The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Archive for March, 2009

One’s Legacy………….

Posted by ErnieJean on March 31, 2009

Recently a monster-of-a-husband of a dear aunt of mine passed away suddenly. Shocking, not because he was loved, but rather we expected him to live on for a couple more decades to torment those around him….you know what they say about the nasty ones usually dying last, right?

How nasty was he? Well, let’s just say he was the classic example of Jenkle and Hyde. A very very seemingly nice guy to outsiders, the physical and mental torments started right after they got married. He would kung-fu kick, karate chop and make really degrading remarks about her looks, including refusing to allow her to visit her family home…….By the way, he also got his secretary impregnated along the way and forced my aunt to accept his infidelity and the new family.

Thank goodness all these stop the day his sons grew up and fought back. However, the mental torment still continued………

My aunt, being deeply religious and generally a compassionate softie, hence divorce was not an option, accepted all these abuses throughout the years for she was always hopeful that God will change him……..obviously that was some wishful thinking………..he remained mean and nasty right up to the end.

Anyway, it was not surprising that no one wept during his funeral. In fact, the reactions to news of his death were not at all flattering…..they ranged from “Thank Goodness he’s finally crocked” to “Well, it’s about time!!”.

Hats off to my cousins, his children for giving him a decent funeral……their mother obviously taught them well, to not harbour hate and revenge, for those negative feelings can surely eat up and destroy a person.

I wonder if he knew that this was the sort of personal legacy he is leaving behind, would he do the same all over again?

The same goes for all of us still living and breathing. How would we want to be remembered?

What sort of personal legacy do we want our children and their children to inherit? Our stories, values, hopes, wishes, advice and blessings……..or the shame and embarrassment of being associated with someone who was cursed till the day he/she dies???

And so, in the very same vein, what sort of legacies are our current bunch of leaders planning to leave behind? Or is all that too insignificant, if compared to the lust for power and wealth?

legacy

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Posted in erniejean, government, Malaysia, Opinions | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Impartiality of the Perak State Public Services

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on March 29, 2009

The article in the Saturday Star 28 March, entitled “Zambry: PAC move contradictory”, makes an interesting read.

The editorial reported Datuk Dr Zambry of accusing the state Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, Wong Kah Woh of contradicting himself by recommending a freeze on Zambry’s salaries and perks. This is in response to the PAC’s stand of neutrality as to the legitimacy of the current Menteri Besar and the state government.

Datuk Dr Zambry – obviously seething that he will have no gaji for some time – argued that Wong had not recognised him as the rightful Menteri Besar, yet now Wong contradicts his stand by freezing Zambry’s salary as Menteri Besar. I think what Zambry is arguing is that: – why freeze my salary when you don’t even recognize me for the job.

Ingenious argument, I must say, but rather stupid as well. If it is contradictory for the PAC not to recognise Zambry as the Menteri Besar and stop paying his salary; it would be a bigger contradictory to not recognise him as the Menteri Besar and yet continue to pay salary for a job he doesn’t have. The PAC might as well just pay me the salary.

But the PAC’s stand on neutrality raises an interesting issue. The public services/civil services are supposed to be neutral and a-political. The public service must be beyond politics. Government of the day will come and go, but the civil service remains, regardless of any change of government or political parties that may win the elections.

Article 132 (1) of the Federal Constitution defines the public services to include the armed forces, the judicial and legal services, the police force, the education service and the public service of the Federation and of each State. Each of these services comes under the purview of a council or commission. For example, the armed forces come under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces Council; police (Police Force Commission); Judicial (Judicial and Legal Services Commission); Public Service (Public Services Commission); Education (Education Service Commission).

To ensure the independence of these Commissions, Article 142 of the Federal Constitution provides that no Member of Parliament or the State Legislative Assembly shall be appointed as a member of these Commissions.

The Public Services form part of the Executive branch (the other two being the Legislature and the Judiciary). Ultimate executive authority remains with Parliament (in respect of the Federation as a whole), and with Legislature of the State (in respect of a State) (see Article 80 of the Federal Constitution).

This means, whoever holds the majority in either Parliament or the State Legislature will have executive authority, of which the Public Service will be subservient to.

What the Perak PAC has done demonstrates to us some finer constitutional points: – the civil service cannot lean towards political parties. They take instructions from the government of the day, whether it is BN, Pakatan or some other party that may win in the future.

Today, nobody can deny the dearth of constitutional issues and impasses plaguing the state of Perak. Who are the lawful state government and Menteri Besar? Both sides – BN and Pakatan – maintain that they are the lawful custodian of the state. Both believe they are correct. Moral judgements aside, it is hard to say who is right and who is wrong.

Professor Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi, Malaysia’s constitutional law expert, in his recent article in The Star (Wednesday March 25, 2009; Reflecting on the Law, “An avalanche of legal issues”), implies that BN’s forcible takeover of Perak may not be correct.

On the issue of dismissal of MB, Professor Shad says that Article 16 (7) of the Perak Constitution implies that the Sultan has no power to dismiss an MB. An MB’s cessation of office must come about by resignation under Article 16(6). Professor Shad then questions whether in such a stalemate, did the Sultan have a residual, prerogative power to dismiss Nizar?

On another issue – the appointment of MB – Professor Shad explains that this is a discretionary function but is controlled and structured by constitutional guidelines. The Sultan has to appoint someone who, in his opinion, is likely to command the confidence of the State Assembly. If there is a clear-cut leader with the requisite numbers, the discretion of the Ruler is merely nominal. But in an Assembly where no one has a clear majority, (a “hung Assembly”) the Sultan’s personal discretion acquires great significance.

In this case – Professor Shad says – the Sultan was obviously of the view that Zambry had the requisite numbers and therefore swore him in. But the Sultan did this – Professor Shad added – merely by reliance on face to face, separate interviews with the actors involved. Whether this manner of determination is legally justified or not is something questionable.

With these issues in mind, no one really knows who the rightful Menteri Besar is. If a leading constitutional law expert in the like of Professor Dr Shad Faruqi has his reservations, who are we as lay citizens are able to comment and decide.

