Lawan Pencinta Israel

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Baru-baru ini kita dikejutkan dengan kehadiran seorang diplomat dari Israel ke sebuah persidangan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu di Kuala Lumpur.  Pihak pembangkang dengan segera telah menghentam kerajaan kerana telah membenarkan perkara tersebut berlaku seraya mengatakan bahawa kerajaan bersikap hipokrit dalam memperjuangkan hak-hak Palestin tetapi pada masa yang sama telah menjemput seorang warga Israel untuk datang ke Malaysia.

Lantas Kementerian Luar Negeri telah mengeluarkan sebuah kenyataan untuk menerangkan perkara tersebut.  Di dalam kenyataan tersebut, Wisma Putra menerangkan bahawa segala jemputan ke persidangan tersebut telah dilakukan oleh pihak Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu melalui Artikel III kepada Perjanjian Negara Tuanrumah yang telah dibuat di antara kerajaan Malaysia dengan pertubuhan tersebut.

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Kenyataan ini juga menerangkan bahawa sebagai negara tuan rumah, Malaysia terpaksa menerima kehadiran delegasi dari Israel walaupun berkeras tidak mahu.  Malangnya, sebagai memenuhi kehendak diplomasi pelbagai hala,   Ianya tidak bermakna Malaysia telah mengubah pendiriannya terhadap Israel dan Palestin.

PKR PERLUKAN PENGARAH KOMUNIKASI YANG BARU

Saudara Fahmi Fadzil, Pengarah Komunikasi PKR telah membidas kenyataan Wisma Putra.  Di dalam laman Facebooknya, Fahmi telah mempersoalkan kuasa Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia untuk menafikan mana-mana individu yang tidak dikehendaki untuk masuk ke negara ini.

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Saya berasa amat kecewa kerana sebagai seorang yang memegang jawatan penting, Fahmi tidak memahami undang-undang.  David Yitzhak Roet, diplomat Israel yang telah ke mari, adalah merupakan seorang diplomat dari negara Israel yang memegang passport diplomat yang bermakna beliau adalah merupakan seorang diplomat bagi negaranya.

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Ini bermakna, David Roet tidak boleh dikategorikan sebagai “pendatang yang tidak diingini” (undesirable immigrant) mengikut Seksyen 8(k) Akta Imigresen, 1959/1963.  Mari kita undur beberapa tapak untuk memahami keadaan sebenar sebelum mempercayai segala kebebalan yang ditulis oleh Fahmi tadi, atau kenapa Malaysia tidak membantah, dan juga kepada persoalan mengapa Malaysia tidak batalkan sahaja persidangan tersebut.

Pertama sekali, persidangan ini dalah sebuah persidangan yang dianjurkan oleh pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu.  Perjanjian Negara Tuanrumah di antara pertubuhan tersebut dengan Malaysia telah ditandatangani pada bulan Mac 2017.

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Setelah perjanjian tersebut dibuat, penganjur (UN Habitat) membuat lain-lain persiapan berhubung keperluan persidangan tersebut.  Hanya pada bulan Jun 2017, UN Habitat telah menghantar surat-surat jemputan kepada Menteri Luar Negeri setiap negara ahli pertubuhan tersebut termasuk Malaysia dan Israel.

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PBB ada mempunyai satu format Perjanjian Negara Tuanrumah yang seragam untuk digunakan oleh agensi-agensi di bawahnya, termasuk UN Habitat.  Cuma susunan Artikel adalah terpulang kepada agensi-agensi tersebut, di antaranya menyebut:

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Konvensyen Mengenai Keistimewaan dan Kekebalan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu yang diterima pakai oleh Perhimpunan Agung pada 13 Februari 1946, yang mana negara tuan rumah adalah satu pihak, hendaklah terpakai bagi Persidangan tersebut.  Terutamanya, wakil negara-negara akan menikmati keistimewaan dan kekebalan yang diberikan di bawah Artikel IV Koenvensyen tersebut.”

Dokumen di atas menerangkan dengan jelas bahawa wakil-wakil setiap negara yang menghadiri persidangan yang telah dijalankan di Kuala Lumpur, hendaklah diberikan keistimewaan dan kekebalan yang telah kita persetujui sebagai salah sebuah negara ahli PBB yang telah mengiktiraf Konvensyen tersebut.

Ianya tidak berakhir di situ:

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Semua orang yang disebut di dalam artikel II (artikel III dalam perjanjian dengan Malaysia) hendaklah mempunyai hak untuk masuk dan keluar dari negara tuan rumah, dan tiada halangan dikenakan terhadap perjalanan mereka ke dan dari kawasan persidangan.”

Semua di atas adalah berkenaan dengan Konvensyen Vienna Mengenai Hubungan Diplomatik, 1961, yang dipersetujui oleh Malaysia, dan juga Akta Hubungan Konsular (Konvensyen Vienna), 1999.  David Roet adalah diplomat yang dihantar oleh negaranya.  Maka, Malaysia tidak banyak pilihan kerana telah menandatangani perjanjian tuan rumah, serta perlu menghormati konvensyen Vienna.

Kalau itu sahaja yang boleh diketengahkan sebagai hujah-hujah, maka saya rasa amat elok sekali sekiranya parti tersebut menukar Pengarah Komunikasi mereka memandang Fahmi Fadzil begitu dangkal daya pemikirannya.

TIDAKKAH KERAJAAN MEMBANTAH JEMPUTAN YANG DIBUAT KEPADA ISRAEL OLEH PBB?

Ramai penyokong pembangkang serta mereka yang termakan hasutan pembangkang dalam isu ini bertanyakan tidakkah kerajaan membuat bantahan terhadap jemputan kepada Israel oleh PBB?

