Archive for June, 2010

MACC cancels London interview with PI Bala

By Aidila Razak | Malaysiakini

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will not record the statement of private investigator P Balasubramaniam in London after all.

Instead, it will submit questions to his lawyers and request that the witness responds in the form of an affidavit, MACC deputy commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull told a press conference today.

“We will write to the witness’ lawyers tomorrow to inform them of the decision, and to submit the questions,” he said.

He said that the decision was made upon advice from the attorney-general’s chambers, after considering the Eric Chia case where a witness statement recorded overseas was not allowed to be tendered as evidence in the corruption trial.

According to MACC Legal and Prosecution Director Abdul Razak Musa, the decision not to record Balasubramaniam’s statement was also influenced by decisions on Thai pathologist Pornthip Rojanasunand’s testimony in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest.
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Forum: Kemelaratan Rakyat Sabah di Lembah Kelang

Forum: Kemelaratan Rakyat Sabah di Lembah Kelang; Tempat: Perpustakaan Komuniti Petaling Jaya; Tarikh: 4 Julai 2010 (Ahad); Masa: 2 petang; Pertanyaan: 03-79578022 016-6907580
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Can Malaysia escape a trap of its own making?

By Peter Drysdale | East Asia Forum

Malaysia’s recently presented New Economic Model is, on paper, a hugely ambitious strategy for changing the country’s economic and social direction and, hopefully, its economic and political fortunes.

The government of Prime Minister Najib seems inclined to embrace its principles and try to forge a new direction in Malaysian economic and social policy. In the 1980s Malaysia was among the brightest stars in the Southeast Asian economy, with growth around 8 per cent a year and a huge transformation away from its comfortable plantation and minerals past towards a new industrial future, driven by foreign investment and rapidly growing exports of consumer electronics to regional and global markets. Mahathir reigned supreme, dispensing patronage and securing UMNO’s political base under the camouflage of the long-established New Economic Policy, put in place after the racial disturbances of the late 1960s to lift up the bumiputera Malay population and in the process embedding race-based politics into the fabric of political culture.
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PKFZ: ‘Gov’t will pay RM700mil to bondholders’

By Christine Chan | Malaysiakini

Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri has given an assurance that the government will pay what is due to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bondholders.

“We have a commitment to the bondholders, therefore we have to fulfill it,” he told the House today, when winding up matters relating to the ministry in the 10th Malaysia Plan.

He was replying Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) who had asked whether Port Klang Authority (PKA) would make any payments to PKFZ turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), given the legal dispute between them.

PKA is due to pay RM723 million to the bondholders tomorrow, akthough it has taken KDSB to court for alleged overcharging.

The Internal Revenue Board (IRB), Lim noted further, has also asked PKA to pay RM328 million owed by KDSB in alleged backdated taxes.
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Court orders water documents revealed

Hafiz Yatim
Jun 28, 10

The federal government has seven days to disclose the contents of the audit report and water concession agreement entered between it, the Selangor government and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas).

This follows a landmark ruling at the High Court today allowing the documents – which were classified by the government as being under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) – to be made public.

The decision was made by judicial commissioner Hadhariah Syed Ismail, who ruled the government’s refusal to disclose the reports did not consider the expectation of members of the public who are adversely affected by the decision. Read the rest of this entry »


Gambling: It’s in Malaysia’s genes

by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
Centre for Policy Initiatives
27 June 2010

Life as a gamble

The cabinet decision not to issue a sports betting licence to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd is the right one but it was made for the wrong reasons. According to prime minister Najib Razak, the reason for not legalizing sports betting was “the impact it will have from the perspective of religion and politics.”

To get a proper perspective of the issue, it is necessary to get off the religious and political high horse and acknowledge that we are a nation that loves the occasional flutter. And also let us admit that there’s nothing wrong with gambling so long as it is not taken to extreme lengths and becomes a pathological, compulsive or destructive habit.

In a sense, all of life and the various decisions that we make are gambles. Although it may be too much to say that we all have gambling in our genes, scientists have been debating on the extent to which gambling is a manifestation of human behavior for a long time – at least during the last 200 years or so. Read the rest of this entry »


UMNO’s Opportunistic Ulama

by M. Bakri Musa

Like his predecessors Abdullah Badawi and Dr. Mahathir, Prime Minister Najib Razak endlessly proclaims Malaysia to be an Islamic state. Now with 40 young ulama joining the party, Najib must feel that his assertion to be the truth. He could not be more wrong.

