Saturday, May 26, 2018

Foreign Spouses need to be immediately given PR?

Many Malaysians have married foreigners - but alas, the UMNO-BN government only was granting them long social visit visas(like tourist visas) which last one(1) year, and which need to be re-applied every year. They also cannot work in Malaysia unless they apply for an 'employment visa' just like other foreigners.

LOVE is something that one cannot dictate and as we no longer live in a closed community of Malaysians only, and we also travel a lot overseas for studies, work, etc - it is now a reality that Malaysians will fall in love with foreigners, and some will elect to marry.

When one marries, it also will mean being together, maybe even having children and also developing matrimonial property. Marriage really is not simply between A and B, in our Malaysian culture - but with it, it also brings about a commitment to parents and relatives, especially responsibility for the elderly. A child of a Malaysian parent is automatically a Malaysian citizen.

What happens now if the Malaysian spouse suddenly passes away? Under the UMNO-BN rule, that means the foreign spouse may not be able to continue to stay in Malaysia in the matrimonial home, continue carrying out the responsibilities to the parents/dependents of the Malaysian spouse, take care of their business and property, even be and look after children(if they do have children). When the 1 year visa expires, there may not be any other 1 year extension - so, the only way would be to travel in and out of Malaysia relying on tourist visas.

REASONABLY, on the registration of the marriage in Malaysia, the foreign spouse should immediately be granted a PR(Permanent Residency Status) - that will enable the foreign spouse the ability to continue to stay in Malaysia, and look after the matrimonial home and more importantly the parents/dependents of the now deceased Malaysian spouse. 

PR - not citizenship? Now, the government can at any time revoke the PR status, and this can be done if there is a need. One example is that the marriage was a 'sham' - a way of simply getting someone into Malaysia illegally or some other reasons that is reasonable.

MARRIAGE and family obligations is part of the Malaysian culture. It is wrong to think about marriage as just being something between 2 persons - and nothing to do with the families/dependents of one another.

RECENT DEVELOPMENT under the old UMNO-BN. Previously, after giving 1-year visas for a few years, the foreign spouse can get 3-year visas, and even 5-year visas...and after that can apply for PR Status. Well, it changed - now no more 3-year or 5 year visas, and for a longer visa or PR, apparently one of the requirement is that the foreign spouse must be able to converse in Malay. Learning a new language may be easy for some, but for many it is impossible. To be able to survive in Malaysia - well, for that one does not need Malay because a lot of Malaysians do understand English, Chinese and Tamil - and many Malaysians too, if the requirement is to be conversant in Malay, to be qualified for continued citizenship would most likely lose their citizenship. Look at GE14, why were the politicians campaigning using different languages if all Malaysians are fully conversant in Malay? Malaysian reality is many are not that fluent in Malay - they may just have an understanding of 'survival' Malay - and most Malaysians, thanks to our history and TV movies, are better in English and some other Malaysian languages.

For the best interest of the child, foreign spouses must be accorded PR immediately on registration of marriage in Malaysia. It does not matter whether they are living in Malaysia or not, for many people now work, study and/or live in other countries.

EMPLOYMENT - Well, foreign spouses should not be treated as any other foreign/migrant worker. They should be allowed to work and earn income for their families...be it through employment and/or through businesses. As such, their PR should maybe also be PR with the right to employment...for after all, most foreign spouses would likely be in low-income or middle income family, and their capacity to earn income must not be inhibited. It may be also reasonable for them to be obligated to pay taxes to Malaysia if they are earning income in Malaysia - which would accord them to contribute to EPF and also SOCSO (different from other migrant workers who now are not part of the EPF scheme, and is not part of SOCSO but a different scheme under the Workmen's Compensation Act.

Hopefully, the new Prime Minister and Pakatan Harapan government will do the needful, including immediately according PR status to spouses of Malaysians as soon as the marriage is registered in Malaysia. It is in line with the Malaysian culture - where marriage is also about a relationship with the family of one's spouse including a real responsibility of taking care of parents/dependants/children of the Malaysian spouse. It is also about generating more income for the family - a responsibility in this modern age is shared by both spouses. As mentioned, in the past marriage to 'foreigners' was a phenomena of the rich - but today a lot of poor and middle-income Malaysians also have 'foreign' spouses.

 

Wan Azizah must apologize and pay full cost of using government jet?

Pakatan Harapan government made a big 'FUMBLE' when the Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah used the government jet, taking along with her, her spouse Anwar Ibrahim and her 2 children to Kelantan. How much did that flight cost the Malaysian people? Would it have effectively erased the amount saved by the 10% pay cut of Cabinet members salary for maybe even 5 years?

HOPEFULLY, the Finance Minister or the Prime Minister must reveal the cost that Malaysians will have to borne by reason of that trip of Wan Azizah and her family?

I hope Wan Azizah speedily APOLOGIZES ...and also pay the full cost for the said flight using the government jet.

A trip to Kota Baru - well, there are so many flights that could have been taken.

KLEPTOCRACY - Well, it may also be? ABUSE OF POWER? Wrongful use of government assets?

And the reason for the trip, according to Astro Awani report was to meet up with the MOTHER and FATHER of the current King to extend their thanks for the pardon granted to Anwar...by the King(who is the Sultan of Kelantan). In Malaysia, the different Sultans of the States take turns to be the King for a fixed term.

Thanking the King maybe is OK - but thanking the King's family personally maybe taking things too far. It raises questions whether the Pardon was accorded according to 'Rule of Law'. Personally, the bar for a further 5 years after sentenced served or fine paid must be repealed. If only Anwar - then it is so wrong...

See also related posts:- 
OFFICIAL VISIT by the Deputy Prime Minister? Well, it sounds like a personal visit. 

Worse still, is the SILENCE of Wan Azizah herself. Anwar has come out trying hard to 'justify' the using of government jet for official visits, which may require the presence of the 'spouse' of the DPM....Nurul Izzah tried to defend the action ...Was it the DPM going to meet the Kelantan royalty? Or was it really the DPM accompanying Anwar?

Anwar went further by highlighting himself taking a 'FireFly' flight to Penang..

The many government jets that the UMNO-BN government had, now needs to be disposed off soon. 

Malaysia, after all, wholly owns an airline - MAS, and there are other Malaysian owned airlines that could be used for 'official trips'. I am sure that there are many 'rich' persons who will also be willing to lend their jets when needed. But using a government jet is expensive, and Malaysians end up paying for it.

At this point, we, the people, also have to ask ourselves whether we really want Anwar Ibrahim as the next Prime Minister after this incident, and the way he tries to justify the said trip? After all, the agreement was PH component party agreement - Malaysians were never really consulted or asked.

Were they summoned to the palace? Does that even make it 'official'? Well, if the King calls me to come meet him, can I also use the Malaysian government jet?

SPOUSE of the DPM? Are we going to also end up paying for 'spouse' of the DPM...maybe even Ministers - Best that only the Prime Minister or Minister go, and if they want to bring their 'spouse', then they should pay for their spouse. Remember, we elected Wan Azizah and she is now DPM - but we never elected her spouse or her children - same argument applies for all Ministers. There may be exceptional cases where the spouse of the PM may be required to attend...

Some Malaysians have even started collecting donations to help Malaysia which is at present having over RM1 trillion financial obligations/debts.

Given what happened, it may even be considered hypocritical for Anwar to have called on all Pakatan Harapan State governments to emulate what the Federal government did with regard to Cabinet pay cuts.

The 10% pay cut really should be even more considering the fact that these MPs are already getting paid as MPs, and some are even also getting ADUN pay as some are also ADUNs. Further, there are the 'allowances'...

Nik Aziz simple lifestyle must really be the example that Pakatan Harapan should follow...after all, you are 'peoples' representatives', and it is odd that you receive in salary(plus allowance) so much more that ordinary Malaysians...

Personally, salary of MPs and ADUNs need also be reduced, and all MPs and ADUNs service centres, and necessary support staff including personal assistant/s, researchers(or parliamentary assistance) should be paid by the government.

