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Sunday, September 25, 2016

FASTEST CAR THIEVES ARE FROM M’SIA? GONE IN JUST 2 HOURS – S’PORE COUPLE LOSE THEIR TOYOTA MARK X WHILE SHOPPING IN JB

A routine trip to Johor turned into a nightmare for a Singaporean couple after their car was stolen.
Mr Tengku Kamarudin Abdullah, 63, and wife Madam Fauziah Mohamed Ali, 59, were having lunch at a friend’s home in Skudai on Sept 18 when the incident occurred. They had just finished shopping in Johor Baru.
Mr Kamarudin, a taxi driver, had parked their silver Toyota Mark X two units away from their friend’s house when they arrived at around 1.30pm. When the couple were about to leave two hours later, the car was gone.
Mr Kamarudin told The New Paper: “We didn’t even hear anything. We only stepped out of my friend’s house and realised the vehicle wasn’t there.”
Their Toyota has a standard remote locking system. The couple lost all their groceries and a library book Madam Fauziah had left in the car, but no other valuables were lost.
She said: “We never leave our valuables in the car. I had my passport stolen from a car once, 15 years ago, and from then we always keep our valuables with us.”
Mr Kamarudin said that the car belongs to his eldest daughter and son-in-law.The couple filed a report with Malaysian police immediately and with Singapore police the next day. Their eldest daughter, Madam Tengku Suhailah Tengku Kamarudin, 34, told TNP that they bought the second-hand car only last December. “My husband travels a lot for his job, so my parents use the car more often,” she said. She added that her parents would drive to Johor once or twice a month to do their grocery shopping.
She said they had no plans to get a new car. Car thefts are becoming a common occurrence in Malaysia, and Singaporeans have fallen victim several times. Malaysian newspaper The Star reported last month that about 138 vehicles are stolen in Malaysia every day. S’poreans losing cars in Malaysia JUNE 7, 2016 A Toyota Estima belonging to a Singaporean was reported missing at Plaza Angsana on June 7, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported. The Toyota and five other cars were recovered after Malaysian police busted a car theft syndicate that used a master key to disable car security systems.
Seven people were arrested between June 15 and 17. MAY 16, 2016 Animal welfare activist Derrick Tan’s Toyota Mark X was stolen in Johor Bahru while he was getting a massage at Jalan Serampang on May 16. The Straits Times reported that Mr Tan, 35, had to pay a four-figure sum to car theft syndicates to retrieve his car 24 hours later.
SEPT 11, 2015 Housewife Nur Suliana, 28, had her black Honda City stolen while she was doing her grocery shopping at Perling Mall in Johor Baru. According to Ms Suliana, who managed to review nearby CCTV footage, the car thief – whom she described as a medium-built, dark-skinned man – carried out the theft alone in about 20 minutes. AUG 24, 2015 Mr Yunos Salajudin’s white Toyota Estima went missing after he parked it at Giant Tampoi Mall for half an hour. To his surprise, Malaysian police contacted him in October to inform him that his car had been seized in a drug bust. He was finally reunited with his car on Dec 31 last year. – Asiaone

Is New Straits Times The Latest ''Enemy Of The State"?

A friend smsed me this at 7:30 am this morning (Sunday). He was very surprised that a pro gomen  'wet wipe' like the NST would dare run an Editorial piece like this.  I was surprised too. Lets read what they have written:






24 SEPTEMBER 2016 

GRADUALLY, it has become obvious that corruption is not a rare occurrence in this country. 

Gadually? You think so? So is the NST finally beginning to pull its head out from that Hippo's behind? 

Instead, it is as if a momentum has been achieved, and what was once talk, hearsay or gossip is now being proven true.  At every level of the government bureaucracy, there have been cases of abuse of power, embezzlement, bribery and kickbacks. 

 At every level of the government  - So this must include the Prime Minister's Office or the PMO. The PMO is the highest level of gomen. Spot on NST.  

The recent uncovering of the cloned cars racket led to the arrest of several (RTD) officers. Unfortunately, more than the racket was uncovered. Some officers were found to have been on the take. 

'on the take' - it sounds so innocent. They are corrupted crooks who are destroying peoples' lives. Why? Because it is the Road Transport Department.

Meanwhile, the (DBKL) is revising standard operating procedures to ensure transparency, and officers of four of its departments have been told to declare their assets.

