Saturday, August 24, 2019

Malaysia's poverty levels far higher than reported, says UN expert

The national poverty line of RM980 per household per month - is this even rationalle? How much does it cost to rent a premises for you and your family in Malaysia? Klang Valley? How much is the monthly loan obligation to pay for the house (or-low cost house) you bought? How much balance is there from that 'RM(*)' to pay for food, clothings, utilities, transportation, education...So, is RM980 a reasonable poverty line income? 
 
Someone said to me, that one way of eliminating poverty is to simply lower the 'poverty line income' - and poverty will disappear?
 
Is that what is happening in Malaysia ... 

According to Alston, Malaysia’s official poverty rate dropped from 49% in 1970 to just 0.4% in 2016.However, the national poverty line of RM980 per household per month would see an urban family of four surviving on RM8 per person per day.

“This is a tragically low line for a country on the cusp of attaining high income status, especially since a range of rigorous independent analyses have suggested a more realistic poverty rate of 16 to 20%,” Alston said.

He added that about nine percent of households survive on less than RM2,000 per month.

“Actual poverty rates are much higher than official figures suggest, and the government needs to reassess how it measures poverty so that the hardship many Malaysians experience is not conjured out of existence by a statistical sleight of hand,” he said.

It is ridiculous ..

Alston said the national poverty line of 980 ringgit ($234.00) per household per month was "ridiculous", as it would mean an urban family of four would have to survive on 8 ringgit, or less than $2, per person per day. "It can't be done except under really dire circumstances," he said.

Undercounting the poverty rate has led to a lack of effective government policies targeting the problem, with too many underfunded and ineffective programmes in place, Alston said.

 
Poorer than we think: Malaysia’s official poverty figures ‘vastly’ undercounted, says UN expert

Nation
Friday, 23 Aug 2019 12:02 PM MYT
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s claim to having the world’s lowest national poverty rate is inaccurate, as the official figure vastly undercounts poverty, says United Nations human rights expert, Philip Alston.

The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said Malaysia uses an unduly low poverty line that does not reflect the cost of living and excludes vulnerable populations from its official figures.

“While Malaysia has achieved undeniably impressive growth in reducing poverty in the last 50 years, the official claim that poverty has been eradicated, or exists merely in small pockets in rural areas, is incorrect and has crippled policy making,” he said at the end of his recent 11-day visit here.

According to Alston, Malaysia’s official poverty rate dropped from 49% in 1970 to just 0.4% in 2016.

However, the national poverty line of RM980 per household per month would see an urban family of four surviving on RM8 per person per day.

“This is a tragically low line for a country on the cusp of attaining high income status, especially since a range of rigorous independent analyses have suggested a more realistic poverty rate of 16 to 20%,” Alston said.

He added that about nine percent of households survive on less than RM2,000 per month.

“Actual poverty rates are much higher than official figures suggest, and the government needs to reassess how it measures poverty so that the hardship many Malaysians experience is not conjured out of existence by a statistical sleight of hand,” he said.

Alston also urged the government to urgently reconsider its approach if the country is to make any real progress on this issue.

“Despite near-universal healthcare and high school enrolment rates for citizens, and a growing economy, large parts of the population are being left behind and many people living above the official poverty line are in fact in poverty,” he said.

Alston added that undercounting has also led to under-investment in poverty reduction, and an inadequate social safety net that does not meet the people’s needs.

This fragmented social protection system puts many people’s rights to food, housing and education at risk, he said.

Alston also highlighted that poor people in Malaysia, especially the Orang Asli, suffered disproportionate violations of their civil and political rights.

“Indigenous peoples suffer much higher rates of poverty, and despite laudable commitments by the government to ensure their rights, the customary land of indigenous communities remains under siege, jeopardising their livelihoods, food security, and access to traditional medicines.

“I was troubled to hear state officials speak of the need for indigenous communities to ‘adapt’ and relocate to urban areas in order to secure their rights,” he said.

Alston added that non-citizens including migrants, refugees and stateless people who are barred from the public school system, face severe barriers to accessing healthcare and are often unable to work legally, yet are systematically excluded from official poverty statistics.

“The government should urgently revise the way it measures poverty to bring it into line with the country’s cost of living, and it should include vulnerable non-citizen groups in the new measure.

“It should also stop arbitrarily withholding information that is crucial to understanding poverty and inequality, such as household survey microdata,” he said.

Alston noted that Malaysia has made real progress on a range of progressive commitments, but added that the new government should not deny the existence of the poor and marginalised.

“Instead, it should step up efforts to fulfil their rights,” he said.

Alston said he will present a comprehensive report with his conclusions and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in June next year. - Star, 23/8/2019

 

Malaysia's poverty levels far higher than reported, U.N. expert says

(file pix) A U.N. human rights expert on Friday disputed Malaysia's assertion that it has nearly eliminated poverty, saying that official figures were vastly inaccurate and do not reflect realities on the ground. Malaysia's official poverty rate dropped from 49% in 1970 to just 0.4% in 2016. NSTP
 

KUALA LUMPUR: A U.N. human rights expert on Friday disputed Malaysia's assertion that it has nearly eliminated poverty, saying that official figures were vastly inaccurate and do not reflect realities on the ground.

Malaysia's official poverty rate dropped from 49% in 1970 to just 0.4% in 2016.

But Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the official numbers relied on outdated measures, with the poverty line remaining at the same level for decades despite increasingly high costs of living.

Analyses done by independent groups suggest that Malaysia has "significant poverty" and that its true poverty rate was about 15%, Alston said.

"The government's official figures would make it the world champion in eliminating poverty ... but I think it's pretty obvious that that's not the case," Alston told a news conference at the end of an 11-day visit to Malaysia.

The prime minister's office and finance ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Alston's assertion.

Alston said the national poverty line of 980 ringgit ($234.00) per household per month was "ridiculous", as it would mean an urban family of four would have to survive on 8 ringgit, or less than $2, per person per day.

"It can't be done except under really dire circumstances," he said.

Undercounting the poverty rate has led to a lack of effective government policies targeting the problem, with too many underfunded and ineffective programmes in place, Alston said.

He urged Malaysia to reassess its methods for measuring poverty and take into account vulnerable groups excluded from the data such as stateless families, migrant workers, and refugees.

"Only then can Malaysia begin devising policies that can systematically address their needs," he said. -- Reuters - New Straits Times, 23/8/2019

Police action against anti-Lynas leaders, is it DETERENCE? Rights must be defended and promoted.

Those who exercised the right to peaceful assembly on Lynas summoned by police? Is this to DETER people exercising their right to peaceful assembly...OR is it because they are against the Prime Minister's, Pakatan Harapan and Government stand on the Lynas issue?

And we are told - YES, they gave the police 10 days notice...and the police said action is taken because they did not get the PERMISSION of the Local Council, responsible for the public space where they exercised their right to peaceful assembly

...but failed to obtain permission from the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) for use of the venue in accordance to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

The police should have first found out whether the MPK(made up of politically appointed Councillors not chosen and democratically elected by the people) OBJECTED or not...

Further, the organisers did allegedly ask MPK for the permission but MPK just did not respond ...YES or NO > So, who is to blame? Was the MPK Enforcement Officers there to stop the event - no, it seems...

However, Lee claimed the council had ignored the organisers' request to use the venue."MPK did not give any written feedback to the application to use the area. As it is a public place, taxpayers and residents have a right to use the venue."MPK should provide cooperation and not make things difficult," he said
Did the police sent a reminder saying that MPK had not yet given its consent - please get it...and, if that MPK permission was so important, why did the police allow the protest to go on and is now targeting the leaders??? 

MPK was asked, and they were silent - would that not imply consent? 

I believe that during the tabling of the amendment to the Peaceful Assembly Act amendments, someone said that there were about 2,000 peaceful assemblies - but I did not hear of any summons or actions against them...Did they comply with all the requirements of the law - that bad law? Or is the police response selective? In some cases, they act...in others  they do not...

The Lynas issue affects the people of Kuantan ...and soon some other District/Town/State - and, of course, people have a right to express how they feel about the issue...and lobby others to come out and show that they support...

Was the MP of Kuantan there? She, after all is the peoples' representative of Kuantan - did she have a referendum with her constituents to find whether they want Lynas to remain or shut down? Whether Lynas waste should remain in Malaysia or be send away from Malaysia? Or is the peoples' representative now the government's representative? 

How many town hall discussions did your MP have about Lynas? Have your elected reps and that 'politically appointed' Local Councils been organising forums to give people all the arguements - from those who are anti-Lynas, those for Lynas, the experts...and then get the decision of the people as to the stance they, the 'elected reps' should take on the Lynas issue? 

Or are the elected reps now simply saying 'LISTEN...LISTEN...this is the government position, you just support - do not oppose..' 

Are we a democracy or a dictatorship under our elected MP and government? Democracy is not simply being able to choose and vote once every 5 years...

PUBLIC SPACES - there should be no requirement for people to get PERMISSION from Local Government or Local Councils, or State/Federal government when they are exercising their right to peaceful assembly in public places..  spaces....?

Abolish the draconian Peaceful Assembly Act which prevent free exercise of our Human Rights - Police should not have the power to permit or not the exercise of right to peaceful assembly - or to set conditions and/or restrictions.

Abolish requirement of notice periods - the Bill to amend the Peaceful Assembly act was passed in a rush - no time for even the people to organsize a peaceful assembly to protest(or support) that proposed amendment...

See earlier posts:-

Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 - PH amendments FAIL to restore right to freedom of assembly?

UMNO's Shahidan Kassim takes a Human Rights position compared to DAP, PKR,..PH on Right to Assemble Peacefully

Court of Appeal says '10 day pre-peaceful assembly notice' is unconstitutional ...a good courageous decision

 

Cops summon five, including Harapan reps, over anti-Lynas rally

Lu Wei Hoong & Ng Xiang Yi  |  Published:  |  Modified:
    Police have summoned five people over the anti-Lynas rally in Kuantan last Sunday.

Among those summoned are activists from Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL), which organised the rally, as well as two assemblypersons.

This was confirmed by SMSL organiser Tan Bun Teet and PKR's Semambu assemblyperson Lee Chean Chung.

Apart from the two, others summoned are SMSL legal adviser Hon Kai Ping, SMSL secretary Chu Seng Poong and PKR's Teruntum assemblyperson Sim Chon Siang.

Lee said Pahang police had wanted to question him today, but he is in Kuala Lumpur and will only provide his statement tomorrow.

"I am of the opinion that the freedom of assembly is a human right guaranteed by the Federal Constitution," he told Malaysiakini.



After the protest at Taman Gelora last Sunday, Kuantan district police chief Mohamad Noor Yusof Ali had said police will investigate the organiser as it had submitted a 10-day notice, but failed to obtain permission from the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) for use of the venue in accordance to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

However, Lee claimed the council had ignored the organisers' request to use the venue.

"MPK did not give any written feedback to the application to use the area. As it is a public place, taxpayers and residents have a right to use the venue.

"MPK should provide cooperation and not make things difficult," he said, adding that police should not take issue with the peaceful protest based on technical reasons.

Tan said the five will give their statement to the police at Lee's service centre in Kuantan.

"We have not decided on a time yet. We'll need to see when Chean Chung returns to Kuantan," he said.

He also expressed regret at MPK not responding to their request to use Taman Gelora as a venue for their protest.

Malaysiakini has contacted Mohamad Noor for further comment.



Some 500 people had turned up at the rally last Sunday to protest Putrajaya's decision to extend Lynas' operating licence for its rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, for six months.

The government on Aug 15 announced the extension to Lynas' licence, but set a condition for it to come up with a construction and financing plan for a permanent deposit facility (PDF) to store its radioactive waste.

"The construction of the PDF must be expedited to minimise the risk from the water leach purification (WLP) stockpile that is now at more than 580,000 tonnes at the temporary residue storage facility, which is exposed to major floods," said the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

AELB also required Lynas to shift its "cracking and leaching" phase of operations, which produces the radioactive waste, to overseas within four years.

It also asked Lynas to terminate its efforts to commercialise the waste by diluting them and turning them into fertiliser, and instructed for funds for this research to be channelled to the government as collateral.

The more stringent condition has not soothed anger as Harapan leaders had in the past promised to shut down the Lynas plant.- Malaysiakini, 21/8/2019

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Discrimination, No accountability or transparency - RM1.5 million(+RM300k) to PH MPs, RM? to other MPs? Kleptocracy?Policy?

When Pakatan Harapan MPs are given money, and Opposition MPs are not - it is DISCRIMINATORY?  Well, the former BN government did the same - well, where is the CHANGE... So, why are Malaysians where majority voted freely for an MP from a non-PH candidate suffer?

Alleged that PH MPs were/are given RM1.5 million plus RM300,000 for service centres - How did they really spend that money? Did the money go into their own pockets? Or was it used to enrich their family or friends? Where is the account? The Auditor General should audit these accounts and report? [Malaysian MPs already get a salary of RM16,000 each, and they have various other allowances which may come to a sum equivalent their salary - RICH they are, compared to minimum wage of RM1,100??]


