Archive for May, 2007

MAS made RM132.71 million in first quarter of 2007

May 31, 2007
Congratulations to Idris Jala and his team for achieving what they were trusted to do with flying colours. But I have similar questions to ask MAS. Malaysians have the right to know the full facts and figures as suggested by “High-Flying Truth” . Others GLCs may also want to know and learn from Idris Jala and his team on how to turnaround an ailling GLC.

We just want to be sure, the good news is not a by-product of ‘creative  accounting’ but truely a good news.    

MAS profits: Full facts and figures please

High-Flying Truth
May 30, 07 2:19pm
Malaysiakini 
I refer to the malaysiakini report RM132.71 million: MAS’ Q1 profit report on MAS’ turnaround plans and its encouraging profits. While congratulations are definitely in order for MAS MD Idris Jala and his men and women, I would still hold my final adulation until I am given all the facts first.For instance, how much of the increase in revenue and profit is still attributable to subsidies and reimbursements coming from parent company PMB ( Penerbanagan Malaysia Berhad)? Talking about PMB, what has happened to it? Is it still functioning or has it been moth-balled?I still want to know if interest and leasing costs are being subsidised by taxpayers via PMB as well how much of the domestic sector losses are being absorbed by PMB if any.

It has also been reported that the cost of the VSS (Voluntary Separation Scheme or whatever they call them) has been subsidised by government. How much has this has affected the bottom line of MAS for this year and for the years to come?

Its all right to have press conference and announce glowing numbers but public must also have all the relevant facts before we can decide whether the turnaround plan is working.

I am sure the new team has done well, better then the previous one but let’s have all the facts please. Now they want to go frolicking in the low cost airlines business. Just how much is this going to cost the taxpayer yet again?

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Voice of a concerned group: Be careful of BN

May 30, 2007

This is a letter emailed to DAP leaders yeasterday by a group of concerned Malaysians. I have taken the liberty to edit the letter to make it more readable. Happy reading!

Dear all,

Be careful of BN (Barisan Nasional) in this coming election, 

BN = Barang Naik  but income stays the same ?

Voice of rakyat Malaysia

      We are regretted to bring up our concern which have been kept in the
heart of Malaysian people where some of the Malaysians do not know how to
voice up or dare not highlight their problems which might be causing
trouble to themselves when commenting the faults of our government.

  Our government seems to be governing the country without listening to the voices of the rakyat.How Malaysians would survived under these leaders?

  Malaysian government leaders are great pretenders and blood suckers; they have cut the throat of the people by increasing the prices of everything. They were doing it without taking the negative impact to the people into consideration.

  The fuel price worldwide had gone down,and those countries like Singapore, China,Hong  Kong so on have reduced their fuel prices accordingly,but our government still pretending that nothing has happened. 

  The toll rates keep increasing every three years and some of the places like Prai, Penang
suddenly added toll booths to collect toll from the people. 

  The price increase has triggered an inflation. How are we going to survive? It will create more crimes when the people have no money.

  Most of the companies are at dying state with less earnings,and our factories were just working for 3 days a week because of no purchase order from the overseas and local markets.

  People have low earnings and poor buying power. Cash flow was slow and buinesses are under pressure, but how could the government continue to claim that the domestic economy is doing very well? 

  The n minister is bullshiting by giving false information and data. we are now lagging behind many ASEAN countries. 

  We are all suffering now ! If we still do not open our eyes, what is going to happen? ?Although we are
always a BN supporter,but it looks like we must change direction to BA now. We continue to support BN but we will ended up with more violence and criminal acts like robbing and stealing. Please do not blame  the police alone because the government should be responsible. Adding more policemen will not solve the problem.

  The ‘rasuah” and “close one eye” culture still exist in most of the government departments; for  example, ZAKARIA  has escaped. Nothing has happened to him.

  Recently, we sent our company vehicles to PUSPAKOM for inspection, but every time we must bribe to get a pass.; otherwise,they would make all sorts of excuses , such as paint no good,cushion no good …which were not related to the safety of the vehicles at all. There was once our company vehicle got a pass from the Puspakom but one of the wheels was actually damaged seriously and may cause accident. What is the use PUSPAKOM? The ministers are  still sleeping. Please close down Puspakom!

  Dear fellow Malaysian, please cast your vote carefully this time. BN will only bring more problems to Malaysians, making the country more insecure and chaotic. 

  Unless BN is willing to listen and change the way they governed the country,we should not be supporting BN anymore.

  Before our government is getting more rotten,we need to take a stand for the sake of our future generations. 

  Once again, please be careful to cast your vote. We are not asking for more trouble by voting out BN. Continue support for an “unchangeble” BN only works against our interest. 

Peace upon all Malaysians.

Voice from a group of Malaysian people.

