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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Politics based on knowledge, integrity, meritocracy, sacrifice and service.

I rise to speak on the Royal Address with concern because of political viscissitude at a time of financial tsunami that has begun in USA. His Majesty began with 16 paragraphs on economic slowdown. This is very important. People should pay attention to the economy and the ways to overcome the effects of the slowdown.

Prattling about the economic package, the Deputy Prime Minister heads the two-government plan in Perak, turning Perak Darul Ridzuan to Darul Zalim. The Perak Saga, that involves three state assemblypersons who have jumped from Pakatan Rakyat (PR), (two are being charged for alleged corruption), is complicated. His Royal Highness the Sultan of Perak has appointed a BN Menteri Besar and rejected the suggestion to dissolve the state assembly: there are PR MB and BN MB, PR Excos and BN Excos.


We practise the rule of laws. It is up to the court to pass judgement on the cases of Perak Saga, if possible. The Deputy Prime Minister has not behaved as a statesman on this issue.

The Prime Minister acts as a statesman who represents all people. He or she is not PM for a race or a party. He or she also represents DAP. The DPM aspires to be PM. He or she should behave as a statesman.

Economic Stimulus Package

At the end of last year, DPM presented the 7-billion ringgit stimulus package with great haste, ignoring the procedure. We do not know how effective it is or whether it has reached the targets. How much has been spent? The DPM should let us know the types of stimulus that he has in mind. This time he follows a schedule to put forward a new stimulus package of RM 10 billion. He should inform us on the details of this package.

A culture with good values

Bintang tujuh sinar berseri,

Bulan purnama datang menerpa;

Ajaran guru hendak dicari,

Mana yang dapat janganlah lupa.

We are aware of European culture especially British, American culture, Chinese culture, Indian culture and Islamic culture in the country. Each has its characteristics. His Majesty says that our multiracial and multicultural characteristics should be synthesized and turned into the nation's strength. I agree.

Since Independence, good values continue to be taught in schools, mosques, temples and churches. The Right Honourable Prime Minister sets up the Malaysia Integrity Institute which attempts to instill the spirit and noble values in the society. Some say that this is only an empty gesture. Some support the IIM. Although there are misgivings among some people, we should support it and make it work.

The Right Honourable Deputy Prime Minister attended and supported the offical launching of the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on 24.2.2009 at the PWTC, Kuala Lumpur. There are doubters on MACC. Just as IIM, we should make MACC a success. If it is ineffective, the people will want a better system.

The people are getting more aware of racial politics, two-governmnent politics, money politics, cut and slash politics, getting rich fast politics, crony politics, nepotistic politics, parachute politics, sycophantic politics, slander politics and so forth. We must try our utmost to replace these rotten politics by politics based on dedication, knowledge, integrity,meritocracy, sacrifice and service.

We encourage Malaysians of all races to be progressive and rich. After they have progressed and become rich, what is the purpose? It must be to help build society such as education and social welfare. His Majesty mentions quality human resources. This is a sound suggestion. I believe that it is not enough to stress the importance of the economy, agriculture, trade, industry and so forth. Profit should never be the only motive. It is equally important to encourage values such as dedication and integrity.

Kayu cendana di atas batu,

Sudah diikat dibawa pulang;

Adat di dunia memang begitu,

Benda buruk memang terbuang.

Poverty and Hunger

According to the poverty line of US$1.50 per day, 1.4 billion people are at or below this line, 75% of them being in rural areas. The poverty rate among children and youths is higher than the average population by 25%.

In China, the poverty rate has been reduced from 85% to 15.9%, that is, 600 million people. But, in the whole Asia, it is reduced by only about 10%. One billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Every year, over nine million people die from hunger and malnutrition, five million of them being children.

We are more fortunate in Malaysia. In this country, the poverty rate has been reduced from 89.9% in 1956 to 13% now. The figures have to be reviewed so that they reflect the true picture. Th poverty rate among150,000 aborigines in the Peninsular Malaysia is 76.9%. the figure isstill high in Sabah and Sarawak, East Malaysia. The urban hardcore poor is estimated at 20,000. The economic slowdown aggravates the situation.

HIV/AIDS, discrimination against women, poor health, bad distribution system, inadequate infrastructure and so forth are factors that affectpoverty and hunger.

Malaysia has implemented the supplementary food programme since 1983. In 2008, the Government allocated RM249.8 million for the programmeincluding the RM26.6 million for school milk programme. There are gaps and leakages. How do we manage these gaps and leakages?

We continue to invest in agricultural infrastructure and strengthenthe public distribution systems. We need to deal with the gaps and the leaks.

We shall consult our legal experts on the legislations that we have not yet had concerning poverty, hunger and women's empowerment.

The Health and Women's Ministries must tell the House the effectiveness of their implementation on the above-stated matters.

We need to study the existing laws concerning poverty, hunger and discrimination against women. How far have CEDAW recommendations been successfully implemented? We require better measures to prevent and manage HIV/AIDS. Health, Women Affairs and other ministeries have to inform the House their effective implementation of measures on the above-mentioned matters.

We need constant follow-ups.

Crime Prevention

Although the Government says it pays serious attention on the issue of public safety and security, the efforts must be improved. Naturally, there are people with the negative perception concerning crime in the country as if it is out of control. According to the Home Minister the index for 2008 is 311,645 cases compared with 209,582 cases in 2007, that is, an increase of 2,063 or 0.98%. Violent crimes are up by 7.56% while property crimes are down by -0.34%. The indices for Kuala Lumpur and Kepong District are down by 3.51% and 4.10% respectively. Jinjang index is up by 4.53%.

Although in Kepong the crime rate is down slightly, it is on the increase in other parts of the country. However, for the victims of these crimes, esoecially those who are injured such as some in Kepong Baru, this issue is bad. It should be compulsory for th police to take in more quality recruits, basic facilities and the participation of the people for the peace and security of the country.

Confidence in our economy

His Majesty says that in 2008, the economic growth rate was 5%, but he has not forecast the rate for this year. With the world economic recession, Malaysia is affected. Our situation is not as bad as that in Singapore because from 1997 with the implementation of the Master Plan, our economy is not as exposed as that of Singapore to that of the United States. Novertheless, we would like to know the Government's ways of maintaining the confidence on our banking and economy. We would like the Government to let us know the ways of dealing with the reserve, capital flow, exchange rate, monetary policy and interest rate. With the constraint of time, I cannot touch on other inssues including education.

Sambil berjalan mengutip maman,

Maman tumbuh di tepi paya;

Bagai faedah rakyat sekalian,

Untuk hidup aman sentosa.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw
posted by Tan Seng Giaw @ 10:07 PM 0 comments

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Prime Minister should be a statesman

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giawbelieves that a Prime Minister is for all Malaysians and all political parties. He or she must be a statesman. This is also applicable to Deputy Prime Minister who aspires to be Prime Minister.

Early this month, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the takeover of the Perak state government, following the departure of three state asembly persons from Pakatan Rakyat, two from PKR and one from DAP. Two of them are being charged for alleged corruption.

On 5 February, 2009, the Perak Sultan appointed Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir as the new Menteri Besar to replace Datuk Seri Mohd Nijar Jamaluddin; he has refused to dissolve the state assembly to pave the way for a fresh election. Najib stresses that Perak has a Barisan Nasional (BN) government. But, Nijar and the Pakatan Excos have stayed put, insisting on the rule of law. Obviously, Najib has not thought of the implications and consequences.

After having been thrown out of the MB's office, Nijar continues to occupy the MB's official residence in Ipoh and hold regular exco meetings. The BN MB and excos conduct their own business. There are two state governments in Perak. According to the Standing Orders of thePerak State Assembly, Speaker V. Sivakumar suspended BN Menteri Besar Datuk Zambry and his six exco members for 18 months and 12 months respectively.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says that the Speaker could not suspend Zambry and his excos, telling the former to lodge a police report on the suspensions. He excludes snap elections or federal rule in Perak. BN Perak Deputy Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says that Sivakumar has committed derhaka (treason) against the Sultan for disobeying his command and his authority.

The Federal Court will have to make judgement on several suits arising from the Perak saga. The court may take months to pass judgement, if possible.

The Deputy Prime Minister spearheads the BN takeover of the Perak state government. He continues to praise Zambry and vilify Nijar. Had he behave as a leader, a statesman, who represents all Malaysians and all political parties, he would have avoided any action that is too partial, riding roughshod over others. Is he for all Malaysians or just for Umno or BN?

The financial tsunami causes the world economic slowdown. Malaysia is also affected. So, priority should be given to managing the economy. Any action that undermines confidence should be avoided. While prattling about the second economic package which will be announced in Parliament on 3 March, 2009, Najib contributes to the Perak saga.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Let the police investigate the case of nude pictures of Elizabeth Wong

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the police to step up their investigation into the case of Elizabeth Wong whose nude photographs in bed have been distributed without her consent.

We should respect a person's privacy at his or her home. The persons who distribute the nude photos should be caught and charged in court.

Recently, Elizabeth's case has been reported in the media. This has caused a furore. We sympatized with her. She suffers as a victim. She has lodged a police report.

She has offered resignations of all posts such as those as an EXCO and state assembly person in Selangor. Many believe that she should not do so. She should consider the opinion of the people.

Meanwhile, the police should go all out to investigate the case, so that we shall know the truth and bring about justice.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw