Friday, March 31, 2006

9th Malaysia Plan to provide RM200 billion

Prime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, lifted the veil of the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010) in Parliament today with an total allocation of RM200 billion for developement.
With objectives to pursue "economic growth, competitiveness and dynamism" with "equal opportunity, social equality and inclusion", the 9th Malaysia Plan was themed "Together towards excellence, glory and distinction".
The Plan is divided into the following five thrusts:
-to move the economy up the value chain;
-to raise the capacity for knowledge and innovation and nurture 'first-class mentality" ;
-to address persistent socio-economic inequalities constructively and productively;
-to improve the country's standards and sustainability of quality of life;
-to strengthen the institutional and implementation capacity.
All plans look good with holy objectives. Only the implementation will tell if it will achieve its objectives. In Malaysia, we have great plans every now and then. However, if our mindset remains that of the 70's, if everything has to be tainted with racial and religious consideration, if one race insists on exerting its dominance over the others, we will not go very far.
Let's change our mindset to make the 9th Malaysia Plan a real success.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Non-Islamic Religions Council is not new

I am puzzled over the reaction of some of the Members of Parliament and the Kelana Jaya Umno Youth leaders towards Loh Seng Kok's speech in Parliament on March 15.
Neither the issue nor the suggestion to set up a non-Islamic Religions Council or bodies alike was new.
I had raised the issue and the suggestion to set up a non-Islamic Religions Council in the Selangor State Assembly since I was elected in 1995. I raised it with 3 Menteri Besar namely, Tan Sri Mohamad bin Mohd Taib, Tan Sri Abu Hassan Omar and Dato Dr Seri Khir Toyo. During Abu Hassan's tenure as Menteri Besar, I had even specifically named it as Majlis Agama Bukan Islam Selangor (MABIS) to deal with the non-Islamic religious affairs.
Eventually, Khir Toyo decided to set up one in Selangor though the name used was not the one I suggested. It is now chaired by Selangor MCA Exco member, Dato Tang See Hang. Although the performance of that council has not been satisfactory and no annual allocation is given to it, at least it has become a precedence. It's nothing new.
I am unable to understand the logic of those MPs and the Umno Youth leaders when they claimed that the issue was sensitive and it hurt the muslims' feeling. How could the legitimate demand of the non-muslims for the development of their own religions be sensitive to the muslims? How could this become a zero sum game?
Some have claimed that by having a non-Islamic council, it would make non-Islamic religions equivalent to Islam in term of its status as the religion of the Federation. Now, we have Islamic Council solely for Islam but all other non-Islamic religions are being lumped into one council. Where is the equivalance?
I think those MP and leaders concerned are allergic to non-Islamic religions.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Don't wait until they die, Ka Ting

Entitled "MCA pledges to look after welfare of cops", the Star today reported that:

"The MCA has given the assurance that it will help police personnel who have lost their ability to work, as well as the families of those who died in the line of duty.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said he had asked the relevant police chiefs to notify the party if their personnel needed assistance. "

The story coincides with my blog yesterday, "Do the best P.O. justice", on the issue of welfare of the police personnel. While I call for prompt action from the Inspector-General of Police to address the problem, Ong Ka Ting gives assurance that they will help but only when the police personnel lose their ability to work or die.
It looks like, unfortunately, ASP Muniandy will have to remain in the small dark corner for a considerable period of time.
My message to Ka Ting is, "Please don't wait until they are handicapped or die. Do something now as a minister".

Monday, March 27, 2006

Do the best P.O. justice

I congratulate ASP Muniandy, Head of Police Prosecution Unit in the Klang Sessions Court, for being selected the best Prosecution Officer 2005 in conjuction with the 199th anniversary of the Royal Malaysia Polis (PDRM). As a practitioner in criminal law, I feel proud to have been working together with the best prosecution officer in the country. My personal experience working with him for the past few years have been indeed very pleasant. Being a legally qualified lawyer holding a law degree from International Islamic University and Certificate of Legal Practice, Muniandy is eligible to be called to the Bar subject to the requirement of the 9-month pupilage under a senior practioner. However, he still chooses to remain in the force, I believe this is because of his passion for the career as a police officer.
I went to his office in the court house last week. I was at a loss for words to find that the best Prosecution Officer's "office" is in a corner separated from other personnel only by a few cabinets with a desk fit for a peon piled up with files. (See picure below)

I take my hat off to Muniandy who has been working in this small dark corner, not even a room, to do his case preparation and finally makes himself the best prosecutor.