May 13 and a comment by Dr Collin Abraham

May 30, 2007
“Within two days the membership of the Council was announced but perhaps one of the greatest political tactical errors was the MCA’s decision not to accept any cabinet posts. While it was understandable that the party should abdicate from its traditional partnership with Umno in the Alliance, (because of the massive defeat of its candidates in the general election), withdrawal meant that Umno had a free hand to push ahead the bumiputera position in the New Economic Policy without Chinese opposition.” Dr Collin Abraham

 May 13 and beyond (Pt 1)

Dr Collin Abraham
May 28, 07 12:06pm
Malaysiakini 
The May 13th race riots cannot be understood as an isolated event but as the cumulative convergence of historically determined disruptive political and social forces that were perpetuated and developed over a period of time.These involved contributory and precipitating causes that have to do with the acquisition, discrimination and abuse of political power, and which came to a head in the post-independence period.Indeed, in place of nation-building efforts, there was already the breakdown of law and order in Kuala Lumpur, such that May 13th itself has even been described at least by one observer as a “blessing in disguise” because it finally resulted in the lawless situation in Kuala Lumpur being brought under control. (Raja Petra: Malaysia Today, April 9, 2007). 

The contributory causes need to be recognised. First, the root cause can be traced to the Federation of Malaya Agreement itself, the first piece of post-war legislation promulgated by the British colonial government which failed to provide any semblance of political stability because the constitutional status of the different racial groups was not negotiated in consultation with the legitimate representatives of the respective communities.

The innate characteristic of powerlessness was thereby initiated and allowed to be perpetuated right into the post-colonial period. The two groups most representative of the Malays, the Nationalist Party and the Islamic factions walked out of Umno and the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) which was the only party with predominant Chinese membership (that collaborated with the British in Force 136) was not invited to participate in the negotiations. Therefore it was the elitist Umno members’ interests that were promoted in the Agreement which was unrealistically (and of course conveniently) considered by the British as representing the Malay community as a whole.

But this was an erroneous perspective. The Malay rakyat that had hitherto been politically dormant under the feudal system in the pre-colonial period had become strongly nationalistic, first because of the defeat of the British by the Japanese and then by the promise the latter to give the Malays political independence. It an be asserted that it was this nationalistic fervour, and not Umno membership as such, that enabled the mass protest against the Malayan Union proposals. Indeed it can also be argued that it was this same national consciousness that forced the resignation of Onn Jaafar when he proposed opening Umno membership to non-Malays.

The possibility of losing political power to the Chinese was the other main concern of the rakyat which was also the fear of the Malay elite, but there was the other additional reason that the latter feared the Chinese were likely to encroach on their economic interests ( with British backing). But at the same time the elite groups also needed the Malay grassroots for political support to politically keep the Chinese at bay.

Therefore it would not be difficult in the situation of the victory parade after the 1969 general election where Chinese opposition parties were claiming to have defeated the Alliance and would “take over the government” for both groups to react fiercely particularly because the threat of the Chinese taking political power seemed to be becoming a reality.

Malay case

It must be emphasised that this nationalist consciousness could be expected to have become reinforced and heightened by the fact the Malay working class, the peasantry, other low income groups as well as the lower middle class had yet to see any appreciable improvement in their social life since Merdeka, and yet the Chinese immigrants were now threatening to take over the government.

The call for the Malay youth therefore to attend the post-election rally, also from other parts of the country as well, was also intended as a demonstration against Umno leadership itself for allowing this static economic situation to continue. Therefore it would be expected that the gathering at the home of the Selangor Mentri Besar would also have included representatives of lower-middle class Malays as well as others acting as youth leaders.

A defining question in the collaboration and first coming together of Umno and MCA in the Alliance party to contest the KL municipal elections is nothing more than a case of false consciousness. It needs to be strongly emphasised that this so-called political accommodation was essentially a ‘fluke’ shot in the political arena. It was totally devoid of any notions of political theory or ideology. But it was conveniently accepted as a sufficient condition to work for political independence because it was intended to maintain the status quo and therefore serve the common interests of the British, the Malay ruling class, and the Chinese business class.

The Alliance party therefore ensured that the unequal and discriminatory colonial social structure was maintained at the expense of egalitarian policies for Malay rakyat and the Chinese working classes. Put simply it was a case of ‘each man for himself and God for all’ and it follows that the election process that offered the only known hope of effecting a change to bring about a more caring society for all had become a farce.

Chinese case

The situation of the working class Chinese community was also one of a continuous struggle to survive. Emerging from what is perhaps the most exploitative system of indentured labour in Malaya recorded in documentary evidence as the ‘pig trade’ and subjected to ‘vice’ items to earn revenue by the colonial government through opium, alcohol, gambling and prostitution, a small proportion managed to set them selves up as independent workers in the tin industry and related occupations subsequently. But with increasing population and denied access to land they turned to wage employment and pressed for better working conditions through trades unions. However because the unions had the support of the CPM they were suppressed and declared illegal. Moreover because of this and the lack of jobs for the Chinese educated many joined the CPM because they had to fight to survive.

What the Chinese lacked most was political power. Persuaded by the colonial government, their businessmen organised themselves to protect their economic interests, so from its very inception the MCA was a political party representing the towkay class. It is important to recognise that while the fledging party could have worked to build up the party and provide political and economic support for the Chinese community as a whole, the leaders instead chose to forge links with the Malay ruling class and thereby develop mutually beneficial interests as a class.

The Chinese providing the economic support to the Alliance Party through the provision of huge funds for election purposes and economic representation in their larger business consortiums for the Umno elite, and in return seeking political legitimacy through representation of more parliamentary seats of the Alliance party. Their indifference to the Chinese community is evidenced by one of the most ‘outrageous’ scenarios of MCA indifference in the failure to present the Chinese Memorandum to the British Government at the Mederka Conference to demand a place in the independent Malaya. The Chinese interests therefore were not presented to the British government. Instead according to a statement attributed to Tunku Abdul Rahman the Memorandum was thrown into the wastepaper basket!

What this means is that literally the ‘mass’ of Chinese were automatically alienated from the political process from Day 1 and therefore sought political representation through opposition parties such as the Labour Front and the DAP. In fact it can be argued that in effect the reduction of political power of the Alliance in the 1969 election was because of the rejection of MCA candidates by the Chinese. Because the opposition parties were ‘outside’ the normal conservative value system of being subservient to the political status quo as in the MCA the Chinese members were therefore free to express political dissent with regard to their marginalised political status with a minimum of restraint in the opposition parties

To add to this was the confidence they had gained from the entry of the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) of Singapore into the Malaysian political arena. The demand by PAP leader Lee Kuan Yew for a Malaysian Malaysia provided added emphasis to these Chinese to back the opposition parties with confidence and a sense of legitimacy. To them, Malaya belonged to all and as Malays are not necessarily the only indigenous community, they must necessarily accept the Chinese as equals in a power-sharing government.

1969 general election

On the eve of the 1969 polls and against this background there was the question of granting a police permit for a large funeral procession to go through the town centre for an opposition party (Labour Party) member who had been shot by the police. There are some conflicting accounts about the decision to grant this permit. Tunku Abdul Rahman told me that he was against a permit being issued because of the highly charged political climate.

But according to the Tunku the permit was finally issued by Abdul Razak Hussein (photo) when the latter was acting prime minister (after the Tunku had returned to his home town in Kedah for the weekend).Apparently pressure by Dr David Tan of the Labour Party convinced Razak that there was no legitimate reason why a permit should be withheld.

In one of the two long interviews I had with Tunku Abdul Rahman in Penang, (while 1 was teaching a race relations course at USM), the Tunku attached great importance to the funeral procession that was held on the eve of the general election. It was his strongly held view that this funeral procession sowed the seeds for the May 13th riots. The shooting of a Chinese opposition party member by a Malay policeman just days before the election, and the funeral procession being allowed to go through the KL town centre was, to the Tunku, a recipe for trouble.

According to the Tunku however, the decision to overrule him and grant the permit also had a personal dimension. He explained that while he was aware of a move by certain Umno leadership for him to step down as prime minister, no one had actually approached him to do so. He therefore felt that the permit approval against his earlier decision amounted to open criticism that he was no longer in touch with reality and should therefore resign.

There was also increasing concern among the Umno leadership at this time that certain MCA officials (and some Chinese businessmen as well) were moving in the inner circles among the Tunku’s close associates. Although it was agreed that this was purely in his private capacity it might nonetheless compromise the Tunku’s position as prime minister.

Read Part 2 here.

May 13 and beyond (Pt 2)
Dr Collin Abraham
May 29, 07 11:29am
Malaysiakini 
It is clear that the 1969 election results and victory parade were the two main precipitating factors leading to the race riots. It must be recognised at the outset that these were distinctly separate events and it is important to distinguish between the two.In fact because the resulting race riots were the direct outcome of the aftermath of the victory parade itself, they will not be taken up for analysis here except to reiterate that the level of racial insults and threats to continued Malay government seen during the election campaign had in fact become too extreme even to mention.

The years of being in the political wilderness, and the expected revolution of rising expectations resulting in the revolution of rising frustrations, had taken their toll. 

Once the spark of the fuse had been lit all hell broke loose and the only steps that could be taken were to try to bring the law and order situation back under control. For example at the height of the riots, Ismail Mohd Ali recorded that Abdul Razak Hussein (photo) wanted to drive down to the epicentre in his official car and directly call on the rioters to stop the bloodshed. Ismail’s response to Razak was simple and effective: “They will probably tear you to pieces.”

(It might not be out of place to seek a word of clarification as to whether the riots could be strictly termed as ‘race’ riots. Had they really been so, they would have spread to rural areas as well and Chinese shopkeepers and others in small-scale business scattered around the kampongs would have been massacred.)

In retrospect, the 1969 election campaign itself was the writing on the wall that there could be some racial trouble because of the strong ‘anti-racial’ tone of the entire campaign that according to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah also extended to the candidates from PAS and Umno itself. And yet there were no attempts either by the Alliance government or the police to take pre-emptive steps to maintain law and order.

Undue delay

Even when the election results showed that the Umno-dominated Alliance had in fact suffered a major setback when it lost the two-thirds parliamentary majority that it had enjoyed since the inception of democracy, there seemed a lack of preparedness for any likely adverse outcomes.

Indeed, even with the opposition’s victory celebrations over the gain of Penang and Kelantan and when Perak and Selangor were on the brink of falling into their hands, and with Chinese and Indian demonstrators calling on the Malays to quit Kuala Lumpur, leaving the seat of government to the opposition, there is little evidence of police preparedness to face a deteriorating law and order situation.

