Thursday, October 24, 2013

300,000 – that’s the number of red IC holders in Malaysia, says Zahid Hamidi

Source: (BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY, 23/10/2013)
There are almost 300,000 people in the country who are holders of red identification cards with permanent resident’s status.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (BN-Bagan Datoh) said today that up to September this year, the number of red IC holders with PR status numbered 295,601.
Out of this, 9,472 are Malays; 21,530 Chinese; and 30,619 Indians. Those categorised as “others” however make up the majority, numbering 233,980.
"The granting of a Malaysian citizen status to an individual is the highest accord from the Federal Government, which is not something given out freely to applicants," he said in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut).
Ahmad Zahid said the citizenship is only granted to those who qualify as stated under Section 3 of the Federal Constitution.
"However, one has to note that the burden to prove their worthiness of citizenship falls upon the applicants themselves."
He said the government would only give consideration based on documents submitted as well as provisions in the law at material time. - October 23, 2013.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Locals fume over new incinerator, launch petition

The action group Kepong Jinjang Anti-Incinerator Committee launched a signature campaign today to press for greater public consultation over the government's plans to construct a waste incinerator in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.
"The committee feels strongly worried and dissatisfied as this project involves the people’s health and will cause a great negative impact on the air quality.
"For this reason, we urge the related ministries to suspend the project to construct an incinerator in densely populated urban areas, review the feasibility of incineration and discuss the alternatives of non-incineration," said the group’s chairperson Martin Shek in a press statement after a press conference in Kepong this morning.
Invited to the press conference were Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng.
According to Shek, as part of the signature campaign, flyers will be distributed and small exhibitions will be organised to raise awareness among the residents about the harm produced by incinerators.
“We began the collection of signatures this morning at Kepong Baru Pasar Pagi. We will go to different places every day to collect signatures,” Shek said, adding they had not set a target for the number of signatures.
“We want to collect as much as possible. The more signatures, the louder the voice of the people,” said Shek.
Eight conditions
Shek said the group will send the petition to Parliament, hoping that concerned MPs will receive the petition and fight for their cause in the House.
The date of handing in the petition is yet to be confirmed.
Last June, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Taman Beringin, Kepong had been proposed as the location for the incinerator to be constructed. Kepong is a densely populated residential area in the northern part of the city.
Today the anti-incinerator committee demanded the related ministry fulfill eight conditions before proceeding with the project:
1. The project must be tendered transparently and the contractors must provide all details of the incinerator model
2. Publish the Environmental Impact Assessment report as soon as possible
3. Conduct dialogues with the people, seek the people’s opinion and take the people’s wishes as the highest priority
4. Develop a general environmental policy and first run recycling programmes to reduce the risk of toxic substances released through incineration
5. The processing method of the bottom ash must be made known to the public.
6. Ensure there are a number of professionals involved in the project to guarantee the safe running of the incinerator.
7. The operating cost must be announced to the public.
8. The location of the incinerator must be situated far away from densely populated urban areas at a minimum radius of 50km away. The project must also receive the consent of the residents in the area.
Many areas affected
Shek quoted a research that it is a common misconception that things simply disappear when they are burned. In fact, matter cannot be destroyed but merely changes its form. Incinerators convert waste materials to other forms. These newly created chemicals can then re-enter the environment as contaminants in gas forms. Some of the emitted chemicals are carcinogenic (cancer-causing), others such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide causes respiratory problems, and even contaminating local soil and vegetation with dioxins and heavy metals.
Those residing near incinerators are potentially exposed to chemicals through inhalation of contaminated air or consumption of contaminated agriculture produce. Exposure or living close to incinerators - such as Kepong, Selayang, Sentul, Gombak, Puchong, Ampang, Wangsa Maju, Mont Kiara and Petaling Jaya - could cause bodily harm, he warned.
Shek expressed his concerns and disatisfaction over the construction of the incinerator in Kepong and urged the people to join them to spread the awareness.
'We encourage everyone to join us as volunteers, to help us collect signatures and spread the news to every corner," said Shek.
Related news: 'Ungrateful' Kepong voters deserve incinerator

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No to Pandas, Yes to Rhinos

Source: (By P Ramani 14/10/2013)
The government should not spend on lavish Panda projects but re-direct the money to saving Sumatran Rhinos instead, says Segambut MP.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng wants the government to disclose the annual expenditure to upkeep the two Pandas for the next 10 years. The government would need to pay the fee to the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), for the loan of a pair of Pandas, loaned to Malaysia by China as a form of goodwill. The DAP MP said that the Malaysian government entered into an agreement with the CWCA on June 16, 2012, to lease a pair of Giant Pandas for 10 years. The pair – Feng Yi (female) and Fu Wa (male) are expected to arrive in Malaysia at the end of this year.
It was disclosed by the Natural Resources and Environment (NRE)  that veterinary officers will be sent for special training skills on Panda grooming in China, Singapore and Thailand.
At a cost of RM 24.9 million, the Panda Exhibition Hall housed at Zoo Negara is expected to be completed on November 2013. Construction costs of the exhibition hall is funded by the government with donations from a private company. The NRE Ministry however did not disclose the name of the donating company. MAS Cargo Sdn Bhd will sponsor  transportation of the Pandas from Chengdu to Kuala Lumpur.
The Zoo Negara has also purchased an approximate, RM 600,000 (for two ) per year insurance for the Pandas.
Lim is asking the Malaysian government to disclose the total cost that will be incurred over the 10 year lease but the NRE Ministry has failed to furnish details in their written parliamentary reply to him.
Promote and Save Sumatran Rhino
According to Lim, he will persist with his questions and will bring the issue up again, during the next parliamentary session scheduled for next week. Referring to an unknown report, Lim said the Pandas in Chiangmai, Thailand incurred an estimated annual lease cost of RM6.36 million.
The two endangered Pandas are on a 10 year loan from CWCA to commemorate strong diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia.
The New Straits Times reported that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had requested for the Pandas during a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jian Bao to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. China is famous for its ‘Panda diplomacy’, using the Pandas as diplomatic gifts.
The Segambut MP wants the government to re-direct its spending towards saving the Sumatran Rhino instead. This local animal species is deemed due for extinction in the near future.
According to Lim there are only an estimated 100 Sumatran Rhino’s left in the surrounding jungles of Sabah Borneo and “we would be saving our local animal species.”
Related news:

Fence to prevent trespass

Source: (By DAWN CHAN | 3/10/2013)
BACK TO WORK: National Landscape Department has resumed work to complete some 20 per cent of the remaining 20 per cent of the structure
KUALA LUMPUR: A YEAR after the construction of a metal fence at the Bukit Kiara park came to a halt last August, the National Landscape Department has resumed work to complete  remaining 20 per cent of the  structure. Last year, the then Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung issued a stop-work order following protests by non-governmental organisations that the fencing work is affecting the environment. The department's technical and special project unit director Nurshikhah Daud, in an email to Streets recently, said the remaining work was allowed after Cabinet approval.
"The fence is to prevent trespass and illegal settlement at the park. Work resumed in August and is expected to be completed by year's end," she said.
On work on the hanging bridge, Nurshikhah said the project has been included in the upgrading of the family zone of the park and that work has commenced.
The issue of the metal fence was also raised in Parliament recently by Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng who questioned its necessity.
Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan gave six reasons for it in a written reply. Rahman said the fence stands at four metres high. The six reasons are to ease security control of visitors by enforcement agencies, to curb illegal settlement, to control and prevent trespassers and illegal rubber tapping, to control boundary trespassing by the neighbouring land owners, to ease the process of land gazettement according to lot boundaries and surveyor plans, and to ease the government's effort to implement development and make the park a world-class arboretum. It also includes the conservation and preservation of the environment and the Sungai Penchala water source.
Rahman also said the ministry, through the department, had hosted talks last August and October for the public and eight enforcement agencies, namely the Malaysian Rubber Board, police, City Hall, Immigration Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department, Public Works Department, the Land and Mines Department and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan).
The agencies had agreed that the construction of the fence be continued because work at the 188.9ha park does not hinder visitors from enjoying their daily recreational activities. It also makes the park much safer and organised. The department, with the cooperation with Perhilitan, has also created passageways for the wildlife there.
Rahman said that in June 2007, the Federal Government had decided to create a large public park to cater to the recreation needs of city dwellers.
Last Saturday, more than 2,000 people participated in the Walk to Save Bukit Kiara, organised by Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK), in protest against the National Landscape Department's decision to resume work on the fence.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Call for Putrajaya to explain duplicity of political appointments in public office

Source: (BY JOSEPH SIPALAN, 11/10/2013)
Lim Lip Eng said Putrajaya has so far not given any explanation as to why there is a need to have senior politicians fill in portfolios that are already covered. — Picture by Saw Siow FengKUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The government must justify the duplication of roles in appointing former and current politicians into public office, otherwise the appointments are merely a waste of public funds, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said today.
He said Putrajaya has so far not given any explanation as to why there is a need to have senior politicians fill in portfolios that are already covered by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration.
Referring to a written parliamentary reply by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Lim said the government is spending over RM174,000 a month just on the salaries and allowances for seven political appointees.
“If they have a solid reason for the appointments, I think the public will accept it. If not, it is just a waste of public funds,” he said at a press conference here.
Lim’s criticism comes at a time when the government is under fire for a laundry list of fiscal mismanagement as highlighted by the Auditor-General’s 2012 Report released earlier this month.
Among the issues raised by the report include over RM11 million overpaid to national telco Telekom Malaysia Berhad and the loss of some RM1.3 million in police assets, which inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar claimed had “fallen into the sea”.
In his written reply, Shahan had listed a host of familiar names among the seven political appointees, including ex-Information, Communication and Culture Minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim, who is now a social and cultural adviser to the government.
Also on the list were Umno’s Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis as the prime minister’s adviser and special envoy to the United States; ex-MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as special envoy to India and South India on Infrastructure; ex-MCA president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting as special prime ministerial envoy to China; and Umno’s Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum as a special prime ministerial adviser on the Northern Corridor economic project.
Completing the list were Tan Sri Dr Abdullah Md Zin as religious adviser to the prime minister and Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil as adviser on women’s entrepreneurial and professional development.
Their pay packages range from RM20,000 a month to RM27,227.20 a month, Shahidan had said.
The problem, Lim said today, was that all the appointees  except for Rais and ohd Johari held positions that were already being cared for by others who are in government.
He questioned Putrajaya’s special need for Jamaluddin, Samy Vellu or Ong, noting that Malaysia has long established embassies or high commissions in the US, India and China respectively.
The DAP lawmaker also queried Dr Abdullah’s appointment when Najib had already created a ministerial post under his Prime Minister’s Office to specifically handle Islamic affairs.
Lim added that Sharizat’s appointment made no sense as the Cabinet should not have accepted her resignation as women, family and community development minister in the first place if they felt she was an asset to the government.
“Why the duplicity in the roles? Does it mean that the existing people who are handling the portfolios cannot perform their jobs?” he said.
Related news: ‘Why appoint Samy, Ong as special envoys?’

Take me to court if I falsely accused Zahid: Lip Eng

 “Please arrest me if I’ve given false information to the police.”
This challenge comes from Lim Lip Eng, the Segambut MP,  to the police, if the authorities believe he has falsely accused Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of endorsing extra-judicial killing.
Lim said this after lodging a police report today, calling on the police to initiate an investigation into Zahid’s controversial “shoot first, ask questions later” remarks recently.
Lim said that if he were found guilty of providing false information under Section 177 of the Penal Code, he could be jailed up to two years.
“I’ve suggested several laws Zahid can be charged under in my report. But it’s likely the police will reply me with ‘’NFA” (No Further Action),” he said.
Speaking on the matter to the press yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dato Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim, who was present at the briefing last Saturday where Zahid is reported to have said the words in question, commented that he did not hear Zahid say those words.
However, Zahid defended his statement via twitter, claiming that his remark was taken out of context, and he was referring to the Penang shoot out in August.
He meant to say that police did the right thing to “shoot-CRIMINAL-first”.
Related news: MP dares police to charge him over Zahid's remark

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Zahid Hamidi for violating Penal Code, MP tells cops

Accusing Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of violating the Penal Code, DAP MP Lim Lip Eng has filed a police report to jumpstart an investigation on the home minister for purportedly endorsing extra-judicial killings and for his alleged links with the outlawed Tiga Line gang.
The Segambut MP also disagreed with ex-law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim who suggested that Ahmad Zahid cannot be punished for his “shoot first” remark as the home minister was espousing a government policy, claiming the police do not have such instructions as part of their standard operating procedure (SOP).
“No, I don’t think it’s a government policy. It’s not the SOP of the police. They don’t practise ‘shoot first without warning’,” the lawyer and federal lawmaker told The Malay Mail Online today, and added, “Zaid is wrong.”
Lim had lodged a police report last night against the home minister, whom he claimed to have breached several sections of the Penal Code for making the “shoot first” comment.
On Saturday, Ahmad Zahid reportedly advocated a “shoot first” policy for the police in dealing with suspected gang members in the wake of a violent crime spree that has resulted in Malays making up the majority of the victims. In his speech at a security briefing event with community leaders in Ayer Keroh, Malacca, Ahmad Zahid said there was nothing wrong with arresting the over 40,000 known gangsters in the country, half of whom are Indians.
“What is the situation of robbery victims, murder victims during shootings? Most of them are our Malays. Most of them are our race,” he was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini, based on a 20-minute audio recording of the speech.
“I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If (we) get the evidence, (we) shoot first,” he added, referring to suspected criminals.
Lim is also demanding a police probe on Ahmad Zahid for his alleged link to the “Tiga Line” gang, a society the Home Ministry had listed as a secret society. The Segambut MP suggested that the home minister, as a civil servant, had violated the Penal Code for withholding information about an illegal gang.
“He might withhold evidence if he knows the offenders. The Tiga Line gang is already known to be an illegal gang,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid was reported to have proclaimed friendship with members of a Malay non-government organisation (NGO) that were part of the Tiga Line secret society outlawed by his ministry earlier this year. While detailing the government crackdown on underworld figures at a security briefing with community leaders in Ayer Keroh, Malacca last Saturday, the home minister reportedly asserted the 6,000-plus Malay members of some gangs should not be lumped in the same category.
“The 6,171 Malays, they are not real thugs (samseng), they were Pekida members and were part of the Tiga Line group, Gang 30, Gang 7 — these are festivities (kenduri-kendara) gangsters,” Ahmad Zahid was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini, referring to members of NGO, Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia by its Malay acronym.
“I tell our Tiga Line friends, do what should be done,” he reportedly added, based on a 20-minute audio recording of the speech. Tiga Line was one of 49 secret societies the Home Ministry had named as banned in August in a crackdown on violent crimes following several shooting sprees nationwide. The home minister’s remark had triggered uproar from the opposition and rights groups who are now calling for his sacking.
Related news: DAP lapor polis terhadap Zahid Hamidi, ajak rakan lain buat laporan sama
Polis: Dua laporan dibuat terhadap Zahid Hamidi

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

No Impropriety Or Illegality In Late Declarations Of Charge Card Expenses, Says Khazanah

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 (Bernama) -- The government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, has denied any element of impropriety or illegality in the late declarations of charge card expenses by its staff. Khazanah said contrary to reports on comments made by DAP Member of Parliament for Segambut, Lim Lip Eng, there is no incidence of false claims or improper and unauthorised expenses concerning the late declarations as highlighted in the 2012 Auditor General's Report.
"The matter concerned is administrative in nature and involves delays in submitting documentation on work expenses by some staff members within the stipulated timeframe of two months of an expense being incurred; it does not involve false or improper expenses.
"It is to be noted that Khazanah imposes a salary deduction by the third month for any further delay, and the deductions are regularised upon submission of the necessary documentation," it said in a statement today.
Khazanah said it views with concern the insinuations and suggestions of unlawful or criminal conduct by its staff, attributed by Lim in his comments as quoted in media reports.
"In this regard, we hope this clarification will put to rest these concerns, and we would further add that we will not hesitate to take the necessary steps so as to protect our interests at all times," it said.
Khazanah said it views positively both the genuine concerns of the public and the various oversight measures placed on the state fund, including the National Audit Department's periodic audits, as a positive check and balance to strengthen its systems and performance.
"In this regard, we are pleased to note that the 2012 AG's Report concluded that overall, Khazanah's financial performance for the period from 2009 to 2012 was good.
"The management of its investment and divestment activities was systematic and adhered to all established procedures, and the management and monitoring of its investments were systematic and achieved the objectives set by the company," it said.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Police report against Khazanah and ministry

A police report has been lodged against Khazanah Nasional and the Youth and Sport Ministry over alleged misuse of funds.
Opposition MP Lim Lip Eng lodged a police report today against the government’s investment arm Khazanah Nasional and Youth and Sport Ministry over alleged misuse of funds worth RM2.86 million following the Auditor-General’s Report 2012.
Citing the report, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said the directors and executive officials of Khazanah Nasional who were granted American Express credit cards had not declared their monthly expenses despite being required to do so.
Some 106 cards with unlimited credit were issued between 2006 and December 2012, and the total unaccounted expenses had accumulated to a whopping RM1.26 million, the report said.
Khazanah, in its reply to the auditor-general, said it would take action to cancel a card should an individual still failed to settle the previous undeclared expenses after a given period.
Lim said such a move was akin to allowing a person who stole at a supermarket to apologise after getting caught at the car park.
“The staff should not break the rules by not declaring when they use the card. Now they cannot explain after being caught.
“Since Khazanah has to foot the bill, the staff must take responsibility,” he told reporters after lodging the police report.
On the second case targeting at the Youth and Sport Ministry, Lim said minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s statement on the RM1.6 million expenses to hire South Korean artistes had clashed with that of his predecessor, Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
Khairy had said the ministry was forced to foot the bill after the sponsors pulled out, contradicting Ahmad Shabery’s statement that the sponsor’s money would go through the ministry to the artistes.
“So has the ministry received the RM1.6 million? Where is the money gone?” he asked.
He urged the police to investigate the two reports for possible cheating, corruption and misappropriation of funds.
MP wants cops to probe Khazanah charge card spree -

Tuesday, October 1, 2013