Monday, June 30, 2008

THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
(versi Bahasa Malaysia di akhir artikel ini)

1. There has been a lot of talk about a Social Contract in Malaysia.

2. Perhaps it would be useful if we understand this concept a little bit more before we argue about it.

3. If we care to look into the origins of the social contract we will find that it is a European concept enunciated by European philosophers. The most famous is Socrates, the Greek philosopher who was jailed and sentenced to death.

4. He refused to escape and migrate to another Greek city-state because he believed he was bound by a social contract to live by the laws of his state of Athens as he was born and brought up there, benefiting from the aforesaid laws.

5. Before this social contract, men were said to live in a State of Nature, where there was no law to govern the relation between individuals in a small primitive society. The law of the jungle prevailed where might was right.

6. As society grew it became necessary to have laws which govern the behaviour of members of the society. All citizens were committed to respect and submit to the laws. This understanding is in fact a social contract although there was no oral or written undertaking to respect and submit to the laws. This was the view of Socrates. Later philosophers enlarged on this concept but there was never a requirement for a formal contract.

7. The Greeks are said to practise a democratic form of Government. However the citizen who had the right to participate in Government were limited to male adults of sound mind. Women, children, slaves, captives, criminals and foreigners were not accorded the rights of citizens and could not play a part in Government.

8. Much of European civilisation is based on the Greek civilisation. But as society grew bigger, direct participation in Government by the people became impossible.

9. At one stage democracy was abandoned in favour of feudalism in which a monarch ruled by Divine Right. In Asia this had always been the form of Government. Nevertheless the submission of the subjects to the Monarch was also a form of social contract.

10. Later feudalism was replaced by republicanism i.e. a return to the public of the power of Government.

11. Numerous forms of republics have emerged, each with its own set of laws and rules regarding the government of the country. But whatever may be the form, the laws and the rules, the citizens are bound by them. There would be no written contract but for foreigners to accept the rights of citizenship, there would usually be a formal undertaking to submit to the laws and system of the Government of the country.

12. After becoming citizens their offspring would automatically be regarded as citizens and as citizens they need not swear a formal oath of allegiance to the country. This right is through jus sanguinis i.e. through blood relation.

13. But there can also be citizenship by being born in the country or jus soli. This can be provided for by the laws of the country.

14. But whether citizenship is gained through jus sanguinis or jus soli, the social contract still applies even though there is no formal oath taking.

15. What is clear is that a social contract is a general understanding on the part of a citizen to submit to and obey the laws and the institutions of the country. The social contract governs not just his relation with the country, its Government and its institutions but also his relationship with his fellow citizens.

16. After receiving comments on this I will talk about the Malaysian social contract and its effect on Malaysia.

*****

KONTRAK SOSIAL

1. Banyak yang diperkatakan berkenaan Kontrak Sosial di Malaysia

2. Mungkin ada baiknya kita cuba faham akan konsep ini sebelum kita berbahas dengan lebih lanjut.

3. Jika kita kaji asal usul kontrak sosial kita akan dapati bahawa ianya adalah satu konsep bangsa Eropah yang diketengahkan para falsafah Eropah. Yang termasyhur adalah Socrates, ahli falsafah berbangsa Greek yang telah dipenjarakan dan disabitkan hukuman bunuh.

4. Beliau enggan lari dan berhijrah ke bandar Greek yang lain kerana beliau percaya bahawa ia terikat dengan kontrak sosial untuk hidup berlandaskan undang-undang Athens di mana dianya dilahir dan dibesarkan dan mendapat manfaat daripada undang-undang tersebut.

5. Sebelum adanya kontrak sosial ini, manusia dikatakan hidup di dalam Keadaan Semulajadi, dimana tidak ada undang-undang untuk mentadbir perhubungan antara individu dalam masyarakat primitif yang kecil. Yang ada hanyalah undang-undang "belantara" dimana yang kuat selalunya benar.

6. Apabila masyarakat berkembang terdapat keperluan undang-undang bagi mentadbir perilaku sesuatu masyarakat. Setiap warganegara komited terhadap perlunya hormat dan akur pada undang-undang. Pemahaman ini merupakan kontrak sosial walaupun tidak terdapat apa-apa pengakuan untuk hormat dan akur terhadap undang-undang secara lisan mahupun bertulis. Ini pandangan Socrates. Para falsafah selepasnya memperluaskan konsep ini tetapi tidak pernah ada keperluan untuk kontrak secara formal.

7. Bangsa Greek dikatakan mengamalkan bentuk Kerajaan demokratik. Tetapi rakyat yang behak menyertai Kerajaan dihadkan kepada lelaki dewasa yang waras. Wanita, kanak-kanak, hamba abdi, tahanan, penjenayah dan warga asing tidak diberi hak sebagai warganegara dan tidak boleh memain peranan dalam kerajaan.

8. Sebahagian besar tamadun Eropah berasas kepada tamadun Greek. Tetapi apabila masyarakat berkembang besar adalah mustahil untuk mereka membuat penyertaan secara langsung didalam Kerajaan.

