Wednesday, June 11, 2008

yogurt franchise

Petronas Adviser

I have been asked by the media and commentators in my blog as to whether I would quit as adviser to Petronas following my quitting as an UMNO member.

I would like to believe it is not exclusive to UMNO members.

Prior to my being adviser, the post was held by Tun Hussein Onn who was appointed by me following his resignation as Prime Minister. When UMNO was made illegal and UMNO Baru was formed Tun Hussein remained outside the party but this did not affect his position in Petronas. He remained Petronas adviser until he passed away.

Tun Hussein was also ISIS (Institute of Strategic and International Studies) chairman from 1984 until his demise.

As I have stated before I have no intention of quitting. It is ridiculous if all advisorial appointments subject the appointee to saying only the things that please the Government.

The Government is free to remove me from this position as it sees fit.

Dr M threatened judges

Both the New Straits Times and the Star today chose to splash Justice Dato Ian Chin’s “stunning” claims of my alleged interference in the judiciary, providing brief respite from the current issues of oil price hike etc etc

I will refrain from commenting for now and will do so in due time.

However, I am quite curious about what Ian Chin considers as “veiled threat”. Perhaps he could be more specific as his allegations are very serious.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SANUSI JUNID

1. Saya berasa amat sedih dengan tindakan untuk menamatkan khidmat Tan Sri Dato Seri Sanusi bin Junid dari menjadi Presiden Universiti Islam Antarabangsa.

2. Mungkin dia telah melakukan kesalahan yang besar yang tindakan ini perlu diambil. Tetapi secara kebetulan tindakan terhadap Presiden UIA ini diambil sejurus selepas dia keluar daripada UMNO. Apakah perbuatan beliau ini yang menyebabkan dianya disingkir?

3. Secara kebetulan juga sehari selepas dia berkempen untuk anak saya di Jerlun pejabat syarikat UIA Holdings Sdn Bhd milik UIA telah digeledah oleh Badan Pencegah Rasuah. Tidak ada apa-apa kesalahan dikesan yang dilakukan oleh Syarikat atau Tan Sri Sanusi.

4. Dua tindakan oleh Kerajaan ini menimbul tandatanya berkenaan dengan dasar yang diamalkan oleh Kerajaan / Barisan Nasional pimpinan Dato Abdullah Badawi.

5. Saya juga dengar cadangan supaya Dato Mokhzani yang telah keluar UMNO dipecat daripada menjadi Pengerusi Sepang International Circuit (SIC).

6. Ternampak seolah-olah Kerajaan Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi anggap bahawa jawatan-jawatan dalam Kerajaan dimiliki oleh partinya dan boleh diguna sebagai hadiah kepada yang menyokongnya dan menarik balik atau tidak diberi jika tidak patuh kepadanya.

7. Apakah hanya ahli UMNO sahaja yang boleh pegang jawatan dalam Kerajaan dan agensi Kerajaan? Saya faham ada orang bukan Melayu yang sudah tentu bukan ahli UMNO yang memegang jawatan dalam badan-badan Kerajaan. Jika kerana keluar daripada UMNO jawatan dalam Kerajaan akan dilucut, sepatutnya semua yang bukan ahli UMNO yang dilantik kedalam badan-badan Kerajaan patutlah dilucut juga.

8. Pemimpin Kerajaan nampak amat suka mendera siapa sahaja yang tidak kowtow kepada pihak tertentu. Ura-ura untuk mendera orang yang sabotaj Barisan Nasional dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke-12 nampaknya tidak jadi. Apakah kerana takut didera mereka akan kembali menyokong? Saya fikir tidak. Sebaliknya lebih ramai yang akan menolak kepimpinan yang suka hukum orang kerana kegagalan sendiri.

9. Saya harap sebab-sebab Tan Sri Sanusi hendak disingkirkan di jelas kepada rakyat. Jangan salahguna kuasa untuk kepentingan diri.

10. Kempimpinan Kerajaan Pusat Barisan Nasional harus ingat Barisan Nasional bukan lagi menguasai seluruh negara. Negeri-negeri dan Wilayah yang terkaya di Malaysia sekarang dikuasai oleh parti lawan. Mereka tidak bertindak melantik hanya ahli-ahli parti mereka sahaja dalam badan-badan Kerajaan. Sebaliknya mereka sanggup melantik tokoh dari parti-parti Barisan Nasional untuk mengisi jawatan badan-badan yang terletak dibawah Kerajaan-Kerajaan mereka.

11. Sikap mereka ini tentu akan menyebabkan lebih ramai ahli dan penyokong Barisan Nasional berpindah kepada parti mereka atau menyokong mereka.

12. Sikap suka balas dendam kepimpinan Barisan Nasional akan menghakis lagi sokongan kepadanya.

13. Fikirkan baik-baik wahai orang yang berkuasa. Tiap seorang tokoh mempunyai penyokong sedikit sebanyak. Mereka tentu berasa tersinggung dan akan bersimpati dengan mangsa kerajaan dan tidak menyokong Barisan Nasional lagi.

14. Fikirkanlah secara mendalam. Sesal dahulu pendapatan, sesal kemudian tidak ada gunanya.

airbrush tanning equipment

RAPID KL

Yang Berhormat Dato’ Bung Mokhtar Radin (Ahli Parlimen Kinabatangan) telah bertanya dalam Dewan Rakyat berkenaan 1000 lebih bas milik Rapid KL yang tersadai dan tidak diguna.

Bas-bas ini dikatakan asalnya milik Intrakota dan City Liner yang telah diambilalih oleh Rapid KL yang dipercayai adalah milik Khazanah. Bas-bas ini masih boleh diguna atau boleh diperbaiki dan dijual oleh Rapid KL. 

Tetapi Rapid KL tidak berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk mendapat balik sedikit pun daripada kos pembelian syarikat-syarikat ini. 

Kenapa?

Apakah Rapid KL begitu untung dan boleh tanggung rugi yang tidak kecil daripada menjadikan bas-bas yang dibeli olehnya sebagai besi buruk? 

Rapid KL terkenal dengan jumlah besar bas baru yang dimilikinya. Umum tahu yang bas-bas ini kerap kosong. Oleh kerana ia adalah GLC dan melibatkan wang rakyat sepatutnya untung-ruginya diumumkan kepada orang ramai. Tetapi kita tidak pernah melihat kira-kira untung ruginya. Untung besarkah RapidKL dan Khazanah?

Kita bangga dengan design bas-bas yang dimiliki oleh Rapid KL. Ia amat moden. Saya ingin tahu siapakah yang membekal bas-bas ini. Saya percaya pembekal bas-bas ini meraih keuntungan yang besar kerana begitu banyak bas yang jelas dibeli oleh Rapid KL. Mungkinkah pelupusan dan write-off begitu banyak bas-bas lama adalah supaya bas baru dapat dibeli daripada pembekal tertentu? Jika ya, nampaknya Rapid KL diadakan untuk menguntungkan pembekal. Apakah adanya Rapid-Penang juga tidak mempunyai tujuan yang sama?

Apakah benar pembekal bas Rapid KL dan Rapid Penang ialah M-Trans yang dimiliki 100% oleh Scomi yang dimiliki oleh sipolan-sipolan yang mempunyai talian kekeluargaan dengan pemimpin besar negara? 

Katanya pesanan untuk bas baru oleh Rapid KL adalah begitu banyak sehingga Scomi tidak dapat membinanya. Oleh itu Scomi dibenar import bas dari China. Apakah harga import dan harga jualan kepada Rapid KL? Apakah syarikat lain dibenar import bas baru dari luar negeri? Apakah duti import yang dibayar?