Only FOUR? Are these the Tengku Mamak's boys who are now being witch hunted? Err..what about the rest of the DBKL's officers?

The RTD and DBKL are but two of the latest in a series of disclosures made by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), beginning with those affecting the timber industry some two years ago. 

Ever since, the Customs Department’s image has been severely tarnished, so too that of the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Immigration Department and the Sports Council. 

I beg to differ lah. Their images have already been tarnished from long before. They do not need any help from outside to tarnish their names. They are very capable of tarnishing their own image.

The MACC was sent to the Cameron Highlands Land Office to look into the illegal land opening and faced an office that was far from cooperative. It sniffed around the bauxite mining in Kuantan, which was poisoning the environment. 

Recently, it investigated the Penang chief minister and brought charges against him. 

There is also the two Bank Rakyat bosses arrested over a RM15 million book publishing contract and an upgrading project. 

The most recent is a “Datuk Seri”, a high-ranking official in Tourism Malaysia, who is being investigated for abuse of power. Amounts involved varied from millions of ringgit at the top, to several hundred ringgit per take at the bottom. 

The Tourism Malaysia corruption is said to involve RM200 million. This is an annual affair at the Tourism Ministry.  The Ministry spends hundreds of millions EVERY year to advertise / promote Malaysia tourism.  There is serious corruption over who gets these huge advertising jobs. This corruption has been going on for over 10 years.  At last some action is being taken.  Takpe lah - better late than never. Err .. what about next year?

Is it any wonder then that Malaysia’s ranking on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index has never made dramatic improvements? With all these disclosures, the country’s ranking can only tank further. 

Yes certainly it is tanking. And now with the Minister confirming that the MO1 involved with "stolen money from 1MDB" that was alluded to by the United State's DOJ is none other than MO1,  our ranking in next year's Corruption Index is going to hit the bottom. Just wait and see. Unless of course that old turd (that ex "transparent" chief in Malaysia) starts pulling strings and cables to his old friends. 

Of course, when looking for a silver lining one can say that the MACC is doing its job well. And, if the country wants better, the MACC must be, figuratively speaking, armed to the teeth. However, a system of checks and balances must be in place to prevent abuse on its part. Who polices the MACC is a pertinent concern. 

Bodies such as the MACC and the Royal Malaysia Police must have the powers they need to maintain the rule of law effectively and yet public accountability is of paramount importance.   

Alamak the bullshit starts. What about 'preventing' the MACC from doing its job? They investigated the SRC and 1MDB cases and recommended for prosecution. Instead MACC officers were bullied and transferred out. Then transferred back in. What do you do when the MACC suffers 'abuse of power' by others more corrupt than anyone else?

What about abuse of power against the AG's Chambers? You know, the AG who wanted to prosecute MO1 was fired.   

Some oversight body is needed to curb abuses within what must potentially be very powerful bodies. 

Political will is the only recourse if the MACC — so too the police force — is to be both powerful and accountable.

Yes this is the damning closing sentence. The MACC, Police, AGC are not political outfits. They are part of the government machinery. 

When the NST says "Political will" it can only mean the leadership,  the Prime Minister's Office.  Yes it is the political will that is corrupted.    Maybe this also means a turning point for the NST.  To acknowledge in an Editorial that corruption is endemic in the country and that the root cause of this corruption is the corrupted 'political will'.


Saudis Mess Up Oil Strategy Big Time. Oil Prices Now At The Mercy Of Iran

Image result for Saudis Mess Up Oil Strategy Big Time. Oil Prices Now At The Mercy Of Iran

In the previous post I have highlighted the fact that many large companies in Saudi Arabia have not been able to pay the salaries of their workers, especially their expat workers for up to TWO YEARS.  PLUS they are NOT allowing EXIT VISAS for these workers to return home to their countries. This is SHAYTAN behaviour. These people are kuffar.

But you do not see this news in our local TV, radio or newspapers like Utusan Meloya, Berita Hairan, TV3suku, RTMO1 and such. So the Malay people are kept in the dark about what really goes on in the 21st century world. Jadi lagi bodoh lah. 

They exist in a false, make believe world that everything in the Islamic countries is fine. Pi dah mabuk.

Folks, here is another story of Saudi stupidity. Pak Unta ini bodoh tahap nak mampos. This is a literally correct statement. The stupidity of the Saudis is now about to cause them their heads.     This is from Yahoo News  here . 

(Reuters) - 

Saudi to reduce oil production if rival Iran caps output 
Riyadh tries to curtail supply,  boost prices.
Riyadh ready to cut if Iran freeze production
Saudis ready for cut but Iran must agree to freeze 
offer   rejected by Tehran  
Oil prices 4% lower as hopes of agreement faded.

Previously, Saudis refused to discuss production cut
Riyadh orchestrated current OPEC policy in 2014 
refusing to cut output to support prices 
chose to defend market share against rivals 
fall in oil price to $30-$50 
Saudi strategy caused rift in OPEC 
poorer members faced budget crisis, unrest. 
tighten belts after decades of spending.


At US$46 per barrel, below budget needs of OPEC countries
Saudi output drops in winter, spikes during hot summer months
(cheating) attempt by Riyadh to present natural decline as cut.
Iran to boost output to 4 million bpd 
production in past three months at 3.6 million bpd

Riyadh's production record high in July 10.67 million bpd 
first attempt at production pact collapsed in April 
Riyadh insisted Tehran participate. 
Iran will not join any agreement 

My comments :  It is the Saudis who caused oil prices to crash when they refused to cut production two years ago. The morons do not seem to understand the oil business. Or any other business.

They insisted on maintaining high production levels "to maintain their market share".  This is ILLOGICAL even if you are calculating VOLUME ie million barrels of oil. Because shale oil has appeared and is also taking up market share.  Plus in 2015 the US became a net exporter of oil.  Even Israel is now an exporter of gas to Egypt. Oil and gas are shooting out of the sea almost everywhere around the world. So what arket share are they talking about.

It definitely makes NO SENSE if you are calculating your DOLLAR earnings or PRICE PER BARREL because prices dropped so low that your earnings are less EVEN if you export more VOLUME of oil.

I think the real reason the Saudis started pumping oil in large quantities was at the behest of the US.  To suppress oil prices to punish Russia and Iran - which depend on oil money to sustain their economies.

Saudi oil production got entangled with the Sunni - Shia bullshit and the US - Russia 'cold war'.   They thought that low oil prices could cripple Russia and Iran. Saudi oil production became a political tool. An instrument of policy.

Wrong on both counts.  Russia is still resilient and is becoming even more resilient.

Instead the plunge in oil prices have affected US shale oil producers more than Russia or Iran. Even then US shale oil can still reach the market.

The Saudis are "fighting" the Iranians through proxy wars in Yemen and Syria. They are losing in both countries. The Shias have already taken control of Iraq - a Shia majority country.  Shias are also becoming restive in Bahrain - another Shia majority country at the Saudi doorstep. It is unlikely that the Saudis will be able to defeat the Shias in Yemen or Syria. 

Saudi Arabria is now seriously short of cash. This country can go bust. Just like the Malaysian gomen can also go bust.

The Saudis are now proposing to Iran to cut oil production to boost oil prices. They want Iran to "freeze" their output at 3.6 million bpd. Iran has said no.   I think Iran has already shown the Saudis the middddle finger. 

Here is something someone told me. The Iranian cost of production is about US$13 per barrel of oil. The Saudi Arabian cost of production is about TWO TIMES or more. So even at US$46 a barrel, the Iranians make US$33 profit. Plus the Iranians are not embroiled in wastage and corruption like the Saudis.

Whatever the Saudis make PER BARREL is first divided with the American and British oil companies that help them dig the oil. Then the balance has to be shared among the corrupted princes in the House of Saud. Plus a few others. Only the left over reaches the ordinary Saudi.  

If the Middle East does cut production and oil prices shoot up, it simply means that shale oil from Canada, USA, Russia and even China will become more viable and profitable. Shale oil will start flowing in volume. This will depress oil prices again.

OIL IS A SUNSET INDUSTRY. 

Mothers and fathers, tell your kids to look at other industries for the future. Oil and gas is dying.

Saudi Arabia is dying too.   

Utusan Meloya, Berita Hairan, TV3suku, RTMO1 learn to tell the truth to the people.  Suka sangat ke tengok orang kita makin bodoh, bangang dan bengong? 

Tak tahu benda yang betul. Tak tahu berita yang benar. Tiap hari makin bodoh.  Lepas tu nak salahkan orang lain pula. 

