Homeless is not a crime

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It is indeed a shame for Tengku Adnan to declare war on the homeless on this holy month of Ramadhan where he showed no empathy nor sympathy for other human beings and their sufferings.

The bottom line is: no one would want to be homeless and sleep under the bridge or by the street by choice. It is the socio-economic situation that trap them into such circumstances.

To explore the policy options in addressing the problem, one need to understand what drive these people to become homeless, especially when the government has been giving a massive cash handouts of BR1M over the past one year, were these people being excluded? Or is it because of high housing cost and rent-seeking behavior of the elites?

[News]

Halt all anti-homeless actions now, CCM tells gov’t

A Christian group has urged the government to halt its onslaught against the homeless and those who assist them, pointing to the irony that this is the holy month of Ramadan.

The Council of Churches (CCM) youth network in a statement today expressed “deep concern” over the “rapid escalation in anti-homeless measures” that the Women and Federal Territories Ministries announced this week.

“(The measures are) oppressing not only some of the most vulnerable in society, but also the very people who are serving and helping the homeless through exercising our national values of being a ‘Masyarakat Sejahtera dan Penyayang’, or ‘A Prosperous and Caring Society’ as articulated in the stated vision of the Department of Social Welfare,” said CCM youth moderator Chrisanne Chin

“The lack of compassion and care shown by these ministers, especially during this period in time, is particularly insensitive to the faith traditions of our nation, as millions of Malaysians fast, pray, and give out of charity,” she said.

She denounced the measures as “harsh and ruthless”, pointing out that an unpublished Women’s Ministry in 2010 showed 15 percent of the homeless are women and 22 percent are above 60.

妈咪学会了… …

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不知不觉,小朋友已经四个月大了。

从三个月到四个月这段期间,小朋友告别了小手套的日子。从学习捉东西,把小手和捉到的东西统统放进嘴里,到学会看和注视、对着镜子傻笑和回应声音、翻身和长牙,小朋友每周都迈入一个新里程碑。

小朋友的成长过程是很让人雀跃和期待的。做父母的几乎每一天都在想,小朋友现在学会了这样,什么时候能学会那样?好像永远有一大堆东西,一样接着一样的,等待着小朋友去学习。

而妈咪学会了什么?

从抱和哺乳宝宝,给宝宝换尿片和洗澡,到逗宝宝笑陪宝宝玩,妈咪学会要照顾宝宝,需要很大的牺牲,而所有可以牺牲的东西,都不重要了,包括睡眠和逛街。

每次看到小朋友天真无邪的笑或嚎啕大哭,心里总是想:这个小东西将会是一生的牵挂,妈咪学会母爱是无私的,总希望把最好的留给小朋友,尽管会受伤也会流泪。

三个月产假结束后回到工作岗位,继续研究工作和政治活动,同时添加新的育儿任务,妈咪学会一个女人能身兼多职,并不是一个天分,而是一个福分,每一步都需要勇气和耐力。

要学的东西真的还有很多很多,妈咪要向小朋友看齐,一起快乐的成长、开心的学习。

Dr M: Rulers must stay out of business, state administration – What about retired politician?

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Malay rulers should not be involved in business deals as their stature would give them preferential treatment and allow them to be taken advantage of, said former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).He told online news portal The Mole that the rulers’ attempt to interfere in state administration and business was a violation of the Federal Constitution and must be stopped.

“We have provided laws and designated our rulers as Constitutional Monarchs. But along the way, they (rulers) do something which is not within their realms. They go and do something and we say nothing,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.

“They go on to do more and more until they become businessmen. They make bids for projects… of course they are highly respected and people don’t turn them down easily.”

He said other people found it difficult to do business as they were unable to compete against the rulers.

“So it becomes necessary to point out this thing. It’s very unpleasant because I respect the rulers.

“They are our rulers, but unless you put a stop to this practice, there’ll be other people who’ll want to make use of the rulers for their own purpose.”

Dr Mahathir was responding to the controversial Johor Housing and Property Bill, which had originally given the Sultan of Johor executive powers in the state administration.

But after public backlash, the Umno-led Johor government amended the bill to restrict the sultan’s powers, just one day before it was tabled and passed on June 9.

Dr Mahathir had written two blog posts which raised the issue of the Malay rulers being used by certain quarters to subvert national policies and objectives.

He told The Mole the people were aware that it was unfair for rulers to be involved in business, although they may not express their anger.

He said people have already began to question why the IPP (Independent Power Producer) project was given without tender.

“Why was there a negotiated tender? They don’t say directly at the rulers, but they ask this question.”

Dr Mahathir was referring to the role of a private firm linked to the Johor Sultan, SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd, in the controversial RM3 billion Track4A power plant.

The Energy Commission awarded SIPP Energy, along with Tan Sri Francis Yeoh’s YTL Power International Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the project through direct negotiations.

YTL has since backed out, after facing public criticism for alleged “crony capitalism”, while TNB said it has not confirmed it was a part of the consortium.

“I think if we give them (the public) a bad impression, they will lose respect. So we want to preserve the respect for the rulers,” said Dr Mahathir.

“You see, because we didn’t put a stop earlier, now it has gone into making it legal, making it something that is permitted legally by the government. That is stepping too far already… we have to stop that.”

Dr Mahathir said the amendments made to the Federal Constitution during his time as prime minister was done to preserve the position of the rulers in the country.

“I don’t want anything that results in ignoring the Constitution to go on because once you ignore the Constitution, someday people will ignore provisions (for the existence) of the Malay Rulers.” – June 23, 2014.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/rulers-must-stay-out-of-business-state-administration-says-dr-mahathir#sthash.jY4PZiUq.dpuf

Fund raising untuk Bersih 2.0

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[Aktivisme]

Bersih 2.0 bakal lancar kempen kumpul dana Ogos ini

KUALA LUMPUR 25 JUN: Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) melancarkan kempen untuk mengumpul dana RM800,000 bagi menjayakan program sepanjang 2014/2015.

Kempen “Bersih: We are the champions” itu bakal berlangsung pada majlis makan malam di Dewan Sivik MBPJ, Petaling Jaya, pada 8 Ogos ini.

maria-chin-abdullahPengerusi Bersih 2.0, Maria Chin Abdullah berkata, NGO itu memerlukan dana untuk melaksanakan tiga program utama yang bertumpu kepada proses persempadanan semula, pendidikan pengundi dan pembaharuan undang-undang.

Katanya, kempen ini penting untuk halatuju baru Bersih ke arah mencapai tahap demokrasi Malaysia seterusnya.

“Rakyat Malaysia telah berdemonstrasi secara besar-besaran demi Bersih.

“Kami juga telah beramai-ramai keluar mengundi pada PRU 13. Tetapi demonstrasi dan pilihan raya tidak akan membawa kepada perubahan jika suara kita masih tidak didengari dan proses pilihan raya masih tidak adil. Oleh itu kerja Bersih mesti berterusan dan menjangkau demonstrasi,” katanya dalam kenyataan.

Maria menjelaskan, Bersih 2.0 akan bekerjasama dengan peguam dan Ahli-ahli Parlimen untuk mencabar Seksyen 9A Akta Pilihan Raya yang menghalang rakyat daripada mencabar daftar pemilih yang diwartakan.

Menurutnya, organisasi itu juga telah menubuhkan Pasukan Tindakan dan Kajian Persempadanan (Dart) untuk membentuk pasukan akar umbi yang berupaya mencabar manipulasi sempadan pilihan raya.

Tambah Maria, Bersih juga merancang untuk mengadakan bengkel pendidikan pengundi di kira-kira 80 kawasan pilihan raya utama, khususnya di kawasan pedalaman dan di kalangan masyarakat terpinggir di Sabah dan Sarawak.

“Kini rakyat Malaysia tak sanggup berdiam lagi,” kata Maria.

“Kita telah dan akan menjadi sebahagian daripada perubahan,” sambung beliau.

Justeru, semua penyokong diseru untuk menyumbang dengan membeli sebuah meja (10 kerusi) di majlis makan malam itu pada harga RM2,000, RM5,000 atau RM10,000. Bagaimanapun, mereka yang memilih untuk menyumbang tanpa membeli meja dialu-alukan untuk menderma.

Derma tersebut boleh disalurkan ke akaun berikut: Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (A/C No: 03000064902, Hong Leong Bank; kod swif: HLBBMYKL). Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi pejabat di +603-7772 3275 atau donation@bersih.org atau layar https://www.bersih.org/champion/

开跑车上班的社会

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男人:马来西亚是一个很不平衡的国家。
我:为什么这么说?
男人:有钱的很有钱,贫穷的很贫穷。
我:你怎么知道?
男人:我整个下午坐在这里喝咖啡,看到至少五部名贵跑车。
我:这有什么奇怪,难道在英国没有人开跑车吗?
男人:不是没有开跑车,而是在工作天,这里的跑车竟然比英国的多,难道这里的人开跑车上班吗?
我:…他们不是开跑车上班,而是他们没有上班…

Akta Hasutan pelindung sang penguasa, bukan rakyat

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[Komen]

3 berita mengenai Akta Hasutan hari ini:-

1. Adun Seri Delima didakwa menghasut kerana mengeluarkan perkataan “Umno Celaka”.

2. Presiden ISMA didakwa menghasut kerana mengatakan orang Cina “penceroboh”.

3. Presiden Perkasa tidak setuju dgn Rang Undang2 Keharmonian Nasional kerana lebih ramai akan terlepas daripada tuduhan hasutan.

Hakikatnya semua pandangan yang dikemukakan dalam mana2 media adalah berbentuk hasutan – samada menghasut untuk bersetuju, bertindak atau melawan.

Asasnya ialah semua orang berhak untuk bersuara, dan orang lain berhak untuk bersetuju atau tidak bersetuju. Saya tidak bersetuju dengan kamu tidak bermakna kamu salah di segi undang2 dan saya betul. Kalau saya terasa diserang secara personal, saya berhak untuk mengambil tindakan undang2 di bawah Akta Fitnah, bukannya Akta Hasutan.

Akta Hasutan memberi kuasa penuh sang penguasa untuk bertindak ke atas kata-kata atau penerbitan yang melawan agenda politik kerajaan, Ia memberi ilusi bahawa rakyat perlu dilindungi dengan Akta Hasutan tapi sebenarnya merampas hak rakyat untuk bersuara dan berfikir.

Akta Hasutan mula diperkenalkan oleh Kerajaan Kolonial British sebagai Ordinan Hasutan (Sedition Ordinance) pada tahun 1938 sebagai salah satu cara untuk mereka membendung penentangan rakyat terhadap kerajaan penjajah dan menyekat gerakan kemerdekaan rakyat yang mula bangkit.

Pada tahun 1947, Ahmad Boestamam, pemimpin Angkatan Pemuda Insaf (API) telah menjadi mangsa pertama Ordinan Hasutan kerana menerbitkan buku “Testament Politik API” telah menggariskan matlamat API untuk “berjuang mencapai kemerdekaan bangsa dan tanahair dengan segala jalan yang terbuka, dengan lembut jika boleh, dengan keras jika terpaksa.”

Bak kata, “Mata pena lebih tajam daripad mata pedang”; dan “Kamu boleh bunuh seseorang, tapi tidak boleh bunuh suatu idea”. Maka Akta Hasutan jelas adalah undang2 zalim untuk melenyapkan idea yang boleh mengugat status quo sang penguasa. Wajib ditentang dan dilawan.

 

If he couldn’t perform as Finance Minister, can he do well as Prime Minister?

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[News]

Najib should resign as finance minister, says former NST editor

 

The former group editor-on-chief of the New Straits Times said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should step down from his finance portfolio for his questionable management of the country’s finances.

In his latest blog posting, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic) said Najib should reconsider his position as there does not seem to be a process of separation of power between the premiership and the finance portfolio.

“If there is a minister who is dissatisfied with the allocation given or the actions of the finance ministry, who do they complain to?” Kadir asked.

The veteran newsman pointed out Najib’s various weaknesses and mistakes as the finance minister.

“Since Najib took over as finance minister in 2009, Malaysia’s economic growth has stagnated around the 5% figure,” Kadir said.

“Between 2009 and 2013, Malaysia’s economic growth was pegged at an average of 4.28%,” he said.

Kadir cited a former finance minister who told him that 4.28% was an ordinary figure.

“This is because an economy like Malaysia’s had the potential to develop and grow at a much faster rate,” Kadir said.

Najib’s tenure as finance minister has seen a sharp increase in spending, compared with his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s.

Kadir said under Abdullah, Malaysia’s spending was 3.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008.

This figure rose to 6.7% of the GDP in 2010, the first budget under Najib’s administration.

According to Kadir, since Najib took over, the average deficit of Najib’s spending between 2010 and 2014 has been 5%, while Malaysia’s fiscal deficit steadily rose.

“In 2009, it was 41.24% of the GDP and in 2010, it was 52.8% of the GDP. For this year, it is estimated to be 54.8% of the GDP.”

Putrajaya’s total debt has increased from RM362.3 billion in 2009 to RM519.3 billion at the end of last year.

“Malaysia’s increasing fiscal deficit and debts prompted credit rating agencies like Fitch to reduce the country’s rating from stable to negative last year,” Kadir added.

Last year, Najib’s move to remove subsidies for fuel and electricity caused public anger, with thousands protesting in Kuala Lumpur on New Year’s Eve against price hikes.

Kadir said a technocrat could also be appointed to the finance post.

“The problem is that Malaysia is facing a shortage of talented economists and financiers, like Tun Daim Zainuddin,” he said, adding that Daim had solved Malaysia’s economic crises on two separate occasions.

“I have always advocated that the premier should not hold the finance portfolio because their expertise in the latter area was insufficient and would constantly be questioned.” – June 18, 2014.

 

Happy PM, sad nation – how long can the country go autopilot before crashing?

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[Editorial]

A happy PM, but a sad nation

Published: 18 June 2014 | Updated: 18 June 2014 8:59 AM

 

In Seri Perdana, sits an increasingly happy and contented man.

Never mind that the country is witnessing early signs of anarchy. Never mind that Islamic religious authorities seem to be setting the agenda for this multiracial and secular country, threatening to do what Boko Haram is doing in Nigeria: destroying Bibles. Never mind that Malaysia is veering so far off course that even its most ardent defenders have lost faith… in everything.

Autopilot

In the serene enclave in Seri Perdana, all is well, according to those who have spoken to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently and some of his advisers. He does not wear the post-GE13 dead man walking look, the look of someone destined for the political scrap heap through a combination of his own ineptitude and the prodding of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, instigator-in-chief.

Why the new bright outlook? The PM and his inner circle believe:

* that the internal challenge from Umno for the top job in the country has all but dissipated with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin disinterested in challenging for the top job in Umno and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi not inclined to be the stooge of Dr Mahathir, a man who sacked him from Umno and detained him under the Internal Security Act.

So by sheer default and perhaps even cowardice on the part of Umno leaders, Najib looks secure as the Umno president and prime minister, foibles and flip-flops notwithstanding.

* that the push back from the centre against the Sultan of Johor’s attempt to snare executive powers has painted him as a leader with a spine and gained some points for the PM across the country.

Putrajaya believes that the majority of Malays and Malaysians want the royal households to behave and yearn for the strong hand of Dr Mahathir in disciplining and curbing their ravenous appetite for power and projects.

And because the Sultan of Johor has been hemmed in by the centre, Najib feels that his government will pick up some brownie points and his image as a weak and indecisive politician will be rehabilitated somewhat.

* that the PM is untouched by the debate on cronyism sparked off by YTL’s Tan Sri Francis Yeoh’s infamous speech several weeks ago.

At a Global Malaysia series forum run by Pemandu, the tycoon had allegedly said that 85% of YTL’s businesses were in Britain, Singapore and Australia because these countries did not tolerate corruption, and practised meritocracy and stood for the rule of law.

He added that in these countries, he did not have to kow-tow to a prime minister before a deal is done. Yeoh later clarified that his words were misrepresented but even a mea culpa did not stop the savage attack against him that followed, leading to searching questions being asked about the YTL’s involvement in a power plant in Johor.

Najib’s team believe that little muck from this debate on cronyism will attach itself to the PM since Yeoh is generally identified as a beneficiary of the Mahathir era.

* that the victory in the Teluk Intan by-election suggests that the worst is over for Barisan Nasional (BN).

So at least in Putrajaya, the feeling is that all is well.

How out-of-touch is this man and his phalanx of advisers? He may be safe from a challenge in Umno but the country is imploding. No one seems to be in charge.

Court decisions are ignored. A ruling by the Attorney-General (A-G) is snubbed by religious authorities. And every day there is a threat being issued by one group of Malaysians against another group of Malaysians.

The East Malaysians are restless. Sandwiched in between all this are state-abetted acts of thievery and plundering on a scale not seen before.

No wonder a latest survey indicates that a very high percentage of Malaysians feel that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The PM’s personal approval rating is still hovering around the 50% mark.

