Monday, June 29, 2009

Interesting views...

'High Chaparral': No relief from National Land Code
CH Ong | Jun 29, 09 6:39pm
I refer to the Malaysiakini report Villagers pin last hopes on state gov't. The article states the following:

1.‘The villagers wanted Lim to exercise his chief ministerial power under Section 76 of the National Land Code to save their village from the developers.’

2.‘Sugumaran said the villagers wanted the state government to use Section 116 of the National Land Code to stop the developer from entering the village to demolish their homes. The section states that the developer needed a permit from the state authorities to demolish the village.’

To better understand what has been written I looked up the relevant sections of the National Land Code (NLC) and this is my understanding as a layman:

Section 76 of the NLC (Subject Title : Meaning of Alienation)

This section explains and defines the meaning of alienation of state land. It defines the state authority's power to alienate state land but I do not see any mention of any power by the state authority to retract an earlier legal alienation of state land.

I therefore cannot understand how Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng can make use of Section 76 NLC to ‘save’ the village from the current legal land owner/developer. Sugumaran should have been asked to elaborate.

Section 116 of the NLC (Subject Title : Implied conditions affecting land subject to the category 'building’)

This section imposes conditions on all alienated land in addition to those conditions expressly stated on the document of title.

Sugumaran said ‘the villagers wanted the state government to use Section 116' because ‘this section states that the developer needed a permit from the state authorities to demolish the village.’ It appears to me that the villagers, in their desperation, had lifted a few words out of context from Section 116(1)(d) to justify their proposal.

However, when I read the entire Section 116, especially Section 116(1)(a), my understanding is the exact opposite. In order to comply with Section 116 of the NLC, the registered land owner may have no choice but to demolish all the existing buildings, depending on what are the express conditions imposed on the land title. Unfortunately such conditions have not been published in the above report.

To illustrate, let's use as an example a land title under the ‘bangunan’ category, with the express condition of ‘bangunan kedai’. Assume also that there exists on the land only one existing building which is not a ‘bangunan kedai’.

To comply with Section 116 of the NLC, the registered land owner must now build a ‘bangunan kedai’ within the stipulated time and subject to the building plans being approved by the local government authority. In order to build the ‘bangunan kedai’ the land owner will have no choice but to demolish the existing building which is not a ‘bangunan kedai’.

When Section 116(1)(d) states that ‘no such building shall be demolished, altered or extended without the prior consent of the appropriate authority’, my understanding, after reading the entire section 116, is that the ‘such building’ refers only to any existing building that already complies with Section 116(1)(a) and 116(4), and not to any existing building that does not comply with the said section.

In the case of the 'Tamil High Chaparral' land, if the registered land owner has already obtained an approved development order given based on the expressed and implied conditions of the title, I cannot imagine how the state government can stop the land owner from demolishing the existing houses if such an act is necessary to comply with the approved development order.

On the other hand if no approval has been given yet, the state government can always sabotage the land owner by taking forever to approve the application.

As far as I am aware, the law only says that applications that comply with all the planning condition shall be approved, but there is no stipulation as to how soon such approval must be given. But surely we do not want the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government to emulate such BN tactics as sabotage?

The end of the report also quoted Sugumaran as having made this statement :

‘If there is a political will, there is an administrative way to cancel it’.

Is it possible that there are unscrupulous people including opportunistic politicians who are misleading the villagers and giving them false hopes that it is very easy for the state government to take back the land which had been legally alienated without having to pay adequate compensation at current market value?

To the sympathisers of the villagers, it may be worth noting that if it was that easy for the state government to simply acquire the 'Tamil High Chaparral' land on the cheap or for free to give it to the villagers, then it will also be equally easy for the state government to acquire any other citizen's land with ‘political will’ and by using some ‘administrative way’, to use Sugumaran's words.

Then no Malaysian property owner will be able to feel secure with the tenure of their property.

I am not sure if Malaysians are funny or just plain stupid. For 50 years they continuously voted in the same government of their choice.
When they finally voted for a change of government, they expect the new government to commit illegal acts in order to undo what the previous government had done.

Who are our friends, stop stirring shit .....

CM Lim Guan Eng is facing the issues of Kampong Buah Pala head on. So what is Hindraf's stand on burning BN flags? I doubt any of Hindraf will speak on this.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Intellectual vs Intelligence

I am sure there is a vast difference between being an intellectual vs being an intelligent person. Here, I will like to add that being an intellectual person means the ability one has to look at issues without being emotional about it. Now, the current Kampong Buah Pala issue should be debated in an intellectual way. Burning down the issues especially dolls of certain leaders are never welcomed. Although I support the movement, I sincerely believe certain flags should face the same faith of certain dolls. Now, now...stop talking in crytped way. Bottom line, be a man - burn down the whole flags and state your claim.

Friday, June 26, 2009

After reading this, things can me go hmmmmmmm

I wonder who is supplying gas to our neighbour Singapore? I wonder who is actually giving almost every household with piped in gas line where we in Malaysia have to buy those pesky LPG and still having to contend with the old kitchen stoves? I know....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Awang Selamat's latest bru haha

I just can't believe what a national Malay daily continues to spit out.... read it if you wish. Typical racist that has ran out of topics to talk about ....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In my beginning is my Terence Netto

La Salle Brothers ended where they began

Terence Netto | Jun 20, 09 11:43am
“In my beginning is my end,” runs the refrain from a poem of TS Eliot’s, lines with a special poignance to Ho Kok Chee, brother director of St Xavier’s Institution and a Masters in English - a postgraduate qualification he has had to equip himself with, as otherwise his fitness for the headmastership of the school would have been deemed by the authorities as inadequate.

In the event, it enabled him to last 16 years as brother director, the longest tenure of the 28 principals who preceded him since the foundation in 1852 of this flagship school.

Ho’s retirement today brought to a close the 157-year presence of the La Salle Brothers in Malaysia, a Roman Catholic teaching order that at its height was responsible for the administration and ownership of 59 primary and secondary schools in Malaysia that educated something like two million students.

Alumni of these schools have graced the upper reaches of Malaysian socio-political life since independence and have not been averse to crediting their alma mater for the training they received.

However, a glance at the list of Malaysian luminaries who have been educated in these schools would stay the impulse to any triumphalism about the worth of the education afforded there, for the products occupy the range from the proud to the sordid. It must be admitted that much the same could be said for the legatees of most other famous schools in the country.

Why then the poignance that attended the closure rituals at Bro Paul Ho’s departure?

Perhaps it was because of the ideal of gratuitous service that animated the La Salle Brothers, who at the height of their presence in Malaysian education in the 1950s and 60s, numbered about a hundred members spread among the staff of the few score schools, mainly located in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, that they built and ran.

In a skeptical age, it would be easy to deprecate the value of this service but when it is seen that barely 10 percent of the enrollment in each of these schools was composed of pupils of the same religion as the Brothers, and that the latter did nothing in the way that could be construed as attempts to proselytise, their record of service was indeed what they claimed it was: gratuitous.

Faintly optimistic of the future

“It’s a new beginning,” opined Bro Paul Ho in remarks made to Malaysiakini as he packed his belongings in the modest office near the entrance to the school earlier this week in preparation for Friday’s departure.

He sounded faintly optimistic of the future, that the “special character of this school and its like” – meaning the half dozen other schools in the major towns of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia – would resist the attrition that would come from being administered by Education Ministry appointees not imbued with the spirit of the La Salle order.

It was hard to see the grounds for his optimism, albeit a faint one. But there wasn’t anything contrived in the way he gave vent to it.

“It now depends on those who value the education they have received in these schools to preserve their alma mater’s special character,” he elaborated.

“They have to exert the effort to preserve it,” he asserted. “If they cannot be depended upon to do that, who else would do it now that the Brothers are no longer around to preserve it?”

He added: “The La Salle order has looked upon students that have come to it for their education as special gifts to be respected for their human dignity and worth, irrespective of whether they belonged to the religion the Brothers professed.

“That was what made the order and the schools they ran special. That was why no proselytising was done because we respected the dignity of the person entrusted to our care.

“Our ideal of gratuitous service was based on that respect for the dignity of the human person and the end of our presence does not mean that the value of that ideal is no longer relevant nor is ended the possibility that it could endure in the hearts of those who have been touched by its worthiness,” said Bro Paul in a light-hearted tone that belied the gravity of what he said.

“The Brothers were never in this for profit or proselytising,” he emphasised. “They were in it for the dignity of the human person and that is why a void in their presence does not mean the cessation of that ideal.”

Bro Paul Ho chuckled when it was suggested to him that he was standing TS Eliot’s famous refrain on its head – “In my end is my beginning.”

Friday, June 19, 2009

Couldn't have said it better....

Nobody is blaming anybody,literally. After all, numbers don't lie and if numbers do, so what are we to say? Penang is on a graceful decline situation. It is not about the infrastructure that we have. At times, these infrastructure needs to be upgraded let alone building better ones. I am surprised that Gerakan harps on infrastructure. I think it is best to see how our Penangites are fairing in terms of per capita income basis with other states. I think that is far more important. I am in agreement with this blog's view. CM Lim Guan Eng summed it up well....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Once upon a time ...

Once upon a time, a friend made some interesting remarks - "I can't believe you are saying that DSAI is innocent. He is a bum bandit." Conversations became less when I said I rather see to believe rather than speculate to believe. Today, I am vindicated. My friend - one advise - stick to your script and not get personal about things okay?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One way way ticket...

"If it is true that Nasharuddin supports the formation of a unity government, it is best that he joins Umno by quitting his PAS post (as deputy president) and as an MP for Bachok," - YAB MB Kelantan

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Minister Mentor in Penang...

The Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng met with the Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Click here to view video.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Twitter at its best

Kit does it! Khalid does Dell does it.... can you just beat that? I am doing that too. You always tweet me if you want. See how powerful it can get?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A good reminder

"Umno is evil. The Umno-led federal government talks of 1 Malaysia but they instructed their officers not to co-operate with those who work with the PAS Kelantan government. This is Umno." - Nik Aziz

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spotted at a Korean restaurant

Lunch crowd - one by one came by to take some pictures. CM of Penang spotted.

Ahem...I think article deserves a reading...

Gerakan playing second fiddle to UMNO? Ask Penangites and they answer is unanimously yes. Ask UMNO and they say Gerakan is playing politics. Hence, for 30 years the reign of Gerakan led government has put Penang into a doldrum situation. While the country continues to reinvent itself and started to recognize the viability of the service industry, Penang led by Gerakan continued to labor on for manufacturing industries to invest here. Bear in mind, the Shared Services and Outsourcing business has started to evolve in Penang and the long forgotten Bi0-tech. Sigh....I think Dr. Neil Khor summed it well enough

Neil Khor Jun 6, 09 11:52am
Gerakan, the party of Lim Chong Eu and Lim Keng Yaik, is going through a rough
patch. It has been some 14 months since the last general elections but party
reforms have yet to bear any tangible results.
MCPXIn terms of governmental
influence, Gerakan has a full minister and two deputy ministers. Its president,
the low-key and ever diligent Dr Koh Tsu Koon, is in-charge of national unity.
He is also monitoring ministerial performance through the setting-up of Key
Performance Indicators (KPIs).This appointment, whilst attracting much criticism
from detractors, is seen as a lifeline for Gerakan to exert some influence over
national politics.It is still too early to tell if this strategy – of the
president having a ministerial position – will help Gerakan gain lost ground
after the last general elections. At this point anyway, most people still
remember Dr Koh’s announcement that he would not become a minister by way of the
senate. Few people, except perhaps Gerakan members themselves, have cheered him
on when he assumed his ministerial position.There are three main problems that
is plaguing Gerakan. Firstly, the party is suffering from an image problem. The
urban electorate still see the party as an appendage of the race-based parties
of Umno, MCA and MIC. Dr Koh’s consensual style, which the BN thinks will help
calm ruffled feathers, is not helping much in the party’s efforts to re-build
its public image. Koh needs a more vocal postureBoth Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu (left)
and Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik (below) had an air of the rebel about them. A rebel, by
the looks of Koh’s political career path, he certainly is not. Dr Koh needs to
chart a credible, independent and more vocal posture.The second problem is that
Gerakan is still trying hard to carve out a role for itself in national politics
post-Penang. From 1969 to 2008, nearly forty years, Gerakan was “in-charge” of
Penang.Control of this largely non-Malay state, with its vibrant
manufacturing-based economy, gave it an edge over its non-Umno rivals within the
BN. Other than Umno, it was the only BN component party that held the reins of
government. In fact, the political reputation of the party as innovative, clean
and efficient was built mostly on Penang’s success.The loss of Penang may be a
problem but the process of losing that state is even more demoralising for the
party. For this was not just losing by a seat but a clear and decisive
“wipe-out”. To date, few Penangites regret voting the way they did. Gerakan’s
chances of single-handedly winning back the state is almost nil.Dr Teng Hock
Nan’s stewardship of Gerakan in Penang will be crucial for reform efforts. But
so far, he has been less than sterling. Calls to take the Pakatan state
government to task on the tennis affair and more recently, his humanitarian
appeal for Chin Peng’s return have not earned Gerakan any positive points. There
are also very wide rifts between Gerakan and Umno in Penang that Dr Teng needs
to close.He may be a more vocal and assertive personality when compared with Dr
Koh but his track record in the previous government leaves him open to
criticisms. Then there is the MCA, eager for a leadership position in Penang at
the expense of Gerakan. Pakatan likely to hold on to Penang in 2013Penang Umno
is still unhappy over its secondary role to Gerakan despite it consistently
winning most of its allotted seats. Gerakan’s inability to galvanise the BN
through the leadership of Dr Koh will almost guarantee a Pakatan victory in
2013.Without Penang, Gerakan has been forced to re-examine its party ideology,
which is inherently non-sectarian and therefore a source of its third problem.
How can the party ignore developments on the ground calling for an end to
race-based policies? Many of Pakatan’s goals, including means-tested and
merit-based economic policies, were championed by Gerakan in the late
1960s.Gerakan used to call itself the “conscience of the BN”. It was the party
that asked difficult questions and temper the race-based policies that the
coalition promoted to secure equitable development and nation-building. That
Malaysia is only partially successful in this area speaks volumes for Gerakan’s
inability to influence governmental policies. The party may have the right
values but these are not shared even within the BN.Today, Gerakan is in the
strange position of having to reach back into its past to be relevant again. Dr
Koh has been made minister in-charge of national unity and this in the midst of
the shared aspirations for “1Malaysia” where Malaysians are all equal. It should
be a good opportunity for Gerakan to lead in this programme. The only problem is
that not every BN component party agrees or share the same interpretation of
1Malaysia.Playing second-fiddle to UmnoIn short, Gerakan like the PPP are going
through a rough patch because both non-sectarian parties find themselves
anomalies in a race-based coalition. Gerakan’s political role was shaped by a
strong BN and a weak non-sectarian opposition. Now that the political ground has
become more even, supporters of non-sectarian politics have new champions in
Pakatan Rakyat. Is the role of Gerakan and PPP been played out?What is
surprising is that Gerakan leaders have taken so long to act. Dr Koh has yet to
state publicly what sort of role Gerakan will have in the new political
landscape. Playing second-fiddle to Umno will not win back lost ground. Trying
to be broker between non-sectarian interests and the race-based parties is not
viable especially when the party simply does not command the votes. Gerakan’s
inability to swing non-Malay voters to the BN in Bukit Gantang, a seat it used
to win, is evidence of its diminishing role.Perhaps, Dr Koh has a new game plan
for the party. If he has, he is keeping things close to his chest. It would be
simplistic to expect these smaller but important non-sectarian parties to leave
the BN. What role would they have as a “third force”? In today’s
political scenario, third parties like independent candidates, have little
chance of winning elections.Whatever new strategy Gerakan may have for itself,
it must put into effect sooner rather than later. One way to become a viable
political party again is to stick to its guns when it comes to governmental
decisions it does not agree with. The BN government in Perak, the unfolding PKFZ
scandal, the on-going revisiting of the ISA, rising crime, corruption in the
police force, and the shaping of new economic strategies for Malaysia; all are
opportunities for Gerakan to provide thought leadership.A ministerial position
may be a much needed lifeline but it can be a liability soon enough if the KPIs
are not met, national unity becomes more elusive with the radicalization of
race-based parties and Gerakan’s inability to find new ways of thinking that
will once again return it to its fundamental non-sectarian values.As things
stand today, support for the party is quickly diminishing. Image problems and
the loss of Penang aside, Gerakan’s hope for recovery lie with its ability to
embrace and advocate its founding values. But if the BN does not move in the
same direction, it may find itself a party with the right values but in the
wrong coalition.
NEIL KHOR (PhD) (Cantab) is the co-author of 'Non-Sectarian
Politics in Malaysia: The Case of Parti Gerakan Rakyat'.