Is Liow Tiong Lai or Fadillah Yusof lying about the ECRL cost increase from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion? Time for BN to come clean on the reason of the RM25 Billion cost increase and deny that the money will be used to bailed out 1MDB debts.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai yesterday explained that the East Coast Rail Link(ECRL) cost increase from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion is partly due to the fall in Ringgit. Liow said the figures cited in the project’s feasibility study was based on 2009-2010 exchange rates.

He was reported saying “That time dollar is only RM3.2 to a dollar, now its RM4.2 and gone up to RM4.5.”

Works minister Fadillah Yusof has as recent as 27 July 2016, denied a report by Sarawak Report that the ECRL cost will be inflated from RM30 Billion to RM60 Billion to pay off 1MDB debts. He also denied that the increment in cost was discussed in cabinet.

What had happened in the span of 3 months that the cost of ECRL has almost doubled from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion? Is Liow Tiong Lai or Fadillah Yusof lying? Both of them cannot be telling the truth on the RM25 Billion cost increase in ECRL.

If Liow is telling the truth, Fadillah Yusof denial that the ECRL cost will increase from RM30 Billion to Rm 60 Billion will be a big lie. The BN cabinet will also be one of the most incompetent and substandard cabinet in the world as three months before the signing of a multi-billion agreement, the cabinet is still unaware that the cost is calculated based on the exchange rate of 2009-2010 and subject to increase.

If Fadillah is telling the truth in July by denying the ECRL cost will be inflated from RM30 Billion to RM 60 Billion then Liow’s “exchange rate” explanation will be expose as a lie.

I urge Liow and Fadillah to both come forward and clarify as both of their version of explanation contradicts each other. It is time for Barisan National to come clean on the increment of the cost of ECRL.

Malaysians deserve to know why in the span of 3 months the cost of ECRL was inflated from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion. Will the inflated amount be used to bail out 1MDB debts?

BN must come clean on the reason of the RM25 Billion cost increase and deny that the money will be used to bailed out 1MDB debts.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Developement Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 3 Nov 2016

Teks Ucapan pembentangan analisa PRU14 Negeri Perak Di Konvensyen Pakatan Harapan Negeri Perak

I1. Sejak persempadanan semula oleh SPR, penganalisa politik berpendapat Keputusan PRU14 akan berpihak ke BN sekiranya persempadanan semula ini diluluskan.

2. Analisa ini adalah berlandaskan andaian di mana corak mengundi di PRU 13 akan kekal di PRU14.

3. Namun sejak 3 tahun yang lepas, berlaku satu anjakan paradigma di lanskap politik Malaysia dengan Penubuhan Amanah, Bersatu dan Warisan.

4. Isu-isu utama yang bakal menghayun pengundi di PRU14 termasuk GST, penghapusan subsidi bahan mentah, Kos sara hidup tinggi, harga tol meningkat dan kegawatan ekonomi.

5. Corak mengundi telah berubah dan Hukum hanyunan pendulum menunjukan pengundi akan memihak kepada Pihak pembangkang di PRU14

6. Analisa saya berdasarkan scenario PH mencapai persefahaman pilihanraya dengan Besatu dan berlawan PAS dan BN dalam 3 penjuru.

7. Komposisi kaum negeri Perak sebenarnya mirip dengan komposisi kaum negeri Selangor di mana Melayu 49%, Cina 37%, India 11% dan lain-lain 2%.

8. Terdapat 4 jenis kerusi di negeri Perak, Kerusi majority Melayu >80% 9 Kerusi, Kerusi campur dengan Melayu>65% 17 Kerusi, Kerusi campuran 14 kerusi, dan kerusi majority cina>50% 19 kerusi.

9. 14 Kerusi campuran merupakan medan pertembungan sebenar di Negeri Perak, parti mana yang boleh memenangi 14 kerusi ini akan memerintah perak.

10. % sokongan undi Melayu PRU13, PR30%.

11. Ramalan % sokongan pengunid Melayu PRU14, PAS 15%, PH 15% + Bersatu 20%, BN 50%

12. Jika PH boleh memenangi 35% Melayu, 80% Cina dan 50% India, PH boleh memenangi sebanyak 12 kerusi daripada 14 kerusi campuran.

13. PH harus menumpukan 80% sumber ke 20% kerusi campuran untuk memenangi Negeri Perak.

14. Analisa menunjukkan, Bersatu boleh memenangi 3 kerusi majority Melayu >80%, PH menang 7 kerusi Campuran Melayu >65%, 10 kerusi campuran dan 19 kerusi majority cina.

