Jumaat, 4 Oktober 2013

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COMING SOON: Malaysia's I.S.A. 2.0 ... Oppose it!

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 11:08 AM PDT


If we charge the detainees in court, we could learn a lot more about the meaning of 'national security'. It is not merely about maintaining public order but about trying to understand why citizens are publicly acting in manner deemed 'disorderly'. 

Azly Rahman

I am reposting this article on the Internal Security Act, written in 2008 before it was finally repealed. Now that the Barisan Nasional has won, it is rebranding the act, not only, accordingly, for crime prevention but essentially as a national security straightjacket. We do not need such acts anymore. What then must we do? 

Remove the "national security" straightjacket

"Work with me …. not for me" 

— Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled for 22 years, once spoke about the nine challenges called 'The Way Forward-Vision', said to be a culmination of his work throughout his tenure.
The document charted the challenges the nation must confront in order for it to develop on par with the advanced nations.

These challenges are summarised as follows: 
1. Establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny 
2. Creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of adversity 
3. Fostering and developing a mature democratic society, practising a form of mature consensual, community-oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries 
4. Establishing a fully moral and ethical society whose citizens are strong in religious and spiritual values and with the highest ethical standards 
5. Establishing a mature, liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creed are free to practise and profess their customs, cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation 
6. Establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward-looking, one that is not only a consumer of technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilisation of the future 
7. Establishing a fully caring society and caring culture, a social system in which society will come before the self, in which welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the individual but around a strong and resilient family system 
8. Ensuring an economically just society… in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress 
9. Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient 

With the Internal Security Act (ISA), how do we then meet these challenges? How is it an antithesis to what a civil society means? Do we still deserve the ISA?

Snapshot of protests

We are on the threshold of 2008. We have created a larger middle class, educated and imbued not only the taste of progressive Western secularist ideals synthesised with deep cultural and/or religious values still preserved, but also a better understanding of the principles of human rights. We know that Malaysia ratified the 1946 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We know that these involve the rights to the freedom of speech and assembly.

Our nation no longer deserves the ISA or any other intolerable Acts that kill the creativity and imagination of its nation. The ISA is an ideological state apparatus must go if we are to move forward as a nation that is known for it wisdom, intelligence, tolerance, and commitment to social justice – one that takes care of the needs of the poor of all races, without fear or favour.

The ISA which provides for detention without trial for up to two years at a time is anathema to the idea of a civil society. If we charge the detainees in court, we could learn a lot more about the meaning of 'national security'. It is not merely about maintaining public order but about trying to understand why citizens are publicly acting in manner deemed 'disorderly'. The history of the use of the ISA is tied to the history of the ruling class and how those who own the means of production own the means of silencing progressive voices of change.

Let us look at some snapshots of the protest movements in our history:

Read more at: http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/2013/10/coming-soon-malaysias-isa-20-oppose-it.html 

Malaysia’s total local currency bonds outstanding: RM1 trillion

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 11:02 AM PDT


Malaysia's total local currency bonds outstanding stood at RM994bn (US$314bn) at 30 June 2013, the highest in the Asean region.

Anil Netto 

That's a 6.4 per cent rise from last year though 0.2 per cent lower than the end-of-first quarter 2013.

A bond is paper issued by a borrower, whether the government, GLCs or private firms, with a promise to pay periodic interest and to repay the face value upon maturity. The terms of payment depend on how investors view the offer, the risk involved and the country's economic climate – a view also shaped by rating agencies.

Out of this RM994bn bonds outstanding, the corporate sector accounts for RM406bn or US$128bn. Here are the top 30 outstanding corporate bonds in Malaysia. Note that four out of the top five issuers are state-owned.

Read more at: http://anilnetto.com/economy/malaysian-financebusiness/malaysias-total-local-currency-bonds-outstanding-rm1-trillion/ 

Special Report: Malaysia’s annual procurement costs higher than other nations’

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:47 AM PDT


(The Edge) - Malaysia spends more on its annual procurement of goods, works and services -- which comes to about one-fourth of its nominal GDP -- than most other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries whose annual procurements work out to about 12% of their GDP.

In a paper entitled Key failings in the Malaysian public procurement system and how they can be addressed by greater transparency, Prof David Seth Jones said while the government has established an official system of procurement which conforms to a certain extent to international standards, the problems may be caused by inadequate planning and poor drafting.

Read more at: http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/in-the-edge-financial-daily-today/257384-special-report-malaysias-annual-procurement-costs-higher-than-other-nations.html

What will Zahid do about Unsatisfactory Management in Police HQ?

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:40 AM PDT


A killing weapon is lost and, on multiple occasions, it takes in excess of 2 years to conclude 'cause unknown.' The losses occurred at an average rate of about once per month. There were delays in detection, delays in investigation, delays in reporting, delays in decision-making, delays in implementation.


Previously I pointed out what's missing in the discourse about the Auditor General's Report for 2012. Here I will point out how focusing on missing guns has diverted us from the real issue. I will also point out some salient features of audit reports.

I am writing this post because I read in Malaysiakini that Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said "more and more people now trust the police," and said we should stop discussing guns lost by the Police.

The missing guns

Concerning the missing guns, Malaysiakini reports that Zahid said:

"I know the loss was not due to a breach of trust, deviant acts or elements of bribery," and "It is because of carelessness and mistakes made in the line of duty."

Well, this is the same Zahid who asserted, before any investigation, that the police were not involved in the shooting of Sanjeevan whose published mission was to 'expose' the police. It's hard to take Zahid seriously, for reasons I've outlined elsewhere.

In parallel, the Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, has responded to reporters on the same subject.

According to The Malaysian Insider, Khalid said "the missing guns . . . could have fallen into the sea from boats and the weapons could not be recovered."

One of my friends observed that some Chinese say "fallen into the sea" to indicate practical wisdom: "it's happened, that's life, let's just let it go."

I doubt Khalid was thinking of the Chinese idiom, for he mentioned boats and alluded to on-the-spot decisions made not to recover the submerged guns.

According to Free Malaysia Today, Khalid said that subsequent to the Auditor General's Report, 7 of the missing guns had been recovered. The same article reports that Khalid said "the missing guns could also be due to police negligence and car break-ins."

Diversionary tactics

Teresa Kok, the Member of Parliament for Seputeh and "One Woman Malaysian Book of Records" used the missing guns to take a swipe at the Prevention of Crime Act.

Teresa suggested that the guns lost by the police could have been used in a spate of armed attacks which Malaysia has experienced in recent months.

Teresa used the missing guns as leverage to challenge Zahid's aggressive moves to re-introduce detention without trial, a la ISA and EO.

Khalid and Zahid appear to be using Teresa's comments to divert attention from the real issue of mismanagement in the police force. And the media are playing into their hands.

The real issue

Concerning the losses (mainly 156 handcuffs, 44 firearms and 29 vehicles), here's the complete list of weaknesses listed in the Auditor report:

i. delay in detecting the loss of assets;
ii. Head of Department delayed in preparing the Initial Report on the loss of assets;
iii. delay in forming the Investigating Committee For Loss Of Assets;
iv. Investigating Committee For Loss Of Assets delayed in preparing the Committee Final Report;
v. the Secretariat for The Loss And Write-Off Committee delayed in taking follow-up actions on reports of assets lost;
vi. delay in taking action by the Police Contingent upon approval of the write-off by the approving authority;
vii. delay in taking action for the surcharge process;
viii. secured storage space for assets was not provided for; and
ix. space for storing assets was limited. 
The word "delay"

Auditors are extremely careful with their choice of words. The word delay has been selected to do service in seven consecutive sentences. And most people still miss the point!

The frequent occurrence of the word "delay" is a signal to the reader that an extremely serious issue is being reported.

An all-familiar story of the non-Malays

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:38 AM PDT

The Malay population is increasing while the non-Malay population decreasing. Said The Star group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, "Going by current trends, the projection is that the non-Malays will continue to drop further with some saying that by 2050 there could be 80%  bumiputras in Malaysia and just 15% Chinese and about 5% Indians."
Mohsin Abdullah, Fz.com 
IF I'm a non-Malay, Chinese in particular, I'll be worried sick. Scared even. For my future and that of my children. In this beloved country. What with the likes of Perkasa, Jati, Isma, Jaringan Melayu Malaysia etc running round "threateningly". And even Umno seem to be turning rightist.
Am I justified in feeling scared and worried?
Before we continue, I would like to state that the people I spoke to for comments in this piece are all Malaysian Chinese. Or should that be the other way round – Chinese Malaysian. Anyway, they are Chinese and they are Malaysian. All are professionals. Some are not named upon their request, 
The reason for talking to a strictly Chinese respondents is to have a "truly" Chinese perspective on the matter. Theirs would encompass the perspective of the other non-Malay communities.
The country seems to be more and more "Malay". Both look and feel – to use the branding jargon. To emphasise, well sort of, I'll lift a quote or two from journalist Stephanie Sta Maria when she was interviewed by fz.com writer Kristina Mariswamy last month.
"Because of what I've seen of late, I can sort of anticipate where the country is going," said Sta Maria. And she is moving to Australia soon because "the direction the country is heading and because I wanted a better future for my children". Without going into specifics, I think what she was driving at is clear enough.
"The non-Malays are doomed. The country will go to the dogs," said a gentleman whom I met a couple of days ago in Bangsar.  Angry words indeed. Said another: "The country risks becoming another Burma by being inward – all can go back to wearing sarong." More angry words.
Then there's this question of population. The Malay population is increasing while the non-Malay population decreasing. Said The Star group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, "Going by current trends, the projection is that the non-Malays will continue to drop further with some saying that by 2050 there could be 80%  bumiputras in Malaysia and just 15% Chinese and about 5% Indians."
"Not too concerned about numbers. The Chinese in Kelantan never felt threatened despite being the minority," said the first gentleman I quoted earlier –  going on to say "what scares me is what lies in the hearts of Malays like Ibrahim Ali, Zul Nordin", referring to leaders of hardline Malay group Perkasa. Both continue to be seen by non-Malays as "racists" despite their several denials.
But there are those who feel groups like Perkasa shouldn't be given too much attention. One of them is Hu Pang Chaw, the chairman of PAS supporters congress, the party's non-Muslim wing.
"Chinese do not have much worry as they (the likes of Perkasa etc) are just small groups. With globalisation and internet access, more and more educated Malays are becoming more moderate," said Hu. 
Still to a political analyst, "young Chinese have a big resentment towards the racial overtones of right-wing Malay organisations and politicians. They include the young politicians active in the DAP. 
They subscribe to the Malaysian Malaysia concept. They like the 1Malaysia concept which is not dissimilar to DAP's Malaysian Malaysia but that (1Malaysia) concept is now temporarily halted for Umno party election".
Now, that view of 1Malaysia concept taking a back seat for Umno elections has struck a chord with a political observer I spoke to: "Umno is fighting to be jaguh kampung. The concern is they'll get the cheers and lose the war", he said, implying Umno is playing to its own gallery and risks losing future elections.
And said another political observer, like it or not Umno needs to "get back Chinese support as they cannot survive on Malay support alone. And also it's impossible that Umno can get 100%  Malay support. So they must win back the Chinese or they lose GE14".
No easy feat that. Considering the current Chinese sentiment and with Umno, Perkasa and so on making things more difficult. "The Chinese have little or no choice now but to support DAP. The MCA can't be depended on – what more with the infighting now," said the observer.
Are we straying form the topic? Not really, as what the duo are saying is –  Chinese still feature prominently despite their small numbers and "problems" faced now. 
But the political analyst mentioned earlier in this piece had this to say: "The young Chinese are naïve to think that by this time, after we achieved independence for 56 years, all Malays will accept them as equal Malaysians.
"To be accepted by the Malays they must first be fluent in the national language. But as Malaysians, they are not proficient in Bahasa Malaysia. So it is common for them to be criticised by the Malays. They ignore the criticism and continue to fight for fair treatment in this county."
But this "failure" to speak good Bahasa, said the analyst, is due to to "the leniency of the BN government as Chinese are free to choose education in their mother tongue and in this case Chinese (in Mandarin) – from kindergarten right up to secondary school  via Chinese independent secondary schools or Du Zhong.
And some may continue with tertiary education using Chinese in Taiwan and China. Or 100% English in private colleges and universities in the country or abroad.
"At least half of them cannot speak decent Bahasa Malaysia to communicate with the Malays," said the political analyst.
I remember asking an Indonesian journalist friend of mine some time ago why Chinese Indonesians speak Bahasa Indonesia as if it was their mother tongue. His reply was simple: "We do not have bumiputra and non-bumiputra in Indonesia. When you classify people as such, you are dividing them into groups and they tend to keep to their group and naturally, protect their language culture and all."

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/mohsin-abdullah-all-familiar-story-non-malays#ixzz2go7uUUTu

The harsh reality of our politics

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:23 AM PDT


Despite PAS members telling the Malays to discard their siege mentality, the Malays still continue to think of the Chinese as their bogeyman. 

Umno therefore has a 100% hold on the Malay mind. Again there is nothing anyone in Pakatan can do about this.

Selena Tay, FMT 

Truly, Barisan Nasional looks set to win the 14th general election. The reason is simple enough: it is because BN has managed to win over the larger portion of the Malay voters.

Malays make up 67.9% of the population and the voting pattern resembles the population demographics. And with Malays now going back to BN due to BR1M and other incentives, the opposition is losing ground.

This is the reason why the ulama faction in PAS are advocating for PAS to leave Pakatan Rakyat (PR). The ulamas think that PAS will garner more Malay votes by being a stand-alone party.

In a local English daily dated Sept 16, 2013 under the title 'MCA: Do not sideline any ethnic group', MCA president, Dr Chua Soi Lek was quoted as saying: "It would be politically more difficult for the Barisan Nasional to get support from the non-bumiputeras if government policies sidelined any particular group…Najib had reiterated he had initiated a lot of policy changes that benefited the non-bumiputeras and he was often criticised by the bumiputeras."

Chua is just saying those above words for the sake of saying something. More on this later.

Logically speaking, once BN obtains total Malay support, they have more than enough votes to win the general election. Even if all the Chinese and all the Indians were to vote for Pakatan, it is futile.

One has to take into consideration that BN has a massive fixed deposit vote bank in the form of the 1.4 million civil servants, 700,000 pensioners, teachers, uniformed personnel, the Felda, Felcra and Risda folks, the Orang Asli and the indigenous peoples in Sabah and Sarawak not to mention the BN-friendly foreign workers who arrived 10 years ago and will surely be getting their citizenship papers and voting rights come the 14th general election.

With the re-delineation exercised scheduled to take place end of this year, Pakatan will be facing a wipe-out. One must not forget that after the re-delineation exercise in year 2003, the opposition experienced a wipe-out in the 2004 general election.

Thus the coming re-delineation exercise is a bad omen for Pakatan Rakyat.

Back to Chua's statements – the government is not going to listen to Chua or any other Chinese leader because they know they can do without Chinese votes unless PAS can step up their game to woo the Malays.

The bogeyman

On the other hand, PAS members and politicians have always did the utmost to woo the rural Malays by attending all their events for example weddings, funerals and baby-naming ceremonies but all in vain.

PAS has also donated to rural victims of floods and fires and organised gotong-royong, activities for the Malay youths and mosque programmes but all these have not yielded fruit – the rural Malays are still 100% loyal to Umno.

So much so that when they come to the PAS Service Centre for financial assistance, Mohamad Sabu, the PAS deputy president asked them why they voted for Umno then.

Mohamad also told them that as PAS is not in the federal government, PAS has very limited funds.

"Another reason for PAS' failure to capture Malay votes is that Umno has succeeded in using the Chinese to scare the Malays. Malays voted for BN because they think that the Chinese want to become the prime minister and turn the nation into a republic. These baseless fears imbued into the heart and soul of the Malays will always make them vote for BN," said Nizar Jamaluddin the PAS state assemblyman for Changkat Jering.

Despite PAS members telling the Malays to discard their siege mentality, the Malays still continue to think of the Chinese as their bogeyman.


Safety and Accountability : Prevention of Crime Act and Auditor General Report

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:22 AM PDT


Detained under the ISA, an Act intended for communists - MTadmin

The first issue is the amendment of PCA where I do not see any reason why the opposition and its supporters are so terrified. Have they read the contents of the amendment? Have they not compared? The amendment and PCA itself are intended for hardcore criminals, not hardcore politicians, unless they are involved in crime. How to guarantee this? Take a look at SOSMA, you do not see politicians being detained. 

Hafizuddin Amir Bin Dato' Hasim, UKM Law Student

These last few months have really tested the government's ability to govern a nation with a small margin. It also shows the importance of having a strong central government balanced by a responsible opposition. The series of issues started when the government decided to reduce subsidies on petrol price that also meant a price hike and then followed by the cigarette price hike, the controversy of the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) and the Auditor General Report. The mood now is aggression. 

But what is more important is how relevant ministers responded to this aggression directed towards them. The first issue is the amendment of PCA where I do not see any reason why the opposition and its supporters are so terrified. Have they read the contents of the amendment? Have they not compared? The amendment and PCA itself are intended for hardcore criminals, not hardcore politicians, unless they are involved in crime. How to guarantee this? Take a look at SOSMA, you do not see politicians being detained.

The police through the IGP have complained that the force does not have enough tools to deal with organized crime, besides lacking manpower. This happened due to the repeals of the Restricted Resident Act and the Internal Security Act. I see that their main fear is that detention without trial which is synonymous to the ISA is back. But besides PCA being only for criminals, its detention order is not under the Minister of Home Affairs, unlike ISA. This new amendment will see an Advisory Board made up by senior judges who will advise on the detention and the High Court shall have the final say.

One of the reasons of this amendment is to make the law applicable to Sabah and Sarawak, unlike before. This means the police have more territorial power over the criminals and their teeth "sharpened". This amendment is merely for deterrence and prevention as the current state is just retribution. All in all PCA is about being able to nab the wrongdoer before he can strike and they are the ones who should be more worried with this amendment, not politicians. This amendment will no doubt create a safer and more secured environment but only if it is enforced appropriately without fear and favour. The force should make strengthening their resources, manpower and accountability as a continuous agenda because tougher laws does not guarantee tougher enforcement.

However, regarding the Auditor General Report, it has pointed the finger to a few ministries about financing misconduct and wastages and this is an area where the government should take things more seriously and respond accordingly. This is also an area where the people are so judgmental of the government and looking at the report, they are right to be so.

If the government is serious about transformation and implementing the agendas under the ETP, GTP and so on, they cannot afford not to address this and most importantly to eradicate it. Politicians running the state government and federal government administration must make corruption eradication and accountable administration paramount.

Considering the people seeing what they want to believe, being able to respond factually and maturely is as important as developing the nation. Plus, the opposition should not feel too comfortable about this since some misconduct in their state government companies, subsidiaries and agencies have also been proven. Perhaps a crisis management unit led by experts, experienced and independent ones, should be set up in all agencies, departments and ministries to deal with this global problem, especially in the implementation and monitoring part. But it is seen that a few ministries and authorities have responded to the report and we must be fair by assessing both sides of the story.

In a nutshell Malaysians have voted for their representatives and are hopeful for a return in point of the betterment of themselves, their families and their nation besides having their own role to play. 

Mufti must pay for calling Kadazans ‘invented race’, says Sabah MP

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:18 AM PDT


(MMO) - Sabah Mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar should be tried in the state's Native Court and be made to pay for calling Kadazans an "invented race", Penampang MP Darell Leiking has demanded for the perceived slur.

The senior Islamic cleric must also apologise to Sabahans for pushing a personal agenda to make Malay the state's Bumiputera Muslims, the opposition lawmaker told The Malay Mail Online.

"The state mufti should apologise now especially since the chief minister and government made it clear that this is the state mufti's personal view.

"He has insulted the Kadazans when he mentioned that the Kadazan is an invented term, he said it very happily and looked so convinced by it," Leiking said when contacted over the phone yesterday.

He noted that Bungsu's "Malaynisation" plan had failed to gain traction with state leaders, including Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (picture).

Yesterday, Musa confirmed the Sabah government has no plans to convert ethnic groups there into Malays, calming fears over the alleged "Malaynisation" ploy suggested recently by the state's mufti.

Instead, Musa said the controversial proposal was merely a "personal view" of the mufti and stressed that the state would always continue to respect the diversity of the many native groups in Sabah.

Leiking said that he is glad the chief minister had implied that he agreed with their campaign, which celebrates the different ethnicities of Sabahans. "I'm glad the chief minister supports our campaign, supports the stance that all Sabahans of all ages that our ethnicity is our pride and no religion should determine the ethnicity of the person and likewise no ethnicity should determine the religion of the person," he told The Malay Mail Online.

Hundreds of Sabahans had flooded Leiking's Facebook account with photographs of themselves proudly proclaiming their respective ethnicity in response to the PKR deputy seretary-general's call to protest the mufti's proposal to convert the north Borneo state's natives into Malays — a move they saw as akin to stripping their very identities.

"For him to say that we are an invented race, I say to this man, even the chief minister has abandoned him, so he better apologise now.

"He has no other way but to apologise to the people especially to the Kadazans and all ethnic groups in Sabah, for imposing even a personal view on us, by simply associating ethnicity and religion as one, nobody should ever mix the two together," Leiking said.

A Kadazan himself, Leiking said Bungsu should be marched to the state's Native Court and face justice there.

The Federal Constitution provides for disputes among the Sabah's indigenous peoples to be settled by tribal laws, which are decided by a native chief or district chief appointed by the government to assume the role of the judge in the Native Court.

Among the penalties meted out is "sogit", or compensation, to the injured party.

"We have a punitive sentence called 'sogit'. It is a punishment of a sort with a very tribal belief that if someone insulted you or community or done wrong to the kampung, he must pay a sogit and it comes in many form, in this case, it will probably a buffalo," Leiking said. 

Read more at : http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/mufti-must-pay-for-calling-kadazans-invented-race-says-sabah-mp 

A-G Spot-on, IGP All at Sea

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:15 AM PDT


If the police can't solve the mystery of how their assets got lost and who was responsible for losing and/or stealing them, how can they be entrusted with solving crimes in society? 

Kee Thuan Chye 

The Auditor-General's report for 2012 is alarming. And this is so not only because it exposed huge wastage committed by government departments last year, but also because nothing seems to have changed all these many years.
Year after year, the A-G tells us of cases of improper payment; of purchases made at astronomical prices;  of unreasonable project delays; of poor asset management; of non-adherence to procedures, etc, etc. But year after year, nothing is done to address the shortcomings.
It seems as if our civil service just continues to plod on, continues to waste, continues to be inefficient, continues to make corrupt transactions. And the overriding controller – i.e. the Government – just lets it be.
The Government knows from the A-G's reports that corruption is rife in the civil service, but it probably realises it doesn't have the moral standing to haul in the culprits. After all, the civil servants are following the example of the country's leadership. And since the Government has also not shown itself to be accountable for a lot of things, how can we stop the rot?
Worse, our civil servants seem to have acquired a tidak apa mindset because the money that is being wasted, that it being improperly used, that is going into the pockets of some of them, is not theirs. When I was in school, we used to characterise such an attitude with the jeering taunt: "You think this is your grandfather's money ah?" It's still applicable here and now.
The A-G's latest report tells us of
·        the Department of Broadcasting's purchase of 20 wall clocks at RM3,810 each, 38 times more than the estimated RM100 each, and three A4 size scanners at RM14,670 a unit, more than 70 times the estimated price of RM200 each;
·        the Customs Department's having to destroy RM600,000 worth of shoes it had purchased because they did not suit its officers;
·        the Melaka state government's illegal building of its Customs and Immigration Quarantine Complex on private land, which eventually cost it an extra RM10.8 million to compensate the landowner, plus an extra RM40 million in building costs that had shot up because of the delay.
These are only a few examples. But they are enough to shock us into asking if something will ever be done to prevent misdeeds of such nature from happening again. This also makes us ask if the misdeeds of the past have been addressed.
For example, in 2011, the A-G reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) bought two pairs of binoculars at 2,805 per cent more than the market price, which translated into RM56,350 more than the estimated market price of RM1,940!
MACC Deputy Commissioner Shukri Abdul responded by saying there was no corruption involved, but who would pay nearly RM55,000 more for a pair of binoculars and be innocent about it?
Shukri suggested taking action on the matter. What has been the outcome of that?
We have a civil service made up of 1.4 million personnel, and yet no bright sparks have emerged from among them to clean up the rot, to change the mindset, to turn the civil service into a professional machine. That's quite certainly because meritocracy is not part of the system. Therefore, the best people – with the best brains and the right work ethic – are not heading the department. Unlike in, say, Singapore.
And yet Prime Minister Najib Razak has been rewarding our civil servants with salary adjustments under the new Malaysian Remuneration System and two increments this year. Do they deserve these? No doubt it was to buy their votes before the last general election and to thank them after that, as well as to ensure their continued support.
To me, the highlight of the A-G's report this time was its showing up of the failure of the police department to look after its own assets, and its inefficiency as a public agency. What turned out to be the icing on the cake was the response made by its chief, who appeared to be all at sea!
The report revealed that between 2010 and 2012, the police lost assets worth over RM1.33 million. Among them were 44 loaded firearms. And the police don't seem to have retrieved them. Holy gunsmoke! Did these guns go to those gangsters who have been shooting people dead in the streets the last few months?
The Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, was quick to point out that they didn't. "The missing guns may not have fallen into the hands of criminals but they could have fallen into the sea from boats ... and the weapons could not be recovered," he said.
What? Fallen into the sea? Reading that, I nearly fell into a nearby drain.
And how convenient, too, that the guns fell into the sea, because it explains why they couldn't be retrieved. In which case, the public should ask to see the reports filed by the police personnel who lost those guns. From there, we should be able to see if they really did fall into the sea, and how.
Not that we don't believe the IGP, but when he gave that explanation, he didn't seem like a police officer. He came across like a stand-up comedian.
It's almost as comic that Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi endorses that explanation because, he says, "sometimes, the guns [could get] lost in operations". Yes of course they could, but how does he account for so many guns falling into the sea?
Zahid accepts the explanation without even questioning the logic behind it. Just like the civil service, Najib's Cabinet is apparently not founded on meritocracy.
The IGP also said, "Of the 37 missing guns, ballistic reports show that none of them have been used by criminals."
OK, what about the remaining seven out of the 44 cited by the A-G's report? Are the police also having trouble with simple arithmetic?
Apart from the guns, they have also lost 156 handcuffs, 26 walkie-talkies, 22 radios, six cameras, four computers, and – get a load of this – 29 vehicles!
How did they lose so many handcuffs? Would a sweep of kinky brothels help to get them back?
How did they lose the computers? Some thief came into the police station and took them away? Under the noses of the police? Or was it an inside job? 

And vehicles! How do cops lose police vehicles? Thieves got into the driver's seat while the cops were not looking and drove the vehicle away? Were the cops, say, pumping air into the vehicle's tyres at the time? Or popping into a shop to buy cigarettes while the engine was left running? Or did it happen that while a few police vehicles were being transported on a ferry, they somehow slid into the sea?

Read more at: http://my.news.yahoo.com/blogs/bull-bashing/g-spot-igp-sea-064840517.html 

iKad for migrant workers

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 10:14 AM PDT


Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (left) viewing samples of i-Pass issued to foreign workers with PNMB managing director Izham Yusoff (centre) and PNMB graphic security designer Razlan Abdullah at PNMB headquarters in Jalan Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday.

(NST) - The Immigration Department will introduce an improved iKad with enhanced security features for all 2.5 million foreign workers in the country from Nov 15.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the iKad would include a barcode, cardholder's biometric information and would be colour-coded according to sector for easier identification.

"It will replace the need for foreign workers to carry passports to prove they are legal labourers.

"With the improved security features, it will ensure that enforcement is effective and strengthened."

He said this after launching the Tafsir Al-Quran Ar-Rahman at Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Bhd (PNMB) headquarters here yesterday.

The sophisticated card can store more data compared to previous identification documents and can be easily examined by security authorities, Zahid said.

"Authorities will continue to haul up illegal foreign workers, even after issuing the iKad."

The card will be issued in stages to the first batch of 646,000 foreign workers.

"The iKad will also be issued to firearm licensees, Rela and Civil Defence Department members, foreign students, Rakan Muda and Rakan Cop members."

He said the cards would be produced by PNMB and the cost of the card would be borne by the applicants.

Commenting on the RM1.3 million loss of Royal Malaysian Police assets, Zahid said a surcharge would be levied to the personnel responsible for the missing items.

"I agree with the Auditor-General's Report. We do not want this to be repeated and the police must remember not to be negligent."

He said the loss of assets were not because of a breach of trust, misappropriation or graft.

Also at the launch event were Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and PNMB chairman Tan Sri Dr Zulkifli A. Hassan.

'I'm a victim of selective victimisation'

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 06:18 PM PDT

(NST) - Embattled Kedah DAP chairman Lee Guan Aik is rejecting the appointment of the party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) member Zairil Abdullah as the interim state chairman.

Lee had hit out at DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for allegedly defying the party's constitution by appointing Zairil, while he was the legitimate elected Kedah DAP chairman.

"I will not back down until the RoS (Registrar of Societies) decides on the matter.

"I am the legitimate state DAP chairman," said the former Kota Darulaman assemblyman here yesterday.

Lee took a further dig at Lim for practising "selective victimisation" by appointing Zairil as interim chairman, which he said was against the party's constitution.

"Chinese dailies had reported that Lim had told me not to a create disturbance in Kedah.

"Look, I am the victim of selective victimisation here.

"This is a case of a not-so-clever leadership.

"If this can happen in Kedah, it may happen in other states."

Lee said this in response to an email he had allegedly received from Lim on Tuesday, urging him to give his support to Zairil.

The Kedah DAP leadership tussle started after Lim appointed Zairil as the interim state chairman after the 13th General Election.

Zairil was re-appointed after he won a slot in the CEC re-election on Sunday.

PAS allows candidates to openly campaign

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 06:00 PM PDT

(The Star) - For the first time since its inception more than 60 years ago, PAS is allowing candidates vying for positions in the party to campaign openly.

Party election committee chairman Asmuni Awi (pic) said candidates could promote themselves but not attack their opponents.

"We forbid statements, videos, caricatures and use of various other mediums and tools to belittle or slander other candidates.

"Those resorting to personal attacks risk disciplinary action," he said.

Asmuni was commenting on the do's and don'ts in the run-up to the central party polls on Nov 22, a day before the PAS Youth, Muslimat and Ulama elections.

He said the green light to campaign should not be abused to smear other candidates.

"We do not tolerate such negative culture," he added.

Certain quarters who had started their campaigns via social media, including Facebook, had attacked some personalities who they viewed as "parasites" in PAS.

Sources said although PAS had only this year allowed open campaigning, certain candidates had enjoyed external sponsorship to fund their nationwide campaigns in the last two party elections in 2009 and 2011.

Observers said the intense campaigning was aimed at reducing ulama dominance in the central leadership.

Asmuni said aspiring candidates from the wings must submit their nomination forms by midnight on Oct 20, and those going for seats in the central committee by midnight on Oct 31.

The forms are available from the 188 PAS divisions, 173 Youth divisions and 167 Muslimat aside from state Ulama offices nationwide.

After nominations are accepted, candidates should affirm their candidacy by 5pm on Nov 8, said Asmuni.


MMC ‘infected’ with irregularities

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 05:50 PM PDT

Council is alleged to have rigged its election and also sanctioned unauthorised personnel to make 'official trips' to evaluate programmes.

B Nantha Kumar, FMT

The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), an authority for policy making in the medical arena here, is fast losing its credibility and transparency.

In the past few months the council has come under fire for making controversial and inept decisions on certain issues.

Examples include consenting to a local college charging a RM1 million fee for an incorporated medical degree programme and increasing the seat quota for another college with no adequate medical facilities and lecturers.

To top it, two of its officers are being investigated for corruption and abuse of power; namely the secretary Dr Wan Mazlan Mohd Woojdy and long serving council member Dr Abdul Hamid Abdul Kadir.

In the latest development, the council is once again being taken to task for allegations of rigging its election.

A check by FMT found that the MMC council election, held between June and July, did not meet the Health Ministry's regulations.

The Medical Act 1971 and Medical Regulation 1974 must be adhered to in the MMC election process. Nine members from Peninsular Malaysia and one each from Sabah and Sarawak are to be elected.

There are more than 35,000 fully registered doctors eligible to vote and the MMC president must ensure that the ballot paper reaches each of them.

The onus lies on the individual doctor to vote or otherwise, but the president is obliged to send the ballot to their places of practice as stated in the Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) of the doctor.

The doctors are to select the 11 council members and post back the ballot to MMC within the stipulated time frame.

This year, the ballot count was done on July 20 in the presence of the MMC president Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. The result was gazetted on Aug 13, 2013.

No ballot papers received by doctors

A check with 25 doctors, all over the nation, shockingly revealed and confirmed that they never received their ballot papers. Some who have been in practice for more than 10 years said they have never ever received them even once.

A few even claimed that they were not even aware that this is an election year for MMC council members.

