KINI ROUNDUP | Here are the key headlines you may have missed yesterday, in brief.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad declared the report of the Council of Eminent Persons will not be disclosed to the public; a move backed by CEP member Jomo Kwame Sundaram due to the report’s ‘sensitive’ nature.
Mahathir also said the Official Secrets Act 1972 will stay as law, while Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin revealed that the cabinet had, on July 20, decided to formulate a Freedom of Information Bill.
Meanwhile, Jomo opined that there is no need to ‘revive’ the CEP because it is riddled with misconceptions, but former members may still serve in other capacities.
Conflicting claims on stateless Indians
Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman told the Dewan Negara that there are only 3,853 stateless ethnic Indians in the country, not 300,000 as claimed by the previous opposition.
Lawyer N Surendran said quoting this figure is irresponsible, as it is based on the number of applications and does not account for many thousands who did not apply for identification documents for various reasons.
Soda price up or down?
Mahathir has confirmed that the government is considering a tax on carbonated drinks due to the health risks the beverages pose.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail announced that the price of sugar would be reduced in line with global prices, but stressed that this does not mean the government condones increasing sugar consumption.
Saifuddin, who is also PKR secretary-general, openly voiced support for Mohd Rafizi Ramli’s bid for party deputy presidency, citing president-elect Anwar Ibrahim’s admiration for Rafizi.
A cowherd allegedly threw cow manure at the authorities in Klang who were demolishing his farm and two temples, eventually resulting in the arrest of five people, including him.
Human rights group Suaram criticised the federal government for not applying sufficient pressure against the Kelantan government and allowing federal agencies to participate in the demolition of a blockade set up by the Orang Asli community in Gua Musang.
The Dewan Negara is expected to vote on the repeal of the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.
Former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar is expected to testify at a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry on suspected enforced disappearances of several activists.
MCA president Liow Tiong Lai will be hitting the campaign trail in the Balakong by-election for the first time, accompanied by this deputy Wee Ka Siong.
Former KiniBiz editor P Gunasegaram will be launching his book ‘1MDB: The Scandal That Brought Down a Government’.