Saya petik laporan sebuah akhbar Israel, The Jerusalem Post, yang menyebut:

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Malaysia yang ternyata anti-Israel membenarkan penyertaan Israel dengan penuh marah hanya setelah Israel mengenakan tekanan diplomatik yang hebat sehingga ke pejabat Setiausaha Agung PBB, Antonio Gutteres.

Ini adalah kerana dengan menaja sebuah acara yang berkaitan dengan PBB, Malaysia menjadi suatu kewajiban bagi Malaysia terhadap PBB untuk membenarkan penyertaan dari semua negara.”

Jelas Malaysia telah berkeras untuk tidak membenarkan penyertaan Israel tetapi terpaksa akur dengan perjanjian yang telah dipersetujui.

Walau bagaimanapun, ianya berbeza bagi rakyat biasa Israel. Pada tahun 2015, Malaysia telah tidak membenarkan dua orang peluncur layar dari Israel untuk menyertai Kejohanan Pelayaran Belia Sedunia.  Keputusan kerajaan ini telah dibantah bukan sahaja oleh Persatuan Layar Israel, malah oleh badan pelayaran dunia.

Pada tahun 2016, Malaysia telah enggan mengeluarkan visa bagi pasukan ping pong Israel untuk menyertai Kejohanan Ping Pong Sedunia yang telah diadakan di sini.

JADI, SIAPA YANG MENYOKONG ISRAEL?

Pada 25 Mac 1997, seramai 2,000 orang penunjuk perasaan telah berarak ke Jabatan Perdana Menteri untuk menyerahkan satu memorandum kepada Perdana Menteri ketika itu membantah keputusan kerajaan Malaysia untuk membenarkan pasukan kriket Israel untuk menyertai Kejohanan Kriket Sedunia yang dilangsungkan di Kuala Lumpur.  Pada 30 Mac tahun yang sama, seramai 2,500 orang penunjuk perasaan telah menyerbu padang kriket di mana pasukan Israel dijadualkan bermain serta membakar papan-papan tanda iklan berkenaan kejohanan tersebut.

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Anwar Ibrahim yang kononnya memperjuangkan Islam ketika itu, dalam sokongan terhadap bosnya berkata, sukan dan politik tidak sepatutnya dicampur-adukkan.

Pada tahun 1993, Mahathir yang ketika itu merupakan Perdana Menteri telah menulis sepucuk surat kepada Perdana Menteri Israel, Yitzhak Rabin mengenai Perjanjian Oslo I.

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Mahathir’s letter to Yitzhak Rabin in December 1993

Ianya mungkin sukar dibaca.  Jadi saya sediakan terjemahan kepada transkrip surat tersebut seperti berikut:

Yang Berhormat

Encik Yitzhak Rabin

Perdana Menteri Israel

JERUSALEM

Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih di atas surat anda pada 17 Oktober yang memaklumkan kepada saya tentang Perjanjian Prinsip dan Pengiktirafan Bersama di antara Israel dan PLO.

Kerajaan saya menyokong perkembangan positif ini dan memandangnya sebagai langkah pertama ke arah merealisasikan penyelesaian menyeluruh kepada masalah Timur Tengah. Sebagai demonstrasi sokongan Malaysia terhadap pembangunan ini negara saya telah diwakili pada Persidangan Penderma untuk menyokong Perdamaian Timur Tengah yang diadakan di Washington dan seterusnya memberikan sumbangan kewangan yang sederhana kepada rakyat Palestin untuk membantu tugas baru mereka. Kerajaan saya juga telah menawarkan bantuan teknikal untuk Palestin di bawah Program Kerjasama Teknikal Malaysia.

Sebagai perkara prinsip umum Malaysia bersedia untuk membangunkan hubungan dengan Israel pada masa yang sesuai. Dalam pada itu, kami ingin melihat kemajuan yang ketara dalam pelaksanaan perjanjian damai.

Masalah di Timur Tengah terutamanya isu Palestin telah menjadi punca ketidakstabilan di rantau tersebut dan saya berharap perjanjian yang dibuat baru-baru ini di antara Israel dan PLO akan menyumbang kepada keamanan yang kekal di kawasan itu.

Saya menanti hubungan normal dengan Israel

DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD

Sepertimana yang terkandung di dalam dua bahagian surat tersebut, Mahathir menyatakan hasrat untuk mengadakan hubungan yang normal dengan Israel.  Pada tahun 2014, Presiden Obama telah mengadakan hubungan normal dengan Cuba.  Ini berakhir dengan penyambungan perhubungan diplomatik di antara kedua-dua buah negara tersebut.  Mahathir telah menyatakan hasrat untuk memulakan hubungan diplomatik dengan Israel.  Bahagian akhir yang digaris di bawah itu telah ditulis sendiri oleh Mahathir dengan menggunakan sebatang pen.

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Berlanjutan dengan perkara tersebut, Chua Jui Meng dari PKR yang pada ketika itu merupakan Timbalan Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri berkata Israel boleh menjadi destinasi pelaburan Malaysia (Shanti Nair, Routledge, 1997 p.252).

Hasilnya, pada tahun 1999, eksport Israel ke Malaysia berjumlah USD107 juta. Pada tahun 2000, ia adalah USD732 juta, dan USD615.5 juta pada tahun berikutnya. Pada tahun 2002, laporan Kementerian Perdagangan Israel mengenai hubungan perdagangan dengan Indonesia dan Malaysia menasihatkan warga Israel yang berminat untuk menjalankan perniagaan dengan syarikat Malaysia bahawa “tiada sebarang bangkangan untuk mengadakan perhubungan perdagangan selagi ianya dibuat secara senyap-senyap“.

