• Why did the Ministry of Urban-Well Being, Housing and Local Government give a new 3 year contract worth RM3.56 million to the same company, XCN Technology, to continue to mismanage the Pangkor incinerator?

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 12th of November, 2014

    Why did the Ministry of Urban-Well Being, Housing and Local Government give a new 3 year contract worth RM3.56 million to the same company, XCN Technology, to continue to mismanage the Pangkor incinerator?

    The recently released report by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) on the construction and management of four small scale waste incinerators in Pangkor, Langkawi, Cameron Highlands and Pulau Tioman was a damning indictment on the authorities involved in approving the contracts for the construction of these incinerators.

    The PAC found that the Ministry had failed in its responsibility to do the proper due diligence in selecting the technology proposed by XCNT especially given that past prototypes used by the same company in the Kuala Terengganu City Council (MPKT) had failed and the prototype in UiTM Shah Alam was only burning waste paper. The PAC also found that the experts from UTM and from the Malaysian Industry Government Group of High Technology (MiGHT) also failed their responsibility in evaluation XCNT’s technology.

    The PAC also recommend that the appropriate action be taken against the errors made by the Secretary General of the Ministry for Housing and Local Government, the Director of the National Solid Waste Management Department, XCNT in its capacity as the main contractor, and Prof Dr Rozainee Taib from UTM and Dr Sivapalan Katsiravale, Principal Analyst from MiGHT who were involved in selecting, planning and implementing these incinerator projects.

    The Auditor General’s Report 2012 also revealed significant shortcomings in the operation of the Pulau Pangkor Incinerator. On the 15th of September 2014, members of Kami Tak-Nak Insinerator (KTI), an NGO which is campaigning against the proposed incinerator in Taman Beringin, Kepong, visited the Pulau Pangkor incinerator and found that the problems identified in the National Auditor’s report such as the failure to separate waste before incineration and the improper disposal of the fly and bottom ash were still present. (See pictures in Figure 2 below)

    Despite the continued shortcomings of the XCNT in managing the Pulau Pangkor incinerator, it was given a three year contract by the Ministry of Urban-Well Being, Housing and Local Government starting from 2014 which totals RM3.56m to continue to operate this incinerator. (See Figure 1 below)

    Figure 1: Three year contract worth RM3.56m given to XCNT starting from 2014

    The awarding of the contract to operate and maintain the Pulau Pangkor incinerator shows a complete disregard of the blatant flouting of environmental standards by XCNT by the Ministry of Urban Well Being, Housing and Local Government and demonstrates that the Ministry has no regard to the well-being of the residents in Pulau Pangkor. Despite the Auditor General’s report and the PAC meetings, it seems that the Ministry has not learned its lessons and continues to operate as before.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    Figure 2: Photos taken from the Pangkor Incinerator visit on the 15th of September 2014


    Mountains of trash piling up at the incinerator site


    Unsorted rubbish inside the incinerator compound


    Accumulation of bottom ash at the Pulau Pangkor incinerator

  • 10 reasons not to trust Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister for Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government on the Building of Incinerators in Malaysia

  • Najib’s assurance that Sabah and Sarawakian Christians will not be affected by the Court of Appeal ruling on the ‘Allah’ verdict has proven to be completely undependable and unreliable

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 31st of October 2014

    Najib’s assurance that Sabah and Sarawakian Christians will not be affected by the Court of Appeal ruling on the ‘Allah’ verdict has proven to be completely undependable and unreliable

    In October 2013, after the Court of Appeal’s verdict on the right of the Herald newspaper to use the word Allah in its publication, Najib assured Christians in Sabah and Sarawak that the decision would not affect the Christians in Sabah and Sarawak as per the 10 point agreement issued by the Federal Cabinet.[1]

    However, it was reported yesterday, on the 30th of October, that ‘hundreds of compact discs (CDs) and books containing the word “Allah” were confiscated at the KLIA2 airport last Saturday.’ It was further reported that these items belonged to a Sabahan Christian who had brought them in from Medan, Indonesia, on his way back to Sabah where he lives.[2]

    If this report is true, then it proves that Najib’s assurances to the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak are completely undependable and unreliable. This confirms the view of the Sarawak Minister’s Fellowship that ‘there is no basis for Najib to give assurance on Allah.’[3] The confiscation of this Christian material containing the word Allah once again shows that the Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have no assurance that bibles printed in Indonesia and imported to Malaysia through KLIA or any other airport will not be confiscated by the federal authorities, as a result of the Court of Appeal ruling on the use of the word Allah as ‘not being an integral part’ of the Christian faith.

    This confiscation also shows the complete failure of the federal government to protect Freedom of Religion as per Article 11 (1) of the Federal Constitution. It also shows the failure of the federal government in trying to keep up the pretense of having an inconsistent promise of ‘one country, two systems’ for having one set of laws for Peninsular Malaysia and another set of laws for Sabah when it comes to something as fundamental as our constitutional rights to practice our religion freely.

    I call upon the Prime Minister to order the Home Minister to release the material belonging to the Sabahan Christian immediately. I also call upon the Prime Minister to order the Home Minister not to appeal against the High Court decision for the Home Ministry to return the Christian CDs belonging to Jill Ireland and for the immediate return of these CDs.[4] The failure to do so would only confirm that the Prime Minister is a ‘toothless tiger’ who is incapable of ensuring that his own Ministers implement the Prime Minister’s promises to the people.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/244475

    [2] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-latest-allah-incident-christian-cds-and-books-seized-at-klia2

    [3] http://www.barubian.net/2014/06/no-basis-for-najib-to-give-assurance-on.html

    [4] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/no-release-of-christian-cds-while-ministry-appeals-jill-ireland-ruling

  • Explain why GLCs and Government Owned Companies are not paying back government loans

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 29th of October 2014

    Explain why GLCs and Government Owned Companies are not paying back government loans

    Yesterday, I asked why the government was not going after private companies which had failed to service their government loans running into millions of ringgit. Today, I highlight the fact that even GLCs and government owned companies are not paying back their loans from the federal government.

    Table 1: Arrears, Repayment due, Amount Repaid, Loan Write-off / Rescheduled and Outstanding Loans from the Federal Government to GLCs / Government Owned Companies (2012)


    Source: National Audit Report 2012, Statement of Memorandum Account of Recoverable Loans 2012.

    Table 1 above shows the list of government controlled companies which had outstanding repayment arrears in 2012 due to failure to service their loans from the federal government. The total arrears for these government controlled companies was RM1.3 billion at the end of 2012. They were supposed to pay RM640.4m in repayments in 2012 but only managed to pay RM221.98m (35%). At the end of 2012, these companies had outstanding federal loans totaling RM4.5b.

    The companies which failed to adequately service their government loans include the Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) which failed to service a single sen of its RM165.58 million repayment in 2012 and had an outstanding loan of RM1.94 billion at the end of 2012 which has since increased to beyond RM2 billion. It includes a number of companies that registered profits in their latest company filings such as Cyberview, the master developer for Cyberjaya, with after-tax profits of RM4.7m in 2013; Malaysian Debt Ventures with after-tax profits of RM23.7m in 2013; Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) with after-tax profits of RM12m, in 2012.

    The failure of these government owned companies raises two questions.

    Firstly, why does the government lack the internal processes to ensure that these companies, especially those which are profitable, adequately service their government loans? Why do these companies seem like they are getting a ‘free pass’ while millions of other PTPTN borrowers are given far harsher treatment including the possibility of a credit blacklist? Why have inconsistent standards for people and companies which owe money to the federal government?

    Secondly, for the companies which may have difficulty servicing their government loans because of poor cash flow, poor profitability and negative reserves, how much will the government continue to spend in order to ‘bail out’ these companies such as IWK which registered a loss of RM213m and had negative reserves of Rm1.2b with a share capital of only RM100m? Why is the government inconsistent in wanting to exert financial discipline on PTPTN borrowers while at the same time, it continues to bail out these government owned companies?

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

  • The government should aggressively pursue companies which owe big debts to the government rather than just focusing on PTPTN defaulters

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 28th of October 2014

    The government should aggressively pursue companies which owe big debts to the government rather than just focusing on PTPTN defaulters

    In my budget speech yesterday, I highlighted a number of companies which repayment arrears on their federal government loans which run into millions and sometimes billions of ringgit. They include a number of private companies as well as some companies which are owned by the government via the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and Khazanah Nasional.

    The repayment arrears of these companies were listed out in Schedule 2.28 of the Financial Statement and Financial Management of the Ministries / Agencies of the Federal Government as part of the 2012 Auditor General Report.[1] For example, Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd and Equal Concept Sdn Bhd, which holds an indirect stake in Perwaja Steel, were listed as having arrears of RM32.27 million and RM22.5 million in year ending 2012. The report also showed the amount of the outstanding loan which had to be serviced by these companies and the amount paid by these companies. For example, Perwaja Steel and Equal Concept’s loan repayments were listed as RM30.42m and RM21.57m respectively. Both companies failed to pay a single cent of their loan repayment in 2012.

    Not only that, Perwaja Steel and Equal Concept both had their arrears written off / restructured to the tune of RM58.06m and RM41.52m respectively. In other words, not only was Perwaja Steel and Equal Concept not punished for their failure to service their loans, they were ‘rewarded’ by the federal government by having part of their arrears written off / restructured.

    These were not the only two private companies to have repayment arrears with the federal government that were not properly serviced. According to Table 1 above, others include the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) which failed to pay a single cent of its RM17.49m repayment in 2012, Lebuhraya Shapadu (which was in the process of being liquidated in 2011) which failed to fully pay the RM23.92m repayment in 2012, Premium Agro Products which failed to make any repayment on its RM8.29 repayment in 2012, Agro Qas which only paid RM0.97m of its RM3.69m repayment in 2012, White Heron Dairy Farm which failed to make any payment on its RM2.84 repayment in 2012, MY Ikan which failed to make any payment on its RM1.9 million repayment in 2012, A-Winn Global Market Service which failed to make any payment on its RM1.11 million repayment in 2012 and Airport Limo (M) which failed to make any payment on its RM2.2m repayment in 2012.

    And this does not even include the loans to private companies which the government has to write off such as the RM244 million outstanding loan of Invent QJaya, a company started and controlled by Dr Sadeg Fareq, which had to be liquidated in 2006 after accusations of illicit money transfers for the owner.[2]

    Nor does it include the RM4.6 billion soft loan which the government gave to the Port Klang Authority in order to ‘bail-out’ the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.[3]

    The federal government has to be consistent in its approach towards pursuing loan defaulters. Right now, it seems that those who owe millions, hundreds of millions and even billions are let off but those who owe a few thousand are pursued relentlessly. PTPTN defaulters are threatened with a credit blacklist while the directors and owners of companies which owe millions to the government are free to continue to be directors, own and run other companies.

    To paraphrase John Paul Getty, “If you owe the government a few hundred Ringgit, that’s your problem, if you owe the government a few million Ringgit that’s the government’s problem.” That’s the current problem with our government’s attitude towards its loans and debts.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] or “Penyata Kewangan dan Pengurusan Kewangan Kementerian / Jabatan Kerajaan Persekutuan

    [2] http://promahathir.blogspot.com/2006/12/court-orders-inventqjaya-to-be-wound.html

    [3] http://www.pkfz.com/content/news/pressclippings/local/2007/nov07/Nov%2030%20-%20TheEdgeDaily_BW.pdf

     

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