Ahad, 21 Ogos 2011

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Posted: 21 Aug 2011 09:01 AM PDT

Dr. Boo Cheng Hau's Trilingual Blog: SAY WHAT YOU LIKE

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 07:03 AM PDT


CHaah Flood Victims Have Not Gotten Their "Wang Ikhsan"

Posted: 20 Aug 2011 09:57 AM PDT

Press Statement by Dr Boo Cheng Hau, DAP Johor State Chairman on restructuring of Johor Corp's debt by selling Sindora Berhad's shares and 33,800 acres of estate land  to Kulim on 19th August 2011 at a press conference in Kedai Kopi Sin Chuan Fong, Chaah, Labis, Johor visiting flood victims during the big flood on Jan 30, 2011 and Tenang By Election who claimed the authorities have failed to allocate "wang ikhsan" to a substantial number of flood victims.

Dr. Boo Cheng Hau is accompanied by YB Senator S Ramakhrisnan, Johor DAPSY Secretary Andrew Chen Kai En, DAP Labis Branch Chairperson Tan Chin Guan, Bekok Branch Chairman Ng Chai Eng, Former DAP Chaah Branch Chairman Lee Ah Kaw.

In view of Johor Corp having a total debt of RM 6.6 billion by the end of 2009, with an amount of RM 2.6 billion  Islamic bonds expired next year and only RM 705 million in cash reserve, I call upon Johor Corp to be transparent and prudent  in its effort to restructure its financial standings.

Kulim (M) Bhd signed sales and purchase agreements with JCorp to acquire over 33,800 acres of estate land in Johor for RM 700 mil cash with an average RM 20,710 per acre.

As the Chairman for JCorp, Menteri Besar Dato' Abdul Ghani Othman is obliged to table a white paper to the Johor Sate Assembly in next  September so as to the detailed valuation of lands sold to Kulim and how the actual deal would benefit JCorp and the State Government.

I call upon Abdul Ghani Othman to explain to the public as to how the land deal was not open to bidding and awarded to the highest bidder was done for the best benefit for JCorp. 

As Kulim has offered RM 3 cash per share for the 21.6 million shares or 22.5 percent of Sindora Bhd. 

I would like to advise JCorp and Johor State Government that any shares of JCorp and its subsidiaries should be offered to the highest bid for the best position for JCorp to restructure its debts. 

Sindora share value has soared since the announcement and reached as high as RM 2.95 yesterday  from RM 2.65  pre-announcement and RM 1.80 for most of this year.

I call upon Abdul Ghani also to present a white paper on winding up of Dana Johor and Amanah Saham Johor (ASJ) as to why the discrepancy exists when Pelaburan Johor Berhad offers RM 0.50 and RM 1 to buy back shares from Dana Johor and ASJ shareholders in the midst of winding them up.

I call upon Menteri Besar Johor to present a white paper on the matter detailing ASJ and Dana Johor's investments that resulted in losses of unit values and their eventual closure.  
The public would like to know as to why Pelaburan Johor Bhd decided not to consider the option of letting  ASJ and  Dana Johor continue to float on the market or being taken over by private trust funds in view of reviving the two trust funds.

ASJ and Dana Johor have caused many pensioners in dismay and they have lost dearly to years of paying loan installments and interests to the lender banks. Therefore, the Johor state Government is obliged to be accountable  to Johoreans the reasons as to why ASJ and Dana Johor has slumped. 

The Johor State Government needs to impose stringent transparency in running its GLCs in order to ensure investors confidence in the future of Iskandar Malaysia. 

YB S Ramakhrishnan stated that he will bring the matter to the attention of the  National Security Council, Prime Minister's Department and aim to resolve the discrepancies in giving out flood relief  allocations to the victims.

Up to 11am today, about 200 families have signed up for the list that flood victims have not been given wang ikhsan after January 30 big flood during the Tenang By Election.  

Umno-linked men in control of GLCs losing money

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 08:02 PM PDT

Some 17 years ago, I was absolutely delighted when the state government announced that Dana Johor, a trust fund newly set up, was to be opened up to all citizens regardless of race. Before this it had set up Amanah Saham Johor that was for Bumiputera only.

My Malay friend was equally excited. We immediately went together to a local bank to sign up for loans to purchase the Dana Johor share units. I was curious when the bank officer told us there were two categories of interest rates for the same amount borrowed – the lower rate for 'members', the higher rate for 'non-members'.

I asked her if I could become a 'member'. She practically flushed and apologised, replying that membership was only for Bumiputera. What? Even though both my friend and drew the same salary as government doctors, I would have to a pay higher interest because I am 'non-Bumiputera'!

This is outright racial discrimination, not affirmative action.

I felt extremely humiliated but I had to thank the Malay officer for her humility in apologising for a racist policy that she had no power over.

Who in the world would want to pay higher interests in return for racial degradation? I decided not to take up the loan that was being managed along racial lines as I always understood that any economy would never thrive if managed in such a racist way. It would surely crumble by itself.

But my doubt has always been how blanket lower interest rates offered to Bumiputera vis-a-vis non-Bumiputera would help poor Malays move up the socio-economic ladder.

Ultimately it turned out that my instinct was correct – immoral economic practices would boomerang on themselves sooner rather than later.

Ironically, some years later as a wakil rakyat, I had to raise the issue in the state assembly when the Dana Johor share value dropped from RM1 per unit to 18 sen. And to the displeasure of many buyers, Johor Corp is offering only 50 sen to buy back each share in order to wind up the fund.

Before this Johor Corp had wound up Amanah Saham Johor, which was for Bumiputera only, at a one ringgit per unit scheme.

Racism dampened our economic growth

Please allow me to delve into further details about what is happening in Johor.

I know that one Umno state assemblyman openly asked for a directorship – in any government-linked company – upon his retirement from politics.

GLCs have become collection of BN, especially Umno-linked, well-paid but non-performing politicians. It is hardly surprising to find out that Johor Corp has a whooping debt of RM6 billion, with RM 3.6 billion in the form of bonds that will be due next year.

Yayasan Pelajaran Johor and Kumpulan YPJ

According to Auditor-General's report, the Yayasan Pelajaran Johor financial statement which ended 21 Dec 2008 indicated that more than a quarter (26.9% or RM73.2 million) of YPJ's RM271.9 million investment could not verified due to its lack of proper documentation for auditing. Furthermore, it has a debt of RM14.8 million to its subsidiaries.

Johor scholars owed as much as RM16.3 million to YPJ, and 95 percent or RM15.5 million in debts could not be verified due to a lack of any documentation. Already, YPJ ran at a loss of RM 2.7 million in 2008 while Kumpulan Pendidikan YPJ Sdn Bhd registered a loss of RM1.5 million in the same year.

Due to wastage and mismanagement, it is inevitable that YPJ will go bust eventually – it is only a matter of when.

Perbadanan Bioteknologi dan Biodiversiti Negeri Johor (J-Bioetch)

J-Biotech has nine subsidiaries with total assets of RM3.5 million and total current liabilities of RM18 million. Five out of these subsidiaries have current liabilities more than their current assets, which in other words mean they are technically bankrupt. Seven out of the nine subsidiaries ran at loss in 2008.

Government bailouts are expected until the company goes under one day soon.

Most GLCs are not only economically unproductive but also acutely race based. And the GLCs boards are Umno's piece of the pie. MIC and MCA politicians are more often than not excluded.

The large number of Umno government-linked politicians sitting on GLCs boards are said to safeguard Malay equities ownership. This arrangement hardly reflects the economic progress of Malay society at large. What it has done is make the corporate world more racially divided than integrated.

This may explain why the average Malay household and Chinese income ratio have remained unchanged since the implementation of NEP when compared to Singapore Malays who have achieved better economic progress through the non-racial process of urbanisation, free education and industrialisation.

Heavy govt interference in corporate world

The NEP's focus has been mainly to enlarge Malay equity ownership.

The government invested in various economic activities in the name of Malay interest. That activity brought very little benefit but incurred large fiscal losses of public funds and state resources that rightly belong to all Malaysians.

Between 1960 and 1992, the number of public enterprises increased from a mere 22 to a whopping 1,149 – spreading across all economic activities, including agriculture, building and construction, finance, services, extractive industries and others.

The government also ventured into heavy and capital-intensive industries in the 1980s. By 1986, public enterprises dominated many industries, including palm kernel oil, palm oil, vegetable and animal oils, food products, hydraulic cement, tires and tubes, sugar, manufacture of industrial gases and manufacturing sub-sectors of petroleum. Their share of the industries ranged from 31 percent to 85 percent, according to economist K.S. Jomo.

Public monopolies failed to bring about impressive economic growth in Malaysia compared with what happened at the same time in Taiwan and South Korea. Even though Malaysia had an average GDP growth rate of about four percent per annum in the 1970s and 1980s, Taiwan and South Korea have surpassed Malaysia with their greater growth rates despite both countries having more impoverished economies in the 1960s.

Misinterpretation of economic problems and misuse of public resources to build up individual Malay capitalist equity ownership has greatly suppressed Malaysia's economic performance.

The misconception about public enterprises as being representative of Malay interests is detrimental to better economic growth as well as to the interests of individual Malays and the Malay masses. It is only a few Malay tycoons who have benefitted. The gap between the mean income of the Malay and the Chinese has remained largely unchanged.

Financing of public enterprises was largely from the federal treasury and public agencies such as Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and various state economic development corporations (SEDCs).

Another major source of funding was from Malaysian public institutions such as the Muslim Pilgrim Fund and Management Board (LUTH), the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), and the Bumiputera Investment Foundation.

Feathering whose nest?

The involvement of public enterprises in businesses in the name of a single race is not only short-sighted but unproductive.

It has mainly alienated one segment of the population whilst not helping another segment to make real gains. Nonetheless, the propaganda that the Umno government has safeguarded Malay rights did provide an illusionary sense of well-being for the Malays, many of whom believe that their interests are enhanced by these public ventures in business.

Even if we do not institute physical segregation laws such as in apartheid, we have certainly a de facto system of segregation established at a colossal cost amounting to billions of ringgits.

Sometimes I have discussions about economics with Umno politicians but I can never agree with their superficial interpretation of wealth distribution. Often they give me a boggling example like "most golfers are Chinese businessmen".

A non-racial approach towards corporate equities ownership should be in place if we are determined to get out of this economic dilemma. Non-racial policies such as minimum wage, on-the-job training, and free competition will keep the free market working.

One solution is to open the failing GLCs not only to local businesses for bidding takeovers but also to international companies. This approach may help attract foreign direct investment and add competitiveness to our corporate world. It has become clear that GLCs can no longer survive on Malay nationalist prejudice and pride alone.

Disappointed Because Not Allowed to Speak at Orang Asli Land Rights Hearing

Posted: 26 Jul 2011 02:31 AM PDT

Kenyataan akhbar YB Dr Boo Cheng Hau, ADUN Skudai selaku Ketua Pembangkang Dewan Negeri Johor, pada 26 Julai 2011 di Dewan Orang Ramai Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor selepas ditolak hak memberikan penerangan di Inkuiri Nasional berkenaan hak tanah Orang Asal/Asli.

Saya ingin menyatakan kekecewaan saya terhadap keputusan Pengerusi SUHAKAM Tan Sri Hasmy Agam yang menolak hak saya untuk memberikan penerangan di inkuiri awam terhadap hak tanah Orang Asli di Negeri johor.

Saya dimaklumkan oleh Sekretariat Suhakam berkenaan pendengaran awam tersebut melalui sepucuk surat sebelum ini bahawa saya dijemput untuk menghadiri inkuiri tersebut.

Oleh yang demikian, Pejabat saya dan DAP Johor telah menyediakan dua memorandum bertulis untuk membela hak tanah dan budaya Orang Asli.

Pihak Suhakam diwakili Tan Sri Hasmy Agam sendiri telah menerima dua-dua memorandum berkenaan hak Orang Asli tetapi Tan Sri juga menyatakan saya tidak akan dibenarkan untuk bersuara semasa inkuiri berjalan sebab inkuiri itu adalah khas untuk Orang Asli sahaja sebab inkuiri tersebut dielak menjadi forum politik.

Saya menganggap ada tekanan politik atasan dari peringkat menteri yang mempengaruhi kebebasan SUHAKAM untuk mengumpulkan suara semua pihak termasuk parti politik terhadap penyelesaian masalah-maslah Orang Asal.

Oleh itu, saya mencadangkan supaya SUHAKAM dinaik status kepada Ombudsman yang diberikan kuasa penguatkuasaan setaraf Makahmah Tinggi di mana campur tangan Menteri akan dianggap sebagai penghinaan kepada Suruhnajaya/Makahmah serta dijatuhkan hukuman.

Kebebasan SUHAKAM perlu dipertahankan. Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Tan Sri Hasmy Agam kerana sudi menerima memorandum dari Pejabat ADUN Skudai and DAP Johor walaupun saya tidak dibenarkan memberi penerangan di pendengaran tersebut.

Sekian, terima kasih

Pertandingan Bola Sepak Anjuran CP Taman Damai Jaya

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 09:50 PM PDT

Pada 24 Julai Kepolisan Komuniti Taman Damai Jaya, Skudai telah berjaya mengadakan pertandingan bola sepak terbuka yang disambut baik oleh penduduk-penduduk kawasan tersebut. 16 pasukan termasuk 8 kumpulan terbuka dan 8 pasukan remaja menyertai pertandingan berkenaan. Tujuan untuk mengadakan pertandingan bolasepak tersebut adalah mengeratkan perhubungan di antara polis, polis komuniti dan para pendudk di Taman Damai Jaya. Aktivit berkenaan bukan sahaja menwujudkan saluran rekreasi baik untuk pemuda-pemuda tetapi juga lebih efektif dalam uasaha mengurangkan jenayah-jenayah di kawasan perumahan berkenaan, menurut huraian Ketua Kepolisan Komuniti Taamn Damai Jaya di sini Roslan Sidek.

Roslan Sidek seterusnya menyatakan bahawa sejak penubuhan CP Taamn Damai Jaya, ianya bukan sahaja terlibat dalam uasah membuat rondaan di kejiranan kawasan perumahan tersebut, malahan aktiviti-aktiviti mesra rakyat sering diadakan, termasuk kelas-kelas pertuturan Bahasa Inggeri percuma diwatarkan kepada kanak-kanak sekolah, pertandingan bola sepak dan kempen pembersihan gotong royong.

ADUN Skudai Dr. Boo Cheng Hau mengatakan aktiviti-aktiviti sosial memang telah merapatkan polis dan Polis Komuniti dengan penduduk setempat semasa merasmikan pertandingan bola sepak tersebut. Beliau dijemput untuk memberikan ucapan sempena perasmian pertandinga bola sepak serta diirngi Ketua CP Taman Damai jaya Roslan Sidek.

Dr. Boo setrsunya menyatakan aktiviti sukan bukan sahaja mengeratkan perhubungan dan menyatu-padukan belia pelbagai kaum, tetapi juga dibuktikan mnegurangkan kadar jenayah di antara kalangan pemuda. Program mesra rakyat sedemikian akan meningkatkan kerbekesanan penguatkuasaan polis dan pencegahan terhadap jenayah. Kmunikasi di antara polis dan kalangan awam melalui program Kepolisan Komuniti telah mencapai kejayaan tertentu.

2011年7月25日士古来讯

士古来新山花园社区警察昨日举行少年组与公开组足球赛,共有16支队伍参赛,目的主要是加强区内警方,社区警察与居民间的联系,让年轻人有适当的消遣外,也同时减少罪案发生。

新山花园社区警察主席罗斯兰西迪表示,新山花园社区警察自成立以来,除了协助警方巡逻外,也常常举办其他亲民活动,包括在办公室提供免费英语会话课程给住宅区内的孩童,足球赛,清洁运动等,与人民打成一片。

罗斯兰也表示是次足球赛,多亏士古来州议员巫程豪热心协助,得以顺利举行。

士古来区州议员巫程豪受邀进行开球礼致辞时,表示运动不但能够联系各族青年之间的感情,团结各族青年,更重要是提供年轻人足够空间和资源,进行健康的活动,避免误入歧途,涉及罪案。

他说,社区警察能够改变协助执法的刻板印象,而积极举办亲民活动,能够加强执法时的效率,最重要的的是与民众保持良好沟通。

Why Datuk Hamid Should Resign as Johor PAC Chairman

Posted: 19 Jul 2011 02:41 AM PDT

Kenyataan akhbar YB Dr Boo Cheng Hau, ADUN Skudai dan Ketua Pembangkang DUN Johor pada 19 Julai 2011 selepas melawat tapak rumah YB Datuk Abdul Hamid Abdul Rahman ADUN Machap memerangkap Pengerusi Jawatankuasa
Kira-kira Raya Negeri Johor di Simpang Renggam 
Saya merayu kepada Jawatankuasa Hak dan Kebebasan Dewan Negeri Johor agar menyiasat tuduhan saya terhadap Datuk Hamid "salahguna kuasa" sebagai Pengerusi PAC Johor semasa persidangan dewan negeri pada 1 Julai lalu sebab beliau memulakan pembinaan sebuah banglo di Simpang Renggam tanpa kelulusan pelan oleh Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan. 
Saya mempersoalkan integriti Datuk Hamid seterusnya menjawat Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kira-kira Raya (PAC) Johor kerana beliau, gagal mematuhi undang-undang sedia ada malahan melanggar peraturan-peraturan bangunan kerjaan tempatan walaupun beliau mengetahui tindakan beliau bercanggah dengan undang-undang, di mana pelan bangunan sewajarnya diluluskan oleh PBT sebelum pembinaan. 
Saya ingin menegaskan bahawa ahli-ahli PAC khasnya Pengerusinya sewajar mempunyai integriti yang kukuh kerana peranan PAC adalah memeriksa akaun-akaun agensi-agensi kerajaan termasuk PBT, yakni sebarang tindakan agensi-agensi kerajaan termasuk PBT akur prosidur, garis panduan dan undang-undang dalam proses menangani hal-ehwal kewangan, perlesenan dan akaun. 
Maklumat yang didapati oleh pihak saya menunjukkan Datuk Hamid, semasa menjawat Pengerusi PAC, telah membina sebuah rumah dijangka bernilai RM 1.5 hingga 2.5 juta bila siap dibina di Bandar Simpang Renggam tanpa kelulusan pelan bangunan oleh Majlis Daerah Simpang Renggam.  
Oleh itu, integriti beliau sebagai Pengerusi PAC perlu disiasat oleh Jawatankuasa Hak dan Kebebasan Dewan Negeri Johor. Selain itu, saya juga mencabar Menteri Besar Johor YAB Dato' Abdul Ghani Othman menjelaskan pendirian beliau sama ada YB Datuk Hamid masih memperolehi integriti dan keyakinan awam untuk memegang jawatan Pengerusi PAC selanjutnya. 
Menurut siasatan, rumah Datuk Hamid bertapak di atas tanah pertanian Lot 152 Mukim Ulu Benut yang masih belum diubah syarat kepada tanah perumahan tetapi di dalam kawasan operasi PBT. Ini bermakna kelulusan pelan bangunan oleh PBT diwajibkan untuk pembinaan rumah selepas lot tanah berkenaan ditetapkan sebagai kawasan operasi PBT. 
Menurut carian persendirian Pejabat Tanah Daerah Kluang, Datuk Abdul Hamid Abdul Rahman didapati mempunyai syer sebanyak 53/854 daripada lot tanah 152 yang seluas 2.16 hektar (5.3375 ekar), iaitu 14,426.6 kaki persegi atas lot tanah tertsebut. Nilai tanah beliau dijangka RM 280,000 dan bangunan banglo beliau dijangka bernilai di antara RM 1.5 hingga 2.5 juta bila siap dibina.
Saya tidak mempersoalkan kemampuan Datuk Hamid untuk memiliki sebuah rumah yang bernilai RM 1.5 hingga 2.5 juta sebab syarikat beliau Hamid Sawmill Sdn. Bhd. dikurniakan hutan simpanan kekal seluas 2,024 hektar pada tahun 2007 dengan kayu balak dijangka bernilai di antara RM 150 juta hingga RM 250 juta untuk tujuan pembangunan projek Ladang Hutan Getah. 
Akan tetapi, integriti beliau perlu disiasat sebab gagal mematuhi undang-undang di mana pelan bangunan rumah kediaman baru beliau perlu diluluskan oleh PBT sebelum pembinaan dimulakan.  
Walaupun saya diarah keluar dari Dewan Negeri semasa persidangan Dewan Negeri Johor pada 4 Julai sebab dituduh membuat tuduhan tidak berasas kepada beliau, saya memohon kepada Speaker Dewan Negeri Dato' Mohamad Ali Hassan selaku Pengerusi Hak dan Kebebasan Dewan Negeri Johor supaya menyiasat semula tuduhan saya dalam persidangan Dewan Negeri serta memutuskan sama ada Datuk Hamid Abdul Rahman, ADUN Machap, masih menguasai integriti dan keyakinan awam demi memegang lagi jawatan Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kira-kira raya.  
Selain itu, persoalan sama ada beliau menggunakan pengaruh beliau sebagai Pengerusi PAC Johor untuk mendapatkan kelulusan pelan bangunan berkenaan perlu disiasat oleh Jawatankuasa Hak dan Kebebasan Dewan Negeri Johor. 
Saya juga menyeru secara terbuka demi mempertahankan integriti PAC Negeri Johor, Datuk Hamid diseru supaya meletakkan jawatan sebagai Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kira-kira Raya Negeri Johor. 
Sekian, terima kasih. 

Soalan-soalan DUN Johor ke 12 Penggal 4 Mesyuarat 1

Posted: 09 Jul 2011 12:25 AM PDT

Ucapan Perbahasan Titah DYMM Tuanku semasa Pembukaan Rasmi Persidangan Penggal 4 DUN Ke-12

Posted: 28 Jun 2011 08:09 PM PDT

Ucapan menjunjung kasih ke atas Titah DYMM Sultan Johor sempena Perasimian Mesyuarat Pertama Penggal Keempat Dewan Negeri ke-12 oleh YB Dr. Boo Cheng Hau, ADUN Skudai memerangkap Ketua Pembangkang pada 22/ 27 Jun  2011
Selamat pagi dan salam sejahtera.

Saya ingin mengambil bahagian untuk membahaskan usul menjunjung kasih ke atas Titah DYMM Sultan Johor sempena pembukaan rasmi Penggal Keempat Dewan yang mulia ini kedua belas.

Sayai ingin merakamkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan dan ribuan terima kasih kepada Duli Yang Maha Mulia Banginda Tuanku kerana sudi menyampaikan Titah  Baginda kepada Dewan yang mulia ini pada 23 Jun.