“I want to know, when YB Langkawi (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) became the Prime Minister, he announced (RM100,000) allocation for all Opposition lawmakers; that was his first announcement.
 Dr Mahathir had announced in June last year that Pakatan lawmakers would be given RM500,000.“Who cancelled that (earlier) announcement, not even one cent was given to us,” said Dr Wee. He said that now, Pakatan lawmakers are given RM1.5mil and an additional RM300,000 for their service centres, but there is nothing given to Opposition lawmakers.

Some Constituencies have over 100,000 and others about 40,000 - is it fair for all Constituencies to receive the same amount? 
"... when YB Langkawi (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) became the Prime Minister, he announced (RM100,000) allocation for all Opposition lawmakers; that was his first announcement. Dr Mahathir had announced in June last year that Pakatan lawmakers would be given RM500,000.“Who cancelled that (earlier) announcement, not even one cent was given to us,” said Dr Wee. He said that now, Pakatan lawmakers are given RM1.5mil and an additional RM300,000 for their service centres, but there is nothing given to Opposition lawmakers..."
Parliamentary REFORMS must mean that the giving of MPs/ADUNs/Political Monies monies to spend on the constituents and/or in their constituency must be STOPPED.

Repairing roads, houses, buying wheel chairs, providing assistance to the poor should be done by the Government - not the MPs/ADUNs, etc ... 

MPs/ADUNs may help bring to the attention things to the relevant departments/Ministries things that need to done ...and maybe even put pressure that it be speedily done ...that is all.  [If MPs are using 'monies' from government to also be doing this, it causes a PROBLEM - because it is the job of the relevant government department/Ministry and Budget has already been allocated for this....?]

If the MPs/ADUNs are spending their own money, no problem - after all their basic salary is RM16,000 per month - plus other allowances and benefits, it could double. They should share their wealth with the people...If their political party is using party funds, it is OK. Has any MP used his/her own money for charity? Well, ordinary people use their own money to donate for this and that...

BUT, it is NOT OK for them to be using Malaysian peoples' monies - government money

As proposed before, every Member of Parliament should be provided with staff(which the MP can identify), and maybe they should be directly paid by the government. It would include secretaries, Parliamentary Assistants(to help with Parliament work/assist in Parliament work), Personal Assistants(at least 3), drivers, etc > all should be paid by the government.

Likewise, rental and utilities for Service Centers -  maybe one service center for every 40,000 constituents, so if the constituency have 75,000 constituents, then 2 Service Centres with staff..

So, even giving all MP a fixed sum for service centres may also be unjust..

Money should also be given to MPs to maintain a website ...Facebook account at least..

IF PH MPs given so much more > are they using 'OUR' money to maintain political support - I pay-you support...vote for me?

ACCOUNTS - AUDITED ACCOUNTS OF ALL MP'S GOVERNMENT ALLOCATIONS - That is priority? Are they practicing 'kleptocracy'? 1 year has passed - where is the audited accounts...

Some earlier related posts:-

Not only MPs that are being discriminated against but the constituents more so.

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

RM500K - No need 'Santa Claus' MPs - Just better quality MPs?

RM1 million to PR ADUNs, RM0 to BN and other ADUNs - Discrimination just like what BN did

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

Asset Declaration - Way to make sure politicians do not abuse power to enrich themselves?

Wrong for the Court of Appeal to deny leave to MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj

RM1 mil for BN MPs, RM500,000 for PR ADUNs - this is Discrimination, bad practice and should stop

PR's new Selangor Chief Minister starts spending and discriminating? Is there any difference between BN and PR?

Najib's promising more than RM5 million for BN MPs? Buying silence and support? 

Permatang Pauh:- Is PR government just as discriminatory as BN? PRM - 'a check and balance'?

 

 

Uproar in Dewan Rakyat over allocations for MPs 

Monday, 1 Apr 2019 6:57 PM MYT

by hemananthani sivanandam, rahimy rahim, martin carvalho, and tarrence tan



KUALA LUMPUR: A shouting match erupted in the Dewan Rakyat, after Opposition lawmakers questioned the allocations that were promised to them under the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) urged the Pakatan government to keep its promise in its election manifesto.

The manifesto had said there would be funding based on a transparent formula to all Dewan Rakyat lawmakers, so that they can carry out their responsibilities in their respective constituencies and operate their service centres.

“Pakatan was seen as being positive in giving equal funding for all, which is why the people chose Pakatan.

“I want to know, when YB Langkawi (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) became the Prime Minister, he announced (RM100,000) allocation for all Opposition lawmakers; that was his first announcement.
 Dr Mahathir had announced in June last year that Pakatan lawmakers would be given RM500,000.

“Who cancelled that (earlier) announcement, not even one cent was given to us,” said Dr Wee.

He said that now, Pakatan lawmakers are given RM1.5mil and an additional RM300,000 for their service centres, but there is nothing given to Opposition lawmakers.

Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat) said that it was a form of discrimination and is unfair for the people.

“The people chose their MPs but the government has provided a very small allocation for the Opposition lawmakers, this is discrimination and unfair to the people who voted for the Opposition,” he added.

Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) said the allocations should be given based on the needs of a particular constituency.

“If Kangar needs more, or Pasir Gudang needs more, then give them, but if Pasir Salak asks, also give Pasir Salak an allocation,” he quipped.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik said in response that the allocations for lawmakers were released last week and can be used.

He added that this was a first step to a good beginning, as it is the first time such allocations have been implemented.

“We can have improvements from time to time, based on the economy as well as based on the discretion of the Prime Minister,” he said in his winding up debate on the Royal address for his ministry on Monday (April 1).

He said that the allocations given to Pakatan MP are special allocations totalling RM1.5mil for this year.

“Last year, there was RM500,000 and an additional of RM500,000 given to (Pakatan) MPs.

“The Pakatan lawmakers were also given RM300,000 to manage their service centres,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had lodged a police report over the leaked investigation papers involving the Penang undersea tunnel project.

He said the MACC had lodged a report on Feb 28 this year.

“The police report is regarding the leak of investigation papers of the Penang undersea tunnel project.

“It is under police investigation and it is still being probed,” he said.

Dr Wee had earlier took the government to task for not confirming or revealing any information on MACC’s report lodged over the leaked investigation papers involving the Penang undersea tunnel project.

He urged the government to reveal the content of the report and authenticity of information leaked.

“We want to know whether it is true or not, as we want to correct what is wrong.

“This is not something that we can play around,” he added.

The Ayer Hitam MP also urged the government to state how can the investigation papers got leaked as it involved the integrity of MACC.

“The most important thing is the reputation of MACC and why no action was taken,” he asked.

To this, Hanipa said a police report is a public document and can be acquired from the police.
“It is a public document, and anybody is entitled to look into the report,” said Hanipa.

It was reported that political blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin posted several articles on his blog, said to contain the leaked information.

The blogger alleged that several Penang state exco members were being scrutinised in the MACC’s probe into the project.

The 7.2km undersea tunnel is part of a RM6.3bil, which also includes three paired roads. - Star, 1/4/2019

MPs squabble over equal funds for service centres

723 Shares
656
63





(Bernama pic)
KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition and government MPs tussled in the Dewan Rakyat today over funds for constituency service centres, with Barisan Nasional MPs saying they should get an equal amount as Pakatan Harapan MPs.

Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) asked that all MPs be allocated the same amount of money for running their service centres.

He was supported by Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat), Ismail Sabri (BN-Bera), and Wee Ka Siong (Ayer Hitam), among others. They urged the government to be fair and just and to keep their election promises to distribute funds transparently.

Last year, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the house that government MPs would receive an allocation of RM500,000 and opposition MPs RM100,000.
In response to the oppositions MPs’ request, Chan Ming Kai (PH-Alor Setar) asked if BN would give equal amounts to PH state assemblymen in states ruled by BN. “If you don’t agree you don’t have the right to (ask),” said Chan.

Two-term MP Abdullah Sani (PH-Kapar) said that when BN controlled the federal government he had not received any allocation.

Noor Amin Ahmad (PH-Kangar) then taunted the opposition for now claiming discrimination although BN itself, when in power, had refused to give allocation to opposition MPs.

Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat) said Pakatan Harapan should set a good example at the federal level for others to follow.

The house was told that constituency allocations were released last week. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Md Farid Md Rafik meanwhile said MPs of both sides now received funds for running their service centres.

“We can improve from time to time, based on the economy as well as on the discretion of the Prime Minister,” he said when winding up the debate on the Royal Address.

The constituency allocations amounted to a total of RM1.5 million for this year, he said. Last year, MPs received RM500,000 and Pakatan MPs were granted an additional RM500,000. In addition, Pakatan MPs also received RM300,000 to manage their service centres.- FMT News, 1/4/2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Utusan workers picket unpaid salaries after so long - Fight for your rights fast before it is too late?

Well, the workers of Utusan picketed  ... but why did they not picket in June and start taking action the moment their wages(or part) was held back? Why did they go the Magistrate Court, and get a court order - a security bond with one or more sureties? Why did they not claim at the Human Resource Department? Waiting in reliance to verbal assurances of employers is really not smart...

Close to 100 staff from Utusan Malaysia’s editorial department staged a protest today over unpaid salaries outside their office here.
On August 9, The Malaysian Insight quoted an unnamed source as saying that executive staff salaries had also been delayed for two months, with some receiving only RM2,000 as part of their June wages.
The problem with a lot of workers in Malaysia is that many chose to sit around quietly even when Employers fail to pay their wages in time...or delays payment of wages... They believe in 'words', not even written agreements that the delayed wages will be paid...And who made these 'promises'...

Now, when your employer does not pay wages at the time wages are due...you need to get worried that the employer may be having no capacity now or maybe even in the future to pay your wages..

If you delay payment of your loans, then automatically you will be liable to a 'penalty' which usually is interest...Well, for delayed wages, there is not even any interest that you become entitled to... This must change, and delay in payment of wages means that the employer should be paying INTEREST for the delay - it must be daily interest...maybe 8% interest per annum for each day delayed [Will that be fair - well, some workers are bound by loans whereby they may be liable to higher daily interest rates...]

The EMPLOYMENT ACT has a REMEDY - well, if you did not get paid in time or wages delayed, you can file a summons in the Magistrate Court to protect yourself - and the court could order the Employer to 'security by bond' ...

78  Employee's remedy when employer about to abscond (Employment Act 1955)

(1) If any employee complains to a Magistrate that he has reasonable grounds for believing that his employer, in order to evade payment of his wages, is about to abscond, the Magistrate may summon such employer and direct him to show cause why he should not be required to give security by bond to remain in Malaysia until such wages are paid; and if, after hearing the evidence of such employer, the Magistrate decides that such bond shall be given the Magistrate may order such employer to give security by bond in such sum as to the Magistrate seems reasonable, that he will not leave Malaysia until the Magistrate is satisfied that all the just claims of such employee against him for wages have been paid or settled.

(2) If the employer fails to comply with the terms of such order to give security, he shall be detained in prison until arrangements have been made to the satisfaction of the Magistrate for settling the claims of such employee:
Provided that-
(a) such employer shall be released at any time by the committing Magistrate on security being furnished or on his paying either the whole or such part as to the Magistrate seems reasonable of all just claims of such employee against him for wages or on the filing of a petition in bankruptcy by or against him; and
(b) in no case shall the period of such detention exceed three months.
(3) The bond to be given by an employer shall be a personal bond with one or more sureties, and the penalty for breach of the bond shall be fixed with due regard to the circumstances of the case and the means of the employer.

(4) If on or after a complaint by any employee under subsection (1) it appears to the Magistrate that there is good ground for believing that the employer complained against has absconded or is absconding or is about to abscond, the Magistrate may issue a warrant for the arrest of such employer and such employer shall be detained in custody pending the hearing of the complaint unless he finds good and sufficient security to the satisfaction of the Magistrate for his appearance to answer the complaint.

(5) For the purposes of this section a certificate purporting to be signed by the Director General and issued to the Magistrate to the effect that wages claimed have been paid or settled shall be sufficient evidence of the payment or settlement thereof.
 
What is interesting is that this 'Security by bond', which is 'a personal bond with one or more sureties,'... Now since, many employers may be COMPANIES, that one or more sureties is very important as they will be usually the Directors or major shareholders ...so, even if the Employer company account has no more monies, you can still go after these Directors and/or major shareholders to recover your debt...

The only issue is words 'when employer is about to abscond', what does it mean? 

If your employer is a sole proprietor or a partnership - then they cannot run away. Their business 'bankrupt' - No problem because the individual proprietor and the partners are liable to settle what is owing to workers personally - from their own wealth.

No money...well then their other assets could be sold and the money is there...

Running away from Malaysia puts these individuals out of the jurisdiction of the Malaysian courts and this may be a problem..they could also 'escape' by transfering their 'wealth' overseas...

