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Monday, September 30, 2013

Education blueprint centred on Malay-policy

Bingkor asseblyman Jeffrey Kitingan argued that what is good and excellent for Malays and Malaysians in the Peninsula may not necessarily be fine for the communities in Borneo
KOTA KINABALU : Pro-autonomy Sabah leader, Jeffrey Kitingan, reiterated his call for Federal to return the education department
under Sabah’s own ministry of education so as to enable the Sabah government to better manage and plan for Sabah’s education and manpower needs to suit the local circumstances.
The State Reform Party (Star) head for Sabah chapter, claimed that the handling of Sabah’s education under the federal ministry leaves much to be desired.
“Under the remote control of the ministry from Putrajaya, the education system in Sabah has totally failed Sabahans and created problems for the schools, teachers and students and parents alike.
“With due respect to the Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister, making a few trips to Kota Kinabalu a year for meetings without visiting the rural heartlands, will not make the minister understand the problems in Sabah,” he said in a statement today on  the visiting Muhyiddin Yassin who arrived here yesterday for a two-day visit to Sabah.
Kitingan said the scenario is made worse with political events included in those visits leaving little time for proper government business.
“The lack of voice or outspokenness on education in Sabah does not mean everything is well here” he said adding that it is just that public outcry and confrontation has never been the hallmark of Sabahans who are warm, friendly and accommodating.
“Like cancer, the tell-tale signs and symtoms of the failed system is evident everywhere.
“The national education blueprint has failed to address the needs of the Sabahans and Sarawakians as it appears to be centred on the Malay national policy and Peninsula-centric.
“There is not even a footnote for Sabahans and Sarawakians who are ethnically not Malay but of diverse ethnic groupings, more than 31 alone in Sabah, and with different mother-tongues,” he said.
Rise in complaints
Yesterday, Kitingan also issued a statement calling on Muhyiddin to bring in the RM2 billion the state needed to repair roads in the state as pointed out by the state JKR director, John Anthony, recently.
Kitingan further argued that what is good and excellent for Malays and Malaysians in the Peninsula may not necessary be fine for Bajau, Bisaya, Kadazandusun, Murut, Bruneian, Kadayan, Suluk, Iranun, Iban, Dayak, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Lumbawang, Ubian, Bugis and the like in the Borneo states.
“The rise in complaints on Sabah education including where even simple routine transfers of teachers and students from one school to another or to another district needs to be approved from headquarters in Putrajaya reveals simmering discontent and dissatisfaction with the system of federal control.
“The Education Director does not even have the authority to accept the resignation of teachers!” he pointed out.
“The suggestions by the Sabah Education director to handle school affairs including repairs and maintenance of schools and the recent retirement of the previous director and joining the opposition speak volumes of the hidden problems and cover up by the authorities.
“The growing trend of non-Chinese enrolling in Chinese schools portray a lack of confidence in the education system and school syllabus corresponding with the drop in the quality of education in the national schools,” he said.
Kitingan further pointed out that the recent calls by Sabah Umno leaders led by the Assembly Speaker, Salleh Said Keruak and educators to empower the Sabah Education director shows that it is time for the federal leaders to pay serious attention to the education system and its administration in Sabah.
“Like the saying goes, “there is no smoke without fire”. Like treatment of cancer, remedial surgery and removal of the cancerous part needs to be done.
“The present education policy need to be revamped to suit Sabah and Sarawak conditions respectively and the administration and management needs to be handed back to the respective governments.
“The public institutions in Sabah like Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Industrial Training Institute (Institut Latihan Perindustrian), Sandakan Polytechnic, MRSM and the like also need to be handed over to the Sabah government,” he said adding that the education of Sabahans is of utmost importance.
“We cannot continue to export our people to do factory jobs in the Peninsula and Singapore” rued Kitingan as further proof of the failure of education in Sabah.
He stressed that the federal Umno/BN government need to start treating Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners and not as the 12th and 13th subservient State of Malaya.
“If they need a lesson on the history of the formation of Malaysia in 1963, and not gaining independence in 1957, they should call up Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who had advised the federal government to start treating Sabah and Sarawak as equals to Malaya before the discontentment boils over,” he added referring to Razaleigh recent remark over the matter at a forum in Kuala Lumpur.

Mutton-seller loses house, plans to sue bank

Mutton-seller claims that a bank has high-handedly sold his house to a moneylender, which he owed RM50,000.
PETALING JAYA: Mutton-seller A Muthukrishnan is planning to sue a commercial bank for supposedly high-handed selling of his house to a moneylender.
He also claimed that the moneylender had hired thugs to attack him last year when he refused to transfer ownership of the house to the moneylender as he had failed to settle a RM50,000 personal loan that he took in 2006, causing him to lose a thumb.
Muthukishnan bought a unit of double-storey terrace house in Selayang Baru, Batu Caves in 1997 with a housing loan secured from the bank where he paid a monthly installment of RM1,000.
However, he started defaulting on the monthly repayment and the bank sold the property to moneylender.
“In 2008, I was shocked when the bank informed me that a third party has requested for the property redemption sum and later bought the house,” he said, adding that he had approached the bank on the matter and was advised to lodge a police report.
Muthukrishnan also claimed that despite the police report, there was no action.
“I have also made at least 40 complaints to Bank Negara, the police, Tribunal for Consumer Claims, Bar Council, Malaysia Licensed Money Lenders Association and several ministries in hope they are able to help me to resolve this matter,” he said.
When asked if the bank had offered assistance, Muthukrishnan claimed that the bank had offered money on several occasions but declined to reveal the amount.
“With the bank offering me money, it is an indication that something is wrong,” he said, adding that he wanted the house instead which was valued at about RM700,000.
When contacted Standard Chartered’s head of business and corporate communications Ridzuan Kamarudiin said that they were looking into the matter and would assist Muthukrishnan to resolve the matter if it was within their means to do so.

Public service must be clean, incorrupt: Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong

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(Today Online) -  “This is your command responsibility, you cannot devolve it to your subordinates, you cannot leave it to your procurement or financial officers. You are the boss, you are in charge.”
SINGAPORE — As the Government sets out to translate its strategic policy shifts into programmes that will improve the lives of Singaporeans, a major determinant of its success will be citizens’ trust, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
He said the public service can strengthen this trust by working together as one, placing Singaporeans at the centre of its work and upholding the highest standards of integrity.
“Ultimately, integrity is not about systems and processes but values,” Mr Lee told 250 public service leaders gathered at its annual planning session. “The government must have a culture that doesn’t tolerate any wrongdoing or dishonesty and the public officers must have the right values — service, integrity, excellence — and each officer and the service as a whole must take pride in being clean, incorrupt.”
Calling on public service leaders to take the lead, the Prime Minister added: “This is your command responsibility, you cannot devolve it to your subordinates, you cannot leave it to your procurement or financial officers. You are the boss, you are in charge.”
The Public Service Division yesterday announced several measures to strengthen integrity within its ranks. From today, all public officers will need to declare within seven days whenever they visit the local casinos more than four times a month or if they buy an annual pass. For certain groups of officers, tighter rules will apply.
While the Government is adapting its structure to new needs, Mr Lee said issues will increasingly straddle multiple ministries, as they are inherently complex and inter-related. Thus, Mr Lee outlined three approaches that the public service should adopt, so that it can adapt to these changes.
First, he said that the public service has to present a “seamless and coherent experience” to Singaporeans, as it is “frustrating for the public to deal with multiple agencies and conflicting policies. And over time, the public will lose trust in the (public service) if it can’t figure out itself”.
The Prime Minister cited an example of a member of the public calling the National Environment Agency about a snake spotted near Tanglin International Centre. The officer fired a series of questions to ascertain the location and the right government agency to call, but the case was eventually dealt with by notifying the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, a non-government organisation. Now, calls on wildlife issues are directed to a single agency, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, under the first-responder protocol.
Second, the public service must be responsive to the needs of those it seeks to serve, identifying and solving problems before they become serious, Mr Lee said. Government officers, however, have to discern between valid and self-serving requests, he added. And if in a situation where the public may be wary of providing candid feedback to a government agency who is also the regulator, public service officers would then have to “go the extra mile to build that trust, to get people to open up and to tell you what is really happening”, he said.
And as they focus on their agency’s priorities, Mr Lee reminded public service leaders to maintain a national perspective. “You must uphold our national interests (and) our wider common good … you cannot be captured by your own bureaucratic perspective,” he said.
Third, public service leaders must also pay close attention to service delivery, which is usually handled by junior and mid-level staff at the frontline, Mr Lee said. Frontline staff must be trained and given adequate resources to meet the public’s rising expectations. This could also involve giving encouragement and standing by staff during tense moments.
The Prime Minister, however, stressed that Singaporeans have a role to play. He gave the example of motorists physically abusing Certis Cisco enforcement officers and said that such actions are unacceptable.
“There has to be courtesy, there has to be correctness and if anybody abuses government officers who are doing their duty properly, we have to take action against them,” added Mr Lee. “The government officer must behave properly, so too must members of public.”

Mufti stoking fire with ‘Malaynisation’ plan, Sabah politicians say

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(MM) - Malaysia could drown in a lethal brew of religious bigotry and racism if Sabah Mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar succeeds with his proposal to make Malay all natives who embrace Islam in the north Borneo state, a Barisan Nasional (BN) leader has said.
Other Sabah politicians have also warned that the Islamic cleric’s suggestion betrays the spirit of Malaysia’s formation in 1963 and may even be part of a bigger conspiracy by Peninsular Malays to dilute the local identity and assert greater control over the resource-rich state.
“I think the Sabah mufti is playing a dangerous game of race and religion... It’s not for him to say, it’s for the people to determine what they are,” Tan Sri Bernard Dompok told The Malay Mail Online in a phone interview yesterday, referring to Sabah natives who profess to be followers of Islam.
Dompok is president of Sabah-based United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), which is a member of the ruling BN coalition.
He said the mufti’s statements were devoid of reason, and added, rhetorically, “How can your race change when you convert to a religion?”
“The mufti’s call is a lethal brew of religious bigotry and racism,” he said.
“These are the people who are fanning these type of sentiments when in fact Malaysia was formed out of Borneo people, Singapore, Malaya wanting to form a nation where they could develop together,” he added, referring to Bungsu.
Dompok was not alone in his view.
The former federal minister’s UPKO colleague, Komulakan chief Ewon Benedick, and Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan of the Independent State Reform Party (STAR), both ridiculed the idea that a person’s ethnicity could be changed through religion.
“I have relatives who are Muslims but will always call themselves Kadazandusuns. In UPKO, we have members who are Muslims but will never refer themselves as Malays. You definitely cannot synonymise [sic] religion to race,” Benedick said, as reported by news portal Borneo Insider.
“A Muslim Kadazandusun will always be able and allowed to celebrate our native festival and traditional such as Kaamatan and subjected to the Native law which a Muslim Malay will not be entitled to,” he said. 
The politicians were responding to Bungsu, who stirred a storm last Saturday with his proposal for a programme to “Malaynise” the state’s non-Malay Bumiputera Muslims, citing a need to unite the country’s Muslims.
Kitigan went further and voiced the unease felt by many Sabahans over the long shadow cast from Putrajaya over the Land Beneath the Winds.
“I think part of the Malaya agenda is to take over and colonise Sabah and control Sabah politically without us realising it.
“Secondly, they should not impose anything that would lose the individuality of Sabah and Sarawak,” the Bingkor state lawmaker told the Malay Mail Online, describing the diverse ethnicities found in the two Borneo states as being the foundation for their unique character.laya is taking over Sabah.
Kitingan said he was worried that Sabahans would be sidelined should the proposed plan succeed.
He said the state’s indigenous Muslims might lose their rights in the Native Courts that have long dealt with land disputes involving their native customary rights, if natives were to see their ethnicity changed into Malay.
“You have to abandon all...you must leave your language, your culture and your identity,” he said when speaking of the consequences of forcing Sabah natives to change their ethnicity to Malay.
The Sabah mufti was among several panellists who spoke at a Muslim symposium in Putrajaya on September 28 on the theme of the “Malay Leadership Crisis”.
He told a thousand-strong audience that many of the indigenous Muslims in the north Borneo state still refused to call themselves Malay, unlike ethnic groups like the Javanese and Bugis in Peninsular Malaysia who today identify themselves as belonging to one Malay race.
The next day, Penampang MP Darrell Leiking refuted Bungsu’s claim, saying that Sabah’s indigenous Muslims do not share the same language nor lineage as Malays on the peninsula.
But Bungsu also boasted of a “successful” mass “Islamisation movement” of Sabahans in the 1970s, which according to him, had played a role in making Islam the religion of the state.
In the original 20-point agreement drawn up before the formation of Malaysia, it was agreed that there should be no state religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya would not apply to North Borneo.
The Sabah Constitution was amended in 1973 by the state government to make Islam the religion of the state of Sabah.
“This will be recorded into history and if not being properly handled by the authority could become a time bomb for racial polarisation and disharmony in the future. 
“It was hurtful to know that the plan was now being openly exposed,” Benedick was quoted saying of the historical Islamisation process.
Muslims now make up 65.4 per cent of Sabah’s population according to the latest census in 2010, up from 37.9 per cent based on a North Borneo census in 1960, three years before its independence. 

Foreigners Stay Away From Malaysia 30-Year Bond

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(WSJ) - With markets jittery over the looming shutdown of the U.S. government, Malaysia's central bank sold 2.5 billion ringgit of 30-year bonds, the country's longest-maturity offering ever, but foreign investors stayed away.
Malaysia has seen cash flow out of the country as investors became convinced the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee would scale back the Federal Reserve's monetary easing—also known as quantitative easing or QE—sending the local currency down 9% from its peak.
"If we look at the flow from the last few weeks since FOMC, we've seen a big outflow from this side. That has left foreign investors less interested," said Wan Mohd Fakruddin Razi, chief investment officer at MCIS Zurich Insurance Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. Investors aren't willing to take the currency risk and "bring in new money," he said.
One concern among investors has been Malaysia's debt. The country had $145 billion of local-currency government bonds outstanding—one of the highest levels in the region—as of June 30, according to the Asian Development Bank. Indonesia has $89 billion of outstanding government bonds, Thailand has $104 billion and Vietnam has $26 billion.
The inaugural 30-year ringgit issue, which matures in 2043, priced at 4.935%, was oversubscribed by nearly 2.5 times. U.S. Treasurys of similar maturity yielded 3.7%. The bond will be used to fund Malaysia's multibillion-dollar infrastructure program and extend its debt profile.

Auditor-General ticks off taxman over wasteful spending

The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) wasted more than RM9 million in various costs during the relocation of its processing centre from Pandan Indah to Bangi, revealed the 2012 Auditor-General Report.
Besides spending RM4.7 million in rental costs, the IRB spent an additional RM505,600 from October 2011 to February 2013 on utility bills and for hiring security firms.
The report found that the IRB paid RM529,733 in consultancy fees to four firms, and described the payments as wasteful because the reports issued by these firms could not be used.
An additional RM3.27 million was incurred in the course of eight Job Change Orders which had not been approved by the Economic Planning Unit.
The IRB's new processing centre in Bangi, built on a 3.1-acre land bought from the Selangor Economic Development Corporation, was approved in the 9th Malaysia Plan.
Construction of the RM57.6 million facility was awarded to S.N Akmida Holdings Sdn Bhd, but the Auditor-General Report stated that the project's management was less than satisfactory.
One of the weaknesses highlighted in the report was the delay in the project's completion by 643 days.
Although the project completed in October 2011, the contractor had failed to get safety approval from the Fire and Rescue Department.
The design of the building and the quality of work was also not satisfactory, the report said.
The IRB also took nine months to decide where its customer service centre should be located at the new facility.
The Auditor-General Report advised the IRB to plan properly in preparing its project brief.
It also urged the IRB and the Works Department to ensure the main contractor be held responsible for overall planning, design and management.
The Works Department should also take action against the main contractor for failing to supervise the project properly, which resulted in substandard and shoddy workmanship, the report added.

After 75 years, a farewell to the Lok Ann


Pieces of deep-red paper are plastered on the walls of the the Lok Ann restaurant in Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur, with sad messages of farewell from loyal patrons.

NONEIn turn, a banner outside the premises thanks patrons for their support over the last 75 years of the operations, under three generations of the same family.

The restaurant closed its doors after a full day’s business at 6.20pm yesterday. The hotel upstairs will follow suit later this month.

NONEThe premises have to be vacated under a land acquisition order issued last June, after the owner refused to sign an allegedly unfair agreement with the company building the mass rapid transit system.

Although a challenge has been filed in court, a ruling is only expected in six months.

“There are a lot of memories here,” reminisced Lok Ann spokesperson Judy Tan.

Lok Ann Hotel operator Steven Yong said the building was designed by an English architect, and that it is the only one of its kind in Jalan Sultan.

NONEIf every one of the old shops in the area is removed, he noted, then the world-famous Jalan Petaling tourism district will lose its main attractions.

Yesterday, about 100 heritage activists from the NGO Kaki Jelajah Warisan and supporters gathered to write messages of farewell.

A banner was hung up to protest the government’s ‘ brutal destruction’ of the city’s cultural heritage.

‘I want to complain. The government has colluded with businessmen, plundered land to build the MRT and is putting up a 118-storey ‘fake heritage’ skyscraper,’ reads the banner.

NONEOrganiser Cheng Fui Lien said the activity was to prevent the Lok Ann from fading away silently, and to step up public awareness of the need to preserve the culture heritage of Kuala Lumpur.

Herbal tea hawker Tong Yu Cai, who operates opposite the Lok Ann, said the demolition of buildings along the street is one reason why tourist arrivals in Jalan Petaling have declined.
“I have been doing business here for 40 years. Usually there are lots of tourists, but there has been sharp decline in recent years. The reason? There is no more old things to see, so why would they come?” he asked rhetorically.

Don't sell your votes, says Umno sec-gen


Ahead of the Umno elections, the party's secretary-general has urged its grassroots members not to sell their votes or they would end up with leaders who will ignore them.

The root cause of corruption in the party is not Umno itself but some leaders who crave top positions above all else, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said in an interview. 

NONE"If we are willing to sell our votes, we have a price. What will be the outcome?" Tengku Adnan is quoted as saying at www.umno-online.com.my

"For sure, a point will be reached when the people we elect will not care about us and we will just be trash to them because these leaders will say: ‘I have paid up, why do I need to care?'"

Tengku Adnan in the report also praises Umno for being a truly democratic party, as any person could rise and contest for a post in the Umno. 

Making a comparison with the Pakatan Rakyat parties, he criticised the opposition for aping the Western style of liberal democracy, which he dubbed "democrazy" or "demokasi."

Meanwhile, Umno Youth head Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar denied talks that Irwan Ambak was his proxy candidate to help split the votes, even though they have family ties.

"I neither encouraged nor asked him to pull out. I left it open," Khairy is quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia. "However, he must understand that this is a big field and not a small field and it is serious."

Excluding Khairy, four other candidates are fighting for the post of Umno Youth chief, which Khairy has held since 2009.

Irwan is one of the nephews of former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, while Khairy is Abdullah's son-in-law.

GLC forces activist to resign after Perak verdict


An activist appealing a guilty verdict for participating in an assembly against the 2009 Perak takeover was forced to resign from a government-linked company (GLC) yesterday, or face termination. 

Bad Latif Mansor, who was in the senior management in the company, said that he was informed of this when he returned to work on Sept 23, 10 days after the guilty verdict. 

“The letter form the human resources (HR) department stated that I had a choice of either resigning or being sacked. 

“I opted to resign, even though some have urged me to fight this. I feel if I did fight it, I would only be ‘cold-storaged’ at work, and I do not want that,” he said when contacted. 

The father of four said that the HR department informed him that the decision was in accordance with the code of conduct of the company. 

“They said that this was part of the appointment letter I signed, so I will consult my lawyer on this,” he said. 

However, he noted that the company had said that it will compensate him for his loss of employment.

perak bn takeover protest mosque tear gas attack incident kuala kangsar rally 060209 31Bad Latif and 12 others, including a cancer patient, were sent to jail on Sept 13 when their lawyers’ verbal application for a stay of sentence pending appeal was rejected. 

Mostly in their late 40s, they were released after their lawyers fileda written application at the Taiping High Court for the stay of their sentence of two years’ imprisonment and RM5,000 fine, pending appeal.

The Kuala Kangsar Sessions Court found them guilty of taking part in an illegal assembly in Kuala Kangsar to protest against the appointment of Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir after the BN takeover. 

Earlier, Selangor government news portal Media Selangorku reported that Bad Latif’s wife, a homemaker and fellow activist, had planned to sell their home to keep the family afloat if her husband’s application for a stay of sentence was rejected. 

Zahid lauds DAP's compliance in CEC re-election


In a surprising show of gentlemanly politics, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today praised DAP for its compliance to hold a re-election for its central executive committee (CEC).

Zahid said he had yet to receive an official report from the Registrar of Societies (ROS) on whether last Sunday’s re-election conformed to the rules, but said DAP had made a “good effort” in holding the new polls.

“The re-election saw DAP making a good effort to obey the ROS’ directive (to hold fresh polls) and to abide by their own party constitution,” he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Ahmad Zahid even congratulated DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for the smooth progress of the special congress where the re-election was conducted.

“Personally, I would like to congratulate my friend, Lim Guan Eng, who managed to execute a re-election in a peaceful manner and according to DAP’s own rules,” he said.
‘Deregistration risk’

The ROS had demanded that DAP hold a re-election after the party admitted to a tabulation error at its initial party polls in December last year.

This had created uncertainties for the DAP, which feared de-registration on the eve of the May 5 general election.

However, the party had accused ROS of being politically-motivated but finally agreed to hold a re-election to put the risk of de-registration at an end.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid launched Registration Day at the National Registration Department headquarters in Putrajaya.

There, an amused Ahmad Zahid was informed that there were 364 individuals who were also named ‘Ahmad Zahid’ and a Sarawakian who shared his exact full name.

Later, Ahmad Zahid said he would like to invite these individuals to this same event next year.

“I am not kidding, I will ask all the 364 ‘Ahmad Zahids’ to be invited,” he said.

Genting crash driver had 16 summonses, confirms ministry


PARLIAMENT The driver of the ill-fated stage bus which crashed in Genting Highlands, killing 37 people, had 16 summonses to his name, the Transport Ministry has confirmed.

Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told the Dewan Rakyat today that 15 of those summonses were for speeding, while another was for obstructing traffic.

However, no blacklist action could be taken against the driver because he was not charged in court for the offences, the deputy minister said during Question Time in response to a question from Abdul Ghapur Salleh (BN-Kalabakan).

[More to follow]

Health Ministry spends RM320k on FB, Twitter


AUDIT REPORT The auditor-general (AG) questioned the Health Ministry's payment of RM320,000 to two companies to enhance the ministry’s social media presence by developing two Facebook andTwitter accounts.

NONEThe expenditure, during Liow Tiong Lai's tenure (left) as minister, comprise payment of RM199,068 to Eficaz Media Sdn to develop the firstFacebook page for the ministry’s anti-smoking ‘Tak Nak merokok’ campaign.

The second Facebook page and the Twitter account were developed by Astonish View Sdn Bhd for the 'Kempen intervensi penyakit tidak berjangkit' (intervention campaign for non-contagious diseases), costing RM120,500.

The AG in its 2012 audit report commented that the scope of the two companies’ jobs were almost identical and so questioned why Astonish View was given a price of RM120,500 to develop Facebookand Twitter, while Eficaz Media was given a higher amount to develop one Facebook page.

It noted that Eficaz Media was appointed for the period of July to Dec, 2011 and full payment was made based on the number of ‘Likes’ received on the Facebook page, set at 100,000.

However, the report noted that by July, 2012 the number of ‘Likes’ had diminished by 3.58 percent or 3,460.

After the contract elapsed, the report also noted that the Facebookpage in question was not updated.

In the AG's opinion, the Health Ministry should consider employing either one of the two companies to manage its Facebook andTwitter accounts as there are similar information in the quotation for both companies.

“The ministry must also ensure the social media is relevant and up to date,” it said in the report.

The Health Ministry, in its reply, stated that it would update its work specification and tender to make sure it is clear and specific. It also assured that it would update the Facebook page to ensure there would be more ‘Likes’.

'What of domestic violence between unmarried couples?'


While proposed amendments to the Penal Code attempt to address domestic violence, it would still leave many perpetrators untouched, says a coalition of women's rights groups.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said this is a cause of concern as 54 percent of domestic violence cases last year did not occur between married couples.

Such oversight, including other proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (PCA), may have stemmed from the lack of consultation, JAG said in a statement today.

"With this in view, JAG calls for the proposed amendments to be halted immediately, so that civil society and other stakeholders can be consulted meaningfully on these proposed amendments before they are passed into law," it said.

According to JAG, police data show that domestic violence more commonly involves former spouses, parents, children, siblings and other members of households.

"The proposed amendments need to be extended to former spouses and other family members as defined in the Domestic Violence Act," it said.

According to the Penal Code Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament last week, the maximum penalty for causing physical hurt is doubled if the perpetrator is found to be married to the victim.

For example, if a person is convicted for grievously hurting someone, he/she can go to jail for seven years under Section 325. However, if the victim is his/her spouse, he/she can go to jail for 14 years.

Severe penalty useless if enforcement is lax

In their lengthy preliminary comments on the amendments, JAG said mandatory jail terms for spousal abuse may also discourage victims from reporting domestic violence.

"JAG proposes mandatory rehabilitative counselling instead, and for judges to have discretion on imposing imprisonment."

It also called in question the failure to introduce marital rape into the Penal Code, despite it being recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Commending the attempt to penalise violence against women more severely,  it said, however, that such efforts would be in vain if enforcement of the already existing laws was lax.

"Poor enforcement results in, among others, low conviction rates. No matter how heavy the punishment, non-implementation of enforcement will not deter perpetrators.

"Resources must therefore be put into strengthening existing systems in the implementation and enforcement of laws, in training officers of the law and making clear guidelines in implementation of laws, especially in sentencing," JAG added.

'Review extension of NS director's service contract'


PAS parliamentarian for Sepang, Hanipa Maidin, has questioned the extension of the service contract for National Service (NS) director Abdul Hadi Awang Kecil.

NONEAt a press conference at the Parliament lobby today, Hanipa (right) cited the number of deaths among NS trainees as a factor against the year-long extension of the contract, and urged a review.

He had earlier attempted to file a motion to discuss the instances of fatalities in NS camps, but speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected the bid.

In a parliamentary reply last year, the government had said there were 19 deaths as at June 2012.

[More to follow]

Auditor-General's 2012 report released today


PARLIAMENT The 2012 Report of the Auditor-General on the various ministries and their subsidiary companies was tabled in Parliament this morning.

The report comes in a total of 32 volumes, copies of which were given to all 222 parliamentarians.

NONEUnlike delays in the previous years, the AG's 2012 Report was this time tabled on time, before the tablling of Budget 2014.

Malaysiakini is scouring through the 32 volumes to determine if the money of taxpayers has been well spent by the government.

In his foreword, Auditor-General Ambrin Buang says the reports are based on programmes/activities and projects of the ministries or government departments.

In general, he says that there are still weaknesses in improper payment, works/supply/services, works not according to specifications, wastage, weakness in management of the assets, not supervising the works tendered.

In the previous report, the AG highlighted several anomalies and irregularities in government spending, while noting that the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled state governments had improved in their financial management.

Tweeting his initial observation, Ong Kian Ming (DAP-Sri Kembangan) noted that Khazanah employees had  RM1.26 million of undeclared credit card bills.

[More to follow]

PCA changes being prodded through Dewan Rakyat


PARLIAMENT The Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (PCA) Amendment Bill was tabled for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today, despite opposition and civil society calls for it to be deferred.

ahmad zahid hamidiHome Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi(left) read the Amendment Bill for the second time, to enable debate to begin.

At the same time, PKR’s Gombak MP Azmin Ali has claimed to see “signs” that 10 other Bills before the House may be deferred as the current sitting will conclude tomorrow.

He told Malaysiakini that he had met both Ahmad Zahid and speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, seeking more time for the Bills to be debated.

However, deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee said any such deferment will depend on the government's discretion and that a decision will be made later.

[More to follow]

Don't take the side of 'criminals', Zahid tells NGOs

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has warned NGOs and lawyers against taking the side of ‘criminals’ in their opposition to the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (PCA).

“Let not any lawyers, individuals or NGOs try to defend the acts of criminals,” he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Ahmad Zahid was responding to queries about concerns by the Bar Council as well as some BN component parties towards the amendment bill that will re-introduce detention without trial.
NONEHe said the NGOs and lawyers should not question the government’s good intentions and gave an assurance that the revised PCA will only be directed at criminals.

Ahmad Zahid added that the government was determined to have the bill passed in this parliamentary sitting.

“There will be no postponements,” he said curtly, adding: “I will personally table the bill for second reading in Parliament today.”

However, Ahmad Zahid appeared open to the possibility of changes to the bill, saying that any such changes would be done at the parliamentary committee stage.

“If there are any changes, it will be brought to the committee level on condition that it is brought by government or opposition MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, not outside,” he said.

Zahid mum after faux pas

Ahmad Zahid refused comment about the brickbats he had received for suggesting that the revised PCA had no detention without trial.

“I am going to deliver my explanation during the debate, they (critics) may raise all the issues there.

“I am open to it but don’t ever debate it in the media, please use the right forum which is in Parliament,” he said.

Zahid’s previous public remark about the PCA in which he equated judicial review to a trial had earned him a series of stinging criticisms from opposition MPs, including urgings for him to take lessons from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Dr M warns about that risky business called rebellion


Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had accused his arch-nemesis Anwar Ibrahim of attempting to replicate an Arab Spring on Malaysian soil, once again warned about the perils of such a rebellious endeavour.

NONEIn his latest blog posting, the former premier claimed that a bad government was better than a destablised government.

Although Mahathir was talking about the possibility of military intervention in Syria, his posting also reaffirmed his views on the political developments back home.

“People who rise up against their government must know that it is risky and success is not guaranteed. And outside help cannot be depended upon. Such help would tarnish the image of the rebels. They would lose the support of many,” he said.

“We see this happening in Egypt. Some people are already beginning to think that (Hosny) Mubarak’s rule was better. At least the country was stable and people could go about their business and earn a living.

NONE“With the demonstrations against Mubarak and then against (Mohammed) Morsi (left) and now against the military rulers, the instability is hurting ordinary people. They wish the rebellion had never taken place,” he added.

Next generation more ‘appreciative’ of democracy

While regime change might be desirable, Mahathir noted that it was wrong for the West to force it on people who might not be ready for it.

The process, he said, must be through education and the slow spread of the principles of democracy and its weaknesses.

“The focus should be on the next generation, which would be more appreciative of the good points of democracy and understand how it works,” said the Malaysia’s longest-serving premier, whom critics claim that his 22-years in power was marred with flagrant violations of human rights and democratic principles.

“The most important point is that some would lose in elections.  They must then be patient enough to wait for the next election.

“If the government is really bad, it would not win the next election. The losers in the last election may then have a chance to win.  And when they win a genuine regime change would take place,” he added.

anwar ibrahim at black 505 rally in padang merbok 6Following the 13th general election, Anwar (left) and the opposition bloc had accused the ruling coalition of using fraudulent means to remain in power.

The opposition then kick-started its “Black 505" campaign, which Mahathir and BN leaders described as an attempt by the opposition leader to ignite a rebellion similar to the Arab Spring.

Similar accusations were also levelled at electoral watchdog Bersih during its recent mammoth rallies.

Cops lose weapons, customs lose shoes


The Auditor General 2012 report has revealed that the Royal Malaysian Police recorded a total of 309 missing items in the form of firearms, handcuffs and vehicles.

Whereas, it also reported that the Royal Customs Department wasted a whopping RM600,000 after it purchased 7,659 pairs of shoes which were not according to specification and badly damaged.

NONEAs for the police, the missing items were recorded between 2010 and 2012, resulting in losses amounting to RM1.33 million.

The AG reported that handcuffs topped the list of missing items at 156, followed by 44 weapons and 29 police vehicles.

However, the types of missing weapons which account for 14.2 percent of the items were not specified.

Other items reported missing included 26 walkie-talkies, six cameras, four computers, 22 radios and others.

Selangor recorded the highest number of missing items with 36, followed by Penang (28), and Johor and Federal Territory recording 23 items each.
NONE
The auditor-general also reported that there was unsatisfactory management in the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters and three state police headquarters.

The AG reported that the management with regard to the loss of police assets was unsatisfactory as there were many losses recorded in 2010 and 2011 which remain unresolved and surcharge was imposed.

"Besides this, information on the loss of assets and the status of investigation between Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur and other state police contingent headquarters needed to be properly aligned," the report stated.

Police to come up with monitoring system
The police, in its reply between May 23 and June 27 this year, stated that it would come-up with a system to monitor the loss of assets and this was being developed by its information technology unit.

"The force would also develop a special team to identify weaknesses and propose improvement in investigating the loss of assets including disciplinary action to be taken on those who failed to abide by the orders," it added.

The police also noted there was a discrepancy in the statistics as there was no secretariat to monitor the losses and for the items to be deemed non-recoverable or permanent loss.

The police assured that it would come up with a standard operating procedure on what is to be done if there was a loss of the force’s asset.

NONE"The SOP will be formulated by the end of December 2013," the AG report stated.

The AG report noted that in some instances, the police were late in lodging reports on the missing assets.

Meanwhile, on the shoes, the AG report stated that the shoes from 2009 were badly damaged after it was kept in a store for three years.

Furthermore, the report added that the sizes do not match with the officers. Tests conducted on the shoes also found the soles to be brittle.

Wow ... Wardina ...?

Wow ... Wardina ...?
"Secara realitinya dunia seni tidak begitu cantik dan tidak sesuai lagi dengan jiwa saya"

Wow ...?

Dah dapat RM 13 billion, minta lagi RM 14 billion

Blog beritaterkini.my 

Bajet Tambahan 2013
Adakah anda merasakan kerajaan Malaysia sekarang ini sedang berada dalam landasan yang betul bagi mengurangkan kadar perbelanjaan & hutang negara yang bernilai (KLIK SINI) selama ini? Benarkah?

Bajet Tambahan 2013

Realitinya bulan ini, kerajaan sekali lagi tampil di parlimen dengan membentangkan rang undang-undang perbekalan tambahan buat kali kedua tempoh 2 bulan untuk tujuan mendapatkan dana tambahan sebanyak RM14 bilion. RM14 bilion? Ya…..untuk tujuan perbelanjaan pengurusan kerajaan Malaysia.
Sekitar 2 bulan lepas, kerajaan Malaysia telah berjaya mendapatkan RM13 bilion. Bermakna di sini, dalam tempoh 2 bulan sahaja kerajaan Malaysia berusaha mendapatkan bajet tambahan sebanyak RM27 bilion. Adakah ini berpunca daripada perancangan & pelan pengurusan kewangan yang teruk sehingga menyebabkan berlakunya pembaziran & pemborosan dalam menggunakan dana & kekayaan negara oleh beberapa kementerian?
Bajet Tambahan RM27 Bilion Imej Tidak Baik Kepada Ekonomi Malaysia?
Ia sekaligus akan terus memberikan imej yang tidak baik di akalangan agensi penarafan kredit seperti Fitch Rating yang boleh memburukkan lagi keadaan nilai matawang ringgit Malaysia kelak.
Dalam pada masa yang sama seperti yang pernah Berita Semasa katakan sebelum ini (SEPERTI DI SINI), khabar angin di Malaysia sangat boleh dipercayai. Khabar angin yang acapkali menjadi realiti, di mana khabar angin yang berasas.
Sebelum ini Berita Semasa mengingatkan kepada semua bahawa hutang negara semakin meningkatkan. Bukan tidak mengambil tanggungjawab untuk saling memperingati supaya tidak boros membelanjakan duit rakyat & negara. Nah….sekarang ini sama-sama akan merasai terutamanya kesan kepada rakyat Malaysia disebabkan pengurusan hasil mahsul negara dan ekonomi yang lemah.
Harga Minyak Ron 95 Tidak Akan Naik Dalam Masa Terdekat!
Harga Minyak RON95 2013Walaubagaimanapun, apa sahaja jangkaan termasuklah penganalisis ekonomi dan juga PDAM (DI SINI) Berita Semasa sama sekali yakin yang mana kerajaan Malaysia tidak akan naikkan lagi harga minyak RON 95 dalam masa terdekat ini (seperti mana kenyataan rasmi oleh Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yaasin) baru-baru ini apatah lagi mengambil kira persediaan menjelang Pilihanraya Kecil Dun Sungai Limau tidak lama lagi & Bajet 2014, tetapi ianya tidak mustahil akan naik pada masa hadapan cuma alasan yang diberikan perlulah munasabah.
Jikalau alasan berlaku penyeludupan di sempadan memang rakyat tidak boleh terima, sebab kerajaan telah bayar gaji & tanggungjawab kepada Unit Pencegah Penyeludupan (UPP) dan perkara ini hanya berlaku di beberapa negeri di Malaysia ini dan melibatkan kawasan yang kecil sahaja
Berdasarkan semakan Berita Semasa merujuk pemerhatian penganalis dan pakar-pakar ekonomi meramalkan akan berlakunya perbelanjaan operasi yang lebih tinggi bagi tahun 2014 melibatkan emolumen & perkhidmatan awam.
Bagi Berita Semasa. Cukuplah. Usahlah membazir. Buangkan ego dalam diri setiap pemimpin politik yang ada. Tampil mengaku dengan kesilapan sendiri & paling pentingnya…berusaha untuk berubah ke arah yang lebih baik.
Inilah masa dan ketikanya untuk kerajaan Malaysia mengurangkan pembaziran dana negara. Jika anda sebagai pemimpin negara & pemimpin politik sendiri tidak menunjukkan contoh yang terbaik, bagaimana mungkin anda mahu memberikan kepada rakyat Malaysia yang ada di sini contohnya supaya berjimat cermat ketika berbelanja & mengurus kewagan amasing-masing dengan baik?
“Kepimpinan melalui tauladan”
Memang sangat-sangat pelik, semakin tinggi kenaikan harga minyak dunia, semakin tinggi pendapatan negara. Semakin rendah kos sara hidup di Malaysia. Tetapi….ini tidak berlaku di Malaysia.
Bajet Tambahan US$4.8 Bilion : Perbelajaan Boros & Membazir Kerajaan?
Harga Minyak RON 95 Naik Lagi
Kadang-kadang terfikir juga :
“Malaysia ini ada telaga minyak atau tidak?”
Hakikatnya, bajet tambahan sebanyak RM14 bilion lagi daripada “rakyat Malaysia” adalah satu berita buruk untuk ekonomi negara ketika ini. Sepertimana Malaysia sedang bergelut untuk menangani hutang dan bajet defisit di asaat-saat akhir ini dan perbelanjaan tambahan ini akan memburuk lagi keadaan termasuklah pemerhatian dan pandangan agesi penarafan kredit antarabangsa seperti Fitch Rating.
Dan sekarang bagaimana & apa mekanisme yang akan Malaysia Malaysia gunakan mengurangkan hutang negara supaya kurang daripada 50% daripada KDNK Malaysia?
  • Pada tahun 2009 : Hutang negara adalah sekitar 40% KDNK Malaysia
  • Pada September 2013 : Hutang negara melebihi RM55%
Sama-sama kita nantikan apakah intipasti Bajet 2014. Dan Berita Semasa berharap akan adanya disiplin dalam menguruskan kewangan negara
Najib Hutang Negara
Realitinya, Malaysia masih aman. Disebaliknya, rakyat Malaysia kita sekarang tidak berperang menggunakan senjata dengan musuh, tetapi rakyat Malaysia kita sedang berperang dengan ekonomi diri sendiri  & kos sara hidup yang menjadi musuh yang sebenar sekarang ini. Dalam pada masa yang sama terus mendukung kehidupan mewah golongan kapitalis di Malaysia.
Harapan Berita Semasa, kerajaan Malaysia benar-benar peka dengan setiap permasalahan rakyat Malaysia yang telah memberikan amanah & tanggungjawab mentadbir negara dengan baik untuk kebaikan kami, kita dan anda semua di sini. Apa pandangan balas anda pula?