9:14 PM

Billions siphoned - Sarawak govt steps in

Posted by Mr.Clive |

MIRI: The Sarawak Cabinet has ordered an internal investigation into claims made by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that up to 60% of government allocations — running into billions of ringgit — meant for vital infrastructure projects between 2002 and 2008 have been misappropriated.
MACC investigations showed that only 40% of the money set aside by the Government were spent on the projects. The remaining 60% were said to have been “leaked elsewhere.”
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said yesterday the state government’s internal audit department would carry out a detailed probe into the allegations.
“The state government is investigating. We also want the MACC to give us a full and detailed briefing on these claims. We (state government) view these claims very seriously and if such abuse of government funds had taken place, we must find out who was responsible and take appropriate action against them.
“This is government money that comes from taxpayers. If indeed funds from the Government meant for projects for the rakyat and the poor had been misappropriated, the state government wants action taken,” he said yesterday.
He was commenting on a statement by MACC deputy commissioner Datuk Zakaria Jaffar that the MACC had uncovered cases in Sarawak where up to 60% of government allocations had been “diverted’’ away from the projects.
Zakaria had said this in Kuching during an anti-corruption seminar a few days ago. He claimed that the misappropriation of funds took place between 2002 and last year, adding that MACC investigations showed that only 40% of the money allocated by the Government were spent on the projects.
He, however, did not disclose what the projects were or which part of Sarawak the projects were being carried out.
He noted that the projects involved infrastructure constructions for roads, housing schemes and mosques, among other things.
Zakaria said MACC investigations found that many of these projects were poorly-implemented while some had not even begun despite the fact that the Government had already channelled the money for them.
“The MACC found that there were fake claims made by officials and contractors involved in these projects,’’ Zakaria said.
Dr Chan, who is State Industrial Development Minister and State Minister for Agriculture Modernisation, said yesterday that the state government had always been very strict with how allocations from the Federal Government are used.
He said the Sarawak Cabinet had always been transparent with taxpayers’ money.
“I am happy that the MACC had exposed the issue. If they are doing their job properly, we are thankful because this is for the good of the rakyat,’’ he said.
State Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg wants the MACC to give him more details about the housing projects said to be affected by the misappropriation of government funds.
-stephen then-

5:58 AM

Do you want to buy this house?

Posted by Mr.Clive |

To the non-Malaysian readers of my blog,there's something I like to introduce to all of you and that's called the New Economic Policy or in short,NEP.It is an ambitious and controversial socio- economic restructuring affirmative action program launched by the Malaysian government in 1971.It (the NEP) has actually been replaced by the New Development Policies in 1990 but still retain most of NEP's policies.To Malaysians in general,the NEP is no stranger as we have seen many heated and controversial debates regarding the whole matter and the non-Bumiputeras feel that the way the policies have been implemented making them as second-class citizens.(Bumiputera can be translated literally as the "sons of the earth"). So,what about the NEP then?

Well,while the intention of NEP is very good as it aims to distribute the wealth of Malaysia evenly to her people,however as it is executed by people,it is bound to have flaws and making errors here and there.

For further reading on NEP,please read the following articles I've provided through these links:
*New Economic Policy
*How about property liberalisation?
*The Star's online blog

Anyway,what I'd like to highlight is the property sector.As part of the NEP's policy,Bumiputras are entitled to 5-15% discount from the overall price of one particular property while the non-Bumiputras have to pay full.This move should not be seen as a bad move as it is to ensure that the people can have access to affordable housing is commendable and efforts to bridge the gap of property ownership between races promotes racial harmony.

However,the part that I'd like to share with all of you regarding this particular matter is that the discount is then extended to the luxury property.

It creates feeling of unfairness and also potential conflict as a non-bumiputra buying a
property worth RM250,000 is not entitled to any discount but a bumiputra buying a property
worth RM1million is given a discount of at least RM50,000, which is 20 per cent value of the
property costing RM250,000.-Chua Tee Yong

I believe this is one of the obvious flaws as the policy is to reduce the gap and distribute the wealth evenly and it should be noted as well that any bumiputra that is able to afford such a property,mainly ones that are RM200,000 and above give us a clear indication that these bumis are already able to compete with the non-Bumis.It is those Bumis that are still unable to support themselves properly,ones that have very low income and based on my recent interview with a villager from a village located at Sungai Besar,Selangor-the villager actually earn roughly around RM 200 a month.These are the groups that need help.How can the government achieve its objective of creating competitive bumiputras if this continue?

There was this one time I was looking at a brochure of the prices of houses and there even show a house worth RM 1 million plus that comes with 5-15% discount for the bumis.Rm 1 million?Do you get what I mean?

I also would like to suggest to the government to abolish the discount given to Bumiputra property buyers for property priced above RM200,000 per unit. I believe the discount is irrelevant for upmarket properties as Bumiputras who are considering purchasing such properties are wealthy enough to own them without depending on a discounted price. It should not be seen as not inline with the NEP as the objectives of the NEP is to eradicate poverty and to restructure society. Wealthy Bumiputras should no longer qualify for these privileges under the NEP which is supposed to be given to the poor section of Bumiputras. As the former's wealth is on par with non-Bumiputras, therefore they do not require the privileges under the NEP. By doing away with the discount offered to Bumiputras for upmarket properties, it would help boost the property sector and also to counter the allegation that the NEP is no longer keeping inline with its objectives but rather evolved to benefit only certain races, regardless whether the beneficiaries are poor or rich. This can also be used to dismiss the claim that the NEP is benefiting the rich Bumiputra more than the poor, thus moderating the gap between the rich and poor Bumiputras.-the star online blog.

