Archive for August, 2009

31
Aug
09

MACC alleges RM112 kickback in inquest

Teoh family lashes out at MACC on kickback claim
By Debra Chong
Aug 31 2009 – Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — The family of the late Teoh Beng Hock condemned the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for claiming in the coroner’s court last week that the DAP political aide had received “kickbacks”.

“Why must Mohd Anuar (Ismail) defame Beng Hock?” Teoh Lee Lan, the younger sister to the 30-year-old political aide, lashed out against the MACC investigation officer who was the 17th witness in the ongoing inquest.

“The MACC has always maintained that Beng Hock was a witness in an investigation. Now Mohd Anuar has alleged that he was ‘on the take’,” she said, in an email statement to The Malaysian Insider last night.

Mohd Anuar, under questioning from the MACC lawyer, Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, told the coroner’s court on Aug 26 that Teoh had personally received money from a private company totalling RM112.

The other lawyers, from the Teoh family lawyer Gobind Singh Deo to the lawyer from the Attorney-General’s Chambers assisting the coroner, Tan Hock Chuan, objected strongly to Abdul Razak’s line of questioning.

Teoh’s boss, first-term Selangor DAP executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah who sat in when Mohd Anuar testified, has reassured Teoh’s family that the claim is “totally baseless” and that he has all the documents to prove his innocence.

The RM112, Ean Yong told them, is a refund for an earlier payment for a banner.

The coroner, magistrate Azmil Muntapha Abas, ordered court officials to expunge the statements from the records.

But Lee Lan said: “The damage has been done.”

On behalf of her family, she demanded that the MACC show proof to back up its allegation immediately, or publicly apologise to the family for defaming her deceased brother.

“Proof is needed for truth and justice to prevail,” she said.

“To make a serious allegation against a person who cannot defend himself is malicious and is totally unacceptable,” she added.

The 28-year-old auditor from Alor Gajah repeated her plea for anyone with information on her brother’s death to step forward and pass the details to Gobind.

31
Aug
09

Malays speaking without fear

Malays speaking without fear
By Nurul Izzah Anwar
AUG 31 2009 – Malaysia Insider

AUG 31 — I can’t say that I know Datuk Zaid Ibrahim very well. Our past encounters have been limited to a fleeting hello in front of the steps of my alma mater, the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in 2006, another chat during a reception in honour of Datuk Ambiga Sreevanesagan in June and, most recently, at the PKR’s recent EGM. It’s amazing, but perhaps unsurprising that he has in these three years evolved from an ambiguous reformist in Umno into the conscience of all Malaysians.

I had always been impressed by his outspokenness, and his willingness to fearlessly voice out his views on issues of national importance is nothing short of inspirational. Zaid does not mince his words where many hesitate to call a spade a spade, especially where it matters the most.

An articulate Malay speaking out for a multiracial and progressive Malaysia is terribly important in this current political climate. For our own community, Zaid epitomises how the Malays might redefine ourselves, to re-imagine a world where we do not think that we are inferior or threatened but are rather confident in whom we are.

In reading Zaid’s book Saya Pun Melayu, I sense the need for Malays to embrace a new paradigm on what it means to be Malay. Many indeed are doing so and this is a heartening. “Malay” need no longer carry connotations of dependency on the state, insecurity or the crippling feeling alienation and the lack of self-worth.

The word “Malay” can and must eventually mean a call to embrace a broader Malaysian identity, along with a true, inclusive nationalism that is proud of who we are individually but also in what we have accomplished together. We can be sure of our identities and yet still be a part of something greater than all of us — and this is something all the ethnic groups in Malaysia ought to aspire to.

Zaid’s book highlights that fact that we need to look beyond the stereotypes and take an objective, albeit positive look at our community’s accomplishments. We have made great strides in business, the arts, education and the professions. Our success extends from Lembah Pantai where Malays own vibrant businesses selling products made by Malays to the flourishing nasi lemak stalls in Kota Baru.

We attend leading universities throughout the world, increasingly through our own merit. We can count internationally recognised choreographers, painters, cartoonists, writers, and film directors amongst our numbers.

Beyond these markers, our success can more often that not be seen at home through our everyday acts of compassion and sensitivity to others, which spread to our fellow Malaysians to become a national virtue. The kindness shown towards our children, parents and neighbours is perhaps one of the most important signs of who we Malays are as a community. These are real achievements that no one can or would want to take from us.

I’m not denying that we still have a long way to go in moving our community forward, nor am I unmindful that a lot of our successes would not have been in possible without the NEP and its institutions. However, it has become patently obvious that these structures are now holding the Malays back, and that the world has changed since then.

The Malays and, as a-matter-of-fact, all Malaysians need to change as well if we want to remain relevant in this world. We need to step away from our obsession with all things racial and realise that the project of nation-building is not a zero-sum game. Malaysia can never succeed until and unless its entire people feel like they are truly a part of it.
Continue reading ‘Malays speaking without fear’

30
Aug
09

Sarawak: Food shortage in a land of plenty

Billions have been and will be spent by the government to build the Bakun dam and the Murum dam in Sarawak but it seems like the state and federal government are not willing to lift even a finger to help the indigenous people in Sarawak experiencing a serious food shortage.

Despite the urgent appeal to solve the food crisis, only a team of NGO volunteers have responded and managed to deliver 10 tonnes of food to the Penans in the Kapit area.

Group reaches grateful Penans after rough, three-day journey
By STEPHEN THEN
August 30, 2009 – the Star

LONG TANYIT: After three days of hard work, a team of people managed to bring more than 10 tonnes of food to some 1,500 Penans who are facing acute food shortages in the Kapit Division.

About 10,000kg of rice and other essential foodstuff such as canned food, milk powder, sugar and salt arrived here and the nearby Long Lidem, Long Kajang and Long Abit.

These isolated settlements are more than 12 hours drive along a timber road from Bintulu town.

The food was delivered using a heavy-duty timber truck and a convoy of six four-wheel drives. The team was greeted with smiles, hugs and handshakes.

Long Tanyit chief Salu Ugat said he was grateful to God for answering the people’s prayers.

“Food shortages here are serious. It has happened several times this year already. We waited weeks for this food supply,’’ he said.

Long Lidem chief Naran Pua said the people were surprised that the team managed to make the journey.

“We thought we are being attacked when we suddenly saw the lorry and the 4WDs coming. This is the first time we are getting so much food. We have been facing food problems for six years,” he said.

The Miri Catholic Church, which is coordinating the relief aid collection, had two weeks ago received appeals for aid, saying the Penans had run out of rice and other food items.

Twelve volunteers from the Malaysian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, a non-governmental disaster and relief aid organisation, flew in from Kuala Lumpur after reading about the Penans’ plight.

The team, led by volunteer Captain K. Balasupramaniam, arrived in Bintulu on Wednesday and travelled to the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme in Bakun.

He met up with Reverend Father Sylvester Ding, who is coordinating the deployment of the food aid, and a village head Penghulu Saging Bit.

From Bakun, the team sought the help of a timber firm to help send 1,600 bags of rice and hundreds of boxes of dry food. The journey along the timber roads was difficult. The team faced problems like vehicle breakdown, bad weather and delays resulting from permit requirements to enter a logging concession area.

The team will now focus on bringing food supply to the Lusong Laku Penan settlement, SK Lusong Laku and the teachers living there.

The Penans in the Sarawak interior have been cut off from the outside world after a timber giant dismantled an iron bridge across the Sungai Linau because the area was going to be flooded for the Bakun Dam.

It is learnt that the company had placed several pieces of logs across the river for the people in Lusong Laku to use as a temporary bridge.

28
Aug
09

Black Merdeka

27
Aug
09

Sarawak: Poverty in a land of plenty

Excerpts from the article below:


Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian finance minister who’s the head of the country’s opposition alliance, sees parallels between Taib’s rule and those of other long-standing leaders in Southeast Asia, such as former Indonesian President Suharto and former Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos.

Sim Kwang Yang, an opposition member of parliament for Sarawak’s capital city of Kuching from 1982 to 1995, agrees with Anwar’s assessment. “It is crony capitalism driven by greed without any regard for the people,” he says.

“The government is cruel,” says Jengga Jeli, 54, a father of five in Lebor. “Fruit trees have been cut down. It’s become harder to hunt and fish. Now we are forced to get meat and vegetables from the bazaar, and we are very poor.” Jengga’s village filed a lawsuit in 1998 against Nirwana, LCDA and the state government in a bid to get compensation.

“This is the paradox of Sarawak — the great wealth it has, the natural resources in such abundance, and yet such an impoverishment and the real hardship these communities are suffering,” says Leete, who chronicled Malaysia’s progress since its independence from Britain in his book “Malaysia: From Kampung to Twin Towers” (Oxford Fajar, 2007). “There has no doubt been a lot of money politics,” he says.

“The biggest problem we have with indigenous people’s rights is that we have the federal government and state government run and dictated by people who have no respect or interest for indigenous people,” he says. “We need a change of government.”

