From the offset, the odds in GE14 were stacked up against the Pakatan (PAS somehow had it easier considering their loose working relationship with BN).
Some of the key opposition politicians were charged with criminal cases or misuse of power – Rafizi with BAFIA and Lim Guan Eng with charged under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount or value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
If they are found guilty, it is likely that they will not be able to run for the next General Elections.
(Bullshit!!!! The Old Man’s reaction when he heard that some mysterious donors from the Middle East had donated some USD700 million (RM2.6 billion ringgit) into Najib’s personal account and the reason for the donation had been spiraling down into realms of stupidity and absurd. Poster source: Suara Rakyat)
One way or another, I was expecting someone to pull in the Jews into the picture. Doesn’t it been the case whenever things gets screwed big time. I was right and this time they included DAP for the ride as well.
(Are these politicians qualify as suitable candidates for winning the elections? Image source: http://malaysiaflipflop.blogspot.hk)
I have been away from the country on work assignment but hardly a day passes by without me checking into the latest happenings in the country.
Criminal gangs have now turned to grenades for turf war in Bukit Bintang and at least 1 innocent person have been killed. A politician who earns more than RM21,000 comes around and says that as a Member of Parliament, he had to make do with insufficient money (he had to “ikat perut“) and even complained that MPs in Uganda are paid twice and this comment came after Najib decided to reduce the petrol subsidies causes the petrol price to go up 20 cents.
(Kajang is very famous for its satay – we used to drive into the town just for this but in recent weeks, the town of Kajang has been in the focus for a different type of food on the dish – Pakatan’s rather childish games with the voters in Kajang. Image source: http://sumptuousblog.wordpress.com)
If you have read enough posts in this blog, you will know that this blogger leans more towards Pakatan rather favorably. It is not because they are best one around but rather because we had enough of the nonsense, corruption, wastage of taxpayers money, lack of transparency & accountability, selective prosecution and seeds of disunity that Barisan politicians spews or cordons on a regular basis and we only have very limited choice for alternatives. Between the two, Pakatan somehow edges more positively (yes, screw the independents – they have screwed things for the wrong reasons in the last general election).
Anyway a total overhaul from top to bottom is long overdue. But that does not mean we can blindly accept whatever Pakatan fellows say and do – they are after all just politicians with a different clothes & purpose and they can also resort to the same cheap politics to score their own politician mileage. They must not forget that the high expectations and ideals that we expect of any elected politician applies the same to Pakatan politicians.
Recently we had this:-
Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh has resigned as an assemblyman, Selangor state speaker Hannah Yeoh announced today. With the resignation, she officially declared the N25 seat vacant.
When asked on Lee’s reason for resigning, Yeoh declined to answer on his behalf and requested reporters to ask Lee directly instead. Yeoh admitted that she was surprised by the move.
Of course, the question on everyone’s mind why should Lee resign when there is no real reason for anyone to resign. Even Lee himself could not come up with a good excuse than this:-
PKR’s former Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh finally broke the silence over his surprise resignation today, but left those awaiting clarification without the satisfaction of a clear answer.
With speculation going into overdrive that his departure was to pave way for Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to get into the Selangor mentri besar’s seat, Lee chose only to add to the mystery with a cryptic reason for his resignation.
“My decision to vacate the N25 Kajang seat is for the greater good and to reinforce the ability of (Pakatan Rakyat) to serve the people of Selangor,” Lee said in a three-paragraph statement tonight. He also thanked the voters of the constituency for their trust and co-operation.
And now Anwar is more or less confirmed to run for the seat and the funny part is that Pakatan actually think they will win the seat without a sweat. They even had asked BN not to contest to “save” taxpayers money for the by-election – it seemed that BN is destined to lose in Kajang so why bother, right? It is simply morally wrong too and it does not make any sense and here’s why Pakatan should not have an easy ride in Kajang:-
There is no real need for a vacant state seat in the first place. It is not like Lee Chin Cheh had (sorry to say this) died (like in most cases for by-elections in the past)some incurable sickness and is going to die anytime soon. Or he had been caught red handed on something that is legally or morally wrong (of course no politician in this country had never took responsibility for their actions and had resigned as a gesture of accountability. Most instead get promoted with a fat salary and assigned with special duties. So why Lee Chin Cheh should anyway be different?)
The very excuse to vacant the seat – “for the greater good and to reinforce the ability of (Pakatan Rakyat) to serve the people of Selangor” is demeaning and downright insulting. We all know that this is not the real reason for it – why reinforce something that you already have? The very same mistake a BN politicians often do – take the voters for ride. Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan had said that PKR must show an “overwhelmingly good reason” for this unexpected by-election in Kajang and we are still waiting for this reason.
Lately there have been another excuse in circulation and this time it is from Rafizi Ramli – that Anwar Ibrahim is needed in Selangor to prevent the federal government suspending the state legislature by invoking emergency laws (source). He went to say that Anwar needed political legitimacy in the state.
That unfortunately does not hold water as well – firstly Anwar as the key person in PKR & Pakatan does not need a state seat for political legitimacy in the state (he already has political legitimacy by default by being the leader of opposition and the de facto leader of PKR), secondly why can’t Khalid & Azmin who already have a state seat and is deep in the administration of the state handle whatever Anwar hope to do with a sole seat in the state and finally, if BN had decided to invoke the emergency laws and proceed with suspension of state legislature, do you think that Anwar owing one state seat would make any difference (after all they hardly blinked in Perak).
Let’s assume Lee Chin Cheh had to resign for a very good reason but unable to tell the real reason in public, don’t tell me that out of the many people in Pakatan (or rather PKR), they unable to find a good candidate to replace Lee and had to resort to Anwar as the last resort? He is not local as far as Kajang is concerned. This simply reinforces the notion that Lee resigned just for Anwar to step in and for no other reason.
Pakatan have been making the same mistake from day 1 and it is getting tiresome for some of us. If you take a closer look at Pakatan, there are way too many people holding more than 1 seat – one at Federal level and another at State level, as if there is only so many people in Pakatan capable to run for these seats. This has to stop and Kajang would be a good place to reinforce this message to politicians in Pakatan.
Pakatan should gets its seasoned politicians to focus on national issues at Federal level whilst the young, aspiring (and very loyal) politicians should be given a chance to play their role and contribute at State level. This way, Pakatan can be assured that there will be a sense of continuity and quality when the old and seasoned politicians retires.
Even if we take Anwar as the next best candidate for Kajang (let’s just assume lah), can he take the dual responsibility of managing Permatang Pauh and Kajang at the same time even though it may not be the same thing (ya, one deals with Parliament, another deals with State Assembly)?
Anwar had said that he has no problem managing the 2 constituencies and he may be right in a way. After all, the real work on ground is not done by the busy elected politicians but rather by their paid minions. It is nothing new and is normal since elected politicians simply don’t have time for all the trivial issues and that is the point here with Anwar.
Anwar should be focusing more on the national issues and on keeping Pakatan in one piece. It is very likely that he will not have time for constituencies (minions are helpful but it is not the same thing as they are not elected by the people)
Organizing a by-election is not cheap. It is a sheer waste of taxpayers money and time. There is no reason why we need to waste another few millions just because someone had an itch at a place where the sun don’t shine. Not when we are seeing price of basic goods skyrocketing in recent months.
So why add more to the expenses by the taxpayers? There is also an issue of the people need to spend time from work & more crucial activities to assist on the campaign and to vote. Will they be compensated for the time wasted?
Calling for BN to stay away from the by-election to save taxpayers money is undemocratic and borders political bullying. Just because the State is ran by Pakatan and they think that they can win the seat with one eye closed, that does not mean they can ask others to buzz off. Just imagine if BN had made the same call, Pakatan head honchos would have rolled on the floor in protest. Besides, it was PKR who caused the by-election in the first place, so why they should profit from it without a sweat?
It sets a dangerous precedent of political parties to take the electoral to resolve their internal dirty politics. We once thought that the back door ambush of powers in Perak a few years ago was the lowest point anyone can hit with electoral but with this sudden vacant of the N25 seat for no good reason means the threshold need to be revised again. This is indeed dangerous and the people should not be dragged into the political party internal issues. Why can’t they just resolve this within themselves?
