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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

‘SULU SULTAN’ CASE CRYING OUT FOR ANSWERS


SECRET…..There’s no way the authorities can sweep the Akjan ISA detention case under the carpet.

By : JOE FERNANDEZ

SABAHANS are baying for the blood of one Mohd Akjan Ali Muhammad, a Suluk who claims to be a Sulu ‘Datu’ and was previously once held for distributing MyKads to illegal immigrants in Sabah.

His case itself mirrors that of the illegal immigrants in the state, but he has led an incredibly charmed life so far. Akjan was reportedly born in the Philippines but holds a Malaysian birth certificate as well as MyKad, although he has admitted in the media to holding a Philippine passport as well.

The Akjan case has thrown the spotlight anew on the Philippine claim to parts of Sabah, the continuing influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah, the issuance of local birth certificates and MyKads to many of them and, as previous witness accounts in court in the Likas election petition of 1999 show, their placement on the electoral rolls.

Akjan, in the latest twist, declared himself on Feb 2 in Kampung Likas, Kota Kinabalu, as the Sultan of Sulu, a group of islands in the southern Philippines which once had territorial links with the northern and eastern third of Sabah.

There has been no official reaction so far from the Philippine government on the declaration and this hasn’t surprised Wisma Putra, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry. There is no shortage of claimants to the Sulu throne and Akjan may simply be seen by Manila as another sick joker in the pack.

Even so, Sabahans are more than apprehensive following Akjan’s sudden move, and for other reasons as well. The now defunct Sulu sultanate – formally ended by the Madrid Protocol of 1885 between Britain, Germany and Spain – once ruled, more than 250 years ago (1658-1761), over the northern and eastern third of Sabah as its colonies in North Borneo. This is the basis of the Philippine claim since 1963 to the territory in Sabah.

Many Suluks in particular want their old Sabah colonies back although their homeland is now part of the Philippines which dates back to Feb 13, 1565 and was put together under more than 300 years of Spanish colonial occupation and 50 years under United States protection and administration.

The Manila government is complicit in Sulu demands as evident from the claim that the Sulu Sultanate transferred its control over its Sabah colonies to the Philippines.

Criminal exploitation

The world has moved on, away from enslavement and criminal exploitation, since the end of western colonial domination and imperialism. The Suluks, many being among the 1.7 million illegal immigrants and foreigners in Sabah, want to move back however in time and lord it over the people of Sabah once again.

Sabahans, already seeing themselves and the Sarawakians as virtually colonised by Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) since 1963, therefore naturally see Akjan as the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The police, after holding Akjan briefly, released him suddenly on May 22 with no explanations whatsoever beyond mumbling vague nothings. Akjan reportedly offered, as Sultan of Sulu, to drop the Sabah claim. It’s not known what he wants in return besides the obvious one of recognition as the Sultan of Sulu and no doubt admission to the Conference of Rulers by staking a territorial claim to the northern and eastern third of Sabah.

The reaction in Sabah to Akjan’s release has been fast and furious. The 1.5 million Sabahans are demanding that Akjan be charged with any number of offences, stripped of his Malaysian citizenship, and deported to the Philippines.

Akjan, during his installation ceremony, called on the Suluks – presumably including those in Sabah – to swear allegiance to him. There are as many Malaysian citizens – legally or illegally – as illegal immigrants among the Suluks in Sabah.

The last time that the police nabbed Akjan, in the mid-1990s, he was incarcerated under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) for being allegedly involved in the issuance of MyKads to illegal immigrants and their placement on the electoral rolls.

He was discovered with 2,000 MyKads in his briefcase at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport on his return from Kuala Lumpur. The authorities never revealed who handed the MyKads to him in Kuala Lumpur.

Suspicion has fallen on the National Registration Department (NRD) in Putrajaya which has been linked with the infamous ‘Projek IC Mahathir’ named after the then Prime Minister (Dr Mahathir Mohamad).

Akjan, upon being released from ISA detention, resumed his membership in Sabah Umno and went on to become very wealthy by all accounts, apparently favoured by the powers that be that went out of their way for him.

Standing offer

Moving forward, it’s apparent that the authorities will have to explain Akjan’s mid-1990s ISA detention as well and not just probe him for declaring himself Sultan of Sulu. There’s no way that they can sweep this case under the carpet as on the previous occasion and as with so many other similar cases.

Bringing closure to the Akjan case would not be possible without taking up the standing offer of Batu Sapi PKR division chief, Hassnar Ebrahim, to tell all that he knows about the issuance of MyKads to illegal immigrants in Sabah and their placement on the electoral rolls. So far, there have been no takers. Meanwhile, like Akjan, Hassnar has gone from the proverbial rags to riches.

Hassnar himself was previously detained under the ISA on Aug 9, 1998, after admitting openly that he ‘unknowingly’ issued 15,000 MyKads to illegal immigrants and placed them on the electoral rolls. His confession was recorded years later by Bernama, the national news agency, and published on Jan 19, 2007.

He has also further claimed that ‘other operatives’ in the state placed 135,000 illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls.

These figures are separate from the 193,600 Sabah ICs with old numbers claimed as not genuine by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in Parliament just before it was re-admitted into the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) on Jan 23, 2002.

PBS cited the numbers in running order as H0288001 to H03840000, involving 96,000 holders; H0480001 to H05760000 (96,000); H0609601 to H0610000 (400); H0658001 to H0658200 (200); H0658401 to H0659000 (600); and H0666001 to H0666400 (400). Generally, there are Chinese applicants, for example, for every few thousand IC applications in Sabah. The numbers exposed by PBS do not have even one Chinese applicant.

BN supporter

Two MyKad cases are also worth mentioning in connection with Akjan and Hassnar and any genuine probe – a Royal Commission of Inquiry has been mentioned – into the issuance of MyKads to illegal immigrants in Sabah by NRD in Putrajaya.

Pakistani trader Salman Majid, 49, was ordered released from a pending deportation order in late 2009 after former Sabah chief minister Harris Salleh testified on his behalf in a Kuala Lumpur court. Harris confirmed that Salman had always been a loyal BN supporter and voted for the coalition.

The court promptly declared Salman a ‘Malaysian’. It was even revealed in court that Salman, represented by lawyer Karpal Singh, was born in Pakistan, but held a local Sabah birth certificate, besides a MyKad and a Malaysian passport. Salman is now suing the authorities for ‘compensation’.

Indian Muslim restaurant keeper Mohd Kani Majid, 45, like Salman, escaped deportation after being held on Apriil 10, April 2009, in Kota Kinabalu at the Menggatal detention centre for illegal immigrants.

He admitted in court that he was born in India, arrived in Sabah in 1983, and obtained a MyKad in 1993 along with 100 other Indians and Pakistanis in Papar, Sabah. It’s not clear whether Mohd Kani applied first for Malaysian citizenship before getting his MyKad.

The Immigration Department allegedly seized his Malaysian passport and tried to force him to apply for an Indian passport while he was in detention but he refused. Instead, his lawyers PJ Perira – who also represents Akjan – and Ram Singh wrote to the prime minister on Aug 7, 2009, on his continued detention. On Aug 12, the Attorney-General’s Chambers responded that they had referred the matter to the Legal Affairs Department of the Home Ministry.

The case of the two Majids, Mohd Kani and Salman, along with that of Akjan and Hassnar are enough for the federal government to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the issuance of MyKads and other Malaysian personal documents to illegal immigrants in Sabah by the NRD in Putrajaya and their placement on the electoral rolls.

- Sabahkini

DAP members joining MIC a ‘lie’

A local MIC leader claims only a handful of the 807 are former DAP members. The rest, he adds, are new recruits.

GEORGE TOWN: The claim that 807 DAP members had quit the opposition party to join MIC was a lie, alleged a local MIC leader.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the MIC leader claimed that only a handful of those who submitted their membership forms to party president G Palanivel were DAP members.

According to him, most of them were new recruits.

“We can count with our fingers the number of DAP members who joined MIC that day. Everyone knows it was a farce to show that MIC has regained confidence among the local Indians,” said the division leader.

The revelation, if true, would be a slap in the face for MIC leaders, who organised a major dinner to welcome the new members.

In his speech at the event, state MIC chief, Senator PK Subbaiyah, had claimed that they were all from DAP.

Palanivel, on the other hand, claimed that the departure of DAP Indian members to join MIC showed that Indians had lost confidence in the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

MIC also claimed that the exodus showed that Penang Indians had lost faith in the leadership of Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy and other Pakatan Indian representatives. Ramasamy is the Prai assemblyman and Batu Kawan MP.

Under the Barisan Nasional electoral arrangement, MIC would get to contest the Prai and Bagan Dalam state seats. DAP’s A Tanasekharan was the current Bagan Dalam incumbent.

MIC was said to have shortlisted Penang MIC deputy chairman L Krishnan and Batu Kawan division chief R Muthiah for Prai, and secretary M Karuppan and youth wing chief J Dhinagaran for Bagan Dalam.

Political agendas

Another reliable MIC source said Sunday’s grand event was organised merely to show that MIC was back as a political force to reckon with in Penang after the electoral drubbing in the last general election.

However, insiders claimed that the fanfare also reflected the political agendas of certain MIC leaders.

The entry of new members, which would pave the way for the formation of at least 13 new branches, would be a major boost for Palanivel, who expects to face a strong challenge in the party presidential election next year.

It was learnt that Subbaiyah also wanted to form more branches across the state to give him more options to challenge certain division leaders in the state.

Insiders also claimed that the division chairmen of Tanjung, Jelutong, Bukit Gelugor and Balik Pulau, Batu Kawan, Nibong Tebal and Bagan were at loggerheads with Subbaiyah, the Permatang Pauh division chairman.

It was said that Subbaiyah could be planning to bring in new leaders to oust the current crop of division leaders whom he cannot see eye-to-eye with.

However, Subbaiyah might not find everything going his way because some division leaders were also plotting to replace him as state chief.

Insiders said the leaders might threaten the top leadership that they would leave the party with their supporters if Subbaiyhah was not removed.

Current Bumi economic agenda not viable, says UDA chief


June 01, 2011

UDA was accused of sidelining Bumiputera concerns in the redevelopment of Pudu Jail. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Putrajaya cannot keep throwing money at agencies tasked with furthering the Bumiputera economic agenda without consideration for profit unlike in the past, says Umno leader Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

The UDA Holdings Bhd chairman warned there will come a day when the government, whose finances were “being stretched over time”, would no longer be able to dole out grants to statutory bodies like Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) as it does currently.

He said this was particularly true now as the Najib administration grapples with ballooning subsidy costs and a widening budget deficit following a sharp rise in global crude oil prices.

“The money is to be used in a more efficient manner because the government cannot afford to give funds like it did before,” the accountant by training told The Malaysian Insider last night.

“It has to have a return as well because you need to reinvest whatever that was set aside for the Bumiputera so that the Bumiputera can have future sources of income... instead of being spent 100 per cent.”

The Pulai MP said the expectation that everything must be given on demand to further the Bumiputera cause must give way to a more nuanced allocation of funds.

UDA has come under attack from Umno and Utusan Malaysia for allegedly abandoning the Bumiputera agenda after it chose not to appoint Bumiputera joint-venture turnkey investors for the proposed Bukit Bintang City Centre, located on prime land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle.

Nur Jazlan (left) denied the accusations yesterday, pointing out that the corporatised government agency had no choice but be competitive to survive as it no longer received any direct assistance from the government.

“Most people don’t know that UDA Holdings no longer receives any form of special treatment from the government, whether in the form of grants or cash injections or sale of land at nominal prices,” he said.

The wholly-owned unit of the Finance Ministry, whose assets are estimated to be worth RM2 billion, is over RM900 million in debt and free cash flow of RM90 million now.

Nur Jazlan said UDA also “owes” the government RM104 million, paid market prices for the Pudu Jail land and still has to pay RM134 million in land premiums for the property by September.

He added that the company needed to be prudent and work with strategic partners instead of contractors as the cost of developing Bukit Bintang City Centre could reach as high as RM4 billion.

The UDA board has selected a partner to develop the prime piece of land but several disgruntled Malay businessmen fear it could go to a foreign developer instead of them, as part of the Bumiputera economic policy.

Video can't prove claims of Election fraud, unless it involves Pakatan

vox populi small thumbnail'All MACC has to do, if it is really honest in its duty, is call these people up for investigations before it dismisses the allegation.'

'Video alone can't prove vote-buying claims'

Ferdtan: You can identify the people in the video, you know the location of the longhouse and you see the money.

All you have to do, if you are really honest in your duty, call these people up for investigations before you just dismiss the allegation off-hand. Don't expect others to do the investigation for the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission): that's the job you are paid to do.

Ben Hor: Does the video alone at least allow for the case to be investigated?

There was definitely huge haste to 'investigate' when the alleged Anwar Ibrahim 'sex video' surfaced. Comparing the two, it's clear that the vote-buying is a far more serious matter than a private 'sex scandal'.

What say you now, Royal Malaysian Police and MACC?

Disgusted: If it was Pakatan Rakyat implicated in a video, there would be no need for any solid evidence, just heresay will do for an immediate investigation and to call up the alleged culprits for interrogation, just as in the case of Christians in Utusan Malaysia'sdespicable lie about Christians wanting to install a Christian PM and make Malaysia a Christian nation. Didn't the police quickly acted on that report?

There are two sets of laws in Malaysia: one for Umno, which is lawlessness and anarchy, and another for others.

Sandakan Hadenan: At least the MACC should pretend to investigate and then declare that all is above board. For more intelligent investigators, the video can be a starting point for further investigations.

MACC operations review panel chairperson Hadenan Abdul Jalil, in dismissing the video, while the sex video was investigated from all angles, appears to be under the control of BN/Umno.

Geronimo: "Anyone can act in a video. We can't only rely on (such recordings) because anybody can act" and "At the end of the day, a charge must (be backed with) strong evidence and (must be) in line with the law. We practise the principle of equality (to both the accused and accuser)."

With that, Umno can now drop the charges against Anwar over that nonsensical sex video sandiwara. Such deliberation by Hadenan Abdul Jalil should be applied across the board. What is good for the goose, has to be good for the gander.
My-Cat-is-BB: What is stronger evidence than a video recording? MACC, please explain. What type of evidence do you need to initiate the investigation?

Tamin BN assemblyperson Joseph Mauh Ikeh did not deny, let me repeat here, he did not deny that money was distributed to the longhouses. He called them 'saguhati' and transport allowance. You have the admission here, so please act.

GI Joe: Indirectly, the MACC is implying that Pakatan Rakyat had made the video to frame the Sarawak BN. I expected MACC would say that they are investigating and will act appropriately. It is unbelievable what they had just said.

Although it is possible that the video is not genuine, but shouldn't MACC try to contact the person who revealed the video and start questioning him. Identify the 'actors' and question them.

I assume it is difficult to identify these actors with their clothes on. Go get the help from those police officers who identified Anwar in the sex video.

Anonymous: If anyone acts in a video and maliciously slander other people, isn't it also a crime that you should investigate?

MACC's Hadenan makes it sound like all the commission does is to wait for evidence to drop on their laps. If you want to be good, you would have taken the initiative to contact the NGOs and what not. No witnesses and retraction of statements? Have you investigated why.

To ordinary citizens, all the MACC statistics are just useless numbers when it does not investigate Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and the Scorpene submarine deal.