Outside this small dark corner, the other 3 prosecution officers and more than 20 personnel have to take turn to do their clerical work in an area of only about 500 square feet. (See picture below)

No one seems to care about this. Instead of spending their time and effort to resist the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), Tan Sri Bakri Omar, Inspector General of Police, and all his senior officers should work more efficiently and effectively to ensure that the welfare, including comfortable housing and conducive workplace, of the officers at the ground are properly taken care of. Opposing to the IPCMC is equivalent to opposing to the effort, inter alia, to improve the tarnished image of the police.

Bakri must get his priority right. Please do not wait until Muniandy and his colleages all over the country feel frustrated and decide to leave the force that they have been so passionately working in for many years. The pasture over the other side is certainly greener, at least for the moment.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Are Brisdale and SAP going to be wound up?

On the loss of RM188.78 million by Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB), Dato Abdul Karim bin Munisar, its executive chairman, told the Star on March 22 that: -
"the company [KHSB] decided to do a “one-off” prudent stand by writing down the book value of several assets; in particular the assets of two subsidiaries of the company – Brisdale Holdings Bhd and SAP Holdings Bhd."
There are hundreds of claims against Brisdale Holdings Bhd for late delivery and non-delivery of properties especially in the West Port projects and I believe there are also similar claims against SAP Holdings Bhd for which KHSB had made a full provision of RM55 million as liquidated damages to meet all claims.
By writing down the book value of Brisdale and SAP, is KHSB going to wind up both the companies soon?
Morally, the state govenment must make sure that all the investors' interest are protected in that all their legitimate claims for damages must be fully satisfied because they have placed so much of confidence in the projects undertaken by the government investment arm with their hard-earned money but the government eventually failed them. Hopefully not again with company winding-up proceedings before they are fully compensated.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Does KHSB still hold a housing developer license?

Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Berhad (KHSB) with its vision as "The Flagship Property Group of the State of Selangor" is known to be the investment arm of the state government involves actively in property developement including housing development.
Amongst its highly publisized housing or mix-development projects are Astaka Height in Pandan Jaya, Bandar Armada Putra in West Port, Templer Park Resort in Selayang and Taman Melawati Jaya in Kuala Selangor which had been launched in 2004.
However, even the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Dato Seri Dr Mohd Khir bin Toyo, does not name KHSB as one of the "Credible Developers" (Senarai Nama Pemaju Berwibawa), although its holding company, Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB) for which Khir Toyo is the chairman, is listed. What has happened?
I have done a search at the website of Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the housing developer licensing authority, and found that KHSB is not listed as a licensed housing developer. Again, what has happened?
My questions are:-
Firstly, did KHSB hold a housing developer license all these years?
Secondly, if the answer is yes, what has happened to the license?
Thirdly, if the answer is no, how did KHSB undertake the housing development projects all these years?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mismanagement and poor judgment cause KPS and KHSB to lose millions

Kumpulan Peransang Selangor Bhd (KPS) and Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB) finally broke their silence 7 days after I blogged “Selangor GLCs lost RM286 million” and emailed to them and the Selangor Menteri Besar respectively. This is a good indication of their efficiency.

Dato Abdul Karim Munisar, executive chairman for both the public listed Selangor government investment arm, only decided to give his side of story when interviewed by the Star as reported today in response to the Star yesterday.

I agree that I had erroneously added up the pre-tax loss of RM97,904,000.00 by KHSB and the pre-tax loss of RM188,780,000.00 by KPS and arrived at the figure of RM286,684,000.00, overlooking the fact which I had clearly stated in the same blog that KHSB was a subsidiary of KPS.

Be it as it may, the undeniable and undisputed fact is that KPS had recorded a pre-tax loss of RM97.9 million and KHSB a pre-tax loss of RM188.78 million in 2005. Further, the profit made by KPS’s other subsidiaries or associated companies could not cover the loss incurred by KHSB.

How much is RM188.78 million? It's still a huge sum. Let’s take the development allocation of RM540 million in the Selangor government budget for 2005 as a reference point. The loss of RM188.78 million is equivalent to approximately one-third of the total development fund, about 1.5 times the fund of RM125 million for building and upgrading roads and bridges, about 3 times the fund for flood mitigation projects and upgrading drainage and irrigation in residential and industrial areas.

Karim had sought to explain that the loss of RM 188.78 by KHSB was a “one-off” prudent stand by writing down the book value of several assets in particular the assets of Brisdale Holdings Bhd and SAP Holdings Bhd, the 2 subsidiaries of KHSB. As far as the public is concerned, we need to know what had actually happened to KHSB.
Let’s have a close look at the full quarterly report of KHSB in particular the income statement, balance sheet and notes (page 1, 3, 6 and 9) as announced in the Bursa Malaysia website.

These are my comments and questions after perusal:-

Firstly, the notes in A4- Individually significant items that contribute to the loss suffered by KHSB, to be written off as stated by Karim. The provision for liquidated damages (LD) of RM55.729 million indicates that there was serious mismanagement of projects by KHSB or its subsidiaries. KHSB should explain to the public how was this huge damages incurred.

Although KHSB explains that there is a change in accounting method whereby the accrual LD has been changed to full provision for LD, this does not change the fact of mismanagement. At a glance, the full provision for LD seems to be a prudent method as suggested by Karim because it means “one-time” clean-up whereby all the estimated damages are included.

However, on second thought, it may not be so because normally only about 30% to 50% of the LD damages would actually be claimed in the property market. If only half of the full provision of RM55.729 million were eventually claimed, there would be a balance of about RM27 million to be written back in the book to contribute to the revenue or profit of KHSB in the subsequent years.

Therefore, it would be better for KHSB to write off the full sum now since it would make no difference either to announce a loss of RM188.78 million or RM30 million lesser for the moment. However, it would help KHSB in the subsequent years when the sum is, almost for sure, written back to contribute to the revenue or profit. The lesser the actual claim of LD, the more revenue or profit will be written back. This is a smart method rather that prudent method. To the layman, this is a magic show.

Secondly, the total sum of RM70.388 million being provision for impairment on property, plant and equipment, land held for development and development properties indicates poor judgment of KHSB in investment. Part of the value of KHSB business assets have to be written off to reflect the true value which could have been avoided if KHSB had been prudent in its judgment for investment earlier on.

Thirdly, the provision of RM20 million outstanding commitment of a subsidiary company of KHSB indicates another failure of its unnamed subsidiary inability to repay loans.

Fourthly, although the revenue 2005 is of RM161.037 million, there is a sum of RM148.179 million under the item “Receivable”. If this “Receivable” were directly linked to the revenue, that would mean for every ringgit of revenue in 2005, 92 sen were still in the debtors’ pocket, not in the KHSB pocket, unless otherwise that the “Receivable” comprises of old debts. If the “Receivable” were unfortunately related to the revenue, the worry would be what would happen if the debt were to become bad debt later? It does not reflect truly the financial position of KHSB. This is yet another important item that requires full and frank explanation by KHSB.

Fifthly, there is a substantial amount of interest expenses of RM31.798 million paid by KHSB in 2005. Going by the market rate, the principal loan sum should be in the range of RM300 million to RM400 million. This again raises the doubts on the financial prudence of KHSB.

Sixthly, the total assets of KHSB stand as RM1.7649 billion (non current and current assets) and are supported by shareholders’ equity of RM470 million. The remaining are borrowings by KHSB. This means KHSB is a highly geared company, relying heavily on loans, and required proper skill to manage, otherwise, it can be disastrous. For the losses incurred by KHSB, it is justifiable for the public to doubt the capability of KHSB.

