Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Is Dong Zong an obstacle to forging unity among races in Malaysia?

"Like it or not, the non-Chinese in Malaysia see Dong Zong as an extreme, chauvinistic and racist organization for its consistency and persistence in refusing every effort towards total unity of all races"
Aslam Aidid

The United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (UCSCAM) or better known as Dong Zong in Malaysia was established in 22nd August 1954. It is the body that lead the development of Chinese education in Malaysia. Its members include the Chinese school committees from Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Pahang, Sarawak and Sabah. 

The extremism of the Dong Zong is also making some people very anxious, the following is a critique of the Dong Zong by Aslam Aidid sourced from here:

Dong Zong or United Chinese School Committees Association in Malaysia, should stop the arrogance and be more responsible in doing their part to promote unity in this very fragile multi-racial country.

Dong Zong may not be directly associated to the Pakatan Rakyat but it has always been perceived as a traditional nemesis of UMNO for ts contradiction in directions. So, you know what they say, that is, “the enemy of your enemy is your friend”.

For Malaysians, the organization is seen as one of the many arms of DAP in their quest to ‘overhaul’ Malaysia into becoming a Chinese-dominated country.

Like it or not, the non-Chinese in Malaysia see Dong Zong as an extreme, chauvinistic and racist organization for its consistency and persistence in refusing every effort towards total unity of all races.

It is hard to brush-off this perception when all the organization ever care about is ensuring that the Chinese continue to strap themselves tightly to their original motherland and that they will never blend in and embrace the Malaysian culture, or even history.

This is the reason why Dong Zong doesn’t see problems in Chinese students failing to master the National Language but only see problems if they can’t master Mandarin which is China’s official language.

It isn’t hard to understand why this education-related-organization in Malaysia must go as far as holding a protest against the Ministry of Education for posting teachers who can’t speak Mandarin to Chinese Schools.

If we didn’t know any better, we would have thought that the Chinese Schools must have some sort of a hidden agenda other than merely wanting to uphold their mother-tongue and culture. Or else, why would they need only Mandarin-speaking teachers for all subjects and not only for Mandarin class?

According to its President, Yap Sin Tian, back in 1987, such teachers were only holding senior posts and not so much involved in the teaching but the situation is getting ‘worse’ because these teachers are now not only hold seniors posts but also teach all subjects.

The statement is directly targeting the non-Chinese or Chinese teachers who can’t speak Mandarin as ‘the problem’.

For that, PR now sees Dong Zong as a problem too.

PR upholds the true spirit of Malaysia and rejects any sentiment of racism be it from any race. We have been very open in our critics towards Perkasa for its racial prejudice and extremism and he have to express the same regret towards Dong Zong for singing the same song with Perkasa – only in different language.

However, Dong Zong is far worse than Perkasa because at least Perkasa can defend themselves for speaking for unity as they fight for One School concept where children of all races may blend in together and create a truly united future generations. While Dong Zong is obviously fighting for further and permanent separation of the races in Malaysia.

Therefore, while Perkasa is being indirectly associated with UMNO, PR should be very careful as to not be seen as supporting Dong Zong. In other words, PR should not fall into the racial game of Dong Zong or Perkasa and remain focus in creating a new, truly united, open-minded Malaysians.

We understand that DAP is a hundred percent behind DongcZong in every move but for the sake of the party and the people, DAP should not be associating itself with any organization which is perceived as extreme and racist. It’s hard enough for PR to brush away the chauvinist image of DAP which keeps the Malays away from the party and by supporting Dong Zong, PR might lose even more Malay votes in the next election.

Bear in mind that 90% of our school teachers are Malays who can’t speak Mandarin.

Dong Zong may sound like they are shooting the government through the protest, but in reality, it’s the 90% Malay teachers as well as Chinese, Indian, Iban and all other teachers who can’t speak Mandarin, who actually felt the pang. And these teachers are voters.

PR, including DAP, should keep a distant from Dong Zong and not get entangled in its never-ending tug-of-war with the government.


I would gladly say that compared to the Dong Zong's extremism , PERKASA is a very  mild NGO indeed.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Iran a nation which wants no war is facing off with a war mongering Israel and its allies

Iran, a nation which wants no war with others and whose rulers are described as rational actors by no other than General Dempsey the current Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff of the mighty United States Armed Forces is under the direct scope of the Middle East No.1 Chief troublemaker armed to the teeth with scores of nuclear warheads with the tacit support of the United States and its European allies.

The following article written by Sharwine Narwanie a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East is taken from this link here and here.

How Iran Changed The World

Imagine this scenario: A developing nation decides to selectively share its precious natural resource, selling only to "friendly" countries and not "hostile" ones. Now imagine this is oil we're talking about and the nation in question is the Islamic Republic of Iran...

Early news reports on Wednesday claimed that Iran pre-empted European Union sanctions by turning off the oil spigot to six member-states: the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal.

The reports were premature. According to a highly-placed source in the country, Iran will only stop its oil supply to these nations if they fail to adopt new trading conditions: 1) signing 3 to 5-year contracts to import Iranian oil, with all agreements concluded prior to March 21, and 2) payment for the oil will no longer be accepted within 60-day cycles, as in the past, and must instead be honored immediately.

Negotiations are currently underway with all six nations. Iran, says the source, expects to cut oil supplies to at least two nations based on their current positions. These are likely to be Holland and France.

Meanwhile, the other four EU member-states are in dire financial straits. They are knee-deep in the kind of fiscal crisis that has no hope of resolution unless they exit the union and go back to banana republic basics. Yet, they found the time to sanction Iran over some convoluted American-Israeli theory that the Islamic Republic may one day decide to build a nuclear weapon. I am sure arm-twisting was involved – the kind that involves dollars for votes.

But I digress. This blog is really about ideas. And not just ideas, but really ridiculous ideas.