Anonymous_3ec6: Sex video is evidence, but a video on vote-buying is not. - Malaysiakini

Pro-Lynas thugs too have police 'protection'

your say'Only in Malaysia can violent gatecrashers forcibly end a peaceful protest even under the watchful eyes of the police.'

Uninvited guests crash anti-Lynas protest

Swipenter: "We are from Kuantan, this is the Malay land!" said a man who identified himself as Azman Attar.

How stupid can these 'uninvited guests' be. Even protesting against the deadly effects of radiation, the issue of race has to come into the picture. Maybe these 'uninvited guests' think that the radiation from the Lynas plant has the intelligence to discriminate who can suffer or not to suffer from the effects of radiation from its radioactive waste.

These are definitely not 'uninvited guests' but invited guests of some interested party trying to stir things up. The clue lies in when they uttered "this is Malay land", and that it is the usual modus operandi of the one political party and/or its outsourced organisation that likes to play race game.

FellowMalaysian: This is where things fall out of line. It was a peaceful protest and a sensible way displaying public outrage over a matter of grave concern to citizens.

Why must racial runts and slur be engaged by this unprovoked group of cohorts? And why are the police keeping their eyes closed?

And where's Kuantan MCA chief Ti Lian Ker when we need him as this kind of situation is where he can contribute something positive and make a name for himself as the champion of Lynas issue.

Dood: Only in Malaysia can violent gatecrashers forcibly end a peaceful protest even under the watchful eyes of the police. Instead of arresting the gatecrashers who were getting violent and protecting the harmless protesters, the police let the abuse continue and even told the protesters to disperse.

One also wonders who these so-called 'Kuantan locals' are really working for.

Quigonbond: Reading to the end of the article gives me the impression the police did another 'Bar Council' job on the protestors - letting them fend off a violent crash party. Does this signify a change in Home Ministry tactics? We will not stop you from protesting, but we won't stop someone else from beating you up either.

It's just as good as using FRU against the protestors, and is in fact morally far worse because you are aiding and abetting in criminal violence, which is quite a different class of offence altogether from not having a police permit to hold an assembly.

EugeneT: May I suggest that these arrogant and ignorant pro-Lynas supporters, who at best can only reply with silly retorts such as "This is Malay land!" and brute force, be moved near to the rare-earth plant. Let's see if they are still supportive of it in time.

Kenneth_2585: It is so easy to get emotional once you turn it into racial issue. I pity the people who fight for their future generation's future and yet being harassed.

If you are not being appreciated, why not just move out of the state or better still out of the country? It is sad but the most practical thing to do if you are not of the right colour in this country.

Ghkok: We all have a duty to fight gangsters like these. They are a threat to our country. They are threat to all Malaysians - Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans.

They are willing to allow rare earth factory to pollute the surroundings and the land, and threaten the health of residents of that area - whether Malay, Chinese or Indians. Put simply, they are the enemy of the rakyat.

MySecret: It is obvious these type of modus operandi is so similar to many other gate crashers when the ultra privilege of the existing ruling elites are threatened by the rakyat, be it from toll concessionaires right up to the state assemblies.

Is it any wonder we have thugs in the Dewan Rakyat and MPs who act like its their serfdom to lord over?

Sulaiman: This is an Umno group for sure. What has this country turned into? We now have 'terrorists' to come in every time a group protests a government project.

Are we being ruled by 'errorists'? I think we need urgent international help. Till today the damage done in Bukit Merah has not been acknowledged. People have died as a result of it.

Ong Guan Sin: We start to see a new trend. It used to be 'illegal assembly' - through the Police Act - utilised to crush dissent.

And now that it's proven too tedious to fight in court and courage cannot be dampened, we see gangsters, most probably hired by whoever that is, to stop dissent. Is it authoritarianism for hire? What has Malaysia become?

AnakBangsaMalaysia: These thugs are obviously Umno/Perkasa thugs planted there to intimidate the peaceful anti-Lynas demonstrators.

Their Umno/Perkasa memberships give them automatic immunity against arrest from the police despite uttering threats and attempting to physically assault the protestors and journalists. How pathetic the police have become.

Azman Attar and his thugs should undergo an immediate medical checkup. It sounds as though their brains have already been subjected to a massive dose of radiation.

Mikey: Those of you who are for this Lynas plant, just ask yourself why the Australians won't build it on their own land. The last time I checked, Australia has a lot more land than Malaysia.

After all, it is safe, right? - Malaysiakini

People come first - reveal the power agreements

your say'If Mahathir could compel them to sign the deal with IPPs at a giveaway rate, why can't they be asked to similarly disclose the agreements?'

Minister: Gov't has no power to reveal IPP contracts

Swipenter: This is one of the many ways the Umno-led government abuse and misuse OSA (Official Secrets Act) for the self interests of their cronies in the privatisation of essential utilities.

Sometimes we wonder why we are paying taxes to the government when we still have to pay market price for essential services, which in the first place should be provided at minimum cost to us by the government from taxes collected from us.

To add insult to injury, the government subsidises these privatised operators of essential services at an escalating pre-determined price (profit) over the privatised period and pass the price increase to us, the end-users.

The end-users must stand up to such abuses and vote the BN (Barang Naik) out in GE13. Revenue of Petronas belongs to Malaysians, not to Umno/BN. They are just custodians on our behalf (or so we think?).

Black Mamba: Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin is telling us some cockamamie story. On one hand, he says it's an agreement signed by private entities, why then the OSA is being used?

We were not born yesterday but a good half century ago. You may kid the children who attend the World Youth Day event to defend "your" Putrajaya, which incidentally doesn't belong to you but us, as we are the ones who decide who should be there.

When we throw the BN government away in the next general election, make sure you are around to defend your stand or be prepared to go to prison.

The IPP (independent power producer) deals are no different from PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone) scandal. If there is an iota of neligence, fraud, mismanagement or collaboration to deceive, cheat or mislead the rakyat, the minister shall be held accountable and be scrutinised in the court of law. Be very afraid.

GI Joe: Millions of people are affected by the increase in tariff and yet the government is so concerned about the PPA (power purchase agreement) being a private document and that this cannot be revealed to the public.

I am no lawyer but surely the right of the general public is paramount over the few IPPs. After all, BN always say 'people come first'. Refusing to reveal these documents will only prove that they have something big to hide.

TehTarik: What baloney! Instead of trying to protect the interests of the citizens, the minister is using the OSA to shield the IPPs. So whose interest does the minister represent?

TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad) is a government-linked company and can easily be told that the agreements be made public. Peter Chin, you are the energy minister and can always demand that the contracts be released. What are you trying to hide?

The lopsided contracts are gravely disadvantageous to TNB. Many of these one-sided contracts were signed during the hey days of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. So is Peter Chin trying to protect Mahathir and his cronies?

Burstaxon: I'm resigned to the fact that we get the government that the majority of us voted for.

And apparently the majority of us live hand to mouth, no need to pay income tax, use less than 300 kW/h electricity, less than 20 cubic meter of water, live where there is no toll, can't tell a Cayenne from a Wira, that English is not important, and so forth. Sigh. GE13 won't change a thing.

Save Our Children: What a load of rubbish by an absolute fool. Former TNB chairman Ani Arope publicly said he was forced to sign the IPP agreements. And when he refused, he was sacked.

The agreements caused massive losses to TNB and the public. If in fact such an agreement was signed by a public servant, who is under oath to protect the public interest and the terms of the agreement are so one-sided that no reasonable government official would sign, then such an agreement can amount to an offence under the Penal Code, where the individuals involved can be charged with cheating.

Petronas, TNB and the other signatories of these agreement must be brought to justice and the assets of these companies be confiscated for all the wealth they have stolen from the public. If you don't do that, then you are aiding and abetting a crime.

Bluemountains: Peter Chin is indirectly telling the rakyat that the government has nothing to do with the lopsided PPA (power purchase agreement) and therefore has no power to reveal it.

If it is just between two private entities, how could the government interfere by classifying it under OSA? The rakyat deserves a more intelligent answer.

Fellow Malaysian: The government has no right to get TNB to disclose the IPP agreements? TNB is very much a GLC (government-linked company) and if Mahathir could compel them in the 1990s to sign the deal with the IPPs at a giveaway rate, why can't the government-owned company be asked to similarly disclose the agreements?

Malaysians Are Not Stupid: What is so secretive about a commercial contract that it needs to be classified secret? Surely there are a lot of hanky-panky that don't see the light of day.

Anyway, what is it that the government cannot do if it has the political will to do so? Just amend the act or pass a new act to compel the IPPs to release the contract.

Nicole: Peter Chin has also (in)famously said that nuclear energy is 'green'. Really? He loves to turn us livid.

TC: First we had S Samy Vellu now we have Peter Chin to utter stupidity in public. Do they ever look at themselves in the mirror? - Malaysiakini

Selayang MP Blasts Government Over Power Tariffs Rise


From the MEDIA RAKYAT:

William Leong: THE BN GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO INCREASE POWER TARIFFS IS AN ABDICATION OF ITS DUTIES TO THE PEOPLE

May 31st, 2011 by Admin | 0

The BN Government’s decision to pass the burden of the increased gas prices from TNB and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to Malaysian consumers is an abdication of its responsibility owed to the people. The cause of the increased in the tariff which is about 7% higher from 1st June 2011 and increased every 6 months until 2015, is due to the Government’s unwillingness to review the grossly unfair contracts entered into by the Government with the IPPs and the manifestly improper long term gas supply agreements between Petronas and the IPPs.

The grossly unfair power purchase agreements require TNB to purchase all electricity produced by the IPPs, regardless of TNB’s requirements and at a cost that is more expensive than the power produced by TNB itself. As a result, TNB pays the IPPs a capacity charge which is payment for power produced by the IPPs not required by TNB. There is a 40% excess capacity for which TNB pays capacity charges to the IPPs since 1993.

Under the gas supply agreements, the IPPs purchased gas from Petronas at the price of RM6.40 per Million Metric British Thermal unit (MMBtu) when the production cost is RM15.00 per MMBtu. This was reviewed in 2009 to RM10.70 per MMBtu. It is now increased by RM3.00 to RM13.70 per MMBtu. The Government has agreed with TNB and the power companies for the increase cost of gas to be passed through to the consumers.

By reason of the grossly unfair power purchase agreements and the highly improper use of Petronas to sell its gas production below cost to the IPPs, the IPPs have made super profits since 1993.

The Barisan Nasional Government backed down from reviewing these unfair contracts and also surrendered to the IPPs’ demand by not proceeding with the imposition of windfall taxes in 2008. The Prime Minister’s brother, CIMB Group Chief Executive, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, described the imposition of the windfall tax as “shooting the golden goose”. It is certain that Malaysian consumers are not reaping the golden eggs from the IPP goose. They are paying the cost of maintaining the goose.

In backing down from the review of the unfair contracts and not proceeding with the windfall tax, the Barisan Nasional Government has therefore chosen to protect the profits of the IPPs over the people.

I call upon the Barisan Nasional Government to immediately declassify and make public the power purchase agreements and the gas supply agreements. The public has a right to know the terms of these agreements and to take action to correct the wrongs if the Barisan Nasional Government does not have the courage of conviction to do the right thing.

WILLIAM LEONG JEE KEEN
Member of Parliament Selayang

UMNO’s Unfinished Revolution

R.A.H.M.A.'N'


UMNO's unfinished revolution: one step forward and 2 steps backwards.