Well,with the country's independance day just around the corner (only two months away),the Malaysians in particular should really be freed of the old mentality of this is my land,not yours.If we are still stuck with such thoughts,then dream away of the survival of Malaysia.

Mr. Clive

10:26 PM

All talk or will actually work?

Posted by Mr.Clive |

The notion of the so-called Bangsa Malaysia...is it for real or just politics?I think we still have a long way to go and along the way,we have to remember,to achieve this not only we have to take into consideration the three main races (Malay,Chinese,Indian) but also the two states:Sabah and Sarawak as well. It's much more complicated than that. Neglect too much and no,there won't be any Bangsa Malaysia crap.

12:46 PM

Towards 2020...or so it seemed.

Posted by Mr.Clive |

When it comes to political entertainment,no country,to me is more entertaining to watch than Malaysia's own local political scenes.take note the s. well,it has become more and more dramatic and sometimes, just plain-obvious who are the opportunists and who are the real victims but with added spice and sugar which is the media,seems to me,we have the perfect making of the country of backstabbers.

One of the most interesting ones is when it comes to Karpal Singh being hated by the Malays for challenging the Sultan, which in return,is also being heavily exploited by UMNO which,in their words that Mr. Karpal is challenging the so-called Malays and being rude to the Sultans as a whole and we in University Malaya weren't left out too.As the news broke out,there was a small rally in the campus.small but nevertheless,the students were brought in to choose a side.For all I know,the mini-rally was because the Sultan discussed is the sultan of perak which is actually the Chancellor of University Malaya.Although the intention has been clearly stated and defined,I however beg to differ. I was not in the mood to join the rally that day,for all I know,did the students that join the rally know what was being fight for actually?Not to belittle but just that taking the University and College University Act(1971) into consideration,well,isn't this case can be considered as breaking the act?Just a thought.

But speaking of Karpal Singh and my Chancellor,the Sultan of Perak. Did the King do the right thing at the time when Pakatan Rakyat lost and gave back the state of Perak to Barisan again? Well,of course,when it comes to choosing side,I see not much matters since both have their own pros and cons. But being a neutral,did the Sultan do the right thing? I think so.By doing this,the Sultan is saving the state and the nation at large of money since based on past election experiences,every mini-election seems to involve large sum of money and of course,promises.I'd say,let the BN take the state again and run it.Regardless of whether it was moral or not,but since they know they have to do well now that they are the people in power again,hopefully they'd spend more money on developing and helping the people.I sound naive but does it hurt to hope?In any case, we have three elections to check whether the current goverment still being preferred by the people and one of the elections, is of course,one from my own backyard,which is Batang Ai.

Well,the last I heard,Anwar seems to be enjoying quite a support from the locals,people and the leaders as well. I am pretty excited as to how things would turn out. And hopefully Sarawak would get more attention now onwards.It's quite disturbing that after 50 years,many long houses are still without the basic needs such as electricity.And to say that the states has many natural resources and is rich of oil...still so many without Astro and proper frigde and have to survive off generators at night?Being a Sarawakian and an Iban,I cannot say I'm not disgusted by these facts.

But still,this is what I think.What do you think?towards 2020?remains to be seen but now,I'm a skeptic.

10:14 PM

Flood at Kuching

Posted by Mr.Clive |

3:54 PM

The perfect clowns

Posted by Mr.Clive |

Crossovers?This is ridiculous.So,there's no point in practicing democracy anymore then.I mean,even if the General Election did take place and the rakyats voted for the candidate who would represent them,but after the election,these political parties persuade each other to join their parties and that what causes the crossover to take place. The most recent crossover is,of course, Umno’s Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim crossing over to Pakatan Rakyat. This is a smack into the face of democracy! I cannot feel more disgusted than this. Besides that, how can they (both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional) accept the crossover?Surely,like Datuk Nasarudin who abandon his party,UMNO when the party is currently facing crisis and to join the enemy seems so untrustworthy. Who dare say he won't do it again,this time to the Pakatan Rakyat? And the one that is very irritating is Ezam,the former ally of Anwar Ibrahim. He moved from UMNO once before and joined Keadilan and then back to UMNO.such a disgrace to his family indeed,besmirching the name down to the core!  Well,what else that can be said?A real embarrassment.

4:53 AM

Malaysia's submarine

Posted by Mr.Clive |

To most who actually cared how the government is spending the people's money,many argued that this is such a waste of money. And according to the opposition, they claimed that a RM 540 million commission was paid to a close associate of deputy premier Najib Razak in brokering the deal. The PM-in-waiting of course, deny the allegation. 

However,is this purchase would really improve the country's defence or is just another waste of money? 

Anyway,according to the Chief of Navy Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Jaafar:

The Scorpene, a conventional submarine built in Cherbourg, France, can monitor the country's waters to a depth of between 100 and 200 metres.

It also said that the submarine was equipped with six torpedo tubes, which can fire simultaneously, anti-ship surface missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes.

The vessel has the capacity to carry 10 torpedoes and 30 mines.

God bless.