Friday, December 14, 2007



The Effect of Corruption on Politics, Government Administration and the Public Sector.

The World Bank had identified corruption as a tough obstacle to overcome when implementing developments in any developing country in the world. Malaysia, being a young developing nation could not, at this moment get off this shackle and rid itself out from this spotlight of the international community. Corruption in a developing country could affect the flow of foreign investments. Coupled with unsound development policies and inability to keep corruption in control will definitely shun foreign investors away from our shores. Corruption has the bad effect of distorting the rule of law and sabotages policies and programmes that aimed at reducing poverty.

In the political realm, corruption could undermine democracy and good governance and also distort the quality of representation in the Legislative Assembly and Parliament. When elective office could be bought, public accountability would suffer and the public may not have quality elected representatives and will not hear quality debates and if corruption involves the judiciary, the rule of law could then be easily compromised to fit the crooks, cheats and those in the underground. Those who should be convicted got away and the innocent could also be victimized and see jail.

If corruption involves public administration, then the public will never get quality public service, procedures will be disregarded and resources siphoned-off and it will cause erosion of public confidence in public administration.

In the private sector, corruption will increase cost of business and prices of goods. In the development industry involving government officials and agencies, illicit payments changing hands will not see quality structures of buildings. This is because corruption reduces compliance with standard procedures and compromises with safety and quality and costs will then pass to the general public. In many developing countries, like the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, corruption can cause public unrests and collapse of governments.

Prime Minister Needs Support to Combat Corruption

When Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became the Prime Minister of Malaysia in October, 2003 the Prime Minster set himself the task to fight the war against corruption. The new Prime Minister had a mission seeking Malaysians to walk with him and not to work for him in fighting corruption with the one objective, that is, for a clean, incorruptible, efficient, trustworthy, democratic, just, people-oriented government which was prepared to hear all grouses or allegations of officials and politicians involved in corruption.

With such a positive statement, the Malaysian public threw their weight behind him and with that, BN in 2004 general election won 91% of the total contested seats in Parliament. The Opposition was nearly wiped out with PAS suffering heavy defeat and PKR was made impotent in Malaysian political scene, but, DAP was a bit lucky, just managed to hang on with some seats and also saw the return of our Party’s Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh back to Parliament. Our Party advocated great support for the Prime Minister to fight grafts and called all Malaysians to close ranks and put all differences apart, whether political or otherwise, with the one hope of Malaysia getting better ranking from 37th in the Corruption Perception Index compiled by Transparency International in 2003.

We had to close rank as we all known, the Prime Minister could not do it alone because corruption had eaten the heart of our society. The Prime Minister, when he took office, promised the Malaysian public to bring 18 high profile cases to justice, but, until now, we had been kept guessing.

While the 18 high profile cases had kept the Malaysian public in suspense, the Prime Minister came out with the National Integrity Plan which was launched in 2004. To ensure a clean, first-class Police Force, the Prime Minister called the setting up of the Royal Police Commission. The Royal Commission recommended the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to check the widespread corruption and abuse of power by members of the Police Force. To our dismay, the Royal Malaysian Police Force opposed the setting of the IPCMC and the government until now could not come with good reasons why this was implemented yet.

Recently the Datuk Seri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi , as Prime Minister and Finance Minister allowed huge salary increment in the civil service and Police Officers in the country took a big jump in their pay. The big jump in salaries of the government was well supported by the Opposition because it was with the hope that with better pay to combat rising cost of living, corruption among government servants, especially, the police could be kept at bay. The Police Department also got big slice of the budget for the improvement of their facilities and logistics.

From actions taken, it seems that the Prime Minister was moving into the correct direction, but, why corruption is still rampant in Malaysia. Instead, corruptions or grafts had become worse each day and each year we saw we fell in Corruption Perception Index. We need to examine where went wrong and we need to examine our political system.

The Role of Both Opposition and Ruling Party
In a country that practices democracy, both the Opposition and the ruling party has individual role to play. When an issue is before Parliament, both the Opposition and the ruling party have to debate on the issue with the hope that both parties could come with a common best idea where policies could be formulated to tackle issue affecting the country. When policies had been formulated, it has to be implemented; and a success or a failure to combat a certain issue by way of policy formulated, for example, corruption, depends on two major factors, that is, first, how sound and acceptable is the policy to the general public, and second the effectiveness of the implementation of the policies formulated.

We can have many policies and sometimes these policies overlapped each other, but, where the implementation was wanting, the policy collapse. The end result is that the issues that we wanted to tackle for the good of the Nation, will not be effectively solved and instead will deteriorate further with each day becoming worse.

The people who implemented the policies were none the other, but, the cabinet ministers, their political secretaries and the government servants.

If the policy formulated is not sound and acceptable to the public, it will then not able to take off as lack of public support. The public will be against it.

For example, for every development consented to by the minister in a constituency, the constituents have to offer monetary gifts to the minister, this will sure invite political unrests and street demonstrations as such gifts are none other, but, bribes! The end result is that the minister will get richer and the people become poorer! Corruption and abuse of power will then become more rampant and there would be chaos in the country. No one with reasonable mind would support this policy.

If the cabinet ministers themselves when enforcing the policies had deviated from the strategies of the policies by themselves not being upright, by themselves participating in corrupt acts and susceptible to the practise of political corruption, through nepotism, cronyism, patronage, grafts, embezzlement and any form of misuse of political office, then, the policy however sound, will collapse and remain a dream to disappear into the thin air! In the end, the Nation will see billions of ringgit gone through unexplained or unaccountability of loss of public funds.

This unexplained or unaccountable loss could be done by inflating the costs of implementing the policy or a given project, then, by siphoning part of the public fund away to other directions or purposes. This is what we normally called, “kickback payments”. Normally, the modus operandii was that, if infrastructures or a development project was involved, the development of the project was given to a crony company and the inflated costs passed to the public. Here, we will then find people in the corridors of power become richer and richer and the wealth of the Nation been “sucked-off” by the few, leaving the majority of the population to live in poverty. This is because national wealth could not reach a larger segment of the society.

If the government servants were given the task, but had failed to properly implement it, then, the Malaysian public will not be able to see the success of the policy.

Certain factors could affect the success or failure of the implementation of a policy. For example, if the integrity of the government servant is questionable, lack of discipline and will power in implementing the policy, the unethical interference of superiors and political leaders or politicians, especially that of the ruling party, prejudice in implementing the policy due to personal political inclination to a certain party or the wrong conception of the government servant that he should only give audience or preference or only to respect the views of the politicians of ruling party, thereby restricted himself from hearing views from the members of the Opposition, could also cause the failure of the policy. With respect, such a wrong misconception could instead, harm the implementation of the policies formulated by Parliament in which both the Opposition and the ruling party played major role.

In this respect, government servants are begged to remain neutral as government servants never change and go with the collapse of a government. They are there to do work for the Malaysian Government, not to do work for the ruling party or BN and also not for the Opposition. They received their benefits or pay because Parliament allowed it and the Opposition was involved in making of it a possibility. The Opposition rarely or never in a country that practises democracy, opposes something that should be good for the people and the government servants. To repeat government servants are not paid by the Barisan Nasional or by the Opposition, but, by the Malaysian Government and there is no such thing as Malaysian Government comes and go with each election as long as Malaysia exists!

With this, we need to remind each other that the National Integrity Plan (NIP) launched by the Prime Minister in April, 2004 was clear to involve all strata of society and programme activities in the NIP also involved members of the Opposition. If we see on community development in the NIP which was with a view to inculcate patriotism, interethnic relations and good values, the implementing agencies include local Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen and the Prime Minister did not in that National Integrity Plan exclude Opposition YBs!

Corruption In Malaysia
In Malaysia, we recently have heard many scandals and the amount of money allegedly involved were very alarming! Whether true or not corruption exits, but, due to lack of information and transparency, the public was always kept in suspense. Someties, these allegations, although may not be true, could disrupt the trust of investors and public against the people in the corridors of power.

We have heard of money politics involving political parties and UMNO and even Dr. Mahathir was sick of it. To get elected, millions was said changed hands. If money politics is not corruption, then, I don’t know what this was, but, the culprits involved were yet charged in court. Can we allow persons in money politics to be in the government?

From political parties, we have “Money For Freedom” controversy of RM5.5 million allegation against a Deputy Minister who was accused of freeing three underground kingpins under police investigation.

Some years ago, we also have heard of a very powerful politician being arrested in trying to smuggle A$2 million to Brisbane, Australia. Why he wanted the money to go to Australia was shrouded with controversy. Was that corrupt money?

We have heard of a substandard RM270 million court complex in Jalan Duta Kuala Lumpur being handed over to the Prime Minister’s Department and also massive losses of the Perwaja Steel! The Anti-Corruption Agency had done good work in investigating the RM270 million court complex and we hope this time the ACA will achieve success in pinning down the culprits to justice.

Former top cop, Tun Haniff Omar, once said 40% of senior police officers could be arrested for corruption without investigation based on their lifestyles!

The present top cop, Tan Sri Musa, then called Tun Haniff Omar to provide proof! The challenge by the present top cop against his former boss to produce evidence was not a correct procedure at all. When there was such a serious allegation, an investigation or at least an inquiry should be conducted straightaway and police should get to the bottom of the line. The duty of the police is to collect evidence and we could not expect Tun Haniff Omar, who now has retired and has no statutory power and resources to produce proof of his own allegation to provide proof. This was a wrong demand and a wrong demand can always create injustice.

Mr. Yip Pit Wong, a Senior Assistant Commissioner II, of the ACA and also a Deputy Director of ACA Penang, recently was of the opinion that even a layman is able to spot some symptoms of corruption around those involved, such as the sudden change of lifestyle or a person or a person’s inability to explain away his sudden wealth.

The Royal Police Commission Report in May 2005 found out that “corruption is widespread among police personnel”, recounting the case of a police officer who made an asset declaration of RM34 million, but, no charges had been preferred against the said police officer. Datuk Ramli Yusuff was unlucky, he was recently charged as a “RM27 million cop”.

Observations had been made that police corruption, which is a form of misconduct, if too rampant can cause the increase of crime rates. It involves financial gain or political benefit for the police officer concerned in exchange for not pursing a criminal or selectively pursing the criminals. A good example is police officers accepting bribes from organized drugs and prostitution rings in exchange for not reporting these illicit activities. Another example is police officers ignoring police code of conduct in order to fully able to catch a suspected criminal, for example, in cases of forgeries, house breakings and robberies whereby fingerprints which could be detected were said not detected!

Lawyers and the judiciary were also not spared in shoddy controversies! The Lingamgate Tap is still a hot topic in the public. Years back a senior High Court Judge resigned after making some exposures about the judiciary and lawyers!

We have to remind ourselves in countries where corruption was rampant involving people of high places, the country will plunge into chaos. Modern history told us that, the Army being very disciplined, seldom got themselves involved in corruption and malpractices, but, would normally move in by coup de tat to take over the political system of the country when they no more could withstand to see corruption destroying their country.

Modern history also told us that when Army took over the administration of their country, democracy will pave way to dictatorship. When dictatorship comes, the country’s wealth will be plundered by the Army. We have seen what happened to the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia when ruled by the Army. These countries, especially the Philippines and Indonesia became very poor under Army chiefs and instead better, corruption became more prevalent.

The Challenges Ahead
1. To be able to combat corruption more power should be given to the Anti-Corruption Agency and the ACA should be able to act on its own and to report direct to Parliament, not to the Cabinet. Being directly under Parliament, ACA will come under the scrutiny of Parliament where their actions and inactions could be questioned or queried. Suspicions of selective prosecution may not arise as at present, where cases were said swept under the carpet. If not, where are the 18 high profile cases promised by the Prime Minister?

2. There should be better government transparency in giving out works to contractors and public tenders should at all times be called;

3. The Right to Information Act, probably modelled liked the Indian Right to Information Act 2005 need be passed by Parliament;

4. There should be better freedom for freedom speech and publications;

5. An agency with full time staff should be set-up to monitor impartiality in executing orders and enforcements of laws by government agencies;

6. The principle of separation of powers should be enhanced and there should not be any political interference against government servants carrying out their duties;

7. The need for proper accountability must at all times be instilled;

8. There should be a need for a strong and independent judiciary and also a strong legal profession to defend the weak and the oppressed and also a strong prosecution department to ensure that kingpins and crooks could not run away;

9. Better protection for whistleblowers and those who expose the whistleblowers should be severely dealt with ;

10. There need for a Fair and Independent Election Commission
which reports to Parliament;

11. Declaration of assets of politicians to Parliament and Legislative assemblies.

12. Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as recommended by the Royal Commission must be set up in soonest possible. Otherwise, we need to set-up a full time Royal Commission Against Corruption and Abuses by Enforcement Agencies with staffs to monitor police corruption and abuses and also that of other law enforcement agencies. This Commission could supplement the work or ACA because one could not expect ACA to monitor its own officers with impartiality.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dewan Undangan Negeri Speech Delivered on 21st November, 2007

Yang Arif Speaker,

Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to speak.

Despite the passing in this august House the Dewan Undangan Negeri (Privileges and Powers) Bill 2007 to curtail freedom of speech, I pray that Mr. Speaker would be slow to unsheathe this power on us as we all have a duty towards the people, State and Nation to speak fearlessly about all issues in which we think would be for the good of all.

When we say that Mr. Speaker, sometimes we got interrupted by the members of the Barisan Nasional and sometimes by some other things. I feel these interruptions sometimes are necessary but sometime not necessary and some people became exited. So, I would like to make a clarification here. There is no member for Liar, but, there is an Honourable Member for Layar! I hope the Honourable Member for Layar being a senior member of this august House can understand that.

I think the Member for Padungan was very excited and also members from the government side were also very excited. So, instead of pronouncing correctly Layar, they pronounced it as, “Liar!”. That I think degrade the quality of the debate in this august House. Being a senior member, I hope the Deputy Chief Minister can guide the junior members in the way to the debate, not to provoke and also not unnecessarily ridicule another member of the august House.

DAP is very concerned despite efforts made through various legislations, programmes and seminars concerning good moral values and integrity, corruption and the lack of integrity among officials in the government and also in the private sector were very alarming.

We all know that the New Economic Policy (NEP) has to be implemented, but, I think the way how it was implemented, was it successful? What have we done? We talked a lot yesterday but, I think, we must come to the idea that even our Honourable Minister from Tupong could not even trust the bank! His house was robbed! Honourable Member for Tupong came out to the press and said three or four thousands were lost. This was the integrity that we had in this government. We talked a lot, so loud, but we must take the lead. We cannot talk one thing, but, doing the other thing. Cakap tak serupa bikin! So, this was the root that caused corruption and the decline of morality, not only in the government, but also in the private sector.

That was why members from the Opposition have stressed at length the abuses of the government spending of public fund like what the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa who stressed a lot on MBKS, the 1st Silicon and Titanium. These are the results of integrity of those who managed the funds.


May It Please Mr. Speaker,
Between the years 2003-2005 a sum of about RM45. 69 million was said spent by the Kuching Water Board in water treatment and management of our water reservoirs, but, was the money well spent? With such huge sums of money we should expect that water in Kuching should be of the highest quality and should be safer for use and for our consumption. If not properly treated in accordance with certain recognized standards, water, which seem harmless can also poison us. Therefore, the Kuching Water Board owes to us a duty of care to ensure that we have good quality drinking water, free from harmful chemicals and bacteria and water quality for consumption meets recognized standard.

However, in a report produced by a government agency, it showed that Kuching Water Board had many times failed in its duty to ensure no excessive chemicals use and harmful bacteria present in our treated water. The report also showed that during a six month Physcio-chemical and Bacteriological tests in which 2 to 3 tests per week were conducted by the Water Quality Control Section showed the presence of excessive chlorine and 30 cases of harmful Coliform bacteria and 20 cases of E Coli bacteria in our drinking water. This clearly showed that the Kuching Water Board at that time had miserably failed in their duty to provide us with the approved quality drinking water.

There was too frequent excessive chlorine in our treated water supplied to consumers by the Kuching Water Board. Infact, excessive chlorine in our treated water occurred almost everyday as detected by the government agency.

It was also revealed that some chemicals used in water treatment failed to comply with ISO standard. If past records had shown that the Kuching Water Board had failed in their duty, we at this moment should also not discount that such a failure had not occurred recently, unless, had been rectified.

The report made by the government agency was enough for us to understand the working attitude of our Kuching Water Board and or probably other Water Boards. It the board members are still in the Board, please do something, if not yet done, to rectify the flaws. Maybe, you may all chose to resign so that others to be given a chance if you can’t perform your job to the expectation of the public. We all need to respect the principle of accountability in public management so that people will not be unnecessarily harmed by our lacklusture attitude.


May It Also Please Mr. Speaker,
The Kuching Water Board also needs to explain to us the many wasteful spending which was discovered at time of inspection.

(i) In 1998 a sum of RM900,000-00 was spent in upgrading nine filtering systems of Reservoir I, Batu Kitang, but only five filtering systems were in use.

(ii) The desludging system to remove mud at a cost of RM400,000-00 in Reservoir I, Batu Kitang had not been functioning well due to frequent blockages.

(iii) Two Sludge Travelling Bridge at reservoir II, Batu Kitang constructed at the cost of RM466,752 was found not functioning since 1998.

(iv) Cost of sand as a filtering agent at Batu Kintang for Reservoir I, which had only nine filters cost RM900,000-00 compared with Reservoir III, which had sixteen filters which only cost RM390,00-00.

(v) The excessive stock of chemicals, Sodium Silicofluoride of 290,350 kilograms and Coagulant (Superfloc) of 54,725 kilograms which was said to take eight years and 69 years to finish using respectively.

(vi) Reservoir 1, Batu Lintang which was upgraded with the cost of RM15.65 million in 1999 was not in operation.

I hereby call that an inquiry board be set-up to find out why such excesses in spending did occur. We need to find out, especially, how and who authorized the purchase of chemicals which will last about 69 years to come. Such chemicals were wastage spending as these chemicals may be obsolete and in effective in years to come.

If we have problems with water quality in Kuching City and management of Kuching Water Board, we cannot therefore discount that other Water Boards or towns have no problems about water management and quality.


For those living within the Siniawan area in Bau District, my personal finding was that the water source came from a river that could have carried pig wastes and other animal wastes downstream from pig farms near before the water is pumped for treatment in a treatment plant in Siniawan. Each pig farm has few thousand pigs. A public animal slaughter house was also near to the river and wastes was from the slaughter house could easily seeped into the same river and pumped to the water treatment plant. To me, it could also be very unhealthy when an exposed rubbish dumping pit of which I was told approved and managed by the Bau District Council was also near to the river that formed the water source. Although these pig farms and rubbish dumping pit could be some kilometers away from the water point where water was pumped to the water treatment plant, this could not discount that the treated water for Siniawan people was not contaminated with bacteria and chemicals wastes.

The relevant authorities, for the purpose of protecting our health, need to go to the ground to see for themselves the problem that could be faced by the Water Boards so that corrective actions could be taken. We need to understand, purified water in the markets is expensive and no all our people could afford it. So, treated water in our reservoirs should be properly managed and treated in accordance with approved standards at all times.


May It Please Yang Arif Speaker,

The Chinese community had placed much importance of studying their own culture and language and the failure of the State in the past years to help develop Chinese education had caused much dissatisfaction in the community against the government. Chinese people in the State had decades ago knew that besides having a good command of own dialect which could be learnt at home, a good command of the mandarin language will definitely give them added advantage in the business world, especially, if one intends to do business with China where the market is so huge. This is because Chinese people could be found everywhere in the world.

The Chinese people in the country had settled here and had recognized that Malaysia is their country and to those in the State here, had also recognized the State of Sarawak, their homeland. They owed allegiance to this country and State, not to China or any other countries in the world. If they can do business with mandarin speaking people outside the country and State, they will bring in money to this country and State by way of paying taxes. Therefore, in order to ensure that the Chinese people be given a more proper opportunity to study the mandarin language, both the State and Federal governments should seriously look into this matter and accommodate the Chinese community’s wishes by building more schools for them and by providing the necessary funds.

If the State could allow foreign universities such as Curtin and Swineburne universities to set up campuses in the State where the medium of instruction is in English, then, there is no reason why the State government could not see or help the growth of Chinese education in the State. If and I repeat, if lands had been alienated or rented out to these foreign universities to set up campuses here, then, there is no reason why this could not be done to our own people. The Chinese people had been begging to study their own culture and language in local schools. We know these foreign universities are for our students here, but, we should also see Chinese education grow here side by side with other medium of education.

Education is a responsibility of any government in the world, but, if the BN government’s policy is not to provide any finance to develop Chinese education for the Chinese community, it could be understandable, but, not excusable. The Chinese community at this moment with its growing population is badly in need of land to build schools. Therefore, may the State government alienate or lease land to them at a nominal fee.

Mr. Speaker,
There is no reason why the area in Tabuan Jaya, BDC and Stutong Baru in Kuching which is the most populated Chinese area in the State until now has no Chinese school, not even a kindergarten. SUPP claimed to look into the interest of the Chinese in the State and claimed to represent them in the BN State government, what had they done in this power sharing? Had they talked with their ruling partners? SUPP being in the government should have seen this problem at least ten years ago and should have already solved this problem for the Chinese community in this Tabuan Jaya, BDC and Stutong area. Had the Honourble Chief Minister been told by SUPP of the problems faced by the Chinese community? I am sure the Honourable Chief Minister may wish to listen. The Chinese community wants

It would also enhance racial harmony if we can have a full fledge dayak School in Sarawak at least up to 6th year level. I believe dayaks are not short of culture and values that worth to be explored and studied by the younger generations. I could speak the Iban and malay languages well because I mixed with dayaks and the malays in the kampungs and in longhouses. I found that dayaks and malay are unique people, well manner and well cultured. The malays kissed the hands of their parent and elders when saying their greetings and the dayaks are people who I always observed not only obedient, but, too obedient, - “kelalu nyelap” and are always good followers.