Referring to the loss of KPS, Karim said that if not because of KHSB, KPS would have made a profit of RM58 million after eliminating other inter-company transactions. Well, would Karim separate the KHSB’s account from the KPS’s account if KHSB had made a profit, instead of loss, of RM188.78 million and add it up to show off KPS’s profit?

In any event, there is nothing for KPS to brag about as being the state investment arm it has the advantage of being granted concessionaire contracts and privileged contracts and alienated with state land by the state government. It should have made huge profits and not losses at all. However, the losses in 2005 demonstrate the poor management and misjudgment of KPS and KHSB in the real commercial world.

RM188.788 million is still a big money to lose. It’s time for KPS and KHSB to buck up.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nazri should learn to understand the non-muslims' feeling

Any non-muslim who read the statement of Dato Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, as appeared in Malaysiakini yesterday would feel that the statement was unfair to the non-muslims.
How to make Nazri understand the non-muslims' feeling? It's simple. Just ask him to replace the words "non-muslims" to "muslims" and vice-versa in the following excerpt from the Malaysiakini report. Then, read and re-read it.

Don't incite Muslims, warns Nazri
Pauline PuahMar 20, 06 2:10pm

The government will not hesitate to use the Sedition Act against non-Muslims who “incite the sentiments” of Muslims, warned Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.
"We will not think twice about using this law against anyone who incites - that’s why we still need the Sedition Act and ISA (Internal Security Act)," he told reporters after receiving a memorandum in support of the amended Islamic Family Law (IFL) at the Parliament building today.
He said Muslims have shown a high level of tolerance but this has its limits.
“Because we are tolerant people, we would like (others) to respect our threshold. It’s not for them to interfere in our (Islamic) affairs," he said. However, Nazri, who is the de facto law minister, said the government has no plans to draft a law to prohibit non-Muslims from raising matters or questions related to Islam.
"We don’t need to have a law to prohibit discussion on any issue. This is a harmonious country and we respect one another, especially on religious matters....Non-Muslims should understand there are some matters that they cannot touch or utter," he said.
He argued that Muslim Malaysians have never interfered in or ridiculed other religions, and that non-Muslims should therefore apply similar principles in matters involving Islam.
(Picture by courtey of Malaysiakini)

Monday, March 20, 2006

How much is RM286 million?

Many friends asked me how much is RM286 million after reading "The Selangor GLCs lost RM286 million" in this blog.
Well, just take the Selangor state government budget for 2005 as a reference since the said losses incurred by the GLCs was for the year 2005.
The total budget for Selangor in 2005 was RM1.08 billon which means RM286 million is almost one-third of the state budget for both adminstration expenditure and the developement expenditure.
Out of RM1.08 billion, RM540 million was set aside for development expenditure, which means RM286 million is about half of the allocation for development purposes in Selangor for 2005.
Selangor allocated RM125 million to build and upgrade roads and bridges. RM286 million is slightly more than 2 times the allocation.
Another RM 57.5 million was allocated for the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) for projects such as flood mitigation, upgrading of drainage and irrigation system in residential and industrial areas ect. RM286 million is about 5 times the money set aside for the said projects. If more allocation is taken out from this RM286 million for the projects, it is strongly believed that Shah Alam would not have been flooded on February 26.
Only RM2.8 million was allocated for town and country planning in 2005. RM286 million is about 100 times the allocation. No wonder our town and country planning is in a very sorry state.
So much is your RM286 million, down the drain!

Petaling Jaya City needs proper court house and hospital

I was quite excited to learn that the Selangor State Assembly had passed the bill on March 5, 2006 to pave the way for Petaling Jaya to become a city on June 20. (The Star report)

In 1996 or 1997, when the then Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Mohamad bin Mohd Taib, informed the house that Selangor was applying for Shah Alam to become a city, I rose and said that in fact Petaling Jaya was more qualified than Shah Alam in view of the criteria required and it should be considered first. Mohd Taib was honest to agree with me but he further said that as Shah Alam was the state capital, the state government would apply for the city status for Shah Alam first. It took about 3 years for Shah Alam to be proclaimed as a city in 2000.