But when the employer is a COMPANY, then the fact that the company may empty their company accounts and/or dispose their assets should also mean that this Company employer is 'about to abscond'...

If the company does not have any money to pay unpaid wages, then unless workers have a personal guarantee of Directors and/or major shareholders ...they may end up with not getting any 'unpaid wages'....but if there is an application to the Magistrate court...then they may get a 'bond with one or more sureties,'...which is equivalent to a personal guarantee...so if Company no money, no problem for the workers can still go after the guarantors and/or sureties personally...to get their money..

Banks are SMART - when they give loans to Companies, the almost always insist on personal guarantees by individual persons, usually the Directors and sometimes majority shareholders... Maybe the law need to be amended, that for wages and other payments to workers, Directors will be also personally liable as 'guarantors' or 'sureties'..

Well, did the Utusan workers, who have had their salary delayed filed an application to Court under this section - at least to get a 'bond with one or more sureties' to protect their claim and rights?

Did the Utusan workers, when their salary was delayed even file a claim at the Human Resource Department?

Are they hoping for UMNO or the 'Pejuang Melayu' or the government to pay their unpaid salary and other money claims...payable by their employer? WHY should government or UMNO or Najib or 'pejuang melayu' pay their salary that is due and payable by their employer Utusan...who has nopw indicated they are ceasing publications...?

Mana, mana pejuang Melayu? Mana, mana Umno mana? (Where are the defenders of the Malays?
Where is Umno?),” the workers chanted during their peaceful gathering.

Well, if your rights are violated, then you are responsible for fighting for your own rights ... I believe some of these workers are Union members, did their Union not advise them? 

Remember Malaysia have bad Union laws, which says that once you cease employment, then you are automatically no longer a Union member...and as such the Union cannot help/assist former members...That law must be changed, Union membership can only be terminated by the Union as to how it wants to. [Even if out of employment, when such problems arises, a Union is important - really Union membership ending should not be determined by LAW but by the Union and its membership by their own rules...]

They seem to members of the Union - did the Union secure their wages by getting a Personal Guarantee of Directors?  

Did they get the employer to pay interest for the delay?

Now, apparently, many of the former workers have signed  a Voluntary Separation agreement - so, they agreed the resign on condition that the Employer company pay them a sum of monies...and now, they too are complaining that they have net yet received their payment? 

As of December 2018, approximately 800 employees have accepted the voluntary separation scheme as the company embarked on a cost-cutting measure. However, their payments were also delayed.

Did that Agreement contain a clause where individual Directors or shareholders provided a Guarantee - if the Company cannot pay, these persons personally will pay...

NO - then, they have been foolish - for if their employer company has no more monies...they may have no more remedy... Did their lawyers or Union advise them to get this 'guarantee'...?

If you did not get paid pursuant some voluntary separation agreement - that monies may no longer be considered 'wages' - because even the Employment Act in that section that deals with 'Priority of Debt" says ' "wages" includes termination and lay-off benefits, annual leave pay, sick leave pay, public holiday pay and maternity allowance.{The priority debt section is found below - Section 31  Priority of wages over other debts (Employment Act 1955))


Does this include money still due and payable under some Voluntary Separation Agreement? It may not be considered 'wages' - though a lawyer may argue and the courts may decide otherwise. But, on the face of it, it may no longer be considered 'wages' and as such no priority of debt?

Will the Malaysian government pay the Utusan workers their claims? That is not fair unless the government takes on the obligation pay all workers under any employer, who have claims for outstanding wages and other monies due...Side question - did the past Malaysian government use the peoples' monies to bail or help out Utusan?

Workers in Malaysia, and also their Trade Unions, must learn more about worker and trade union rights ...and they have to really 'fight' for their RIGHTS...and the fight must start as soon as the employer breaches their rights ...

Trusting employers ...relying on personal assurance is simply not wise. Well, at least get it in writing ...or use the courts fast to secure your rights first...

The BN government was pro-employer - so in the MAS case, they even created a law that made the new MAS not liable for monies still owing to workers by the old MAS. There, despite of so many Unions, most did not lead in the fight for rights save maybe one. 

Trade Unions in Malaysia need to REFORM - they need to energize themselves and be more active in defending and promoting worker rights...New 'stronger' pro-worker leaders are maybe needed... 

Utusan workers stage protest over unpaid salaries, plead for help

Utusan Malaysia workers protest over unpaid salaries in front of Utusan headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 19, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Utusan Malaysia workers protest over unpaid salaries in front of Utusan headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 19, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Close to 100 staff from Utusan Malaysia’s editorial department staged a protest today over unpaid salaries outside their office here.

The group, made up of journalists, graphic artists and photographers, said it was hard enough, as it is, just to stay afloat.

Mana, mana pejuang Melayu? Mana, mana Umno mana? (Where are the defenders of the Malays? 
Where is Umno?),” the workers chanted during their peaceful gathering.

“Even to come to work we have to borrow money.

“The papers are published every day right? That’s because of our work. Even without our salaries, we have never slacked off, “ a staff from the company, Nik Mohd Hasmazi Hassan told reporters.

He said that almost all the staff resorted to borrowing money even for basic need such as meals and pleaded that their plight is resolved quickly.

“Each of us is still trying to find other jobs but it is difficult because of our age.

“Imagine if both husband and wife opted for the VSS? How are they going to survive? Where is Utusan’s promise?” Siti Ainiza Kamsari, another staff of the beleaguered publication and senior journalist, told reporters.
Utusan Malaysia workers protest over unpaid salaries in front of Utusan headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 19, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Utusan Malaysia workers protest over unpaid salaries in front of Utusan headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 19, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
VSS refers to the voluntary separation scheme. Utusan Malaysia’s management had reportedly offered the scheme to many workers of the company, but to date, has yet to pay them the promised severance sum.

The picket today started at 1pm and ended at 2pm, amid police presence.

On August 9, The Malaysian Insight quoted an unnamed source as saying that executive staff salaries had also been delayed for two months, with some receiving only RM2,000 as part of their June wages.

“Husbands and wives working in Utusan have to bring their children to the office because they cannot afford to send their kids to a nursery or babysitter. Some staff have accumulated debts over the past two months,” the source reportedly said.

Last year, staff of newspapers Utusan and Kosmo! threatened to picket following a similar wage issue, but called it off after the management came up with an amicable solution.

The source said Utusan and Kosmo! staff are giving the management until August 19 to resolve the issue, or they will proceed with the protest.

As of December 2018, approximately 800 employees have accepted the voluntary separation scheme as the company embarked on a cost-cutting measure. However, their payments were also delayed.

