Tuesday, October 25, 2011

malaysiakini Reports Another HORROR Report from the Auditor-General.

Just when you think it's safe to drive on the highways comes this article in malaysiakini Senai-Desaru Highway fails road test.
Building a highway is not really rocket science and this report claims the depth constructed in some places is "not built according to specifications, with the lowest coring recorded at 72mm compared to the minimum 95mm,” .
What happens is that the highway cannot take the loading and soon the surface will become bumpy as the road sinks. This can cause accidents with subsequent loss of lives.
The consultant engineer who supervised the works should be reported to the Board of Engineers for allowing such shoddy construction that can endanger our lives.
The results show that the contractor tried to save costs by short-changing. I suggest the authorities should withhold 25% of the costs for a fund to repair the damaged sections.
Measuring the depth of the road is quite simple. How about the number of passes for compacting the different layers using the correct road construction equipment? If they cheat on materials, do you think they will not cheat on reducing the number of passes so that equipment hire costs can also be reduced?
The authorities are letting contractors get away with murder!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

malaysiakini and HUDUD Laws for Malaysia?

As the issue of hudud is again in the news, I suggest all Malaysians should ponder and reflect on how such Islamic laws can be applied for a secular nation like Malaysia.
malaysiakini describes how the PAS leader want to Discuss hudud issue with non-Muslims, PAS told.

My view on hudud is as follows:
A PR-led government can introduce hudud provided 70% of all Malaysians agree to it in a national referendum and hudud applies ONLY for Muslims AND
Muslims are allowed to change their religion FREELY with the present definition of Malay being changed so that a MALAY NEED NOT practice Islam; ie you can be a Malay without being a Muslim.

I propose this is a way forward for Malaysia. What do you think?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

EXCITED over Malaysia's 2012 Budget?

malaysiakini has a good article Salient points of Budget 2012 that summarises the main items in the budget.
No doubt the main papers and the TV channels will be full of praise for the budget proposals and a sense of euphoria will be generated.
To me it seems the BN regime has designed this budget without taking into account our future situation. Remember we had one minister declare that Malaysia is headed for BANKRUPTCY if there is no CHANGE in the government's direction?
The Budget seems to be more a populist one that engages mainly the civil servants who already consume the biggest portion of the RM232.8bil portion. Look at figure for the Budget overall costs.
It shows that for every RM1 collected, 78sen is the cost of administering the system. In other words, government is too heavy or inefficient. The years of easy oil money have resulted in a bloated administration that is surely leading us to a GREEK-type crisis and we do not have an EU-type organisation that will come to our aid.
If you analyse the balance sheets of most banks, you will find that the cost/profit ratios ranges from 40% to 60% but the Malaysian government operates at 78% and the figure is still rising.

How did we end up with such a situation? Based on what has been happening, maybe the chart should be renamed with "Management Costs" replaced with "Mismanagement Costs". You see the government has been employing unemployable graduates for many years as their concept of CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility.
If you look at the picture on the "Mismanagement Costs", the picture is equally startling.
Emoulements is 28.6%, Service & supplies 16.8%, Allotment & fixed costs 53% - these are the main cost centres.
I presume that emoulements is basically the costs of salaries and perks of existing government employees.
Service and supplies would include work that has been outsourced? Not to forget the contract for the PM's executive jets.
Allotment and fixed costs is particularly worrisome as it is a whopping 53%. I suppose it includes the costs of pensions and medical costs of retirees.

I am not at all inspired by the populist Budget as it shows the government is unable to cut costs and reign in spending.
It is definitely an Elections Budget and I believe the polls will be held during the December holidays shortly after the civil servants and the marginalised have been given their "sweets".
Instead of just announcing the way "sweets" will be distributed, the Budget Speech should include how government has tackled wastage in the past year, based on the Annual Horror Report or the Auditor-General's Annual Report. In fact, we should table the AG's Report 2 weeks before the Budget Speech so that MPs can debate the Horror Report and hopefully avoid the Horror Budget.

charts thanks to malaysiakini