Archive for October, 2017

31
Oct
17

Think tank: Battle for GE14 to play out in Malay-Muslim heartland

Think tank: Battle for GE14 to play out in Malay-Muslim heartland

PETALING JAYA: Despite the opposition’s best efforts to win over urban voters, it may not succeed in wresting Putrajaya in the 14th general election (GE14) as the real battle will take place in rural, Muslim-majority areas, a think tank warns.

In a commentary carried by Channel NewsAsia, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief operating officer Tricia Yeoh said parties from both sides of the political divide are expected to capitalise on racially and religiously charged incidents.

“To win the hearts and minds of a majority Malay-Muslim Malaysia, one must prove to best represent their interests,” she said.

According to Yeoh, concerns over bread-and-butter issues like the rising cost of living, job security and home ownership trump any threats Prime Minister Najib Razak may face from the 1MDB scandal.

Warning that the 1MDB issue is “fast fading from Malaysians’ minds”, she added that its complexities “are not as easily relatable compared to the everyday concerns of Malaysians, save for perhaps a select group within the urban, cosmopolitan class”.

However, these urban voters may not be enough to overthrow the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government, she said.

Yeoh pointed to opposition party PPBM, led by Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, which she said is gunning for the rural states of Johor, Kedah, Perlis and Perak – the country’s Malay-Muslim heartland.

She said this may be the “clincher” required by PH to win Putrajaya in GE14, especially if DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang’s claims of a “Malay tsunami” materialise with a minimum vote swing of 10%.

However, Yeoh added that PAS was now the “spoiler party” in the opposition’s efforts to oust BN from Putrajaya.

“PAS contesting as a third party in a first-past-the-post electoral system is far more likely to weaken the opposition coalition than Umno in key marginal seats,” she said.

“PAS as a third force directly threatens PKR’s performance in many Malay-majority marginal seats.”

However, DAP would likely not be as affected as its seats are mostly Chinese-majority, she said.

Adding that Najib would continually attempt to woo the Islamist party to work with Umno in the name of Malay-Muslim unity, she said Umno may in exchange agree to support PAS’ bill to amend Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.

The bill, known as Act 355, seeks to increase the penalties for certain shariah offences. Some say it is a way to introduce hudud law in Malaysia.

GE14 must be called by August 2018.

Yeoh said it was unlikely that PH would be on the winning end as Umno had “cleverly” shaped economic and Malay-Muslim issues to its advantage over recent years.

Calling it an “uphill battle” for the opposition, she added that Umno had continually made “full use of its infrastructure and resources, government institutions, political patronage and ethnic-religious politics to ensure its survival”.

…more
Think tank: Battle for GE14 to play out in Malay-Muslim heartland
October 23, 2017 – FMT

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30
Oct
17

BN component party leaders feel sidelined at GE14 briefing

BN component party leaders feel sidelined at GE14 briefing

BN component party leaders feel sidelined at GE14 briefing
Sarawak Chief Minister James Masing says even the backdrop at the meeting showed only Umno top guns and none of the other component party presidents. – The Malaysian Insight pic, October 22, 2017.

THE extra focus on Umno during the machinery election briefing for the 14th General Election at the Barisan Nasional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday has drawn flak from BN party component leaders, The Borneo Post reported.

Sarawak Chief Minister James Masing told the news portal that many were unhappy as the briefing turned out to be more like an Umno function instead of a gathering of component party leaders.

“It was a briefing by Umno officers on the machinery for GE14… the whole programme was tilted towards Umno.

“Even the backdrop showed only Umno top guns and none of the other component party presidents, as if the rest are just wallpaper for mere decoration… so we were not too happy,” Masing had been quoted as saying.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party president Dr Sim Kui Hian, Progressive Democratic Party secretary-general Anthony Nogeh and Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu leaders who attended the briefing declined to comment when contacted.

Masing is president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak. On preparations for GE14, Masing said Sarawak BN was prepared.

…more
BN component party leaders feel sidelined at GE14 briefing
22 Oct 2017 – TMI

29
Oct
17

GST is really not necessary for Malaysia – Dr M

GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST)

1. Najib’s apologists have tried very hard to justify the GST. The Government collects more than forty-billion Ringgit from GST last year. And more will be collected in the coming years.

2. Unlike income tax, GST is not based on profits. Even when no profits are made or losses incurred the 6% GST must still be paid. It adds to the cost of doing business.

3. The G.T is paid up front. Naturally businessmen will pass on the tax to the consumers. The price of goods and services will have to be raised and this results in inflation. The cost of living would go up. And it has.

4. Effectively the GST is paid by everyone. Even a baby consuming milk would be taxed.

5. Some items might be taxed twice as GST is collected with each transaction. The Government promises to reimburse the tax paid if it is shown that the tax has been paid twice. But this is a slow process and may take months or years. The rebate will not be passed on to the consumers.

6. The reasons why Najib’s Government does not have enough money is because of his abuses in the management of Government funds to gain popularity for himself.

7. BR1M for example costs the Government seven billion Ringgit or more a year. Then there are other handouts such as RM300 for fishermen, RM800 for party members who are chairman of JKKK (Village Development Committee), thousands for Hajj Pilgrims, pensions for retirees not eligible for pension, etc.

8. The emoluments for civil servants have been revised frequently, sometimes by 25%. In addition the number of Government employees has increased to 1,600,000 from the 1 million in the 1980s. This will cause the salary bill to double or more.

9. The increase in minimum wage increases the salaries of all workers at all levels in the Government as well as the private sector. From about RM700, minimum wage has increased to RM1,200 – almost double. When the minimum wage is increased those already receiving more than the new minimum must be increased also. This is in order to sustain parity between different levels or ranks of the employees.

10. Najib also sets up numerous extra Governmental organisations. PEMANDU is a good example where huge salaries, well above the Government’s pay scale are paid to the heads and the staff. New posts are also created in and outside the Government which do not conform to Government’s salary scale. How much they are paid is not known.

11. All these people who financially benefit from Najib’s largesse may be happy. But actually, the increases in their income benefits them very little. This is because the increases of their pay invariably cause a rise in the cost of living. In other words, the increase in pay does not increase the purchasing power.

12. It is not how much one is paid that is important. What really matters is one’s purchasing power. When cost of goods and services increases the extra income that one gets is quite meaningless.

13. We all know of countries where the pay is in millions but they are all poor because of the depreciation in purchasing power of their money. A country can fail and become bankrupt where workers are paid thousands or even millions every month.

14. During Najib’s premiership crude oil sometimes sold at USD130 per barrel. Petronas paid billions to the Government when petroleum prices were high. Now oil prices have come down to USD50 per barrel. Even then it is higher than during the 80s and 90s when oil was selling at less than USD30 per barrel. So at USD50 Government oil profits and taxes would still be much more than in those years of low oil price.

15. The same goes for profits made by banks and large businesses. It is not unusual to see them make billions of Ringgit in profits p.a. And accordingly the Government must receive much more money by way of petroleum profits and taxes and corporate taxes even today.

16. For all these reasons the Government of today must collect more than was collected in the 80s and 90s. But the Government claims it had to introduce the G.S.T because it is short of funds.

17. The truth is that Najib’s regime is abusing Government revenue by spending huge sums to get popular support for Najib.

18. One of the highest contributor to the shortage of fund is the loans taken by Najib. There is a ceiling to the loans that the Government can raise. But Najib resorted to borrowing by a Government company – the 1MDB, which is not limited by Government rules.

19. Although 1MDB is not a part of the Government, the fact is that it is 100% owned by the Government. This means that if the loan is not serviced or repaid, the Government will have to pay the loans and interest.

20. And so when 1MDB lost money, Government had to take over the company and pay the interest and the loan.

21. It is the same with the 55 billion Ringgit for the east coast Railway. Altogether it is estimated that Najib has borrowed almost 200 billion Ringgit. Some of the loans carry interest rates of 6%.

22. Assuming the average interest rate is 3%, the Government will have to pay 6 billion yearly in interest alone. Paying the principal will cost more billions. It may take two generations to settle all the loans.

23. For servicing and repayment of the loans Najib has resorted to buying Government land at a low price, revaluing it and selling the land at inflated prices.

24. For land at TRX (Tun Razak Exchange) 1MDB paid only RM60/- psf to the Government. It was sold at RM3,500/- psf to Tabung Haji. So the savings of poor people for performing the Hajj have given 1MDB very high returns.

25. The Airforce base at Sungei Besi was also sold by Najib, as were land in Melaka and Pahang.

26. Still the money raised through these land sales will not be able to service and repay loans. So money from normal Government revenue must be used. There will not be enough money in the Consolidated Fund. The next source would be to tax the people. And so the GST.

27. It is true that KWSP, with billions of Ringgit, will have difficulty in investing within the country. It should invest in good foreign companies. But the decision to invest in any company should be based on business considerations. It should not be influenced by political imperatives.

28. But clearly the KWSP is being forced to invest in the United States to please Trump and Najib’s need to have pictures of himself with Trump to show that what the American Department of Justice says about him is not true. But the DoJ has not stopped the investigation on Najib’s involvement in money laundering in the U.S.

29. If the Government wants to reduce the huge deficits every year, what is needed is to get rid of the belief that money can buy popularity. It cannot. It has only made the Government and Najib more unpopular.

30. All those things which increase the cost of governance should be dropped. The 1MDB money can be recovered as we know where the money is. Najib will not do this as it means surrendering all the money he has taken. Rosmah Mansor, Jho Low and Riza Aziz and others who has got the stolen money must also surrender. Najib cannot get the money frozen by the Governments of Singapore, the U.S. and Switzerland. There must also be quite a lot in the U.K. as well. The frozen money will not be returned until Najib who stole it is no longer the head of the Malaysian Government.

31. BR1M should be converted to unemployment benefit for the hardcore poor. Most of the present recipients can afford to do without BR1M. The actual amount of support for hard core poor should be raised and paid every month, not once a year.

32. The waters surrounding Malaysia should be patrolled by the Malaysian police, the Maritime Agency and the Malaysian Navy to prevent foreign fishermen from intruding into our territorial waters. With this the Malaysian fishermen would catch more fish and earn higher incomes. The RM300 allowance can be stopped.

33. Various other allowances to all and sundry should be revised or stopped.

34. Pay increases for Government servants should not be accompanied with inflation. There are ways of doing this.

35. If the Government is prudent in the management of Government funds, there should be no shortages. The need for new taxes can be avoided.

36. The GST is really not necessary for Malaysia. It can be abolished without affecting the revenues of the Government and without creating a burden for the people.

…more
GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST) 4
18 Oct 2017 – chedet.cc

28
Oct
17

Shafie’s arrest a blessing in disguise

Shafie’s arrest a blessing in disguise, says Sabah Amanah man

Hamzah Abdullah tells party convention that Sabahans are used to changing governments, suggesting that arrest could backfire on Barisan Nasional.

ALOR STAR: Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal’s arrest by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) could be a blessing in disguise for both Sabahans and Pakatan Harapan, a Sabah Amanah delegate said today.

Hamzah Abdullah said the arrest could spark a backlash, as well as backfire on Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Believe me when I say, Sabahans are used to a change in government. And this time, the 25 BN seats they consider as fixed deposits, will become BN’s nightmare.

“Sabah helped save BN in the last general election. And this time, the people of Sabah will continue its agenda to change the Umno-BN government,” he said when debating party president Mohamad Sabu’s policy speech at the convention here today.

Hamzah said the incident involving Shafie was similar to one that occurred in 1985. He was referring to how Parti Bersatu Sabah was formed in 1985 by then state minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who broke ranks with Parti Berjaya president and chief minister Harris Salleh.

Hamzah said Joseph, who was victimised, subsequently left and formed PBS, with the slogan Sabah for Sabahans.

“The people gave him the mandate and he won. And the party he was with previously, was toppled,” he said.

Shafie, who has been Semporna MP since 1995, quit Umno where he was vice-president in July last year to form Warisan.

He was arrested by the MACC yesterday as part of its probe into the alleged misappropriation of RM1.5 billion in funds from rural development projects in Sabah.

Hamzah also said Shafie’s arrest was an indication that Warisan could not stand on its own in their struggle, and that Amanah will continue to court them to join Pakatan Harapan in the state.

…more
Shafie’s arrest a blessing in disguise, says Sabah Amanah man
October 21, 2017 – FMT

27
Oct
17

Task force on probe over MACC’s Dzulkifli of no value

Gobind: Task force on probe over MACC’s Dzulkifli of no value

The DAP legal bureau chief says laws currently in place are more than sufficient for the purposes of probing such a case.

PETALING JAYA: DAP’s legal bureau chief Gobind Singh Deo has questioned the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for forming a task force on allegations of an extramarital affair involving Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Dzukifli Ahmad when normal police investigations would suffice.

“Ordinarily every police report is assigned to an investigating officer (IO) who will probe the matter in accordance with law,” the Puchong MP said.

“The laws currently in place are more than sufficient for the purposes of probing a case under Section 498 of the Penal Code.

“We must respect the law and appreciate that every criminal investigation needs to be conducted in accordance with the law if that investigation is to be later upheld by any court of law,” he added in a statement today.

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali had announced on Oct 19 that the task force was formed on Oct 16 in view of the seriousness of the allegations that could affect Dzulkifli’s integrity.

He said it would closely monitor the investigations of the alleged offences under Section 498, which deals with “enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman”, and other related offences.