Disiarkan gambar-gambar Scomi Coach Sdn Bhd (dahulu dikenali sebagai M-Trans Sdn Bhd) yang berada di tempat yang sama dengan Scomi Rail Bhd (dahulu dikenali sebagai M-Trans Technology Sdn Bhd)



Penceroboh boleh ditembak
Bas-bas Rapid KL yang tersadai

Bas-bas baru Rapid KL yang sedang dibina di kilang Scomi

Kita juga dengar khabar angin bahawa Scomi juga dapat kontrak membekal unit-unit monorel untuk projek monorel di Pulau Pinang. Sekali lagi Scomi hanya akan membekal unit monorel sahaja dan tidak akan terlibat dengan pembangunan dan pengurusan sistem monorel di Pulau Pinang. Umum tahu pembangunan dan pengurusan tidak memberi keuntungan. Menjual unit monorel tetap untung terutama jika tidak ada tender atau tender di buat dengan spesifikasi yang hanya jenis unit monorel Scomi sahaja yang boleh menepatinya.

(Disiarkan dibawah gambar yang menunjuk rel untuk percubaan unit monorel yang terdapat di kilang Scomi Rail Bhd)

Rel untuk test unit. Dibelakang terlihat satu unit monorel di atas test-rail


Papan kenyataan Scomi Coach Sdn Bhd dan Scomi Rail Bhd





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Monday, June 9, 2008

Cancellation of bridge to Singapore


(VERSI BAHASA MALAYSIA DI AKHIR ARTIKEL INI)

I have been asked to please expose all that I know about the misuse of the Rakyat’s money.

In response to the above request I would like to identify initially four of the instances where the Government of Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has misused public money.

What I write here would not be based on speculation or suppositions or possibilities. They are the things which are public knowledge and can be verified.

I need to explain in detail. So I will deal with one subject at a time.

However, I list below the four specific instances;

1. The cancellation of the bridge to replace the Malaysian part of the Johore Causeway

2. The postponement of the double-tracking and electrification of the railway line from Johor Baru to Padang Besar

3. The sale of M.V. Agusta for one Euro

4. Wang Ehsan which has been expended on Terengganu which the new Menteri Besar claims is not Wang Ehsan but Federal Fund.

Cancellation of the Bridge to Singapore

The Singapore Government had not objected to the building of the Malaysian bridge to replace the Malaysian half of the causeway.

This bridge would be 25 metres above the water to allow for small ships to pass through after removal of the Malaysian half of the causeway. The Second Link is also 25 meters above the water surface. So the vessels can pass through the Tebrau Straits without obstruction by the causeway.

This bridge is very essential as the traffic in Johor Baru has increased and there is a permanent traffic jam caused by the North-South flow to and from the causeway and the East-West flow between the Eastern and Western parts of Johor Baru. An elevated road is needed to be built above the East-West traffic for access to and from the causeway. Such a road would result in a part of the Johor end of the causeway becoming useless as the elevated road must land some distance from where the causeway joins the mainland.

A full-length bridge to Singapore would enable a gradual rise for lorries to climb and boats to pass underneath after the causeway is removed. Since Singapore refused to jointly construct a straight bridge to replace the causeway, a bridge with 25 meters clearance for boats to pass has got to be long enough for lorries to make a gradual climb.

The answer was to lengthen the bridge by a curved design. As for the railway line a swing bridge can be opened or closed for ships or trains to pass through.

To cut a long story short work on the curved bridge was stopped so that Dato Seri Abdullah’s Government could offer to sell 1 billion cubic metres of sand, and overflight rights for Singapore military aircraft over Johor Baru if Singapore agreed to a straight bridge.

Someone stood to make a lot of money selling 50 million cubic metres of sand per year for 20 years to Singapore for land reclamation. This was a very attractive offer as the reclaimed land can sell for 3,000-5,000 Singapore dollars (about RM6,000-RM10,000) per square metre. The Singapore Government stood to make an enormous amount of money selling this land.

They therefore agreed to the straight bridge. That dredging sand from the seabed would cause erosion of the coast, destruction of fish breeding grounds and deprive Johore fishermen of their livelihood were not of concern to the Government of Dato Seri Abdullah.

Fortunately the Johor people misbehaved.

They objected to selling sand and overflights.

Abdullah frustrated that his scheme was blocked then punished the Johore people by cancelling the bridge project altogether. No straight bridge, no curve bridge either.

The result is that more than RM1 billion have been wasted building the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities, foundation and work on a new railway station, pilings and preliminary works on the road linking the CIQ to the bridge and compensations to the contractors because of the cancellation of the projects.

The CIQ building is now a white elephant, unused and yet have to be maintained costing hundreds of thousands of Ringgit a month.

Clearly Dato Seri Abdullah has wasted public money. All because he was angry with the Johor people for not enabling one billion cubic metres of sand to be sold to Singapore and the profits thereof.

*****

Pembatalan Jambatan Bengkok

Saya diminta membongkar apa yang saya tahu berkenaan salah guna wang rakyat.

Untuk permulaan saya senaraikan empat tindakan dimana Kerajaan Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi telah salahgunakan wang rakyat. Apa yang saya tulis di sini tidak berasas kepada spekulasi, kemungkinan atau kebarangkalian.

Perkara ini diketahui umum dan boleh disahkan Saya perlu beri penjelasan terperinci. Jadi saya akan bincangkan satu persatu.

Bagaimanapun saya senaraikan empat perkara spesifik;

1. Pembatalan pembinaan jambatan menggantikan tambak Johor di sebelah Malaysia

2. Penangguhan landasan berkembar dan rel elektrik daripada Johor Baru ke Padang Besar

3. Penjualan M.V. Agusta untuk satu Euro

4. Wang Ehsan yang dibelanjakan untuk Terengganu yang mana Menteri Besar yang baru mendakwa adalah bukan Wang Ehsan tetapi daripada dana Kerajaan Persekutuan.

Pembatalan pembinaan jambatan ke Singapura

Kerajaan Singapura tidak membantah pembinaan jambatan untuk menggantikan tambak di sebelah Malaysia.

Jambatan ini akan dibina 25 meter daripada paras permukaan air untuk benar kapal-kapal kecil lalu setelah separuh tambak di sebelah Malaysia di pecah.

Link Kedua juga berada di paras 25 meters daripada paras permukaan air. Jadi kapal-kapal boleh melalui Selat Tebrau tanpa terhalang oleh tambak. Jambatan ini penting kerana jumlah trafik di Johor Baru telah meningkat dan kesesakan lalulintas merupakan perkara harian disebabkan laluan Utara-Selatan yang datang dan pergi melalui tambak dan trafik Timur-Barat di antara bahagian-bahagian Timur dan Barat Johor Baru.

Jalan bertingkat perlu dibina menyeberangi trafik Timur-Barat untuk laluan dari dan ke tambak. Jalan ini akan menyebabkan penghujung tambak di sebelah Johor tidak boleh digunakan kerana jalan bertingkat hanya boleh mendarat pada satu jarak tertentu jauh daripada tempat tambak bertemu dengan tanah besar.

Jika jambatan penuh ke Singapura dibangunkan cerun boleh dilandaikan untuk memudahkan lori mendaki dan bot-bot kecil melalui di bawahnya setelah tambak dipecahkan.

Kerana Singapura tidak mahu sama-sama membina jambatan penuh untuk gantikan tambak, jambatan setinggi 25 meter untuk benarkan bot-bot lalu dibawahnya mesti mempunyai kepanjangan yang mencukupi untuk benarkan lori mendaki secara beransur.

Penyelesaiannya ialah untuk memanjangkan jambatan dengan rekabentuk melengkung (kemudiannya dipanggil jambatan bengkok). Bagi landasan keretapi pula, jambatan ayun yang boleh dibuka dan tutup untuk benarkan kapal atau keretapi lalu.

Untuk memendekkan cerita, kerja pembinaan jambatan bengkok dihentikan untuk membolehkan Kerajaan Dato Seri Abdullah menjual 1 billion meter padu pasir dan hak laluan terbang pesawat tentera Singapura melintasi Johor Baru jika Singaura bersetuju membina jambatan lurus.

Ada orang yang akan mengaut untung banyak menjual 50 juta meter padu pasir setahun selama 20 tahun untuk Singapura menambak tanah. Ini satu tawaran menarik kerana tanah yang ditambak boleh dijual antara 3,000-5,000 Dolar Singapura (kira-kira RM6,000-RM10,000) sekaki persegi.

