Les Miserables

Sultan Johor, ADC DSP Sugumaran, Principal Private Secretary to Sultan Johor Hj Jabar and MB Johor Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin at the Johor State Assembly when Khaled formed the Johor State Government

MB Johor Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin managed to push through an amended Johor Housing and Real Property Board (LPHJ) Enactment 2014 at the Johor State Assembly in Kota Iskandar this evening. It was done not without pulling a lot of wool over Johoreans’ eyes.

The Star story:

Published: Monday June 9, 2014 MYT 5:46:00 PM
Updated: Monday June 9, 2014 MYT 8:44:09 PM

Johor approves controversial housing bill

BY NELSON BENJAMIN
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NUSAJAYA: The Johor Housing and Real Property Enactment Board Bill 2014 was unanimously passed by the state legislative assembly here Monday.

The controversial bill was approved with a majority vote of 38 from Barisan Nasional while 18 from the Opposition voted against it despite efforts from the Opposition to delay passing the enactment for further studies.

The Bill was passed at 5.20pm after Dr Boo Cheng Hau (DAP-Skudai), Yeo Tung Siong (DAP-Skudai) and Wong Shu Qi (DAP-Skudai) suggested for the passing of the enactment to be postponed.

Only 29 votes were needed to pass the Bill.

The Bill, which is divided into six sections, 51 clauses and three schedules, was tabled by Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Latiff Bandi.

Eight lawmakers, including three from the opposition, debated on the Bill for three hours before it was approved.

Changes were made to the controversial Bill to limit the powers of the Sultan by making 10 amendments to 10 clauses, including stipulating that the Ruler has to act on the advice of the Mentri Besar.

The amendment involves Clause 4 (3) Composition of the Board – changing the phrase from “members of the board may be paid remuneration and allowances as determined by the Sultan” to “members of the board may be paid remuneration and allowances as determined by the state authorities.”

Under Clause 12 (2) Appointment of Directors, Officers and Civil Servants, the appointment of the directors shall have prior approval of the Sultan on the advise of the Sultan, instead of solely base on the approval of the Sultan.

Under Clause 43 (1) Winding up and Liquidation, the state authority may wind up or dissolve the board by publishing it in the Government Gazette, instead of “the Sultan may windup and dissolve by having the order gazetted.”

In his winding up speech, Abdul Latiff said the enactment was not meant to burden any quarters but at strengthening the housing and real estate sector in Johor.

He said the Johor Housing and Real Property Board would be tasked with policymaking, implementation, coordination and planning of the housing and real estate development in the state.

“It will help facilitate people as well as stakeholders such as developers and consultants in housing and real estate affairs in Johor,” he added.

Earlier, Maulizan Bujang (BN-Tiram), when debating the Bill, said from the government perspective, the purpose, goal and function of the enactment was to strengthen real estate development in Johor, particularly for the benefit of the middle and lower income groups.

He said the housing and real estate sector in Johor could be managed more efficiently and effectively with the setting up of the board.

“I hope the board will identify suitable land in the city for the development of affordable housing. This will ensure that there will be houses for people from various backgrounds where development are taking place,” he said.

Wong Shu Qi (DAP-Senai) said although the enactment was timely, several issues needed to be clarified.

All assemblymen have to understand people’s needs, especially that of young couples before formulating policies and laws for the benefit of all groups, he add

**************

The original draft of the LPHJ enactment drew a lot of controversy when the initial draft was thought to give Sultan Johor so much executive powers and contradicts the principle of separation of power between Ruler and Executive in the Constitutional Monarchy parliamentary democracy this nation adopted.

Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, MT UMNO members Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi and Dato’ Tajuddin Abd. Rahman and former long time cabinet Minister Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim Ph.D, all opposed the proposed LPHJ in sundry.

The opposition even brought Tun Dr. Mahathir and his former Deputy and political adversary Tun Musa Hitam on the same page, criticising Johor State Government for the proposed provision of powers to Sultan Johor.

Even Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak sounded out that the principle of separation of power needs to be preserved and the LPHJ enactment should not contravene the Federal Constitution.

In his media conference after the LPHJ enactment was passed, MB Johor Khaled criticised those who are not in Johor failed to understand what is best for the state and the new law would not allow powers be abused by Sultan Johor but instead would have sought advise from the Menteri Besar before making any decisions.

Little Annie is spot on when she wrote MB Johor Khaled should not have ‘Flip-Flopped’ and rammed the enactment under the Johoreans throat, only to deal with the repercussions.

Interestingly, the Johor Royal Council Secretary Dato’ Rahim Ramli denied Sultan Johor initiated for having so much power in the LPHJ.

Riong Kali dot com story:

Johor Royal Council denies Sultan initiated property Bill

BY ANISAH SHUKRY

Published: 9 June 2014 | Updated: 9 June 2014 11:49 AM
The Johor Royal Council says there was no instruction from the palace nor the council on the controversial Bill tabled in the Johor state assembly today. – The Malaysian Insider pic, June 9, 2014.
The Sultan of Johor was not behind the state’s Housing and Real Property Board Bill 2014 which drew criticism for allowing the ruler to have a hand in the state administration, the Johor Royal Council said today.

Council president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli told a press conference that the ruler does not interfere in the state government’s affairs and that the Bill, which was later amended to reduce the sultan’s power, was written up by the government.

“It was not the sultan (who created the Bill). The sultan does not interfere in state administration. It is the state government’s right to propose any laws that could benefit the rakyat,” he said.

He dismissed speculation that the sultan had initiated the Bill, and that Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had been forced to follow the sultan’s wishes.
Abdul Rahim pointed out that if the sultan had vested interests in the Johor Property and Housing Commission (JPHC), he would not have “magnanimously” agreed to the Bill’s amendments, which had removed or restricted his authority over the proposed housing board.

The amendments, which were made today, no longer gave the sultan the power to determine the remuneration or allowances of board members.

The sultan’s power to direct any person to investigate the books, accounts and transactions of the board has been removed, and he no longer can direct the board to be wound up and dissolved.

The board no longer has to submit to the ruler its accounts, an estimate of the expenses for the following year and a report of its activities in the preceding year. Nor does it require the sultan’s approval to establish a corporation.

Instead, all those powers are vested solely in the state authority.

Similarly, the sultan can only appoint members of the board on the advice of the menteri besar. The sultan’s approval for the appointment of the director is also on the advice of the menteri besar.

Either the sultan or the menteri besar can decide to revoke a member’s appointment, as opposed to the sultan having the sole authority to do so.

The amendments were made following public outcry over the administrative powers given to the sultan. Critics said it violated the Federal Constitution.

But Abdul Rahman denied this, saying: “The provisions of the Bill are not meant to surrender absolute power to the ruler and therefore should not be misconstrued as interference of the monarchy in the management of the state.

“Neither does it contravene the concept of constitutional monarchy.”

Even though the Bill had originally given the sultan power to, among others, appoint members of the board, Abdul Rahim stressed the ruler was bound by the constitution and by convention to act on advice regardless.

He likened the provision to the sultan’s power of appointing the menteri besar, which was also done after consultation with certain parties.

“Although the ruler may at his discretion appoint a menteri besar from among the legislative assembly… such appointment is normally made after consultation and advise from the party.”

Abdul Rahim added that the power vested in the sultan in appointing board members was in line with the Act of Parliament No. 380 Incorporation (State Legislatures Competence) Act 1962 revised 1989.

“They (the provisions in the Bill) constitute a check and balance mechanism in the management of the corporations,” he said. – June 9, 2014.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/johor-royal-council-denies-sultan-initiated-property-bill#sthash.dmqoljrW.dpuf

*********************

The ‘Thirteen Million Ringgit Plus Question” if Sultan Johor did not initiate for the LPHJ to provide the Ruler so much executive power, then why did Johor State Government under MB Johor Khaled drafted the enactment as such?

