Friday, July 31, 2009

MAIKA - a continous cry from the poor

Shareholders determined to demand the return of monies invested arrived near the MAIKA hq at about 12noon . There were over 200 of them on our side and another 200 inside the MIC office. Incidentally MAIKA office is in MIC building.
Read more at:

We were stopped by the police as we were nearing MAIKA office. We were also disallowed to parade with banners. At this time tempers flared against the police. Some questioned why so many restrictions were imposed on us, the victims of MAIKA but no such conditions on MAIKA administrators who are 'robbers' who have caused the mismanagement. Even I was pushed by a Chief Inspector and of course I told him off
The police could not control the crowd. Finally our request to hand over a memo to CEO of MAIKA was agreed. We refused to go into the MIC building and the CEO Vell Paari therefore came out to receive the memo
Vell Paari must answer to the shareholders:
i) why MAIKA has been badly managed to the extent that it can't pay dividends for a long time.
ii) what have happened to all the promises made by Samy Vellu about propelling MAIKA to enhance Indian economic growth from 1% to 7%?
iii) a RM1 in 1983 is now worth RM10. So will s/holders investements be returned in a similar percentage?
iv) how and when shareholders will be returned their capital?

We also want the Federal Government to intervene to ensure the return of the capital to the shareholders as it was done to the cooperatives some two decades ago.

The Prime Minister should also consider ordering an independent investigation into MAIKA to ascertain if any wrong doing has taken place

Thursday, July 30, 2009

MAIKA a never ending headache for MIC and Samy Vellu

MAIKA Holdings Bhd (MAIKA) was formed single handedly by Dato Seri Samy Vellu. It is a brain child of DS Samy. MIC of which DS Samy is the President encouraged fellow Malaysians to buy shares in Maika for it to be involved as an investment company. Over RM106 million was collected from the over 66 thousand Indian Malaysians.

The formation of MAIKA was to bring real changes to the Malaysian Indians who were lagging behind in all aspects economically. In 1984 the total equity holding of the Malaysian Indians was hovering around 1% of the economy. MAIKA was supposed to enhance the equity state to at least 7%. Handsome dividends were to be declared yearly

DS Samy assured shareholders that their investments in MAIKA will enhance their economic standing in Malaysia. In reliance of these promise, Indians especially from the lower middle class and the working and estate laborers bought shares in MAIKA. Many of these share holders had to mortgage their properties, sell jewelleries or their borrowed from the Banks to buy these shares.

When it started operations, Maika had one of the biggest cash reserves among Malaysian companies. At a time when business conglomerates like YTL, Berjaya, Malaysian Mining Corps, etc were practically unknown entities, Maika was already well known and if properly managed, would have been a billion dollar company now.

All the above promises were not kept. MAIKA has been mismanaged to the extend it can’t even pay dividends yearly and its capital has shrunk over the years.

In February 2007, when I met S Vell Paari, CEO of MAIKA Holdings, he had promised to return the investment to the shareholders within 3 months.
So many 3 months have since passed, yet there has been no payment.
The shareholders therefore demand to know why the promise has not been kept.
They also want to know why no Annual General Meeting for MAIKA Holdings has been held for the last 3 years.
MIC President Dato S Samy Vellu has said before that MAIKA issue had caused MIC to do badly in last year's March general election.
History will repeat itself. MIC will suffer again in the next general election if MAIKA issue is not solved immediately.

In fact, I will not be surprised if MIC is totally wiped out in the next general election because of its failure again to solve this issue.

DAP and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders will be leading a delegation to meet with Vell Paari tomorrow to ask him as to when the investment will be returned to the shareholders

The shareholders have a right to demand answers as well as return of their money. They must not be greeted tomorrow with vulgar words, hurling of abuses or violent behavior by any group of uncivil persons specially arranged to be present .

Read more at :

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Medical Camp at Kg.Tawas

Last Sunday the Ipoh Barat Service team together with Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue (ACID) a local NGO carried out a medical camp activity at Kg.Tawas.

A medical talk on cancer was also done by two well known doctors namely Dr.Jayabalan and Dr. Lee Boon Ping.

The attendances from the local people were encouraging. In fact we were supposed to end the service by 11am but had to extend it to 1pm due to attendance of many locals.

We would like to thank the Doctors and the nurses and others who gave a helping hand to make this program a success.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

SAMY's political gimmick and MAIKA

Saturday 25thJuly09
MIC President Dato S Samy Vellu has said yesterday that his Party was willing to come out with RM 3.2 mil to buy over the Kg Buah Pala land and return it to the villagers..

This is a fantastic proposal which will be most welcomed by all except that it is not solution at all. It is nothing but a MIC's political gimmick .

Samy knows fully well that the former Penang State government headed by Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon had approved the Kg Buah Pala land to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang on 8th June 2005 at a very low premium of RM 6.42 mil or RM 20 per square feet.

He also knows that Koh 's administration had subsequently halved the premium to RM 3.21 mil or only RM 10 per square feet, far below the market price of the prime land.

That is why he has mentioned the figure of RM 3.2 mil to buy over the land from the developer.

If Samy really believes that such a proposal could work, he would have gone to see the developer earlier and settle the issue with MIC's RM 3.2 mil.

His proposal is nothing but a desperate political gimmick to divert public attention because he now knows that the villagers have met the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and efforts are in progress to find a constructive solution to solve the villagers' plight.

If the cost to acquire the land back is only RM 3.2 mil , I am sure Lim Guan Eng and his Exco would have made the decision to acquire it when the issue erupted early this month.

Realising that the acquired cost could be as high as more than RM 100 mi which the Penang state government cannot afford, Guan Eng has early this month called for Federal Government's intervention buy over the land.

The culprit who caused the plight of Kg Buah Pala villagers, Tan Sri Koh Tzu Koon ,ran away from his responsibility and did not voice his support for such a proposal. The Prime Minister immediately washed hands of the controversy, saying land is a state matter.

What was MIC 's stand ? Did the MIC Minister Datuk S Subramaniam ever bring this matter up in the Cabinet ? The plight faced by the Kg Bauh Pala villagers will have to be resolved somehow and Lim Guan Eng is making all efforts to find a solution together with the Kg Buah Pala

Before Samy attempts to help the villagers, can he state why MAIKA a business arm of MIC has failed its over 66 thousands share holders in particular the poor Indians? By assurances/ promises made by Samy, when he was a federal Minister in 1983/4 over RM130million was invested mainly by Malaysians Indians in MAIKA? He promised high returns on the investments. Where has all the monies gone? Is MAIKA insolvent / bankrupt? When will all the share holders be returned with their investments?

MIC which cannot offer any help or solution should at least not attempt to exploit the controversy with political gimmicks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

RCI must investigate the cause of death of Beng Hock

The family of Sdr Teoh Beng Hock has declared that they reject the Royal Commission of Inquiry ( RCI) announced by the Prime Minister.

They find it unacceptable that the RCI will not investigate the cause of Beng Hock's death.

The family's stand does not come as a surprise to me or Malaysians.

In fact, I believe that majority of the people also reject the Cabinet's decision.

It is simply puzzling that the Cabinet has made such a decision --not empowering the RCI to investigate Beng Hock's cause of death.

This certainly is not what the family and Malaysians have asked and hoped for.

The Cabinet's decision to set up an Inquest to investigate the cause of death has become a joke as a decision whether to form an Inquest or otherwise does not require a Cabinet level deliberation and decision.

I will say that a RCI that does not investigate Beng Hock's cause of death lacks public credibility.

If the Cabinet truly respects the wishes of the Malaysian people who are eager to know the truth, nothing but the truth, it has only one option-- to allow the RCI to investigate the cause of death.

Teoh's family members have expressed their wish to see the Prime Minister on their request that a comprehensive RCI be set up. The RCI terms of reference should, among other matters also include the reasons for the cause of death of Beng Hock

The Prime Minister should meet with the family members now, instead of after the outcome of the Inquest and the RCI.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No bias or discrimination in the intake into civil service?

For sometime the government has been attacked in Parliament for overlooking to increase the number of non-malays in the civil service. Even at one point the Minister in the Prime Minister department Dato Nazri even agreed to the opposition argument that the Malayan civil service should be renamed as Malay civil service.

It has to be noted that the drop of intake is not confined to Indians only but it is the same with Chinese and the Bumiputers of Sabah and Sarawak ( Ibans, Dayaks, Kadahans and Dusuns)

But consistently the Minister and others in the government have informed Malaysians that the intake of non-malays into the civil service is by reason of the lack of non Malay applicants.

Such explanation however is not convincing at all. In fact from our ground feed back, many non-malays are actually keen to join the service but they have some how been overlooked and due consideration has not been given to those who apply to join the civil service. Many complain that they don’t even get acknowledgment when they apply for a job in the civil service. And there are many who are not called for interviews.

Last week in an exclusive interview with Permual G of Malaysian Nabnan, The Chief Secretary of the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said there is no bias or discrimination in the intake into public service. He further mentioned the “vacancies are widely advertised in the print media”. He asserted like Dato Nazri that there is a lack of application from the Indian community and or other ethnic communities..

The Minister of Human Resources Dato Subramaniam has said that 12000 Indian applicants have been rejected this year.

If 12000 is a true or correct figure, is the PSD prepared to publish the list of the rejected applicants, their qualifications, positions applied for, whether they were called for interview and why were they not recruited ?

Or is the PSD prepared, at the very least, to allow MPs who are keen to know the truth to view such details at the PSD office?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Civil service -9% of all new recruits are Malaysian Indians?

It is reported today that the MIC Secretary General and Human Resources Minister Datuk S Subramaniam has said that the intake of Malaysian Indians into the Malaysian civil service this year had surpassed the quota of 7.4% as agreed to following discussions with the Public Service Commission ( PSC) and the Public Service Department (PSD)

He said up to 9 % of Malaysian Indians had been recruited by PSC this year.

Dr Subramaniam is certainly very happy with the encouraging development as the one major complaint of the Indian community is the lack of job opportunities especially in the civil service.

However, he must be aware that official government statistics revealed in 2007 have shown that there were 17.4% Indians in the civil service in 1971 but this has dropped to 5.12 % in 2005 .

Although MIC is a senior partner in the BN Government, it could do little to check the decreasing percentage of Indians in the civil service. It is clear and proof that MIC is a weak partner in the BN Government.

It has to be noted that the drop is not confined to Indians only but it is the same for the Chinese and the bumiputras of Sabah and Sarawak ( Ibans, Dayaks, Kadazans and Dusuns).

Dr Subramanian has also said that 4000 Indian Malaysians were recruited by PSC this year while another 12,000 applicants had their applications rejected.

I have just today received a parliamentary reply to my written question asking the Prime Minister to state the number of new government recruitment for the period from 2004 to 2009.
According to the reply, the number of new recruitment by PSC is as follows:

2009 ( as at 31.5.2009 ) 23,522
2008 52,369
2007 38,373
2006 28,225
2005 17,031
2004 16,388

The number of Indians recruited for the above corresponding periods are 1179, 2367, 1182, 1150, 887 and 961.

It is clear that as at 31..5.2009 this year, only 1179 Indians were recruited and this adds up to 5% of the total recruitment for the period. Dr Subramanian must therefore explain how from 31.5.2009 to yesterday, the total number of Indians recruited by PSC has gone up from 1179 to 4000. Where did he obtain the figure of 4000? Subra owes an explanation or he need to correct his statement.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Young activist seeks voice for Myanmar minority

An article from (Beijing Youth Daily). I knew Charm Tong for some time. I met her last near the Thai/burmah border last month.

Twenty-eight-year-old Charm Tong is regarded as an enemy byMyanmar’s junta but a “candle in the dark” by her fellow citizensThisvivacious woman does not fit the stereotype of a “strong politicaladvocate” for ethnic minority rights and democracy in the military-runnation formerly called Burma.
Yet, she is one of the few who can getthe international community to sit uand take notice of the SoutheastAsian country.Though her formal education ended in middle school, she has sincereceived a slew of awards and recognitions: She was one of fourinternational activists under 30 to be given the Reebok Human RightsAwards in 2005; the same year, she was nominated for the Nobel PeacePrize and was named one of Asia’s Heroes by Time magazine. Charm Tong,a member of Myanmar’s Shan minority, is now appealing to Chineseinvestors to stop the construction of several hydropower dams in thecountry’s minority areas, which will endanger indigenous culture andfor residents from their homes.Dams threaten minorities’ existence“I come from an ancient land, Yin Ta Lai, where people co-exist withnature. Our life depends on the sacred Salween River. But my father tells me soon the Burmese government will dam our river and our way oflife. If the dam were to be built, all our land will be submerged, andthe Yin Ta Lai will be no more,” a little Myanmar girl says in adocumentary produced by the Krenni Research Development Group.The film, shown to Beijing Today by Charm Tong, gives a rareglimpse of the remote center of Karen state in the country’s east, andthe life of the Yin Ta Lai minority, of whom only 1,00 people remain.Footage depicts a distinct culture and a biodiverse rainforest thatwill disappear if the Salween hydropower dam is built.“Burma is China’s backyard, and its abundant resources have attracted more and more Chinese companies to come and invest,” CharmTong said, adding that some of the projects imperil minority culture.She appealed to investors to make a careful study of local situationsbefore implementing projectsIn the past decade, at least 10 Chinese companies have been involvedin an estimated 20 major hydropower projects in Myanmar – a big sourceof income for the Myanmar government.

