Archive for November 20th, 2007

Commendable candidates for RCI – Tunku Aziz, Raja Aziz Addruse, Param Cumaraswamy, Yeo Yang Poh and Chooi Mun Sou

I am taken by surprise at the Bernama report quoting the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as saying that the names of candidates for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape and Judiciary will be tabled at tomorrow’s Cabinet.

This is because the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has given Malaysians the impression that the Cabinet tomorrow will decide on the Royal Commission’s terms of reference, while the Cabinet the following week on the composition of the Royal Commission.

Now the whole process of establishing the Royal Commission of Inquiry seems to have been telescoped, without any consultation whatsoever whether on its terms of reference or composition. This is quite ominous.

I had proposed that scholar Prince, Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr. Nazrain Shah will be a very good choice as Chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to restore confidence in the independence and integrity of the judiciary, although the ideal candidate would be Sultan Azlan Shah especially as he was Lord President during the golden era of the Malaysian judiciary a quarter of a century ago.

I had also suggested some names formerly from the judiciary as appropriate members of the Royal Commission, namely fomer Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah, former Court of Appeal judges Datuk Shaikh Daud and Datuk N. H. Chan and former High Court judge and leading Malaysian jurist Datuk Seri Visu Sinnadurai.

Today, I wish to propose some names from the legal and non-legal circles who will be regarded by all sectors of Malaysian society as eminently qualified to serve on the Royal Commission which must play a critical role to restore national and interenational confidence in the independence and integrity of the judiciary after almost two decades of ravages and degradation, viz: Read the rest of this entry »


RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – Chan Kong Choy on-the-run to London to escape further parliamentary scrutiny

I was surprised to read a Bernama report last night that the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy has left for London to attend the 25th International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Assembly and will not be back until later next week.

My immediate reaction is that the Transport Minister is on-the-run from Parliament to escape accountability for the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal, as the committee stage debate on the Transport Ministry for the 2008 Budget is scheduled for this Thursday or latest by Monday — when Chan will still be in London.

This is most irresponsible, as Chan knows that the PKFZ scandal will feature prominently in the debate on the Transport Ministry as for the past three months of the parliamentary meeting, no satisfactory answer had been given to the many issues and questions which I had raised repeatedly about the PKFZ scandal.

In fact, last Monday in Parliament during the committee stage debate on the Finance Ministry, I had posed the specific question as to why the government was “on-the-run” on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal.

I had protested that government ministers were kicking the issue of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal from one Ministry to another, evading accountability by refusing to give a direct answer to many pertinent questions which I had posed — with the ball being kicked among the Prime Minister’s Department, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport with no one wanting to give a proper answer.

I had even simplified the questions on the PKFZ scandal which cry out for answer, viz: Read the rest of this entry »


Shame of MIC MP challenging a woman DAP MP to “fight” outside Chamber – first time in Parliament in 50 years

Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment Datuk S. Sothinathan should be thoroughly ashamed of himself and apologise for challenging a woman DAP MP, Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah) to a fight outside the Chamber yesterday during the winding-up of the 2008 Budget committee debate on his Ministry, when he was completely flustered and unable to reply in an exchange with DAP MPs. The shameful conduct of Sothinathan is the first time in 50 years of Parliament in Malaysia.

The fracas took place yesterday when he made a baseless charge against me when I raised the widespread opposition of the people of Kedah to the unfair, arbitrary and illegal increases of quit rent in the state.

Earlier during the debate, I had informed Parliament that 120,000 signatures regardless of race, religion and political beliefs, protesting against the unfair Kedah quit land increases was presented to the Kedah State Government on Sunday, and that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment which has responsibility for co-ordination of land policy, should ensure that the Kedah State Government is more responsible and responsive on the issue.

When the signature campaign opposing the Kedah quit land revision was launched by the Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall on 23rd May 2007 after a year of fruitless protests, there were those who ridiculed the campaign as unlikely to collect even a thousand signatures.

However, within two weeks it collected over 30,000 signatures while in less than six months, there were 120,000 signatures from all races and religions, reflecting the widespread opposition to the unfair, arbitrary and illegal quit land revision in the Kedah state.

The main objections of the Kedah people to the quit land revision were two: Read the rest of this entry »


NEP and brain-drain of accountants

by C H Tan

Can you also address the brain drain within the accounting profession?

We witness in recent years unprecedented outflow of qualified accountants to cities such as New York, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, San Francisco, etc. This has exarcebated the already-bad-enough exodus across the Causeway. My take is that the main pull factor is the remuneration within the profession in these cities, but I can’t help to think that these opportunities to venture abroad and leave Malaysia (plus the NEP of course) are too good to turn down.

I know most of these beancounters, myself included, have to foresake family and friends in Malaysia for a better career prospect, not only for themselves, but for their children, and children’s children.

Personally, I have lived through the system myself. STPM, fighting for a place in the accounting faculty in University of Malaya, racial polarisation in residential colleges, etc. I have witnessed that at least a good 50% of my fellow coursemates who have packed their backs and moved abroad for a better pay package and hopefully a better quality of life too.

Nonetheless, there is a general consensus amongst us that we still long for a place call home. Being born and bred this country, there is no other cities and country closer to our hearts than our respective hometowns and Malaysia herself. Read the rest of this entry »