The chief justice remarked that the DPS Sargodha teachers were being paid only Rs5,000 a month and had been exploited for the last 19 years

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on Friday observed if the Punjab government could not run schools, it should close them down.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-16711-CJ-asks-Punjab-govt-to-close-down-schools-if-it-cant-run-them

The CJP, heading a three-member bench, expressed these views during a hearing of the case pertaining to the teachers’ salaries at the Divisional Public School (DPS), Sargodha. The CJP said that it was the duty of the apex court to protect the fundamental rights of the people.

The Supreme Court directed the Punjab chief secretary to resolve the teachers’ salary issue by August 15 and submit a compliance report.During the hearing, the chief justice said that there was a lack of interest in the education sector, and it was the obligation of the chief executive to concentrate on the important sector by framing a uniform policy. Punjab chief secretary to convene a meeting of the board of governors of the schools to disburse pending salaries of the teachers. The court also asked the chief secretary to reach a settlement through which teachers must be given salary since 1994.

The chief secretary, however, told the court that being an autonomous body the Divisional Public School (DPS), Sargodha, was not a public school. He further informed the court that a total of 43 such schools were working in the province with their own resources, and no financial support from the provincial exchequer was allocated them. However, he contended that the board of governors of the DPS was competent to approve any increase in the teachers’ salaries.

The provincial chief secretary further said if the government allocated funds to one divisional school, it would also have to allocate funds for over 100 NGO schools.Turning down the chief secretary’s reply, the CJ observed, “Shut the schools if you can’t raise salaries; If you are helpless, the provincial chief executive would be questioned about the issue.”

The chief justice remarked that the DPS Sargodha teachers were being paid only Rs5,000 a month and had been exploited for the last 19 years which he termed against the law of equity.The chief secretary told the court that no funds were allocated by the Punjab government to pay salaries to DPS teachers; however, he added that financial support had been extended for Baloch students.

Expressing his dismay, the chief justice asked the chief secretary to avoid using the name of Balochistan everywhere saying the Punjab government was not extending special favour to them. The CJ said that constitutionally the provision of education was the primary responsibility of the state.

He remarked there was a lack of interest in the education sector, saying in the contrast it was primary obligation of the provincial chief executive to make policies and to eliminate exploitation.The court adjourned the hearing till August 15.

IPPs threaten to stop ELECTRICITY power generation

ISLAMABAD: The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have warned that they would stop generating electricity if the issue of a whooping Rs400 billion circular debt was not resolved on priority.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-16709-IPPs-threaten-to-stop-power-generation

The counsel for the Ministry of Water and Power said this while submitting a report before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, which resumed hearing of the IPPs’ petitions on Friday.

On the other hand, the government submitted before the Supreme Court that a payment of Rs24 billion would be made to eight Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in three equal monthly installments of Rs8 billion.

Khawaja Tariq Rahim, the counsel for the ministry, responding to a set of applications moved by the IPPs, apprised the bench that payment schedule had been reached between them and the private power companies under which Rs8 billion had been paid out of total Rs24 billion whereas two further installments amounting to Rs8 billion each would be paid on August 30 and September 30 respectively.

The counsel for the petitioners also submitted a report, saying that the circular debt had reached Rs400 billion and warned if the companies were not paid the outstanding amount, the power generation could witness a sharp reduction, adding to enhanced An amount of Rs45 billion had been agreed as undisputed overdue amount of the IPPs before the Supreme Court which had directed the authorities concerned and the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) to reconcile overdue amount with IPPs and inform it about the payment schedule.

The IPPs and NTDC held several meetings during the last two weeks and reconciled the amount from total default out of which some payments during this time were made by the NTDC.

The NTDC and IPPs had finalised an amount of Rs45 billion as undisputed overdue outstanding out of which the government had offered to pay these IPPs Rs8 billion installments a month for the period of next three months while the formula for the rest of the overdue amount would be mutually worked out among the government, the NTDC and the IPPs.

Another INDIAN Win – Chinese contractor has started suspending work on Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project

Work on Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project halted

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-125871-Work-on-Neelum-Jhelum-Hydropower-Project-halted

LAHORE: Work on Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) has suffered a big blow due to lack of funding, sources said on Friday. The Chinese contractor has started suspending work on various sections of the project with the passing of the deadline that had been given for the release of Rs7.8 billion in funds.

The contractor has told the Ministry of Water and Power about its inability to continue work on the 969MW project beyond August 10, 2012, sources added. “It is indeed a setback for the project,” said an official. He hastened to add that the federal finance ministry had said that a review committee was being set up for the release of funds. A delay in the release of funds would virtually defeat the purpose of inducting sophisticated tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that were inaugurated by the prime minister himself a few days back.

The TBMs had been acquired with a view to speeding up work on the project. The use of TBMs for the main diversion tunnels has been aimed at enhancing the pace of work, thereby reducing the construction period by a year and a half, resulting in an estimated benefit of Rs60 billion.

More importantly, the early completion of NJHP assumes immense importance in order to neutralise Indian designs of utilising Jhelum water for the under construction Kishanganga Hydropower Project being built upstream in Indian occupied Kashmir.

The completion of NJHP should be done as per schedule to safeguard Pakistan’s water rights over the Neelum River, a major tributary of Jhelum River, sources said.

