Monday, October 24, 2016

Chong regrets Foo’s defence of Maybank

KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen regrets that SUPP Central Youth publicity secretary Milton Foo has defended corporations rather than the interests of the community.
Chong, also Kota Sentosa assemblyman and state DAP chairman, wondered why Foo had recently hit out at him for appealing to Maybank to reconsider its decision to close down the MJC branch.
“Even though a bank is a profit-making institution, it also has social obligation, not to mention that Maybank is the largest banking institution in Malaysia.
“The MJC branch is the only Maybank outlet serving people in the area. No doubt that e-banking is convenient but it may not be such a case for some especially senior citizens,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Chong said he had recently written to Maybank headquarters, requesting the bank to continue operating its MJC branch.
He added that a copy of the same letter had also been delivered to Bank Negara Malaysia.
“Never mind that Milton Foo did not defend the people, it is his choice. But at the very least, do not mess with what I’m trying to do — defend the interest of the people.”
He also ridiculed the justification Foo gave for the closure of Maybank MJC branch.
“I have never heard of closing down a branch to keep the same number of employees. When you cut down branches, the next step would be cutting down the number of employees.”
In a press statement last week, Chong said the MJC branch was the only Maybank outlet for Batu Kawa area, and that its relocation would cause great inconvenience to businesses and residents.
TheBorneoPost October 24, 2016

MJC Mutiara residents complain of cracked, sinking walls

KUCHING: Residents of No1 to No 26 houses at MJC Mutiara here are frustrated with the developer’s indifference to solve engineering issues affecting their houses.
The gate to Simon’s (right) house cannot be properly closed due to the sinking walls. Also with Simon are Chong (centre) and his special assistant Kelvin Yii.
Many of them have complained individually about the cracks on concrete walls and sinking walls in the past couple of years, but the developer has so far taken no serious action to resolve the matter.
Simon Ritom, owner of house No 25, moved into his ‘dream home’ in 2008. Little did he know that his beautiful dream has now turned into a nightmare when the walls of his house began to show cracks from 2011.
He brought the problem to the developer, only to be told ‘Sorry, your warranty has lapsed’ although the developer did eventually patch up some cracks following his numerous complaints.
“If it is a leaking roof or minor cracks, I can repair them  myself. But we are talking about the main pillars of my house, which isn’t just (any) minor defect. After complaining for three years, I gave up. And now, I cannot even close my gate,” he said when met at the residential area yesterday.
Simon said he was more concerned about his safety, and hoped that the developer would do something before any untoward incident happened.
“I don’t even know when the ceiling will fall. This is my life investment. When I bought the house in 2008, it was perfect. I was so attracted to it that I quickly signed the contract.”
Just as Simon was about to accept his fate, his neighbours — who face the same problem — decided to defend the interest of house owners there by approaching Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.
Prior to seeking help from Chong, the residents jointly wrote a letter to the developer in May. They appealed to the developer to look into the structural defects given that these cracks were not just cosmetic.
“The walls are actually sinking. The sinking wall can even be a safety hazard as it may collapse and cause injury. We have consulted an engineering company and we have confirmed that the cracks were caused by lack of structural foundation when the walls were built,” the letter stated.
However, their letter was apparently ignored because the developer did not contact any of the house owners.
Left with no choice, one of the residents, Wong Shian Long, approached Chong, who then set up a meeting with the developer on July 19.
“If not for Chong, the developer wouldn’t even want to take our calls, let alone meet us. I have lived in Mutiara for at least eight years, and I have been begging the developer to look into those cracks since six years ago,” lamented Wong.
According to Chong, the meeting in July went well with the developer pledging to send engineers within two weeks and rectify the problems faced by the residents within two months.
Three months on, the developer has taken no serious effort to solve the issue as of yesterday.
Chong said many residents told him that the developer did send some ‘young trainees’ to walk around the gated community but they did not enter any house to check the cracked and sinking walls.
“All that the residents want is for the developer to resolve the problem. You cannot just leave them high and dry. They gave the developer a chance by not going to the press but went to meet them in July. Yet nothing was done.”
He said he would write another letter to the developer as well as the Ministry of Housing as the next course of action, if the developer continued to remain deaf to the complaints.
TheBorneoPost October 24,2016

从“梦想房屋”变“破裂房屋” 26住宅围墙倾斜陷龟裂

转载自 诗华日报

张健仁抨符祥威 为何捍卫马银行?

转载自 诗华日报

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chong questions budget speech silence on corruption

It’s not about how much is given in the Budget, it’s about how it’s being used, says Sarawak DAP chairman.

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen has questioned why leakages of budget allocations had not been addressed when the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, tabled the 2017 Budget yesterday.
He said there was no point in talking about billions in allocations when as much as 60 per cent might end up in the private pockets of corrupt officers and politicians.
“Yet, Najib completely ignores these problems in his budget speech,” he said today.
Recently anti-corruption officials alleged that as much as RM2 billion could have been siphoned off in leakages from a total of RM3.3 billion in federal allocations for the Sabah Water Department.
Chong said the Sabah Water case had changed the focus from how much money was being allocated to how the allocation was being used.
He also noted that the budget allocation for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had been cut by 14 per cent from RM251.7 million this year to RM216.2 million for next year.
He questioned why Najib had left a “complete silence” about the fight against corruption in his Budget speech. “Is he too ashamed to talk about fighting corruption or is he simply ignoring it?”
Chong also urged Sarawak MPs of the Barisan Nasional to acknowledge that there was a blatant omission of Sarawak, when compared to the budget speeches of the past three years,
It was as if Sarawak no longer mattered now that the Sarawak elections were over. He challenged Sarawak BN chairman Adenan Satem and the coalition’s 25 Sarawak MPs to vote against the 2017 Budget if they were serious about defending Sarawak’s interests.
FreeMalaysiaToday October 22,2016 

Budget unfair to Sabah, S’wak, say MPs

Bandar Kuching's Chong and Penampang's Leiking say Najib has failed to give what the two states deserve.

