Archive for March, 2013

31
Mar
13

Don’t listen to dinosaurs

MARCH 24 — You know times are tough for the government of the day when its dinosaurs start speaking in defense of the Barisan Nasional (BN).

It tells you a few things, among which is that there are very young people there who are fond of the government to speak for them and that these dinosaurs are discredited and need to speak out to ensure they are not in danger of being persecuted for their past actions.

I am speaking about the two Tuns, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his cohort Daim Zainuddin. Once, they were heroes, now they are trotted out to defend the government that succeeded their time in power.

We have to be careful when we listen to these two gentlemen.

They are discredited politicians who will do anything to keep what they have from their time in power. It is in their interest that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) does not come to power.

So they will praise the BN government, that is only to be expected.

Because this government is their legacy.

Dr Mahathir’s optimism about our war against the Kiram clam is just to cover the inadequate defence of Sabah. Malaysia’s intelligence units were used against its “national threat” of opposition politicians instead of keeping watch of our borders.

Daim’s plea to give the BN government another five years under its latest prime minister is just to perpetuate a government that is way past its shelf life with policies than enrich the few rather than the many.

By all means, give us money but that is nothing compared to the plunder that has been going on. The Global Witness video sting is an example of what has gone on over the years. There must be more, after all our country is rich in verdant jungle.

I am tired of these old politicians, this dinosaurs put to pasture.

They want us to keep voting them back into power to abuse ourselves.

We are not masochists, we are Malaysians who know better.

And I hope the vast majority of us will not listen to these politicians.

By all means, read what they say and understand why they say it now.

It is for their own good, not ours.


…more
Don’t listen to dinosaurs — Kunjuraman Karuppan
March 24, 2013 – TMI

31
Mar
13

Pakatan: Legal action against those in Project IC

Pakatan Rakyat has launched the Sabah edition of its election manifesto yesterday, promising a more comprehensive Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants than the existing one.

“Not only would it clean up the citizenry and provide a path to citizenship for those who are qualified, but it would also take legal action against those involved in Project IC,” the document wrote.

Project IC, sometimes known as Project M, is an alleged citizenship-for-votes scheme that supposedly took place in Sabah during the 1980’s.

The allegation is now the subject of investigation of an ongoing RCI formed in August last year.

Almost immediately, its terms of reference came under fire from groups such as the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

They complained that the RCI was not given the power to identify and punish those responsible for Project IC, or recommend a solution to the problem.

However, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Bernard Dompok had opined that an RCI does not have the legal power to mete out punishment, unlike a court.

The promise of a fresh RCI with wider powers is one of 40 election promises in yesterday’s manifesto, which is intended to complement the main Pakatan Rakyat manifesto launch in Shah Alam on Feb 25.

Other promises

Other promises outlined in manifesto include giving Sabah autonomy, a redelineation exercise to ensure that Sabah is given fair representation in the Dewan Rakyat, abolition of the cabotage policy, increased oil royalties, recognition of Native Customary Rights (NCR) to land, and reinstating the Amanah Rakyat Negeri Sabah by paying RM200 in dividends to every adult in Sabah.

…more
Pakatan: Legal action against those in Project IC
Mar 24, 2013 – Malaysiakini

31
Mar
13

Throw Out The BN Govt (Video)


Anthony Loke: Throw Out The Barisan Nasional Govt, The Only Way To Clean Up Our Electoral System

31
Mar
13

Has corruption become so brazen?

MARCH 24 – It does not matter if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or Mickey Mouse or the Yeti is behind the latest corruption allegations to engulf Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family in Sarawak.

The only question relevant to the discussion is whether corruption has become so brazen in Malaysia that the rich and powerful no longer concern themselves with concocting a credible defence and instead focus on the whistleblower – or in this case, the alleged whistleblower.

According to Taib, Anwar was behind the video because he is close to non-governmental organisations. Brilliant deduction. So, if we employ that same logic, should we then conclude that Taib must have known that his relatives were up to no good in hawking state land because he is close to them?

Consider what we have seen in the video clip produced by Global Witness. It shows Taib’s relatives saying they can get timber land and explaining the mechanics of disposing of these without it being known to all and sundry.

It also shows Sarawak lawyers and these relatives discussing how they can avoid paying taxes by splitting the payments between Malaysia and Singapore. And how they consider the Sarawakians on that land as mere “squatters” who are “naughty” for occupying state land.

Yes, state land that is alienated to them for a song so that they can sell it for millions more. If this happens in Sarawak, can it happen elsewhere in Malaysia too?

To be fair to Taib, he is not the only one who is in the business of shooting the messengers or looking for a scapegoat.

