- Obama Cancels Most of His Asia Trip
- Zairil's appointment to state chair 'unconstitutional'
- Felda’s pricey London hotel buy sparks probe, Umno disquiet
- Amended security law a huge step backwards, says Human Rights Watch
- Shahidan Kassim’s reply in parliament is an insult to the intelligence of all Malaysians
- Khairy To Act On Auditor General's Report
- ‘Fake degrees akin to fake Louis Vuitton’
- Anwar’s acquittal appeal on Dec 11 and 12
- Same shit every year
- Liow: I’m ready to face EGM
- Rahmad calls on DAP to amend constitution
- Learn from mistakes and stop the wastage
- IGP: Missing guns may have fallen into the sea
- MCA meet quizzes party’s missing millions
- The Auditor-General’s Report, a tale of greed from top to bottom
- Dr M: Stop BR1M handouts
- Rais to ‘unite’ PAS, PKR, Umno leaders
- Pakatan: Set up council to stop wastage of funds
Posted: 02 Oct 2013 11:21 AM PDT
(Asia Sentinel) - The US together with its Japanese, Australian, Korean and other allies has its own strategic reasons for countering China's claim to the whole sea. But if China can in practice advance this little by little by seizing small but strategically located rocks and shoals off others' coasts it could gradually change what historically was a Malay sea into a Chinese lake.The antics of Republican US Congressmen have led to the cancellation of almost all of President Barack Obama's trip to Southeast Asia, although his schedule is still in doubt over the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference to be held next week.
The US domestic political crisis may well lead to the cancellation of that visit as well. Unless there is some resolution of the US budget issue, it is unlikely that anybody in Southeast Asia will see the US chief executive anytime soon although aborting the trip risks telling America's East Asia allies that there are risks of a diminished US commitment despite the administration's much-discussed "Asia pivot." .
Americans need to worry about how these congressmen are demeaning the nation in the eyes of the world.
Filipinos on the other hand will be worried about the impact of a failure to come to an area to which Obama has attached so much importance just at the time China is stroking the soft underbelly of Asean in an attempt to isolate the Philippines.
In essence, China is pursuing an overtly aggressive attitude to Manila while engaging in sweet talk with other concerned Asean members. Beijing's effective seizure of the Scarborough Shoal last year with the stationing of coast guard as well as fishing vessels there has been followed, says the Philippines, by the dumping of concrete blocks which appear to be the precursor of construction. China has responded with a somewhat ambiguous denial of this claim while attacking Manila for allegedly creating obstacles to negotiating a Code of Conduct between the South China Sea claimants.
Posted: 02 Oct 2013 11:10 AM PDT
Organising secretary Anthony Loke said Kedah would be holding its state convention within six months as they had just appointed Zairil as the interim state chairman.
Posted: 02 Oct 2013 11:06 AM PDT
(TMI) - State plantation giant Felda's £98 million (RM497 million) purchase of a London serviced apartment complex is now being investigated by anti-graft officials and could derail its chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad's chances in the Umno vice-presidential race.
The Malaysian Insider understands there is also growing disquiet in Umno over the hefty price paid by Felda Investment Corp (FIC) UK Properties for the Grand Plaza Service Apartments in London's Bayswater suburb, a popular area among Malaysians living in the UK capital city.
"The price tag is the talk among Umno people because it is very expensive and it isn't something that Felda should venture into," an Umno warlord told The Malaysian Insider.
"There has been enough controversies over the FGVH listing, so we don't need another cause for the opposition to use," he added, referring to the Felda Global Ventures Holdings public listing last year.
It is also learnt that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is looking into the matter to see if there is any element of corruption in the deal that was sealed on September 4.
Sources said the MACC is working with others to investigate the matter.
"This is a sensitive matter as it involves an agency led by an Umno aspirant. It must not be seen as a way to knock Isa off the race," a source told The Malaysian Insider.
Posted: 02 Oct 2013 11:03 AM PDT
(TMI) - Malaysia is taking a "huge step backwards" on human rights by returning to laws that allow detention without trial, said global rights advocate Human Rights Watch.
Its deputy Asia director Phil Robertson insisted that the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) would only serve to infringe on the people's liberty without serving its stated purpose of decreasing crime.