Usaha-usaha perlu dipertingkatkan  untuk memajukan kemudahan pengangkutan awam. Banyak masalah  pengangkutan awam di persekitaran Iskandar Malaysia perlu diselesai dengan secepat mungkin supaya lebih meyakinkan pelabur-pelabur asing bahawa pihak berkuasa memang berazam meningkat taraf infrastruktur dan mempercepatkan pembangunan di persekitaran Iskandar Malaysia.
Perkhidmatan Bas di Perselitaran Iskandar Malaysia
Perkhidmatan  bas awam di persekitaran Iskandar Malaysia sewajarnya dipertingkatkan lagi.  Saya telah dimaklumkan bahawa ketiadaan perkhidmatan  dari Bukit Indah ke arah Taman Ungku Tun Aminah.    Oleh itu,  para penduduk meminta  perkhidmatan bas di anatara kawasan-kawasan perumahan dan komersil di Skudai perlu dipertambahkan lagi khasnya dari Jusco Taman Universiti, Taman  Sri Skudai melalui komplek bas TUTA dan Plaza Tasik hingga pasaraya-pasaraya  besar di Taman Sutera dan Taman Nusa Bestari.
Di samping itu, penumpang bas juga mengadu khidmat bas melalui  sehala sahaja dari Taman Desa Skudai, Taman Universiti,Taman Pulai Utama, Taman Pulai Flora ke Taman Sri Pulai tetapi tidak melalui kawasan-kawasan perumahan tersebut bila berpatah balik ke arah Johor Bahru. Perkara ini telah dibawa ke perhatian LPKP dan PBT manakala saya masih menunggu jawapan dari siasatan LPKP dan PBT.
Saya juga dimaklumkan kebanyakan perkhidmatan bas di JB Sentral tamat pada jam 10 malam berbading dengan jam 11:30 malam sebelum ini. Atas permintaan para pengguna bas, Saya berharap LPKP akan menyiasat serta memastikan keperluan pekerja-pekerja yang balik kerja dari Singapura pada waktu tengah malam terhadap perkhidmatan bas  dari JB Sentral ke kawasan perumahan masing-masing dapat diperpuaskan. Jika tidak, mereka terpaksa menumpang teksi dengan tambang  RM 30  yang amat berat berbanding dengan pendapatan  mereka yang disifatkan seumpama kais pagi makan pagi, kais malam makan malam.
Sebenarnya pengurusan perkhidmatan bas sepatutnya di bawah penjagaan PBT  di mana PBT perlu meninjau keperluan penduduk terhadap perkhidmatan bas serta menyeragamkan perkhidmatan bas supaya ianya lebih efisyen dan menjadi salah satu kaedah pengangkutan pilihan terutama.  Malangnya, infrastruktur khasnya perhentian bas, perhentian teksi  dan penjalan kaki masih perlu  dipertingkatkan di kawasan perumahan., contohnya Taman Jaya Skudai, Perhentian Teksi bersebelahan Stesyen Minyak Esso Jalan Shabandar, Skudai.
 Saya ingin mengucapakan taniah kepada MPJBT yang telah memulakan kerja  membina lampu isyarat di simpang Jalan Kebudayaan 21 dan Jalan Kebudayaan, Taman Universiti. Saya ingin memperingatkan pihak berkenaan bahawa  simpang kemalangan jalan raya maut sering berlaku  sebab trafik yang paling sibuk adalah di simpang Jalan Kebudayaan-Jalan Kebudayaan 19-Jalan Kebangsaan 19, di mana lampu isyarat lebih sesuai bertapak.
Saya telah meninjau semula dua-dua tapak tersebut serta mendapatkan rumusan bahawa pembinaan lampu isyarat di tapak yang kurang sesuai tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah kesesakan trafik bahkan kemalangan jalan raya maut dari berlaku. Oleh itu, saya mecadangkan supaya MPJBT mengkaji semula kerja lampu isyarat berkenaan.
Persatuan Pemborong sayur-sayuran dan buah-buahan yang beroperasi di Jalan Shahbandar,  Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Persatuan Pengangkutan Lori dan pelbagai pemborong telah merayu supaya tapak-tapak di Kempas atau  berhampiran Linkedua ditetapkan untuk tujuan perletakan lori-lori yang mengangkut barangan ke Singapura.  Ini akan memudahkan lalu lintas di kawasan komersil dalam kawasan bandar serta menyelesaikan kesesakan trafik di Tambak Johor. Konsep "zoning" dengan izinnya  amat penting untuk melancarkan lalu lintas di persekitaran Iskandar Malaysia.
Intra City Commuter Train
Saya mengalu-alukan keputusan  Kerajaan Negeri yang meluluskan cadangan Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn. Bhd. (MCN)   untuk  membina rangkaian keretapi komuter intra-bandar (Intra-city Commuter Train) di persekitaran Iskandar Malaysia menjelang tahun 2012 dengan kos pembinaan RM 1.23 billion.  Adalah tanggunjawab kerajaan memberikan maklumat terperinci kepada Dewan yang mulia ini sama ada rangkaian keretapi komuter ini yang dikatakan akan sampai ke Woodlands, Singapura untuk  bercantum dengan sistem MRT Singapura? Berapakah tambang yang akan ditanggung oleh para pengguna ? Bagaimanakah Kerajaan Negeri  akan berfaedah dari segi pengutipan hasil pendapatan  daripada konsessi rangkaian komuter tersebut?
Saya mencadangkan supaya bukan sahaja rangkaian komuter ini akan menghubungi kawasan komersil seperti Johor Premium Outlet, Legoland Malaysia, Educity, Hi-Tech Park-Senai, and Lake Hill Resort City, tetapi juga kawasan-kawasan perumahan tertentu yang memperolehi bilangan penduduk padat  misalnya Skudai, Kulai dan Ulu Tiram.


Saya telah dimaklumkan bahawa pihak Singapura telah bersetujui serta bersedia menyiapkan MRT antara Thomson Line  dengan izinnya Singapura dan Iskandar Malaysia. Maka pihak Kerajaan  belum memutuskan projek jambatan baru di antara Tanjung Puteri dan Woodlands dan rangkaian LRT dibina dengan secepat mungkin untuk bukan sahaja melancarkan trafik di antara Johor Bahru dan Singapura, bahkan memajukan pelancongan dan pembangunan Iskandar Malaysia.
Industri pelancongan di Malaysia dijangka akan  mendatangkan  pendapatan RM 104 billion pada tahun 2020. Oleh yang demikian, kerajaan seharusnya lebih peka kepada kelancaran trafik di Tambak Johor dan Linkedua. Pelaksanaan sistem pemeriksaan cap jari biometrik kepada pendatang asingn telah mengakibatkan kesesakan trafik di Tambak Johor dan Linkedua baru-baru ini.
Pelancongan dan Perikanan di Pengerang
 Oleh itu, kerajaan sepatutnya mempertahankan sumber ekonomi tradisi seumpama perikanan, pelancongan, industri kecil dan sederhana  dan pertanian.   Walaupun Petronas ingin melaburkan RM 60 billion untuk membangun  Hab Petrokimia di sepanjang pesisiran pantai Johor Selatan, kesan alam sekitar dan sosioekonomi jangka masa panjang sewajarnya dikaji dengan teliti. 
Dialog Group Berhad yang melibatkan Kerajaan Negeri Johor dan Vopak  akan melabur sebanyak RM 5 billion untuk membangunkan  projek terminal minyak di  Tanjung Kapal, Pengerang  dan dijangka menjana pendaptan nasional kasar (GNI)  sebanyak  RM 1.6 billion pada tahun 2020.
Laporan DEIA atau penilaian impak alam sekitar terperinci sepatutnya dibentangkan kepada Dewan yang mulia ini untuk perbahasan selanjutnya sebab nelayan-nelayan di Kawasan Pengerang telah mengutarakan kerisauan terhadap masa depan mereka.
DEIA telah merumuskan bahawa rezeki penduduk kawasan Pengerang amat bergantung kepada perikanan dan pelancongan. Perikanan dijangka mendatangkan RM 3 hingga 5 juta pendaptan sebulan kepada 1,000 keluarga nelayan di kawasan  berkenaan atau di antara RM 36 hingga 60 juta setahun. Penghapusan industri perikanan di Kawasan Pengarang bukan sahaja merugikan pendudk di sana, malahan akan menjejaskan bekalan ikan dan makanan laut pada jangka masa panjang.
Kesan-kesan alam sekitar dan sosiekonomi projek berkenaan adalah berikut ini:
(1). Pencemaran Air Laut:
 Projek Terminal Minyak berkenaan akan mengakibatkan pencemaran air laut, udara dan kebisingan. Kapal korek akan membuang sisa sebanyak 5,060 ton sehari. Kesimpulan laporan berkenaan adalah pencemaran air laut akan menghapuskan industri perikanan  sana serta mengakibatkan pengangguran dan kehilangan rezeki tradisi. Oleh itu,
(2).  Banjir sepanjang Sg Kapal dan Sg Buntu;
(3). Pencemaran udara dan kebisingan;
(4).   Pelancongan juga akan terjejas dan Tj Kapal Beach Resort terpaksa dipindah;
Malangnya saya telah sering meninjau kawasan berkenaan dan mendapati lokasi-lokasi terbabit amat sesuai untuk pembangunan pelancongan dan perikanan. Tetapi indsutri pelancongan dan perikanan tidak dapat ditambah nilai kerana ketiadaan rancangan kerajaan jangkamasa panjang untuk mempergiatkan industri pelancongan dan perikanan di kawasan sana.  
Untuk makluman Dewan yang mulia ini,  walaupun Sime Darby Berhad baru-baru diberikan kontrak membuat barang rekaan minyak oleh Petronas sebanyak RM 1.15 billion, Sime Darby terpaksa menjual tapak pemprosesan produk minayak di Teluk Ramunia kepada Petronas sebanyak RM 296 juta selepas setahun Sime Darby mengambil alih dari Ramunia Holdings dengan harga pembelian sebanyak RM 515 juta, oleh itu,  Sime Darby mengalami kerugian sebanyak RM 219 juta dalam setahun.
Di samping itu, Petronas terpaksa mengambil alih Hab Petrokimia Tj Bin yang Cuma 40% kerja disiap setakat Mei tahun ini.  Pada asalnya dijangka siap pada tahun 2009.
Ini menunjukkan bahawa Industri Minyak dan Gas mempunyai risiko tertentu bahkan modal kerajaan Negeri Johor terlibat dalam projek terminal minyak di Pengerang. Oleh itu, butiran projek berkenaan seharusnya dimaklumkan kepada Dewan yang mulia ini termasuk jaminan projek tersebu akan mendatangkan hasil pendapatan yang lumayan kepada Perbendahraan Negeri.
Saya telah dimaklumkan bahawa pembinaan  70% projek-projek pembangunan Iskandar Malaysia terlewat menurut jadual.
Walaupun soalan saya berkenaan kerja membina projek-projek pembinaan lebuhraya-lebuhraya di Kawasan Iskandar Malaysia telah ditolak pada persidangan yang lalu, saya terpaksa membangkitkan soalan yang sama di Dewan Rakyat melalui Ahli Parlimen Ipoh Timur.
Jawapan yang diberikan oleh JKR terhadap Kerja membina Persimpangan  Bertingkat Senai (Ke Lapangan Terbang Senai) sebenarnya dijangka siap pada 28 Disember 2010 tetapi gagal disiap menurut jadual asal. Walaupun EOT dibenarkan sehingga 27 Disember tahun ini, projek tersebut masih lewat 40 hari menurut jadual baru.
Bagi Projek Jambatan Kedua Permas Jaya yang tidak dapat siap dibina pada 1 Januari tahun ini, EOT telah dibenarkan sehingga 9 Sepmtember tahun ini.
Bagi Lebuhraya Senai-Desaru bermula 18 Julai 2005, sebaik sahaja Fasa 3 Lebuhraya Senai-Desaru dibuka pada 10 Jun, kesesakan lalu lintas berlaku pula disebabkan sebahagian lebuhraya masih memperolehi satu lorong sahaja pada dua-dua arah.
Walaupun jarak Lebuhraya tersebut sepanjang 77 kilometer sahaja, pembinaannya telah mengambil masa 6 tahun malahan disiap dengan kecacatan kualiti pembinaan yang ketara. Jika  pemaju gagal menyiapkan Lebuhraya berkenaan menurut kehendak konsesi, konsesi syarikat berkenaan sepetunya diberhentikan  dan  dilelong  kepada syarikat lain yang berkemampuan kerana Lebuhraya tersebut adalah amat  mustahak kepada pembangunan pelancongan dan ekonomi di Johor Tenggara.
IRDA sepatutnya mengambil berat terhadap perkembangan pembinaaan Lebuhraya Pessiran Pantai dan juga Lingkaran Taman Impian Mas-Jalan Pontian di Jejambat Bertingkat Jalan Senai-Jalan Pontian, Skudai yang telah lewat dari tarikh jangka siap Mei tahun ini. IRDA degesa supaya mengambil alih projek tersbut jika pemaju swasta  ada kesusahan untuk menghabiskan projek tersebut yang sepatutnya ditanggung oleh JKR.
Di samping itu, kesesakan  lalu lintas telah manjadi fenomena harian di Lebuhraya Pasir Gudang. Lebuhraya Pasir Gudang telah bersejarah 20 tahun dan tidak pernah dinaik taraf. IanyaS sepatutnya dinaik taraf dari dua lorong satu hala kepada sekurang-kurangnya tiga lorong satu hala. 
Masalah Banjir dan Alam Sekitar
Banjir-banjit kilat berlaku 15 April dan 18 Mei tahun ini di kawasan Skudai termasuk Kampung Poh Chee Leng, Taamn Damai Jaya, Jalam Ringgeng 4 Taman Skudai Baru. Ketiadaan kolam perangkap kelodak di Kem Tentera Skudai dan tapak projek perumahan di sepanjang Sungai Melana termasuk Taman Mutiara Rini dan Taman Mutiara Mas telah dikenal pasti sebagai punca banjir kilat.
PBT dan JPS sewajarnya memperketatkan pemantauan terhadap   pemaju sedangkan PAC Parliemn telah meninjau ke Kem Skudai pada 25 Mei serta membuat cadangan kepada KEMENTAH untuk memperbaiki kolam perangkap kelodak di Kem Skudai. Tetapi setakat ini KEMENTAH belum mengambil sebrang tindakan.  Apahkah peranan boleh dimainkan oleh kerajaan negeri? Berdiam diri atau mengutarakan penderitaan rakayat kepada KEMENTAH?
Banjir besar pada bulan Januari tahun  ini melanda beberapa daerah di Negeri Johor termasuk Segamat, Labis, Ledang, Muar, Batu Pahat, Kluang dan Kota Tinggi serta mengakibatkan kerugian ekonomi dijangka  sejumlah RM 3 hingga 10 billion di Negeri Johor. Ekonomi  Negeri Johor belum sembuh sepenuhnya daripada banjir besar pada hujung tahun 2006 dan awal 2007. Setiap kali berlakunya banjir besar Negeri Johor akan menanggung kerugian ekonomi yang besar  dan kedudukan ekonomi Negeri Johor terpaksa  berundur sebanyak 3 hingga 5 tahun setiap kali banjir besar seperti yang berlaku pada awal tahun ini.
Setakat ini Kerajaan Persekutuan belum  memperuntukkan  wang ikhsan kepada mangsa-mangsa banjir seperti pada tahun 2007 di mana  Kerajaan memberikan wang ikhsan sebanyak RM 700 dan RM1,100 kepada setiap keluarga menurut paras air banjir 5 kaki ke bawah  atau ke atas. Kerajaan  sepatutnya lebih  prihatin kepada kesusahan mangsa-mangsa banjir dengan memberikan wang ikhsan secepat mungkin.
Maka rancangan jangka masa panjang untuk mencegah banjir wajar dilaksanakan dengan kadar segera tanpa  menyalahkan malapetak semulajadi semata-mata. Usaha-usaha boleh dilakukan untuk mengurangkan kemusnahan banjir, termasuk:
1.      Memberhentikan penebangan hutan bekalan kayu kayan secara habis-habisan serta mengurangkan pergantungan kepada kayu balak sebagai bahan mentah perabut dengan bahan gantian lain:
2.      Mewartakan hutan-hutan rizab secepat mungkin serta menguatkuasakan pengawalan kerana hutan-hutan dikenal pastikan sebagai "cushion effect" kepada penurunan dan limpahan air hujan yang berlebihan;
3.       Memastikan pemaju-pemaju projek pembangunan mematuhi kehendak peraturan di mana kolam-kolam kelodak mesti diwujudkn menurut spefikasi tertentu;
4.      Membina empangan-empangan baru di sepajang Sungai Segamat-Muar dan Sungai Johor.;
5.      Mendalamkan sungai-sungai dengan usaha mempertahnkan tumbuhuan-tumbuhan  yang sedia ada sebagai "buffer zone";
6.      Menaik taraf sistem perpertian dan pembentungan air di kawasan bandar;
RM 1.8 billion ringgit akan dibelanja untuk Pelan Transformasi Pusat Bandar Johor Bahru termasuk RM 200 juta bagi membersihkan Sungai Segget.  Maka peningkatan taraf sistem pengangkutan di JB Sentral amat diperlukan khasnya menitikberatkan keperluan penjalan kaki dan pengguna pengangkutan awam.
Ramai  pengguna tambak Johor merayu kepada pihak berkuasa supaya menyediakan pejalan kaki untuk penjalan-penjalan kaki di anatara CIQ Woodlands dan KIK Iskandar di mana ramai pengguna pengangkutan awam masih lebih menggemari berjalan kaki di antara dua-dua KIK untuk menjimatkan masa perjalanan.
Saya bersetuju dengan usaha mempertingkatkan usaha mengawal keselamatan khasnya di KIK Iskandar dan Linkedua. Tetapi kaedah baru seperti sistem pemeriksaan biometrik perlu dilanksanakan secara berperingkat dan terpilih kepada golongan tertentu dahulu dan dielakkan dilancar semasa cuti sekolah Singapura apabila ramai pelancong merentasi ke Johor Bahru.
Keselamatan pelabuhan masuk dan  di sepanjang pesisiran pantai mesti diperketatakan khasnya untuk mengelakkan pendaratan pendantang tanpa izin. Saya pernah meyaksi di mana penumpang-penumpang dapat  menaiki kapal terbang di Lapangan Terbang Senai tanpa tiket dan boarding pas kerana pengawal-pengawal tidak memeriksa pas penumpang dan  pengenalan penumpang yang ingin masuk ke bilik perlepasan. Sebagai kawasan keselamatan tahap 1, keselamatan Lapangan Terbang Senai sewajarnya diperketatkan lagi.
Untuk menamatkan ucapan penangguhan saya, saya berharap pihak kerajaan akan mengambil tindakan-tindakan segera untuk memperbaiki keadaan pengangkutan awam di persekitaran Iskandar Malaysia dan mencegah berlakunya banjir  di seluruh Negeri Johor.
Sekianlah ucapan saya, terima kasih.

