Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BARU BIAN’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2015


THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE: HOPE IN THE MIDST OF CORRUPTION AND EVIL
Throughout history, there has always been a struggle between the forces of good and evil, between darkness and light. It was reported in 2003 that out of the past 3400 years, there has only been peace for 268 years, or just 8% of recorded history. But is peace defined as just the absence of war? I think not. Even in the absence of warfare, there is constantly a struggle for justice, fairness and truth.

This Christmas, I would like to reflect on the gift of Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life, (John 14:6) and on the attempts by the forces of darkness to silence him. From the moment he was born, Jesus was a target of Herod who was determined to destroy the truth and the light.

After the birth of Jesus, three wise men set out to pay homage to him, passing Herod on the way. When told about the birth, Herod, called the wise men secretly and told them to “go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him” (Matthew 2:8). Having been warned in a dream, the three wise men did not return to Herod after they had seen baby Jesus, and returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:12).  When he realised he had been outwitted by the wise men, Herod had all the male babies aged 2 years and under killed. Jesus was finally betrayed and killed but “the Way, the Truth and the Light” did not die because on the third day Jesus rose up again fulfilling what the Scriptures had foretold, the crux of the Easter message and Hope.

In this country, even though we are not engaged in any war, there is a constant fight for truth and justice in the midst of corruption, murders and malicious persecutions. Innocent citizens’ rights are being suppressed by the rich and powerful. Those who are trying to uphold justice, righteousness and good governance are met with harassment, arrest and punishment. The rule of law is replaced by abuse of the law. Whistleblowers, civil rights groups, parliamentarians, academicians – none are spared.

The message I wish to convey this Christmas is that we must never be discouraged even when things seem to be at the darkest. The truth cannot be suppressed forever as the light fights to shine through the darkest cloud. Just as the Way, the Truth and the Light did not die with the death of Jesus, righteousness and justice cannot be forever suppressed by a den of thieves and oppressors. This is because the foundation of God’s throne is righteousness, justice, love and faithfulness as echoed by the psalmist in Psalm 89:14, and He “works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (Psalm 103:6).

As Mahatma Gandhi so wisely said,  “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always!”

We must take heart – never give up and never give in, for change could be just around the corner.

Blessings for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Baru Bian
Chairman
PKR Sarawak

UCAPAN BARU BIAN SEMPENA HARI KRISMAS 2015


JALAN, KEBENARAN DAN KEHIDUPAN: HARAPAN TATKALA RASUAH DAN KEJAHATAN

Sejarah mencatatkan bahawa sentiasa terdapat perjuangan antara kuasa-kuasa baik dan
jahat, antara kegelapan dan cahaya. Laporan pada tahun 2003 menyatakan bahawa
daripada 3400 tahun yang lalu, keamanan hanya berlaku untuk tempoh 268 tahun, atau
hanya 8% daripada catatan sejarah. Tetapi adakah keamanan ditakrifkan sebagai ketiadaan
perang sahaja? Saya tidak fikir begitu. Walaupun tiada peperangan, sentiasa terdapat suatu
perjuangan untuk keadilan, kesaksamaan dan kebenaran.

Krismas ini, saya ingin mengingatkan tentang kelahiran Yesus itu sebagai pemberian
kepada manusia sebagai “Jalan, Kebenaran dan Hidup” (Yohanes 14:6) dan kepada
percubaan oleh kuasa-kuasa kegelapan untuk mengalahkan “Jalan, Kebenaran dan Hidup”
itu. Dari saat Dia dilahirkan, Yesus menjadi sasaran Herod yang bertekad untuk
memusnahkan Kebenaran dan Cahaya ini.

