Saturday, August 12, 2006

MORE Pics – INTERNAL AUDIT Chief FELL to his DEATH from the 15th Floor; Transferred from LABUAN to PUTRA JAYA; Death – Is SUICIDE an OPTION?

The Ministry building above from which Tan took his life from the 15th Floor

Internal Audit Chief of the Mineral Department fell to his death from the 15th Floor of the Natural Resources and Environmental Ministry building. Police have classified the case as sudden death.
The victim, Tan Sing Kiong; The choice of life and death is always yours

Putrajaya Police OCPD Supt Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said that the victim Tan Sing Kiong 48 was believed to have fallen from the 15th floor at 11.45am on Friday morning.

He was just transferred from the Labuan office to Putrajaya last month. Police would try to get more information regarding the victim’s health prior to the incident. According to colleagues in the department, Tan was seen restless after clocking in in the morning and was seen going to the toilet several times.
and here is a more detailed account from NST

Civil servant falls to death in Putrajaya's first suicide case

11 Aug 2006; Deborah Loh and Hamidah Atan ;PUTRAJAYA, FRI.:
An auditor with a Government department had looked pale and disoriented when a colleague bumped into him in a washroom this morning.

One-and-a-half hours later, Tan Sing Kiong, 48, was found sprawled faced down on a pavement in front of the 17-storey Natural Resources and Environment Ministry building.

He is believed to have fallen to his death about 11.45am from either the 14th or 15th floor of the building where his office is located. He was clad in a pair of black trousers, light blue long-sleeved shirt and a red tie.

Tan, who was with the National Audit Department, had been on secondment with the ministry since March.

He is said to have been battling depression and was on anti-depressants.

His wife, Yap Joo Teng, a schoolteacher in Cyberjaya, rushed to the scene and appeared shocked over the incident. As reporters approached her, she asked to be left alone as she spoke on her mobile phone.

Her three sons joined her shortly. The eldest is believed to be a university student while the other two were in secondary school. They, too, were in shock and stared in silence at the spot where their father’s body had been earlier.

Tan had enjoyed a game of badminton the evening before his death and was in good spirits, a friend who requested anonymity said. However, according to Nur Ikram Aziz, a ministry employee, Tan had looked disoriented and pale when met in the washroom this morning.

Putrajaya police chief Supt Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd told reporters that police would get Tan’s medical records from doctors who had been treating him at Putrajaya Hospital.

“At this stage, there does not seem to be any foul play but we will continue to investigate,” Mohd Khalil said.

He said if Tan’s death was a suicide, then it would the first such case in Putrajaya.

Tan’s superior, Deputy Auditor-General Datuk Azizah Arshad said Tan had served with the department for 20 years. He had been asking to be transferred back to Kuching, his hometown, but there were no vacancies.

“We know that he had been receiving treatment for some time but his condition had never affected his work. Whenever I asked him how he was, he would always tell me that he was okay.”

Azizah said the department would offer to pay for the funeral expenses and provide other assistance to the family.

the STAR has a more concise report:

Audit chief dies in fall from office building

PUTRAJAYA: The head of internal audit of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry fell to his death from the 14th floor of the building.

Tan Sing Kiong, 48, was found on the ground floor at 11.45am.

Putrajaya OCPD Supt Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said Tan’s death has been classified as sudden death.

Tan leaves behind wife Yap Joo Teng, a teacher at a school in Cyberjaya, and three sons aged between 13 and 18.

Tan’s 15-year-old son Alvin, who was at the scene with his brothers and mother, said his father’s constant advice to him was to take care of the family if anything happened to him.

My father was always stressed out at work and was under medication,” he said.

Also at the scene was Deputy Auditor-General Datuk Azizah Arshad who said Tan had wanted a transfer to Kuching after his secondment to Putrajaya but his request could not be granted as there was no vacancy.


Our deepest condolences must be to the victim’s family in their hour of grief and loss.

Remember life implies death, and death implies life.

Death is greatly misunderstood as being the end of it all, of coming too soon, sporadically at the right time, not being justified, and all of it never, never having been created by the soul, let alone being respected as such. Death always seems to be something just out of your understanding, responsibility, control and power. This is completely inaccurate.

Death is transformation - from one way of being into another. Each individual soul creates its own life and transformation. Death is a part of the life process during which a being decides to withdraw life force from the life-sustaining systems and organs of the body in order to transform and move into another focus. Death is created by the individual for many reasons; each case is unique. Some of the reasons include: fear and departure of life fully lived in the body, completion of life and it's purpose in the current physical vehicle - which include the desire to experience another mode of operation.

There's no predetermination, only free will along a vast spectrum of nested aspects of God. So we experience suffering only to learn how to avoid it. Our experience learning through various challenges like debilitating diseases set up in advance (this is a kind of evolutionary or pre-birth choice). Some people enjoy exploring all sorts of pain. It's a choice of experience.

In each life you choose and create your own settings or environments; and in this one you chose your parents and whatever childhood incidents that came within your experience. You wrote the script. Like a true absent minded professor, the conscious self forgets all this, however, so when tragedy appears in the script, difficulty or challenges, the conscious self looks for someone or something to blame.

You form your experience; you form your past, your present, and your future. You are responsible for each daily moment, individually and en masse.

En masse, your beliefs bring about the world conditions that you know. Individually, they form your intimate daily life. You are given the gifts of the gods. Your beliefs become reality. What you believe in, it becomes real in your experience. There are no other rules. There is no area in your life to which this does not apply.

You make your own reality: your dreaming reality, your waking reality, and all realities in which you have existence. There are no accidents. Your joys come from you, and your successes, and your failure, or what you think of as failure.