Was MB Johor Khaled over ambitious to win favours from the palace or obtuse? Or was it MB Johor Khaled’s act of machiavellian politics?

Needless to say, the bitter after taste of this unnecessary banter for an enactment which should not have been presented in its original draft and context had caused the Johoreans to be net losers.

Published in: on June 10, 2014 at 00:30  Comments (18)  

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  1. Yes, this guy Rahim Ramli, the Johor Royal Council Secretary. The following are my thoughts, the many questions in my mind and, if not true, he or his underlings can always dispute them in here.

    He’d of course deny that Sultan Johor initiated the having of so much power in the LPHJ. It’s possible that he was the one who did the initiating, not the Sultan. Those interested in the principle of the separation of powers and the system of constitutional monarchy should watch his every action, who he meets, who he calls to meet him, and the like.

    This guy was a Private Secretary to the then Menteri Besar Tan Sri Othman Sa’at and rose to the position of Johor State Secretary until retirement, collecting each and every Datoship title that was introduced by the Sultan into the State.

    He knows all the ropes in the Johore State Establishment. Lucky for him, he doesn’t have to “pull the ropes” – he just “calls the ropes” to see him to be told what to do and not to do. Loyal to the Sultan, he’d do anything the Sultan wishes – the former and the present Sultan. Good for him, he has held that position of Council Secretary for umpteen years. Perhaps feared, bowed to and listened hard by every Johore State Civil Service Officer and any other who wants to serve in Johore, or who doesn’t want to be banished to such places as Mersing or Kluang.

    He, it seems to me, is thought of by many people in Johor Bahru as being more important than even the Menteri Besar. He is the King Maker in Johor.

    He’d be happy if he were to read this comment of mine. Not sure if he’d discern the intent in the comment. Tan Sri Sardon Jubir who was collecting many Datoships at one time was sarcastically told, “Some people are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them”, and he eagerly said, “Thank you, thank you.”

    Yes, watch him, in the interest of the principle of the separation of powers and the preservation of the system of constitutional monarchy.

  2. Yes, of course Rahim Ramli would say that the Bill, which was later amended, was written up by the government.

    But, by saying that “if the sultan had vested interests in the Johor Property and Housing Commission (JPHC), he would not have “magnanimously” agreed to the Bill’s amendments .. “, does he mean that the Sultan could refuse to agree? Doesn’t that tell that the Sultan has power over the Executive?

    And I wonder who came out with the words in the amendment that all those powers previously meant for the Sultan are now vested in the “state authority”. As has been pointed out in the comments to the previous post, what constitutes “state authority”?

    To me, the State Legal Adviser is a wash out. He could not and should not have allowed the wordings in the previous draft to go out of his office room. If he was responsible in drafting the Bill that is – and he should and must be responsible. Imagine, “the Legal Adviser to the Government of the State of Johore.” (Btw, has he got Datoship yet? No harm in me asking, innit?)

  3. UMNO era after TDM all ispossible and flip flopping is a norm. Najib and Rosmah knows betters, otherwise there will no critics to both of them.
    ‘The Bill, which is divided into six sections, 51 clauses and three schedules’ sound like syariah malayisan law.
    “It will help facilitate people as well as stakeholders such as developers and consultants in housing and real estate ‘ sound like khusus kawin to me.
    Then now UMNO Johor and MB Johor have to explain or deny why there a royal share int he YTL IPP, no open tender etc if this is true .
    There a pro and con , the question as Malaysian especially Melayu who always are silent unless provoked with religion issues or when there a Babi DNA even 0.01% found in any food like ‘coklat’ will then only make noises are there really ‘tidak apa’ or simply keep quiet as what is see and heard are nothing to them then UMNO Johor thus easily create such enakment originally since as adding Sultan power? ‘MB Johor Khaled criticised those who are not in Johor failed to understand what is best for the state ‘ and that why the original draft to give more power to Sultan? A REAL FLIP FLOPING !. Wasnt UMNO supposed to look into those issue as there are ruling Johor. So many flip floping in Johor known to the silent Malaysian and yet still flip flopiing. GE 14 ia a day people will say GOODBYE to UMNO and BN, After Bawadi era till today there no real change seen in UMNO. More professional rather join DAP/PAS/PR even ITM graduates. WHY? Let disband UMNO and all join DAP and become the majority there. Then let outsted the Lim dynasty, What say you and where is Muhiyddin?

    • Wat you tok one, kuman? Are you as your name suggests – tiny, often invisible but can cause trouble? Diseased. Talking nonsense.

      Now, who the hell says “.. professional rather join DAP/PAS/PR”? How many do? You don’t think the majority of them join BN? Or not join any party but support BN?

      You mix around more lah. Don’t just among your own kind, whatever the kind that may not have a good understanding of the socio-economic and political needs and realities in the country.

      And just because one solitary law graduate called Dyana Sofya joins DAP, you say “even ITM graduates” join DAP? And she lost PRK Tk Intan. Glib, aren’t you, gullible, and see only what’s in front of your nose, nothing farther.

    • Yes, where is Muhyiddin?

  4. […] The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles…. […]

  5. …………“state authority”?

    Saya juga ingin tahu siapa yang berada dalam “state authority”?

    Adakah ianya MB dan barisan exco atau Sultan Johor?

    Kalau Sultan Johor ada kuasa untuk campur tangan, maka wal hasil balik hasil!

    Cuma saya harap mereka ingat dan sedar rakyat sekarang sudah cerdik dan tidak lagi terikat dengan sentimen, bila guna nama Sultan semua telah ‘meggeletar’ lutut!

    Ada cara untuk mencabar segala yang tidak disenangi rakyat. Bila ini terjadi akan mencemar nama golongan tertentu!

  6. Wah, if what Tun Dr Mahthir says comes out to be true, it’ll be bad for Johor people, even for Malaysians as a whole –

    Tun Dr Mahathir has expressed concern that MB Datuk Seri Khaled may not be able to abide by the amendments to the Bill.

    “This is Malay custom. (The perception is that) If the Sultan says something, it must be followed. I am worried that it will not be the MB advising the Sultan, but the Sultan advising him,” he was quoted as saying in an online portal yesterday.

    Under the Bill, the Sultan would, on the advice of the Mentri Besar, appoint board members as well as the director, among others.

    TDM spoke of the importance of upholding the Federal Constitution, noting that the nation adopted a constitutional monarchy.

    And good that he pointed out, “We do not have a traditional system as we adopt a constitutional monarchy system. After independence, the country chose this (constitutional monarchy) system. I hope that the Constitution is upheld,” he said.

    He said in his blog yesterday that the Federal Constitution was the country’s basic law and its principal provisions state that Malaysia was a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy.

    Dr Mahathir called for the Constitution to be upheld and warned that racial clashes might ensue if it was ignored or bypassed.

  7. pusat sudah lepaskan batu putih kpd singapore, dan izinkn orang asing miliki banyak tanah di iskandar, jadi TOLONG DIAM !

    • And what’s this got to do with the post topic? Cakap lu bodoh, lu marah. But don’t be stupid lah, if you want to link the Sultan or the State Govt with “orang asing miliki banyak tanah di iskandar”, explain it clearly, and not talk like a dumb ass.

      • Anti Idioot ,one finger point to other the other 4 pointing back to you. Those who protray themselves as Anti Idiots, they themselves are ‘Idiots’.

      • kuman, Anti-Idiot gives his reasons for saying what he did. You should also do so lah.

        Try and answer some of the points he raised on your comments. Then we get a discussion, a dialogue or a meaningful exchange of views, man.

