Thursday, December 24, 2009

Again and Again.......wrong place at the wrong time


Theft of jet engines puts the spotlight on Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 — A widening scandal over the theft of two jet engines by senior military personnel has exposed serious lapses in Malaysia’s security establishment.
It has also raised concerns that the country is emerging as a hub for the trade of illicit military-related equipment to countries declared as rogue nations by the United States and its allies.
Over the past week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Cabinet colleagues have scrambled to defend embarrassing revelations that two F5-E jet engines from the Royal Malaysian Air Force and other sensitive military equipment were smuggled out of a high-security airbase and moved by a cargo plane out of the country.
The theft of the two engines — each worth RM50 million — was discovered last year but became public only after it was exposed by a local newspaper.
Datuk Seri Najib’s response that investigations were ongoing after two years immediately attracted charges of a cover-up from opposition politicians.
Government officials have declined to identify the cargo’s destination, but Western diplomats closely tracking the situation said that the engines were destined for Iran, which has been under a US trade embargo since 1995 and is now under global scrutiny because of its refusal to suspend its nuclear enrichment programme.
“This is becoming a recurring theme with Malaysia and the frequency of instances where local or foreign companies based in Malaysia are involved in these illicit dealings has increased sharply since early 2000,” said the chief of a security advisory company, who once served as a senior diplomat in the region.
Malaysia’s international reputation took a serious dent in late 2003 when a large, politically well-connected company was discovered to be a crucial player in the now-defunct clandestine network headed by rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, which sold nuclear know-how and technology to Libya, Iran and Pakistan.
The Khan-led network was exposed when centrifuge components produced by a subsidiary of the Scomi Group — a large engineering concern controlled by Kamaluddin Abdullah, the son of former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and prominent businessman Shah Hakim alias Shahzanim Zain — were intercepted by European intelligence officials in a ship bound for Libya.
While the Malaysian government has cleared Scomi and its executives of any wrongdoing, Shah Hakim, Dr Khan and another Sri Lankan-born Malaysian permanent resident Buhary Syed Tahir were slapped with sanctions earlier this year by the US State Department for their involvement in nuclear proliferation.
More recently, several executives from Malaysia-incorporated companies, including firms owned by foreigners, were indicted in the US for illegally selling military equipment to Iran. These cases have triggered concerns among defence analysts and diplomats that Malaysia could become a hub for the illicit trading of military equipment and technology.
The latest fiasco is particularly disturbing as it directly involves senior air force officers who have yet to be identified by the Malaysian authorities, diplomats said.
“This has taken the game up several notches. Sooner or later, Malaysia will need to commit to the international community, particularly the US, that it will do more to police this kind of activity,” said a senior Kuala Lumpur-based Western diplomat who asked not to be named.
Najib’s immediate challenge will be to deal with the political fallout from the missing jet engines at home.
Apart from exposing serious breaches of security within the military, the theft occurred when Najib was defence minister and further revelations on the scandal could hurt the shaky prestige of his Barisan Nasional coalition government, which suffered its worst setback ever in last year’s general election.
Already, opposition politicians are hammering away at the scandal, describing it as a clear case of the worsening corruption in government.
DAP’s and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang said the government had been “super slow” in investigating the theft.
PAS spokesman Idris Ahmad said “powerful people” had been involved.
“We don’t want only the ikan bilis to be arrested while the sharks are allowed to swim freely,” he said. — The Straits Times

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When corruption is rampant this is what you get.....

I am not only shaking my head, but my whole body is shaking now ...what an awkward situation that Malaysian has to face, not only once but twice and not only twice but again and again.....

Tuesday December 22, 2009

150m-long skylight comes crashing down at new bus terminal


Terminal gone bust: Shattered glass are strewn all over the soon-to-be-opened bus terminal after the 150m-long roof came crashing down. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star
KUALA BERANG: Another roof of a public building has collapsed in Terengganu, just six months after the roof of the state’s main stadium gave way.
Yesterday, the 150m-long glass roof of the soon-to-be-opened express bus and taxi terminal here collapsed, sending hundreds of sheets of glass crashing down.
Four workers suffered cuts from the broken glass.
Terengganu has been hit by a spate of revelations about buildings with shoddy construction.

Besides the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium (picture), defects have also been found in the Batu Burok Aquatic Complex and the Sultan Mahmud Airport terminal.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Malaysia Boleh!!!!!!!!!!

I can only shake my head when I read about the news below.....It signify that how fragile is Malaysian defense system and even a jet can be stolen. Can you still trust this government? Do they understand the meaning of "Integrity"? We Malaysia have had enough of this craps....

Enjin F-5E TUDM dijual pada syarikat di AS

Dis 19, 09 8:17pm

Enjin pesawat pemintas F-5E milik Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) disedari hilang pada 2007 telah dijual kepada sebuah syarikat antarabangsa dari sebuah negara yang berpangkalan di Amerika Selatan, kata Menteri Pertahanan Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Beliau berkata syarikat antarabangsa itu dipercayai telah mengupah ejen tertentu untuk melarikan enjin pesawat bernilai RM50 juta itu ke luar negara.

"Kementerian akan mengambil tindakan dari segi perundangan peringkat antarabangsa untuk mendakwa syarikat yang terbabit mengupah untuk melarikan enjin itu ke luar negara.

"Mereka yang terbabit dalam kumpulan bawahan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM) merupakan pengkhianat kepada negara dan wajar dikenakan undang-undang yang tegas," katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Rakan Alam Sekitar di Bagan Datoh hari ini.

Ahmad Zahid mengesahkan semua dokumen mengenai penjualan enjin itu telah diperoleh oleh polis.

"Syarikat antarabangsa itu berminat membeli enjin itu kerana harganya yang murah, kerana ia merupakan alat ganti yang dikategorikan sebagai rosak yang akan diperbaiki," katanya.

