Archive for the Pakatan Rakyat Category

Strong Dayak winds in Sarawak sending shivers up Taib’s ….!!!

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

Ngemah state representative, Gabriel Adit along with former PRS Balleh division publicity chief Beginda Minda and 12,000 Sarawakians have applied to join Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat or PKR.

Their application forms were submitted to the PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim at a huge dinner gathering in Sibu which saw more than 4,000 people in attendance. During his speech at the function, Adit, a four term assemblyperson, told the crowd that the main reason for joining PKR was due to the “political castration” of the Dayak under the BN state government.

“Enough is enough of BN. Now change is coming to Sarawak.” he said, adding that there are many BN members waiting to join PKR.

The Dayak community of Sarawak are disgruntled with the BN government’s management (maybe mismanagement is more of a right word) of native customary rights land.
This land rights issue has been going on for quite some time now. Groans and moans from the Dayaks of being short changed or forced out from their land by the government is an everyday norm here in Sarawak. Some more intelligent once will make it known publicly and some not so fortunate ones doesn’t even know that they’ve been had till it’s too late to do anything about it.
Now with PKR and people like Adit fighting for them, we do hope that the Dayaks will finally get what they deserve being one of the true natives of this land of the Hornbills.

Former PRS Balleh division publicity chief Beginda Minda joining up with PKR will add even more strength and dimension to the party here in Sarawak. This feistly fella resembles the spicy pepper that Sarawak is famous for. He was forced to leave the state BN component party following his bold call for the Chief Minister and his 2 deputies to step down.

Over the years under the same Chief Minister and BN administration, we Sarawakians are not spared from the marginalisation, poverty, oppression and discriminations as faced by our counterparts in other states. It is a plague that is killing Malaysia slowly and must be rid of as soon as possible. Failure to adhere to these dictator ministers then consequences such as lost of job, tenders and projects, you will have to bear. Now with the 12,000 new PKR members with a promise of more to come the government will not think that they can always have their way and get away with things like they have grown use to over the past 20 years or so.

News of such turn out in support of PKR must have ruined Chief Minister and long time UMNO suck up, Taib Mahmud’s weekend. Honestly, don’t think majority of Sarawakians will pity Taib at all. This white haired demon and his family has been sucking Sarawak and its people dry all these years and it is time for him to go.

“Good riddance Pehin, sorry but we won’t miss you…..”

It is time for the people of Sarawak to unite and fight for our rights as Sarawakians. It is time to fight to ensure that the ‘Burung Kenyalang’ will forever fly free from the racist and oppressive UMNO and BN.

Ngelaban Sarawak, NGELABAN!!!

By – Chai Pasak

Independent Sarawak assemblyman joins PKR

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

KUCHING: Padungan assemblyman Dominic Ng Kim Ho will no longer be a “lone ranger” in the State Assembly.

The state PKR chief will have former Independent Ngemah assemblyman Gabriel Adit who has joined the party.

Adit, 58, officially joined PKR during a “Friends of PKR” dinner in Sibu on Saturday.

And the veteran assemblyman is not crossing over alone – he handed over 11,753 applications to PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the event.

A happy Ng said: “(With Adit), I will get at least a seconder in any motion that I table.”

He described Adit, a former vice-president of the now defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), as an experienced politician and good speaker.

Ng said almost all the fresh applicants were Dayaks from the central region.

To prepare for the “influx”, he said the Sarawak PKR was in the midst of setting up division pro tem committees in 20 of the state’s 31 parliamentary constituencies.

“Our target is to have one division in all the parliamentary constituencies by year’s end,” he said.

Ng said Pakatan Rakyat leaders and MPs from the peninsula would visit Sarawak to help build up the party’s strength.

On the state PKR-DAP relationship, he said it had greatly improved and both sides were working in tandem.

He said the presence of Sarawak DAP chairman Richard Wong Ho Leng and his deputy Chiew Chiu Sing at the dinner proved this.

Of the 71 state assembly seats, the DAP holds six, PKR two and one Independent.

- The Star

Sebaran Media: Kongres Nasional Tahunan Parti Keadilan Rakyat “Harapan Baru”

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

29-30 November 2008, Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam

Kongres Nasional Tahunan Parti Keadilan Rakyat(KeADILan) akan diadakan di Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam pada 29-30 November 2008.

Kongres KeADILan yang pertama selepas pilihanraya umum 8 Mac lalu ini akan menyaksikan kehadiran wakil-wakil rakyat yang paling ramai sejak penubuhan parti 10 tahun yang lalu.

Kongres Nasional tahun ini telah diberikan tema “Harapan Baru” atas kesedaran ada perlunya untuk mentransformasikan kuasa rakyat yang disaksikan dalam pilihanraya umum lepas kepada kuasa perubahan yang jitu ke arah Malaysia yang adil dan demokrasi.

Kongres yang juga pertama kali diadakan sejak Ketua Umum Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menjadi Ketua Pembangkang ini bertujuan untuk membuka ruang kepada para perwakilan untuk membahaskan dasar perjuangan parti secara umum, dan polisi pentadbiran negeri Pakatan Rakyat secara khususnya.

Kedua-dua sayap penting parti yakni Angkatan Muda dan Wanita pula akan mengadakan kongres masing-masing secara berasingan pada 28 November.

Kongres Nasional kedua-dua sayap ini akan dirasmikan bersama oleh Timbalan Presiden KeADILan Dr Syed Husin Ali di Stadium Malawati. Selepas perasmian, Angkatan Muda akan terus bersidang di Stadium Malawati, manakala Wanita akan bersidang di Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor.

Dijangka 10,000 perwakilan, pemerhati, pimpinan komponen parti Pakatan Rakyat, wakil kedutaan dan NGO dari seluruh negara akan hadir ke Kongres Nasional tahun ini yang akan dimeriahkan lagi dengan “Karnival Rakyat”.

Orang awam dijemput untuk mengunjungi “Karnival Rakyat” yang terbuka sepanjang kongres bersidang dan mendengar pidato umum pimpinan parti khususnya Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pada malam 29 November di Stadium Malawati.

BIRO PENERANGAN PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT

Ronnie Liu pleads not guilty to abetment in obstructing public servant

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

The Sun

PETALING JAYA (Nov 17, 2008): Selangor executive councillor, Ronnie Liu, today pleaded not guilty in the magistrate’s court here to a charge of abetment in obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty in November last year.

The DAP central committee member and the state Local Government, Study and Research Committee chairman is accused of abetment in obstructing Subang Jaya Municipal Council enforcement officer Mohammad Hadzim Zulkapli in an anti-vice operation at Hotel Chile, 10, Jalan Kenari 6, Puchong near here on Nov 2 last year.

Liu, 50, who is the state assemblyman for Pandamaran, was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code and can be sentenced under Section 186 of the code which carries a maximum prison term of two years or a fine of RM10,000 if found guilty.

He was represented by lawyer Gobind Singh Deo.

Deputy Public Prosecutor, Roslan Abu Bakar, asked the court to set bail at RM5,000 with one surety.

Gobind Singh applied to the court for Liu to be released on a personal bond on grounds that the alleged offence happened in 2007 and the authorities had not taken any action since then.

Magistrate Mohamad Ibrahim Mohamad Ghulam set bail at RM3,500 with one surety.

Mohamad Ibrahim set Feb 10 next year for the case to be mentioned.

At 10.20am, Liu was bailed out by his brother, John. — Bernama

Explain how MPSP’s reserves shrank: Guan Eng

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

The Sun

GEORGE TOWN (Nov 17, 2008): Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today produced accounts showing Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) reserves shrivelled from RM225 million in 2000 to a mere RM6.4 million today, and asked the previous administration to explain how this happened.

Calling the depletion “more spectacular than a magical disappearing act by David Copperfield”, Lim called on Penang Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, as the then state executive councillor for local government, to explain where the funds had gone so the state could trace them.

“Surely, he should have known the expenditures during this period,” Lim said. Teng was the state exco from December 1999 to March 2008.

When contacted for an immediate response, Teng said Lim was free to refer to the MPSP’s annual budgets, which contained details of expenditure, to see how the money was spent.

He said Lim had announced in April that the Pakatan Rakyat government would appoint a private independent auditor to go through the state’s accounts.

Although Lim had yet to make the audited findings public, “he kept criticising me over the MPSP accounts”, he added.

“If he finds that there is impropriety or misappropriation, he should take the necessary steps, instead of questioning me through the media.

“How can I answer him through the press?” Teng added, accusing Lim of trying to distract attention from problems such as the failed Kings of Tennis programme.

Teng had on Sunday called on Lim to make public the private auditor’s report on MPSP’s finances.

Lim stressed that many items were not detailed in the auditor’s report, and asked Teng to come forward and explain.

“The facts speak for themselves. Facts cannot lie,” Lim told a press conference at the Penang State Assembly here. “A person who was healthy six years ago is now on drips in the intensive care unit. What happened?”

On criticism by Teng that Lim should concentrate on getting his own administration right, Lim said: “Don’t just ask us to move on and forget the RM225 million. How to move on when we have no funds?

“He can talk like this because it is not his money. How can he be so flippant and irresponsible?”

State executive councillor Phee Boon Poh (DAP-Sungai Puyu), who was sole opposition assemblyman from 2004 to 2008, said he had warned in 2006 that MPSP was on the verge of bankruptcy.

“I asked the state assembly why the council’s funds were depleting,” he said.

Phee questioned why MPSP gave RM300,000 a year to each BN state assemblymen in Seberang Perai.

“I never received this RM300,000. And I objected to council money being used for political purposes.”

Phee also questioned why the MPSP’s new headquarters was set up at Bandar Perda at a cost of more than RM80 million when the state government had already alienated land in Ampang Jajar for the purpose.

“They said Ampang Jajar was not used because it was near a sanitary landfill. If that is so, why did they build a public park and low-cost housing near the landfill? Can what is not good for us be good for poor people?”

PAC dragging feet on Eurocopter and other inquiries, says Kit Siang

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat, politics with tags , on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 The DAP has slammed Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid for failing to table the report on the RM1.6 billion Eurocopter deal and not having begun inquiries into two other mega projects.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said that Azmi had promised last Wednesday that the Eurocopter report would be ready “in two or three days” but no report has been forthcoming.

“More than a month had passed since Azmi announced on Oct 14 that the PAC would investigate the Eurocopter helicopter, Bank International Indonesia and the high-speed broadband (HSBB) deals but there has been no inquiry into the latter two and a most unsatisfactory inquiry into the first,” he stated in a media statement.

The Ipoh Timur MP was referring to the RM8.6 billion acquisition of the Indonesian bank by Maybank and the RM11.3 billion project.

Stating that he had just returned from Tawau, Sabah, Lim said that “Malaysia’s present broadband network is a shame to Malaysia’s claim that boasts of being at the cutting edge of information and communications technology.”

“Whether in Tawau or the Klang Valley, it can be a torture to use the mobile broadband available in the country, whether Maxis or Celcom, demonstrating Malaysia’s unique broadband contribution to the world of IT in having “snail”s pace broadband”!” he sniped.

He called on the PAC to force a review of the HSSB deal as Malaysia needed “to catch up in having the most up-to-date broadband network and technology if we are not to lose out in the global competitiveness stakes.”

Lim noted that on top of already trailing behind South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan, less than two months ago Singapore awarded its next-generation high-speed broadband network tender to a consortium to build an islandwide network offering 95 per cent of homes and offices Internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps by June 2012.

He contrasted this with the RM11.3 billion (with a RM2.4 billion government subsidy) HSBB contract to Telekom Malaysia, allowing it continued monopoly for another seven years, which only offered 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps for residential customers and 10 Mbps to 1Gbps for businesses at high-impact economic areas by 2018.

“PAC chairman Azmi will again be failing in his duty if he drags his feet and procrastinates further in conducting prompt investigations into both the HSBB and BII deals.” MI

Sidang DUN P Pinang kecoh

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

Mkini

Persidangan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Pulau Pinang awal pagi tadi kecoh apabila wakil kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat (PR) menolak kenyataan pembangkang yang mempersoalkan kredibiliti pentadbiran kerajaan.

Pertikaman lidah itu bermula apabila Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya (BN-Teluk Bahang) yang mengambil giliran pertama perbahasan Rang Undang-Undang Perbekalan 2009 dan Usul Anggaran Perbangunan 2009 mempertikaikan sasaran miskin sifar oleh kerajaan Pakatan.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kesihatan dan Kebajikan serta Masyarakat Penyayang Negeri Phee Boon Poh (DAP-Sungai Puyu) yang bangkit mencelah berkata, sekiranya pihak pembangkang sudi bekerajsama, maka sasaran miskin sifar itu mudah untuk dicapai, demikian menurut laporan Bernama.

“Ini semua kerana Umno tidak mahu beri kerjasama, kita ada jemput untuk mesyuarat bincang isu itu tetapi tidak datang, wakilpun tidak ada,” katanya dalam nada tidak puas hati.

Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Azhar Ibrahim (BN-Penaga) yang turut mencelah berkata, keengganan pihak pembangkang memberi kerjasama bertujuan memberi laluan kepada kerajaan negeri mentadbir dan mencorak Pulau Pinang.

“Rakyat telah memilih kerajaan Pakatan untuk mentadbir negeri ini, jadi tunjukkanlah kredibiliti mentadbir dengan sepenuhnya.

“Sekiranya Sungai Puyu ingin minta tolong, kenalah mengaku dulu tidak mampu selesaikan masalah barulah kita akan bantu,” katanya.

Phee segera bangkit, menolak kenyataan Azhar itu sambil berkata: “Bila buat kerja amal kena panggil semua orang.

“Kita hormat semua orang bukan tidak mampu untuk lakukan sendiri,” tegasnya.

Akaun MPSP

Sementara itu, Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng mahu Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Gerakan Negeri Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan tampil memberikan penjelasan berhubung isu akaun defisit Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP).

Lim berkata akaun MPSP mengalami akaun dan bajet defisit sejak tahun 2000 hingga 2007 menyebabkan penyusutkan kumpulan wang majlis sebanyak RM228,852,412.

“Tak kan beliau (Teng) tidak tahu perkara ini, kerana apa yang berlaku adalah sewaktu beliau menjadi anggota exco untuk kerajaan tempatan.

“Saya berharap beliau (Teng) sebagai seorang yang bertanggungjawab dapat tampil dan memberi penjelasan terhadap isu ini,” katanya kepada pemberita di lobi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) di sini, Isnin.

Beliau berkata akibat pengurusan kewangan yang tidak cekap MPSP terus mengalami Bajet defisit yang menyebabkan penambahan penyusutan pada 2008 menjadi sebanyak RM248,395,316.

Katanya kerajaan negeri dari semasa ke semasa mengadakan perbincangan bagi mencari penyelesaian mengatasi kemelut MPSP.

“Setiap tahun MPSP mengalami bajet defisit, saya mahukan penjelasan berhubung perkara ini, akibat Bajet defisit MPSP tidak mampu menyediakan kemudahan untuk orang ramai,” katanya.

S’gor cadang tubuh sekolah agama teknik dan vokasional

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

Kerajaan Selangor bercadang untuk menubuhkan sekolah agama teknik dan vokasional, kata Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Katanya sekolah agama teknik dan vokasional akan ditubuhkan segera bagi menampung pelajar mendapat pendidikan agama secara formal sehingga tingkatan lima.

Menurutnya, ia berikutan terdapat banyak permohonan untuk memasuki sekolah agama sedangkan tempatnya terhad.

Abdul Khalid menegaskan demikian ketika merasmikan perjumpaan khas guru-kuru kelas al-Quran dan fardu ain (Kafa) negeri Selangor 2008 di Shah Alam pagi tadi. Hadir sama ialah Penasihat PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Sementara itu ketika bercakap dalam sidang akhbar kemudiannya, beliau berkata, kerajaan negeri akan membincangkan cadangan itu Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) dan pihak swasta.

Menurutnya, rangka tindakan cadangan tersebut dijangka dapat disiapkan enam bulan lagi.

Sehubungan itu Abdul Khalid berharap, kerajaan pusat dapat menyediakkan pembiayaan memandangkan program itu memberi kebaikan kepada negara secara keseluruhannya.

Elaun Kafa dinaikkan

Sementara itu, Khalid turut diminta mengulas cadangan wakil rakyat PAS Pokok Sena, Mahfuz Omar supaya kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat menggunakan tambang penerbangan kelas ekonomi bagi menjimatkan wang kerajaan.

Mengulas perkara itu, menteri besar berkata kerajaan Selangor tidak ada masalah untuk berbuat demikian.

Bagaimanapun, katanya, bukan semua tambang kelas perniagaan lebih murah daripada kelas ekonomi.

“Kadang-kadang sama,” kata Khalid.

Mengenai kemungkinan Selangor mengembalikan penggunaan bahasa Malaysia di di sekolah agama rakyat untuk mata pelajaran Sains dan Matemarik, beliau berkata: “Cara mengajarnya lebih penting, bukan bahasa.”

Dalam ucapannya sebelum itu, beliau turut mengumumkan tambahan elaun kepada guru Kafa sebanyak RM261.70  – daripada RM738.30 kepada RM1,000.

Elaun penyelia Kafa juga dinaikkan RM338 – daripada RM1,112 kepada RM1,500.

Selain itu, kumpulan tersebut akan dilindungi Insurans Takaful mulai Januari 2009.

Non-muslims welcome

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

KUALA LUMPUR – MALAYSIA’S main Islamic opposition party hopes to open its membership to non-Muslims, an official said on Monday, in a bold move aimed at attracting supporters among ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.

Many political parties represent particular ethnic groups in the racially diverse country. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, has long been the ruling United Malays National Organisation’s chief rival for the support of the ethnic Malay Muslim majority.

PAS plans to change its constitution to allow non-Muslim members in an effort to become racially inclusive and prove that its ideology does not conflict with the rights of minorities, said Mujahid Yusof Rawa, chairman of the party’s national unity bureau.

‘There should not be race-based politics anymore,’ Mr Mujahid said.

‘We feel that the stigma that has haunted (non-Muslims) about PAS is fading,’ he said. ‘We want to open up to transform our party into a multiracial party.’

Non-Muslim members are expected to be barred from holding key leadership posts, although some officials have said they will be allowed to run as party candidates in general elections.

Malaysia’s largest minorities are ethnic Chinese and Indians, who are mostly Buddhists, Christians and Hindus. They have long been suspicious of PAS, whose goal is to govern through an Islamic state that prescribes strict religious and morality laws.

Nevertheless, many minority voters supported PAS candidates who joined a three-party opposition coalition in March general elections because of concern over how the government had handled recent racial and religious disputes.

The opposition made unprecedented electoral gains in the elections, depriving the ruling coalition of a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

PAS leaders say that while their goal still is to establish an Islamic state, it doesn’t mean that they want to take away the constitutional rights of minorities to practice their religions freely.

The top three government parties are race based, but PAS is the only opposition party that is limited to members of one religion.

The other two opposition parties – opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party and the Democratic Action Party – are multiracial.

The planned changes in PAS are expected to be approved at the party’s annual congress next June, enabling nearly 20,000 non-Muslims who are now in the party’s so-called ‘Supporters Club’ to become members, Mr Mujahid said. — AP

Anwar: Pakatan pertahan Islam dan hak istimewa Melayu

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 17, 2008 by ckchew

Ketiga-tiga parti anggota Pakatan Rakyat menerima kedudukan hak istimewa orang Melayu, bahasa Melayu dan agama Islam sebagai agama persekutuan sepertimana terkandung dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, kata Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hari ini.

Menurut beliau, isu berhubung perkara itu tidak perlu dirisaukan lagi kerana persefahaman mengenainya telah dibuat antara ketiga-tiga parti anggota Pakatan – PKR, DAP dan PAS.

Malah, tegas Anwar lagi, kenyataan bahawa kesemua pihak telah bersetuju mengenai perkara itu, telah dikeluarkan pada 8 September lalu.

Kenyataan tersebut atara lain menegaskan bahawa Pakatan sekali lagi mengulangi pendirian menjunjung prinsip-prinsip dasar yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Ini termasuk soal-soal dasar seperti kedudukan Islam sebagai agama persekutuan dan menjaminkan kebebasan mengamalkan agama lain, kedaulatan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa kebangsaan, dan mempertahan hak bahawa ibunda, kedudukan kedaulatan dan institusi Raja-raja Melayu serta kedudukan hak istimewa orang Melayu dan bumiputera, serta hak-hak semua kuam yang telah dijamin oleh Perlembagaan.

Menurut kenyataan itu lagi, berdasarkan prinsip-prinsip perlembagaan tersebut, Pakatan menolak sekeras-kerasnya pendekatan politik perkauman sempit.

Oleh itu, tegas Anwar, tidak timbul lagi sebarang salahfaham mengenai isu yang membabitkan hak istimewa orang Melayu, bahasa Melayu dan agama Islam.

Anwar menegaskan demikian dalam ucapannya di majlis perjumpaan khas dengan guru KAFA di Selangor di Shah Alam hari ini. Hadir sama ialah Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Isu lain

Mengulas beberapa isu dalam kerajaan Pakatan, Anwar mengkritik media yang dikuasai Umno yang menurutnya membuat laporan “tidak berdasarkan akhlak, moral dan etika”.

Beliau merujuk kepada laporan tentang kontroversi pelantikan Low Siew Mo sebagai pemangku pengurus Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), kenaikan sewaan Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) di Selangor dan keputusan Kedah meningkatkan kuota perumahan untuk bumiputera.

Ketika diminta mengulas lanjut dalam sidang media kemudiannya Anwar bagaimana menjelaskan bahawa tidak semua media yang berbuat demikian, bahkan terdapat juga yang melaporkannya dengan betul.

Mengulas sama ada Selangor boleh mengembalikan pengajaran matapelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris di sekolah-sekolah, beliau berkata:

“Ini polisi persekutuan, saya tidak rasa kita ada pilihan. Kita kena ikut kurikulum kebangsaan.”

Beliau juga enggan mengulas cadangan pembubaran Majlis Peguam oleh Persatuan Peguam Muslim kerana didakwa bertindak seperti pembangkang dan sering mempersoalkan hak pribumi.

Semalam, Presidennya Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang dilaporkan kecewa dengan peranan badan itu sejak kebelakangan ini yang didakwanya, seolah-olah mencabar hak Melayu dan Islam.

Anwar: Sarawak holds key to PKR government

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 16, 2008 by ckchew

SIBU, Nov 16 Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Sarawak, which has 30 members of parliament, holds the key to the formation of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government in the country.

“When Sarawak changes its course, the Barisan Nasional government will collapse,” he said at a dinner organised by “Friends of PKR” at the Sibu Trade and Exhibition centre here last night.

He said leaders in the PR coalition like Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang of Pas, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng of DAP and himself and his wife would continue to meet and hold discussions with BN MPS to get them to cross over.

About 3,000 people were present at the dinner, the biggest so far for a PKR function here.

Those present included PKR vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Jeffery Kitingan, Sarawak DAP leader Wong Ho Leng, former Sri Aman MP Jimmy Donald and Baginda Minda, the former Parti Rakyat Sarawak Balleh branch publicity chief, who caused a furore with his statement accusing the state dominant BN party, the Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, of being a bully.

At the function, Anwar received membership application forms from Gabriel Adit Demong, one of two independent state assemblymen, and from 11,752 individuals from throughout the state.

Anwar said Sarawakians were now ready for change, saying Adit had volunteered to lead a recruitment drive for more members for PR.

“Do not be surprise if what had happened in five peninsula states in the March general elections could happen here,” he said, adding that PR was prepared to face the coming state election.

He also claimed that several people from the state had visited him to express their interests to join PKR.

Meanwhile, Adit said a lot of BN members were “waiting in the wing” to join him and that his decision in joining PKR was “the first of many instalments” over the next few months. Bernama

Kongres Nasional Tahunan Parti Keadilan Rakyat “Harapan Baru”

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 16, 2008 by ckchew

Kongres Nasional Tahunan Parti Keadilan Rakyat(KeADILan) akan diadakan di Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam pada 29-30 November 2008.

Kongres KeADILan yang pertama selepas pilihanraya umum 8 Mac lalu ini akan menyaksikan kehadiran wakil-wakil rakyat yang paling ramai sejak penubuhan parti 10 tahun yang lalu.

Kongres Nasional tahun ini telah diberikan tema “Harapan Baru” atas kesedaran ada perlunya untuk mentransformasikan kuasa rakyat yang disaksikan dalam pilihanraya umum lepas kepada kuasa perubahan yang jitu ke arah Malaysia yang adil dan demokrasi.

Kongres yang juga pertama kali diadakan sejak Ketua Umum Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menjadi Ketua Pembangkang ini bertujuan untuk membuka ruang kepada para perwakilan untuk membahaskan dasar perjuangan parti secara umum, dan polisi pentadbiran negeri Pakatan Rakyat secara khususnya.

Kedua-dua sayap penting parti yakni Angkatan Muda dan Wanita pula akan mengadakan kongres masing-masing secara berasingan pada 28 November.

Kongres Nasional kedua-dua sayap ini akan dirasmikan bersama oleh Timbalan Presiden KeADILan Dr Syed Husin Ali di Stadium Malawati. Selepas perasmian, Angkatan Muda akan terus bersidang di Stadium Malawati, manakala Wanita akan bersidang di Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor.

Dijangka 10,000 perwakilan, pemerhati, pimpinan komponen parti Pakatan Rakyat, wakil kedutaan dan NGO dari seluruh negara akan hadir ke Kongres Nasional tahun ini yang akan dimeriahkan lagi dengan “Karnival Rakyat”.

Orang awam dijemput untuk mengunjungi “Karnival Rakyat” yang terbuka sepanjang kongres bersidang dan mendengar pidato umum pimpinan parti khususnya Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pada malam 29 November di Stadium Melawati.

Nurul Izzah at Taman Sri Sentosa 15/11/2008

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat, politics with tags , on November 16, 2008 by ckchew

S’wak state rep leads 12,000 into PKR

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat, politics with tags , on November 15, 2008 by ckchew

About 12,000 people in Sarawak, including 6,000 supporters of Ngemah state rep Gabriel Adit, have applied to join PKR.

Their application forms were submitted to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim at a huge dinner gathering in Sibu tonight which saw more than 4,000 people in attendance.Also signing up with the opposition party is controversial former PRS Balleh division publicity chief, Beginda Minda. He was forced to leave the state BN component party following his call on the chief minister and his deputy to step down.
gabriel adit and keadilan pkrAdit, 58, claimed that he had submitted the application forms for PKR membership from 6,000 of his supporters tonight.

The other 6,000 new applications were believed to be from former PRS members and non-party members.

In his speech, Adit, a four-term assemblyperson, told the crowd that the main reason for joining PKR was due to the “political castration” of the Dayaks under the BN state government.

He added that PKR was the best vehicle to address the plight of the Dayaks. Adit also declared that Anwar was the most suitable and acceptable leader to become prime minister.

anwar visit sibu 151108 crowd“Enough is enough of BN. Now change is coming to Sarawak,” he said, adding that there are many BN members waiting to join PKR.

With Adit’s entry, PKR now has two seats in the Sarawak state assembly. The other is Dominique Ng representing Padungan.

Adit first won the Ngemeh seat on the now-defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak ticket in 1991 but in the 2006 state elections, he stood as an independent.

His entry is seen as a major boost for PKR which is gearing up for the next state polls, due in 30 months.

Ready for state polls

sarawak breakdown in state seat 131108The party is banking on the support from the Dayak communities who are increasingly disgruntled with the state government’s management of native customary rights land issues.

The dinner at the Sibu Trade and Exhibition Centre was organised by ‘Friends of PKR’ with Adit chairing the organising committee. The gathering is believed to be one of the largest political dinners ever held in Sibu.

Present at the gathering were Ng, national PKR leaders Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Tian Chua and Sallehuddin Hashim, state DAP leaders Wong Ho Leng and Chiew Chin Sing.

Earlier, Anwar was given a big welcome at Sibu airport upon his arrival at this central Sarawak town.

anwar visit sibu 151108He was said to be visibly moved by the huge crowd who turned up to welcome him.

In his speech tonight, he described Adit as a “true people’s representative” and that he would help PRK bring change to Sarawak.

He urged everyone to work together to ensure Pakatan Rakyat take over Sarawak at the next state elections, which is due in two years’ time.

Anwar also said that a number of other elected representatives in Sarawak will follow Adit’s footsteps in joining the opposition front.

Adun ketuai 12,000 di S’wak sertai PKR

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 15, 2008 by ckchew

Mkini

Kira-kira 12,000 orang termasuk 6,000 penyokong Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Ngemah, Gabriel Adit, telah memohon untuk menyertai PKR.

gabriel adit and keadilan pkrBorang permohonan mereka diserahkan kepada Ketua Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dalam satu perhimpunan majlis makan malam di Sibu yang dihadiri oleh lebih 4,000 orang malam ini.

Turut memohon untuk menyertai parti pembangkang itu ialah pemimpin kontroversi yang juga bekas ketua publisiti PRS bahagian Balleh, Beginda Minda.

Beliau keluar dari parti komponen BN itu ekoran desakan terhadap ketua menteri dan timbalan ketua menteri Sarawak supaya mengundur diri.

anwar visit sibu 151108 crowdAdit, 58, mendakwa beliau telah mengemukakan borang permohonan dari 6,000 penyokongnya malam ini untuk menyertai PKR.

Manakala 6,000 lagi permohonan baru dipercayai terdiri daripada bekas ahli-ahli PRS dan yang bukan ahli.

350km ‘freedom run’ kicks off

Posted in Anti ISA, Pakatan Rakyat, RPK with tags , , on November 15, 2008 by ckchew

DAP’s anti-ISA marathon began its 350km journey to the Kamunting Detention Camp in Pandamaran, Selangor, this morning with several party personalities kicking the event off.

MCPX

Party vice-chairperson and former Internal Security Act detainee Tan Kok Wai flagged off the low-key event at the Pandamaran new village at 8.15am with a short speech.

dap freedom run 151108 flag offHe said the event was meant to express the public’s disappointment with the continued use of unjust and repressive laws such as the ISA.

“We call upon the government to immediately and unconditionally release all detainees held under the ISA,” he told a crowd of about 50 party supporters.

Tan said the purpose of the event, dubbed the ‘freedom run’, was also to call for a lift of the ban on the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), adding that it symbolises equality, freedom and a call to all Malaysians to unite in order to “move forward”.

The DAP event was given a boost with the presence of popular blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and his wife Marina Lee Abdullah. Raja Petra has been detained twice under the ISA.

The wife of Hindraf legal advisor V Ganabatirau, V Buvaneswary, was also present during the flag off. Ganabatirau and four other Hindraf leaders have been in detention in Kamunting since Dec 13 last year.

‘Run will be bear fruit’

Other personalities at the event included DAP advisor Dr Chen Man Hin and Selangor state executive councilor Ronnie Liu, who was the first runner at the event.

“It was an honour to be the first,” said Liu, who headed towards Bukit Tinggi, where the flag was passed to an awaiting runner at the service centre of Klang MP Charles Santiago.

Liu told Malaysiakini he had high hopes that the objective of the run would be accomplished as similar runs in the past had been successful.

This includes DAP’s campaign to save Bukit Cina, Malacca from development and SRJK(C) Damansara primary school from permanent closure.

dap freedom run 151108 manikavasagam“We have organised this kind of run in the past and every time, it had been fruitful. You can expect this run to bear fruit in the future as well,” Liu said confidently.

Also lending their support were Pakatan Rakyat coalition partners PAS and PKR. Elected representatives from these two parties will be joining in the run when the flag passes through their constituencies.

Two Pakatan MP’s who have confirmed their participation are S Manikavasagam (PKR-Kapar) and Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor).

End in Kamunting

If all goes to plan, the anti-ISA flag would pass through hundred of hands in the coastal towns of Kapar, Kuala Selangor and Sekinchan today, before ending up in Sabak Bernam, which borders Perak, by this evening.

makkal sakthi 5 freedom run pandamaran to kamunting route 121108After breaking for the night, the second leg of the run will begin at the border between Selangor and Perak before runners take the flag to Kamunting.

The flag would be passing through Teluk Intan, Setiawan, Pantai Remis, Simpang and Taiping before finally reaching Kamunting.

About a dozen plainclothed police officers kept a close watch at the proceedings at the Pandamaran new village this morning while riot police were on standby in a nearby police station.

Commenting on the police presence, Manikavasagam said there was an overwhelming number of police personnel at his service centre in Kapar.

“There were so many of them. Even the Klang OCPD and his deputy were here,” he told Malaysiakini.

Manikavasagam said the police disallowed more than five persons from running at the same time and asked several individuals to remove button badges with the ‘Hindraf’ on it.

“I’m disappointed because the police did not allow more than five people to run with their elected rep,” he said.

He added that the turnout at Kapar was large and multiracial, adding that the large numbers may have attracted the attention of the police.

Photos below courtesy of S Jayathas, co-ordinator of Police Watch and Human Rights Committee Malaysia

dap freedom run 151108 long photo- malaysiakini.com

The departure of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud is long overdue

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 15, 2008 by ckchew

The boyish-looking parliamentarian from Kuching did not mince his words. He couldn’t have put it more bluntly.

MCPX

The departure of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud is long overdue, he declared on Mkini.tv’s ‘Uncensored’ talk show this week.

Chong Chieng Jen, 37, the two-term MP for Bandar Kuching, reasoned that after 27 years as chief minister, Taib should have completed whatever he hoped to achieve for the state “if he has any plans at all”.

Stressing that 27 years is “too long a time” to be chief minister, Chong states the obvious – it’s time for Taib to pack his bags and go.

chong chieng jen interview 141108 04“Things that have not materialised (and) we should leave it to another person to implement,” he told ‘Uncensored’ host Francis Paul Siah on the talk show recorded on Thursday.

In fact, Chong is not the first DAP elected representative in Sarawak to openly call for Taib’s departure. His DAP colleague, Ting Tze Hui (Meradong), made a similar request in the state legislative assembly some time ago.

“As expected, she was heckled by BN backbenchers who rose to speak in support of the chief minister,” said Chong who is also the state assemblyperson for Kota Sentosa.

Although the MP acknowledged that Taib has done “some good” for the state, he was also quick to add that “Taib has done more harm than good”.

Issues relating to the distribution of wealth are worsening under the current administration as the people of Sarawak are facing great difficulties in earning a decent living.

Improper dealings

Asked if Taib’s lengthy administration was the cause of the perpetration of corruption in the state, Chong said legally speaking it may not be corruption but improper dealings.

bn supreme council mt meeting sapp sabah issue 190608 taib mahmud“He has been in power for 27 years and the family has gained astronomical wealth … something like that in my view is improper.”

Citing the example of shares owned by Taib’s family members in one of Sarawak’s largest cement manufacturing and construction companies, Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), Chong said it evidently shows improper activities.

“(Besides that) a lot of state contracts are awarded to CMS … I would not call it corruption as defined in the Anti-Corruption Act but it is highly improper with him (Taib) being the head of the state administration,” he pointed out.

“There seems to be a concentration of government contracts given to CMS, for example the RM300 million awarded to CMS and Naim Chandera for the construction of the state assembly building and many other road and building contracts are also given to them (CMS) without proper open tenders,” said Chong.

Asked why the opposition has been unable to nail such blatant abuse of power, Chong said as a politician, his powers were limited although he had brought the issues up in Parliament for the attention of the Anti-corruption Agency.

DAP leaders, he said, were doing all they could to “create awareness” among the populace on the inappropriate activities of the current administration, adding that people are now more aware of what’s going on in the state.

chong chieng jen interview 141108 01Chong also revealed that he was not in the chief minister’s good books as he had often spoke in retaliation against Taib’s policies.

“During the June sitting, I spoke (in the state assembly) about the chief minister and the dealings of his family members but the speaker said it is sub-judice. If I cannot talk bad about the chief minister, then the BN representatives should not be allowed to sing his praises too” said Chong.

He said Taib was angered after he had cited a Confucius proverb which states that: “When the leader is rich and the people are rich, the leader is a good leader. But if the leader is rich and people are poor, then the leader ought to be ashamed of himself”.

Chong also mentioned an incident when the chief minister lost his cool and pointed his finger at him (Chong) in anger inside the august House.

alfredAsked for his opinion on Iban Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu, Chong described him as incompetent as he (Jabu) was not doing much to uplift the well-being of his community.

Many Dayaks are still being deprived of educational opportunities and economic resources, he said, adding that education is the key to improve the well-being of the people.

Chong also said he suspected a conspiracy as to why the people, especially the indigenous communities, were deprived of opportunities and resources to better themselves.

He joked that the BN government is probably afraid of losing ground if the people become smarter.

“They want to block access to the community for fear that they will get smarter and become more knowledgeable and can see that the Barisan Nasional government is horrible. So the more educated the people are, the less control they (BN) have,” he quipped.

Abang Johari a suitable candidate

abang johari abang haji opengAsked for his choice to fill Taib Mahmud’s shoes, Chong opined that among the present state cabinet members, Housing Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg would be a suitable candidate to become the next chief minister.

“When he answers questions in the state assembly, he shows that he knows his stuff,” he remarked.

On his choice of a potential chief minister aong the Dayak community, Chong was hesitant in revealing a name but was also quick to add, “not Alfred Jabu”.

On the competition between DAP and Sarawak United People’s Party (Supp), Chong said that DAP was confident of doing better in Supp areas in the coming elections.

“But we are not only going to contest in Supp areas alone, we are also starting to lay our ground work in PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu) areas as well”.

Lastly, Chong said he would like to see less misery among Sarawakians and that they should be leading more comfortable lives unlike what they are exposed to today.

Ending the show, Siah credited Chong’s father, former Repok state assemblyperson Chong Siew Chiang as the man responsible for bringing the DAP to Sarawak in 1978. Chong Sr was also the first Sarawak DAP chairperson – malaysiakini.com

Beginda Tells All Tonight

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , , on November 15, 2008 by ckchew

c5b9f078383b4219c8fa2b447a8ad5621

Audie61

Its CONFIRMED. A phone call made to Beginda Minda by our correspondents in audie61this morning at 9.05am confirms that he is going to attend tonights “Friends of PKR” dinner in Sibu. The function will be attended by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and 300 tables are already taken up.

Beginda said he has been given the PLATFORM to Speak on the stage and during his speech he will announce that he will JOIN PKR. He added ,”Just write it in this interview” Also he was asked last night by Malaysiakini correspondent on the number of members he will be bringing in. Membership is one thing,but winning the voters trusts will win you the election. What is important is that PKR is acceptable as the future party for his people.

He said amongst the leaders who will be speaking at tonights function will be Dominique Ng,Nicholas Bawin, Gabriel Adit,Jeffery Kitingan and also DSAI. For the past couple of weeks Beginda Minda, the ex-publicity chief of  PRS president Dr James Masing-led Balleh division who made his call on Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu to resign has been the talk of the town and aroused the dayak sentiments.

This function will also see Gabriel Adit joining PKR and he represents the  FIRST DAYAK YB IN THE PKR FOLD. James Masing has been reported http://www1.malaysiakini.com/news/92781 in Malaysiakini that he “warned a state BN component party to lay its hands off the predominantly Iban Batang Ai state seat, which he says belongs to his party” The dayaks sees that this is an oppurtunity as the can of worms has been open and Adit and Beginda will be welcomed by the PKR leadership as new “ALLIES” for the coming State Elections. It has been further speculated that they will be more prominent political figures joining PKR very soon. This we will leave it to another day.

PKR Sarawak with this 300 table dinner and the presence of so many top leaders in the Pakatan fold with Anwar has indeed got the notice of the State BN. Many will want to know what transpired,what is the crowd,what are the contents of the speeches etc. etc. All will be reported and revealed by the Press/media in tomorrows main stream dailies. Beginda ended by saying to me,” See you there.”

Anwar to tell all at PKR congress?

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 14, 2008 by ckchew

Jimadie Shah Othman & Praba Ganesan | November 14, 2008 Mkini

The PKR congress this year will revisit the abortive September 16 plan to take over the federal government, with de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim expected to explain why the Pakatan Rakyat plan did not materialise.

MCPX

khalid jaafarSupreme council member Khalid Jaafar, when contacted, said an explanation could defuse some of the perceptions and allegations that have been bandied about.

“(The congress) can be a platform to revive people’s faith in the party, since naturally there is disappointment over the September 16 plan,” he said.

“So far they’ve (UMNO) talked about power transition, however we need to talk about power transfer, and quicken it if possible.”

anwar ibrahim pkr parliament pc 111108 02About 2,000 delegates from 160 divisions are expected to attend the three-day congress from November 28, beginning with the Wanita and Youth meetings, at the Stadium Melawati in Shah Alam.

This year’s theme is Harapan Baru (A New Dawn).

Khalid said Anwar (right) would touch on changes in store for PKR, as well as talk about UMNO.

“This congress will not just be a routine meeting. We have to mobilise the party since 2009 will be volatile with the (scheduled) power transition in UMNO” he added.

Deputy secretary-general Abdul Halim Mohamed Yusof said the congress will focus on strengthening the membership base.

This is vital because Parliament may be dissolved if after the power transition in UMNO next March, he said.

dr xavier jayakumar official photoSupreme council member Dr Xavier Jeyakumar said the congress will look at how the party can enhance ties with other Pakatan members and how the party can move forward.

“Personally I would like to see more ideas on how we can improve relationships between Pakatan states, and (how PKR can) mobilise to become the party of the future,” he said.

Formed in 1998 as KeADILan, during the reformasi period following Anwar’s arrest, the party subsequently merged with Parti Rakyat Malaysia to become Parti KeADILAN Rakyat.

The year that was

This has already been quite a year for the party, which achieved resounding success in the March general election to take 30 federal seats – compared to just one in the 2004 polls.

PKR played a pivotal role in the run-up to the election, working with opposition allies DAP and PAS to avoid three-way fights with Barisan Nasional (BN). They won 81 seats, denying BN its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The party now helms the Selangor government and is represented in Penang, Kedah and Perak, all of which fell to the opposition alliance.

anwar ibrahim and saiful bukhari azlan sodomy 2In June, Anwar came up against a complaint of sodomy filed by ex-aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, but has elected to defend himself against the charge.

Some speculated that the allegation was part of a BN plot to derail Anwar’s agenda to take over the federal government by September 16, with the help of 31 defections.

This was at a time when several component parties in the ruling coalition were experiencing internal turmoil after the election debacle or were jostling for a higher profile in BN.

Although the defections did not take place, Anwar continued to claim in October that he still had sufficient support to take the plan through.

anwar permatang pauh polling day 260808Another landmark event for PKR was Anwar’s return to active politics, having completed a five-year ban that followed his conviction and six-year jail sentence for corrupt practice from April 1999.

His wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who had held the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in the interim, vacated it on July 31.

Winning comfortably in his old stamping ground, Anwar was appointed Opposition Leader.

There is no word as yet if Wan Azizah will step down from her party post at the upcoming congress for Anwar to take control of PKR – party polls are only due next year.

The Economy Sir, Please!

Posted in economy, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 14, 2008 by ckchew

Will the stimulus package work, at what price and for how long? These are raging questions that need urgent redress especially by policy makers that in turn must be communicated to all as to ‘shore up confidence’, arguably true as stressed by the second FM.

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (drdzul.wordpress.com )

After the winding up by the second Finance Minister on the budget debate at the committee level in the Dewan Rakyat today (Tuesday, 11 November), I felt compelled to write my 2-cents worth of thought on our economy. It’s only wise that I do it soonest after writing “Missing numbers in stimulus package” (Malaysiakini.com).

For a start, the news about China’s stimulus package of US$586 billion or RM2.1trillion not capable of counteracting the effect of the US-led slowdown and that the euphoric rally observed in the Asian bursas could only last for a day, i.e. on Monday, are indeed very frightening. The RM5billions injection to shore-up ‘undervalued stocks’ by Value-Cap, as instructed by the FM, flies in your face and how much quicker, you thought, will it dissipate.

Yes we have had for sometime now, a strong current account surplus, a trade surplus and a strong foreign reserve to support our currency. But despite of all these the ringgit has fallen to a level that does not match its arguably strong fundamentals. There is a lot more in finance that we simply fail to understand. It has weakened by 7.3% against the US dollar and is down 13.3% from its peak of RM3.1320 on April 23. It was quoted at RM3.560 versus the greenback on Friday, 14 November. All this happens when the greenback is being severely battered.

Some are even anticipating that it may trade at RM3.6 by yearend against the US dollar and lower still in the following year. Portfolio investment leaving the Asian bursa and making a beeline for the US State Treasury bills may not augur well with us too.

Many financial strategists in credible research houses are now saying that ringgit performance is, more importantly determined by decreasing international reserves, large fiscal deficit, falling commodity prices and the contagious or boomerang effect of global economics.

Frankly, many analysts do not see our numbers improving. On the contrary, it may continue to fall unabated. We witnessed our foreign reserves shrinking from US$116 in August to US$109.6 billions in September and very recently US$107.6 on October 15. With falling commodity prices in crude oil and crude palm oil well below 50% of their projected price in the PM’s budget, we are anticipating a huge reduction in our revenue projection, hence an increasing deficit surely beyond the government’s adjusted number of 4.8% in the new Finance Minister’s budget.

To make matter worse, the economic slowdown will see demands for our commodities dwindling as the global economy slows down and recession-deflation setting in. Similarly demands for our manufactured goods will equally be reduced as our trading partners reduce their spending. Our trade surplus and current account surplus will subsequently shrink.

Manufacturers will start to lay off workers as to cut cost. Already they are. The numbers laid off are distressing not the least are those retrenched across the causeway. All these will definitely have a knock-on effect on our macroeconomic parameters of unemployment and slowing growth which would adversely affect our currency and sovereign rating. Downgrading of our sovereign rating from A to A- aggravates our cost of borrowing and competitiveness.

Our NPLs may be as low as 2.5% (net) of our GDP as at end of August but that may soon reverse. During the financial crisis of 1998, NPLs were at 13.6% (net). More alarmingly our household debt to GDP ratio has hiked to 66.7% as at end of 2007, while it was only at 44.4% during the financial crisis. It could be a lot worse right now. Under inflationary pressures due to our own misdoings of hiking the fuel prices in June this year, the price hike in everyday goods and services coupled with lower disposable income, situation could drastically deteriorate.

Will the stimulus package work, at what price and for how long? These are raging questions that need urgent redress especially by policy makers that in turn must be communicated to all as to ‘shore up confidence’, arguably true as stressed by the second FM. We have to ‘leverage’ (bad word now) on both our fiscal and monetary policies to get our economy going on an expansionary or anti-cyclical approach. But could we? How fast?

Firstly, on the RM7 billions. Where is it coming from? Rightly from the saving of fuel subsidy as allocated in the budget of  RM21 billions. With the reduction in fuel price at the pumps, the government expected a saving of RM 7 billions. Hence no external injection, simply coming from expected savings?

But that’s not very realistic, because you could only spend what you have. But it looks like you don’t have it. Besides, Najib only conceded losing RM8 billions in term of revenue, while PR’s budget expected RM18 billions to say the least.

Will they be doing the obvious of outright borrowing, from again our national saving EPF etc, or raising bonds? If it’s true, say so and make it clear. Will they be creative to unlock some real assets of the government in term of securitizing and monetizing lands or buildings etc. But please stop cannibalizing on our national savings like the EPF, KAWP etc.

It must be made clear that nobody is in to score political points in facing this crisis. The entire ship is sinking. We could wait till we get to the shore. But the issues that need addressing are, will the stimulus package work? At what quantum – will RM7 billions be sufficient? In which critical areas would injection be made as to effect the greatest ‘multiplier effect’? Surely not in the Capital or share market! How do we encourage consumer spending? Giving them higher disposable income by reducing their EPF saving will certainly ‘shortchanged’ them later. It may not be wise after all. Are the incentives sufficient to boost private sector investment?

How long are we to do this? Will we witness an immediate recovery over the range of 12-18 months or a V-shaped recovery as economists put it? Or a U-shaped one, over 2-3 years or L-shaped crisis like one experienced by Japan for a long time?

And for as long as the details of the proposed spending have not been presented to the parliament, it may be pertinent for the government to peep at the PR’s strategy of facing the crisis.

Having settled for the strategic issues, the next is to iron-out of ‘how to make it happen’. Admittedly it is quite consoling to see that the BN government has finally heeded the critiques by many, to have open-tender system in place, especially for mega-projects and all. Enough of the multi-billions RM that was rampaged in various leakages and hemorrhages in awarding lop-sided privatisation projects, military procurements, mergers and acquisition etc, in a long list of downright ineptness and irresponsibility to say it politely.

But the proof is in the doing. Enough of lip-service and mantras- however religiously sermonized. The ‘ineptness’ of the BN’s financial and economic leadership have to end. Otherwise, the rakyat and voters would have to effect change earlier then the next GE. But currently every wannabe is engulfed in party’s election. That will certainly take precedence until March 2009.

The Economy Sir, Please!

Over to you, fellow Malaysians!

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is the Director of PAS research Centre and MP for Kuala Selangor.

Only the good die young

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 14, 2008 by ckchew

Image

The Special Branch stood by helplessly as Ramlang spoke at ceramah after ceramah to set the record straight on what happened in the Federal Territory mosque the day Saiful swore on the Quran that Anwar had sodomised him.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

The Pink Panther

Ariff Shah anticipated he would win the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election by at least 5,000 votes. Anwar Ibrahim’s camp, in turn, was confident they would win, but probably by 10,000 votes or so. This would mean Anwar’s win would be lower than Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s 13,000-vote majority in the 8 March 2008 general election.

This would be a disaster. Anwar must win by a majority higher than Wan Azizah’s. And a plan was required to achieve this. They needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat. And the plan was like a plot from a spy story and executed with military precision to boot.

An operations centre was set up in a hotel about half an hour from the heart of the Permatang Pauh election campaign. The purpose was to poll the voters’ sentiments, in particular the Malay voters who made up the majority of the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency. What were the issues troubling the voters? What was foremost in their minds?

The thing needling the Malay voters in Permatang Pauh was as to why Anwar did not also swear on the Quran in a mosque that he did not sodomise Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Saiful had done the so and swore than Anwar did sodomise him. Why won’t Anwar do the same and swear that he did not?

The simple-minded Malay voters did not seem to realise that such a ritual is not part of Islamic teachings. One does not use the Quran and God to gain political mileage. Furthermore, if Anwar were to do so smack in the middle of an election campaign, it would be interpreted even more that Anwar is doing so merely to gain more votes. That move could backfire badly and could in fact result in some lost voters rather than help gain more.

Instead of aping Saiful, Anwar had to discredit what the young man had done and prove to the voters that the oath was all a farce and of no substance. And to do that they needed the very imam who had taken Saiful’s oath to confirm so.

Contact was made with the imam, Ramlang Porigi, who was in Kuala Lumpur. The imam was suffering bouts of guilt conscience and he was troubled by the whole episode. He was an unwitting participant in what he considered a character assassination exercise. He did not know at the time they summoned him to the mosque what it was all about. He was appalled when he discovered what they were up to but he was trapped and could not get out of it. How now to rectify the injustice done to Anwar?

The imam was pleased when contact was finally made. Yes he would be very happy to spill the beans and inform the public how they set up the so-called oath-taking ceremony and the flaws in the whole exercise. And he was prepared to take centre-stage and reveal the truth.

Imam Ramlang was scheduled to make an appearance two days before polling day, the most crucial period in the by-election campaign when Umno would go all out in the dash to the finishing line. His family was spirited to safety and Ramlang went underground. Two days before the election they brought him up to Penang in a convoy of cars and superbikes that would spring into action and whisk him away in the event they set up roadblocks and attempt to detain the imam.

The convoy arrived in Penang at 5.00pm without incident. Ramlang was scheduled to make his first appearance at 7.00pm to address a mosque congregation. And when he did, the women in the congregation were reduced to tears and the men surged forward to hug him and shake his hand.

The exercise was a success.

Ramlang was to make his next appearance at a massive rally later that night. All the top opposition leaders plus Anwar himself would be addressing a crowd of 30,000. That would be when Anwar would garner an additional 5,000 votes and secure a majority exceeding his wife’s in the 8 March 2008 general election.

Two imams dressed in robes and turbans were brought to the rally escorted by a full complement of security personnel. They were merely decoys. The crowd surged forward, Special Branch officers amongst them. They strained their necks in trying to get a look at the imams who coolly took their time to stroll through the crowd. Everyone was trying to figure out which of the two imams was Ramlang. Ramlang, meanwhile, was smuggled in through the back, dressed in a tracksuit. Before they realised it Ramlang was on stage addressing the crowd.

As soon as he finished they whisked him away and sent him into hiding. Around midnight word got out that the order from Kuala Lumpur had been given to detain Ramlang. The security boys bundled him into a car and smuggled him out of Penang. The Special Branch scoured the whole of Penang looking for the imam to no avail. Ramlang was safely housed in the neighbouring state far from the long arms of the men in blue from Bukit Aman. His family too had by then disappeared and the Special Branch did not know where to find them.

Security was beefed up when Ramlang made his next appearance on the eve of the by-election. They badly wanted to get their hands on him but not even a fly could penetrate the wall of security men. The Special Branch stood by helplessly as Ramlang spoke at ceramah after ceramah to set the record straight on what happened in the Federal Territory mosque the day Saiful swore on the Quran that Anwar had sodomised him.

Anwar won the Permatang Pauh by-election with a majority higher than the general election just months before that. Ramlang went back to Kuala Lumpur to lead his normal life again, if that was now possible in the aftermath of Anwar’s impressive win that to a large extent could be credited to what the imam revealed to the Permatang Pauh voters.

The government did not dare sack Ramlang. But they did put him in cold storage. A few days ago, when they thought that all had by now calmed down and people had forgotten the whole episode, they sent the imam a show cause letter with a view to terminate his services.

Ramlang has been given two week to justify why he should not be sacked from his government job. He had cost Umno the Permatang Pauh by-election. Anwar won with a higher majority than expected because the imam had revealed the truth. Revealing the truth is not something that a God-fearing imam should do. A good imam is supposed to serve the government, not serve God.

Ramlang does not want to resign even though he is being pressured to do so. If they want him out then they can sack him. He will accept that fate if that is what God has in store for him. All he did was to tell the truth. All he did was to reveal what really happened, which is opposite to what the government-controlled TV stations are saying. He fears God more than he fears man, as what all God-fearing imams should be like.

The government’s move to sack Imam Ramlang Porigi will just make matters worse for Umno. Instead of redeeming itself Umno will just incur the wrath of the people. God-fearing men who tell the truth are punished. Scoundrels are rewarded. That is the message Umno will send to the people.

Parliament in Session: 13/11/08

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat, politics with tags , on November 14, 2008 by ckchew

MP BN yakin Pakatan Rakyat memerintah Malaysia pada Pilihan Raya Umum akan datang

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 14, 2008 by ckchew

Oleh MASDAR R ARIFUDIN

KUALA LUMPUR: Ahli Parlimen (MP) Barisan Nasional (BN) berkeyakinan Pakatan Rakyat (PR) mampu memerintah Malaysia selepas Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) akan datang.

MP BN kawasan Padang Rengas, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz berkata, tidak mustahil PR akan akan mentadbir Malaysia pada PRU 13 jika BN tidak mendengar suara golongan muda pada hari ini.

Nazri yang juga Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri berkata, PRU 12 jelas membuktikan pengundi muda memberi impak besar terhadap keputusan pilihanraya.

Sementara itu, Pengerusi Biro Strategi & Hubungan Antarabangsa, Angkatan Muda KeADILan (AMK), Yusmadi Yusoff yang dihubungi Suara KeADILan di sini berkata, pandangan yang diutarakan oleh Nazri itu merupakan suatu pandangan yang ikhlas dari seorang menteri yang cukup berpengalaman.

Yusmadi yang juga MP Balik Pulau, berkata, Nazri sebagai seorang menteri yang arif berkaitan kepimpinan sudah pastinya mengetahui realiti sebenar dalam negara ketika ini.

Menurut Yusmadi, golongan muda adalah sekumpulan manusia yang bersifat dinamik, keratif dan tangkas dalam memproses maklumat semasa khususnya isu-isu yang berkaitan kepentingan masyarkat dan negara.

Yusmadi yang juga seorang peguam memberi contoh bagaimana blog Anwar Ibrahim menerima kunjungan yang konsisten dari golongan muda.

Beliau yang baru dilantik oleh Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang sebagai Pengerusi Masyarakat Madani turut menjelaskan Parti KeADILan sentiasa membuka peluang kepada setiap golongan muda untuk bergerak dalam KeADILan.

Timbalan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR), Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar mengumumkan bahawa dua juta orang golongan muda yang berumur bawah 21 tahun berpotensi tersenarai dalam daftar pemilih menjelang pilihan raya ke-13.

Helping the Malay poor

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 14, 2008 by ckchew

By Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, MP for Sg Siput

ON 11 Nov 2008, the Prime Minister’s Department answered a question about income distribution that I had submitted before the start of the current parliamentary session.

The reply was read by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department SK Devamany, who gave the following figures based on a 2007 Statistics Department survey of households:

The figures, if accurate, reveal several realities about our society. The first is that 38% of Malaysian families have a monthly household income of less than RM2,000. I believe that RM2,000 should be used as the poverty line and not the current unrealistic standard of RM720 per month for a family with three children. Only 5% of Malaysian families have a monthly household income of less than RM720.

The second significant point is that the prevalence of poverty among non-Malay bumiputera groups is much higher than that of the Malay community – 25.8% of Kadazan families and 35.8% of Orang Asli families receive household incomes of less than RM1,000 compared to 9.9% of Malay families. Numerically, however, Malays still make up a huge majority of the poor in Malaysia because of their population size.

Why have we failed?

Why is there still such a high incidence of poverty among the Malays despite four decades of targeted affirmative action? This is an important question to address. Only if we understand why we haven’t managed to eradicate poverty among the Malays can we successfully address poverty among other groups like the Kadazans, Ibans and Orang Asli.

My Pakatan Rakyat friends will pin the blame on corruption, cronyism and wastage by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government. While it is true that corruption and cronyism do siphon away government funds, it cannot be denied that the BN government has for the past 40 years tried hard to address Malay poverty.

Massive resettlement schemes for the landless, for example, have resulted in more than 120,000 families of Felda settlers. Irrigation projects in rice growing areas and agricultural subsidies such as for fertilisers, and price guarantees have also been implemented. Then there is the comprehensive education programme from primary right up to tertiary education, the good network of rural clinics, and other measures. Why have all these efforts not succeeded?

The answer becomes apparent when we ask ourselves, just who are the Malays who are poor? In 1957, about 75% of the Malays were poor farmers. Today, less than 30% of Malay families are farmers. And even among this 30%, more than 130,000 are Felda or Perlop settlers.

The majority of the Malays have migrated to urban occupations, and many are working in low-wage jobs in factories and in the service sector. There are those who are chronically under-employed because many Malaysian bosses prefer to hire more suppliant foreign workers. All of them are affected by the government’s low-wage policy, further reinforced by the active policy of opening the floodgates to cheap foreign labour (out of the Malaysian workforce of 13 million, three million are foreign workers). Escalating costs because of the privatisation of basic amenities is another significant factor leading to Malay poverty.

FDI at workers’ expense

Low wages and privatisation are the macro-economic policies that our government implements in order to entice Foreign Direct Investment or FDI. Both BN and Pakatan Rakyat leaders believe these are essential for Malaysia’s economic wellbeing.

Privatisation becomes necessary because the government wants to reduce investors’ tax burden to make Malaysia as attractive as Singapore and Thailand, which have lower corporate taxes.

Ahmad Boestaman, Dr Burhanuddin Helmi and Chin Peng were right. In the late 1940s, they argued that in addition to winning political independence, the country also needed to redefine its dependent and subservient stance vis-à-vis the imperial centre. The Left believed that an independent Malaya would need to re-negotiate its position within the world economy. The conservative Alliance elite that took over from the British did not see the need to do so (one main reason why the British passed the reigns of government over to them).

As a result, we remain dependent on the investments, technology and markets of advanced countries up till today. The price we pay for that is the “race to the bottom” where we have to compete with Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore to attract foreign capital. Along the way, our workers’ interests are compromised.

You can’t solve poverty in our ranks through welfare handouts, not when 38% of our population requires such assistance. We need to re-open the issue of what exactly constitutes a just wage in this day and age. We need to return to the pre-Merdeka debate regarding our subservient position within a globalised economy where corporate profits are far more important than the basic needs of the majority. We must bear in mind that that debate was settled in favour of the conservatives and the economic elite by a process that was far from democratic.

Unless we resolve these issues, the avarice of the global economic system that is based on profits for the largest corporations will ensure the continued poverty of a large portion of our rakyat.

Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj is a physician by training and a founding member of Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

Empat Karya Dr Syed Husin Ali Menurut Pak Said, Abdul Khalid dan Dr Lim

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 13, 2008 by ckchew

SHAH ALAM, 9 November – Pengalaman pahit sewaktu ditahan melalui Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) di kem tahanan Kamunting selama enam tahun diceritakan aktivis politik yang juga Timbalan Presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Dr Syed Husin Ali dalam karyanya Dua Wajah : Tahanan Tanpa Bicara.

Karya yang juga ditulis dalam bahasa Inggeris berjudul Two Faces : Detention Without Trial itu turut diulas bersama dua lagi karya tulisan beliau; Orang Melayu : Masalah dan Masa Depan dan Ethnic Relations in Malaysia : Harmony and Conflict sempena majlis pelancaran empat karya beliau di Carlton Holidays dekat sini petang tadi.

Hadir pada majlis itu, Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Dato’ Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, bekas wartawan Utusan Melayu dan tahanan politik selama 17 tahun, Pak Said Zahari dan aktivis sains sosial, Dr Lim Teck Ghee.

_dsc0268sm

Dr Syed Husin (kiri) memperkatakan sesuatu mengenai karya beliau kepada Dato’ Seri Anwar sambil diperhatikan Tan Sri Abdul Khalid. Turut kelihatan Pak Said. Foto AHMAD FADHLI YAHYA

Dr Syed Husin dalam ucapan alu-aluannya berkata undang-undang zalim seperti ISA perlu dihapuskan kerana hak asasi manusia itu lebih penting dipertahankan.

Beliau berkata, walaupun negara sudah mencapai kemerdekaan lebih 50 tahun, namun agenda menyatupadukan rakyat dan membentuk negara yang bersatu belum menunjukkan tanda kejayaan.

Katanya, dasar pecah dan perintah selain pencerobohan hak asasi manusia masih menghambat, tidak kurang juga soal kemiskinan yang masih membelenggu.

Bagi Pak Said, yang dianggap sebagai pejuang keadilan, ketegasan pemikiran Dr Syed Husin jelas terserlah dalam karyanya Dua Wajah : Tahanan Tanpa Bicara.

“ISA itu satu undang-undang yang sangat kejam yang perlu dilalui Syed Husin bersama kawan-kawannya yang lain. Saya lihat melalui bukunya ini, beliau menceritakan tentang pengalamannya sebagai seorang tahanan seperti juga pengalaman yang saya lalui ketika ditahan di Singapura,” katanya.

Beliau berkata pengalaman yang dikongsi Dr Syed Husin itu boleh dijadikan pengajaran oleh generasi sekarang ini yang menjadi aktivis kepada parti politik di mana mereka mungkin menghadapi cabaran yang lebih hebat pada masa depan.

Katanya semangat yang ditunjukkan oleh beliau boleh dijadikan satu ikutan yang baik dalam perjuangan hari ini.

“Tetapi ISA yang menahan beliau masih wujud sekarang ini dan ia tidak akan boleh mewujudkan satu suara demokrasi yang tulen,” tambah Pak Said.

Beliau berkata sekiranya Pakatan Rakyat (PR) memerintah dan Anwar menjadi perdana menteri, akta zalim itu harus dihapuskan seperti yang mereka janjikan.

“Kalau PR mahu hapuskan ISA ini, saya percaya rakyat Malaysia akan beramai-ramai merasai suasana demokrasi,” katanya.

Tambahnya selagi ISA masih berkuasa, rakyat tidak akan berani menyertai gerakan yang menentang kerajaan.

Menurut Pak Said, akta itu bukan sahaja menyebabkan kesengsaraan kepada tahanan malah keluarga mereka turut terseksa.

“Dalam karya beliau ini, diceritakan dengan jelas prinsip hidup beliau yang boleh kita pelajari,” katanya.

Pak Said berharap karya Dr Syed Husin ini dijadikan pilihan oleh pembaca kerana menampilkan pelbagai pengalamannya selain boleh dijadikan pedoman dalam menghadapi masa depan yang lebih mencabar.

Tan Sri Abdul Khalid yang diberi peluang mengulas buku Dr Syed Husin berjudul Orang Melayu : Masalah & Masa Depan menyifatkan sarjana ilmuan itu sudah sekian lama memperjuangkan keadilan golongan marhaen.

Beliau berkata Dr Syed Husin ada menyentuh mengenai Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) yang disifatkan bermasalah dari segi pelaksanaannya.

“Kalau kita katakan dasar ekonomi yang lepas ialah dasar ekonomi Umno yang bukan dasar keadilan kerana dasar ekonomi keadilan (yang adil) berpunca daripada bagaimana kemajuan itu dilaksanakan dan pengagihan dilakukan,” katanya.

Mengambil contoh negeri Selangor, Abdul Khalid berkata pentadbiran PR menggunakan pendekatan merakyatkan ekonomi Selangor.

“Jadi adalah penting negeri itu maju dan rakyatnya makmur,” katanya.

Beliau berkata tema merakyatkan ekonomi itu adalah berasaskan kepada konsep negeri maju rakyat mewah. Apa yang menjadi persoalan masa depan katanya ialah membentuk sebuah masyarakat Melayu yang maju.

“Kalau rakyat yang mewah, mereka akan mengeluarkan zakat, jadi kalau semua rakyat Melayu boleh membayar zakat, masalah kemiskinan atau jarak pendapatan antara rakyat akan mula berkurangan,” tambahnya.

Abdul Khalid turut mencadangkan satu forum untuk membincangkan isu ini lebih mendalam dapat diadakan pada masa akan datang.

Bagi Dr Lim, yang disifatkan Dr Syed Husin sebagai seorang yang banyak memberi sumbangan dalam bidang intelektual, sudah masanya rakyat pelbagai kaum berfikiran luar dari kotak dan meleraikan kekusutan.

Ketika mengulas karya Dr Syed Husin bertajuk Ethnic Relations in Malaysia : Harmony and Conflict itu, beliau berkata setiap kaum perlu memikirkan komuniti yang lain dalam sebuah masyarakat majmuk.

“Kita perlu membuat yang terbaik untuk negara,” ujar beliau.

Sambil itu, Dr Lim menyifatkan Dr Syed Husin sebagai seorang yang mempunyai minda yang bebas, lembut dalam tutur kata, boleh berjenaka dan berprinsip teguh.

Katanya, peranan beliau bukan sahaja boleh dilihat dalam bidang intelektual malah sebagai aktivis politik dan kemanusiaan.

“Beliau boleh mengejar nama atau gelaran tetapi apa yang dibuat Dr Syed ialah mencurahkan segala apa yang beliau ada untuk mendapatkan kesamarataan dan keadilan untuk semua rakyat Malaysia,” katanya.

Majlis pelancaran dan diskusi ini turut dihadiri oleh pelajar daripada beberapa institusi pendidikan di sekitar Selangor.

Bagi kebanyakan pelajar yang pertama kali menghadiri program seumpama itu, mereka berharap ia akan diteruskan lagi pada masa depan.

Mohd Ashraf Ahmad Takim, 18, daripada Inpens International College, program berkenaan memberi beliau banyak pengalaman.

“Saya dapat mempelajari lebih dekat mengenai ISA dan demokrasi,” katanya.

Bagi Mohd Zul Azri Radzuan, 22, peluang menghadiri majlis sebegini begitu berharga.

“Buku hasil tulisan Dr Syed Husin ini memang agak berbeza daripada buku-buku lain yang pernah saya baca. Ia memberi faedah kepada pelajar seperti saya, selain meluaskan fikiran,” katanya.

Perasaan sama dikongsi Syed Mohamad Khalid Syed Adnan juga daripada Inpens International College.

“Program sebegini dapat meningkatkan ilmu dan pengetahuan awam. Begitu juga apabila kita didedahkan dengan karyawan yang selama ini kita tidak kenali,” katanya.

Beliau berkata program seumpama ini wajar menjemput lebih ramai pelajar pada masa akan datang. – NOOR ALLIA KASSIM

Ku Li sertai PKR?

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags , , on November 13, 2008 by ckchew
KEBELAKANGAN ini desas desus bertiup kencang mengatakan bahawa tokoh veteran Umno, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah bakal menyertai salah satu komponen parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan) tidak lama lagi.
Bagaimanapun, Ahli Dewan Rakyat Gua Musang belum memberi kata putus walaupun telah ditawarkan beberapa kali oleh komponen Pakatan itu.
Melihat kepada kecenderungannya, Tengku Razaleigh dikatakan lebih berminat menyertai Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) berbanding PAS dan DAP kiranya dia sudah berkerat rotan dengan Umno dan Barisan Nasional.
Menjelang pemilihan Umno bahagian Oktober lalu, Tengku Razaleigh pernah mengeluarkan kenyataan akan terus kekal dalam Umno dan tidak bersedia menganggotai mana-mana komponen parti Pakatan.
Dalam masa yang sama, beberapa kelompok penyokongnya yang setia dengannya dilaporkan pernah menggesa Tengku Razaleigh berubah angin kerana Umno tidak lagi relevan dengan senario politik negara ditambah ada cetusan supaya beliau kembali menerajui kerajaan negeri Kelantan andai Menteri Besar, Tuan Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat mengambil keputusan berundur diri pada masa akan datang atas masalah kesihatan.
Dikalangan mereka beranggapan Tengku Razaleigh berupaya merancang pelbagai dasar pembangunan yang baik untuk negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang itu dan keretakan hubungan yang didakwa melibatkan kerajaan negeri dan kesultanan Kelantan sekaligus mampu ditangani dengan mudah.
Dalam pada itu, Ahli Majlis Pimpinan tertinggi PKR, Khalid Jaafar ketika ditanya menyarankan partinya menjemput Tengku Razaleigh hadir dan diberi peluang berucap sempena Kongres Tahunan Nasional yang akan berlangsung pada akhir tahun ini.
“Itu pendapat saya secara peribadi…beliau patut dijemput hadir dan berucap,”ujarnya.
Desas-desus kemasukan Tengku Razaleigh ke dalam PKR muncul awal bulan lalu apabila pertemuan beliau dilaporkan membuat pertemuan dengan penasihat PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim; penasihat DAP, Lim Kit Siang dan Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
Pada pertemuan tersebut, mereka dilaporkan berbincang mengenai pembentukan konsep kerajaan perpaduan.
Khalid berkata, walaupun ditolak oleh Umno, ahli parlimen Gua Musang itu patut dijemput atas kapasitinya sebagai orang lama dan berpengalaman dalam politik Malaysia.


Jika kebenaran ini menjadi realiti….Ku Li catat satu lagi sejarah. Dengan penyertaan beberapa tokoh Gerakan dan Umno termasuk Datuk Fauzi di Pahang dalam Pakatan nampaknya makin bertambah mantap lagi gagasan pembangkang dalam menghadapi pelbagai cabaran mendatang.

S’gor bantu penghuni PPR bayar sewa

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 13, 2008 by ckchew

Kerajaan Negeri Selangor akan membantu golongan yang tidak berkemampuan yang tinggal Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) untuk menyelesaikan masalah sewa mereka.

Menurut kenyataan pejabat menteri besar Selangor, kerajaan negeri yang prihatin terhadap kebajikan dan keselesaan rakyat, begitu komited untuk menyelesaikan permasalahan yang timbul ekoran daripada kenaikan kadar sewaan bagi PPR.

“Golongan yang benar-benar tidak berkemampuan, iaitu mereka yang mempunyai pendapatan isi rumah kurang daripada RM1500 sebulan dan golongan kurang upaya (OKU) akan diberi bantuan untuk menyelesaikan masalah bayaran sewa mereka,” kata kenyataan Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor hari ini.

Menurutnya, permohonan bantuan boleh dibuat melalui Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor yang terletak di Tingkat 5, Podium Utara, Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.

Selain itu, menurut kenyataan itu lagi, kerajaan negeri juga akan mempertingkatkan pengurusan dan penyelenggaraan di sesetengah PPR yang dirasakan kurang sistematik.

Langkah itu, tambahnya, bagi memastikan kediaman yang disediakan adalah selesa serta setimpal dengan nilai sewaan yang dibayar oleh penghuninya.

Sejajar dengan matlamat tersebut, katanya, kerajaan negeri akan menubuhkan satu perbadanan pergurusan bagi mengawal selia dan mengurus semua PPR di Selangor.

Ia bertujuan untuk memastikan kerja-kerja penyelenggaraan dan pembersihan kawasan perumahan terlibat dilaksanakan mengikut spesifikasi yang ditetapkan.

Bagaimanapun, menurut kenyataan itu agi, kerajaan negeri akan sentiasa memantau bagi mengelakkan dari adanya pihak yang tidak layak, cuba mengambil kesempatan untuk bantuan yang diberikan.

“Kerajaan negeri akan senantiasa memantau dan seterusnya mengambil tindakan tegas ke atas mereka yang sengaja membuat bayaran lewat atas alasan tidak berkemampuan sedangkan sebenarnya berkemampuan,” katanya.

State rep Adit’s entry to boost S’wak PKR

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , , on November 13, 2008 by ckchew

Tony Thien | November 13, 2008 Mkini

Independent state assembly person Gabriel Adit’s decision to join Parti KeADILan Rakyat (PKR) is expected to give a big boost to the opposition party as it prepares for the next state elections due in 30 months.

MCPX

Adit, 58, is a four-term representative who retained the predominantly-Iban Ngemah seat in the 2006 state election on an independent ticket.He will officially hand over his membership application form as well as those from his supporters during a 300-table dinner organised by ‘Friends of PKR’ in Sibu on Saturday. Adit is the organising chair of the event.

It is learnt that many members of a Dayak-based state BN component party will also be handing over their application forms to PKR advisor Anwar Ibrahim, the guest-of-honour, for the evening.

Several top Pakatan Rakyat leaders from PKR, DAP and PAS as well as their state leaders will be present to witness the event.

beginda mindaMalaysiakini also learnt that Beginda Minda, the ex-publicity chief of PRS president Dr James Masing-led Balleh division who made the news recently with his call on Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu to resign, and his supporters are also expected to join PKR at the function.

Adit is one of the two Independent assemblypersons in Sarawak. Now that Adit is joining PKR, Dr Jonical Rayong, who contested under the Sarawak National Party (Snap) banner but quit the party soon after, will become the sole Independent state representative.

Although several leaders of state BN component parties have been reported in a national daily as saying they are not perturbed by the news of Adit’s impending move to join PKR, it has come at a time when there are also reports of groundswell support for PKR, especially in the rural areas.

‘Most popular party‘ among Dayaks

An opinion poll conducted after the March 2008 general election among the Dayaks in Sarawak indicated that their most popular party is PKR.

There are several reasons why this is so, and among the concerns to Dayaks is the way the present Sarawak government handle the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land issue.

This has seen growing conflict on the ground between NCR landowners and plantation and logging companies and the government and increasing cases of litigation brought before the courts in Sarawak.

Adit was first elected to the state assembly in 1991 and has retained it successfully ever since.

gabriel aditA Canadian graduate in sociology and political science and closely related to former PBDS president and former federal minister Leo Moggie, he is respected within his own community and is known to be patient and not afraid to criticise the state government.

This personality has not endeared him to some top leaders in Sarawak, including the chief minister.

It was hardly surprising that the state BN leadership did not pick him to contest in the last state election which forced him to defend the Ngemah seat as an Independent.

He defeated BN-PRS candidate Alexander Vincent, a Masing relative, by a majority of more than 500 votes.

sarawak breakdown in state seat 131108With Adit joining PKR, the party will now have two state assemblypersons. The other is Dominique Ng who represents the Chinese-majority seat of Padungan.

Adit conceded that there is a limit to what he can do, but by joining PKR he hopes to open the doors for other BN representatives to fight for change which he says looks inevitable, given the growing discontentment among Sarawakians against the state government.

He would not want to say more except that once he is officially in PKR, he will help his colleagues at state and national levels to build up the party’s grassroots where it counts most ahead of the state elections.

Twenty-five minutes too late

Adit told Malaysiakini that over the past several days during the sitting of the state assembly, he was approached by a number of BN representatives who tried to dissuade him from joining PKR after news of his intention leaked.

“I quoted to one of them the title of a Michael Learns To Rock (MLTR) song Twenty-five Minutes Too Late and that I have made up my mind,” he added in jest.

Apart from the opinion poll findings on responses in rural constituencies to PKR, many state BN leaders, especially from the Dayak-based parties, acknowledge the growing anti-BN sentiments on the ground, sparked by issues such as land and certain policies on education and economic opportunities.

But that change may not come easy, with almost everyone acknowledging Taib’s strong and powerful grip on Sarawak’s power politics but one of his senior party colleagues has warned that unless the NCR land issue is resolved, it could potentially become a dynamite to create a political tsunami in the next state election.

But it has been noted that many state BN top leaders appear to be still in a state of denial, believing that under Taib’s leadership the state BN will remain formidable and should be able to remain in power for some time to come.

However, if Adit and more BN elected representatives who, to quote him, have a bitter-sweet experience inside BN, follow him to PKR, that might change the perception.

There are 29 Dayak-majority seats, 27 Malay/Melanau (Muslim)-majority seats and 15 Chinese-majority seats in the 71-seat state assembly.

Presently, DAP has six seats, all Chinese-majority, PKR one Chinese-majority seat and Independents two Dayak seats.

BN’s Sarawak United People’s Party (Supp) could end up even worse in the next state election with the DAP expecting to make further inroads.

PBB’s Malay/Melanau-majority seats may be tough to crack but PKR is confident of giving PBB a run for their money given the known dissatisfaction within the Malay community against the state leadership over a number of issues.

The opposition will have to win half or more of the Dayak seats plus a majority of Chinese seats as well as a number of Malay/Melanau seats to topple the state BN government.

Remove personal differences

PKR’s prospects have been bolstered by a growing number of bumiputera professionals joining the party. It does not lack potentially good candidates to fill the many seats.

Supporters are urging PKR state leaders to remove personal differences and close ranks as well as for the party at the state level to forge a better working relationship with Sarawak DAP.

It’s not clear what role the other state opposition parties Snap and Star will play.

It is possible that if a broader understanding can be reached they will get to contest some seats if the right candidates come around, without opposition parties taking on each other for the same seats.

Learning from past electoral experiences and the need to avoid a clash among themselves, DAP and PKR are likely to agree on seat allocation, especially in Chinese-majority areas.

Sources said that the PKR national leadership want to see the party’s state organisation further strengthened, after Adit’s entry into the party, with strategies more focused on the objectives it has set out to achieve in Sarawak.

The question ahead of the huge Sibu gathering is after Adit’s entry and that of his supporters applying to join the party at the same time, what significant impact will it have especially in the rural areas.

Will, as the Ngemah state representative hopes, it open the doors for not just more BN reps but also the grassroots of other Dayak-based parties to join PKR?

Caucus wants JAC to review jurist promotions

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat, politics with tags , on November 13, 2008 by ckchew
By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 – The newly-elected chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus on the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi to include the promotion of judges among the key responsibilities of the soon-to-be-formed Judicial Appointments Committee (JAC).

“What we want is not only the appointment of judges… but also the promotion of judges, especially in light of the appointment of Tan Sri Zaki as Chief Justice,” said Karpal Singh, its first chairman.

He added: “You can’t have independence of the judiciary with a former Umno disciplinary head in it, whatever he may say.”

Zaki was a former legal advisor with Umno. He catapulted into infamy as the newly-appointed Chief Justice early this month.

His fast-moving career had broken many norms, raising eyebrows and causing many tongues to wag at the perceived irregularity within the judicial promotion system. He was a lawyer last year until September when he was promoted to become a Federal Court judge and subsequently Court of Appeal president before arriving at his present position.

Karpal Singh told reporters in Parliament after its inaugural meeting that he was delighted to learn that the government was now preparing the Bill for the setting-up of the JAC to be tabled in Parliament in this session.

But, he stressed that the JAC should be a “high-level commission” with members appointed directly by the King.

“We don’t want the Judicial Appointments Commission to end up like Suhakam, no teeth, no bite,” the Bukit Gelugor MP quipped, referring to the eight-year-old Malaysian Human Rights Commission, which is widely-perceived to be ineffective.

The caucus was formed in Parliament at lunch time today. About 30 lawmakers attended its first meeting, including the sole representative from the Barisan Nasional Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

It was a poor turnout, considering the fact that the Dewan Rakyat is currently in session, unlike the earlier parliamentary caucus against the Internal Security Act, formed in September this year while the House was in recess.

Six MPs from the Pakatan Rakyat coalition were selected to be in the caucus. They are: Wee Choo Keong (DAP-Wangsa Maju), Yusmadi Yusoff (PKR-Balik Pulau), M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat), Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah), Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman (Pas-Pengkalan Chepa) and Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Pas-Parit Buntar).

Karpal Singh clarified that the de facto Law Minister Nazri was not in the committee but had been requested to enlist the participation from among the government alliance lawmakers to ensure bipartisanship in the caucus.

The position of deputy chair will be elected from among the BN lawmakers. MI

Minister will attend Pakatan Rakyat judiciary caucus

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 The parliamentary caucus on the integrity and independence of the judiciary mooted by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, which will hold its first meeting at lunch time today, received support from an unexpected source Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

Aziz, the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs as well as the de facto Law Minister replacing Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, told reporters in Parliament this morning that he would be attending the caucus meeting.

“Yes, I’ll be attending today. I support the caucus for integrity. Integrity, it is very important,” he said, paving the way for what is hoped will finally culminate in a full-fledged bipartisanship in Parliament.

Opposition MPs had attempted to form a bipartisan parliamentary caucus against the Internal Security Act in September when one of their own, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, was arrested and detained a week under the law.

However, the only Barisan Nasional member they managed to pull into the caucus then was Zaid, who was a senator then.

Nazri today urged his fellow MPs from both the BN government and the Pakatan Rakyat coalition to show their support for the caucus on integrity.

“Everybody should aspire to be of the highest integrity, regardless of BN or opposition,” he added.

Anwar sets up parliamentary caucus on judiciary

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , , on November 12, 2008 by ckchew

From Malaysiakini

By Rahmah Ghazali

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has announced the formation of a parliamentary caucus on the integrity and independence of the judiciary.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament today, Anwar, who is also Permatang Pauh MP, said that the caucus will be established “notwithstanding the initiatives forwarded by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to set up a judicial commission”.

“We have yet to see the papers (on the judicial commission) and I think it is appropriate for the caucus to elaborate on this issue,” he said, adding that the caucus will hold its first meeting tomorrow.

DAP chairperson, Karpal Singh who also attended the press conference, said the caucus was necessary, particularly in the wake of alleged admissions of wrongdoing by newly-appointed Chief Justice Zaki Azmi.

Zaki recently recalled an incident in 1987 where he was blacklisted as a lawyer after he complained about two missing files belonging to his clients.

“It took me six months to be nice, to bribe each and every individual to get back into their good books before our files were attended to,” Zaki was quoted as saying.

However, Zaki has since denied he had bribed any court staff and that his comments were misinterpreted.

“This matter has to be taken further because the chief justice is talking about the integrity of the judiciary and he is an improper person to occupy the position as chief justice,” said Karpal.

All MPs invited

Anwar also said that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nazri Abdul Aziz, was notified of the caucus in his capacity as the minister in charge of Parliament before he went on leave.

“This is so that it has a bi-partisan focus. The meeting tomorrow will discuss specifically the issue of the judiciary,” said Anwar, adding that in order to be effective, the caucus must involve all parties, including BN parliamentarians.

“We will invite all MPs who are interested as that is a standard procedure and we will leave it up to them (on whether or not to join),” he added.

Asked who will be leading the newly set-up caucus, the PKR de facto leader said “it will be decided in the meeting tomorrow”.

“For instance, YB (Lim) Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) leads the ISA parliamentary caucus, and for other caucuses, we will decide who should lead,” he said.

Sivarasa: Don’t call vigil participants, criminals’

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat, politics with tags , on November 12, 2008 by ckchew

PKR vice-president R Sivarasa lashed out against Selangor police chief Khalid Abdul Razak for equating participants with criminals.after permatang pauh 916 an oppotunity to change forum 100908 sivarasa rasiahIn the English daily The Star today Khalid made mention that policemen are not duty-bound not to arrest people while they are singing the national anthem – because if they do so all criminals will use it to evade arrest.

“Are they expecting policemen to stand at attention each time they sing the anthem? If so, what would happen if every criminal that we confront starts singing the national anthem?” the chief police said.

Speaking in his capacity as a steering committee member for Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) – organisers of Sunday’s arrest-marred event at the PJ Civic Centre – Sivarasa said Khalid’s characterisation of the participants was flawed since they were only practising their constitutional rights.

“Such remark is uncalled for especially coming from a top official like him.

“We are all Malaysians and we have the rights to sing the national anthem and he should not equate the peaceful participants to criminals.

