Thursday, December 27, 2007

EPF needs to explain why it discontinued the $1.4 Billion claim against its six former executives.

EPF has an obligation to explain to its contributors why it has discontinued the suit filed in 2005 against Rashid Hussain and five former top executives.
A writ of summons to the value of RM1.4 billion was filed against the six by RHB Capital, RHB Securities Sdn Bhd and RHB Equities Sdn Bhd at the Kuala Lumpur High Court sometime in 2005.
The six former top executives were sued” for breach of fiduciary duties, breach of trust,breach ofcontracts of employment/or negligence in relation to certain margin financial facilities granted by RHB Equities during their tenure as Directors and/or Officers of RHB capital, RHB Securities and RHB Equities.”
The suit was filed by major shareholder Utama Banking Group in 2005 and during the course of the trial evidence adduced seems to indicate a clear breach of fiduciary duties. Dubious huge loans for margin financing was given without any collateral and proper approval.
Surely such obvious dereliction of duty should eventually bring to book those responsible for the loan fiasco.The loan claimed in the suit was not a paltry sum but for a mind boggling sum of RM1.4 billion.
Despite public opposition to the pension funds acquisition of the RHB group, and despite Rashid Hussain’s total debts of RM3.5 billion ringgit which included a bond repayment of RM265 million due in June 2007, EPF proceeded to acquire the entire parent firm for RM3.9 billion ringgit including warrants and convertible loan notes. At the same time the fund also made an offer of RM8.75 billion ringgit bid for RHB Capital at RM4.80 per share.
What perhaps remain a mystery was why EPF did not accept Kuwait Finance offer of RM2.19 ringgit (compared to EPF offer of RM1.80) for each Rashid Hussain share and RM7.35 (compared to RM4.80 offered by EPF) for each RHB Capital share? Why was it so adamant in acquiring a loss and heavily indebted entity when a better offer was on the table?
What EPF needs to explain to the EPF contributors is why after having acquired control ofthe RHB group it has decided to discontinue the much publicised RM$1.4 billion claim.
The fundamental question remains as to why was EPF so generous in foregoing what seems like a legitimate claim of RM1.4 billion claim against the six former top executives of RHB? Was there any covert attempt to conceal the main purpose of EPF’s acquisition of the RHB group? Was EPF used as a vehicle to acquire the equity of the RHB group with the intention of discontuing the civil suit against the six defendants?
All these perplexing questions need to be answered so that confidence can be restored to the pension fund.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Who are the Opportunists?

The Council of Former People’s Representative (Mubarak) President Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang described the Hindraf leaders as “opportunists and traitors to their race and country.” He further added that these people were extremists and that they should rightly be detained under the ISA.
Referring to his assertion, I would like the former Mubarak to carefully reflect on past history and see who are the opportunists.
After May 1969, with the introduction of the NEP, the Malay bumiputras were the sole beneficiary of govt policies. However somewhere along the course of implementation the NEP was hijacked by the UMNO elite Malays who only seek to enrich themselves and their cronies.
Based on such factual events how could the former Mubarak President condemned the Hindraf supporters as opportunists?Rightly the real opportunists were the UMNO elite Malays.
As regards his statement that they were extremists, can the former Mubarak president defined the term ‘extremists’ in order to justify his claim. Does his definition include people who participated in a peaceful assembly to articulate their grievances construed as extremists?
Yes, he could refer to the unfortunate terminology ‘ethnic cleansing’ used in the memorandum submitted to the Queen as extremist. But hello, what about UMNO unshealthing their keris and threatening the Chinese? What about the former Chief Minister Rahim Thamy chik’s utterance that the Malays would take out their parangs if the non-Malays challenge Malay supremacy?
Are they no more seditious and extremist?
It is really pathetic that people like Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang who had enjoyed the fruits of NEP should now find it plausible to hurl untruthful accusations that it was the Hindraf supporters who were opportunists when in actual fact he and the UMNO elites were the opportunists.
How could Abu Zahar equate articulating one’s cause as being traitor to race and country? By his implication, the Hindraf supporters should just remain silent and accept their discrimination and marginalisation so that they will not be traitor to their race and country.
With such perverted logic so prevalent amongst the UMNO top echelon it is no wonder how a peaceful assembly of disdvantaged people could be construed as terrorists.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Police should also be charged with attempted murder.

Malaysians in general and Indians in particular must be appalled at how the Attorney-General could charge 31 Hindraf protestors for the dubious crime of attempted murder.
Surely the charge can only be valid if the perpetrator of the crime can be identified. There is no justification to detain the 31 members if the crime was committed by a single individual. The prosecutor cannot expect the court to believe that the 31 perpetrators were responsible for throwing an object which specifically caused injury to the police officers.
How could the prosecutors cast a net so wide and hope per chance that it may catch the culprit from amongst the 31 protestors? Obviously not all of the 31 protestors were responsible for the single injury caused to the officer. Therefore will justice be served if the law punish the 31 Hindraf members just because one of them caused injury to the officer?
Can our justice be so vicious that 31 individual should pay the price for a crime committed by one individual? That in essence is what the Attorney-general is doing and in doing so he has made a mockery of our judicial system.
But in reality what was the crime committed by the 31 protestors?
By the same token, there were several protestors who suffered head injuries when the police fired tear gas canisters laterally at the crowd. Video clips taken on that day confirmed that quite a number of the protestors suffered injuries as a result. By the same logic the police officers who fired the tear gas canisters can also be charged with attempted murder.
Further the clips also showed that in retaliation some of the protestors flung the canisters back at the police thus perhaps causing the injury to the police officers.
If such a scenario did occur, how could any one be charged with attempted murder? The act of throwing back the canisters in retaliation was merely a natural response to the action of the police in the first place. Is it acceptable for the police to fire indiscriminately at the crowd with the possibilty of causing injury to them whilst it is against the law for the victims to retaliate in a similar fashion?
What is perhaps even more shocking is the refusal of the judge to grant bail to the 31 protestors.This literally means that the 31 Hindraf members whose guilt has not even being established will now have to start serving time before the actual trial commence. Anyone familiar with our legal system will tell you that it will be light years before they will see justice in the court.
The act of charging the 31 protestors by the Attorney-General, Gani Patail is not only a travesty of justice but serves to confirm the lingering suspicions that the Attorney-General’s chambers and the judiciary are beholden to the executive.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Review N.E.P before its too Late.

This govt would be foolish to ignore the pleas of the silent miniority. Any ill-conceived policies that benefit only one segment of the population cannot prevail over a length of time.
First and foremost the govt must realise that every right-minded Malaysians would still want the NEP to continue but not in its present form.
The NEP must adhere to its stated goals of eradicating poverty irrespective of race. It must be need-based and not race-based.There are still many pockets of poverty that exist across every racial divide.
I have seen poor Malays, poor Indians, poor Chinese families living only on two scanty meals a day. I have also seen poor Indian children, poor Chinese children and poor Malay children struggling to have money to attend school. This only serves to reinforce the perception that poverty does not respect race orcreed. It is a common thread among many of our fellow Malaysians irrespective of race who sadly still live on this poverty line.
Yes, these are the classes of people who deserve to enjoy the fruits of NEP and not the well-heeled, rich Malays who are least deserving.
How can the govt despite numerous protest from the housing fraternity justify a policy of giving discount to rich Bumis to buy high-end houses at a discount when a more appropriate policy would be to extend a housing discount for all races for housescosting $100,000 and below?
To continue with such a racist, discriminatory policy would in effect means that the non-Malays would have to subsidies the rich Malays for every purchase they made. Such a policy defies logic and is an abuse of the NEP.It was never intended for the NEP to help the rich Malays getting richer. If the govt cannot even see the fallacy of such a policy then we can only conclude that it has simply lost its moral right to govern.
The non Malays have never, ever objected to the govt building mosques for their Muslim subjects. We accept that Islam is the official religion of our country but in return we only ask for a little space for non-Muslims to practise their faiths.
For every 10 mosques that you build give the Hindus one shrine , the Christians one church and the Buddhists one temple. Is that not a reasonable request? If you give space for these faiths to worship then there would not be any need to have illegal places of worship.
If our leaders are true Muslims they will never allow their religion to suppress the followers of other religions. Islam has always allowed other religions to exist and flourish. History is resplendent with many examples and modern Turkey is a living proof that Islam, Christainity and Judaism can exist side by side without any antagonism.
This govt must review and reflect on their discriminatory polices which have marginalised a large section of their miniority population. It is still not too late for them to realise that not only are there poor Malays but also by the same token there are poor Indians and poor Chinese who also need help.
Let us not forget they are also Malaysians. A govt that ignores this realty is doing so at their own peril. The signs are already there. Dont let it reach a point of no redemption.

Let Us Vote this Chief minister out.

Even before the words of P.M that Hindraf allegations were nothing but' blatant lies' had died down,Melaka Chief minister,Ali Rustam was busy demolishing yet another Hindu temple.
According to Ronnie Liu's blog,'The Sri Penyachi Amman temple in Tambak Paya village,Melaka was demolished this morning(4thDec.) by an enforcement team from the Malacca city council which disregarded a'stay order' signed by two state top officials.'
Any Chief Minister with a little bit of common sense would not have fuel an already volatile situation bearing in mind the events of the past week.But this stupid Chief Minister( who was once aTNB meter reader )of Melaka deem it fit to provoke and cast aside the credibilty of P.M's statement that the memorandum of Hindraf was nothing but lies.
If anything, this stupendous action by theMalacca Chief Minister serves to reinforce Hindraf's claim that this govt is indeed perpetuating some form of cleansing , ethnic or religious.Otherwise how do you explain the close proximity of another temple demolition coming so close after the recent controversial demolition of the Kampong Rimba Jaya temple.?
This is the same mindless Chief Minister who uttered the words that those who took part in the Hindraf rally should have their citizenship revoke.To this simpleton Chief Minister I would like to tell him that citizenship is a birth right and not a privelege.To say that a person's citizenship should be revoked merely because he participated in a rally which the govt refused to issue a permit reflects the idiotic character of this man.
There is no doubt in my mind that Malacca's non malays will vote with a vengeance this coming general election.The chinese have not forgotten his rough shod tactics of wanting to rid Malacca of pigs by setting a ridiculous time frame of culling 100,000 pigs in two weeks.
Perhaps it would be a fitting finale if we could send this meter reader to his old job at TNB during the next general election.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Free and peaceful demonstration is provided for in the constituition

Why should the govt stifle dissent by refusing to give permits for its citizens to demonstrate? It does not matter whether the govt thinks that the issue is not justifiable or for some imaginary reason it is a threat to national security. Whether their grievances are legitimate or not is something the public will have to judge. The govt’s role is merely to ensure that the demonstration is held peacefully and without any violence.
When people take to the street to demonstrate it is always for a cause. History has shown us repeatedly that when the voice of the people is continually and contemptously ignored the only recourse is to show their displeasure by demonstrating. After all this liberty to demonstrate peacefully is provided in our constituition and it is the inalienable right of every citizen to exercise this right.
I disagree with some view that because the rally was specifically for a certain community the demonstration should not proceed. This view is in direct contradiction with the basic principle that the right to peaceful assembly is enshrined in the constitution and if the aggrieved party is of the view that their grievances have not been addressed than they should have every right to demonstrate. It does not matter whether their grievances merely highlight a particular community interest as long as they perceive there is a need to publicise and convey their message.
It is totally irrational to say that the demonstration is acceptable only if it also espouses the grievances of the other community.What if the other community is not interested in joining the cause? Does that means then they cannot proceed with their own cause?
Free and peaceful demonstration is one of the cornerstones of a democracy and the govt cannot repeatedly come out with preposterous excuses that it causes inconvenience and an imaginary threat of racial disturbance.
By denying people the right to demonstrate the govt is implying that it has indeed something to hide and that the issue which caused the demonstration is indeed a legitimate one.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Last Monsoon Cup.

When 28th November comes, the 3rd Monsoon Cup will once again begin in the east coast state of Trengganu. The Heritage Bay Club Marina and Resort in Pulau Duyong, Trengganu will once again become the focus of international attention as it will be hosting the final of the 10 International Legs.
Once again the people of this state will be treated to an extravaganza costing about $250-$300 million. The foreign sailing fraternity will be feted and pampered by the Monsoon Cup organisers namely Patrick Lim and Khairy, the son-in-law of the P.M.
Luxurious bungalows costing few millions await to shower the foreign sailing dignitaries with comfort and luxury that only locals could only dream of.
For the next few days, the organisers will spare no effort to regale and entertain the mostly foreign participants. Sumptious food and drinks will be served while the local populace can only watch in awe as they bear witness how their oil money previously ear-marked as ‘wang Ehsan’ was to be spent.
The rally at Batu Burok was just the awakening of the people’s consciousness as to what is happening in their state.The PM and his son-in-law with the connivance of the local UMNOPUTRAS and cronies are in town to rip off the people of Trengganu with the annual grand Monsoon Cup.
The incident at Batu Burok was an expression of that anger and if that current state of disenchantment continues BN will suffer an ignominous defeat in the coming general election.
Sadly, history always seems to portray its past in a contradictory manner.It was in Trengganu that Pak Lah sealed a massive victory which saw him capture the state from the opposition PAS. Now it will be in Trengganu that Pak Lah will also face his Waterloo. It will predictably be in Trengganu that this Islam Hadhari leader will face his most ignominous defeat and return the state to the opposition PAS.
For Pak Lah and his gang of cohorts,it will be the last Monsoon Cup.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

MCA Senator objects to Bersih Rally Because of money

I refer to the report in the mainstream media that MCA senator Lee Chong Meng called on Bersih, the coalition for clean and fair elections, to keep their agitation indoors.

This senator represents the face of the race-based political party who is supposed to look after the interests of the Chinese community. Instead of joining the clarion call for reforms in the electoral process, he has deemed it fit to support the government’s suppression of free and fair elections.

His selfish and ill-conceived reason that the demonstration on Nov 10 have caused losses in the 'millions' clearly shows that the MCA and their underlings have no principles to uphold and that their main motivation for objecting to the rally was because of money.

By now, the Chinese community should be conscious of MCA's role in the BN government. The MCA politicians are in the BN for money, position and power. Fifty years of this unholy alliance in the BN have proven that MCA is incapable of looking after the interests of the Chinese community. If they had done their work faithfully and unselfishly, the Chinese would not have been marginalised in education, civil service, government contracts, university places and a slew of other racist policies.

The coming election will determine the future of the Chinese community. If we continue to give MCA the same support we have been giving them for the last 50 years then you can expect the same practice and habits to continue. MCA politicians will continue to receive the crumbs offered by their Umno counterparts and in return they will give their undivided support to
plunder the nation's coffers.

We as Malaysians must not allow this to happen. We do not have the luxury of time to change our destiny. We must do it now before it is too late. We must all unite and ensure that these unscrupulous politicians from MCA are voted out of office and sent to political oblivion.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One Rule for BN and another for the rest.

The government is practising double standards in the issuance of permits to hold demonstrations. As long as the demonstration is not directed by or involving opposition to government policies, permits will be granted.
Better still, if the demonstration is to support government policies or to resonate the government's stand on certain foreign policies, then permits will readily be granted.
For example, last year a permit was granted to the Umno Youth to stage a demonstration in conjunction with the visit of the United States secretary of state held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. As recent as last week, permit was granted to Maybank employees in protest of bonuses not being paid to them.
The rationale is that as long as the ire of the protest is not directed at them, they will issue the permit. Why should the government be wary of Bersih's rally if it was for the stated purpose of wanting to create a level-playing field for all in the coming elections.
Surely, this is a legitimate complaint the government should have no problem addressing if it is transparent. Its opposition to this rally only serves to reinforce public perception that the government has its own agenda to preserve the status quo in the electoral process.
In previous elections, there have been numerous complaints regarding the presence of phantom voters, of death voters voting, of fictitious postal voters, of changing electoral boundaries in favour of the ruling party and the glaring imbalance of numbers in the electorates of government areas as opposed to opposition areas.
The comment by the Asia director of New York-based organisation Human Rights Watch, Brad Adams is most appropriate and summarised the government’s position. When it comes to holding onto power, the ruling party makes one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Ecm-Libra/Avenue Merger and approval of Air Asia Singapore route

I wish to refer to the Malaysiakini article ‘Air Asia: Its like going to the Moon.’
Yes, Tony Fernandez and Air Asia has every right to be in a jubilant mood after having obtained the rights to fly the Kuala lumpur to Singapore route. After all its a gold mine route previously the monopoly of our MAS airline.
But why the sudden change of mind to give this lucrative route to Air Asia when the logical decision would be to allow the status quo to remain and let MAS reap the profits while it is on its path to recovery?
The answer can be found by referring to the ECM-Libra and the Avenue merger. Prior to the merger, Kallimullah and Khairy Jamalluddin (son-in Law of P.M) bought a block of shares in ECM-Libra and lo and behold one month later ECM-LIibra sealed the deal with the cash-rich Avenue merger. Of course someone at the Ministry of Finance had to approve the deal and guesswho?
If we were to recall a few months earlier, Kallimullah bought a stake in Air Asia. I am not sure whether Khairy has a stake in this deal but the deal is certainly very suspicious if not a bitfishy because one month later, a smiling Tony Fernadez was gushing with pride and annoucing to the world that the Singapore route was like Air Asia going to the moon. And why not? It was like manna from heaven.
CEO of MAS, Idris Jala could not conceal his disappointment and who could blame him? It was alucrative and profitable route which MAS had prevously had sole monopoly and now it was to be shared with Air Asia.
Perhaps it would be appropriate to ask the P.M why the interest of the country’s own airline was sacrificed and why a public owned airline was given a share of the lucrative route?
The ECM-Libra and the Air Asia episodes seem to reveal a very ingeniuos and systematic way of plundering our nation’s wealth by our leaders.
Well done P.M. I didnt know you could do so well while sleeping on your job. Perhaps I was wrong.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Key Politicians Appear Immune to ACA