"The Malaysian government should immediately scrap proposed amendments to a law that would reinstate detention without trial for people the authorities believe have committed two or more serious offenses," Robertson said in a statement issued before the amended PCA was passed in Parliament early this morning.
The amendments were passed after a voice vote, with more "ayes" from the Barisan Nasional parliamentarians to drown "nays" from their Pakatan Rakyat counterparts.
The amendments are on detention without trial, restrictions on judial reviews, secrecy provisions and recital of Article 149 in the preamble, which the opposition claims is inconsistent with basic human rights guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.
The bill was passed after minor changes were made, including adding two more members to the initial three-man Prevention of Crime Board, to whom reports on detainees will be submitted.
The opposition has in the run-up to the bill's passing repeatedly warned that the changes were similar to the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), which allowed detention without trial.
DAP chairman Karpal Singh had said the new contents were "no better" than the ISA while DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang described the amendments as regressive and "an obnoxious piece of legislation".
Robertson meanwhile expressed concern that the Board's operations and decisions would be kept from public view to protect its members.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's decision to "jam the law through parliament" could backfire on the nation's global reputation, and recalled Najib's pledge in September 2011 to make Malaysia a "functional and inclusive democracy, where peace and public order are safeguarded in line with the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law and respect for basic human rights become a reality".
"Responses to crime require a rights-sensitive approach entirely absent from this legislation," Robertson added.
Posted: 02 Oct 2013 10:53 AM PDT
In Pakistan, Members of Parliament have been sentenced to jail for possessing fake degrees. In Germany, two Ministers were forced to resign after they were accused of having plagiarized parts of their PhD dissertations.
Ong Kian Ming
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Shahidan Kassim's reply in parliament is an insult to the intelligence of all Malaysians and demonstrates that he does not understand the gravity of the situation
In his reply to me in parliament today, 2nd of October, to my question on steps the government will take to punish those with fake degrees and degrees from degree mills, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Shahidan Kassim equated fake degrees with fake Louis Vuitton bags. He further added that nothing could be done against those who have fake degrees as long as it was for personal use e.g. if they framed it up in their homes. His answer is an insult to the intelligence of all Malaysians, shows the government's double standards and demonstrates the complete lack of political will on the part of the BN to address this issue.
Firstly, a fake degree is nothing like a fake designer handbag. A degree is something which an individual works hard to obtain over the course of 3 to 4 years and is based on academic effort and ability, not on purchasing power. A person who buys a fake degree or who obtains one from a degree mill demonstrates a gap in moral credibility that far exceeds that of a person who buys fake handbags. A Minister who cannot see that difference shows is ignorant about the need for integrity especially when it comes to the arena of academic qualifications. A Minister with a fake degree or a degree from a diploma mill can make the entire country a laughing stock in the international arena. A Minister with a fake Louis Vuitton bag would do significantly much less damage to our reputation. What more if that Minister in question is the Minister for Human Resources which has the power to provide certification for academic qualifications?
Secondly, the Minister, in his reply said that government servants who are found to have fake degrees will be sacked. He also mentioned that the list of certified universities can be found online – at http://pengiktirafan.jpa.gov.my/. None of the universities which are degree mills which were brought up by myself this morning in parliament - Chartered Institute of Business Administration ,Teoranta in Ireland and Preston University in the United States (Richard Riot); Golden State University, Wyoming in the United States and Commonwealth Open University in the British Virgin Islands (Ewon Ebin), Preston University in the United States (Abdul Azeez bin Abdul Rahim, Chairman of Tabung Haji and MP for Baling) and Wanborough University (Mohammed Emir Mavani Abdullah, Group President and CEO of Felda) – could be found in this JPA website. Which means that the two Ministers in question and the two GLC heads could not have even applied for the civil service using their degrees. Why is there one standard for civil standards and another standard for Ministers and government appointment officials at the senior management level in GLCs? Shouldn't the standards of integrity, including regarding one own's academic qualification, be higher for Ministers and for senior GLC appointees given their larger responsibilities?
The Minister's reaction confirms the third point which is that the government has no political will to address this very serious issue. In Pakistan, Members of Parliament have been sentenced to jail for possessing fake degrees. In Germany, two Ministers were forced to resign after they were accused of having plagiarized parts of their PhD dissertations.
Have our standards of integrity sunk so low that we can turn a blind eye to this and make a joke out of it like what the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Shahidan Kassim, seems to be doing in his parliamentary reply this morning?
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 09:21 PM PDT
(Bernama) -- Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin assured that no stones would be left unturned against those found responsible for misusing tax payers money.
"What is certain is that we in the Ministry of Youth and Sports will take the necessary steps to ensure no wastage of funds because the government's funds are the peoples' money. We must be accountable for every Sen that we spend," he said.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 09:05 PM PDT
'I worked hard for my degree'
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 06:55 PM PDT
(Bernama) - The Court of Appeal here fixed Dec 11 and 12 to hear the prosecution's appeal against Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal on a charge of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Court of Appeal president Md Raus Sharif fixed the hearing dates for the appeal after the matter came up before him in chambers today for case management.
Appearing for the prosecution was Muhammad Shafee Abdullah while Anwar was represented by Karpal Singh.
Muhammad Shafee, a senior lawyer, was appointed by the Attorney-General by way of a "fiat" to lead the prosecution in its appeal in a bid to set aside the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision on Jan 9, last year which acquitted and discharged Anwar of a charge of sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari, 26.
Karpal Singh said in the meantime, the Court of Appeal would have to prepare its grounds of judgment with regard to its (the Court of Appeal's) decision to dismiss Anwar's application to disqualify Muhammad Shafee from appearing as the lead counsel.
He (Karpal Singh) said this was to enable Anwar's appeal (against the Court of Appeal's dismissal of Anwar's application to disqualify Muhammad Shafee as public prosecutor) to be heard at the Federal Court before Dec 11.
A three-member Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Ramly Ali had on Sept 17, this year dismissed Anwar's application to disqualify Muhammad Shafee and held that his appointment as public prosecutor was valid and in accordance with the provisions of the law.
The opposition leader (Anwar) subsequently filed the notice of appeal on Sept 20, this year against that decision.
Anwar, 64, was accused of committing the offence at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
On Jan 9, last year, High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah in acquitting Anwar had ruled that there was penile penetration but it was uncorroborated by other evidence.
He had held that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken from Mohd Saiful for DNA testing as the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 06:35 PM PDT
Insiders say that the projects should have cost about RM25 million apiece but the cost was doubled to cover a RM80 million donation to MCA. Others say MCA never received the RM80 million and that the money went to the Minister instead during the tenure of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The Auditor-General's Department has just released its annual report and, as usual, we are reading about all the shit. It is actually the same shit every year and is almost like this year's report is a photocopy of last year's report and of the reports the years before that and so on.
In short, nothing has changed.
There are so many issues in the Auditor-General's report that we just cannot cover everything. One thing I want to talk about, though, is regarding the incinerator fiasco because some things are not mentioned in the report, which I feel should be mentioned.
I remember years ago back in the 1980s when Terengganu announced the first incinerator project in Malaysia. That was back in the days of Menteri Besar Wan Mokhtar Ahmad and the late Bakar Daud, the head of Bandaran Kuala Terengganu at that time.
That project became a white elephant even before it could be commissioned and there were reports of massive corruption, which was never investigated.
The Edge has an interesting report about this in the article 'Greener combustion of waste' (READ HERE). Note the eleventh paragraph of this report where it talks about the failed Kuala Terengganu project of the 1980s.
Now, some of the people involved in that failed Kuala Terengganu project of 30 years ago are also involved in the Langkawi, Pangkor, Tioman and Cameron Highlands incinerator projects. And, according to the Auditor-General, these projects too have failed and have swallowed about RM200 million of the taxpayers' money.
The company behind these projects, XCN Technology Sdn Bhd, was also implicated in a RM100,000 bribery scandal. Furthermore, according to inside sources, the project is not RM200 million as reported but involved variation orders of an additional RM80 million -- which was not mentioned in the Auditor-General's report.
Insiders say that the projects should have cost about RM25 million apiece but the cost was doubled to cover a RM80 million donation to MCA. Others say MCA never received the RM80 million and that the money went to the Minister instead during the tenure of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister.
Well, there you have it. I have just completed the Auditor-General's report and have highlighted what the Auditor-General's report did not mention.
Over to the MACC -- are we going to see a second corruption case involving XCN Technology Sdn Bhd and Caleb Khoo Nee Sien?
