28 February, 2007

U.S. says no objection if Malaysia develops nuclear energy program

The United States Tuesday said that it has no objection if Malaysia pursue a nuclear energy program for peaceful purposes, local media reports said.

U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Christopher LaFleur made this remark after an intellectual discourse organized by University Putra Malaysia, according to Malaysia's national news agency Bernama.

Nuclear energy was quite important for countries which had no energy resources of their own, Lafleur said in the discourse.

If Malaysia wanted to develop that field, the United States would not oppose, he said.

Meanwhile, Lafleur stressed that if Malaysian research institutes want to cooperate on nuclear energy research, he believed that American institutions that will be happy to work with them.

Some Malaysian government officials in recent two years reiterated that Malaysia has rich energy resources and it does not need to develop nuclear energy power stations.

They also indicated that Malaysia is short of talents and the necessary technology to develop nuclear power stations.

Yet, other Malaysian officials argued that Malaysia did not rule out the possibility that it would develop nuclear power stations in the future.

It is reported that the Southeast Asian country currently has a research nuclear reactor.
(Source:People's Daily Online)

Head of Malaysia's anti-corruption agency probed for corruption

Allegations that the head of the powerful Anti-Corruption Agency is corrupt and unscrupulous must be thoroughly investigated or Malaysia will become an international laughingstock, an opposition leader said Wednesday.

Former senior ACA officer Mohamad Ramli Manan has accused the agency's Director-General Zulkipli Mat Noor of being "a very corrupt senior police officer who had amassed substantial property and assets through corrupt practices," said Lim Kit Siang, who chairs the opposition Democratic Action Party.

Ramli made the allegations in a report to police in July last year before his retirement in December, said Lim, the opposition leader in parliament, in a statement.

Zulkipli was a special branch officer for more than two decades and rose to become police chief in two states, before becoming the first policeman to be appointed to the ACA's top post in 2001.

Zulkipli told the New Straits Times newspaper the allegations were baseless and that he had been vetted and cleared by both the agency and police before his appointment.

"Let the law take its course," he was quoted as saying. "The bottom line is justice must be done."

A parliamentary committee on integrity has fixed March 12 for Zulkipli and Ramli to appear to hear the case and decide if it is proper for Zulkipli to continue to helm the anti-corruption agency.

Lim called for a thorough investigation to restore confidence in the agency, which has been widely perceived as a "paper tiger" with Malaysia ranked 44 in Transparency International's corruption index last year, down from 37 in 2003.

"This matter must be cleared so that he is fit to continue," Lim said. "Malaysia will become an international laughingstock if the ACA has a director-general who has serious corruption allegations swirling over his head."



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