The Utusan Group, which publishes Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo!, is currently on PN17 status on the Malaysian Stock Exchange after failing to pay an outstanding debt of nearly RM1.2 million to two banks. - Malay Mail, 19/8/2019

Nearly 100 picket at Utusan office over unpaid wages

Current and former Utusan Melayu employees protest outside the main office in Kuala Lumpur today. 

KUALA LUMPUR: Nearly 100 current and former employees of Utusan Melayu Bhd demonstrated in front of the daily’s main office here today, claiming the company had failed to pay them their wages for one and a half months now.

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Taufik Razak, who was present at the gathering, said he had attended a meeting earlier with Utusan’s management and executive chairman.

He said he was informed that the company has no funds to pay either overdue or current wages, and claimed it could face closure within weeks.

“This is because they do not have any money and have failed to sell off their assets,” Taufik, who is also Utusan NUJ branch chairman, said.

NUJ claimed earlier this month that Utusan, which publishes Malay dailies Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo, owes salaries to 769 workers, with complaints of delays in payments and claims since January.

“Even Umno has not given any information on keeping Utusan alive because Umno also has no money,” Taufik said.

“So I’m pleading with Umno and Umno members to help us workers who have helped them in the past, and to look at our condition.”

Taufik claimed Utusan had been unable to sell off its assets in part because many of its buildings do not have a certificate of fitness.

Consequently, he said, the management has to wait for approval from the authorities before they can sell these assets.

“You can imagine how bad Utusan’s management was – they thought Umno would always stay in power,” he added.

Nik Mohd Hasmazi, who has worked as a graphic designer at Utusan for 23 years, said employees were like flood victims who must resort to financial aid for daily necessities.

He said it is especially difficult for him as a father when his son asks him for money for allowance.

“My son, who is in Form 3, even asked me to give him RM5 instead of the usual RM7 because he wants to help me.

“We love the company, that’s why we have not left it. Even though we have not been paid, we have not abandoned the work.”

Malaysian Trades Union Congress secretary-general J Solomon, who was also present, claimed there had been a lack of effort by the management in selling off the company’s assets.

“Even if they can’t sell their properties, they must find a way to mortgage the properties to at least pay the salaries of the 200 workers involved,” he said.

He also called for a revamp of the editorial board, saying journalists should not be blamed for following instructions.

Likewise, he urged the government to intervene, saying Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and prime-minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim were once supported by Utusan as well. - FMT, 19/8/2019

31  Priority of wages over other debts (Employment Act 1955)


(1) Where by order of a court made upon the application of any person holding a mortgage, charge, lien or decree (hereinafter referred to as "the secured creditor") or in the exercise of rights under a debenture the property of any person (hereinafter referred to as "the person liable") liable under any of the provisions of this Act to pay the wages due to any employee or to pay money due to any contractor for labour is sold, or any money due to the person liable is attached or garnished, the court or the receiver or manager shall not authorize payment of the proceeds of the sale, or of the money so attached or garnished, to the secured creditor or the debenture holder until the court or the receiver or manager shall have ascertained and caused to be paid, out of such proceeds or money, the wages of such employee, or the money due to any contractor for labour under a contract between him and the person liable, which the person liable was liable to pay at the date of such sale, attachment or garnishment:

Provided that this section shall only apply to the sale of a place of employment on which-
(a) any employee to whom wages are due as aforesaid;
(b) any employee to whom wages are due by such contractor for labour as aforesaid;
[Am. Act A1419:s.9]
(c) any contractor for labour to whom money is owed on account of the sub-contract by the contractor for labour as aforesaid,
[Am. Act A1419:s.9]
was employed or worked at the time when such wages were earned or such money accrued due, and to the proceeds of the sale of any products of such place of employment and of any movable property therein used in connection with such employment and to any money due to the person liable on account of work performed by such employee or contractor for labour or derived from the sale of the products of such work:
[Am. Act A1419:s.9]
Provided further that-
(a) where the person liable is an employer the total amount of the wages of any employee to which priority over the claim of a secured creditor is given by this section shall not exceed the amount due by the employer to the employee as wages for any four consecutive month's work;
(b) where the person liable is a principal and where the wages are claimed from such principal under section 33 the total amount of the wages of any employees to which priority over the claim of a secured creditor is given by this section shall not exceed the amount due by the principal to the contractor at the date of the sale, attachment or garnishment unless the contractor is also a contractor for labour;
[Am. Act A1419:s.9]
(c) where the person liable is a contractor or sub-contractor who owes money to a contractor for labour the total amount due to such contractor for labour to which priority over the claim of a secured creditor is given by this section shall not exceed the amount due by such contractor for labour to his employees (including any further contractors for labour under such first-mentioned contractor for labour) for any four consecutive month's work.
[Am. Act A1419:s.9]
(2) In this section, except for the second proviso, "wages" includes termination and lay-off benefits, annual leave pay, sick leave pay, public holiday pay and maternity allowance.


Utusan no more?

‘Utusan Malaysia’ workers holding a picket outside the company’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. PIC BY SUPIAN AHMAD
AFTER 80 years, Utusan Malaysia, the bastion of Malay journalism, may be rolling out its final print edition tomorrow.

It is learnt that its editorial staff, in a special briefing yesterday, were told that the company no longer had the financial means to continue its operations, and as such, would bid farewell to its print operations.

Speaking to the New Straits Times, a worker said the briefing was conducted by Kosmo! editor Lokman Othman, who conveyed the news.

An audio clip of the briefing by Lokman was made available to the NST.

“Our last paper will be published on the day after tomorrow (Wednesday). On the front page, there will be a notice to inform readers that we will cease publication on Wednesday.

“This means that tomorrow (today) we will work for the Wednesday publication. After that, we don’t have to work.”

It is learnt that they were told that new investors were interested in acquiring the newspaper.
Utusan Melayu’s building in Jalan Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur. PIX COURTESY OF UTUSAN ONLINE
 
However, the staff were also told that this could mean that the workforce would be trimmed substantially.

They were told the company’s online operations would continue. However, any return of Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo!’s print editions might need only 60 employees from Utusan and 60 from Kosmo! from its present workforce of 800.

The news came hours after hundreds of workers from the publication, including journalists, graphic artists and photographers, held a picket outside the company’s headquarters to demand outstanding salaries and severance payments.

National Union of Journalists president Taufek Razak, who led the picket, said a meeting was held between staff representatives and Human Resources Ministry personnel yesterday.

He said Utusan Malaysia executive chairman Datuk Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir admitted that they had financial problems.