Aung Ngyeh, spokesperson of theBurma Rivers Network, said that while China has strict laws governingdomestic dam-construction, these guidelines are not carried overabroad.“We hope China will impose similar standards for its companiesoperating in Burma,”harm Tong said.

Lecturing the enemyCharm Tong’s path to activism began in an orphanage in Thailand.When she was six, her parents put her on a donkey and sent her from the war-torn eastern Shan state,home to the country’s biggest ethnic minority,to Thailand, wher they hoped she could live in peace and get basicschooling ?a privilege denied many Shan women.She considers herself “very lucky” as she was taken to an orphanage in the Thai-Burma border in which she studied for nine years. Many of her peers were less fortunate; survival is top of the agenda forMyanmar refugees in Thailand and some became victims of humantrafficking and the sex trade.At 16, Charm Tong began volunteering with organizations that helpedMyanmar refugees.“I witnessed how refugees from Burma suffer – especially the Shan.They have escaped from killings, torture and persecution. They have lost their land and belongings,” she said International accolades soon followed, including a visit to theWhite House upon the invitation of then-President George W. Bush.A life-long careerSince her UN speech, Charm Tong has traveled the world to speak of the violence and oppression the Myanmar people continue to endure. Sheco-founded the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN) together wih over 40women, which attracted global attention in 2002 with its ground-breaking report “License to Rape," detailing rape cases againstMyanmar military personnel.
Charm Tong’s current work includes running a school in he Thailand-Burma border that is training a new generation of Myanmar people.“The school trains them in English and computers, an also in humanrights, democracy, the media, the environment and other skills thatwill help them work effectively with communities,” she said. Many oftheir graduates have become HIV/AIDS educators in migrant and refugee groups. Others work in women’s organizations, the media and youthgroups. “This is a lfe-long career for me,” Charm Tong said, addingthat their students represent the hope for a democratic Myanmar.
BT: What does the Chinese voice mean to you?CT: People in Burma have no voice. But I believe your voice willhelp strengthen our voice and one day change the situation.
BT: Do you ever think about a peaceful life without any conflict,without the struggle for democracy?CT: I’m also human and like other women, everyone wants a peacefullife in a peaceful society. But we have important things to do tochange our people’s life and situation.
BT: Have you seen your parentssince you were separated from them when you were six?CT: I saw my parents when they came to the Thai-Burma border someyears ago. Shortly after that, my father passed away in 2004. So Idon’t have chance to get to know him anymore ... ut many people wholeave their land never see their parents anymore. Compared with them,I’m very lucky
BT: Do you plan on doing this kind of work for the rest of yourlife?CT: This is a life-long career for me. My students represent hopefor the future, hope for a democratic Myanmar. I know I’m taking arisk. I don’t know what will happen, but I know that we’re trying todo our best to speak the truth and change the situation. No matter howdifficult it is, we have to continue to do it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vigil for Teoh Beng Hock - Ipoh

Repentance In Retirement : The Badawi Baffle

A very interesting behavioural pattern is emerging amongst the Malaysian politicians whilst in power and when they are no longer in power. Even prime ministers are not spared.

In Malaysia there are many repressive laws, legislations and stifling administrative procedures that are archaic and unworkable in a modern democratic system of governance.

Often we witness politicians within the ruling government, when called upon to state their views on these laws, governmental directives and administrative procedures, either support it openly or maintain a puzzling silence.

No matter what degree of public outcry, the response is akin to “you shout as much as you can, I am in power and I will decide the way I want it” seems to be the trend in response.

But once they find place in retirement, their views become somewhat perplexingly inconsistent to their earlier views. Suddenly they are now champions of human rights and fundamental liberties.

