Archive for April 2012

Six new sites for Tamil schools

April 25, 2012

20

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Midlands Tamil school

April 24, 2012

21

PM on 5th gear towards general election

April 19, 2012

Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun razak works as thought he is the president of Malaysia. All other ministers including DPM have become subdued in their media coverage as compared to Datuk Najib Tun Razak. The PM has taken upon himself the task of reviving the fortune of UMNO/BN after their worst election in March 2008. Soon after taking the premiership, he announced the ambitious political (GTP) and economic transformation programs (ETP). He bulldozed the implementation of these programs sidestepping the government departments by creating a new unit PEMANDU under the leadership of Datuk Idris jala. Billions have been poured into the projects. GTP primarily targets improvement in cost of living, crime rate, Preschool education, rural basic infrastructure, public transportation, uplifting low income household and corruption. ETP focused on enhancing competitiveness and economic growth.

3 years after implementation the programs, PM says the results and scorecards are encouraging. But many critics are not optimistic about its achievements. Since the launch of GTP, Crime index of Malaysia dropped to 60th ranking from 56th. Cost of living continues to go up. Public transportations are still in shambles. Even economic growth is far slower than initially projected. Private sector investment is lesser that envisaged. ETP projects are creating more jobs for low wage earning foreigners. ETP targets 6% growth from 2011 to 2020 each year. In 2011 economic growth was 4-5%.  Government debt is still increasing and fast approaching the debt threshold of 55% of GDP. The divide between rich and poor are getting wider. BN government simply ran out of ideas to outgrow the external and internal challenges.

Institutionalized racialism and corruption is slowing down the transformation programs. PM and UMNO has no will and wish to bring about the structural transformation. DPM claims Malaysian education is better than UK, US and Germany yet every year thousands are send to these countries for further studies.  All our neighboring countries are racing to overtake us in economic growth, political stability, corruption and good governance.

The prime minister nitiated civil liberal reforms by amending and abolishing rigid, restrictive and draconian laws like ISA, PPPA, UUCA and emergency ordinance. The emergency ordinance was replaced with peaceful assembly bill; ISA is replaced with security offences (special measures) bill. Amendments are being made to UUCA which still do not provide the freedom to students to participate in off campus politics. It’s like old wine repacked into new bottles to appease voters.

Datuk Seri Najib is now rushing to implement the minimum wages to win over the workers support. 40% of our work forces are foreigners. 34% of Malaysian workers earn below RM700 which is below poverty line. Malaysian workers job security and income are regressing with more foreign workers imported and foreigners are now openly engaged in small trading in market places. UMNO/BN has lost the plot to lead the country. PM has tried all tricks in hand but nothing much to show. Now he is bribing the rural and poor voters with BRIM which is Beri Rasuah 1 Malaysia.

It’s time to change the government for at least one term. Let UMNO/BN be in opposition and Datuk Najib be the opposition leader for one term. This is a must to eradicate institutionalized racism and corruption.  Indians should be part of the change looming large in Malaysian politics. Let’s raise up to the occasion. It’s now or never.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

19/4/2012

The modern Midland Tamil school is our pride

April 16, 2012

While the Prime Minister is going around promising to upgrade Tamils, the Selangor state government together with the support of Midland Tamil school Board of Governors has built a Tamil school which looks like a college. This effort of a state government is unprecedented and a welcomed effort. The new school complex stands majestically beside the old run down school building. The Selangor Menteri Besar declared open the new school building which includes a convention centre yesterday (15/4/2012). The first Tamil school with a convention centre. It was a proud moment for the state government, parents, teachers, board of Governors and students and all those who were present. Apparently the school teachers and headmistress were told not to attend this opening ceremony by Selangor Menteri Besar by the Selangor education department. To UMNO BN their political interest supersedes the crying call of Indian community.  But the new Midland convention centre was filled to the brim by people who were proud to be present during the opening ceremony.

It was announced by the Menteri Besar during his speech that the school building with the state of art facilities was completed with a state grant of RM3 million and the school board of governors raised RM1.7 million. Well the same building would have cost the federal government at least RM 10 million. If a college like building is built for RM5 million whereas federal government builds Tamil school for RM9/10 million, look at the level of overpricing and corruption in government expenditure. The Prime minister has been making a series of announcement that RM440 million will be spent on the reconstruction and upgrading of Tamil Schools. Well, how much of the millions spent on the reconstruction of Tamil schools would go to crony contractors or rechanneled back to the government? Based on the assessment of informed sources Tamil schools will only get 1/3 of the building value due to overpricing and UMNO cronies getting the jobs.

The local MIC leaders who fought hard to sabotage and hijack the building of Midland school may not know where to show their faces. They were against the building of this school which is beside the old present school because the state could only allocate 3 acres of land. The present location is ideal because the school is surrounded by flats and houses from where the students come from. What is needed now is the demolition of old rundown school building and turn into a field. Then it will be the best school in whole of Malaysia.

BN Indian leaders must realise that they could not have build such a state of art Tamil school under the UMNO regime. Therefore they must put aside their political difference and work for the betterment of the Indian community. Unfortunately knowing the current state of affairs in BN on the ground level, this is a tall order to ask for. BN do not have dynamic generals and dedicated soldiers to uplift Indian community. All the goodies announced by PM are election handouts without any policy change. Committed Indian leaders in BN have given up hope on UMNO and left or retired. It’s high time that the Indian community become politically aware about what is happening around and be prepared to adapt to new changes. Politics have changed in Malaysia after 2008. Past achievements and contributions are forgotten and therefore Indian community must reposition itself to remain relevant to the political changes. Agencies like Minnal FM and other government news providers will keep feeding Indians with government propagandas. The community must know who are friends and enemies.   There are a lot of obstacles placed to prevent Indians from being kept informed on the larger political changes. The poor and rural Indians have to join their urban cousins to become a political block. Change we must. It’s now or never.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

15/4/2012

Number of Indian ministers in the new government…

April 12, 2012

23

Long and Close acquaintance with UMNO has blurred MCA vision

April 4, 2012

MCA president Datuk Chua Soi Lek says the number one enemy of MCA is DAP. He wants the MCA to wipe out DAP by getting the people’s support in Chinese community majority seats and emerge stronger. This statement by Datuk Chua Soi Lek reminded me of my often repeated comment to MCA Senators during Dewan Negara sittings. When I speak on Tamil/vernacular schools, a few UMNO Senators will interpose to say that students studying in vernacular schools do not get the opportunity to mix with Malay students. Vernacular schools should be closed and its existence is against the spirit of national unity. There was once an UMNO Senator during such debate told me not to speak on this topic but to move the next topic during my speech. Whenever I speak on Tamil school there will be one or two UMNO senators interposing with disagreement on the existence of vernacular schools.

 

There were occasions when one or two MCA senators speak on the problems of Chinese schools. Here too the UMNO Senators will interpose and criticize them for supporting Chinese schools. The poor MCA senator will not get any support from his fellow party man and UMNO senators will be able to overwhelm him. Outside the hall (Dewan) I have spoken to the concerned MCA senators on a few occasions that their enemy is not me from DAP but your comrades from UMNO. We agree on these issues but the UMNO senators are dead against this issue whenever you and I speak. But the MCA Senators will just smile and move away.

 

The blurred vision MCA president Datuk Chua Soi Lek has openly declared that the DAP is enemy number 1 and vow to work closely with UMNO/BN. He also added that the DAP uses “the Chinese fight against Chinese” strategy against MCA. Either he has forgotten or conveniently omitted the fact that MCA Chinese candidates have lost to the DAP Indian candidates. In the last election Mr Charles Santiago of DAP defeated MCA Selangor chairman in Klang parliamentary constituency. Similarly in the Seremban parliamentary constituency Mr John Fernandez defeated MCA Negeri Sembilan chairman. In Ipoh barat Mr kulasegaran defeated Mr Yik Pui Fong of MCA Perak. Therefore to say that DAP is deliberately planning the Chinese fight Chinese strategy is factually wrong and glazed with sinister motive.

 

The defeat of Chinese candidates of MCA and Gerakan by non Chinese candidates of DAP and PKR shows that voters have matured and has moved away from race based politics of BN. They are demanding more accountability, transparency, better governance and intolerance to corruption and bribery. The inability of MCA president to read and seize the expectations and demands of Chinese community shows the censure and dissonance of MCA. Therefore to redeem the dignity and pride of MCA, the party must leave BN and contest against BN and win the people’s mandate.

 

Chua Soi Lek also insinuated that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS. The DAP has countered that with a vote for MCA is a vote for UMNO. Which is a progressive and people friendly party, UMNO or PAS? PAS has rejected Ibrahim Ali’s Perkasa and Hasan Ali’s Jati, which is spewing racial venoms to destroy the national unity and solidarity sowed and painfully natured by our founding fathers. But the irresponsible and power crazy UMNO holds Ibrahim Ali and Hassan Ali close and dear. UMNO is corrupted and arrogant but PAS is not. Therefore which is a better alternative for Malaysians? Chua Soi Lek has lost his plot and becoming increasingly irrelevant.

 

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

4/4/2012

 

In the 55 years of BN rule Malaysians have become poorer

April 2, 2012

Malaysians are increasing becoming indebted over the years. Generally the debt repayment of 30% (1/3) of household income is acceptable. The Malaysian household debt service ratio was 9.1% in 2006 and rose to 49.0% in 2009 but dropped slightly to 47.8% in 2010. This means that on average almost half (50%) of a household’s income goes to repaying debts.  Thus after paying off debt there is not much left to spend on food, transport, education, and for emergencies. Should any problem arise to the income earner or lose his job, the family will find it hard to make ends meet and loans may be defaulted. Malaysians have become very vulnerable to any slight changes to their income.

 

The ratio of household debt to disposable income is 140.4 % for Malaysia, one of the highest in the world; above that of Singapore at 105.3 %, USA at 123.3 % and Thailand at 52.7% in 2009. This means that the loans taken by each household in Malaysia is on average 1.4 times more than its household income. These figures indicate that Malaysian poor are at higher risk of not being able to service loan obligations. Increasingly more Malaysians are spending using borrowed funds. 34% of Malaysian workers earn below Rm720 which is below poverty level. Why have Malaysians become poorer despite the economic growth in the 80s and 90s and Malaysia being resource rich?

 

  1. Wages in Malaysia grew at the rate of 2.6% per annum for the past 10 years while inflation which is much higher even though the official average inflation rate is 2.77%. The household debt is rising yearly at the rate of 11.1% annually. Therefore, unless there is a rise in productivity, wages, and household incomes, this trend is not sustainable and can end up in a debt bubble like what happened in the U.S. 40% of Malaysian workforce are made of foreigners and their presence here depresses and stagnates wages of low income householders. Malaysia is one the few counties which do not have minimum wages.
  1. Malaysian government has privatized all essential service like toll highways, electricity, water, medical, postal service etc to UMNO cronies thus increasing the cost of service. Collapse of public transportation forced many to purchase cars which forced people take loans. Abandoned housing projects with developers going scot free made many indebted with loan to pay. No public housing policy for the poor. All policies are to enrich the developers and UMNO cronies.
  1. The BN government has hijacked the NEP to enrich the cronies and made the rich richer and poor poorer. Billions spent on failed projects like NFC, PKFZ, Tuna port Batu Maung and grants to built highways. Ttax payer’s money used to save cronies from bankruptcy which are all written off. It is said that during Mahathir’s era itself 100 billion of government money spent for cronies. RMI trillion take out of the country in the last 10 years. No investigation made public. Government spends taxpayer’s money without any accountability, transparency and due diligence. Billions and billions burnt without any effective results. Poor and weak Malaysians have to take care of themselves. Bribery and corruption increases cost of living.

 

  1. Government policies protect the rich employers and victimize the poor workers. Labor policies amended to remove workers rights and job security. The BN government is non consultative, biased against the poor and favors the rich. Unions were weakened and workers bargain power reduced. Racial segregation and cronyism deprived good workers opportunities and rewarded apple polishers.  Illegal migrant workers flooded the country competing with unskilled Malaysian workers. Earnings remain stagnant.

 

  1. Spending beyond their means by people was encouraged and banks made credit easy. People became poorer and banks and MNC/GLCs richer. Nation building and cultivation of positive habits by Malaysians was never the policy and priority of BN government. Bulk of government subsidies goes to Independent power producers, toll concessioners and cronies and not the poor.

 

As of 2011, the household debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 77.6 percent, according to Bank Negara Malaysia. That roughly translates into a household debt of RM662 billion. Malaysians need new thinking and better governance to save Malaysia and its people. It’s Time to change and make a difference for the present and future.

 

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

2/4/2012