Mukhriz Mahathir yang merupakan Timbalan Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri pada tahun 2011 akui perhubungan perdagangan di antara Malaysia dan Israel wujud dan telah bermula pada tahun 1996 ketika bapanya menjadi Perdana Menteri.

Di akaun Twitternya pula, Mukhriz juga menyatakan bahawa “Di atas permintaan daripada pelabur asing yang besar di sini pada tahun 1996, Kabinet mengarahkan MITI untuk meluluskan import dan eksport ke Israel.

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Kabinet tahun 1996 yang dimaksudkan adalah kabinet yang dipimpin bapanya, Mahathir Mohamad.  Tulis Mukhriz lagi pada tahun 2011:

Apabila kita meluluskan pelaburan langsung asing, bukanlah untuk kita mengenakan syarat bahawa mereka tidak boleh berdagang dengan Israel. Sesetengah pelaburan ini berjumlah berbilion Dollar di negeri-negeri di bawah Pembangkang.”

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Ini bermakna negeri-negeri di bawah pentadbiran pihak pembangkang pada tahun 2011 telah menerima pelaburan langsung asing dari Israel.  Pada tahun tersebut hanya tiga buah negeri yang berada di bawah pembangkang, iaitu Kelantan, Pulau Pinang dan Selangor.  Dan saya tak fikir Kelantan terlibat dengan dana dari Israel.

Jadi, siapakah sebenarnya pencinta Israel yang wajib kita sanggah?

Pakatan Hampas

Kerajaan Persekutuan berhasrat untuk membina sejuta rumah mampu milik di semua negeri di Malaysia, termasuk di negeri-negeri yang ditadbir oleh Pakatan Harapan.  Namun, nilai hartanah yang tinggi, terutamanya di negeri-negeri di bawah pentadbiran Pakatan Harapan, menjadi batu penghalang hasrat tersebut.

Masalah Di Selangor

Semasa di bawah pentadbiran Barisan Nasional, rumah mampu milik merupakan tanggungjawab badan-badan kerajaan negeri seperti Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS).  Namun, sejak pentadbiran diambil alih oleh Pakatan Rakyat pada tahun 2008, PKNS bertukar menjadi sebuah agensi yang mengejar keuntungan.

Pebangunan hartanah merupakan sumber hasil bagi kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan melalui yuran tukar penggunaan tanah, pembahagian-pembahagian kecil dan lain-lain hal berkenaan dengan tanah.  Kesemua kos-kos ini telah meningkat sejak pengambil alihan pentadbiran oleh Pakatan.

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Kenaikan bayaran premium tanah di Selangor sahaja adalah sebanyak 299 peratus sejak 2008

Penjualan tanah di bawah harga pasaran adalah salah satu cara untuk mengadakan rumah kos murah.  Namun, kebiasaan tersebut telah dihapuskan.  Malah, PKNS sendiri kini terpaksa membida untuk tanah pada harga pasaran?

Kita perlu meneliti prosedur-prosedur yang dikenakan terhadap para pemaju oleh pelbagai jabatan kerajaan negeri dan pihak-pihak berkuasa tempatan.

Birokrasi dan sikap berdolak-dalik merupakan sebab-sebab lazim yang melambatkan proses dan ini menambahkan lagi kos.  Perbelanjaan dan faedah pinjaman bank perlu dibayar walaupun projek belum dapat dimulakan.  Kita belum lagi berbincang mengenai  rasuah dan ini boleh memberi kesan besar terhadap kos kerana kadar yang diminta oleh ‘orang-orang tengah’ untuk ‘melicinkan proses’ boleh menjadi besar dan untuk setiap tandatangan yang diperlukan.

Tidak meghairankanlah jika sebahagian besar pemaju berpendapat bahawa pihak kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan merupakan batu halangan terhadap rumah mampu milik kerana tanah merupakan hak dan kuasa kerajaan negeri dan bukan kerajaan persekutuan.  Maka, kerajaan persekutuan tiada hak untuk memperbetulkan keadaan ini.

Masalah di Pulau Pinang

Kalau gambarajah di atas menunjukkan bayaran premium tanah yang meningkat di Selangor, kita lihat gambarajah seterusnya yang menunjukkan lonjakan caj cukai hartanah di Selangor dan Pulau Pinang sejak 2008:

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Lonjakan caj cukai hartanah kepada penduduk tempatan sejak Pakatan mentadbir Selangor dan Pulau Pinang

Kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan perlu serius dalam mengotakan janji mereka untuk mengadakan rumah-rumah kos rendah dan rumah mampu milik.  Di penghujung penggal kedua berkuasa di Pulau Pinang, DAP masih belum menyerahkan rumah mampu miliknya yang pertama, malah menyalahkan kerajaan persekutuan di atas kegagalannya sendiri.

Kampung-kampung tradisi, terutamanya penempatan tradisi orang-orang Melayu, dirobohkan untuk memberi laluan kepada para pemaju membangunkan kondominium mampu tengok dan lain-lain pembangunan komersil.  Kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang juga bersikap tidak bertanggung jawab menjual tanah-tanah milik kerajaan negeri kepada para pemaju hinggakan hanya tinggal baki tujuh peratus sahaja tanah kerajaan negeri di Pulau Pinang.  Ini bermakna peuang untuk mendirikan rumah-rumah mampu milik di Pulau Pinang semakin halus.

Para pemaju kecil juga tidak berpeluang untuk mengambil bahagian dalam pembangunan di Pulau Pinang akibat caj-caj yang dikenakan terhadap para pemaju begitu tinggi.  Kita lihat gambarajah seterusnya:

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Kenapa kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang begitu galak menaikkan kadar caj-caj? Siapa yang membuat untung sedangkan rakyat tidak lagi mampu memiliki sebarang hartanah di dalam negeri tersebut?

