Ahad, 30 Mac 2008

Zahid hopeful Umno polls will not create more problems

The Star, Sunday March 30, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite his earlier view that the Umno election should be postponed, supreme council member Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he abides by the wishes of the grassroots that the polls be held this year.

“It is hoped that the elections at all levels will not add more problems at the grassroots level. Rather, the election should strengthen unity among members,” he said in a statement yesterday.

On Thursday, party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that Umno would hold its general assembly and main party elections in December.

The polls will kick off at branch level between July 17 and Aug 24, followed by division polls between Oct 9 and Nov 9.

Zahid, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the party’s agenda should be given priority and everyone should put aside their own agenda and revive the leadership’s strength.

In Bahau, supreme council member Datuk Mustapa Mohamad told Bernama that it was better to hold party polls this year as the problem would not be resolved with a postponement.

“What is important now is for us to rehabilitate the party,” he said.

Jelebu Umno division deputy head Datuk Yunus Rahmat said Umno members were thankful to the supreme council for making a decision based on the wishes of the grassroots.

On the contest for the posts of Umno president and deputy president, Yunus felt it would be better if there were no contests.

In Malacca, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said that guidelines on regulations to prevent money politics would be updated ahead of party meetings beginning in July.

“The update is being done by the party’s constitution and rules bureau chaired by (vice-president) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and are expected to be ready before the branch meetings begin,” he said.

Sabtu, 29 Mac 2008

Zahid: Toe the line or quit

The Star Friday March 28, 2008

PUTRAJAYA: Officers working with Islamic agencies must support government policies or quit their jobs.

“The impression the public has of religious officers or those schooled in Islamic affairs is that they have a closed mind and are slow in implementing our policies,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“I want to do away with this negative perception,” he said.

“This is a reminder to them for the sake of our ummah (citizens). If they choose to remain here, they will have to pay a high price,” he told reporters after receiving his duties from former minister Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin at his office here yesterday.


New post: Ahmad Zaid shaking hands with Dr Abdullah after receiving his duties in Putrajaya yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid’s portfolio includes the management of religious affairs and he is in charge of agencies like Islamic Development Department (Jakim). Also at the ceremony was deputy minister Datuk Dr Mashita Ibrahim.

Ahmad Zahid said he wanted to use his professional background as an administrator to ensure that these Islamic agencies were better run.

“Together with my deputy’s scholarly background in Islam, I am sure we can work together to revamp our image,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said reports that non-Muslims had been made restless recently due to certain decisions taken by the Islamic agencies were true.

“The Prime Minister advised us to correct this image by explaining the teachings of Islam. We will fix this problem,” he promised.

However, Ahmad Zahid said he would not hold any dialogue with non-Muslim and other religious groups as this was under the purview of the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry helmed by Datuk Shafie Apdal.

“But we will be working closely with the ministry,” he said.

Komen: Macam dia handal benar?


Jumaat, 28 Mac 2008

Zahid: Toe the line or quit; First day on job

The Star, Friday March 28, 2008

PUTRAJAYA: Officers working with Islamic agencies must support government policies or quit their jobs.

“The impression the public has of religious officers or those schooled in Islamic affairs is that they have a closed mind and are slow in implementing our policies,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“I want to do away with this negative perception,” he said.

“This is a reminder to them for the sake of our ummah (citizens). If they choose to remain here, they will have to pay a high price,” he told reporters after receiving his duties from former minister Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin at his office here yesterday.

New post: Ahmad Zaid shaking hands with Dr Abdullah after receiving his duties in Putrajaya yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid’s portfolio includes the management of religious affairs and he is in charge of agencies like Islamic Development Department (Jakim). Also at the ceremony was deputy minister Datuk Dr Mashita Ibrahim.

Ahmad Zahid said he wanted to use his professional background as an administrator to ensure that these Islamic agencies were better run.

“Together with my deputy’s scholarly background in Islam, I am sure we can work together to revamp our image,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said reports that non-Muslims had been made restless recently due to certain decisions taken by the Islamic agencies were true.

“The Prime Minister advised us to correct this image by explaining the teachings of Islam. We will fix this problem,” he promised.

However, Ahmad Zahid said he would not hold any dialogue with non-Muslim and other religious groups as this was under the purview of the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry helmed by Datuk Shafie Apdal.

“But we will be working closely with the ministry,” he said.

Rabu, 12 Mac 2008

Zakaria Md Deros dies

The Star, Wednesday March 12, 2008

By WANI MUTHIAH, EDWARD RAJENDRA and MARTIN CARVALHO

KLANG: Former Port Klang state assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros died of a heart attack at his palatial home in Kg Idaman near here early yesterday morning.

His son Zulhisham, 29, said Zakaria died while discussing the grim outcome of the recent general election with family members and friends.

“We were all seated around the dining table after a late dinner at about 12.30, discussing what had happened, when my father experienced breathing difficulties and fell,” said Zulhisham, who is married to former deputy information minister Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s daughter Nurul Izwani.

Besides his children and close friends and political allies, Zakaria’s wife Datin Zizah Ngah was also with him.

Zakaria, 62, courted controversy when he built his palatial home in a low-cost housing area without submitting its building plans to the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) for approval.

He had also operated an unlicensed satay restaurant built illegally on government reserve land and had not paid assessment for another property for 12 years. All these occurred while he was an MPK councillor.

Zakaria’s misdemeanours were brought to light in 2006, which caused him to give up his municipal councillor post of more than 20 years.

His career in politics was put to an end when he was dropped from the Barisan Nasional list for the recently concluded election.

Among those who thronged Zakaria’s troubled mansion was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Dr Ahmad Zahid and former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

Zakaria is survived by his wife, 11 children aged between 39 to 11, 13 grandchildren as well as two sons-in-law and five daughters-in-law.

His body was later sent to Malacca and laid to rest at his village at the Kuala Sungai Baru Muslim cemetery in Masjid Tanah.