The recent comment by the former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is now a famous example that one can refer to, to drive home the point.

Badawi is reported to have said that the government must consider abolishing the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows for detention without trial.He is also reported to have said that the draconian piece of legislation (introduced by the colonial masters) which has drawn negative views - should be replaced with a new legislation that allows for preventive detention and at the same time protects fundamental rights.

After years of living in fear of many repressive laws, Malaysians in general gave the biggest electoral mandate to Badawi in 2004 with hopes that he would bring all the necessary reforms consistent with the need for more democratic space in the ever changing social and political landscape of this country.

With the huge backing from the people, Badawi had this one golden chance to dismantle all unjust systems that were backed by unacceptable laws and place himself in the hearts of the majority of Malaysians, as the man who brought the promised reforms.

But alas, a golden opportunity, squandered.

Five years on, under Badawi, Barisan Nasional suffered the biggest electoral loss in Malaysian history. The loss was due to many perceiving him as unable to bring about many of the promised reforms that were announced when he took over from the previous prime minister.

However many still perceive that Badawi really wanted to make changes to better the country but he just did not have the political and personal will, stamina and courage to fight a long entrenched system of governance that has become a frothy cocktail of treachery, deceit, cunningness and dishonest personal survival of many within this system, be it political warlords or big boys of the bureaucracy.

Instead of Badawi getting the better of the system, the system got the better of him and he got sucked deep into the rabbit hole.

Now we have a new prime minister and the thought still lingers whether he will outsmart the system or otherwise.

Whatever the permutations are, one thing is certain and that is, the new breeds of voters are results oriented.

Announcements must be matched with delivery and promises are meant to be kept.

I do not think that the new generation of Malaysians, particularly the voting population, will pay much attention to rhymes of repentance in retirement.

(Note : In Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice follows a mysterious white rabbit into a rabbit hole to enter 'Wonderland', an absurd and improbable world inhabited by many strange characters - source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)
By Augustin Anthony

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The plight of Orang Asli

As it is often heard, be it in the media or by first hand information from the Orang Asli villagers in many parts of Perak, the infrastructure to Orang Asli Villagers, the supply of clean running water and electricity is a serious concern.
Among others I had personally visited one such Orang Asli Village in Perak ie Kg Sungai Bilik in Chendering in June 2009. I find italarming that despite these houses having been built more than a year ago, electricity and water supply had not been supplied to these villagers. What I find appalling is the fact that the government and government agency specifically tasked to care for the need of the Orang Asli namely JHEOA has not done anything to address the predicament of this villagers. I have raised the predicament of these Orang Asli villagers in parliament in the recently concluded session but however I am some what unhappy to say that the ministry in charge of the welfare of the Orang Asli had not satisfactorily address this pressing issue.
Please checkHansard at URL : . I hereby urge the government to immediately resolve this long standing issue of water and electricity supply to this village in order to alleviate the hardship of these villagers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Comments and feedback on DAP Penang poll on Kg Buah Pala issue

DAP Penang launched a weekly online poll campaign on on 14.7.2009, to survey and espouse the views of the people regarding the issues related to the Kg Buah Pala controversy.

Penang DAP Publicity Secretary Sdr Ng Wei Yik in a statement also said that " this democratic approach is a better indicator of the support of the people towards the practices of Penang State Government in solving the Kampung Buah Pala issue.

The first question is : do you agree that the State Government acquire the Kampung Buah Pala land even if it costs more than RM 100,000,000.00 (RM100 million)?

I have received some comments and feedback . I produce below 2 key issues raised.:

1. will the Penang and the State Government commit itself to the poll result irrespective of its outcome or will they merely take the result as a reference and indication only?

2. the first question which quotes a high compensation figure of RM 100 million, is biased and done with the motive to influence participants to vote no to the poll .

I am perturbed by the accusation that the question is done with bias and ulterior motive.

A supporter has said to me that irrespective of what are the demands of the villagers and the final decision taken by the Penang State Government, the State Government must not be seen to be using unfair tactic against them.

I certainly don't think the Penang State Government will use unfair tactic against the villagers.

Nevertheless, the question has given rise to accusation and interpretation.

DAP Penang must therefore be careful and cautious with their questions.It has to ensure that the poll questions must be and seen to be fair, objective and balanced.