Dari gambarajah di atas kita dapat lihat kerakusan kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang di bawah pentadbiran DAP hanya mementingkan keuntungan dan membelakangkan keperluan rakyat.

Di bawah kerajaan DAP, sumbangan perumahan kos rendah dikenakan sebanyak RM150,000 bagi setiap unit.  Di bawah BN tiada caj dikenakan.  Setiap gerai penjaja dikenakan RM58,000 – kenaikan sebanyak RM55,000 berbanding dengan semasa di bawah pentadbiran BN.  Untuk penyediaan kemudahan komuniti seperti padang, dewan serbaguna, masjid dan surau dan sebagainya, kerajaan DAP mengenakan caj sebanyak RM500 sekaki persegi berbanding RM25 sekaki persegi di bawah BN.  Untuk infrastruktur seperti jalan dan saliran, kerajaan DAP mengenakan RM15 sekaki persegi berbanding tiada caj di bawah BN untuk jalan, dan RM50,000 seekar untuk saliran berbanding RM10,000 di bawah BN.

Satu lagi bukti kerajaan DAP tidak menghiraukan keperluan rakyat ialah mengenakan caj sebanyak RM500 sekaki persegi untuk setiap tadika yang disediakan.  Tiada caj dikenakan oleh pentadbiran BN Pulau Pinang sebelum ini.

Berapa pula premium tanah yang dikenakan oleh kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang?  Kita telah melihat lonjakan dahsyat di negeri Selangor sejak 2008, kita lihat pula keadaannya di Pulau Pinang:

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1,671 peratus kenaikan sejak 2008. Beginilah rakusnya DAP apabila berkuasa

Nampak gayanya premium tanah yang dikenakan oleh kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang melonjak dengan begitu banyak sekali berbanding semasa di bawah pentadbiran BN pada tahun 2007.  Pengurangan hanya berlaku dua kali iaitu pada tahun 2008 semasa mula-mula memegang pentadbiran negeri.  Mungkin ketika ini mereka hendakkan maklumbalas positif mengenai cara DAP mentadbir negeri.  Kemudian kenaikan dikenakan sedikit demi sedikit dan melonjak besar selepas memegang tampuk pentadbiran kerajaan negeri selepas 2013, kemudian turun sedikit pada tahun 2016 selepas Lim Guan Eng dihadapkan ke mahkamah di atas satu perbuatan rasuah – salahguna kuasa dan jawatan untuk kepentingan dirinya.

Ringkasannya

Caj-caj dan bayaran premium yang dikenakan terhadap para pemaju di Pulau Pinang menyebabkan rumah mampu milik di Pulau Pinang yang berkeluasan 1,000 kaki persegi menjadi RM120,000 seunit berbanding RM42,000 seunit semasa di bawah pentadbiran BN.  Apabila dikenakan kadar faedah sebanyak 5 peratus setahun untuk tempoh pinjaman 30 tahun, bayaran faedah akan menjadi RM116,569.73 atau RM671.03 setiap bulan.  Kos keseluruhan akan menjadi RM236,569.73 setiap unit.  Adakah kadar bulanan ini mampu dibayar oleh mereka yang dari golongan berpendapatan rendah?

Keengganan kerajaan negeri Selangor di bawah PKR memberi kerjasama dengan agensi perumahan kerajaan pusat seperti PR1MA dan PPR mendatangkan masalah untuk kerajaan pusat membantu kerajaan negeri membina rumah-rumah kos rendah dan mampu milik.  Setakat ini hanya 11,000 unit rumah sahaja yang daat didirikan berbanding sasaran 70,000.

Ini berbeza sekali dengan kerajaan negeri Kelantan di bawah PAS yang menerima bantuan kerajaan pusat dengan tangan terbuka.  Setakat Ogos 2017, 418 unit PPR telah dibina di Machang manakala 1,000 unit telah dibina di Kota Bharu.  Ini menunjukkan walaupun berlainan fahaman politik, kerajaan PAS sanggup mengenepikan perjuangan demi kesejahteraan rakyat, tidak seperti Pakatan Harapan yang tidak langsung memberi harapan kepada para pengundi.

Pandai-pandailah anda menilaikan sendiri siapa yang mendahulukan kepentingan rakyat dan siapa yang mendahulukan kepentingan keuntungan.

Mahathir’s Reformasi

It was a movement to topple the second most-hated dictator of the South East Asia. Tens of thousands would march on the streets of Kuala Lumpur chanting “Undur Mahathir, undur!” and the infamous “Reformasi!” after Anwar Ibrahim was summarily expelled from UMNO and denied a chance for the premiership over reasons Mahathir himself claims to have forgotten or something to that effect.

Leading this group of demonstrators was Anwar’s most loyal lieutenants, Azmin Ali, who was his Principal Private Secretary in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. With Anwar still in jail, Azmin is the most favourite choice for Pakatan’s Prime Minister-designate amongst the younger generation.

Or that was what we all thought would happen.

Suddenly, the 92-year old Mahathir manoeuvred his way into being accepted as the Prime Minister again if Pakatan wins the next general elections. DAP and the anti-Azmin camp inside PKR namely Wan Azizah’s camp accepted the nonagenarian but this was rejected by several opposition-friendly NGOs as well as Selangor’s PKR.

Several hints on social media platforms and insiders’ information of Anwar’s opposition to Mahathir being designated as Pakatan’s Prime Minister warranted an article by The Star’s Joceline Tan. The writing is all over the wall – REFORMASI is dead.

In a move seen to insult Mahathir, Azmin offered his Gombak parliamentary seat for Mahathir to contest in in the next general election, an offer rejected outright by the latter.

