Archive for March, 2007

Consult PSCI on appointment of new ACA DG

An hour before midnight, Bernama released the news from the Prime Minister’s Office “Zulkipli’s Contract As ACA Chief Not Extended”.

The decision not to renew Zulkipli’s contract as Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general, which ends today, has saved the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from a “firestorm” of nation-wide protest and international ridicule which would have immediately exploded in his face if Zulkipli’s contract as ACA chief had been further extended — a grave consequence which I had taken pains to serve public warning in my media statement yesterday morning.

In fact, no ACA director-general apart from Zulkipli had brought greater disrepute and odium to the anti-corruption agency in its 40-year history — with Malaysians questioning for the first time its very integrity apart from its ineffectiveness and impotence when dealing with corruption involving the “big political fishes”.

It reflects poorly on the lack of political will of the Prime Minister in his pledge to give top priority in his administration to the campaign against corruption that Zulkipli was allowed in the past month to continue to helm the ACA in the face of serious corruption allegations made against him by former Sabah ACA director Mohamad Ramli Manan when he should have been asked to go on leave to protect the public image and integrity of ACA.

Zulkipli’s credibility and integrity suffered a serious dent when he backed out of his earlier public commitment to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI) as he had nothing to hide, raising questions as to what are the things he could not say and reveal to the PSCI about ACA’s integrity, commitment and sense of purpose to wipe out corruption.

The close-to-midnight statement from the Prime Minister’s Office is however a great disappointment. Read the rest of this entry »


Sleaze and crime – cleaning up?

Sleaze saps the prime minister’s election prospects
The Economist
22nd March 2007

CHEERY statements on the economy by Malaysian ministers and the pro-government press are prompting speculation that the prime minister, Abdullah Badawi, will call an election this year, even though he need not do so until 2009. The economy is doing fairly well–although economists think growth will be perhaps 5.5% this year, not 6% as the government predicts. However, hanging over Mr Badawi is his failure to keep his promise to curb official corruption. Two surveys out this month suggest that little progress is being made on this front. Worse, some big sleaze scandals have broken, suggesting that the rot reaches close to the top.

The man who is supposed to lead the clean-up, Zulkipli Mat Noor, the head of the country’s Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), has himself been accused of illicit enrichment by a former underling. In a separate case, a deputy police minister is accused of taking bribes to set criminal suspects free. Mr Badawi has rejected calls to suspend the two officials while the allegations, which both deny, are investigated.

If all this were not disturbing enough, a gruesome murder case involving a government adviser, due in court in June, may prove even more incendiary. Two members of an elite police unit are accused of killing a Mongolian fashion model, whose corpse was apparently blown up with explosives. Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst, is accused of abetting them. Mr Razak Baginda is close to Mr Badawi’s deputy as prime minister, Najib Razak, who also oversees the police unit in question. Though Mr Najib has not been accused of any wrongdoing, there is speculation that the trial could force his resignation. Read the rest of this entry »


Is IGP heading police investigation into Zulkipli by “remote control”?

The announcement by the Inspector-General, Tan Sri Musa Hassan that he has directed his officers to record Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor’s statement, with New Straits Times front-page headline “IGP: GRILL ZULKIPLI” – which is reminiscent of a similar NST front-page headline eight days ago, “Johari grilled by ACA – deputy minister’s statement taken IN: 10 am OUT: 10 pm” — has caused many Malaysians to ask whether all this “grilling publicity” is just for the media and news bytes or for real.

Who is heading the 10-member police team to investigate Zulkipli? Is Musa himself personally heading the investigation into Zulkipli? If so, is the IGP leading the operation by “remote control”?

This is because Musa said he had issued the directive on Tuesday when he “instructed Federal CID director Datuk Christopher Wan to have his officers call Zulkipli and record his statement”.

However, Musa declined to say whether this had been done. Reason? “I have not yet been briefed on the progress by my officers.”