Personally, I don't think the above question is suitable as, it seems to imply that this could be an option of the State Government.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has said that the State has a budget deficit of RM 40 million and the State just cannot afford to acquire the land.

BN unethical to hold back funds

The following is from MalaysiaKini

Kula: BN unethical to hold back funds

Opposition members of parliament are powerless and have no say in development funds allocated for their parliamentary constituencies.

Instead, they are at the mercy of non-elected BN component party members who call the shots in the development allocations.I poh Barat MP M Kula Segaran revealed this to Malaysiakini today and said that every MP is supposed to get an annual allocation ranging between RM500,000 to RM5 million as development funds for their constituencies.

Kula claimed RM5million was given to every BN MP just before the general election last year to boost their chances of winning their parliamentary seats while the opposition MPs were left high and dry with no funds allocated for their election campaigns.

"I have been an MP for three terms and I have yet to see a single cent coming from such funds which are used for projects to benefit constituents," said Kula."I guess only BN MPs have a say and are given the allocations for the benefit of their constituencies."

Umno has the final say in public projects

The normal procedure is for BN MPs to recommend public projects to the state development officer who in turn allocates the funds to the respective areas.However, the same does not seem to apply to the opposition MPs who have no say in any development travel expenses, printing bills, and providing for people in need of financial help."All MPs irrespective of their political leanings should be given the human capital and infrastructure to help solve voters' problems and to bring about development to their areas," said Jeyakumar.

"I have not been given the development allocations for the past 15 months since I took office as Sungai Siput MP. I'm lucky my staff are generous their time and money. "Their commitment to the party's political struggle is commendable and is far more important to them than financial security," said Jeyakumar projects as the power is vested in BN component parties who have the final say.

In Kula's constituency, Ipoh Barat, Umno has the final say in all public projects that benefit the voters."This nonsensical practice by BN is unethical and undemocratic as people who vote for the opposition are denied their democratic right as citizens to development projects.

"The development funds come from taxpayers' money and not from the pockets of BN for them to hold voters in opposition areas to ransom by saying 'vote for BN and you get development in your area ... or suffer'.

"If this does not amount to political corruption, then I do not understand what it is."
He said in a major democracy like India, development funds are given to all politicians irrespective of their political platform.

"Voters are not aware of this political chicanery by BN which was bragging that only BN MPs can bring about development if elected whereas opposition MPs do not have the resources."
Jeyakumar yet to receive allocation

Kula stated that every MP is given a RM6,900 monthly salary and RM6,000 monthly allowance, and opposition MPs are digging deep into their pockets for the daily maintenance of their public service centres.

One good example is Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) Sungai Siput MP Dr D Jeyakumar who booted out MIC chief S Samy Vellu in the last general election.Jeyakumar has to juggle his MP's monthly budget of RM12,900 to pay the salaries of his four party staff (three in Sungai Siput and the other in Kuala Lumpur), office rental,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat Must Buck Up

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib has good reasons to be in happy moods these few days.

Two weeks before his 100 days as PM , a survey conducted showed that his approval rating had increased to 65%.

This is a big increase from the 42% he scored just when he took office.

With the slew of goodies announced in conjunction with his 100 days as PM on 11.7.2009, his approval rating can only go up.

The unexpected slim majority win by PAS at the Manek Urai by election, which UMNO has claimed as a moral victory, is another reason for Najib to be happy.

Some political observers will even say that the by election result is an indication that UMNO has won back the support of the Malays.

I will repeat that we can and should not rule out the possibility of the Parliament being dissolved at the of this year or early next year.

Hence, Pakatan Rakyat must buck up . In fact, there have been political observers' comments that PR is losing momentum.

Some PR supporters have recently expressed to me their unhappiness about the various recent internal spat among the PR parties.

We must not underestimate the disastrous effect of such ceaseless internal spat on PR credibility and image, especially when our problems are exploited in the BN controlled electronic and printed media.

The voters have placed great hopes in us in the last general election and we must not let them down. Time to back up.

In this regard, Sdr Lim Kit Siang's call that the PR leadership Council set up a disciplinary committee to restore public confidence in PR cohesion, unity and common sense of purpose is timely and ought to be acted upon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Strong possibility of Najib calling for early elections?

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib had yesterday ruled out the possibility of a snap election.

He said that he did not see any need to do so as the mandate of the Federal Government would not expire anytime soon.

