Friday, November 29, 2013

In Memory of Murugan @ Murugeshu a/l Arumugam, Senior Selayang Counsellor and Politician:

Murugeshu passed away peacefully yesterday morning, he was my first political assistant. I never thought I would cry while writing this. I should have insisted on visiting him last month. My comrade, you will be missed dearly.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

22,320 foreigners allowed to stay in Malaysia as of Aug

KUALA LUMPUR: As of August, 22,320 foreign nationals have been allowed to stay in Malaysia under the 'Malaysia, My Second Home' programme (MM2H).
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said they were from 22 countries, including China, Japan, Bagladesh, United Kingdom and Iran.
The majority were from China (4,187), Japan (2,880), Bangladesh (2,603), United Kingdom (2,016) and Iran (1,266), he said in a written answer to a question by Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), distributed at the Parliament lobby today.
Yesterday, Lim had asked for statistics on foreign nationals who migrated to Malaysia under MM2H since it was introduced in 2002, and the proposal to increase conditions for participation in the programme.
Mohamed Nazri said the ministry had no plans to change the criteria for MM2H in the near future.
The programme was promoted to allow foreign nationals who met certain conditions to stay in Malaysia, as long as they wanted by using the multiple-entry social visit pass.
Initially, the social visit pass is for a 10-year period and renewable, but a foreign national who marries a Malaysian does not qualify and must obtain a spouse permit. -- BERNAMA

Lim: We may hold protest

Dewan gelak timbalan menteri kata tak semua perkara pakai logik

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kepong factory value up 886% in DBKL assessment revision exercise

"DBKL's property revaluation exercise is a mess."
DAP Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said this when revealing that a factory owner in his constituency received two property re-valuation notices, with the value raised by a whopping 886% in one notice and 540% in the other. The property was originally valued at RM9,000 and now from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has come out with two different valuation - RM79,800 and RM48,600. Both notices were issued on Nov 18 and the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is unsure as to how much assessment he should pay.
When Lim brought the case to DBKL's attention, officials said it is merely a 'proposed value" and asked the owner to submit his complains if he disagreed.
"So many irregularities have arisen from this re-valuation exercise. Houses on the same row are given different value, the methodology of re-valuation is unclear, owners getting conflicting notices.
"And DBKL can't even afford to hire a professional valuer to do the job! This proposal should be withdrawn altogether, " said Lim.
After the recent meeting among KL MPs, city mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib and Federal Territories Minister Datuk Sri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, city dwellers were told that the new valuations were determined by DBKL officers posing as potential tenant enquiring for rental rates, sales advertisement and input from real estate agents.
Lim has set up a booth to help residents fill up their complaint letter to DBKL, protesting against the assessment hike they deem "unreasonable". He collected over 500 letters within a few hours. The 1976 Local Government Act stipulates that DBKL must conduct an inquiry for each objection submitted to it.
"DBKL said that it has issued 507,800 notices, even if only half of the recipients object, which is about 250,000 people, is City Hall even capable to look into every case?
"Until and unless our country has reached high income nation status, there shouldn't be any increase in tax rate, not even a single sen. We want rates to remain statue quo"
He said that under the same legislation, assessment tax is capped at 35%.
"Although the federal territories minister said that assessment on residential areas will remain at 6%, commercial buildings at 12%, who knows if he will keep to his words?
"After all, the law allows them to collect as high as 35%. "
Moreover, the power to determine assessment rates is vested in the mayor and not the minister, Lim said,
"so how come Tengku Adnan is telling everyone that 'I will decide'? "
Lim also slammed DBKL for behaving in a "hush-hush" manner and keeping people in the dark on the decision making process.
Meanwhile, Taman Bukit Maluri Residents Association chairperson Ng Kok Piew said the new value determined by DBKL for single and double storey terrace houses in the housing estate located in Kepong were higher by 119% and 97% respectively. For one double- storey corner unit, the valuation has skyrocketed to 424% of its original value.
"This is way too much, we urge the residents to pick up a copy of complaint letter from their nearby guard house and send them to DBKL without further delay," said Ng.
Meanwhile, Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim also received scores of forms bearing signatures of residents in his constituency who are protesting the assessment rate hike. Speaking to the constituents, Abdul Khalid said people should not be subjected to more than 10% increase  in their assessment rates for the next five years. He said most people do not intend to rent or sell their houses, so the revaluation does not benefit them. Khalid, who is also menteri besar of Selangor, said he will try to advise the KL mayor based on his experiences in governing the state. "Inflation is not an excuse for assessment hike. If it is dependent on inflation rate, our country's Consumer Price Index which is around 3%... in 10 years should be 30%, not 300% like what DBKL have suggested."  
Abdul Khalid said DBKL's governance is weak because it did not conduct sessions to clarify the matter and disclose the revaluation method.
"The fact they don't take into account how the hike will burden the people and simply justify it with 'outdated rates' is not right.
"I will make sure the mayor channels tax revenue to improve lives of the people of Kuala Lumpur. I urge everyone to protest and demand for better services from DBKL." 