INDIA AGAIN DESTROYS ADB finance of Bhasha Dam, and Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP)

ISLAMABAD: In a massive blow, the leading donor for the Bhasha Dam, the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has informally reversed its commitment to finance the project, top officials in EAD, Wapda, finance and water and power ministries told The News.

Pakistan left with no option but to pledge Wapda assets
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-16705-Pakistan-left-with-no-option-but-to-pledge-Wapda-assets

This has left Pakistan in the lurch and now the authorities concerned are going to put their heads together to find out alternatives to raise funds for the most important water and power project of Pakistan.

A Wapda spokesman confirmed that the critical funding issue had emerged as a stumbling block in the project and alternative options would soon be considered to raise a massive $12 billion for the dam.

An official said that the ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Klaus Gerhaeusser held separate meetings with the Federal Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Wapda Chairman Shakil Durrani and other officers concerned in June 2012. The issue discussed in the meetings was none other than the lead financing role that the ADB had committed to play for Bhasha Dam Project.

“It was evident from the tone of Mr Klaus that there was a change in the ADB’s stance and that for now the bank was not ready to support the construction of the dam,” the official disclosed.

ADB President Harihiku Kuroda early this year also expressed ‘reservations’ on providing funds for the project until a ‘broader donors’ coalition’ which included the World Bank was formed and the so-called ‘safeguards’ were adhered to.

As a matter of fact, both the ADB’s president and the director general for central and west Asia appeared to be unsympathetic towards financing the project, the sources revealed.

To this effect, a brain-storming session under the chairmanship of Minister of Water and Power Ch Mukhtar Ahmad may be held on August 13. Another crucial meeting is also scheduled in the Planning Commission on August 15 where top officials of all the ministries and departments concerned would participate.

The sources said that the proposals would be under consideration to securitise the assets of Wapda such as Ghazi Barotha Hydropower project or other vital assets to raise the needed funds.

However, if this proposal is implemented, the cost of hydel electricity would increase manifold, but the nation needs to be ready for this sacrifice for the huge objective to continue building Diamer-Bhahsa Dam.

The project is located on Indus River in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. It is a multi-purpose project that will store water for agriculture, mitigate floods and provide low-cost hydel electricity. On completion, the project will store 8.1 million acre feet of water and generate 4,500MW electricity, contributing about 19 billion units to the national grid per annum. The annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs2 billion.

In the present context, Diamer-Bhasha Dam has become an issue of life and death for 180 million people of Pakistan. Earlier, the World Bank (WB) had also brazenly refused to fund the project saying the site of the proposed project is in the disputed territory of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

The bank later linked its willingness to fund the project in case Pakistan gets a no objection certificate from India.

The ADB has let Pakistan down and wasted crucial four years of the country in implementation of the project. Though the ADB has yet to convey its refusal officially, the dillydallying tactics on the part of the bank have not only caused an escalation in the project cost by another whopping $2 billion (at the rate of $500 million per annum), but also deprived Pakistan of $8 billion in terms of annual benefits of the project (at the rate of $2 billion per annum) over a period of the last four years.

Chairman of the executing agency of Diamer-Basha Dam Project, Wapda, Shakil Durrani in a latest communication to the Ministry of Water and Power opined that the ADB was playing games and moving close to the World Bank position on the project, and had requested the government to approach the time-tested friend China for financing the project.

The sources privy to the development have disclosed to ‘The News’ that Mr Durrani discussed the matters relating to the financing of Diamer-Basha Dam Project with the three leading Chinese firms during his recent visit to China the last week of July 2012. The firms expressed their willingness to arrange funds for the project.

In addition to the formation of a broader donors’ coalition, the alleged un-resolved issue raised by the ADB mainly includes getting of an NOC from India, the reported absence of the budgetary space with the government of Pakistan for financing the land acquisition and resettlement cost of the dam, the likely financial stress due to the start of projects other than Diamer-Basha Dam, the reported need for national consensus on the dam as the so-called reservations carry no weight, as those are either illogical or merely lame excuses to finally refuse the funding already committed by the ADB for the project.

It may not be out of place to mention that the ADB’s senior officials have committed support for the project at least four times during last four years. In December 2011, the ADB agreed to provide grant for technical assistance for conducting due diligent studies of the project.
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AUSTRALIA’S biggest Islamic school has been ordered to pay back $9 million in public funds to the NSW government after it found millions in taxpayers’ money had been diverted to the country’s peak Muslim body.

Attempt to wind up Islamic school over debts

August 10, 2012
Malek Fahd Islamic School in Greenacre which will possibly close due to financial problems.Dianne and her son Mustafa, 6, moved from Queensland so Mustafa could attend the school. Photo: Steven Siewert

A CLOTHING company which supplies school uniforms has made a court application to wind up Malek Fahd Islamic School in Sydney because of its alleged failure to pay debts of $286,303.

In its application lodged with the Federal Court, Duboke Pty Ltd, trading as Oz Fashions, alleges Malek Fahd has failed to pay 11 invoices dating from January 18 to February 14, this year.

The Federal Court of Australia will hear the matter next Friday.

Documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that Duboke and Malek Fahd’s parent company, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, share the same business address at 932 Bourke St, Waterloo.

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Duboke made its application on July 19, 11 days before the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, wrote to the school asking it to repay $9 million in state-government funding.

Mr Piccoli said the school had breached funding requirements which prevent it from operating for profit. He said the school was transferring money to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils without receiving any services.

