Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Malaysian model

FORMER Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed has said that the resurgence of his country was no easy task due to its non-homogenous people, unlike Egypt which, he added, could have an easier mission owing to its large and homogeneous population.

Mohamed was speaking at a seminar called International Renaissance Experiences — the Malaysian Case, held this week in Cairo under the auspices of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mohamed said that development in his country had started with the agricultural sector, then with heavy industries, until Malaysia was able to fully manufacture its first automobile.

He added that Malaysia, in cooperation with the private sector, had renovated infrastructure projects such as roads, water and electricity.

The core of the Malaysian renaissance project, said Mohamed, was that it focussed on the citizens’ welfare by providing them jobs, a high income a decent life, which in turn encouraged people to abandon political conflicts and engage instead in work and production. On the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mohamed stated that the fund’s assessment of the Malaysian performance was “confused”. He said that sometimes the fund praised Malaysia’s economic policies, but just as often criticised them. “We realised that not all the IMF advice was correct,” Mohamed said. “Since then we decided to deal with our problems ourselves without resorting to the IMF.” Mohamed stated that Islamic finance was not very popular when it was introduced in Malaysia because Muslims in the country were poor. But when Muslims began to accumulate wealth, they wanted to adhere to Islamic principles which prohibit usury in financial transactions. As a result, Mohamed said, conventional banking was not applicable and another model that depends on risk sharing between debtor and creditor was adopted in a bid to avoid usury.


Police case postponed

NORTH CAIRO Court in Abbasiya postponed on Monday the trial of Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, known as Mohamed Al-Sunni, convicted of killing protesters during the 25 January Revolution, to 18 June in order to summon witnesses. It also ordered that he remain in detention.

Al-Sunni, a police officer at Al-Zawya Al-Hamra police station, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, he later appealed and a court ordered his retrial.

He was sentenced to life in absentia in another case for participating in the killing of 18 protesters and injuring three others on 28 January 2011, during the 18-day uprising against ousted President Mubarak. Al-Sunni then turned himself in and the sentence was mitigated to five years in a maximum security prison.

Al-Sunni’s lawyer stated that thugs were attempting to enter the police station during the uprising to steal weapons, and thus Al-Sunni was defending himself and the police station.

On the other hand, the trial of an Egyptian man accused of attempting to storm the presidential palace in Heliopolis in February began at a Cairo criminal court on Tuesday. Moawad Mohamed Eissa, 47, is accused of attempting to storm Cairo’s Al-Ittihadiya palace using a tow truck, and of being involved in the violent clashes that erupted at the palace in February.

Eissa faces charges of deliberately damaging public property, resisting the authorities and using violence against a member of the presidential guard.


Poison scare

DOZENS of Al-Azhar University students protested outside their dormitories in Cairo’s Nasr City on Monday after smelling kerosene in their dinner.

Investigations started swiftly since it was the third poisoning incident at the university within two months. This time, the students claimed they could smell kerosene in the fuul (beans) served at dinner on Monday.

An official source from Al-Azhar dormitories said initial tests showed no contamination had taken place and the smell of kerosene may have come from the gas stove on which the beans were cooked.

On 1 April, over 500 students were hospitalised for food poisoning after eating on campus. Less than a month later, a second food poisoning incident made 161 students ill. The double scandal prompted mass demonstrations by students demanding the sacking of the university president Osama Al-Abd. Some called for the sacking of Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb, who oversees the Al-Azhar religious educational system in Egypt.


Radio strike

A NUMBER of editors employed by Egypt’s state-owned Radio Misr station declared an open-ended strike on Sunday following a decision by Information Minister Salah Abdel-Maksoud to transfer Chief Editor Shadi Gamal to a radio station devoted to youth affairs and sports.

Employees expressed their displeasure with the transfer by suspending Radio Misr’s regular news bulletins.

According to striking employees, Gamal was transferred after being accused of “belittling” President Mohamed Morsi in a news broadcast last year.

Gamal allegedly broadcast news about Morsi’s inauguration of a new pedestrian bridge in April 2013 without providing additional details. Radio Misr editors say Abdel-Maksoud deemed the brief broadcast an insult to the presidency.

Radio Misr is a state-owned radio station that operates under the auspices of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union.


Airport strikes

FLIGHTS have resumed at Cairo Airport’s Terminal 3 after workers ended their strike over the death of a colleague. Terminal 3 was brought to a standstill from late Saturday until dawn Sunday when baggage handlers stopped work after a colleague was killed by a tractor on the runway.

Tempers flared at the airport when around 50 flights — both incoming and outgoing — were delayed due to the strike, Al-Ahram news website reported.

Protesting workers demanded a prompt probe into the death and for those responsible to be held accountable. They also called for regular maintenance checks and equipment upgrades.

Some passengers complained at the airport arrivals terminal and shouted that they wanted their baggage. In order to ease congestion, five flights were diverted to Terminal 1.

A handful of local and international flights left late on Saturday with luggage to follow on other flights on Sunday.

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