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'Valuecap: Explain how Average Joe benefits'
Published:  Oct 24, 2008 1:23 AM
Updated: 6:06 AM

vox populi big thumbnail ‘The Employees Provident Fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.'

On 'Why should Valuecap borrow from EPF?'

Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud : MTUC condemns the government's move to bail out Valuecap to support the local stock market using RM5 billion from EPF, as the provident fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.

If at all the EPF were to lend its money to the government, it has to be under the condition that there be transparency and accountability in the activities for which the money has been purposed.

We want to know who is doing what with the money that belongs to the workers. This is the hard-earned money of the workers, their retirement plan. How is this bailout plan going to benefit the workers?

We also question the reason for this bailout. If the economic fundamentals in Malaysia are strong and reserves sufficient as has been stated several times by the government, then why is there a need to offer so much money to the GLCs?

Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop should prove how the EPF would profit from this loan. Bernama had reported that Nor had given the assurance that the loan given out by EPF would reap profits for the fund judging from Valuecap's past performance.

But where is the paperwork and calculations to show that this move will benefit the EPF? MTUC is concerned that the loan might be mismanaged or misused and this, in turn, would affect the returns for the contributors.

Mere assurances are not enough. We want to proof that this RM5 billion will not go down the drain. ( The writer is president, MTUC ).

Sharyn:

The government wants to use our pension money to prop up the Malaysian stock market which is the playing field of the rich people.

If so, the government must ensure that the EPF account holders - who are predominantly the poor to average citizens of Malaysia - be guaranteed all of our pension money with a compound 8% growth (interest).

It's so selfish and sick of the government to use the poor's pension money to help the rich to make more money with all the risks taken by the poor/average citizen.

We can better use the RM% billion loans to Valuecap for our children's education, shelter, medical bills etc.

Why not get those rich people to prop up the share market instead? Why should they park their money overseas and gamble with our EPF money instead?

Kumar14: Who is behind this Valuecap organisation? Why suddenly, this separate entity is allowed to access funds from the EPF?

Are they capable enough to handle it or is it just another desperate and blind move?

It has been a very infamous trend where the people's funds are channeled to a company for investment purposes and suddenly POP! the funds disappear and there is nobody to be held responsible but a RM2 shell company.

Charge who? Sue whom? The RM2 company (just a registered name)? We have seen this many times.

People in power and with connections allow such things to go through and reap/rob the people's wealth and then blame it on organisations which actually don't exist.

What if a lot of EPF funds are looted via such scams and nobody is to be pointed at? Where will the government get the funds to replenish the EPF?

The people are very bored, disappointed, angry and frustrated at seeing all these dumb and unaccounted for measures being allowed by the government with lame excuses.

Please, somebody verify the true purpose, integrity and capability of anybody attempting to use the people's fund.

On Syed Hamid defends Hindraf ban

Inthian:

The minister only ‘thinks' that he has got the support of the Indian community. He is really not sure whether he has got the support or not.

Anyway, the huge number of protests put forward by many Indian NGOs on the ban should serve as an indication to the minister.

According to the minister, the ban is not against the Indians or the Hindu religion and he has no problems with Indians or the Hindu religion. Well, Hindraf is made up of Indians and the majority of them are Hindus.

The allegation by the home minister that Hindraf has a link with LTTE of Sri Lanka is also unfounded and until now no evidence has been produced.

He can't simply say that he has evidence and yet fail to charge the Hindraf leaders in an open court.

Sitha: ‘We have always lived peacefully...' Yeah, right.

We have lived quietly. When we want to be heard, we are deemed a ‘threat' to the country. Simply amazing. Malaysia boleh .

On Q&A: Home ministers 'burn' themselves for society

Nick V: While I'm not Hindu, my contention is Syed Hamid Albar’s claim that: ‘If you look at the fact and figures, (and) not talk from emotions – for every temple, there are 409 Hindus and for one mosque the ratio is 23,800.’

But from what I see, most of the Hindu temples I've seen are around the size of a surau which we see in every neighborhood. And I have not yet seen any Hindu temple the size of a mosque so capacity is also a factor.

And I've not heard of a state supported Hindu temple. So while I'm respectful of people's faiths and religious affiliations, I also am careful to note that people's biases can lead to flawed and selective explanation of facts.

