Friday, October 14, 2016

Listen, listen, listen…dear Leaders

"You're what you do. Not what you say" Actions speaks volumes, not candy coated promises that never fulfilled. 

Should the 'elected leaders' represents the interest of the people and their future, devoid of animosity or high strung for power...the world would indeed be a better place. Take the lead on the message from the video as a leader. 
Propagating or conspiring endless feuds to maintain innocence or vain supremacy invites fictitious support (to remain and maintain stature of “who’s who”) only beckons the people on street to be divided with hatred. 

Change is NOT easy. It never was. The people seeks justice for the present and the future generations. Their rights protected and preserved to charge head strong into the unknown; stronger and proud. Not temporary conquest of power. 

“You can bend the rules of political physics in Malaysia, not forever but for awhile.”

Saman Parkir MPSP

Bermula 1 Januari 2016, MPSP telah kenakan caj parkir yang melonjak di antara kadar 50% hingga 122% pada tempoh jam 8.00 pagi hingga 9.00 malam dari hari Isnin hingga hari Sabtu kecuali hari Ahad dan cuti umum.

Manakala MPPP pula menggenakan caj parkir bermula jam 9.00 pagi sehingga 12.00 tengah malam pada setiap hari. 

Dalam masa yang sama, pihak perbandaran tidak pula perihatin menyediakan tempat letak kenderaan yang mencukupi bersesuaian dengan pertambahan jumlah kenderaan di dalam negeri apatah lagi ketika musim cuti sekolah dan cuti umum. 
 Maka berlakulah ruang untuk menggelak dari disaman dan unsur-unsur tidak sihat yang bertitik tolak dari kutipan meletak kenderaan itu. 

Kelmarin satu notis saman kenderaan lain oleh MPSP telah diletakkan di kereta seperti yang disertakan fotonya dengan tujuan menggelak dari disaman di deretan pejabat bersebelahan pusat Futsal Sunway, Pusat Bandar Sunway, Seberang Jaya. 
Menyedari keadaan tersebut, pemandu kereta yang disaman berjaya mendesak dua pengguatkuasa MPSP yang bertugas mengenai salahlaku untuk turut disaman. Malangnya kedua-dua pengguatkuasa berlengah untuk bertindak dan kemudian memberi alasan mereka kehabisan notis saman dengan selambanya. 

Nampak…??? Taktik paling ‘hip’ dan sikap acuh tidak acuh pengguatkuasaan yang dilaung dan dibanggakan pentadbiran Competency, Accountability and Transparency Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang di bawah kepimpinan DAP.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

To Be or Not To Be…Illegal Foreign Workers

In an immigration operation conducted in Penang on Wednesday; 64 foreign workers were detained under Ops Ikrar at two factories at the Perai Industrial Park, Penang for various offences. 

Last month, a caution was made public by the Immigration Department director-general to the industrial sector employers to sort all necessary legal documentations to avoid prosecution and to abide the laws concerning the subject. 
Employers of the industrial sector has been warned of the provision under Section 56 (1) of the immigration Act to freeze their assets should they persist hiring illegal foreign workers beginning October. 

However, the SME Association of Malaysia, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, the Malaysian Malay Businessmen and Industrialists Association, and the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Indus­try are being indifferent. 
They are defending the violations committed by the industry “because the cost of rehiring foreign workers is too high and the procedures too rigid” and tentatively could hurt the industry which is making life more difficult for the businessmen. 

For crying out loud! The country has to bear the cost of resources carrying out immigration operations on the illegals by the industry. They choice of engaging illegal foreign workers rather than the locals have violated the laws of the country and such retrospect is “arm twisting” the Government and the authorities!

Penang Taxi Embattling Dilemma or Nuisance?

In a fast pace of public mobility, taxi industry plays an important role in the public land transportation system, an option outside the rail and stage bus operational hours. 

In Penang, with the ferry, stage buses and taxis shares the experience of providing services to the less affording or those who value the checks and balances of their finances and convenience. 

SPAD (Public Land Transportation Commission) has reviewed a new taxi rates and fares which encompasses the taxis in Penang, too, previously introduced on 1st April 2015. The new rate applies to the budget taxi and TEKS1M as indicated in 

This taxi structure is offers the taxi drivers a minimum return per journey that covers the operating costs components involved; the vehicle, fuel costs, maintenance, labor, overhead and time spent in congested traffic. 
Despite all the best interest of the services, there are some stubborn operators whom chose to defy the conducts and terms of the services. ‘No Price Haggling’ has been a “pain in the butt” (apologies for the choice of words) despite several cautions made by the authorities. 
Telltales of permit violations by some taxi drivers and cases of crimes or reluctance to provide services, committed by some individual taxi driver in their haste and selfishness needs to be addressed and summoned. 

Above and beyond, a good taxi services uplift the image of the country with their first and lasting impression for tourists. Most certainly for the locals, it is a welcoming experience for the industry players to reciprocate or losing to Uber services?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bilateral Interests With The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is on an official five day visit to Saudi Arabia since taking office as the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia scheduled to an audience with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Naif Al-Saud and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al-Saud. 
The visit would provide an excellent opportunity for the leaders of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia to discuss various issues of mutual interest particularly in the area of security cooperation. 

Since the Independence, Malaysia has had a generally positive and productive relationship with Saudi Arabia that is rooted in a centuries-long history of commercial and religious interactions. In the contemporary period, proactive Malaysian diplomacy has paved the way for a more balanced and multidimensional partnership between the two countries, particularly in the economic spectrum. 

Saudi Arabia being the single largest market for food and beverages in the Gulf region, accounting for 63% of all of the region’s imports with the value of the Saudi halal food estimated at US$ 6 billion annually, it is timely for Malaysian companies to strike business partnerships with their counterparts. 

Bilateral trade relations between Malaysia and the Kingdom had increased significantly from US$260 million in 1990 to US$4.019 billion in 2014 (in span of 24 years). Globally, Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s 19th largest trading partner, 23th largest export destination and 17th largest import source. 

Though Malaysia and Saudi Arabia differs in terms of how Islam is interpreted and practiced. Nonetheless, at no point have these differences seriously disrupted the relationship. Nor in recent years have they hampered its development or placed at risk its promising future. 

The term “Islamophobia” trumpeted of the prejudice, hatred, or bigotry directed against Islam or Muslims behind the backgrounds movements of Shiites and the Sunni has great impact upon Saudi Arabia. The deviance promoting terrorism under the clout of Islamic state known as Daesh, where splinters of the radicals began pouring into the Southeast Asia region. This poses a security threat to both government and drastic measures to counter them. 

When the dust settled, continual similar efforts to strengthen bilateral trade and security relationship between Malaysia with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enhances the networking platform expanded particularly in the trade activities will benefit both countries.

Trouble Ahead in Penang?

Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, Member of Parliament Padang Besar acting as an advisor to the newly registered party Penang Front Party, is rather odd and very distasteful to the National Front. 
His action can tarnish the collaboration between Gerakan and MCA in harnessing the plight of the Chinese community particularly in Penang as well as in Malaysia in general. 

Has he forgotten the history of the ruling coalition; following Gerakan's overwhelming success back in 1969 amidst political conflict with MCA then? 

With the 14th General Election rumored next year; Zahidi should gear up to maintain his political focus in his home state rather than meddling in the affairs of others. 

Certainly the interests of Gerakan and MCA are paramount to garner the support of voters in Penang.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Ada Udang Di Sebalik Batu?

Bayangkan anda seorang pegawai agensi Kerajaan pusat, premis digunakan luar dari khidmat biasa tetapi terpaksa menanggung tunggakan bil letrik mencecah RM2329.85, kemudiannya dijadikan antara tujuh (7) "alasan" Tadika KEMAS tidak disambung khidmat kepada masyarakat setempat...
Begitulah situasi yang dihadapi, Tabika KEMAS di premis Surau Al-Kautsar, Pangsapuri Serina Bay, Pulau Pinang setelah sekian lama, membuka pintu kepada pendidikan awal anak-anak Khariah setempat dan berdekatan dalam masa yang terhad dan demi alasan kekangan tempat dimangsakan. 

Bertitik tolak Jawatankuasa Surau Al-Kautsar, sesi tahun 2016 hingga 2019 yang baru dilantik, kesempitan ruang untuk aktiviti dan sumber kewangan telah menggenakan sewaan RM2,000 sebulan ke atas KEMAS yang menyediakan khidmat pendidikan awal kepada lebih kurang 30 orang pelajar yang dikenakan RM25.00 sebulan kepada waris mereka. 
Walaupun tidak berpadanan kegunaan Tabika dan kutipan serta kepenggunaan diluar masanya, jumlah tersebut dinafikan dilewatkan bayaran TNB oleh pihak KEMAS dan telah dijelaskan sepenuhnya. Pihak pengurusan Surau kemudian beralih mendakwa, keputusan mereka mendapat sokongan penduduk untuk menutup khidmat Tabika KEMAS, sedangkan dalam bancian lebih dari 75% bersetuju Tabika itu diteruskan! 
Perbincangan yang melibatkan waris Tabika, pegawai KEMAS dan Jawatankuasa Surau Al-Kautsar sejak 27 Januari 2016 berakhir dengan kata putus menutup tabika tersebut berkuatkuasa 25 Nov 2016, dengan akujanji mencari tapak baru untuk tabika, namun tidak disempurnakan sehingga ini sepertimana dalam persuratan. 

Pastinya, sikap berdiam diri dan berdolak dalik pengurusan Surau Al-Kautsar sangat membimbangkan. Apa yang dapat dilihat adalah ini antara satu pendekatan bersifatkan politik dengan peluang anak-anak Khariah mendekati Islam dan pelajaran dijadikan bahan pertaruhan. Malahan bantahan dari waris-waris Tabika bagaikan tidak ambil enteng akan keperluan dan kebajikan mereka. 

Pendidikan awal adalah satu tuntutan menurut Agama ke atas umat Islam; Fardhu Kifayah. Lebih malang lagi, bagi jiwa-jiwa kerdil yang baru meniti kehidupan, usaha mendekatkan Agama perlu dilihat di dalam skop yang lebih besar, bukannya dengan membenihkan kebencian ke rumah Allah. 
Mutakhir ini, dek kefahaman politik berpuak-puak, segala usaha penyatuan dan santunan hidup diletak di bawah kanta pembesar; memilih dan mengasingkan andai tidak sehaluan. Semoga ada “jiwa-jiwa besar” dapat campurtangan dan menyelesaikan kemelut demi Tauhid kepada Allah Subha nahu wa ta’ala.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Deforestation: For Wealth or Ecological Sustenance and Stability?

The Orang Asli population command 1% of Malaysia’s population and recognised by the Malaysian government, yet their rights to the land is unbelievably denied or put to test. The state of Kelantan was one of the worst for indigenous land rights and deforestation, the same issues had affected indigenous communities across the country for decades. 

On Wednesday, a heated confrontation turned battleground was reported between the Orang Asli community and loggers in the jungle on the tract of land located between Pos Tohoi and Pos Simpor, a two and a half drive from Gua Musang, Kelantan. 

The recent land dispute became the center of argument when the Orang Asli claimed as their customary and ancestral land, while the loggers armed with shotgun and chainsaws having the concession from the authorities to clear the land for rubber trees re-plantation. The logging not only threatens the livelihood of the indigenous people, but also desecrates their past when the digging takes place at grave sites. 
The situation is notably tense since claims by both party maybe right and justified. The logging licences obtained from the Kelantan Forestry Department cannot be refuted. Then again, for the Orang Asli community one of the indigenous ethnics with its majority living in the interior; the jungle is their settlement and livelihood. 

Have we not learned history of the ‘great’ race occupying new frontiers and horizons of the natives? The Red Indians oppressed by the White migrants looking for greener pastures. The Spanish conquistadors conquered and annihilated the Inca civilization. Or the penal settlers from the Great Britain and Europe overrun the Aborigines in Australia? 

“When they develop the land, they destroy everything inside the jungle,” said Azmi Badul, chairman of the Kelantan Network of Orang Asli Villages (JKOAK). The logging businesses have long presence in the region's expansive jungles, but the rate of deforestation has increased in the past decade as private companies clear-cut the forests. 

Deforestation not only affected the natural resources, it too is making the indigenous communities' traditional way of life difficult to maintain. Rivers runs dry or contaminated and food sources are threatened as a result of persistent logging, threatening the way of life for the indigenous people living in Malaysia's forests. 
Land development undertaken by the government in the area of aboriginal land has caused much conflicts between the developer and the local communities, resulting to the Orang Asli involved left homeless and in search of resources to maintain their livelihood.  

Astonishingly the National Land Code 1965 gives importance to the land registered in the Land Registry while the ancestral lands inherited from generation to generation not protected under the laws of Malaysia, thus allowing state government authorities to invoke Land Acquisition Act 1960 on the Orang Asli. 

According to a 2012 study by the University of Maryland using Google Maps data, Malaysia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Most of the land is cleared for palm oil or rubber plantations, which have played a major role in Malaysia's economic growth. The logging industry too is inviting to myriads of issues; bribery, abuse of powers, ecological side effects to name a few. 

Deforestation is believed the contributing factor to the size of the flooding that hit in December 2014, killing 23 people and forcing more than 200,000 from their homes. While flooding is an annual occurrence, the December floods were the worst on record in Malaysia for 30 years. 

"If you don't respect the forest, this is what happens," says one Orang Asli.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Selangor Water Shortage: Consumers Taken Hostage

While the Selangor Government has agreed to allocate RM400 million to replace 422 km of old water pipes in stages since July until 2019 to solve water woes in the Klang Valley, hopefully in the meantime the consumers has to bear the difficulties of carrying out their daily lives?

Water is not merely a necessity. It is the source of life. All efforts should be directed for the Rakyat in Selangor, and holding them at ransom or political injustice. So why is Selangor facing water shortage and who is to be blamed?  

The Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant and Water Reticulation System concession in 2009 by the Federal Government would have been completed, however it was delayed due to polemics by the state government. It was to address the increasing demands for water by the population and the industries, especially during drought seasons. 

Under the concession agreement, the initial water tariff was tagged at very low rates, allowing for gradual increases in the interest of the public. These increases would provide additional revenue to the water companies for the maintenance of increased water supply and reduce leakages or non-revenue water (NRW). 
The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) promised free water or no increase in water tariff to win majority votes in Selangor. To achieve this, they intended to buy out the water companies and halted any increase in water tariff despite provisioned in the concession agreements, tantamount to breach of contract. 

The Selangor Government must be held responsible and accountable for the water shortage, yet as their usual traits, fast to deflect this problem and blames the Federal Government. 

The rakyat of Selangor will be dogged with water woes while the Selangor government unabashed. To make matters worse, in the interest of the public and the Malaysian economy, the Federal Government has to bear the financial costs and saves the day, while the state government reaps the credit.

Perpetrators Held Responsible

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak is committed firm action to be taken against the perpetrators in the downing of flight MH17 and promised those responsible will be brought to justice. 
The statement was made following the conclusion of international prosecutors investigating the tragedy on 17th July 2014 that killed all 298 passengers and airline crew on board the ill-fated flight en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, most of them Dutch citizens. 

Investigations had also identified 100 potential suspects of the plane’s downing, shot down by a Russian-made BUK missile launched from eastern Ukraine. At the time of the incident, pro-Russian separatists were fighting the Ukrainian government forces in the region. 

Though the Russian government denied any direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict or responsibility in the downing of MH17, it has resulted in the European Union and Unites States to impose sanctions upon Russia. 

While the prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine deliberate on the next cause of action, Malaysia Airline System (MAS) has gone through two tragedies; MH370 and MH17 of such magnitude in a span of four months. 

The losses dealt by MAS not only impacted its bookings but raised concerns of flight risks and threats. Many aviation experts agreed for a better global aviation system in aircraft tracking, overflying conflict zones and sharing of information between airlines on airspace threats.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Penang Ferry Service: Past and Present

Penang Ferry Service is the oldest ferry service in Malaysia. It too resembles an icon to the state of Penang. This famous ferry service began operation in 1920 under the management of a Chinese owned company. However, today, it is operated by Penang Port Sdn. Bhd. (PPSB) that has the concession to operate the port till 2023 under a privatisation agreement with the federal government. 

Located in the state of Penang, this famous ferry service connects Sultan Abdul Halim terminal in Butterworth and Raja Tun Uda terminal at Weld Quay, George Town in Penang Island. 

The ferry were designed for vehicles to roll on/roll off with two decks. Generally the pedestrian passengers would occupy the upper deck, fitted with pivoting benches and the lower deck for motor vehicles. 

In its glory days, the ferry runs a fleet of nine ferries named after the islands in Malaysia. The ferry was the main link of transportation until the Penang Bridge was commissioned in 1985, an alternative route in and out of the island. 

Then tragedy struck! On 31st July 1988, the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal bridge collapse and 32 lives perished while 1, 674 people injured. The cause of the calamity…overcrowding of pedestrian passengers on the left passageway and the steel bar of the jetty giving way of the burdening weight. 

The ferry service though revived, however began to plunge into the reds. Several ferries were sold for scrap or purposes elsewhere. Since January 2016, PPSB introduced cutbacks on the number of ferries servicing the route to the dismay of the regular ferry commuters. 
For regular ferry commuters working on the island or the mainland, time is the utmost concerned. The reduced number of ferries had put them in a lurch; hurriedly to get to their destination or forced to wait the next trip. During peak hours or weekends and holiday seasons, motor vehicles would line in queues to the main road causing traffic jam. 

PPSB’s decision to operate three ferries in their effort to cut down costs due to the declining numbers of vehicles between the mainland and the island; increased intervals is not received well by the commuters. 

Other than the re-branding or rather re-imaging the ferries exterior with striking colors, is there anything else to be expected for the die-hard commuters?