Friday, December 26, 2008

Homeless man who called Kuching Waterfront his home

About a week ago, a skiny man in his 60s, originally from Sibu came to the office. When I walked down the staircase to meet him on the first floor of our office, an instant greet from this man "YB, I need your help". With no hesitation, I invited him to the office conference room to hear out his problem.

The first statement from him (with tears in his eyes) was " Wui (my chinese name), if not of desperation I would not come to you." I was suprised that he called me using my chinese name. Usually, only those who knew me well would call me "Wui".

He told me during his employment, lodging was provided to him but ever since he stopped work as a construction worker months ago due to severe pain in his left arm, he had to call Kuching Waterfront his home. He slept on bare ground with no mattress, pillows and blanket.

He articulated to me how he attempted helps from those whom he could think of including the SUPP YBs in Sibu and Kuching. But to his disappointment, no sincere helps came from them. All he got from them were excuses and empty forms. He was told to fill the forms himself and submit up to the relevant authority. This was the so called help from SUPP guys. No mercy and care from them towards the less fortunate. All they say and do is about "Kantow... Kantow and Kantow"..

After getting all facts and information from him, I drove him personally to the Welfare Department, Kuching. I met up with the relevant officer and asked the welfare department to give this man a shelter.

I am pleased with the efficient service of the welfare department, Kuching in dealing with this specific matter. I was officially informed by the welfare department that they had given this man an "One Off" financial aid of RM60.00 as well as Travel Cost of RM52.00 to send this man back to Sibu.

This man had eventually decided that he does not wish to stay in the welfare home as he wants to be independant and find a job later to survive. In view of his condition, the Welfare Officer had also liased with the Welfare Department in Sibu to process the monthly welfare aid to be given to this man.

At least, I had shown guidance to this man so to able him to go on with his life.

For DAP, we serve with pride despite of race, religion, culture, poor or rich.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DAP Sarawak 30th Anniversary Dinner

DAP Sarawak 30th Anniversary Dinner was successfully held on 14th December, 2008. The heavy downpour on Sunday evening did not stop the staunch supporters of DAP from attending the dinner. The dinner was fully packed. I was touched by the spirit of DAP 's Supporters.

This is the first ever biggest DAP's dinner held in Sarawak with 3500 people attending. NO doubt, the great support from the people drives us to work harder.

Below are some pictures taken during the dinner.

Welcoming the CM of Penang YAB Lim Guan Eng

Singing "Negaraku"

"The Two Ladies" - Ms. Ting Tze Fui ADUN for Meradong and I

Birthday Cake cutting ceremony. The cake weighs 100 kg! No joke!

A touching moment.

"Surprise Gift"from YAB Lim to Mr. Chong Siew Chiang

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bizarre Statements by Ding Kuong Hing on Tar College

I cannot believe that statements made by a MP of Sarikei could be that bizzare.

This morning, what had caught my attention was a news in page 2 of today's Eastern Times with the heading "Chong a sore loser, says Ding".

As we all know, in the March 8th General Election this year, SUPP had made a big "huha" on the issue of "where there is Ding, there is Tar College" to fish for votes in the Sarikei Parliamentary Election. Ting Pek Kiing even made public statements that he will build the Tar College if Ding wins. As a result, due to the sweet empty promises of SUPP, DAP's candidate Dr. Wong Hua Seh lost by 51 votes to Ding in the last general election.

Despite the winning of Ding in Sarikei, there is still no Tar College built. It remains a lie of SUPP and its leaders!!

On the 3.12.2008, Chong, MP for Bandar Kuching received the clarification from Higher Education Minister in Parliament that there was never any application made from Sarawak to build a Tar College in Sarikei. For this issue, Chong said SUPP and Ding must apologize as they had mislead the people of Sarawak.

According to Chong, during the debate of the Tar College issue, Ding was absent from Parliament. He was seen no where in the Parliament.

I do not know whether Ding understood the issue well or he has totally missed out the point made by Chong. I was stunned by the statements from Ding where he explained the reasons why there is no Tar College up till now.

Let me quote what he said to ET: "if they (DAP) had not appealed, we would have been doing the college by now. But with the case hanging, we will not do it. Besides, it is a huge project and we need the government's support in this." "Now that the DAP lost in the petition against me, they still want to appeal. If I lost the appeal, I doubt the developer will want to build the Tar College," he said. " In the first place, if there is an appeal against the court judgment, it will be unfair to me if I am to star the college and then lost the appeal," he added.

It is obvious that Ding admitted that the promise to build Tar College in Bintagor remains empty promise. From what Ding had said, we can easily understand that it was only a political gimmick of SUPP when they said Ting Pek Kiing would help to build the college. A lie remains a lie.

Whether there is an appeal or not, whether Ding wins or loses in the appeal of the election petition case brought by Dr. Wong, Ding stood under the ticket of SUPP must build the college. The fact remains that he had won and served as MP since March, 2008. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, the people in Sarikei had voted Ding and Ding is duty bound to build the college.

Ding, do not shift the attention away and blame DAP for everthing which you and your party SUPP cannot fulfil. Just answer to the people why you, Ting Pek Kiing and your party SUPP declared widely during the campaign time of the general election that there will be Tar College in Sarikei if you win despite no application made to the Ministry of Higher Education to build the college at the first place? Why SUPP dare to cheat the people of Sarikei by saying that there will be a Tar College built?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday to DAP Sarawak

DAP Sarawak is celebrating its 30th Birthday this year since its inception to Sarawak in the year 1978. If not because of Mr. Chong Siew Chiang who brought in the party to Sarawak 3 decades ago and the selflessness sacrifices of all DAP's leaders, the party will not have survived until today. I, as younger generation in the party salute to all leaders for their courage and determination in leading DAP Sarawak to greater heights.

DAP Sarawak has gone through 30 years of struggle and perseverance in fighting for the rights of Sarawakians regardless of race, religion and culture. Despite the ups and downs all these years, I am proud to say that DAP Sarawak is a tested party for all! DAP Sarawak is ever ready to take on whatever challeges for the sake of its people.

To celebrate this aupicious occasion, DAP Kuching will hold a 300 tables dinner on 14.12.2008 at Kuching Yung's (Foochow) Club, 7th Mile Kuching. Our guest of Honour for the night is Chief Minister of Penang YAB Lim Guan Eng. Dr. Tan Seng Giaw MP for Kepong and Tony Pua MP for Petaling Jaya Utara will also be present at the dinner.

For sure, without the people's support, DAP Sarawak is nothing. Hence, we treasure your staunch support to the party.

We would be very proud to have you with us at the dinner.

For those who wish to purchase tickets for the dinner, please contact us via:-

1. DAP service centre at Chong Lin Park Kuching: Tel: 082-414531
2. Myself: Tel: 016-8898544


Friday, November 7, 2008




我了解到,欧盟与马来西亚(包括砂拉越代表)有着一项会谈,以期达致自愿伙伴合约(Voluntary Partnership Agreement),对木材合法的定义有所共识。可是遗憾的是,有关的自愿伙伴合约的洽谈,却因各造的意见无法取得共识而毫无头绪。欧盟比较认同非政府组织与本地律师的立场,即来自具争议性的土著习俗地木材是属于非法的,除非有关的土著习俗地争议被解决(与法庭决定一致)。但砂拉越州律政司却对”合法“的定义有着不同的看法,即认为只要有执照就属于合法。然而,我们也知道这些发给朋党及家族的执照是那么的专横。




据了解,2007年3月26日,印尼Metro电视也播出了有关非法木材交易的3段调查系列,内容包括访问及现场拍摄。有关片段也可以从You Tube网站上看到,片名为“Kayu Mengalir Sampai Kching”。