The last general election was held in March last year and it is therefore true that the Federal Government's mandate is not expiring soon.

Can we then totally rule out the possibility of a snap election ? I don't think we can or should.

We cannot take Najib's denial as a definite conclusion. Certainly he will not say it if this is one of his options.

I believe that if Najib decides to call a snap election, the following conditions will exist or have been fulfilled:

1. his personal rating has gone up to at least 80%

2. he has presented an election Budget with goodies and promises aimed at winning the people's support

3. he is confident of regaining BN's two thirds parliamentary majority

The interesting point to ponder is why will Najib be tempted to call a snap election?

Najib has assumed the office of Prime Minster with a heavy political baggage which resulted in his low approval rating.

He knows his political legitimacy is being questioned and he needs a high approval rating as well a new mandate from the people.

I therefore will not rule out the possibility of a snap election being held as early as end of this year or early next year.

In this regard, Pakatan Rakayt must buck up and be prepared. Internal spat which has tarnished PR's image and credibility must immediately stop.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Indians support towards Najib's administration growing?


MIC President Dato Seri Samy Vellu has commented that the Prime Minister's rating among the Indian community is good and encouraging.

He said that the Indian community was very happy with Najib and that it had expected more “goodies” from him.

People like goodies and it is only natural that the people will express their "happiness" when asked to express their opinion after various populist measures have been announced by the Prime Minister over the last 3 months.

I believe that the rating would be different if the Indians were asked whether they felt Najib had done enough for the community and rate him on this basis.

Hence, Samy Vellu should be cautious in his praises on the Indian support for Najib.
Over the decades since independence the Indians have been left out from the main stream of development .In fact, they have been overlooked although the economic development of the country has been progressing.

In 2007, it was revealed in Parliament that "the number of Indians in the civil service has plunged in the past 34 years, from 17.4% in 1971 to 5.12 % in 2005.

The initial plan of the Federal government to increase the economic equity participation of Indians was to achieve a target of 3 % by 2010. At time of independence , the Indians had only around 1% of the economic cake. This rose to 1.2% in the late 80’s. Subsequently , the government revised the target date and extended it from 2010 to 2020. Why?

One of the main reasons is the BN government's failure to thoroughly look into the weaknesses of the Indian community and address them. There are no clear ,concrete and clear polices to assist the Indians and other minorities

Way back in 2004, the DAP has suggested the setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee to specifically ascertain the economic and social problems of the minorities in the country. Unfortunately the BN rejected this noble idea.

FOMCA has openly mentioned that over 50,000 Indians are facing statelessness in Malaysia. Almost all the 50,000 were born in Malaysia.

I have consistently raised this matter in Parliament. The government has recently set up as special task force to tackle this issue. Todate only less then 2000 have been identified by the Home Ministry but what about the rest as revealed by FOMCA?

We are given to understand many stateless persons cannot communicate with the Home Ministry officials who either speak only Bahasa Malaysia or just make it difficult for these stateless people.

If the government is serious, sincere and eager to resolve this statelessness problem, I suggest that these entire stateless people and other deserving cases be given blanket immunity for them to become citizens.

Although many real problems of the Indian community have yet to to addressed , Najib's improved ratings among the Indians is still an indication that many Indians who expect more things from him are prepared to express their encouragement for him, perhaps even voting for BN in the next general election.

In this respect the Pakatan Rakyat Government should not overlook the various grouses of the Indian community and must be proactive in addressing them.

Najib's 100 days in office but he fails to address people's issues !

At the gathering to mark his 100 days in office, PM Najib has announced a slew of " goodies" .

People like " goodies" and he can expect his approval ratings to go higher than the 65% achieved recently.

But if Najib wants to truly bring about changes, he has to implement more and real changes and not just populist measures or goodies.

For example, I did not see his promise that a Royal Commission of Inquiry will be set up into the PKFZ issue. Should the people be satisfied with just the release of the recent PKFZ Report?

Neither did he promise that he will permanently solve the highway toll rate problem. Should the people be happy with the discount announced? Is this all his government can do ?

There was no promise that his government will abolish draconian laws like the ISA, OSA and the Printing and Press Act.

There are many more promises which the PM has not addressed.

The " what he did not promise"list can go on but what is important is that the people who have voted for change in the last general election must be able to see what the PM did not promise rather than what he has promised.

The nation and the people definitely deserve more than the slew of goodies announced.