This is also the case for the PAC. The PAC took a stand that they will remain a-political until the courts resolve the issue. Technically, that should also be the stand of the Public Service of the Perak state. Why should the state civil servants be so cock-sure they are taking valid directions from a valid legal party?

This is what we have seen recently when the police (who, incidentally, are also under the public services), took a biased stand by blocking the convening of the state assembly at the Perak state secretariat building.

Perhaps after decades of BN-rule, the Public Service should no longer be known as the Malaysian Public Service, but rather the BN Public Service.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Hello UMNOsia, Goodbye Malaysia????

Posted by ErnieJean on March 27, 2009

So, after all that talk about soul-searching and post mortem of the March ’08 Elections results, and finally having their long-postponed annual general assembly, did the UMNO delegates and their leaders finally walk the path of calls to REFORM and TRANSFORM?

Have they finally endeared themselves to all Malaysians??

Has UMNO changed for the better??

Will Pakatan Rakyat be shown the exit door next election??

What can we expect with these newly elected faces of UMNO leadership?

With such a “fantastic” mixture of ass-grabbing, crap-spouting, money-siphoning, Mongolian exploding and extremist inciting individuals, I can definitely forsee a BRIGHT BRIGHT future for this beloved nation of ours……….

Amongst some of the calls made during the speeches and debates, to loud cheers and applause, if I may add, from delegates, were;

“Those days, an application for a taxi permit would require the endorsement of an Umno branch or division chief. If the branches and divisions are strong, then Umno will be strong again,”

“……the party made a mistake in trying to curtail money politics as it showed that Umno leaders are not grateful to the members who have sacrificed for the party.”

“Please make sure the faculty members are all UMNO men, and the same goes for other civil servants,”

“…ensure only UMNO loyalists be appointed senior positions in public universities……” (I mourn for the death of decent education for our future generation….)

Sorry….me a little blur here…….but what happened to all that screaming and shrieking and shouting about defending Malays’ rights??

Or have they become so brazen that they no longer bother to even hide behind that excuse anymore??

Doesn’t it seem to you now that UMNO is promoting that ONLY UMNO men (and women) are allowed to prosper, to be appointed for top civil service positions, to leech onto GLCs, protest against royalty……….(This must be the all-new NEP that they have been talking about huh? Do away with 30% Bumi-quota……..and replaced with UMNO-quota perhaps????)

As for us Non-UMNO folks? (Well, it used to be non-Sons-Of-Soil…..but that category has obviously been altered) We’re the lower-class citizens, born on Malaysian soil to plough the earth……………..so that the LOAFERS can continue loafing and LEECHES continue leeching…… 

Perhaps that is why Najib’s opening speech rang sooooo hollow for me…………

 

Posted in Bangsa Malaysia, erniejean, government, Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak, Observations, Opinions, UMNO, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

We Are Who Our Government Is……..DAMN!!!!

Posted by ErnieJean on March 23, 2009

The other day at a local mall, walking past one of those indoor kiddies’ amusement centre, I chanced upon an argument  over who got to a games machine first and therefore should be the first to play on it……..Guess what? One was a kid, no bigger than 10 years old and the other was an ADULT!!!!!

Then there was this other incident where a little girl came into the ladies’ toilet looking like she’s going to wet her pants anytime soon, but did the adult, next in line to the next available cubicle allow the poor child to use the loo first? NOPE!!! Of course, being there first, the adult have every right to go use the loo first, but it would have been a decent thing to do if the poor child had been allowed to relieved herself first…..after all, children aren’t as seasoned as we adults are at holding our bladder mah?

And I realised, from the above incidents, right down to the way Malaysians drive and queue (hahahaha…yea right…), most of us have basically become disciples of “Me, Myself & I“. That nothing is more important than self-preservation. Why worry about the poor and bullied when one can benefit from the down-trodded??? Who cares about ethics and justice???

And it is these sort of “ugliness” that begot us the sort of leadership we have in power now.  H.L. Mencken once said of democracy, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

And that’s why it’s absolutely “incredible” that someone found guilty of money politics, which by the way is just a rosier term for “CORRUPTION”, and barred from contesting for a post in his political party, is still deemed suitable enough to remain as the Menteri Besar of a state???

In fact our Prime Minister’s only reaction to this scandalous insult to all Malaccans was……..

“He is not sulking but is ready to continue his struggle for the party’s future.”

And how about a certain loud-mouth egg-headed minister (and let’s not forget his equally useless son too) who got a photo of himself at The Gutter Post in a very very compromising position with a young chick? If I’m not mistaken, he has yet to outright deny it, only refusing to further comment and is now as quiet as a chicken egg……and yes, he is still in charge of our nation’s legal affaird and judiciary reforms……..what a JOKE!!!

And then we have an ex-minister with a fondness for bad wigs (with so much money at his disposal, why on earth can’t he get a good wig is anybody’s guess!!!) who lost his underpants in the March election last year, but somehow managed to win his party’s presidential post for the 11th time, even though it was by default!!!??? This is despite him being involved in sooo many scandals namely, MAIKA, AIMST, MIED………and of course there’s always the useless offspring and the mysterious death of his sexy secretary to complete the picture……….

The biggest joke would probably be the ex-ex-MB of Selangor with 2 Ms, who thinks the entire nation is suffering from memory lost by promptly boasting about his achievements to prove that he indeed can speak English and was definitely lying thru his teeth during his “I no talk Inglish” incident in Australia………and he’s now touted to be in the lead (by default of course) for the race to the nation’s No.2 position………..

Is this the type of government Malaysian really want? Where “INTEGRITY” is more a liability and no longer one of the main criterias to determining a leader? Yes, some of the above “National-Embarrassments” were not voted in by us voters, but didn’t we voted for the politicial party that endorsed their sort of actions.

Of course, we’re not so naive as to believe that there will be a perfect political party without the usual black sheep or problems………but at least, from what I see so far, leaders in Pakatan Rakyat have proven to be, at the very least, more honourable than our current governing party when it comes to dealing with their folks embroiled in scandals…………they actually tender in their resignation…………….while our darling BN politicians either pretend nothing is wrong or lay low, keep quiet and pray for the problem to tide over.

