Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shaharuddin’s cold-blooded murder linked to the underworld

PUTRAJAYA: Drug syndicates and criminal gangs are the main suspects in the cold-blooded murder of Customs deputy director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim (pic) a Mr Clean and no-nonsense law enforcement officer.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak revealed that Shaharuddin, 58, was going after certain parties who were uneasy with the strict enforcement by the department while City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah said police did not rule out a crime syndicate's involvement theory, adding that it was premature to speculate.

Shaharuddin, who was in charge of the Customs and Internal Tax Unit division and a year away from retirement, left his house in Dengkil at around 7.55am yesterday in a Nissan SUV.

As he was turning at a traffic light at the Lebuh Wawasan-Lebuh Sentosa flyover some 20 minutes later, two men on a motorcycle approached the car from the left and the pillion rider fired three shots with what is believed to be an automatic weapon.

Shaharuddin, who was from Negri Sembilan, had been with the Customs Department for more than 30 years. He gained a reputation as a drug buster and was known for his no-nonsense approach to enforcement. His work earned him the moniker “Mr Clean”.

The incident occurred barely a kilometre from the Putrajaya police headquarters.

“One of the shots hit Shaharuddin's neck. The victim's driver rushed him to the nearby Putrajaya Hospital but he was pronounced dead at about 9.20am,” said SAC Ku.

He said the victim had been sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a post-mortem, adding that evidence, including CCTV footages from nearby buildings, would be gathered.

<b>Leaving no stone unturned:</b> Police forensic unit personnel combing the crime scene for evidence at the Lebuh Wawasan-Lebuh Sentosa flyover.
Leaving no stone unturned: Police forensic unit personnel combing the crime scene for evidence at the Lebuh Wawasan-Lebuh Sentosa flyover.
“We must protect our public servants, especially those brave enough to carry out their responsibilities despite the risk. I condemn this incident,” Najib said at a ceremony in Ipoh to present bravery awards to security personnel who had served in Lahad Datu and Semporna.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said police had set up a task force headed by Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin to investigate Shaharuddin's murder.

He urged any witness to come forward to help in investigations.

“It is a norm for Customs officers to get threats but I never thought that my friend would be a victim,” said Peninsular Malaysia Customs Officers Union treasurer Ja'afar Mansor, who had known Shaharuddin since 1982.

“He was a very nice and down-to-earth guy. All the personnel under him loved and respected him,” he said.

Shaharuddin is survived by his wife Datin Rahimah Ibrahim, 58, and two children Suhana, 34, and Mohd Akhtar, 30. He was laid to rest at the Muslim cemetery in Presinct 20.

Suhana's husband Zulkidhi Ismail, 36, said his father-in-law was a strict but loving man who would be greatly missed by the family. - theStarOnline

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Margaret Thatcher makes final journey

Margaret Thatcher makes final journey

LONDON: Margaret Thatcher made her final journey on Wednesday to St Paul's Cathedral for her funeral, where Queen Elizabeth II led mourners from 170 countries to bid farewell to one of Britain's most influential and divisive prime ministers.

Parliament's famous Big Ben bell was silenced as Thatcher's coffin draped in the Union Jack was carried to a hearse and driven through the streets of London lined by 700 soldiers, sailors and airmen in full ceremonial uniform.

Some 4,000 police officers have been deployed for the event, amid heightened security following the bombings at the Boston Marathon and fears of disruption by opponents of a politician who still arouses strong passions even in death.

Tens of thousands of well-wishers applauded as the cortege passed by in tribute to the "Iron Lady" who transformed Britain and helped end the Cold War during her 11 years in power.

The coffin, dressed with a bouquet of white flowers and a handwritten card reading "Beloved Mother -- Always in Our Hearts", was taken to a chapel on the Strand before being transferred on to a gun carriage drawn by six black horses for the second leg of the procession to St Paul's.

A Royal Marines band led the way playing funeral marches by Chopin, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, while guns were fired every minute from the Tower of London.

"I wanted to pay my respects to the best prime minister since Churchill," said Gloria Martin, a property developer in her 60s with an array of "I Love Maggie" badges pinned to her chest.

"She was strong, she was resolute, and she put her country first above any idea of popularity. People admired her for that even if they didn't like Thatcher's policies."

The funeral, nine days after Thatcher died from a stroke aged 87, is the first time the queen has attended a prime ministerial funeral since Winston Churchill died in 1965.

The Falklands War, viewed by many of her admirers as Thatcher's finest hour, was a central theme of the ceremony with veterans of the 1982 conflict with Argentina walking behind her coffin.

Argentina was pointedly not represented among the 2,300 guests, who included US political figures Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger, the prime ministers of Canada, Israel, Italy, Poland and Kuwait, and show business stars from Thatcher's time in power.

Current Prime Minister David Cameron and three former premiers, John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown also joined the mourners along with all the current cabinet as well as all surviving members of Thatcher's cabinet and the opposition Labour leader.

But the pomp and splendour -- paid for with millions of pounds of public money -- have sparked criticism from those who argue that Thatcher was too polarising a figure to merit such a state-sponsored send-off.

