The much awaited Auditor General Report was published recently and the nation is gripped with unearthed stories about mismanagement (again), unrealistic purchases (what’s new?), inefficiencies as well as wastage.
We should really brand the momentous AG announcement as a national transparency day of sorts when discoveries like the ones exposed recently are highlighted for all can see.
What dumbfounded the nation is the fact that these findings are nothing new and had been going on for years but astonishingly, nobody in the audited government agencies learnt anything from past mistakes! Is the AG Report being treated as a insignificant memo by the misbehaving departments? Won’t the junior officers take heed of the mistakes made by their senior management about these gross mismanagement?
Leading the pack for inefficient spending would probably be the Ministry of Education:
The 2012 Auditor-General’s Report has revealed severe mishandling of RM2.051 billion with regard to hiring security contractors for schools between 2010 and 2012.
From poorly prepared contracts to hiring of septuagenarians as security guards, the auditor-general said the management of security services in 35 schools and hostels surveyed was generally unsatisfactory.
The audit, which involved schools in Selangor, Perlis and Sabah, found that the contracts were not uniform and did not state specific requirements set by the Education Ministry.
In some schools, the audit found that contractors had breached the terms of their contracts by hiring security guards who are too old, unfit, dressed inappropriately, ill-equipped and had not been subjected to background checks.
Nineteen of the 35 facilities visited by the audit team did not have anyone guarding the entrances and people were seen entering and exiting freely.
The audit team found that the Education Ministry was not keeping proper tabs on the implementation of the security project and failed to penalise errant contractors.
Now who is the contractor? We would think that those who are manning the tender and the contracts department in the ministry would have been a seasoned disciplinarian by now and is aware that the audit department will be breathing down his/her neck just to ensure that the security contracts are running efficiently. But obviously, we cannot train the civil servants in charge of this important task to be honest and diligent. In the end, payments are duly made without any regard to the delivery of services.
Another governmental arm which wasn’t performing was the police:
The Auditor-General’s 2012 report reveals that the Royal Malaysian Police Force recorded a total of 309 missing items in the form of weapons, handcuffs and cars.
It also reported that the Royal Customs Department wasted a whopping RM600,000 on 7,659 pairs of shoes that were not according to specification and were then badly damaged during prolonged storage.
The items missing from the police force were recorded between 2010 and 2012, resulting in losses amounting to RM1.33 million.
The auditor-general reports that handcuffs topped the list of missing items at 156, followed by 44 weapons and 29 police vehicles.
Although the amount is small, the fact that weapons can be missing from the police force shows that there is a severe lack of controls in the police department and this doesn’t just involve money but it involves public security issue as well. Where did all the weapons go? How could they have lost it? From now onwards, KDN should really look into their SOP because if from 2010 to 2012 we lost 44 weapons, imagine how many had sifted through the cracks in years before that.
Then there is this incinerator project which not many know of:
The National Solid Wastes Management Department (JPSPN) spent RM199 million on incinerators over the last four years, and then found there was no expertise to operate such machines in Malaysia.
All four incinerators at tourist spots in the islands of Langkawi, Pangkor and Tioman and in Cameron Highlands saw construction delays of two to three times their original schedules.
And even after completion, the Auditor-General’s 2012 Report says, three of the incinerators were not operated for 223 to 642 days, all because of the lack of expertise.
A fifth incinerator planned for Labuan was scrapped.
So basically RM200 million was spent on something we don’t really know about. On top of that, it was unused for up to two years because the person in-charge do not know how to find ways to operate it. For two years they presumably tried to find people who can make the incinerator worked, but alas the search was futile. Yes they could find people who can build it, but they couldn’t learn or find people who can operate it. Two years.
Bear in mind all this money wasted came from Budget 2012 which was made in 2011. May we suggest the Treasury to look into the numbers again and prepare a much lower budget for the agencies above for Budget 2014? From the lackdaisical attitude and their cavalier approach towards handling other people’s money, surely they should not hold a lot of money to begin with.
Next is the issue on the police force again:
Between June 2008 and December 2010, the Malaysian police purchased five Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft for a whopping US$58.25 million (RM175.24 million) for their Air Wing.
The planes were supposed to facilitate the upgrading of the nation’s air security.
However, within less than five years of usage, one of the planes had to be grounded for eight months, between September 2011 and April 2012, while another could not be used between June and November 2012.
Furthermore, out of the five, only three aircraft have been delivered so far.
The project was awarded after direct negotiations with Hawker Pacific Airservices Ltd, through its agent EZ Aviation Sdn Bhd.
5 planes costing RM175 million that means each plane is averaging RM35 million. We could understand if the cost includes maintenance for the next 10 years but if it doesn’t then RM35 million for a twin turboprop aircraft at a base price of USD6 million (according to the plane’s website) is way too much.
But that is not the least of the problem. The fact that two aircrafts have not been delivered until now should ring some alarm bells from the police’s procurement department. But obviously someone was sleeping on the job.
Of course the mother of it all is the fact that some people in RTM thought they could get away with this:
The Broadcasting Department blew its budget spending RM120,210 on clocks and scanners alone, thus overpaying for these items by thousands of times beyond its actual cost.
Despite budgeting RM100 per unit for a clock and RM200 per unit for an A4-sized document scanner, the Auditor-General found that the Broadcasting Department spent RM3,810 per unit for “branded” wall clocks and RM14,670 per unit for the scanners.
In the 2012 AG Report, it found the department bought 20 branded wall clocks and three scanners for national broadcaster RTM’s offices in three states.
The department paid RM76,200 for the clocks, which was 3,810% above its estimated budget, and RM44,010 for the scanners, which was 7,235 times more than its initial budget.
The department also bought five scanners for A3 sized documents at an inflated price of RM20,630 each, 103,150% more than its estimated budget of RM1,000 each.
Although the ministry had explained on the use of those clocks, they were silent on the RM20,000 scanners. Anyone would be hard pressed to explain what kind of nuclear powered scanner they have bought.
Heads of department should really take leaf on how private companies are saving money. They treat their money like their children’s money. We have known so many stingy CEOs, prudent CFOs, very strict tender committees and a well disciplined procurement department. All in small, medium, and large private companies. Do you think the CFOs in YTL, Hong Leong Group, throw money just like that?
We need to look at ourselves and learn the concept of saving money which doesn’t belong to us.
Lastly is the bonus payouts by the GLCs. Although this is not mismanagement per se, but it is worth mentioning.
Seven government-linked companies (GLCs) rewarded its employees with fat bonuses despite recording a combined loss of close to RM2 billion in 2011.
The Auditor-General Report today stated that Syarikat Prasarana Negara, an infrastructure company which had the highest recorded deficit of RM763 million among the group, gave its employees between one-and-a-half and two months bonus each.
The report also found that MIMOS, the country’s research centre, was the most generous of the group, by giving out between two and three months bonus to its employees, despite making a RM4.6 million loss in 2011.
Meanwhile, employees of KTM received the least with the railway operator distributing ex-gratia payments of a half-month’s salary or a minimum of RM500 in the same year. The company made losses of RM103 million.
The other companies which lavished its employees with bonuses despite making losses were Amanah Raya, Jambatan Kedua, Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) and Cyberview.
Now this is a catch 22 situation. The GLCs which provide services to the people are generally working under the pretext of ‘social responsibility’. Obviously they can’t make enough money otherwise the best possible way to increase the profits is to just charge the customers more.
In other words, IWK will just need to increase their rates, Prasarana and KTM just need to increase their fares. Since customers are a bunch of easily annoyed creatures, the costs were never truly borne by the public (Prasarana for instance have not reviewed fares for more than 10 years).
Realistically, GLCs need to reward staff who are performing really well despite the outcome of the financial accounts otherwise these companies will unable to motivate and retain good workers. They will move elsewhere if their contribution are not recognise.
And as mentioned in the tweets of Prasarana’s CEO, Datuk Shahril Mokhtar (the only CEO so far who took to twitter to briefly explain the AG Report findings) – Prasarana’s financial position is automatically handicapped by depreciation and financial costs amounting to RM700 million annually which greatly contributed to the RM763 million loss. Not surprising since Prasarana is an asset and infrastructure based company.
No explanation have come forth from IWK, KTM, MIMOS, Jambatan Kedua etc.
The Treasury however, did issue a brief response:
The treasury said these GLCs were not set up for the sake of making huge profits but to fulfill its social responsibility and nation-building objectives.
Hence, it was up to the Ministry of Finance to determine if these companies had achieved its key performance indicators
Just a few days ago, we tweeted:
The answer is found in a newsfeed by Bernama:
Najib opens Khazanah office in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officiated Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s regional office for the Amerikas, Khazanah Americas Incorporated (KAI), in San Francisco Sunday.
He hoped that the opening of this office would help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by the year 2020.
The Prime Minister said Malaysia’s visionary ambitions to reach a developed nation status by 2020 could be achieved by moving up the value chain and creating an economy driven by knowledge, innovation and technology.
Najib said this when officiating the office located at the 45th Floor, 101 California Street, San Francisco, the third Khazanah’s regional office after Beijing and Mumbai.
Also present were his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin; Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Director, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Commerce Mark Chandler.
The Khazanah Americas Incorporated office has a scenic view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the world’s longest and tallest suspension bridge when the bridge was completed in 1937, to connect San Francisco with Marin County across the 1,600 metre-wide strait known as the Golden Gate which links the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.
Complimenting Khazanah for “the great choice of sparkling office with a nice view”, Najib said Khazanah had made the right choice to be in San Francisco as the city is the centre of innovation in the United States – one of the most dynamic regions in the world, home to the most admired and innovative businesses and institutions.
Najib, who is also Khazanah Nasional Berhad chairman, said the opening of the office has shown that the Malaysian government fully supported and underpinned its seriousness on creating a competitive, sustainable and innovation-friendly environment and encouraged private and government entities to invest in key sectors abroad.
The Prime Minister also said Malaysia was keen to invest in exciting high-value areas such as life sciences, green technology and cutting-edge innovation that could help Malaysia’s transformation efforts.
Najib said Malaysia hoped to learn from the United States its remarkable culture of innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship to spur Malaysia’s own economic growth.
He said he was looking forward to see the innovation that would emanate from this regional office initiative.
He said that over the years, Malaysia’s business and economic interests had expanded across the globe and hoped that the Khazanah office would be able to identify potential partners and get the people in innovation in Americas to partner with those in Malaysia.
Najib also said that Iskandar Malaysia in Johor had established itself as a high value innovative centre and its Pinewood Studios, an integrated media production studio facility, are expected to be completed and opened next year.
He said Malaysia had a lot to offer to investors such as big economic growth number of 4-5 per cent a year, its Vision 2020 efforts on track and a low inflation rate of 2 per cent, which was not bad considering the current external factors affecting the world economy.
“With Khazanah Americas, we can further strengthen our presence and build strong networks with businesses here and I hope we can identify potential partners in America to help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by 2020,” he said.
In his welcoming speech, Khazanah Nasional Berhad Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the opening of the Khazanah Americas Incorporated office would be a hub for Khazanah into innovation and technology as well as a bridge between the two countries and regions.
Najib, who arrived in San Francisco with his wife early Sunday, is on a working visit here until Sept 24, prior to his visit to New York to lead Malaysia’s delegation to the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from Sept 25 to 29.
He is scheduled to deliver a statement at the High Level Meeting UNGA on Nuclear Disarmament on Sept 26, and Malaysia’s statement during the General Debate on Sept 28. – Bernama
… and the CONmen go marching in.
This time a lavish Khazanah Nasional rep office in one of the most expensive downtown office towers in very expensive San Francisco. Where the in-building parking (if you can find one) charges run at U$3 (RM10) per 15 minutes or US33 (RM110) per day. That would be RM3,300 per month for one car in a dingy basement — the rental rate of a very comfortable KL apartment.
While being fawned head-over-heels by CONmen from Frost & Sullivan and likeminded parasites, PM Najib reportedly complimented the breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge and praised Mr. Non-Performer Royale, Azman Mokhtar for making “the great choice of sparkling office with a nice view.” Yes indeed. A million dollar view that will captivate many a heart. But is Khazanah promoting Malaysia or Northern California?
Who will staff this luxurious office? How many Malaysians? From where and based on what criteria? Another bunch of cocky 26-year olds “selected on merit” who will splash scenes of their wild parties and sinful weekend getaways — this time in exciting SF — on FB? Don’t be surprised if some of the PEMANDU party animals get recycled and sent here to liven up the wild Bay Area LGBT nightlife.
So how much are the rakyat (yes, Malaysian taxpayers) paying these people? Let me guess ………… a lot. Yes, a lot because San Francisco is one of THE most expensive cities in the U.S., with rental rates three times the U.S. average. The median rent for a 1-BR, yes one bedroom apartment in this city is about US$3,300 (almost RM11,000) per month. In preferred neighbourhoods, 1-BR rentals — if you can actually find one — would be US$3,600-4,500. For 2-BRs? You’re staring at US$5,000-8,000 per month. 3-BR? Don’t ask. And we have not even looked at other costs in a city ranked in the top 3 most expensive in the U.S.
How I know all these? I have a SF rep office as well. You pay through your nose in rental, parking and staff costs but as long as you make money, lots of it, its fine.
So will Azman Mokhtar and the merry-men and -women of Khazanah actually “make money” to cover this yet another splurge of the rakyat’s hard earned ringgits?
By bringing in investors? Isn’t that job already done by the likes of Mida, Matrade and Miti? Seriously, what can Khazanah do that Mida and Matrade cannot do or has not already done? Mida has six offices across the U.S. — Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, Boston, Chicago and Houston. Martrade has offices in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. And we have investment minister-counselors in our Washington, D.C. embassy and consulates general in New York and Los Angeles. Throw in Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines and you’ll have a heck of a lot of “rep offices” offering the same thing again and again to confused Americans.
So what exactly is Khazanah’s role in SF? To attract investments? Again, that’s Mida and Miti’s job. To expand trade? That’s Matrade’s job. To secure tourist dollars? That’s Tourism Malaysia’s job. To play a hand in diplomacy? That’s the foreign office’s job via the embassy and consulates.
Oh, I forgot ….. Khazanah is supposed to SPEND money, NOT make money. While part of the fat budget has been blown on expensive office rental and staff costs, there must be quite a chunk left for a Silicon Valley spending spree. Najib reportedly said in SF, “Malaysia [is] keen to invest in exciting high-value areas such as life sciences, green technology and cutting-edge innovation that could help Malaysia’s transformation efforts.”
What exactly do all those Powerpoint jargons mean?
I’m sure Mr. Kool wannabe here would throw in “value proposition” and “value chain” and “leading edge” and “next-gen” and “ears and eyeballs” and other so-very-90s-lah CON-sultant bullsh*t somewhere in his speech.
As for stopping the spending spree, its too late lah people. The depleting chequebook’s out. Khazanah must be seen to spend on something somewhere to justify their SF office adventure. You see, their No.1 KPI is “to spend money, lots of it” and No.2 KPI is “to lose money, most of it” and No.3 KPI is “blame others, all of them.”
I’m just waiting for some announcement of a “strategic investment” in some “new economy” scam involving solar powered green-coloured multiheaded dildos or something like that run by a couple of Taiwanese H-1B visa abusers out of a Sunnyvale garage repackaged, of course, into some sustainable eco-friendly healthy green technology gizmo that purportedly will yield a financial windfall for Khazanah and propel Malaysia to new heights of economic ecstasy ….. blah, blah, blah. Sounds familiar? A sucker born every minute? Remember InventQjaya? Remember E-Village in the Dengkil boondocks? And don’t let me get into cow farms and such. Just finished a late dinner meeting with some old ex-ministers and the possibility of regurgitating the horrendous raw sturgeon wrapped in salty seaweed and boiled cabbage is very real indeed.
Oh, ….. saw in the newsfeed that Najib had just committed the rakyat’s money into yet another new fund management company, Putra Eco Ventures Inc. The report said: “The company will channel the investments and provide business consultancy services to green technology companies.” Now, that’s a triple whammy of oxymoronia. “Channel the investments”? “Provide business consultancy services”? These types of phrases have scam and leakage and abuse and misadventure written all over them. Throw in “green technology” and you are looking at a financial trainwreck in the making.