“The police should respect the people as we have the rights to peaceful assemblies,” said the Subang MP at a Bersih press conference in Parliament lobby today.

Sunday’s rally had more than 300 people attending – before police broke up the gathering and arrested 23 persons. The rally was held to commemorate the first anniversary of 2007’s Bersih rally.

Bersih engages new EC chief

Few days have passed since the appointment of new Election Commission (EC) chief Abdul Aziz Yusof, but already Bersih wants the former home ministry secretary-general to look into their demands for electoral reform.

Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor) – also a steering committee member – said a heavy responsibility awaits Abdul Aziz.

“We hope the new appointment will speed up the system upgrade in the election process, unlike what happened when it was under the former EC chief where none of our demands were fulfilled,” said Dzulkefly.

The coalition is dismayed that the appointment was decided without consultation with the opposition and electoral advocacy groups.

“The stakeholders only learning about this appointment from media reports is an insult to democracy.

“In most democracies government will consult the oppositon in making such appointment as the perceived impartiality and bipartisan acceptance of the candidate are needed in the management of elections,” said Sivarasa.

The director of PAS research centre said the unilateral decision shows that “the arrogant style is still intact”.

“But it is okay, as long as the new EC chief makes an obvious effort for electoral reform in the general elections to come,” Dzulkefly said.

Also present in the press conference were Dr Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan), Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) and Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera).

The basic demands of the coalition to Abdul Aziz include:

1) A comprehensive overhaul of the electoral roll

2) The abolition of postal voting for the armed forces and their spouses

3) The use of indelible ink

4) Fair access to the media

5) Campaign period of at least 21 days

Abdul Aziz starts after present EC chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman retires upon turning 66 on Dec 30.

Police ‘had done nothing wrong’

In a separate press conference held earlier, Deputy Home Minister Chor Chee Heung defended the police, saying they “had not done anything wrong” when dispersing the crowd that night.

“It does not matter even if the national anthem is being played. If robbers are running around, the police still have to do their job.

“It is not that they are not respecting the national anthem but because their job is paramount important in the country, isn’t it?,” said Chor.

He believes the police were not in the wrong, since it was an illegal assembly.

“If the police feel it (the assembly) might turn unruly, causing a breach in peace, then the police have to act,” he said.

When pressed further on why it was necessary to act against the participants since they were only singing the national anthem, he replied: “If there is an illegal assembly, who can tell what is going to happen?”

PAC Chief Flayed

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 11, 2008 by ckchew

Salahuddin dengar sendiri BTN tuduh Presiden PAS pengkhianat

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 11, 2008 by ckchew

Abdul Aziz Mustafa, Harakah

Ketua Pemuda PAS, Salahuddin Ayub mendedahkan beliau mendengar sendiri penceramah dalam latihan Biro Tatanegara (BTN) memfitnahkan Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Hadi Awang sebagai anasir subversif dan pengkhianat negara.

“Ketika sedang berlangsung salah satu ceramah semasa latihan tersebut, salah seorang pesertanya diam-diam menelefon saya dengan telefon mudah alihnya dan membiarkan talian tidak dimatikan untuk membolehkan saya mendengar ceramah itu.

“Saya mendengar sendiri penceramahnya menuduh Tuan Guru, (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) dan (Lim) Kit Siang sebagai sebagai anasir subversif dan pengkhianat negara,” kata beliau.

Baru-baru ini ketika berucap dalam Dewan Rakyat, Ahli Parlimen Kubang Kerian itu mengulangi pendedahan mengenai perkara itu setelah beberapa kali mendedahkannya.

“Nama Yang Berhormat Permatang Pauh (Anwar), nama Yang Berhormat Ipoh Timur (Lim), nama Yang Berhormat Marang (Tuan Guru Presiden PAS), nama saya dianggap sebagai subversif, pengkhianat negara. Orang merbahaya kepada negara.

“Jadi saya tidak faham mengapa ini boleh berlaku di samping fakta-fakta yang lain kalau saya dedahkan tentang ada modul yang mengapi-apikan perkauman dalam negara kita ini. Inikah dia negara yang kita hendak bina?” kata Salahuddin.

Beliau mengingatkan, negara ini akan runtuh jika isu-isu perkauman terus diapi-apikan termasuk di dalam BTN.

“Dalam diri saya ini Tuan Pengerusi separuh Cina separuh Melayu. Bangsa apa saya ini? Yang Berhormat Pokok Sena (Mahfuz Omar) bapa Pakistan, mak Melayu.

“Jadi kalau kita hendak bermain di atas premis ini kita mengambil BTN ini untuk tujuan ini, saya rasa negara kita akan runtuh.

“Negara kita akan hancur. Negara kita akan menghadapi suatu zaman yang cukup gelap. Kita mereput, kita rotten to the core,” katanya.

Ketika itu, beberapa ahli Parlimen menyampuk dengan kata-kata “hapuskan!” dan “bubarkan (BTN)!”.

Furious debate over Valuecap in Parliament

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 11, 2008 by ckchew
By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 The Federal Government”s pressure on the Employees Provident Fund to inject RM5 billion into Valuecap continued to stir up a flurry of questions from both sides of the divide in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop assured members of the House that the RM5 billion loan would not be used to pay off existing loans.

-The RM5.1 billion that needs to be paid by February 2009 is a loan from Valuecap’s main shareholders, that is Khazanah, Pension Trust Fund Council (KWAP) and Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

“However, these shareholders have agreed to refinance the loan,” Nor Mohamed said in reply to a question from Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.

To a claim by Gombak MP Azmin Ali that the EPF loan to Valuecap was less effective in boosting economic growth than a direct injection into the “real economy” such as is being done in the US and in China, Nor Mohamed replied that the government did not dispute this view and had announced several initiatives towards that goal.

He said that it did not mean the methods were “mutually exclusive” of each other, adding that the EPF, as the single biggest collection of funds in the country amounting to over RM330 billion, must channel its funds towards supporting investment in the real economy.

“This is part of its mandate, for example, through the bonds offered by the corporate sector,” said Nor Mohamed.

He stressed that EPF was not an investor in Valuecap and therefore did not hold any equity in the company.

“Valuecap is not for raising the Bursa Malaysia index or to shore up the market,” he emphasised.

He clarified that Valuecap was a long-term investment institution and would only invest in shares listed on Bursa Malaysia and not in any foreign portfolio.

“It would be used for investments in companies where the share prices are low but have strong fundamentals and potential,” he said, noting that now was a good time for Valuecap to invest.

He assured the House that Valuecap is run by a team of professionals who would provide adequate information on the company so long as it did not jeopardise its investment strategies.

“We will be transparent but whatever we disclose must not jeopardise its investment strategies. We have nothing to hide,” he said.

Minister grilled over broadband project

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 11, 2008 by ckchew

Second Deputy Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop promised to look into the concerns raised on the government’s RM11.3 billion Internet high-speed broadband project.

MCPX

In the Dewan Rakyat today, the deputy minister was grilled by Pakatan MPs led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on why the contract was awarded directly to Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM).

According to Nor Mohamed, TM had “pleaded with the government to have the broadband project awarded to the company as they had wanted to be a part of this important project.”

“Considering this, we had awarded the contract to TM but with a condition, a condition that they be handed the project through a transparent tendered process,” he said.

His explanation however did not satisfy those who had demanded an explanation on the matter but instead invited heavy attacks from the opposition.

“I am questioning the hasty manner in which the contract was awarded to TM, the question of why it was awarded directly to TM when there should have been an open tender process so that the cost can be cheaper,” said Anwar.

Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) then joined in the fray.

“This is an important matter. We are talking about RM11.3 billion of people’s money and we do not know who the people benefitting from this project are. Could it be any of the MPs in the Dewan today?” he asked.

“I can say for sure that the fibre optics that would be used to install the broadband projects would be supplied by foreign companies and the money would flow outside of the country,” he added.

The PAS information chief also argued that it was no longer necessary for the government to use expensive fibre optics to implement the broadband project but could opt for cheaper digital power-lines instead.

BN MPs join in

The deputy minister also came under scrutiny from Barisan Nasional parliamentarians with Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief Azmi Khalid (Padang Besar) querying him on the need to use fibre optics.

“Fibre optics are rather backwards and costly for the broadband project and it is not necessary to use fibre optics,” he said.

At this point, Anwar asked if the government would consider delaying the implementation of the project until all the concerns are addressed.

Another BN MP, Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) also felt that it would be good for the government to review the project.

“It would be good to review it. If we can get it cheaper, why not? The rest of the money can be used for development in rural areas such as my constituency,” he quipped.

Conceding, Nor Mohamed said that he welcomed the suggestions made and the government would look into them – malaysiakini.com

Tribute to YB Manikavasagam (Parlimen Kapar)

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags on November 10, 2008 by ckchew

22 detained last night were released this morning: on video

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat, politics with tags on November 10, 2008 by ckchew

Polis surai perhimpunan, kira-kira 24 ditahan

Posted in Pakatan Rakyat with tags , on November 9, 2008 by ckchew

Anggota polis anti-rasuah bertindak menyuraikan kira-kira  300 orang yang berhimpun di Pusat Sivik Petaling Jaya malam ini.

Pihak polis mula bertindak ketika mereka sedang menyanyikan lagu Negaraku dan bersedia untuk beredar. Sebelum itu, mereka mendengar ucapan ringkas dari beberapa ahli politik.

0rang ramai berjalan menuju ke pusat tersebut sejurus selepas jam 9.30 malam, selepas pihak polis mengarahkan mereka bersurai dari Padang Timur, kira-kira satu kilometer dari situ,. Mereka hadir di padang itu untuk menyertai majlis memasang lilin.

Ketika orang ramai berkumpul di Pusat Sivik itu, sepasukan anggota polis anti-rusuhan dan trak meriam air tiba di situ.

Sejurus kemudian, anggota polis mula menyuraikan orang ramai dengan menggunakan perisai mereka.

Dalam keadaan tersebut, polis menahan ahli Parlimen PJ Utara dari DAP, Tony Pua, Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Kampung Tunku, Lau Weng San serta kira-kira 22 orang lain. Turut ditahan ialah juruvideo Malaysiakini Shukri Mohamad.

“Saya sedang merakam gambar trak meriam air apabila seorang anggota polis mengarahkan saya berhenti berbuat demikian, Dia mengarahkan saya menyerahkan kamera dan pita rakaman. Saya berpusing dan beredar dari situ apabila saya ditahan,” kata Shukri ketika dihubungi.

Menurut saksi, Pua dikasari dan ditolak masuk ke dalam Black Maria. Anggota polis juga dilihat mengejar orang ramai hingga ke dalam sebuah restoran yang terletak di hadapan Pusat Sivik tersebut.

Majlis pasang lilin

Mereka yang ditahan, dibawa ke balai polis PJ. Sekumpulan kecil berhimpun di luar balai sebagai tanda sokongan terhadap mereka yang ditahan, sambil diawasi oleh sepasukan anggota polis anti-rusuhan.

Sebelum ini, majlis memasang lilin anjuran Bersih malam ini dihalang oleh pihak polis yang berkeras meminta mereka yang menyertai perhimpunan itu bersurai.

Majlis tersebut dijadual bermula jam 9.30 malam di Padang Timur yang terletak berdepan dengan Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya.

Bagaimanapun, pihak polis telah mengadakan sekatan di jalan-jalan menuju ke tempat berkenaan seawal jam 7 malam.

Dan apabila hampir jam 9.30 malam, pihak polis meminta orang ramai yang berhimpun di kawasan itu supaya bersurai.

Orang ramai kemudiannya bergerak menuju ke arah Amcorp mall, di mana mereka dan pihak polis masing-masing “tunggu dan lihat”.

Antara yang hadir ialah Raja Petra Kamaruddin yang baru dibebaskan oleh mahkamah dari tahanan ISA, Exco kerajaan Selangor Ronnie Liu dan peguam Harris Ibrahim.

Dan kemudiannya pada jam 9.30 malam, pihak penganjur memberitahu orang ramai di situ supaya bersurai bagi mengelak sebarang masalah dengan pihak polis.

Mereka beredar selepas menyanyikan lagu Negaraku.

Sebahagian daripada orang ramai di situ kemudiannya memutuskan untuk mengadakan perarakan mini dari padang tersebut menuju ke Dewan Sivik PJ, yang terletak kira-kira satu kilometer dari situ. Mkini

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers