Archive for August 24th, 2007

High tension electrical tower in Rawang safe?

Received an email from UK from a consulting engineer, KC Tang, raising questions about the safety of the high tension electrical tower in Rawang, which had been in the news lately over the protest by the affected residents.

The email reads:

I came across this article in Sinchew online and thought the comments by Tang See Hang saying Tenaga quoted that the high powered line only affects people ‘directly’ under the cables but not outside are so misleading.

I am a consulting engineer (originally from Malaysia) working in London ( and I do a lot of engineering simulations. I did a project for National Grid here a while back to investigate the current induced in a human body near some transmission lines and the electromagnetic fields is more widespread than the direct line between the cable and the ground. There is clear guidance over here for the safe, allowable induced current in the body of occupational workers and public (yes there are certainly some induced current when you are exposed to the electromagnetic fields) and the 10 feet he quoted as not having any adverse effects is VERY, VERY alarming and wrong. Are there any guidelines in Malaysia for this sort of installation?

Scientists have mixed reaction to this issue but there is a report showing evidence that electromagnetic fields may be linked to cancer hence the existence of straight guidelines in developed countries. There are a lot of information you can obtain from this website

The Rawang high-tension electricity tower controversy had drawn further protests, including school children, as reported in Malaysiakini yesterday: Read the rest of this entry »


Kong Choy should own up – how many of the 4 unlawful “letters of support” for RM4.6 billion PKFZ bonds were signed by him

Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy chickened out of the special press conference yesterday on the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, which was only attended by his press secretary.

Is this because Chan is aware that he would have to face many difficult and embarrassing questions about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal which he would not be able to answer satisfactorily and he decided that the better of valour was to avoid the media altogether on the issue?

Chan must own up – how many of the four “Letters of Support” for Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd.’s RM4.6 billion bonds for PKFZ project was signed by him as Transport Minister and why he should not be censured in Parliament for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal in giving such unlawful government guarantees without authority from the Finance Ministry resulting in the AAA rating from the Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd — and now given as the main reason why the government has to undertake the bailout of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ.

Kuala Dimensi is not only the company which sold the 1,000 acres of land for the PKFZ to Port Klang Authority (PKA) at RM25 per sq ft or some 20 times the cost of its acquisition of the land four years earlier in 1999 at RM3 per sq ft but also the turnkey contractor for RM1.85 billion development of the PKFZ.

The press conference by the PKFZ business development general manager Chia Kon Leong had failed to answer the many pertinent questions concerning accountability, transparency and integrity of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ as well as its feasibility and viability.

Chia said that PKFZ aims to be self-sustaining in 2012 when it is targeted to have an 80 per cent occupancy rate, equivalent to housing between 650 to 700 companies, when it would generate RM80 million annually.

The PKFZ project was sold by Kuala Dimensi to the government on the understanding and undertaking that it would be feasible, self-financing and would not need a single ringgit of public funding from the very beginning.

At the rate of generating RM80 million revenue annually from 2012, it would take PKFZ 57.5 years to recover the RM4.6 billion investments or to be more correct “mis-investments” — i.e. till 2070! Read the rest of this entry »


Looking back to look ahead


The Sun
23rd August 2007

Looking back to look ahead
Zainon Ahmad and Maria J. Dass

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang likes to believe his contribution to nation-building has been his efforts to keep alive the aspirations of Malaysians for democracy, justice, freedom and integrity. The man who has been in parliament since 1969, except for an absence for one term following his defeat in 1999, tells ZAINON AHMAD and MARIA DASS that many people are sad because many institutions that had been established 50 years ago have lost their effectiveness.

theSun: We are coming up to 50 years soon, so what do you think we have achieved in that time?

LKS: I think it’s a very mixed result. I think when we achieved independence 50 years ago and then with Sabah and Sarawak we formed the Malaysian federation, we all had one aspiration – that we would become more Malaysian over the years.

Which means we would become less Malay, less Chinese, less Indian, less Kadazan and less Iban and so on, but on the 50th year looking around, especially with the events in the last two months, we seem to have become less Malaysian and more Malay, more Chinese, more Indian, more Kadazan and more Iban than anything else.

What has happened? Of course, after 50 years that seems the most important question to ask.

Of course. But in terms of development if you compare to Ghana which also achieved independence in the same year, I think we are 10 times ahead.

But we should not compare ourselves with the not-so-well-off nations. We should compare ourselves with those countries that are at the same level as us. Maybe even with Japan.

And if you look back on that perspective when we achieved independence, we were second in Asia after Japan in terms of development. But since then we have fallen behind. Other countries have moved ahead to become first world and developed countries – Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, not to mention Hongkong.

Whereas for us it is still a distant vision. Why?

It’s not that we lack potential, capabilities, resources and brain power. The problem is with our nation-building policies. These policies, over the decades, have not been able to fully develop our human capital. Instead we see the grave problem of brain drain among our best and brightest. All because of nation-building policies and problem with our education system. And these problems are still going on.

So that’s what you mean by very mixed results.

Yes. But what concerns me most is the people, “us” – that we are not able to identify ourselves more as being Malaysians. Instead we are identifying ourselves more as Malay, Chinese, Kadazan and so on.

That should be more alarming, don’t you think?

Yes, very alarming. In particular the issues that came to the fore during the last one or two months has brought us to the very core. In fact many people are wondering what is the meaning of this 50th Merdeka anniversary if they are feeling more alienated, more divided and more polarised.

That should in fact be the focus of attention.

In fact, the MCA general assembly is the best illustration – that it is not to celebrate the 50 years of greater nationhood but to highlight a greater division.

Sometimes a small case become the obsession of an entire cabinet while there are more important issues about integrity, development, corruption and how Malaysia can compete with the rest of the world.

We should move away from this Malays vs non-Malays or bumis vs non-bumis situation. More and more we should think about Malaysians vs the rest of the world. But we seem to be losing more of that focus.

Don’t you think that we have reached a stage of intolerance that at the slightest provocation we shout “withdraw his citizenship.” Seems like the queen in Alice in Wonderland forever shouting “off with his head.” A bit extreme isn’t it?

More than that, it is seditious. When Parliament was reconvened following the May 13 incident the Constitution was amended to address four sensitive issues that cannot be questioned. These are those relating to the special privileges of the Malays, language, the Rulers and a person’s citizenship.

If you remember back in the 1960s Umno leaders were very fond of shouting “strip him of his citizenship” at those they thought were being disloyal. For a while the amendment stopped that. But it is still a sensitive issue to demand for the removal of your citizenship.

Now it is suddenly fashionable again to call for the stripping of someone’s citizenship. Is that what you want to say?

Yes. Now, you even have ministers, mentris besar and chief ministers shouting “withdraw his citizenship”. Aren’t they going to be charged for sedition? They can be charged for sedition per se – just based on that. Because on that constitutional amendment there is no need for proof of malice or no malice.

There have been many incidents where the government acted hastily. No to this, no to that. No more discussion on this, no more discussion on that. Also there was this allegation of mass conversions of Muslims to Christianity, for instance. And it involved mariner Datuk Azhar Mansor.

Some double standard in their reaction here. You want to talk about seditious, it is seditious because it incited the feelings of some 500 Muslims who surrounded a church near Ipoh because they believed that Azhar had become a Christian and he was going to baptise other Malay-Muslims who had been converted to Christianity. As it turned out it was not true whatsoever.

If we want to talk about seriousness, that is very serious. It was capable of creating a riot, but no action was taken against the person who made the allegations. Read the rest of this entry »