With Anwar coming on-board after the public spat between Azmin Ali & Khalid Ibrahim, it may spell the end of Khalid’s remarkable administration of the State. Yes, they may say now that Anwar will not be the next MB and stress to the voters that at the highest he will go is until EXCO level.
But that does not mean the situation will not change in the near future when the relationship between Khalid and Azmin gets worse? Or when Anwar turns around and say that Khalid had “agreed” to step down and he or Azmin now takes over the MB seat? That would be disastrous indeed, not when Khalid is much favored by the people of Selangor and PKR’s partners in Pakatan to helm the Mentri Besar office.
Pakatan has going to the town apologizing to people of Kajang for the by-election and had called for the voters to support Pakatan again. But then again, it is an election that should not have happened in the first place. I think Anwar & Pakatan under-estimated the public backlash when Lee announced his resignation without a good reason & Anwar jumping on aboard to run for the seat.
Coupled with the reasons mentioned above and as much as I prefer Pakatan to Barisan anytime anywhere, perhaps democracy is best served by showing Anwar & Pakatan the exit in Kajang. A point must be made that no one – whether from Barisan or Pakatan can take the voters for a ride and in the end turns around and show the middle finger.
(We all seriously hope Najib has a concrete financial plan for the country when it comes to empowerment of its people and the economy and not doing for the sake of his own political survival in the upcoming political party elections. As taxpayers, no one want to see their hard earned money down the toilet on short-sighted financial plans. Image source: www.antaranews.com)
Sorry for starting with something “international” this week – Malaysia’s political circus show hardly makes a dent on the front pages at where I am in now.
As you may be aware, President Obama and most of the western world have put the blame squarely on the Syrian Government on the recent chemical attacks. David Cameron tried to get the UK Parliament to pass a motion on Syria and failed. And despite that and rather strong opposition from the US Senate, the Obama Administration seemed bent on punishing the Syrian Government for the alleged chemical attacks on its own people (how they effectively going to do it another question). That is until Russia came up with an alternate solution and provided a way out for Obama from a rather sticky situation. The Obama’s proposed shot over the bow is really not effective unless there are troops on ground – something the American public is well aware of and do not want to do after the same blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Then this came up:-
Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.
“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak.
Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra. According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.
If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.
Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.
Well, this piece of news may just be a part of an elaborate spin to turn the public opinion against Obama’s stand on the Syrian conflict. But then again, what if it is true? Let’s just hope that this does not escalate into something bigger and cause the world oil price to spike again. It is just the excuse for the “you know who” to reduce the subsidy and take the amount saved into another wasteful adventure. And speaking of “you know who”, it was not a big surprise when Najib, after increasing the petrol price recently, turns around and announces this:-
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a massive economic empowerment agenda for bumiputras while thanking the community for their strong support for Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.
The Prime Minister said: “Based on the support of the Malays and other bumiputras in the 13th general election, the Government has decided to take a quantum leap to implement concrete and thorough strategies and approaches. We call this bumiputra economic empowerment, and it is to safeguard the community now and forever.”
Be mindful that Najib is not talking about small fry money here. And it is good that the Government is looking into ways to “empower” the community (which it claims to be still weak and in need of Government help since 1969). The question is will the community get the necessary funding and help lock, stock and barrel or will it trickle down after the various fat cat middlemen, cronies and corrupt politicians have put their dirty hands in it? And what happened to all policies and money that was poured to “empower” the community in the past – money that belonged to taxpayers from various race, culture and religion? Has it gone down the drain or has it quietly went into the pockets of cronies and corrupt politician?
The BN may have announced a series of new race-based measures to boost the economic situation of the bumiputeras, but who is to be blamed for the community falling behind even after almost a half-century of affirmative action?
It is time to ask the same question as it seem to be the same thing all over again. The PM had announced the same race based policies before and under the same whistles and bells and in the same name of championing the community but after sometime, nothing much changes and before you know it, the PM announces another race based policies and the vicious cycle starts all over again. The Government says subsidy is bad but throwing taxpayers’ money on the same failed formula and getting no positive result is worse. The BN Government have been recycling the same old policies and re-branding them with new names but be rest assured, it only fattens the already fat lazy cats.
Can you think you can trust the politicians to keep to their words this time around and whatever “empowerment” that should happen do happens? Yes? Well, think again.
