Talkback

If You Care DO Something, Because YOU CAN Like No-one Else!

I remain deeply concerned about the environment and how development impacts climate change which will affect not just us but also future generations, even irreversibly. Forest areas, particularly peat swamp forests, play a vital role as carbon sinks to keep our planet cool and to slow down the rate of global warming. They also remain home to rare flora and fauna and their loss further risks diminishing our biodiversity.

In regards to the recent news on the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) , some groups believe I am benefiting from such a decision, I would like to make my position clear. I have no link to Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd or any development project in KLNFR.

Going forward, I wish everyone to pursue the most ambitious path. Make it all our responsibility to protect and rehabilitate as much of this land. Empower and protect the community that exists there. Build a more sustainable community by having some empathy and foresight. Selangorians won’t like seeing it go. We Malaysians want to do our part for this planet – to reverse our ecological mistakes and contribute positively to the environment.

Our comment

These are most admirable sentiments shared by any leader who cares about their country, their weaker subjects and the highly threatened future of our planet for the next generation.

However, the Raja Muda has chosen his words a little too carefully to escape follow-up questions now that he has sought to address the burning issues surrounding the shocking decision of the Selangor State Government to de-gazette and destroy most of  what little remains of Kuala Langat Forest Reserve.

It has never been suggested the Raja Muda has a current link to Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd or the present development plans. Everyone knows that the present concession-holders are the destructive, timber-raiding Yaw family behind Sarawak’s notorious Samling group.

However, everyone equally knows that it was a company,Titian Jutaria Sdn Bhd, which was directed by the Prince and owned by his father the Sultan and his cousin that first initiated this project together with the state.

The Menteri Besar of Selangor is on record saying the two concerns had pledged to pay a premium of RM323,774,578 to get their hands on the project, which means that at some point the Raja Muda’s sentiments of concern about the environment and empathy for his people had been overruled by an opportunity that was plainly worth plenty more than that.

So, will Tengku Amir Shah or his father or the fellow director of the company (that was rapidly dissolved once this scandal blew up) be so good as to lay out the details of their original arrangement with the state and how the project was then transferred. What money if any changed hands?

These matters should also now be the subject of a major enquiry and scrutiny of the present administration under PH and its MB. How come Amirudin Shari saw fit to sign off this destructive project with so little transparency or consultation in the face of the appalling impact on the biodiversity of the state and native people?

Has there been a pattern of such improper land grabs in Selangor just as has been the case in Sarawak and have Samling been involved before – or indeed any of the other players?

Only by getting to the truth can the problem at the heart of what happened be rectified and future raids prevented.

Meanwhile, now that the Raja Muda has expressed his admirable concerns the good news is that he is one of the very few people who could, with a small enough effort on his part, do something major to improve the situation.

The likes of Sarawak Report work day after day trying to raise awareness and provoke good governance towards saving Malaysia’s staggeringly special and important natural heritage. Yet such efforts and those of fellow campaigners pale into insignificance compared to what the Selangor royal heir could do not just in his state but throughout Malaysia.

Were the Raja Muda to take up this cause and work to turn around the destruction in his state and to help nature to once more find the space to flourish then he could make a transformative difference and his name would go down in history for the good deed and great foresight he would have shown.

This is probably Selangor’s last chance and eleventh hour, so please lead the way so others who also care can follow.

"Absolute Power" - Does AG Think Malaysians Are Stupid?

There is no need for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to table a confidence vote in the Dewan Rakyat, the attorney-general said today.

Idrus Harun said if Ismail’s legitimacy still needed to be tested by any party, apart from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, it would mean the absolute power of the King could be overridden.

“And this is not in line with the Federal Constitution,” he said in a statement.

Idrus said the Yang di-Agong had on Aug 21 appointed Ismail as the 9th prime minister which is in line with Article 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution…

“It is clear the appointment of the prime minister is a constitutional responsibility and His Majesty has the absolute powers.

“The procedure to determine which MP has the majority in the Dewan Rakyat has been decided by His Majesty,” he added.

Idrus added that the King had sought the stand of the 220 MPs on their choice as prime minister through statutory declarations.

 

Our comment

The Vatican plus three repressive Gulf States, Brunei and Swaziland are the remaining Absolute Monarchies on the planet. Yet it appears that the grovelling Attorney General of Malaysia would like to return his country to this outmoded system of government seen only now in mini-states.

In the process he apparently suggests that it would be up to the new PM to table a vote of confidence against himself when, of course, that is the decision and right of the opposition leader. The AG’s brother who is the Speaker is then bound by the rules to allow it to be swiftly heard.

However, the clique of family and friends who now reckon they can rule Malaysia with an iron rod, despite their wafer thin majority and status as the losers of the last election, seem willing to drive a coach and horses through the rules and to lecture Malaysians with nonsense theories, such as that the appointment of PM by the Agong cannot be tested because it is his ‘Absolute Power’.

Do they think people are stupid? People know:

a) The rotating King of Malaysia is NOT an Absolute Monarch.

b) A parliamentary majority is NOT determined through the present incumbent of the role’s novel inventions of taking SDs and talking to some or all MPs (which he sometimes but not always chooses to abide by). It is determined by evidence of a working majority in Parliament, tested if required by the leader of the Opposition with a No Confidence vote.

This appalling ‘legal reasoning’ on the part of the supposedly most senior law officer in the land would not stand up in a minor court let alone the court of public opinion. It is clearly a blatant attempt to justify the obvious plan by his own brother to abuse his own position as Speaker by denying such a vote were to it be requested by the Leader of the Opposition.

National Recovery?

Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been appointed as the National Recovery Council chairperson with the status of minister.

Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali said the cabinet had decided on this on Sept 1 and the appointment has been presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Zuki said the appointment was made as the government was confident in Muhyiddin’s ability to spearhead a national recovery strategy.

Our comment

Malaysians have now the full measure of how seriously PN 2.0 takes the welfare of the nation.

It has appointed the greedy nitwit who caused so much misery over the past two months to be in charge of the ‘recovery’. Another minister to the Cabinet with full perks.

Eventually this dreadful disease, which PN has failed to counter but taken full advantage of for their own political and personal economic gains, will itself phase out.

The people should have (at immense and unnecessary cost) acquired ‘herd immunity’ by the next election.

They should pass their verdict then.

Malaysian Paralympian Even More Famous For His Triumph!

National shot put coach Mohd Faizol Harun has taken full responsibility for the disqualification of Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Mohd Faizol said that as the athlete’s coach, he was the one closest to Muhammad Ziyad during the Games.

“To all parties looking for who is guilty in this matter, I, as Ziyad’s coach and the one closest to him, am responsible for what happened.

“Don’t point fingers at others,” he told a media conference upon returning with the national contingent at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today.

Our comment

Kudos to the coach for training the top class Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli and then taking the blame for what happened when he lost that medal.

Sport is full of such setbacks, but in the end no one can take away Muhammad’s triumph in performing best in this competition and no one will want to either.

He many not have the official medal but he has the support and respect of his nation and of his sport.

What is more he gets the last laugh, because thanks to this disappointment his story has spread far and wide as have his fame and the global recognition of his achievement.

Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli is now a far bigger name than just some ordinary Olympic Gold Medal winner!

Don't Oppose Us!

Perikatan Nasional’s Pahang chairperson Saifuddin Abdullah has called for a political ceasefire between the BN/PN and the opposition parties to ensure that Malaysia is able to focus on containing the Covid-19 pandemic and reviving the economy.

“I feel that from now until the 15th general election, we need time to calm down and there should be some kind of political ceasefire among the politicians,” the foreign minister told a press conference at Wisma Putra today.

“We should have some kind of political ceasefire so that all of us – the government and the opposition – will have some peace of mind for us to focus on our work, dealing with pandemic and to revive the economy,” he said.

