December 15th, 2015

Merencana GLC negeri

MAJLIS yang diadakan pada hari itu sekali lagi berkait soal ‘integriti’ dalam pentadbiran negeri. Yang menyentuh soal kejujuran dan ketulusan serta ko­mitmen dalam memikul tanggungjawab yang diamanahkan bagi kepentingan negeri dan rakyat.

Integriti itu jugalah yang diharap memberi makna ‘bersih’ terhadap kepemimpinan Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman bagi mengukuhkan keyakinan rakyat, dijadikan sebagai salah satu teras dalam gagasan Transformasi Terengganu Baharu (TTB).

Namun kelihatan banyak kerusi kosong yang sepatutnya dipenuhi kalangan yang sepatutnya turut serta dalam Majlis Menandatangani Ikrar Integriti Korporat Terengganu Incorporated Sdn. Bhd. (TISB) dan Anak-Anak Syarikat bersama Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) baru-baru ini kerana ia khusus buat mereka.

Ini memberi gambaran tidak me­nyenangkannya, apatah lagi banyak syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLC) negeri yang ternyata tidak berdaya maju, malah dikatakan lebih kerap mengira kerugian setiap tahun walaupun mereka di tempatkan di lubuk yang sepatutnya dapat mengaut keuntungan.

TISB adalah sayap pelaburan negeri dengan 20 anak syarikat yang diharap menjadi tunjang kekuatan ekonomi negeri dan keuntungan yang dicapai dapat dipulangkan dengan membantu meningkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat, bukannya turut mengeringkan kantung negeri tanpa rasa kesal dan bersalah.

“Saya lihat banyak kerusi yang kosong dan ini menunjukkan mereka yang dilantik dalam pengurusan syarikat masih ada yang tidak serius dan komited dengan tanggungjawab dan peranan mereka. Jadi, saya fikir adalah perlu untuk saya menyemak semula pelantikan tersebut dan jika perlu, kita akan melakukan rombakan,” katanya yang menyifatkan ia satu siri majlis yang begitu penting.

Sebelum itu, empat program serupa diadakan bersama Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan negeri, Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu (MBKT), Lembaga Kemajuan Terengganu Tengah (KETENGAH) dan Perbadanan Memajukan Iktisad Negeri Terengganu (PMINT).

“Kita perlu mempunyai disiplin tinggi dan konsep yang saya bawa ialah mesra tapi tegas. Jadi kalau GLC tidak dapat memberikan keyakinan (untuk maju) kepada pihak pengurusan kerajaan negeri, kenapa kita perlu kekalkan pentadbiran yang ada,” katanya.

Ahmad Razif ternyata tidak menyembunyikan lagi rasa kesalnya dengan berterus terang walaupun menyedari bahawa beliau tidak akan popular dengan langkah sebegitu, malah mungkin hanya akan merentang duri dalam perjalanan politik dan pentabirannya.

Ramai yang tertarik dengan kenyataannya itu dan mahu Ahmad Razif membuktikannya kelak dengan melakukan pembersihan dalam syarikat-syarikat tidak berdaya maju dan berdepan masalah pentadbiran.

Kalangan umum berharap pelantikan kalangan peneraju di GLC negeri lebih terarah kepada habuan politik dan bukannya soal keupayaan sebenar mereka berperanan secara profesional.

Malah mereka mahukan kerajaan tidak harus berterusan melabur sekadar untuk terus menghidupkan sesuatu syarikat dan seakan sekadar membolehkan kalangan tertentu berpaut di situ sehingga peranan sebenar penubuhan sudah tidak lagi terarah tanpa perancangan jelas untuk memajukannya.

Sebagai sayap pelaburan negeri, syarikat-syarikat milik kerajaanlah yang seharusnya berperanan mencari sumber pendapatan baharu yang sering diperkatakan untuk mengurangkan kebergantungan kepada dana khas yang menyumbang kepada hampir 90 peratus hasil negeri.

Senario ekonomi global yang suram berikutan kejatuhan mata wang negara dan kebergantungan Terengganu terhadap dana khas daripada kerajaan Pusat memberikan gambaran membimbangkan.

Jika disandarkan kepada sumber hasil negeri, bayaran emolumen atau gaji pegawai awam di Terengganu sahaja telah mencecah RM267 juta dan sekiranya ditolak dana khas, kerajaan negeri tidak berupaya melunaskannya.

Hasil sebenar yang diperoleh, daripada RM2.9 bilion bagi tahun 2013 menurun kepada kepada RM2.6 bilion (2014), RM.2.4 bilion (2015) dan anggaran RM2.02 bilion tahun depan,

Ini bermakna kerajaan negeri kehilangan hampir RM600 juta pendapatan dari tahun-tahun sebelum ini, dan gambaran ini turut dibentangkan oleh Wan Abdul Hakim Wan Mokhtar (BN-Air Putih) semasa perbahasan dalam sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri baru-baru ini.

“Kini kejatuhan harga minyak sudah mula menampakkan kesan kepada pendapatan negeri. Mujur ia tidak begitu drastik kerana dibenteng oleh kenaikan harga mata wang Dollar Amerika berbanding Ringgit,’’ ujar Wan Abdul Hakim.

Kerajaan negeri harus menerima hakikat bahawa ini semakin menjadi ‘kebiasaan baru’ dan perlu mengurus pentadbiran negeri berasakan realiti semasa dengan tumpuan diberikan kepada penjanaan pendapatan negeri berasaskan ekonomi perkhidmatan berbanding ekonomi berasaskan petroleum dan gas.

Sehubungan itu, sememangnya perlu satu pendekatan khusus diberikan kepada GLC negeri ini dengan memberi sasaran yang jelas kepada beberapa indikator yang penting termasuk jumlah keuntungan yang perlu dijana dan berapakah pulangan dividen kepada negeri.

“Jika kita berharap dalam masa lima tahun GLC perlu me­nunjukkan keuntungan sebanyak satu bilion, adakah dividen sebanyak 50 peratus atau RM500 juta setahun yang bakal disumbangkan pada perbendaharaan mencukupi?,” ujarnya.

Justeru sudah sampai masa GLC dikejutkan termasuk untuk mengorak langkah merencana pelan yang jitu dengan mengukuh dan mengembangkan perniagaan sehingga ke peringkat antarabangsa terutama di dalam bidang gas dan minyak, komoditi, perkhidmatan serta pembangunan hartanah.

Anak syarikat kerajaan negeri seperti TDM Berhad, Epic, Golden Pharos Berhad, GPQ dan lain-lain boleh membawa obor itu untuk menambahkan pendapatan dan mencorak masa depan negeri yasng lebih terjamin.

Namun, dalam melaksanakan, sebarang perbelanjaan harus disesuaikan dengan pendapatan yang diterima dan di­sasarkan menjadi kenyataan, dengan kesedaran sebagaimana peringatan Ahmad Razif: apabila ‘sempit bertimpuh, lega berlunjur’. - Wan Zulkifli Wan Yaacob Utusan Malaysia Rencana 14 Disember 2015 6:10 PM

Who is the Malay?

The confusion between the constitutional definition and the understanding of the word Malay is because it is used in many contexts.

MOST people understand the term Malay as referring to an ethnic group and therefore look askance at the Federal Constitution as having a racial basis.

We are suggesting that it does not.

The first part of the definition of Malay in Article 160 of the Constitution reads:

“Malay” means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom ...

This oft-quoted meaning tends to suggest that:

(1) anyone could by religious conversion and adoption of custom and language belong;

(2) anyone born a Malay is compelled by law to be a Muslim.

There is a second half to the definition that has to be fulfilled before a person can be considered a Malay within the meaning of the Constitution:

and...

(a) was born before Merdeka Day in the Federation or in Singapore or born of parents one of whom was born in the Federation or in Singapore, or is on that day domiciled in the Federation or in Singapore; or

(b) is the issue of such a person;

That someone is a Muslim, speaks Malay and adopts Malay custom is not, without more, sufficient to qualify them as a Malay under the Constitution.

The beneficiaries of the “special position” accorded to the Malays are therefore not a race but a defined class of persons.

Being ethnically Malay has not been any part of the criteria laid down in the Constitution.

The provisions for the special position were enacted to cater to the political demands of a group going by the name “Malay” but impossible to define in any other practical or workable way.

The Constitution had to provide an artificial definition which rendered ascertainable whether a person is or is not a Malay – in the form of the requirement, as at Merdeka Day, of birth, domicile or descent.

The consequence of using a term so charged with ethnic, religious and cultural connotations has been to subsume the constitutional definition under the concept of “Malay Rights” or “Ketuanan Melayu”, which has made debate on the special position of the Malay not only difficult but also polemical.

As a result, the constitutional de­­fi­nition does little to arrest the idea of the Malays as a favoured race.

The confusion between the constitutional definition and the understanding of the word “Malay” as a race is due in no small part to the same term being used in more than one context.

In particular, the constitutional definition, which applies for the purposes of the special position mentioned above, does not apply in the context of Malay reservation land, which is governed by State law.

The definitions of Malay in the various State legislation on Malay reservation have two criteria in common – the Malay language and the religion of Islam.

So far as ethnicity is concerned, it takes the form of a requirement that the person be of “any Malayan race” and, in some States, of “Arab descent”.

The one common factor across the States is the religion of Islam, and there is a general absence of any birth, descent or domicile requirement.

The provision for the special position in the Constitution and the preservation of State laws on Malay reservation are founded upon a so-called “social contract” between the main racial communities in Malaya immediately prior to independen­ce.

If indeed the social contract has been embodied in the Constitution, as the supreme law of the nation, all racial and ethnic considerations prevailing at the time of indepen­dence should be seen as having been fully incorporated in the founding document of Malaysia, and giving full effect to these legal provisions will be the best way to honour that contract.

Just as it is a fundamental principle of the law of contract that no additional terms and conditions can be raised to contradict such terms and conditions as have been agreed in writing, to reopen the discussion on the same issue on race and ethnicity would be to dishonour the concluded bargain.

It will soon be 50 years since the race riots of 1969, after which a policy of affirmative action was put in place and repeatedly extended to this day in favour of the Malays.

Perhaps it is time that the implementation of the policy be reviewed.

Such a review should begin by ensuring that the Malay who are accorded the special position are properly identified.

This would entail going beyond religion, language and custom to ensure that every person accorded the special position does in fact fall within the defined class.

Failure to adhere to the constitutional definition is a direct deprivation of the Malay of their special position and a legal injustice.

For example, a Muslim convert born after Merdeka Day who speaks Malay fluently, conforms to Malay custom and vociferously advocates Malay Rights may discover that he is not himself a Malay within the constitutional definition if he cannot trace his parentage back to Merdeka Day to a Muslim forebear who speaks Malay and conforms to Malay custom.

The child born in Malaysia of Muslim immigrants with no prior roots in Malaysia may become a citizen but will not be a Malay within the constitutional definition.

The special position under the Constitution is implemented by a quota system.

Including such persons in that quota will be a breach of the supreme law of the nation and an injustice to those who are properly entitled.

If such errors are currently being committed, they are building up to a constitutional disaster.