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| WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 4 2009
news without borders
Husna Yusop and Karen Arukesamy at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday
Evaluate performance of cops by another yardstick: MP
SALAHUDDIN Ayub (PASKubang Kerian) wants the government to have another method to evaluate the performance of the police rather than measuring it based on tangible elements under the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). He suggested that the integrity index method was a better yardstick in gauging the performance of the police in terms of leadership and morality. “The performance of a dedicated trafﬁc policeman cannot be measured with the KPI. How to make sure the police do not get involved in corruption, power abuse or misappropriation? “We need another method of integrity index which are used by developed countries like Scandinavia in order to improve the performance of the police force,” he said during question time. However, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop said the government was satisﬁed with the good performance of the police and it was only a perception, especially of the Opposition, that the police were involved in immoral activities. “The police performance (target), according to the KPI, has been achieved. There are some who are immoral but the Opposition has been exaggerating. They don’t see the good things done,” he added. Earlier, he told Salahuddin the inspector-general of police had achieved the level of “Signiﬁcantly Exceed Target” with 113.8% marks in its KPI last year as stated in the police force’s five-year strategic plan. In another supplementary question, Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) said the performance of the police had not been very good because, for example in the case of the V.K. Lingam video clip, they could not ﬁnd a key witness. He asked if Abu Seman could name the witness as he said he would be able to trace the person but Abu Seman said it was a speciﬁc question which he did not have information.
‘Implement code of ethics’
Success in Islamic ﬁnance pg 14
VETERAN backbencher Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad (BN-Johor Baru) says there is a lack of code of ethics for MPs when addressing the house as highlighted in the National Integrity Plan. “The code was introduced during the last parliament term but it is forgotten now. We often discuss and debate about code of ethics for other institutions but not for us. I hope the speaker and other MPs would be involved in discussing how to have this code in Parliament. “The code is necessary to boost the image, support and honour of the MPs here. We need a standard, what should and should not be done,” he said debating the Supply Bill 2010. On the second wave of privatisation, he suggested the government adopted an open policy instead of applying the “ﬁrst come, ﬁrst serve” basis when granting contracts. Stressing on outcome or end result as priority, he said “ﬁrst come, ﬁrst serve” would only provide those close to the government an advantage over others. “To ensure success in privatisation, it should be implemented more openly through advertisements. And, all qualified candidates with the right criteria should be ﬁltered accordingly. “This way, privatisation can be enjoyed by the rakyat and not become a platform to create entrepreneurs without qualiﬁcations. In this process, we must be fair and limit it to only those qualified, not those close to the decision-makers,” he added. He said should privatisation projects fail, it was the people who would suffer. Shahrir also cautioned the government over the dependency on imported food because about 80% of the people’s demand were imported, adding the inconsistencies of the ringgit had also affected their quality of life. “We should strengthen the value of our ringgit. We must stop the situation whereby we purposely cheapen it in our country. A strong ringgit value would give more purchasing power to the rakyat and increase their quality of life,” he said. He also called on the government to extend liberalisation to other goods such as coarse sugar and wheat ﬂour so that consumers would have more choice.
10 implicated in PKFZ probe
MORE than 10 senior officials and ex-ministers will be implicated in the Public Accounts Committee’s report on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) multi-billion ringgit ﬁasco to be tabled in Parliament today. PAC member Tony Pua told reporters in the Parliament lobby that PAC knows the cabinet received a report on PKFZ and that “many ministers are accountable because no action was taken based on the report”. “However, there are one or two (ex) ministers who had heavier and speciﬁc responsibilities to act and did not,” Pua said referring to the “leaked” cabinet papers on the PKFZ showing that the government was aware of all the problems. Declining to name the ofﬁcials, he told reporters to wait for the report to be tabled ﬁrst. It was earlier reported that a former transport minister was named for alleged criminal breach of trust, as were senior civil servants from the ministry and the Port Klang Authority (PKA), most of whom have retired since. Several members of the PKA’s board of directors were also named. The findings, said to be up to 20 pages long, alleges the project had breached several guidelines listed by the Treasury in 2001 and that the evidence of overbilling by PKFZ turnkey developer Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd were consistent with those revealed by a task force set up by the Transport Ministry to probe the project.
Gazette Malaysia Day as public holiday
THE Employment Act must be amended to gazette Sept 16 as a public holiday so that it is recognised by employers and private companies, says Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PKR-Kuala Langat). “If it is not gazetted, those in the private sector may not be able to enjoy it because employers can decide not to allow it, unless they have a union. Otherwise, it will remain only as lip service by the government,” he said in his Supply Bill 2010 debate. Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian) said: “... it is not enough just to make Sept 16 a public holiday. The rakyat will not be charmed by rhetoric. People want substance. “How does the government translate it in the form of justice for all? The willingness of Sabah and Sarawak to be together with Malaysia must be repaid accordingly.”
‘Cut the rhetoric, give answers’
DATUK Dr Makin @ Makcus Mojigoh (BNPutatan) urged Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Chew Mei Fun ’to do away with rhetoric but to reveal the actions taken to address crimes involving children like rape, abuse and abduction. “We want to know what actions have been taken. The people want a positive answer,” he said when commenting on Chew’s reply to a question by Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) who asked about the delay in hearing court cases involving children and what measures had been taken to address the issue. – Bernama
No APs for six new companies
DEPUTY International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir denies that the government is considering issuing approved permits (APs) for import of vehicles to six new companies. “It is pointless to issue APs to new companies when the AP system is to be scrapped in 2015,” he said when replying a supplementary question from Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang). Mukhriz said to date only 98 companies had been issued with APs although at one time more than 200 companies enjoyed the facility, adding that the APs for 156 companies were cancelled for failing to meet conditions. Fong had also wanted to know why the government did not use an open tender system for the import of vehicles, saying the government could earn revenue of RM2.5 billion annually compared with only RM30 million with the RM10,000 payment imposed on each AP. Mukhriz said the government adopted the system because it was in accordance with agreements the government had signed at the international level. Replying to the original question from Datuk Ismail Kasim (BN-Arau), Mukhriz said the ministry had conducted an audit of all the AP holders to ensure that all companies adhered to the conditions of approval. Ismail had wanted to know what the government was doing on the alleged issue of APs to those who did not even have a vehicle showroom. Muhkriz said the audit showed up, among other things, shortcomings in terms of administrative management and documentation.
Higher education fund will be RM48b in the red
THE National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is expected to have a RM48 billion deﬁcit by the year 2020 if existing borrowers do not repay their loans. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung said the outstanding loans were now at RM3.26 billion involving 780,000 borrowers. “Of that total, students owing RM346 million had been given a postponement for repayment while RM1.54 billion had not been repaid,” he said in reply to a question by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN-Gua Musang) who wanted to know how much of PTPTN loans were in arrears and what were the government’s plans for those who did not receive loans to pursue higher education in local or overseas institutes of higher education. Answering a supplemnatry question by Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai), Hou said the fund faced ﬁnancial difﬁculties in giving many loans.
Number of poorly performing schools declines
THE number of primary schools failing to achieve the minimum passing rate of D and E in their School Average Grade (GPS) is declining – from 116 in 2005 to 110 in 2006, 106 in 2007 and 98 last year. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said this to Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) who wanted to know the number of schools recorded as zero failure for their Primary School Assessment Test (UPSR) in the past ﬁve years. Wee said the ministry evaluates the schools based on the GPS which has a scale of 1 to 5 whereby the lower the GPS is, the better the school is.
Nov 23 hearing for Anwar’s sodomy trial
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court will hear on Nov 23 the application by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to strike out the sodomy charge against him. Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah yesterday also fixed the same day for the sodomy trial to be mentioned again. Anwar, 62, who was in court with his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is charged with sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, in a condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26 last year. Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, who led the prosecution team, had asked the court to fix the hearing date for the application. One of Anwar’s counsel, R. Sivarasa, suggested that the court fix the application for mention pending Friday’s outcome of appeals by both the prosecution and defence before the Court of Appeal pertaining to documents sought by Anwar. On July 16, Mohamad Zabidin granted Anwar’s application to compel the prosecution to furnish him recorded statements of witnesses Mohd Saiful, Dr Osman Abdul Hamid of Pusrawi Hospital, condominium owner Hassanuddin Abdul Hamid, and the statements of three other witnesses as well as other relevant documents. The prosecution appealed against the order and, on July 24, the court granted a stay of execution pending the disposal of the prosecution’s appeal to the Court of Appeal. Anwar also ﬁled a cross-appeal on the same order which had refused his application to get a DNA sample taken from Mohd Saiful. The Court of Appeal ﬁxed Friday for the decision on the two appeals. Yesterday, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) judge Lau Bee Lan ﬁxed Dec 15 for re-mention of Anwar’s application for a judicial review to quash a written statement by the prosecution, relating to his sodomy case, pending the outcome of the Court of Appeal. On June 24, Anwar received a written statement signed by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamad Hanaﬁah Zakaria which stated that there were no facts favouring the defence in the (sodomy) case. On Aug 3, Anwar ﬁled the application to quash the prosecution’s written statement in the High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division), naming Mohamad Hanafiah and the government of Malaysia as the respondents. In the application, Anwar also sought an order of mandamus to compel the prosecution to supply facts favourable to him under Section 51A (1)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Anwar also sought an order to prevent the prosecution from proceeding with the sodomy case until these facts were made available to him. – Bernama
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