Yang Arif Speaker,

Crime, gangsterism and public security are matters that are of much concern to everyone of us. We had in the past again and again stressed the weaknesses of our system in fighting against these evils. Out of concern many in the streets came out with many ideas or suggestions on how to fight crime and gangsterism with the hope that personal safety and property would be guaranteed and public security improved. However, until now we could not find a proper solution to these. The issue now is can we find a solution to these problems without knowing the root causes of these?

To me, I personally of the humble opinion that the real culprit that largely contributed to the root cause or weakness of our security system is the BN government itself, which had failed to take all reasonable steps in the past to properly address the matter. The BN government abuse of public money coupled with high corruption rate had deprived the much needed public funds to boost the security system in the country. If the BN government was said had taken the necessary step to address the matter, I would also say that the BN government also lacked the creative idea and sound policy to tackle the matter. The BN government must be reminded that the use of draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act 1960, the Police Act, 1967 and other repressive laws including the Restricted Residence Act 1933 is not the way to tackle the issues of crimes and gangsterism.

The BN government should also be reminded that unless in an emergency state or when there is a war, the obligation to keep peace and security in the country and state lies with the government alone and the citizens should not be actively involved at all. Their involvements should be kept at the most minimal. The people should not be asked to form their own security corps to tackle the various crime situations as time spent would not only unnecessary drain the energy of the people, but, would also would unnecessarily take away their precious time from doing more productive job of taking care of their businesses, family and work. Time spent in their businesses, family and work would guarantee the state and nation of the much needed money for development and for the upkeep of security where more law enforcement officers could be employed and logistics be upgraded and be put to good use to combat the evils of crime and gangsterism. People should not be allowed deprived of quality time with their family just to keep security as to do so can also cause disintegration of their family unit which will in the end bring much social and security problem to the State and Country.

Each time when security went wrong and crime on the rise, almost each one of us straightaway point our fingers at the law enforcement agencies without realizing that the government itself has to be blamed first. We talked so much about crime and deployment of police personnel and manpower but according to the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police Report, 16 May, 2006 only 6,661 police personnel were deployed to fight crime, that is 7% of the total Police Force strength of 100,632. Commercial Crime Division only has 690 personnel. How can these small number fight crime when the Administrative Department has a strength of 33,036 and the Department of Internal Security & Public Order has 33,214 and both Departments have manpower far exceeded the Crime and Investigation Department. Both Departments took about 66% of the whole manpower in the Police Force.

This shows that the BN government or the Internal Security Ministry was sleeping on the trust of the people and failed to realize the need of proper management of human resources. The Administrative Department of the Police Force has a strength of five times the size of the Criminal Investigation Department and this means one to every three policemen in the Force were confined to desk work. We need not have Neighbourhood Watch, or RELA to help keep security if the BN government was smart to use maintain in combating crime.

What we also used to hear was also that the police and other enforcement agencies were very corrupt and or slow to act in a given situation. Why? These could mainly be caused by lack of moral and indiscipline due to lack of care by the government of their welfare and failure to provide a more conducive working environment and logistics. Many times, I myself arrived at scene of crimes earlier than the police officers. When asked why they were slow, the normal answers were, “Tidak ada kereta, Tuan! Tak cukup anggota pun. Mata gelap dah tidur dan ada telah lesap! Kerja tak habis habis!” One would ponder why such answers? Its very simple, if the BN government is not corrupt or corruption is under control and the BN government is more responsible in its spending of public funds, for example, by not unnecessary buying of submarines and Sukhoi Su-30MK fighter jets of which commissions for these fighter jets alone was said or speculated in the region of about RM108 millions and maybe more and if the BN government had restrained itself from mega projects such as the estimated RM600 million Project Lintasan Shah Alam, the RM400 million new Malaysian Palace and also what I called “Istana Yang Berhormat Sarawak”, that is, the State Dewan Undangan Negri building, which we were told will cost us RM350 million, things could be better.

I think, such complaints or answers could be unheard of if unnecessary abuses and spending of public funds could be of proper use and be channeled to strengthening the Police Force and other law enforcement agencies in providing them with proper manpower and logistics to fight crime.
I would say when there is a suspicion among law enforcement officers that the government is uncaring by not providing better or adequate working facilities and welfare, law enforcement officers would in turn due to stress of work and obligation, vent their anger on the public. Some members of the public even complained that although themselves were in actual fact victims of crimes and gansterism, but, could find themselves arrested by law enforcement officers for crimes not committed by them and worst, for criminals they themselves reported and where protection was sought. This was what recently happened when police officers were sued for RM85 million by a group of four lawyers in Selangor for wrongful arrest, assault and detention. We were also made to understand that an ex-ISA detainee was awarded a sum of RM2.5 million by a High Court. I had filed one recently for a client and I also read in papers that bandaraya officers in Kuching had also been sued.

I also cannot discount of possible suits against the police in this Sarawak State too in the very near future.

Such acts by law enforcement officers unwittingly led to a decline of public confidence in them and in their agencies. In respect of the Police Force, a panel should have been directed to study the root causes of the decline of public confidence in the Police Force and to make the necessary recommendations to the government to rectify the causes of corruptions and abuse of power in the Police Force. The study could supplement the recent Royal Police Commission.

Victims of crimes and victims who were abused by government enforcement officers also showed no confidence in the way investigations or actions against complaints were carried out. They lacked confidence because they were afraid that these enforcement agencies would conduct slip shot scene investigations or taking an indifferent attitude towards their complaints. Could that files were opened but with the aim of closing the case.

When police and other law enforcement agencies could not solve a dispute or a crime and conduct selective investigations and arrests, then, it is not uncommon that persons of shoddy characters and gangsters be called to solve the crime by those affected. My experience in the past was that, these people of shoddy characters would go down to track the offender, open their own “court”, find the offender guilty and fine him or the offender be punished in accordance with laws and rules set by them. If a fine or punishment led to dispute about the inadequacy or excessiveness of the fine or punishments, gangland war was the way to settle the dispute. That’s how gangsters got paid and do business. They made lucrative money. Its’ fast and to the victims and those involved, this was an easy and fast solution when police and other law enforcement agencies including local councils and municipalities became ineffective.


Why all these things could happen? To know this, we also need to examine our security system in the State. At district level, do we have a District Security Committee, that is, Jawatankuasa Keselamatan Daerah besides the Jawatankuasa Keselamatan Kampung? If we had, did we get the district officer, district police, the army, immigration, customs, information service, Land Transport Department, other relevant agencies and NGOs involved to sit in the same committee? If we had done this, many tasks could be coordinated and problem of crime, lack of disciple and moral of officers in law enforcement agencies could be solved. At the same time, this can reduce duplicity of work and inconsistent policies within all law enforcement agencies in the government.

Again, in municipality and city councils like DBKU, MBKS, Majlis Perbandaran Padawan, Sibu Municipality Council, etc, do we have the police and certain agencies sit in council’s meetings? The police sitting in council’s committees would be able to do a lot of help to the councils and municipalities, to advise licensing matters and security when certain licences were to be issued at a certain area or to a certain applicant or person. At the same time by having other relevant agencies sit in the various boards or committees, this will minimize duplicity of work, enforcement and planning.


The Federal Government should not deny that it had derived much income from our oil and gas and also from revenues collected by Federal Departments in the State. Since these are revenues from our State, such revenues should be “filtered” first by our State Treasury before these revenues be handed over to the Federal Treasury. If we could be made to retain part of these revenues, say, 10% - 20%, we will then no more hear of complaints that Federal Funds were slow to come. These revenues came from our State and therefore there is no reason why we should not negotiate with the Federal Government to retain part of these revenues for ourselves.

From the retained revenues, the State could also utilized these revenues to speed up development in the State and maybe also plan to make use part of these revenues towards education, the sick and aged people in the State.


Yang Arif Speaker,
The City of Kuching needs proper planning into its future where there would not be traffic jams, no shortage of public parking spaces, hospitals etc. At the same time we also need public parks where tourists and members of the public can take a walk and enjoy themselves with their families and friends. However, for these facilities we need land and empty government land in the city which is already scarce, should therefore not to be alienated anyhow to private companies for their benefit.

Being the Member for Batu Lintang I wish to inform this august House that members of the public were very worried if that big piece of land which is probably about 50-60 acres along the Batu Lintang Road in Kuching between BOMBA and Batu Lintang Open Air Market be alienated to private companies. This piece of land is within the Batu Lintang Constituency. If this piece of land had been alienated to private companies, this will be a serious injustice to the people of Batu Lintang as the constituency in the near future needs land for government clinics, football fields and lands for other sports facilities and other public facilities. At this moment Batu Lintang Constituency has no government clinics, no public library and also lacked public parking spaces.


May It Please Mr. Speaker,

We need to have a pension scheme or a monthly living allowance for senior citizens. They should be entitled to such a scheme in consideration for their contribution to the development of the State during they active working days. When they were young they worked very hard for their family and for the State and with their contribution to the State’s economy and to state coffers. By way of paying taxes from income earned during their active working days, they helped developed this State. Without them, the State’s development would not be what it is today. Therefore, to give back some money to them from what they had given to the State coffers during their active working days would not be a consideration that is too much a thing to ask for. At least with the little monthly living allowance, these senior citizens will live a much healthier life as such money could be used to buy food supplements and perhaps for some other personal use to maintain their health and welfare.

At the same time the allowance will also help to alleviate their hardships because when they are old they may need some pocket money of which they may not be able to get from their children. Some of them may also have no children or relative to take care of them. At least the little living allowance will keep them happy during their twilight years.

We understand the government through the Welfare Department and other agencies had helped the senior citizens to overcome their difficulties, but, that was not enough. Many if not most of the senior citizens were also unaware of the welfare benefits that were available to them due to very scant information disseminated to them and the public. The act and care of senior citizens must be formalized.

The population of senior citizen will grow fast in the next ten years and a planning should now be done to help the aging population and to find ways to see the aging population can still be productive to contribute to society.

May It Please Mr. Speaker,

The people of Batu Lintang Constituency are thankful to the Deputy Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications and Minister of Rural Development and also to other relevant agencies, especially, DBKU, for the resealing of Green Road, Jalan Emerald, Lorong Star Garden No.6, Gold Jade Road, and the resealing of part of Jalan Angsana and part of Jalan Tengah and also the improvement of part of Jalan Stapok near to 100% Discount Store adjacent to Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce. DBKU also needs special mention for replacing about forty damaged, lost or stolen drain covers of Jalan Medan Temple in the constituency.

However, the people of Batu Lintang also wish that other roads which had been brought to the attention of the august House also need urgent repair or resealing. These roads were the remaining part of Jalan Angsana and Jalan Tengah, Jalan Kim Seng, Jalan Intan, Jalan Nanas, Jalan Taman Eastern, Pisang Road West, Jalan Star Garden, Jalan Kepayang, Lorong Sungai Maong Ulu No.3, Jalan Sungai Maong Baharu. Jalan Sungai Maong Tengah.

A special request is for a proper drainage and resealing of the roads at back lane of shophouses of Green Road near to the Hakka Association and also the roads of the new shophouses surrounding the building of Hakka Association which flooded each time when there was rain. It was observed that this area flooded easily with short downpour due to the sinking of the roads in the area.

Jalan Sungai Maong Tengah which some months ago were dug for the purpose of laying PVC pipes by the Kuching Water Board also needs special attention. I understand that DBKU had been contacted to reseal the road and although most parts of the road had been resealed, the work was not satisfactory. What the people using the road want was to reseal the road, not mend it only the parts that had been dug out by the Kuching Water Board.

May It Please Mr. Speaker,

We may come from different races and do not have same religion and beliefs, but, let us all see that every race is not marginalized or left out in any development. To ensure this we should continue to strive for better equality, fairness and justice for all and whatever task we plan and do we should instill in ourselves the idea of Malaysian First and Sarawak is my land.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


The Democratic Action Party (DAP) all these years had fought hard to amend the Sarawak Land Code seeking provisions to allow the unconditional automatic renewal of land leases to a further 99 years and had also sought land affected by section 47 of the Land Code be automatically lifted after a lapse of two years in the event the government delays the acquisition of the land for public development. The DAP has sought the amendments to the Sarawak Land Code affecting these two important matters affecting land ownerships to take place at the same time and that the Land Code, if amended, should not take place by piecemeal. Both amendments sought have to go hand in hand and we cannot allow the Land Code to be amended to accommodate only one of them as to do so, the landholders will still have not much security to their land.

We regret that we still could not get either of them, however, in the last few days from 19th – 28th November, 2007 DUN sitting we managed to convince the State BN government to come with the formula for the calculation of land premiums.

Frankly speaking we did it by default when the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2007 was tabled during the last DUN sitting to amend certain provisions of the Land Code. The amendments were only in respect of allowing foreigners, individuals and corporate personalities to acquire and invest in lands within the Regional Development Corridor and also to allow applications for renewals by landholders before the expiry of land leases, and also powers of Director of Lands Department to renew leases, but, nothing was said about premiums or automatic renewal of land leases.

Since the amendments did not seek for the automatic renewal of land leases and the seeking for calculations of premiums, then, a YB could not, according Order 34(1) of the DUN Standing Order and ruling of the Speaker in a previous sitting, speak about land premiums as debates should only be confined to matters relating to the amendments only. So it was by default that the issue of land premiums were brought up during the DUN sitting which forced the State BN government through its Minister of Planning and Resource Management II, Dato’ Sri Hj. Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan, to call for a press conference on 28. 11. 2007 to clarify the issue of premiums and to disclose the formula for assessing the land premiums upon the renewal of land leases. All YBs in the DUN were then given the text of the Minister’s speech in the press conference and a brochure explaining the renewal and premiums on the renewed land leases.

Caution against Announcement by State BN government
However, the announcement made by the Minister has to be taken cautiously as it has many hidden political agenda, especially, when Parliamentary Election is around the corner. Members of the public need again be reminded that such announcement by the Minister was a policy announcement which could be subjected to changes without notice at any time. Unless amendments to incorporate what the Minister had announced during the press conference, is legislated or incorporated into the Land Code, it may not be for a permanent or long term basis. This is because if the government could by a simple press announcement reduce the premiums already imposed on various categories of land, for example premiums imposed on residential purposes of 25% - 50% to a flat rate of 25% and premiums for commercial land be reduced from original rates of 25% - 61% to a new rate of 25% - 40%, then there is no reason why these premiums could not be reviewed in the very near future to suit the political agenda of the State government. When the government cries for more money, the government could come with other announcements that could create hardships on the people.

Announcement by Minister Was No More Than Political Mileage
We still should not forget that in the 1980s an announcement in the local press made by a senior Minister from the SUPP that the 8 points land given to the residents from Attapah in Chawan Road to the Stutong Resettlement Scheme in Kuching were given for free to them, but, about 15 years later it turned out that this was not true and all of them have to pay the premiums imposed on their lands. Likewise, the squatters in Sg. Apong in the Pending Constituency and Kpg. Kudei in the Batu Lintang constituency were promised land just before the 1991 State Election until now are yet fulfilled. These therefore were classic examples of announcement made by Ministers and BN leaders unless entrenched in the legislation, nothing said by the Ministers and BN leaders would be of permanent basis and what they said could be subjected to changes or be revoked at anytime. Therefore, members of the public should be cautious of the fact that words spoken by politicians, be they Ministers, carries no legal weight at all.

Members of the public need also be reminded that although the landholders are allowed to renew their leases well ahead before the expiry of their land leases for an extended period of 60 or 90 years, the extended period starts from the date of approval and not from the date of the expiry of the leases. Meaning that, if a landholder renews his land lease for a further period of 60 years although his lease still has 18 years to go before the expiry, the lease holder in actual fact only gets 42 years lease as the remaining 18 years shall be forfeited! The landholders could not get 18 years plus 60 years so to make his lease to hold for a period of 78 years.

Members of the public also need to understand the assessment of land premiums are based on the market value of the unexpired term of land itself and common sense tells us that the shorter is the unexpired lease term of our land, the lesser will be the market value of the land. Then how could many leaders of the SUPP made us fools by telling us that the premiums for renewals will get more expensive once the land lease gets shorter or when it expires!

One needs to observe that from the text for the press statement of the Minister which stated as examples for lands in Rejang Park, Sibu and in Merbau Estate in Miri although with a lease of 20 years to expire for the same 0.04 acres of land with renewal premiums of RM2,200 did not give any indication of the current market value of these lands in the Rejang Park and also in the Merbau Estate.

The Rejang Park and Merbau Estate lands although have a lease term of two years more than that of Kenyalang Park in Kuching seems to pay less premiums than those in Kenyalang Park in Kuching. They were required only to pay RM2,200 – a difference of RM400.00 and the market value of these lands in Rejang Park and Merbau Estate remains unknown. One also need to take note that Dato' Hj.Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan picked as examples lands in Kenyalang Park, Rejang Park and Merbau Estate, these lands being low cost houses could no more command good market value and this market value would vary if it involves lands of upper class people.

One also needs to be told that the Minister had failed, at this moment to come up with the actual premiums to be paid by the landholders on the renewals of these lands. What the Minister said during the press conference were “estimated premiums” only and this was clearly shown in the Minister’s text distributed to all DUN members. Therefore at this moment we still could not know how much landholders will actually have to pay for a 0.04 acre land in Kenyalang Park upon renewal of their leases. The Minister only produced an estimated value of RM2,600.00 and therefore, it could be more.

Outcome of Application
Although the brochure distributed to the public stated that the outcome of the renewal application could be known within three months from the date of submission, but, I have cases that submissions made few months ago also did not receive any reply at all. The so-called interim reply was also not forthcoming! Therefore, unless legal rules are made to this effect in the Land Code, many landholders could also find that the suspense of waiting for a favourable reply in soonest possible could affect their health. Without any frame time in the Land Code to approve or to set aside applications, the procedure could be subject to abuse.

Change of government will go with change of Policy
At the same time, we also need to understand that no political party could rule a country forever as it would be a matter of time in any democratic process that the Opposition, as His Majesty’s Government-in-waiting will one day take over the government. The Government-in-waiting when it takes over the government of the day may most probably amend the law to keep its’ promise and will go on to allow the automatic renewal of land leases without premiums! If this may happen, then those who had renewed theirs during the present government will regret for doing so. We all need to understand that DAP all these had fought for the automatic renewal of land leases to another 99 years and it would not be difficult to understand that if DAP one day would be in the government, the issue on lease terms will definitely be solved as we all would be assured of the automatic renewal of our land leases.

I had been told outside the DUN by a very senior Lands Officer that it would be advisable to renew these land leases within five years before its expiry, however, due to public pressure the government had no choice but came out with an acceptable formula on the land premiums which is now known as A – B x C formula = D as amount of premium to be charged.

Value of Land
Although the government maintains that the value of the land does not include buildings in the land itself, but, it is a known fact that value of the land rises corresponding with the value of the building on it. Under section 2 of the Sarawak Land Code, the definition of land includes any permanent structures or things attached to the earth, then, how could the Minister said that land does not include permanent structures or buildings on the land for the purpose of evaluating the market value of the land? When the Minister said the market value of the land takes into consideration the commercial transactions of lands, locality, accessibility and etc, then, are not “etc” includes the value of surrounding buildings near to the land? How could the government twisted and fooled us again!

Take for example, are we going to say that the value of land within the golden triangle of Padungan, Jalan Ban Hock and the Tua Pek Kong Temple in Kuching should be the same in value to any land within the Batu Lintang or Pending Constituencies? This again is common sense as no where within the Batu Lintang or Pending Constituencies there are lands that have more valued buildings than that within the golden triangle which went to enhance the value of the lands there.

People in Kenyalang Park should also be cautious as the assessment of the market value of the land was based on the fact that Kenyalang Park was started as a low cost housing estate in which gave the Minister the confident to announce that land premiums for the renewal of a 0.4 acre land with 18 years more to expire is at RM2,600.00 as the said land was said as having a market value of RM31,800 only. For Kenyalang Park residents would you sell your land which has a remaining lease term of 18 years at RM31,800.00 while knowing very well of the recent rapid development within the area with a supermarket and a foreign university coming up soon?

Effect of Sections 27 & 47 of Land Code
Now, the next issue is that since section 47 of the Sarawak Land Code has not been amended to provide for an automatic lapse after two years. If section 47 conditions are imposed on the lands in Kenyalang Park, especially that near to the present upcoming supermarket near to the present Divisional Police Headquarters, then present houses which included those renewed to 60 years may give way or be acquired in the name of public development.

Since the current market value of the land upon which the land premium based is cheap, then the acquisition of the said land, if have been imposed under section 47 of the Land Code, especially those next to the present Divisional Police Headquarters shall also be cheap. Although one knew that as development within the said area was fast, the land value should also rise up accordingly. Under the Land Code the compensation for land placed under section 47 of the Land Code was normally based on value of the land at the time the land was placed under the said provision of section 47 and not based on the market price at the time of acquisition for public development. Such acquisition may only be realized, if any, say 20 years later, but, by that time the value of the said land placed under section 47 would have jumped up several times, but, one could only be compensated based on the market value at the time section 47 was imposed.

At the same time, under section 27 of the Sarawak Land Code, the outgoing proprietors of land shall have no right or claim against the government in respect of the value of any improvements that may be in existence on the land at the date of the expiration of the interest under which the land was held. So, if our land reverts to the government upon expiry of the lease term, the government pays us nothing! It was due to this reason DAP had all these years insisted the Land Code be amended to include for the automatic renewal of land leases without premiums. Please think!

Leases on Chinese Cemeteries Affected By Land Code
Another area regarding land ownership in which one has to be concerned with were cemeteries as when lands were alienated for such purpose as burial grounds or cemeteries the lease term was made pursuant to rule 13 of the Land Rules only allowed a lease term period of 99 years only. Then where should the dead go when the lease term expires and when renewals would not be allowed by the Director of the Lands Department? This is because without the automatic renewal of land leases, cemeteries in the years to come will have to be dug out and corpses will have to be taken out of the graves and be disposed off by other means alien to a person’s belief or customs.

At the same time, when lease terms of cemeteries become shorter, less dead would find their ways to the old cemeteries!