A Drastic Action Is Needed To Cure Malaysia

The average Malaysian with illness other than COVID-19 now find themselves with almost nowhere to go to seek treatment (Photo courtesy of The Straits Times)

Let me just start this posting off with a few numbers to remind us of where we are right now.

WHERE WE ARE

Today is 3rd August 2021, Day 504 since leaving the Old Norm. It has been 228 days since we had seen ZERO deaths due to covid-19 in a day. Never mind the one million plus accumulated number of recorded cases since the pandemic hit our shores on 25 January 2020. We look at the harder numbers: with today’s 17,105 new cases, we have 203,664 people undergoing treatment or quarantine for being COVID-19 positive. 9,598 have died. 3,854 of those (40.15 percent) died in the month of July 2021 alone. We have lost 219 in the first three days of August 2021. In the same corresponding period in July 2021, our worst month, the first three days saw 107 deaths, less than half that of August 2021’s. And today, 1,066 are being treated in ICU wards nationwide, 537 in need of breathing assistance. That is 50.4 percent of those in ICU wards. Things do not look like they are going to get any better.

FIGHTING WILDFIRES

The government had worked very well during the second wave of the pandemic in Malaysia. We had only 337 cases recorded in July 2020 from a peak of 3,236 cases in April. Only two deaths were recorded in the month of August. Politics spoiled the whole effort with the Sabah state elections. Ministry of Health frontliners were fighting raging wildfires and still are. The first in a series of strategems in fighting wildfires should be the establishment of control lines: natural or man-made boundaries employed by firefighters to contain wildfires. That had worked to contain the spread during the second wave (March 2020-August 2020), but it was the politicians that had let us down (Sabah state elections). Things spiralled downwards from then on.

It was hoped that the Proclamation of Emergency sought by the government from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would have provided both the frontliners as well as the rakyat with the same boundaries, but that never happened. From 12 January 2021 through July 2021, thousands of private vehicles were still allowed to cross state borders, giving rise to clusters outside the Greater Klang Valley. By the time the government reacted and put a stop to those abusing MITI letters to go back for both the Hari Raya, thousands were infected. It is unfortunate that it is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s image that has to absorb the flak.

The only good things to have hatched from the Emergency were the ability of the government to procure medical equipment including the various types of vaccines without having to go though the debates in Parliament. The Opposition has not been able to contribute anything worthy of mention, other than its hunger to wrestle back power from the PN government. That is all the interest that it has shown thus far, just as UMNO, unable to swallow its pride after the trashing it received three years ago, is not in favour of being led by a smaller party

WAY OUT

Statutory Declarations and press statements do not determine who gets to govern. The only way is through a vote on a motion of no confidence against the sitting Prime Minister in Parliament. That can be determined when Parliament assembles again. The worry is that if the Prime Minister loses support and his government imminently resigns, this vicious cycle of struggle for power will not end here. We have not yet achieve herd immunity to safely call for elections.

If the Prime Minister loses support and there is no one clear candidate with enough support to stymie an opposition to the formation of the candidate’s government, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has a way out as per Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution, where only His Majesty has the right to proclaim an Emergency if His Majesty is satisfied that ‘a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the federation or any part thereof is threatened.’

A MAGERAN headed by a Director of Operations and supported by members chosen by His Majesty could administer and manage the country while politicians observe a cooling-off period. They can be professionals, economists, ex-military, ex-police as well as ex-judges, while the civil service shall continue to be headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government.

If there is a need to amend the Federal Constitution to reinstate measures previously removed so that the Executive does not have too much power as it does now, this is the time to do so. Only when things have stabilised will general elections be allowed to be held again to choose a civilian government. The mechanism of this MAGERAN and which parts of the Federal Constitution that need to be suspended, will have to be carefully thought out.

