Your PRESENT is the point at which flesh and matter meet with the spirit. Therefore "THE PRESENT IS THE POINT OF POWER" in your current time, as you think of it. The PRESENT is your point of a c t i o n, f o c u s and p o w e r, and from that point of volition you form both your F U T U R E AND P A S T. Computer,Internet, Marketing, Interesting Stuff, google, tips, power.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
MORE Pics - RM3.5 Million COMPUTER Parts STOLEN From Penang Warehouse; An Inside Job; Police Criticized - Inaction on SMS of Possible Robbery
CIDBOSS Disputes Claims by PFFA (Penang Freight Forwarders Association) on SMS - NO ACTION.SMS (was an old one) & NO SUCH ROBBERY as Claimed; Amount Loss is RM2 Million and Not RM3.5 Million = = = = = = = = == = = == = = =UPDATE: Jan 01 2007, 02.34am SMS warning about robbery an old message, say police
31 Dec 2006, NST
GEORGE TOWN: The SMS which the Penang Freight Forwarders Association forwarded to the police on Dec 16 informing them of an impending hijack or robbery at a warehouse was an old message.
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department directorDatuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee (ABOVE) said yesterday that the police, nevertheless, took action upon receiving the SMS. "We interviewed six people including PFFA secretary-general Bryan Kor, who provided us with the SMS."We discovered that the SMS was sent on Oct 14, even before the Batu Maung RM50 million microchip heist on Nov 20. It was not a new text message alerting the police to a possible hijack or robbery at a warehouse. "State CID chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Abdul Samah Mat, however, ordered district police chiefs to increase patrols in areas where the warehouses were located," he said.
Kor and PFFA chairman Joachim Loo had said at a Press conference on Friday that police did nothing to stop the robbery. Wan said: "It was wrong of the association to accuse the police of not taking any preventive action despite being informed through the SMS." Loo and Kor had claimed that five parang-wielding men had entered the warehouse in Juru and carted away more than RM3.5 million worth of computer components on Boxing Day at .
Police investigations revealed that no such robbery took place as claimed by the association. They said the goods that were stolen, between and last Sunday, were printed circuit boards and that several warehouse staff had collaborated with outside parties to commit the theft. Abdul Samah said yesterday that police were considering taking action against PFFA.
"We are consulting our superiors on this matter," he said at the Seberang Perai Tengah district police headquarters. Police picked up eight suspects, including a female security guard, yesterday, and are looking for several more suspects. He said the stolen goods were valued at RM2 million and not RM3.5 million as reported.
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The company that was robbed is Seberang Perai-based Solectron Technologies Sdn Bhd. Located at Plot 13, Phase IV, Prai Industrial Estate’ 13600 Prai ,Penang.Its Chief Executive Officer is Mr Joe Tang Heam Hong
They manufacture a range of products covering: Flex Circuit Assemblies, Printed Circuit Board Assemblies, System Integration for Computer-Related Products, Telecommunication Equipment and Mass Storage Devices, and Peripherals, Workstations.Police criticized for alleged inaction despite an SMS informing them of a possible hijack or robbery.They only interested in the sender of SMS. They have had too many wolves crying lately? And it’s the end of the year season, with VIPS all on leave. No one is interested. You cannot find a better time to strike.?
RM3.5m worth of computer parts stolen; 30 Dec 2006; NST
GEORGE TOWN: More than RM3.5 million worth of computer components were reported missing from a warehouse in Juru a month after a gang of 20 escaped with more than RM50 million in microchips in Batu Maung. Police confirmed the theft yesterday, but said it was not committed by a parang-wielding gang as claimed by the Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA). Seberang Prai Tengah district police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Anil Shah Abdullah said initial investigations showed that the goods were stolen by several warehouse staff who had collaborated with outside parties.
"We have established that it was an inside job and not a robbery as some parties are claiming."The police were notified of the missing items about on Boxing Day," Mohd Anil said yesterday. He said a forwarding company informed the authorities about the theft after discovering the goods missing during a routine check. He said the items, estimated to be worth RM3.5 million, and was removed from the warehouse about 30 hours before the theft was reported.
"Our checks showed that the warehouse security and staff had colluded with outside parties to take the goods out of the warehouse along with an authentic shipment," he said. Mohd Anil said lorries were used to carry the goods which had yet to be recovered. Police detained seven men within 48 hours of the theft being reported. Mohd Anil said the seven, aged between 20 and 40 years, were remanded until Jan 3. He expects more arrests.
PFFA president Joachim Loo (ABOVEwith SMS Message) told a Press conference yesterday that five men, armed with parangs, arrived at the warehouse in a container lorry and carted away the goods.