I refer to Malaysiakini report, PAC: Arrest decision-makers too.
Lately, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has been busy prosecuting civil servants mentioned in the recent auditor-general's report for corruption.
It becomes glaringly obvious that ACA has no hesitation when it comes to arresting and prosecuting civil servants but are reluctant to haul in politicians who are similarly tainted with corruption.
Prosecution and punishment appears to be swift and efficient for civil servants and the police force but when it comes to politicians like Zakaria Deros from Port Klang and Mohd Said Yusof, the ‘close one eye' Jasin MP from Malacca, the wheels of justice seemingly grinds to a halt.
In our country, it appears some people are more equal than others in the eyes of the law. And politicians here are a special breed of men who seems to have immunity from any prosecution despite their public commission of a felony.
Those people entrusted with the duty to enforce and prosecute the perpetrators have a latent fear of politicians who perhaps have the clout to punish any ACA officers foolish enough to try and bring them to book.
With the revelation of the controversial Lingam tape, we now witness corruption within the corridors of the judiciary. Appointments and promotion are designed for those who toe the line and are compliant to their political masters.
Judicial decisions affecting the interest of the government and its cronies are not won or lost on the merits of facts and law but on the basis of a prearranged slotting of a friendly judge who would ensure a favourable judicial decision on the understanding that they would be rewarded with a promotion at a later date.
If ordinary citizens can no longer seek justice and equity from our judiciary, where else can we turn to?
Our country's structure and system comprising the executive, the legislature and the judiciary appears to be crumbling. The once lauded Westminister system inherited from the British is now a pale shadow of its former glory. In its place, the present government has now perpetuated a system which is rotten to its core. Only a matter of time before it will finally bring our country to an ignominious end.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chief Justice should be serving six months sentence.

Malaysians must be wondering in amazement that the P.M. is even considering and pondering over the decision to extend the tenure of Chief Justice, AhmadFairuz.
Despite his 'elegant silence in his role in theLingam Tape,Ahmad Fairuz should be serving a six month sentence behind bars instead of being rewarded with a six months extension of his tenure.
Ahmad Fairuz will go down in history as the ChiefJustice that brought the Judiciary to the depths ofdisrepute and infamy and to honour him with anextension of his tenure is to make a mockery of ourJudiciary system.
To redeem some measure of pride and preserve thegood name of our judiciary,a tribunal should be formed to investigate his unsavoury role in the Lingam saga.
Anything short of this would cast serious aspersion on our Judiciary and besmirch the good name of those innocent judges who unfortunately are lumped togather with the bad apples.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

No, Not another space tourist at our expense.

I refer to the Malaysiakini report, Second citizen into space in 2 years.
Many Malaysians would have thought that sending one flight space participant is already an extravagant pastime but now we are being told by Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology Jamaluddin Jarjis that 'Muszaphar's back-up candidate, Faiz Khaleed, would become Malaysia's next astronaut or angkawasan.'
Are our leaders so egoistic that after spending a wasteful astronomical sum without achieving anything we are now about to consider sending another 'angkawasan' who is nothing but a space tourist?
Despite, Nasa’s official classification that Muszaphar is a space flight participant, our leaders continue to insist that he is an astronaut. Perhaps before jumping to their conclusion I should remind them that prior to this there were two other flight participants who paid US$20 million for the privilege of being a paid space tourist.
They were an elderly American billionaire and a wealthy middle-age woman of Iranian American descent. As with Muszaphar, they underwent a year of fitness training programme prior to a similar journey to space. So what exactly is the difference in training that distinguish Muszaphar's classification as an astronaut whereas the other two were merely space flight participants?
As for the misleading publicity that he would be conducting some experiments. Perhaps they should be forewarned that space tourist are not allowed to conduct or perform any experiments on board lest the wrong experiment may jeopardise the space odyssey.
Further, also be forewarned that space tourists are also not allowed to simply press any buttons or panels lest the wrong button may send them on a reverse trajectory back to earth. This would be an utter embarrassment for a Malaysian space tourist to be responsible for cutting a journey of 15 days to just three days.
Just as Rome was not built in a day, a cosmonaut or an astronaut was not trained in one year. That essentially explain why after training for one year, Muszaphar is not a cosmonaut but a mere space tourist.
For that reason alone, it would save our government a lot of money and embarrassment if we just forget the idea of sending another space tourist at the expense of the taxpayers money.

Dont fight for race but fight for a cause.

I wish to refer to Dato Lee Hwa Beng's letter (BN's tradition of quotas protect non-Malays) and Fahri Azzat’s reply, An apologist for racial politics.
Like Fahri, I feel insulted that Dato Lee should justify the present race-based BN concept as a means of preserving the few insignificant nominations for councillors and candidates for state and Parliament position for his non-Malay party (meaning MCA). His astonishing view that the Malays would vote en bloc on racial preference is an insult directed specifically at the Malay intelligentsia.
The present generation of educated, middle-class Malays are no longer as compliant as Dato Lee would like to think. The Malays of today are astute and more confident than their predecessors and if circumstances force them to, I am sure they will vote intelligently focusing on qualities of good governance, accountability and integrity.
In discharging their obligation, I am confident that they will not vote along racial lines but on the calibre of the candidate. I can only hope the Chinese and Indians can be just as astute.
As an insignificant participant in the ‘Walk for Justice’ with the lawyers, I saw Muslim Malay women and men, despite the fasting month of Ramadan, braving the inclement weather, and finally waiting in the drenching rain waiting for the Bar Council president to appear from the PM's office after presenting the memoranda for a royal commission.
Dato Lee should have been there because what I saw were brave men and women fighting not for their race and religion but they were there fighting for a cause.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Believe Me, Lingam Tape is Genuine

What is the rationale for Najib Razak to appoint a three-man panel to authenticate the Lingam tape? The credentials of those appointed are more suited to adjudicate a court case with the exception of social activist, Lee Lam Thye. What we perhaps need are people with technical expertise to determine the authenticity of the tape using forensic and other specialised methods.
However, even a layman with no expertise whatsoever can easily vouch from the tone of voice and the mannerism of the speaker that it was a genuine tape.
Even the topic that revolves around the appointment and rejection of judges bear a stark semblance of reality. Lingam would have to be an expert soothsayer to predict the outcome of the appointment and promotion of the judges and chief judge that was elevated subsequently.
The most convincing piece of evidence was the video picture of Lingam gesturing with his hands as he talked. The words and sentences that flowed from his mouth did not appear to be dubbed or there would have been a mistiming of his gestures and his words.
If ordinary mortals like me can surmise the accuracy of the tape, I wonder what the technical experts can do if given the opportunity to authenticate the tape.

Friday, October 12, 2007

No Sane P.M would do away race-based Politics.

To ask Barisan Nasional to surrender their race-based politics and to work towards a non-race based parties would be akin to asking them to surrender their extravagant and luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous.
For the last 50 years, they have been so accustomed to easy plundering of the nation's coffers that it is unlikely they are going to give up without a fight.
Every ministry without exception, from the high-tech Defence Ministry to the lowly mundane Sports and Culture Ministry have been the target of politicians and civil servants who deemed it fit to inflate contract price of goods bought so that they can rip off the ministry's coffers.
Therefore, what incentive would there be for them to abandon the race-based party politics that have served them so well in exchange for a non-race-based politics that would subject them to meritocracy and a level-playing field.
No wonder when the proposal was put forth at the Gerakan Assembly, it was quickly shot down by the PM because no sane PM would want to miss the opportunity to reap the proverbial pot of gold especially when it is their turn.
As for the ordinary rakyat, our only hope is that the majority of the voting people will awaken from their 50 years slumber and banish this nightmare from our midst.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sharir-UMNO man to the core.

