Allegations By WSJ That Najib Pursued A Pro-China Foreign Policy To Cover Up The 1MDB Scandal Must Be Investigated

The Wall Street Journal has alleged that officials from China told their Malaysian counterparts that it would use its influence to persuade other countries to drop 1MDB-related investigations in return for stakes in Malaysian railway and pipeline projects for the Belt and Road Initiative.
It was also alleged that China offered to bug the Hong Kong homes and offices of WSJ reporters working on the 1MDB story.

More worryingly, it was also claimed that “secret talks” were held “…to let Chinese navy ships dock at two Malaysian ports”, although this apparently did not come to pass.

The report also noted that the Prime Minister at the time, Najib Razak had voiced support for China’s position in the South China Sea dispute.

If these allegations are true, it would suggest that the actions of the previous administration had seriously compromised Malaysia’s sovereignty and neutrality to protect certain political actors.

These claims must hence be thoroughly investigated, and stern legal action should be taken against the perpetrators if warranted.

Moreover, the government of the People’s Republic of China must come clean over whether these allegations are true or not. Merely denying by saying China does not interfere in the affairs of other countries is not sufficient.

I also hope that the Malaysian government will take positive steps to defend our legitimate rights over the South China Sea in light of these revelations.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
KEADILAN ORGANISING SECRETARY
KEADILAN CENTRAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Welcoming The Re-Opening Of Purchase Of Submarines

There have been media reports that the authorities have re-opened investigations into the controversial 2002 purchase of the two French Scorpene submarines.

This highly-welcome development vindicates years of work—not only by Pakatan Harapan figures—but also members of the media and civil society, who sought to expose the truth about the deals in the face of great adversity.

If the case has indeed been re-opened, the authorities must carry out the new investigations with all due dispatch and charge any party they believe is guilty of wrongdoing.

Moreover, the Pakatan Harapan government should recommit itself to ensuring greater transparency and accountability when it comes to defence and indeed, all forms of government procurement.

It should identify, publicise and implement measures to ensure that our taxpayer ringgits are not wasted and that our serving men and women are adequately equipped to defend our land.

The sorry, sordid saga of the Scorpene submarines should never be repeated again.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
PAKATAN HARAPAN YOUTH LEADER
KEADILAN CENTRAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Pakatan Harapan Youth Welcomes Unlimited Rail And Bus Pass Proposal

The Cabinet should accept and implement a proposal by the Ministry of Transport to introduce unlimited “Rapid Rail” and “Integrated Rapid Bus” passes, as well as discounted KTM Komuter services.

The benefits of doing this will be immense, not only in reducing traffic congestion, but also improving mobility, productivity and the environment.

Indeed, it is the stated goal of this government to encourage the use of public transportation—initiatives like unlimited passes and discounted services will make this option attractive. This is the practice in many developed cities.

The proposal was first mooted by the Pakatan Harapan Youth in our Tawaran Harapan Anak Muda manifesto for the last General Elections.

We are aware that the finances of the country are not yet stable and that the government will have to be wise it is spending.

But if there is anything worth spending on, it is this.

Also, the various efforts to improve the efficiency, connectivity, environmental sustainability and user-friendliness of our public transportation system must of course continue.

We can categorise the passes into peak and off-peak passes to increase off-peak usage which is still very low compared to peak usage.

The various providers must up their game, especially if the proposal comes through.

Malaysians will need to work harder to meet the challenging global economic conditions ahead.

It is only right that the government help them to do this—as well as reduce the cost of living—by making public transportation affordable, as well as safe and reliable.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
PAKATAN HARAPAN YOUTH LEADER
PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT YOUTH LEADER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Standardisation Of Minimum Wage Is Positive Move, Must Be Further Improved In The Future

The move by the Federal Government to standardise minimum wage across Malaysia, in line with the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, is commendable.

Even though the increase may be small for now, but this is real progress that we can build on in the foreseeable future.

Moreover, it is an undeniable fact that wages have stagnated in Malaysia, and our aspirations of becoming a high-income nation has been hampered by years of stagnation. We should also not only focus on per-capita income but also look at the inequality of wages between the rich and poor.

At the heart of our cost of living issue is low wages especially for the B40, and it is pertinent that we address this with a holistic solution.

As our economy recovers, we have to increase the minimum wage to RM1500 over five years in line with our manifesto and look into incentivising business-owners — including giving tax breaks — to raise the minimum wage, or go even higher to meet the living wage standard as suggested by Bank Negara.

The government procurement policy should be amended within a reasonable period so that companies giving living wages are given priority.

Its long-term impact will be an increase in incomes, which will lead to increases in expenditure and, more multiplier effects across the economy.

At the same time, the additional B40 incentive will also help make the so-called “3D” (i.e. dirty, dangerous and difficult)—such as construction and plantation—jobs more attractive to locals and reduce dependency on foreign labour. In fact, like other developed countries, this sectors can increase their productivity through automation. For so long, these sectors have been coddled by low wages for foreign workers.

The World Bank noted in a previous analysis that a 10 percent increase in immigration flows have reduced the wages of the least-educated Malaysians by 0.74 percent.

These are issues that we need to tackle, but of course let’s take it step by step. What we need now is the political will to do the right thing for all Malaysians.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
PAKATAN HARAPAN YOUTH LEADER
PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT YOUTH LEADER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Resignation Of Khazanah Board Members

 

The resignation of all members of Khazanah Nasional to resign to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition under the new government, while regrettable, is a chance for Malaysia’s pre-eminent sovereign wealth fund to start afresh.

The Pakatan Harapan government should take immediate steps to ensure that Khazanah—and indeed, all GLCs and GLICs, both at the federal and state level—remain independent and professionally-run to the highest standards of accountability as well as transparency. This was our promise in Buku Harapan and we should strictly adhere to it.

This will ensure that the mass departure of board members and senior executives from the various GLICs/GLICs and other corporate entities in our country that we have witnessed in the past few months does not occur again.

A certain amount of stability in the leadership of these companies must be ensured given how important they are to Malaysia’s economy.

We must also acknowledge the positive changes instituted in many GLCs under the outgoing Khazanah leadership.

Our goal should be reform, not vengeance.

Malaysia’s GLCs and GLICs should emerge under the new administration as commercially viable, socially responsible entities whose business decisions and staffing are free from interference by vested interests.

It can and should be possible to achieve these objectives.

I hope that, moving forward, the government will take heed of the input from all stakeholders when deciding the fate of the various GLCs and GLICs.

What must prevail, each and every time, is the best interest of these companies as well as the national interest guided by a strong framework of corporate governance.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
PAKATAN HARAPAN YOUTH LEADER
PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT YOUTH LEADER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT