Beware of the Kleptocrats trying to make a political comeback

(13-06-2018)

It is timely to sound this warning. Beware! Those responsible for sending Malaysia into the trajectory of a kakistocracy and a rogue and kleptocratic state are trying to make a political comeback starting with the UMNO party elections this month. In this political comeback, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be back atop the UMNO pile, though not as UMNO President but as the “power behind throne”.

This could be discerned from three recent developments in the past month since the historic and watershed 14th General Election on May 9, 2018. Firstly, Najib Razak emerging as the leading, in fact the only, spokesman for UMNO/BN issuing periodic statements to attack the Pakatan Harapan government, except that his statements could not get any audience for he had lost all credibility and trustworthiness. Secondly, the surfacing of the faceless and nameless UMNO Strategic Communications Unit on 24th May 2018 laying claim on behalf of UMNO to the assets seized by the police from the Pavilion Residences for example 72 bags out of which 35 bags contained RM114 million cash. The cash were in 26 different currencies and 35 bags of jewellery and watches as well as 284 boxes of designer handbags. It is not known whether the UMNO Strategic Communications Unit is also laying claim on behalf of UMNO to the luxury items which police seized in a raid in a Najib “safe house” in Precinct 10, Putrajaya two days ago although it is clear that his mysterious Unit is a camouflage and proxy for Najib.

Thirdly, the UMNO mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia, which had practised a more sober and responsible journalism in the early days of the historic and watershed 14GE on May 9, 2018, reverting to the old Utusan/UMNO journalism of fake news and false information re-peddling the UMNO campaign of race, religion, hate, fear and lies. For example, three days ago, in the Mingguan Malaysia weekend column, Awang Selamat, which is the name for Utusan Malaysia’s editorial voice, returned to the reckless, irresponsible and treasonous politics of race, religion, fear, hatred and lies by accusing the DAP with the dastardly lie that the DAP wants to abolish the system of constitutional monarchy and by turning Malaysia into a republic. There is a common unifying factor propelling these three developments, the involvement of the same personalities who had sent Malaysia into the trajectory of a kakistocracy and a rogue and kleptocratic state, causing Malaysian voters, regardless of race, religion, region or even party politics to unite to Save Malaysia in the 14GE! Now these very forces responsible for making Malaysia a kakistocracy and rogue and kleptocratic state are conspiring to make a political comeback starting with UMNO party elections later this month.

From the Pakatan Harapan’s own selfish interests, we would welcome the candidacies of Tan Sri Annuar Musa for the post of UMNO Deputy President and Datuk Seri Jamal Md. Yunos for the post of UMNO Youth Leader, although the answer would be very different from the standpoint of promoting the best interests of democracy in Malaysia. – LIM KIT SIANG

Kesultanan Johor tidak pernah guna wang rakyat

(13-06-2018)

KESULTANAN Johor tidak pernah mengambil duit rakyat, kata istana hari ini, mengulas dakwaan bahawa Raja-Raja Melayu berbelanja dengan mewah. Kesultanan Johor tidak pernah mengambil wang rakyat, tetapi sebenarnya telah mendermaka seluruh peruntukan kerajaan negeri yang diterima kepada rakyatnya sejak tahun 1899 lagi, maklum kenyataan Istana Johor. Kenyataan yang disiarkan menerusi hantaran di halaman Facebook Johor Souther Tigers, pihak istana negeri berkata sejak pemerintahan Sultan Abu Bakar pada 1899, Kesultanan Johor telah menderma gaji sebagai sultan yang diperuntukkan kerajaan bagi membantu rakyat di negeri itu.

Amalan ini kemudiannya diteruskan pada zaman pemerintahan Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail di mana dana tersebut disalurkan kepada Yayasan Sultan Iskandar demi manfaat rakyat Johor bagi membantu golongan yang memerlukan. “Kesultanan Johor sejak zaman pemerintahan Almarhum Sultan Sir Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar pada tahun 1899 telah mendermakan kesemua gaji dan elaun Baginda yang diperuntukkan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan kepada yayasan tersebut bagi membantu Bangsa Johor yang memerlukan.” menurut kenyataan tersebut. Penjelasan ini datang selepas wujud dakwaan kira-kira RM256.9 juta telah dibelanjakan untuk Sultan Muhammad V dalam tempoh 16 bulan, semenjak beliau menjadi Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Wartawan veteran A Kadir Jasin dalam catatan blognya mengatakan selama 16 bulan sehingga April tahun ini, sejumlah RM256.9 juta diperuntukkan kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V. Sehubungan ini, Kadir telah meletak jawatan sebagai ketua media dan unit komunikasi Majlis Penasihat Kerajaan.

Menurut kenyataan itu lagi, yayasan Sultan Iskandar bukan sahaja membantu orang miskin, malah dana itu turut digunakan bagi membiayai pelajaran, bantuan bencana alam serta projek literasi computer. “Sultan Johor kini, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar turut mempunyai yayasan sendiri bertujuan memberi bantuan pendidikan, kebajikan, biasiswa pelajar miskin, perubatan serta bantuan kepada warga emas dan orang kurang upaya. “Dana untuk yayasan berkenaan adalah sumbangan daripada semua elaun diraja yang diterima baginda,” kata kenyataan itu lagi. Sejak era Sultan Sir Ibrahim sampai saat ini, hasil dan pendapatan keluarga di-Raja Johor berasal daripada pengurusan perladangan serta perusahaan lain seperti hartanah, kata kenyataan itu.

“Kesultanan Johor juga mempunyai beberapa perniagaan yang lain termasuk hartanah.”

Pengerusi SPR bersara awal

(13-06-2018)

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) berkata, tempoh perkhidmatan Pengerusinya, Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah dipendekkan berkuat kuasa 1 Julai ini, dua tahun lebih awal dari tarikh beliau sepatutnya bersara wajib. Melalui kenyataan yang dikeluarkan unit komunikasi korporat suruhanjaya itu hari ini, memaklumkan Mohd Hashim “akan memendekkan tempoh perkhidmatan” beliau, dan ia sudah diperkenankan oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“Pemendekan tempoh perkhidmatan ini telah diperkenankan oleh Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan dimaklumkan melalui surat daripada Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja, Istana Negara bertarikh 7 Jun 2018. “Pemendekan tempoh perkhidmatan ini juga telah dimaklumkan kepada YAB Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohd melalui surat rasmi bertarikh 11 Jun 2018,” kata kenyataan SPR itu. “SPR turut merakamkan setinggi penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah atas khidmat bakti beliau sepanjang perkhidmatan di SPR,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini. Tan Sri Mohd Hashim yang berusia 64, menyertai SPR pada 5 September 2014 sebagai Timbalan Pengerusi dan dinaikkan pangkat untuk mengetuai suruhanjaya itu pada 24 Januari 2016. Sebelum menyertai badan pengendali pilihan raya itu pada 5 September 2014, Tan Sri Mohd Hashim adalah ketua setiausaha Kementerian Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani.

Perkara 114 (3) Perlembagaan Persekutuan menetapkan Pengerusi SPR memegang jawatan sehingga umur 66 tahun. Perletakan jawatan Mohd Hashim ini menambah daftar panjang senarai peralihan pimpinan institusi sejak Barisan Nasional (BN) tersingkir dari Putrajaya, sama ada melibatkan mereka yang meletakkan jawatan, tidak diperbaharui kontrak jawatan atau diganti dengan orang baru. Beliau bagaimanapun sebelum ini dikritik pemimpin Pakatan harapan (HARAPAN) dan badan pendesak pembaharuan pilihan raya BERSIH kerana memperkenalkan persempadanan semula kawasan pilihan raya dan peraturan berkempen yang didakwa memberi kelebihan kepada BN. Sempadan baru kontroversi itu memecahkan banyak kawasan pilihan raya mengikut garis kaum. Ia disifatkan oleh banyak penganalisis politik ditunjukkan oleh pentadbiran Najib Razak bertujuan menyekat Pakatan Harapan (PH) menang PRU14. Sebelum ini, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dilaporkan berkata, kerajaan akan mengambil tindakan terhadap Hashim jika ada bukti beliau terbabit dalam salah laku pada pilihan raya umum ke-14.

Pengerusi Pakatan Harapan itu berkata, “penipuan” oleh badan pengendali pilihan raya menyebabkan ada di kalangan calon PPBM yang kalah pada 9 Mei lalu.

RAUS & ZULKIFLI RESIGNED

(13-06-2018)

Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin have tendered their resignations. Both men tendered their resignations in a letter to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong dated June 7, according to a press statement issued today by the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court. Raus and Zulkefli resignations which will take effect on July 31.

“The justices have informed the prime minister that their resignations can only take effect at a date that is deemed reasonable to ensure all their duties are completed,” explained the chief registrar. The palace had accepted the resignations on June 8 and corresponded to the judges of the decision on Monday. The statement said Raus and Zulkefli had met the prime minister on May 15 to convey their intention to resign. THE resignations of Chief Justice Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin have been welcomed by lawyers who had claimed their appointments were unconstitutional. “This is truly wonderful news for Malaysia as the judiciary has not been free and fair for far too long,” Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen told The Malaysian Insight. “Of course Raus’ and Zulkefli’s unconstitutional reappointments have only exacerbated public confidence in the judiciary, and their resignation can only bode well for the country,” he said.

In July 2017, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the extension of the terms of Raus and Zulkefli for a period of three and two years respectively. Last December, the Bar Council had sought several declarations from the Federal Court to invalidate Raus and Zulkefli’s extension of service, initiated under the Najib Abdul Razak administration. The extension of service, which courted much controversy, came ahead of their mandatory retirement last year. Top judges are required to retire after attaining the age of 66 and six months. However, Article 122(1A) of the Federal Constitution provides for additional judges, which does not have an age limit. Previously, various quarters including former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad, former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram and the Malaysian Bar, questioned the appointments. Hamid opined that Article 122(1A) cannot be a backdoor to extend the tenure of the chief justice. Several quarters, including Mahathir, the Bar Council and Amanah had challenged the appointments in court.

Gurdial Singh Nijar, former law professor at Universiti Malaya, said the appointment of the two judges had tarnished their otherwise good standing, as well as the public’s perception towards the judiciary. “The writing was on the wall that the appointment was unconstitutional right from the outset. “ “It is for me a matter of great personal regret bordering on sadness that these two top judges, who have ruled on so many constitutional cases in their judicial career, did not see this as such. “ “As a result it has fuelled all kinds of perception and somewhat tarnished not only their otherwise good standing, but as well the institution of the judiciary.” Malaysian Bar human rights committee co-chairman Andrew Khoo said the “development is to be welcomed.” “The Malaysian Bar had on several occasions called upon the chief justice and the president of the court of appeal to do the honourable thing and to step down, and I am glad that they have finally heeded the call of the Malaysian Bar,” he said.

Khoo however, said a Federal Court decision in the constitutional challenge by the Malaysian Bar and the AAS is still pending and should be delivered “as soon as possible.” The Federal Court, which heard the challenge on March 14, had deferred its decision.

EPF i-akaun使用率首季增81%

(13-6-2018)

僱员公积金局(EPF)旗下的电子服务–i-akaun的使用率在2018年首季大幅增加80.58%,从去年同期的616万次,按年增至1112万次。截至3月杪,共有506万名成员註册i-akaun,佔公积金局会员总数的36.38%。僱员公积金局自2014年推出i-akaun手机应用程序以来,

下载人数也显著增加,截至3月底已经有236万人下载该手机程序。公积金局在文告中表示,该局仍持续提升i-akaun,以便为会员提供更多產品和服务,以及其他重要资讯的实时更新。僱员公积金局副首席执行员(营运)拿督莫哈末纳英达鲁伟斯在文告中表示,隨著会员和雇主人数每季持续增加,公积金局需持续改善服务,应付新的需求;该局尤其专重i-akaun,作为会员和雇主有效掌握本身账户,及使用其他在线服务的管道。「我们也非常高兴看到更多公积金局註册雇主使用i-akaun。该设施提供手机应用程序,

为雇主在提交员工缴纳资料和在线付款方面,带来更大的便利,不但,可减低错误,也避免雇主错过每个月交付款项的时机。」截至3月杪共有43万3691或99.95%的雇主,使用电子媒介如手机应用程式「电子缴纳」(e-Caruman)来提交僱员的付款资料;另有33万3550或77.22%的雇主使用电子付款(e-Payment)系统来缴付费用。今年首季,myEPF网站的访客流量从去年同期的671万,增加29.11%至866万。电子柜檯(EPFKiosk)的使用次数则从2017年首季的381万,降低11.22%至338万。到僱员公积金局柜檯办理事务的人数,

从去年同期的92万9729,减少12.88%至81万22人,由此可见,会员更偏好通过在线平台, 来与僱员公积金局打交道。而首季的公积金局联繫管理中心所接获的电话数量,成长15.43%至42万5873。不仅如此,僱员公积金局截至3月杪的会员总数为1391万,当中的718万是活跃人数,另14万8212人为新註册会员。新註册的雇主人数亦增加11.90%,至1万8180人,推高总雇主人数至49万8097人。隨著会员人数增加, 公积金局首季收到的缴纳额亦走高10.83%,至192亿4000万令吉,將会员累计总缴纳额推高至7744亿8000万令吉。

另一方面,2018年首季获准的提款申请宗数也增加9.52%,至64万4715宗,涉及的提款总额为134亿2000万令吉。当局核准55岁灵活提款申请宗数也增加21.77%,至6万8101宗,金额达30亿6000万令吉。莫哈末纳英指出, 灵活提款申请增加,主要是因为会员了解到账户的余额可以继续赚取股息。因此,他建议,会员在提出储蓄前可在全国28家公积金局分行,向该局的退休諮询专员,获取更多详情。