Saturday, December 31, 2011

Financial scandals of the year

Financial scandals of the year

December 31, 2011
Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Public trust in Malaysia’s corporate sector took a beating this year as financial scandals blighted both giant government-linked companies and smaller private players alike.

A number of GLCs were involved in controversial deals while several individuals were accused of insider trading, undue influence and graft.

The Malaysian Insider reviews questionable deals and scandals involving Malaysian interests in the financial world.

MAS losses

Putrajaya said in October it had “no choice” but to implement a controversial share swap with AirAsia to avoid having to bail out loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

The national carrier posted losses of some RM1.2 billion in the three quarters of the current financial year and is not expected to make profits until 2013 despite a new business recovery plan.

The Malaysian Insider also reported this month that the MAS was investigating allegations of kickbacks in its cargo unit, leading to MASkargo’s managing director Shahari Sulaiman going on leave since early November.

However, it is not clear why MAS has not lodged a police report over the alleged kickbacks in MASkargo, which made a record pre-tax profit of RM142 million in 2010.

Sime Darby’s E&O deal

Sime Darby’s purchase in August of a controlling 30 per cent stake in E&O sparked insider trading allegations and questions over the Securities Commission’s (SC) handling of the matter.

The RM776 million deal put SC chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar in a tight spot as her husband, who is also the E&O chairman, raised his personal stake in the company just weeks before Sime Darby announced its proposed acquisition of a 30 per cent interest in the company.

A minority shareholder is now suing the SC for failing to compel Sime Darby to make a general offer for all the shares in the property developer.

Ananda Krishnan under probe in India

India’s Criminal Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a graft case against Ananda, who controls Southeast Asia’s largest multimedia and telecommunications empire, his trusted executive Ralph Marshall and former Indian Telecommunications Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi.

Former Indian telecommunications minister Dayadhini Maran and his media mogul brother, Kalainidhi, stand accused of allegedly forcing Aircel founder C. Sivasankaran to sell his stake in the company to Maxis Communications Bhd.

Maxis Communications is said to have bought a 74 per cent stake in Aircel for RM2.5 billion after Dayadhini repeatedly denied licences for the Indian telco’s Dishnet DSL.

India’s CBI has charged Dayadhini for accepting an illegal “quid pro quo” in the form of a share premium invested in his brother’s Sun Direct TV by South Asia Entertainment Holdings, a wholly-owned unit of Ananda’s Astro All Asia Networks Plc.

Maxis denies the allegations and insists the purchase of a 74 per cent stake in Aircel from Sivasankaran was done on a willing buyer, willing seller basis.

Banknote bribery

Australian and Malaysian graftbusters nabbed eight individuals in a joint operation, including six former senior executives from Australian banknote companies and former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) assistant governor Datuk Mohamad Daud Dol Moin.

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi also had to deny allegations that two Australian banknote firms attempted to bribe him for a RM100 million Malaysian currency contract when he was still in office.

Australian daily The Age had reported in July that anti-graft authorities believe Securency and Note Printing Australia (NPA) allegedly sought to bribe Abdullah in 2003 with part of RM13.5 million in commissions made to two Malaysian middlemen.

Mohamad Daud was charged by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) with receiving RM50,000 from businessman Abdul Kayum Syed Ahmad as an inducement to assist NPA to secure a banknote printing contract.

Securency and NPA’s agents were former Umno state assemblyman Datuk Abdullah Hasnan Kamaruddin and Abdul Kayum, an arms dealer who was also arrested and charged for bribing Mohamad Daud.

Alstom employees bribe government officials

French engineering giant Alstom, which has won several billion-ringgit deals from Tenaga Nasional, was fined RM130 million by Swiss authorities for failing to stop its employees from bribing officials in several countries including Malaysia.

Swiss prosecutors had earlier said Alstom’s business units paid RM26 million in “success fees” to a company partly controlled by former Perlis Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Pawanteh, a claim he denied which was later retracted by Switzerland’s Attorney General.

Alstom is the second French company in as many years to be fined for bribing government officials in Malaysia, after telecommunications firm Alcatel-Lucent paid RM435 million to resolve US criminal and civil probes in December 2010.

It was awarded a RM2.8 billion contract by Tenaga Nasional earlier this year to provide key power generation equipment to Southeast Asia’s first 1,000-megawatt (MW) supercritical coal-fired power plant Manjung, Malaysia.

