Tak lama lagi lah tuu!
"I've No Inspiration Yet" Says PM On General Election
KUALA BERANG, Jan 30 (Bernama) - "I've no inspiration yet" said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when asked whether he would call for the general election following the Barisan Nasional's (BN) landslide victory in Sunday's Batu Talam state by-election in Pahang.
The victory did not give him an indication to call for the 12th general election, he told reporters after opening the high-impact Aquaculture Industrial Zone at Sungai Como in Tasik Kenyir, Tuesday.
He was responding to reporters' queries on the views by many political observers that the Government would call for a general election soon following the BN's thumping victory in Batu Talam.
The BN's Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram, 47, retained the seat with an increased majority of 5,857 votes, trouncing independent candidate Ng Chee Pang, 22, who lost his deposit.
Pressed further whether the general election would be held before year-end, Abdullah replied in jest: "Maybe next month."
He, however, added: "I don't know (yet), I've to see first."
Abdullah Shihri, AP Writer
Riyadh, January 30 - Saudi Arabia and Iran are working together to try to calm the crises in Iraq and Lebanon, the Saudi foreign minister said Tuesday, despite Washington's efforts to isolate Tehran and limit its influence in the Middle East. The mediation is an unusual step by two rivals,
(Picture left - Shiite men listen to a cleric retelling the story of the killing of Imam Hussein, grandson of Islam's founding Prophet Mohamed, at a Shiite community center in
President Bush has rejected calls that the
At the same time,
Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal of largely Sunni Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that
A Saudi envoy is in
The Shiite Muslim Hezbollah — which Iran is believed to support with money and weapons — has been waging a campaign of street protests for the past two months in an attempt to bring down the Western-backed government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. Last week, the protests erupted into clashes between supporters of the two sides that raised fears in
Hezbollah has demanded a new national unity government that would give it and its allies more than a third of the Cabinet seats, enabling them to veto major decisions. Weeks of talks between the government and opposition have stalemated.
Jacqueline Ann Surin
PETALING JAYA, Jan 30, 2007 - The recently-concluded Batu Talam by-election has reinforced the need for electoral reforms, a PhD researcher on elections said.
Citing the high-profile campaign and enormous Barisan Nasional (BN) machinery used for 13 days from nomination to polling, he also said it was inconceivable that the BN candidate's campaign expenses was capped at RM100,000, as stipulated in the Election Offences Act.
"The by-election clearly demonstrated the lack of proper controls of campaign opportunities and use of resources," Wong, who has taken part in a Universiti Kebangsaan
He is also reading his PhD at
"The election can be likened to an interview by the Batu Talam people to choose the candidate they want to represent them at the state assembly," Wong said.
"One candidate used his state and federal bosses to help him distort the judgment of voters. This is unfair."
He said that when extra resources were poured into a constituency because of an election, other constituencies would lose out since the decision was politically-motivated and not economically-rational.
"Promises of development funding during the campaign period should be made illegal," Wong said.
On Jan 26, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) also called on the Election Commission (EC) to investigate Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin for exerting "undue influence" for his comments after announcing that 2,113 members from seven Batu Talam cooperatives had pledged to vote in the by-election.
Khaled was reported on Jan 23 as saying there was a need for "strong rapport between the government and the cooperatives" to ensure all plans were carried out smoothly.
Wong said it was also impossible to ascertain exactly how much BN candidate Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram, who thrashed independent candidate Ng Chee Pang, spent on his campaign.
"The law does not have a proper mechanism to monitor total expenses," he noted, explaining that "donated monies" and "volunteer work" are often used to deflate how much was exactly spent. Party expenses are also not accounted for, he added.
He noted that the BN candidate could not spend more than RM7,700 a day over the 13 days of campaigning (including polling day) if he was to be within the law.
"But the nomination itself saw 2,000 supporters and hundreds of cars. Could the BN mobilisation itself cost less than RM100,000 or RM50 per head?" he asked.
Wong said the EC has not responded to calls to revise the law so that all expenses, including donations, be accounted for.
On another matter, he said it was misleading for the BN to use its increased majority (from 2,761 votes in the 2004 elections to 5,857 votes in this election), to argue that there was increased confidence and support for the ruling coalition (see chart).
"The majority figure represents the difference in votes between the winner and the runner-up. If votes are split or some people choose not to vote, then the majority will tend to be larger," he said.
Wong noted that a more accurate figure to look at was the number of votes the BN actually garnered this year compared to 2004, which increased by 862 votes.
Of the estimated 2,234 PAS supporters in 2004 who did not support the independent candidate this time, 1,225 (or 54.83%) who did not turn up possibly boycotted the by-election while 862 or 38.59% turned to the BN.
"Only 40% of PAS supporters turned to the BN despite the coalition's huge election machinery and the under-preparation of the frivolous, independent candidate," Wong said.
He conceded that the lower voter turnout could be because of the smaller electoral roll for the constituency and the fact that BN supporters did not come out to vote because they were confident of BN's victory.
"But, in the 2004 elections, it was also a clear win for the BN and yet, more voters turned up," he said, noting that the boycott had had a moderate impact with up to 1,225 voters potentially not turning up in support of it.
Wong said the BN could only declare it had increased support if the constituency was a marginal seat and not a BN stronghold, and if its opponent was not a frivolous one like Ng. Sun2Surf
Kavkav, January 30 - The Turkish commander Abdullah who is at war in
"We always were, is and we shall be on the side of Chechen people, which is suffering under oppression of Russian invaders. During this struggle many of us, as well as among our Chechen brothers, became Shaheeds (Insha'Allah). More recently amir Abu Hafs was lost, and now he receives destiny at his Lord. However, despite of heavy losses, despite of the spilled blood and the suffered victims, our peoples continue this sacred struggle.
We learned much on an example of our amirs, who became Shaheeds (Insha'Allah), such as Abdul-Halim, Hattab, Shamil, Abu Walid and Abu Hafs. They always wished to become Shaheed on the Path of Allah and doubtless have given lives on His Path. Our commanders always set us a good example in this. For liberation from occupation we should work hardly, and experiencing difficulties we always should hope to the Help of Allah. For us is more better to be lost on this way, than to live under oppression. Who becomes Shahid on this way, he will be saved by Allah. And let continue Jihad, which outcome are or a victory by the Mercy of Allah, or death of martyr, let it will be prolonged! Remember, that Allah prescribed to us: "do not despair and do not lose courage, if you truly believed and the victory will come..."
Oh, Muslims, we continue Jihad. Under leadership of our leader Dokka Umarov and together with our commanders we are ready to accept the death of Shahid or to reach a victory. We are assured, that you are on our side and we transfer salam to you.
Brothers! Under direction of Amir Abu Anas we experience very active winter battling on the East Front of CRI. Though Russian army traditionally loves winter months, during this season we managed to cause to it the big loss.
Our commanders Abu Anas, Yasir, Osman, and others by the Mercy of Allah prepare to invaders unexpected surprises.Insha'Allah, soon we shall please you with good news.
We are grateful to Turkish Muslims and Muslims of all world for their prays and good wishes for us. May Allah will reward you for this! On other fronts of
I hope that this news will reach you soon. Once again I transfer salam to you and I ask Allah about granting to you and us His blessing and a fast victory.
Loving you for the sake of Allah, your brother Abdullah.
Translated from Turkish by Ali Bekhan
B.Suresh Ram and
PETALING JAYA, Jan 29, 2007 - As the Barisan Nasional basks in its victory in the Batu Talam state by-election, Opposition parties dismiss it and say their boycott of the poll has had some impact, gauging from the voter turnout.
It is an endorsement on the continued leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said Umno information chief Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.
"It shows an increased confidence in the leadership of Pak Lah," he added.
In the Batu Talam state by-election yesterday which saw a 67.3% voter turnout, BN candidate Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram won with a 5,857 majority, receiving 6,276 votes while independent candidate, Ng Chee Pang, only garnered 419 votes. There were 385 spoilt votes.