You are in physical existence to learn and understand that your energy, translated into feelings, thoughts and emotions, causes all experience. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.

You create your own reality. You form your experience according to your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. Whatever you focus on in your mind will be materialized in your life. If you want to change your reality, you must first change the thoughts and emotions that you focus upon.

Death - Is Suicide is an option?

Death is therefore as creative as birth, as necessary for action and consciousness, in your terms.

Rest assures that death is another beginning. A death is just a night to his soul. He had lived before and will live again.

In the entire fabric of your existence, this life is a brilliant, eternally unique and precious portion, but only a portion, from which you emerge with joy and understanding whether you die tomorrow or in years to come. The choice of life and death is always yours.

There is always a reason to realize that each soul is making these decisions is a beautiful, healing and freeing experience.

Death, however, does not exist in those terms. In the dawn of physical existence, men knew that death was merely a change of form.

No man dies unless he wants to die, and for a much better reason than that you want him to. There is always some conscious recognition, however, though the individual may play tricks with himself and pretend it is not there. Even animals sense their dying ahead of time and on that level man or woman is no different.

Many more human beings are aware of their impending deaths than is generally known. It seems, perhaps, easier to have no conscious idea of the year or time that death might occur. Unconsciously of course each man and woman knows, and yet hides the knowledge.

The knowledge is usually hidden for many reasons, but the fact of death, personal death, is never forgotten.

Sometimes you may think that suicide as ignominious and passive, but of war as aggressive and powerful. Both are equally the result of passivity and distorted aggression and of natural pathways of communications not used or understood.

In the case of suicide, for example, the self is to some extent acting out of context with the body, which still has its own will to live.

There is no implying guilt on the part of a person who takes his or her own life. In many cases, a more natural death would have ensued in any event as the result of diseases.

The desire for suicide is often the last recourse left to frightened people whose natural impulses toward action have been damned up - intensified on the one hand, and yet denied any practical expression.

Spiritu­ally the death sentence given you is another chance at life, if you are freely able to accept life with all of its conditions and to feel its full dimensions, for that alone will rejuvenate your spiritual and physical self.

Some people might say, I have a right to die, when they are arguing the case for suicide. And while this is true, it is also true that the people on our planet need every bit of help and encouragement they can get from each person alive. In a certain sense, the energy of each individual does keep the world going, and to commit suicide is to refuse a basic, cooperative venture.

Left alone, the self and the body are so entwined that the separation would be smooth. The body would automatically follow the wishes of the inner self. In the case of suicide, for example, the self is to some extent acting out of context with the body, which still has its own will to live.


The following Q & A account is illuminating for all who can comprehend and care to know

Question: The Muslim Fundamentalists believe that if they commit suicide in the process of murdering those who are not Muslim, they will go to heaven and receive all kinds of awards and praises. Is this true?

Answer: Everyone goes to the same "place" after physical death. All those who come to this realm are met and comforted. Those with strong belief systems may continue to carry over these beliefs into this realm, and they are confronted with truth - the truth being the highest vibration and truth that exists - LOVE.

When they are able to perceive and experience this unconditional love, compassion and acceptance, they are humbled. This is especially true in the case of suicide terrorists as they will face a very hard lesson on the other side. They realize that what they have done in committing suicide while murdering others involved huge illusions of separation demonstrated as fear, ignorance, anger, arrogance, denial, and rejection of the divine.

This isn't within the ability to create for growth and understanding; it provides GREAT opportunities for these things and all life created by God is valued. But, it is what you can consider to be of the lower vibrations, a less preferred path one could choose, and the recovery from such actions can be quite difficult. You see, when the path of least resistance and faster growth is chosen there is less baggage to eliminate and clear understanding is easier to grasp.

Those who were killed by that individual's actions receive great healing and counseling and also have the opportunity to understand themselves, their own fears, and the terrorist's feelings. Those who commit these acts of terror will receive healing and counseling, and then face their own terror with the opportunity to feel what they have done to others, until it dawns on them that all life is divine, all from the same Source - there are no favorites (and this may also apply to some of the so-called "victims"). When these terrorists genuinely apologize for their actions to those who were their targets, they are on their path of real healing. The terrorists will understand how they chose to be in separation from themselves, and others.

If their apologies are acknowledged and accepted, the healing is even more rapid and complete. However it is not mandatory or always possible for the apologies and acceptance of such apologies to occur at the same time. Eventually, a more complete healing all the way around will occur when all involved souls reach a certain point in their growth.

What is important is that each soul understands its choices and actions, and the consequences of their actions. However when the moment of enlightenment occurs, it will be a time of great celebration - a celebration of real truth with love.

Read on for the latest postings on:


Datuk Samy Vellu REWARDS CLASS F Contractors. ARE there ANY NON-BUMIPUTRA Class F CONTRACTORS around? MCA Class “Contractors” getting 9MP CRUMBS?

or GoTO TOP (Main Page)


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Q&A: Corruption has increased, laments Ku Li ;Beh Lih Yi Aug 11, 06 3:14pm

In this final of a three-part interview, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is former finance minister, talks at length about the problems confronting our economy.

Malaysiakini: What's your take on the economy?

: Politically, the country is very stable. Nothing untoward is happening - the (general) election was nearly three years ago, the next one will only come about in two years' time. Umno has not much to talk about (nor is there) any tussle within Umno. Everybody is more concern about the economic situation in the country although the Ninth Malaysia Plan has been announced. But people in the marketplace are restless because there is really nothing happening.