New World Order Jump-Started by Iran?
Alternative sources of oil will be found in a jiffy for these beleaguered EU economies. But this isn’t so much about a few barrels of the stuff that fuels the world’s engines.This is about the idea that a singular action taken amidst the political and economic re-set about to take place globally, can propel us in a whole new direction overnight.

The past few years have shown that there is no global financial leadership capable of pulling us back from the abyss. The US national debt hovers around the US$15.3 trillion mark. Its GDP in 2011 was just under US$15 trillion. You do the math – there is no fixing that one. The only next-big-thing coming out of that dead end will be the complete transformation of the current global economic order.

But how will that take place without leadership and clear direction? I'm betting hard that It will not come from the top, nor will it be directed. The new global economic order will be organic, regional and quite sudden.

What do I mean? Imagine: Iran stops selling oil to the EU; China tells the US to take a hike on currency values; India starts trading in large quantities of rupees; Russia’s central bank becomes a depot for holding dollars that don’t need to pass through New York; the creation of a global payment messaging system competing with SWIFT. Now imagine that a combination of actions - triggered only by an attempt to circumvent some really very silly sanctions - can suddenly unleash some unexpected possibilities that were beyond the realm of imagination a mere few years ago.

Imagine the emergence, say, of regional economic hubs, powered by the currencies of the local hegemonic powers, where bartering natural resources, goods and services becomes as commonplace as transactions involving currency transfers. Because of the frailty inherent in dealing with these new local currencies and a bartering system, nations tend to trade most with those closest to them in geography and culture. Shocking? Maybe not. Sometimes it just takes a need for change...and a handy tipping point.

“This is not the time to fan the flames,” someone should have told the United States. “You and your pals are sitting in a jalopy tottering on the cliff’s edge – why risk making moves now?” they should have warned. “Be a little less arrogant,” would have been sage advice.

But Washington is absolutely, irrevocably, dangerously fixated on showing Iran who’s boss, and spends a good part of every day trying to tighten the screws around the Islamic Republic. For the most part, the US’s pursuit of this dubious objective has instead stripped it of the vital political tools it once wielded. No more UN Security Council resolutions, no more unscrutinized military adventures. The only thing left is the nefarious tentacles of the United States Department of Treasury and its financial weapons. “The new tools of imperialism,” as once US-friendly central banker in the Mideast bluntly put it to me.

I only hear shrill desperation when politicos now parrot the “sanctions are biting” line. Here’s a juicy tidbit for those rolling their eyes right now: Goldman Sachs – America’s premier investment bank and Wall-Street God – has identified the Islamic Republic as one of the “Next 11” growth drivers of the global economy after the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations. BRIC was a term coined by Goldman Sachs, if you recall, and boy, were they right about that one.

Thirty years of “biting” sanctions and sanctions “with teeth” have achieved the following: “Strong or improving growth conditions,” said Goldman Sachs just last year, “combined with favorable demographics, form the foundation of the N-11 growth story.” The investment bank, furthermore, estimates “a measurable increase in the N-11’s share of global GDP, from roughly 12 percent in the current decade to 17 percent in 2040-2049.”

It’s a bad global economy we are facing right now, but Goldman Sachs’ charts illustrate that Iran is still one of five nations in the N-11 pot whose “productivity and sustainability of growth” is above average.

Shrugging off Dollar Dominance
A British investment research firm wrote in January: “Sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran effectively restricts Iranian oil sales to barter contracts or to state-to-state agreements utilizing non-G8 currencies…It represents a major irritation to the Iranians, rather than a chokehold.”

The authors specify the Chinese Yuan as the non-G8 currency, but in the past few days that scenario has busted open with the addition of the Indian Rupee into the mix.

The new trade deal inked between Iran and India ensures Rupee payment for 45 percent of Iranian oil imports, with the balance remaining in Indian banks to pay for exports to the Islamic Republic. This achieves two important things that are an unintended consequence of US sanctions: firstly, it eliminates the Dollar as the trading currency (note that oil prices have traditionally been priced in US Dollars); secondly, it significantly accelerates economic integration between Iran and one of the four largest emerging economies in the world.

D.S. Rawat, head of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India, says of the agreement: “The potential of trade and economic relations between the two countries can touch the level of US$30 billion by 2015 from the current level of $13.7 billion dollars in 2010-11."

There’s more. During the course of the past two weeks, Iran has purchased around 1.1 million tons of cereals and wheat from international markets – including products originating in Germany, Canada, Brazil and Australia - which it has paid for entirely in currencies other than the Dollar.

The US Dollar, which has been the international reserve currency for close to a century, is on its way out anyway. America’s huge balance of payments deficit has weakened US fundamentals and made investors wary. The downside of the Dollar’s changing status is that the Federal Reserve loses a lot of flexibility in managing its currency and the US economy. That does not bode well for keeping the US competitive against the BRIC nations and other emerging economies.

Iran Sanctions Biting the US Right Back?
It takes one solid idea, in a world desperately seeking them, to start the creaky shift to a new global order. Emerging economies have been nipping at the heels of the world’s governing bodies for decades, demanding entry into the hallowed halls of the UN Security Council’s permanent members; insisting on a seat at the main table at the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization.

When European leaders went begging for scraps at the last G-20 meeting, the BRICs found their feet and yawned a collective “no.” It signaled a reversal of fortunes, that meeting, and the idea that they can forge their own path was born. The BRICs then announced their first joint foreign policy statement last November – on Syria, of all places. The idea matured.

But US/EU sanctions against Iran are giving the idea steam. One has to act when faced with a dilemma, after all – and that dilemma has been literally foisted in the faces of nonaligned countries the world around: “sanction Iran or else.”

Now they are just shrugging and finding ways around the maze of traps set up by the Department of Treasury. Why should they care much? What is the United States today but an unwieldy bully with few arrows left in its quiver?