有关片段中提及了Harwood Timber有限公司,也播出了非法木材是如何运到古晋三马丹及将之合法化。该电视台也报导,60%的印尼非法木材都是出口到砂拉越。

2008年4月13日,在一个叫Batak Monarchies的印尼部落格(出现了一篇主题为“马来西亚高级官员涉及非法伐木“的文章;另一个印尼网站(中,砂州政府所拥有的Harwood Timber有限公司的名字也被揭露;西加里曼丹坤甸论坛报业在今年8月14日的头条也报导非法木材交易,追踪了从印尼Ketapang受保护森林获取木材运到古晋的事件,而Harwood Timber有限公司也再被提及,但这次也提及的“砂拉越元首泰益玛目”的字眼。

有关报导揭露印尼非法木材被进口到砂拉越,然后再从砂拉越转为合法化木材出口至北亚国家。瑞士的欧洲非政府组织Bruno Manser 基金因此呼吁欧盟委员会中止与马来西亚的会谈,直到马来西亚作出明确的解释。







基于Harwood Timber有限公司的名字出现在作这些指责的报导和部落格,如果印尼非法木材在砂州合法化再出口的指责被证实属实,那我想问的是,Harwood Timber有限公司及其官员是否会受到对付?有木材商告诉我,揭露有关非法木材交易的人士,目前正在印尼监狱服刑,而他拥有证据来支持其指责,包括有关木材如何从印尼的保护森林砍伐及通过Harwood Timber有限公司的木材仓库以水陆路运到古晋。



我也对一项两年前由资源管理与策划部发出予砂林产机构(Sarawak Forestry Corporation)的指示感到震惊。

我被被告知有关指示是所有的非法木材的处理及售卖予本地市场的工作都必须交由Harwood Timber有限公司进行处理。而Harwood Timber有限公司在处理前,将对这些木材缴交版税。

我也被告知这项指示是由首席部长做出,而指示的副本也呈予州律政司、砂拉越森林局、砂木材发展局及Harwood Timber有限公司。


为何Harwood Timber有限公司这件砂州所拥有的公司可以获得处理所有非法木材的权利。是否这些非法木材在被送往加工时,便由Harwood Timber有限公司给合法化?政府又如何确保这些由非法木材制成的木材产品不会被出口至外国?
我不晓得这项由资源管理与策划部发出的指示是否会鼓励非法伐木活动我建议,在有关指示被资源管理与策划部保卫与保护单位(Security and Protection Unit)执行前,该单位应该弄清楚这些非法木材的来源。了解这些木材是否从社区森林或受保护森林而来。如果是属于土著社群的社区森林,木材那就应该交回与相关的社群决定,而不是售予Harwood Timber有限公司。


















我也提出了7片直接分割给与Naim Cendera集团有关联的私人公司的详情:
1. 207.678公顷(513.17英亩)的Lot 1748 Muara Tuang地段分割给Naim Cendera有限公司充作房屋发展。
2. 33.599 公顷(83英亩)的Lot 4711 Block 14 Salak 地段分割给Khidmat Mantap有限公司充作房屋发展,该公司乃由Naim Cendera有限公司全权拥有。

3. 13.597 公顷(33.59英亩)的Lot 3287 Block 10 古晋市区地段割让给与Naim Cendera控股公司同样股东的Peranan Makmur有限公司充作商业发展。

4. 18.358公顷及552公顷的Lots 766 and 767 Block 7 三巴地地段割让给Tegap Pesat有限公司。该公司是由Naim Cendera有限公司拥有部分股权及Naim Cendera控股公司也一些股东也拥有股份。

5. Lots 3161 于3162 Section 10 的古晋市区地段割让予Naim Cendera 的附属公司Dataran Wangsa 有限公司,充作房屋用途。

她所揭露的与林甘短片有异曲同工之妙,从这些有限公司的名字看来:“看起来不一样、听起来不一样、但它没有不一样”,这些公司全是来自Naim Cendera集团。

她所揭露的,其实只是冰山一角。还有更多的土地割让给与砂州首席部长有密切关系的Naim Cendera集团。

人民想知道为何这些土地的割让并没有通过公开投标程序?为何这些属于人民的土地会落入Naim Cendera集团手中?这些地段是否在没有州周政府偿还地捐的情况下就割让?州政府如何计算这些割让地段的地捐?

我质问为何作为资源与策划部长的首席部长会允许上百、甚至上千英亩的地段直接割让给其表兄弟的公司,即Naim Cendera集团的公司。



1. 地契更新99年应该是自动及免更新费的。

2. 小块的住宅地段应该以象征式的地捐割让予贫困及有需要的人民。

3. 具有商业价值的大块地段的割让必须通过公开投标的程序,以增加政










Sabu 发展有限公司、Chapri发展有限公司、 Million Ascen有限公司及 Besthouse发展有限公司.

在2008年7月间,一群为数11人的来自Taman Million,购买由 Million Ascen有限公司发展的房屋的购屋者因面对发展商不肯对房屋出现的缺陷进行抢修,且有关房屋也没有依据建筑蓝图建造房子却获得市政局发出入伙准证的事件,在她的带领下前往房屋部救助,希望当局对有关的发展商采取适当的行动。














1. 规定当发展商潜逃、房屋计划废置或公司出现问题时,公司的董事及股东本身应向买主负责;

2. 规定在知道建筑工程未依据买卖合约的条件完成而签署证书的绘测师及工程师本身应向他们的行为负责;

3. 如果负责人士有理由相信房屋发展商危害购屋者利益或没有依据条例规定,就应该冻结有关发展商的房屋发展户口。


Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Debate Speech touched on establishedment of Housing Tribunal, Illegal Timber Trade, and Alienation of State Lands

Three days i.e. 5th, 6th & 7th Nov, was set for members in the August House to debate on the Supply Bill tabled on 2.11.2008. This sitting, I was asked by our party whip to speak first and that is why I was all set for it.

For the last few sittings, there will be no time limit for those who spoke on the 1st day of debate. However, time limit of 30 minutes was set this round. I prepared 9 issues for my debate speech. But sadly to say that, due to time constrained and unwarranted interruptions of BN backbenchers for touching sensitive issues, I only manged to speak three out of my nine issues prepared.

I was racing formula 1 when I read my speech. Nevertheless, I still cannot meet my goal to put forward all my 9 issues.

The issues which I spoke on are:-

1. Request for Establishment of Sarawak Housing Tribunal;
2. Illegal Timber Trade and its Serious Implication (Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd. was touched at length on its alleged involvment in illegal timber trade);
3. Policy on Land Alienation (Naim Cendera Group was mentioned as hundreds of acres of state lands were alienated to them).

Please read my speech below:-

Violet Yong’s Debate Speech on the Supply (2009) Bill, 2008

Thank you Tuan Speaker for giving me the opportunity to present my debate speech this morning. I will raise a few issues.

1. Request for establishment of Sarawak Housing Tribunal

Tuan Speaker,

Nowadays, with the drastic increase in number of complaints against dishonest or deceitful developers in the State of Sarawak, it is high time for the State Government of Sarawak to set up a housing tribunal in the state to implement laws to tackle the problem. At the moment, the Housing Developers and Licensing Ordinance 1993 and Housing Developers Regulations 1999 are 'toothless" to go against unscrupulous developers who have cheated innocent consumers. The legal framework is very much infertile and weak whereby the Ministry of Housing, Sarawak has no power to act to protect the interest and welfare of properties buyers.

Indeed, it is very shameful to say that Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that has yet to set up a housing tribunal to deal with complaints from house buyers against developers. The idea of setting up a housing tribunal has been discussed by the Ministry of Housing since 2003, but the state government appears to have shown neither interest or any intention and political will to speed up the establishment of such a tribunal.

Tuan Speaker,

There were numerous complaints from disgruntled house buyers who discovered their newly purchased properties are abound with serious defects due to low quality building materials or that their properties are either not constructed according to approved building plans. There are also extreme cases where there are defaults on the part of the developers for not delivering the properties to the purchasers within the stipulated time frame.

Worst still, some of the housing projects have been abandoned by the developers with full purchase price of the properties being disbursed to developers, resulting in purchasers having to continue servicing their housing loans. These buyers were left serving the loans for nothing. I was told and had even experienced it myself indicating that the Ministry of Housing has either been ignorant or choose to ignore all these problems.

Such injustice should stop. We must understand that the majority of the people used their life long savings to purchase a house for their own and to end up with dishonest developers, these victims are desperate. Their cries for help went unheard!

A few such developers which was brought to my attention should have stern action taken against them are Sabu Development Sdn. Bhd., Chapri Development Sdn. Bhd., Million Ascend Sdn. Bhd. and Besthouse Development Sdn. Bhd.

Tuan Speaker,

Sometime in July, 2008, due to the refusal of the developer to fully rectified the defects, I brought along 11 house buyers from Taman Million along Jalan Kempas, a residential estate developed by Million Ascend Sdn. Bhd. to the Ministry of Housing to appeal for assistance to take appropriate action against the developer for shoddy workmanship and also on buildings not built in accordance with building plans despite occupation permits being issued by the council.

We made two trips to the housing ministry with the intention to meet up with the permanent secretary to seek help. But sad to say, we only end up meeting up with a few ministry officials. The ministry of housing promised to fix a date for all parties concerned to attend to solve the problem but this has never materialized.

Instead, the Ministry of Housing issued a letter to request the 11 house buyers to resort to legal advice and action. It is very unreasonable and irresponsible for the ministry to request the 11 house buyers to resolve the matter on their own through the legal process. Have the ministry even consider and concern about those poor consumers who cannot afford to engage a lawyer? Isn't it obvious that they have to "eat dead cat"?

As to the issuance of occupation permit for the project, the 11 house buyers had also brought the matter to the attention of MBKS. And the reply from the council was that they do not conduct close checks on the construction of the buildings and the occupation permit is issued based on the certificate of completion by the architect. Is this the right and responsible way? What if the architect is signing "buta" like the present case and should the building collapse one day, who should be responsible. I understand that the roof truss were built using shoddy materials and with no proper termite treatment. Would the council want to be responsible for any possible loss of lives?

Tuan Speaker,

With the setting up of a housing tribunal, it will at least ensure that the interest of house-buyers are taken care of and also ease their burden as not everyone is wealthy enough to engage lawyer to fight the case in civil court.

I see the reason put up by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Housing Sarawak as to why the state government has no intention to set up the housing tribunal as unreasonable and irresponsible. He told the Sunday post sometime in January, 2008 and I quote "As it is now there are just not enough cases to warrant the setting up of a housing tribunal. It is just like setting up a court and is not easy to do".

In my opinion, such statement was only an excuse. Since the Permanent Secretary had admitted that the law is in place for the setting up of a tribunal in Sarawak, then it should be set up now. How long would the state government want to wait? Till the cows come home? I also want to seek clarification whether it has to do with the reason because that most of the developers are crony companies of the State Barisan National leaders and hence, they require special protection and treatment from the state and that is why the state government sees no urgency to set up the housing tribunal? Or has it been because with the establishment of the housing tribunal, it will do away all the "money making kantows" from the housing projects? Otherwise, I see no reason why the state government has been so reluctant in setting it up.

I know that the setting up of the housing tribunal is a "non-profit making project". You cannot make any money out from it! But, do remember the state government has the responsibility to do its best in making sure the welfare and interest of house buyers are not ripped off by irresponsible parties. The BN leaders should not always think of self interest but must serve the people with sincere hearts. Remember all elected representatives including our Chief Minister are the servants of the people. We should not lose sense of our relationship with the people. Please give homebuyers in Sarawak the same protection that buyers in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah enjoy.

At the same time, I also urge the state government to improve the existing laws by:

(1) making the directors and shareholders personally liable towards buyers should developers abscond, abandon housing projects or the companies are would up;

(2) making the architect or engineer personally liable in the event they issue a progress certification knowing that the construction works have not been completed in accordance with the provisions of the sale and purchase agreement; and

(3) freezing the housing development account if the controller has reason to believe that the licensed housing developer is carrying on his business in a manner detrimental to the interest of the purchasers or is contravening any provision of the law.

Of course, it is also important for the Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia to be pro-active and be serious to name and black list members who are known to have been involved in the issuance of progress certification despite works not being done or completed in accordance with the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

However, I believe, the best way to tackle the housing problems would be by setting up the Housing Tribunal as well as getting the comprehensive Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 to be extended to Sarawak.

2. Illegal Timber Trade and Its Serious Implications

Tuan Speaker,

The Environmental International agency (EIA) website news reported on October 17,2008: Almost 20% of timber imported to the European Union may come from illegal sources, but that could change under newly proposed legislation geared toward curbing illicit logging and reforestration, as well as addressing the climate, the European Commissioners said.

The possible or likely implications and, if I may add too, the benefits arising from that proposed legislation for Malaysia, a major timber exporting country, in particular for Sarawak (which contributes close to 40% of Malaysia's annual timber export earnings of about RM20 billion , must, therefore, not be under-estimated at all. I understand that the EU and Malaysia (including representatives from Sarawak) have been holding talks to try and reach what is called a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on the legality definition of timber and timber products exported to EU countries.

But, unfortunately, the VPA talks are going nowhere because of the conflict amongst stakeholders on the definition of "legality" when the EU appears to favour the (NGO and local lawyers) stand that timber from NCR-disputed areas are illegal unless the NCR issues over the concession areas are resolved (in line with the courts' decisions). But the Sarawak Government through the state Attorney-General has a different view to "legality" which is linked solely to issue of a licence over the concession area (and we know how arbitrarily and thoughtless these licences are issued to cronies and families).

The stand taken by the NGOs and the many local lawyers fighting for the rights of our indigenous people is also the stand taken by our party, DAP.

Tuan Speaker,

Looking at the same issue from a business and economic perspective, there are benefits of curbing illegal timber and ensure that all timber are from legal , I emphasize legal, not sustainable, but just legal source. The EU is paying a high premium for legal timber sourced from Malaysia which is called Green Premium which is about 50% more than market value for our timber.

But the talks, as I also understand, have also been held under a cloud following reports carried in Indonesian and Malaysian media for the past year or so of Sarawak's alleged involvement in the export of illegal Indonesian timber from Indonesian West Kalimantan to Sarawak. Two months ago, the Indonesian Forestry Minister also complained to his Malaysian counterpart about the illegal timber trade across the border between Kalimantan and Sarawak.

I also noticed that on March 26, 2007 Indonesia Metro TV produced a three-part investigative series, based on interviews and on-the-spot filming, on the illegal timber trade which could be watched on YouTube in a programme called 'Kayu Mengalir Sampai Kuching' and which implicated Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd. and showing how illegal logs being transported to Sematan Kuching and be given legitimacy. It was reported in the news by Indonesia Metro TV, 60% of illegal logs in Indonesia are being exported to Sarawak.
On April 13, 2008 under an Indonesian blogspot Batak Monarchies ( an article under the heading 'Malaysian High Ranking Official Suspected Of Illegal Logging!' a high-ranking Malaysian official was again implicated in the illegal timber trade. In yet another Indonesian website ( name of the Sarawak government-owned company was revealed as Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd. This was followed by an investigative report carried in a front-page headline in a West Kalimantan daily Tribun Pontianak on August 14,2008 about the illegal timber trade, tracing the route it took from the protected forests in Ketapang to Kuching and again Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd's name was mentioned but this time it also implicated 'Gubernur Sarawak Taib Mahmud.'
The report further stated that Indonesian illegal timber was exported to Sarawak and then re-exported to North Asia countries as legal timber from Sarawak. The Swiss-based European NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has meanwhile called on the European Commissioners to stall the talks with Malaysia and to delay the implementation of any agreement until certain clarifications have been obtained from Malaysia.

Prior to all this, an Indonesian NGO known as Telapak , very much concerned with the protection of the forests for community use, together with representatives from the Environmental International Agency (EIA) traveled under cover to Sarawak to follow the trail of the Indonesian illegal timber from Ketapang to Kuching. They also spoke to the end users of the illegal Indonesian timber.

Tuan Speaker,

Again, the seriousness of all the allegations against Malaysia, in particular Sarawak, should not be taken lightly. Whether the Sarawak government has in fact replied to the allegations in the media I am not aware of it ; or why there has been no official denial or rebuttal or rejection.
Surely, we are all aware of the serious implications not only in relation to the Malaysia-Indonesia Agreement reached on June 2002 on the banning of log exports to Malaysia and especially the European Union's move to enforce the legality question vide the proposed Forest Law Enforcement, Governance & Trade (FLEGT) to ascertain the origins of timber and timber products exported to EU countries. If we are not careful we could end up being black-listed by important consumer countries.

I would like to ask the Chief Minister also in his capacity as Minister of Planning and Resource Management why is he and the Sarawak Government have all this while kept very quiet in the face of the allegations which have been widely publicized? Do we have something to hide? Is there a lot of truth in the allegations?

If such allegations are not answered or responded to and, worst, clarifications not made or the truth told, the image of our nation will be flushed down the toilet. Our leaders and state government should not remain silent on the issue. If this persists, there will always be suspicions as to the origin or source of our timber exported to overseas market, in particular Europe which is a growing and premium market for such products.

Bearing in mind, local and international NGOs are actively investigating the matter and if their findings prove the allegations to be true are accepted by EU, European importers may think twice to buy our timber product, resulting in great financial loss to the industry and the state. Our state government should not perpetually be in a state of denial or try to sweep the problems under the carpet. Further, dealing in illegal Indonesian timber is a term that is in violation of existing bilateral and even multi-lateral agreements.

Tuan Speaker,

If the allegations about illegal Indonesian timber being re-exported from Sarawak as legal timber prove to be true, and since the name of Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd has been mentioned in the various publications and blogs, I would like to know whether any action is to be taken Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd and its officials? I am told that a timber merchant who blew the whistle on the illegal Indonesian timber trade is now being held in prison in Ketapang and he has the evidence to back up the allegations, including how the timber is being illegally felled from protected forests in Ketapang and then shipped over land and seas to Kuching via depots or log yards operated by Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd.

Further, evidence shows the illegal trade has been going on for many years and how could this happen right under the very nose of the authorities in Sarawak without their knowing it?
This, to me and my party, is a serious dereliction of duty and I call on those responsible to be held accountable as it has tarnished our country image both locally and overseas as the matter has received negative publicity overseas.

Tuan Speaker,

I would also like to draw the attention of Honourable Members of this August House to something which, in my opinion, should not have happened at all in the administration of our state forestry resource management, planning and policy. What has come as a shock to me is on being reliably informed of a directive issued about two years ago by the Ministry of Planning and Resource Management to the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) to dispose of all seized illegal logs to Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd and that Hardwood Timber Sdn Bhd shall process and sell the timber to the local market and that Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd will pay royalties from the seized timber before processing. I was informed that the directives were given by our Chief Minister and the said directive was also copied to State Attorney General, Forest Department Sarawak, STIDC and Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd. May I know whether there is such a directive issued? If so, a full explanation must be given to the people with respect to the rational of the state government in implementing such policy where in fact there are other better ways of dealing seized illegal logs. The other questions which I would like to ask are: Why Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd. has to be made as the sole beneficiary to process illegal seized logs? Why Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd. a state owned company is allowed to process illegal logs? Whether all these illegal logs were given legitimacy by Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd. before sending for processing? How does the state government be sure that the timber products made from the illegal logs are not being exported overseas?

I do not know whether the directive from the Ministry of Planning and Resource Management constitutes an act of in fact encouraging illegal logging. I would suggest, before the directive is carried out by SAPU (Security and Protection Unit), the enforcement arm of SFC, must determine where the seized illegal timber came from, whether it was from communal forests or pulau or from protected forests or from National Parks. If, for example, it comes from pulau which belongs to the indigenous group then by right the illegally felled logs should be given to that community for them to decide how best to dispose of them, and not for SFC to sell them to Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd.

I can only guess because of the good timber prices illegal logging might be quite rampant and I have been informed in one case involving the clearing of land for a reforestration project in Bintulu there has been many complaints from longhouse communities about logging contractors encroaching into their NCR lands, especially pulau or communal forests on which they rely on for their timber needs to build ,repair and improve their dwellings, etc

I feel the authorities should withdraw such a directive and the best way to deal with seized illegally-felled logs not harvested from NCR areas or pulau would be to auction them off to small-time timber merchants or small and independent sawmill and timber factory owners as a local source of supply and to discourage them from looking elsewhere to source for timber needs.
May I refer to a recent statement made by the Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam and reported in local newspapers concerning the substantial loss in earnings in the exports of fishery products to Europe due to non compliance with certain requirements of consumer countries. The same thing could also happen timber industry except the loss would be much greater if we failed to comply with the requirements of the European Commission regarding the importance of dealing only with legal timber.
Tuan Speaker,

Reports of the illegal timber trade across the common border is perhaps nothing new and has been going for quite sometime, according to industry people in the know. Why this has been going on is something we need to ask ourselves.

There is obviously a demand for illegal timber which can be sourced internally (within the State) and externally (from outside the State) and which ,presumably, is cheaper. I am informed that many non logging concession sawmill and factory owners that it is difficult and very expensive to source the logs locally, as log production is controlled by the so-called “big boys” or timber-based conglomerates which are also into downstream timber processing, especially the production of plywood., apart from dowels, mouldings, veneer and middle-density fibreboard (MDF) for the export market.

Since the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) issues the licences for almost everything relating to logging and timber processing, we should help the many small and independent operators, namely the sawmills and timber factory owners, to be able to source for log supply from a central pool at reasonable prices to sustain them and to be able to compete in the export market. The present high prices of logs may be putting the smaller operators out of business, if they continue to experience difficulty in finding supply of raw materials. Indeed, the short and medium term prospects for business may not appear to be good too, especially with the sluggish global trade. We ought to do something to help them as well.

3. Policy on Land Alienation

Tuan Speaker,

The State government’s policy on land alienation is flawed. Under the present state BN administration which does not subscribe to the principles of accountability, transparency, integrity, equal opportunity and social economic justice, the process of alienation of state lands is often carried out without going through public tender system. Instead, large parcels of valuable land are alienated through direct negotiation or closed door deals to private cronies companies that have close proximity with the BN state leaders.

Direct alienation of land to crony companies for personal profits should be stopped. The Sarawak State Government should adopt the policy of Penang State Government led by our DAP’s YAB Lim Guan Eng, i.e. alienate state lands through public tender system so that the government can generate the most income from the alienation of lands. If such a system were being implemented, for sure there will be enough revenue generated for the states to finance its operating and development expenditure for many years. Furthermore, this would ensure that moneys meant for the people would not be siphoned into private accounts.

Just to make one point clear, when I am talking about the alienation of state land through public tender system, I am only referring to large parcels of land with commercial value. On the other hand, small individual residential lots should be alienated to the poor and the needy at low and affordable premiums, so that the rakyat in general, can truly enjoy and benefit of the abundance of land in Sarawak. The government should continue the policy like the Stampin Resettlement Scheme, i.e. alienating plots of 8 points land to the homeless and the poor.

However, it saddens me to see that today, the Barisan Nasional Government are alienating large parcels of land with high commercial value to cronies companies while the poor and the people in general are not given land for them to build their houses.

In Sarawak, upon close scrutiny of the land deals alienated to private companies, it is not difficult to find out that it is always the same people who are getting the lands and worst still at a price way below the market value. The people have a strong feeling that the process of state lands alienation has been abused and riddled with corruption and cronyism for the cronies’ gains.

When it comes to people’s request in asking the state government to amend the land code to allow unconditional automatic renewal of land lease term for 99 years, all sort of excuses have been put forward by the BN state leaders including the ridiculous statement that our state would go bankrupt if we implement such move. The state government is heartless and insists to charge high renewal premium on lands which belong to the people and which we previously purchased by them using their hard earned money.

However, strange enough, when it comes to self interest and personal profits, the BN state leaders have no problems in giving out thousands of acres of land with high commercial value to their sons, wife, sister, cousins, and relatives’ related companies. Is this the so called caring BN government? How can we allow our state resources to be controlled by one person?

Tuan Speaker,

I shall now give the details of 7parcel of lands which have been directly alienated to private companies that are closely linked to Naim Cendera group:-

1. Lot 1748 Muara Tuang Land District with an area of 207.678 ha (approx. 513.17 acres) was alienated to Naim Cendera Sdn. Bhd. for purpose of residential development;

2. Lot 4711 Block 14 Salak Land District with an area of 33.599 ha (approx. 83 acres) was alienated to Khidmat Mantap Sdn. Bhd. which is a wholly owned company of Naim Cendera Sdn. Bhd. for purpose of residential development;

3. Lot 3287 Block 10 Kuching Central Land District with an area of 13.597 ha (approx. 33.59 acres) was alienated to Peranan Makmur Sdn. Bhd. which has the same directors team as Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad. for purpose of commercial development;

4. Lots 766 and 767 both of Block 7 Sampadi Land District with an area of 18.358 ha and 552 ha respectively were alienated to Tegap Pesat Sdn. Bhd. which partly own by Naim Cendera Sdn. Bhd. and few board members of Naim Cendera Holdings Behad.

5. Lots 3161 and 3162 both of Section 10 Kuching Central Land District were alienated to Dataran Wangsa Sdn. Bhd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Naim Cendera Sdn. Bhd. for purpose of residential development.

From what I have exposed, it shows exactly the same scenario of what Lingam said in the Lingam tape scandal respecting the name of the private companies, “it looks different, it sounds different but it is not different!”, all these companies are from Naim Cendera group.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more of such lands being alienated to Naim Cendera group which has close relationship with our Chief Minister.

The people would like to know why the alienation of the lands mentioned was not done through open tender system. Why lands which supposedly belong to the people ended up in the hands of Naim Cendera Group? Whether the lands are being alienated without land premium being paid to the state? How is the land premium of these alienation calculated by the state government?

Why the Chief Minister, as the Minister of Resource and Planning allows hundreds or even thousands of acres of state lands being directly alienated to his cousins’ company, Naim Cendera group of companies?

Wouldn’t there be conflict of interest in such operation, bearing in mind, only last week, Taksin, the previous Thai Prime Minsiter was sentenced to 2- year imprisonment for alienating land to his wife’s company at a discounted price?

I would like to reiterate our DAP’s policy and position on land alienation:-

1.Renewal of land for 99 years should be automatic and without premium;

2.Small plots of residential land ought to be alienated to the poor and the needy and the rakyat in general with nominal premium;

3.Large parcels of land with high commercial value ought only to be alienated through public tender process to generate the maximum income for the government.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My 10 DUN Questions

Today is the last day to submit our questions to Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak for the coming sitting.

This round, 7 out of my 10 questions are posted to our Chief Minister. I hope he will not escape from answering my questions.

We, the opposition state representatives had encountered many times before, answers were not given to us by the relevant ministers including our Chief Minister regardless of our written request to the Dewan Secretary for it. Our Speaker, the custodian of the Hansard even informed in the August House that he has no control of the minister to compulsarily supply us with the answers to our questions.

As I understand, in Parliament, all questions which are not answered during questions times, written answers will be supplied later to the members. But, in Sarawak, we were told by the Speaker, if the questions are not in time to be answered, just count yourself bad luck, answer is not necessarily supply to the relevant member. The questions are considered lapsed if they were not answered during the one hour question time. This is how our council negeri function. The state government is very scared to tell the truth to the people. The BN leaders are using every means to black out information from public.

Below are my questions:-

1. Bertanya kepada YAB the Chief Minister:-

On Matter relating to the allegations reported in the Tribun Pontianak on 14th August, 2008 edition that our Chief Minister as well as Harwood Timber Sdn. Bhd. a wholly owned unit of the state agency, Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, has been linked to a timber trade scam involving illegal imports of Indonesion logs and which were then re-exported as Malaysian timber to other countries, including China, Taiwan, and Japan:-

(a) Whether the State Government has taken any step to investigate into the serious allegations made? If the answer is no, explain why the State Government been so quiet on the issue. If the answer is “yes”, what are the steps taken, and what are the findings?

(b) State how much timber of the ramin specie has been harvested in Sarawak and exported in the past 5 years.

(Written Answer)

2. Bertanya kepada YAB the Chief Minister:-

Matter relating to Murum Dam:-

(a) How much and who shall bear the compensation and resettlement costs to indigenous people for the construction of the Murum Dam?

(b) How does the state government assure the people that the cost foot up by Sarawak Energy Berhad to fund the Murum Dam will not eventually be passed on directly to the state government and hence the tax payers?

(b) How is Murum Dam going to benefit Sarawakians after its completion, including whether Sarawakians enjoy cheaper electricity tariff and other spin off benefits?

(Written Answer)

3. Bertanya kepada YAB the Chief Minister:-

On the Matter relating to the allegations of sexual assaults against women from the Penan Community, including statutory rape by personnel/agents of logging companies:-

(a) Whether any step has been taken by the State Government in respect of the allegations made in the news report by the NGO groups? If the answer is “yes”, state the steps taken to investigate the allegations and the findings as a result of such investigations.

(b) Whether the State Government has intention to set up an independent inquiry commission to investigate into the allegations made?

(i) If so, please disclose its terms of reference and the extent to which civil society will be able to be involved in the inquiry commission.

(ii) If no, why?

(c) Even if the findings may not be concrete, state the measures that will be implemented to avoid or reduce these incidents of sexual assaults against women from the Penan and other Communities.

(Written Answer)

4. Bertanya kepada YB the Minister of Housing:-

In view of the drastic increase in complaints from house buyers against the developers particularly for not building according to approved plans or in a workmanlike manner thereby resulting in serious defects, and

In view of the fact that there are many cases of abandoned housing projects which have caused great loss to the house buyers:-

(a) State whether the State Government has any intention to set up a housing tribunal as provided under the Housing Developers and Licensing Ordinance, 1993 to protect the interest of house buyers?

(i) If yes, when? Please also state the reasons for such delay.
(ii) If no, why?

(b) How many developers have been reprimanded under Code of Practice (COP) by Sarawak Housing Estate Association’s since its implementation?

(c) How many housing projects have been abandoned and what has the Government done to salvage the projects or to reduce the suffering and losses of the Purchasers.

(Written Answer)

5. Bertanya kepada YB the Minister of Housing:-

(a) State the number of complaints which the Ministry of Housing received from the public against developers in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri during the years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008? Please state the names of the developers complained and the categories of complaint.

(c) What actions have been taken by the Ministry of Housing to address these complaints?

(d) How many developers in Sarawak have been blacklisted and/or suspended by the Ministry of Housing over the years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008? Please state the names of the developers and the period of suspension for each case.

(Written Answer)

6. Bertanya Kepada YAB the Chief Minister and Minister for Planning and Resource Management:-

(a) How many acreage of state land has been directly alienated to private developers over the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008? Please provide the names of these developers.

(b) State the amount of premiums paid to the State Government arising from each of these direct alienation? Please list out in detail eg. Company names, particulars of state land with lot number and acreage etc and amount of premium paid for each alienation.

(c) Please state whether there is such an alienation of state land of master Lot 3111 Block 10 Kuching Central Land District at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching to private developers? If the answer is in the affirmative:-

(i) what is the amount of premium paid by the private developer(s) to the State Government?

(ii) Please furnish the name of the private developers.

(iii) State the criteria or policy in determining the direct alienation of state lands to the private developer(s)?

(Written Answer)

7. Bertanya Kepada YAB the Chief Minister:-

On matter relating to basic amenities in rural areas of Sarawak:-

(a) What is the percentage of rural households in the respective divisions of Sarawak receiving utility electrification and clean water? Please state the places in Sarawak which have no basic piped water supply and utility electrification?

(b) What is the ratio of healthcare providers in respect of the number of population in rural Sarawak? What are the plans of the State Government to improve the current ratio?

(c) What is the ratio of children living in villages in rural Sarawak who go to primary and secondary schools with respect to the rural population in the state? Please provide in details on the number of children having to board in hostels in order to receive basic education from the age of 7 years old until the age of 17 years old. Does the state government intent to provide free transport services for rural school-going children between their respective villages and schools?

(Written Answer)

8. Bertanya kepada YB the Minister for Infrastructure:-

During the Budget Speech 2009, the Prime Minister YAB Datuk Sri Ahmad Badawi announced that an additional RM3.3 billion has been allocated to the State of Sarawak for infrastructure development:-

(a) State the amount of funding from the said budget for Pending constituency. Please state the reasons for this amount.

(b) State the names of the constituencies which have been allocated with such funding and the amount allocated for each constituency.

(b) With the additional allocation of federal fund, state whether the State Government has any plan to improve and/or upgrade the existing drains (from earth drains to concrete drains) at Kampung Sungai Apong Baru, Kuching in the next 2 years? If the answer is “yes”, when? If the answer is “no”, why?

(Written Answer)

9. Bertanya kepada YAB the Chief Minister:-

On matter relating to Sarawak State Civil Service:-

(a) State the number including the racial break down of intake of new state civil servants for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008;

(b) State the racial break down of the state civil servants in each state government departments, local councils and statutory bodies.

(c) Has the Government any plan to reduce the disparity of intake between the bumiputera and non-bumiputera intake, so as to reflect the racial composition of the population of Sarawak. If so, state the details. If not, why?

(Oral Answer)

10. Bertanya Kepada YAB the Chief Minister and Minister for Planning and Resource Management:-

On land alienated for oil palm planting:

(a) How many acreage of state land has been alienated for oil palm plantations over the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008? Please provide the names of the oil palm companies granted with such state lands.

(b) State the amount of premium received by the State Government for each of the alienation? State the amount of premium due and payable, if any. Please list out in detail eg. Company names, particulars of state land with lot number and acreage etc and amount of premium paid for each alienation.

(c) What are the criteria/criterion adopted in determining the granting of these state lands?

(d) How many acreage of land has been planted with oil palm in Sarawak and the future plan on oil palm planting, in view of the recent drop in price?

(Written Answer)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Coming Dewan Siting

We shall be having our Dewan Sitting from 3rd November, 2008 until 12 November, 2008. And I am looking forward to it.

This sitting, there will only be 5 DAP state representatives compare to 6 in the previous sittings. We are short of 1 this time. This is because Chong Chieng Jen has been sentenced to 6 months suspension from May, 2008. He is barred from sitting in the Dewan. All the representatives are being called using its constituency's name. So, we may not hear "Kota Sentosa" name be called this round.

The State BN government is of the thinking that they had made the right move by removing Kota Sentosa from the Dewan , their headache will cease in toto and that they can all seat back and relax. No way! What a childish mindset.

I can assure you that with the remaining 5 of us i.e. Bukit Assek, Kidurong, Pending, Meradong and Batu Lintang, the people's voice will remain loud and strong. We will not be "chickened out"! We shall speak without fear or favour. My message to the State BN government, do not ever try to stifle the voice of the opposition!

At the moment, I am preparing my 10 questions to be submitted to the Dewan for this sitting. As directed, all questions must reach the Dewan Secretary on or before 15th October, 2008.

So, if any of you have any questions which you would like to see them to be raised, please let me know.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kuching Election Petition - Chong Chieng Jen Won

This morning, the Election Judge Datuk Clement Skinner had dismissed the Petitioner's case with costs to the Respondent. All the five charges in the Petition were not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

We all felt happy and rejoice over the decision declared.

Chong Chieng Jen maintains both Bandar Kuching P.195 and Kota Sentosa N.12 seats. He is still the "YB2 "!!

I believe, this may not be a "Good News" to our CM, UMNO and SUPP in particular as Chong Chieng Jen is a thorn in their flesh. They had tried all means to throw Chong's out including this Election Petition case!! But fail!

Justice has indeed prevailed!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Paklah, Najib swap cabinet posts

Today, Pak Lah and Najib swap their cabinet posts. Najib takes over the Finance Minister from Pak Lah whereas Najib's defence minister's post is handed over to Pak Lah with immediate effect.

Pak Lah is using the "money" factor to tame Najib hoping that Najib will not demand him to quit earlier.

Pak Lah knows that he has to defend real hard for his survival, so he makes himself a defence minister. He is forced to take the defensive mode to defend himself from topple, both within and outside UMNO.

We can see Pak Lah is hungry for double P "POWER"!! First "P" is President of UMNO. Second "P" is Prime minister. He has to maximise his art of defence, if not he may not succeed for double P!

The game starts now! Can the Minister of Defence succeed? Let us see.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Free Teresa, Abolish I.S.A Peaceful Candlelight Vigil

DAP Kuching Free Teresa, Abolish I.S.A
Peaceful Candlelight Vigil


地点/Venue:古晋宗林园/Chonglin Park Kuching

请踊跃出席响应 Please be there to Support

Friday, September 12, 2008

Take appropriate action against developer: Buyers

Source: The Borneo Post (
By Lim How Pim

KUCHING: Eleven buyers of houses at a residential estate in Stampark here are appealing to the Housing Ministry to take appropriate action against the developer for alleged shoddy workmanship.
YONG: It is the people’s hard-earned money.

The buyers, through Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong, had written a letter to the ministry dated July 9, to report defects on their properties.

Speaking at a news conference here yesterday, Yong said she, together with the 11 house owners, had met two ministry officials last month but so far no proper actions had been taken to resolve the matter.

Nothing had been done despite a promise of a meeting to involve the developer, architects, Kuching City South Council, and the affected residents, she pointed out.

“It is also very unreasonable for the ministry to request the 11 house buyers to resolve the matter on their own through the legal process.”

Yong asserted that the ministry had the authority to issue a warning letter or notice to the developer concerned so that something could be done to compensate the house owners for their losses.

Under the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Ordinance 1993, and Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Regulation 1998, the housing ministry had the absolute right to blacklist any irresponsible developers in the state, she said.

As these housing units were handed over to buyers last year, she said the defects liability period had yet to lapse.

“The Housing Ministry should at least issue a warning to the developer, or better still, blacklist the developer to further protect house buyers,” she said, adding that the 11 double-storeyed terraced houses cost more than RM300,000 each.

She said that she might have to bring the matter to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) during the next sitting if the ministry still remained silent on it.

“I will continue to pressure the Housing Ministry for solution because these house buyers have spent RM348,000 per unit as stated in their sale and purchase agreement.

“It is the hard-earned money of the people and RM348,000 is not a small amount. The ministry should do something rather than ask the house buyers to look for personal lawyers to fight the case in court,” she said.