Didn’t we hear Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil tell all Malaysians that PKR’s Rafizi Ramli exposed the mega scandal called the NFC because he wanted to target Wanita Umno?

With her logic, the abuse of public funds is secondary to national politics and her family is bearing the brunt of her successful political career. Oh really?

How about just answering the allegations, one by one? We can only surmise that these politicians don’t give a damn about how weak or ridiculous they sound because they have figured out Malaysians.

That after the whining and complaining, we don’t do anything.

It is time we put these politicians in their places. And that place is the rubbish bin of history. If not, we deserve the government we get.

…source
Has corruption become so brazen? – The Malaysian Insider
March 24, 2013 – TMI

30
Mar
13

Winners and losers of the FGV listing

As the dust settles on the controversial Felda Global Ventures listing, the winners and losers emerge.

LOSERS

Settlers

Interestingly, the settlers were allocated a miniscule 2.5 percent of total shares, amounting to 800 shares each. This translates to very little earnings—about RM800 –when the prices peaked.

An estimated 90 percent of settlers undertook soft loans with Felda to purchase these shares.
The settlers initially hoped would be given to them for free as reward for their years of contribution. They now pay Felda RM50 a month, and will have to do so for about six years.

The same amount could have bought them Koperasi Permodalan Felda shares which for the past decade have returned dividends in the teens. In 2012, KPF members enjoyed a remarkable 18 percent in dividends.

The resistance from some KPF members to the listing forced a new structure onto the listing. Announcing this, Felda chairperson Isa Samad said this meant that KPF members (of which 70 percent are settlers) will continue to earn dividends from the cooperative.

Additionally, he said, 20 percent of the FGV shares held by Felda will be held in trust for the settlers. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak whose department oversees Felda said that profits from 20 percent shareholdings will then be distributed among the settlers.

It is, however, uncertain if any such agreement has been drawn up between Felda and the settlers on the trust arrangement, in order to compel the agency to fulfill this promise. Settlers met by KiniBiz are none-the-wiser.

The settlers did get RM15,000 cash per household from the listing exercise, but at a total RM1.2 billion, this only makes up about a fifth of what Felda made from the listing.

KPF

The lease agreement involving the 347, 584 ha of land means that the land previously managed by Felda Plantations would be managed by Felda Global Ventures Plantation, a subsidiary of FGV. This involves fresh fruit bunches

KPF effectively owns 26 percent of Felda Plantations, via its subsidiary Felda Holdings, so a shift away from Felda Plantations would adversely impact KPF’s earnings.

Historically, fresh fruit bunches produced on this land was sold by Felda Plantation to Felda Palm Industries (F Palm). F Palm will in turn process the fruits into crude palm oil and sell it to third parties.

On March 2012, Felda Global Ventures Plantation inked a deal with F Palm, involving the sale of all of the fresh fruit bunches produced from the land. But instead of allowing F Palm to sell the CPO directly to third parties, the agreement compels F Palm to sell its CPO to a middleman—FGV.

Some argue that as FGV is buying from F Palm at Malaysian Palm Oil Board average prices, the agreement protects the latter from price volatility. But as a reseller, FGV would need to also buy at a price which secures its margins. The agreement deprives F Palm of direct access to the market.

KPF effectively owns 64.7 percent of F Palm via its subsidiary Felda Holdings Bhd. The impact of these changes on KPF dividends enjoyed by settlers and Felda staff will be apparent when the cooperative calls its 32nd annual general meeting.

Felda

The 347, 584 ha of land is leased for RM1,490 per hectare (or RM602 per acre) for 99 years —a song compared to market rates. Industry expert estimates that it costs between RM5000 to RM10,000 to lease an acre of plantation land for 99 years.

This works out to about eight times of what FGV is paying Felda. More conservatively, Boustead Plantations paid RM3,500 per ha for its REIT and this represents a discount of at least RM462.54 million per annum, for 99 years.

Its divestment of FGV also takes away potential profits from cash cow Felda Holdings Bhd, which is 49 percent owned by FGV.

But by divesting, it reaped RM5.5 billion. After running down its cash reserves from RM4.08 billion in 2004 to RM1.35 billion in 2009, the agency could use the cash to encourage settlers to embark on the pricey replanting programme. This is dire considering its aged hectarage.

…more
Winners and losers of the FGV listing
MARCH 15, 2013 – kinibiz.com

30
Mar
13

You Have To Make Sure A New Malaysia Is A Reality (Video)


(AIC) Rafizi Ramli: You Have To Make Sure A New Malaysia Is A Reality

30
Mar
13

Bankrupt the nation? BN has done worse, says strategist

While BN criticises the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto as one that would bankrupt the nation in a few years, DAP election strategist Ong Kian Ming argues that BN has done worse with the national coffers.

As an example, he pointed out that the federal government has exceeded its allocated budget by RM44 billion between 2008 and 2011. The figure does not include contingent liabilities, which stood at RM117 billion as of 2011.

The federal budget also grows at about eight percent each year. For the 2013 budget, the government announced 56 new expenditures amounting to RM30 billion, he said.

In comparison, however, the new spending promised in Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto only involves about RM45 billion spread over five years.

“So when BN says, ‘Look, how are you going to pay for all these plans,’ then the question should also go back to the BN…

“Look, you have announced every year, in every single budget, new plans to spend on new things. So what is so wrong for Pakatan Rakyat to also announce new ways of spending money that we think is much more responsible compared to the BN,” he queried.

Ong (left), a political analyst, was speaking at a forum about the manifesto in Petaling Jaya last night, alongside PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli and Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Meanwhile, Rafizi ridiculed BN’s criticisms against the manifesto as showing that BN cannot count, as he elaborated on the costs of delivering some of the manifesto’s key promises.

He explained through several examples that the relevant figure to study is the annual rise in the spending involved to fund projects, not its total cost.

One of them was the Plus highway, which BN said would cost RM50 billion.

“It is the total cost you would have to spend. That total cost is not correct, nor is it reflective of what is necessary from the financial coffers to finance the program,” he claimed.

Rafizi (right) added that the RM50 billion figure came from another company’s offer to take over Plus, which he says has no basis and is inappropriate.

He noted that the actual figure is about RM6 billion per year, including the cost of paying Plus’ stakeholders, operational costs, payment for inherited sukuk bonds, loss of tax revenues and savings from not having to pay compensation to Plus for not raising toll prices, among others.

Scared to debate?

“To date, BN is unable to contest these numbers because they know they can’t. So they kept repeating the false numbers over and over again that it will cost RM50 billion to take over Plus.

“If we have the finance minister (and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak) in front of us and we go through these numbers, I’ll bet you he will lose. That is why he does not dare debate,” he claimed.

The former accountant also poked fun at Najib, saying that the role of a prime minister is normally to present government policies, while the leader of the opposition is to rebut it, but the current roles appear to have been reversed.

“We have launched the manifesto, Najib (right) said he wants one week to rebut and give a response. That’s the leader of the opposition’s job.

“That means Najib, in preparation for the next general election, is warming up the seat. He is practising to be the leader of the opposition. I was so happy to hear that he wants to rebut, at least he will get used to it,” he said.

…more
Bankrupt the nation? BN has done worse, says strategist
Koh Jun Lin
Mar 14, 2013 – Malaysiakini

29
Mar
13

Anwar: Policy clarity and Good governance of paramount importance

Remarks by Anwar Ibrahim at the opening of the Forum on Economic Management during Political Transition on March 12, 2013, Kuala Lumpur

The present UMNO-BN government of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is living on borrowed time. It doesn’t want to admit it but its legitimacy is now totally in question because constitutionally, its full term has expired.

How long more do the people have to bear the ‘whips and scorns’ of this outrageous fortune? Indeed, the people’s patience is tested to the limit here by the audacity of a government that goes on ruling without a mandate.

A number of bogus analysts and self-appointed doomsday prophets, especially those driven by very personal agendas, have warned that Malaysia will descend into political and economic chaos in the event of a Pakatan Rakyat victory.

On the other hand, the more genuine and independent observers have expressed greater optimism. For instance, the original ‘Dr Doom’, Prof. Roubini says that our economy will stay robust even with a change in government.

We know that a mandate for change is not limited to the political sphere though it is true that without that mandate, economic management itself will be off to a false start.

When Indonesia made that break from military autocracy to constitutional democracy, much of the focus of the free world was on how its economy would weather the transition. And in their case, transition would stretch for years and indeed the fruits of that initial process of political upheaval are for all to see.

In the case of the Arab Spring, the major worry remains the lack of clearly defined policies that would set the road map to economic recovery and growth. They are still finding their way and it won’t be an easy way but that is no excuse for rejecting freedom and democracy.

Certainly, political stability is a key factor, and I might just emphasise the most crucial factor in setting the direction and objectives of economic management. But let me stress that this is not to be confused with the argument that, because political stability is so crucial, therefore there should be no change in government.

This is false logic because the test of political stability is in fact the ability of a nation to experience a change of government peacefully through the ballot box. In this regard, no matter what the UMNO-BN propaganda says, we, the Pakatan Rakyat believe in this peaceful process and we are confident that the people are matured and ready for this change.

