Saturday, June 15, 2013

Media Statement: BN Government Deliberately Blocking PR's Security Move

Inspector General of Police and Home Ministry must stop playing politics and immediately approve Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya and any other city council’s application to establish their auxiliary police force to combat crime.

To assist the battle against crime, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) has applied to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for an auxiliary police force in Feb 2009 and had allocated RM4.3million to train and equip 100 personnel from its enforcement unit to complement the police force in PJ. However, it was rejected in 2010 based on lame excuse that the crime rate had declined and there was no need for MBPJ to have its own auxiliary police as there will be ‘overlapping functions’ with the police.

MBPJ has since applied again for auxiliary police in the city in June 2012. However, the City Council has yet to receive any response from the IGP. We are extremely disappointed that the Police force is playing politics over the set up of the auxiliary police, and refuses to give priority to the safety and security of Selangor residents.

In fact, the establishment of auxiliary police forces is one of the recommended initiatives under Najib’s Governmental Transformation Program (GTP)’s Reducing Crime NKRA. Nevertheless, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Home Ministry have shown clear double-standards in granting auxiliary police administration approval, as requested by Police Act 1967 (Part IX, 47-50).

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Media Statement: Ensure oil money put into good use

Petronas executive vice president of finance Datuk George Ratilal on 5 Jun 2013 has openly disagreed with the Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, who had previously attributed Malaysia poor ranking Resource Governance Index (RGI) to Petronas’ overseas non- disclosure agreements (NDA). Ratilal insisted that Petronas has been transparent in overseas operations and their standard of disclosure is as good as other international oil companies such as Shell and Exxon-Mobil.

This open disagreement from Petronas is clearly a rebuke aimed at our newly minted Minister in Prime Minister’s Department. My earlier rebuttal statement had argued that the poor RGI ranking has little to do with disclosure of overseas operations but operation and business activities within Malaysia and now Petronas confirmed it that even there’s such indicator, Petronas has been living up to international standard.

We hope that by now Paul Low has already read the RGI report and realize that Malaysia poor ranking in RGI is due to the lack of comprehensive disclosure policies in Malaysia legal framework such as the freedom of information law and the lax of Petroleum Development Act 1974 in requiring Petronas to disclose certain information of their operations and business decisions within Malaysia such as the award of contracts, exploration license, subsidies, royalty transfers etc. Petronas is not required by the law to disclose this information and therefore should not be the scapegoat of the Barisan Nasional government for their inability in resource governance.

If the BN Government is really serious about transparency, we would like to challenge BN to push for Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which allows the public to seek information made by government ministries and department as well as government-linked companies (GLCs) like Petronas. With that, the public can ask for information from Petronas such as the award of contracts and license grants, which in turn lessen leakages and corruption in the process.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Media Statement: Singapore no role model for online media controls

Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek has said that the federal government is studying the possibility of regulating online news portals, imitating Singapore’s move to do so.

Since Singapore - seen as being more sophisticated - has come up with the regulation, the Malaysian government will look into its feasibility, he said.

Before taking Singapore as a ‘role model’, we suggest that the minister looks at the 2013 Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters without Borders to measures the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information in 179 countries.

Singapore ranks worse than Malaysia, standing at 149th while Malaysia is at 145th. This is even after Malaysia suffered one of the biggest falls in ranking - a sharp drop of 23 places - among the countries surveyed.

Therefore, it is obvious that emulating Singapore’s regulations on Internet monitoring would be a clearly regressive move for Malaysia.