A leopard never changes its spots – and true to his character, Mahathir announced that he will deal with dissenters quietly – a reminder of his 22-year reign of terror.

Just like Anwar whose colour of underwear was made public for going against Mahathir, Azmin now finds tales of his sexual trysts being made public. We are reminded of the time Anina Saadudin’s steamy WhatsApp messages were made public after falling out with Mahathir’s inner circle.

Anything Azmin is now being attacked, therefore it’s going to be interesting to see how the champion of Reformasi will now go against the man he has been fighting against for the past 20 years.

If he fails, it would be Mahathir’s masterstroke – for killing off the Reformasi movement from inside and finally making it his own Reformasi where dissent can never be tolerated.

Welcome to Mahathir’s Reformasi – or Dictatorship 2.0 as we know it.

Reformasi Untuk Mahathir

Mahathir’s return to politics in 1973 was watched closely by other races, in particular the Chinese and Indians.  His meteoric rise to the Deputy Prime Minister’s post in 1976 was of grave concern by many.  His imminent Premiership caused a large number of migration by Malaysian Chinese.  Despite the economic growth in the late 1980s through 1997, some 42,000 Malaysian Chinese opted to work elsewhere.  This number includes some 14,000 Malaysian Chinese who were working illegally in Japan in 1993 (Shimada, 1994).

If citizenship is conferred on races other than the Malays, it is because the Malays consent to this,” wrote Mahathir in his book ‘The Malay Dilemma‘.

“The Chinese and Indians coming from countries with vast populations are less concerned about good behavior and manners. In their lives, nobility, which is always associated with breeding, was totally absent. Age and riches are the only things they defer to,” he added.

Calling for reforms such as the mandatory use of tamper-proof scales, Mahathir wrote of scales that can be used to shortchange customers and said, ”The small-time Chinese retailer is adept at this practice and unscrupulous enough to use it as a weapon in competition.”

Mahathir was the ultra-Malay to many including the Malays themselves.  Fears of race clashes haunted the voters during the run-up to the 1982 General Elections.  I remember being sent to Mimaland in Gombak with Datuk Latt Shariman (President, E-Sports Malaysia) on polling day in case something bad happens.  It was the first General Elections under Mahathir and it was called more than a year before the then-mandate ended.  Public rallies were banned citing ‘security’ reasons and only indoor gatherings and house-to-house canvassing were allowed (Lim Kit Siang, 22 March 1982).

Even though Malaysia’s economic growth peaked at 8 percent in the mid 1990s, it was mired in scandals involving the practice of cronyism and nepotism.  Lim Kit Siang wrote that Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz Mahathir – acted as companies’ directors, and that according to searches the DAP had made at the Registry of Companies at the end of 1994, Mirzan had interests in 98 companies, Mokhzani in 48 companies and Mukhriz in 67 companies (Lim Kit Siang, 16 June 1998).  Compared to the 213 companies his sons were directors in back in 1994, 488 is the number of companies Mahathir, daughter and sons are directors in as at end of 2016 (Wakeup Malaya, 6 January 2017).

The calls for Mahathir to resign in 1998 for practising nepotism and cronyism culminated in the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as his deputy in September of the same year, accusing the latter not only of being a tool for George Soros’s attacks on the country’s financial system but also for leading a morally-corrupted life.  Lim Kit Siang and other Opposition leaders were quick to embrace Anwar, acccepting him into their fold when it was just a year earlier that the late Karpal Singh had made mention of allegations of sexual misconducts against Anwar in a Parliamentary sitting – a scene not much different to Lim Kit Siang’s immediate acceptance of Mahathir after decades of mudslinging the latter.

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Anti-Mahathir demonstrations were held almost daily and then held every Friday afternoon at the National Mosque.  These demonstrations were quelled using brute force.  The ‘Reformasi’ movement was born, and the likes of theatre-practitioners such as Jo Kukathas were seen on the streets and interviewed by Maria Ressa saying “Enough is Enough” to Mahathir.  Anwar and several other pro-Reformasi and UMNO leaders critical of Mahathir were arrested without trial under the ISA including current DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat, then known by its acronym ADIL, was born out of hatred towards Mahathir, with the aim of toppling him and installing Anwar Ibrahim.  The 1999 General Elections saw how Mahathir suffered a pyrrhic victory, losing grounds in Kelantan and his homestate of Kedah, while losing Terengganu to PAS.  Mahathir-loyalists such as Ramli Ngah Talib, Megat Junid Megat Ayub and Sanusi Junid lost their seats.  That was the beginning of the sounding of the death knell for Mahathir’s virtually unchallenged reign.  During the UMNO General Assembly of 2002, he announced his resignation from party posts as well as Malaysia’s Prime Minister.

Ever since then, with the more open administrations of Pak Lah and Najib Razak, Mahathir became one of the targets of the Opposition in their blog posts, press statements as well as ceramahs.

In June 2012, Mahathir’s newly-made best friend even suggested that Mahathir is tried for his part in the BNM Forex scandal, hinting Egyptian Hosni Mubarak’s imprisonment as a comparison (Lim Kit Siang, 3 June 2012).

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But all is forgotten and forgiven now, even when Mahathir admitted that his apology was only customary and not sincere.  Despite veiled objections from Anwar and Azmin Ali’s camp, Mahathir was named at a Pakatan convention as their Prime Minister of choice albeit interim.   This underscores the fact that the leadership of Pakatans parties do not trust the younger generation to lead the coalition as the position of the elders and powers that come with the position, may be undermined by the younger ones.

The signal of dissent is clear.  Azmin only attended the convention for a while, not waiting for the announcement to be made while Karpal Singh’s daughter, Sangeet Kaur Deo,  has hit out at Pakatan which probably is suffering from a dearth of capable young leaders.  Even Mahathir once quipped that Anwar, who is 22 years his junior, may be too old to become a Prime Minister.