Govt officer charged over bank deposit
(Bernama, 6 May 2009) - A senior government officer pleaded not guilty in the magistrate's court here today on two counts of receiving a RM100,000 bank deposit one year ago.
Aw Joon Ching, 50, former principal assistant director in the Housing and Local Government Ministry, was alleged to have received the money from XCN Technology Sdn Bhd director Caleb Khoo Nee Sien in connection with the installation of incinerators in Pangkor and Langkawi islands.
Aw, who was attached with the Engineering Structure Unit of the ministry's implementation and maintenance branch, had managed the projects then.
Aw, who had since been transferred to the Public Works Department, was alleged to have received the money through the account of his sister-in-law, Tan Yee Pik, 41, at the Bangsar Baru branch of Malayan Banking Berhad between May 8 and June 30, 2008.
He was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code and if convicted, he is liable to a jail term up to two years jail or fines or both.
Magistrate Nazran Mohd Sham fixed bail at RM5,000 bail and set June 10 for re-mention.
Joon Ching was represented by counsel Yusof Khan while Deputy Public Prosecutor Iznina Hanim Hashim prosecuted.
RM199m "burnt" as incinerators for waste management become white elephants
(TMI) - The Auditor-General Department revealed a waste of RM199 million which was spent on the construction of four incinerators by the National Solid Waste Management Department over the last four years, as there was no expertise to operate such machines once they were built.
The incinerators were built in Langkawi, Pangkor, Tioman and Cameron Highlands.
According to the AG Report released today, the construction of these incinerators was also delayed two to three times from their original schedule.
The report revealed that three of the incinerators were not in operation for between 223 and 642 days, due to the lack of expertise.
The plan to build the fifth incinerator in Labuan also did not take off.
"The Pahang government had spent nearly RM1 million last year to clean up the mess the old way," the report added.
The Federal Government had allocated RM337.5 million for the whole project.
Flaws in incinerator management
The 2012 Audit Report revealed that only one out of the four waste incinerators is up and running.
(FMT) - Audit findings revealed today that the overall management of waste incinerators by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry are not satisfactory.
Out of the four projects, only one is in operation. Another two projects have been completed but not in operation yet, while the fourth was still under construction.
Under the Ninth and Tenth Malaysia Plan, a total of RM199.09 million out of the RM337.45 million allocated by the Federal Government was spent on the construction of the incinerators.
The ministry built incinerators using the combustion technology proposed by XCN Technology Sdn Bhd in Pulau Langkawi, Pulau Pangkor, Cameron Highlands and Pulau Tioman.
The audit finding proved that the all the incinerators were not completed during the scheduled period and only one was ready within the extended deadline.
Another two incinerators were completed between 46 days and 104 days after the extended deadline while one is still under construction.
Even the Pangkor incinerator could not operate at the set temperature range and is inefficient.
There were also flaws in the documents on the plant operation and maintenance contract.
The report also revealed that there were design flaws resulting in the incinerator not operating at optimal level.
Bad management was also due to non-compliance of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Factories and Machinery Act.
The National Audit Department advised the ministry to provide an effective management of solid waste.
The audit also recommended raising public awareness on the importance of separation of solid waste.
The ministry was urged to improve the solid waste treatment so that autogenous combustion could be achieved in a more efficient manner.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 05:06 PM PDT
(The Star) - MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai says he is ready to face an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to censure him.
He expressed confidence that the central delegates were mature enough to make wise and important decisions.
Dr Chua is scheduled to chair a CC meeting at the party headquarters here tomorrow.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:56 PM PDT
Penang Malay Congress leader, who dramatically quit the party last week, alleges that DAP is Chinese-centric and should therefore, amend its constitution to reflect so.
The outspoken Penang Malay Congress leader Rahmad Isahak has now called on DAP to amend its constitution to reflect the party's positioning as a Chinese-centric party as it mostly championed issues of the community.
DAP should also do away with its multi-racial tagline and remove the slogan of "Malaysian Malaysia or Middle Malaysia," he said.
He added that its constitution should read that Chinese are the dominant members while the rest are minorities and the Malays are relegated to just token representatives.
In his first statement since recently quitting DAP in a huff over what he alleged to be an unfavorable treatment of the Malays, Rahmad said the outcome of the central executive committee (CEC) election line-up portrays DAP as a Chinese party where an overwhelming number of leaders from that community were retained.
