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Charles Santiago

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Charles Santiago


Make Public the ‘Special Task Force’ Probe on 1MDB

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 10:00 PM PDT

Yes the latest news report by the Wall Street Journal has given everyone the biggest shock. And yes it's damning.
The article states that Malaysia's Attorney general Abdul GaniPatail confirms having received documents from the special Malaysian task force related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad, that alleges channeling of funds to bank accounts owned by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
This article may finally force Najib to throw in the towel as we see his deputy and another minister asking for independent probes into the allegations raised by the financial paper.
Yes, I am completely shocked, just like everyone else.
But there is also a bigger picture here that we just cannot afford to ignore. And it's the failure of the various government institutions in the country. These institutions were entrusted to safeguard the nation's interests.
The flow chart in the news article, showing the alleged money trail, clearly indicates that top civil servants and government bodies including regulators had played a part in this embezzlement of funds.
One powerful man has managed to pull this off, fattening his own bank balance with billions of ringgit. This is corruption and abuse of power.
All of us expected the sovereign fund to issue a denial. And they promptly did just that and said they did not transfer any money to Najib's bank account.
But the Wall Street Journal gave a detailed account of the money trail, alleging the biggest transfers into Najib's accounts were two deposits of USD 620 million and USD 61 million dollars in March 2013 during Malaysia's election campaign, where Najib's power was hanging by a thread.
This shows the depth of corruption amongst the various government bodies and how the Prime Minister, who enjoys absolute power, could manipulate the system to further his financial and political interest.
The money that has vanished belongs to the people. It was supposed to be used for the development of the country.
And so far, all fingers point towards Najib and his allies as the people who had cleverly set-up a sovereign fund with the sole intention of stealing the money.
Therefore, the report that GaniPatail acknowledges to have seen must be made public.
And more importantly, Najib must be asked to go on leave until the investigations are wrapped up.
And it is imperative that the Speaker of the Malaysian Parliament summon Parliament for an emergency session to address the unprecedented crisis facing the nation.
Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang

PRESS STATEMENT: Is Hadi Protecting Najib? ‪#‎1MDB‬

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 09:59 PM PDT

7th July 2015.

I thought I had heard it all. But PAS chief, Abdul Hadi Awang, proved me wrong.

His latest joke of the year is the call he made to Wall Street Journal to
provide at least four trustworthy witnesses to back its corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak.

How do we convince him that the Islamic law has got no jurisdiction in this matter?

What would it take for Hadi to finally get it that the newspaper is not bound by shariah law?

I remember an incident, which happened during the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis, where two members from Hadi’s party signed a Statutory Declaration pledging their support for PKR President, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as the next Chief Minister.

Angered by their action, Hadi said they were bought over by his opponents.

Did he, by any chance, get testimonies from four witnessed before accusing his party members?

Wall Street Journal claims it’s article is based on reports by Malaysia’s task force.

And it gave a detailed account of the money trail, alleging the biggest transfers into Najib's accounts were two deposits of 620 million dollars and 61 million dollars in March 2013 during Malaysia's election campaign, where Najib's power was hanging by a thread.

The Attorney-General, Abdul Gani Patail, acknowledges having seen the investigation papers that allegedly traces the flow of huge amounts of cash into Najib’s AmBank account.

So instead of defying logic, Hadi should have instead asked the Bank Negara Governor, Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, to explain if such a transaction happened as it would certainly not have missed the central bank’s radar.

Hadi, just like any other Malaysian who is interested in seeing justice being served, should have requested AmBank to issue a statement about money flowing into Najib’s accounts, as this is a matter of public interest.

Hadi should have also asked Gani Patail to make the investigation report public as the cash transferred belongs to a sovereign fund, meant for the country’s development.
He should have insisted Najib goes on leave and his bank accounts be frozen until investigations are completed as the Wall Street Report directly links him to misappropriation of state funds.

And allegations that Najib has abused his power and position to further his political and financial interests surfaced when the 1Malaysia Development Fund scandal broke, months back.

And so, Hadi’s statement raises a crucial question: is Hadi really interested in ensuring justice is not denied or is he trying to cleverly insulate Najib at a time when the country is grappling with one of its worst financial scandals that involves the top man?

Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament Klang,
Democratic Action Party.

US Foreign & Trade Policy Opportunism Rules in Malaysia’s Potential Upgrade in its 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 09:56 PM PDT

Clearly, nation states and world superpowers are concerned about trade deals and huge profits as opposed to human suffering at the hands of traffickers due to failed government policies and initiatives.

If it’s at all true that the next annual human trafficking report by the US state department will move Malaysia up to Tier 2 to enable its participation in the Transpacific Partnership trade deal (TPPA), we can then conclude that US president Barack Obama is all about deceit than openness.

The Trafficking in Persons report is due next month and US senator Robert Menendez has already questioned whether the White House was putting inappropriate pressure on the state department to up Malaysia’s ranking.

The state department’s official website describes the Trafficking in Persons report as the US government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking.

It further adds that the report is also the world's most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects America’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issues.

This is laughable.

Last year the state department placed Malaysia in Tier 3 because the government did not fully comply with the minimum standards to combat human trafficking and was not making significant efforts to do so.

In less than twelve months, the US is singing a different tune. And I am left wondering as to why.

The Anti- Trafficking Act 2007 was to strengthen the regulatory framework to deal more effectively with issues of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. The government introduced a recent amendment to the act that allows for the employment of documented refuges and the setting up of a high level agency to manage anti-trafficking efforts.

It sounds pretty but we are yet to know how the government has moved to effectively implement the supposed framework.

All we have seen is a damning news report in a local newspaper end of last month, which said nation's security personnel and law officers at Malaysian borders are corrupt.

The New Straits Times claimed that evidence of this systemic corruption is found in a "controversial report compiled by the Special Branch", which is "the result of 10 years of covert, deep-cover surveillance and intelligence gathering by the Special Branch at the nation's border checkpoints, and at different enforcement agencies throughout the country".

The broadsheet daily also stated that the personnel of the enforcement agencies "were not only on the take, but many were on the payroll of syndicates dealing with drugs, weapons and even human smuggling”.

Before this report was out, we were shocked by headlines plastered on every major media organisation in the world that led with stories about mass graves and trafficking camps in Padang Besar.

Journalist wrote even more explosive reports, narrating eye-witness accounts of local villagers who said they had seen malnourished and diseased Rohingya refugees on the streets begging for food.

They had attended to these people and informed the police officers, who then took them away.

And yet the police say they knew nothing about the camps run by the traffickers until May this year, where 99 remains have been found so far.

Top cop Khalid Abu Bakar has also rubbished Tenaganita’s report that states trafficking camps have existed since 2008 or even before.

Despite this, the US is mulling moving Malaysia to the less-odious Tier 2 although Malaysia has not done anything at all to deserve the ranking.

It’s just like receiving a Nobel Peace Prize before proving one’s worth.
Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang.

PRESS STATEMENT: Executing Drug Mules Not the Solution for Jokowi’s Waning Popularity or Fighting Drug Menance.

Posted: 29 Apr 2015 03:37 AM PDT

 

Death Penalty by IndonesiaPRESS STATEMENT: Executing Drug Mules Not the Solution for Jokowi's Waning Popularity or Fighting Drug Menance.

It’s barbaric. There is no other word to describe Indonesia’s execution of eight drug mules early this morning.

Newly-minted Ind

onesian presid

ent, Joko Widodo, casually dismissed pleas for clemency and believes drugs will wreck havoc in his country.

I agree

 that lives, espe

cially those of teenagers influenced by peers, ha

ve been ruined.

But the death penalty is not a solution. It never h

as been. And it never will be.
There has to be a moratorium on the death penalty, with the aim of abolishing the capital punishment. And this goes to Malaysia as well.

In executing the eight death row inmates from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia, Jokowi has completely disregarded allegations of bribery against some of the judges and even witnesses.

Australia had appealed to stay the executions until proceedings underway in the country’s Constitutional Court and Judicial Commission have been completed.

A preliminary hearing of the Constitutional Court has been scheduled for mid-May, and is relevant to the cases of the two Australians.

Now that the executions have been carried out, what could Jokowi do
if findings in either of these proceedings turn out to be in favor of the Australians?

When he ran for the presidenc

y, Indonesians looked up to Jokowi as a progressive, moderate candidate.

Months later, he fell from grace. And I can only hope that the adamant refusal for clemency for the eight prisoners were not aimed at shoring up his dwindling support. Or to make him look decisive.

The executions by a firing squad are outrageous. And if they were motivated by Jokowi’s political survival then it’s shameless.

Jokowi’s popularity took a whack following the appointment of a man involved in an active graft case as police chief and the removal of fuel subsidies.

When almost three quarter of Indonesians registered their dissatisfaction with Jokowi, the president started focusing on nationalist issues to crank up his support.

This includes a huge crackdown on illegal fishing by foreigners and drug mules.
We can now only hope that Jokowi will do the right thing by releasing Mary Jane Veloso, who escaped the execution when the person who tricked her into becoming a drug mule surrendered to the police.

Mary Jane did not know th

at the bag she was asked to use to carry her belongings already had drugs stitched into the inner lining.

She is a victim of trafficking and should be released.

I once again reiterate that I understand Indonesia’s battle with drugs.

But Jokowi needs to look at new strategies – establish ASEAN wide operations to break- up drug cartels, trafficking and regional networks, including eliminating corruption in the police force to address the issue.

The firing squad is not an answer.

Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang,
Democratic Action Party.

GST Protest: Time to Reign in the Police?

Posted: 25 Mar 2015 12:43 AM PDT

24th March 2015.

 

There is no coup in the country to topple the ruling government. But an outsider, reading news about police clampdown, arrests for peaceful protests and the hauling up of people for sedition, would think there is one happening.

Monday’s arrest of 80 people who held an anti-GST protest is way over the top. My staff is one among those arrested.

The detainees were denied access to lawyers for three hours. They were also denied food. Such blatant abuse of police power to create fear among the protesters and the public is grotesque.

The protesters wanted answers about the controversial tax system, which will burden the already struggling middle class and poor.

Their questions were legitimate. Why lobsters would escape GST is a valid question.

Customs officers could have treated the protesters with dignity and answered all their questions.

When will the government and police understand that it is perfectly acceptable to ask questions about government policies?

When would it hit them that the people in power are answerable to the rakyat?

When will the police learn that they cannot keep going to the mat for the ruling political parties, especially UMNO? And that they are here to protect the interest of the public and not indulge in repression.

It looks as if the police force has gone mad. Kita Lawan protesters were arrested, lawyer Eric Paulsen has been hauled up for sedition twice and DAP lawmaker Tony Pua has not been spared.

There is also no Parliamentary immunity in the country. PKR member of parliament, Nurul Izzah, was detained overnight for reading out her father’s statement in the lower house.

And the police chief takes to twitter ever so often to threaten activists, Opposition leaders and anyone who dares to raise a valid question, with arrest.

This police highhandedness and repression are totally unacceptable.

The rakyat have a right, enshrined in the country’s Federal Constitution, to express their dissatisfaction with the government and demand that justice is done.

The people have a right to demand for an accountable and transparent government.

The people have a right to express their financial hardship and how Barisan Nasional’s half-baked policies like the GST are making it impossible for them to put food on the table for their families.

The government has a responsibility and that is to listen to its people and implement policies and measures that allow their right to a livelihood.

What it cannot keep doing is to instruct the police to arrest anyone who dares to rise up against tyranny.

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang

Anwar: One Free Man

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 12:10 AM PST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anwar Federal Court Pre Verdict

PRESS STATEMENT

Malaysia's Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, is set to give a thunderous speech later this evening. Many tout it to be a farewell speech as a guilty verdict from the country's top court will seal Anwar's political career.

 

After more than three years, the political high drama of Anwar's sodomy trial will be over tomorrow. And clearly that's what it has been – a political persecution, spiced with weak evidence and the involvement of top political figures.

 

It has been brought to my attention that only seven such cases have been ever heard in the country, with two being Anwar's.

 

We hardly hear the police going after anyone for homosexuality, a so-called crime whch needs to be decriminalised in the first place.

 

But the government, from former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to current premier Najib Razak, is obsessed with smearing Anwar's name with allegations of sexual misconduct. And this has been shamelessly going on for years.

 

This trial was brought upon by a police report lodged by Anwar's former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhairy Azlan, after a stunning performance by the Opposition at the 2008 general election, that denied the ruling coalition its two third majority in Parliament. Anwar was largely seen as the person who made this feat possible.

 

The Opposition won the popular vote in 2013, dealing another severe blow to Barisan Nasional. Pakatan Rakyat was however kept from taking power because of the gerrymandering of districts.

 

It, therefore, does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that Anwar is seen as a threat to the continuous corrupt rule of the Barisan Nasional pact.

 

Saiful first said he was raped but subsequently changed his plea to consensual sex of an unnatural nature. It was two days before he was examined for sodomy and two hospitals concluded there were no tearing or scarring to show for any anal sex. The trial judge also concluded that the DNA evidence, crucial to the case, was tainted.

 

The weak evidence therefore tilts towards an acquittal. And there is more.

 

It was proven in court that Saiful met up with Najib (who was then the defense minister) and his wife before lodging the police report.

And the complainant himself acknowledged meeting Rodwan Mohd Yusof secretly, before exposing the alleged sodomy. During Anwar's first sodomy trial in 1998, it was proven that Rodwan, a senior cop, had planted DNA samples on a mattress used by Anwar.

 

The country is grappling with crucial economic issues, especially the weakening of the ringgit. Malaysia has recently come under the spotlight for trafficking, lack of freedom for the media and religious and racial intolerance, among others.

 

Tomorrow the independence of the judiciary will be on trial. And if Anwar is found guilty despite the trail of weak evidence, it would only spell more doom for the country.

 

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang.

Open Letter to ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the importance of establishing a genuine regional human rights mechanism

Posted: 21 Jan 2015 11:01 PM PST

We, as current and former elected representatives in ASEAN member states would like to convey our input to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat, contributing our suggestions for agenda setting for 2015 and warning of the dangers of overlooking the importance of ensuring the growth of a genuine regional human rights mechanism.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat is taking place in Sabah, Malaysia, 27-28 January 2015.

Firstly, we wish to call to attention the need for immediate and urgent action on one of the gravest human rights concerns facing our region and the world today: the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar which is becoming a strain and a stain on the entire region.

We would also seek to draw your attention to the dangers facing human rights defenders and civil society actors all across Southeast Asia, highlighted by the enforced disappearance of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone in December 2012, and the subsequent failure of the Lao PDR to properly investigate it, as well as the serious regional implications of ASEAN's failure to stand up to the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Thailand and subsequent assault on human rights by the military regime there. At minimum, these issues, and potential solutions to them, should be discussed during the ASEAN Foreign Minister's Retreat in Sabah.

APHR also calls upon the Foreign Ministers to support UN Resolution 69/248 calling for Myanmar to grant full citizenship rights to the Rohingya and end the persecution and human rights violations that are prompting tens of thousands to flee, placing other ASEAN member states, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, in a difficult and burdensome position.

Furthermore, APHR believes the military assault on democracy and human rights in Thailand poses a threat to democracy and stability of the entire region. APHR calls on ASEAN to take a stand against the military coup of May 2014 and call for free and fair elections. ASEAN must also take a stand against the human rights abuses being perpetrated under the current military regime in Thailand, including the use of military courts to try civilians, imposition of nationwide martial law and widespread restrictions of freedom of expression and assembly.

Human rights as a central pillar of ASEAN and the urgent need to strengthen AICHR

APHR acknowledges that regional commerce and trade remain driving factors behind the ASEAN mission, but also wish to impress upon you, as Foreign Ministers, the very real threats we are facing to this union all across the region and the crucial importance of human rights protections as a pillar of the post-2015 ASEAN Community. Human rights are consistently paid lip service to within our regional grouping, but are almost entirely omitted from genuine action or taken into account in key decision-making. In this important year, we call upon the governments of ASEAN to take even just a few, early steps towards changing this for the better and increasing the chances of political, economic and social stability in the years ahead.

These steps should include passing of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers before the end of the year, particularly in light of Malaysia identifying trans-boundary crimes as a priority of its Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2015. The Migrant Workers Declaration has been pending for the last 10 years and ASEAN has a responsibility to conclude it.
We also call on our governments to explain in real terms what they mean by the notion of a 'People Centered ASEAN'. Our governments are focusing on economic integration, but where is the peoples' component in the plan? Just repeating the word "people" over and over again will not make it so.
Without the fundamental aspects of a genuine, people-centred community, with strong institutions, access to justice, rights and growth of common values, the ASEAN Community project risks provoking increased conflict, economic disparity and tensions in the region, to the point that it threatens the very grouping itself.

As such, we the undersigned call upon you to act on the urgent need to strengthen human rights protections in our individual member states as well as regionally, namely through empowering and improving the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), which has so far failed to meet the needs of those whose rights have been violated and continue to be violated.

Enacting the necessary measures to enhance the monitoring and protection mandate of AICHR should be viewed as complimentary to efforts to ensure the successful incorporation of the ASEAN Economic Community, not as something contradictory.

A first step towards this should be through strengthening the mandate of AICHR and ensuring its independence. APHR therefore calls upon the Foreign Ministers to take serious consideration of the below suggestions to ensure a uniform approach to the selection procedures for AICHR representatives across all member states: such a selection process must be inclusive and open, allowing for individuals to be appointed who are totally independent of government and have the expertise and dedication to carry out the role.

As Parliamentarians, we have listened to the calls from our constituents and representatives of civil society and, in voicing their concerns and requests, urge you as foreign ministers to put previous positive words into genuine action and consider taking these small steps towards empowering AICHR as suggested below:

1. Use the ToR review of AICHR to strengthen it, including its mandate and independence through:

1.1. AICHR should put in place an emergency protection mechanism for human rights, such as a precautionary measures mechanism.
1.2. AICHR should institutionalize a mechanism by which citizens have direct communication with the system, such as appointment of special rapporteurs/independent experts that can function as the eyes and ears of the regional human rights machinery and in the detection of early warning signs of potential abuses and rights violations.
1.3. AICHR should have a mandate to reduce the risk of human rights abuses, denounce human rights violation and seek States' accountability on their human rights obligations.
1.4. AICHR and it representatives should be entirely independent of political or governmental control and influence, right through from the process of the selection and appointment of country Representatives to the exercising of its collective mandate to protect human rights.

2. Take unified action that will pressure Naypyitaw to uphold UN Resolution 69/248 calling for Myanmar to grant full citizenship rights to the Rohingya and end the persecution and human rights violations that are prompting tens of thousands to flee, placing other ASEAN member states, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, in a difficult and burdensome position.

3. Take a stand against the Thai Military's seizure of power and overthrow of an elected ASEAN government in May 2014, calling for an immediate end to human rights abuses and free and fair elections.

4. Call on the Lao PDR to allow for international and regional assistance in solving the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone.

5. Conclude the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

Further Information

While appreciating that human rights in now institutionalized in ASEAN with the establishment of AICHR in 2009, we, as elected parliamentarians, believe that human rights only have meaning if people are able to exercise them. We recognize the contribution that AICHR has made to the regional debate on human rights and its importance, and recognize the tireless of work of some of the AICHR representatives over this time. However, we also would like to state our disappointment with the approach to the position of some of the AICHR representatives over this same period: some appear to have seen their role as primarily that of defending and deflecting possible human rights concerns away from their member country, rather than that of upholding and furthering the protection of human rights across the region, irrespective of where violations take place and who the victims or perpetrators are.
We are extremely concerned that it is becoming more and more difficult and dangerous for our constituents to perform their work in defending the human rights of fellow citizens in the ASEAN region. Many human rights defenders risk their lives to battle against injustices, often committed by officers of the state, as well as representatives of private companies and non-state armed groups among others. This situation is worsened with the lack of sufficient human rights protection in some ASEAN countries, and to date AICHR has not offered any further protection at the regional level for these human rights defenders and victims of human rights violations.
We are deeply concerned that AICHR has failed to establish or outline possible means to improve human rights protections for the people in ASEAN over the last five years. The lack of redress for victims of human rights violations at the national and regional levels is both symptomatic of and a contributing factor to the widespread problem of impunity in ASEAN: without addressing these fundamental concerns for regional respect for and protection of human rights, the process of building an ASEAN Community is rendered more or less meaningless.
We appreciate your time and consideration and extend an open invitation to discuss these and other matters further.

Yours Sincerely

Charles Santiago MP
President, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights

The Future of Nuclear Energy in Malaysia: Public Feedback or Propaganda

Posted: 21 Jan 2015 10:49 PM PST

 

 

 

Nuclear Image (Jan 22nd 2015 statement)

 

22nd January 2015.

The government recently announced that the way forward on Malaysia's nuclear power program will be decided once the comprehensive study including public consultation are concluded. And these consultations scheduled in the next weeks are organized by the Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation.

This mantra of 'comprehensive study and public consultation' has been floated umpteenth times by the government.

The irony is that there are two sets of plans on the nuclear power program that has been floated by the government in the last years.

First, we have the World Nuclear Association[ http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Others/Emerging-Nuclear-Energy-Countries/] (WNA), report that says that Malaysia wants to develop three to four nuclear power plants (NPP) to supply about 15% of the nation's electricity demand by 2030. The report suggests that the first plant is scheduled to begin operation in the year 2021.

It further states that a nuclear energy bill will be brought to parliament in 2015.

Second, Parliamentary replies to me in 2014 says that the government is studying the possibility of two new power plants of 1000 Megawatt (Mw) each.

And the Nuclear Power Regulatory Infrastructure Development Plan (NDPRID) has been established to spearhead the nuclear project including identifying various construction sites.

In addition, the government is consulting with the various international agencies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to secure necessary licenses and permits from these international nuclear regulatory bodies.

Whichever scenario one chooses to believe, it is clear then that the plans for nuclear power in Malaysia is real and is moving forward in a scripted and rapid pace.

So, why the need for public consultations?

These public forums would serve to promote nuclear energy use and legitimate government's rationale for NPPs. Such an effort could have come from the advice given by the Koreans and Japanese nuclear agencies that have an MOU with Malaysia on promoting nuclear power plants in the country.

The government needs to come clean on its plans and strategies. It needs to be transparent and not play hide and seek with the people including stakeholders. As an important first step towards good governance, the government should establish a parliamentary select committee on nuclear power plants.

Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang.

A Huge Disappointment for the Average Malaysian.

Posted: 20 Jan 2015 01:50 AM PST

 

 

 

Reply to Revised Budget 2015 (20th Jan) Pic

20th January 2015.

 

a)      The PM should have focused on addressing the spiraling cost of living crisis. Despite the decrease in global oil prices (between 50 – 60%) people are finding it difficult to make ends meet, especially the poor.  Food prices have increased, albeit weather conditions are partly responsible for the increase. Transportation prices have not decreased. In fact school bus fares have increased in the last week. Price Increase  should not affect  access to health and education, as people are already bracing themselves for increased expenditure in other areas, especially once the GST kicks in;

 

b)      Electricity tariff should have been decreased given that oil prices have decreased drastically. The government still has to pay the concessionaire so that there is no real savings for the state; In short, the PM's claim that the halving of global oil prices will result in a benefit to consumers is not ringing true. The UMNO-led government seems unable to keep a lid on prices, with a price control mechanism needed urgently to prevent this problem from worsening.

 

c)       The budget revision should have been bold by cutting the bloated Prime Minister's Office budget which amounts to RM 65.6b, constituting about 24% of the total budget. In addition, the awarding of all government contracts must be halted and thoroughly scrutinized by an independent body, so as to ensure that potential leakages are cut. The first step should be to plug the leakages.

 

d)       Support for SMI needs a further rethinking. Exports to China will decrease. However, the increase in exports to the US is not a given proposition. There is a body of thinking that says that the economic rebound in the US might not be sustainable. And this might have an impact on exports of electrical and electronics to the US.  Thus there might be an urgent need to support the needs of  SMIs.  It's not easy to enter other markets in short notice;

 

e)      Household debt defaults might be on the rise but sadly no support for this category.

 

f)       The minimum wages need to be increased from the existing RM 900 to RM 1200 to help workers and their families cope with price increases and higher cost of living;.

 

g)      problems with IMDB and FGV might reach serious proportions and the ramifications for the economy is significant. So stay tuned for Austerity 2.

 

h)      In general, budget 2015 revision is a huge disappointment for the average Malaysian.

 

 

 

Charles Santiago

 

Member of Parliament, Klang.

 

Call for Internship, January 2015

Posted: 05 Jan 2015 11:39 PM PST

Our office is looking for those of you who are interested to intern, beginning this month. The areas which will be covered will include assisting in the daily running of our office, meeting with and assisting local constituents in issues they are grappling with, coordinating programmes which we have planned for the year, and a whole lot more.

A stipend will be provided to cover your cost for transportation, food and related matters.

Always intrigued as to what an MP is tasked with, but never dug deeper? Grab this opportunity, e-mail your resume and cover letter to mpklang@yahoo.com!

Do ‘SHARE’ this with friends too

 

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