News Cuttings

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

National Service gets off to a rough start

The Star
Tuesday February 17, 2004

First-day glitch: At the Sungai Nibong pick-up point in Penang, anxious trainees and their parents endure the long wait during registration. - Starpic by Wan Mohizan Wan Hussein

KUALA LUMPUR: The first day of national service for 26,000 youths got off to a rough start and the Prime Minister has directed the organisers to sort out the problems as quickly as possible.

Based on observation at various pick-up points and from telephone calls received by The Star, the main problem appeared to be the poorly organised registration system and deployment of buses, which triggered a host of attendant issues.

Among the complaints were trainees being left stranded, missing buses, wrong locations and long delays, resulting in anxious parents worrying whether their children would arrive safely at their respective camps.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, when told of the problems after an official function in Ipoh yesterday, directed the relevant authorities to address the problems immediately.

Agreeing that there were bound to be teething problems because it was the first time it was being done, he said what was most important was for the hitches to be rectified directly.

“It is important for the problems to be addressed quickly to ensure no one gives the national service programme a bad assessment.

“The problems have to be looked into fast,” he told reporters.

He hoped that the training for the youths would run smoothly and be successful.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whose Defence Ministry is organising the programme, gave an assurance that all efforts were being made to solve the glitches.

He said a hotline had been set up to connect the camps and the NS Secret-ariat directly.

“It is only natural that problems may crop up whenever a new programme is implemented. It needs fine-tuning and it can be solved within a few days,” he told reporters in Jeli, Kelantan, yesterday.

He appealed to those affected to be patient because it would take time to solve all the problems.

With about 800 buses on the roads ferrying some 26,000 girls and boys, the Government rightfully expected some teeth-ing problems, but slow remedial measures in many instances got the parents worried, with many asking whether the camp managers were ready to face crisis situations if any cropped up.

One group of 40 trainees heading for Kuala Nerang, Kedah, were delayed after their schoolbus, which left Ipoh after a four-hour delay, broke down near Taiping. A replacement bus was sent and it, too, broke down, in Sungai Petani. The group reached the camp at 8pm, some six hours behind schedule.

In Lahad Datu, Sabah, 10 of the trainees who sustained light injuries when the bus they were travelling in collided with another bus, have been kept at the Sanshui camp infirmary for observation.

“They will only start their training after they recover from their injuries. Parents need not worry as they will be taken care of by the medical personnel at the camp,” said NS Council member Dr Maximus Ongkili.

The injured trainees – four girls and six boys – were among 42 in a bus heading for the Sanshui camp in Tawau when it collided with another bus carrying 40 other trainees at the 4th kilometre Lahad Datu-Tawau road on Sunday evening.

The trainees, who were from Kota Kinabalu, reached the Sanshui camp during the wee hours of yesterday.

© 1995-2003 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

National Service hiccups
The New Straits Time
By NST reporters

Confusion reigned on the first morning of National Service for the first group of 28,000 teenage trainees, as many pick-up points nationwide were snarled in disarray. While the problems were sorted out by nightfall, with all the youngsters safely at their designated camps, exasperated trainees and their relatives had few approving things to say of the organisation when trying to find their way there earlier in the day.

Describing these as "teething problems", Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said: "What is important is that the problem is identified and action is taken to immediately rectify the situation." Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak acknowledged the hiccups, but expressed confidence they would be overcome in the next few days.

"This is the first time this is being done," he noted. "This is something we had expected." Najib, speaking to reporters in Jeli on his one-day visit to Kelantan, said the National Service Training Department had made the necessary arrangements with the camps, which were liaising with one another to overcome the problems.

This evening, NS Training Department director-general Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor admitted that there had been problems with co-ordination and scheduling, but these had been rectified.

He assured parents that their children would be well taken care of, and these problems would not recur.

In Batu Caves, 126 trainees turned up at the pick-up point where only 72 were expected, to be ferried to the Bina Semangat camp near Kuala Kubu Baru, Hulu Selangor.

The only officials present were four armed forces servicemen and two officials from the bus company contracted to transport the trainees, Setugas Niaga Sdn Bhd. Parents on their own initiative assembled the trainees at the nearby Batu Caves multi-purpose hall around 9am.