Kerajaan Singapura boleh buat banyak duit menjual tanah ini. Lalu merekapun menyetujui cadangan jambatan lurus ini.

Bahawa mengorek pasir dari dasar laut boleh sebabkan hakisan pantai, kemusnahan tempat pembiakan ikan dan kehilangan mata pencarian bagi nelayan negeri Johor tidak pun diambil prihatin oleh Kerajaan Dato Seri Abdullah.

Mujurlah rakyat Johor membantah penjualan pasir dan hak laluan pesawat terbang. Abdullah yang kecewa kerana perancangannya terhalang menghukum rakyat Johor dengan membatal sama sekali projek jambatan. Tidak ada jambatan lurus mahupun bengkok.

Hasilnya lebih daripada RM1 billion telah dibazirkan yang dibelanjakan untuk membina kemudahan kompleks Kastam, Imigresen dan Kuarantin, kerja-kerja membina stesen keretapi baru dan kerja-kerja awal untuk bina jalan menghubung kompleks KIK dan jambatan serta bayaran pampasan kepada kontraktor disebabkan pembatalan projek-projek berkenaan.

Kompleks KIK kini menjadi gajah putih, terbiar tetapi terpaksa di selenggarakan dengan memakan belanja beratus ribu Ringgit sebulan. Jelas sekali Dato Seri Abdullah telah bazirkan duit rakyat hanya kerana beliau marah dengan rakyat Johor yang halang penjualan satu bilion meter padu pasir kepada Singapura dan keuntungan yang bakal diraih oleh pihak tertentu.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

THE TUN SALLEH SAGA

(VERSI BAHASA MALAYSIA DI AKHIR ARTIKEL INI)

1. When the Government gave ex-gratia payments to the judges involved in the Tun Salleh Abas removal as the Lord President of Malaysian courts, the question that needs to be answered is whether it is because of Government regrets over something that happened not during the period this Government was in power or is it because of a desperate attempt to win support after the disastrous results of the election of 2008.

2. Had the present Government felt regret, it should have paid ex-gratia payment (for want of a better term) upon achieving power. But obviously it only felt regret lately, after its brand new de facto Minister of Law, who incidentally was suspended for money politics, suggested the move in order to win the approval of the Bar Council.

3. But what was at the back of this political feeling of guilt by this Government. Was it because of the injustice done? Or was something unfair and unlawful committed by the previous Government.

4. Most people know about Tun Salleh’s dismissal but few care to find out what really happened. Some believe that the action against Tun Salleh was because he had proposed a panel of 12 judges to hear the appeal against Judge Harun Hashim’s findings that UMNO was an illegal organisation. Others believe it was because he was biased against UMNO in his judgements.

5. None of these is true. Tun Salleh had not been biased against the Government. He dismissed the application by Lim Kit Siang in the case involving UEM and the Government, for an interim injunction made by a lower court in a lengthy judgement made by him as President of the Supreme Court. In numerous other cases his judgement favoured the Government. As to the panel to hear the appeal against Judge Harun Hashim’s findings, a bigger panel could actually be good for UMNO, which wanted nothing more than the validation of the election results making me President and Ghafar Baba Deputy President. Whether the panel rejects or approves Judge Harun’s decision, UMNO and UMNO Baru would not be affected.

6. The truth is that the case against Tun Salleh was triggered by his letters to the Yang di Pertuan Agong which were considered by the Agong as being highly improper and insulting to him.

7. In his first letter Tun Salleh had written to DYMM YDP Agong complaining about the noise made during some repair work at the Agong’s palace near Salleh’s house.

8. This alone can be considered as very improper. A man as senior as he was could have asked to see the Agong and verbally informed him about the noise.

9. But to compound the act of les majesté he sent copies of his letter to the other rulers. This implied that he did not have faith in the Agong and wanted the other Rulers to apply pressure on him.

10. This was followed by another letter to DYMM YDP Agong complaining about the behaviour of the executive i.e. the Prime Minister. Copies of this letter were also sent to the other Rulers.

11. In this letter Tun Salleh said inter alia, “All of us (the judges) are disappointed with the various comments and accusations made by the Prime Minister against the judiciary not only outside but inside Parliament.”

12. He went on to say in his letter “the accusations and comments have brought shame to all of us and left us mentally disturbed to the extent of being unable to discharge our functions orderly and properly.”

13. He asserted that he and all the judges “do not like to reply to the accusations publicly because such action is not compatible with our position as judges under the Constitution …. And as such it is only proper for us to be patient in the interest of the nation.”

14. This statement was obviously untrue as before the letter was sent, in a speech at the University of Malaya when he was receiving his honorary doctorate, he complained about “the judiciary being placed in the social service category” inferring that this was not in keeping with “the rule of law” and that the “priority of the courts should be altered so that freedom is guaranteed and work is not disturbed.”

15. He went on to say “the officers of the public service (i.e. judges) do not have a lesser role and function to play than the roles played by the politicians.”

16. Further he said, “This matter becomes aggravated if the rights involved in a decision made by an official are related to judicial matters because this will result in a very important question that is interference with the independence of the judiciary.”

17. Again when making a speech at the launching of a book “Law, Justice and the Judiciary, Transnational Trends” Tun Salleh had said, among other things, “The vital constitutional principle is so settled that no question should really arise concerning the position of the judiciary under the Constitution. But recently this guardianship has been made an issue and our independence appears to be under some kind of threat.” He added, “This is amply borne out by some of the comments made recently which embarrassed the judiciary a great deal. These remarks not only question our neutrality and independence but the very value of it as an institution ….. Our responsibility of deciding the case without fear or favour …. does not mean that the court decision should be in favour of the Government all the time…….”

18. “Apart from this,” he continued, “the problem of maintaining judicial independence is further complicated by the fact that the judiciary is the weakest of all the three branches of the Government.”

19. “What matters most in order to enable us to save the system from disastrous consequences is that we judges must act with responsibility and dignity and not be drawn or tempted into an impulsive action which could only result in aggravating the situation.”

20. These two speeches were delivered on 1st August 1987 and 12th January 1988 respectively. But Tun Salleh’s letter to the King was dated 26th March 1988. As I pointed out earlier it is not true that he did not speak about his accusations against the Government in public because he maintains that “such action is not compatible with our position as judges under the Constitution” and that “it is only proper for us to be patient in the interest of the nation.”

21. All his statements in these two speeches clearly contain his criticisms of the Prime Minister and the Government long before he wrote his letter to the King.

22. Another point raised in his letter to the Agong is that “the accusations and comments have brought shame to all of us (judges) and left us mentally disturbed to the extent of being unable to discharge our functions orderly and properly.”

23. In Section 125 of the Federal Constitution, under clause (3) the grounds for removing a judge, apart from misbehaviour include infirmity of body or mind or any other cause, properly to discharge the functions of his office.”

24. By his own admission Tun Salleh was not able “to discharge his functions orderly and properly.” He was therefore unfit to continue to be a judge.

25. Section 125, Clause 4 provides for “the Yang di Pertuan Agong to appoint a Tribunal …. and refer the representations to it, and may on the recommendation of the tribunal remove the judge from office.”

26. The two letters from Tun Salleh were regarded by the Agong as being highly improper and insulting particularly the copies sent to the other Rulers.

27. During one of my weekly meetings with the Agong, DYMM expressed his annoyance over the letters and simply requested that I dismiss Tun Salleh Abas from being the Lord President of the Malaysian Courts. He writes in his own handwriting his request on the margin of Tun Salleh’s first letter, regarding the noise made by the work on the Agong’s residence.

28. To the Agong it was a simple matter. He had appointed the Lord President and therefore he was entitled to remove him. I thought it was best for me to inform Cabinet and seek the advice of the Attorney-General.

29. I must admit that Tun Salleh’s complaints against me in his letter annoyed me. It is true that I had criticised the judges for interpreting the laws passed by Government not in accordance with the intention or objective of the laws. I did suggest that if the laws were interpreted differently from what the Government and the legislators intended, then we would amend the laws. During a cabinet meeting I had in jest quoted Shakespeare’s words, “The first thing we do we hang the lawyers.” Only a nitwit would think that I meant what I said literally. But apparently lawyers and judges took umbrage over what I said and regarded me as their enemy (about to hang them, I suppose).

