View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Time-table for the abolition of ISA

DAP National Deputy Chairman reiterates that the Central Government should have a time-table for the abolition of the Internal Security Act, ISA, and the promulgation of new laws such as the Anti-Terrorism Act, the contents of which should be made public.

On 28,9,2011, Dr Tan spoke at the Proham (Association for The Promotion of Human Rights) meeting at a committee room in parliament. The meeting was addressed by YB Datuk Dr HJ Wan Junaidi, the Deputy Speaker, attended by Datuk Abu Zahar Ujang, Speaker of the Senate. The meeting was moderated by Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.

The Proham Secretary is Datuk Michael Yeoh. Besides two MPs , YB Ngeh Koo Ham, YB Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad & YB Senator Dato PK Suppiah, I was the only MP who participated. The rest were mostly journalists.

It is a good thing to see people interested in human rights. I assume that all are genuine. I hope the discussion would not be much ado about nothing.

I started to speak on himan rights in 1976. Eleven years later, I was one of them sent to the Kamunting University uder ISA, Operation Lalang, which is recorded in the book The First 60 Days.

Internatinally, there are the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Charter, International Court and many Human Rights NGOs. These are good things. All human beings should have human rights. But, these rights should not be abused or misused.

For example, Sadam Hussein of Iraq, Mujahidin of Afghanistan and Gaddafi of Libya imprisoned, tortured and killed many people. But, the United States (US), European Union (EU) and others have used these and the responsibility to protect against Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, destroying the leaders and killing many innocent people. What do the US and the EU get in return?

EU military aircratfs had over 200.000 sorties over Libya with over 7,500 strikes over Gadaffi's targets. What is the actual number?. EU soldiers trained and fought side-by-side anti-Gadaffi forces. How many people have they tortured and killed?

What is powerful for good is also powerful for evil.

Nationally, successive Prime Ministers solomnly promised against the use of ISA on politicians. I met all of them except Tun Razak. The first PM Tunku Abdul Rahman stressed that the object of ISA was to deal with communists and not with politicians. The invocation of ISA to detain people who are opposed to government policies is unjustifiable.

On 3.11.1998, I met Mr H R Hickling at a Human Rights Seminar. He drafted ISA in 1960. I told him I was detained under ISA. "Is that so.?" he asked. " Did they give you the whole works?"

Now, PM Najib has claimed credit for the intention to abolish ISA. Let us have a time-table for its abolition and the promulgation of new laws such as Anti-Terrorism Act. Lets define terrorism, preventive detention, the power of the Home Minister, the Advisory Board or its equivalent. Such a law should not be abused.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw.

Monday, September 26, 2011

General elections After electoral Reform

DAP Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that the BN Government must be fair and just in dealing with electoral reform such as setting up the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) with fair representations and holding general elections after PSC has completed fair recommendations.

On 25.9.2011, Dr Tan spoke at the DAP FT KL Convention.

Malaysians are keeping an eye on when the Prime Minister YAB Najib will announce the date of the general elections. Pakatan Rakyat (PR) including DAP must be fully prepared for the coming elections.

Our electoral system is full of irregularities such as phantom voters. Bersih 2.0 calls for clean and fair elections, receiving widespread reactions. BN Government has acted high-handedly on Bersih 2.0 and those who demand clean elections. Now Najib wants to form PSC during the parliamentary session which begins on October 3, 2011. He speaks of electoral reform.

PSC should be based on fairness and justice, starting from representations in the committee and the electoral reform. The Government has indicated that it will take six months to complete its work. General elections should only be announced after PSC has submitted fair recommendations which are accepted by the Election Commission.

DAP KL Federal Territory Chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw believes that there must be political commitment and action to adopt effective economic measures in order to alleviate the effects of the world economic downturn.

Dr Tan Spoke at the DAP KL FT convention on 25.9.2011.

Global economy is entering a dangerous phase, Enrozone is in crisis and the US economy is not good. These have implications on other countries including Malaysia.

YAB Najib says he wants to increase investment and local demand as well as keeping prices of goods down. We need political commitment and action as well as integrity to do these. We hope that with improved investment, more jobs will be created.

For example, recently communications companies intended to ask 13 million users of prepaid hand phones to pay 6% service tax. This will be a factor in the rise of the cost of living. The Government negotiated with communications companies. Hitherto, this is not implemented. What will happen next?

The authorities must have integrity and professionalism in managing huge public funds such as the Employees' Provident Fund with assets of US$98.8 billion ( nearly RM300 bil). Prevent all forms of irregularities.

We must create a culture to nurture and keep talents in the country.

Most governments definitely say that they like to keep talented people and professionals. This is what people expect to hear. What is a talent? What does it mean to nurture and keep talents?

The nurturing and keeping of talents is very complex. This includes the system of education and administration. Selection and promotion of talents are not just based on the examination results, but also on other aspects such as special characteristics, the protection of controversies and young people.

We talk about brain drain in Malaysia. The Prime Minisrer YAB Datuk Seri Najib prattles about keeping talents; he hopes one day Malaysians will win the Nobel Prize. On 22.9.2011, Minister in the PM's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed repeated the statement that there are over 1 million Malaysian professionals overseas, 57% of them remaining in Singapore.

Those countries that manage to atract more inflow than outflow of talents have definite incentives including salaries and low taxes. Nurturing and keeping talents is a culture. Malaysia desperately needs one.

Even in government departments and universities such as the top university in this country, University of Malaya, really good people face difficulties. Cronyism still exists. Clever people tend to have controversies and departmental heads usually avoid controversies to protect themselves. These must be solved rationally.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong

Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It takes more than a Perdana University to stop brain drain

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to look at brain drain in a wide perspective such as fair and just policies, not just Perdana Univerity.

On 13.9.2011, Dr Tan comments on the Prime Minister's hope that what he considers the world's best curriculum will stop brain drain. Presumably, he only means the medical field.

Just as other countries, Malaysia faces brain drain. Datuk Seri Najib repeatedly says that he wants to attract and retain talents in this country. This is logical. Besides laudable statements, he would need wider vision.

The university is a teaching medical school, a joint partners with Johns Hopkins University, USA, and the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

Indeed, there are many reasons for brain drain. In advanced countries, brain gain exceeds brain drain.

Yesterday, Najib spoke at the installation ceremony of the Perdana University, making former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad the first Chancellor. He says,"I hope the chance to study the best medical curriculum in the world will encourage more of our country's top graduates to stay at home."

John Hopkins is one of the renowned universities. Whether the curriculum at Perdana University is the best in the world. It will be assessed. Only time will tell.

Apparently, by 2014 this RM2.5 bil university will have 600-bed hospital with 1,000 students. Lets hope it will perform as expected. Will it halt brain drain?

Factors such as unfair policies, bureaucracy and lower salaries result in brain drain in various fields. While looking for effective economic policy, we wish the Prime MInister concentrate on truly fair and just policies and the efforts to grapple with bureaucracy.

Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

No perverse logic for Malaysian univeristies to get better world rankings.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin to help Malaysian
universities to be truly competitive. He must compare our varsities with better ones.

On 6.9.2011, Dr Tan refers to Khaled's view on the competitiveness of Malaysian universities.

That Univerisity of Malaya, UM, is ranked 167 in the QS World University Rankings 2011/12 is encouraging. Its Vice-Chancelor wants it to get to 100 by 2015. This is achievable. If Hong Kong University is nombor 22, why can't UM be at the same position gradually?

The minister talks about being compettitive as seven Malaysian univerisities are in the top 600 out of 30,000 univerisities globally. A true comparison means comparing with better-ranked univerisities.

Previously the Government used the perverse logic of devlopment programme and national priority to explain the poor rankings of Malaysian universities. Now, it appears that the minister is recognizing the need to avoid this type of perverse logic as he says the recent QS World University Rankings has shown that Malaysian varsities are competitive. Prime Minister Najib's performance indices and result oreintation mean comparing with those who are better than us.

In 1982, I asked in parliament, why the the British Medical Council withdrew its recognition of UM medical degree. The answer was that the Government had its own development programme. This type of perverse logic exists for many years. Khaled's statement shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. At least, we hope so.

One thing the minister can do is to find out why USM, after having been awarded the Apex Status, its ranking drops from 309 to 335. Once the weaknesses are identified, it can strive to attain a better ranking.

Cambridge University tops the Rankings, followed by Harvard, MIT, Yale and Oxford. These are private universities. As the minister has said, private universities in the country should be ranked.

Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Urban well-being for KL redevelopment projects?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that redevelopment of KL Pudu Jail site and other areas must be truly comprehensive, taking into considerations various factors including heritage, environment and traffic.

The tearing down of government buildings such as Pudu Jail leaves only the facade. This is followed by redevelopment projects. What will happen to KL as a hub to the Klang Valley?

On 4.9.2011, Dr Tan continues to comment on redevelopment projects in KL.

PM YAB Najib has added Urban Well-being to the Ministry of Federal Territories since 2008. We look forward to well-being in the city. As I have said before, uplifting Puduraya Station with RM 6 million and changing it into Pudu Sentral should really be meaningful. The station is in the middle of Pudu Road, showing the lack of planning in the 70s. The big project near the station was abandoned for many years.

Tackling the traffic conundrum by Mass Rapid Transit, MRT, is a reasonable measure. Then, the cogs in the wheel must be fitted properly, including the effective monitoring of the project and reliable corporations appointed. How do we ensure that his multi-billion project is implemented with integrity. MRT projects in Hong Kong, China and other countries go underground in city centre. But, shop owners in the middle of KL such as those in Jalan Sultan have to face the musical show of being told they need not move.

Among the government buildings destined for redevelopment is the site of Pudu Jail. There is a detailed heritage study. Besides the facade, the structure is being destroyed to be replaced by myriad of new buildings. All units will be sold at high prices.

We continue to look at various development projects of KL in terms of urban well-being. This includes the replacement of old low-cost houses for the poor with new high-rise buildings.

Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Education Ministry must not waste money on 1Bestarinet

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw insists that Malaysian Education Ministry appoints a truly reliable company to implement 1Bestarinet.

The ministry is planning to implement a more comprehensive 1Bestarinet to replace Schoolnet. It is learnt that it will spend RM4.5 bil in the next 15 years, that is, RM300 mn a year.

On 1.9.2011, Dr Tan comments on 1Bestarinet project..

Countries in the world including Malaysia are trying to use modern digital technology and infrastructure. For example, Malaysia began in 2004 to introduce Scoolnet. But, seven years later, we are still in the dark about the digital technology provided and the expenditure. We shall pursue these. How many tens of millions of ringgits have been spent?

Now, the ministry is said to be planning 1Bestarinet to provide the most up-to-date digital technology to 9,924 schools in the country. It will replace Schoolnet.

It seems that the ministry opened 1Bestarinet tender from May 5 to 31,11. From the 19 companies which submitted tender, six had been shortlisted, namely, Celcom Axiata Bhd, Jaring Communications,Maxis Bhd, YTL Communications, Multimedia Synergy Corp.,Telecom Malaysia Bhd/Time DotCom Bhd.The Government must be transparent, letting the public know the companies' resources, the ability to deliver as promised and accountability. We do not want a company that has no resources and no capability, going only for profits.

Although the ministry is supposed to have a mechanism to supervise a company that is appointed, it lacks efficiency as seen in the monitoring of the Schoolnet project. The Budget Session of Parliament begins on October 3, 11. We shall bring up Schoolnet and 1Bestarnet projects.

Tan Seng Giaw