How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright - until you hear them speak.

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Monday, October 31, 2016

When an unelected Speaker has the power to suspend elected MPs and more...

Perhaps this should be the icon of our Parliament House:


Pandikar: Former ministers might have breached oath of secrecy

“There are certain guidelines we need to follow. In parliament we can say whatever and when we are debating no action might be taken, but there are certain acts like the OSA and Sedition Act.
“It is all there, so I advise that although you know something, you need to be careful there is Standing Order 36(12) and so we need to keep certain things in confidence,” Pandikar explained.
He also said it was unethical to reveal private Cabinet matters and former ministers should not misuse their previous posts.
Pandikar however said the Parliament would not be able to take action against them and he could only remind them of their wrongdoing as the House Speaker.
“All I can do is remind them. Remember Sedition Act and OSA. But that's all I can do, just remind them,” he said.
Lawyer Azhar Harun (Art Harun) commented on the matter in Facebook:
"Constitutional Protection of the MPs and the OSA
The public opinion recently made by the Speaker of the Parliament, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin and Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah may have breached the law as well as their oath of secrecy while debating the budget in the Parliament brings into sharp focus the warp-ish understanding of the law and the inner workings of parliamentary democracy residing within some of the people who are actually entrusted to uphold the law and parliamentary democracy in our country."

"For the record, when Tan Sri Muhyiddin stood up to debate the budget recently, the Speaker, for whatever reason best known to himself, had seen it fit to leave his sit and handed over his duties to the Deputy Speaker. He was not there in the House when TSMY made his speech.
The Deputy Speaker in all his wisdom did not at any time stop TSMY from delivering his speech. Nor did the Deputy Speaker refer to TSMY any standing order that has been breached or about to be breached by him during his speech.
A Speaker is supposed to be impartial. His primary duties is to ensure a smooth and peaceful proceedings of the House. He implements the Standing Orders. He safeguards the dignity and integrity of the House. He is there as an arbiter of propriety and decorum.
Being so, he should jealously protect the sanctity of the House and the rights of all MPs to participate in the proceedings of the House rather than issuing legal opinions outside the House and advising MPs of what they are not supposed to do.
Perhaps before making his opinion public, the Speaker ought to have acquainted himself with Article 63 (2) of the Federal Constitution. That Article provides:
“No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him when taking part in any proceedings of either House of Parliament or any committee thereof.”
That is the Constitutional protection accorded to every person who speaks or votes while participating in the proceeding of the House. That protection is almost absolute.
The protection can only be displaced if the person is charged under certain laws, namely, the Sedition Act and laws that are passed in accordance with Article 10(4). Suffice if it be said here that TSMY had not at any time during his speech touched on subjects that within the purview of or breached any laws passed under Article 10(4).
The IGP, proving himself to be very efficient as he normally does when it comes to calling the opposition to the police station, with utmost haste announced that the police will be investigating the matter.
As the case with the Speaker, perhaps the IGP also should have acquainted himself with the aforementioned Article 63(2) and save his staff some precious time to enable them to solve other serious crimes like murder, robberies, plundering of state assets, criminal breach of trusts and grand thefts.
Furthermore, a closer look at the OSA and its blanket prohibition against divulging of all “Cabinet documents, records of decisions and deliberations including those of Cabinet committees” brings a clear Constitutional issue about the legality and thus, validity, of the OSA itself.
Freedom of speech and expression is a right of every citizen. This right is guaranteed by Article 10 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
This right however is not absolute. The Federal Constitution itself provides that laws may be passed to restrict this freedom of speech and expression. The question then is: what laws can be passed to restrict this freedom?
That is answered by Article 10 (2) (a).
Briefly, laws can be passed to restrict freedom of speech and expression only if such laws are deemed necessary or expedient:
a) in the interest of the security of Malaysia;
b) in the interest of friendly relations with other countries;
c) in the interest of public order or morality; and,
d) restrictions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or of any Legislative Assembly or to provide against contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to any offence.
The OSA is a piece of law that restricts freedom of speech and expression. Being so, the OSA must conform to Article 10 (1) and (2). It cannot supersede those Articles. It cannot go beyond those Articles. That is because the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land and thus all other laws must not be repugnant against any of its provisions. The Parliament, in passing laws, must also not exceed its powers as provided by the Federal Constitution.
If laws are passed that exceeds the powers given by the Federal Constitution, those laws are ultra vires the Federal Constitution. Any law that is ultra vires the Constitution is therefore invalid and void to that extent.
As mentioned earlier, the OSA seeks to make secret, and therefore impose a blanket ban on the discussion on or communication of, all documents that are specified in its schedule.
The schedule lists “Cabinet documents, records of decisions and deliberations including those of Cabinet committees” as those documents that are secret.
Rather than restricting the schedule to, for example, “cabinet documents and records of decisions and deliberations in respect of the security of Malaysia” or any other categories that are enumerated in Article 10(2)(a) above, the schedule imposes a blanket ban on ALL cabinet document regardless of their nature or character.
In essence, if the Cabinet sits down to discuss flood mitigation plans, the rate of toll or any other matters that has nothing to do with those matters in Article 10(2)(a), the OSA seeks to make them secret.
Now, isn’t that beyond the provision of Article 10(2)(a).
If it was, wouldn’t the OSA be void and invalid for being ultra vires the Federal Constitution?
I don’t know the answer.:
Lin