(The conceptual video relating to Google’s recent announcement of their revolutionary Project Glass – assuming that nothing tragic happens in December 2012 and things goes on as usual thereafter, we must recognize that the future is all about information at finger tips and on how it gets distributed and used in our daily lives. It will be a very technological and intelligent world – will we have the right smart leaders to lead us then?)
We all know what we expect from people who want to run for public office and we usually expect them to live by the highest standards. And one standard we need to impress on all “winnable” candidates from now onwards (other than able to stay clear from dirty politics, corruption, racial preference, misuse of tax-payers money and lack of credibility & integrity) is to have a reasonable sense of intelligence.
Just read this statement from a politician recently:-
The armed forces will not support the opposition if the latter attacks the purchase of military equipment.
Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad said that those politicising military matters risked hurting the feelings of Malaysia’s soldiers.
Though he did not specifically label the opposition, he told the Dewan Rakyat: “When it is politicised, our soldiers feel hurt. It doesn’t matter if (they’re) from the navy, ground (forces) or from the air (force).”
“Each time the government makes a decision to procure new assets, they (the military) are very happy, because they are trained to be a professional army. “So if that party… the more they condemn these assets, the more support the Barisan Nasional federal government gets,” he said.
The Minister may think he is saying some important but all he does is exhibit a clear absent of intelligence. Read it again – the Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad said that those politicizing military matters risked hurting the feelings of Malaysia’s soldiers and the more they condemn these assets, the more support the Barisan Nasional federal government gets.
If the soldiers are really pissed off and because of this, they are going to vote more for the BN government (hmm, not that their postal votes have not been “sodomised” in past elections), what the Minister babbling about? Does this works rather nicely to him and his political party? So, what he is complaining about? Ok, ok, say what, let’s leave that obvious question aside. Let’s assume he has a point (by stretching our imagination, of course).
Let’s ask whether it is what the opposition politicians have been harping on all this time – on the question why we are buying new military assets? Is it that or is it on the question why we are paying through our noses for the much needed military assets when the same or better assets could be bought at a cheaper price?
Is it that or on the question on why we have to pay millions ringgit of “commission” to crony linked companies or dubious individuals with no proper track record (err, sorry I meant clean track record in military industry, not the history of getting commissions for nothing) for additional contracts that the military can manage on their own. Which of these the soldiers really want – the opposition keeping quiet and end up having taxpayer’s money paid (in millions) to some politician linked individuals for dubious military contracts (with more for bailouts later) or the opposition making plenty of noise so much so the Government is topped at their tracks and is forced to think twice and forced to tighten the procurement procedures and then reuse the money saved for other beneficial things (like ex-serviceman welfare or perhaps modernization of other aging military assets)? Read this for a response from the ex-servicemen.
Abdul Latiff fellow is just one example of mainstream politician making “dumb statements” in recent times – with elections around the corner, please expect more unknown, dumb politicians from both sides, making plenty of “not-so-intelligent” statements in public. They have to – this is the only way for them to promote themselves so that they still deemed relevant when the calls for “winnable candidates” comes crunching. As usual, some will try to be heroes (there is always 1 or 2) and will go one step ahead – they not only speak dumb but they will act dumb as well.
The point is if we can’t see their intelligence in handling trivial and domestic politics, how we expect them to handle greater things like the economy (with dwindling oil reserves), environment and education? Still remember the elected clowns wasting time in the Parliament talking about the cost of teh tarik and roti canai before they got whacked in 2008? Moving forward, we do not want similar clowns roaming around the Parliament wasting time on trivial matters.
The call for intelligent politicians is nothing new.
In 2011, Ali Kadir wrote this in the Malaysian Insider:-
Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie Apdal (among Umno’s best and brightest judging by fact that one is the second in line to govern the country and the other is the third in line) need not apply. The two senior ministers are evidence of how hollow the ranks of leaders in Umno are.
Today, Shafie Apdal gave credence to the line that it is best to keep silent and keep up the illusion of competence rather than open your mouth and shatter it. He says that the government knows that the Bersih rally is all about politics. Wow, this is really enlightening.
