Tanjong Pagar and subsidies

The past week has been an interesting one. Firstly Najib overruled Mahahir's objection to Daim Zainuddin's 1990 Point of Agreement with Lee Kuan Yew (and I wonder why the Dr did not shout at Najib the way he did when Badawi cancelled his bridge).



Malaysia-Singapore Points of Agreement of 1990 (POA) is an agreement between two Southeast Asian countries on the issue of the future of railway land owned by the Malaysian government through Malayan Railways (Keretapi Tanah Melayu or KTM) in Singapore. This agreement has been an issue that makes relationship between the two countries less than warm. It was signed between former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew and former Finance Minister of Malaysia Tun Daim Zanuddin on behalf of their respective countries on 27 November 1990.

The 1990 POA states that the KTM railway station would be moved either to Bukit Timah first, or directly to Kranji. In exchange, under the 1990 POA, three parcels of railway land — at Tanjong Pagar, Kranji, and Woodlands — would be jointly developed on a 60-40 basis with the Malaysian Government holding the larger share. However, three years later, Prime Minister Mahathir expressed his displeasure with the POA as it failed to include a piece of railway land in Bukit Timah for joint development.


I just wonder how Daim felt after all his hard work came to nothing. And what made Najib reversed Mahathir's reaction to a signed agreement after 3 years. On the plus side, Mahathir's firm stand, and willingness to arrest the progress of a signed agreement, did give Malaysia some "holding gain".

Secondly, the decision on withdrawal of subsidy, which Idris Jala claimed to have cost the country RM73 billion and will bankrupt Malaysia in a few years.

I can't help but put together the 2 events and ponder:

1) BN administration claims that it needs to cut subsidy, and part of the subsidy highlighted was RM394million for toll compensation. (who agreed to this kind of stupid arrangement?) while at the same time, it was announced that


Cheaper toll soon


Both leaders also announced that Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to reduce the toll charges for the Second Link to increase the road connectivity.

The toll charges at both sides of the Second Link, connecting Tuas here and Tanjung Kupang in Johor, would be reduced significantly, both the leaders said at a joint press conference after the retreat.

The new toll charges would be announced within a month.


er....are the tax payers of Malaysia going to bear more compensation or subsidy as a result? Perhaps a Parliament question should be raised.

2) With regards to the proposed M-S Pte Ltd, I just wonder:

2.1 who will represent Malaysia as the 60% shareholder of this Joint Venture?

2.2 how is the capital for this joint venture be raised and how much Malaysia has to invest in?

Investing in Singapore is not cheap, given the exchange rate situation, and Malaysia's external borrowings is already at unprecedent high and will CIMB again be appointed as one of the arranger of syndicated financing?

How would this affect the actual expenditure vs the 2010 budget which hope to address the decade long deficits?

2.3 what is the expected return on this joint venture; if and how the return of this joint venture will flow through to Malaysians?

Looking at the trend established by privatisation, most Malaysians do not get any direct benefit from GLCs. Do Ali, Chong and Muthu get anything from Indah Water Konsortium, Pos Malaysia, Tenaga, Telekom apart from paid services and increasing tariff?

Let's see what our 40% partner has for their citizens:-



Growth Dividends

All adult Singaporeans aged 21 and above will receive Growth Dividends as part of the Government’s move to share the nation’s surpluses with Singaporeans. Lower- and middle- income groups will receive more. Older Singaporeans will receive additional Growth Dividends. NSmen, ex–NSmen and NSFs (including those below the age of 21) will also receive an additional $100 of Growth Dividends to recognise their contributions to national security.


Growth Dividends will benefit about 2.4 million Singaporeans and cost the Government $865 million.

--> about S$360 / RM836 per person
--> The phase "sharing the nation's surpluses with Singaporeans" a damn alien concept to us...but perhaps this will be a new propoganda term around Malaysia not before long?


Baby Bonus Scheme
....... A cash gift of up to SGD 4000 for the first and second child and up to SGD 6000 for the third and fourth child is provided by the Government.

......Government contributions in the form of a dollar-to-dollar matching for the amount of savings you contribute to your child's Children Development Account (CDA). ....for your first and second child is up to a cap of SGD 6000 and up to SGD 12000 for the third and fourth child.

--> something like that Tawas Scheme going about in Selangor

I personally feel that the terms of the joint venture agreement should be disclosed, debated and weighted in Parliament.

Malaysians have the right to know how our money is being spent; in addition, the annual financial results should be released to the public, just like any listed company or licensed financial institution

But I can almost hear someone telling me this should not be for public information due to either 1) sensitivity of the subject matter 2) necessary to keep "commercial terms" secret 3) for national security reasons blah blah blah ....

If there is so much necessity to keep things secretive then I rather stick with the existing Tanjong Pagar station with that newspaper stand selling Hooters and Maxim at S$11.90 per copy than to pay a lot for something that taxpayers are kept in the dark. Not another PKFTZ, Putrajaya, Matrade please or the country will go pokai.