I refer to Malaysiakini letter, Shahrir has finally crossed the rubicon.
For many terms, the Johor parliamentary constituency was virtually given to Shahrir Samad on a platter. He won on the same seat every time he contested not because he was an Umno member but because for many he was a beacon of hope for the downtrodden and the underdog.
At times he was even prepared to incite the wrath of Umno members who thought he was on the other side of the divide. But throughout his term of service in his constituent, he was always faithful and dependable to his principles. Such was his integrity that he gave up his chairmanship at the Backbenchers Club because he supported an opposition motion which lacked the support from his own party.
However, all his good work came to nought when in one single moment of madness, Shahrir castigated the 2,000 lawyers for participating in the Walk for Justice to present a memorandum for a royal commission to the PM. That act alone should convince his fervent supporters that a leopard never changes its spot.
Shahrir has finally reveal his true identity that he is an Umno man to the core.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Municipals councils getting too much

Lately we saw municipal councils all over the country raising their quit rent and assessment rates some as much as 100 to 200 percent. Now that they are flush with their new found wealth, most of these municipal councils don't seem to know how to spend it.
From Seremban to Kota Baru we see municipal councils tearing down lamp posts and replacing them with those with a 'flowery' design. Why should they suddenly have the urge to replace good working lamp posts with ones costing about RM8,000 each is anybody's guess.
But my guess is simple. Only by replacing these utilities can someone siphon the money from the municipal's kitty.
But after reading the malaysiakini report Howls of protest over 'nab the dog' contest' on the Selayang Municipal Council's stray dog-catching competition, I must say this idea takes the cake as far mindless spending by a municipal council is concerned.
If this is any indication how our municipal councils are going to spend our hard-earned money from the increase in assessment and quit rent rates, then I am going to register my protest by not paying them at all.
For too long our municipal councillors have not been held accountable for their extravagant expenditure and with each passing year they are getting more and more innovative in their wasteful spending.
The presidents and municipal councillors are appointed and not elected and most of them are more acquainted with rural living rather than urban living. When appointed to their posts, they don't seem to know what their duties entail. The only thing that don't requires any expertise is to simply spend on wasteful and unnecessary projects which at the same time also accrue to them some side income.
Other wasteful expenditure (as in Seremban and Kota Baru) is to remove the existing pavement and pathway tiles and replace them with one of a new design. Some of these pavements, however, are located in the most ridiculous places where perhaps the only ones using them would be cows and goats.
As usual we can shout from the top of our roofs but our pleas for some sanity to prevail will most likely fall on deaf ears.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

50 years of Independence,33 years of Mismanagement.

On 31st August 2007 we will be celeberating the 50th anniversary of our Independence but this auspicious occassion will also witness 33 years of mismanagement of our country's the present govt..Why 33 years? Because until 8th April 1974, the Finance Minister was the late Tun Tan Siew Sin and the country's finance was impeccably managed by this illustrous man whose prudence and integrity was legendary..
On one occassion when he was about to take his annual leave TunTan casually asked Tuanku who was looking after his portfolio in his absence. When Tuanku replied that he would look after his porfolio, Tun immediately cancelled his leave. This in essence was the character of the man who was not only prudent with the nation's coffers but spent his tenure zealously guarding it from any wasteful expenditure.
The aftermath of May 13th ,1969 saw the downfall of the Tuanku and the ascension of Razak and the implementation of the NEP policy.The Finance Minister portfolio was given to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and from thereon beginning with the BMF fiasco the country was beseiged with a litany of poor financial governance which saw the govt bailing out practically every govt linked companies (GLC).
For the last 33 years(from 1974) this govt had to continuosly bail out companies like Bank Bumiputra,Bank Rakyat,Bank Islam, Bank pertanian,MAS,Renong, UEM and the recent PKFZ project which would cost $4.6 billion..
If we were to include the vast array of failed projects which eventually led to further injection of govt funds, the amount would easily bankrupt many a nation.
.The proposed crooked bridge to Singapore, the Rawang double track railway, the North- south Highway, the Matrade building, the prison building in Sarawak and a host of other multi-billion projects would have caused the downfall of any govt.And yet after 50 years of independence and 33 years of mismanagement we are still stuck with the same govt which is bringing us to an ominous future.
Every Malaysian of whatever denomination has a duty to protect and safeguard this country of ours.We owe our allegiance to this country but we do not owe any allegiance to this govt which have failed to perform its duty with care and diligence.
Our nation is at a crossroad and after 50 years we must put aside our differences and assess our progress..If our conscience tells us that this govt has failed us then we must gather what little courage we have and make a change,Our future and our destiny lies in our hands and it is our sovereign duty to initiate the change..

English-Medium:Razak Did it,Period.

I refer to the letter English-medium ‘victory’: Rahman no agent.
I wish to reply to the stubborn refusal of the writer to accept the realty of the decision-making process in our government. Rahman Yaakub as the education minister then had no authority to make such a monumental change in the schools from English-medium to Malay medium without getting instructions from then prime minister Abdul Razak to do so.
A similar analogy can be seen when Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the change in the medium of instruction from Bahasa Malaysia to English for Science and Maths. It was the PM who decided on the change and certainly not the education minister.
In the present context, can our ‘Kerismuddin’ unilaterally decide on a change from Bahasa Malaysia to English as the medium of instruction in schools? Certainly not. Such a change would obviously have to have the concurrence and direction of the PM perhaps after consultation with the cabinet. This alone would clearly diminish any possibility of Rahman acting unilaterally to change the language policy.
How convenient and presumptuous of the writer to even suggest that Razak and the rest of Umno members were caught by surprise by Rahman's unilateral action. To give credit to Rahman Yaakub for making this momentous change is to suggest that he was the ‘power behind the throne’ and that Razak was a mere puppet doing his bidding. That is a very unlikely possibility.
The writer suggested that Razak was responsible for converting Chinese-medium schools to English-medium and based on that premise I still maintain my stand Razak was responsible for changing the medium of instruction for our schools from English-medium to Malay-medium.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Malay-Medium Decision:Rahman merely Razak's agent.

I refer to the letter How English-medium schools vanished overnight. I am surprised at how naive the author is to assume that then Education Minister Rahman Yaakub by his own accord and volition could arbitrarily 'take a gamble that fateful day in July or August 1969 - and succeed beyond his wildest dreams'.
As narrated by Pin Pan Dan, Dr Mahathir Mohamad's scurrilous letter played a vital role which subsequently led to Tunku Abdul Rahman stepping down. But history also revealed that Razak played no less a role in the removal of Tunku.
To give full credit solely to Rahman for converting all English-medium schools to Malay-medium is both naive and illogical. For such a momentous change of the education policy, surely it would be more feasible to presume that the directive originated from Abdul Razak, the prime minister then.
I find the writer’s statement 'Out of the blue, Rahman announced the conversion ... from Jan 1,1970 ' to be very simplistic and illogical. There is no way Rahman could on his own accord make the change from English-medium to Malay-medium without receiving the orders from Razak. In this regard, Rahman was merely the agent to execute Razak's intention.
By the writer's own admission, Rahman would not have been able to do what he did if Tunku was still the PM. By the same token, it can be said that Rahman could not have done what he did had he not got the concurrence and instructions from Razak. And, of course, Rahman was adequately rewarded when he became the chief minister of Sarawak in 1970.
To conclude for Pin Pan Dan's benefit, when Razak was the education minister in 1950, Tunku was the PM and it was unlikely the former would allow Razak to make any change in the schools’ medium of instruction.
So the next best thing Razak was able to do was to convert Chinese-medium secondary schools to English-medium. This does not in any way negate Razak's role in being instrumental in changing the medium of instruction for schools from English to Malay when he became the PM.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Arrogant of Cabinet not To accept Apology

I refer to the malaysiakini report Cabinet rejects apology from rapper. I cannot believe we have ministers like Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz in the cabinet. Most of the time he doesn't talk sense and on the occasions when he wants to let the world knows he is a minister, he makes a fool of himself.

So what, may I ask, if the cabinet does not want to accept the apology of the rapper? Exactly what is his crime? What he sang in his rap was the truth and nothing but the truth. Nazri threatens to use the Sedition Act just because Wee used the national anthem tune for his rap song. The threat sounds so silly and preposterous if not for the fact that it was uttered by a minister. A national anthem or any other patriotic song is still merely a song. By itself it does not generate any feelings of patriotism or loyalty. It is when people sing it with passion and emotion that it becomes synonymous with patriotism and love for the country. Frankly there is nothing for the rapper to apologise for and if the arrogant cabinet doesn't want to graciously accept his apology then he can just tell them to go fly kites. There is a sad tendency for politicians to become arrogant nowadays. They fail to realise that it was the ordinary folk who gave them the mandate to govern on their behalf and their votes that put them there in the first place. After having being put there, they think they have a divine right to perch on top of the mantle and threaten the citizens. If Nazri is serious about the Sedition Act he should first of all have the guts to haul in Najib Razak and his nephew Hishammuddin Hussein Onn for their seditious threats. Or is Nazri so naive to imply that the rap song is more seditious than someone waving a 'keris' and making seditious threats? When the next election comes it is the duty of every voter to ensure we vote in people of calibre and to discard those who display arrogance and stupidity.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Our Education system is a Big failure.