And stuffing the ballot box, phantom voters and widening the base of postal voters is about what, exactly. Is it about keeping Muhyiddin, Shafie, Noh Omar, Hishammuddin Hussein, Khaled Nordin, Kong Chong Ha, Ng Yen Yen, Palanivel, Nazri Aziz employed?
The fact that is shocking is that not only do we have to deal with corruption, abuse of power. But we are asked to suffer fools. We would not tolerate some of these people as our subordinates. Why are we letting them govern us?
In the first case, if I was Abdul Latiff, I would have just keep my mouth shut and just focus on what I suppose to do in the best interest of those under my Ministry. And a large chunk of it would have been on how military assets could be procured without incurring additional cost and without quality of the said assets short-changed. That would be the smarter thing to do. That would be the right thing to do. But if he can’t do that – given how corrupt the system has been, the least he could do is just keep his mouth shut.
I am not sure if we can ever make a positive dent in the political arena in Malaysia with the current range of politicians (some of them are Neanderthals in form of Homo sapiens and deserved to be locked away in museums) but we need to make sure that with every general elections that comes along, there must be evolution for the better. The world is changing – it is getting smaller, faster and wiser. We need the right quality of people that can lead the nation in this ever-changing world. They may not be like the intelligence, revolutionary Thomas Jefferson but at the very minimum, they must be intelligent enough to embrace new way of thinking and doing things. They must have the ability to make wise decisions in challenging times. They must have the ability to accept criticisms and instead replying with dirty politics, response admirably with short term and long term solutions.
And as we head towards another general election, let’s review back on how that all politicians (both from BN and PR and some of the independents – excluding the Perkasa moron, of course) have behaved in the past and how intelligent they has talked and acted on the constituency, state and national issues. Those who have failed have no place whatsoever in public office in the near future. The question is – are we intelligent enough to do that in the up coming general elections?
Folks, the signs of the general election are everywhere now – it’s anytime now
(You can hardly see this fine beautiful art in motion these days but in the political landscape, it is still alive and played well to the end. Image source: Wikipedia)
For one, there are plenty of feel-good news in the mainstream medias, highlight of the oppositions having trouble in Kedah (and other PR led states) and many more things to spin that the BN is better than PR. Just read some of the headlines in recent days and some of it may even make you want to puke:-
Johor is a role model in relation to the development of Chinese schools, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. In comparison, Dr Chua said the community faced problems getting land for schools in Selangor.
Najib given an A+ for performance since last polls. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has performed well since the last general election, said Umno veteran Tun Daim Zainuddin.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is regarded as a leader who has bravely spoken up for the interest of the community, said Umno veteran Tun Daim Zainuddin.
The action by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in apologising on behalf of Barisan Nasional (BN) for its mistakes, including its dismal performance in the 2008 general election, reflected the party’s humility, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
There’s more and last weekend, Najib even meet up with some NGOs – just to say that “the NGOs, which are partners at the grassroots, and their leaders contribute their time and energy voluntarily to achieve their respective objectives, whether in championing for women’s right, persons with disabilities or protection for children”.
Hmm, interesting. Would he have said the same thing to the NGOs who had contributed their time and energy voluntarily for Bersih 2.0? What about Tenaganita where the founder Irene Fernandez in 1996 arrested for publishing false news and convicted (a conviction which in 2008 was overturned by the High Court).
With election looming even closer, expect the unexpected – roads full of potholes for months suddenly patched up, new roads laid, toll charges reduced, land titles distributed, citizenship suddenly granted, previously “missing-in-action” politicians visiting their constituencies and more. Yes, you will see more and more of the famed politicians coming down from the sky, making themselves holier than the holiest man around, just to get votes for the next elections.
To be fair, we see the same thing over at Pakatan’s side as well. So, depending on which type of media you are accessing, you will either be reading too much of BN’s spins or PR’s spins. But it does not really matters as to who you will support at the end of the day – it can be a BN or PR candidate, what really matters is that you have registered to vote and you exercise them by picking the very best to represent all Malaysians and the country whilst at the same time, showing the half-past six, corrupted and two-faced politicians to their early exit.
Najib have been going around apologizing (why now?) but the fact is we rather see a real action for the future than apology for the past, bygone actions.