Mujahidin Zulkiffli: What Muslims should look at and be really angry!

As usual Martin Jalleh puts it well in a nutshell:



Link

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mujahidin Zulkiffli: Hudud will not affect non-Muslims?

From Facebook:

"That's a blatant lie! May the lights of Diwali shines on the darkness of ignorance.
JAKIM's latest statement about how they have the power to act against Ninja Joe's P.Ramly burgers is proof that claims that hudud will not affect non-Muslims are blatant lies uttered by liars to force in the law.
It's true, JAKIM has the power to act. And it's good that Ninja Joe did this arguably provoking act, so that now you know. You are definitely affected.
And in the photo, is a snapshot of your rights as a witness in existing Syariah Law. You have rights but never will you equal a Muslim.
How bad is it? When hudud is in place, I can do these horrible things to you:
1) I can lock up unlimited number of non-Muslim women in a secure room where no Muslims are present, and rape everyone, all witnessing each other and I'll get away with it under hudud. Because you need 4 Muslim male witnesses to convict me. Or 8 Muslim females. Non-Muslims can't convict me because you can't be a syahadah witness (you can't be sworn in in the name of Allah). And if you use a Muslim to accuse of such, I can use the law of Qazaf against the accuser and he will get 80 lashes for not being able to produce minimum 4 Muslim male witnesses.
2) I can injure or even kill as many non-Muslims as I like as long as it's not in front of 4-8 Muslim witnesses (as above, similar witness rules)
3) I can steal from non-Muslims house as long as there are no 2 Muslims males or 4 Muslim females to witness my act. (Now why would I risk stealing from Muslim's house? Open season on non-Muslims lah)
Read the enactment below. They already differentiated your rights and qualifications as a witness.
Some will say where hudud may not be applied, there's takzir (a lighter sentences of hudud), but the question is, if you don't qualify equally as a witness, how do you win your cases?
Share this so more non-Muslims will know. And so more Muslims will realize how blatant and cruel we are in pursuit of heaven.



Link

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tricia Yeoh on Budget 2017: Egalitaria - Look at the estimates

Excerpt:

"MUCH is made over the budget speech tabled by the prime minister in Parliament in October each year.
And rightly so, since it is supposed to be the government's financial blueprint for the following year: how much goes where, to whom and for what.
What most Malaysians do not realise is that the budget speech is not the budget.
The speech is meant to articulate an overarching theme, specifying which areas are given emphasis in the coming year.
Perhaps the prime minister might point out anomalies, new schemes and goodies to benefit specific groups.
The problem arises when the speech is all that people use as a basis to assess the value of the budget's various allocations. In order to truly have an accurate representation of the budget, one would need to carefully scour through the extremely thick, heavy document named "Estimates of Federal Government Expenditure", or "Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan".
But how many people would have the time or energy to do this unless it is part of their jobs to analyse the budget?"

"At a conference last week on the Open Government Partnership, various speakers shared about how countries around the world including the UK, the Philippines and Indonesia – that have all signed up to this voluntary partnership that brings government and civil society together – are introducing amazing tools to first, improve public service efficiency and second, improve governance via transparency.
Open data is one such way to get there. Our government already has an open data initiative, currently being implemented by government agencies Mampu and MDEC, where selected open data sets are shared for free access at www.data.gov.my (open meaning they are publicly accessible, machine-readable and reusable).
But there is a mismatch here – where one arm of government attempts openness and transparency whilst another is deliberately vague.
One thing is clear: Anyone analysing the government budget cannot and must not restrict oneself to the budget speech alone; verifying whatever has been stated in the speech by cross-examining the actual federal government expenditure document is crucial.
To that end, a more detailed breakdown of allocations is needed in place of general aggregated amounts. This would allow people to verify whether what is announced is really being allocated funds, and in the following year, check that the funds were actually used for the purpose."
Rest of article in The Sun: 
Link

YS Chan: Taxi driver aid and its ramifications

Excerpt:

"TAXI drivers exiting rental-purchase agreements, often described as the pajakmodel, will be granted RM5,000 each for the purchase of new taxis, as announced in the recent budget.
The RM60 million allocated in this scheme will benefit 12,000 taxi drivers.. Similarly, SOCSO will provide a safety net for those eligible.
Those receiving benefits will no doubt be happy initially, but others not entitled might be bitter, including large numbers of self-employed people like petty traders and hawkers.
The giving out of handouts have more ramifications than one can imagine.
For example, very few people are aware that 57 percent of all taxi permits in peninsular Malaysia are owned by individuals, and many of these permits are rented out, some together with the vehicle.
Drivers who rent such individually-owned permits or taxis without a rental-purchase agreement would have difficulty showing evidence to qualify for the RM5,000 grant.
On the other hand, taxi companies and cooperatives have allowed thousands of people unable to obtain permits, or who do not qualify for one, to drive taxis."

Link

Dr Azmi Sharom: Back to Politics 101

Excerpt:

"IS it okay to want to choose a government? Well, duh.
Of course it is. That’s what a democracy is about. But reading some of the statements being made by one of the numerous Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, it appears that wanting a choice is like some sort of sin. And helping those who want the right to choose is also a sin.
I sometimes wonder what these people think a democracy is. If we believe a government is corrupt, incompetent and wicked, then surely we would want to speak out about it. Then hopefully others would agree and there could be a civilised debate."
"Anyway, while I am in the mood to teach infants, let me make a few more points. When people ask for systemic changes and the Government has no intention whatsoever to make those systemic changes, then one has no choice but to campaign.
It does not mean one is a tool of the Opposition. It just means that the only way to get what one wants, like clean and fair elections, is to get rid of those who do not seem interested in giving what you want.
Simple, right? Obviously not simple enough.
Oh, there’s more. If a group acts unlawfully, violently and generally odiously, then they are not to be blamed.
Instead one should blame the victims whom this lot is being violent and odious towards. Even though these victims are doing nothing wrong."

Saturday, October 22, 2016

YB Ong Kian Ming: Budget 2017: Reading between the lines reveals the truth

Excerpt:

"To the layman, the budget can be a very confusing thing. There are a slew of programmes and expenditure items announced, many of which cost millions and some of which costs billions of ringgit. Sometimes even the financially literate among us may be confused by the large number of items announced in the budget speech and also listed in the budget estimates (which is over 700 pages long).
It is often necessary to dig deep into the budget in order to understand the financial and policy implications of some of these items. I call this ‘reading between the lines’ of the budget. To make this exercise easier to understand, I have divided these spending items into different categories.
For each of the items listed below, I will also explain their impact on the target groups.
Category 1: Existing expenditure items with very little change in allocation
Given the size of the budget (RM261 billion for 2017), it is not surprising that there are thousands of expenditure items that are listed in the budget estimates document that accompanies the budget speech.
But the majority of these items, even if the amount is big, they are usually items that were already in existence in previous budgets.
For example, line 225 of the budget speech outlines a number of assistance programmes to poor children in primary and secondary schools such as RM1.1 billion for the Hostel Meal Assistance Program and RM300 million for the 1Malaysia Supplementary Food Programme for primary school students (Figure 1 below).
The budget expenditure estimates for the Minister of Education show that all of these are pre-existing programmes and that the 2017 budget allocation is not significantly different from the 2016 allocation.
The Hostel Meal Assistance Programme’s budget has been reduced by RM15 million, the 1Malaysia Supplementary Food Programme’s budget has been increased by RM50 million, the transport subsidy for students in hostels has been reduced by RM3.6m while the text book budget has been increased by RM25 million. ..."
"Category 2: Items with significant budget cuts
The prime minister also announced an allocation of RM7.4 billion for the 20 public universities and RM1.4 billion for the four teaching hospitals. While this allocation may seem like very large figures, the budget expenditure estimates tell a very different story.
The operating expenditure of the public universities has been reduced by more than RM1.4 billion from RM7.6 billion in 2016 and RM6.2 billion in 2017. At the same time, the budget allocation for the three teaching hospitals of PPUM, PPUKM and HUSM has been reduced by more than RM150 million from RM1.18 billion in 2016 to RM1.02 billion in 2017.
The expenditure cuts to the public universities are just one of the many line items which have experienced significant allocation reductions. A more thorough analysis of the budget estimates will reveal more of such items.
This clearly shows the underlying situation of a government under tremendous financial strain."
"Category 3: Allocations that are no longer in the budget
While many people will pay attention to the items that were announced by the prime minister, perhaps as much care needs to be given to items that were NOT announced and have been taken off the budget entirely.
For example, in the 2016 budget, a ‘one-off’ payment of RM593 million was allocated to compensate the toll concessionaires for deferred toll hikes under the works minister.
However, this item has totally disappeared from the 2017 Budget!
This can be seen in the significant drop in the fixed charges and payments expenditure from RM603 million in 2016 to a mere RM385,000 in 2017. This means that there will almost certainly be more toll hikes including on the Plus-owned North-South Expressway in 2017, a contravention of BN’s GE13 manifesto promise..."
"Category 4: New allocations which are ‘dubious’ in nature
There was much speculation that our healthcare budget would be cut in the 2017 budget. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that the operational expenditure for the health minister was actually increased from RM21.4 billion in 2016 to RM 23.4 billion in 2017, an increase of RM2 billion.
But when I examined the budget estimates for the Health Ministry, I was shocked to find a special programme called 'Privatisation of Hospital Support Services' costing RM2.01 billion for 2017! ..."
"Category 5: Announced expenditure which are not in the 2017 budget
Many of the big ticket expenditure items announced in the budget speech are actually not found in the budget estimates. For example, the proposed 600km East Coast Rail Line from Tumpat to Kuala Lumpur, which is estimated to cost RM55 billion, is not listed as an expenditure item.
Just like the expenditure on the MRT Line 1 and the LRT Extension, these infrastructure projects will be funded by special purpose vehicles (SPVs) that will borrow money under their own balance sheet.
The problem with such a model of financing is that it hides the true burden of expenditure on the government. Many of these projects will not be able to pay for the capital expenditure and the related interest expenses. Which means the government will eventually have to step in to service the debt of these SPVs.
When that happens, the squeeze on the government will likely result in a steep increase in the GST rate in order to help the government ‘bail-out’ these SPVs.
An initial reading between the lines of the 2017 Budget has already raised many questions regarding items that are present as well as those which are absent from the budget estimates. I am sure that other items will be discovered as more MPs analyse and investigate the details of the 2017 ‘stealth’ budget."

ONG KIAN MING is Serdang MP.
Rest of article in Malaysiakini: https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/360043
Link

YB N Surendran: Laughable for Najib to lecture us on democracy over the Budget walkout



"Yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Razak slammed opposition MPs for walking out of his budget speech. He suggested that we did not respect the democratic process.
Our walkout yesterday was a legitimate and necessary act of protest against Najib's continuing failure to answer our questions revolving around the 1MDB scandal, the US DOJ revelations and the allegations against him.
To table Budget 2017 without addressing these questions of the greatest national importance and economic consequence is to make a mockery of the parliamentary process.
To then accuse the opposition of not respecting the democratic process for having walked out, is richly hypocritical and laughable coming from Najib and the Barisan Nasional.
Contrary to the tradition of democratic parliaments, Najib himself has not bothered to attend the leader of the opposition's reply to his budget speech. Come Monday, his seat will be empty, as it has been every year. Is this an example of Najib's and the BN's respect for the democratic process?
Worse, Najib rarely ever attends the Dewan Rakyat. He is only seen on ceremonial occasions such as the opening of parliament by the King or a set-piece event such as the budget speech. MPs almost never have the opportunity to pose questions to the Prime Minister himself. This is in stark contrast to the weekly prime minister's Q & A, which is the highlight of the U.K. House of Commons. Is this an example of Najib's and the BN's respect for the democratic process?
On top of it, since independence, the BN has enforced rules which prevent the Dewan Rakyat from properly carrying out the duty of being a check and balance to the government.
Until today, 59 years after independence, no motion or private members bill by the opposition can be heard or debated by the House. The House has been reduced to the function of passing laws brought by the BN, and nothing else; it is for this reason that it has been frequently criticised as being a 'rubber stamp'. Is this an example of Najib's and the BN's respect for the democratic process?
( The recent amendments to the standing orders are too little, too late. The various suggestions towards democratisation which I had made as a member of the standing orders committee were never accepted by the government.)
Worst of all, under the prime- ministership of Najib, a record number of opposition MPs have been charged or investigated for various offences relating to freedom of speech and assembly, including under the Sedition Act, Peaceful Assembly Act, MCMC Act etc. In a report published in March 2016, the Inter-Parliamentary Union ( IPU) expressed concern over 19 opposition MPs charged with offences or being investigated. According to the IPU report, Malaysia is second only to the Republic of Congo in the numbers of opposition MPs facing criminal charges! This is giant stain and embarrassment for Malaysia globally. Is this an example of Najib's and the BN's respect for the democratic process?
The above list of undemocratic and unacceptable actions does not even take into account the panoply of oppressive laws passed and maintained by the BN, particularly since Najib became PM. These include the Sedition Act, the MCMC Act, NSC Act, POCA, POTA, PAA and the notorious new offence of ' activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy' in section 124B of the Penal Code. None of the preceding laws have any place in any nation that calls itself a democracy.
Are all the above actions and conduct, Najib's and the BN's idea of respecting democracy?"
Issued by,
N Surendran,
Member of Parliament,
Padang Serai
22 October 2016

(Press Release via YB Nurul Izzah in Facebook) Link

Sunday, October 16, 2016

YB Wong Chen: Let's talk about the law making process of the so called hudud bill 355

"1. Hadi Awang is now given an opportunity (thanks to BN) to table his motion early next week at position no.4.
2. Since Hadi Awang is not part of the BN government, he is a "private member" of Parliament, and therefore can only present his amendments to Act 355 via a MOTION.
3. Sometime next week, Hadi will most probably read out his MOTION in Parliament.
4. Then the floor will be open to debate his MOTION. This is not a debate to pass a law. BUT it is a debate on Hadi's MOTION.
5. After the debate, there will be a vote on who supports or opposes the MOTION.
6. If Hadi has more support at this stage, the MOTION will then land on the table of the BN government's representative on Islamic matters. That representative is none other than Minister Jamil Khir from the Prime Minister's Department.
7. Once the MOTION lands on Jamil's table, he will then take instructions from Najib as Prime Minister on how to proceed.
8. At this crucial point, Najib can no longer hide and claim that this is a PAS or Hadi Awang initiative. At this point, it is Najib who has to take full responsibility to push for hudud.
9. His dangerous political game in the past few months has allowed Hadi Awang to push the hudud agenda. But this will come to an end at this point. It will no longer be Hadi Awang's bill. At this point, it will become Najib Razak's hudud bill.
10. If Najib agrees to table the hudud bill, he will then proceed to table it for second and third reading and a final vote is made thereafter.
11. If Najib wins, then the 355 hudud amendments will become law.
12. If Najib does not table the bill, then his romance with Hadi Awang will surely come to an abrupt end.
13. What will happen next week will have profound political and socio economic impact. What is most worrying, is the willingness of those in power to play the hudud card, in an attempt to stay in power at all costs."

What comes to my mind: When Hudud becomes Who Did, we Had It. Let's hope Najib have been making use of Hadi all along, and when push comes to shove, whatever little good sense left in him shall prevail. 
Link 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Many companies falling prey to hackers who have turned thieves



Excerpt:

" On a regular business day in June, boxes of what appeared to be anti­virus software were delivered to two branches of a remittance agency in Kuala Lumpur and Muar.
On the box was a note, purportedly from the chief executive officer, telling the supervisors the company was undergoing a security upgrade and asking them to install the disks in every computer in their office.
The branches should have checked if the note and boxes really came from headquarters. They did not. They came from hackers.
And in one weekend, the hackers moved as much as RM6mil from their branches to remitters in Paraguay, China and some parts of Europe.
The branches had installed backdoor access for hackers to gain entry into every aspect of their network. For a month, these hackers studied the offices’ process of clearing and moving money.
On a weekend when no one was in the office, they struck.
By the time the employees came back to work on Monday, they had discovered that their computers had moved out the money.
The money had been cleared out on the in­­ternational side before they even knew they had been hacked, said LE Global Services executive director Fong Choong Fook, whose private cybersecurity firm employs hackers to test the network security of major banks."
IMHO: As one of the increasing number of people using handphones and notebooks, each of us at different levels of understanding the intricacies of information technology, I cannot help but feel helpless in the fast advancing IT. We are continuously tempted by new Apps which invariably require us to agree to provide personal details and for them to access your contacts and other information in other sites, before we are allowed to install them. Just imagine the ease those with better IT knowledge can access confidential details with which they can hack into our phones or notebooks. Phishing is a common tactic used and it has been increasing improved to fool us into thinking any request for passwords is from genuine source. For example, while going into a site, you are informed that your username or password is incorrect. How are we to know whether we have actually made a mistake or that message is phishing for them?
Link

Tan Sri Ramon: Do we want to promote more money politics

Excerpt:

"Most Malaysians are wondering why the chairperson of the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing (NCCPF), YB Paul Low, and his able committee members have casually recommended the removal of the cap on funding and spending during future election campaigns?
Is it their purpose to promote and expand money politics, instead of controlling this somewhat callous and corrupting bad electoral practice?
Does this new election recommendation help to promote ‘state capture’, where the rich and powerful will be able to provide limitless political funding, that is even tax free, to elect favoured candidates of the rich and to keep them in power ad infinitum or, forever and ever, as the old song goes?"

"Although the NCCPF claims that it tries to promote transparency and accountability, it would be throwing the vital prerequisite and requirement of integrity in election financing to the winds, if the cap on election funding and expenditure is completely removed.
The NCCPF also states that tax exemption will also be limitless, if and when the cap on election financing is removed. We would then have wholesale tax avoidance, some tax evasion and even provide greater opportunities for money-laundering for those indulging in shady businesses. Is this what we need when we have so many socio-economic challenges staring us starkly in our faces?"

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/357740#ixzz4N2OLBwiY


IMHO: It is incredible that Paul Low would actually promote the removal of the cap on funding, especially with the incentive of tax free provision. It is quite obvious the move is to make the infamous Rm2.6 billions in Najib's account seems legal, even if retrospective without legal basis.
Link

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Being a doctor may seem glamorous but most doctor parents do not encourage their offspring to follow their footsteps

A letter to The Star from Senior Doc, Malacca:

Failure is precursor of success

Excerpt:

"I am of the humble opinion that had more doctors stepped forward to share their heart-breaking stories in public, it would discourage many young people from doing medicine, for the sacrifice involved is indeed too great – so great that many doctors have dissuaded their offspring from joining the profession!
All we see is success but we have never seen how these successful people suffered in the first place.
Alas, it depends on what you want in life. If you want a life of riches, job stability, glamour and easy money, again and again many senior members of the profession have pointed out that it is not as easy as you would have imagined.
Life’s priorities also tend to change with time and place. You will definitely find that your life’s priorities are dynamic and in constant motion.
What you want now is not what you want 10 years down the road. Too many doctors have regretted their career choices.
The frustration is understandable, the failures are difficult to stomach, the financial and time constraints are too much to bear, but as with all choices in life, there is a price to pay."
Another letter 'in response to the letters “It’s devastating to fail students at the final hurdle” by Disappointed Parent (The Star, Oct 7) http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2016/10/07/its-devastating-to-fail-students-at-the-final-hurdle/  and “Look into the real reasons for failure” by Pilocarpine (The Star, Oct 8) http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2016/10/08/look-into-the-real-reasons-for-sons-failure/ ':
Excerpt: 
"In writing this letter, I seek the attention of the Malaysian medical fraternity, medical schools, Malaysia Medical Council (MMC), PTPTN, and parents of medical students. It’s my sincere hope that what happened to me will not happen to others.
I believe that I’m in a position to comment on this matter as a former medical student and now a medical dropout from a private medical university. I can certainly feel the agony felt by Disappointed Parent, and I too have received similar advice like the one given by Pilocarpine.
After failing my medical course, I now face an uncertain future with a huge – almost six-figure –PTPTN loan which I will struggle to pay back.
I believe the root cause of this issue is the structure of the final year medical exams. The medical cases given in the exams are variable and will be judged by two senior medical doctors.
Exactly what is the requirement to pass is unclear with each of those senior medical doctors having their own judgement.
Some of them are known to be strict while others are lenient. Here is where the element of luck can play a crucial role in determining a pass or failure.
Can the competence of a medical student in just one or two cases in the final year exam be used to judge his overall fitness to become a doctor? Wouldn’t all the training for the past four/ five years in medical school be worth anything at all? Why can’t the overall competence of a doctor be judged during the two-year housemanship period?"
Link

Bob Kee: The hard truth about GST

It's no joke where GST is concerned (unlike my previous post), as Bob Kee explains in The Star...






























Excerpt:

"FOR goods and services tax (GST)-registered businesses who have monthly filing obligations, they would have filed their August 2016 GST return last month and this would have been their 17th GST return since Malaysia introduced this consumption tax on 1 April 2015.
After 17 returns, what is the state of play now? Do businesses know what they need to know to meet their expected GST obligations? With the 2017 Budget announcements coming up on Oct 21, 2016, what can businesses expect in terms of amendments or changes to the GST regime to improve the tax system?
At present, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (Customs) is in its second month of carrying out audits on GST-registered businesses, targeting 50,000 audits by year end. It is my understanding that, so far, what these audits have revealed is the level of understanding that businesses have in order to comply with its GST requirements is very poor.
This is not due to the GST system being complex, granted there are complex issues, but rather those who are managing the GST compliance matters do not seem to understand some very basic and fundamental concepts of GST."
Link

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

GST: If you haven't a choice, make fun of it

Just imagine if GST at 6% was deducted at Bank Negara...


Meanwhile, in a phone shop...

SUATU HARI ABU KELUAR KE KEDAI UNTUK MEMBELI KREDIT CELCOM RM10 ...

ABU : Tauke,, kredit  Celcom RM 10 ada kah ??? (Boss, do you have Celcom top-up for Rm10?)

TAUKE : Ada....Nahh.... (Yes, I do have, here it is)
(Abu pun memberi RM10 nya) (Abu handed over Rm10 note)

TAUKE : Tambah 60 sen lagi ... (Add 60 sen)

ABU : Apa hal 60 sen ??? (What's this 60 sen for?)

TAUKE : G.S.T lah ... (For GST)

ABU : Apa itu G.S.T ??? (What's GST?)

TAUKE : Goverment Suruh Tambah ... (Government instruction to add)

ABU : Kalau tak tambah ??? (What if didn't add)

TAUKE : Government Suruh Tampar ... (Government instruction to slap)

ABU : Kalau saya elak ??? (What if not?)

TAUKE : Government Suruh Tendang ... (Government instruction to kick)

ABU : Kalau saya lari ??? (What I run away?)

TAUKE : Government Suruh Tangkap ... (Government instruction to arrest)

ABU : Kalau saya telampau laju ??? (What if I run very fast?)

TAUKE : Government Suruh Tembak ... (Government instruction to shoot)

ABU : Kalau saya Mati ??? (What if I died?)

TAUKE : Government Suruh Tanam ... (Government instruction to bury)

ABU : Nanti siapa jaga saya punya anak Bini ??? (Who is going to look after my wife and child?)

TAUKE : Government Semua Tanggung ... (Government will bear the burden)

ABU : Pakai apa tanggung ??? (How to bear it?)

TAUKE : BR1M lah ... (1Malaysian public assistance),

How we wish we can multiply our cash so easily by using this device:


The following video clip is hilarious. Gist of it: Rich people are suffering because of the many choices they have, while poor people are lucky because they don't have a choice!



Link

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Alan Tong: Avoiding a subprime crisis

Excerpt:

"THE recent announcement by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to enable property developers to obtain moneylending licences, and provide up to 100% financing for homebuyers has attracted many comments and debate. The minister, Tan Sri Noh Omar said the scheme is intended to assist Malaysians who have difficulties in securing a home loan.