See related posts about need to allocate more for MP service centres, staff...

Time for MPs to be provided with MORE paid support staff,....

'Santa Claus' MP/ADUN of Pakatan Harapan just like BN? NO please.



 



Nurul Izzah rebuts criticism of family’s use of private jet

The private jet Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim used. — Picture courtesy of twitter.com/TheDukeofKL
The private jet Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim used. — Picture courtesy of twitter.com/TheDukeofKL
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar dispelled criticism of her family’s use of a private jet when visiting the Yang diPertuan Agong by saying the trip was an official visit.

She was answering a user on Twitter who asked if the new Pakatan Harapan government was already adopting the abuses frequently associated with the defeated Barisan Nasional.

“Official invitation, which was also extended to [Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s] family. Attitudes of old leaders will not be repeated, such as using jets for holidays and personal needs.

“Thank you for the reminded, we definitely cannot compromise,” she wrote.

A user earlier posted photographs of Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah along with her husband, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and two of their daughters against the backdrop of a government jet.

BN leaders were repeatedly accused of abusing government resources for their personal use. - Malay Mail, 25/5/2018

Anwar, Wan Azizah buat kunjungan ke Istana Kelantan

Anwar, Wan Azizah buat kunjungan ke Istana Kelantan
Dr Wan Azizah dan Anwar tiba di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, Pengkalan Chepa sempena majlis menerima menghadap bonda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid di Istana Mahkota Kubang Kerian malam tadi. - BERNAMA
 
KOTA BHARU: Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail bersama Ketua Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim membuat kunjungan hormat mengadap Pemangku Raja Kelantan, Tengku Muhammad Fa-iz Petra, bonda dan ayahnda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid dan Sultan Ismail Petra Ibni Al Marhum Sultan di Istana Mahkota di sini, malam tadi.

Kunjungan hormat mengadap itu merupakan antara lawatan pertama selepas Dr Wan Azizah dilantik sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri, bersama suaminya Anwar, ke Kota Bharu.
 
Pertemuan tertutup itu berlangsung di Istana Mahkota Kelantan yang mana kunjungan tersebut difahamkan sebagai mempersembahkan ucapan penghargaan dan terima kasih Anwar kepada Istana Kelantan susulan pengampunan diraja yang diperkenan oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, baru-baru ini.

Dr Wan Azizah dan Anwar tiba di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra Kota Bharu sekitar jam 9.45 malam tadi dan meneruskan program mereka di Istana Mahkota.

Mereka meluangkan masa hampir satu jam sebelum bertolak pulang ke ibu negara sekitar jam 11.30 malam tadi.- Astro Awani, 25/5/2018
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Anwar: Only commercial flights for personal matters

Kenneth Tee
View photos
Anwar took a commercial flight in his personal capacity instead of following his wife’s government-issued jet. — Picture via Facebook/AnwarIbrahim
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today sought to alleviate concerns of him using a government jet, by pointing out that he flew on a commercial flight to Penang for personal duties.

In a Facebook post, Anwar said he knew the difference between taking a commercial flight for personal matters and escorting his wife, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for official matters and utilising government jets for the latter purpose.

“This morning I went to Penang on an ordinary commercial plane. No official jet,” he wrote in a caption that accompanied several photos of his journey on Facebook today.

In the photos, Anwar, who wore a blue baju Melayu, could be seen making his way through airport security, walking towards a Firefly commercial aircraft and sitting next to another passenger in the cabin.

“This is the difference between official DPM escort duties and personal duties,” he added.
View photos
Anwar also shared this photo of him walking towards a Firefly commercial jet. — Picture via Facebook/AnwarIbrahim
He was scheduled to attend several programmes in Permatang Pauh where his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar is the incumbent MP.

Earlier, a user posted photographs of Dr Wan Azizah along with her husband, PKR de facto leader Anwar, and two of their daughters against the backdrop of a government jet.

Subsequently Nurul Izzah dispelled criticism of her family’s use of a private jet when visiting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by saying the trip was an official visit.

She was answering a user on Twitter who asked if the new Pakatan Harapan government was already adopting the abuses frequently associated with the defeated Barisan Nasional.

“Official invitation, which was also extended to [Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s] family. Attitudes of old leaders will not be repeated, such as using jets for holidays and personal needs.

“Thank you for the reminded, we definitely cannot compromise,” she wrote. - Yahoo News, 25/5/2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Transport Minister - Priority provision of efficient affordable public transport for ALL Malaysians?

Minister of Transport should seriously be looking at the transportation needs, in particular efficient, accessible and affordable public transportation for the smaller towns and rural areas in Malaysia, unlike the UMNO-BN government that was more concerned with Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley, and the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Using private transportation is something that has burdened Malaysians financially, and they had little choice and were forced to buy cars/motorcycles as public transport was totally inefficient in the smaller towns and rural areas. One could not even pick up the phone and get a taxi. Town and inter-district bus services were non-existent or just totally inefficient.
 


Transportation - Fuel prices and tols is really not the biggest problems in Malaysia.The biggest problem is the lack of an efficient, affordable public transport system not just in Klang Valley and big towns but also in smaller towns and all over Malaysia. The absence of public transport covering all areas of town, tamans and kampungs resulted in the increased cost of living.

The lack of an efficient public transport system has FORCED Malaysians to have to buy their own cars and motor-bikes, for which they were burdened with having to pay for petrol, tols and parking. A perusal of developed countries in Europe and even Asia(Hong Kong, Japan, etc) will see that an effective public transport system will not only cut our expenses - but also be better for our environment and healthcare. Public Transport is a basic necessity - and as such, government must be responsible to provide for it, for routes and areas where it is not profitable - for which private transport companies may not be able to or interested in this 'business'.

Under UMNO-BN, there was easy approvals to build shop lots and business premises, but the biggest problem was 'parking spaces', and since public transport was not there, almost everyone from the employees of the business premises, and customers had to come using their own cars. 

BUS - PUBLIC TRANSPORT - AFFORDABLE INTRA-TOWN DISTRICT BUS SERVICE SERVICE

Our smaller towns are growing with Housing Tamans and kampungs covering a large area - so, no more is it sufficient to have just inter-town bus services but in-town and in-district bus services (preferably one must be able to walk no further than 1 km from one's home or workplace/school to get a bus, which most importantly must be efficient(on time) and also regular. 

Under the UMNO-BN rule, what efficient bus services that we used to have maybe 30-50 years ago, is gone. Now, even for inter-town services, there is no regular schedule(which every bus stop should have), so we wait at the bus-stop for some time, and sometime are forced to hail a passing taxi and pay more. Now, people in Klang Valley and bigger towns really will not understand this problem that is faced by most small towns and medium sized towns...and rural areas...as they have taxis they can phone and get, and bus services.  

WILL THE NEW PAKATAN HARAPAN TRANSPORT MINISTER LOOK INTO THIS PROBLEM AND SOLVE IT?

There were people interested in providing intra-town district bus services but the problem was simply the near impossibility of getting licences/permits - a problem that even Opposition States in Penang and Selangor faced - forcing the need to simply operate 'FREE' busses.

If there was a reliable bus service that I can take to get to work, many Malaysians will use it - saving fuel cost, parking cost, and in some cases 'tol cost'. That savings will help in facing the problem of increased cost of living, and it also will contribute to a better and more healthy environment.

For such intra-town bus services, sometimes it may not be 'profitable' to attract private investors, companies or individuals - as such, maybe such services should maybe be provided directly by government (now maybe the Federal Government vide the Ministry of Transport, and/or the relevant Local Government...and maybe in the future could be handed over to private individuals and companies to run). 

The requirement is that the time between buses arriving at a particular bus stop should never be more than 30 minutes, better still if this can be be 10 minutes. Bus sizes need to flexible - and vans should also be allowed to function.  
 