The Association of Independent Schools of NSW was also asked to terminate more than $1 million the school receives in National Partnership funding for disadvantaged students, as part of a five-year agreement between state and federal governments.

For its state government funding to be reinstated, Mr Piccoli said the school would need to provide credible evidence that services were being provided in return for the money it transferred to the federation.

Mr Piccoli wrote to the federal Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, saying he had referred the matter to police and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The federal Department of Education commissioned an independent audit of the school in December to find whether it was spending public funding on the education of students.

The Herald was unable to contact the school principal, Dr Intaj Ali, for comment yesterday.

In a statement on July 31, he disputed Mr Piccoli’s findings that the school was operating for profit and said he would challenge his decision.

”The school will take the appropriate steps to have this decision reviewed and is confident that ultimately the correct outcome will be achieved,” he said. ”Malek Fahd wishes to reassure all parents, students, staff and the wider community that its focus remains on the delivery of quality education for our students and it will continue to work with both the NSW and the federal education departments.”

The Herald also sought comment yesterday from the federation, which declined to comment and from Duboke’s solicitor, Marc Ryckmans, who did not return calls.

Sydney Islamic school ordered to repay $9m

July 31, 2012
Anna Patty

Anna Patty

State Political Reporter

Breached requirements ... the Malek Fahd school at Greenacre.Breached requirements … the Malek Fahd school at Greenacre. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Sydney Islamic school Malek Fahd has been forced to repay $9 million in NSW government funding because it was found to be transferring money to a Muslim organisation.

The NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has written to the school asking it to repay the money because it had breached requirements preventing it from operating for profit.

Mr Piccoli said the school did not receive services in return for money it gave to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

“I have instructed the NSW Department of Education and Communities to terminate the school’s funding,” Mr Piccoli said.

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“I have also written to the Association of Independent Schools of NSW to advise that low SES National Partnership funding should also be terminated.”

The school receives more than $1 million in annual funding for disadvantaged students through a five-year national partnership agreement between state and federal governments.

Geoff Newcombe, executive director of the Association of Independent Schools NSW, said today he would write to the school saying its national partnership funding for 2011-12 would be withdrawn.

“We are in the process of writing to the school now to say the national partnership funding has been cancelled,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Our aim is to work closely with the school for the benefit of the students so that they can be readmitted to the program once the school is operating as a not-for-profit school.

“The AIS will work closely with the school to ensure its governance structure is such that it will operate as a not-for-profit school and hence be entitled to state funding.”

Mr Piccoli said that, for the school’s state government funding to be reinstated, it would need to provide credible evidence that services were being provided in return for the money being transferred to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

“I continue to have serious concerns about other financial transactions at the school, including the systemic lack of record keeping and documentation,” he said.

Mr Piccoli has written to the Federal Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, saying that he had referred the matter to police and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The Federal Department of Education commissioned an independent audit of the school in December last year to find whether it was spending its public funding on the education of students.

A spokeswoman for Mr Garrett said the Commonwealth was satisfied that Commonwealth funds had been used for legitimate purposes.

“However, the examination did reveal a number of transactions that did not appear to represent value for money to the school,” she said.

“While the use of public funds are not implicated in these transactions, it has raised some concerns about the governance of the school.”

In April, Mr Garrett announced that education ministers around the country had agreed to streamline reporting requirements of non-government schools, particularly those relating to financial decisions and governance.

He said there were nine different regulatory systems and every non-government school had to work under both state and Commonwealth regulations.

“I’m very pleased that my education minister colleagues have agreed with my suggestion to work together to streamline regulations and provide better accountability over the use of public funding,” he said.

“Non-government schools receive significant public funding and all governments have a responsibility to ensure this funding is being used appropriately.

“The vast majority of non-government schools are doing the right thing with taxpayers’ money, but we always need to be vigilant and make sure public funding is being properly spent.”

Malek Fahd has excluded year 11 and 12 students who are not high performers. The Herald revealed the some students were forced to complete HSC subjects at TAFE.

The principal of Malek Fahd, Dr Intaj Ali, said he disputed Mr Piccoli’s findings that the school was operating for profit and intended to challenge the decision.

“The School will take the appropriate steps to have this decision reviewed and is confident that ultimately the correct outcome will be achieved,” he said. “Malek Fahd wishes to reassure all parents, students, staff and the wider community that its focus remains on the delivery of quality education for our students and it will continue to work with both the NSW and the Federal Education Departments.”

Sydney Islamic school Malek Fahd Islamic School in Greenacre must repay $9 million

  • AAP
  • July 31, 2012
 0
Malek Fahd Islamic School

The Malek Fahd Islamic School in Greenacre has been ordered to repay $9 million. Picture: Jane Dempster Source: News Limited

AN Islamic school in Sydney’s southwest has been ordered to pay back $9 million in public funds after it was found to be operating for profit, the NSW government says.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli says he has written to the Malek Fahd Islamic School in Greenacre ordering it to repay the funds following a random audit.

“Any school found to have operated for profit will have been deemed to have used their funds inappropriately and in that case I have an obligation as minister to recover those funds,” Mr Piccoli told reporters in Sydney in Tuesday.

“For any period that it operated for profit … any taxpayer funds given to it will be recovered by the NSW government.”