Harvest Court recruits, then dumps Najib’s son

Shares of Harvest Court Industries Berhad was languishing at below 10 sen before Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s son joined the board on October 28.

The share price of the former PN17 company jumped as much as 535 per cent in two weeks to RM2.14 before it was suspended for excessive speculation.

It slumped immediately after Mohd Nazifuddin Najib stepped down on November 22, trading at just 97 sen just before closing.

The 28-year-old, who kept his 2.2 per cent stake, said he resigned to quell market speculation and”not to hurt any parties and just continue with what is the best possible direction.”

Friday, December 30, 2011

Let’s compete based on service records to the people and political contribution to the nation

29/12/2011

( I held a press conference today to rebut the allegations made by some residents against the elected representatives of Ipoh Barat and Kepayang constituencies)
The press conference was well attended with so many local supporters. In fact ,after the news in the Star paper, many of my constituents called and expressed their anger at those who had organized the demo against DAP elected reps. The locals who came to support me illustrated in detail what I have done for the area over the years.)
My press conference statement among others was as follows:
3 days ago, a group of residents gathered at a playground in Taman Ipoh Grove and held a banner which said:
“DAP elected representatives, where are you?” while showing the thumbs down sign.
They dispersed peacefully after about five minutes.
According to media report, B. Pathmanathan from Kampung Gunung Cheroh claimed the elected representatives, Kepa­yang assemblyman Diamond Loke and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran, had never come to see the residents since they won the 2008 general election.
He said both the DAP elected representatives had failed to find out and resolve their problems.
“Often, we had to ask for help from former Kepayang assemblyman Datuk Tan Chin Meng.
“I have never met the current elected representatives since 2008,” he said.
Let me say that it is unfair for the residents to claim that I have not been available to serve or have not served.
DAP elected representatives are required to set up service centers and there is one too at Kepayang state constituency. Our service center for Kepayang operates at 182, KK Road , Ipoh
We are available at the office at the following days and time. Monday – Friday 9am – 12 and Friday night 8-10 pm.
As a MP and a DAP party leader, I have three roles which I always do to the best of my ability, namely the political, legislative and people service roles.
I have 6 assistants who are always available to stand in for me whenever I have to be away for Parliament meetings, party /official meetings and work.
Their names and contact numbers are as follows;-
1) Frankie Wong 012-5385555
2) RK Muthu 016-5486537
3) Richard Leong 016-5582323
4) Cheong Chee Khing 019-5585898
5) Wasoo
01252117576) Jeremy Chuah 017-2669287
6) Cyrus Liew 019-542311
From the media photo, we can see that some residents are party members of a political party.

It is thus clear that the demonstration is but a politically motivated move to attempt to tarnish my name as general election approaches.

I and my team of dedicated assistants/ volunteers have been serving the Ipoh Barat constituents and some of the issues which we have attended are:-
1. flood and drainage issues at Ipoh Grove;
2. squatters issue affecting over 54 families at Hock Onn Garden ;
3. welfare and financial assistance to the needy;
4) local council issues;
5) And many more issues
Other than the requirement to attend Parliament and official duties which take up nearly 1/3 of the year, I also handle court cases of public interest ex 1) conversion cases 2) squatter cases 3) pro bono cases.
All these are done in the interest of the rakyat.
We are always there as the servant of the people and are willing to assist any constituent.
Let me dare our political opponents to compete with us based on our service records to the people and political contribution to the nation and not by resorting to cheap publicity gimmicks
Sent by Maxis from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Kula refutes residents’ claims

Friday December 30, 2011-The Star


Kula refutes residents’ claims


IPOH: Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran has refuted claims that he has not been serving the public in his constituency, alleging it is a political gimmick to discredit him.

“I challenge my political opponents to compete with me based on my proven service record and contribution rather than using such methods,” he said here yesterday.

On Monday, a group of residents from Taman Ipoh Grove, Taman Hock Aun and Kampung Gunung Cheroh, all within the Kepayang state constituency, staged a protest against Kulasegaran and Kepayang assemblyman Diamond Loke's performance.

The residents claimed that Kulasegaran and Loke had never come to see them or looked into their problems after the 2008 general election.

Kulasegaran said he and his assistants had attended to various long-standing issues in Kepayang, which is under the Ipoh Barat parliamentary constituency.

“We have looked into the flood issue in Taman Ipoh Grove and the squatter problem in Taman Hock Aun that affected over 54 families,” he said.

He added there were two service centres in Kepayang, one in Jalan Kuala Kangsar and the other in Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said.

Bersih 2.0: It’s 50k, and a big success | Free Malaysia Today

Bersih 2.0: It’s 50k, and a big success

Tarani Palani and Tashny Sukumaran | December 30, 2011-FMT

In this last week of 2011, we will be re-publishing selected stories carried in FMT throughout this year. We find that these stories still remain relevant in the present context.

FLASHBACK 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: Undoubtedly the Bersih rally on July 9 was one of the biggest stories for 2011. Reproduced here is a July 9 report of a post-rally press conference from the organisers who were happy with their rally despite intimidation from the authorities.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 has called its rally a “big success”, but added that it is just one more step in the long walk towards free and fair elections.

Speaking at a press conference here, Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Subramaniam Pillay said the rally exceeded expectations.

“It’s a big success but this (fighting for electoral reforms) is not a one day event. It was sucessful beyond expectations,” he said, adding that the objective of raising awareness had been achieved.

Bersih 2.0 believes that the crowd could have been as big as 50,000 but conceded that reporters would be able to judge the number better.

Bersih 2.0 also condemned the arrests of more than 600 people, including that of its chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

Ambiga says she’s fine’

Steering committee member Andrew Khoo said he had received a text message from Ambiga stating that she was fine.

“She said that she was okay and that her phone battery was dying and that she wants to save it for important messages,” he added. She is expected to be released later today.

Meanwhile, national laureate A Samad Ismail said that another date would be fixed to hand over a memorandum to the King on electoral reforms.

“We tried to head towards the palace several times, but the police kept turning us away and threatened us with arrest,” he said.

Samad also criticised the police for acting in a “cruel” manner. “I saw them randomly firing tear gas at the crowd,” he said.

One of the questions posed during the press conference was whether the rally had been multiracial, to which the steering committee replied that people of all races had participated.

Ambiga released

Ambiga was released by the police at about 6.45pm and immediately applauded Malaysians for their support for the rally.

She said the protesters were courageous despite government intimidation. She also said the “amazing” show of numbers clearly signalled that Malaysians did not “want to be bullied” any longer.

“Rough intimidation does not work anymore,” she said.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quit, Karpal again tells Appeal Court judge

Quit, Karpal again tells Appeal Court judge
Veteran lawyer Karpal Singh today renewed his call for Court of Appeal judge Abdul Malik Ishak's resignation for keeping mum on the allegation of plagiarism made against the judge.
Demanding that Justice Abdul Malik quit in the public interest, Karpal said the judge had committed a "serious act of misconduct".

"He is no more a fit and proper person to continue to hold the high office in the Court of Appeal.

"It goes without saying that his continued occupation of that high office is an embarrassment to the Judiciary," said Karpal, who is also the DAP's Bukit Gelugor MP.

The allegation against the judge was first reported in 2000 and caused a row between Singapore and Malaysia.

Former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Rais Yatim, who held the law and parliamentary affairs portfolio when Singapore authorities lodged the complaint in 2000, has said he does not the know the outcome of the complaint as he had left the portfolio in 2004.
Retired Singapore judge GP Selvam brought up the issue when he claimed that his judgment had been plagiarised in a copyright matter.

According to reports quoting Selvam, the Malaysian judge had backdated his judgment as if to reflect it was his own.

Karpal had sent a letter to the judge on Aug 22 and given him seven days to respond. However, there has been none to date.

The senior lawyer wrote another letter on Sept 29, informing the judge that since he did not reply to the claim of plagiarism, it amounted to an admission of the misconduct.

On Oct 4, while Parliament was in session, Karpal, submitted a motion - supported by 59 Pakatan Rakyat MPs - calling for a tribunal against Abdul Malik to answer to the plagiarism charge.

“You have, despite your silence all along over the serious allegations I’ve made against you, if untrue, the remedy to sue me for defamation as I’m going public on the allegation,” said Karpal, in a letter that was delivered by hand to Abdul Malik yesterday.

He offered Abdul Malik another seven days to counter the claims, otherwise take the silence as a “public admission” of being guilty of plagiarism.
'The speaker should hold sway'
As Parliament was adjourned on Dec 1, Karpal’s private motion lapsed, as it is in the powers of the ruling government to call the shots when it comes to motions.

This, Karpal added, should not be the way. “Rightfully, it should be the speaker who should hold sway regarding proceedings in Parliament.”

Prior to this the identity of the judge was blanked out by the media, pending the right to reply to the allegations.

However, it was finally published by Malaysiakini when Karpal appeared before the alleged plagiarist, judge Abdul Malik Ishak, asking for his recusal to hear an appeal in a case related to a drug offence.

Prior to the accusation against Abdul Malik of having committed plagiarism, the judge had heard an appeal related to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy charge.

In the course of the appeal, Abdul Malik had allegedly maligned Anwar and his lawyer Karpal in a written judgment.

Upon appeal at the Federal Court, however, the comments were expunged.

Asked if Karpal had a personal vendetta against the judge following the remarks, he said: “I’ve nothing personal against him. This is just out of public interest.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Come next general election , let’s create a bigger political tsunami to bring about A Better Malaysia for All.

Spoke at tonight's PR Ceramah at Selama. Present to were YB Sdri Leong Mei Meng and Sdr Kishor ( DAP anchor rep at Selama). Part of my speech as below.

Come next general election , let’s create a bigger political tsunami to bring about A Better Malaysia for All.

It is now widely believed that the Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib will call for the next general election in March next year.

There are various reasons and signs to support such belief.

Possible world economic slowdown is one reason why Najib cannot afford to delay calling a general election any longer.

A very clear sign is of course his recent comments at the recent Umno General Assembly that the general election is around the corner.

The Cabinet decision to withdraw the controversial novel “Interlok” from the school is certainly a sign which strengthens the speculation that the general election is fast approaching.

NIAT, Chinese community groups and the Opposition have continued to fight for the novel to be withdrawn as a school literature text despite the fact that the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin had said that the issue was already closed a few months back with amendments made to book contents.

Muhyiddin made it clear in Parliament that the book would not be withdrawn.

DAP has declared that we will make the Interlok issue a major issue in the coming general election as we cannot accept such a controversial book which has hurt the feelings of the people to be continued as a school text.

Our position is that the only acceptable solution to the controversy is to withdraw the novel from the school.

The Cabinet’s decision to finally do what is right and necessary has proven that BN government knows the political impact such an issue will have against the government.

The decision to withdraw the novel is therefore and undoubtedly a victory for the people.

BN was dealt an unprecedented electoral debacle at the last general election due to the 308 political tsunami.

BN knows too well that the political tsunami can come again. It has no choice but to withdraw the novel unless it is prepared to take political risks.

The government which has been weakened by the political tsunami knows that it can ill afford to be arrogant on all issues and all the time.

This shows the might of people power after the 308 political tsunami.

Nevertheless, the bull dozing of the Peaceful Assembly Bill in Parliament is one clear cut case that proves that BN simply cannot bring about meaningful and significant political changes that Malaysians have long yearned for.

BN is a coalition that Malaysians can no longer put their trust in and hope on.

True change which can bring about A Better Malaysia for All can only take place with a change of federal government helmed by Pakatan Rakyat.

Come next general election, let’s create a bigger political tsunami to bring about A Better Malaysia for All.

Palanivel is a ‘liar’, says Niat’s Thasleem | Free Malaysia Today

Palanivel is a ‘liar’, says Niat’s Thasleem

B Nantha Kumar | December 27, 2011-FMT

Niat, a coalition of Indian NGOs, has officially disbanded itself now that the government has agreed to withdraw the Interlok novel from schools.

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Interlok Action Team (Niat), which has been pushing for the withdrawal of the controversial Interlok novel from schools, has rubbished MIC president G Palanivel’s claim that Niat had prior knowledge of the government’s decision to remove the book from syllabus next year.

Its president Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim said that Palanivel was a “greater liar” who always confused the community.

Thasleem was responding to a new report which quoted the MIC president as saying that Niat had known all along that Interlok would be removed from the school syllabus.

According to a news report in theSun on Dec 19, Palanivel claimed that he had known since May that the controversial novel would be withdrawn from the Form Five sylllabus.