Selepas kelahiran Yesus, orang-orang majus dari Timur ingin sujud menyembah kepadanya. Dalam perjalanan, mereka bertemu Herod. Setelah diberitahu mengenai kelahiran Yesus, Herod memanggil orang-orang majus itu dan memberitahu mereka untuk "pergi dan cari dengan teliti anak itu. Sebaik sahaja anda jumpa Dia, laporkan kepada saya, supaya akupun boleh datang menyembah Dia” (Matius 2:8). Setelah diberi amaran dalam mimpi, orang majus tersebut tidak kembali kepada Herod setelah melihat Yesus, tetapi kembali ke negara asal mereka melalui laluan lain (Matius 2:12). Setelah menyedari dia telah dilepasi oleh orang-orang majus itu, Herod memerintahkan supaya semua bayi lelaki yang berumur 2 tahun ke bawah dibunuh. Yesus akhirnya dikhianati dan dibunuh tetapi "Jalan, Kebenaran dan Cahaya" tidak mati kerana pada hari ketiga Yesus bangkit semula memenuhi ramalan Alkitab, mesej utama Paskah dan Harapan.

Di negara ini, walaupun kita tidak terlibat dalam mana-mana peperangan, terdapat satu
perjuangan yang berterusan untuk kebenaran dan keadilan di tengah-tengah gejala rasuah,
pembunuhan dan pendakwaan yang berniat jahat. Hak-hak rakyat yang tidak berdosa
'sedang ditindas oleh golongan kaya dan berkuasa’. Orang-orang yang cuba untuk
menegakkan keadilan, kebenaran dan tadbir urus yang baik telah diganggu, ditangkap dan
dihukum. Kedaulatan undang-undang telah digantikan dengan penyalahgunaan undang-
undang. Pemberi maklumat, kumpulan hak-hak asasi, ahli-ahli parlimen, ahli-ahli akademik - tiada yang terkecuali.

Mesej yang ingin saya sampaikan Krismas ini ialah kita haruslah tidak mudah mengalah
biarpun berada di saat kegelapan. Kebenaran tidak boleh ditindas selama-lamanya kerana
cahaya akan bersinar menerusi awan gelap. Sama seperti “Jalan, Kebenaran dan Cahaya”
itu tidak mati dengan kematian Yesus, kerana Yesus bangkit hidup pada hari ketiga,
kebenaran dan keadilan tidak boleh selama-lamanya ditindas oleh sekumpulan penyamun

dan penindas. Ini kerana asas kerajaan Tuhan adalah kebenaran, keadilan, kasih sayang
dan kesetiaan seperti yang dimazmurkan dalam Mazmur 89:14, dan Dia "mengerjakan
kebenaran dan keadilan untuk semua yang tertindas" (Mazmur 103:6).

Sebagaimana yang telah diperkatakan oleh Mahatma Gandhi yang bijak, "Apabila saya
terdesak, saya akan ingat bahawa sepanjang perjalanan sejarah, jalan kebenaran dan kasih
sayang sentiasa menang. Terdapat puak penzalim dan pembunuh dan untuk suatu masa
mereka seolah-olah kebal tetapi pada akhirnya, mereka sentiasa jatuh - ingatlah sentiasa"
Kita mesti bersatu hati – jangan sekali-kali menyerah dan mengalah, kerana perubahan
boleh terjadi bila-bila masa sahaja.

Semoga kita diberkati Allah pada Hari Natal ini dan Selamat Tahun Baru.

BARU BIAN
Pengerusi
PKR Sarawak

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BARU BIAN: UiTM ANTI-CHRISTIAN SEMINAR ODIOUS AND DANGEROUS


PRESS STATEMENT
14 DECEMBER 2015

I am outraged that UiTM has had the gall to hold another anti-Christian seminar after the outcry over the one held last year. Does the corporate communications chief Siti Najah Raihan Sakrani think that exempting non-Muslims from the programme makes it acceptable for UiTM to hold the course? Would it be equally acceptable for a Christians-only seminar to be held on the same campus on a similar topic with a Christian policeman as a speaker? We know that the Muslim extremists would be all up in arms and the policeman would be in big trouble. What appalls me even more is that instead of warning them against holding it, the police sent a speaker to this seminar. To top it off, the Malacca chief police officer, who is a non-Muslim, said matter-of-factly that the aim of the seminar was to strengthen the ‘akidah’ of Muslim students.

What does the police force have to do with strengthening the ‘akidah’ of Muslims? They are supposed to keep law and order, not dabble in religious instruction. The fact that they think it is acceptable to hold this seminar and to even send an officer to speak should give us loud warning bells – what sort of people do we have in the police force? Are they able to think intelligently about what is acceptable and what is not? Why did the AG not pursue the matter last year? It was reported then that speakers at that talk claimed Christians were betraying God unless they converted to Islam and called the New Testament gospels fake as Jesus Christ was not divine. This is clearly blasphemous against Christians and the AG had no reason to stop the investigations.

No wonder UiTM is not bothered about all the police reports made against it last year. No wonder they continue to hold these seminars with impunity. The police seem to be helping them in this anti-Christian crusade. We only know of these two seminars – how many have actually been held? Can the corporate communications chief tell us whether this seminar is now part of the syllabus of UiTM for Muslims? Is it being held in Sarawak? UiTM is an institute of higher learning. It is not a religious school and should never be used for this sort of programmes. In fact, these sorts of programmes should never be held anywhere. How does disparaging another religion strengthen one’s own faith? This is the sort of thing that divides a nation, not the use of English as another medium of instruction or an official language as feared by the likes of Rais Yatim. We might as well stop the pretence now and throw the 1Malaysia lie into the bin.

Programmes like this whip up feelings of insecurity and fear in Muslim youths by demonising Christianity. What started as UMNO using Christianity as the bogeyman to divide and rule the people is leading to the radicalisation of Islam in this country, and the consequences will be catastrophic. The moderate Islamic country that Najib portrays to the world is long dead. Last month, the Malay Mail reported that in a study of Muslims' support for ISIS, Malaysia tied for second place with Senegal among 11 nations with significant Muslim populations polled, and more than 1 in 10 people hold favourable views of ISIS.  It was reported on 12 December 2015 on Al Jazeera that based on police intelligence estimates, at least 50,000 Malaysians support the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

Malaysians should be very frightened about what is going on in this country. Moderate Muslims must speak up and support those like the G25 who are trying to bring some rationality back to the country’s leadership. The police and AG must investigate this shameful incident. Speaking as a Sarawakian, I know for certain that if Malaya in 1962 was like the current situation, our forefathers would not even have entertained the idea of having anything to do with the Federation of Malaysia.

Baru Bian
N70 Ba’ Kelalan

Australian court shuts down 1MDB-linked funds



The Australian Federal Court shut down investment schemes run by 1MDB-linked Avestra Asset Management, The Australian newspaper reported.
Avestra, which was sued by investors who had suffered losses, is an entity of Bridge Global Absolute Return Funds.
1MDB earlier told The Wall Street Journal that Bridge Global managed its US$2.3 bil proceeds from the short-lived joint venture with PetroSaudi.
According The Australian, Avestra was found to have potentially breached corporate law after liquidators found undisclosed related-party transactions.
In documents submitted to the court, liquidators from Deloitte said Avestra failed to meet minimum cash and asset requirements, file audited accounts and ensure investments were properly made.
“There is no evidence to support a review of scheme assets to ensure compliance with the investment objectives, strategy, risk profile and other information disclosed in the scheme disclosure documents has occurred,” the auditors were quoted as saying.
Liquidators also found links between Avestra and Harvest Court Industries, where Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s son Mohd Nazifuddin Najib was director until he resigned in 2011.
Liquidators said Avestra in 2014 loaned Zenith City Investment A$6.25 million, which was used in a bid to buy Harvest Court Industries.
Harvest Court was last year sued by Zenith, over board of directors members.
Investors who invested A$18.5 million in Avestra’s various schemes suffered dramatic losses in August.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) said Avestra sent A$5.6 million in cash and Malaysian stocks to Bridge Gllobal CMC before the collapse.













~ Malaysiakini

Ali Biju's debate speech DUN Dec 2015


Bahas by Ali Biju N34 Krian, Persidangan DUN Sarawak ke 17 
Tuan Speaker, terima kasih kerana memberi ruang kepada saya untuk membahas usul belanjawan rang undang-undang perbekalan 2016. 
Belanjawan Negeri Sarawak 2016        
Tuan Speaker, merujuk kepada Penyata Kewangan Majlis Daerah Saratok Berakhir 2014, saya ingin memberi pandangan mengenai beberapa isu yang telah pun saya bangkitkan pada sidang dewan yang lalu. Apa yang saya maksudkan ialah jumlah simpanan atau harta yang ditafsirkan dalam bentuk Wang Tunai Dalam Bank, Pelaburan Tabung Rizab dan Pelaburan Simpanan Tetap yang berjumlah keseluruhannya RM29 juta. Dibandingkan dengan Majlis Daerah Betong yang menyimpan hanya RM6 juta. Jumlah Simpanan sebanyak 29 juta ini adalah besar dan tidak seimbang dengan tanggungjawab sesebuah majlis daerah yang sepatutnya memberikan perkhidmatan dan kemudahan awam kepada rakyat khususnya di kawasan Saratok yang masih banyak memerlukan kemudahan asas seperti jalan-jalan kampung.  Dana simpanan yang besar seperti ini lebih menunjukan Majlis Daerah Saratok seolah-olah berfungsi sebagai sebuah firma pelaburan atau investment company. Penyimpanan dana mungkin bermaknafaat secara ekonomi untuk jangkamasa pendek bagi memaksimakan pendapatan sekiranya ada dana yang berlebihan. Tetapi memandangkan terdapat banyak keperluan-keperluan asas yang masih diperlukan di Saratok, saya ingin mencadangkan supaya sebahagian besar daripada dana tersebut wajar digunakan untuk membaikpulih dan membuat jalan-jalan kampung dan rumah panjang di Saratok. Banyak rungutan dan rayuan daripada penduduk Saratok berkenaan dengan usaha majlis yang tidak mengendahkan kerja-kerja membaikpulih jalan-jalan kampong. Saya percaya, hanya separuh daripada simpanan tersebut sudah memadai untuk membaikpulih hampir semua jalan-jalan kampong di kawasan Saratok. Pada sidang yang lalu, Menteri Kerajaan Tempatan telah memberi jaminan untuk menolong Majlis Daerah Saratok mengeluarkan simpanan tersebut, tetapi berdasarkan laporan kewangan itu, perkara ini masih lagi belum dilakukan. Maka disini sekali lagi saya menyeru Menteri Kerajaan Tempatan untuk mengambil tindakan yang sewajarnya untuk mengeluarkan sebahagian simpanan tersebut untuk kegunaan Majlis Daerah Saratok.
Projek Pertanian Sebagai Pembasmi Kemiskinan
Tuan Speaker, kita sedia maklum bahawa salah satu daripada usaha untuk membasmi kemiskinan di kawasan luar bandar ialah melalui program pertanian. Program penanaman getah secara berkelompok dan lada dari Jabatan Pertanian dan juga bantuan penanaman kelapa sawit melalui MPOB merupakan projek-projek bantuan yang amat dihargai dan digemari oleh pekebun-pekebun kecil di Saratok. Ramai pekebun-pekebun kecil atau smallholders telah mempertingkatkan taraf pendapatan mereka walaupun harga pasaran getah dan kelapa sawit tidak berapa menggalakkan. Penduduk-penduduk di luar bandar sendiri sudah sedar yang mereka tidak boleh mengharapkan sejenis tanaman dagangan sahaja, commercial crop, untuk menampung kehidupan keluarga mereka, sebaliknya mereka memerlukan 2 atau 3 jenis tanaman dagangan untuk menangani masalah-masalah harga pasaran yang tidak menentu. 
Oleh yang demikian, saya rasa usaha memberi bantuan penanaman lada perlu dipertingkatkan, yang mana harga pasarannya masih menarik. Dengan itu, di sini saya ingin mengetahui bagaimana status program bantuan lada yang akan dilaksanakan di Saratok? 
Masalah utama yang dihadapi oleh pekebun kecil adalah ketidaktentuan harga pasaran komoditi getah dan kelapa sawit, peningkatan harga baja dan racun yang berterusan semakin membebankan, dan kekurangan jalan kebun atau farm roads yang menghubungkan kebun mereka kepada jalanraya terdekat. Baru-baru ini, saya juga telah diberitahu oleh beberapa pekebun yang mengatakan kesangsian mereka pada kualiti baja yang dijual di pasaran. Mereka berkata kadang-kadang selepas menaburkan baja, mereka tidak nampak kesannya seperti dahulu walaupin menggunakan jenama baja yang sama. Maka, saya mencadangkan agar Jabatan Pertananian bersama dengan Jabatan Kimia, mengkaji secara saintifik kandungan kimia baja di pasaran dan menjamin kandungan baja-baja tersebut seperti yang sepatutnya.