RADIO TAXI - METERED TAXI SERVICE - CENTRALISED CALL CENTRE FOR TAXIS RUN BY MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT

In Temerloh, being the 2nd biggest town in Pahang, if one wants to go to the hospital or to town, the biggest problem is 'HOW'. You cannot call a taxi (well, that service is not available), and even for people who manage to hail down a taxi, the problem is that there is 'no fixed rates" and there is no 'meters' - so, a taxi driver can simply charge what he wants - so for some, it may RM20 and for another, it could be RM5. Well this is a BIG problem with all the smaller towns in Malaysia. 

TRANSPORT MINISTER - Well, it may not be practical for taxi owners/companies to set up a 'radio taxi' in smaller towns and rural areas because of the number of taxis. Therefore, what the Minister can do is to set up a coordination system at the national level - where people needing a taxi could maybe call a toll free number...and a get a taxi to their location, and for this service, customers may be required to pay a nominal fee of RM1(or RM2).

TRANSPORT MINISTER - All taxis must be metered taxis - and taxi rates should be fixed based on distance and/or time.  

The other problem is that many towns have expanded, and the distance to town (and even locations) are no longer walking distance (less than 1 or 2 Km), and at the same time, UMNO-BN government failed to ensure public transport.

TRAIN SERVICE

Remember that an effective public transport system is not just for the transportation of ordinary Malaysians - but is also important for the businesses and factories. They need an effective transportation to get their materials to their factories, and their products out - and a train is sometimes the most efficient and economical.

Whilst the UMNO-BN government was focusing on the train services on the West Coast of Malaysia, and recently the train lines from KL to Singapore, the train services in the East Coast has been deteriorating and becoming worse. Last time, there were 2 (or more) trains per day traveling the Johor Baru - Pasir Mas route...but today, there is one train per day, and it passes Mentakab(the centre point between 3-4 am).  

See earlier posts that outline the problems...

Pahang may out UMNO-BN because of poor train service - Kuala Lipis - Bahau?

Train services is not simply building a straight track from one point to another ...but also short tracks joining the main line. Train lines must be criss-crossing the country.

We need a train track linking Kuala Trengganu to the current existing West Coast train line, likewise linking Kuantan to the existing main line.

From Mentakab, the train track could link to Bentong and all the way to join the West coast line possibly in Kuala Lumpur. Likewise a train line linking the East Coast line to Penang. 

There must be train links to the different Industrial areas...so factories could easily send and receive products using trains.  

UMNO-BN seems to have been interested in tol highways, cars, and the Klang Valley and surrounding areas(LRT and Komuter). The rest of Malaysia, even East Peninsular Malaysia, was simply ignored.

Our dependency on petroleum must reduce - an effective public transport system especially trains would reduce private consumption of fuel by private car owners. Look at Europe and the rest of the world - the emphasis is on public transport especially rail transport...IN Malaysia, since UMNO-led government took over governance of Malaya - sadly no new train lines safe for now the ECRL.
 

Motor-Bike Taxi Service

In Thailand, this is an available service, and it most effective for short distance travel especially. Maybe, it should also be introduced here in Malaysia.

Well, many Malaysians have gone back to their hometowns and rural areas - and the available of employment opportunities or income generating activities as such will be most helpful in them combating the increasing cost of living.


ROADS  

If one were to travel out of the big towns, one will realise that most of the 'free' public roads are in a state of disrepair (even the white lines on the road have gone 'invisibe'). Of course, the UMNO-BN government 'promised' that all these public roads will be upgraded and maintained when they had to overcome the protest over the new tol highways....but alas, it remained a promise not fulfilled. Even in towns, like Temerloh, the lines are 'missing' at places...

Getting rid of the TOL, as it is, is important - but more importantly is the improvement of existing government roads...and the improvement of public transport...

AIRPORT    

Time to maybe have an airport in the centre of the Peninsular - no need a large International Airport - but a small local airport. This would also be good for tourism and business.    

LOT TO DO FOR THE NEW TRANSPORT MINISTER - BUT PRIORITY SHOULD BE ON SMALLER TOWNS AND RURAL MALAYSIA...