PAGE warns BN of polls backlash from PPSMI snub

October 30, 2011
Children stand next to a PAGE poster, during the group’s launch event in Petaling Jaya, March 7, 2010. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Barisan Nasional (BN) risks losing votes in upcoming polls if it continues barring students from learning science and maths using English in schools, a parents lobby group said today.

The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) wants the 10-year-old policy of teaching science and maths in English at national schools (PPSMI) to be made an option for students in primary and secondary schools.

“If it is political (decision on PPSMI) give us the PPSMI option in national primary and secondary schools, and we will give you the two-thirds majority, which you are making increasingly difficult for us to do.

“Do not make us give the opposition our vote,” said PAGE chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said in a statement to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.

“We would not like the Najib administration to be remembered for abolishing PPSMI, for not regaining the two-thirds majority and for making our children yet another lost generation,” she said bluntly.

Noor Azimah stressed that the government’s past decision in introducing PPSMI in schools was not “flawed”, adding it would empower students with the skills and knowledge needed to compete with other countries should the policy be retained.

She criticised Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for saying yesterday that the education system will turn chaotic if parents were allowed to freely choose the medium of instruction for their children.

Calling it “unacceptable”, Noor Azimah charged that all science and mathematics teachers should be able to teach in either Bahasa Malaysia or English as the PPSMI policy had previously been in place for nine years.

“If the number of schools that choose English are small, then it would be even easier to provide the teachers. The reasons should be addressed head-on and not swept under the carpet after spending RM3 billion of the rakyat’s hard earned income. We want an explanation,” she said.

Noor Azimah said that the current education system only divided children according to race-based schools, a split that was slowly incorporating class differences as seen in the growing popularity of private and international schools.

She stressed that PPSMI was not about learning English through science and mathematics, but to provide the context to put the language into practise.

Opposition parties like the DAP have thrown their weight behind PAGE’s cause, demanding the Education Ministry be more flexible and give students the option which will enable the country to retain its best talents.

The growing row over the education policy has split the country along racial, political lines ahead of national polls likely to be called early next year.

Vocal fundamental groups are using the issue to champion their version of nationalism.

Several non-partisan civil societies have recently banded together to counter this tide but the powerful Malay-dominant political parties appear to be reluctant to commit to this hot potato issue ahead of the 13th general election.

Noor Azimah said that PAGE will be sending a letter of appeal to Najib on the matter tomorrow morning in Putrajaya.

PAGE warns BN of polls backlash from PPSMI snub

October 30, 2011
Children stand next to a PAGE poster, during the group’s launch event in Petaling Jaya, March 7, 2010. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Barisan Nasional (BN) risks losing votes in upcoming polls if it continues barring students from learning science and maths using English in schools, a parents lobby group said today.

The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) wants the 10-year-old policy of teaching science and maths in English at national schools (PPSMI) to be made an option for students in primary and secondary schools.

“If it is political (decision on PPSMI) give us the PPSMI option in national primary and secondary schools, and we will give you the two-thirds majority, which you are making increasingly difficult for us to do.

“Do not make us give the opposition our vote,” said PAGE chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said in a statement to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.

“We would not like the Najib administration to be remembered for abolishing PPSMI, for not regaining the two-thirds majority and for making our children yet another lost generation,” she said bluntly.

Noor Azimah stressed that the government’s past decision in introducing PPSMI in schools was not “flawed”, adding it would empower students with the skills and knowledge needed to compete with other countries should the policy be retained.

She criticised Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for saying yesterday that the education system will turn chaotic if parents were allowed to freely choose the medium of instruction for their children.

Calling it “unacceptable”, Noor Azimah charged that all science and mathematics teachers should be able to teach in either Bahasa Malaysia or English as the PPSMI policy had previously been in place for nine years.

“If the number of schools that choose English are small, then it would be even easier to provide the teachers. The reasons should be addressed head-on and not swept under the carpet after spending RM3 billion of the rakyat’s hard earned income. We want an explanation,” she said.

Noor Azimah said that the current education system only divided children according to race-based schools, a split that was slowly incorporating class differences as seen in the growing popularity of private and international schools.

She stressed that PPSMI was not about learning English through science and mathematics, but to provide the context to put the language into practise.

Opposition parties like the DAP have thrown their weight behind PAGE’s cause, demanding the Education Ministry be more flexible and give students the option which will enable the country to retain its best talents.

The growing row over the education policy has split the country along racial, political lines ahead of national polls likely to be called early next year.

Vocal fundamental groups are using the issue to champion their version of nationalism.

Several non-partisan civil societies have recently banded together to counter this tide but the powerful Malay-dominant political parties appear to be reluctant to commit to this hot potato issue ahead of the 13th general election.

Noor Azimah said that PAGE will be sending a letter of appeal to Najib on the matter tomorrow morning in Putrajaya.

DAP pushes for optional PPSMI

October 30, 2011
PPSMI advocates gather to deliver a memorandum to the prime minister, in Putrajaya, January 19, 2011. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The Education Ministry must be more flexible and give students the option to learn maths and science in English, the DAP urged today, saying such a policy can help the country retain its best talents.

The party threw its weight today behind a pro-English group in the tug-of-war over Putrajaya’s decision to abandon the 10-year-old policy of teaching science and maths in English at national schools — better known by its Malay abbreviation, PPSMI.

The growing row over the education policy has split the country along racial, political lines ahead of national polls likely to be called early next year.

Vocal fundamental groups are using the issue to champion their version of nationalism.

Several non-partisan civil societies have recently banded together to counter this tide but the powerful Malay-dominant political parties appear to be reluctant to commit to this hot potato issue ahead of the 13th general election.

Muhyiddin said letting parents freely pick between English and Bahasa Malaysia would cause chaos. — File pic
“The important principle that the Ministry of Education (MoE) must adopt is that advanced students should not be held back because of students who lagged behind academically,” DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said today in a statement.

“Secondly, and more importantly, every effort should be made to ensure that our schools are able to produce the best human capital for Malaysia as we seek to be part of the knowledge economy, to become a high-income nation,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said.

He was replying to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s insistence yesterday to replace PPSMI with a new policy designed to raise the position of Bahasa Malaysia, to be implemented in January next year with the start of the new school term.

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said yesterday the education system will turn chaotic if parents were allowed to freely choose the medium of instruction for their children.

Pua also rejected as a poor excuse Muhyiddin’s explanation that the government lacked capable English language teachers.

He urged the government to review its decision to do away with the PPSMI altogether, saying the move was the same as “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”.

“If parents prefer English as the medium of instruction and the students are more than able to cope, then every effort should be made to allow such schools to continue with PPSMI,” he said.

ISLAMIC LAW MUST BE FORCED UPON NON MUSLIMS!