Pencerobohan Kawasan Perkuburan Pendam
Tuan Speaker, pada sidang dewan yang lalu saya telah mengemukakan masaalah pencerobohan kawasan kubur, grave desecration, yang dibuat Tomb Raiders atau pencuri kubur. Akan tetapi baru-baru ini bukan sahaja harta orang mati di curi bahkan tanah orang mati pun nak diceroboh. Saya amat terkejut dan kesal dengan tindakkan oleh pemaju perumahan yang menceroboh kawasan perkuburan pendam orang Iban di Sungai Antu, Sibu seperti yang dilaporkan oleh suratkhabar beberapa hari yang lepas. Mengikut keterangan, tanah perkuburan tersebut pernah diguna bersama oleh 6 buah rumah panjang dari Bidut, Aup, Sungai Antu, Emperan Tekalong, Meluan dan Sungai Merah sejak tahun 1916. Oleh yang demikian, saya menyeru semua pihak yang berkenaan seperti Ketua Masyarakat setempat, Majlis Adat Istiadat Iban, pihak pemaju, Polis, Majlis Daerah Sibu, Jabatan Tanah and Ukur, bekerja-sama menyelesaikan masaalah pencerobohan ini. Kita tidak mahu kejadian yang tidak diingini berlaku terhadap mana-mana pihak. Mana-mana adat Iban yang berkaitan dengan tanah kubur seperti upacara miring dan minta ampun mestilah dilakukan untuk menghormati semangat nenek moyang mereka yang disemadikan di situ. Sekiranya pemindahan kubur terpaksa dilakukan nanti, mestilah mengikut kepercayaan adat resam orang Iban di situ.
Tanah Adat Bumiputra/Native Customary Land Right
Tuan Speaker, disini saya hendak membawa perhatian dewan yang mulia ini berkenaan dengan kes yang melibatkan TR Jambai dari Bekelit, seperti yang dilaporkan di suratkhabar tempatan. Saya amat terkejut apabila mendapat tahu bahawa TR Jambai telah dibelasah oleh sekumpulan lelaki yang menggunakan kenderaan company ladang. Sebelum dibelasah, TR Jambai telah dikepung oleh 2 buah kenderaan dan drama kejar-mengejar menggunakan kenderaan terjadi di Bandar Miri, sehinggalah beliau dirempuh dan kenderaan yang dipandu si mangsa terbalik di bulatan berhampiran dengan Balai Polis Miri. Kejadian malang ini bukan lakonan tetapi hakikat nyata nasib malang menimpa orang asal yang terpaksa mempertahankan hak tanah adat mereka. TR Jambai telah lama menghadapi ancaman yang sedemikian semenjak tahun 2008. Malahan kenderaan TR Jambai telah dibakar dihalaman rumahnya sendiri. Rumah beliau juga telah dibalingkan Molotov cocktail tetapi nasib baik kerana jiran bersebelahan sempat memadamkan kebakaran dari merebak. Banyak laporan polis telah dibuat namun ancaman dan ugutan masih berterusan terhadap TR Jambai, seolah-olah negeri kita yang kononnya aman damai tidak ada undang-undang dan polis, tiada sesiapa pun yang bertanggungjawab sudah dihukum dengan setimpalnya.
Seorang lagi penduduk Bekelit iaitu Jupan anak Uvat telah dilanggar oleh kenderaan company pada 2 Nov 2015 yang lalu, dimana beliau mendapat kecederaan di di bahagian pinggang. Malahan, Peguam Pemerhati yang mewakili penduduk Iban Rumah Jambai juga terpaksa membuat laporan polis kerana bimbang akan keselamatan diri.
Memandangkan perbalahan diantara orang asal dengan company semakin panas, saya menyeru di dewan yang mulia ini menggesa supaya siasatan dan tindakan yang tegas, adil dan telus dibuat oleh polis agar kepercayaan rakyat kepada polis tidak diragui. Masyarakat dayak memerhatikan dengan teliti apakah tindakan undang-undang yang akan diambil oleh pihak polis terhadap sesiapa yang terlibat membelasah TR Jambai. Kes ini adalah kes yang emotional bagi ramai orang dan kita tidak nak perkara yang tidak diingini melibatkan kecederaan atau nyawa berlaku sekiranya tidak ditangani dengan adil dan saksama.
Tuan Speaker, It is opportune for me to point out in this Honourable Dewan at this juncture that the world is celebrating Human Right Day today. And in conjunction with it, a delegation of natives from across Sarawak have presented a memorandum to the Right Honourable Chief Minister’s Office this morning to highlight the plights of the native Sarawakian to NCR land and their interests. As a signatory of the United Nation Declaration of Right of Indegenous People, I am hopeful that this government will exercise more and greater political will to safeguard the rights and interests of our native communities in Sarawak. 
Pejabat Daerah Kecil Nanga Budu
Tuan Speaker, disini saya ingin mengalukan pembukaan Pejabat Daerah Kecil Nanga Budu untuk memberi perkhidmatan kepada penduduk desa yang terletak di kawasan Krian Ulu. Dengan itu, saya juga ingin bertanya apakah jenis perkhidmatan yang disediakan? Saya berharap agar perkhidmatan-perhidmatan yang disediakan akan merangkumi kategori-kategori perkhidmatan yang sebanyak mungkin . Saya juga berharap agar perkara-perkara yang berkaitan seperti jumlah kakitangan yang bertugas dan bangunan-bangunan kerajaan yang sudah usang hendaklah diambil kira dengan sewajarnya,
Bekalan Air Terawat
Tuan Speaker, seperti yang telah dimaklumkan oleh Menteri di dewan ini bahawa pembinaan Loji Air Bersih di Kaki Wong telah pun siap awal tahun ini. Tetapi yang anehnya, setelah hampir setahun daripada tempoh siap tersebut, hanya beberapa buah rumah panjang sahaja yang telah mendapat bekalan air terawat. Maka, disini saya ingin meminta penjelasan mengapakah penyambungan meter air ke rumah-rumah yang berhampiran sangat perlahan? Apakah langkah yang akan diambil untuk mempercepatkan kerja-kerja penyambungan meter air ini? Saya juga ingin bertanya, adakah pihak kerajaan akan menyediakan kakitangan dan tenaga kerja yang mencukupi, untuk menampung jumlah pengguna yang akan bertambah secara mendadak? Di sini, saya juga ingin mencadangkan supaya kerajaan mengambil lebih ramai tenaga kerja seperti pentadbir dan pekerja operasi untuk menyelenggarakan sistem loji dan pembahagian air melalui paip, tangki, booster pumps, pencatat meter dan sebagainya. Pengguna-penguna amat mengharap dan menghargai bekalan air terawat ini setelah sekian lama menunggu. Kesihatan para pengguna yang memerlukan bekalan air bersih perlu diutamakan. 
Jalanraya        
Tuan Speaker, saya ingin sekali lagi menagih janji Perdana Menteri untuk menurap jalan Ulu Awik dan Ulu Krian secara keseluruhan seperti yang beliau ucapkan pada tahun 2011 semasa PRN 10 yang yang lalu. Pada masa sekarang kedua-dua jalan tersebut hanya telah diturap sepanjang 12km sahaja setiap satu. Ini bermakna hanya separuh sahaja kedua-dua jalan ini sudah diturap.
Saya sedia maklum bahawa projek menurap jalan Ulu Budu dan Babang sedang dilaksanakan dan berharap akan disiapkan dalam masa yang terdekat. Akan tetapi projek menurap jalan SESCO Ulu Paku/Nanga Alum Grenjang/Pakan masih belum selesai. Oleh itu, saya ingin bertanya kepada Menteri bilakah projek-projek yang separuh siap ini akan disiapkan?
Saya juga mencadangkan supaya JKR mengambil alih penyelenggaraan jalan sepanjang 3km yang menghubungkan SK Nanga Drau dan 3 buah rumah panjang berdekatan. Jalan yang ada sekarang hanyalah jalan tanah merah dan dibina oleh penduduk rumah panjang dengan pihak sekolah secara gotong-royong pada awal tahun ini, oleh itu usaha menaiktaraf jalan ini tidak akan melibatkan bayaran pampasan tanah. Jalan ini amatlah merbahaya terutama semasa musim hujan kerana licin.
Projek Bekalan Elektrik Luar Bandar
Tuan Speaker, hanya beberapa kawasan di Krian masih belum menikmati bekalan elektrik, iaitu rumah panjang sepanjang Ulu Kabo dan 2 buah sekolah. Maka disini saya ingin bertanya bilakah projek bekalan elektrik di kawasan ini akan disiapkan? 
Dengan ini, saya ingin mengakhiri ucapan saya dengan mengucapkan Selamat Menyambut Hari Krismas kepada yang berugama Kristian dan selamat tahun baru 2016 kepada semua.

Ali Biju
N34 Krian

Friday, December 11, 2015

See Chee How's Debate Speech, DUN 11 Dec 15


SARAWAK LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
11 DECEMBER 2015

Datuk Amar Speaker,

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on the proposed Budget 2016.

I would like to take this opportunity to deliberate a little about the investments that we should seriously look into.

In my question on the retrenchment of workers in the oil and gas sector this year, the oral answer we heard this Wednesday was depressing, out of 220 workers retrenched, 219 of them are Sarawakians.

This is the single most significant industrial sector in Sarawak, whereby we derived more than one-third of our state’s income, and we are referring to the most prized resources endowed by nature to Sarawak.

These 220 workers retrenched are just a fraction of those who are likely to be laid off within the next few months, and even more, if the prices of oil and gas do not improve next year.

I am certain that the Labour Department will do a good job to monitor the rationalization exercises of the corporations to ensure that the laws as regard retrenchment are complied with, more particularly the payment of retrenchment benefits.

However, retrenchment benefits can never be sufficient compensation. A caring governmentwould do more to protect her rakyat’s rights to work, which is a right to life.

We mustundertakes pro-active and strategic roles in the petroleum industry to better protect and safeguard the sustainability of our precious resources and the interests of the state and our people employed in this oil and gas sector.

Therefore, when it was revealed that the retrenchment exercise of Shell is linked to Shell Overseas Holding Ltd’s plan adjust its upstream portfolio, to dispose its 51% stake in Shell Refining Co (Federation of Malaya) Bhd or converting its refinery into a terminal for import, export and storage. I would urge the state government to discuss with Shell, to take up the 51% stake in SRC in order that the state can play a constructive including an ownership role in the oil and gas upstream portfolio.

On the other hand, to safeguard the livelihood of the workers, the government should talk to Petronas to absorb the 219 said-to-be highly skilled Sarawakian workers laid off recently or to engage Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP), the technical training institution owned by Petronas, to provide education, upscale training and skill development for them and others who may be retrenched in this current challenging time, so that they can be deploy into other sectors of the oil and gas industry or play more crucial roles when the prices of oil and gas are up again.

Datuk Amar Speaker, Honourable members may ask why should we invest in the oil and gas when the renowned industrial players have scaled down and even changed their portfolio.

Firstly, I would like to think that our second motion unanimous approvedin this august Dewan to assert our state rights, which include the affirmation to preserve and safeguard our state’s territorial integrity, will inevitably and significantly improve our position to bargain and negotiate for better returns and control over petroleum development projects which are to be undertaken within our territorial boundary.

Next, I am encouraged to read an article published in a leading digital financial media, called The Street earlier this week, that Warren Buffett has a game plan for the oil and gas industry.

I am referring to Warren Edward Buffett of course, the most successful investor and one of the world’s most influential personality. In the latest filing of his main holding company, he has significantly increased its stake in a Canadian-based energy company that specializes in producing synthetic crude oil and another Texas-based processor and transporter of oil and natural gas products, truly living to his most famous quote “Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful”, meaning to be prepared to invest in a down market and to "get out" in a soaring market.