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On Facebook, we are seeing people in their 40s and 50s voicing out their concern over Pakatan’s choice of Prime Minister, alarmed that the monster they have put behind them, could very well jump out from underneath the bed and into their lives again.

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But it does not stop Mahathir from wanting to become the Prime Minister.  He once hinted that he may have to consider becoming the PM again, underscoring the fact that he does not trust anyone else.

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“I may be 93 but at 71 Anwar is much older!”

Wan Azizah may be blind to the fact that Mahathir had once denied the Premiership to her husband and went as far as making sure Anwar went to jail to keep him out of the way, while Lim Kit Siang is only friends with Mahathir because he needs the Malay votes to ensure Pakatan’s seats are sustained after the departure of PAS from the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat.

Will Mahathir be willing to step aside for Anwar Ibrahim or whoever else younger who would be more acceptable to the younger and middle-aged generation aware of his antics?  I doubt.  But as Sangeet mentioned above, it will be a return to Mahathirism, an era of abuse of power, cronyism and nepotism that the Reformasi movement was totally against.

Somehow, it seems that the Reformasi movement has become a tool for what it was totally against – ushering Mahathir into the premiership and welcoming again abuse of pwer, nepotism and cronyism.

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Anwar is NOT going to be MY PM

 

DAP Benefitted From Military Camps

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Recently Kluang Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong slammed Minister of Defence Hishammuddin Hussein for denying that an army camp was being built in Paloh, a state seat in the latter’s constituency of Sembrong.  Liew Chin Tong implied that the army camp is being built for political purposes.

“This proves that Barisan Nasional (BN) is using these army camps to increase voters in constituencies that it won with thin majorities in the 13th general election,” Liew told a press conference last week.

He said the inclusion of the army personnel in Paloh would increase the electorate by over 1,000 voters.

“In Paloh, DAP lost only by a few hundred votes and these new voters will result in another BN win,” he added.

The fact is that while members of the Malaysian Armed Forces swears its allegiance to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, His Majesty’s Government (the Government-of-the-Day), and the Country, each member of the Malaysian Armed Forces are free to vote for whom they are politically-inclined to support.  Therefore, having a military camp/base does not guarantee you any solid support for votes.  I had written at length on this issue of allegiance in a recent blog post.

Perhaps it would be good for Liew Chin Tong to admit that he won Kluang against the Barisan Nasional in 2013 because of the presence of a huge army camp, namely Kem Mahkota, that houses the 61st Royal Artillery Regiment as well as the 881st Regiment, Malaysian Army Aviation.

Come to think of it, out of the 89 Parliamentary seats won by the then-Pakatan Rakyat during the 13th General Elections four years ago, at least 18 parliamentary constituencies have major military camps/bases in them.  That is 20 percent of the total of parliamentary consituencies held by the Pakatan candidates. Here is the list that I have compiled:

Senarai Kem Tentera Bawah PH 2013

Let us take for example the Lumut Naval Base which is under PKR.  That base alone had 14,231 registered voters while PKR’s Mohamad Imran Abd Hamid won 40,308 votes.  Why didn’t Barisan Nasional win there?

Perhaps Liew Chin Tong should also inform all Malaysians that out of the 18 constituencies with major military camps/bases that was won by the Pakatan back in 2013, eight seats were won by the DAP. That is 44 percent!  Despite being the other “Malay” party within the Pakatan, PKR managed only seven seats or 38 percent. PAS could only get three then but one of those seats, Shah Alam, is now firmly under Khalid Samad of Amanah after he betrayed his oath to remain in PAS if nominated as a candidate and would divorce his wife if he jumps ship.  Shah Alam is the home of a major Royal Malaysian Air Force base – Subang.

Pakatan and its supporters should just stop politicising the Malaysian Armed Forces.  As towns and cities are developed, old camps and bases are no longer strategic nor conducive to be inhabited.  How could Pakatan, advertising that it is all for rights and stuff, allow military personnel to live and work in deplorable and antiquated conditions?  And as development creep into their surrounding areas, military bases are no longer of any strategic value.  I have addressed this issue in a posting of mine and so has my friend Danny Liew in his recent posting.

So, wouldn’t DAP now like to offer a piece of land in constituencies held by it for Hishammuddin to build military bases or camps?

Pantywaist

Pakatan Cry Babies
Barely a few hours after Najib Razak’s announcing of the budget for 2018, the DAP came up with the above graphic to inform the people that (as usual) Najib Razak’s budget is a copycat budget.

But is it?

It must be remembered that the budget announced by Najib Razak will be implemented nationwide whereas the “Pakatan budget” mentioned in the graphic above is a pick-and-choose budget that only one has been implemented in just one state administered by Pakatan, and not a nationwide solution.

Abolish All Tolls

The Barisan Nasional (BN) -led government announced that from 1 January 2018, tolls at four locations, actually, will be abolished.  They are the Batu Tiga toll on the Federal Highway, the Sungai Rasau toll near Klang that is also on the Federal Highway, the EDL highway toll in Johor Bahru as well as the Bukit Kayu Hitam toll in Kedah.

Pakatan Harapan proposed to abolish all toll collections.  But it has not explained how they plan to compensate in the region of billions to the toll concessionaires for all the money that they have put into the highways they operate and loss of future earnings.

Furthermore, Pakatan promised since before GE12 to abolish toll collection at the Sungai Nyior toll plaza in Pulau Pinang but has not done so to-date.

Pakatan’s de facto a third of a leader, Anwar Ibrahim, had in fact made a promise not too long ago to not allow toll charges to be increased on highways they have shares in, namely, the LDP, KESAS and SPRINT.  So far they have done nothing. If they cannot even control the highways that they have substantial shares in how can we hope for them to abolish all tolls?