Make no mistake. Contrary to what our DPM said in NST on 10th August, our country’s education is one big flop. Najib would be deluding Malaysians to say that the education system was a big success and attribute this success to his father.
Tun Razak, the father of Najib was the culprit responsible for the current malaise facing the present education system. As the Education Minister, he abolished the English medium of education and introduced the Bahasa Melayu medium. In one stupendous decision his action caused the loss of one generation of English-speaking students.
Prior to the abolishment of the English medium of education we were the envy of many countries in Asia. Foreign tourists who went to the most remotest part of our country were pleasantly surprised that practically everyone they met could converse in theQueen’s language. That was in the early fifties.
Today, even top government civil servants and the judiciary can hardly string two words of English. Is this how we define success in our education system? If this is Najib’s definition of success then either he is blind to the pathetic state of the education system or he is totally oblivious to what is happening in the country.
On reflection it would be fair to say that the failure of the education system gave a life -line to vernacular schools.
Prior to the change in the medium of education from English to Bahasa Melayu, vernacular schools were closing down for lack of student enrolment. Slowly but surely many of the vernacular schools were decimated.
However to be fair it was not the change in the medium of instruction that caused the popularity of vernacular schools. It was the slow and not subtle degeneration of the National Schools to religious schools that caused the mass exodus of Chinese andIndians to their respective vernacular schools.
Today, remnants of the failure of our education remains like a sore thumb.Teachers and headmasters of one race dominate every school. Not ordinary teachers but staunch religious teachers who never miss an opportunity to extol the virtues of their religion.Every morning and every recess, prayers are recited and non-Muslims students are expected to tolerate such feverish display of religiosity.
Today, our education system churns out 80,000 unemployed graduates. All of them bear living testimony of a failed education system. And yet our DPM has the gall to say that our education system is a big success. Wake up Najib. No matter what yardstick you use, the education system is a big failure.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Missing rm$1.3 billion for the Penang second Bridge.

History has an uncanny way of repeating itself. During Mahathir’s tenure as PM the construction of the North-South Expressway in 1984 was awarded to UEM (owned and controlled by UMNO) on the basis of a design-build-finance and operate concept.
Although the lowest tender bid was $3.2 billion, UEM was awarded the contract. Prior to completion,construction costs escalated to a phenomenal $6 billion. The escalated cost which normally would be borne by the turnkey contractor was underwritten by a govt soft loan.
This effectively meant that a competitive bid for a project which would cost $3.2 billion ended costing $6 billion. Presumably,the toll collection period had to be extended from an initial 15 years to 30 years to accomodate the doubling of the project cost.
The burden for the extra cost was shifted to the road users who now have to content and endure the paying of road toll for an extra 15 years (1988-2018). Later, in exchange for changing the increase in toll rate from every year to every three years, the concession period was further extended for another 12 years(2018-2030).
Had the contract awarded to the lowest bid at $3.2 billion was accepted, the govt would have saved $2.8 billion (or a shorter toll collection peiod of 15 years).
However, with its questionable practice of awarding the contract to a dubious company closely associated wih the ruling UMNO party, the ordinary citizen is bogged down with an additional period of 27 years to pay for the usage of the North-South Expressway.
Come 2007 and the cycle is about to repeat itself again with the award for the construction of the Penang second bridge. There was no tender for the project and it was speculated the bridge would cost RM2.3 billion. However, even before it got started, NST June 24th reported that the bridge would now cost RM3 billion.
On 11th July, the star reported that Malaysia would secure a loan of RM1.7 billion (US$500 million) from China for the construction of the Penang second bridge. This latest revelation demands some explanation.
Is the total loan of RM1.7 billion from the Exim bank of China represent the actual total cost of the second bridge? If it is then why was it touted by the govt that the bridge would cost RM3 billion?
Or like the NSE Expressway, the additional RM1.3 billion would eventually be structured as escalated cost to be indemnified to UEM?
When the RM1.3 billion is added to the actual cost of RM1.7 billion, the total cost of RM3 billion will be factored in as the total construction cost for the Penang second bridge. This RM3 billion will be the benchmark for determining the toll collection period extended to the concessionaire.
It was reported in the media that UEM would soon be signing a joint venture agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to build the second Penang bridge. For the sake of transparency and accountability it is incumbent upon the the govt to fully disclose the nature and substance of the joint-venture agreement between the two parties so as to ensure that the Malaysian public is fully aware of the total construction cost of the second bridge.
The disclosure of the actual cost is of paramount importance because it will determine the toll collection period that will be extended to the toll concessionaire. An artificial and inflated cost would only mean extending the toll collection period to an unreasonable time frame and consequently will cause additonal financial hardship to users of the second bridge.

Friday, June 29, 2007

If not for people like Rommel,South Africa would still have apartheid.

South Africa would still continue to practise Apartheid if the international community had taken heed of DPM advice that outside parties should “not meddle in the affairs and domestic policies of the country”.Yet it was pressure from the international community which viewed apartheid with such revulsion that it eventually led to the downfall and dismantling of South Africa’s racist policies.
Yet in the same breath it was business as usual for our DPM and the P.M himself to offer unsolicited advice as to how southern Thailand should be governed in order to quell the daily violence. Not only were advice given unsparingly but it was open govt policy to provide sanctuary for Muslim militants who seem to have unhindered access to Malaysian borders.
Our leaders are always in a denial mode whenever there are legitimate criticisms levied at our govt or our policies while at the same time feeling they have a divine right to pinpoint the inadequacies of other less unfortunate countries.
Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein should learn to control his temperament and avoid making foolish statements that foreigners should not interfere in govt business without first knowing its history.
In this globalised, flat world we are living now no country can live in isolation and this borderless world will continue to invite criticisms if policies and governance are not in accordance with norms.
Instead of pretending that the criticisms are without merit, our leaders should focus on examining the virtues and vices of the N.E.P policy in its present form.I f need be, there should be appropriate adjustments and revamp so that the international community will not view it as a discriminatory policy expressly for serving the purpose of only one race.
Dr.Thierry Rommel’s criticism of the N.E.P as head of the European Union delegation represent a unique departure of standard protocol but like the apartheid in South Africa it will not be the last until the vestige of its policy is finally dismantled.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chua Soi Lek should resign or retract his statement.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek Should resign or retract what he said when he suggested that “Medical graduates who studied overseas may have to sit for a unified medical examination and,whether their university is recognised or not, a pass in the examination would allow them to practise in Malaysia”.
Almost all medical students who opted to obtain their medical degrees overseas are force by circumstances and not by choice.
Dr. Chua should be aware that majority of STPM students who attained excellent grades were deprieved of an opportunity to do medicine at a local university because most of the places were filled by Matriculation students reserved for bumiputras.
The dilemma faced by students who aspire to become doctors were either to do their course in a private medical instituition or venture overseas if they can afford the astronomical costs.
For those who can afford and opted to do their course overseas the news of Dr. Chua’s statement that they have to undergo a medical exam in order to practice in Malaysia must be a body blow.
After spending nearly $800,000 for a medical degree in U.K and having qualified from a medical institution which is far more superior than a local one it really boggles one’s imagination how Dr. Chua could ever come to the conclusion that local medical graduates should be exempted from a medical exam while overseas graduates from a more prestigious instituition should pass another local exam in order to practise here.
Dr. Chua’s suggestion can only be supported if he thinks that the local medical institution like UM and USM are far more superior than overseas instituition like Monash Uni, Melbourne Uni or any ofthe Unis in the U.K? Of course not because UM and USM are not even in the top 100 Unis in the world whereas most of the top foreign medical institutions in Australia and U.K are in the top 100.
Dr. Chua, who is from the MCA should have been the last person to suggest such a measure because almost 80% of the overseas medical students are non-Malays who have been deprived of an opportunity to study at a local medical Uni and to introduce such a measure is to put up more obstacles for the non-Malays.
Dr Chua should acquaint himself with the qualifying Board of Law exams which requires oversea lawyers who did not complete their Bar exam overseas to do the local CLP before they can practise while local lawyers are exempted.
Every year we see Honours Law graduates from overseas who sat for the CLP fail in this exam.The pass rate for the CLP is around 10% to 20% every year and most of the oversea students are non-Malays. Obviously most of the non-Malays could not do their Law course locally and their only route was overseas.
Dr. Chua should consider his suggestion to have a qualifying medical exam carefully.The implementation of this policy would not only destroy the dreams of many a medical student whose parents mortgage practically everything they had to ensure that their children obtain a medical degree to practise but would also cause the financial ruination of al ot of would-be doctors if they fail the local medical exam to practise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Samy has utterly failed Indian community

I refer to the letter Samy has done a lot for the community.
I am surprised and profoundly appalled that there are intelligent, educated Indians who can come to S Samy Vellu's defence despite his dismal record of service to the Indian community. Jacob George must be utterly blind to the plight of the Indians to lavish extravagant praise on Samy for his 'tireless efforts' in providing 'a hearty breakfast and some transport money'.
Is that what the Indian community expect from their MIC leaders? If that is their expectation, then I am no longer surprised why the Indians are the most marginalised community.
Can Jacob George explain to the Indian community why after 50 years, the Indians cannot even attain a 3% equity in commerce? After more than 20 years at the helm of MIC, Samy has failed to uplift the plight of countless of stateless Indians not to mention the community’s unemployment problem, lack of educational opportunities, lack of government jobs and contracts, demolishment of Hindu temples and the litany of religious persecution which until today remains unresolved.
For their population size, crime by Indians are the highest. But who can blame them if they resort to a life of crime? They have families to care for and mouths to feed and if there is no legitimate way to earn a living, the only recourse is to seek refuge in criminal activities.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Simple and Dignified wedding celeberation spoilt by the presence of the state Mufti.