The school owed $9 million, he said.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-islamic-school-malek-fahd-islamic-school-in-greenacre-must-repay-9-million/story-e6freuy9-1226439335380

Malek Fahd Islamic school to repay $9m in public funds

Malek Fahd

Malek Fahd Islamic School in the Liverpool area of southwest Sydney, NSW. Picture: Jane Dempster Source: The Australian

AUSTRALIA’S biggest Islamic school has been ordered to pay back $9 million in public funds to the NSW government after it found millions in taxpayers’ money had been diverted to the country’s peak Muslim body.

Malek Fahd, which has more than 2000 students at its Greenacre campus in Sydney’s southwest, receives almost 75 per cent of its funds from state and commonwealth governments.

Following an audit ordered by the federal government after reports in The Australian raised concerns about the school’s financial relationship with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Malek Fahd has been told to repay funding given to the school by NSW since 2010 and remains ineligible for state government funds.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has also asked NSW police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to review the school’s financial dealings to investigate possible action against those on the boards of the school and AFIC.

In August last year, an investigation by The Australian revealed that AFIC had been charging Malek Fahd millions of dollars in “management fees” for non-existent services and inflated rents. Mr Piccoli said yesterday he had concluded the funds being moved from the school to AFIC were not the proper use of educational funding and the school was operating for profit. “The NSW government provides funding to non-government schools for the education of students,” Mr Piccoli said. “A condition of that funding is that those schools must operate on a not-for-profit basis. Where it is determined that this is not the case it is appropriate that funding be repaid.”

A spokesman for federal Education Minister Peter Garrett, who ordered the audit into the school’s finances, said he had been made aware of the NSW government decision yesterday, but the commonwealth would not demand the repayment of federal funds, a move that would force the closure of the school.

“The department is currently assessing the school’s reply outlining new governance arrangements to ensure it adequately meets the requirements set in the Schools Assistance Act 2008, including that the school is operating as not-for-profit,” the spokesman said. “The minister will consider this response before making a final determination.”

The spokesman said a small amount of emergency funding could be made available but the school was yet to apply. “In the event of a school closure, the responsibility for student placements lies with the relevant jurisdiction.”

A move to have the school wound up and placed into liquidation has been made in the NSW Supreme Court, after it allegedly failed to pay a school uniform supplier $286,000 owed on contracts.

The Australian revealed last year that Malek Fahd paid AFIC $5.2 million in “management fees” in 2010, an amount equal to one-third of the school’s educational funding from the federal and state governments. The school has also been charged $2.59m in back rent after AFIC retrospectively altered a lease agreement in 2009.

The school’s chairman of directors, Ikebal Patel, was president of AFIC at the time, and other AFIC board members were also on the school board.

Mr Patel is secretary of AFIC (now called Muslims Australia), with Hafez Kassem installed as president earlier this year after the end of Mr Patel’s term. The Australian understands Mr Patel is still the functioning president of the organisation and is still the school’s chairman.

Mr Patel did not return a request for comment but has explained the payments “as simply the formalisation of some pre-existing arrangements and the recovery of some assistance given to Malek Fahd and other schools as they were starting out”.

The school’s principal Intaj Ali, who has overseen a largely successful educational performance at the school, could not be contacted but is understood to have been concerned by the actions of the school board and its relationship with AFIC.

In a letter to Dr Ali, obtained by The Australian, Mr Piccoli said that he had concluded the school was operating for profit in breach of NSW legislation. “After reviewing all the evidence provided by the school in response to the Oakton audit report, I have concluded that the school is operating for profit within the meaning of section 21A (of the NSW Education Act),” Mr Piccoli wrote. “This finding arises from the fact that the school has provided no substantive evidence of services provided for the running of the school in return for the payment of management fees to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils from 2010.”

Mr Piccoli told the principal Malek Fahd now owed the state government $9,038,255.

He has also told Mr Garrett he has instructed the NSW Education Department to pass on documents relating the investigation to NSW Police and ASIC.

Mr Patel has not given an account of the funds once they went into AFIC, with a federal audit of the school ordered by Mr Garrett after The Australian found the school achieved no value for money for a range of payments worth millions of dollars to AFIC.

Mr Garrett expressed concerns about the school board’s relationship with AFIC. “I consequently have concerns regarding the potential for conflict between the interests of the school and its students on the one hand, and the financial interests of AFIC on the other,” Mr Garrett wrote to Dr Ali on March 21.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/malek-fahd-islamic-school-to-repay-9m-in-public-funds/story-e6frgczx-1226438977643

Parents’ shock at move to wind up Islamic school

Date
August 9, 2012

A clothing company that supplies school uniforms has applied to wind up Malek Fahd Islamic School in Sydney because of its alleged failure to pay debts of $286,303.

Duboke, trading as Oz Fashions, made the application, which will be heard by the Federal Court on August 17.

Documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that Duboke and Malek Fahd’s parent company, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, share the same business address at 932 Bourke Street, Waterloo.

Court documents allege that Malek Fahd has failed to pay 11 invoices dating from January 18 to February 14 this year.

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The application was made on July 19, which was 11 days before the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, wrote to the school asking it to repay $9 million in state government funding.

Mr Piccoli said the school had breached funding requirements, which prevented it operating for profit. He said the school was transferring money to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils without receiving any services in return.

In his letter to school principal Dr Intaj Ali, Mr Piccoli said he had instructed the NSW Department of Education and Communities to terminate the school’s funding.