Muhammad said the good performance by the BN was a positive mid-term review of the government by the electorate, since the general elections in March 2004.
He said the victory was even more meaningful considering the move by PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat to boycott the by-election.
"It was a big blow to them as many came out to vote," he told theSun, adding that the 67.3% voter turnout was comparatively good and in the same league as the turnout for other by-elections in the past.
Muhammad said in any by-election, the voter turnout was usually low because the voters knew that no matter who they voted, they would not be able to change the current government.
Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who is also Gerakan deputy president, said the non-Malay voters, the majority of whom hailed from Kampung Cheroh, had voted for the BN.
He said the results reflected the voters' support for the BN and prime minister.
"About 80% of the Chinese and Indian voters from Kampung Cheroh voted for the BN this time compared with 72% in the 2004 general election.
"This is very encouraging for the BN in the midst of allegations of decline in support for the BN. Non-Malay voters gave their support to the BN even though there were many economic and political issues which hogged the limelight recently.
"The said Opposition 'boycott' also failed to lure more support for the independent candidate from the Chinese and Indian voters, thanks to the effortless campaigning by component parties," Koh said.
Koh was speaking to reporters after launching the Penang Skills Development Centre SME business-coaching programme.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar said despite the BN victory, the opposition party was still claiming a moral victory of sorts.
He said this was because the voter turnout was comparatively lower than that in past by-elections and general elections.
He added that PAS was still a force to be reckoned with and the only worthy opponent in the Batu Talam constituency.
"The fact is that many voted out of obligation and duty. Not going to vote was akin to breaking the law and the norm to these rural folks," he said.
Kamaruddin said the opposition party would participate in the next general elections provided the electoral conditions improved.
Keadilan information chief Tian Chua said the BN did not face a worthy opponent in the by-election.
"They won without a contest," he said.
Chua also said that a check by the party showed that the voters were not enthusiastic about casting the ballot but merely voted out of duty.
"They already knew who was going to win," he said.
Chua added that the fact that the independent candidate even got 419 votes showed that there were protest votes against the ruling coalition. "In the end, all they (BN) had was hollow victory," he said. Sun2Surf
Tentunya yang terlebih bijak lagi adalah pengundi yang memilih BN (yang dipujuk rayu dengan berbagai janji)!
Huge BN Win Shows People Realise Power Of Vote, Says PM
SEPANG, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday the huge victory for the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Batu Talam by-election showed that the people realise the importance of elections and the power of the vote.
The BN retained the seat in Pahang with a bigger majority than in the general election in 2004 despite the declared boycott of the by-election by the opposition parties and their attempt to dissuade voters from going to the polls, he said.
"The wise voters understand the meaning of elections for them. They (the people) wanted to show that of importance to them was to elect a representative from among them," he told reporters at the KL International Airport upon his return from London after having attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram, 47, of the BN garnered 6,276 votes to beat independent candidate Ng Chee Pang, 22, by a majority of 5,857 votes in the by-election yesterday. Ng only received 419 votes and lost his deposit.
Former assemblyman Datuk Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan, who died last month, had beaten a PAS candidate in the general election in 2004 by a majority of 2,761 votes.
Abdullah said the BN's victory in Batu Talam has proven once again that the process of democracy is still vibrant in the country and all the allegations of the opposition have been proven wrong.
He said the opposition parties boycotted the by-election because they feared fielding a candidate.
"They, in fact, wanted to test our (BN's) strength, to ascertain how much the people supported us," he said.
However, Abdullah said, the people were mature enough to understand the deception of the opposition, and gave the BN a bigger win.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Abdul Aziz were at the Bunga Raya Complex of the airport to welcome the prime minister. Abdullah congratulated Abdul Aziz on his victory.
Pak Lah nafi pinjam dana untuk RMK9
Pak Lah nafi beli bot mewah RM30 juta
Abdullah Denies Buying Executive Jet
SEPANG, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Monday denied news reports that he had bought an executive jet, and explained that the government had only leased the aircraft from Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad.
The prime minister pointed out that the plane was not for his use alone.