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 07:39 PM PDT

Contributors

race

My widowed mother was a rubber tapper who took care of me when I was growing up. My younger sister and I used to sleep on the grounds of the rubber plantation in the dark because we helped our mother to tap rubber at dawn. After finishing the work, we headed to school. Neither we nor my mom ever groaned about our poverty. All by herself, she managed to put me through medical school.

I did medicine in Jamaica where the University of the West Indies (UWI) charged an annual tuition fee about RM3,000 (the amount at that time) – which was more of a token sum really. I obtained a seat under the two places reserved in the medical faculty for non-West Indian students.

In 1986, I arrived in the West Indian isle of Jamaica, completely unknown to me and I daresay to most Malaysians. Being the first ever Malaysian to study at the UWI, my classmates held me as a 'novelty'. Among them were Indian and Chinese Trinidadians and Jamaicans who sometimes saw me as a long lost relative from their ancestral lands – they termed me as 'the East Indian'. It was a new and rewarding cultural adventure.

When at first I had hard time in communicating with the locals, my accent was unfamiliar to them. Some were puzzled and asked: "Man, what island (of the English-speaking West Indies) are you from?" They somehow still thought that I was from their neck of the woods as the region has hosted immigrants of Chinese descent.

"The East Indies," I took to replying creatively.

A few ordinary Jamaicans in the Kingston streets had initially annoyed by calling me 'Chinaman'.  My standard answer then was, "Hey Man, mi 'ave a name". Easing myself into my adopted Jamaican environment, I gradually learned to adapt to the West Indian way of looking at interracial relations.

Race in a black country

Jamaicans might be class conscious but they are much less racial in that there was no official distinction of Negro or half Negro in a population that was over 95 percent black when I was there.

Nowhere else but in Jamaica would you find people with Afro hair but Mongolian eyes. Mixed Afro-Chinese children tend to have dominant genes from each of their parents.

It was in Jamaica that I learned to live as a 'man' – a world citizen rather than a Chinese or a Malaysian.

There is no race bar or systemic racism that confers native status. Bumiputera-ism is not a rationale the Jamaicans would have understood, and admittance into their sole university was based on academic merit. I got into UWI to do medicine when the racism perpetrated by Umno & Co. would have denied me upward mobility for lack of education.

How could I then not be grateful to these new people that surrounded me? Thus, it was natural that their way of doing things have had a great impact on me. I enjoy reggae music to this day as well as miss their national dishes such as curried goat and ackee-n-salt fish.

Being in Jamaica for five years of my formative youth, I pondered on my identity against the backdrop of racism that was a de factoif subtle national policy under the Umno-dictated government.

Evolving to multicultural

In Jamaica, I asked myself: Am I Chinese? Malaysian? Chinese Malaysian? Malaysian Chinese? More profoundly, my 'East Indian' joke was perhaps (when you think about it) more reasonable than race and religion – a term that referred to geographical location vis-à-vis Jamaica as the locus.

In Jamaican patois, we simply referred to each other as 'mans' which means men. In Jamaica, Hannah Yeoh's predicament would not have arisen. All are Jamaicans or West Indians regardless of one's parentage, ancestry, skin colour or religion. In Malaysia, all are Malaysians as long as we are citizens.

The case of Hannah concerns stating a race in her newborn's birth certificate. Her determination in choosing for her child to be Anak Malaysia (son of daughter of Malaysia) carried a significant anti-racial connotation.

Why should Malaysians be still forcibly classified according to race? Is it merely part of a statistical exercise or is it to later be a criterion enabling official discrimination?

Hannah – whose baby is registered Chinese when the father is Ramachandran Muniandy – would be well respected in Jamaica, a predominantly matriarchal society. In the olden days of slavery, it was the women who ran the households because the men were traded between slave masters.

In a case of mixed parentage, why should the ethnicity of the child automatically be that of the father's? Is Shay Adora Ram a Chinese, Indian or Chindian? Will race be used discriminatively against the Malaysian child later in life for jobs and university entrance?

Can't we visualize an alternative scenario where the race box is discarded?

Evaluating apartheid

It was in Jamaica that I began to ponder at length on what apartheid meant. My intellectual curiosity stemmed from the unusual circumstance of my being in Jamaica due to the denial of education opportunities by my own country.

On Feb 11, 1990, I was in the Jamaican capital Kingston when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Jamaicans were overjoyed by the news. Cars on the streets switched on their headlights and drivers honked in celebration as if Mandela was their own national hero of liberation.

That event was a catalyst for my reading up on the nuances of apartheid. Before that, I used to perceive apartheid only in its physical manifestation of segregated public facilities like buses and public toilets, the argument used by Umno politicians in attacking me when the two regimes are equated.

After going through a lot of literature on the topic, I was stunned by the similarities between what was called apartheid in South Africa and what is disingenuously packaged as Bumiputera-ism.

Does nationalism today encompass Malays fighting against their own countrymen?

In the American South half a century ago, seven-year-old Linda Brown could not enrol in a school seven blocks from her Kansas home but had to walk a mile to a bus-stop to take a bus to a black school. There were only four schools in the city of Topeka for African-American children in a state where $150 was spent on white children for every $50 spent on black children in overcrowded classrooms.

How different was Topeka, Kansas in 1950 to Malaysia in the 21st century where Malays demonstrated to bar 'non-Bumiputeras' from entering public institutions of higher learning like Mara which are well endowed with funding and state-of-the-art facilities?

Race decides how the Umno-led government will treat your child. It detects how you state your child's race in our system of official documentation where the aborigines are not recognized as Orang Asli, a formal ethnic group. Or we are labelled Chinese in courtesy but 'non-Bumiputera' in humiliation. Bumiputera is a term that never appears in the federal constitution. Therefore diminishing us as the 'non' flip side to the NEP-coined term shows just upside down this country is.

We are all 'mans'

This country is so upside down that Malay ultras can see the speck across the ocean in South Africa and loudly condemn apartheid but fail to see the beam in their own eye. It was not be off-the-mark when the Afro-Jamaican lady I know married to a Malaysian described Malaysia as "a land of racism" even though we refuse to admit this ourselves.

Yet there is hope in the new generation that have been educated to see man as Man, transcending old race prejudices. You can understand how proud I was when my ten-year-old son asked for direction (to the toilet) from a brown-skinned worker at the Kota Kinabalu airport with "Abang, tolong tanya mana tandas?"

Abang? I was surprised my son used the term so naturally and appropriately at that moment. It would have been extremely embarrassing if my son greeted him something like "Hey Melayu" or "Si Hitam Manis", wouldn't it? The man could have been a Malay, Melanau, Sino-Kadazan, Kadazan, Bajau, Chindian, Eurasian or someone from the Philippines.

And I could see the man's eyes sparkle maybe because he was thrilled that a little Chinese boy knew to greet him 'Abang'. As a father, I too beamed with delight to see that my son appeared at ease with people of different skin colours.

So let me recall my command of Jamaican patois: 'Hey man, mi 'ave a name. If ya dunno mi name, call mi bruder".

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