In November 2016, Malaysia’s largest island, Pulau Banggi which is located on the northern tip of Sabah, faced gruelling months without fresh water supply. The situation was dire that not only the mainstream media carried the story virtually on a daily basis, but it warranted a posting by DAP’s Roketkini.
This situation occured just a month after MACC raided a house in Sabah and found RM114 million in cash stashed there. According to a portal called Anti Fitnah Sabah the bust by the MACC is related to the Sabah water project that commenced in 2010 costing the Federal Government RM3.3 billion under the purview of the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah or KKLW). The Minister then was Shafie Afdal.
Two days ago, MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations) Datuk Azam Baki announced that the Commission was looking into the RM7.5 billion worth of projects for water supply, electricity and roads in Sabah between 2009 and 2015 approved by the Federal Government but were either not carried out, or were not carried out to the required specifications. The Minister then was Shafie Afdal.
Initial investigations found that out of the RM7.5 billion allocated by the Federal Government for the development of rural Sabah by the KKLW, RM1.5 billion had been siphoned by criminals linked to the Ministry.
Three people were arrested following the investigation. They are Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony who is Shafie’s closest ally, a contractor, as well as a former Deputy Secretary for Infrastructure of KKLW, Norhataty Rahmat.
Norhataty Rahmat was Shafie’s right-hand person during his tenure in the KKLW. Norhataty was a M54 grade PTD officer who, although was just a Deputy Secretary, had direct access to the Minister then.
For a M54 grade PTD officer, her lifestyle does not commensurate with her income. Not only does she own a bungalow in Bandar Baru Bangi, her Facebook and Instragram accounts show her lavish lifestyle that includes a Franck Muller watch and five-figure priced branded handbags.
For those who do not know how much a M54 grade PTD officer earns, you can have a look at the 2016 tables below (courtesy of myschoolchildren.com)
The allocation approved by the Federal Government for Sabah and given through KKLW is meant for the improvement of treated water and electricity supply to rural areas of Sabah, to assist the poor, as well as to provide the rural elementary schoolchildren with food through the Additional Food Programme (Rancangan Makanan Tambahan). However, it is sad to learn that 20 percent of that allocation have gone to finance the lavish lifestyle of some.
Although the money is channeled to Sabah, it is KKLW that appoints the contractors for the works planned, deals directly with the relevant state agencies, but not the Sabah state government. But when the rural people do not get the help needed, it is the Sabah state government as well as the Federal Government that get blamed.
The Sabah state government had no control over the selection of contractors. In fact, for limited tenders the Minister of KKLW had the right to shortlist 10 companies to be selected. The raids on 4 October and 5 October led to the discovery of RM150 million and RM29 million cash respectively.
Shafie has since returned to Sabah to assist investigations. Calling the raids “politicaly motivated” he promised to assist “as long as the evidences are not fabricated.” It is like saying the MACC officers brought RM179 million in cash inside their pockets and planted the money upon raiding the premises.
Shafie’s eagerness to assist in investigations show that he knows a lot about what is being investigated. Shafie seems to know a lot, too! Last year when the MACC raided the house with the RM114 million stashed, Shafie was quick to say that he would assist in the investigations.
In April this year, Shafie also said that he was ready to assist the MACC in its investigation into transactions carried out by Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd (Mara Inc). Mara is an agency under KKLW.
What the MACC has uncovered is the reason rural Sabah continues to remain backwards despite the funds given to develop the areas. The culprits include those from Sabah who portray themselves as champions of the Sabah cause. Yet, they demand support from the Sabah people while stealing their very rights from them. If you have an appropriate term for these people, help me name them.
Meanwhile, it is evident that Shafie knows a lot about the embezzlements that took place during his tenure as the Minister of KKLW. The question now is, how much did he make out of all this and will he fabricate lies to cover them?
The only thing relevant to Sabah about Parti Warisan Sabah as it is seems to be making the money meant for the people of Sabah as their warisan.
The development of Forest City, one of Johor’s iconic development on the western half of the southern coast of the state, is proceeding well and is on time. When completed, the southern-most man-made island of the project will be just two kilometers away from Singapore’s Tuas.
A little over two years ago, the project area was under three meters deep of sea water. Now, a hotel stands completed as do a commercial block as well as an office block, with a beach fronting Tuas. Aptly named “Hotel Phoenix”, the 280-room four-star hotel has already begun to receive guests, and is now one of the favourite venues in southern Johor for international conferences and events. Even Jack Ma’s Alibaba had an event here in late September 2017.