Even for now, I still hold that Petaling Jaya is more qualified to be called a city than Shah Alam. Shah Alam was made a city by the state government with all the state resources pouring into it and with its territory being arbitrarily extended. But Petaling Jaya made itself a city and a truly city. The Petaling Jaya folks should be proud of themselves.

However, I discovered an oversight last week when I attended court in Petaling Jaya. It suddenly struck me that Petaling Jaya needed a proper and decent court house with proper jurisdiction and a public hospital.

It may be a surprise to many but the cruel fact is that there is no civil court in Petaling Jaya! All civil matters within the jurisdiction of subordinate courts, namely the Sessions Court which has the jurisdiction to adjudicate matters involve disputed sum below RM250,00.00 and the Magistrate's Court which has the jurisdiction to try matters below the sum of RM25,000.00, will have to be filed in Shah Alam courts. I have yet to come across any city in the world that does not have a civil court within its local jurisdiction.

The present court house for criminal matters is in a pathetic condition. The Sessions Court and Magistrate's Court (1) and Court (2) are housed in the main court house with court (1) in a container-like structure and court (2) at the first floor of an old buiding within the same compound. Magistrate's Court (3) is in the Federal House building about 500 meters away and the Municipal Court is being housed under the MPPJ multi-level car park next to the hawker centre also about 500 meter from the main court house.

The multi-storey building behind dwarfs the one-storey PJ court house

Magistrate's Court (1) in a container-like structure

The swampy car park

Perhaps, the Federal Government should enlist the new court house for Petaling Jaya in the first year of its 9th Malaysia Plan.

Another obvious oversight is the public hospital. Although the University Hospital is accessible to the Petaling Jaya residents, strictly speaking it is a hospital within the territory of Kuala Lumpur. If the Federal Government could spend millions of Ringgit to built a public hospital in the scantily populated Putrajaya, there is no reason to disregard the need of the densely populated Petaling Jaya City.

Let's hope that the 9th Malaysia Plan will do justice for Petaling Jaya City.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Selangor GLCs lost RM286 million

This is another nightmare for Selangor after the “developed-state-flood” in Shah Alam on February 26 and the “developed-state-stench-water” incident.

The 2 state owned companies, Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS) and Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB), recorded a pre-tax loss of RM97,904,000.00 and RM188,780,000.00 respectively for the year 2005, totaling RM286,684,000.00.

The financial results of both the companies were provided to the Bursa Malaysia on 28.2.2006.

Selangor state government investment arm, Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB) owns 53.10% of KPS shares and KPS owns 52.07% of KHSB shares. However, only KPS and KSSB which undertake the infrastructure and utility and property business of KDEB are listed at KLSE.

Being the chairman of the conglomerate having the motto “Excellent KDEB, Glorious Selangor”, the Selangor Menteri Besar, Dato Seri Dr Mohd Khir bin Toyo has to account to the people as to why KDEB and its 2 subsidiaries had miserably failed to excel in 2005 and instead suffered the humiliating losses. Selangor had recorded an economic growth of 5.2% last year and it is ironic that in such a conducive economic environment, the state investment arm itself had stumbled.

The much acclaimed manager and former President of Petaling Jaya Municipal Council, Dato Haji Abdul Karim bin Munisar (picture), who after a pre-planned early retirement was appointed as the President of KDEB and executive chairman for both KPS and KHSB since September 6, 2004 did not seem to perform up to the mark.

Be it as it may, as the state reserve had constantly decreased from 1997 to 2004 for a total of 75%, the further losses suffered by the state investment arm had certainly raised the alarm to the incapability of the state government. Khir Toyo as the leader should be the held responsible for the poor performance of the state owned companies.

Monday, March 13, 2006

DAP Dinner in Klang on 23.4.2006

A fund raising dinner cum ceramah will be held in Klang on 23.4.2006 (Sun) at 7.00 p.m., jointly organized by the DAP Klang Utara Branch and my office.

The venue is Restaurant Rashna, the largest Chinese restaurant at Persiaran Sultan Ibrahim. In the similar occasion at the same venue in last July, we sold out 137 table which means the total turn out was 1,370. We are targeting at a new record of 150 tables.

The speakers at the dinner will be Sdr Lim Lip Suan, DAP Klang Utara branch Chairperson, Sdr Ng Suee Lim, DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Sekinchan, Sdr Sim Tong Him, Former DAP Melaka State Assembly Opposition Leader, Sdri Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh and me.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rashid talks nonsence again

If anyone were to ask me who would be the most unfit person to talk about reform of our election law and regulations, I would not hesitate to say it is Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, the Chairman of the Election Commission, himself.

The latest nonsensical suggestion from him was to ban posters, banners and bunting during the election campaign.

With the opposition being deprived of the fair and equal access to the media, there would be nothing left to enable the opposition to disseminate their messages to the voters and to run a proper election campaign if Rashid’s suggestion were to be accepted.

Rashid should, instead, strive to look into the various weaknesses in the present unfair laws, regulation and practices in the registration of voters, the scrutiny of the electoral rolls, procedures and conduct of elections, and all unfair practices as complained by the opposition. The havoc on the polling day in the last general election which resulted in the unprecedented extension of polling hour in Selangor still remains the most telling example of the incompetence of the Election Commission for which priority must be given by Rashid.

In the past, Rashid had made several statements most unbecoming of him as the chairman of the election commission including that the opposition should strengthen their own organization and not to blame the election commission for its failure to win election when the opposition lodged the complaints on unfair election regulations and procedures.

He was reported in the New Straits Times to have said yesterday that,

“a survey by a non-governmental organisation and a political party showed that RM110 million was spent on posters in the last general election. In the December Pengkalan Pasir by-election, …..the cost of posters was RM3.5 million and these were printed in Thailand.……. the money could have been spent on projects that could benefit the people. …… the posters had led to friction and fights between party workers. They also became an eyesore because not all of them were removed after elections.”

Well, Rashid should realize, if he had sufficient common knowledge and common sense, that out of the alleged RM110 million spent on posters, 70% or more were contributed by the ruling party. He should find ways to limit the spending of the ruling party and not try to victimize the oppositions which have limited resources to print enough posters.

Rashid must have also forgotten that every candidate had been made to pay a deposit of RM3,000.00 each to the local authority and if the candidate failed to clean up the poster within 2 weeks after the polling day, the deposit would be forfeited. Thus, if the candidate failed to clean up, the local government had been paid do the job. What was the problem that the election had that it had to complain?

Rashid must be quite naïve when he said that the money saved from posters could be spent on projects that benefited the people. Did he really believe that the ruling party would spend their own money to help in the government projects? Rashid could not even differentiate between political parties and government! No wonder all his funny ideas and proposals for the electoral reform.

His most disgusting statement was that,
"Malaysia is supposed to be civilized and it is high time we act like a civilized country."
Was he suggesting that we had not been civilized enough in the past elections, including the past few years during his tenure as the chairman of the election commission and the past twenty over years during his tenure as the secretary of the election commission?

Mind your language, Rashid.

Picture by courtesy of Malaysiakini

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I will be on ASTRO AEC tomorrow

I have been invited again to be one of the panel members in the Astro AEC (channel 19) Chinese TV talk-show, "Talking Issues", tomorrow at 8.oo p.m.
The theme of the show will revolve around the issues of tussle between the school boards and the Ministry of Education, the workbooks and the profit making activities. This will be the 2nd episode on the same issue when the 1st episode on 5.2.2006 had caused intense debate in the Chinese community especially on the authority of the school board and the corrupt practice of some headmasters.
One of my statements in the last episode that " [with intent to make money] some schools have organised too many extra-curriculum courses, e.g. 'Exploring the Left Brain', 'Exploring the Right Brain', 'Exploring the Whole Brain'. The whole body of the children have been fully explored.", had ignited heated arguments between the union of the Chinese school headmasters and the Federation of the Chinese School Boards (Dong Zong).
Tomorrow episode will certainly attract keen attention of the Chinese community.

Illegal Satay House within vicinity of Istana Zakaria: Part III

It's confirmed!

The illegal Satay House within the vicinity of Istana Zakaria belongs to none other than the powerful Dato Zakaria bin Md Deros!
I received the information last night that the MPK had issued a compound to DZ Satay Sdn Bhd yesterday for operating business of the Satay House without a license. I suspected then that DZ was the abbreviation for Dato Zakaria but that remained merely as my speculation until it was confirmed today.
This was confirmed by Abd Bakir bin Hj Zin, the MPK President, this afternoon after my press conference on the illegal hawker center at Taman Teluk Gedung Indah in Pelabuhan Klang when the journalist from Sin Chew Jit Poh called him up and obtained the answer.
Bakir told the Sin Chew reporter that firstly, Zakaria was the owner of the Satay House; secondly, Zakaria had submitted application for TOL for the use of the land; thirdly the landcape around the Satay House was not only meant for the Satay House but also for the nearby residents.
Now, these are my questions to Bakir. Why didn't the MPK order that the illegal building of the Satay House be demolished forthwith by giving a 30-day notice as provided by section 70 of the Drainage, Street and Building Act 1974 when there was no TOL being approved by the Land Office and no written permission for the construction of the building from the MPK?
Under normal procedure, one has to apply for TOL for the use of land, followed by application for written permission for construction of building and then only the business license. In the present case, Zakaria did not obtain the TOL and written permission for construction of building. Why did the MPK jump the gun as Zakaria did by issuing a compound for operating without business license, a relatively less serious offence, and keep its eyes off the more serious issue of trespass of state land and construction of illegal building? The answer is obviously simple. Zakaria is almighty in Pelabuhan Klang and the MPK has to bend to his will and power.
The most absurd answer from Bakir was that the landscape around the Satay House was not only meant for the Satay House but also for the nearby residents. First of all, this was an admission that the landscape was partly meant for the Satay House. This was an abuse of public fund by Zakaria abetted by the MPK itself.
Secondly, if the MPK were minded of spending money for the nearby residents, then it should have spent the money on the landscape in Kampong Indaman itself rather than spending the money on the hazardous roadside of an industrial area with heavy vehicles plying along the road almost 24 hours a day.
If Bakir finds himself to be unable to carry out his duty as the MPK President without fear or favour and has to bend to powerful politicians, then it's time for him to ask for transfer.

Another illegal hawker center in Zakaria' s constituency

Unlicensed hawker centre with illegal structure built on state land without TOL

Adjacent to children playground

I brought journalists from the Chinese Press to Taman Teluk Gedong Indah this morning. Another illegal hawker centre with 8 stalls is found in this Dato Zakaria's state constituency of Pelabuhan Klang. The hawker centre is built within the open space meant for recreational purposes currently with a football field and a children playground on the same.

Without Temporary Occupation License (TOL) for use of land, plan or permission for the structure and hawker license, the hawkers have been running their business without inteference from the Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK) for the last few months. The status of this hawker centre is similar to that of the Satay House in Pandamaran. Questions again arised as to who is the powerful politician behind it who makes all these possible?

The MPK must explain to the people as to why all these new illegal structures in the constituency of Pelabuhan are being allowed to spring up in Klang when the MPK is vigorously implementing the "zero squatters" policy drawn up by the state government by ruthlessly demolishing the houses of the poor. Why is the double standard?

Friday, March 03, 2006

IIlegal Satay House within vicinity of Istana Zakaria: Part II

About an hour ago, I was tipped off by a reliable source that the Satay House owner had been issued a compound today for running business at the Satay House illegally after I exposed the matter yesterday.
However, the MPK did not take any action against the illegal structure. By now, the MPK should have the information that the structure was built on the state land without even a TOL and building permission from the MPK. Why is the MPK dragging its feet?

Is it because the owner is a powerful politician and therefore time is given to him to apply for the TOL and building permission so that everything will be in order by the time we discover who the owner is? Why is the double standard? Or is it a new policy applicable to everyone else?
The MPK President, Abd Bakir bin Hj Zin, owes the people an immediate explanation.

