Does Zahid know what the implications are to recruit 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers?

Press Statement by YB Haniza Talha, ADUN Taman Medan dated 13 Feb 2016

Zahid Hamidi must prove the need to recruit 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers over a period of three years. According to a report by the Malaysian Employers Federation dated December 2014, there are already 2.9 million legal foreign workers in Malaysia. Our Malaysian population is slightly more than 31 million at the moment. With an additional 1.5 million workers, that would total 4.4 million workers or 14 percent of our population. With this figure, the number of foreign workers in Malaysia is already more than our Malaysian of Indian descent.

If Zahid claims that businesses requested for these foreign workers and not the government, then is it not because of the levy that Zahid is pushing for this deal to be inked as soon as the cabinet approves it? On top of that, our national registry is still not very updated, with many errors that might accidentally happen and simply filed under the Official Secrets Act after that.

It is a known fact that that our country is facing an economic slowdown at the moment and to say that we need so many foreign workers is like saying that we are overflowing with wealth. Our own people already do not have enough, need to take up two jobs to survive, yet the DPM wants to bring in more people to share our subsidised rice, petrol, sugar and other essential items meant for locals? How can the construction industry be flourishing in this climate of uncertainty, if I may ask? Already investors are either merging or pulling out from our country, but Zahid says we need more workers. Where is the logic? I demand that the DPM explain this illogical move. Has the government made a study on how locals can be employed rather than accepting more foreigners?

When foreign workers earn our ringgit, which at the moment is subjected to a minimum wage of RM1000 per month in the peninsular and RM920 for those in Sabah Sarawak and Labuan, we will see an increased outflow of our ringgit when money is remitted back to their home countries. It was also reported during parliament in November 2013 that RM48 billion was sent through legal channels between 2010 and 2012 and that the figure doubled from RM10 billion in 2009 to RM20 billion in 2012.

All these are official figures. Now let’s just imagine the unreported and unregistered numbers.

I would like to stress that this is, again, a failure in proper planning and management. Zahid has got it completely wrong this time and the scariest part is that he is the DPM with a lot of influence and power. We can only hope that the cabinet has good conscience to reject this very, very bad proposal to accept 1.5 million more foreign workers.

 

YB Haniza Talha
ADUN Taman Medan
Timbalan Ketua Wanita Keadilan

An Emperor Prime Minister is a Threat to Malaysia’s Parliamentary Democracy

There seems to be no end to the incredulity by the country’s top executive in clearing both the Prime Minister as well as the government backed investment mammoth , 1MDB – perception wise.

The latest twist saw an unsigned MACC statement clear the RM2.6 billion found in our Premier’s personal account – as mere donation money – after many weeks of allowed speculation and feigned ignorance to the existence and nature of the personal accounts.

Notwithstanding the Malay translation is “derma” falls within the ambit of the MACC as “suapan” : “suapan” ertinya –
(a) wang, derma, alang, pinjaman, …….. atau apa-apa manfaat seumpama itu yang lain;

This definition then opens the door wide open for the person responsible – in receiving or paying a bribe – to be in violation of Section 3 and Section 50 of the MACC Act respectively. Specifically Section 16 of the Act highlights that those found guilty can be jailed up to 20 years. Clearly if the Executive is seen to hamper an Anti Corruption Agency; it is a move most detrimental to our parliamentary democracy.

While the MACC resolve its wide ranging dilemma from releasing unsigned statements to last minute prayers for a corrupt free regime plus integrity to prevail; we are left wondering on the roles of the following institutions :

Bank Negara – our Central Bank. For the first time in Malaysian history, our Governor is being sought after the IGP for investigations related to section 124B being detrimental to parliamentary democracy – in the exact moment the public awaits the outcome of a task force she jointly chairs – investigating none other than 1MBD and the PM (Chair of 1mdb advisory board). Any threat and harassment against the Governor – the bastion of Malaysia’s economic and financial wellbeing – is certainly a threat against our parliamentary democracy.

As arrests and investigations become the prevailing order – we are left asking : Does BNM have anything to comment on the massive inflow of fund? How did the transfer of RM2.6 billion escape the AMLA automated alert?

Who was the deep pocketed donor allegedly from the middle-east that donated this money to the PM? An immediate disclosure of the nameless middle-east donors must be made as Israel also is in the middle-east.

Was the donor from SRC international and how was the money utilised? Was the money used to fund the Barisan Nasional 2013 General Elections campaign?

Affronts within the executive have also taken place with the PM sacking of his Deputy and members of his cabinet who were vocally critical against him and the 1MDB fiasco.

Whilst the sacking can be replaceable with other like minded yet less outspoken UMNO / BN leaders;  the same cannot be said for the removal of the Attorney general -in the background of a rumored purported charge sheet against our Premier.

In his place we have a new AG, no less a former UMNO member and disinterested in either disclosing the interim AG’s report on 1MDB or updates on the now derailed investigations by the 1mdb task force . The main cause for the Derailment is the often used phrase of being detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

Whither the PAC? Courage of members easily wilt in the face of cabinet upgrades – whilst the remaining members of the corum are blocked from continuing meetings , deliberations, or downright access to the PAC office.

The fourth estate is also not spared by our executive – latest victims include The Edge Financial Daily – whose dogged interest in exposing the 1MDB saga has cost it a 3 month ban. Whistleblower site Sarawak Report is not only blocked but there is also an arrest warrant on its owner.

Clearly, the fourth estate is being severely attacked – a move that is most detrimental to our parliamentary democracy .

Malaysians – on the other hand – will not enjoy rights enshrined under Article 10 of our Federal Constitution – as those assembled against the Prime Minister’s involvement in allegations of embezzlement and corruption are spuriously arrested – the list of 37 arrested include an octogenarian and a minor in last Saturday’s #DemiMalaysia rally.

​Such systematic dismantling of democratic principles of separation of power threatens our parliamentary democracy .

The more that Prime Minister strengthens his authoritarian and emperor like grip, the more frail our parliamentary democracy becomes.

Such growth of authoritarianism will only bring the country into further ruin and disrepute.

Malaysians cannot live with an Emperor.  All agencies and democratic institutions must be reminded to achieve this aim and end the reign of the emperor Prime Minister. The wellbeing of the Rakyat and survival of the nation are predicated on a working and thriving parliamentary democracy.

NURUL IZZAH ANWAR
LEMBAH PANTAI MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
KEADILAN VICE PRESIDENT AND ELECTIONS DIRECTOR

Support Transparency in Malaysia

Dear friends,

Malaysian authorities just shut down two newspapers for doing their job: investigating a possible $1.8 billion scam. Citizens have a right to know — let’s sound the alarm on this attack on press freedom!

Earlier this month, bank accounts linked to Prime Minister Razak were frozen as part of an investigation into accusations that he was pocketing money intended for national development. Whether or not the allegations turn out to be true, silencing journalists when they raise uncomfortable questions isn’t the way to address the issue. An independent public inquiry can shed light on the case. And with people already planning to take to the streets over the issue, a massive call from citizens could make it happen.

That’s where Avaaz members in Malaysia come in. If everyone joins the call to protect press freedom and the country’s resources — and then uses email or social media to recruit just one friend to join in — we can create a call too loud to ignore. Sign now:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/1mdb_public_inquiry/?tDrehab

It seems absurd that the papers that raised the alarm are the first ones to suffer. Citizens want to know what their government is up to — and be able to build an informed opinion, especially with allegations of this magnitude.

It’s a knee-jerk reaction, and Malaysia can do much better — by opening a public enquiry and stopping censorship in its tracks.

If enough of us show that we are watching, we can pile on pressure to ensure a swift and truly independent inquiry. Sign now and share this campaign with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/1mdb_public_inquiry/?tDrehab

Avaaz members across the world have called out corruption from Brazil to India — and won! And hundreds of thousands of us have stood up for brave whistleblowers, journalists and press freedom. Now let’s come together for Malaysia.

With hope,

Antonia, Danny, Rowena, Daniel, Luis and the whole Avaaz team

More information:

Malaysia Orders Suspension of Two Publications (WSJ)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/malaysia-orders-suspension-of-two-publications-1437733153

Malaysia Suspends 2 Newspapers Covering Scandal at State-Owned Fund (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/25/world/asia/malaysia-suspends-2-newspapers-covering-scandal-at-stat…

The Scandal That Ate Malaysia (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-21/malaysia-s-najib-razak-feels-heat-as-state-owned-1…

Najib Razak’s links to Malaysia fund need transparency (Financial Times)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/37e9824c-2635-11e5-9c4e-a775d2b173ca.html#axzz3h6vf1Iwz

Pakatan says reforms not castles in the air

By Yow Hong Chieh and Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders denied today that their 100-day reforms pledge was “too good to be true”, and said it would be funded by cutting back on what it claimed was the wastage and corruption associated with Barisan Nasional (BN).

DAP national advisor Lim Kit Siang said keeping a lid on needless government expenditure was “one of the major things” PR could do to pay for the promised reforms should the PR seize federal power.

“Put a stop to all the waste and corruption. We’ll release funds for a lot of things we are proposing,” he told The Malaysian Insider today, adding that poor governance was bleeding the country of billions of ringgit.

Transparency International’s (TI) Global Corruption Report 2009 released in June last year estimated that corruption costs Malaysia some RM10 billion every year.

The Auditor-General’s Report, also released last year, similarly said that the government lost a whopping RM28 billion to leakages, mainly due to the practice of direct negotiation.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said PR could carry out reforms even without depending on the billions that would be saved through better governance simply by removing gas and toll subsidies.

“There’s more than enough to fund everything,” he said. National oil company Petronas spends RM19 billion each year subsiding independent power producers (IPPs) and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) with gas sold at prices fixed below the market rate, he pointed out.

Rafizi said that if this subsidy — which he called “the biggest subsidy there is” — could be diverted, PR could easily afford to give subsidies to the underprivileged. He also said the current cost of fuel subsidies could be reduced from RM11 billion to RM4 billion if they were targeted at the needy and not applied in blanket fashion to big business as well.

Rafizi added that another RM4 billion could be saved by eliminating compensation to toll operators by getting Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) — which already own significant stake in the concessionaires — to take over highway assets.

PAS vice president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said Prime Minister Najib Razak’s statement today calling PR’s 100-day reforms financially irresponsible was proof that Umno had failed the people for the past 53 years.

Najib claimed the “Pakatan Agenda” would bankrupt the country in two years. He said that BN could not understand how PR could afford to undertake such reforms because the ruling coalition had always used up state resources for its own needs and not for public good. “It’s all about managing state money. If you can manage it well, there will be enough for everyone, not just for the Umno elite,” he said.

Mahfuz added the fact that opposition states were able to give financial aid to senior citizens and single mothers was proof of PR’s efficient handling of state finances.

“We have given the impossible, by cutting out wastages… In Penang, we have a state government which is not led by a Muslim, but yet is able to set aside money for religious schools, and for single mothers,” he said.

“The resources of the state are meant to be enjoyed by all, and that is what we aim to push for in our reform plans.”

Najib today labelled PR’s widely-publicised 100-day reform plan as “populist” and “irresponsible,” claiming that the opposition had failed to take into consideration the limitations of the country’s finances.

“We cannot take such a populist approach to the point where we sacrifice our country’s future. We cannot afford to do that, it would be irresponsible to the point where our children and our grandchildren will pay the price and suffer,” he had said.

“As a matter of fact, we do not even have to wait for our children or grandchildren, according to our calculations, if these promises are implemented without taking into account the country’s finances, it would just take two years.” PR’s policy framework, titled the “Pakatan Agenda”, is seen as an answer and solution to questions surrounding the opposition’s administrative plans in comparison to BN.

Speculation is rife that a general election will be held as early as this year although BN’s mandate does not expire until May 2013.

Among the instant reforms promised by the PR coalition, within the first 100 days of taking over Putrajaya, is acknowledging the role and sacrifices of civil servants by studying the current pay schemes and increasing the incentives for teachers by RM500 a month.

PR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has claimed that a PR federal government could afford to pay for a proposed allowance for teachers — projected to be RM3.2 billion annually — by eliminating the “wastages” of the BN administration.

Other “instant” reforms include the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) as well as offering free wireless Internet access to those in urban and semi-urban areas.

Pengalaman bukan keutamaan, KSN bermotif politik pilih Khusrin

Sumber: SELANGORKINI Online

SHAH ALAM, 1 Jan – Tindakan Putrajaya menggunakan kuasa mutlak melantik Datuk Mohamad Khusrin Munawi sebagai Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor menghantar mesej bahawa kemampuan dan pengalaman bukan keutamaan dalam menentukan kenaikan pangkat pegawai kerajaan.

Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim berkata Ketua Setiausaha Negara Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan tidak professional dan bertindak atas motif politik apabila meminggirkan kerajaan negeri dan proses pemilihan yang ditetapkan demi melantik Khusrin sebagai SUK baru.

Khalid menegaskan bahawa Nota Amalan Perkhidmatan Awam  jelas meletakkan tanggungjawab pemilihan SUK kepada Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Negeri dan pejabat Menteri Besar sebelum memohon restu Sultan Selangor.

“Proses pemilihan itu memerlukan Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam Negeri mengemukakan calon yang sesuai bagi mengisi jawatan berkenaan dan mendapatkan kelulusan  Menteri Besar sebelum diserahkan kepada Sultan Selangor untuk diperkenan.

“Selepas mendapat perkenan Sultan Selangor, Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Negeri akan memanjangkan nama calon berkenaan ke Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam peringkat Pusat untuk proses dokumentasi pelantikan,” ujar beliau.

Tan Sri Mohd Sidek mengabaikan segala proses itu dan sebaliknya membuat pengumuman mengejut  bahawa Khusrin adalah SUK baru bermula 1 Januari sungguhpun penyandang jawatan itu Datuk Ramli Mahmud hanya dijadualkan bersara penghujung Mac 2011.

Pelantikan sebegini memberi gambaran negatif kepada pegawai-pegawai kerajaan mengenai isu ketelusan dan kemampuan serta pengalaman calon untuk dinaikkan pangkat.

“Mesej ini sangat bahaya apatah lagi sememangnya perkhidmatan kerajaan acap kali dikritik sebagai tidak efisyen,” ujar Khalid.

Khalid kesal kerana Putrajaya langsung tidak menimbang langkah kerajaan negeri membentuk sebuah jawatankuasa khas diketuai Speaker Dewan Negeri Selangor, Datuk Teng Chang Khim untuk menemuduga lapan calon yang dicadangkan  oleh Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Negeri.

“Jawatankuasa itu memilih tiga calon terbaik berdasarkan jasa-jasa mereka selain kriteria yang diperlukan bagi mengisi jawatan strategik dan  paling kanan dalam pentadbiran awam Kerajaan Negeri Selangor,” katanya lagi.

Khalid berkata tindakan Sidek mengumumkan pelantikan Khusrin tanpa merujuk kepada kerajaan negeri, bukan saja membelakangkan pejabat Menteri Besar tetapi mengabaikan proses pemilihan calon berdasarkan kredibiliti, kemampuan dan pengalaman.

Khalid menegaskan bahawa tindakan Sidek meluluskan pelantikan Khusrin dengan cara begitu  melanggar Perlembagaan, tidak bertanggungjawab serta tidak profesional malah boleh dianggap bermotifkan politik sebagai salah satu usaha untuk mencabar kredibiliti Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Selangor.

Putrajaya does not belong to politicians, says Bersih 2.0

Source: The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 has warned political parties not to claim Putrajaya as theirs as they start to gear up amid heated speculation of snap polls being held within the next six months.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have frequently used the catchphrase “the road to Putrajaya” in their bid to ride on the political tsunami of Election 2008 that robbed Barisan Nasional (BN) of its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament.

“Putrajaya does not belong to any parties, but it belongs to the people of Malaysia,” said Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan last night at the launch of the movement.

“We the people will decide who can administer Putrajaya,” she told a 600-strong audience. Bersih 2.0 was launched yesterday as a civil society movement independent of any political parties in contrast to its inception in 2005 as Bersih that included non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and opposition parties.

 

Sim says the EC must show that it is an independent body.

Bersih had then held a massive demonstration in the city in November 2007, which was estimated to number some 40,000 people, to protest for clean and fair elections.

“Civil societies, that is us, now take over as Bersih 2.0 knowing that Bersih 1 was a tough act to follow,” said Ambiga.

Bersih 2.0, led by human rights group National Human Rights Society (Hakam) and women’s group Empower, is a coalition of 62 NGOs, she said.

The former Bar Council president listed several issues that the revamped movement was fighting for: a clean electoral roll, automatic voter registration, reduction of the voting age from 21 years to 18 years, the use of indelible ink to prevent fraud, reforms in postal votes, free and fair media access, a 21-day minimum campaign period, impartial constituency redelineation, election finance reform, neutral administration of government bodies, and the rights of students to participate in politics.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration has refused to implement an automatic registration system for voters, with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz claiming that the government could not “force” voters to exercise their right to vote.

Ambiga said automatic registration easily enabled eligible voters to vote in view of the 4.2 million eligible Malaysians who had yet to register themselves as voters.

“Merely registering someone does not mean that person is forced to vote. You are giving easy access to every eligible voter to vote,” she said.

She also pointed out that the voting age should be reduced to 18 years as Malaysians could join the army and the police force, as well as obtain a driving licence, at that age.

“You can shoot and get shot on behalf of the country at 18. You can join the police at 18. You can get a licence at 18. So why can’t you vote at 18?” she asked.

 

Gopalan says the voting age should be reduced to 18 as people can marry at 16 years.

The widely-respected lawyer noted that several countries in the region allowed 18-year-old citizens to vote, while Indonesia’s voting age was 17 years.

“In Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, India, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor Leste, the voting age is 18. In Indonesia, it’s 17,” said Ambiga to murmurs of surprise across the multi-racial crowd.

She also said the Election Commission (EC) had told her, during a meeting on Tuesday, that it has advised the press to give election candidates free media access.

“The EC said they do write to the press and tell them to give all candidates free access to the media. If that’s the case, what’s stopping the media from giving fair coverage to all candidates?” she asked.

The EC, however, refused to use indelible ink during the voting process, according to Ambiga.

“They won’t consider indelible ink, but they’re looking at other alternatives that involve technology,” she said.

She added that the EC was also looking into reducing its four-month period to register voters as well as cleaning up the process for postal voters.

 

Siti Zaidatul says the Bersih 2.0 launch has strengthened her stand for democracy.

The EC has also expressed its willingness to consider a 21-day campaign period.

Meanwhile, PAS MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad stressed that Bersih was not about ensuring a victory for PR in the next election.

“It is my conviction and belief that Bersih is not about making sure the opposition wins the election,” said Dzulkefly.

“What we want in Bersih is that finally, a mature democracy can be institutionalised here,” he added.

In between speeches on electoral reform, the launch of Bersih 2.0 was punctuated with musical performances — a post-harvest dance by some Orang Asli and a drum and percussion piece by the Tugu Drum Circle — as well as stand-up comedy by writer and activist Hishamuddin Rais.

Siti Zaidatul Akma Mohamad, who was among the visitors to the launch, said the launch had strengthened her stand for democracy.

“I feel more energised. I feel more confident in what we stand for,” said Siti Zaidatul, a 42-year-old manager.

“To get a fair country, we have to fight for the correct terms of democracy… like when Datuk Ambiga read what Bersih fights for,” she added.

Financial consultant Gopalan Narayanan echoed Ambiga’s call for the voting age to be reduced to 18 years, pointing out that 16-year-old Malaysians could get married.

“I support 18 as a voting age. After all, people can get married at 16,” said Gopalan, 51.

“If they are matured enough to marry at 16, are they not matured enough to vote at 18?” he asked.

On the other hand, electrical engineering student Eric Sim demanded that EC prove that it was an independent body.

“The way they (the EC) delineate the constituencies is biased towards BN. They must show Malaysians that they are truly doing their job as a free commission instead of being biased towards any political party,” said Sim.

MB Sokong “The Greater Kuala Lumpur and Klang”, minta kaji bangunan 100 tingkat

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 | Ruangan: Berita

SHAH ALAM, 10 Nov- Menteri Besar , Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim menyokong projek membangunkan Lembah Klang menerusi projek The Greater Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley kerana berpendapat ia mampu merangsang pertumbuhan ekonomi dan penyediaan kemudahan infrastruktur yang  lebih maju kepada penduduk di Lembah Klang.

Bagaimanapun, kesediaan beliau untuk bekerjasama dengan Kerajaan Persekutuan dalam menjayakan The Greater Kuala Lumpur  and Klang Valley tidak bermaksud beliau menyokong pembinaan menara 100 tingkat yang bakal dikenali sebagai Warisan Merdeka  yang terkandung dalam projek tersebut,

Menteri Besar berkata, pembinaan menara 100 tingkat perlu dibahaskan dan diteliti untuk mendapat pandangan pelbagai pihak dan  Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) perlu menjelaskan sumber pembiayaan projek ini dan juga bagaimana ia boleh memberi kebaikan ekonomi, sosial dan infrastruktur kepada rakyat.

“ Kita perlu bincang jika bangunan ini benar-benar akan memberi kebaikan kepada rakyat. Jika bangunan ini dibina hanya kerana ianya mahu dibina, saya rasa kita tidak perlu.  PNB perlu nyatakan secara terperinci bagaimana mereka boleh menjayakan pembangunan bangunan 100 tingkat ini,” kata Tan Sri Abdul Khalid.

“Oleh itu, berita yang mengatakan saya menyokong pembinaan bangunan 100 tingkat tersebut adalah tidak tepat” katanya ketika diminta menjelaskan berita yang melaporkan Menteri Besar menyokong pembinaan Warisan Merdeka ketika berucap di Dewan Negeri Selangor  semalam.