Saturday, December 10, 2005

"Use new technology for batik"

PM: Use new technology for batik


New Straits Times
12-10-2005
PM: Use new technology for batik
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

KUALA LUMPUR, Fri. - The Prime Minister urged batik manufacturers to

blend the old with the new by taking advantage of technology to improve
the industry.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the industry would do well to

update production methods while ensuring the product's quality and

contemporary nature.

Abdullah called for more research and development in such areas as

natural dyes and experiment with ways of production other than the

tjanting or hand block.

"Batik is considered an art and thus, by nature, labour intensive and

reliant on the skills of the craftsmen.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

"Police personnel involved in deaths of detainees will face the music"

PM: Action will be taken

Chok Suat Ling; Anis Ibrahim; R. Sonia
New Straits Times
12-06-2005
PM: Action will be taken
Byline: Chok Suat Ling; Anis Ibrahim; R. Sonia
Edition: Main/Lifestyle
Memo: Dewan Rakyat

POLICE personnel involved in deaths of detainees will face the music,

said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

'Take negative reports in positive light'

'Take negative reports in positive light'


New Straits Times
12-06-2005
'Take negative reports in positive light'
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon. - Government departments and agencies should not

regard negative reports against them as "public bashing".
Instead, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said such

reports should be viewed positively and spur them to work harder to

improve the public delivery system.

Speaking at the Prime Minister's Quality Award ceremony tonight,

Abdullah said criticism against the civil service should motivate public

servants to give their best.

"If we just ignore the criticism, we would not know whether what we are

doing is right or wrong."

Monday, December 5, 2005

PM wants tighter security in place

PM wants tighter security in place


New Straits Times
12-05-2005
PM wants tighter security in place
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

KUALA TERENGGANU, Sun. - The Prime Minister has ordered security to be

tightened at all armouries in the wake of the theft of 21 guns from the
General Operations Force camp in Kubang Badak.

Saying he was relieved that all 21 stolen guns had been recovered,

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi added that he did not want a repeat of

the incident.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

"Public wants truth"

Public wants truth, says PM

Chok Suat Ling
New Straits Times
12-03-2005
Public wants truth, says PM
Byline: Chok Suat Ling
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

PETALING JAYA, Fri. - An independent inquiry board was formed to look

into the nude-squatting case so that there will not be any charges of a
cover-up.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the public wanted

to know what actually took place.

As such, there cannot be any room for suspicion or doubt about the

findings.

"Any suspicion will not be good for the police," he said.

Abdullah said he told Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Bakri

Omar that it was better if the case was handled by an independent

commission.

Monday, November 28, 2005

PM Orders Independent Inquiry on Squatgate

This is the assurance given by the Prime Minister of Malaysia: "Malaysia has given an assurance that there is no policy against Chinese visitors to the country."

“We encourage them (Chinese tourist, including the beautiful women) to come. We want them to come,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said there was no policy against Chinese tourists and businessmen and they were welcome to visit the country.

Abdullah said: “If there had been incidents involving some Chinese nationals, caused by a government official – whether by an immigration officer or a police officer – we apologise for that.”

“But these people and their actions certainly do not represent the entire service or the attitude of the Government towards Chinese visitors who come to Malaysia, for whatever purpose,” he stressed.

The assurance came following several incidents involving Chinese nationals and a recent video clip which showed a naked woman doing ear squats while in police custody.

Prime Minister, Abdullah calls for an immediate probe into the incident, with no cover-ups.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

"Enough talk, more action"

Enough talk, more action, says Abdullah

Manja Ismail
New Straits Times
11-27-2005
Enough talk, more action, says Abdullah
Byline: Manja Ismail
Edition: New Sunday Times

ENOUGH talk, let's see more action. That was the message from Prime

Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Commonwealth leaders
regarding human capital development.

The Prime Minister told the executive session of the Commonwealth Heads

of Governments Meeting here that the Commonwealth Secretariat had to take

the necessary measures to implement human capital development in poor and

developing member countries. He said the programmes must unearth skilled

workers and impart knowledge, especially in the field of science and

technology.



Thursday, November 24, 2005

"NEP stays, machinery to be improved"

NEP stays, machinery to be improved

Chok Suat Ling; Sheridan Mahavera; R. Sonia
New Straits Times
11-24-2005
NEP stays, machinery to be improved
Byline: Chok Suat Ling; Sheridan Mahavera; R. Sonia
Edition: Main/Lifestyle
Memo: Dewan Rakyat

THE New Economic Policy will continue to be needed as long as there

exists economic disparity among the races in the country, the Prime
Minister said.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the economic gulf between

Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras was still wide.

"For every ringgit earned by a Bumiputera, a non-Bumiputera will get

RM1.80.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

PM Sees Red Over Red Tape

PM SEES RED OVER RED TAPE

Farrah Naz Karim
New Straits Times
11-23-2005
PM SEES RED OVER RED TAPE (HL)
Byline: Farrah Naz Karim
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

PUTRAJAYA, Tues. - The famously slow, sluggish process of form- filling

and queuing at government service counters came in for a real dressing
down today - from none other than the Prime Minister himself.

"Things need to be improved... we are not using typewriters now but

computers. This should make them (government agencies) efficient," Datuk

Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

He said there was no excuse for the agencies not to have an efficient

delivery system as the Government had invested greatly in equipping them

with up-to-date technology.

Monday, October 31, 2005

"Let Us Join Hands And Forge Together" (Deepavali 2005 Message)



Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Deepavali Message to Malaysians and in particular, directed to ad hominem and jingoistic Politicians:

Abdullah said he wanted all Malaysians to come together and ensure that no group was left behind, and that all Malaysian have their share in the country’s success.

“Let us join hands, multiply our efforts and forge ahead with one objective irrespective of race and religion, to take our beloved country to ever greater heights of glory, distinction and excellence.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Abdullah 'very sad' over UM's slide in rankings

Abdullah 'very sad' over UM's slide in rankings

Sharanjit Singh; Audrey Dermawan
New Straits Times
10-30-2005
Abdullah 'very sad' over UM's slide in rankings
Byline: Sharanjit Singh; Audrey Dermawan
Edition: New Sunday Times

KEPALA BATAS, Sat. - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said

today he was "very sad" to hear that Universiti Malaya was now ranked in
the bottom half of the top 200 universities in the world.

Abdullah, a former UM graduate who obtained his Bachelor of Arts in

Islamic Studies in 1964, had in June congratulated UM for being ranked 89

last year.

Today, he expressed sadness and shock that UM had slipped to 169th

place this year.

"I am very sad to hear the news. It (UM) must look into this and find

Monday, October 3, 2005

Change lifestyle to spend less

PM: Change lifestyle to spend less

Zubaidah Abu Bakar
New Straits Times
10-03-2005
PM: Change lifestyle to spend less
Byline: Zubaidah Abu Bakar
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

KUALA LUMPUR, Sun. - Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today advised

Malaysians to be thrifty to cushion the impact of escalating oil prices
on prices of goods and services.

He said the people must learn to make adjustments in their budget and,

if necessary, change their lifestyle.

"We have to make adjustments in our spending and avoid wastage," he

said at the opening of the 52nd annual general assembly of the People's

Progressive Party at the Putra World Trade Centre.

The Prime Minister said Malaysians generally tend to overdo things,

leading to wastage ...

Monday, September 19, 2005

"Cost of outgoing customs and excise chief party was "over the top".

Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK

Kuala Lumpur skyline
Malaysia has been rocked by the alleged extravagance
Malaysia's outgoing customs and excise chief is at the centre of controversy over plans to spend a reported $1.3m (£721,000) on his farewell party.

The send-off for Abdul Halil Abdul Mutalib, who retires next month, is now the subject of an official inquiry.

But Mr Abdul Halil said he had no idea how much was being spent and accused his staff of trying to smear his name.

He said they were an "ungrateful lot" and threatened to lodge a police complaint against them.

The controversy began when the New Straits Times newspaper ran a front-page article alleging that the customs and excise department had asked officials to donate 1,000 ringgit ($265; £147) each for Mr Abdul Halil's party on 3 October.

'Over the top'

Most of the 5 million ringgit for the event was to come from department funds, the paper said.

The Malaysian finance ministry said an inquiry into the affair would be completed within a week.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the reported cost of the party was "over the top".

Not even former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had had such an extravagant send-off when he left office last year after 22 years, he said.

Mr Abdul Halil proclaimed his innocence, saying: "I don't know how much they collected. I don't know what they did."

