Now Anybody Can Fly?


(Before I start with the post for this week, I just wanted to say this – if the old man is so concerned with the level of proficiency of English among graduates (no thanks to his own shortcomings when he was the Education Minister and the Prime Minister), why he did not join PAGE and give it the added creditability and force that it needs to push the change of policy (to teach Science and Mathematics in English). He instead joined PERKASA as its advisor and as we all know from how the Ibrahim the clown acts up and down like his backside was on fire whenever the opposition had raised critical issues, PERKASA and its main objective is nowhere close to the realms of improving proficiency of English in this country. Just wanted to get this out from my chest. That’s all)

f87e6530fa6fac7bcade9c6cec2e6b82.gif

(Whether it is a private jet or a public abuse of trust and power – such nonsense cannot be tolerated at any level even for a high ranking politician’s wife. Just because it is approved by the Cabinet, don’t these people who fly have some internal conscience or they are just corrupt to the core? They must be counting their blessings that they are not in China. Cartoon source: Zunar @ Malaysiakini)

Let’s get back to the post for this week and as a taxpayer, I am quite pissed off.

As you all know, there are only 2 things certain in life and it is not death and taxes. Oh sorry, let me rephrase it, there are only 2 things certain when it comes to a Malaysian politician – racial segregation and abuse of power.

Still remember Najib’s “pie-in-the-face” reaction when he faced the election results that was worse than Pak Lah’s time and realized that his wayang kulit with the Chinese voters had not worked wonders? He then squarely and conveniently blame it on the Chinese – one sick newspaper even asked “what else the Chinese wants?”. And till to this day, there are still people who is convinced that the Chinese had ulterior motive for BN’s worse performance in the electoral. They may have forgotten that 50.87% of the voters from all races did not vote for BN – that’s more than half of the voters in the country. They may have also ignored the fact that most people were not pleased and had deep distrust with the current administration for some time now – for obvious reasons too – there has not been enough work done curtail the main 4 political pillars in this country namely racial segregation, waste of taxpayers money, double standard enforcement & prosecution and abuse of power.

And it is just amazing to see how some politicians can put up a (very) thick face and trivialize the matter when they are caught red handed on the blatant abuse of public assets:-

Opposition lawmakers grilled Putrajaya on Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s use of the official government jet for a visit to Qatar last week to attend an international forum.

Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) started the ball rolling when he interjected Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban) during the debate on Budget 2014 at the committee stage, noting that Rosmah had used the jet. “How can the prime minister’s wife use the government aircraft? We want to know the cost involved and how come she is eligible for this,” Azmin asked. In reply, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Cabinet had approved for Rosmah to use the jet for this particular trip.

His reply did not satisfy the opposition ranks and Parliament turned chaotic with several MPs questioning the rationale of the Cabinet decision. “Isn’t the Cabinet headed by the prime minister? This is a conflict of interest, how can the prime minister give permission to his wife to use the jet?

(Source)

And the more the opposition grill this deeper, the more it becomes clear that Shahidan Kassim is not only talking cock when it comes to answering serious question in Parliament, he also proving to be a liar. Which is funny because the more these fellows try to cover up the abuse of power and divert the attention, the more evident it becomes to the general public:-

Pengerang MP Azalina Othman, who accompanied Rosmah Mansor during a women’s summit in Qatar, which the prime minister’s wife had gone on in a private jet, admitted that the invitation to attend the summit was extended to Rosmah in her personal capacity and not to the government.

“The invitation was not on a government basis but on a personal basis,” Azalina admitted in Dewan Rakyat today while debating the Budget 2014 allocation for the Rural Development Ministry.

To this, PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad criticised the move, saying that a “wrong decision can’t be justified because cabinet made the decision”. “If you want to go, you go on your personal expenses,” Khalid said.

(Source)

And read here to see the so-called Rosmah’s work for the nation. You may want to keep a vomit bag by your side when you read the so-called “work” for the nation and where we “suppose” to fall to the ground in appreciation and be grateful for it. Apparently she did not go alone either. Still think more than half of Malaysian voted for the opposition for no good reasons? Despite the implied response of the voters in the last general elections, they still don’t get the message, uh? They still think that hard-earned taxpayers money belongs to them and they can spent it as and when and how they deem it fit and they are unanswerable to anyone.

The Government already paying external consultants RM7.2 billion of tax payers money through its noses for work that could be done by civil servants for free. To add further salt to the wound, they have just reduced the subsidy for petrol thus increasing the price to end consumers – with the very excuse that the Government is unable to bear the additional cost. They want to implement GST which many say will impact the lower class of people and soon we also see electricity tariff increase as well. Many more increases likely to be in the pipeline, trust me. And already people in KL are up arms over the substantial increase of assessment rates. All because this Government is unable to curtail unnecessary expenses and channel them based on right priority. Flying some fat ladies all over the world for private functions using taxpayers money is not one of them. We do not need wives of politicians to now waste even more millions of taxpayers money and abuse of public assets for personal trips and make everyone to look very dumb by trying to justify the abuse.

As taxpayers and as one who is facing ever increasing cost of living, don’t you get very angry with this over justification of wrong doing? We are not paying taxes so that politicians and their wives and family members can live a luxurious life and then show the middle finger when questioned! Where is the accountability? Where is the responsibility to the taxpayers?

I won’t say that the Government need to look into this or need to stop this blatant abuse of power and wastage. It will be a futile action – the voice of the ordinary people would remain unheard to those who walk in the corridor of powers. The year in, year out the lack of punishment on the wrong doers highlighted in the Attorney General’s report and a very poor enforcement record when it comes to catching & prosecuting corrupt politicians, speaks a lot for the lack of action. Plenty of opportunities to redeem itself in the area of fighting corruption and curtail of abuse of power have been wasted, intentionally most likely. Not a big surprise given that those who can make a difference are the same people who indulge in and perpetuate the very wrongdoings. The man at the top, obviously too weak to do anything and remains silent.

The only way to stop this blatant abuse of power and misuse of taxpayers money is by a complete change of the Government from top to bottom. A proper spring cleaning if you can call it to weed out the thrash, crap and unwanted parasites from the administration. It also should include those who are lazy and stupid. And once that is done, strict prosecution of the wrongdoers must be done – they cannot be allowed to get away with their past actions. Corruption by public servants and politicians and abuse of powers should be categorized in the same category as high treason and punishment is made very severe. For this, we need to vote in a new Government – the opposition are not perfect but they cannot be worse from the current administration – despite the limitations at Federal level, they already had set a fine example in Penang and Selangor.

Think about it as you eat the overpriced roti canai & teh tarik for breakfast whilst the fat lady goes for another trip around the world on her “private jet”.

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Whack The Wrongdoers Hard, Please!


Read these first:-

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(Here lies the problem – some people have no sense of responsibility whatsoever just because they are spending money that does not belong to them and they know that if they can waste the taxpayers money without any care or prudence, they will not be punished even if it was reported by the Auditor General. Image source: http://tarpon.wordpress.com)

I guess those who had voted for the Barang Naik (BN) politicians in the last general election must be regretting their decision now. You know, somehow, “I told you so” just doesn’t quite say it, ah? Already there are multiple news in the net on how some people in disguise of “consultants” have been taking the Government and the taxpayers for a ride but there have been only silence and inaction on the part of these politicians. The obvious ones are these:-

Hazmi sits at the top of the pyramid of greed and takes a 10% on each program cost

Under him, he has several assistants to identify runners to identify those contractors and suppliers with the right license or kepala (heading) to be main contractors or suppliers or just a mere front. At the assistants, runners, and front contractors and suppliers level, they rake in a cumulative of 20% of the program’s budget. The balance is likely to be for the real contractors and manufacturers doing the work.

To get themselves paid, Hazmi’s assistants take care of the payment but it is not paid direct but only to the front. The money due to the real contractors and suppliers is released by the front companies after deducting for everyone’s cut. It means there are paper trails everywhere. Hazmi designed the budget for programs to be usually few ringgit short of RM5,000 or RM100,000. Above that, the control system is stringent and manipulable.

If this does not make your blood boil, we do not know what else.

(Source)

And this:-

Two DAP lawmakers want the Education Ministry to explain why it spent RM20 million hiring a private consultant to prepare the National Education Blueprint when it could have been done by “capable personnel” within the government.

Describing the RM20 million as a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming and Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari said the management consultant, McKinsey and Co, should not have been hired as the company was a general management consultant and did not specialise in education.

(Source)

And timing could not be better to dig up more crap from current Government’s total lack of transparency, enforcement and punishment of the wrongdoers. It has become a sheer wastage of taxpayers fund on a regular basis. The recent publication of the Auditor-General’s report was nothing new and only adds to the “good name” of the current Government. If the half-past six politicians are still under a delusion that everything is still OK in the Bolehland and they can sleep in peace at night, let me tell you that the AG’s report is very, very damaging. A responsible Government would have come in the open to admit the findings and announce strong measures to curtail them. Politicians who care about this nation will not sleep until they had made enough noise for the wrong doers to be caught and punished and existing laws & procedures tighten to avoid a repetition in the future. Unfortunately, in reality (and predictably), nothing have been said till now and everything being kept as hush, probably hoping the taxpayers and the opposition will soon forget about the findings.

The malpractices highlighted in the Auditor-General’s report keep repeating because of inadequate planning in procurement, poor drafting of specifications and lack of monitoring and evaluation, said Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas).

To address this, Ideas chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan has suggested that curbing political interference and using open tender systems would help in plugging the inefficiencies in government procurement which has resulted in millions of ringgit being wasted.

He cited examples in the 2012 AG report which had resulted in wasteful spending, such as the 20 wall clocks which were bought by for RM3,810 each when it cost RM100 each and the three A4 size scanners bought for RM14,760 each which was supposed to cost RM200 each.

He said Ideas was now conducting a study on transparency in how government agencies and department carry out their procurement. “These problems are repeated because there are inadequate procurement planning, poor drafting of specifications, insufficient use of competitive tenders and lack of monitoring and evaluation.

(Source)

Shouldn’t inadequate planning in procurement, poor drafting of specifications and lack of monitoring and evaluation which have been highlighted many times before in the past AG reports been resolved by now? Don’t each Government departments have some kind of operation guide and standard operating procedures? Don’t they have their internal audit processes to follow and meet? Don’t tell me that we are going to pay millions to some foreign consultants to propose the same thing? And if nothing been done in the past, then what difference it makes now? As long we don’t see the wrong doers and those mismanaged millions of taxpayers’ money punished and held accountable, we going to have the same problems reported year in, year out.

