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The Islamic taxation system

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 12:08 PM PST

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_F61Q74yERb8/TNpqfWjiooI/AAAAAAAAEfg/xdFYxQQa9h4/s1600/zakat_Islam_Muslim.jpg 

PAS being a party that is supposed to champion the religion of Islam should take the initiative to revamp the Islamic taxation system in the country. They can initially implement the system in the 3 states under the PR governments. I believe if the tax collection is done efficiently in the various states in the country, the zakat revenue can reach a whopping sum of more than one billion ringgit annually!

 

Awang Abdillah 

 

Zakat  is the 4th tenet of the Islamic faith. It constitutes the tax revenue and sadaqah (alms/charity expenditure) of the Islamic (welfare) taxation system.

 

However, many Muslim governments do not implement it fully to protect the economic interests of those in power or fail to comprehend the virtues of the Islamic taxation system. Zakat is a mandatory payment for those earning the profits from their business entities and earn personal incomes above certain amounts respectively, and those who own different kinds of non-productive assets above certain values respectively.

 

The virtues of zakat are many. Firstly, the tax money is used to redistribute the wealth of the country to those in need and to uplift their economic well-being. Secondly, the system reduces the stocking and concentration of wealth and riches in the hands of the few that lead to greed for materialism and worldly pleasures. Thirdly, the tax cleanses the hearts of Muslims and their wealth and riches from ill-gotten sources. Fourthly, zakat money can be spent to reduce the incidences of crime and vice.

 

The standard rate of zakat payment is at 2.5% annually (rates may vary according to different items) on the economic wealth of Muslims namely the net profits of businesses and personal incomes; and on their riches namely the non-productive assets such as luxury houses and cars, jewellery, cash deposits in banks and other properties in the country and overseas, above certain amounts or values respectively.

 

The tax should be paid directly to those in need or through Islamic institutions such as Tabong Zakat, Baitulmal board or the department of Zakat for subsequent redistribution. The tax money is not a saving or an investment fund or business working capital. Hence, it cannot be used for purposes other than to be given to those in need. The main category of those eligible to receive the sadaqah (charity/alms money) as stated in Surah Tauba verse 60 are the poor and needy, those employed to administer the collections, whose hearts have been reconciled, who are in bondage and in debt, those involved in the cause of Allah, and the wayfarers.

 

Under the present circumstances we may include other specific groups in the list - widows, orphans, the homeless, students, the sick and disabled, couples/families facing financial woes, religious bodies or organizations in dire need of funds and the like. However, another category of those that need attention are youths both boys and girls who are prone to influences to commit crime and vice. In most cases, street crimes and vice are committed by youths who do not have money.

 

Hence, the zakat taxation system is quite comprehensive in tackling many economic and social problems besetting the Muslim community. PAS being a party that is supposed to champion the religion of Islam should take the initiative to revamp the Islamic taxation system in the country. They can initially implement the system in the 3 states under the PR governments. I believe if the tax collection is done efficiently in the various states in the country, the zakat revenue can reach a whopping sum of more than one billion ringgit annually!

 

All Muslims who own profitable enterprises, high incomes and own properties and assets should declare the amount and value of their wealth and riches to these institutions for the purpose of tax assessment.

 

How zakat money can reduce crime and vice

 

Compared to the other races in Malaysia, the Malays/Muslims are poor financially due to their weak economic performance. Financial shortcomings is one of the main causes of crime, vice and family woes. Savings is one form of overcoming the financial shortcomings and sustaining the economic well-being and dignity of an individual/community. Savings can be utilized in times of recession when businesses turn bad, as a better source of business capital than borrowing, an important source of bank credit, and to keep crime at bay.

 

It can be observed that those youths with no proper jobs or unemployed and without having bank savings or cash in their pockets are very often prone to crime and vice. This deprivation creates a feeling of hopelessness and loss of human dignity tempting them to commit crimes such as snatch thefts, robbery, rape and the like, and vices such as drug addiction and prostitution.

 

Sadaqah money can help to reduce the high rate of divorces among Muslim couples too. Tabong zakat or Baitulmal boards can go a long way to help these youths by contributing to their savings deposits, or cash handouts to those target groups to reduce incidences of crime and vice, which then will help reduce costs to the government in the maintenance of peace and security in the country.

 

PAS clerics can help to prepare a comprehensive guideline on the different tax rates and the categories of taxable items based on the Quran and the Hadiths, for Muslims in Malaysia.

Land Of The Savages

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 11:58 AM PST

http://media.zenfs.com/en_MY/News/Malay_Mail/candi_lembah_bujang_02125.JPG 
To a contractor's bulldozer operator, a candi in the Bujang Valley is a pile of rocks. Rocks are rocks. He was there to do a day's honest work to remove the rocks. 
 
Yussof Condred
 
Once, in a remote village of the Amazon jungle the native villagers trapped a beautiful bird of a species thought to have gone extinct long ago. The news raised a great deal of excitement among scientists of the west. When they visited the village with a view to studying it at close range they only found the feathers and bones of the bird. The native savages had eaten the bird! To them, a bird is a bird. You can't expect them to understand and appreciate the significance of their find.
 
Closer home, to a contractor's bulldozer operator, a candi in the Bujang Valley is a pile of rocks. Rocks are rocks. He was there to do a day's honest work to remove the rocks. So is he any different from the savages who ate the rare bird?
 
Now going up another rank of hierarchy, the project manager was reported to have said he would have left the site alone if he had known. Since he didn't know, in this context, is he different from the bird-eaters?
 
What about the well-educated officials who approved the project? Did they know?
 
President of Badan Warisan, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, was reported to have said 'for the developer to plead ignorance was "no plea at all".'

But mainstream Malaysian society is not interest in history or heritage relics. Are we satisfied with living in a land of savages?

 

It's Buyer Beware in the Malaysian Franchise Industry

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 11:11 AM PST

http://www.thebfa.org/Content/FileManager/bfalogos//franchise-association/malaysia-logo.jpg 

There has also been criticism of the Malaysian Franchise Association's lack of effort in promoting ethics within the industry by its membership. Part of the problem may appear to be in the way the Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PNS) is promoting grants and start-up loan packages to businesses. The question is whether this is encouraging predator consulting practices within the industry.  

Murray Hunter & David Teoh

The possibility of becoming a successful entrepreneur in Malaysia is a dream shared by many. This avenue was widened through encouraging the formation of franchises where potential entrepreneurs could easily purchase a 'proven' business model and benefit from that successful business concept. 

In the mid 1990s the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs was given the responsibility under the Franchise Act 1998 to develop and regulate the industry.

Singer was the first company to introduce franchising to Malaysia in the 1940s. The first F&B successful franchise in Malaysia was the US A&W, which opened its first outlet in Petaling Jaya in 1963. Very soon afterwards many other successful outlets were opened all around Klang Valley. In the following decades, McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Kenny Rogers were established in Malaysia. 

The concept of franchising was soon seen as a means of creating new Bumiputera entrepreneurs. Under the then Mahathir Government, retired public servants were encouraged to become entrepreneurs through buying into a franchise. The then deputy domestic trade minister Abdul Kadir bin Sheikh Fadzir became the public proponent of franchising, organizing seminars and workshops on the concept all over the country. 

Franchising in Malaysia became a massive growth industry with the setting up of the Malaysian Franchise Association in 1994, attracting a number of consultants and brokers into the action. A screening and selection system, as well as a number of bureaucratic requirements were enacted, making the procedure to become either a franchisor or franchisee very cumbersome. Consequently, after a very hopeful beginning, the combination of bureaucracy, regulation, procedure, and plain dishonesty among some franchisors has brought misery and suffering to many unsuspecting franchisees. Franchising was seen by some as a means to make quick money. 

The Franchise Development Program (FDP) requires franchisors to undertake a number of steps and procedures before they can be registered under Section 6 of the Franchise Act. Registration enables a company to be eligible for a grant, RM 100% for Bumiputera companies, and RM50% for non-Bumiputera companies. The catch here is ministry officials require franchisors to employ a consultant, usually of their choosing to aid the process, where fees may be as high as 40% of the total grant available. Many unhappy franchisors have suggested to the authors that some collusion exists in this process between consultants and officials.

Most consultants are not registered with the US based and internationally recognized International Franchise Association (IFA). These consultants commonly approach potential franchise businesses promising to expand their businesses through franchising. They arrange for grants without much scrutiny over the franchising viability of the businesses they have been engaged to develop franchise models. Consequently the market is full of many dubious business models. 

This results in franchises that have little real potential for franchisees to make a go of it. Successful SMEs that go down this track are poorly advised and often fall into financial difficulties. Franchisees who sign up with them don't last long in business. The only group who has profited out of this process is the consultant. 

The problem today is there are so many franchises up for sale, some bona fide and some non-bona fide, the quality on offer varies widely. Nascent entrepreneurs with little or no experience make the assumption that regulated franchises have been screened for business model viability. What more, some franchises like TuitionMall.com or Pusat Bahasa Titian Jaya imply that the company has a connection with Cambridge, when this is not the case. 

The Malaysia franchise Association vetting system lets down unsuspecting potential franchisees. It's really buyer beware in the franchise market. 

A number of franchisors see franchising as a means to extract money from franchisees, rather than a means to develop a brand and business. For example two Kuala Lumpur entrepreneurs signed a franchising agreement with an F&B franchisor based in Johor. The franchisor encouraged the franchisee to install a music box and have a band at the venue for extra franchisee costs outside the royalty agreement based on sales turnover. As a result the franchisee business became commercially unviable and the franchisor insisted on a legal remedy which cost the two entrepreneurs their full investment of over RM600K. This appears totally irresponsible for any franchisor who is interested in nurturing its brand and business, but rather only interested in extracting as much as it can through franchise fees without concern for long term viability. 

Most franchise agreements have been drawn up in favor of franchisors and when a business becomes unviable, franchisor requirements put the business into financial trouble. 

A litigation lawyer disclosed to the authors that due to the unfairness of the Franchise Act in its favoritism towards franchisors, very few franchisees have been successful in gaining any legal remedy from unscrupulous franchisors. Most court decisions have been made in favor of franchisors. 

The franchise industry has made many successful consultants like Abdul Malik Abdullah of D'Tandoori fame, but unfortunately there are a large number of local franchise failures, that tend to be hidden with all the hype about the success of the industry. Even though the industry can point to the success of many local franchises like Nelson's and Marrybrown, the vulnerability of any successful branded franchise can be seen in Secret Recipe going into receivership in Australia. 

There has also been criticism of the Malaysian Franchise Association's lack of effort in promoting ethics within the industry by its membership. Part of the problem may appear to be in the way the Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PNS) is promoting grants and start-up loan packages to businesses. The question is whether this is encouraging predator consulting practices within the industry. 

The industry is full of consultants and brokers, who conduct courses and workshops which may encourage the vulnerable into inappropriate products and businesses. Many franchisors are reckless and over sell their ideas to gullible people who lack any sense about doing due diligence on a business concept. Some consultants are charging up to RM160K to secure company registration as an approved franchisor. 

The onus is on the Malaysian Franchise Association, as many within its membership desire, to do its part in cleaning up the industry. One of the franchise traps that is bringing many small franchisees undone, are the extra charges over and above royalties that crafty franchisors are demanding from franchisees. 

Potential franchisees need to look very closely at any franchise they may consider signing up to. This will require a review of how the business model works and scrutiny about both how much the business would cost to operate on a monthly basis, the potential revenue, and total payments required to be paid to the franchisor through the agreement. Is the planned location suitable for this franchise? Potential franchisees should go and look at the operations of other franchisees and talk to them about the franchise business, focusing particularly on the relationship between franchisor and franchisee. 

Potential franchisees should look at what they are getting for the fees they pay. How much is the franchisor putting back into brand support and promotion? They should ask who is the franchisor and do they really have the affiliations they claim to have? Is the franchisee entitled to new products? If so, are there any extra, one up fees besides royalty payments? In the event of financial difficulties or the need to close down for any reason, can the franchise agreement be easily terminated? Does the franchisee have the necessary skills and knowledge to run the business and what sort and duration of training is offered by the franchisor? Most importantly, does the franchisee have sufficient financial backing to undergo this venture? Surprisingly, these types of questions are rarely asked by new entrepreneurs. 

Finally what should also be considered from the national perspective, is the affect on national creativity and innovation from the franchising phenomenon. Although, the thinking behind franchising is that those who engage in franchising are less likely to fail in a new business, the framework of franchising itself frowns upon franchisees who themselves innovate. Thus franchising on a wide scale may have the effect of suppressing entrepreneurial creativity. Franchising kills creativity.

To Gelak or Cry?

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 10:50 AM PST

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/uploads/articlesUmno_General_Assembly_06122013_600_389_100.JPG 

Party members attend Umno's annual assembly were told, "Malay millionaires are important because Malays are Muslims. When Malays are rich, Islam would be defended. If Malays are poor, Islam would be sidelined"

So to protect the sanctity of a religion, money is the key factor. Not morals, faith, deeds. Aqidah, Iman, Ibadah semua tak payah kot. Yang penting adalah kejutawanan seseorang. Now I learned something new.

Fikri Fisal 

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/more-malay-millionaires-can-guard-islam-says-umno-delegate

"More Malay millionaires needed to protect Islam" - Haniff Koslan (oh he's a Datuk).

Excuse me for I need to release this uncontainable force called laughter from my body.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

ok that's enough. No just a little bit more.

HHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

OK. CUKUP.

******

I was debating with my alter-ego on which statements made in the UMNO AGM would make the statement of the year. Apparently the search is over. Haniff Koslan emerged winner hands-down.

So to protect the sanctity of a religion, money is the key factor. Not morals, faith, deeds. Aqidah, Iman, Ibadah semua tak payah kot. Yang penting adalah kejutawanan seseorang. Now I learned something new.

Mungkin saudara Haniff tersilap cakap. He probably meant to say "... to protect capitaLISM" but pronunciation dia mungkin kurang jelas lalu reporter media mendengarnya seperti "... to protect Islam".

Really, Mr Haniff. There is no need to say that to justify the Bumiputera affirmative action policies. Affirmative action is done for the sake of social engineering. I will not waste time here debating on whether it's justified or not. But just know that it is a socio-economic-political policy. Don't you dare use the name of Islam to justify the Bumiputera policies.

Let you be reminded of what Tun Abdul Razak said: 

"The NEP incorporates the two pronged objective of eradicating poverty, irrespective of race and restructuring Malaysia society to reduce and eventually eliminate the identification of race with economic functions..,".

It was implemented for the sake of national harmony, and nothing more.

Please don't embarrass yourself, your party, and your nation and your religion.

Islam does not need your statements to protect itself. Islam does not need me, you or anyone else to protect itself. 

"Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian", - (Al-quran 15:9, Sahih International)

And of course, Islam does not need Bumiputera policies or Malay millionaires to protect itself.

Islam is perfect. 

PS: Please discuss real issues that would benefit the well-being of the citizens of the country next time. That is the amanah of your party. Tau kan golongan yang pecah amanah golongan apa? 

 

Kenapa Umno masih memimpin kita?

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 10:29 AM PST

Pembangkang masih tidak mempunyai pemimpin yang sebenarnya "viable" untuk dijadikan pemimpin utamanya. Pembangkang sekadar mempunyai pemimpin yang boleh menggerakkan untuk mengumpulkan manusia yang tidak berpuas hati terhadap kepimpinan yang menyandang kuasa kerajaan semata-mata.

Aspan Alias, TMI

Ramai kehairanan kenapa Umno dan BN masih berkuasa walaupun berbagai isu dan kelemahan yang kita ketahui dan sedang diratapi oleh umum. Pimpinan Umno tidak mahu berubah kerana mereka yakin rakyat tidak memahami isu buruk mereka dan akan terus diberikan kuasa terhadap mereka walau seburuk mana perangai dan sikap mereka.

Kekurangan kesedaran orang Melayu yang masih menyokong Umno itu sebenarnya diperkuatkan oleh kegagalan pembangkang juga. Malahan pembangkang sebenarnya yang menambah kelemahan dan sikap tidak mahu berubah orang Melayu, khususnya ahli-ahli Umno, yang dianggap pembangkang sebagai bebal itu.

Itu sebabnya saya tidak pernah menggunakan istilah kasar-kasar terhadap Umno walaupun selemah mana pun pemikiran pemimpin mereka kerana mereka juga tidak mahu terjebak dalam situasi keluar daripada "mulut buaya tercampak pula dalam mulut naga". Isu yang membuatkan pembangkang mendapat kerusi kemenangannya itu bukannya sokongan terhadap parti pembangkang itu 100%.

Mereka mengundi pembangkang kerana rasa marah dan geram mereka terhadap Umno itu. Setelah pilihan raya berlalu ramai yang saya temui melalui perjumpaan-perjumpaan kecil yang mereka marah dengan Umno tetapi bolehkah pembangkang menyejukkan jiwa mereka? Saya telah menyebut tentang kekuatan persepsi terhadap sesuatu pertubuhan atau kumpulan itu adalah terletak kepada manusia yang memimpinnya.

Pembangkang masih tidak mempunyai pemimpin yang sebenarnya "viable" untuk dijadikan pemimpin utamanya. Pembangkang sekadar mempunyai pemimpin yang boleh menggerakkan untuk mengumpulkan manusia yang tidak berpuas hati terhadap kepimpinan yang menyandang kuasa kerajaan semata-mata.

Rakyat tidak mahu seorang pemimpin utama yang masih menjadi persoalan dalam hal peribadinya kerana kekurangan dalam imej dan persoalan peribadi merupakan persoalan yang utama dalam memilih pemimpin utama kerajaan. Rakyat sedang berada dalam keadaan serba salah. Itu sebab mereka terpaksa juga mengekalkan kepimpinan yang mereka tidak suka untuk memastikan peralihan kepada pihak lain itu tidak menjadi pilihan yang silap lagi.

Pihak pembangkang juga tidak menunjukkan kesatuan yang erat di antara pemimpin utamanya dan semakin hari semakin jelas Anwar tidak mempunyai kemampuan untuk memberikan keyakinan untuk menjadi pimpinan alternatif. Keadaan ini tidak menampakkan penambahbaikan dan jika ditimbang-timbang kerajaan tetap berada di tangan Umno lagi di dalam pilihan raya akan datang.

DAP adalah parti yang sudah sampai ke peringkat "saturation" dan parti itu sudah memenangi semua kerusi yang sepatutnya dimenanginya. Parti ini sudah sampai ke tahap optima dan graf kemajuannya tidak mudah untuk menunjukkan kenaikan selain penurunan selepas ini. Sokongan orang Melayu terhadap parti itu tidak mungkin menaik lagi dan pilihan raya yang lepas merupakan sokongan Melayu tertinggi kerana keadaaan Umno dan BN yang sedang dalam ketenatan semasa itu.

READ MORE HERE

 

Malaysian lecturer escapes jail over bribery charges in Perth

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 09:35 AM PST

(Bernama) - A Malaysian-born Perth university lecturer has escaped imprisonment after admitting he took thousands of dollars in bribes to increase exam marks for students who would otherwise have failed.

The Australian Associated Press said Foong Tuck Cheong, 54, pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court in June to three charges of corruption and two counts of bribery following a Corruption and Crime Commission investigation into offences committed at Curtin University in 2012.

Foong increased the marks of two students who should have failed units for their Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management and Economics) degree.

One student paid him A$3,000 (RM8,800) and the other paid A$1,500.

For a third student - whose father in Malaysia had known Foong for many years - he increased the mark on one assignment and gave him a pass mark on another project even though the assignment had not even been submitted.

Judge Philip McCann today sentenced Foong to 16 months jail, suspended or two years.

He said the offences were very serious and had the potential to cause serious damage to Curtin University's reputation.

While it was important to send a message to others that jail would follow such offending, and that academic integrity was taken seriously, McCann acknowledged Foong's behaviour was "irrational and out of character", and accordingly suspended the sentence.

It followed Foong being told he was about to be made redundant after 24 years with the university, which left him "emotionally devastated" and affected his judgement.

Foong was also fined A$6,000 for his actions relating to the Malaysian student.

 

'Make Sunni Islam official religion'

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 09:23 AM PST

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6VBIb2gqJPA/UZnKJN3cwTI/AAAAAAAA2E8/NJPqPQixU1M/s640/Zahid+Hamidi+20+Mei.jpg 

(NST) - The Home Ministry will be referring the suggestion to insert the Sunnah wal Jamaah (Sunni) word for Islam in the Federal Constitution to curb the spread of deviant teachings in the country.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said he would forward the motion to the government for discussion to weed out the threat of deviant movements.

"The move might be necessary to protect the sanctity of the teaching of Sunnah wal Jamaah and to stop the spread of other teachings in the country," he said in response to a proposal by Penang Umno delegate Datuk Shabudin Yahaya in his Islamic and education motion yesterday.

The Tasek Gelugor Umno division chief was supporting the call by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Shabudin said the move was necessary to weed out deviant teachings disguised under the Islamic religion, such as Shia, which were becoming more widespread within the country.

He proposed the government establish a commission to safeguard the interests of Islam and the rights of Muslims.

"It is crucial for the government to set up a commission to supervise, manage and handle the interests of Muslims and address threats to Islam as the country's main religion."

Puteri wing delegate Isfarina Mohd Bali from Ipoh Barat stressed on moderation, a value which Islam emphasised in many aspects of a Muslim's life.

She said the country and the party must take a firm stand in facing threats that might endanger the sanctity of Islam.

"We have to stand united in defending the faith. We also have to fortify and improve existing syariah laws, judicial facilities and Islamic institutions," said Isfarina, who seconded the motion.

She said non-governmental organisations should also come together to defend Islam.

Isfarina then called for religious education to be given throughout the life of a Muslim.

"I cannot stress how important religious education for Muslims is, as without faith, there will be no guidance or direction."

Bernama, meanwhile, reported that Kelantan Puteri Umno leader Norwahidah Patuan had proposed setting up a counselling house to help abused children and women with domestic problems.

Besides counselling services, she said, motivational talks and religious education could also be arranged for participants.

"Puteri should be on the front line on issues of abused children and women, as well as marital problems and social problems among teenagers."

Norwahida, who is also Jeli Puteri Umno leader, said when addressing social problems, the movement should not only focus on the victims, but also the victim's family members. For this purpose, she said Puteri Umno should set up a secretariat in Kuala Lumpur.

She also proposed the setting-up of a political academy to mould young people into credible and great leaders, who are capable of understanding and pursuing Umno's aspirations.

History not on the side of MCA’s peace plan

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 09:01 AM PST

http://i.imgur.com/Ohpjj5z.jpg 

The MCA will hold its party poll on Dec 21. Liow, former president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Vice-president Gan Ping Sieu are expected to engage in a three-cornered fight. 

Chen Shaua Fui, Fz.com

Some might think a "peace plan" would stop the internal sword-fighting after the party poll, but the history of MCA politics has shown that this is not going to work.

Furthermore, this will strengthen the perception that MCA leaders are after party posts and personal political interest, and this is exactly why the voters deserted them in the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

Ng Nyen Fah, Director of the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies said that the unity plan or peace plan had been forged at least twice before, but it did not stop the party infighting that has brought MCA to its lowest point now.

Ng was referring to the unity plan forged by the former BN president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to get Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek - who had engaged in a fierce internal battle - to retire together in 2005.

The other plan, Ng recalled, was in 2008 in which Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy retired together after the poor showing of the party in the 2008 general election.

He pointed out that these plans only managed to stop the bleeding of the party for a while after the new leadership took over, and after the honeymoon period, the infighting continued.

"This is because the plan was forged by those who were in the top posts who belonged to different factions - but MCA does not belong to these two factions. Many MCA grassroots members do not belong to any faction. They merely go for any faction that serves their best interests," Ng said.

He stressed that this is exactly how MCA continues to work. The leaders and grassroots are focused on their own interests, and do not have an ideology.

MCA has always been a service-based party, and it claimed that it represents the voice of the Chinese community. However, the political landscape has changed. The party had suffered its worst showing in the May 5th general election, in which the party only managed to retain seven parliamentary seats and 11 state seats.

Senior MCA leader Datuk Yap Pian Hon also reacted strongly to the peace plan in the making.

"This plan will kill democracy in the party as the new leadership will be arranged after negotiations," Yap told fz.com in a phone interview.

He said this will not make MCA look good to the voters when it should be talking about reform, transformation and democratisation.

Yap, who is also a former vice-president, said the plan may work in the short term but the infighting will happen again because the team that was put in place was not chosen by the grassroots according to their assessment of the candidates.

"The central delegates must be given the opportunity to assess these leaders' performance and goals and then make their choice. Then the new team that is born will not be monopolised by certain factions," he said.

Yap said a free and fair party poll will ensure that the party can retain quality leaders and be respected.

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/history-not-side-mca%E2%80%99s-peace-plan#ixzz2mkLYufNV

 

Anwar, the Lone Ranger?

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 08:57 AM PST

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae159/Malaysia-Today/Mug%20shots/AnwarIbrahim_zps86493e12.jpg 

If the Malays from PAS and Umno coalesce via the Islamic binding factor, why then should the Malays in Pakatan be left out to suffer and not enjoy the various sweetened pies? 

Narinder Singh, FMT 

Is Pakatan Rakyat shrivelling away to the point that they may lose the momentum before the next general election?

With the recent moves made by their affiliate PAS in opening possibilities to Umno to form a united Malay stand in the country with Islam as the foundation and binding factor, Pakatan may well be losing their Malay support.

After all how many Malays have benefited under the Pakatan umbrella, and Anwar has definitely lost significant magnetism in keeping his loyal supporters.

Just take Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor Menteri Besar for an example. Despite projecting a calm image on the front, it is obvious that he has broken ranks with his party boss, Anwar.

If there was one party that took on the tide and piggy-backed Pakatan in the last general election, it is the DAP. DAP knew that with the Malays backing Pakatan, it will be a golden opportunity to get their votes, especially in grey constituencies.

And that is what exactly happened. The so-called ultra-modern Malays, in particular young urbanites, were too carried away and bit the bait with all the various promises made by Pakatan for them.

It was crystal clear that the Chinese tsunami did turn the tables on Barisan Nasional. And it will be foolish to dream on that they will have a change of hearts come the next general election.

BN can kick MCA and Gerakan out for all you care as they will never in the next millennium be able to harness Chinese support back, no matter how much more money they throw to them.

Umno and the rest of their partners may well keep their voters happy in Sabah and Sarawak. Forget about the Chinese here. They are gone for good to the DAP, not even Pakatan.

As mentioned, Pakatan was just the initial catalyst that has outrun its own function by providing DAP the Chinese support.

Now, that brings us to ponder what will Pakatan do when they are basically left with only non-Umno Malay support?

The Malays in Pakatan will be compass-less and will eventually get steered out of the Umno- Bumiputera masterplan agenda radar if they hold on to their association with Pakatan for too long.

For one, Pakatan cannot sustain them on mere rhetoric and shallow agenda. Pakatan just does not have the financial means or they are just to stupidly and arrogantly stingy.

With PAS making in-roads and courting Umno, Pakatan will be left in a limbo because on one hand they do not want to be perceived as being too Islamist, hence their silence on the muzakarah between Umno and PAS; while on the other they are trying their level best to keep friendship with DAP.

READ MORE HERE 

 

Pakatan looks jaded and tired

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 08:52 AM PST

http://i.imgur.com/LgX5WTX.jpg 

Selena Tay, FMT 

At this point in time, Barisan Nasional seems to be gaining momentum while Pakatan Rakyat seems to be pushed into a corner. One thing for sure is that Pakatan must put some semblance of order in its house in due course so as to avoid floundering during the Sarawak state polls which must be held by 2016 the latest.

Recently though, Pakatan leaders have been finding themselves on the receiving end in the Selangor state assemblymen salary hike issue.

A salary hike is okay but an increase of over 100% is difficult to be explained although it may be justified as the PKR-led Selangor state government can afford it.

Still, this state government which has always boasted about its financial prudence as one of the hallmarks of its administration is now finding itself in a tough spot due to this salary hike move.

What more when Pakatan has always touted that Selangor is a model of cost-conscious management and wise administration.

This being the case, a too-substantial salary hike will certainly be frowned upon by some members of the public at times like this. Yes, the timing is way out indeed.

Of course BN leaders are also having a field day attacking Pakatan over this issue but if the MPs' salary is also hiked up tremendously, then it is a case of pot calling the kettle black.

Back to the Selangor matter, doing damage control after the pay rise is announced shows that Pakatan leaders did not act in cohesion nor was there much discussion before this move was implemented.

In future any major change in policy involving administration and finance should be discussed and a general consensus be reached before implementation because blunders like this can cause fence-sitters to swing their vote towards BN.

In addition to proper discussion before execution, Pakatan's plans must also be clearly explained to the citizens.

For example, this columnist's Christian friends are worried that if Pakatan comes into power, hudud will be implemented immediately.

Many Christians are ignorant of the fact that PAS intends to first file a motion in Parliament to amend the federal constitution before implementing hudud.

From here we can see that due to a lack of information, many voters can still be confused about Pakatan's stand on certain issues and if the confusion is not cleared up, it can be detrimental to Pakatan and cause people to doubt Pakatan's ability to govern the nation well.

Pakatan leaders must now focus on being a strong opposition. It is good that a roadshow called 'Faham GST, Tolak GST' will be launched in KL in two weeks time on Dec 20 to educate the public about GST (Goods & Services Tax) so that the citizens can know more about GST.