On the subject matter of subsidy, I came across this great post by Dato Ariff Sabri


According to Dato's post:-

10 b went to debt servicing ^
10b went to subsidize the price of fuels.*
Pension payments 5.12b,
3,10b went to dividend payments (paid to who? if it's for PNB bond then Malaysians contribute a loan to the government hence can't be called subsidy)
2.3b went to MARA#
2 billion went to federal roads achieving minimum standards,
1.5b went to UITM#
1.38 billion went to human capital development
KLIA got 1 billion (why KLIA needs financial aid?)
906million went to makanan asrama (is there an open tender process?)
541m went to UPM#
515m to USM
497m went to MU
382m to UTM#
Toll subsidies- 394m

# about RM5.7 billion for the 6 universities and we get sliding international rankings, unemployable graduates and stifling environment where simple straight forward campus election can get "complicated"

^ Why blame and penalise the average Malaysians on the debts incurred by BN administration and what the hell the loans were taken for? Until now, no one can tell us.

*The Malaysian public is described as being addicted to cheap petrol that consumed hell lot of subsidy but then again these are the very same people forced to purchase cars at much higher than necessarily price and paying hire purchase interest on inflated prices to boot, no thanks to Mahathir's ego-boosting and horribly implemented Proton project, no less a national embarrassment as after decades of protectionism, has not delivered respectable value or quality in our own backyard.

And not forgetting the AP holders who until now, I struggle to suggest any constructive role they have played in making Malaysia a better place to live and play.

Remember when Pak Lah raised the petrol price to unprecedented RM2.80 per litre? Najib's answer was "change your lifestyle"; which brings my attention to this old issue featured in the Sun (Fri, 12 Dec 2008) :


Two interesting disclosures were made during this week’s meeting. On Wednesday, the prime minister in his written reply to Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera) said the government spends RM6 million a month on rental and maintenance on his official residence in Putrajaya. The money is paid to Putrajaya Holdings.

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the government owned about RM3.6 billion worth of properties overseas, mainly buildings housing the country’s foreign missions abroad.

In order to fulfil his pledge to Utamakan Rakyat, Najib administration should consider selling off the properties and pay off the debts and reviewing if any outpost can be scrapped. Our money is better off being used to look after the urban poor in Kuala Lumpur or the much deprived in rural areas on both side of the South China Sea rather than some privilege civil servants in some exotic places so please review and cut the budget for foreign affairs.

The socialist democratic (not commie) in me understand that taxes and subsidy is an economic tool for re-distribution of income (I hope my tingkatan enam Ekon teacher, Puan Chokalingam, is reading this...I still remember what you said, cikgu) and I see nothing wrong when a rich dato businessman or a high earning professional paying their 20% to 27% and the money is used to share some of cost of living of the poor and all.

If the BN administration wants to remove the subsidy, fine, start with the following:

1) the IPPs;

2) the AP holders;

3) the government suppliers who got their contracts without going through proper open tender process;

4) the traitors who sold our subsidised petrol to foreigners;

5) civil servants who live well beyond their means;

6) that sad excuse for a car manufacturer who cling onto protective policies longer than all the soap drama series put together;

7) the rent seekers ... no prize for naming who they are...and I am just quoting from the NEM

After that, please review and if there are any wasteful, unnecessary project like advertisement on first lady, the space tourist, some nice advertisement about 1Malaysia, ad hoc by-election splurge a.k.a dead man ang pow etc.....

And then round up all department heads in civil service and tell them to cut the department budget by 10%, and it can be simple things. If the Penang state government can convert a deficit position to a surplus with sufficient reserve to give RM100 to warga emas then I am sure the BN administration with more than 50 years running a country can match that hardly 2 year old toddler.

Then and only then we talk about taking subsidy off the people who actually paid to subsidise themselves.

Sweating over the direction of Malaysia's water supply

I would like to thank a dear friend of mine who pointed out another nugget to me:

In the Auditor General's 2008 Report on the state government agencies' workings, the state government of Negeri Sembilan has surrendered federal government loan of RM1.2 billion (i.e. tax collected from you and me which was spent on building and developing the state’s water public facility) and transferred it to Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad.

This means for Negeri Sembilan folks, for the next 35 years, water tariff you pay goes to PAAB and also the state coffer, insftead of just the state only like before.

Further surfing non-porn related websites revealed the following findings:

The model of our water supply will be shifted all the way from government service to private sector.

Can anybody remember any public referendum or open tender with regards to this?

The trend is disturbing if you think of the proposed selling off of the toll concessions.

The state governments are selling off some huge chunk of assets to a MOF owned debt-incurring special vehicle (now a term that raises tension in the US after Enron). There will be immediate cashflow to the federal government while some newly created monopoly will increase government/public borrowings, run the operations and by the way, does anyone know how Indah Water Konsortium arrive at the tariff rates we paying for?

You can check out PAAB in their corporate website if you are free.

A cursory review of the Annual Reports and Accounts of PAAB for year ended 31 December (notice the "0"s in the comparative years i.e. no track record whatsoever) revealed the following:

PAAB paid RM2,774,091,000 to acquire “investment properties” in 2009 for control of water facilities in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor. That works out to be about..RM102.74 per Malaysian (total 27 million); that is only the beginning.

Now how did PAAB raise the money to pay for the “investment properties”? With no track records, borrow money, of course.

I wonder if another letter of support / guarantee ala PKFTZ is floating around somewhere.....

To quote from page 27 of the Annual Report and Accounts:

Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (“PAAB”), a government-owned company under the Ministry of Finance (Inc.) together with CIMB Investment Bank as the Lead Arranger and Lead Manager (“CIMB”), had issued a program up to RM20bil Nominal Value Islamic Medium Term Notes Programme and Islamic Commercial Paper Programme which adopted the two Islamic concepts – Ijarah and Musyarakah on 26 October 2009.