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak must walk the talk with his 1 Malaysia slogan by instructing the Home Minister to take action against Malaysian National Defence University lecturer and Chinese Muslim convert Ridhuan Tee Abdullah (pic above) who has not for the first time gone against the Sedition Act by saying that Hudud Law must be imposed by force against non Muslim Malaysians. Ridhuan is a threat to the nation as he attempts to show he is more Malay than the Malays themselves by letting fly such dangerous ideas and opinions. It appears that the BN/Umno Regime is protecting this rogue academician as the Police it appears, is doing nothing against Ridhuan Tee.

Courtesy of Malaysiakini

The only way to implement the Islamic hudud law is by implementing it "by force", Malaysian National Defence University lecturer Ridhuan Tee Abdullah said today.

"To implement Islamic law and to educate non-Muslims (on Islam) can only be done by force," the associate professor told a forum entitled 'Hudud: Its dilemma and implementation' organised by Malay-language daily Sinar Harian in Shah Alam today.

Qualifying his assertion, Ridhuan said this is because the "negative attitude" of non-Muslims towards Islamic law makes it unlikely that they will voluntarily accept its implementation.

He related his own experience as being an ethnic Chinese from a staunchly Chinese family and observations and studies of non-Muslims and their perception of Malaysia's federal religion.

"I can say that from then (the past) till now, the perception of non-Muslims toward Islam hasn't improved."

He also cited studies that show that the perception of the Chinese, even amongst the educated, toward Islam and hudud is very unfavourable.

"It is said that when asked to pick between an Umno that is known to be corrupt and PAS that is known for its integrity, a Chinese would rather chose the corrupt Umno over PAS and the Islamic state," claimed Ridhuan.

He said with what he felt was serious fragmentation amongst Muslims despite being the majority, they neither had the clout nor the will to follow through with implementing hudud.

"We should have taken the chance to do so (implement Islamic law) after May 13 (1969)," he said.

He argued that at the time, momentum on the side of the Malay-Muslims presented the perfect opportunity to force the implementation of Islamic law.

‘Chinese receptive’

Another panellist, state exco member for religious affairs Mohd Amar Abdullah however said that PAS, in particular its government in Kelantan has other ideas on hudud.

"It is about a change of mindset. From viewing Islam as a ritual, to viewing Islam as a way of life.

"This is via implementing Islamic policies and educating the rakyat, in preparation for their acceptance of Islam and hudud," said Mohd Amar.

He explained that while the PAS led Kelantan government passed the hudud enactment in 1993, they did not implement it in toto immediately.

"We can compromise in the implementation," Mohd Amar said, adding that PAS' experience in Kelantan showed that unlike Ridhuan's assertation, non-Muslims are very receptive to explanations about hudud and Islam.

He explained that time is needed to ensure not only acceptance by the rakyat, but also that all the proper procedures and the nitty-gritty are spelled out in advance.

"The important thing now is to put hudud at its rightful place as a law, then we can work towards implementing it."

Hudud, he said, is not only about cutting off hands of thieves that most people equate it to, but involved a whole slew of other issues and considerations that show the true compassionate face of Islam.

"There is actually a twenty point checklist that will defer the punishment of amputation for thieves," he explained, such as sparing those who steal because of economic pressure and for thefts of goods that are low in value.

The issue of Islamic law and specifically its subset of hudud has been the point of contention for PAS that has pledged to implement Islamic law, to the cool reception from political ally the DAP.

The issue has been played up by the BN at the onset of most general elections, critics say, as the bogeyman had in the past used to scare non-Muslims into supporting the ruling coalition.

Go here to read what Ridhuan Tee has been saying AND GETTING AWAY WITH

http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partner-pub-2523078543230481%3An2gntr-sqmv&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=ridhuan+tee&sa=Search#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=ridhuan%20tee&gsc.page=1

The BIGGEST BASTARD of the PRO-UMNO BLOGGERS






"...Since our favourite group of UMNO-loving inbreds have run out of sextapes in their porn stash to target politicians opposing UMbred, they have turned their focus towards Lim Guan Eng’s 16-year old son.
It’s one thing to watch sextapes over and over again – like a sex maniac – just to spot if the ‘actor’ looks like Politician X or Customs Officer Y.

But it’s an entirely different thing to conjure up stories of a 16-year old boy ‘touching’ a 16-year old girls private parts.
That’s called being a pedophile.

Or at least, a pedophile with sex fantasies involving MINORS i.e. kids below the age of 18. Punishable by law, if I may say so.


Especially since they made this up, it involves actual living people, and involves the fabrication and defamation of minors in the context of sexual elements.


Khairy ‘sonafabitch’ Jamaluddin’s displayed a sexual interest into the propagated fictional story of LGE’s son: See this Link:
Khairy Twitter

UMNO is fucked up. They’re comprised of sexual baboons that once they hit 60, they rely on Viagra and watching shit on papagomo’s blog."
































































Pro-English group hits back: Don't twist the facts for "political expediency"

Pro-English group hits back: Don't twist the facts for "political expediency"

GMP (Gabungan Mansuhkan PPSMI), led by PAS members is pushing the Government to stand firm on abolishing PPSMI (The teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English) yet again, and claiming that only 3% of pupils benefited from PPSMI.

Evidence to support the continuance or abolishment of PPSMI, should be based on the achievements in UPSR, PMR and SPM. That should be the benchmark. The test results of these three national examinations, proved to be very encouraging, clearly supporting the continuance of PPSMI while contradicting all statements that have been brought against PPSMI.

Results are telling

Bear in mind that PPSMI started in 2003. Let’s evaluate the results.

UPSR chart – Passes in BM, English, Science and Mathematics 2001 – 2009, SK & SJK (Source: The Millenium Development Goals 2010)

a) Science and Mathematics passes were the highest in 2007, but took a dip in 2008 then picked up again in 2009, at the same level of 2007. The lowest result in Science and Mathematics was in the year 2001, when Science and Mathematics were still in Bahasa Malaysia.

b) The best achievement in English was in the year 2008, and the trend is on the incline ever since the start of PPSMI.

c) In SK Bahasa Malaysia result was constant, showing that PPSMI has no negative effect on Bahasa Malaysia. In fact, the highest achievement in Bahasa Malaysia was recorded after the implementation of PPSMI. On the other hand, achievements in Bahasa Malaysia in vernaculars schools (Chinese & Tamil) show a declining trend from year 2006/2007.

PMR chart – Passes in BM, English, Science and Mathematics 2001 – 2009, SK and SJK (Source: The Millenium Development Goals 2010)

a) PMR results were the most affected by the PPSMI switch. It showed a dip in the early years of PPSMI in all main subjects except English; however the trend showed improvement from 2007 onwards for Science and Mathematics

b) English improved, evident in year 2003 -2009 with PPSMI in operation. Bahasa Malaysia remained constant throughout.

SPM charts – Passes in BM, English, Science and Mathematics 2004 – 2010, Rural & Urban students (Source: MOE)

a) In Science, the rural students constantly outperformed the urban students throughout the seven-year trend. Clearly the rural students were able to cope with PPSMI contrary to the perception that rural students do not fare well with PPSMI. The highest achievement in Science recorded in the year 2008 by the rural students.

b) In Mathematics, the rural students were beginning to show improvements from the year 2008 onwards. The best percentage increment took place between the year 2009 and 2010, recorded by the rural students. The best performance by rural students was in 2010. The urban-rural gap showed narrowing trends with the 2010 performance.

c) In English, both the urban and rural students showed improvement throughout the years, best performance in 2010.

d) In Bahasa Malaysia, both urban and rural students were at par with each other. The results were constant throughout the seven year trend. It suffers no damage under PPSMI.

English works even for Rural students

PPSMI is working, even for the rural students. That is the conclusion that can be derived from the three examination results under the PPSMI policy. They all showed improvements in English, no reduction in Bahasa Malaysia, and improvements in Science and Mathematics in the last few years.

GMP has joined the bandwagon because they have nothing to lose to push for the abolishment of PPSMI. It is good for them since the parents who cannot get PPSMI could ironically vote for PAS at the coming election.

Parents with national school going children and concerned citizens must come together to ensure that their voices are heard. It is not about politics. It is about the children, and parents want what is best for their children. The Education Act 1996 stipulates that “pupils are to be educated according to the wishes of their parents”, not teachers, not principals, not PTAs and most definitely, not politicians or deluded national language linguists.

This may well be our last ditch attempt to urge the government to offer the PPSMI option to parents who want their children to continue with it indefinitely. Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) urges all parents who support PPSMI to speak up NOW. Parents should do the right thing in the name of their children and the future.

In large numbers, parents voice matter. To date we have 100,000 phone numbers of parents who support PPSMI. Make the voices heard for the sake of the children and for the future of this beloved nation. Yes to PPSMI option. Register at www.pagemalaysia.org .

PAGE is an educational lobbyist that aims to serve as a channel between concerned parents, the Ministry of Education and other educational stakeholders

Rights group slams ex-top cop Rahim Noor

The association of ex-human rights commissioners (Proham) has taken issue with the assertion by a former police chief that human rights is a threat to Malaysia.

"Advocates and promoters of human rights in Malaysia must be regarded as true defenders of the spirit of the federal constitution and not viewed as a threat as argued by (former inspector-general of police) Abdul Rahim Noor," said the group in statement yesterday.

Proham said that it considered Abdul Rahim's remarks, delivered during a speech at the second annual general assembly of Malay rights NGO Perkasa on Wednesday, "with great concern".
abdul rahim noor perkasa 2nd agmThe former top cop has described the new threat as a "human rights wave", akin a new religion and comparable to the previous "wave" of communism that swept through Malaysia.

Abdul Rahim also posited that the "human rights wave is threatening the principles upon which the nation was built".

While recognising Abdul Rahim's right to speak his mind, Proham however strongly refuted his stance.

"The founding fathers of Malaya in 1957 and Malaysia in 1963 made a clear commitment to human rights as contained in Articles 5 to 13 such as equality, freedom of speech, assembly and association, and also freedom of religion."

In addition, Proham said, Malaysia has adopted a form of government which is based on parliamentary democracy with separation of powers - a form of governance that puts human rights as its highest consideration.

Proham argued that even if Malaysia has not ratified the Civil and Political Rights convention, it has made a commitment to respect human rights. Malaysia is also a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

It also pointed out that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has made a fresh pledge to make Malaysia a global example of human rights practice by reviewing some of the legislation which curtail fundamental liberties.

Based upon these two bulwarks, Proham contended that "the human rights movement is not a new wave which is threatening the nation but has been the cornerstone of our nation".

Rights group 'appalled'

Meanwhile, human rights advocacy group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) was "appalled" by the statements made by the former IGP and that of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamed, who came out in supportof his former underling.perodua tea time with mahathir function 271011 05"Such remarks made by Rahim Noor, Mahathir and other anti-human rights figures is a major embarrassment to our nation," argued LFL.

However, the NGO said that it was not surprised that Abdul Rahim came up with the statement, as during his time in office the former IGP "was guilty of widespread human rights abuses carried out by his police force under his directions, particularly during the Reformasi period".

"Nobody in their right mind can fathom his poor analysis in trying to dismiss human rights as a communism-like wave," LFL stated.

The group also alleged that Mahathir himself was another blatant violator of human rights since during his tenure as PM, there were mass arrests such as the Ops Lalang in 1987 and rampant police brutality.

"The attitude of BN governments since independence is that human rights advocates and activists are mere pests who should be disregarded and persecuted. In taking this position, they are absolutely wrong and failing in their duty to the rakyat."

MALAYSIAN AUDIT REPORT 2010 - Not leak, it's leaking ...(Bukan tiris, dah bocor...)






What is the motive of Najib attending caste functions? Is he trying to split the Indian community to win GE13.

Winning the mind, not the heart

October 28, 2011

A business leader says that Barisan Nasional must not take the Indian community for another ride, and calls for concrete steps to be initiated.

KUALA LUMPUR: The mammoth turnout for the Deepavali open house in Batu Caves has been trumpeted as another sign of the Indian community’s support returning for the ruling coalition under the stewardship of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

In the last general election, Indian voters, whose support for BN remained unwavering till then, cast their ballots for the opposition, leaving the coalition with a bloodied nose.

Upon assuming office in the following year, Najib embarked on a quest to win back the heart and mind of the Indian electorate.

While a spate of by-elections revealed that his efforts to woo Chinese votes yielded little, if no success, the voting trend in the same by-elections appears to be encouraging as far as Indian support is concerned.

Indian leaders in MIC and other pro-BN organisations have lauded Najib for his willingness to elevate the socio-economic standard of the community.

However, a seasoned political observer and business leader noted that the prime minister is winning over the minds with mere cosmetic changes and fanfares but has yet to make inroads into the hearts of the Indians.

Politician or statesman?

According to Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba) president P Sivakumar, Najib must make an important decision.

He must decide between being another run-of-the mill politician churning out “quick-fixes” to win votes and a statesman who will initiate genuine reforms to uplift a community that has been, in the words of MIC president G Palanivel himself, marginalised for decades.

“Spending millions on Deepavali bashes, fancy billboards and holding concerts will not benefit the community. We must journey beyond such superficial efforts to remedy the malaise,” he told FMT.

“BN should not take the Indian community for another ride,” he stressed, showering criticism on the community’s leaders who are willing accomplices in this plot.

The community leaders who help the ruling coalition perpetuate the oppression of the Indian community, he added, are committing a cardinal sin.

“This is because they are digging the graves of the future generation even before the dust has settled on the graves of the older generation,” he said.

GLC ads meaningless

Commenting on the Deepavali advertisements by government-linked companies, Sivakumar said it would have been more meaningful if Najib had announced that a certain percentage of employment opportunities or business contracts have been set aside for the Indians in GLCs such as Petronas and Pos Malaysia.

“For years, these companies only display their ‘all-encompassing’ attitude in advertisements during the festive season but the reality on the ground is starkly different.

“Are we as Malaysian citizens whose forefathers’ sweat and toil contributed immensely towards the progress of this nation, asking for too much?” he added.

Acknowledging that Indian support is growing for BN, the Miba president warned that the urban middle class and more educated Indian voters remain unconvinced and the government should not make the mistake of resting on its laurels thinking that all is well.

“These voters want to see significant changes and not dancers prancing on the stage. They are not interested in being paid to attend functions or a free lunch. If the government fails to deliver the goods, they will not deliver the votes. It’s as simple as that,” he added.

He said these voters want a just, equitable, transparent and accountable government which respects fundamental human rights.

Learn from Singapore

The Johor-based businessman said that the Malaysian government should learn from its counterpart across the causeway with regard to uplifting minority groups.

“Even the other day, I was having a chat with an elderly Singaporean gentlemen and he was telling me how in the early years, the Indians in the republic experienced similar social ills.

“But with the right policies and actions, the Singaporean government empowered the Indians there both economically and academically. Look at them today… compare them to us,” he said.

Sivakumar also took a swipe at the mindset of the civil service here, saying that it is still trapped in a dungeon of discrimination.

If Najib’s 1Malaysia concept is to be successful, he said, the rot in the civil service must be fixed first and those in government positions should stop considering the non-Malays as immigrants.

“Only then can we have an effective delivery system,” he added.

The Miba president also criticised Najib and Indian leaders for nurturing divisiveness through the caste system instead of uniting the community similar to Singapore.

“Why must the prime minister attend this and that caste function. This is a disease that has paralysed the Indian community for a long time and it should not be allowed to continue.

“I am aware that there are those who feel strongly about this issue but the hard truth is that the caste system will only impede our march forward. So let’s progress and not regress,” he said.

Proxy war in the battle of three PMs

Stephanie Sta Maria | October 28, 2011

Lim Kit Siang says that Najib's credibility rests on his human rights stand at CHOGM.

PETALING JAYA: DAP adviser, Lim Kit Siang, today questioned whether the twin warnings by former Inspector-General of Police, Rahim Noor, and former premier, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on human rights in Malaysia was in fact “an open proxy shot in a battle of three prime ministers”.

Rahim had likened the rise of human rights movements to communism during Perkasa’s general assembly on Wednesday.

His statement sparked outrage among various human rights groups but won endorsement from Mahathir who warned that human rights was being used for political benefit by the opposition.

In his latest blog post, Lim noted the uncanny timing of both warnings with the opening of the CHOGM today, which will consider a report of an 11-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG).

The report contains reform proposals to end its organisational “decay” and avoid the Commonwealth being condemned as “hypocritical” for allowing rogue member states to violate human rights and democratic conventions.

Lim said that the EPG report includes 106 recommendations including the appointment of an independent Commonwealth Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights commissioner empowered to monitor violations and propose action against rogue states.

“And heading the EPG is none other than our fifth prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” he pointed out.

“Were the warnings by Mahathir and Rahim a warning to Najib not to support Abdullah’s EPG proposals in improving the Commonwealth’s response to human rights violations?”

Poor analysis

The Ipoh Timur MP further queried whether Najib would now endorse Abdullah and the EPG proposals or buckle under pressure by Mahathir and Rahim to shield rogue Commonwealth countries from scrutiny and censure.

“The stand Najib takes in Perth will be a clear indication as to whether his promises of democratisation and political transformation have any credibility,” he said.

The EPG report had also warned that it was time for the Perth CHOGM to authorise the urgent reform it recommends and to mandate a concrete implementation plan.

It further emphasised that “there may not be another chance to renew, reinvigorate and revitalise the Commonwealth to make it relevant to its times and people in the future”.

“Najib should take serious note of this warning as it is of equal pertinence to him as to the relevance of his premiership and Umno-BN rule to the people and country of Malaysia,” Lim said.

“Will Najib prove to be unequal not only to the task of Commonwealth reform but also to the challenge of reform and national transformation of Malaysia?”

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), meanwhile, expressed incredulity that both Mahathir and Rahim appeared to be getting away with their “absurd and irresponsible” statements.

In a media release this afternoon, LFL remarked that Rahim’s statement came as no surprise seeing as he was guilty of widespread human rights abuses during his tenure as IGP.

“Nobody in their right mind can fathom his poor analysis in trying to dismiss human rights as a communism-like wave,” it said.

“Mahathir was another blatant violator of human rights during his tenure as prime minister. One clear example is the mass arrests during Ops Lalang and police brutality during the early years of reformasi.”

LFL pointed out that the attitude of BN governments since independence is that human rights advocates and activists are mere pests who should be disregarded and persecuted.

“In taking this position they are absolutely wrong and failing in their duty to the rakyat,” it concluded.

Konflik PPSMI, PAGE enggan undur

October 28, 2011

Pengerusinya, Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim berkata, sejak penubuhan petisyen secara online dua minggu lalu, pihaknya berjaya mengumpulkan lebih 100, 000 sokongan ibu bapa terhadap PPSMI.

PETALING JAYA: Kumpulan Bertindak Ibu Bapa bagi Pendidikan (PAGE) akan menghantar memorandum kepada Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin supaya pelaksanaan Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI) dijalankan di negara ini

Pengerusi PAGE, Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim berkata, sejak penubuhan petisyen secara online dua minggu lalu, pihaknya berjaya mengumpulkan lebih 100, 000 sokongan ibu bapa terhadap PPSMI.

Menurutnya PAGE bertindak untuk memperkasakan pelajar-pelajar Melayu agar mahir Bahasa Inggeris dalam sains dan teknologi maka beliau menggesa kerajaan mencari jalan penyelesaian baru berhubung hal itu.

“Hal ini sudah merebak ke negeri-negeri lain seperti Selangor, Sabah dan Pulau Pinang. Jelas bahawa bukan PAGE sahaja yang mahu pilihan untuk meneruskan dasar PPSMI, malah kumpulan ibu bapa ini berfikiran sama.

“Contohnya di Petaling Jaya, Selangor saya difahamkan terdapat 200 orang ibu bapa berkumpul dan memberi pandangan agar wujud peluang meneruskan PPSMI. Mereka (ibu bapa) merasa tertekan. Kerajaan pula tidak mendengar apa kata mereka. Kerajaan perlu buat sesuatu sebelum perkara ini di luar kawalan.

“PAGE akan terus menunggu jawapan daripada pihak menteri dan kami akan hantar memorandum dalam masa terdekat.Kita akan hantar petisyen secara online yang kami jalankan. Setakat yang kami peroleh daripada PAGE dan Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) adalah lebih 100, 000 nombor telefon ibu bapa yang menyokong PPSMI,” katanya ketika dihubungi FMT hari ini.

Autonomi kepada sekolah

Sebelum ini PAGE dan JMM menggesa agar diberikan autonomi kepada sekolah untuk memilih PPSMI berdasarkan kajian mereka yang mendakwa sebahagian besar guru dan ibu bapa mengharapkan agar PPSMI dilaksanakan semula.

Ujar Noor Azimah cukup mengecewakan apabila statistik menunjukkan 80 peratus pelajar tidak dapat menghabiskan pelajaran di tahap yang lebih tinggi iaitu dalam peringkat diploma dan ijazah.

Katanya pendidikan di Malaysia ketinggalan kerana kekurangan bahasa ilmu dalam bidang sains dan teknologi.

“Kita ketinggalan sebab kita kekurangan ilmu dalam bidang sains dan teknologi. Mungkin belajar Bahasa Inggeris membuatkan pelajar lebih mudah untuk memahami dan meneruskan pelajaran dalam bidang tersebut. Jika nak bandingkan negara maju seperti Jerman dan Jepun yang menggunakan bahasa ibunda mereka…kita perlu tanya diri sendiri di mana tahap Bahasa Melayu sekarang?

“Bahasa ilmu di dunia seperti Mandrin,English (Bahasa Inggeris), Jerman dan lain-lain…tapi Bahasa Melayu di mana? Kita belum mencapai tahap itu, Malaysia adalah negara pengguna,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian bagi menjawab kenyataan Setiausaha Gerakan Memansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) Hasni Abas semalam yang mengatakan negara-negara maju tidak mempunyai masalah menggunakan bahasa ibunda mereka dalam pembelajaran ilmu.

Turut dilaporkan media hari ini apabila 49 pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) terus mempertahankan PPSMI dan mahu agar kerajaan bertindak tegas di atas sebarang desakan untuk mempertimbangkan semula pelaksanaanya.

Civil rights groups here and overseas want the Malaysian government to withdraw 'unjust' amendments to the Employment Act 1955

Don’t legalize discrimination at work place

Teoh El Sen | October 28, 2011

Civil rights groups here and overseas want the Malaysian government to withdraw 'unjust' amendments to the Employment Act 1955

PETALING JAYA: More than a 100 civil society groups locally and abroad have called for the government to withdraw ‘unjust’ amendments to the Employment Act 1955, ahead of a nationwide Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC) picket on the same issue next week.

In a joint press statement 107 civil society groups expressed concern over the government’s actions to “speedily” table and passed the the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2011 on Oct 6 at the Dewan Rakyat, despite protests from various groups against it.

“The proposed changes to the Employment Act would be most detrimental to worker rights, trade unions and the existing just direct two-party employment relationship between worker and end-user (the principal),” said the group, which included the International Trade Union
Confederation (ITUC), representing 175 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 308 national affiliates.

A spokesman for the group Charles Hector said: “Malaysia’s action goes contrary to justice.

“In many countries employers have been wrongly trying to avoid/disguise employment relationships by way of contracts/agreements and triangular relationships, and Malaysia rather than fighting against this negative trend is now trying to legalize it, hence showing itself to be anti-worker anti-unions.”

The groups noted that the amendments went against the Federal Constitution, which guaranteed equality of persons, as it would result in “discrimination at the workplace”.

“Workers doing the same work at the factory, would be treated differently in terms of wages, work benefits and even rights by reason of the fact that their employers are different,” said the statement.

The statement stressed that workers in the same workplace should be treated equality— in terms of wages, work benefits, rights, union rights, and so on.

‘Destroying’ ties

The civil groups also said the proposed amendments would also “destroy” direct employment relationships between owner-operator of workplaces.

“A just employment relationship dictates that all workers should be employees of the owner-operator employer not some other third party labour supplier, whether they be known as ‘contractor for labour’, outsourcing agent or by any other name.”

It stressed that such a “relationship” must be a direct relationship, and should exclude all third parties.

“The availability of short-term employment contracts is another reason why there is no need to legalize triangular or other employment relationships in Malaysia through the creation of the ‘contractor for labour’ (system),” it added.

If the amendments become law, then workers would also lose their rights to form or be members of the trade union at the workplace.

This will subsequently affect their right to directly and effectively negotiate with the principal who effectively controls the work place, working conditions and benefits.

‘Union busting’ policy

This would also weaken existing workers and unions, by reducing their negotiating power, and in turn make workers’ struggle better rights wll become “almost impossible”.

“This proposed amendment is a ‘union busting’ exercises and allows employers to utilize ‘divide and rule’ tactics to counter legitimate demands of their workers and avoid employer obligations and responsibilities,” said the groups.

The groups also said the amendments further made unjustifiable changes to delay in overtime payment and work on rest days, as well as issues regarding sexual harrassment.

“With regard to sexual harassment, the new provision provides only for inquiry by an employer even when the alleged perpetrator is a member of the management, a partner, shareholder and/or director of the employer’s business, and provides no clear right of appeal to the
Labour Courts or the High Court.”

“Remedy for the victim of sexual harassment is also absent, save maybe the right to resign without the need to give the required notice when the perpetrator is a sole proprietor.”

Discontinue policy

Currently, worker rights violations are all dealt with by the “definitely more independent” Labour Department or Industrial Relations Department.

“We call on Malaysia to immediately discontinue its policy of recognizing outsourcing agents, and act immediately against practices of some employers and outsourcing agents that try to avoid or disguise employment relationships to the detriment of workers and unions,” said
the statement.

The proposed Bill still needs to be passed by the Senate and receive royal assent, before it becomes law.

“We call on the Malaysian government to act in the best interest of workers and their unions and immediately withdraw this unjust proposed amendments to Employment Act 1955.”

It said that the country currently has the Private Employment Agencies Act 1971, whereby these agencies rightfully get workers for employers, who then pay them a fee for the service, and once workers are received by the employer, these workers immediately become employees of the
said employer.

“The amendments will create a new kind of labour supply company who will continue as employers of the workers even after they start working at the workplace of the principal, and this is unacceptable,” said the statement.

It also explained that all companies in the business of finding workers for companies must never assume or retain the role of employers.

The groups also called on countries and regional bodies, companies, International Labour Organisation (ILO), trade unions and persons to “do the needful to ensure that worker and union rights, not just of local but also migrant workers, are protected in Malaysia”

Barking up the wrong tree for Malay unity

Joe Fernandez | October 28, 2011

Umno began digging its grave when it allowed Mahathir to refashion it as Umno Baru.

Umno, from time to time, beats the drums of war on “political unity”, one of the sacred cows in things Malay. Witness the call for PAS-Umno unity talks and a myriad other stage-managed events since 2008, including, at one time, stomping on a cow’s head to rile the Hindus.

Nowadays, these drumbeats are more a ventilation of the Umno activists’ ignorance of their party’s history, which began with the anti-Malayan Union movement in 1946, although the spiritual roots go further back in the concept of Malay nationalism first espoused by the Jawi Peranakan.

The Jawi Peranakan were the Singapore-born offspring of immigrant Muslims, many of whom came from Kerala, India (see William Roff’s “Origins of Malay Nationalism”).

All nationalisms are defined by what they oppose. Indian nationalism, for example, opposed the idea of the British continuing to rule over large parts of the sub-continent.

Malay nationalism, meant to draw together the Muslims in Malaya and Singapore into a political movement, harped on the economic weakness of the Muslims vis-à-vis the local Chinese.

Malay nationalism eventually saw the departure of the British from Malaya and Singapore, the regaining of independence, and the birth of Malaysia with the coming together of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in a greater federation.

Subsequently, Malay nationalism saw the expulsion of Chinese-dominated Singapore from Malaysia for being the thorn in Malay economic and political aspirations, the death of the 1963 Malaysia and Malay re-colonisation in 1965 of Dusun Sabah and Dayak Sarawak, the birth of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the deviations in the implementation of Articles 3, 152 and 153 of the Federal Constitution. The distortion of the constitution led, ultimately, to a backlash from the Indian underclass in 2007, spearheaded by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi.

Malay nationalism is dead in the wake of that backlash. The new nationalism in Malaysia is that of the Dusun and Dayak against Malay neo-colonialism.

It is no longer possible for Malay nationalists to continue to harp on the so-called economic weakness of their community or project the Chinese as the bogeyman to foster Malay political unity under one platform, the platform of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Umno Baru.

The Chinese, on their part, have more than a few issues to pick with the Malay nationalists for the manner in which they have been running the country since independence.

So, is it any wonder that the so-called Malay nationalists are looking for new imaginary foes?

Himpun failure

The Himpun call for a gathering of one million of the faithful is a case in point of Malay nationalism trying to reinvent itself for the 21st century.

The police, clearly “racist to the core” as more than one commentator has observed, bent over backwards and indeed fell all over themselves in approving the permit for the gathering in record time. Their rationale: “The gathering presented no security threat” and moreover would be confined to a stadium. It is difficult to fathom how the police define “threats to national security”.

The Himpun organisers, who claim a membership of four million members, could only muster between 4,000 and 5,000 people. In stark contrast, the old Umno had the total, undivided, unanimous support of Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia and, at one time, in Singapore.

Umno has lost its moorings on the concept of Malay unity, the Himpun gathering being the latest illustration after the hoo-hah over the Bible being in Malay print and Christians calling out to Allah.

The blame for that loss must lie with Mahathir, who stage-managed the court declaration that Umno was unlawful. Had the court discounted the illegal votes of the 30-odd unlawful branches in the 1987 Umno presidential election, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would have won hands down against Mahathir.

The declaration allowed Mahathir to bury the Umno of the anti-Malayan Union movement (and Malay nationalism with it) and initiate the offshoot Umno Baru based on his own perceptions and aimed at fostering dynastic politics, that is, the rotation of political power among a few “Malay” families of Indian, Bugis and other origins. Mahathir also buried his arch enemy Tengku Razaleigh by keeping him and his supporters out of Umno Baru.

To mask the dynastic politics, Umno Baru has since dropped the word “Baru” and claims to be the same party formed by Onn Jaafar at the palace in Johor.

The old Umno, to reiterate, was a mass-based democratic movement, a coming together of several thousand Malay associations.

This is not something that the present elitist Umno sponsored by Mahathir can claim.

Hence, the disconnect in Malay politics that continues to bedevil the community and gives space to PKR and PAS. The latter is a party of Islamists or fundamentalists who broke away from the old Umno shortly after its formation.

Mahathir’s Umno is clearly in its death throes, as illustrated by the continuing estrangement with the breakaway PAS, the timing and manner of the departure of Anwar Ibrahim (now the de facto PKR leader), the alienation of the Ghafar Baba family which contributed so much to Malay nationalism, the alienation of Tengku Razaleigh, the alienation of the Malay rulers and, in general, the alienation of the Malay masses.

Mahathir’s Umno is dying also because of the raging corruption that has driven up the cost of doing business, alienated investors and the Chinese business community, continues to keep the rural masses down through the dependency syndrome and brought the once docile Indian underclass out onto the streets.

Above all, Mahathir’s Umno is dying because the Malays cannot reconcile themselves with the death of the old Umno at his hands.

Again, Mahathir’s Umno is headed for the dustbin of history because Malay nationalism is dead and this is something no number of Himpuns and Christian-baiting can mask.

The late release of the Auditor-General's Report is probably because 'there are not so many intelligent people' on the government front benches.

Najib’s ‘artful manipulation’ of the GDP

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | October 28, 2011
It is true there is no law that demands the Auditor-General’s Report be given alongside budget documents.

But in the interest of good governance and accountability which any responsible government pledges itself to, the AG’s Report must be expeditiously supplied to lawmakers.

Otherwise, it gives rise to a cause for concern that the delay is an attempt to shorten a critical assessment of the spending habits of government agencies.

Lawmakers are guided by a higher sense of propriety, responsibility and accountability that demands they operate beyond the technical confines of written rules.

So it is correct and proper when lawmakers demand to see the AG Report that, by convention, is provided alongside budget documents.

In my experience as an assemblyman in Pahang, the AG’s Report came along with the budget documents.

This is necessary for legislators who will then go through the spending habits of institutions of government and will ensure that matters are debated as they should be.

As such the AG’s Report has acquired the status of almost an absolutely necessary addendum for the purpose of intelligent and responsible analysis of government spending habits.

I have found them necessary to provide justification or criticisms on the spending habits of the government.

GDP, a trick

My assumption for the delay is probably because there are not so many intelligent people on the government front benches.

They don’t see the AG’s Report as crucial for a healthy debate in our Parliament.

It is in these documents that we find most justifications for the criticisms directed at deficit spending and of government debt.

By the way, the claim that 2012 debt is within tolerance limits is simply the result of artful manipulation of the 2012 GDP figures.

When Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that our (Gross Domestic Product) will grow by five to six percent, as a percentage or proportion, the 2012 debt will indeed remain within our psychological barrier.

It enabled Najib to state that our debt to GDP ratio is good.

But in terms of absolute numbers, on the other hand, the debt to GDP ratio is much bigger than last year’s.

So, the declaration that the economy will grow by five to six percent was necessary so as to keep the proportion of debt to GDP acceptable. It was just a trick.

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman and a FMT columnist. This is an excerpt from his blog sakmongkolak47.

Will PAS be able to transform itself?

October 28, 2011

The Islamic party can rule Malaysia if certain crucial issues are addressed urgently.

Zaid Ibrahim

The Himpunan Sejuta Umat (Himpun) rally was held recently, ostensibly to protect the Muslim faithful from scavenging Christian evangelists. Himpun supporters believe that as many as 250,000 Muslims have deserted their faith as a result, and those who gathered at the Shah Alam Stadium for the rally were there to say they want the government to stop this Muslim exodus.

Of course, the gathering was not just organised to save Islam, but also to enable a certain political party to shore up its faltering support. In politics, when everything else fails, you ride the religious bandwagon. Still the concern of some Muslims to attempts by Christian groups to induce vulnerable members of the faith to convert must be addressed. The gathering may be small, but the message of concern on the issue of conversion is real.

