Rodziah Ismail Ticker's Blog

Sime Darby Bhd component party of BN, too?

Posted in Bagan Pinang, Election, Malaysian Politics, Pilihan Raya, Politics by rodziahismailticker on October 8, 2009

October 08, 2009 19:59 PM

Estate Workers In Bagan Pinang To Get Better Facilities

By: Ramjit

PORT DICKSON, Oct 8 (Bernama) — Sime Darby Berhad will continue to provide tarred roads and better facilities in four estates here, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S.Subramaniam.

He said existing facilities in the four estates – the Salak (Atherton), Sua Betong, Siliau and Bradwall estates – would also be repaired.

“The company gave the assurance in a meeting with me on Monday. It had also agreed to provide a reasonable salary,” he told reporters after visiting the Sua Betong Estate here Thursday.

He said the company would build a new community hall and another hall for the Maha Mariamman temple in the Salak Estate.

“Sime Darby will also solve flooding in a low-lying area in the Sua Betong Estate while the drains in the Hindu and Christian cemeteries there will be repaired.

He said the company would provide a photostat machine and a fax machine for a Tamil school in the Siliau Estate.

Subramaniam said Sime Darby had tarred a road along shophouses in the Bradwall Estate and a road leading to a temple in the Sua Betong Estate, and built community halls in all estates and a badminton court in the Sua Betong Estate.

Subramaniam said he had proposed to Sime Darby to set up the Estate Workers Housing Aid Fund to help workers own houses when they retire like that of Felda settlers.

“Under the scheme, employers’ contribution can be kept for the workers, who will be entitled to withdraw the money when they meet the requirements like after working for 10 years at the estate.

“They can use the money to pay the deposit for a house,” he said.

On estate workers salary, he said in a survey conducted by the Labour Department showed that estate workers in Port Dickson earned between RM600 and RM1,200 monthly in the past four months.

— BERNAMA

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October 8, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia in Sarawak – You must be joking!

By Sim Kwang Yang

PRM

So Gabriel Adit and some other like-minded people are going to form a new party called Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) in Sarawak.  Dr. John Brian Anthony even claimed on his blog Dayak Baru that the new party had been registered with the Registrar of Societies a few days ago.

I know Gabriel personally.  A long time ago, I used to drink in the same pub in Kuching with him, sometimes every afternoon.  It is hard for me to bad-mouth him, though Internet commentators are beginning to bad-mouth him already.

Some fair comments on this latest development are still apt and possible.

First of all, it is very difficult to form a new political party in Malaysia, and Sarawak is no exception.

Years ago, I was hired to make an application to register a new political party in Sarawak.  I did all the paper work, and was invited to meet the then Deputy Home Minister, at the time when Dr. M was the Home Minister in charge of the Registrar of Societies.

The Deputy Minister told me that only the PM had the power to approve application for the registration of new political parties and new newspapers, so I had to wait.  Soon, word reached me that the PM Dr. M had rejected the application submitted by me, because of the objection of the Sarawak CM Taib Mahmud.

I wonder if they do things differently nowadays, but I doubt it.  For a new political party to be formed in Sarawak, the PM surely has to be consulted, and in the true spirit of mutual back-scratching in the Barisan Nasional, the PM would surely consult the Sarawak CM.

Therefore, for the new PRM to be registered, surely its registration would have received the blessing of the CM Taib Mahmud – for obvious reasons.

Too many instant politicians

Am I unhappy with Gabriel Adit for leaving PKR for the new PRM?  Not one bit!  In fact, when he joined PKR amidst much fanfare last year, I was worried for the PKR.  He has too much political and financial baggage, and he could become a huge liability for the Sarawak PKR.  Now that he has decided to leave PKR and go form the PRM, PKR is one toxic asset less.

 AnwarThat is why I disagree with Anwar Ibrahim’s method of recruiting instant politicians who had been with the BN.  Their political baggage is simply too tainted for comfort.  It is far better to recruit new people, young and old, from the untainted masses of middle class Sarawakians, like the retired police or army officers, former civil servants, and even new graduates.

Apart from the opposition DAP, PKR, and PAS, political parties in Sarawak depend on very strong financial backers to survive.  There is the huge cost needed in running a party structure, to pay administrative personnel and the office rental, and to fund the election war chest.

In the old days, party funding was one of the main fuses that caused the SNAP to split up in two.  Party funding also became a contentious issue with PBDS, to the extent that you could say money is the cause of all political evil in Sarawak.

Who is bank-rolling PRM?

The question is: who is funding this new PRM party?

prm boss2There is widespread speculation that Tiong King Sing is the money man behind the new party.  He has not denied it or sued anybody for saying so.  He could very well be.  He is already bank-rolling the SPDP, and with his immense wealth, even after his money in Kuala Dimensi has been frozen by the police, he can easily support another party.  It is just a matter of mere millions to him – just like a few dollars to you and me.

Still others have speculated that the financial backer could be Sng Chee Hua, looking for a party for his son Larry.

The launch of this new party in Sarawak is good news for those over-the-hill politicians who are trying to make a comeback one way or another.  They have also smelled the money.

They do not have to go and work on the ground with the rakyat during non-election time.  All they have to do is to wait for a general election to come, and hope that election funds in huge bundles will fall from the sky.  Then, they have a shot at being YBs and become rich.  Believe me! I have met my fair share of these professional political money-makers.

Prospects for Sarawak elections

Will this new political party bring anything good to the people of Sarawak?

I doubt it.  There are more than enough political parties in the Land of the Hornbill.  One more Dayak-led party is going to detract from Dayak support for the PKR, and help PBB in the divide-and-rule tactic to weaken the Dayaks’ political strength.

When I was in Kuching recently, I was asked by a reporter what I think of the next general election, at both the federal and state levels.

Frankly, I don’t see how the Pakatan Rakyat can take the state government in Sarawak next round, certainly not with DAP, PKR, and PAS squabbling over seat allocations, and definitely not with Taib Mahmud still firmly at the BN helm.  They would find it hard even to recruit all the 71 willing, capable, and credible candidates for all the state seats.

It is better for them to concentrate on grabbing 10 parliamentary seats in both Sabah and Sarawak to tip the scale in Kuala Lumpur, and even that seems impossible now.

As for the new party PRM, there is no need to get excited about this latest kid on the block.  The kid will probably fizzle out after the next round of general elections, like the STAR party.

We p

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