View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, December 25, 2009

Repalce Internal Security Act with Anti-Terrorism Act

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that the Internal Security Act (ISA) should be repealed, to be replaced with Anti-Terrorism Act.

ISA was promulgated in 1960 to fight the Communists. But, they laid down arms in 1989.

On 25.12.2009, Dr Tan takes note of the statement by the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein that the amendment to the ISA will be tabled and debated at the next Dewan Rakyat meeting in March 2010.

It is necessary to study various laws that deal with terrorists. Just as other countries, Malaysia may be faced with suicide bombings and other acts. We have to be vigilant. For instance, although there are measures to watch the parliament, these have to be stepped up. There is no room for complacency.

The Home Minister mentions the ministry's law review technical committee that has also carried out a comparative study between ISA and other similar Acts in other countries, including the United States’ Patriot Act 2001 & Homeland Security Act 2002, Australia (Terrorism Act 2005), United Kingdom (Terrorism Act 2000), Singapore (Internal Security Act 1963), Israel’s Emergency Powers (Detention) Law and Sri Lanka’s Prevention Of Terrorism Act 1982.

UK introduced the Emergency Ordinance in Malaya; this had been replaced by ISA. Legally, our country is still under emergency. UK has been dealing with Emergency in Northern Ireland for years. Despite efforts at peace settlement, there are occasional outbreaks of violence in that territory.

Hisham says today that he is providing enough time for all, including opposition MPs, to discuss issues pertaining to the ISA.

“It will also allow Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to hold briefing sessions on the proposed changes and gather feedback from the public,” he added.

He repeats the five main issues over the Act: the powers of the minister; duration of detention; the rights of and treatment given to the detainees; public perception that the enforcement of the Act was purely for political purposes; and detention without trial.

The Home Ministry might have six meetings with representatives of the various groups to discuss the proposed amendments. Hisham should have further discussions including with ex-ISA detainees. Some of us have been detained under ISA. But we pose no risk to the security of the country.

It is important that we have adequate laws to prevent terrorist harming the country. But, the ISA has often been abused. We should put a stop to it.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Reveal the truth of the theft of jet engine from RMAF airbase in Sungai Besi, KL.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Central Government to reveal the truth of the disappearance of the turbojet engine from the Kuala umpur Sungai Besi RMAF airbase since 2007.

What is the effective action taken? Were these engines worth RM50 million or more? Were they sold to South America?

On 20.12.2009, Dr Tan has read the media report on the loss of the General Electric J85-21 afterburner turbojet engine for the single-seater F-5E Tiger 11 and RF-5E Tigereye.

After the press exposure, the Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday that a group of low-ranking officers were in cohoots with civilians in the theft.
He insisted that the ministry would ensure that the inventory and asset movement procedures were properly controlled.

It seems that four people have been detained in connection with the jet engine disappearance. But, there have been no details of the true situation.

The Public Accounts Committee will discuss the matter and decide on the step to be taken. The people have the rights to know. After all, the jet fighters have been purchased with public fund.

Defence purchases of any country mean massive public money. It cost hundreds of million of ringgits to buy a military submarine. The same applies to jet fighters. A squadron may cost tens of billion of ringgits. This needs stringent scrutiny to prevent massive wastage including corruption. RMAF bought not just Tigereye, but also Russian MIG fighters for which it has bought spare-parts from China or India. After a time, it replaces MIG with Russian Sukhoi fighters. Can you imagine the amount of money spent?

We continue to bring up the subject of purchase of military hardware such as aircrafts and submarines. We would like to know the truth of the theft of the Tiger jet engines.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Use allocations for recreational facilities such as parks effectively

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to use the 2010 allocation of RM58.67 million to develop recreational facilities such as parks effectively.

Dr Tan looks at the KL City Hall's 2010 allocation for development of parks, football fields and planting of trees. He visited the wild vacant land in Jinjang South this morning.

The 2010 KL City Hall budget is RM2.1 billion including RM 1.1 billion operating expenditure and RM 1.0 billion development expenditure like RM RM58.67 million to develop public parks, toilets, playgrounds, park equipment, public vacant land, football fields and planting of trees.

Last year, the City Hall allocated RM100 million for maintenance of public parks and related facilities and RM15 million for creating new parks. Where did the money go? This caused controversy.

We have reminded the City Hall to give full account of various expenditure such as the 2010 development expenditure of RM 1.0 billion. It must improve the tendering and the supervisory systems.

It can use the allocation for recreational facilities to beautify the public vacant land at Jalan Jambu Jerteh, Jinjang South. To prevent irregularities, it must improve supervision of projects.

The Jalan Jambu Jerteh vacant land was beautified by the City Hall over 20 years ago. A few years later, a company encroached on the land, fencing it up and putting cars and other things in the enclosure. It destroyed the place. Apparently, this company had political backing. Despite public complaints, City Hall could do nothing. The public were disappointed.

Recently, the political backer of the company is no longer in power. The company reluctantly vacted the vacant land, leaving shrubs behind.

The City Hall has surveyed the vacant land to apply for it to be gazetted. We have requested the City Hall to rehabilitate the vacant land.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PM would have to walk the talk on education including Chinese education

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to walk the talk by showing that he is truly liberal on education including Chinese education.

In the modern world, we notice the change in the educational world. For various reasons, we can see Barisan Nasional (BN) gestures to independent Chinese schools especially on the eve of elections.

Dr Tan notices that last night the Prime Minister has assured all 60 independent Chinese schools in the country that they can continue without any interference. He has talked about the amended Education Act 1996 to guarantee the existence of such schools in the country when he was still the deputy Education Minister.

“This shows that Umno and the BN government has always been liberal and all-inclusive in its policies,” he said during the 90th anniversary celebration of the Chong Hwa independent high school here last night.

Having made his assurance, Najib rushed back to the House to vote in the division to pass the Supply Bill (budget) 2010 at about 11 pm. BN had 64 votes and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) 63 votes. This is history, showing the change in the political scene.

Just as there is a new political atmosphere, education evolves. Over 60,000 non-Chinese students attend Chinese schools. All students must learn Bahasa Malaysia. They witness the use of English.

Previous Prime Ministers including Tun Mahathir did say pleasant things about Chinese education especially before elections. Najib is no exception.

Obviously, the Prime Minister is aware that the PR government has given five independent Chinese high schools in Penang RM 2 million this year. The PR government in Selangor has done likewise to four independent Chinese high schools. In Kelantan and Perak, PR governments have offered land to these schools in the respective states.

After his kind words in Chung Hwa, Kuala Lumpur, Najib may want to show how liberal he can be. What is important is that people must be able to see that he does fulfil his promise.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Total review of media freedom & amendments to all related laws.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls for media freedom without affecting security in the country.

This means that the Central Government must consider amending all laws relating to media freedom such as the Printing Presses and Publication Act, Sedition Act and Official Secret Act.

Dr Tan makes this call at the DAP gathering in Kota Kinabalu on 12.12.2009.

To ensure media freedom, we must also look into laws that deal with relationship of the multiracial and multicultural society. Racial relations are of utmost importance.

For the past 52 years of Merdeka, there have been restrictions on media freedom including the press. Modern technology such as the Internet is changing the atmosphere. What is not seen in official media can be gleaned from the Internet such as blog. Much as we like the Government to report the truth, we also would like to see Internet reflects the true situation.

It is time that we repeal the Internal Security Act 1960 that has been meant for dealing with the Communists. As they have laid down arms since 1989, ISA should be replaced with Anti-Terrorism Act. A stable government must be able to prevent all forms of violence including suicide bombings.

Constrictions on freedom of expression and the right of information continue to cause concern in Malaysia. For example, the Offical Secrets Act 1972 prohibits the release of official documents. About one ago landslides in Ampang caused deaths and destruction. The Central Government stopped the release of the report on the tragedy. After protests, the document is being declassified.

The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 requires the keeper of a printing press to obtain a licence from the minister who has the power to refuse or renew it. This restricts press freedom.

Hence, we call for the total review of media freedom in the country and the amendments to all laws relating to the matter.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Need to improve in power generation and distribution in Malaysia

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls for the true improvement in the power generation, distribution and maintenance of the electricity supply in the whole country including Sabah Sarawak and other states.

Dr Tan touched on the topic of power generation, distribution and maintenance when he spoke at a DAP gathering in Kota KInabalu on 12.12.2009.

In the 2010 national budget of RM 191.5 billion, RM 9.2 Billion is for the efficiency and improvement in the energy supply, borrowing RM 250 million for projects on generation and distribution. RM 5 billion is allocated to the Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

Although Parliament has debated the RM 2.4 billion budget allocation for the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water in 2010, we have not seen the details of projects involving Sabah Electricity Sendirian Berhad. We urge the Government to announce the details of these projects.

There is a need to improve the quality of electricity supply. The Sabah Electricity Sendirian Berhad must increase the generation capacity and enhance the distribution system.

Obviously, just as many parts of the country, electricity supply in Sabah faces interruptions. The national budget mentions the reduction of the Indeks Tempoh Gangguan Purata Sistem (The Index of the Average Interruption Period) to 700 minutes. We hope this can be achieved.

Issues concerning power generation and distribution continue to surface. The part played by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) causes concern. Does TNB get 60% of it power from IPPs? Are the terms given to IPPs unfavourable to the consumers?

As time passes, we require better efforts to overcome the various problems arising from power generation, distribution and maintenance. The public must be informed.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Fair national budget allocations?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges the Federal Government to improve the system of allocations of the national budget to ensure fair distribution to all states including Sabah and Sarawak.

The allocations must be spent effectively. There must be genuine measures to overcome all forms of irregularities including corruption.

The Central Government is talking about the Key Performance Index (KPI) and National Key Result Area (NKRA). We would like to see that these are enforced meaningfully in all aspects of the administration.

At present, the Government is using Modified Budgeting System. Next year, this will be replaced by Outcome-Based Budgeting (OBB). Let the Government announce how it is going to implement OBB. Would it involve the Sabah and Sarawak or other State Budgets?

Keeping Central Government or any state government on its toes is imperative. No government should be left with the idea that it can do whatever it likes.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw