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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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