He added: "You are not supposed to investigate me. You should investigate those organising the event."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

"Graft crackdown on track"

Malaysian leader says graft crackdown on track, but businesses call for more


AP Worldstream
09-15-2005
Dateline: KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
Malaysia's prime minister says his crackdown on corruption is beginning to yield results, but prominent contractors say they still have to pay lots of bribes to do business with the government, news reports said Thursday.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told U.S. fund managers during a trip to New York that he remains committed to his campaign to fight corruption. "People believe that I have begun to lose momentum," Abdullah was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times newspaper. "I assure you I have not."

Abdullah told Malaysian reporters accompanying him on the trip that his government's move to introduce several punitive and ...

Thursday, September 8, 2005

"Stemming The Price Rise"

Inflationary Pressures Building Up Fast



The government has announced four steps to ease the public's burden brought on by escalating prices of consumer goods. the steps are:

  1. Not to increase the price of fuel until the end of this year;
  2. Defering any toll increase for this year and next year;
  3. Reduce road tax by 25% (commercial vehicles) to 80% (school buses); &
  4. Increasing aids to senior citizen, disadvantaged children and the poor.

Why did the offer of such niceties? Because:

  1. The Consumer Price Index for the first 6 months of 2005 increased by 2.8%.
  2. In July the CPI increased by 3%.
This had reduced the people’s purchasing power. The government measures are to contain inflation and counter the effects of rising global oil prices.

The move is laudable as it may help in easing inflationary pressures that had beeen building up over the last two year. This quick action is seen necessary to mitigate against the increasing frustrations and disappointments of the communities over the lack of economic priming activities and development projects to sustain the nation's industrial growth which over the past two years had slowed down effectively and in some areas, particularly the construction industry, which has contracted. The reality can be seen in that many Bumiputra contractors are starving for jobs, and many more contractors have projects that are in their tail-end and would be jobless soon unless the government does some pump priming actions to overcome the poignant situation.

However, a closer look at the sweeteners offered, it isn't that sweetening.

Firstly, the promise is that there will be no fuel-price increase until end of the year. We are now in September, which means that the government is giving a three months grace period of sustain current fuel-price and the promise ends thereafter. At such we can expect fuel price increase by January 2006.

Secondly, the promise of no toll increase this year and next year do not affect all the concessionaires except the Penang Bridge operator (UEM). All the road operators were not expected to increase their tolls until 2007. At such, there is in reality, a promise which is not expected to take place at all. The only beneficiary is those who use the Penang bridge.

The third initiative of lowering the road tax is seen as the only realistic benefits the public had benefitted.

The fourth initiative of increase aids to old people and under-privilege children and poor cannot be construed as an new initiative to ease the public's burden. This initiative is suppose to be built into the system of government, irrespective. It is paramount duty of the government to provide aids to senior citizens and the under-privileges and should not be publicise as if it was some new goodies. It bemocks the system administration.



In essence this quick action is seen to alleviate any possible form of revolution or uprising and tensions within the bumiputra communities out of frustrations over the new regime’s inability to generate economic activities, particularly the lack of projects coupled with rising cost of living without the parallel rise of income. The current economic outlook seem to be treading towards deflation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Monsoon Cup in Terengganu

Monsoon Cup in Terengganu

Arnaz M. Khairul
New Straits Times
09-07-2005
Monsoon Cup in Terengganu
Byline: Arnaz M. Khairul
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

HATCHED from an idea on an empty day out fishing by none other than Prime

Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Monsoon Cup, the fourth
leg of the Swedish Match Tour, will take to the seas on Nov 29- Dec 3 at

the Terengganu Heritage Bay in Pulau Duyong.

The most prestigious match race series, seen as a preparatory series

for the Americas Cup, the Swedish Match Tour is aimed at livening up

activity, both sporting and economic, in Terengganu during the monsoon

season between October and March.

And the idea for Terengganu to host a leg of the Tour was the

"Abdullah To Woo Top Fund Managers With Story of Malaysia's Resilient Economy"

Innovation, Branding & Leadership Woes



Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will next week embark on an aggressive plan to sell Malaysia to some of the world’s most powerful fund managers. He will bring to them a story that is not well known outside Malaysia: the story of a country with built-in defences against any economic downturn. The story of a country that can depend on oil and gas and palm oil when the manufacturing and services sectors slow down. His target audience will be 40 fund managers in London and New York, representing some of the world’s top investment companies. This is the first time that he is leading a roadshow with the sole goal of selling Malaysia as a safe and productive place for investments. Accompanying him on the Malaysian Global Roadshow, to the two cities, will be corporate captains of some of the brand name Malaysian companies. They are Datuk Azman Mokhtar of Khazanah Nasional, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh of YTL Corp, Ananda Krishnan of Usaha Tegas, Tan Sri K.T. Lim of Genting Bhd, Datuk Nazir Razak of CIMB, Datuk Ahmad Zubir of Sime Darby, Datuk Tony Fernandes of AirAsia and George Ratilal of Petronas. The roadshow is initiated by Merrill Lynch and ECM Libra, an investment bank.

Pak Lah believes that he has a track record of public sector reforms, including the revamp of government-linked companies (GLCs), to support his message to fund managers. Also, with the ringgit peg removed, there is likely to be less resistance by fund managers to investing in companies here.

The roadshow is also to tell fund managers that there is much more to this country than political stability and its natural resources, two of its main selling points in the past. "Malaysia is built like a Boeing 747. If one engine shuts down, it can still carry on smoothly," Abdullah’s sales pitch.

Great mission Pak Lah and we wish you every success. I am sure you have brought along with you great entreprenuers as a back up.

But, sir, have you considered certain possible questions from your audiences? Would you consider the likely questions that may pop-up in your missions as stated below:

If the foreign investors asked you about the Malay Agenda and your son-in-law's recent statement of which he loudly proclaimed: “No need to hide. This is the Malay agenda. We want 30% equity for the bumiputras so that they will be on par with the other races.” Other races also include Mat Sallehs and all other foreign investors of which many of them are also Chinese and Indians. How would these investors who are Chinese and Indians, Punjabis, Mat Sallehs and Mamaks invest in our country if they pump in their monies and your son-in-law says he wants and is determine to get 30% from them?

Another problem that can surface is: when these investors wants to buy shares in our public listed companies, such as MAS, Telekom, Proton, Tenaga Nasional, etc, and when these companies are suffering losses and mismanagement largely due to the built-in and inherent dysfunctions system, the Malaysian government and UMNO in particular would not allow foreigners and other races who are experts and specialist in turnaround management to be appointed to helm these institutions. UMNO Youth Leader and Education Minister Datuk Hishamuddin said the proposed appointment of a foreigner to lead the nationally-owned carrier by Khazanah could be likened to allowing the country to be recolonised, albeit in a new manner. “Don’t look at it from the commercial aspect but (we) should look at the bigger agenda, that is the Malay Agenda,” Hishamuddin said. Sir, how are you going to respond?

Thirdly, Johor's Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had criticised the current semi-meritocracy system and called it discriminatory and oppressive and the sole cause of an uneven playing field. If our universities and corporations are to be run by the people who are graduates from our public universities who were admitted without meritocracy and ultimately graduated without the necessary competencies and of which the system administrators manhandled by UMNO Youth would elect or direct all the appointments of executives and senior management based on race and skin colors, would you think the foreign investors are altruist who will be coming here to pour in their billion dollar investments just to help provide employments to UMNO and to give hand-outs to your son-in-laws and his acolytes?

Fourthly, do you believe that these foreign investors are morons and didn't understand our system of renting-seeking and Kautim management? Even Mat Sallehs told me that in Malaysia, everything must Kautim. Didn't you know about it? Just ask your son and son-in-law.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

"New Bridge Go Ahead"

Partly Crooked & Partially Straight Bridge



NST today reported that Malaysia will build the bridge to replace its portion of the causeway under a plan that will allow Singapore to do likewise later.

Malaysia has decided not to wait for Singapore's decision, of which Johor is claiming that this delay is retarding their potential economic growth.

Is this a good idea? Or is this idea bull-dozed by some of Johor political masters to achieve an unfulfilled objective of yesteryear in the name of economic disaster potential? The decision seemed to suggest so.

Did Johor really need the half-bridge bow? If Singapore's side will not be expanding the bridge lanes over their portion, then, on completion, we would be having a large bottleneck situation which creates more traffic control problems and nuisances. Ultimately, we would have made a dragon with a snake body. Is that what we want? In the words of Murphy, would it be that "the solution to a problem will ultimately breed new and far potent problems?