Expensive Medicines : Ripping Off The People

Image result for Malaysian Hospital pharmacy

By Our Editorial Consultant

There is a company that imports medicines from India and sells it to Government hospitals.  India is now a major pharmaceutical power in the world and it manufactures high quality drugs but very cheaply.  

This particular company buys the drugs in India at a cost of about RM10.00 per pack.  They say that if they can sell their imported medicine directly to the Government hospitals, they will charge the Government about RM15.00 per pack - which means they slap on a 50% mark-up to cover transportation, expenses and of course some profit for them.  

But the drug is actually sold to the Government hospitals for RM45.

Here is how it happens.  The importing company cannot sell the drugs directly to the Government.  

They must go through P***niaga which we all know is a Dumbno company.  

Its Directors include U*M boss, A---d P----s S--in, failed outsourcing guru Azman Y---a and Dumbno henchman Raja N--g C--k.  But even here the company cannot sell the drugs directly to P----niaga at RM15.

They first have to sell their drugs to yet another crony company which is "connected" to P----niaga.  So the crony intermediary buys the drugs first at RM15.00 and then sells it to P----niaga at a mark up of say RM30.00.  

This is how cronies do business.  It’s called "rent-seeking", no need to sweat or take risks, just collect, collect, collect!  They pretend that this is NEP.  

The interesting thing is this is just a paper transaction.  They may not even take physical possession of the drugs.  They may just tell the importing company to deliver the drugs directly to P-----niaga.  They just bill P----niaga and cream off the difference.

Now kawan-kawan, this has been going on for donkey years since P-----niaga was set up in the 1990s.  Then P-----niaga finally sells the drug to the Government hospitals for RM45.00 a pack.  And who pays for all this creaming off?  

It is you and me, Encik Taxpayer and the ordinary folks.  Who are the suckers?  Haramkah duit ini?  It's called STEALING from the RAKYAT and this is just ONE example of their normal rasuah Dumbno's business deal.  

This is now otherwise known as GOVERNMENT’s STEALING TECHNIQUE.
   
And to add salt to the wound; the generic version is sold to the government at a cost more expensive than the original !  

For example Rocephine for meningitis.  Happened when I was in the government.  

Sent big protest letter as I didn’t want to take risks with patients' lives in serious infections like this.  

Reply was : inform if any adverse reactions occur with the generic drug. 

I replied -  death.   

My comments :   Quite self explanatory.  There is an interesting history to this news above.  I am glad to note that others have been thinking about this issue as well.

‘IT WAS A MISTAKE FOR DR M TO THINK HE CAN BEAT NAJIB AT COURT POLITICS’: DESPERATE BID TO PLAY DOWN MEETING WITH AGONG SHOWS HOW MUCH NAJIB CAMP FEARS THE RULERS CONFERENCE WILL ADVISE NAJIB TO STEP DOWN

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad got his wish but he did not get his way when he met the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to hand over his Citizens’ Declaration.
THE jigsaw puzzle pieces finally fell into place this week and a clearer picture has emerged about the meeting between the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir has been shooting from the hip at every opportunity but he has been strangely silent about the meeting – nothing in his blog and no press conference to talk about it.
Yet, this was a meeting which he had been chasing after for months. At one stage, he was so frustrated about not getting an appointment with the King that he had let go that tongue-in-cheek remark that the King was “under house arrest”.
The remark was taken out of context by some quarters but it was merely Dr Mahathir’s way of hitting out at the Government whom he thought was obstructing the meeting.
Anyway, this time around, it was his adversary Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who did some shooting of his own.
On Monday evening, the Prime Minister released a press statement on what the King had conveyed to him about the meeting.
It was a very brief statement, only four paragraphs but they provided the final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of the much talked-about royal audience.
Najib indicated that Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah had informed him that he had received Dr Mahathir at the Istana Anak Bukit in Alor Setar during which he took note of what was raised by the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia adviser.
However, His Majesty explained that he cannot get involved with Bersatu or in the Citizens’ Declaration because it is not in accordance to the Constitution, that any action should adhere to the parliamentary system of election and it was for the people to decide.
That kind of statement does not happen without the sanction of the King himself and it was apparent that the palace does not wish to be dragged into the politics of Dr Mahathir.
It is also evident that the King is mindful of the Constitution and the country’s system of parliamentary democracy. Removing an elected Prime Minister via a signature campaign does not fall within that framework.
The King told us to focus on serving the people, says Tee.
Some have claimed that it means the Palace has rejected the Citizens’ Declaration although earlier media reports of the meeting had said that Dr Mahathir managed to hand over the Citizens’ Declaration signed by 1.4 million people.
What is clear is that the King, who is also the Sultan of Kedah, is not going along with Dr Mahathir’s grand design for political change and his demand for Najib’s resignation.
News of the meeting had initially unnerved many Umno leaders. They were not sure what to expect or what the Kedah connection between the two elderly notables would lead to and they had tried to downplay its significance.
The tables have since been turned and those in the Dr Mahathir camp are the ones trying to downplay the meeting.
Anyway, they could hardly be expected to announce that the Palace did not agree with Dr Mahathir or had rejected the petition.
Those associated with Dr Mahathir have been eager to stress that the meeting lasted one hour and 15 minutes which meant that it must have been quite cordial with quite a bit of conversation involved.
But the earlier vacuum of information had led blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin to pen a rather imaginative account of what transpired during the meeting and which caused Mahathir loyalist Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan to explode in anger and call Raja Petra a “liar”.
Khairuddin had accompanied Dr Mahathir to the Anak Bukit palace and he was impeccably suited up, looking as though he had stepped out of the pages of a GQmagazine. He sportingly made available the photographs of Dr Mahathir signing the visitors’ log and leaving the palace after the meeting.
But despite rubbishing Raja Petra’s fanciful account, Khairuddin has been unable to come up with his own account of the meeting.
“The fact that Tun Mahathir did not say anything after the meeting says a lot. Knowing him, he would have been the first to say something, to call a press conference, had the meeting gone according to his plan,” said a public affairs consultant.
The royals rarely say anything in a direct or specific fashion and, as such, little gestures mean a lot. The fact that the meeting took place at Istana Anak Bukit, the King’s palace in Kedah, rather than at Istana Negara was probably not by chance.
“It would have been more significant, grander, with a bigger impact at the Istana Negara,” said the consultant.
The King is 88, just three years younger than Dr Mahathir. They are from the same era but they come from different worlds.
The sovereign has a high regard for Dr Mahathir. He is proud that Kedah has produced two Prime Ministers. But he is also fond of Najib and people who have had audiences with him say that he speaks of Najib in an endearing way.
Khairuddin could not produce his account of the meeting.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong when Tun Abdul Razak Hussein was Prime Minister and being on the throne with Najib as Prime Minister is one of those historical coincidences that may never happen again. It is said to have brought back a lot of sentimental memories for the King.
There is also a high comfort level between the sovereign and the Prime Minister. During the recent National Day parade, the two of them were chatting away with Najib pointing out items of interest in the parade.
At the parade for the King’s birthday in June, Najib could be seen using his handphone to snap pictures of the King and then showing it to him.
The joke in Umno circles is that Najib has taken from the Mahathir playbook on many things, but one lesson Dr Mahathir could not pass on to Najib was how to handle the royals.
“Mahathir’s approach was to clip their wings, pick a fight with them. That is not for Najib. It was a mistake for Mahathir to think he can beat Najib at court politics.
“Najib does not need lessons here, he is quite the master at court politics. He understands palace politics like no other, he knows how the royals think, he is familiar with the protocol and he is very respectful of them,” said the above consultant.
The Malay Rulers are not out for revenge against Dr Mahathir for how he curtailed their Constitutional powers during his premiership but they are also not warm and cosy towards him. Old feelings die hard and the perception is that they take what he says with a degree of scepticism.
The exception perhaps is the Sultan of Johor who caused a stir on Wednesday when he made yet another strong remark that was widely seen as aimed at the former premier.
During his speech at a grand reception for Chinese community leaders at the Johor palace, he again touched on Bangsa Johor which he said was a unifying factor despite what those from outside the state may claim. He asked his audience not to listen to the “old man who has lost his mind”.
Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has revived an age-old practice to connect the palace with Chinese leaders. It was a tradition started by his ancestors back in the late 1800s.
He hosted the Chinese community figures to a grand sit-down lunch around a custom-designed circular table that can seat up to about 50 people. Spectacular crystal chandeliers glittered overhead, there were flowers everywhere, the crockery bore the royal insignia and there was a butler standing behind each and every guest.
On top of that, the Sultan arrived in a pink Rolls Royce that matched his hot-pink Malay outfit.
It was curious that the Sultan chose that particular occasion to make a speech criticising politicians who raise sensitive issues and have narrow political ideology. He also criticised politicians who like to fight and who will do anything to attain power because they have an agenda.
He told his audience that these politicians will be the first to leave the country when things go out of control. He did not name names and it was anybody’s guess who he could have been referring to.
“Tuanku’s concern is the harmony of Johor and the people. I don’t think the target is any single person but Tuanku he is saying that Johor does not welcome politicians who cause disunity among the people.
“Whenever he opens the state assembly sessions, he tells us not to play politics, to focus on serving the people,” said Datuk Tee Siew Keong, the state exco member for tourism who was at the event.
Despite all this, Dr Mahathir is planning to continue his quest to bring down Najib by next petitioning the Conference of Malay Rulers.
This may be even more difficult because there are reportedly no precedents for audiences with the brotherhood of Rulers.
The next Conference of Malay Rulers is scheduled for October. It will be a momentous occasion because the Rulers will be electing the next King. The royals are unlikely to have time for Dr Mahathir until much later.
Former publisher Datuk A. Kadir Jasin wrote in his blog that Dr Mahathir had to charter a private jet to fly to Alor Setar for his meeting with the King.
He had complained to his close circle that when he was the Prime Minister, friends had competed to lend him their private planes but they are now afraid to be seen with him.
Dr Mahathir left for London several days after his royal audience where he gave talks in his new capacity as a leading member of the opposition.
Malaysia’s most amazing 91-year-old is not the sort to give up or to be deterred by snubs and criticism even if it comes from the royal class. It will be a fight till the end. – ANN

