Saturday, July 04, 2009

I am sad that again my believe that news can be fair and impartial has been proven wrong. I know the net is the domain of the opposition but at least try to be fair to others. If the print media is blasted for their biasness in reporting than it too can be said about the news portal in the internet be it Malaysia Today Malaysiakini or Malaysian Insider. The last prove a disappointment after providing false hope now seek to ban me for cursing Anwar and Lim Kit Siang who are both from Pakatan Rakyat or People's Alliance which to me are just making a mockery of the people's wish. I expect it from Malaysia Today who started out as neutral but became decidedly un so but not Malaysian Insider who has been more professional in their approach but became more and decidedly in their editing. Did i rile them up, perhaps but then free speech give me the right to say anything I want as long it is not libelous in nature. Here is the news in question where my comment has been stop from being aired. I gave the comment before this piece of news came out!(attach herewith)

Kit Siang demands Petronas opens its books

By Shannon Teoh

PETALING JAYA, July 4 — Lim Kit Siang urged the Barisan Nasional (BN) government today to open its books on Petronas and give a full accounting of how payments from the national oil company had been spent since its inception.

While the veteran DAP man backed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today in questioning how the government spent RM253.6 billion in payment from Petronas, he said the public were also entitled to know how the former PM’s administration had utilised the RM169 billion it received from Petronas.

“Mahathir is right. Malaysians have a right to know how the RM253.6 billion paid by Petronas to the federal treasury in the past six years had been spent.

“But Malaysians have a right to go one step further, to demand how half-a-trillion ringgit contributed by Petronas to the government in the past 33 years – RM4.2 billion under Tun Hussein Onn, RM168.8 billion under Tun Mahathir and RM253.6 billion under Tun Abdullah Badawi – has been spent and to demand a full accounting,” the DAP parliamentary leader said today.

Dr Mahathir, a trenchant critic of his successor Abdullah, wrote in his blog yesterday that “it would be interesting to know what the RM253.6 billion was spent on” since he left office in 2003.

Some of the former PM’s backers have pointed out that there is no physical evidence of just what Tun Abdullah’s government spent Petronas money on, while Dr Mahathir could point to major infrastructure projects from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Putrajaya.

But Lim, in calling a for a public inquiry and full accounting of the RM427 billion contributed by Petronas since its inception, responded today that the Petronas adviser’s point that “prudence was the last consideration in the expenditure of the RM253.6 billion Petronas petro-ringgit” should also be levelled at the influential statesman.

“Mahathir had set many bad precedents of abuse and misuse of the Petronas ringgit in his 22 years as prime minister,” Lim said in a press statement today.

The Ipoh Timur MP said that “Mahathir had not bat an eyelid” to misuse funds from Petronas, set up in 1976 as the national oil company, to “bail out dubious projects”.

“The most infamous being the RM2 billion bailout of his son Mirzan Mahathir’s shipping concern Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (KPB) in 1998 when KPB was floundering in billion-ringgit debts with its share price falling to RM3.78 by February 1998, a fraction of its pre-financial crisis level of over RM17,” the DAP stalwart said.

He claimed that there were other occasions under Dr Mahathir when “Petronas was used as a national piggy bank” such as the RM2.5 billion and RM1 billion bail-outs of Bank Bumiputra in 1986 and 1989, aiding MAS and Proton in their financial struggles as well as to fund mega-projects such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the shifting of the federal administration to Putrajaya

Lim also demanded a full accounting of the RM15.2 billion royalty owed to the Terengganu government from 2000 to 2009, which he claims were “hijacked by the federal government when the Terengganu state government fell to PAS.”

The doubts over government management of Petronas funds come after the nation’s only Fortune 500 company announced on June 25 that it had paid RM30 billion in dividends to the federal government for the financial year ended March 31, 2009.

A special dividend of RM6 billion was declared last year and this amount is exactly the increase against the previous financial year’s dividends. This is despite a 14 per cent decline in net profit to RM52.5 billion due to lower crude oil prices and higher operating costs.

Apart from the dividends, Petronas also paid RM29.4 billion taxes, RM6.2 billion royalties and RM2.2 billion export duties for the last financial year, totalling RM67.8 billion to the federal government against RM56.8 billion in the previous year.

But the government has in the past stated that money from Petronas goes into the treasury’s consolidated fund and cannot be linked directly to any particular expenditure. There is mounting concern over the management of Petronas as it contributes to 45% of the country’s economy.

My Comment which was not printed

I know i will be lambasted as UMNO henchman or paid by UMNO but for me LKS has no moral right to talk about transparency, why? in Kampong Buah Pala it fail to help the Indians only village and blame it on BN. The DAP govt headed by his son could use other land in exchange to the piece of land if it truly wants to help the Indians but enough said LKS only cries for Malaysian Malaysia but deep inside he is as chauvinist as LKY and UMNO!

Sunday July 5, 2009

CM rejects swapping another piece of land with developer


GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has all but rejected a proposal from Kampung Buah Pala residents to offer another piece of land to the developers in exchange for their village.

Speaking to reporters after opening the Penang International Halal Hub task force meeting in Komtar, Lim said: “Which piece of land is available (to swap)? What about the cost involved? And we also have to look at the precedence (it sets).

“I sympathise with their plight but the state has to abide by the rule of law,” he said, adding that the Federal Court had held that the 2.6ha land known as High Chaparral belonged to the developer.

“The other solution is to ask the Federal Government to compensate the developer and take over the land or get the developer to pay the compensation previously offered, which is RM200,000 a family.”

Lim said the state was now in a predicament as the developer had rejected further negotiations to offer compensation and the residents had rejected receiving any payment, hoping to continue staying there.

“The state government cannot afford to buy back the land. It has been earmarked for development and on top of that, it is freehold.

“Compared to the Tang Hak Ju (land scam) case which may end up costing the state RM40mil, the magnitude and costs of the Kampung Buah Pala case are frightening if held in comparison,” he said.

Lim refuted claims he was evading the residents, saying he was willing to see them but not the opportunists.

Meanwhile, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P. Uthayakumar suggested that Lim sign the compulsory purchase order under Section 76 of the National Land Code 1965 read together with the Land Acquisition Act to secure the land on grounds of public interest.

Telling Lim not to keep blaming his predecessor, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, he advised him to undo the injustice against the residents.

“The village is the last of its kind in Penang and should be preserved. The land was given to the residents by Helen Margaret Brown who created a trust in favour of the workers at the coconut plantation more than 200 years ago.

“A trust cannot change without a valid court order. I ask Lim to produce the order that did away with the trust within a week,” Uthayakumar told a press conference at the village.

Here is a piece of news taken from BERNAMA which was republish in Malaysia Insider minus the detail as above! Did MI edict the text or just republish this new because it was less damaging to Li Kit Siang? You readers decide

Penang CM: Kampung Buah Pala land too costly to acquire

Lim says the Penang government doesn't have the money to acquire Kampung Buah Pala.

PENANG, July 4 — The Penang government said today it will be too costly for it to acquire the land in Kampung Buah Pala from a cooperative and a developer to enable the 23 squatter families facing eviction to continue to live there.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he sympathised with the villagers but the cost of the land was high as it was freehold and had been approved for development.

The Federal Court had ruled that the land belonged to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative and developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd and that the villagers had to vacate it.

Lim, caught between the demands of the villagers and the court ruling, had asked the federal government to acquire the land from the cooperative and the developer.

Speaking to reporters after opening the Penang International Halal Hub task force meeting here, he said the Federal Court ruling had to be adhered to although the villagers had lived there for a long time.

He said that despite the court ruling, the state government had succeeded in getting a month-long extension for the villagers to move out.

Besides asking the federal government to acquire the land, Lim also advised the developer to pay the agreed compensation of RM200,000 to each of the families facing eviction and called on the families to accept the payment.

When told that the developer did not want to pay the compensation and the villagers did not want to move out, he said the state government would issue a directive to stop the developer from starting work at the site but added that this would incur financial cost to the state government.

"What else can the state government do? Like the Kampung Buah Pala villagers, the state government is also a victim in the case because it was not us who started the issue. Therefore, do not blame the state government," he said.

Lim said he was not avoiding a meeting with the villagers but the work of a group of opportunists had worsened the situation.

"I regret that a small group of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members had attempted to become heroes and worsened the situation when (Deputy Chief Minister I) Mansor Othman tried to resolve the problem.

"I am prepared to meet the villagers but not the opportunists. I have no qualms about meeting the villagers but my two deputies (deputy chief ministers I and II) have done an excellent job of that," he said. — Bernama


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