SeaDemon Says

It is a sad day for the nation. We lost two Ops Daulat heroes, Major Mohd Hasri Zahari RMAF, and Major Yazmi Mohamed Yusof RMAF.  The nation mourns for them.  What happened to them 21 minutes into their flight, 60 kilometers North Northeast from the Kuantan Air Base will not be known until the Board that has been set up to investigate this incident comes out with its final report.

Details are sketchy.  The pair took off at 11.09am and communications was lost at 11.30am.  They were said to be performing a Functional Check Flight, which requires a rather complex form of flight manouvers depending on the function that needs to be tested.  For example, an aircraft that has recently had an engine change will need a specific profile for that Functional Check Flight.

If it was a Functional Check Flight, the crew would have had a checklist that they needed to follow.  They would record their findings according to each of the item, in sequential order, given in the checklist for them to perform before signing off upon completion of the Functional Check Flight.

Something must have happened in the midst of the flight that only the Board would be able to deduce after gathering all the facts.

Officers and men (and women) of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, like in the other services, are paid to die if necessary.  When they step into the aircraft, no matter how well they are maintained, there is that nagging little part in their mind that knows that there is a chance that they might not come back alive.  Just as we drive to work every day.  When we leave home, how sure are we that we will get to see our family again?  But the pilots knew what was expected of them when they applied to join His Majesty’s Armed Forces.  We, as Malaysians, know that these two would die for anything as long as others may live. My only grouse is, every time something like this happens, instant “experts” flood the Internet with baseless accusations and theories.

THEORY NO.1 – LIKE MH370 THE RMAF RADAR PEOPLE ARE SLEEPING AGAIN, THAT IS WHY THE AIRCRAFT IS STILL MISSING

For those who still think that radar covers everything that is above the surface of the Earth, please have someone swing a baseball bat at your head – repeatedly.  Radar only covers some 15 percent of the surface of the Earth.  The Air Defence people did not sleep that night when the MH370 went missing.  They saw where it went until the aircraft went out of radar coverage.  You can read more about it here. The details of the flight may have changed a bit as we have learnt much more about what happened at night, but the RMAF was spot on with its procedures.

In the case of the missing BAe Hawk 108 aircraft, you must first know how radar works.  The radar transmits a radio beam which bounces off a flying object, and the beam that is bounced back is received by the radar’s receiver.  This is then translated as an image on the radar screen for the operator to see.

I explained a bit more early this month on how the RMAF Air Defence radar works.  Please read about it here.

The Hawk went down.  Which means it no longer reflected any beam for the radar receiver to receive.  How can there be any image showing on the screen?  So based on the last seen position, a search-and-rescue team was dispatched by helicopter to the last known location of the missing Hawk.  They found the bodies of the pilot but not the aircraft.  This I shall answer in…

THEORY NO.2 – THE HAWK IS MISSING BECAUSE THE RMAF DOES NOT KNOW WHERE IT IS

This is the obvious, actually.  If the RMAF know where the aircraft is, this theory of your would be academic.  But no.  If you expect to find a wreckage that is almost intact, think again.

In 1996, ValuJet Flight 592 fell out of the sky after taking off from Miami and disappeared in the Everglades.  The DC-9 aircraft with 110 on board was shredded into pieces by the impact.  It took months before they could retrieve as many pieces of the wreckage that could be found.

In 1993, an RMAF PC-7 crashed into a paddy field in Perlis.  The PC-7 is a much slower aircraft compared to the Hawk.  When I arrived at the scene, it too was shredded into pieces.  Nothing that resembled an aircraft could be seen.  We found the engine a couple of days later buried 12 meters deep in the soft paddy field.

The ground where the Hawk is said to have gone missing is a secondary jungle that is swampy in nature.  The wreckage could be in there somewhere. All we need to find is the impact point.  This may also be related to Theory No.4.  But that is for later.

THEORY NO.3 – THE HAWK IS AN OLD JUNK

How old is old for an aircraft?

I shall not compare military aircraft to civilian airliners.  I shall not even compare the Hawk to the C-130H that we have been operating since 1976.  They conduct different missions and face different kind of airframe stresses.  However, be mindful that the Royal New Zealand Air Force operates C-130s that are more than 50 years old.  Older than I am, in fact.

I will then compare the Hawk to another aircraft that probably faces even greater airframe stresses – the F-16A.  The United States Air Force retired its F-16s that entered service in 1979 only five years ago.  Therefore they were in service for 33 years!  The Hawk has been in service in the RMAF for 22 years now.  The USAF has over 5,000 aircraft and the average age of 25 years!  The Republic of Singapore Air Force only retired its A-4SU after 31 years in service.  In fact, our F-5Es entered service in 1975 and was only retired in 2015 the same year the RSAF retired its F-5Ss after 36 years!  Was it old?  Ask a Tiger-driver how superb the F-5 was as it was retired.  Only the avionics could be considered old.

THEORY NO.4 – WHY DIDN’T THEIR CHUTES OPEN? DON’T THEY HAVE EJECTION SEATS?