DAP’S RARA MARRIES ‘THE KELUANG MAN’

PETALING JAYA – Kajang municipal councillor Young Syefura Othman, better known as Rara, tied the knot on Saturday.
Syefura, who is also Wanita DAP assistant secretary, married investment manager Muhamad Masyhur Abdullah in a ceremony held at Sangkot Garden in Hulu Langat.
“Of course, I’m very happy. And relieved now that the event is over,” Syefura told The Star Online.
Syefura, 27, described her new husband as “just a normal” person.
It was reported that Muhamad Masyhur, 29, was arrested in May for allegedly making disparaging remarks on Twitter against Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
– ANN

Damned Dangerous - Why Sarawak Should Not Build More Mega-dams

Damned Dangerous - Why Sarawak Should Not Build More Mega-dams
What benefit the destruction?
What benefit the destruction?
Both the massive Bakun Dam and the recently built Murum Dam still sit half-idle.
So, people might sensibly ask, why on earth is the Taib/Adenan regime so keen to keep building more and more of these white elephants in Sarawak with the announcement of Baleh just last week?
They, of course, will argue that ‘projections’ show that there will be a vast and increased demand for this hydro-power imminently. They will also promise an influx of the world’s heavy manufacturers, eager to take advantage of cheap power and bringing tens of thousands of job opportunities along with them (mainly for imported foreign workers).
Mega-dams are hyped as the engine of a ‘great leap forward’ for the state. Before it was timber, then it was oil palm, now the people are told their luck will finally come in with industrialisation.
Why not listen to the people?
Why not listen to the people?
But, the real incentive is self-enrichment as all the evidence shows.
The first profits are to be had from the logging of once protected regions and river basins, with all the licences as usual going to family and cronies of the political decision-makers.
Next, the huge sums  borrowed by the state to finance these monster projects are ripe for creaming off, again by those same decision-makers and their cronies.
Added to this is the fact that Sarawak’s main construction conglomerate, CMSB, is still principally owned by Taib’s own family (despite efforts by the British CEO to disguise that fact in recent years) and it holds the state monopoly on the provision of cement.
Finally, all the transportation and cabling contracts go to Taib related companies as do the construction contracts developed to utilise the power. There are simply billions of ringgit of easy profit to be made by these politically connected outfits from a nice fat mega-project like a dam.
Meanwhile, as past experience in Sarawak shows, the people themselves experience the loss of their lands and livings, dislocation to grim re-settlement areas and paltry compensation with very little economic benefit to themselves. To add insult to injury many of these displaced people (in whose name the projects were invariably promoted) still live without access to the benefits of hydro-electricy or running water.

