolution of Parliament and the 14th General Election that have gone “viral” on social media.

EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said Parliament could only be dissolved with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister.

He said that the dates mentioned in the viral message that has been making its rounds on social media did not make sense at all.

The message had mentioned Jan 11, 2018, as the date for the dissolution of Parliament and March 11 and March 25 as the dates for nomination and polling, respectively.

Mohd Hashim said this was unreasonable because the period between the purported dissolution of parliament on Jan 11 and polling on March 25 exceeded the 60-day limit within which a general election must be held.

“The period exceeds the 60 days as stated under Article 55(4) of the Federal Constitution within which time a general election must be held,” he said in a statement. -Bernama



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