Archive for the ‘Lil Bit of Politics’ Category

Alternative to Toll Road

February 7, 2007

Many are angry at the toll raise. Petitions are signed. Peaceful protest are carried out (only to be turned ugly by the policemen). Complaints and public outcries are everywhere, but the tolls hike still stand.

And now the whistleblowers are threatened with OSA. It makes us wonder if the government is listening to the rakyat. I think not. Chances are they don’t even give a shit.

Anyway, the NSTP (lol) today has article on alternatives routes instead of the toll-ed roads. To toll or not to toll…

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Only in this country.

February 3, 2007

It was reported in today’s The Star that the police will conduct an investigation over the disclosure of a toll concessionaire agreement between the government and Litrak, the builder and management of LDP Highway.

Being the normal citizen, my knowledge of politics might be limited, but I am definitely not dumb.

When the toll concessionnaire agreement between the government and Litrak was revealed, even our Work Minister, Samy Vellu is not sure whether the document is classified under OSA, or not. And then, they go to meeting and decide it’s OSA.

Isn’t this unfair to the people who revealed the agreement? If the document is classified as OSA, the Works Minister should know this more clearly than anyone else in Malaysia, and action should have been taken long ago. Either Samy is sleeping on his job or they are being unfair to the people who revealed the agreement. Perhaps because their rice bowl is affected.

Based on my shallow knowledge of politics, I roughly could have guess which type of documents should be classified under OSA. Definitely not document relating to the interest of the rakyat.

I Wiki-ed for OSA and this is what I found. And I also found out that this legislation is based on the OSA of the United Kingdom. It says protection of official information, mainly related to national security. The idea is not from Wiki, but any ah ma on the road will understand that confidential government documents are mostly related to national security. Now it makes you wonder what kind of threat these concessionaire agreement pose to our national security?

Perhaps the word mainly is the loophole of the act where people who are elected to represent the people misuse it to take advantage of the people. Like Malays’ proverb, harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi. Very obviously we the rakyat of Malaysia has been taken advantage of by some unscrupulous people whom we elected to take care of our well being.

I don’t see any points in the concessionnaire agreement which entitle it to be classified under OSA, apart from the reason that they are trying to hide the lopsided details from the rakyat.

And finally, why this document is only classified under OSA after it has been revealed? Does this mean before that it is not classified under OSA? And if this is so, then action should not be taken against the people who reveal it, because when it was revealed, it was not classified under OSA.

Alert! Stop FTA US-M’sia.

January 16, 2007

US-Malaysia trade deal possible by March

 

from: http://www.umno-reform.com/

We Are Screwed

January 4, 2007

Our greatest fear has come true. Screenshots has coverage from the press conference organised by Parti Keadilan to reveal the concessionaire agreement between the Government of Malaysia and Litrak, the company that operate LDP, which was actually built on an existing road.

You can read it all here at Screenshots.

We’ll all continue to be screwed until year 2031 by a company that reported a nett profit of RM80 million for year 2006 (43% increase from year 2005), unless you have plan to migrate. And according to an ex-Group CEO of Guthrie who has experience of building highways, the maintenance cost is only less than 5%. So, what happened to the rest of the monies?

We’ve all been paying toll all the time. So, now is the time for us to find out how are we being charged.

Toll Hike Demo

December 21, 2006

Found this news in the comments section of aisehman.org latest entry. However, there is no link to the actual site of the news. A quick search on Google found the news to be from Malaysiakini.

Anyway, here is the news I copy and pasted from aisehman.org. I personally think the demo will be more effective if it is organised by normal people rather than a political party. Unfortunately, a normal person will not have the ability to organise such a thing, unless you are a substantially influential person.

Thousands expected at anti-toll hike demo
Bede Hong
Dec 19, 06 12:28pm

Opposition parties and consumer groups are planning a mammoth protest against the increase in toll hikes for five major highways in the Klang Valley.

It is learnt that thousands are expected to turn up at the protest which will be held along the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) highway on Jan 7.

PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said the Islamic opposition party alone will bring between 5,000 and 10,000 protestors.

“We are sad that the government is not considerate towards the people, especially those with low incomes,” he said when met after a closed-door discussion in Kuala Lumpur last night.

The hour-long discussion at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall was attended by DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general S Arutchelvan, PAS treasurer Hatta Ramli, Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Syed Shahrir Syed Mohammad.

A `Protes Kenaikan Tol’ committee has been set up and will be helmed by Syed Shahrir.

Last week, the government announced that the toll rates for the five highways will rise between 20 to 60 percent effective Jan 1. LDP will see its toll rise from RM1 to RM1.60.

Tian said the Jan 7 protest will not only see the participation of party members. “Local residents who are unhappy with the toll hike will also participate, ” he added when met at the same venue. Syed Shahrir said the committee has yet to decide on the exact
location to hold the protest.

“It would likely be somewhere where there are parking spaces for the protestors. We would not be blocking traffic. However, we would be visible to road users.

“It’s a big mobilisation. I don’t think it would be solely because of the toll hikes. The public is very angry at a combination of things that happened this year, including the fuel hikes,” he added. Buy back highways.

The committee will also submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Department on Dec 27 denouncing the toll hikes.

The memorandum will call on the government to make public the clauses in the concessionaire agreements and to buy back the concessions.

Works Minister S Samy Vellu disclosed that it cost RM4.13 billion to construct the five highways: LDP, Shah Alam Highway, Cheras-Kajang Highway, Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway and the Guthrie Corridor Expressway.

The minister also revealed that a RM2.589 billion compensation package for the five concessionaires was to be incurred from Jan 1, 2007 when the new toll rates take effect to the next review in toll rates, which is between 2010 and 2012.

Samy Vellu also said the government had to compensate a total of RM2.275 billion to the operators of four of the five highways, not including Guthrie Corridor, which is a new highway.

However, while he gave a breakdown of this figure, he did not specify over what period of time this amount was paid.

But going by this, the government could be paying as much as RM4.9 billion in compensation alone for the highways.

Opposition party DAP has urged the government to buy up the five highways by paying the concessionaires RM4.13 billion for the total construction cost.

In a related development, DAP will proceed with the Dec 31 protest at the Grand Saga toll plaza along the Cheras highway. The protest is jointly organised by the Bandar Mahkota Cheras Open Access Road Action Committee (BMC-OARAC).

On Sunday, a protest organised by DAP and BMC-OARAC saw some 800 people taking to the streets in Cheras to vent their frustration against the toll hike.

Interesting Comment from The Shit

December 15, 2006

Government has little option but to allow rise in toll rates

…….

In short, the Government has to fork out RM2.06bil each year until 2010 to keep toll rates affordable to users. 

…….. 

RM2.06 billion tax payers’ money to help taxpayer is a lot! Agree.

Compare this piece of shit to another news few days ago in TheSun – RM11 billion spent of takeovers on GLC that were milked dry. Milked dry here means companies that were set up using taxpayers money that were actually channelled to someone’s pocket until it is left with nothing. Then taxpayers’ money will be used again to buy back these company that were set up using taxpayers’ money.

Geddit?

RM11 billion only maaaaaaaaa…. they say: masuk poket saya takpelah…

RM2.06 billion to help the public???… they say: nia mah…. fuck you people… pay more la…

Another paragraph says this:

 ……….

That’s a huge amount and certainly which can be used for other socio-economic projects such as the construction of schools, public transport and hospitals. But the political reality is that we expect the Government to make it less painful for us. 

The principle of burden sharing is being applied here and certainly we have to accept that as we improve the network of highways, the financial costs will increase. 

……….

Erm… ok…construction of schools, public transport and hospitals. Erm… what about the RM4.4 billion saved from the fuel subsidy??? What about the RM11 billion spent to save companies that was actually set up using tax payers’ money??? Whoever wrote this piece of shit…. he or she must be a piece of shit as well.

Episode 1: Wiggy & Friends – Liar Liar Pants on Fire

December 15, 2006

Oh no! Screenshots has update on Wiggy’s claim that Malaysia toll after hike is still lower than Thailand!

One Thai Screenshots reader commented:-

I’ve been staying in Thailand for 9 years and there are NO tolls on Thai HIGHWAYS. The tolls are only in Bangkok metropolitan areas and there-abouts. You can drive from Bukit Kayu Hitam to Bangkok without paying one Baht, so Samy Vellu making a comparison with Thailand is telling only half the story.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Festive Greetings from Wiggy & Friends…

December 15, 2006

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Malaysians! – extra special greetings from Wiggy & Friends, laughing all the way to the bank.

It’s the festive seasons again, and we have more great news to be cheerful of.

IMHO, I think this has got more to do with Mr Wiggy than our beloved Pak Lah because the privatisation of these highway projects was done before the current administration. So… can’t really blame him.

A contract is a contract, and it has to be honoured, unless either party comes to an agreement to change the contract for the benefit of the public. Well well well… it sounds surreal though.

The Star newspaper looks like a really good dog who heeded the government warning to not play up this toll hike. If you look at the chart provided by The Star, it only shows the toll rates for Trailer, Taxi and Bus. Erm… hello Mr editor-in-chief, what about cars? I think the toll hike for cars concern the people more than trailer, taxi or bus drivers, ok?

And as usual, we get the lame excuse that ours is still cheapest in the region comments from Mr Wiggy. (Go put that broken record on!) If we are the cheapest in the region, so what are you gonna do? Play catch-up so that we’re as expensive as them? What about the salary for the civil servants? The salary differential in the Malaysian civil service is among the worst in the world. Are they gonna play catch-up as well?

Mr Wiggy also mentioned something really really interesting. He said,

“If the expressway was not built, no one can even access these areas.”

I was totally blown off! He is so damn right! If the expressway was not built, no one can actually access these areas, or have their journey cut short. Really. But…but.. but… but…. Mr Wiggy, aren’t these neccessities the responsibilities of the Government to provide to its people???

So now what you gonna do??? Set up toll at all roads in Malaysia??? Because if these roads are not built, how the fuck are we gonna move around??? Are you gonna charge us for the street lamps as well?? Because without these street lamps, how are we gonna drive at night??? Are you gonna charge us for living in Malaysia??? Because without a government and economy, how are we gonna live in Malaysia?? We all will be living in trees!

Bloody hell.

I am hit at the LDP and Kesas Highway. RM1.50 x 2 is already very high, and now it’s RM2.20 x 2.

Goodbye toll. Hello jam. Will use the Puchong road, which is parallel to the Kesas Highway more often now. Unless, I am late and in a hurry. Damn. I hate jam (No! I like strawberry jam, but I mean traffic jam)

In the meantime, if you see Mr Wiggy, please ask him come suck my…… or you can ask him to suck yours…

Just remember another two tolls that I use occasionally… that did not increase… the Connaught Toll and the Kerinchi Link. Phew…. *cold sweat*

More…

Screenshots – ‘Happy New Year’… From the Abdullah Administration… with love

Rocky’s Bru – So High or Sor Hai?

Taxpayers Money

December 14, 2006

Read something rather interesting in Screenshot lastest entry – Spare a thought for our civil servants.

Meanwhile, also today, we read of how the government tried to justify in the Parliament why it must spend more than RM11billion in taxpayers’ money to take control of failed privatisation projects. This is the breakdown:

  • RM3.256 billion for Star LRT.
  • RM4.486 billion for Putra LRT
  • RM2.802 billion for Malaysia Airlines System Bhd.
  • RM142 million for Seremban-Port Dickson Highway by Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan Bhd.
  • RM135 million for Bandar Kuching Prison with the Public Works Department taking over from a private company.
  • RM192.54 million for the National Sewerage Scheme from its previous concessionaire, Indah Water Konsortium.
  • RM8.3 million for the Muslim Food and Consumer Goods Research Unit, which now comes under the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

RM11 BILLION OF TAXPAYERS’ MONEY!!!

I repeat – TAXPAYERS’ MONEY!!! So huge sum is being spent to bail these cows that were milked dry but no money to help the people.

A certain works minister mentioned that the toll hike is fair as the last toll hike was 2 years ago. Yes, 2 years ago! It is a very loooooong time ok. The government cannot afford to subsidise anymore.

But…but…but…. hello… the last salary review for civil servants was 1992. Do your maths and tell me which is longer?? Since 2005 or since 1992?? And with rising cost of living in Malaysia – for some reason only known to certain people – you think with their low salary, these people can afford a decent life? I said, “a decent life”. It’s not easy nowadays to even have a decent life, without feeling the pinch of the expensive-ness of things around us.

And this RM11 billion does not includes the unnecessary new Istana Negara that cost RM400 million, the cancelled scenic bridge – RM740 million, RM500 million donation to Cambridge, the Sports Complex in UK…. etc etc. I am sure there a more that I just can’t recall now.

Oh yeah, and what about the much said RM4.4 billion save from the fuel subsidy? We have yet to see any improvements in the public transportation system in the country. It’s still as lousy as it used to be if not worse.

So, this is how our money is being spent. All are beneficial to certain people, but none to the public joe like us, who are the rightful owner of the money spent.

Backman on Malaysia

November 29, 2006

I am sure most of you have read the first article written by the Australian Columnist Michael Backman. If you have not, here it is.

Backman received more than 600 emails from readers, mostly Malaysians, and most importantly, mostly supportive!

And as he promised, here is the second article on Malaysia again. Two paragraphs actually caught my attention. They are:

And then there are the corruption allegations. In 1995, in a report to the attorney-general, the public
prosecutor said there was a prima facie basis for Rafidah’s arrest and prosecution on five counts of
corruption.

An opposition activist later acquired official documents that appeared to confirm this. He was jailed for
two years under the Official Secrets Act simply for possessing them. Rafidah, on the other hand, was not
even charged.

If you ask me what I think of both articles, I think he is God damn right!