Archive for May 3rd, 2008

Time for press freedom reform – although 8 years late

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, should embrace press freedom reform to ensure that the reform measures he has announced on the judiciary and anti-corruption are meaningful and sustainable.

Without a fair and independent media, no reform measures whether to restore public confidence in the independence, impartiality and quality of the judiciary or an all-out battle against corruption can succeed.

When Abdullah first became Home Minister eight years ago, he was presented with a memorandum by Malaysian journalists calling for press freedom reform. He had at that time promised to study the memorandum but nothing has come out of it so far.

The March 8 political tsunami should be a salutary lesson to the Prime Minister that it is time that he embrace press freedom reform although it is eight years late.

The latest press ranking for Malaysia being placed at 141 in the Freedom House survey report on Global Media is another adverse international verdict on the state of the media in Malaysia. Abdullah should use the World Press Freedom Day this year to announce bold measures on press freedom reform especially an end to the annual newspaper licensing requirement as well as the repeal of the Printing Presses and Publications Act.


Lee Hwa Beng to investigate RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal?

by Albert Lim

I refer to YB blog posting dated April 11 regarding abovementioned.

I strongly believe and fear that YB predictions may come true with the appointment of former Subang Jaya state assemblyman, Lee Hwa Beng as Port Klang Chairman, reported today by China Press.

With Lee’s appointment, the transport minister gives an immediate instruction for him to appoint independent auditor to look into PKFZ scandal. Obviously, the transport minister’s instruction is a step in the wrong direction, a step towards a 3rd minister to be marred and tarred.

Again, BN minister has underrated the intelligence of all Malaysians, a lesson not learnt in the aftermath of March 8 political tsunami.

I hope YB Lim will look into the issue again, raise it in Parliament. A very simple action to show Ong Tee Keat’s sincerity in exposing this scandal is by appointing credible persons in the investigation,not Lee Hwa Beng known as ally to former transport minister Ling Liong Sik.


Ning Baizura’s encounter with Penang CM

My attention was drawn to the blog on Malaysian songstress Ning Baizura’s encounter with the Penang Chief Minister, “Have you seen a Chief Minister sit in Economy Class? I have”.

It was independent blogger Zainol Abideen who drew attention to the blog of Guan Eng’s meeting with Ning and her manager, Vernon Kedit Jolly at the KLIA on Wednesday in his blog Mahaguru58.


Liow Tiong Lai, the PHFSA …and warrior mosquitoes

by Suka Jaga Tepi Kain

Thus far the new health minister, Liow Tiong Lai has made two statements regarding the notorious PHFSA (Private Healthcare, Facilities and Services Act). One is that doctors should not own too many clinics as they will not be able to focus on seeing patients (that is if they are still seeing patients) and the other is that of private hospitals overcharging. In today’s Star, the DG, Ismail Merican wrote a letter about how the Ministry used its enforcement resources to track down a “bogus Burmese doctor” who worked with a private hospital following a complaint. Hopefully this complaint was genuine and not borne out of professional jealousy.

This doctor was apparently employed previously by the DG’s own alma mater, University Malaya but became “bogus” when he left their employment. Presumably he or she had MMC registration previously. Could this not have been solved by a simple phone call to the hospital asking them to make certain the doctor renews his registration? Or was this created by the MMC themselves by dilly dallying his registration or worse still being obstructive in not renewing his registration? Or perhaps, what is deemed proper by the University Malaya, is not being deemed proper by the MMC or the MOH?

It is no secret that a great many of the Ministry’s own doctors are treating patients without registration. But the DG has seen it fit to apply Section 31(1) (c) of Act 586 of the PHFSA fastidiously in going after a single doctor who apparently is a bona fide one but is now technically not because his registration was not renewed or perhaps pending renewal. Mercifully no one was prosecuted. Apparently three cases have been prosecuted. Two are awaiting trial and one pleaded guilty. And we all know what happened to that one doctor who pleaded guilty don’t we? Liow should ask this DG, who obviously is still obsessed with this Act, as to what happened to all the promised amendments that he and Chua Soi Lek agreed to? Another broken promise? Tak Tau? Not within his powers? Ask the AG? You see. This is why you lose elections. The MCA just cannot keep its promises simply because it has no control over the pathetic civil service that attempts to run this Ministry. You want to know more. Just ask Chua Jui Meng. Read the rest of this entry »