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PAS out to play peacemaker between warring parties

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PETALING JAYA: PAS wants to play peacemaker between Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia ahead of the 15th General Election (GE15), but whether a reconciliation is possible remains to be seen, analysts say.

For the vice president of Umno, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, the party’s position on Bersatu is maintained.

“Our booth at Bersatu is well known and will never change,” he said briefly when contacted.

While Khaled did not specify exactly what Umno’s position was, it is believed he was referring to the resolution passed at his general assembly in March 2021 that the Barisan Nasional would contest GE15 on its own.

Dr. Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, was pessimistic about PAS’s efforts to negotiate peace.

“There is no sign that this time, they (PAS) would manage to reconcile Umno and Bersatu,” said Oh, who, however, admitted that everything is possible in the current fragmented political landscape.

“After all, the three of them are now in the same coalition, albeit strange bedfellows.”

If Umno and PAS clashed at GE15, Oh said a situation similar to the 2018 general election could occur.

“PAS took several Malaysian votes away from Umno, who handed victories to Pakatan Harapan in several states.

“But, if they (Umno and PAS) worked together, each would have to give up some seats to the other to avoid collisions,” he added.

Umno has been running against Perikatan Nasional since state elections in Johor and Melaka, in which Barisan managed to win two-thirds majorities.

The main researcher of the National Council of Teachers, Dr. Jeniri Amir, also doubts that PAS can be an effective mediator between Umno and Bersatu, due to the lack of trust between them.

“You have to keep in mind that first you have to build trust,” he said.

Recently, Perikatan President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin issued statements criticizing Umno and the Prime Minister.

“How can PAS be a mediator in a situation like this?” Jeniri said, while noting that Umno has made it clear that he will face GE15 alone.

“Umno is fully confident that he can secure more seats without Bersatu’s help.

“I see no reason for Umno to cooperate with a weaker party like Bersatu,” he added.

However, he said that if PAS manages to negotiate peace between Umno and Bersatu, then they will have a stronger team to face Pakatan and his allies.

“Both Umno and PAS are known for their strong grassroots machinery. In terms of party membership, Umno alone has over three million members.

“If you add that to the PAS machine, they may win a lot more seats in GE15,” Jeniri said.

Undeterred, PAS Vice President Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said that although Umno and Bersatu are currently in disagreement, a “peace plan” will be drafted for a win-win solution.

“If we want to fight, we must be smart and wise, and we will fight for real victory,” he told the PAS HarakahDaily newspaper.


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Peter Anthony uses Sabah budget debate to apologise for ‘words, actions’ during GE15

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KOTA KINABALU: Parti Kesejahteraan Demoktratik Malaysia (KDM) Chairman Datuk Peter Anthony (Photo) took the opportunity to apologize for any wrong words and actions that may have occurred throughout his campaign leading up to the 15th General Election (GE15).

He was giving his budget debate speech during the state legislature sitting here on Tuesday (Nov. 29), when he apologized without directly referring to any issue or issue.

“The general elections recently concluded and whatever has happened in the past, I hope it stays in the past,” he said.

“We are now in a new government and we hope we can all work together at the state and federal level to budget and move Sabah forward to bring political stability and economic growth,” Peter said.

Representing the party and all its members, he said, “if something wrong was said and done, I apologize.”

On November 5, a riot broke out at the Tenom nomination center when Peter’s nomination was rejected hours after it was accepted by the state Election Commission.

A group of supporters went on a rampage, forcing security forces to use tear gas to disperse the crowd at around 2:00 p.m.

Earlier, Peter spoke about the issues facing his Melalap constituency, which falls under Tenom’s parliamentary seat, including water and electricity supply issues, a lack of shops, economic opportunities and a lack of infrastructure development. .

I hoped that the government would take steps to address these problems, for the betterment of the people of Melalap.

He supported the State Budget 2023 which was introduced in the assembly by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor on Friday (Nov 25).


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PTPTN repayment incentive taken up by over 11,000 S’wak graduates since 2019

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KUCHING: Some 11,095 Sarawakian graduates have benefited from the Yayasan Sarawak Higher Education National Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan repayment incentive since 2019, says Datuk Roland Sagah.

The state’s education, innovation and talent development minister said the incentive has risen to RM36.1 million since it was introduced.

READ ALSO: Budget 2023: Streamline incentives offered, PTPTN borrowers urged

“Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that provides such an incentive. Another 30 million ringgit has been approved for this incentive next year,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly as he wrapped up business related to his ministry on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Sagah said the 30:30 incentive was part of the state government’s efforts to help ease the burden on Sarawak graduates of repaying their PTPTN student loans.

Under the scheme, the state government will subsidize 30% of the balance of graduates who have already repaid at least 30% of their loans.

For example, it said that a graduate with a loan of RM10,000 must have paid back at least RM3,000 to be eligible for the scheme.

READ ALSO: PTPTN loan discounts a welcome move

“With this, you are eligible for a 30% incentive on the balance of RM7,000, which goes up to RM2,100.

“Therefore, the remaining balance of the graduate’s loan will be RM4,900,” Sagah said, adding that the scheme encouraged graduates to meet their loan repayment obligations.

Sagah also said that the first Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary School (YSISS) in Petra Jaya began operations on April 4 with an initial cohort of 115 students from across the state.

READ ALSO: Abang Johari hopes Yayasan Sarawak International Schools will produce high-level students

“Once fully developed, the campus will have a capacity of 500 students in years seven to 11, which is equivalent to grades one through five,” he said.

It added that the construction of YSISS Kuching at mile 12 of Kuching-Serian Road was scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of next year, while the construction of YSISS Sibu was scheduled to start early next year.

“Both YSISS Bintulu and Miri are currently in the planning stage,” he said.


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Three killed, six injured in car-van collision in Kluang

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KLUANG: Three people were killed and six others injured after an accident involving two vehicles at KM15 Jalan Kluang – Teck Wah Hing here.

Kluang OCPD Asst Comm Bahrin Mohd Noh said the accident happened around 4pm on Monday (November 28), after a 20-year-old driver of a car lost control of the wheels and collided with a van.

“According to the initial investigation, the van was heading towards Kluang from Renggam, while the car was moving in the opposite direction.

“The driver of the car then lost control and skidded into the oncoming lane, causing the collision to occur,” he said in a statement here Monday.

He added that the family of four in the van sustained injuries and is being treated at Kluang Hospital.

“There were four people in the van, including two children between the ages of 11 and 15. They are currently receiving medical treatment at the hospital.

“Meanwhile, the four people in the van are colleagues. Two of them, including the driver, died at the scene, while one more person died while receiving treatment at the hospital,” he said.

He said the deceased are between 17 and 21 years old.

The case is being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.


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