9. Pada satu peringkat, demokrasi ditolak dan sistem feudal diterima di mana raja memerintah dengan penuh hak ketuhanan. Ini merupakan bentuk Kerajaan yang terdapat di Asia. Bagaimanapun, ketaatan rakyat kepada Raja juga merupaka satu bentuk kontrak sosial.

10. Kemudian feudalisme digantikan dengan sistem republik iaitu mengembalikan kepada rakyat kuasa Kerajaan.

11. Pelbagai bentuk republik telah wujud, setiap satunya dengan undang-undang dan peraturannya tersendiri berkenaan kerajaan Negara tersebut. Walau apa pun bentuknya, undang-undang dan peraturan-peraturan, setiap warganegara terikat dengannya. Tidak ada kontrak bertulis tetapi bagi orang asing yang menerima hak warganegara, pada lazimnya akan ada perakuan formal untuk menturuti sistem dan undang-undang Kerajaan Negara itu.

12. Selepas menjadi warganegara, anak mereka akan secara automatik dianggap sebagai warganegara dan sebagai warganegara mereka tidak perlu bersumpah kesetiaan kepada Negara berkenaan secara formal. Hak ini adalah melalui jus sanguinis, iaitu melalui pertalian darah.

13. Kewarganegaraan juga boleh diperolehi dengan cara dilahirkan didalam Negara itu atau jus soli. Ini boleh disediakan oleh undang-undang Negara itu.

14. Samada kewarganegaraan diperolehi melalui jus sanguinis atau jus soli, kontrak sosial masih diguna pakai walaupun tiada pengakuan sumpah secara formal.

15. Yang jelas, kontrak sosial adalah kefahaman secara umum seseorang warganegara untuk menghormati dan akur kepada undang-undang dan institusi sesebuah negara. Kontrak Sosial ini tidak terhad kepada mengurus perhubungannya dengan negara, Kerajaan dan institusi, tetapi juga perhubungannya dengan rakan senegaranya yang lain.

16. Saya akan menulis berkenaan kontrak sosial dan kesannya terhadap Malaysia selepas menerima komen terhadap rencana saya yang ini.

Friday, June 27, 2008

PRESS STATEMENT BY YABhg TUN DR MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
(This statement was issued yesterday, June 26, 2008 in response to Judge Ian Chin's allegations towards Dr Mahathir) 


1. On June 10, The Borneo Post reported Judge Ian Chin's "explosive judicial disclosure", about how judges were threatened and sent to Boot Camps by the former Prime Minister.

2. He made these revelations prior to hearing a case, apparently to avoid being accused of bias.

3. What he did not reveal is that there is a police report against him for breaches of Judge's Code of Ethics in hearing a case in which he has a personal interest. He presided on a case involving Dato Syed Kechik without revealing that he believed Syed Kechik was responsible for detaining his father and brother 20 years before.

4. Chin joined Party Berjaya and lost twice. One of the objectives listed in Party Berjaya's manifesto was to expel Syed Kechik from Sabah. (Syed Kechik akan dikeluarkan dari Sabah). As a party member he must know Berjaya's hatred for Syed Kechik. This alone should have resulted in him excusing himself from hearing the case. 

5. However, both the Claimants and Defendants in the hearing in 1999 did not seek to change the judge, believing that his being a Party Berjaya candidate would not affect his judgement.

6. It was only later that the defendants learnt about the detentions of his father and brother by the Tun Mustafa Government and that Ian Chin believed Syed Kechik was instrumental in getting his father and brother arrested. 

7. John R Cherryman Q.C., lawyer for Dato Syed Kechik (DSK) in a written opinion after Chin J's ruling of September 2, 2004, said inter alia "Looking at these matters in retrospect there emerges a pattern redolent of bias".

8. Cherryman went on to say; "Knowing what we do now, the inference was that the Judge (Chin J) was throughout determined to have revenge against DSK (and corporate Defendants) for his (Dato Syed Kechik's) alleged part in the detention of his family members.

9. When Party Berjaya won the State elections in April 1976, the Berjaya Government cancelled Syarikat Banita's (belonging to Syed Kechik) timber license and on 1st October 1976 published Gazette Notification No 671 on compulsory acquisition of the whole of Zara Project Land of 2,452.74 acres also belonging to Syed Kechik.

10. On 7th September 1977 Banita filed a civil suit against the State Government and on 28th September 1977 Zara filed for the adjudication of compensation claim in respect of compulsory acquisition of its land for "public purpose".

11. The Sabah Government through the Sabah Foundation, Suiswan Sdn Bhd and Seranum Sdn Bhd filed counter claims against DSK, Zara Sdn Bhd and Banita Sdn Bhd.

12. For about 20 years the Plaintiffs and their Solicitors went to "sleep". No court action was taken.

13. Then on October 29th 1996 Justice Tee Ah Siang heard the case involving Originating Summons No 69 of 1977. The judge ordered the payment of RM40,920,011.00 in capital compensation by the State Government to Zara Sdn Bhd with 6 % per annum interest from 20th December 1976 to date of settlement.

14. Then on 6th January 1997, Chin J granted ex-parte Mareva Injunction Orders against the Defendants in suit 351 and 352 in response to the Plaintiffs (Sabah Government) application.

15. The very next day Chin J instructed Registrar to set hearing of Suit 351 on 9th January 1997, i.e. three days after he granted injunction against the Defendants.

16. On 9th April 1997 he delivered judgement on Strike Out Actions, refusing to grant order in favour of Defendants (Zara Sdn Bhd).

17. On 5th February 1999 a joint hearing of Suits 351 and 352 was held before Chin J at the Kota Kinabalu High Court. On 6th September 1999 Chin J delivered his judgement in which he stated on pgs 122-125:
"Yes, DSK was from West Malaysia sent to Sabah supposedly to help Sabah politically. Unfortunately, he introduced to Sabah, especially to the then politicians of Sabah, a way to get rich, very rich at that, quickly by way which I have already concluded are wrong in law."

18. Chin J also said in his judgement that "DSK wielded too much power for anyone to believe that any bureaucrat would oppose him". He concluded with dismissing with cost the application of the 2nd Defendant to strike out the injunction.

19. It became obvious that Chin J was biased against DSK. Yet he did not reveal his father's and brother's arrest during the time of Tun Mustafa's Government and his belief that Syed Kechik who was adviser to Tun Mustafa was responsible for this arrest when hearing the case concerned.

20. Following this a police report was made by Pengarah, Zara Sdn Bhd on June 16, 2005 on "Salahlaku Hakim Datuk Ian Chin Hon Chong". (refer to salinan report and 1st page of police report)

21. The report went from Police to Chief Justice Malaysia to Ministers, to the Anti Corruption Agency, to Suhakam (Human Rights Commission) and even to the Prime Minister. No action was taken by any of them.

22. In the meanwhile the cases (DSK, Zara and Banita) went to the Federal Court and a judgement was made on March 25, 2008 and this is what the Federal Court has to say of Chin J's High Court judgement in the Zara and Banita suits.

23. "Without evidence or justification, the learned Judge wrongly held that DSK made these decisions. We find that the learned Judge's findings were based on unjustified inferences, speculation, his own preconceived impressions and prejudice..." and;

"We find the learned Judge's attack on the credbility of SSA (Syed Salem Al-Bukhary , the younger brother of DSK - who represented his incapacitated brother) as unwarranted and does not stand up to examination having regard to the extremely prejudiced view he held about SSA's conduct as apparent in his judgment."

24. This Federal Court judgement is likely to come in support of the alleged "Salahlaku" by Chin J in the Police Report by Zara Sdn Bhd.

25. Action is now more likely to be taken against Chin J for breach of the ethical code of judges when he did not reveal his personal interest in the case he was hearing and not recuse himself.

26. His "explosive judicial disclosures" of June 7, 2008 came shortly after the Federal Courts judgment on Mar 25th 2008 and appears to be a desperate attempt ro deflect the legitimate complain against him by the Defendants of Civil Suits Nos 351 and 352 of 1979 which the Federal Courts' decision seem to support.

27. The reference to the threats by the former Prime Minister and his being sent to a Boot Camp had nothing to do with the case he was about to hear or his previous hearing of a case in which he had personal interest. Refer to statement by Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, former Attorney-General and current chairman of Suhakam.

28. It looks as if he was trying to curry favour with the Government by demonising the previous Prime Minister whom everyone knows is the bete noir of the present Government.

29. And he was quite right because Government Ministers and the Prime Minister rushed to accept his story as absolutely true. But other judges had refused to endorse his statement about threats by the Prime Minister casting doubt on its veracity. He now "slams a fellow judge in court" but he has not been able to condemn the other judges who also disagreed with him. The Boot Camp was of course not a Boot Camp at all. It was Kursus Tata Negara which had been attended by thousands of civil servants, business executives and politicians, without any complaints.

30. It will be interesting to see whether the Government would set up a tribunal to examine the charges against Ian Chin J.

31. I suspect that it will not. And so this judge who obviously breached The Judges Code of Ethics by "being a judge in his own cause" will simply get away with his unethical behaviour while presiding over a case.

32. The public should question how a person such as Ian Chin J should have been recommended to become a judge. I cannot remember recommending him. He is a disgrace to the judiciary and to the legal profession.

33. Now Chin has changed his accusation of "veiled threat" to "the former premier did not say he would remove judges through a tribunal in those exact words but conveyed the threat by "dropping words to that effect here and there". I wonder what the words are. He will now be thinking and cooking up more stories.

34. This reflects the character of the man who presides over our courts and dispenses "justice". He makes use of his position as a judge and the courts to take revenge for alleged actions against members of his family.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SNIPPETS/CORAT-CORET

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
VOTE OF (NO) CONFIDENCE

As expected Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament supported the motion on the removal of subsidy for petroleum. Obviously the whip had been used. Only one Sabah MP expressed his unhappiness at the short notice given for tabling this motion. Yet every MP knows that the price of petrol is a big burden for the people.

On Monday June 23rd, the public expected to hear about a motion of no confidence against Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by the Sabah Progressive Party. I had predicted that it would not happen as the Speaker would disallow it.

But it was the SAPP that decided not to table it. Its MPs were recalled to Sabah amidst talks of threats being made against them.

The "vote of confidence" by BN MPs over the oil subsidy is, as the opposition pointed out, not necessary at all. The deed is already done and debate would be superfluous.

The Prime Minister was happily smiling over this theatrical show but I think once again the Government has failed to appreciate the displeasure of the public. The vote of confidence means nothing to people who are now facing increase in prices of everything as a result of the withdrawal of subsidy. It will only alienate more people against the Government. If a referendum is held today the Government would lose.

*****

BLO(G)CKED

Having muzzled their own supporters, BN is now trying to prevent the Press from being present in Parliament to hear debates and meet MPs. Why BN should bother doing this is a mystery. Already the press is being directed by a "Supremo" on what to report and how to report it.

Maybe it is because among the pressmen there were bloggers. The Supremo is still unable to direct the bloggers on what they should say and how they should say it.

Incidentally my blog www.chedet.com had been locked. I am told that the robot responsible for keeping spam out mistakenly decided that my blog was spam.

I am not blaming the robot of course. It is a preview of the future when we will be controlled by robots.

But the Abdullah Badawi Government must be delighted over the locking out of my blog.

Now I have to find other ways of overcoming robots.

*****

ABDULLAH'S UMNO

Instructions have gone out for aspiring candidates in the UMNO elections not to attend feasts, tahlil or weddings and not to use their staff for campaigning for the UMNO election.

Subsequently they were told that they can attend these functions but they cannot give speeches etc. Its flip-flop as usual.

But what is very strange is that the President of UMNO who has indicated that he would be contesting the President's post in December has been carrying out a vigorous campaign for support for his Government and leadership. He has met all divisional heads and presently he is bringing branch leaders to Kuala Lumpur, paying for their travels and hotel, talking to them and it is believed giving them pocket money and "kain pelikat".

There are 18,000 branches in UMNO. He has not seen all of them yet. Does the ban on campaigning apply to him as well? I think not.

A peculiar aspect of his campaign is that the meetings are held behind closed doors.

How come the President is allowed to campaign so strongly while others cannot? Surely the new ban would work in favour of Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. But then Dato Seri Abdullah is no ordinary member. He is UMNO and UMNO is his, a personal possession.

*****

NGV

Untuk mengatasi masalah kenaikan harga minyak, ada yang bercadang untuk guna gas.

Harga murah sekarang kerana Petronas dipaksa oleh Kerajaan untuk menjual dengan harga yang rendah menanggung rugi.

Sebab itu hanya Petronas sahaja yang jual gas, itu pun disebilangan kecil daripada stesen Petronas.

Syarikat minyak swasta yang lain tidak jual gas sama sekali.

Harga gas Petronas sudah dinaikkan tetapi bekalan tidak mencukupi.

Kerajaan harus jelas dasar dan harga gas supaya pemilik kereta tidak membazir wang untuk pasang alat untuk guna gas.

*****

LANGKAWI

I was in Langkawi recently. The island is getting a lot of funds for its development.

I don't know whether it would enhance the attractiveness of Langkawi to have high-speed expressways. The Kuah to airport road has been widened and straightened. In the process 20 year-old teak tress have been chopped down. Some effort was made to replant. Not very successful I think.

Now the 10K road north from Kuah to Ayer Hangat is being widened into a four-lane expressway.

Time to drive from end to end will be reduced from 10-minutes to four-minutes.

I drove along the road. There were hardly any cars (perhaps it is the oil price hike). The teak trees lining the road are about 25 years old. They are flowering and stately. They must be chopped down so we can reach Ayer Hangat in four-minutes.

As the adviser to the Langkawi Island Development Authority (LADA) I may not advise.

Why is it that I feel we have gone back to the great days of the Colonial era?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PERPADUAN

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
1. Ramai orang Melayu yang kesal kerana di waktu yang genting ini, di waktu mana berbagai-bagai masalah melanda orang Melayu di negara tercinta ini, mereka berpecah dan bersengketa sesama sendiri.

2. Umum tahu perpecahan melemahkan, sebaliknya perpaduan memberi kekuatan. Berhadapan dengan aneka jenis masalah dan tekanan, orang Melayu amat perlu kepada perpaduan sekarang.

3. Pada tahun 1946, di waktu orang Melayu diancam kehilangan tanahair mereka, orang Melayu bersatu padu dan menentang British. Walaupun mereka lemah, miskin, tidak bersenjata, tetapi demikianlah kekuatan hasil perpaduan mereka sehingga British terpaksa tunduk kepada tuntutan mereka dan Malayan Union digugurkan.