So people, another little chapter of the follies of GLC Malaysia unfolds away from the public radar. While the rakyat bicker about twenty sen fuel price hikes and lack of decent affordable housing, the jet-setting chimps-in-suits of Khazanah (… and soon PEMANDU and TalentCorp and 1MDB and other disasters) throw our tax money into bottomless pits in faraway America.
My problem with Najib is that every time he launches or announces or officiates something somewhere, I get an overpowering sense of mindless, needless wastage of the rakyat’s money. And this Khazanah rep office in San Francisco is no different. Again, I just don’t understand the logic. To attract investments, Mida, Martrade and Miti and our embassy and consulates have already done that for umpteen years. No need expensive, lavish office overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in SF. On the other hand, if you just want to throw money at American companies, to invest in their business schemes or scams, they couldn’t care less about your office. They just want your money, lots of it. Heck, they wouldn’t give a hoot even if you work out of a Motel 6 by the 101 freeway …. as long as you give them money.
So again, what’s this “great choice of sparkling office with a nice view” in San Francisco really about? Is this a necessary strategic move to oversee the deployment of our sovereign funds — our children’s money — in foreign-based ventures crucial to our economic competitiveness, ……. or is this yet another expensive stupid out of control ego trip by some chimps-in-suits condoned by a weak, gullible Prime Minister easily fooled by meaningless CONsultant jargons liberally dished out in slick Powerpoint presentations?
We value second opinion. Please share what you think.
Blogger Din Turtle wrote his opinion about it here >> http://dinturtle.blogspot.com/2013/09/najib-buka-satu-lagi-pejabat-milik.html?m=1
Punchy and truthful Bill Maher
A group of us friends watched Tanda Putera just now and are somewhat happy with the movie. Minus a few bloopers eg., seeing something out of place – a mercedes car from the 90′s shown in a scene supposedly during the 70′s, or police outriders with bikes from the 80′s etc., the movie itself was commendable.
These bloopers are negligible and did not really alter the essence of what the movie is trying to deliver. Even Hollywood films are not immune to bloopers.
Tanda Putera basically is just a story of Tun Abd Razak and Tun Dr. Ismail in events just prior to the racial riots of May 13, 1969 up to their respective passing. Tun Dr. Ismail in 1973 and Tun Abdul Razak in 1976.
We had fun trying to look for who’s who in a movie which is filled with famous personalities of our rich history. We can see Tun Saadon Zubir, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie, the young Tun Haniff Omar, the dashing Tun Tan Siew Sin, Dr Mahathir in his 40′s, and even a younger version of Tun Hussein Onn.
We are not going to discuss the story line of this movie; however this article will try to depict a few scenes which are worth notifying and cross reference it to the real incident that had happened during those times.
First off, the killing of an Umno worker by few chinese members of the Labour Party (one of the opposition parties at that point of time). It was shown in the first few minutes of the movie:
Shuhaimi Baba did a good job in depicting this incident as it sets the mood of the movie. Although this murder wasn’t the first inter-communal killing, it is sufficient to establish point of reference. Inter-communal killings and riots have been happening in Malaysia since the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s.
Racial riots of 13th May, 1969 wasn’t exactly the first nor was it the last.
Next was the death of a chinese Labour Party worker by the police.
Six days before the 1969 elections, 3 police constables came across a group of youths from the Labour Party painting anti-election slogans on the road. When challenged by the police, they attacked using iron rods and hurling firewood and stones. They put up such a fight that the police had to open fire in self defense. One of the youth was wounded and died later in the hospital.
The opposition took advantage of the youth’s death and wanted to organise a large funeral procession on the polling day itself!
Anyway, the police together with the permission from the Home Ministry however, gave the permit for the procession to be held on the 9th instead.
Tanda Putera captured this moment briefly with just a few dozens extras being used to populate a funeral procession. However, the real incident was much more sinister.
Back in 1969, 14,000 chinese marched for eight miles around Kuala Lumpur.
The sight of the jeering hooligans marching slowly around the city for that many miles must have been an agonising experience to bear for the Malays living within the city.
They chanted Maoist slogans, sang ‘The East is Red’, and displayed portraits of Mao Tse-tung and the Red flag. The procession passed through the heart of Kuala Lumpur and tied up traffic in almost every major street in the city and provoked Malay bystanders with shouts of ‘Malai si!’ (Death to the Malays) and ‘Hutang darah bayar darah’ (Blood debt will be repaid with blood).
And all this was just a day before election day. As the result, the election on 10th May 1969 was an extremely highly-charged affair.
Then Tanda Putera showed the events after the election results were announced. After which, the Gerakan Party as well as DAP party members hold victory parades all over Kuala Lumpur on 11th and 12th of May, 1969.
The account of what happened can be read below. Note that Tanda Putera DOWNPLAYED the real happenings probably due to the nature of the demonstration can be deemed too offensive for the current day audience. Please read and comprehend the situation at that time.
Next was the fact that Datuk Harun Idris climbed on top of a bus to calm the rowdy crowd already seething with anger over the victory parades illustrated above.
The background story of what had happened can be summed up by what Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad had said 4 years ago:
The tragic and vicious incident need not have happened had Tun Razak’s message to Dato’ Harun Idris, the menteri besar of Selangor, reached him 30-minutes earlier or had Tan Sri David Tan Chee Khoon and Tun Lim Chong Eu spoken to Tun Razak 30 minutes earlier relaying their decision not to cooperate with DAP to form the state government of Selangor nor worked together in Perak and elsewhere. I was beside Tun Razak when he took the calls from them late past tea time on the fateful evening of 13 May. I recall clearly what Tun Razak told Harun “…the good news is you will continue to run Selangor. Chee Khoon and Chong Eu had just spoken to me that they want status quo preserved. So tell the people gathering at your house to disperse.” Harun thanked Tun and asked him to convey his gratitude to the two statesmen. Between five-to-ten minutes after that Harun rang Tun Razak to say that it was too late. As he was persuading them to disperse news reached the crowd that clashes had begun in Chow Kit Road and surroundings and beyond.
Tun Razak asked Harun to calm the gathering and urged him, in strong terms, to attempt his best to stop the clashes from escalating. The rest, as they say, is history. Though Harun and I were not on good political terms I must be fair. I think he did try, but by then, to no avail.
Again, you have to watch Tanda Putera to understand this incident in a more visualised manner.
What really happened though can best be described by the chilling hour-by-hour report by witnesses as stated below:
What was missing in the movie was Tun Dr. Ismail’s famous ‘Democracy is Dead’ speech on national television. That was a pivotal moment which could have driven the point on what repercussions of racial riots could be. Would have loved to hear that speech.
A glaring bit of inconsistency appears when Tanda Putera tried to slot in the then Dr. Mahathir’s letter and his subsequent sacking from Umno just a few days after the riot.
This is erroneous. Fact is, Dr. Mahathir wrote the letter to Tunku Abdul Rahman more than a month after the May 13th riot (17th June 1969) and was sacked in the middle of July. From the book “Surat Dari Dr Mahathir” by Zainuddin Maidin, it was stated:
Keruncingan hubungan Dr Mahathir dengan Tunku Abdul Rahman terus memperhebatkan lagi gelora politik tanahair terutama dalam kalangan orang Melayu selepas peritistiwa 13 Mei. Tunku menganggap surat Dr Mahathir kepadanya yang tersebar luas di seluruh tanahair sebagai memusnahkan seluruh pengorbanannya terhadap negara dan bangsa sejak 17 tahun lalu.
Ini mendorong Tunku memberikan kata dua kepada Umno. Pilih “saya atau Dr Mahathir”.
Apabila Timbalan Presiden Umno, Tun Abdul Razak menyampaikan kata dua ini kepada mesyuarat Majlis Kerja Tertinggi (MKT) Umno di Sri Taman pada 12 Julai 1969, Harun Idris berkata,
“Tun (Razak), kalau begitu, buat apa panggil mensyuarat ini, buang sahajalah Mahathir”.
Pandangan beliau disokong kuat oleh Ketua Kaum Ibu Umno, Tan Sri Fatimah Hashim dan juga Pengerusi Pemuda Umno Negeri Kedah, Syed Nahar Shahabudin.
Tun Abdul Razak seterusnya memberitahu bahawa Dr Mahathir sebagai ahli MKT telah melanggar tatatertib parti kerana membuat kenyataan kepada umum tentang perkara yang sangat penting mengenai parti.
If the DAP and their fans who never watched this movie are saying that this movie is fictional, then the scene where Dr Mahathir got sacked a few days after the racial riot, is indeed that piece of fiction.
The rest of the movie, including DAP members wrecking havoc and provoking the malays in Kuala Lumpur, are exactly shown as it had happened more than 44 years ago. Therefore, we could not fathom why would Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng are so against this movie.
Overall the movie itself, for its historical value, is good.
There were good acting skills being presented. Special mention has to be given to one Linda Hashim who played Tun Dr. Ismail’s wife. Her portrayal as Toh Puan Neno was realistic and showed true emotions demanded by such role. A friend actually cried as she cried over the death of her husband.
People should watch this movie if they are too lazy to read books of our nation’s history. It is a good effort. For far too long we as Malaysians were fed with history movies about ‘Zaman Jepun’ or Hang Tuah related movies.
Thank you Tanda Putera.
Any effort to exonerate DAP or the opposition of that time has been countered and quashed in the article which can be read HERE.
Oh dear, we think MALAYSIAN INSIDER has really gone down the drain in terms of editorial quality.
An article which was filled with factual errors and major delusions was published by this portal.
That article which was titled – ‘May 13 was not a racial riot’ was written by one called Stephen Ng.
We do not know who this Stephen Ng is, but we wish to correct his writing.
Maybe he was ignorant. Maybe he was brainwashed by Kua Kia Soong. But one obvious fact remains, he got his facts and chronology of the events wrong.
Basically, Stephen Ng was writing fiction.
Just like how DAP intended to falsify history by telling the current generation they were innocent and was not involved in the riots AT ALL, Stephen Ng was trying to divert the blame entirely on Umno; which he massively failed to do so.
Son, if you wish to rewrite history, please do so among your other gullible and ignorant friends. But you are writing for public consumption. You have ended up being a fool.
So let us begin.
We shall ignore the first part of his article since that was merely a justification to show the audience that he is credible enough to talk about May 13. But being a 5 year old boy in 1969 doesn’t warrant him any credence what more by only referring to Kua Kia Soong as his source of materials. Thus, based only by experience as a 5 year old boy living in the East Coast and using Kua Kia Soong’s laughable May 13 book as reference, we can already establish Stephen Ng’s expertise on the subject is next to nothing.