This is despite PMC's constant clarion call for DAP to incorporate a multi-ethnic composition in view that it had become a dominant voice in Pakatan Rakyat, an alliance comprising reformists PKR and Islamists PAS.
Rahmad also believes that a standing instruction was issued to the 1,000 plus delegates to vote in the same CEC line-up as that in the earlier election in December.
"It shows that the election is merely for them to thumb their noses at the authorities such as the Registar of Societies. It is a show," he said.
According to him, the surprise was that the party icon Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng had each lost more than 200 votes in the re-election when compared to the previous elections last December.
Both finished behind Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong whose role as a political educational bureau chairman was seen as the catalyst for DAP outperforming all other political parties except Umno in the last general election.
Make Chin Tong the sec-gen
"Many may find this surprising but if one were to analyse the DAP voting pattern, the result also shows that the delegates have started erasing the long held perception that Lim dynasty controls the party. For me, Liew is a lightning rod," Rahmad said.
The votes may have also gone to DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who was also seen as creating a parallel dynasty with the rise of his two sons, Gobind and Jagdeep, in the party.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:33 PM PDT
THE Auditor-General's Report 2012 tabled in Parliament yesterday has once again thrown up the usual slew of cases involving mismanagement of funds to downright corruption.
Some of the cases highlighted are bound to raise a chuckle or two, like how the Customs Department had to destroy RM602,089 worth of shoes bought for its staff because they did not meet specifications.
We are used to seeing Customs destroying goods confiscated in the line of duty but to destroy 7,659 pairs of new footwear bought for its own use is certainly not right.
This incident is no laughing matter. Neither is the loss of some RM1.3mil in assets, which include firearms, vehicles and handcuffs by police over the last three years.
This was among the wastage highlighted in the report which also found the police's management of missing assets unsatisfactory, especially at a time when we are so concerned about the spate of serious crime.
And the taxman, entrusted to making sure the government coffers are properly filled, also got ticked off for wasting up to RM9mil during the relocation of its processing centre from Pandan Indah to Bangi.
Or that the Education Ministry wasted RM2bil on unsatisfactory private security in schools.
The report cited the poor execution of security services with no monitoring at entry and exit points at school premises, insufficient guards, and guards who were either too old or failed to present adequate health and background security checks.
The problem with auditing, whether on government accounts or private companies, is that such incidents are revealed only after the fact.
And it does not help that errant officials are somewhat protected by anonymity and can be transferred to other departments after misdemeanours are discovered.
The primary purpose of auditing is to uncover impropriety, but it must also be the Auditor-General's hope that civil servants learn from such revelations.
The weaknesses highlighted by the A-G in his latest report seem to sound like an old record.
Among them are improper payments; work or supplies not meeting specifications, unreasonable delays, wastage and weakness in management of products and assets.
Once again, public officials have been implicated in issues of graft. The MACC has a lot on its plate and must act fast to restore confidence in the way we manage the public purse.
Let us be clear that all public officials must always be accountable to the public interest. They must know that every action is subject to scrutiny and must always be above reproach.
By the same token, let us also applaud those departments who have been given a clean bill of health by the AG, especially those who have learnt from the mistakes of others.
A huge government machinery like ours will definitely have its problems but we must be clear that even a little nut or bolt can bring the machinery to a halt.
We are only as good as our weakest link and we must send out a strong message that we do not tolerate any mismanagement of public funds.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:30 PM PDT
(MM) - Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today that the missing guns highlighted in the just-released federal audit had not fallen into the wrong hands but could have "fallen into the sea", as he deflected criticisms against the police force for lacking accountability.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), in a press conference this afternoon, pointed out that checks with the weapons' identification codes have confirmed that they were not used for any criminal activity recently.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:23 PM PDT
(MM) - Close to 500 MCA members met today to demand answers on the millions of ringgit worth of party funds they alleged have been left unaccounted under the leadership of party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
The funds include, among others, RM212 million in dividends from the 42 per cent stake MCA holds in English daily The Star, and the sale of a donated piece of land in Bangi that was meant for the party's second headquarters.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:16 PM PDT
NEWS ANALYSIS BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
One really troubling fact about the Auditor-General's Report released yesterday is that the poison of corruption, wastage and negligence has seeped right down to the lowest levels of government.
