Ahli Parlimen Segambut Lim Lip Eng mempersoalkan bayaran yang digunakan DBKL untuk kerja-kerja sumber luar dengan senarai tugas yang dilakukan mereka. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 20 Disember, 2014.
Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) didakwa menggunakan dana yang besar bagi membayar khidmat agensi luar melaksanakan tugas mereka, kata pemimpin DAP Lim Lip Eng.
Ahli Parlimen Segambut itu dalam satu kenyataaan di Kuala Lumpur semalam berkata, DBKL menggunakan sejumlah RM1.044 bilion atau 64.2% daripada keseluruhan belanjawan pengurusannya yang berjumlah RM1.63 bilion untuk tahun 2015, dibelanjakan bagi perkhidmatan dan bekalan kesemua kontraktor dan sub-kontraktor.
"Apa lagi kerja yang DBKL buat sebenarnya?" kata Lim dalam kenyataannya.
Beliau turut menyenaraikan tugas yang disalurkan DBKL kepada agensi luar untuk dilaksanakan seperti pengurusan sampah disumberluarkan kepada Alam Flora, kontrak pembetungan, tandas awam dikawal selia oleh Kementerian Kesejahteraan Bandar, Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan, manakala pembersihan sungai pula menjadi urusan syarikat swasta di bawah arahan Jabatan Perdana Menteri.
Lim turut berkata, DBKL turut menggunakan khidmat Telekom Malaysia Bhd bagi menyelia Kontrak Sistem Maklumat Pengangkutan Bersepadu (ITIS) memantau aliran kesesakan dan kesalahan trafik, manakala hal ehwal bil dan kutipan hasil pungutan daripada pengiklanan, serta lesen perniagaan dan komersial pula dipantau dan disimpan oleh Oracle Synergy Sdn Bhd.
"DBKL nampaknya menjadi agensi penyumber-luar terbesar di Malaysia, sama ada benar atau tidak, Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur (Datuk Ahmad Phesal Tailib) dan juga Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan (Datuk Seri) Tengku Adnan (Tengku Mansor) harus jawab," katanya.
"Adakah tugas DBKL begitu picisan tarafnya setakat menukar nama jalan dan mengambil tindakan terhadap gelandangan?" soalnya lagi.
Beliau turut menggesa Tengku Adnan untuk menjelaskan kepada warga kota tugas sebenar DBKL setelah demikian banyak tugas-tugasnya disumberluarkan selain daripada aktiviti berbasikal sebulan sekali pada hari tanpa kereta setiap pagi Ahad pertama setiap bulan.
"Tidak masuk akal bagi DBKL mempunyai belanjawan RM2.44 bilion bagi tahun 2015 yang lebih tinggi sedikit berbanding belanjawan Selangor yang bernilai RM2.42 bilion walhal Selangor mesti melayani populasi 3.2 kali ganda lebih besar daripada Kuala Lumpur, dan kawasan perkhidmatannya pula meliputi seluas 33 kali ganda keluasan ibu kota."
The past year has been filled with more instances of intolerance and acrimony between Malays and non-Malays, and Muslims and non-Muslims, than has occurred for many years.
Many of these events centre on the prohibition of non-Muslims from using the word “Allah”, while others concern the special rights of the Malays, jurisdictional issues between the civil and shariah courts, the position of the Malay rulers, and so on.
All said, it has been a bruising time for inter-racial and inter-religious relations among Malaysia’s diverse communities.
Amid the gloom, however, some initiatives shine like beacons, offering hope of an alternative narrative for the Malaysian people, where mutual suspicion is replaced by warm acceptance of our colourful diversity and hard-line sentiment is eschewed in favour of mutual respect for a plurality of views.
The first is the Negara-Ku movement, which was launched in July, with the aim of healing the nation and restoring hope in the future, as its charter proclaims. The five-point declaration sends out a strong message that in order to reclaim the nation, the people must stand up to those who are spreading intolerance, hatred and extremism; oppose discrimination, oppression and persecution; press the authorities to uphold the rule of law and demand for accountability, transparency and good governance.
But, it is the third point in the charter that holds the key to sustaining the spirit of nationhood in our people, namely the determination to strive for an inclusive society. It is obvious that a house in which the inhabitants are constantly quarrelling is doomed to fall apart. So too, a nation in which the disparate groups cannot let go of their narrow self-interests will soon run aground.