PETALING JAYA: An opposition MP from Sarawak and another from Sabah have alleged that their states were given short shrift in the Budget 2017 proposals.
The MP for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen of DAP, said he regarded the reduction in allocations for Sarawak as “significant” and speculated that this was because Barisan Nasional believed it was already well entrenched in the state.
“If you look at the budget, Sarawak was not mentioned as much as it was mentioned in previous budgets,” he said.
Penampang MP Darell Leiking, a leader of the new Parti Warisan Sabah, said it was evident from the way Sabah was treated in the budget proposals that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration was refusing to recognise the state as equal in status with Peninsular Malaysia.
“Sabah is not just any state; it’s a partner state,” he said. “And in the Federal Constitution, Sabah is promised 40 per cent of the net revenue the state collects.
“We expected more from this budget, but Najib has failed to give us what we wanted.”
Chong also complained about what he said was the “total absence” of measures to combat corruption.
He said the pervasiveness of corruption in Sabah and Sarawak had deprived their citizens of economic development and the quality of life they deserved.
He cited the recent arrest of Sabah Water Department’s director, deputy director and two others for alleged corruption involving more than RM100 million.
He pointed to reports alleging that 60 per cent of the funds allocated to the department were pocketed by government officials and that more than RM3 billion meant to improve water supply in Sabah were not used for the public’s benefit.
FreeMalaysiaToday  October 22,2016

The Worst Budget Ever

The 2017 Budget is the worst ever budget of the country and also the worst of all Budgets for Sarawak. For the sake of the country and also for Sarawak, the 25 Sarawak BN MPs must vote against the Budget.

There is no point for the Sarawak BN to complain about the neglect of Sarawak in the annual budgets and yet continue to support the Budgets in the Parliament. That is hypocrisy of the highest degree and also deceit against the people of Sarawak.

The 2016/17 Economic Report tabled in Parliament today together with the 2017 Budget reveals that the Government’s actual revenue collected in 2016 fall far short of its initial estimates.

In 2016 Budget initially tabled by Najib in October, 2015, the estimates revenue of the Government was RM225.7 billion. This estimates revenue was reviewed downward to RM212.6 billion. This is a downward revision of RM13.1 billion, a 5.8% drop from its initial estimates.

Despite this downward economic trend, the Government is still making an estimate of 3.4% increase in 2017 revenue. This is a most unrealistic and self-deceiving estimates.

The lower than expected revenue collection in 2016 also explains the phenomena that a lot of the promised allocation and announcements by the Government in 2016 were not followed up with actual fund being allocated and disbursed, eg. the promised allocation for Chinese schools, the unreasonable delay in the disbursement of fund for government projects announced, the lack of maintenance of the facilities in hospitals, the non-starter of the Sarawak General Hospital multi-storey carpark projects, the delay in Pan Borneo Highway projects, etc.

In short, the National coffer is running dry and the Government is finding it difficult to get the money to implement the projects that it announced or promised.

The 2017 Budget has also set the record-low percentage in Development Fund, with 81.7% of the total expenditure of RM262.8 billion going to Operating Expenditure and only 18.3% for Development Expenditure.

There is complete silence on the fight against corruption in Najib’s Budget speech and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) gets a massive 14% cut in its budget in year 2017, from the 2016 budget allocation of RM251.7 million to RM216.2 million in year 2017. Is Najib too ashamed to talk about fighting corruption? Or is he simply ignoring the fight against corruption in the country?

In light of the recent Sabah Water Gate corruption which revealed that out of a total RM3.3 billion allocation, the leakage could be as high as RM2 billion (60%), the ultimate issue in our Budget is no longer “how much is the allocation”, but rather “how the allocation is to be used?”

So long as the corruption and leakage problems are not addressed, there is no point talking about billions of allocation when as high as 60% of such allocation goes into the private pockets of the corrupt officers and politicians. Yet, Najib completely ignores these problems in his budget speech.

As for Sarawak, if we were to compare the Federal Budgets for the last three years, there is a conspicuous omission of Sarawak in the 2017 Budget address. It is as if now that Sarawak Elections are over, “Sarawak” no longer warrants the emphasis in the Budget.

Despite all the Adenan’s talk about “Whatever they (West Malaysia) have, we (Sarawak) also want”, it is not happening with the Barisan Nasional Government. It has not happened for the past 53 years and it is still not happening in the 2017 Budget.

Therefore, if Adenan and the 25 Sarawak BN MPs is serious about defending and fighting for Sarawak’s interest, they should vote against the 2017 Budget.

Chong Chieng Jen
MP for Bandar Kuching / ADUN for Kota Sentosa
DAP Sarawak Chairman