This puts into question the validity of their council election since the majority of MMC members were deprived from voting. And did MMC even send out the ballot papers to all eligible voters?

The probability of doctors missing the ballots is low if they were sent to their current practicing addresses.

In an e-mail reply to FMT, MMC secretary Wan Mazlan confirmed that the ballots were sent to the addresses as per their APCs.

Nevertheless, he declined to answer on the total number of doctors who voted in the election. He also kept mum on who are the longest serving council members.

The APC is renewed annually and as such there is a slim chance one would not have received the ballot but received the APC. It is evident that MMC did not send the ballots to all their 35,000 fully registered eligible voters.

The also suspicion arises on the tenure of three of MMC's council members holding their seats. Dr Abdul Hamid, Dr Milton Lum and Dr David Queck have been holding their positions in the council for nearly 40 years.



The outsourcing of Malaysia

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 05:26 PM PDT

Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar of Khazanah Nasional: Winner of Frost & Sullivan's 'Global Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership'.


Slowly but surely a groundswell of anger is building up among Umno politicians, bloggers and civil servants against the latest crutch of the Najib administration: the reliance on consultants, from crafting public policy to the mundane job of preparing power point presentations to managing the back office of government agencies.

In fact in some circles, there is a genuine fear that the government and state asset manager Khazanah Nasional Bhd have basically outsourced thinking and operations to the likes of McKinsey and Co, Boston Consulting Group, Frost and Sullivan, Ernst and Young and others, setting into motion a bunch of troubling questions.

Will this slavish reliance on consultants lead to even further dumbing down and mediocrity of the civil service?

Why are Khazanah Nasional and government-linked companies hiring consultants for even back office functions when they have thousands of employees on their books at top-dollar salaries?

There are consultants linked to every top job in Malaysia. Iskandar, education blueprint, economic corridors, the five-yearly economic plans, high-speed rail to Singapore, election strategy, branding, etc.

And the push back from the ruling party and civil service to the outsourcing of Malaysia has started.

A survey of Umno supporters and civil servants by respected pollster Merdeka Center showed that there is growing antipathy towards the use of consultants by the government.

It showed 42% of those polled felt that the Najib administration consultants often contribute less than what is expected of them.

Another 30% were ambivalent about the contribution of consultants.

In small group discussions with members of the academia, the independent pollster found anger against government efficiency unit Pemandu palpable, with university lecturers dismayed at having to take orders from greenhorn consultants with no clear insight as to how the real world operates.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that the recent revelation about McKinsey charging RM20 million for the National Education Blueprint has led to questions about the number of consultants and their bills being filed in the Dewan Rakyat.

It is also understood that the several MPs have asked the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to scrutinise the charges against the impact of the studies or analysis done by the consultants.



Same old stories

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 05:19 PM PDT

The MACC must not just give us annual reports like the AG's Office does. Please, tell us frankly how many people involved in the misappropriation of funds highlighted in last year's AG's Report has been probed? And how many of them have been prosecuted and convicted?

Lim Mun Fah, Sin Chew Daily

Every year, the Auditor General's Office will have to come out with its regular reports, and absurd stories will be repeated year after year.

Initially we might feel shocked, and later it might be anger and helplessness. Today, perhaps we might just get so used to this crap that we no longer feel anything about it.

RTM, PDRM, Customs Dept, JPN, schools, airports, health ministry, housing and local government ministry, and the list goes on and on. Enough! Such problems have persisted stubbornly in our government agencies and statutory institutions, squandering astronomical amounts of tax payers' money.

Those found guilty of mismanagement remain so, while those found abusing their powers would continue to do the same, possibly even at aggravated proportions.

A RM100 clock can be bought at very much inflated price of RM3,810. Not just one, but 20! A RM200 scanner could be priced 73 times higher. And these are the exact repetitions of past absurdities whereby RM5,700 was spent on a car jack worth no more than RM50, and RM84,640 on only two notebook computers.

Undeniably, the Auditor General has done his job well, but what next? Will anyone follow up and will any action be taken against any offender at all?

The AG's Report shouldn't lie idle just as another report. Now that the evil doers have been exposed, it is time to round them up.

Malaysians are no longer contented with the annual reports per se. They want to see actions taken.

After the report has been released, and in the midst of gross frustration and sighs of disbelief, the MACC would always tell us they are going to open the files and investigate. But, has any action actually been taken against the offenders?

The MACC must not just give us annual reports like the AG's Office does. Please, tell us frankly how many people involved in the misappropriation of funds highlighted in last year's AG's Report has been probed? And how many of them have been prosecuted and convicted?

Please, stop telling us you will open how many files and investigate without doing anything more substantial than this.

The Customs Dept must stop buying over 7,000 pairs of unfitting shoes worth in excess of RM600,000 with tax payers' money and then discard them. This amount of money is sufficient to help many impoverished families through their perennial hardships.

The education ministry must stop hiring large numbers of septuagenarians to guard our schools. The RM2 billion saved is enough to build many schools for our children.

With government debts running high, there is a limit as to how far we can tolerate such blatant acts of corruption and power abuse. Every single cent misused or squandered must be returned to the national coffers, and anyone found guilty of fund mishandling must be charged in a court.

Those who sleep on their jobs must be properly dealt with and those mismanaged their departments must be removed from office.

There is no way we can condone those who are corrupt, otherwise irreparable damages will be wrought on the morality and value system in these government agencies. Like the wild fire that has gone out of control, the integrity of the entire society will be jeopardised and confidence crisis will ensue, hauling with it the fate of the entire nation and its people.


After latest audit, MACC panel ‘baffled’ by repeated weaknesses in government

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 05:07 PM PDT

(MM) - An anti-graft panel said today it was baffled by why government agencies have continued to show negligence and power abuses in its operations despite getting panned every year for the same mistakes in the Auditor-General's report.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel (CCPP) cited this year's document as an example, pointing out that chapter after chapter of the annual report had highlighted continued discrepancies in the government's tender, supply and procurement system, and standard operating procedures by ministry agencies, state governments and government-linked companies.

"We take a serious view of these weaknesses that not only could lead to abuse of power and corruption but undermine the government delivery system," CCPP chairman Datuk Johan Jaaffar said in a statement here.

In a repeat of past criticisms, the A-G Report 2012 highlighted numerous financial discrepancies in almost all the key government agencies, with a few found to have flopped in projects worth billions of ringgit.

Among others, the report had revealed that the police had lost assets worth RM1.33 million in the past three years, including 156 units of handcuffs, 44 units of firearms, 29 vehicles, 26 walkie-talkies, 22 radios, six cameras, four computers, one cellphone, and 21 unspecified items.

The report said the police's management of missing assets was unsatisfactory, noting the late discovery of missing assets, the delay in reporting losses to the department head and to the police, the department head's delay in preparing an initial report on the missing assets, and the delay in action following a report on missing assets.

Among the other irregularities that stood out were the RM11.6 million in excessive and frivolous payments made to Telekom Malaysia Berhad in developing the Malaysia Emergency Response System (MERS) 999, and poor security at schools despite over RM2 billion spent by the Education Ministry to hire private security contractors.

The report also highlighted poor contract and procurement management in government projects, an issue also raised by the PAC members who were briefed about the matter the day the national audit report was released.

Johan labelled the loss of RM1.33 million of police weapons a "serious act of negligence" and citing other irregularities, said that it was due to a obvious lack of supervision on suppliers and contractors that had resulted in shoddy work performance in some cases.

"The panel is also baffled by the fact that despite these weaknesses being highlighted in previous reports, they keep being repeated," he said.

As such, the panel urged the Chief Secretary to the Government to form a special committee to act on the A-G's findings.

"The panel also calls on the Chief Secretary to table proposals on improvements to prevent such weaknesses from recurring," he said.

The panel also called on all state governments and government-linked firms to take immediate action to rectify all weaknesses highlighted in the A-G's report.

Johan added that the report should also be produced more frequently - at least thrice annually - to enable more effective monitoring and supervision of all weaknesses.

"The panel supports whatever steps to be taken for further improvements in the civil service so as to plug loopholes to prevent corruption and abuse of power," he said. 


MP’s ‘Umno dogs’ FB posting draws flak

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 04:55 PM PDT

DAP's PJ Utara parliamentarian Tony Pua gets a ticking off from BN's Reezal Merican for a FB posting on Sept 29, calling the ROS and Malay daily Utusan 'Umno dogs'

Athi Shankar, FMT

Kepala Batas BN MP Reezal Merican hit out at Tony Pua over the DAP MP's Sept 29 Facebook posting labelling the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and Malay daily, Utusan Umno's running dogs.

Reezal, in his own Facebook posting this morning, slammed Tony for being an immature and mediocre politician by calling the ROS and the Umno-owned newspaper as 'Umno dogs.'

"I'm dumbfounded by the rudeness of DAP's Tony Pua. He has reduced himself to a mediocre person by name calling, in this case referring to Utusan Malaysia and ROS, as Umno's dogs," said Reezal.

Pua's FB postings were allegedly done on the night of Sept 29 after the results of DAP's Central Executive Committee (CEC) re-elections were known.

Reezal cut and pasted Pua's postings on his own Facebook page and launched a seething attack on the DAP MP, who was elected to the CEC in the Sunday polls.

In Pua's first posting at 8.56pm, which was put up on Reezal's FB wall, Pua stated: "I'd like to congratulate the wisdom and maturity of DAP national delegates for voting in the same 20 Central Executive Members proving that there was no element of wrongdoing in the last election. The Registrar of Societies can go **** himself."

Pua told to apologise

In the second posting at 9.41pm, Tony Pua stated: "The newly re-elected DAP Central Executive Committee has had its very first meeting to co-opt the exact same 10 members as previously co-opted in the previous election.

"The CEC has also unanimously elected the exact same office-bearers led by national chairman Karpal Singh and secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. Umno and its dogs, Utusan and ROS can go…!"



Those opposing PCA are selfish, says Zahid

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 04:52 PM PDT

PCA will empower the police to take more proactive measures under the act to protect the rights of all and not selected parties in fighting crime

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has hit out at various parties who oppose the Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment and Extension) 2013, claiming they only tend to the criminals' rights as opposed to the victims'.

"Is it only the rights of those arrested for prevention purposes have to be defended?

"What about the rights of policemen who were shot or killed? Do they not have rights?" he said, in an interview with FMT.

The Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment and Extension) 2013 which provides for detention without trial to maintain public order and safety; or crime prevention was passed by the Dewan Rakyat early yesterday morning.

Attempts by the opposition to thwart the passing of the Bill were unsuccessful; when it was passed at 12.50am after receiving support from the majority of Barisan Nasional lawmakers.

Ahmad Zahid had said that the amendments were crucial to enable the police to take "proactive" approach to crime.

When asked on the criticisms against the PCA, he explained that there has never been a single law tabled in parliament that does not get criticised from the opposition.

According to Ahmad Zahid, it is not surprising for the opposition to continue using NGOs or individuals who often sympathise and agree with them to oppose any bill that is tabled or amended.

"The question by the Home Ministry is this: What about the rights of those among the public who are victimised by criminals?

"Are those opposing only care about the criminals' rights, yet, deny the rights of enforcement officers and victims who should be defended and given rights as they have been victimised?" asked Ahmad Zahid.



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