I know everyone is busy recovering from the HS by-election, and prepping for Sibu.But we really need to push for Dr. Porntip to come. And the only way she can be released by her Ministry of Justice is to get a written assurance from the Home Affairs Ministry here (Hisham).
And the only way we can get them to give those assurances is for the public/opposition to pressure Hisham to give a written assurance. The StateGovt has already written a letter to request for this letter, and so far, no response. So I appeal to you to make use of your various networks/blogs/twitter/Facebook/friends/media links to do exactly this: pressure Hisham. If not, it looks like it will be "Open Verdict", or worse, "suicide". This is the only chance we have left.
Dear Home Minister,
As a patriotic Malaysian who cannot bear to see the reputation of my country sink any lower than I can ever imagine at the moment, and in accordance with basic justice principle and civility, I urge the late Teoh Beng Hock be accorded a legal process that would have be reasonable and mundane in all normal court of law accross the world - that the witness of his legal aid team's choice be heard in the hearing
Do you know that in the little red dot down south, a Malaysian born Singapore Permanent Resident was killed by a reckless foreign diplomat, and the Singapore government has conducted a swift and thorough inquest, exerted proper pressure through the right diplomatic channel and contacted the Interpol to bring the despictable, evasive, excuse-laden culprit to the book?
A Malaysian gets better pembelaan from a foreign government so despised by your own former leader.
While the voting Hulu Selangor people can get all the funding, parties and attention at the expense of all other Malaysians, I urge you to to write a guarantee letter in a nice letter head (that would cost less than RM10, not need those millions in HS) and show the world that Malaysia is a country that respect justice, have nothing to hide and welcomes foreign talent
I am sure this would score you some brownie points with many Malaysians. You got nothing to lose.
The residents of Hulu Selangor got this durian runtuh, or I normally call it dead man ang pow to the tune of RM1.68 million. I think the numbers do not end there
RM1.68 billion gifts for Hulu Selangor
A tabulation by a Chinese newspaper counted the following:
building of a link to Plus highway (perhaps more toll can be collected but anyone did a traffic volume study to justify the cost of construction?)
construction of 250 low cost houses (I hope there is a study of demand to supply ratio)
total of RM5 million for 100 Felda pioneer who waited for 15 years with undisclosed amount for their children’s technical training education support (note the excellent timing and ambiguity of the promised sum)
RM6 million allocation of special funds of agriculture sector for Hulu Selangor (of which benefit from this investment will never be accounted for, I believe, remember the 50 MPs who went to Taiwan to study agriculture stuff and until now we have no idea what benefit our money has generated sending 50 instead of a few specialist to Taiwan, land of Pinang Xi Si .? )
RM350,000 allocation for equipment upgrade in general hospital (funny the equipment upgrade is after a death and not before) and RM870,000 for 20 basic amenities upgrade work in 13 new villages ( the villages can named the bridges and drains as Kamal, Alan or Nathan if they want to)
a few hundreds of thousands to a few SRJK(C ) and some tens of thousands for other Chinese societies (Ibrahim Ali is strangely silent about this one)
and finally after years of appeal (I believe part of much maligned suqiu’s plead as well), students from Chinese private high schools can apply for PTPTN loans (note: can apply only) and a 68 year old granny got her citizenship after 12 years wait (another perfectly timed execution)
As a tax payer I wonder:
1) Did all this ad-hoc allocation go through the proper cost-benefits analysis and appraisal before being approved?
2) Is it within 2010 budget or would result in an overrun? (Hard to envisage federal budgetary processes would consider how many ADUN or MP deaths per annum)
3) If there is an overrun, how would the shortfall be made good? Now perhaps we can think about the reasons behind proposed GST, proposed 3 time increase in traffic fines, annual issuance of PNB unit trusts unheard of during the Mahathir years – we may look at the merits of whether this PNB unit trusts are really unsecured public borrowings
4) Talking about the concept of opportunity costs - has any legitimate, necessary and approved allocation being diverted from elsewhere to fund this ad hoc splurge?
Any hospital, schools, government office etc that was in the queue for funding suddenly found that the planned and expected funds did not arrive? Any contractor due for payment for his/her contract work suddenly being denied the expected cashflow to pay his subcontractors who subsequently can’t pay his/her workers and suppliers?
5) The proposed UiTM in Hulu Selangor…is it within the planned expansion of a high education development master plan or just an ad hoc addition which would result in disruption and wastage of funds?