Anwar’s broken promise
Pakatan’s alternative budget is also unreliable when it comes to the abolishment of toll on highways.  Azmin Ali as the Menteri Besar of Selangor admitted that it was not going to be easy for them to reduce tolls let alone abolish them on highways where the state government has shares in.

Azmin Ali’s admission that it is difficult to reduce toll rates on highways Selangor has shares in
But instead of reducing or abolishing tolls, Azmin Ali introduced three new tolled highways namely the Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway (SUKE), the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE), and the Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway (DASH).  This is a total of 89 kilometres of new tolled highways offered by the Pakatan government versus the 2,083 kilometres  toll-free Pan Borneo Highway offered by the Barisan Nasional government.

Instead of reducing or scrapping tolls, Azmin introduced three more tolled highways in Selangor
So, who is Pakatan trying to kid when it says it wants to abolish tolls on highways?  What funds do they plan to use to acquire the concessions from concessionaires?  The government is able to abolish tolls at four locations because three of them are under PLUS which is 100 percent government-owned through UEM and EPF, and one under MRCB which has Bank Rakyat and Tabung Haji, both are government entities, as shareholders.

Another puzzling behaviour of the Pakatan is that while it claims that it will abolish tolls in total, or in Selangor or Sungai Nyior only, or just reduce the rates, it has been proven that they are just a bag filled with hot air. It has been almost a decade since their coming into power in Pulau Pinang and Selangor yet they have nothing to show. So when the BN government abolishes tolls at four locations, the reaction from them should be one of sheer happiness. Yet they seem to be otherwise. Why?

One example is Azmin’s communications director Yin Shao Loong who is unaware that the concession period for the Batu Tiga toll was extended to 2038 and not 2018.

Had the Batu Tiga toll concession period been extended, the rate users would be paying according to the original agreement signed during Mahathir’s period is RM2.40 instead of the RM1.10 users are enjoying now.

In a way, the recent offer by Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd to buy the PLUS Expressway from UEM and EPF and not increase toll rates on the highway for 20 years may have triggered the government’s decision to abolish toll collection at those four highways.  I still hope that the PM could bring all the relevant parties together to discuss the proposal as it surely benefits the rakyat if feasible.

Abolishing the GST

Prior to the introduction of the 6-percent Goods & Services Tax (GST), business owners were charged the 16-percent Sales & Services Tax (SST).  The Sales Tax was a federal consumption tax imposed on a wide variety of goods, and governed by the Sales Tax Act 1972. The Service Tax, also a federal consumption tax, was levied on customers who consumed certain taxable services, and was governed by the Service Tax Act 1975.

GST versus SST (courtesy of Bloomberg BNA)
The SST was a single stage of consumption tax where businesses cannot recover the tax paid on their purchases. This tax will be treated as a cost to business.  However, it was not a transparent form of taxation as many business owners fail to declare their taxes through transfer pricing.  The GST introduces transparency, curbs the inefficiencies, tax-payment and misappropriation issues  of the SST.

This incurred the wrath of big business owners as they can no longer hide actual sales figures to avoid being taxed.

As opposed to the SST where every single item is taxed 16 percent, household items such as but not limited to sugar, flour, cooking oil, vegetables, fish, meat, poultry and services such as healthcare, education, public transport, housing and agriculture land are exempted from the GST.  If there is a spike in the prices of these items, it is the business owners that are to be blamed for marking up prices, and consumers can report them to the KPDNKK.

It is the efficient way to collect tax from businesses that has helped the government to find an alternative form of income when price of oil have gone down tremendously.

Pakatan wants to either revert back to the SST system but has not mentioned how it plans to make up for the loss of income since oil prices cannot be depended upon, or zero-rate everything as per its alternative budget if it decides to keep the GST system, with the option to increase the rates later.

Again, Pakatan is not being transparent to the masses.

120-Day Maternity Leave versus 90-Day Maternity Leave

There are two aspects to look at when talking about maternity leaves.  First, on the employers’ side – a worker that is unable to perform her duty taxes the company as she receives full pay during her absence, and other workers have to double up to do her work.  Second, going by the concept of ‘iddah of a divorced woman – the waiting period is three menstrual cycles or three months.  I did not use the example of a widow’s waiting period because that includes a period to sufficiently overcome a huge part of grief.

Let us compare with other Muslims countries:

Bangladesh – 112 days: 8 weeks (56 days) before delivery and 8 weeks (56 days) after delivery.

Indonesia – 3 months (90 days)

Pakistan – 90 days (45 before delivery and 45 after)

Oman – 100 days (50 days before and 50 days after)

Qatar – 50 days

Saudi Arabia – 70 days

Syria – 50 days

UAE – 45 days

Yemen – 60 days

Pakatan wants to implement 120 days maternity leave, but evidence shows that after introducing a 90-day maternity leave for Selangor’s civil servants, only 30 employees have actually utilised the 90-day leave in full.

Not many took up the 90-day maternity leave provided by the Selangor state government

I guess 90 days about stretches the limit, especially for employers providing 100 percent pay during maternity leave.

TAWAS versus ADAM50

Tabung Warisan Selangor (TAWAS) is a RM100 one-off gift for every child born in Selangor with the hope of accumulating RM1,500 when they are eligible to withdraw the money when they turn 18.  Amanah Dana Anak Malaysia 2050 (ADAM50) is a 200-unit gift in the form of a trust fund for 2.8 million Malaysian babies born from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2022. The 200 units will be credited automatically in the unit trust funds managed by Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd after the registration process is completed by their parents or guardian.