This week the US is putting the screws on Belgian-based SWIFT. If you’ve ever wired money to another country, you have used SWIFT – it is essentially the messaging system between banks that alerts them to money transfers. The US wants to cut Iranian banks out of the SWIFT system, in effect making it practically impossible for anyone inside or outside Iran to send or receive funds.

Who knows what Iran will do if this comes to pass? It will probably just join non-aligned countries to create an alternative SWIFT, further undermining the western grip on global finance. Iran, after all, decided last year not to put up with the prospect of perpetual cyberwar with the west, and is forging ahead with plans to create a closed internet system for itself.

Each step the US and EU take to hinder Iran’s flexibility is countered with an innovative solution – one that includes more and more non-western players who are keen to craft a new global order. They used to worry about that kind of confrontation with the west, but the collapse of the current order has left few obstacles in their paths - and even offers incentives.

Like the proverbial finger in the dyke to block a leak…the water will always find another way out and possibly even bust open the dam. A warning to Washington: the burden of anxiety will always fall on the one who needs the dam most.

This is what Prof Juan Cole wrote from his blog about the impending sanctions:

Afro-Asia, Global South Reject Boycott of Iran

Posted on 02/25/2012 by Juan
Despite American assertions that Iran is “internationally isolated,” it turns out that the boycott of that country is a solidly Northern Hemisphere phenomenon and only partially successful even there. The US-led sanctions on and boycott of Iran have largely been rejected in Africa,-Asia and Latin America. Punishing sanctions on Iran are a Euro-American affair with little buy-in outside Anglophone North America and the European Union.

International Boycott of Iran

The above is for sharing and an update of the Iran issue which will affect Global trade and economy. For continued reading please read this : Anti-Iranian Sanctions Backfire.

Himpunan Hijau 2.0, I know, I know it has got nothing to do with nuclear radiation

"You want to know about oil palm, do not ask the rubber expert."
PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang

"You want to know about nuclear radiation and rare earth processing DO NOT ask YB Fuziah Salleh from Kuantan"
Anon wise man 

Himpunan Hijau 2.0 is not about protecting the environment to make it safe for the future generation not when the speakers are lead by Anwar Ibrahim and PKR leaders, it is  nothing but a political rally for PKR designed to lift the spirits of PKR supporters before the coming elections and it matters not how many people attended, it is plainly a political rally, too bad  a high ranking PKR leader Ustad something, can't be in the rally, he was reportedly caught with some else's wife in a room at a Kuantan Hotel the morning before by the women's husband himself read here. (The joke around Kuantan is PKR people were relieved, he was not caught with a jambu).

Nuke expert: Lynas plant is safe

KUANTAN: WHERE once people depended on simple electronic appliances and gadgets to complete their task, today, life has been made much easier with the presence of devices such as smart phones, which offer a variety of applications and services at your fingertips.

The Lynas rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, is not a nuclear reactor but a chemical processing plant. Pic by Azmaidi Abidin

One no longer has to queue up to pay a bill or undertake a banking transaction. The touch of a button or the click of a mouse from the comfort of your home will ensure that your bills are paid.

Technology has even brought us flat screen high-definition television sets to replace the huge, bulky sets of old, saving both space and electricity.

All these smart and environment-friendly applications, which have made our lives much easier, contain rare earth.

The Lynas rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Pahang, known as Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp), is not a nuclear reactor, but a chemical processing plant.

Irresponsible parties, however, have been painting a different picture about the project and manipulating the issue, including feeding Kuantan folk with misleading information for political mileage.

Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had said while addressing delegates at the Pas Muktamar in June last year: "I like to bring your attention to the Lynas issue, which was raised by our delegates.

"The issue should be referred to our expert. We have a nuclear expert. Hulu Langat member of parliament Dr Che Rosli Che Mat holds a PhD in the nuclear field."

During an interview with a private television station recently, Che Rosli, who is a nuclear scientist said: "They are frightening the public by saying that Lynas is a nuclear plant when its function is only to process natural materials like rare earths from Mount Weld in Western Australia, which has less radiation compared with an ore mine.

"The issue was brought up by the PKR. I've kept quiet and even been given a warning by the Pas information bureau not to comment.

"I accepted it and have been silent. But this is unfair. They have been making comments in every issue of Harakah in a tone we are uncomfortable with."

When asked if Lynas is really a nuclear plant, Che Rosli said: "I am embarrassed. I am also a Pas member. So finally, I decided, as a nuclear expert, I should come forward to speak.

"Let people talk as they wish," said Che Rosli, who assured the people in Kuantan that they need not fear the presence of the plant.

On Friday, Che Rosli reiterated that the plant was safe and the project should proceed as long as the company adhered to strict safety standards and regulations to ensure that the health and safety of the residents were protected.

Che Rosli, an expert in nuclear science, graduated from a university in the United Kingdom.

The Malaysian government has attached strict conditions for Lynas to comply with to ensure the health and safety of the workers, the public and the environment.

The special conditions are: Lynas is required to submit to the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) details concerning the location, construction and management of a permanent disposal facility (PDF) that will accommodate the waste generated by the factory; the PDF proposed by Lynas shall be located in a remote area away from populated areas, and Lynas is required to give a Letter of Understanding to remove and relocate overseas all waste generated.

All the waste from the plant shall be fully treated, meeting stipulated standards prior to discharge. There will be zero discharge of untreated industrial waste water.

The gasses released from the Lynas plant shall be treated by Lynas according to international standards and monitored by the relevant authorities continuously to ensure they are safe to be released through the plant stacks.

Before the public is duped by the accusations from various people, which has been described by Che Rosli as "unscientific and not at all academic", they should heed the advice of Abdul Hadi during his speech at the Pas Muktamar.

He was quoted as saying: "You want to know about oil palm, do not ask the rubber expert."

Read more here

This is what Pahang MB who wore a green shirt on Sunday said about the Himpunan Hijau 2.0:

Himpunan Hijau telah selesai. Ada 3 perkara boleh dilihat jelas di sini.

Pertama, proses dan amalan demokrasi sihat di negara ini. Sesiapa sahaja boleh bersuara dan berhimpun asal tidak melanggar undang-undang.

Kedua, pihak berkuasa terutama PDRM dan MPK telah bertindak adil dan penuh profesional mempastikan perhimpunan berjalan lancar.

Ketiga, gerakan anti lynas yang berselindung di bawah nama hijau nyata tidak laku. Rakyat tidak percaya dengan pembangkang yang menabur cakap bohong pada setiap masa dan setiap tempat.

Kerajaan Negeri mengalu-alukan demo secara aman ini kerana ia menjana kegiatan ekonomi khususnya untuk pengusaha dan peniaga di Kuantan. ..... Saya namakan ini Demo-Tourism. Demo-Tourism ini patut digalakkan.

Salam 1 Malaysia.
DS Adnan Yaakob
Menteri Besar Pahang.

Source here.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sadly for the Kempen SSS people, it seems for Malaysian Politicians getting the votes is numero uno

This is a very good post on why it is necessary to have one common school for our young, however the author Dr Farish is too kind with the title, I would have given it another juicier title:  "All Malaysians Politicians can't find their balls when faced with the vernacular school issue as getting the votes is more important than unity"

And thus democracy makes cowards of us all — Farish A. Noor
February 22, 2012

FEB 22 — The older I get, the grumpier and more cynical I become; and as I grow more cynical by the day, nothing gets my goat more than having to watch and read about the developments in Malaysia where the lowest common denominator rules the day.

On this occasion I find myself riled once again by the popular and populist demand for vernacular education, and to maintain a multi-track education system in the country. Again and again this issue bedevils our national politics, and again and again most, if not all, of the political parties in the country fall back to their safe positions while banking upon what they regard as their natural and safe political constituencies.

In this regard both the ruling coalition and the opposition coalition seem to be equally at fault: Neither side seems prepared to take the bull by the horns and do what seems simply necessary if we still going to entertain the notion that there is some form of nation-building at work in this country. Malaysia boasts of its uniqueness, but in this one regard it does seem to be unique indeed.

After more than half a century of independence we still cling on to the notion that an inclusive national narrative can come about through not one, but several vernacular education systems. Nowhere else in the world (or the developed world at least) can I think of an example of such an arrangement, where both the government and the opposition seem inclined to support the popular demand for vernacular-based education streaming.

Nowhere else in the world would a plural society be made all the more alienated from itself by allowing kids to study in the company of those who are more culturally and linguistically closer to them.

We lament, as we often do, the declining levels of inter-ethnic contact in the country; and we bemoan that the so-called ‘golden years’ of Malaysia in the 1950s and 1960s are long gone. And yet we maintain this inane belief that by segregating children from an early age along linguistic-cultural lines we can still forge a Malaysian nation, together. How? And upon what basis would that shared sense of national belonging be found?

We wonder how and why the religious functionaries in the country can make the pronouncements they do, but what do we expect if we allow a condition where children from the same linguistic-cultural background are kept in the company of people similar to them from primary to secondary education, and perhaps even beyond?

I have said the same thing so many times by now that I am only thankful that the internet does not incur the waste of ink and paper: Yet today, in Malaysia, it is conceivable that a child of a particular linguistic-cultural group grows up in the company of similar children up to the age of 18, without ever having to shake hands with someone of a different ethnic, linguistic or religious background. So much for diversity then - how on earth can we expect Malaysians to integrate if the educational system keeps them apart for so long?

And while on the subject of comparisons, can we imagine a similar situation in any developed country, like the UK, Germany or France? Where would France and Germany’s minorities be if they were segregated from childhood in Arabic or Turkish schools?

How could they hope to enter the mainstream of society that is still defined and shaped by the national language of those countries? On the contrary, while I was living in Germany I came across scores of German-Arab and Turks who wanted their kids to enter and succeed in the mainstream educational system, knowing that in that country that is the only path to higher education, and possible upward social mobility as well.

Yet what it takes for this to happen in Malaysia is political courage and the will to put forward radical proposals that may not be popular, in fact downright unpopular. It takes a politician with guts to say that Malaysian kids ought to be able to meet, study, compete and succeed in a singular national educational system that mirrors the reality of Malaysia’s plural and complex society.
And it takes some courage to state that if any Malaysian parent wishes his or her child to study Mandarin or Tamil, he should be able to do so in the same singular national schooling system where these languages should also be taught as Malaysian languages — languages that have been spoken in the region for centuries.

But politicians tend to be timid in the face of democratic populism, and the will of the voter — no matter how uninstructed, how bigoted or biased — seems to hold sway over their own opinions. I have met politicians on both sides of the fence who have confided in me their fears and anxiety over where the nation-building process in Malaysia is heading, and who know that if this trend continues there will not be one Malaysia but several Malaysias, that live side by side but remain clueless about their neighbours. But these very same politicians seem captive to the ballot box and paralysed when it comes to doing what is necessary, albeit unpopular. They cannot speak out for fear of losing their so-called ‘natural vote bases’, that happen to be ethnic and linguistic vote bases, reflective of our fractured society. And so the charade continues, and we remain a nation that studies, and lives, apart.

Thus has Populist Democracy made cowards of us all?

* Dr Farish A. Noor is a senior fellow at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Contrary to the views of the vernacular firsters especially the Chinese educationalist and the politicians who supported  them, a vernacular education separate from the National School(Sek. Kebangsaaan) will only propagate the polarisation of our young and when they grow up they will have separate lives not understanding the culture and the religion of their neighbours from other races or religion, they will forever be complaining and demanding more of whatever the other races have. There can never be unity without our children mixing around when they are young.

Please stop this unfounded rubbish that the Sekolah Kebangsaan are of lower standard than the vernacular school. Good or not good is all on how the the teacher and the students apply themselves. Even for a One School for All system the student will be allowed to learn their mother tongue language or the mother tongue of other races too as an additional subject. There is no question of total blanking of one's culture or language in a One School for All system. 

Some say now that China is a gigantic economic powerhouse its imperative to know Mandarin, I have been to China on business trips, and I have news for you people, there are more than 1 Billion people in China, they will need to give their nationals jobs first before they would give a foreign national a job in China. Yes did I say foreign national? Yes I did, and do you Malaysians of Malay, Chinese or Indian ethnicity know that a Chinese from China only sees us as Malaysians not Chinese Malaysians not Malay Malaysians but just plain Malaysian.

To do business in China there is one Mandarin word you need to know well "guanxi" means relationship building, gaining the trust and treating the other/visitor with courtesy and decency. The other word in my experience that you must know is "cheers" when you toast for good luck with orange juice, coca cola or wine during dinner :)),  Of course you must know "Ni Hao" = Hello! Literally means You (Ni) Good (Hao)? "Ni Hao, ma?" and of course  "xièxiè" which means Thank You.

If the vernacular firsters really want to look at the future in economic terms, they need not look further than ASEAN's economic potential with close to half a billion people. Indonesia is on the up and Myanmar is opening up very fast. Doesn't that ring a bell any one?

Me? I am still waiting for a Politician from any race from either Barisan Nasional or the Pakatan who would have real balls like former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew when he ordered that Singapore will have a One School System. I think it will be a long, long wait in Malaysia though, I am pessimistic that our politicians will find their balls soon enough.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Water crisis in Klang Valley by 2014: The State Gomen seeming recalcitrance in facilitating Langat 2 is worrisome

I wrote late last year on the impending Selangor Water Sypply Crisis in 2014:

Impending clean water crisis in Klang Valley by 2014: A dangerous game the Selangor Pakatan led State Government play

.... if the current Selangor State Government led by Pakatan is still playing the game of brinkmanship by refusing to allow the ongoing Langat 2 water supply project to proceed smoothly causing a delay, then they will be held responsible and accountable for the coming water crisis and the ensuing water cuts which will not just cause hardship to the ordinary Malaysian consumers but also to the Multi-billion Ringgit industries that had been set up in the Klang Valley and Selangor which totally depends on a constant supply of clean water for their operations.

Friends, do you know why we take for granted and do not think too much about the water coming out from our tap, its because we are so used to clean running water that we regard it as something that we have around us all the time like our Parents and siblings. Do you know why we are able to get a constant supply of clean water, its because the State Governments and the Federal Government had always worked hand in hand to meticulously study, plan, design, finance and construct the dams, water treatment plants and intakes and the service reservoirs and water pipes necessary for the delivery of treated clean water to our homes, offices, commercial and public buildings and industries, droughts notwithstanding. 

And friends, guest what? this process has been going on and continues to go on since before our Merdeka day. This water supply planning/ implementation process is so important that even the DAP State Government of Pulau Pinang give full cooperation to the Federal Government when it comes to water matters. Not the same can be said about the Selangor Pakatan led Government though, this is the latest what they have to say:

Krisis Bekalan Air Di Selangor Selesai 2014
"SHAH ALAM: Kerajaan Negeri Selangor memberi jaminan tidak akan berlaku krisis air menjelang 2014.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap, Kesihatan, Pekerja, Ladang, Kemiskinan dan Kerajaan Prihatin negeri, Dr Xavier Jayakumar mendakwa, krisis air yang dibangkitkan selama ini merupakan propaganda politik kerajaan Barisan Nasional.

"Ini adalah usaha pihak tertentu untuk meracun pemikiran rakyat Selangor dalam usaha mereka untuk merampas kembali negeri ini.

"Kerajaan negeri berpendapat bahawa projek mega pemindahan air dari Pahang ke Selangor serta tindakan Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) memaksa kerajaan negeri meluluskan pembinaan Loji Rawatan Air Sungai Langat (Langat 2) yang menelan berbilion-bilion ringgit itu tiada tujuan lain.

"Apa yang diketahui ia hanya bertujuan memberi kontrak dan habuan keuntungan kepada syarikat-syarikat kroni yang rapat dengan mereka," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri mesyuarat Exco di Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah di sini, Rabu.

Menurutnya, kerajaan Selangor dengan menggunakan teknologi rawatan air terkini telah mengenal pasti beberapa punca air yang telah dirawat dan boleh diguna pakai bagi menampung keperluan rakyat Selangor, Kuala Lumpur dan Putrajaya.

"Bagi menampung keperluan air kita akan mengambil air mentah dari bekas-bekas lombong yang banyak terdapat di seluruh negeri Selangor, pengambilan air bawah tanah, rawatan dan penapisan air sungai, penggunaan air hujan dan juga air mentah dari takungan hujan.

"Malah kerajaan negeri juga bersetuju dengan cadangan Persatuan Pengguna untuk memaksimumkan penggunaan sumber-sumber air tersebut untuk menampung keperluan harian rakyat Selangor," katanya.

Jelas beliau, cadangan tersebut merupakan alternatif yang lebih bermanfaat dan menjimatkan daripada projek pembangunan infrastruktur pemindahan air dari Pahang yang menelan belanja berbilion ringgit wang pembayar cukai.

Mengulas lanjut, Xavier berkata, kerajaan negeri juga sedang mempercepatkan langkah bagi merawat air sungai untuk penggunaan sektor perindustrian di Selangor.

"Bagi tujuan ini kerajaan negeri telah meluluskan lesen pemindahan air mentah kepada anak syarikat Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB), Konsortium Air Sdn Bhd yang mempunyai trek rekod dan kepakaran teknologi terkini dalam menguruskan dan merawat air.

"Sekali lagi kerajaan negeri memberi jaminan bahawa isu bekalan air tidak akan timbul malah ia mencukupi sehingga tahun 2020," ujarnya.

Justeru, beliau menegaskan bahawa kerajaan negeri akan meneruskan urus tadbir bekalan air bagi memastikan rakyat Selangor terus mendapat manfaat pemberian 20 meter padu air percuma."

Since 2008 the Pakatan led state Gomen, in their bid to retain the state, will politicise everything and anything, they now even make a preposterous promise that the water supply will  be good until 2020 (promise not backed by any verifiable statistics on treated water production and projected consumption - household & industries until 20120 or beyond) . What will they plan to do? Xavier Jayakumar said:

"Menurutnya, kerajaan Selangor dengan menggunakan teknologi rawatan air terkini telah mengenal pasti beberapa punca air yang telah dirawat dan boleh diguna pakai bagi menampung keperluan rakyat Selangor, Kuala Lumpur dan Putrajaya.

"Bagi menampung keperluan air kita akan mengambil air mentah dari bekas-bekas lombong yang banyak terdapat di seluruh negeri Selangor, pengambilan air bawah tanah, rawatan dan penapisan air sungai, penggunaan air hujan dan juga air mentah dari takungan hujan.

"Malah kerajaan negeri juga bersetuju dengan cadangan Persatuan Pengguna untuk memaksimumkan penggunaan sumber-sumber air tersebut untuk menampung keperluan harian rakyat Selangor," katanya."

Treat Ground Water and Catch rain water? How, Ground Water are not the best and not the cheapest supply for treated water and you still need multimillion dollar pumping stations and treatment plants at suitable locations to treat the ground water and you will need additional new water pipes to connect with the existing service reservoirs. Ground water pumping also lowers down the water table of the surrounding area causing other problems to the environment too it would also cause land subsidence. Read here: "The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is actually below sea level today, and its subsidence is partly caused by removal of groundwater from the various aquifer/aquitard systems beneath it. In the first half of the 20th century, the city of San Jose, California, dropped 13 feet from land subsidence caused by overpumping; this subsidence has been halted with improved groundwater management."

The only/ best method to obtain/catch rain water in economical quantities for treatment is from the rivers and studies had shown that production of treatment plant from river off-takes in Selangor had reached almost full production, read here. Building new treatment plants as envisaged by the Selangor Pakatan led state Gomen to pump and treat water from already depleted rivers some of which are heavily polluted, are a waste of public fund, it will be an abject failure in no time. That is why after much studies the PAAB technical people had decided on the raw water transfer of water from water rich Pahang to Selangor and the raw water to be treated under the Langat 2 project. NOT because some PKR elite rumor mongers like Xavier say that it is an unnecessary project to fatten some rich cronieslah.

OK this is what the people who are in the know and concerned about Malaysia's water supply issues, particularly the Selangor water supply issue is saying:



Last page PAGE 3 read in full here 

For Xavier and the rest of the Selangor smart alec Excos and the YAB MB, please note that you are full time politicians and  are not water experts buy any stretch of any one's imagination including yours. Just leave the study, planning and implementation of highly complexed infrastructure like water supply to those who knows OK.....you knowlah the Water Engineers and Technical Professionals in PAAB The Selangor State Gomen should Stop being recalcitrant,  its going to be my life and the lives of millions of Malaysians you are mucking about with. Thank You.

Additional reading :

Reject those sweet promises

Loji Rawatan Air Sungai Langat 2 Perlu Di Bina

Malaysia faces looming water crisis 

Judicial Independence: Mahathir fired a broadside at Dzaiddin

A few days ago Former Chief Judge Mohd. Dzaiddin came out with a speech that I thought was  rather unfair and generalized against Dr. Mahathir and the Judiciary considering his career as a Judge for many years, and having served as CJ when Dr. Mahathir was PM.

Of course the Anti Mahathir types are pleased with Dzaiddin read here and here but luckily so far Lim Kit Siang has not called for a RCI.

Dr. Mahathir has his supporters too you know read here and here

I am wondering too, if Dzaiddin had been more forthright he should politely refuse the post of CJ recommended by the then PM Dr. Mahathir. Attacking Dr. Mahathir more than 8 years after he retired as CJ certainly do not give me confidence in Dzaiddin as a defender of an Independent Judiciary. I won't even touch on the Bar Council statement supporting Dzaiddin knowing they are just echo of the opposition. 

Anyway this is Dr. Mahathir's reply looking more like a broadside, taken directly from his blog (without permission) for reference and sharing:


1. According to the former chief justice Tun Mohd Dzaiddin Abdullah, “The Federal Constitution lost its fundamental structure when Article 121 was amended in 1988 and the provision in reference to the judicial power in the constitution removed”.
2. What is the amendment about? It is about the procedure giving the Attorney General the responsibility for specifying which court should hear a case. Originally Section 418A (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code reads, “Notwithstanding the provision of section 417 and subject to Section 418B, the Public Prosecutor may in any particular case triable by a Criminal Court subordinate to a High Court issue a certificate specifying the High Court in which the proceedings are to be instituted or transferred and requiring that the accused person be caused to appear or be produced before such High Court”.
3. In December 1986 when Datuk Yap Peng was charged with criminal breach of trust, the public prosecutor issued a certificate under Section 418A of the Criminal Procedure Code requiring the case to be transferred to the High Court.
4. Datuk Yap’s counsel during the trial in January 6, 1987 (before the amendment) argued that the transfer was unconstitutional and that “Section 418A violated Articles 121 (1) and 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution”. The trial judge concurred.
5. The Public Prosecutor then appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld by a 3:2 majority decision, the decision of the trial judge (read here).
6. Interestingly, Tan Sri Hashim Yeop A. Sani and Tun Salleh Abbas dissented against the majority.
7. Tan Sri Yeop Sani said, “Section 418A has been examined by the Courts on a number of occasions”. Clearly the courts in the past did not conclude that Section 418A was against the constitution. The practise of the AG transferring a case from a lower court to a higher court must have continued and regarded as part of procedure.
8. Salleh Abbas, giving his minority dissenting view said: “I cannot see how this power…could be regarded as an encroachment upon judicial power of the court. In my view, it is neither a judicial power nor an encroachment of that power”.
9. It was probably to make clear the situation and to restore the right of the AG that he decided to include the amendment to Article 121 (1) when the Constitution was to be amended to clarify the role of the Rulers in law-making.
10. I must admit that I did not seek clarification from the AG at that time and regarded this inclusion as not altering the judicial powers in any way. Before the amendment the AG had this power under the CPC. But it was the court which took away this power on the grounds that it violated Articles 121 (1) and 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
11. It is normal that whenever a law needs to be amended to facilitate the process of justice, then it would be amended. The Constitution was drafted by mere men and it cannot be perfect.
12. The rights and functions of the judiciary have not been subservient to the politicians or the Prime Minister before or after the amendment. This is because the amendment involves only the procedure in which the AG was given back the responsibility to transfer cases. It did not give the Prime Minister any authority to overrule the courts.
13. Tun Dzaiddin pointed out the case of the removal of Tun Salleh Abbas as Chief Justice as evidence that the judiciary is subservient to the Government.
14. In the first place I was not the one who wanted Tun Salleh to be removed. It was the request (command) of the Agong. I have already explained the circumstances involved in my memoirs.
15. There is provision in the Constitution for a judge to be removed. Neither the Agong nor the Prime Minister can dismiss him. A tribunal has to be set up and the case for dismissal heard.
16. All these procedures were followed to the letter. Two foreign judges were on the panel. The Panel decided on Salleh’s removal and not the Prime Minister or the Government. Simply because Salleh was removed in accordance with the Constitution does not mean the judiciary is subservient to the Government or the Prime Minister. If judges cannot be removed at all, the Constitution would say so. But the Constitution carries provision only for a judge to be removed.
17. I would like to know of instances, in the years Tun Dzaiddin was Chief Justice, when I had interfered with the courts in any way.
18. Perhaps Tun Dzaiddin might be able to tell more about lobbying for high judicial appointments. Malay adats have a very powerful role in the governance of this country.

The last two paras is vintage Dr. Mahathir, he can really deliver a killer blow when he wants to.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bayan Mutiara: So when will the Chief Minister resign then?

This will step up the temperature on the Bayan Mutiara Land scandal by a few notches and I have a few thots too on the Great Chinese Debate between Guan Eng and Dr Chua at the end:

Jual Tanah Di P.Pinang: Guan Eng Harus Letak Jawatan Ketua Menteri

GEORGE TOWN: Umno Pulau Pinang pada Jumaat mendesak Lim Guan Eng supaya bersara dari politik dan meletakan jawatannya sebagai Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang sebagai bukti mengotakan janjinya berbuat demikian jika terdapat bukti bahawa penjualan tanah Bayan Mutiara di sini telah dilakukan secara rundingan.
Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan UMNO negeri Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman berkata UMNO mempunyai beberapa bukti bahawa tanah tebusguna seluas 41.6 hektar itu telah dijual dengan harga RM1.1 bilion secara rundingan kepada syarikat pemaju hartanah Ivory Group.
"Antara buktinya ialah surat permohonan kepada pihak Bursa Malaysia untuk membeli dan memajukan tanah berkenaan. Surat itu (Ivory Group kepada Bursa Malaysia) bertarikh 31 Mac 2011 sedangkan tender terbuka yang diiklankan oleh pemilik tanah berkenaan iaitu Perbadanan Pembangunan Pulau Pinang (PDC) tamat pada 31 Disember 2010.
"Ini dengan jelas menunjukkan urusan jual beli tanah di Bayan Mutiara itu adalah rundingan dan bukan secara tender terbuka, kita ada dokumen-dokumen berkenaan,"katanya pada sidang media di sini, Jumaat.
Katanya, tender terbuka untuk pembelian tanah itu tidak berlaku dalam erti kata sebenar kerana hanya terdapat dua buah syarikat yang menyertai tender itu. Menurutnya kerajaan negeri juga tidak mempamerkan nama syarikat yang menyertainya dengan harga yang ditawarkan oleh mereka selepas tawaran tender tutup pada 31 Disember 2010.
Zainal berkata Lim, yang juga Setiausaha Agung DAP, telah mencabar bahawa beliau akan meletak jawatan dan bersara dari politik jika UMNO boleh membuktikan dakwaan bahawa tanah itu dijual secara rundingan.
Tanah yang dianggap sebagai "bernilai amat tinggi" itu adalah kawasan paling strategik kerana berdekatan dengan Jambatan Pulau Pinang, Zon Perdagangan Bebas dan Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang.
Pada perkembangan lain, Zainal Abidin berkata Umno Pulau Pinang turut mempersoalkan pembinaan rumah bertingkat setinggi 16 tingkat di Batu Kawan dekat sini kerana kerajaan negeri tidak membina rumah kos murah.
"Rumah yang akan dibina di kawasan berkenaan adalah RM72,000 hingga RM220,000, apa yang kita pertikaikan ialah mengapa tiada rumah kos murah yang berharga RM42,000 sedangkan projek itu dibina atas tanah PDC,"katanya. -BERNAMA
Will CM Lim Guan Eng resign? No he is too ignorant and too arrogant to know that he has done wrong to the people of Pulau Pinang, its the same not so clever Guan Eng accepting the debate with Dr Chua on Saturday 18 February in Mandarin which for all practical purpose revealed the DAP as a Chinese party, not a multiracial entity like they tried to portray. 

Read a good post on how the MCA's Dr Chua has already won the debate which will take place on Saturday here, yup my blogger buddy BigCat can really pack a punch. Token Indians and Malays in the DAP please realise that you guys stick like a sore thumb in the Chinese party, go set up your own multiracial party ya.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lynas Issue: AELB's exemplary engagement and display of transparency with the public

AELB top man DG YM Dato' Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan

If you are looking for transparency and exemplary engagement with the public, look no further than our Government Agency, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board AELB, story from here:

AELB releases public feedback on LAMP

Stephanie Sta Maria
 | February 16, 2012
AELB says that the five conditions attached to the TOL reflects the public's concerns.

DENGKIL: In a move to fulfil the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) recommendation of public engagement over the Lynas Corp’s controversial rare earth refinery in Kuantan, the Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) has begun releasing snippets of feedback collected during the public viewing of Lynas’ application permit.
AELB and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) approved Lynas’ application for a temporary operating licence (TOL) on Feb 1, just three days after the deadline for submission of public feedback.
Anti-Lynas groups slammed the decision as “hasty” and accused AELB and Mosti of completely disregarding public opinion.
In the first of a series of weekly media briefings, AELB said that it will make public five frequently asked questions each week, compiled during the public display of the Lynas permit. It will also explain details of the TOL and address any “misinformation”.
“The application permit received a lot of opposition,” acknowledged AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan. “A majority of the comments however were one-liners protesting Lynas.”
“While it is difficult for us to measure emotional and unsubstantiated comments, such feedback is important as it shows that Lynas needs to provide a lot more information for the public to make informed decisions.”
Aziz pointed out that the five conditions attached to the approval of the TOL reflected public opinion which mainly pertained to the Permanent Disposal Facility, the financing of residue management and a third-party assessor.
“Remember that the TOL has only been approved and not yet issued,” he stated. “For that to happen, Lynas needs to make payments for the licencing fee and the first installment of US$50 million.”
“This addresses the financing of residue management in the event that Lynas goes bust. AELB has also drawn up specifications for the independent third-party assessor and we will be conferring with various professional bodies on this draft. Lynas will bear the cost of the appointment.”
“As for the facility, Lynas must provide a detailed plan and location 10 months after the licence is issued or it will not be allowed to operate.”
More than 70 conditions imposed
Aziz added that AELB has also imposed more than 70 conditions above these five and that two of those conditions involved two letters of undertaking from Lynas.
The first letter will hold Lynas responsible for any untoward incident arising from the operations of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP).
The second letter will place the onus on Lynas to return the residue to Australia in the event that its plan to commercialise the residue fails.
However, Aziz refused to entertain probes on media reports that Australia will not be accepting any of the residue back into the country.
“I don’t speak for Lynas or Australia,” he stated “And I have no idea as to what media reports you are referring to. But I will make sure that we receive these letters of undertaking.”
Asked if Lynas can be trusted to honour those letters, Aziz replied that AELB has records of trustworthy suppliers and he didn’t foresee any such problems.
“Malaysia’s law is very clear,” he stressed. “It will be very difficult for Lynas not to comply. And in any case, we have Plan B, C and D.”
Aziz also shot down rumours that Lynas has begun importing ore into Malaysia and reiterated that Lynas needs to apply for a separate permit for importation which it has not done yet.
He further assured that AELB will sample and verify the composition of each and every shipment of raw materials that reach Malaysia despite samples already been assessed in Australia.
“We never know if those samples are biased,” Aziz said. “So we will take Lynas’ assessment report with a pinch of salt and conduct our own verification.”
DOE official: DEIA unnecessary
Also present at the briefing was a representative of the Department of Environment (DOE), who dismissed calls for a Detailed Environment Impact Assessment (DEIA) as unnecessary.
Kuantan MP and Lynas’ most vocal detractor, Fuziah Salleh, earlier called for a DEIA as the Preliminary Environment Impact Assessment (PEIA) was flawed.
However, the Principal Assistant Director of the Evaluation Division in the DOE, Azuri Azizah Saedon, pointed out that everything in the PEIA has already been studied approved.
“The PEIA has already detailed the hazards involved in the LAMP operations and the report was displayed from May 30 to June 30 last year,” she said.
The restrictions imposed on the public viewing of Lynas documents.
The documents officially belong to Lynas (M) Sdn Bhd and are therefore subject to their legal rights over the protection of commercial information and intellectual property.
Lynas is the same as Asian Rare Earths (ARE)
There are some similarities as well as differences between Lynas and ARE. The raw material at ARE was amang while Lynas raw materials contain rare earth concentrates. They both contain uranium and thorium. However, the major difference is that ARE raw materials is 37 times more radioactive than Lynas’ raw materials and the ARE residue is 60 times more radioactive than what Lynas would produce.
Lynas is taking advantage of weakness in the Malaysian law by proposing China’s standards.
Malaysian law is equivalent to, if not stricter than international law. Lynas is subject to the Malaysian law and must comply with international standards and good practices.
Lynas declares the residue as non-radioactive based on China’s standard of 74 Bq/g.
Under Malaysian law,74 Bq/g is deemed radioactive and is therefore regulated under Act 304.
Does the plant increase my risk of contracting cancer?
Cancer could be caused by a variety of factors including high radiation exposure. Even though there is no concrete evidence linking low levels of radiation to an increased risk of cancer, the very low levels of radiation exposure arising from Lynas’ operations is still subject to strict radiation protection standards imposed by the AELB. This is to ensure the safety of workers, the public and the environment.

Kudos to the AELB for trying very hard to inform the misinformed.

Read another report from MI: 

AELB says engineer certified Lynas plant as safe