The launch marks, the largest water related bond programme ever established in Malaysia, boosted the Sukuk in market segment reported by RAM.


The establishment of PASB as a unit under PAAB is to undertake the latter’s acquisition of water assets and their accompanying liabilities in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan. To date PAAB has acquired water assets from Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor besides commencing negotiations with the other State Governments and their respective state water operators with the hope to arrive at an amicable sale and leaseback arrangement

Alamak! What kind of legacy are we getting from the present administration? If the bi-partisan alternatives becomes a reality one day, Malaysians will still be tied to this legacy. By comparison what is going on in Selangor is very very different........free water

Also why am I not surprised with the presence of CIMB again?



Dato' Sri Nazir Razak

Non-Independent Executive Director/Group Chief Executive


The borrowings as at the financial year end stood at

(RM4,943,150,000+RM1,548,219,000+RM174,000,000) = RM6,665,369,000 or RM246.87 per Malaysian.

Just imagine what else the RM6 billion could have been channelled into, e.g. loans to SMIs or study loans or credit guarantee scheme for SMIs etc….

When you borrow money, you pay interest and now this mean the consumers have to bear more cost.

For financial year ended 31 December 2009, revenue (money collected from you and me) was RM97 million and 46% or RM45 million went to interest payment so for what justification Malaysians suddenly have to pay interest on our water tariff?

Ask any businessman if he feels like paying half of his sales to banks as interest payment.

On page 24 of the New Economic Model Direction issued by NEAC:

A key component of inclusiveness is the fostering of equal and fair economic opportunities. Affirmative action programmes and institutions will continue in the NEM but, in line with views of the main stakeholders, will be revamped to remove the rent seeking and market distorting features which have blemished the effectiveness of the programme.”

Well, PAAB is a monopoly recently created
and how did it be chosen to run such a vital, huge undertaking which concerns the security of all and sundry of this company?
Oh by the way, the Chairman of PAAB is YB DatoSeri DiRaja Tajol Rosli Ghazali, formerly the Chief Minister of the State of Perak

I do ponder and wonder about the following points:

1) If the federal government is getting huge payments from selling water concessions then how come there is the proposal for GST?
- had GST come to effect on water supply, the cost structure we face as consumer could be as follow

# cost of the "investment properties" we already paid for with taxes to build up
# interest cost PAAB have to pay on our behalf to buy the assets
# additional cost of running the new structure e.g. directors' pay, professional fees to bankers for raising the bond etc
# less: cost reduction compared to being a state-own agency, if any
# profit to pay dividends to shareholders (a form 6 economy student can tell you public goods should be non-profit oriented)
# profit to show as a viable company and for re-investing purposes
# payment of corporate tax previously not needed as state agency so a case of tax on tax?

Total # = Y, revenue required to collect from consumers who do not have a choice
then we pay GST on Y, kind of a big piece of kuih lapis, no? The idea of GST ain't dead yet, I believe.

(more than a year ago, I wrote

Modern business modules advocate shorter supply chain, which would guarantee freshness, lower prices and shorter delivery time. One thing that is not transparent to all and sundry is the supply chain in Malaysia. I hope the Domestic Trade Ministry can make public the supply chain of common goods and services. We can then see how many times the goods changed hands from producers, distributors, deals, retailers and eventually to you and me

Now at least something seems clearer to me now)

2) Was the revenue generated from this sale of vital national address mentioned in the Prime Minister's budget speech for 2009 or 2010 budget?
I don't think so.

3) With this cash injection from selling off water concessions, how come we are still having national budget deficits?

Arghh....I have some more debts to pay

Malaysians, you are owing more and more money

I picked up this nugget from the Star who picked up the news from Reuters:

Friday May 14, 2010

Sovereign bond plan
Date, size and tenor of issue still not finalised

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is pressing ahead with a sovereign bond issue despite recent unease in regional credit markets and has mandated CIMB Investnment Bank and HSBC to arrange the sale, sources said yesterday.

The issue, Malaysia's first sovereign since 2002, would be of a “decent benchmark size” but was likely to be smaller than national oil firm Petronas' recent US$4.5bil bond, the source added

The source said the upcoming Malaysian issue was for benchmarking rather than fund-raising purposes as there was ample liquidity in the country.#

But Malaysia ran a budget deficit of 7.4% in 2009, its highest in more than two decades. It aims to reduce that to 5.6%.

The Government has traditionally relied on domestic bond issuances to fund its expenditure. ^

The Government sold RM88.5bil of bonds in the country last year, according to central bank data.

# What does "benchmarking and not fund raising" mean? Why does Malaysia government want a benchmark for? Why do Malaysians have to pay bond interest to "benchmark" against something that we can't feel, see or touch.

As far as I see it, in other words, a guy has enough money to handle his daily living expenses but for vanity reasons, he goes to the bank to see how willing the bank is to lend him money and as a result he pays unnecessary interest expense for that.

^ Borrow money for expenditure? Any reasonable finance manager would know medium or long term financing (which bonds are) is supposed to fund development expenditure which generate future revenue that hopefully exceed loan principal and interest payment.

Operating expenditure, meanwhile, should be funded by tax revenue because it is just mean for day to day functioning of civil service etc.

The decade long budget deficit mentioned clearly indicates that our tax revenue is not sufficient and given the terror financial management stories in Auditor General's Annual Reports, countless scandals like PKFTZ, Matrade or even the "looks like vote buying, sounds like vote buying but it is not vote buying" stuff of legends in Hulu Selangor and thank goodness not in Sibu, the loans and debts committed on our behalf may not be necessary at all.

The article never mentioned the purpose and expected benefit of the bond issue and that piece of silence sounds like thunder to me.

I BRA HIM likes to talk about Malay rights and pride so I might want to suggest to him that there is no honour or pride and security in taking on debts and debts until keliling pinggan.

I for one, do not want my beloved country to go the way of PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) with their host of economic problems including over-borrowing so perhaps I BRA HIM should advise Najib administration the perils of going towards that direction.

It is no surprise that CIMB is mandated, not selected from tendering process, to raise fund. Najib must have great confidence in his brother. The commission, professional fees, reimbursements billed for this sacred national service must be of respectable amount. Perhaps this is a good question to be tabled in the next Parlimentary session.


Dato' Sri Nazir Razak
Non-Independent Executive Director/Group Chief Executive

Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, a Malaysian, aged 42, was appointed a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director on 27 January 2006. He is presently the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of BCHB and CIMB Group and is also a Director and Deputy Chairman of CIMB Investment Bank, CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic

Dato’ Sri Nazir is a member of the National Economic Council, the Employees Provident Fund’s Investment Panel, the Securities Commission’s Capital Market Advisory Council, Bursa Malaysia’s Securities Market Consultative Panel, the MasterCard Asia/Pacific Regional Advisory Board and the Asia Business Council. He holds directorships in Multimedia Development Corporation and Malaysian Electronic Payment System (1997) Sdn Bhd. He is an Executive Committee member of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre. He is also a trustee of both the Rahah Foundation and the Pride Foundation.

Take a look at this link * where it shows Malaysia's external debts. The graph post 1995 looks like a 20 year old man on viagra but yet we are still stuck in this middle income trap that NEM is talking about. So where is the payback from all these debts?

* the magic number I see at the link is USD66.2 billion end of 2008 and at exchange rate of US1 = RM3.22 it is like, gosh, RM213,164,000,000. Divided by 27 million Malaysians, that is RM7,894.96 per person. If you have a non-working wife and 2 kids, congratulations, you owe the world RM31,579.85.

According to Anil Netto's post here , the external debt had increased to RM265 billion and the per person share became RM9,814.81 and the poor example above saw his debt increased to RM39,259.26. Remember foreign exchange goes up and down beyond our control.

The principal of opportunity cost dictates you must give up something for another thing so god knows what Malaysians are robbed off.

In Australia, tertiary education is free yet many Malaysian parents have to save the equivalent sum of a house to see through their children's tertiary education. The best students are not rewarded with scholarship (whereas free public education may have the equivalent financial impact of a scholarship) but slapped with anxiety and humiliation in the annual scholarship hijack.

Hell, let's not even talk about middle income, we have loads of Malaysians, especially in Sabah and Sarawak that have no proper water and electricity supplies, decent transport routes, health care and what not......

I wonder if the following are signs that Malaysia is heading the way of the PIGS

1) postponed introduction of GST when the condition is not proper and the people are not willing

2) proposed and retracted huge increase of traffic penalties

3) annual issue of PNB unit trust to non-bumis whereas during the Mahathir era there was only once; that Wawasan 2020

4) the idea of getting swift, one-off cash inflow from selling of toll concession

5) the service tax on credit cards

6) reduction of subsidy on petrol, yet no visible payback from improved public transport (except for some female only gerabaks?)

I have lost a bit of interest in the trial and Saiful's ass as I am more worried about my own now.

Sigh, compared to the Pakatan administration in Penang which saved money, turned a deficit into surplus and gave out despite Shahrizat's misgiving, RM100 to warga usia emas.....

And they say Barisan Nasional have the edge over Pakatan in terms of experience in running a country. Hell with so much natural resource, even my granny can run Malaysia.

A tribute to the voters of Rajang Park

The salient points our dear Prime Minister's speech in Padang Rejang was:


1:30 onwards

"they wanted RM3 million for Chinese school, I told them if BN wins on Sunday, Monday I ask the cheque to be prepared"

6.00 onwards

"kita ada deal tidak?"

"lu mahu 5 juta, gua mau Robert Lau menang"

"lui tak payah keluar duit, gua terpaksa keluar duit"

The above are the Prime Minister's words; not mine and it is for all of us to judge and decide his fitness for office.

The verdict of Rejang voters, after this proposed deal, is:


Sunday’s by-election results have yet to be fully analysed to see if the grants swayed votes to BN, but data from DAP showed voters in Rajang Park snubbed the prime minister’s promise of RM5 million to alleviate floods if SUPP’s Robert Lau Hui Yew won the seat.

My heartest admiration for the chaps there...when I was in my school boy shorts we always believe that Chinese voters only vote for money coming in for development and nothing else.

Hello is this is how you deal with our history's black spot??????

What the @#$% is this about MAY 13 Bangkitlah Melayu thingy ?


PAS slams May 13 Malay gathering
UPDATED @ 01:27:00 11-05-2010
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

May 11, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — PAS has slammed the involvement of a government agency in a mammoth gathering of right-wing Malay groups in Kuala Terengganu on May 13, the 41st anniversary of the country’s deadliest race riots.

The Terengganu Integrity Institute has been listed as “cooperating” with a group calling itself Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) to organise the rally with the theme “Malays arise” at the Gong Badak indoor stadium in two days time.