The seriousness of the situation might be gauged from the following statement: “For the first 24 hour period, sections of the police force simply became demoralised due to the impact of widespread violence and the regular police forces are a key element in maintaining any long range security in this country.” (17th May 1969, Confidential to FCO, cited in Kua Kia Soong, May 13th p50)

As regards the tragic aftermath of the riots in terms of the deaths, casualties and untold suffering and misery of the victims there is little doubt that it was worse because of the undue delay on the part of the authorities to deal with the situation. The fact was that the political leaders were caught by surprise and hence even after three days of rioting there was still no directive from the government to the army to move in to control the situation. Neither were the army chiefs of staff able to initiate action on their own volition.

Indeed, in an informal discussion with one of the generals summoned by Razak and questioned as to why the army was failing to take prompt action, he was astonished to be told that the army was waiting for instructions!

It would seem very strange that such senior military officers who would have probably have been trained overseas including top British military institutions failed to grasp the seriousness of the law and order situation and to have acted accordingly. When I probed the matter further, the general‘s response was that the army was waiting for the police to withdraw from the scene so that it could be free to take such action it thought fit. It was only after Razak signed a directive that the army finally moved in.

There is no question therefore that the earlier colonial government, and the entire Alliance government should be held accountable for this tragic situation where ordinary law-abiding men, women and children were hounded like animals and died like dogs in the streets through no fault of their own.

It can be seen from the above analysis that the entire elite ruling class of both races were more concerned about maintaining their cosy neo-colonial status quo after independence while being themselves protected by the Anglo-Malaysian defence treaty against foreign aggression. This is all the more incriminating considering that that in my recent book I argued that neither Umno nor the MCA had a popular mandate to take over the Government from the British at the time of independence. (‘The Finest Hour”)

MCA pullout

The question of the establishment of the National Operations Council (NOC) must also be recognised. Whatever else may be said about the usurpation of democratic powers by the military it must nonetheless be conceded that the law and order had been brought under control and the political situation was in hand.

Particularly to those with first-hand experience of the lawlessness in parts of KL controlled by gangsters and secret societies prior to the elections, and especially to those who saw their relatives being suddenly massacred and they themselves severely injured or being forced to become refugees, the NOC might be said to be a blessing in disguise.

Within two days the membership of the Council was announced but perhaps one of the greatest political tactical errors was the MCA’s decision not to accept any cabinet posts. While it was understandable that the party should abdicate from its traditional partnership with Umno in the Alliance, (because of the massive defeat of its candidates in the general election), withdrawal meant that Umno had a free hand to push ahead the bumiputera position in the New Economic Policy without Chinese opposition.

But the fact remains that while there was no policy to enhance a multiracial society under colonialism, indeed policies such as divide and rule were designed to ensure that integration did not take place. But even after Independence the continuation of political parties based on race essentially perpetuated the divisiveness of society along racial lines rather than to work towards integration.

It should be clear to readers therefore that our entire society in on a fault line and therefore we have no option but to get off it as soon as possible. With respect, it happens that both my recent books ‘The Naked Social Order’ and ‘The Finest Hour’ provide discussion and analysis on these vital questions and it is my considered opinion therefore that we need to reject the post-colonial social structure in its entirety once and for all and to seek an alternative model if we are to avoid racial conflicts in the future.

A sad ruling for freedom of religion in Malaysia

May 30, 2007
It’s no joy for Lina. It’s also no joy for Ms Chan, no joy for Ms Wong, no joy for all Malaysians who cherish freedom of religion. My deep sympathy with Lina and all others who were affected by the sad ruling. Where can you go if you cannot get justice from the highest courts in our land?

No joy for Lina

May 30, 07 11:18am Malaysiakini 
Lina Joy’s long wait for her conversion to Christianity to be recognised by law is over – the Federal Court ruled today that she remains a Muslim and her religious status will not be removed from her identity card.Delivering the judgment to a packed gallery this morning in Putrajaya, Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim ruled that jurisdiction remains with the Syariah court.The chief justice stated that he concurred with the majority decision – Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff who was the last to read his judgment agreed with Ahmad Fairuz’s findings.

Justice Richard Malanjun gave a dissenting judgment.

The case hinged on a decision by the National Registration Department not to remove the word ‘Islam’ from Lina’s MyKad.

The department said it needed a syariah court order certifying her renouncement from Islam before it could make the change.

The three questions

Following this, Lina filed a suit against the NRD director-general, the government and the Federal Territory Religious Council in 2001.

After losing at both the High Court and Court of Appeal, the matter finally came to the Federal Court with these three questions:

1. Was the NRD entitled to require a person to produce a certificate or a declaration or an order from the syariah court before deleting “Islam” from his or her identity card;

2. Did the NRD correctly construe its powers under the National Registration Regulations 1990 when it imposed the above requirement, which is not expressly provided for in the regulations?; and

3. Was the landmark case Soon Singh vs Perkim Kedah – which held that syariah courts have the authority over the civil courts to hear cases of Muslims renouncing Islam – correctly decided?

Delivering the much-awaited judgment today, Ahmad Fairuz and Alauddin answered in the positive to all these three questions.

Richard however disagreed, stating that the NRD had no statutory duty to decide on apostasy.

Ahmad Fairuz said the NRD, which is in charge of issuing identity cards, had the right to demand that a syariah court certify Lina’s conversion.

“On the question that the National Registration Department has the right to demand a certification from the Islamic court that confirms the appellant’s renunciation of Islam, my answer is that NRD has the right,” he said.

“The appeal has been rejected with cause,” he added.

