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This is about Lynas. The facts are there.

 

An estimated 20,000 citizens together with Malaysian civil society organisations converged in Kuantan for a rally to protest against the Lynas project and to demand for a clean and safe future for Malaysia.  The Stop Lynas campaign has escalated into the biggest ever environmental issue for the country.  Participants arrived from all over the country including the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.

“Today marks the beginning of a nation-wide campaign to stop the Lynas rare earth project.  Malaysians have made our stand and we do not want this hazardous project in our shore.” Said Mr Wong Tack, a key organiser of today’s event.

The Lynas rare earth refinery project was constructed with a speedy approval process without any public consultation or a waste management plan.  It was not until March 2011 when the New York Times reported that the world’s largest rare earth plant was being built in the Industrial estate of Gebeng near Kuantan that residents were jolted into action to start protesting against it.

Last May Responding to public pressure, the Malaysian Government requested the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to review the project.  The IAEA made 11 recommendations to the Malaysian Government.  The Government adopted all of the 11 recommendations which included a more extensive public consultation and a waste management plan to address the permanent disposal of the radioactive waste and plant closure issues.

However, despite not having a safe permanent waste disposal plan and on-going public protests where over one thousands submissions were made to the Government in response to Lynas’ application for a licence, the Government issued a temporary operating licence to Lynas in early February.  This has sparked outrage amongst Malaysians which culminated in this morning’s historical rally.

Mrs Phua Seet Ping, a rally organiser said, “We are peace loving citizens.  I took part in this rally because I have two little children.  Kuantan is a wonderful place to raise our children and I do NOT want Lynas to ruin that for my family.”

Malaysia has draconian laws which outlaw public actions.  Yesterday, truck-loads of riot squat were paraded through the town to intimidate residents.  The town council forced organisers of the rally to relocate it from the public field in the heart of the town to another further away in an attempt to hide the event from the general public’s view.  These intimidations have done little to deter residents from coming out in force to show their strong opposition to the Lynas project.

Andansura, Chairperson of the Stop Lynas Coaltion was grateful and thankful for the strong presence of so many people.  He said,

“I know many people living in villages close to the Lynas plant.  They have been coerced into accepting the plant.  They know the plant will pollute their fishing grounds but they are powerless to do much.  Today, they know they are not alone in this struggle.  It is heartening to see so many people.”

This is the first time ordinary people took to the street in such large numbers for an environmental issue in Malaysia.  This is also the first time an environmental issue has gone national in such large-scale.

“Today’s turn out at the rally should show the Government of the day how strongly Malaysians feel about the Lynas plant and how far they will go to stop it.  We comment the Government for not taking harsh actions against the protestors and we hope the Government will heed the people’s concerns by cancelling the licence.  After all, it has a duty of care for its citizens and the natural environment over the vested interest of a foreign corporation!” Concluded Andan.

Imagine a private company doing the work of the Immigration Department. How could this happen and why did the department allow this weird practise. Even before investigations commence, it is probable a tidy sum must have been made by the company and the officers would have been compensated for this nefarious way to send back foreigners. How many have gone back on forged or improper travel documents. The Immigration chief must have been sleeping on his job, and somebody must wake him with a jolt to bring the officers involved for disciplinary action. Of course, the boss must be disciplined first before those under him are punished.


 
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/National/2520211/Article/pppull_index_html
Overstayers hearing a different story now