The decision to shutter the print operations was made by the board of directors at a meeting earlier yesterday.

“We were told that the company has no money to pay the workers or run the business,” said Taufek.
Aziz is expected to address the company’s employees at a townhall session at 4pm today.

The Utusan Group reportedly failed to pay salaries since June and had, prior to this, delayed the payment of salaries.

Salaries of executive employees were reportedly delayed for two months, with the last partial payment of RM2,000 paid in June.

The company previously carried out a voluntary separation scheme, which reduced the number of workers from 1,400 to 823. However, VSS payments were also delayed.

The newspaper’s readership started declining in 2004, but major financial problems came about following the change of government in the 14th General Election last year.

Utusan Malaysia traces its roots to 1939 when it was first published as Utusan Melayu. It was founded by Yusof Ishak, who later became the first president of Singapore, and Abdul Rahim Kajai, dubbed the father of Malay journalism.

Kosmo! on the other hand was launched on Aug 30, 2004.

In its heyday, Utusan Malaysia’s circulation peaked at 350,000 copies a day in the 1990s and was one of the largest selling newspapers in Malaysia.


‘Board of the view that it can’t meet Bursa requirements’

The Board of Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd (“Utusan” or “the Company”) wishes to announce that Utusan is unable to submit its Regularisation Plan as prescribed under Paragraph 8.04(3) and Paragraph 5.1 under Practice Notes 17 (‘PN17’) within twelve (12) months from the date of its admission as PN17 issuers.

After taking into consideration of the losses incurred in the first two quarters of 2019 and cash flow constraints, the Board is of the view that the Group will not be able to meet Bursa’s requirements to uplift the PN17 status. The Group is also not be able to find any potential investor to participate in order to revive the Group, mainly due to its huge liabilities.

The above is without prejudice to Bursa Securities’ rights to proceed to suspend the trading of the listed securities of Utusan and to de-list the Company in the event:

(i) The Company fails to submit a regularisation plan to the authorities on or before 19 August 2019;
(ii) The Company fails to obtain the approval from any of the regulatory authorities necessary for implementation of its regularisation plan; and,
(iii) The Company fails to implement its regularisation plan within the time frame or extended time frame stipulated by any of the regulatory authorities.

Upon occurrence of any events set out in (i) to (iii) above, the Company is aware that Bursa Securities shall take any relevant action including to suspend the trading of the listed securities of Utusan on the 6th market day after the date of notification of suspension by Bursa Securities and de-list the Company, subject to the Company’s right to appeal against the delisting.

This announcement is dated 19 August 2019.
Former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj unveiling a plaque to mark the opening of Utusan Melayu Press Ltd building in Jalan Chan Sow Lin in Kuala Lumpur in 1965.
 
Chequered history of ‘Utusan’ 

1939: First Utusan Melayu copy published in Jawi.
1941-1942: Temporarily suspends its operations during the Japanese occupation of Malaya and Singapore.
1945: Moves its headquarters to Cecil Street, Singapore.
1959: Relocates to Kuala Lumpur.
1961: Utusan staff, led by journalist Said Zahari, hold a strike to protest Umno’s bid to control Utusan Melayu’s editorial policy.
1964: Mingguan Malaysia starts publication.
1965: Utusan’s building in Jalan Chan Sow Lin officiated by first premier Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
1967: Utusan Malaysia starts publication. Utusan Melayu and Mingguan Malaysia start printing in Romanised version.
1982: Former premier Tun Hussein Onn opens Utusan’s new printing plant.
1991: Utusan’s printing plant in Gong Badak opens.
1994: Utusan listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Circulation peaked at 350,000 copies.
1996: Electronic newspaper Utusan Malaysia Online launched.
2004: Circulation declines to 250,000 copies.
2016: Circulation further declines to 144,438 copies.
2018: Utusan switches from broadsheet newspaper to tabloid size. Eight hundred employees accept the voluntary separation scheme after the 14th General Election.
- New Straits Times, 20/8/2019


LYNAS - Temerloh people do not want the PDF? Do your district want it? A REFERENDUM - people not political appointees or 'experts' decide?

Temerloh does not want the Lynas Permanent Deposit Facility(PDF) in our district. We certainly do not want this RISK near us...and it is a long term risk to our environment and health...

Should the PDF be in Langkawi, Port Dickson, Johor, Perak, Selangor or near Parliament? 

"Lynas Malaysia's PDF Planning Framework and Site Selection Plan have previously been approved by the AELB. In addition, the Pahang state government has given written approval to locate a PDF in the state of Pahang," Lynas said in a statement on Friday (Aug 16).

Wan Rosdy was replying a supplementary question from Lee Chean Chung (PH-Semambu) who asked on a news report that five probable locations in Pahang had been identified for the PDF, namely Lepar, Luit, Padang Tengku, Bukit Ibam and Chini.
Where will the PDF be? Will another community of people be affected? The PDF may be safe and .meet all the standards...but there is certainly a RISK...and contamination of environment may happen maybe in 10 years, 50 years, etc ... Do we want to live in a community with such a RISK? 

Lynas - No more send back waste to Australia - now OK if PERMANENT disposal facility? Earthquake, Sabotage, Wear and Tear?



Pakatan Harapan government, who initially gave the impression to some that if they win and form the government, then Lynas will be shut down... 

Then, there was a shift - No licence/permit renewal unless all the waste is taken away from Malaysia... Australia smartly refused to accept the waste back. In fact, why is Lynas not processed in Australia considering the ore is mined in Australia...

Then now, even that 'possibly dangerous'  waste can remain in Malaysia as long as a Permanent Deposit Facility is build... 

Now, WHERE WILL IT BE BUILT? Will the people of the area and surrounding areas have a say in the matter?  

Or will it be just the decision of the State government and the Federal Government? 

Will the people be consulted - will there be a REFERENDUM where people in that District and State can vote whether they accept the Lynas PDF in their town, district or State? 

In the past, during the Barisan Nasional era, the government may say that 'various stakeholders' were consulted ...but who exactly are they? Did they even agree...or just merely consulted - meaning that even if they said 'NO', the government can still decide 'YES'. That is consultation?

APPROVAL OF POLITICAL APPOINTEES IS  NOT APPROVAL OF THE SURROUNDING PEOPLE AND COMMUNITY?

In my past experience, when it was asked whether the people in the area was consulted...the government says, "YES" - but who did they consult? Well, the consulted the JKK and the ketua kampungs; but wait, these are people who are not chosen by the people > they are POLITICAL APPOINTEES.

Pahanag government agreed - Well, is the Menteri Besar going to have the PDF in their own constituency?  

Federal Pakatan Harapan-led government can get rid of Lynas...

The Barisan Nasional Pahang State government can get rid of Lynas - If the state government says 'GO' - then Lynas will have to go maybe to some other state. After all, when Lynas came to Malaysia, Trengganu said "NO"...but then Pahang said 'YES'

While Trengganu said 'No' - Pahang agreed to allow a dangerous rare earth plant in Najib's home state


The Local Council(Local Government) can say 'No' - but then they are POLITICAL APPOINTEES of the State government - not democratically elected by the people...

China is the biggest producer of processed rare earth ...so is the 'trade battle' between US-China having an impact on government decision?

The MP said that Lynas's customers are Japan ...and since Malaysia do not want to 'cause problem' to Japanese companies ...because of Samurai bonds or something???

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh says Malaysia is in a jam over the Lynas issue as the main beneficiary of the processed rare earths is Japan, which has provided financing for the government in the form of Samurai Bonds....

In an open letter on the Lynas issue, Fuziah, a vocal critic of the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, blamed the previous government’ for the borrowing from Japan, and for running up too many debts.

“I would like to state that Japan is the sole beneficiary of rare earth elements from Lynas. Would investors in Japan remain quiet if Lynas is unable to supply them?”

She said, such a situation would cripple Japanese downstream industries which depended on rare earth elements....- FMT, 4/8/2019
- Anwar - What does he say about Lynas? Kit Siang and other MPs? No viewpoints or position?


BUT THE PRIORITY MUST BE THE HEALTH OF MALAYSIANS AND THE ENVIRONMENT ...a contamination may also affect livelihood of other people - their farms, the fishing income, etc ..Radiation is not the only concern - it is also other forms of chemical 'poisoning' - as happen in Pasir Gudang...

What is most important is that all the people around Lynas or the PDF should vote on this matter...and the government/s should listen...Safe or not safe is not the issue - Let the people decide...have a REFERENDUM ..





Lynas says confident of identifying site for PDF within six months

Nation Friday, 16 Aug 2019 10:04 AM MYT
By ONG HAN SEAN



  • A general view of the Lynas plant in Gebeng, Pahang


    KUANTAN: Lynas Malaysia is confident of obtaining consent for the location of a permanent deposit facility (PDF) for its water leach purification (WLP) residue within six months.

    The rare earth materials producer said it would also accelerate planning and construction of the PDF following the Cabinet decision to renew Lynas' licence for another six months effective Sept 3.

    This was announced Thursday (Aug 15) by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board's (AELB) with stricter conditions imposed on Lynas, whose operating licence was originally due to expire on Sept 2.

    "This is consistent with the recommendation of the Pakatan Harapan government's executive review committee in December 2018. Alternatively, Lynas can obtain consent from another country to receive the material.

    "Lynas Malaysia's PDF Planning Framework and Site Selection Plan have previously been approved by the AELB. In addition, the Pahang state government has given written approval to locate a PDF in the state of Pahang," Lynas said in a statement on Friday (Aug 16).

    The company said that under the new licence, Lynas would no longer be required to spend 0.5% of annual gross sales on research and development.

    However, this same percentage is to be contributed to the government as an additional security until the "cracking and leaching" facility overseas commences.

    "The relevant portion of these security amount is expected to be available for the PDF construction project. Further information will be provided on costs and timetable as this project progresses," said Lynas.

    Among the other conditions attached to Lynas' six-month extension was the relocation of the company's cracking and leaching process out of Malaysia.

    The Lynas plant is in Gebeng, some 25km from Kuantan town centre.

    Lynas also has to end all research and development activities related to the use of the WLP as a soil conditioner for agriculture use.

    Lynas Corporation CEO and managing director Amanda Lacaze also thanked the government for its decision, which she said was based on the scientific recommendations of its executive review committee.

    "We reaffirm the company's commitment to our people, 97% of whom are Malaysian, and to further developing Malaysia's position as a global rare earths centre of excellence.

    "Lynas will continue to make a positive contribution to the Malaysian economy and to international businesses to invest in downstream manufacturing in Malaysia," said Lacaze.

    She added that Lynas had created over 1,000 direct jobs, 90% of which were skilled or semi-skilled, and spent over RM600mil in the local economy each year.

    "We are optimistic that this decision will bring an end to the politicisation of Lynas over the past year. We look forward to continuing to be an active member of our communities and we will work closely with community members to ensure that they have up to date and accurate information about our operations," said Lacaze.- Star, 16/8/2019


    No decision on location of Lynas' waste disposal facility, says MB

    Wan Rosdy was replying a supplementary question from Lee Chean Chung (PH-Semambu) who asked on a news report that five probable locations in Pahang had been identified for the PDF, namely Lepar, Luit, Padang Tengku, Bukit Ibam and Chini. - NSTP/ZULKEPLI OSMAN
     
    KUANTAN: The rare earth processing company Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas) has yet to submit a formal application on the specific location of the Permanent Disposal Facility for its Water Leached Purification (WLP) residue in the state.

    Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said so far, the state government never discussed with Lynas the details of the PDF, which is one of the conditions set following the Cabinet's decision to renew Lynas’ licence for another six months effective Sept 3.

    “If there is a discussion or application, the priority of the state government will be the people’s safety. That part we are very clear.

    “..at the same time, this also involves the investment aspect as Lynas has invested up to billions in the country. We will look into all aspects of this issue. We want to hear experts opinions. If experts say Lynas is safe, then we will focus.

    “If not the experts, who else do we want to listen to? We are not experts in this area. It is certain that the state government will not do anything that is harmful to the people,” he said at the Pahang State Assembly sitting here today.

    Wan Rosdy was replying a supplementary question from Lee Chean Chung (PH-Semambu) who asked on a news report that five probable locations in Pahang had been identified for the PDF, namely Lepar, Luit, Padang Tengku, Bukit Ibam and Chini.

    He also explained that Lynas owned by Australian miner Lynas Corp and now operates in the Gebeng industrial area was an investment brought in by the previous Federal government through the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

    The statement was supported by state Tourism, Environment, Plantation and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin, who said the Federal government had earlier proposed that Lynas operate in Pahang.

    “So, now we wait for the Federal government’s reply. If they say Lynas is safe, then it’s safe. The state government has no expertise like the Federal government who has various technical experts,” he said.

    Sharkar said the technical experts include the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and Malaysian Nuclear Agency who are more trained in the field of Lynas operation and radiation. - BERNAMA - New Straits Times, 19/8/2019