Monday, August 27, 2012

Cermin diri sendiri dulu, Kit Siang

Saya selalu menjadi sinis setiap kali membaca kenyataan Lim Kit Siang tentang Sabah, sebahagiannya kerana beliau menolak mentah-mentah untuk mengakui kegagalan kerajaan DAP di Pulau Pinang.

Lim Kit Siang harus mengkaji semula janji-janji palsu kerajaan DAP di Pulau Pinang. Mereka telah menang di Pulau Pinang bersandarkan janji-janji berpublisiti tinggi semata.

Ini termasuklah janji untuk menyelesaikan masalah kekurangan perumahan kos rendah, mengurangkan kesesakan lalulintas, mengekang kenaikan harga perumahan, memelihara alam sekitar, berlaku adil kepada masyarakat minoriti Pulau Pinang terutamanya masyarakat India Pulau Pinang, dan juga menjadi sebuah kerajaan yang telus.

Malangnya, kerajaan DAP di Pulau Pinang di bawah kepimpinan anak beliau sendiri telah gagal sama sekali. Pemuliharaan alam sekitar semakin merudum, pembangunan cerun bukit berleluasa; kesesakan lalulintas yang mencekik keselesaan warga pulau semakin teruk; golongan miskin dan bumiputera masih tidak mampu memiliki perumahan yang sangat tinggi harganya, kecuali jika mereka berhijrah ke tanah besar; dan walaupun dengan janji berpublisiti tinggi melimpah ruah dari Anwar Ibrahim, masyarakat minoriti India di Kampung Buah Pala tetap kehilangan tempat tinggal dan perkampungan mereka di tangan Lim Guan Eng.

Sejak DAP mengambil alih Pulau Pinang, tanah-tanah premium kerajaan telah dijual kepada kroni-kroni mereka dan pertukaran status tanah (yang mana sebelum ini kerajaan Gerakan telah dikritik teruk oleh DAP) telah menjadi satu sumber pendapatan utama.

Selain daripada itu, banyak penjelasan yang mengelirukan telah diberikan kepada penduduk-penduduk Pulau Pinang tentang kegagalan kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang dalam program perumahan kos rendah, jualan kontroversi tanah mahkota Pulau Pinang, iaitu Bayan Mutiara, yang bernilai ratusan juta dan dakwaannya berjaya mengurangkan hutang kerajaan negeri kepada kerajaan Persekutuan pada kadar 95%.

Contoh terakhir di atas mengenai pengurangan hutang kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang adalah satu kenyataan yang benar-benar mengelirukan dari Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang. Beliau mendabik dada dan mendakwa bahawa Pulau Pinang telah mencipta sejarah apabila ia berjaya mengurangkan hutang dari RM600 juta kepada RM30 juta dalam tempoh dua tahun sejak beliau dilantik sebagai Ketua Menteri.

Apa yang sengaja disembunyikan dari penduduk-penduduk Pulau Pinang adalah fakta bahawa hutang kerajaan negeri telah kurang, kerana Kerajaan Persekutuan bersetuju untuk mengambil alih hutang sebanyak RM600 juta itu lalu menukarkannya kepada status geran selama 45 tahun, di bawah program rasionalisasi sistem perbekalan air negeri!

Ia tidak ada kaitan langsung dengan polisi-polisi ekonomi milik Lim Guan Eng. Tanpa persetujuan kerajaan Persekutuan, tidak mungkin Pulau Pinang akan berupaya mengurangkan hutang-hutangnya. Sepatutnya beliau berterima kasih kepada kerajaan Persekutuan, namun sudah menjadi tabiat Lim Guan Eng suka menukar cerita dan memuji diri sendiri atas usaha orang lain.


Satu lagi contoh yang mengelirukan rakyat adalah apabila Lim Kit Siang sekeras-kerasnya membantah pembinaan sebuah empangan di Kota Belud, ironis sekali bila beliau memilih untuk berdiam diri apabila anaknya bersetuju dengan sebuah projek empangan bernilai RM1.2 bilion (3 kali lebih mahal dari kos cadangan empangan di Kota Belud) yang akan dibina oleh kerajaan Persekutuan.

Apabila ditanya kenapa DAP bersetuju dengan pembinaan empangan tersebut sedangkan DAP membantah pembinaan empangan di Kota Belud, kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang berkata mereka memerlukan empangan tersebut untuk tujuan pertanian dan memastikan bekalan air Pulau Pinang sentiasa cukup.

Itu adalah sebab-sebab yang sama kenapa empangan di Kota Belud harus dibina! Nampaknya, bagi Lim Kit Siang, kehidupan penduduk-penduduk Pulau Pinang lebih bernilai daripada penduduk-penduduk Kota Belud dan Sabah.

Apa yang lebih mengecewakan adalah apabila ditanya oleh ahli-ahli parlimen BN di Parlimen, kombinasi bapa dan anak ini enggan memberikan penjelasan yang jelas tentang isu-isu yang menghantui Pulau Pinang.

Sent by Maxis from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Look at your own backyard, Kit Siang

It always amuses me whenever I read Lim Kit Siang's statement on Sabah, partly because he refuses to see the failures of his own DAP government of Penang.

Lim Kit Siang should start looking at the failed promises of DAP government in Penang. They won Penang on the back of many higly publicised promises. These include promise to solve low cost housing, easing traffic jam, putting a cap on escalating prices of houses, guarding the environment, being fair to the Penang minorities especially the Penang Indians and being transparent.

Unfortunately, DAP government in Penang, under his son leadership, has failed miserably. The environment is getting worse, the hill side developmet continues unabated, traffic jam increasingly notorious, the poor and bumiputras are priced out from the expensive housing market on the island and slowly driven out to the main land and despite a much publicised promise by Anwar Ibrahim, the minority Penang Indians in Kampung Buah Pala lost their houses and village in the hands of Lim Guan Eng.

Since DAP took over Penang, premium state lands were sold to cronies and land conversion (which Gerakan was fiercely criticised by DAP before) had became an important source of revenue.

For example, a lot of misleading explanantion were offered to Penangites on the truth about DAP Penang government's failed low cost housing program, the controversy sale of Penang's crown jewel of land, the Bayan Mutiara sea front land which was worth hundreds of millions and its claim of reducing state debts to the Federal government by 95%.

The last example on reduction of Penang state debt was a blatant misleading statement by the Chief Minister of Penang. He boasted and claimed credit that Penang made a history when it sliced its debts from RM600mil to RM30million within 2 years he was appointed Chief Minister.

What he conveniently left out from telling the Penangites was that the state debt was reduced because the Federal Government had agreed to take over the RM600 million debt from the Penang state government and turned it into a 45 year grant status under the water rationalization program! It had nothing to do with Lim Guan Eng's economic policy. Without the federal government's agreement, there was no way Penang would be able to reduce its debts. Instead of thanking the federal government, the typical Lim Guan Eng turned and took all the credit.
Another example of misleading the rakyat was when Lim Kit Siang adamantly objected a dam in Kota Belud but chose to remain dumb when his son gleefully accepted a RM1.2billion dam to be built in Penang by the federal government.

When asked why DAP agreed to the dam when DAP rejected a dam in Kota Belud, DAP government in Penang said they need it for agriculture and to ensure enough water supply for Penangites. Those are the very reasons why the dam in Kota Belud was needed to be built! It seems, to Lim Kit Siang, the lives of Penangites worth more than the people of Kota Belud and Sabah.

What is more frustrating is when asked in Parliament by BN MPs, the father and son combo refused to give clear explanantion on many issues affecting Penang.
Sent by Maxis from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Malaysia's steady but sure growth


Welcome to Kuala Lumpur, the IPO town … where bankers are enjoying a boom of breathtaking proportions." This is how one journalist described the recent initial public offerings of Felda Global Ventures Holdings and IHH Healthcare on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange, in the world's second- and third-biggest listings this year.

