Archive for May 9th, 2007

RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel safety – DAP MPs wants on-the-spot assurance/demo by Samy Vellu before opening

I have sent an urgent fax to the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for on-the-spot safety assurance and demonstration that the RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel is safe for use by the public not only on Monday, when it will start operation, but for the next few decades.

This has become even more urgent with more instances of government building and construction defects, with Parliament again leaking in some six places in the foyer outside the media centre this morning after heavy rain — a repeat of the disgraceful incident in April 2005 when Parliament had to be adjourned summarily because rainwater was pouring into the Dewan Rakyat Chamber as a result a ceiling collapse in a RM100 million Parliament renovaton contract.

With the recent unending series of mishaps in public buildings and construction projects, like the landslide in Putrajaya in March which should not have happened, the defects at the Immigration Headquarters and Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development Ministry buildings both in Putrajaya, the unfolding mishaps with every other day at the RM290 million largest court complex in Jalan Duta, and now the return of leaks in Parliament building, Malaysian confidence in the safety of public buildings and construction projects have reached a new low.

In this connection, was a certificate for fitness for occupation (CF) issued for the largest court complex in the world, and if so when. If no CF was issued, why was the court complex allowed to be used; and if there was CF, whether actions would be taken against those who had been so negligent as to issue the CF when there are still so many defects, including structural ones, which had to be rectified?

In the case of the RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel, no margin of mishap could be allowed to happen,as life and limb would be at stake — unlike falling ceilings, leaking buildings and burst pipes which have so far luckily avoided fatalities or human injuries. Read the rest of this entry »


Maybanks’ legal panel – what is the truth?

by I Bernadette

First, my ethnicity is irrelevant — and I am not defending MayBank or/and its policies.

The fact that racial discrimination has been ‘cast in stone’ so to speak, into policies of organizations like MayBank, is nothing new. In Malaysia, corporations linked to the Government and not just MayBank have fine-tuned the art of racial discrimination to a heart beat.

What is new in the case of MayBank in its latest ruling is that it would appear to be encroaching on the principle of free speech as protected by our Federal Constitution of 1957 — asking that law firms hoping to deal with it be first majority-owned by a certain class of Malaysians based on race. What right has MayBank got to go around telling private individuals who go into business as partners, how profits on their earnings are supposed to be distributed among them, what equity participation they should have in their private ventures and what internal policies they should or should not follow? Isn’t this the responsibility of private individuals as free citizens?

But at least MayBank has been forthright on the issue by making public its policy. Others are less so if they ever do. Apparently it arises out of MayBank’s genuine desire to comply with what after all is government policy.

Since the issue is one basically of racial discrimination against certain categories of lawyers based on race, in favor of one class of Malaysians vis-à-vis the others, one cannot be faulted for asking whether the proper forum ought not to be the country’s legislative body responsible for such laws i.e. Parliament and not MayBank.

Consider this. For a law firm looking to do work for a bank even on an ad hoc basis, the partners would have to work hard — ‘working hard’ means in most cases many hours on the golf fields at prestigious clubs scattered not only all over the country but overseas with its team of ‘enablers’ if you will where business deals are made. This acts to automatically exclude most of the small to medium law firms with their limited resources, limited experience (on the golf fields rather than in any field) and limited track record as a firm because they are new and the partners are young. Read the rest of this entry »


Indians can change their destiny

Indians Can Change Their Destiny
by Richard Teo

I fail to agree with Samy Vellu’s assertion that the 3% equity for the Indians had been on the national agenda for a long time and that nothing had been planned and implemented for the community. The failure to reach that equity level lies not wholly with the govt but with the MIC leader which Samy leads.

The dilemma facing the marginalised Indian community will continue as long as they are led by the current MIC leaders. For 25 years the Indian community have been led by these leaders and in many ways the trust bestowed on them have been repeatedly betrayed.

The pitiful and marginalised position the Indian community are enduring would not have occurred had their leaders placed community above self, service and sacrifice above greed.

Partly to blame for this current dilemma are the Indian community generally and the MIC members specifically. Like the proverbial sheep been led to the slaughter house, they had faithfully placed their trust to these same leaders who had deemed fit to plunder the wealth meant for the poor and destitute in the Indian community. Read the rest of this entry »


Merdeka! But are we totally free?

Merdeka! But are we totally free?
by Azly Rahman

Let me share my thoughts on independence and social contract by first quoting excerpts from a poem by the American poet Emma Lazarus, and next from the Enlightenment thinker Jean Jacques Rousseau.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” (The New Colossus by Lazarus, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in the New York).

“Nations, like men, are teachable only in their youth, with age they become incorrigible. Once customs have been established and prejudices rooted, reform is a dangerous and fruitless enterprise, a people cannot bear to see its evils touched, even if only to be eradicated, it is like a stupid, pusillanimous invalid who trembles at the sight of a physician” (Rousseau in The Social Contract).

The excerpts above inspire my essay on the meaning of social contract.

Let us go back to our history and listen attentively to the idea of the formation of Malaysia. We must revise our understanding of social contract that we derive from state-authored textbooks, written by the intelligentsia; knowledge that has since formed the perception of policy makers.

What revisions do we need to make to our social contract, if we are to be independent? Read the rest of this entry »