We can't go back to 1946 and wished the motivations and inspirations that awoken the Malays remained unchanged. That wish would have to assume that every leader is born at the same time and is of similar constitution- boldness in character, dedication to public service, possessing selfless dedication.


Let me illustrate the stark contrast in character constitution that I refer to.


When Tun Razak died, he had little money. His only liquid asset of any merit was the Magsaysay Award. He didn't have enough funds to finance his medical bills in England. After he died, the government had to step in to give his wife a home for her and her children.


When Tunku Abdul Rahman died he too had no money. A few times he was saved financially by Tun Datu Mustapha.


Let's take the case of a more plebian leader- Khir Johari. When he was alive and in power, all sorts of accusations were hurled at him. I remember looking at a picture of him and his wife donning traditional Chinese costumes wishing the Chinese, Happy New Year. It was probably done in good sport. Towards the end of his life, every one found out he had only one house in Bukit Damansara. Those rights over that house were disputed. In the end he had to leave the house and moved into an apartment. He died in that apartment.


What these examples show is that, by and large, these first generation UMNO leaders were actually of selfless material, enjoying the trappings of power indeed while in office, but taking none after they leave.


Present day UMNO leaders are a world apart. The majority are loud in every sense of the word.


This difference can only be explained by one factor. UMNO has been taken over by leadership of different material who is conditioned by different experiences having less service to the public motives. This may be a shocking admission – but I hope the present day UMNO leadership is aware of the general perception that is getting stronger by the day, that present day UMNO leadership consists of a bunch of sly politicians intent on making hay while it shines.


But certainly, what we could expect is to have those motivations and ideals behind the UMNO of 1946, refined and enhanced. From closed mind to openness, from debilitating traditionalism to modernism. These must the founding principles behind the 'betulkan orang Melayu' drive of Onn Jaafar.


Sad to say, UMNO must bear the primary responsibility over the more or less unchanged mental landscape of Malays in general. UMNO alone is responsible for the regressive ideas of Malays. If they have been sleeping over eons, they now have been given sleeping pills to slumber along while the world passes them over. Over the years, UMNO leadership has caused the motivations and inspirations that moved an entire nation to degenerate into besieged paranoia and parochialism.


So before I go on, maybe it's timely for me to remind Malay readers especially of what Zaaba said some time ago.


I tell you not in mournful numbers

That the Malays are a dying race

I only want the soul that slumbers

To wake and work in these bright days


I tell you not in mournful numbers

The way in which to improve the Malays

I want that each Malay remember

Modest, contented shouldn't be always.


Allow me to explain. What was the catalyst that galvanized the Malay population? Without a doubt, it was the idea of a Malayan Union. Regrettably I am not going to repeat the usual stuff about Malayan Union etc. etc.


Malayan Union must be regarded as a wakeup call for the Malay leadership to understand, that Malay politics cannot remain forever insulated. The rule is that those who failed to adapt perish. Those who failed to acquire tools for survival disappear. The present day leadership of UMNO and UMNO members must be conscious of the bigger designs of the Malayan Union.


UMNO got the Malays a reprieve to adapt. If UMNO fails to do so and Malays do not succeed in adapting, it means UMNO has failed the Malays.


If I were to view objectively the clash between the world represented by UMNO in 1946 and the new world represented by Malayan Union- I would have to say things in the following manner. UMNO's resistance and objection to the Malayan Union then was the result of the awareness of Malay leadership in general, that Malays were not ready for the challenges of an open society. For that is what Malayan Union represented really- an open, competitive and democratic arrangement in the relations of the citizens of a modern world.


Malays were not ready.


The mission of UMNO then would have been only one- to prepare Malays to be ready for the open world. Equipped, competitive and having the tools to do so.


UMNO's mission was never to dig deeper into a trench and cocooned itself and Malays in general. If those were the objectives of UMNO, it was wrong. If these are UMNO missions as understood by present day leadership in UMNO, then they shouldn't be helming UMNO.


Posted by sakmongkol AK47