Khir Toyo should resign over the flood

Cartoon by courtesy of Oriental Daily
Selangor Menteri Besar, Dato Seri Dr Khir Toyo should resign over the flood in Shah Alam on Feb 26, 2006, more so because even the Sultan of Selangor had also lost confidence in him when neither Khir Toyo nor any of his exco members were summoned by the Sultan to the palace to explain the disaster on Sunday, as reported by the Star today.
Shah Alam Major Dato Ramli Mahmud, officiers from the Drainage and Irrigation Department and the Public Works Department were among the officers summoned to Istana Kayangan in Shah Alam for the briefing.
The ambitious MB had declared Selangor a developed state (Negeri Maju) in last August amidst public criticism and suspicion over the 75 indicators claimed by Khir Toyo to be the criteria that made Selangor qualified. A celebration event planned in Shah Alam on August 27, 2005 for the declaration was eventually cancelled although Khir Toyo insisted that Selangor had actually attained the developed status.
However, the flood in Shah Alam on Sunday had embarrassed Khir Toyo for only Shah Alam and none of any other places outside Shah Alam was flooded after the heavy downpour in the whole state. Only the capital of the supposedly developed state was flooded. The Sunday flood had proved him wrong for being adamant in declaring Selangor a developed state last year. The only honourable action left for Khir Toyo now is to resign forthwith. He does not have to wait until the Sultan openly says so.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Illegal Satay House within vicinity of Istana Zakaria

2 canopies in front of the illegal structure

Front view

Landscaping provided by the MPK

Just by the main road on the road reserve
An illegal satay house was found within the vicinity, about 200 meters, of Istana Zakaria . The land belongs to the state with no Temporary Occupation License (TOL), a prerequisite for any construction on the land, being issued to anyone by the Klang Land Office. Building plan for the structure has not been submitted to the Klang Municipal Council (MPK), not to mention the business license.
I was supposed to bring journalists to visit the site at 12.30 p.m. My secretary, Lim Lip Suan, and I arrived earlier and I was happily taking photographs of the satay house when Lip Suan told me that Zakaria Mat Deros was coincidentally sitting outside the restaurant under a shed next to the structure with a few persons.
Upon discovering that I was taking photographs of the illegal structure, about 4 of them rushed towards me and fiercely asked why I should take photographs of the sturcture. Obviously, they knew me because the fierce guy said something to the effect that an elected representative should not have done that. Only one journalist from Nanyang Siang Pau was around when I took the photograph and when the 4 guys approached me, I quickly ask Lip Suan and the journalist to get into the car. When I noticed that they were slowly surrounding Lip Suan's car, I quickly get into Lip Suan's car and left the place to avoid any untowards happening.
My information reveals that the MPK has even spent the public fund for the landscaping around the satay house. How could this happen? Who is the powerful politician behind the trespass of the state land and illegal construction who can also run business without license but with impunity?
The irony is when the MPK is working extraordinary hard to enforce the state government's "zero squatters" policy by attempting to demolish all the squatter houses within its jurisdiction, it is, at the same time, allowing, tolerating and even encouraging illegal construction like the Istana Zakaria and this satay house to grow within the same jurisdiction.
The MPK must demolish the satay house immediately to prove that there is no double standard in its enforcement and that it does not kowtow to any powerful politician.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Where is the apology for the 11, Tan Sri?

Mohd Noor Hakim (circled) reprimanded by the IGP in the presence of his peers and the media.

China Press reported on its website today that Tan Sri Bakri Omar, Inspector-General of Police, reprimanded the Kajang OCPD, Mohd Noor Hakim, in the presence of 145 OCPDs of the country and the media when opening the human rights seminar for the OCPDs today. He was reported to have said that Mohd Noor Hakim must apologize to him and Bukit Aman (the Royal Police Headqaurters) 10 times for shaving bald 11 suspects from Belakong who were arrested for illegal gambling as the incident had tarnished the image of the police.

While I welcome the belated 'plea of guilt' by the IGP for the incident, I must remind Tan Sri Bakri that as the IGP, he has yet to apologize on behalf of the Royal Police to the 11 suspects. The public is not concerned about how many times Noor Hakim needs to apologize to the IGP and Bukit Aman. The public is still awating for 0ne apology from the IGP and Bukit Aman to the 11 suspects and the public at large. Only one, isn't fair, Tan Sri?

Picture by courtesy of China Press