I find that the feeling on the ground is for such a council to come into existence. Everyone is now looking at a strong leadership by people who actually know how to handle the situation. We can take a cue from this call for the fight against COVID-19 to be given to the Army to handle. We cannot go on like this, locked within the four walls of our homes with our savings dwindling very fast, while our frontliners bathe in their sweat on a daily basis without an end in sight, and our politicians fight each other for power without giving so much as a hoot to the perils being faced daily by the people.

Someone asked me if it would be constitutionally legal for such a thing to be done. It has been done before. It worked then. And it is provided for by the Federal Constitution. How unconstitutional can that be?

Was The Speaker Playing Politics?

Pic courtesy of Malaysiakini

The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat yesterday issued a statement saying that he will not issue a notice for the August House to convene for a special sitting at the request of Mahathir.

Many said that the Speaker was playing politics, and possibly because his son works for the DAP. However, I am in the opinion that the Speaker was right.

Any person who is to become a Minister must first take an oath of office and allegiance and an oath of secrecy in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before taking office, as prescribed by Article 43(6) the Federal Constitution.

When Parliament is dissolved, the PM and cabinet remain in office as a caretaker government until a new government is formed and sworn in.

In this case, Mahathir resigned, and the Cabinet automatically resigns with him. His oaths of office, allegiance and secrecy are null and void. He is no longer a Prime Minister. He was appointed as an Interim PM, but there was no swearing-in ceremony. Constitutionally-speaking, he is NOT a Prime Minister.

Therefore, if he is not a PM, he cannot instruct the Speaker of the House to issue a notice to convene for a special sitting when Parliament is in recess according to Rule 11(3) of the Parliamentary Meeting Rules.

11th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review

atok

Yesterday, the Parliament’s website published the 11th Malaysia Plan mid-term review paper which was unveiled by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad which, among others, officially confirmed that the national debt as at end of 2017 stood at RM686.8 billion, and not RM1 trillion as announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

That drew flak from the masses who felt that they were duped into voting out the previous Barisan Nasional government and lied to by the current government.  As a result, the document has been taken down.  This says a lot about transparency of the current government.

A quick check at the Economic Planning Unit’s website shows that a copy of the document is still downloadable by clicking on this LINK.

Anyway, if that is taken down too, you can click on the following link to download the pdf document.

Kajian Separuh Penggal RMK11

Don’t Be Jumud, Jomo

I read with amusement a recent article posted on an Opposition-leaning news portal how Jomo Kwame Sundaram’s answer to address a ballooning debt is by cutting the Prime Minister’s Office’s spending, and also to reduce the number of mega-projects.

Jomo, who is Visiting Senior Fellow at Khazanah Research Institute, said that what Malaysia needs now is more appropriate development expenditure, not yet more operating expenditure, especially for the PMO, which has grown more than tenfold and has centralised power like never before.

According to the article, the PMO was allocated RM17.43 billion in Budget 2018, almost double the RM8.938 billion it received in 2008.

The Prime Minister’s Office or the Prime Minister’s Department?

The Visiting Fellow at Khazanah Research Institute apparently finds it difficult to distinguish between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Prime Minister’s Department.

According to Budget 2018, RM17.43 billion was allocated to the Prime Minister’s Department, and not the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Prime Minister’s Office is only one of 56 agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department.

I don’t know what was Jomo also trying to imply by saying that the PMO has more centralised power like never before.

Since the budget is for the PMD and not the PMO, the centralised power and authority to spend the budget comes under the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia, who is appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

Major agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department include the 7,000-strong Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the 3,000-strong Civil Defence Force as well as the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM).

All these agencies have been tasked to look after our security and well-being.

In 2008, there was no MMEA nor was there the ESSCOM.

The MMEA, for example, has since added more capable blue-water assets to replace its ageing heritage assets handed down from other agencies such as the Royal Customs Department, Royal Malaysian Police, Royal Malaysian Navy and the Fisheries Department.

The heritage assets’ average age was 30 years old and consisted mainly of coastal and brown-water assets.