In fact, the move is not new given that it has already existed under the Moneylenders Act 1951. Under the Act, the requirements for a moneylending licence are the same for any company, it only requires the approval of the Minister of Housing and the Registrar of Moneylenders. In our country, some property developers with the moneylending licence have already started to offer mortgage financing to their buyers, even prior to this announcement.
Despite not being a new scheme, all responsible developers need to consider the scheme carefully before jumping on the bandwagon. Without a proper framework, the move may create a similar US subprime crisis.
Let’s revisit the US subprime mortgage crisis that happened in 2008, less than a decade ago. The crisis stemmed from an earlier expansion of mortgage credit, including lending to borrowers who had difficulty in getting mortgages.
In the early and mid-2000s, high-risk mortgages were easily available as lenders were highly motivated to issue new loans without concern for purchasers’ credit quality. This move stimulated the demand for properties which then swiftly increased property prices. When property price finally peaked, mortgage refinancing became less viable for lenders and investors to settle mortgage debts. The bubble then burst. The demand for properties fell and sure enough, prices fell dramatically as well. Those caught in the net had difficulties paying off their mortgages, resulting in lenders also experiencing cash flow problem."
Incidentally, found the following animation which helps to illustrate how a bubble is created and then burst...
Link

Monday, October 03, 2016

Hafidz Baharom: If a riot does happen, I’ll blame the gov’t

"Title pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Not quite.
Allow me to provide proper justification on this based on a few points. Let us start with the obvious of all, Jamal Yunos is in fact the head of an Umno division in Sungai Besar. Therefore, he is part and parcel of the political party currently in the majority of running Malaysia since the 13th general election in 2013.
This is the same party that has Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and even Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as both president and secretary-general respectively. As such, does Umno support hooliganism and even mob mentality similar to the German Nationalist Socialist (Nazi) party in the 1940s?
If not, then why is Jamal still an acceptable member of Umno and a division leader in that sense?
He has threatened a riot, he has threatened violence against another individual, and had even now instigated a full confrontation by harassing a peaceful assembly.
If Tengku Adnan or Ku Nan believes that such a clash could be instigated, then why is he allowing a member of his own party to continue leading the mob? Unless, of course, Umno as a party agrees to it.
Secondly, we have to ask ourselves the basic question of all, what does he stand for?
If the red shirt movement headed by Jamal insists on protecting Malay rights, then why is he against a movement that benefits the Malays?
A free and fair election is beneficial for all regardless of race. In fact, during his confrontation in Teluk Intan, Jamal provoked a standoff with Bersih-supporting Malays by ripping away their flag. Thus, is there a specific breed of Malays that Jamal, and subsequently Umno, represents?
These two points are important to be answered by Umno as a party because it is in fact a nationalist party representing a specific ethnic group, regardless of the divisions within it.
To say that it is acceptable for Jamal of Umno to harass people like Maria Chin Abdullah and her supporters is contradictory to the party and all it stands for.
Similarly, we must also ask how exactly can Jamal be left unhindered in representing a splinter group of Malay hooligans who believe in harassment and violence to stop a democratic agenda from progressing?
Are Najib and Ku Nan now saying that registering new voters for the future election is wrong? The courts have already pointed out the legality of Bersih and its gatherings multiple times, to the cost of the government and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Yes, I have my reservations against Bersih, and I’ve been very vocal about my issues with their agenda.
‘I and many other Malays are not represented by a hooligan’
However, I am damned sure that I and many other Malays are not represented by a racist hooligan who is funding and leading a local right-wing movement without any action from his political party or even the authorities.
And that is exactly what Jamal is - a terrorist.
If the political party which he is a member of believes in no action needs to be taken against him, then the party itself is in fact allowing a terror movement taking place across the country which is a threat to national security.
Ku Nan believes that if the red shirts and Bersih meet, it will in fact be a riot. I support his thoughts. It will in fact be a violent clash and, as we have seen, will be instigated by a member of his own party. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that the only reason Jamal has such support is due to his ties with Umno itself.
It is to the benefit of Umno and this government to take stern action against instigators of terrorist and violent acts, foreign or domestic.
The failure to do so, if any violence or riots occur as a result which cause injury or death, and I personally hold this government, the political parties within it, and even the authorities who somehow have been oddly pacifist when dealing with Jamal, all accountable.
In fact, we should all hold these parties accountable if it does happen. After all, Ku Nan governs the party as secretary-general, and Najib is prime minister. Now, go and govern."
Link