It is clear that if Musa is heading the investigation into Zulkipli, he is doing so by “remote control” as he is clearly not conducting a “hands on” operation with him directing all aspects of the investigation.

Is Christopher Wan heading the police investigation into Zulkipli, and if so, why is Musa interfering with the police investigation team which should independently make such a decision (and should have done so already without any “directive” or “green light” from anyone above), and if Wan is not heading the investigation team, why is Musa instructing Wan to interfere with the police investigation?

If neither Musa nor Wan is heading the police investigation into Zulkipli, who is this mysterious police officer spearheading the police investigation that his identity cannot be revealed?

All this hush-hush and strange goings-on only highlight the grave problem of credibility which the police investigation into the serious corruption allegations against Zulkipli is belabouring under, when an independent and impeccable commission must be empanelled to clear the name of the ACA director-general. Read the rest of this entry »


Corruption of our history books

(Thanks S.L. for the following write-up by JA)

Knowledge of our roots will benefit us

IN very recent times, the starting date for the study of Malaysian history in the schools has been conveniently fixed around 1400 C.E. It probably coincides with the founding of the Sultanate of Malacca by Parameswara.

Today, Malaysian school children only learn a little bit about the early Proto Malays and then are conveniently taken on a historical quantum leap to the founding of Malacca.

Early Indian works speak of a fantastically wealthy place called Savarnadvipa, which meant “land of gold”. This mystical place was said to lie far away, and legend holds that this was probably the most valid reason why the first Indians ventured across the Bay of Bengal and arrived in Kedah around 100 B.C.

Apart from trade, the early Indians brought a pervasive culture, with Hinduism and Buddhism sweeping through the Indo-Chinese and Malay archipelago lands bringing temples and Indian cultural traditions. The local chiefs began to refer to themselves as “rajahs” and also integrated what they considered the best of Indian governmental traditions with the existing structure.

I learnt Malayan history in the 1950s and taught it in the 1960s and 1970s in secondary schools. All the history textbooks at the time had the early Indian connection specifically mentioned in them. Teachers of that period taught about the early Indianised kingdoms of Langkasuka, Sri Vijaya and Majapahit that existed from as early as 100 C.E. Read the rest of this entry »


Adorna, post-Adorna, Adorna-like injustices and malpractices in Land Offices

Injustices and malpractices in Land Offices?

Two days ago, I had issued a statement calling on the Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid to stop sleeping on his job as he had neither done nor said a single word in his three years as Minister in charge of the land portfolio about the gross injustice of the land law which allowed forgery and fraudulent issue and fraudulent transfer of land titles, with hundreds of landowners who have become victims running into tens or even hundreds of millions of ringgit.

It is common sense that an innocent purchaser cannot obtain good title from an impostor, impersonator or forger. Very importantly, a forger cannot pass title by using a fraudulently procured document of title so that even a subsequent innocent purchaser does not get any good title.

However, in land law, as a result of the 2001 Federal Court decision in Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Boonsom Bunyanit, there is now a shocking exception — with Section 340 of the National Land Code (NLC) interpreted to favour innocent buyers of land transferred through forgery or fraud, which has destroyed the integrity of land titles and the sanctity of property, leaving the original owners without any means to recover their land.

When Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister, he issued a “wake up call” to all land offices telling them to buck up to do justice to the rightful landowners.

Why has Azmi as the Minister in charge of the land office in the past three years failed to take any action to end the gross injustice in the Adorna case, at least to stop any post-Adorna development with hundreds of landowners falling victim to fraudsters, forgers, impostors and impersonators becoming the “new Adornas” by amending the National Land Code?

I have today another batch of cases involving gross injustices in land administration — involving some 280 plots of land, both residential and agricultural, which changed hands without the knowledge of the landowners in Ulu Yam, Selangor. Read the rest of this entry »


New Police Vision re-branding – proof of pudding in the eating

New Police Vision re-branding - proof of pudding in the eating

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan should declare whether the Police would accept the Suhakam inquiry findings that excessive police force was used against protesters at the KLCC demo on May 28 last year on petrol and power price hikes and whether disciplinary action would be taken against the errant police personnel.

The findings of the Suhakam public inquiry, which was made public last Friday, will be an acid test as to whether Musa is serious and not just indulging in a publicity stunt when he announced during the 200th Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) anniversary celebrations that the police is being rebranded with a new vision and mission to implement the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission to create an efficient, incorruptible, accountable, trustworthy, professional world-class police service.

The deadline for Recommendation 2 of the Royal Police Commission to “Review and refine the Vision Statement” was August 2005 — which means that the RMP has lagged nearly 20 months behind this time-line.

Among the proposals by the Royal Police Commission for the review and refinement of the Police Vision are “to reflect the need for police personnel to respect and uphold human rights in view of the allegations of abuse of human rights”.

Musa should tell Malaysians whether in the rebranded police Vision, the Royal Police Commission’s specific proposal that it expressly incorporate the principle “Respecting and upholding human rights as provided for in the Federal Constitution and the laws of Malaysia” has been accepted.

As the proof of the pudding is in the eating, Musa should declare whether he is serious about a new rebranded Police Vision which respects and upholds human rights by accepting the Suhakam public inquiry findings that excessive force was used against a group of protesters at the KLCC last year, resulting in 10 people being injured. Read the rest of this entry »


With MUST regarded as success, what hope for future of quality higher education?

In response to my query during the 2007 budget debate on the Higher Education Ministry in Parliament on December 5 last year, Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapha Muhamad held up Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) as an example of a successful “smart partnership” with an “international centre of excellence in research”, i.e. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Mustapha was clearly misinformed or he had misled Parliament, for a week later, he was reported as saying that the government was taking a hard look at the future of MUST, as the enrolemnt of the post-graduate university had dwindled and was operating with about 10 students left. MUST boasted research tie-ups with the world-renowned MIT when it opened in 2002.

I could not believe my eyes this morning when I read Mustapha’s reply to my question asking for the reasons for the failure of MUST despite government support, to the tune of at least RM100 million, and its “smart partnership” with MIT.

Mustapha’s reply raises the larger question as to what hope is there for the future of quality higher education in Malaysia when the Higher Education Minister is still stuck in denial – continuing to regard MUST as a successful example of international “smart partnership” when it is a major flop with MIT washing its hands of any “collaboration”!

This is Mustapha’s reply: Read the rest of this entry »


IRB, It’s time to “think out of the box”

Tam Yeng Siang copied his letter to New Straits Times, as follows:

I wish to refer to the letter by Ong Wai Leong, again on the issue of the Income Tax’s inability to repay taxpayers’ tax refunds promptly. So many letters have been published by you on the matter that this proves that something is seriously wrong with the delivery system of the IRB. In spite of the Director General’s recent TV interview, in which she promises such refunds to be made within three months, I would like to say that it’s an impossible dream, as long as the current procedures are not changed, and with it, the concept of Tax refunds at source. Allow me to elaborate.

*First the IRB is vigorously promoting e-filing which is a good thing. But in encouraging e-filing, has the IRB considered those who never use computers and ICT in their daily business?

*Second, in order for the IRB to effect refunds arising from dividends paid to individuals, the IRB requires the original dividend vouchers to be sent BY POST to Pandan Indah. These vouchers must be original, and must be verified individually by assessment officers, either against the E-forms, or the BE forms submitted manually together with the original vouchers. As long as the manual process of verification and authorisation is required, it is near impossible for the IRB to do this onerous task within a three month period, year in and year out.

*So, the way out of this mess is to re-think the issue of tax on individual dividends completely. Many years ago, the IRB made a very good decision to resolve the problem of taxpayers not declaring fixed deposit incomes in their yearly forms. They made the banks deduct a fixed rate of tax from the Interest incomes, and the banks then sent the taxes to the IRB directly. This decision had 2 positive effects. Moneys formerly hidden under pillows found their way to the banks, and the IRB found a relatively straightforward way of collecting tax from Interest income.

*For Dividend payments made to the individuals, the IRB can instruct the corporations to collect, say, just 5-10% of tax, remit the tax to the IRB, and refund the balance to the Individual taxpayer. The refunds can be easily made by the corporations at the same time the dividends are paid. Read the rest of this entry »


10 recommendations of Royal Police Commission, like IPCMC, disappeared into a “black hole”?

As part of the flurry of publicity in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Police, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan launched an intensive media campaign to present the police in the best possible light, including announcement of the creation of a new mission and vision in line with the recommendations made by the Royal Police Commission, culminating in a call for a new and better scheme of service for the police which is 20% more in basic salary than any government servant.

In the media blitz, Musa told Bernama on Saturday that about 90 per cent of the recommendations of the Police Royal Commission “have been put into action while another four are in the process of being enforced”.

This is at variance with the answer given by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Internal Security Minister, to my question in Parliament on Thursday on the status of the implementation of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission.

Abdullah said that out of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission, 102 or 82 per cent have been implemented while 23 or 18 per cent are still under detailed consideration.

There is a big difference between the 82 per cent of 125 recommendations cited by the Prime Minister in Parliament and the 90 per cent claimed by the Inspector-General of Police, which works out to a difference of 10 recommendations out of 125 recommendations.

Have these 10 recommendations of Royal Police Commission like the IPCMC proposal disappeared into a “black hole” without accountability whatsoever? Read the rest of this entry »


Dark Darker Darkest

Dark Darker Darkest

Just got this email from LLC:

“I read this on your website – Why Iskandar Development Region will fail by Richard Teo

“How can the IDR attract Singaporeans if this type of news keeps getting published in newspapers in Singapore?,4136, 125523-1174773540,00.html


DARK: Tinted car windows, cops stop him

DARKER: He fears they are carjackers & resist arrest

DARKEST: He has to strip, sleep sitting up in crowded cell

By Crystal Chan

March 24, 2007

CONFUSION over tinted windows, coupled with his fears of car-jacking landed Singaporean LWSim in a Johor Baru jail.

His is a shocking lesson for Singapore drivers who may not know that tinted windows which meet with the Land Transport Authority’s requirements could get you into trouble in Malaysia.

This is because Malaysia has stricter laws on the amount of light that must be able to pass through tinted car windows.

Mr Sim, 29, found this out the hard way when he refused to let JB police impound his car for further checks. He was arrested and placed in a police lock-up.

The sub-contractor was later charged in court with obstructing justice and jailed a day. Read the rest of this entry »


Azmi Khalid, end 3-yr sleeping – gross injustice of Adorna case of forgery and fraudulent land transfer

The Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid should stop his three-year “sleeping” on the gross injustice of the land law in the country allowing forgery of land titles and fraudulent land transfers and should get Cabinet approval tomorrow to introduce a bill to amend the National Land Code in the current parliamentary meeting to overrule the Federal Court decision on Adorna case.

Last week, the Director-General of Lands and Mines Department, Datuk Zoal Azha Yusof, who was promoted to the post last August from his previous position as Selangor’s Land and Mines Director, said there is a need to amend the National Land Code (NLC) to restore property owners’ rights which have been affected by Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Boonsom Bunyanit.

Zoal Azha said he would bring up the matter with the Attorney-General.

How long would this process take? Another two, three or five years?

Such procrastination and insensitivity to the gross injustice created by the Federal Court’s 2001 decision in Adorna case, which interpreted Section 340 of the NLC to favour innocent buyers of land transferred through forgery or fraud, has destroyed the integrity of land titles, leaving the original owners without any means to recover their land. It reflects very poorly on a government which claims to be efficient, just and pro-active in allowing a gross injustice in the land law to stay unchallenged for the past seven years.

The Adorna case is a heart-rending tale which took more than a decade before it finally ended with gross injustice to the rightful owner. Read the rest of this entry »


Harvard University task force to improve public service delivery – waste of public funds?

