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Eyes and Ears January 24, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in Council.
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DAP  Tawau will play its part by being the eyes and ears and help to point out weakness to the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) so that the council could give the best service to community.

Though we are in the opposition we hoped to have good cooperation from the council so that the interest of the people are taken cared.

DAP Tawau had paid a courtesy call and to send Chinese New Greetings to TMC’s new President Ismail Mayakub on Jan 22, and we talked with Ismail on working together to provide better service to the people of Tawau.

We hoped as the new TMC President, Ismail would seriously look into all the privatized contracts and private contractors of TMC.

All this while we see that TMC’s contractors are not doing a good job to the satisfaction of the people, the service are poor; as example street sweepers, grass cutters and drainage cleaner.

 TMC must ensured the appointed contractors fulfill and carried out all their task as agreed in their contracts otherwise should only be paid on what they had carried out.

The people’s money are being robbed, as at the moment TMC’s contractors are being paid even though their services are sub-standards.

I hope to see a new and better TMC with Ismail taking the helm and hope to see some positive changes within six-months. daptmcpresident

Chinese New Year Message January 24, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in Message.
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Every one already knows, this year will be a bad year, recession is already here but still many ministers are not taking it seriously. They are thinking about themselves and not the people. Cutting off salaries, retrenchment has started, where will these people go to find jobs, how will they look for extra money? How will the government help them?

 

When will the government be able to help reduce the prices of essential items like meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and cooking oil? Everything had gone up. In fact, the government had said the price of sugar too will come up after the Chinese New Year. What is happening? Blame it on the recession?

 

The government is not doing enough; it must do more than just Sabah Development Corridor. Believe me this will not help much, it will only help a few people. We already had KKIP and it’s a flop. The POIC in Lahad Datu and Sandakan, I dread are going to be other white elephants. It should be put on hold.

 

What is left now is to voice out, pray and pray that the government will wake up and sincerely help the people and face the recession together. To see to it that people will not starve, jobs aplenty for those seeking jobs, otherwise there will be more and more crimes as people have to eat.

 

Nevertheless, on our part, we must be optimistic and be brave, be more hard working, be willing to take up any jobs, learn to be prudent, save and not to spend unnecessarily. Have faith, have hope and keep praying for our country Malaysia.

 

Wishing All of You A HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR from all of us in DAP Tawau branch.

 

 

Hotlines 016-827 5330 (James Leong – Pengerusi Biro Aduan Awam), 016-826 1134 (James Chok – Ketua Pemuda Tawau)        

 

SEDIA bill 2009 January 15, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in speech.
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Perbahasan Rang Undang-Undang pihak berkuasa Pembangunan Ekonomi dan Pelaburan Sabah 2009 oleh Jimmy Wong pada Januari 15, 2009

Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) bill 2009 (more…)

RM50 millions fund for smallholders is peanuts! January 10, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in Oil Palm.
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I am very disappointed as the State Government seemed to be not sincere in helping palm oil smallholders, knowing very well that the smallholders are still paying the 7.5% Sabah sales tax.

 

In a way, the RM50 million fund for smallholder announced by the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hj Musa Aman showed that the state government acknowledged that smallholders need assistance after years of contribution to the state’s coffer.

 

However, the amount announced is too small compared to almost 10-years of their contribution through taxes and especially the immoral and cruel 7.5% sales tax which they are ‘forced’ to pay.

 

Knowing very well the smallholders are still paying the Sabah 7.5 percent sales tax, therefore the fund means nothing much but mere peanuts.

 

The soft loans, if all the 11,018 smallholders were to go for loans, each will get RM4,538 only, which is a very small amount compared to the cost of their production especially fertilizers. And on top of that do the smallholders have to pay any interest?

 

If the state government is really sincere then set the special committee to work on reducing fertilizer price. As for now, the smallholders, planters and the whole industry are asking what is the special committee doing.

 

Have they identified the cause of problems?

Have they found the weaknesses?

Have they come up with any concrete measures?

Have they met planters at all levels from small, medium to big plantations?

Have they held any dialogues with fertilizer suppliers, planters and millers at every district to find out their problems?

 

Even a simple thing I have been pointing out on the wrongfully implemented 7.5% sales tax, the special committee cannot look into and give me a satisfactory answer.

Everyone keep mum on this except to make statement that I am wrong and the 7.5% sales tax is charge on the CPO and not FFB or the smallholders.

 

My questions are simple, who is suppose to pay? The smallholders? The big plantations? The millers? Tell the planters who, they want to know, they have the right to know.

 

The planters had shown proof to me through their receipt that they are the one paying. Millers are not denying either that they are passing the buck because I had been informed that they will not be able to make profit if they are to pay. Furthermore the ‘Warta Kerajaan’ did not state clearly who should pay. Are we clear here?

 

With the high price of CPO early last year, the planters were already complaining. Now with the uncertainty of CPO price, the state government through this special committee must act immediately and not dilly-dally anymore as the future of the whole palm oil industry is in the State government hands.

 

The wises decision is to scrap the 7.5% sales tax, get back on the table and discuss with all the millers for a win-win situation. After all, the sales tax only came into existence because the state government needed money to organize the SUKMA that was held in Kota Kinabalu.

 

Here is how the immoral, cruel Sabah sales tax or at first know as Sabah CPO sales cess that came about due to anger and vengeance as the industry players failed to response to the state government call in helping to donate or sponsor for the SUKMA.

 

Because the response was bad, the Sabah CPO sales cess (as it was called then) was introduced on April 1, 1999. A RM50 per metric ton was imposed on CPO above RM1,000 per metric ton which was a fixed scale.

 

After the SUKMA, in 2003 the cess was no more, but the State government introduced 5% sales tax for CPO above RM1,000/mt in January 1, 2003.

 

And due to the encouraging market, the scale was raised to 7.5% in January 1, 2005 and this add more miseries among planters when the Federal Government CPO cess for Cooking Oil Stabilization Scheme (COSS) was introduced on June 1, 2007 which was very unfair to Sabah after having to pay so much including corporate tax, workers permits, high cost of fertilizers and having to put up with bad roads and so on without getting any in returns except being milked all the way and more blood sucked when the CPO price shot up.

 

Sad to say, now that the price had shot down, every one, the Federal government and the State government is merely giving lip service and throw a few candies here and there, maybe buying some time until the CPO price strengthened.

 

I say, MPOB and the State government only know how to dig into the palm oil industry players’ pockets when the going was good, but now that the going gets tough and uncertain, both are toothless.

 

It is like punching a person and giving a little medicine for their injury but at the same time still keep punching the person. Why kill the golden goose when it can keep on laying golden eggs.

 

All these sales tax and cess must stop, this is the only industry in the world where people have to pay tax before they calculate their profit and loss.

 

The State government should hold a meeting with all the palm oil industry players, be it small or big. I call for a fairer policy by the State government to formulate a similar policy that of the Federal government such as not to impose cess or sales tax on smallholders who own less that 100 acres. Don’t forget Sabah has the highest hard-core poor in the country. Where is the fairness when even small scale farmers too have to pay like the ‘big boys’. When will they ever come out of poverty then, where is the rational, the logic of helping the poor then?

 

The state government think-tanks, special committee and the executives must be reasonable in this aspect so that we could create a more conducive middle class at the same time elevate the hard-core poor standard of living without having to give them much aid through subsidy.

 

You want them to stand on their own two feet, you tell them to work hard to improve their living and not to expect too much from you. You want them to fish and not to expect you to give them fish, but what is happening you had taken their fishing rods.

 

Sorry I had got carried away there, back to the RM50 million special fund for smallholders.

 

I say, yes the RM50 million will be a big help, only if the 7.5% sales tax is abolished or waive or not charged to planters having less than 100 acres. And the sales tax only imposed on millers when the CPO price reach above RM2,000 per ton and with their production cost or overheads deducted out first.

 

Planters cost of production in Sabah is between RM1,500 to RM1,600 compared to Peninsular which is RM1,200 to RM1,300 due to the difference of fertilizer cost. The fund is best to be used specially for the subsidizing of fertilizer for smallholders.

 

The state government should also ensure that the daily CPO price fixed by MPOB should not be much difference between palm oil producing districts and states and weighing scales to be checked and calibrated as I have also received complaints from planters about weights.

 

If  the above is a tall order, then  I call for a new sales tax enactment stating who is to pay and showing clear calculations (similar to the Federal government cess calculation) to be passed by the Legislative Assembly would be a good start provided meetings are held between State government representatives with all sectors of palm oil players before the final draft.

 

For the record, my challenge to the Chief Minister to prove me wrong still stands. However, I will forgive the State government if the policy is changed and a new policy implemented which is fair to all.

 

By the way, I heard according from reliable sources some ministers have hundreds to thousand of acres planted with elaeis guineesis. If true, they should check their sales receipt whether they are being charged the 7.5% sales tax.

 

 

 

 

Tawau need President who can perform for the people January 9, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in Council.
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The municipal council needs a council president who can perform for the interest of the people and change the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) into a service oriented and public interest first mindset.

 

I read from the news yesterday that there will be a new president for TMC and Tawau people cannot allow TMC to be led just like it has been all these years.

 

The new president should not be chosen purely on seniority, politically, favoritism and so on, but must be on experience, capability, responsibility and most important a person who is able to take command and ensure service to the people above all.

 

Tawau now is far behind in term of services for example garbage collection, cleaning and maintenance.

 

The services standards are low service are poor and this must change or the people including me will not stop complaining.

 

The public does not want to see their money wasted being paid for services that are unsatisfactory and wants to see all privatized contracts be carried out 100 percent as agreed in the agreement.    

 

The intention to change president by the State government, maybe a good intention and for a good cause, so I urged the government to think seriously when choosing the next TMC president and avoid political appointment, crony or friends.

 

The person must have capability, credibility, accountability and transparency, and it is even better if the government can consult the Tawau people on the shortlisted candidates. If the government wants to change Tawau, this is the chance to give excellent service to the people, and I hoped that as the assemblyman that I too will be consulted.

 

The new president must be able to change the working attitude of the current TMC’s staffs and ensure all the staffs especially the enforcement teams do their jobs as expected by the public.

 

Those who are sleeping must be waken, if they don’t like their job sack them, there are many unemployed graduates who waiting to be given a chance.

 

Firstly, the people want a very qualified professional for the TMC post. Personally I don’t mind even if the president is a woman as the TMC is in dire need for major repairs. I had observed in the past, most president are politically chosen whether they are qualified or not and as a result most of the TMC’s staffs are backwards, unmotivated and do not know how to work for the public.

 

Secondly, the president is a person who can delegate and command all staffs, contractors and see to it that they perform their duty responsibly.

Thirdly, no political bias toward anyone but doing duty as president and bring much needed improvement to Tawau.

 

Fourthly, to go down to the field and listen to the people. The people know best what they want for Tawau.

 

The Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hj Musa Aman had already said he does not want Tawau to become a ‘rojak town’, so I say send someone who can do the job to the satisfaction of the Tawau people.

 

Appoint someone who is not bias, with ability and good public relation and irrespective of race, religion or gender. There are many qualified person out there if only the government chose wisely without politically motivated.   

 

 

 

You are not a Malaysian! January 5, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in citizenship.
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Imagine, you are not a Malaysian because your parents (father a Malaysian, mother a foreigner) was not yet married when you were born. So though you were born in Malaysia but because your parents only got married later, you are not a Malaysian and have to go with your mother’s citizenship. For example your mother is Indonesian then you are Indonesian. I ask is this fair, is it your fault?

 

What about the Malaysian fathers who abandoned their children. They could not apply for their Mykad because their fathers’ are no where to be found. Is it the children fault?

 

No, it’s not the children’s fault whether their parents have married or not, whether one of their parents is a non Malaysian. The point is they are Malaysian through one of their Malaysian parents.

 

Today, I found out that the matters were made worst when parents broke-up, mixed marriage (foreign spouse) and late marriage registration. These children are denied enrolment or registration to government schools because they could only produce birth certificates that only showed one of the parents are Malaysians with the students status not stated as citizen (warganegara).

 

So they have to apply to become a citizen first before they can apply for a MyKad. So how long do they have to wait before they could go to school. What is the problem here, if the government can approve foreigners to become citizen then this children who are already a product of a Malaysian citizen should rightfully be given a Malaysian citizenship.

 

This is happening in Tawau, where many parents could not get their children into government schools.

 

One student whose mother is an Indonesian but father a Malaysian could not enter Form one as the father (separated) did not bothered to get his daughter’s Mykad done. One student, her parents, father Malaysian, mother Indonesian was not married when she was born and so she followed her mother citizenship and is not considered a Malaysian though her father is.

 

The rational of having birth certificates copy to be verified by the National Registration Department (NRD) first before parents could register their children to the respective schools is also unwarranted..

 

I was also shocked to learn schools do not accept NRD’s certified copies dated last year (2008) and only accept those verified and certified this year (2009). I want to know is this true? I am told this not happening in other districts but only in Tawau.

How can this be? Is there too many questionable citizens in Tawau because of the high numbers of illegal immigrants?

 

This had caused NRD to be swarmed with parents since Friday. Today there were 1745 parents seeking the NRD’s verified and certified true copies and I had to plea on their behalf with the NRD to open their counters until everyone had their copies verified and certified.

 

What sadden me more when I met those parents from far away areas who are from Kalabakan, Merotai, Balung who have to fork out extra RM40 and have to return again tomorrow as they had failed to get a counter number yesterday.

 

I suggest that schools take in the students pending the verification and certification of their birth certificates and citizenship status.

 

Just like in employment, three months probation to verify the employee status and others. This way parents won’t have to rush and cramp-up the NRD and students studies would not be interrupted.

 

 

             

No place for 553 Form one students January 5, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in Uncategorized.
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educationA total of 553 students were unable to enter any schools as there are no place for them at all the 12 schools in the district as the schools are full.

 

The sad thing is they will have to wait till end of the month after the education department here fix and iron out the space problems.

 

I visited the education department here and was told by Acting District Education officer Ahmad Rasyid and Schools Management officer Mohd Hj Nosu that at first there were 1,152 form students but after discussion with school principals the part of  the students were managed to be absorbed.

 

There are 4,145 space for form one students for the 2009 and there are 5,297 eligible from one students to be registered this year.

 

I was told the problem was known and steps such as cabin classes, ‘lightning projects’ at SMK Kinabutan were initiated but is yet to be completed. The 553 students do not include children from transferred government officers who are expected to register their children upon being transferred to Tawau. 

 

DAP Tawau branch complains bureau chairman James Leong, Teo Bun Ngee and me were swarmed with calls from desperate parents worried that their children would miss schools.

 

I am thankful for the 2.30pm appointment with the education department today so the matter could be clarified.

 

I was told the department will hold a meeting with all the school’s principal in the middle of the month and the 553 students would be able to be registered by the end of the month.

 

However, I am saddened this had happened, but we must resolve the problem and never let it occur again in future. Parents who were not well informed had been pleading to school’s principal to accept the children but turned away and this is a sad thing as the students will miss a month of education.

 

I urge everyone to poll their ideas to find a short term solution and not to let the students miss studies.

 

My idea is to let students attend any schools near their home and follow studies from outside classroom, a chair will do, at least they won’t loss much of the studies.