Archive for March 11th, 2012

Lynas: Why in Malaysia, not in Australia?

— Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 11, 2012

MARCH 11 — Previously I said that the root cause of the Lynas controversy is our ‘need’ for things that need rare earths. These things include cellphones, disk drives and television sets. I also said that China supplies over 95 per cent of the world demand for rare earths, and that the Lynas plant could supply up to 35 per cent of world demand.

I added that the attitude of the government of Malaysia toward its citizens is less like that of the government of Australia and more like that of the government of China. Much of what I said was sparked by the observation that Lynas has chosen to do something which seems rather strange to those who remember tin mining.

Malaysia was at one time teeming with tin mines. The tin was dug up, processed into high purity ingots and shipped worldwide. We didn’t ship ore. We shipped tin. Similarly, we don’t ship what we harvest from oil palms. Instead, we convert the fresh fruit and bunches into products which we sell worldwide. Malaysia is a world leader not only in growing oil palm, but also in processing oil palm and it’s effluents.

So, why is Australia — a mining nation — not processing the ore into the final product? Read the rest of this entry »


Are Najib and Cabinet Ministers going to keep quiet about the serious allegations of corruption and subversion of the rule of law in 2007 involving the three topmost officers of the land, the AG, IGP and DG of ACA?

Today, Malaysiakini followed up on the revelations and serious allegations by former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) Chief Datuk Ramli Yusuf during his 60th Leap Year birthday celebrations last month that he was a victim of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s abuse of his constitutional powers with new information on the “bizarre five-year-old case allegedly involving the country’s most powerful police officer, the attorney-general and an underworld figure”.

The question now is whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and Cabinet Ministers are going to keep quiet about the serious allegations of corruption and subversion of the rule of law with regard to the case in 2007 involving the three topmost officers of the land, the Attorney-General, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Agency (before it later became Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency). Read the rest of this entry »


SBPA Flip-flop a Blow to Transformation

By Kee Thuan Chye
Malaysian Digest
10 March 2012

Najib Razak has just committed another major flip-flop, showing once again that he is the most indecisive prime minister we have had so far.

He has cancelled the proposed revamp of the civil servants’ remuneration scheme and reverted to the old one, the Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM). So much for all his talk about reform.

The now-scrapped Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) was mooted to reward civil servants with a pay rise but, more importantly, to keep them on their toes. Its key aim was to transform the civil service into an efficient, productive, competitive and high-performing entity. It was part of Najib’s transformation plans aimed at making Malaysia a high-income nation.

There was to be evaluation of the work of civil servants, and those who did not perform were to have faced the possibility of dismissal – under the SBPA’s Exit Policy. It would have helped to weed the chaff from the grain, to get rid of deadwood. And aptly too, since the civil service is bloated – with 1.4 million employees.

But the civil servants balked at this. They feared that their security of tenure, which they had become so pampered with, might be threatened.

Much more significant than that, those in the lower grades (up to Grade 54) were appalled to learn that under the new scheme, there would be a huge disparity between their salaries and those of the 2,600 officers in the higher grades – a disparity of more than 1,000%. In this case, their umbrage was justified.

Those in Grade 54 and below would receive increments of between 7% and 13%, while those in the upper levels, from Superscale C and above, would reportedly get increments of at least RM5,000.

It was also reported that some employees in the lower levels would be getting a pay rise of as little as RM1.70, whereas the Chief Secretary to the Government would have his salary upgraded to RM60,000 a month, and Staff Grade officers would end up getting about RM36,000 a month.

Naturally, a crisis arose from this. What was meant to be a boon for the civil servants turned out to be a bane for the Government. Read the rest of this entry »