Posted: 21 May 2011 12:18 AM PDT
Together with my lawyer, we've decided to withdraw the bid to strike out Syabas defamation suit against me, to give the earliest possible opportunity for the full trial to be carried out and witnesses summoned for testimony. We are looking forward to putting Syabas CEO, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail on the witness stand to answer various allegations of misappropriation and mismanagement in the Selangor water concessionaire.
I see no element of defamation in the alleged "defamatory words" published in Nanyang Siangpau, and I look forward to defending them during the trial. We are also expecting to bring in experts from the industry as witnesses to provide evidence in support of our case.
The judge has set June 20 for case management, and expects the trial to be carried out in July/August.
Full hearing for Syabas suit
KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament Tony Pua has withdrawn his application to strike out the defamation suit against him by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).
This is because both parties have agreed for all issues to be heard at trial, Pua's lawyer Ang Hean Leng said yesterday.
Ang said the court had set June 20 for the next case management.
The water company claimed that Pua had caused to be published an article entitled "Tony Pua: Selangor Government must have water rights to prevent rate hike" in a Chinese daily last November. It stated that the words were understood to mean that Syabas was incompetent in managing water supply rights and that the defamatory words had affected its business.
In his statement of defence, Pua claimed he was appointed as the spokesperson for "Return Water Rights to the People" campaign, launched by the Selangor state government and had offered his views when asked during a forum.
He also disputed the translation of the title of the article as stated in the statement of claim. He added that it should have been translated to read as, "Tony Pua: To ensure no hike in water tariff, Selangor state government wants management rights of water supply".
Posted: 20 May 2011 10:52 PM PDT
If subsidies is akin to "opium" as described by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, then sure the Barisan Nasional Government is guilty of being the "drug pusher" for offering "opium" to the Malaysian public over the past decades.
The reason why the BN government has fed "opium" to Malaysians in increasing doses over the years is to mask the fact that the Malaysian economy has been unable to grow at the necessary pace and competitiveness. As a result the people are unable to increase their income at a pace faster than the rapidly rising cost of living.
Hence the BN Government used "opium" to keep the general populace in an artificial state of bliss and ignorance that Malaysians are stuck in a middle income trap and rising income inequality.
While the population was induced with a "feel good" factor over the past two decades, BN continued to weaken the competitiveness of our economy through policies which were inefficient and ineffective, waste our scare wealth on poorly thought-out hare-brained projects and through rampant and blatant corruption involving the BN Government such as the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal. This has not yet included the fact the capital flight amounting to a shocking RM888 billion from 2000 to 2008 as announced by the US-based financial watchdog Global Financial integrity (GFI).
BN could feed the people with "opium" all these years thanks to the growing production of oil and gas as well as rising international oil prices which led to record oil revenues received by the Government, hitting a high of RM67 billion in 2009.
However as a result of extravagant and unproductive government expenditure over the past 2 decades, the BN government now finds itself having difficulty in reducing the budget deficit, feeding their cronies while at the same time continuing to supply sufficient "opium" to the people.
The problem hence is that the "opium" is not the real problems faced by Malaysia's economy, but just one of the symptoms. The underlying problem for the country's economy in this case is the plundering and pilfering of the country's wealth by the BN government with its crony business interests. Therefore even if the "opium" addiction is removed, the plight of the economy will still continue because all that's saved from the "opium" will still be pilfered away.
The only way to return the country's economy to its potential trajectory is for the Government to start placing the interest of the rakyat above that of the BN cronies and start looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its expenditures, as well as taking pro-active measures to improve transparency and accountability to reduce corruption and leakages. Without these key measures, removing the "opium" addiction will only be a short-term measure which will not lead us to become a high-income nation.
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