ESSCOM has also added more assets such as surface-search radar, build installations for security units to operate from, to combat border incursions by illegal immigrants as well as by terrorist groups.

The Malaysian Civil Defence Force, or Angkatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia (APM), has gone on a massive recruitment drive and assets procurement.

With a permanent force of only 3,000 there is not enough of them to go around in the case of an emergency or disaster.

It was reported that in Kuala Kangsar, there is only one permanent APM staff who is the ambulance driver when responding to an accident or other emergency medical cases, and is also the coxswain for the rescue boat when there are floods.

Surely the men and women of the agencies I mentioned above also deserve a raise when due.

Then there is of course, the Parliament.

The budget for Parliament also comes under the Prime Minister’s Department, in case Jomo is not aware of that.

Operating costs, staffing costs, allowances and pensions for current and former members of Parliament come from the Prime Minister’s Department.

So, when your MP walks out of a debate or does not attend bills voting sessions, don’t ask why is the government spending unnecessarily.

Ask why is the government paying for your lazy MP. Ask also why was your MP a one-term MP, and why is there so many one-term MPs especially from the Opposition.

And please also ask why is the government still spending on the secretariats of two former Prime Ministers – one who made so much noise when the government reduced the budget allocated for his staff, while he goes around running down the current government as well as the country.

Debts? Can’t We Pay?

Jomo, described as a prominent economist in the article, also mentioned about the fast-rising government debt which is now hitting almost RM700 billion (USD178 billion).

He said that the mega-projects that are now being constructed have added to the burden of debt that Malaysia has to shoulder.

While it is true that our debt is actually at RM687 billion, domestic debt is at RM492 billion (or 72 percent of total debt) while external debt is at RM195 billion (28 percent).

Our International reserves stand at RM417 billion.  I am looking at the latest report issued last week by the Bank Negara Malaysia.

But you do not just look at debt to know how we are performing economically.

Our debt to GDP ratio is at 53.2 percent, down from 54.5 percent the previous year, year-on-year.

So Jomo is off the target when he said the government is not addressing its debt issue.

Market consensus of our GDP expansion was at 5.4 percent.  Yet, it was at 6.2 percent year-on-year in September 2017, making our economy one of the most robust expanding economy.

Private consumption increased by 7.2 percent in the same reporting period where Malaysian spend mostly on food, communication, housing and facilities.

So how is that possible if the economy is not doing well?  Our exports grew by 12 percent; manufacturing sector rose 7 percent; services rose 6.6 percent; construction 6.1 percent.

At 53.2 percent debt to GDP ratio, it means that the government is still able to pay off its debts.

As a comparison, Japan’s debt to GDP ratio is 250 percent; the US is at 106 percent; France is at 96 percent while the UK is at 89 percent.

Among ASEAN nations, Singapore has the highest debt to GDP ratio which is at 112 percent.  Any country that has its debt to GDP ratio exceeding 100 percent means that it has debts more than it could make money.

But do we hear anyone from the countries mentioned above complain?

Epilogue

Every day we hear of ill-informed Malaysians complaining that our country is in such huge debt that the country will soon be in ruins.

Selective statements by the likes of Jomo is not helping the situation. And it certainly does not help especially when his statement was intentionally directed at the Prime Minister’s Office, and not the Prime Minister’s Department where the budget was given.

Perhaps, it was malice on his part to intentionally and falsely painting the wrong picture, to make the Prime Minister look bad.

Or perhaps it was the editor of the said portal who spun Jomo’s statement to make it look as if Jomo implied that it was the PMO instead of the PMD.

Either way, Jomo’s intentional or unintentional non-mention of the debt-to-GDP ratio shows the bad blood he has with the Najib administration.

A true economist would give the WHOLE picture.

Jomo is not.

(This article was first published by The Mole)

Rape Is Rape

A few months back I criticised a Malay TV drama about how a rape victim marries the rapist and implying that it is alright and love between the victim and the rapist would eventually grow.  That is the kind of TV programme that is being forced down the throat of the people nowadays.

No wonder I see dumb people walking everywhere, students barely out of their teens dumping babies.

Then I saw the following:

Shabudin Yahya, the Member of Parliament for Tasek Gelugor was objecting to an amendment to the Child Sexual Offences Bill which was being proposed by DAP’s Teo Nie Cheng who wanted the bill to also include the invalidity of child marriages.

The former Syariah Court judge said that girls between the ages of nine and twelve are physically and spiritually ready for marriage.

He explained further that it is not fair to assume that a rapist would continue being a bad person.

Maybe he repents, or regrets.  Marriage can be an exit clause for this problem. A wife who was raped , if she can marry the rapist she would not go through a bleak future. At least she has someone who can become her husband. This will be a remedy for social problems.”

Both my Facebook and Twitter timelines exploded with people in rage over the MP’s comment and invited a tweet from a liberal.

Then came this person trying to defend the indefensible:

For the benefit of all including the MP and his supporters, the government was being responsible by proposing a bill to protect minors from sexual predators.  Many do not understand that although the consensual age for sex in Malaysia is 16 by birth date and above, those below 18 are legally minors!  The MP’s statement is tantamount to inviting predators to have consensual sex with minors and then “repent” and marry their victim(s).  One cannot get anymore disgusting than that.

If the rapist is irresponsible enough to rape a minor, how can he/she be a responsible husband/wife?

It does not matter if the MP was a Syariah Court judge. He should know that he was in Parliament and every word would be scrutinised.  In times when people doubt the dual-legal system that has been around since the birth of Malaysia, comments from Shabudin certainly adds fuel to the fire of fear against Islam.

Fellow MP and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan expressed his disappointment in a statement posted on his social media accounts:

Rape is rape.  There is no beauty that comes out of rape.  Therefore, Shabudin should apologise in Parliament and in a press conference without making any attempt to defend his stupidity and beg for the Speaker of the House to strike his statement off the Hansard.

I cannot for my life believe that people are still capable of making stupid statements right under the public’s nose.

Water: Time For Azmin To Sue BN

There is no water in most parts of Selangor…again. And this is due to the Semenyih river being polluted…again. And The administratively-impotent Menteri Besar, Azmin Ali, has blamed everyone else but the weakness of his administration…again.


I cannot remember how many water cuts has it been since August but this time Azmin has taken the idiot-level a step up by blaming the Barisan Nasional.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt one can only blame the Pakatan-led Selangor government for its failure to gazette water catchment areas, continuing to allow industries to encroach river buffer zones despite having an enactment to enforce a ban, and failure to haul the culprits in previous episodes of water cuts to court. Barisan Nasional is not in charge of administering Selangor so start pointing your finger at yourself!

This is typical of Pakatan Haprak (Harapan + Rakyat). They shout out rhetorics about bringing prices down and only Lim Guan Eng gets a discount for his bungalow. Is Pakatan Haprak really concerned about the welfare of the rakyat? Are they even democratic as claimed? I doubt. The walkout done by them from the tabling of the budget session last Friday is a poignant reminder of that.

This edited photo of Pakatan Harapan leaders after the staged walkout has made its way around in the Internet
Blaming provocation Azmin said that the budget delivered by Najib Razak did not address the fundamental issues. If the Pakatan leaders cannot stand mere provocation then how is it going to find the patience to even listen to the rakyat? I got blocked by the various Pakatan leaders on Twitter for asking a simple question that they have refused to answer! I am sure there are many more whom have been treated in the same manner by Pakatan leaders!


Walking out of Parliament like spoilt little girls isn’t the only thing that Pakatan Haprak MPs are famous for; they also did not attend Parliament to vote against the Peaceful Assembly Bill and the Prevention of Terrorism Bill that have now been enacted. Then, they label the laws passed as draconian and restrictive but what have they done to ensure that these Acts never got passed in the first place? At the hint of a struggle, they collapse like jelly.