Related news: Confusion over proposed hike in assessment rate

DAP lawmaker raps City Hall for conflicting rate hike notices

Get professionals in, MP tells City Hall over growing assessment rate storm

Friday, November 22, 2013

Packed food products must have label on calorie content: Subramaniam

KUALA LUMPUR: It is compulsory for most packaged food products high in calorie content to bear energy value labels under the Malaysian Food Regulations 1985.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said under the regulation, the labelling of food covering energy content was compulsory for available food grains, bread and milk products.
Flour confectionary, salad sauce, light drinks, meat, fish and vegetables in can, canned fruits and special food such as baby formula, follow-up formula and others.
"However, food products which are not listed in the above categories can declare their calorie content by complying with the requirement stated in the related provision," he said in a written answer to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) which was distributed at the Parliament lobby here today.
Lim wanted to know if the government would make it compulsory for all food items to state calorie content and definition of obesity, according to age.
Dr Subramaniam said fast-food restaurants were also encouraged to give information to the customers on the calorie content in every food sold.
Meanwhile, he said the measurement for obesity in Malaysia for babies and children was based on the 'Body Mass Index' (BMI) chart for ages issued by the World Health Organisation.    
"A baby and child, aged 0 to five years, is obese when the BMI calculation exceeds the +3SD curve or line (z-skor). For a child aged five to 19, obesity is defined as the calculation of BMI exceeding the +2SD curve or line (z-skor)," he added.
He said the classification of obesity for adults was based on the BMI calculation, taking into account weight in kilogramme and height in metres.
"Those classified as obese have a BMI in excess of 30," noted the minister. -- BERNAMA

OSA surprise for KL MPs

Source: (By Soo Wern Jun and Pawan Al-Muzammel Ishak,, 21/11/2013)
Tengku Adnan (centre in blue tie) and Ahmad Phesal (left) meeting Kuala Lumpur MPs today.
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 21, 2013): When the 11 Kuala Lumpur MPs turned up at the City Hall (DBKL) tower for a meeting with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib, the last thing they expected was to be asked to sign an Official Secrets Act (OSA) form.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng stopped Tengku Adnan from starting with the meeting until an explanation was given.
"We are supposed to be discussing the planned assessment tax increment and the Kuala Lumpur City 2020 amended draft plan. Why were we asked to sign an OSA contract?
"We were there to discuss people-related issues. Don't tell me this is under the OSA," he said.
Lim also stated that the next assessment collection is estimated to give City Hall an additional RM400 million, over and above the RM400 million collected this year.
According to him, Tengku Adnan stated that the contract was to protect government officers during meetings.
However, when Lim asked to review the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 amended draft plan, he was not allowed to do so until he signed the OSA contract.
"It looked as though I was being held to ransom," said Lim, adding that the nine Pakatan Rakyat MPs refused to sign the form.
Lim also said he will raise this issue in the next Parliament meeting.
Meanwhile, Tengku Adnan said City Hall intends to make the city more self-sustainable.
"The federal government is giving us sufficient funds, but we'd rather raise most of our own funds," he said.
Ahmad Phesal gave assurance that City Hall will not burden Kuala Lumpur residents.
"We can legally increase the assessment rates up to 35% but we will not do it. We'll keep it at an affordable rate.
"Property owners have until Dec 17 to appeal if they find that the taxes are unfair," said Ahmad Phesal, adding that no decision has been made on the rate to be charged on property owners.
Related news: DBKL may reduce valuation amounts

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Parlimen: 70.8 Peratus Penjawat Awam Tanpa Ijazah - Shahidan

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 Nov (Bernama) -- Sebanyak 70.8 peratus atau 801,871 orang menyertai kumpulan pelaksana dalam sektor perkhidmatan awam tanpa kelayakan ijazah sarjana muda, kata Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Beliau berkata sebanyak 29.2 peratus atau 330,579 orang pula menyertai kumpulan pengurusan tertinggi dan profesional sektor itu dengan ijazah sarjana muda.
"Jumlah penjawat awam, tidak termasuk polis dan tentera, sehingga Oktober 2013 ialah 1,132,450 orang," katanya ketika menjawab soalan Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) pada persidangan Dewan Rakyat, di sini Isnin.
Lim bertanya mengenai jumlah penjawat awam setakat Oktober 2013 mengikut bangsa, jantina, mahasiswa, bukan mahasiswa dan bilangan yang perlu ditambah setiap tahun untuk lima tahun akan datang.
Shahidan berkata jumlah penjawat awam mengikut kaum ialah 77.4 peratus Melayu, Cina (6.2), India (4.1), bumiputera Sabah (6.6), bumiputera Sarawak (4.3) dan lain-lain kaum 1.4 peratus.
"Jumlah penjawat awam mengikut jantina pula ialah lelaki sebanyak 45.5 peratus manakala wanita 54.5 peratus," katanya.
Shahidan berkata pada masa ini, pertambahan perjawatan adalah bagi memenuhi keperluan negara khususnya bagi keselamatan, pendidikan dan kesihatan.
"Pendekatan penugasan semula dan tukar ganti pula digunakan bagi memenuhi fungsi dan tugas agensi," katanya. -- BERNAMA
Related news: It’s jobs for Malaysians, says Putrajaya in defending bloated civil service
Putrajaya defends bloated civil service, says providing jobs - See more at:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

MPs appalled over plan to increase KL assessment fees, residents complain

THE assessment re-evaluation by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has got property owners upset over discrepancies in the proposed rates. Kuala Lumpur MPs have been besieged with complaints from their constituents who have been told about an increase of 100% to 200% in the original assessment.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said a resident in his constituency highlighted the difference in the valuation of his property between the Stamp Office and DBKL.
“When we buy or sell a property, we pay stamp duty so the Stamping Office will have a record of this year’s and last year’s valuation. A resident in Kampung Kasipillay discovered the valuation by DBKL and the Stamping Office does not tally,” he said.
According to Lim, the difference is “rather significant” and the mark up is more than 100%. Lim plans to request for a property valuation for terrace houses in Kampung Kasipillay to determine their true value. He said residents from many housing estates were planning to campaign against the hike.
Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun said both residential and commercial units in his area were affected. “The rate of 6% for residential and 12% for commercial units is too high. Houses in old neighbourhoods such as Taman Seputeh and Taman Maluri would have cost around RM70,000 only 20 to 30 years ago. “Most of the residents are government servants and pensioners who cannot pay so much.
“The hike will also lead to an increase in rental rates,” said Fong, adding that he received complaints from a four-storey shoplot near Sungai Besi which now has to pay RM180,000 a year in rental compared to less than RM100,000 before.
Echoing his sentiments was Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai who said an increase of 200% was unreasonable. He said residents of low-cost link houses in Bukit Desa, Cheras faced an increase of 267%, while the rate hike for an empty shoplot in Tepian Loke Yew would be by 236%.
“Private housing owners in PPR Pudu Ulu are facing an increase of 192%. Property owners will not be able to absorb the new assessment rates and the burden will fall on tenants, whether residential or commercial.
“We would like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to intervene and put the review on hold,” Tan added.
Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong said a review should be done every few years instead of such a steep increase after 21 years. The announcement comes at a time when talk is rife that Tenaga Nasional Berhad is also planning to increase the electricity tariff. “Sugar and petrol prices have also gone up and the poor are suffering,’’ he said, adding that the increase should be reviewed and feedback obtained from all stakeholders.

Abandoned flats in Jalan Kuching now a haunt for drug addicts

A view of the abandoned units near the Jalan Kuching PKNS flats in Jalan Jambu Mawar. 
Many units were in a horrible state of decline with glass shards, bottles, wood and old furniture strewn all across the floor.
RESIDENTS and business operators living in the remaining 200 units in the PKNS flats along Jalan Jambu Mawar in Jalan Kuching, Kuala Lumpur are concerned about their safety and their property as almost 400 units in the area left abandoned have become a haunt for drug addicts and criminal activities. During a StarMetro visit to the area, many units were found to be in a deplorable condition, with waste such as bottles, broken furniture, used needles and other items strewn about. The metal piping and wiring in all the units have also been stripped bare by the vandals and addicts.
A motorcycle mechanic, who only wished to be known as Lim, said the units were abandoned about five years ago, and were now being used by drug addicts as their den, instilling fear among the remaining residents and business operators as there has been an increase in crime such as robbery, snatch theft and vandalism in the area.
“Even the telephone wiring to my shop has been stolen numerous times. Following complaints, Telekom Malaysia Bhd fixed new wiring but even this was ripped off.
“I was fed up and eventually disconnected the telephone service,” he said, adding that he had to also replace the water meter several times after it was stolen.
Rohit, 25, a sundry shop worker said this year alone, his shop had been robbed twice, once at knife point.
 “They took money, cigarettes and telephone prepaid cards. We are living in fear as they may strike again,” said the Bangladeshi worker.
Out of fear, most business operators in the area have resorted to closing shop by about 7pm.
The residents said they are also worried about their children’s safety. “After it gets dark, I keep them indoors, with the doors and windows closed.
“During the day, I warn my children not to play near the abandoned buildings,” said Sarimah Ibrahim, 44, a housewife.
When contacted, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said 15 blocks were built by the PKNS in the 1970’s, when the land was still part of Selangor. In 1975, 380 units were sold to the Defence Ministry and in 2008, the staff living in the flats moved to new quarters near Jalan Ipoh and the units have been left abandoned since then. Of the remaining five blocks, comprising 220 units, 216 were sold to the public, two units are still being rented out and two units serve as the PKNS site office.
He said the maintenance of the five blocks comprising Blocks E, F, G, H and J are still PKNS’ responsibility, while the 10 blocks comprising Blocks A, B, C, D, K, L, M, N, P and Q come under the Defence Ministry.
“I have written two letters to the then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi in 2010 asking about future plans for the abandoned units but never got a reply,” he said.
Lim said he hoped Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor would take some form of action, such as getting Kuala Lumpur City Hall to acquire the land for re-development.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Government to continue supporting national car manufacturers

GOVERNMENT aid and support will continue to be given to national car makers Proton and Perodua as they are regarded as national projects which contribute towards the development of the local automotive industry, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said Proton had sold almost 3.6 million units of vehicles up to September this year, while Perodua sold almost 2.4 million vehicles as at September this year, since the Kancil model was introduced in 1994.
In a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), Mustapa said assistance will also be extended to other qualified companies that manufacture or assemble automobiles, regardless of whether they are national car makers or otherwise.
Lim had asked the minister to provide the sales volume of car models produced by Proton and Perodua and whether the Government should continue to be involved in the two companies.
For Proton, Mustapa said the Iswara model recorded the highest number of sales with 1.139 million units sold since it was introduced to the market in 1985.

Govt justifies 200% assessment rate hike

Related news: Higher assessment: Too much for KL folks
DBKL raising assessment tax by up to 260pct, decry MPs

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Police have successfully arrested 18,349 suspected gang members from various outlawed groups

These gang leaders or members were arrested between Aug 17 and Oct 13 under the Operasi Cantas Khas (Ops Cantas) crackdown, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a Parliamentary reply to Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng in the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.
Lim had asked the Government to state the definition of 40,313 Malaysians who were listed as gang members and why they were not arrested yet.
In his reply, Ahmad Zahid said the police were still in the process of identifying the roles of these individuals in those banned societies or organisations.
“The total number of 40,313 in gangs refer to those who are part of the 49 gangs or society that were banned under the Societies Act 1966,” he said.
“The figure was obtained from intelligence as well as statements from gang members and heads after they were arrested under the Emergency Ordinance 1969 before it was abolished and through other police operations."
Zahid said as long as the authorities obtained adequate evidence against those arrested and it was agreed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, they would face charges in court.
“The allegation that the police have not arrested these gang members is baseless,” he added.
Related news: Arrest of over 18,000 suspects proves police action against secret societies – Zahid

Op Cantas Khas: 18,349 ditangkap setakat 13 Oktober

Continuous efforts to nab criminals

18,349 disyaki anggota kongsi gelap ditahan

Friday, November 8, 2013

Reveal who submitted doctored photo, gov't urged

PARLIAMENT The government has been asked to reveal the identity of the officer who had submitted allegedly fabricated evidence in the Batu Puteh international territorial dispute.
Debating the 2014 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) said this is because it may have undermined Malaysia's case resulting in the loss of the Batu Puteh, a rocky outcrop off the Johor coast, to Singapore.
"Who was this person who submitted the doctored photo as evidence at the International Court of Justice?" he asked.
Yesterday, Malaysiakini reported that former top cop Mat Zain Ibrahim had submitted a statutory declaration to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in the bid to urge him to set up a royal commission of inquiry on the Batu Puteh fiasco.
Mat Zain said the Malaysian delegation to the ICJ led by attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail had submitted as evidence a controversial photograph that was retrieved from an anonymous blog.
Gov't to respond to MPs
The photograph showed Batu Puteh's proximity to Malaysia but Singapore's legal team challenged its authenticity.
Mat Zain described the submission of the "concocted" photograph as a form of deception that had severely hurt Malaysia's case.
The dispute over Batu Puteh began in 1980. Eventually, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to resolve the matter before the international court.
In May 2008, the court comprising 16 eminent judges ruled in Singapore's favour.
The government is expected to address queries raised by MPs during the Budget debate in the Dewan Rakyat next week.