Utusan Malaysia said the rally will be attended by 10,000 members from 45 Malay non-governmental organisations, and is aimed at uniting the Malays. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will be attending.


“They said the date was chosen to commemorate the race riots. This is so uncivilised. It’s not just the Malays, Indians and Chinese but any civilised person would not want to be associated with this kind of mentality,” (PAS Vice President) Salahuddin (Ayub) told a press conference here.


First of all, if you gonna use tax payers' money for a lark, make sure is is all inclusive. If you want a private shiok sendiri session, pay the bill yourself....and don't use public amenities where all Malaysians paid for it and entitled to use it.

Secondly, let's learn how our jiran dealt with their own history's black spot - the 1964 racial riot. You think only Malaysia only go this kinda thing only-meh?

Read on and will the Deputy PM cum Education Minister pay attention?

1) :


Racial Harmony Day is celebrated annually on 21 July in Singapore. The event is to commemorate the 1964 Race Riots, which took place on 21 July 1964.

Racial Harmony Day also represents a day for schools to reflect on, and celebrate Singapore's success as a racially harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of culture and heritage.

In schools all across the nation on that day,
students are encouraged to be dressed in their traditional costumes such as the Cheongsam and the Baju Kurung. Traditional delicacies are also featured in the celebrations. Traditional games such as Kutih-kutih and zero point are played in schools, where inter-class competitions are sometimes organised.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_race_riots_in_Singapore :

The 1964 Race Riots were a series of riots that took place in Singapore during two separate periods in July and September between Chinese and Malay groups. The first incident occurred on 21 July during a Malay procession that marked Prophet Muhammad's birthday. In total, the violence killed 36 people and injured another 556. About 3,000 people were arrested. The riots are also known as the Prophet Muhammad Birthday Riots, 1964 Racial Riots, and 1964 Sino-Malay Riots. At that time, Singapore was a state in the Federation of Malaysia.



Racial Harmony Day

Schools commemorate Racial Harmony Day on 21st July. On this day in 1964, Singapore saw racial riots. Racial Harmony Day serves to remind our pupils that social division costs us dearly and that race and religion are potential fault-lines in Singapore society. It is a day for schools to reflect on, and celebrate our success as a harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of cultures and heritages.

Learning Points for Primary Schools
Students should learn to make friends with people of other races and religions and not make fun of people who are different. Students should also learn that in Singapore, people are treated equally regardless of their race and religion and they should also do the same. Students should appreciate the different cultures that make up Singapore.

Learning Points for Secondary pupils
Students should understand the customs and traditions of the different races and religions. They should learn to respect these customs and traditions and the need for the different races and religions to coexist peacefully. Students should also learn about the consequences of a breakdown in racial and religious harmony. These lessons can be drawn from our own history as well as recent incidents in the world. The message is that racial and religious harmony cannot be taken for granted.

Learning Points for JC and CI pupils
Students should appreciate the challenges facing each community and that all races are given equal opportunities to advance and progress. Students should also understand that in Singapore, racial harmony is based on mutual respect and understanding, not assimilation. One model that can be used to understand this is that of four overlapping circles. While each race retains its own distinct identity and strengths, there is also a common space where all Singaporeans, whatever their race, work and play. Students should work towards enlarging this common space. Students should also understand how government policies factor in considerations for racial and religious harmony.


Malaysian politicians who deal on racial politics and their followers tend to emphasize the difference while the real golden nugget is to look at the similarities in all races - so why so scared about inter-faith dialogue that promotes understanding, silatulrahim and mutual respect? Is it because that's how your cookie crumble? Is this the 1Malaysia, Malaysia Truly Asia and oh please come and invest, study and retire in Malaysia? The farce make me think what a fool our Prime Minister and his first lady look when they preach all the nice things while their subjects pull off a stunt like this.

By the way, is there a police permit for this little lark? Bring on the pepper and water spray if FRU feels like it then

This is stupid you know. Instead of dealing positively with this traumatic episode, these buggers remind me of the Nazis in the 1930's, blaming the loss of Germany in WWI to Jews and spoiling for another round. If this is not seditious and threatening the peace in Malaysia then I don't know what else. If ISA is a preventative law and necessary for the Malaysia as its supporters claim then this is a good time to practice what they preach. Is the PDRM going to be consistent and block all rounds, check every vehicle, pols special branch officers to film the event and deny the permit for this gathering?

Look at South Africa. When I was in my school shorts they were shunned by the world. They practice a form of racism much worse than ours. Yet the way they deal with it to progress - the forget and forgive approach towards reconciliation, the rugby team thingy (go watch that movie "Invictus") and now they are the host of the World Cup and yet here we have a bunch of morons benefiting from affirmative policies bending on talking Malaysia backwards to the year when Nelson M was squatting in a prison and South Africa a pariah nation of the world. The acronym "Gertak" = threat and that if anything, is not a right minded parent would want their child to learn and practice.

All patriotic Malaysia should shun and condemn this act of threatening the racial harmony, peace and image of Malaysia to the world.

Opening up MACC for Chinese applicants....

MACC’s recent invitation for Chinese to apply for 40 vacancies in the agency initially sounds cool to me. 400 applicants vying for 40 positions. Definitely it is the right step in strengthening the resource available within its stable; removing the long held impression that civil service is mono-ethnic dominated as well as the notion that Malaysian Chinese shun a career in public service.

