Archive for January, 2013

31
Jan
13

Malaysia, It’s time for change

Time of Change

31
Jan
13

Peanuts for landowners, millions for cronies

The moment your land is eyed by the greedy Umno cronies, that’s it. It will be taken away from you in the name of development.

COMMENT

By Chua Jui Meng

Now the Malays are beginning to see through Umno’s 55 years of misleading the community to enrich themselves, their families and cronies.

It sure took a long time for the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia and several non-governmental organisations to finally see the real problem – the super corrupt and greedy Umno.

Chamber president Syed Ali Alattas lamented that the Malays in Johor are the poorest in Malaysia, with cost of living skyrocketing due to the significant presence of foreigners (Singaporeans) residing in the state.

He also pointed to the fact that 80% of the former Malay-majority owned Iskandar land was now foreign-owned.

Syed Ali said even the Malays in Kelantan were richer because one can buy more with the ringgit in the east coast state.

The Malays can buy a bungalow for RM200,000 in Kelantan but the same would cost RM1.5 million in Johor.

In the past two decades, thousands of acres of Malay ancestral land had been “robbed” by former Menteri Besar Muhyiddin Yassin and now the Ghani Othman-led Johor government is using the Land Acquisition Act 1960.

Just look and tell me what you see in Tebrau, Pasir Gudang, Danga Bay, Iskandar and Nusajaya.

And the latest to benefit from the “seized” Malay land is China’s Country Garden (Holdings) Ltd.

It bought 55 acres in Iskandar’s Danga Bay for RM900 million for property development. The state government, using the Act, had paid the majority Malay land owners only 64 sen psf or RM1.53 million.

Now, locals just cannot afford the houses and condominiums priced from RM800,000 and above. And these properties are on land previously belonging to Malays.

Blame Dr Mahathir

In fact the land grabs in Johor have been going on the past two decades, starting with Muhyiddin, and now with Ghani and his government using the Act to acquire land to be alienated to cronies for property development.

And the person Malaysians have to thank for such an opportunity to abuse and grab land is Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

It was Mahathir, using Barisan Nasional (BN)’s overwhelming majority in Parliament in 1991, who passed the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill.

The rephrasing of sections of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 basically gave incontestable power to state governments to seize private land for development by private companies and individuals. Lands originally acquired for public purposes can also be used for private development.

Before the amendments, land could only be acquired for public purposes or for public utilities like building of roads, schools, hospitals, pipelines, water or power plants, etc.

With the addition of “…for any purpose which in the opinion of the State Authority is beneficial to the economic development of Malaysia”, no land is safe.

The term “beneficial to the economic development of Malaysia” is as subjective as you can get. A piece of land can be acquired to build a posh five-star hotel, an amusement park or a golf resort because in the opinion of the government it would bring in the tourist dollar and create jobs for locals, not to mention enriching the private companies which would, of course, be paying taxes.

That was Umno and Mahathir’s “killer” and is the cause of land grabs everywhere today. This has actually rendered all land in Malaysia as unsafe investment.

The moment the land you own is eyed by the greedy Umno cronies, that’s it. In the name of development (read Umno’s pockets), you will be paid peanuts but Umno and its cronies will develop and reap millions or billions of ringgit.

…more
Peanuts for landowners, millions for cronies
January 18, 2013 – FMT

31
Jan
13

Greed and corruption will be BN’s downfall

FMT LETTER: From Jason YH Lee, via e-mail

The insatiable thirst of greed for power and wealth knows no bounds, driving corruptors/corruptees into the depths of unacceptable, animalistic, inhumane and at times inhuman behaviour, always resulting in harm and suffering to other fellow human beings. Greed and corrupt practices have plagued Malaysia for at least the last 40 of the 55 years under BN, since the tenure of Mahathir through to both his “puppet successors”.

Fortunately, Malaysia, a well-endowed country with rich natural resources, human, mineral, agricultural, and oil and gas, has been able to withstand the pillage and plunder by these BN pirates at the expense of suffering and poverty of the rakyat.

This cannot be allowed to continue for the sake of the future generations of Malaysians. I have in my previous article set out an inexhaustive list of projects/instances of wastages, leakages and corrupt practices.

The current regime, and I don’t call it a ruling regime as they are not rulers but mere stewards of governance appointed by the people, of the people and for the people, has betrayed the rakyats’ and the nation’s trust.

It is even more saddening to know that there are still those who do not accept nor acknowledge that BN, although appointed by the people, does not represent “of the people” nor does BN govern “for the people”.

The entire government and public service machinery representing the pillars of civil society, have been badly compromised and tainted with corrupt practices, incompetence and abuse of power, achieved through the numerous amendments to our Federal Constitution by Mahathir to facilitate the exercise of absolute power to abuse. Malaysia is and has been in bad shape due to greed for power and wealth of the BN cohort of bandits.

It is also in the last 40 years we have seen Malaysians of all races, from all walks of life and of every religious belief, becoming more acutely aware of the disastrous damage done by BN. Our national wealth plundered, our children’s education stifled to death, our health system riddled with illness beyond recovery, our economic competitiveness eroded, our national pride in each Malaysian beaten to pulp, our citizens treated as third class citizens or stateless.

Malaysians want changes for a better tomorrow. KL112 is proof of that. Bersih rallies are a testament. The rakyat have spoken. BN has not, will not and will never learn the lessons of downfall in history for it has over-extended itself with greed to the point of no return. It is now well within our grasp to effect change at GE13.

Exercise our rights well at the ballot. Exercise diligence in monitoring free and fair elections. Demand our right to vote from overseas. Register and fly back to vote. Every possible step to ensure free, clean and fair elections must be taken so as to ensure that the changes for the better we all so badly seek will not be robbed away.

Every misdeed by the NRD and EC must be brought to the rakyats’ attention and be properly dealt with. Keep piling the pressure on BN, an extremely weak and incompetent coalition riddled with scandals and infighting.

Grind them, drill them, chink their flimsy armour and expose them explosively. BN will break! The time is now! At the rate we are going, we have nothing to lose and all to gain for a better Malaysia.

…more
Greed and corruption will be BN’s downfall
January 18, 2013 – FMT

30
Jan
13

Sabah RCI – A picture is worth a thousand words

Sabah RCI
(courtesy: Zunar)

30
Jan
13

Concerned parents to hold rally for education

PETALING JAYA, Jan 28 — Disgruntled parent groups are planning to hold a rally on February 19 in front of the Ministry of Education in Putrajaya to voice their dissatisfaction over the politicising of education.

As Election 2013 looms, the groups are calling for the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) to be put on hold until after the elections, and for an educationist to hold the ministerial post.

“All this year we’ve been saying that the problem should be redressed … It shouldn’t be politicised by people from both sides,” said Shamsudin Hamid, co-ordinator of Concerned Parents of Selangor (CPS).

Together with three other groups — Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE), Malacca Action Group for Parents in Education (MAGPIE), and Herald of Penang for Education (HOPE) — the rally, organised by CPS, will start at 10 am, and culminate with a memorandum being handed over to the ministry.

The memorandum will also push for the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) and English-medium schools to be available as options for students.

Commenting on the possibility of having a non-politician head the ministry, the groups pointed out that there has been a precedence of professionals being appointed senators and made a minister, such as the two ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

They also named Tan Sri Sulaiman Daud and Tan Sri Musa Mohamad who have headed the Education Ministry before, as examples of professionals who have been appointed to the post.

The groups hope that the gathering will convince the government to not rush into implementing the MEB, which will be discussed by the Cabinet in a special session on Wednesday.

“Our message to the Cabinet is that we hope that you’d deliberate the blueprint,” PAGE chief Datin Noor Azimah Rahim told reporters.

According to the groups, although the MEB presents an opportunity for the government to address the ills and shortcomings of the education system from scratch, it has been squandered by only developing on a system which is already in place and fraught with weaknesses.

The groups asked the government to consider the independent reports which were part of the blueprint drafting process, including the findings of an independent education review panel which, the groups said, were conveniently left out of the blueprint framework.

A 12-man review panel was chosen by the government in September last year to aid in the forming of MEB. It included people from the public and private sectors such as AirAsia founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and UKM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin.

The panel, said CPS’s Shamsudin, has been reported to be in favour of the continuation of PPSMI, and he blasted the blueprint framework for only mentioning PPSMI in one sentence despite the furore its cancellation has caused.

The groups also expressed their concern over the transition between the abolishment of PPSMI up until now. The ministry had promised a “soft landing” — where students already in PPSMI would continue to do so until they finish school — but textbooks in English are already not being distributed, while school heads have taken it upon themselves to abolish PPSMI straight away.

“From what we see, the government just wants PPSMI to die a natural death,” said MAGPIE chairman Mak Chee Kin.

…more
Concerned parents to hold rally for education
January 28, 2013 – TMI

30
Jan
13

Where’s the money, Najib?

Talk about daylight robbery. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has tried to steal a march on the opposition by claiming that the peaceful nature of last Saturday’s Himpunan Kebangitan Rakyat (People’s Uprising Rally) against his rotten BN regime was a sign that his ‘reforms’ are working.

When in fact, the only difference between this and previous public demonstrations of disgust at BN’s misgovernment of Malaysia was that the authorities didn’t order the police and FRU to riot against the rakyat.

There’s no doubt that, when it comes to genuine reform of his kleptocratic regime, Najib shows no sign whatever of putting his money where his mouth is.

To be sure, he’s ‘generous’ to a fault with public funds, continuously lavishing the people’s cash on self-promotional propaganda and splendid schemes designed to buy the silence of critics and the support of voters.

But when it comes to true reform, which would require restitution of the hundreds of billions of ringgit that BN and its accomplices have stolen and continue to steal from Malaysian citizens, forget it.

As the country’s finance minister as well as being prime minister, Najib has not even elected to comment on Malaysia’s disgraceful achievement of number two nation in the world behind China in terms of illicit capital outflow.

And there has been no sign whatever that Najib or any other members or cronies of the regime will ever admit to, let alone refund the proceeds of, any of the massive financial frauds that have sucked untold fortunes out of the people’s pockets.

Possibly the filthy-richest of the regime’s plunderers of the public purse, Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, shows no sign of admitting to his plunder of publicly-owned timber and land, let alone returning a single sen of the proceeds to their rightful owners, or leaving office as Najib promised he would long ago.

‘Decades of ill-gotten gains’

Nor have the beneficiaries of the endless series of other outrageous financial crimes dating back decades exhibited any intentions of returning their ill-gotten gains.

Just to refresh our collective memories of these, here’s just a partial list of the robberies for which BN has yet to repay the Malaysian people: Bank Bumiputera (RM3.2 billion), Maminco (RM1.6 billion), Bank Negara (RM30 billion), Perwaja Steel (RM2.56 billion), Bank Islam (RM700 million), Wang Ehsan (RM7.4 billion), Valuecap (RM10 billion), Perimeker and IMT Defence (RM910 million).

Then, there’s the unitemised IT equipment for schools (RM2.21 billion), the rescue of Mirzan Mahathir’s shipping company Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (RM1.7 billion), the cancelled crooked bridge (RM300 billion), the crooked bridge customs, immigration and quarantine complex (RM1.3 billion), two bail-outs of the Malaysian Airlines System (RM7.9 billion), Putra Transport System bailout (RM4.5 billion), STAR-LRT transport system bailout (RM3.3 billion).

This is followed by the bailout of Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam (RM8.3 billion), ‘compensation’ to highway companies (RM38.5 billion), and many, many more uncosted though ferociously costly scandals including, bailouts of the National Sewerage System, Port Dickson Highway and Kuching Prison projects, approval permits to cronies, the redundant Bakun Dam project, the Maika Holdings/Telekom shares mystery and the Scorpene submarines ‘commission’.

More recently, of course, the plunder of public funds has produced such additional outrages as the soft loan to the Port Klang Free Zone project, the National Feedlot Corporation scandal, and the Automatic Enforcement System fiasco.

And all of the above are presumably just a small sample of the money that Najib needs to put where his mouth is if he hopes for Malaysians to take his alleged ‘reforms’ seriously.

In fact, we may never really know the full amount of cash stolen and squandered by BN, as it had stolen the people’s only sources of information and redress for these and its myriad other crimes, the mass media, police and anti-corruption authorities, along with much of the judiciary long ago.

…more
Where’s the money, Najib?
Dean Johns
Jan 16, 2013 – Malaysiakini

29
Jan
13

Swiss lawmakers push for freeze of Taib family assets

Up to 22 Swiss MPs have filed a motion in their Parliament urging the immediate freeze of assets belonging to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family that are being held by Swiss banks.

This move follows a complaint lodged last week with the country’s attorney-general Michael Lauber by Geneva MP Carlo Sommaruga (left), that the Taib family be declared a criminal organisation.

According to Swiss-based environmental NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), Sommaruga, who is spearheading the move, demanded that the assets be frozen and confiscated under Section 72 of the Swiss Criminal Code.

BMF, in a statement, said the move was triggered by the testimony by Shahnaz Abdul Majid, the former wife of Taib’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir, in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court last year.

Shahnaz had testified on Oct 2 that Mahmud held 111 bank accounts in various countries and that three Swiss banks administered over US$100 million for him.

“All the evidence I have seen makes it clear that the Taib family is acting like a criminal organisation,” the statement quoted Sommaruga as saying.

In his submission to the Swiss Parliament yesterday, a copy of which was forwarded to Malaysiakini by BMF, Sommaruga accused Taib of abusing his public office to “illicitly enrich himself, his family members and his political cronies through corruption, abuse of office and the establishment of a number of monopolies held by his family members and cronies”.

…more
Swiss lawmakers push for freeze of Taib family assets
Jan 15, 2013 – Malaysiakini

29
Jan
13

Questions raised over Muhyiddin’s honorary doctorate and RM23m deal

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — The DAP’s Ong Kian Ming today urged Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to explain if his honorary doctorate from the United States Sports Academy (USSA) is linked to a RM23 million Education Ministry deal involving the institution’s local agent, allegedly helmed by a Puteri Umno leader.

The USSA, which yesterday awarded Muhyiddin (picture), the education minister, an honorary doctorate, had last year sent its staff to Malaysia to train 1,000 physical education teachers under its “International Diploma in Physical Education and Scholastic Sports (IPDESS)” programme.

“We ask the Minister of Education Tan Sri Muhyiddin to clarify this issue so we can have assurance that Malaysian taxpayers have not forked out about RM23 million so he can have honour of receiving honorary doctorate at taxpayers’ expense,” Ong, the DAP’s election strategist, said at a press conference here.

He expressed concern that the honorary doctorate conferred by USSA was an attempt to “curry favour” to get the Education Ministry to extend the pilot programme.

Ong found the deal “highly troubling”, claiming that it was awarded without open tender to KH Sports World Sdn Bhd, the USSA’s sole local agent.

He said the firm’s website showed that its chairwoman is Hisham Suhaili Othman, who is listed as holding a few Umno positions such as Kedah’s Puteri Umno vice-chief and Puteri Umno chief for the Langkawi division.

“That’s why we want to ask the minister of education to clarify.

“Why do they ask a university that’s primarily online to provide these kind of training and why was this contract awarded via direct negotiation to a company that basically sells sports equipment and also happens to have a chairwoman that happens to be a Puteri Umno leader in Kedah?” Ong asked.

…source
Questions raised over Muhyiddin’s honorary doctorate and RM23m deal
January 18, 2013 – TMI

28
Jan
13

RCI revelations could drown Musa, Umno

The disclosures in the current RCI hearing in Sabah may lead to more damaging testimonies implicating the state’s top leadership.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, who is also the state’s Umno chief, could be in for some uncomfortable moments soon as those involved in handing out Malaysian documents to illegal immigrants in Sabah continue to expose the high and mighty.

So far, one ex-chief minister, Osu Sukam has been implicated by the testimony of a former director of Sabah’s National Registration Department (NRD) at the ongoing investigation by Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants problems in Sabah here.

Ramli Kamaruddin, in his testimony said Osu was present with then federal deputy home minister Megat Junid Megat Ayob at a hotel here in 1994 when he was given instruction “to issue NRD receipts using the name and identity card numbers of voters already in the electoral roll, with the sole purpose of allowing them to vote to help ensure that a state government endorsed by the federal government would win” in Sabah.

A former right-hand man of ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Abdul Aziz Shamsudin, was also mentioned at the RCI hearing which, going on current disclosures, promises to expose one of the biggest scandals in Malaysia’s history involving members of the ruling Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government.

Another former chief minister, Harris Salleh, who testified before the five-member RCI, tried to shield himself from the scandal by saying that it was the federal authorities that gave immigrants Malaysian documents like IC, and not him or even the state government he led.

He also denied any knowledge of a project to parcel out ICs in exchange for votes.

Musa was dragged into the scandal after his name was mentioned many times in books by blogger Mutalib M.D.

The blogger had implied Musa’s involvement in recruiting illegal immigrants in Sabah to become Umno operatives and also voters to defeat Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) state government in the 1994 election.

Mutalib, who did his own research and interviews with people directly involved in or in the know of the security scandal, has written prolifically on the hiring of Muslim illegal immigrants from the Philippines and Indonesia by Umno.

Musa’s involvement is based on his being the chairman of an alleged special task force set up by Sabah Umno to recruit immigrants. A former Umno member, Jabarkan Napi, has also repeatedly named Musa in the scam.

…more
RCI revelations could drown Musa, Umno
January 18, 2013 – FMT

28
Jan
13

Parents don Bersih’s yellow for RM100 school aid

A group of parents at a Chinese secondary school in Seremban caught the eye of the crowd when they turned up in bright yellow Bersih T-shirts to receive the RM100 school aid from the federal government.

Photographs of the 15 parents who coloured the aid award ceremony at Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Chan on Wednesday evening are circulating widely on social media.

“I wore the Bersih T-shirt to make a point to the powers-that-be that the gift of money won’t necessarily make us bow down and agree with them,” one of the parents, Wong Chai Soon, told Malaysiakini yesterday.

“Instead I received the cash with great trepidation, as I worry what the nation would be like in the future.”

According to Wong, the idea to wear the yellow Bersih T-shirts at the event was sparked by a friend of his and this later spread to others in the group.

“I received an SMS from my friend and forwarded it to others. I also asked my friends at my office to wear yellow.”

Asked about the reaction of the teachers and other parents to their yellow initiative, he said no one seemed to take affront.

“Some looked at us, some spoke to us. Those that I knew agreed with us. The teachers, they were just normal. Maybe they were too busy attending to the many parents there.”

‘Bersih Mama’

The RM100 aid to parents with schooling kids – the second time in as many years – was one of the provisions of Budget 2013 tabled in Parliament by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak last year.

The campaign to wear yellow when collecting the cash aid was initiated by a group of mothers who called themselves ‘Bersih Mama’.

In a statement on Wednesday, the group called on parents to make use of the occasion to reiterate poll reform movement Bersih’s demand for clean and fair elections.

…more
Parents don Bersih’s yellow for RM100 school aid
Jan 18, 2013 – Malaysiakini





Sabahans Unite!
Vote Warisan Plus!

 

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah

 

Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah

 

What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
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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