Posted tagged ‘Pakatan Rakyat’

Allocation for cronies ok but increase in minimum wages cannot says BN youth

October 8, 2012

The BN Youth has criticized the RM1100 minimum wage policy announced in the Pakatan Rakyat’s shadow budget as “unrealistic”, warning that it may destroy the economy. Hulu Selangor MP P Kamalanathan said BN’s RM900 minimum wage policy was made after careful study by the National Wage Council and World Bank and not plucked out of the air. Labis MP Datuk Chua Tee Yong also criticised Pakatan’s minimum wage policy of RM1,100 per month which is RM200 more than the BN’s RM900.

If increasing 200 above the BN minimum wages to RM 1100 is scoffed as if it will destroy the economy, when will Malaysia achieve prime minister’s high income society? Does BN youth oppose prime minister’s high income economy model? We cannot suppress wages and achieve high income society. The above attitude of BN youth shows they don’t appreciate the contribution of workers and the worker’s difficulties to meet the ever increasing cost of living. It is said that 80% of Malaysian workers earn below RM3000 per month and Qualify for BRIM vouchers. Low wages are driving Malaysian youths to Singapore and overseas and attract workers of other countries. Malaysia urgently need to move up the value chain of business activity.

Pakatan rakyat MPs have commented that the lack of a minimum wage policy, the dependence on foreign unskilled labour, and the resulting inability to automate and move up the technological ladder were the key  contributing factors of a stagnated Malaysian economy since the 1990s. Already in Malaysia workers’ share of national income is only 28% while in most developed countries workers share between 40%-55% of national income. There is clearly a need to improve the workers’ share of national income.  70% of Malaysian work force is low skilled compared to Singapore’s 51%. This large presence of low skilled work force contributes to a dampening effect on wages.

BN youth has supported the increase in wages for civil servants, police force and teachers in every other budget. Why do they oppose the increase of RM200 in minimum wages for low paid 3.2 million workers in private sector whose wages had stagnated for decades? One study by ministry of human resource says that the average wage increase was only 2.6% per annum against a productivity increase of 6.7% implicating the suppression of wages. BN has agreed to implement the minimum wage policy after a world bank study about a third (1/3) of the workers living with a wage of about RM700, below the poverty line.

Private sector workers do not enjoy the same level of social security and retirement benefits as the civil service. Therefore these lower wage earners in private sector need a decent wages to provide for the family especially in major cities.

For BN youth to oppose a RM200 in minimum wages clearly shows that they care more for rich employers then lower salaried workers who are struggling to meet the rising cost of living. MTUC and other unions have been fighting for a decent living wages for private sector workers for many years. A RM 200 increase in minimum wages given to workers will be spent on goods and services which will intern stimulate the economy. Money put to workers hand will have multiplier effect which increases consumption.

Human Resource Ministry has spent billions retraining graduates by consultants and local educational institutions. Instead these monies can be channeled to upgrade the technology used in SMEs and sent youths for on the job or in-house training. BN government lack ingenious thinking to upgrade the technology and provide other fiscal incentives to move up the value chain ladder in SMEs. BN youth should encourage and remodel local education institutions to produce employable graduates with good soft skills. These deficiencies in government delivery system contribute to low skill and low wages.       

Budget 2013 has allocated funds 582 million for toll Operators concessionaires, 400 million for crony bailouts (1MDB), rescue GLCs which is seat for UMNO rent seekers amonging to 2772.s million, improve safety perception of police 272.5 million, 386 million to set up 57 KRIM stores at inflated prices. BN youth never protested against these allocations for rich cronies like how they protest for minimum wage increases to low income wage earners.

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Putrajaya supports UMNO cronies in Selangor water supply

July 16, 2012

 

Syabas has started to blackmail Klang Valley residents by saying that they are proposing to ration water supply to the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) next week. Syabas chief executive officer Ruslan Hassan has said that the situation warranted because several treatment plants experience stress when they operated at full capacity or exceeded their capacity to meet demands. Ruslan emphasised that the situation was critical because demand for treated water clearly exceeded the capacity of the plants’ design. Ruslan urged the Selangor and Central governments to urgently discuss the construction of the Langat 2 plant as scheduled.

 

Water comes from nature and is a human rights issue. Therefore SYABAS should stop blackmailing people. If they can’t supply treated water they should return the water assets to Selangor state that is keen to takeover. Privatizing such an essential social commodity for profit is a violation of human rights by BN government. Since Pakatan Rakyat is providing 20 cubic liters of free water, the next government will be compelled to do the same. Therefore BN must reverse the privatization of water supply back to states. UMNO/BN federal government has wasted RM6.5 billion to bail out the UMNO cronies who are operating the water assets in Klang Valley when they defaulted in debt repayment. All bailouts can be saved if water assets are returned to states and operated efficiently.

 

Selangor state government is insisting that spending RM8.65 billion of public funds in building the Langat 2 plant which is proposed BN federal government and their cronies are totally unwarranted when water levels in the seven dams in Selangor are full to the brim and overflowing. So the issue here is not the supply of raw water but treatment of water. Syabas must explain to customers why the treated water level is low. Water treatment in Klang valley has been privatized to 4 companies. They are

 

  1. ABASS
  2. PUNCAK NIAGA
  3. SPLASH
  4. SYABAS – MONOPOLY DISTRIBUTOR OF WATER. (wholly owned subsidy of PUNCAK NIAGA)

 

SYABAS buys treated water from ABASS and SPLASH and distributes to customers in Selangor and KL. SYABAS was not paying these companies thus affecting their cash flow. Selangor government did not agree to raise water tariff by 75% because they claim that certain conditions not fulfilled. (Now court case) SYABAS has not reduced the NRW which is water that is lost before it reaches consumers due to broken pipes which amounts to 35%. UMNO/BN wants to twist Selangor resident’s arm into voting for BN. UMNO/BN should not blackmail Klang valley residents to vote for them. Malaysians have changed. They can see through what UMNO is scheming. If SYABAS which is an UMNO linked company (ULC) cannot deliver they must return water assets to Selangor state.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

16/7/2012

 

Pakatan Pakyat is inclusive compared to BN’s divide and rule

July 4, 2012

 

Mr. Velayutham Krishnan responded to my last write up by posing 3 questions to answer on the 27th June 2012. I thank him for the questions. Now that the questions are public, many others too may want to know my responses to them.  With regards to the appointment of Kelantan menteri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz as the deputy prime minister if and when PR comes to power, I have never heard or seen anywhere Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim mentioning it. Mr Velayutham should provide proof of his claim. Here are my responses to the questions raised.

  1. Pakatan Rakyat is guided by a common policy framework being agreed by PAS, PKR and DAP. There is no mention of Islamic state in this policy framework of PR. Therefore there is no question of Islamic state when PR comes to power. Besides PAS national leaders and MPs talk about welfare state which is for all and not race based. There could be one or two middle level leaders calling for Islamic state. That does not mean that PAS is harping on Islamic state.
  2. With regard to the Hudud Law there is no mention about it in the common policy framework or the Buku Jingga. It is the BN leaders in particular MCA leaders who keep frightening the voters that PAS will implement Hudud Law should they win. If there is no Islamic state, then Hudud Law cannot be implemented! We have to move away from race based and racist parties like UMNO. PAS comes from Malay heartland which you and I cannot stop. That is the reality. Let’s work towards multi racialism and multiculturalism. PAS is much more progress than UMNO. We have been looking at PAS through UMNO media.
  3. Next the question of special privileges for Malays. I would like to ask Mr Velayutham whether he is not happy with the Malays getting special privileges or the others deserving not getting special privileges. I would not deny Malays from getting privileges but my concern is Malaysians who deserve should be entitled to privileges too. PR policy is need based and not race based like BN. Therefore all Malaysians get better deal under PR. In BN it is the UMNO cronies who are given all the privatization and lucrative government projects without any open tender at exorbitant prices.

BN government has made all Malaysians lifelong debtors. Cars, houses, higher education are very expensive compared to other countries. Malaysians take loan for these goods and services and pay for their rest of their lives. I just returned from Jakarta on Sunday (1/7/2012) after attending sub regional conference of the Asian European people’s forum. Car prices in Indonesia are half of Malaysian cars. Indonesia does not have any national car. Yet their cars are sold at half the price of Malaysia.

The billions of ringgit spent on Malays did not uplift them. Malays are still 60% of the poor. Indians are about 21%. What happened to the billions of ringgit spent to uplift the Malays? These billions went to UMNOPUTRAS and their cronies. The divide between poor Malays and rich Malays have widened further. With Malay economic share still not achieved, do you think Indians have any chance under the BN rule? Let’s come out of our dream and get real.

Educated and young Malays have realized that BN is for UMNOPUTRAs. People like Velayutham who are in comfort zone should go out and meet Indian families in low cost flats and see how Indian children drop out of schools and easily get hooked to bad companies. Individuals or NGO cannot redeem them. It is a governmental level effort through NGOs that can uplift. BN government just offers lip service and they couldn’t be bothered what happened to Indians. I am calling to get rid of racist and corrupted BN. Any government will be a better government then BN. The choice for now is PR.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

2/7/2012