People hope after the announcement of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, something big would happen but it has, more or less, petered out. Although the prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) announced a number of projects that will be implemented soon costing about RM15 billion - all these will be tendered and not going to take place for another three months or so. With the high expectations, people are a bit disappointed.

I was told the stock market is not performing. The money capital - they said (the investors) try to find safe heaven elsewhere. That is very disturbing because we need the money. Not much of the money come into this part of the world. (There are) competitive giants like China, Vietnam, Singapore – this doesn't help. Singapore is doing remarkably well despite the problem they faced two years ago. With the announcement of two big casinos in Singapore, it will create confidence in the economic future in Singapore.

* YTL Corporation has proposed to build a bullet train to Singapore.

The proposal of a bullet train to Singapore will not help us. It will drive more people into Singapore with just a 45-minute ride, so it's helping Singapore, not helping us. That bullet train is not good for Malaysia, maybe good for the proposer. In fact, it is going to affect Genting (Highlands) as well because Genting doesn't depend so much on foreign gamblers. About 60 to 70 percent of frequent Genting visitors are locals.

All this is not helping us although economically we are okay. We are getting good returns simply because of high crude oil prices. Palm oil prices have value because of high crude oil prices. Our rubber seems to be doing better because of the high cost of the raw material for synthetic rubber. And I don’t see the crude oil prices come down too much. It will hold in the region of US$73 per barrel. If that holds, rubber prices will also hold for sometime.

Our electronic industry is just performing at the same level. With no new investments, it is not creating new jobs. Especially with the rising living cost in view of increased petrol prices, electricity tariffs, it has helped fueled domestic inflation but real income has not increased. Still a large number of people are unemployed, particularly graduates. It is the region of 20,000 or so, and I am told it is more than 20,000.

Some say these people are unemployed because of mismatch (of skills), they can't respond to the demands of the employers because they don't possess the kind of skill or educational qualifications that their employers demand. But whatever it is, we are not creating enough jobs. In the agriculture sector, it is slow in picking, that's why it's not helping. Like I said, economically we are okay, but for other new activities I suppose we have to wait till the end of the year.

* The prime minister has just announced the Southern Johor Economic Region project.

I don't know whether this is the right thing to do because Khazanah Nasional Bhd was set up to look after the investments of the government, but now they are taking a pro-active stance going into urban renewal, housing and whatever. Is that what they're suppose to do? I thought we have gone through the privatisation phase and therefore it should be left to the private sector to undertake this. Probably, we don't see the plan clearly - I don't see (the government) is going to invite private sector involvement in the development in southern Johor.

We think Khazanah should confine itself to the management of existing investments of the government rather than going to venture into new things like undertaking this very big project. But then again, I don't know whether this (project) is going to help the development of the country in line with the New Economic Policy. Who is going to participate in this - not just building but also owning those properties? If Malays are going to be left out, it will create political dissatisfaction in Johor again.

* How's that?

The development from Johor Baru right to Kluang - a lot of things undertaken were snapped up by foreigners, namely Singaporeans, Taiwanese, to the extent that the locals not having the opportunity to own any of these properties. The Malays can't match the ability of the foreigners who come in with their expensive dollars (against) our devalued ringgit. Naturally, we can't match what they can spend. The Malays are going to be marginalised, that is our concern. We have to re-examine all this and see where this is going to lead us.

But Johor is an important part of the region because it's very close to Singapore. Whatever happens in Singapore, Johor should complement. But we must also make sure it will not cause political disruption within Malaysia itself. When you undertake this development, you want a stable society and we want a fair proper distribution of wealth among the people of various races, no one should be deprived or marginalised in the process.

* What about the new policies of Abdullah's administration - the focus on agriculture and the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Japan and United States?

To begin with, I have not read the provisions in the FTA - even Asean (free trade agreement) - although the salient features were published but I am not privy to (the full text). So far as Asean agreement is concerned, I think it is just points for actions, is not to be implemented yet, they are going to have more discussion between Asean and the United States. In our case, I think we have move ahead and talk about having a free-trade arrangement with the US, but the point is are we in a ready position to embrace US? They are very advanced.

We have been fighting them on the WTO (World Trade Organisation) front, on invisible trade, services, banking, which we think if we allow this to come through, not just us (but) many other countries, will be swamped by the big giants. We are going to lose jobs because they are going to bring their people here, the services provided by the industry here cannot compete with them, we are going to be deprived. That's just one aspect, what about other aspects? Can we compete with them? If we open the door, they are going to swamp us.

Like the arrangement with Japan, we are going to export vegetables, what kind of vegetables? We are even importing vegetables from Sumatra, Thailand, so what vegetables are we exporting? What kind of cars are we importing? (The cars) have got bigger values, what amount of vegetables we are exporting? It doesn't make sense.

But then again, I have not seen the full text of the agreement. We are afraid of (losing) jobs. Even in America, they are also concern of job loss when they outsource because it's cheaper to get things done in developing country. Can we fight these advanced countries? I am not saying we shouldn' t. We should be prepared for it ultimately but are we ready now? We can ape them but up to a point, we must make sure our people are protected.

* Judging from the scale of the 9MP projects, some people suggested the government is running out of money.

We have cut down our income tax rate to 28 percent that means a loss of revenue. It was 45 percent, so that's substantial loss. We have done away with a lot of duties, that's also a loss of revenues.

* Mahathir has been saying we have Petronas money. Is it proper to use that money for national development?

You can't spend all of that. Remember in the 70s, 80s, our currencies were very strong, RM2.30 to US$1. We can buy one Singapore dollar with RM0.98. I used to get RM0.68 for one Deutsche mark which is equivalent to about one euro today, but now is over RM4. Imagine the devaluation of our ringgit. I think it is because of our excessive spending which caused the weakening of our balanced of payment, especially in our current accounts - too much outflows, don't have strength.

If we go on spending, the value of our assets will go. That's why Singaporeans, Taiwanese come here to buy things because they are half price, cheaper. Must we allow this to happen? I mean we like foreigners to come here to participate in our economic activities but not to an extent it is going to be a sell-out.

We build all the beautiful houses, condominiums and we should let our people enjoy and own these things at the right value. We can't allow people to just come and take. It's very hard for us to resist also because they offer dollars, there is temptation for us to let go. If the currency value is right and strong, people won't come, they will think twice before buying properties here, for instance, we won't go to Singapore to buy properties.

We must be managing the economy carefully. Even as ordinary citizens, we have a limit to spending, we can't keep on spending till we are in debt. Same thing with Petronas, even though they may have a lot of money, but they must think of the priority - education and healthcare, the two important things. When I was the finance minister, I made sure these two things are looked after - at least 40 percent of the budget - and then security.

There is a limit in spending but we shouldn't hold on to the money, or just because we are in deficit, we should cut here, cut there. No, I don't think so. We must continue spending, so people can go about in their daily businesses but it has to be reasonable. We can't just spend Petronas money or EPF (Employees Provident Fund) money. EPF is trust money, same with Tabung Haji, can't just take and spend.

* People in the business community complain there are not too much economic activities going on.

Our economic is strong, fundamentals are right, otherwise we won't be getting trade surpluses running into billions of ringgit. We are doing very well but if we rely purely on forced savings like EPF, very soon we will be in trouble. If we are strong fundamentally, why can't we borrow? We have good credit standing. We can borrow provided we use that money to finance productive projects. They can bring returns, not in dollar and ringgit sense, but more graduates.

We are talking about Vision 2020, we are not developed yet, still far, far away. We may get the concrete blocks up, but here (pointing at his head)? Have we developed here? We afraid of this and that, OSA (Official Secrets Act) here, OSA there. That is not developed status.

* So the government should do away OSA?

I am all for it.

* Internal Security Act?

You want to keep it in view of terrorism and all that but you must have qualification. Things have changed, situation changed, you don't have communism anymore, you want to use it against your political enemies? I don't think so. The UUCA (Universities and University Colleges Act) should go also. You are talking about fighting corruption; you must get rid of OSA.

* How do you rate the government's efforts in combating corruption.

OSA should go first.

* What about Abdullah's successes in fighting corruption in the last three years.

Only two (prominent individuals) arrested, plus three minor politicians, so there is no more corruption in the country? Corruption has not gone down but has increase instead.

* Is that because Abdullah lacks political will?

I don't know, I am not accusing him but I am saying generally.

For a better context on the state of our country’s economy and prospect check the FEER posting at


or Goto the TOP (Main page)

Datuk Samy Vellu REWARDS CLASS F Contractors. ARE there ANY NON-BUMIPUTRA Class F CONTRACTORS around? MCA Class “Contractors” getting 9MP CRUMBS?

It would be silly for a non-malay to register in the class F category and pay the prescribed fee when they would not be helped by the Works Ministry. The Bernama’s account stated clearly “30,000 Class F bumiputera contractors” will get the share while the Star report is just for Class F contractors.

So where is the truth? Has the Star conveniently edited out the preference or the Bernama account is a fake. Therein lays the media truth. But the MCA under its boss Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting is under a Bigger class and was invited (with other MCA top guns and the Chinese Businesses leaders) to meet PM Abdullah to pick up the better “9MP crumbs” than the Class F types. (see pictures below)

“We didn’t come to complain or raise issues. We just come here to give our views, the feedback. PM also asked a lot of feedback. In fact the PM wanted to meet them for sometime already; so today we are happy to put a few reps together and instead of the PM meeting them individually which is rather time consuming”

The Class E Mercs and BMWs entering PM Putrajaya Office for the gathering

The Chinese business community pledged full support to the government in ensuring the smooth implementation of the 9MP after a closed door 3 hours meeting which touched on various issue pertaining to the economy. This is in view of the numerous development projects being made available now and 2010

He added that the Chinese business community welcomed the government continuous efforts to boost investment and competitiveness for all races.

Datuk Seri Sammy Velu explaining the rewards to Class F Contractors

“Many contractors have sent me SMS, day and night asking for help and work from the works ministry. I believe, rather than giving the project to large contractors and then they give it to smaller contractors becoming bankrupt. I don’t want that to happen. This programme really takes care of the interest of the class F contractors.

We will call the Class F Contractors, after that verify their experience and divide them into several groups of 20 to 30, and then divide on projects via balloting.

Some RM18.7 Bln Up For Grabs, Contractors Get Their Share; August 10, 2006 12:42 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 (Bernama) -- More than 30,000 Class F bumiputera contractors will get their share of the 400 infrastructure projects worth RM18.7 billion, to be implemented by the Works Ministry under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), its minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Thursday.

The real Class F will no longer depends on the Big Contractors
Towards this end, he said the Public Works Department (PWD) had been directed to set up a special group to identify certain works in the infrastructure projects which could be included as provisional sum and which could be carried out by Class F contractors.

Of the 400, he said, 241 were extension projects while another 159 were new. To date, tenders for 42 road and bridge construction projects had been issued, he added.

"This means out of the large scale projects, small jobs worth less than RM20,000 will be distributed to Class F contractors based on areas, and payments will be made direct to the Class F contractors through key contractors," he told reporters after launching the Integrity Action Plan book for the ministry here.

Samy Vellu said the matter had received the approval of the Cabinet last week.

He said under this system, all projects to be implemented by Class F contractors, will be divided into several groups and selection will be via the balloting system.

Samy Vellu said priority would be given to contractors from states where the projects would be carried out.

For example, if a project is to be held in Johor, then priority will be given to the Class F contractor from the state, he said.

He said the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) had also been directed to screen and verify the expertise of each of the 39,000 registered Class F contractors, and to ensure they were capable of handling the jobs.

Earlier, Samy Vellu said a Management Resilience Committee was set up at the ministry level to monitor the progress of all programmes and activities which were planned in the Integrity Action Plan book.

He said the plan which was based on the framework outlined under the National Integrity plan among others, was aimed at eradicating corruption and abuse of power, improving the public sector delivery system and minimising the bureaucratic red tape as well as raising the standards of corporate governance and business ethics.

Following STAR's account available here

Work for Class F contractors;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Works Ministry has decided to allow part of the work in the 400 infrastructure projects, worth RM18.7bil under the 9th Malaysia Plan to be given directly to Class F contractors.

Its minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said this was necessary to help Class F contractors who were having difficulty getting projects.

“Some of the contractors, who had completed their work, had not received payments from the sub-contactors or the main contractors. I have received numerous SMS messages from them,” he told reporters after launching the Integrity Action Plan book for the ministry here yesterday.

Samy Vellu said the problems faced by Class F contractors were discussed in the Cabinet last week and it was decided that some of the projects would be handed to them directly.

“The payment for the work done would be paid directly to the contractors by the Public Works Department,” he added.

He said the PWD had also been directed to set up a special group to identify work in the infrastructure projects that could be channelled to these contractors.

Samy Vellu also said there were about 39,000 Class F contractors who could bid for projects of up to RM200,000.

Of the 400 projects, he said, 241 were extension projects and 159 were new.

Tenders for 42 road and bridge construction projects would be issued this year.

He said that all projects, which would be allocated to Class F contractors, would be divided, and eligible contractors selected through a process of balloting.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Check the RAZALEIGH INTERVIEW (2nd Part) at

PAC chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad

"In the ECM Libra-Avenue MERGER , the final evaluation shows there is an enhancement in value, in the shares owned by the government following the merger. But what remains to the PAC committee warrants further briefing from the Finance Ministry is the loss of Control over the merged entity and its policy and strategy"

For the MATRADE building delays: "although direct negotiation was allowed, in this case the ministry should have opted for open tender."


PAC Finds ECM Libra-Avenue Merger In Accordance With Procedures
August 10, 2006 16:49 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 (Bernama) -- The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which
sat Thursday on the issue regarding the merger between Avenue Capital Resources Bhd and ECM Libra Bhd, is satisfied that the exercise was done legally and in accordance with the relevant procedures.

PAC chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad said the Securities Commission (SC) had provided a thorough explanation on the issue, but the committee was, however, concerned with the "policy and strategy" adopted.

"The committee is worried of the government losing its control on this new merged entity as Avenue Capital is a government-linked company," Shahrir said.

"We are concerned who will sit on the board and who will regulate the company," he said at a press conference after chairing the four-hour meeting.

Shahrir said that he had requested for the PAC meeting after receiving a lot of information on the merger, which was widely discussed in Internet forums and had raised questions as it involved two well-known personalities.

When asked who the personalities were, he named Datuk Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan and Khairy Jamaluddin.

Shahrir said that the PAC would meet again on Aug 25 for further clarification from the Finance Ministry, which also addressed the forum today, on the policy aspect. -

Problems Of Matrade Building Began With Direct Negotiation Decision ; August 10, 2006 23:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 (Bernama) -- Problems that plagued the Malaysia External Trade Corporation (Matrade) building began after the Finance Ministry decided to award the construction contract through direct negotiation, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said Thursday.

PAC chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said that although direct negotiation was allowed, in this case the ministry should have opted for open tender.

This was because construction of the building did not require specific expertise available only from certain suppliers, he told reporters after chairing a PAC meeting with officials of the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry at Parliament House.

He said PAC was told the decision to use direct negotiation was made because Matrade wanted the building completed on a fast-track basis.

"This could still have been done via open tender which would have taken only three months," he said.

Shahrir said PAC proposed that the conditions for direct negotiation be tightened because it was clear that in the Matrade building, the Finance Ministry had failed to adhere to the procedures set by the government.

"We hope what happened in Matrade will be a lesson to the government not to be too hasty in opting for direct negotiation," he said.

PAC said the problems were aggravated by the failure of the Public Works Department (PWD) as the monitoring agency to recommend a halt to the project even though it had discovered weaknesses in the building construction.

The project, originally estimated to cost RM167 million, was awarded to Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB) in 1994 and was supposed to be completed in 1997. It was finally completed in 2005.

The delays and repairs increased the cost to RM287.5 million.

The government is seeking to claim RM95 million in fines from PISB.

see previous post on May 23 06

MALAYSIA GUINNESS WORLD RECORD – Longest Delay in Completion of a MATRADE Building – 9 years


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In this second of a three-part interview, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah talks about his political future as well as that of Anwar Ibrahim.

Razaleigh: I don’t write off any politician. The only politicians that have retired from politics are dead ones [laughs]. Since he (Anwar) was removed from the party, (you may think he has) no more future. I don’t think so. It depends on what happened in the society, if the situation demands his participation, he will rise again. You can’t say a politician has no more future.

