View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, June 26, 2009

Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) must be independent.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw recommends that Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) be truly independent.

On 25.6.2009 Dr Tan took part in the debate in the House on the EAIC bill 2009 that was tabled by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dato' Seri Nasri Aziz.

Five years ago, the Royal Commission on the Police gave 125 recommendations, one of which being IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission). I have repeatedly asked in the House about IPCMC. But, the police is not prepared to accept it as misconduct occurs in other departments, not just the police. Why should the police be singled out?

The Minister has said that the EAIC bill is modelled on a similar law in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, and United Kingdom (UK). He regards that in NSW as effective.

Commission only for the police

The Royal Commission recommends IPCMC, a form of ombudsman. Now, the House is debating EAIC for 21 agencies, not only for the police. Although this is a step in the right direction, I believe that its enforcement will not be effective. If it cannot be effectively enforced in future, the Government must set up IPCMC.

Now there are 100,000 police personnel. The Cabinet has approved 150,000. We need IPCMC.

Australia and UK had multi-agency ombudsman. But, they found it difficult to enforce. Instead, they have set up ombudsman just for the police.

An independent commission

I feel that EAIC should not be under the Prime Minister's Department or the Home Ministry. If so, the image would not be good. For example, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is under the Prime Minister's Department. Many perceive that it is influenced by the Government, leaning to one side.

Well-qualified commissioners

The appointment of all commissioners and their chairman must be based strictly on their qualifications and suitability. There must be adequate staff members at all levels. For instance, MACC has an establishment of over 2,000 personnel. Hitherto, it has filled about 80%. It is not easy to find suitable candidates.

Nasri must announce the number of staff members for EAIC and the venue in which it is situated. The provisions in the MACC Act and that of EAIC should not overlap.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, June 22, 2009

Review of the effective implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Police.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw Dr TanSeng Giaw urges the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein toreview the effectiveness in the implementation of the over 90% of the recommendations of the 2005 Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police.

Hitherto, the IGP has not implemented the remaining 6 or 7% of the recommendations such as the formation of the commission or ombudsman to deal with complaints on the police instead of having such a commssion for all government departments.

Since the Royal Commission Report was announced in 2005, I have repeatedly asked the police about the implementation of the 125 recommendations. Although the police has tried to implement many of these recommendations, it still has to show the people that things are getting better. The incidence of crimes, in particular violent ones, has made the pulic uneasy.

One item which Hishamuddin should look at seriously is the recommendation to increase the police force from 90,000 to 150, 000 in five years. As the number of police who retire is about 2,000 annually, it means that the police has to train more and better police personnel. Is it able to train 5,000 a year properly? The Report recommends training 12,000 recruits per year.
Then the protracted problem of haivng more non-Malays for the force. For the rank of officers, it is easier. For other ranks, it is more difficult.

We need a review of the effectiveness of implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission Report.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, June 19, 2009

10 measures to fight flu pandemic,but when will A H1N1 vaccines be available?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Health Ministry to clarify what it means by vaccines to high-risk groups to reduce infection risk.

On 19.6.2009, Dr Tan comments on the 10 measures instituted by the Health Ministry to combat influenza A H1N1 pandemic.

Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin issued 10 strict measures against the influenza pandemic that was declared by the World Helath Organization last week.
These include compulsory health declaration form on board the plane. Failure to comply means a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to RM 10,000.

Other measures comprise social distancing if the number of locally-transmitted cases increases (hitherto, there is one case), scanning of body temperatures on board aircraft and vaccines to high-risk groups such as doctors and nurses.

All people must follow these measures. But, the Health Ministry must clarify the use of vaccines on frontline personnel. It takes three to four months to manufacture vaccines against A H1N1. The outbreak began in April, 2009. Major laboratories in the world have been working hard to produce vaccines against the virus. The race to be the first to manufacture the vaccines is intense. Do we see the appearance of vaccines in July, 2009?

Even if a major factory can produce the vaccines, when will they be available in Malaysia?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, June 12, 2009

Create a conducive atmosphere for the task force on PKFZ

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Federal Government to create a conducive atmosdphere to enable the Task Force and the two committees on the Port of Klang Fee Trade Zone (PKFZ) project. The force is tasked for two months to produce a report on the complicated PKFZ major scandal.

Dr Tan comments on the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat's appointment of luminaries to the Task Force, the Ad-hoc CorporateGovernance Committee and the Executive Committee.

The media have given big coverage of the Task Force headed by Vinayak Pradhan, the Ad-hoc Corporate Committee by Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan and the Executive Committee by Datuk Lee Hwa Beng, the Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairman. We hope that these committees will work well, leaving no stone unturned. The PricewaterhouseCoopers audit report on PKFZ has limited terms of reference.

The major PKFZ scandal involves RM7.5 billion, possibly RM12.5 billion by 2012. The Central Government Cabinet, the Treasury, the Transport Ministry and PKA had many famous people with credentials. Yet, the major scandal still happens. For example, from 2001 to 2007, there were 28 members of the board of PKA including Datuk Dr Ting Chew Peh, Datuk Yap Pian Hon and Datuk Chor Chee Heung. But, they did not follow procedures when the initial outlay skyrocketed from RM1.9 billion to RM 4.5 billion and RM 7.5 billion.

The Cabinet decided that PKFZ must be self-financing. By May 2004, PKA knew that it could not comply with the Cabinet decision. Yet, PKA hadf urther signing of 8 agreements involving hundreds of millions ofringgits.

Despite the publicity on the Task Force, the two committees and the luminaries, some have doubts about whether these people can fulfil their functions. Hence, the Federal Government must create a conducive atmosphere for them to work smoothly.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Set up a Royal Commission of Enquiry to enquire into PKFZ major scandal

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Federal Government set up a Royal Commission of Enquiry on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) major scandal. Only such a commission would have the power to investigate those who are supposed to be well connected. To whom does the huge fund flow?

On 10.6.2009, Dr Tan put up the proposal at the DAP forum at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. PKFZ is on 1,000-acre Pulau Indah.

The Federal Government Cabinet approved the PKFZ project in 1999, with the initial capital outlay of RM 1.9 billion, increasing to RM 7.5billion by 2007. If the Port Klang Authority (PKA) delays payment to the soft loan, the amount plus interests may rocket to RM12.5 billion by 2012.

The recent PriceWaterHouseCooper report on PKFZ reveals weaknesses such as land value skyrocketing, bad administration and project management problems.

The Transport Minister cannot authorize letter of guarantee. But, from 2003 onwards, Transport Ministers issued four letters of comfort to support PKFZ without following the treasury procedures. The main benefactor has been Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd.

Normally, when the Government has a project, it enforces Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act to stop land price speculation. For example, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) situates on beautiful oil palm land. Section 4 was enforced. In the case of PKFZ onlySection 3A was invoked, giving the contractor a freehand to manipulate the land value. The recommendation of the Attorney-General to acquire the land was ignored. If the Government had acquired the Pulau Indah land, the value was RM10 per square foot; it had been sold to PKA at RM25 per square foot.

By May 2004, PKA realized that it could not comply with the Cabinet decision that PKFZ must be self-financing. It boggles the mind that PKA still went on to sign 8 more contracts, costing hundreds of million.

To whom has the fund flowed? It is mysterious. Lim Kit Siang reminds the people that the huge fund can make KL cityfolks stop paying assessment for more than 10 years or may be used to build 25 universities.

We need a Royal Commission to enquire into the PKFZ major scandal, looking for the culprits who should be charged in court.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Please look at the standard of English teachers

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to look seriously at the standard of English in primary and secondary schools. He will find that while some teachers are good, many are not able to teach properly.

Dr Tan comments on the media report on 9.6.2009 that Muhyiddin had a shock revelations when he learnt that students need not pass the English paper to get a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia certificate and that English grammar was no longer taught in school.

While it is necessary for Malaysians to be fluent in Bahasa Malaysia, it is well known that the standard of English in the country is not high. What is revelations to the Deputy Prime Minister is not news to many. We are not shocked. He should start talking to English teachers or teachers who teach English in primary or scondary schools.

Parents who send their children to Chinese schools wish that the latter also have a good command of English which is the most popular language in the world. This is one of the reasons why the number of private schools increases by leaps and bounds.

Other countries such as Sri Lanka have English week. As the Sri Lankan Government has declared that the civil war with Tamil Tigers has ended, we hope that it will treat all people including Tamils as well as it treats the English language.

In fact the Federal Government should review the teaching of English and other languages. The world is cosmopolitan. Multilingualism is the order of the day.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, June 05, 2009

Muhyiddin must take positive steps to keep river basins clean.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin to take positive steps such as having effective coordinating river basin committees to keep river basins in the country clean. These should include all water catchment areas where there should be no logging.

Obviously, we require environmental education, teaching the people to cooperate so that they can stop using rivers as dumping sites.

On 5.6.2009 Dr Tan notices that Muhyiddin talks about river basins being managed and cared efficiently to prevent pollution and destruction of water sources. We shall follow the steps that will be taken to preserve river basins.

On 5.6.2009, the Deputy Prime Minister mentioned dead rivers such as Sungai Pinang, Sungai Juru, Sungai Skudai, Sungai Tebrau and Sungai Seget. Sungai Klang and its tributaries such as Sungai Batu, Sungai Keroh and Sungai Jinjang are also highly polluted. These are well known for years.

I would like to remind the Deputy Prime Minister that all the catchment areas must be protected. For example, gazetted forest reserve at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Kepong, is over 1,000 acres and the catchment area, Bukit Lagong, is over 10,000 acres. We have to make sure that there is no more logging within the catchment area. The Selangor State Government must cooperate to stamp out logging in the area.

There are various authorities invloved in the preservation of river basins and catchment areas such as human resource and environment ministry, state governments and local authorities. We must have effective coordinating body to see that these are efficiently managed and preserved.

For example, there have been allocations to clean up Sungai Klang. The Environment Department, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (KLCH), and local authorities in Selangor have yet to show that they are truly effective. Meanwhile, KLCH spends millions picking up solid waste from Sungai Klang every day.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A truly independent specialist committee to investigate the Terengganu stadium roof collapse.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls for a genuinely independent specialist committee to investigate the roof collapse of the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu.

Once the causes of the collapse have been identified, the report should be submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament.

Dr Tan reflects the feeling of most people who are not surprised at the repeated problems arising from public propjects. Cracks, collapse,leakage and so forth are commonplace. There have been criminal wastage of public fund.

The stadium was completed by the main contractors, Bina Struktur SdnBhd, Emarcon Sdn Bhd and Genggam Mercu in April, 2008. It cost RM 292million. Fortunately, the disaster caused no death or injury.

We have experienced major problems of public projects, starting from the repeated roof leakages of parliament building, the long-delayed Martrade building, the repeated cracks of Kepong MRR2, the much delayed flood mitigation project in Jinjang, Kepong, and the mystery of the Port of Klang Free Zone project. The public are angry.

We do not want the repeat of the episode of MRR2 cracks in which 8 foreign consultants were appointed, a report carried out by a professional company and a repair by yet another foreign company,ending in further cracks. Let us have a real independent specialist committee to find out the causes of the stadium roof collapse and its safety.

There have been unhappiness over the Federal Government's tender or non-tender system, the cost of projects, the effectiveness of the management and the maintenance. Does the country have reliable contractors? Because of poor supervision and management, hundreds of millions of public fund have been wasted.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, June 01, 2009

Find ways to avoid the fiasco of uploading 8.173 USM applicants instead of only the successful 3,599.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to investigate the human error that resulted in the uploading of 8,173 applicants instead just the 3,599 successful candidates. Let us have a better system.

It is a good thing that other universities have not committed a similar mistake.

Dr Tan sympathizes with hundreds of applicants whose names were wrongly uploaded. Their anguish is understandable.

According to the acting vice-chancellor of the university Professor Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, there were only 3,599 successful applicants but the names of 8,173 were uploaded. The 8,173 were pre-qualified to enter the university from a total of 22,000 applicants.

As USM is the apex university, other universities such as Universty of Malaya (UM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia UKM), look at it in a special light. Hitherto, UM, UKM and others have managed to avoid such type of error.

Truly, USM must show that it is able to learn from this mistake and come up with measures to prevent a similar fiasco.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw