Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, MB of Selangor, reports

2012 has been a productive year for the Selangor state government, and I along with other state leaders begin 2013 with the firm intent of redoubling our efforts to serve the rakyat.

It is saddening to see the deputy prime minister, on the other hand, begin the new year with low class politicking, stating that the people of Selangor have been fooled for four years under Pakatan Rakyat.

NONEIn reality, it is Barisan Nasional that has fooled the people of both Selangor and Malaysia for 55 years.

This article intends not to rely on rhetoric, but to provide conclusive evidence regarding the priority given by Pakatan Rakyat and the Selangor government to the welfare of the people as well as our commitment to the highest standards of good governance.

We are confident that comparable evidence cannot be shown by any state administered by BN, including in Selangor before 2008.

In terms of financial management and allocation of funds for welfare programmes, Selangor under Pakatan Rakyat by far outperforms any other Barisan Nasional state, as well as the federal government itself.

Financial management

When Pakatan Rakyat took over the Selangor state government in 2008, the state’s cash reserves totalled a mere RM760 million.

In a short four years, we have succeeded in increasing this reserve over three-fold, to RM2.5 billion today.

Was this a result of a decrease in spending or allocations?

Certainly not. In fact, the allocations for state sponsored welfare programmes have increased every single year.

This excess of funds was achieved not by spending less, but by eliminating the vast amounts of leakage and corruption that formerly ran rampant in Selangor.

We have taken strong measures to ensure that every sen that belongs to the rakyat is managed with uncompromising integrity and spent carefully for the good of all.

By abiding by these principles, we have ensured that the state’s abundant resources and income are shared equitably among all the people of Selangor, regardless of race, religion or political inclination.

Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor (MES)

The Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor (MES) programmes reflect a core policy of Pakatan Rakyat which emphasises that all the state’s income and resources should be redistributed back to the rakyat, without any leakage, and without any inappropriate “profits” to interested parties.

NONEThe records that have been carefully kept regarding the MES programmes provide indisputable evidence of our commitment to the rakyat’s welfare.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government began the MES programmes as soon as it took over in 2008.

In that year, the MES allocation stood at RM73 million. This sum has risen every year: RM161 million in 2009, RM173 million in 2010, and RM 192 million in 2011.

Up to September, the allocation for 2012 stood at RM165 million; the total amount spent on the rakyat's welfare via MES programmes in these four years is RM766 million.

Four programmes have been in existence since 2008: the provision of 20 cubic meters of water for free, the grant for students entering universities, (Hadiah Anak Masuk Universiti), the Senior Citizens Scheme (Skim Mesra Usia Emas), and the Children’s Education Fund (Tabung Pendidikan Anak-Anak).

NONEEvery year, new MES programmes are introduced. These programmes do not take the approach of the BN federal government, in which cash and goods are given out indiscriminately merely to buy votes.

Instead, at the core of the MES programmes is the concept of sustainable empowerment, in which recipients are provided with capital, training and assistance to ensure their own ability to independently face all manners of economic challenges without having to rely on anyone else.

The total number of MES recipients has also increased consistently since 2008: 1.10 million people in 2008, 1.19 million people in 2009, 1.25 million people in 2010, 1.30 million people in 2011 and 1.34 million people in 2012 (until September).

Detailed evidence regarding our commitment to the people's welfare can be perused in the full MES report on its official website.

More focus on the rakyat, less politicking

The evidence above incontrovertibly demonstrates that the deputy prime minister’s comments are typical of Umno leaders who are so desperate that they are willing to make bare-faced lies to the people.

NONEWhat did the deputy prime minister do as Johor menteri besar when monopolising contracts were given to Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary?
Why was it that the people of Johor had to endure some of the highest water tariffs in Malaysia?

At the federal level now, when will he stop dilly dallying on returning the water industry to the state government, as mapped out in the Water Services Industry Act 2006 - a process begun by the BN government themselves?

The deputy prime minister should think carefully before making accusations against the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Selangor.

NONEThe BN federal government tabled a deficit budget yet again in 2013.
Yet, there was still space in this deficit budget for unending election goodies, ahead of the approaching 13th general election. Worse yet, the total federal debt stands at a staggering RM500 billion.

In vast contrast, Selangor has boosted its cash reserve three-fold and tabled five successive balanced budgets, in which priority has always been given to long-term investments that will benefit present and future generations.

This reflects the principles of the Pakatan Rakyat state government which refuses to sacrifice the economic well-being of our children and grandchildren merely to win elections via suspect methods.

If indeed they are statesmen, we call upon those involved to stop throwing baseless accusations about and contest with honour. If the prime minister as Selangor Umno chairperson has failed to weaken the spirits of Selangor’s people, there is no reason for the deputy prime minister to try.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Patti Page dies

American pop singer Patti Page, whose 1950 hit “Tennessee Waltz” topped the charts for months, has died in Southern California, her manager said yesterday. She was 85.

Nicknamed “The Singing’ Rage,” Page sold more than 100 million albums in her 67-year career, which included 1950s chart toppers “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window,” “I Went to Your Wedding” and “All My Love (Bolero).”