Yet, the occupant of Seri Perdana believes things are getting better. Last night, he issued a statement ostensibly to add some weight to the stalemate issue of seized Malay and Iban-language Bibles that first began on January 2.

Najib asked everyone to respect the A-G’s decision not to charge the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) with keeping the Bibles.

He also urged the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) to discuss with the A-G if it feels that the decision should be reviewed, adding that the solution to the issue should be based on the provisions and spirit of the country’s constitution and law, so that it would be  accepted by society.

That’s what he said, without giving any idea where he stood on the matter.

The simple fact is that we have a weak Prime Minister; an occasional PM. – June 18, 2014.

 

Energy Commission – bye to reform, hello to direct-nego again!

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[Statement]

Privatised power deals show Mahathir-era ‘crony capitalism’ thriving, says Tony Pua

A controversial power plant deal which national utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is now disassociating itself from shows that Dr Mahathir-era crony capitalism still thrives in Malaysia, opposition lawmaker Tony Pua said today.

The DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP accused Putrajaya of awarding a RM3 billion power plant deal called Track 4A to the YTL-SIPP-TNB consortium to appease it for not getting the RM11 billion Project 3A won by state asset manager 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“It is shocking how the Energy Commission has proceeded to make an award for a 20-year concession to a group of companies that didn’t even know that they are going to be working together,” he said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur, referring to TNB’s denial that it was yet part of a consortium despite receiving an offer letter.

The Energy Commission said last month that the YTL Power, SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd and TNB consortium would carry out the RM3 billion 1,000MW to 1,400MW gas-turbine power plant “Project 4A” based on its tender papers for the Project 3B due to the urgency for another power plant.

The award came within three months of Putrajaya awarding Project 3A to 1MDB to build and operate a 2,000MW coal-fired power plant although the company did not submit the lowest tariff for the tender exercise which attracted seven bidders.

“Malaysians can only conclude from this circus that the federal government has decided to fast forward the Project 4A award without any form of tender and transparency, in order to placate YTL Power as well as SIPP Energy which were shortchanged by the Project 3B award,” said Pua, who is also the DAP national publicity secretary.

YTL Power is owned by the YTL group, which pioneered Malaysia’s independent power producer sector during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time as prime minister while SIPP Energy is associated with the Johor sultan, whose business interests are mainly in property.

“The federal government is basically telling these companies that ‘Don’t worry, as long as you allow us to bail out 1MDB, behave by not being critical of the exercise, we will take good care of you, even at the expense of the rhetoric behind Najib’s New Economic Model’.

“In a gist, as long as you scratch my back, I will continue to scratch yours. This is the epitome example of Mahathir-era ‘crony capitalism’ thriving a decade after the former prime minister has retired,” Pua added.

YTL Group managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh had touched off a barrage of criticism this month when he said Malaysia must do away with crony capitalism, with critics pointing out his company had been awarded lucrative contracts in the energy, communications and property sector.

Yeoh had apologised and said his words at a government forum were misquoted.

But Pua pointed out that the award for Track 4A was not only directly negotiated, but also “the terms of the award were vague, unspecific and flimsy, as if it was conducted in an absolute hurry”.

“Neither the size of the plant was fixed nor was the exact tariffs finalised – except to say that it must be ‘comparable to the last tender exercise’,” he said, adding that even the consortium arrangements between YTL Power, SIPP Energy and TNB were up in the air.

He said that the slew of new power plants could lead to higher electricity tariffs for consumers in the near future, adding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would “just deny all culpability by the government as it has ‘no other option’ but to do so”, referring to this year’s rate hike.

The 15% to 17% rate hike from January 1 came despite TNB’s RM4.61 billion profit for the 2013 financial year. It recorded higher profits of RM3.4 billion for the first half of the 2014 financial year, up from RM2.6 billion for the same period last year.

TNB has largely become an electricity transmission company as most new power plants have been awarded to IPPs but on June 3, the utility said it had received a conditional letter of award from the Energy Commission and “TNB is currently evaluating the offer as well as TNB’s role in the project.”

But Pua said TNB has now gone to the extent of disassociating from the project.

He quoted the TNB chief executive Datuk Seri Azman Mohd as saying yesterday, “TNB would like to reaffirm that we have not had any prior discussions with any parties regarding the matter. As of now, we can confirm that we only received the offer letter and refute claims or assumptions that we are already part of the consortium.” – June 17, 2014.