Beberapa akhbar tempatan hari ini melaporkan polis menahan empat orang termasuk pegawai TUDM berhubung kehilangan enjin pesawat pemintas F-5E bernilai kira-kira RM50 juta itu.- Bernama

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Islam Mosque located in other countries

Kindly click on the link to look at the photo of the mosque in respective countries. This is my answer to readers in Dr. Ridhuan Tee Blog to prove that government in these countries have not done anything that's prejudiced to the Muslim although they are minorities i.e less than 5% of the population of the countries.

(1) Hong Kong China


(3) Switzerland

Mosque in Zurich, Switzerland

Mosque in Zurich, Switzerland by lido_6006.

Peaceful coexistence and even cooperation of religions is a reality in Switzerland. This was not always so, however. Remember: Catholics and Protestants faught four major civil wars against each other from 1529 to 1712 and a fifth civil war in 1847 started because conservative christians did not accept the upcoming of modern liberal democracy. I am convinced that you could not find a native Swiss wanting to go back to the pre-1848 state of the country with all consequences this would imply ...
In fact it's the basically secular constitution with a strong tendency against every kind of paternalism of religious communities against individuals that ensures freedom of religion for all.
If you miss a church at this place in my photostream, there are plenty of them elsewhere.
urban islam - some information on Islam in Switzerland
Das älteste Minarett in der Schweiz wurde 1963 gebaut und hat seither - nach Aussage des Pfarrers der Kirche auf der anderen Strassenseite - nie zu konkreten Beschwerden Anlass gegeben.

Friday, December 18, 2009

House prices up 20pc in 2010?

For the prospect house buyers, you would not want to hear it.....


By Lee Wei Lian

“Six to nine months after the stock market increases, it goes into brick and mortar.” — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — House hunters will likely face higher prices next year as pent up demand and gains from the stock market boost the property sector.

Houses on the secondary market could also be hit by an additional five per cent increase in prices as owners looking to sell try to cover the real property gains tax (RPGT) which comes into effect in January.
According to the Real Estate and Housing Developer’s Association (Rehda), slightly over half the respondents in a survey of its members expect property prices to increase up to 20 per cent over the next six months.
About 30 per cent of the respondents expect prices to remain stable, while less than five per cent expect prices to decrease.
The stock market has made substantial gains this year and investors who benefitted will likely be looking to put their money in property.
“Six to nine months after the stock market increases, it goes into brick and mortar,” said Rehda deputy president Datuk Michael Yam at a briefing today on the property outlook for next year.
On the positive side, interest rates remain low and banks continue to be flush with extra funds, therefore making the arrangement of home financing easier.
Yam, however, stressed that there was still a relatively low barrier to home ownership in Malaysia and ticked off a list of factors in the homebuyer’s favour, including interest rates as low as BLR (base lending rate) minus 2.3 per cent; margins of financing up to 100 per cent; zero lock in period; stamp duty exemptions; and repayment periods extended to thirty years or up to the age of 75.
“Even I can qualify for a (30 year) loan now,” he quipped.
According to Rehda officials at the press conference, the average value of homes transacted in 2009 is estimated to be between RM200,000 and RM250,000 when excluding low cost homes, and about RM168,000 when taking into account low cost houses.
Fresh graduates, however, could face difficulty buying properties in the city where prices are much higher.
Yam said that there were no official figures available for the average price of link homes in the Klang Valley but said that there were terrace houses in some suburbs available for about RM400,000, as compared with RM200,000 in smaller towns and cities like Kluang and Kuantan.
“Graduates may have a problem without help from their parents,” he said.
“They earn maybe RM3,000 to RM4,000 a month, which means they can borrow only RM150,000 to RM200,000. It is not possible to buy a terrace house [with that level of income] but maybe an apartment.”
He added that developers might have to consider building smaller units for the fresh graduate market segment, in the region of 600 sq ft apartments that sell for RM300 per sq ft.
A long term boom is also expected for the housing industry that could put upward pressure on prices as Yam said that slightly over half of the population is below 24 years of age and would later enter the homebuyers market.
“These people will be pushing to enter the property market,” said Yam.
Housing prices in some parts of the world such as China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia have risen dramatically over the two years, prompting a public outcry.
Prices of private homes in Singapore reportedly rose by 16 per cent in the third quarter and there are concerns of a speculative asset bubble building in Hong Kong.
According to Ratings Agency Malaysia economist Kristina Fong, asset bubbles were not evident in Malaysia and an over-supply of units on the Malaysian property market is likely to cap price escalation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do you feel the pinch?

 This article reflects the awkward situation faced by middle class today.....

Ask yourself, how much's your salary increased  compare to the cost of foods and goods?

Do you feel the pinch, I am sure you do.....

Can we do anything?