And I am sure they had to suddenly squeeze those placards out from their rear orifice because they claim that the walkout was not planned.

You can read for yourselves the disappointment that the Pakatan Haprak is:


Is Azmin Ali interested in doing work as a Menteri Besar? No.

Is Pakatan Haprak interested in democracy? No.

They are only interested in using the rakyat‘s money to finance their campaign and lifestyle. And Pakatan Haprak will cling on to power so that they can continue this financed lifestyle while you and I will have to endure endless water cuts!

If Azmin Ali feels he is right about Barisan Nasional sabotaging the water supply, provide evidence to the police and arrest the culprits. Or shut up and continue to remain the screwed-up little girl he is!

Allah Nak Letak Di Mana?

Sebelum saya meneruskan penulisan saya ini saya ingin mengajak anda menonton klip video ini:

Ahli Parlimen DAP dari Kuching enggan berucap dalam Bahasa Malaysia
Ahli Parlimen tersebut telah membaca Artikel 161(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang berbunyi:

Tiada Akta Parlimen yang menamatkan atau menyekat penggunaan bahasa Inggeris bagi apa-apa maksid yang disebut dalam Fasal (2) hingga (5) Artikel 152 boleh mula berkuatkuasa berkenaan dengan penggunaan bahasa Inggeris dalam Fasal (2) Perkara ini sehingga sepuluh tahun selepas Hari Malaysia.

Malangnya, dalam video yang kita saksikan sebentar tadi, Ahli Parlimen DAP tersebut tidak menyebut mengenai had sepuluh tahun selepas Hari Malaysia, iaitu pada 16 haribulan September 1973. Sebaliknya, bekiau berkeras menyatakan bahawa ianya menjadi hak beliau sebagai orang Sarawak untuk terus menggunakan bahasa Inggeris di dalam sidang Parlimen.

Setelah Hari Malaysia 1973, iaitu tamatnya perlindungan hak sepuluh tahun berbahasa Inggeris, Akta Bahasa Kebangsaan 1963/67 (semakan 1971) secara automatik berkuatkuasa di seluruh Persekutuan Malaysia. Ini bermakna bahasa penghantar rasmi bagi Sabah dan Sarawak juga adalah Bahasa Malaysia. Walau bagaimanapun, Seksyen 5 Akta tersebut memberi kelonggaran untuk seseorang Ahli Parlimen mahupun Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri dari Sabah dan Sarawak untuk berucap dalam bahasa Inggeris di dalam majlis Parlimen tetapi dengan izin Speaker Dewan. Ianya bukan lagi suatu hak mutlak. Sekiranya tidak diizinkan oleh Speaker Dewan maka setiap Ahli Parlimen mahupun Dewan Undangan Negeri hendaklah menggunakan Bahasa Kebangsaan. Malah Akta tersebut dipinda semula pada tahun 1983 dan diperluaskan lagi.

Saya berasa hairan akan kedegilan pihak DAP yang terus menggunakan bahasa Inggeris sedangkan tidak berapa lama dahulu mereka memperjuangkan penggunaan Bahasa Kebangsaan dalam Kitab Injil malah tetap dengan pendirian mereka bahawa penggunaan kalimah Allah dalam kitab Injil adalah sebahagian dari ajaran Kristian yang tidak boleh diabaikan.

Oleh kerana mereka kini berkeras ingin gunakan bahasa Inggeris di dalam Parlimen, adakah ini juga bermaksud kalimah Allah tiada lagi kepentingan dalam perjuangan DAP?

  

Ini bukan kali pertama Ahli Parlimen Kuching daripada parti DAP ini mempersenda dan mempertikai apa yang termaktub dalam perlembagaan dan bersuara bagai menanam kebencian terhadap Malaysia.

Pada 17 September tahun lalu, Chong menganggap lagu kebangsaan Negaraku sebagai memalukan dan mengarut sebelum meminta maaf.