Saturday, July 18, 2015

1MDB Scandal - Take the POLL

There has been a lot of information and misinformation right from the moment the 1MDB scandal broke and the PM has only declared that the monies in his accounts were not for "personal" use, whatever that implies.
Thus far, we have had allegations of money laundering, tampering of evidence, blackmail, murder and even conspiracy.
This poll is just to get a feeling of what is your reaction. Thanks for your participation!
survey service

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Main ISSUES about the WSJ and 1MDB

They say a picture paints a thousand words so this flow-chart may help you to understand the 1MDB fiasco and why the Malaysian PM is fighting to keep his post....

Monday, June 15, 2015

Missing MH370, missing billions of 1MBD and now missing oil tanker? What's next?

Maybe we will have a missing Prime Minister! 

(photo:thanks to astroawani)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Good Example of a BAD Bureaucracy?

There is this story that has a happy ending but I just wonder how many applicants died before they could receive the good news?
One more reason why local council elections would benefit the ordinary citizens who are struggling to survive.
20 years to solve cleanliness and traffic congestion issues! I wonder how long it will take to find solutions for problems in the proposed nuclear power stations?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How a Nation Like Malaysia Can Avoid Water Shortages

Iguassu Falls, Argentina/Brazil

It will be a shock for Malaysians to realise that Selangor will enforce water rationing by the end of February 2014.
This will have a major impact on investors and also productivity as households and factories have to cope with an interrupted water supply. The idea of having to store water in buckets and other containers sounds rather third-world so we should examine how this water fiasco has managed to develop.

There are three main players in the water saga.

SYABAS controls the treatment and water distribution of the state. It was created by the authorities in a privatisation deal that many feel is not fair to consumers.
SELANGOR authorities who have to work with SYABAS to supply water to the treatment plants, mainly from rivers.
SPAN is the Water Commissions Board that has authority to manage water resources.

This article from The Malaysian Insider explains how we have been "taking-water-for-granted"
According to the article, "Our archaic water pipes have been left unrepaired for decades and this has given rise to leaking pipes and wastage of precious water, as highlighted by our unrealistically high non-revenue water ratio of 36.4%. Some 1,994 billion litres of water was lost in 2012. By comparison, the non-revenue water ratios of Japan and Singapore are only 3% and 5% respectively."

This means we are losing more than 10 times non-revenue water compared to the two nations.
For every 100 cubic meters we treat and pump, 36 cubic meters are lost! It was also reported elsewhere that the SYABAS CEO enjoys a salary package of about RM600k per month but in any other company with such losses, the Board of Directors would probably remove him.

After the 13th General Elections when the Pakatan won Selangor state, the lack of good working relationship between SYABAS and SELANGOR authorities has caused the water supply system to degenerate.
SELANGOR wants control of the entire system but SYABAS is holding out for a higher price. Now even in a water shortage crisis, it seems the three parties cannot come together to work out problems. Instead we get the blame game blasted via the media.

As a resident of Johore, I have experienced this privatisation process or some prefer to call it PIRATISATION. First of all, there was an IPO about 10 years ago with the usual blurb by merchant banks about Johor state wanting residents to OWN a part of the water supply system.
Within 4 years, there was a MGO and investors were advised to sell and invest elsewhere to get better returns and during the period, not a single SEN was paid as dividends. Yes, the company was also taken private.

I believe the ENTIRE water supply chain should be under the control of states and not sold to a third party. However, the state can allow companies to take up a minority stake in the state company to provide management resources. In this way, consumers will not be held to ransom by conflicts of interest.
With this scheme, residents will know where to vent their anger when the taps run dry.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Post 13GE Price Hikes and How Trustworthy are Political Leaders?

Not very trustworthy it seems.
Within weeks of getting the mandate of the 13GE, the BN regime has taken swift action to cut the much-debated federal deficit that threatens the national economy.

Let us look at some of the measures:
1. Sugar price has gone up from RM2.50 to RM2.80 a kg and this happened even though the commodity price has gone down. The reason? The government signed a long term contract to supply the monopoly that controls sugar distribution in Malaysia.
2. The tariff for electricity is going up even though TNB had a profitable year last year.
3. Toll rates are reported to be going up as one minister has claimed it is just part of the toll agreements signed with the different companies. malaysiakini has the story about Impending toll rates

It seems the second and third items will impact consumers the most, excluding the Prime Minister who will enjoy his RM2 million benefit on electricity charges at Putrajaya. Of course the executive jets will still be available to the favored few at RM400k per overseas flight.
Not forgetting the impending GST that is going to hit us all in the pocket.

I propose we should demand a new toll agreement scheme for both present and future toll companies.
The basic deal must include the following:

1. All toll agreements cannot be extended after the initial 20 or 25 years.
2. The government must take back all toll companies after the agreement expires.
3. At the end of the period, the government may re-tender the toll company and the new company may collect toll for maintenance and safety services; at a rate between 20 to 30% of the last toll.
4. All toll companies must publish their annual accounts in national newspapers and government websites. At present PLUS has been taken private so we will not know annual profits.

Any widening of expressway etc cannot be compensated by extending the toll period and must come out of profits.
All roads will be toll free unless toll companies guarantee that no motorist is delayed more than 10minutes during the four major festive seasons. The toll free period will be for three days for each festival - one day before, the festival day and one day after.
We must impose such KPIs on toll companies so motorists get a fairer deal.

Let's face it.
We have not held the government too accountable by giving them such a long mandate.
It is time we asked them to prove they really know how to manage the economy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

malaysiakini and Testing Female Trainees before National Service - MORE UNNECESSARY SPENDING?

According to this news report, the government plans to increase the NS intake in 2014 to 150,000, an increase of 10,000 based on popular request; supposedly based on demand by young Malaysians. 

There is another news report there will be mandatory pregnancy testing for female trainees based on the argument that there were six cases of women who gave birth during the 3-month program since it began in 2004. 

Let us examine some numbers to check the financial justification for such an expenditure:

Since 2004, the NS program has been run for 10 years.
Let us assume that the average intake has been 100,000 per year intake and the boy/girl ratio on average has been 50/50 - this gives an average of 50,000 females each year.

Since 2004, a total of 500,000 females have completed NS and of these 6 have given birth at camp.
Suppose the cost per delivery and related costs is RM5000 - that gives a total of RM30,000.

Suppose a mass pregnancy test conducted at 1Malaysia clinic costs RM5 only? 
This means to test 500,000 females will cost RM2,500,000.

How does the NS scheme justify such expenditure?
You spend at least RM2.5mil in order to prevent the cost of RM30,000?

It looks as if this government has no basic idea to rein in rising costs. Instead of increasing the intake by 10,000, it should simply fill up the spaces of those who have chosen not to go for NS as many claim it is just a waste of time anyway.

In fact those girls who delivered in camp should have been invited to return to camp and have one or two sessions to share their stories so that others could avoid their mistakes if it was an unwanted pregnancy.

I also recommend the NS Directors should go and attend basic Mathematics as they seem to propose measures with such illogical reasoning!

photo: thanks to  

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