An army official said many had misunderstood their instructions on where to go.

"It was stated in the letters that pick-up points for trainees heading for camps in Selangor would be at Batu Caves, while those bound for camps outside the State should go to Stadium Bukit Jalil," he said.

There was also confusion at Bukit Jalil, where a massive traffic jam had built up.

At the 2.5-acre Bina Semangat Camp, fewer than half of the 950 trainees expected had arrived by noon as scheduled.

One disgruntled parent, Ahmad Abdullah, said the co-ordination of the buses was inefficient.

"Despite having 13 buses bound for a certain destination, they tell us that only two buses can be filled at one time," he said.

Another parent said the number of pick-up points should be increased to prevent overcrowding.

In Seremban, about 100 disgruntled parents and trainees were stranded for more than three hours at the bus terminal.

Most of the trainees did not have documents or letters from the National Service Department notifiying them of where they had been posted and where they would be picked up.

Several students said they only learned of their pick-up points via the department's telephone hotline and short messaging service.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim, who had come to send off the trainees, tried to pacify the parents and made several phone calls to the NS department to notify them of the problem.

In Penang, 15 trainees found their names not listed, while some 60 others did not turn up, said Setugas Niaga spokesperson Elaine Aeria.

In Ipoh, signboards to guide trainees were glaringly absent.

Cars were indiscriminately parked without proper traffic supervision at the Indera Mulia Stadium, one of seven pick-up points in Perak.

In Kuala Terengganu, 1,400 teenagers waited nearly three hours for counters to open for registration.

Wan Izzah Wan Shamsuddin, of Kampung Wakaf Mempelam, said she was among the first few who arrived at Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah stadium at 6am.

"It was nearly six hours before the first bus finally headed for Mersing," she said.

In Kuching, more than 1,000 trainees turned up at the State Indoor Stadium today, where only 828 were expected. They came from Kuching and Samarahan districts.

More than 300 trainees from Sibu, Mukah and Kapit Divisions showed up at the Sibu New Bus Terminal yesterday, instead of today.

The situation was not as bad elsewhere, however.

In Kuantan, trainees registered with few problems. The first batch of trainees turned out at the Agro Resort Sungai Semuji, one of five camps in the State.

Camp director Kol (Rtd) Kamarulzaman Ismail said 681 trainees were slated for the camp but only 627 — 323 boys and 304 girls — would be at the camp as 54 trainees had been allowed to postpone their service.

In Kuala Lumpur, at KL Sentral station this morning, 53 trainees from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor began their journey to Kem Junaco Park in Sibu, Sarawak. Only 13 trainees did not show up.

© Copyright 2004 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Kasitah charged with corruption, cheating

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam was charged in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur Thursday with a corruption and a cheating charge involving Sapi Plantation Sdn Bhd shares held by the Sabah Land Development Board.

He pleaded not guilty to committing the offences in 1996 in his capacity as executive chairman of Board.

Kasitah is alleged to have used his position for his financial gain by taking part in deliberations to approve a proposal for the sale of 16.8 million shares held by the Board in Sapi Plantantation to Briskmark Enterprise Sdn Bhd, where he was promised 3.36 million shares in Sapi Plantations.

He is alleged to have committed the offence at the Forum Meeting Room in the Fairlane Hotel here on Oct 22, 1996.

The charge, under Section 2 (1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No 22 1970, carries a maximum jail term of 14 years and a maximum fine of RM20,000, or both, on conviction.

He faces a second charge of allegedly deceiving the Board, at the same time and place, by concealing the offer by PPB Oils Palms Sdn Bhd to provide five PBB Oil shares for each Sapi Plantation shares in the proposals by PBB Oils to be listed on the KLSE main board.

Kasitah, represented by Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, was charged under Section 417 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail term of five years, or fine, or both upon conviction.

Judge Rosenani Abdul Rahman granted him bail of RM1mil.

Wasli Mohd Said charged on five counts of corruption

KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah Land Development Board general manager Datuk Wasli Mohd Said was charged in the Sessions Court at 11.15am Thursday on five counts of corruption.

One of the charges involved an allegation of giving RM3.6mil worth of company shares to Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam, who has been detained by the Anti-Corruption Agency earlier in Kuala Lumpur.

Other charges were on allegations of giving or accepting cash.

Wasli was still in court at 11.50am as bail has been set at RM1million by judge Datuk Nurcharya Arshad.

ACA Arrests Kasitah Over Sabah Land Development's Share Transactions
February 12, 2004 11:03 AM

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) here Thursday relating to Sabah Land Development Board's share transactions valued between RM30 million and RM40 million.

ACA Deputy Director-General I Datuk Zawawi Nordin told reporters at the ACA headquarters that investigations into the share transactions, during Kasitah's tenure as executive chairman of the Board since 1994, commenced in 1999.

He said that Kasitah, 57, went to the ACA headquarters at 9 am on being summoned to assist in investigations into the case, believed to have involved abuse of power in the share transactions.

The ACA proceeded to place him under arrest and to charge him at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

Kasitah, escorted by ACA officers, was seen boarding a Proton Perdana bearing registration number WHS 1255 which drove off from the ACA headquarters at 10.15 am.

Later, on arrival at the Sessions Court at 10.50 am, the car Kasitah was travelling in proceeded to the remand prisoners holding area. He was taken to the courtroom through an underground passage.

According to sources, a five-member prosecution team would be led by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

Kasitah is the second VIP to be arrested by the ACA this week. Last Tuesday, Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd managing director Tan Sri Eric Chia was arrested and charged with criminal breach of trust in his capacity as Perwaja Rolling Mill and Development Sdn Bhd managing director in respect of the Perwaja Steel subsidiary's fund amounting to RM76.4 million 10 years ago.

The arrests of VIPs and the recent series of arrest and prosecution on corruption charges reflected the determination of the government to wage war against corrupt practices in the country.

On Nov 8 last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi directed the relevant authorities to expedite the investigation of corruption cases to ensure the image of the government.

Kasitah, born in Ranau, Sabah, on Oct 18 1947, was nominated as senator and reappointed as Land and Cooperative Development Minister in December 1999. He has then served in that capacity from June 1989 to November 1999.

Kasitah became actively involved in politics in 1976 after he contested the Kundasang state seat on the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) ticket but lost to the Berjaya candidate.

In 1976, he left Usno and founded the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

He won uncontested the Kinabalu parliamentary seat in the 1986 general election but was not fielded by the PBS to defend the seat in the 1990 general election.

Kasitah then joined Umno and has headed the Kinabalu Umno division since 1992.

He was nominated as senator on June 25 1998.

Kasitah served as a member of the Special Cabinet Committee to look into malpractices in the government in November 1988.

He was conferered the Darjah Panglima Setia Mahkota which carries the title Tan Sri in 1996.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Eric Chia Charged With CBT Of Perwaja's RM76.4 Million
February 10, 2004 14:47 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 (Bernama) -- Former managing director of Perwaja Rolling Mill and Development Sdn Bhd Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock was charged in the Sessions Court here Tuesday with criminal breach of trust in respect of the state agency's fund amounting to RM76.4 million.

Chia pleaded not guilty to dishonestly authorizing the payment of the amount to the account of Frilsham Enterprise Incorporated, with the American Express Bank Ltd in Hong Kong, for technical assistance provided by NKK Corporation of Japan, for the 'beam and section mill plant project' in Gurun when in fact no such payment was due to the NKK Corporation.

He is alleged to have committed the offence in his capacity as managing director, at the Perwaja Rolling Mill and Development office in Menara UBN in Jalan P.Ramlee here on Feb 18 1994.

He is charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term which shall not be less than two years and not more than 20 years and with whipping, and shall also be liable to fine on conviction.

Judge Akhtar Tahir granted him bail of RM2 million in one surety pending hearing fixed for 20 days from Aug 2.

He also ordered Chia's travel documents to be impounded by the court.

Chia, who was wheelchair-bound, arrived at the court premises at about 10.30 am, accompanied by a maid and a doctor and nurse from the Putrajaya Hospital.

He was assisted by two officers of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) into the courtroom.

At the outset, the court granted defence counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's application for Chia, who appeared calm, to remain seated during the proceedings. The prosecution was led by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

The court was packed with the presence of local and foreign journalists, ACA officers and opposition party members.

Also present was ACA Director-General Datuk Zulkipli Mat Nor.

Earlier at the hospital, Chia refused to board a van to take him to the court, claiming that it would be uncomfortable for him.

"If you put me in this, I'll die," he was heard telling some ACA officers and police personnel there.

Following discussions between the ACA and police officers, Chia was eventually allowed to travel in his own four-wheel drive vehicle driven by his personal driver.

He was escorted by ACA officers and police personnel in 10 vehicles.

The deputy director of the hospital, Dr Mohamed Shah Idris declined to disclose to reporters the treatment Chia was receiving there.

Chia, 71, was arrested Monday by ACA officers at his home in Petaling Jaya.

Story behind the Perwaja affair
An interview with Eric Chia, former CEO of Perwaja Steel


For a man who has been blamed for the failure of Malaysia's national steel company and whose name these days attracts nothing but scorn, Tan Sri Eric Chia is remarkably self-assured and contented.

He says that for four years he has been painted as a villain following a disclosure in Parliament by former Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim in 1996 that Perwaja Steel was insolvent and had losses totalling RM2.9 billion (US$760 million).

Anwar attributed the dismal performance to poor management and irregularities in the payment and award of contracts. Shortly after, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) started investigating the affair and has periodically acknowledged that the probe is continuing.

Tan Sri Chia has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but in the court of public perception, he has been found guilty and convicted. "Now, no one wants to know Eric Chia. I can count the number of my friends. But that's life,'' says the burly industrialist, holding up ten fingers.

Speaking at length for the first time since his resignation from Perwaja in 1995, he recalled being spat upon by a taxi driver at the airport after being accused of stealing "the national wealth''. "I just wiped my face and told him that one day he will know the truth.''

Tan Sri Chia says he will not tell the whole story surrounding the national steel company unless asked to give evidence in court. Washing dirty linen in public will only earn him the title of national traitor. "I will not talk unless I am forced to talk. If I speak in court, which human being will say that Eric Chia betrayed his country.''

Perwaja was to be the cornerstone of the industrialization drive that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad began in the early 1980s. But the project was wracked with problems -- a plant that processed iron ore to pure iron had failed, leading Japanese shareholder Nippon Steel to abandon the project.

Also, interest payments on a yen loan totalling RM815 million were bleeding the company. By 1988, Perwaja Terengganu was insolvent.

Enter Tan Sri Chia.

Dr Mahathir asked the businessman to spend six months and find out why the project bombed.

The Singapore-born entrepreneur said he was reluctant but acceded after the PM told him that he owed it to God and country to give back something after becoming successful here. At the time, he was drawing a salary of RM72,000 a month from UMW, owned three cars, had his own plane and a yacht.

Based on a new 10-year-plan, a new company, Perwaja Steel, was set up. With fresh capital, commercial loans and official sanction, he and his board of directors, including representatives of the Finance Ministry, went about rehabilitating the project.

In 1991, the company recorded its first profit and Tan Sri Chia was the toast of the town. He recalls: "Everywhere Dr Mahathir went, he mentioned my name and Perwaja. That may not have been a good thing.''

His critics say that the company's putative turnaround was an illusion that masked deepening financial woes and widespread management irregularities. His reply: ""You asked me to run an 800 meters race, but at the 600-meter point, you blew the whistle and said that Eric Chia you have lost the race. I have got 200 meters to run.''

He says that the bulk of the RM2.9 billion losses laid at his door was incurred by Perwaja Steel's predecessor, Perwaja Terengganu. He traces the start of his woes to a report prepared by him on the privatization of Perwaja Steel.

He said that by selling 60 per cent of its shares, all the capital could be recouped. There was a mad scramble for the report and many attractive offers, he recalled.

By mid-1995, he sensed that his fortunes were changing. His fears were confirmed when he received a letter from a senior government official asking him to resign because of ill health.

In 1996, Anwar made public an audit report on the alleged irregularities at Perwaja Steel. Rumors abounded that Tan Sri Chia had absconded, while some wondered why he did not come forward to defend himself.

He gave his rationale: "When Anwar spoke in Parliament, I was taken by surprise. I had no documents, not a single document. How could I have reacted? I was attacked by a very prominent politician.''

He kept quiet, spent a couple of million ringgit, kept some of his old staff on the payroll and started collecting documents detailing transactions involving Perwaja from Chile, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Japan.

In eight months, he completed his war chest. "Now I have got all the documents. You just give me the platform. The best platform you can give me is the courtroom.''

He says he wrote to Anwar twice in 1996 seeking an open inquiry into the affair to be chaired by a retired judge. There was no reply.

Is he upset? He says: "In 1996, Anwar announced the findings, Three years later, he went to jail. What do you call this? The Christians and the Muslims will say this is the act of God. The Hindus and Buddhists will say this is fate.''

Article contributed by: Brendan Pereira, Malaysia Correspondent, Singapore Straits Times

Monday, February 09, 2004

ACA Arrests Ex-Perwaja Boss Eric Chia

February 09, 2004 21:59 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 (Bernama) -- Former Managing Director of Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock was arrested Monday by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) following years of investigations into losses worth billions by the steel mill.

The announcement of his arrest was made in a joint two-paragraph statement by the Attorney-General's Chambers and the ACA.

The statement said that Chia,71, was picked up by ACA officers at his home in Petaling Jaya at 3.45pm and would be charged in the Sessions Court, here Tuesday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, asked tonight on the arrest of the one-time high-profile corporate figure said the action taken against Chia was a legal process.

"I have been told by my officers about this arrest. If an offence relating to corruption is found to have been committed, certainly the authorities will take action according to the law," he said in an exclusive interview with TV3 to mark his first 100 days in office.

On Nov 7 last year, just a week after he became prime minister, Abdullah who has vowed to fight corruption as a priority of his administration, said he had asked the Attorney-General's Chambers to furnish him with details on the progress of the Perwaja probe and other such cases.

"I have asked the A-G to give me a report of all the cases. I want to know what is happening today and how far it is (investigation)...what is the stage of preparation to prosecute or whatever," he said.

"I did not give them the deadline.. I think the A-G should know what is urgent," he said.

Asked whether the government would ask the A-G's office to speed up the investigations of the Perwaja case, he said: " Yes of course, I don't ask (the SA-G) to slow down".

The Perwaja fiasco has been investigated by the ACA and the police since 1996 and more than 50 witnesses, both locally and overseas, including Chia and a number of other Perwaja staff have been called up.

The probe order was issued by the government after a report by audit firm Coopers and Lybrand said Perwaja was insolvent.

The Terengganu-based steel maker was saddled with debts totalling RM10 billion involving RM926 million in current liability, RM6 billion in long-term liability and accumulated losses of almost RM3 billion.

The then ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Zaki Husin said in August 1999 that the Perwaja probe was one of the longest cases ever handled by the agency.

He said the investigations into alleged malpractices took such a long time as the cases involved institutions and individuals overseas.

Ahmad Zaki said even though the information could be obtained on a government-to-government basis, several matters remained unresolved as no parties had come forward to provide assistance.

He also said in September 2000 that the Swiss account of a foreign company registered in the British Virgin Islands formed a vital piece of evidence to establish the existence of elements of corrupt practice or illegal business transactions in Perwaja.

The ACA, he said, did not have the power to get information on the Swiss account.

"We have the account number and the times payments were made...we only want to know on what grounds the money was paid by Perwaja to a foreign company in Japan previously," he was reported as saying.

According to Ahmad Zaki, the account contained part of the RM76.4 million which ACA was investigating apart from two individuals in Japan who also received payments from Perwaja.

Local newspapers reported that the money was said to have been taken out of the country to Hong Kong before it went to Japan and then Switzerland.

In October 2002, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung told Parliament that the protracted probe into Perwaja had been completed.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said last October that his department was seeking the commitment of witnesses in Japan to travel to Malaysia to testify in a Malaysian court.

"If we were only to record statements of the witnesses in Japan and if they are reluctant to come here to testify, then it's useless," he said then.

Explaining why the probe had taken such a long time, he said proof and evidence had to be obtained from overseas, and not just fromn one contry.

The A-G spoke of financial transactions in the company which could not be accounted for.

"I would say suspicious transactions, very suspicious transactions but I wouldnt say there has been a criminal offence until I get all the evidence," he said.

Perwaja was started in 1982 as a joint venture between the Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia (Hicom) and Nippon Steel Corporation of Japan.

It ran into losses and in 1996 was taken over by Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd, a Bumiputera steel company.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh told Parliament last October that Maju Holdings was still carrying an accumulated loss of RM2.25 billion.

Friday, February 06, 2004

National Service: 6,418 Teenagers Failed To Be Reached
February 05, 2004 22:11 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 (Bernama) -- A total of 6,418 teenagers who are supposed to report for the National Service Programme could not be reached, said the National Service Programme Cabinet Committee Secretary, Datuk Siti Azizah Abod.

She said the call-up letters issued by the National Service Training Department also failed to reach them.

Siti Azizah who is also Ministry of Defence Deputy Secretary-General (Management) said the department now faced difficulties in tracking them down because most of them may have moved elsewhere.

She said those selected for the programme but attempted to escape from training would be prosecuted.

National Service trainees who did not comply with the National Service Act could be jailed or fined RM3,000, she said at a press conference, here Thursday.

Siti Azizah said it was their responsibility to contact the department eventhough the authorities failed to locate them.

Out of the 6,418 teenagers who failed to be contacted, 1,069 were supposed to report for the National Service Programme Series I which begins on Feb 16, she said.

For Series II, 2,756 teenagers were scheduled to check-in while another 2,593 would participate in Series III.

She said the department had contacted their schools for further information but most of them did not leave any forward address upon leaving school.

Siti Azizah also advised National Service trainees for Series I, II and III to watch "Selamat Pagi Malaysia" on TV1 at 9am this Sunday for details on transport arrangement to their respective training camps.

The details would be announced by National Service Transport Committee chairman Brig Gen Datuk Ali Nasaruddin.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Police Commission 2004

February 04, 2004 18:54 PM

Special Commission to Enhance the Operations and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police

Chairman: Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, Former Chief Justice of the Federal Court
Deputy Chairman: Tun Mohamed Haniff Omar, former Inspector-General of Police

1. Tun Salleh Abas, former Lord President, chairman of the Terengganu Ombudsman and Special Functions Committee
2. Tan Sri Azizan Zainul AbidinPetronas chairman
3. Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek, former Human Resources Minister
4. Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, Transparency International Malaysia president
5. Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Social activist and vice-president of the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation
6. Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim, Wanita Umno exco member
7. Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi, Umno legal adviser
8. Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, former Bernama chairman
9. Datuk Michael Yeoh, Asian Strategic and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief executive officer
10. Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, Bar Council chairman
11. Datuk Dr Muhammad Rais Abdul Karim, Prime Minister's Department's e-Government and ICT Adviser
12. Denison Jayasooria, MIC's Social Strategic Foundation chairman
13. Ivy Josiah, Executive director of the Women's Aid Organisation
14. Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari, Shah Alam High Court judge

Secretary: Datuk Hamzah Mohamed Rus, Secretary of Security and Public Order Division of the Home Ministry

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the proposal to set up the commission when opening a conference for senior police officers on Dec 29 last year.

The commission will study and recommend measures to be taken to make the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) a credible peacekeeping and law enforcement force in the 21st century.

The Prime Minister's Office said on Wednesday that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had given his consent to the terms of reference of the commission as follows:

+ to carry out an investigation into the role and responsibilities of the PDRM in enforcing the laws of the country;

+ to carry out an investigation into the organisational structure and distribution of human resources in the PDRM;

+ to carry out an investigation into human resource development, including training and facilities for PDRM personnel;

+ to carry out an investigation into the work ethics and procedures for PDRM personnel;

+ to carry out an investigation into human rights issues, including issues involving women which are related to the duties of the PDRM and

+ to make recommendations to enhance and modernise the PDRM.

The commission is given a year to present its report to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

It also has to submit a progress report on its investigations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in six months from Wednesday, according to the Prime Minister's Office.