Shouts of Allahuakbar

A large section of the 300-strong crowd waiting outside recited the tahlil or read the Quran while waiting for the decision.

When the news reached them, they shouted Allahuakbar – their reaction resounded through the Palace of Justice.

Born to Malay parents, Joy, 43, whose Muslim name was Azlina Jailani, converted to Christianity in 1998.

[Full report to follow]

Westports questionable land deal: Chan Kong Choy must explain

May 29, 2007
Is buying land with public fund at a price more than double  the market value a crime?

Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy must explain. Others who must also explain incl former Transport Minister Ling Liong Sik, the two former PKA chairman Ting Chew Beh and Yap Pian Hon and Umno Sementa state assemblyman Rahman Palil and Westports chairman Gnalingam.

以市价两倍价格购千亩土地
巴生西港负债十亿求助邻国

■日期/May 28, 2007   ■时间/08:10:43 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/merdekareview 陈慧思
           
【本刊陈慧思撰述】自2006年投入运作迄今,雪兰莪州巴生的马来西亚西港私人有限公司(Westports Malaysia Sdn. Bhd,简称“西港公司”)负债近马币十亿元。在该公司执行主席贾纳林甘忙于解释欠债原由之际,一笔高达马币18亿元的购地支出,仍有待西港、前交通部长林良实、港务局及反贪污局予以人民一个明确的交待。民主行动党非政府组织局主任刘天球(左图)曾在2004年就西港的一项土地交易向皇家警察的商业罪案调查组报案,质疑这宗交易是否牵涉贪污及失信问题。可是迄今,反贪污局仍没有任何交待及相应行动;当时的交通部长林良实也不曾回应此事。刘天球接受《独立新闻在线》电访时透露,当林良实于2003年退任之后,他查悉林任期内曾批准交通部属下的港务局(Part Klang Authority)以马币十亿元购买一幅一千亩的土地,发展巴生港口自由贸易区(Port Klang Free Zone)。当时,刘天球的报案书指出,上述土地交易数额高达马币十亿元,平均每英亩100万元,每平方公尺约马币25元,比市价高出44%。为此他质疑,此项交易是否牵涉贪污问题。刘天球指出:“我曾向地产界人士了解,他们认为,当时西港的土地市价约每平方公尺14元。换言之,港务局收购的价格比市价高出了44%!”

今日刘天球从新加坡《海峡时报》在2005年8月的报道惊然发现,该地售价不只马币十亿元,而是马币18亿1000万元;比当时的市价高出两倍!

土地卖主是国阵领袖

国家稽查局对巴生港务局2003年底的表现所作的审查报告指出,港务局同意以马币18亿1000万元的价格向一家私人公司购入一片面积一千英亩的土地,以效仿杜拜(Dubai)港口,将之发展成为区域著名的货运及贸易中心。

刘天球从《海峡时报》的财经新闻获知,该占地一千亩的土地以马币18亿1000万元成交,比当时他从《太阳报》(The Sun)所获知的数额还要高出8亿元;为此,原拟就西港的债务问题报案的他说:“我更有理由报案了!”

《独立新闻在线》发现,若以一千英亩18亿1000万元计算,该地段的价格高达每平方公尺41元55分,比市价高出两倍!根据《海峡时报》报道,国家稽查局甚至形容该土地是“以特别价格计算”(calculated on a special-value basis)。

此外,《海峡时报》的报道指出,巴生港务局是从一家名叫“Kuala Dimensi”的公司手中购入该片土地。根据公司注册资料,Kuala Dimensi私人有限公司四名董事当中的两名董事都是国阵领袖,其一为国阵民进党民都鲁区国会议员张庆信,另一名则是自2004年出任巫统总财政阿都阿欣(Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi)。

巴生港务局以高出市价两倍的价格购买上述地段,追究起来,当时的交通部长林良实(右图)和港务局主席陈祖排都有责任挺身说明真相。刘天球在2004年报案后,港务局主席职务由马华公会沙登区国会议员叶炳汉接任;叶炳汉今天对《独立新闻在线》表示,他对该事一无所知。不过,他透露,接替林良实出任交通部长的陈广才将就相关计划作出宣布。

无论如何,叶炳汉和陈广才过后并没有就这项具争议性的土地交易作任何回应。今日《独立新闻在线》联络上叶炳汉,他表示他刚于四月底卸任,无法回应此事。。

港务局、西港公司欠债累累

除了地价争议,刘天球指出,购地的决定也牵涉合法与否的问题。他表示,港务局是政府法定机构,按规定不能从事商业活动;交通部批准港务局购地开发商业区域,已违反既有规定。

此外,他指出,由于地理条件欠佳,巴生港口自由贸易区发展停滞,根本无从实现“杜拜港口”的美丽梦想;反之,西港公司和港务局欠债累累,最终或需要政府注资拯救。

交通部署下的巴生港务局是巴生北港和西港的管理机构,惟港务局已将位于美丽岛(Pulau Indah)的西港的操作和营运部份已经私营化。西港公司目前以特许经营者的身份负责西港的操作和营运。

根据《海峡时报》的报道,国家稽查局针对巴生港务局截至2003年底的表现所作的报告指出,“若无马来西亚政府的扶助,巴生港务局自2007年起便无法承担高达马币30亿元的庞大的债务”;目前欠债30亿元的港务局状况令人担忧。

西港或脱售给新加坡?