Yong said the 11 house buyers approached her as early as last May. While a written reply from the Housing Ministry was received early this month, she said she could not contact the developer for talks. She thus hoped that the authorities concerned and the developer would look into the matter and come up with a win-win solution as soon as possible.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Malaysia's Budget May Put Ringgit, Ratings at Risk, RBS Says

By David Yong

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia may miss its budget-deficit target because lower oil prices may hurt revenue, putting the nation's currency and credit rating at risk, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

The government's projections for a narrower shortfall may unravel, RBS's Singapore-based analysts Sanjay Mathur and Scott Wilson said in a research note today. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is counting on oil prices to average $125 a barrel in 2009, unchanged from 2008. Malaysia depends on oil exports to make up for losses from a slew of handouts including lower personal income tax and import duties on consumer goods.

``Softer oil prices could derail the fiscal arithmetic,'' Mathur and Wilson wrote. ``Should the current softening of oil prices continue, attaining the revenue target will be difficult. We are skeptical that the 2009 deficit target will be met.''

RBS, the U.K.'s second-biggest banking group, said the ringgit, ``with risks skewed to the upside,'' may drop to 3.5 per dollar by the end of the year, maintaining its earlier forecast. That would be the weakest level since Sept. 12, 2007.

Fiscal measures to boost the purchasing power of consumers as well as Bank Negara Malaysia's accommodating monetary policy can only add to the pressure on the ringgit, according to RBS.

The finance ministry said Aug. 29 that the budget deficit will narrow to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, from a five-year high of 4.8 percent this year. The government projected its revenue will rise 9.1 percent to 176.2 billion ringgit ($51.8 billion) and total spending to rise 3.8 percent to 204.7 billion ringgit.

Oil Exporter

Malaysia is the second-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia. Oil sales will account for 6.7 percent of all exports in 2009, versus 7 percent in 2008, according to the finance ministry's forecasts.

Crude oil prices in New York have dropped 21 percent from their all-time high of $147.27 a barrel reached on July 11.

The ringgit slumped 4.2 percent in August, its worst month since Bank Negara Malaysia scrapped a fixed peg to the dollar in July 2005. The currency traded at 3.394 on Aug. 29. Local financial markets are closed today for a public holiday.

The central bank has kept its overnight policy rate at 3.5 percent in 19 straight meeting since April 2006, even as inflation in Southeast Asia's third-largest economy accelerated to a 27-year high of 8.5 percent in July.

Fitch Ratings may cut the sovereign outlook on Malaysia to `stable' from `positive' in the near term, RBS's analysts said. Failure to reverse the fiscal trend could put its rating at risk of a downgrade in the medium term, they said.

Cutting Outlook

Fitch last raised Malaysia's credit rating by one level to A-, the fourth-lowest investment grade, with a positive outlook in November 2004, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Standard & Poor's on May 15 cut its outlook to `stable' from `positive.'

James McCormack, head of Fitch's Asian sovereign ratings based in Hong Kong, couldn't be reached for comments.

Malaysia's economy grew 6.3 percent in the second quarter, the slowest in a year, the finance ministry forecast. It expanded 7.1 percent in the first quarter. Annual growth will ease to 5.7 percent in 2008 and to 5.4 percent in 2009, versus 6.3 percent in 2007, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Yong in Singapore at

Last Updated: September 1, 2008 01:03 EDT

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Latifah Oo...o Latifah !!

Finally, the by-election for Permatang Pauh had ended with Datuk Seri Anwar's sweeping victory of a majority of 15,671 votes! One cannot deny that the voters of Permatang Pauh had written a new chapter of Malaysia's history. We see miracle happened in Permatang Pauh through the tremendous peoples' power of all races. Kudoes to all voters at Permatang Pauh!

The message sent by the people of Permatang Pauh was clear and loud. The people wants to see changes and make changes for salvage of our country. Under the BN's 51 years of corrupt leadership and "torture", we, Malaysian had suffered enough.

The people knows exactly what to do to save our country! The result says it all.

BN deserves the defeat! UMNO had been buried alive! So what say you now "son-in-law"?

It is not difficult to understand the mentality of the UMNO's leaders. I see them as having "NAIVE" mindsets.

Interview was made by The New Paper with Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah and his wife, Datin Latifah Asmawi.

I gave it more than 100 per cent, this campaign. To say I'm frustrated is not it, I'm beyond that now. "I can say that I really cannot understand what the voters want" says Datin Latifah Asmawi.

I would like to say to Latifah, you cannot understand what the voters want is because you and your husband were blurred by UMNO's dirty propaganda and its denial syndrome of people's problems for 51 years. It is UMNO that distance away from the people. It is UMNO that plays the "Race Card" although all races live as one Malaysian. Thus, the people has every right to reject someone who is blurred and not fit to stay as the government of the day. Also, Latifah, please understand, many see that your husband had been used by UMNO as "Scapegoat" in this by election.

So, Latifah Oo..o Latifah, please don't blame the people but UMNO, Paklah, Najib, Son-in law ok?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Guan Eng wins easily

Source: TheMalaysianInsider (
By Leslie Lau

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Any doubt that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was the big winner in tonight's "live" televised debate with his predecessor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon was probably erased during the winding up by the two men.

The knock-out punch came in this one-liner from Lim: "If there was no corruption in the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government, then they would not have fallen in the March election tsunami."

But Koh was not the only loser in the debate.

Lim scored points against Umno and the BN as well by using the occasion to insinuate Koh was still protecting his coalition partners and that he had given special treatment when allocating land to those with political connections.

"Why was special treatment given to Abad Naluri in the allocation of land originally meant for recreational purposes to be converted to one for mixed development for the Penang Global City Centre project?" he asked.

Koh may have thought the occasion was an opportunity for him to score political points in a valiant attempt to revive his decimated Gerakan party.

He was wrong.

Handshake between Lim Guan Eng (left) and Koh Tsu Koon at tonight's debate. — picture by Choo Choy May

His advisers should have told him that the topic of the debate, to discuss accusations by Lim that his government had mismanaged various land deals and caused hundreds of millions of ringgit in losses to the state government, would cause him to be on the backfoot.

And indeed, Koh looked uncomfortable and defensive, except for a few glib comments and retorts, in the form of accusing his political foe of being more interested in attacking him then in governing the state.

"He is now the CM but yet he still behaves like he is still in opposition," said Koh at the beginning of the night's proceedings.

That was probably as good as it got for Koh.

Lim, on the other hand, appeared to understand the art of debating in politics.

He hammered home the point that the previous state government's mistake in alienating land that it did not own to a quarry operator had caused more than RM40 million in damages to the state's coffers.

The DAP secretary-general also kept asking the question of why Koh's administration had not taken action against the officer responsible for the mistake.

But more than just debating the alleged land scams, Lim used the occasion to highlight his administration's manifesto, publicising his commitment to "competency, accountability and transparency," or CAT as it has become popularly known.

Koh attempted throughout the debate to defend his administration, pointing out that two probes conducted by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) found no wrongdoing.

Perhaps his advisers should have also told him that public confidence in the ACA remains low even now.

Strangely, Koh resorted at one point to his almost photographic memory of the dimensions of his former office to defend accusations that he had handed over an almost empty office to Lim after losing in the elections.

"The Chief Minister's Office on the 28th floor has more than 14,000 square feet of office space. The CM's room has more than 2,000 square feet. All the files are kept in the cabinet. The desk may have been empty but that does not mean there were no files," he said.

Lim's reply to that was to stick to his point that he found no files.

"We had to dig, dig, dig ourselves. But do not worry because when we had no resources in opposition we still managed to uncover scandals, what more when we are in government."

But perhaps the moment which underscored the uneasiness in which Koh found himself in tonight was when he was answering a question on how he thought land administration could be improved.