Now, the question that needs to be answered first is what are the likely economic consequences of a peaceful political transition?

I think the obvious response is that number one, the status quo may be maintained i.e. nothing exciting, the same policies are intact and no one wants to rock the boat. The economy may worsen or remain stagnant, or it may improve marginally but lacking in lustre.

Or number two, things could head south i.e. go downhill. The new government has no clue how to run the economy and throws caution to the wind. They try to outdo the previous government’s fiscal irresponsibility and take the country down to even greater depths of deficit.

Or finally, a third scenario is possible: the new government seizes the day and carries out the economic policies and reforms it has laid out in its election manifesto. If things are done properly and with full commitment to achieve broad-based and sustainable growth, we may well see economic transformation. This is the road we will take.

In other words, a mere change of government will not lead to chaos in the economy. Certain conditions precedent must be met of course. There must be due democratic process and, to my mind, this is best translated as good governance and the rule of law.

No doubt the question of policy clarity takes precedence. Economic management must be based on sound policies – not knee jerk reactions. There must also be continuity but this is subject to a major caveat: only bona fide, above board undertakings, ventures and enterprises will be continued. Rent seeking and other crony driven schemes will meet their Maker sooner than later.

We know that the Najib administration has been taking our economy down the deficit path. And now, as the elections draw nearer, with the kind of money that would have been doled out we would inherit an economy which would be in even greater deficit.

So, efforts must be geared towards arresting this trend with the longer term objective of finally turning it around.

…more
Policy clarity and Good governance of paramount importance
12 March 2013 – anwaribrahimblog.com

29
Mar
13

Anwar in Terengganu (Video)


Anwar Ibrahim: UMNO Barisan Nasional, Jangan Ingat Rakyat Lembu!

29
Mar
13

Rafizi challenges Najib to drop 8 senior Umno leaders from GE13 list

UPDATE2 PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli has unveiled a list of 8 senior Umno leaders whom he challenged Prime Minister Najib Razak to drop as candidates for the 13th general election, saying it was an “acid test” for the public to assess how sincere Najib’s promise of “incorruptibility” was.

“It is up to Najib to prove his word …because these are senior leaders and there are already cases against them or there have been. If the standard that has been placed against the Opposition is that our candidates must be whiter than white, the same should apply to them,” Rafizi told a press conference on Tuesday.

The 8 leaders are:

Shahrizat Jalil, Umno women’s chief

Musa Aman, Sabah Chief Minister

Nazri Aziz, Minister in the PM’s Department

Mohamad Hassan, Chief Minister of Negeri Sembilan

Taib Mahumud, Chief Minister of Sarawak

Ahmad Said, Chief Minister of Terengganu

Awang Adek Hussin, Deputy Finance Minister

Shafie Apdal, Minister of Rural Development

Taib’s fabulous wealth

All 8 on the PKR list have indeed come under the public spotlight for alleged corruption.

Taib Mahmud, for example has been accused of being one of the richest men in the world and is reportedly being investigated by the Swiss government for laundering money earned from illicit timber operations.

There is little doubt that Taib is rich beyond his means to earn as chief of the Sarawak state government. The flamboyant lifestyles that he and his family lead are well known and long-entrenched.

Shahrizat’s Cowgate

Despite being cleared by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Shahrizat Jalil has not been able to shake off the public perception that she could not have failed to realize her family was corruptly involved in the RM250mil NFC debacle.

Her husband has been charged for criminal breach of trust in the NFC, a national cattle breeding project.

Musa’s Amangate

Musa Aman, whose Sabah state was recently put into turmoil following the intrusion of a small group of foreign gunmen, has been probed by the Hong Kong anti-graft agency also for alleged money-laundering.

He has also been accused of blocking the deportation of his nephew Manuel Amalilio, who is wanted by the Philippine authorities for a 12bil peso (RM900mil) Ponzi scam that was allegedly created to tap funds for Musa’s election war chest.

Malaysia is expected to hold its 13th general election within the next few weeks and despite numerous postponements by Najib, its Parliament is due to automatically dissolve on April 28.

Unless the Najib administration declares a state of emergency and suspends Parliament, GE13 will have to be held one way or another and the chances of Opposition Leader Anwar and his PR coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP parties winning are rated highly.

Many experts have predicted a regime change, the first-ever since the country gained independence from British colonialists in 1957.

…more
THE ‘DIRTY’ 8? Rafizi challenges Najib to drop 8 senior Umno leaders from GE13 list
Written by Wong Choon Mei
12 March 2013 – Malaysia Chronicle





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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