- volunteers to observe the election in hulu selangor
- and perkasa said they are not racist???
- COVER UP-Navindran's name & Kugan's injuries not recorded in log book
- WEEKEND VIEW: Are We Doing Enough About Parkinson's Disease?
- PR Manager ;)
- The view of 3rd Rangers through the eyes of a Regimental Medical Officer
- Hadiah Dari BN : Tarif Elektrik Dijangka Naik Pertengahan Tahun 2010
- Can't Leave Comments!
- The Book of Me
- Kadir Jasin: Letak Calon MIC Silap Besar BN Di Hulu Selangor
- Woman dies after hijab gets caught in go-kart axle
- happy 26th anniversary!!
- Tarik Pengiktirafan Mafrel, Konspirasi SPR - Barisan Nasional
- What If...
- Malaysiakini: Improving healthcare in Malaysia (Pt I)
- Malaysiakini: ‘Why I left Malaysia’ – emigrants tell their tale
- Dr Lo' Lo Buat Laporan Polis, Kesal Parlimen Lulus Bajet Untuk APCO
- Stephen Tong's Evangelistic Rally In Sibu (唐崇荣布道会）
- AMK Minta ZulKulim Henti Tindakan Ala Syaitannya
- Stop Racial Profiling of Myanmars in the Malaysian Chinese Newspaper the Star
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 11:22 AM PDT
despite the election commission (EC) dropping mafrel from the coming hulu selangor by-election, mafrel will still press on to observe the by-election.
chairman of mafrel, syed ibrahim said mafrel volunteers will observe the election outside the polling stations.
well, there's not much difference now with EC dropping mafrel or EC allowing mafrel to observe. why? because i remember during the GE13 in march, even though EC recognised mafrel and allowed mafrel to observe, while as many as 70 volunteers had signed up, only about 15 were given the permit to observe inside the polling stations.
in fact i was one of those who was not picked by EC, so i hanged around outside the polling station but during the counting of votes, i asked if i can enter to observe, and thank god, the officer in charge at the particular polling station, agreed to let me in. so this depends much on the officer in charge of a particular polling station. some are very good and kind… seeing we were from mafrel, agree to let us observe, while some were quite rude, didn't want us to observe.
well now since EC had decided not to let mafrel be the election watchdog, for sure none would be allowed to enter the polling stations even if the officer in charge wanted to. never mind, being outside the polling station is good enough too. lots of things to observe. there's also the observation during nomination day.
oh btw, EC claim that mafrel did not send in any reports for the earlier by-elections was a lie!! according to syed ibrahim, mafrel did sent them the reports of the bukit selambau, bukit gantang and batang ali by-elections. you should visit mafrel's northern region blog for other interesting information like what's so great about accreditation.
so my dear friends, especially those staying in selangor, do volunteer as mafrel observers for the hulu selangor by-election, ok? here is the message from mafrel's blog, not the one i started/maintained – oh i used the handle 'lulai' there (and some other wordpress.com blogs). this is presumably started by the KL mafrel members. long time ago, during the permatang pauh by-election, i had already started a mafrel blog – this was under the northern region mafrel blog.
message from mymafrel blog:
Please register yourselves to be MAFREL Observers for this Hulu Selangor by election.
You can do so by indication your interest and sending emails to Mr Arphan our Hon Secretary.
MAFREL Webmaster: firstname.lastname@example.org
Honorary Secretary : Arphan Ahmad
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 10:29 AM PDT
… when they boycott the hulu selangor by-election just because an indian candidate was chosen to contest, not a candidate of their skin colour.
anyway does umno need their help in campaigning? i just can't imagine what further harm they would do to umno if they do help in the campaigning.
how many of you remember that at perkasa's AGM, the big boss of perkosa… oops… i mean perkasa… ikerishim ali, arrogantly warned political parties not to step on their toes, because if they do, they will lose in the election.
wahh! didn't know perkasa so powder-ful… those who don't support them, will for sure lose in the election. but what happened now? now, they are not supporting a political party – BN for this hulu selangor by-election. so does it means the same thing – if they do not support the political party, the political party will lose in the election? great then! since they so powderful and claim that over 20,000 of hulu selangor voters are their members, and they are not supporting BN, then for sure BN will lose in this by-election!!
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:49 AM PDT
April 09, 2010 20:19 PM
PETALING JAYA, April 9 (Bernama) -- Constable V. Navindran's presence at the Taipan police station to interrogate A. Kugan was not recorded in its log book, the Sessions Court here was told Friday.
Constable Mohd Haizan Hamid, 27, said Navindran showed up at 7am on Jan 16 last year but his name was not recorded in the log book purportedly to cover up the interrogation.
Mohd Haizan said he and Corporal K. James were on duty from 4am to 8am on the day in question before they were replaced by Corporal M. Paramasivam and Lance Corporal Mohd Sani Mohd Sarip.
When cross examined by defence counsel Datuk P.M. Nagarajan, Mohd Haizan admitted that it was an unusual practice not to record Navindran's presence.
Asked why he concealed the matter in his earlier testimony, Mohd Haizan said, "To prevent the matter from becoming more complicated."
Mohd Haizan, who is the 18th witness, was testifying in the trial of Navindran who is charged with causing grievous hurt to Kugan at the interrogation room of the police station in USJ at 7am on Jan 16, last year.
Navindran pleaded not guilty to the charge on Oct 1, last year.
Mohd Haizan said on the day Kugan was beaten up, he and other policemen on duty did not record the injuries inflicted on Kugan in the log book or inform their supervisor or superiors.
"I did asked Kugan many times on his condition to ensure that nothing had happened to him and he said he was in good condition.
"And I did not check his physical condition thoroughly as I did not expect this kind of injuries were inflicted on him," said Mohd Haizan.
He, however, denied Nagarajan's suggestion that the failure to record Navindran's presence and inform his (Mohd Haizan) superiors on the injuries was because he was also involved in assaulting Kugan.
Hearing before Judge Aslam Zainuddin will continue on April 22.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:00 AM PDT
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Posted: 09 Apr 2010 08:20 AM PDT
I am now BANNED from entertaining and talking to guests... hehe. Why? This is why...
1. I talk too much
2. I am too friendly
3. I grab too much attention! LOL
The fact that my photo was captured, published and I am referred to as the PR Manager was just a wee bit over the top for my bosses! Hahahaha.
Hey, it's not my fault that I was born too cute! lol.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 07:02 AM PDT
Captain (Rtd) Dr.Parameshvara Deva passed on some photographs when he was with the 3rd Rangers to me. He was the RMO for 3 Rangers in Serian , Sibu and Song in 1969 and moved on MV Kota Rajah to the Taiping 3rd Ranger's camp (near the memorable police station ) before being transferred to Majidee Garrison JB. He still has alot of memories of those years. He was with the Army for a year and half. Most of his service being with 3rd Rangers.
The Doctor is the guy with the jungle hat. The 4th person from the left is Lt Col George Edward Simon when he was a Captain. The person on the extreme right is the late Lt Col Kassim Abdul Kadir PGB , when he was very young. More photos here.....
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 06:49 AM PDT
Menteri Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui tidak menolak kemungkinan tarif elektrik dinaikkan pertengahan tahun ini.
Ia berikutan terdapat desas-desus bahawa kenaikan tarif elektrik bakal dilaksanakan Jun ini.
"Ia bukan dilakukan dalam masa terdekat, tetapi tahun ini ada kemungkinan tarif elektrik naik," katanya ketika dihubungi Free Malaysia Today.
Dalam mesyuarat kabinet Februari lalu, Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mengumumkan untuk tidak meluluskan usul kenaikan tarif ekoran bantahan pelbagai pihak.
Namun menurut Peter pihaknya masih dalam perancangan untuk membuat semakan semula tarif tarif elektrik itu.
"Kami memang ada rancangan untuk membuat semakan tarif tersebut namun masih belum ada tarikh yang ditetapkan lagi," kata beliau.
Tambahnya lagi,proses semakan tarif perlu kerana mengambil kira faktor-faktor seperti kenaikan permintaan pengguna yang kian meningkat.
"Semakan tarif ini perlu ambil kira faktor seperti permintaan pengguna, kos dan lain-lain," jelas beliau.
Penjelasan beliau mengukuhkan lagi tiada kenaikan dalam masa terdekat, ekoran terdapat rungutan dilontar orang ramai atas kenaikan bil elektrik seperti dilaporkan dalam laman portal berita Harakahdaily.net.
Free Malaysia Today turut mendapatkan penjelasan sumber dalaman Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) berhubung hal berkenaan.
Sumber tersebut menjelaskan jika terdapat kenaikan dalam bil elektrik ia mungkin berlaku disebabkan cuaca panas yang melanda negara kini.
"Peningkatan penggunaan ini berlaku kerana melihatkan keadaan cuaca yang panas sekarang. Orang ramai menggunakan barang elektrik seperti penghawa dingin, kipas lebih
daripada penggunaan biasa. Itu yang menyebabkan kenaikan bil elektrik," kata sumber itu.
Malah menurutnya setakat ini tiada sebarang aduan diterima TNB membabitkan perkara berkenaan.
"Setakat ini kami belum menerima aduan mengenai hal ini. Jika ada pengguna menghadapi masalah boleh diajukan terus kepada TNB," katanya. -FMT
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 05:56 AM PDT
Just a quick and I really mean quick short post. I don't know if all of you are experiencing this problem or not but I can't seem to comment on quite a bit of your blogspot blogs. After writing the comments and clicking the post comment button, nothing happens.
It's so darn frustrating and even trying to reply comments in my own blogs are getting to be ridiculously impossible. I've been scouring the web and have discovered that quite a bit of people are facing the same problems.
Apparently it has something do with the embedded comment form but I doubt it cos my Spiffy blog doesn't use embedded comments and I still can't reply my own comments. So until I get this sorted out (if ever) it doesn't mean I don't like your blog. It's probably cos I can't leave comments.
I'll just be a silent reader for a bit and come around to it again tomorrow and see if I can comment or not. Till then, I'm a very pissed off man! Happy weekend folks.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 05:22 AM PDT
And no, I am not being narcissistic LOL.
Dotty, as always, remembers my birthday with such thoughtful gifts that I am sometimes quite embarrassed! Of course it makes me feel special and honoured. Each time, without fail, something arrives in the post.
Thanks Dotty – for always being there. I know how odd this must seem for both of us, that we've never met, not even once and yet we are the best of penpals in this digital, Facebook, Twitter age.
I love "The Book of ME…A Do-It-Yourself Memoir". I promise to write down all those honest and crazy things about myself so that I can cackle over them when I am 80!
And of course, who can forget the quirky card with a cow looking cute and sleepy at the same time?
Dotty – you outdo yourself each year.
Thanks for everything, pal! And yes makan-makan we must!
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 04:48 AM PDT
Sistem kuota yang diamalkan oleh Barisan Nasional dalam pembahagian kerusi berkemungkinan menjejaskan peluangnya untuk memenangi pilihan raya kecil bagi kerusi Parlimen P094 Hulu Selangor.
Menurut bekas Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan The News Straits Times, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin walaupun media mewar-warkan bahawa populariti Umno kini kembali pulih dan sokongan kaum Cina bertambah mantap kepada kepimpinan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, namun keputusan tidak memihak kepada calon Melayu atau Cina untuk bertanding dalam PRK Hulu Selangor.
"Semua indikasi menunjukkan kerusi ini akan sekali lagi diberi kepada MIC, parti yang paling kecil dan lemah dalam gagasan BN pada peringkat federal yang secara kebetulan kalah kepada PKR dalam pilihan raya umum 2008.
"Inilah dilemma BN yang mungkin akan mengorbankan kerusi ini sekali lagi. Bukan sahaja MIC parti yang terkecil dalam kumpulan parti asal di Semenanjung, bahkan ia juga mempunyai pengikut paling sedikit di Hulu Selangor," kata Kadir dalam catatan blognya Isnin lalu.
Kawasan Parlimen tersebut didominasi oleh penduduk Melayu yang merangkumi hampir 54 peratus daripada jumlah pengundi berdaftar seramai 63,000 orang, diikuti oleh pengundi Cina (26.7 peratus) dan India (19 peratus).
Spekulasi yang berlegar ialah calon BN yang kalah iaitu Datuk G. Palanivel yang juga merupakan Timbalan Presiden MIC akan dipilih menjadi calon.
"Seorang yang dianggap baik tetapi hubungan rapat beliau dengan presiden parti, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, juga tokoh dari MIC yang kalah teruk dalam PRU 2008, dilihat sebagai satu liabiliti.
"Meletakkan calon India di yang mempunyai kawasan majoriti Melayu serta komuniti Cina yang besar, dan di mana Pakatan Rakyat melalui Parti Keadilan Rakyat akan menampilkan seorang calon Melayu, akan hanya melemahkan peluang BN untuk mengambil balik kerusi tersebut," jelas Kadir.
Kerusi Hulu Selangor kosong berikutian kematian wakil KEADILAN, Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad pada 25 Mach.
Pada PRU 2008 Zainal Abidin mengalahkan Palanivel dengan majoriti tipis sebanyak 198 undi. Beliau mendapat 23,177 undi berbanding Palanivel yang memperolehi 22,979 undi.
"Samada Umno atau the BN tidak berani mengakui bahawa kekalahan kerusi itu disebabkan undi protes pengundi Melayu terhadap Umno yang ketika itu dipimpin Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan ketidakpuasan hati terhadap calon India yang dipilih.
"Demonstrasi besar-besaran oleh pertubuhan haram, Hindraf yang mendakwa penindasan ke atas kaum India serta reaksi MIC telah menyebabkan kemarahan orang Melayu. Akibatnya majoriti calon MIC termasuk Samy Vellu, kecundang dalam pilihan raya," kata beliau lagi.
Tambah Kadir, kelompok Melayu yang tidak berpuas hati tersebut mungkin tekah kembali menyokong Umno di bawah Najib seperti mana yang dicanangkan oleh parti itu.
Persoalannya adakah mereka akan mengundi BN di Hulu Selangor sekiranya gagasan itu masih diwakili oleh MIC?BN kalah kerusi tersebut pada PRU 2008 disebabkan protes oleh penyokong Umno.Mereka juga bencikan pentadbiran Abdullah dan terguris akibat protes kaum India pada 2007 kata pengarang veteran itu.
"Keputusan pilihan raya kecil Hulu Selangor mengatakan segalanya. Peratusan keluar mengundi adalah rendah - hanya 75.24 peratus - dan bilangan undi rosak dan ditolak adalah tinggi – 1,689 - menunjukkan elemen protes yang kuat.
"Saya tidak fikir pandangan dan perasaan ahli dan penyokong Umno terhadap MIC telah berubah kepada suatu yang positif. Mereka masih tidak yakin mengenai kekuatan MIC kerana tampuk pimpinan parti masih kekal dan tidak banyak berubah. Samy Vellu masih kekal berkuasa sementara pada waktu yang sama Umno dan MCA telah melalui proses pertukaran kepimpinan.
"Tambah lagi kesetiaan pengundi India berbelah bagi dengan begitu banyak parti politik dan NGO India berebut-rebut untuk mendapatkan sokongan kaum itu.
"Keputusan PRU 2008 jelas menunjukkan majoriti pengundi India berpihak kepada KEADILAN-DAP-Pakatan Rakyat," ujar Kadir dalam analisis beliau.
Menurut Kadir lagi, terdapat parti berasaskan kaum India lain yang kecil - samada yang menyokong BN atau sebaliknya - seperti PPP, IPF, MIUP, Makkal Sakti, Mindraf, Kimma dan Parti Punjabi Malaysia.
"Jadi, sementara meletakkan calon MIC mungkin dilihat selari dengan semangat BN dan untuk mengukuhkan kedudukan Perdana Menteri dikalangan kaum India, langkah ini dianggap amat payah untuk meyakinkan pengundi Melayu dan Cina untuk menyokong calon kaum India yang berkemungkinan gagal untuk memobilisasi sokongan dari komunitinya sendiri.
"Oleh itu sekiranya KEADILAN-Pakatan Rakyat berjaya mengekalkan kerusi itu bukan kerana mereka kuat tetapi disebabkan BN masih belum pulih sepenuhnya. Sistem kuota yang masih digunakan dalam pembahagian kerusi antara parti komponen untuk membantu parti minoriti akan menjadi beban kepada BN," kata Kadir.
Kata Kadir Pakatan Rakyat juga mempunyai masalah mereka tersendiri, terutamanya KEADILAN yang tercalar imejnya akibat tindakan melompat parti oleh tiga daripada 31 Ahli Parlimennya.
"Kita mungkin akan melihat ulang tayang tindakan protes oleh pengundi Melayu terhadap BN kerana memilih untuk meletakkan calon yang salah," kata beliau. -SK
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 04:44 AM PDT
MELBOURNE, April 9 — A woman died when the Islamic head dress she was wearing got caught in the axle of a go-kart she was driving yesterday.
The 26-year-old had been enjoying a day out with her family at Port Stephens' go-kart track in New South Wales when her hijab became caught up at high speed, the Australian Associated Press reports.
Paramedics said the Sydney woman suffered severe neck injuries and went into cardiac arrest after the hijab's material tightened rapidly around her throat.
Shocked onlookers freed her from the kart and paramedics managed to revive her before she was airlifted to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition. She died later.
"While she was riding somehow part of her head-dress got caught in the mechanism of the go-kart and tightened around her throat," said Port Stephens duty officer Inspector Brian Larkham.
Police said the woman and her family had been holidaying in Port Stephens. — Bernama
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 04:31 AM PDT
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 04:14 AM PDT
Tindakan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) yang tidak lagi mengiktiraf peranan Badan Pemantauan Pilihan Raya Bebas Malaysia (Mafrel) membayangkan suruhanjaya itu mengikut telunjuk pimpinan Umno Barisan Nasional.
Ia juga menunjukkan pimpinan Umno BN mahu mengelakkan amalan tidak demokratik mereka tidak terbongkar, lebih-lebih lagi ketika di ambang pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Hulu Selangor 25 April ini.
SPR dalam kenyataan media menggunakan alasan, kononnya Mafrel melanggar syarat pelantikan sebagai badan pemantau pilian raya kerana gagal mengemukakan laporan kerja dalam sembilan pilihan raya kecil sejak Ogos 2008.
Hakikatnya, keputusan itu termaktub sehari selepas kecaman liar Timbalan Pengerusi Umno Selangor, Datuk Noh Omar terhadap Mafrel yang dipaparkan media arus perdana secara meluas.
"Tindakan SPR mengikut telunjuk BN dan melindungi mereka daripada perkara yang tidak demokratik dan bertentangan dengan demokrasi. Ini konspirasi antara BN dan SPR dalam menutup pencabulan yang bakal dilakukan BN," katanya.
Sebelum ini, Mafrel menyifatkan perbuatan pimpinan Umno BN menabur pelbagai janji menjelang pilihan raya kecil parlimen Hulu Selangor sebagai bertentangan dengan syarat pilihan raya yang menghalang aktiviti sebelum hari penamaan calon.
Mahfuz juga mengesyaki tindakan ke atas Mafrel untuk tidak membenarkan proses pemantauan menjadi isyarat untuk menghalalkan pelbagai bentuk ketempangan demokrasi pada pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Hulu Selangor.
"Demi kepentingan proses pemurniaan demokrasi dan perjalanan pilihan raya yang harus bersih di negara kita ini. SPR harus menarik kembali larangan bagi pengiktirafan," katanya. -TVS
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 03:47 AM PDT
What if the Sejarah that we studied is not the real truth about our past?
What if British continues ruling this country beyond 1957 just like in the event of Hong Kong?
What if I know something you might not know about this country?
What if you all know the truth?
What if Singapore still part of Malaysia?
There's so much what ifs about this country. Internet is phenomenal, as you indulge deeper, missing jigsaws will reveal by itself. It is shocking!
On the less serious side, what if I get marry next year?
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 03:20 AM PDT
comment The past few months have brought a rash of healthcare issues into the spotlight—1Malaysia clinics, the recent extension of the full-paying patient scheme in public hospitals, announcement of better promotional exercises for government healthcare workers especially for doctors, pharmacists and dentists, extending public sector clinical services to GPs, ensuring healthcare quality issues, etc.
While the government is determined to improve access to healthcare for more and more Malaysians, underlying logistical problems and manpower constraints appear to hamper the smooth implementation of a more comprehensive and cohesive system.
Perhaps one issue, which has not been adequately addressed or debated, is that of healthcare costs. Improving and modernising healthcare systems and enhancing remuneration benefits as above, incur huge costs. How to find the funding needed, will pose a serious problem if not now, then surely in the near future.
The Budget 2010 for the very first time in years, allowed for greater cuts in public spending on healthcare than previously anticipated, i.e. a modest reduction of 4.8 percent from RM13.8 to 13.1 billion.
The private sector has been extolled to rise to the occasion by expanding its contribution, to help stanch the shortfall from public spending. But, this is most unlikely to happen due to the just recovering economy.
Reports of outflows of human and fiscal capital disturb the confidence of those who might otherwise have contributed. Most Malaysians however have adopted a 'watch-and-see' approach, which essentially stalls the forward movement of real growth.
The MMA is keenly aware that there are several planned programs that are raring to be implemented. But because of cost constraints, limited financing options, and perhaps political correctness and lack of political will, many of these would need greater tweaking and feedback before these are acceptable to the rakyat.
Importantly, the MMA believes that more stakeholders need to be consulted so that adequate input can help bring about the best consensual reform that is needed to elevate our healthcare system to the highest level yet. Whether one likes it or not, populist sentiments continue to dominate any debates on healthcare issues.
Globally, healthcare costs have been escalating. There appears to be no exception for any country. This is because of costly technology-driven and relentless medical advances, and rising expectations of better-informed patients, who demand for these created supply side tests and therapies.
The USA is the singular example of where runaway healthcare costs have stymied national growth, and caused great inequities of healthcare access. This humongous healthcare spending has now exceeded 16 percent of its GDP—a staggering US$ 2.3 trillion!
Despite this, some 46 million Americans are uninsured. Worse, this enormous cost does not appear to justify the benefits in terms of well-documented health measures, meaning that there is a lot of wastage. Not enough bang for the buck, so to speak.
President Obama (right) just recently won a hard-fought battle to mandate that more Americans be insured, so that more can be entitled to easier, more affordable access to its huge healthcare resources, while at the same time curbing overutilisation and wastages of its finite means. But, such a drastic healthcare reform seems to be meeting great resistance form all quarters.
Healthcare spending issues
What about Malaysia? Is our healthcare spending adequate or at par with the developed world?
In 2008, healthcare spending was still suboptimum in Malaysia, the government spending just 6.9 percent of its total expenditure on healthcare services (i.e. 2.2 percent of the GDP). The private sector came up with 2.6 percent of the GDP spending on healthcare. In 2008, Malaysians spent just under US$400 per person per year (RM35 billion for 27 million population; RM1296 per person).
This compares with US$1156 for Singapore, US$2244 for Japan, US$1074 for South Korea, US$ 2874 for Australia, US$ 2389 for the United Kingdom and US$ 5711 for the United States of America (for the year 2003).
As can be seen, although we pride ourselves as becoming more developed than many other nations around us, we have yet to emulate those with better and arguably more advanced healthcare services. Can we expect six star services and comfort levels from limited three star spending?
Surprisingly, Malaysians remain disbelieving that we cannot expect the same level of healthcare services, when we have a subsidy mentality, we remain steadfast and unwilling to spend more, or to be taxed more. This is not to imply that our less endowed and poor should be left to the winds of survival for the fittest and the rich. We do have in place a great social safety net, perhaps much too abused by too many.
It is true that many detractors complain about the wastages and the leakages from corrupt political and rent-seeking practices so inherent in our Malaysian society, and urge that these be eradicated. They are adamant that money thus saved can then be rechanneled to such much-needed social and health services. But surely, this radical mindset change cannot be expected anytime soon!
However, our most recent Malaysian National Health Accounts show that we have steadily increased our healthcare spending to around RM35 billion per year. In 2008, private sector outpaced public sector healthcare spending: RM18.8 billion vs. RM16.2 billion, or 53.8 percent vs. 46.2 percent, respectively.
Malaysian private household out-of-pocket (OOP) spending, forms the largest component of the private healthcare expenditure. OOP spending takes up 57.09 percent (RM 10.8 billion) of the total; with some form of private prepaid plans (e.g. insurance) contributing 11.9 to 15.7 percent over the years from 1999 to 2008.
This OOP is disproportionately high, and that is why many people in Malaysia complain about 'high' healthcare costs, although this is relatively true only in the private sector when compared with that in the hugely subsidised public sector. (Social security expenditure as a percentage of spending on health hovers only around 0.8 percent, mostly from withdrawals from the Employee Providence Fund savings).
Because of the ingrained norm of having to pay so little or not at all in public hospitals and clinics (i.e. almost totally subsidised!), the Malaysian public does not feel that it has to budget for health or medical care, and this is reflected in many of our pensioners complaining of costly unplanned-for medical care. This is also reflected in our government's tentative allocation toward healthcare spending in our national budget.
There has been flip-flopping ambiguity from the MOH, as whether to allow market forces to dictate healthcare costs, but overall, there has been no public will to enact what could be unpopular.
Suggestions to end free treatment at public hospitals and highlighting that rising healthcare cost is too heavy a burden for the government, had not been too well-received by the citizens.
These plans have always been scuppered after public protests. Instead to cater to the urban and rural poor, more health clinics with very basic amenities and sparing personnel have been set up to cater for easier if perhaps less sophisticated access for those who are poor or less endowed—hence, the 1Malaysia clinics.
Interestingly, when he was first appointed , our health minister Dato Sri Liow Tiong Lai (left) admitted that the public hospital services are heavily subsidised by the government: RM12.9 billion or 98 percent of the entire budget, while patients pay only 2 percent! But, Dato' Sri Liow reiterated his views that government subsidies for patients utilising public healthcare facilities would continue (RM1 for outpatients clinic visits, RM5 for specialist clinic visits, and maximum RM50 for third-class ward hospitalisation costs), and pledged the populist view that such a quantum would continue, despite this being unchanged since the 1970s!
There is great expectation that the government of the day should not jeopardise this status quo, by instituting any mechanism that can bring about the 'unknown'—hence there is relatively little public or open debate on these issues.
Stop gap factors
But concerns as to failures in access continue to pop up sporadically in the mass media. Poorer patients have resorted to the mass media appealing for financial assistance to help defray medical costs, especially for some costly or tertiary specialist care—almost weekly and sometimes daily, we get newspaper appeals for financial help.
Thus, this has prompted some stopgap measures such as setting up a Medical Assistance Fund (MAF) of RM 25 million, by the Health Ministry. However, this fund can only be utilised at public or quasi-governmental healthcare facilities, and appeals have to be vetted stringently to ensure need and priority, which had drawn sharp criticisms of this being too bureaucratic and slow, even unfair.
Yet another Emergency Fund (D'tik, an acronym for Dana Talian Insan Kritikal Yayasan Kebajikan Negara) has been set up. This fund of RM5 million, provides critically ill patients access to treatment within 24 to 72 hours, but is currently only available at Kuala Lumpur Hospital as its pilot medical facility. These two programmes seem to have become dormant of late with little news as to whether this are still functioning.
Clearly, such setbacks and failure of access imply that our healthcare system needs a revamp to enhance its capacities. Providing such public sector services at huge or near-total subsidy appears untenable and unsustainable, and still left gaps, which had to be filled by creation of some extra mechanism to expedite access (predominantly by offering extraneous funds and/or donations).
Thus, this explains in some way the government's tacit encouragement for the private sector to flourish and develop, in order to cater to the more willing, more discerning, paying citizens, and leaving the public sector to look after the less endowed. But attempts to regain some co-payments from more affluent patients attending public healthcare facilities have been made.
Part 2 will appear tomorrow
Dr David KL Quek
DR DAVID KL QUEK was the editor-in-chief of the 'MMA News' (bulletin of the Malaysian Medical Association) for 11 years and is currently president of the MMA.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 03:15 AM PDT
Never mind those who accuse emigrants of cowardice; packing up and leaving is an act of courage.
Starting from scratch in an alien environment requires not only financial investment but an enormous emotional outlay.
For abandoning one's country of birth is like gambling on one's future, armed with not much more than faith.
Greener pastures call out to potential emigrants in numerous ways-higher wages, a chance to train in world class institutions, faster career progressions form the long list of pull factors.
But what drives them away is whole list of discontent headed by loss of hope in the country's future as well as in political reform.
In response to the New Economic Model's focus on attracting talent back, Malaysiakini spoke to long time emigrants and young graduates who chose to cut their teeth abroad.
The following are their stories. We would love to hear yours. E-mail us at email@example.com
I was working for Bank Bumiputera and was sent to the New York office for six years.
After that I considered coming back but it was 1999 and there was the Asian Economic Crisis, uncertain times.
But looking back if it wasn't a time of crisis, I don't think I would have stayed (in Malaysia) either because I had my children's education to think of. Besides, I had a job waiting for me in the US.
There are more chances here to do what you want. I don't even have a degree, but I can get together with a group of investors, get a license and open a bank from scratch.
I would not have had this opportunity in Malaysia. Here if you follow procedure, no one can tell you 'No'.
There is no need to go through red tape and seek political linkages.
Malaysia is not changing for the better, at the end of the day, it needs to open up.
Everyone needs to be on fair ground, there is need to recognise that everybody is Malaysian.
Here you don't have to be so preoccupied with who you are, whether you are Malay or Chinese or whatever.
Religion is another factor too, whereas here, when I go to the mosque I see people from all over the world, but everyone is considered the same.
You don't feel like a stranger. In Malaysia, Islam is seen as a religion for the Malay. (Farid is a Chinese Muslim)
If the government wants people to stay in the country they should do more than appeal to a sense of loyalty but tell these young people what they have on offer. Chart their progress.
Not just talk in sentimental terms about loyalty and such, when the infrastructure is not there, there is nothing to move forward to and nothing is opening up.
Young people are hungry for knowledge and opportunity, and if you don't give them that they will leave.
Edlina Razak, 34, Business Development Manager, Shanghai, China. Emigrated as a student in 1993 and has also lived in France and Hong Kong.
I don't see myself returning, at least not in the near future. My decision to go abroad was mainly because I felt the local universities were not up to the mark, and there I was at 17, wanting my freedom from family and society, and offered a scholarship to live in another country.
I remember driving home with some friends at night and some police officers stopped us and threatened to inform our parents that we were out late etc, basically cornering us for a bribe.
I remember thinking that I didn't want to live in this place full of corruption, so now I'm happy coming back for holidays, and not having to face (this kind of extortion) all the time.
It's hypocrisy, everyone going around behaving differently with different people. They have a liberal face for some people and another for others.
Some make the choice to face all that. I choose to live overseas so people will not judge me.
All of society is like this, look at Jawi (Federal Territory Islamic Department) or even the government.
Look at politics, with the sodomy trial. (Conservatism) is everywhere. I'm not sure if this is only the Muslim Malay experience.
Malaysians of other races and religion may face this too.
I wouldn't come back even if salary is higher in Malaysia because I feel I can live a better life even if my salary is smaller overseas.
But societies are not static, they evolve, so maybe with more expatriates coming in, with technology, etc, then Malaysian society will open up too.
When you live in a country that's not yours you feel less angry at the atrocities that happen, you feel somewhat removed.
But I suppose the longer you live in a place the greater the sense of belonging. I do feel frustrated with the censorship in China at times, now that I have been here for five years.
Isabel Lee (name changed upon request), 26, Lawyer, Singapore. Studied and worked abroad since 2004.
I chose to remain in Singapore because of its reputation as a hub for business and finance.
The volume of cross border work we get here and the quality and scale of such projects is what I looked for to enhance my skills in the field and give me more experience.
I don't think Malaysians are craving progress in the country. They are not hungry enough.
They are just comfortable and I want to be in an environment where I can improve. I want challenge.
We can criticise all we want, but at the end of the day, if the non-Malays always criticise Malay rights, that's not getting them anywhere, and likewise, if the Malays always think that they can get away with (demanding) special (privileges), that's not going to help either.
Jacqueline George, Accountant, 26, Brisbane, Australia. Moved in 2006 for tertiary studies, briefly relocated to Malaysia for one year and is now living in Australia indefinitely.
I believe strongly that every generation should be better than the previous one.
My grandparents migrated from India for a life better than their parents and worked hard to give their children that.
My parents did the same for us, and I feel that if I had stayed in Malaysia, at most I could only equal what my parents have achieved.
I think if you break it all down, the basis of leaving is pretty much unhappiness, be it unhappy about how much you earn or what you can achieve, the lifestyle, level of security etc.
So the question rises, how do you attract an unhappy person back to the place that made them unhappy?
Khoo Gaik Cheng, 41, Lecturer at Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Studied and worked in the US, Canada, Singapore and Australia since 1990.
I first left for studies and then it seemed natural to continue abroad as they practise equal opportunity and valued diversity in the universities.
Unlike in Malaysia, being a minority is valued.
I am always open to the possibility of returning because my research is on Malaysia, and I have strong feelings and ties to the place and people.
But I don't foresee relocating unless there are changes to the system.
Speaking solely on universities, I would like to see progressive thinkers, efficient and honest and uncorrupted people with clear long-term vision heading up various departments, schools, as deans and vice chancellors.
I would rather have this than Umno or BN-appointed people in these positions who have the party's interests at heart and not that of the university or the greater Malaysian society.
Today, people who move around for work take into consideration other factors (not just salary): the city/place and what it offers (cheap food, cheap labour,cost of living, air pollution index, green spaces for outdoor recreation, traffic or public transportation, crime rate, etc.).
We need to weigh all these factors against each other and to address them all, not only emphasise one point like higher wages.
Tomorrow: 'Why I chose to return to Malaysia'
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 02:22 AM PDT
Ahli Parlimen Titiwangsa, Dr Lo' Lo' Mohd Ghazali membuat laporan Polis di Balai Dang Wangi di sini, mengenai pembabitan Kerajaan Malaysia dengan APCO Worldwide.
Beliau yang juga Ahli Jawatankuasa PAS Pusat turut memohon satu siasatan terperinci dilakukan terhadap APCO Worldwide.
"Saya selaku rakyat Malaysia bimbangkan hubungan secara kontrak dengan syarikat APCO Worldwide Sdn Bhd tersebut mendedahkan maklumat sulit negara dan boleh mengancam keselamatn negara.
"Sebagai seorang muslim juga amat sedih apabila hubungan dengan syarikat ini dilakukan dalam keadaan umat Islam dan bukan Islam ditindas oleh rejim yang ganas tersebut," katanya dalam laporan tersebut.
Mengikut Harakahdaily, beliau juga berkata Perdana Menteri seharusnya mengambil tanggungjawab membuat penjelasan berhubung perkara itu kepada semua ahli Parlimen.
"Saya harap Perdana Menteri mengambil tangggungjawab untuk memaklumkan kepada ahli Parlimen apakah tindakan-tindakan yang telah diambil, bukan membuat kenyataan di luar Parlimen.
Beliau turut kesal apabila Parlimen meluluskan bajet sebanyak RM28 juta untuk dibayar kepada APCO
"Semalam Parlimen meluluskan bajet perbekalan tambahan, ada bajet RM28 juta kepada APCO. Sampai sekarang tidak ada apa-apa pun pengumuman kepada ahli Parlimen sedangkan ahli parlimen Pakatan Rakyat menolak perbekalan bajet tambahan kerana ada bajet untuk APCO," katanya.
Mengulas mengenai ura-ura kerajaan tidak akan memperbaharui kontrak APCO apabila ia berakhir pada 4 Ogos tahun ini, beliau berharap ia bukan tindakan kosmetik semata-mata.
"Kalau ada tindakan-tindakan seperti itu kita harap ia bukan tindakan kosmetik semata-mata tapi tindakan yang betul-betul. Kita mahu APCO ditamatkan terus kontraknya," katanya.
Mengulas larangan Ketua Polis Negara kepada ahli politik agar tidak menggunakan isu keselamatan negara untuk menarik perhatian rakyat katanya menunjukkan kerajaan takut perkara sebenar terdedah kepada umum.
Mengulas lanjut beliau berkata, kenyataan Tan Sri Musa Hassan itu bagi menghalang rakyat mengetahui perkara sebenar mengenai sikap sambil lewa Kerajaan dalam menjaga keselamatan negara.
"Tindakan Musa itu bagi saya untuk menghalang maklumat sebenar sampai kepada rakyat. Kecuaian dan kelalaian Kerajaan Malaysia dalam isu keselamatan negara tidak sepatutnya berlaku. Rakyat patut tahu perkara ini," katanya.
Musa membuat larangan itu sebagai respon kepada dakwaan Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim di Dewan Rakyat Selasa lepas bahawa terdapat perisik Israel di ibu pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) di Bukit Aman.
Anwar jmendedahkan beliau mempunyai dokumen perisik Israel itu mempunyai akses kepada maklumat strategik negara melalui sebuah syarikat pengkomputeran yang merupakan subkontraktor bagi projek menaik taraf sistem komunikasi dan teknologi maklumat PDRM yang didaftarkan di Singapura.
Musa bagaimanapun menafikan dakwaan itu sebaliknya mengarahkan pegawainya menyiasat Anwar di atas dakwaan itu. -TVS
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 01:47 AM PDT
Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong shall be in Sibu in May for a large-scale evangelistic rally to be held at Sibu Town Square. This is heartening to all those who are thirsty for God's words.
Stephen Tong is an Indonesian Reformed evangelist, Theologian and Christian philospher. A high-powered preacher, Stephen Tong's sermons touched the hearts of millions of people over the 50 years of his ministry.
In 1975 when Stephen Tong first came to Sibu, God spoke through him to thousands of Sibuians in Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church. The Holy Spirit was at work to uplift and move countless of brothers and sisters during the rallies.
May God lead through the upcoming evangelistic rally of Stephen Tong and set the Holy Spirit to work to the fullest.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 01:24 AM PDT
Angkatan Muda Keadilan Malaysia (AMK) mendesak Ahli Parlimen (AP) Kulim Bandar Baharu, Zulkifli Nordin menghentikan sikap dan tindakan ala syaitannya itu.
Berikutan siri 'pendedahan' Zulkifli yang mengaitkan pihak ketiga dalam kes pembunuhan Altantuya Shaaribuu, media pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) seperti Utusan Malaysia dan Berita Harian kini galak menyiarkan pendedahan AP Bayan Baru, Zahrain Mohamed Hashim.
Beliau kononnya telah dimaklumkan oleh Zulkifli bahawa pihak ketiga yang dimaksudkan ialah Ketua Umum Pakatan Rakyat (PR), Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
AMK menerusi ketuanya, Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin telah memberikan respon terhadap perkara itu.
"Itu sama sekali berbeza dengan apa yang diceritakan oleh Zulkifli melalui wawancara Suara Keadilan Julai 2007 di mana beliau menegaskan bahawa penarikan diri beliau adalah disebabkan oleh tindakan Azilah yang mahu mengubah strategi pembelaan di saat akhir meskipun sebanyak 12 sesi konsultansi diadakan di antara beliau dan Azilah.
"Strategi Azilah, disifatkan Zulkifli, merosakkan strategi pembelaan yang dirancang lebih awal yang hanya memberi kelebihan dan perlindungan kepada 'pihak ketiga'," ujar Shamsul Iskandar dalam satu kenyataan medianya kepada erapakatan.com.
AMK mengegaskan sikap memutar belit cerita dan menimbulkan keraguan yang tidak munasabah adalah hanya satu unsur munafik yang menghampiri sikap syaitan.
Zulkifli pada 23 Mac 2010 yang lepas mendedahkan di Dewan Rakyat bahawa beliau ditawarkan ganjaran yang disifatkannya boleh menggoyah iman untuk mengaitkan Perdana Menteri, Najib Razak, dan isteri, Rosmah Mansor oleh 'pihak ketiga' yang tidak didedahkan.
Menurut Shamsul, Zulkifli sebagai seorang peguam, secara jelasnya menghina mahkamah dengan membenarkan kenyataan subjudis yang boleh mengganggu perjalanan mahkamah, dalam keadaan rayuan bagi kes ini masih berjalan.
Bagi Shamsul, apa yang menjadi persoalan adalah kenapa Zulkifli acapkali memberikan kenyataan yang samar dan meragukan?
"Sewajarnya sebagai seorang Muslim yang bertanggungjawab, beliau harus mendedahkan siapa pihak ketiga yang dimaksudkan sedari awal lagi, bukannya mewujudkan dua versi cerita yang berbeza mengikut iktikad politik beliau," menurut kenyataan Shamsul itu lagi.
Zulkifli sebelum ini tidak pernah mendedahkan sebarang nama pun, baik dalam cerita 'pihak ketiga' ini termasuklah seloka 'Firaun Kecil' yang menjadi mainan hujah beliau saban waktu.
Shamsul menyimpulkan bahawa, Zulkifli harus berhenti daripada meneruskan sikap berdolak-dalik seumpama ini. Jangan cemarkan imej Islamik yang dibawa beliau ke sana sini kerana ianya hanya menghampiri sikap syaitan yang sesat lagi menyesatkan umat manusia seluruhnya. -erapakatan
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 12:01 AM PDT
When Prime Minister YAB Datuk Seri Najib Razak's aide Datuk Nasir Safar, at a 1 Malaysia seminar titled 'Rapat 1Malaysia' in Malacca International Trade Centre, allegedly said that "Indians are beggars and Chinese women are prostitutes", all the Chinese and Indians were RIGHTLY angry and at last Datuk Nasir Safar had to tender his resignation.
When UTUSAN newspaper, Perkasa Datuk Ibrahim Ali, DPM and TDM CORRECTLY voiced about need protecting the Malay Rights, Islam and Rulers, some of these Chinese and Indians are angry.
Now, why the Indian and Chinese reporters are writing in Chinese Newspaper the Star, about seven articles related to SOME Rohingya beggars.
This is called racial profiling and is totally wrong. Even if Myanmar government failed to protest, Malaysian Home Ministry should reprimand them not to PROFILE others.
When we, Myanmars protest them directly that_
- these BIGOT, Xenophobic Racist editors and reporters do not care at all and repeatedly published numerous articles on successive days, Racial Profiling and INSULTING all the Myanmars.
(FYI. Even one Rohingya timber trader is now the second richest man in Bangladesh and one who migrated to the Middle East was the deputy minister in one country. (Note: I am not a Rohingya)
Racial profiling is the inclusion of racial or ethnic characteristics in determining whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime or an illegal act or to behave in a "predictable" manner. Read racial profiling in Wikipedia.
Please read this_ Universal Declaration of Human Rights .
Article 1 . All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2 . Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Read this older Xenophobic Star newspaper letter asking to "Ban foreign workers". Source: Stupid CON-SUMER, Kuala Lumpur letter in the Star
THE idea that foreign workers are obedient and subservient is not true now. The trend has changed and nowadays, foreign workers have also learnt how to make more money. …..
They have also inter-married the locals (is that wrong?)
and now clamour and fight for their rights. (is that wrong?)
They know how to get PR and citizenship. (is that wrong?)
So where do the locals go? Our people either go abroad to search for greener pastures or become criminals. (Is is solely your /locals' problem. Don't blame us! You choosed to become a foreigner by migration like us. You commit crime you go to JAIL! Don't blame foreigners. Bird's brain!)
The locals who are not well educated or dropouts cannot compete or want to work like the foreign workers for low pay. And since they do not have better education, what jobs can they find? Even to open stalls, they have to compete with foreigners.
The only way for them is to do business, and that is also taken away from them. Can you blame them for turning to crime and drugs out of frustration?
Some enterprising ones go abroad to work to get better pay in order to have seed money to do business here and some don't return and choose to stay as illegal immigrants there. Can you blame Malaysians for doing that?
The ones who come back to set up business also have to hire foreign workers to be able to be profitable and so the cycle goes on. It will not stop unless the root is cut, that is, to stop all foreign workers.
Have you ever seen a developed nation that has low wages for workers and also has a huge population of foreign workers? So far, no.
So how is Malaysia going to be a developed nation by 2020, which is 10 years away?
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