"The jet is for use of the government, not the prime minister (only)," he told a news conference at the KL International Airport upon his return from London after having attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
Elaborating, Abdullah said: "The aircraft belongs to Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad; it was (bought with) their money. We just leased it like how MAS (Malaysia Airlines) leases aircraft from them."
Websites had reported that Abdullah had bought an ACJ 319 VIP jet from Airbus at a cost of between US$55 million and US$60 million.
The websites claimed, among other things, that the aircraft based on the A320 model was undergoing internal refurbishing in
Explaining the rationale for leasing the aircraft, Abdullah said leasing enabled the government to save cost.
"Why do we (the government) have to buy aircraft? If we buy, we have to undertake repairs and expend on many other things.
"If is preferable to lease, and when there are repairs to be made, the lessor has to provide a replacement aircraft for our use," he said.
Abdullah pointed out that Penerbangan Malaysia stood to gain from the lease, just as it earned from the lease of aircraft to MAS.
AlJazeera, January 29 - Suicide bomber has killed three people in
Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the police, said: "Three people and the bomber were killed."
A police officer in Eilat said on army radio: "This was a suicide bombing and the bomber is one of the dead. He apparently entered with a bag or an explosives belt and blew himself up inside the shop."
Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, said: "We will study this incident ... and we will draw the conclusions in order to direct our security officials to continue their battle without respite against the terrorists and their commanders."
Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera's
Bruno Stein, Eilat's police commander, said the police believe there could be more bombers in the town.
He said: "Our assumption is that it's not one bomber, and there might be more bombers in Eilat right now."
Claims of responsibility
Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and a previously unknown group calling itself the Army of Believers each said they carried out the attack.
Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, said the attack was "a natural response to the continued crimes by the Zionist enemy".
Spokesmen from Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed joint responsibility for the attack.
In a phone call to AFP offices in
The Jihad spokesman said al-Siksek belonged to the Islamist group but neither organisation specified how the bomber had managed to get from the Gaza Strip to Eilat, access to which is strictly controlled by
Islamic Jihad is not one of the Palestinian actors subject to a
The group has demanded that any truce also cover the occupied
Nour Odeh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in
"Senior Islamic Jihad movement figures have been killed or detained in the past few weeks, and so Islamic Jihad in particular has threatened [a] response.
"[Palestinians] are expecting reprisals from
"Some Palestinian groups may say that if the attacker came from the
Ismail Radwan, a Hamas spokesman, said the attack was a "natural response to the occupier's crimes against our people", although Hamas itself, which formed a Palestinian government last March, has not claimed a suicide bombing within
The attack is the first suicide bombing in
Fresh clashes erupt in
alJazeera.net, January 29 - Palestinian factions have clashed again in
Gun battles between Hamas and Fatah raged throughout the night across the territory, where three people were killed in the southern town of
The unprecedented violence, the worst since Hamas's shock election win a year ago, has scuttled intermittent talks on forming a national unity government and left the Gaza Strip teetering on the brink of civil war.
"I invite my brothers of the Palestinian people, represented by their leaders ... to a quick meeting in their brotherly homeland
Khaled Meshaal, the ruling Hamas movement's political chief, and Mahmud Abbas, the Fatah party leader and Palestinian president, both welcomed the offer, though no date for the meeting has yet been announced.
Several previous efforts to end the feuding, including a rare meeting between Meshaal and Abbas in
Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister who belongs to Hamas, on Sunday urged an end to the conflict, which spilled over into the occupied
"We call on all the Palestinian people to protect national unity, to make the language of dialogue and reason prevail, to withdraw weapons from the streets, and put an end to the tensions," he said.
But the killings and tit-for-tat abductions have continued in both the Gaza Strip and the occupied
An explosion early on Sunday morning rocked the
Anti-tank rockets and mortar shells were also fired at Fatah's police headquarters.
Also on Sunday, Fatah supporters, many of them masked, set ablaze the
Hamas fighters in turn seized Shabn Abu Assar, the chief of the Palestinian security forces for
Among the victims were an 11-year-old boy caught in the crossfire on Saturday night and a two-year-old child killed by a stray bullet during a firefight in Khan Younis on Friday.
Roadblocks set up
The territory has become deserted, with shopkeepers boarding up shops and staying in the relative safety of their homes.
Hamas has called on Abbas, who is outside the territory, to return home immediately to help put an end to the bloodshed.
The Arab League has condemned the fighting as "irrational and unacceptable" and Alvaro
Fierce battle in Najaf
Assad Abu Gilel, the puppet "governor" of Najaf province, said US occupation troops and Shia puppet formation fought a day-long battle with up to 1000 Mujahiddeen, including "foreign fighters", holed up in orchards on the northern outskirts of the city.
According to one Iraqi collaboration "political source", hundreds of fighters drawn from both Sunni and Shia communities were still fighting.
A Reuters reporter at the scene, 160km south of
Details of the day's fighting were sketchy. A puppet Shia formation source said some of the dead wore headbands declaring themselves a "Soldier of Heaven".
Abu Gilel said that the authorities had uncovered a plot to kill some Shia clerics on Monday, to coincide with the climax of Ashura, the Shia "holy festival".
"There is a conspiracy to kill the clergy on the 10th day of Muharram," Abu Gilel asserted.
Earlier on Sunday, five schoolgirls were killed and another 15 injured when a school in
Two car bombs targeting ethnic Kurds killed 16 people in the northern oil city of
In a videotape sent to Al Jazeera, the Council of Shura al-Mujahideen group said it has destroyed a
In another videotape, the Jaish al-Mujahideen group said that it has destroyed a
268- Bab Pada Larangan Menyakiti
Ayat-Ayat Suci Al-Qur’anul Karim Yang Berkaitan
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا
Firman Allah Taala: Dan orang-orang yang menyakiti orang-orang mukmin dan mukminat (perempuan yang beriman) tanpa kesalahan yang mereka lakukan, maka sesungguhnya mereka telah memikul pembohongan dan dosa yang nyata. [ Surah al-Ahzab ayat 58 ]
Hadis-Hadis Yang Berkaitan
1567/1- Daripada Abdullah bin A’mr bin al-A’s r.a. katanya, Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: Orang Islam (yang sempurna) ialah yang selamat orang Islam yang lain daripada (kejahatan) lidah dan tangannya. Orang yang behijrah pula ialah orang yang meninggalkan larangan Allah kepadanya. Hadis riwayat Bukhari dan Muslim.
Pengajaran Daripada Hadis
1. Orang Islam yang sebenar tidak akan menzalimi orang Islam yang lain samada dengan tangannya (kuasanya) atau dengan lidahnya.
2. Orang yang mampu meninggalkan perkara-perkara yang haram akan mendapat kemuliaan di sisi Allah s.w.t..
1568/2- Daripada beliau juga, katanya, Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: Sesipa yang mahu dijauhkan daripada neraka dan dimasukkan ke dalam syurga, maka hendaklah kematiannya mendatanginya dalam keadaan dia beriman kepada Allah dan hari akhirat, dan hendaklah dia datangkan kepada orang lain apa yang dia suka untuk didatangkan kepada dirinya. Hadis riwayat Muslim.
Pengajaran Daripada Hadis
1. Orang yang beriman sahaja yang akan berjaya di akhirat.
2. Anjuran supaya istiqamah dengan keimanan dan amalan soleh sehingga ke akhir hayat.
3. Anjuran supaya bermuamalat dengan orang lain dengan baik sebagaimana kita suka orang lain bermuamalat dengan baik kepada kita.
4. Setiap amalan kita mestilah dikaitkan dengan akibatnya di akhirat, samada yang berbentuk hubungan kita dengan Allah ataupun sesama makhluk.
5. Dunia bukannya tempat balasan tetapi tempat ujian untuk penempatan yang sebenar di akhirat. Maka berjayalah orang yang sentiasa berhubungan rapat dengan Allah dan baik akhlaknya sesama manusia.
Saudi warns 'interfering'
In an interview published in
King Abdullah said: "Saudi leaders and the Saudi state have always known their limits in dealing with nations, east and west. I explained this to Ali Larijani [
King Abdullah also said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be solved by "Arabs alone".