Gobind said the current framework in any such investigation is designed to ensure impartiality and fairness to all concerned.

“It places the fate of a case in the hands of an IO and not any special task force which monitors investigations,” he said.

“The IO must work within his powers having regard to the best interests of both the state and the suspect in the case.

“It is the IO who may testify in court later and he may be subject to cross examination. It is his credibility and not that of any special task force which will be on trial,” he added.

Gobind said he was of the view that the task force would not be of any value to the probe.

“We should not develop a new culture of setting up special task forces in individual cases. This may be a dangerous precedent which should not be encouraged,” he said.

He added that there was no reason for the probe to be dealt with differently from any other criminal investigation.

He said the Federal Constitution had stipulated that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.

“This must necessarily apply to MACC chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad as well,” Gobind said.

Dzulkifli became embroiled in the allegation after a video showing a man said to be a senior MACC officer apparently holidaying with a woman in Bali went viral on social media last week.

…more
Gobind: Task force on probe over MACC’s Dzulkifli of no value
October 21, 2017 – FMT

26
Oct
17

Pua takes MCMC to task over data breach

Pua takes MCMC to task over data breach

THE Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Information and Communications Ministry need to assure Malaysians that their private data is protected and any breach will be thoroughly investigated, said Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.

Pua said it was surprising that the MCMC, which was so quick to track down those who insulted the prime minister, was so slow to act when the confidential data of tens of millions of people were stolen.

“Is it because the public sale of stolen personal data also exposes how MCMC is toothless in enforcing the Personal Data Protect Act passed in Parliament in 2010?

“Or is the MCMC protecting all the ‘big’ players in the market, from telecommunication companies to banks to government agencies, from being charged for breaking the law by their failure to take adequate measures to protect the privacy of their customers’ data?” asked Pua in a statement late last night.

The DAP national publicity secretary also took MCMC to task for instructing Lowyat.net to remove its report instead of investigating the matter.

The data stolen, he added, could have included Malaysians’ bank details, mobile phone numbers, addresses and emails.

“Clearly, the magnitude of this sale of Malaysians’ private data should be a cause for concern. So why is the first move by the authorities at MCMC to block the report? Why is it that after two days, MCMC has yet to make any comment on the issue?,” asked Pua.

“Perhaps, instead of political policing, it is time they focused on policing cyber threats and protecting Malaysians’ privacy.”

Lowyat.net reported on Thursday that stolen personal data belonging to millions of Malaysians were open sold on its forum.

The online forum told The Malaysian Insight it had decided to publish a report to warn users of the breach after MCMC failed to respond to its alert on Wednesday evening.

…more
Pua takes MCMC to task over data breach
21 Oct 2017 – TMI

25
Oct
17

No approval for hill slope projects above 76m in Penang since 2008

Zero approval for hill slope projects above 76m since 2008, Penang says

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 24 — The Penang state government has not approved any development projects on hill slopes above 76 metres since 2008, state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo said today.

The state housing development and town and country planning committee chairman told reporters the state had rejected private and even federal development projects as such.

“Our records show since 2008, some 11 such applications for projects above 76m were rejected by the state government,” he said in a press conference during a surprise check at a state affordable housing project in Teluk Kumbar.

He said the state has also rejected at least two applications by federal agencies for developments on hill slopes above 76m.

“I don’t understand why some federal agencies can still submit planning permission for approvals for projects on hill slopes above 76m, they should know the state policy that we will not approve projects on land above 76m,” he said.

He said the state would never approve projects that exceeded 76m even if it is for a federal project such as the 1Malaysia Civil Servant Housing that had applied for planning permission for a project above 160m.

He pointed out that the recent landslide at a construction site of a private affordable housing project, Granito, happened on a parcel of land below 76m.

“I wish to stress that the claims made by irresponsible parties that the Tanjung Bungah project was a development on a hill slope is completely untenable, as in fact it was on flat land namely 40m,” he said.

He compared the zero approvals for projects on land above 76m by the current administration to 28 high rise schemes allowed to build on lands above 76m by the previous administration.

“Our record shows at least 28 such high rise schemes above 76m have been approved and built during the previous administration, in particular from 1985 to 2008,”

“Are these units unsafe to be inhabited?” he asked.

He pointed out those projects have been inhabited by thousands of residents so irresponsible statements on how unsafe such developments are will only instill fear in the minds of these residents.

…more
Zero approval for hill slope projects above 76m since 2008, Penang says
October 24, 2017 – MMO




THE Al Jazeera interview

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

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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