It is definitely a right step in the right direction. For the bright brain who once remarked that MACC is a Malay institution following the uproar associated with Teoh Beng Hock’s shocking and hitherto unresolved episode, you can take that remark and stuff it back to what appears to be a hole in your face.


Race card played over Teoh’s death shows Umno’s desperation
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — Umno is not above playing the racial card when it comes to getting what it wants. Take the case of Teoh Beng Hock and the article written by New Straits Times Group managing editor Zainul Ariffin in the Berita Harian.

Zainul likened the criticism levelled at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as an attempt by certain quarters to weaken a Malay institution. It's no mystery or secret who these "certain quarters" he was referring to are and the question many opposition leaders and the public have been asking is this: since when did the MACC become a Malay institution

Footnote: I don't think he was suspended or sacked whereas the China Press Editor got into a huge pot of hot soup over some misreporting of Musa Hassan's resignation.

What, I wonder, was the reason for this turn of events? The timing of the announcement was interesting – in the midst of campaigning for predominantly Chinese votes constituency of Sibu by-election. I think this is a logical and intelligent tactical move.

Also, I remember vaguely someone shot off a remark following the Teoh Beng Hock uproar whereby so and so mentioned that MACC is suffering from an “image problem” whereupon I suppose what he meant was it did not look nice when a group of Malay MACC officers went after the Chinese Ex-Cos in the Selangor State Government. It might be easier on the eye if only Chinese MACC officers went after Chinese Ex-COs.

Rubbish, corruption is corruption and I don’t care about the race of the enforcers, suspects and wrong doers. As long as criminals are caught and the welfare of the nation is safeguarded, whether one is yellow, brown, black, polka dot do not matter.

I suppose this is a follow up on Najib’s pledge to his plea to the Chinese community to “give us a chance” as well as the resultant MACC’s “reaching out to the Chinese” drive.

Well, at least some effort is being put into clearing up the mess left by decades of race-base politics. I suppose a racist approach had to be taken but I hate to put it this way: MACC : Make Available Chinese Concession?

Understandably, while this piece of news made headlines in all Chinese press, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian have chosen other topics as their front page news. Ibrahim Ali, Perkasa and their friends protest as much about this as they protested about celibacy perhaps – ziltch. And did we hear anything from Hindraf?

Maybe this is also a round about way by MACC is trying to say "sorry about Teoh Beng Hock."


please account to the public how much corruption was committed, please

The damage is already done. Months of denial, their own officers hampering the inquest process including lodging police report against respected foreign forensic experts who offered her assistance have left an indelible mark on my mind.

Najib administration also know it is crucial to have non-Malay votes hence there will be no more “Keris Waving” nonsense and a more sophisticated publicity campaign is crucial in getting non-Malay votes. So what is the driving force behind the recruitment cum public relationship stunt I wonder?

If the recruitment is meant to improve the service level of MACC then it is a fundamental statement about the quality of human resource available. Remember Mr Wong Chuan How, Ronnie Liu's PA? He gathered the documents and walked out of his office with MACC officers when another group pounced on and injured him. Few months later, someone connected to the court hearing told me the court did not fund a creditable case at all.

I wish to see change of substance taken place within MACC and real results; not cosmetic, superficial, feel good thingy ala “Work With Me And Not For Me”, ”Cekap, Bersih dan Amanah”, “Wawasan 2020” which have proven to fall well short of the grand promises made.

Call me old fashioned, I want to see big fishes in the slammer, stolen wealth returned to the national coffers and huge cases being accounted for to the public. The billions in PKFTZ, the tin market manipulation in the 1980’s that caused the collapse of our tin mining industry hence wealth and a proud history of our country, MATRADE, MAIKA, the huge losses highlighted in the annual Auditor General’ reports, the amount of sunken commission paid to a private company that has no experience and no business in buying submarines and having access into national defense matters….while the rakyat have to bear with inadequate public amenities all over Malaysia, like Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Sabah (a corpman in a fox hole in Iwo Jima can care better for a patient than this lot).

I like to see a graft fighting body that is accountable to the Parliament and rakyat and not to the Prime Minister. I like to see an anti-corruption agency that is not a political tool which was very efficient in arresting 2 state lawmakers and then somehow perform ever so miserably in court at persecuting them – waste of public funds again.

I also wish to thank those Malaysian voters who on 8 March forced a change in the BN’s think tank and also Pakatan Rakyat for their emergence as an alternative worth serious consideration. I wish to express my gratitude in sorrow solemn prayer to Mr. Teoh Beng Hock, whose death turned the tide in more ways than one, and in a far fetch way, created this 40 job opportunities for needy Malaysians that may signify greater things to come.

Dear Mrs Teoh, Happy Mother's Day.

Lastly, I wish the applicants all the best and for those who got the 2 year provision contracts, selamat bertugas whether you are in the investigation, legal and persecution, human resource and administration, public education, intelligence etc divisions.

Alamak, apa terjadi kepada pengundi di Wangsa Maju?

Baru-baru ini, saya menerima khabar bahawa mungkin ada perubahan dalam pengundian Kerusi Parlimen P116 yang telah dimenang tipis oleh calon PKR, YB Wee Choo Keong pada tanggal 8 March 2008.

Salah satu khabar angin nan sya terima adalah bahawa mungkin Taman Melati sehingga ke Setapak Garden akan dipecahkan dan dijadikan kerusi parlimen yang baru. Setapak Garden itu jika tak silap saya kawasan majoriti pengundinya kaum Cina.

