Monday, December 21, 2009

The power of media

After the story on no one answered DBKL toll free number 1-800-88-3255 came out in the Star today, I decided to try my luck again this afternoon. To my surprise, my call was answered by an operator after few ringing tones.

I complained to her about the no maintenance of a public park for months at Nova apartment in Taman Sri Sinar, Segambut. The operator asked for my name, IC number, mobile number and etc. She promised to call back which she did twice!

A not-so-hot hotline 1800883255

Photo taken from Guanming Daily

Source: thestar.com.my/metro (By CHRISTINA LOW, 21/12/2009)

EARLY this month, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail told KL MPs in a meeting that residents in the city would soon be able to call a toll-free number to lodge complaints.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said he was thrilled when Ahmad Fuad introduced the service as he felt that it would be a great benefit to the residents. “We were told that residents could file complaints and also be able to check when DBKL will be on the ground to check on their problems. “We were told that we could try the system right away as it was in its trial run,” said Lim who made a call to the centre three days after the meeting. Lim said on his first try, he was immediately told by the operator that she could not take his complaint down as the service was down and would call him back to for further details. He waited, but the person did not return his call. The following day, Lim said he tried again and again for the entire week and was disappointed each time as no operator answered the call. “I am disappointed that the system is breaking down even before it is being implemented. “If the system isn’t working properly during th trial period, how can it cope with the load of complaints later when it is officially launched?” Lim asked.

During a press conference yesterday, Lim also made a call to the toll free number 1-800-88-3255 in front of reporters and true to his words, no one was on hand to answer the call. He added that any type of service was good if it was functioning well and able to serve the people regardless whether it was a counter service or those filed through phone or e-mail.

The call centre, which is expected to be fully operational next year, will be the first of its kind undertaken by a local authority to provide residents a convenient and fast way to connect with the local government.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Alleged achievements by the Green Minister

Pertanyaan untuk jawapan bertulis di Dewan Rakyat

Lim Lip Eng minta Menteri Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air menyatakan 5 cadangan yang telah dibentang dalam Kabinet dan 3 polisi yang telah dilaksanakan dalam usaha Kerajaan menghala ke sebuah negara hijau sejak April 2009.

JAWAPAN:

Tuan Yang Dipertua,

Serperti Ahli Yang Berhormat sedia maklum, Kementerian Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air telah ditubuhkan pada April 2009 berdasarkan keperluan dan kepentingan semasa yang mana isu-isu berkaitan Teknologi Hijau perlu ditangani dengan kolektif dan efektif. Memandangkan Teknologi Hijau sesuatu yang agak baru di Negara kita, tumpuan Kementerian sekarang ialah kepada aktiviti – aktiviti berbentuk promosi dan kesedaran awam di samping pendekatan untuk memperkukuhkan kerangka institusi. Pembentukan polisi akan dilakukan secara berperingkat – peringkat sesuai dengan Matlamat dan Teras Strategik yang digariskan dalam Dasar Teknologi Hijau Negara. Antara cadangan yang telah dipersetujui oleh Kerajaan ialah pembentukan Dasar Teknologi Hijau Negara untuk dijadikan sebagai panduan dan hala tuju pembangunan teknologi hijau negara. Dasar tersebut telah dilancarkan oleh YAB Perdana Menteri pada 24 Julai 2009 bertempat di Bangunan Pusat Tenaga Malaysia (PTM). Pelancaran ini menandakan Kerajaan serius dalam usaha menentukan arah tuju kepada persekitaran mapan dan bersepadu untuk kepentingan seluruh rakyat. Kabinet juga telah mengambil maklum bahawa bangunan PTM merupakan satu bangunan hijau atau “green energy office” (GEO) iaitu berkonsepkan bangunan tenaga rendah dan mesra alam. Bangunan tersebut dilengkapi dengan system “building integrated photovataic” (BIPV) yang mesra alam kerana tidak mencemarkan serta mengurangkan penggunaan tenaga daripada sumber bahan api fosil. Sehubungan dengan itu, adalah dicadangkan dasar supaya bangunan–bangunan baru khususnya bangunan Kerajaan pada masa akan datang dibina menggunakan system teknologi hijau.

Tuan Yang Dipertua,

Pada 21 Mei 2009 Kerajaan telah melancarkan Green Building Index (GBI) yang merupakan satu indeks penilaian hijau kepada bangunan–bangunan mesra alam. Bangunan – bangunan hijau dapat menjimatkan kos–kos utiliti dan mengekalkan kualiti persekitaran. Bagi menggalakkan teknologi hijau Kerajaan telah memutuskan agar pemilik bangunan yang mendapatkan sijil GBI bermula 24 Oktober 2009 sehingga 31 Disember 2014 mendapat pengecualian cukai pendapatan bersamaan perbelanjaan modal tambahan dalam mendapatkan sijil–sijil tersebut, sepertimana yang diumumkan dalam bajet 2010.

Selain daripada itu, pembeli–pembeli bangunan atau rumah yang mempunyai sijil GBI daripada pemaju–pemaju juga akan mendapat pengecualian duti setem ke atas surat cara pindah milik yang mana jumlah pengecualian adalah bersamaan kos tambahan yang dikenakan untuk mendapatkan sijil GBI. Pengecualian ini diberikan kepada pembeli – pembeli yang melaksanakan jualan dan perjanjian – perjanjian pembelian bermula 24 Oktober 2009 sehingga 31 Disember 2014.

Untuk makluman Ali Yang Berhormat,

Pada 8 Oktober 2009 buku Incentives for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency in Malaysia telah dilancarkan. Antara lain yang digariskan dalam buku tersebut adalah insentif menarik untuk mengalakkan inisiatif dalam Tenaga Boleh Diperbaharu dan Kecekapan Tenaga untuk memperbaiki Power Quality (PQ) di antara pengeluar–pengeluar tenaga dan penguna–penguna di Malaysia serta untuk memastikan pembangunan ekonomi negara yang mapan di masa akan datang. Insentif–insentif yang ditawarkan termasuklah Pioneers Status (PS), Elaun Cukai Pelaburan dan Pengecualian Bayaran Duti Import atau Cukai Jualan ke atas mesin, peralatan, bahan–bahan, alat – alat ganti serta boleh guna.

Tuan Yang Dipertua,

Selaras dengan Teras Strategik 1 Dasar Teknologi Hijau Negara iaitu “Mengukuhkan Kerangka Institusi”, Kerajaan telah bersetuju Majlis Teknologi Hijau Negara ditubuhkan dengan dipengerusikan oleh YAB Perdana Menteri. Majlis Teknologi Hijau Negara bertindak sebagai satu Majlis Tertinggi untuk penyelarasan pembangunan Teknologi Hijau negara antara pihak Kerajaan, agensi, sector swasta dan pihak–pihak lain yang berpentingan (stakeholders).

Tuan Yang Dipertua,

Selain daripada penubuhan Majlis Teknologi Hijau Negara, Kerajaan juga telah memutuskan supaya Pusat Tenaga Malaysia distrukturkan semula kepada Pusat Teknologi Hijau Negara membantu mempergiatkan lagi usaha–usaha pembangunan Teknologi Hijau secara efektif dan kolektif

Tuan Yang Dipertua,

Kerajaan telah bersetuju dengan cadangan untuk menganjurkan Persidangan dan Pameran Antarabangsa Teknologi Hijau pada tahun hadapan. Sehubungan dengan itu, Kementerian Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air akan menganjurkan Persidangan dan Pameran Antarabangsa Teknologi Hijau yang dinamakan “International Green Technology And Ecoproducts Exhibition And Conference Malaysia 2010” atau dikenali sebagai IGEM 2010 pada bulan Oktober 2010 dengan menjemput syarikat–syarikat terkemuka dunia untuk mengambil bahagian dan mempamerkan pelbagai jenis Teknologi Hijau. Persidangan dan Pameran Antarabangsa ini bertujuan untuk mewujudkan kesedaran di antara pengguna dan pihak industry mengenai kepentingan teknologi hijau dan produk-eko. Ia juga bertujuan untuk mempromosikan kemajuan produk mesra alam termasuk di dalam bidang teknologi, perkhidmatan dan pentadbiran. Persidangan dan Pameran ini juga akan dapat menggalakkan pusingan dan kitaran industry di dalam rekaan eko-industri dan bahan Teknologi Hijau bagi persaigan antarabangsa, kestabilan alam sekitar dan pembangunan jangka masa panjang.

Who is overseeing the KPI of the KPI minister?

Pertanyaan lisan di Dewan Rakyat pada 2 Disember 2009

Lim Lip Eng minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan 5 hasil dicapai oleh Menteri berportfolio Perpaduan dan Prestasi sejak April 2009 yang bermanfaat kepada rakyat dan, pihak siapa pula yang menyeliakan pelaksanaan Indeks Prestasi Utama (KPI) Menteri tersebut.

Jawapan: (oleh YB Senator Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon)

Tuan yang di-Pertua,

Semasa dilantik pada bulan April tahun ini, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Perpaduan Nasional & Pengurusan Prestasi) telah dipertugaskan untuk mengubal dan melaksanakan secepat mungkin Inisiatif Program Transformasi Kerajaan atau Government Transformation Programme (GTP) dengan mengunakan kaedah Petunjuk Prestasi Utama atau Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Inisiatif ini menjadi landasan untuk kerajaan merealisasikan dua objektif utama 1Malaysia iaitu, “Rakyat Didahulukan” dengan member tumpuan kepada kepentingan, keperluan dan kesejahteraan hidup rakyat Malaysia, serta “Pencapaian Diutamakan” untuk menjadikan kerajaan lebif efisyen, telus, bertanggungjawab dan berfokus terhadap penyampaian hasil boleh dinikmati dan dirasai sendiri oleh rakyat. Inisiatif GTP ini melibatkan kesemuanya 28 menteri dan kementerian yang berkenaan, dan selanjutnya dijangka akan digunapakai oleh semua jabatan dan agensi kerajaan. Walaupun masih berada dalam tahun pertama, skala inisiatif ini merupakan di antara yang terbesar dan paling menyeluruh yang pernah dilancar dan dilaksanakan oleh mana-mana kerajaan di dunia. Oleh itu, sejak bulan April, Menteri telah bertungkus-lumus dan bekerjasama rapat dengan semua Menteri, dengan sokongan dari Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam, MAMPU dan Khazanah Nasional serta pasukan pakar rundingnya. Setakat ini, inisiatif GTP telah mencatat banyak kemajuan yang penting, Fasa Pertama atau fasa perancangan dan rekabentuk inisiatif pengurusan prestasi ini berjalan dari bulan April hingga Ogos 2009 dengan beberapa pencapaian yang boleh dirumuskan seperti berikut:-

Enam (6) Bidang Keberhasilan Utama Negara atau Natinal Key Result Areas (N-KRA) telah bersama – sama dikenalpasti oleh Jemaah Menteri, dengan menghasilkan sasaran – sasaran KPI. Kesemua enam Menteri Meneraju (Lead Ministers) adalah komited sepenuhnya bagi memulakan dan melaksanakan inisiatif ini. Enam (6) N-KRA ialah:

1. mengurangkan Kadar Jenayah

2. memerangi rasuah

3. meluaskan Akses Kepada Pendidikan Berkualiti dan Berkemampuan

4. meningkat Taraf Hidup Rakyat Yang Berpendapatan Rendah

5. memperkasa Prasarana Luar Bandar dan Pedalaman

6. menambahbaik Pengangkutan Awam dalam jangka masa sederhana

Kesemua 28 menteri masing – masing telah juga mengenalpasti KRA utama bagi kementerian atau Ministerial KRA’s (M-KRAs) berserta dengan sub-sub M-KRA dan M-KPI yang bakal dilaksanakan sepenuhnya setelah kajian pertama oleh Perdana Menteri dalam bulan November dan Disember tahun ini.

38 Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian dan Ketua Pengarah dari agensi – agensi utama telah memulakan proses menyelaras dan mengatur semula KPI masing – masing dengan N-KRA dan N-KPI serta KRA dan KPI kementerian masing–masing. Lebih dari 500 pegawai dari pelbagai kementerian dan agensi telah didedahkan kepada asas metodologi KPI melalui penglibatan dalam proses ini dan akan berperanan sebagai “ejen perubahan” melalui latihan lebih lanjut. Perancangan untuk Belanjawan Negara 2010 dan Rancangan Malaysia ke-Sepuluh bagi tahun 2011 – 2015 telah mengambilkira dan memberikan focus dan tumpuan utama kepada 6 N-KRA di samping mengambilkira semua M-KRA yang penting.

Fasa Kedua yang bermula pada September hingga Disember menumpukan kepada penyediaan jentera pelaksanaan dan pelan – pelan penyampaian (delivery plans) yang telah mencapai kemajuan seperti berikut :

Penubuhan sebuat unit yang baru, iaitu Unit Perlaksanaan dan Pengurusan Prestasi atau Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) dan pelantikan YB Senator Dato’ Sri Idris Jala sebagai Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (C.E.O).

Pelaksanaan lapan (8) sesi makmal atau “labs” sepenuh masa selama 6 minggu untuk menggubal pelan – pelan perlaksanaan bagi enam (6) NKRA, IMalaysia, Perpaduan serta pengurusan data yang melibatkan hamper 250 orang penjawat awam dari kementerian – kementerian dan agensi – agensi yang berkenaan serta wakil – wakil dari beberapa badan bukan kerajaan dan kumpulan sukarela. Persiapan dibuat untuk mengadakan Hari Terbuka atau “Open Day” untuk mempamerkan cadangan – cadangan pelan – pelan penyampaian bagi 6 NKRA dan konsep 1Malaysia untuk mendapat maklumbalas dan pandangan pegawai – pegawai kerajaan, pemimpin – pemimpin masyarakat, media massa dan sebagainya.

Pertemuan antara YAB Perdana Menteri dengan setiap dari 28 menteri untuk membincangkan M-KRA dan M-KPI tiap – tiap kementerian serta pelan tindakann secara menyeluruh. Senua kementerian telah memulakan usaha mengukuhkan keberkesanan system penyampaian masing – masing supaya menjadi lebih cepat dan teratur, perkhidmatan yang lebih mesra pelanggan dan mengukuhkan integrasi antara jabatan – kesemuanya adalah untuk kebaikan rakyat dan negara secara amnya.

Mengenai portfolio “Perpaduan Negara” walaupun ianya berkait-rapat dengan pelaksanaan gagasan “1Malaysia” pada keseluruhannya, tugas – tugas spesifik Menteri adalah lebih bertumpu kepada fungsi – fungsi Jabatan Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional (JPNIN), Pencapaian setakat ini termasuk:

1. Menubuhkan 287 Kawasan Rukun Tetangga yang baru dalam 7 bulan (sejak Mei hingga November) di 14 buah negeri termasuk Wilayah Persekutuan serta menyalurkan lebih banyak peruntukan untuk membina lebih banyak pondok. Kabin dan pejabat KRT.

2. Memperluaskan jenis kegiatan Kawasan Rukun Tetangga (KRT) dan mempertingkatkan mutu perlaksanaannya supaya KRT dapat memainkan peranan yang lebih berkesan sebagai pusat kegiatan penduduk, khasnya di kawasan – kawasan perumahan.

3. Menjalankan rangka kerjasama dengan para penyelidik, khasnya dari Institut Kajian Etnik (KITA), UKM untuk:

· Meningkatkan lagi pelbagai kajian dan penyelidikan mengenai perpaduan dan hubungan etnik.

· Mengenalpasti dan menetapkan beberapa petunjuk tahap kehormanian dan rasa perpaduan di kalangan rakyat, termasuk kajiselidik pandangan awam (public opinion poll).

· Menyunting dan menerbit jurnal perpaduan untuk dijadikan sebagai majalah akademik rujukan utama bagi isu perpaduan dan hubungan etnik.

· Memperkasakan kelas – kelas tabika perpaduan dengan meningkatkan lagi kemahiran pengajaran guru dengan sokongan Kementerian Pelajaran.

Termasuk di dalam bidangkuasa menteri ialah Biro Perpaduan Awam (BPA) di mana usaha telah dimulakan untuk membuat analisa dan penilaian terhadap jenis aduan yang diterima, bukan setakat menerima dan menyelesaikan aduan, supaya member maklumbalas yang lebih jelas dan cadangan yang bernas untuk memperbaiki mutu perkhidmatan dan keberkesanan penyampaian kerajaan pada amnya dan kementerian atau agensi, khususnya.

Serpertimana untuk semua menteri yang lain, prestasi menteri ini akan juga dinilai mengikut Petunjuk Prestasi Utamam dipantau dan diuji oleh YAB Perdana Menteri.

Friday, December 18, 2009

First Pakatan Raykat Convention


Millionaire tax defaulters

Source: thestar.com.my

Reports by LEE YUK PENG, LOH FOON FONG and YUEN MEIKENG (18.12.2009)

A MILLIONAIRE from Penang has emerged as the number one tax defaulter in the country after owing the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) more than RM36mil. The board has initiated a civil action against the unidentified millionaire to recover the backdated tax. The person to hold the dubious title as the second highest tax defaulter is a millionaire from Sarawak who owes the Government over RM20.5mil. He is also facing court action by the board.

The two are among 100 high income earners who owed the board more than RM320mil as of September, said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP – Segambut) at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He said the person who owed the Govern-ment the third highest amount of backdated tax was a millionaire from Kuala Lumpur. The person, he said, had defaulted in over RM19mil of taxes and had been notified of the board’s intention to initiate a civil suit against him. Najib said the fourth and fifth biggest defaulters were from Sarawak. They owed the Government over RM13mil and RM9.4mil respectively. In the sixth, seventh and eighth place of the top tax defaulters were millionaires from Kuala Lumpur who owed the Government RM7mil, RM6.94 mil and RM6.9 mil respectively. Najib said the sixth millionaire was facing legal action while the seventh and eighth have been barred from leaving the country.

He said income earners from Kuala Lumpur topped the list in owing the Government a total of RM142mil followed by Sarawak (RM54.8mil) and Penang (RM51mil).

Govt’s top priority projects

Source: thestar.com.my (18.12.2009)

PROJECTS to upgrade schools in the country have been identified as the top priority projects under the Economic Stimulus Package 1 and 2, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said the Education Ministry has been allocated almost RM1bil for the purpose.

Replying in writing to Lim Lip Eng (DAP – Segambut), he said that second in the list of priority was infrastructure projects under the purview of the Implementation and Coordi-nation Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department. He said an allocation of RM600mil have been set aside for such projects.

The Financial Guarantee Institution under the Finance Ministry, the ICU and the home assist project under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry were allocated RM500mil each under package 1 and 2. The development of broadband facilities by Telekom Malaysia ranked fourth with an allocation of RM374mil, Najib said. The transport sector, meanwhile, ranked fifth, receiving RM340mil to upgrade the public transport system such as the LRT, komuter and bus services in major cities, he said. Retraining programmes for retrenched workers under the Human Resources Ministry ranked sixth with RM300mil.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

MACC questions minister's spouse

Source: www.nst.com.my (2009/12/16)

PUTRAJAYA: The wife of Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday regarding allegations of graft. Datin Seri Lee Sun Loo was at the MACC headquarters here for four hours, during which her statement was recorded. MACC investigations director Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said Lee arrived at 10am. It was the first time Lee was questioned over allegations that she was given a multi-purpose vehicle as a birthday present from a company often involved in Health Ministry projects.
Allegations first surfaced on a news portal that a company that won a tender from the ministry in January gave Lee a Toyota Alphard worth more than RM500,000. In October, Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng lodged a police report against Lee over the matter.

Liow had previously denied such allegations, saying he was being politically assassinated. However, he said he welcomed investigations so that he could clear his name.

Related news: thestar.com.my

Speaker slams opposition in narrow Budget vote

Source: www.themalaysianinsider.com (By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani)
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today criticised the Pakatan Rakyat for taking advantage of absent Barisan Nasional lawmakers, and trying to defeat the Budget 2010 last night. Pandikar called it dishonourable to catch the government with “their pants down” during the third and final reading of the budget proposals before it goes to the Senate. “The opposition should not have taken advantage of the situation when there weren’t enough BN MPs,” he said when commenting on the narrow 66-63 approval for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s first Budget as prime minister. “It should not be a question of catching the government with their pants down because that would not be a gentlemanly and honourable kind of thing,” Pandikar explained to reporters in his chambers here. He added that Parliament is a gentlemen’s club for both the opposition and the government to debate questions of national interest. Pandikar also stressed that Barisan Nasional lawmakers should not take their parliamentary majority for granted. “For the BN they must not take [their majority] for granted and in any sitting for that matter. “But for all parliamentarians, on both sides of the divide, when they want to talk then they will attend. When there is something of particular interests they want to bring up, then they will be there. If there is nothing that interests them, then they will not be there,” he added. Najib and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat saved Barisan Nasional the blushes when they turned up to tilt support to the ruling coalition who lost its customary two-third parliamentary majority in Election 2008. Najib had to rush from a dinner, organised by Cheong Hwa Private Secondary School, and changed his batik shirt before entering the Parliament. It is understood that this is the first time that the national budget was approved with such a narrow margin. A rejection would have negative implications for the Barisan Nasional government which has been in power since independence in 1957, when it was known as the Alliance. In a parliamentary democracy, a rejected budget is seen as a no-confidence vote towards the ruling government and indirectly opens the way for the formation of a new government. The Malaysian Insider understands that the top leadership of the rival blocs have directed strict action to be taken against their lawmakers who were missing in last night’s vote. It was understood that Najib issued a stern warning to the lawmakers, and was furious this morning in Parliament. The Dewan Rakyat has extended its sessions in the past weeks to finish its business by this Thursday before it takes the year-end recess. Before the crucial third reading, the Budget was approved by just one vote at the committee-stage debate for the Home Ministry — which was the last ministry to have its allocation approved. Barisan Nasional has 137 of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, followed by Pakatan Rakyat’s 82 and three Independents. The Dewan Rakyat ended its annual Budget session at 11.15pm after the third reading was concluded.
It is understood the government bench realised its peril after the DAP Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng asked for a vote by division upon the conclusion of the debate by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop at the committee stage. Pandikar acceded to the request and the vote went 64-63 in Barisan Nasional’s favour. The situaton recurred during the vote at the end of the Budget’s third reading when DAP Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran asked for a vote by division. By this time, Najib and Ong had taken their seats and the Budget 2010 was approved with 66 votes for, and 63 votes against. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, stressed that BN lawmakers have to be more careful and must take this matter seriously. “I think now they have to be careful because nothing can be taken for granted now. This is a different parliament and I hope the MPs will take their jobs seriously on both sides. So I hope this a lesson for all. “This is the second time and this is more frightening because it involves the Budget bill. So I hope this matter will awaken the MPs especially from Barisan Nasional so they seriously take their responsibility to attend the parliament,” he told reporters in the Parliament lobby here. The BN deputy added that there was nothing he could do as the lawmakers had been informed. “They are all very important people and they have been informed to attend the Parliament. If they want more than that then maybe they can give me a gun and I will place it near their head. If they don’t come then I will shoot them. That will show that I am doing my work,” he added.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Liew: MyKad needs race and religion info

Source: thestar.com.my/news (Tuesday December 15, 2009)

INFORMATION on the people’s race and religion contained in the MyKad chip is still needed for data and statistical collection purpose, the Dewan was told. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said this was among several factors that still needed to be considered before a proposal to remove the race column from official forms could be implemented.

“While a person’s race can be ascertained from his or her name, it is still difficult to determine this for those in Sabah and Sarawak,” he told Lim Lip Eng (DAP - Segambut).

Besides, he said, forms relating to society restructuring still required information on race although forms regarding poverty eradication, registration for examinations or sports participation did not. Lim asked if the Government was serious in deleting the column on race, religion and bumiputra status in all government forms and when and how it would be implemented.

Liew said even developed countries like Australia, Britain and the United States needed information on race in certain forms to ensure there would be equal opportunities for all.

Related news: http://www.bernama.com & http://www.malaysiakini.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

DBKL to focus on upgrading services and amenities

Source: thestar.com.my/metro (By BAVANI M, 7/12/2009)

A PEOPLE-centric budget for next year focusing on maintaining and upgrading existing public amenities as well as improving services is expected to be unveiled by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) today. Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail who disclosed some details of the 2010 budget at a meeting with Kuala Lumpur MP’s on Friday had said the budget of RM2.12bil is aimed at ensuring that KLites enjoy a better quality of life with a better administered DBKL. DBKL’s 2010 budget with the theme “Putting People First’’ is aimed at promoting integrity and transparency and to emphasise on people-centric projects. DBKL has allocated RM1.102bil for administration costs for cleanliness, beautification, upgrading of pipes, roads, public amenities, recreation as well as safety while the RM1.07bil for development cost will focus more on projects that would benefit the residents. As for revenue, a bulk of DBKL earnings are from assessment (RM755mil), sale of asset/housing (RM451mil), rental of public housing (RM65mil), licence and permit (RM47.96mil) and planning and construction (RM116 mil). DBKL would also receive various grants from the Federal government totalling millions for administration and development purposes. Even though the budget is supposed to be more people friendly, city MP’s are disappointed that their request for a more detailed budget was not granted.

“They are talking about integrity and transparency and being accountable, but they are not practising it,’’ said disgruntled Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai. “Open up all the 20 departments in DBKL and show the various projects and contracts given out. The Public Works Department alone has over 100 projects amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit. Show us all the contracts,’’ he said. Tan said that the DBKL is the third biggest spender in the country. “Compare KL’s RM2.12bil against Selangor’s RM1.2bil. On paper it would seem that KL’s two million residents are getting a fair deal compared to Selangor’s 5.6 million residents but KLites have the right to know where their money is going,’’ he added. Batu MP Tian Chua said that DBKL should allow elected reps to give input when formulating the budget. “Not just the budget. They should also let us see when tabling their annual audited accounts. We have the right to know how people’s money is being spent so there is some monitoring. This is certainly inadequate,’’ he said. Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said DBKL needs to review the contracts of its service providers like Alam Flora. “Waste collection service has deteriorated ever since Alam Flora took over the management of waste in the city. “DBKL has to honour numerous contracts that are still running but the quality and service performance of these contractors must be re-examined as well,” she said. She also said the surplus budget, thanks to federal government assistance, formed a whopping 67.6% of the development expenditure and which also included a one-off payment amounting to RM451.3mil. “There is no rationale for distribution of development expenditure according to constituencies. DBKL is not answerable to Parliament. One example is the number of public housing in Bandar Tun Razak, Lembah Pantai and Bukit Bintang - 11, 3 and 5 respectively. “You would expect that the budget would follow the number of housing but Bandar Tun Razak gets RM79.2mil, Lembah Pantai 26mil and Bukit Bintang RM240mil. “As such, the RM2.12bil budget (even higher than that for Selangor and Penang), has to be tabled in Parliament, to constituents and to MPs. “This is made even more necessary with the disclosure that not even the Auditor General has the right to review the big budget.

“Such powers have been given to DBKL to freely use taxpayers’ money with no proper check and balance, save for some episodes of internal auditing.” “We were also informed, after a query, that an item under maintenance costing RM250mil (for 2010) has been transferred from the FT Ministry to DBKL in the form of the said amount. Hence for 2010, the maintenance item under the FT Ministry has been effectively erased. “How do we monitor and compare past and present implementation of maintenance works in our cities.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng feels that the budget allocation is a huge amount. “Make no mistake. It is still a deficit budget despite the extra windfall from the sale of PPR units. The RM451mil revenue from the sale of the flats is a ‘one off thing’ and DBKL cannot rely on that,’’ added Lim.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's next for PKFZ?

PEMBERITAHUAN PERTANYAAN DEWAN RAKYAT 1.12.2009
Lim Lip Eng minta Menteri Pengangkutan menyatakan selepas laporan SPRM, PDRM dan tindakan mahkamah dibuat, apakah rancangan dalam 2 tahun terdekat bagi memulihkan PKFZ kepada keadaan yang mendatangkan untung; berapa fee guaman telah dibayar dalam tindakan mahkamah berkaitan isu ini.
Jawapan Kementerian Pengangkutan:
Kerajaan telah menubuhkan satu Pasukan Petugas Khas Projek Pembangunan PKFZ yang dipengerusikan oleh Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Ketua Setiausaha Negara di mana antara lainnya:-
a) merangka dan mengesyorkan model perniagaan bagi mengembang, memajukan dan memaksimumkan pulangan pada PKFZ; dan
b) merangka dan mengesyorkan pelan dan strategi bagi menarik pelaburan tempatan dan asing.
Sehingga 16.10.2009, Lembaga Pelabuhan Kelang telah memfailkan 4 kes di mahkamah berhubung dengan isu PKFZ di mana 3 daripadanya merupakan Writ Saman manakala 1 adalah Saman Pemula. Memandangkan kes-kes ini baru sahaja difailkan dan belum dibicarakan di mahkamah, maka LPK belum membuat sebarang bayaran fee guaman.
My synopsis: For now, the ministry of transport has no idea in how to revive PKFZ in the coming 2 years.

KL MPs to meet mayor


All KL MPs are invited to have a meeting with mayor Dato’ Ahmad Fuad Ismail this Friday for 2 hours. This will be the third meeting with mayor after his appointment last year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Home Ministry probes human trafficking ring

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News (Reports by V. Vasudevan, Sajahan Waheed and Lydia Gomez, 01/12/2009)
ONE government officer has been taken to court for trafficking in Myanmar refugees, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said yesterday. He said the ministry is investigating the issue which has been cited as one of the main reasons for Malaysia being blacklisted by the US State Department in its Trafficking in Persons Report this year. Malaysia and 16 other countries were placed on Tier 3 of the report which analysed efforts taken to combat human trafficking in 173 countries.
In a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), Hishammuddin said the government officer was among the 39 human trafficking cases prosecuted so far.
He said since the Anti-Human Trafficking Act was enforced in February last year, 88 people have been arrested and five were charged and convicted. Other efforts to tackle the problem include a five-year National Anti-Human Trafficking Strategic Action Plan; setting up more shelters for victims, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, including one shelter for male victims; working with Australia, United States and the Netherlands to carry out awareness programmes for enforcement officers and improving the cooperation network in neighbouring and sender countries. "The Myanmar refugee problem is not something that can be handled by Malaysia alone because this is a regional and international problem. "This issue has to be dealt with carefully by rectifying the root cause."
He said the Attorney-General's Chambers was reviewing the act to resolve any ambiguity and to study whether human smuggling should be included in the law.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Playground is home to a colony of rats and strewn with rubbish

Taman Sri Bintang (Photo by Lim)
Taman Cuepac (Photo by Lim)
Taman Bamboo (Photo by Lim)
Segambut Garden (Photo by Lim)

Absolutely filthy: Lim (third from left) in front of an overflowing rubbish bin a the Taman Sri Kuching playground together with the residents. (Photo by The Star)
Source: thestar.com.my/metro (By PRIYA MENON, 30/11/2009)
DESPITE the name Taman Sri Kuching, the playground in the area is ironically home to a colony of rats. Rubbish strewn in the playground has been luring the rodents. Resident, Lau Tak Wah, 53, said the grass was cut five months ago and yet to be trimmed ever since. He claimed the rubbish were thrown by foreigners who used the playground as a meeting point at night. “There are plenty of mosquitoes too. My friend’s children were admitted for dengue recently,” Lau said. A caretaker of a Chinese temple nearby, Yap Yee Sam, 63, has taken it upon himself to keep the playground clean and throws away tins with stagnant water. He added that children used to come to the playground but due to the filthy condition, the number has reduced drastically. According to Lau, a female cleaner at the park had said their contract had ended in October and they were expected to continue in February 2010.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng recently held a press conference to highlight the park’s issue as well as three other parks in Segambut, namely Taman Sri Bintang, Taman Bamboo and Segambut Garden. “It has come to my understanding that the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) contractors have not been cleaning the parks because City Hall can’t afford to pay them,” Lim said. He added that KL mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail had said recently that City Hall was thinking of ways to save cost including asking residents associations to manage parks in their own neighbourhoods for a lower fee. Lim added that if City Hall could not pay the residents could not blame the contractors. He hoped Fuad would elaborate more on this.

Residents: Why wasn't drain repaired?

Source: streets.nst.com.my (Noel Achariam, 30/11/2009)
Kuala Lumpur: Residents of Seri Duta 1 Condominium want the local authority to take immediate action on a collapsed drain in front of their building in Jalan Gallagher, Bukit Tunku. They claimed that they had lodged a complaint with City Hall 10 months ago but nothing had been done. It was reported last week that a collapsed drain in Jalan Gallagher had been repaired by City Hall. But the residents said they were referring to another drain. There are two roads called Jalan Gallagher in Bukit Tunku. Chairperson Annie George Livesey, 54, who represents the residents claimed that a landslip, that had occurred on an abandoned plot in front of their condominium, had caused the drain to collapse. "During a downpour in January, a landslip occurred on the private land and had spilt onto the drain and pavement. The drain is now completely clogged with earth, tree branches and rubbish. The collapsed drain also poses the danger of causing further damage to the remaining surface of the road," she said. Residents also said that during downpours water would gush down the hill. They have no idea where all the water is headed. They are worried that there could be another landslip as there is no proper drainage. The residents are also concerned that the abandoned plot might pose a health risk. "The abandoned private land is unkept and there is lalang growing all over the area. The owner of the land should take full responsibility and maintain the area," said Livesey. Residents also claimed that there had been two dengue cases since early January. "We can't afford to wait for the local authority, so we hired a private contractor to fog our condominium twice a month. We have no idea if the local authority has come and fogged the other areas around our neighbourhood," said Livesey. The residents were also perplexed as to why City Hall had again cleared a part of the land next to their condominium two weeks ago. "The same thing happened two years ago. They came and chopped down the trees and when we complained they came and planted seedlings. Now when the trees are growing beautifully they chopped them down again. We hope the local authority can explain what is going on," said Livesey.
Seri Duta 1 Condominium Management Corporation manager Siew Hoi Yow said he had written to City Hall since February about the collapsed drain but no action was taken. "We have written to them on four occasions, the last being on Oct 10, but sadly until this moment nobody from City Hall has even showed up to survey the site."
Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng, who visited the residents, said he would meet the mayor, Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail, on Friday.
Copyright © Tech&U . New Straits Times Press Sdn.Bhd . All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Residents live in constant fear




Dangerous: The bad state of the ceiling at Vijayakumaran’s house. Not safe: The crack outside Baskaran’s wall.
Source: thestar.com.my/metro/story (Story and photos by PRIYA MENON, 28/11/2009)
6 families living in Jalan Udang Gantung 2 Taman Sri Cuepacs, Segambut, are ready to pack up and move out after nearly 30 years and it all boils down to fear. For the past one week, their double-storey terrace homes had suffered from various forms of damage, that one would wonder where to begin. With cracks on the walls and ceiling, sink holes and floors are some of the problems plaguing their houses, the families are living in fear of the houses collapsing. A house owner, A Rethinanah, 56, had placed several mattresses in her hall, where the cracks are just beginning to show while bags had been packed away for emergency evacuation. Another resident P.Baskaran, 46, is looking for a new house, as he is worried about his wife who recently had a fall and injured her spine. “My wife can’t walk and should anything happen to the house while I am away, how is she suppose to save herself?” he asked. Another resident, R, Vijayakumaran, 47, whose house showed the worst cracks said he had removed all the furniture in the house ever since the cracks got worse. “My kitchen area is horrible, there is a sink hole near the back door and none of us can close our doors anymore,” he added.
The residents believe, the source of the problem was at the back of their homes where a collapsed drain lies. Five years ago, a similar problem occurred and Baskaran’s father lodged a complaint with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). “They (DBKL) came and did a surface job only,” he added. The water from the drain flows underneath the collapsed section causing it to wash away the soil. Baskaran and his neighbours have put a four-inch pipe to ensure the water flows through it instead. Baskaran also said when he stomped on the floor near his dining room, it sounded hollow. He said despite numerous complaints to the City Hall, the officers merely took pictures and left. “We want a solution to this problem. Everyone comes and goes without giving us any answers, how can we leave for work in peace with all these problems,” he said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said the residents should hire engineers to find the source of the problems. “According to them the drainage system behind their homes was not done properly. “So a professional evaluation is needed to ascertain the real problem,” he said.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home minister: Labuan prison cost RM32.9mil

Source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/118158 (By S Pathmawathy, 23/11/2009)
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein today told the Dewan Rakyat that the construction cost of a new prison complex in Labuan is RM32.9 million. In a written reply, he said the cost was not RM79 million as mentioned by Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin previously. Hishammuddin added that the prison will be able to accommodate 230 inmates.
He was responding to Segambut DAP MP Lim Lip Eng, who asked the home minister if it was appropriate to spend RM79 million of a facility that can only house 200 prisoners. The opposition parliamentarian also wanted to know why Labuan was chosen for the project.
"The construction of a prison is far different from the construction of an ordinary building because it requires high level safety and security," said the minister. "Therefore, the cost also includes getting building materials with security in mind such as iron bars, lock systems, security fences with 'anti-scaling' features," he added.
Five reasons why Labuan needs a prison
Furthermore, he said Labuan like any state needs its own prison for several reasons such as:
1. Prisoners from Labuan can undergo punishment in the state itself and not in Kota Kinabalu.
2. To make it easier for families to visit prisoners which is part of the rehabilitation process and in tandem with the concept of '1Malaysia'.
3. To smoothen the administration of justice by the Labuan court.
4. To lessen the cost to visit and accompany prisoners to distant locations.
5. To reduce the risk of escorting prisoners through sea travel.
The construction of the prison faced objection from the locals who feared that Labuan will be made to look like a 'penal island'. The Labuan prison is one of the four prison projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The rest are based in Seberang Perai in Penang, Perlis and Sungai Udang in Melaka. According to Bernama, Prisons Department director Jamil Salleh said the project will be carried out in two phases. Phase one will cost RM35 million and comprises staff quarters, recreation park, mosque, community hall and other facilities.
See related news http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsgeneral.php?id=438371 & http://thestaronline.com/news/story.asp?file=/2009/9/6/nation/4662546&sec=nation
Lim Lip Eng: It was announced earlier by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik that the proposed RM79 million Labuan prison complex with a capacity to hold 200 inmates will continue as planned despite strong protest from the locals. However, the Home Minister Hishammuddin is now giving contradicting figures. Which minister is telling the truth? Short-changed or price being jacked-up?

Monday, November 23, 2009

City Hall: There was no double billing

Lim Lip Eng has submitted the documents to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission

Anwar Mohd Zain says the repair work was awarded to three contractors

Kuala Lumpur: City Hall did not double bill a contract job to repair a collapsed drain in Jalan Gallagher, Bukit Tunku, as alleged by Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng. Lim had on Friday submitted two documents on an alleged double billing by City Hall amounting to RM186,000 to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)'s Federal Territory branch office. Lim had said on Friday that he suspected there might have been foul play and misappropriation of funds by City Hall. "The invoices are both identical except for one minor detail. One of the invoices states that rectification work was done at phase one and the other invoice states that work was done at phase three. "We are not sure if City Hall had made payment to two different contractors for only one job. We hope that this is not the case," he said.
When asked to comment, City Hall corporate communication director Anwar Mohd Zain said it had hired three different contractors to repair the drain, a rectification project that cost RM278,010. As City Hall can only give each contractor a contract not exceeding RM100,000, the work was awarded to three contractors, said Anwar. "The RM278,010 project cost was divided into three payments of RM92,670. That was the reason the project had to be done in phases," he said. The collapsed drain had caused a landslip in January. The residents in Jalan Gallagher had complained to City Hall about the landslip and collapsed drain in their area, said Anwar. "City Hall responded to the complaint and hired the contractors to rectify the problem. Work started on Jan 15 and ended on March 5," he said.
Copyright © Tech&U . New Straits Times Press Sdn.Bhd . All rights reserved.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Segambut MP cries foul over alleged ‘double-paid’ DBKL job

Source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/44059-segambut-mp-cries-foul-over-alleged-double-paid-dbkl-job (By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal)
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) about an alleged double-paid job worth about RM200,000 by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) contractors.
He told reporters that he was sent two documents pertaining to the case anonymously last Thursday. "An anonymous person passed these two documents to my office while I was in Parliament on Thursday. After carefully looking through the documents, I suspected there was some hanky-panky going on in this DBKL project." It is understood that the project involved construction work to repair a collapsed drain at Jalan Gallagher in Bukit Tunku. The same project was given to two different contractors at the same time. One was given a contract for Phase 1 while the other was given a contract for Phase 3 of the same project. "Everything, from the time frame of the job (Jan 15 to March 5, 2009), how many units, the material needed to complete the job, the amended claims... are all exactly the same except the name of the contractor and the phase," said Lim (picture). He said it appears that one job is being carried out by two different contractors, and payment is being made two times, with each contractor earning RM92, 670.96. The documents, which certified payments to both contractors, were signed by the deputy director of the Public Works Department (JKA) of DBKL. When asked whether he had called up DBKL to comment, Lim said he did not do so because he could not rule out foul play by DBKL. "I don't want to enquire with DBKL; this might alert them to do 'housekeeping' and they might tamper with documents." Lim also claimed that he had personally inspected the entire stretch of Jalan Gallagher, and could not locate the supposed "newly fixed longkang (drain)". "I did not see a new longkang, but what I did see was a collapsed longkang. I don't know whether this is the same (drain)," said Lim. A complaint has now been lodged with the MACC and an Encik Saiful, the officer-in-charge, has promised to investigate the matter. "I will give MACC two months. If there is no reply on their part by then, I will take further action," said Lim.
Later, when contacted by The Malaysian Insider, Saiful declined to comment on the case as he claimed to have no "authority" over the matter. "I have no comment on the case. Even my superior officer cannot comment because this case is still new, he has no knowledge of it," said the MACC officer.

Computer sets installed for all 222 MPs cost RM11,916 each

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/20/parliament/5147756&sec=parliament
(20/11/2009)
The new computer sets installed for MPs in the Dewan Rakyat cost RM11,916 each. In a written reply to Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said the touch screen computers cost RM11,233 each, including installation. An additional RM320 was paid for the keyboard, mouse and tilting bracket while an 80GB hard disk cost RM363. The computers were installed on Oct 19 for all 222 MPs, which brought the total bill to more than RM2.6mil.
At the Parliament lobby, Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) said the cost of the computers was exorbitant and handed out price lists from computer shops to prove his point. “The 80GB hard disk was phased out early this year. You can get a 160GB hard disk for RM150. “The keyboard and mouse are not branded and made in China. A Microsoft keyboard and mouse combo pack costs only RM55,” he said. Lim said Parliament could have instead invested in a simple laptop for MPs, which would cost only RM2,000 per unit.
Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching) said it boiled down to whether a proper tender was called for the purchase or if the procurement was done through direct negotiations without proper comparison of prices.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shoot to kill order?

From right: Dato' Siva Subramaniam, YB M. Kulasegaran, Lim Lip Eng and at far left seated is YB V Sivakumar
On Nov 9, 5 youths, aged between 17 and 24, were killed in a police shootout in Klang.
Yesterday, DAP leaders submitted a memorandum to Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) urging the organisation to investigate if there is a 'shoot to kill' order when it comes to dealing with suspects.
Commissioner Dato' Siva Subramaniam accepted our memorandum and he promised to discuss the issue with the board of commissioners.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kedatangan Orang Asing

Dewan Rakyat on 11/11/2009

PM: Only MMIP interested in underwriting risks

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/17/parliament/5122340&sec=parliament
AT THE DEWAN RAKYAT (Reports by LEE YUK PENG, ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN, LOH FOON FONG AND TEH ENG HOCK. 17/11/2009)
Owners of vehicles that are aged more than 10 years could only get motor insurance through the Malaysian Motor Insurance Pool (MMIP) because other insurers were not interested in underwriting the risks, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. “In general, insurance companies were more cautious about offering insurance protection especially on third party coverage to certain vehicles such as those more than 10- years-old because the losses were great,” he said in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut).
Lim had asked about steps taken to resolve issues relating to vehicle owners who could not buy insurance for their vehicles, which were older than 10 years, except through the MMIP at the post-office and at a higher premium.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said Pos Malaysia like other motor insurance, could only offer motor insurance coverage based on the underwriting strategy of the insurers. The high underwriters’ losses were also due to motor insurance premiums that were hinged on the motor tariff that had not been examined since it was introduced in 1978, he added. He said although the underwriters were given the flexibility to impose additional premiums or loading based on the limit defined by Bank Negara since 1996, it was still not adequate in bearing current business cost since the amount of claims were getting higher.
Najib also said that MMIP was set up as a last-resort insurer to ensure vehicle owners get insured and this was the reason why they were allowed to impose higher premium to balance out the risk.
He also said the Government was considering a suggestion on a basic protection framework for motor insurance that would consider the consumers and the industry’s interests to ensure that the insurance services would continue to be available.