But I write this just to be fair to most of my Muslim and Hindu brothers and sisters who don't deserve to be painted or perceived to be overtly racial or discriminatory just based on selective facts made by an individual who has a vested interest to support his proposition.

On Choppers: 'We're paying twice as much'

Anonymous:

I agree with writer. This is not a new issue since Mindef has been known to have been buying military equipment at whopping prices compared to the actual value.

It is justified with many ‘technical and economical' grounds which at end of the day do not answer one simple question- why buy something similar or the same at such a huge price difference when compared to others.

At the end nobody cares and it is forgotten. But then again, come to think of it, welcome to Bolehland where anything is boleh !

On Number 132 in press freedom, jolly good!

Farida:

Some 20-30 years ago, the calibre of editors was such that they had the courage to fight for the independence of their newspapers besides determinedly trying to defend journalistic responsibility and freedom.

Indeed, some successfully fended off interference from the powers-that-be. The bad hats in the industry then were journalists who had the gall to tip off some ministry official or other about forthcoming articles, the resultant effect being a ministry directive to the editor to spike the story.

Today's editors hardly display the professionalism of the past. Their submission to their political masters is for all the world to see so it is not surprising that we are now at Number 132 and free falling to 173.

Daily, journalistic disintegration takes a dive. Not only do reporters lap up to politicians but editors as well. Let's call a spade a spade. What newspapers? All we're getting are ministry bulletins.

On MCA's new No 2 promises change

YSM or is it MSY: How will MCA change in the coalition of BN is beyond me. How can the Malaysian Chinese Association become multi-racial when the very word ‘Chinese' is in the party's name?

Whatever change they are talking about will be cosmetic. It will be as good as the change of initials in the leadership of the MCA. From ‘OKT' (Ong Ka Ting) to ‘OTK' (Ong Tee Kiat).

Whatever change in MCA is as good as just from OKT to OTK. The alphabets will all still be there. Just spun around.

We don't need the MCA, MIC and Umno to further split Malaysians. It is already so hard overcoming cultural barriers.

Having a political party split us by demanding this and that for the only strains the relationship.

Why can't we work for the good of all Malaysians in facing the global competition?

On KL mayor under fire for Jalan Alor name change

Shown Leong: Don't change Jalan Alor's name. Change the KL mayor instead.

On Najib accepts apology

Jules Ong:

I commend Malaysiakini for immediately taking action to rectify its mistake in attributing a false manifesto to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Also, kudos to the reporter Wong Choon Mei - who made the error - for resigning immediately. This action preserves the integrity of the news portal.

Malaysiakini needs to be extra careful in making sure that its reports are truthful, unbiased and balanced.

With our world press freedom rating free falling to even below that of Timor Leste, it cannot afford anything less.

Malaysiakini 's reaction to its own error is in stark contrast with Utusan 's, which has refused to apologise to Teresa Kok even after it was shown that the paper had violated the basic principle of journalism - to report nothing but the truth.

On TMNet complaints? Tell MCMC

CK Chim: I live in the Sierramas/Valencia area where the TMNet service is abysmal and deteriorating by the day. Most of the time, the data transmission speed is less than half the basic 1M service which we pay for.

I have to subscribe for additional wireless broadband from Izzi as a back up. We residents will gladly pay for an upgraded service but the area does not have coverage for premium service and we are not even talking about outskirts like Kajang or Semenyih.

Go to any TM Point offices and one will be inundated with huge crowds and long queues. To be fair, they have excellent folks manning the telephone help desk.

However the problem remains insurmountable due to insufficient hardware and infrastructure support.

Instead of harebrained ideas like borrowing RM5 billion from EPF to prop up the stock market, we should focus on measures which will promote productivity and efficiency like fixed-line broadband which will give an enormous payback.

By the way, most of us TMNet broadband users (frustrated ones at that) are extremely puzzled as to the reason why TM is to be awarded the RM11.3 billion highspeed broadband contract when even everyone knows that the main reason for their complacency is the monopolistic nature of the industry.

The government should create a viable competitor to TM and I can assure you that all the problems will be solved like magic!

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Malaysiakini Team

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