Beating MCA’S Chua Soi Lek at his own game, a government is elected by the people. It must learn to respect them, not threaten them. Solutions lie in more responsible law making and in ensuring that law makers are not law breakers.We are nearing G13. The government must become real. It’s not about politics. It’s not about appeasing vote banks. It’s about money you and I earn through the sweat of our brow. Take it if you must but be reasonable.Respect us. Don’t threaten us. Don’t boast about watching everything we do. We are watching everything you do. That’s our fundamental right. What you are doing is called invasion of privacy.

Najib is it fashionable to copy China? It’s the only other country I know which threatens its own people. As in the case of its one child policy, using slogans like “We will kill all your family members if you don’t follow the rules”. One slogan went to the extent of threatening “Once you are captured, your tubes will be tied. Should you escape we will hunt you down. If you attempt suicide, we’ll offer you the rope or a bottle of poison.” But even China has now stopped such obscene ads.In politics this happens all the time
The perfect society is an imperfect lie. Those who sell it to us do so with the clear intent to manipulate. And when we buy into that dream, we do so knowing fully well that we are buying a Chinese-make fake. But, as in the movies, there’s a wilful suspension of disbelief that makes the trade possible. The buyer is aware he is buying into a lie. The seller knows he is selling a dud. But the conviction with which the seller sells the lie is matched only by the credulity of the buyer.We are what we see ourselves as. If we see ourselves as crooks, thugs, tax evaders, we will become a nation of crooks, thugs, tax evaders. That’s why it’s so scary to see a government, a government we have elected to power, blackwash us. A noxious example is a new ad by . It not only boasts that every transaction you and I make is being watched; it also threatens us, suggests we are a nation of Criminals and Corruption.

We hated the National Front so much, not for what it did but what it did not do for the people despite ruling for three decades, that we wilfully chose to buy into the belief that it will usher in real, tangible change, revive the true glory of people’s. Did we trust the idea? Did we think it was actually possible? I doubt it. We are not so gullible. This nation has lived with disillusionment for decades. But yes, we desperately needed hope and Barisan appeared to symbolise that. So we bought into that symbolism. Years later, we have had enough of her. Not just Bengal but India seems sick and tired of her endless tantrums. The only change ourselvesl and has seen is the hustlers hanging around the corridor of power and the people have migrated to the GHETTO

What we fail to realise is nations don’t change like this. Hope is a great thing but it cannot, by itself, transform a political system that is moribund. Did we really believe that Mamata was equipped to bring about the change Bengal so acutely needed? Do we really think Akhilesh, young and charming as he may be, can and will change the destiny of UP? Was Omar, who became chief minister of J&K with so much hope and goodwill, able to bring about the change the state so desperately needed? Do we think a few years in exile have transformed Jayalalitha? I doubt if we are so stupid.

The problem is: We do not want change. We love to kick out those who fail. It gives us a sense of power. Then we have a brief honeymoon with the successor which soon gives way to despair and rage. Never do we make a serious effort to seek out people or parties with a genuine agenda for transforming India. Everyone knows exactly what the problems are. But when elections come, we celebrate the tamasha. Politics today is just another form of entertainment. We love the rush of adrenaline in our blood, the buzz, the excitement, the thrill of watching celebrities beg for votes. Beyond that, there’s no serious thought. Reforms haven’t taken place for five years now. And I doubt anything will happen in the next two.

The contentious bilateral talks over the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) land in Singapore appears to have moved forward with a proposal to swap it for valuable land near the island state’s first casino in Marina South, instead of scattered pieces across the tiny republic.

The land swap has been contentious since the Malaysia-Singapore Points of Agreement (POA) was signed in 1990 over the issue of the future of the railway land. The POA was signed between former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and former Malaysian Finance Minister Tun Daim Zanuddin.


What we are missing out on is opportunity. A nation all set for stardom has opted to limp along because you and I get carried away by the glitter of politics, not the tough, difficult business of making Malaysia better.

The Port Klang Authority (PKA) refused to buy land offered by Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) as the price was “too high” four years before the Cabinet agreed to purchase it for nearly twice as much in the controversial Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project, according to Datuk Lee Hwa Beng.

The former PKA chief wrote in his book “PKFZ: A Nation’s Trust Betrayed” that the PKA board in 1998, chaired by his predecessor Tan Sri Michael Chen Wing Sum, had received an offer from KDSB to purchase 400 acres of land at RM28 per square feet (psf). The book will be launched today.

But a senior valuer from the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) had valued the land at RM13.50 psf or RM17.50 psf if basic infrastructure was provided, Lee (picture) wrote in the book.

“On December 31, 1998, the PKA directors discussed KDSB’s offer. After some discussion, the board declined KDSB’s offer because the price was too high.

“Shortly after this, KDSB offered to sell 830 acres — a larger piece of the land — to the Transport Ministry. When Chen’s term expired in December 1999, he was not reappointed… the rest, as they say, is history,” wrote Lee, who chaired PKA from March 2008 to March 2011.

The agreed price when the deal was finally inked in November 2002 was RM25 psf.

The Cabinet had earlier agreed in principle to the PKFZ project in 1999 soon after this offer came in and allowed the Transport Ministry to begin negotiations with the company owned by Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

JPPH then valued the 830 acres at RM18 psf in May 2000 but was asked to conduct a further valuation to take into account the “special value (which includes physical, functional or economic association of a property with some other property)” of the land.

In September 2000, it said a price of RM25 psf was acceptable if PKA was allowed to defer its payments, with a base “special value” price of RM21 psf.

But on October 2, 2000, a senior ministry official stated the “special value” of the land was RM25 psf and just four days later, KDSB tacked on another 170 acres to the deal.

The final cost soared to RM1.8 billion including interests from deferred payments, meaning RM41.32 would eventually be paid per square foot.

But further irregularities in the project, first mooted by then Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in 1997, more than quadrupled the cost to RM4.6 billion by 2007.

A position review by top accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed in 2009 that the total cost including interests from debt repayments could reach RM12.5 billion.

Since December 2009, six individuals have been charged in court including ex-MCA president Dr Ling and his successor as transport minister, former MCA deputy chief Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy, who are both accused of lying to the Cabinet.

But Lee, the MCA’s former Subang Jaya assemblyman, told The Malaysian Insider in a recent interview this was “just the tip of the iceberg.”

He said more would be revealed through the “money trail” if a corruption charge was ever brought to court or if there was a change in government as a new transport minister and PKA chief would not be obstructed by vested interest.


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