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Friday, October 5, 2012

Pakatan ulangi kembalikan hak royalti 20 peratus

Minimum wage won't bankrupt SMIs, Khairy told

Ahmedabad (Gujarat, India) is on Islamic Fire for the “Innocence of Muslims”.

Fundamental, non-Indian, subversive issues overwhelmed Indian Muslims.

on 3rd Sept. 2012, about 10000 ugly Muslims generated violence, loss of public properties and attacked Karanj Police Station (Three Gate Bhadra, Bhadra, Bhadra, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380001. Ph. 079 2550 7580 ) at Ahmedabad and nearby public places to show their might to reflect a Islamic Supremacy.

A paper tiger in Gujarat eschewed his further planning amidst an Islamic insurgency there.

No details reports are available till now. Reports are being censored.

From available pictures, it is evident that Muslim protested vehemently over the impugned film : “Innocence of Muslims”.

When We Hindus will rent the air with the utterance: BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT HINDUS, INDIA and WHO ARE TRAITORS”? Stop all these Islamic menace in Bharat (India). Otherwise we will show you the dire consequences.

Woman Jihadi and Mufti of Ahmedabad Jama Masjid behind the conspiracy?
Ahmedabad police station set on fire in anti-Islam film stir….

Fake Innocence of Muslims. They are actually Insane. Inhuman. Uncivilized. Photo Courtesy: Arya Jashdev.
AHMEDABAD : TNN | Oct 4, 2012, 01.58AM IST :: A rally to condemn the anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims’, which has irked Muslims across the globe, took a violent turn in the city on Wednesday. An angry mob set fire to the Karanj police chowky along with 11 motorbikes and two jeeps belonging to the policemen.

City police fired three rounds in the air to disperse the mob. Officials also lobbed more than 30 tear gas shells and lathi-charged the protesters to bring the situation under control. At least 12 people were injured in police lathi-charge.

More than 100 people were arrested for the violence by late evening. This included a woman, Zarina Khan, who had initially sought permission for a rally from the cops, which was turned down. The accused have been booked for attempt to murder and vandalism.

The violence sparked off after a string of bandh calls given by various groups in different parts of the city during the past week. Several minority-dominated parts of Ahmedabad had witnessed spontaneous bandhs and small rallies against the film.

On Wednesday, a large section of the minority community had decided to stage a rally on a much larger scale. However, the city police denied them permission. Upset with the decision, the protesters called for a city-wide bandh.

The protesters were also angry with some of their community members. On Tuesday, Mufti Shabbir Ahmed of Jama Masjid, members of organizations like Jamat-e-Islami, Jamiet-e-Ulaima Hind and Muslim legislators and municipal councilors had appealed that the community not follow the call of bandh. In a meeting held at the Jama Masjid, Muslim leaders had condemned violent means of protest against ‘Innocence of Muslims’. They also appealed to the people to not resort to violence that could disturb peace of the city. Read details here.

Courtesy: AP | Deccan Chronicle | Agencies | TOI.

Christian Arrested Attempting To Board Hajj Flight

When asked why he joined the line of hajj pilgrims, Mr. Joseph said ” I am a Nigerian, so I don’t believe in discrimination, whether you are a Christian or Muslim”

A 29-year old Plateau state’s born teacher, Lohnan Joseph, has been intercepted while trying to board a Saudi-bound flight at Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, on Sunday.

Mr. Joseph, a christian and a former teacher at Global Kids Academy, Sokoto, was said to have joined the screening line of Zamfara State intending pilgrims, who were about to board a flight bound for Saudi Arabia in the early hours of Sunday.

Speaking to newsmen, Zamfara State’s commissioner of Environment and one of the state’s Hajj officials, Mukhtari Lugga, who was among the people that spotted and consequently intercepted the suspect, said ,”Joseph just came from nowhere and join their line during their screening exercise.

“He was easily identified as an alien among them because he was not wearing uniform.
“This was what drew our attention to him and we quickly notified the police who came and picked him up for interrogation.”

Found in his possession were, 40 pieces of 10,000 France Franc, eight pieces of 5,000 France Franc, one pieces of 1,000 France Franc and N610 in different denominations as well as his personal belongings and credentials concealed inside a black bag.

When asked why he joined the line of pilgrims boarding flight as a Christian, Mr. Joseph said ” I am a Nigerian, so I don’t believe in discrimination, whether you are a christian or Muslim”.
He also said that he wanted to be like Herbert Macaulay, whom he read had travelled to London amidst difficulties .

He later turned up to say that his mission was not to travel but only to visit the airport and come back.
On why he was holding foreign currency, Joseph who was dressed in long-slip white shirt and a black trouser said all the money belongs to his sister, who was a business woman and billed to return them after coming back from the airport.

While parading the suspect, Sokoto state’s Commissioner of Police, Shu’aibu Gambo, said the suspect was intercepted at around 9 am, as he attempted to join the screening line of Zamfara states’ pilgrims.
According to Mr. Gambo, when interrogated, Mr. Joseph said he wanted to go to London and had mentioned names of some people as his accomplices.
Mr. Gambo said that, his men would go after the people with a view to establishing their true mission.

Source: Premium Times

Australia to protest live export ahead of Islamic slaughter

Australia to protest live export on Saturday.

SYDNEY: With hundreds of thousands of animals expected to be slaughtered across the Islamic world later this month, and many of the cows and sheep coming from Australia in live export vessels, Australian activists are to take to the streets across the country to protest the government’s continued approval of the controversial practices.

Spearheaded by Animals Australia, the protests will be held in the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Hobart.

“If you care about animals and want to see them protected from cruelty, then please join us this Saturday as we rally side-by-side, right across the country, for an end to live export,” said Animals Australia in a press release announcing the protest to its followers.

It also comes on the heels of a report that live export sheep were clubbed to death and buried alive in Pakistan last month in what activists say was a “shocking incident.”

“These are the latest tragic results of a live export industry that sends animals to be killed in countries where there are no laws to protect them from cruelty,” said Animals Australia in a press statement.

“No politician can defend a trade that comes with the risk of animals being clubbed, stabbed, or buried alive. Enough is enough. Today, don’t let your MP off the hook,” the animal rights group added.

In revealing the terrible tragedy, Animals Australia urged Australian citizens to call on their representatives to push for an end to the live export trade.

Pakistani officials confirmed to on that they would go forward with the killing of more than 21,000 sheep despite Australian government assurances that the animals were safe to be slaughtered for food.

Australian diplomats have repeatedly urged Pakistan to stop the killings, saying the animals are not infected with disease.

Pakistan ordered the cull after the ship carrying the sheep had been turned away by the Bahraini government and tested positive for salmonella and actinomyces.

Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Peter Heyward said he was “surprised and concerned” about the killings, as he argued the animals met the south Asian country’s health requirements for imported sheep and they posed “no human or animal health risks.”

Salmonella and actinomyces, he argued, “are part of normal gut flora and are present in livestock throughout the world, and in this form pose no threat to human health.”

In Pakistan, Karachi’s top administrator Roshan Shaikh told reporters that the sheep killings would continue.

“There is no suspension in the process, as the bacterial presence in the animal is confirmed and we can’t put human life in danger in Pakistan,” he said.

It comes after Egyptian officials refused to allow a shipment of young cows into the country last month from Brazil after officials in Cairo said the animals were infected with unknown hormones.

Over 32,000 cows were slaughtered as a result after being forced to remain at port for weeks, causing mass deaths on board the ships.

The stranded cows had made international headlines after first reported their situation on September 1, including a petition that was signed by over 25,000 people globally urging the Egyptian government to free the baby cows from their horrific conditions.

Background on Live Export

Live export from Brazil and Australia to the Islamic world is a controversial practice that sees thousands of animals crammed into small crates and transported by sea to their destination to be slaughtered for food.

According to the ministry, tests had been conducted to learn more about the potential carcinogen that had been given to the animals before they would be unloaded. Tests had reportedly been ongoing for the past month at a private lab in Egypt, but no results had been conclusive.

According to a al-Shorouk newspaper report, the animals are likely to remain in their confinement for a number of weeks more in order for further tests to take place.

Earlier this year, some 3,000 of the cows died on a ship destined for Egypt after the Egyptian government refused to allow the ship to dock at a Red Sea port.

They were slaughtered as a “precaution,” the ministry said, outraging a number of Egyptians.

Animals Australia, the leading organization reporting on the controversial live export trade to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, said the incident was among the worst the industry had witnessed in years.

Animals Australia’s Campaign Director, Lyn White, said in a statement to that the ship was anchored at sea after being refused port in a number of countries, including Egypt, where the cattle were supposed to be offloaded.

It’s understood that ventilation problems on the converted livestock vessel, the MV Gracia Del Mar, had caused the deaths of more than half of the animals on board since the ship left South America for Egypt a few weeks ago. The ship was anchored in the Red Sea for weeks and saw more animals perish as a result.

“This is nothing short of an animal welfare disaster. If remaining cattle are not offloaded more of these animals will suffer appalling deaths at sea. We are appealing to authorities in Egypt to offload the remaining cattle at al-Sohkna, as was originally intended.

“This disaster is just another example of the inherent risks of transporting animals by sea. It was only nine years ago that 5,000 Australian sheep perished on board the MV Cormo Express after country after country refused to allow it to berth.

“And this isn’t the first time that mechanical issues have caused mass deaths on live export ships. We only need to look to the breakdown of the Al Messilah in Adelaide last year. Had that vessel broken down on the open ocean it would have caused a similar welfare catastrophe — as thousands of animals would have died.

“Australia also exports cattle to Al Sohkna Livestock company in Egypt. Whilst we have an MoU with Egypt which should ensure the offloading of our animals, it has never been put to the test. The Egyptians thus far have flatly refused to allow the MV Gracia Del Mar to dock despite the mass suffering of the animals on board.

“If they continue to refuse to allow the surviving animals to be unloaded it would provide little confidence that the non-binding agreement with Australia would be honoured if a similar incident were to occur on an Australian livestock ship.

“It should not matter if these cattle aren’t Australian and if Brazil doesn’t have a similar piece of paper, they should not be abandoned to suffer and die at sea. We are appealing to Egyptian authorities to offload these cattle as a matter of urgency.”

Australia’s live sheep exports have fallen significantly over the past decade.

In 2010, three million sheep were exported compared with 6.3 million in 2001.

Australia’s government last year was to see a bill that would have banned live export to the world, but industry lobbyists fought back and forced the legislation off the table in a move that angered animal activists in the country and across the world, notably the Islamic world, which receives the lion’s share of live cattle and sheep from both Australia and Brazil.


Ex-minister faces impeachment in Ling’s PKFZ trial

The prosecution team intends to impeach Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir over his PKFZ purchase statement. – File picture
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 − The prosecution in Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s cheating trial intends to impeach former minister Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir tomorrow after the ex-MCA president’s Cabinet colleague testified today on the purchase of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) land.

Deputy public prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah told the court that he planned to impeach the 74-year-old “first thing in the morning”. But he did not offer a reason.

“The first thing I’ll do tomorrow is impeach the witness,” Tun Majid said before judge Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi ended the hearing today at 5pm.

Called as a defence witness, Abdul Kadir told the court today that the Cabinet meeting minutes shown to him today showed that the PKFZ land price of RM25 psf did not include calculation of interest rate.

“I cannot remember clearly, but they mention the interest rate and other terms, so it should mean it is over and above the price of land.

“And here, the price of land is determined at RM25 psf, so the other terms listed are in addition to this,” Abdul Kadir said in court, referring to a memorandum from the Ministry of Finance dated October 23, 2002.

When asked by Dr Ling’s lawyer, Wong Kian Kheong, to testify on his client’s character, Abdul Kadir had nothing but praise.

“As far as I know, he is a very humble man with integrity in his work. He was a leader for the Chinese community, but what made me close to him was that his actions were that of a true Malaysian,” the former tourism minister said.

During cross-examination, Tun Majid asked Abdul Kadir if he agreed that the interest rate of 7.5 per cent stated in a note to the Cabinet from the Ministry of Transport dated October 29, 2000, was contradictory to the rate stated by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) in a letter dated September 29 2000.

“That is just bad drafting. The figures listed in these two documents are contradictory, so I can assume it is just bad drafting,” Abdul Kadir said, referring to the two documents.

Dr Ling, who served as transport minister for 17 years from January 1986 to May 2003, is charged with deceiving the Cabinet into approving the purchase of 999.5 acres of land for the PKFZ project, which had resulted in wrongful losses for the government.

The project, initially estimated at RM1.1 billion after it was mooted by Dr Ling in 1997, more than quadrupled in cost to RM4.6 billion by 2007.

A position review by top accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed in 2009 that the total cost including interests from debt repayments could reach RM12.5 billion.

Since December 2009, six individuals have been charged in court including ex-MCA president Dr Ling, and his successor as transport minister, former MCA deputy chief Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy.

Both are accused of lying to the Cabinet.

Dr Ling also faces two alternative charges of deceiving the Cabinet into believing that the terms of the purchase — at RM25 psf plus 7.5 per cent interest — were acknowledged and agreed to by the JPPH despite knowing that there was no such agreement.

He faces a possible jail term of up to seven years, or a fine, or both, if convicted on the first charge under section 418 of the Penal Code.

The alternative charges carry a lighter sentence of five years’ jail, or a fine, or both.

The trial continues tomorrow at 9am.

Bersih 2.0 not involved in Pakatan rally

It will, however, support any party in favour of electoral reforms.

KUALA LUMPUR: Electoral reform watchdog, Bersih 2.0 today announced that it has no role in the upcoming rally organised by Pakatan Rakyat on Nov 3 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

“We have nothing to do with that. It is entirely organised by a political party,” said Bersih 2.0 co-chairman S Ambiga at a press conference held in Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).

Yesterday, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu announced that Pakatan Rakyat is organising a rally on Nov 3 in Bukit Jalil stadium as a result of government’s failure to implement electoral reforms.

However Ambiga said that Bersih would support the calls for electoral reforms.

“All political parties should also do (rallies) because all that we want are free and fair elections,” she said.

Ambiga also revealed that Bersih steering committee received an invitation to attend the rally.

“Individually, we can go. We (the committee) haven’t met (to discuss) on the role that Bersih should play in this rally,” she said.

In a related development, Ambiga, who is a former Bar Council president, also questioned whether the Election Commission (EC) has began implementing the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms (PSC).

“We’d like to know whether the EC has began implementing the recommendations,” she said.

The PSC had released its report on recommendations on electoral reforms in April.

Bersih leaders claim harassment at airports

It is nothing but intimidation and another attack on civil society, says S Ambiga.

KUALA LUMPUR: Election reform watchdog Bersih 2.0 today claimed that its steering committee members were being harassed at airports when taking flights abroad.

“They were clearly targeting our steering committee members. It is nothing but harassment and intimidation. It is another attack on civil society,” said Bersih 2.0 co-chairman S Ambiga.

Ambiga, who would be flying abroad next week, added: “I would be surprised if I’m subjected to the same kind of treatment.”

Thus far, four Bersih steering members have been harassed when attempting to travel abroad.

Maria Chin Abdullah was the first to face the harassment from immigtation officials when she took a flight on Sept 18 from KLIA to Nepal.

The other members were former Bar Council president Yeo Yang Poh, academician activist Wong Chin Huat and Bar Council human rights committee chairman Andrew Khoo.

Police alert stamp on passports

Maria said: “The passport verifying machines somehow could not process our passports. We were made to wait for it to be processed manually by the immigration officials.”

In the latest episode yesterday, Khoo’s passport was imprinted with a police alert stamp before being allowed to take a flight to Bangkok for a security conference.

Wong faced a similar experience as Maria on Sept 17.

“I was to travel to Hong Kong from KLIA on Aug 17 but the machine could not verify my passport and was manually cleared by the officials,” said Wong.

“I endured the inconvenience for about 10 minutes before I was allowed to get on my flight.”

Yeo said he encountered the problem twice last month when he travelled from Johor to Singapore.

“The process of checking and stamping a passport takes about 20 seconds. I was directed to the immigration office where I was made to wait and my passport was photocopied.

“The officer then made a phone call before finally giving me the clearence. It was not their fault. They said that they were acting on instructions from another department,” said Yeo.

Bersih to rock next Saturday

The watchdog will hold a concert to remind the government that their eight electoral demands have not been met.

KUALA LUMPUR: Election reform watchdog Bersih is all set to rock the Kelana Jaya Stadium next Saturday.

Named the Bersih 8T concert, referring to the watchdog’s eight electoral demands, it would begin at 6pm and end at 11.30pm.

The eight are indelible ink, clean electoral roll, postal vote reforms, 21-day campaign period, free and fair access to the media, strengthening public institutions and an end to corruption.

Visitors are welcomed to attend the event as early as 4pm since there are NGOs that would be selling their merchandises to members of the public.

Those attending would be required to donate a minimum of RM5 to gain entry.

The developments on the concert can also be followed via Twitter using the tag #bersihrocks.

Commenting on this, Bersih 2.0 co-chairman A Samad Said said that the concert was being held to remind the government on the “unfulfilled demands”.

“There are unfullfilled demands. That is why we are organising this event to get closer to the young, the artistes and the public in one artistic assembly,” added the national laureate.

Another Bersih 2.0 co-chairman S Ambiga said: “Our intention is to remind the government that we have not forgotten the eight demands.”

She also commented on the Election Commission’s agreement to implement the use of indellible ink.

“Now a person is marked with ink, votes and leaves. Normally one vote, inked and leave. The EC should host a demo for political parties and NGOs to show how it works,” she said.

Among the artistes who would be performing are blues singer Ito, musician Ray Cheong, Nik Jidan and Michelle. There are also music bands such as the Soul Saviour, Republic of Brickfields and Wayfarers.

The highlight of the concert, according to steering committee member Hishamuddin Rais, would be a song by the steering committee members led by Ambiga.

Samad would be reciting a poem entitled “Di Atas Padang Sejarah (On A Historical Field).”

On security issues, Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah said: “In line with the Peaceful Assembly Act, we have paid deposit for the stadium.”

“The police and the Petaling Jaya City Council have been notified.”

Singers Ito and Melissa who were present also spoke to the press.

“I am doing this because it is done by a NGO not a political party. I support the eight demands,” said Ito.

Michelle meanwhile revealed that she and a host of performers were participating voluntarily in the concert.

NST given 7 more days to apologise

Six NGOs want the newspaper to apologise for alleging that they received foreign funds to destabilise the government.

PETALING JAYA: The New Straits Times has been given a further 7 days to apologise for their Sept 21 front page article on NGOs trying to destabilise the government.

Bersih co-chairman S Ambiga said that their lawyers have sent a letter of demand on Tuesday and the new time frame to apologise started from Tuesday (Oct 2).

Ambiga also said that a second NST article which held similar allegations was also published.

She said that it would be good if they received a good response, otherwise they would consider further legal options.

Last week, six NGOs asked New Straits Times to issue an apology within 48 hours over the front page report.

The NGOs were Bersih, Centre for Independent Journalism, Lawyers for Liberty, Merdeka Centre, Southeast Centre for E-Media and Suaram.

The NST article alleged that RM20 million was paid to several Malaysian organisations since 2005 and that these were attempts by foreign hands to destabilise the government.

A quick check revealed that the article was still up on NST’s website and has not been retracted.

Tamrin dakwa Dr M pergunakan bapanya

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Anak Tun Ghaffar Baba, Tamrin Ghafar mendakwa mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed bukan sahaja petualang yang mencetusan pergolakan dalaman Umno sehingga dibatalkan pendaftarannya pada tahun 1997 bahkan sering mengeluarkan kenyataan yang mencabul persoalan akidah.

Beliau yang berceramah di Galeri Pejuang, Ceruk To Kun, Bukit Mertajam bersama dua orang penceramah jemputan  iaitu Ustaz Sharil Long dan Ustaz Hafizal  menambah,  peristiwa pengharaman Umno tahun 1997 adalah angkara Dr Mahathir apabila Ghafar didesak lawan Tun Musa Hitam.

Tamrin yang menyertai PAS baru-baru ini berkata, Datuk Seri Anwar juga didesak Dr Mahathir agar mencabar Tun Ghafar Baba yang dianggap sampah kerana tidak dapat membantunya merealisasikan dasar Pandang Ke Timur dan Wawasan 2020.

"Pada saya mantan Presiden Umnolah yang mencetuskan polimik sebenar dalaman Umno sendiri, kestabilan negara serta akidah.

(Buku Anwar lawan Ghafar pernah diterbitkan)

"Sejak dulu jika dia tidak suka seseorang beliau akan mendesak orang lain cabar dan beliau sendiri akan sembunyi tangan, " terangnya semasa berceramah dalam program PAS Cawangan To Kun dan PAS Bukit Mertajam.

Peristiwa terbesar mengakibatkan pemecatan Datuk Seri Anwar juga dicipta oleh Dr Mahathir sendiri setelah beliau mendapati kekuatan Anwar makin meningkat dan sekiranya dibiarkan kemungkinan pengaruhnya akan hilang.

Jesteru itu, Anwar diinaya bukan sahaja dipecat bahkan ditangkap, difitnah dan diseksa dalam penjara.

Dr. Mahathir adalah durjana sebenarnya, beliau sanggup melagakan orang lain demi memastikan kedudukannya selamat dan terus berkuasa.

Waktu nama Anwar tengah 'top', Mahathir mengambil peluang keemasan  membuang Ghafar Baba dari kabinet kerajaan dengan meminta Anwar lwan Ghafar.

Kes yang terjadi pada Anwar juga berpunca dari perasaan kebimbangan beliau ekoran penampilan Anwar dilihat lebih ke hadapan dari banyak segi.

Bila Anwar jadi mangsa rakyat bangkit dan sampai sekarang isu pemecatanya tidak boleh diterima oleh sebahagian ahli Umno sendiri.

"Tetapi, nak  buat macam mana semua tunduk dengan 'DR M'," tegas beliau termasuk dirinya sebelum ini.

Rakyat juga,  kata bekas Pengerusi MARA itu, tentu masih ingat terlalu banyak kenyataan Dr Mahathir yang boleh mengancam kestabilan negara apatah lagi  akidah.

Sampai hari ini tambah Tamrin, siapa pun tidak boleh menghalang kenyataan dari terus keluar dari mulutnya biarpun kadang- kadang memberikan kesan terhadap sokongan Umno itu sendiri.

Terbaru ujarnya, kenyataan berkenaan 'syaitan yang dikenali lebih baik dari Malaikat yang tidak dikenali' bakal melihat Umno terus jatuh.

"Biarlah dia keluarkan kenyataan merapu sebab Umno akan jatuh tidak lama lagi.  Mungkin diera DR M Umno menjadi terkenal dan selepas beliau pencen Umno pun menjunam," jelasnya yang juga bekas Exco Pergerakan Pemuda Umno Malaysia.

Najib as “Father of Transformation’?

PM Najib prides himself as the ‘Father of Transformation’ or ‘Bapa Transformasi’ because of the spate of transformation initiatives which he has launched since taking over as Prime Minister in 2009.

He has certainly transformed the Malaysian lexicon by introducing an alphabet soup of acronyms such as the ETP, GTP, NKRA, NKEA, SRI, NEM, BR1M and KR1M, just to name a few.

The expensive consultants who conceived of these terms have certainly benefitted from these transformation initiatives. But the positive impact on the man on the street is far less apparent.

While the Prime Minister still sounds positive about his transformation initiatives, his budget tells us a different story.

The budgetary allocations for ETP and GTP related initiatives have decreased for the past two years, from a high of RM15.5b in 2011 to RM8.3b in 2013, a reduction of 46.5%. The allocation for the 6 NKRAs under the GTP has decreased by 47%, from RM9.5b in 2011 to RM5.0b in 2013. The allocation for the 12 NKEAs under the ETP has decreased by 45%, from RM6b in 2011 to RM3.3b in 2013.

The decrease in the allocation for the GTP raises three important questions. Firstly, have the desired KPIs in the NKRAs been achieved? Secondly, even with the decrease in the budgetary allocations, have the funds been properly allocated?

Thirdly, is the decrease in funding for the GTP a sign that PM Najib is slowly but surely abandoning the GTP in favor of direct cash handouts in order to buy votes in the run up to the next general election?

The answer to the first question is an obvious NO.

According to the GTP Annual Report 2012, the 2012 targets were much more aggressive compared to the 2011 targets. For example, the length of roads to be built was increased from 905km in 2011 to 1350 in 2012, an increase of 49%. The number of houses to be connected with clean water and a regular electricity supply was increased from 58087 and 26822 in 2011 to 201192 and 39442 respectively in 2012, an increase of 246% and 47% respectively.

This is supposed to be achieved with a lower budgetary allocation. Presumably the targets for 2013 would also be higher. And yet, this has to be achieved with a lower budgetary allocation.

The funding under the development expenditure for the Rural Basic Infrastructure (RBI) NKRA was decreased from RM6.4b in 2011 to RM5.1b in 2012 and will be further decreased in this 2013 budget to RM3.2b. In other words, funding for RBI has been cut in half since 2011 even though the KPIs for this NKRA have increased significantly since 2011.

One only hopes that PEMANDU will not be asked to ‘massage’ the KPI data for RBI in future years in the same manner to how the KPIs for crime reduction seem to have been ‘massaged’.

The second question involves the allocation of resources between and within the various NKRAs.

Let’s take a look at budgetary allocation for the Crime NKRA, one of the highest profile NKRAs under the GTP. According to the budget estimates from 2011 to 2013, the allocation for NKRA Crime specific initiatives was reduced from RM351m in 2011 to RM239.8m in 2012 and then increased to RM322.3m in 2013.

What was interesting about the increase in allocation from 2012 to 2013 is that most of this went to the NKRA initiative to ‘Increase Safety Perception index’, which is equivalent to the ‘Reduce Fear of Crime’ NKRA initiative in the 2012 and 2011 budget estimates. The increase in this allocation is a whopping RM103m!

While some of this increased allocation would involve policing initiatives such as the expansion of the ‘Omnipresence’ and the ‘Whiten’ Black Spots programs, it is likely that a significant portion would be channeled towards public relations exercises including organizing a ‘Crime Awareness Day’, conducting independent surveys and beefing up the PDRM Communications Unit.

In other words, instead of allocating more resources to reducing crime such as Street Crime (which only gets Rm26.4m of the NKRA Crime budget), much of this additional resources will be used for PR instead.

Hence, not only has the funding for most of the NKRAs been cut, what is left also seems to be in danger of being misallocated for empty publicity measures.

The reduction in the allocation for the GTP and the ETP is an indication that PM Najib is getting desperate and is abandoning his transformation initiatives in favor of buying votes with direct handouts.

An additional symptom of favoring short term handouts to longer term structural changes is the fact that development expenditure will be decreased from RM49.8b in 2012 to RM49.7b. Our development expenditure has decreased from 24% of the total budget to less than 20% of total expenditure in the latest budget. This is very concerning since having a healthy development expenditure is necessary to lay the foundations of future growth in our country.

PM’s commitment to the ETP also shows signs of flagging. The budgetary allocation for the ETP was a whopping RM6b in 2011. If this figure is to be believed, this would mean that government investment in the ETP was 47% of the total actualized investment of RM12.9b under the ETP in 2011, a much larger figure than the 8% target government investment target set by PEMANDU.

This figure has been reduced by almost half, to RM3.3b in 2013. If this reduction is because the private sector has stepped in to fill the investment targets of the ETP, then this would not be a problem.

But the reduction in the budgetary allocation for the ETP has come at a time when the committed investments for the ETP have also decreased. For 2012, announced investments for the ETP stand at only RM16b or about 16% of the RM167b of committed investments announced in 2011.

As private sector doubts continue to rise with regard to the economic viability of the ETP, the PM seems also to have realized this and has cut the budgetary allocation to the ETP, hoping that this quiet bailing out would escape public attention.

The only allocation which has increased is that allocated to the Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs). Sadly, the amount allocated for structural reforms via the SRIs is only a measly RM154m in 2013 from an equally measly RM121.5m in 2012.

The SRIs, which were originally devised in the New Economic Model (NEM) under the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), seems to have been left behind and ignored after being appended to the ETP. Of the 51 SRIs which were identified in the NEM, 14 were housed in existing ‘natural homes’ as part of either an NKEA or NKRA. The remaining 37 were clustered into 6 rebranded SRIs.

However, many of the specific SRIs have not been implemented and the small amount of funding allocated to the SRIs in Budget 2013 is a reflection of this. For example, the SRI to ‘Set Up a Central Oversight Authority’ to re-examine the ‘Government’s Role in Business’ has not been implemented. The SRI to ‘Introduce Unemployment Insurance’ to set up a Labor Safety Net as part of the ‘Human Capital Development’ cluster has also been ignored. Similarly, the SRI to ‘revive the national development planning committee (NDPC) as the Premier Body for Policy Development, Coordination and Consultation’ under the ‘Public Service Delivery’ cluster has also been ignored.

The failure of the various transformation schemes can best be seen in Malaysia’s fall in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report from 21 in 2011 to 25 in 2012.

Malaysia’s ranking fell by 4 places as a result of being overtaken by Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, Malaysia’s score fell slightly, from 5.08 in 2011 to 5.06 in 2012.

This was reflected in the fact that out of the 148 indicators used by the WEF to compile this ranking, Malaysia experienced in fall in its ranking in 77 indicators compared to a rise in its ranking in only 48 indicators with its ranking in the remaining 23 indicators remaining unchanged.

These indicators cover initiatives under the GTP such as corruption as well as the ETP such as broadband access and the SRIs such as public finance reforms. It is another indicator to show that after the initial excitement over the GTP and the ETP, these efforts have fizzled out.

Public skepticism in Malaysia over these transformation initiatives are reflected in international rankings and surveys.

(Speech 3 on the 2013 Budget on Thursday, October 4, 2012)

'Balanced budget after 2015'

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak being interviewed by ‘The CNBC Conversation’ host Martin Soong.The New Straits Times                              by RUPA DAMODARAN

SUSTAINABILITY: Government will target subsidies to trim deficit, says prime minister

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA is not only looking to trim its fiscal deficit but is  also balancing the books after 2015, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.

Last Friday, the government outlined its plan to reduce the deficit of the federal budget to four per cent next year from 4.5 per cent this year, progressing to three per cent by 2015.

"We hope for a budget surplus but I don't want to give firm commitment yet," he said, during a recording of The CNBC Conversation programme here yesterday.

The prime minister was replying to questions raised by host Martin Soong during the taping of the 30- minute programme which will air on CNBC at noon on Saturday.

The recording is part of the CNBC Summit Malaysia yesterday, which included a panel discussion with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Malayan Banking Bhd president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar and Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd managing director Peter R. Vogt.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said as a responsible government, his administration does not want to dish out more perks until the deficit was trimmed.

He described 2011 as an exceptional year when tax revenue jumped by RM26 billion through tightening of loopholes and this prompted the government to give back to the people.

Najib said there were still a lot of leakages in the system, which was not helping the government in its efforts to wean itself off from overdependence on national petroleum company Petronas.

For example, foreign workers, both legal and illegal, and tourists were among those enjoying Malaysian subsidies.

"The cash payment we decided on is to send the message that targeted subsidy will be only for households with RM3,000 a month."

The 2013 Budget provides for another round of RM500 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) to households earning less than RM3,000 a month. This comes after a previous one given under the 2012 Budget.

The prime minister also stressed that Malaysians could not be over dependent on subsidies in the long run as it would impact government revenue.

"With the Economic Transformation Programme in place, this has created more growth industries, which would give us a strong financial base later," he added.

The ETP has also enabled the domestic economy to be the main engine of growth amidst the strong head wind of uncertainty coming from advanced economies.

Strong exports would be a bonus for trade-dependent Malaysia, which enjoys a trade and current account surpluses.

On the commodities front, Najib said while palm oil prices were satisfactory, he was concerned with the lot of smallholders following the dip in rubber prices to half of 2010's because of the drop in automobile sales in China.

Malaysia is looking to Asean as well as East Asia, where trade arrangements with Japan and China will help boost exports as in the case of the trade pacts that were inked with Australia and New Zealand.

On challenges to Malaysia, Najib said growth was necessary to make society more equitable.

"If we get five to six per cent growth within the time frame... we can ensure fair, equitable distribution of wealth in the country and also fair distribution of income."

Najib also touched on politics, saying that democracy was thriving in Malaysia and that the government considered it a fundamental right of the people to protest for reasonable concerns, such as the safety concerns surrounding the setting up of Lynas Corporation's plant in Kuantan.

"Political transformation is part of my promise to the people that we are moving to a more mature, vibrant democracy in the country."
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More protection for whistleblowers

The Star

Malaysia has joined more than 50 countries in introducing the whistleblower protection laws in varying scopes as part of their anti-corruption efforts.

The laws are meant to encourage individuals to speak out if they find corrupt practices or improper conduct in their workplace.

It provides protection to informers, or “whistleblowers”, in terms of confidentiality of information as well as immunity from civil and criminal action.

The 1863 United States False Claims Act was one of the first laws meant to protect whistleblowers. Enacted during former US president Abraham Lincoln's administration, the act was targeted at catching dishonest suppliers during the American Civil War who would provide ill horses or faulty rifles and ammunition to the Union Military.

Under the act, whistleblowers are not only protected from wrongful dismissal, but also promised a percentage of the money recovered or damages won by the government.

The US have different types of legal protections for whistleblowers, depending on the subject matter and the state which the case arises.

The Lloyd-La Follette Act of 1912 allowed civil servants to furnish information to the US House of Congress and protects the whistleblower from “unwarranted” and “abusive” removal.

Employee protections were also introduced in several US environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act 1972, Safe Drinking Water Act 1974, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 1976, Toxic Substances Control Act 1976 and the Clean Air Act 1990.

Under most of these laws, informers are accorded incentives and rewards.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 2010 authorises the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reward those who divulge information on federal securities law violations at companies that are required to report to SEC.

The law also prevents employers from retaliating against whistleblowers by firing, demoting, suspending, harassing or discriminating them.

Similarly, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 in the United Kingdom protects employees from detrimental treatment by their employers, such as dismissal or being passed over for promotion. If any employee feels he or she has a case, it may be brought before an employment tribunal, which can decide whether to award compensation or not.

Jamaica recently approved the Protected Disclosures Act 2011, which is modelled on UK's Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

Malaysia's Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 came into force on Dec 15 2010, and is part of the Government Transformation Plan (GTP)'s National Key Results Area (NKRA) to eliminate corruption.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala said the Act was developed on the best practices of the law in developed countries and following the success of its implementation in the United States and Europe.

Under the act, individuals who expose corrupt practices in the public and private sectors are promised confidentiality and immunity from criminal or civil charges.

Section 114A Of Evidence Act Does Not Suppress Freedom Of Expression - Nazri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950 does not stifle freedom of expression but will instead encourage people to be more ethical and responsible in expressing their opinions, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said the section needed not be repealed as it was not in conflict with the universal principles of law.

"This section does not at all violate freedom and people's fundamental rights. All quarters will also be more responsible in taking care of their own items," he said in his written reply to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) in the Dewan Rakyat, here, Thursday.