Archive for July, 2012

31
Jul
12

Pakatan vows to reform Parliament

Among the key reforms, should Pakatan come into power, will be the establishment of a parliamentary committee structure with members from both sides of the divide.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat has pledged to reform Parliament should it wrest federal power in the 13th general election, vowing to restore the separation of powers and strengthen democratic institutions.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said among the key reforms would be the establishment of a parliamentary committee structure with members from both sides of the divide covering all aspects of government.

This includes finance, education, health, defence, law and civil service, among others, with the mandate to provide oversight and to be included in all key governance matters that would guarantee full democratic participation and accountability.

“Separation of powers will ensure transparency and accountability for good governance – that will mitigate against abuse of powers and corruption – which will allow the interest of all stakeholders to be represented equitably,” Nurul told reporters here.

The daughter of opposition and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim cited the controversy surrounding the civil service salary scheme as proof for the need of parliamentary reform.

Nurul, echoing the union representing public workers Cuepacs, claimed the salary scheme would only benefit the “bureaucratic elite” and widen the wage gap between the top echelons and those below.

Civil service backlash

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was forced to do away with the scheme after an uproar threatened to trigger a backlash from the civil service, the ruling coalition’s traditional votebank.

The debacle was believed to have cost the Public Service Department director-general Abu Bakar Abdullah his job in what the PKR leader alleged was a scapegoating move to prevent top government leaders, including Najib, from taking the blame.

The scheme was said to have been approved by the Cabinet.

Nurul said the failure of the executive or Cabinet to study in detail such an important matter justified a thorough review of the Barisan Nasional government.

…more
Pakatan vows to reform Parliament
July 10, 2012 – FMT

31
Jul
12

Perceptions and deceptions under the hazy Malaysian sun


Many of our politicians, I think, share this misconception that they are so darn smart and can deliver flippant comments, inane lines and get away with it.

In the pre-Internet days, this probably would have been true. Then newspapers, radio and television were virtually the only sources of news.

Hence, they could lie through their teeth, say nasty things about every being under, yes, the hazy Malaysian sun, and get away with it all.

Media self-censorship now an art form

Why? Because the print and broadcast media then – as now – were owned and controlled by them or their parties and would not dream of publishing or broadcasting their stupid, insensitive comments. It would have been bad PR – and certainly bad karma for any suicidal editor who dared publish the comments.

Then – but more so now – media self-censorship has been raised to an art form.

However, the introduction of the Internet into this country, and its rapid expansion over the past five years or so, have changed that a teeny-weeny bit.

So, much as the mainstream media may ignore important issues such as the NFC scandal, the PFKZ disaster, the orchestrated violence on Bersih 3.0 and, of course, the financially-huge Scorpene debacle, these events and issues will no longer just go away.

Instead, they continue to be investigated, headlined and exposed by the Internet media that, over the relatively short period of 10 to 15 years, have consolidated – nay, firmly entrenched – themselves as serious players in this game of providing images, meanings and explanations.

So, although quite a number of these jaguh kampung politicians – and their bit part supporting actors in the civil (dis)service – still are clueless about how the Internet at times can strip them naked, there are a few who, I believe, feel they need to spend tonnes (perhaps of our money) on giving their image a positive makeover.

‘You need to be cool with the kids’

They learn to use the social media. Unfortunately, an idiot remains an idiot, whatever the communication technology at hand.

Hence, garbage in, garbage out.

They hire image and public relations consultants who, for a princely sum, tell them that, despite the protruding belly and the fast-receding hairline, they need to be cool with the kids.

…more
Perceptions and deceptions
Rom Nain
Jul 12, 2012 – Malaysiakini

31
Jul
12

Stop rambling, bring on the polls!

It is high time Najib matched words with deed and call for the polls immediately instead of displaying empty bravado.

COMMENT

A local English daily recently reported that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had advised Malaysian citizens to beware of the opposition due to what he had labelled as the opposition’s three bad teachings: not necessary to settle debts, no need to remember good deeds and no need to fulfil promises.

As the three bad teachings seem like a child’s kindergarten vendetta, the prime minister has definitely hit a new low in promoting BN. This brutish, abrasive and aggressive style of campaigning shows that Najib is lacking in finesse and shows him up as a suitable leader for a Third World nation.

It is high time for him to match words with deed by calling for the polls this very instant instead of exhibiting empty bravado.

He has given silent acquiescence to MCA to employ the use of sewer politics to attack DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and also the Penang and Selangor state governments. Also, do not forget his silence when his goons sold burgers and performed butt-exercises in front of Bersih co-chair S Ambiga’s house.

Do all these incidents mean that Najib is no longer fit to govern? Why is he still dragging on the polls date by giving the lame excuse that the rakyat is accepting all his transformation programmes and hence he requires time to implement them? If that is so, then there is absolutely no excuse to delay the polls in order to obtain a strong mandate to carry out his programmes.

Perhaps, the business community can pressure him to hold the polls in September due to the prevailing economic climate.

He has said that he can win 14 seats, oops, sorry, 14 states so why is he still hesitating with regard to the 13th general election? This proves that he is a magnificent flip-flopper. Currently, investors are holding on to their capital and people cannot make decisions due to this uncertainty.

“Perhaps the polls delay is to give time to certain quarters to plunder the nation’s coffers and transfer these funds abroad,” opined Nizar Jamaluddin, the PAS MP for Bukit Gantang, who is also of the view that something evil may be afoot.

Nizar had also mentioned that he had warned Pakatan Rakyat supporters to be very, very patient in the face of abnormal events such as the butt-exercises and hooligan attacks during Pakatan’s ceramahs.

“If we retaliate, then there may be planned incidents causing more uncertainty. We must therefore be calm and not fall into the enemy’s trap,” said Nizar.

Is Najib all rhetoric only?

In the meantime, the world economic situation has a worrying forecast although this does not seem to concern the prime minister who is too busy carrying out his own Pakatan-bashing agenda.

Although the rakyat may enjoy the crumbs thrown at them by the BN federal government now, once they win another mandate you can be sure that the gift-giving to the rakyat will be stopped with immediate effect.

Till today, there is still no economic blueprint for the rakyat except Kedai This and Kedai That. These are all piecemeal efforts that do not genuinely solve the problem of the low-income group whose real take-home pay is diminishing by the day.

Is Najib all rhetoric only? The delay in calling for the general election is an obvious indication that either he is afraid of something or is not in control of the situation despite all his bragging.

…more
Stop rambling, bring on the polls!
July 11, 2012 – FMT

30
Jul
12

Elect The Right Sabahan For The People Of Sabah (Video)

 

Anwar Ibrahim: Elect The Right Sabahan For The People Of Sabah

30
Jul
12

Malaysia water “crisis” signals fierce fight for richest state – Reuters

(Reuters) – The surprise statement came during a rainy spell and when the seven dams in Malaysia’s richest, most populous state were full.

Reserves of treated water in the opposition-controlled state of Selangor were perilously low, said the water company supplying a population of 7 million in the country’s main industrial base. It was seeking approval to start immediate rationing.

For many it looked like politics, not water, was behind the problem – a measure of how high tensions are running ahead of national elections that must be called by early next year and which may be the closest in Malaysia’s history.

“Of course, it’s a political conspiracy,” said Teresa Kok, a member of the Selangor state executive council and opposition member of parliament.

The July 14 announcement has set off an ill-tempered battle between the opposition-run state and the federal government that foreshadows an intense election struggle for the crucial swing state that is a base for multinationals including Panasonic Corp and British American Tobacco.

The state leadership says the ruling coalition is using water supplier Syabas to manufacture a water crisis and sow doubts in voters’ minds over the opposition’s competence.

Syabas, a unit of Puncak Niaga Bhd, has links with the Malaysia’s ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO). Rozali Ismail, the chairman of Puncak Niaga and executive chairman of Syabas, is treasurer for the party’s Selangor branch and was dubbed Malaysia’s “water king” by Forbes, which ranks him as the country’s 37th richest person.

The federal government says the state has jeopardised its water supply by blocking the construction of a 3.8 billion ringgit ($1.2 billion) treatment plant.

“If we can make Malaysia the global centre for IPOs, how can it be that we can’t resolve water issues,” Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted as saying this week by The Star newspaper, referring to several big stock debuts in Malaysia this year.

The problem could be resolved, he said, once the people of Selangor “choose a government that can do it.”

As Malaysia’s traditional engine of growth, the west-coast state was a prized, unprecedented win for the opposition in the last election in 2008, and the most potent symbol of the ruling coalition’s worst election performance.

Wresting back the state would help lay to rest doubts about Najib’s leadership within his own party and help the coalition rebound nationwide. For the opposition, retaining Selangor is crucial if it is to have any chance of winning a parliamentary majority and forming a government for the first time.

The state has been at the centre of concerns over voter fraud, with the opposition accusing the government of handing out voting rights to thousands of illegal immigrants.

“The stakes are the highest in Selangor. The prime minister really needs to win it back,” said Ong Kian Ming, a political analyst and lecturer at Kuala Lumpur’s private UCSI university.

TEST OF OPPOSITION COMPETENCE

The perceived performance of the four opposition-controlled states will be a crucial campaign issue as the three-party opposition alliance tries to convince voters it is capable of running the country.

Penang, another opposition-held state, has set an enviable record, attracting the country’s highest level of investment in the manufacturing sector for two years running and slashing public debt levels by over 90 percent in three years.

Selangor’s record is less spectacular. The state government has been dogged by talk of infighting and Malaysia’s ruling coalition is presenting the water issue as exhibit A to show the state is being mismanaged.

“They want to influence the course of the elections. They have a monopoly over water resources and are holding the people to ransom,” said opposition MP Tony Pua, adding that uncertainty over water supply was endangering investment in the state.

…more
Malaysia water “crisis” signals fierce fight for richest state
By Siva Sithraputhran
Jul 29, 2012 – Reuters

30
Jul
12

‘Something fishy with Noh’s 30-acre prawn farm land’

Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Noh Omar has been accused of conflict of interest for entering an alleged joint-venture to run a prawn farm last year.

Sekinchan state assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim said a private caveat was made on a 30-acre piece of land in Tanjung Karang – about the size of 15 football fields – which is owned by Noh, who is the Tanjung Karang MP.

Under the agreement, Noh had given consent to Pristine Agrofood Sdn Bhd to operate the prawn farm on the land for 10 years.

“This certainly constitutes conflict of interest as this joint-venture comes under his portfolio,” he told the state legislative assembly sitting today.

Contacted late this evening, Pristine Agrofood director Chu Bak Teck said Noh is not involved in their business and is merely the land owner. Chu added that Noh’s land is only part of the 100-acre farm.

Attempts to contact Noh for immediate reactions have been unsuccessful while questions via text messages have yet to be replied.

Ng made the revelation during a debate on a motion, which he tabled, to mull banning all Selangor lawmakers and local councillors from buying state land during their tenure. The motion was later passed.

What if Noh becomes MB?

Based on official documents released by Ng later, Noh had purchased the land – Lot 26426 in Bagan Tengkorak – in 1995. It is not known how much he paid for massive plot.

A certificate of ownership was issued by the Selangor Land Ownership Registrar in September 2009, five months after Noh was appointed to his current cabinet position.

The documents showed that Noh inked a private caveat sought by Pristine Agrofood to not sell the land for 10 years, beginning 2011, to maintain the farm.

During the debate at the state assembly sitting, Ng said Noh had “sapu (swept)” land belonging to the people and questioned how the minister managed to obtain such a large piece of land, while it is difficult for others to do so.

“This is very embarassing for Noh, who is touted as a possible (BN) candidate for the Selangor menteri besar position, to be involved in this scandal.

“Now he already made off with 30 acres of the people’s land. What if he becomes menteri besar one day?” he said.

…more
‘Something fishy with Noh’s 30-acre prawn farm land’
Jul 12, 2012 – Malaysiakini

29
Jul
12

Altantuya’s dad insists she visited France

Setev Shaariibuu, the father of slain Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, said his daughter had travelled to France under her other name, Aminah Abdullah.

“We have proof that she did indeed travel to France and will produce the evidence if so required,” said Setev in a press release today.

His press release was read out by Kelana Jaya parliamentarian Loh Gwo Burne at the lobby of the Selangor legislative assembly.

Setev was responding to a news report which stated that Altantuya never travelled to France between 1999 and 2007 based on French immigration records.

He said that regardless of this, he was informed by his daughter that she did travel to France and several other countries with a passport bearing her Muslim name.

French courts are currently probing a complaint by Petaling Jaya-based human rights watchdog Suaram on alleged impropriety in the sale of two submarines to Malaysia.

It is hypothesised that Altantuya is a crucial link in the deal, because of her relationship with Abdul Razak Baginda, who ran the company which facilitated the deal.

Fact-finding team

But Altantuya met a tragic end in October 2006 when she attempted to visit Abdul Razak in Kuala Lumpur.

In April 2009, two bodyguards attached to then deputy premier Najib Abdul Razak were convicted of killing Altantuya and blowing up her body with explosives.

Setev said Suaram should be commended for its effort to unearth the scandal behind the submarine sale, which he said will provide clues to his daughter’s death.

…more
Altantuya’s dad insists she visited France
Jul 12, 2012 – Malaysiakini




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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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