Monday, March 17, 2008

Khalid announces free household water and lopsided water deal - NST

By : V. Shankar Ganesh


In his first Press conference as Selangor Mentri Besar today, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim made two key announcements: the first 20 cubic metres of water is free to all Selangor households from April, and the eve of polling day water treatment plant deal between Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd and Selangor Government is lopsided to the concessionaire’s advantage.

The free water concession would be discussed first by the Exco before it could be implemented but it was to fulfill a PKR election campaign promise, he said. “This could be achieved if cost was lowered so that revenue was channeled back to consumers,” he said. “To achieve this, review of all water agreements are expected.”

Khalid said the state legal adviser had been told to write to the company to declassify documents as his calculations showed that profits derived from water revenue was more to their advantage. “There is imbalance in the revenue given to the State and the people. It can only enrich the concessionaire” he told a Press conference at his official residence here for the first time.

Khalid said he had only seen the agreement at a glance and that he had to study it further.
The water deal was for Puncak Niaga to operate, manage and maintain the raw water intake and treatment plant situated on land beside a canal near Sungai Sireh, Tanjung Karang in Kuala Selangor.

While the deal was signed on March 7, the actual contract itself took effect on April 1, 2007 and was concluded pursuant to Clause 3(a) (vi) of the Concession Agreement dated Dec 15, 2004, between the Federal government, the state government and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), for a concession period of twenty-seven (27) years, commencing on April 1, 2007 and expiring on April 30, 2034.


Md Isa Sworn In As Perlis Menteri Besar - Bernama

KANGAR, March 17 (Bernama) -- Bintong state assemblyman Datuk Dr Md Isa Sabu today took the oath of office as the sixth menteri besar of Perlis at the Istana Arau here, ending a tussle for the post with former menteri besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who was absent at the swearing-in.

Md Isa took his oath of office at 5.30pm before the Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, in a ceremony witnessed by the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail.

All the 15 Perlis state assemblymen, except Shahidan, were present at the ceremony.

Perlis has 14 Barisan Nasional (BN) and one PAS assemblymen. The PAS assemblyman is Rus-seli Eizan, the elected representative for Simpang Empat.

After the ceremony, Md Isa told reporters he hoped that the issue of who was more eligible to be the menteri besar would not come up again.

Md Isa had received the instrument of appointment from the Raja of Perlis last Friday but Shahidan claimed that he had the letter of recommendation from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be appointed the menteri besar.

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Karpal urges Pas to openly disavow Islamic state mission - NST

By : Lee Keng Fatt


Pas should give up its avowed aim to turn the country to an Islamic state if it comes to power, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said.

Urging Pas to be realistic, he said the Federal Constitution clearly reflected that Malaysia is a secular and not an Islamic state.

"This was also the thinking of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman who are on public record stating that Malaysia was not an Islamic state, but a secular state,” he said in a statement today. "In fact in 1988, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court unanimously held that Malaysia was not an Islamic state, but a secular state,"

Karpal, who welcomed the clarification by Pas vice-president Husam Musa that his party would not set up an Islamic government at the federal level, said Pas should not ignore the authoritative decision of the Supreme Court and neither should it contradict assertions made publicly by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman and the Tun Hussein Onn on the status of Malaysia as a secular state.

"I call upon Pas to publicly state that Malaysia is a secular state,” said Karpal, who is also MP for Bukit Gelugor. "The authoritative ruling the Supreme Court binds Pas and all other parties."

If the controversial issue in relation to Islamic state could be resolved, the path would be clear for DAP, PKR and Pas to take on the federal government in the next elections and win, he said.

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PERAK MB SWEARING-IN: Nizar is new, professional face of Pas - NST

By : Shahrul Hafeez

IPOH, Mon:

Newly-appointed Perak Mentri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is representative of the new, more professional, face of PAS from the days of perceived Islamic orthodoxy.

An engineer by profession, the 51-year old Mohammad Nizar has had the benefit of being in a multi-ethno centric communities, starting with the Anglo Chinese School during his primary schooling days right up to his graduation from the Aston University of Science and Technology, Birmingham in 1980.

Close compatriots say Mohammad Nizar is multilingual, and the reason why the engineering consultant is put at the forefront in the party programmes involving non-Muslim participants but the Pasir Panjang State Assemblyman laughed of this suggestion, saying that he only speaks a smattering of Chinese and Tamil.

"It's just enough for me to get by, but not to the extent of being able to give a statement in the two languages", said Mohammad Nizar, who joined the party in 1995 and is now Pas Kampar division chairman as well as Perak Pas secretary.

His win in Pasir Panjang against Barisan Nasional candidate Dr. S. Vasan from MIC, was actually his second stint as a Pas candidate for the general election; the first taking on Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz for the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary seat in 2004.

A registered engineer with the Malaysian Board of Engineers, Mohammad Nizar's resume listing includes stints with the Public Works Department, the Urban Development Authority, the Penang Development Corporation as is currently the Managing Director of several private companies.

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Kit Siang urged to say sorry openly - NST

By : Shahrul Hafeez

IPOH: Some 50 people took part in an illegal rally at the Ipoh Padang here to show their support for the Sultan of Perak.

They also urged DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang to make an open apology to the Regent, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, instead of merely via a statement on his blog.

The group carried several placards listing their demands. They also read out a memorandum, an oath of loyalty to Sultan Azlan Shah and sang patriotic songs.

Former Gerik member of parliament Datuk Dr Wan Hashim Wan Teh, who was among those present, said they did not intend to threaten public safety but wanted to defend Malay rights.

Wan Hashim, who was not chosen to contest in the general election, said the memorandum would also be sent to Istana Iskandariah so that the people's voices could be conveyed to Sultan Azlan Shah.

Last week, Lim had protested the choice of Pasir Panjang state assemblyman Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the new menteri besar.

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