Peter Lynch, another renowned investment guru had his international investment fund and assets grew from 20 million to 14 billion US dollars in 13 years, beating the Standard & Poor 500 Index benchmark in 11 of those 13 years and had achieved an impressive annual average return of 29%. His oft-quoted advice to investors is to stay on course when hit with recessions or declines, because economies are cyclical and the markets have shown that they will recover. The important thing is to make sure that we are a part of those recoveries!

Our state government has better quickly approach Shell for the stake in SRC before they change their mind.

However, the most important sector for investment by a government is not in the stock market to make more money.

This, I seek the kind permission of Datuk Amar Speaker to recite a 2,750 year-old  famous Chinese proverb: “一年树谷;十年树木;百年树人” (yì nián shù gǔ, shí nián shù mùbǎi nián shù rén) which has been translated to English and commonly used to say: “If our plan is for one year, plant rice. If our plan is for ten years, plant trees. If our plan is for one hundred years, educate our children.”

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, may not have heard about that Chinese proverb, but the famous polymath, "Renaissance man" or a learned person echoed words to similar effect, that "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest".

Benjamin Franklin facilitated many civic organizations and he started the University ofPennsylvania in 1740. The University which is now 375 years old is a world class top university, 18th in the QS world university ranking for 2015-2016.

China and US, together with the other world leaders, their countries are great because they have long realized the importance of investing in education of their younger and future generations and they are reaping the handsome rewards.

Datuk Amar Speaker, it is true that RM200 million is a huge sum of money, and it is a sizeable financial commitment on the state each year if we are to ask for ownership of Unimas.

However, Datuk Amar Speaker, the state budget presented by YAB Chief Minister has shown that we can manage it. Reportedly, we have a budget surplus of RM175 million. With prudent financial management, or if we persist to keep our goose that lays the golden egg, Sacofa Sdn Bhd, its annual income alone will more than make up the balance of the sum to be allocated to Unimas.

By the way, Datuk Amar Speaker, my question on the latest development in the disposal of the State Financial Secretary Incorporated’s stake in Sacofa was rejected. The ground for the rejection that the information is available in the public domain is mistaken and erroneous. I have perused the public documents filed by concerned parties over the last 6 months and they are nothing enlightening. There is only the market speculation that the acquiring private corporation is lobbying the state to extend the monopoly of Sacofa as the sole service provider of infrastructural facilities in Sarawak which I respectfully think that it is not in the best interests of the State and all Sarawakians. I would be most grateful if the Honourable Minister concerned will enlighten this august House of this issue that is of immense interests and concerns to all Sarawakians.

Coming back to the annual amount of RM200 million needed to maintain Unimas, Datuk Amar Speaker, it amounts to a mere 4 percent of our state budget. I am sure that this is a very small sum, if we do not see it as an expenditure but an investment on our children and the future of Sarawak.

For completeness to account for the foresight of Benjamin Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania he facilitated in 1740, the budget for the University of Pennsylvaniain the fiscal year of 2015 is a massive USD7.25 billion, or RM30 billion. And it registered a massive university endowment of USD10.1 billion. The investment into a world class university has its massive rewards and it is of no financial burden to the state at all, or in the long run.

Datuk Amar Speaker, I am proud to be in this Honourable Dewan that has passed a motion, which amongst others, emphasized on the needs to regain autonomy in education system and policies which our state of its unique socio-cultural diversity rightfully deserved. Many Honourable members have devoted consideration time debating for it and my studious former classmate and Honourable Member for Demak Laut has in his questions and speech rightly highlighted everyone’s concerns over Unimas’ priority in serving the needs of Sarawak.

Datuk Amar Speaker, it is certainly a heavy burden on the federal government to maintain 20 public universities and the less than mediocre support has resulted in the achievement of universities which are mediocre at best. I am hopeful that they will be happy to allow Unimas to be a state-owned government university and I am more than certain that we can enable Unimas to out-perform all its peers in this country and enter the QS World University Ranking within a short time.

Surely, it will be more meaningful for our Right Honourable Chief Minister, who will not be complaining, when he is accorded another honourary degree from a Unimas that has gained global prestige.

To conclude, I would therefore urge that we realign our investments, prioritising the needs of all Sarawakians, for the future that is a significant fair land Sarawak.