Monday, June 21, 2010

Still wasting money for arms..unnecessary 'new Parliament' - and wanting to cut subsidies that benefit the people

Malaysia claims to be going 'bankrupt' - eventhough it is impossible for any government to go bankrupt, more so a country like Malaysia that has been bestowed with rubber, oil palm, petroleum, gas, .... and has a small population of less than 30 million.

And to reduce its spending - the government wants to reduce subsidies that now benefit all persons in Malaysia irrespective of ethnicity, religion, political affiliations. We are talking about subsidies for fuel, cooking gas, cooking oil, food items, electricity, water,....

But at the same time, Malaysia's UMNO-led BN government wants to waste now building a new Parliament 

I really also wondered why Najib bought that very expensive submarine - are we going to war with anyone? We do not need submarines....fighter jets, etc Malaysia really do not have any enemies... and money presently wasted on these 'toys' could have been better spend for the welfare of the people...

We spend billions on the refurbishment of defence equipment; on fighter jets, frigates and submarines. When a supplier lays on an exorbitant commission to some shadowy middleman, that commission is built into the price the government pays. That money comes from the ordinary Malaysian.

Military toys

Military toys are very expensive. I remember from my time in the Finance Ministry. Even then, patrol craft cost about RM280 million each.

exocet AM-39missleWe loved Exocet missiles. As minister, I had to sign each time the military fired an Exocet missile for testing.
Every time, we test fired one of them, RM2 million literally went out with a bang.

When the UK went to war against Argentina, the UK government tried to borrow them from us because outside of the UK, we had the most of them in the world. We must have been under some extraordinary military threat which I did not understand.

The list is long: procurement of food and clothing for the military, medicine for hospitals and so on. In all these things, the government has been extraordinarily generous. And paid extraordinarily high prices. - Malaysiakini, 19/6/2010, Ku Li on corruption and Exocet missiles
And, now some facts about our present Parliament. We do not need any new Parliament buildings...and if there is a need for more space for a room/lounge for drivers of  MPs, and MPs themselves, then another building could be erected in the large area around the current Parliament...

"We have raised several issues many times. For instance, drivers don't have a waiting room, MPs don't have their own offices but only workspaces, and so on," Fuziah [Kuantan PKR MP Fuziah Salleh] told reporters at the Parliament lobby.- Malaysiakini, 17/6/2010, MPs cry foul over Putrajaya relocation plan
I believe MPs should be fighting for research assistants and staff for them to be better able to research matters that will enable to make more knowledgeable comments in the Dewan. Most MPs do not read even all the Bills that are being debated...that is why they are often silent. We need MPs of better quality...for the good of Malaysia. And better MPs need to have quality staff, research assistants, etc... and money is better spend for this rather than for new Parliaments..

The foundation stone was laid by the third Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail, on Aug 31, 1962, and officially opened on Nov 2, 1963 – meaning construction of the iconic structure took only 14 months at a cost of RM18mil.

Parliament House is built on a hill 61m above sea level, and has grounds totalling 16.2 hectares.

The main block, where both Houses of Parliament sit, is three stories high, whereas the tower block is 17 stories high.

Over one million bricks, 2,000 tons of steel, 54,000 tons of concrete, 200,000 bags of cement and 300 tons of glass were used to construct Parliament House.

The triangular structure that is the roof structure of the Dewan Rakyat hall has 11 sections, representing the number of states in the then Federation of Malaya.

Malaysia, including Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, was only formed on Sept 16, 1963, less than two months before Parliament House was opened.
Aerial view: The rooftop of the main building of Parliament House, taken from the 8th floor of the tower building. — Pictures by RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

The Parliament ground has a Deer Park – there are currently about 30 deer still being housed there.

The total value of the paintings – of past and present Kings, Prime Ministers and Speakers of both Houses – is approximately RM4mil.

Parliament has a yearly allocation of RM60mil, but this includes allowances to Members of Parliament, which takes up about 70% of its budget.

The Royal Steps – only used once a year by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong when officiating the first sitting of Parliament – is covered up with plastic sheets the rest of the time. Apparently there have been cases of cats getting into the building and soiling the carpet.

The ornamental pattern on the exterior of parliament, also known as kerawang, not only adds grandeur to the structure but keeps the building cool as well.

There is supposedly a tunnel leading from Parliament House to the Lake Gardens to be used for emergency evacuation. However, its exact location is not disclosed, either on grounds of secrecy or due to disuse.

Parliament House graced the back of every Malaysian coin from 1967 to 1988.

The Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara are associated with the colours blue and red respectively, and the carpeting in both houses are so coloured.- Star, 20/6/2010, Quick facts about Parliament building

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