15. Berdasarkan % sokongan ini, analisa menunjukkan PH boleh memenangi 36 kerusi, Bersatu 3 kerusi dan BN 20 kerusi.

16. Pakatan Harapan mempunyai peluang yang cerah untuk mentadbir Negeri Perak menjelang PRU14.

Barisan Nasional should send Najib back to school to learn basic Economics if he does not understand an expansionary fiscal policy – to decrease taxes or to increase government expenditures(or both) in order to fight recessionary pressure.

I refer to the reply made by Prime Minister Najib in Dewan Rakyat yesterday in response to Kluang MP, Liew Chin Tong’s question whether the government will consider lowering the GST from 6% to 3% in order to boost private consumption. Najib responded to the question by saying “Without GST, Malaysia’s economy will be crippled.”

What Najib said cannot be more wrong as what will cripple the economy is the shrinking domestic demand that will bring Malaysia economy into a spiraling recession.

It ought to be basic to any economics students that the Keynesian theory advocated lower taxes and increased government spending to stimulate demand and pull the economy out of a recession.

There is no denying that Malaysia is heading towards an economic slowdown, if not addressed, will quickly turn into another economic downturn or recession. All economic indicators have clearly shown that Malaysia economy is slowing down moving into 2017 with exports weakening in the first half of 2016 and GDP growth slowing down. According to data released by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia’s GDP grew 4.1% in the first six months of 2016, compared with 5.3% in the corresponding period last year.

It is imperative that the Government cut taxes to boost private consumption in order to save the Malaysia Economy. For example, the UK had in 2008 cut the VAT from 17.5% to 15% to boost the country’s economy.

The suggestion to cut taxes to boost private consumption has also been backed by AllianceDBS Research chief economist Manokaran Mottain.

Manokaran Mottain was quoted by StarBizWeek to have said the below

“what the economy needs is to boost private consumption by cutting the goods and services tax (GST)”

“The GST is a broad-based tax, a 1% cut will help more people than an income tax cut, as far fewer people pay income tax,”

Manokaran suggests that the GST be reduced to 5% from 6% for a limited period to boost consumption rather than cutting personal income tax. A cut in the GST rate will mean a loss in revenue, which Manokaran and others argue can be made up from the rise in oil-related revenue since the average price of oil is higher than the revised Budget 2016 oil price assumption.

It is clear that economists and researchers are propagating a cut in GST to boost private consumption which makes up 54% of the country’s GDP. There is no basis in Najib’s statement that “Without GST, Malaysia economy will be crippled.”.

Barisan Nasional should send Najib back to school to learn basic Economics if he does not understand an expansionary fiscal policy – to decrease taxes or to increase government expenditures(or both) in order to fight recessionary pressure.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Developement Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 18 October 2016

Is UMNO’s act of throwing hell note in front of DAP office a “new style of politics” that Abdul Rahman Dahlan trying to promote?

BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan accused the DAP resorting to the old style of confrontational politics. Abdul Rahman Dahlan claim could not be further from the truth as DAP has always engaged in mature and constructive criticism type of politics.
In fact, if Abdul Rahman Dahlan would like an example of “old style confrontational politics”, he needs look no further than the party he is in. With UMNO youth holding a protest at DAP National HQ yesterday, throwing hell notes, clashing with the police and shouting racist slogans, this is a perfect example of “old style confrontational politics”.
Or is UMNO’s act of throwing hell note in front of DAP office a “new style of politics” that Abdul Rahman Dahlan trying to promote?
If Abdul Rahman failed to criticize the uncivilized UMNO youth behavior, his accusation against the DAP is nothing more than the pot calling the kettle black.
Abdul Rahman Dahlan must keep in mind that Nga is a victim in this issue where a facebook page which he is unrelated to put up a “dedak” cartoon posting. Nga in all material time has never drawn or uploaded the said cartoon to facebook.
Nga has lodged a police report to investigate the facebook post and he will provide his full cooperation to the police. An appointment has been made with the police to record statement in Bukit Aman next Monday.
I urge all parties will remain calm in this incident and let the police investigate the case professionally before making unfounded accusation.
Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 13 July 2016

The UN Report that Malaysia’s poorest households are worst hit by GST is proof that Malaysia’s GST model is still regressive despite Malaysia having the longest list of zero rated goods in the world.

Malaysia’s Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 which was jointly released by the United Nation and Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department yesterday said that Malaysia’s household on the bottom 40 percent (B40) of the income spectrum are worst hit by the GST implementation. The B40 household income balance reduce from RM522 to RM400.
The Millenium Development Goals Report 2015 is proof that Malaysia’s GST model is still regressive despite Malaysia having the longest list of zero rated goods in the world making it the most complicated and cumbersome GST implementation.
Putrajaya has long argued that Malaysia’s GST model is not regressive due to the long list of zero rated goods. Despite the long list of zero rated goods, it is almost impossible for the B40 households to merely depend on zero rated list products and goods to survive.
For example, although bread is in the zero rated list, only white bread and whole meal bread are zero rated, bread with kaya filling, peanut filling and butter filling are tax at 6%. Although chicken is in the zero rated list, marinated chicken is taxed at 6%. Although cooking oil from oil palm, coconut and groundnuts are zero rated, cooking oil from sunflower, corn, safflower, soybean and olive are taxed at 6%.
Basic necessity food items such as milo, instant noodles, biscuits, canned food and bottled condiments are all taxed at 6%. How can the government expect Malaysia’s poorest household to solely feed on goods and products on the zero rated list?
Despite the government chest thumping and assurance, the fact remains that Malaysia’s poorest households are worst hit by GST and Malaysia’s GST model is still regressive.
Najib has revealed last month that the GST collection to date is RM51 Billion. The RM51 billion amounted to GST collected for 9 months since 1 April 2015. This figure if pro-rated will amount to an annual GST collection of RM68 Billion.
During the tabling of budget 2016 last year, the government expected to collect a RM39 Billion of GST revenue in 2016. The RM68 Billion of GST revenue is almost twice the amount Putrajaya expect to collect and almost 4 times of RM18 Billion of SST collected in 2014.
The GST revenue collection has exceeded the expected collection figure by twice the amount which means the 6% GST rate was set at an unreasonably high rate. It would only be fair to Malaysians that the government reduce the GST rate from 6% to 3%. This would also ease the B40 households from the GST burden.
Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 24 February 2016

The survey by UM Senior lecturer and Khazanah Institute is proof that Chinese proficiency is a major factor and advantage in landing a job. Putrajaya should change its education policy and stop the discrimination of Chinese Primary Schools.

A research conducted by Universiti Malaya senior lecturer Dr Lee Hwok Aun and Khazanah Research Institute Director of Research Muhammed Abdul Khalid have found out that if one Malay and the other Chinese – applied for employment at a Malay firm, the Chinese applicant was more likely to land the job. The research also noted that Chinese proficiency is a major factor and an advantage to both Malays and Chinese.

The result of the survey is proof that companies in the private sectors employ workers based on merit and Chinese Language proficiency is one of the capabilities that firms valued when hiring employees.

I urge Putrajaya to be open minded on the results of this survey and stop looking at Chinese Primary Schools from a racist angle. The Chinese Primary School issue is an education issue, not a racial issue. A Malaysian can learn the Chinese Language no matter what race he/she is born into. Out of the 650,000 Chinese Primary School Students 15% or 97,500 students are non-Chinese. All these Chinese Primary School students including the 15% non-Chinese will have an advantage over their peers in National Schools when trying to land a job.

Putrajaya must change its education policy to be more inclusive and stop the discrimination of Chinese Primary Schools. I urge Putrajaya to build vernacular schools according to needs and give a fair allocation to all vernacular schools including Chinese and Tamil schools.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 18 February 2016

Is Ahmad Zahid Hamidi suffering from amnesia that he forgot what he said 10 days ago that the increase in the foreign worker’s levy is a positive move to reduce dependence on foreign workers?

Is Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi suffering from serious amnesia that he forgot what he said 10 days ago? On 3 Feb, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi defended the move to increase foreign worker’s levy as a positive move to reduce dependence on foreign workers.
He was quoted saying the following,
“We must be aware that we cannot be depending on foreign workers forever. We have to give opportunities to locals even though the work involved the 3D aspects(difficult, dirty and dangerous).”
However in just 10 days, Ahmad Zahid has now taken a totally different position on foreign workers. Yesterday, in defending the move to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers, he stressed that it wasn’t the government’s fault but the government merely wanted to fulfill the wishes of the employers.
How does Ahmad Zahid expect Malaysians to take up the 3D(difficult, dirty and dangerous) jobs when the government has already made up their mind to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers into Malaysia?
Why did Ahmad Zahid took two different positions is just a span of 10 days? What is the policy and position of Putrajaya on foreign workers? It is obvious that Putrajaya is clueless on the policy of foreign workers. Putrajaya on one hand wanted to increase the levy on foreign workers to collect more money; and on the other hand also want to bring in more foreign workers to collect even more levy and taxes. Unfortunately the argument for both these policies contradicted each other and could not be reconciled.
If Putrajaya is sincere and committed to reduce the dependence on foreign workers, new regulations and policies needs to be formulated. Putrajaya should make it mandatory for companies to advertise all job vacancies for a minimum period of time before opening the position to foreign workers. Priority for employment has to be given to the locals and not foreign workers.
I urge Putrajaya to immediately put on hold the plan to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers. Putrajaya must consider all alternative options and plans before taking such a move that will drastically change our country’s population and social structure.
Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 14 February 2016

MCA has no qualms supporting regressive laws in the past and will support the proposed amendment of OSA should it be tabled in parliament.

MCA president Liow Tiong Lai has warned that the proposal to amend the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to punish whistleblowers and journalists with life imprisonment would be regressive if true. He however stop short of declaring if MCA will support or reject this proposed amendment if tabled in the house by giving the lame excuse that he has yet to see the AG plans.

Liow also further stressed that MCA would ensure that the amendments would benefit the nation and public.

Liow’s reply is a typical MCA leader’s respond to pay lip service and a tokenistic PR exercise. MCA has a bad track record when it comes to defending the people and national interest during the tabling of draconian laws in the lower and upper house.

In 2012, MCA supported the Peaceful Assembly Act which restrict the people’s freedom to gathering which is a basic right enshrine in the Federal Constitution. In the same year MCA also supported SOSMA(Security Offences Special Measures) which allows detention without trial, a worse law than ISA.

When Najib promised to repeal the Sedition Act in 2012, MCA hailed Najib as a progressive and reformist. However when Najib made the U-turn to retain and fortify the Sedition Act In 2014, MCA wholeheartedly supported Najib’s decision to clampdown on dissent.

In 2015, MCA supported both the POTA(Prevention of Terrorist Act) and NSC(National Security Council) act which gave wide powers to the authority to shutdown the country’s democracy and to persecute political opponents.

MCA’s track record is solid proof that the party has no qualms supporting regressive, oppressive and draconian laws in the past and will continue to do so in the future as long as UMNO gave the nod. There is not a single doubt that if the proposed amendment of OSA is tabled in parliament, all MCA MPs will solidly support the amendment.

I call on Liow not to hide behind the lame excuse (that he has yet to see the proposed amendment by AG hence reserve judgement) and come up with a simple yes and no answer.

Will MCA support the proposed amendment of OSA to punish whistleblowers and journalists with life imprisonment? Yes or no?

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief and Political Secretary toTaiping MP on 13 Feb 2016

What is MCA and MCA youth official stand on the amendment of the OSA? If MCA is sincere in opposing the amendment of OSA, MCA should direct all its cabinet ministers, MPs and Senators to oppose the OSA amendment in cabinet, Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.

MCA Youth legal bureau chief Ng Kian Nam yesterday criticized the Attorney General suggestion to amend the OSA to increase the penalty on those who whistleblow “state secrets”. He also describe the amendment would turn Malaysia into a communist state.

I could not agree more with MCA Youth legal bureau statement on the amendment of OSA. However Malaysians would not forget how MCA Youth hoodwink the people on the National Security Council(NSC) bill last December.

The MCA Youth legal bureau at that time describe the NSC bill akin to dictatorship. The MCA youth chief Chong Sin Woon however played down the issue describing it as only the stand of MCA Youth Legal Bureau and not reflective of MCA Youth’s stand. Chong Sin Woon even go one step further by voting to support the NSC bill in Dewan Negara.

IS MCA Youth playing the same game by pretending to oppose to the amendment of OSA but in actual supporting the amendment in cabinet, Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara. It is most hypocritical of MCA youth to say one thing in front of the people but to vote the opposite way of what they tell the people.

MCA and MCA youth must immediately come out with an official stand on the amendment of the OSA and direct all its cabinet ministers, MPs and senators to oppose the OSA amendment in cabinet, Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.

If MCA failed to do so, MCA would lose whatever credibility and trust left in MCA, if any.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to MP Taiping on 12 Feb 2016

Kenyataan Media oleh Ketua Biro pembangunan Ekonomi DAP Perak Chong Zhemin pada 27 Disember 2015

Saya menyesali kenyataan saya mengenai sekatan atlet Israel ke Negara Malaysia telah diputarbelitkan oleh pihak-pihak tertentu bahawa saya berpihak kepada Israel.

Oleh kerana kenyataan tersebut telah menimbulkan kekeliruan terhadap pendirian saya terhadap perjuangan rakyat Palestin dan regim Israel, saya ingin menarik balik kenyataan tersebut.

Saya ingin menegaskan pendirian saya menyokong perjuangan Rakyat Palestin dan menolak kekejaman dan kezaliman regim Zionis yang menindas rakyat Palestin.

Chong Zhemin
Setiausaha Organisasi DAPSY Perak
Ketua Biro pembangunan Ekonomi DAP Perak
Setiausaha Politik Ahli Parlimen Taiping