Archive for August 2nd, 2014

Call on Najib to defer 480 per cent Johor causeway toll hike to enable proper process of public consultation in keeping with his GTP commitment to uphold the highest standards of transparency and accountability

On his return from Amsterdam, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should direct a deferment of the 480 per cent Johor causeway toll hikes to enable a full and proper process of public consultation in keeping with his commitment under the Government Transformation Programme to uphold the highest standards of transparency and accountability.

The Prime Minister should have received public feedbacks by now not only about the unpopularity but even more important, the great sense of injustice felt by the people in southern Johor over hardships caused by the astronomical causeway toll hikes, especially for the following reasons:

Firstly, substantive breach of the undertaking by the Prime Minister in Parliament on Sept. 24, 2012 that the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) will remain toll-free as the causeway toll hikes are imposition of EDL tolls in disguise.

Secondly, although the causeway toll hikes are purportedly to improve the “facilities and services” of EDL, thousands of vehicles and the majority of the 200,000 people crossing the Johor Causeway daily do not take the EDL for them to reach the Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ), while some 80% of the 220,000 vehicles utilizing the EDL daily do not cross over to Singapore at all. Read the rest of this entry »


No ordinary Zhou

The Economist
Aug 2nd 2014

In carrying out the most significant purge in a generation, Xi Jinping seeks to tighten his grip

Beijing – SINCE President Xi Jinping launched his anti-corruption campaign at the end of 2012, the question has been how high he would aim. On July 29th an emphatic answer came with the news that Zhou Yongkang was under investigation by the Communist Party for “serious violations of discipline”—for which, read corruption.

Mr Zhou was once one of the most powerful men in the land. Until two years ago he was a member of the Politburo’s ruling standing committee: in charge of the state’s vast security apparatus, he controlled a budget bigger than the army’s. It had long been an unwritten rule of China’s power politics that men of Mr Zhou’s stature were untouchable. In flouting the rule, Mr Xi has left no doubt about the authority he believes he now wields. He appears to be the most powerful Chinese leader since the late Deng Xiaoping.

Mr Zhou first appeared to be in trouble in 2012, with the purge of Chongqing’s party secretary, Bo Xilai. It is thought that Mr Bo had been eager to challenge Mr Xi’s ascent to the presidency, and Mr Zhou was a close ally who argued against bringing Mr Bo down. The result was a rare serious split in China’s highest leadership. Read the rest of this entry »