Monday, October 10, 2016

Misconception and Lies against the Prime Minister’s Department

With the Budget 2017 around the corner and rumours of the 14th General Election getting louder by the day, we can see that some politicians are beginning to spin stories and shape public perception on the Government negatively.

One clear example is the attacks on Budget allocation to the Prime Minister's Department. Some politicians like Liew Chin Tong took the path of painting the picture of a bloated Budget that can be used at the whims and fancies of the Prime Minister.

But that’s fine, I shall educate him.

First of all, after being an MP for so long, surely you must know the distinction between the Prime Minister's Office and the Prime Minister's Department, as well as their functions.

They are not the same and administratively, they are run separately as well.

The Chief Secretary, with Ministerial status and sits in the Cabinet, runs the Prime Minister's Department while the Prime Minister and his Chief of Staff manage the Prime Minister's Office.

Secondly, the Prime Minister doesn't have the final say or veto power on the Budget and expenditure of the agencies under the Prime Minister's Department. It is the responsibility of the Chief Secretary as financial controller. Every department and Ministry has one.

Having made these clear, now let’s take a look at Chin Tong’s accusations against the Prime Minister's Department of having a bloated budget of billions.

No doubt, there are many agencies, units and offices here under the Prime Minister’s Department and my last count shows that there are 72 of them.

Let me list them down for you.

If you look at number 13 in the list above, the Prime Minister's Office is one of the 72. No, not the other way round, certainly not the Prime Minister’s Office overseeing the Department.

Even the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Datuk Iskandar Mohd Kaus, is appointed by the Chief Secretary and he is a civil servant.

And no, the reason why we have so many agencies under the Prime Minister's Department is not because our Prime Minister is power hungry or they are all political units.

In fact, if you are hardworking enough with your research, Chin Tong, you will find that the Chief Secretary is the Chairman or chairperson of many of the agencies under the Prime Minister's Department.

I have personally seen the Chief Secretary chaired a meeting of an agency under the Prime Minister's Department because the deliverables cut across many Ministries. Due to the equal stature of the Ministers, they are not in the position to order one another to complete tasks and in some cases, the ball will be passed around.

That whip function, has been centralized and placed under the Prime Minister's Department, and in this case it was the responsibility of the Chief Secretary. The Ministers were mere members of the meeting by the way and they had to abide by Chief Secretary's decisions.

Let’s talk about money next.

The Financial Procedure Act 1957 Section 16 makes it mandatory for the Chief Accountant to prepare the audited Malaysia Federal Government's Financial Statements for the year ending 31 Dec to be presented in Parliament and for the use of all.

The funds allocated to the Prime Minister's Department are fully accounted for, audited, and reported in Parliament. The funds are not, and never, used for personal interests or gains.

There are two types of budget – operating and development.

Over the years, despite the many agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department and being criticised or accused of all sorts publicly, we have reduced operating expenditure which includes salaries and recurrent expenditures, and doubled up Development Expenditure.

There are strict rules governing Development Expenditure, a one-off expenditure, and it must be spent on items that bring benefit to the people and country.

For example, out of the RM14.3 billion in 2015, PR1MA was given RM 1.3 billion to build homes for some of you in the urban and semi-urban areas so that you have a shelter above your head, and another RM1.3 billion was given to the Economic Corridors for infrastructure development and investment attraction so that people in the East Coast, Northern Region, Southern Region, Sabah and Sarawak have jobs and bread on the table to feed their families.

Of course, these may include special allocations announced during visits across the country as well as fulfilling requests by locals or by state leaders that will only benefit the people. These projects are effectively implemented and monitored by agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department as a follow up to his announcements, never by the Prime Minister’s Office itself.

I don’t think anyone wants to question this money which at the end of the day, goes into the pockets of the people.

When it comes to operating expenditure, in 2015, the Prime Minister’s Department budget of RM5.8 billion is smaller than the Health Ministry (RM21.7 b), Education Ministry (RM39.3 b), Defense Ministry (RM13.4 b), Home Affairs Ministry (RM12.6 b), Higher Education Ministry (RM12.2 b), Rural Development Ministry (RM5.9 b) and the list goes on.

I can share with you some of the line items. One of the agencies under JPM is Bahagian Pengurusan Hartanah (BPH). They purchase, maintain, and manage Federal Government owned assets nationwide, including quarters, buildings in various states and others. Their budget expenditure was about RM377 mil (6.5% of total operating expenditure allocation).

Next, Bahagian Hal Ehwal Undang-undang spent RM119 mil in 2015. This is the legal advisory unit.

Then, we have the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court with RM 412 mil budget expenditure line. I am sure DAP lawyers know better than me about the role of this office.

We also have the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, a very important agency tasked to enforce maritime laws in Malaysia, conduct search and rescue operations in our waters and shores as well as provide assistance to foreign countries when asked for. Their expenditure? RM398 mil.

Department of Statistics? RM 191 mil. If I add just these 5 agencies, it is already RM1.5 bil or 26% of total operating expenditure under the Prime Minister’s Department. I don't need to go on, you get my point.

Sure, now tell me, do we cut the Budget for our Maritime Agency? Or the Federal Court? Or Statistics Department instead because Penang Institute and REFSA can provide us with figures?

To accuse the Prime Minister of having absolute discretionary power and the Prime Minister’s Department of having slush funds for cronies, it is just absurd.

Abuses of funds, if any, would have been reported transparently by the Auditor General and Sarawak Report will probably have a copy the next morning if it wasn't.

If PEMANDU's role, in your words Chin Tong, is to massage numbers to make the Government look good, you must be our master and the bigger devil trying to mislead the public.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Penang Institute's Loyalty to Guan Eng

I refer to Lim Guan Eng's latest press statement on 8 July 2016. You can read it here  if you want to but let me summarize it for you.

This is worth your time. Just compare the two lines below, extracted from the statement.

1.     "...., as the principal funders of Penang Institute, the state government expects loyalty."

2.     "I had contrasted the Penang state government’s liberal position with the Federal government which would act against and punish those who dare to dissent publicly."

I didn't know 2+3 and 10-5 will produce different answers. Did Guan Eng just shoot himself in the foot again?

So, can Guan Eng guarantee that the State Government, or he himself, will not act against and punish those who dare to dissent against DAP, Pakatan Harapan and the State Government openly?

Does this mean that Penang Institute can openly criticise or express different opinion than that of the State Government and DAP now with blanket immunity?

I am quite sure you are confused about your political gender. You can't behave like an Opposition member and a Government leader at the same time.

I don't think you are drowning your sorrows with alcohol, Guan Eng.

Which leads me to wonder why you said these especially when Penang Institute is filled with DAP leaders. Netizens, yes, Penang Institute is a DAP State Government funded think tank, with DAP leaders in it. You join the dots and do the math.

The leaders who are in Penang Institute include:

  • DAP MP Bukit Mertajam - Steven Sim Chee Keong as Director
  • Chief Minister, DAP ADUN Air Puteh, MP Bagan - Lim Guan Eng as Director
  • Deputy Chief Minister, DAP ADUN Perai - P Ramasamy as Director
  • DAP MP Kluang - Liew Chin Tong as Director
  • DAP MP Bukit Bendera - Zairil Khir Johari as Executive Director
  • DAP MP Serdang, Ong Kian Ming as General Manager of Penang Institute (KL office - yes Penang issues but office in Kuala Lumpur, don't ask me why)

... and so on but the rest are small potatoes, if any.

Before any of you tries to discredit me, here are the documents that were submitted by Penang Institute to the Companies Commission of Malaysia . Take it and go, for free, from me.

Have you lost control of these politicians in DAP, Guan Eng? What are they up to? What are you worried about?

And netizens, yes, all of the above are DAP politicians in Penang Institute, a think tank funded by Penang State Government which Guan Eng expects loyalty and advised against "biting the hand that feeds you". 

What, are you all surprised? Please, DAP is not a church and they are no Vatican or Mecca. It's a political party.

Just imagine if Najib and UMNO had said this.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kenyataan Media MP Serdang

Kenyataan Media oleh GOH WEI LIANG, warganegara Malaysia dan penyokong setia Ahli Parlimen Serdang pada 26 Mei 2016.

Saya merujuk kepada kenyataan media oleh Ong Kian Ming yang dimuatnaik ke laman Facebook beliau pada 25 Mei 2016 di

Pertama, YB Ong Kian Ming telah bertanya mengapa PEMANDU harus terlibat dalam memberikan perkhidmatan perundingan kerajaan kepada agensi kerajaan yang lain serta entiti di luar negara, sebagaimana yang sedang dibuatnya sekarang?

Saya ingin bertanya kepada YB Ong Kian Ming, apakah salah bagi sebuah agensi kerajaan untuk memberi perkhidmatan perundingan kepada kerajaan lain yang telah mengemukakan permohonan rasmi dan meminta khidmat nasihat kita sendiri?

Di laman Twitter, beliau juga telah seolah-olah menyoal mengenai pembayaran atau keuntungan yang diterima oleh PEMANDU untuk khidmat nasihat kepada kerajaan atau entiti luar negeri. Saya ingin bertanya kepada YB Ong Kian Ming, bukankah baik kepakaran Malaysia diperlukan oleh kerajaan lain?


Bukankah ini satu cara untuk meningkatkan hubungan diplomatik antara negara dan satu perkongsian pendapat, pengalaman dan kepakaran juga yang hanya akan membawa manfaat kepada kedua-dua pihak?

Apakah salahnya jika PEMANDU, sebuah unit Kerajaan Persekutuan, menerima pampasan bagi masa dan kos yang telah ditanggung sepanjang tempoh perkhidmatan perundingan di luar negeri?

PEMANDU tidak pernah mengabaikan mana-mana kerja, tugasan atau tanggungjawab di Malaysia. PEMANDU sentiasa meletakkan kepentingan Malaysia sebagai keutamaan dan ini jelas terbukti dalam laporan tahunan Program Transformasi Negara yang dibentangkan setiap tahun oleh Perdana Menteri, ketua kerajaan Malaysia.

Kedua, YB Ong Kian Ming telah bertanya kepada PEMANDU, sebuah unit hak milik penuh Kerajaan Persekutuan, mengapa dalam laporan tahunan PEMANDU kepada Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, perolehan dan keuntungan / kerugian yang dicatatkan adalah sifar?

Dalam perbualan Twitter, Datuk Lee Hwa Beng telah mencelah dan berkata bahawa adalah tidak normal jika sebuah entiti ada aset dan liabiliti tetapi tidak ada perbelanjaan. YB Ong Kian Ming telah meminta penjelasan PEMANDU.

Saya ingin bertanya kembali kepada YB Ong Kian Ming mengapa perolehan dan keuntungan / kerugian yang dicatatkan dalam laporan tahunan Penang Institute, di mana beliau memegang jawatan sebagai Pengurus Besar, adalah sifar juga? Kenyataan ini adalah berdasarkan kepada dokumen yang telah dikemukakan oleh Penang Institute kepada Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia.

Isu dan persoalan yang YB Ong timbulkan mengenai PEMANDU, berlaku juga di Penang Institute. Kedua-dua badan berkanun PEMANDU dan Penang Institute mempunyai ciri-ciri laporan dan perakaunan yang sama.

Kedua-dua entiti, PEMANDU dan Penang Institute, tidak menerima status EPC iaitu "exempt private company". Syarikat yang menerima sijil EPC tidak perlu mengemukakan sebarang penyata kewangan. Walau bagaimanapun, kedua-dua badan berkanun tersebut telah mengemukakan Penyata Imbangan secara konsisten.

Saya nasihatkan YB Ong Kian Ming untuk mencari jawapan kepada persoalannya di Penang Institute sebelum bermain politik dan memalukan diri dengan bertanya soalan kepada PEMANDU sedangkan isu yang sama timbul di entitinya sendiri. Malu bertanya, sesat jalan YB Ong. Jika inginkan publisiti, sila keluarkan kenyataan media dan persoalkanlah Penang Institute.

Saya sedia menerima didikan dan pengajaran dalam hal ini sekiranya telah melakukan kesilapan. 

Ketiga, YB Ong Kian Ming mempersoalkan adakah wajar mengapa pembayar cukai perlu menanggung kos RM3.9 juta untuk penganjuran Global Transformation Forum selama 3 hari pada tahun 2015, memandangkan pemotongan bajet sedang dilaksanakan di agensi-agensi kerajaan yang lain, termasuklah institut pengajian awam?

Mungkin YB Ong tidak sedar bahawa Global Transformation Forum telah dianjurkan bersama oleh PEMANDU dengan United Nations Development Programme. Forum ini telah menerima kehadiran kira-kira 3,000 orang dari 70 buah negara dengan 30 speaker antarabangsa.

Saya juga ingin jelaskan kepada YB Ong Kian Ming bahawa kerajaan di serata dunia, termasuklah Malaysia, sentiasa menganjurkan pelbagai Forum dengan pelbagai matlamat dan objektif, antaranya untuk meningkatkan imej dan keyakinan terhadap sesebuah produk, perkara atau negara.

Dalam konteks Malaysia, walaupun menghadapi kekangan bajet, ini tidak bermakna kerajaan Malaysia harus menghentikan segala kerjanya di luar dan dalam negara seperti misi perdagangan, promosi pelaburan (yang juga memanfaatkan Selangor dan Pulau Pinang), serta platform lain yang meningkatkan imej negara dan keyakinan pelabur terhadap keadaan ekonomi, kestabilan politik dan keupayaan kami yang kerap diperkecilkan dan telah dimusnahkan oleh pihak tertentu di Malaysia seperti rakan-rakan YB Ong Kian Ming.

Akhir kata, saya nasihatkan warga media agar lebih berwaspada dan berhati-hati mentafsir sebelum menulis mengenai sebarang kenyataan media oleh YB Ong Kian Ming, yang jelas terbukti penuh kelemahan dan kesilapan. Lihatlah ini sebagai satu khidmat untuk masyarakat, demi kesejahteraan semua termasuk YB Ong Kian Ming agar beliau tidak berasa malu setiap kali kelemahannya dan kesilapannya terbongkar.