As a boy, I was listening in to every conversation that took place between my mother and other relatives and friends. There were horror stories of Malays killing the Chinese, and Chinese killing the Malays. But a phone conversation between my mother and my father that has never escaped my attention was that everything was peaceful in the East Coast.
My Father said that the Chinese and the Malays were having breakfast together. There was no riot in the East Coast. It was business as usual for them. Muthusamy, Ali and Ah Chong were still friends, when things went awry in Selangor. Why is that so, Datuk Seri Nazri?
JMD : Indeed there were no riots and relatively peaceful in the East Coast because the racial riots happened in Klang Valley. This IS a fact. Riots and racial clashes did happen. Stephen should be thankful his chinese neighbours didn’t provoke the malays there in East Coast. Why is that Stephen Ng? Because the chinese there were in the minority and at a minuscule percentage as compared to the much bigger chinese population in Klang Valley.
Racial riots? No way!
My answer is simple: May 13 was NOT a racial riot. It was the work of a few politicians who capitalised on sentiments of the day.
Although there were obvious bad vibes between the races, mainly perpetuated by politicians, citizens of the newly-minted country, who had already learnt to accept each other, were beginning to enjoy being fellow Malaysians.
In Kelantan and other parts of the country, or should I say, where PAS was in control, people were able to live more harmoniously since the day of Prophet Muhammad!
JMD : Yes because there were no DAP or Labour Party or Gerakan Party in Kelantan in 1969. Of course people in Kelantan lived harmoniously.
Who then caused the May 13 riots? I only found the answer very much later when I started reading the book by Dr Kua Kia Soong, May 13, and made my own observations in the past six years.
JMD : Please read other books than Kua Kia Soong’s heavily biased book. Kua Kia Soong was just trying to exonerate DAP.
Let me briefly share my thoughts.
May 13 is the work of politicians who lost the 1969 general election. The opposition had tied with the Alliance for control of the Selangor state legislature, a large setback in the polls for the Alliance. The big difference now is that Selangor is totally under Pakatan rule for the good of the people.
Several factors had created the tension. The then Menteri Besar of Selangor, Haron Idris was discontented with the results of the election. At the same time, another camp was discontented with Tunku Abdul Rahman, our beloved Bapa Malaysia.
At that point in time, Dr Mahahtir Mohamed had been sacked after his book, The Malay Dilemma, was banned. Tunku had warned that Mahathir was a big troublemaker, and Umno would be making a big mistake if it was to take him back into its fold.
JMD : Tun Mahathir was sacked by Umno more than TWO MONTHS after the racial riots. So Stephen Ng’s stupid assertion that May 13 happened because Tun Mahathir was sacked is not true at all. May 13 happened two days after the general elections. Therefore Stephen Ng, when was it Mahathir got sacked which had caused the riots?
Furthermore, Malay Dilemma was published a year after the riots (1970). Stephen Ng, when you say “At that point in time, Dr Mahahtir Mohamed had been sacked after his book, The Malay Dilemma, was banned”, you were dead wrong. Did you even made any serious attempt to read before you attempt to write this? Tunku never warned about Mahathir being a troublemaker prior to the riots. What are you smoking Stephen?
In his book, Dr Mahathir was able to create a sense of insecurity amongst the Malays and later to control their minds. This was a necessity for a non-Malay, like Mahathir to later become the country’s leader.
JMD : So Malay Dilemma which was not even written yet on 13th May 1969 was creating sense of insecurity amongst the Malays which caused the riots? Don’t you feel like an idiot now Stephen?
Knowing that his own kind is generally not accepted even amongst the Malays, till today, he would not admit that his father was from Kerala in India.
JMD : This paragraph above is the most racist thing this Stephen ‘I am not a racist’ Ng had written. Tun Mahathir’s father wasn’t from India. He was born here in this country. How delusional can you be? And you said Mahathir’s kind wasn’t accepted by the Malays? Care to elaborate what ‘kind’ is that? The condescending and supremacist undertone in Stephen Ng’s writings is not lost among the readers.
Seizing the opportunity to force the Tunku to step down, Dr Mahathir, Abdul Razak Hussein and Haron Idris were the key players in Umno politics.
JMD : So, since the chronology is all wrong, Stephen Ng had to improvise about this fictitious plot. If he had read Tunku’s own book, May 13 Before and After, Tunku himself admit there was no such thing. In fact, Tunku was the one suggested to form Mageran (don’t know what Mageran is? Look it up, Stephen).
To reach that state of Emergency, they had to lash it out on the economically stronger community – the Chinese, and in particular, the DAP, accusing the DAP as a provocateur. Why only the DAP and not the MCA, as both were also Chinese? The present MCA does not even come close to the MCA of those days, when it was still popular with the New Villages.
JMD : Stephen Ng must be such a simpleton. It was the DAP and the Labour Party who acted as provocateurs. There are no two ways about it. The undeniable FACT is, DAP was the provocateurs! Why is this so hard to swallow? Of course MCA wasn’t involved in the victory procession and provoking the malays in Kuala Lumpur on the 11th, 12th and 13th of May 1969. MCA was with the Alliance. And they lost badly. Why on earth would Stephen Ng want to bundle up MCA as the guilty party as well?
Fact is, DAP members who are mostly chinese and the now defunct Labour as well as Gerakan Party which were made up mostly of Indians and chinese were doing all the rankling against the malays.
It clearly shows this was not a racial riot, but the political manipulation by a few.
JMD : Yes and this is based on all the above fiction? Have you not seen pictures from that day?