"We don't want anyone to trade in our issues and become stronger through them," he said.
Hamas has refused to recognise
BN menang besar dengan kelebihan undi yang lebih banyak berbanding pilihanraya umum 2004. BN sudah bersedia untuk pilihanraya umum akan datang.
BN Retains Batu Talam Seat With Bigger Majority
RAUB, Jan 28 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) retained the Batu Talam state seat in a by-election today with a bigger majority than that it had garnered in the general election in 2004.
Returning Officer Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar announced at 8.17 pm that BN's Abdul Aziz Kiram, 47, secured 6,276 votes to beat independent candidate Ng Chee Pang, 22, by a majority of 5,857 votes.
The by-election was held following the death of BN assemblyman Datuk Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan who had beaten a PAS candidate by a majority of 2,761 votes in the general election in 2004.
A total of 7,080 voters or 67.32 per cent of the 10,525 electorate went to the polls today.
Abdul Kadir also announced that there were 385 spoilt votes in the by-election.
Although the throng appeared to fall short of the overwhelming turnout sought by rally organizers, it did draw out actress Jane Fonda, who said she hadn't attended an anti-war rally in 34 years. Fonda said she had worried that her words would hurt the effort to end the war.
"But silence is no longer an option," said Fonda, who waged a highly controversial campaign against the Vietnam War.
The rally was organized by United for Peace and Justice, which aimed to bring protesters from 30 states across the country. Simultaneously, anti-war rallies were staged at scores of other
High-profile speakers such as Fonda, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and actors Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon called for an end to the war. Also taking the stage were war veterans and members of Congress, including Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Lynn Woolsey of
On Monday, hundreds are expected to remain in
Washingtonto blitz Capitol Hill, lobbying their representatives in Congress during a week in which the Senate is scheduled to take up a resolution rejecting President Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to . Iraq
Many of the speakers Saturday wanted Congress to do far more than pass a resolution of displeasure.
Kucinich, who plans to run for president again in 2008, said it's time for Congress not only to cut off funding for the war and bring the troops home, but to close all bases in
Moriah Arnold, a 12-year-old sixth grader from
"We want to end the war now," said Arnold, who started a petition drive at her school.
"We want this occupation to end now," said Jarrar, an Iraqi. "We know how to run our country by ourselves."
In the crowd, a protester dressed as the grim reaper held a sign: "Death thanks George Bush for all the overtime."
David Bednarczuk, 56, said he traveled for 24 hours from
"We put them in office to deal with the war," he said. "If this Bush isn't going to listen to the people, then this Congress is going to have to make him listen."
Eighteen-year-old Megan Lytle of
"If the people rise up, the government can't stand up against us," she said. Mercury News
Australian-Malaysian ties 'improved'
Moora News, January 26 -
Mahathir, who stepped down in October 2003 after 22 years in office, often described
He also ridiculed Australian Prime Minister John Howard for his close ties to the
"Dr Mahathir never understood
"In the past, many Australian business people concluded that poor political relations might get in the way of Australian business in
Wise said Mahathir's successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is an improvement because he isn't "preoccupied with worn out and ultimately futile debates about whether
Relations between the two countries have progressed, he said, citing
"It's a very positive picture and the free trade agreement being negotiated should encourage even more Australian investors to come here," Wise wrote.
The negotiations, which began in 2005, have reached a fourth round, Wise said.
"The negotiators are working hard, but they have a way to go yet on some tough issues," he said, adding that the services sector had the greatest potential for growth.
Walaupun pilihanraya kecil Batu Talam diboikot pembangkang, 'kempen' BN menjadi-jadi. Seumpama ada sesuatu yang amat ditakuti BN.p/s - kempen BN = tohmahan?
Understand Purpose Of By-election, Najib Tells Batu Talam Residents
RAUB, Jan 27 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on Batu Talam residents who will go to the polls Sunday to understand the purpose of the by-election.
"It's important for the voters to know the purpose of holding the by-election. The purpose is to elect a representative for the interest of people in the Batu Talam constituency; that's the main thing," he said Saturday.
"In this regard, we have recommended Abd Aziz Mat Kiram as candidate of the state and federal Barisan Nasional.
"When the representative is from Barisan Nasional (BN), the state and federal government cooperation will be smoother and the people will get greater benefits," said Najib who is Umno deputy president.
In the by-election, the BN candidate is facing independent Ng Chee Pang. It is being held following the death of assemblyman Tengku Datuk Paris Tengku Razlan on Dec 27 last year.
On the BN target of winning with a big majority, Najib said a big majority would only become a reality if the percentage of voters turning up was high and it was hoped that 80 per cent of voters would cast their votes.
"So, Barisan Nasional will win big. If less than that, we will also win, Insya-Allah, but the majority is reduced," he said.
In the last general election, the BN won with a majority of 2,761 votes.
On efforts to ensure voters would turn up to vote, Najib said: "We will ensure all go out to vote. If they haven't, we will go to their houses. We will mobilise the machinery all-out until the last moment, that's the Barisan Nasional instruction," he said.
Earlier, he attended the presentation of offer letters for the sale of houses in the Jalan Tersang people's housing project.
Present were Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
When speaking at the function, Najib urged Batu Talam residents not to heed the call by the opposition not to turn up to vote.
"If someone instigate, don't listen. Don't surrender your I/C (identity card).
"Tonight, protect your I/C more than protecting your wife," he said in jest.
AlJazeera.net, January 29 - Hamas has accused Fatah, the Palestinian president's movement, of mounting a plot to overthrow the Hamas-led government and vowed to avenge its members killed in factional fighting.
But Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, a Fatah spokesman, blamed Hamas for starting the latest round of fighting. "We in Fatah did not stop the dialogue," he said, referring to talks on a national unity government.
At least 48 Palestinians have been killed since Abbas called for new elections last month.
Talking to the fighters - Laila El-Haddad interviews members of armed groups allied to Hamas and to Fatah to discover why they do what they do - read An eye for an eye in
The streets of
But Fatah and Hamas clashed again near the Islamic University, killing at least two in some of the fiercest fighting since Hamas's election victory a year ago.
One of the dead was believed to be a university student who was caught in the crossfire, witnesses said. Several people were also injured in the clash.
A member of the Hamas-led police force died of his wounds overnight, hospital officials said, bringing the toll from Friday's factional fighting to 18.
Hamas mounted an overnight raid on the
Grenades were also fired at the home of Rashid Abu Shbak, an Abbas loyalist in charge of internal security in the Palestinian Authority. It was unclear whether Shbak was home at the time, but no injuries were reported.
Fighting also took place outside the home Abbas, and the home of Mahmoud Zahar, the Hamas foreign minister. Hamas officials said Zahar's home was damaged by two rocket-propelled grenades.
Hamas has said any new elections would amount to a coup. It has struggled to govern since taking office in March under the weight of sanctions imposed because of its refusal to recognise
Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, pledged a week ago to curb Palestinian bloodshed after inconclusive talks to end their power struggle and form a unity government.
Abbas, currently in
Hamas marked the anniversary of its election victory over Fatah on Friday, but celebrations were scaled down because of the violence and some rallies were moved or cancelled. Agencies
Apakah wakil BN sebenar-benarnya wakil 'rakyat'?
Air - OSA... OSA... OSA!
PM Urges Batu Talam Voters To Turn Out In Full Force On Sunday
From Yong Soo Heong
DAVOS, Jan 27 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Friday urged voters in the Batu Talam state constituency to come out in full force and vote on Sunday to choose their representative in the
He said that the by-election was called because the government did not want the people there to be without a representative after their previous state assemblyman died.
"As soon as the by-election for the seat is over on Sunday, they will have a state assemblyman to champion their interests," he told Malaysian journalists covering his participation in the World Economic Forum here.
Abdullah also hoped that the voters there would support the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate again just as they did in the 2004 general election.
"Of course I wish for the BN candidate to retain the Batu Talam seat," he added.