Monday, August 31, 2009

Malays Speaking Without Fear

By Nurul Izzah Anwar

I can’t say that I know Datuk Zaid Ibrahim very well. Our past encounters have been limited to a fleeting hello in front of the steps of my alma mater, the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in 2006, another chat during a reception in honour of Datuk Ambiga Sreevanesagan in June and, most recently, at the PKR’s recent EGM. It’s amazing, but perhaps unsurprising that he has in these three years evolved from an ambiguous reformist in Umno into the conscience of all Malaysians.

I had always been impressed by his outspokenness, and his willingness to fearlessly voice out his views on issues of national importance is nothing short of inspirational. Zaid does not mince his words where many hesitate to call a spade a spade, especially where it matters the most.

An articulate Malay speaking out for a multiracial and progressive Malaysia is terribly important in this current political climate. For our own community, Zaid epitomises how the Malays might redefine ourselves, to re-imagine a world where we do not think that we are inferior or threatened but are rather confident in whom we are.

In reading Zaid’s book Saya Pun Melayu, I sense the need for Malays to embrace a new paradigm on what it means to be Malay. Many indeed are doing so and this is a heartening. “Malay” need no longer carry connotations of dependency on the state, insecurity or the crippling feeling alienation and the lack of self-worth.

The word “Malay” can and must eventually mean a call to embrace a broader Malaysian identity, along with a true, inclusive nationalism that is proud of who we are individually but also in what we have accomplished together. We can be sure of our identities and yet still be a part of something greater than all of us — and this is something all the ethnic groups in Malaysia ought to aspire to.

Zaid’s book highlights that fact that we need to look beyond the stereotypes and take an objective, albeit positive look at our community’s accomplishments. We have made great strides in business, the arts, education and the professions. Our success extends from Lembah Pantai where Malays own vibrant businesses selling products made by Malays to the flourishing nasi lemak stalls in Kota Baru.

We attend leading universities throughout the world, increasingly through our own merit. We can count internationally recognised choreographers, painters, cartoonists, writers, and film directors amongst our numbers.

Beyond these markers, our success can more often that not be seen at home through our everyday acts of compassion and sensitivity to others, which spread to our fellow Malaysians to become a national virtue. The kindness shown towards our children, parents and neighbours is perhaps one of the most important signs of who we Malays are as a community. These are real achievements that no one can or would want to take from us.

I’m not denying that we still have a long way to go in moving our community forward, nor am I unmindful that a lot of our successes would not have been in possible without the NEP and its institutions. However, it has become patently obvious that these structures are now holding the Malays back, and that the world has changed since then.

The Malays and, as a-matter-of-fact, all Malaysians need to change as well if we want to remain relevant in this world. We need to step away from our obsession with all things racial and realise that the project of nation-building is not a zero-sum game. Malaysia can never succeed until and unless its entire people feel like they are truly a part of it.

Why then does the old paradigm of ethnic insecurity persist? Why does suspicion and acrimony towards our fellow Malaysians and they towards us still linger? Why are mainstream newspapers calling for ethnic conflict, accusing minority communities of all sorts of ludicrous plots?

The sad reality is that these myths are being perpetuated by Umno and Barisan Nasional for their own gain. The fact is that Umno wants to keep the Malay community under its suzerainty forever. They do this by focusing on what we have supposedly not achieved, rather than acknowledging our gains and potential.

They claim to want to protect and uplift the Malay community, but all they have been doing for the last few years is playing on their fears and prejudices. The same can be said for the Barisan components with the non-Malays. This glass-half-empty mentality is being used by Umno/BN to protect each other and to ward off challenges to their stranglehold on power.

We’ve seen from the case of Zaid of how Umno demonises anyone who steps out of the pattern of complete loyalty to the party and who have different ideas on how to improve the livelihoods of Malays and Malaysians. We have also as of late seen their scare tactics in action. They have labelled people as “traitors” for calling for a new path of development for Malaysia. They prefer to protect their interests rather than allow the Malaysian people — especially the Malays — to benefit from reform, less corruption and more inclusion.

Umno also regrettably perpetuates the myth that the Malay community is perpetually under threat from their non-Malay counterparts, and that Umno is the only party that can save them from this supposed “servitude”. This, rather than anything else, is why race relations have gotten worse in Malaysia.

You cannot expect harmony in a country where its largest ethnic group is constantly bombarded with the message that the minorities are supposedly out to get them and take away their rights. Yet, they chose to follow this tactic since they believe in the short term this will strengthen Umno and bring Malays back to the party.

They use these “attacking” tactics because they cannot offer anything else. They have shown that they would prefer to entrench those in power rather than allow new ideas and reforms to increase our chances for greater success. There is a real danger that their short-sightedness may cost future generations of Malaysians dearly.

The fact is that Malays have nothing to fear. We are demographically the largest ethnic group in Malaysia and the birth rate is going to keep it that way. Our position in the constitution is enshrined and this isn’t going to change either.

That is what Umno and the Malay extremists do not get, and what the community as a whole needs to understand. The non-Malays and Malays who challenge Umno are not seeking to reduce the position of the Malays in anyway, but to defend and uplift all Malaysians. We have to understand that we are all tied together and that we all have a stake in the land. We cannot survive individually as Malays, Chinese or Indians but as Malaysians.

Our non-Malay fellow citizens are not “challenging” our rights or “insulting” or culture and religion — rather they are calling for our nascent nationhood to be allowed to achieve it’s full potential than for us to remain stuck in our ethnic and mental ghettos. The liberals and moderates amongst the non-Malays also suffer from the depredations of extremists within their own communities — they deserve our support as well. The wave of reactionary politics that is engulfing us can only be turned back if progressive Malaysians stand firm against their threats and untruths.

While it is true that much more needs to be done to address those who have not benefited — for all Malaysians — the focus on what we don’t have rather on what we have accomplished only undermines us. We need to imagine a better future, for Malays and Malaysians — this will incidentally make it easier for all of us to achieve what we might lack.

The Malaysia of tomorrow cannot be one in which we are blinded by fear and negativity. The first step in imagining and defining a better future for all of us is to open our eyes and speak out like Zaid and others like him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RM1.4 billion Excess Claims by Kuala Dimensi!

Self-explanatory press statement just issued by Dato' Lee Hwa Beng, Chairman of Port Klang Authority (PKA) on this report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today, with regards to excess claims, fraudulent or otherwise, or RM1.4 billion(!) by Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd from PKA. The DAP will support all moves taken by PKA to recover these monies from the Developer, Kuala Dimensi.

1. As instructed by the Port Kelang Authority (“PKA”), I lodged a report on behalf of PKA with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) on Wednesday 26 August 2009 against the following companies and individuals:
  1. Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (“KDSB”) and its directors, servants and/or agents being the turnkey contractor for the PKFZ Project;
  2. Datin Paduka O.C. Phang (“OC Phang”), the former General Manager of PKA;
  3. Dato’ Seri Tiong King Sing (“Tiong King Sing”), the President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of KDSB; and
  4. BTA Architect and/or Bernard Tan Seng Swee as the Consultant appointed for the development works in the PKFZ Project.
2.1 PKA requests MACC to investigate OC Phang, and the relationship between KDSB, its President/CEO Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, BTA, Bernard Tan and OC Phang. Based on the instances set out below, we have strong reason to believe that there is a possible conspiracy
between these 5 parties.

2.2 PKA has decided that interest charged under LA1 amounting to RM720 million ought not to have been imposed because the purchase price of the land was based on special value of RM25 p.s.f. which had included the interest element for the deferred payment scheme.

2.3 In relation to OC Phang, there are instances of wrongdoing carried out by OC Phang which were to the detriment of PKA and which had apparently benefited KDSB. These instances of wrongdoing include,
  1. Failure to consider whether PKA had the ability to self-finance the purchase of the Land. PKA was notified by the Auditor General as early as 27 May 2004 that the former was not in the position to self-finance the Project. However, OC Phang failed to alert the Government of this and to take immediate steps to alleviate its financial predicament. To compound the problem, PKA continued to enter into significant and expensive development contracts with KDSB (i.e. ADW1 on 30 November 2005 and NADW on 26 April 2006) thus escalating further its financial liabilities. OC Phang knew of the financial position of PKA but proceeded to enter into those two agreements which total RM1.055 billion;

  2. Failure to consider that the special value of RM25 p.s.f. had included interest instead of RM25 p.s.f. on a deferred basis with further/additional interest of 7.5%;

  3. Refusal to heed the advice of her officers and other professionals, to appoint quantity surveyors for DA3, ADW1 and NADW, delaying the appointment of the quantity surveyors and thereafter limiting and restricting their role;

  4. Insistence that Perunding BE Sdn Bhd be appointed as the sole quantity surveyor with the knowledge that Perunding BE Sdn Bhd was in a position of conflict of interest for having been engaged by KDSB and/or its subcontractor for the same Project;

  5. Generally in making unilateral decisions without the approval of the members of PKA.
2.4 KDSB, along with BTA Architect working in concert with it, had issued Notices of Payment to PKA which are false, erroneous or defective and which PKA believes were intended to mislead PKA. These Notices of Payment are fraudulent as the notices claimed payment for works which in reality had not been carried out. Tiong King Sing, being the President/CEO of KDSB, would have known that these Notices of Payment were issued wrongfully. The details of these Notices of Payment and other instances of irregularities totaling around RM657 million are the subject of police report lodged on 11 August 2009 at the Klang Police Station, the details of which are set out below,
  1. KDSB has made claims for the sum of RM5,016,000.00 in respect of procurement of Performance Bond and Insurance Premiums which KDSB is not entitled to claim;

  2. KDSB’s wrongful claim for the sum of RM254,850,000.00 for monsoon drain works and water supply works which KDSB is not entitled to claim under DA3;

  3. Based on JKR Standard Form of Agreement For Consultancy Services Between Contractor And Consultants For Design & Build Contract, KDSB may have over-claimed the sum of RM76,056,101.08 in professional fees;

  4. KDSB had made claims for the sum of RM55,767,000.00 for physical construction of the electrical infrastructure for 33kv system works which have yet to commence;

  5. There appears to be an over-claim for the hotel works in the sum of RM24,934,244.14;

  6. KDSB’s claim for variation works for the sum of RM62,189,000.00, which arguably, KDSB is not entitled to claim as the procedural requirement under the ADW has not been complied with; and

  7. KDSB’s claim for the sum of RM83,000,000.00 for 33kv supply to Precinct 2 and 8 and the civil and infrastructure work to PMU which have yet to be carried out.

  8. Remeasurement by JUBC Sdn Bhd by of the Office Blocks and Light Industries Units which showed a cost difference of RM93,000,000.00.

  9. Contributions not made to authorities by KDSB for the basic infrastructure works as required under LA1, in the sum of RM2,249,742.29.
PKA will use every legal means possible to challenge the disputed claims amounting to about RM1.4 billion.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Muhyiddin Sinks to New Low

There's a major controversy over the candidature of UMNO's Rohaizat Othman in the Permatang Pasir by-elections. 38 year old Rohaizat has actually been disbarred by the Bar Council from practicing as a lawyer for failing to return RM161,000 of a client's money which was held in trust. How can Malaysians trust someone who has been found guilty of breaching trust?

Well, our Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin can.
"This is not a case breach of trust . . . it's just that his license had been revoked," he said, pointing out that the Election Commission had cleared him and allowed him to contest.
Umm... Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, why has his license to practice as a lawyer "revoked" again? And by the way, has Election Commission "cleared him" as an honest man and be eligible to practice as a lawyer? Maybe that's the new role of the Election Commission now, to usurp the role of the Bar Council after having usurped the role of the Speaker in the Perak Crisis.

And apparently, it's not the only offence too!
Rohaizat is learnt had also been fined twice by the Bar and his clients have filed several complaints against him to the Bar, all on unprofessional misconducts.

When told this, Muhyiddin brushed them aside suggesting that there were trivial issues.
Trivial issues?! The Honourable Deputy Prime Minister even went the extent of calling the Bar Council fines the equivalent of "parking tickets"!

Oh my, no wonder it's normal to have scandals like the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone and the RM24 million Khir Toyo palace, trivial indeed. (But of course, every RM100 receipt must be accounted for, if it's by a Pakatan Rakyat representative - that's not trivial at all)

Rohaizat is of course, is the best UMNO (and Barisan Nasional) could offer, for he's young, comes from Khairy-led UMNO Youth and he represents the bright future of UMNO.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

UMNO Youth Returns To Racist Rhetoric

I had thought that under the "new" leadership of Khairy Jamaluddin, UMNO Youth might just portray a different face of UMNO, compared to its vitrolic and thuggish past. I that thought, wrongly, that we'll have a more "centrist" UMNO Youth to deal with in the years to come, making the opposition's life more difficult. But it looks like it just cannot stay away from its true nature for long.

It is shocking that they have gone to the extent of using extremist religious rhetoric to rouse hate sentiments which clearly runs contrary to the so called concept of "1Malaysia".
Umno Youth stepped up its attacks against the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government, accusing PAS of abandoning its Islamic ideology, and of becoming so liberal that “pork would soon be sold openly on the streets here [Shah Alam].”
Will they get any tongue-lashing from Datuk Seri "1Malaysia" Najib Abdul Razak? Or any threats of being charged for sedition by the Home Minister? No. I wouldn't be surprised if they are being given a pat in the back instead.

They continue with the old failed tactics of "A vote for PAS is a vote for DAP." This is no different from MCA's ploy with the minorities by arguing that "A vote for DAP is a vote for PAS."

I believe Malaysian voters have matured, and finds it completely reasonable that "A vote for PAS is a vote for DAP and vice-versa", for we are all in a coalition to protect the interest of all Malaysians, uphold integrity and promote good governance. Unlike of course, UMNO and Barisan Nasional who are unable to distinguish between personal and public interest, between racism and "Malaysian.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

US$40,000 For 5 Local Flights!

Update 15/8/09: Ong Tee Keat has agreed to pay for the jet flights from his own pockets.

I'm not asking our Ministers to travel budget airlines like some of the Pakatan Rakyat leaders. But US$40,000 (or ~RM140,000) in expenses for 5 return local flights is just completely mind-boggling. Here are the details of the flights taken by MCA President and Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat:

Twice, travelling by jet G450:
  • 12 Feb 2009 SZB/JB/KCH - ETD11am/12pm/5pm (Johor Bahru/Kuching)
  • 19 Feb 2009 SZB/JB/SZB - ETD 730am/1030pm (Johor Bahru)

Thrice, travelling by Learjet60
  • 7 Mac 2009 SZB/K'TAN/SZB - ETD12pm/10pm (Kuantan)
  • 24 Mac 2009 SZB/JB/SZB - ETD 330pm10pm (Johor Bahru)
  • 20 Apr 2009 SZB/JB/SZB - ETD 530pm/11pm (Johor Bahru)
Each return trip costs an average of US$8,000 or approximately RM28,000 or the annual salary of a worker paid RM2,000 per month with 2 months of bonus.

I think its disgusting and a sheer abuse of ministerial powers. And Ong Tee Keat has the cheek to tell the public that the flight company's bill hasn't been paid because the Ministry has not received the invoices. This also confirmed that Ong intends to pay for these flights using public funds.

But what is perhaps more interesting is whether Ong's excuse that the bills have not been paid due to the absence of invoice is valid. I'm certain that to book these flights an "order" must have been made via the Ministry? Was the order properly executed and documented and accounted for? Or was the excuse made only because Ong Tee Keat cannot possibly be implicated as having received such favours from the Port Klang Free Zone developer, Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd?

And how about Ong Tee Keat explaining whether he took these flights to carry out government business or private/party matters?

Are these the only private jet flights taken by Ong? Did he take private jets sponsored by generous donors as well to Beijing and Seoul this year?

Is there a Government directive that Ministers are not to take private jets?

There are a hundred and one questions we want to ask both Ong and Tiong now to find out more about their cosy relationship. And I'm certain we'll see more exciting things to come as more and more dirt get exposed.

But one thing for sure, I want to campaign for Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to pay for the luxury flights costing some RM140,000 with his own money and not paid for by the rakyat!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

RM10 million "loan" to Ong Tee Keat?

(Update 13/8/09: Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has finally "categorically denied" that he received the RM10 million loan from Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, after yesterday's convoluted statement)

The show is just getting exciting. Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) 2 days ago took Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) the developer for the project to the cleaners for either fraud or overcharging as much as RM1 billion in fees.

Today, the owner of KDSB, who is also the Barisan Nasional MP for Bintulu, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing decided that enough was enough and took the Minister of Transport to the cleaners by alleging that Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat took a RM10 million loan from him "to give to MCA divisions".

Tiong, who is also the BN Backbenchers' Club (BBC) chairman even admitted willingly that he regularly "donated" millions to people.

Ong Tee Keat issued an immediate statement, which The Malaysian Insider took as a denial. But true to form, Ong's statement is pretty wordy and convoluted. You'll have to read through quite a few times to decide what exactly he was trying to say or imply. And I'm still not sure. You can also read his Chinese statement here, and it reads the same to me.

All I'm sure is that after reading it a couple of times (below), I don't see any sentence which says "I did not take a single cent of cash or loan from Tiong". I also did not read a sentence which says, "I will sue Tiong for defamation", which he has been inclined to do recently to Chinese newspapers which did not portray him in positive light. ;-)
I am not surprised that the smear tactics and character assassination against me had picked up pace especially with the latest revelations by the PKFZ Task Force.

If indeed I have received pecuniary and financial benefits for myself or the Party, there will be more reasons for me to protect the interests of the givers, as opposed to proceeding to expose their misdeeds. By doing so, I am risking my personal and family safety as well as my own credibility.

The allegation by Dato’ Seri Tiong King Sing that I have taken the RM10 million "loan" from him for use by the Party's divisions, are obviously made with several motives, including diverting attention away from the alleged irregularities exposed by the Task Force. It could also be meant to create suspicion among my Party comrades that I have pocketed funds meant for the divisions. The fact that he indicated that it was a loan could mean that he wants the option of taking me to court to further embarrass me.

The period mentioned by Dato' Seri Tiong was 2008, during which I was vice-president until I assumed the presidency in October. The need for me as vice-president to raise money for the divisions was a non-starter. Later, as President, we already have access to party funds and allocations. I doubt any reasonable person would part with RM10 million based on such a story.
Make no mistake, I support the Minister's actions 100% to take KDSB to court for alleged fraud and over-charging and commend him for taking such actions. But the above statement, in my humble opinion, certainly raise more questions than answers.

Sack Incompetent MACC Chief!

MACC Chief Commissioner, Dato' Sri Haji Ahmad Said bin Hamdan should be sacked for demonstrating sheer incompetence in the investigations over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) RM12.5 billions scandal.

The PKFZ special taskforce which was set up only in June 2009 has within a period of 3 months determined with strong evidence of about RM1 billion in fees charged by PKFZ developer, Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) “to be either over-charged, unsubstantiated or even possibly fraudulent”. This amount which is described by the taskforce as “the tip of the iceberg” constitutes nearly 30% of the overall project cost of RM3.522 billion, excluding interest costs.

The scandal includes possible fraudulent claims on electrical infrastructure worth RM55.8mil and 33kv supply works and civil infrastructure works worth RM83mil which were never carried out. No documents and justifications were also provided for more than RM550 million in charges and variation orders.

Despite the fact that the first Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) report which was made way back in December 2004, and as many as 3 further subsequent reports were made with regards to PKFZ by Ronnie Liu on various corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement allegations, the ACA and subsequently, MACC has found absolutely nothing worthy of detailed investigation on the project and closed all the above files.

Even after the chairman of Port Klang Authority (PKA) which owns PKFZ had himself filed an MACC report in May 2009 based on the Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) report on PKFZ, the commission has continued to make little or no progress on the investigations.

In fact, despite the size and scale of the scandal which implicates corruption and abuse of power to the highest levels, including several ministers and prominent elected representatives, MACC has not even conducted any interviews with the ministers, including Tun Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy, as well as the other BN politicians.

Hence the findings of fraud and over-charging by the PKFZ special taskforce has proven the complete failure, ineffectiveness and negligence by Ahmad Said and MACC, whether intentional or otherwise for the latter could not detect any of the various misdeeds which added up to RM1 billion of tax-payers' monies. In line with Najib's call for “people first, performance now”, Ahmad Said must be held accountable and hence resign or be removed from his position.

What makes the whole circumstance repulsive is the fact that while MACC had neglected mega-scandals like PKFZ, they have left no stones unturned in their efforts to detect corruption among DAP and Pakatan Rakyat representatives in Selangor, even if it means going to the level of check every RM100 receipts!

It is MACC's reckless and relentless pursuit of such political victimisation that the political secretary to Selangor state executive councillor, Ean Yong Hian Wah, the late Teoh Beng Hock was found dead at the premises of MACC, all for a RM2,400 transaction involving the purchase of Malaysian flags.

A new Chief Commissioner should be appointed to ensure that MACC stops being a political tool of the Barisan Nasional government to harrass DAP and Pakatan Rakyat MPs and state assemblymen whose total combined allocations does not exceed RM20 million while completely neglecting the real corrupt sharks which have fleeced the country of billions of ringgit.

UMNO Abandons Multi-racial

I thought this editorial commentary by The Malaysian Insider entitled "UMNO bets on race appeal" a few days ago best encapsulates what is happening in Malaysian politics at the moment. Excerpts are quoted as follows:
Umno appears to have discarded plans to widen the party’s appeal and speak for all Malaysians. Facing pressure from its rank and file, and concerned that its mantle as defender of Malay rights is under threat from PAS, the ruling party is retreating into its own cocoon.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin gave a sneak peek of this insecure feeling during yesterday’s Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meeting.

During the meeting, Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon highlighted a series of incendiary commentaries in the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and said he was troubled by the effect it was having on race relations.

Responding to this, Muhyiddin, who is shaping up to be a hawk in the administration, justified the pitch taken by saying that Malays believe that Umno is weak and giving in too much to the demands of non-Malays. It is understood that
none of the leaders of BN component parties challenged this view.

A BN leader told The Malaysian Insider: “There is a hardening of Umno’s position. The openness and willingness to become more inclusive is not evident.”

In the aftermatch of Election 2008 Umno leaders publicly said they could no longer only speak for one race.

But not anymore.

Senior party officials and a think-tank set up to rejuvenate the party believe that the Malay vote has to be secured above everything else.

In addition, the party officials feel that non-Malays have become too vocal and demanding since the general elections.

In recent weeks, Umno leaders and Utusan Malaysia have become more strident in their remarks in what is a palpable attempt to shore up its position as the defender of Malay interests.

The DAP has been the subject of heavy bombardment of late, with Umno and Utusan accusing the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party of being anti-Malay and anti-Malay rulers.

A minor dispute over the illegal seizure of beer in Selangor has been turned into a major affront to Muslim rights.

And Muhyiddin appears to be at the forefront of a campaign to restore Umno as the ultimate defender of the Malays and Islam.

Last week, he accused Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of being a traitor of the Malays, and despite the threat of a RM100 million lawsuit, the deputy Umno president has refused to retract his remarks or apologise.

Yesterday, he also pointed out that the BN government’s priority would remain the Malays.
Full article available here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MCA and Gerakan Mute

Utusan Malaysia has been taking a scorched earth policy to destroy whatever credibility and worth that's left of Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's call for '1Malaysia'. And they are doing so with impunity, backed by all UMNO top leaders such as the Deputy Prime Minister himself, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the UMNO Youth Chief "reform but not reformed" Khairy Jamaluddin.

We are not surprised at the severe backlash from the UMNO politicians who finds their source of patronage and livelihood seriously threatened by the so called '1Malaysia'.

What is possibly more interesting perhaps, is the fact that the 2 major component parties - MCA and Gerakan have remained completely mute to the racist agenda being perpetrated by UMNO and its mouthpiece to stir up racial sentiments. This is no different from the UMNO General Assembly of 2006 when the 'ketuanan Melayu' fever reached its peak with current UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein unsheathed his keris, and delagates howled for blood.

It was a point of no return for MCA and Gerakan from then onwards culminating in the disastrous results in the March 2008 general elections. For a short period of time, it had appeared that these 2 parties learnt their lessons. But such courage to stand up to UMNO has been short-lived.

In fact, while Gerakan was plotting its future last year, many had called for the party to withdraw from Barisan Nasional. But it's top leaders, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and his cohort wanted to "stay in power". They had advised their grassroots back in Sept last year:
"We will also observe whether Umno is going to reinvent itself during its December 2008 annual general assembly. Within the next few months, we are going to fight for the reform of the BN. Only if reforms don’t happen will we start to consider withdrawing," says Chang.
Now, nearly a year down the road, it cannot be clearer that all the talk of reform in UMNO is pure shadow-play. Nothing have changed. If anything, it has gotten more vicious, with all sorts of evil, ficticious and malicious allegations thrown at the opposition.

So, MCA and Gerakan, why aren't you saying anything? Will you quit and hope to survive or will you stay to see through the nail in the coffin for your respective parties?

PKFZ: RM1 billion Fraud & Excess Charges

We commend without reservation the shocking findings by the special taskforce set up to investigate the legal and financial aspects of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), a subsidiary of Port Klang Authority (PKA).

Malaysians are dumbfounded by the fact that about RM1 billion, or nearly 30% of the RM3.522 billion contract with the master developer for PKFZ, Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd is found “to be either over-charged, unsubstantiated or even possibly fraudulent”. What is even more shocking is the fact that the above is only “the tip of the iceberg and many more wrongdoings are expected in the days ahead”!

We completely support the move by the task force to commence legal proceedings to recover the estimated RM1 billion from KDSB which is owned by Sarawak tycoon as well as Barisan Nasional Backbencher Club (BBC) Chairman, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

However, actions must not only be taken against KDSB but also all directors, management and officers involved in PKFZ and PKA for the size and scale of this swindle could only have been pulled off with the complicity of insiders, the “close one eye” syndrome of some, and criminal negligence by others.

For example, how can the successive chairmen of PKFZ including Datuk Dr Ting Chew Peh, Dato' Yap Pian Hon and Dato' Chor Chee Heung have absolutely no knowledge of the hanky-panky that's happening at their own backyard? The swindle includes possible fraudulent claims on electrical infrastructure worth RM55.8mil and 33kv supply works and civil infrastructure works worth RM83mil which were never carried out. No documents and justifications were also provided for more than RM550 million in charges and variation orders.

Above all, the Minister most responsible for the taxpayers being defrauded by these parties is Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, former deputy president of Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA). Their sheer negligence and incompetence, if not worse, created the mega RM12.5 billion scandal today, a bill which has to be foot by Malaysian taxpayers for many years to come.

In the light of the above, it raises very serious questions as to why the Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak ordered that PKA to make the RM660 million payment which was due last month to KDSB despite the advise and position of the special task force to withold the payments until the investigations are completed. It would appear now that the payment has now compromised the position of PKA for it is now obviously harder to claim back the money which has been paid, than if the money had otherwise not been paid.

We will give full backing to the special task force, PKA and even the current Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to take all necessary actions against the responsible parties above.

We will also call upon Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to resign as the BN BBC Chairman in order to protect the integrity of the Parliament until the above very serious allegations are dealt with. The BN BBC will have no credibility whatsoever, if led by one embroiled with a controversy involving billions of the rakyat's money.

Finally, we fully expect the transport minister should also table the above report to the parliamentary public accounts committee when it sits again to discuss the PKFZ scandal on Wednesday, 12th August at 11am.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Face Najib

When asked by the press on whether the recent articles in Utusan Malaysia was stirring up racial sentiments, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who is allegedly promoting a "1Malaysia", called for "moderation" by "all parties".

But he continued to defend Utusan Malaysia by saying that "...we cannot just blame one party, because other parties might have caused uneasiness."

Who, may I ask is causing uneasiness? Or is Najib just trying to tell lies like Utusan Malaysia on non-existent, ficticious statements allegedly made by opposition leaders? As they say, by tell a lie often enough, UMNO hopes that the people will perceive it as the truth?

And Najib himself is propagating these lies by asking today that "pihak berkuasa menyiasat kandungan blog Ketua Pemuda Sosialis DAP, Loke Siew Fook, yang dikatakan menghina Islam," when Anthony Loke is a victim of a vicious fitnah attempt by UMNO bloggers and cyber-troopers.

Anthony has filed a police report on the post which claimed that he wrote a post "insulting" the Perak royal family, which is utter bunkum!

Of course, leaders with no integrity like Najib and Zahid makes no qualms about riding on these fake and false accusations to defame and discredit the DAP leaders.

I'm not just angry, I'm absolutely seething at these leaders absolute lack of morals and honesty.

Najib: Doublespeak Extraordinaire

We have seen how Barisan Nasional under new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib's leadership is currently stoking racial sentiments and playing with fire. On the one hand he says, "Malaysia is for all" under his "1Malaysia" slogan. On the other his Deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin plays the supporting role to rile up racial sentiments among the Malay-Muslim community with incendiary comments.

But the doublespeak isn't limited to the No. 1 and No. 2. No. 3, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi plays the blatant role as well.

On the one hand, Najib says out loudly and benevolently that "ISA will not be used to detain politicians" just last Friday, as reported proudly by the Star.

However within 2 days of the above, under the covers of UMNO mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia today, Zahid threatens DAP Socialist Youth Chief, Anthony Loke Siew Fook with the ISA for allegedly 'insulting Islam' by putting words in Anthony's mouth! What hypocrisy!

In the Malay blogosphere, including that of the rabid UMNO Malay nationalist, Rocky Bru, the issue is currently rife that the Rasah MP has been making all sort of statements which insulted Islam. Read Anthony's blogpost here.

This is shocking, this is ugly, this is disgusting gutter politics at its very worst propagated by UMNO and Barisan Nasional, led by none other than Datuk Seri '1Malaysia' Najib Abdul Razak.

Najib: Great Speeches, Empty Rhetoric

I'm getting tired of the rhetoric already. The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had another "inspiring" speech made at Batu Caves today to an "expectant" Indian crowd. He told them:
"If we are as one people, if we are as one nation, if we are as one dream, we will be a stronger Malaysia. We must look forward to a bigger, and better future, predicated on a united Malaysia. It is imperative to make it (mutual respect among the races), a part of the psyche and way of life.

"That is why 1Malaysia is about changing mindsets from mere tolerance to one of total acceptance of a plural society. The plural society is a political reality that is an asset and not a liability. A strength and not a weakness.
Great speech writer, hopefully worth the millions being paid for the public relations services. But it's rings hollow like an empty vessel. The rakyat will have to be stupid to buy his rhetoric. It's a feels a little like Robert Mugabe giving a speech made by Abraham Lincoln.

Read Utusan Malaysia over the past week, a newspaper owned by UMNO, headed by Najib. Hear what his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been saying over the past month about UMNO being the only party that protects the interest of the Malays, and that any Malay in the opposition is a traitor to their race etc. And listen to the bigoted religious rhetoric coming from none other than the "reformed" UMNO Youth Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin, who suddenly became the champion of Islam.

You will have to be quite an idiot to believe Najib and UMNO's sincerity. It's a clear case of continued BN "divide and rule" policy. Najib will sing all the nice stuff to "all Malaysians", especially when speaking to a non-Malay audience. His henchmen in the party, and their official mouthpieces - Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian will then sing another song to their hardcore Malay ground to "unite Malay-Muslims" against "the threat of non-Malays".

It's nearly 2.30 am in the morning now, but I still feel like spewing invectives after reading the above news report.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Khairy Shows True Colours Again

For a moment, I thought there was a slight possibility that of all the insular, extremist UMNO leaders, there was one person who learnt his lesson well from the last general elections, that is the favourite public whipping boy, and now UMNO Youth Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin.

Check out his interviews with Malaysiakini post-March elections. Did you attend his Asia21 Forum where he said "I'm sad for BN, but I'm happy for democracy and for Malaysians", almost inspiring? What about the oft used phrase by BN leaders "We must change, or be changed!", that appears absolutely down the drain now too.

Read Utusan Malaysia. Hear what our Deputy Prime Minister is talking about. It's all still race, race, race. (Oh, and it's not about taking part in a "competitive race")

And now back to Khairy. After a brush with projecting a "reformed" image, it's now back to being a race and religious bigot. This piece of Bernama news is just shocking, when Khairy accused "the DAP, which was becoming more bold in insulting Islam lately."
"Umno Youth will organise a 'ceramah perdana' in Shah Alam, Selangor next Friday to counter the (DAP) insults against Islam... on this issue (religion), the Muslims are offended at their (DAP leaders') attitude and this needs a joint effort," he said.
DAP despite not having issued anything statement at all that is anti-Islam, despite having just been upholding justice and the law, we are defamed as "insulting Islam". Of course, by their definition, any such racist and religious bigot attacks on DAP is not sedition.

Suddenly Khairy is now a religious hero who is anti-alcohol. What hypocrisy, a perfect example of "meludah ke langit".

NTV7 Point of View: New Economic Policy

I was on the NTV7 "Point of View" programme a few months back discussing Malaysia's New Economic Policy. Have a listen ;-)

Interestingly enough, this episode was never made available on the NTV7 website which carries electronic versions of all previous episodes ;-)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

DAP Damansara Golf Tournament 2009

This will be the second year which we are running our golf tournament, for the purpose of raising funds to help run my Petaling Jaya Utara constituency's service centre.

I have 4 staff in the office at the moment to help with constituency, research and parliamentary work, plus operational expenses - rental, utilities etc., it costs our office approximately RM12,000 per month to maintain. The Selangor state government starting this year, subsidises RM50,000 per annum of an MP's office expenses, but that'll still leave us with about RM100,000 short, which are funded by public donations, as well as from my own allowance.

We hope to raise approximately RM25,000 from this event, and we look forward to your generous support!

The details are as follows:
Date: 19 Aug 2009 (Wed)
Time: 7.30 am (shot gun)
Venue: Tropicana Golf & Country Club
Entry fee: RM350 per pax.
Closing date: 15th Aug or up to 120 participants (1st come 1st served).
There will be plenty of prizes for golfing and lucky draw winners, as well as items for auction. While the list of prizes have not been finalised, the top prizes will include air tickets to destinations overseas ;-)

Plus, if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough, we could be on the same flight ;-)

Please contact Carmen Leong or Billy Wong at our service centre hotline: 016-2208867 if you are interested to play or to sponsor the event. Or you can email leongooikuan(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

DAP Young Professional's Networking Session

The DAP Damansara branch is holding a networking session over dinner with some of our young DAP national leaders. We are delighted to invite you to join this dinner, where you will get the opportunity to interact personally with our leaders, exchange humour, views and information about each other.
Date : 17 August 2009 (Mon)
Time  : 7.30pm
Venue : The Rocket United Café, Jalan SS2/63, Petaling Jaya.
Dress code: Smart casual

DAP leaders present will include Tony Pua, Anthony Loke, Teo Nie Ching, Liew Chin-Tong, Hannah Yeoh, Jenice Lee and others

We have a limited seats of 35 guests only and reservations will be taken on a first come first served basis. Dinner tickets are priced at RM45pp. Please RSVP by 10th of August 2009 to Joo Shin jshin48 (at) gmail (dot) com, and include a simple description of yourself (work, age, education, politics) so that we could better introduce you during the networking session.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Utusan kills 1Malaysia

I've taken English quotes of the Malay opinion column "Melayu jangan dibacul" published in Utusan Malaysia from The Malaysian Insider. Then judge for yourself how racially skewed the article is, in a paper which is owned by UMNO, headed by the Prime Minister himself, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
Based on the number of non-Malay candidates which could win the next general elections, it can be imagined which ministries they will want. Who will hold the position of Chief Secretary. Secretary-generals, department director-generals. Senior officers and district officers? Who will be senior officers in the police and military? Witness what has happened in Penang, Perak and Selangor. The Malay special rights and the NEP is no more.
Malay special rights no more in Penang, Perak and Selangor? All top government posts including Chief Secretary, secretary-generals, department director-generals are the monopoly of Malays?
Strangely there are many Malay-Muslims who are also expressing hatred for the powers held by their own race. The Malay race has become a race of stupid cowards, and people who are cowards will die before even their deaths.
So, Malay must die die support Malay, whether the latter is corrupt, unjust, incompetent or downright evil? I will support anybody of any race, as long as he/she will bring good governance and take care of the interest of ALL Malaysians in the country.
The attacks and the hatred shown by the opposition and Chinese and Indian political activists towards the Malays has worsened. They are purposely showing their bravery and rude actions. Except they have not started marching and unzipping their trousers as they did during the May 13 tragedy.
Whoa... no need to comment there.

Yes, whatever credibility 1Malaysia has left after the anti-ISA march events, is now completely smashed to smithereens by Utusan Malaysia - remember, owned by UMNO, headed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Voter Registration - Volunteers Needed

Many have asked me, besides actively joining politics, what they can do to help us help the country. One of the simplest and least political of activities which can be carried out is to help conduct voter registration exercises.

Currently, my DAP Damansara branch and service centre carries out voter registration exercises every Monday night from about 7.30pm at the SS2 pasar malam, just outside Medan Selera, same row as McDonalds. We register anything between 40-100 new voters each evening.

But even in Petaling Jaya itself, there are quite a few more pasar malams which we can hold weekly sessions, such as the key ones in Taman Megah (Sun), Taman Paramount (Sun), SS2 Chow Yang (Thu). But we don't have enough volunteers to carry out these sessions regularly at these venues. And we've not even included pasar pagi in SS2, Taman Megah and Section 17.

With more volunteers, we could also hold one-off voter registration sessions at condominiums, shopping centres and other heavily populated venues. One exercise held at a local church recently spanning a few days yielded more than 200 new voters.

So we call upon all who are keen and committed to help to contact us. You can email jshin48 (at) gmail (dot) com with the following details:
Contact No:
Where you stay:
Frequency: Adhoc only | weekly | fortnightly | Monthly (pls specify which day)
Other indicators that will help us co-ordinate volunteers
For those who wants to help in other constituencies, feel free to email in as well, and we'll try to direct you to the right persons in charge in those areas.

For those who are not aware, political parties have approved assistant registrars by the Election Commission to conduct these voter registration exercises. You can of course, visit your nearest post office as well to get yourself registered. ;-)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

True Colours

Let me dedicate this Cyndi Lauper's chorus to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak after yesterday's rousing performance in the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
1Malaysia? People First, Performance Now?

The only 1Malaysia I can see was those brave Malaysian united on the streets, who refused to be cowed by police threats, intimidation and thuggery, despite only seeking a better Malaysia without draconian laws.

The only "performance now" I saw was the ruthless efficiency by which the police took action against the common people, the very people who were supposed to come "first" under Najib's regime. Well, first to be beaten, maybe.

Yes, we are indeed seeing your beautiful true colours now. Well, then again, actually, it probably never changed.

Hatta Hero

Picture courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

A picture tells a thousand words