Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Where's the GST-exempted list?

Come tomorrow, we will embrace the GST (goods and services tax) regime. Many welcome it but not few objected.

The government's propaganda machinery has been working over the past one year to explain what GST is, trying to get the rakyat understand its 'benefits'.

However, they failed. What appeared on TV, radio, newspapers and other media fell short of telling the rakyat what they should 'enjoy' when GST is fully implemented. The info is more on what the government would get - that any gains will be translated into projects for the peoples!

I visited a few marts and supermarkets on the weekend, making price comparison before and after GST comes into force. The 6 per cent hike is (to me) quite burdensome.

I just wonder why some government jokers had the chick to urge the rakyat to buy cars, TV, washing machines, refrigerators and motorbikes before GST because the prices are cheaper. Idiots, sorry to say.

People don't buy car, TV and refrigerators everyday, fools! Beside rice and cooking oil that will be GST-exempted, we 'makan' bread, sardines, biscuits and other things.

You are still leaving us in the dark. Where's the list if GST-exempted items? You think each and every house in Malaysia has computer and Internet access?

Putrajaya must change its current approach of educating the public on the goods and services tax (GST) by publishing immediately a list of tax-exempted items in every newspaper in the country, said former MITI minister.

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said a clear list would help consumers to be better prepared for the new tax which takes effect tomorrow.

She said Putrajaya’s reliance on the use of cartoons, billboards and technical jargon such as "zero-rated" for the past year to explain GST has left Malaysian consumers, including herself, more confused over the new tax system.
"I personally think that right now, we should have a complete list of the categories that are exempted, so the public will know which (items) won’t be taxed.
"It should be made available in all the newspapers, in all languages, and it should not be technical,” Rafidah told The Malaysian Insider.
"Our problem is that the explanation so far has not been clear. The government has been using different sources or different approaches, and most of them have been very technical.
"For instance, who understands what ‘zero-rated’ means? Why can’t they just use the phrase ‘tak kena GST’ or ‘no GST’. That’s much simpler and easier to remember.”

She said it was also important that Putrajaya first cleared the air over which items would not be taxed, so that consumers would not rush to stores and hoard goods unnecessarily in anticipation of the GST.
Rafidah said the newspaper pull-out would also help consumers identify traders who raise prices on items that were not affected by the GST.

"Let’s say on April 1, I read the newspaper and I see that soap will not be taxed. Then I go to the supermarket and see they are charging me 6% for it. Thanks to the pull-out, I know they are cheating me and I can report this.
"Forget about the various codes, the technical jargon and whatnot. All that is irrelevant,” said Rafidah.
She added that Putrajaya could pay for the newspaper pull-out as the cost involved would be far less than erecting large billboards across the country.

One of Putrajaya's efforts to educate the public on GST through a music video recently received heavy criticism from Malaysians after went viral on the internet.

The video, purportedly created by the Customs Department, hailed the virtues of implementing GST, but was panned by critics as "sad", "cheesy" and "reminiscent of the 1970s".

In the meantime, to ease the transition period, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has set up a round-the-clock operations room to monitor prices after the GST kicks off.

Located at Precinct 2 in Putrajaya, the operations room would also take complaints and reports from the public on GST matters. – TMI

Zahid's POTA and LKY...

Again, only the Opposition and their NGOs are against POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act), calling it oppressive and taking away the basic rights and liberties of those under arrest.

They also liken it to the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).

What is this Pakatan Rakyat? Are they terrorist to feel the jitter of the new act? What are they so afraid of? And what 'basic rights and liberties' are they referring to?

Is it the rights of terrorists to run down the country, bomb KLCC and KLIA, kill hundreds of people and then to be served with VVIP treatment in police lock-ups and light sentences in courts? What about the rights of our people to live in peace, harmony and without fear?

O-oh... funny how a PR Member of Parliament has sought the police help after thieves broke into her house. Remember what the same MP said about the police some time ago? Read The Unspinners' blog post.
The new Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) tabled for its first reading in Parliament today was seen as not much different from the much-reviled and repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), said PKR MP Wong Chen and PAS MP Raja Bahrin.
In a press conference outside Parliament today, the MPs for Kelana Jaya and Kuala Terengganu respectively aired their misgivings over certain elements of the proposed law, which they argued rendered POTA a minor adjustment of the ISA and a “threat to the already very fragile fundamental liberties that we have in this country.”
The POTA bill was tabled today by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, together with five other related bills, namely the Special Measures against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Bill, and amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, the Penal Code, and the Prison Act 1995.
The proposed law will detain suspected terrorists without trial, at the same time disallowing judicial reviews on decisions made by the Prevention of Terrorism Board unless it concerned procedural requirements of the detention.
I believe PR leaders and members, especially those of DAP remember what the late Lee Kuan Yew said during the 80s about 'containing extremism' in his small republic.

Unless they are not aware of it, here it is:

By the way, police are reported to have arrested The Edge’s publisher Ho Kay Tat and The Malaysian Insider’s chief executive officer Jahabar Sadiq.
According to The Malaysian Insider, Jahabar and Ho were arrested Tuesday morning at the Dang Wangi station over an article published by the news portal last week.
On Monday, police detained The Malaysian Insider’s managing editor Lionel Morais, Bahasa Malaysia features and analysis editor Zulkifli Sulong and Bahasa Malaysia news editor Amin Iskandar.
The portal had uploaded an article stating that the Conference of Rulers had rejected proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 during a meeting on March 11.

Pakatan must be proud of them, and I guess their 'human rights' and 'freedom' lawyers will provide legal assistance to them. As a journalist, I hope they will get it through.

Monday, March 30, 2015

3 Malaysian Insider editors arrested

The police have arrested three The Malaysian Insider editors to assist investigations over an article published last week.

The three are managing editor Lionel Morais, Bahasa Malaysia features and analysis editor Zulkifli Sulong and Bahasa Malaysia news editor Amin Iskandar.

On Thursday, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar tweeted on his @KBAB51 account that the police would be calling in the editor-in-chief of The Malaysian Insider over articles published by the portal.

The portal had uploaded an article saying that the Conference of Rulers had rejected proposed amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 during a meeting on March 11.

The article, which quoted sources had said that the rejection of the amendments to the federal Act were made at a meeting which was attended by all Malay rulers or their representatives.

However on Thursday, it was reported that the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad had denied issuing any statement on hudud in Kelantan and had lodged a police report to seek a police investigation into the matter.

NOTE: 'Berani buat, berani tanggung'

Communication breakdown?

How do we define 'communication breakdown'?

Did Federal and Kelantan state officers play 'ignorant' to situations and the plight of flood victims?  Or political differences led to such an immunicado?

Politics? Could be...because I was there on a few occasions, noticing how some of them refused to cooperate because of 'PAS-Umno' and 'BN-PR' factors. It was such stupidity that also led to such a setback.
KUALA LUMPUR: A communication breakdown between the Federal and Kelantan governments contributed to the poor management of the massive floods in the state last December.
The Public Accounts Committee said Monday that the National Security Council (NSC) had admitted to certain weaknesses in managing the disaster, including a lack of cooperation from the state government in pre-flood planning.
"In previous years, there was no problem of cooperation between NSC and the state authorities.
"But last year, somehow the coordination was broken, maybe because of human factors," PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said following a meeting with NSC officials in Parliament.
He said the council and other relevant authorities were "unprepared" to deal with the unexpected scale of the floods in the East Coast.

"NSC has explained to us that they intend to improve their existing SOP to prepare for future floods.

"We were told they plan to use scientific methods to zero in on areas that could be prone to floods," he said.

Nur Jazlan said the committee was also briefed on the NSC's use of the RM785mil Finance Ministry allocation for flood relief efforts.
A total of RM138mil was paid out in compensation to some 276,000 families affected by the disaster while RM214mil was spent cumulatively on rebuilding broken homes and new homes for the victims.
"Based on the explanation given to us, there is no issue of misappropriation of funds in the handling of the crisis," Nur Jazlan added.
So, there wasn't any misappropriation of fund. Sounds good and convincing.

However, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is still 'studying' the case, right?

So what? Arrest 'em all!

So much brouhaha about our police detaining, remanding and questioning those involved in 'Kita Lawan' rally.

They blame they government, PM Najib Razak, Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, IGP Khalid Abu Bakar and Umno for trying to 'shut up' the dissents by using the Sedition Act 1948.

Hey! Without the Sedition Act, what will become of Malaysia? Each and every one of us will be free to incite disharmony and unrest by insulting race and religion in public, in the social media, newspapers and television.

So, you want the government and the police to just go around catching thieves, rapists and murderers while letting others enter brawls and riots? The you must be mad, real mad!

We don't nab those who criticise PM, his wife Rosmah, Barisan Nasional and Umno. If your points and argument contain tangible basis and fact, go on. I also criticise the government and my party (Umno).

But we cannot accept lies, especially political ones meant to demonise each other. So, when Najib sued Mkini and Harakah, he got valid reason.

By the way, its a different story in Singapore. Those who think the republic is far better than Malaysia, you should read this:

SINGAPORE: Amos Yee - the teenager who posted a video on YouTube in which he criticised the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as well as made disparaging remarks about Christianity - has been arrested, Channel NewsAsia understands.

The Police on Monday (Mar 30) confirmed the arrest of a 17-year-old male Singaporean.

At least 15 police reports have been lodged against Yee since the video was uploaded on Friday. The video, which spanned 8 minutes 38 seconds, has since been taken down from YouTube.

Channel NewsAsia understands that Yee also subsequently posted obscene drawn graphics to his Wordpress blog and Facebook page, which were later taken down. His Wordpress blog has since been made private.

You are not allowed to criticise Singaporean leaders. Remember PM Lee Hsien Loong sued a blogger for defaming him?

That was 'defaming' but this one is criticising, two different categories.

If Lee Kuan Yew is still alive, you people should listen why he retained the Internal Security Act (ISA).

And you still think Singapore offers more freedom!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Rafizi is too dangerous!

I think Rafizi Ramli has lost his balance. He fails to tell which is left and right; what is right and wrong.

He is going too far, too overboard for his possessiveness over Anwar Ibrahim. He dares and challenges the law, the authority and the Constitution.

To me, he is more dangerous than Anwar who is convicted of sodomy. He is a threat to national security for trying to 'break Anwar free' from Sungai Buloh Prison. If not, what is his motive and agenda in continuing assault on the government?
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli has been arrested for issuing a statement on Saturday’s #KitaLawan rally.
The Pandan MP was been apprehended at 3pm, Friday in Pandan Prima under the Sedition Act.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed that authorities would question Rafizi over the letter, claiming that his call for supporters to attend the rally was an “order for people to break Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim out of prison”.
“We want to question him on what he meant by asking people to mobilise and demand Anwar’s release. 
“We don’t know if he is trying to ask people to break Anwar out of prison.
“People who do not understand the letter will come up with different meanings to what he is asking for,” Khalid told reporters during a press conference at the Concorde Hotel, Friday evening.
He added that police had tolerated the #KitaLawan movement long enough.
“This time if they want to gather, we are done monitoring them. It’s time for all of them to be arrested."
To the police, take 'em all in. If they harbor ill-intention to 'break' into then prison, keep and charge them in court and ensure they join Anwar in Sungai Buloh.

This is subversive and totally unacceptable.

Rafizi himself poses more danger to the peace and harmony. He incites hatred towards the government by wanting to become a 'democracy' general but the democracy he fights for is actually akin to staging a coup.

And he lies too!
PETALING JAYA: The remark made by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli in The Edge Financial Daily could spark religious conflict in this country, the Sessions Court heard today.
Hulu Langat Umno Youth division chief Mohd Halim Wahab said Rafizi’s claim that Selangor Umno hurled a Molotov cocktail at a church could raise tension and cause chaos.
Mohd Halim, 39, said the allegation could also bring shame to Selangor Umno.
“Rafizi’s allegation could cause tension betweeen two religions, namely Islam and Christianity and because of this, a police report was lodged.”
“I was with my friends in Hulu Langat Umno division office talking about the Kajang by-election when a friend showed me an article in The Edge Financial Daily.”
“Rafizi’s remark in the newspaper article made me feel angry,” he said testifying against Rafizi, who is alleged to have insulted Umno members via the article titled, ‘Will Rafizi Quit If Selangor Is Not Toppled?
Rafizi was charged with committing insult with intention to provoke a breach of peace at The Edge Malaysia Communication Sdn Bhd, KLK Tower, Jalan PJS 7/6, Mutiara Damansara at 11.40am on February 4, 2014.

Another thing Rafizi and Anwar's supporters and sympathizers should know is the fact that Anwar will remain in prison to complete his 5-year term, and he is no more a Member of Parliament.
KUALA LUMPUR: Senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh says the petition for a royal pardon over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction by his family has been disposed, and he is no longer Permatang Pauh MP.
"Our stand is a decision has been made. The Constitution has spoken for itself," Amarjeet said to reporters.
However, Anwar's lawyers N. Surendran, Latheefa Koya and Dr Dheeraj Bhar said the decision by the Pardons Board was not confirmed and would only be made known in the Appellate and Special Powers Court here on Wednesday.
The decision was conveyed to Anwar's lawyers in the form of an affidavit issued by Datuk Nursiah Arshad, the Prime Minister's Department legal affairs director-general, who is also part of the Pardons Board secretariat.
Amarjeet said the applicants had asked for the delay in announcing the decision in order to convey it to Anwar first.
Rafizi and Gang are getting notorious, breaking rules and laws on the platform of Anwar's freedom. They oppose a 'one way street' to champion politics of crap!

Obama's strategy suffers setback in Yemen

President Barack Obama has pointed to Yemen to boast that his new global anti-terror strategy was thriving.

But with Iranian-backed rebels now overrunning the U.S. ally tasked with beating back local al Qaeda affiliates, the nation at the tip of Arabian Peninsula makes a better case study in the approach's limitations.

Yemen was the petri dish for Obama's concept of how to fight Islamic extremists with a hybrid warfare of U.S. drone strikes, special forces and on-the-ground intelligence provided by local partners.

The theory was that, after learning the bloody lessons of protracted ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States could no longer bear the cost of inserting its large, vulnerable land armies into hostile Muslim nations.

Instead, Washington would eliminate terrorists by partnering with friendly governments and forces in regions as diverse as the Persian Gulf, the Levant and Africa in a more sustainable campaign against Islamic extremism.

But the success of some of these campaigns is in question, as regional allies have proven too weak or disorganized to sustain the anti-terror actions the U.S. is looking for.

For a while, the partnership with Yemen worked. The local government in concert with the CIA and Special Forces assets on the ground, and a deadly umbrella of drone strikes, pinned down the deadliest franchise left in Osama bin Laden's empire, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

But Yemen's instability always threatened to derail the effort and the country's treacherous tribal and political stew finally boiled over in January when Houthi rebels overthrew Washington's latest partner in the capital of Sanaa, President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
"It is a strategy that depends on the domestic politics of the particular state which it is applied," said Charles Schmitz, a specialist on Yemen at Towson University.
"The strategy will work if it has the appropriate political circumstances. If it does not have the appropriate circumstances it won't."
When the optimum political conditions in Yemen evaporated, the U.S. effort stumbled.

Sharply deteriorating security led to the closure of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa and the departure of U.S. special forces this week, lifting the pressure on AQAP -- with alarming implications for U.S. security.

Hadi finally fled his country this week, ahead of air strikes led by Saudi Arabia with cooperation from nine other Arab and Muslim-majority countries against the Shiite Houthi rebels which, though unwilling to cooperate with the U.S. campaign, are also fighting AQAP.

The U.S. is providing Saudi Arabia rhetorical support as well as logistics and intelligence, and soon airborne tanker back-up for its campaign.

But even if the operation by the Sunni powers succeeds in Yemen, there seems no easy path back to the restoration of the kind of pro-U.S. government that might make the fight against AQAP sustainable again. Yemen is on the brink of a civil war between Houthis and splintered security forces still loyal to Hadi and a political reconciliation process has ground to a halt.

There certainly remains little to justify Obama's words in September a primetime address to the nation in which he laid out his plan for combating ISIS.