Archive for June 4th, 2012

Hishammuddin’s assurance of “order during and after GE” quite meaningless if not coupled with public pledge by Najib and key UMNO Ministers that BN will leave Putrajaya peacefully if it loses election

After prolonged silence, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has given the assurance that the authorities would maintain peace and order at all costs should there be attempts to create chaos during and after the next general election.

He said the police would act impartially and according to the law to maintain order, declaring “Anyone who violates the law will be prosecuted to ensure the safety of the innocent. The safety of the people is of paramount importance.”

However, Hishammuddin’s statement failed to achieves the effect of giving full assurance to Malaysians for two reasons, viz:

• The inaction/indifference of the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the police authorities to the recent escalation of the political culture of aggression, thuggery and violence targeting Pakatan Rakyat and Bersih 2.0 leaders, including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Nurul Izzah, Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and most recently, the vicious attacks on DAP Selangor State Committee member V. Ganapathirao and his brother Papparaidu in Klang last Wednesday.

• The threat by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak when invoking the language of “crushed bodies, lives lost” for UMNO to defend power at any cost in Putrajaya at the 2010 UMNO General Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »


Bitter harvest for land below the wind

Myles Togoh | June 4, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Kaamatan or harvest festival in Sabah this time round is tempered with weariness and to some extent anger over the way genuine Sabahans have been treated.


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is holding its collective breath as talk gathers steam that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is expected to visit this week bearing a long-awaited “gift” to drum up support for his stumbling Barisan Nasional coalition government.

But the mood among non-partisan Sabahans as the Kadazandusun and Murut communities celebrate their biggest festival is a mixture that suggests bad temper and weariness.

Najib, as the leader of the BN who is fighting to stay in power for a second term, has, as expected, played the federal government’s vote-buying trump card by announcing on Friday the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the extraordinary population increase in the state over the last 20-odd years.

It is to settle a long-held demand for answers on how hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants gained citizenship and even special Bumiputera privileges that have almost wrested control of the state from the locals. Read the rest of this entry »


The Impact of Growth in International Schools

by M. Bakri Musa

The government has gone beyond removing quotas, as with granting tax and other incentives, to encourage the growth of international schools. However, growth depends more on market forces, principally the demand which in turn is related to costs. Lower the cost and you expand the market. Reducing red tape, as with making it easy to get permits and secure visas, would lower costs far more effectively than any other move.

If there is a market and profit to be made, entrepreneurs will come in. That is the beauty and genius of the capitalist economy. I have no problem with education being “for profit”. That would be no different than the health and other sectors. Profit is just another measure of discipline, effectiveness, and productivity. Read the rest of this entry »


FGVH listing: Misery or windfall?

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 04, 2012

JUNE 4 — Every FELDA settler is an automatic member of their co-operative (KPF). KPF owns 51 per cent of FELDA Holdings, the business unit that is the rainmaker for FELDA. Has any settler asked what happens to KPF after the listing? Where is its 51 per cent in FELDA Holdings?

Did KPF get anything? If an EGM has taken place and delegates agreed to the transfer of KPF’s interest in FELDA Holdings and in 10 other subsidiaries, how was its stake in FH valued? Where did it go and how much stake does it get in the enlarged FGVH? I haven’t seen any clarification on this matter written anywhere. It’s as though KPF’s stake has vanished into thin air. Was this the reason Isa Samad came up with a statement that FELDA has allocated 20 per cent to settlers’ interest to be handled by a trust fund? Will KPF continue to exist?

Let’s be clear about this. We are not opposed to the idea of the settler receiving RM15,000 per household. The money is probably theirs anyway, derived probably from previous underpaid dividends. How many times have settlers gone before the courts demanding FELDA make good over its under-declaration of extraction rate on fresh fruit bunches (FFB)? Probably over the years, the value of the extra extraction ran into hundreds of millions. RM15k is probably a cumulative backdated under-payment to each FELDA household (112,635 of them).

The settler, especially the first generation, must think of the future by assessing what they are losing out. There is no way now second-generation FELDA settlers can lay claim on the 360,000 hectares of land managed by FELDA Plantations. All the land and the assets therein are leased to FGVH for 99 years. While FELDA probably gets payments on the lease, the lease rate is revisable every 20 years. They must also be mindful of the fact that they also lose about RM2.5 billion a year from earned revenues which are used to manage the FELDA plantations and provide social amenities. FELDA needs RM3 billion a year to run its operation. Read the rest of this entry »

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