Sunday, December 21, 2008

He is ignorant of the basic requirement of an airport

IPOH: The runway of the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport cannot be extended due to the lack of space, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

The airport, currently under-utilised, was surrounded by mountains and adjacent to densely-populated residential areas, said Ong.

“If we talk about extending the airport runway, do you have the space for the extension? We certainly can’t extend it vertically,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after attending the Ipoh Timur MCA division’s 59th anniversary dinner on Thursday, Ong said the Federal Government was not facing financial constraints nor did it lack commitment in extending the airport runway.
Happy anniversary: Ong (second from left) together with Perak MCA chief Datuk Kong Cho Ha (left), Ipoh Timur MCA division chief Datuk Thong Fah Chong (third from left) and Ipoh Barat MCA division chief Datuk Tan Chin Meng (right) cutting a cake in conjunction with Ipoh Timur MCA division’s 59th anniversary celebration in Ipoh on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Perak executive councillor in charge of transport Nga Kor Ming had reportedly urged the Government to fulfil its promise to improve and expand the airport.

Ong, who is also MCA president, stressed that his ministry had never held the view that Ipoh be bypassed in whatever development plans.

“In fact, Ipoh was chosen as a key destination for our railway transportation,” he said, citing the double-tracking railway project as an example.

“Now we are on the threshhold of bringing new changes to Ipoh and Kinta Valley. Hopefully, by the time the double-tracking project is completed, Perak people can reap more economic returns,” he added.

On Nga’s suggestion that the Government hand over the authority of the airport if it was incapable of developing it, Ong said Nga was playing populist politics.

“The way he spoke and presented the argument shows he is ignorant of the basic requirement of an airport,” he said, adding that any extension of the airport runway needed to be International Civil Aviation Organisa- tion (ICAO)-compliant.

Ong noted that while there were airlines flying into the airport not too long ago, the services were stopped abruptly.

“It’s not that we didn’t try. The airlines stopped and pulled out as there was not enough passenger and cargo load,” he added.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Something stinks about MPPP's approval of multi-storey hotels in the heritage areas of George Town.

The Editor
> New Straits Times
> Kuala Lumpur.
> Sir,
> Something stinks about MPPP's approval of multi-storey hotels in the heritage areas of George Town. While Lim Guan Eng would like to blame it on the previous government as is his habit, this time Penangites will not swallow his excuses hook line and sinker. Apparently there is a state ruling since 1996 that prohibited buildings exceeding five storeys in the inner city. And in 2003 the previous government had rejected a high rise development along the waterfront. The new regime in charge may be excused if they were ignorant of this since they are just learning the job. But to approve a 23 storey hotel in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah just ten days before UNESCO was to decide on Penang's World Heritage Listing?? To cap it all MPPP was already drafting guidelines so that all buildings in the intended heritage area will not exceed 18m. This smacks of either stupidity or blatant disregard for UNESCO.
> It stands to reason that when a city is applying for World Heritage Listing and also drafting guidelines so that buildings will conform to UNESCO's requirements (for heritage listing), that all plans for developments which do not meet the intended guidelines should be rejected or at least put on hold until the matter of Penang's World Heritage Listing is decided. To approve such projects in haste exposes the government's hand in pandering to developers. It is no good hiding behind the technicalities of the law (as I am sure MPPP will do) what is important in this case is not the letter of the law but the sincerity and honesty of the Penang government in pursuing World Heritage status.
> The Penang Government cannot have its cake and eat it. Opting for World Heritage Listing means curbing unsuitable developments. To try to accommodate the developers while applying for heritage listing is ultimately dishonest - even if one were technically and legally within one's right to do so.
> It is easy to deal with blatant dishonesty but how does one deal with dishonesty that is devious and subtle and altogether more dangerous? Guan Eng's 'CAT' (competency, accountability, transparency) of which he is so proud, is fast using up its nine lives. The Confucius saying: "Three things cannot be hid for long: the sun, the moon and the truth" applies not only to the previous government . . .
> I don't blame Richard Engelhardt, the UNESCO advisor for Asia-Pacific for feeling peeved for being taken for a fool. And I don't blame him either should he recommend that Penang's World Heritage Listing be withdrawn come July next year. Should that happen it will be Penangites' loss and this time Guan Eng cannot point fingers at the previous administration.
> Your truly,
> Yin Ee Kiong

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jalan Silibin to Jalan Patto

The Editor
> New Straits Times
> Kuala Lumpur.
> Sir,
> As the controversy regarding the change of Jalan Silibin to Jalan Patto continues, it is well for councillor Kulasegeran ( also MP - Ipoh Barat) to bear in mind that the DAP was vociferous in its condemnation of the very same thing that the previous BN government did.
> It was not that many years back when Ipoh City Council had to reverse its decision to rename Jalan Foo Chong Kong, Jalan Tabung Haji because of public protest. On that occasion at least, the government took heed of the public's feelings and left the old name intact. For the present authorities to say that they will go ahead with renaming the road despite public outcry, is arrogant in the very least and smacks of the double standards that this government is becoming known for during the short time it has been in power.
> I have no problem with naming a road after Patto. He deserves to be honoured, although as another writer (Mariam Mokhtar) rightly pointed out that perhaps we can name parks etc after our citizens who have rendered public service. Be that as it may, if one has to name a road after someone why not name a new road - there are new roads built everyday. This way the public will not have to bear the inconveniences and expense of a name change and the history of the existing roads will not be lost.
> Ipoh lost much of its link with the past when some of its main thoroughfares were renamed viz Brewster Road, Hugh Low Street, Thompson Road etc.
> Taiping seems to have solved the problem of renaming roads. In Taiping the public is told what the renamed road was formerly known by.
> It is time that guidelines be set for naming roads so that those in power do not abuse their positions to name roads after people on their party list or to name roads simply to curry favour from royalty or businessmen who have contributed to their party's coffers. And what is wrong with naming roads after trees, or flowers or animals? At least no one can complain about favouritism then.
> One guideline which we should all keep to is not to rename roads or use the Taiping solution.
> Politicians must not think that naming roads is a prerogative of theirs which cannot be challenged. The PR Government has sold itself as a "listening" government. It is time they start listening to the public.
> Yours truly
> Yin Ee Kiong
> A02-12 MarVista Resort
> Tg. Bungah
> 11200 Penang.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Isu Pembatalan Kings Of Tennis

Isu Pembatalan Kings Of Tennis

Pada 11 Nov 2008 jam 5 petang, Ibu Pejabat "Kings of Tennis" di Sweden telah memaklumkan promoter dan penganjur tempatan mengenai pembatalan acara yang amat dinanti-nantikan "Kings of Tennis" yang dijadualkan berlangsung pada 14 hingga 16 Nov 2008 di Penang Esplanade di Georgetown atas sebab penganjur tempatan tidak menepati janji untuk menjelaskan bayaran seperti dijanjikan.

Selepas mengetahui keputusan pembatalan tersebut, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang cuba melepaskan tangan daripada tanggungjawab, supaya imej Negeri Pulau Pinang tidak terjajas. Namun acara ini acara "Kings of Tennis" yang juga dikenali sebagai "Penang's Big Bang", telah menarik perhatian seluruh dunia kerana dijangka akan menemukan bekas pemain tenis nombor satu dunia dari dua benua, Amerika dan Eropah.Pasukan Eropah dijangka diketuai Ilie Nastase dari Romania dan para pemain Sweden, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg dan Mats Wilander manakala pasukan Amerika terdiri daripada John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Roy Emerson dari Australia dan Marcelo Rios dari Chile.



总部位於瑞典的世界网球王俱乐部(King of Tennis)於本月11日下午5时许,通过其在大马的公关公司向媒体发出一则电邮,告知网球王俱乐部上周已通知大马主办单位,有关“乔治市前球星大战”网球赛已经取消的决定,原因则在於:本地的主办当局无法履行承诺,缴付所应呈上的款项。






总部位於瑞典的世界网球王俱乐部(King of Tennis)於下午5时许,通过其在大马的公关公司向媒体发出一则电邮,告知网球王俱乐部上周已通知大马主办单位,有关“乔治市前球星大战”网球赛已经取消的决定,原因则在於:本地的主办当局无法履行承诺,缴付所应呈上的款项。



Monday, September 8, 2008

The cat and mouse game continues

The cat and mouse game continues


The political roller coaster sweeping Malaysians since the March 8 general election has shown no signs of abating. On the converse, it is reaching a crescendo, with Sept 16 looming next week.

SIX months have passed since Malaysia took a gargantuan leap towards a two-party system. It has been a tumultuous period since voters showed their disappointment with the ruling party of the past half-century – the, up to now, invincible Barisan Nasional.

After four west coast states went to Pakatan Rakyat, the stunned PKR, DAP and PAS, having suddenly found themselves formalised as unlikely partners, jostled for state government positions and the contentious posts of mentri besar. Parliamentary debate rose to fever-pitch and walkouts became the order of the day.

On Aug 26, the Permatang Pauh by-election saw Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emerge as Opposition Leader, bringing him that much closer to forming his new government by Sept 16.

The excitement has not stopped. The past couple of days have seen a spin of rumours via SMS that seven Barisan parties would defect by Sept 16.

The intensity of speculation was such that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself, who had long refused to entertain rumours, had to unequivocally deny that crossovers would take place.

The rumours were hotly denied, especially in Sabah, where politicians were understandably insulted that everyone expected them to make the first jump.

In the peninsula, too, the Gerakan and the People's Progressive Party said no such thing was in the offing.

In Sarawak, the clutch of Bidayuh MPs who in March were rumbling about quitting the Barisan, were irritated by these questions.

All Sarawak Barisan MPs have pledged their loyalty to Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Ironically, some politicians in both Sabah and Sarawak expect Umno MPs from the peninsula to lead the crossover, arguing that only Malays could make such a move without it being misconstrued as traitorous. So far, not a single Umno MP has shown his hand.

So what is Anwar's game?

Keeping everyone guessing is obviously part of it. And keeping up the momentum of expectations among supporters and anyone else fed up with Barisan's slowness to respond.

Anwar also hopes to trigger off the bandwagon effect, knowing that no serious MP would want to be left behind.

It was exactly for this reason the Sabah Progressive Party had jumped the gun by several months when its president Datuk Yong Teck Lee announced its readiness to back a vote of no-confidence against Abdullah.

Meanwhile, Anwar ensures that he keeps himself in the news. Through it all, Anwar is successfully proving how easily he can manipulate Barisan leaders, specifically those from Umno.

But those who expect Anwar to be the harbinger of change forget that he grew up politically in Barisan.

Barisan is playing right into Anwar's psy-war game. Its strenuous denials to reporters' proddings have given Anwar credibility.

That Barisan backbenchers going abroad on an agricultural field trip gives ammunition to Anwar if he does not manage to make good on his promise.

Anwar realises that his most effective reach is the alternative media, so it was there last week that his campaigners plugged his timeline to the prime minister's office.

The immediacy of the SMS, meanwhile, made it the most efficient disseminator of rumours.

Anwar's willingness to create instability erodes his leadership qualities. For him, it is as if the means justifies his ultimate goal. Or, as a non-politician reasoned simply: “a person who is so desperate to become prime minister will not make a good one”.

Expecting to form a government by enticing MPs to jump is “evil”, said Parti Bersatu Sabah deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili.

Calling it “shameful and unethical,” he condemned such dirty politics and the notion that elected representatives “could be bought and sold for a pot of political porridge”.

For him, as for Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, the people's mandate had to be respected.

Integrity, after all, requires no rules.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

















Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Inexperience caused failure

THE announcement by Samsung that it selected the Philippines rather than Penang
to invest in a new integrated circuit plant is a setback to the state government
under Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. The US$1 billion (RM3.2 billion) plant will
be built in Clark, north of Manila.

At first glance, it is hard to understand Samsung's decision. In terms of
physical infrastructure, human resources, supply base and public utilities,
Penang is superior to Clark. Also, Penang's position as one of world's
most important electronics industry hubs and the presence of extensive
supporting industries should have swung the decision in its favour.

One might suspect this was due to the recent fuel price hike and the Federal
Government's decision to defer the monorail and Outer Ring Road projects.

However, Samsung's announcement was made well before the fuel price hike
and the Federal Government's decision to shelve the projects. Furthermore,
the price of petrol in the Philippines is 64 pesos (RM4.92) per litre and
expected to go up soon.

While I am neither privy to the thought processes of Samsung's management
nor involved in the negotiations between InvestPenang and the South Korean
company, it is not too hard to guess what transpired.
Shortly before the decision was announced, Lim and his delegation paid a visit
to South Korea. It is obvious that Lim failed to convince Samsung on the
advantages of investing in Penang.

It would come as no surprise that he failed in his mission if we look at the
composition of the delegation.

The delegation of six included five party members who had neither the
experience nor the official responsibility for attracting foreign direct
investment. Only Datuk Lee Kah Choon was from InvestPenang, but even he was a
political appointee who has little experience in foreign direct investment.

The failure to convince Samsung is symptomatic of the structural problems
plaguing InvestPenang under Lim's stewardship.

These issues, if not addressed urgently, will not only result in failure to
attract FDI but also cause existing investors to look for alternative locations.

It is no secret that Penang's new leadership is viewed with suspicion by
foreign investors.

Lim's confrontational, ra-ther than conciliatory, attitude towards the
Federal Government and his constant haranguing of Putrajaya might win him
political popularity and support, but it is scaring away potential and current

His whining about projects being cancelled and Penang being marginalised has
sent a negative perception of the state's suitability as an investment

It is well known among industry insiders that several large multinationals are
planning to either scale down or close their operations in Pe-nang in the coming
weeks and months.

I am sure Lim's administration is aware of these companies. It is not too
late to convince them by reversing the poor decisions made thus far.

He has to appoint (by open interviews) competent, experienced and non-political
professionals to manage investors and attract FDI.

Failure to act would be catastrophic for the economy of Penang.