TAWAS was launched in 2008 as part of fulfilling Pakatan Rakyat Selangor’s manifesto promise. Between 2008 and 2011, RM588,391 was spent on advertising and promotion for TAWAS but less than 20 percent of newborns (60,972 out of 313,706) in Selangor were registered by the end of 2011.

The Selangor state government had no choice but to extend the registration deadline to allow for more participants but as at 22 July 2014, only 159,953 registration was collected.  The total number of live childbirths in Selangor was 421,652 by the end of 2012. By end of August 2017, TAWAS only managed to get 280,568 registrations.

TAWAS started off with funds amounting to RM13.5 million but the state government has had to spend RM22.87 million annually on TAWAS despite getting only 19.4 percent registration.  Why is there a need to spend so much on so few participants?

The Auditor-General reported that TAWAS, which was formed under the Menteri Besar Selangor (Pemerbadanan) through Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (YAWAS) failed to submit documents of issuance of Fixed Deposit Certificates (SST) between YAWAS and AmBank to the auditors.

There is no standard operating procedures (SOP) to fix a deadline for the issuance of SST to the participants from the date the registration was made or was approved. Audit checks found that there is no record of actual of issuance and receipt of actual SST to and from participants.

The TAWAS system only provides information on SST that had been prepared by AmBank, furthermore even YAWAS does not have detailed records on the interests received for each of the SST issued,” the report added.

ADAM50 is managed by Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNB) which has been managing funds such as Amanah Saham Nasional, Amanah Saham Bumiputra and Amanah Saham Malaysia.  The 200 incentive units and all dividends received on this initial amount of ADAM50 can only be redeemed when the child reaches 18 years of age.

Pakatan cannot even handle a far smaller fund efficiently and it wants to compare itself to a single corporation that handles funds in excess of RM265 billion.  Where has all the millions of Ringgits pumped into TAWAS gone to despite not getting the number of participants it had envisaged in 2008?

The Return of Petrol Subsidies

I won’t even go there. Everyone knows the removal of subsidies is so that it could be chanelled to the target groups instead of providing everyone, even foreigners, with subsidised petrol.

The Pakatan budget plans to subsidise only cars and motorcycles below 1,000cc. Only the Perodua Kancil and Perodua Viva would fit into the given category. How would the petrol pump know what cars are below 1,000cc and which ones are 1,000cc and above?

Other Pakatan Budget Jokes

While the BN government strives to lower taxes Pakatan’s alternative budget plans to introduce, on top of the 16 percent SST, an Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and increase Personal Income Tax to make up for the loss of income through the abolishment of the GST. Yet the pantywaist Pakatan have the cheek to cry foul and claim that the BN’s budget is oppressive.

So I will leave it up to you to decide whom to choose come GE14.

No Harapan

Last night, BigDog revealed that Mukhriz Mahathir did not receive a single nomination for any of ANSARA posts. This is a drastic change when he used to be the leading figurehead of ANSARA.

Compared to MCOBA, ANSARA is not politically-inclined at all save for some chapters. But even those Pakatan-leaning chapters did not nominate Mukhriz for any position.

When I advised the committee members of an Air Force veterans association to seek help from Mukhriz the Menteri Besar over an issue they were facing in Kedah, they shook their head saying they would rather seek help from the EXCOs or individual ADUNs as Mukhriz was not a performer.

Of course, Mukhriz has been making his rounds in his parliamentary constituency but even people there tell me that he hardly visited them when he was the MB. They dismissed it as a superficial attempt to show that he is still relevant.

He even visited Langkawi, where his own father is the self-appointed Ketua Pribumi, to tell people of his vision to develop Langkawi even further, including turning the padi patch behind the Ayer Hangat Cultural Village into a commercial area.

The problem is, the islanders are aware that for 22 years, Mukhriz’s father only brought development to the southern part of the island, enriching cronies and outsiders, giving them land, leaving people in the northern half to fend for themselves.

Just like Pulau Pinang, there is hardly a beach that locals could go to to enjoy.

Other than bitching about what BN does, they are also good at doing bad things like creating fear among the kampung folks by dishing out lies.

An example is the putting up of a land office map of several kampungs in Seri Medan with a crudely-drawn rectangle showing “the new alignment of the High Speed Rail” that will affect the respective kampungs. Not even people in the Johor Land and Housing committee have heard of such re-alignment of the HSR.

The District Land Office plan with a crudely-drawn rectangle to show realignment of the HSR being put up at a Chinese shop in Kampung Parit Warijo Lintang in Seri Medan

Although Pribumi has a foot in Kampung Parit Seri Menanti where a former UMNO man angered by not being given contracts had set up a Pribumi branch, the party has made a base out of Kampung Sri Bengkal’s favourite Soto Kambing joint in nearby Parit Yob which is operated by a housewife and her amputee husband.


But seeing the number of likes and comments on the Instagram page belonging to a high-ranking Pribumi official shows that the 1.5 million signatures of a petition presented by Pribumi AMANDA’s Syed Sajat is nothing but a fabrication.


Of late,  even Pakatan-organised talks cannot muster the same crowds as they used to. A sign that people are weary of the amount of bitching the Pakatan has been doing instead of spending time and taxpayers’ money in the form of their allowances to do good for the rakyat.

There may have been some crowd when Mahathir was in Kuching recently but you can hardly take that as a show for support. Even my BN-supporting relatives were there “to see what the fuss is all about” and to see what stallowners have to offer.

See how the latest Pakatan talk fared.

Even the President of Pribumi who claimed he was expelled from UMNO for fighting against the alleged excessiveness of Najib Razak, could muster a handful at his talks.


This is the sorry state of support that the Pakatan could muster. It tells a lot. Maybe they should save the trouble first before saving Malaysia.