Municipal officers should take note. In future, when pressed by residents for a host of drainage, potholes, inadequate lightnings and all that, a possible answer is that the solutions relating to local public amenities has a direct relationship to the state of health of the member of parliament or state assembly. Perhaps in future we might see advertisement by unfamiliar parties offering assistance to resolve local amenity issues but the contact number is some obscure foreign mobile handset number.
The decade long deficit budget trend with no tangible benefits to the mass is already a concern. We cannot be rash with our god-given wealth anymore. We are lucky we do not have any natural catastrophes like in the Philippines, Indonesia or China.
We the rakyat have to pay taxes and bear the risk of business failure, bankruptcy, unemployment, retrenchment and other reasons for loss of income and security. The elected administrators of this country, safe with their pension entitlement in future, must be held accountable for their decision making and implementation.
If the administrators and their appointees are not prudent and sensible to carrying out their fiduciary duties as administers, safeguard and grow the wealth of nation, we have to consider how solid their iron rice bowl should be.
Any way, is there an element of corruption here? If there has not been a by-election, would such promises and disbursements be made? Is the pay out due to genuine need of the Hulu Selangor people and in the ordinary course of administering the country or just because of the need to win a by-election? The taker is as guilty as the giver in a normal corruption case.
Would the fair minded officers in the MACC care to comment?
I deduced and agree that there would be less job security in a competitive, productive and therefore performance based economy. If you are not good enough, you are asked to seek employment elsewhere.
NEM also spoke of the need to improve the targeting of social assistance programs which I agree as well. It won't be inconsistent with PAS' welfare state manifesto anyway.
On page 190:
"More generally to overcome obstacles to subsidy reform, social assistance programmes will have to be more efficiently structured. An important step in the government’s reform effort should be to catalog all existing social assistance programmes to identify their policy objectives, eligibility criteria, benefit structure, administrative costs, and target beneficiaries. To improve targeting, proxy measures of a household’s consumption per capita could be constructed to create better means-test benefits. Other measures could be implemented to avoid the current vertical inequity in the system by gradually rather than sharply phasing out eligibility and reducing horizontal inequity by restructuring certain benefits to make them less lumpy.
The system needs to be better targeted, expanded in some aspects but reduced in others. There are errors of exclusion – some groups are falling through the net (foreign workers, their children, the urban and rural poor) and some problems with the e-Kasih approach in terms of targeting. There are also errors of inclusion largely because of poor targeting. Moreover, the overall system can be streamlined to improve efficiency and generate savings that would help fund expanded programmes."
While the above are great arguments, as in the NEP, implementation is and will be the problem.
50 years of race base politics and more that has unfortunately resulted in skewed implementation of all well intended programmes and putting in the wrong person for positions that has life and death implications. Not quite sure how the transformation program will turn out to be. The best judge of service is the recipients and their feedback from ground level would be the best source of information, not some fancy and expensively printed booklet (whose contract is it anyway?)
Reading this Chinese paper article below make me seriously wonder if our tax payers’ funded civil servants are up to mark in carrying out this critical function.
No reply to application for assistance, DAP criticize welfare department has degraded itself to be a tool of BN
3 Negeri Sembilan DAP ADUNs criticize the Negeri Sembilan welfare department delaying processing of application of social aid, even until after the death of some of the applications. In additional, some of the officers are found working in Barisan Nasional service centre 5 times a week, as if becoming a tool of BN.
The 3 ADUNs at the press conference are YB Wong May May (Mambau), YB Gunasekaran (Senawang) and YB Ng Chin Tsai (Temiang).
Wong May May stated that the welfare department is being insensitive to the plight of these people trapped in a disadvantaged position and let them hanging hope and desperation.
“They are either disabled or single mothers enduring physical hardship, economic and livelihood pressure but yet a year after handing in their application, there is no feedback for them.”
“In my constituency, I have 100 applications a month but there is only 1 officer in charge and this is overtaxing the officer. I have mentioned this many times in DUN sittings but there is no improvement.”
She added that the department’s computer system issues have been around for a long time and most of the application details have not been keyed into the database hence applicants can’t check the status.
She has suggested to the department head to employ temporary workers to clear the back log case 2 years ago but nothing has been done.
She rang up the department head 米占 (read like Mirzan or Nizam) and made known the list of problems faced by application including bad attitude and some officers even behave rudely to ADUNs (by extensionm reflective of their attitude to the aid seekers)
To her question on why some of the applicants could not locate the officer in charge, the answer was “applicants can visit the Barisan Nasional service centre in their area and our officers are there 5 days a week because those venues are nearer to their homes”
YB Wong feels that the welfare department has become a political tool of BN and suspected of abuse of power. The objective of the department is to serve the people and not BN, They are incapable of distinguishing between BN and civil service.
to the State Secretary and Legal Advisor as well as the federal minister on this matter. He also stated that applications coming through Pakatan ADUNs are very slow inbeing processed while any applications through BN ADUNs would be processed swiftly, indicating some form of double standard in treatment.
YB Guna will be writing
YB Ng stated that the department has long been used as a propaganda tool to give a misleading impression that only via BN, problem can be solved
THAT statement for the state director completely flabbergasted me - what? Are we having Nazri-ism permeating through the civil servants? Nazri must have a latent fan club somewhere in sleepy hollow NS.
Yeah I can half joke about this but when I think of those deserving, desperate and deprived...this is no laughing matter.
The KPI and Welfare Ministers can do well to address this issue - and put the NEM's job insecurity assertion on this nut case, perhaps.So back to the signature dish of Najib administration -1Malaysia People First and Performance Now. How do the NS welfare department live up to this rallying call then?
NEM itself spoke of "unwavering leadership political and political will" as an essential ingredient of seeing the whole thing through (page 17-18). Najib spoke of his willingness to make tough decisions: "In his speech titled “A New Vision for Malaysia”, the prime minister made clear that he was not opposed to dissent or opposition because he believed legitimate views deserved to be heard." - so can Najib administration reign in the little Napoleon that is toying away with what precious little time that the needy and deprived can't afford to lose?
However it is for the men / women in the street that the socialist democrat in me that make me wanna speak up for them. Perhaps some soul from Parti Sosialis Malaysia would like to add on to my comments as well.
page 111 highlighted some potential trade offs:
*Reduced dependence on foreign labour encourages firms to move up the value chain or embrace automation while those that cannot will exit, costing some local jobs
* Flexible hiring and firing reduces entry and exit costs for businesses while wage levels will better reflect skills; but the perception of less job security will irk unions
page 114 got me thinking:-
Some have suggested that a formal minimum wage might be helpful to cushion workers against such shocks or downturns. The NEAC strongly believes this would be a wrong approach and in fact could exacerbate the situation by reducing competitiveness and reducing employment opportunities.
Blue collar workers are at the bottom of the food chain. The booklet correctly stated the potential danger for them - lack of job security. Now giving thumbs down to minimum wage scheme is adding salt to injury, especially when subsidies would be withdrawn gradually as well. Sounds like some people would be pushed to the corner, albeit the booklet did mention a bit about social safety net.
Saying minimum wage would erode competitiveness is not absolutely correct. According to Yazhou Zhoukan (Asian Weekly) 11 April 2010 edition, in 2009 the hourly wage (in US Dollars) for the following countries are as follows:-
South Korea 3.22
Dare we say they are not competitive?
I have seen with my own eyes a factory worker in Seri Damansara get paid RM25 for an 8 hour shift, that make up to RM0.89 ( updated : should be USD0.89 x-rate USD1 = RM3.50, thanks to Mark C & Little Bird. My apologies and lame excuse of a long day in office) per hour. Back in the 1950's Malaysia were much much richer than Taiwan or Korea ravaged by wars then.
Another issue needs considering is that as Malaysia moves (hopefully) towards high income society, rental rates would increase, no thanks to speculators and bidders. According to the magazine quoted above, there are cases in Hong Kong where employers would pass on the negative impact to the workers. Who is there to speak up for them?
One example cited was a restaurant in Hong Kong which rental was HKD90,000 per month. The owner increased it to HKD160,000, forcing the operator to squeeze their workers but ultimately the owner terminated the lease to seek even higher rental. Incidentally, Hong Kong is a place where there is no minimum wage scheme hence the blue collar work force tend to bear the brunt of economic issues whether is inflation or recession.
One alternative is what the labour union scene in America and United Kingdom are going for - Living Wage Campaign.
"Living wage is a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for shelter (housing and incidentals such as clothing and other basic needs) and nutrition for a person for an extended period of time (lifetime). In developed countries such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland, this standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation."
I feel that Malaysian employers can be more creative and diligent in taking care of its workers. We must move from exisiting mindset of giving the bare minimum to foreign workers to developing a social conscious and responsible mindset in looking after our fellow Malaysians. To this end, perhaps something like Triparite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices be established to promote win-win situation for both employers and employees - a happy employee is a productive employee. (Of course the current work ethics and attitude of the Malaysian workers can be another topic itself).
I strongly believe it is the government's morale and mandatory responsibility to enable its citizens to live in safety and with dignity.
For decades, the declining health services (how many more negligent and cool heart cases resulting in deaths and permanent disabilities we still have to bear before a "hard working" Health Minister will look into this matter SERIOUSLY), government wastages, increased cost of living via privatisation and rent seeking models etc.
Time for change! Time for tax payers and citizens to say "We deserve better. We have rights. A minister is a public servant, not some feudal honcho."
Nice words but given the Parliament Speakers' history of constantly disallowing opposition motions, punitive actions on opposition politicians (red card for Tony Pua for standing up while how many BN MPs been referred to Committee of Privilege you can remember?) and seemingly "protecting" BN from debates and disclosure, or even plainly displaying their bias. Come on lah, BN has ruled Malaysia for 50 ++ years surely they can hold their own in engaging, debating and winning over the opposition in Parliament without resorting to Speakers' protection?
Or given the inequal quality available amongst the rank of BN and Pakatan Rakyat, proper debate is a course of action best avoided by a ruling coalition that constantly flaunt its impeccable track record and engage in sloganeering?
The proof of NEM pie is in the eating and the Speaker has, in my impression, not live up to the document. We also heard stories about how Pakatan MPs were barred from distributing masks to schools during H1N1 crises, or even a school in Melaka not accepting donations from PR for whatever rational reasons....
Together with the emergence and tacit support available to PERKASA, NEM has really gotten off an inauspicious start or do we have to wait for consultation and formulation first?
A man or a woman in the street would wonder:
1) would there be more employment opportunities for me and my children?
2) would there be better paid jobs and more advancement opportunities?
3) would there be education, training and re-training facilities available to equip us to handle the new skill sets required ? We have to think about the present and future set of workers in Malaysia.
Mind you, we have not even settle the debate of minimum wage yet.
An investor, local or foreign, might ask questions like:
1) would I have competent, motivated, productive and intelligent workforce to strive for my business that can justify higher pay?
2) how does the government scores in terms of bureaucracy, efficient, clean and business friendliness against other choices? ( if the DPM’s reaction to PERC report is anything to go by….)
3) would my family and investments be safe in this country? (cue: think crime rates and religious terrorism)
4) would I have excellent facilities and infrastructure to cater to my business? (our broad band still lags behind Singapore's)
I do not see anything succinct and to the point where I can get some concrete answers. I wonder what tax payers have paid NEAC for after almost a year into Najib’s era.
In a nut shell, the Najib administration (not surprised given the caliber of certain ministers and their tradition of Tingkatan Lima answers and MPs who specializes in sexist remarks) has no concrete idea and inviting public consultation is a clever political hedge.
This is not a bad approach if it came within 100 days of his honey moon period (Performance NOW) but its belated introduction makes his administration looks clueless after passage of Perak power grab, Teoh Beng Hock’s heroic death and on-going sorry looking inquest, religious terrorism, aborted attempt to implement GST and set limits on fuel subisidies etc.
As I wrote earlier (before Najib became the PM), we need to attract the right business and investment into Malaysia and have the right Malaysian human resource to handle the skills required of it.
In order to cultivate a capable work force, our present work force needs retraining and re-tooling and our education system has to be revamped. Najib spoke of this revamping but no details have been forthcoming. Mere lip service or what?
The performance of our Education Minister with “Malay-first Malaysian second mentality” plainly has not been inspiring up to point of writing. The slipping university rankings and crack down on freedom of thought by our undergraduates is a worrying indicator of the state of Malaysia's incubators.
The word “merit” has only resurface twice in his speech
“12. Sistem pendidikan kita perlu dikaji semula secara berterusan dan ditambah baik untuk melahirkan tenaga kerja masa depan, dengan komitmen kepada program berasaskan merit. Ini akan mendorong kecemerlangan dan memupuk graduan berbakat yang cemerlang dari segi pemikiran kreatif dan strategik serta kemahiran keusahawanan dan kepimpinan yang akan memacu kejayaan pada dekad mendatang.”