She died on Tuesday in a nursing home in Encinitas, north of San Diego, after suffering congestive heart failure, her manager, said Michael Glynn.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My New Year Resolution


Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Humour

A year of infamy

Malaysians cannot look back with pride at all the disturbing events that have rocked the country in the past one year. The curtain will soon fall on the old year but Malaysians will have nothing to shout about. The events of the past one year have been a blot on the canvas that is Malaysia, a country that is still being ruled by the same power for more than half a century. What happened in 2012 has wiped out the smile on the face of the nation. Let’s rewind the reel and replay some of the notable scenes that would forever remain etched in the memory of Malaysians.

Coming into sharp focus is the yellow tide that flowed down the streets of Kuala Lumpur only to be stopped at the gates of Freedom Square. What happened on that April day will long be remembered as a day of infamy. The Bersih 3.0 rally united thousands of fellow-minded citizens for a lofty and principled cause that won the unstinting support of all races. The government did not see that way. It crushed the mass movement and spilled blood on the streets. It rudely snuffed out the light of democracy.

Now the scene shifts to the home of the Bersih leader, S Ambiga. Condoned suspiciously by the government, a bunch of rowdies put on a disgusting show that only invited all-round condemnation. Their insolent behaviour merely mirrored the rotten conduct of the authorities. The powers-that-be thought they could manipulate public opinion against the Iron Lady but they were dead wrong. The people poured scorn on all those leaders who misused and abused power to advance their nefarious ends.

Then there is the unforgettable show of “green power”. The 300km long march from Kuantan to the heart of Kuala Lumpur city is a powerful statement of human courage in the face of overwhelming odds. The big walk started with a trickle but soon swelled to a wave as people volunteered to join in to fight for a safer Malaysia. The government, blinded by corporate greed, chose to ignore the event. Malaysians took it seriously. The march under the banner of Himpunan Hijau sent a loud message to all those out to destroy the environment: Malaysia will not be a “garbage dump” for overseas companies.

The camera moves to another setting and there standing on the stage are the cows. These cows have been “short-changed”. They are supposed to be the pride of the country, supplying enough beef to the country but only dung was heaped on the plates. The National Feedlot Corporation that manages the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) that is looking after the cows did a botched job. Now the whole country knows that the bovine business stinks to high heaven because something had gone terribly wrong.

The exposé led to the downfall of Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the “god” minister who claimed ignorance of the “cowgate” scandal. Her husband and son are running the business and yet Shahrizat told the incredulous world she did not know what they were doing although all are staying under the same roof. It is a shame that whistleblower Rafizi Ramli, for his pains, was charged with allegedly disclosing confidential information relating to the NFC debacle. But in the court of public opinion, the whole episode reeks of greed and dishonesty and those responsible for this despicable action should pay for it.

The biggest story of the day must surely be the “Deepak Jaikishan” revelations. The dirt, long kept under the carpet, is swept out and there exposed is the triangular relationship starring Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Rosmah Mansor. This sordid tale is all about statutory declarations. Deepak revealed he was the man who goaded private investigator P Balasubramaniam to retract the first statutory declaration (SD). The first SD is fatally damaging to Najib because it tied him to the murder of Altantuya.

Pouring more oil into the fire is Rosmah. Najib’s wife allegedly sought Deepak’s help to contact Balasubramaniam to get the first SD withdrawn. Balasubramaniam them came out with a second SD which repudiated the first SD. The plot grew thicker with the entrance of Najib’s brother Nazim Tun Razak and a certain Tan Sri lawyer. In this web of intrigue, Nazim allegedly got the lawyer to draw up the second SD and “forced” Balasubramaniam to sign it. The private investigator did not even get to see the contents of the second SD. The lawyer is now in hot water. All this revelation is unravelling the mystery surrounding the tragic death of Altantuya.

In the midst of this swirling tempest, Najib goes about his work with much pomp and splendour. Rosmah too keeps her haughty distance probably because she has more important business to attend to. All is peace and harmony because the mainsteam media also maintains a colossal silence. But the storm has been let loose and it is impossible for the country to carry on with its business with equanimity. The relentless howling presages more troubles ahead.

[Source: FMT]

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ahmadinejad's Christmas Day Message

The message may be a week old but still it is good to hear from a leader of one of the world's leading Islamic countries.

Our Sunday Girl - SUZANNE

Adnan, thanks for making my day

All BN candidates for the 13th general election have been found to be free of corruption and other crimes, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today.

He said the candidates for the 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats had undergone screening by the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Department of Insolvency to ensure that they were "clean" and did not have any problems.

NONETengku Adnan spoke to reporters after presenting school aid and People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) uniforms at a gathering of the people here where a durian feast was also held.

He also said that the background of the candidates was subjected to scrutiny to ensure that they were the people's choice.

“We want the candidates to be whom the people want, not whom the party or individuals in the party want. We want candidates whom the people feel they can represent them," he said.

Asked about new faces and women candidates, Tengku Adnan said that was a confidential matter.

Recently, MACC's Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel chairman Johan Jaaffar had proposed that all political parties send their list of candidates for the 13th general election for vetting by the MACC to ensure that they were free of corruption and to avert baseless accusations against any individual or party later.

Tengku Adnan, who is the MP for Putrajaya, said he would get the assistance of the Putrajaya Corporation to provide more facilities for the comfort of the residents here.

He apologised to the residents for any shortcomings on his part and reminded them to be a model society for the country, saying that Putrajaya was a sustainable city.

- Bernama