It seemed that whenever a decision is made, our political masters do not seemed to possess rational thinking. They ignore the process of critical analysis and strategic analysis such as PESTE Analysis and SWOT. It is like thumping the chest and signing checks that the body may not be able to pay. This decision is definitely made to satisfy a coterie, of which some form of reward is flowing and passing below the surface of water. It seemed the oligarch is hard at work again.

Best of luck to asses!

"Malaysia has waited too long for Singapore to respond. We have no choice but go it alone"

Malaysia to build half a bridge over troubled waters: report

Last Update: Sunday, September 4, 2005. 7:18pm (AEST)

It is reported that Malaysia will start work on a controversial new bridge halfway to Singapore, even though its neighbour has yet to announce plans to build the other half over the waterway which separates them.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has given the "thumbs up" to the new bridge and Singapore would be told Tuesday of the decision in bilateral meetings, the New Straits Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

The newspaper said the new bridge on the Malaysian side had been designed to allow Singapore to link up to it later - a move that would apparently leave the bridge half-built across the Johor Strait.

"Malaysia has waited too long for Singapore to respond. We have no choice but go it alone," said a source.

While other bilateral feuds have been settled amidst thawing relations in the past year, the construction of a bridge across the narrow strait remains a thorny issue.

Malaysia's decision was prompted by the near-completion of a new 1.1 billion ringgit ($346 million) customs, immigration and quarantine complex in the southern state of Johor which faces Singapore, said the newspaper.

Malaysia wants traffic to flow to the new complex.

"We have no choice but go it alone because work on the new CIQ complex in Johor Baru is reaching an advanced state of completion," said the source.

Technical details of the bridge will be shown to Singapore on Tuesday at the bilateral meetings in Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital, said the newspaper.

In 2000, when Singapore rejected Malaysia's proposal for a bridge to replace the 80-year-old causeway now linking the two, then-premier Mahathir Mohamad came up with the idea of what became known as "the crooked half-bridge".

The 1.45 kilometre half-bridge would have carried an eight-lane highway some 25 metres above the strait before curving and descending gently to link up with the causeway from Singapore at the border between the two countries.

But Mr Abdullah last December presented a new design for a conventional straight bridge linking the two sides.

Singapore said it would review the project to ensure "balanced benefits".

-AFP

Friday, August 26, 2005

'Several leaders probed'

'Several leaders probed'


New Straits Times
08-26-2005
'Several leaders probed'
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs. - Several Umno Supreme Council members were

investigated for money politics but solid evidence was only found in the
case of vice-president Tan Sri Isa Samad.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made this disclosure in

an interview with Off the Edge, a new monthly magazine. This is the first

time that the Umno president has said that several senior members of the

ruling party were investigated for vote-buying.

Since the party election in 2004, there has been swirling speculation

on the extent of money politics in the contest for positions to the

Supreme Council. But the ...

Monday, August 15, 2005

"Don't Believe Rumours"

Malaysia tries to curb SMS abuse

Kuala Lumpur
August 15, 2005 - 2:48PM

Malaysia will register millions of pre-paid mobile phone subscribers to prevent the untraceable handsets being used to send threatening or slanderous SMS text messages, reports say.

Communications Minister Lim Keng Yaik said the cabinet had agreed to make it compulsory for telecommunications companies to register the existing 14 million pre-paid subscribers, as well as all new users.

Lim said the registration would begin next month in southern Malacca state and northern Penang, and be completed nationwide by the end of the year.

"Fourteen million is a huge number of users and some of them are foreigners. So it is a difficult exercise," he said according to the New Straits Times.

"But we have to start doing this as pre-paid phone card users pose a security threat because nowadays terrorists are using cellphones to detonate bombs," he said.

Members of parliament last year called for mandatory registration of prepaid mobile phone users following complaints that some users were abusing the service by sending poison text messages.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last week called on Malaysians to stop rumour-mongering through SMS (short-messaging service) and lambasted people for abusing the technology.

His critical remarks came after rumours were spread by SMS about the health of his wife, Endon Mahmood, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

In another case that has fuelled debate on the issue, police in Penang earlier this month arrested two Indonesians on suspicion of sending bomb hoaxes to the local airport through SMS.

AFP

Friday, August 12, 2005

"When something like this happens, we have to ask for God's help" (Haze 2005)

Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK

Haze over a passenger jetty in Port Klang, near Kuala Lumpur
Schools and a port were closed because of the thick smog
Malaysia's Muslim community has been asked to pray for rain to lift the smog that has enveloped the capital and surrounding areas.

"When something like this happens, we have to ask for God's help," said Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

The smog is drifting across to Malaysia from land clearance fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The haze has eased slightly since Thursday, when Malaysia declared an emergency in two badly affected areas.

But many people are continuing to wear face masks, some schools remain closed and the air in six districts is still classed as hazardous.

There is also no guarantee that this slight respite will be more than temporary, according to the BBC correspondent in Kuala Lumpur, Jonathan Kent - especially as the monsoon rains are not due until October.

Corruption claims

On Thursday ministers from both countries agreed a three-point plan to tackle the source of the fires burning across Sumatra.

A spokesman for Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the Indonesian leader was taking the matter very seriously.

But more than 1,000 separate fires are still burning in Sumatra, and Indonesian officials have warned that it could be several days before they are brought under control.

The remoteness of some areas and a lack of resources are hampering efforts to extinguish the fires.

Malaysia has offered to send reinforcements, but is reported to be waiting for Indonesia to give the go ahead.

Critics say corruption, a lack of funds and poor law enforcement are to blame for many of the fires.

Environmentalists accuse big palm oil producers in the area of using the cheap but dangerous slash-and-burn method to clear land for their plantations - a method they need official permits to use.

But in practice, these permits are often easy to obtain and even if the firms accidentally start a fire, they are rarely prosecuted, due to what many environmental campaigners claim is an increasingly fraudulent system.

"Corruption and collusion is rampant. It's become public knowledge and no longer a secret," Ruly Syumanda, a spokesman for an Indonesian environmental watchdog, told the French news agency AFP.

While criticism has been heaped on Indonesia for failing to stop practices which can lead to forest fires, many of the large palm oil firms in the area are actually owned by businessmen from Malaysia.

In comments likely to spark fresh controversy, the Indonesian forestry minister said on Friday that at least 10 Malaysian plantation companies were operating in the affected area of Sumatra.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi vowed that action would be taken against any Malaysian companies caught burning forests in Indonesia.

"I feel very wretched. By now, they should have realised that what they did would have an impact here in Malaysia, their own country," he told the Associated Press.

Malaysian anger

In Kuala Lumpur, many people believe the blame lies squarely with Indonesia.

Dozens of demonstrators turned up outside the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, angry that nothing had been done to put a stop to the problem.

The Malaysian media also criticised Indonesia for not having signed a regional agreement on cross-border pollution.

But after recent disputes between the two regional neighbours, over oil concessions in disputed waters and the forced repatriation from Malaysia of illegal Indonesian workers, officials on both sides seem keen to avoid another diplomatic spat.

Air pollution in Malaysia has yet to match the 1997 levels, when mainly Indonesian fires caused a dense smog across South East Asia.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

'Endon coping with treatment'


New Straits Times
08-10-2005
'Endon coping with treatment'
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

PUTRAJAYA, Tues. - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said

his wife Datin Seri Endon Mahmood is doing very well and responding
positively to chemotherapy in the United States.

"She seems to be healthier and she is responding well to treatment as

well as the medication prescribed.

"She expects to be back by the end of next month," said Abdullah at the

Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International ...

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

"Fair deal for all"

Fair deal for all

Zubaidah Abu Bakar
New Straits Times
08-02-2005
Fair deal for all
Byline: Zubaidah Abu Bakar
Edition: Main/Lifestyle

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon. - All Malaysians, irrespective of race, will be

treated fairly under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, and every community allowed
to build on its strengths.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today delivered an

assurance that the Government would not obstruct the progress of any

community.

Instead, those needing assistance would get it while those lacking the

capacity to develop, pushed to strive harder for success.

"We have no plan to halt the success achieved by any group merely to

wait for another group to catch up economically," Abdullah ...

"New National Agenda Fair To All"

Saturday, July 30, 2005

"Our Fuel Prices The Cheapest in ASEAN" (2)

KENYATAAN MEDIA

PENGUMUMAN MENGENAI KENAIKAN PARAS HARGA SILING
PRODUK PETROLEUM MULAI 31 JULAI 2005

________________________________________________________________


1. HARGA BARU PRODUK PETROLEUM MULAI 31 JULAI 2005

1.1. Dalam usaha Kerajaan menangani impak kenaikan harga minyak mentah di pasaran dunia dan untuk membendung pertambahan subsidi yang perlu ditanggung oleh Kerajaan, maka Kerajaan memutuskan untuk menaikkan harga runcit bagi diesel dan petrol. Kerajaan juga memutuskan untuk menaikkan harga runcit LPG selaras dengan tujuan mengurangkan beban subsidi bagi produk tersebut. Berkaitan itu, Kerajaan memutuskan untuk menaikkan harga runcit diesel sebanyak 20 sen seliter, harga runcit petrol sebanyak 10 sen seliter dan harga runcit LPG sebanyak 5 sen sekg mulai 31 Julai 2005.


Harga Jun 2005
(seliter)
Harga baru mulai 31 Julai 2005
(seliter)
Kenaikan
(sen/ liter)
Semenanjung
Petrol RON 97
152
162
+ 10
Petrol RON 92
148
158
+ 10
Diesel
108.1
128.1
+ 20
LPG
140
145
+ 5
Sabah
Petrol RON97
150
160
+ 10
Petrol RON 92
148
158
+ 10
Diesel
108.4
128.4
+ 20
LPG
148
153
+ 5
Sarawak
Petrol RON97
151
161
+ 10
Petrol RON92
148
158
+ 10
Diesel
107.8
127.8
+ 20
LPG
148
153
+ 5


2. JUMLAH PEMBERIAN SUBSIDI DAN PENGECUALIAN CUKAI

2.1. Sejak tahun 2004 Kerajaan telah menanggung subsidi produk petroleum yang semakin meningkat. Beban tanggungan subsidi yang direkodkan pada tahun 2004 berjumlah RM 4.8 bilion dan angka ini dijangka akan meningkat kepada RM 6.63 bilion pada akhir tahun 2005. Angka bagi tahun 2005 ini telah mengambil kira kenaikan harga yang akan berkuatkuasa mulai 31 Julai 2005. Selain itu, Kerajaan juga akan menanggung beban berbentuk pengecualian cukai bagi tahun 2005 yang berjumlah RM 7.85 bilion. Ini bermakna keseluruhan bebanan kerugian yang dialami Kerajaan adalah berjumlah RM 14.48 bilion.


3. KENAIKAN PARAS SUBSIDI DIESEL UNTUK NELAYAN

3.1. Kerajaan amat prihatin terhadap bebanan yang ditanggung oleh golongan nelayan yang membeli diesel bersubsidi pada kadar yang lebih tinggi berbanding dengan harga yang dinikmati oleh pengusaha pengangkutan darat. Untuk membolehkan golongan nelayan menerima paras subsidi yang menyamai dengan harga yang ditawarkan kepada sektor pengangkutan darat, Kerajaan memutuskan untuk menaikkan paras subsidi daripada 44.1 sen kepada 64.1 sen iaitu pertambahan sebanyak 20 sen seliter. Melalui tindakan ini, nelayan akan dapat membeli diesel subsidi dengan harga dilingkungan RM 1.20.


4. PERBANDINGAN HARGA PRODUK PETROLEUM DI MALAYSIA DENGAN NEGARA-NEGARA ASEAN

4.1. Walaupun tindakan menaikkan harga produk petroleum dibuat, didapati harga petrol di Malaysia masih lagi murah berbanding dengan semua negara-negara ASEAN kecuali negara Brunei Darussalam. Sementara itu, paras harga diesel juga paling rendah kecuali jika dibandingkan dengan Indonesia dan Brunei Darussalam. Jadual di bawah menunjukkkan perbandingan harga bahan petrol dan diesel secara perbandingan di antara negara-negara ASEAN.



Negara RON97
(sen / litter)
RON92 (sen/liter) Diesel (sen/liter) LPG (sen/kg)
Malaysia
162
158
128.1
145
Thailand
229
221
182
165
Filipina
207
204
178
125
Singapura
376
348
236
-
Brunei
120
118
70
138
Indonesia
170
164
86
-


5. KESAN PENGECUALIAN CUKAI DAN PEMBERIAN SUBSIDI KEPADA EKONOMI NEGARA

5.1. Pemberian subsidi kepada sektor-sektor tertentu adalah bertujuan supaya pengeluaran produk atau perkhidmatan berada pada kadar yang terkawal dan tidak membebankan rakyat. Pendirian ini adalah untuk memastikan harga barangan keperluan berada dalam lingkungan kemampuan pengguna dan pada masa yang sama mengurangkan kadar inflasi ke tahap yang rendah. Kerajaan juga sedar keputusan menaikkan paras harga runcit produk petroleum termasuk LPG, menyebabkan ada pihak-pihak tertentu yang akan mengambil kesempatan dengan sewenang-wenangnya untuk membuat keuntungan berlebihan. Kerajaan berharap, perkara ini tidak berlaku. Walau bagaimanapun, sekiranya ini berlaku, Kerajaan tidak akan teragak-agak untuk mengambil tindakan tegas kerana kita percaya langkah seumpama ini boleh menjejaskan ekonomi negara di samping menaikkan kadar inflasi.

5.2. Kerajaan mendapati terdapat beberapa kesan negatif yang berpunca dari pemberian subsidi. Contohnya harga produk petroleum yang rendah di Malaysia berbanding dengan negara jiran menyebabkan pihak yang tidak bertanggung jawab mengambil kesempatan untuk memperolehi keuntungan mudah dengan menyeludup produk itu ke negara luar. Akibatnya ekonomi negara menerima kesan negatif dan kekurangan produk petroleum di negara ini akan menyusahkan rakyat pula. Selain itu, pembiayaan subsidi secara berterusan mengakibatkan pengurangan perbelanjaan bagi projek-projek pembangunan seperti sekolah, hospital dan jalan raya. Kerajaan telah membuat kenyataan tidak akan memberhentikan pemberian subsidi keseluruhannya tetapi dalam masa yang sama Kerajaan tidak bersedia untuk terus membiayai subsidi yang kian meningkat. Justeru itu kenaikan harga pasaran secara berterusan akan bermakna bahawa subsidi yang diberi Kerajaan tidak dapat dilindungi selama-lamanya.


Pejabat Perdana Menteri
30 Julai 2005

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"Okay publish all, publish all. There's no need to keep. Why should we keep" (rAPidah AP Saga)

Full List of AP to be Published


AP - Full Publication Posted by Picasa

From Salbiah Said

www.bernama.com

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Wednesday directed Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz to publish the full list of Approved Permit (AP) holders to avoid negative perceptions from the public.

"Okay publish all, publish all. There's no need to keep. Why should we keep. If by keeping we create negative perceptions, that's not right, that's wrong," he told the Malaysian media at the end of his three-day official visit to South Africa.

Later, after the press conference, Rafidah told reporters that she was too hurt to reply to Dr Mahathir's allegations.

Oleh/By : DATO' SERI ABDULLAH BIN HAJI AHMAD BADAWI
PERDANA MENTERI MALAYSIA
Tempat/Venue : PEJABAT PERDANA MENTERI

Tarikh/Date : 18/07/2005
Tajuk/Title : SENARAI PEMEGANG “APPROVED PERMIT” (AP)




Pejabat Perdana Menteri




SIARAN AKHBAR

Kerajaan telah mengambil keputusan untuk mengumumkan senarai pemegang “Approved Permit” (AP).

Terdapat dua jenis AP:

• AP Terbuka membenarkan pemegang untuk mengimport kereta baru dan terpakai dari mana-mana sumber. Pengeluaran AP Terbuka yang baru telah dihentikan pada tahun 1988. Senarai profail syarikat pemegang AP Terbuka disertakan sebagai Lampiran I.

• AP Francais dikeluarkan kepada syarikat yang telah memeterai perjanjian agensi eksklusif secara langsung dengan pengeluar kereta luar dari negara. Senarai profail syarikat pemengang AP Francais disertakan sebagai Lampiran II.

Profil syarikat yang terkandung dalam senarai pemegang AP adalah berdasarkan maklumat yang dikemukakan oleh para-pemegang AP kepada Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri (MITI) semasa mereka memohon untuk dipertimbangkan pemberian AP.

Walaupun syarikat-syarikat disyaratkan untuk memaklumkan sebarang pertukaran kepada struktur ekuiti, tidak semua syarikat berbuat demikian. Justeru, maklumat terkini mungkin berbeza daripada maklumat yang didaftarkan di Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia.


Pejabat Perdana Menteri
Bangunan Perdana Putra
Putrajaya

18 Julai 2005