Unfortunately Muslim leaders from both parties seem to think that the remedy to the problem is to punish apostasy. What they should propose is how to make Muslims have stronger faith and belief in their own religion. Don’t blame others for our own weakness. Putting in place severe punishment for those who want to walk away from the religion is also futile. You cannot imprison belief and faith; nor deter people from believing just because of the severity of punishment. Look at what the Romans did to the early Christians – they imposed brutal and severe punishment but to no avail.

The good thing that emerges from the rally is PAS refusal to participate. By refusing to participate in the rally, PAS has shown its maturity, one that’s suitable for a modern country in the 21st century. This they have done reasonably well. Non-Muslims today trust PAS more than Umno in terms of bringing about racial unity. They have also done better on the religious tolerance score card, as they seem to allow other religions more space to practise their faith.

General election a close call

What PAS has not done successfully is to articulate and implement new economic measures to help the Muslim community. They must have a group of economists and technocrats to explain how they can govern better than Barisan Nasional; how they can uplift the lot of Muslims in Malaysia. How will the zakat system be better under PAS? How will the party protect the poor from the ravaging power of the rich from taking away their traditional lands? Will the people of Sabah and Sarawak be able to be at last free to govern themselves? How will they develop wakaf landholdings? What compassionate measures can PAS take – other than flogging and imprisonment – against Muslims searching for answers in their spiritual quest? Will the welfare society under PAS bring about meaningful change to Muslims? Will the Malay Rulers be less involved in matters of administration and business under PAS rule? Will there be less corruption? What will the state of personal freedom be like under PAS rule? These are questions PAS has to find answers to.

I’m sure that if PAS can focus on issues that affect the daily lives of Malaysians, like the Justice and Development Party in Turkey does, and the new Ennahda party in Tunisia; they can rule Malaysia. But if they fall back on their recipe of using traditional Islamic law issues, or continue with their tirades on anti-Western lifestyles and anti-concerts, they will not get the confidence of many Malaysians. I believe this general election will be a close call; and the winner has to get it spot-on some of the issues that I mentioned above to form the government.

Rahim Noor (ex Inspector-General of Police) has joined the group of sick politicians

Bones to pick with Rahim Noor

October 27, 2011

I am truly shocked when former Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor said that human rights movement is like Communism.

It raises a lot of doubt about his credibility as a former top cop, judging by what he had to say about the human rights movement, and this sadly once again reflects badly on the person and office of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed who appointed him to the post as IGP.

When I read Rahim’s statement in the press, I thought to myself, “There could have been other top cops who were more qualified than Rahim. Why were they sidelined? Why did Mahathir choose to put someone who lacks the brain to ask intelligent questions to become the top cop in the country?”

Let us analyse what he had to say. Rahim was quoted saying at a recent meeting in Kuala Lumpur: “Now, it’s the human rights wave… Before that, it was the wave of Marxism, Socialism…”

The reason why many people like me, who have heard and read about the brutality of Communism in USSR and China during the Cold War, will not hesitate to chide this former IGP is that it makes absolutely no sense in the way he had equated human rights wave to Communism.

As the proverbial saying goes, “Like frog underneath a coconut shell”, perhaps, it is only true in the Malaysian history of which he is familiar with, that we experienced the threat of Communism from China previously, and now, in the views of Rahim, the so-called human rights movement – just because Malaysians are generally fed up these days with what they see in the local politics, and are questioning the government more than what they used to be. In the Information Age, one cannot help but read and respond, unless those days when the mainstream media was the only channel of information.

Honestly, who would not speak up when one is fed up with the gutter politics such as the Datuk T’s sex scandal and, more recently, the Papa Gamo’s allegations involving the son of Lim Guan Eng, being played up by ugly Malaysian politicians and their brood of vipers?

If merely stating an opinion, like what Mat Sabu of PAS and Aziz Bari of UIA have done, can be misconstrued as “human rights wave” and they being prosecuted or given a show-cause letter, what has become of our country? Another country under a dictatorship similar to that of Muammar Gaddafi? I hope not!

If indeed, Malaysia, like Libya, would have to be liberated! If it takes Bersih 3.0, Hindraf or even the next general election to liberate this country from such dictatorship, I guess the time has come when people who share my sentiments will not hesitate to give it the last push. Enough is enough!

Human Rights Charter

Human rights movement has always been there. When Abraham Lincoln fought against slavery in the 19th century, he was fighting for human rights. When Martin Luther King fought for the rights of the black Americans in the 20th century, he was basically saying that black or white, everyone is equal in the eyes of God the Almighty.

Because of human rights movement, the blacks today enjoy better privileges and equal opportunities in America. Because of the recognition given to everyone’s right to education, our first three prime ministers were given the opportunity to be educated by the British colonial masters. Even the country’s fourth prime minister was educated in an institution set up in Singapore by the colonial masters. It is all the result of having the Human Rights Charter in place, or else most Malaysians would still be living on tree tops!

In his speech, Rahim also alluded that the Communists were the Chinese, and there were Malay leftists who were misled by the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.

I wish to reiterate that when Rahim was probably running naked around in his kampung, one of my grand uncles was there to fight the Communists. In fact, he was murdered by the Communists, leaving behind two orphaned children, only to be looked after by a widowed auntie of theirs. To add salt to the wound, while Rahim is remembered for his assault of former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, a fact established by the Royal Commission of Inquiry, one of the two children of this brave young Chinese man who fought the Communists became the CEO of a major independent power producer in the country and continues to contribute towards the nation’s growth in the energy sector.

Around the same time, another grand uncle of mine who could have lived a good life in Malaya decided to return to China to fight against the communists. He was a military truck driver. When Mao Zedong took over China, my uncle had to stay back in China because he was no longer allowed to return to Malaya until the early 90s when he visited Malaysia for the first time. He has remained there until today.
I am sure that there are many of us, fellow Malaysians from all races, who can say that our grandparents had resisted the Communists – and even to the point of shedding their blood – to prevent Malaysia from falling into the hands of the Communists, but Malaysians should not forget that the Chinese community also fought the Japanese, when a number of Malays were collaborating and allowing the Japanese army to invade the then Malaya.

During the Japanese Occupation, the Malay rulers had no powers as rulers of their own homeland. During World War II, the Japanese army, like the Nazis, did not recognise human rights. In fact, anyone who dared to question them was immediately shot to death in public places or had their heads rolled.

It was against such backdrop that the Human Rights Charter was drafted and later adopted by the United Nations. Since Malaysia is a member nation of the UN General Assembly and recognises human rights, is Rahim saying that Malaysia is also a country with Communist inklings?

Firing stray bullets

Malaya, during the British rule, had resisted against the Communists. Therefore, I do not see any logic in what was said by Rahim. If the British had fought against the Communists, therefore, they must be good. Why then did Rahim rile against the British and the United States for being the “spiritual home” to the religion he calls “human rights wave”?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/), which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec 10, 1948, pre-dates even the Communist era of Mao Zedong, who only became the chairman of the People’s Republic of
China a year later on Oct 20, 1949.

The charter was drafted by Dr Charles Malik (Lebanon), Alexandre Bogomolov (USSR), Dr Peng-chun Chang (China), René Cassin (France), Eleanor Roosevelt (US), Charles Dukes (United Kingdom), William Hodgson (Australia), Hernan Santa Cruz (Chile) and John P Humphrey (Canada). It is not as though the United States and the United Kingdom dominated this entire thing called the Human Rights Charter.

If anything, we are told, the Human Rights Charter was only drafted as the result of the experience of the Second World War, where innocent civilians suffered in the hands of Nazi war criminals in the same manner in which Anwar suffered a blue black eye in the hands of men like Rahim.

By making such bizarre statements, Rahim has joined the fray of politicians who continue to fire strayed bullets instead of engaging with their opponents on intellectual discussions to prove they are more capable of running the country.

By saying that we are now seeing the human rights wave just because Malaysians are generally more vocal these days, it is as good as saying that former prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, had communist inkling because in 1974, he visited China and shook hands with Chairman Mao Zedong when both UK and the Americans were still having Cold War with Communist China.

Looking back, suffice it to say therefore that, if the current wave is the human rights wave, the previous administration under Mahathir was the Communist and Socialist wave, simply because under the dictatorial rule of Mahathir, none of his dissidents could openly challenge him without being thrown into prison.

Rahim, for goodness’ sake, if you had faded into obscurity, no one would have remembered your brutality in the manhandling of Anwar.

‘Sick’ projects, sick politicians and sick nation

October 28, 2011

The government is still awarding the building contracts of hospitals to obscure and inexperienced companies.

Every year the Auditor-General’s Report shows that the federal government is not prudent in spending the people’s money and it is no different this time around. The Health Ministry, for instance, is also one of the ministries that is guilty of spending money unwisely and this article attempts to look at the wastages committed by the ministry, most notably involving botched-up hospital projects.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (October 2008)

There was infrastructure failure in this hospital which was caused by poor maintenance and planning, which led to the intensive care unit (ICU) and surgical units being shut down. A few hundred of the hospital’s patients were transferred after three blocks were declared unsafe by structural engineers. The hospital’s management had reported the deteriorating conditions as early as 2000. The Health Ministry was supposed to have carried out maintenance and repair work on the hospital from time to time through its concession company, Syarikat Faber Mediserve Sdn Bhd.

Pekan Hospital, Pahang (March 2007)

This hospital located in the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was scheduled for completion in 2003 but was only finally handed over to the Health Ministry in March 2007. Among the defects were leaking pipes, collapsed ceilings and problems with the main water tank.

Sultan Ismail Hospital, Johor (April 2007)

In September 2004, the hospital which cost RM550 million was shut down for 17 months due to a fungus problem. Two years later, large sections of the ceiling had to be removed due to structural problems. The company responsible for maintenance work was Pantai Medivest.

Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Alor Setar, Kedah (March 2007)

Built at a cost of RM550 milion, the hospital was opened four years after its scheduled completion date. The then health minister, Dr Chua Soi Lek, stated that the contractors lacked the necessary expertise.

Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital, Sungai Petani (February 2007)

Human faeces was found to be overflowing from a toilet and this forced an ICU unit to be closed temporarily. This hospital, built at a cost of RM450 million, was hailed as a state-of-the-art hospital. Another leakage had also occurred in the hospital cafeteria due to a defective sewerage pipe and there were also collapsed ceilings.

Ampang Hospital, Kuala Lumpur (March 2007)

This hospital was scheduled for completion in 2004 but it only opened its doors in 2007. The pediatric ward was ridden with fungus and the ceiling was similarly infected besides having the usual problem of leaking sewerage pipes. Then health minister Dr Chua Soi Lek commented that teething problems were to be expected in new buildings!

Despite the existence of such problematic hospital projects, the government is still awarding the construction of public infrastructure projects and building contracts of hospitals via direct negotiations, often to obscure and inexperienced companies. This practice is absolutely unacceptable and has resulted in losses amounting to billions.

None of the above contracts was awarded based on open competitive tenders and the cost of these “rent-seeking and patronage” is now taking a heavy toll on the nation’s economy. And what is worse is that the government still has the audacity to expect the rakyat to pay for its faults, follies and foibles by introducing new and higher types of taxes such as the credit card tax, the real property gains tax and the soon-to-be implemented goods and services tax (GST).

One special hospital project that should be mentioned here is the Shah Alam Hospital that has an “Ali Baba” twist, where the main contractor for the RM482-million project did not even lift a finger to do any work at all and yet made a bountiful profit.

This hospital project was awarded to Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd, a company which had no experience whatsoever in the construction of buildings, not to mention the highly specialised skills required in the building of a public hospital. The construction and commissioning of the hospital project was then fully sub-contracted to a financially-distressed Isyoda Corp Bhd in November 2007. In the letter of award, it was stated that RM451 million would be given to Isyoda while Sunshine Fleet would receive RM482 million from the government. This means that the main contractor gets to make a net profit of RM31 million, making it clearly an “Ali Baba” project. Despite the Works Ministry having the knowledge of such information and that it goes against the existing government policy of open tenders, the Works Ministry has refused to take any action against Sunshine Fleet.

However, Isyoda was unable to complete the project and it filed winding-up proceedings against Sunshine Fleet. The case was settled out of court in May 2009 and the project was subsequently awarded to GM Healthcare Sdn Bhd. Sunshine Fleet terminated this sub-contractor in August 2010 and till today the building of the hospital has been temporarily halted.

What was most damning was the fact that Isyoda had issued a letter to the chairperson of Sunshine Fleet promising a payment of RM46 million to her personally. In the letter it was stated that the unconditional payment was in consideration of Sunshine Fleet’s “efforts to procure the letter of award to be issued to us in further consideration of your future contribution and co-operation to ensure the smooth operation and success of the project”.

What do you call this type of payment?

Lackadaisical attitude

As these documents have been in the public purview and in the hands of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), it is extremely disappointing to note that no action whatsoever has been taken by MACC to investigate this matter and bring the relevant parties to book. PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has also lodged a report with MACC on this hospital project as it is located in his parliamentary constituency.

Despite the ongoing legal tussles between GM Healthcare and Sunshine Fleet, Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor had claimed in Parliament in June 2010 that the project is right on schedule. GM Healthcare has filed a petition to wind up Sunshine Fleet over a RM10 million debt but the Works Minister told Parliament that the government is only responsible to the main contractor and has no authority in regard to payments to the sub-contractor. Shaziman also informed Parliament that the Public Works Department has not detected any breach of contract by Sunshine Fleet.

The poignant question to ask is, why is Sunshine Fleet given such special “privilege” by the government?

The above examples only go to show that the BN federal government is negligent, to say the least, and that is only the tip of the iceberg regarding the workings and goings-on in only one ministry.

The time has come for Malaysians from all walks of life to take the government to task over its lackadaisical attitude in managing the nation’s finances, which is also the rakyat’s money.

Do feel free to provide suggestions, ideas, comments, complaints or articles. Thank you

EMAIL:
malaysianindian1@gmail.com

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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government

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