Why now?

Posted: 03 May 2014 12:49 PM PDT

The government is training about 500 speakers to 'lecture' GST to the people, hoping their better understanding would ease them into embracing the new system next year.

The person in charge of the training is deputy finance minister who is also Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan and his team.

A good move but it came a little too late after confusion about the issue got thicker, leading to protest on May Day. However, the government likes clinging to 'better late than never'!
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the government is taking proactive measures to ensure that all segments of society understand GST and how it will affect them.
"This is neccessary as the people's understanding of GST is still low," he told reporters after a Selangor Umno information programme, here today.
He said Malaysia's implementation of GST would make the taxation system more transparent, effective, efficient and increase competitiveness.
The implementation of GST would bring more benefits to the people, traders as well as the country and unlike the lies spread by irresponsible parties.
Ahmad, who is also Umno information chief, urged Umno divisions nationwide to organise information programmes so that party members could get the correct information about current issues.

My question is, why only now that such a measure is undertaken when the Opposition was already successful in inciting public anger towards the government?

Feeling the pinch already?

The 'road show' should have started way before the government announced its GST plan. Not only it should involve the Finance Ministry but also the Information Department.

In fact, the Members of Parliment should take the cue and pass it down to their respective Aduns before it gets to the laymen. It would be more appropriate, easy to manage and costs the government nothing!

UN fails Central African Republic

Posted: 03 May 2014 06:44 AM PDT

UNITED NATIONS: The international community has "so far failed the people" of Central African Republic amid ethnic cleansing and thousands of deaths, the director of UN humanitarian operations declared yesterday, saying it hasn't sent enough security forces or funding to turn the situation around.

John Ging told reporters in New York that the mood in one of the world's poorest countries is turning to "resignation" amid unprecedented sectarian violence. People now blame Christians or Muslims instead of simply "armed groups" as they did before, he said.

"People are losing their humanity," he added.

Ging briefed on his first visit to the country in three months, and he said there has been a "very significant deterioration," with 2,000 people killed during that time.

"The reality is, thousands have been killed in the most brutal manner," he said. "Hundreds of thousands have fled. ... There has, in effect, been an ethnic cleansing."

Tensions between Christians and Muslims soared in December when Christian militants stormed the capital to overthrow the Muslim rebel government. Some in the international community, including members of the UN Security Council, have warned of genocide.

The economy has collapsed, there is no governance despite "outstanding leadership," and crimes are being committed without impunity, Ging said. "Armed groups are seizing on the fear of the population and convincing them that safety and security is with their own."

He stressed that peacekeeping troops be mobilized more quickly. Last month, the UN Security Council authorized a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping force to bolster about 2,000 French troops and nearly 5,000 African Union troops already in the country to protect civilians.

But getting the UN troops into place takes months, and the country the size of Texas is home to 4.6 million people.

"The problem continues to be not enough and not in time," Ging said.

And the humanitarian crisis grows. Just 28 percent of a $551 million international funding appeal for Central African Republic has been met, he said, and the rainy season is starting, making transportation and the delivery of aid more difficult and expensive.

Ging's last visit three months ago was to the town of Bossangoa, and since then all the Muslims have left, he said. This time, he visited the town of Boda, where an estimated 4,000 Muslims are asking to be evacuated.

Strikingly, he said, the Christians in Boda were urging the UN to evacuate the Muslims, too — an example of the country's growing "segregation and separation."

"This is the ugly dynamic" of intolerance, Ging said, and he warned that the disappearance of Muslims from Boda is "inevitable" unless the security situation changes.

More than 600,000 people have been displaced inside Central African Republic by the violence, and more than 330,000 have fled to neighboring countries, according to U.N. figures.

"It's a collective failure for the international community that we were not able to provide security for people in their homes and they had to take a measure of last resort" and leave, Ging said.


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