The Budget 2017 tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Parliament has dashed any hope that Sarawak and Sabah would get generous grants as an under-developed region to catch up with basic amenities and infrastructural development in the Peninsular Malaysia, PKR Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How has said.
He said it was clear through the budget that the federal government had failed Sarawakians and Sabahans.
He pointed out that the prime minister and the federal government made no commitment to the specific requests made by Sarawak.
He said the increased equity in the oil and gas industry demanded by the state through higher petroleum royalty was not addressed. (more…)
Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian is endorsing wholeheartedly the recommendation by two prominent former judges for the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to be appointed the next Chief Justice (CJ).
The two mentioned are retired Court of Appeals judge Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus and retired Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
Baru, who is a senior lawyer, echoed Mohd Hishamudin’s opinion on the desirability of having a ‘substantive CJ rather than an acting CJ’.
Baru said aside from Malanjum’s seniority by virtue of his 10-year tenure as Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, the latter was also a visionary who would be able to bring about the much-needed reform to the Malaysian judiciary. (more…)
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has requested the state government to increase the intake of Dayak in the state’s civil service and goverment-linked companies (GLCs).
Its president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said presently, the number of Dayak in the civil service and GLCs was not reflecting the diversity of race in Sarawak.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said the current problem of imbalance in the civil service should not be placed on the shoulders of Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
He said Adenan inherited the problem and believed the chief minister would address the matter as soon as possible.
“We will assist you (Adenan),” he said in his speech at the opening of the PRS Fourth Triennial Delegates Conference (TDC) by Adenan, here, today. (more…)
Maria Chin Abdullah who chairs Bersih 2.0 rubbished today a claim that the electoral watchdog had hired people to assault its own supporters for publicity.
She emphasised that her pressure group does not condone violence.
“We didn’t do it and it’s not our business to pay people to do violence,” she toldMalay Mail Online when contacted for response to a bizarre allegation by Datuk Jamal Yunos that Bersih 2.0 had paid goons to impersonate supporters of his Red Shirts movement and attack a Bersih convoy in Selangor recently.
“We don’t pay people for violence, that’s not what we are meant to do. We leave it to the police to investigate.
“He should stop making wild accusations,” she added. (more…)
Sarawak Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh hopes the federal government can inject more funds to lift the rural communities who form the bulk of the hornbill state.
The Sunday edition of The Borneo Post reported Wong saying the federal allocation in Budget 2017 announced last Friday was below the state’s expectations.
“We are indeed looking forward to receiving more allocations from federal, taking into consideration the economic status of Sarawak which is way behind our counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia.
“In addition, we are also looking for more allocations to upgrade many rural schools that are in dilapidated constitution, as well as clinics to serve our rural communities,” he was quoted saying.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has called for greater numbers of Dayaks to be employed in the state civil service and government-linked companies.
PRS president James Jemut Masing said the number of Dayaks employed did not reflect Sarawak’s ethnic diversity.
Masing, who is a deputy chief minister, said the current problem of imbalance in the civil service should not be placed on the shoulders of Chief Minister Adenan Satem whom he said had inherited the problem.
He the chief minister would deal with the matter and pledged “We will assist you”. (more…)
A chorus of unequivocal support and agreement reverberated across the legal fraternity in Sarawak for Chief Justice of Borneo, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, to be appointed the next Chief Justice of Malaysia, which would make him the first from East Malaysia for this top-most chair in the Malaysian judiciary.
Deputy Speaker of Sarawak State Legislative Assembly and the first Kelabit lawyer, Dato Gerawat Gala, fully supported the proposal, saying it would be a befitting recognition of his experience in the judicial department.
“Tan Sri Richard Malanjum is among the most senior federal court judges who has a long and distinguished career in the judicial department.
“Many of his decisions and judgements published in the various law reports have become legal precedents for our Malaysian courts,” he said. (more…)
A meeting of “old friends” at Parliament has resulted in Sarawak’s Progressive Democratic Party reportedly agreeing to the return of its former president, William Mawan, as a member.
PDP secretary-general Anthony Nogeh said in Kuching yesterday that the party would accept Mawan’s return without pre-conditions. Others in Mawan’s former party Teras were also welcome, he said.
Mawan is partyless, after having resigned as president of Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak to contest in Sarawak’s state elections as a direct candidate of the Barisan Nasional. He is MP for Saratok MP and assemblyman for Pakan.
Nogeh said he and PDP president Tiong King Sing had met Mawan at the last parliamentary meeting in Kuala Lumpur, according to Borneo Post Online. The meeting was “an amicable affair among old friends”, he said. (more…)
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has expressed his hope for Sarawak to have more community colleges, particularly in areas that yet to have such facility.
“This will allow our youths to obtain skills and knowledge after having completed their SPM or STPM studies, so that they will be able to find employment.
“Now, there are many SPM and STPM graduates who remain unemployed because they do not have the skills (as required in the job market). The industries out there need skilled workers. For instance, SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) alone needs around 300,000 skilled and semi-skilled workers by 2020,” he said after having officiated at the convocation ceremony for Sarawak Community College students at the old State Legislative Assembly complex near here yesterday.
According to Uggah, of the more than 90 community colleges nationwide, there are only six in Sarawak – one each in Kuching, Santubong, Mas Gading, Betong, Sarikei and Miri.
When heavily armed people with faces covered barge into civilians having dinner and order them “don’t move, police”, how are the civilians to be certain that the masked people are indeed the police and not criminals? Only months ago ISIS had thrown a hand grenade into a restaurant.
Is there some law of nature that will disable all the civilians from any movement upon hearing a “don’t move” order if it is from the genuine police? IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar ’s statement “I think you all know that if you do no wrong, you will not run” is presumption to say the least. Are the police not taught basic human psychology?
Different people will react differently to the same situation or stimuli. Doesn’t Khalid know this?
Those who don’t bolt upon seeing the menacing, masked, armed men who shout “don’t move”, more likely than not just freeze because of the sudden shock. They don’t run not because they are sure the masked men are the real police and they have nothing to fear as they have done no wrong. (more…)
Since the last general election, Najib Abdul Razak has successfully managed the investment community’s perception of the “prudence” of the budget with declining budget deficits, albeit at a snail’s pace.
In 2013, the budget deficit was 3.8 percent. The figure declined to 3.4 percent and 3.2 percent in 2014 and 2015. For this year, the government estimates it to be 3.1 percent and is forecasting 3.0 percent for 2017.
Despite the fact that Najib will never achieve his zero deficit target in 2020 at the current snail’s pace, credit should be given to the finance and prime minister for the moderating deficit in the light of difficult economic conditions – that is, if the deficit figures truly reflect government spending.
Even for a non-economist, you might raise an eyebrow as to whether the deficit decline looked too “uniformly smooth” in a choppy global economy. If you think that the numbers look too good to be true and have been manipulated, you are absolutely right. (more…)
The Election Commission stopped political parties from registering voters in 2013 because of “many problems”, according to its chairman, Mohd Hashim Abdullah.
He said the commission reaffirmed its position in September last year because of these problems. He did not say what these “problems” were.
Since then, only non-governmental organisations have been allowed to register new voters. About 4.2 million people have still not been registered.
“For example, the Persatuan Silat has many members and they asked if they could register new voters and we said okay. We will also allow the Persatuan Perahu Layar to register new voters. But not political parties,” he was quoted as saying. (more…)
The national education policy that neglected the importance of English has led to poor grasp of the language among local graduates, including PhD holders, Sarawak Youth and Sports and Solidarity Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said.
He added that the employment prospects even for many top scorers were affected due to their lack of proficiency in English, the Sunday edition of The Borneo Postreported today.
“There are many who graduated from local universities with first degrees, some with Master’s degrees, some with PhD, but they are not fluent in English.
“They could not converse well in English and write properly in English. But we do not blame them, we blame the system instead,” he was quoted saying. (more…)
Former Umno divisional leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan has given a warning to Red Shirts leader Jamal Md Yunos that he is not the only one who can act like a gangster.