He said that improving the administration was a continuing process and was an "unending struggle".

Perhaps that was not quite the answer that should have been given by a man defending almost two decades in power as chief minister.

Gerakan is already wracked by infighting and in much turmoil following the loss of Penang to the DAP.

Its acting president may have to do more than appear on television to regain political support.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Bidders to take over Bakun

It is reported in theedgedaily today that "Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Sarawak Energy Bhd have jointly put in a bid to take over the Bakun hydroelectric dam and the multi-billion-ringgit undersea cable project which will transmit power to the peninsula."

As revealed, Peninsular would be getting cheap power from Bakun Dam after completion of project. However, there is nothing said to benefit Sarawak. Since Penisular could get cheaper power, why not Sarawak too? We, Sarawakians are now paying the most expensive domestic electricity tariff in the whole of Malaysia.

I had asked the Minister of Public Utilities Dato Sri Awang Tengah at least twice in my questions submitted to the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak during the previous Dewan sittings on whether Sarawakian will enjoy cheaper electricity tariff after completion of the Bakun Dam project, guess what, no answer has ever been furnished to me until today. What is there to hide? Unless Sarawak Energy Berhad intends to increase the electricity tariff!! Very irresponsible act of them!

Bakun Dam another BN "White Elephant" Project?

You may read below the news from theedgedaily:

13-08-2008: Tenaga and S’wak Energy bid for Bakun

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Sarawak Energy Bhd have jointly put in a bid to take over the Bakun hydroelectric dam and the multi-billion-ringgit undersea cable project which will transmit power to the peninsula.

Sources said the proposal, which was submitted to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and the Ministry of Finance two weeks ago, has Tenaga and Sarawak Energy taking an equal share in the dam project.

As for the undersea cable project, the two utility companies proposed that the federal government take a share, with the remaining stake to be split equally between Tenaga and Sarawak Energy.

The two parties also proposed that the overhead transmission cables from Bakun to the Sarawak coast be installed by Sarawak Energy while Tenaga will take care of the transmission lines in the peninsula.

“The proposal was submitted two weeks ago to the EPU. They are waiting for feedback,” said a source.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, speaking at the launch of the SME Technopreneur Centre II in Cyberjaya yesterday, confirmed that Tenaga had submitted a proposal for the much-maligned Bakun project, but offered no further details.

Despite uncertainties over who would eventually own Bakun Dam, Nor Mohamed reiterated that the project is on schedule and due to be completed by 2010.

In a related development, Bloomberg quoted Tenaga’s chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohd Nor as saying that the national electricity company would be willing to take over the cable job since Sime Darby Bhd had declined to do so.

“Since Sime is not interested, it is only logical for Tenaga to offer (to undertake) the construction of the undersea cable so as not to further delay the project,” he told the wire news service.

The cost of completing the dam has been estimated at around RM5.5 billion, while a two-year delay would add another RM500 million to the price tag. The two submarine cables are expected to cost around RM10.9 billion.

Sime Darby, which was set to purchase a 60% equity interest in the Ministry of Finance-owned Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd which is building the dam, pulled out in June, citing a conflict with its business strategy.

Apart from owning a stake in the dam, Sime Darby also wanted to own 60% of the cable project. The other shareholders in the company undertaking the cable project were to beTenaga and the Ministry of Finance, each with 20%.

It has been reported that Sime Darby and Tenaga could not come to a power-purchase agreement.

The mammoth 2,400 MW Bakun dam forms a pivotal part of the country’s future power-generation mix. It is expected to supply cheap power to Peninsular Malaysia post-2013, helping to reduce the country’s dependence on expensive fossil fuel. Some 1,600 MW are expected to be channelled through the 676km undersea cables from the Sarawak coast.

Thursday, August 7, 2008



Monday, August 4, 2008

Why No Housing Tribunal In Sarawak?

In Malaysia, Sarawak is the only state that has yet to set up a housing tribunal to hear complaints from house buyers against the developers arsing from the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

Should the purchasers encounter any problems or disputes pertaining to their properties, they can only seek redress through the court.

Nowadays, many developers in Sarawak are getting more and more irresponsible. As a result, the number of complaints from house buyers have increased drasticly. There are many cases where house buyers whom their newly purchased properties have serious defects due to usage of low quality building materials or that their properties are not built in a workmanlike manner or in accordance with the approved building plans.

For those who are poor and cannot afford to engage a lawyer, they have no choice but only eat "dead cat".

I see the reason put up by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Housing, Sarawak Abang Affandy Abang Annuar as to why the state government has no intention to set up the housing tribunal as unreasonable and irresponsible statement.

He told thesundaypost sometime in January, 2008 that "As it is now there are just not enough cases to warrant the setting up of a housing tribunal. It is just like setting up a court and is not easy to do."

In my opinion, whether there are enough or not enough cases of complaints from house buyers, it is necessary and the very duty of the state government to safe guard the interest of the house buyers because not everyone is rich enough to get a lawyer to represent them to fight for their rights under the agreement which they had entered with the developers.

Has it been because the developers are the "protected species" in Sarawak that the state government sees no urgency to set up the housing tribunal? Or has it been because there are many "kantows" in the protected species?

This morning, I hold a press conference at Taman Million, along Jalan Kempas, Kuching at the request of the purchasers because the developer has been very stubborn and not willing to carry out rectification works to the serious defects of their properties.

They bought the houses at a very dear price. Over RM330,000.00 for an intermediate double storey terraced house and over RM420,000.00 for a corner double storey terraced house.

They had made two trips each to the Ministry of Housing, Sarawak and MBKS for helps to their problems, but both authorities are not being helpful to them. Ministry of Housing promised to fix a date for all parties concerned to attend to solve the problem, but until todate it has not been materialized. As for MBKS, the officer in charged told the purchasers that since they had seek help from Violet of DAP, they cannot offer anymore help. How ridiculous!!

You sure will get shock of the poor and lousy quality of the houses which they had purchased. Furthermore, there are four houses which are now infected with termites!! No joke!! I cannot believe it when I saw it with my own eyes. Let me show you.

Picture1: Angry Mr. Kho is holding a broken piece of wood which had dropped from the roof truss of his unit!!

Picture 2: Poorly joint roof truss in every unit

Picture 3: Mr. Kho shows the low ceiling at the staircase. The height of the ceiling is much lower than the approved height. Mr. Kho's has to lower his head when he walks up or down the staircase to avoid the hit!!

Picture 4: Staircase timber handrail: poorly assembled and sharp pointing edges

Picture 5: Poorly finished floor skirting

Picture 6: Again, simply nailed roof truss with cracked woods

Can you believe MBKS has issued the Occupation Permit for all the houses which are full of defects?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Can Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim make his way into the Parliament?

Time is tickling towards the golden time i.e. 16th September, 2008. It is only 47 days to go!

After the 12th General Election, Datuk Seri Anwar has since claimed that there will be a changed in Malaysia political power on 16.9.2008. Finally, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah made an anouncement yesterday to resign as the MP for Permatang Pauh which she holds for three terms since 1999 to make way for the return of her husband into the Malaysia political front.

Defintely, a by-election will be called soon. On the 8th March, 2008, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah won a majority of more than 13,000 votes. No doubt, Pematang Bauh is a safe seat for PKR. With the advantage of PR held state of Penang, it can be very certain that the majority votes will be increased. But, from past histories of Malaysia politics, we know that the BN machinery will sure take all desperate and dirty moves to deny Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a seat in parliament.

So far, UNMO has not broken its silence on the political comeback of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. But, undoubtfully, visible and invisible blockages are everywhere to block Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed that he is confidence of winning, but I would say it is "Tough" and not an easy sailing battle.

Can Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim make it as MP of Pematang Bauh? Only time will tell!! All the best to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim!!