Equating Kuala Lumpur with major financial centres such as Hong Kong or Singapore, as some reporters have done in recent weeks, is perhaps indicative of the hype that tends to surround major stock market listings. But the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange is gaining in strength; it hit a record high in July. By bucking the gloomy global trend, it also mirrors the wider Malaysian economy.

In the first quarter of this year, the Malaysian economy clipped along at a respectable 4.7per cent, even as our main export markets in Europe languished in recession, and important trading partners such as China and India came off the boil. Malaysia's debt levels remain at a manageable 53.6per cent of gross domestic product, while our unemployment rate stands at 3per cent. Per capita income has increased from US$6,700 in 2009 to US$9,700 at the end of last year. British Prime Minister David Cameron recently referred to Malaysia as a "powerhouse of the modern global economy".

As Malaysia's prime minister, it would be tempting, but wrong, to claim the credit for this economic success. The real praise must go to the brilliance of our entrepreneurs, the enthusiasm of our young, plugged-in graduates, and of course the dedication and hard work of the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who work in core industries such as plantations, services and manufacturing. That being said, the government's steady economic stewardship, and in particular our Economic Transformation Programme, has provided a sound basis for our country's economic resilience.

Malaysia never embraced the unregulated, instant-gratification capitalism that has proved catastrophic to some economies since the global financial crisis. Instead, we focused on ensuring stability and making considered, iterative reforms that accrue long-term dividends. We have liberalised services sectors, focused investment in key growth industries and divested state ownership in well-established companies. Felda Global and IHH Healthcare are cases in point. For many years, the government owned majority holdings in these fledgling companies, shielding them to some extent from the vagaries of the market until they were mature enough to fly the nest. Felda Global is now the world's third-largest palm oil company by acreage, while IHH Healthcare is Asia's biggest hospital operator.

The government continues to support emerging industries that will power the Malaysian - and the global - economy in the decades to come. For example, we aim to grow our information, communication and technology sector to provide 17per cent of national income by 2020; and we are supporting low-carbon technologies, such as solar modules, super-efficient LED lighting and hybrid and electric cars. Our tourism and high-end manufacturing sectors are already global leaders; while Malaysia is the world's front runner in Islamic finance.

Last Monday, I cut the ribbon on the Tun Razak Exchange, Kuala Lumpur's new international financial district. The exchange aims to attract 250 companies, create 500,000 new jobs and generate over US$8billion in development value. Our aim is to transform Kuala Lumpur into a global financial centre.

The value of the Islamic finance sector, for example, was just US$5billion in 1985 but is over US$1trillion today. Malaysia accounts for some 40per cent of this trade and we plan to triple the value of this sector over the next decade. Growth areas such as these will ensure that we are well positioned to lead tomorrow's global economy and achieve our ambition of reaching developed country status by 2020.

In Malaysia, however, we avoid equating development purely with economic growth. An open and dynamic economy requires equally vibrant and competitive politics. For Malaysia's long-term stability and success, our political system must evolve and mature alongside our economy. For these reasons, the government has in the past few months implemented a raft of reforms aimed at strengthening and deepening our democracy.

These reforms include ending Malaysia's decades-old state of emergency; repealing the Internal Security Act - that permitted detention without trial - with legislation that allows police to detain terrorist suspects for up to 28 days, and only for the purpose of active investigation; introducing legislation to liberalise the media; widening the scope for student participation in politics; and, most recently, repealing the much maligned Sedition Act, which dated back to colonial times.

I believe that the Malaysian approach - a steady, nurturing form of capitalism, with economic and political reforms going hand in hand - can continue to bring success. And I hope that the Kuala Lumpur bourse, like our economy, will continue to experience more of the Malaysian boom, and less of global gloom, in the months and years ahead.

Aug 04, 2012
South China Morning Post

Najib Razak says Malaysia's decision to develop its economy through measured reform, rather than embrace unregulated capitalism, has shielded it from the downturn and laid the groundwork for growth. Source here >> 







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