Rising prices, stagnant incomes put squeeze on middle class

By Lee Wei Lian
PETALING JAYA, Dec 17 — As a working professional who enjoys eating out James Yip noticed the charges on his bills have crept up significantly within the last year.
He says that a dinner for two at his favourite outlets used to cost him about RM30 for two but that has risen to RM50 or RM60 now.
Yip, a senior consultant attached to a top US multinational, also noticed his grocery bills creeping up from RM30 to RM50 per week for him and his wife and this has led to him opting for cheaper brands than what he would normally buy.
Malaysians like Yip are feeling pressured by seemingly runaway inflation that has outpaced the rise in income levels, resulting in a cut in living standards.
For people like him, reports that inflation is on the downtrend and will only be between 1 and 2 per cent for the year are met with disbelief.
"I don't think it is accurate," he told The Malaysian Insider.
While the financial stress has been bearable so far, some say that if the trend continues, it could become a major problem.
"People are just coping with it at the moment," said Yip.
Income levels in Malaysia, which is struggling to move up the economic value chain, have remained little changed in the last 30 years. An engineer starting work today would earn perhaps only slightly more than his or her counterpart in the 1980s.
The same is not true for the cost of goods and services, however.
The ringgit, once almost on par with the Singapore dollar, has been devalued drastically since the 1980s and has impacted purchasing power and made imported items essential for modern-day living such as computers and handphones less affordable.
Meanwhile, the cost of real estate, especially in urban areas, has spiralled upwards, making home ownership more difficult.
Years of underinvestment in agriculture and public transport have caused the import of agricultural products to become a factor in food prices and also left many Malaysians with little choice but to purchase cars by taking out hefty loans with tenures up to nine years long.
The middle class is in the situation of being neither rich enough to brush off the rapid increase in prices nor poor enough to benefit from financial allocations such as RM100 million in free shares as recently announced by the government for the urban poor.
Upper-income Malaysians continue to do well as attested by several sold out high-end property launches and openings of fancy restaurants serving menu items such as RM249 per pax champagne brunches and the number of new luxury cars appearing on the roads.
Some middle-class Malaysians have been able to maintain a decent lifestyle in urban areas despite high prices as they rely on bank loans and credit cards.
"A lot of people are living on credit," says Andy Hong, a marketing manager with a leading local tech firm. "Many will be in debt their whole life. We end up working for the bank."
David Lam, a senior manager with a foreign bank, says that he noticed that the prices of goods have increased this year but without a corresponding increase in income.
"If the issue is not resolved now, it will be a concern," he says.
There is some relief in the form of lower interest rates which lessens the burden for those who have taken housing loans and the government's proposed RM1,000 increase in personal income tax relief next year.
The lower interest rates, however, could hit those who rely on fixed deposits.
Some economists have predicted economic growth for Malaysia next year but many still feel vulnerable with news of Dubai's debt woes, high jobless rates in the US and Japan's worse than expected third quarter economic growth adding to their worries.
"There is still uncertainty about the economic climate," says Yip.
One issue affecting taxpayers, especially those that fall into the middle- and lower-income groups, is the quality of public services.
Some developed countries do impose a high income tax rate but offer in return quality and comprehensive public services such as top-notch infrastructure, public healthcare and education institutions.
Zamri Ramlan, a financial services executive, says he feels he is not getting his money's worth in taxes that is being deducted from his paycheque each month.
"The taxes I have paid this year are substantial. I want to see quality public services provided in return," he said.
Yip, meanwhile, has decided to simply eat out at restaurants less.
"Instead, I go to the mamak shops more," he said.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More VSS for Penang Staff by Dell.....

As long as Malaysia still in day dream and our politicians still very much in politicking instead of finding ways to improve the country competitiveness, this is what you get......


Dell offers VSS to 700 Penang staff

Computer maker Dell Inc is offering a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) to 700 of its Penang workers in a bid to cut costs and stay lean.

The company yesterday announced that it will stop shipping its notebook computers from Penang to the US, Canada and parts of South America.

Dell will, however, continue to export its laptops to Australia, New Zealand and South Asia from its Bukit Minyak facility on mainland Penang.

Besides Penang, Dell has eight other manufacturing plants scat-tered around the world.

In Asia Pacific, Dell's manufacturing plants include those in Xiamen, China and Chennai in India.

Apart from making notebooks, the company also produces desktop computers, servers and storage products, which are manufactured to orders for global customers.

"The 700 affected staff will include production operators, supervisors and managers," Dell Malaysia senior manager for corporate communications Jasmine Begum told Business Times.

Dell, whose investment presence in Malaysia spans 14 years, has a total headcount of 4,500 and two facilities in Penang - one in Bukit Minyak and the other in Bayan Lepas on the island.

The company also has a global business centre in Cyberjaya.

Jasmine said the affected employees will begin to part ways with Dell beginning January 2010 and the company expects to conclude the VSS exercise by the middle of the year.

"We will however continue to hire here," she added, "in line with the Malaysian government's call to enhance its employee base and take them up the value chain."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mr.Big Mouth are you sure?

Big Mouth , please do not talk like a kid ...what do you mean "unethical" ?

Are the idiots like Awang Selamat & Zaini Hassan ever produced by Utusan Malaysia are ethical......Please lah

Hishammuddin: Some bloggers unethical

KUALA TERENGGANU, Dec 15 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said some bloggers, unlike local journalists, do not adhere to the rules and ethics of journalism in their bid to garner popularity. “The local journalists adhered to ethics but these bloggers did not, and this was what set apart journalists from these bloggers,” he said at the presentation of the 2009 ExxonMobil Journalism Awards here last night.
Hishammuddin said journalists in the country would have nothing to fear so long as their reports adhered to the ethics of journalism, adding that they would be accepted by the people.
He said journalists who reported the truth would not be penalised and those who spread slander would not be successful.
At the function, two Bernama journalists were among those honoured. Wan Affandi Wan Mahadi of Bernama TV was awarded the second prize (RM1,000 cash) in the audio visual category while Ibrahim Abu Bakar won the third prize (RM750) in the sports writing category. — Bernama

Najib you sure....?

Ai yo yo , Najib are you sure.....I thought your supporter only know about  "Ketuanan Melayu" .....

I afraid later they will call you as "Penderhaka" yo banyak susahlah.....

On the other end , our evergreen Mahathir mentioned that "Forsaking English is the Nation's folly" ....Ah ha......another Penderhaka?

Najib: Learn Mandarin, China important

China’s President Hu Jintao (right) and Najib talk outside the prime minister’s office in Putrajaya. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Malaysians, especially the Malays, need to take up Mandarin as it has become an important language since China is now a world economic superpower, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib said learning another language would also enable a person to know better other individuals from different backgrounds, thus enabling them to respect each other more.
“Only when we respect and honour one another, we will become truly Malaysian,” he said at the Chong Hwa Independent High School’s 90th anniversary grand dinner here.
He said by learning Mandarin, the other races — especially the Malays — would be able to understand the Chinese better.
“It may be too late for me to learn Mandarin, but I hope to see more Malays learn the language in the future.
“My youngest son, Norashman Razak, who is currently studying at Georgetown University in the United States, is also taking Mandarin classes,” he said, adding that he was told his son would only be able to speak Mandarin fluently in four years’ time.
“Maybe one day, I may invite him to give a speech in Mandarin.”
On Chinese independent schools in the country, Najib said the provisions in the Education Act 1996, formulated when he was education minister, guarantee the existence and growth of Chinese schools in the country.
Therefore, the community needed not worry, he added.
He said the government’s liberal policy towards education since independence was the main factor for the growth of Chinese independent schools, with Malaysia being the country in the region with the most number of Chinese schools and many of its people having a Chinese education.
“The existence and growth of schools using the students’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction is also the country’s strength and diversity.
“This shows that the Barian Nasional-led government is always liberal in weighing its policies; that outside China, Malaysia had the biggest number of Chinese-educated citizens.”
He said although the issue of whether Malaysia should have single or multi-stream education system was always debated, he believed the multi-stream was good in creating a society in diversity, where diversity was a strength and asset for the country.
Commending the success of Chong Hwa Independent School, Najib said the fact that Chinese parents were sending their children to the school showed that the community was committed and put high priority on education.
He said to date, there were 60 Chinese independent schools in the country.
Also present at the dinner were MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, treasurer-general Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng, vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, party Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, who is also Gerakan president. — Bernama

Dr M: Forsaking English is the nation’s folly

Dr M: I am not an Englishman but I speak English. — File pic
By Neville Spykerman
SHAH ALAM, Dec 14 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the government was exposing Malaysia to peril by reversing the policy of teaching maths and science in English.
“English is the language of the Knowledge Age. Countries which do not master English will not only be left behind but risk being colonised either directly or indirectly.”
Without knowledge, countries will be oppressed and even invaded, he said.
The former premier, who has not hidden his disapproval over the shift of policy which he introduced, added that it was a folly to equate patriotism to speaking the national language.
“English is not only for English people but a universal language. I am not an Englishman but I speak English.”
“Are you an Englishman?” he asked a reporter during a press conference after he delivered the keynote address at the 17th Islamic World Academy of Science conference which is being held here.
He pointed out in the past, Western scholars were unafraid to learn Arabic in order to acquire knowledge, which was only available in that language and likewise the Arabs had to learn Greek for the same purpose.
But today, Dr Mahathir said the government was “ignoring success.”
“New discoveries are coming out in torrents in English,” he said adding that it would take an army, fully fluent in both English and Malay, to translate all the latest development.
The 2003 policy of teaching mathematics and science in English or PPSMI was reversed by the Cabinet on July 8 due to objections from various pressure groups who argued that rural students could not cope and were being left behind.
The policy was introduced to increase English proficiency and to expose students to technical science and mathematics terms from a younger age so they could excel in these fields at tertiary levels.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who also holds the education portfolio, has maintained the government will not return to the policy of teaching and learning science and mathematics in English despite appeals from mainly urban parents.
The government is moving ahead on the new policy of dignifying Bahasa Malaysia usage while raising English proficiency.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rich Malaysians getting richer

What about you???????



Survey: Rich Malaysians getting richer

Rich Malaysians are now even richer and many have plans to live abroad, a recent survey revealed.

Affluent Malaysians have reported that they are now 55 per cent wealthier than before compared to 35 per cent earlier this year.

And those Malaysians who want to move are looking at Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the US.

The HSBC Affuent Asian Tracker, a survey conducted by Nielsen for HSBC, surveyed a total of 1,700 affluent individuals between 30 to 55 years of age in eight key markets in September and October 2009.

The survey gauged views of people in the top 10 per cent of the population by income and liquid assets.

HSBC in a press release said the data was a clear indication that savvy affluent Malaysians came through the financial turmoil at the end of 2009, relatively unscathed.

Some 86 per cent of Malaysian respondents gained their wealth through employment. Generally, 56 per cent of their income is spent on daily and recurring expenses while 26 per cent committed towards savings, insurance and investment.

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd's general manager for personal financial services Lim Eng Seong said that the high net worth Malaysians were riding on Asia's recovery and improved market sentiment, their confidence is returning as investors are providing momentum towards a more robust wealth management market in Malaysia.

Questions on planned changes in investment risk appetite over the next six months, revealed that 50 per cent were willing to increase their investments. Of this an equal number were planning to invest in direct stocks and in unit trusts.

However, they were mostly moderate risk takers and will not change their risk appetite in the next six months.

The asset holding of most surveyed skewed towards saving and unit trusts (73 per cent), properties (65 per cent) and life insurance (61 per cent).

Fourty-seven per cent of Malaysians felt that Asia Pacific was a better option followed by Greater China, but 35 per cent have no plans to invest in funds or equities abroad.

The survey's investment risk index showed that most Malaysians are leaning towards more secured long-term investment products.

"Growing affluence is the key driver for investment activities and diversification of asset holdings. While market sentiment will continue to remain an important driver, other factors will also influence the psyche of the affluent Malaysian investor," Lim said.

The survey showed that advice from independent financial advisers (53 per cent), financial media (40 per cent) and friends (29 per cent) were the top three role players in shaping their investment portfolio.

Some 44 per cent of Malaysians preferred to spend their earnings on dining out, entertainment and hobbies with another 40 per cent on travel and 36 per cent on property.

Meanwhile, although 52 per cent of those surveyed have no plans to live abroad, 30 per cent of those of who do, are looking to live in Australia or New Zealand, following by Singapore (18 per cent) and the US (10 per cent).

In Asia, mainland China leads the wealth surge with a 70 per cent rise in net worth compared to 46 per cent in the first half of 2009.

Homeowners and investors brace for property tax

If our government is not consistent in their policies, this is what you get.....


By Lee Wei Lian
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — The real property gains tax (RPGT), which takes effect in less than a month, is likely to hit long-standing homeowners and foreign investors the most.
The five per cent tax, which was announced in October, is normally imposed to curb speculation but due to its flat structure does not differentiate between homeowners who have been holding a property for 20 years or those who are flipping properties within one or two years for a profit.
The property sector was also taken by surprise by the announcement and worries that it will send a message to potential investors that the government has not been consistent in its policymaking.
An exemption on the RPGT was given in 2007 by the then-Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration in order to boost the property development industry.
Its removal two plus years later with little warning could heighten the feeling of uncertainty among investors.
Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia (REHDA) president Datuk Ng Seing Liong said the RPGT should be structured so that it curbs short-term speculation and take into account interest paid on the property as well as inflation.
"The RPGT will hit those who hold property for more than 10 years the most," Ng told The Malaysian Insider. "It also does not ensure that the interest that was paid is tax deductible like in Australia. If you pay a housing loan over 20 years, the interest you pay is substantial and it should be deductible."
Ng said the RPGT has also introduced an element of uncertainty for foreigners looking to invest in property in Malaysia, noting that the exemption was introduced fairly recently.
"They will now feel that government policy is not consistent and the five per cent tax can be increased anytime in the future," says Ng.
One leading property developer told The Malaysian Insider that the impact will not be as bad as it originally seemed right after the announcement.
"The government has clarified some things since then," he said. "However, it would be good if they can keep their policies consistent."
This perception of "flip flopping" in policymaking could pose a challenge for the Najib administration which is trying to chart a new growth path for the country with an emphasis on private investment.
The sudden lifting of the RPGT exemption could have similar effects as the Clob saga where thousands of Singaporeans who invested in Malaysian shares via Singapore’s Central Limit Order Book (Clob) system found their investments abruptly frozen in 1998.
In a recent interview, Bursa Malaysia chief executive Yusli Mohamed Yusoff had to reassure Singapore investors who were burnt by the sudden imposition of capital controls in the late 1990s to put the Clob experience behind them.
Property website says that investor confidence has fallen as a result of the RPGT.
Its Property Outlook Index dropped to 29 per cent at the end of November 2009, down from its all-time high of 68 per cent on the day before the re-introduction of RPGT was announced.
"The level of RPGT at 5 per cent is de minimis. However, people are concerned that this will make Malaysian real estate less attractive relative to other options for both local buyers and foreign investors, the latter of whom have plenty of other countries where they can invest their money. In addition many are worried that this is the first step towards further increases in RPGT, something that the government has not ruled out," said thinkproperty CEO Asim Qureshi.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Malaysia an ‘oil cursed’ country

We all know well that which Prime Minister has brought Malaysia into such a bad state ...corruptions are rampant, public funds such as Petronas money are used to built white elephant, bailed out fail company (the worst thing was bailed out his son's company).......Kuli's speech has served as a good reminder to all of us again.....If  rakyat Malaysia has not waked up,  I really cannot see how Malaysia can fare in this globalisation world.....

by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
Dec 12, 09

(Speech by former finance minister and Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at the one-day Young Corporate Malaysians Summit this morning)
In a speech I made in April this year, I spoke of where we stand in our developmental path and what I felt we must do to move forward.
I need to revisit that argument in order to develop it further.
We are stagnating. The signs of a low-growth economy are all around us. Wages are stagnant and the cost of living is rising.
We have not made much progress in becoming a knowledge and services based economy.
According to the World Bank, Malaysia’s share of GDP contributed by services was 46.2 percent in 1987. Ten years later, that share had grown by a mere 0.2 percent.
Between 1994 and 2007, real wages grew by 2.6 percent in the domestic sector and by 2.8 percent in the export sector, which is to say, they were flat over that 13-year period.
Meanwhile, our talent scenario is an example of perverse selection at its most ruinous. We are failing to retain our own young talent, people like yourselves, let alone attract international talent to relocate here, while we have had a massive influx of unskilled foreign labour. They now make up 30 to 40 percent of our workforce.
Alone in East Asia, the number of expatriate professionals here has decreased. Alone in East Asia, private sector wage increases follow government sector increases, instead of the other way around. We are losing doctors and scientists and have become Southeast Asia’s haven for low-cost labour.
I said that we are in a middle-income trap, stuck in the pattern of easy growth from low-value-added manufacturing and component assembly and unable to make the leap to a knowledge-intensive economy.
Regional competitors with larger, cheaper – and dare I say – hungrier labour forces have emerged. China and India have risen as both lower cost and higher technology producers, and with giant domestic markets.
The manufacturing sector which propelled the growth we enjoyed in the 90s is being hollowed out. There is no going back, there is no staying where we are, and we do not have a map for the way forward.
I am glad that the characterisation of Malaysia as being in a ‘middle-income-trap’ has been taken up by the government, and that the need for an economic story, or strategy, for Malaysia is now recognised.
We stand in particular need of such a model because we are a smallish economy. We cannot be good at everything, and we don’t have to be.
We need only make some reasonable bets in identifying and developing a focused set of growth drivers. It is not difficult to see what the elements of such a growth strategy might be. Whatever we come up with should build on our natural strengths, and our strengths include the following:
• We are located at the crossroads of Asia, geographically and culturally, sitting alongside the most important oil route in the world.
• We have large Muslim, Chinese and Indian populations that connect us to the three fastest growing places in the world today.
• We have some of the largest and oldest rainforests in the world, a treasure house of bio-diversity when the greatest threat facing mankind as a whole now is ecological destruction, and the greatest technological advances are likely to come from bioscience.
• We have the English language, a common law system, parliamentary democracy,good schools,an independent civil service and good infrastructure.
These advantages, however, are declining. Our cultural diversity is in danger of coming apart in bigotry, our rainforests are being logged out and planted over, our social and political institutions are decaying.
I have spoken at length on different occasions about the causes and consequences of institutional decline.The decline in our society and indeed in our natural environment, originates in a decline in our basic institutions.
The link between these is corruption.The destruction of our ecosystem for example, is made possible by corrupt officials and business people.The uncontrolled influx of unskilled labour is a direct result of corruption.
These are problems we need to be aware of before we speak glibly about coming up with new strategies and new economic models. We need to understand where we are, and how we have gone wrong, before we can set things right.
You are young, well-educated Malaysians. Many among you have left for other shores. Record numbers of Malaysians, of all races, work abroad or have emigrated. Among these are some of our best people.They sense the stagnation I described.
There is a certain lack of energy, ingenuity and “hunger” in the climate of this country that young people are most sensitive to. In the globalised job market, young people instinctively leave the less simulating and creative environments for those that have a spark to them.
How did we lose our spark as a nation?
We have a political economy marked by dependence on easy options and easy wealth. Like personal dependencies,these bad habits provide temporary comfort but discourage the growth of creativity and resilience.
I mentioned our dependence on low-cost foreign labour.
The other dependence is something I played a part in making possible.This is a story I want to leave you with to ponder in your deliberations today.
Once a blessing, now a curse
Our nation is blessed with a modest quantity of oil reserves. As a young nation coming to terms with this natural bounty in the early 70s, our primary thought was to conserve that oil.
That is why, when Petronas was formed, we instituted the Petroleum Development Council. Its function was to advise the prime minister on how to conserve that oil and use it judiciously for national development. We knew our reserves would not last long.
We saw our oil reserves as an unearned bounty that would provide the money for modernisation and technology. We saw our oil within a developmental perspective. Our struggle then, was to make the leap from an economy based on commodities and low-cost assembly and manufacturing to a more diverse, economy based on high income jobs.
Aware that we had an insufficient tax base to make the capital investments needed to make the leap, we planned to apply oil royalties to what you would call today strategic investments in human capital.
Whatever money left after making cash payments, allocations for development funds, etc, was to be placed in a Heritage Fund for the future.The Heritage Fund was for education and social enrichment.
In working out the distribution of oil between the states, who had sovereign rights over it, and the federal government, we were guided by concerns for equity between all Malaysians, a concern to develop the poorer states (who also happened to be the oil rich states) and a concern for inter-generational equity.That oil was for special development purposes and it was not just meant for our generation.
Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya to form Malaysia because of the promise of development funds. Yet today, despite being their massive resources, they are some of our poorest states.
Instead of being our ace up the sleeve, however, our oil wealth became in effect a swag of money used to fund the government’s operational expenditure, to bail out failing companies, buy arms, build grandiose cities amidst cleared palm oil estates.
Instead of helping eradicate poverty in the poorest states, our oil wealth came to be channeled into the overseas bank accounts of our political and politically-linked class.
Instead of being the patrimony of all Malaysians, and for our children, it is used as a giant slush fund that has propped up authoritarian rule, eroded constitutional democracy and corrupted our entire political and business elite.
Our oil receipts, instead of being applied in the manner we planned upon the formation of Petronas, that is, according to its original developmental purpose, became a fund for the whims and fancy of whoever ran the country, without any accountability.
The oil that was meant to spur our transition to a more humane, educated society has instead become a narcotic that provides economic quick fixes and hollow symbols such as the Petronas towers.
Our oil wealth was meant to help us foster Malaysians capable of building the Twin Towers than hire foreigners to build them, a practice in which we preceded Dubai. I would rather have good government than grand government buildings filled with a demoralised civil service.
It is no wonder that we are no longer productive, no longer using our ingenuity to devise ways to improve ourselves and leap forward.
Malaysia is now an “oil cursed” country. We managed to arrive at this despite not having a lot of oil.
When I started Petronas in 1974, I did not realise I would see the day when I would wish we had not uncovered this bounty.
Public assets ‘looted’
The story I have told is a reminder of the scale of the challenge of development. My generation of young people faced this challenge in the 60s and 70s. You face it now.The story tells us that development is about far more than picking strategies out of a box.
You have kindly invited me to address a seminar on strategies for reinventing and liberalising Malaysia’s economy. But the story of our squandered oil wealth reminds us that it was not for want of resources or strategies that we floundered.
Our failure has been political and moral. We have allowed greed and resentment to drive our politics and looked the other way or even gone along while public assets have been stolen in broad daylight.
I encourage you to take up the cause of national development with the ingenuity that earlier generations of Malaysians brought to this task, but the beginning of our journey must be a return to the basics of public life: the rule of law, honesty, truth-telling and the keeping of promises.
The Malaysia we need to recover is one that was founded on laws and led with integrity. With the hindsight of history we know such things are fragile and can be overturned in one generation, forgotten the next.
Without a living foundation in the basics you might sense an air of unreality around our talk of reinventing ourselves, coming up with “a new economic model” and liberalising our economy.
So before we can reinvent ourselves, we need to reclaim our nation. That larger community, bound by laws, democratic and constitutional, is the context of economic progress, it is the context in which young people find hope, think generous thoughts and create tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ai yo yo.....another good culture of UMNO??????

I really do not know how to explain to my kids when they ask me about the action of these idiot UMNO members......

If I were the family members of these few idiots, I really dun know where to hide except to jump down from KLCC........ MEMANG MEMALUKAN!!!!!!



Nazri vs Mahathir

Nazri, I cannot agree with you anymore, this bloody racist should shut his mouth long time ago....

Nazri, you better becareful .....this bloody racist got a lot of  "pengampu" and they will bark you anytime from now....please take good care of yourself....

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz criticised former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for having inconsistent words and deeds before and after his term of office. When he was in the office, he claimed himself as a Malaysian in order to gain the people's support but after his resignation, he has been speaking only for Malays. Once again, Nazri severely criticised Dr M as a “racist”.

Even though Dr M has abdicated, it seems like among UMNO ministers, only Nazri is courageous enough to offend Dr M like that.

Nazri and Dr M are like a pair of foes, although they are not having equal political status and prestige.

"He is courageous enough to say something that others do not dare to say."

I can still remember that after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced his new Cabinet's lineup, Dr M had bluntly criticised that two ministers were not appropriate for the positions, and Nazri was one of them. The other one was Deputy Agricuture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum.

I can't remember how Johari responded at that time. But I still clearly remember that Nazri had made a firece counterattack. He said it was a childish behaviour and severely criticised Dr M as a racist. He even gave Dr M an “advice” that “it is better for him to stay at home as the people no longer like him.”

This time, it is not surprising when they spit at each other again over the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) controversy.

BTN is a product from Dr M's era. Its racist training modules have long been heard. And now, even Malays can no longer tolerate it. They come forward to expose its ugliness. However, during the authoritarian era of Dr M, many people chose silent protest and dared not to say a word.

Politics will always be Dr M's favourite. He believes that his mission is not yet fulfilled and thus, even though he had stepped down, he still has endless to say. He writes books and blogs and gives public speeches to promote his “Mahathirism” that stresses on Malay supremacy. To him, BTN can really help him to complete the unfinished mission!

I don't agree with some points of Nazri, but he is “stunning” as he dares to admit that there is something wrong with the BTN training modules and does not agree that the course should be meant only to highlight Malay patriotism. He also thinks that it is ridiculous to mention about Malay supremacy in the course. He is courageous enough to say something that others do not dare to say.

Nazri, who even praised the Pakatan Rakyat government of Penang for committing in fighting corruption and promoting clean government, indeed shows better the independent thinking of the new generation of Malays compared to Dr M, who simply wants to defend the BTN. Nazri has also shown a more open mind.

In this case, I would like to give Nazri an applause. And I hope that his voice would not echo alone in UMNO and the Malay society.

As for Dr M, history will judge him fairly. (By LIM MUN FAH/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wake-up call — Tay Tian Yan

 Good article to share....has Malaysian wake up? if not , good luck to you and me.....

DEC 3 — Perhaps, like me, you will discover that friends and relatives around you are getting fewer and fewer.
We used to have tight schedules for all sorts of new year gatherings in the past, but things seem to quiet down a lot this year.
Even on a normal day phone calls are getting rarer, and not too many people for us to meet nowadays.
Perhaps everyone is engrossed with his own stuff, or perhaps people are beginning to adopt “homeward” lifestyle and avoid unnecessary trips.
Not so!
Many of my old friends and relatives are no longer around. Don’t get me wrong, they are still very much alive and kicking, only they have chosen to leave this land.
John has set up a factory in mainland China; Peter has quit his rewarding engineering job to run a small food stall in Australia; Robert quits local university to lecture in Hong Kong; Dave is in Taiwan to explore his career while some others have gone to the States, UK, and... oh yes, Indonesia.
I used to think this is just an isolated case. I slowly discover that such thing happens to other people around me as well.
This is not an isolated case, but a widespread social phenomenon.
It involves not just a handful of people, but quite a multitude of them.
Some recent statistics disclosed by the foreign ministry have testified the fact that this phenomenon has been very real and close.
From last March to this September, around 300,000 Malaysians looked for greener pastures beyond our shores, two thirds of them did so in the first eight months of this year alone.
The cumulative number of emigrating Malaysians has now exceeded two million, close to the number of Indonesian workers in this country.
The different thing is: those who have left the country are mostly middle-class professionals.
They are have a host of reasons to stay away from this country: to pursue further career advancements, to seek brighter future for their kids, to enjoy more freedom... In short, they have all grown disappointed with Malaysia.
50 years ago, everyone said Malaysia was the best, even better than Hong Kong and Japan.
30 years ago, they said Malaysia was not that bad, at least we were as good as Korea and Taiwan (Hong Kong and Japan were no longer mentioned by them).
20 years ago, they said Malaysia was still quite okay, at least we were better than China and Thailand (Taiwan and Korea were no longer in the same league).
10 years ago, they said Malaysia could never be like Vietnam or Indonesia, no matter how terrible it was (China was not in the same category any more).
Today, Vietnam and Indonesia have far outpaced Malaysia in economic development, the gap is fast closing in.

What to worry? We still have Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar!
An economist who recently visited the Philippines said Malaysia could overtake her neighbour as the prime exporter of domestic maids in 20 years’ time.
Over the past half a century, Malaysia has been locking itself inside a huge courtyard house, distributing its wealth in antiquated ways and exhausting its rich social resources, forcing its best talents to look elsewhere. The country shuns competitiveness, ignores productivity and abhors meritocracy.
When the regional financial crisis struck, we locked ourselves in and escaped the massive destruction. Some people have taken delight in that, thinking we were geniuses.
But when other countries walked out of the crisis, they implemented substantial reforms and made bold advances ahead while our country stays largely stagnant.
It’s time to wake up, Malaysia. —

Showing buttock is UMNO Culture???????

When Azhar Ibrahim trying to act innocent and denied that he has tried to show his buttock in the Penang State assembly , we all know that showing buttock is part of Umno Culture.....

Still do not believe? see the photo below....

I dare Utusan Malaysia to show this photo.....








 Penang assembly suspends BN rep after he refuses to say sorry

PENANG, Dec 3 — Opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim was again suspended from the Penang state assembly sitting today after he refused to apologise in connection with an allegation that he exposed his buttocks to Sim Tze Tzin (DAP-Pantai Jerjak) yesterday.
Azhar (BN-Penaga) is alleged to have committed the offence while leaving the assembly after Deputy Speaker Tan Hock Leong ordered him to leave for refusing to retract a term that he had used when debating the 2010 budget yesterday.
"This is another conspiracy by the Pakatan Rakyat government to gag me from continuing to criticise its administration. I just bent down to pick up my bag, I could not possibly do so with my leg, but instead I'm accused of showing my buttocks.
"This is an example shown by a government which has no moral and dignity and is not willing to accept criticisms," he told reporters after being ordered to leave by Speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain.
Sim drew the speaker's attention to the alleged incident when debating the 2010 budget this morning.
Abdul Halim then ordered Azhar to apologise because the action was an insult to Sim.
He also invited Azhar to view the video recording of yesterday's incident but the latter refused to do so.
"I'm innocent. Why should I apologise for something that I did not do. I have my principles and I stick to those principles," he said.
Eight other Barisan Nasional assemblymen walked out with Azhar in protest of the action taken against him.
Azhar is suspended until the sitting ends tomorrow.
He said he would send a complaint to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, with copies to all the state assembly speakers, over the action taken against him. — Bernama

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Migration as protest: Why Malaysians are leaving

by  Farish A. Noor

DEC 2 — According to Deputy Foreign Minister Kohilan Pillay, the number of Malaysians who have decided to up their roots and emigrate abroad has almost doubled this year. 3,800 Malaysians have given up their citizenship and simply opted to leave the country of their birth.
Furthermore it has been noted that almost half of those who have left are professionals who have chosen to seek greener pastures abroad, citing better pay and working opportunities as well as marriage as the most common reasons given.
Malaysia is the loser in this sorry equation, and though the right-wing communitarians among us used to quip ‘if you don’t like it, leave it’, this sorry reply will sooner or later be exposed for the vain boast that it is. For Malaysians are indeed leaving, and many of them happen to be among the most precious human resource that the country cannot afford to lose.
For what is a nation, and what is Malaysia?
Malaysia, it has to be remembered is not a patch of land where the mountains and trees realise that they happen to be part of a nation they are not even members of. Neither do the roads, bridges, buildings and flagpoles that litter our urban landscape make up the essence of what is Malaysia.
Malaysia is made up of Malaysians, and if and when there are no more Malaysian-minded Malaysians left then we might as well turn the lights off and call it quits. Malaysia exists as an idea, an ideal and a value only when there are enough people who regard themselves as Malaysians first, and who place citizenship and national belonging above all other concerns of ethnicity and communitarian politics. And right now, many of those Malaysians are heading for the exit.
What is interesting for the historian here is that this pattern of migration mirrors the modes of passive mass protest of old, dating back to the pre-modern and pre-colonial era when Kings were Gods (Dewarajas) and where there was no such thing as a nationalism and national identity. Loyalties were bound to kingship, and rule was affected through force and violence. In the pre-modern polities of Southeast Asia, democracy was an alien and distant concept and politics was likewise absent as there was no independent public domain and no public participation in governance. In short, power was absolute and absolutely monopolised by the ruler and the ruling elite.
Our poor ancestors realised that theirs was a sorry lot. Under the best of circumstances they might have been lucky enough to live under a benevolent ruler who was wise enough to share the riches of the land, or at least not tax and plunder his helpless subjects into total subjection and poverty. At worse, some rulers were despotic and almost homicidally so, slaughtering their own subjects, forcing them into forms of debt bondage and slavery, taxing their meagre earnings and grinding down the few bright sparks and independent-minded individuals among them. The Hikayats of old are replete with such stories of wanton oppression at the hands of tyrants and egomaniacs, and the poor people of the Indonesian-Malay archipelago were left with little in the form of effective resistance.
After all, what could one do if one happened to be one of the unfortunate subjects of a vainglorious God-King/Dewaraja? Vote the king out? There was no such thing as voting with one’s hands, and so the only form of resistance was to vote with one’s feet, and to leave.
This explains in part the fluid character of the pre-modern polities of Southeast Asia in the past, where kingdoms would rise and fall according to the performance of the rulers themselves. Wise and benevolent rulers would attract more and more migrants to his realm, for the word would spread that a wise and benevolent king rules there.
But tyrants would soon find themselves deserted, and their kingdoms would falter and decline thanks to the modes of passive resistance that included reduction of work and production, and eventually migration and depopulation. Ironically, despite the vast repertoire of the symbols of sacred power that the God-kings had at their disposal, even they could not stop their people from leaving in the dead of night to better climes and safer lands. In an age where polities depended on human resources and where there were rarely any substantial standing armies, migration was one of the most powerful forms of passive resistance that was available to the ordinary people of Southeast Asia.
So from that historical perspective we may want to look at what is happening in Malaysia today. The outflow of human resource — the most precious possession that any country can claim — is perhaps one of the few political acts that the ordinary citizen can perform today. The country loses, and we all lose too in the process. But the ruling elite in Malaysia today has to ask itself this simple question: If and when so many Malaysians chose to leave the country of their birth, what were the factors that prompted them to do so, and what could the elite have done to win and retain their confidence in the Malaysian project. Set against this context, all talk of a “United Malaysia”, “1 Malaysia”, “Malaysian Malaysia” seems stale and ineffectual.
Malaysia is most in danger not when it is invaded, but when Malaysians themselves have lost faith in it. And for that loss of faith in the national project, we have no one else to blame save the politicians of the country themselves. — theothermalaysia