On Saturday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had his maiden media interview. This was a public relations exercise. He is the prime minister, so such flexing is par for the course. He needs to build rapport among Malaysians anyway, given his use of the unsavoury “backdoor” to wrest power from Pakatan Harapan. But we will leave that discussion for another day and time.
Now, in that interview, Muhyiddin said a lot of things. But I’d like to hone in on a few issues. His responses to these display how aloof and complacent he and his government have been since Malaysia went into a lockdown styled as the movement control order (MCO).
Firstly, while acknowledging that the country is losing RM2.4 bil every day due to the MCO, he added: “This is my priority … let there be no terminations or layoffs, but then again these are businesses and if they are unable to sustain much longer, what choice do they have? It is not like they can hold to their workers as in normal times. They will be without a source of income used to run their operations or to pay salaries.”
Maybe the good PM forgot to check with the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) about its latest findings on the effects of Covid-19 on the economy and Malaysians.
Though the department, in its report titled Report of Special Survey on Effects of Covid-19 on Economy and Individual (Round 1), added the caveat that the figures should be interpreted with caution as they are not considered “official statistics … it can be used to support in reflecting the current situation.” That part, reflecting, could have served Muhyiddin and his government well.
Here are a few of the report’s findings:
a. The agriculture and services sectors registered the highest percentage of job losses compared to other sectors with 21.9% and 15% respectively.
b. In the agriculture sector, 33% and 21.1% of workers from fishing and agriculture and plantations sub-sectors respectively had lost their jobs.
c. 35.4% of employees in the food services sub-sector have lost their jobs and followed by transport and storage at 18.7%.
d. More than two-thirds (71.4%) of self-employed respondents have sufficient savings for less than a month.
e. 77.2% of employers and 82.7% of private employees have sufficient financial savings of up to two months.
f. 69.7% of those working less than a year and 63.2% of those working between 1-3 years reported that their financial savings will run out in less than a month respectively.
g. 25.4% of those working four to 10 years and 27.5 % of those working 11-20 years have sufficient savings of up to 2 months.
h. The majority of the employees are unprepared if the MCO is extended except for those working in government-linked companies (GLCs) and multinational corporations (MNCs).
Prime Minister, even your own stats department is screaming bad news. People have and are losing their jobs. And in case you are unaware, some of these companies that have donated money to various Covid-19 initiatives have also taken the opportunity to cut staff salaries.
Berjaya Corporation Bhd on March 20 donated RM1 mil to your Covid-19 fund. This is the same Berjaya Corp which a few days ago announced “austerity measures” due to the pandemic. This basically means salary cuts, the percentage of which is to be based on the salary range bracket, and a reduction of fixed monthly allowances.
Sapura Energy Bhd’s chiefs Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin and Datuk Shahriman Shamsuddin also donated to two Covid-19 funds organised by media group The Edge. But this is the same Sapura that has initiated salary cuts across the board of 5% to 45% as well as “workforce rationalisation,” or the more crude word for that – layoffs. Sure, their defence will be that the C-suite has taken a 50% pay cut, but come on, what is 50% for a chief of whatever.
The best part: these companies that have donated are still entitled to tax deductions. No tax breaks or such perks for their unemployed or now poorer staff.
Some gallows humour here at the expense of someone’s sanity, but now we really know that a public health crisis can drag you down a notch, from your M40 dreams back into the B40 hole you desperately clawed your way up through blood, sweat and tears. But your T20 boss … he is none the poorer.
B-b-b-but, there is the wage subsidy programme, you say? Well, according to journalist Haresh Deol, after calling up Socso, he was informed that the payment advice emailed was to show that the application had been accepted. The funds, however, would only be transferred in stages, “apabila Perkeso dapat dana.”
Secondly, there’s good ol’ Makcik Kiah and Pakcik Salleh. I wonder how they are doing right now? In his speech on March 27, Muhyiddin calculated that Mak Cik Kiah and family will receive cash support and savings of RM8,664 over six months or RM1,444 per month. But by now, they’d be worrying as they eat into their savings, if they have any. There’s no revenue coming in.
To think that Muhyiddin actually tried to get us to believe that he understood the plight of the everyday Malaysian when during that interview he mused about using Makcik Kiah and Pakcik Salleh as examples of how down-to-earth he was, including his use of the common greeting, “Apa khabar?” Oh yeah, anyone can go “Apa khabar?” behind a screen. The teleprompter won’t throw a fit.
And, since xenophobia has reared its head once again, have we even talked about the legal migrant workers here, who amount to some two million, who have no income whatsoever during this period? They are the backbone of the country’s economic engines, since most of them ply their trade in construction, plantation and services.
Didn’t the Ministry of International Trade and Industry announce yesterday that companies in selected services can resume operations as normal, you argue? Well, just like the barbershop gaffe, this edict is poorly thought through. Daycare, schools, and kindergartens are still closed due to the MCO. So where do parents send their kids too?
Maybe if they had a domestic worker to deal with their bratty bunch, that’d be great. But how many have such privileges? Heck, it’s a luxury. These things Muhyiddin, MITI minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and even Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz will never understand since they have domestic workers to clean up after them.
“The people do not want to talk about politics, they are sick of it. They want to know what the government, the Cabinet ministers, the administration today is doing to tackle the issues that they are facing.”
But how is he going to do that when the big fiscal fireworks have to get parliamentary approval?
Let’s face it, Muhyiddin wants to rule by fiat. Parliament is dead. And the elites will continue to sigh “Alhamdulilah,” “Hallelujah” and “Thank the Gods” while the rest of us will be left to lick our wounds and pray to the same gods to help us survive unemployment, salary cuts and, more importantly, the banks once the moratorium ends.
Best of all, those of us taxpayers will try to eke out a living while begrudgingly paying our taxes to a government that doesn’t seem to care about us. That too is par for the course these days in addition to PR exercises. - Emmanuel Samarathisa
Politicians' arrogance revealed
by their MCO disregard...
During the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of rakyat have, by and large, adhered to the rules, but Malaysian politicians who openly defy the strict conditions just show that they consider themselves above the law and that the law only applies to ordinary citizens.
When politicians misbehave, the nation loses all the trust and respect for them. Don't they know they should set a good example to the others? Breaking the law has only increased the people's ire and disgust of them.
In a live telecast on March 18, Muhyiddin Yassin pleaded with Malaysians to observe the Movement Control Order (MCO) and desist from holding gatherings, going on holidays, or "balik kampung". He said, "...Just stay at home and protect yourself and your family."
His plea had been made when it was reported that despite the MCO, bus stations were busy with people rushing back to their hometowns, while the police had reported that highways to the north, south and east were congested. Muhyiddin said the lockdown would contain the spread of coronavirus infections, and help control the number of people who could contract the virus.
He also said coronavirus had an incubation period of 14 days, and that the symptoms might not show up for two weeks. So, why did the politicians who broke the MCO rules disregard this important message to keep the people safe and stop an escalation of infection?
Many Malaysians have long since realized that the laws only apply to them and that many politicians break the rules. They have little faith in the system, and as one social observer said, "There are two sets of laws: one for the politicians, and another for ordinary people. A person who steals milk powder to feed his starving baby is jailed and fined. A politician who steals millions of taxpayers' money is allowed to escape scot-free. Where is the justice?"
On April 22, senior minister Ismail Sabri said 17,735 individuals had been arrested for violating the MCO. This is only 0.06 percent of the country's population of 31 million and shows that majority of Malaysians are observing the MCO rules.
In contrast, a number of politicians from the ruling coalition Perikatan Nasional (PN) have openly flouted the MCO, including Terengganu menteri besar Ahmad Samsuri, deputy health minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, Perak executive councilor Razman Zakaria, and deputy youth and sports minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal. A minister invited people to record a TikTok video in her office, and the daughter of Umno-Baru president visited politicians in Putrajaya.
Why are politicians and politically connected people allowed to visit one another? Wouldn't a telephone call do? What message does it send to the public?
What does it say, when a single mother was given a 30-day jail term for violating the MCO but Terengganu MB Ahmad Samsuri will not get charged for the same offense? Photographs of Ahmad dining with former MB Ahmad Said have been circulated on social media. The former MB will not be charged. The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has classified Ahmad Samsuri's case as "No Further Action" (NFA).
No one is making excuses for the single mother, but did the magistrate consider the trauma that will be inflicted on the single mother's 6-year-old son? Who will take care of him during his mother's imprisonment? Why was she not given the same sentence as the MB? Justice should be seen to be dispassionate and impartial.
When photographs of deputy health minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Perak exco Razman Zakaria having a meal with 18 other people in a tahfiz school in Lenggong were uploaded onto Facebook, there was a public uproar. There was no social distancing and the gathering was not essential under the terms of the MCO. The two were investigated and finally charged at a court in Grik for violating the MCO. They were fined RM1,000.
Would these two and the others who were seen in the photographs have been investigated if not for the rakyat's condemnation? Few people are satisfied with the sentence, especially as these men should have led by example. They probably only apologized because their boss had seen how their behavior had angered the rakyat.
In most other countries, people who hold senior positions in government and have committed serious breaches of the law have resigned because they have brought shame to their departments and their leaders.
Elderly people who walked to buy food for their families were thrown into prison for breaking the MCO. A single mother was jailed, but two others who were present in court on the same charges were only fined. The sentencing seems very haphazard. Was each individual's circumstances considered?
It appears that in Muhyiddin's administration, double standards and different punishments for the public and government officials are here to stay. Jail is reserved for members of the public, when by right government officials should have been more severely punished.
As for the RM1,000 fine, one is reminded by the words of a former Umno-Baru minister who said RM2 million is like loose change for him. If Muhyiddin wants to make a difference, the hypocrisy and double standards must cease. - Mariam Mokhtar
Bukan masa nak tolong Rohingya,
utamakan warganegara kita dulu...
Sindiket bawa 202 Rohingya di L'kawi minggu lalu Kenakan RM2,000 seorang. Menteri kata ahli keluarga sudah ada di negara ini perlu bayar tambahan RM13,000. Rancangan bawa masuk pelarian sudah lama dirancang. Perancangan membabitkan sindiket, ejen.
Rohingya Myanmar ni bayar RM2,000 kpd sindiket di Cox Bazar, Bangladesh untuk sampai di sini ahli keluarga kena bayar RM13,000 kepada ejen jumlah dibayar ialah RM15,000 semuanya.
"Kita akan terus buru sindiket terbabit" Menteri kata demikian pada sidang media di IPD Langkawi,selepas menyertai pemantauan perairan membabitkan APMM, Polis Marin
turut hadir KSU KDN, Pengarah KDNKABCD, Ketua Imigresen, Ketua Maritim.
SIAPA DALANG DI SEBALIKNYA?
Web rasmi KDN berkongsi modus operandi sindiket membawa masuk pelarian secara haram dengan bayaran sebanyak RM15,000 untuk 1 kepala. Kaedah Bayaran RM2,000 di Bangladesh / Myanmar dan bakinya apabila berjaya mendarat di Malaysia maka ahli keluarga sedia ada di Malaysia perlu membayar lagi RM13,000 untuk 1 kepala sebelum mereka boleh ambil ahli keluarga yg diseludup masuk.
Bayangkan 1 kapal ada 400 orang maka RM15,000 x 400 = RM6,000,000 (RM6 juta!!) adalah satu perniagaan amat menguntungkan.
Jika dalam 1 tahun sindiket dapat membawa masuk 10,000 orang maka bayaran mereka terima sekitar RM150,000,000 (RM150 juta).
Tolaklah kos sewa kapal ikan, makan minum atas kapal dan kos diesel dan kos pelincir lain jika ada adalah 30% bersamaan RM45 juta maka ada baki RM105 juta untung bersih setahun untuk hanya 10,000 kepala sahaja.
Syarikat MAS / Malindo / Air Asia pun tak boleh nak untung RM105 juta untuk terbangkan 10,000 penumpang sahaja. MAS yang mengangkut berjuta-juta penumpang setahun pun masih rugi RM791 juta pada tahun 2018.
1. Jika anda menyeberangi sempadan Korea Utara secara haram, anda akan dihukum 12 tahun kerja pecah batu.
2. Jika anda menyeberangi sempadan Iran secara haram, anda akan dipenjara 100%.
3. Jika anda menyeberangi sempadan Afghanistan secara haram, anda akan ditembak mati.
4. Jika anda menyeberangi sempadan Arab Saudi secara haram, anda akan dipancung pada hari Jumaat.
5. Jika anda menyeberangi sempadan Amerika Syarikat secara haram, anda akan dipenjarakan sebagai pengganas.
6. Jika anda menyeberangi sempadan British secara haram, anda akan ditangkap, didakwa dan dihantar ke penjara.
7. Jika anda menyeberangi sempadan MALAYSIA secara haram, anda berpeluang tinggi untuk mendapat:
- Mykad sementara atau
- Status PR Penduduk Tetap atau
- Kad UNHCR untuk cari kerja
- Lesen Memandu
- Tempahan Kerja
- boleh dapat Kad kredit
- boleh buka akaun di mana2 bank
- mendapat pendidikan percuma termasuk dalam bahasa Myanmar
- Penjagaan kesihatan dgn kos minimal
- jika anda wanita hamil boleh bersalin di hospital kerajaan
- boleh jadi tauke kedai runcit.
- boleh jadi bos bagi orang Melayu
- boleh beli rumah
- boleh beli tanah free hold
- boleh dapat keistimewaan Khas Bumiputera jika anda Islam, berbahasa Melayu
- akan dapat hak mengundi (jika ada Projek IC di kawasan anda)
- boleh kahwin wanita Melayu lebih daripada satu
- boleh guna nama isteri Melayu untuk pinjaman / bantuan bumiputera
- boleh buang isteri Melayu dan lari balik ke Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indon
- isteri Melayu akan tanggung pinjaman bumiputera
- akan dibela parti politik Melayu /Islam,terutamanya UMNOPAS
- boleh sertai kumpulan pengganas Salafi / Wahabi / Abu Sayaf
OSTB Conclusion : Jadi apa pula akan berlaku kepada kes-kes pelarian Rohingya yang mana kapalnya sudah selamat sampai di Malaysia tetapi 'ahli keluarga mereka' di sini tidak mempunyai duit baki RM13,000 itu untuk "membebaskan" mereka daripada sindiket seludup Rohingya itu? Takkan pelarian Rohingya itu akan dihantar pulang ke Cox Bazaar? No way.
Sudah tentu sindiket seludup Rohingya itu perlu ada tempat sulit untuk 'penjarakan' pelarian Rohingya sambil menunggu ahli keluarga mencari baki wang RM13,000 untuk 'membebaskan' mereka daripada sindiket.
Di manakah agaknya "kem-kem tahanan" atau "holding tank" untuk penjarakan pelarian Rohingya yang belum bayar baki RM13,000 itu? Apakah mereka akan di tahan di Ritz Carlton Langkawi? Saya rasa tidak mungkin. Apakah mereka akan ditahan dalam hutan atas bukit yang jarang di patrol oleh pihak berkuasa? Saya main agak-agak saja.
And then kalau ahli keluarga pelarian Rohingya itu tidak mempunyai duit RM13,000 macam mana pula? Apa yang akan berlaku? Apakah mereka akan ditanam dalam mass grave pula? Just thinking of the possibilities ok.
Ataupun apakah mereka boleh minta pinjaman jangka pendek (short term financing) daripada persatuan atau organisasi tertentu yang terlibat dengan business seludup Rohingya ini? atau daripada kalangan mereka sendiri, yang sudah kaya raya di sini. Takkan dia pinjam duit daripada Maybank. Dengan kadar interest rate yang berpatutan untuk membayar balik pinjaman duit 'membebaskan' ahli keluarga mereka?
You see folks, at RM15,000 satu kepala and 150,000 Rohingya in the country it adds up to RM2,250,000,000.00. Kalau tak tahu baca that is RM2.25 BILLION !!
Katakanlah this figure is off by 90%. Say it is only 10% of RM2.25 Billion.That is still RM225 MILLION. That is a lot of money bro. From my knowledge of the Bazaar Ramadan corruption, it was only millions of Ringgit or tens of millions. Yet the corruption went all the way up up and up.
This Rohingya human trafficking involves hundreds of millions of Ringgit. This has to involve really high, high people. Nak angkut dalam satu lori pun tak cukup. Kena angkut dengan kapal Rohingya yang besar sekali. - OSTB
Mau turun kat Langkawi dan Selayang...