4. Walaupun sebahagian daripada orang Melayu kemudian berpisah daripada UMNO untuk menubuh parti PAS tetapi majoriti orang Melayu terus bersatu padu dalam UMNO.

5. Tiga kali lagi parti serpihan UMNO ditubuh dan mencabar UMNO, tetapi perpaduan majoriti orang Melayu dalam UMNO dapat dikekalkan.

6. Tetapi Pilihanraya Umum 2008 menunjuk bahawa perpaduan dalam UMNO sudah luntur. Ramai ahli telah sokong parti lawan atau mengecualikan diri dengan tidak mengundi atau merosakan undi mereka.

7. Seruan kepada perpaduan sahaja tidak akan mengembalikan mereka ini. Sebabnya ialah perpaduan dengan sendirinya tidak akan membawa kebahagiaan. Perpaduan hanya akan membawa nikmat jika perjuangan yang diusahakan mempunyai matlamat yang dicita-citakan. Perpaduan kerana perpaduan tetapi perjuangan diselewengkan tidak bermakna dan tidak membawa rahmat dan nikmat.

8. UMNO hari ini tidak lagi berjuang untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair. Ia berjuang untuk pengekalan kuasa dan kesejahteraan Presidennya. Perpaduan yang dituntut hanya untuk menyokong Presiden.

9. Ini baik jika Presiden dapat membawa parti dan negara kearah kejayaan dan kebaikan. Tetapi apa yang dilihat ialah keburukan dan kehinaan bagi parti dan negara.

10. Dibawah kepimpinan Presiden ini UMNO dan Barisan Nasional telah kalah teruk dalam Pilihanraya Umum 2008.

11. Perpaduan dalam UMNO sudah berkecai.

12. Parti-pati komponen Barisan Nasional juga kalah dengan teruk di Semenanjung.

13. UMNO tidak lagi dihormati di dalam atau di luar negeri.

14. Generasi muda Melayu sudah anggap UMNO tidak relevan.

15. Negara Malaysia tidak lagi dianggap sebagai negara contoh oleh negara-negara membangun lain.

16. Wilayah milik negara telah terlepas ketangan negara kecil di selatan.

17. Singapura dilayan seolah-olah ia adalah kuasa besar sehingga pembangunan dalam wilayah Malaysia perlu mendapat kebenaran Singapura, sehingga keputusan Perdana Menteri untuk tidak bangunkan jambatan mengganti tambak Johor terpaksa dilapor dan dimaklum kepada bekas Perdana Menteri Singapura oleh Menteri Luar Malaysia.

18. Ekonomi negara kucar-kacir sehingga pelabur Malaysia pun tidak ingin melabur di Malaysia. 

19. Harga minyak dan semua barang meningkat tanpa kawalan dan bermacam-macam lagi. 

20. Haruskah orang Melayu bersepadu untuk menyokong semua ini? 

21. Perpaduan adalah untuk kebaikan, bukan untuk kemudaratan. 

22. Jika kita harus ada perpaduan, ianya hendaklah dengan tujuan memulih semula maruah dan kejayaan bangsa dan negara. 

23. Tidak ada sebab yang kepimpinan yang ada sekarang harus diperkuatkan dengan perpaduan di belakangnya. 

24. Sebaliknya perpaduan yang perlu diadakan ialah untuk menyingkir pemimpin yang telah bawa kecelakaan kepada parti dan negara. 

25. Janganlah desak supaya diadakan perpaduan tanpa mengambil kira hasrat dan matlamat ia diadakan.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Petronas

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
Certain members of Parliament are focusing on Petronas, apparently trying to divert attention from Government over the thoughtless increase in oil prices. If I am not mistaken this is a prelude to appointing a 4th floor candidate as head of Petronas as they did when removing Tengku Mahaleel of Proton.

There is also an attempt to blame me for "advising" the Government on removing the subsidy. I would like to clarify again that although I am called Adviser to Petronas, I do not advise at all, least of all to the Government.

Once in a while I get a briefing from Tan Sri Hassan Marican, the President of Petronas. I also get the annual report which is available to the public. My main job is that of a post box. I pass on to Tan Sri Hassan numerous requests and proposals which people send to me. I have absolutely no say in the decisions made by Petronas.

During the time I was Prime Minister, Petronas reported to me and I made certain decisions e.g. the price of gas to be sold to power stations, the need to go abroad for oil exploration and production. To keep electricity price low I did not allow gas price to be increased. Petronas sustained losses but not much as crude prices were around US30 dollars per barrel. Today it is US139 dollars per barrel. Gas prices have likewise increased so that losses sustained by Petronas is much higher. That is for the Government and Petronas to sort out.

The public may have noticed that only Petronas supplies Natural Gas for Vehicle (NGV) for motor vehicles. The amount is also limited. This is because sale of NGV incurs a bigger loss to Petronas as the Government did not reimburse. The other oil companies refuse to sell gas as they would lose money at the price fixed by the Government during my time.