  8. It is les miserables for the locals especially the Johor Malays. It has been so since the Federal Govt went on a development spree of the Iskandar Malaysia. The Enactment issue inadvertently threw to the fore these very sentiments and many began to understand what is going on in the South in terms of sale of land and properties to foreigners with no regard for the economic rights of the locals. The Enactment with amendments have been swiftly passed like as if there was no tomorrow. An action which most people regard as unnecessary and stranger than fiction. Why the need to rush? If it is for the interest and benefits of the Johoreans, let’s see if pro rakyat announcements will be made very very soon on more land acquired for the building of affordable homes for Johoreans as well as a cut or moratorium on foreigners buying land and properties in JB and Iskandar area and Johore as a whole. The local folks will always give feedback on what have been done to them by the state and Umno -led State and Fed Govts. The Johoreans are polite and sangat beradab but don’t push them to the edge and don’t test their patience to the max. They can do a Gelang Patah on Johor in the GE14 because if their interests are not safeguarded by Umno, supporting Umno would be meaningless and a waste of loyalty.

  9. There is definitely a lot theatrics in this. Like many things else in Johor, of late.

    It is a well known ‘open secret’ that both Sultan Johor and MB are entrepreneurial. Hence, the respective inner circles appetite for business opportunities and deals are also enormous.

    That may not be bad, if taken from the context of Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is good” speech.

    Hence, to serve this incurable syndrome, more and more have to be created as the proverbial sacrificial lamb so that the impression of more for others exist.

    These inner circles are actually stacking their plans for game hunting.

    It is naive to think that common Johoreans dont know what is happening within the walls of Kota Iskandar offices. They may not have the proofs, but they know.

    Worse still, the stories have spread. It is compounding to the ones earlier.

    These inner circles corporate maneuvres, land allienation/privatisation for the purpose of flipping and contracts hunting are the game changer for 14GE.

    The Entrepreneurial MB must realise that BN only have 38 ADUNs and the Oppo already have 18 ADUNs (Thats up from 6ADUNs in 12GE), in the land which was BN’s ‘Opposition Free’ pride not to long ago.

    • “Worse still, the stories have spread. It is compounding to the ones earlier.”

      Agreed. So many unpalatable stories on Johore in recent times. Now even the former Sultanah is asking the Court to declare that she was not divorced by the former Sultan. And that’s not a “story”, it’s a fact, it’s a court case that may be appealed and re-appealed.

      And people are simply perplexed that the divorce certificate was dated after the former Sultan had died.

      What’s happening to the state of Johore?

      Tun Dr Mahathir has a strong point – parties concerned should cease doing things that may erode sentiment for the constitutional monarchy.

      • The fact there was talk that the Johor Ruler had refused to sign the Bill indicates the rakyat’s sentiment is being eroded:

        “The advice to the state government (to carry out a road show to explain the Johor Housing and Real Property Board Enactment to the rakyat) was conveyed to Johor Mentri Besar during a meeting with the Johor Ruler here today (yesterday),” said the official, adding that once the rakyat fully understood the Bill, then the state government could present it for the Sultan’s consent.

        The palace official also rubbished talk that the Johor Ruler was upset and had refused to sign the Bill.

        thestar.com.

  10. A question been already asked in a comment to the earlier post – why is it necessary to have the Board appointments etc made by the Sultan, even “on the advice of the MB.”

    Is it mandated by law anywhere, is it like the appointment of State Exco Members etc? Can anybody throw some light on this, please.

    Tun Dr Mahathir already pointed out it might end up with the reverse situation, as far as advising and deciding are concerned. And he knows – he was PM for 22 years, for goodness sake, trying to reign in those attempting at being more than constitutional monarchs – he even had a law passed for the Rulers and their families to be responsible for acts and utterances that are done in their personal or private capacities.

  11. […] Even though Johor is perceived to be BN’s fixed deposit in Semenanjung, the fact is that Johoreans translate their frustration through the ballot boxes. BN’s control in DUN Johor slide from 6 Opposition ADUNs in 12GE to […]


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