Archive for February, 2012

DAP calls for PSC on Lynas plant

by Nigel Aw
Feb 26, 2012

DAP has called on the federal government to form a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe the safety of the RM700 million Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Party vice-chief Tan Seng Giaw (right) said the federal government should do so as it had called for a PSC on electoral reforms immediately after the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 last year.

“Like the Bersih 2.0 rally, the government set up a parliamentary select committee so this should be the case (for Himpunan Hijau 2.0), a parliamentary select committee should look into Lynas,” he said.

Tan said the government must take heed of the people’s concerns and review decision to allow Lynas to operate in Malaysia, by taking into consideration of the effects caused by the now defunct Bukit Merah rare-earth refinery in Perak. Read the rest of this entry »


Another cock-and-bull story from Mahathir

Kee Thuan Chye | Feb 25, 2012


Dr Mahathir Mohamad should talk straight or just shut up.

Whenever he rebuts allegations of wrongdoing during his tenure as prime minister, he appears to sound not only defensive but deceptive as well.

Now he says the government’s bailout of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) in 2000, during his premiership, was “not the worst”. What does that mean? Is he saying that the bailout was all right simply because it was not the worst?

If he is still of sound mind and can understand this, let me say it is not all right. So what if it was not the worst act of using public funds? It was nonetheless committed. Should only the worst be held accountable?

That bailout cost Malaysians RM1.8 billion. And the government paid for the MAS shares at more than double their market price. Why was this so?

Well, Mahathir has become famous for blaming others; this time, he points to the Finance Ministry – for recommending the purchase at such a price. Has he forgotten he was the country’s chief executive officer then, and that it wouldn’t have gone through without his say-so, no matter which ministry or individual recommended it? Read the rest of this entry »


Lynas: Long-term public relations nightmare

— by Strategia
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 25, 2012

FEB 25 — It all began many years ago with MIDA (MITI) that reportedly lured and attracted this controversial polluting Lynas rare earth industry to Malaysian shores. Apparently, some promises have been made.

Then the fiasco began. Firstly, the fast-tracked approval of the sloppy PEIA by the DoE. The RIA was not even completed then. Secondly, only upon public outcries was the quietly approved and equally sloppy RIA was made available to the public by AELB. Note that the PEIA and RIA are not up to international best practices and standards, showing clear deficiencies. More public outcry over the poor governance and the regulatory bodies’ substandard competency. The government had to invite an international review panel from the IAEA to quell public anger over Lynas. The IAEA panel put forth a slew of recommendations for Lynas as well as for the Malaysian government’s regulatory bodies — showing up their deficiencies.

What a public relations nightmare for both Lynas and the incompetent Malaysian regulatory bodies!

Then, more fiasco. Read the rest of this entry »


Loan agreement shows NFCorp broke terms, says Pua

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 25, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — DAP MP Tony Pua today revealed the loan agreement signed by the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), which he claimed proved the company had violated conditions attached to the RM250 million facility.

The DAP publicity chief pointed out that Clause 3 of the agreement clearly states that the federal loan should be used to “part finance the project as described in the First Schedule of this agreement”.

The First Schedule states that use of the loan must be “consistent with the government of Malaysia’s policy of developing, promoting and nurturing the production of beef and beef products through the National Feedlot Centre as a centre for commercial and integrated cattle feedlot”.

“It cannot be more obvious. Use of the funds can only strictly be used to part finance the setting up of the centre and nothing else,” Pua told reporters at DAP headquarters here.

“So all the claims made by the executives and directors of NFCorp that they can use the money for anything is complete rubbish.” Read the rest of this entry »


Najib – is RM589 million out-of-court settlement of Tajudin Ramli’s debts proof Malaysians today are still paying for RM100 billion Mahathir financial scandals?

Malaysians are entitled to a frank and honest answer from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak whether the RM580 million out-of-court settlement of Tajudin Ramli’s debts is proof that Malaysians today are still paying for the RM100 billion financial scandals perpetrated in the 22 years Tun Dr. Mahathir was the Prime Minister. And if so, they want to know of other such instances.

More and more Malaysians are asking this question as there is total lack of transparency, accounting, explanation or details for the RM580 million out-of-court settlement with government-linked corporations (GLCS), raising the question whether the Barisan Nasional government has achieved another entry in the Guinness Book of Records in being the first government in the world to surrender a court judgment for RM580 million.

One big controversy among Malaysians today is who is to be believed, Mahathir or Tajudin Ramli about the “double bail-out” of MAS. Read the rest of this entry »


What every Malaysian needs to know about ‘race’ (Part 3): Distorted reasoning — or thinking ‘bamboozled’ by language

By Clive Kessler | February 25, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

FEB 25 — The word bangsa in modern Malaysian usage is semantically overworked. It serves to convey a number of related but different meanings.

Whatever advantages of economy and compression of thought and expression this “semantic condensation” may provide, it carries with it enormous dangers.

In its preceding parts, this extended discussion has explored the “folding” of those various meanings into that overworked, overburdened, and hence multiply ambiguous idea, or concept, of bangsa.

That disaggregation and “deconstruction” was offered for a most serious purpose: to serve as a warning of the great risks of confusion — of the distorted understanding and communication — that lie in wait whenever the term bangsa is less than thoughtfully used.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Perhaps Lynas should turn back

— Tay Tian Yan
The Malaysian Insider
February 24, 2012

Feb 24 — I recently met director Tan Chui Mui. She told me she had moved her studio from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

KL is too small in the world of film-making; Beijing is somewhat larger.

Tan needs a bigger space to develop her career and fulfil her dreams.

She has won several awards in international film festivals. She is so young and there are lots of potentials she could exploit outside the country.

She does come back to her native Kuantan every now and then, not so much for making a movie, but for her hometown.

Lynas Corp plans to set up a massive rare earth refinery plant in Kuantan, and Putrajaya has issued a conditional temporary licence to the Australia-based firm. Read the rest of this entry »


Tell us everything, Najib

— Sam Peh
The Malaysian Insider
February 25, 2012

FEB 25 — Once again, Prime Minister Najib Razak disappoints with a ridiculous statement, aimed at absolving Mahathir Mohamad, the champion of double-speak.

Najib said that the government will consider releasing correspondence between Mahathir and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak, to show that Mahathir did not soften Malaysia’s stance on Palestine.

Obviously, Najib wants to do that because otherwise his statement against Anwar Ibrahim for saying in an interview that the security of Israel should be guaranteed unmasked him as Jew sympathiser would be hypocritical. It is also possible that since Mahathir seems to be running the country, Najib has really no choice.

I suggest that since Najib is on disclosure mode, he also consider revealing facts that are far more important to Malaysians such as:

1) The confidential agreement between Danaharta and Tajudin Ramli which allowed the favoured businessman to stop paying RM590 million to the government agency. Can you imagine any government giving up a court award of RM590 million? Read the rest of this entry »


Najib says Sabah RCI still ‘under consideration’

Abdul Rahim Sabri
Feb 24, 2012

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has apparently refuted claims that a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on the alleged citizenship-for-votes scam in Sabah had already been approved.

“We are considering it,” said Najib in a curt reply to a question on whether the RCI would be established after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting last night.

Najib’s response came as a surprise as high-profile Sabah BN leaders had claimed that cabinet had approved the establishment of the RCI on Feb 8. Read the rest of this entry »


Time for a full audit and accounting of the RM100 billion losses in the financial scandals of the 22-year Mahathir premiership

Malaysians are shocked and outraged by the cynical comment of former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who sought justification for the government’s bail out MAS which resulted in a loss of public funds on the specious ground that there were worse cases of bailouts after he stood down.

As example, he alleged that his successor Tun Abdullah lost about RM8 billion when he cancelled the double tracking and electrification project between Johor Baru and Padang Besar.

This is the classic perverse Mahathirish illogic that could righteously argue that so long as there is a greater financial scandal in later administrations under his successor-Prime Ministers, there is no need for him to feel remorse, guilt or responsibility for the colossal loss of public funds or for the lack of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance with regard to the earlier financial scandals under his watch.

This is completely unacceptable.
Read the rest of this entry »


A plea for unity

— Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 24, 2012

FEB 24 — I am indeed honoured to have been invited to speak to all of you gathered here this morning on a subject of great importance for the continued preservation and survival of our nation.

As all of you are aware, our nation became free from the fetters of colonial domination about five-and-a-half decades ago.

Sadly and strangely, after 55 years of independence, I think we are farther apart now than we have ever been before. Read the rest of this entry »


Stateless Indians gain right to be buried as Malaysians!

— P. Ramakrishnan
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 24, 2012

FEB 24 — The plight of ignorant and uneducated Indians is legendary and deserves sympathy and compassion. From a humanitarian point of view, a caring and compassionate government would have rendered services to relieve them of their misery. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in Malaysia.

For various compelling reasons these deprived poor Indians had failed to secure an identity card and were unable to register the birth of their children. Those working in rubber estates and oil palm plantations and those struggling to survive in slum areas never understood the requirements of the law or the implications of non-compliance of the law.

Under such circumstances, they had failed to observe the law. This unfortunate situation condemned them to a pathetic stateless misery for decades. These are the people, born and bred in Malaysia, who remain as stateless persons forced to suffer the indignities of poverty and endure the misery inflicted on them by an uncaring and unsympathetic government. Read the rest of this entry »


Something’s rotten in Kuantan

— Sam Peh
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 23, 2012

FEB 23 — Now let me get this straight: The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB)) need not worry what the international community or investors think about getting Lynas out of Malaysia.

It only think about Malaysians — the same chaps who pay the salaries of Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan and other civil servants. According to the director-general of Lynas, he only goes by the facts.

So do I. The facts are that AELB has given Lynas a temporary operating licence and allowed them to put up a multimillion ringgit plant without a long-term plan for the disposal of toxic waste.

No company in the WORLD has devised a foolproof storage system and to think that some company from Australia has achieved a world breakthrough in storage is a joke. And to think that they have been given a temporary operating licence. Read the rest of this entry »


Budaya vandalisma semakin berkembang

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 23, 2012

23 FEB — Apabila terfikir kembali tentang isu penyenaraian FELDA, saya tidak dapat melihat apa kah sebabnya yang kerajaan mahukan penyenaraian ini dilakukan dalam apa juga keadaannya. Saya tidak faham kenapa setiap badan-badan serta agensi kerajaan yang maju sentiasa berakhir dengan kerosakan.

Dulu MAS merupakan sebuah syarikat penerbangan yang premium jika berbanding dengan syarikat-syarikat penerbangan lain di dunia ini. Oleh kerana MAS begitu berjaya di bawah pengurusan Saw Huat Lai dan kemudiannya dikembangkan lagi oleh Tan Sri Aziz Abd Rahman maka setiap mata mereka yang meleleh air liur telah menjualkannya kepada Tajuddin Ramli. Sejak penyerahan MAS kepada Tajudin Ramli, MAS telah menjadi apa yang kita lihat pada hari ini.

MAS mengalami kerugian sehinggakan kerajaan terpaksa melakukan “bail-out” dengan membeli kembali saham-saham syarikat itu dengan harga yang sama yang dijual kepada Tajudin sebelumnya. Kerugian yang dialami oleh MAS begitu besar sehinggakan MAS tidak lagi boleh bangun sampai ke hari ini. Read the rest of this entry »


My debate transcript

— Lim Guan Eng
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 23, 2012

FEB 23 — First of all, I would like to thank the organisers for this live televised debate. Televised debates mark a new chapter in Malaysian political democracy because it is an important element in the democratisation process. I hope that from today onwards, televised debates will be a common phenomenon in the Malaysian democratic system just like in Europe and the United States.

Thus, I believe what Malaysians really want to see is a debate between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to see who really deserves to be prime minister. Whoever isn’t brave enough to debate, don’t hope to think of becoming prime minister.

Chua Soi Lek suggested that DAP is being used by PAS. If we observe Umno amongst the Malays, Umno claims that PAS is being used by DAP. Therefore, I believe this self-contradictory statement is a dirty tactic employed by BN. I wish to stress here that Pakatan Rakyat component parties, be it PAS, PKR or DAP, we never use each other. We are only prepared to be “used” by the people! At the same time, we are also not anti-Malay or even anti-non-Malay; we are merely against a government that is riddled with corruption! Read the rest of this entry »


Mahathir should not try to wriggle out of his responsibility to the nation to account for the MAS scandal reducing in less than a decade one of the continent’s top-fliers into the sick man of the airline industry

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should not try to wriggle out of his responsibility to the nation to account for the Malaysian Airline System (MAS) scandal, reducing in less than a decade one of the continent’s top-fliers into the sick man of the airline industry.

Mahathir was too fast off-the-mark when he dismissed Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s call that he “write a book” on why MAS was privatised to Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli in 1994, claiming that he was not in charge of the loss-making national carrier.

Mahathir is trying to re-write the history of his 22 years as Prime Minister to make Malaysians believe that he was a very “blur blur” Prime Minister who did not know what was going on in the various Ministries under him – not only disclaiming responsibility for the worst judicial crisis in the nation’s history with the sacking of the Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas and two Supreme Court judges, Tan Sri Sulaiman Pawanteh and Datuk George Seah; the darkest period of human rights violations with the Internal Security Act mass arrests under Operation Lalang but also the series of financial scandals under his watch including the MAS debacle.
Read the rest of this entry »


Sabah RCI confirmed, scope to be finalised soon, says BN source

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 23, 2012

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 23 — Putrajaya is finalising the terms of reference for the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the problem of illegals in Sabah, a state Barisan Nasional (BN) leader has confirmed, dispelling rumours that Datuk Seri Najib Razak had backtracked on the highly-anticipated decision.

The Malaysian Insider was informed that the only reason why the prime minister had not announced the RCI during his visit here last week was to allow for further input from Sabah BN component parties and the state government in the panel’s terms of reference and composition.

Claiming to have sighted the minutes of the Cabinet meeting, the leader confirmed that federal ministers had agreed to the formation of the RCI on February 8 and had tasked Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz to co-ordinate the scope of the RCI investigation.

At the Cabinet’s last meeting on Wednesday, February 15, a day before Najib’s Sabah trip, Nazri tabled a rough draft of the RCI’s terms of reference for discussion, the leader said.

“It was discussed but the terms of reference were not finalised because Cabinet wanted input from Sabah BN parties and the state government.

“And for that (reason), despite the huge expectation that the PM would announce the RCI on February 16, he was simply not ready to announce it,” the BN leader told The Malaysian Insider yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »


Lim should have said PAS never killed a Mongolian

YOURSAY Malaysiakini
Feb 23, 2012

YOURSAY ‘By right, it’s Umno which should be upset over Guan Eng’s remark. But then again, MCA as always is doing Umno’s dirty job.’

Police report on Penang CM’s alleged racist remark

Boiling Mud: Selangor MCA’s public and services complaints bureau deputy chief Alan Liew said the Chinese community did not understand the true meaning of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s remark and was worried that the latter was playing on racial issue.

Liew, please do not play up racial discord when there was none to begin with regarding the said remark. And most importantly, kindly refrain from citing the Chinese community for whatever political agenda you may have.

Given the shift in the political landscape, I certainly doubt the Chinese community considers MCA as their representative. Can’t the MCA leaders get this simple fact right? Read the rest of this entry »


NFCorp directors in the dark

R. Nadeswaran
[email protected]
23 February 2012

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23, 2012): The National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) bought luxury condominiums without the approval of the board of directors. Three government representatives who sit on the board were not consulted or told about the purchase.

Alias Mohd Yassin and Manaf Hussein represented the Agriculture and Finance Ministries respectively while Datuk Mat Ali Hassan was appointed by virtue of him being the Negri Sembilan state secretary.

These appointments were made to “safeguard the interests of the federal government and stakeholders and the state government as it provided the land.”

“At no time were these directors told of the purchase of the condominiums and other so-called investments and neither were they aware of it until the matter was reported in the media,” a source close to the investigations said. Read the rest of this entry »


Waging a jihad for ‘Malay interests’?

By Dr Mustafa K Anuar, honorary secretary of Aliran

Taking on Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria, Mustafa K Anuar points out that it is certain actions by Muslim politicians and bureaucrats – their involvement in corruption, for instance – that are actually smearing the image of Islam.

Controversial Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria called on Muslims (possibly, in this context, only to be read as Malays) to go on a jihad to defend Islam, Malays and the institution of the Malay Rulers, which, apparently to him, are under siege.

The basic question that begs to be asked here is, are Islam, the Malays and the institution of the Malay Rulers indeed under severe threat (presumably by the “Others”?) that it merits a jihad of sorts? Are there still instances of economic injustice among some Malays? If it is true that these Malays are economically worse off, then it begs the question why? What has the BN government been doing ever since it came to power more than 50 years ago? Why has there been increasing income disparity within the Malay community itself, let alone the economic disparity between ethnic groups?
Read the rest of this entry »