The opposition is bickering over many imagined seats, I mean seats they think they can win.
Funnily, in some of these seats the opposition is almost non-existent, so why the quarrel?
They cannot agree and now the state DAP is so angry that it is thinking of cutting ties with rogue partner PAS and leaving Pakatan Rakyat. (more…)
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
There is no delicate way to put this: Malaysia is on a downward spiral, led down the dangerous path by overzealous religious authorities, misguided or plain stupid individuals and groups.
And perhaps more alarmingly, the government of the day is either allowing this implosion of a blessed country or has become a clueless bystander to the dismantling of multiracial and multi-religious Malaysia. (more…)
DAP assemblyperson for Kota Sentosa Chong Chieng Jen asked Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem to seriously look into possible abuse of power and corruption by the state in land deals with private companies.
Chong cited four parcels of land about 267 acres near MJC Batu Kawah which were sold to Standard Parade Development Sdn Bhd at RM115 million, or at RM400,000 per acre, when the land could have fetched more than RM500 million or at RM2 to RM3 million an acre. (more…)
Sarawakians are questioning why many of its senior police positions are held by outsiders, state DAP leader Alan Ling said today.
The Home Ministry appointments are against the Malaysia Agreement, the Piasau assemblyperson said during the debate on the 2015 budget today.
“The majority of Sarawakians are not happy with the appointment of outsiders as commissioner of police, heads of Crime Investigation Department, Special Branch Department and police administration. (more…)
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
Dr Mahathir has been one of the most critical voices against 1MDB and says it adds to the nation’s debt.
So much has happened over the years that one is forgiven for forgetfulness about what went wrong or right in Malaysia.
Malaysians have seen a series of financial scandals, each that seem bigger than the previous one.
Right now, the focus is on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Everyone is concerned about its debts and the government’s liability if it fails. That includes Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin, and rightly so, as the two men navigated Malaysia through tough economic times in the past. (more…)
Zunar’s cartoons produce many laughs, but who would have thought that the mop on his head would be taken seriously by the Malay NGO Gerakan Memartabatkan Perjuangan Negara (GMPN)?
If these Malays are fearful of a mop, how would they deal with serious matters, or defend the nation against an external threat? Say “boo” to them, and they will scurry away, into the coconut shell.
People who are occasionally released from their tempurungs are familiar with the traveling one-man show, the stand-up comedian or even the street artist. Last Thursday, as Anwar Ibrahim and his legal team sweated it out in the Palace of Justice, his supporters were entertained by Zunar. (more…)
If you are non-Malay and you are angry at being denied opportunities like jobs, scholarships or places at university, despite being Malaysian, some Malays will sympathise with you but a few Malays will disagree. The Malays do not “get everything”.
Many Malays also feel the hurt of racial and religious discrimination. It has been a well-kept secret that Malays, who cannot tolerate the growing injustice and oppression, have emigrated. This is not a new trend, but one that started decades ago. Non-Malays are not the only ones who reluctantly left Malaysia. Emigration is not just about a brain-drain. Malays are also concerned about injustice and want to live in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbours. (more…)
Corruption watchdog Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) has urged the government to take legal action against the contractors of school e-learning project 1Bestari Net.
Its president Akhbar Satar said the Auditor-General’s latest report clearly shows service provider YTL Communications Sdn Bhd’s “failure to fulfil contractual obligation”.
He added failure to complete the RM633 million project by the June deadline is reason enough for the government to seek legal recourse. (more…)
State Reform Party (Star Sabah) has demanded that more parliamentary seats be given to Sabah and Sarawak in order to restore their constitutional safeguards.
“Whatever the formula or basis of the new redelineation exercise, Sabah and Sarawak must be given 35 percent of the parliamentary seats to restore their constitutional safeguards,” Star Sabah chief Jeffrey Kitingan said in a statement today.
“Peninsular Malaysia should not be given more than 65 percent of the seats, as agreed upon at the outset of the formation of Malaysia,” Kitingan said in reference to the proposed redelineation being undertaken by the Election Commission (EC). (more…)
MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH
On Nov 11, 2014, a question was raised by Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) to Deputy Finance Minister Chua Tee Yong about Putrajaya’s letter of support for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a government-linked commercial company, as well as a land deal for the relocation of defence units from land marked for the government development project, Bandar Malaysia.
In addition, a total of RM50.4 billion was allocated by the Finance Ministry under the 2015 Budget.
A good issue for debate, but what happened next was shocking although perhaps not unexpected! When Anthony Loke called for a bloc vote to stop the budget allocation, there were only 91 Members of Parliament (MPs) present at the parliament. The budget allocation was passed with 57 votes for and 34 against. Appallingly, this means that 131 MP were not even present in the Dewan Rakyat when the voting was carried out. (more…)
MOHD FARHAN DARWIS
Putrajaya said today it could not prevent housing prices from increasing, but could help mitigate the cost of home ownership by giving buyers incentives.
Putrajaya cannot prevent housing prices from increasing because Malaysia practised an open economy, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said today.
But, it could help mitigate the cost of home ownership by giving buyers incentives, he said.
“This is a free country, the government cannot determine prices. (more…)
Sarawak DAP strongly opposes the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2014 which allows native landowners to sell their land to other natives of different races regardless of location as they can be easily exploited by the rich and super rich natives.
“If we allow this bill to be passed without safeguards, there will be a time whereby the rich owning hundreds and thousands of NCR land, while the poor natives will have no land to farm,” Kota Sentosa assemblyperson Chong Chieng Jen warned yesterday. (more…)
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Rural Development Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang may have put his foot in his mouth by attempting to make fun of PKR’s Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How.
In the winding up debate on the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2014 today and replying to points raised by See, Jabu ridiculed the PKR man for saying that the “natives are part of the land as are the trees, mountains, hills, animals, fishes and rivers”.
He took exception to such a statement and slammed See for linking the natives with animals. (more…)
> Joseph Tawie
Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How has warned the state government not to turn the natives of Sarawak from being custodians of their ancestral land into commodity traders.
“But they are custodians of not just the present generations’ rights but countless generations yet to come,” he said when debating the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2014 yesterday.
The Bill was introduced by Deputy Chief Minister and Rural Development Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang. (more…)
The 1BestariNet project developed by YTL Communications under the auspices of the Education Ministry, is sorely lacking in implementation according to the A-G’s report.
Putrajaya has fined YTL Communications Sdn Bhd RM2.4 million for failing to provide all 10,000 schools with the 1BestariNet e-learning project, the Education Ministry said today.
It said that 1,003 schools had not been equipped with 1BestariNet because YTL Communications had failed to obtain approval from the local authorities to build telecommunication towers in several states, particularly Sarawak, Penang and Kelantan. (more…)
He is the most misunderstood public figure in the country.
It is unfortunate that one of Malaysia’s wisest and most inspired scholars has been so negatively portrayed in the media.
He looks like an uber cool celeb with his bald head, but when he dons a songkok, he takes on the looks of an aristocrat, a man of letters, a don, a religious scholar. Unlike so many of our so-called scholars who got their PhDs by plagiarising the works of others, his dissertion is completely and pristinely original. (more…)
No action was taken against a civil servant who embezzled almost RM1 million, says the Auditor-General.
A civil servant who had embezzled nearly RM1 million in unclaimed money from the Accountant-General’s Department was let off despite several police reports, the 2013 Auditor-General’s (A-G) Report said.The third series of the report found that police reports had been lodged against the officer on two occasions, namely on March 3 and March 10 in 2011, after the losses were discovered.
The officer had made off with unclaimed money totalling RM995,031. (more…)
Some say that his announcement on rural focus by the state BN is admission of neglect while others saw him playing to his strengths, but Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem may be moving to firefight the DAP’s rural push into his state.
There used to be a time that Sarawak BN shrugged off DAP’s foray into their “fixed deposit” and stronghold but now they are looking at Chinese majority urban seats in the peninsula-based party’s comfortable grasp. (more…)
I had to laugh the other day when I read that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had complained in a speech at the Selangor Umno convention that he feels “tired” and “embarrassed” whenever Barisan Nasional is referred to as the opposition in Selangor state.
Because however bad Najib might imagine he feels to have failed to regain Selangor despite a 13th general election that was as dirty, unfair and corrupt as he and his tame electoral commission could make it, he couldn’t be anywhere near as tired and embarrassed as most Malaysians are to be still saddled with him and his cronies as ‘leaders’ or rather bleeders of their beloved country. (more…)
The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) is appealing to the government for all medicines to be zero-rated under the goods and services tax (GST).
MPS president Nancy Ho said in a statement today the government should not tax somebody for “being sick or for needing to take medications”.
As such, MPS is collecting signatures for a petition to appeal for all medicines to be zero-rated under the GST. (more…)
After RM663 million of taxpayers’ funds were poured into introducing high speed broadband networks in schools, students have found themselves stuck with a sluggish Internet as the project comes to its conclusion.Also, according to the Auditor-General’s Report 2013, the 1Bestari Net project, which also includes a virtual learning environment (VLE), that cost the bulk of the spending, is also rarely used by teachers and students.