Protesters in the crowd turned their backs as the funeral cortege went by to complain at the damage wrought by her radical free-market economic reforms, which created mass unemployment in Britain's industrial heartlands.

"We're spending £10 million (11.7 million euros, $15.3 million) on it and that's disgraceful and unacceptable at a time of austerity," said 22-year-old student Casper Winslow, who held a placard reading "Rest of us in poverty".

The government has yet to disclose the costs of the funeral but has said it will be considerably less than the reported £10 million.

Cameron insisted it was right to give Thatcher a proper farewell.

"I think it'll be quite a sombre event, but it is a fitting tribute to a great prime minister respected around the world," Cameron, the current leader of Thatcher's Conservative Party, told BBC radio.

"And I think other countries in the world would think Britain got it completely wrong if we didn't mark this in a proper way."

Thatcher's coffin spent the night at the 13th-century Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in Westminster after a private ceremony attended by her 59-year-old twin children Mark and Carol and former colleagues.

On its arrival at St Paul's for the 11 am (1000 GMT) service, the coffin was to be carried up the west steps by eight men from military units that served in the Falklands, followed by two brothers who survived an attack on their vessel by Argentina during the war.

The crowd of black-clad mourners in the cathedral were to sing Christian hymns reflecting Thatcher's strict Methodist upbringing, while Cameron and Thatcher's granddaughter Amanda were to give readings from the Bible, followed by a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Britain's first female prime minister, who was in office from 1979 to 1990, had suffered from dementia and was rarely seen in public for the final years of her life.

Her death prompted tributes poured in from around the world highlighting the role she played in bringing down the Iron Curtain by reaching out to reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and persuading US president Ronald Reagan to do the same.

Gorbachev and Reagan's wife Nancy did not attend the funeral due to ill-health.-AFP

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Proud dad Chong Wei returns to action in Axiata Cup final

Chong Wei and Mew Choo with Kingston.
Chong Wei and Mew Choo with Kingston.
KUALA LUMPUR: World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who just became a father on Friday, will play in the US1 mil (RM3.04mil) Axiata Cup after all.

After some coaxing from his teammates, Chong Wei has decided to come to the team's rescue by playing in the final tie against Thailand at 7.30pm, Sunday at Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras.

With Chong Wei playing, the team's chances are certainly better against the Thais and the home team now stand a better chance of winning the mixed team Cup for the first time and also pocket a whopping US400,000 (RM1.217mil) top prize money. The runners-up get to take home US200,000 (RM608,000).

Chong Wei will play against Thailand's young hotshot Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, whom he had defeated in the semi-finals of the All-England last month.

Theirs will be the third match to be played.

Said national coach Tey Seu Bock: "The team is excited and grateful that Chong Wei has decided to come back. With him in, our morale will be high and it will also increases our chances of winning the Axiata Cup for the first time in front of our home crowd."

The two-time Olympic Games silver medallist Chong Wei will surely be hoping that daddy's luck will be on his side as this will be his first tournament as a father.

On Friday, his wife Wong Mew Choo had given birth to Kingston Lee via Caeserean section. Final (7.30pm): Malaysia vs Thailand (Sonia Cheah vs Ratchanok Intanon; Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying vs Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee; Lee Chong Wei vs Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk; Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong vs Boonsak Ponsana-Songphon Anuritayawon.) - theStarOnline

Female doctor is actually a guy

Double identity: Supt Soh showing a photo of the man who posed as a female doctor in Malacca.
Double identity: Supt Soh showing a photo of the man who posted as a female doctor in Malacca.
MALACCA: With his soft and feminine features, the petite figure comes across as a prim and proper female medical doctor.

Always clad in a baju kurung and headscarf, “Dr Ika” the name the doctor used managed to con several private clinics here with fake certificates and had himself hired as a locum at RM45 an hour.

He was actually a jobless man who did not even finish his nursing course in two institutions in Selangor and Johor.

Said to have given “extra attention and tender loving care'' to male patients, his cover was recently exposed when he supposedly called a male patient on his handphone after hours.

The patient's wife found out and complained to the clinic last Monday and internal investigations followed before the police were alerted.

Malacca commercial crimes chief Supt Soh Hock Sing said a special team was set up to observe and gather information before an undercover operation was mounted.

“We decided to act fast as it involved patients' lives. So, one of our officers posed as a patient seeking medical treatment at the clinic. The man behaved like a real woman doctor and examined the officer. He even prescribed some medicine,” he said yesterday.

The team raided the clinic and questioned the “doctor” before arresting him at 6pm on Thursday.

Initial investigations showed that the 26-year-old from Sabah, who lived in Ampang, was also a dropout from an engineering course in an institution in Sabah.

“We believe he used the same trick in Perak and Pahang before coming to Malacca in January,” Supt Soh said.

“Patients who think that they had been given prescriptions by this fake doctor are advised to stop taking them,” he said, adding that clinics hiring locums should be more careful with their background checks in the future. - theStarOnline

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