Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Global anti-corruption watchdog ranks Malaysia 47th least corrupt, praises Penang

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 24 – Global corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), has ranked Malaysia as the 47th least corrupt nation in the world and commended the island state of Penang for its anti-corruption efforts.

Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden was listed by TI as the top three least corrupt countries as measured by the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks countries in terms of the degree to which businessmen and country analysts perceive corruption to exist among public officials and politicians.

Singapore , Finland , Switzerland , Iceland , Netherlands , Australia and Canada rounded off the top least corrupt countries.

Malaysia came in 47th out of 180 countries in the index, tied with Hungary and Jordan .

The CPI is part of TI's Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2009 released yesterday.

In its report on Malaysia, TI highlighted the Malaysian practice of the "revolving door" whereby individuals move from government to business, or business to politics, and back again, and estimated that corruption could cost Malaysia as much as RM10 billion a year.

"Significant government participation in the private sector and considerable business participation in politics means that the movement of gatekeepers to players and players to gatekeepers has a negative influence on the concept of checks and balances," said TI.

"The complexity of the relationships between politics and the public and private sectors means that corruption may take place with impunity. Until drastic action is taken to separate the cozy relationship between government, business and politics, the anti-corruption effort will remain no more than a token gesture," said TI.

Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng says he is "humbled" by the recognition by TI and added that he was concerned over the fact that that corruption could cost Malaysia as much as RM10 billion a year – an amount equivalent to 1 or 2% of GDP as pointed out by the GCR when it cited the findings of the special government business facilitation task force Pemudah and the World Bank.

Additional report contents that were of concern to Lim was Malaysia's per capita spending of only RM5 on anti-corruption efforts and the fact that only about 10%, or just 7,223 potential corruption cases, of the total 71,558 reported between 2000 and 2006 were investigated by the Anti Corruption Agency, the precursor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, with a conviction rate of less than one percent.

"The GCR 2009 concluded that this illustration of the Malaysian government's inaction in the light of the serious corruption allegations, along with its seeming inability to catch the big fish instead focusing on the 'small fry', suggests that what anti-corruption efforts exist are mere tokens," said Lim.

"RM 10 billion in losses from corruption per year is a huge sum and there must be greater commitment from the Federal government towards fighting corruption to ensure that 27 million Malaysians can benefit from this RM 10 billion dividend from successfully combating corruption."

Lim also today announced that the state has managed to cut about RM36 million or 12% of in operating expenditure this year due to its efforts to curb corruption.

"Transparency International' s recognition of anti-corruption efforts by the Penang state government through CAT (Competency Accountability And Transparency) governance is backed up by savings of nearly 12 per cent of the 2008 Penang state budget of RM 36 million from operating expenditure. This RM 36 million savings has allowed the state government to carry out social programs and implement its people-oriented government," said Lim.

TI said that the Penang state is the first Malaysian state government to implement the open tender system for government procurement and contracts.

It also recognized the state government's directive barring administrators and state executive councilors from making any new land applications and efforts to attract professionals to serve on various boards, such as the Penang State Appeals Board.

"On behalf of the Penang state government, we feel humbled by the recognition given by a world renowned body such as Transparency International and would redouble efforts to ensure the anti-corruption reforms are institutionalized and ensure more professionals are appointed to key bodies. Fighting corruption generates savings for the people," said Lim.

He added that the two local authorities in Penang are expected to save another RM34 million over three years from a "transparent" negotiation over the price of solid waste disposal that reduced the rates agreed to by the previous Barisan Nasional administration by a further 42.4 per cent.

Lim said that the savings would go towards the state government's "3E" programme to "enable" the people with skills and knowledge so that they have an equal opportunity to create wealth, "empower" them with fundamental rights and basic freedoms, and "enrich" the people by sharing wealth and economic benefits.

Now it is Penang Boleh - Vote wisely for a better Malaysia.Malaysia pun boleh!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

PENANG called Umno’s bluff over gambling money

PENANG called Umno’s bluff over gambling money
UPDATED @ 04:00:40 PM 03-10-2010
By Debra Chong
October 03, 2010

PETALING JAYA, Oct 3 — The DAP dared Umno lawmakers today to return their salaries to federal coffers to prove they were principled Muslims against being funded by gambling money, which is forbidden in Islam.

The dare came after Bayan Baru Umno chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Saibu’s stunt yesterday, which saw 50 teary-eyed elderly folk each hand over their RM100 compassionate allowance received from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government after being told the money was “non-halal”.

“All Umno elected representatives should immediately return all their parliamentary and state assembly allowances to the government as the revenue source is even more dubious than in Penang,” its national publicity chief Tony Pua said in a statement today.

“These Umno leaders should not only return their allowances back to the Government, they should also demand that for future infrastructure projects such as highways built by the Federal Government, there should be lanes designated for Muslims and non-Muslims based on the proportionate breakdown of source of revenue used to build the roads,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said.

He slammed the grand old party for “lying through their teeth to gain political mileage” in persistently claiming the Penang state government’s welfare aid to senior citizens was funded by revenue from gambling.

He pointed out that Lim Guan Eng’s state government had clearly denied the welfare fund for Muslims was sourced from gambling money.

He stressed that Umno leaders’ attempt to distinguish halal and non-halal income for Penang was hypocritical and ridiculous, especially when Putrajaya controlled licensing for gambling activities.

Pua also highlighted the Finance Ministry’s written reply to his DAP colleague in Parliament on June 9 this year, which stated that taxes were channeled indiscriminately into a Consolidated Fund, which would then be distributed for government spending, which includes the salaries and allowances for ministers and legislators.

“Penang state opposition leader, Datuk Azahar obviously could not tell the difference when he claimed that ‘Umno assemblymen need not return their allowances as the state government’s income was from tax revenue’,” the DAP lawmaker said.

Pua accused Umno of playing the religious card to create fear among Muslims and split the races in order to remain in power and urged the public to reject the “ridiculous thoughts by Umno leaders”.

The Penang government has refuted allegations that it was using gambling revenue to fund compassionate payments to senior citizens.

State Religious Affairs committee chairman Abdul Malik Abul Kassim claimed last month that the allegation, made in a blog and by Umno Youth, was “imaginary”, not based on facts and made with bad intentions.

The funds, he said, were a direct result of the state administration’s frugality and adherence to the principals of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT), which allowed the state to set aside RM20 million for the welfare programme.

“From that allocation, we have spent as much as RM10.7 million and we still have an additional amount of RM9.3 million to continue with the programme for the senior citizens in the state.

“It has been explained clearly that the compassionate monies were not from gambling sources. They came from revenue made from our collection of assessments and other means — not from gambling.

“The state government also does not have the power to approve gambling licences. Only the federal government has the power to do so,” he said.

Umno Youth had urged the Penang government to clarify a blogger’s accusation that it had been using funds from gambling sources to make compassionate payments to senior citizens.

Its information chief Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican asked Lim to explain the claim made in the blog Pisau.net, which alleged that the annual payments of RM100 to senior citizens and RM1,000 to their beneficiaries were being funded through gaming revenue.

Reezal also claimed the rumours had caused discomfort among some of the recipients of the money, especially those who were Muslims.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Usul utk menguatkan proses pemilihan parti PKR

Adalah di sarankan bahawa perlembagaaan parti di gubal supaya hanya ahli yang hadir mesyuarat ranting (lebih dari 4 kali?) layak membuang undi.

Dari pemantauan kami, ramai yang datang membuang undi tidak menghadiri mesyuarat Agong yang sedang berjalan,bahkan ramai yang tidak pernah hadir satu mesyuaratpun.Bagaimana mereka hendak memilih pemimpin yang berkualiti sekirnya mereka tidak tahu mengenai aktiviti parti atau kaliber peminpinnya?

Kelemahan ini boleh di salah gunakan untuk mengambil kuasa tanpa membuat sebarang kerja atau sumbangan untuk parti.

Pada pendapat saya,proses yang dicadangkan boleh membantu parti untuk membina pimpinan yang lebih berkualiti dan memantapkan pimpinan disemua peringkat.Selain dari kelayakan,proses yang disarankan adalah saperti berikut:

1.Setiap ahli yang datang untuk mesyuarat Agong perlu mengdaftar sebelum dibenarkan masuk kedalam dewan untuk mengikuti perjalanan mesyuarat.

2.Setiap calun dibenarkan 5 minit untuk berucap dalam mesyuarat untuk memperkenalkan diri dan agenda perjuangan masing masing.

3.Kertas undi dikeluarkan apabila mesyuarat tersebut selesai dan pengundian dijalankan selepas ini.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wain: Dr M caused country’s woes

PETALING JAYA, May 21 — The author of a hot-selling political biography on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said many issues hampering Malaysia had come from the ex-prime minister’s tenure.

Former Asian Wall Street Journal editor, Barry Wain, whose book “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in turbulent times”, sold 4,000 copies in just two weeks added that he does not see any broad changes being brought about by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“I argue that a lot of problems in Malaysia stem from Dr Mahathir’s rule,” said Wain in an interview yesterday, during a reception to celebrate the launch of the book. “Issues like corruption did stem from when he was in power. Lack of leadership, abuse of the NEP (New Economic Policy), problems that exist today.”
Wain, who was a Malaysia correspondent from 1977 to 1979 and has been
in Asia for 38 years, said it was “quite obvious” that Malaysia has fallen behind other countries because of abuse of the controversial race-based NEP and that he was still waiting to see substantial reforms.

Note: As of 2010-Oct-02,there is no news that Tun Mahatir is taking legal action again Wain.This silence says a lot.