He criticised the police for alleged inaction despite an SMS from the association informing them of a possible hijack or robbery at the warehouse. He said the message was received by the association’s secretary-general Bryan Kor on Dec 16 who then forwarded it to the police. He also criticised the authorities for not beefing up security in the industrial areas. Its president, Joachim Loo, said that last Dec 16 the association lodged a police report that most of its members had received SMS messages warning them of another robbery soon.The police had treated the warning as a fake and had even interrogated the association's secretary Bryan Kor for two hours after he made the report, he said.
ABOVE: The enhanced copy of the SMS
Loo said Kor had received an SMS that said: "Pliz (please) be alert that a syndicate will attempt hijack or robbery within this few days in Penang/mainland. Reliable sources stated high end product targetted. Pliz (please) ensure overall security on alert mode." He said the police were more interested in the sender of the SMS, and not on ways to prevent the robbery. Loo said that two days after receiving the SMS, the association even had a meeting with Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who announced the setting up of a security committee chaired by Penang State Secretary Datuk Jamaludin Hasan. "When we contacted the committee the next day, all the officers were on leave and there was no one at the chief minister's office other than a clerk who told us that everybody was on leave," he said.
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Saturday December 30, 2006; STAR
Warehouse theft: 7 held
PENANG: Five weeks after robbers walked away with RM47mil worth of computer chips from a cargo warehouse on the island, RM3.5mil worth of computer components were reported missing from a warehouse in Bukit Tengah, Juru, here.A management staff member, who went to the warehouse on Christmas Eve for a stock check, discovered the items missing and an internal investigation was immediately launched before a police report was lodged. Central Seberang Prai district OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Anil Shah Abdullah confirmed that a police report was lodged on Dec 26, and that the theft was an inside job as there was no sign of a break-in. Initial investigations showed that a container lorry was seen entering the building on Christmas Eve, said ACP Mohd Anil.He believed that the suspects had used the container to smuggle out the consignment. Seven people, aged between 20 and 40s, including the warehouse’s security and store personnel and two outsiders, were arrested shortly after the police report was made at .SMS
ABOVE: Loo (right) showing a blown-up SMS text which they received from sources on Dec 16 alerting them of an impending theft at a warehouse in Penang. With him is Khor.
They will be remanded until Jan 3 to facilitate investigations,” ACP Mohd Anil said, adding that the loot had yet to be recovered.The case has been classified as theft under Section 380 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to 10 years with a possible fine or whipping upon conviction, he said.The Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA) claimed that it had on Dec 16 warned police about an impending robbery at a warehouses either on Penang island or Seberang Prai.
PFFA president Joachim Loo said the warning came from their secretary-general Bryan Khor, who received the tip-off from his sources via SMS that a syndicate was attempting to rob a warehouse of its high-end products. “A discussion was then held among PFFAmembers, before I forwarded the SMS to the police, including state police Chief Deputy Comm Datuk Koh Hong Sun,” he said. “This only shows that our information was not viewed seriously,” he told a press conference yesterday.Loo hoped the state government and police would beef up the security at warehouses.
“This is the second time computer components had gone missing. And it happened five weeks after the first incident at the air cargo complex at the Batu Maung Free Commercial Zone. We hope the relevant authority will set up a security task force as promised on Dec 14,” said Loo. State CID chief Senior Asst Comm (II) Abdul Samah Mat said the police took immediate action upon receiving the PFFA tip-off but said the information was vague as there were hundreds of warehouses in the state. “Still, I instructed all the OCPDs to step up patrols in warehouse areas,” he said. = = = == December 30, 2006
Computer Components Worth RM3.5 Mln Stolen In Penang
PENANG, Dec 29 (Bernama) -- Computer components worth RM3.5 million were stolen from a warehouse in Penang on Christmas Day, after forwarding agents were forewarned via the short messaging system (SMS) of such a theft. The components were carted away from a transit warehouse of a multinational company in Juru between 7 pm and 8 pm Seberang Perai Tengah District Police Chief ACP Mohamad Anil Shah Abdullah said the theft was discovered after an inspection of the warehouse's closed-circuit television (CCTV) video showed suspicious movement in the premises.
"After analysing the CCTV video, the company found that several boxes containing computer components worth millions of ringgit were missing," he told reporters here Friday. Anil Shah said no element of force was used on the warehouse or its employees, indicating that it could have been an inside job done while workers were busy unloading goods for delivery. "Our investigations found that the heist was done by those who understood the warehouse's system and operations," he said. So far, the police have remanded seven men until Jan 3 to assist in the investigation. It is understood that the company that was robbed is Seberang Perai-based Solectron Technologies Sdn Bhd which made a police report on the robbery 30 hours after the incident. The incident marked the second time in less than two months that computer components worth millions of ringgit had been carted away from warehouses. At 2 am last Nov 20, a group of 20 men, including four in Rela uniform, assaulted 17 workers at the Second Air Cargo Complex in Batu Maung here and fled with two containers of microchips worth more than RM40 million. Meanwhile, the Penang Freight Forwarders' Association Friday claimed that the police were refusing to reveal the latest heist to cover up their failure in preventing robberies at warehouses
MORE PICS – ILLEGAL MCA Toll Hike PROTEST at LDP Dec 29; DAP, PKR & PAS TOLL HIKE Memo & FORUM; MORE Protests Coming: DEC 31 06 –Cheras; & Jan 07 07
For Latest TOLL HIKE Protest (2stJan 07, Sun; at CHERAS) Go H E R E On..MORE PICTURES & BRUTALITY – ANTI TOLL HIKE PROTEST on SUN:, Jan 21 07 Cheras Turned SOUR; 21 ARRESTED; 4 Injured Seeking Hospital Treatment; Detained includes-Tian Chua, Dr Hatta Rami & Ronnie Liu
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UPDATE: Dec 30 06,
This is the so called “festive end of the year Cheer”.They give you back RM 10 in one year what they take from you in a week in the LDP Toll increased.This is the way the Government can reduce your burden!
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December 30, 2006
Festive Cheer In The Form Of Reduced Road Tax, Excise Duty
PEKAN, Dec 30 (Bernama) -- As the country celebrates Aidiladha Sunday and ushers in the New Year on Monday, Malaysians Saturday received news of an early gift from the government in the form of lower road tax and excise duty on vehicles effective Jan 1. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the reduction in road tax and streamlining of excise duty on cars and motorcycles effective Jan 1 is aimed at lifting some of the financial burden faced by the people. "The government will incur a revenue loss of about RM250 million annually from this exercise to reduce road tax and streamline excise duty," he told reporters after presenting cash prizes to excellent students of the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination, here.
The reduction in road tax covers eight categories -- private cars owned by individuals, private cars owned by companies, and vehicles owned by individuals or companies apart from cars, motorcycles, taxis, rental cars, buses and commercial vehicles. "The amount of tax reduction is according to engine capacity while for commercial vehicles it is based on the weight and load," Najib added. The rate of reduction differs between petrol and diesel engine vehicles and those in the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak. Road tax for privately owned cars of less than 1000cc (petrol and diesel) drop by RM10, petrol engine vehicles of 3001cc to 5000cc by RM30 while for diesel engine vehicles of 3001cc to 5000cc it is a RM130 drop.
For individual and company vehicles apart from cars (petrol and diesel engines), with 1000cc it is a drop of RM10, while for 3001cc to 5000cc petrol engine vehicles it is a RM25 drop and diesel engine vehicles with 3000cc to 5000cc it is a big drop of RM237. For taxis (petrol) with 1400cc to 5000cc engines the road tax drop is between RM22 and RM198.For diesel engine taxis with 1400cc to 5000cc capacity, the drop is between RM66 and RM363.
For hire cars (petrol engine) with 1400cc to 5000cc, it is a drop of between RM22 and RM175 while for diesel engine vehicles it is a drop of between RM66 and RM363. For commercial goods vehicles (petrol engine), with load capacity of 1000kg to 52,500kg the road tax is reduced by between RM28 and RM118 while for diesel engines, the drop is between RM201 and RM486. On the streamlining of excise duty on cars and motorcycles, Najib said cars with engine capacity of more than 3,000cc will pay the same duty as that of those with engine capacity of between 2,500cc and 3,000cc.
"Motorcycles with engine capacity of more than 200cc will pay the same excise duty as that for motorcycles engine capacity of between 150cc and 200cc," he added. Najib had earlier handed over 299 head of Aidiladha sacrificial cattle, 12 of them his own contribution, for distribution to 52 mosques and 124 suraus in his Pekan parliamentary constituency.
= = = == = = Surprsingly the MCA youths in Puchong kept its promise and was at the LDP to show their displeasure against their BN Government for allowing the proposed Toll Hike. The demo was illegal according to the Police chief but was allowed to proceed. It was a quick one and was over with 15 mins and a handful turned up to support them. = = = == = = == = =apology for delayed posting due to connections...... more pics loading
"Lest we forget, one can’t be too sure of how many more frames are missing in this big picture. This is just a snippet of how much the government isn’t telling you about ONE toll (LDP), and lest we forget, reporters have been duly advised to downplay this issue. One former Works Ministry staff said this to me over lunch last week, “Don’t feel sorry for the toll concessionaires; they’ve recouped their costs and it’s pure profit for the next couple of decades"
”The last Fact 5 above shows that the Government can BUY BACK the Tolls and give back adequate compensation.But they will NOT because, they are the same Gang working in cahoots with the Concessionaries practicing Robin Hood’s reversed policy - robbing the poor to help the super rich.
All these toll arrangements and privatization areways” to siphon off the rakyat’s money into their pockets. Legally they “seemed above board but morally it stinks ALL the Way to Hell using Tolled FREE Expressways. It is pure greed and gain – this legalized extortion; there will be no peace for such perpetrators. How can such scabs of Society are allowed to gain their fortunes by political pull, by having government grant them such favors and tolls at the expense of their fellow-men?
[Economic power is the power of production; Political power is the power of force, checkH E R E].There is never any justification for abused of power. There is no justification for greed. There is no justification for materialistic gain. Those who indulge in such activities for whatever reason are themselves changed, and the purity of their purpose adultered.
We are all fellow travelers in this journeythrough life and you share an existence with others who are experiencing their own journeys in their own ways, and you have journeying in common, and then be kind and fair to yourself and to your companions. Do not take advantage of the rakyat. When the day of judgment comes to explain your wealth on earth, the naked truth would be very embarrassing to whichever God you subscribed to.
Also Sign ON-Line Petition Against Toll Hike = = = = == = =
MCA, DAP, PKR demonstrate against toll hikes
ABOVE & BELOW: The MCA Youth Chiefs from Puchong & Kelana Jaya Holding up their main banner in this ILLEGAL DEMO
R.Surenthira Kumar SUN Updated 04:28PM Fri, 29 Dec 2006; PETALING JAYA (Dec 29, 2006): The MCA and two opposition political parties, DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), today staged separate demonstrations to protest against toll hikes.
ABOVE and BELOW: The legal "Extortion" Toll Plaza at LDP
About 100 Puchong MCA members led by division chairman Wong Hock Aun gathered at the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) toll plaza in Bandar Sunway at , carrying banners and placards at .
ABOVE & BELOW: The protesters shoing the Memo submited to Litrak, the operator of this Toll Plaza
About 50 police personnel, including Special Branch men in plainclothes, led by Subang Jaya OCPD ACP Muhammad Fuad Talib kept a close watch on the protesters and maintained public security. Wong said: "We condemn the toll hikes. Puchong residents are very upset. The government should review its decision to allow the increase in the toll charges because the LDP is not alleviating the daily severe traffic congestions here."
ABOVE: MCA Puchong Youth division chief Theng Book speaking to newsmen BELOW: Division chief Wong Hock Aun . MCA Kelana Jaya Youth chief Lee You Hin was also there to lend his support.
Puchong MCA Youth chief Datuk Theng Book said the demonstration reflects the peoples' sentiment, especially the Puchong folks who have to bear the 60% increase in toll rates. Effective Monday (Jan 1, 2007), LDP users have to pay RM1.60, up from RM1. Before the MCA protesters could leave the scene, about 20 DAP and PKR arrived at and headed to the LDP's operations complex. They handed a memorandum of protest to Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Berhad (Litrak) communications manager Zuhri Iskandar Kamarzaman. Selangor DAP chief Ong Chee Keng said the memorandum asked that:
- the toll hike be postponed until the world oil price is stable;
- programmes be initiated to reduce the traffic congestion at the Petaling Jaya South and Pencala toll plazas during the peak hours in the morning and evening;
- alternative routes be constructed ahead of the Petaling Jaya South, Puchong South and Pencala toll plazas; and
- U-turns be allowed at the Petaling Jaya South, Puchong South and Pencala toll plazas. Ong said the government should reconsider its decision to allow the hike as the toll concessionaire had reaped huge profits, based on its latest annual report. Ong said that according to the LITRAK’s financial report, it earned RM243 million as at 31 March 2006, a seven percent increase from 2005 figures. LITRAK’s profit also increased to RM80 million from RM56 million the previous year, representing a 43 percent increase. Puchong PKR chief Yaakob Sapari said: "The government is being unfair to the public by allowing the increase as the people are already burdened with the hike in water and electricity tariffs." Zuhri Iskandar said the memorandum would be forwarded to the company's board of directors. Fuad said the gatherings by the political parties were considered illegal as they did not obtain permits. "My officer will lodge a report about the matter and we will investigate under Section 27 of the Police Act for unlawful assembly. "We used our discretion to allow the gatherings to take place as it was conducted peacefully and the groups adhered to the 30-minute time given to them to state their opinion," he added Motorists honked as sign of support for the demonstrators. Meanwhile, DAP and PKR vowed to stage more protests and demonstration at the LDP toll plazas in the coming week.