“Someone please ask this little village gangster if he thinks we’re all just going to sit by and let him do whatever he wants,” he said in a statement issued today, in response to remarks by Jamal about former premier Mahathir Mohamad.
Jamal was quoted as saying that he regretted having shaken hands with Dr Mahathir and having kissed his hands in the past. Jamal said that if he met Mahathir now, he would spit on the latter’s hand.
Khairuddin, known to be a Mahathir loyalist, said Jamal was not fooling anyone with his tough guy act and that he should learn to watch his mouth. (more…)
Teresa Kok questioned the government today if thought had been given to the future of medical graduates who accept its offer for contract employment under Budget 2017.
The Opposition lawmaker pointed to claims of an oversupply of doctors and asked Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam if private hospitals would really be able to provide jobs for those affected once their government contract expires.
“However, Subramaniam has not addressed or answered a most basic and important question that new medical graduates and their parents want to know — what happens after the contract ends? Can they really find jobs in the private sector?” the Seputeh MP said in a statement.
“Subramaniam said that once their contract ends, the doctors can find jobs in the private sector. But how many of them can be absorbed into the private sector when what most private hospitals require are specialist doctors with sufficient experience and not new medical officers,” she added. (more…)
Old bonds were rekindled and new relationships made in the 2016 Causeway Cup presented by CIMB, staged at The Els Club Teluk Datai in Langkawi on Oct 5-7.
This was the ninth edition of the Ryder Cup-style event, played annually between Malaysian media and their Singapore counterparts. More than 40 players, representing a broad spectrum of print, electronic and digital media outlets from both sides of the Causeway, competed over three matchplay rounds at the award-winning Teluk Datai golf course designed by South African legend Ernie Els.
The first round consisted of eight fourball matches with the score tied at 4-4 after the end of play, while the second round saw eight foursomes matches being played with Singapore emerging tops by 4½ to 3½. The third and final round of 16 singles matches was an exciting affair with Malaysia chalking up 9½ points to Singapore’s 6½, putting the final score at 17-15 in Malaysia’s favour.
The event culminated in a grand prize-giving dinner at The Datai Langkawi, during which the trophy was presented by Singapore team captain Thomas Leow to his Malaysian counterpart Jonathan Ponniah. (more…)
Youth and Sports and Solidarity Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong acknowledges that the current education policy is to be blamed for lack of English proficiency among local graduates.
Many new graduates are weak in English and this hampered their chances to land jobs, he said in concurring with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem on the issue.
As such, he was not surprised that Adenan had used a strong word – ‘stupid’, at a function last week to term the turn in education policy some 30 years ago which neglected English and over emphasised on Bahasa Malaysia.
“There are many who graduated from local universities with first degrees, some with Master’s degrees, some with PhD, but they are not fluent in English. They could not converse well in English and write properly in English. But we do not blame them, we blame the system instead. (more…)
I am in Langkawi for a three weeks master trainer programme together with participants from eight ASEAN countries. The venue is in a well-known resort hotel at Pantai Tengah.
There are many spas and restaurants along Jalan Teluk Baru at Pantai Tengah, but traffic is light and these outlets are usually devoid of customers.
Many buildings have been deserted and left dilapidated. Adding to the gloom and doom are half-completed structures, and projects that were halted or abandoned.
Further up north is Jalan Pantai Cenang, which is bustling with people and traffic. Shops line both sides of this road, stretching for over a kilometer. (more…)
The DAP’s Tony Pua believes that government-linked companies – or non-financial public corporations (NFPC) – are time bombs waiting to explode.
Pua, who is MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, said the Treasury Economic Report “exposes Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s hidden budget time-bombs”.
He said the report showed that the government had placed excessive spending mostly under NFPCs to maintain a semblance of a moderate’ budget deficit.
The estimated deficit for public corporations was RM50.5 billion, not including the multibillion debts of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which is fully owned by the Finance Ministry. (more…)
A PKR branch chairman from Negeri Sembilan has urged the government to increase its BR1M people’s aid payment to RM1,500 to ease the financial burden of the poor.
The branch chairman, Aminuddin Harun, said the payment can be made two months once. “The aid can go towards paying utility bills,” he was quoted as saying in the Sinar Harian newspaper.
On Friday, the government announced that households earning below RM3,000 a month would receive a cash payment of RM 1,200 (an increase of RM200); households with monthly income of RM3,000 to RM4,000 would receive RM900 (an increase of RM100); single persons earning below RM2,000 a month will receive RM450 (an increase of RM50).
The aid is paid in quarterly instalments. (more…)
Budget 2017 presented by Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister Najib Razak feels like an ostrich’s response to the multiple crises facing the nation. Instead of taking the bull by its horns, Najib decided to bury his head in the sand in the hope that the storm would be over by some stroke of good luck.
That is not serious policy-making.
The budget presentation reveals an isolated Najib’s deep desire to win kudos from audience in front of national television. This is the second year that a teleprompter is placed in front of him. I understand the need of a teleprompter on big occasions in which the speaker addresses thousands.
But within the setting of a Westminister Parliament, the finance minister is supposed to speak to the MPs sitting around the chamber first and foremost, then only to those watching from television. There was no attempt or effort made by Najib to talk to those inside the chamber. (more…)
Taxi drivers exiting rental-purchase agreements, often described as the pajak model, will be granted RM5,000 each for the purchase of new taxis.
The RM60 million allocated allows 12,000 taxi drivers to benefit from this scheme. Similarly, Socso will provide a safety net for those eligible.
Those receiving benefits will no doubt be happy initially, but others not entitled will be left bitter, including large numbers of self-employed people like petty traders and hawkers.
Giving handouts have more ramifications than one can possibly imagine. (more…)
An opposition MP from Sarawak and another from Sabah have alleged that their states were given short shrift in the Budget 2017 proposals.
The MP for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen of DAP, said he regarded the reduction in allocations for Sarawak as “significant” and speculated that this was because Barisan Nasional believed it was already well entrenched in the state.
“If you look at the budget, Sarawak was not mentioned as much as it was mentioned in previous budgets,” he said.
Penampang MP Darell Leiking, a leader of the new Parti Warisan Sabah, said it was evident from the way Sabah was treated in the budget proposals that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration was refusing to recognise the state as equal in status with Peninsular Malaysia. (more…)
After attending the Bersih 4 rally last year, Catholic bishop Bernard Paul intends to take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur for Bersih 5, to be held on November 19.
In an online posting, Bishop Paul urged Malaysians to take part in the rally and “to claim [Malaysia] back from destructive leaders”.
Bishop Paul, who is head of the Catholic Church’s Malacca-Johor diocese, said that taking part in Bersih was a citizen’s right and not a matter of party politics, not of supporting BN nor the divisive opposition.
“Tell the politicians to grow up” Bishop Paul said. His posting sparked criticism from Parti Cinta Malaysia leader Huan Cheng Guan who urged the bishop to focus more on church matters rather than meddling into political matters irrelevant to religion. (more…)
Bajet 2017 was a very typical pre-election budget, and it was a predictable budget with greasing on all sectors and a complete “give, give, give” tone by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
While the sideshows were presented by Najib with a lineup in the gallery, the drama was provided by the opposition as they walked out en masse before Najib could present the summary.
With a total budget allocation of RM260.8 billion, civil servants got more allocations, taxi drivers got grants, BR1M increased, more assistance during the monsoon season for the rubber tappers, more allocations for small-medium industries and start ups, better connectivity for universities, higher bandwidth at the same prices, more incentives for athletes, more projects of public transport and hospitals and schools.
Clad in shocking pink, accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Najib raced down the tracks with his budget speech, with the occasional digs at the opposition. (more…)
A total of 1.5 million borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) should seize the opportunity to repay their loans through various incentives announced in the 2017 Budget.
Its chairman Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said in line with the incentives announced in the budget, PTPTN expected to see an increase of 10 per cent of loan repayment via various payment methods such as online, direct debit and salary deduction.
“The incentive announced will help ease the burden as it will indirectly reduce the amount of debt that needed to be paid off.
“This incentive is open to all PTPTN borrowers including those subjected to enforcement action. The borrowers just need to start and continue their repayments,” he said in a statement yesterday. (more…)
Najib Razak’s criticism of an opposition walkout during the Budget speech in Parliament yesterday was described today as “hypocritical and laughable”.
PKR’s N Surendran, MP for Padang Serai, pointed out that Najib’s seat in the Dewan Rakyat would be empty on Monday “as it has been every year” after he had delivered the Budget.
Contrary to the tradition of democratic parliaments, Najib had not bothered to attend the reply of the leader of the opposition to the budget speech. “Is this an example of Najib’s and the Barisan Nasional’s respect for the democratic process?” he said.
He said the walkout by MPs of Pakatan Rakyat “was a legitimate and necessary act of protest” against what he called “Najib’s continuing failure to answer our questions” about the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal, allegations by the US Justice Department in civil suits, and allegations against Najib himself. (more…)
The DAP has defended a walkout by opposition MPs during the Budget speech in the Dewan Rakyat on Friday.
DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said the walkout had happened after Prime Minister Najib Razak used the budget speech to continuously attack the opposition, a former prime minister and two former deputy prime ministers.
“They walked out following the relentless attacks,” he told reporters today, NST Online reported.
Lim, who is MP for Bagan, was not in the House at the time, as he had returned to Penang at 5pm to welcome the Raja of Perlis and his entourage who were visiting the state to attend the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Penang Free School last night. (more…)
The state expects Budget 2017 to be less than satisfactory because the national economic situation is not very encouraging at the moment, says Minister of Public Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi.
However, the state was confident that it could carry on with transforming the rural areas and the economy with its available fund without being too dependent on federal allocation.
He described Budget 2017 tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Parliament yesterday as a ‘continuity budget’ focusing on development programmes that had been drawn in previous year. He insisted that the state could not be so hopeful for better ‘goodies’ but understood the situation the country was in now.
He cited allocation for replanting oil palms and improving planters’ income and plantations as well as fund for furthering the development of Pan Borneo Highway as examples of those continuing development programmes. (more…)
The DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has decried the lack of reference to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal when Prime Minister Najib Razak delivered the budget estimates for 2017 on Friday.
In a media statement today, the DAP adviser said it was “sad, shocking and most embarrassing” that there is not a word about the 1MDB scandal.
“This is Najib’s denial syndrome at its worst”, he said.
He rebutted Najib’s description of an opposition demonstration in Parliament yesterday as an embarrassment, saying that it was Najib who had embarrassed himself with his budget speech, which had “not a word of refutation” about Malaysia’s infamy as a result of US Justice Department suits under its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative in July.
“In fact, there is not a word about Malaysia’s fight against corruption in the 2017 Budget despite the backdrop of Malaysia’s newly-acquired international infamy as a global kleptocracy,” Lim said.
He said Parliament must bear part responsibility if Malaysia fell in ranking on the Transparency International corruption perception index for 2016 to be published in December, for pretending that the 1MDB problem does not exist.
Source : FMT Reporters Online
Many of the policies announced under Budget 2017 were populist and intended to placate voter segments crucial to Barisan Nasional (BN), analysts said.
The increase in the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) cash handout programme and incentives for civil servants were clear indicators that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had tabled a federal budget with the elections in mind, according to pundits polled by Malay Mail Online.
“It can be considered as populist as they still try to give something back to the critical segments despite the constraints the government is facing,” Ibrahim Suffian, director of independent pollster Merdeka Centre, said.
“I think there were plenty of signals to indicate that he is preparing for elections…you can see that the budget was intentionally holistic,” Samsu Adabi Mamat, analyst with Universiti Teknologi Mara, told Malay Mail Online. (more…)
An allocation to upgrade 30 dilapidated schools in Sarawak in Budget 2017 only meets 16 per cent of the overall needs.
Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said there were 486 dilapidated schools throughout Sarawak and 183 of them were categorised as ‘worst than others’.
“We need to upgrade all 183 dilapidated schools. They cannot wait. The allocation for only 30 schools does not even constitute half of the schools that urgently need repairs and upgrading.
“We have earnestly hoped that there will be allocation for all the 183 schools. Somehow, we already knew that realistically, that would not be quite possible,” Fatimah said when contacted for her response to the 2017 Budget announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in parliament yesterday. (more…)
Public universities will see their combined operating budgets for 2017 slashed by about 19 per cent, or RM1.5 billion, a bigger cut than this year’s budget.
Out of the 20 public universities in Malaysia, 10 of them will be facing massive cuts ranging from over 10 per cent to over 31 per cent ― including many top-ranking institutions ― under Budget 2017 announced yesterday.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) suffers the biggest reduction in operating expenditure in terms of percentage with a 31.16 per cent drop from 2016 allocations, but Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) will be losing the most in terms of value with RM563 million wiped out from its operating budget. (more…)
The government has sufficient funds for disbursement to the target groups in Budget 2017, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He described as baseless, the assertion by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that Budget 2017 could not be implemented because the government did not have the means.
“In the budget preparation, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is also Finance Minister engaged with various quarters to obtain feedback on sectors and target groups.
“For such purpose, several consultations were held not only with the Finance Ministry and National Treasury but also the private sector, banking and research institutions and so on. (more…)
Budget 2017 is a disappointment for Sarawakians as there was no increased allocation to help the state catch up with development in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Dr Sim Kui Hian said yesterday.
“This Budget again shows that Sarawak has to ‘compete’ for the goodies with other 12 states. That is the exact reason SUPP wanted Sarawak’s constitutional position as one of the founding regions of the federation of Malaysia to be restored,” he said.
However, Dr Sim said the party was pleased that Budget 2017 is people centric and the government has set aside allocation for a series of subsidies for street lights, road maintenance, water and power supply and laid out programmes to increase the people’s disposable income.
“We are especially glad with the government’s persistent efforts in helping our young generation through new incentives in PR1MA housing programmes as announced in the budget,” he said.
The SUPP president also pointed out that there was no allocation to boost domestic flights and international flights in Sarawak.
He said air connectivity is essential to its socio-economic development especially for the tourism industry.
Source : The Borneo Post Online
Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah questioned today why the ethnic Chinese dominance of the Bersih 4 rally should be seen as a problem.
She acknowledged that the overnight rally held in August last year consisted of a Chinese majority, but stressed that there were also Malays and participants from other races.
“So what if more of one race ― aren’t Malaysians allowed to speak?” Chin said on her Facebook page.
She elaborated on the impact of the electoral reform group’s four previous demonstrations that were among the biggest in Malaysia’s recent history, drawing thousands to the streets. (more…)
An MP has called for competition in supplying free tablet computers to the country’s 430,000 teachers.
Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj said the government should give teachers vouchers with which the teachers could buy the tablet computers themselves.
Otherwise, he feared that companies having “a relationship with the government” would be given the contract to supply the tablets to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, which will provide them to teachers.
“It is a good budget, but maybe they are giving them to companies who might be tied to the government. I won’t be surprised if the tablets are of low quality, are not of standards and are a waste of money,” he told FMT in response to the budget speech yesterday. (more…)
It is insulting to call others shallow, but there is no better word to describe those without depth of character. Sadly, many in our society are just that.
A local humanitarian, Kuan Chee Heng, has gone out of his way to help the less privileged for the past 14 years. But he was criticised for wearing shorts when delivering aid to a poor family.
The Community Policing Malaysia president gained recognition for his good deeds when a photo of him buying food for a poor family went viral on the social media in June.
The woman, he helped, was left in the lurch by her husband. Her nasi lemak business came to a halt after her car was damaged in an accident. Kuan, who came to know of her plight, not only bought dinner for her family, but also paid their house rent, electricity and water bills. (more…)
Property valuers criticised today Budget 2017 for failing to address the slowdown in the property market.
