Archive for September 22nd, 2007

Nurin’s brutal death – let Cabinet observe minute-silence and renew forgotten commitment to keep crime low

The country joins the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in shock, anger and grief at the brutal rape-murder of eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, whose naked body in a foetal position was stuffed in a sports bag in Petaling Utama.

No stone must be left unturned to track down and to bring the murderer to justice.

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan said on Thursday that the Police was closing in on the killer. All Malaysians pray and hope that the police would be successful in the hunt for the murderer.

In contrast, the statement yesterday by Musa that Nurin’s parents are being investigated for possible negligence have stirred very mixed feelings from Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.

If there is evidence that Nurin’s parents had been negligent contributing to her brutal murder, and the parents are prosecuted, it is a totally different matter from putting pressure on the grieving parents at this time of their bereavement when the police has as yet to get any evidence to establish any parental negligence.

Is it right and proper for Musa to add to the grief and sorrow of Nurin’s parents in such circumstances?

Nurin’s brutal rape-murder must be regarded as both a family tragedy for taxi driver Jazimin Abdul Jalil and a national shame.

There is something very sick and rotten in our society that Nurin could meet with such a brutal end. But it also bespeaks of the breakdown of the institutions in the state responsible for upholding law and order.

Let the Cabinet meeting next Wednesday begin by observing a minute of silence for Nurin’s brutal death followed by a renewal of its forgotten commitment to make the country a safer place for our citizens, tourists and investors.

This renewal of commitment by the Cabinet is imperative for we must not allow Malaysia to become a crime-infested society which claim victims regardless of race or religion. Read the rest of this entry »


E-government to e-scam – Kong Choy should publicly justify e-Kesihatan

Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy should fully explain the second scandal since he became Transport Minister — the e-Kesihatan scandal which is also the latest example of e-government in Malaysia degenerating into e-scams.

The first scandal during Chan’s stewardship as Transport Minister is the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal, for which a full and proper accounting has still to be furnished by him.

Although the Cabinet on Wednesday decided to postpone the eKesihatan health screening of commercial drivers to enable the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) to co-ordinate the implementation of the programme, what are exactly the implications of the Cabinet decision.

Does it mean that the RM450 million 15-year eKesihatan middleman concession to centralize the health screening of commercial drivers, scheduled to begin on Oct. 1, had been merely postponed with the monopoly position of Supremme Systems Sdn. Bhd. basically unaffected or could the whole concession monopoly be scrapped?

And in the latter, would Supremme Systems be compensated a substantial amount resulting in a “heads I will, tail you lose” situation for the company at the expense of the taxpayers, as had happened in the past like the Johore Baru crooked half-bridge cancellation, where the contractor Gerbang Perdana Sdn. Bhd had been paid compensation of RM257.4 million, although the government had earlier computed a RM100 million compensation!

Chan should make public the full details of the eKesihatan contract which had been signed between the Road Transport Department and Suprmme Systems Sdn. Bhd, whether the Transport Ministry had fully committed the government to compensate Supremme Systems for delays in implementing the eKesihatan scheme, like the postponement decided by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

After the shocking disclosures of pervasive mismanagement of public funds in the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report and the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal caused by the Transport Minister unlawfully committing the government to stand guarantee for RM4 billion bonds issued by a private company developing the PKFZ, Malaysians are entitled to demand higher standards of accountability to avoid repetition of the same mistakes in the Transport Ministry and the continued mismanagement of public funds. Read the rest of this entry »


Lingam Tape – why PM’s one-sided threat if not authentic but nothing about action to be taken if true?

The initial one-sided response of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to the Lingam Tape, which has plunged the country into a new crisis of confidence in the independence, impartiality, integrity, accountability and professionalism of the Malaysian judiciary — both national and international — is a great disappointment compromising the neutrality and impartiality of his high office.

Abdullah said yesterday that he had directed the police to immediately start investigations into the Lingam Tape as it was important to act quickly because the content of the clip could tarnish the image of the country’s judiciary.

He said: “We cannot treat this lightly. We will act fast to determine the truth.”

He said that if investigations revealed that the claims were false, action would be taken against those who were trying to undermine the judiciary as the video recording would invoke public anger and hatred towards the judiciary.

He said at this juncture, the question of setting up a Commission of Inquiry did not arise as the allegations in the video clip had yet to be proven as authentic.

All right-thinking Malaysians are mystified and upset by the Prime Minister’s response and have one question — why is Abdullah threatening dire consequences if the Lingam Tape is not authentic but said nothing about action to be taken if it is proven true?

Abdullah’s initial considered response 48 hours after the public surfacing of the Lingam Tape does not inspire public confidence that the Prime Minister would rise above the fray and be absolutely neutral and impartial in handling the latest scandal of the Malaysian judiciary.

He is right when he said that the Lingam Tape has yet to be proven as authentic, but on the other hand, 48 hours and now 72 hours have passed since its public disclosure had elapsed and its authenticity has not been challenged — neither by Lingam nor Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, purportedly the other party in the telephone conversation recorded in the Lingam Tape.

The Prime Minister’s reaction is only valid and justifiable if he had received intimation from Fairuz denying the authenticity of the Lingam Tape as without such a denial from either Lingam or Ahmad Fairuz, Abdullah risks compromising his high office in staking a position which gave full status quo backing to the Chief Justice. Read the rest of this entry »


Rakyat Itu Raja!

By Farish A. Noor

It has, for reasons best known to some, become rather trendy to talk about the restoration of power to the King these days. Looking around the troubled landscape of Malaysia at the moment one does understand how and why the frustration of many could have led them to the conclusion that some higher form of intervention is badly needed at the moment. After all, four years on after the victory of the BN parties at the last polls it would appear as if none of the reform measures promised by the current administration have borne fruit: None of the major corruption cases have been resolved in court; reported incidents of abuse by the police have only increased; there is still talk of racial and religious communitarianism in our midst and the fanciful ego-trips of some politicians have compelled them to reach for the keris again and again in public.

By all accounts, it would appear as if the country has regressed over the years and we seem even closer towards sliding into the deeper morass of religious and racial sectarian politics. As if the divide-and-rule rhetoric of the race-based BN parties was not enough, now we are told that there will be a Muslim workers movement to rival the MTUC, which can only serve to divide the workers of Malaysia along religious sectarian lines even further. This can only add to the weakening of the workers movement in Malaysia, to the benefit of the established powers-that-be whose own divisive sectarian politics have brought us to where we are today.

So indeed, some kind of intervention is timely and badly needed, but from where, and who should be the actors and agents of change here? Read the rest of this entry »