To add further, Malaysia have now been named as the most corrupt country in the world – I am sure some thick skinned politicians would have been very happy with this kind of achievements (they probably have dismissed it as an opposition tactics instead of seriously looking into the possible truth). However it was not a big surprise though – it was just a matter of time before we got that title. The sooner the Government wakes up from its slumber sleep, it is better for the rest of us.

Despite Malaysia’s high-profile anti-corruption crusade, half of the corporate executives surveyed by a global corruption watchdog believe that competitors have obtained business in the country through bribery.

Transparency International said Malaysia scored worst in the 2012 Bribe Payers Survey. It asked nearly 3,000 executives from 30 countries whether they had lost a contract in the past year because competitors paid a bribe, and in Malaysia, 50% of them said ‘yes’. Second on the dubious honor roll was Mexico, which was at 48%.

(Source)

And this is where race based NGOs such as Perkasa show their sheer ignorance and dumbness. They jump like their balls been run over by a steamroller when common Malaysians question the need to prolong race based policies and “giveaways” in the name of “empowering” the community economy, knowing very well that such policies have been manipulated to enrich a few and their cronies in past and continues to this day. But the same NGOs had said nothing or jumped in protest when millions is wasted by lack of enforcement and corruption – doesn’t the same community set to lose a lot more if such leakage is not stopped and the wrong-doers are not booked to stop the repeated wastage? Or are they simply going to ignore this just because those who cause such leakages and do nothing to curtail the leakages are from the same community? It looks like that is the case many times over. No wonder whatever they say and do does not carry any sense of creditability and is a total waste of space.

And when the AG report bring the crap into the open, instead of accepting the hard cold fact and whack the wrong doers hard & ensuring that this will be the last time such incident happens, sadly, some politicians (never mind if they are dumb enough to be caught on video supporting criminal gangs and admission of breach of rule of law) now tries to even justify the wrong doing:-

On Friday, when asked by the press about the firearms mysteriously missing from the police armory, as discovered by the Auditor-Genera, Zahid was quick to pitch himself as the champion and defender of the ‘maligned’ police force.

Insisting that the weapons ‘lost’ by the police were due to human error and not foul play, Zahid rather high-handedly forbade any more discussion on the matter. He even picked on and publicly berated a reporter to emphasize his point.

“I think this is ridiculous behavior from a minister. It is blatantly self-serving. As the Home Minister, the police have to answer to Zahid in many matters but who is he to forgive their wrongdoings. Firstly, this was reported by the Auditor-General, not fabricated by the Opposition. Secondly, have the police carried out an internal probe, why are the findings not released,” Opposition MP for Batu Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

(Source)

And it seems like the whole of the Government seems powerless (no thanks to their own shortcomings) to bring about the drastic measures needed to stop the rot for once and for all:-

The Auditor-General’s report for 2012 is alarming. And this is so not only because it exposed huge wastage committed by government departments last year, but also because nothing seems to have changed all these many years.

Year after year, the A-G tells us of cases of improper payment; of purchases made at astronomical prices; of unreasonable project delays; of poor asset management; of non-adherence to procedures, etc, etc. But year after year, nothing is done to address the shortcomings.

It seems as if our civil service just continues to plod on, continues to waste, continues to be inefficient, continues to make corrupt transactions. And the overriding controller – i.e. the Government – just lets it be.

The Government knows from the A-G’s reports that corruption is rife in the civil service, but it probably realises it doesn’t have the moral standing to haul in the culprits. After all, the civil servants are following the example of the country’s leadership. And since the Government has also not shown itself to be accountable for a lot of things, how can we stop the rot?

Worse, our civil servants seem to have acquired a tidak apa mindset because the money that is being wasted, that it being improperly used, that is going into the pockets of some of them, is not theirs. When I was in school, we used to characterise such an attitude with the jeering taunt: “You think this is your grandfather’s money ah?” It’s still applicable here and now.

(Source)

I say this again and I have said it many times before – if the Government feel that they need to increase the taxes and reduces the subsidies just to ensure that they have enough to keep the country going, that is fine and fair. But what is the point of the people need to pay more of everything if the blatant waste and mismanagement by the Government itself on the other hand remains high and continues to bleed the nation of its resources. After all, if unnecessary expenses are not curtailed (spending RM3,810 for a RM100 clock for example), the Government will have no choice but to reduce the various subsidies, borrow more money and keep taxes high. At the end of the day, the rot must stop. The “tidak apa” attitude must stop. The blatant wastage of taxpayers’ money must stop. The super unbelievable leniency on the wrong doers must stop. The day of hiring thirsty vampires to guard our blood banks must stop.

Those who commit wastage and corrupt must be charged with criminal breach of trust, bank accounts frozen, their property seized and they are made to spent a good number of their years behind bars. Investigations on the paper trails must be made so that all those involved one way or another are caught and punished. Those politicians who allow (by action, omission or sheer stupidness) this to continue to happen must face the same consequences. Punish the wrong-doers at both ends without any fear or mercy. Malaysia does not need these traitors running the show – we are becoming champions of the world for wrong reasons. The AG have done a very good job highlighting the shortcomings in managing taxpayers funds. The only thing that is needed now is a change of attitude and political will power to take out the cane and start whacking the wrong doers hard so that the rest will be more careful when dealing with taxpayers money. If this failed, then it is evident that the Government itself have failed the trust of the people and is corrupt to the core and thus, must be removed in the next general election.

Can this be done now and without the “ifs and buts”?

Can Never Trust Them, Eh?


Najib

(We all seriously hope Najib has a concrete financial plan for the country when it comes to empowerment of its people and the economy and not doing for the sake of his own political survival in the upcoming political party elections. As taxpayers, no one want to see their hard earned money down the toilet on short-sighted financial plans. Image source: http://www.antaranews.com)

Sorry for starting with something “international” this week – Malaysia’s political circus show hardly makes a dent on the front pages at where I am in now.

As you may be aware, President Obama and most of the western world have put the blame squarely on the Syrian Government on the recent chemical attacks. David Cameron tried to get the UK Parliament to pass a motion on Syria and failed. And despite that and rather strong opposition from the US Senate, the Obama Administration seemed bent on punishing the Syrian Government for the alleged chemical attacks on its own people (how they effectively going to do it another question). That is until Russia came up with an alternate solution and provided a way out for Obama from a rather sticky situation. The Obama’s proposed shot over the bow is really not effective unless there are troops on ground – something the American public is well aware of and do not want to do after the same blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then this came up:-

Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak.

Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra. According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.

If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.

Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.

(Source)

Well, this piece of news may just be a part of an elaborate spin to turn the public opinion against Obama’s stand on the Syrian conflict. But then again, what if it is true? Let’s just hope that this does not escalate into something bigger and cause the world oil price to spike again. It is just the excuse for the “you know who” to reduce the subsidy and take the amount saved into another wasteful adventure. And speaking of “you know who”, it was not a big surprise when Najib, after increasing the petrol price recently, turns around and announces this:-

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a massive economic empowerment agenda for bumiputras while thanking the community for their strong support for Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.

The Prime Minister said: “Based on the support of the Malays and other bumiputras in the 13th general election, the Government has decided to take a quantum leap to implement concrete and thorough strategies and approaches. We call this bumiputra economic empowerment, and it is to safeguard the community now and forever.”

(Source)

Be mindful that Najib is not talking about small fry money here. And it is good that the Government is looking into ways to “empower” the community (which it claims to be still weak and in need of Government help since 1969). The question is will the community get the necessary funding and help lock, stock and barrel or will it trickle down after the various fat cat middlemen, cronies and corrupt politicians have put their dirty hands in it? And what happened to all policies and money that was poured to “empower” the community in the past – money that belonged to taxpayers from various race, culture and religion? Has it gone down the drain or has it quietly went into the pockets of cronies and corrupt politician?

The BN may have announced a series of new race-based measures to boost the economic situation of the bumiputeras, but who is to be blamed for the community falling behind even after almost a half-century of affirmative action?

(Source)

It is time to ask the same question as it seem to be the same thing all over again. The PM had announced the same race based policies before and under the same whistles and bells and in the same name of championing the community but after sometime, nothing much changes and before you know it, the PM announces another race based policies and the vicious cycle starts all over again. The Government says subsidy is bad but throwing taxpayers’ money on the same failed formula and getting no positive result is worse. The BN Government have been recycling the same old policies and re-branding them with new names but be rest assured, it only fattens the already fat lazy cats.

Can you think you can trust the politicians to keep to their words this time around and whatever “empowerment” that should happen do happens? Yes? Well, think again.

Another Petrol Price Hike…


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(What we see whenever the Government increase the price and ask the taxpayers to change their lifestyle – a burden that we are  willing to share provided the Government does the same. Image source: http://patriotpost.us)

I have been quite busy with work this week and the recent news from tanah air did not sound that good too. From the massive water disruption in the Klang Valley on Merdeka Day (have they burned those who polluted the river and the council officers who closed one eye on the factory activities at the stake?) to the petrol hike from the BN Government and to my son have a bad cough for the last few days.

I read with interest on the various reactions on the Facebook and that included one that got angry when the petrol station “ran out” of petrol. And that reminded me of the 2 posts that I wrote sometime ago on the petrol hike:-

In short, subsidies of any nature have to go and so do any give away of public money to causes that do not generate real economy such as BRIM, smartphone rebates, etc. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Instead of giving people the cash which does not really elevate them from the line poverty in the long run, it is better to create more opportunities with employment opportunities, cheaper housing schema and increase the minimum wages to an extent where people can manage the ever increasing expensive.

It is also important to have more accountability and prudence in managing the money saved from these subsidies. Najib is saying that the Government will save RM1.1 billion this year and about RM3.3 billion annually. All fine and good with the money saved but seriously, it does nothing to improve our confidence of the Government in managing the money saved.

The Prime Minister can only convince the public of his sincerity and necessity of raising RON 95 petrol prices by 20 cents to save annual subsidy costs of RM 3.3 billion by also implementing open competitive tenders and fighting corruption which would save RM 51 billion annually.

Without accompanying measures that demonstrates the Federal government’s commitment against corruption, the public would easily see through such fake sincerity and counterfeit necessity to cut costs.

Why should the people, especially lower-income groups, bear the pain of paying RM3.3 billion annually in increased petrol prices if no action is taken against those political bandits who steal the nation of RM 51 billion annually?

(Source)

It’s obvious that in general sense, there is a feeling that the Government is not doing enough to curtail corruption and mismanagement of public fund. Why not stop the bigger leakage of public funds misuse instead of the easy way out by cutting down on the fuel subsidies?

There is already trouble brewing on the millions being paid to Najib’s consultants – some claimed to be inexperienced and continue to be overpaid. What about the millions that was pledged before the last general elections? Still remember the rather blatant  “I help you, you help me” election bribe? Najib could have been mistaken for the Santa Claus and Christmas did come early for some people. It was something I knew will come back to bite us after the election when Najib have to make good of his pre-election promises but does not have the dough to do so.

Seasoned analyst of Malaysian politics Bridget Welsh today said that BN chairman Najib Razak had so far spent a whopping RM58 billion or RM4,363 per voter to shore up support at the coming polls.

Welsh an associate professor of political science at the Singapore Management University, said the figure was reached after studying over 4,000 news reports since 2009 – the year Najib replaced Abdullah Badawi as prime minister – as well as the three budgets including supplemental budgets under Najib between 2010-2013.

“I conservatively estimate that his administration has spent a total of RM57.7 billion from after he took over as PM to just before the dissolution of parliament on election-related incentives,” said Welsh, writing in Malaysiakini.

She said some RM46.7 billion was spent on development targeted pledges and RM11.0 billion on ‘1Malaysia’ programmes.

“The two main components of this largess are politically targeted distributions and 1Malaysia spending. These measures are inherently political as not only are they framed as political tools, they are being openly been touted as a reason to support the BN at the voting booth,” she said.

(Source)

After all, the basis of spending is pretty simply – the income must be enough to cover the expenses. If the current income does not cover the expenses, either increase the income (one way would be by borrowing from someone else which is a bad thing) or reduce the expenses (still remember Najib’s famed advice to the common man – change your lifestyle?). So whilst reducing the petrol subsidies is one good way to reduce the expenses, replacing it with another wasteful one is not. And speaking about reducing wasteful expenses, how about this idea for a change?

All Cabinet members including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should now pay for their own fuel since the government claimed underserving parties were enjoying the benefits of a blanket subsidy that it reduced today, said PKR’s Rafizi Ramli.

The PKR strategy director also questioned why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak chose not to do away with hefty subsidies given to private companies such as independent power producers, which is estimated to be around RM13 billion, and instead “took the easy way out” by slashing public fuel subsidies.

“The fuel price hike burdens most of the average people and it is used as an excuse by Datuk Seri Najib Razak to hide his own weaknesses in managing the country’s economy,” Rafizi told reporters, and pointed to the country’s recent credit rating downgrade by global agency Fitch Ratings and the ringgit’s lowered value against the US dollar.

(Source)

That is a very sound advice indeed. Will the Government change its lifestyle too? We may not save the billions by doing that but it will show the sincerity and the commitment of the Government in ensuring that whatever money that the Government manages to collect is spent with greater prudence, accountability and transparency. We do not need overpaid consultants (Ministers and GLC management included), expensive overseas trips for politicians and their wives (kids and their servants tagging along), overrated mega projects that does not bring good returns and only benefits a small group of people and other nonsense like BRIM, etc.

If this is done and if coupled with a long term plan to increase the buying power of the consumers (and not just giving away taxpayers money), another petrol hike would not be treated with such hostility.

Crime, Crime, Crime


I will be on a long hiatus from next week onwards – I will be away on a “mission” and internet connection may be almost non-existence. Besides, I intend to use whatever little free time I have on finishing on a very thick book that I had put away since last year (it was just too thick for me to start and I always opt for a thinner one) and of course catching on sleep (the new Boss is back to be very active at night). Hopefully when I come back, the police had score the big one by nabbing a good number of hired killers and sent them to the gallows for cold blood murders.

shootingsgraphic302e

(The biggest headache for the nation at the moment – we have multiple shooting and hired killers on the loose. The next question is whether it is just a tip of the iceberg in the wave of crime confronting the country. Image source: http://www.straitstimes.com)

In the meantime and while the Government seems to be at lost over almost 23 incidents of shooting over the last 2 months and only now they want to stand-up and “wear their pants” on beefing up the police force (shouldn’t they done that eons ago?) and tighten the preventive laws, as a parent myself, I think we should not also miss the focus of stopping crime at the start and ensure there is no rise of young offenders who in turn end up becoming the filth of the filth in the country. With that, go ahead and read this:-

The father of a 14-year-old boy who was found murdered near some bushes in Taman Mewah, Kamunting, suspects that his son may have been killed due to a misunderstanding. Supervisor A. Manimaran, 46, claimed his son M. Nathaniel was involved in a minor accident with a group of youths a week ago. “My son, who was riding my motorcycle, had been involved in a minor accident with another motorcyclist. There could have been some misunderstanding from there.

(Source)

Lost in translation is the question how could the 14-years old be riding around in a motorcycle when the minimum age to ride a motorcycle in this country is 16 years old and that too with a valid license. It’s obvious that no only the deceased was under-aged to ride a motorcycle; he was also riding around without a valid license. I won’t be surprised if the deceased was not wearing a helmet at the time too. And such problem is nothing new in many housing areas in the country where we have under-aged riders riding around unsupervised and without license (the usual “tak apa” attitude). It is quite understandable if we don’t have the police rushing into the housing area to round these youngsters up for riding around without license or helmet – these cases very likely to be rated the lowest in the police’s list of priorities when it comes to fighting crime (seriously they have a bigger issue at hand and that includes the alleged involvement of the police with the criminal underworld). It is quite understandable too as some of these youngsters are also our neighbour kids and we know them from small and thus not keen to chase them with a baseball bat to stop them (whacking snatch thieves to a pulp on the other hand is another ball game all together).

It does not matter if there were some misunderstanding or there were other idiots in the picture – the end of the story is tragic – someone’s young son is dead. Thus it is indeed important to relook at this nuisance (and breaking of the law) from the aspect of parenting and how some parents could be dumb enough to be allowing these youngsters to ride around without any license and helmet (let’s leave the impact of the education system on the young minds for now – there have been too many flip-flops on the education blueprint on the simplest thing like language to use for Science and Mathematics). Of course, some takes the notion of dumbness to a whole new level by allowing the young “abang” to take the infant “adik” (both of course riding around without wearing any helmet) for ride around the housing area and without any supervision. One cannot blame the kids to riding around without helmets and license – the fact that the parents themselves allow the kids to ride a motorcycle (intentionally or unintentionally) means that the kids could do anything. And without a good parenting and a good sense of discipline and education, some of kids have been spoilt to the core and became a bigger nuisance to others.

And when some of these harmless law breakers started to venture to something more sinister for cheap kicks and quick money, you will have this in the papers:-

The police have arrested two men believed to be involved in the snatch theft and attack on Dr Delaila Ahmad, in her 50s, in Subang Jaya on Tuesday. Selangor acting police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan said the suspects aged 20 and 22 years old respectively were arrested at about 6am today in SS17, Subang Jaya. “They were arrested based on information from the public and family members of one of the suspects,” he told reporters at Subang Jaya district police headquarters today.

The police are still investigating the case and the victim is still being being treated at the Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya. Delaila, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, was attacked by parang-wielding men as she was leaving her polyclinic in Jalan SS 19/6, Subang Jaya at 1.20am on Tuesday.

(Source)

They are barely into their twenties and yet they are brave enough to rob a doctor with parang and slash her fingers without any hesitations. And despite their young age and some argument for reforms instead of punishment, the rest of us (I am very certain) would be praying that they would be locked away behind bars for the rest of their life (although unfortunately Section 326 of the Penal Code only carries a maximum imprisonment for 20 years). We do not need selfish & dangerous youngsters like these in our society and making it a living hell for the rest of us. It is just too bad that the Government had not thought of making armed snatch-theft (or any crime that causes injuries to others for argument sake) punishable with mandatory death by hanging. Do that (and of course couple that with good enforcement of the law & prosecution) and you will see how fast the serious crime statistics drops.

Back in 2011, this was reported:-

“The rate of crimes committed by youths has increased over the past two years although the overall crime index in the country has decreased,” he said after launching the “6 in 1” Crime Prevention and Healthy Living Community Service Project at Seri Petaling here. He said according to police statistics, students’ involvement in crimes had increased from 1,409 in 2009 to 1,947 in 2010, causing the crime index involving youths to increase by 38%. “As for non-students, the crime cases have increased from 2,245 in 2009 to 3,218 in 2010, marking an increase of 43.3%.

“Youths are increasingly involved in violent and property crimes like physical aggression, rape cases, snatch thefts and robberies,” he said. He reminded parents to make time for their children even if they were busy working.

(Source)

And in 2012, something similar was echoed:-

Students from Form One to Form Three have been identified as the biggest contributors to juvenile crime, according to a research by the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MPCF). The agency said there was a three-fold increase in crimes committed by students aged between 13 and 15 compared with other age groups. Its national vice-chairman, Datuk Kamarudin Ali, said many students in lower secondary level had fallen from grace upon reaching adolescence, partly due to unsupervised Internet use such as social networking sites, especially Facebook.

(Source)

If one argues that it is a case poverty and lack of education & opportunities had led these youngsters into committing serious crime, then think again. There are thousand others who are in the same predicament but have held their heads up the water and turned around things for them and their family (still remember the girl who passed her exams by studying under public street light?). It’s sad that some parents simply don’t give a damn when it comes to looking into what their kid do and say and when the situation requires for it, discipline and educate them. I call my son “The Boss” but if he does something wrong (and it rarely happens), he knows what’s coming from me and my wife – punishment old school (I am sure many of us would recall how our parents and some of our teachers used to whack us with a thick cane for the smallest mistakes we did when we were small).

When it comes to parenting, one aspect of making sure that the kids do and say the right thing is by setting a good example – if some adults themselves are riding around the housing area without any helmets (and acting like primates on the road), then how one can expect their kids to be wearing one. In the case of 20 years old snatch thief – at least the parents did set a fine example to other (parents) – if your kid is in fault and you know that he is in fault, do the right thing and turn them in to the police for due process. Yes, it is hard for any parents to see their kids behind bars but if they had tried their best to discipline the kids and failed for one reason or another, they have no other choice.

Good discipline and setting good examples at the end of the day must be coupled with good education and high morality. There must be a constant preaching of “do the right things” and “do what’s fair” to our kids to ensure that they are often reminded on what is wrong and what is right. Yes, “doing what’s right and fair” may be something very subjective but most parents just have to put a bit of the thinking cap and a good dose of reasonableness and fairness (simply do to others on what you expect others to do to you and you are on safe grounds). If we do that effectively, we will not have delusional 20 year-olds walking around with parang and cutting off people’s fingers for quick cash.

Have a good weekend and in case I could not get “online”, happy holidays and Selamat Hari Raya…

GE13: GE Videos & EC Boo-Boos


Johor-ceramah-crowds

(No doubt the number of crowd attending the ceramahs may not translate into confirmed votes but the sheer number of people attending the recent ceramahs In Johore should have given the BN fellows something to ponder on. Image source: Anilnetto)

Just 2 days to go before we will know whether we will see another 5 years of corruption, race based policies, double standards on enforcement & deployment, wastage of tax-payers money, “we are still better than Zimbabwe” nonsense, culture of fear & disunity, cronyism, MACC (still) have no power to catch the big fish and insult to fellow Malaysians OR dawn of a new era for Malaysia.

And already there are allegations of vote rigging and movements of phantom voters (mainly foreigners). If BN had denied outright and laughed at it, we could have labelled Anwar’s allegations as a serious spin and a desperate move. But instead they actually admitted that such flights are taking place but they claim that it is for the Malaysian voters and it is financed by a mysterious  “friends of BN”. Who are they really, this friends of BN? Perhaps they are the same jokers who took the expensive advertisement for the so-called First Lady of Malaysia. Anyway, since it seems Pakatan fellows are “doing the same” (unfortunately they can only afford buses instead of planes), let’s put this aside – on who is right or wrong will depend on whether you end up seeing strings of nervous Banglas & Indons at polling station on Sunday.

But probably the biggest news when it comes to EC and their blunders would be on the indelible ink which some have alleged can be cleaned off immediately. The blunder is not on the fact that the indelible ink were washable without trace – as EC had mentioned, the ink is an indelible ink and not permanent ink. Depending on washing agents used, it will remove the ink to some extent; I am pretty sure of it although the latest EC’s demo shows otherwise.

The blunder however is on the failure of the processes in dealing with the said indelible ink. Why it was not shaken as the process requires it to be? EC claims that their officers were “nervous” and thus failed to follow the right procedures. Such excuse is not acceptable especially when it is for the first time the indelible ink is being used, there are certain expectations on the deployment of the ink and the EC officers have been trained before and are professionals. Didn’t they do a dry run before this? Because of this blunder, now hangs a question of whether in the coming polling day, there will be more officers getting “nervous” and failed to shake the bottles right. If this happens, EC would have a serious issue of integrity and accountability.

In the meantime, enjoy these interesting videos that touch on the upcoming election and the need to pick the right Government (p.s. MIC’s one is in for the joke – now that Hindraf is the sleeping partner of BN and leads the “fight for the Indians”, MIC indeed had become one big joke):-

Undilah

PKFZ Scandal

MIC Song Parody

Hindraf & Nambekei

3 Questions for BN

Please also read also Rafizi Ramli’s Open Letter as well.

Have a good day on Sunday and vote wisely. Vote for the Government that plans for the future and politicians who see Malaysians as their boss and not the other way around. Don’t vote on what you have seen, paid and experienced in the last few months – judge the politicians on what they have done and said in the last 5 years. Reward them or punish them accordingly and don’t fall for the (overwhelming) overdose of “feel good” propagandas and vote-buying “gifts” – it does not guarantee a bright future.

So It Ends at Lahad Datu? Part 2


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Ops-Daulat

(Now it is a whole different ball game in Lahad Datu once the military steps in with its might with surgical air strike and armoured infantry mopping and search exercise – Photo sources: the Net)

The number of our fallen heroes went up to 8 before the Government decided to end their passive approach to the whole situation and came to their senses and finally brought in the might of our trained military power as how it should have been probably after the first 24 hours deadline to surrender unconditionally.

The fact that the Government pushed the military to be second liner to the situation perhaps caused more confusion and suspicion (one that Tian Chua accidentally got entangled for the wrong reasons when he questioned the passive action by the Government) and even ex-military men started to ask questions. First from Capt (Rtd) Hussaini Abdul Karim (http://hak55.blogspot.com/):-

News photographs show some troops in bullet-proof vests but no helmets; others in T-shirts and “soft” headgear; and many not wearing bullet-proof vests. This is wrong. However, soldiers guarding the area were wearing helmets and bullet-proof vests. There didn’t seem to be any trenches or bunkers with sandbags to protect troops keeping watch.

Some of the militants have SLRs using 7.62 mm bullets and 81mm mortars. These are deadly. A hit on the arm from as far as 600m, because of its sheer power, can kill. This is unlike the bullets used by our troops which are the 5.56 mm type where sometimes even a direct hit to the body may only injure and is not strong enough to kill. If I were the commander, I wouldn’t want to position my men anywhere nearer than 200m of the enemy.

Malaysian troops, police and the army, with our strength and superiority in numbers, equipment and logistics support, should be fully ready. Strafing from the air, harassing fire using high explosive ammunition from mortars, the light and even the medium guns of the artillery regiment should have been carried out. Tanks should have been deployed.

And another from Major (Rtd) D.Swami (http://7rangers.blogspot.com/)

We should have struck using the Malaysian Armed Forces with great audacity and at will to bring terror into the hearts of these Sulu pirates who think themselves hardy warriors.

The Police did not have the assets to destroy them. Those Sulu pirates were with automatic weapons and mortars, which killed two of our people. They had frigging mortars, for f***sake!! Najib and company were handling these terrorists with kid gloves, using the Police who are trained to handle internal security situations like the Bersih or Hindraf rally.

The Police are not trained to launch attacks on enemy locations, where the enemy fires back. It is not a Bersih rally. They do not have Mortars, Artillery, Infantry Fighting Vehicles or Special Forces skilled in Reconnaissance, Air Force and Navy. One of the principles of attack is, “the momentum of the attack must be maintained”. There will be more casualties as they did not observe this principle. I doubt the Police have any inkling of that. I guess more Policeman have to die before the sheep calls in the Military.

The Military knows that. It should be their job, as it is an external threat, they are equipped and trained for this. I am sure any soldier worth his salt is raring to go. This should be handled by the 5th Brigade Commander without sparing all the niceties. In fact there is a Tank Regiment in Kota Belud, that would make it all the more easier, minimizing the Malaysian casualties and maximizing casualties amongst the Sulu pirates. We can even use the FGA’s located in Labuan. A couple of sorties with them, followed by a mortar and artillery barrage, would be nice. After which the Infantry mounted in Stormers, accompanied by tanks can finish the job. We should use these assets which are there, instead of throwing away the lives of our brave Malaysian men.

But thankfully all that nonsense that went on for 3-odd weeks (which was way too long to be dealing with a foreign force claiming a stake of the country and asking everyone to buzz off) ended when Najib called in the military and told the intruders that there is only one way out for them – unconditional surrender.

First there was the surgical bombing using laser guided bombs using the F/A 18 jet fighters and BAe 200 Hawks and then pounding of the area with artillery to clear the area for the police and the armed forces to move in and do their mopping and search mission and with that managed to stop further casualties and in the same process managed to kill off up to 52 of the armed intruders and x number of arrested/caught. More battalions were moved up to Sabah and the naval blockade tighten to prevent more intrusion from taking place. And more recently Najib also issued orders the set up of special security areas to maintain high military presence – it makes a lot of sense, we do not want another wave of intrusion taking place soon after we had finished with the clean up of the current intrusion.

The fact that we are getting more of the intruders dead or caught whilst at the same time suffering no causalities of our own simply points that we are doing the right thing at the moment. But there is still room for improvement and lesson to be learned when it comes to dealing with foreign armed intrusion.

The obvious one would be the role of the military and the police in dealing with such armed intrusion? Semantics aside (one may argue that it is still considered as an internal affair and that is why we have the police in the lead), we would not seem a positive improvement to the armed intrusion stand-off if the military (with all due respect to the brave & skilled police commandos who had endangered themselves for the country and still fighting in the front-line) have not move in with their powerful assets in land, sky and sea. It is clear that there is a confusion as who to take the lead when such incidents happened (which may have explained the 3 weeks delay nonsense) – on whether the Home Ministry or the Defence Ministry should take charge.

In this instance, the answer is crystal clear – the police may come in to cordon the area and negotiate with the intruders to surrender themselves but once the order has been issued to wipe the Sulu terrorists, they should have fallen back and leave the military to do their job. Press releases thereafter should only come from the Chief of the Armed Forces, Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin or in some instances from the Defence Minister or the Prime Minister. The police will still have vital role to play with maintaining rule of order in other areas (they still have their normal policing work to do), with forensics of the dead bodies and to interrogate & process those who have been caught (and already cleared as not holding any vital information to the on-going military mission) by the military.

It will be even better if politicians with limited knowledge of military tactics and skills stay clear from the on-going military exercise and leave it to the experts to get the job done. This kind of confusion needs to be cleared before we face a similar intrusion in the future (although we hope this would be the last one). The amount of confusion (and unfounded rumours) generated at the first 3 weeks of the intrusion (and no thanks to strict media blackout) is simply astonishing.

Then we have this – one that well observed by Capt (Rtd) Hussaini Abdul Karim above and another by Singaporean former defence correspondent:-

During the three-week long standoff against a force which claims has 200 gunmen and even after blood was shed, Malaysians deployed for security duty do not seem to care much for their personal protection. Body amour is rarely seen.

When worn by some officers, the body amour appears to be of the soft body amour type which is not designed to withstand full metal jacket projectiles discharged from firearms or mortar rounds. Headgear in the form of ballistic helmets is almost never worn. And let’s not even go into protective eye wear like goggles.

(Source)

The American foot soldier in the Iraq and Afghanistan theatre of war complained the same thing at the initial start of the battle – the lack of body amour when facing a more determined insurgents and when the body counts started to rise, it took some time for the Government to act before the troops on the ground getting the right body armour. Coming back to the scenario in Lahad Datu, due to the media blackout and lack of details on the actual mission on the ground, it is possible that those in the front-line are actually have the right body armor but then if what we see on the news and media is reflective of what is our troops are using to face the heavily armed intruders, we need to revisit this if we are going to face a more sophisticated and trained foreign troops (remember, everyone with military interest in the region is looking at us on our tactics and state of readiness).

And finally there is a small incident of the media in Philippines (quoting their military intelligence) tying the culprits behind the armed intrusion with an opposition party in Malaysia. Utusan and TV3 (given this sweetener) wasted little time and jumped the gun and named Anwar was the one. I don’t think any Malaysian in their right mind (more so a leading politician at the time of general elections) would be dared to do that because it meant high treason and rightfully Anwar have denied the same and is now suing Utusan & TV3 for RM100 million for gross defamation. He should now raise the same concern to the same Philippines media and should demand them to name the opposition politicians. After all, Anwar is the Opposition Leader in the Parliament and any implication of the opposition with the armed intrusion (even if the media there did not name any names) is the last thing that the Pakatan wants at the moment. He should get this thing done and over now instead of just waiting out for the defamation suit trial date which will come over after the general elections.

In the meantime, whilst the rest of us would be looking forward to spend our time with our families on the weekend, our prayers and hopes remains entrenched with our security forces in Sabah to bring the armed intrusion to a swift end and without any casualities.