Yes, ulama play a central role in an Islamic state. In his book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, Noah Feldman attributed the longevity and eminence of earlier Islamic states to the critical role of the ulama and scholars.

The Islamic governing principle is simple. Rulers are to govern according to God’s law, as stated in the Quran and elaborated in the hadith (sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w.). The central tenet is, “Command good and forbid evil!” As long as the ruler fulfills this obligation, his power and authority are legitimate and deemed divinely-sanctioned.

It was a tribute to their political skills and intellectual prowess that those early scholars were able to formulate from the Quran and hadith a set of laws – the Shari’a – that today still governs the everyday lives of Muslims, even those not living in Islamic states. At its time the Shari’a represented a quantum leap in the recognition of basic human dignity and rights. As Feldman noted, “For most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world.”

The central precept of the Shari’a is that all, rulers and the ruled alike, are governed by it. No one, not even the sultan, is exempted. That is the rule of law at its core.

The ulama’s other major contribution was that they exerted the necessary checks and balances on the powers of the rulers. It was the scholars, not the rulers, who determined what was “good” or “evil.” A ruler had to abide by the decisions of the ulama, for not doing so would mean deviating from God’s law, a sure route towards de-legitimatizing the ruler’s authority.

These two central elements (fidelity to the rule of law and institutionalized checks and balances on the powers of the rulers by the ulama) accounted for the remarkable success and endurance of those early Islamic states. Read the rest of this entry »


Would new Transport Minister support Port Klang Authority in withholding the next payment of RM772 million to KDSB turnkey contractor for the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ)?

Would the new Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Kang Cho Ha support Port Klang Authority (PKA) in withholding the next payment of RM772 million next month to Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd. (KDSB) the turnkey contractor to Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ)?

In September 2007, I was given the schedule of repayments by PKA to KDSB for RM4.6 billion from 2007 to 2017 in connection with bonds raised by KDSB and which plunged the country into the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.

The schedule of repayments as reported to Parliament by the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Ministry, Datuk Seri Dr. Helmi bin Yahya stipulates the following repayments to KDSB:

Year Amount (millions)

2007 RM510
2008 RM660
2009 RM660
2010 RM772
2011 RM487
2012 RM733
2013 RM170
2014 RM170
2015 RM170
2016 RM170
2017 RM179
Total` RM4,681

PKA has repaid KDSB RM1.83 billion from 2007 to 2009 and is scheduled to repay the RM772 million due this year in four parts between June 30 to July 31. Read the rest of this entry »


Political Parties Race To Register New And Young Voters

June 27, 2010
By Alan Ting

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 (Bernama) — With more than four million eligible voters yet to be registered, political parties are now in a hurry to get them on the electoral rolls ahead of the next general election due in 2013.

Most of them are young Malaysians who have reached 21 years and are eligible to become voters but many have not done so as they usually do not bother to register.

Malaysia currently has 11 million registered voters out of a population of about 27 million.

Political analyst Ong Kian Ming said overall, between 25 and 30 per cent of Malaysian voters are expected to be below 35 years old by the next general election.

“This is significant when one considers the larger number of unregistered but eligible voters in Malaysia. There would also be two million Malaysians who would be eligible to vote for the first time in the next elections.

“This is in addition to the four million eligible voters, many believed to be under 30 years old, who did not register in time for the March 8, 2008 polls. In total, we are talking about six million potential voters who are most likely, to be opinionated, Internet-savvy and idealistic,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »


Sports betting: Guan Eng wants MCA, MIC to apologise

Sat, 26 Jun 2010
By Hawkeye

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is demanding an apology from MCA and MIC over the latter’s apparent move to roundly criticised him over Penang’s contentious decision to ban sports betting.

The retraction by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had liberated Pakatan Rakyat which had earlier condemned the move to legalise sports betting and took action when Penang and Selangor ban any gaming outlets from offering betting packages.

He said that he together with Pakatan became victims of baseless and wild accusations when Penang was the first state to ban sports betting.

With Najib’s decision, “it is only fair that the detractors such as MCA and MIC apologise to the Penang government including me”, Lim said. Read the rest of this entry »


First, DPM Muhyiddin should tell us what is going wrong in our education system?

by N K Khoo

Many Malaysia generations are made guinea pigs by our flip-flopping
education policies after independence such as teaching medium from
English to Malay, 3M, bahasa Malaysia to bahasa Melayu, teaching maths
and science in English and vice versa, SRP to UPSR, grading system,

The trend is when a new education minister clinches to this important
post, they will propose new policies hastily. No doubt change is
constant for us to keep abreast the outside world. But we have to know
the problem first before proposing a change of policy or solution.

I have a question to DPM Muhyiddin and his Education Ministry, what
are the actual problems in our education system before you simply
throw a proposal (a bomb!) to public members. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP wants parliamentary probe on Najib’s Sibu ‘promises’

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | The Malaysian Insider
June 24, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 —The DAP demanded today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak be referred to the parliamentary rights and privileges committee over “inconsistencies” concerning money promised by the prime minister during the recent Sibu by-election campaign.

“Najib, through a written reply yesterday to Sibu MP Wong Ho Leng and Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chien Jien, had said that the government had not promised any projects to Sibu folk during the by-election in Sibu.

“This is a clear lie. We have the recording on Youtube, which has now attracted over 90,000 views. It shows Najib, during a speech in Rejang Park, promising RM5 million if people voted for BN,” said Chong.

During a last-minute pitch on the eve of the by-election, Najib announced an allocation of RM5 million for flood-mitigation projects in Rejang Park provided the BN candidate was elected.
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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #20

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 3: Lessons From The Past

The Meiji Restoration

Japan of the 18th Century was a feudal society ruled by a series of territorial warlords, the shoguns. The society was also rigidly stratified, with the samurai or warrior class on top, followed by peasants, artisans and, way at the bottom, the merchants. Surprisingly the peasants were regarded higher than the merchants because those peasants, being farmers, at least produced something useful and tangible.

The foreign missionaries that had come to Japan were preaching to an increasingly receptive mass, a development that threatened the established social order. The Japanese were only too aware that in nearby countries, in particular China, the foreigners were becoming very assertive. The shoguns rightly viewed the mounting activities of foreigners around and within Japan with increasing alacrity.
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Early Polls: Will the winds of change finally blow in Sarawak?

Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat leaders are raring to go in Sarawak, where there is red-hot speculation that snap state elections will be held in July.

“Today, there is a news report of another BN meeting this weekend. Last week, there was also a whole day meeting. This is a sure sign for an early election,” Bukit Assek assemblyman and newly-elected Sibu MP Wong Ho Leng told Malaysia Chronicle.

Ironically, it was Wong’s shock victory in Sibu last month that convinced many pundits to change their forecast of a July state-polls to early 2011.

Salvaging an eroding support base

The buzz on the grapevine was that long-serving but unpopular Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud had agreed with Prime Minister Najib Razak to hold the 10th Sarawak state elections at the same time as the 13th general election for the entire nation.
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MACC gets a dirty dozen sacked in 2009

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Only 12 out of the estimated 1.2 million civil servants were sacked rather than disciplined in 2009 in graft-related cases investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in its first year of operations.

According to documents made available to The Malaysian Insider, the MACC had forwarded 235 reports to the heads of government departments and agencies for disciplinary action in 2009.

However the MACC received feedback for only 182 cases, of which 90 or 49 per cent were given administrative warning.

And only 12 or 6.6 per cent of the public officials under probe were dismissed in 2009 although the MACC’s prosecution unit had sought disciplinary action be taken against the perpetrators.

MACC had also recommended that the government take a more proactive approach in its crusade against any breach of conduct in the country’s bloated public service.
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Tenth Malaysia Plan: Long Live NEP – RIP NEM

The signature theme of Datuk Seri Najib Razak on his accession as Prime Minister in April last year was the national transformation of Malaysia, which is anchored on four critical pillars:

  • 1st pillar: “1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now” concept to unite Malaysians.

  • 2nd pillar: the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) to deliver the outcomes defined under the National Key Result Areas (NKRAs).

  • 3rd pillar: the New Economic Model (NEM) resulting from the ambitious Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to transform Malaysia by 2020 into a developed, competitive and high income economy with inclusivity and sustainability.

  • 4th pillar; the 10th Malaysia Plan 2011-2015 as the first policy operationalisation of both the government and economic transformation programme.

The Prime Minister unveiled the New Economic Model on 30th March and the presented the Tenth Malaysia Plan in Parliament on 10th June. A sea-change took place in the intervening two months, with Najib retreating from his national transformation programme when he succumbed to pressures from extremist groups making baseless and incendiary claims such as that the Malays are under siege and that the Chinese would take over the economy and country.
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Melayu Bangkit, Cerdek, And Celek!

(Malays Awake, Smart, and Eyes Open!)
By M. Bakri Musa

It is commendable that Gertak, the Malay NGO, would have as its mission Melayu Bangkit (to awaken Malays). It should go further and ensure that we Malays are also cerdek (smart), and celek! (eyes wide open!) That would ensure that we would not be forever pelek (puzzled), unable to comprehend events around us and be left behind.

It is not enough for Malays to be awake, for if we still keep our eyes closed (even if we close only one eye!), then we might as well go back to sleep. At least then we could benefit from its recuperative powers. And if we are awake and have our eyes wide open but we remain dumb (not cerdek), that would be no improvement either.

Once we are bangkit, cerdik and celek, only then would Ketuanan Melayu be a reality, and not as now, merely a hollow slogan. Then Article 153 of our constitution would no longer be contentious as it would be of interest only to historians, as its provisions would have become irrelevant.
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PJ’s University Hospital – A Traffic Disaster

by ROAD 10

Have you been to the University Hospital recently? If you haven’t, try it and join the jam and queue which stretches out to its traffic-light junction entrance at Jalan University. And God help you if you have a loved one or friend with a smashed leg or heart attack. If you are indeed at that junction and stuck in the jam, you might just as well read out the last rites as there is a large likelihood of the patient going up to meeting God directly from that traffic junction itself. No way will you be able to approach its oddly built and placed Accidents and Emergency Unit (the signboard mysteriously mentions Trauma but the building itself looks like a giant car park).

The University Hospital or now glamorously termed University Malaya Medical Center has an infrastructure and layout that is well…for a lack of a better term…truly cocked up. For those who are old enough to remember the early years of this Hospital when even the Jalan Gasing/ Federal Highway intersection at EPF was nothing more then a traffic light junction instead of an interchange, this hospital used to be numero uno in its almost ergonomic layout for especially the general public and patients. Whoever the original founders and designers were, they had paid great attention to detail and many a time all that we PJ residents had to do when there was an emergency was just drive up directly to its A&E Department located just after the traffic lights.
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Ku Li on corruption and Exocet missiles

Below is an extract of the speech by Umno veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at the launch of ‘The Shafee Yahaya Story – Estate Boy to ACA Chief’, a book written by Shafee’s wife Kalsom Taib.

The word ‘corruption’ comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to break’ or ‘to destroy’. Corruption is a cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fibre, and destroys trust.

Although corruption exists in both the private and public sector, the corruption of the public sector is a more fundamental evil. This is because the public sector is the enforcer and arbiter of the rules that hold us together, the custodians of our common resources.

It is time we recognise corruption as the single biggest threat to our nation. In our economy, corruption is the root of our inability to make the economic leap that we know we are capable of. There is no other reason why a country so blessed with natural resources, a favourable climate and such immense talent should not have done a lot better than we have.
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SIME DARBY: A Conglomerate Gone Awry

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

There is a place for conglomerates in the business world. However, as with everything else, some are good, but mostly they invariably become unwieldy and difficult to manage effectively. Many come unstuck, leaving behind a trail of miserable examples of management failures, human greed and frailties. As always, there is a lot of cleaning up to do after the party is over. The sad truth is that we do not as yet have what it takes to run a complex business successfully, and a conglomerate is hellishly difficult to keep on a straight course because the temptation to wander off into the unfamiliar is often irresistible, and most conglomerates find themselves up a creek.

There have been many instances of major failures in the Sime stables. There was the case of the insurance business in the UK in the eighties, a member of Lloyds, which was in such a bad shape because of mismanagement that it had to be bundled with a very profitable money broking company into an attractive package and sold for a song. Sime Darby naturally had to be responsible for all the liabilities resulting from claims on policies transacted up to the time of the sale of the company. For the next several years after the sale of the company to the new owners, Sime Darby continued to send out to the UK enormous sums of money to cover the claims.
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