= = == = == = = ==and MORE Pictures at the forum on 27th Dec 2006,
ABOVE: The Banner announcing the Forum and its participants and BELOW: The attentive crowd of about 70 who turned up
The anti-toll hike coalition, made up of opposition parties, the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas, the Chinese Assembly Hall youth movement, Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia and others today held a forum at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. The forum came after the submission of a memorandum on the matter to the Prime Minister earlier in the morning.
Keadilan’s information chief Tian Chua outlined the MEMO submitted
Keadilan’s treasurer Khalid Ibrahim blamed"Mahathir’s corporate Malaysia initiative which has blurred the lines between government, politics and the private sector" He said fundamental change is needed.
ABOVE: Ustaz Nasharudin, Pas Deputy President also condemned the comingToll Hike and BELOW: Dr Nasir Hashim , President PSM showed his anger at the Hike
Keadilan’s information chief Tian Chua, Syed Shahrir MTUC president; Keadilan’s treasurer Khalid Ibrahim, Ustaz Nasharudin, Pas Deputy President and Dr Nasir Hashim PSM addressed the forum.
Malaysia Incorporated Illness lies in Mahathir’s corporate Malaysia initiative which has blurred the lines between government, politics and the private sector. He said fundamental change is needed.
Lim Guan Eng: “The Prime Minister must be transparent and accountable in justifying why the government paid compensation of RM 4,864 million or RM 739 million more than the construction cost of RM 4,125 million for the 5 KlangValley highways.”
Full Text of Speech at Rakyat Bantah Kenaikan TolForum; by Lim Guan Eng
(Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must be transparent and accountable in justifying why the government paid compensation of RM 4,864 million or RM 739 million more than the construction cost of RM 4,125 million for the 5 KlangValley highways. The RM 4,864 million paid does not include the toll collected directly from the public by the highway companies, which would be extra profits earned by them.
There is no economic rationale or financial sense for the government to refuse to buy over the highways when buying it over is cheaper and more cost-effective. Why let the 5 highway companies make RM 739 million mid-way through their concession period ending between 2024-2035? By allowing the 5 Klang Valley highway companies to impose a 20-60% toll rate hike on 1 January 2007 despite already getting back their investment cost, the government is “abetting” these companies to reap huge profits at public’s expense.There is mounting public anger over the toll hikes seen as “highway robbery in broad daylight that sells out” the rights of motorists, consumers and ordinary Malaysians to big corporations, especially when the total construction cost of RM 4,125 million does not appear to justify the toll rates to be paid as follows:-
* RM 1.42 billion Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) with a concession period of 1996-2030, its toll rate rise from RM1 to RM1.60, an increase of 60 percent.
* RM 1.3 billion Kesas Highway with a concession period of 1993-2024, the toll rate increased from RM1.50 to RM2.20, a 46.7-percent hike.
* RM 336 million Cheras-Kajang Highway's with a concession period of 1995-2026, the toll rate increased by 30 cents - a hike of between 42.9 and 50 percent.
* RM 568 million Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway's Gombak with a concession period of 1994-2032, its toll rate increased between 20 and 25 percent; and
* RM 501 million Guthrie Corridor Expressway with a concession period of 2000-2035, its toll rate went up from RM1 to RM1.40 - a 40-percent increase.
So widespread is the public anger that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Njaib Tun Razak has personally intervened together with Works Minister Datuk S. Samy Vellu to take “preventive publicity measures’ by directing all mainstream media to impose a media blackout of negative public reaction towards the toll hikes. Has Najib imposed a media blackout on the irresponsible toll hikes in the 5 KlangValley highways merely to avoid explaining why they have paid compensation of RM 4,864 million when the construction cost is only RM 4,125 million? DAP condemns the media blackout imposed by the government over the 20%-60% toll rates hike as an abuse of authoritarian powers to stifle and silent the voices of ordinary Malaysians but also seriously undermining press freedom that would only pose a grave threat to democracy in Malaysia. No Toll Collected When Government Compensation Exceeds Construction Cost. Samy had revealed that the government had to incur a cost of RM2,589 million in compensation to the five concessionaires to prevent toll hikes from rising much higher than the present 20-60% proposed to take effect from Jan 1, 2007. Samy also said the government had already compensated a total of RM2,275 million to the operators of four of the five highways, not including Guthrie Corridor which is a new highway, comprised as follows:-
* Compensation of RM 1,197 million for the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway;
* Compensation of RM 479.7 million for the Lebuhraya Damansaray-Puchong Highway;
* Compensation of RM 371.8 million for the Kesas Highway; and
* Compensation of RM 226 million for the Cheras-Kajang Highway.
Would not it be more economical if the government just buys over the five highways by paying the concessionaires in full for the total construction cost of RM 4,125 million? Paying RM 4,125 million will be RM 739 million less than the RM 4,864 million of compensation paid until the next review in toll rates between 2010 and 2012? DAP regrets that the government has refused to consider DAP’s triple win solution for the nightmare of frequent toll hikes in the KlangValley by buying over the 5 highways concessionaires. Such a move will not only save the government billions of ringgit in compensation, avoid losses to the toll operators but reduce the burden of consumers from facing unreasonable toll hikes. However, clearly such a triple-win solution would deny huge profits to the highway concessionaires. The government’s intent to allow highway companies to reap huge profits at public expense is the reason behind its refusal to adopt the economically rational step of buying over all highway projects. Samy said three months ago that the government had paid RM38.5 billion in compensation to all highway companies of which RM1.76 billion was in cash while the remainder was in tax exemptions. There are 20 highway concession companies in the country built at a cost of less than the amount compensated. The first toll collection began at the Shapadu highway in Klang in 1984 followed by the North-South Expressway in 1988. The cost of constructing these highways would not exceed RM 38.5 billion and yet the government continues to compensate the toll operators and allow them to collect toll from the public. Ordinary Malaysians, especially workers, will be the biggest loser from such piratisation of privatized projects. There is no point claiming that our toll rates are cheaper than Japan when wages in Japan are three times higher or even as compared to Thailand when cars are half the price and road tax cheaper.Nowhere in the world except Malaysia allows a private company to enjoy any profits earned but the losses are borne by the public. DAP urges all Malaysians to fully support the effort by the anti-toll coalition. DAP proposes that no toll be collected when government compensation has exceeded the construction cost as it is morally unethical and politically irresponsible for the BN government to guarantee huge profits of private companies by bearing the burden of any losses incurred. (27/12/2006)Lim Guan Eng,Secretary-General of DAP
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MTUC: Reveal toll revenue; Fri 29 Dec 2006, SUN
KUALA LUMPUR: The MTUC has urged the Government to reveal the amount of toll collected by the five expressway operators that will raise their rates from Jan 1.
Its president Syed Sharir Syed Mahmud (ABOVE) said the Government should explain to the public the reasons for allowing the toll increase. "The increase will affect everyone, especially the lower income group, which includes the police," he said at a forum held at a community hall here last night to protest against the government decision. The five highways are Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong, Karak Highway, Grand Saga Highway, Kesas Highway and the Guthrie Corridor.
= = = = == Friday, December 15, 2006; by Tan Seng Giaw @ 12/15/2006
Reconsider the decision to allow toll rate hike of up to 60% for five KlangValley highways 15.12.2006.
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for KepongDr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Government to reconsider the decision to permit the increase in toll rates for the five KlangValley highways of between 20% to 60%. At the same time, we hope that the authorities will have anew strategy to alleviate the jams along these highways. After paying the new toll rates, motorists still have to face traffic congestion.Dr Tan comments on the announcement yesterday by the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu that the Cabinet had approved new toll rates for five KlangValley highways. The new rates for cars using the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) is RM1.60 up from RM1; Shah Alam Highway RM2.20 (up from RM1.50); Cheras-Kajang Highway RM1 and 90 sen for Batu 9 and Batu 11, respectively (up from 30 sen each); KL-Karak Highway RM5 for its Gombak exit (up RM1) and RM3 for its Bentong exit (up 50 sen); and Guthrie Corridor Expressway RM1.40 (up 40 sen).
As the economy slows and business is not good, the new toll rates will be a burden to the people. While Samy talks glibly on the hike, the government compensates highway concessionaires RM2.589 billion. If the Cabinet does not allow them to increase toll rates according to the agreements, they demand compensation. It seems that the Government has looked at the effects of the new rates before approval. We hope it reconsiders the decision to allow up to 60% increase in the toll rates. For decades, road concessionaires have signed agreements with the government. We do not know the contents of these agreements. Apparently, if concessionaires cannot increase the toll rates according to the agreements, then the government must pay compensation.
On the one hand, we urge the Government against allowing too high an increase in these rates, causing shock waves among motorists. On the other hand, we request the authorities to relieve traffic congestion along these highways. The government cannot build roads fast enough to keep pace with the increase in the number of cars. This is applicable to other parts of the world. The Government protects national cars, encouraging Malaysians to own as many cars as possible. The Government promotes public transport such as commuter train, monorail, light rail transit and buses. But, the quality of this form of transport must be improved, making it more attractive to the public.
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Petition On Line, (see BELOW)
To:Works Minister of Malaysia, Datuk SeriS. Samy Vellu
We, the undersigned, members of public and motorists in Klang Valley, Malaysia, wish to register our strongest protest against the latest announcement by the UMNO-led Government that toll will be increased in five main highways in Klang Valley with effective from 1st January 2007.
These five highways are Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), Shah Alam Highway (KESAS), Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway and Cheras-Kajang Highway. The UMNO-led Government has signed concession agreements with the operators of these five highways i.e. Guthrie Corridor Expressway Sdn. Bhd., KESAS Sdn. Bhd., Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn. Bhd., MTD Prime Sdn. Bhd. and Grand Saga Sdn. Bhd. and they are allowed to apply for review on toll charges after a certain period. The recent 20%-60% toll rates hike must be condemned as it is of no difference from “highway robbery in broad daylight that sells out” the rights of motorists, consumers and ordinary Malaysians to big corporations, especially when the construction cost does not appear to justify the toll rates to be paid as follows:-
• RM 1.42 billion Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) with a concession period of 1996-2030, its toll rate rise from RM1 to RM1.60, an increase of 60 percent.
• RM 1.3 billion Kesas Highway with a concession period of 1993-2024, the toll rate increased from RM1.50 to RM2.20, a 46.7-percent hike.
• RM 336 million Cheras-Kajang Highway's with a concession period of 1995-2026, the toll rate increased by 30 cents - a hike of between 42.9 and 50 percent.
• RM 568 million Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway with a concession period of 1994-2032, its toll rate increased between 20 and 25 percent; and
• RM 501 million Guthrie Corridor Expressway with a concession period of 2005-2035, its toll rate went up from RM1 to RM1.40 - a 40-percent increase.
We also wish to register our dissatisfactions over the toll hike when it is proven that the service quality provided by the concessionaires is unacceptable and unjustifiable for a toll hike. Everyday, thousands of users of the highways often endure congestion at toll plazas which is a nightmare for motorists. It is outrageous that motorists in KlangValley have to pay increased toll rates when there are in fact more traffic jams, poorer services and deterioration of roads on the highways. We also press for a full and complete review of such unfair privatization concession agreements, or demand that road tax be reduced to reflect the reduced financial commitments by the UMNO-led Government to building roads.In September 2004, Works Minister, Datuk Seri Samy Vellu said the UMNO-led Government had paid out RM 1.04 billion in compensation to highway concessionaires as part of efforts to offset toll increment over a five-year period from 1999. Therefore, we suggest that instead of keep on compensating these concessionaires untransparently in 5 to 6 years time in 2011 – 2013, it is more economically feasible to buy back the highways at cost, which would not only save the highway operators from going bankrupt, but also ensure a reasonable toll rate for all motorists as well as good service that is accountable to everyone.
We would like to remind the UMNO-led Government that they should not abuse the huge mandate given by the people to the UMNO-led Government during the last General Election. When the Prime Minister pledged for a clean, effective and people-oriented government, he must make sure he and his Cabinet really walk the talk.
Therefore, we also demand that the UMNO-led Government must respect public opinion by agreeing to a deferment of the unfair toll hike to allow for a full public study and understanding of its socio-economic and long-term implications of the toll hike.
For those who share the same aspirations with us, please also send this message to the relevant government authorities and highway concessionaires to protest against the unfair toll hike. Their telephone numbers and email addresses are as followed:
RM81 Mln DAMAGES – Roads & Bridges; Other LOSSES By Floods ( Johore, Malacca Pahang & Negeri Sembilan); TOURISTS Destinations; Businesses & Fish FARMS
December 27, 2006
Local Business Urges Council Not To Raise Taxes
SEGAMAT, Dec 27 (Bernama) -- Local businesses here today appealed to the local council to postpone the 100 per cent hike in property assessment rates next year.
The Segamat Small Traders Association chairman Datuk Ghai Soo Ming said that the raise would be unfair and too high as many businesses were severely affected by the flood on Dec 19. "We are asking the local council to postpone the rise in property assessment rates for at least three years as many businesses have suffered huge losses and would take years to recover," he said. Ghai, who is also the Malaysia Small Traders Association president, said that after the three-year grace period, the local council could again re-evaluate the property assessment rates. He said the present tax structure had not been changed for about 10 years. The changes which included the 100 per cent increase in property assessment rates were decided based on a study done by a group of researchers from UiTM this year, he added.
ABOVE & BELOW: Hard to estimate the losses suffered by business community in segamat
On the total damage incurred by the local business community as a result of the flood, Ghai said it would be hard to estimate the losses at this stage. Besides the banks, which reopened yesterday, other businesses remained closed as the cleaning-up work was still in progress. Besides the damage to property and goods, any losses incurred should also take into account the loss of opportunity to do business during the flood, Ghai said.
= = = = == = December 27, 2006
Morten Residents Fear Damage To Their Houses And Antiques
By Mohd Bakri Darus
MELAKA, Dec 27 (Bernama) -- When the recent flood inundated Kampung Morten, a traditional village rich in Malay heritage in the heart of Melaka city, the residents were more worried about the damage to their houses and antiques than they were about their safety. The village, located on the banks of Sungai Melaka, has 100 houses which have the architecture and designs of the Melaka House and the Limas House, believed to be more than 100 years old. The village has been an attraction for visitors to the state, foreign and locals alike, but over the past one week, the houses could only be seen from afar because the settlement was under 1.58m of water. A villager, Abdul Rahim Hashim, 73, whose house has been turned into a heritage museum, said his worries started when the flood water rose to waist level and submerged four steps of the house stairs on Dec 19. Inside his house are family heritage collections which include furniture, crockery and other items from the Portuguese and Dutch colonial era.
"I did not sleep throughout the night, always keeping watch on the water level, afraid that it might rise higher. I'm glad the water did not reach the floor of the house. All the items on display are safe," he told Bernama today. Abdul Rahim, a retired Customs officer, said he was concerned that the items would be damaged if they had to be moved to safer places in emergency cases like floods. "Although I was asked to evacuate, I remained in the house for fear that the items would be stolen," he added.
He said the recent flood was worse than the one in 1971. However, the situation is back to normal in the village and the residents are busy cleaning their homes and clearing their compounds of the litter left by the flood before opening their doors to visitors for Visit Malaysia Year 2007. = = = = = = = Nation, STAR; Wednesday December 27, 2006
Floods cause RM81mil damage to roads, bridges
Damage caused by the floods to roads and bridges has been estimated at RM81mil so far, with Johor accounting for RM44mil, Works Minister Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu said Wednesday. = = = == = == = December 26, 2006
Tourist Arrivals In Johor Affected By Floods
JOHOR BAHARU, Dec 26 (Bernama) -- The floods which hit the two southern states of Johor and Melaka have affected tourist arrivals from Singapore. A glaring example of how bad the situation is the fact that the Causeway, the link between Singapore and Malaysia, has remained traffic-free in the past three days. Gone are the bumper-to-bumper traffic and long queues at the immigration checkpoints normally associated with major holidays and long weekends? So it seems Singaporeans are staying away from travelling overland to their favourite Malaysian destinations during the Christmas holiday break.
Desaru, a popular beachfront resort in the district of Kota Tinggi, which was badly hit by floods, is not on the Singaporeans' mind lately. A spokesperson from the Johor Tourism Council said there had been a spate of hotel cancellations by Singaporeans who were supposed to spend their Christmas holiday in Desaru. "And you cannot blame them. I am sure they are worried about the flood situation in Kota Tinggi," said the spokesperson. Overland tours to Melaka and Kuala Lumpur from the republic are affected too. A spokeswoman from Archipelago Travel, which specialises in tours to Malaysia, said that business had been down by 20 to 30 per cent. "Melaka is quite popular with Singaporeans but the floods there had forced many to cancel their trip.
But GentingHighlands and Kuala Lumpur are still alright. The North-South Expressway is still passable to traffic," said the spokeswoman. Eco-tourism, another favourite with Singaporeans, is also off the radar. According to Zainal Abidin Hamid, the managing director of ZA Empire Travel and Tour based in Senai, many Singaporeans had chosen to opt out of outdoor holidaying activities because of the floods and the rainy spell. "The EndauRompinPark and mountain trekking are not an option for them now. And I believe many Singaporeans are not travelling to Malaysia during this period," said Zainal.
= = = == = = = = = == December 26, 2006
Fish Farm Operators Incur Huge Losses Due To Flood;
KUANTAN, Dec 26 (Bernama) -- Several fish farm operators here have incurred lossesamounting to tens of thousands of ringgit due to the recent flood. Among them is 68-year-old Abu Darus who bred red tilapia under the Kampung Pandan Freshwater Fish Pond Project. He said water levels in his two ponds had risen very fast, making it difficult for him to do anything to prevent the fish from escaping. "The actual loss has yet to be known but the sure thing is, it is worse than the previous year's."Last year, the area was also flooded but the loss was not that big because the water did not rise quickly. This time, many fish swam away because the water level rose suddenly.
"There are still fish in the ponds here but there are not many left," he told Bernama. Abu said he was supposed to have 6,000 red tilapia during the harvest early next year. When the flood struck, each fish in the pond was estimated to weigh 500gm and could be sold at RM4 per kg, he said.
When the area was flooded last year, he lost about RM4,000 per pond.
The Kampung Pandan Freshwater Fish Pond Project covers a 70ha area under a temporary occupational licence held by the villagers over the past 20 years.