I have an office at the Petronas Towers and I am paid an allowance of RM15,000 per month, less RM5,000 income tax. If the Government wants me to step down now that I am not an UMNO member it is welcome to do so.

It would be a pity if politics is brought into the management of Petronas. Unlike other national petroleum companies Petronas has become one of the international petroleum companies like Shell, Essso, Total and others.

It operates in 36 different countries worldwide and its business includes upstream and downstream activities, onshore and offshore. One-third of its revenue comes from foreign operations. It is a Fortune 500 company listed at around 250.

If the 4th Floor takes over, Petronas may suffer the same fate as most national petroleum companies. Petronas staff are very well trained and much in demand overseas. If they leave I am not so sure Petronas will continue to be the model national petroleum company that many oil producing countries desire to emulate.

Wastage of Public Funds - The cancellation of the Railway double tracking and electrification project

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
Malaysia has one of the most extensive system of express highways in Southeast Asia.

But still the roads are very congested.

Too many heavy vehicles such as container carriers and motorcar carriers clog the roads. Their numbers are increasing and container traffic from south Thailand add to the congestion.

Where double-tracking and electric trains have been introduced they have been very popular.

Car owners actually park their cars at train stations and use the commuter trains to get to and from their places of work. This also relieves the congestion on the roads.

We don't have enough train users for high speed trains but double tracking and electrification can obviously improve the service and increase the speed sufficiently for our needs. In the near future trains would become more popular as road congestion will increase and slow down travel by road. We are putting nearly half a million motor vehicles on the road every year.

We did not foresee the massive increase in oil price but even if the increases are more gradual, we would still need to take off some of the passenger and container traffic from the highways and put them on the rail system. This could be done if we upgrade by double-tracking and electrification of the railways to cover the country from the south to the north.

When we proposed to extend the double-tracking and electrification from Johor Baru to Seremban and Rawang to Padang Besar, with a spur line to Kuala Lumpur to avoid congestion at the Central Station, it was not because we wanted to cater to the whims and fancies of the former Prime Minister but because we saw the need then and in the future.

Malaysia had a population of only 5 million when we became independent in 1957. By the 1990s our population was 20 million and growing fast. People were apparently more prosperous to go by the number of private cars sold every year. And they were travelling more.

The demands for improvement in transportation by road and rail is obvious even to the laymen. Government could not help noticing it. And Government must respond to the needs of the people. Hence the increase in the number and mileage of highways. And obviously the improvement of the rail system.

When the double-tracking and electrification of the railways from Johor Baru to Padang Besar was proposed the lowest proposal cost RM14 billion and would take six years to build. Roughly the Government would need RM2 billion a year for the project. It could be started in 2004.

But upon taking over the Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Government decided to postpone it for some reason or other, although Dato Seri Abdullah had promised the former Prime Minister to go ahead with the project.

Now the Government has found that there is a need to go ahead. Unfortunately the cost has gone up. To build the double-track and electrification of the portion from Ipoh to Padang Besar alone would cost RM12 billion, an increase of roughly 50 per cent or roughly RM 7 billion if the line from Johor Baru to Padang Besar is to be constructed (as it must).

Lately the prices of steel and fuel have increased and even the portion between Ipoh and Padang Besar would cost more than 12 billion Ringgit. The total increase from Johor Baru to Padang Besar excluding the portions already built would be far more than the original cost of RM14 billion. It would need an additional RM7 billion plus.

The Government can opt not to build. In that case the congestion on the highways and the consumption of fuel would be horrendous. If it decides to build the Government would incur a loss of public funds to the tune of RM7 billion plus.

This is the result of postponing the Railway project which had been agreed to by the previous Government.

As you can see the Prime Minister is dishing out billions of Ringgit to gain goodwill in Sabah and Sarawak at a time when there is a deficit in the budget. One must wonder over the way public money is spent by this Government.

*****

Pembaziran Wang Rakyat - Pembatalan projek landasan berkembar dan elektrifikasi keretapi.

Malaysia mempunyai salah satu rangkaian lebuhraya yang terluas di Asia Tenggara.

Tetapi jalanraya masih lagi sesak, tidak dapat menampung keperluan jumlah kereta yang sering bertambah.

Terlalu banyak kenderaan berat seperti lori kontena dan pengangkut kenderaan menggunakan jalanraya menyebabkan kesesakan. Bilangannya bertambah dan jumlah kontena dari Selatan Thai juga menyumbang kepada kesesakan.

Dimana landasan rel berkembar dan keretapi elektrik diperkenalkan, ianya menjadi begitu popular.

Pemilik kenderaan individu akan meletak kenderaan mereka di stesen komuter untuk berulang-alik ke tempat kerja. Ini melegakan kesesakan jalanraya.