Not only have Malaysians got to be worried about corrupt politicians but also civil servants from the top to the bottom. How else do you explain nearly RM200 million being spent on incinerators without the know-how to operate the technology or RM3,000 on wall clocks or custom-made shoes left to rot because they did not meet the specifications?
Money is being spent and wasted like water. And the disease has infected every ministry, government-linked company and institution across the nation. Perhaps it was inevitable given that civil servants have witnessed politicians milking the system for decades and getting away with it.
So why not also jump on the gravy train? After all it is public funds, and it belongs to them to waste it as they see fit. Even more troubling is that no heads have rolled over the years for such sheer wastage and corruption. When was the last time anyone took responsibility for purchasing expensive printers, inks, shoes, clocks and scanners?
Which minister or secretary-general or director-general or even chief clerk has admitted they slipped up and quit to take responsibility for such negligence. Is there any concern that policemen can lose guns or even police cars without anyone having their knuckles rapped for it? Or that money is still being paid out to dead people? One can suppose these dead people are still on the electoral roll.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:07 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) need not to be continued in the Budget 2014 in a bid to reduce the people's dependency on the government.
Instead, he said the government should find a way to train the people, especially the underprivileged, with certain skills that could become their source of income.
"We rarely appreciate the things we get for free, including the BR1M.
"That is why it should be given only to hardcore poor and those with disabilities," he told reporters after speaking at 'An Evening With Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad' programme here yesterday.
He said this when asked about his suggestions for the Budget 2014, scheduled to be tabled by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on Oct 25.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia's economy would not suffer major impact following the United States (US) government shutdown as the bilateral trade between the two countries had declined over the years.
"More or less, the effect will be felt, but our trade is not with the US alone," he said.
The US government went into a partial shutdown as lawmakers missed the deadline to pass a budget amid differences in Congress over how to deal with President Barack Obama's health care programme.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:05 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Social Affairs and Cultural adviser to the government Dr Rais Yatim plans to bring together leaders of three political parties soon in efforts to strengthen unity among the Malays and Muslims.
He said for a start, a meeting organised with the cooperation of several Malay intellectuals and non-governmental organisations, would be held in three places, namely Kelantan, Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur.
The three parties involved are Umno, PKR and PAS.
"This effort is underway and to make it happen, it must be done in the goodwill spirit," he told reporters after launching a seminar on 'Unity of the Ummah in Malaysian Civilization" at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), here yesterday.
Rais said he saw the significance of Malay interests in the context of unity and not the name of their party, therefore, efforts to unite them were necessary to discuss issues on religion, race, language and the region.
"This is not about Umno politics, PAS politics or PKR politics but the Malay Muslim struggle."
He said this when asked by a panel member on how to strengthen unity among the Malays from various political parties in the country.
Meanwhile, on the seminar, he said Malays needed to push aside their ego in the interest of their own race and Muslims.
"Malay Bumiputeras need to protect the future of the Malays…besides avoiding racial politics, which will only weaken the community itself," he said.
The two-day seminar, organised by UPSI's Institute of Malay Civilization, assembled political figures, academicians and non-governmental organisation leaders. Three working papers were presented to discuss the direction of Malay unity.
Posted: 01 Oct 2013 03:43 PM PDT
Pakatan Rakyat leaders want a special council formed to act against ministries and government agencies mismanaging funds
Anisah Shukry, FMT
The Pakatan Rakyat proposed today that a three-member council be set up to put a stop to the government's massive mismanagement of public funds as detailed in the Auditor-General's annual report.
The council must comprise the Opposition Leader and Auditor-General (AG), and chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Pakatan leaders said today.
"The council should look into enforcement as well as prevention and undertake structural reforms to get to the bottom of the issue," DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng told reporters the parliament lobby today.
"The Auditor-General is there to look at each government agency. With the council in place, action can actually be taken against those who are squandering money," he said.
He added that among the steps, the council must ensure that tenders were open and transparent.
Lim said with such prominent figures in the council, firm action would be possible, unlike the toothless Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
He said the PAC was ineffective as it did not have the power to take action against agencies guilty of mismanaging public funds.
He added that the PAC only hauled up officials for questioning and produced reports on the issue.
"This wastage happens yearly and is never-ending. So as long as there is no serious action, we will see this happen again next year," said the Penang Chief Minister.
PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar said the report proved the government agencies had not learned their lessons.
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