To get to that idyllic place where our diverse communities can live in harmony and well-being, we must first embrace the idea that everyone deserves to have the chance to pursue their dreams, to share in the nation’s wealth and to live a fulfilled life in peaceful coexistence with their compatriots. Without a deep belief in the inherent dignity of our fellow human beings, forging an inclusive society will prove to be an illusory goal. Instead, we will have disaffection, mutual suspicion and strife as our constant companions.
The idea that gave birth to the Negara-Ku movement is certainly shared by a significant segment of civil society. This is evident from the support it has obtained at its inception, when some 60 organisations aligned themselves to its goals.
The public-spirited figures who are at the vanguard of the movement have been expending much effort to bring their message of hope and amity to people all around the country. Clearly driven by a sense of mission to create a better future for all Malaysians, they must succeed in awakening the people to the need for the active engagement of the citizenry to define the public discourse in inclusive, respectful and wholesome terms.
Thankfully, Negara-Ku is not alone in recognising the urgency of creating a healthy environment for inter-communal harmony. Soon after the launch of Negara-Ku, progressive political leaders from Umno and PAS began to cooperate in another initiative to combat racism. Led by Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa of PAS and Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah of Umno, the movement for unity and peace was welcomed by the leaders of Negara-Ku as an additional platform to promote their common objectives.
A refreshing development earlier this month has lent much weight to these efforts. When a group of 25 high ranking former public officials came together to call for rational dialogue on the position of Islam in a constitutional democracy, much of middle Malaysia must have heaved a collective sigh of relief.
At last, enough prominent moderate Muslims had found their voices to counter the vitriolic rhetoric of extremist groups and individuals that is causing grave harm to the Malaysian psyche.
Speaking on behalf of the 25 signatories, Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, former Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands, said: "It is high time moderate Malays and Muslims speak out. Extremist, immoderate and intolerant voices as represented by Perkasa and Isma do not speak in our name.”
From the enthusiastic response that the letter generated, she almost did not need to have called for other moderates to stand up and be counted. Just 10 days later, 93 non-governmental organisations had declared their support for the 25 retired civil servants.
Just as encouragingly, two days after an online petition “I am #26” was launched in support of the 25 public figures, more than 2,000 people, mostly Malays, had added their signatures to the initiative. Furthermore, another group of 33 prominent Malaysians from the public and private sectors as well as civil society have expressed support for the group of 25, who have been dubbed the G25.
To be sure, the G25 have come up against opposition from Muslim figures too. The opponents, who include Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, former Universiti Malaya lecturer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka director-general Datuk Dr Awang Sariyan, criticised the moderates for their view that some of Malaysia’s shariah laws were in conflict with Islamic legal principles and constituted a violation of fundamental liberties.
Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin
In their open letter to the G25, the opposing group asked the moderates for proof of their view and also called for a review of the Constitution, citing a survey which showed that the majority of Muslims wish to live under shariah law. In their view, the Constitution should be amended to incorporate the needs of Muslims while entrenching the rights of minorities.
In the debate that will ensue, it is crucial that the tone of the discussion be tempered by understanding, maturity and a universal vision. It will surely be a severe test of our cohesiveness as a society to negotiate the many intractable issues that will surface when religious authorities face off with secular institutions.
Could 2015 bring a rite of passage for Malaysia’s democracy? Moderate Malaysians may want to say something about that. – TMI
The Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) rebuke of the Malaysian Indian Congress’s (MIC) stating that the party elections were null and void shows that many things are problematic under the current leadership.
There were immediate efforts to change the situation, to rectify it but many of us fear it is just a try to hide a messy situation in the party.
It is an open secret that there are fierce rivalries in the party and competition for economic power using the Indian card in Barisan Nasional (BN).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be concerned about these developments and should intercede so that there is less damage to the coalition and reduce the risk of losing Indian votes.
This mess is from the badly run elections, which president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel was the returning officer, since there was no contest for president and deputy president. And now, they are trying to conceal any errors that have occurred, but they are too late, the RoS has already spotted them.
They have to be serious errors because the election of three vice-presidents and Central Working Committee (CWC) has been ruled illegal.
I urge the prime minister to look into both the shenanigans in MIC and also the business empire that some of these characters in MIC are utilising to keep themselves in power and not help the millions of simple Indians across the country.
They are not being served by the politicians they are backing and giving all their hopes to. They are being used by these politicians to get themselves the grand lives they want, not what the simple Indians need.
They are using their political office in BN to get contracts and not better rights for Indians.
There are more than whispers about the financial mismanagement connected to the Little India Brickfields development projects and in Negri Sembilan’s Ulu Timiang. There are delays, payments being defaulted and unimpressive results from the projects.
Look at the Pines Bazaar in Brickfields, which is under firms linked to MIC companies and then compare it with the new NU Sentral. The former is just another shoplot, which is empty now, no better than what it replaced and maybe even worse.
Then look at the NU Sentral down the road. Is this supposed to show the difference between Indians in Malaysia and other Malaysians?
I wonder if the ex-deputy Federal Territories minister Datuk M. Saravanan has any clarifications to make on why these things happened when he was in that ministry, which is in charge of that development in Brickfields.
And there all kinds of problems with the construction of the Malaysian High Commission in New Delhi, which is also a project linked to MIC.
The list goes on and on.
While the discussion about MIC never ends in the Tamil papers, they are rare in the mainstream papers and that is because no attention is paid to Indian issues. With this latest debacle, the media should shed some light on the whole picture at MIC.
Because there will be allegations of voting mistakes, payouts and compromised election workers, all due to money politics. It is those linked to the development projects, who are in a position to execute money politics in MIC.
This is not an issue only limited to Indians because BN is really counting on Indian votes to stay ahead of Pakatan Rakyat in the country. For the sake of the country, I hope Najib will do something sooner, perhaps some kind of investigation into the party and its connected finances so that the Indians in Malaysia can know the truth.
The Indians in the country was in the prime minister’s thinking when he helped former president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to resign some years ago. It is time he did something about the shenanigans in the party. I ask not only as an Indian, but as a Malaysian. – TMI
MIC is in a real mess right now. Hard to know who is wanting what, and why they are wanting it, and what can be decided in the weeks to come.
The media only reports about the Registrar of Societies’s (ROS) order annulling the 2013 party election for the positions of vice-presidents and central working committee (CWC).
MIC did not have a contest for president and deputy president last year, which is why these two posts are not disputed. The argument about who should have attended the December 18 meeting, would have not affected party president G. Palanivel and his deputy S. Subramaniam.
While Palanivel’s legitimacy via the elections is not being questioned, many use this opportunity to ask for his resignation. Why? He has been president for four years, so why the impatience?
This is not the time of Samy Vellu, it is not about one man being in charge for the last 30 years. However, the answer might be with one of his protégés, MIC vice-president and deputy youth and sports minister, M. Saravanan.
Palanivel became MIC president in 2010, but the years have been cruel to him. He lost the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat after four terms in 2008; was rejected openly by both MIC members and Umno supporters when he tried to be the candidate for the seat’s by-election in 2010 after his victor died; forced to contest in Cameron Highlands in 2013 and won close but only to have a mudslide six months later; and a year later, last month, had a worse mudslide with the Sultan of Pahang scolding him.
His critics know he is weak and we won’t know if unseen hands had brought the ROS decision on MIC right now.
As an MIC member, I am worried for my party. As a Malaysian, I am worried about what this may do to the Barisan Nasional. It could lead to increased support for both the PPP and Hindraf-type organisations, always trying to tell the prime minister they have the Indian votes.
The person best likely to benefit from the ROS decision to turn into a party-wide election is Saravanan. No one has close links with the physical side of MIC’s membership like the deputy minister. Not since Samy Vellu, who also brought Saravanan to prominence.
Samy Vellu may be in the shadows only with his son S. Vell Paari looking to go higher up in the party, but Saravanan has business allies like Subramaniam Pillai of Daya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd (DMIA) to build his financial clout as much as his political clout.
The violence at the CWC meeting yesterday are only a sign of things to come, because those opposed to the election results are equally opposed to the leadership of Palanivel.
If Subramaniam, the health minister, replaces Palanivel uncontested, because he is the compromise for all sides, without great levels of grassroots support, then Saravanan will certainly become deputy president.
This is what upsets me as an MIC member. I am fine that politicians want to gain more power, but how about the normal Indian on the street?
My friends tell me MIC is not the party for professionals, and I find it difficult to answer when projects like the Little India Brickfields is used to network with allies rather than commit to creating a great environment for the Indian community.
The more I see what is happening in the constant fight for power, it appears all the leaders are just preparing their war chests to win over regular members, to get them to fight outside on the street and let all of Malaysia see them fight. So people can say, this is the Indian party, a place where Indian men fight.
I cannot think of a way forward at present. All I can hope is that the leaders realise that while they quarrel, the fate of millions of Indians, most of them poor, is not improving.
That is what they have to realise if they really care. Otherwise the Indian stereotype is only going to be magnified in the months to come.
