Rafizi Ramli

No toll promise by Pakatan, unrealistic, says economist

No toll promise by Pakatan, unrealistic, says economist

KUALA LUMPUR:The Pakatan Rakyat coalition has always pride itself with ideas that is for the rakyat and ways to ease the burden of Malaysians. Some of its major plans include, the promise of cheaper cars, reducing oil prices and to abolish tolls.

 

Pakatan’s strategy director, Rafizi Ramli also took the trouble to simplify the ideas so that it can be understood better by laymen who do not have economic backgroud.  In three Youtube videos uploaded about two weeks ago, Rafizi explained how Pakatan was going to ensure that their plan for the said matters materialise.

 

As enticing as it sounds, promises are made to look and sound good and at the same time soothes those who want to be soothed. Many of us who are not well-versed in economics would automatically be impressed. 

 

The Mole was recently contacted by an economist who was concerned about the simplistic views brought forward by Rafizi in his explanations.  

 

Speaking on the basis of anonimity, the economist gave a rebuttal to each point that was highlighted in the video focusing on abolishment of tolls.( Rafizi’s proposals are in bold)

 

 1. Toll increases transportation cost and which makes price of goods more expensive.

 

The toll price for the North-South Highway has not been hiked since 2005, but the price of goods continued to increase due to CPI (consumer price index) which increases at 2.6 per cent every year.

 

There is also no direct correlation between food prices and toll. Never in any article by professional/economist mentioned that the cause for food price increase is toll imposition.

 

Based on table below, transportation cost in 2011 increased by 4.4 per cent, but toll for PLUS remain unchanged in 2011. F B prices also increase every year.

 

 

2. Every year the rakyat is estimated to pay about RM5 billion to toll concessionaires.

 

The amount is not accurate. It’s much, much lower than that. But one tends to forget that toll is pay-per-use model – how different is this from paying for Astro, use of mobile phone, Internet etc.? Thus it’s a choice by motorist. 99 per cent of PLUS’ highways have alternative roads.

 

Revenue for Celcom alone in a year is RM7.2bil. DIGI’s revenue is RM5.9bil in 2011 – we pay so much for mobile services but we still get / endure dropped calls. 

 

3. Taking over of tolls which already have its return on investment

 

Apart from the initial construction cost, huge money has been invested and spent on maintaining and upgrading of expressway network and facilities. For example, 4th lane widening at cost of RM1.6B is fully funded by PLUS for the rakyat.

 

UEM and EPF acquired PLUS at RM23bil. Reason for the acquisition is to reduce toll for the benefit of rakyat, but at the cost of the concession company through loan obligation of RM30B.  

 

4. Taking over of tolls in stages and staggard payment is done yearly for the takeover cost.

 

Takeover on stages basis is illogical and unfounded from commercial point of view. Lenders would definitely not agree to such a deal whereby the borrower is one entity without ANY source of revenue and hence, no security against the borrowing. Severe impact to the entire bond market of Malaysia as well as global debt market, as PLUS Sukuk is the biggest global Islamic Sukuk. There would also be implication to the FDI and Islamic financing market.  

 

5. PLUS is owned by government strategic investment fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund

 

As PLUS is owned by “badan rakyat”, any profit will flow back to the rakyat either via EPF or others.

 

6. Pakatan will discuss with Khazanah and EPF on the amount of yearly payment to be given to bondholders.

 

This is unprecedented. Never has there been a stake acquisition that involves annual payment of takeover cost! Will not bode well with investors and bondholders

 

7. The estimated cost to take over PLUS in order to abolist toll is RM4 billion each year

 

Where will the funds come from? National income will be affected and how would this expenditure address the country’s budget deficit?

 

Would it be fair to takeover of a highway located in West Coast Peninsular Malaysia at the cost of other rakyat especially those living in Sabah, Sarawak and East Coast? Amount used for takeover could deprive Sabah Sarawak and East Coast of good infrastructure

 

8. The breakdown given by Rafizi for yearly payment are:

 

 

 

    – RM1.473 billion to buyover bonds owned by Khazanah and EPF at the rate of 50 per cent of the yearly toll collection

 

What is the basis? Why based on 50 per cent of annual toll collection? How could equity acquisition use 50% revenue as the acquisition cost and payable on an annual basis?! The takeover cost of PLUS for Khazanah and EPF was RM23 billion. Divestment would definitely affect both Khazanah and EPF’s investment return.  