With NFC mess and 1Care seemed to be quite down for now (but not over), there seems to be other mess creeping in. The proposed RM7.1 billion highway project is one and this seems to be one-notch over all those lopsided highway contracts of the past:-
Critics have also questioned the logic of awarding the project to Europlus which has no experience in highway construction. Although the original length of the West Coast Expressway was 215.8km, critics claim another 100km do not justify an additional RM4 billion.
“The A-G is also questioning why the concessionaire is getting 70 per cent of the toll revenue when it should be a 70:30 agreement, with the government getting 70 per cent since it is footing the cost of the project,” said another source.
Another issue is that Europlus president and chief executive Tan Sri Chan Ah Chye also controls Talam Corporation, which has a blemished record in property development because of a number of abandoned projects.
Will this RM7.1 billion highway contract get approved in the end with the same lopsided terms and the rakyat once again are made suckers? Certainly we hope not – BN should be smarter by now.
Then we have Lynas – the proposed tax-free, rare-earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan. There has been serious concern on the by-product of the processing plant which is radioactive in nature. Even more serious is the question why there is 12 years tax break for the plant and why BN politicians harping on the project.
Despite the promises to keep close watch on the enforcement of the law on the processing plant and assurances (yeah, we all know how well enforcement of the law can be in this country), we are certainly not taking the bait, more so with this news:-
The fact that Australia has refused to accept the waste by-product – thorium – produced by the Lynas operation tells something of the risks hidden in the rare earth. Australia will only mine the ore and ship it to Malaysia. Australia is safe. Malaysia will refine it and has to take care of the waste. Malaysia is not safe.
Where do you bury the waste? Call the prime minister and he will say the thorium will be dumped far from human settlements. Not a good answer. The waste can seep into the ground and eventually contaminate the water. Relocate the affected residents? Pointless. The radioactive gas called “radon” – which is released when the ore is crushed to remove thorium – will bring menacing clouds to the whole country on the wings of the winds. There is no place you can hide.
The rare earth plant is located only 2km away from a residential area (Gebeng) with a population of about 30,000 and some 25km from Kuantan. It is estimated that the combined population of the two towns – about 400,000 – will be put at risk from possible toxic leaks and emissions. Yet the government experts are cocksure that LAMP is totally safe.
One minister even had the audacity to advance his perverted logic that the waste water can safely be discharged into drains. The call for him to resign is fitting. He does not have the foggiest idea about the Lynas operation or understand the horrors that await the people who live in the vicinity of the refinery.
Election is coming and if Najib wants to show that BN is better than anyone in governing the country and be fair to all its people irrespective of their political affiliates, they need to prove more than just fancy headlines on state controlled media. They must show that they have changed for good – the granting of a RM7.1 billion highway contract in dubious circumstances (despite public outcries in the past on lopsided highway contract) or making policies that undermines the people’s health and welfare is not.
In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the wayang kulit to be played out to the maximum in both sides – just keep a clear head and conscience and focus on what you need to do when the elections are finally held.
(With elections around the corner, expect more incidents of talking cock to be sprouting out from the foamy mouth of the many half-past-six politicians around the country and on a more regular basis too. Image source: http://www.olx.com.sg)
In Malaysia, I think we have come to a point where we can take in usual talk cock from the politicians in this country on a regular basis but when it comes to the Prime Minister himself talking cock and even though you may say that you have see it all, heard it all, you should know that at this level, even talking cock has it’s limit
I do not know what kind of “super-powers” that the BN Government intends to empower MACC in the future – perhaps that all important power to prosecute or perhaps able to throw witnesses from the windows legally, I don’t know but why wait until the next general elections?
Isn’t BN already running the show at the Federal level and despite oppositions and MP walking out, have easily passed two suppressive laws in recent times? I am sure that if the BN Government is empowering MACC with enough powers to hang those who commit corruption up on a high pole, Pakatan politicians and the rakyat would be very supportive as well. There is really no need for two-thirds control of the Parliament and no need to wait for the general elections (unless it is going to enact laws that make obvious incidents like NFC untouchable to anyone).
Voters are not dungus and they don’t like to be taken for a ride – it is easy to see clearly when one is talking cock – loud and clear
(In the Global Competitiveness Report 2010–2011, Malaysia ranks 25 out of 139 countries where public spending is somewhat better managed than the rest but then again, if one reads deeper into the report, Malaysia’s ranking is only 4.2 out of the full 7 on the mark. We are no where close to our neighbor down south who ranks at the top at 6.1 despite their limited natural resources, human resource and living space)
It is scary to hear that the Government has no qualms spending RM650mil annually on something that is not really critical or beneficial to the nation.
PEKAN: A National Service Voluntary Brigade has been launched to further promote volunteerism and tap the services of hundreds of thousands of former National Service (NS) trainees.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who launched the brigade in Bandar Chini here yesterday, said the brigade could be roped in to help during natural disasters such as floods, landslides and fires.
The Government has no qualms spending RM650mil annually, or RM8,200 per NS trainee, he said. The number of former NS trainees totals 620,000.
“We see it as an investment in our human resource development,’’ Najib added.
When the National Service was first started, we were kind of understood the need for National Service although we did not really understand why the Government could not have just reviewed the weaknesses of the already existing Rakan Muda program and improve on it. But still and probably under the delusion of the National Service that has been deployed in Singapore, we went on to see Malaysians by the thousands packed up and sent to National Service camps around the country and despite the well defined objectives and short stint, since the start of National Service, 16 of them had died and there has been other criticisms as well:-
Meanwhile DAP’s Senawang assemblyman P Guna when contacted said that the NSC programme was no more relevant to school-leaving students.
Conceived in 2004 with the aim of instilling patriotism among the younger generation, foster national unity and develop positive character, the programme, Guna said, had failed to meet its objectives and was now merely a benefit to Barisan Nasional cronies.(According to Deputy Defence Minister Abu Seman Yusop until 2008 the government had spent RM2.37 bilionl to finance the programme.)
“There is no comparing our NSC programme with Singapore. “In Singapore a participant must attend the programme for three years. Whereas here they attend the programme for three months only.
“What can they learn in three months? Also why are the 80 camps in Malaysia run by individuals and not the government?” he asked adding that most parents were unhappy with the way the programme was managed. Guna added that the NSC also had a poor track record of safety.
“So far 17 detainees have died and numerous cases of injuries reported. They have also been few cases of sex abuse, racial brawls and harassment. These cases ministry has failed to solve, ” he said.
And now the Najib says that the Government has no qualms spending RM650mil annually on the so-called National Service Voluntary Brigade and for what – to have the ex-National Service trainees to help during natural disasters such as floods, landslides and fires? You think they have nothing else better to do? How about their studies? And even if we were to swallow that half-past six argument, don’t we already have the more well trained and better equipped Fire Department, the SMART team, rescue units under the various local authorities and if need to, RELA for the very same purpose?
And how the Government came to a figure of RM650 million in the first place – uniforms, trainings and accommodations going to cost us that much?? What is breakdown and who is going to get their hands on this money? If we utilize the existing National Service infrastructure and those trainees used back their existing uniform, I am sure we can save a couple millions more. After all, the proposed RM650 million is almost the same as the total expenditure that the “normal” National Service program has been incurring on a yearly basis.
And if the Government really want to invest in the national human resource development, instead of wasting RM650 million a year on some dubious para-military brigade, they can better spend it on building better and well equipped schools, training Malaysians to speak and write better English (and in the same process, kick start the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English), have better teaching skills to teach the younger generation in the country, have more PSD scholarships available for top scorers, more places in the local university and skill learning classes for those well deserving school leavers. Wouldn’t that give human resource development a boost in the long run?
RM650 million per year is a lot of money but unfortunately we have been plagued with a people in power who don’t think twice (or do very little thinking) when it comes to planning out a good strategy and spending tax-payers hard earned money in the best way for national development and wealth.
Couple weeks ago, we have hearing on how our GLC may to lose RM118 million to a mystery British Virgin Island shareholder for doing nothing. And then we read on how the Government has awarded a lucrative RM7 billion highway deal, to be tolled for a record 60 years, to a company known principally for making and selling granular and powder-activated carbon. The existing highway agreements has been crappy so don’t expect this one to be rosy instead.