House buyers, however, rejoiced over the federal budget announced today, lauding Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for not heeding calls from developers to relax cooling measures previously introduced to stem excessive speculation on house prices.
“We had expected that 2017 Budget to come up with the following measures ― to re-introduce DIBS for first time buyers only and confine the purchase of the house up to RM400,000 and impose conditions of penalty if they sell the property within five years to prevent speculation; all the government departments/ agencies and GLCs to come out with a plan to identify their surplus lands for joint ventures with developers to build affordable housing,” the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector (PEPS) said in a statement.
DIBS refers to the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme that allows buyers not to service their loans throughout the construction period as it is is borne by developers instead. (more…)
Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen has questioned why leakages of budget allocations had not been addressed when the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, tabled the 2017 Budget yesterday.
He said there was no point in talking about billions in allocations when as much as 60 per cent might end up in the private pockets of corrupt officers and politicians.
“Yet, Najib completely ignores these problems in his budget speech,” he said today.
Recently anti-corruption officials alleged that as much as RM2 billion could have been siphoned off in leakages from a total of RM3.3 billion in federal allocations for the Sabah Water Department. (more…)
Najib Razak presented the nation’s 2017 budget in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday amidst boisterous opposition. Half-way through the budget presentation, members of the opposition staged a walkout.
Najib simply lacked the manners and the decorum to provide a professional presentation. Throughout his speech, he made jokes, made fun of the opposition and ridiculed their leaders for criticising the government on various policies. By reliance on these externalities, the budget was robbed of its seriousness as a national document.
It does not take education in rocket science to say that the budget was for all intents and purposes meant to provide goodies and sweeteners for the general population in preparation for the coming general election.
The budget was a populist one intended to placate certain particular segments of the society for the government to win the elections. (more…)
Red Shirts leader Datuk Jamal Md Yunos accused Bersih 2.0 today of assaulting their own supporter in Sabak Bernam and media personnel in Kuala Selangor, even though the victims have blamed his movement for the attacks.
News portal Malaysiakini reported Jamal as claiming that the attacker in Sabak Bernam who kicked a Bersih supporter on a motorbike had impersonated the Red Shirts by wearing a scarlet T-shirt.
“I wish to state that the violence and provocation before this is by Bersih.
“The motorcyclist in yellow who was kicked from the back, (the attacker) was hired by Bersih, to wear the same T-shirt that we wear,” Jamal was quoted saying after a counter-rally against the Bersih convoy in Kapar. (more…)
Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah, better known as “Ratu Naga”, has joined PKR Wanita, hoping to “redeem herself”.
Speaking at a press conference today, Ema said that she chose PKR over other parties because she had made many “wrongdoings”.
“To me, it doesn’t matter if I join PKR, DAP or whichever opposition party. I chose PKR only because I have made many mistakes here, and I want to redeem myself,” said Ema.
PKR Wanita Chief Zuraida Kamaruddin described Ema’s membership as a positive step in helping PKR Wanita.
“Her expertise will be very helpful to us. Maybe her ways before was a little negative, but I’m confident that she can play a big role in increasing the dignity of women, increasing the awareness on women’s policies so on and so forth,” said Zuraida. (more…)
Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian said today he will endorse any recommendations for Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to be the next Chief Justice.
Tun Arifin Zakaria’s term as the head of the Federal Court ends in March next year after it was extended from October 1 this year.
“Aside from the fact that Malanjum has the seniority by virtue of his 10-year stint in his present position, he is a visionary who will be able to bring about much-needed reform to the judiciary,” Baru, a senior lawyer, said.
Baru, who is also the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman, said Malanjum, a Sabahan, is eminently qualified to be the Chief Justice, pointing to his sound and reasoned judgments. (more…)
The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia is hoping that the government will double the budget allocation meant for loans to be given to Chinese SMEs.
The association’s president, Michael Kang, said the RM50 million to be channelled to SME businesses through Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Berhad (Kojadi) was insufficient. Kojadi is MCA’s investment arm.
“It’s definitely not enough,” Kang told FMT, adding that the association had hoped for RM100 million instead of the RM50 million proposed in Budget 2017.
However, he acknowledged the availability of another RM162 million allocated to the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation. He said Chinese entrepreneurs could tap into this fund if they were willing to go digital.
When he tabled the budget proposals yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Razak said that apart from the RM50 million that would go through Kojadi, there would also be RM20 million for microcredit loans under the supervision of the Malaysian Chinese Women Entrepreneurs Foundation.
Source : Ho Kit Yen@FMT Reporters Online
Opposition MPs say that it was not a planned move to walk out of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s speech but that it was rather an aggravation by the PM himself and with the “permission” of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, that they walked out en masse.
The MPs had earlier interrupted the PM’s Budget speech by holding up placards reading “Who is MO1 (Malaysian Official 1)”, referring to the United States Department of Justice’s investigation into assets purchased allegedly using money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
When they kept disrupting the speech towards its end, Pandikar told the opposition that if they were not interested to listen to the speech, they can leave. The majority of Opposition MPs then started leaving. (more…)
A very clear message is sent in the Budget 2017, that the government seems to be more interested in shaping a country that is dependent on welfare support rather than addressing glaring issues at hand.
There were no mentions of increasing wages and not only will Malaysians be continuing to suffer from the high cost of living, important sectors such as the education and health ministry also saw drastic cuts.
Says deputy spokesperson, DAP Parliamentary Committee on Women’s Affairs, Steven Sim, one of the sectors that was cut drastically is the budget allocation for Mammogram and HPV vaccination.
Sim, also Bukit Mertajam MP, says that in 2014, it was at RM20 million and was reduced to RM2 million in 2015, to no allocation in 2016. It was however, revived after the Opposition voiced out the importance of the budget allocation. (more…)
Two MPs from DAP have expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Chinese and Indian communities are treated in the proposals for Budget 2017.
“The budget does not do much for the Chinese community,” Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming told FMT. “What the Chinese community wants is fairness and equal opportunity.”
In the proposed budget tabled in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government would allocate RM50 million for the development of Chinese new villages, RM20 million for micro-credit loans under the supervision of the Malaysian Chinese Women Entrepreneurs Foundation and RM20 million for loans to Chinese hawkers.
Nga dismissed these as mere “goodies” to attract Chinese voters and said Najib had shown disrespect to the community. (more…)
PKR Sarawak strongly condemns the death threats made against Bersih 2 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih Secretariat member Mandeep Singh and Hakam president Ambiga Sreenevasan.
And splashing red paint on the car of Maria Chin’s son early yesterday was a new low even for these faceless cowards, its chairman Baru Bian said.
“Threats against Bersih are worsening, now taking on a terrorist slant as the doctored images show. This is hardly surprising, considering how people like Ibrahim Ali, Ali Tinju and Datuk Jamal Yunus have been treated with kid gloves by the authorities and the government leaders.
“These people become more and more emboldened with each incident. They believe they can issue threats, commit violent acts with impunity. When Ibrahim Ali called for Bahasa Malaysia bibles to be burnt, there was no action taken against him but instead excuses made on his behalf, with the Attorney-General saying it was not seditious. (more…)
An interfaith group called today for new legislation and government policies so that Malaysians would not have to go to court to correct their religious status on paper.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) welcomed the Court of Appeal’s recent decision to allow the appeal of Rosliza Ibrahim, who was born out of wedlock to a Muslim father and a Buddhist mother, for a legal declaration that Shariah courts do not have jurisdiction over her.
“The Cabinet and Parliament must take steps to formulate an inclusive policy and enact relevant laws respectively to resolve disputes faced by people like Rosliza Ibrahim,” said MCCBCHST in a statement.
“Citizens shouldn’t have to expend money or be made to go through the courts simply to have their true religious identity recognised. The administrative process to resolve such disputes must also be effective, responsive, accessible and fair,” it added. (more…)