Under the contract, 9,191 schools were to be supplied with a broadband network with a minimum speed of 4Mbps and up to 20Mbps. (more…)
Official statistics state five humans died in the mud flows. Street talk holds that at least 17 would have died.
The deputy prime minister has come with guns blazing stating that no one will be spared over the encroachment – which is the reason cited as the cause of the massive landslides in Cameron Highlands.
And immediately, the Immigration, police and local authorities made a dragnet and proudly announced that 181 illegal workers have been netted. (more…)
I was researching topical materials for this article to be published next month. But the ever so colourful headlines recently have provided enough fodder for this second instalment of the next 20 things to ban in Malaysia, for release now:1) Signboards of ‘lembu’ crossing – I suggest that all these traffic signages be banned from the roads. In their religion, the ‘lembu’ is never angry but always at peace and thus, (since we need to respect all Malaysians’ sensitivities) we must not offend the Hindus. You see, a naive Hindu could mistakenly read the sign as meaning a holy animal is crossing over to another religion.
2) Positive (‘+’) sign – this symbol should be eliminated from Malaysian electronic devices because non-Christians who use them daily, may be fooled into converting to Christianity seeing the crucifix-like symbol appearing ubiquitously as if it’s a calling from God. (more…)
It has been a month since Dayak Informal Group chief Dr Dusit Jaul lodged a police report on a harassment he and his family received from five men claiming to be Special Branch (SB) officers from Bukit Aman.
In his report, Dusit, who is also Sarawak Dayak Graduates’ Association president, said the men entered his home uninvited on Oct 7 and warned him through his wife that he stop talking about the rights of the Dayaks and issues affecting the community.
For as long as the harassment case is not solved, Dusit has every reason to be worried because every time he leaves for work he knows he is leaving his family to the mercy of God. He and his family are exposed and that’s no comfort at all. (more…)
A group of Dayak intellectuals, senior civil servants and activists are embarking on a state-wide roadshow on Dayak rights.
The workshops set to discuss challenges and opportunities faced by the community are organised, following unhappiness with their political leaders.
The series of workshops, jointly organised by Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) and Dayak National Congress (DNC), will be organised in major cities and towns in the state. (more…)
I have been following the pace of events that suggests there is a move to ban or declare illegal certain activities in this country because we are no longer sensitive to others’ feelings. I am now fully convinced that our moral guardians are acting in our best interest because we are weak of faith and morals.So, being a good citizen who is ever ready to assist the politicians to discharge their very heavy workload, I have compiled a list of things that we should ban and the reasons for doing so:
1) Thaipusam – because the chariot procession causes chaos in certain parts of Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru at 3am and parading Hindu deities on our streets may offend some people’s sensitivities and this should not be tolerated. (more…)
PAS is the one which is causing Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat to break up because of its intention to introduce hudud in the country, said Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen.”PAS is deviating too far away from the common agenda of the Pakatan coalition,” he said.”That is the main cause of the problem.”
He was replying to state PAS information chief Abusiraj Almunerwho accused Sarawak DAP of being a burden to the Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat and a tool of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).
By threatening to quit Pakatan, Sarawak DAP is undermining the solidarity of Pakatan in the state, Abusiraj said. (more…)
After having to undergo urine tests earlier today, student activists who planned to hold a rally at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) continue to be hounded by authorities.
The eight students were not only barred by campus officials from speaking, they were kicked out and arrested.
At the time of writing, Universiti Malaya Student Union (PMUM) president Fahmi Zainol said that the activists are now being brought to the Karamunsing police station in a police van.
Besides Fahmi (left), the students arrested include one from Universiti Teknologi Mara (Uitm), three from UMS (Kota Kinabalu campus) and three from UMS (Labuan campus). (more…)
The Deputy Chief Minister supports Chief Minister Adenan Satem whose vision is the same as that of Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang has advised the Penan community to take a good look at themselves and take stock of where they were going.
He argued that those who taught the Penans to set up blockades and demand compensation from timber companies “were actually making the Penans lazy and dependent on the compensation”. (more…)
Petronas has threatened to stop investing if the Sarawak Government continues to demand 20 per cent oil royalty.
The Opposition, in a pre-emptive move on the eve of the Sarawak Assembly sitting, has warned Chief Minister Adenan Satem against settling for anything less than 20 per cent oil royalty in its negotiations with Petronas, the national oil corporation.
“It would be an ‘insult’ to Sarawakians if we are only given corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions,” said PKR Sarawak vice chief See Chee How. “As an oil producing nation, Sarawak’s entitlement to a fair oil and gas royalty should be seen as its right.” (more…)
The so-called “Malay moderate” leaders normally expound their sugar-coated liberal ideas in international forums and always in English because they know that the Malay-Muslim audience at home will miss it completely.
This is true of both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Their actions are, however, diametrically opposite to what they profess to believe.
Let’s see how they handle the issues of “liberalism” and “pluralism”: (more…)
AZLAN ABDUL RAZAK
Mercy is not a word accompanied with a denigrating effect. Mercy is neither awarded nor rewarded to one as and when he demands it. Mercy is in fact a laudable act of proffering compassion and kindly forbearance to those who need it most.
In the case of the Pharisee and the tax collector, when the latter eventually attested to his sin to God, adjuring the forgiveness of the Lord and to be seen by Him as if he had committed no sin, Jesus said in Luke, “… and the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’” (Luke 18:13). (more…)
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said Putrajaya would come up new guidelines to ensure Christian materials bound for East Malaysia would not be confiscatedPutrajaya will come up new standard operating procedures to ensure that Christian materials bound for East Malaysia will not be confiscated, said Tan Sri Joseph Kurup after returning seized Christian books and CDs to a pastor in Sabah today.
The minister in the prime minister’s department pledged that Putrajaya would come up with new guidelines to deal with similar cases in the future. (more…)
The Malaysian government hacked into websites that carried reports on the book ‘Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia’ by Lukas Straumann, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) claims.
The book alleges corrupt practices on the part of former Sarawak chief minister and current Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family in relation to the state’s timber industry.
A BMF statement issued yesterday says the US-based Environment News Service (ENS) reported that its websites were attacked for a report it carried on the book. (more…)
The federal government has said that the issue of reducing oil prices in tandem with plummeting global crude oil prices “does not arise” as the government is still subsidising RON 95 petrol and diesel prices in the country.
Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan, in responding to the urgings by several opposition lawmakers, said that the government is still paying a 12 sen subsidy per litre for the fuel in this country.
However, this is significantly reduced from the 74 sen per litre subsidy the government was handing out in 2013. (more…)
Eight Universiti Malaya students will appear before a disciplinary board this morning for organising a rally with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last week
It’s D-day for eight Universiti Malaya students who are scheduled to appear before a disciplinary board this morning for organising a rally with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last week.And despite the prospect of being expelled from the institution, they said they did not regret their actions.
The charges against the eight, described as “ridiculous”, range from attending an illegal rally to using a loud hailer. (more…)
Ng Kee Seng
Malaysia’s socio-economic status is not all dandy. And the federal government and its leaders are not fooling anyone whenever they try to paint a rosy picture of Malaysia’s economic and financial health.
How can Malaysia’s economic health be dandy when its federal debt, officially, is at RM568.9 billion or 52.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) as of June.
However, many economists believe the figures and statistics had not included other hidden debts.
New Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali is scheduled to meet Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah next Tuesday and they are likely to discuss the seized Bibles
The Malay and Iban Bibles seized early this year containing the word “Allah” are to be returned to the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) soon, ending a 10-month standoff between Christians and the Selangor religious authorities.The Malaysian Insider understands the 321 copies of the Christian holy books, seized by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), which forbids other faiths from using the word “Allah”, are expected to be returned within the next week. (more…)
To the point of pushing the seditious envelope, here I stand advocating revolution. A call to arms for Malaysia’s young, to rabble-rouse and bring forth change in power.
Guided as I was by an unlikely ditty, a patriotic song from the mists of childhood memory:
“Putra Putri negara jaya
Bersatu berpadu tenaga
Padamu harapannya bangsa
Twelve teachers were detained following the discovery of leaked questions for the UPSR Science, English, Tamil and Mathematics papers which affected 473,175 pupils from 8,384 schools nationwide.
As two teachers face court today over leaks in the UPSR examination papers, a DAP lawmaker has asked whether the standard practice of preparing multiple sets of question papers was followed to prevent such a fiasco.
Citing media reports, Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari (pic, right) said it was the custom for the examination board to have three sets of examination papers so that a back-up could be used in case a leak was discovered. (more…)
Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
I have written a number of articles urging action on the part of the prime minister to curtail and end the trend that will create chaos in the country. It seems like one is talking to a wall. But definitely he has to wake up from his slumber and act, or he would be the very person responsible for a disaster awaiting the nation.
Every time Datuk Seri Najib Razak makes speeches, he looks more like an amateur actor with poor directing, doing a soliloquy from some Shakespearean play. His aides should be brave enough to tell him about this. Possibly what others say will only fall on his deaf ears as his advisers have been presenting the wrong picture about what the people perceive him to be. (more…)
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing has proposed a two-step solution to the maelstrom over Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn Malay language Bibles.
“He can renounce his threat, and the government can proceed to drop the sedition changes against a host of others who did not utter anything comparably seditious but are under duress for suspected sedition,” proposed the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese.
The Jesuit-trained prelate said this two-step proposition would provide the avenue out of the impasse spawned by Ibrahim’s threat and the spate of probes and indictments for sedition against a host of social activists and politcians. (more…)
The Governor of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, has embarked on a high stakes and high risk strategy to ban the book that lifts the lid on timber corruption in Sarawak.
And today, in Tokyo, the Malaysian delegation to the International Tropical Timber Organisation’s (ITTO) annual conference moved to remove observer status from the NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).
The BMF Director, Lukas Straumann, is the author of “Money Logging – On The Trail Of The Asian Timber Mafia”, which has also been barred from the conference. (more…)
Some women find men in uniform attractive. They will stop, stare and feel weak at the knees. Is it the straight back, the posture, the puffed-out chest, the shiny badges, or the tilt of the beret? Is it because the organisation they represent signifies safety and strength?One uniformed Malaysian has the opposite effect on many Malaysians. He is the Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM) president, Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah. He is often photographed in a dark olive uniform, with a red beret and sunglasses. Many of us try to stifle our sniggers. Some men look good in uniform, but Abdul Rani makes us laugh. We tend to ignore his messages, and focus on his outfit. He makes a mockery of himself.
One does not have to wear a uniform to make women swoon. Firemen in their overalls and hard hats, or builders with their tool pouches can also have the desired effect. (more…)
Members of Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) during a state-level Merdeka parade last August.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has declared Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) an illegal organisation, and its assets and properties will be seized, the Home Ministry said today.
Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohamad Khalid Shariff said Zahid made the declaration yesterday, invoking Section 5(1) of the Societies Act 1966, which empowers the minister to declare an organisation illegal. (more…)
GASAK believes that Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud was trying to hide something from the public but stopped short of calling on him to step down and clear his name.
The Sarawak People’s Movement or Gerakan Anak Sarawak (GASAK) wants the authorities concerned to probe the contents of a recently released book, Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia, by Swiss author and human rights campaigner Lukas Straumann.
The author, who also heads the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund as Director, claims in his 300-page book that Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud, his four children and his siblings have stakes in 333 companies in Malaysia and in another 418 spread around the globe. (more…)
A Sarawak NGO has lodged several police reports against state governor Abdul Taib Mahmud after the release of a new book that made corruption allegations against him.
Gerakan Anak Sarawak (Gasak) said it had lodged 13 police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reports against Taib, who was state chief minister for 23 years.
The book, entitled ‘Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia’, alleges Taib was involved in corrupt practices in the timber industry when he headed the state as chief minister and resource planning and management minister. (more…)
Members of Sarawak-based Gasak at the Miri central police station today after lodging a report against former Sarawak CM, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.
A Sarawak-based group today lodged two police reports against Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud for alleged corruption and abuse of power, based on a newly-launched book which reveals in detail the former chief minister’s alleged misdeeds.
The Sarawak People’s Movement (Gasak) also lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the allegations in “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia”, against Taib, who is now the Sarawak governor, this morning. (more…)
Launching a broadside against the government-appointed prosecutor in his sodomy appeal, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said Muhammad Shafee Abdullah should return to law school.
Speaking to reporters at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Anwar accused the veteran lawyer of making political speeches, instead of addressing the points raised by the defence.
Shafee, he added, had turned the proceedings into a “political trial and media charade”.
The Umno-linked prosecutor concluded his submissions today with Anwar’s defence team expected to reply on Thursday. (more…)
The bottomline is that anyone who defies the religious authorities would be labelled as not Muslim.
Malay political leaders on both sides of the political divide are afraid of the religious authorities and this can be seen in the manner they express themselves at different forums in different languages.
“The real power in our lives emanates from the religious authorities,” writes Zaid Ibrahim in The real power in Malaysia, in his blog Zaidgeist. “Our leaders are like the Imperial Chinese eunuchs who would always obey the Emperor for the privilege of living in the Palace and having control over state finances.” (more…)