So, Mr Abdullah Badawi, don’t blame the Pakatan Rakyat, or anyone else for that matter, for keeping UMNO “DISTRACTED“. If one doesn’t carry any shit, one wouldn’t be so busy “defending” oneself, right?

merdeka-cartoon

Posted in Badawi, Current Affairs, erniejean, government, Malaysia, Observations, Politicians, UMNO, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Malaysian aka UMNO Politics Will Never Change….Will They?????

Posted by ErnieJean on March 19, 2009

I had such a GREAT couple of days vacation getaway with the family recently, totally secluded from all the monkeying antics of nation’s political leaders. There were no newspapers, internet facilities that were too extorbitant to be bothered with and a vacation crowd that was not interested in discussing Malaysian political crap. Totally refreshing, but I guess, one has to come back to Mother Earth sooner or later.

Natural, it was almost a “rude wake-up call from the escapade dreams at Neverland” to open up today’s papers and see that nothing has changed much…..someone is still seriously hell-bent on claiming his stake at the throne (by killing off those who may not be his political alliance in th future), idiotic ass-kissing politicians making nonsensical statements and of course the theatrical antics that comes with it all.

Seriously…….when are we ever going to see changes for the better…FOR ONCE!!!!????

The UMNO disciplinary board mentioned something about Malaysians being generally cynical over their every action…..well, A-BUH-DEN!!!??? I know we’re the country of coincidences, but where got so many coincidences wan!!! You tell me lah!!!

So it seems, Ali Rustam and the famous (but not for long) SIL are the first victims of the “UMNO Spring Cleaning” exercise. While I’m glad the racist Malaccan bigot is getting what’s due, honestly, it doesn’t matter who goes first because do you seriously think there’s one, just one, honest-to-goodness UMNO politician in the entire pack? Especially the ones who are contesting for positions this coming UMNO assembly?

As for idiotic “throwing stones in the glasshouse that one lives in” statements, this latest one by a politician from an almost completely wiped out political partner of BN takes the cake;

(The Star) – Gerakan vice-president Huan Cheng Guan has called on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to resign if there is evidence that members of the DAP-led state government are involved in corruption.

‘‘Practise what you preach. Lim has been going around saying his government is the cleanest ever but now there is an allegation of wrongdoing in his government,” Huan said.

He said that as a matter of principle, Lim should be responsible for the actions of his subordinates.

You know what? I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU Mr. Huan…….so how about issuing that statement to all political leaders besides the ones who kicked you guys out of your political home?

Come On!!!! Be a MAN!!!! Say it to the face of the big boss UMNO taikor about being responsible for his subordinates who threatened Malaysians with keris and bad breath, scaring little children with bad plastic surgeries, throwing diva tantrums, harrassing harmless wheelchair bound old men, embarrassing the nation, siphoning the nation’s wealth to some other foreign land, messing up the country’s education system and a whole lot of incredibly unthinkeable wrongdoings.

And then, say the same thing to the big bosses of your fellow ass-kissing BN political partners about stealing plots of land from the people, building illegal political centres, selling out the ones that they were supposed to protect for power and wealth……….

Yes, it’s nice to know things still remain status quo as far as our political landscape is concerned………while our economy slips a few notches down south……….

stupid-politicians

Posted in BN, Current Affairs, erniejean, government, hypocrite, Mainstream Media, Malaysia, Observations, Opinions, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

All Hail The “Unprecedented” Stimulation!!!!!

Posted by ErnieJean on March 11, 2009

shockingnews_thumb3

So, it has finally happened……..after months of denying till their faces are blue, what the rest of us ordinary Malaysians have known since last year, our dear Finance-Minister-cum-Incoming-UMNO-Tai-Kor and his 2nd Finance Minister have admitted that they can no longer pull wool over our eyes about the inevitable recession…..

And then, just like that, they somehow waved a “magic wand” and lo and behold!!!! We have RM60 BILLION !!!!!???? Where on earth did the Finance Ministry dig those figures from!!!???

Mr. Rosmah, who is already smelling the fragrance of the nation’s PMship, called his “baby” “unprecedented in the nation’s history“…….Well, I totally agree with him. It’s “unprecedented” alright…….but IN WHAT SENSE!!!???

Remember when Najib unvieled his 1st Economic Stimulus Package of RM7 billion on November 4 and he issued this statement?

On November 4, I introduced a 7 billion ringgit ($1.93 billion) pro-growth stimulus package to implement projects with high multiplier effects, building on the previously announced 5 billion ringgit allocation of existing investment capital to ValueCap, Malaysia’s asset management company.

The stimulus package as a whole is designed to enhance domestic growth and improve market confidence. This package ensures that a larger segment of the population will realize the benefit of productive expenditure from the government.

We anticipate no additional expenditure in implementing these measures. The larger stimulus package is entirely funded by savings on subsidies as a result of falling global oil prices. ValueCap will enhance existing assets and multiply the benefit the Employees Provident Fund already provides Malaysian workers.

To address your suggestion that parts of the stimulus package might be inappropriately managed, all measures, including ValueCap, will be supervised by Malaysia’s Project Monitoring Unit. They will report directly to me, the Minister of Finance, and I will provide regular updates and, I suspect, receive candid assessment by an active political opposition, the public and the press. (Well, obviously this Malaysia’s Project Monitoring Unit is sleeping on the job!!!!)

Malaysia is no stranger to this sort of scrutiny. During the last crisis, our “unorthodox” stimulus initiatives were loudly criticized and largely condemned. The current crisis, however, has reinvigorated interest in and, apparently, the validity of those initiatives.

Malaysia is well positioned for the coming economic challenge. Our financial sector is in a much healthier position today than 10 years ago. The capital adequacy ratio of banks at 8% is much higher than the minimum international requirement. Non-performing loans of all banks are at an average of 2.5%. Financial institutions have ample capital liquidity. Foreign reserves are high at $100.2 billion. The current account surplus is 15% of GDP.

All I wanna know is what happened to that RM7 Billion announced to be injected to save our country from further despair? If the government agencies can’t even handle RM7 billion, how are they expected to handle EFFICIENTLY an amount that’s 10 times larger!!???

Maybe it’s too early to judge the success (or failure??) of this package……maybe we shuld give Najib and his team the benefit of the doubt and see where we end up after a couple of months…..and hopefully, Malaysia does not end up in the dog house by then…………

Let’s have a quick look at the following salient points in the mini-budget announced by Najib, courtesy of Malaysiakini

GDP growth is expected to be in the range of –1% to 1% for 2009. Without the two stimulus packages, the economy faces the prospect of a deep recession.

RM60 billion stimulus package – RM15 billion is fiscal injection, RM25 billion Guarantee Funds, RM10 billion equity investments, RM7 billion private finance initiative (PFI) and off-budget projects, as well as RM3 billion in tax incentives.

According to the government, the budget deficit, which shoots up from 4.8 percent to 7.6 percent in 2009, can be financed from domestic sources. It added that the financing of the deficit will not crowd out the private sector in sourcing funds. (Pray tell us in detail, what are the domestic sources??? Our EPF again!!!???)

60 billion budget stimulus the four aims breakdown 100309The RM60 billion is allocated to achieve four aims:

1. Reducing unemployment, increasing employment – RM2 billion

2. Easing the burden of the rakyat, especially vulnerable groups – RM10 billion

3. Assisting the private sector – RM29 billion

4. Building capacity for the future – RM19 billion

RM2 bil to reduce unemployment, increase employment

To create a total of 163,000 training and job placement opportunities in the public and private sectors

To establish 22 JobsMalaysia Centres and upgrade 109 existing centres to facilitate access for workers and employers to obtain job placements, career counselling and information on training opportunities

Employers who employ workers retrenched from July 1 2008 be given double tax deduction on the amount of remuneration paid. (What about the majority of us wage earners who got our salaries cut!!?? Why are the Employers the ones enjoying tax breaks whilst the employees have conveniently been side-stepped!!??)

Government to recruit 63,000 staff to fill vacancies and serve as contract officers in various government agencies. (As it is, aren’t our civil service departments already filled to the brim with non-productive leeches?)

To encourage more Malaysians to pursue Masters and PhD by financing tuition fees and research grants up to RM20,000 for student pursuing PhDs locally and RM10,000 for those taking Masters programme. (What are the criterias for one to be qualified to apply? If all unemployed undergraduates are eligible for these grants, would our local universities be capable of handling such huge intakes?)

Levy on foreign workers will be doubled for all sectors except construction, plantation and for domestic maids; the levy will be paid by the employers and not by the workers.

RM10 bil to ease the burden of the rakyat

To assist oil palm and rubber smallholders whose incomes have been affected due to declining commodity prices.

RM674 million in subsidies to be allocated to avert price increases of necessities, such as sugar, bread and wheat flour.

To provide RM480 million to ensure that toll rates are not increased. With these above measures, the government will allocate a sum of RM27.9 billion for subsidies in 2009. (Why are we still putting our hard earned money into these cronies’ pockets!!!???)

House buyers be given tax relief on interest paid on housing loans up to RM10,000 a year for three years.

RM200 million to repair and maintain drains and roads. (So, what happened to the RM500 million allocated in the 1st Stimulus plan for this purpose?????? This road and drainage repair works never seem to end, don’t you think so?? And we all know why that is so…….)

RM150 million for renovation, maintenance and repairs of welfare homes, fire and rescue stations and quarters, as well as public toilets in mosques, surau and tourist spots. (Isn’t this a little too much for renovation works? Do you smell “Happy Class F Contractors” with the fondness of marking up 100% on their contract sum, here?? !!!???)

RM1.95 billion to build and improve facilities in 752 schools, particularly in rural areas as well as Sabah and Sarawak, with RM300 million to be used to improve facilities in government-aided religious schools, national-type Chinese and Tamil schools as well as mission schools. (Do you notice Sabah and Sawarak seems to be getting a lot of allocation during budget announcements but they never seem to receive the actual amount at the end of the day?? Anyone care to tell where those money get channelled to???)

RM230 million will be provided to increase the coverage of electricity and water supply in rural areas, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak. (After 50 years, there’s still a need to increase coverage of these basic amenities!!!??? )

RM350 million will be provided for the construction of rural roads. (Once again, didn’t they already allocated RM500 million form the 1st stimulus plan for this purpose??? SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!)

RM1.2 billion to be allocated in Sarawak and Sabah. This include the expansion of Sibu Airport, deepening works at Miri Port, repair and improve infrastructure damaged by floods, upgrading of schools as well as construction of Lawas Training Centre, Kota Samarahan Industrial Estate and tourism facilities.

In Sabah, among the main programmes and projects to be implemented include building of Giat Mara centres, Kota Kinabalu Electricity Transmission System, as well as upgrading of schools, roads and bridges. The government to take action to resolve issues related to health services in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sabah.

Existing tax exemption of RM6,000 given on retrenchment benefits be increased to RM10,000 for each completed year of service. Banks to allow retrenched workers defer the repayment of their housing loans for one year.

RM29 bil to assist the private sector

RM5 billion to provide working capital to companies with shareholder equity below RM20 million. The government to provide guarantee in the ratio of 80:20, that is 80% will be guaranteed by the government and 20% by the financial institutions.

To set up an Industry Restructuring Guarantee Fund Scheme totalling RM5 billion for loans to increase productivity and value-added activities, as well as the application of green technology.

Securities Commission to implement additional measures to reduce time-to-market to enable companies to raise funds in the capital market in a more efficient and cost-effective manner including doing away with approvals for rights issues by listed companies.

A new programme where permanent resident status would be considered for high-net-worth individuals bringing more than US$2 million for investments or savings in Malaysia.

RM5,000 discount to be given to car owners, who trade in their cars which are at least 10 years old, for the purchase of new Proton and Perodua cars. (HEY!!! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PROMISED IMPROVEMENTS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!!!!!!!?????)

RM2 billion for a new LCCT at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is expected to be ready in 2011.

A rebate of 50% on landing charges will be given for a period of two years effective 1 April 2009 to all airlines that operate from Malaysia. Likely to result in lower air fares.

Company’s current year losses be allowed to be carried back to the immediate preceding year.

An Accelerated Capital Allowance to encourage companies to renovate and refurbish their business premises. The allowance is capped at RM100,000.

RM200 million to upgrade infrastructure in tourist spots, diversify tourism products, organise more international conferences and exhibitions in Malaysia as well as improve the homestay programme.

RM19 bil to build capacity for the future

To promote domestic private investments, the investment funds of Khazanah Nasional Berhad will be increased by RM10 billion.

Khazanah to invest RM3 billion in the telecommunications sector, which among others, will facilitate its subsidiary to improve broadband infrastructure.

RM1.7 billion of Khazanah’s investment to go into Iskandar project for the building of infrastructure, hotels, theme parks as well as universities.

RM5 billion for 23 projects implemented on off-budget basis, including LCCT at KLIA and the expansion of Pulau Pinang Airport at an estimated cost of RM2 billion and RM250 million.

RM2.4 billion for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to improve telecommunication infrastructure.

RM100 million to build sky bridges and covered walkways between buildings, especially in the Golden Triangle, Kuala Lumpur.

RM2 billion for private finance initiative (PFI) and public-private partnerships.

RM20 million for Radio Televisyen Malaysia to implement several projects to develop the local music industry.

All government procurements will be made through open tenders or restricted tenders, except for specific cases. (This additional clause of “Specific Cases” totally freaks me out!!!!!)

I dont know about you guys……….but this 2nd Stimulus Package is definitely what I had anticipated……A COMPLETE DISAPPOINTMENT for the ordinary folks like me………

Like how an accountant friend quite aptly put it, insteadof spending on non-productive matters such as upgrading and increasing job placement centers and beautifying firemen’s quarters, the government could have implemented more people-friendly measures such as abolishing personal income taxes for individuals, quit rents and assessment rents for 2 years. This should be the true spirit of the stimulus plan, which is to help the rakyat get back on their feet. Instead, what we are seeing now is that it looks very much like the AMNO cronies and businessmen will be getting the bulk of the money.

Penang CM Lim Guan End also couldn’t have sum this up any better when he said;

“To stimulate the economy, the government should give the money to Malaysians, like what Singapore, Taiwan and even Thailand are doing.

“For the next two years, things are going to get bad.

“We need to help the poor families in order for them to have money for their day to day life.

“Currently, there is no direct financial aid to all Malaysians,”

Posted in BN, Budget, Economy, erniejean, government, Malaysia, malaysiakini, Najib Tun Razak, Observations, Opinions | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

A Wholesome Twosome: The only way to get-together without being caught

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on March 9, 2009

In these dark and troubled times, a twosome is the only way to go. Forget about the threesome, or even the more illicit gang bang; a monogamous liaison is more wholesome, intimate and perfectly legal.

This is so, considering the fact the police have classified the gathering of people, including the 28 Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen under a tree outside the State Secretariat as an illegal assembly.

Two’s a company, three’s a crowd. No more so than in Malaysia. A “gathering” of three persons can constitute an illegal assembly. This is according to the Police Act 1967. Section 27 (5) of the Police Act 1967 provides that any assembly, meeting or procession shall be deemed to be an unlawful assembly where it takes place without a licence or in which three or more persons taking part in it neglects or refuses to obey any order given by the police.

The provisions appear a bit harsh. What’s an “assembly” in the first place? A get-together? A meet-up? When can it be deemed unlawful? Does it mean that at any one time I go out with two other friends, it can be deemed unlawful by the police at their whims and fancies?

The Penal Code states that an assembly of 5 persons or more is designated as an “unlawful assembly” if the common object of the persons composing that assembly are to: –

– Overcome by criminal force, or show criminal force, the Legislative or Executive Government of Malaysia or any State, or any public servant in the exercise of the lawful power of such public servant;

– Resist the execution of any law or of any legal process;

– Commit any mischief or criminal trespass, or other offence;

– Use criminal force, or show of criminal force, to any person to take or obtain possession of any property, or to deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or of use of water or other incorporeal right of which he is in possession or enjoyment, or to enforce any right or supposed right, or

– By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force to compel any person to do what he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do what he is legally bound to do.

The “emergency sitting” – led by Speaker V. Sivakumar and the 28 Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen – hardly qualifies as an unlawful assembly within the definition of the Penal Code. Note that an unlawful assembly is where the persons show criminal force against the Legislative or any public servant. But in this case here, it is the Perak Legislature and its public servant who are charged, not the other way round.

If one looks at it objectively, it is those who assemble and try to stop the sitting of the Perak State Legislature who is the guilty ones. In fact, doesn’t the Penal Code state that those who “… deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way” be guilty of an offence as well (this means those who sealed off the State Secretariat to prevent the assemblymen to exercise the lawful power of a public servant?

The law states that if people try to stop a public servant in exercising a duty, he or she can be charged. But only in Malaysia, a public servant can be charged for exercising a public duty.

In any event, I’m no longer taking any chances. If lawmakers can be charged for illegal assembly, who am I to be an exception to the risk. No more group dates for me; no more mamak session; no more stopping to gawk at an accident; no more standing to look at fireworks during the New Year; no more merrymaking bash at Dataran Merdeka.

In fact, I’m going to stop taking the KTM Komuter or the LRT, unless the carriage has less than 3 persons in it.

Posted in Oscar the Grouch | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

A System Based On Animalistic Brutality…….Malaysia Surely “Boleh”!!!!

Posted by ErnieJean on March 5, 2009

I was not surprised at all when the second post mortem by an independant pathologist revealed Kugan was beaten to death. But what truly shocked me to the core was the way he was repeatedly beated and tortured……….It definitely looked like Kugan was set upon by a pack of crazy rabid dogs…..I don’t care how much of a hardened criminal he was, but to die in such brutal circumstances……….It’s an OUTRAGE!!!!

kugan11yb6

kugan12yn7

Whoever did that the first post mortem report should have his practising license revoked!!! Does that look like a body of someone who died from water in his lungs!!?? And the AG is still dragging his feet on this, as expected, purportedly still waiting for more evidences to fall onto his lap from the sky or something…….One wonders why Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case was executed with so much more speed……

I really wonder sometimes, did we Malaysians pay taxes to hire police officers to ensure the security and safety of all Malaysians or did we hire “Al-Qaeda Rejects” as someone’s personal watchdogs and mercenaries?