Tell me something I do not know.
And the next instance “merit” was being described as one of the principle of affirmative action.
Najib spoke of attracting talented and capable Malaysians would have left our shores to return without addressing the key reasons why they have left – whether Don’t Talk Shit agree or not - it is because these highly intelligent people feel that they are not being fairly and do not feel that they have sufficient chance to earn what they think they deserve, achieve self-actualisation and a place where they feel safe.
The access to residency in Malaysia needs to cater to diverse needs of various talents. Han Jian who coached Malaysia to Thomas Cup 1992 victory was denied Malaysian citizenship, I was told. Spouses of expats should be allowed to work with dependent pass so that they could bring in their own expertise and more willing to relocate to Malaysia. Back in 2004 I had a nightmare running from KL to Putrajaya back and forth just to renew an employment permit for an American engineer working in my country.
Whatever specific steps Najib spoke of, invoke some disappointment in me, given the imbalance of economic development in Malaysia and relatively unfair distribution of income and opportunities.
80. Bagi mempromosikan pelaburan ekonomi ke tahap yang lebih tinggi, beberapa lot tanah di Jalan Stonor, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Lidcol, Kuala Lumpur, telah dikenal pasti untuk ditender dan dibangunkan oleh sektor swasta. Aset ini, jika tidak dibangunkan, adalah satu pembaziran dan meningkatkan kos penyelenggaraan kepada Kerajaan.
Jalan Stonor (near KLCC) is already well developed thank you. What about folks in Seremban, Ipoh, Kuantan, Raub, Taiping, Tawau etc? Why focus on an already very developed locality? Fine, if KL is the hub, what about Plaza Rakyat? The investors there have been cheated of huge sums since the 1990’s and given the STAR Station there, it makes more sense to address a “pembaziran” there.
I wrote elsewhere that DAP’s alternate budget advocates letting the respective state governments, with their intimate understanding of local conditions, be given the power to chart the development of their state’s economy. Najib’s MEB still bears the shade of Malayan Union where all significant power is centralized in Putrajaya. A big daddy won't to very efficient and detailed in tending to 13 children...time to let them have more say.
82. Selain itu, Petronas telah pun mengenal pasti dua subsidiari yang mempunyai prestasi baik akan disenaraikan pada tahun ini. Matlamat inisiatif ini adalah untuk mengurangkan penglibatan Kerajaan sama ada secara langsung atau tidak langsung dalam aktiviti perniagaan yang akan menjadi lebih cekap sekiranya dijalankan oleh sektor swasta dan memberi isyarat jelas komitmen menggalakkan persaingan dalam ekonomi, mengambil risiko dan merangsang pertumbuhan ekonomi jangka panjang yang akan memberi manfaat kepada semua warga Malaysia
Nice words but the first impression I have is, well more money goes into the government coffers from an IPO and some Malaysians who have spare money to invest in Bursa Malaysia could have an additional counter in their portfolio. What about the rest?
An alternative is let Petronas accounts be tabled scrutinized and debated in Parliament, and dividends from Petronas to be paid into a trust fund for healthcare, social safety net and education purposes. Cue: the way Norway government looks after their citizens. The Federal Government should retain its moral obligation to manage this strategic natural resource for the rakyat; and not let part of it goes into free market.
Since Najib say the government needs to let go and let the private sector lead the way, if I have to choose a strategic project to divest, I would say Proton. Nothing new, we have seen attempted strategic alliance with foreign car giants collapse so perhaps this is the chance to relook at that. The national car project should be subject to this treatment so that citizens can get a viable national car at competitive price and not having to pay for an AP.
As for the consultation process, it still remains to be seen how opinions are gathered and evaluated. In fact consultation is not even the beginning of the end or end of the beginning. After all, Najib has to balance the political considerations and hidden scenes within UMNO in addition to the real challenge faced by Malaysia in this borderless era. Timing wise, if Najib is going to hold a snap GE, the feedback from the consultation process could be a rich source of information for a GE manifesto.
Remember Su Qiu (it literally means inform and appeal)? Before GE of 1999, it was submitted to the Mahathir administration without any negative feedback but of course subsequent events after the GE was most disappointing, consider that many of what was raise then, was not inconsistent with some part of the nice things in MEB.