Archive for June 5th, 2007

Land Premiums for renewal of leases in Sarawak

by Sara Wak

The state BN leaders have already lost RM billions in First Silicon and Borneo Paper & Pulp projects, on the other hand they are trying to penalise the people for the mistakes that they made by imposing high land premiums for renewal of their lands.

How much has the State lost in the First Silicon and Borneo Paper & Pulp projects compared to the land premiums to be imposed by Taib and his government for land lease renewal?

Will the land premiums to be collected be sufficient to cover the RM billions which Taib and his government have lost in First Silicon and Borneo Paper & Pulp?

Who are to be held accountable for the losses? CM? The whole state Government?

Who were those responsible for making the decisions to invest in these projects?

Who were the ones who drafted the agreements not to cover Sarawak but to make the Government of Sarawak responsible for the loans taken out and having to pay the banks when the partners do not pay ?

The people of Sarawak have a right to know.

Where is the accountability? We demand an answer. Read the rest of this entry »


Altantunya Shariibuu murder trial starts with black-eye for system of justice

The high-profile Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial started yesterday with a black-eye for the Malaysian system of justice with the last-minute switch of the prosecution team at the opening of the trial yesterday leading to a two-week adjournment until June 18.

Twenty-four hours after the sudden turn of events, no responsible or credible explanation is yet forthcoming from the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

Gani’s explanation that he initiated the last-minute move to introduce a new prosecution team in order to ensure a “fair trial” to all parties concerned is no explanation at all, unless he could give two further information — firstly, what was wrong with the original prosecution team of DPPs Salehuddin Saidin and Noorin Badaruddin; and secondly, why he took the decision to change the prosecution team only at the eleventh-hour creating an international scene and not earlier when the Shah Alam High Court had fixed hearing for 25 days as far back as March 9, 2007?

DPP Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah, head of the Attorney-General’s Chambers civil division, who has been instructed to take over the prosecution, cannot be faulted as he had only been assigned to the case “at 5.30 pm on Sunday, while on his way back to Kuala Lumpur from his home town of Kuala Kangsar” but this does not mean that Gani should enjoy immunity from having to act with responsibility and accountability by giving a proper explanation, which he owes not only to the Shah Alam High Court but also to the courts of public opinion, both national and international. Read the rest of this entry »


Flabbergasted by PM’s speech – no signs of any new public service delivery system

I am flabbergasted by the speech of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to the monthly assembly of staff of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya yesterday. There are three reasons.

Firstly, Abdullah is the first Prime Minister in the 50-year history of the nation to have given the official sanction to “moonlighting” in the Malaysian civil service, formally placing Malaysia in the footsteps of the Indonesian civil service well-known for “moonlighting” and corruption because of the low pay of the Indonesian government servants.

Although the Star headlined “PM: Don’t moonlight — Civil servants advised to budget and spend money wisely”, other media headlines are more accurate, such as: “Cut down on ‘extra jobs’ advises PM” (Sun), “PM: Outside jobs must not affect official duties” (New Straits Times), “Buat kerja luar jangan jejas productivity: PM” (Berita Harian) and “Gaji naik: Kurangkan kerja sampingan” (Utusan Malaysia).

This is because Abdullah never told civil servants to stop “moonlighting” but “to reduce such activities as they could adversely affect productivity”.

As Bernama reported, Abdullah said the government, aware of the problems facing civil servants in the lower ranks, had ensured that they got a higher percentage of salary increment compared to employees in other categories.

He said: “I’m aware that some employees in the lower ranks, especially those with many children, have to work at night selling nasi lemak, banana fritters or do odd jobs for additional income.

“I respect them for their diligence and the love they have for their family in fullfilling their responsibiities. I also understand that the wives too have to work to help make ends meet.”

Bernama reported that Abdullah however advised them not to do the part-time jobs until late night.

Abdullah has created history of sorts, as his speech is tantamount to an announcement to the world that the Malaysian civil service has fallen from the previous high standards five decades ago when it was regarded as of world-class standards. Read the rest of this entry »


Lina Joy Dialogue

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To say that she is not under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court – because she no longer professes Islam – is not appropriate… In other words, one cannot embrace or leave a religion according to one’s whims and fancies.” – Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim

Illegal and unreasonable… to expect the appellant (Lina) to apply for a certificate of apostasy – when to do so would likely expose her to a range of offences under the Islamic law – is, in my view, unreasonable.” – Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Richard Malanjum

I am disappointed that the Federal Court is not able to vindicate a simple but important fundamental right that exists in all persons; namely, the right to believe in the religion of one’s choice… The Federal Court has not only denied me that right but to all Malaysians who value fundamental freedoms.” – Lina Joy

Date: 7 June 2007 (Thursday)

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Armada Hotel, Petaling Jaya

Room: Laksamana Room, Level 3


Y.B. Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader

Ambiga Sreenevasan, Malaysia Bar Council President

Dr Azmi Sharom, Associate Professor, UM Law Faculty

Lenard Teoh, Legal Advisor to Malaysia Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (MCCBCHS)

Yusri Mohammad, President of Angkatan Belia Islam (ABIM)

Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, General Secretary of PKR

Chairperson: Tony Pua

Free Admission


Bahasa Malaysia – by itself will not promote togetherness, unity and integration among Malaysians

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that the reversion of the designation of the national language as Bahasa Malaysia as in the first three decades of nationhood was intended to promote togetherness, unity and integration among Malaysians.

He said the government did not want to see the Cabinet’s decision in April being turned into polemics.

He said: “Our view regarding the national language is that it is owned by everyone, regardless of race and ethnicity.

“Although the national language is Malay, we want to make it a language for all. That is the rationale (for the change).”

Although this is the latest “flip-flop” of the Barisan Nasional government under the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, I support it.

I welcome both the restoration of Bahasa Malaysia as the official reference to the national language and Najib’s explanation, especially as Najib was one of those responsible in turning the issue into polemics in 1986.

Although Anwar Ibrahim is being blamed for the change from Bahasa Malaysia to Bahasa Melayu in 1986 when he was Education Minister, one of Anwar’s strongest supporters in the change at the time was none other than Najib, who was then the Deputy Umno Youth leader to Anwar as the Umno Youth leader.

It has taken Najib more than 20 years to fully understand and accept the DAP’s arguments at the time criticizing the change on the ground that the national language must transcend its racial origin to become a language of all Malaysians regardless of race, language, religion or culture. It is better late than never.

However, the restoration of the term Bahasa Malaysia to designate the national language does not mean that the various mother-tongues of multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural Malaysia are not Malaysian languages — as all mother-tongues of Malaysians must be fully recognized as an integral part of the Malaysian linguistic and cultural mosaic. Read the rest of this entry »


Yek Yow Ngan – MOH and Assunta wrong


I read with anguish the recent death of Madam Yek Yow Ngan, 51, a marketing executive at the Nanyang Siang Pau. Madam Yek was apparently involved in a car accident on Sunday morning, 27th May at about 3am at the 8th mile Puchong Road and was subsequently surrounded by a group of men with parangs and iron rods.

She was rushed to the Assunta Hospital where she was admitted at 4.10 am by her son, Allan Yeong Hon, with multiple injuries and in a state of coma.

Active resuscitation was apparently carried out at the emergency unit at the Assunta by the nurses and doctor there including intubation and infusion of 4 units of blood. Her condition stabilized at about 5am.

She was subsequently wheeled in for CT scans and X-rays and was being transferred to the ICU when the question of costs arose.

The son, apparently unable to afford the charges, requested for a transfer to a government hospital.

She was subsequently transferred by ambulance at 5.45am in a “stable condition” to the General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur when there was no response from the nearby University Hospital. She arrived at 6.10am. She however died 3 hours later at the GHKL at 9.40am, Monday morning 28th May.

Her distraught family, unhappy with the medical turn of events, complained to the Ministry of Health. The Health Minister has seemingly absolved Assunta Hospital, saying that the Hospital had followed proper procedures.

He further clarified that since emergency treatment had been rendered before the question of payment arose, “the hospital had done nothing wrong” and this he deemed was fair. These events were apparently further confirmed by officers of his “medical practices” division which concurred with him.

There are two pertinent issues here, as in almost every emergency case reported in the media. Read the rest of this entry »