He also wrote to the Association of Independent Schools of NSW to terminate its National Partnership funding. The school receives more than $1 million in annual funding for disadvantaged students through the five-year national partnership agreement between state and federal governments.

Mr Piccoli said that, for the school’s state government funding to be reinstated, it would need to provide credible evidence that services were being provided in return for the money being transferred to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

“I continue to have serious concerns about other financial transactions at the school, including the systemic lack of record keeping and documentation,” he said.

Mr Piccoli also wrote to the federal Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, saying that he had referred the matter to police and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The federal Department of Education commissioned an independent audit of the school last December to find whether it was spending its public funding on the education of students.

Mr Garrett has said that definitions of what it meant for a school to be operating for profit needed to be tightened.

He has said that while the vast majority of non-government schools are doing the right thing with taxpayers’ money, vigilance was needed to ensure public funding was being properly spent.

In a statement, Dr Ali said he disputed Mr Piccoli’s findings that the school was operating for profit and he intended to challenge the decision to terminate the school’s funding.

“The school will take the appropriate steps to have this decision reviewed and is confident that ultimately the correct outcome will be achieved,” he said. “Malek Fahd wishes to reassure all parents, students, staff and the wider community that its focus remains on the delivery of quality education for our students and it will continue to work with both the NSW and the federal Education Departments.”

The Herald was unable to contact Dr Ali for comment today.

The Herald also sought comment from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils which declined to comment and Duboke’s solicitor Marc Ryckmans, who did not return calls.

Adam Shepard has been appointed to act as liquidator to Malek Fahd if it is made insolvent.

The school has a history of excluding year 11 and 12 students who are not high performers. The Herald revealed some of its past students were forced to complete HSC subjects at TAFE because they were not achieving high marks in those subjects.

Dominic Bossi writes: Malek Fahd Islamic School has become one of the leaders in Islamic education in Australia and its reputation has convinced families to relocate interstate so their children can attend. Its potential closure has now shocked parents of pupils who have made significant sacrifices for their children’s schooling and has left families with few viable alternatives.

“I actually wouldn’t know where to go. I moved from the Gold Coast for this school. That was the only thing that was sending me back to Sydney because I wanted my kids to have a good education. When I got a spot here, I ran back [to Sydney],” Said Diane, a parent of a year 1 student.

“This school isn’t just about religion, it’s about what they’re teaching them and what us parents teach their children. I can’t even express what I feel, and what I would feel if this school closes down. I probably would [leave Sydney].”

While there are other Islamic schools in Sydney, most parents said they were proud of the balance between religious and academic education offered at Malek Fahd and would not be satisfied to relocate their children.

“My older one is doing medicine now and she got 99.6 per cent from this school. Its [potential closure is] really saddening for me,” Seema Mahmood said. “I’m really satisfied with the performance of this school, religious as well as academic. I don’t know; it’s really shocking. I’m really shocked. It’s a big worry for me now if it’s closing.”

Many parents were not aware of the issues facing the school and some were only told by their children this week.

However, despite the troubles, some parents will continue to support the school if it challenges the government’s decision.

“Obviously any money that is funded into the school, you want it to go the kids. If money has gone to buy kids new computers or new desks, then I want that money going to the school and not anyone else,” said Abir, who has sent three of her children to Malek Fahd.

“But we’re not going to sit here and judge and assume things. Everyone has a right to a trial and prove themselves innocent and, being of the Muslim faith, it teaches you that you can’t really assume things, you have to give people a chance.”
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/parents-shock-at-move-to-wind-up-islamic-school-20120809-23wkm.html#ixzz23BarUwLf

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More research :
http://www.mfis.com.au/enrolment.html     <<< fees charged.
School Website :
http://www.mfis.com.au/
2 year old school finances :

Education and Migrants making THEIR KIDS life in Australia. China has little ENGLISH = Look at us now = better than even English background Indians !!

“….Figures from the 2011 census show that Hurstville is the most Chinese suburb in Sydney. In a population of 26,000, close to 8900 people were born in mainland China. Another 1200 have arrived from Hong Kong. Hurstville has just 8200 Australian-born residents….”

….”And they like to buy apartments near the shopping centre and the railway station. If the suburb doesn’t have a train station, you don’t have the Chinese. It helps them get their children to high school or university.”…. {boy or a girl}

Above are my comments – If you load http://smh.domain.com.au/neighbourhoods/hurstville-changing-face-of-a-suburb-20120806-23oxy.html  you can see at bottom the 8 comments by “Aussies”.

Hurstville: Changing face of a suburb

August 5, 2012

Jim O’Rourke

As Julia Gillard prepares Australia to embrace the ”Asian Century”, Jim O’Rourke visits Hurstville, where the Chinese are already embracing Australia – and have become the economic and social driving forces of the community.

textEnterprise … above from left, Carmen Cheung, 17, Dion Li, 12 and Joanna Wang, 15, and at the Lucy Dancing School. Photo: Simon Alekna

In a bustling Sydney suburb just a few kilometres south-west of Sydney Airport, the sounds of Chinese dialects ring along the narrow, main shopping street.

Just 20 years ago the shops near Hurstville railway station in Forest Road were owned by people with names such as Smith, Politis or Scardilli. Now the names Lee, Chen and Wu dominate the streetscape.

Figures from the 2011 census show that Hurstville is the most Chinese suburb in Sydney. In a population of 26,000, close to 8900 people were born in mainland China. Another 1200 have arrived from Hong Kong. Hurstville has just 8200 Australian-born residents.