Right now there are still many people who do not really comprehend what GST really is simply because of skewed information from the media.

Fresh approach

Pakatan leaders must be at the forefront on all issues facing the public and the current main issue is the rise in the cost of living due to the hike in petrol prices, electricity tariff, etc.

Therefore Pakatan MPs leading a protest in front of KL City Hall on Monday, Dec 16 at 11am to protest the assessment hike is certainly a good idea as we have elected these Pakatan MPs to be our voice.

Also kudos to KL's Pakatan lawmakers for opening counters in night and morning markets to collect petition signatures from the citizens who are against the hike, the sum of which is ridiculous.

Moreover KL City Hall has billions in revenue.

It is time too for Pakatan leaders to go for a retreat in order to re-draw their roadmap. This is a necessity due to the GE13 loss. Pakatan leaders cannot be carrying on in the same manner as before because improvements need to be made in administration and the mechanics of operation.

Pakatan should now re-focus and set its goals a little differently. There needs to be some re-alignment and re-adjustment. In short, Pakatan needs to re-strategise.

There must be renewal and rejuvenation as Pakatan now seems jaded and tired. There must be a fresh approach and fresh impetus in the way of doing things.

This is so that Pakatan can come back with renewed vigour to champion for the people's welfare and wellbeing.

Pakatan must avoid blunders and fluff-ups that is happening now. There is no better time for Pakatan to re-invent itself as the present time as the next general election is still a long time in coming.

 


Tee Yong: We can work with anyone

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 08:47 AM PST

http://i.imgur.com/8dejQKH.jpg

(The Star) A group of 15 MCA candidates headed by Labis MCA chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong says it is able to work with other contenders after the party's Dec 21 polls.

Chua, 36, and Kampar division chairman Datuk Lee Chee Leong, 56, are going for the vice-president's post while the rest are vying for a central committee member post (see table).

There are 31 posts open for contest – president, deputy president, four vice-presidents and 25 central committee members.

Chua said his team only filled up about half of the seats for contest and hoped others would get a chance.

"This is different from the past where each faction came up with candidates for the entire line-up, resulting in very fierce fighting.

"Nevertheless, anyone who is qualified to contest can do so," he said during a gathering of some 800 party grassroots leaders nationwide to show support for his team at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/Images/TSOL/Photos-Gallery/Nation/2013/12/07/main_arz_0712_candidates_dcxPDF.ashx

On the team's winning chances and whether they got blessings from president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who is his father, Chua said: "We hope the 2,380-plus central delegates will give us a chance. The president has only one vote."

While factions were inevitable in any political party, Chua said it was important that everybody would unite after the election and work for the good of the party.

Chua said his line-up, comprising professionals, including two medical doctors, and businessmen, had the expertise and experience to contri­bute effectively to the party.

Seven of them were in their 30s and 40s and this was in line with the party's need to groom young leaders, he said, adding that the more senior leaders would guide them.

The 15 said in a joint statement that there would be hope for the MCA if all in the party could accept their differences and unite as one formidable team to face the challenges ahead. 

READ MORE HERE 

Now, Umno rep wants 67.9pc Bumiputera quota

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 07:57 PM PST

(MM) - An Umno delegate today asked for the 30 per cent quota for Bumiputera equity in business to be more than doubled to reflect the country's population breakdown and deal with what he described as "disturbing emerging issues" in the economy.

Malacca delegate Datuk Akhbar Ali told the Umno general assembly that it is only fair to revise the quota upwards, since the Bumiputera community account for 67.9 per cent of the country's population of 28 million.

"We need to translate that into a new benchmark for our future planning and targets. If we take that 67.9 per cent as the new benchmark, imagine where we will be," he said during the economy debate.

The current 30 per cent quota was implemented under the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970 to narrow the gap in business equity ownership between the Malay and Chinese communities.

The NEP was created as a response to the deadly racial riots that rocked the nation's capital on May 13, 1969, and was supposed to run for 20 years ending in 1990.

The government has, however, continued to retain elements of the NEP, amidst growing discontent among non-Bumiputera communities over what they described as a free ride for well-connected Malays into big business.

Akhbar today argued that despite all the policies put in place by the government to empower the Bumiputera community economically, they still lagged behind the non-Bumiputera.

Taking the example of land ownership, he said the Bumiputera community collectively own just 42.5 per cent of the total land area available in the country.

Citing the Wasiat Raja-Raja Melayu or Will of the Malay Rulers — which was issued at the same time Malaya declared independence — Akhbar said 50 per cent of the land sans mountains and lakes was to be Malay reserve land, while the remaining half would be up for grabs by all communities.

"Based on this, the Bumiputera should own over 50 per cent of the land, but the figures show that Bumiputera land ownership is not even at 50 per cent," he said, while asking party President and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to provide a detailed racial breakdown of land ownership in every state.

Akhbar also highlighted the widening gap in household income between Bumiputera and Chinese households, claiming that the average Chinese family earns RM1.45 for every RM1 brought home by a Malay household.

He said the Umno-led federal government must channel as much help as possible for Bumiputera wage earners, who make up the bulk of the Bumiputera economic pie.

The Malacca Umno liaison committee secretary said wage earners comprise 69 per cent of the entire Bumiputera community, with nearly three quarters of that figure falling in the country's bottom 40 per cent of the economic strata.

He acknowledged that the onus falls on the Bumiputera community to take advantage of all the opportunities provided by the government to uplift themselves, but stressed that the policymakers must also work doubly hard to give the Bumiputera economic empowerment.

"We must bear in mind that growth without equity will only widen the (economic) gap, while equity without growth will only breed poverty," he said. 

 

More Malay millionaires needed to safeguard Islam, says Umno delegate

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 07:54 PM PST

Md Izwan, TMI

An Umno Pandan delegate said today that more Malay millionaires are needed to protect the dignity of Islam.

Urging  the government to produce more millionaires, Datuk Mohd Haniff Koslan also said  the number of Malay millionaires was smaller than those from other races with only nine Malays among the top 50 millionaires in the country.

"Malay millionaires are important as Malays are Muslim. When Malays are rich, Islam will be protected," he said when debating the party president's speech at the Umno General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Mohd Haniff urged that government-linked companies (GLCs) play a primary role in producing more Malay millionaires.

"If it is possible, I would like to suggest that GLCs produce more Malay millionaires," he said.

He also said the failure to produce more millionaires should not be blamed on the government or the laziness of the Malay community.

"Failures are not due to the laziness of Malays. The Malays are expected to be farmers, therefore starting a business is difficult," he added.

Mohd Haniff had recently urged the government to audit private companies that were not Malay-owned as the opportunities given to the Bumiputeras in this sector were still very few.

His statement echoed the argument by Minister in Prime Minister's office Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar (pic) who had blamed the private sector for discriminating against Bumiputeras.

However, critics have denied this contention, saying the private sector prioritised meritocracy and took quality into account when employing staff.

 

READ MORE HERE

 

The 3 dilemmas of DAP

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 07:33 PM PST

the real and only Tiger of Jelutong
& not a mangy cat, wakakaka

KTemoc Konsiders

Whenever I whacked Anwar Ibrahim and/or PKR, wakakaka, My visitor looes74 would urge me to whack Najib and UMNO, and when I didn't, would accuse me of having a 'soft spot' for the PM, wakakaka.

Mind you, when I did, that is, whack Najib and/or UMNO, he seldom acknowledged it. Alas for poor kaytee, wakakaka!

 did I miss targeting my 'soft spot'?

wakakaka

Though I don't have to explain nor justify why I blogged on certain topics (or absence of) I will anyway, for I have a 'soft spot' for looes74, 'too' if I were to include my alleged 'soft spot' for Najib, wakakaka.

A blogger writes on what he or she wants to write, which is why he or she becomes a blogger in the first place; sometimes the topic posted coincides with the wishlist of a visitor, but sometimes it won't, but when the latter occurs it shouldn't invite the sort of attitude that low-brow George Bush had threateningly and uglily displayed, namely, 'either you're with us or against us' or variants of it such as 'having a soft spot' for the 'enemy', wakakaka.

bully boys, like looes74?

wakakaka

An example of why at times I won't post certain topics is when I sense my effort on the topic would be so obviously ineffective in the overall blogging landscape, to wit, my posting would be a mere drop in the ocean, as would be in a post on, say, the case of a predictable outburst during UMNO's recent assembly, that of the call for 1Melayu instead of 1Malaysia, or even Najib's boast to his party gallery that UMNO had won the popular vote in many states.

Above two items would be bloody trite lah, wakakaka. Indeed, there'd be more than a few bloggers hopping, harping and hullabaloo-ing on those topics, wakakaka.

However, what attracted me has been FMT's article titled Leave if DAP stays with PAS, Karpal told. The owner of that reported statement is Tunku Aziz, erstwhile DAP member and former DAP senator, wakakaka.

More than a year ago I had written of his acrimonious departure from DAP in my post DAP's comedy (or tragedy) of errors with Tunku Aziz in which I also showed my 'soft spot' wakakaka for Tunku by explaining what I thought was hurtful to an elderly patrician gentleman. That's because I understand people like Tunku want respect due to their elderly and senior status. In that post I had concluded rather hopefully as follows:

Nonetheless, I feel rather sad that Tunku has decided to end his association with DAP and in particular Lim GE in such an acrimonious manner.

But I am glad that Guan Eng has firmly closed the issue in a gracious manner ...


his rift with DAP started from this, but sadly didn't end there 

... which alas, was not to be because following his departure from the erstwhile comradeship of DAP he lamentably went beyond the pale (went beyond boundaries of decency) when he questioned the ethnicity of Zairil Khir, the son of the late Khir Johari. I then wrote:

The fact is in doing so, Tunku would have had the Constitutional whistle blown at him for being off-side, while the reality is he had been hurtfully racist in casting a slur on Zairil's lack of Malayness, as that of a 'lesser Malay' because he was born a Chinese and subsequently adopted by Khir Johari - and let me repeat what I had written then, he broke my heart in that lamentable action.


Zairil Khir Johari, a 'lesser Melayu' to Tunku Aziz? 

Okay, I know that Tunku was hurt by Lim Guan Eng, and as hell hath no fury like a proud patrician scorned, he was no doubt getting back at the DAP sec-gen, but I was gobsmacked flabbergasted by Tunku's meanness towards Zairil ...

... and excuse my tautology of 'gobsmacked flabbergasted' but those two words were absolutely necessary to indicate my deep shock that a patrician like Tunku could become so 'ordinary', in fact 'ordinarily' nasty.

Consider how Josh Hong had described him in Malaysiakini's Tunku Aziz and the Dewan Negara, relevant extracts as follows:
Coming from a prominent background (distantly related to the Kedah royalty) and having been very much a part of Malaysia's high society ....., [...] 

This, together with his relatively liberal and diverse family roots, ...

Have the above been misplaced?


Also read my other BolehTalk post on Tunku Aziz titled Noblesse oblige missing.


So we have him at it again, this time against Karpal Singh, though in this latest episode (and I'm sure there'll be more episodes from Tunku Aziz, wakakaka) there is an unfortunate lot of truth in his taunt at Bhai.

Look, I may be someone who voted for and support DAP but I'm not the type who would Myrmidon-ishly snap at critics of the Rocket ship ...

... which finally brings me to the topic for this post, about the DAP's 3 dilemmas,namely:

  • To be allied to PAS or not?
  • To be more flexible in accepting new membership especially and particularly from Malays?
  • To be the same old DAP or a brand new model?

Of course the 3 dilemmas would be, nay, have to be inter-related in more than one way.

Okay then, as the King said gravely to Alice kaytee in WonderBolehland, let's "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop," so let's discuss the first dot-point, as prompted by Tunku Aziz's taunt, of DAP's difficult if not dodgy alliance with the Islamic party.
 