此外,《马来西亚前锋报》(Utusan Malaysia)新闻网今年5月15日的一则报道揭露,西港公司欠下港务局十亿元的债务,相信正在寻求新加坡港务局(Port of Singapore Authority)的“协助”,以解决该公司的债务问题。

西港公司执行主席贾纳林甘(G. Gnanalingam,右图)最近与新加坡港务局执行主席Eddie Tan的会面,被视为西港或转手新港务局的先兆。

据《马来西亚前锋报》报道,新加坡港务局是世界上第二号港务机构,除了管理新加坡的港务,也管理25个国际港口的港务,被视为最有能力管理西港的外国机构。报道隐然透露,西港或因无法负荷庞大的债务,而脱手予这家优秀的港务机构。

无论如何,西港公司执行主席贾纳林甘矢口保证,西港公司不会变卖本身的利益;而西港公司的外国股权也已经达到了30%的限制,无法再脱售股权予外国公司。他也对外澄清,西港公司没有面对财务问题;作为本区域著名的港务管理单位,该公司预计可在2010年清还所有贷款。

他说:“还没有缴还给巴生港务局的余额不属于贷款,却是可以在30年被清还的租约(perjanjian penyewaan)。因此,西港没有面对财务问题。”他指出,在过去的五年中,该公司大部份的发展皆由内部基金及出租公司器材支撑。

根据公司注册资料,西港控股(Westports Holding)是西港公司的大股东;西港公司董事贾纳林甘通过Redzai建筑公司(Syarikat Pembinaan Redzai)掌握西港控股的50%股份、香港首富李嘉诚则透过Hutchinson港口码头(Hutchinson Ports Terminal)掌握30%股份、国库控股(Khazanah Holdings Bhd)则拥有10%股份。

Anwar’s role in PKR and the question of democracy

May 28, 2007
To me, Anwar and his party should not be overly concerned about the so-called democratic process. After all, democracy is not a perfect system that is so sacred, rigid and dogmatic. Political leaders must do what it takes to strengthen their party, rather than worrying about the norms and rules of democracy. I heard the Speaker of the congress addressed Anwar as ‘ pemimpin utama’ ( supreme leader ) when he invited him to take the stage as the last speaker. We all know that such title or position is not in the PKR’s party constitution; but it really does not hurt the party as the President of the party happens to be Wan Azizah. If the President is someone else, it would be highly questionable or even objectionable. Yes, Anwar is the de facto leader of PKR. If there was no sabotage from the ROS, Anwar would have been elected officially as the President, the real supreme leader of PKR. 

I don’t see why we could not view Anwar as the numero uno of his party. We look forward to work with Anwar and his party leaders to face the Barisan Nasional.

 Analysts: Anwar faces comeback hurdles

May 28, 07 3:17am Malaysiakini
Barred from public office and beset by party grumbles, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has big hurdles to overcome if he is to return to the political frontline.Anwar’s unexpected decision over the weekend to withdraw his candidacy for the presidency of the opposition PKR party has left both himself and the movement in a difficult spot, analysts say.For now the party will continue to be led formally by his wife, Wan Azizah Ismail, after another contender also pulled out of the leadership race at its weekend national congress. But in the longer term it puts a big question mark over Anwar’s attempt to return to Malaysian politics.“Anwar seems to be facing different sets of pressures now at a time when he cannot afford to lose support,” commented Yang Razali Kassim of the School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

PKR has been banking on Anwar’s star quality to gain support for the party, whose profile has declined since its creation in the wake of his 1998 sacking from government.

The once heir-apparent to then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was dropped after being jailed for six years following sodomy and corruption charges.

The sodomy charge was overturned in 2004 and Anwar was released, but he is barred from public office or holding any position with a political party until April 2008 because of the corruption conviction.

Anwar said his decision not to run for the leadership of PKR was because of fears its registration could have been cancelled.

“My problem is that the party comes first. ‘Anwar’ should not be the reason to sacrifice the position of the party,” he told the 2,000 delegates.

However he said he would remain as the party’s de facto leader behind the scenes, arguing he could still be effective without an official post.

That left some observers sceptical.

“It will be interesting to see what role Anwar will be playing, after all this,” independent political analyst Khoo Kay Peng told AFP.

“He has positioned PRK as a party that fights for democracy, but he being a de facto leader is a mockery of democracy.

“It is a political blunder on his part right from the beginning,” he said.

Dissent from within

Anwar also had to deal with dissent from insiders after a party official questioned his legitimacy as a prospective leader.

Another prominent party official, S Nallakaruppan, resigned last week, saying Anwar had told him to withdraw from the contest for the party’s vice-presidency.

PKR itself is not faring too well as a party. In the last 2004 general elections it won only one parliamentary seat, for Anwar’s wife.

“What he is trying to do is to put up a political point that the government is trying to stop him from making a comeback, he is playing a victim’s role,” Khoo said.

“But core national issues are more important to Malaysians than petty party positions.”

Yang Razali said Anwar’s ambitions of leading the opposition into the next elections, due by 2009, will stumble if he faces internal conflict.

“He is always known as a bridge-builder for the opposition,” the political analyst said, “but even in PKR he is facing dissent, so it does look like the opposition will be affected if he cannot overcome this.”

– AFP

Dinner: Reclaim PJ Parliamentary and State seats

May 28, 2007

Congratulations to the PJ Action Team for the successful dinner held in Sg Way (Seri Setia) a while ago.

Sec Gen Lim Guan Eng and deputy sec gen Chong Eng came all the way from Bukit Mertajam and Kota Melaka respectively to give the potential candidates in PJ their greatest support.

Other speakers tonight include Lau Weng San (PJ Action Team Chairman), Ean Yong Hian Wah (Selangor state chairman), Liew Ching Tong ( DAPSY leader), Thomas Goh ( PJ Action Team Treasurer), Tony Pua ( Economic Advisor to Sec Gen DAP), Rama ( Chairman of Kg Tun Razak ).

In my speech, I criticised the MCA local elected reps for not helping the residents and villagers. I also explained what has happened to my OSA case ( no fruther development) and the compensation I won from the case against the former IGP some six months ago was still not paid to me.

I did an opinion poll on the spot and to our delight, majority of the supporters said Yes to opposition cooperation; only 3 persons said No. I have no time to ask them why but I did use the opportunity to explain why we should get the opposition parties to work together.

In my speech, I explained why DAP leaders believe that the coming GE will fall in November this year ( NOV 25, to be more precise) or latest by March 2008. 

I also expressed my deep regret that the voters who lived in Jalan 4 and Jalan 18, Sg Way were fooled by Chew Mei Fun and Dr Wong Sai Hau in the 2004 GE. They were promised land titles immediately after the GE but guess what, their homes were all demolished by the authority in 2006. Both Chew and Wong did not even give it a fight. Not only that, they even failed to get the rightful compensation for many of them: No monthly rental subsidy of RM120 per family. No transport/ moving cost subsidy. No homes for second family…

But it’s too late for the residents who have trusted Chew and Wong. Chew has even gotten a promotion after the 2004 GE. There’s nothing the villagers can do except for voting against the two in the coming general elections.

Other speaker touched on issues such as mother tongue education, quality of tertiary education, freedom of religion, the importance of voters registration, rampant corruption and abuse of powers, increasing crime rates in PJ and Selangor, the restructuring of police force to fight crimes, the reasons for strengthening the DAP and other opposition parties, the NEP and income divide, the sexist Umno MPs ( we played the video clips of the relevant Parliamentary seating) and what should we expect  from a state assemblyman and Member of Parliament.

Everyone in the audience agrees with DAP speakers that Malaysia is not a better place to live after Abdullah has taken over from Dr Mahathir. We were all greatly disappoineted with the performance of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Haris has got a good idea…

May 27, 2007

Save the Constitution: No 2/3 Majority for BN

 Haris Ibrahim

This is no longer an option.

It is imperative that the government be denied another 2/3 majority in Parliament, if we are to put a stop to any further destruction of the Constitution and to have any hope, at some time in the future, of restoring the Constitution to what it was before.

In the last general election, 219 Parliamentary seats were at stake. BN took 199 (90.87%). Opposition won 19 seats and 1 seat was won by an independent candidate.

Not accounting for increased Parliamentary seats arising from a redelineation exercise, if the government is to be denied a 2/3 majority in Parliament after the next elections, Opposition and Independent candidates would need to secure 74 seats.

The Parliamentary seats that did not go to BN after the 2004 elections were:

Pendang (PAS)

Tumpat (PAS)

Pengkalan Chepa (PAS)

Pasir Mas (PAS)

Rantau Panjang (PAS)

Kubang Krian (PAS)

Bagan (DAP)

Permatang Pauh (Keadilan)

Bukit Mertajam (DAP)

Bukit Gelugor (DAP)

Tanjong (DAP)

Ipoh Timur (DAP)

Ipoh Barat (DAP)

Batu Gajah (DAP)

Kepong (DAP)

Bukit Bintang (DAP)

Seputeh (DAP)

Cheras (DAP)

Bandar Kuching (DAP)

Sandakan (Independent)

These 20 seats must be retained by the Opposition after the next election. The last thing we need to see happen at the next election is BN making inroads in any of these 20 non-BN seats.

If we are serious about denying the government a 2/3 majority after the next election, my sense is that we cannot leave this to the Opposition parties alone.

We, the voters, whose rights under the Constitution are being imperilled by the very persons entrusted to protect them, must act.

I would therefore like to initiate a ‘Keep our MP’ effort in these 20 constituencies.

If readers who are registered in any of the 20 constituencies mentioned above want to get together to work to ‘Keep our MP’, please send an e-mail to thepeoplesparliament@gmail.com

Even if the 20 seats mentioned above are retained by Opposition, that would still leave us short of 54 to deny the government a 2/3 majority.

How do we, the voters, even begin to try to wrest 54 seats from BN?

My thoughts on this in the next post.

Meanwhile, all ideas are welcome.

Syabas & Tahniah kepada PKR!

May 27, 2007

Congratulations to PKR for its successful congress. All the best in your future struggle.

Thank you Malaysia Today and TV Kelantan for the live-telecast.

We look forward to work with PKR in the interest of the RAKYAT. 