Jika tujuan pemecahan ini adalah kerana meringankan beban wakil rakyat terhadap begitu ramai pengundi, saya setuju. Bahkan ramai yang menduduki kawasan Wangsa Maju terdiri daripada pelajar Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman dan UNITAR serta ramai lagi perantau yang cari makan di ibu kota yang besar kemungkinannya mengundi di tempat lain.

Menurut sumber ini jumlah pengundi berdaftar di Wangsa Maju adalah 54,509.


Begitu juga untuk kawasan Seputeh (jumlah undi 76,891), Cheras (jumlah pengundi 68,725).

Jika Putrajaya (jumlah pengundi 6,608) diperuntukan seorang ahli Parlimen, maka Wanga Maju, Seputeh dan Cheras memerlukan sekurang-kurangnya 7 orang YB untuk setiap kawasan tersebut.

Dalam kanta mata rakyat bukan pengundi Putrajaya, kerusi Putrajaya bermaksud bahawa pegawai-pegawai kerajaan berkantor hawa dingin, bermangkuk nasi besi, berpencen dan layak menerima layanan khas rawatan hospital awam serta Keretapi Tanah Melayu perlu perhatian khas seorang YB serta seorang Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan. Wah, nilai pengundi di situ....memang bertuah......

Saya harap pihak Parlimen dan SPR dapat melihat keperluan dan kewarasan melayan rakyat Malaysia secara adil. Jika tidak, laungan 1Malaysia itu mungkin boleh dipertikaikan sebagai setakat omong kosong sahaja.

Bagaimanapun, satu perkara yang aneh juga telah berlaku. Seorang pengundi tua yang sekian lamanya mengundi di Wangsa Maju, dalam inisiatif sendiri mengenal pasti tempat mengundi terbaharunya, tersentak melihat beliau telah dipindah tanpa pengetahuannya daripada Wangsa Maju (majority PKR 150 undi) kepada Setiawangsa (majority UMNO 19,699, terima kasih kem tentera).

Nota: Setapak Permai memang kawasan Wangsa Maju dan waris-waris warga usia emas di situ telah menerima sumbangan mesra usia emas kerajaan Selangor daripada pejabat perkhidmatan Wangsa Maju

Mengapa ini berlaku? Apakah sebabnya? Mengapa memindahkan seorang tua tanpa memaklumkan beliau dan dalam lingkungan usia 70 tahun, beliau mungkin tidak celik komputer dan internet. Perbuatan ini pada hemat saya tidak menghormati dan memahami keadaan dan kesihatan warga usia emas kita. Budaya semua masyarakat Malaysia harus merangkimi nilai murni menjaga kesejahteraan orang tua kita dan SPR nampaknya kurang peka bahkan menyusahkan warga usia emas sahaja. Jika saya nampaknya marah, menang saya marah. Of course I am pissed! Who does not have ageing parents or grandparents?

Sekiranya ana mendaftar di tempat pilihan ana, maka itulah hasrat ana nak mengundi dan bersuara sebagai rakyat dalam sebuah negara demokrasi. Bila ana kata tempat A ana mengundi, SPR dulu kata okay dipersilakan tetapi lepas itu SPR tukar pendiriannya tetapi tidak memaklumkan ana maka itu sejenis PENIPUAN - "misrepresentation"

Jika atas sebab-sebab teknikal yang memerlukan ubahsuaian tempat mengundi, setidak-tidaknya SPR harus memberitahu para pengundi yang terlibat serta menjelaskan sebab-sebabnya. Saman trafik pun macam itu. Sebagai institusi yang bertanggungjawab, tak perlulah orang luar cuba ajar SPR menjalankan fungsinya. You are paid to do this job for decades and by golly you do it right.

SPR harus berfikir dari segi kemudahan awam. Bayangkan ramai pengundi telah menghadiri diri di tempat mengundi menurut pengalaman dulu tetapi “diserang hendap” oleh pertukaran ini. Keadaan lalu-lintas hari mengundi akan merumitkan perjalanan rakyat Malaysia yang bertanggungjawab (yang malas dan culas tidak terjejas), sumber minyak dan masa pun dibazirkan.

Bagi pengundi-pengundi terlibat yang berurus dengan pusat perkhidmatan wakil rakyat masing-masing, adakah ini bermaksud beliau kena “pindahkan” kes mereka dari seorang YB kepada seorang YB yang lain?
Ataupun YB terpaksa meneruskan kes aduan pengundi bekas kawasan undinya sehingga kehilangan masa untuk melayan dan berkhidmat untuk pengundi-pengundi di “kawasan baru” beliau.
Para pengundi pula akan kehilangan pengalaman dan pengetahuan YB dahulu dan YB yang baru pula kena memahami kes aduan dari mula semula lagi.

Dalam cogankata terpanas kini, Rakyat DiUtamakan, tetapi saya tidak nampak apa-apa manfaat kepada rakyat jelata daripada operasi sunyi senyap macam ini. Gaji dan pencen pegawai-pegawai SPR dibiayai rakyat jelata dan mereka bertanggungjawab jua menjelaskan operasi mereka kepada kita. Jika tak silap saya rumah bekas pengerusi SPR pernah dilontar bom beg cat dan saya pasti itu bukan angkara ah long yang pakar taktik ini. Apakah sebabnya ana tak tahu tetapi mungkin kerana pernah ada pihak yang tidak puas dengan mutu perkhidmatan beliau.

Ini bukan masalah Wanga Maju sahaja tetapi masalah Malaysia. Isyarat pembayar cukai kepada Pentadbiran BN adalah jika awak janji rakyat diutamakan, peranan SPR juga harus dirangkumi juga.

Saya gesa semua pengundi berdaftar semak semula beberapa kali sehingga hari mengundi
Jika anda tak puas hati dengan pertukaran tempat mengundi, sila hubungi pusat perkhidmatan wakil rakyat masing-masing
Bagi yang tidak atau belum terlibat, mungkin anda boleh mengirm surat berdaftar kepada SPR dan minta jangan usik tempat undi anda tanpa sebab yang munasabah serta makluman.
Berkunjunglah laman SPR untuk memahami fungsi SPR lah:

The RM50 billion question on the toll highway

I picked this up this morning from Bloomberg.


Malaysia Group May Sell Bonds for $15.6 Billion Highways Bid

A group of Malaysian businessmen said they would sell bonds to help finance a potential 50 billion- ringgit ($15.6 billion) bid to take over all the country’s toll- road operators.
The consortium, Asas Serba Sdn., said it’s awaiting government approval before making offers for 23 highway companies, including Kuala Lumpur-listed PLUS Expressways Bhd. and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd. Consent is needed because the government awards highway concessions.

Asas Serba is a privately owned special purpose vehicle with four shareholders, led by Chairman Syed Amin Aljeffri, president of the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce. The others are Syed Budriz Putra, Wan Kamaruddin Ali and Ibrahim Bidin.

Apparently this is not new. I guess I missed this as I am not a Utusan Malaysia regular.

Tol: Berikan kami peluang

''Teras utama cadangan pengambilan alih konsesi tol ini adalah mengurangkan beban kerajaan dan rakyat,'' dakwa beliau.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Asas Serba, Ibrahim Bidin berkata, dalam cadangan tersebut, syarikat telah mengemukakan penurunan kadar tol sebanyak 20 peratus daripada kadar semasa sehingga kontrak konsesi tamat pada 2038.

Cadangan yang dikemukakan itu didakwa mampu memberi penjimatan subsidi kepada kerajaan sebanyak RM114 bilion.

Ketika ditanya tidakkah cadangan itu menyebabkan keuntungan yang diperoleh mengambil masa lebih lama, Syed Amin berkata, keuntungan boleh diperoleh dengan pertumbuhan trafik.


I suppose the deal sounds reasonable until I cross reference with one of my previous post on the Alternative 2010 Budget by the DAP Economic Bureau chaps.

BA memperuntukkan RM25,000,000,000 untuk tujuan mengambil alih semua lebuhraya bertol termasuk lingkaran lebuhraya PLUS

That is half of the price proposed by Asas Serba. Being shrewd business people, surely the deal makers need to make more than RM50 billion from toll payers to generate healthy return to run the toll highway, pay dividends and income tax and leaves enough to have a good life for themselves and their loved ones.

If there is an open tender to this, should the payer, i.e rakyat jelata, be entitled to hear what both side have to say? Should we be entitle to know how a professional accountant propose to run a highway in a more efficient and effective manner that would improve the rakyat's position?

It would be fun to have a national referendum to this little nugget.

Mr. Syed Amin has a formidable CV in accountancy and corporate practice so I would gather that there would be some interesting story behind the numbers and since this is of national interest hence we tax payers and toll bearers must be kept informed and our opinion respected.

If I put my Bart Simpson hat on, I would have this to say:

1) given the drop in crude oil prices, retraction of GST and higher traffic fines and splurging here there and everywhere up to Hulu Selangor, is the BN administration facing cash crunch?

2) remember Leeds United circa 2003-2004 who borrowed so much and gambled on their future continuous on-field successes to generate sufficient revenue to pay off the huge debts? In the end, everything went, Alan Smith and the gold fish included.

The toll highway is one such future stream of guaranteed income. One can build up a business and have 2 choices: 1) continue to operate it and get its routine income, pain and pleasure 2) sell it to someone at a price equivalent to a number of years of future income hence having an immediate bundle of cash immediately for whatever purpose he or she so desire.....

3) with the sudden injection of RM50 billion should Najib administration agree to the bid, how does his administration propose to spend the funds?

Which ever way you look at it, we toll payers are at the bottom of the food chain. What options do we have?

1) stick with present, pay toll and compensation for profit to the rent seekers/leeches who are guaranteed come sunshine, rain, snow or alien invasion.

2) We buy RM40 billion worth of bonds (80% of the RM50 billion outlay), continue to pay toll some more to the people we lend money to gain rights to collect toll from us, and get a discount from them in the form of bond dividends. Perhaps we need to understand what does what is the definition of "pertumbuhan trafik" means in their books and if there is any caveat to that.

They also mentioned about restructuring the routes to save cost in the Utusan report. Sounds interesting on paper but without further elaboration, we really can't tell if it really works.

tidak menolak kemungkinan lanjutan konsesi boleh dijadikan pilihan, sekiranya syarikat itu berupaya mengekalkan kadar tol yang rendah

- perhaps this tell us something?

3) or what DAP suggested - cut our losses, unfair contract is still a valid contract, pay the once off alimony and start a new leaf or let the Unfair Public Commission as proposed in the budget take its course PROVIDED we Malaysians vote them in (or in this era of copy and paste....)

In this way, the voters can hold the PR side against this promise