I fear we might be going back to the days of M.G. Pandithan dragging a coffin into the party headquarters.
Can Indian leaders find some civility, or do they have to wait for the prime minister to do something about this mess? – TMI
Christian leaders are sceptical over Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's assurance at a dialogue in Kuching recently that they were free to use Bibles containing the word "Allah anywhere in the country”, including in Selangor.
They said the A-G's unconvincing and evasive answers left matters “hanging”, adding that Gani was mostly giving his personal views on the issues raised.
“You can use it anywhere in the country as long as you do not use it for propagating Christianity to Muslims,” Gani had told the Christian leaders at the dialogue organised by the Department of National Unity and Integration last Saturday.
“Even if you want to use it in Selangor, I honestly do not see anything wrong,” he had said.
Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen's assistant Mordi Brimol, who attended the dialogue, described it as “a waste of time”.
Brimol said judging from the reactions and questions posed to the A-G, most of those who attended the event were unconvinced that they could use the Bibles, particularly the Malay Alkitab and the Iban Bup Kudus, in Selangor without harassment from the state's Islamic religious authorities or the police.
Brimol, who said he had “sneaked in” after hearing of the dialogue, recorded the proceedings and a copy of it was shared with The Malaysian Insider.
The A-G, in his opening statement, had told the Christian leaders that “it is wrong to say the Bible cannot use the word 'Allah'".
“You can use it but you cannot use that Bible with the word 'Allah' to propagate Christianity to Muslims.
“If you use among your congregations and to fellow Christians, then it is no issue whether in Sarawak or in the peninsula,” he had said.
“It is your right under the constitution.
“That's what the law is all about,” Gani had said, referring to the rights of other religions to practise their beliefs as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.
“I will defend my position even if the sultan starts telling me (that it's not allowed).”
He did not state which sultan but later told the leaders that he had defied “a direct order of the Sultan of Selangor” to burn the 351 copies of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus which Jais had seized from the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia in January.
Gani said that despite the protection given to Christians by the constitution, he knew “many people would not be happy with me, (from) both sides (for saying all this)”.
Brimol said the church leaders then asked if it was their right under the constitution to use the word Allah, why did they have to fight for that right in court.
“They asked why did Jais seize the Alkitab and Bup Kudus, why were the seized Bibles stamped with the warning they could not be used in Selangor when they were finally released, and why did government departments, like the Immigration Department, seize a consignment of religious CDs at klia2.
“The questions posed showed they were just not convinced by the A-G's assurance.”
Brimol said he, too, was not convinced even though Gani had made some strong statements, including standing up to the sultan on legal matters.
In postings on his Facebook, Brimol stated that Gani gave “evasive” and “unconvincing” explanations.
“His explanation all hinged on his personal view... 'my view is' or 'I have no problem with that'...
“Throughout the question-and-answer session, I was of the opinion that he was evasive in answering the questions and would only give safe answers or those that he thought we wanted to hear.
“To sum it all up, everything was left hanging,” he said.
Apart from the Allah issue and Bible seizures, questions were also raised on the words linked to Islam which state governments like Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu had banned non-Muslims from using.
Gani said the Federal Constitution did not allow the states to make any laws “to prohibit the use of any word or any action”.
He added that the ban on the words “does not show anything good”.
“I hope the Muslims take that into consideration.”
The dialogue was attended by most church leaders, including the heads of the state's two biggest denominations, Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok, the Anglican church head for Southeast Asia and Archbishop Datuk John Ha of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kuching.
Lapok also currently chairs the grouping of all churches in Sarawak, the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS).
A day after the dialogue, ACS had issued a statement stating that though they regretted the stamping of the released Bibles, they believed that “there was no intention on the part of the authorities releasing the said Bibles to desecrate them or otherwise be disrespectful to the Christian community”.
Lapok in the statement said the association welcomed the release of the 351 seized Bibles to the ACS and “we are grateful for the intervention of the Sultan of Selangor, and satisfied with the basis upon which they were released for use by the Christian community in Sarawak”.
“Change is necessary as nations grow and develop. The process must involve continuing dialogue and be conducted in a manner which is creative, sensitive, affirming mutual learning and respect – the principle of muhibbah – as opposed to one that is crass and destructive,” he said.
Lapok said the ACS viewed the sultan’s intervention in gaining the release of the Bibles “as a demonstration of this spirit of muhibbah and an earnest call to Malaysia’s diverse religious communities to live in harmony together”. – TMI