Kita tidak ada pengguna yang ramai untuk keretapi laju tetapi landasan berkembar dan penggunaan keretapi elektrik dapat meningkatkan perkhidmatan dan kelajuan sejajar dengan keperluan kita. Di dalam masa akan datang keretapi akan menjadi lebih popular apabila kesesakan jalanraya bertambah dan perjalanan kenderaan jalanraya menjadi terlalu sibuk. Setiap tahun kira-kira setengah juta kenderaan baru didaftarkan.

Kita tidak menjangka kenaikan harga minyak yang mendadak tinggi, tetapi jika ianya naik berperingkat sekalipun, kita perlu mengalihkan jumlah trafik penumpang dan kontena daripada lebuhraya ke sistem rel. Ini boleh dilakukan jika kita tingkatkan perkhidmatan rel kepada elektrifikasi dan landasan berkembar dari selatan ke utara.

Apabila kita cadang melanjutkan projek landasan berkembar dan elektrifikasi dari Johor Baru ke Seremban dan Rawang ke Padang Besar, dengan laluan tambahan ke Kuala Lumpur untuk mengelak kesesakan di Stesen Sentral, ianya bukanlah untuk memuaskan nafsu dan kehendak bekas Perdana Menteri tetapi kerana kita melihat keperluan tersebut pada masa itu dan di masa hadapan.

Apabila kita merdeka pada tahun 1957 jumlah penduduk Malaysia hanya 5 juta. Pada tahun 1990-an, jumlah tersebut mencecah 20-juta dan meningkat dengan cepat. Rakyat semakin mewah berdasarkan jumlah kenderaan persendirian yang dijual tiap tahun. Dan mereka juga lebih kerap berjalan.

Desakan untuk meningkatkan pengangkutan melalui jalan dan rel amat jelas. Kerajaan melihat keadaan ini dan tidak dapat tidak mesti menyahut kehendak rakyat. Demikian peningkatan jumlah dan perbatuan lebuhraya. Begitu juga peningkatan sistem rel.

Apabila landasan berkembar dan elektrifikasi dicadangkan dari Johor Baru ke Padang Besar pada 2002-2003, kos terendah ialah RM14 bilion dan mengambil masa enam tahun untuk dibina. Kerajaan perlu kira-kira RM2 bilion setahun untuk membina projek tersebut. Ianya sepatutnya dimulakan pada 2004.

Tetapi selepas mengambil alih, Kerajaan Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi memutus untuk menunda pembinaan oleh sebab-sebab yang tidak pasti walaupun Dato Seri Abdullah telah berjanji dengan Perdana Menteri terdahulu untuk meneruskan projek tersebut.

Sekarang Kerajaan dapati ianya perlu untuk diteruskan. Malangnya kos kini telah meningkat. Untuk membina landasan berkembar dan elektrifikasi dari Ipoh ke Padang Besar sahaja akan menelan belanja RM12 bilion, kenaikan sebanyak lebih kurang 50 peratus atau RM7 bilion jika landasan dibina dari Johor Baru ke Padang Besar (dan ianya lambat laun tetap diperlukan).

Baru-baru ini harga minyak dan besi telah naik dan bahagian di antara Ipoh dan Padang Besar juga akan meningkat lebih RM12 bilion. Jumlah kenaikan dari Johor Baru ke Padang Besar tidak termasuk bahagian yang telah dibina akan jauh lebih tinggi daripada kos asal RM14 bilion. Lebih daripada RM7 bilion tambahan kos akan diperlukan.

Kerajaan boleh pilih untuk tidak bina. Tetapi kesesakan di lebuhraya dan penggunaan bahanapi akan lebih teruk. Jika Kerajaan teruskan pembinaan ianya akan menanggung kerugian wang rakyat lebih dari RM7 bilion.

Inilah hasilnya apabila ditunda projek landasan yang telah dipersetujui Kerajaan terdahulu.

Sebagaimana yang dilihat Perdana Menteri melontar berbilion Ringgit kepada Sabah dan Sarawak sebagai hadiah pada masa bajet sedang mengalami defisit. Kita tertanya bagaimana Kerajaan ini membelanjakan wang rakyat dengan keputusan yang selalunya menambah kerugian.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Chorus Line

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
As expected Barisan Nasional party leaders, Cabinet Ministers and assorted beneficiaries of the Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi flip-flop regime lined up metaphorically behind him to shout their support for the leader over the intransigence of Dato Yong Teck Lee and the Sabah Progressive Party.

The SAPP's motion of no confidence will not bring down Dato Abdullah's Government even if the opposition were to throw in their votes behind SAPP. The likelihood is that the opposition will not. They know it would be an exercise in futility. In any case the Speaker will not allow the motion or debate on it. So it looks like the SAPP is going to get nowhere.

But Dato Seri Abdullah and the Chorus Line should not gloat. They should realise that every time Dato Seri Abdullah demonstrates his grip over UMNO and Barisan Nasional, everytime the Chorus Line trotted their piece, they evoke disgust among the public.

That was what happened before the 2008 General Elections. From the chorus of support and the apparent lack of adverse criticisms against the Government of Dato Seri Abdullah, it looked as if the BN was popular and would romp home with the 2004 kind of results.

But actually the muzzled members of UMNO and UMNO supporters and also the members of the other BN parties as well as the public harboured a strong dislike of what they saw as self-serving sycophants. When they showed their lack of gratefulness for their good fortune to be given the right to govern they angered a lot of people. Ingrates are never popular in any society.

UMNO may have 3.5 million members but even if all of them voted there would still be constituencies where they would not win. Their success depended much on non-member supporters. Dato Seri Abdullah had no way of bribing or threatening them.

He could not summon them to be told to support BN candidates or himself.

These people had become alienated from the BN. And the muzzled ordinary UMNO and BN members had also been alienated.

Assuming that Dato Seri Abdullah could control the 3,000 UMNO branches, the 200 UMNO divisions and the 2,500 specially selected representatives at the UMNO General Assembly there would still be more than a million ordinary members of UMNO who could not be bribed or threatened.

Every time Dato Seri Abdullah came up with ridiculous policies and commit administrative and political flip-flop the Chorus Lines, the Supreme Council and the Division heads may shout their support but the majority of the rank and file would become more disgusted. And they would resolve not to vote for UMNO or the BN.

So what will happen? Unable to do anything of consequence now these alienated people can only wait for the next election as they did for the 2008 Elections. If the results of the 12th General Election is anything to go by, the 13th General Election will be even worse than the 12th General Election for the BN.

Umno will lose and lose badly. Dato Seri Abdullah can blame the voters for sabotage but as UMNO and BN are unwilling to take heed of the voters' displeasure in 2008, the only choice they have will be to rid themselves of Dato Seri Abdullah through destroying UMNO and the BN.

Its too bad but what else can they do.

There will be no rewards for the Chorus Line and the other sycophants, including Dato Seri Najib when the BN loses to the opposition coalition.

Is this scenario likely? Well, did Abdullah and Co. think the 2008 losses were likely before they decided to hold the elections?

The few sensible UMNO leaders left should think about this. If you join the people who are obviously destroying UMNO, you will be cursed by future generations for your betrayal of their heritage.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

RAPID KL: Answers to questions & SAPP

blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M 
1. My son-in-law was not and has never been Chief Executive Officer of MTrans. He was working with the company. I do not know why Prasarana should require 1,500 buses in 1995. It may have taken over the LRT lines but it had already got buses for the feeder system.

I have been informed that Rapid KL belong to the Ministry of Finance and not Khazanah. This increases the mystery of the 1,500 buses for Prasarana.

2. I confess I persuaded MTrans to go into the manufacture of the monorail train, build the tracks and operate it. There was no other Malaysian company willing to do so at that time. As the development cost was high I had to assure MTrans it would be given first preference if a monorail is to be built in Kuala Lumpur.

My main interest is to bring in the technology. I wanted Malaysia not just to use its own monorail trains but to export them as well.

Foreign companies were only interested in selling the train and the lines i.e. not to invest but to get a Government contract.

If being given the rights to risk their own money to acquire monorail technology, develop and test and then build the system in Kuala Lumpur when no others were willing constitute monopoly then I stand guilty.

If my son-in-law happened to be in this company and I did not penalise this company I am very sorry. Since no other company was interested penalising MTrans would mean no Malaysian made monorail train or system.

3. I did not authorise a bailout of the company. The Government talked with MTrans for a monorail system for Putrajaya which could provide some relief for the company.

But the Abdullah Government cancelled this project after the company had built the bridge and part of the track. Government only paid a part of the cost. After this MTrans financial position became worse.

Its value plummeted and Scomi bought only the manufacturing plant in 2006. This was the profitable part of the company.

The Kuala Lumpur Monorail system was acquired by Khazanah when it went into receivership. It was not profitable.

There was no bailout i.e. the Government did not inject capital to revive the company during my premiership. It was a simple purchase by Scomi and Khazanah of a company bankrupted by a decision of the Government after I stepped down.

I am glad that after Scomi bought MTrans it is now making profit. But then Scomi bought the profitable manufacturing plant.
If Utusan is to be believed Scomi only refurbishes Rapid KL buses. If refurbishing gives 20 million Ringgit profits in 2006 i.e. the first year of acquisition as announced by Scomi then the management of Scomi must be brilliant.

It is also no mean feat to get 70 buses out of 150 buses tendered out by Rapid Penang.

Five other companies got the balance of 80 - or 16 buses each. I wish them luck.


SAPP

Tiny SAPP (Sabah Progressive Party) wants to move a motion of no-confidence in Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Apparently SAPP is still confident in Barisan Nasional.

As expected we hear the usual chorus of pledges by the other BN parties to support Abdullah.

When will BN party leaders wake up to the fact that the majority of Malaysians do not want Dato Seri Abdullah as Prime Minister? It was this inability to appreciate the feelings of the people that led to the disastrous 2008 election results by them.

The peninsular BN parties should realise that they have become irrelevant.

Ignore the people and you will find yourself totally rejected.
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