The answer by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Health Ministry, Datuk Lee Kah Choon during question time today that the government does not have statistics about the number of patients nationwide who died in ambulance on their way to hospital is the latest evidence not only of deteriorating medical and health services in the country, but of the larger issue of the macro problem of the worsening public delivery system despite all the promises of reform.

I find the indifference and insensitivity demonstrated by Lee’s answer most unacceptable as it was only on Friday that the country was shocked by the news report of the totally unnecessary death of Yusnita Abas, 31, wife of factory worker, Ghafur Mohd Ibrahim because the ambulances at Kepala Batas Hospital were “all out of petrol” and could not send her in time for emergency surgery at the Penang Hospital.

In the 50-year independent history of Malaysia, this is the first time a person had died because all the ambulances at a hospital had run out of petrol — tragic proof that public service delivery system and ethos have been getting from bad to worse.

Such a shameful episode had not happened when the country achieved independence in 1957 and the ensuing 49 years. Why is it happening now?

Developed countries are aiming at ambulance emergency response time within eight minutes, but the Health Minister, Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek seemed quite happy with an ambulance response time of more than 30 minutes in his response to public criticisms over businesswoman Zara Davies Abdul Rahman’s traumatic experience in trying to get accident and emergency help from Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang to save an accident victim’s life near the Batu Tiga toll booth on Dec. 13 last year, but in vain. Read the rest of this entry »


Tun Ismail: No Ordinary Politician

Review by Bakri Musa

Tun Ismail: No Ordinary Politician
The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr. Ismail and His Time
Ooi Kee Beng

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 2006
338 pp RM55.00

Reading Ooi Kee Beng’s biography of the late Tun Ismail is akin to eating at a buffet in a cheap Chinese restaurant. The offering was generous and you gorged yourself. However, an hour later you were hungry again; worse you could not even recall what was so special about the menu. Then it dawned on you that the food tasted good simply because you were so darn hungry.

With the present pathetic state of leadership in Malaysia, there is a yearning for the kind of leaders like the late Tun Ismail, men of
strong convictions and who did not hesitate acting on them. Ooi quoted Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman who bore the wrath of Ismail’s anger over Tunku’s sudden policy change towards China. Ismail was so incensed that he tendered his resignation immediately. You would never see that kind of bravery among today’s leaders; they are more adept at toadying and ingratiating themselves.

Ooi worked hard for his book, interviewing scores of people and reviewing many documents locally and abroad. There is no shortage of quotes and anecdotes from those who knew Ismail, and Ooi added many details of Tun’s life. Therein lies the problem. The essence of the man gets buried in the avalanche of factoid overload. It does not enlighten us to know that he was awarded the National Order of Vietnam, or that he was president of the American Malaysian Society.

Ooi did not have to quote every interview. The book could do without the many “He was tough, brilliant, blunt, … ” type of general comments. They added nothing and took up valuable space.

Two interviewees, Lee Kuan Yew and Ghaffar Baba, stood out; they illuminated well Ismail’s character. Lee was expounding in his usual erudite and logical manner on a particular issue. At the end he asked Ismail what he thought about it, and the Tun simply replied, “I disagree!” Flabbergasted, Lee asked Ismail for his reasons, at which point Ismail remarked that since Lee had so brilliantly enumerated all the salient points there was nothing more for him (Ismail) to add. That reflected supreme self-confidence. By not trying to “out lawyer” the lawyerly Lee, Ismail stumped him. Read the rest of this entry »


IRD should not harass or bar defaulters from bona fide foreign trips

tax defaulters barred from leaving

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in his capacity as Finance Minister should direct the Inland Revenue Board to stop invoking Income Tax Act Section 104 barring Malaysians from leaving the country for failing to pay income tax for business, tours and holidays when they have every intention of returning and not absconding from the country, and to seek the advice of the Attorney-General.

In her interview with New Sunday Times, the Chief Executive Officer and Director-General of Inland Revenue Board, Hasmah Abdullah advised 39,867 people who had been blacklisted as tax defaulters that they are barred from leaving the country for failing to pay income tax.

Holiday-makers who bought tickets at the recent Matta fair to go overseas are advised to visit the Inland Revenue Board before they board the plane.

This is most ludicrous and smacks of harassment and even blackmail — something which should not be associated with the public service.

Hasmah pointed out that under Section 104 of Income Tax 1967 (see below), individuals — locals or foreigners — would not be allowed to leave the country if they had not settled their income tax.

I believe that when Parliament passed Section 104 of Income Tax Act 1967 forty years ago, the intention was to prevent individuals, whether locals or foreigners, from evading income tax by absconding from the country — rather than to restrict their business or spoil their holidays plan.

I do not believe Parliament ever intended to prevent Malaysians with income tax problems from going to Singapore, Thailand or other overseas country whether for holidays or business. Read the rest of this entry »


Ambulances run out of petrol – Yusnita Abas another avoidable death

Ambulances Run Out of Petrol

With the latest scandal of ambulances running out of petrol resulting in another avoidable death, the Health Minister, Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek should inform Parliament tomorrow what shake-up he had initiated to end the mounting public criticism of outrageous ambulance emergency services and response time to give top priority to saving lives.

Friday’s New Straits Times reported the scandal-cum-tragedy of Yusnita Abas, 31, wife of a factory worker, Ghafur Mohd Ibrahim who said his wife would be alive today had she received prompt medical treatment, including efficient ambulance service.

Although on the fateful day, she went to the Kepala Batas Hospital at 1 pm after being advised by a private doctor, she was not attended to until she lapsed into a semi-consciousness state around 6 pm.

Doctors later realized that Yusnita was suffering from a ruptured blood vessel and ordered that she undergo a CT scan at the Seberang Jaya Hospital. Ghafur was told that that Yusnita would have to undergo emergency surgery at the Penang Hospital if the CT scan showed there was a blood clot in her brain.

This is Ghafur’s harrowing tale: Read the rest of this entry »


Winning back FDIs – fundamental policy changes needed and not merely incentives

Winning back FDIs

Winning back FDIs
by Dr. Chen Man Hin

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced a bouquet of incentives to induce foreign investors to put their money in Johore’s Iskandar Development Region (IDR). Undeniably the incentives are attractive.

While the development of IDR is important and should be encouraged, it is vital to realise that foreign investments are needed badly for the country as a whole. Therefore, the incentives for IDR should logically be implemented for the whole country.

Malaysia unfortunately is bypassed by foreign investors and is low in their choice to park their money. It is definitely not on the radar of foreign investors, contrary to the claim of the Minister for International Trade, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz.

UNCTAD report on FDI shows that Malaysia has much lower FDIs than many other countries in ASEAN – Read the rest of this entry »


RM70 million for AVSS to collect traffic fines from Singaporeans – 24 years to recoup if system can last that long

RM70 million for AVSS to collect traffic fines from Singaporeans

A news report in last week’s New Sunday Times (18.3.07) caught the attention of an eagle-eyed reader, Tan Poh Soon, who has emailed about how ridiculous it was to spend RM70 million to instal a system to collect traffic fines from Singaporeans, which will take some 24 years to recoup the cost if the system could last that long:

While reading a news regarding Singaporean motorists paid a total of RM8 million in Malaysia traffic fines over the past three years, i noticed that it is also mentioned that the outstanding summon are being track down with a system known as Automated Vehicle Screening System.

According to the news, there are currently 24 unit of such system, where each unit cost RM2.9 million. The news also reported that the relevant department will add more of such unit at various places.

I’m wondering what is the rationale of installing such system which is so much expensive. Even if the system are able to track down RM8 million of unpaid summons every 3 years. It will still need at least 24 years to recoup the investment.

Do take note that this does not include the opportunity cost, interest and maintenance cost. Furthermore, i doubt that such system will be able to last 24 years. Read the rest of this entry »


PSCI hearing for Zulkipli/Ramli – review on Tuesday

PSCI hearing for Zulkipli/Ramli - review on Tuesday

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI) will be asked on Tuesday to review the “on/off/on/off hearing of Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor and whistleblower/former ACA Sabah director Mohamed Ramli Abdul Manan.

This follows the latest development where Ramli’s counsel, M. Manoharan, had given assurance that the issue of sub judice at the PSCI hearings for Zulkipli and Ramli does not arise as the serious allegations of corruption against Zulkipli has no bearing on Ramli’s civil suits against the ACA chief. The civil suit involved non-payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities.

As for the corruption trial of former minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam, both Zulkipli and Ramli are not material witnesses.

Furthermore, the Ramli civil suit could take years to be decided while the Kasitah trial is still in the prosecution stage.

As the PSCI is meeting in Parliament on Tuesday in its continuing inquiry into the Sabah Project I/C scandal, I will raise the letter from Ramli’s counsel and his request for an early date for a hearing for deliberation and decision.

There is now even more compelling reasons why the PSCI should neither flinch nor hesitate from holding hearings for Zulkipli and Ramli if the Select Committee is to remain true to its terms of reference to uphold and promote national integrity. Read the rest of this entry »


Judges who accept bribes – Fairuz must take action or resign as CJ

Judges who accept bribes - Fairuz must take action or resign as CJ

When I was speaking in Parliament on Wednesday during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the Royal Address and touching on the judiciary as another institution which had suffered in the last 50 years of nationhood in terms of loss of public confidence in its independence, impartiality and integrity, DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Glugor Karpal Singh interrupted me to raise a specific question.

Karpal asked whether I agree that as the Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim had made it very clear that there are judges who are corrupt, it has become the duty and responsibility of the Chief Justice to lodge a police report to enable a full investigation to be conducted to ascertain as to who are the corrupt judges.

In my response, I expressed my full agreement that to protect the good name of the judiciary, Tun Ahmad Fairuz should either lodge a police against the corrupt judges who “accept bribes” which he had stated publicly or resign as Chief Justice.

There is actually another option open to the Chief Justice — which is to invoke Article 125(3) of the Federal Constitution to set up a judicial tribunal for the dismissal of the judges who accept bribes. This Article provides that the Chief Justice, after consulting the Prime Minister, is empowered to represent to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for the establishment of a tribunal for the removal of a judge for judicial misconduct.

Tun Ahmad Fairuz must take action against the judges he had accused of taking bribes, whether by lodging a police report or invoking Article 152(3) of the Federal Constitution, and if he not prepared to do either, he should resign as Chief Justice to protect the reputation and integrity of the Malaysian judiciary.

There can be nothing more serious against the reputation and integrity of judges than the charges which the Chief Justice had levelled in his speech during the swearing-in ceremony of eight new judicial commissioners on March 1 – that there are judges who accept bribes. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Iskandar Development Region will fail

Why Iskandar Development Region will fail
by Richard Teo

The response from the foreign investors to the Iskandar development Region is quite evident. After few months from its launching, the Iskandar Development Region has received lukewarm response from the foreign investors.

This prompted Tun Musa Hitam, a member of the Iskandar Development region Authority(IRDA)advisory Council to say unequivocally that ‘it was time to give up the New Economic Policy (NEP) for the success of the Iskandar development Region(IDR).’

On 22nd March 2007, our P.M declared that six sectors would not have to have Bumiputra equity participation.

For 50 years our malay political masters have deemed fit to cling to the NEP policy and now without much persuation they have willingly relinquish that condition for the Iskandar development Region. Why?

The simple reason is that Malaysia has missed the boat. Most of the FDI’s that we are targeting have taken flight to China’s economic region of Shenzan, Hangchou and to India’s Mumbai and Bangalore region.

Of late whatever FDI left have gone to Vietnam. So who are we trying to attract to the IDR? In order to answer this question let us examine the profile of the investors in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »