Friday, September 21, 2007

You can now appoint your own Judge in Malaysia

Singapore, 20 September 2007:- Anwar's video 'exposé'- Shows clip purportedly linking judge to 'appointment fixing'

THE integrity of Malaysia's judiciary has come under the spotlight once again after former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made public a video purportedly linking a senior judge to an "appointment fixing" scandal.

The eight-minute video clip purportedly showed prominent lawyer V K Lingam discussing the appointment of judges on his mobile phone.

Supposedly filmed in 2002, the video — posted on Youtube, Malaysiakini and Keadilan's websites — was cut down from over 14 minutes to "protect its source". Mr Anwar, Keadilan's de facto leader, also showed the video to the media at a press conference at his office in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

In the clip, Mr Lingam was heard telling the other person at the other end of the line: "No, don't worry Datuk … We want to make sure our friends are there for the sake of the Prime Minister and the sake of the country."

Other well-known names mentioned in the phone conversation included a business tycoon and several prominent judges.

Mr Anwar told reporters: "This video recording implicates the highest office of judiciary ... It is mentioned in the context of a conspiracy to influence the appointment of senior judges and pervert the cause of justice ... In view of this, we have reasons to believe that whatever had transpired in this exchange in 2002 had some bearing on the outcomes in a number of judicial proceedings, including mine."

Mr Anwar, who was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, spent six years in jail after he was convicted of sodomy and corruption charges. The sodomy conviction was later overturned but the corruption verdict still stands.

Responding to queries from Today on his next move, Mr Anwar said Keadilan would file a special appeal with the Conference of Rulers, which comprises the country's sultans, to assume their "constitutional roles" and take appropriate action. He also said that his party would be lodging a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Bar Council.

In a statement yesterday, the Bar Council asked for an official investigation to be made into the video. Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan said: "With the emergence of this video clip, the concerns expressed by various quarters in relation to the judiciary can no longer be swept aside."

Read the Report From ZeeNews, India

Suspend Malaysian CJ call from Aliran

Malaysia's AG says it is no big deal

I suppose since the AG says so this must be the norm in Malaysia?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rampant Corruption in Abdullah's Government as Malaysia Celebrates its 50th

The Star 9th September 2007 Report on the Auditor General's Annual Report:-
Would you pay RM224 for a set of four screwdrivers?

Probably not, but that was what the Government paid to supply tools for students at the eight National Youth Skills Institutes (IKBN) around the country, according to the Auditor-General’s (AG) report.

The Star shopped around and found this set of Stanley screwdrivers. They cost RM32.80. For the RM224.94 set.
The AG said the screwdrivers had a market price of RM40 and according to pictures in the report, resembled the average Philips screwdrivers you could buy in any hardware shop.

And it does not stop there – the AG went a step further by examining the prices paid for 12 other tools and equipment bought for the IKBN project, comparing it with market prices when the procurement was done in late 2002.

Among these were technical books consisting 10 titles that had a price tag of RM10,700 and a 3.1 megapixel digital camera that was bought for RM8,254.

For the 13 items that the report highlighted, the Government paid RM8.39mil more than the market price at that time.

According to the report, consultants for the Youth and Sports Ministry had reached an estimated price tag of RM399.67mil for the equipment for the IKBN project which later ballooned to RM767.98mil after two appeals by the ministry for additional allocations.

“The ministry said more money was needed in anticipation of a bigger student population and that getting equipment from the same supplier meant prices would remain the same.

“But there was no proof that market research was done to identify the prices of the items and equipment because minutes for the negotiation meetings were not prepared,” the report said.

It said without the minutes, the auditing team was unable to find out if efforts were made to reduce prices.

The AG also said that the ministry’s secretary-general (KSU) had signed off 11 contracts worth between RM7.99mil and RM74.2mil that were related to the IKBN project, on behalf of the Government.

“The KSU only has the authority to sign contracts worth less than RM5mil. Anything larger should be signed by the minister or someone to whom the authority has been given.

“However, during the audit, no such letter giving the authority to the KSU presented itself,” the report said.

The report said there were also discrepancies such as one supplier being paid more than the other for exactly the same equipment.

One example the AG highlighted showed one supplier getting RM1.24mil more than the other for identical engineering equipment.

Well, after 50 years our government has indeed excelled in hiving off the people's hard-earned money year-after-year. And they still have the gall to ask us to vote for them! I can't believe that anyone cannot but feel utterly disgusted about Abdullah's government.

I suppose this is also "How companies benefit" from our budget year-after-year.