Speaking of cold blooded murders on the Taxpayers’ payroll, Raja Petra and Susan Loone were one of the first blogs to feature this write up in a French newspaper.

Check out http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/18841/84/ for the original sworn statement, which so far was kept hidden, by one of the murderers, Sirul Azhar Omar during interrogation by the police on 19 November 2006.

It basically not only confirms how and why Altantuya was killed but also that they were hired to kill her…..and believe me, you’d weep like I did when you come to that part where they described killing her in cold blood like as if she was just a piece of worthless meat…………..

The Altantuya Shaaribuu’s case: how and why she was killed
Published in the Liberation French newspaper on 5th March 2009

This is the English translation of the Liberation French article:

Shaaribuu Setev is a bitter and disappointed man. Yet, behind the saddened face of this Mongolian lies a fierce determination. Seated in a sofa in the lobby of an Ulaan Baataar hotel rattled by gushes of a freezing wind, this sixty years old man is ready to fight. His face features, hardened by the suffering and the stern climate, and his intense gaze tell all. “My daughter has been murdered by Malaysians on Malaysian territory. And they did not have even offer a word of apology,” states this professor of psychology at the National University of Mongolia.

The assassination of his daughter, Altantuya Shaaribuu, took place in October 2006. This was a murder unlike others in a region where business conflicts or petty politics are often settled with a gun. Everything in this case, which started in 2002 when the French Spanish company Armaris concluded the sale of three submarines to the Malaysian government for the amount of one billion Euros, is out of the ordinary.

The impact of the “Altantuya case” in France, Malaysia and Mongolia has yet to reach its climax. The murder of the 28 year old Mongolian was the result of a “commission” at the price of 114 million Euros by Armaris to its Malaysian counterpart. This “commission,” which was acknowledged by the Malaysian government in front of the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, has triggered a chain of events that has led to the assassination of Altantuya and the disappearance of several key witnesses in the case.

A report from the Malaysian police, written on 19th november 2006 and which has been kept secret until now (can be read below), reveals dry and precise descriptions as to how this young woman, a member of Asian high society, has been killed. In this document, one of the killers, a policeman of the Malaysian Special Branch named Sirul Omar, replied to the questions of an officer at a police station close to the murder scene. “When the Chinese woman saw that I was taking a gun, she begged me to spare her, saying she was pregnant. Azilah (the commanding officer of Sirul) grabbed her and [threw] her on the ground. I immediately shot the left side of her face. Then Azilah took off her clothes and put them in a black plastic bag. Azilah noticed that her hand was still moving. He ordered me to shoot again, which I did”, said Sirul. This is the first confirmation of Altantuya’s assassins’ identity. “Then we carried her body into the woods. Azilah wrapped the explosives around her legs, her abdomen and her head, and we exploded her.” (Do these people have souls!!!!!!???????)

The revelation of this report in the French newspaper Liberation is the latest chapter in this colourful and dramatic saga featuring French weapon sellers, Mongolian Shaman, and Malaysian politicians. This case is explosive not only for the Malaysian government, since the deputy Prime minister Najib Razak (who is scheduled to become Prime minister at the end of March) is suspected of having links to the case, but also because it could embarrass the DCNS, this French company specialising in military shipbuilding. The French Spanish company Armaris, which sold two Scorpène and one Agosta submarines to Malaysia in June 2002, was bought by DCNS in 2007.

With her magnetic beauty and sophistication, Altantuya is reminiscent of the troubling image of a Far East Mata Hari. She grew up in Saint Petersburg (Russia), then studied at the Institute of Economic Management in Beijing. Besides speaking English, she is fluent in Russian, Chinese and Korean. The fateful cycle for Altantuya came into gear when she met Abdul Razak Baginda in Hong Kong in 2004. Baginda is a security expert and the director of the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre, a pro-government think-tank. The two quickly became romantically involved. Altantuya, nicknamed Tuya by her friends, proved to be a useful assistant, helping Baginda translate from Russian to English.

Whereas Altantuya is young and beautiful, the rich and alluring Baginda is a well known figure of the Kuala Lumpur’s elite, notably because of his proximity to the Malaysian Deputy Prime minister and minister of Defense Najib Razak (he is also his security affairs adviser). Baginda parades in the most exclusive circles of Kuala Lumpur, sometimes accompanied by his legitimate wife.

In March 2005, Altantuya and Baginda departed for Europe, touring France, Germany, Italy and Portugal in the red Ferrari of Baginda, staying in posh hotels and dining in the finest restaurants of the old Continent. This trip, however, was not only for tourism: the contract for the sale of the submarines had been signed in 2002, but important details had yet to be settled. “We knew that Baginda was used by Deputy Prime minister Najib Razak as an intermediary for weapons systems deals, especially the high level ones,” says a regional security affairs expert.

At the end of March 2005 the couple was in Paris, where they met with Najib Razak. A picture shows the threesome in a Parisian private club. “Tuya showed me the pix. She said that one of the men was her boyfriend, Abdul Razak Baginda, and the other the “big boss”, Najib Razak. I asked her if they were brothers because of the names, but she said no, and that Najib Razak was the ‘prime minister’”, said Amy, Altantuya’s best friend (Najib Razak has sworn on the Koran that he has never met Altantuya). According to a private detective, now in hiding in India, the beautiful Tuya was also the occasional mistress of the deputy Prime minister, who was introduced to her by Baginda at the end of 2004.

The story became dramatic when, in October 2006, Altantuya was informed that the commission paid by the French-Spanish company Armaris had arrived on a Kuala Lumpur bank account. It had been paid to Perimekar, a company owned by Baginda. Altantuya rushed to Kuala Lumpur, in order to claim her share of the commission from Baginda ; she said she was entitled to 500,000 dollars. Baginda and Altantuya broke up prior to this. A jealous Rosmah Mansor, the feared businesswoman and wife of Najib Razak, objected any payment to Altantuya. Altantuya arrived in Kuala Lumpur with two other Mongolian women, one of them was a Shaman responsible for putting a spell on Baginda if he refused to pay. For several days, Altantuya harassed her ex-lover. (Funny isnt’ it? That even a foreigner knows her reputation….)

On the 18th of October, Baginda could no longer tolerate the daily scenes made by Altantuya in front of his house. He contacted the Director of the Special Branch, Musa Safrie, who happened to also be Najib Razak’s aide de camp. On October 19th, 2006, a little before 9 pm, two police officers of the Special Branch, Azilah Hadridan and Sirul Omar, were sent in front of Baginda’s house where Altantuya was gesticulating and shouting. They had the order of “neutralising the Chinese woman.” They kidnapped her, and drove her ten kilometers away and shot her several times. Then, they destroyed her body with C4 explosives, a type which can only be obtained from within the Defense Ministry. Her entry into Malaysia was erased from the immigration records. It would appear that Altantuya had never come to Malaysia, because there is no trace left of her.

There is no perfect crime. The taxi driver hired by Altantuya for the day did not appreciate that his passenger was kidnapped under his eyes without payment for the fare. He took note of the registration plate of the kidnapper’s car and filed a complaint at the local police station. In a few days, the police identified the car and realised that it was a government vehicle.

Events unfolded that even the Deputy Prime minister Najib Razak could not impede. He tried to cover the case. A few hours before the arrest of Baginda, he sent him a SMS: “I will see the Inspector General of Police at 11 am today… The problem will be solved. Be cool”. A few hours after, Baginda was arrested as well as the two police officers of the Special Branch, Azilah and Sirul.

After a trial considered dubious by many observers, Baginda was acquitted with the accusation of having ordered the murder and released in November 2008. Accused of having perpetrated the murder, Azilah and Sirul appeared in front of the Court last month. If convicted, their sentence is death. The verdict is scheduled for the 9th of April.

Thousands of miles from there, in the Mongolian capital city Ulaan Baataar, Shaaribuu Setev, Altantuya’s father, is trying to control his anger. To him and his family, the acquittal and release of Baginda is symbolic of the unfairness of the Malaysian judicial process: “The Malaysian government is not even answering to the letters from the Mongolian Foreign Affairs Ministry,” he says.

When Shaaribuu came to the Malaysian Parliament to meet Najib Razak, the Deputy Prime minister had to escape through a back door in order to avoid an embarrassing encounter. The Altantuya case has become a key element of the Malaysian political game between Najib Razak (who is expected to become Prime Minister after the United Malay Nation Organisation (UMNO) Congress in March) and the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. So far, Najib Razak has navigated around the obstacles, but the murder of the young Mongolian remains a sword suspended over his head.

One of the most obscure aspects of the Altantuya case is the role of the Armaris company. In October 2007, the Malaysian Deputy Defense minister, Zainal Abdidin Zin, acknowledged in front of the Parliament that Armaris had effectively paid 114 million Euros in commission to Perimekar. He maintained that it was not a bribe, but a payment for “support and coordination services.”

Was there corruption as in the case of the Taiwanese frigates in which the French DCNS was also implicated? DCNS, a private company with public financing, has declined our request for a meeting. “Nobody can comment on this case,” was the sober reply of the DCNS Press relations officer in Paris. A document, which could establish a link between Altantuya and the French company is the guarantee letter written by Abdul Razak Baginda so that his mistress could obtain a visa to enter the Schengen zone (of whom France is a member country). The French embassy could not refuse this service to a man decorated with the Legion d’Honneur. But the role of Altantuya in the submarines negotiations is still not clear. Intelligence agencies find her background intriguing and the Russian FSB (ex-KGB) is following closely the case.

In Ulaan Baataar, Mungunshagai, the eldest son of Altantuya, who is 12 years old, is traumatised by the death of his mother. Altanshagai, the youngest, who is five years old and mentally handicapped, has not understood that he will never see again his mother. “He is asking for her all the time and is staying the whole day prostrated on his chair. Every evening, I bring him sweets and I tell him that his mother gave it to me for him”, says Shaaribuu Setev, the grandfather of the two boys. As for Baginda, he settled down in the United Kingdom with his family. He never uttered a word of regret on the deadly fate of the one who shared his life for two years.

Arnaud Dubus (in Kuala Lumpur, Ulaan Baataar and Paris)

Do you still trust Mr. Policeman with your life and safety?

Do you trust our justice system to uphold justice and truth?

Do you trust our future PM and his scary wife with out nation’s well-being?

So, who can we trust????????????????????????????????????

Posted in Current Affairs, Dandelions, erniejean, Famous for Wrong Reason, government, Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak, Raja Petra Kamarudin | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Malaysian Schools…….The Playground of Suppression…….????

Posted by ErnieJean on March 4, 2009

We all know that our Malaysian school system practises a suppressive approach to educating our children….they’re taught to never ask questions and not encouraged to think for themselves, but to just receive whatever’s been fed to them, even though it may be crap……but what I didn’t expect was that this “suppression” was not confined only to the books………..

My 8-year old : Mum, I’m not allowed to bring the sharpener to school.

Me : Why? What if all your pencils (6 of them, by the way) broke?

My 8-year old : My teacher said that we will dirty our classroom if we used the sharpeners in class.

Me : *jaw dropped*

On the surface, this may seem like a petty issue…..but if you examine closely, on a larger scale, this is the sort of mentality  that has created the sort of governance Malaysians are stuck with at the moment…….where the higher authorities simply decide to ban whatever just because they can’t be bothered to deal with the intricacies involved in explaining or following up on certain issues.

Doesn’t this sound just soooo like the typical UMNO-style of doing things?

By disallowing the children to use the sharpener in school, how are these kids expected to learn to keep their classrooms clean while sharpening their pencils?

Instead of taking the trouble to teach and guide these school kids to do things correctly, the teachers basically chose the easy way out……by pretending that the cause of the action doesn’t exist, hence less matters to think over…..

No sharpeners, so no pencil shavings on the floor……EASY-BEASY.

Is that why our youngsters these days generally lack social maturity and responsibilities? Is that why littering and vandalism are still very much part of our society?

Yes, ultimately parents play the important role of moulding their children to be responsible citizens….but weren’t schools and institutions established in the first place to create/churn out good decent human beings too?

Isn’t it important that whatever has been taught at home be allowed to be put into practise when in school and for that matter, in public places? 

My main bane is that, from the very bottom of the food chain aka the schools, right up to the top of the pyramid aka political masters of this country, this form of “suppression” has conveniently been made a tool to keep the rest of us in our place, hasn’t it?

School kids wanting to question the rationale behind a certain theory……………..SUPPRESS

Sex and sexuality……………….SUPPRESS

Citizens’ rights to peaceful expression of discontent…………….SUPPRESS

Usage of “Allah” by religions other than Islam, since it’s accepted internationally, even in the Middle East…………….SUPPRESS

Debate on jurisdiction of our royalty…………………SUPPRESS

True Democracy………….SUPPRESS

And now you know why all our Prime Ministers must have a stint at the Education Ministry first, as part of their training………to learn how to effectively “Suppress”…….

IT ALL STARTS FROM OUR SCHOOLS, FOLKS………

suppress

Posted in Education, erniejean, government, Human Rights, Malaysia, Observations, Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

The David Copperfield of Malaysian Law: Law today, gone tomorrow

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on March 1, 2009

Were we all not amazed when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear? The jaws of the world dropped – literary – at such magical feat. How did he do it? Perhaps David Copperfield was actually gifted with powers of the supernatural. Perhaps he dabbled in the occult.

But then, what is that compared to the kuasa sakti of our Home Minister, Syed Hamid Albar. With the flicker of his magical Harry Potter pen, he made law disappear. On January 21, he signed a directive under the Internal Security Act by way of gazette, allowing the conditional use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications. The gazette came into effect on February 16. On March 1, Syed Hamid Albar said that he would issue a fresh gazette to rescind the earlier gazette – the reason being – there were “mistakes” made in the drafting of the Feb 16 gazette.

This issue is in relation to the usage by the Catholic Church of the word “Allah” in their publication – the Catholic Herald. A legal suit was filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to challenge the ban by the government. In a surprising turn of event, Syed Hamid Albar issued the gazette allowing the use of the word “Allah”, provided there is a disclaimer to the effect that the words “For Christians” were clearly printed on the publications. But of course, this decision is now reversed, by reason of mistake.

I do not wish to dwell on the usage of the word “Allah”; let that be something for our dear courts to decide. I do wish to point out, however, of several foolish and unwarranted implications arising from this blunder from Syed Hamid Albar.

Firstly, how can someone make a “mistake” in issuing a directive, which later was put on print as gazette? Once a gazette is issued, it becomes law of the land, albeit subsidiary and secondary to the principal Act, the Internal Securities Act 1960. I don’t know the actual workings of the issuing of a gazette – but I’ve been made to understand that the document would have to be drafted and proof-read by at least 2 people and a committee before it could be signed by the minister.

So, who screwed up? The person who took wrong notes during the meeting? The AG’s Chambers who drafted the wordings of the gazette? The committee who was supposed to vet the document? The Minister, who was obviously half-asleep when he sign it? Or perhaps, it was the government printers, who took it upon themselves to print something else than what was instructed upon them?

In any event, it doesn’t appear as if the revered concept of ministerial responsibility – practised in jurisdictions of Westminster parliamentary systems – would apply to Syed Hamid Albar. Dear minister, this is not main-main punya perkara; for God’s sake, you’re issuing a law that binds the citizens of Malaysia. Where can mistake-mistake punya? In Japan, hara-kiri would have been an honourable outlet of redemption. But I guess, in Malaysia, the thought of resigning would not, however fleetingly, cross the mind of Syed Hamid.

Which brings to mind the actual wording of the gazette, entitled “Internal Security (Prohibition on Use of Specific Words on Document and Publication) Order 2009”: –

Paragraph 2(1):

The printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words Allah, Kaabah, Baitullah and solat are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words “FOR CHRISTIANITY.”

I fail to see, from the wordings of the order, how a “mistake” can arise? The provisions appear crisp and clear. The whole episode appears more to be a decision-taken-in-reverse, rather than a technical mistake. This appears evident, considering that there were calls by certain bodies, notably the Malaysian Islamic Da’wah Foundation, urging the government to withdraw permission for the conditional use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications.

This is definitely not the type of governmental decision that we want to see – laws being made – and un-made – not for the good of the citizens, but at the influential behest of certain important individuals or organizations.

Another damning implication arising from Syed Hamid Albar’s action in issuing a fresh gazette to cancel the earlier one – is that it creates an unhealthy precedent affronting the rules of retrospective laws. Article 7 (1) of the Federal Constitution provides that no person shall be punished for an act or omission which was not punishable by law when it was done or made.

For example, if smoking is not an offence today, then a law cannot be made tomorrow to declare smoking an offence today – this is retrospective laws. This means, I cannot be convicted of smoking yesterday, last week or last month by a law that operates retrospectively.

But by issuing “cancellation” orders, Syed Hamid may be doing just that. On February 16, the law allows me to use the word “Allah”. Because of that – I start printing, publishing and circulating to people in my church. 2 weeks later, a new law come up to revoke the old law – to the effect that there was no such law in the first place. This means, technically, I have committed an offence and can be charged under the ISA.

By doing what Syed Hamid has done, a precedent has been set. Let’s take another example: – say now, a law is passed today to legalize the smoking of marijuana – and people start doing just that, smoking marijuana – 6 months later the Home Minister revokes the law and puts everyone in bars. Is that possible?

All said and done, Syed Hamid Albar is truly Malaysia’s resident magician – Law today, gone tomorrow.

Posted in Observations, Opinions, Oscar the Grouch | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »