Saturday, October 31, 2009

We have been cheated, say Chinese women

Sticky situation: Zhu (right) and Qiu showing their certificates as Chinese medicine practitioners. Lim is holding their graduation card.
Two young Chinese nationals from Shandong, China, were lured to Malaysia with the promise of a better future and huge salary working as Chinese traditional medicine practitioners. But little did the two unsuspecting women know that their job would include massaging people’s feet at a reflexology outlet. They were promised by agents from both China and Malaysia a basic salary of RM1,800, including coverage of medical bills by the company. “We were told to pay RMB 18,000 (RM9,000) for the purpose of getting legal documents including work permits and a visa but that time we only paid RMB 5,000 (RM2,500),” said one of the victim Zhu Xinhong, 24. The rest of the money was supposed to be deducted from their salaries once they started working in Malaysia. They arrived in Kuala Lumpur on April 30 and started work on May 1 at the company’s outlet in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang. According to their contract, food expenses for the first three months would be covered by the employer and now the women are finding it difficult to make ends meet. “They do not give us a fixed salary, sometimes they pay us RM1,400 and sometimes RM500 a month but they have not got us legitimate work papers,” said another victim Qiu Meijuan, 24.
Unable to stomach the problems any longer, the women sought the help of Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng who held a press conference yesterday. Lim said both women entered the country using tourist visas which expired in June. But they cannot go home as the employer is holding their passports. Both the workers who appealed to the Chinese Embassy were told to surrender themselves at the Immigration Department due to the visa expiry date. “If they were to surrender, they would be locked up for an indefinite period. But, if they can buy their own flight tickets then they will be escorted to KLIA immediately,” added Lim. In order for Qiu and Zhu to return home, they want their employer to pay for the air fare, give them the balance of their salary and return their passports. “There are four other Chinese nationals with us in Bukit Tinggi suffering the same fate,” added Zhu.
Under section 12 (1) (f) of the Passports Act 1966, any person without lawful authority having in his possession a passport belonging to another, the person can be liable to a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or five years’ jail or both. The same fine is applicable for those who have exceeded their visa or permit in Malaysia under Section 15 of the Immigration Act 1959/63. “I will discuss this issue with the employer. They were supposed to get back to me last Tuesday but they have failed to do so,” added Lim.
However, later in the day, a man claiming to be the owner of the chain of outlets visited Lim at his service centre. He claimed that both the women were troublemakers and the management had caught them doing illegal activities at the centre. “So we took disciplinary action by cutting their salaries,” he said. The man added that he did not have the women’s passports. He said an agent who is now getting work permits for them was holding on to them. “But that does not change the fact the women were brought in with tourists visas and the visas have expired, thus making it illegal,” Lim said.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Noh: More study needed on managing tolled highways

Source: (30/10/2009)
The Government is in its second stage of studying issues related to the managing of tolled highways, said Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. These included profit and loss, performance of the concessionaires, highway traffic proposal and the impact of building tolled highways had on development along the economic corridors and its multiplying effects for the country’s economy, he said.
Nor said this in a written reply to Tan Kok Wai (DAP – Cheras) and Lim Lip Eng (DAP – Segambut) on the progress since the Govern-ment announced it would study the possibility of taking back the management of highways.
He said the study was being refined to ensure that the Government’s action could be implemented with minimal financial implications. It should also not disturb the market sentiment and long-term local and international investments, he added. “This thorough and deep study was important for finding the best long-term solution for all parties.”
At the same time, the Government had introduced two short-term solutions – not raising certain toll rates while introducing the 20% rebate to frequent Touch ‘n Go users, he said.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Parliament: KPI for 1Malaysia F1

Source: (26/10/2009)
The Malaysian Formula 1’s performance was hotly discussed Monday in the House and it was suggested that a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) be created to measure the team’s success.
“Can the Government give an assurance to the people that it will not bail out the 1Malaysia F1 team if it suffers huge losses and cannot continue on its own? What if the team comes in last in the F1? This would bring embarrassment to Malaysians,” said Lim Lip Eng (Segambut-DAP) in his supplementary question to the Youth and Sports Ministry. "Since this project involves the policy and slogan ‘1Malaysia’ that was launched by the Prime Mnister, where the people come first and performance is a priority, would the Government monitor the KPI of the team and announce it to the public?” he said.
Datuk Razali Ibrahim (Muar-BN) replied that the name for the F1 team would be revealed after it has got sponsors and it would not necessarily use the slogan “1Malaysia. Maybe we would use ‘1Malaysia Lotus F1’ team. The Prime Minister said that support would be given because it is an initiative by a local company. “Naturally, all initiatives done for Malaysia will continue to receive support from the Government, and the Government will continue to ensure that the decision made is a success for the people,” he said. Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (BN-Kota Belud) also suggested that a KPI could be created to gauge not only the team’s performance on the podium but also its effectiveness in promoting the country as a tourist destination. Razali defended the F1 initiative, claiming that the exposure Malaysia gains from its F1 team would save the country millions in advertising expenditure. “The exposure would be enormous. For now, we have to pay RM1mil for a one-minute advertisement in Japan. With the F1 team, we have huge advertisement time,” he claimed.
Earlier, Lim asked the ministry to reveal the Government’s investment in the project and whether it would be financially beneficial to the Government over the next five years.
Razali said the country would benefit from the branding and marketing strength of the F1 sport which has about 600 million fans worldwide and is one the most popular sports around. “With telecasts several times a year in strategic locations worldwide, this would promote Malaysia continuously to stimulate our tourism industry. “Malaysia will also be proud of the F1 car as it is produced locally and its components are from Malaysia. This would increase the profiles of local companies and also boost the world’s confidence in sophisticated Malaysian technology. The 1Malaysia F1 Team would also provide space to develop and expand local talent in automotive and motor sports,” he said.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Councillor cries foul over MACC's conduct again

Source: (Andrew Ong, 25/10/2009)
Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Hwa is again crying foul over how he was treated by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers during his interrogation in July. His latest complaint was based on de facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz's statement in the Dewan Rakyat that witnesses or suspects who are not arrested cannot be treated like detainees. In his reply during question time on Oct 20, Nazri said witnesses should not be "controlled" or have their movements followed by MACC officers. But in Tan's case, he was allegedly tailed by MACC officers wherever he went while being held for questioning overnight at the Selangor MACC headquarters in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, on July 15. The MACC 'escorts' even followed him to the toilet and pantry. Tan claimed that one officer had tried to eavesdrop on his telephone conversation with his family members. "I told him I was just letting my family know I won't be released that night. "But the officer said I was lying and that he understood Mandarin," he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur. This continued until the following day, claimed Tan, when he was having breakfast with another witness in the pantry. "I was speaking in Mandarin to another witness, but the officers stopped us and forced us to speak in Bahasa Malaysia," he said.
Lawyer: No remedy

Meanwhile, Segambut MP and Tan's legal counsel Lim Lip Eng said based on Nazri's revelation in the Dewan Rakyat, what MACC did to his client was illegal. "It is clear cut that they were against the law, or maybe, the officers don't know the law," he said. Lim added that he would send a letter of demand tomorrow to the MACC to request for an identification parade so his client could pick out the officers. However, he complained that there appeared to be no remedy prescribed in the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission Act 2009 for this, other than reporting to the commission's complaints committee. Tan was called in by the Selangor MACC as a witness in the ongoing probe against Pakatan Rakyat state reps for alleged misappropriation of state funds. Previously, he claimed that he was threatened during the marathon 15-hour interrogation session.

Friday, October 23, 2009

DBKL to act on traffic congestion issue at Jalan Segambut

During a meeting held on 26/5/2009 between Members of Parliament of Kuala Lumpur and city hall mayor Dato’ Ahmad Fuad Ismail, mayor promised me to look at (melihat) and to act on the traffic issue in Jalan Segambut. That was five months ago. Today, I received from city hall a minute of the meeting but the issue is still unsolved.
Ahli Parlimen Segambut memohon penjelasan bagi perkara-perkara berikut:-
Jalan di Kg Segambut Dalam yang mengalami kesesakan. Pemaju telah menyerahkan jalan tersebut kepada DBKL namun tiada sebarang tindakan daripada DBKL.
Y.Bhg. Dato’ Pengerusi menjelaskan DBKL akan melihat kembali aduan tersebut dan mengambil tindakan sewajarnya.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parliamentary answer on Penan rape or it’s just a joke

21 Oktober 2009
Lim Lip Eng minta Menteri Dalam Negeri menyatakan status siasatan polis dalam laporan Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peringkat Kebangsaan Bagi Menyiasat Dakwaan Penderaan Seksual Terhadap Kaum Penan di Sarawak dan mengapa tiada tindakan terhadap Ketua Menteri Sarawak yang enggan menyiasat perkara ini apabila aduan mulai dibuat pada tahun lalu.
My question in Parliament today was for Menteri Dalam Negeri to reply but somehow the Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat grabbed it. Below is the answer or no answer:-
Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peringkat Kebangsaan Bagi Menyiasat Dakwaan Penderaan Seksual terhadap Wanita Kaum Penan di Sarawak yang ditubuhkan oleh Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat (KPWKM) pada 8 Oktober 2008 adalah bertujuan untuk menyiasat dakwaan eksploitasi seks ke atas wanita dan pelajar perempuan kaum Penan di Sarawak oleh pekerja suarikat pembalakan.
Antara hasil laporan tersebut ialah bahawa dakwaan mengenai penderaan seksual di kalangan kanak – kanak perempuan dan wanita Penan oleh orang luar yang berurusan dengan kaum Penan termasuk pekerja syarikat pembalakan dan peniaga–peniaga memang berlaku.
Sehubungan ini, Laporan Jawatankuasa Bertindak tersebut telah dikemukakan kepada pihak Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) selaku Ahli Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peringkat Kebangsaan Bagi Menyiasat Dakwaan Penderaan Seksual Terhadap Kaium Wanita Penan di Sarawak. PDRM juga telah menubuhkan Pasukan Penyiasat Khas yang bertanggungjawab menyiasat kes ini. Pihak Kementerian dimaklumkan bahawa pada masa ini Pasukan Penyiasat Khas masih lagi menjalan siasatan.
Siasatan ke atas dakwaan kanak–kanak perempuan dan wanita Penan adalah di bawah bidang kuasa PDRM dan bukannya YAB Ketua Menteri Sarawak.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mental tests put off over lawyers' presence

Source: By Hazlan Zakaria, 19/10/2009
Family members of deceased political aide Teoh Beng Hock today refused to take part in interviews with psychiatrists after they were denied the right to have their lawyers or close family members present during the tests. Teoh's fiancee Soh Cher Wei, his parents and two siblings were to have been interviewed by psychiatrists at the Psychiatric and Mental Health Department at Selayang Hospital this morning. His friend Woo Chuan Sing is to be interviewed separately. The interview was to be conducted by a panel of three doctors comprising Dr Bada'iah Yahya, Dr Nor Hayati Ali and Dr Chee Kok Yun.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who accompanied them, said, “We were here for the appointment even before 11am. However it was over before it could even begin.” Just prior to the sessions, doctors informed them that closed interviews would be held and that these are not open to lawyers or family members. Lim said this came as a surprise because they had been informed by the family's lawyer Gobind Singh Deo – who represents them in the ongoing inquest into Teoh's death – that the coroner had allowed a lawyer or close family member to accompany those being interviewed. Suggesting a compromise, the Segambut MP said that he and Teoh's family members asked for copies of the transcript of the interview or the audio recording. However, he said the doctors flatly refused, saying that they are only allowed to release the transcript and recording to the deputy public prosecutor (DPP). As a result, the family members refused to take part in the tests unless their lawyers or a family member are present. Lim (left) stressed: “This is not a cancellation, it is only a postponement. We will wait for a new date to be fixed for the tests pending clarification from coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas.” He said Dr Nor Hayati had told him this is the first time forensic psychiatry is being used in criminal investigation in Malaysia, and that the panel of experts had submitted a proposal to the coroner when asked to help in the case. Their proposal included suggestions on the right way to conduct interviews, and a request to interview all those connected to the case, especially Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers involved in questioning Teoh. “Dr Nor Hayati said this is the only way to profile all those involved and determine indications of guilt or wrongdoing. But she said an order was then issued to the doctors to only interview Teoh's family,” he said, speculating that this could have been issued by the DPP.
'Family sad and angry'
Lim said there is no need for psychiatric interviews to determine the state of mind of Teoh's family members - they want it to be known that they are in “utter sadness” and “very angry”. He explained that this is because MACC had made “false accusations” by saying that Teoh had committed suicide; that he had an intimate relationship with his housemate; and that he could not afford to finance his wedding. Teoh's sister revealed that the savings account balance that MACC had revealed was not the only source of money he had. “He had over RM20,000 in a fixed deposit account even before he became political secretary,” she said.
Teoh, the political secretary of state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was taken in for questioning on July 15 by the MACC as a witness in its investigation into the alleged abuse of constituency funds by certain elected representatives in Selangor. His body was found the next day on the fifth floor verandah of the Plaza Masalam building. The MACC has its office on the 14th floor.

Car gift to Liow's wife: Case passed to MACC

Source: (19/10/2009)
Police have referred to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) the report lodged against the wife of Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai pertaining to allegations contained in a letter published on the Internet. MACC's deputy chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed confirmed today that police had referred the case to the MACC and that the commission was looking into it. "We have received the information from the police. We are studying the report and will investigate the matter," he told reporters. He declined to elaborate on the issue, saying there was a need to protect confidentiality in the investigations. "Be patient and don't speculate on anything. Let us do our job," he said.
Yesterday, Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng lodged a police report against Liow's wife Lee Su Loo pertaining to allegations in the unsigned letter that she received a multi-purpose vehicle from a company often involved in the ministry's projects.
Liow however today rejected the allegations, claiming that the allegations were made with malicious intent. Speaking to reporters in Parliament today, the newly appointed MCA deputy president said it was a case of political assassination and was linked to the ongoing power struggle in MCA. He however refused to accuse anyone openly.
Liow lodges police report
Later in the day, Liow released a press statement to state that he had lodged a police report over the allegations made against his wife (above). The report was lodged against Internet portal Malaysia Today which first reported the allegations. "As a politician I know such allegations are politically motivated. I want the police to investigate the matter and I will fully cooperate with the police and the MACC," he said in the statement which was issued in Mandarin. He also said that he felt hurt and angry with the allegations against his wife. He also added that he will be taking legal actions against those who continued to spread the slander.
In another development, Lim told reporters that Liow had bumped into him at the toilet in the Parliament and had thanked him for making the police report. "He said the police report would help him clear his name," the DAP politician told reporters.
- Bernama

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DAP man wants cops to probe graft allegations against MCA’s Liow

Source: by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, 18/10/2009
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng wants police to investigate MCA’s newly appointed deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai over graft allegations posted on the Malaysia Today website. The website alleges an inappropriate relationship between the Health Minister and a company which has dealings with the ministry. “We are lodging a police report today because we want to find out the truth ... whether the allegations posted on Malaysia Today on October 14 are true, or whether it is fabricated,” said Lim, who was accompanied by Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo-Burne at the Sentul police station here today. Lim said he had waited till today to lodge a report because he wanted the health minister to answer the allegations. He claimed that after waiting for five days, no answer had been given by Liow over the matter. “We have no concerns at all with MCA internal fighting. We don’t bother and do not want to interfere,” said the Pakatan Rakyat MP. “It is understood that the letter was penned by a self-proclaimed “Ong Tee Keat Supporter.”
When asked why was the report not lodged with the MACC, Lim said that they were uncertain of the validity of the letter. “We don’t know if it’s true. If it is, the police should forward the investigation to the MACC. If it is false, the police should take action against the publisher as well as the writer of the article.”
The Segambut MP felt that the letter looked authentic as it was very detailed, and this view was echoed by Kelana Jaya MP Loh. “I hope that the police will do their job and come up with the facts. What we are asking for is a bit more transparency so that we know whether the allegations are true or not,” said Loh.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Deepavali 2009

Lim Lip Eng wishes all Malaysians a Happy Deepavali while he went to greet residents at TTDI longhouses this morning. The longhouses have been “temporarily” moved there since 28 years ago during which government has made various “real houses” promises to them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My question on PKFZ

“Lim Lip Eng minta Menteri Pengangkutan menyatakan selepas laporan SPRM, PDRM dan tindakan mahkamah dibuat, apakah rancangan dalam dua tahun terdekat bagi memulihkan PKFZ kepada keadaan yang mendatangkan untung, berapa yuran guaman telah dibayar dalam tindakan mahkamah berkaitan isu ini.”
The question was supposed to be answered in Parliament on 19.10.2009, the first day when Parliament reconvenes. However, and for unknown reason, it can only be asked in Parliament on 1.12.2009, a long seven weeks later.

PKFZ on Parliament back-burner?

Source: (14.10.2009)
The government has been 'saved' the hassle of having to immediately answer two questions on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal when Parliament reconvenes on Monday. Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang said two oral questions submitted by him and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng for response on the first day of the Dewan Rakyat sitting will only be heard at the tail end of the proceedings. "My question [...] has been kicked off to seven weeks later to Dec 3 [...] as if the PKFZ scandal is a trivial and inconsequential matter," he complained, noting that Lip Eng's question is only due to be answered on Dec 1. Kit Siang (left) had sought the outcome of a 2007 cabinet decision that instructed the chief secretary, economic planning unit and Prime Minister's Department to look into various irregularities in the PKFZ project "including unlawful issue of four Letters of Support".
"Why isn't the prime minister ready to answer this question on Monday? This has reinforced my reservations about the Super Task Force on the PKFZ set up by the cabinet early (last month and) headed by the chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan," the DAP leader said in a statement today. "The question that needs answer is what has happened to the cabinet decision two years ago that the chief secretary should head an investigation into the PKFZ scandal, including 'determining the type of misconduct or criminal element on the part of individuals or entities involved in the project and recommending actions to be taken against them'." Kit Siang, claiming he does not want to get involved in intensifying the ongoing MCA power struggle, noted that many see any departure of party president and Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat" (right)as the effective end for any full accountability and transparency of the mother of all scandals". "Are all the cabinet ministers [...] prepared to give a categorical commitment that there will be no compromise in the full disclosure of the PKFZ scandal, whatever happens to the MCA power struggle?" he asked.
Police reports and law suits
The scandal came to a head last year when Ong commissioned an audit by Price Waterhouse Coopers into the PKFZ project. Its report exposed major inconsistencies and instances of potential wrongdoing. The Port Klang Authority and Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the turnkey developer, have since engaged in filing police reports and defamation suits against each other. The Najib administration, meanwhile, has been accused of trying to bury a full investigation in bureaucracy, by delegating the task to a high-powered task force. The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has been carrying out its own probe into the cost over-runs of the project.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jungle colony worrying residents

Photo from Guang Ming Daily 11/10/2009
Our play area: This looks like a makeshift playground amid the wooden homes in one of the foreign colonies that the residents ventured into
The presence of a settlement of foreigners hidden in the jungles of Kepong hill, near Segambut, is causing much fear and concern among residents in the area. The hill is a popular spot for joggers and trekkers, but deeper into it are wooden huts and houses sheltered by bushes and overgrown trees. Angus Ng, who lives in Taman Flora Impian housing area just a short distance down the foothill, said many residents and their families felt their safety was being threatened by the existence of the foreigners. “As we are a guarded community, our security personnel said these foreigners would come down from the hill in the wee hours of the morning. Even one of our security men was threatened and slashed,” said Ng, who is the Flora Impian action committee pro tem chairman. “What we want is for the authorities to take action to demolish the settlement, and take the landowner to court if the squatters being harboured here are indeed illegals,” he said. It is learnt that the hill also connects to various other residential townships including Sg Penchala, Desa ParkCity, Bukit Lanjan, Bukit Segambut, Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said from his own experience of climbing up the hill recently, he could hear chirping noises like that of birds before reaching the area, only to learn later that the sounds were made by humans. “The sounds are made by colony members to alert their own people that there are ‘outsiders’ like us coming in,” said Lim. A resident said there were probably more than 50 wooden houses for this one colony, including a place of worship heavily guarded by dogs. We believe there are more entrenched deeper,” the resident said.
Sentul OCPD Asst Comm Zakaria Pagan said he would immediately check on the matter and take the necessary action. “If these foreigners are involved in crime, we will take action. If they are illegals, we have to seek the assistance of the Immigration Department. But we are not the only ones responsible to book them as the City Hall and other authorities are involved, too,” he said.
Source: (By LIM CHIA YING, 12/10/2009)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Illegal telco tower taken down

2 months ago, one Telco company built a telecommunication transmitter tower at the Segambut Desa community hall without approval from city hall. The hall is used by and under the control of a local Umno branch despite the fact that it was built for community purpose. The transmitter tower was installed secretly overnights behind the residents’ knowledge and the site is located less than 20 meters away from a public school. Residents and school parents were aggrieved. I lodged a formal complaint to city hall on 7.8.2009 for explanation who allowed the illegal project and who was pocketing monthly rent from the telco company.
Today, exactly 2 months after my complaint, the tower was taken down. However, and in obvious dilemma, city hall still could not answer me who was the culprit and beneficiary of the project.
If it had got approvals from all relevant bodies before it was erected, I would happily accept it in light of the fact that mobile phones are a necessity in the current world.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ramshackle homes an eyesore on the road

Permanent: Some of the 14 shacks that have been built at the site.

Unfinished: A backlane in between the houses.
Source: (By JAYAGANDI JAYARAJ, 1.10.2009)
A row of shacks along Jalan Duta near Kampung Segambut Dalam in Kuala Lumpur has become an eyesore for those who come into the city through the North-South Highway. The 14 houses are built eight months ago by Indonesians with permanent resident (PR) status on a land that belongs to a Malaysian.
Resident Jaafar Sawar, 42, said they were renting the land from a Malaysian owner. The rent amounts to RM200 for each house. Jaafar, who has been in Malaysia since 1985, said he spent RM40,000 building his three-room, zink-roofed house. “I am looking after this place. Every month I collect the RM200 rental from the others and pass it to the owner,” he said. He added that the land had been lying idle. The residents, however, did not obtain any building permits from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). “It is on private land, so what we do on it is supposed to be up to us,” Jaafar said. However, four months ago, they were issued notices of demolition by the DBKL for building illegal structures. “The landowner went to sort things out with the DBKL and, so far, nothing has happened. “DBKL officers have visited several times to take pictures of the place but nothing else has been done,” he said Before this, the residents were living at a different plot of land in the area.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said the Indonesian colony in the Segambut area was huge and the new colony was not the only one. Most of the homes are built on private land owned by Malaysians and then rented out to Indonesians with PR status. “They hold red identification cards so it is difficult for them to buy a house of their own. They are not big income earners, and therefore can’t afford to buy homes. “Looking at their financial status, banks will not give them loans and that is why they have resorted to building their houses like this,” Lim said.