Simply too dangerous to be trusted 

Mistakes risk catastrophe with mega-dams
Mistakes risk catastrophe with mega-dams
Mega-dams still pose the riskiest engineering challenges of the present day.
Experts have told Sarawak Report that the technology remains experimental.  And yet Sarawak has engaged Chinese companies that are only starting to develop such projects on their own and the result has been a string of safety and construction scandals.
At both Bakun and Murum Sarawak Report has uncovered evidence of unsafe practices, cover-ups, short-cuts and repeated violation of protocols with regard to the rights of affected communities.
To remind readers just how dangerous, slip-shod and untrustworthy the State has been in the handling of its previous projects we are linking reminders to these earlier scandals, reported on this site, which have yet to be resolved and ask on what grounds can anyone trust the present State Government to undertake yet another such dangerous project as the Baleh Dam announced last week?

Issue 1 – Safety

Way back in 2010 Sarawak Report obtained exclusive video and documents showing that the concrete mix for the face of the monster Bakun Dam was being routinely watered down by workers without adequate quality control managers on site. Experts warned as a result of a catastrophic potential for cracking and erosion of the main wall of this the second highest dam in the world:
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2011/04/bakun-dam-unsafe-exclusive-evidence-on-corner-cutting-and-sloppy-construction-practices/
Caught on video - concrete at Bakun was routinely watered down on site
Caught on video – concrete at Bakun was routinely watered down on site
This issue was first denied and then ignored. So no surprise when four years later Sarawak Report learnt of similar staggering negligence with respect to the construction of the key steel monster turbines constructed in China for the Murum Dam.
Not until the turbines were delivered to the construction site and two had been installed did Sarawak Electricity’s CEO, Torstein Sjotveit, decide to check the quality of these crucial pieces of machinery and they turned out to be severely and dangerously flawed.  SEB’s response was to launch a cover-up – Sarawak only learnt about the severe and dangerous problem after the details of the devastating report were leaked by insiders to the blog:
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/07/murum-turbines-not-suitable-for-installation-and-operation-massive-seb-cover-up-over-danger-of-catastrophic-breakdowns-exclusive/
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/07/misrepresenting-the-facts-we-publish-more-documents/
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/07/seb-are-taking-a-very-big-risk-mending-turbines-on-site/
Dangerous precedents - 75 workers died when this flawed turbine failed in Russia in 2009
Dangerous precedents – 75 workers died when this flawed turbine failed in Russia in 2009
Sjotveit then first denied the problem and then blamed Sarawak Report for ‘misinforming’ people that it could not be fixed on site. Experts have told Sarawak Report that SEB have taken an immense risk trying to fix the flaws on site and that failure to perform a perfect job could cause the vast engines to tear through the wall of the dam, with prospects of catastrophic damage.
The Murum cover-up was set in the context of the sudden deaths of two key senior Sarawak engineers at SEB:
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/07/murum-manager-was-investigated-by-macc-before-sudden-death-exclusive/
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/08/second-senior-engineer-from-murum-dam-site-dies-exclusive/
However, these are by no means the only cases of dire warnings and cover-ups unearthed by Sarawak Report regarding its history of building dams.  Later in 2014 we discovered a copy of the long demanded Environmental Impact Assessment on the Murum Dam, which Taib had begun as a secret project back in 2008, without any attempt to consult on the wider safety of the project.
That EIA issued several dire warnings at the decision to build Murum Dam up river from Bakun without taking extensive steps to further strengthen the wall of the original Bakun Dam.
Murum sits 70 km up a river gorge above Bakun, meaning that any failure of Murum (caused by a faulty turbine perhaps?) would funnel a huge body of water into Bakun Lake. This was a danger not foreseen and not prepared for in the earlier construction of Bakun’s (flawed) concrete wall – risking what the EIA described as a ‘Catastrophic Cascading Failure’ of both dams.
Projected flooding in the event of a failure of Bakun
Projected flooding in the event of a failure of Bakun
Shockingly, the EIA calculated an ‘Extreme Risk’ factor in the event of the construction of such a dam, without the said precautions, focussing on the fact that half a million people (half Sarawak’s population of native people) live within the flood range of a Bakun rupture. Even more shockingly, the state government chose to suppress the report and do nothing, while proceeding with the construction of Murum Dam:
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/08/cascading-failure-catastrophic-warning-on-murum-dam-was-kept-hidden-major-exclusive/
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/08/murum-dam-is-high-risk-official-report/
Risk of catastrophic consequences
Risk of catastrophic consequences
“The impacts of dam break [at Murum] are mentioned in Section 7.3: Such event is potentially disastrous because it is likely to result in the cascading failure of Bakun Dam downstream. The downstream impacts would be phenomenal as mentioned” [Section 7.4 Murum EIA]
Given the potential for disastrous consequences to Bakun of any failure of Murum Dam, the EIA had recommended a thorough re-evaluation of the strength of Bakun’s structures and the implementation of a civil Emergency Action Plan (see SR’s uploaded copy of the report).  However, the State Government preferred to keep the matter quiet.
It is for these reasons that Sarawak Report contends that the Sarawak State Government and its agencies have demonstrated themselves not fit and trustworthy to be in charge of the construction of further dams within the state, given the self-interested motives of its politicians and their cavalier attitude to warnings and flaws within these huge and dangerous projects

Issue 2 – Human Rights

Equally shocking is the Sarawak State Government’s record with regard to the rights and compensations for native people displaced by these massive mega-structures which have already displaced thousands of people in the state.
Consultation, compensation and respect for community wishes have been ignored as projects have been driven forward in conditions of secrecy and deceit.  The scandal of Bakun is well-known, but Sarawak Report uncovered a swathe of separate scandals during the period of construction of Murum, showing that no lessons had been learnt.
It was only after the ‘Resettlement Action Plan’ was leaked to Sarawak Report, just a few weeks before the flooding of the dam that the Penan communities in the area learnt for the first time of the derisory compensation and relocation package planned by the State Government and SEB.
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2012/09/genocide-murums-secret-resettlement-action-plan-revealed-exclusive-expose/
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2012/09/sarawaks-shame-secret-report-reveals-despicable-neglect-of-penan-people/
The Penan camped for 70 days to protest the plans
The Penan camped for 77 days to protest the plans
The Penan communities then camped out for a 77 day blockade to challenge the dam, before being forced out by rising waters.  So much for consultation.
The resettlement of the Penan, as subsequently covered by Sarawak Report, is yet another exercise in failure, cover-up and a callous disregard of human rights by the state authorities who continued to persist in arguing that the purpose of the dam was to ‘improve’ and ‘modernise’ the lives of these displaced communities:
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2013/11/who-to-believe-torstein-sjotveit-and-seb-propagada-or-the-penan-pengulu/
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/06/damned-disgrace/
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/07/sebs-generous-school-bus-for-murum/
Dumped! - starvation rations are supplied once a month to the isolated Murum resettlement camps
Dumped! – starvation rations are supplied once a month to the isolated Murum resettlement camps

Issue 3 – Debt and Economic Consequences

For all these reasons – corruption, shoddy construction, human rights abuses – Sarawak Report believes that the State Government is not to be trusted in the construction of mega-dams.
The supposed wealth creating benefits that are so frequently advertised to mitigate such disadvantages have also been widely exposed as an economic myth and wishful thinking.
To the contrary the economic consequences of constructing mega-dams are generally disastrous for developing countries, as a body of evidence from numerous respected institutions have pointed out.
http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/08/disastrous-environmental-and-socio-economic-consequences-evidence-mounts-against-mega-dams/
This weekend Sarawak’s own Save Rivers campaign, which led the successful rejection by the people of Baram against the previous planned mega-dam, has itself come out against the plan for Balah for these same compelling reasons.
Mega dams are obsolete and destructive. That is why thousands of dams are being dismantled in developed countries which recognise those ugly facts.
Mega dams are removed because their negative effects far outweigh the fictional benefits. That is why even in the United State of America, which is the world’s top economy, dams are continuously being removed. So, between the years 1912 to 2015, there have been 1,300 (one thousand three hundred) dams which have been removed in the USA alone….While several developed countries are removing their dams, Sarawak seems to be completely oblivious to only sane options and chose alternative energy source and stubbornly pursuing a venture which have multitudes of negative impacts
Says Director Peter Kallang in his statement summing up the situation. Instead, Chief Minister Adenan and his boss Taib Mahmud have raised billions to build these monsters and they want that money spent!

-Sarawak Report