And there is more on the plate in the coming months – Government is also putting their hands on the EPF monies (certainly there must be an end to this kind of utilization of public pension funds for political social welfare) that may not promise a good return to the EPF members:-
In disbelief I read that funds from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) — RM1.5 billion to be exact — are to be channeled to a foundation to provide loans to Malaysians who are not able to get a housing loan from a commercial bank. Not only that. The loan would be at a lower interest rate than that offered by a bank. The report quoted Federal Territories and Well-Being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin as saying that these loans would be provided to retirees and those without steady income.
How can the government take funds which you and I have put aside for our retirement and use it to fund home purchases of those without a steady income? I am all for helping those who are experiencing difficult times, but there has to be another way of doing so.
In case it has escaped the notice of Raja Nong Chik and other members of the cabinet, the objective of the EPF is to set aside funds for employees who do not have any pension scheme. On retirement, the amount the employee and employer have contributed during the employees’ working life is available with interest or dividends to be paid in a lump sum so that the employee has sufficient funds to fund his or her retirement.
The monies belong to the members of the EPF — not the government. The board of the EPF has a stewardship responsibility — to act in the best interests of its members
In banking terms, there is something we called bad debts – on paper, it looked impressive – the loan facility rides on high interest rate and backed by collateral. But once the customer is unable to make the repayment, the reality of things kicks in – the so-called high interest remains uncollected and we can’t even find buyers for the collateral. At the end of the day, the bank loses and writes off the loan as bad debts.
And this is where RM1.5 billion of EPF funds heading to – when you have home buyers who do not have steady income, repayment indication remains very shaky (at lower rate than the banks too) and I am sure EPF is going to find hard time selling off low cost units (even if it does, it is going to be after a huge discounts). Will we see some kind of bailout in the end?
And another endeavor that is waiting for major fuck-up if not managed well is the 1Care proposition which already creating fiasco with fellow Malaysians:-
The government is about to introduce a mandatory national healthcare system called 1Care, which will force all employees to give up to 10% of their monthly income to pay for basic healthcare. This has created an atmosphere of fear among the people as to the uncertainties of the medical facilities made available to them and their families.
While it may be a noble idea to come with a comprehensive national healthcare system to provide quality and affordable medical services for the people, it has to make sure the people at large, in particular the lower income group are ready for such a scheme, which will further drain their already meagre resources.
According to the planned scheme, despite paying a hefty sum every month, one:-
1 Cannot choose the own doctor but go to the one assigned by a healthcare provider appointed by the government. These healthcare providers are usually managed by non-medical professions, and are basically run on profit-motivated financial systems.
2 Can only see the assigned doctor six times a year free
3 Can only see the doctor for one problem at a time
4 Get only cheaper generic medicine and not the patented drugs that are more costly.
5 If one wants a doctor of his choice or patent drugs he has to pay more for them.
Each year, we all pay a total of RM44.24 billion a year for healthcare – now called National Healthcare Hospitals and clinics ( an integration of public hospitals and clinics, private hospitals and private GPs. which in essence is a privatisation of public and nationalisation of private healthcare facilities). All this will now go under 1Care. This means 1Care will get almost RM45 billion a year. The administrative cost is likely to be 10% or about RM 4.5 billion
Can we manage the remaining RM40 billion wisely and ensure that it is used wholly for national healthcare services and ensure that it does not end up in some crony’s personal pockets (heavily disguised as “commissions” and “other services” perhaps)?
This all really shows that it has been sometime since we got someone very brilliant and highly responsible in running the Finance Ministry – someone who is bent on maximizing the income for the Government (by closing the loop-holes for corruption, tax-evasion, etc) whilst at the same time, slashing down unnecessary expenses and then with the funds available, prioritizing the spending of the limited resources for the right, non-political biased purposes.
We have been seeing millions wasted on unnecessary and often bloated national projects, advertisements, “you help me – I help you” election giveaways (beware – latest scam is called nambekei), cash giveaways to public when there is limited funding in other areas and uncontrollable corruptions (we already lost RM1.08 trillion todate to corruption). And when there is no money left, the tax-payers are asked to pay, one way or another for the Government to spend even more and more to crony’s and corrupt politician’s own pockets – that is indeed sickening.
Because when you don’t the money to provide loans for low income Malaysians to purchase own homes or when there is not enough to cover the national health care and can’t even manage the available money, throwing another RM650 million down the drain is the last thing one needs to manage the limited resources.