The bodies were found 20 meters from each other.  An eyewitness said that she saw both men with their chute deployed.  I don’t know how credible this eyewitness is.  I hope that she is not as credible as the makcik who said she saw the MH370 somewhere in the North Andaman Sea from 40,000 feet.

Truth be told, I am sure that the top brass are as equally perplexed as I am.  That is why they have convened a Board to investigate this.

Could they have ejected?  Perhaps.  I can only think of them being too low and were in a full dive when they did so.  Back i the 1980s, an Aermacchi MB-339A that was performing aerobatics went into a dive.  The air crew ejected but they were too low and the orientation of the aircraft was not one in which they could have ejected safely.  At least one of the air crew wen through the wall of a house.

Being in full dive would also explain the missing aircraft as it could be in shreds with a large portion of it down in the swampy ground.  I can only speculate here and I hate to speculate.

So, let us just let the RMAF conduct their investigation and we get on with our daily lives, can we?  And in the meantime, let us offer our heroes some prayers, and pray that the family they have left behind be given the strength to face the dark days ahead until light comes shining back into their life.

And stop hiding behind user names and keyboards while hitting out at the RMAF over this incident.  Cowards will die many times while the brave die but once.

Maafkan saya sekiranya artikel saya kali ini agak berbunga.  Ini adalah kerana kita berada di dalam bulan Jun, dan ada tiga peristiwa yang pernah dan telah berlaku dalam bulan Jun.

Peristiwa yang pertama ialah peperangan di Kepulauan Falklands 35 tahun yang lalu dalam bulan Jun yang telah memperlihatkan pertempuran-pertempuran sengit di antara Angkatan Tentera Argentina dengan Angkatan Tentera British.

Peristiwa kedua ialah pertemuan saya dengan seorang bekas anggota lain-lain pangkat Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia yang kini bertugas di salah sebuah stesen televisyen utama di Malaysia.  Saya teringatkan kata-kata beliau semasa kami sama-sama belayar di atas salah sebuah kapal milik Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia, iaitu, “Ramai sekarang lebih gemar berpakaian seperti tentera, berlagak seperti tentera, tetapi lalui latihan tentera untuk sehari pun tidak pernah.”

Peristiwa ketiga ialah peristiwa pelupusan sebuah pesawat Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri yang telah menjadi buah mulut ramai sehingga ada yang sanggup merosakkan imej Angkatan Tentera Malaysia dan Kementerian Pertahanan.

Percaya atau tidak, ketiga-tiga peristiwa yang saya sebutkan di atas ada hubungkaitnya.  Kita mulakan dengan cerita hangat, iaitu, pelupusan sebuah pesawat Nuri yang MUNGKIN telah banyak berjasa.  Saya menggunakan dan menggariskan perkataan MUNGKIN itu kerana tidak ada sesiapapun yang boleh, dengan fakta, membuktikan bahawa pesawat tersebut setaraf dengan pesawat TUDM yang pertama, “Lang Rajawali (FM-1001)” ataupun kapal friget pertama yang dibina khusus untuk TLDM iaitu KD Rahmat.

Ada yang berinteraksi dengan saya melalui laman Facebook menyatakan bahawa pesawat Nuri tersebut pernah memainkan peranan membawa keluar para anggota tentera yang tercedera semasa tragedi Gubir pada tahun 1976.  MUNGKIN. Tetapi tidak mungkin ianya satu-satu helikopter yang telah membuat tugas tersebut pada ketika itu.  Bagaimana pula dengan trak tiga tan atau ambulan yang membawa anggota-anggota tersebut dari pesawat Nuri tersebut ke hospital?  Ada yang nak dipamerkan di muzium juga?

Namun, ada pihak yang tidak berpuas hati dan terus menjadikan isu ini tular di media sosial hingga terpaksa pihak Kementerian Pertahanan masuk campur.

Kenyataan Kementerian Pertahanan berhubung isu pelupusan sebuah pesawat Nuri

Mari kita lihat sebentar proses pelupusan harta kerajaan.

OBJEKTIF PELUPUSAN

Pelupusan sesuatu aset kerajaan adalah untuk memastikan kerajaan tidak menyimpan aset yang tidak diperlukan lagi atau yang tidak boleh digunakan lagi.  Ini adalah untuk menjimatkan ruang simpanan aset tersebut dan bleh menjanakan sedikit kewangan untuk kerajaan.

Dalam isu ini, ada yang mempertikaikan harga pelupusan pesawat tersebut yang dikatakan jauh lebih murah dari harga pasaran.  Untuk pengetahuan umum, kerajaan bukanlah sebuah badan untuk membuat keuntungan seperti badan swasta.  Sebab itu pelupusan pesawat Nuri tersebut tidak mengikut harga pasaran.  Begitu juga dengan tanah kerajaan. Penilaian tanah kerajaan tidak sama dengan penilaian tanah milik individu ataupun swasta.

Sebab itu juga faedah pinjaman perumahan bagi kakitangan kerajaan adalah pada kadar empat peratus.  Adakah anda bersetuju sekiranya kerajaan memberi pinjaman kepada kakitangannya mengikut Base Lending Rate yang dikenakan oleh sektor perbankan?

Maka, jangan samakan proses pelupusan kerajaan dengan proses pelupusan swasta.

JUSTIFIKASI PELUPUSAN

Ada beberapa kategori yang diberikan kepada aset-aset yang hendak dilupuskan.  Saya masih ingat satu ketika dahulu semasa Lembaga Audit Pelupusan datang ke pangkalan di mana saya bertugas, di antara barangan yang hendak dilupuskan adalah sejumlah rucksack (backpack) yang usang.  Bukannya rosak sangat pun, tetapi telah dikategorikan sebagai usang.  Beg-beg ini dipotong atau dikoyakkan di hadapan para juruaudit yang hadir.  Memang sayang. Tetapi ianya telah usang.

Dalam isu pelupusan pesawat Nuri di atas, pesawat tersebut telah membuat pendaratan cemas di Pulau Perak pada penghujung tahun 2014 mengakibatkan kerosakan teruk kepada rangka pesawat tersebutyang tidak ekonomi untuk dibaiki.  Saya yakin, setelah dibawa pulang ke pangkalan asal pesawat tersebut, ianya telah “digantung” dan dijadikan “pokok Krismas” di mana komponen-komponen yang boleh digunapakai sebagai alatganti lain-lain pesawat Nuri diambil dari pesawat tersebut.  Sebab itulah buruk betul rupa pesawat tersebut.

Setelah habis komponen-komponen penting diambil dari rangka pesawat tersebut, satu tender dikeluarkan untuk melupuskan rangka pesawat tersebut.

Satu permohonan dibuat oleh pihak Unit Pengurusan Aset Kementerian Pertahanan, kepada Perbendaharaan Malaysia untuk melupuskan pesawat tersebut yang mana disertakan juga laporan kemalangan pesawat tersebut serta gambar-gambar.  Kemudian satu Lembaga Pemeriksa Pelupusan akan ditubuhkan yang mana keanggotaannya juga melibatkan sekurang-kurangnya dua orang ahli yang tiada sangkut paut dengan aset yang hendak dilupuskan.  Setelah semua proses dokumentasi selesai, barulah tender pelupusan dikeluarkan.

KENAPA TIDAK DIBERIKAN KEPADA MUZIUM?

Aset yang dilupuskan boleh diberikan kepada mana-mana pihak yang membuat permohonan.  Tetapi ianya mesti memenuhi dua syarat:

  1. Ianya masih boleh digunakan lagi dalam bentuk dan fungsi asal tetapi tidak diperlukan lagi oleh agensi Kerajaan; atau
  2. Ianya tidak ekonomi diperbaiki tetapi boleh diguna sebagai bahan latihan dan pameran.  Sebagai contoh: KD Rahmat yang masih dalam keadaan sempurna.

Persoalannya, adakah pesawat Nuri tersebut masih sempurna rupanya dan boleh dibuat bahan pameran?  Anda lihat sendiri rupanya.

BAGAIMANA KISAH PESAWAT NURI INI BERHUBUNG KAIT DENGAN DUA LAGI KISAH DI ATAS?

HMS Broadsword (kiri) dan HMS Hermes (kanan) – gambar Wikipedia

Gambar di atas menunjukkan dua buah bekas kapal diraja Britain iaitu sebuah friget bernama HMS Broadsword dan kapal pengangkut pesawat HMS Hermes.  Kedua-dua buah kapal tersebut telah ternyata banyak berjasa kepada pihak British semasa Peperangan Falklands pada bulan April hingga Jun 1982.  Kapal-kapal tersebut adalah di antara sebab tentera Argentina mengalami kekalahan dan terpaksa menyerahkan Kepulauan Falklands balik kepada British.

Seelok-eloknya kapal-kapal tersebut dijadikan bahan pameran di muzium, atau di Sungai Thames di mana kapal era Perang Dunia Kedua HMS Belfast berada.  Namun apakah nasib kedua-dua buah kapal tersebut?

HMS Broadsword telah dilucut tauliah dan dijual kepada Tentera Laut Brazil pada tahun 1995.  HMS Hermes pula dilucut tauliah pada tahun 1984 dan kemudiannya dijual kepada Tentera Laut India pada tahun 1986.  Malah, tidak ada satu pun di antara lebih 200 kapal yang menyertai armada Britain untuk menawan kembali Kepulauan Falklands dijadikan bahan pameran di muzium.  Sebuah lagi kapal pemusnah yang berjasa, HMS Glasgow, telah dilucut tauliah pada tahun 2005, dan kemudian dilupuskan pada tahun 2009.

Malah, TLDM juga mempunya sebuah kapal yang menjadi kapal pertama dibina untuk TLDM iaitu KD Mutiara (jangan dikelirukan dengan KD Mutiara yang masih berkhidmat sekarang).  Kapal KD Mutiara tersebut pernah membawa delegasi Malaya berunding dengan Borneo Utara, Brunei dan Sarawak mengenai penubuhan Persekutuan Malaysia.  Delegasi Malaya ketika itu termasuk Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Haji Abdul Razak, dan Tun Ghazali Shafie.  Ianya juga merupakan kapal TLDM pertama yang diberi gelaran “Kapal DiRaja.”

Itu memang aset yang amat bersejarah, malah memainkan peranan besar dalam penubuhan Malaysia.  Kenapa tidak disimpan dan dijadikan bahan pameran muzium?

Kapal KD Mutiara ditauliahkan ke dalam perkhidmatan Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaya pada tahun 1961

Teringat kembali kata-kata petugas stesen televisyen yang merupakan bekas anggota TUDM, “Ramai sekarang lebih gemar berpakaian seperti tentera, berlagak seperti tentera, tetapi lalui latihan tentera untuk sehari pun tidak pernah.”

Begitulah hakikatnya sekarang. Yang tidak pernah mengalami dunia ketenteraan yang begitu galak berkata-kata mengenai hal-ehwal ketenteraan sehingga mengajak rakyat berasa tidak puas hati dengan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia sedangkan tidak memahami proses pelupusan aset.  Pesawat Nuri masih banyak yang berkhidmat dalam perkhidmatan Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia dan Tentera Darat Malaysia.  Tunggu sahajalah satu hari nanti apabila kesemuanya tidak lagi berkhidmat untuk ATM. Banyak nanti bahan pameran. Cuma dikhuatirkan muzium yang tidak mencukupi

Tentera kuat berpegang kepada tradisi. Tentera juga tidak lupa kepada sejarah. Tetapi tentera tidak bersifat sentimental dan berhati tisu.  Itu sifat tentera papan kekunci sahaja.

You belajar dulu jadi Menteri, lepas tu baru bercakap. Sebab, kita kena ingat. Dalam politik ni kita jangan cakap besar!

Itulah kata-kata Menteri Kerajaan Padang Rengas yang ditujukan kepada Menteri Pelancongan, Kesenian, Kebudayaan, Belia dan Sukan Sarawak Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah selepas Abdul Karim menyatakan ketidaksetujuan beliau dengan cadangan mengenakan cukai bilik bagi hotel-hotel di negeri Sarawak.

You cakap besar, you tunjuk samseng, kita lebih samseng lagi.

Saya rasa tidak ada sesiapa pun yang akan mempertikaikan siapa samseng paling besar di negara ini.

‘Brutoh Lu!”

Tindakan Nazri tersebut telah dipandang oleh bukan sahaja rakyat negeri Sarawak, malah seluruh Malaysia sebagai biadab dan keterlaluan.  Ianya diihat sebagai takbur dan merosakkan usaha Najib Razak yang menjadi Perdana Menteri pertama yang membawa lebih banyak pembangunan kepada Sabah dan Sarawak setelah diabaikan sekian lama oleh Perdana Menteri yang mempunyai 22 tahun peluang.

Ianya seolah-olah beliau tidak menghormati semangat setiakawan parti-parti komponen Barisan Nasional, dan juga seolah-olah beliau bertindak sebagai seorang Menteri di dalam kerajaan beliau sendiri.

Tidak cukup dengan penghinaan yang telah dilakukan, beliau terus menghina Abdul Karim dengan gelaran “Menteri Setahun Jagung.”

Nazri menggelar Abdul Karim “Menteri Setahun Jagung”

Reaksi pertama ditunjukkan oleh Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Abang Zohari yang lebih dikenali sebagai Abang Jo.  Beliau telah mengeluarkan kenyataan menarik keluar penyertaan negeri Sarawak dari Lembaga Pelancongan Negara.

Kenyataan dari Pejabat Ketua Menteri Sarawak

Bagaimanapun, Nazri dengan bongkaknya berkata “Kehidupan akan berterusan dan tiada apa-apa pun yang terjejas (dari penarikan diri negeri Sarawak itu).”

Reaksi seterusnya dari Menteri-Menteri kabinet Malaysia adalah dari Abdul Rahman Dahlan yang berasal dari Sabah dan juga Fadillah Yusof dari Sarawak yang juga merupakan Pengerusi Belia Barisan Nasional negeri Sarawak.

Twitter Abdul Rahman Dahlan yang menyelar tindakan Nazri

Mungkin Nazri merasakan dirinya besar.  Bukan sahaja beliau akui beliau lebih samseng dari orang lain, malah merasakan juga bahawa beliau lebih besar dari orang lain.  Beliau pernah berkata bahawa beliau lebih besar dari Ketua Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas, Puad Zarkashi, semasa mengulas kenyataan Puad menyuruh kedua-dua individu yang menyebabkan kemelut terkini FGV untuk meletak jawatan.

Walaupun dalam video di atas Menteri Kerajaan Padang Rengas tersebut menyatakan bahawa tiada sesiapa patut bercakap besar dalam politik, beliau sering bercakap tak serupa bikin.

Sikap besar kepala beliau dikongsi bersama oleh isteri muda beliau yang juga merupakan Timbalan Menteri Kerajaan Padang Rengas, Haflin.  Haflin, yang bukan Datin Bergelar kerana merupakan BUKAN isteri pertama yang masih hidup, telah mengejek Abdul Karim melalui akaun Instagram beliau.

Ejekan Haflin mengenai kenyataan “setahun jagung”

Haflin juga telah mengherdik mereka yang tidak bersetuju dengan perbuatan Nazri.

Haflin memarahi orang yang membuat komen negatif terhadap Nazri

Haflin adalah Timbalan Menteri Kerajaan Padang Rengas kerana sering menjalankan tugas-tugas di luar negeri bagi ihak beliau sedangkan Kementerian Pelancongan masih ada Timbalan Menteri, KSU, TKSU serta Ketua Pengarah Kementerian yang sepatutnya membuat tugas tersebut.

Siapa Haflin? Adakah beliau juga besar dari Abdul Karim dan Puad Zarkashi?

Apabila disoal siapakah dia dalam Kementerian Pelancongan, ini jawapan beliau:

Saya rasa orang-orang yang sering membalun Rosmah Mansor pun kini tahu Rosmah tak kepoh macam si Haflin.  Malah Rosmah banyak menghabiskan masa memberi makan dan mengaji bersama anak-anak yatim dan para pelajar tahfiz hampir setiap malam di kediaman beliau.

Nazri bagaikan tidak menghiraukan kesan yang mungkin akan menjejaskan usaha Barisan Nasional Sarawak untuk memenangi pilihanraya DUN Pujut.  Dalam video di atas, Nazri menyatakan bahawa DUN Pujut memang milik DAP. Sekiranya BN Sarawak kalah di Pujut maka ianya tidak memberi kesan kepada BN.

Persoalannya ialah: adakah tindak-tanduk Nazri ini dilakukan untuk mengalihkan tumpuan para pemerhati politik dan rakyat dari kemelut yang dihadapi rakan baik beliau Lim Guan Eng?

Buddy-buddy gittew – Samseng Utara dan Samseng Padang Rengas

Lim Guan Eng yang kini bukan sahaja cuba menyelamatkan diri dari dibicarakan di atas tuduhan perlakuan rasuah, tetapi juga mengenai kepincangan pentadbiran kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang serta kelemahan pengurusan kewangan negeri.  Nazri yang secara terbuka berkawan dan memberi sokongan kepada Lim Guan Eng mungkin berfikir beliau perlu mengalihkan perhatian ramai dari isu Lim Guan Eng kepada Sarawak.

Tidak hairanlah apabila wanita pengamal media sosial tersohor Cik Lim Sian See juga membuat kenyataan mengenai perangai samseng Nazri yang dipelajari dari sahabat karibnya dari Pulau Pinang itu.

Gambar yang dikongsi oleh Cik Lim Sian See mengenai Nazri dan Tokong

Mahu tidak mahu Najib Razak juga yang kini terpaksa membersihkan najis yang telah dilepaskan oleh Nazri.  Telah terlalu banyak yang dilabur oleh Najib Razak untuk menentukan pembangunan yang dibawa ke Sabah dan Sarawak akan membantu menaik taraf kehidupan rakyat di kedua-dua buah negeri tersebut dengan harapan mereka terus memberi sokongan padu kepada kerajaan Barisan Nasional baik di peringkat negeri mahupun pusat.  Terpaksalah Najib Razak membuat satu keputusan yang jitu untuk mengatasi najis yang telah dilemparkan oleh Nazri kepada rakyat Sarawak.

Sudah tiba masanya samseng tersebut diajar makna adab kerana perbuatannya terhadap sokongan yang diraih Najib Razak dari Sarawak itu tidak lain tidak bukan tetapi umpama Julius Caesar ditikam oleh Brutus dari belakang.

Brutoh la!

It has been a while that I have actually driven late at night in Kuala Lumpur, a city that city-dwellers claim to have become more and more unaffordable to live in.  So, I took a drive last night just to see how it looks like mid-Ramadhan.  I shun driving through KL towards the end of Ramadhan because there would be a mad rush for season end bargains.  The middle of Ramadhan should be alright for a drive.

I was wrong.  I used to be able to park my car in front of the embassy of Nepal on Jalan Ampang (behind St John’s primary school) and walk across the Klang river for a plate of roti canai on previous years’ Ramadhan night.  However last night, the jam started just after the intersection between Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang as cars tried to get to the Masjid India and Capital Square areas.  Parked cars lined the sides of Jalan Ampang from across Sunway Tower all the way to Jalan Melaka!

A friend who works at a very famous textile mall in the Masjid India area confided that sales this Ramadhan has so far exceeded the total sales for Ramadhan 2016.  And it has only been 15 days since the beginning of Ramadhan with another two weeks to go.

I have not gone to see the sales of Naelofar scarves.  If hundreds of dUCk scarves costing RM800 each could all disappear from the shelf within five minutes, I expect a mad scramble for the Naelofar ones which have gone on sale one week before Ramadhan even started!

What about the Ramadhan buffets?

Ramadhan buffets are generally dearer compared to last year.  I have had the chance to sample some by both invitations and personal visits.  I have not seen one that is not full, be it at one that costs RM65 per head or the one that charges RM218 per head.  And most are not corporate invites as they throng these venues in shorts and t-shirts, and often than not I see long tables of families, not co-workers, enjoying their Ramadhan buffet.  Even university students swamped the RM65 ones, something unthinkable back in the mid-1980s.

At one venue the hotel car park was full that I had to park next to the waste bins near the hotel’s goods delivery area!  I was lucky to have gotten that spot as I see scores of people having to walk from afar after parking their car by the roadside.

So, how oppressed are the Malaysians financially?  Is it true that it used to be better two Prime Ministers ago?

Consumer spending in Malaysia over 10 years (Trading Economics/Department of Statistics Malaysia)

If you look at the graph above on consuer spending in Malaysia over the last ten years, despite claims that RM1 could get you many things back then compared to now, consumer spending in Malaysia has been on the upward trend.  If you look at your social media accounts, even university students can afford to go on a holiday in Bali and Lombok now when the farthest they would go back in the 1990s was a weekend in Port Dickson.  Students in the 1990s could hardly afford a flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Consumer spending increased to RM152 billion in the first quarter of this year from RM150 billion in the last quarter of 2016 and averaged RM101.7 billion from 2005 until the first quarter of 2017.  The lowest consumer spending by Malaysian was in the second quarter of 2005 when it was RM56.8 billion and peaked at RM153.5 billion in the second quarter of 2016 – exactly the period when whining Malaysians complained without facts that the country is on the brink of financial doom.

As a matter of fact according to the Department of Statistics of Malaysia, the median and mean monthly salary and wages paid to employees in 2016 have increased by 6.2 and 6.3 percent respectively compared to 2015.

This is also helped by the fact that sales tax has gone down from the 10 percent sales tax (and 6 percent service tax) that were not fully remitted to the government due to the suspected underdeclaring of sales and profits, to just 6 percent Goods and Services Tax.

Sales Tax in Malaysia (Trading Economics/Malaysian Inland Revenue Department)

Corporate Tax, despite claims that the government has been charging corporations more, has been brought down to just 24 percent in 2016 from 30 percent back in 1997.

Corporate Tax in Malaysia from 1997 to 2016 (Trading Economics/Malaysian Inland Revenue Department)

Even the April 2017 numbers for Year-to-Date car sales figures in Malaysia had increased compared to the corresponding period in 2016.

And the government continues to make life more affordable in especially Kuala Lumpur, the city many big spenders complain is getting expensive to live in.  The Light Rapid Transit system that was originally built especially for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, has now been extended in service to connect Puchong and Putra Heights, while by 17 July 2017 the Mass Rapid Transit Line 1 will connect Sungai Buloh to Kajang directly meeting the KTM Komuter in Sungai Buloh and Kajang, while meeting directly with the LRT at Pasar Seni, and is within walking distance with the KL Monorail at Bukit Bintang.

The LRT will further extend from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, south of Port Klang, and will be passing Tropicana, Glenmarie, Shah Alam stadium, UiTM, Bukit Raja, Sri Andalas and Bukit Tinggi.  The construction of LRT extension (known as LRT 3) has already commenced.

The MRT Line 2, which has also begun its site clearing phase will be from Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya, passing through Sri Damansara, Kepong, Jinjang, Sentul, Titiwangsa where it will meet with the KL Monorail and LRT Ampang/Seri Petaling lines before going through Kampung Baru, Ampang Park, KLCC East, TRX, Bandar Malaysia, Kuchai, Bandar Tasik Selatan where it meets with the LRT, ERL and KTM Komuter, Serdang, Seri Kembangan, and Cyberjaya.

Meanwhile KTM Komuter will have a service linking its station at Subang Jaya with the Subang Skypark Terminal.

These are all ways initiated by the government to make connectivity better and cost of living lesser for the people of the Klang Valley.  At least, no false promises such as abolishing tolls have been made, such as the one made by the DAP-led state government in 2007 which have not only gone unfulfilled, but also reneged on by introducing not only tolls for Pulau Pinang voters to shoulder, but also having to foot higher parking charges statewide.

Statement by the Pulau Pinang state government promising a tolled highway

So, stop complaining saying things are unbearably expensive because figures show more people can afford to splurge, and stop telling lies in this holy month of Ramadhan, for those who claim to be Muslims or decent, refined and educated human beings.

Recently Azmin Ali announced a two and a half months bonus for Selangor civil servants. The civil servants rejoiced at hearing this news and I am sure Azmin cheered himself.

He stands to get almost RM73,000 as his pay is RM29,000 per month.

With two weeks to go till the end of Ramadhan, news leaked out that the confirmation of any bonus payout will only be made known this coming Tuesday. And already netizens are up in arms over it.



And it seems Pulau Pinang is mulling to cancel its binus payout due to short of funds, as seen in the discussion below:


The Pulau Pinang state government had recently announced that it will give bonus to its civil servants, but with certains terms attached:





The bonus is for 0.75 months or RM1,000 minimum, whichever is higher. This goes to show that the Pulau Pinang government is no longer cash rich.

In order to be able to pay the bonus out, and to continue keep the administration running, the Pulau Pinang state legislative assembly recently passed an enactment to allow the state government to take an undisclosed amount of cash loan from the EXIM Bank of China.

As in the words of Tokong Chao Ah Beng, “borrow money to make more money.”


It seems that the business of running a state government is all too easy. It does not matter how you manage the finances, if you run short of cash, borrow.

And it does not matter who has to shoulder the burden of repaying this debt. According to portal Utaranews, each Penang Lang will have to pay back RM28,000 for this loan..

What does Tokong care? He’s going to jail and he’ll be fed and cared using the money that the Penang suckers pay in the form of taxes. So not only do they have to bear RM28,000 each, but in fact RM28,000 + x being the anount Tokong will be living off them.

This shows how the Pakatan-led states government is totally not in sync with the wishes and wants of the rakyat. They are always dancing to their own tempo, and not with the rakyat – just like this pathetic attempt by DAP MP for Bukit Mertajam, Steven Sim Chee Keong, to be in sync with his constituents.

​​​

Kay Kiang is a Hokkien term to describe someone who acts smarter than he really is. So Lim Kit Siang is actually Lim Kay Kiang.  His parting shot for Friday’s Twitter was to ask Najib Razak about an allegation that RM9.5 million was paid to Shafee Abdullah who was prosecuting for the government in Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy 2.0 trial.

The allegation was made by Sarawak Report which said that two payments were made by Najib Razak using 1MDB funds from an Ambank account.

I shall not comment about the status of the accounts mentioned by Lim Kay Kiang. I shall let others handle that part.  This is typical shit-stirring by Lim Kay Kiang who has turned a blind eye on his son Chao Ah Beng’s corrupt practices.  Chao Ah Beng, who is a quintessential Ah Beng said that he will fight to the end to clear his name has been delaying his own trial to play for more time.

What Lim Kay Kiang ought to realise is that firstly, no matter the amount that was paid to Shafee, the money could not have come from 1MDB.  Even Pakatan-mouthpiece Malaysiakini said that the money had been transferred out of Malaysia the day the account that held the money was closed – 30 August 2013.

Secondly, Shafee was the prosecutor for the trial. You can pay him all the money available in Malaysia but the verdict and judgment rest on the trial judges.  Therefore, what effect does paying Shafee have on the outcome of the trial?

The money that was received by the account bearing Najib Razak’s name was for UMNO.  Whatever amount that was not used was transferred out of the country.  I am sure that there is nothing wrong with receiving funds for political purposes, to make the country a better place.  If you don’t believe me, you can ask Pony Tua who is the DAP’s chief mischief.

Perhaps Lim Kay Kiang should ask Pony Tua what he meant by “What’s wrong with foreign funding to improve democracy.”

Lim Kay Kiang can stir all the shit up if he wants to but he should also surrender his son to the nearest prison before commenting on a non-issue trying to make a rocket of a dildo.

Colonial passport for the colonised people of North Borneo

For the previous installment on religion, please click HERE.

 

Dr Jeffrey Kitingan also raised the point on language on pages 11-12 of his book, ‘The 20 Points – Basis for Federal – State Relations for Sabah, 1987′.  Language was the second point of the 20-Point Memorandum put forth before Malaysia was formed.

His points were, that:

  1. Malay should be the national language of the Federation;
  2. English should continue to be used for a period of ten years after Malaysia Day;
  3. English should be the official language of North Borneo, for all purposes, State or Federal, without limitation of law.

Dr Jeffrey wrote that it was Tun Mustapha’s administration that had changed the status of English by passing a bill and introducing a new clause 11A into the State Constitution, making Bahasa Malaysia the officia language of the State Cabinet and the State Legislative Assembly.

At the same time, he claimed, the National Language (Application) Enactment, 1973 was passed purporting to approve the extension of an Act of Parliament terminating or restricting the use of English for other official purposes in Sabah.

He also said that the National Language Act, 1963/67 was only amended in 1983 to allow it to be extended to Sabah by a State enactment, but no such enactment had been passed.  Therefore, the National Language Act, 1963/67 is still not in force in Sabah.

He claims that the amendments hae brought about the following consequences:

  1. Many civil servants who were schooled in English are employed as temporary or contract officers because of their inability to pass the Bahasa Malaysia examination.
  2. The change in the medium of instruction in schools have affected the standard of teaching due to lack of qualified Bahasa Malaysia teachers.
  3. The teaching of other native languages has been relegated to the background.

Now, let us see what the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (MSCC), the Cobbold Commission, the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) as well as the Federation of Malaysia Agreement had to say about the points raised above.

Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (MSCC) Memorandum

On Page 122 of the MSCC Memorandum, the Committee accepted that the Federation should have a national language and placed no objection to the adoption of the National Language of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore and Brunei (the Malay language) as it is the lingua franca of the region.

However, the MSCC had asked the Parliament to make provision for the English language to remain to be used for a period of TEN YEARS after the formation of the new Federation in 1963.  This is in light of the same period given to the states in the Federation of Malaya in the Federation of Malaya Constitution that is TEN YEARS after 1957.

The Cobbold Commission

According to the Report of the Commission of Enquiry, North Borneo and Sarawak (the Cobbold Commission) dated 21 June 1962 on page 54, the objection to the use of Bahasa Melayu as the language of the Federation and its application to North Borneo and Sarawak are matters that the people of the two states should resolve themselves when fully-elected representative bodies have been constituted.

The Chairman and members from Malaya do not think that their opinion of Bahasa Melayu being the language closest to those spoken in the region and therefore should be the lingua franca should not offend the non-Malays and any derogation from the Federal provision is necessary.

On the issue of official languages the Cobbold Commission found that there is majority support for both Bahasa Melayu and English to be used as the official languages in both the Borneo states without any time limit.  This was the view of the Chairman of the Commission and its British members.

The members from Malaya however thought that with MALAYSIA in total consideration such provision cannot be accepted as it breaches the existing provisions in the Federation of Malaya Constitution.  Therefore the Malayan members recommend that a provision be made without affecting the position of Bahasa Melayu as the official language of the Federation where English shall continue to be an official language in the states of North Borneo and Sarawak along with Bahasa Melayu for a period of ten years after the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia.

This shall continue until such time the Federal government in consultation with the State governments provides otherwise.  The same was recommended for application to the indigenous languages used in debates and discussions in the respective state assemblies.

The Chairman and the British members however opined that there should be no time limit applied to the indigenous languages, until and unless the State governments decide otherwise.

The Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC)

The IGC on Page 26 of its report recommended that Bahasa Melayu be made the official language of the Federation of Malaysia but Article 152 of the Constitution should be modified for its application to the Borneo states as follows:

  1. For a period of TEN YEARS after Malaysia Day and until the State Assemblies provide otherwise, English becomes an official language not just for the State Assemblies but also in other official purposes of both State and Federal, including correspondences with Ministries and Federal departments.
  2. For a period of TEN YEARS after Malaysia Day and until the Parliament of Malaysia provides otherwise, English shall be allowed to be used by representatives from the Borneo states in both Houses of Parliament.
  3. For a period of TEN YEARS after Malaysia Day and until both State Assemblies provide otherwise, all proceedings in the Supreme Court for cases involving cases from the Borneo states and all proceedings in the High Courts of both Borneo States shall be conducted in English.
  4. Until the State Assemblies provide otherwise all proceedings in the subordinate Courts in the Borneo states other than the taking of evidence, shall be in English.

Of course at the end of it all parties agreed upon something hence the Federation of Malaysia Agreement, 1963 was signed.  So what does the Agreement say?

Federation of Malaysia Agreement, 1963

Taking into account the recommendations and points made in the MSCC, the Cobbold Commission and the IGC, the Federation of Malaysia Agreement, 1963 on pages 42 and 43 made provisions that no Act of Parliament terminating or restricting the use of English for the purposes stated below shall come until TEN YEARS after Malaysia Day:

  1. the use of the English language by the representatives from the Borneo states in either house of Parliament,
  2. the use of the English language for proceedings in the High and Subordinate Courts of Borneo until the State Assemblies provide for otherwise, or for proceedings in the Federal Court that involves cases from the Borneo states,
  3. the use of the English language in the Borneo states in the Legislative Assemblies or for other official purpose including the purpose of the Federal Government,
  4. the use of native languages in the native courts and in the case of Sarawak, the use of native languages in the State Assembly until otherwise provided for by an Enactment of the legislature.

During the Tun Mustapha Administration the status of the English language was altered in a bill by inserting a new clause called Clause 11A into the Sabah State Constitution, 1989 (pages 17-18), making Bahasa Malaysia as the official language of the Sabah Cabinet and of the State Legislative Assembly.

The content of this Clause is as follows:

“Without prejudice to clause (8) of Article 24, the official language of the State Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly shall be in Bahasa Malaysia:

Provided that:-

a) notwithstanding the provisions of this Article, the English language may be used for such period and for such purposes as may for the time be provided by or in accordance with Article 152 of the Federal Constitution; and

b) an official English version shall be provided of anything which is required to be printed or reduced into writing and may be published in the Gazzette.”

However, Jeffrey disputes the passing of the National Language (Application) Enactment, 1973 that allegedly allows the application of an Act of Parliament to terminate or restrict the use of the English language for other official purposes in Sabah.  This preceded the National Language Act 1963/67 that was only amended in 1983 to allow it to be applied to Sabah through a state enactment.  Nonetheless, there was no state enactment on the matter that was passed as of 1991.  As such, as of 1991 the National Language Act, 1963/67 was still not enforced in Sabah.

Based on the Federation of Malaysia Agreement (Malaysia Agreement), 1963, it is clear that the position of the English language as an official language can be altered TEN YEARS after Malaysia Day.  It was put into force through a law that was enacted by the State Legislative Assembly of Sabah in 1973.  Having said that, no specific enactment was passed as of 1991 to enforce the National Language (Amendments and Extension) Act, 1983 in Sabah.

Jeffrey Kitingan’s assumptions and allegation pertaining the illegality of the National Language Act, 1963/67 and State Enactment No.7, National Language (Application) Enactment, 1973 which preceded the National Language (Amendments and Extension) Act, 1983 by ten years was more of playing a regional sentiment especially in the context of teaching and learning of the indigenous languages in Sabah.

Questioning the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the official language after 27 years of Sabah being part of the Federation of Malaysia clearly displays the arrogance on Jeffrey’s part, and his refusal to accept the fact that the Bahasa Malaysia is the reflection of the spirit of the people of Malaysia that forms a bridge for all races towards national integration.

In the next installment, we shall talk about the third point – CONSTITUTION.

Taqweem al-SeaDemon

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