Govt taking burden of risk, says KJ Thursday, February 9, 2012 – 17:00 by Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
PUTRAJAYA: The government will have to bear the credit risk in the RM1.5 billion low-cost housing loan scheme channelled from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), said BN Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Rembau MP said although the loan scheme would use EPF’s monies, he pointed out the government would still have to pay the social security institution if home buyers default on their loans.
“It is the government that is making ‘subprime’ loans, not EPF. It is the government that is exposing itself to unsecured loans, not EPF,” he said.
“As an MP and custodian of my voters’ trust, I want to know what the process for vetting loan applications under this scheme would be.
“What risk management processes would the government institute undertake before giving out these loans? If borrowers are those that would otherwise be rejected by commercial banks, what criteria will the government use to approve a loan application?”
Khairy also questioned the collateral that the government was providing for the EPF funds.
“What is the value of the collateral in relation to the loan? Will the government also be required to secure the loan with some cash?
“Given that this is an EPF loan to the government, I am assuming it will be adequately secured with good collateral. But details would be good for the comfort of EPF contributors.”
He said the government’s response to the controversy had been “substandard”.
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It is easy to take a ‘risk’ with the taxpayer’s money. Government has NADA without the taxpayer money. If the citizens decide this won’t work (though housing people is certainly very positive) because alot of corruption and wastage in middleman fees FROM taxpayer moneis will be lost, then the project will not go forward. How transparent will the project be? If everything is top secret, the people will not want to enrich more cronies. If accounts will not be open, then the project is automatically a crony enrichment exercise.
Shah Alam not a ‘city of sin’, says PAS MP – by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
February 09, 2012
SHAH ALAM, Feb 9 — PAS’s Khalid Samad today denied allegations that Shah Alam had become a “morally decadent” city under Pakatan Rakyat (PR), saying that the Selangor government had taken all steps to combat prostitution and the open sale of alcohol.
The Selangor PAS deputy commissioner was responding to remarks made by former Selangor PAS executive councillor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, who had alleged that the sanctity of Islam and the Malays was not looked after in Selangor.
“It is not just about alcohol, gambling, massage parlours… it is also about corruption, slander, lies… and we have changed this when we took over, but he does not see this,” Khalid (picture) told a news conference here.
The Shah Alam MP explained that the issue of convenience stores selling alcohol in some housing areas had been resolved without “confrontation or drama” and that it was Hasan himself who caused unnecessary trouble when he got involved in the issue some time back.
“Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 in Shah Alam no longer have the problem of alcohol being sold in 7-Eleven outlets, or other stores… when the Shah Alam Municipal Council (MBSA) renewed their licence they told the store owners not to sell alcohol in those areas.
“The reason was simple… they were Malay-majority areas and alcohol sales only made up two per cent of their total earnings,” said Khalid, who said that Hasan did not discuss with PAS or the state government when he decided to get involved in the confiscation of alcohol in some 7-Eleven outlets.
“When you say Shah Alam is a city of sin, you are not attacking me, but also the mayor, MBSA… if it is true, tell us where? Where are the places for prostitution? Hotel Carlton? Bluewave? Goodhope?
“Most of these economy hotels are owned by Malays… and they are equipped with suraus, Qiblat signs,” said Khalid.
He added that weekly inspections were carried out by officials at these premises, and there was no proof to allegations of vice.
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Any city which is international enough should have a legalised sin district for passing travellers’ ‘relief’, though the ‘city of sin’ epithet is unlikely to ‘grace’ any town entirely, especially when most cities in Malaysia have large numbers of Muslims in many districts. Though many Muslims are less than pious and do indulge in ‘personal sins’ which in either case are not punishable in the prophet’s view, non-Muslims could have dedicated haram districts. Meanwhile legalize gambling outlets to offer roulette, card, dice, domino and other gambling games instead of just 4D.
DAP’s Provocations Have Ruined CNY Festivities – Tee Siew Kiong – Wednesday, 08 February 2012 11:27
While MCA tries its best to perform for the sake of the Chinese community, DAP on the other hand prefers to start verbal fights, proving that they do not put in effort nor do they know how to work properly, thus earning the moniker the “Democratic Action-less Party”.
During the Chinese New Year period, DAP Johor had continuously provoked others, thus destroying the harmonious atmosphere of the Chinese Lunar Year.
DAP keeps bragging that they will defend the Chinese culture but their provocations during the festive celebrations of Chinese New Year has undermined the celebrations, proving that DAP has been fraternizing with PAS for too long until they have become too attached to the theocratic ways of PAS, so much so that they have forgotten their traditional Chinese roots.
Johor MCA, under the leadership of MCA President Dr Chua Soi Lek, had actively worked hard using the hands-on technique in order to protect the interests and secure the welfare of the Chinese community, including obtaining allocations for schools in the state, as well as getting the Chingay performance declared as a national cultural heritage by the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture.
These results are obtained not from picking fights with others, or by simply issuing statements. If by quarrelling, DAP Johor can secure more benefits for the Chinese community, then they will not have wasted their valuable time and breath picking fights with MCA. However, in both Pakatan Rakyat states of Penang and Selangor, DAP has failed to grant lands to Chinese and Tamil schools, and to stop the Kedah PAS government from abolishing the sole pig abbatoir in the state as well as the 50% Bumiputra housing quota implemented by PAS.
TEE SIEW KIONG is MCA National Organising Secretary
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The attitude of self entitlement (750K funeral, refusal to amend by-laws) and Mubarak-ist nepotism kills DAP. But MCA’s acceptance of APARTHEID and refusal to fight for equality are making MCA as useless as KTK (Team Killer Koh). MCA has the wealth and holds some seats. How about demanding equality or leaving en masse with MIC, Gerakan and PPP? Don’t be weak minded MCA, it’s just equality . . . and DAP has the immense advantage simply by being independent of UMNO. MCA could sweep many seats if MCA drops out of BN.
Expert lauds Malaysian Hokkiens – By R.S.N. MURALI firstname.lastname@example.org – Monday February 6, 2012
MALACCA: The Hokkien culture and dialect in Malaysia is more vibrant than its birthplace – China.
French anthropologist Fiorella Allio noted that the Hokkiens in Malaysia had preserved their culture and language better and that they were similar to that in ancient China.
“There is not much distortion in the way the culture is preserved and the dialect spoken here is authentic.
Colourful minds: Allio (right) discussing with her student Aurelia Koop, 25, the tradition of the Hokkien people in Malaysia. Allio is in Malacca to record and conduct an in-depth research on the Wangkang festival.
“In China, the tradition of the Hokkien people is somewhat skewed due to various reasons, and this was brought to its pinnacle during the height of the Communist era,” she said at the Yong Chuan Tian Temple at Bandar Hilir here, yesterday.
The 49-year-old Allio is in Malacca to record and conduct an in-depth research on the age-old Wangkang festival.
The festival is a tradition of the Chinese Peranakan whose ancestors migrated to Malacca and other parts of South-East Asia from Fujian province during the 17th century.
The festival was organised to get rid of wandering souls and other negative elements on the streets of Malacca, thereby bringing health, peace and bliss to the local folks.
The first recorded Wangkang festival was held in Malacca in 1919 and the last was held in 2001.
Tomorrow, there will be a 20km procession before a 2m-high, RM80,000 wooden boat is scuttled along the coastline of Pulau Melaka together with “evil spirits”.
Allio, who speaks fluent Hokkien and is a Mandarin linguist, described the event as a once-in-a-lifetime experience that would greatly assist her research on the Hokkien community’s customs in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia.
She said that from a young age, she had been fascinated by ancient cultures and that the Chinese culture preceded even the Egyptians.
She believes the Hokkien to be the most ancient of the various Chinese communities.
Allio, who is attached to the Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Marseille, France, said the information on the festival would be useful for her comparative study.