He also claimed that he had spoken to Thasleem regarding the government decision to withdraw Interlok.

Following months of complaints, the education ministy director-general finally on Dec 21 said that it would replace Interlok with Konserto Terakhir from next year.

Earlier on Dec 16, both Palanivel and his MIC deputy Dr S Subramaniam revealed that the cabinet had agreed to remove Interlok from schools. Both said that an official announcement would be made by Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

It was after this that Palanivel had told theSun that he had known since May about the withdrawal, prompting many to dispute his version of events as since May, there had been various statements from MIC as well as others, including Niat, to pressure the government to remove the offending novel.

NIAT infact had even considered hunger strikes and nationwide police reports if the government failed to budge from its decision.

As such, Palanivel’s disclosure that Niat and Thasleem had known of the withdrawal decision did not sit well with Thasleem.

Why was MIC silent?

Thasleem told FMT today that he had only met Palanivel briefly at the Pantai Hospital in early November to visit former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam.

“He (Palanivel) has not met us (Niat) until today in any official or unofficial meetings.

“Yes, I met him (Palanivel) in PMC (Pantai Medical Centre) but there were no discussions.

“He did however hint that Interlok will be removed.

“But the bigger question now is why did the Education Minister amend the book if it was to be withdrawn,” asked Thasleem who spoke to FMT from Australia.

He also urged Palanivel to explain why MIC took such a long time to announce the withdrawal when the decision was allegedly made in May.

Meanwhile, the Niat committee, in a press statement today, officially announced its dissolution now that the government has agreed to withdraw the Interlok from schools.


Pakatan MPs claim Umno, Perkasa twisting Article 153

Pakatan MPs claim Umno, Perkasa twisting Article 153

December 27, 2011
Malaysian Insider

Khalid said Umno and Perkasa were intentionally conflating Article 153 with the concept of “Ketuanan Melayu”. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The constitutional provision outlining the special position of Bumiputeras has been manipulated by Umno and is now being used as a weapon of aggression, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers claimed today amid growing debate on the subject.

On Saturday, National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) chairman Reverend Dr Eu Hong Seng said Article 153 of the Federal Constitution is akin to “bullying” if it only protects the rights of one group.

Today, several PR lawmakers suggested that Article 153 was being intentionally conflated with the concept of “ketuanan Melayu”, or Malay supremacy.

“Reverend Eu mentioned it should be inclusive and I think it did try to cover it (inclusiveness),” PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said today. “Fundamentally it is inclusive but has been manipulated and it is not about protection anymore but aggression.”

Eu’s remark sparked protest from Malay rights group Perkasa and drew a denial today from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin that the provision had been used to bully any community.

On Sunday, Perkasa claimed the provision kept the country peaceful, further claiming that the race riots of May 13, 1969 happened because it was not implemented properly.

“This country is peaceful because of Article 153 which protects the rights of Bumiputeras who are the majority in this country.

“The reverend needs to remember that Christians are able to practise their religion without worry in this country because of Article 153,” Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hasan Syed Ali had said last week.

Article 153 states that “it shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.”

Constitutional expert Prof Abdul Aziz Bari also chimed in on Sunday to say this meant “the King must also make sure that (safeguarding Bumiputeras) must not be done at the expense of the legitimate interests of other communities.”

Today, Khalid echoed the view and similarly noted the inclusion of the phrase “other communities.”

“What you want to maintain in the Constitution is that it is recognition of historical facts and that Malays do not lose out even if citizenships were given to the Chinese and Indians.

“Unfortunately it leaves a lot of room for manipulation and it is manipulated by Umno and people such as those in Perkasa where they emphasise on Ketuanan Melayu instead of making sure Malays do not lose out,” said Khalid.

He also noted the Article refers to special privileges, and not special rights.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail agreed with Khalid and spoke of rampant abuse of Article 153 carried out under the guise of safeguarding Malay and Bumiputera interests.

Citing the award of contracts and licensing rights for example, Saifuddin said these appeared to only be given to a core group of politically-connected Malays rather than to the community at large.

“I am clearly guided by the stance agreed by Pakatan Rakyat on this Article 153 ... which is the position of the Malay rulers, Bahasa Malaysia and Islam as the official language and religion of the country and Article 153 as stated clearly in the Malaysian Constitution but at the same time to also look into the interest of minority including those in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

PKR vice-president Fuziah Salleh said that it was clear the provision was inclusive despite the specific mention of the Bumiputeras and Malays.

“When we give special rights to Bumiputeras, it does not deny the rights of the others as there are other parts of the Constitution that does not provide for discrimination,” the Kuantan MP added.

PAS Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad also said the clause is self-explanatory and that it provides a “very balanced and just” view of what it should be.

“I have had this understanding for a long time that Article 153 in no way compromises nor usurps any legitimate interests or rights of any ethnic group.

“So if only Perkasa or Ibrahim Ali would read this provision and not just selectively or preferentially highlight what he wants,” he said.

He also stressed that Malays and Bumiputeras had a “special position” that had to be guarded, and not special rights.

“We must move on to bring the nation, both BN and the opposition, forward to one that really confronts and faces the many challenges of the problems in our nation,” he said.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec 26 Tweets

Dec 26 Tweets

Kit Siang called today and I agreed to use internal party channels . Nga to explain to leadership

I made no allegation/accusation. Unfortunately my comments misinterpreted as internal problems/ bad blood.

Many members/supporters also talked about it. They wanted answers too. So I said Nga should come clean - to explain.

Dec 24 PC was on asset declaration but reporters asked about the tailoring contract.

Reporter asking 2respond 2Nga's issue in 2days c/paper about pc I had about him?I replied my pc was on declaration of assets n not about Nga
1 hour ago

1Care: Prioritise, not privatise patient care

1Care: Prioritise, not privatise patient care

We refer to the letter from the Director-General, Ministry of Health: 'Gov't not abdicating responsibilities thru 1Care' on Dec 17.

We fully agree with the need to improve the quality and delivery of health services for the rakyat, provide more choice to patients and preserve the strengths in our current health system.

Our pubic healthcare system has been inherited from what the British left behind but it is historically not the NHS of the UK

Over the years, Malaysia has improved its own system and adapted it to cater for our needs.

Our robust one-stop GP clinics are the backbone of our primary care system providing basic medical care for more than 60% of outpatients in the nation.

Unlike in the UK, Malaysian patients can walk in to see their GPs without appointment and be attended to in a reasonably short time.

In the UK, to see a GP requires prior appointment which can be two or three days later even if you are down with fever.

To see a specialist in the UK NHS often requires waiting time of up to two months. This is not so in Malaysia. Thus, the Malaysian healthcare system today and the NHS UK are poles apart.

However, the concept paper of reforming our Malaysian HC system (1-Care) tells us that the proposed system is a mirror image of today's NHS which is a system that have failed to deliver and also failed to contain cost.

It has resulted in serious accessibility issues at primary and secondary care. Even the British citizens themselves are upset over the inadequacies of their system.

They are travelling to Europe and even as far as South Africa and India for treatment and surgery.

The proposed transformation will greatly affect the patients and the rakyat and we are naturally deeply concerned with its implications.

The current UK NHS itself undergoing more reforms upon previous reforms.

We have asked many times, why are we heading that way?;

  • Reforms but at what cost?;
  • How much will this whole 1Care for 1 Malaysia cost the rakyat?
  • How will it be financed?;
  • Will it mean more taxes, direct or indirect ( as in GST / VAT) ?; and,
  • Will the government still be responsible for Healthcare or will it be privatized to government linked companies?

These are all important questions that must be openly addressed.

Past experiences at privatization in Malaysia have been not particularly encouraging. Naturally we are very fearful when it involved healthcare.

Representation of Stakeholders

The Federation has indeed been invited to sit in on the Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings. TWG, as the name suggests, does not deal with the big issues but on nitty gritty details.

The terms of reference TWGs involving the doctors are very limited, and deal mainly with clinical governance, how to charge and what to charge and operational issues of clinics and doctors.

The fact is that the proceedings of the TWGs will be part and parcel of the final blueprint of the proposed system which we believe has already been decided, contrary to what we are told.

Moreover, TWG meetings are often called at short ( sometimes one to two days) notice, making it virtually impossible for many to attend.

However it does give the public the impression that we were invited but did not bother to attend

On the other hand, there are also the TWGs deciding on this healthcare transformation on which conflicted stake holders like private hospital chains, pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and MCOs meet and decide on the "big money issues".

These meetings are not privy to the patients, doctors, public and the taxpayers.

1-Care will cost more

We expect the cost of proposed reformed healthcare system to push up costs because of the increased administrative cost at the expense of patient care cost.

The 1-Care concept paper has already allocated 5% of the expected total healthcare cost of RM 44.24 billion as administrative cost.

This comes up to a whooping RM2.2 billion each year on administrative costs alone. As doctors we believe that this money should be better spent directly for patient care.

Dr Ng Swee Choon, Medical Affairs Committee Member

Federation of Private Medical Practitioners' Associations Malaysia.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nga gets dressing down

Nga gets dressing down

By SYLVIA LOOI
sylvia@thestar.com.my

IPOH: Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming, who has been taken to task by several groups over a tailoring contract that implicated his wife, has now drawn flak from fellow party member M. Kulasegaran.

“Business and politics should not mix. One should not make money from politics,” Kulasegaran, who is DAP national vice-chairman and Ipoh Barat MP, said at a press conference here yesterday.

“In the party's best interest, Nga should clear the air over the matter,” he added.

Nga, the Taiping MP and Pantai Remis state assemblyman, is alleged to have given a lounge suit sewing contract to Ipoh company Ethan & Elton, of which his wife Wong Seow Ching is said to be a director.

Allegations on the Internet said the company was formed 42 days after Pakatan Rakyat took over the Perak government in 2008.

The lounge suits are meant for local government councillors.

At least three reports have been lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over Nga's alleged involvement in the contract.

Kulasegaran said the party's upcoming central executive committee meeting would discuss asset declaration among its representatives, commending Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who had ordered all 11 state exco members to declare their assets.

Kulasegaran suggested that spouses also be made to declare their wealth as there was public suspicion that one would hide his or her wealth behind the name of a spouse.

Meanwhile, Nga said in his blog that the accusations were made to smear his reputation and were slanderous, defamatory and irresponsible.

“I will fight tooth and nail to safeguard my good name and I have instructed my lawyer to take all necessary action, including filing a defamation suit against all parties concerned. Let the law take its course,” he said.

Nga recently raised a storm with his alleged racial slur and insulting remarks against Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and against the Perak royal institution by labelling the state “Perak Darul Kartun”.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

All Members of Governments, MPs, Members of State Legislative Assemblies and their spouses should declare their assets to uphold the principle of acco

Press Conference Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on Saturday, December 24, 2011

All Members of Governments, MPs, Members of State Legislative Assemblies and their spouses should declare their assets to uphold the principle of accountability to the people.

I had just returned from U.S. two days ago after being away for 10 days to attend the International Criminal Court Assembly at United Nations Headquarters, New York.

I wish to refer to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s announcement on December 11 that he and all 11 state executive councillors would declare their assets to the public within a month.

He said that the declaration would include assets before they assumed office on March 2008 and after it, so the people can make the necessary comparison.

I welcome his announcement as this shows DAP’s commitment to the principles of accountability and transparency.


Public declaration of assets will not only be a tool to prevent corruption, it can also help to protect one from false allegations.

In August last year, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin had in response to call that Cabinet Ministers declare their assets publicly, said that it was up to the Prime Minister to decide whether to adopt such a practice.

It has now been more than a year but Dato Sri Najib has still not shown the political commitment to implement this important policy to uphold the principle of accountability to the people.

In fact, immediately after the March 2008 general election, then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had directed Cabinet members to declare their assets.

According to media report, Ministers, as well as deputy ministers, were required to fill in asset declaration forms with the MACC’s predecessor, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), with the intention of making the information available online for public scrutiny.

But Abdullah backed down from this plan after facing resistance from ministers, who felt that it would be an invasion of privacy for the public to know their financial worth.

Invasion of privacy is not and cannot be a justification for rejecting the practice of public declaration of assets.

Neither should safety and security be used as reasons for not supporting such practice.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who was also present at Press Conference held with Lim Guan Eng had said that DAP central executive committee ( CE C) would also plan for all its Members of Parliament to declare their assets soon.

I welcome Karpal’s suggestion and I believe that not only members of Government and MPs should declare their assets; members of the state legislative assemblies should also do so.

Additionally, as there is public suspicion that one can hide his/her wealth in the spouses’ names, the declaration of assets should also involve the spouses.