 

Utusan and TV3 file application to disqualify Surendran in Anwar defamation suit

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 07:25 PM PST

(The Star) - Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd (TV3) will file an application to disqualify counsel N. Surendran in a defamation suit by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against them over the Lahad Datu intrusion.

High Court judicial commissioner Rosilah Yop fixed Feb 25 to hear the application to disqualify Surendran as one of the counsels who acted for Anwar.

JC Rosilah set the date after meeting counsel Latheefa Koya who acted for Anwar and counsel Choo Shi Jin for Utusan Melayu and Lim Qi Si for TV3 in chambers yesterday.

Latheefa told reporters that the defendants would file an application to disqualify Surendran on grounds that the latter was PKR vice-president.

She said JC Rosilah also fixed the new trial dates between Apr 14 and 15 and from Apr 21 and 22.

On March 8, Anwar had sued Utusan Melayu and TV3 for RM100mil for allegedly linking him to the intrusion in Lahad Datu.

The PKR leader had named Utusan Melayu, its group editor-in-chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak, TV3, its group managing editor Datuk Shahruddin Abdul Latif and its Buletin Utama news editor Ing Boon Seng as defendants.

In its statement of defence filed on April 12, Utusan Melayu contended that Anwar had not observed Order 18 Rule 12 (1A) of Rules of Court which stated that no party shall quantify any claim for general damages.

Asking the court to dismiss the suit with costs as it was "wrong in law", Utusan Melayu argued that it had also taken reasonable care in the publication of an article in its newspaper Utusan Malaysia on March 2 and that this was not defamatory of Anwar.

Alternatively, it claimed that it was justified in publishing the article and would rely on qualified privilege and fair comment on a matter of public interest.

In TV3's statement of defence, it denied that the Buletin Utama programme on March 2 constituted any libel against Anwar, adding that it had exercised responsible journalism.

The programme, said TV3, contained a fair, accurate and contemporaneous report of the issue in Lahad Datu at the material time and was based on reports already available in the public domain.

 

Ex-Teratai rep Jenice Lee sues DAP over expulsion from party

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 03:02 PM PST

(The Star) - Former Teratai state assemblyman Jenice Lee Ying Ha has filed a civil suit against DAP to declare that she is still a member of the party.

Lee, 33, filed the suit in the High Court Regiatry through Messrs Harjit Sandu Friday.

In her statement of claim, she named the party via secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as the defendant.

She claimed to know from the media on April 20 that her membership had been terminated by the party's central executive council (CEC) and the Registrar of Societies (ROS) discovered that the CEC election on December last year, was not in accordance with the party's constitution.

The plaintiff said thus, her expulsion as the party's member was invalid.

Lee said on Oct 7, she received a letter from the defendant signed by the disciplinary committee chairman Tan Kok Wai, who gave her 14 days to explain in writing the allegation that she had breached Clause VII para 4 of the party's constitution.

She said the letter was not valid as Tan was in Korea on Oct 6 and he could not have signed the letter.

Lee claimed that she replied Tan's letter on Oct 15 and handed it to him on Oct 21 where she replied to the allegation.

The former Selangor DAP publicity secretary, however, said the defendant, via a letter dated Oct 30, had terminated her membership once again.

Lee claimed that her second expulsion as a member was not valid for reasons, among others, that Tan was not in the country to sign the letter; her letter dated on Oct 15 was not replied by the defendant; and she only received a "show cause letter" dated Oct 30 and not a "termination letter".

She claimed that the ROS had yet to confirm the CEC re-election held on Sept 29 and therefore all processes to expel her membership were not valid and were premature.

Lee is seeking a declaration that her membership be maintained; an injunction to prevent the defendant from terminating her membership; costs and other reliefs that the court thinks suitable and beneficial.

On Oct 29, Lee had withdrawn her suit over the alleged expulsion by the DAP, filed on June 5, after she received a letter from the DAP dated Oct 7 which had asked her to show cause why her membership could not be withdrawn.

Following the letter received, she considered that she was still a member of the DAP.

 

PAS awaits official muzakarah invitation

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 02:56 PM PST

PAS wants Umno to provide an official letter first before discussing among its leaders on the next step.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Despite Umno's willingness to hold a muzakarah (discussion) with PAS, leaders of the opposition Islamist party were wary over the invite, pointing out that they had yet to receive an official letter from Umno over the matter.

"For the time being, it is all merely speculation through the media. We have not even discussed any of this in our meetings," PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu told FMT.

He added that PAS members "may" bring up the issue during their Dec 17 meeting, but even that is not yet confirmed.

"That meeting will focus on appointing committee members from our various bureaus in PAS. We are also going to talk about our opposition towards the goods and services tax (GST), fighting corruption and so on."

When asked how he felt about Umno's openness to have such talks, Mohamad Sabu was tight-lipped, and repeated that PAS leaders had yet to discuss the matter among themselves.

Similarly, PAS vice president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the party would not make a move until Umno sent an official letter inviting them to the muzakarah.

"If we receive a letter, then we will discuss this in the coming meeting. For now, any information we receive has been through the media."

Should the muzakarah take place, Tuan Ibrahim said it would touch upon implementing an Islamic administration system; mechanisms of the state and federal government; as well as issues afflicting Muslim Malaysians such as LGBT, unemployment and faith.

But he denied that such discussions were a betrayal to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, as the muzakarah would not touch politics.

PAS reignited a muzakarah possibility

Last month, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had reignited talks of holding a muzakarah after he said the party was willing to cooperate with Umno for the sake of the rakyat.

"PAS is ready to hold a muzakarah with Umno on issues of implementing Islam. We must prioritise Islamic law," the president had said in his speech at the 59th annual PAS Muktamar in Stadium Melawati.

In response, Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday he welcomed the muzakarah to strengthen ties and reduce misunderstanding between the two parties.

"We place great emphasis on unity and we will always welcome an initiative to strengthen ties such as a muzakarah to find a common ground or reduce misunderstanding," Muhyiddin had told a press conference at the Umno annual general meeting (AGM).

READ MORE HERE

 

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