Archive for August 14th, 2007

RM4.6b PKFZ scandal:Why Pak Lah breaking another pledge – no mega bailouts?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said that he would ask the Transport Minister, Datuk Chan Kong Choy to explain why concerns by Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) addressed to Chan over the progress of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) were not entertained.

This was his response to the Sun’s front-page report yesterday that Jafza pulled out of the PKFZ deal because of political interference, bureaucracy and breaches of the management agreement signed between Jafza and the Port Klang Authority (PKA).

Jafza executive chairman Sultan Ahmad Sulayem and its senior vice president (international operations) Chuck Heath wrote to Chan on March 11 and May 29 last year respectively but received no replies.

Chan must not only explain his role in the pull-out of Zafza from PKFZ, the Transport Minister must publicly explain and account for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, now leading to a RM4.6 billion government bail-out of the project when the originally RM1.1 billion PKFZ had started as a “feasible and self-financing” project which would not require a single sen of public funds.

Yesterday, when addressing some 1,200 delegates including ministers, menteris besar and chief ministers attending the National Asset and Facility Management Convention, Abdullah said action should be taken against those in the public sector who were responsible for maintaining public buildings when public buildings fall apart.

Let Abdullah start off this culture of responsibility with the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, and bring to book all public officials, from Cabinet level downwards, who were responsible for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal — or is this going to be a repeat of a bigger RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Finance Scandal more than 20 years ago of “a heinous crime without criminals”?

If Chan as Transport Minister must bear full responsibility for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, then an example must be made with his resignation or removal from Cabinet — as otherwise, all the talk about public accountability and responsibility under the Abdullah administration are just hot air without credibility.

In this case of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, Abdullah himself must explain why he is breaking another pledge when he became Prime Minister of no mega-billion-ringgit bailouts. Read the rest of this entry »


University Myanmar Sabah

Parents of students in the University Malaya Sabah (UMS) Medical School have expressed grave concerns about the quality of lecturers and teaching being provided to the extent that UMS is being referred to as “University Myanmar Sabah” because of the large number of lecturers from Myanmar with questionable qualifications to fill up the acute shortage of lecturers for the Medical School.

This is one complaint that I have received:

Recently, there has been a series of news reports quoting both the Federal Health Minister Datuk Chua Soi Lek and the Director General Datuk Dr Ismail Merican, lamenting over the questionable quality of some of our doctors. (Sin Chew Daily 7.8 2007 p 5 and 10.8.2007)

This is the same concern that many parents of the UMS Medical School students and lecturers now have with the presence of a large number of Myanmar lecturers, whose qualifications are said to be rather questionable.

The following is a recent conversation with a concerned lecturer of the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Medical School who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Q: Currently, how many lecturers are there in the UMS Medical Faculty, and how many of them are foreigners?

A: There are around 41 lecturers and 2 medical officers. Out of 41 lecturers, there are 19 Burmeses, 4 Indian nationals, 1 Iraqi and 1 Indonesian Chinese. Two medical officers are also Burmeses.

Q: Is it true that some of the lecturers are not qualified or whose qualifications are doubtful and not recognized by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)? Read the rest of this entry »


ACA – why not even one out of 1,400 senior police officers who could be nabbed for corruption in past three years?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should table the Sunday Star article of the country’s most famous Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, “The Fence that Eats the Rice” excoriating the underperformance and failures of the three “vital institutions” of the state, the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

In his column, Hanif said he had briefed the Police Royal Commission, of which he was Deputy Chairman, “that police corruption was so extensive that a very senior ACA officer had confided in me and another top retired police officer that 40% of the senior officers could be arrested without further investigations — strictly on the basis of their lifestyles”.

He wrote:

One state police chief had a net worth of RM18mil. My friend and I had watched the force getting deeper and deeper into the morass of corruption.

It was the daily talk and the butt of gibes on the golf courses that embarrassed retired police officers no end; yet even we were stunned by this revelation and its implication. Would the force we had served for so long and which had given us so much experience and such great pride for what we had built it into, be destroyed in the expected ACA action?

I could not help telling the ACA officer that he really had his work cut out for him and that his fight against corruption was the most important fight facing the country but I hoped that he could effectively stamp out this corruption without destroying our PDRM which had done such yeomen service to the nation.

Hanif’s fear that the PDRM would suffer great damage in a campaign to “effectively stamp out corruption” has proved to be completely misplaced, as the culture of impunity for the corrupt among the high and mighty continued to reign supreme and there was not a single one of the 1,400 senior police officers “who could be arrested without further investigation strictly based on the basis of their lifestyles” who had been arrested and prosecuted since the publication of the Royal Police Commission Report in May 2005.

The Royal Police Commission reported that the PDRM had an establishment of 90,256 police personnel in 2004, and there would be a total of 3,502 senior police officers for all ranks above the inspector, viz:

CP 6
DCP 18
SAC I 27
ACP 148
SUPT 376
DSP 792
ASP 2,077

Total 3,502

If “40% of the senior officers could be arrested without further investigations — strictly on the basis of their lifestyles”, we are talking about a staggering figure of 1,400 out of the 3,502 senior police officers from the rank of Assistant Superintendent to Inspector-General of Police. Read the rest of this entry »