Archive for November 17th, 2008

JHEOA benefited bureaucrats for 50 years but not Orang Asli

I congratulated the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib for getting the nomination for the contest for Umno Deputy President though I remarked that his integrity was questioned by none other than his former boss and former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

(This was what Mahathir said on November 12, 2008 on Mohammad’s successful nomination for the Umno Deputy President contest: “I think there is a lot of hanky panky going on. When you know that someone has a bad history is still getting support, I think that bad history has relevance to his support.”)

This was my preface when seeking clarifications during Muhammad’s winding-up of his Ministry during the 2009 Budget committee stage debate.

Muhammd put up a stoic front and refused to be drawn into responding to Mahathir’s remarks although there was the usual raucous yelling and protests by the UMNO parliamentary jeer-leaders. Read the rest of this entry »



Ronnie Liu charged – third political trial after 308 political tsunami

I was at the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court 3 where DAP Selangor State Exco member Ronnie Liu was charged with a new-fangled offence – abetting in the obstruction of a public officer in the carrying out of his duty without the alleged principal offender being charged.

If convicted, Ronnie will be liable to the penalties of the parent charge of Section 186 of the Penal Code on obstruction of a public officer in carrying out his duties, i.e. RM10,000 fine, two years jail or both. This can lead to forfeiture of Ronnie’s position as Selangor State Assemblyman and Exco member and disqualification from standing for any elective office for five years.

Ronnie’s charge is the third political trial after the March 8 political tsunami, after blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin for criminal defamation and sedition and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy.

Clearly, the Barisan Nasional leaders have neither heard the message nor learn the lessons of the March 8 “political tsunami” which, in the relevant case, is that there should be no more political trials in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


No PAC report on Eurocopter and no PAC investigation into HSBB and BII scandals after more than a month

No Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on its inquiry into the RM1.6 billion Eurocopter deal has been tabled in Parliament today although the PAC Chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid had promised last Wednesday that the PAC report would be ready to be tabled in two or three days.

More than a month had passed since Azmi announced on Oct. 14 that the PAC would investigate into three scandals which had shook Parliament and the country – the Eurcopter helicopter, Bank International Indonesia (BII) and the high speed broadband (HSBB) deals but there has been no inquiry into the latter two apart from a most unsatisfactory inquiry into the first.

This does not reflect well on the chairmanship of PAC by Azmi.

Why is the PAC reluctant to go full-steam to conduct investigations into the propriety, accountability and integrity of the HSBB and BII deals? Read the rest of this entry »


Najib should not leave the country with a RM7 billion “black hole” in 2009 Budget

As the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is leaving for Peru and the United States tomorrow and will not be back until early next month, when the 2009 Budget would have been passed by Parliament, there is one important thing he should do in the next 24 hours before he goes abroad.

Najib should not leave behind a RM7 billion “black hole” in the 2009 Budget and should direct Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Mohd Nor Yakcop to take necessary action to incorporate the economic stimulus package into the 2009 Budget for parliamentary approval.

All over the world, governments are preparing their countries to face the world’s worst economic crisis in 80 years. China has announced a US$586 billion economic stimulus package while South Korea unveiled a US$11 billion stimulus package. In the United States, Congress is working with the Bush Administration to craft a US$700 billion bailout of troubled US banks.

Malaysia, however, is an oddity. Although the government has announced a measly RM7 billion economic stimulus package when winding up the debate on the 2009 Budget on November 4, this RM7 billion economic stimulus package is quite a mirage as it has not been formally presented to Parliament by way of an amendment to the 2009 Budget and is therefore not before Parliament for approval when every sen of government expenditure must be passed by the House. Read the rest of this entry »


Why PM and DPM out of the country at same time this week – breaking 30-yr standing rule?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is in Uzbekistan for a four-day official visit, accompanied by his wife and Cabinet Ministers including Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Senator Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz (both from the Prime Minister’s Department), Datuk Shafie Apdal (Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage) and Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (Higher Education). Abdullah will only return back to office for duty on Friday, 21st November 2008.

Tomorrow, the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will leave with another team of Cabinet Ministers for the 16th Apec Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM) in Lima, Peru, starting this week.

It has been reported that Najib will go ahead to New York from Peru and will only be back home early next month.

This would mean that for at least two days on Wednesday and Thursday, both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister would be out of the country at the same time – which will run counter to the 30-year standing rule or of longer vintage that both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister should not be out of the country at the same.

Why has this standing rule been broken this week? Read the rest of this entry »