| TUESDAY NOVEMBER 3 2009
news without borders
Fresh polls will make MCA weaker: Dr M
PUTRAJAYA: MCA holding fresh polls will only divide the party and make it weaker, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “Because the people who lose will not be reconciled. So in the end you will have a weaker party,” he told reporters after witnessing a signing ceremony between three companies – Mega Signet Sdn Bhd, Return 2 Green Sdn Bhd and Bio Green Bags Sdn Bhd here yesterday. He said the problem now in the MCA, MIC or Umno was jostling for leadership positions. “They are not thinking about the party, the party is just a horse on which they ride. They think that by associating themselves with a political party, they can get something in return,” he said. Mahathir was asked on reports in newspapers that Wanita MCA wanted MCA to hold fresh polls. He said splits were happening in political parties as their leaders were not interested in the country or the interests of their respective parties. Commenting on rumours that former Parti Keadilan Rakyat member Badrul Hisham Abdullah, who is Port Klang assemblyman, planned to join Umno, he said he did not know if Umno would accept him because he allegedly did not function as an assemblyman. But in terms of numbers, he said, if Umno wanted to achieve a higher number (of elected representatives), it might accept him because “they are not going to make him a prime minister, deputy prime minister or minister.”
Greater Unity Plan was explained: Tee Keat
by Giam Say Khoon
Resounding ‘no’ to single stream school system
by Kong See Hoh
DONG ZONG (United Chinese School Committees Association) says it is against a single stream school system and will submit a memorandum to the prime minister to express regrets over recent remarks made by academics, MPs and the education minister on the subject. Speaking to reporters after chairing the annual meeting of Dong Zong afﬁliates (Dong Lian Hui) in Ipoh on Sunday, the education movement’s president Dr Yap Sin Tian said the decision to submit a memorandum to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak was reached during the meeting. He said Dong Zong would draft the memorandum as soon as possible and seek endorsement from other Chinese groups on the memorandum, the Chinese press reported yesterday. Yap said the meeting also censured historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim for raising the subject of the single stream system. Khoo had proposed a restructure of the national education system, including the implementation of a single stream, to ensure attainment of the goals of the 1Malaysia concept. He said the existing school system with various streams did not help the people really understand the meaning of the concept. This prompted calls by several MPs for the government to introduce a single stream school system as well as dissenting voices from the Chinese community. Yap said instead of promoting national unity, the implementation of the single stream school system would hamper unity and create racial tensions. He urged the government and political parties to state their stand on attempts by some people to use the 1Malaysia concept to achieve their political agendas of a “nation state” and a single stream school system. He also urged all quarters to raise their guard and to stand ﬁrm against any assimilation policy. He said Malaysians must accept the fact that Malaysia is a “multinational state” (a state which contains two or more ethnic groups as identiﬁed by religion, language, or colour) and not a “nation state” (the concept of one country, one race, one culture, one language and a single stream school system). Meanwhile, Hua Zong (Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia) president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah lambasted proponents of the single stream school system for creating the misconception that the current multiple-stream school system and Malaysia’s multicultural traits, which are the country’s strong points, are stumbling blocks to unity. “We must remind academics and politicians with extremist thinking not to abuse the 1Malaysia concept,” he said, at the anniversary celebration of the Perak Chinese Assembly Hall in Ipoh on Sunday. Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he was all for single stream schools to promote unity and 1Malaysia. However, he said the issue should be looked at in its totality with views from all quarters, including those of the Chinese and Indian communities. Such schools, he said, were the ultimate objective of the Razak Report but due to circumstances involving the country’s history, it ended up with a multiple-stream system. Last Saturday, Najib said the government would consider the views of the people before making a decision on the proposal.
KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday disclosed that three MCA ministers, two deputy ministers and party secretary-general, Datuk Wong Foon Meng, were briefed on the greater unity plan before the Oct 22 announcement. He said the main thrusts of the plan were explained to the leaders in a luncheon meeting although he had not named them individually. “It is incorrect to say that certain individuals were not aware of the plan,” he told a press conference yesterday. In the Oct 10 extraordinary general meeting (EGM), MCA central delegates passed a motion of no-conﬁdence against Ong and rejected Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek as deputy president. However, the duo decided to call a truce by introducing the unity plan with the blessings of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. On Thursday, 16 MCA central committee (CC) members who rejected the unity plan requisitioned for another EGM, seeking fresh party elections from the party’s 2,380 central delegates. Ong said the plan was not a mathematical model that involved any quota but a genuine plan encompassing sincere inclusion of all party leaders in the endeavour to serve the party. “Do not be obsessed with quota as you will be on the wrong track. “As the party president, I did not make any
public statement because we were then focused on working out the details that were not just conﬁned to the top leadership but also included the grassroots. “It is not a unity plan that only involves a few top leaders but it would only be meaningful if the plan were to include the grassroots leaders. Certain individuals might not be happy with the unity plan for reasons best known to them. “Nonetheless, common sense must prevail as anything beneﬁcial to the common good of the party, community and nation should always be given a fair chance and a reasonable time slot to implement,” he added. The CC meets today to discuss details of the plan as well as the requisition for EGM. When met in the parliament lobby yesterday, MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong reiterated he was not briefed about the plan. Asked if the EGM requisitionists had managed to collect two-thirds of the CC members’ signatures to trigger automatic party polls, Wee said: “The CC will know in the meeting whether we have enough members to call for elections.” On whether the requisitionists would consider withdrawing the requisition, Wee said “we must act according to the party constitution” and refused to commit whether his faction would change its mind on the EGM. Asked if he was willing to also relinquish his Youth chief post should the CC resign en bloc, Wee said he would do whatever is required in the party constitution.
Nanotag saves govt RM2.3bil in diesel subsidies
exceeded the requirements of the oil companies before it was implemented. “Before we started the programme, eight out of 10 commercial users were using subsidised diesel, at the expense of the government and the people,” he said, explaining that subsidised diesel is marked at 36 depots and distribution terminals nationwide. Tunku Karldej said spotchecks are sometimes done at the same sites because they had found many repeat offenders during inspection and, through photographs in the presentation, diesel was being stored in “creative places”. Teras Kimia chief operating ofﬁcer Frederick Tan said junkyards, forests, even underground concealed by a statue of the Goddess of Mercy were among the hiding places. Using NanoTrackr, the company’s inspection team can detect those having subsidised diesel. The ministry’s enforcement will then take action and another sample from the same source will be sent to the chemistry department. “There have been no incidents in which there were contradictory results,” Tunku Karldej said. On whether there had been any case where Nanotag was laundered out of diesel, Tunku Karldej said there have been attempts even a couple of weeks after it was implemented but none have been successful. “We continuously improve our product to stay one step ahead and keep the efﬁciency and effectiveness of the product,” Tunku Karldej said, adding that other variants of Nanotag are used in many countries for petroleum products and diesel.
KAMARIDUAN MOHD NOR/THESUN
Tunku Karldej explains how Nanotag works.
by Llew-Ann Phang
PETALING JAYA: Nanotag has saved the government some RM2.3 billion in diesel subsidies between April 2006 and August this year, says Teras Kimia. Its chief executive, Tunku Karldej Tunku Shamsul Bahrin, said the marker was put through a six-month trial with all oil companies before it was implemented. Moreover,
tests were done for (then) Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry officials, field experts and the chemistry department. “The tests included putting droplets of Nanotag into containers because some parties were worried about inefﬁcacies and the risk of being dragged to court,” Tunku Karldej said at his office in Shah Alam recently. He said if the parties were still wary about the product even after the tests, they would not have agreed to the implementation of Nanotag. “But there were no complaints. Teras Kimia strove to ensure that its product met or