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Sunday, October 17, 2010

DAP: Najib stoking 'racial fires' in the civil service

(Malaysiakini) The DAP has accused Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of using “racial rhetoric and falsehoods” to incite anger among Malay civil servants so that they would continue to support Umno.

NONE“The Prime Minister showed his true colours when he chastised the civil service for not demonstrating blind loyalty to Umno,” said the party's national publicity secretary Tony Pua in a press statement today.

He was referring to the PM's speech when launching an Umno club for retired senior government officers at his official residence, Seri Perdana, in Putrajaya yesterday.

Pua pointed to two of Najib's statements which he said clearly sought to bring up racial prejudices:

“I want to ask - who were the ones who questioned Article 153 in the Constitution? Malay privileges - who questioned them?”

“Who caused the incident of not offering prayers for the well-being of the king? Who wanted Universiti Teknologi Mara to be opened to the non-Malays. Not Umno, but the other side,” said Najib in his speech.

NONEPua who is also Petaling Jaya Utara MP, contended that Najib's remarks smelled of a “true Perkasa hulubalang (warrior)", in reference to the Malay rights group's tendency to mix “race discord with racial rhetoric”.

This, Pua said, is the reason why Najib has taken extra pains not to criticise Perkasa for their “non-stop racist and extremist posturing” despite them causing increased racial tensions.

Najib's true colours


The parliamentarian also said that the PM's remarks revealed his true colours as "Malay first, Malaysian second", just like his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin had proclaimed himself to be earlier this year.

perkasa first agm 270310 banner“It fully explains his lack of willingness to mete out harsh punishments against those who has spewed racist comments over the past few years, including Penang (Umno)'s Ahmad Ismail, the teachers who insulted minority races, his own special assistant Nasir Safar (and), the BTN assistant director who referred to Indians as Si Botol,” he alleged further.

Pua claimed that Najib has screeched a 180-degree about-turn from his calls for "moderation" and "market-friendly and merit-based" affirmative action.

In his speech, Najib had said he was “baffled” with those civil servants and government pensioners who preferred to support the opposition.

"Civil servants should know better that it is only Umno that can ensure our survival", said Najib, who is also Umno president

Loyalty to Umno = Loyalty to government?


Pua said his main worry is that the premier seems unable to differentiate between loyalty to the government and loyalty to a particular political party.

economic transformation programme 210910 idris jala“While the civil service needs to be loyal to the government of the day and carry out its policies diligently and professionally, the civil servants are allowed to have their own political ideals and preferences,” stressed Pua.

He urged Najib to look at countries like Japan, US, UK, France or Australia, who are able to switch governments without the loyalty and political affiliation of the civil servants being questioned.
'Just bunkum'
The DAP representative added that Najib's reference to Umno as opposed to BN hints at racial and discriminatory priorities.

“Najib's mention of "our survival" could only refer to Malay survival in the context of the civil service being dominated by Malays and Umno being a party exclusively for Malays,” claimed Pua.

NONEHe believe that this will “severely jeopardise” Malaysia's goal of achieving a high income status as projected in the government's and Economic Transformation Programme.

“Malaysian talents overseas will resist returning while foreign and local investors will seek greener pastures elsewhere if unequal opportunities and unbridled race-based policies continue to be practiced,”said Pua.
On the same issue, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang (left) in a statement also lambasted the PM's “shocking attempt to compromise the civil service and government pensioners to enlist them to be Umno supporters”.

Lim said this proved that Najib's talk of transformation and 1Malaysia was “all just bunkum” and showed “utter contempt” for the other BN component parties.

No money to give one-month bonus to civil servants

(Malaysiakini) Prime Minister Najib Razak said today the government could not pay a month's bonus to the 1.2 million civil servants in Budget 2011 because it incurred an expenditure of RM3.1 billion.

As such, he said, the special financial assistance of RM500 for each civil servant was appropriate.

Najib, who is also the finance minister, said many quarters had lobbied to him to announce a month's bonus to the civil servants.

NONE"But I would like to share with you ... that a month's bonus incurs an expenditure of RM3.1 million for the government. Personally, I would want to give a bonus but as a responsible finance minister, I cannot expend more than the national revenue.

"It is for this reason that I gave RM500 as a special financial assistance to civil servants," he said when addressing the 1Malaysia gathering of teachers at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here.

When tabling Budget 2011 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Najib announced a special financial assistance of RM500 for all civil servants from Grade 54 and below as well as contract officers and retirees. The payment will be made in December this year.

The prime minister said the aid could help civil servants cope with schooling expenses for their children at the end of the year.

He also said that though no bonus was given, the government had proposed other incentives for civil servants, such as maternity leave of up to 90 days.

This also benefitted women teachers, who made up almost 70 percent of the 400,000 teachers in the country, he said.

"The maternity leave is a gift for women. But they can opt not to take the 90 days. It is up to them."

Financial implications

Under Budget 2011, the government will allow flexibility to self-determine fully-paid maternity leave, not exceeding 90 days from the current 60 days. The facility is subject to a total of 300 days of maternity leave through the tenure of service.

The prime minister also said that the government facilitated civil servants in owning houses as well as improving the terms and conditions for housing loans.

He said it had raised the maximum loan eligibility to RM450,000 compared with the current RM360,000, so that civil servants could buy more expensive houses.

Najib also referred to the various memorandums sent to him to make improvements to the teaching service scheme, and said he needed some time to scrutinise the proposals because they had financial implications and involved a large number of teachers.

"I have to look at them together with the Public Service Department and the Finance Ministry. There are many proposals. If the government can afford it, I will have discussions with (Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin ... and an announcement can be made when the time comes," he said.

- Bernama

Nurul pulls out

Wan Azizah wins unopposed, all eyes on No 2 spot

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: All eyes will be riveted on the contest for the PKR deputy president post when incumbent Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail won the president's post unopposed here today.

The nominations for the various posts came to a close at 6pm today.

The contest for the deputy president post will see a three-cornered fight among vice-presidents Azmin Ali, Mustafa Kamil Ayub and PKR Federal Territories chief Zaid Ibrahim. Of the three, Azmin received the most nominations at 100, while Zaid and Mustafa trail behind at 38 and 17 respectively.

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, who announced his entry into the race just last week, withdrew today after discussions with senior party leaders.

The vice-presidency is being contested by 19 of 30 eligible candidates, including Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, election director Fuziah Salleh, Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mansor Osman and Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah.

Despite qualifying to stand for both the posts of deputy president and vice-president, Nurul today decided to go for the latter, saying it was the best position for her for now.

The race for the position of PKR Youth chief will go down to a duel between Badrul Hisham Shaharin (popularly known as Chegubard) and Shamsul Iskandar Akin after Rafizi Ramli bowed out earlier today.

Shamsul Iskandar, who was tipped to contest for the vice-presidency, reversed his course today and accepted nominations to defend his current post as the national Youth leader instead.

The PKR Wanita chief post will see a three-cornered fight among Animah Ferrar, Suraya Sudin and Zuraida Kamaruddin.

The initial list of candidates will be up tomorrow followed by a three-day objection period. The final list will be available on Oct 24. Polls will begin on Oct 29 and end on Nov 21.

New political model may be introduced to ensure Umno’s continuity: Najib

(Bernama) - PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said today a new political model might have to be introduced to ensure Umno continued to lead the nation. “We not only need a New Economic Model, we might also need a New Political Model,” he said when launching an Umno Club for retired senior government officers at his official residence Seri Perdana here yesterday.
Najib, who is also Umno president, said the strategy of politics of development was no longer effective now.

“The reason why people are rejecting political parties that have contributed a lot over the years is because of parties that did not change. They are seen as rigid and not dynamic.

“However, if we change and are seen as a fresh and dynamic party, God willing, the people's support for us will continue into the future.

Najib said the good track record of a ruling party was no longer a guarantee that that party would continue to remain in power.

Nevertheless, he said a new political model would not change the objectives of Umno's struggle but instead in the methods employed to sustain its cause in the context of changes taking place all around.

"People are saying the enviromment has changed but the old methodology is still being used when it should be new environment, new methodology. Only then Umno will be seen as a party that is dynamic," he said, adding that whatever the changes might be, he would ensure the party did not waver from the cause the founding fathers had for it.

Najib said, at the same time, there needed to be balance in administering a country.

"There cannot be a situation where the majority group owns the least wealth. That is not a good recipe for long-term stability," he said.

In connection with this, Najib said Umno must continue to be seen as a party that was principled and had consideration for others.

"We must be fair... fair to the Malays as well as the non-Malays in the country. Only then we can have a nation that is united, strong and successful," he said.

On the same note, Najib said the people could not expect opposition parties to deliver the goods.

"I want to ask who were the ones who questioned Article 153 in the Constitution? Malay privileges, who questioned them? Who caused the incident of not offering prayers for the wellbeing of the King? Who wanted Universiti Teknologi Mara to be opened to the non-Malays? Not Umno but the other side," he said.

Furthermore, Najib said he could not understand why there were civil servants and government pensioners who preferred to support the opposition.

"We have to look into this... this is not right. Maybe because they were angry with a few, they decided to ditch the whole ship. Civil servants should know better that it is only Umno that can ensure our survival.

"Look at what is happening at a party on the other side now. Chairs flying, members suffering broken arms, sprained limbs. And all because someone wants to occupy the prime minister's residence in Putrajaya," he said.

Najib also congratulated the people responsible for forming the club, saying they had created a new chapter in Umno's history in doing so.

He added that he was touched by the support shown by its members who previously had been Group A civil servants.

According to the club's president, Aseh Che Mat, it now had 300 registered members.

"Retirees in group A make up 10% of the 550,000 government pensioners now. We are aiming to recruit the maximum possible number from this group (Group A)," he said.

What do the 3 PKR deputy presidential candidates have in common?

Neither Zaid, Azmin nor Mustaffa Kamil have taken Muhyiddin to task for his ‘Malay first, Malaysian second’ stance.

Photo from Mkini
Unless I’ve missed any news report to the contrary.
If I am mistaken and there is any news report to the contrary, could someone please send in a link to the same so that I can update this post with that report?
Would it not be good to know if Zaid, Azmin and Mustaffa see themselves as Malaysians first or, like Muhyiddin, identify themselves first as being Malay?
Should the trio, as they now go on their respective campaign trails to persuade the 400,000++ PKR members to give them the deputy presidential mandate in November, not declare at the outset of each ceramah whether each is Malaysian first and foremost?
How about we launch a Twitter campaign to get the trio to make known what their respective stand is?
Those on Twitter, how about sending out the following : Will Zaid, Azmin & Mustaffa declare if they are Msian 1st, Malay 2nd?

Pemilihan 2010 : Patuhi Etika, Perjelas Agenda

Alhamdulillah selesai sudah Proses Penerimaan Pencalonan bagi Pemilihan KEADILAN 2010. Kelihatan semuanya berjalan dengan baik dan lancar hasil daripada komitmen Sekretariat Pemilihan dan calon-calon yang bersikap profesional. Nyatanya ini satu berita buruk buat musuh kerana tiada berita negatif yang boleh mereka muatkan dalam berita esok!

Ruang yang disediakan KEADILAN melalui kaedah demokratik ’1 Anggota 1 Undi’ ini harus dimanfaatkan semua dengan penuh tertib dan sopan. Menjadi tanggungjawab semua calon untuk mematuhi etika pemilihan dan menjelaskan agenda mereka kepada ahli dan rakyat umumnya. Kalangan anggota, ruang pemilihan harus disahut untuk memperkemaskan KEADILAN untuk menghadapi PRU-13 yang dijangka berlaku tahun hadapan.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Budget 2011: A budget for the big boys and civil servants

By Dr Lim Teck Ghee

There are several ways to analyze the budget. One is to take at face value what the Prime Minister has written in his blog just before his budget speech where he promised that it is “a budget by the rakyat”. By it, he explained that he had read through the more than 1,000 comments and suggestions from his readers and forwarded them to the Ministry of Finance to incorporate.

According to the PM, there were three key issues raised – employment, taxes and subsidies, and education.

In his words, “employment was the most frequently discussed with some of you calling for the implementation of a minimum wage policy”. Also, he noted that “comments from the youth requested for increased tax rebates for young families or ways to provide financial assistance in managing the rising cost of living”. As for education, the feedback on his blog related to concerns with education quality and the rising cost of education.

Now that the budget has been unveiled, it is clear that the civil servants preparing the budget have completely ignored the Prime Minister. Firstly, the implementation of the minimum wage policy has been further deferred for the umpteenth time. The only beneficiaries of wage reform appear to be security guards who deservedly see their minimum wages raised and female civil servants who will now have longer maternity leave.

As for education, whilst there is a substantial allocation to cater for recurring operational expenditure and some new infrastructural spending, there is nothing new in the budget that can allay the number one concern of middle-class Malaysians. Especially disappointing is the failure to grant relief for private higher education costs which are rising steeply.

Given the trend, it looks like higher education will soon be affordable only to those that can get into the public universities or those who have wealthy parents – and also perhaps those that can draw on financing from family members and Ah Longs.

Affordable housing has been very much in the news even if there have been few letters to the Prime Minister on the topic. It is now beyond the reach of many in the younger age group living in the larger towns and especially in the Klang Valley. There is no evidence in the budget of any official concern to tackle the problem.

There are also no measures aimed at curbing the rising cost of living. Why is there a lack of attention to addressing the rising costs of housing, transport and health as well as food? Part of the reason is the government’s Alice in Wonderland estimate of inflation – it has projected a figure of 2-3 per cent for the year. Further, according to the government’s estimate, Malaysians will be quite a bit wealthier in 2011 compared with 2010. Per capita income is expected to go up by 6.1 per cent to RM28,000, and income in terms of purchasing power parity will hit US$16,000.

This is of course data which does not reflect real life – just a hypothetical average. The majority of Malaysians will, in fact, not only feel but will indeed be poorer rather than richer in 2011 given the relentless rise in cost of living that is not reflected in the inflation data.

One group though that will not be poorer will be the big guns benefiting from the slew of mega projects contained in the budget. They include the planned erection of a RM5 billion tower. This is a potential monstrosity which will serve little purpose except bring to a standstill traffic in that congested part of the city. It is obscene that this is being done in the name of honouring the country’s heritage.

Hopefully citizen groups, residents in the area and heritage organisations can organise and bring pressure to bear on the government to stop this project before it gets off the ground.

As evidence of how poorly conceived the budget planning process has been, it should be noted that the budgeted amount for the year for all the corridor projects – which is supposed to help decentralise development and increase rural incomes and well-being in the other parts of the country – is only one-third of that allocated for this massive planned erection.

Other big ticket items such as the MRT may be economically more justifiable but they have to be closely monitored for the way in which project design, contractors and partners are selected. Already, there is talk of pre-determined winners even before the process of proper technical studies, evaluation and selection has commenced.

It is disappointing that the budget does not deal at all with the procurement issue which has resulted in wastage, inefficiency and higher costs to the average Malaysian in the last 30 years. Presumably we are going to see business as usual in the tenders for Private-Public Partnership projects and the continuation of “privatized gain and socialized losses”.

Another concern is that much of the budget continues to go into operating a bloated civil service. As much as three quarters of the national budget is spent on paying salaries and other benefits to over 1.3 million civil servants.

This means that of every dollar spent in the budget, 75 sen goes towards manning the civil service, leaving little left to carry out development work that can benefit the country’s population. There is clearly something fundamentally wrong in the way the country’s budget is being spent when so much of the allocation goes to paying for a sector that is generally regarded as unproductive and standing in the way of efficiency.

Finally, this is a budget that is touted as being friendly to business. The question is not only which and what businesses will benefit but also whether the projects undertaken will benefit the country.

From the listed projects, it appears that we are returning to the era of mega high-status, expensive projects which will provide little value-added to the Malaysian economy. Projects such as the proposed RM5 billion tower should be scrapped, and the resources spent instead on the expansion of public housing, transport, health and other badly needed amenities and services that can truly benefit the ordinary people.

New Political Model May Be Introduced To Ensure Umno's Continuity - Najib

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 16 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today a new political model might have to be introduced to ensure Umno continued to lead the nation.

"We not only need a New Economic Model, we might also need a New Political Model," he said when launching an Umno Club for retired senior government officers at his official residence Seri Perdana here Saturday.

Najib, who is also Umno president , said the strategy of politics of development was no longer effective now.

"The reason why people are rejecting political parties that have contributed a lot over the years is because of parties that did not change. They are seen as rigid and not dynamic.

"However, if we change and are seen as a fresh and dynamic party, God willing the people's support for us will continue into the future.

Najib said the good track record of a ruling party was no longer a guarantee that that party would continue to remain in power.

Nevertheless, he said a new political model would not change the objectives of Umno's struggle but instead in the methods employed to sustain its cause in the context of changes taking place all around.

"People are saying the environment has changed but the old methodology is still being used when it should be new environment, new methodology. Only then Umno will be seen as a party that is dynamic," he said, adding that whatever the changes might be, he would ensure the party did not waver from the cause the founding fathers had for it.

He said, at the same time, there needed to be balance in administering a country.

"There cannot be a situation where the majority group owns the least wealth. That is not a good recipe for long term stability," he said.

In connection with this, Najib said Umno must continue to be seen as a party that was principled and had consideration for others.

"We must be fair... fair to the Malays as well as the non-Malays in the country. Only then we can have a nation that is united, strong and successful," he said.

On the same note, Najib said the people could not expect Opposition parties to deliver the goods.

"I want to ask who were the ones who questioned Article 153 in the Constitution? Malay privileges who questioned them? Who caused the incident of not offering prayers for the wellbeing of the King? Who wanted Universiti Teknologi Mara to be opened to the non-Malays. Not Umno but the other side," he said.

Further to this, Najib said he could not understand why there were civil servants and government pensioners who preferred to support the Opposition.

"We have to look into this ... this is not right. Maybe because they were angry with a few, they decided to ditch the whole ship. Civil servants should know better that it is only Umno that can ensure our survival.

"Look at what is happening at a party on the other side now. Chairs flying, members suffering broken arms, sprained limbs. And all because someone wants to occupy the Prime Minister's residence in Putrajaya," he said.

Najib also congratulated the people responsible for forming the club, saying they had created a new chapter in Umno's history in doing so.

He added that he was touched by the support shown by its members who previously had been Group A civil servants.

According to the Club's president, Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat, it now had 300 registered members.

"Retirees in group A make up 10 per cent of the 550,000 government pensioners now. We are aiming to recruit the maximum possible number from this group (Group A)," he said.