30. I also criticised judges for making laws themselves through their interpretations and subsequently citing these as their authority. I believed that the separation of powers meant the Legislators make laws and the judiciary apply them. Of course if the laws made by the legislators breach the provisions of the constitution, the supreme law of the land, then judges can reject them.

31. Again some judges simply refused to hear cases involving the death penalty, pushing these unfairly on to other judges.

32. It is the view of most jurists that “It is not wrong for any member of the public or the administration to criticise the judiciary. “Justice is not a cloistered virtue.” (Peter Aldridge Williams QC).

33. The above writer quoted McKenna J “There is no difference between the judge and the Common Man except that one administers the law and the other endures it.”

34. Yet Tun Salleh took the view that I was subverting the independence of the judiciary when I expressed views on how judges frustrated the objectives of the legislators.

35. Through the grapevine I heard of the judges’ displeasure with me. But I did not take any action, certainly not to remove Tun Salleh. I only acted after the Agong complained about the two letters.

36. The Cabinet agreed that we must adhere strictly to the provisions of the Constitution. I therefore advised the Agong that Tun Salleh could not be removed unless the Agong appoints a Tribunal to hear the complaints against him and make recommendations to the Agong.

37. Upon the Agong agreeing, the Government selected six judges and former judges for His Majesty to consider. The members included foreign judges in the person of the Honourable the Justice K.A.P. Ranasinghe, Chief Justice Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Honourable Mr Justice T.S. Sinnathuray, Senior Judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

38. The Chairman was the Chief Judge (Malaya), Tan Sri Dato Abdul Hamid bin Hj Omar. The other members were Dato Sri Lee Hun Hoe, Chief Justice (Borneo), Tan Sri Abdul Aziz bin Zain, Retired Judge and Tan Sri Mohd Zahir bin Ismail, Retired Judge.

39. The inclusion of foreign judges was to make sure the Tribunal would not be biased.

40. It is unfortunate that Tun Salleh Abas refused to appear before the Tribunal. Instead he depended on his colleagues to try to prevent the findings of the Tribunal from reaching the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

41. What the five judges who were sympathetic to him did was certainly not in keeping with Tun Salleh’s expressed views in his talk during the launching of the book “Law, Justice and the Judiciary. Transnational Trend, “when he said “we as judges must act with responsibility and dignity and not be drawn or tempted into any impulsive action which could only result in aggravating the situation.”

42. The five judges had ignored rules and procedures and the requirement to get the approval of the (Acting) Lord President, as well as wait for the findings by Mr Justice Ajaib Singh on the same matter. Instead they cancelled courts sittings in Kota Bahru which were scheduled for the judges, and held a sitting of the Supreme Court in Kuala Lumpur to hear an application by Tun Salleh Abbas for prohibition proceedings to determine his position.

43. The Supreme Court of five judges with Tan Sri Wan Sulaiman presiding heard an ex parte oral application by Tun Salleh’s lawyer, retired for a few minutes, returned and unanimously made an order for stay restraining the Tribunal from submitting any recommendations, report or advice respecting the enquiry to His Majesty the Yang di Pertuan Agong until further order.

44. Subsequently the Acting Lord President, set up a Supreme Court of five judges which negated the decision of the Wan Suleiman Court.

45. I would like to repeat that despite public criticisms made against me by Tun Salleh, I did not take any action against him. I only did so after he insulted the Agong and the Agong requested me to have him removed. Of course some would still say I influenced the Agong. But throughout my 22 years I had never involved the rulers in politics or my personal problems. The records are there for all to see.

46. I was very concerned over the forcible removal of Tun Salleh. And so I tried to get Tun Salleh to resign on his own so as to avoid a scandal. He agreed at first but he withdrew the following day.

47. I then went about getting the Tribunal approved and set up. Naturally I had to consult the Attorney-General and others who were familiar with judges. Once the Tribunal was set up my involvement ended.

48. When Tun Salleh and the other judges had their services terminated, they should not be paid their pensions. But following appeals by Attorney-General I agreed that they should be paid their full pensions. They therefore did not suffer any financial loss and their pensions were computed from the time they left.

49. These are the facts relating to the dismissal of Tun Salleh. It was he and his fellow judges who brought disrepute to the judiciary.

50. I write this to record things as they happened. I do not expect my detractors to stop saying that I destroyed the judiciary. They are my prosecutors and they are also my judges. To them I will always be the Idi Amin of Malaysia as claimed in Tun Salleh’s book “May Day for Justice”. Sadly many who so readily condemn me were judges.

*****


KISAH TUN SALLEH

1. Apabila Kerajaan memberi bayaran ex-gratia kepada para hakim yang terlibat di dalam penyingkiran Tun Salleh Abas sebagai Ketua Hakim Mahkamah Malaysia, persoalan yang perlu dijawab ialah adakah ianya kerana Kerajaan kesal terhadap sesuatu yang berlaku di zaman sebelum Kerajaan ini berkuasa atau adakah ianya langkah terdesak untuk mengembalikan sokongan selepas keputusan buruk Pilihanraya Umum 2008.

2. Jika Kerajaan hari ini merasa kesal, bayaran ex-gratia (memandangkan tiada lagi perkataan yang lebih sesuai) sepatutnya dibuat selepas ianya mula berkuasa. Jelas sekali ia hanya merasa kesal baru-baru ini, selepas Menteri baru yang dipertanggungjwabkan ke atas hal-ehwal kehakiman (yang juga pernah digantung kerana penglibatan dalam politik wang) mencadangkannya sebagai langkah untuk memenangi hati Majlis Peguam.

3. Tetapi apakah yang menyebabkan perasaan kesal “politik” di pihak Kerajaan ini? Adakah kerana berlaku ketidak adilan? Atau adakah Kerajaan yang sebelumnya berlaku berat sebelah atau melanggar undang-undang?

4. Kebanyakan orang tahu tentang penyingkiran Tun Salleh tetapi tidak ramai yang mengambil berat tentang apa yang sebenarnya berlaku. Sesetengah pihak percaya yang tindakan terhadap Tun Salleh disebabkan cadangannya membentuk panel 12 hakim untuk mendengar rayuan terhadap keputusan Hakim Harun Hashim yang telah mendapati UMNO sebagai sebuah organisasi haram. Ada pihak lain yang percaya ianya kerana beliau tidak menyebelahi UMNO di dalam penghakimannya.

5. Tidak ada satu pun yang benar. Tun Salleh tidak berat sebelah terhadap Kerajaan. Dia telah menolak permohonan Lim Kit Siang di dalam kes yang melibatkan UEM dan Kerajaan, terhadap injunksi sementara yang dibuat mahkamah rendah di dalam keputusan penghakiman yang panjang yang dibuat olehnya sebagai Presiden Mahkamah Agong (sekarang Mahkamah Persekutuan). Di dalam kes-kes lain penghakiman beliau banyak berpihak kepada Kerajaan. Berkenaan dengan panel untuk mendengar rayuan terhadap keputusan Hakim Harun Hashim, panel yang lebih besar mungkin lebih baik bagi UMNO yang hanya mahukan pengesahan keputusan pemilihan yang akan menjadikan saya Presiden dan (Tun) Ghafar Baba Timbalan Presiden. Samada panel menolak atau menerima keputusan Hakim Harun, ianya tidak akan memberi kesan terhadap UMNO dan UMNO Baru.

6. Sebenarnya kes terhadap Tun Salleh tercetus kerana surat-suratnya kepada Yang di Pertuan Agong yang baginda anggap melanggar tatasusila serta menghina.

7. Di dalam surat pertamanya, Tun Salleh telah menulis kepada DYMM YDP Agong untuk mengadu berkenaan bunyi bising kerana kerja-kerja baikpulih di Istana YDP Agong yang terletak berdekatan dengan rumah Tun Salleh.

8. Ini sahaja boleh dianggap melanggar tatasusila. Seseorang yang begitu kanan kedudukannya boleh meminta izin untuk mengadap YDP Agong dan menyampaikan aduannya secara lisan.

9. Untuk memburukkan lagi perbuatan menghina Istana dia telah menghantar salinan suratnya kepada Raja-Raja lain. Ini seolah-olah menunjukkan yang dia tidak punyai keyakinan terhadap YDP Agong dan menghendakkan Raja-Raja Melayu lain untuk mengadakan tekanan terhadap YDP Agong.

10. Ini kemudiannya disusuli dengan satu lagi surat kepada YDP Agong yang mengadu berkenaan tindak-tanduk eksekutif iaitu Perdana Menteri. Salinan surat ini juga telah dihantar kepada Raja-Raja.

11. Di dalam surat ini, Tun Salleh telah menyatakan antara lain; “All of us (the judges) are disappointed with the various comments and accusations made by the Prime Minister against the judiciary not only outside but inside Parliament.” [Kami (para hakim) kecewa dengan pelbagai kenyataan dan tuduhan yang dibuat Perdana Menteri terhadap badan kehakiman bukan sahaja di luar malahan di dalam Parlimen]

12. Dia seterusnya berkata di dalam suratnya “the accusations and comments have brought shame to all of us and left us mentally disturbed to the extent of being unable to discharge our functions orderly and properly.” [tuduhan-tuduhan dan kenyataan-kenyataan yang dibuat telah memalukan kami semua dan telah meninggalkan kesan kekacauan mental sehinggakan kami tidak dapat menjalankan tugas kami dengan tertib dan teratur].

13. Dia menegaskan yang dia dan para hakim semua “do not like to reply to the accusations publicly because such action is not compatible with our position as judges under the Constitution …. And as such it is only proper for us to be patient in the interest of the nation.” [tidak mahu membalas secara terbuka tuduhan kerana tindakan tersebut tidak bersesuaian dengan kedudukan kami sebagai hakim di bawah Perlembagaan…dan oleh itu adalah lebih baik kami bersabar demi kepentingan Negara].

14. Kenyataan ini nyata tidak benar kerana sebelum surat tersebut diutuskan, di dalam satu ucapan di Universiti Malaya di mana dia dianugerah ijazah doktor kehormat, dia telah merungut berkenaan “the judiciary being placed in the social service category” (badan kehakiman ditempatkan di bawah kategori perkhidmatan sosial) dengan membuat kesimpulan bahawa ini tidak bertepatan dengan “the rule of law” (kedaulatan undang-undang) dan oleh itu “priority of the courts should be altered so that freedom is guaranteed and work is not disturbed” (keutamaan mahkamah harus diperbetulkan agar kebebasan dijamin dan kerja tidak terganggu).

15. Dia seterusnya berkata “the officers of the public service (i.e. judges) do not have a lesser role and function to play then the roles played by the politicians” (pegawai perkhidmatan awam iaitu para hakim tidak memainkan peranan yang kurang pentingnya berbanding yang dimainkan ahli politik).

16. Beliau juga berkata, “This matter becomes aggravated if the rights involved in a decision made by an official are related to judicial matters because this will result in a very important question that is interference with the independence of the judiciary” (Keadaan ini diburukkan lagi jika hak yang terlibat dalam keputusan yang dibuat para pegawai adalah berkaitan soal penghakiman kerana ini akan menimbulkan soalan penting iaitu campur tangan dalam kebebasan kehakiman.

17. Sekali lagi apabila berucap semasa melancarkan buku “Law, Justice and the Judiciary, Transnational Trends” Tun Salleh berkata, antara lain, “The vital constitutional principle is so settled that no question should really arise concerning the position of the judiciary under the Constitution. But recently this guardianship has been made an issue and our independence appears to be under some kind of threat.” (Prinsip Perlembagaan yang penting sudahpun termaktub oleh itu tidak timbul soal kedudukan kehakiman di bawah Perlembagaan. Tetapi baru-baru ini perlindungan ini telah menjadi satu isu dan kebebasan kita ternampak seolah-olah sedang dicabar) Beliau menambah, “This is amply borne out by some of the comments made recently which embarrassed the judiciary a great deal. These remarks not only question our neutrality and independence but the very value of it as an institution ….. Our responsibility of deciding the case without fear or favour …. does not mean that the court decision should be in favour of the Government all the time…….” (Ini terhasil daripada sesetengah kenyataan yang dibuat baru-baru ini yang telah benar-benar memalukan badan kehakiman. Kenyataan tersebut bukan sahaja mempersoalkan keberkecualian dan kebebasan kita, tetapi juga nilai badan kehakiman sebagai sebuah institusi…tidak semestinya keputusan mahkamah harus sentiasa menyebelahi Kerajaan)

18. Selain itu beliau menyambung, “the problem of maintaining judicial independence is further complicated by the fact that the judiciary is the weakest of all the three branches of the Government.” (Masalah mengekalkan kebebasan kehakiman dibuat lebih rumit kerana badan kehakiman adalah yang paling lemah diantara ketiga-tiga cabang Kerajaan).

19. “What matters most in order to enable us to save the system from disastrous consequences is that we judges must act with responsibility and dignity and not be drawn or tempted into an impulsive action which could only result in aggravating the situation.” (Apa yang penting untuk selamatkan system ini daripada malapetaka ialah kita para hakim mesti bertindak dengan penuh tanggungjawab dan hormat dan tidak dipengaruhi tindakan gelojoh yang mungkin akan memburukkan lagi keadaan)

20. Kedua-dua ucapan tersebut disampaikan pada 1hb Ogos 1987 dan 12hb Januari 1988. Tetapi surat Tun Salleh kepada YDP Agong bertarikh 26hb Mac 1988. Seperti yang saya nyatakan tadi adalah tidak benar beliau tidak bercakap berkenaan tuduhannya terhadap Kerajaan di hadapan khalayak ramai hanya kerana dia mempertahankan yang “tindakan tersebut tidak bersesuaian dengan kedudukan kami sebagai hakim di bawah Perlembagaan” dan “oleh itu adalah lebih baik kami bersabar demi kepentingan Negara”.

21. Semua kenyataannya di dalam dua ucapan yang disampaikan jelas mengandungi kecamannya terhadap Perdana Menteri dan Kerajaan, jauh lebih lama sebelum dianya menulis surat kepada YDP Agong.

22. Satu lagi perkara yang dibangkitkan di dalam suratnya kepada YDP Agong ialah “the accusations and comments have brought shame to all of us (judges) and left us mentally disturbed to the extent of being unable to discharge our functions orderly and properly.” [tuduhan-tuduhan dan kenyataan-kenyataan yang dibuat telah memalukan kami dan telah meninggalkan kesan kekacauan mental sehinggakan kami tidak dapat menjalankan tugas kami dengan tertib dan teratur].

23. Di bawah Seksyen 125 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, klausa (3) peruntukan untuk memecat hakim, selain daripada salahlaku termasuk ketidakupayaan tubuh badan atau pemikiran atau lain lain sebab, untuk menjalankan tugas-tugas jawatan dengan saksama.

24. Tun Salleh sendiri mengakui yang beliau tidak terdaya untuk melakukan tugas-tugasnya dengan teratur dan tertib. Oleh itu beliau tidak layak untuk terus menjadi hakim.

25. Seksyen 125, klausa 4 memperuntukkan kuasa YDP Agong melantik Tribunal dan boleh atas nasihat Tribunal menyingkirkan hakim daripada kedudukannya.

26. Kedua-dua surat daripada Tun Salleh dianggap YDP Agong sebagai tidak sesuai dan menghina terutamanya kerana salinannya dihantar kepada Raja-Raja Melayu lain.

27. Di dalam salah satu daripada mesyuarat mingguan saya dengan YDP Agong, baginda telah menyatakan ketidak puasan hatinya terhadap surat-surat tersebut dan telah meminta saya menyingkir Tun Salleh Abas daripada jawtan Ketua Hakim Negara. Baginda telah menulis sendiri permintaan baginda di ruangan tepi (margin) surat pertama Tun Salleh berkenaan dengan bunyi bising daripada kerja-kerja yang sedang dijalankan di kediaman YDP Agong.

28. Bagi YDP Agong ianya adalah perkara mudah. Baginda yang melantik Ketua Hakim dan mempunyai hak untuk menyingkirkan beliau. Saya fikir adalah lebih baik bagi saya merujuk perkara ini ke Kabinet dan nasihat Peguam Negara didapati.

29. Saya mengaku rungutan Tun Salleh terhadap saya di dalam suratnya juga menimbulkan ketidak puasan hati saya. Adalah benar yang saya telah mengkritik hakim-hakim kerana mentafsir undang-undang yang dilulus Kerajaan yang tidak menepati matlamat atau objektif undang-undang itu. Saya ada mencadangkan bahawa jika undang-undang yang ditafsirkan berlainan lain daripada matlamat asal sepertimana yang Kerajaan dan penggubal undang-undang harapkan, maka undang-undang tersebut akan dipinda. Di dalam satu mesyuarat Kabinet saya berseloroh dengan memetik kata-kata Shakespeare, “The first thing we do we hang the lawyers.” (Pertama sekali kita gantung semua peguam). Hanya orang yang dungu sahaja akan mengambil bulat-bulat apa yang saya katakan. Tetapi rupa-rupanya para peguam dan hakim telah merasa tersinggung akan apa yang saya kata dan telah menganggap saya sebagai musuh mereka (yang akan menggantung mereka agaknya!).

30. Saya juga telah mengkritik hakim kerana menggubal undang-undang sendiri menerusi tafsiran mereka dan kemudiannya mengguna tafsiran mereka untuk rujukan. Saya percaya pemisahan kuasa bermakna penggubal undang-undang akan menggubal undang-undang manakala hakim akan menggunapakai undang-undang tersebut. Sudah tentu jika undang-undang digubal melanggar peruntukan perlembagaan, yang merupakan undang-undang tertinggi Negara, maka hakim bolehlah menolaknya.

31. Didapati juga sesetengah hakim menolak membicarakan kes-kes melibat hukuman mati, dan diserah secara tidak adil kepada hakim-hakim lain.

32. Kebanyakan pakar undang-undang berpendapat “It is not wrong for any member of the public or the administration to criticise the judiciary. Justice is not a cloistered virtue.” (Tidak salah bagi sesiapa samada dianya orang awam atau ahli pentadbiran untuk mengkritik kehakiman. Keadilan bukan kesucian yang terkurung) - Peter Aldridge Williams QC

33. Penulis di atas juga telah memetik McKenna J “There is no difference between the judge and the Common Man except that one administers the law and the other endures it” (Tidak ada perbezaan di antara hakim dan orang ramai kecuali yang satu mentadbir undang-undang dan yang satu lagi menerima kesannya).

34. Tetapi Tun Salleh berpendapat bahawa saya cuba menghakis kebebasan kehakiman apabila saya menyatakan pandangan saya bagaimana hakim mengecewakan matlamat asal penggubal undang-undang.

35. Menerusi pelbagai sumber saya dengar akan kemarahan hakim-hakim terhadap saya. Tetapi saya tidak mengambil apa-apa tindakan, jauh sekali untuk menyingkir Tun Salleh. Saya hanya bertindak apabila YDP Agong menyatakan rasa tidak puas hati berkenaan dua surat tersebut.

36. Kabinet bersetuju yang peruntukan perlembagaan haruslah dipatuhi. Oleh itu saya telahpun menasihatkan YDP Agong bahawa Tun Salleh hanya boleh disingkir jika YDP Agong melantik Tribunal untuk mendengar segala rungutan terhadapnya (Tun Salleh) dan membuat cadangan kepada YDP Agong.

37. Selepas YDP Agong bersetuju, Kerajaan memilih enam hakim dan bekas hakim untuk pertimbangan YDP Agong. Ahlinya termasuk hakim Negara asing yang diwakili Yang Arif Hakim K.A.P. Ranasinghe, Ketua Hakim Sri Lanka dan Yang Arif Hakim T.S. Sinnathuray, Hakim Kanan Mahkamah Agong Singapura.

38. Pengerusi tribunal ialah Hakim Besar (Malaya), Tan Sri Dato Abdul Hamid bin Hj Omar. Lain-lain ahli terdiri daripada Dato Sri Lee Hun Hoe, Hakim Besar (Borneo) dan dua orang bekas hakim iaitu Tan Sri Abdul Aziz bin Zain dan Tan Sri Mohd Zahir bin Ismail.

39. Penyertaan hakim asing adalah untuk mempastikan yang tribunal tidak mengambil sikap berat sebelah.

40. Malangnya Tun Salleh Abas enggan hadir di hadapan Tribunal. Sebaliknya dia mengharapkan yang rakan-rakannya akan cuba untuk menghalang keputusan Tribunal daripada disampaikan kepada YDP Agong.

41. Apa yang dilakukan kelima-lima hakim yang bersimpati kepadanya sudah tentu melanggar apa yang Tun Salleh utarakan semasa berucap di majlis pelancaran “Law, Justice and the Judiciary. Transnational Trend” apabila dia berkata; “we as judges must act with responsibility and dignity and not be drawn or tempted into any impulsive action which could only result in aggravating the situation” (kita para hakim mesti bertindak dengan penuh tanggungjawab dan terhormat dan tidak dipengaruhi tindakan gelojoh yang mungkin akan memburukkan lagi keadaan).

42. Kelima-lima hakim tersebut telah mengenepikan peraturan dan prosidur dan keperluan untuk mendapat kelulusan Pemangku Ketua Hakim, disamping menunggu keputusan Hakim Ajaib Singh di atas perkara yang sama. Sebaliknya mereka membatalkan persidangan mahkamah di Kota Bahru yang telah dijadualkan untuk mereka dan telah mngadakan persidangan Mahkamah Agong di Kuala Lumpur untuk mendengar aplikasi Tun Salleh Abbas untuk mengenepikan prosiding bagi menentukan kedudukannya.

43. Lima hakim Mahkamah Agong yang diketuai Tan Sri Wan Sulaiman mendengar aplikasi ex-parte oleh peguam Tun Salleh, berehat seketika, dan kemudiannya kembali dan sebulat suara mengeluarkan arahan menghentikan Tribunal daripada menyerahkan apa-apa cadangan, laporan atau nasihat berkenaan siasatan kepada YDP Agong.

44. Berikutan itu, pemangku Ketua Hakim telah menubuhkan satu panel lima hakim Mahkamah Agong untuk mengenepikan keputusan Mahkamah Wan Suleiman.

45. Saya ingin ulangi yang walaupun Tun Salleh mengkritik saya secara terbuka, saya tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan terhadapnya. Saya hanya berbuat demikian setelah dia menghina YDP Agong dan baginda meminta supaya dianya disingkirkan. Tentulah akan ada yang berkata bahawa saya telah mempengaruhi YDP Agong. Tetapi selama 22 tahun saya tidak pernah melibatkan Raja-Raja di dalam politik atau masalah peribadi. Rekod tertera untuk sesiapa menelitinya.

46. Saya amat mengambil berat terhadap penyingkiran Tun Salleh secara paksa. Saya telah cuba dapatkan Tun Salleh untuk meletak jawatan bagi mengelak sebarang skandal. Pada mulanya dia bersetuju, tetapi telah menarik balik keesokan harinya.

47. Saya telah mendapatkan kelulusan keahlian Tribunal. Saya telah mendapat nasihat Peguam Negara dan pihak lain yang rapat dengan hakim-hakim. Setelah Tribunal ditubuhkan, penglibatan saya berakhir.

48. Apabila Tun Salleh dan hakim-hakim yang lain diberhentikan perkhidmatan mereka, mereka tidak sepatutnya menerima pencen. Tetapi selepas menerima rayuan Peguam Negara, saya bersetuju yang mereka dibayar pencen penuh. Mereka tidak mengalami apa-apa kerugian wang ringgit dan pencen mereka dikira daripada tarikh mereka meninggalkan jawatan.

49. Inilah fakta bekaitan penyingkiran Tun Salleh. Beliau dan rakan-rakan hakimnyalah yang telah membawa penghinaan kepada badan kehakiman.

50. Saya menulis untuk merekodkan peristiwa sebagaimana ianya berlaku. Saya tidak harap pengkritik saya akan berhenti menuduh saya menghancurkan badan kehakiman. Mereka pendakwa saya dan mereka juga adalah hakim saya. Bagi mereka saya tetap Idi Amin Malaysia sebagaimana yang di dakwa Tun Salleh di dalam bukunya “May Day for Justice”. Malangnya ramai yang begitu tersedia mengutuk saya terdiri daripada hakim-hakim.

Read more![Selanjutnya]

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Oil Price

(VERSI BAHASA MALAYSIA DI AKHIR ARTIKEL INI)

The price of crude oil has increased by 400 percent in the last three years. It follows that the price of products must increase, sooner or later. In other countries petrol prices had already increased. In the United Kingdom one litre of petrol sells for more than one pound sterling or RM7. In the United States it is about RM5.

That the price in neighbouring countries has gone up is shown by the rush to fill up by Thai and to a lesser extent Singapore vehicles.

The Government has now announced an increase in petrol price by 78 sen to RM2.70 per litre, an increase of more than 40 per cent.

I may be mistaken but there seems to be less vehicles on the road today. But obviously that is not all that will happen. All other consumer goods, services and luxury goods would increase in price.

The cost of living must go up. Put another way there will be inflation and the standard of living will go down.

Obviously our increase in petrol price is far less than in the United Kingdom or the United States. But our per capita income is about one-third of theirs. In purchasing power terms our increase is more than in the UK or the US.

The increase hurts but the pain is greater not just because of the increase percentage-wise is higher than in developed countries but because of the manner the increase is made.

A few days ago the Government decided to ban sale of petrol to foreign cars. It flipped. Now foreign cars can buy again. Flopped.

Knowing that in a few days it was going to raise the price and foreigners would be allowed to buy, why cannot the Government just wait instead of banning and unbanning.

But be that as it may what could the Government have done to lessen the burden on the people that results from the increase in petrol price.

In the first place the Government should not have floated the Ringgit. A floating rate creates uncertainties and we cannot gain anything from the strengthened Ringgit. Certainly the people have not experienced any increase in their purchasing power because of the appreciation in the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Ringgit.

Actually the Ringgit has increased by about 80 sen (from RM3.80 to RM3.08 to 1 US Dollar) per US Dollar, i.e. by more than 20 per cent. Had the Government retained the fixed rate system and increased the value of the Ringgit, say 10 per cent at a time, the cost of imports, in Ringgit terms can be monitored and reduced by 10 per cent. At 20 per cent appreciation the cost of imports should decrease by 20 per cent. But we know the prices of imported goods or services have not decreased at all. This means we are paying 20 per cent higher for our imports including the raw material and components for our industries.

Since oil prices are fixed in US Dollar, the increase in US Dollar prices of oil should also be mitigated by 20 per cent in Malaysian Ringgit.

But the Government wants to please the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and decided to float the Ringgit. As a result the strengthening of the Ringgit merely increased our cost of exports without giving our people the benefit of lower cost of imports.

This is not wisdom after the event. I had actually told a Government Minister not to float the Ringgit three years ago. But of course I am not an expert, certainly I know little about the international financial regimes.

I believe the people expect the increase of petrol price. But what they are angry about is the quantum and the suddenness. The Prime Minister was hinting at August but suddenly it came two months earlier, just after the ban on sale of petrol to foreigners.

If the increase had been more gradual, the people would not feel it so much. But of course this means that the Government would have to subsidise, though to a decreasing extent.

Can the Government subsidise? I am the “adviser” to Petronas but I know very little about it beyond what is published in its accounts. What I do know may not be very accurate but should be sufficient for me to draw certain conclusions.

Roughly Malaysia produces 650,000 barrels of crude per day. We consume 400,000 barrels leaving 250,000 barrels to be exported.

Three years ago the selling price of crude was about USD30 per barrel. Today it is USD130 – an increase of USD100. There is hardly any increase in the production cost so that the extra USD100 can be considered as pure profit.

Our 250,000 barrels of export should earn us 250,000 x 100 x 365 x 3 = RM27,375,000,000 (twenty seven billion Ringgit).

But Petronas made a profit of well over RM70 billion, all of which belong to the Government.

By all accounts the Government is flushed with money.

But besides petrol the prices of palm oil, rubber and tin have also increased by about 400 per cent. Plantation companies and banks now earn as much as RM3 billion in profits each. Taxes paid by them must have also increased greatly.

I feel sure that maintaining the subsidy and gradually decreasing it would not hurt the Government finances.

In the medium term ways and means must be found to reduce wasteful consumption and increase income. We may not be able to fix the minimum wage at a high level but certainly we can improve the minimum wage.

Actually our wages are high compared to some of our neighbours. The investors who come here are attracted not by cheap labour but by other factors, among which is the attitude of the Government towards the business community and the investors in particular.

From what I hear business friendliness is wanting in the present Government – so much so that even Malaysians are investing in other countries. There are rumblings about political affiliations influencing decisions. Generally Government politicians are said to be arrogant.

Malaysia is short of manpower. The labour intensive industries are not benefiting Malaysians. Foreign workers are remitting huge sums of money home.

The industrial policy must change so that high tech is promoted in order to give Malaysians higher wages to cope with rising costs of living.

The world is facing economic turmoil due to the depreciation of the US Dollar, the sub-prime loan crisis, rising oil and raw material prices, food shortages and the continued activities of the greedy hedge funds. The possibility of a US recession is real. In a way the US is already in recession. The world economy will be dragged down by it.

Malaysia will be affected by all these problems. I wonder whether the Government is prepared for this.

We cannot avoid all the negative effects but there must be ways to mitigate against them and to lessen the burden that must be borne by all Malaysians. I am sure the Government will not just pass all these problems to the people as the review of oil prices every month seem to suggest.

*****


Harga Minyak

Harga minyak mentah naik sebanyak 400 peratus sejak tiga tahun lepas. Lambat laun harga barangan juga akan alami kenaikan. Di negara-negara lain harga petrol sudahpun naik. Di United Kingdom satu liter petrol dijual pada kadar lebih satu pound sterling atau lebih kurang RM7. Di Amerika Syarikat harganya lebih kurang RM5.

Petunjuk bahawa harga minyak di negara-negara jiran mengalami kenaikan ialah bagaimana kenderaan Thai dan juga Singapura berpusu-pusu mengisi minyak di Malaysia.

Kerajaan umumkan kenaikan petrol sebanyak 78 sen ke RM2.70, kenaikan melebihi 40 peratus.

Saya mungkin tersilap, tetapi ternampak kekurangan jumlah kenderaan di jalanraya hari ini. Tetapi kesannya bukanlah terhad kepada itu sahaja. Barangan pengguna, perkhidmatan dan barangan mewah akan mengalami peningkatan harga.

Kos sara hidup sudah tentu meningkat. Dilihat daripada sudut lain akan tercetus inflasi dan taraf kehidupan akan menurun.

Memanglah kenaikan harga petrol di sini jauh lebih rendah daripada di United Kingdom, mahupun Amerika Syarikat. Tetapi pendapatan per kapita kita adalah lebih kurang satu pertiga mereka. Berasas kepada kuasa membeli kita kenaikan harga adalah lebih tinggi dari UK atau Amerika Syarikat.

Kenaikan ini menyakitkan, tetapi sakitnya lebih dirasai bukan kerana kenaikan dari segi peratusan adalah lebih tinggi daripada negara-negara maju, tetapi kerana cara kenaikan tersebut dibuat.

Beberapa hari lepas Kerajaan putuskan untuk haramkan penjualan minyak kepada kenderaan milik asing. Tunggang. Sekarang kenderaan asing dibenar membeli semula. Terbalik!

Mengetahui yang ianya akan menaikkan harga minyak dalam beberapa hari dan orang asing akan dibenar membeli, kenapa Kerajaan tidak menunggu sahaja daripada keluaran arahan larangan dan kemudian benarkan semula.

Namun begitu apakah yang Kerajaan boleh lakukan untuk meringankan beban kepada rakyat hasil daripada kenaikan harga petrol.

Pertamanya, Kerajaan tidak patut mengapungkan Ringgit. Kadar apungan menyebabkan ketidak-tentuan nilai Ringgit dan kita tidak akan meraih apa-apa keuntungan daripada kekuatan Ringgit. Sudah tentu rakyat tidak menikmati peningkatan kuasa membeli walaupun terdapat peningkatan nilai Ringgit dari segi tukaran dengan Dollar Amerika.

Sebenarnya Ringgit mengalami peningkatan lebih kurang 80 sen (daripada RM3.80 ke RM3.08 pada 1 US Dollar) satu US Dollar, melebihi 20 peratus. Jika Kerajaan teruskan sistem tambatan kadar dan menaikkan nilai Ringgit pada kadar 10 peratus pada satu masa, kos import, dalam Ringgit boleh dipantau dan dikurangkan sebanyak 10 peratus. Pada kadar kenaikan 20 peratus, kos import patutnya turun 20 peratus. Tetapi kita tahu harga barangan import dan perkhidmatan tidak kurang. Ini bermakna kita bayar 20 peratus lebih tinggi untuk import termasuk bagi bahan mentah dan komponen untuk industri

Oleh sebab harga minyak disebut dalam Dollar Amerika, kenaikan harga minyak dalam Dollar sepatutnya dikurangkan sebanyak 20 pertaus dalam Ringgit Malaysia.

Tetapi Kerajaan hendak turut Tabung Kewangan Antarabangsa dan Bank Dunia dan telah putuskan untuk mengapung Ringgit. Akibatnya kekuatan Ringgit hanya meningkatkan kos export tanpa memberi sebarang keuntungan kepada rakyat menerusi kekurangan kos import.

Ini bukanlah kecerdikan selepas sesuatu itu terjadi. Saya telah beritahu seorang Menteri Kerajaan supaya Ringgit tidak diapungkan tiga tahun lalu. Memanglah saya bukan pakar dan saya hanya tahu serba sedikit tentang rejim kewangan antarabangsa.

Saya percaya umum terpaksa menerima kenaikan harga petrol. Tetapi apa yang menimbulkan kemarahan ialah jumlah kenaikan serta keadaan tergesa-gesa. Perdana Menteri sebelum ini seolah-olah mencadangkan kenaikan hanya pada bulan Ogos, tetapi ianya datang dua bulan lebih awal, sejurus selepas pengharaman penjualan kepada orang asing.

Jika kenaikan berperingkat, rakyat tidak akan terlalu terasa. Tetapi ini bermakna Kerajaan perlu terus beri subsidi walaupun tahapnya akan menurun.

Mampukah Kerajaan terus beri subsidi? Saya “penasihat” Petronas tetapi saya tahu sedikit sahaja berkenaannya dan tidak lebih daripada apa yang dilaporkan dalam akaunnya yang diumumkan. Apa yang saya tahu mungkin tidak begitu tepat tetapi cukup untuk saya membuat beberapa penilaian.

Malaysia mengeluar lebih kurang 650,000 tong minyak sehari. Kita guna 400,000 tong dan selebihnya 250,000 tong di export.

Tiga tahun lalu minyak mentah dijual pada kadar USD30 satu tong. Hari ini ianya USD130 – kenaikan sebanyak USD100. Hampir tiada peningkatan di dalam kos pengeluaran oleh itu lebihan USD100 boleh dianggap untung bersih.

250,000 tong yang dieksport sepatutnya memberi kita pulangan 250,000 x 100 x 365 x 3 = RM27,375,000,000 (Dua puluh tujuh bilion Ringgit).

Tetapi Petronas untung lebih RM70 billion, yang kesemuanya milik Kerajaan.

Kerajaan ini melimpah dengan wang.

Selain minyak, harga minyak sawit, getah dan timah juga meningkat lebih kurang 400 peratus. Keuntungan syarikat perladangan dan bank-bank juga mencecah sehingga RM3 billion tiap satu. Cukai yang dibayar juga sudah tentu mengalami peningkatan yang tinggi.

Saya percaya jika subsidi dikekalkan dan dikurangkan secara berperingkat ianya tidak akan mengekang kewangan Kerajaan.

Di dalam jangka masa terdekat cara untuk mengurangkan pembaziran dan menaikkan pendapatan mestilah diperkenal. Kita mungkin tidak dapat menetapkan gaji minima, tetapi sudah tentu kita boleh meningkatkan sedikit jumlah gaji minima.

Sebenarnya pendapatan kita tinggi berbanding sesetengah jiran kita. Pelabur yang datang ke sini tertarik bukan dengan harga buruh murah, tetapi faktor-faktor lain termasuk sikap dan pendekatan Kerajaan tehadap komuniti perniaga terutamanya pelabur.

Daripada apa yang saya dengar, sikap mesra peniaga amat berkurangan pada Kerajaan sekarang hinggakan orang Malaysia juga melabur di luar negara. Terdapat cakap-cakap berkenaan hubungan politik mempengaruhi keputusan. Secara amnya ahli politik Kerajaan dikatakan sombong.

Malaysia tidak punyai cukup tenaga kerja. Industri yang memerlukan tenaga pekerja yang ramai tidak menguntungkan Malaysia. Pekerja asing menghantar jumlah wang yang besar ke negara asal mereka.

Polisi industri mestilah bertukar agar teknologi tinggi dapat dipromosikan untuk memberi rakyat Malaysia lebihan pendapatan bagi menampung kos sara hidup yang meningkat.

Dunia sedang menghadapi kecelaruan ekonomi akibat penurunan nilai Dollar Amerika, krisis pinjaman sub-prima, kenaikan harga minyak dan bahan mentah, kekurangan makanan dan akiviti tamak “hedge funds” yang berterusan. Kemungkinan berlakunya resesi ekonomi Amerika Syarikat adalah benar. Sebenarnya Amerika Syarikat sedang mengalami kelembapan ekonomi. Ekonomi dunia akan turut ditarik turun.

Malaysia juga akan terjejas kesan daripada semua masalah ini. Saya tertanya adakah Kerajaan bersedia untuk menghadapi semua ini.

Kita tidak boleh lari daripada akibat negatif tetapi mestilah ada cara untuk mengatasinya agar beban yang terpaksa ditanggung rakyat dapat dikurangkan. Saya harap yang Kerajaan tidak akan melepaskan sahaja segala masalah ini kepada rakyat seperti ynag digambarkan cadangan untuk menilai harga minyak setiap bulan.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Snippets

Tujuan baik tidak halalkan jenayah

YB Dato Zaid Ibrahim, Menteri Undang-Undang kecewa kerana dia akan dihadapkan ke Jawatankuasa Disiplin UMNO sedangkan dia hanya mempertahankan Perdana Menteri.

Peguam ini tidak faham bahawa tujuan baik tidak menghalalkan jenayah.

Takut kerana salah?

Ahli-ahli dan pemimpin cawangan dan bahagian UMNO tidak dibenar mendengar ucapan saya.

Apakah pemimpin tertinggi UMNO takut kerana mereka punyai banyak kesalahan yang mungkin dibongkar oleh saya?

Karpal percaya Pak Lah

Karpal Singh menyatakan ia tidak percaya Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim akan dapat memujuk Ahli Dewan Rakyat Barisan Nasional lompat masuk Parti Keadilan – {sekutu kepada parti Karpal (DAP)} supaya Anwar dapat jatuhkan Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan Kerajaannya.

Karpal betul-betul sayang kepada Dato Seri Abdullah dan hendak dia kekal sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia.

Ahli-ahli UMNO boleh berbangga kerana bukan mereka sahaja yang setia kepada Dato Seri Abdullah tetapi Karpal Singh yang dahulu musuh ketat UMNO sekarang setia kepada Dato Seri Abdullah sekaligus setia kepada UMNO.

Kemenangan UMNO dan Barisan Nasional dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke-13 lebih terjamin sekarang.
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