  

The RM800 million figure is just on maintenance. Why is there a need to expand the highway? Where would the cost come from and who is to bear this cost if without any toll income? PLUS’ 4th lane widening project cost RM1.6billion is fully funded by PLUS.

  

With free-toll, more people will be using the highway and this will jam up the highways even more quickly – coupled this with the fact that PR plans to reduce car prices, double whammy!

  

With more motorists on the road, more pavement maintenance work would be needed, more lane widening projects would have to be undertaken to ease traffic, more cost to maintain the RR and more complaints from the rakyat! All these cost will escalate significantly over the years and, who to bear?   

 

 

    - RM1.5 billion to be used to repay for bond/sukuk loan which is left behind by Umno/BN amounting up to RM30 billion

 

The Sukuk was issued by a corporate entity under a comprehensive regulatory framework with good governance. Malaysia continuing to dominate as the destination choice for Sukuk issuances in the global Sukuk market.  

 

Based on RAM report in 2013, Malaysia issued US$97.1 billion of Sukuk last year, accounting for 69.7 % of the total globally. Continuous development plans especially in the infrastructure sector ensured the growth of the Sukuk market. 

 

     - Will save RM1.1 billion to pay for Sukuk bond loan made by Umno

 

Changing the Sukuk terms will dampen investors’ confidence and ultimately, the future of Sukuk and debt market in Malaysia

 

 

9. When toll is abolished the government will save up on several yearly expenses such as :

 

- RM800 million compensation paid yearly to PLUS

 

PLUS had in 2011 announced the restructuring of toll — with no increase for 5 years and rate of increase for future years has alsobeen reduced from 10% to 5% every 3 years) and no compensation payable to PLUS.

 

-  RM50 million saved from operational cost

There won’t be any savings, in fact, operations and maintenance cost will increase with the sharp rise in traffic volume on a toll-free highway. 

  

Whether this saving eventually benefits the right group of people? The ones who are paying toll are those who can afford to own a car, and pay for the road tax and fuel.   

 

 

10. Every year Malaysians pay RM3 billion to PLUS and the government uses the rakyat’s fund to pay a compensation amounting to RM800 million to PLUS. The cost borne by Malaysians every year is RM3.8 billion 

 

Again, no compensation payable to PLUS. During the corporate restructuring of PLUS, both UEM Group and EPF agreed to waive RM2.9bil compensation owed by Government.

 

Yesterday it was reported that, Pas president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had admitted  the opposition’s promise to abolish toll was difficult to be carried out.

 

Hadi said, ”Pakatan needs to make detailed research before abolishing tolls to avoid any financial burden to cover the cost of managing a highway.”

 

Responding to this deputy prime minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stated that Malaysians are not a gullible lot and won’t be easily duped by the Opposition manifesto. 

 

Meanwhile, in another report several state BN leaders have called Pakatan bluff over a towering promise it made to build a toll-free Pan Borneo highway, calling the promise bewildering, especially since PR is still grappling with unresolved issues in the states under its administration.

 

“Many promises were made in Selangor and Penang and what do we see now? Only 15 per cent of those promises were fulfilled.

 

“Now, they want to do the same thing in Sarawak. So far, we have seen several PR members elected into Sarawak DUN. What did they promise the people before they got elected? said Sarawak BN youth chief Datuk Fadillah Yusof in the report. 

 


Source: MOLE

Mother of Pendedahan

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Rafizi Ramli, the so-called strategist for PKR must be scraping the bottom for issues to play in the run-up to the general elections that he decided it would be a big thing to expose Rosmah Mansor, Najib Razak’s wife’s unpaid traffic summons.

You open a can of worms, you will get exactly that. Let us take, for example, these two phantom voters who registered themselves as voters using my friend’s house address. They are none other than Anwar Ibrahim and Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Rafizi’s political employers.

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Now, make a few SMS using the identity card numbers obtained…first for Anwar Ibrahim:

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Wow! That’s a heck lot more than Rosmah’s that have gone unpaid! Now, let us check his “wife”.

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Holy crap! That is a whole lot of law-breaking exercise for someone who fights for justice! No wonder PKR is so against the implementation of the AES! Now, what about Rafizi Ramli, the BAPA PENDEDAHAN himself?

This is his Identity Card number:

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Now let us check if he has any unpaid summons himself for being a loudmouth:

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What the hell??!! What right has he got to bitch about Rosmah’s unpaid summons?

One word of advice for Rafizi: mKe sure you cover your ass before you want to hit someone else in the back! But knowing which party and leader he represents, I find it as no surprise that he goes around shooting butt-naked!

Pakatan won’t stop cash handouts once in power

Pakatan Rakyat will not discontinue the present government cash handouts should the opposition coalition take power in the coming general election, PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said today.

In fact, Rafizi said, there would be even more cash handouts should Pakatan come into power, but these would be grouped differently and be more specific.

NONE“Of course it won’t be called BR1M. We will not be general, just to target families earning less than RM3,000. We will specifically target different groups that are really needy, such as housewives and so on,” he said.

However, Rafizi insisted that Pakatan would not make cash handouts its core economic programme.

“We will concentrate and spend more on alleviating the economic problems of the people,” he added at a press conference on the BN manifesto at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

Rafizi said while Pakatan was not fundamentally opposed to BR1M, it does not see such cash handouts as solving the economic problems of the people.

‘It’ll be cheaper to bring down prices’

“Under the BN manifesto, the government will spend between RM7 billion and RM11 billion a year on BR1M, taking into account the inflation rate as well,” he said.

“But we must keep in mind that the number of recipients for BR1M will increase over time. We need solve the economic problems of these people,” he said.

Rafizi stressed that the money could be better used to alleviate econonic concerns, pointing out that it would even be cheaper for the government to bring down oil prices.

“To bring down oil price by 40 sen (a litre), the cost will be RM6.8 billion only a year,” he said.

Rafizi added that any aid given under BR1M would in the end be diluted by rising prices of goods and also a lack of structural economic reforms – such as weeding out corruption.

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Pakatan won’t stop cash handouts once in power

Pakatan Rakyat will not discontinue the present government cash handouts should the opposition coalition take power in the coming general election, PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said today.

In fact, Rafizi said, there would be even more cash handouts should Pakatan come into power, but these would be grouped differently and be more specific.

NONE“Of course it won’t be called BR1M. We will not be general, just to target families earning less than RM3,000. We will specifically target different groups that are really needy, such as housewives and so on,” he said.

However, Rafizi insisted that Pakatan would not make cash handouts its core economic programme.

“We will concentrate and spend more on alleviating the economic problems of the people,” he added at a press conference on the BN manifesto at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

Rafizi said while Pakatan was not fundamentally opposed to BR1M, it does not see such cash handouts as solving the economic problems of the people.

‘It’ll be cheaper to bring down prices’

“Under the BN manifesto, the government will spend between RM7 billion and RM11 billion a year on BR1M, taking into account the inflation rate as well,” he said.

“But we must keep in mind that the number of recipients for BR1M will increase over time. We need solve the economic problems of these people,” he said.

Rafizi stressed that the money could be better used to alleviate econonic concerns, pointing out that it would even be cheaper for the government to bring down oil prices.

“To bring down oil price by 40 sen (a litre), the cost will be RM6.8 billion only a year,” he said.

Rafizi added that any aid given under BR1M would in the end be diluted by rising prices of goods and also a lack of structural economic reforms – such as weeding out corruption.

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Wah .. Bank Islam lodges second police report, Anwar Ibrahim keeps mum

Read also: Which part .. is not criminal, Wawa?


Original posting:
Another police report against Wawa! See the Malaysian Reserve report. After the initial din, I wonder why Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is keeping mum on Bank Islam chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin’s case. Cutting losses? I can understand that. PKR lawyers, meanwhile, are at odds on how to go about this case., I hear. A case involving the compromise of banking secrecy is always tricky, more so when you already have a history, in PKR’s case the charges against PKR chief strategist Rafizi Ramli.
Wawa maintains that he is innocent. But of course.

Answer RM13mil Jewel-gate claim, Rosmah told

PKR has demanded that Rosmah Mansor responds to claims by carpet trader Deepak Jaikishin that he had paid RM13 million to purchase jewellery for her in 2008 and 2009.

NONEDeepak (right) is said to have claimed that the purchase of 19 pieces of custom-made jewellery from two firms in Hong Kong is part of alleged kickbacks to grease a land deal.

“It is of public interest that both Rosmah and Deepak come clean,” PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli told a press conference at the party headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.

To back the allegation, Rafizi furnished documents that the party had obtained through intermediaries from Deepak.

He also pointed out that one document names Rosmah.

When contacted, an aide to Rosmah said he would have to check on the claim.

Malaysiakini has also contacted the jewellers involved and is awaiting their response.

‘Probe warranted’

Based on preliminary checks, Rafizi said he believes the email communiques, invoices, account summaries and fund-transfer documents to be genuine.

NONEThe onus, he said is now on Deepak to furnish the authorities with original copies of the documents and other proof, so that an investigation can be carried out.

Deepak had told Malaysiakini earlier that he would lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) later today.

Based on the documents, his companies, Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd and Carpet Plus Sdn Bhd, had paid for the jewellery.

NONE“These are serious allegations,” Rafizi said, noting that the documents and Deepak’s claims warrant a probe.

Anticipating the possibility of a formal denial, Rafizi said it was not logical that the items were for Deepak’s use as “I have not seen (him) wearing rings and necklaces”.

PKR treasurer William Leong, who was present, urged the MACC to investigate the claim “without fear or favour” and prove that it is truly independent.

Failure to do so would show that it only investigates safe targets who have no political connections, he said.

He added that even without a report being lodged, the anti-graft body is empowered by its parent legislation to call in Deepak and compel him to furnish them with proof of his allegation.

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Answer RM13mil Jewel-gate claim, Rosmah told

PKR has demanded that Rosmah Mansor responds to claims by carpet trader Deepak Jaikishin that he had paid RM13 million to purchase jewellery for her in 2008 and 2009.

NONEDeepak (right) is said to have claimed that the purchase of 19 pieces of custom-made jewellery from two firms in Hong Kong is part of alleged kickbacks to grease a land deal.

“It is of public interest that both Rosmah and Deepak come clean,” PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli told a press conference at the party headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.

To back the allegation, Rafizi furnished documents that the party had obtained through intermediaries from Deepak.

He also pointed out that one document names Rosmah.

When contacted, an aide to Rosmah said he would have to check on the claim.

Malaysiakini has also contacted the jewellers involved and is awaiting their response.

‘Probe warranted’

Based on preliminary checks, Rafizi said he believes the email communiques, invoices, account summaries and fund-transfer documents to be genuine.

NONEThe onus, he said is now on Deepak to furnish the authorities with original copies of the documents and other proof, so that an investigation can be carried out.

Deepak had told Malaysiakini earlier that he would lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) later today.

Based on the documents, his companies, Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd and Carpet Plus Sdn Bhd, had paid for the jewellery.

NONE“These are serious allegations,” Rafizi said, noting that the documents and Deepak’s claims warrant a probe.

Anticipating the possibility of a formal denial, Rafizi said it was not logical that the items were for Deepak’s use as “I have not seen (him) wearing rings and necklaces”.

PKR treasurer William Leong, who was present, urged the MACC to investigate the claim “without fear or favour” and prove that it is truly independent.

Failure to do so would show that it only investigates safe targets who have no political connections, he said.

He added that even without a report being lodged, the anti-graft body is empowered by its parent legislation to call in Deepak and compel him to furnish them with proof of his allegation.

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Vets want servicemen in Boustead to stop LTAT deal

Armed forces veterans today called out to their comrades on the Boustead Holdings Berhad board to block the controversial ‘buyout’ involving businessman Deepak Jaikishan and Selangor Umno Wanita chief Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah.

“Are the generals on the board simply yes-men, who just nod their heads?” asked retired Royal Malaysian Air Force brigadier general Abdul Hadi Abdul Khatab.

He explained that the current armed forces chief, chief secretary of the Defence Ministry, as well as all the deputy chiefs of all armed forces branches are on the Boustead board.

Abdul Hadi who is PKR security committee head said this at a press conference at party headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.

NONEHe argued that the deal which saw RM30 million paid to Deepak’s Astacanggih Sdn Bhd and a further RM130 million to be paid to Raja Ropiaah’s (left) Awan Megah for the land is detrimental to military personnel and veterans who had contributed to the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), which controls and has heavily invested in Boustead.

PKR director director of strategy Rafizi Ramli, who was also at the press conference, alleged that the Boustead wholly-owned subsidiary directly involved in both deals, Bakti Wira Sdn Bhd, does not have the assets and financial viability needed to secure and pay for the loans needed the finance the land deal.

As such, Rafizi believes that the investment will later be “written off” and rationalised as “impaired investment”, resulting in the loss of millions to Bousted, LTAT and ultimately military veterans and personnel.

Abdul Hadi shared Rafizi’s view, fearing for the fate of LTAT funds.

‘Moral duty to speak up’

“They have a moral duty to speak up and speak out if the deal is detrimental to armed forces personnel who contribute to LTAT,” said Abdul Hadi, who is also president of Pahlawan, a PKR-linked association representing former military officers.

NONEAbdul Hadi (right) hit out at irresponsible parties which he believed misused their power and made use of LTAT and Boustead to execute the “buy-out” for the political benefit of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“The interests of the many contributors should not be outweighed by the benefit of one person.”

Boustead RM30 million ‘buy-out’ of Astanacanggih and RM160 million land deal with Awan Megah has been accused as an attempt to settle with Raja Ropiaah and silence Deepak, who has came out with relevations linking the premier and his family with the alleged cover-up of evidence and testimonies related to the infamous murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Deepak made it clear that his revelations follows his being allegedly ‘cheated’ by Raja Ropiaah and business and contracts being “disturbed”.

Out of the blue, Boustead had emerged to buy out both Deepak’s firm and the land over which he is in a legal dispute with Raja Ropiaah.

NONEDeepak (left) claims that he was strong-armed into the deal as well as forced to settle his legal suit against Raja Ropiaah, which many saw as an attempt to silence him.

Abdul Hadi said that his organisation and fellow veterans from PAS-linked former armed forces officers’ NGO Kerabat will deploy in numbers to Boustead’s registered office at Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur later this afternoon.

As LTAT contributors and and therefore de facto shareholders in Boustead, they aim to have sight of company documents that detail both transactions.

Veterans denied sight of Boustead documents

A band of ex-military men were not allowed to view Boustead Holdings Berhad’s documents detailing the firm’s ‘buy-out’ of a company owned by carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan, and land purchase from a company owned by Selangor Umno Wanita chief, Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah.

NONE“They argued that only direct shareholders would be allowed to do so,” related PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli who accompanied the delegation.

About 20 former military officers from Pakatan-linked NGOs representing former servicemen Pahlawan and Kerabat had gathered at Boustead’s headquarters in Jalan Raja Chulan Kuala Lumpur since 1pm today.

At about 2.30pm, they met with company officials and requested sight of the agreements and documents regarding the transactions.

The veterans who are contributors to the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) came in their capacity as members of the armed forces trust which owns a controlling stake in Boustead.

According to Rafizi, a minor stand-off occurred when the company officials insisted that LTAT and Boustead “have nothing to do with each other” and are two separate entities and refused to allow them access to the paperwork they requested.

Backdoor buy-in

The group left shortly after so as not to prolong the stand-off.

However, Rafizi said that he and the veterans are undaunted and shall return as shareholders and will again request to see the documents in question.

“I shall buy one share in Boustead, that will make me a minority shareholder. And I shall come again this Wednesday or Thursday,” vowed Rafizi.

As per securities regulations, all public-listed entities are required to disclose their dealings to the KL Bursa and the public, as well as disclose relevant details to shareholders.

He also plans to call the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group to monitor the Boustead deal which he believes is detrimental to minority shareholders.

Rafizi and representatives of the ex-servicemen NGOs held a press conference at PKR headquarters earlier, asking for their comrades on the Boustead board to stop the deals if they are detrimental to LTAT, military personnel and veterans who are contributors.

RM40mil fund: PKR reports Musa, Nazri to MACC

PKR lodged a report on the RM40 million that came in from Hong Kong, alleging the involvement of Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz, with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today.

NONEThe report against Musa and Nazri was made because they are suspected of being linked to the money that was brought into the country by businessman, Michael Chia, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli (left) said.

The RM40 million is said to be a donation to Sabah Umno.

“A MACC report has been made and I request MACC to open a file to investigate the case on Musa Aman and Michael Chia, as well as on Nazri and his son (Nedim Mohd Nazri).

“According to the MACC Act, there is a basis for it to start its investigations,” Rafizi told a press conference before entering the MACC building in Putrajaya this afternoon.

‘Nazri should go on leave’

Rafizi also requested that Prime Minister Najib Razak order Nazri to take leave from cabinet while the investigations are being carried out.

“This is because he is the minister in charge of the MACC,” adding that he will give the agency his full cooperation.

“The MACC is responsible for resolving this matter. I am prepared to give evidence to them,” he said.

Rafizi added he will go to Hong Kong next week to continue the investigation.

“We are still communicating with certain parties. I do not want to mention any names as this is a high profile case.

“I’m worried that the government will contact the relevant embassies and this will complicate matters. I will make an announcement when it is confirmed,” he added.

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