Of course, Anwar has no place in the political arena today. I am told that PAS is a bit disenchanted with him and he has no place in mainstream politics. He came to see me, and I advised him if you want to get back to mainstream politics, or want to be prime minister, you should go back to Umno. How? He has to work it out. I am not to advise him. If he wants to plays opposition politics, then he should become PAS president and change PAS.

PAS shouldn’t be what it is today. PAS cannot excite the new generation. Unless PAS changes its face and ways, it won’t capture the imagination of young people. And the non-Muslims won’t respond to it if it goes on this kind of conservative attitude. So I said: ‘You go into PAS and become president and change PAS.’ Like this man (Prime Minister Tayyip Edrogan) in Turkey, (his party) was an old Islamic party led by people in jubah (robes) and he changed it into a progressive Islamic party. Everybody voted for it.

* What about PKR?

PKR has no future. But then again, I am not writing off PKR. But compare it with the party I once led, Semangat 46 - it was a national party and we were fighting against people in power. Here, PKR is only a Kuala Lumpur party, and it's not a Malay party, it's a mismatch, along with the socialist crowd - the Parti Rakyat Malaysia that has been rejected by the people. (The party has) no base. Their bases were pockets from Johor, Terengganu, Penang. I don't see how (it can be a major force). I told Anwar this.

* What was his response?

He kept quiet. He agreed with me. I said, "Your wife (Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) only won because it was your (previous) seat in Permatang Pauh". But now I doubt whether he will win if he was to stand again in Permatang Pauh - unless he stands on either PAS or Umno ticket.

* Should he go back to Umno?

Yes, because elections is coming. There is no point being a politician without participating in the election. I am not writing him off, he is quite a maverick.

* In his recent interview with malaysiakini, he said he might stand in a multi-racial seat.

Because he doesn't think he can get support from the Malays. And I don't think he is going to get support from the non-Malays also. It's very hard to get a seat. Predominantly Chinese seats in the urban areas are either (contested by) MCA, Gerakan or DAP. DAP is not going to give up the seat for him, why should they?

* What about yourself?

Me? I am here [laughs]. It's up to the party leadership, if they think I should stand, and then I stand (in the next general election).

* And the party presidency?

That depends on Umno members, isn't it?

* Do you still have intention to be party president

No, I have no plans whatsoever. Even the last time, I didn't want to oppose (Umno president) Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) except for the fact that I disagreed with the supreme council's decision that the No 1 and 2 posts should not be contested. I don't think that is right because it was not written anywhere in the (party's) constitution.

So I just wanted to make a point to make Umno members realise democracy is not dead as even the No 1 can be challenged. I didn't really campaign. (I contested) just to show my protest.

* What about the quota system in Umno?

I think it should go. You must be confident in yourself if you want to be a leader. You don't need all these things. You talk about removing the tongkat, but you yourself are protected by that quota. You don't need that.

* During your last interview with malaysiakini (January 2004), you said it was too early to judge Abdullah's performance as prime minister as he had been in power for only 50 days then. What is your assessment now?

I won't say what I have in mind yet. But people say there is lack of direction (of Abdullah's premiership) especially on the economic front. That 's why things are not moving. There are a lot of things happening. For instance, the Article 11 and the counter reaction from the Islamic groups. I went to one meeting recently, they were not violent nor extreme in their views except for saying we must protect the constitution pertaining to Islam and we were not going to allow anybody to jeopardise our position.

If this is not handled properly it will cause some problems, big problems to our country. The prime minister has came out with a statement (to stop discussing the issue). Whether the people will take heed of his advice, I don't know, but the undercurrent is quite strong. Maybe it's good in some sense to have an open debate in matters like this, but for those who lack understanding of the real problem, it can be very murky.

* If this is to go on, will it affect Barisan Nasional in the coming elections?

All these things matter, it does affect the thinking of the people. What I am trying to say here is these things didn't happen before, it is not because it has been kept underwrap, but people understand certain matters shouldn't be brought up for open discussion because a lot of people don't understand, don't comprehend the problem at hand and it can get out of hands. Who is to stop this or provide the solution? Very difficult.

The crime rate is also on the rise. It is all because of (the lack of) economic activities, unemployment, even among graduates. We have full employment until 2002, now we have what? More than 20,000 unemployed graduates, but I am told the figure is more than 60,000, not including those who came back from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and Taiwan. We are not creating enough employment opportunities.

* Anwar has called for the New Economic Policy to be abolished. Is it time to do away with it?

I think NEP is a good thing, but probably it must be reshaped into a new policy, a new strategy in ways never done before. The problem with the NEP - it was abused by the people who are not supposed to get all those things. That tainted the NEP. In spite of all the weaknesses, (the NEP) has worked.

After all, in spite of what we have done with the NEP, the Malays only own about three percent (of equity) , that's all, a lot of them have lost. Where are (tycoons) Tajudin Ramli), Halim Saad? They may be driving a big car but they have big fat borrowings. Compared with (Lim) Goh Tong, Robert (Kuok), or Ananda (Krishnan), you can't pick any Malay (from among the tycoons).

Unless, you give a fair opportunity for everybody, open up education like during (former prime minister) Mahathir (Mohamad)'s time. If the Chinese complain, they can (still) go to private colleges. Malays are not complaining as they can't go to some of these places because they can't afford them, they are (also) going to some colleges which give them slightly inferior training, they come out not as well qualified as the Chinese. In workplaces, you can see a kind of discrimination (against the Malays) again.

We are lucky we don't have problems today. But the ugly thing that is happening in the religious front - that I am afraid of, because when you come to religious quarrels or fights, nobody can pacify them because it is (based on) faith.

Tomorrow (Last part): Expect economic woes soon

for a better context: Check his RECENT INTERVIEW with ASIA TIMES On Line
and also his Interview with Malaysiakini
1st Part
2nd Part
Final Part

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Read on below the detailed explanation by Chartered Civil Engineer Y Y KOON on
the Technical hitches that "sink" the crooked scenic bridge

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Q&A: Mahathir 'must get what he wants' ; Beh Lih Yi Aug 9, 06 2:40pm

In this first of a three-part interview, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah shares his views on the current spat between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Malaysiakini: You have said that Abdullah should meet with Mahathir, but in fact they did meet in Tokyo recently.

Razaleigh: That's just a call on him. I don't think he (Abdullah) wanted to explain what Mahathir had raised all this while. I am just guessing but my view is - why not on a Sunday or a weekend, Abdullah drives over to see Mahathir.

* You mean Abdullah cannot continue to keep quiet.

Obviously, Mahathir is not happy or satisfied with the explanations given so far and Abdullah has not responded, he allows other people to say (on his behalf). I think Mahathir probably expect this to come from Abdullah himself - the man he appointed to take over from him.

* Do you think a mediator will help? Like (Umno veteran) Khalil Yaakob.

It may help and may not, but knowing Mahathir, he must get what he wants.

The government has begun distributing booklets to explain its decision to cancel the 'crooked' bridge. (The explanation) which is what Mahathir doesn't accept.

* Mahathir had reportedly told Khalil that the spat can be resolved.

Yes, probably that's why there is no need for mediation because it's not a quarrel. It is Mahathir wanting to get satisfactory answers to all the points he raised. He wants explanation not from the junior chaps - he was everybody's boss before - so he expects his successor to come and explain to him.

* But his anger is beyond just these issues...

I suspect, because he has been mentioning all this in his speeches. Of course, I follow this in the papers and your internet newspaper, I don't go to all these (events).

Mahathir said he made the wrong choice in picking his successor.

He said that publicly. He repeated it in Kelantan. I was told he also said he would not support Abdullah again.

* Do you think he has an agenda beyond all this?

I don't think he wants to be prime minister or Umno president again. My reading is that (Mahathir thinks) Abdullah is not the right choice. Secondly, Mahathir feels Abdullah is not using the office of the prime minister - with all the powers (it has) - and instead allow other people to manipulate it. That's the impression that I get.

That's why the bridge project is 'start, go, no'. At first, Abdullah said 'okay', we proceed with this, we would continue with what Mahathir has started. That's what he said after he took over and he even went to lay the foundation stone of the bridge and in that function he announced no matter what happened, we would build the bridge. Why the about-turn? We MPs were told to support this bridge project in Parliament and suddenly we were told, 'no, we are going to cancel it' - the reason being the people is against
this. (SEE BELOW ARTICLE from ALIRAN which explains the REAL Problems for aborting the bridge)

When did the people say this, we don't know. Probably they have got a proper sounding, we don't know, they are the government. Secondly, it's about legal implications, (again) we don't know. Mahathir is a little bit taken aback. But I suspect it is not just that, it's maybe more.

* Do you think Mahathir's anger directed at Khairy Jamaluddin (Abdullah's son-in-law and Umno Youth deputy head) was justified?

I have nothing against Khairy. His late father, Jamaluddin, was a very good friend of mine, we are all (second premier) Tun Abdul Razak's boys. We worked together, Jamaluddin and a few others like Zain Azrai, worked for Tun Razak when he was the NOC (National Operations Council) chairperson and the prime minister. They did (work) on other fronts - I was on economic front - we worked closely (together). Jamaluddin has been a very good chap. Of course, I don't know Khairy, he was a little boy.

* Several Umno divisions have invited Mahathir to officiate their meetings. But the supreme council has to come out with an announcement that only party supreme council member can officiate the divisional meeting. Don't you think this will create a split at the grassroots level?

I think this is going to cause unhappiness. Even during Mahathir's time, the supreme council had made rulings on various matters including officiating annual meetings at divisions, but of course nothing (controversial) happened at that time and we said okay. Now, of course, there is a controversy, people who have invited Mahathir want to hear from Mahathir at this kind of functions, or probably just to show their opposition to the ruling (politicians).

I am told Mahathir had accepted some of these invitations. To me, why not? He is the ex-president of Umno for 22 years. This Umno was created by him - the old Umno was declared unlawful and de-registered. Who is a better person than Mahathir himself to address the Umno chaps? He has not gone against Umno struggle, he has his right to voice his criticisms or opposition to what is happening in the country.

* Is this spat going to affect Umno?

There is rumbling on the ground like Padang Besar (Umno division) that officially invited Mahathir and they had been told they couldn't (do so) because Mahathir is not a supreme council member nor a minister. However, they are members of the cabinet who are not supreme council members, not even division heads - (and) are outsiders - but they can go under the (supreme council) ruling; Mahathir who founded the party, an
ex-party president and ex-prime minister can't go, it's a little odd. He is not going to talk about communism [laughs], only talk about the bridge.

* Mahathir is also apparently not happy with the way (ministers and supreme council members) Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz and Syed Hamid Albar had responded.

He feels slighted because these are little boys to him. I am sure he feels that way, that's why he calls Nazri a hatchet man.

* There are concerns that this will eventually affect the party.

Will they? I don't think so. I was at the state Umno liaison meeting last month. I spoke about Mahathir, I wanted them to recognise a fact – that Mahathir is an Umno member, he has done a lot to this country and party, good and bad, (but) I am sure he has done more good. Therefore, we can't rule him out.

Secondly, Mahathir is not saying anything against Umno. I don't think he would because he is so devoted to Umno, and actually we all are devoted. You can't therefore say we can't receive him or we are not going to listen to him. What is there to be afraid of?

Let's listen to him rather than letting him talk to others, or letting others listen to him. I suggested at the meeting for the party's publicity chief to convene a special general assembly to listen to Mahathir, let Mahathir has his say. I said, 'You (the party leaders) can't object to that because he is a special member of Umno, he was not forced out of office, he voluntarily gave up the office. Now he wants to say (something), (we should)
invite him, treat him like a godfather, come and speak to Umno members. Don't be afraid, we are all in the same family'.

Surely we can think - if he says the right things, we can support him; if he says the wrong things, we can condemn him. Why say, 'No, Mahathir can't join because we have a ruling'? Why discriminate against him? It makes it look like as if we are trying to bar him from meeting Umno members. Even in Kelantan recently, Umno members were not allowed to go, only a few went. I couldn't go because I was here. If I was in Kelantan, I would go. Why not? What can they do to me?

* What was the reaction to your 'special general meeting' proposal?

They kept quiet.

* It will not be sent to the supreme council?

Judging by the mood today, I don't think they are going to allow that. Why so afraid? There's nothing to hide. Let's come clean, give him the forum, he is not going to be prime minister again.

* This spat has been going on for months, how do you judge Abdullah's ability in resolving the issue

To me - I am only basing my answer on my experience with Mahathir - it will not go away unless he gets his answer. He will not keep quiet. He has audience around the world and he is recognised, whether you like it or not. (We) must acknowledge the fact that he is somebody in the world.

* Mahathir said he did not get the answers but Abdullah said the relevant government agencies have replied.

As long as the prime minister doesn't talk to him, I don't think he will stop. If he wants answers from Proton - he is advisor of Proton - he can call the board (of directors), but that's not the answer he wants. I think he wants more than that. My view is that Pak Lah, as somebody who took over from him, should jump into a car and drive to him, (and) talk to him.

* PAS leaders were seen associating themselves with (ex-premier) Dr Mahathir Mohamad lately.

I think PAS is trying to take advantage of what has happened between Mahathir and the government. It tries to be associated with Mahathir but I don't think Mahathir is associating with PAS. I think PAS is trying to jump on the bandwagon. I don't think Mahathir will give PAS that advantage, he is not blind to all this.

If there are PAS members present at the places where he speak, it's just a coincidence they came as part of the audience. Mahathir's audience is meant for the country because he is speaking on behalf of what he had done.

* In 1969, there was the May 13 racial riot; in 1987 and 1988, Umno was declared illegal; in 1998, Anwar Ibrahim was sacked. Do you think the 10-year circle is here again?

You have been looking at the crystal ball... But Mahathir started in 1981 [laughs].

Tomorrow: Ku Li on Anwar Ibrahim's future ____

following article is available from:

Technical hitches sink crooked bridge ;Saturday, 29 July 2006

Koon Yew Yin takes a look at why Abdullah Badawi may have changed his mind over the proposed cross-channel link to Singapore.

I am well aware that many people including our previous premier Tun Dr Mahathir and our current Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, have expressed their opinion for and against the construction of the scenic or crooked bridge. Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. Bearing that in mind, I do not wish to bore you with any more similar arguments. However, as an old Chartered Civil Engineer, I think I know that there are some insurmountable technical difficulties, which the promoters may not have considered and should be interesting to you and all those concerned.

If we had Singapore’s cooperation to build a full-length bridge, the technical problem may be easier to overcome. But to just build half the bridge - I think the problem is quite insurmountable. Before I proceed, you may like to know what actually transpired in the Singapore Parliament that convinced our Prime Minister to change his mind. Singapore’s Second Foreign Affairs Minister Raymond Lim said that Malaysia did not have the right to unilaterally replace its half of the causeway with a bridge without the concurrence of Singapore. He reminded Malaysia that in 2003 it had applied for an injunction to the International Tribunal of Law of the Seas (ITLOS) to stop Singapore’s reclamation works when these works were carried out in Singapore’s sovereign territory.

While rejecting Malaysia’s application, ITLOS had ruled that all future engineering works in the Johor Straits would henceforth be subjected to the scrutiny of two countries. This rule is premised on the principle that works in one sovereign territory in the Straits could affect the other.

What about the railway?

Our Government must have woken up to the fact that it could not avoid the legal battle with Singapore if we went ahead to build half a bridge to replace half the causeway. Without Singapore’s agreement, how could we remove the existing pipeline and the railway on the causeway? Apparently, according to the separation agreement, when Singapore broke away, we were obliged to provide uninterrupted water supply and the maintenance of the railway to Singapore. If we stop running trains into Singapore for a certain period, Malaysia would lose all the railway land in Singapore. This is a very serious consideration, which I think our promoters did not take into consideration. However, I doubt if there was any cost-benefit study for the project.

From the picture as published in the newspaper I did not see any provision for the railway. Bearing in mind that trains, unlike motor vehicles, cannot take sharp corners or climb steep gradients, I think it is technically very difficult or impossible to design a bridge spanning half the causeway and to comply with these conditions. Moreover, the crooked half bridge would look queer and would likely attract ridicule than admiration if it could be built. One thing is sure. If we had gone ahead with the construction without Singapore’s agreement, there would have been a legal battle.



Read also the Datuk Charged with Spraying Dr Mahathit at


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