The new line-up:

Supreme Leader (Pemimpin Utama) : Sdr Anwar Ibrahim

President

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail* (won uncontested)

Deputy president

Dr Syed Husin Ali* (won uncontested)

Vice-presidents

Azmin Ali* 724
Dr Lee Boon Chye* 630
Mustaffa Kamil Ayub* 604

Sivarasa Rasiah (by appointement)

Jeffrey Kitingan (by appointment)

Sec Gen Khalid Ibrahim (by appointment)

Treasurer William Leong ( by appointment)

Information Chief Tian Chua ( by appointment)

Election Director Azmin Ali (appointed)

Deputy Election Director Fuziah Salleh (appointed)

Strategy Director Saifudin Nasution (appointed)

Supreme council members

Dominique Ng*
Dr Badrul Amin* 
Dr Mansor Othman* 
R Sivarasa 
N Gobalakrishnan 
Dr Zaleha Mustaffa 
Yahya Sahri* 
Johari Abdul* 
Irene Fernandez* 
Christina Liew* 
Usaili Alias* 
Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad* 
Latheefa Koya 
Saiful Izham Ramli* 
Osman Abd Rahman* 
Badrul Hisham Shahrin 
Ansari Abdullah 
Animah Ferrar* 
Khalid Jaafar 
Zakaria Abd Hamid 

* Incumbents

The questionable Westports RM1 billion land deal

May 27, 2007

Press statement:

Westports RM1 billion land deal: Why still no answer after police report made in December 2004?

/ Ronnie Liu

I read with great interest an Utusan Online article titled “ Jaminan Westports melegakan?” written by AINUL ASNIERA AHSAN ( http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2007&dt=0515&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=

Korporat&pg=ko_03.htm ) dated May 15 2007.

The article revealed that Westports is now burdened with a liability of no less than RM1 billion… 

“Westports yang menyaksikan pelabuhannya mencatat pertumbuhan dua angka yang tekal sejak mula beroperasi pada tahun 1996, dilaporkan kini mempunyai liabiliti yang sangat besar dan angka didakwa mencecah RM1 bilion dengan Lembaga Pelabuhan Klang.   Hutang tertunggak daripada sewa operasi Westports di kawasan pesisir pantai dipercayai gagal dilunaskan sejak ia mula beroperasi 10 tahun lalu.” It appears that another major bailout (with taxpayers’ money, of course) is inevitable. The article also reported that the Executive Chairman of Westports
Malaysia (Westports), Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam has given the assurance that Westports will not be sold to PSA International of Singapore.  
 
Currently, Hutchison Ports Terminal, a company owned by
Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka Shing, owns 30% of Westports. Gnalingam owns 50% through Syarikat Pembinaan Redzai and Khazanah Holdings holds 10%. Gnalingam claims that the authority has set a ceiling of 30% equity on ownership of ports for foreign companies. 
 
(The 30% equity sold to Li Ka Shing was completed when Ling Liong Sik was still the Transport Minister. The sale worth some RM400 million was initially rejected by Daim Zainuddin on question of procedures but went through nevertheless after some special arrangement between Daim and Ling. Gnalingam happens to be a good buddy of Ling.) I have made a police report on the scandalous Westports RM1 billion land deal in December 2004, urging the police to instigate MCA leaders like Ling Liong Sik, Chan Kong Choy, Yap Pian Hon and Umno leader Rahman Palil (Sementa State Assemblyman).  More than two years have passed but nothing has come out of my police report. But now we were told that both the Westports and PKA were in deep financial problems. In fact, PKA is said to have incurred some RM3 billion in debts!  

In my statement dated Monday, 20 Dec 2004, I said that “following my police report made on Sunday in Petaling Jaya to initiate an investigation on Port Klang Authority Chairman Datuk Yap Pian Hon and both the current and former Transport Ministers, many have asked me about the real market value of the said 1,000 acres which cost PKA a hefty RM1 billion. This means that PKA paid RM1 million per acre for the said land.

To answer such question, one must bear in mind that this piece of land is near the Westports , which is basically not a busy commercial area bustling with activities by any standard. Some of the people I know in the property industry told me that the current market value of the land here should not be priced more than RM14 psf. But the PKA scandalously paid no less than RM25 psf! That means the PKA had paid a price that was 44% higher than the market value, which works out to be a hefty RM 440 million!

One expert claims that if the PKA really needs such a piece of land for development, it can even reclaim from the sea and probably cost much lower with the availability of modern day technology.

When the PKA Chairman Yap Pian Hon was asked by one journalist after the DAP press conference on last Saturday, he claims that he knows nothing about the deal, which was done 2 to 3 years ago, and that the piece of land would be turned into a ‘comprehensive’ commercial project. He did not disclose any details except for saying that the Transport Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy will make an announcement on the plan ‘some time in the near future.’
If Yap ‘s story could be trusted, then both the current and former Transport Ministers must come forward with a good explanation for transparency and accountability of people’s funds. Yap also failed to explain why PKA went into business beyond its statutory role (giving out loans to private companies) and yet to collect the overdue payment.”We want Ling Liong Sik, Chan Kong Choy, Yap Pian Hon and Rahman Palil to come clean on the land deal. All of them owe Malaysians a good explanation. “ Friday, 25 May 2007 / Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew DAP CEC member and NGO bureau chief liu.ronnie2@gmail.com

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