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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Najib asks Umno to work for all races

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysia Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak today called on his party to adopt a paradigm shift in order to win over the non-Malays, by solving the problems of all Malaysians regardless of race.

“Why are they not looking for Umno to solve their problems? Why are they going to the opposition?” Najib asked when opening the Wanita Umno Convention at the Putra World Trade Centre, here this afternoon.

The prime minister said that Malaysia’s success was dependent on political stability and Malay leadership, in line with his 1 Malaysia concept.

“We must take care of others races so they will respect us.”

He pointed out that in a parliamentary democracy, the people had the ultimate power and that was why Umno needed to gain the support of all races.

Najib called on Wanita Umno to be the catalyst of change and accepted their commitment, made earlier by their chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, to be the pulse of transformation and innovation for the nation.

He commended the determination of the Wanita Umno delegates, whom he said had woken up from the nightmare of Election 2008 when the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lost its traditional two-thirds majority in parliament and five states to the opposition.

He said to be agents of change, Umno needed to start from within by rejecting all that was negative, such as being obsessed with positions.

Najib said there was no point for members to strive to become division, state or national leaders if Umno itself loses power.

He pointed out that, in the past, many have come to him seeking positions by claiming a loss of face if they did not get what they wanted.

“But it’s not about you, it’s about the party,” Najib stressed.

This new culture in Umno, he said, would enable BN to emerge stronger in the next general election.

BN to review consensus in its charter

By G. Manimaran - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — The Barisan Nasional is to review the requirement for consensus among its component parties to accept new members when the ruling coalition amends its constitution at its year-end convention.

The requirement, put up when BN succeeded the Alliance in 1974, worked in the early years but is now seen as a hindrance to widen its coalition and membership leading to unprecedented losses in Election 2008.

“It is time this aspect of consensus is looked into when amending the BN charter to ensure it’s flexible to accept new members,” a coalition source told The Malaysian Insider.

BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced last night that the coalition is looking to recognise political parties and NGOs that are friendly.

He disclosed a special committee has been established and will be headed by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to study the proposal and amendments to the constitution.

The BN lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority and four states in Election 2008, when the opposition combined to make historic gains under the Pakatan Rakyat banner led by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The BN source said each component party will sit on the committee chaired by Hishammuddin, who is a trained lawyer, to review the consensus issue.

He believed abolishing the consensus requirement will enable more parties to join the ruling coalition and increase its popularity.

“It is up to the BN supreme council to make the final decision after indepth studies and discussions,” he added.

The question of consensus has always bedevilled the coalition when accepting new members particularly when MIC vehemently objected to the Indian Progressive Front (IPF) from joining despite support from other component parties.

The MIC is the only party that comprises Indians in the BN, which is made up of 13 component parties.

It is understood that the question of consensus was not discussed officially when the BN supreme council meeting last night decided to consider amendments to its charter to be more inclusive.

Najib has always maintained BN must be more inclusive and target three groups such as individuals as direct members, friendly parties and NGOs.

‘Give us a chance’, PM asks Chinese

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KLANG, Feb 20 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight celebrated the Lunar New Year by asking the Chinese community to give the government a chance to prove itself.

“Give us chance and we will prove that we are a government that can do the best for the people,” the prime minister said at the national Chinese New Year celebrations at the Pandamaran New Village here.

Najib urged the 5,000-strong crowd not to be disheartened by the recent attacks on houses of worship, linked to the “Allah” issue, but to take these as a challenge and a lesson.

“It’s a challenge that we should unite as one people, nation and 1 Malaysia,” he told the crowd.

Najib said the incidents were the work of extremists and not an indication that his 1 Malaysia policy had failed but instead showed that it was needed.

Heavy rain earlier marred and delayed tonight’s celebrations but Najib was unperturbed when he arrived at about 9pm.

During his speech, he joked that rain was “ong (Hokkien for ‘lucky’)” or an indication of good luck.

He said many had predicted the event would not be successful and lamented that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government had torn down banners of him because proper forms were not filled.

Najib also lashed out at the Selangor state government for holding their Chinese New Year celebrations at the same time, purportedly so that many would not make it to Pandamaran.

But the prime minister expressed his gratitude to the crowd that welcomed him despite the rain and clashing state celebrations.

Other BN dignitaries present at tonight’s affair included MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

Shahrizat prefers to counsel, not cane women

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today said she respected Syariah caning for illicit sex but pointed out that Islamic law also prescribes rehabilitation and counselling.

“Wrong is wrong, but there are many ways to handle the issue, including rehabilitation and counselling,” the Women, Family and Community Development Minister said when commenting on the caning of three Muslim women on Feb 9.

The Wanita Umno chief, while acknowledging that Syariah judges have the discretion to impose caning, described the caning of women as a sensitive issue.

She added the punishment also gave room to those who wanted to capitalise on the issue, by claiming women here have no voice.

Shahrizat, however, denied the caning of women would mar the country’s image.

“Only [the] narrow minded will see it that way,” she said, adding that it was far from the truth.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced last Wednesday that three women, who were found guilty of engaging in illicit sex, had been caned under Syariah law, making them the first in the country to receive such punishment.

Civil law does not allow for the caning of women.

The sentences was carried out on Feb 9 at the Kajang Prison. Two of the women were given six strokes of the cane while the third received four.

The women, together with four men, had been sentenced under section 23 (2) of the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Syariah Criminal Offences Act 1997 (Adultery), by the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court.

In case you doubted the existence of God

Justice can be delayed, but it can never be denied. Those who do unto others always get their just deserts, although one never knows when or in what form. Remember Dr Ristina Majid, Ummi Hafilda Ali, Azizan Abu Bakar, Megat Junid Megat Ayub, A-G Mohtar Abdullah, Judge Augustine Paul, etc? Well, let’s add MACC officer M. Mohan and police officer ASP Sydney Clyde Jeremiah to this Rogues’ Gallery.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Lawyer charged with hiding information on his assets

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan was charged at a Sessions Court here with not disclosing all information on his assets in his sworn statement last month.

Rosli then sought permission from Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah to address the court.

Rosli said the timing of ACA to charge him a day before Hari Raya was “calculated to humiliate him. I have suffered enough. If I go to the mosque tomorrow or if I dared to go, I will be a subject of scorn and ridicule,” he said.

He also told Komathy that he stood in dock very sad because of the manner he was “apprehended” by ACA officers.

Kumaraendran said ACA officers arrested his client at his office at 2.30pm on Thursday and that they handcuffed him tightly.

He said a senior ACA officer also threatened to punch Rosli. – 13 October 2007

Now see what happened to that MACC gangster:

MACC senior officer charged with graft

An assistant superintendent with the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was charged in the Sessions Court here Friday with bribery involving RM250,000.

M. Mohan, 37, who is charged with two counts of bribery, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to both charges before judge Azhanis Teh Azman Teh.

He is alleged to have solicited RM250,000 from one A. Sinnaiah as an inducement not to proceed with the investigation on the latter for allegedly bribing officials of the National Registration Department and the Immigration Department.

Mohan is also charged with agreeing to receive a bribe of RM200,000 from Sinnaiah for the same purpose.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Selangor MACC office, 14th Floor, Plaza Masalam, Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah, E9/E, Section 9 here, between 11am and 1pm on Oct 22 last year. – 19 February 2010

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The police officer who was trying to fix me up is now in trouble himself. ASP Sydney Clyde Jeremiah has subpoenaed my lawyer, J. Chandra, to act as the prosecution’s witness, which means Chandra can no longer appear in court during my trial. At the last hearing, the prosecution, in fact, objected to Chandra’s presence in court and asked that he be removed. Well, my hunter is now the hunted, courtesy of divine intervention. Raja Petra Kamarudin, 5 February 2008

Police officer among five charged with bribery

A senior police officer was among five people who were separately charged at the Sessions Court yesterday with corruption.

In the first case, ASP Sydney Clyde Jeremiah was charged with soliciting RM2,000 from Mohd Khusaiful Che Rashid, 36, as an inducement to release Hoi Chee Kin, 27, who was arrested for offering sexual services.

Jeremiah, 47, was one of the senior investigating officers in the city’s serious crimes division.

He was alleged to have committed the offence at his office at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters at 3.30pm on Oct 26 last year.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) deputy public prosecutor Iznina Hanim Hashim proposed RM10,000 bail in one surety.

Jeremiah’s counsel Datuk Salehuddin Saidin pleaded for the amount to be reduced to RM5,000 and said that Jeremiah was the sole breadwinner in his family.

“He has two young children aged nine and 11 years old,” he said, adding that Jeremiah, who was still with the force, was a senior investigating officer and had no reason to abscond.

Now let us look at the earlier cases of divine retribution:

Ummi’s father disowns her and dies of a broken heart

Christopher Fernando told the Kuala Lumpur Appeal Court that Said Awang, the Director of the Special Branch, went to meet Azmin Ali, Ummi’s brother, who was then Anwar’s Chief Private Secretary, to solicit his (Azmin’s) assistance to persuade Ummi to retract the allegation that Anwar had sodomised Azizan.

Fernando related how Said went to meet Azmin to request a meeting with Anwar Ibrahim. In the meeting with Azmin, Said asked him whether Ummi is his sister and Azmin confirmed so.

Said Awang then asked Azmin whether he was able to persuade his sister to withdraw the sodomy allegation against Anwar but Azmin replied that would be impossible as he no longer talked to his sister since the allegation surfaced.

The Special Branch was aware that Ummi was behind the accusation and was, in fact, the plotter of the whole thing. And, the period when this discussion with Azmin was going on, the Special Branch had not met Anwar yet.

Azmin then called the family together to discuss the issue. In all, three meetings were held that included Ummi herself.

Ummi at first denied she had written the letter to the Prime Minister accusing Anwar of sodomy. Azmin then advised his sister to steer clear of the conspiracy, and that was when she admitted this would be impossible to do as she had been promised money and contracts for her role and, in fact, money had already changed hands.

Ummi later confessed to her father her involvement in the conspiracy and that it was actually she who had written the letter to the Prime Minister. The father, a religious teacher, then disowned her and, soon after, died of a broken heart, never forgiving his daughter for what she had done. - 1999

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Azizan Abu Bakar caught khalwat

Azizan Abu Bakar, 39, who has accused Anwar of sodomising him, caught public attention again when he immediately married the partner he was caught with (khalwat), Norhayati Saad, three days later.

The Malacca Syariah Court refused bail for Azizan and Norhayati and decided to detain them until their trial on Sept 28.

This is the first time a person has been denied bail for such an offence after the Malacca Syariah Offences Enactment was introduced in 1991, Utusan reported. – September 1999

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Anwar trial witness Dr Ristina dies of stroke

Dr Ristina Majid, a key witness in the trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, died of a stroke yesterday morning.

The former sister-in-law to the Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Shamsuddin Othman was 51 years old and leaves behind two children.

A dentist by profession, she had invited Ummi Hafilda Ali to stay with her for two to three months before the Anwar case exploded.

Another key witness in the Anwar trial, Azizan Abu Bakar had also stayed with Dr Ristina a day before the police broke into the house and arrested him.

A tearful Ummi Hafilda when contacted said she had lost a good friend.

“Dr Ristina called me a couple of times recently and wanted so much to see me. On Wednesday, she asked me to come and have kari kepala ikan with her but unfortunately I could not,” she added. – 2 October 2002

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Mohtar Abdullah dead after a year in coma

Former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah died at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital today, after nearly a year of lying in a coma following an operation to remove a blood clot in his brain. Mohtar, 59, who was also a former Attorney-General, was buried at the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery in the afternoon after the asar prayers. – 7 July 2003

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Megat Junid dead after a long illness

Former Deputy Home Minister Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub passed away at 5.25am Thursday at the Pantai Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur. He was 65.

The body will leave his Kelana Jaya home at 12.30pm for the mosque, then on to the Kiara Cemetery in Damansara here for burial.

Also the former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Megat Junid had been seriously ill for months. He had undergone surgery for prostate cancer in 2004, but the cancer recurred in 2006 and spread to his liver, lung and bones. – 24 January 2008

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Augustine Paul dead after a long illness

Federal Court judge Datuk Seri S. Augustine Paul, who shot to prominence for presiding over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s 1998 corruption case, has died today of an undisclosed ailment. He was 64.

It is not known what caused his death but he had been bed-ridden for some time. It is understood the funeral will be held tomorrow.

Paul was first appointed as a judicial commissioner on Sep 1, 1996 before he was elevated to the High Court on May 15, 1998.

He presided over Anwar’s sodomy and corruption trials where his remark “irrelevant, irrelevant” was the most quotable quote from the proceedings.

He was made a Courts of Appeal judge on Aug 1, 2003, and later joined the Federal Court bench on June 17, 2005. – 2 January 2010

MCA lashes out at caning of Muslim women

MCA views with concern the caning that was meted out against the three Muslim women recently and the disturbing trend of syariah law enforcement in our country.

While MCA accepts that syariah laws are personal laws and syariah jurisdiction applies to Muslims only, its application should in no event contravene the Federal Constitution.

It is well known that Section 289 of the Penal Code forbids the caning of women. Corporal punishment towards women is inhumane and degrading in nature.

The apparent dual criminal justice system now is most unsatisfactory. It serves to confuse the rakyat, and the disparity in criminal justice enforcement arising from whether one is a Muslim or a non-Muslim is most undesirable. This may be seen as an alarming development that sends a wrong signal about our criminal justice system.

MCA laments the speedy and stealthy manner of the caning cases by the relevant law enforcement authority has conveyed a distasteful impression of our criminal justice system, especially when the same is conducted at a time the suitability of caning of women has been widely debated following the Kartika case.

MCA maintains its position that supremacy of the Federal Constitution whereupon Article 8 reads that there should be no discrimination on the basis of gender therefore equality for all, including equality towards Muslim women must be upheld.

Further, Malaysia is a member country that ratifies the international Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW) covenants. We have a duty to uphold the international covenants to eliminate all forms of inequality against women. The caning of women has also attracted negative international attention and inevitably tarnish our image as a plural multi-racial country.

Gan Ping Sieu
MCA Spokesperson
MCA Political Education Bureau Chairman

PR is now Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia

(Free Malaysia Today)

saifuddin nasution KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat has accepted a suggestion from the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to register itself under the name Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia.

Nevertheless, the opposition alliance does not expect a smooth ride to registration, according to Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, secretary-general of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

"Let’s be frank," he said in an interview with the PAS-affiliated Harakah Daily. "It took years for Parti Sosialis Malaysia, which is aligned to the opposition, just to get approval to become a political party. What more with the Pakatan, when we are the Number One threat to Prime Minister Najib Razak?

“No doubt, another party Makkal Sakthi got the green light within months but then this is the double standards that we are talking about. If you are aligned to Umno-BN, approval is in the blink of an eye. If you are not, then you may have to wait for years.”

In November 2009, PAS, PKR and DAP rushed to tender their application after the Registrar of Societies, Md Alias Jalil, publicly said there was no rule that required a formal coalition to have a minimum of seven component parties.

Saifuddin said ROs had responded once since the application was made.

“They confirmed that no other party has taken the name Pakatan Rakyat and .. they also said we could adopt the name Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia. And we have agreed.

“Adding on the ’Malaysia’ will give us a greater national sense and flavour. Frankly, at this stage, we do not wish to make many objections because we don’t want any unnecessary delay.”

Race-based quota employment policies: Can they be justified?

Written by Dr Lim Teck Ghee

Since the article “Ethnic dominance in the civil service” first came out, there have been a slew of comments from readers. Most of these comments have been favorable and concur on the need to reform the present situation of Malay over-dominance in the civil service.

There have also been dissenting responses arguing that Malay dominance of the public sector is needed to counterbalance the non-Malay dominance found in the private sector.

Is the strategy of imposing racial quotas to arrive at some balance in the overall society and economy the right one for our country?

In the effort to formulate the right mix of policies that can best address the issue of ethnic disparities in the economy and society, it is important to bear in mind that there is a fundamental difference between public and private sector employment. This difference appears to elude politicians seeking to impose controls and restrictions on the private sector.

Employment in the civil service is paid for by the taxes levied on all racial groups and from the other revenue collected by the government. This sector includes employment in public universities such as the National Defence University where Dr Ridhuan Tee, a recent commentator on my article, is employed – see his article ‘Iktibar Tahun Harimau’ in the Utusan paper last Sunday (Feb 14, 2010).

In any democracy, the public sector is seen as belonging to and catering for all the citizens of the country. It is never viewed as the particular enclave or entitlement of any community. Through a representative and merit-based civil service paid for by public funds, the Government of the day is expected to provide all its citizens – in our case, Malaysians of whatever racial origin – with fair and equitable treatment. A racially diverse civil service is acknowledged to be the crucial player in the planning and implementation of fair and equitable public policies. It is also needed to ensure that discriminatory action based on race does not take place.

The case for – and process involved with – arriving at a racially representative private sector is different from that for the public sector. In the private sector, the most effective method for bringing about the higher level of employment of any target group – if that is seen as a desirable policy – is not through legislative imposed quotas but through a system of incentives, including those leading to voluntary self recognition and action by employers, in particular the larger sized ones.

With regard to racial quota policies in the private sector, few if any countries in the world impose such quotas because race-based actions are controversial in their political and socio-economic rationale and are difficult to justify. A racial quota system in the private sector strikes at the basic freedom and right of the employer – who is paying from his own pocket or from the firm’s revenue and not from public coffers – to hire the right person for the job.

Also, the private sector is not a monolithic employer the way the public sector is. It consists of hundreds of thousands of individuals and small and large organizations whose employment requirements vary enormously. Attempts to impose such a system would not only pose a logistical nightmare but would also be impossible to enforce.

It would be disastrous for Malaysia to impose race based recruitment policies in the private sector as Dr Ridhuan Tee appears to be calling for. Imposition of a racial quota in private sector employment would be tantamount to approval of further racial rent-seeking that has already crippled the country’s development. In fact, it may well be the final nail in the coffin of the economy.

This is not to say that quota systems on employment in the private sector do not exist or should be completely ruled out. A small number of Middle East countries, for example, in response to their over-reliance on a foreign labour force have introduced hiring quotas for their private sector but these policies are not on the basis of race. These quotas are only to ensure the employment of their citizens; presumably irrespective of their race.

More common are quotas or similar affirmative action policies for hiring women and disabled people. These also have their special justification based on increasing representation of grossly under-represented or marginalized groups and to advance social diversity. They are not based on race. In fact, few if any countries in the world impose quotas mainly on the basis of race and ‘historical entitlement’ as Malaysia is doing.

Where affirmative action policies are deemed necessary, they may be implemented following widespread public agreement and the imposition of various safeguards including public scrutiny and accountability at all times. Administrative actions in designing and implementing such programmes have to be made fully transparent to ensure that the means justify the ends and also to prevent abuse or partisan practice.

We should learn from the experience of our recent history and from other countries that have attempted to implement race based quota policies in private sector employment. Richard A. Epstein in his book, Forbidden Grounds: The Case against Employment Discrimination Laws, has argued that the modern civil rights laws found in the United States are flawed in negating freedom of association and have led to government coercion that threatens markets and, ultimately, liberty.

“At bottom are only two pure forms of legislation – productive and redistributive,” he points out. “Anti-discrimination legislation is always of the second kind. The form of redistribution is covert; it is capricious, it is expensive and it is wasteful.”

Epstein also makes the key economic point: If we want to subsidize a “protected class”, he writes, it can be done more efficiently by just giving grants.

Whilst generally agreeing with Prof. Epstein and other critics of the folly of using quota policies to correct whatever deficiencies that may be found in the private sector, resort to this drastic measure in the public sector in Malaysia may be the only way to bring about fairness, competitiveness and representativeness in our bureaucracy.

A quota-based affirmative action policy ensuring a reasonable proportion of minorities in the country’s civil service may not be the solution to the many structural problems that are found in the civil service and other government institutions. However, it may be the only guarantee of race-neutral policies and services.

Menyelesaikan Projek Tergendala

Dari Malaysiakini

Oleh Abdul Rahim Sabri

Beberapa pemilik rumah di pangsapuri Taman Ukay Bistari di Hulu Kelang yang sudah tujuh tahun menunggu kerana pembinaannya tergendala, hari ini bersyukur kerana akhirnya dapat mendiami rumah sendiri.

Riak wajah ceria mereka jelas terpancar selepas kerajaan Selangor berusaha menyiapkan projek perumahan itu, yang terbengkalai sejak tahun 2003.

“Siapa yang tidak seronok dapat rumah sendiri. Itu yang diidam-idamkan selama ini. Mak cik berasa lega dengan kemudahan yang diberikan.

“Siapa yang tidak suka. Inilah saat yang diidam-idamkan,” kata Norziah Nurajin yang ditemui sebelum perasmian program pemulihan perumahan terbengkalai di Hulu Kelang pagi ini.

Pelancaran program tersebut disempurnakan oleh Penasihat Ekonomi Selangor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim di Taman Ukay Bistari.

Beliau turut menyampaikan kunci rumah kepada penduduk di Hulu Kelang dan Puchong yang berjaya memiliki rumah melalui skim pemulihan perumahan terbengkalai di negeri itu.

Kira-kira 300 hadirin termasuk pembeli dari taman berkenaan dan dari Saujana Puchong hadir dalam majlis tersebut.

Norziah, 52, yang sebelum ini merupakan penduduk setinggan di Kampung Pasir Tambahan, melahirkan rasa gembira dan tersenyum apabila dia menerima kunci rumahnya selepas tujuh tahun menunggu.

Sementara seorang lagi pembeli Haliza Che Harun turut melahirkan rasa yang sama dengan Norziah selepas lama menunggu untuk menduduki di rumah sendiri.

Haliza, 40, yang ditemani dua anaknya di majlis tersebut, turut memuji kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di Selangor yang berusaha membantu membolehkan beliau dan keluarganya menetap di situ.

Menurutnya beliau akan berpindah dari rumah sewanya di Taman Permata dekat Hulu Kelang, selepas menerima kunci daripada kerajaan negeri.

Manakala Abu Samat Abdul Razak, 40, mengucapkan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada kerajaan Selangor yang berusaha untuk membantu penduduk di taman itu menyiapkan rumah mereka yang terbengkalai sejak 2003.

Beliau juga menempelak kerajaan terdahulu yang menurutnya “tidak membantu rakyat” untuk menyiapkan rumah mereka yang terbengkalai.

“Kerajaan sebelum ini banyak tidur. Tidak membantu rakyat. Rumah banyak terbengkalai. Mereka menipu rakyat sebelum pilihan raya. Selepas pilihan raya, mereka tidur,” katanya ketika ditemui di majlis tersebut.

Abu Samat yang ketika ini menetap di Pangsapuri Sri Nilam di Ampang berkata sebelum ini beliau risau selepas tiga pemaju masih gagal menyiapkan pangsapuri tersebut.

Bagaimanapun beliau berasa lega kerana pemaju yang dilantik oleh Pakatan Rakyat dapat berbuat demikian.

“Pakatan Rakyat betul-betul membantu rakyat,” katanya.

Sementara itu, seorang lagi penduduk di situ memberi reaksi yang berbeza apabila tidak berpuas hati kerana ketiadaan bekalan air dan lif yang tidak berfungsi.

Aminah Othman, 46, yang ditemui Malaysiakini selepas pelancaran program tersebut berkata walaupun berbangga dengan kehadiran ketua pembangkang tetapi masalah tersebut harus diselesaikan segera.

Aminah yang sudah mendiami rumahnya kira-kira sebulan yang lalu, kerana mendakwa pemaju tidak membayar sewa kepada pemilik rumah yang disewanya, berharap kerajaan Selangor bertindak segera untuk menyelesaikan masalah bekalan air dan lif yang tidak berfungsi

Sementara itu, Exco Perumahan, Pengurusan Bangunan dan Setinggan Ir Iskandar Samad ketika ditemui pemberita, berjanji pihaknya akan menyelesaikan masalah tersebut dalam masa seminggu.

“Penduduk tidak akan masuk selagi tidak lengkap dengan kemudahan ini,” katanya.

Taman Ukay Bistari dan Saujana Puchong adalah antara 141 kawasan perumahan yang terbengkalai di negeri terbabit yang membabitkan kos pemulihan projek berkenaan dianggarkan bejumlah RM 5 bilion merangkumi hampir 5,000 unit rumah.

Program itu diselia oleh jawatankuasa khas yang dipengerusikan ADUN Hulu Kelang, Saari Sungib dan dijalankan melalui sumbangan modal dan kepakaran dari syarikat swasta.

Jawatankuasa itu pula diletakkan di bawah jawatankuasa induk yang turut

dianggotai exco perumahan, pihak berkuasa tempatan dan juga wakil penduduk.

Sementara itu, dalam ucapannya, Anwar berkata, lebih 140 projek rumah terbengkalai di negeri itu adalah diwarisi dari kerajaan terdahulu.

Katanya kerajaan Selangor akan berusaha untuk mempercepatkan projek terbengkalai di Selangor walaupun beliau tidak menjanjikan keseluruhannya pada tahun ini.

“Kita tidak menjanjikan (semua projek terbengkalai) untuk siap dalam tahun ini, tapi kita ikhlas (menolong) memberi tempat (kepada pembeli).

“Kita berjanji, tidak ada habuan wang daripada pemaju dan kita tidak akan mengkhianati rakyat,” katanya.

Dalam ucapannya juga Anwar yang juga ketua umum PKR menjelaskan masalah projek perumahan terbengkalai juga mempunyai kaitan dengan keadaan ekonomi di negara ini.

“Ekonomi kita tidak berada dalam keadaan kukuh. Pelabur tidak yakin dengan institusi dan sistem (di Malaysia). Suatu ketika dahulu pertumbuhan ekonomi negara kita mengatasi negara seperti Singapura dan Thailand.

“Dan dari segi persaingan ekonomi, kita berada di tangga kedua, tapi sekarang kita masih rendah. Ini berpunca daripada kurang upaya pemimpin negara untuk meyakinkan pelabur luar untuk menguruskan ekonomi negara,” kata Anwar yang juga bekas menteri kewangan.

Dalam ucapan itu juga, Anwar menyatakan berjanji akan mendapatkan sijil pengesahan penduduk (CF) di projek perumahan Taman Ukay Bistari minggu hadapan.

“CF belum dapat lagi, hanya (sijil) sementara sahaja daripada Majlis
Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ). Kalau Isnin ini dapat surat, minggu itu juga diluluskan. Kalau tidak lulus, saya akan turun lagi. Saya berjanji,” katanya.

Sebelum itu, Exco Perumahan, Pengurusan Bangunan dan Setinggan Selangor, Ir Iskandar Samad menolak tanggapan sesetengah pihak yang menyatakan bahawa jawatankuasa khas yang ditubuhkan “tidak ada gigi” untuk mengenalpasti dan menyelia projek terbengkalai di negeri itu

Kata Iskandar yang juga timbalan pesuruhajaya PAS Selangor berkata, jawatankuasa tersebut sebenarnya mempunyai tanggungjawab penuh kepada kepadanya selaku exco yang terlibat.

“Segala apa yang dilakukan akan dilaporkan kepada Exco dan perlu juga mendapat kebenaran daripada saya terlebih dahulu,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian bagi menjawab ucapan wakil persatuan penduduk Taman Ukay Bistari, yang dikenali Dr Rafick yang berucap sebelum itu yang menyatakan jawatankuasa khas yang ditubuhkan oleh kerajaan negeri adalah “organiasasi longgar” dan “tidak ada gigi” kerana tidak berada di bawah agensi kerajaan.

Dr Rafick berharap kerajaan Selangor dari Pakatan Rakyat berperanan sebagai satu kerajaan yang lebih baik daripada kerajaan terdahulu.

“Kerajaan kini, jika tidak selesai masalah rakyat dan (mengambil kira) pandangan orang ramai, maka ia tidak banyak beza dengan kerajaan sebelum ini. Tunjukkan keyakinan kepada rakyat,” katanya.

BN Management Committee To Study Proposals For More Open BN - Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- The Management Committee of the Barisan Nasional (BN) will study how the ruling coalition can be more open and inclusive to admit BN-friendly individuals, political parties and non-governmental organisations into the coalition, Deputy Prime Minister and BN Deputy Chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Saturday.

He said the committee, chaired by him, would consider all the proposals before submitting them to the BN Supreme Council meeting.

"Many BN-friendly political parties and non-governmental organisations have been unable to join the coalition as there is no provision for this in the BN constitution," he told reporters after presenting the SAM-100Plus awards, here.

Muhyiddin said all BN component parties were asked to send their representatives to sit on a special committee headed by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein which would study and refine details of the amendments.

"We have to study the pros and cons of the proposals, whether the BN should be restricted to political parties or opened also to non-political organisations such as economic, social and welfare bodies, which are friendly to the BN, as well as individuals," he said.

Yesterday, Prime Minister and BN Chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the BN would hold a convention to amend its constitution to be more open and inclusive to admit BN-friendly individuals, political parties and NGOs into the coalition.