Justice For All Malaysia

Archive for the ‘good governance’ Category

Sabtu, 1 November 2008 • SUARA KeADILan Online

TAHUKAH anda memberi subsidi kepada kerajaan antara 60 sehingga 72 sen setiap liter diesel atau petrol yang anda beli di stesen minyak.

Ini kerana harga yang anda bayar dipam adalah jauh lebih mahal daripada harga sebenar di loji penapis minyak.

Siasatan Suara Keadilan menunjukkan harga depot diesel di loji penapisan Tangga Batu, Melaka pada 24 Oktober 2008 adalah hanya RM1.78 se liter dan petrol kira-kira RM2.00 se liter.

Harga depot ini diperolehi dari sumber loji penapis minyak Petronas.

Harga di stesen minyak yang terpaksa dibayar oleh pengguna pula ialah RM2.20 seliter bagi diesel dan RM2.30 untuk petrol.

Kerajaan pula berkata harga yang dijual kepada rakyat sudah dimasukkan subsidi sebanyak 30 sen setiap liter.

Jika ini diambil kira maka harga depot yang telah diberikan subsidi sebanyak 30 sen bagi diesel sepatutnya RM1.48 bagi diesel dan RM1.70 pula bagi petrol.

Harga inilah yang sepatutnya dibayar oleh pengguna diesel dan petrol di negara ini bukannya seperti yang diumumkan kerajaan.

Ini juga bermakna pengguna telah terpedaya dengan membayar 72 sen lebih bagi setiap liter diesel dan 60 sen seliter bagi petrol.

Harga depot ialah harga minyak mentah yang telah diproses di loji penapisan dan ia mencerminkan harga sebenar produk yang dihasilkan dari proses penapisan di loji.

Harga depot yang diperolehi adalah berdasarkan harga minyak mentah dunia pada 24 Oktober 2008 iaitu USD64.15 setong (RM229.66 pada kadar nilai pertukaran RM3.58 bagi setiap USD1)

Malaysia mempunyai tiga loji penapis minyak – dua di Tangga Batu dan satu di Kerteh, Terengganu dengan kapasiti penapisan sebanyak 256,000 tong sehari (34,000 tan metrik) atau 47% daripada jumlah kapasiti keseluruhan yang sedia ada di negara ini.

Subsidi didefinasikan sebagai “wang yang dibayar oleh Kerajaan kepada pengeluar atau penjual sesuatu produk supaya harga runcit produk tersebut rendah berbanding kos sebenar atau harga pasaran. Subsidi merupakan bantuan untuk meringankan beban kepada pengguna.”

Apakah sebenarnya kerajaan bercakap benar apabila mengatakan harga bahan api yang dijual kepada rakyat adalah harga subsidi atau sebenarnya rakyat yang ditipu bulat-bulat?

Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam, Ir Khalid samad yang berkelulusan di dalam bidang kejuruteraan bahan api dan tenaga daripada University of Leeds, United Kingdom berkata jika dilihat daripada perbezaan harga di antara harga depot dan harga di stesen minyak besar kemungkinan kerajaan sebenarnya tidak memberi apa-apa subsidi seperti yang diwar-warkan kepada rakyat selama ini.

“Kerajaan perlu telus dan dedahkan kepada rakyat apakah kaedah dan mekanisma harga yang digunapakai untuk menentukan harga minyak supaya rakyat pun mampu menilai pendekatan yang diambil kerajaan.
“Melihat kepada harga yang terpaksa dibayar oleh pengguna berbanding harga sebenar bahan api saya berpendapat tidak ada sebarang subsidi diberikan oleh kerajaan,” jelas beliau.

Khalid yang juga Timbalan Pesuruhjaya (2) PAS Selangor menyuarakan kebimbangan terhadap hujah yang digunakan oleh kerajaan untuk menjustifikasikan kenaikan harga diesel dan petrol.

“Dulu apabila harga minyak dipasaran dunia melambung naik tidak pula kerajaan bising bila mana pendapatan berlipat ganda tetapi sekarang dalam situasi harga minyak menurun kerajaan mula bising pendapatannya berkurangan.
“Sama ada bila harga minyak dunia naik ataupun turun rakyat yang akhirnya menjadi mangsa dan terpaksa menanggung beban,” tegas Khalid ketika dihubungi.

Beliau turut menyarankan agar kerajaan menurunkan setengah daripada harga diesel dan petrol masa kini berdasarkan penurunan lebih daripada 50 peratus harga pasaran dunia.

Ahli ekonomi kanan Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin berpendapat sekiranya benar dakwaan kerajaan tidak memberi apa-apa subsidi kepada harga bahan api maka rakyatlah yang rugi kerana mereka tidak mendapat faedah yang sepatutnya dinikmati.

“Kalau kerajaan tetap mengatakan subsidi bahan api diberi sebanyak 30 sen se liter tidak pula kita melihat kesan kepada penurunan harga barangan keperluan dan perkhimatan.
“Malah apa yang kita lihat harga barangan pengguna dan perkhidmatan tetap tidak turun walaupun harga minyak sudah dipotong sebanyak tiga kali,” Azrul Azwar berkata.

Sebaliknya beliau mencadangkan supaya kerajaan menurunkan harga minyak sebanyak 50 sen sekiranya ingin memberi impak yang berkesan dan bukannya berdikit-dikit seperti yang dilakukan sekarang.

Beliau juga berkata penurunan besar akan memberi kesan positif bukan sahaja kepada kerajaan malah juga pengguna.

“Sekarang kuasa pembeli agak lembab disebabkan tekanan kos barangan yang tinggi.
“Sekiranya kerajaan menurunkan harga minyak sebanyak 50 sen ini akan menyebabkan harga barangan lain turun menurun dan keadaan ini akan menggalakkan pengguna berbelanja.
“Kerajaan pula akan mendapat hasil daripada cukai jualan dan ini sedikit sebanyak mampu menyumbang kepada pendapatan kerajaan,” jelasnya lagi.

Penganalisa ekonomi menjangka trend kejatuhan harga minyak di pasaran antarabangsa akan berterusan jatuh sehingga pertengahan November tahun ini.

Tuan Yang di-Pertua: Saya persilakan Yang Berhormat Permatang Pauh untuk
memulakan perbahasan.
11.31 pg.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim [Permatang Pauh]: Assalamualaikum warahmatullah
hiwabarakatuh, salam sejahtera Tuan Yang di-Pertua. Izinkan saya mengucapkan rasa hormat
kepada Tuan Yang di-Pertua memberi kesempatan berbahas di hadapan Tuan Yang di-Pertua
yang saya kenal sebagai orang yang pendekar dan petah berbicara, berbahas sendiri.
[Timbalan Yang di-Pertua (Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar)
mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]
Saya juga ingin menyatakan penghargaan kepada bekas Menteri Kewangan, Perdana
Menteri, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kerana membentangkan Belanjawan Negara bulan
lalu. Meskipun terdapat perbezaan dasar yang ketara di antara kami dalam Pakatan Rakyat dan
Perdana Menteri, bekas Menteri Kewangan, saya ingin melahirkan rasa hormat dan menghargai
usaha beliau sehingga dapat membentangkan satu belanjawan dalam keadaan krisis yang besar
yang hampir melanda pada ketika itu.
Hanya setelah setengah purnama berlalu, keadaan negara bertambah meruncing.
Keadaan dianggap sudah sampai ke tahap parah. Persoalan yang pertama yang harus kita
bahaskan, adakah wajar untuk kita meneruskan perbahasan tentang satu belanjawan yang
sudah ketinggalan melihat kepada unjuran, akta, data, satu setengah purnama yang lalu dengan
keadaan sekarang. Apakah wajar Ahli-ahli Yang Berhormat di dalam Dewan yang mulia ini
diminta untuk terus berbahas satu belanjawan yang sudah tidak realistik, tidak menepati fakta
dan tidak mampu mengangkat ekonomi dan menyelamatkan negara kita dari kemelut ekonomi
yang kian meruncing.
Saya hargai usaha menteri dan negara, Perbendaharaan, Unit Perancang Ekonomi yang
bekerja bertungkus-lumus menyediakannya. Akan tetapi mereka juga arif dan tahu benar bahawa
DR. 13.10.2008
28
kenyataan dan kegawatan sekarang sudah jauh berbeza. Ini bukan sahaja akibat dari krisis
kewangan bermula dari masalah sub prima yang menelan hampir USD1 trilion. Pasaran kredit
hampir lumpuh, ia bukan sahaja melibatkan industri kewangan besar tetapi telah mengancam
kekuatan industri kewangan dan syarikat kewangan paling besar di dunia, Freddie Mac, Fannie
Mae, Lehman Brothers, Meryll Lynch dan juga AIG yang dianggap satu kekuatan induk dalam
institusi kewangan…

Sila meneruskan bacaan mengenai perbahasan disini:
Perbahasan Bajet 2009, Dewan Rakyat, mula sambungan dari muka surat 28

Perbahasan Bajet 2009, 14 Oktober, bermula dari muka surat 29

But then again, nothing supercedes umno supremity and all its affairs…

———————————————————————————————

Black Friday for Asian bourses, KLCI down 3.6 pct
Wong Choon Mei | Oct 10, 08 5:16pm
Malaysian shares plunged nearly four percent on Friday, as huge overnight losses on Wall Street triggered a domino effect in Asia.

MCPX

The losses in New York, worst than those seen in the immediate aftermath of the Sept 11 attacks, have persuaded investors the string of of multi-billion dollar bailouts plus concerted interest rate cuts will do little to keep a full-blown global recession from occuring
klse asia stock share market down crash turmoil 060307“Everybody is talking about keeping cash. Everybody wants to sell,” said the head of research at a large bank-backed brokerage.

“So what we have is a narrow, narrow door with everyone rushing out at the same time trying to dump as fast as they can. Who would dare come out to buy at this time.”

At market close, the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was down 3.6 percent to 934.01 points.

In New York, the Dow Jones Index had plummetted 7.33 percent last night, while the broader-based S&P Index lost 7.62 percent. The tech-laced Nasdaq dropped 5.47 percent.

Today, the falls across Asia were so severe that the president of the Indonesian stock market once again halted trading, only this time he said the suspension was for an indefinite period “to prevent deeper panic”.

In Japan, the Nikkei plunged 9.6 percent, Hong Kong shares dived nearly 8 percent, while the Singapore Straits Times Index sanked 7.8 percent.

Vicious circle

Later tonight, finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations will meet in Washington to discuss a way out of the banking holocaust, which has been exacerbated by fear of counter-party risk amid a widening vicious cycle of bankruptcies..

“Very frankly, I am not so sure they can achieve much,” Lee Heng Guie, chief economist at CIMB Bank, told Malaysiakini. “They have already tried various ways but it hasn’t worked.”

“Still, the first thing to do is to try to find a way to restore confidence. What is happening is that the pessimism is down-spiralling. No one wants to lend anyone any money. Everyone is afraid of incurring bad debts. Obviously, this is making everything worst.”

Lee suggested one possibility was that policymakers issued guarantees as this could halt the worldwide panic and re-generate investor confidence.

“It really is no point flushing the international money markets with liquidity as they have been doing in the past. What is the point if nobody dares to lend out the money especially to those who need the funds the most to recapitalise.”

Meanwhile, another factor weighing on the Malaysian market is the uncertain political situation as Umno – the largest party – gears up for the election of top office bearers.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi earlier this week had announced plans to step down next March, clearing the way for his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak, to move up the ladder.

Analysts have predicted the local market would continue to soften, unless there was a sharp reversal in the global trend. Some chartists believe the KL Composite may have to test the psychological 900 points before any reasonable technical rebound was possible.

“Investors would want to see what sort of economic reforms or plans that Abdullah’s successor would introduce before they return in any significant way,” said a dealer at a foreign securities house.

Meanwhile, market watchers are also keeping an eye on the 2009 Budget which is due to be debated on Monday when Parliament reconvenes.

ANWAR IBRAHIM: I learned in Economics 101 that those who live by the market must also die by the market.
————————————————————————————————

House rejects $700B bailout in stunning defeat

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer 56 minutes ago
WASHINGTON – In a vote that shook the government, Wall Street and markets around the world, the House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation’s financial system, leaving both parties’ lawmakers and the Bush administration scrambling to pick up the pieces. Dismayed investors sent the Dow Jones industrials plunging 777 points, the most ever for a single day.
“We need to put something back together that works,” a grim-faced Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said after he and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke joined in an emergency strategy session at the White House. On Capitol Hill, Democratic leaders said the House would reconvene Thursday, leaving open the possibility that it could salvage a reworked version.
Senate leaders showed no inclination to try to bring the measure to a vote before they could determine its fate in the House. President Bush, meanwhile, was scheduled to make a statement on the rescue plan Tuesday morning, the White House said.
All sides agreed the effort to bolster beleaguered financial markets, potentially the biggest government intervention since the Great Depression, could not be abandoned.
But in a remarkable display on Monday, a majority of House members slapped aside the best version their leaders and the administration had been able to come up with, bucking presidential speeches, pleading visits from Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and urgent warnings that the economy could nosedive without the legislation.
In the face of thousands of phone calls and e-mails fiercely opposing the measure, many lawmakers were not willing to take the political risk of voting for it just five weeks before the elections.
The bill went down, 228-205.
The House Web site was overwhelmed as millions of people sought information about the measure through the day.
The legislation the administration promoted would have allowed the government to buy bad mortgages and other sour assets held by troubled banks and other financial institutions. Getting those debts off their books should bolster those companies’ balance sheets, making them more inclined to lend and ease one of the biggest choke points in a national credit crisis. If the plan worked, the thinking went, it would help lift a major weight off the national economy, which is already sputtering.
Hoping to pick up enough GOP votes for the next try, Republicans floated several ideas. One would double the $100,000 ceiling on federal deposit insurance. Another would end rules that require companies to devalue assets on their books to reflect the price they could get in the market.
In the meantime, Paulson said he would work with other regulators “to use all the tools available to protect our financial system and our economy.”
“Our tool kit is substantial but insufficient,” he said, indicating the government intended to continue piecemeal fixes while pressing Congress for broader action.
Stocks started plummeting on Wall Street even before Monday’s vote was over, as traders watched the rescue measure going down on television. Meanwhile, lawmakers were watching them back.
As a digital screen in the House chamber recorded a cascade of “no” votes against the bailout, Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley of New York shouted news of the falling Dow Jones industrials. “Six hundred points!” he yelled, jabbing his thumb downward.
The final stock carnage far surpassed the 684-point drop on the first trading day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
In the House, “no” votes came from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle. More than two-thirds of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats opposed the bill. Several Democrats in close election fights waited until the last moment, then went against the bill as it became clear the vast majority of Republicans were opposing it.
Thirteen of the 19 most vulnerable Republicans and Democrats in an Associated Press analysis voted against the bill despite the pleas from Bush and their party leaders to pass it.
In all, 65 Republicans joined 140 Democrats in voting “yes,” while 133 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted “no.”
The overriding question was what to do next.
“The legislation may have failed; the crisis is still with us,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a news conference after the defeat. “What happened today cannot stand.”
Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, the minority leader, said he and other Republicans were pained to back the measure, but in light of the potential consequences for the economy and all Americans, “We need to renew our efforts to find a solution that Congress can support.”
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said there was scant time to reopen legislation that was the product of hard-fought bipartisan negotiations.
“What happened today was not a failure of a bill, it was a failure of will,” said Dodd, the Banking Committee chairman. “Our hope is that cooler heads will prevail, people will think about what they did today and recognize that this is not just scare tactics — it’s reality.”
A brutal round of partisan finger-pointing followed the vote.
Republicans blamed Pelosi’s scathing speech near the close of the debate — which assailed Bush’s economic policies and a “right-wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no discipline, no regulation” of financial markets — for the defeat. It was not much different from her usual tough words against the president and his party.
“We could have gotten there today had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House,” Boehner said.
Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the whip, estimated that Pelosi’s speech changed the minds of a dozen Republicans who might otherwise have supported the plan.
That amounted to an appalling accusation by Republicans against Republicans, said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the Financial Services Committee: “Because somebody hurt their feelings, they decide to punish the country.”
More than a repudiation of Democrats, Frank said, Republicans’ refusal to vote for the bailout was a rejection of their own president.
Indeed, many GOP lawmakers spurned Bush’s urgent calls for action. “We have a gun to our head,” said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., who opposed the bill. “This isn’t legislation — it’s extortion.”
The two men campaigning to replace Bush watched the situation closely — from afar — and demanded action.
In Iowa, Republican John McCain said his rival Barack Obama and congressional Democrats “infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to fix the blame; it’s time to fix the problem.”
Obama said, “Democrats, Republicans, step up to the plate, get it done.”
Lawmakers were under extraordinary pressure from powerful outside groups, which gave notice they considered the legislation a “key vote” — one they would consider when rating members of Congress.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said opponents of the bailout would pay for their stance.
“Make no mistake: When the aftermath of congressional inaction becomes clear, Americans will not tolerate those who stood by and let the calamity happen,” said R. Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s top lobbyist, in a letter to members.
The conservative Club for Growth made a similar threat to supporters of the bailout.
“We’re all worried about losing our jobs,” Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., declared in an impassioned speech in support of the bill before the vote. “Most of us say, ‘I want this thing to pass, but I want you to vote for it — not me.'”
“We’re in this moment, and if we fail to do the right thing, Heaven help us,” he said.
If Congress doesn’t come around on a bailout, more pressure would fall on the Federal Reserve.
The Fed, which has been providing billions in short-term loans to squeezed banks to help them overcome credit stresses, could keep expanding those loans to encourage lending. And, it could keep working with other central banks to inject billions into financial markets overseas.
It also has the power to expand emergency lending to other types of companies and even to individuals if they are unable to secure adequate credit.
___
Associated Press writers Jeannine Aversa, Jim Abrams and Andrew Taylor contributed to this report.

Is Anwar Unstoppable?

By Raja Petra Kamarudin

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s landslide victory in the Permatang Pauh by-election on August 26 strongly suggests that Malaysians remain in a mood for change five months after a political tsunami swept the country. The writer examines five key questions that may determine the country’s future.

Is Anwar Ibrahim unstoppable?*

With the big margin he attained in the by-election, it does look as if Barisan Nasional (BN) will have a hard time stopping him. But then, as Anwar himself said, a week is a long time in politics, meaning that nothing is definite.

He is stoppable as a person, but I think what has happened to him is that he has become the focus of a lot of hope for Malaysians disillusioned with the BN system. Because he is a wily politician — or a chameleon, as critics like to say — he has been able to remake himself in the image of the reform movement that his arrest 10 years ago inspired and that developed more intensely than he could have expected. That movement has aligned itself with other oppositional forces and that new combined force now places him as its front man. In turn, he has become indispensable to that force.

Understood that way, Anwar does look unstoppable. The long-term way BN and the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) can take the wind out of his sail is to reform themselves radically, and in the process, change Malaysian politics to the extent that the polarised situation that makes someone such as Anwar so iconic disappear, or weaken. As long as BN refuses to change, the situation that created the strong opposition that adopts Anwar as its front man will continue.

His court case relating to a sodomy charge, starting on September 10, is a big worry for the opposition. A lot of resources will be focused on defending Anwar, and on weakening the prosecution’s case, including proving that the charge against him is politically motivated.

What is Mr Abdullah’s future?

History will perceive Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the accidental politician and will forgive him for many of his failures because of that. But for the moment, many Malaysians on both sides are simply exasperated by his weak leadership and his inability to adapt to changes. No one mistakes his reticence for astuteness any longer.

His time is up. He has to realise how critical reforms actually are to the future of the country.

If Anwar’s attempt at toppling the government does not materialise, then the attention will turn to Umno’s general assembly in December. Many Umno leaders are not willing to allow Abdullah to bide his time while they run the risk of being sidelined forever. One goes into politics to gain power, and if the power pyramid that one is part of is sinking, then at some point, one decides that it is every man for himself.

What about Umno’s future?

One day quite soon, Malaysians will learn to see political coalitions as temporary solutions to imbalances in power, and not as monolithic and eternal beings that become a goal in themselves. There are no permanent allies and no permanent enemies.

It will be nearly impossible for Umno to regain its former glory. That glory depended on the BN model. Today, it is like the Kuomintang of Taiwan in the ’80s. It must go through a radical change, and to do that, it may have to leave the seat of power for a while. Its members have to realise that Malaysia’s wellbeing is not necessarily Umno’s wellbeing.

Even if the party loses power, it can return, but in a new shape and in new alliances. The worst-case scenario is that Umno may go the way of the Communist Party in Yugoslavia and disappear. The fear then is that the country will disintegrate along with it. The best-case scenario is that politics in Malaysia will mature to the extent that political opponents no longer wish destruction on each other.

Losing will not be everything; winning will not be everything.

From now to September 16 and December, what are the signs to look for?

Abdullah presented his budget on August 29 and Parliament is now in recess until the fasting month of Ramadan is over. In the meantime, we have Wednesday to watch, when Anwar goes on trial. Should the sodomy charge be dropped, then BN admits that its tactic has backfired and it withdraws to fight another day. Should it stick, Anwar’s camp will try its best to keep him out of jail.

Given how Anwar was treated the last time he was in detention, his closest supporters fear that some serious harm will come to him while in jail.

September 16 is the day to watch — Malaysia Day, the day 45 years ago when Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore joined the federation. Anwar chose that day as a day of reckoning because it is very symbolic to the East Malaysians who feel let down by the federal government. He promises them a better deal, a simple enough strategy.

Even if Anwar cannot convince 30 BN Members of Parliament (MPs) to cross over to his side, he is expected to mark that day in a dramatic fashion. What he could do is perhaps to get some defectors to announce their intention publicly on September 16, and then hope for a snowball effect from there. He could also announce a defection by Umno MPs. Should nine of them defect, it would mean that Umno loses its majority within the ruling BN coalition. A bigger scoop would be to get a whole party to defect, threatening the existence of BN itself.

Also important to watch will be the Umno’s division elections next month. What support Abdullah still has will become clearer from that. The main challenger to Abdullah within Umno, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, will also be gauging his own strength during that time.

If Anwar were to be Prime Minister, what kind of leader would he be?

His rhetoric seems to echo the wishes of a large segment of the Malaysian population at the moment, and that segment will be dictating what kind of PM he will be. Malaysia is suffering from a leadership problem at the moment, and many are putting a lot of hope in him.

Anwar has to balance the aims of the parties in his coalition, and we will see compromises being made. That is the reality in Malaysia. But I think a culture of dialogue will be developed under his watch and that will be a great achievement indeed. I think at least that can be accomplished by him.

Anwar can be expected to use a global economic focus to expedite institutional changes and minimise differences in the agendas of various parties. There is a lot of room for change, and with the political support he seems to enjoy, he should be able to do a good job. I think the new democratic atmosphere in Malaysia will see to that.

*The writer is a fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. He is the author of Lost in Transition: Malaysia under Abdullah and The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time.

*************************************************
16 September 2008. That is Malaysia Day. That is also the day Anwar Ibrahim is supposed to take over the government. Today, some well-known personalities are joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat. From thereon, more are expected to follow, culminating in the final exodus of Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament.

Stay tuned for the announcements to follow.

Many just can’t believe that Anwar will really take over on 16 September 2008. Some just wish it were true. Some say it’s too good to be true. Others say Anwar is just playing poker. The sceptics say Anwar is laying the ground for a self-fulfilling prophecy. What is foremost in everyone’s mind is: is Anwar playing a high-stakes poker game or will this be a gunfight at the OK Corral?

At this point of time, Anwar can no longer just play poker. No one asked him to take over the government. No one set 16 September 2008 as the deadline. This was entirely Anwar’s own choice with no pressure or cohesion whatsoever on anyone’s part. It was Anwar who ‘volunteered’ the entire exercise. No one forced him into the situation.

Taking all this into consideration, there is no way Anwar can renege on his ‘promise’. To do so would result in a serious erosion of credibility. If Anwar fails to deliver his 16 September 2008 promise, he might as well disappear from the scene. If 16 September 2008 comes and goes as a non-event, Anwar too will become a non-event and will have to throw in the towel and call it quits.

Anwar is no novice. He is not an amateur politician. He is as seasoned as they come. And no seasoned politician like Anwar will commit Hara Kiri. And Hara Kiri it will be if Anwar turns around on 16 September 2008 and say, “I was just joking lah.”

So my money is on 16 September 2008 happening. Not happening would mean the death knell of Anwar Ibrahim. And Anwar is not ready to die just yet. If Anwar fails to deliver, that would trigger the beginning of the end for Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Parti Gerakan Rakyat is on the verge of leaving the ruling coalition. No, it is not going to join Pakatan Rakyat. It is going to remain as an ‘independent’ party. And from there it is going to re-build its lost fortunes and revert to what it used to be when it was first launched 40 years ago in 1968.

Gerakan is going to be a most attractive party once it leaves Barisan Nasional and it launches its ‘remaking’ exercise. Hell, even I might get attracted to it once it transforms into what it started out in 1968. Gerakan will of course need to attract not only many professionals but from amongst all the races as well. And if Anwar falls short on 16 September 2008, Gerakan will be there with open arms to receive all the disappointed ex-Anwaristas who no longer have any confidence that Anwar is true to his word.

So, the stakes are too high not to succeed. This is not a game. It is not even a high-stakes poker game. It is a fight to the finish. It is a winner-takes-all situation. It is a last-man-standing duel. It is a gunfight at the OK Corral. And only one walks away from such a fight. And that one will be Anwar. My money is on that happening. Hell, my freedom is on that as well.

Today, I received many phone calls from concerned friends who told me that the government is considering detaining me under the Internal Security Act ‘very soon’. If that does happen, then this could probably be the last article I write, at least until 16 September 2008. So I too need Anwar to succeed. If not I will be in Kamunting for quite some time to come and you will not hear from me over the next couple of years.

Yes, I too have placed, not only my money, but also my freedom on Anwar. And if Anwar fails to deliver his promise on 16 September 2008, not only he but I as well am headed for a fall. But I have confidence he will do it. And I have confidence that my stay in Kamunting will not be for two years but for a mere two weeks.

But if I am wrong…..well, then see you maybe in six or seven years time, because for sure Najib Tun Razak will not release me in 2010 when he becomes Prime Minister. What he would do, instead, would be to rollover my two-year detention another two years, and another two years, and another two years, until I am too old to think and write anymore.

Till we meet again, if we do meet again, take care and keep the flame burning. There is still a long fight ahead of us in bringing reforms to this beloved country of ours.

Navy overspent RM114 mil on jetty HQ
Rahmah Ghazali and Syed Jaymal Zahiid | Sep 3, 08 12:10pm malaaysiakini.com
malaysia military navy teluk sepanggar naval base sabah 030908 01

MCPX

The Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) overspent by RM114.22 million when building its jetty headquarters in Sabah, according to the Auditor-General’s Report 2007.

The construction costs of the project, located in Wilayah Laut Dua, Teluk Sapangar, exceeded the navy’s initial budget of RM533.9 million.

The report described the project as a poorly planned and managed one, that was completed only 44-months after the original target date of Apr 15, 2004.

According to Auditor-General Ambrin Buang, the delay was caused mostly by interfacing work done by contractors – Ekran Berhad and Muhibah LTAT-JV.

The report also stated that the contractors had made a hasty decision, pushing through the project that resulted in flawed design plans.

It further cited 14 variation orders worth RM38.36 million that pushed up costs.

“Other factors that contributed to this poor planning were squatters and cemetery relocation issues together with the problems regarding water and electricity supply,” said the AG.

The report also pointed out other weaknesses where construction work was not executed according to specification, resulting in defects that have yet to be fixed.

Ekran must settle fine

Putting the blame on both contractors, the AG called on the defence ministry to act swiftly in getting the contractors to repair the defects before the warranty period expires.

malaysia military navy teluk sepanggar naval base sabah 030908 02Muhibah LTAT-JV and Ekran Berhad have until Nov 28, 2009 and Dec 13, 2009 respectively to complete the repairs.

While it did not specify a deadline, the AG also advised the ministry to instruct Ekran Berhad to pay up RM1.42 million in fines for delaying the project.

According to the report, the project’s consultant was also to blame for lack of supervision that resulted in poor quality construction materials that were not up to framework standard.

The AG also advised the defence ministry to ensure the consultant submitted all drawings, technical information, catalogues, operation manual, a list of spare parts and maintenance schedule regarding the project.

CIQ complex in JB

The AG report also revealed the construction of the RM1.27 billion Custom, Immigration and Quarantine building at Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru did not undergo an open tender process.

According to the report, the contractor was directly appointed by the federal Works Department.

Apart from that, it said the project deadline was extended by 334 days from the targeted Oct 31, 2005 .

One of the factors for the delay was due to getting pipe transfer approval from Public Utilities Board, Singapore and also due to the cancellation of the second Johor-Singapore bridge.

The AG recommeded the finance ministry to instruct the assigned contractor to fix the defects before the warranty period expires.

The report also suggested that for a design and build project like this one, it was important that the contract included a clause stipulating the contractor’s responsibility in conducting maintenance within an appropriate time-frame to prevent future delays.

Pakatan moots Sept 16 public holiday
Athi Veeranggan | Sep 1, 08 11:22am
Anwar Ibrahim turned on the screws on Barisan Nasional with his Putrajaya crusade by announcing that Pakatan Rakyat-held states plan to observe the annual Malaysia Day on Sept 16 a public holiday and celebrate the day like their East Malaysian counterparts.

MCPX

Speaking at a Permatang Pauh by-election victory thanksgiving ‘Merdeka Day’ dinner last night, the opposition leader said the public holiday would strengthen the solidarity between Malaysians in the Peninsular and those in Sabah and Sarawak.

anwar thanks voter speech at samagagah 300808.jpgWhile Aug 31 signifies then Peninsular Malaya’s freedom from British colonial masters, he pointed out that the Malaysia Day marks the birth of this country with the merger of Malaya with Sabah and Sarawak.

“From this year, the annual Merdeka Day celebrations on Aug 31 will continue and culminate on Sept 16, Malaysia Day, with a public holiday and grand celebrations in all Pakatan Rakyat states.

“We will show to Sabahans and Sarawakians that we are with them to rejoice the birth of Malaysia as an independent, united and progressive country for all.

“We will show that no one would be sidelined, isolated or discriminated under Pakatan Rakyat rule,” the PKR de facto leader pressed home his message to some 2,000 people at the Seberang Jaya agricultural expo site, Penang.He later said that he would bring the public holiday proposal to Pakatan-held states.

However, should Pakatan takes over the federal government, the coalition plans to make Sept 16 a national holiday.

An attempt to lure defectors

Anwar has set Sept 16 as the dateline for him to take over the federal government with a help from more than 30 defecting BN parliamentarians, especially from Sabah and Sarawak.

BN now has 140 MPs against Pakatan’s 81.

Anwar announcement on the unprecedented Malaysia Day celebrations in the Peninsular is likely to further undermine the credibility of BN federal government and lure East Malaysian MPs to hop to Pakatan.

According to political observers, the announcment expressly implied that the federal government had ignored and neglected the importance of Sabah and Sarawak since states in the Peninsular do not mark the day with a public holiday.

They said it exposed the deeply-rooted grouses among Sabahans and Sarawakians of “being treated like stepchildren in the nation-building process by BN”.

“Anwar is capitalising on it to show to East Malaysian political leaders that a Pakatan federal government would treat them equally.

“At the same time, he has embossed his position as the Pakatan supremo as well,” said an observer, who declined to be named.

Anwar secured 31,195 votes last Tuesday to win the Permatang Pauh by-election with a thumping majority – which is more than the votes garnered by his nearest rival, BN’s Arif Shah who bagged 15,524 votes.

Akim’s Hanafi Mamat came third with 92 votes and lost his RM15,000 deposit.

Buoyed by his victory, Anwar has used his new-found credibility as parliamentary opposition leader to map out the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition’s political destination.

Anwar has Sept 16 in sight

Although he stopped short of making any statement on his much-vaunted Sept 16 takeover and the possible crossovers by BN MPs, Anwar’s announcement intensified speculations of an imminent political drama in coming fortnight.

The opposition leader claimed Malaysians were fed up with current ills of BN government caused by incompetency, corruption, abuse of power, the manipulation of legal system and a tainted judiciary.

Indicating that a Pakatan government would either abolish or amend draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act and release all ISA detainees immediately, he accentuated his belief in the rule of law.

The ex-ISA detainee stressed that even a terrorist suspect shall be given the right to defend oneself in the court of law, alleging the BN government of showing scant respect to “equality for all before the law”.

“The Permatang Pauh verdict showed people want change,” said Pakatan premier designate, hinting that he would heed their call.

Since swearing in as a MP last Thursday, Anwar has uttered little about his Sept 16 game plan and kept Malaysians guessing.

However, with his announcement last night, Anwar showed that he has his sights set firmly set on Putrajaya.


Must Attend Program

Please go to this link: https://justice4allkuantan.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/invitation-public-forum-the-isa-and-the-police-reform-process-whats-next-after-pak-lah/
To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people - Emily Cox

Siphoning EPF money

On 'Why should Valuecap borrow from EPF?' Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud: MTUC condemns the government's move to bail out Valuecap to support the local stock market using RM5 billion from EPF, as the provident fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.
If at all the EPF were to lend its money to the government, it has to be under the condition that there be transparency and accountability in the activities for which the money has been purposed. We want to know who is doing what with the money that belongs to the workers. This is the hard-earned money of the workers, their retirement plan. How is this bailout plan going to benefit the workers? We also question the reason for this bailout. If the economic fundamentals in Malaysia are strong and reserves sufficient as has been stated several times by the government, then why is there a need to offer so much money to the GLCs? Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop should prove how the EPF would profit from this loan. Bernama had reported that Nor had given the assurance that the loan given out by EPF would reap profits for the fund judging from Valuecap's past performance. But where is the paperwork and calculations to show that this move will benefit the EPF? MTUC is concerned that the loan might be mismanaged or misused and this, in turn, would affect the returns for the contributors. Mere assurances are not enough. We want to proof that this RM5 billion will not go down the drain. (The writer is president, MTUC). Sharyn: The government wants to use our pension money to prop up the Malaysian stock market which is the playing field of the rich people. If so, the government must ensure that the EPF account holders - who are predominantly the poor to average citizens of Malaysia - be guaranteed all of our pension money with a compound 8% growth (interest). It's so selfish and sick of the government to use the poor's pension money to help the rich to make more money with all the risks taken by the poor/average citizen. We can better use the RM% billion loans to Valuecap for our children's education, shelter, medical bills etc. Why not get those rich people to prop up the share market instead? Why should they park their money overseas and gamble with our EPF money instead? Kumar14: Who is behind this Valuecap organisation? Why suddenly, this separate entity is allowed to access funds from the EPF? Are they capable enough to handle it or is it just another desperate and blind move? It has been a very infamous trend where the people's funds are channeled to a company for investment purposes and suddenly POP! the funds disappear and there is nobody to be held responsible but a RM2 shell company. Charge who? Sue whom? The RM2 company (just a registered name)? We have seen this many times. People in power and with connections allow such things to go through and reap/rob the people's wealth and then blame it on organisations which actually don't exist. What if a lot of EPF funds are looted via such scams and nobody is to be pointed at? Where will the government get the funds to replenish the EPF? The people are very bored, disappointed, angry and frustrated at seeing all these dumb and unaccounted for measures being allowed by the government with lame excuses. Please, somebody verify the true purpose, integrity and capability of anybody attempting to use the people's fund.

Raja Petra

Photobucket Ihsan dari blog Go!Malaysian http://gomalaysian.blogspot.com/

ANWAR IBRAHIM

A prosperous future is indivisible from a firm commitment to the principles of distributive justice, the rule of law and a profound respect for human rights.

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