Allio has been interested in Chinese culture and religion since the 1980s when she called China and Taiwan home.
She added that part of her studies included comprehending the sub-cultural practices, social structures and religions of the communities outside Fujian province.
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Be a bit more accurate – make that ‘lauds Hokkiens *who are not in BN component political parties*’. BN component party Hokkiens have allowed apartheid and 2nd class citizenships for 50+ years.
Curtin University confers Honorary Doctor of Letters on Rosmah – Sunday, February 12, 2012 – 15:12 – by Bernama
PERTH: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Malaysian prime minister, was today conferred the honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Australia’s Curtin University in recognition of her efforts in the development of education, particularly children’s education through the Permata Negara programme.
Chancellor of Curtin University Dr Jim Gill presented the doctorate to Rosmah at the institution’s convocation here on Saturday.
Also present at the event were Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Australia Datuk Salman Ahmad and Malaysia’s Consul General in Perth Hamidah Ashari.
More than 500 graduands of the university, a number of them Malaysians, also received their respective degrees at the convocation.
Rosmah, in her acceptance speech, expressed her deepest gratitude to the council members of Curtin University for the conferment.
Emphasising the importance of early education, Rosmah said many of the world’s social ills can be mitigated when education is made accessible to all, including rural people and the urban poor.
She also said that when the young are prepared from an early age, they would be mentally, emotionally and psychologically more adept in projecting the best of themselves by the time they reach tertiary education.
“It is proven that the formative years of a child, to at least five years of age, significantly determine his or her ability to succeed later in life. There could potentially be a lost opportunity if we do not invest in the right kind of early education for our children,” she added.
Rosmah said the setting of the Early Childhood Education and Care Programme or better known as ECEC, under the banner of Permata Negara, is to ensure that Malaysia’s education focuses on holistic human development from an early age, and also to ensure that the country can build profound human capital.
She said that it was with this conviction, and through intensive deliberations and discussions with a wide range of professionals and volunteers in Malaysia, that the programme was launched in 2007 and known as Permata, meaning jewel or gem in the Malay language and symbolising the young as invaluable assets of the country.
Rosmah said the Permata programme provides opportunities to children below five years of age from rural and urban families in the lower socio-economic group to experience a holistic learning environment.
“Learning is based on exploration, experience and experiment designed to instill and promote inquisitiveness and curiosity in a child. We benchmarked Permata to several high-performing programmes from around the world,” she said.
Rosmah said that in just five years, the Permata Negara programme has expanded from the first five pilot projects to more than 600 Permata childcare centres around Malaysia.
“Our work continues with further expansion to ensure that no child is left behind or deprived of quality education,” she said.
The Permata programme also encompasses four other programmes. A centre for the academically gifted and talented has a school for students aged 16 to 17 years attached to the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan).
“An annual camp for gifted children aged nine to 15 years is also conducted in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.
“Permata also has programmes for children talented in the performing arts as well as in studies of the Quran and Sunnah.
“Under the same banner, we have also rolled out programmes to empower Youths-at-Risk,” she said.
Rosmah thanked her family, especially her husband and children, saying they have been the tower of her strength, enabling her to contribute to the country.
She congratulated Prof Jeanette Hacket, the vice-chancellor of Curtin University, for having been conferred the prestigious Member of the Order of Australia at the recent Australia Day ceremony.
Curtin University conferred an honorary doctorate in technology on former Malaysian prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2006.
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Hold the fetting until the apartheid system has ended Australia. Do you know how oppressive the socio-political conditions here in Mlaysia are? Rosmah’s hsuband Najib is PM and can end APARTHEID but has not – the minorities can hope for now but will cast their votes against BN, I hope Curtin Uni knows what it is doing. How would Curtin Uni graduates like it if all Indian and Chinese companies worldwide paid 30% less to Curtin Uni grads who are Australian citizens? Tacit approval of APARTHEID if anything Curtin. Shame on Curtin University!