Our comment

How very convenient this call for ‘Unity’ is for the fractious and divided minority PN coalition.

UMNO and its fellow losers from the last election were all guns blazing against the prior government themselves when they engineered a coup through bribery and blackmail to up-turn the stable elected government. However, now they would like an end to opposition, an end to frogging and an end to any criticism of their failing management of Covid.

Their own upturning of the previous elected government has meant that Malaysia entered a state of chaos just as Covid hit and for the best part of two years PN’s hopelessly divided, corrupt and incompetent coalition of rivalling former political enemies have held onto power only by slamming shut Parliament and effectively silencing all criticism of their failures.

The result has been disastrous for Malaysia and the people have suffered exponentially more than they would have done lead by the government that held a strong majority before the coup.

Now, after yet more infighting has distracted this PN coup coalition from its proper duties, resulting in a change of leader but little more, these fellows with their wafer thin majority want to be allowed to govern without the opposition to hold it to account. They are demanding a so-called ‘Unity’ government in the name of tackling Covid.

Yet this lack of opposition is exactly what they have benefited from for all the past 24 months, having closed down Parliament and claimed emergency powers to shut out scrutiny and prevent any challenge on the excuse of Covid.

It didn’t do the country any good then and it won’t now either – PN have demonstrated how they govern in the absence of an opposition for long enough. It didn’t work.

Azizah Educates Us In Corruption

A Sabah Bersatu MP said she would not step down from her position at a government-linked company (GLC) despite party president Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation as prime minister yesterday.

Beaufort MP Azizah Dun, who is Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairman, said those pressuring Bersatu leaders appointed to GLCs to step down should check the Federal Constitution first.

The Sabah Bersatu Srikandi (women’s wing) chief said that under the Constitution, only Muhyiddin and his federal Cabinet were required to relinquish their positions…

Azizah, who was appointed Mara chairman on May 1 last year, said the media should educate the public to check their facts before making statements online.

Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad had said earlier today that it was only right that Muhyiddin’s political appointees in GLCs and government-linked investment corporations (GLICs) follow in his footsteps and resign immediately.

Nik Nazmi said it was the proper and honourable thing to do as there was no reason or legitimacy for political appointees to remain in their posts.

 

Our comment

It is clear Nik Nazmi did not say the Constitution orders MPs appointed as Chairmen of publicly owned companies to step down – the writers could never have imagined such a gross and corrupt abuse of power and neither was their task concerned with corrupt practice or the economy.

Instead, Nik Nazmi made clear that honourable behaviour and common sense demands it. Aziza plainly has neither. She is hanging on to her conflicted role, given to her as a perk for supporting the past PN government, in the hope that the new prime minister will also find it convenient to bribe her to support him.

If Ismail Sabri replaces a Bersatu leader for a PN 2.0 government she may even hope to extract more than just this well paid salary on top of her MP’s pay for doing neither job effectively.

On the other hand, if a more honest administration is appointed she will be unceremoniously sacked and to be sure her behaviour will have her sacked by the electorate come the next election.

Or maybe this greedy and arrogant woman is confident there will be no more elections now her sponsors are in charge?

The Bribes Have Been Great Boasts Larry Sng!

Julau MP Larry Sng says he was right to join Perikatan Nasional five months ago.

Sng said, in a Facebook post Saturday (Aug 7), that since he joined Perikatan Nasional, several of the projects he applied for were approved and benefited the people of Julau.

He said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had recently approved his application for the construction and repair of concrete roads in the Pakan and Julau districts costing RM2mil.

“I am very grateful that the government is now concerned and has contributed to the Julau parliamentary constituency.

“A few months ago, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin also approved two projects for Julau involving a cost of RM1.8mil for the purpose of repairing the Julau Waterfront and Pakan Car Park,” he added.

Additionally, the minister had also approved the proposed construction of a Class E Fire Station in Julau with an estimated cost of between RM2mil to RM3mil.

Touching on Covid-19 vaccinations, Sng said the vaccination rate in Julau was very high.

“The vaccine reception in the Julau area is very good and more than 70% of the people aged 18 and above have received the vaccine,” he said.

Our comment

It is a tragedy that an expensive British education at a foremost institution has had so little impact on this MP’s poor understanding of the rule of law in a democratic system.

Malaysians have been allowed to drift into an understanding that it is acceptable for ‘projects’ and even straight grants to be channelled into constituencies as a ‘reward’ for backing the political parties in power.

It is even treated as acceptable that local MPs should be allowed control special budgets gifted to them by their political allies in government (and denied to opposition MPs) to ‘keep their constituents happy’.

All of the above is of course outrageous corruption. Policies should be implemented on behalf of the public for reasons of merit, not to shore up support for corrupt politicians who want to stay in office. Projects ought therefore to be properly tendered and distributed according to need and based on those polices, not according to whether the local MP has corruptly frogged over to another party in order to receive these benefits.

Larry Sng of all people ought to have learned these basic and fundamental principles of good governance, thanks to his decent education, sufficient to at least understand how bad it looks to brag about his evident corruption.

The money was wasted. Since here he is openly boasting how pleased he is that by deserting his proclaimed principles and former allies he has:
a) managed to get the tax authorities of his back  – authorities set on to him by the Mahiaddin government to pressure him into jumping in the first place; [update – Larry Sng has clarified to SR that his tax issues were resolved thanks to him resorting to borrowing from his family and this is why he says the proceedings against him are now closed and not because he frogged it to PN] 
b) channelled public tax money (raised from other people in other constituencies) into his area – money directly released by PM Mahiaddin and by the corrupted Housing Minister and Azmin supporter Zuraida Kamaruddin (who has also drummed up projects to keep fellow hopper Ali Biju happy) in order that he can enrich the local movers and shakers who shore up his support in dirt poor Julau and
c) get vaccine preference into his area, over and above the needs of other people in Sarawak.

It is ironic that had he stood up and made these admissions in the home of his Alma Mater in the UK (the LSE) Larry Sng would have invited an immediate visit from the local police, who would rightly enquire about an apparent political conspiracy he has himself admitted to involving the misappropriation of public funds and evasion of criminal charges.

Malaysia’s next government has a major job of reform to perform. It will be better off without ignorant and corrupt MPs like Larry Sng polluting the decision making process.

IGP Should DO HIS JOB

Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani vowed to take stern action against any “stubborn” quarters that either organise or join in a protest.

This came after Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) threatened to hold a second #Lawan street rally on Aug 21 if Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin doesn’t resign by then.

Without naming the group, Acryl Sani (above) said police are aware of SSR’s plan and warned that this violates National Recovery Plan SOPs, and risks public health amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Police ask for the public not to join any activities against the laws and SOPs in effect.

Our comment

Over past days Malaysians have watched as unmanaged crowds of people have milled dangerously outside vaccination centres, which have now opened their doors with a chaotic lack of organisation.

One such centre was forced to close after over 200 staff and volunteers contracted the virus they were seeking to defeat. How many of the thousands who passed through also ended up sick rather than saved is not yet known.

Where have the police been who could have made themselves useful in preventing such unsafe violations of the SOPs during the Pandemic? No where in sight it seems.

Instead, they have indulged in the politically motivated harassment of people exercising their rights of protest in a democracy. The Lawan protestors have managed themselves admirably, taking care to observe social distancing rules and not to cause trouble nor inconvenience, merely to make their views known.

This compared to the herds of people pressing into vaccination centres, who have been rubbing up against each other for hours in ill-managed chaos trying to get their vaccines.

The IGP ought to be deeply ashamed of himself. He ought to leave alone those whom he has no right to threaten and he should do his job, which is to protect citizens from real danger, such as that posed by the crowd mismanagement at mass vaccination centres across the country.