Monday, 25 September 2017

Can we have better highways at no extra costs?

There are these stories by Bernama, which made me curious,

14.5 Mln Contributors May Lose Out If EPF Sells Plus


which was published five days ago, and


which was published yesterday.

The first one quoted some analysts without naming them and the other one quoted Sekijang MP Anuar Manap. Hmmmm....hardly authoritative, if you asked me.

I think Bernama could had done better with their stories if they were meant for PLUS to remain under the control of UEM/Khazanah and EPF instead of being taken over by Maju Holdings as proposed.

Nonetheless, this is also a story by Bernama a week ago as published by Malaysian Reserve, but it goes the other way around,


That one quoting the loud Tourism and Culture Minister DS Mohamed Nazri Aziz.

excerpts;

Mohamed Nazri, who is also an a Umno Supreme Council member, said the federal government had to fork out compensation of about RM900 million to avoid a toll increase, as this would burden highway users following the concession agreement signed by the previous leadership.
“We have to crack our heads every time we (the Cabinet members) discuss on raising the toll rate. If we do not allow the highway concessionaires to increase toll, the federal government will have to pay RM900 million.
“As such, I fully support such proposal because we will not have to pay the RM900 million and almost RM1 billion could be saved for the benefit of the public,” he told reporters after launching the Keretapi Sarong 2017 #SayangMalaysia programme in Kuala Lumpur.

Okay, Nazri seemed quite rationale on this one.

PLUS said they have not increased toll rates for the past 10 years, but if I understand Nazri correctly, that's because the government paid quite a lot of compensation for it not to do so.

Well, government's money is our money, so actually going by such logics, we are paying extra to PLUS even though it has not increased the toll rates.

Then there's this story a few days ago,


It was an interview with Maju Holdings boss Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed.

excerpts,

“We haven’t discussed anything and they’re already saying no. Why are they so reluctant to meet me?” asked Abu Sahid when met by The Mole yesterday evening.
Insisting that his proposal was credible, Abu Sahid said it was drafted by renown international boutique investment bank, Evercore Partners.
He is also baffled by negative public feedback over the proposal, despite him guaranteeing a 20-year-long no toll hike for all highways under PLUS.
“Malaysians cry foul whenever toll rates are increased but when I told them I can guarantee a static toll rate for 20 years some also protest.
“It can be done. Evercore had done the maths and they told me that it is still profitable to operate the highways even if I do not raise the rates for 20 years,” stated Abu Sahid.
One concern echoed by the detractors is that it would deprive the 14.5 million EPF contributors a steady stream of dividend income.
Concurring that the contention may be valid, Abu Sahid however argued that the amount of annual dividend that EPF contributors has been getting from its RM400 million earnings from PLUS is only RM28 per contributor.
Abu Sahid said the proposal offers EPF and Khazanah a RM2 billion payment in cash each and that the amount paid to EPF will enable its contributors to enjoy a one-off RM142 dividend.
I have to admit that Abu Sahid's offer and explaination of the proposed deal seemed quite impressive.

I was also told by someone who knows about the offer that Maju Holdings even offered to instal lights throughout all the highway stretches.

And all this without a toll hike or compensation from the government for the next 20 years.

Imagine driving from the Tuas toll in Johor to Bukit Kayu Hitam toll in Kedah at night with the highway all lit up.

No more dark and lonely drive.

No more pontianak highway hitch hiker stories to worry about.


Okay, I know, some of you may think it's all ridiculous and Abu Sahid was only bullshitting about this.

But really, could someone care to explain why this cannot be done.

I mean, could someone from Khazanah, UEM or EPF officially rebut Abu Sahid's offer.

Explain to us why all that can't be done without the public having to pay more when they use the highways.

Personally, I do prefer for the highways to be under government's control like how it is now, but I also would like to know why the rakyat could not get a better deal for the highways as offered by Abu Sahid and his company.

Okay, I met Abu Sahid once and he did seems to be a bit eccentric  and quite loud just like Nazri who supported his offer.

That's probably because he's from Muar.

Muar people tend to be like that.

The rest of us other Johoreans tend to see Muarians to be like that.

Don't know why though.

They are just "different".

But still, the offer he made does sounds quite good.

If it's for the good of rakyat and country, I think we should at least discuss about it.

If it turned out to be just bullshit, then we should be properly told why is that so.

It's only fair, I think.

So, how about it Khazanah, UEM, EPF? Can explain? You all can offer us rakyat a better deal or not?

Sunday, 24 September 2017

A missed memorable event

Woke up quite early and did some work.

After that I thought of writing something quite serious here.

It's about people being rude to their elders like what happened to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and then to former Pribumi Bersatu vice president Datuk Hamidah Osman.

But then just now I suddenly felt very lazy.

Don't know why but I have been feeling like this over the past few days.

One moment I felt that something is important, the next I can't be bothered with it anymore.

Well, what to do....it's like that lah.

Anyway, I think I just want to make a small complaint instead.

Yesterday evening I was with my friend and her kids when we decided to attend the closing ceremony of the Asean Para Games at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

We wanted to lend our support because we had been hearing that attendance for the event had been poor.

So, my friend and her two children joined me on the drive to the stadium all the way from Klang.

Unfortunately, as we approached the stadium we kept being stopped by the policemen at several entrances of the stadium compound.

They directed us to go to another location to park the car.

Not being very familiar with the area, we ended up getting lost and since the kids were getting restless after a while, we gave up trying to find the designated car park.

Well, so much for trying to show support for the para athletes.

But then again I guess the stadium was already full that we were having difficulties even to park the car.


Still, I wish they could had made that easier for us.

It would have been memorable for us if we had made it to the stadium yesterday.

I have been inside the National Stadium just once and that was during the Commonwealth Games in 1998. I was still a kid at that time.

Even more memorable it would had been for my friend as one of her kids is with autism.

The boy would have loved it.

Well, what to do.

Tak ada rezeki....as they said.

Maybe next time.

Still...it was a bit sad.

Putting a song here to cheer myself up,


That's the favourite song of my friend's son who is with autism.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

About not giving a flying fuck

Yesterday, my blogging captain Rocky asked,

KJ merajuk lagi?

It's actually about KJ's Instagram status of "Can't give a flying f anymore".

I checked just now and it's still there.

I think KJ is not really sulking, but instead just fed-up with something.

It's normal actually.

I got fed-up too sometimes.

Yes, sometimes I also felt that I can't give a flying fuck anymore.

I don't blame KJ if he feels like that from time to time.

After all, he has to work along with this type of people all the time,


I would have really gave up a long time ago if I'm in his position.

In fact, the last time I quit my job was because I had to work with some extremely obnoxious people .

Just look at what happened last weekend when they hyped up that super important press conference.

So stupid.

Then arrogant some more.

Urghhh!!!

Anyway, maybe KJ was not even fed up at all.

Maybe he was just being funny.

He may just put his status like that to match his Instagram profile picture


Honestly, he really looks like he can't give much of any kind of fuck anymore....flying, walking or swimming.

Even if he wants to, I don't think there will be any taker with him looking like that.

He really looks like a Rohingya refugee in that picture.

KJ, change la the picture.

It's your worst, okay.

And while you are at it, change the status too la.

You are making a lot of people anxious with that one..

Anyway, I also checked KJ's tweeter account.

It's still very much alive, especially with news of the Asean paralympic games.

Looks like KJ is still working, which is good.

Seriously, I don't think KJ will quit on anything.

After all, he had gone so far on his own to survive in Umno after his father-in-law left the PM office.

I doubt he's going to throw all that away.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Doctors said IRB was unfair to call them cheats (updated)

UPDATES

This is the latest on this issue,

IRB chief denies labelling doctors as tax dodgers


ORIGINAL POST

The other day, the Inland Revenue Board sorts of officially made it that doctors are the worst cheats in the country,

Doctors make up the bulk of tax dodgers: IRB 


Quite harsh, I think.

Did all those doctors intentionally try not to pay their taxes properly?

Anyway, I think this news would have been cheered especially by lawyers.

Suddenly they are no longer the worst when it comes to cheating people.

Yup, doctors are the worst, according to IRB.

A neurosurgeon hard at work saving life. The guy is my good friend who helps out at a government hospital. He almost quit doing that after being accused of cheating his taxes.
I think the accountants probably cheered too.

Well, I don't really know what to say, okay.

I have never been directly cheated by doctors, but I did lose quite a huge sum of money in the past because of some evil lawyers and accountants misled me (at a fee) to invest in some stupid shares and property purchases.

Anyway, let's be fair and hear what the doctors have to say about all these.

The following is a statement by President of Association of Specialists in Private Medical Practice Malaysia Dr Sng Kim Hock in relation to the matter,

“The Association of Specialists in Private Medical Practice Malaysia (ASPMPM) is deeply concerned and wishes to express its regret over the allegations made by the Chief Executive Officer of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) Datuk Sabin Samitah that “Doctors make up the bulk of tax dodgers” which were published by the Sun Daily in an article entitled “Doctors make up the bulk of tax dodgers: IRB” on 17.9.2017.

We wish to clarify that over the past four decades, specialists in private medical practice in Malaysia have been advised by their respective accountants, many of whom are retired senior IRB officers and directors to file their taxes under ‘Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd).

However, on 9.9.2016, IRB issued a ruling stating that services provided by specialists in private medical practice are no longer deemed taxable under ‘Sendirian Berhad’, but as a personal income.

This ruling will affect the income of specialists for three years, 2013-2015, and imposes a penalty of 15%.

Prior to the issuance of the said ruling, ASPMP and the MMA had a number of meetings with IRB. 

The outcome of those meetings were that all specialists with their accountants, need to do a self-audit which is based on the new ruling and resubmit their tax returns which includes a calculation of the said penalty, by 15.12.2016, failing which, IRB would impose a penalty of 45% or more.

That led to a massive exercise by many of the 3000 over specialists affected, which led to a collection of RM400 million, as revealed by the IRB CEO in another article published on the Utusan Malaysia online portal on 15.4.2017 entitled “Helah Doktor Pakar”.

It was therefore with much regret that we read the disconcerting statements published in the afore said articles that implied that all specialists in private medical practice in Malaysia are cheats.

The submissions of our tax returns are made upon the advice of our accountants, as well as certified tax agents and consultants, all of whom were approved by IRB prior to the said ruling. 

The allegations made are accordingly incorrect and unfair and we cannot allow such allegations to continue to be raised against specialists in private medical practice in Malaysia without taking the necessary steps to protect our reputation.

Moving forward, we wish to state that our doctors work hard for their earnings and should be allowed an opportunity to address any incorrect allegations. 

We also wish to take this opportunity to urge both the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia and Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia to help clear the good name of doctors.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Important press conference...fine, whatever (updated)

UPDATES

Those who hyped this one up are complete morons.

That's all I want to say. Thank you.

ORIGINAL POST

According to NST,

Najib to make important announcement at PC today


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is scheduled to hold a Press conference today at the Umno headquarters, Putra World Trade Centre.
The conference would be at held on the 39th floor of Menara Dato Onn at 4.45pm.
All Umno supreme council members are expected to be present, while Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s working visit to Perlis will be cut short.
It is learnt that Najib, who is also Umno president is expected to make an important announcement at the press conference.
All Umno menteris besar and chief ministers are expected to be there.

A friend asked me just now,

"Dissolution of parliament?"

Honestly, I don't think so.

I don't feel that BN is fully prepared yet for that.

But my friend insisted that this must be "it".

"Otherwise it's going to be an overkill, the way it was hyped up," he said.

Maybe so.

I told him just to wait for the scheduled press conference a few hours from now.

Nothing to get so excited about.

If it's going to be the GE, so be it.

Polling day, we just go and vote.

This country is still a democracy, I think, so, we should be glad and just follow the due process.

And that's about it.

Then my friend forwarded me these other predictions about the PC,

Could be a major revamp in Umno involving :
- Shafie Apdal of Sabah coming back
- Promoting Hishammuddin
- Sidelining Zahid
- Changes at state chief level

Quite interesting predictions.

But really, let's just wait and be calm.

It could probably be nothing. Maybe just some extra BR1M allocations or something.

On the tahfiz tragedy twist

Latest report on the tahfiz tragedy ;

Youths arrested, mocking remarks motive behind tahfiz fire


excerpts;

“They comprised school leavers and dropouts living around Datuk Keramat area,” he said.
He said all of them have been remanded for seven days from today and investigations would be done under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder and Section 435 for mischief by fire.
Amar Singh said six of the youths were tested positive for drugs and two had previous criminal records for rioting and vehicle theft.
Looks like the whole tragedy has taken quite a dramatic twist.

Honestly, I'm quite lost for words.

So many questions now in my head.

What were the kids thinking when they did it?

Was it because of the drugs they took?

What had the tahfiz students said to them that made them did it?

Did they really mean to kill those other kids?

Whatever it is, for me, this is a sign that something is really wrong with our society.

I feel that collectively, we failed to raise our kids properly that some of them ended up doing what those kids did.

Yes, I believe that we are all at fault on this.

I know, most of you all probably disagree with that, thinking, what does it got anything to do with the rest of us.

Well, I'm talking about us as a society.

We, as a whole, failed on this one.

Those kids, who died and those who allegedly caused their death shouldn't end up like that if we are a better society.

We need to be a society with better values if we don't want this sorts of tragedy to happen again.

As for those arrested kids, if they are indeed guilty of the crime, then I hope our justice system will be just with them.

Hang them all? No, I don't believe that 's the solution.

These are kids, after all.

Remember, we are also to be blamed as a society which produced such kids.

We need to do better than that, and learn from this tragedy.

For one thing, we need to do more for our youths so that this country may have a better future.


Anyway, despite this latest development, I still stand on what I wrote about.

Tahfiz and other religious schools need to be brought to mainstream education system


Friday, 15 September 2017

A bit more on the tahfiz tragedy

I thought I was being harsh with my tahfiz posting yesterday

Tahfiz and other religious schools need to be brought to mainstream education system


but this one, which I received from my uncle via Wassap just now, is much more direct to the point. I don't know who wrote it, but I agree with it.

Hari ini kita dikejutkan pula dengan tragedi kebakaran di Darul Qur'an Iftifaqiyah di Dato Keramat yang meragut nyawa 24 orang, iaitu 22 murid dan 2 guru, manakala 20 orang lebih dilapurkan cedera parah, dan ramai lagi yang masih terperangkap.

Ini bukan kali pertama kejadian seperti ini berlaku di sekolah agama persendirian, tak kira lah apa benda nama pun, Darul Qur'an ke, Madrasah ke, Pondok ke, Ma'ad Tahfiz ke.... diikuti oleh nama-nama dalam bahasa Arab yang kadang-kadang nak sebut pun susah sampai berbelit lidah... Al itu lah, Al ini lah, tinggal lagi Madrasah Al-Butoh dan Ma'ad Al-Fantat je yang belum ada.

Marah ke..? Ya, memang aku marah.... Bukan sebab kebakaran itu saja, tapi banyak sebab lain yang menyebabkan aku marah dengan sekolah agama persendirian ni.... Cakap memang senang, dah takdir, nama pun kemalangan..... butoh pak hang..! Itu cakap orang Qadariyah yang beriman dengan Qada' dan Qadha dengan cara yang salah...!

Kamu tak fikir ke, pasal apa selama ini hanya madrasah, pondok, ma'ad dan pusat tahfiz persendirian yang terbakar...? Sebab ustaz-ustaz yang mengendalikan sekolah agama itu mengambil mudah tentang ciri-ciri keselamatan... Bangunan tidak ikut spesifikasi....! Sistem pendawaian elektrik macam mana...? Kawalan api macam mana..? Asrama macam mana...? Bilik tempat belajar macam mana..? Tandas macam mana..? Dapur macam mana...? Semua itu tak lulus lah...! Bangunan tak ada CF...! Itu belum cerita bab kebersihan lagi...!

Seperti kejadian yang berlaku hari ini... Kebakaran bermula di pintu utama.... Murid-murid terperangkap.... Pintu belakang tak ada...! Tingkap tak boleh buka...! Alat pemadam api tak ada...! Macam ini kamu kata takdir Allah...? Fuck you...!

Bila berlaku macam ni, mulalah kutip derma kilat, konon nak membantu Darul Qur'an yang ditimpa musibah... lancau...! Nak bantu taukeh agama tu buat apa...? Yang jadi mangsa ialah budak-budak...! Yang terkorban bukannya taukeh agama tu...! Ingat duit derma boleh kembalikan nyawa murid-murid ke...?

Taukeh tu dah kaya.... Boleh dikatakan semua pengusaha sekolah agama persendirian pakai kereta mewah, rumah besar, bini lebiih dari satu..... Kerana ibubapa yang hantar anak belajar di sekolah persendirian semuanya orang senang, orang banyak duit.... Tetapi yang hidup dha'if ialah budak-budak tu....!

Sepatutnya pihak kerajaan kena tegas dalam soal ini.... Pedagang agama yang tak cukup duit, tak payah nak wat gatal batu pelir nak bukak perusahaan sekolah agama...! Tak ada faedah pun...! Sekarang ni kalau makan di mana-mana restoren di sekitar Lembah Klang, bersepah-sepah peminta sedekah yang terdiri dari pelajar pusat tahfiz, darul qur'an, madrasah, ma'ad duk ganggu orang tengah makan....  Ini ke yang Islam suruh...? Bila tanya dari tahfiz mana...? Dari Kedah lah, dari Perlis lah, dari Perak lah..... Habis kau datang mintak sedekah tiap-tiap malam kat KL, bila masa kau belajar...? Terus lari, pergi ke meja lain pulak.... Begini ke imej Islam yang kita nak tonjolkan dalam negara yang berbilang agama...? Orang bukan Islam pun nampak lah, budak-budak yang berpakaian agama kerja minta sedekah ke hulu ke hilir, ustaz-ustaz pulak pakai kereta mewah dan hidup gaya mewah.... Apa ni...?

Benda ni bukan wajib pun....! Cuba kira dah berapa tahun pondok-pondok agama persendirian ini beroperasi, berapa pusat tahfiz yang ada di seluruh negara, setiap tahu berapa orang yang menamatkan pengajian.... di mana mereka sekarang...? Mana...? Setiap bulan puasa, surau-surau dan masjid-masjid upah lepasan ma'ah tahfiz suruh jadi imam solat tarawih... AJK suaru masjid upah orang Thailand jugak...!!!!

Dan kalau ya pun pelajar tahfiz di sini yang diambil jadi imam solat tarawih, setakat itu saja ke...? Habiskan masa bertahun-tahun belajar di pondok, setakat nak jadi imam solat tarawih saja...?    

Eh, untuk nak jadi orang Islam yang baik, silibus matapelajaran Pengetahuan Agama Islam di sekolah kebangsaan dan sekolah menengah kebangsaan dah cukup lah.... Orang-orang yang jadi tokoh agamawan sekarang, hampir semuanya berasal dari sekolah kebangsaan dan sekolah menengah kebangsaan saja.... Paling alim pun, masuk sekolah menengah agama kerajaan, orang panggil sekolah Arab... Itu saja....! Mereka ambil SPM juga, cuma kalau sekolah menengah biasa ada aliran Sains, aliran Sastera, Aliran Perdagangan, yang sekolah Arab ada aliran Agama.... Bila dah habis SPM, ada yang melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang konvensional macam budak sekolah menengah jugak, ada juga yang ambil jurusan profesional, dan yang nak sambung dalam bidang agama melanjutkan pelajaran ke Mesir, Jordan, Madinah..... Yang masuk sekolah agama persendirian, di mana mereka...?

Cuba tanya Mufti Perlis sekarang, dia sekolah mana dulu...? Kolej Islam Klang, sekolah asrama penuh... Pelajar Kolej Islam Klang pun belajar macam budak sekolah asrama penuh lain jugak.... Yang aliran sains ambik jugak subjek fizik, kimia, biologi bagai..... Tak payah masuk darul itu ini, ma'ad itu ini, tahfiz itu ini, pun...!

Aku dari dulu lagi, cukup tak setuju hantar anak masuk ke pusat tahfiz lah, pondok lah, madrasah lah.... Dulu masa anak saya kecik, isteri pernah tanya, tak nak hantar ke pusat tahfiz ke...? Saya tanya balik, untuk apa...? You tell me why we should send our boy to the private religious school...? For what purpose...? (Bini aku tak boleh jawab, bukan sebab dia tak reti cakap orang putih, tapi sebab dia pun tak tahu untuk apa hantar anak ke pondok dan pusat tahfiz).

Masa anak nak masuk tadika, aku tak bagi anak masuk Pasti, walaupun masa tu aku wala'un tegar.... Aku tak percaya, bagi aku tak ada faedah pun.

Eh, untuk nak jadi orang islam yang baik, yang patuh kepada perintah Allah dan Rasul, dan meninggalkan larangan Allah dan Rasul, untuk kenal dosa-pahala, untuk tahu mana halal mana haram, untuk beribadat kepada Allah, untuk memahami rukun iman dan rukun Islam, tidak semestinya kena mengaji banyak.... mengaji sikit tapi faham agama jauh lebih baik dari mengaji banyak tapi tak faham-faham...! Sama jugak, amalan yang sedikit tapi menurut sunnah nabi jauh lebih baik dari amalan yang banyak tapi penuh dengan bid'ah.

JIka Allah berkehendak untuk memberi kebaikan kepada seseorang, yang pertama Allah bagi dia mudah faham agama.... Syurga Allah bukan diciptakan untuk orang yang banyak ilmu, tetapi untuk orang yang patuh kepada perintah-Nya dan meninggalkan larangan-Nya.

Sekarang kita boleh tengok sendiri depan mata.... Orang yang berlagak seperti ulamak, semuanya terbukti menjual agama untuk kemewahan dunia.

Akhir kalam, Nabi SAW bersabda : " yassiru wala tu’assiru" Maksudnya : “Permudahkanlah dan janganlah engkau menyusahkan."

Orang yang tak masuk sekolah agama mudah faham hadis ni, tapi orang yang masuk sekolah agama, ustaz dia tukar maksud hadis itu menjadi kata pujangga : Islam itu mudah tetapi jangan kamu memudahkan.... nampak..?

Pengetua Darul Qur'an yang terbakar menganggap 25 orang yang terkorban mati syahid....?

Kita ucapkan takziah kepada keluarga mangsa... Orang yang beriman itu apabila ditimpa musibah mereka mengucapkan innalillahi wa'inna ilaihi raji'un....  Dan kita berdoa kepada Allah semoga semua mangsa mendapat keampunan dan rahmat-Nya.... Allahumaghfirlahum warhamhum wa'afihim wa'fu'anhum.

Tetapi samada mereka itu syahid atau tidak, bukan bergantung kepada anggapan pengetua.... Itu urusan Allah.

Pengetua tak payah lah cakap banyak.... Sepatutnya kamu yang bertanggungjawab menyebabkan kematian mereka... Jangan senang-senang nak lepas tanggungjawab dengan mengatakan pelajar dan warden yang terkorban itu mati syahid.


The three brothers who were among those killed in the fire yesterday
Sorry that you all have to read it in mostly Malay as I purposely didn't translate it.

It's the best way to deliver such a message.