Like many Malaysians, I was particularly enthralled when the Raja Muda, Raja Nazrin Shah in a speech some time ago declared that “Malaysians of all races, religions and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun”.
For such pearls of wisdom to flow from a regal figure is extraordinary especially when we compare to the diversive speech by our erstwhile politicians in a political meeting sometime ago.
However, like many others, I feel disappointed that the simple and dignified wedding celebrations was tainted by the presence of the State Mufti, Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria who was given a prominent role in conducting the wedding ceremony.
This religious head who is Perak’s State Mufti should have been charged and imprisoned for inciting racial riot at a Catholic church. His malicious intent to cause racial disharmony was deliberate. From his pulpit he announced to his shocked congregation that a mass conversion was about to take place in a Christian church.
His infuriated Muslim congregation marched to the Catholic Church and almost cost a riot. Fortunately, an ulgy incident was averted when it was found that the conversion was for a group of Indian girls.
A few months earlier the same Mufti announced to a shocked Muslim audience that there were 100,000 Muslims apostates. Of course he could not back his assertion with any statistics.
Raja Nazrin Shah’s speech and message to Malaysians would have been an unequivocal inspiration had his father the Sultan dismissed this mufti who have caused so much harm and discord among its various races.
How could the Crown Prince expect his subjects to believe his message when in his regal presence is a man who have sown so much discord?
Malaysians in general truly applaud the Crown Prince for his caring and inspiring message but what good are those messages if words are not matched with deeds?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What else does the Govt want from us?

On the same day when it was reported that two major banks “require law firms to have a minimum of three partners of which one must be Bumiputra with a minimum 50 per cent stake in the firm before they can do any business with the banks” another report in Singapore says “Job ads in the city: No age, race.”
Two different emphasis on policy matters, one from our close neighbour Singapore and one from our own virtually sums up the two different directions we are heading.
After 50 years of being in power our leaders are still promulgating laws and policies which are dividing the nation while in Singapore, the rationale is to eliminate race as a criterion to select candidates for jobs believing in the concept that “multi-racialism is a fundamental principle here”.
How divergent and different each nation’s path has become.One will lead the nation to ultimate destruction whilst the other will grow and prosper.
How can our leaders be so myopic and parochial? Why must it always be the Malays vs Chinese thing? Can’t they adopt a more pragmatic view that the Chinese are not their enemies and that we are all sitting in the same boat. If this boat sinks we sink together.
Our immediate competition will be from our neighbouring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Yet this has not been their main focus.
Instead of directing their energy and strength to combat our external foes our leaders are doing their level best to weaken our own citizens.
How can our leaders be so short-sighted as to sacrifice long term gains for short term benefits?
Instead of looking at the bigger cake from outside our shores we are scrambling for the contracting small cake within our country.
With each passing day as citizens of this country, we feel hopeless and helpless as our leaders remain oblivious to the consequencs of their own policy-making decisions.
We can only hope with abated breath that a miracle will prevent the ruination of this country. Otherwise, only divine intervention can rescue us from this path of destruction.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

RM534.8 million commission for Scorpene submarines - why Perimekar?

The pathetic explanation given by the Defence Ministry regarding the purchase of the Sukhoi SU30MKM fighter and Scorpene submarines raises more suspicions than answers.
The public is not concerned with the laborious explanation regarding the negotiations carried out by the Defence Ministry neither are they interested in the approval levels and the checks by the technical and price committee.
What the tax paying public is interested is why was the contract awarded to Perimekar to prepare support and coordination services for six years. The contract value was 114.96 mil euros(RM534.8 mil) to be paid in stages according to the level of progress of the project.
What kind of support and coordination services that Perimekar can provide that the Defence Ministry is not capable of providing?
The pertinent question that begs to be answered is why was the contract awarded to Perimekar. In view of the substantial amount involved (RM534.8 mil) was there any open tender for the contract?
Perimekar for all intent and purpose is jointly owned by Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, Boustead Holdings Bhd and KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd.
The ownership of Perimekar reveals one interesting fact. None of them appears to have any expertise in the area of Defence equipment. So how could they provide any support and coordination services to the Defence Ministry?
The revelation of the owner of KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd is even more fascinating.A political analyst by profession and a close associate of DPM, Najib, Razak Baginda owns Ombak Laut.
The public deserves an answer why a contract of such proportion (RM534.8 mil) was awarded to a political analyst for a job that could easily be monitored by the Defence Ministry.
The nature of the contract albeit under the guise of support and coordination services is nothing but a concealment of commission paid to parties or party closely associated to the Defence Ministry.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Singapore Malays better off than Chinese in Malaysia.

It is rather ironic that Baki Aminuddin could venture to write in Malayisakini that “S’pore Malays worse off than Chinese here” when in fact the opposite is the truth.
Before I begin to answer his fallacious argument I would like to pose one very simple question to him. If S’pore Malays are really worse off in Singapore why is there no exodus of Malays from S’pore to Malaysia? Instead the opposite is happening where the Chinese are making a beeline to Singapore for work and education?
Baki is naive to deny that LKY’s statement that the BN govt is systemmatically marginalising the Chinese and non-Malays. Before condemning the S’pore govt of marginalising the Malays and their education Baki should support his assertion with facts ratherthan spurious allegations.
There is no official policy to deny the Malays the chance to further their education till tertiary level provided they have the abilty to compete on a level playing field. Can Baki honestly say that the Chinese and non-Malays in Malaysia are given the same opportunity in education? Is it not a fact that Malays are exclusively given places in Mara schools where with their one year matriculation exams they can hop into any of the local universities whereas non-Malays have to undergo the more rigorous two year STPM exam to gain admission?
Baki must be living in a different planet if he does not know that the NEP is a policy marginalising the non-Malays. Can he pin-point any specific policy in S’pore where there is such a policy of blatant discrimination against the Malays?
Baki fails even to understand that S’pore practices meritocracy and if a Malay is capable he can hold any post and this is vindicated by the post of President being held by an Indian.Similarly, the post of foreign minister and finance are also held by Indians.
It is really sad that people like Baki who are so used to the easy life with all the perks they enjoy in Malaysia that they tend to forget that what they abundantly get is at the expense of the non-Malays.
I would strongly urge Baki and those Malays who accept his illusory perception of the S’pore Malays to read a letter written by an illustrous Singaporean Malay, Dr.Syed Alwi, who wrote an article about the “The Malaysian Malay”.
Perhaps it would be appropriate for me to quote some words of wisdom from this great Singaporean Malay,”No one owes Malaysian Malays a living. Let me assure you that should Malaysia fails- the Malaysian Malays will suffer enormously.”

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ijok:PKR malay candidate a smarter Strategy

I refer to the letter Ijok: Can’t an Indian represent Malay rights? I must say that opposition party PKR is right in fielding a Malay candidate at Ijok for the very simple reason that strategy dictates such a choice. To field an Indian against another Indian from the BN would be suicidal.
If you study past records (the recent one being Machap), you will find that when two non-Malays contest against each other, the Malays will inevitably support the BN guy. DAP adopted the wrong strategy in Machap when it selected a Chinese. The DAP candidate obtained about 1,400 votes without a doubt from the Chinese as the Malays are averse to voting for a Chinese DAP member.
Assuming the BN Chinese candidate obtained 50% of the 1,400 Chinese votes, this means that balance of 3,600 votes came from the Malay voters. If DAP had fielded a Malay candidate and split the Malay votes, the result could have been a cliffhanger. The DAP (or PKR) Malay candidate would have obtained 1,800 + 1,400 = 3,200 votes, around the same as the BN candidate.
There is no doubt in my mind that if an Indian candidate from the opposition was nominated to contest in Ijok against an Indian from BN, the latter would win hands down. Now, with a Malay candidate, the opposition votes from the Chinese and Indians - plus a sizeable ‘split votes’ from the Malays - the battle for Ijok is more even.
For the opposition to win any contest against BN, the opposition cannot adopt the same strategy as the latter. BN has no option but to field an Indian candidate because it was a seat allocated to the MIC.
PKR or DAP have the luxury of not abiding by the same agreement that firmly binds the BN. Instead, they can face political reality and field a candidate that provides the best opportunity to win the seat based on the racial profile of a Malay-majority area.
It is a correct decision of PKR to field a Malay candidate. To do otherwise would severely diminish the chances of an opposition victory.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The NEP has been abused to help the rich

How long can the govt continue with its NEP policy? If the govt’s denial that ASLI’s report “of 30% bumiputra equity ownership had already been exceeded ” then it’s incumbent upon the govt to provide a clear official methodology as to how corporate equity is measured.
Earlier, the centre for public studies headed by Dr, Lim Teck Ghee had made a statement that its findings had established bumiputra equity ownership had exceeded 45%. In order to rebutt this findings by ASLI and to deny further credence to the findings that “corporate equity distribution was narrowly based, unrealistic and has resulted in an underestimation of the true volume and value of bumiputra equity”, the govt must reveal the official methodology to measure corporate equity. Based on itscalculation it must provide clear irrevocable proof that bumiputra’s equity has regressed to a lowly 18% in 2006.
At that time when the ASLI’s findings was published many UMNO leaders including the P.M called the report “baseless, inaccurate and irresponsible”. UMNO vice-President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin went even further and called it “rubbish”.
There was a beacon of hope to establish the truth when DPM Najib gave an assurance that the methodology used to calculate the Bumi’s corporate equity would be publicly revealed.That assurance was given almost six months ago and it appears quite likely that the DPM has reneged on his word.
NEP in its present form has been abused and lost its initial noble objectives of helping the poor and the needy instead of the rich of one single race. Instead of affirmative action based on poverty it was exclusively based on a policy of helping just one race irrespective of the wealth of that person.
Hence we have a situation where a rich bumiputra is entitled to purchase a high-end property at a discount. What kind of logic is it? If he can afford to buy a high-end property surely he don’t need a discount.
The NEP must embrace the concept that there are poor Malays Indians, Chinese, Ibans and Kadazans etc. If the NEP is to have any meaning it must help those in need irrespective of their race and not because they belong to a select community.
If there is any defect in ASLI’s report, it is its failure to pinpoint the recipients of the 45% of bumiputra equity.The revelation maybe academic but the truth is maybe only 10% of the bumis benefitted from the 45% corporate equity distributed by virtue of the NEP.
As long as the govt refuse to accept this reality the longer it will be for national reconciliation.The inequitable distribution of wealth can only mean that the poor and the needy will continue to be deprived of govt assistance while the rich will continue to benefit from this skewed affirmative policy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Contract Award Of West Coast Highway is a Sham

It is disconcerting to learn that the West Coast Highway mooted in 1996 but put on hold because of the Asian financial crisis will be given to the original contractors awarded 11 years ago.
A project awarded 11 years ago certainly has no justification to be given to the same contractor unless the project was awarded in an open tender in 2007.
Cost of labour and price of material fluctuate over time and can bear no relationship after a period of 11 years. So on what basis was the Highway contract awarded to the same contractor?
How did the estimated cost of $3.12 billion been awarded to the contractor if there was no competitive bid for the project?
Surely a project of such magnitude would demand greater transparency and accountability.
The concessionaires for the project include Kumpulan Europlus Bhd and the contractor is Konsortium LPB Sdn Bhd.
As taxpayers whose money are being used for this project I think we are entitled to know how and on what basis this contract was awarded and who are the principal beneficiaries of this Highway Project.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The People of Machap must vote for a Change.

The Machap by-election will be an important milestone for the chinese community.It will determine, after 50 years of BN rule whether the chinese community will opt for a change or remain and continue to be marginalised by the present govt.
The choice for the people of Machap is a simple one.After 50 years where do we go from here? The present govt seem to have lost its direction and no longer have the capabilty to lead this multi-culture, multi-race and multi-religious nation where its people of different origin can live in peace and harmony.
Instead of fostering goodwill among its people the govt has implemented divisive racial policies that have polarised the different races. Its affirmative race based policy has benefited only one community and discriminated the rest.
Even its race based affirmative policy has been hijacked to benefit only a few elite UMNO members. After 50 years the Malay rural heartland of kelantan, Trengganu, Pahang, Perlis,Kedah and Johore still remain impoverished.
Corruption has creeped into every level of our daily lives. Corrupt politicians and civil servants are so prevalent that the system is powerless to act on them. Our political masters are reluctant to bring the culprits to justice because they are just as tainted with corruption.
Our Judicairy are presided by spineless judges guided by religious emotion and personal conviction rather than the rule of law as defined in our sacred Constituition.
So where do we go from here? The question should not only be directed at the Chinese but to all the races in Machap. If after 50 years our path taken is still littered with potholes, then its high time we make a change. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.To begin our journey, the people of Machap must take that first step to vote for the opposition. Failure is not an option because our very future may well depend on it.
This entry was posted on Friday

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Which Part Of The constituition They dont understand?

There is a general feeling of despondency over the gradual erosion of non-Muslims rights as provided for in the Federal Constitution. The State Legislative List in the 9th schedule of the Federal Constitution provides specific provisions that the “syariah courts ... shall have jurisdiction only over persons professing the religion of Islam” and yet despite this legal provision cast solidly in stone, two High Court judges deemed it fit by a majority decision to dismiss Subashini's appeal.
The majority decision went on further to declare quite wrongly and in direct contravention of the Federal Constitution that Subashini's recourse albeit a non-Muslim was at the Syariah Court and not at the High Court.
How two learned judges could circumvent the Fedaral Constitution and arrived at such an erroneous decision is certainly mind boggling. There are two possibilities why a straight forward case ended in such an acrimonious fashion.
Firstly, the two judges were so illiterate in their knowledge of the provision of the Federal Constitution that they overlooked the relevant provisions embodied in the constitution. This is quite unlikely as the provision in the constitution is so elegantly crafted without any ambiguity that a chambering law student would not even overlook it.
The second more plausible possibility is that unseen hands already decided on the fate of Subashini's case even before her appeal was to be heard by the High Court. Earlier, all three attempts to divert the case of S Sharmala, M Moorty and A Rayappan to the Syariah Court ended in failure.
For some in the syariah and civil courts, there is a fervent desire to prove to the world that justice for the non-Muslims can also be obtained at the Syariah Court. In order to prove this, a non-Muslim must first be made to submit to the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court. Failure to bring a non-Muslim to the Syariah Court would tantamount to failure to reveal to the world how Islamic jurisprudence would deal with a non-Muslim and receive justice.
In short, there is an attempt by some authorities to compel a non-Muslim to submit to the Syariah Court so that it will have an opportunity to vindicate its propaganda that Islamic law is impartial to all and sundry.
There is no doubt in my mind that Subashini will win her case in the Syariah Court and that this case will be made a shining example for future cases to be brought to the Syariah Court for adjudication.
However, before we rush into this unprecedented decision to seek justice in the Syariah Court, bear in mind the consequences. At what cost, because this will inevitably open the floodgates for all future such cases to be brought to the Syariah Court and the consequences can be disastrous.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why Iskander Development Region Will Fail

The response from the foreign investors to the Iskander development Region is quite evident.After few months from its launching, the Iskander Development Region has received lukewarm response from the foreign investors.This prompted Tun Musa Hitam,amember of the Iskander Development region Authority(IRDA)advisory Council to say unequivocally that'it was time to give up the New Economic Policy(NEP) for the success of the Iskander development Region(IDR).'On 22nd March 2007, our P.M declared that six sectors would not have to have Bumiputra equity participation.
For 50 years our malay political masters have deemed fit to cling to the NEP policy and now without much persuasion they have willingly relinquish that condition for the Iskander development Region.Why?
The simple reason is that Malaysia has missed the boat.Most of the FDI's that we are targeting have taken flight to China's economic region of Shenzan,Hangchou and to India's Mumbai and Bangalore region.Of late whatever FDI left have gone to Vietnam.So who are we trying to attract to the IDR? In order to answer this question let us examine the profile of the investors in Malaysia.
For the last ten years, the main investors in Malaysia have been the U.S and Singapore.Both their investments in Malaysia constitute almost 50% of all investments in the country.Therefore based on historical statistic it would be safe to assume that this would be the same category of investors targeted.
But would Singaporeans keen to invest in the Iskander develoment Region?Obviously not.Why would they want to invest in a country that seem to treat their presence with utter disdain and contempt.The scenic bridge, the sand issue, the use of Malaysian air space and a host of other minor irritants have seen relationship between the two countries at their lowest level.No matter what the incentives offered bythe Malaysian counterparts, the Singapore govt is defintely not going to take the bait.Further, a successful Iskander Development project would be at the expense of Singapore's own development.So logically it would be in Singapore's interest for theIDR to fail.
As for the Americans, would they want to pour their Investment dollars in the Iskander development region.?Definetely not, especially when their President was recently charged under the war crimes tribunal held in kuala Lumpur and presumably under the patronage of the govt.
By our own volition, our govt have foolishly offended the two most likely investors in the country and any amount of incentives or cajoling would unlikely to have any positive impact.Without the participation of these two major investors the Iskander development Region is destined to fail.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A.G's Chambers must wake up from slumber.

Lately, Our Attorney-General, Abdul Ghani Patail seems to be in a state of hibernation.So many legal infractions have passed through his hallowed corridor and yet not one of any consequence have been brought to face justice.Let us refresh his memory.
The mufti of Perak nearly caused a religious riot when he spread a false rumour from his pulpit that there was a mass conversion of muslims to christianity.There was strong irrefutable evidence that he had deliberately disseminated this false rumour to his congregation which nearly resulted in a riot at the church.If it had been any body else there would surely be a tangible case to be brought to court.Why then was the Perak Mufti exempted from any charge?
Then there was this Senator whose son had found it more lucrative to clone APs rather then apply it through the normal channel.The Custom dept. had found very credible evidence that a systemmatic cloning of APs was carried out by the Senator's son and the money involved was not a paltry sum but a conservative figure of $40 million.The custom dept were adamant that their evidence was strong and irrefutable and yet the Attorney-General have not filed any action against the culprits.Can the A.G explain why no charge was filed?
Then we have the famous wakil Rakyat fromMalacca who asked the Custom dept to close one eye on his indiscretion.If Anwar can be charged for corruption for giving orders beneficial to his interest then what is the difference with this case?Why the double standard?
Of late we see and hear alot of criminals being acquitted for their crimes for the simple reason caused by shoddy and inept preparation of cases.The thought that murderers and violent criminals are released because of technical reasons is a daunting prospect face by ordinary citizens of this country.
Theprospect for the future becomes even more grim when the very institution,the office of the Attorney-General, which we so highly put our faith in beomes mired in incompetence.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Blue Mosque,1606

Blue Mosque,1606, famous for its architecture as for its blue tiles

Night life in Istanbul

Friday, March 16, 2007

Those Linked to DPM the beneficiaries of N.S

I wish to refer to Victor See's letter on Who really benefit from NS? Our kids? To a certain extent, I would venture to say that the kids do benefit from a three-month stint, which in many ways is similar to a summer camp. As with all summer camps, the activities and programme sprinkle with military lifestyle can be an exciting experience for the youngsters who are leaving home for the first time.
As for achieving its stated objective of racial integration, it is a complete failure. After spending the most part of their adolescent life in complete isolation, how could anyone expect these kids from different races and diverse background to suddenly accept each other as buddies?
The expectation of the National Service in achieving racial integration is not only unrealistic but is a wanton waste of public funds. Spending a few billion ringgit annually on a programme that do not achieve its stated goal cannot be considered prudent expenditure.
Who then are the real beneficiaries of the NS? From the onset when the NS scheme was formulated and the budget allocated, it became crystal clear that the beneficiaries were the contractors given lucrative contracts to set up the camps throughout the length and breadth of the country.
We have lucrative contracts given to transport the trainees to the camps, the contract for supplies of uniforms and accessories, caterers for food and a host of other contracts too numerous to mention but all at a cost that is way above market price because they were given ad hoc and without proper tender.
And if we were to study the recipients of these contracts, the trail would lead to one source - the Defence Ministry where the deputy prime minister is the head. Part of the reason for the failure of the NS scheme could be attributed to discriminatory way in which the contracts were given out. Many of them just simply didn’t have the experience and expertise to do the job.
An example was the transport of trainees contract given to ex-army and retired officers. On the day of departure, many trainees were left stranded without any transport to ferry them to their intended destination. The vehicles scheduled to transport them did not even bother to turn up at the appointed time and place. Other failed contracts included catering where some camps’ food supplied for trainees were even not fit for human consumption.
The whole concept of fostering racial integration via the NS route is an illusory one. The path is not only fraught with uncertainties and failures, but at what cost? To date, we have already recorded 19 fatalities and the authorities are nowhere near a solution to arrest this problem. This incident of high fatalities should demand a comprehensive investigation into the preliminary screening of the trainees to ascertain if they are medically fit to be enlisted for the NS programme.
Unless and until such time when a suitable mechanism is in place to ascertain the suitability and eligibility of each trainee on medical grounds, the NS scheme based on its current form should be temporarily suspended.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

EPF forgot Sime Darby"s lesson in UMBC

The pension fund, EPF must surely think that money grows on trees when they decided to take-over RHB at a cost of $10 billion.They have still not recovered from their early foray into Bank Islam and Bank Pertanian where they suffered massive losses.BankIslam alone in its audited profit of two years suffered losses of $2.3 billion.Either they are so naiive about business investment in the banking sector or they must be sadist looking for more punishment.
If there is any parallel investment failure in the banking sector we need not go to far for examples.Remember Sime Darby's adventure with UMBC?Yes its brief foray caused them to lose more than $250 million in a short span of time.Luckily in quick timeUMBC was disposed off lock,stock and barrel and that was the first and last time Sime comtemplated venturing into the banking sector deemed 'a profitable business which could bring long -term benefit'by its CEO Mr. Azlan Zainol.
If it was profitable why did Sime's investment in UMBC resulted in such a massive loss?By his own admission Mr Azlan Zainol said they have no experience in Banking but they were going to engage professionals to run the bank.Does this imply that UMBC was not run by experts in the banking field? Surely not, because we would assume that Sime would have carefully selected a team of banking experts and yet they came up with a loss.
With the benefit of such banking failure one would have thought EPF would have been more cautious and prudent in their choice of Banking as an investment.
What really boggles the mind is that RHB is a debt-laden banking group and the bottom line is that if it was so profitable as claimed by its CEO then why is it heavily in debt? One simple test why it is a poor investment is to ask yourself why RHB owners are selling?Try asking owners of Hong Leong Bank or Public Bank to sell and see their response.
The recent forage into risky investments which yielded considerable losses in many of its portfolios reflects bad management.For too long the govt has regarded EPF as one of its GLC and like all GLC's poor management by key personnel has resulted in huge losses.And like all GLCs they are run by political cronies and supporters rather then for their expertise and experience.
If the pension fund is to recoup some of its earlier losses especially in MBSB (Malaysia Building society) where it loss more than a billion dollars then some sanity must prevail.The money collected from employees are sacrosanct and not meant to be indulged in risky speculative ventures nor should it be used to bail out UMNO cronies in failed busineses.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Burj Al Arab Hotel,Dubai

In this exceptional setting, traditions of Arabic hospitality are combined with the latest technology to provide a monument for the new millenium. Come and experience the first 7* hotel in this world - out of this world! SC 07/06 This unique sail shaped building stands proudly on a man-made island some 280 metres offshore, linked to the mainland by a gently curving causeway. At 321 metres high, the hotel is taller than the Eiffel Tower and only 60 metres shorter than the Empire State Building, the world's tallest hotel building. The hotel is a landmark and icon on the Dubai skyline. This seven star hotel is located on it's own man made island opposite Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Madinat Jumeirah approximately 40kms from Dubai.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Admiration For Lee Kuan Yew

I find the criticism by ex-Singaporean (Malayasiakini 1/03/07 ) regarding the extravagance of Mrs Lee kuan Yew totally unfair and without merit.First and foremost, the writer fail to appreciate what this great man has done for this small nation state, the neighbours call the'red dot'.His transformation of this small nation bereft of any natural resources to what it is today is an economical miracle no modern day country can ever emulate.I say it with envy because as a Malaysian Ihave the fortune to witness four past Prime Ministers and five including the present one and sad to say none of them can ever measure to this great Singapore icon.
The writer begrudged the Singapore premier for converting a Boeing 747 to fly his ailing wife to London for medical treatment and called it extravagant.The round trip perhaps may cost $5 million but does he know how much it cost to buy one?The one bought by our P.M cost about $210 million and that does not include expenditure on maintenance and stand-by crew.From this comparison alone we can see the cost saving incurred despite his one off expenditure to charter the flight to London.
No Singaporean in his right mind would begrudge such a luxury to this great man who have brought Singapore from obscurity to a prosperous first world nation.As a Malaysian I have never cease to admire this great man and it would be a dream for me to shake his hand and seek his autograph in his book 'Memoirsof Lee Kuan Yew.'