By Marc Lourdes

2009/04/01

KUALA LUMPUR: The three Bangladeshi workers sat morosely at the mamak restaurant, sipping their teh-o. They had just gone to a travel agent and been told that they would have to pay RM2,000 to return home.
The news had deflated the men — all of whom had overstayed in Malaysia. They were shocked to learn it would cost that much to leave the country.
Early last month, Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mahmood Adam had announced that overstayers could leave the country by paying a nominal compound of RM300, plus another RM100 for a special exit pass. But they are now told that they would need to pay RM1,300 as processing fee.
"Many of us want to go home, but we can’t afford to pay such a large sum," said one of the workers, who identified himself as Majibur.
The KLIA Immigration office told the New Straits Times that all "processing" could only be done through a company called Gerbang Majuindah.
The officer handling the phone call seemed bemused why a private company was doing the job of the Immigration Department.
"We are surprised why the foreign workers can’t do it directly with us," he said.
"Whenever they come to us, we send them to Gerbang Majuindah."
Gerbang Majuindah was registered in November 2007 as a general trading company.
Located at the Pandan Indah Commercial Park, it has two directors, Mohamadu Sathikul Amin Mohamed Ismail and Zakir Hussain Abdul Caffor.
The company has a share capital of RM1,000,000, divided between the two directors, with Zakir holding 69 per cent and Sathikul 29 per cent, while two others have a share each.
Zakir said the project was awarded by the Home Ministry to his "boss", Mohd Mustapha AK Ismail, through the latter’s company, Pangkal Rezeki Sdn Bhd.
He added that the minimum "processing" fee was RM900 and insisted that overstayers who went through his company did not have to go through the regular Immigration procedures. He blamed travel agents for hiking the fee up to RM1,600.
Pangkal Rezeki’s nature of business is registered as "exporters’ investments". The main men behind it are Mustapha and a Datuk Hassan Che Abas.
When asked about this, Mahmood said: "This is something new to me and it looks funny. We have also received a protest letter from an Indonesian non-governmental organisation on this matter."
He said an internal committee had been set up to investigate the issue.
"Overstayers can’t just pay a processing fee and go home. They have to surrender to us. We will open investigation papers, refer the case to the prosecutor and take it to the Immigration court."
Mahmood said the compound was not a nominal RM300, as had been reported earlier.
"The actual compound is more. For those who overstay for more than one month, the compound is RM3,000.
"However, the offenders can appeal and if there’s a valid reason, we can minimise or even waive the fine."
Malaysian Trades Union Congress vice-president A. Balasubramaniam is livid over the issue.
"Who appointed this company? Who approved them? Why can’t foreigners go directly to the Immigration Department? If they don’t expedite the repatriation of foreigners, how can vacancies be made for locals?"


© Copyright 2009 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.

I think Najib should pay more attention to managing the Malaysian economy rather than bringing down state governments; he did it with Perak, now with Elizabeth Wong and the photo scandal, he is shooting for Selangor and maybe then Kedah.

Pakatan rulers must be alerted that this man is dangerous and take precautions.

clipped from www.themalaysianinsider.com

3.5pc growth no longer realistic, Najib admits

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today admitted that the government’s projected 3.5 per cent economic growth for 2009 would have to be reviewed, given the growing economic uncertainty.

Najib, who is also deputy prime minister, answered a whopping 15 questions simultaneously on steps that the government was taking to address the economic crisis in Parliament today, reflecting concerns over whether Malaysia would fall into negative growth that has already blighted other economies such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore.

He said that despite taking into account the RM7 billion stimulus package that was announced on Nov 4 last year, “the projected 3.5 per cent growth no longer reflects the current status of the economy.”

  blog it

The world suffers by economical turn-downs, but we in Malaysia, are fortunate enough to have Najib our beloved Finance Minister. I read he offered RM 50 million, for somebody to change party, but then the fellow who told us this must be crazy – RM 50 million is a lot, anybody carrying this in suit cases must get a lorry. JPJ will surely arrest you. No, there is no truth in this, because, Najib is responsible for the economy of this country, and our fundamentals are iron clad (if you don’t understand this, you are in good company, the writer himself never knew what fundamentals are supposed to be) but whatever it is  we have Najibssion a cure for all economical ills. Please give him his dues as an Accountant We are thankful to him.

From The Times

February 5, 2009

Driven down by debt, Dubai expats give new meaning to long-stay car park

A 4x4 car abandoned at Dubai International Airport 4 months ago

Police have found more than 3,000 cars outside Dubai’s international airport in recent months

Image :1 of 2

Sonia Verma in Dubai

For many expatriate workers in Dubai it was the ultimate symbol of their tax-free wealth: a luxurious car that few could have afforded on the money they earned at home.

Now, faced with crippling debts as a result of their high living and Dubai’s fading fortunes, many expatriates are abandoning their cars at the airport and fleeing home rather than risk jail for defaulting on loans.

Police have found more than 3,000 cars outside Dubai’s international airport in recent months. Most of the cars – four-wheel drives, saloons and “a few” Mercedes – had keys left in the ignition.

Some had used-to-the-limit credit cards in the glove box. Others had notes of apology attached to the windscreen.

“Every day we find more and more cars,” said one senior airport security official, who did not want to be named. “Christmas was the worst – we found more than two dozen on a single day.”

When the market collapsed and the emirate’s once-booming economy started to slow down, many expatriates were left owning several homes and unable to pay the mortgages without credit.

“There were a lot of people living the high life, investing in real estate and a lifestyle they couldn’t afford,” one senior banker said.

Under Sharia, which prevails in Dubai, the punishment for defaulting on a debt is severe. Bouncing a check, for example, is punishable with jail. Those who flee the emirate are known as skips.

The abandoned cars underscore a worrying trend. Five years ago the Emir, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, embarked on an ambitious plan to transform Dubai into a hub for business and tourism. A building boom fuelled double-digit growth, with thousands of Westerners arriving every day, eager to cash in on the emirate’s promise of easy living and wealth.

Many Westerners invested in Dubai’s skyrocketing real estate market, buying and reselling homes before building was even complete. But, as the recession took effect, property and financial companies made thousands of workers redundant and banks tightened lending. Construction companies have delayed or cancelled projects and tourism is slowing.

There are increasing signs that the foreigners who once flocked to Dubai are leaving. “There is no way of tracking actual numbers, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Dubai is emptying out,” said a Western diplomat.

International schools are having to be flexible on fees as expatriate parents run out of cash. Louise, a single mother from Britain, said that her son’s school had allowed her to pay a partial fee until she found a new job after her redundancy in December. “According to the headmaster, a lot of people had come into the school saying they had lost their jobs so the school was trying to be a bit more flexible,” she said.

Most of the emirate’s banks are not affiliated with British financial institutions, so those who flee do not have to worry about creditors. Their abandoned cars are eventually sold off by the banks at weekly auctions. Those recently advertised include BMWs, Porsches and Mercedes.

Simon Goldsmith, a spokesman for the British Embassy in Dubai, said that that there were approximately 100,000 Britons living in Dubai last year. However, the embassy has no way of tracking how many have fled back to the UK. “We’ve heard stories, but when somebody makes that kind of decision, they generally keep it to themselves,” he said.

Police have issued warrants against owners of the deserted cars. Those who return risk arrest at the airport.

Heading home

3.62 million expatriates in Dubai

864,000 nationals

8% population decline predicted this year, as expatriates leave

1,500 visas cancelled every day in Dubai

62% of homes occupied by expatriates 60% fall in property values predicted

50% slump in the price of luxury apartments on Palm Jumeirah

25% reduction in luxury spending among UAE expatriates

Shau Pang writing in the letters column of Malaysiakini, relates to his brother being robbed and assaulted in Petaling Jaya. Four men attacked his brother with a barang, at a McDonald outlet and when the police arrived they stood by doing nothing except to wait for the ambulance.

Robberies, rapes, assault with weapons, kidnapping; they are common place in our beloved country. Every time you read about such an incident or hear the news through friends, you get jittery and feel insecure. How could this happen you wonder, are the thieves that desperate, is it because of foreigners, or is the country turning lawless.

The police who are our guardians to protect us against such abuse must accept the blame for the indifferent attitude shown in curbing crime.

Look at the newspaper items today. Two snatch thieves man-handled by people in Petaling street, a catering business owner shot in Batu Pahat, four men charged for kidnapping in Johor Baru, a textile merchant and his worker abducted in Subang Jaya and kept in captivity, and the list is endless. What is happening?

The police have failed very badly in their responsibilities and duties arising in the increase of criminal activities. The only time I see police men on duty is when they are manning street junctions to direct traffic, and patrol cars stopping vehicles and motor cycles on highways checking I wonder what. Other than that it is rare to see any police patrolling to deter crimes.

I think the best way to discourage people from even thinking of committing crimes is the presence of policemen. I stay in the vicinity of Sri Muda, Alam Mega and Taipan. These places are crowded throughout the day. During my frequent visits to these places I can honestly say I have yet to find policemen going on their rounds. These places are haven for people to commit crimes.

As mentioned earlier, two snatch theft suspects were beaten up by the public, very badly, in Petaling Street last Sunday. MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong was at the scene and stopped the victims being assaulted further. You can read this account here. People at random were assaulting the victims and giving vent to their pent up feelings. The police as usual, come out with the advise, call the police and never resort to vigilante justice. If every takes the law into their own hands the country will become lawless, they said.

It is true one cannot resort to violence when a thief is apprehended, but if you had been a victim, it is difficult to keep a lid on your feelings, as happened in this case; a former snatch victim giving a kick.

There are too many unscrupulous people out there resorting to robbery and snatch thefts to earn a living. This will not go away until and unless the police are serious to curb crimes. For a start patrolling, of shopping complex, busy roads, and housing estates, must be done and the presence of the man in uniform must be there to be seen, not just cruising around in patrol cars but moving among the crowd on foot. This will definitely reduce or deter crimes.

R.V.David

Malaysian inflation rate hits 7.7 percent for June, a 26 year high. The high rate is because of the fuel increase of 41%. But I thought the increased food prices also contributed to this high figure. Whatever it is the people must thank the Finance Minister, Badawi and of course Nor Mohamed Yakcop the second Finance Minister, for a performance well done.

It is here I miss the absence of Toyo the ex Menteri Besar of Selangor. He had a unique way to show appreciation of the work done and was happy to present the broom when it was deserved. He made a fanfare about the presentation, and this was duly noted in the annals of history.

We cannot treat economic experts like Badawi and Yakcob in the same way, where is our sense of fair play. They have, I am sure done their best.

All suggestions are welcome.

Incidentally can they bring back the RM 500 notes, RM 100 is getting smaller.

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Whether material wealth, a peaceful country, a place for achieving what you want, and the thousand and one other needs one has, the grass over the fence is always better than the grass found in your yard. Human nature is quick to criticise what you have and look beyond and crave something foreign. It is a never ending process, because whatever you may not like in a place, or country, the same problems may exist elsewhere and in the end you regret moving and up rooting yourself.

This is what I felt reading the Iranian looking for greener pastures in Malaysia. He has already regretted missing his favourite breakfast of “kaleh pacheh” – a fatty traditional Iranian dish made from sheep’s head and trotters that most outsiders find utterly inedible. This is the beginning. As you get down to the nitty gritty of staying in Malaysia, there will be many more things you will miss.

He is talking of a brain drain in Iran, nothing is the opposite here, young Malaysians are willing to migrate overseas, grumbling the Government is not fair in education, scholarships, employment opportunities, children’s education, business opportunities and a plethora of other ills because not all races are not treated the same. The playing field is not even.

Thousands want to go away, and many have done that, and this country is the loser of many educated professionals who would have helped Malaysia to be even a better country.

Apparently there are about 15,000 to 20,000 Iranians in Malaysia and this could be true; have you noticed around Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur the shop/shops dealing with hookah pipes, to indicate the Arab influence. Surprisingly this hookah thing is catching up with our Malay youths in places like Nilai – a mamak eating shop caters for this.

One thing agreed, Malaysians are a friendly people but be aware of four groups of people, the Rela gangsters, the religious enforcers, the Immigration and the Police staff who treat foreigners as their patrons to exhort money, or else you face their wrath in an official capacity.

Whatever said and done, Malaysia is still a nice place to be enjoyed compared to Iran which gives me the creeps as I see young woman being stoned and murdered – I have personally seen some Youtube clips. We don’t do that yet in this country.

Badawi is 68 years old, younger by 17 years from Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in India, who turned 85 last week. What are the similarities that would take place in Malaysia, on a Prime Ministers birthday. one thing is sure thousand of party activists and admirers don’t turn up at Kuala Lumpur, to wish the Premier Happy Birthday. Is it because Malaysians are not prone to appreciate the birthdays of VIPs and do not show fondness for their leaders.

We have had 5 Prime Ministers to date starting with the Tunku:

  • Tunku 1957 – 1971
  • Razak 1971 – 1976
  • Hussein Onn 1976 – 1981
  • Mahathir 1981 – 2003
  • Badawi 2003 –

The first 3 Prime Ministers had good response from the public where the people got together to celebrate their birthdays, Were we more patriotic then compared to now. Or is it we are getting nonchalant like the Indian saying which goes “who cares whether Raman rules or Ravanan rules” – possibly our present leaders are distancing themselves from the public by their not caring attitude and indifference shown to the hardships and sufferings of the people. I leave it to the readers to decide.

The city was virtually painted black and red – the colours of the ruling DMK – as thousands of party activists and admirers turned up to greet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi on his 85th birthday on Tuesday.

The DMK’s black and red flags fluttered all over the city and millions of party posters were pasted on almost every wall.

Party workers arrived in thousands from all over the state in over 3,000 buses, leading to traffic jams and massive parking problems.

To mark the occasion, eateries reduced the prices of their fare like idlis, dosas and coffee by 15 per cent after an assurance by the Dravidian patriarch that he would look into their demand to supply food ingredients at subsidised prices.

Among those to greet Karunanidhi were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who spoke to him on telephone.

Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, members of the state cabinet, several VIPs and hundreds of thousands of the ruling party faithful personally wished the chief minister.

Karunanidhi travelled between his two residences and the DMK headquarters in the city, triggering huge traffic jams in the arterial Anna Salai that lasted several hours.

The chief minister also paid floral tributes at the tombs of his party’s founder CN Annadurai and social reformer Periyar, besides planting saplings at his residences.

Though Karunanidhi had appealed to his followers to let him observe the occasion in a private manner as he had not been well, the DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan ignored the request and exhorted supporters to celebrate the occasion “in a grand manner”.

Some of the chief minister’s detractors, including his fierce critic and PMK founder S. Ramadoss, also greeted him. His office said there was no congratulatory call from his principal antagonist and predecessor J. Jayalalitha, leader of the rival AIADMK.

Karunanidhi turns 85, as city painted red and black- Hindustan Times

The Public Services Department must be congratulated now and bestowed the title the most efficient of our departments. They have screwed up the whole system mighty good, giving scholarships based on skin colour. Their guarantees are just to cheat the people how thoughtful they are and acts of playing up to the gallery. But basically they are bringing down the name of the government, which the Prime Minister is unable to apprehend.

IPOH: K. Kamine Devi was shocked that the Public Services Department (PSD) had turned down her application to study medicine overseas despite her having scored 10A1s in last year’s SPM.

This after the PSD had issued a statement recently guaranteeing scholarships for students who scored 9As in their SPM.

What was worse was that her application for a matriculation programme was also rejected.

Kamine, 17, said she had her heart set on becoming a doctor and even participated in an attachment programme in April that exposed her to a doctor’s job.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found out on Sunday through the PSD website that my application was unsuccessful,” she said yesterday, adding that she checked the result of her application several times.

“I felt that my world collapsed that day,” said the former student of SMK Ahmad Boestamam in Sitiawan, about 90km from here.

Speaking at a press conference called by the Perak Health, Environment and Human Resources Committee chairman A. Sivanesan, Kamine said her quality control father who earns RM3,600 a month could not afford to send her overseas to pursue Medicine.

“I just want to become a doctor so I can serve the country,” said Kamine, who was also active in her school co-curricular activities.

Sivanesan said the rejection of Kamine’s application made a mockery of the PSD’s earlier statement.

“The PSD should have taken the top-scorers result from the Malaysian Examination Syndicate and offer scholarships to the students. It is up to the students whether to accept or reject the scholarships,” he said.

He invited parents of bright children who faced a similar predicament to see him.

“I will assist them in writing to the PSD,” he said.

Girl with 10A1s shocked by PSD’s rejection

From day one this program has been jinxed. Nothing short of bringing a voodoo man, a bomoh, or some religious mumbo jumbo, can change the misfortunes of this program. I think this is the doing of God who has definitely not given his blessings. So, even these magic men can’t do much. Based on our limited human understanding, if things don’t work out the way it should, thrash the whole idea, and introduce something different.

A trainee complains of stomach ache at 3 PM. Patient dies at 10.45 PM, just after 7.45 minutes. Another matter to be noted, she was send to the hospital at 8.30 PM, still alright, and the hospital said she could go home, but God intervened and within 2.15 minutes she was gone. Dead man tell no tales, only Too Hui Min knows what happened.

Let us not point fingers, she is the 17th person, and before it tallies to the 18th, save the boys and girls who join up to do good service but end up in the morgue. Najib and Lee Lam Thye, enough is enough, please come down to earth, admit the whole program is a dismal failure and close shop. The youths will praise you. Other commercial ventures are available.

KUALA LUMPUR: A National Service trainee who complained of an upset stomach after having lunch, died nine hours later at a hospital.

National Service Training Department director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil said Too Hui Min, 18, died on Wednesday at 10.45pm at the Slim River Hospital in Perak.

The teenager and 177 other trainees from the Geo Kosmo Camp in Kuala Kubu Baru, had chicken rice for lunch while training at the shooting range in Jugra Banting, Selangor. They arrived at the range at 1.45pm,

However, at 3pm, Too complained of an upset stomach and was checked on site by a paramedic on standby. Too, he said, was not allowed to continue with the shooting training and was given medication for wind.

She was then taken back to the camp before she was driven to the hospital.

“Too was the only one who suffered an upset stomach. We are quite puzzled as the rest of the trainees are fine.

“We convey our deepest condolences to the deceased’s family. However, we are not taking this lightly and will conduct a thorough investigation.

“But we will not pre-empt anything and will be speaking to everyone including the food caterers, health and NS officers,” Abdul Hadi said at a press conference here Thursday.

Too, he said, reached the camp at 5.30pm and was checked according to procedure by a Health Ministry medical officer.

“She was conscious all through and not in critical condition. She was then sent to the hospital at 8.30pm and placed in the observation ward,” he said, adding that her family was also informed.

Abdul Hadi said the hospital staff told the NS officers that they could leave the hospital as her condition was not critical.

“She became critical at 10pm and died at 10.45pm,” he said, adding that Too had suffered constipation on March 19 but did not have any other medical problems as far as they knew.

On why Too was only sent to hospital at 8.30pm, Abdul Hadi said medical procedures were followed and she would have been rushed immediately if the situation warranted it.

Too, who is from Kuala Selangor, celebrated her birthday last month and was just one month short of completing her NS training stint.

There had been 16 deaths since National Service started in 2004, including two this year. The deaths included those who went on holidays or had accidents outside the camp.

Abdul Hadi said he met with the Health Ministry’s officials three days ago to discuss all aspects of NS trainees’ health and had suggested a required medical check-up for all trainees before they entered the camps, a suggestion that was raised last year.

“Currently, parents have to fill up a declaration form and identify whether their child suffered from any of the 32 ailments listed. If yes, then they have to undergo a check-up,” he said.

The Ministry’s National Service health technical committee would look into the proposal before it was discussed at the NS Training Council meeting on June 3.

NS trainee dies after upset stomach