This 20-year development is already into its second year, but has been the subject of several controversies, depending on which side of the fence you are viewing the issue from.
700,000 New Citizens
One of the issues raised by the Opposition is the prospect of 700,000 mainland Chinese obtaining Malaysian citizenship after staying at Forest City for several years. Opposition fear-mongers have been selling this idea to the worried locals who fear that their voice would be drowned by these prospective new citizens.
I threw this idea to an English friend of mine who is married to a Malay woman and have four children, to see if the fear is real.
“Bo****ks!” he exclaimed, scoffing at the idea. “I’ve been married and staying here in Malaysia for 22 years now and I still haven’t got my citizenship. If they think it’s that easy, I will gladly pay the person who could give me my Malaysian identity card.”
But will there actually be 700,000 Chinese from China residing at Forest City? Apparently not. Buyers include people from the Middle East, Thailand, India and Singapore. Forest City was already attracting these buyers even before China tightened the outflow of its currency. Buyers from China have snapped up 70 percent of the early-sale properties there before the measure by China came into effect.
“The number of withdrawals caused by the cashflow controls is about 60, compared with the 15,000-unit sales by the end of 2016, the bulk of which were sold to Chinese buyers. We have to look at the issue in perspective. If we are not confident about Forest City, we will not be investing some RM470 million to build a factory to manufacture ready-to-assemble concrete structures like staircases, beams and columns,” said Dr Yu Runze, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Country Garden Pacific View Sdn Bhd., the developer of the project.
Carving Out Malaysia’s Land To Make It China’s
As a state, Johor has jurisdiction of its land including the foreshore according to the National Land Code, 1965 and its territorial sea jutting out 3 nautical miles according to Section 3(3) of the Territorial Sea Act, 2012.
While Section 76 of the National Land Code includes a proviso that does not allow the foreshore and part of the sea bed to be disposed by the state authority for a period exceeding ninety-nine years, Forest City’s reclamation starts beyond the low-water mark of ordinary spring tides. Unlike the reclamations off Pulau Pinang, a bridge connects the man-made island to the mainland rendering it possible for the Johor state government to allow the developer to obtain a freehold status for the reclaimed portion, anything within the three-nautical mile limit.
Therefore, no part of the mainland was ever carved to become part of Forest City, nor was there a major displacement of people to make way for the apartment buildings and hotels of the development. A freehold land does not mean that it belongs to another country. As mentioned, anything that is within 3 nautical miles including the seabed comes under the state authority while from that point up until 12 nautical miles comes under the Federal authority. The state has the power to acquire the land under the Land Acquisition Act, 1960. hence the sovereignty of the nation is not compromised in any manner.
Forest City Is A China Project And Employs Only Chinese Citizens
The project is being developed by Country Garden Pacific View Sdn Bhd (CGPV), a Johor-China joint-venture company where the China partner has 60 percent equity in the JV, while the Malaysian partners hold 40.
CGPV executive director Datuk Md Othman Yusof said that as at end of September 2017, 859 out of 1397, or 61.4 percent of its workers are Malaysians. This includes the staff at the CGPV Industrial Building System plant in Tanjung Kupang.
Datuk Othman said that it was a decree by His Majesty the Sultan of Johor himself that there should be at least 70 percent staff that are Malaysians. “After only two years we already have 61.4 percent,” he added. “The only difficult part is getting Malaysians who could work as well under intense pressure on the construction side. Many joined but left as they could not match the discipline of the Chinese workers.”
Dr Yu added that of its RM4.7 billion (S$1.5 billion) capital expenditure (capex) spent between early 2015 and December 2016, about RM2 billion, or 42.55 per cent, was spent on the services provided by local consultancy firms and construction materials.
“Cement, sand and other materials were bought locally. We did not import them from China. We also use consultancies such as law firms, planners and architects, to name some. So, it is untrue to say that Forest City has not benefited Malaysia or its people,” he remarked.
Forest City Is The Cause Of Pollution?
To blame the pollution of the Tebrau Strait solely on Forest City alone is not fair. There was already pollution in that area because of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), and 60-odd projects taking place along the Sungai Danga and Sungai Pulai which too affect the Tebrau Strait.
According to Dr Serina Rahman of Kelab Alami, an environmental NGO based in Tanjung Kupang, intially the reclamation works for the Forest City project was worrisome as the waters off Tanjung Kupang is rich with marine life including sea grass.
“The sea grass has spread to the left of the development where there is more water movement. The seahorses are still there, the dugongs are still there, it’s just that they don’t come near the sand barges as they are noisy. There are other patches of sea grass closer to the port (PTP) so the dugongs are there,” she said in an interview.
“The waters off this area isn’t deep. Where Forest City is now was a place for the prawn fishermen to fish for prawns. When the reclamation started, their catch was affected,” she added. “However, the number of prawns have increased tremendously in this area and if you ask any of the fishermen, they will tell you that they are getting more prawns nowadays. Somehow, the sand that is being used to reclaim the area has brought more prawn species here. They may be invasive but I don’t think the fishermen are complaining.”
According to Dr Yu, Forest City was planned as a single 20-square kilometer island. “However, after doing the Environmental Impact Assessment we found that there is a huge patch of sea grass in the middle of where the island should be and decided to preserve it. So, we made Forest City into a four-island development instead – just for the sea grass,” he explained.
“We strive to protect the environment, knowing how important it is for the ecosystem to be able to flourish,” he said. “And because of what we are doing for the sea grass, our neighbour the PTP is also taking measures to protect the aquatic environment.”
I was happy to be shown photos of marine life off the Forest City project that include the Hippocampus kuda seahorses and the Jorunna funebris nudibranch.
Investing In Future Employees
‘Prosper Thy Neighbour’ is something that the management at CGPV holds on to. To increase the chances of employability, Forest City has embarked on several initiatives including providing free Mandarin and English language classes for the fishermen of Tanjung Kupang.
According to Shalan Jum’at, co-founder of Kelab Alami, Forest City has given funds to assist the local fishing community to buy nets and tools to repair them, and have set up a net-service centre at the Kelab Alami clubhouse. The fishermen would gather there to learn English and Mandarin from tutors provided by Forest City. This prepares the fishermen for the possibility of providing eco-tourism services for foreign tourists and future residents of Forest City.
Five local schools have also been adopted by Forest City where the children are being given Mandarin language classes financed by Forest City. Schools such as SK Tiram Duku in Tanjung Kupang are being prepared as future employees and service providers for the foreigners residing at Forest City.
“We would like to be inclusive and ask the Orang Asli in the surrounding areas to provide guides for eco-tourists but it is so difficult to change their mindset.” explained Dr Yu when asked about the involvement of the local Orang Asli at Forest City.
This was confirmed by Encik Noore bin Kasi, the Tok Batin or village headman of Kampung Orang Asli Simpang Arang.
“We would like to get involved in eco-tourism but it is difficult because the Orang Asli have difficulty to change their way of life,” he said of the difficulty faced. “They think that this (Forest City) project does not benefit them. They are wrong! Eco-tourism will definitely benefit them. Development comes at a very fast pace but the mindset of the Orang Asli is too slow to catch up.”
He stressed that the situation is made worse by the presence of outsiders, in particular NGOs that are anti-government that have been coming in and out of the village to spread negative views about the project and the government to the Orang Asli community. He is afraid that the opportunity to benefit from the project will get lesser as time go by, and if the Orang Asli are being bombarded with lies continuously, they will lose out.
How would Forest City help the locals? According to Datuk Md Othman, Forest City is aimed at foreign buyers, not Malaysians. This is to ensure that foreigners take up only what is being sold at Forest City, leaving the development on mainland Johor up for grabs by the locals.
“This is how Johor ensures that the local market is not spoilt,” he added.
Whether or not there is cashflow controls imposed by China, the rich Chinese who already have investments worldwide would still come to Forest City to buy properties.
Dr Yu is equally optimistic. “Forest City is within the One Belt, One Road initiative area. The High Speed Rail ensures connectivity between Forest City and the rest of Asia especially Thailand, and India. People with investments here from the Middle East or China can fly into Senai airport direct and not have to transit at KLIA. I am certain the cashflow control is just a temporary measure to make sure that they know where are the money being invested, and Forest City being a China-involved development project will surely see a surge in investors from China once everything has been consolidated.”
With more sales offices being opened in the Middle East and in Indonesia, Forest City will definitely achieve its target.
Dr Yu said, unlike Langkawi, Tioman or nearby Stulang, the island was not duty-free, but has a portion that is designated as a duty-free area. Within this duty-free area is a township, so that its population will be able to enjoy a lower cost of living because the retail goods and consumables will cost a lot less.
“Many things in Forest City will be “unprecedented”, so in that sense, the project will be exciting,” Yu said.
And for as long as Forest City exists, it will surely continue give good life to the people of southern Johor.
When PPBM’s Ketua AMANDA Syed Saddiq announced that he was going to hold a press conference to announce about his impending decision whether to further his studies in Masters in Public Policy at the Oxford University, he made it sound so dramatic as if he was going to announce the dissolution of Parliament.
In the end, it was to announce that he won’t be going to Oxford after all as he would rather stay back for the general elections.
Although it was an unnecessary melodrama on his part, it would have been perfect had he stopped there. But being the diva-ish queer that he is, he had to throw in the kitchen sink as well just to justify his story of deciding against going to Oxford.
He added that he was offered RM5 million to leave PPBM and do his Masters in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. It was a bribe by someone linked to the BN!
No wonder he was not happy and was crying. The whole Oxford University thing was a bribe for him to leave PPBM. But when he announced his intention to pursue his studies, did he and his parents not feel happy about it? The following photograph shows how happy he was to be bribed!
Something however is amiss in this story. That of the offer letter itself.
The purported letter was sent by the Blavatnik School of Government on 17 May 2017. Syed Saddiq received the letter on 15 June 2017 but was required to reply on 11 May 2017, SIX DAYS BEFORE THE LETTER WAS SENT!
Does the Blavatnik School of Government of Oxford University, a top university for centuries, use the Anwari calendar where January has 50 days?
And why did Syed Saddiq choose 2 October 2017 to announce that he wouldn’t be going to Oxford? Was he really offered to go there? Did the new semester in the UK not commence in the third week of September 2017, 21 September to be exact?
My question to Syed Saddiq is, if someone did offer him a bribe, why hasn’t he lodged a report as required by law? Would he rather be fined RM100,000 or go to jail, or both?
I’m calling your bluff, girl. Go lodge a report now, girl, or remain that dramatic liar you have always been.
Masih sibuk lagi para pencacai Mahathir membawa isu-isu basi seperti biasa, bermula dengan penjualan Proton kepada entiti China oleh pemiliknya yang sudah tentu bukan kerajaan Malaysia, MAS yang dipimpin oleh warga negara asing, dan juga penasihat komunikasi korporat Perdana Menteri yang juga bukan warganegara.
Namun, kerajaan terpaksa akur bahawa entiti Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia terpaksa ditamatkan kerana tidak termampu melangsaikan segala beban dan diwujudkan pula Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad untuk menggantikan syarikat sebelumnya.
Kini, ianya dikemudi oleh Peter Bellew, seorang warganegara Ireland yang sebelum ini berjaya menaikkan jumlah penumpang di Kerry Airport dari 6,000 orang ke 400,000. Bellew juga merupakan salah seorang dari pihak pengurusan syarikat Ryanair yang telah menjayakan syarikat tersebut.
Sebelum Proton dijual oleh pemiliknya (dan bukannya oleh kerajaan seperti yang dicanangkan oleh pembangkang), kerajaan telah menghabiskan sebanyak RM44 billion untuk pelbagai kos bagi menentukan Proton mempunyai daya saing di peringkat global.
Malangnya, syarikat yang ketika itu milik kerajaan dan diuruskan oleh kroni Mahathir langsung tidak boleh bersaing di dalam negara, apatah lagi di luar.
Proton yang menjadi kebanggaan negara juga menjadi sebuah syarikat bangsat di bawah kroni-kroni Mahathir.
Akhirnya, pemilik Proton menjual sebahagian saham kepada syarikat pembuat kereta terkemuka, Geely.
Jika dalam pejabat Najib Razak ada penasihat komunikasi korporat dari kalangan orang asing, orang yang paling dipercayai Mahathir semasa beliau menjadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri merupakan seorang bangsat dan juga agen KGB, agensi perisikan Soviet Union.
Tiga hari sebelum Mahathir menjadi Perdana Menteri, Siddiq Ghouse yang merupakan Setiausaha Politiknya selama tujuh tahun sejak 1974 telah ditahan bersama peralatan perisikan yang telah dibekalkan oleh pihak Soviet Union.
Akibat itu, kerajaan telah menahan beliau di bawah ISA dan mengusir keluar serta-merta tiga orang pegawai Kedutaan Soviet di Kuala Lumpur kerana kesalahan pengintipan. Perisik KGB yang diusir ialah G.I. Stepanor, Setiausaha Pertama Kedutaan Rusia; Encik V.P.Romanov, Setiausaha Kedua Kedutaan Soviet dan seorang kakitangan bukan diplomatik di bahagian ekonomi kedutaan Soviet iaitu Z.L. Khamidauline.
Tujuh tahun pun tak kenal orang yang paling rapat dengan beliau. Tapi tak menghairankan sebab dulu beliau gelar Lim Kit Siang sebagai musuh yang nyata. Sekarang Lim Kit Sianglah sahabat paling karib beliau. Anwar Ibrahim yang beliau penjarakan akibat liwat pun dah tiada bau taik.
Aduhai! Rindu zaman Mahathir. Zaman pelingkup segalanya. Zaman bangsat.
The above title consists of the very words that are being used by the Opposition, from the days of the Barisan Alternatif through its current form, the Pakatan Harapan.
Those words remain as their battle cry to convince voters that the Barisan Nasional, in particular UMNO, is corrupted to the core.
Hence, when long before 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion story ever happened Najib Razak announced in 2012 that the BN was to have its candidates’ list for GE13 screened by the MACC, everyone treated that as a sign of the end of the world as predicted by the Mayans.
However, the Barisan Nasional did submit its list of election candidates to the MACC recently, whereas it is the Opposition that has been resisting a similar move!
In an attempt to spin the BN’s move into something negative, left-leaning The Malaysian Incite quoted unnamed sources within UMNO lamenting the arrest of BN figures such as Latif Bandi, Isa Samad et al but failed to mention that that is the same reaction that the PKR and DAP gave when their ranks were arrested for corruption.
Well, my unnamed party insider told me even BEFORE the Haj season that the BN supreme council is happy that far lesser people have thronged the PWTC promoting themselves as GE14’s candidates ever since Najib Razak decided to submit the list to the MACC.
The Pakatan Harapan is far from being clean. Cheats and corrupted people thrive there too with the likes of Adam Rosly, the UNISEL scandal, Chegu Bard’s various reports on corrupted practices by Azmin Ali, the investigation into DAP’s corrupt practices that resulted in the death of Teoh Beng Hock, Phee Boon Poh’s abuse of position, Lim Guan Eng’s double corruption charge, just to name a few.
Let us also not forget chronic liar Rafizi Ramli who was not only found guilty of lying but also for disclosing to the public contents of documents protected under the Laws which is a breach of trust by a Parliamentarian whose job is to protect such trusts.
Recently he was exposed to have been paying himself through his own companies for services rendered to his own company in the region of RM100,000 per transaction. He also solicited funds from the public to help him pay for damages he caused the NFC by publishing lies about them.
Yet, he did not pay up as ordered by the court and chose to allow NFC to file a bankruptcy notice against him. We wonder what happened to the millions of Ringgits collected to pay NFC? Did he use the money to pay his own self?
Yet the PKR chose to protect such compulsive criminals within their ranks thinking that the voters of today have the same IQ as the ones in the 1950s, that they are stupid enough to judge. Hence the reaction by Wan Azizah when the MACC suggested for PKR’s candidates be screened by the latter.
DAP, too, reacted negatively towards the MACC’s suggestion. Pulau Pinang’s Deputy Chief Minister Ramasamy a/l Palanisamy said that the MACC cannot vet the DAP’s candidates list as the former lacks the moral authority to do so as it is reticent about those involved in the 1MDB although they have been named by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
Again this shows the stupidity of the people in the Pakatan Harapan either by defaut or by design, with the latter perhaps trying to make fools out of their supporters.
Furthermore, the case that is being investigated by the DoJ, made public more than a year ago, has not gained much grounds as it is based on the reports made by Datuk Botox and Matthias Chang, the office and despatch boys of U-Turn Mahathir. If it was a solid criminal case, we would be sitting in front of the TV watching CNN while stuffing our face with popcorn.
The party that has a lot to do with corruption thus refusing the MACC’s help to clean its candidates list is the DAP, and not just the PKR. With Phee Boon Poh, Lim Guan Eng and maybe soon others as well, both the PKR and DAP would have a very short list of candidates that it will not be enough to cover the constituencies it already holds even if all of them ran for both Parliamentary and state seats.
That is also why Lim Guan Eng desperately clings on to power and fights on all corners to have his corruption charges dismissed on technical reasons rather than answering the charges made against him, just as long as he could remain as the corrupted but jail-free Chief Minister.
But of course, in the course of trying to discredit the MACC, Pakatan Harapan would throw everything at the MACC including the kitchen sink and onions too, a tactic they have been using against all government agencies since before the 1969 general elections. When they lose, they will automatically blame the voters and the voting system. Then again, what else is new?
This is why the public needs to rally its support towards having cleaner candidates to run for public office. Although there is nothing in the law that says that candidates must be vetted, the MACC is the agency that should be doing the vetting of candidates to ensure that they do not have the tendency to be corrupted.
Having said that, this is also the reason the MACC should be given more manpower and remuneration reviewed, as should the PDRM, instead of having Paul Low’s JITN to be formed as a new department, burdening the government further with an increased budget.