Federal gov't shows who's boss

Modified 27 Jun 2008, 6:21 am

vox populi big thumbnail ‘The reasons given for shelving the monorail and Porr projects in Penang are less than convincing and will make Penangites more determined to change the federal government.’

On EPU: Penang monorail, Porr shelved

Leo Lim: The reported shelving of the Penang Outer Ring Road (Porr) and the monorail projects in Penang by the federal government shows the ‘power’ of the federal government in controlling development of the states in Malaysia.

If the state government does not enjoy the support of the federal government, no matter how beneficial the project is to the people of the state, and never mind how much taxes the people of that state paid each year, they will not receive the necessary funding to solve the problems.

Penang Island with her increasing population and increasing number of motor vehicles, is badly in need of a good public transport system such as the monorail and to shelve the project now will just defer the solving of a critical problem in Penang.

It will also increase the cost of building it at a later time when the problem becomes worse. The reasons given by the minister for shelving the projects are less than convincing, and will make the people of Penang more determined to change the federal government, or even convince other states that have been neglected in the past to join in.

Perhaps a new tax-sharing policy is needed between the state and federal governments so as to ensure funding for basic development is not taken away irrespective of who is running the state government.

Peter Ooi: I am wondering whether we, the Penang people, do really belong to the nation called Malaysia. If we really are not, then kindly allow us to pay our income tax to the Penang government.

We have schools that cannot invite any government officials to their annual functions like sports day or speech day. Even giving spectacles to needy students by the deputy CM was considered a waste of time. All of a sudden, the education officers became so ‘conscientious’.

Funds for development were channeled to a statutory body and now these two mega-projects which Penang sorely needs to alleviate its traffic woes are shelved.

At this point in time when competition for FDI is very stiff, these two projects are vital for consideration of would-be investors. They would not like to waste time travelling in a choked up traffic crawl.

No amount of explanation would convince us that this move is not a attempt to victimise Penang voters. For far too long, the rakyat have been taken for granted and the recent election results showed that we are not fools.

Finally , let me remind Pak Lah that the money belongs to us too and not exclusively to BN.

Moaz Yusuf Ahmad: I was happy to hear that the government has decided to shelve the Penang monorail project. Some people may view this as an act of political pressure from the federal government. Others may see it for what it is, a review of projects and priorities.

I believe that this decision by the federal government may turn out to be a positive one. I hope Penang and the federal government can put aside the politics and work together to use the opportunity to create a very effective public transport system for Penang, building it from the ground up.

The first step to better public transport is fair competition. The Penang government should create a local authority to ensure proper planning, regulation, oversight and enforcement.

Fortunately, much of the planning work has already been done. However, the government must be committed to proper enforcement of regulations.

I wish the people of Penang good luck and I hope that the two governments will put politics aside and make public transport work for the good of the rakyat .

On Najib: Cops took statement from Rosmah

John Johnson: It is very surprising that the law enforcement agencies are not calling RPK to answer his allegations and also to investigate the involvement of the perpetrators of the Altantuya case.

It is only when a proper investigation is conducted can one fully conclude who is involved in this hideous murder. One would have expected RPK to be immediately apprehended to answer the declaration that he has made but instead the prime minister himself comes out to defend his second man before a proper investigation is conducted.

Are they all in a hurry to close this case up as the deadline is getting closer for the judge to hear the final submissions?

Everybody deserves justice. Here lies a poor soul who was blown up to bits with no one to hear her cries of justice. What if it were one of our own children? Crimes like these are inhumane and shouldn’t go unpunished.

Allen Tan: The police are equipped with lie-detectors. They will show with some accuracy whether the suspect being interrogated is lying. I don't think the police officer used it on Rosmah.

The police must be neutral and should not have double-standards for anybody even if the suspect is a VIP. But you know the Malaysian police. They are not independent.

As long as it involves VIPs, they will wait for the green light from the PM. How I hope the rakyat could engage the FBI to take over the Altantuya case. Let all Malaysians pray that God will expose the whole truth.

On PM: Najib and wife not involved in Altantuya murder

Jeffrey Loh: I quote: ‘No, I can't remember receiving anything. He can say anything but I have not seen it,’ Abdullah said.

When I look at how these sentences are structured, I feel our PM is most certainly concealing something. Putting myself in his shoes and if I really didn’t receive the report, I would come up with a much stronger statement much sooner, instead of some wishy-washy ‘I can’t remember’.

On RPK's allegations raise even more questions

Birdseye: This article is absurd to the core. But it will go down very well with people who support RPK in whatever he does.

I find it extremely difficult to agree with Tun Mahathir on any matter these days but I readily do so when he said that a person cannot simply file a statutory declaration to say, ‘I learnt from reliable sources’ that this or that person had witnessed the blowing up of a dead or living person. I do not think this is very difficult for anyone with common sense to grasp.

Thus I find it incredulous that an experienced writer jumps to the conclusion that the government is hounding the whistle-blower (RPK) instead of the culprit ( the deputy prime minister and Rosmah, just to name a couple) when it announces its intention to investigate RPK.

Will the writer be happier if the government had merely said that ‘it will be investigating the claims of RPK’, which he wants the government to do in the first place?

And wouldn’t it be natural in the course of the investigation to determine if there is any truth in the claims? And what if RPK offers no proof to support what he says? Should he walk away scot free?

The writer also said: ‘While ostentatiously promising full investigation of the persons named in the affidavit as well as RPK, the AG warned in the same breath that such allegations could be ‘highly-defamatory’ and the police also insinuated that the affidavit could be ‘ sub judice ’. The law enforcers’ intent not to accord just treatment to RPK’s revelation could hardly be concealed.’

Again, this is an baseless statement by the writer. If the claims cannot be substantiated, they are downright defamatory even if they are not sub judice .

Nick Lim: I am starting to wonder, either Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK)is foolish to put his neck on the chopping board with the statutory declaration (SD) or if his source is one that is completely credible.

The way I see it, RPK has been a vocal critic of the government but yet he is still a free as a bird only this only shows this is a man of substance and ‘untouchable’.

The fact that the names mentioned in the SD are quick to deny and rebuke only make the revelations worth investigating fully.

On Hindu family in court case over a dead 'convert'

Ravicmd: Yet again another case, but what have they done so far? Yes. PM has expressed his concern, civil society made their usual noise, the rakyat made their choice for parliament, but till today there are no changes.

What puzzles me most regarding Elangesvaran’s case is the pathetic state of procedures for conversion and the failure to ascertain the value of the conversion. The dispute is not about religion but the authenticity of the convert’s intentions.

Again and again, people convert without their families’ or spouses’ knowledge. I respect all religious practices as fundamental human rights but ‘body snatching’ is not acceptable.

I would urge the authorities to upgrade the standard of syariah with regards to conversion and to not only rely on scribbled letters. Also, choose the right candidate for your religion.

On Five percent oil royalty for S'wak too little

Ahmad Sardon Zainale: In December, Umno will decide Abdullah’s fate. Hopefully, the delegates know what they want for the Malays and Malaysians. Politically, in Sarawak, we will follow who ever leads the government.

Sarawak has been producing oil since 1902 and we have been under the British and now under Malaysia the federal government of which gives us only a 5% royalty.

And now, Sarawak is among the poorest states after Terengganu, Kelantan, and Perlis. Increasing from the royalty from 5% to 20% should be good for the people of Sarawak.

Let’s find new blood to lead Umno and Malaysia.

On Shahrir's motion: 129 yes, 78 no

Netty E Komattu: Malaysia being an oil exporter herself seems to taking it easy when the Barisan Nasional elected members of parliament decided to agree with the motion tabled in parliament to endorse (rubber stamp) their approval of the oil price hike despite knowing the hardship faced by the rakyat .

Take Indonesia (our neighboring country) for example. Despite being a net oil importer, Indonesia is selling petrol at a cost of RM2.11 (6,021.59 Indonesian Rupiah). Millions of Indonesian live on less than RM6.22 (17,710.60 Indonesian Rupiah) a day. Why not compare Indonesia with Malaysia?

Even though our elected BN MP’s think that this increase will not affect the daily lives of Malaysians (which I feel is being ignorant of reality), we can surely see the ‘domino effect’ on all consumer good prices, transportation costs, hospital bills, an increase of NPL’s with the banks and not forgetting an increase in the crime rate and even possible recession.

Come on guys, who are you trying to kid? Malaysians are not so gullible to think that this increase will not affect their livelihood as in those yesteryears.

Many businesses have been affected and our so-called elected BN MPs do not feel the pinch as they are heavily subsidised with petrol allowances and travel expenses by the government.

I challenge any elected MPs (BN) to try taking public transportation for one month on their own without relying on any allowances. See if what I have mentioned is a reality or just another guy trying to discredit your approval of the motion.

I know I have been badly affected and I am sure many fellow Malaysians are in the same dilemma as I am.

On Gov't to launch massive ops against illegals in Sabah

Joe Fernandez: In Peninsular Malaysia, late registration of birth is only allowed up to one year after birth. In Sabah, however, you can register your birth even thirty years later with a statutory declaration.

This is the loophole used by many illegal immigrants to get Malaysian birth certificates and MyKads. But it is easy to establish the truth in a statutory declaration by going through a checklist of additional details like name of village, name of village head, schools attended, information on siblings, parents, extended family, spouse, wedding photo etc

Better to offer a general amnesty to all illegal immigrants who have been in Malaysia for more than 15 years. It's useless to talk to the Philippines.

Under the amnesty offer, all ‘qualified’ illegal immigrants should be provided with temporary ICs provided they surrender their illegally acquired MyKads. The temporary ICs must be renewed every year.

Also, they must apply for work permits with their passports if they want to work.

Those who are stateless can be provided with temporary identification documents and allowed to work without work permits. Those who have been away from their country for more than ten years without returning will be declared stateless.

We must solve the problem of illegal immigrants in a humane manner. We must treat them as human beings and not animals. The amnesty offer must be an once in a lifetime offer and not to be repeated for another 15 years at the earliest.

On Your say: Our cancerous corruption

P Lim: Corruption in Malaysia is destroying the Malaysian Economy. If all the money is recovered from all the corrupted individuals, Malaysia will be able to pay unemployment benefits and pensions to all those who have served in the private sector.

This will create a cyclic effect on the economy and the demand for goods and services will increase and this will benefit the businessmen while the government will be able to collect more taxes from the profits generated by all the business sectors.

Because of these unemployment benefits, the basic needs of the poor are taken care off and there will be lesser crime in Malaysia. As a result, there will be savings in our security control expenditure and the savings can be used to help the poor and the needy.

On All eyes on the Chinese 'taiko' of Sabah politics

Garry Khoo: I think it is time for Sapp to end up their relationship with BN and join Pakatan Rakyat for (of course) the rakyat ’s good. I know it's difficult to switch from a coalition to another but it's more difficult for the rakyat.

So I urge Sapp to not delay their decision anymore and start soon. The rakyat will be fight along with you in your decision made to join Pakatan Rakyat.

That's how we feel here in Sabah. Please go ahead and I'm sure the rakyat will support you all the way to your success.

On Seeds of fascism germinate

Animah Ferrar: I fully concur with his analysis of the debilitating and dangerous political scenario in our country, but cannot see the sense in his conclusion that the solution is to strengthen Umno/BN.

Not apparently having much confidence in Anwar/Pakatan Rakyat, the writer asks, ‘Who will succeed Anwar?’ Would it not be equally fair to ask who will succeed the current crop of leaders in Umno/BN, should they eventually agree to step down?

The available options are not exactly inspiring, given the fact that the few who seem more honest and progressive are persistently sidelined. As te writers observes, Zaid Ibrahim is getting nowhere fast, and Shahrir Samad has been given the dead-meat portfolio (especially so with the spiraling price rises) of domestic trade.

Tengku Razaleigh does not seem to have much of a chance to take over power. All this is not surprising when one considers that most of the rest of them are determined to carry on abusing government power for easy personal gain and thus do not welcome such ‘radical’ leaders.

Taken as a whole, Pakatan Rakyat has a more impressive pool of leaders. It also has another layer of up-and-coming younger leaders – something which is difficult to see in Umno/BN since the older generation is obstinately staying put and stunting the upward mobility of the younger set.

I agree that it will take Umno/BN a considerable length of time out of power to re-invent itself, to rid itself of this feudal/’fascist’ mindset and finally get in tune with contemporary principles and standards of politics and governance.

It would therefore make better sense for quality leaders to join in strengthening Pakatan Rakyat.

On Crossovers: What if nothing happens?

Leo Lim: I feel it was a good move for PKR to start drumming up their presence in Sabah. However, to keep on harping on the crossing over of BN MPs and the taking over of the federal government in September 2008, shows PKR’s blatant disrespect for democracy in this country.

The people of Malaysia have made their choice in the 12 th general election and neither PKR nor BN should carry out any effort to entice or bribe the MPs or state assembly person to cross over so that they can take over the federal or state government.

Instead, PR should now focus on the running their state governments and the same goes to the BN. We, the people, will be the judge as to whom is really worth their salt and will know how to vote when the 13 th GE comes.

So stop enticing the cross-over of the people’s elected representatives just because of one’s own political ambition, and further pushing Malaysia towards worsening corruption instead of the other way around.

On Handbag snatched inside shopping complex

Chris: The attitude of the shopping complex personnel was really unfair when it came to the emergency such as the one the writer had undergone.

It is the responsibility of the shopping complex to provide a safe and comfortable environment in which people like us, their customers.

Failure to provide that makes one ponder what would have happened in a graver situation such as one involving a child like the writer had mentioned.

As sensible, responsible and caring Malaysians, we should totally boycott such shopping complexes and let them know if they can’t offer a safe and comfortable environment and proactive personnel in times of need and emergency, then we shall not go there at all.

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