25 November 2011

Under Zambry, Perak’s debt hits record billion-ringgit high

(Reproduced from http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=23452%3Aunder-zambry-perak%E2%80%99s-debt-hits-record-billion-ringgit-high&Itemid=2&fb_source=message )

Perak’s state debt has sky-rocketed some 535 percent from RM182 million in 2000 to RM975 million currently, with a RM72 million increase in the past 12 months.

Reacting to this, Taiping member of parliament Nga Kor Ming said the state’s debt for last year was greater than the budget for all state projects such as the micro scheme credit, housing aid, food aid, festival aid, Tabaruk scheme and family economic cluster scheme.

“All those programmes for the people only amount to RM19 million,” he was quoted as saying by DAP's Malay language website Roketkini, at the state’s Budget 2012 debate yesterday.

On the recently tabled RM50.14 million deficit budget, the Pantai Remis state assemblyman questioned the allocation of RM915 million for expenditure.

“The amount is just too huge for Perak," he said, adding that the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department reported that Perak has the highest number of families in the poverty brackets.

Nga said some 192,000 families in the state earned less than RM2,300 a month, representing 12.2 percent of all families in the country under the poverty group.

“This clearly proves that after 54 years under BN, not only has the coalition failed to bring up the state to a respectable income earning status, many of our people still live in poverty, especially the Malays,” he added.

Nga described the state budget as wasteful and aimed to enrich the cronies while using debts to fish for votes by giving out goodies.

"This is just an election budget. But the people see through all this. It may just help PR to win,” he quipped.


Perak is one of the largest states in Malaysia with vast tracts of land and natural resources, yet the statistics for poverty in the state are appalling.

Where are the logistics (port related) and manufacturing sectors to drive growth and generate jobs? One can see those "jaga kereta" boys aplenty in the town area, a sight long since missing from PJ and KL.

Even with Ipoh's well known food, agri produce and cave systems, the State Govt cannot be said to be doing a stellar job in promoting tourism. It is very much left to the private sector. Development and redevelopment in the town areas are haphazard and look largely unplanned. (see comments and views in the Ipoh Echo http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/)

The Star newspaper reported on 22 Nov 2011 that "Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir tabled a RM50.14mil deficit budget for next year." How does a leader table a budget with such a deficit with a smile??


17 November 2011

RM100 handout from the government

I guess I really shouldn't be complaining, not that I am complaining. After all, when the government gives monetary handouts to the people, hey, who should complain?

In fact, we should be whooping for joy and say, "What a great government we have!"

Of course, all the above is written tongue in cheek.

It's very hard not to be cynical about this whole "the government is cognizant of the people's burden at the time when a new school year begins, therefore, being sensitive to the people's needs, we the ruling government have in our grand Budget 2012, allocated RM100 for each schoolgoing child from Standard 1 to Form 5. And all hail the government." (this statement is of course fictional, and not attributed to anyone or anything)

Why distribute money now? With EVERY schoolgoing child being eligible?

Elections are definitely around the corner, and the people are being prepped for it through such historic generosity of the government. Is Budget 2012 sustainable? How healthy and wealthy are our country's finances? Will Malaysia's economy be affected in 2012 in light of all the woes assailing Europe and USA?

Well, thank you for the RM100, Prime Minister. I have NEVER received any such benefit from the government before and it is indeed historic, for better or for worse.

04 November 2011

MACC's quick peep into RM56,000 binoculars finds 'nothing wrong'

Nov 3 2011 - Would you pay RM56,350 for a product which costs only 3% of that price, RM1,940 to be exact?

And would anyone accept without fuss a product of lower quality, which would have actually cost 50 percent less?

While the answer to both is not in the affirmative, these questions are far from hypothetical. They are being raised following revelations in the Auditor-General's latest report about purchases made by the Marine Park Department.

Yet, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's deputy chief Shukri Abdul said that the commission had found nothing wrong in the purchase.

At the centre of the issue are two pairs of night vision binoculars bought at RM56,350 each. A check by the Auditor General found that they could have been purchased at only RM1,940 each.

As if that is not enough, it was also found that the supplied binoculars - no, they are not plated with gold - were not the ones ordered, but are non-night vision binoculars that are worth only RM1,069 each in the market.

MACC is known to be a tough graft-fighting department. Critics have even questioned its no-nonsense approach, particularly in the manner it handled the late DAP officer Teoh Beng Hock, who according to a Royal Commission of Inquiry into his mysterious death, could have been forced to commit suicide due to the interrogation tactics.

However, a case as clear as the one pointed out in the Audit report involving the Marine Park Department needs no further investigation nor tough interrogation, only action. So what is the graft-busting body's next course of action?

"We have suggested that the department take strict disciplinary action against the officer involved," said Shukri.

Not surprising. After all, the MACC itself has been named by the Auditor General as one of the nine government departments which overspent by a total of RM3.73 billion.

- Harakah Daily
(Reproduced from the Malaysia Chronicle at http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=22339:maccs-quick-peep-into-rm56000-binoculars-finds-nothing-wrong&Itemid=2)


Well, well, with the next General Elections clearly on the way real soon and PM Najib having annnounced a seemingly election-and-rakyat-friendly Budget 2012 (whether it is financially sound for the nation has been questioned) the shortcomings of the BN Coalition and dire need for them to clean up their act on many fronts are painfully obvious.

Going down to the ground, dressing young, having teh tarik with your constituents do not substitute the need for a strong leader with integrity and one who truly has the interest of the nation and all its rakyat at heart. No selective prosecution, no selective handouts, no selective scholarships please.......free. fair, transparent and accountable are the pillars of government today, as Queen E said, govts must  move forward to meet the challenges and needs of the future.