Continue reading ‘Sarawak: Poverty in a land of plenty’

27
Aug
09

MACC and political games

Will Najib order all Umno/BN leaders to stop dragging MACC into political games?
26 Aug 2009 – blog.limkitsiang.com

The call by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should not be dragged into political games makes history as one which have unanimous support of ordinary Malaysians – except that the targets in the minds of the overwhelming majority of Malaysians are completely different from those intended by Najib.

I have no doubt that if a opinion poll is conducted among Malaysians, almost 100 per cent would agree with Najib’s call, except that such an opinion poll would show that the overwhelming majority of easily over 90 per cent regard the Umno/BN government as the culprits responsible for dragging MACC into “political games” and undermining public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of MACC while only a very small percentage would think like Najib in targeting the Pakatan Rakyat.

Najib said MACC’s credibility must be intact and it must be allowed to carry out its role in fighting graft so the country could be administered efficiently and effectively.

Again, Najib is right, except that he is raising national eye-brows in refusing to admit that the guilty parties are Umno/Barisan Nasional leaders and is trying to make the Pakatan Rakyat the scapegoat for the MACC’s rapid loss of public confidence.

Najib said: “We should not be quick to accuse or pass judgment against the commission so much so that people start to question its credibility. Leave it out of political games and let the officers do their work.”

It is the Umno/BN and not Pakatan Rakyat who are getting MACC involved in their political games and not allow MACC officers to do their work.

For instance, why is the MACC declaring war on Pakatan Rakyat instead of declaring war against corruption if not to suit the political agenda of Umno/BN?

…more (blog.limkitsiang.com)

27
Aug
09

PKFZ Scandal: Five accused of conspiracy

The press statement by the PKA chairman explaining the report he has lodged with the MACC on 26 Aug 2009 is available here.

PKFZ: Five accused of conspiracy
Tim Leonard
Aug 26, 2009 – the Sun

PUTRAJAYA (Aug 26, 2009): Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng today upped the ante on the controversial Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project issue by lodging a report at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against three individuals and two companies involving disputed claims amounting to RM740 million.

He submitted two voluminous dossiers containing evidence on “disputable claims” and “possible conspiracy” by Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) and its president and chief executive offier Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, former PKA general manager Datin Paduka OC Phang, BTA Architect and its head Bernard Tan Seng Swee, the consultant appointed for the PKFZ development works in those claims.

Lee arrived at the MACC headquarters here at 2.30pm and was there for about 15 minutes.

MACC director of investigations Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull was seen entering the building at 2.35pm.

On Aug 11, Lee had lodged a report at the Klang police station over notices of payment and other irregularities totalling RM657 million.

“Now, we have another RM740 million…so there is a dispute in claims of RM1.4 billion,” he told reporters.

In his MACC report, Lee alleged that Phang had carried out actions that were detrimental to PKA and beneficial to PKFZ turnkey developer KDSB, and she allegedly made unilateral decisions without the approval of PKA board members.

He further claimed that Phang knew PKA could not self-finance the purchase of the PKFZ land but failed to alert the government or take immediate steps to alleviate its financial predicament.

He also claimed that Phang insisted that Perunding BE Sdn Bhd be appointed as the sole quantity surveyor despite knowing that same company had been engaged by KDSB, leading to a conflict of interest.

“KDSB, along with BTA Architect had worked in concert to issue notices of payment to PKA which are false, erroneous or defective, which PKA believes is intended to mislead,” Lee said.

He also alleged that the notices of payment are fraudulent as they claimed payment for works which in reality had not been carried out.

In his statement, Lee also listed alleged irregulaties and details of the notices of payment as mentioned in his Aug 11 police report.

They are that KDSB:
>> made claims for RM5 million in respect of procurement of performance bond and insurance premiums which it is not entitled to claim;

>> made claim for RM254.8 million for monsoon drain works and water supply works for which it is not entitled to claim under Development Agreement 3 (DA3);

>> may have overclaimed the sum of RM79 million in professional fees based on the Public Works Department’s standard form of agreement for consultancy services between contractor and consultants for design and build contract;

>> made claims for RM55.8 million for physical construction of electrical infrastructure for 33kv system works which have yet to start;

>> appeared to have over-claimed for hotel works to the sum of RM24.9 million

>> made RM62.2 million claim for variation work which arguably, it is not entitled to claim as the procedural requirement under the Additional Development Works (ADW) has not been complied;

>> claimed for RM83 million for 33kv power supply to Precint 2 and 8 and the civil infrastructure has yet to be carried out;

>> Re-measurement by JUCB Sdn Bhd of the office blocks and light industries units showed a cost difference of RM93 million;

>> Contributions not made to authorities by KDSB for the basic infrastructure works as required under Land Agreement 1 (LA1) to the sum of RM2.3 million.




Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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