Burwood property developer Justin Wang.Burwood property developer Justin Wang. Photo: Lee Besford

Twenty years ago a language teacher from southern China landed alone in Sydney carrying one piece of luggage and the germ of an idea to make his fortune. Justin Wang, now a wealthy property developer, sells more than 100 apartments a month in the area – most of them off the plan and most of them to local Chinese.

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The recent surge in Chinese migration is a boon for entrepreneurs like Mr Wang, the founder of the Property Investors Alliance in Burwood.

Mr Wang, who advises about 3000 clients – 95 per cent of whom are local Chinese – said the rapid increase of the middle-class in China in the last decade has added to the bonanza for property developers here as the Chinese search out offshore investment opportunities.

Councillor Nancy Lui.Councillor Nancy Lui. Photo: Simon Alekna

He said most of his clients are Chinese couples, aged 25 to 35, who originally came to Australia to study but decided to stay and make a life here. About a quarter of them get a financial helping hand from their parents back in China to get into their first home.

”The first priority for the Chinese is to settle down and buy their first home. In the Chinese culture you should have these things sorted out by the time [you] are 30.

”They don’t want to invest in stocks and bonds, they want to put their money into a safe asset that gives them a good return. They want something tangible and don’t care if it’s a long term 10- or 15-year prospect.”

If the Chinese did not invest their money in property, Mr Wang said, many of the smaller to medium-sized complexes he helps develop would never get past the planning stage. ”The banks would never have lent the developers the money without Chinese buyers purchasing off the plan.”

China is now our second largest source of immigrants, behind New Zealand. Last financial year more than 14,600 Chinese settlers arrived on our shores, many of them opting to live in Sydney communities including Hurstville, Burwood, Eastwood, Epping and Chatswood that are are already dominated by their countrymen.

Last year the Prime Minister commissioned the Asian Century white paper to examine likely economic, political and strategic changes in the region and what more can be done to position Australia to take advantage of those changes.

A recent forum on the white paper at the Australian National University was told by Treasury official David Gruen there is ”almost certainty” China’s economy will outpace developed countries in the years to come due to a ”changing of the guard between the advanced world and Asia” as economic output shifts to emerging markets.

The white paper was scheduled to be released mid-2012.

Hurstville chamber of commerce president Matthew Matthews said that decades ago the suburb was populated predominantly by Australians with a large mix of European migrants from Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia.

Mr Matthews, a local real estate agent, said the commercial properties in Forest Road were owned by Australians. The Jewish people had the clothing outlets.

”Shop ownership now is swinging completely to the Chinese,” he said.

”And they like to buy apartments near the shopping centre and the railway station. If the suburb doesn’t have a train station, you don’t have the Chinese. It helps them get their children to high school or university.”

One of the state’s top ranked public high schools, St George Girls High – it was ranked 12th in NSW in the NAPLAN results for year 7 and 9 – is just two rail stops away, at Kogarah. About 88 per cent of the students come from homes where English is a second language. Of those, 58 per cent are of Chinese background. The school’s annual report said of the 180 students who sat the HSC in 2011, all received offers to university. Close to 30 per cent chose business, commerce or economics courses.

Mr Matthews said the Chinese like to buy or build homes with four or five bedrooms to encourage their children to remain at home while they attend university.

Lucy Lu, was a ballerina with the Shanghai Ballet Company before she emigrated alone to Australia 14 years ago after touring here in 1996. Soon after arriving she opened The Lucy Dancing School at Carlton, a suburb just east of Hurstville.

As well as teaching classical ballet and contemporary dance Ms Lu, now married with two sons, has classes in Chinese folk dancing. Parents want to see their children keep in touch with their Chinese roots, she said. ”When I arrived in Sydney I studied at the Royal Academy of Dance here and I wanted to open my school before I turned 30. I also studied English and a small business management course at TAFE. The Chinese work hard at the beginning. My mother told me when I was young that you have to have things settled before you turn 30, otherwise too late.”

Nancy Liu was elected on to Hurstville Council in 2008 eight years after arriving in Sydney as part of the ”skilled migrant” scheme with her husband and a daughter from Guangzhou. She had an economics degree and studied English before decided to emigrate ”while we were still young”.

After the couple set up a business consultancy and travel agency in Hurstville, Councillor Liu noticed the local Chinese were hampered by language barriers when it came to having a community voice. She ran for council on the Unity Party ticket.

”They found it hard to deal with the different layers of government,” she said. ”While I represent all the ratepayers in Hurstville the Chinese come to me for help.

”Most Chinese people are humble, they work so hard and sometimes don’t care what government is doing.”

Do we have to pay ‘subbies’ super, Work Cover?

Do we have to pay ‘subbies’ super, Work Cover?

Published: August 9, 2012 – 12:13AM

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Q. We are a small civil construction company and feel like we are drowning. We’ve been in operation for more than 20 years and use sub-contractors, but with the current laws we can’t get clear answers from the tax office on who we do and don’t have to pay superannuation and Work Cover for.

We have about eight full-time staff, and the remainder are ‘subbies’ – for example concretors and plumbers on piece work. Some have their own ABN, some are Pty Ltd. The rules seem to state that if they provide labour for you 80 per cent of the time or work for you more than 90 days a year, then you have to pay their super and Work Cover.

We pay our subbies hire rates because they pay their own super, Work Cover and insurance.

Our cash flow is at breaking point, as a government contract was recently deferred and left us with no work for eight weeks. We’ve now had to take on any work we can. We don’t want to do the wrong thing but feel we are double dipping if we have to pay again for these companies and don’t really have the money to do so!

With changes in GST, reporting occupational health and safety, and clients covering their own backsides we are struggling to make money and are feeling like we need to get out. We went to a business coaching company to tweak our business, but they ended up rolling over on us for $20,000 that we’re still paying it off.

We have been given so much bad advice, so how do we keep our business going in this climate? Any advice would be appreciated.

Engaging contractors is a complex and confusing area, mainly because of  the misunderstandings that prevail.  This fact has not been lost on the Australian Taxation Office, the State Revenue Office and WorkSafe who all focus heavily on auditing those industries that use high volumes of contractors – ie building and construction.

A great benefit of engaging contractors is that they allow greater flexibility compared to employees, particularly in industries with highly fluctuating levels of work. However, there are still many obligations which you must be aware of  including superannuation guarantee, Work Cover and payroll tax. Having a contract with the contractor stating that they are responsible for such matters doesn’t mean you don’t need to consider them.

The first thing you must satisfy if you engage a person who you treat as a contractor is that they are not in reality your employee. This is particularly relevant if the contractor is a sole trader, even if they quote an ABN.

If they work in the same way as an employee, are subject to your direct control and are not contracted to produce a specific outcome or result, you may have to treat them as your employee.

As a result, you will have to meet all employment obligations in the same way as for any employee.

If you treat a person as a contractor where they are in reality an employee, or you force a person to become a contractor, you could be liable for harsh penalties under the Commonwealth’s independent contracting legislation for sham contracting arrangements.

Generally, a person engaged through their own Pty Ltd company can’t be your employee, and this will remove such risks. So that the arrangement is not a sham, you must make sure that all contracts, payments, dealings and correspondence are with the person’s company, and not the person directly.

Regardless of whether a contractor works as a person or through a company, you may be liable for one or more of the following: superannuation guarantee, Work Cover and payroll tax.

If you engage a contractor who doesn’t work through a company, and they must do the work personally, it is highly likely that you will have an obligation to contribute superannuation on their behalf, particularly if they are paid based on a fixed-piece rate or an hourly or daily rate.

If the person works through their own company, you won’t have an obligation for superannuation guarantee.  However, the same cannot be said for payroll tax or Work Cover in Victoria.

Work Cover in Victoria can apply to all contractors, including those who work through their own company, even if that company has its own Work Cover policy.

You will have an obligation if the contractor is engaged mainly for labour, one person does most of the work, and the contractor earns 80 per cent or more of its contracting income from you during the year.

While the payroll tax rules are technically different, the end result is generally the same: if the contractor provides mainly labour, one person does most of the work and the contractor works solely or mainly for you, you will have an obligation.

This will also depend on whether your total wages exceed the threshold, which in Victoria is $550,000 for the 2012/13 financial year.

As your business is in the building and construction industry, you are required to report payments to suppliers of building and construction services to the ATO. This is an annual requirement with the first report due by July 21 next year covering payments made during the 2012/13 financial year.

Given the complexity of the issue, we recommend that you seek specialist advice as mistakes are costly if not recognised and addressed.

Theo Sakell is a tax partner with Pitcher Partners accountants, auditors and advisors. His advice here is intended as guidance only.

PTCL has introduced broadband ‘Student Basic Package’ with an amazing offer of free Wi-Fi

PTCL introduces ‘Student Basic Package’
http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012731story_31-7-2012_pg10_4

KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has introduced broadband ‘Student Basic Package’ with an amazing offer of free Wi-Fi, designed to meet the ever growing needs of students. This special package comes at an unbeatable price of Rs 1,099 only with 1 mbps unlimited broadband downloading and Wi-Fi absolutely free. PTCL’s Student Package is the most popular broadband Internet service in the country available in more than 1,000 towns and cities. PTCL also offers a comprehensive ‘Student Bundle Package’ with speeds up to 1 mbps and unlimited downloads, free Wi-Fi, free 200 voice minutes, unlimited calls from PTCL to PTCL and Vfone (On-Net) on Sundays along with PSTN line rent waiver of Rs 199. staff report

Rs 1bn SFJ project launched in Punjab
http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012731story_31-7-2012_pg10_3

LAHORE: Punjab Skill Development Fund (PSDF) signed on Monday contracts worth Rs one billion with 40 training service providers to impart training to 20,000 individuals including 40 percent females under its second scheme called ‘Skills for Jobs’ (SFJ). CEO PSDF, Ali Sarfraz and heads of the respective service-training providers signed the contracts. These services providers are also partners with national and international accredited certifying agencies. staff report

Pakistan Dueling on dual nationality — Parveen Tarique

VIEW : Dueling on dual nationality — Parveen Tarique

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20127\31\story_31-7-2012_pg3_4

Not too long ago, Moeen Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz, both holders of dual nationality, were prime ministers. Where was the Election Commission then?

Given the state of the ‘Land of the Pure’ where there is shortage of water, electricity, gas, an abysmal law and order situation, and the army getting caught in the crosshairs of snipers and militants, the powers that be are pushing for bills like the contempt bill and the proposed dual nationality bill. The contempt bill has sailed through the National Assembly, and dual nationality has the parliamentarians and the elite class wondering what all the fuss is about, while the common citizen wonders what sins he has committed to be deprived of the necessities of life.

In 1951, the Pakistan Citizenship Act underwent amendments, because the original Act appeared incomplete. Therefore, the Pakistan Citizenship Rules 1952 were introduced. In 1971, Pakistan and Bangladesh separated. Citizenship needed to be re-addressed again at that time, and Kashmir being an ongoing conflict, needed to be addressed in the Act as well. Amendments are still taking place after 61 years.

Since independence, several changes in the Pakistani nationality law have come about because of the growth of expatriate Pakistani communities in the Middle East, Europe and North America. Dual citizenship was not permitted under the 1951 law, but now the government of Pakistan recognises and allows citizens to hold citizenship of 16 countries, which are, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Belgium, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and the land of opportunity, the USA.

Fast forward to the recent scenario; had a move not been made against Farahnaz Isphani, media advisor to President Asif Ali Zardari, Hussain Haqqani’s wife, as being a dual national of Pakistan and the USA, and a MNA to boot, perhaps things might have been different. However, then the news that our man for all seasons, Mr Rehman Malik, was also a dual national — in this case, Pakistan and the UK — was revealed, and with all the stories he spun, he has not given up his British passport. Slowly, all hell is breaking loose, with conspiracy theories making the rounds. (The latest reports say that he has given up his UK nationality and been elected to the Senate from Sindh.)

Article 63(1)(c) of our Constitution, clearly disqualifies a person from being elected and from being a member of parliament if “he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state”. Disqualification on this ground is part of our 1973 Constitution. The argument put forth is that one cannot wear two hats. You are either loyal to the country of your origin, or to the country whose citizenship you have acquired by swearing on the Bible allegiance to the Queen, or the star spangled banner as the case may be, and also take up arms in case of war.

Decades ago, Pakistan experienced a brain drain, with our best bidding adieu to their families and moving to greener pastures. They settled there, and remitted money back home. Some came back, could not adjust, and went back. Some refer to the dual nationality, Pakistan-UK, as a soft stance on the UK’s part, since monies, big monies are being transferred to its shores. And should things turn dicey here they can easily hightail it to the country whose passport they have. Things could not be better for the dual nationals; they have butter on both sides of their bread and still crave for more.

Those who belong to the upper class, the elite amongst us, say why not. Those who are dual nationals have their own agenda. They want to sit in the houses of parliament, enjoy all the trappings, and stash their ‘hard-earned money’ abroad. Here, they do not bother about paying taxes, pull all the strings they can, and if they even sneeze three times they zoom off to get themselves checked. They lord it over us, the common citizens, not realising that we are the backbone of this country. We till the soil, thereby helping to generate crops, take up backbreaking jobs and help to sustain all, and receive thanks occasionally.

One argument between the lines is that such persons, who are vying to become parliamentarians, and privy to various state secrets, should be permitted to do so. The logic behind this thought is that should such a situation arise with another country, these dual nationals would be a great help at the negotiating table. Another argument making the rounds is that if the overseas Pakistanis have the right to vote, they should be allowed to contest elections to become parliamentarians. This argument has elicited for and against arguments, evident in the writings of our learned columnists.

Not too long ago, Moeen Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz, both holders of dual nationality, were prime ministers. Where was the Election Commission then? Granted that Moeen Qureshi was the caretaker prime minister who was flown in, and flew out once the job was done, but what about Shaukat Aziz who also flew in? The million-dollar question is why the Supreme Court has issued, at this point of time, a wake-up call to the Election Commission to examine papers thoroughly. Why now? Is it to point out that the Election Commission has been sleeping on the job, or were behind-the-scenes strings pulled? Has the scenario changed so drastically that there are fears, that God forbid, could undermine the sovereignty of this land of ours? That somebody, somewhere will sell us under the table? However, another notable writer fears that those parliamentarians/elitists who support the dual nationality bill, would be responsible for placing the country under a de facto foreign rule. Then there are those who argue that Pakistan has already been given ‘thekay par’ (on contract) to Uncle Sam, and they argue that the question of de facto foreign rule is already in place.

However, coming back to the expats, one cannot doubt the financial contribution made by those who of late expect the doors of elected office to be open for them. Thanks to globalisation, and considerable movement of people across borders in search of better opportunities, nationality and identity have become relatively less rigid, posing the question, why does one assume that they have turned their back on the homeland? Dual nationality has stirred up a hornet’s nest, and some are getting stung, and arguments to and fro are continuing in the print media and the electronic media. Who will win is anybody’s guess.

The writer is a former news editor of a leading English daily and can be reached at anwar_parween@yahoo.com

 

Aapas ki baat – 30th july 2012 :: Where Election cash is going with PPP :: USA relations in 3rd video with HAQQANI Group

Najum Sathi ELECTION Prediction = PPP will always have 80 seats !!!

http://www.zemtv.com/2012/07/31/aapas-ki-baat-30th-july-2012/

You see Najum Sethi and Hassan Nisar both doing their job of keeping Pakistani Government in mirror.

http://youtu.be/XPF_1Vhuwrc

http://youtu.be/Lgw0mRMdGAs

http://youtu.be/z_ci-yjFIV0

http://youtu.be/Ku2gcnGWfFw