In my opinion, everything was lumped into one big blame on the DAP because they won big. This is the same modus operandi used by Umno Baru till today, except that this time around, it is not only the DAP, but Pakatan taking over the state of Selangor.
JMD : Your opinion is wrong. Yes Stephen, your effort to absolve DAP of any guilt is as absurd as Kia Soong’s book. We can smell the desperation there. Afraid that your beloved DAP was actually a villain back then? Couldn’t accept the reality that DAP then (and now) were racist to the core? Judging from your racist jibe about Mahathir, you and DAP are in the same mould as well.
Our advice to Stephen Ng is this – in order to be a good writer on history or any subjects, one must read a lot more materials. Not just books by Kua Kia Soong, but also books from other writers.
Therefore to save society from people who write bad articles, we beg Stephen Ng to read just thesee two materials as a start:
The true and fair view of 13th May 1969 Racial Riots (there are some cool pictures in here Stephen, mostly on the chinese DAP etc throwing insults and provoking the malays)
After reading these two, we assure Stephen Ng that the riots on May 13, 1969 were indeed, racial. Please do not lie to your readers. It is already too much that you look down on other people’s ‘kind’, please do not be a liar too.
Why is DAP so eager to censure Tanda Putera without any of their leaders seen it?
DAP is so against Tanda Putera because it is a fact that they were one of the villains during May 13 racial riots and one of its leaders at that time is still alive today.
Don’t torture yourself with endless possibilities; for more information, just read:
Thank you and Selamat Hari Merdeka!
Let’s get something straight. A catchy tagline, symbolic logo, pretty colours that symbolize the ‘personality’ of the brand and a custom designed font are not Nation Branding.
Glossy advertisements that push the creative envelope and consist of content that is impossible for stakeholders to buy into or live up to, is not Nation Branding.
Expensive brochures and other marketing collateral that use light gray colours on white backgrounds and font sizes impossible to read is not Nation Branding.
Hugely expensive billboards that create awareness but do little else and are soon lost in the fog of the tens of thousands of messages consumers are exposed to every day is not Nation Branding.
It might have been possible to use such creative-driven branding to build a Nation Brand in the 1960s – 1990s, when countries and their advertising agencies focused more on getting attention than getting results.
But this is a different era. There are now so many channels to consumers, so many competitors all with a similar offering and so many distractions that it is no longer possible to build a Nation Brand in this way.
Furthermore, too many taglines have made promises the Nation couldn’t possibly keep or their marketing or PR collateral has left potential customers underwhelmed. This may not have been the fault of the Nation or it may be the result of poor internal implementation but it has resulted in a delivery failure that has negatively impacted all efforts till then. A case in point is the Incredible India campaign and the multiple attacks on women over the last year.
Moreover, engaging (not reaching) target markets through traditional channels with traditional tools is virtually impossible today. Especially in the digital age when consumers are more knowledgeable, have more choice and are more demanding.
So how do we make the Malaysia Nation Brand successful?
So how do we make it successful?
We would like to thank the people behind these websites for trying to correct our earlier article regarding the consultants’ slip-up:
There is always room for a right of reply here in this blog.
But it was not about who copied whom. But it is more about the people who had thought of the idea for our PM and how they had done a really sloppy job in making background check about the slogan.
But since there are over 50,000 words in the English vocabulary, the chances of two words coming together and coincide with national slogan of two countries is one in a billion, therefore it is no longer by chance. It is by design. Popular notion is, the same brand consultant was used.
It was written in the blog – Brand Consultant Asia:
At the end of last year some firms were invited to “submit slogans for a new Nation Branding project”. Of course a slogan isn’t a Nation Branding project but it was considered a start.
The slogan chosen was probably “Endless Possibilities” because this was used during the World Economic Forum in Davos to promote Malaysia as a South East Asia location for investment and tourism.
Therefore, it is advised that the PM’s department to screen these firms/consultants properly and carefully vet them for their previous and current clients. Do we need another embarrassment where our slogans were used by countries that are not really having good reputation with the majority of Malaysians? But in this case, it was none other than Israel.
Now here’s another youtube video from Mongolia taken more than a year ago.
(Taken from the blog – FOUL, with thanks)
There is really not enough thinking being done by the consultants when we paid them to come up with ‘Endless Possibilities’.
It could just be surfing the internet and youtube for catchy phrases. Was our money spent, justified?
We wonder how much money was spent by the consultants in Prime Minister’s inner circle for coming up with this new slogan that will ‘complement’ the previous 1Malaysia slogan.
Think of all the tax payers’ money spent to pay for those consultants in order to produce those two words.
And read the sites below as to where they had copied it from.
Please give the world something original. If you can’t even sort out a proper slogan and had to copy from other countries, then your implementation and grandiose ideas are doubtful to begin with. Any sane people will sack their advisors. But knowing this PM, he may promote them instead. Or give medals of honour. Even the phrase – Endless Possibilities doesn’t give out positive connotations.
What are the possibilities Barisan Nasional to lose the next general election? Endless!
But of course soon we will definitely hear the sorry excuses like – we thought about it earlier than the Israelis, or, it was just pure coincidence, both Prime Ministers of Israel and Malaysia have the same kind of thought patterns etc.
Sometimes, we just cannot rely on advisors who have time and time again proven to be liabilities to the government.
Just a small tip: please google the phrase first before giving it to the PM for him to announce; this might avoid any embarrassment.
TOURISM MINISTRY LAUNCHES DEDICATED WEBSITE PROMOTING ISRAEL AS A DESTINATION FOR CONFERENCE AND INCENTIVE MARKET
Written by Israel Tourism Ministry
Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi: “Israel is very well suited to the conference and incentive market – it is a modern, vibrant country with Jerusalem at its center and its advantages include a good year-round climate for events, its relatively small size that allows for easy, fast access from everywhere and its varied geography.”
The Ministry of Tourism promotes international conventions in Israel and is working to establish Israel as a major player in the incentive market. To this end, the ministry has recently launched a dedicated website promoting Israel as a unique destination for international conferences and incentive travel, under the slogan “Israel. One place. Endless Possibilities”.
The site, which is available in English and Russian, is aimed at the decision-makers and tourism specialists working in the conference and incentive market, in particular in Russia, UK, Germany, Italy and Holland. The website launch is being supported by a NIS 200,000 campaign in print and digital media.
In order to promote convention and incentive tourism, the ministry participates in trade fairs, organizes seminars and hosts orientation visits in Israel for tourism specialists and decision-makers in which they are introduced to the many options available for pre- and post-conference touring and activities for participants and their partners.
Research shows that employees who receive an experiential prize from their employees remember it better and for longer than a financial reward. Based on experience and research, the experiential incentive makes the recipient feel more loyal to his/her workplace and better appreciate his/her employer who not only invested money but also time and effort in arranging the experience. Employees who receive a special incentive return with greater motivation to the workplace and positively influence their colleagues who also want to share the experience.
Included within the website are videos, images, and detailed, user-friendly information that show how Israel can accommodate conferences from 50 – 10,000 participants in hotels and universities with state-of-the-art convention facilities, and a wide and varied range of incentive options underlying the message of one country with endless possibilities. These are divided into four main categories:
The site also includes contact details of relevant Israeli service providers who specialize in conference and incentive travel, as well as the Israel Government Tourist Offices around the world.
I wrote this paragraph about Khairy Jamaluddin in an article (do read it again, thank you) a couple of months back:
There is also this principle that one must always use in politics. When the enemy hates you, you are doing the right thing. But when your political enemy is loving you, then something is indeed wrong.
Therefore, when the opposition leaders, no less than Anwar Ibrahim had lavished praises to Pak Lah over the purported publication of ‘Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia’ we will certainly have to take a closer look at what that implies.
Not to mention the fact that book itself will be launched by none other than Nurul Izzah, the daughter of Umno’s nemesis. Nurul Izzah’s presence for the book launch is an obvious symbolism that the book itself has the blessings of Anwar Ibrahim.
Is there anything else to be said in this matter?
Let us read what the main culprit had to say:
KENYATAAN MEDIA Y.A.BHG TUN ABDULLAH HAJI AHMAD BADAWI
Sejak dua tiga hari yang lepas, banyak berita diterbit mengenai ‘buku Pak Lah’. Isu ini juga mendapat liputan luas dalam media sosial dengan pelbagai reaksi dan komen. Sebelum saya memberi apa-apa komen, mungkin saya perlu memberi sedikit penjelasan tentang buku tersebut.
Pertamanya, buku tersebut tidak ditulis oleh saya. Buku ini disusun oleh dua ahli akademik, James Chin dan Bridget Welsh, dengan memuatkan beberapa rencana oleh pelbagai penulis yang telah menyumbangkan tulisan masing-masing mengenai pentadbiran saya sebagai Perdana Menteri. Ada yang dikhabarkan positif dan banyak juga yang negatif dan kritikal.
Kedua, saya sendiri hanya terlibat melalui wawancara yang dibuat oleh James Chin dan Bridget Welsh. Wawancara ini lebih kepada menjawab soalan-soalan yang dibangkitkan oleh penulis-penulis yang telah menyumbang kepada buku tersebut dan memberi saya ruang untuk menjelaskan beberapa perkara dari sudut saya sendiri.
Ketiga, saya tidak menaja atau meminta buku tersebut diterbitkan. Sudah menjadi perkara biasa para akademik membuat analisa tentang sejarah politik negara kita dan sudah pasti era saya tidak terlepas dari kajian ilmiah. Saya cuma telah setuju untuk diwawancara agar suara, pendapat serta penjelasan saya dapat dimuatkan didalam buku tersebut.
Keempat, oleh kerana saya bukan penerbit, pencetak, pengarang ataupun penulis buku tersebut, saya tidak tahu, tidak diberitahu dan tidak bertanggungjawab diatas mana-mana jemputan untuk melancarkan atau membincangkan buku tersebut. Berita yang mengatakan pemimpin dari parti pembangkang dijemput untuk melancarkan buku ini di Singapura – kalaupun benar – adalah keputusan penerbit buku, bukan saya.
Kelima, saya tidak merancang untuk menghadiri pelancaran buku tersebut. Ini kerana saya tidak mahu orang membuat andaian yang buku ini ditulis atau ditaja oleh saya. Saya cuma menjawab soalan yang ditanya. Biarlah jawapan-jawapan saya menjadi tumpuan pembaca.
Berlatarbelakangkan fakta-fakta diatas, saya berharap orang awam mendapat gambaran yang lebih jelas tentang ‘buku Pak Lah’. Sekali lagi, ini bukan buku yang ditulis atau ditaja oleh saya. Mungkin ada yang bertanya, kenapa Pak Lah setuju untuk diwawancara oleh pengarang-pengarang yang dikatakan selalu menulis rencana yang kritikal? Saya bersetuju diwawancara kerana perlu ada penjelasan saya sendiri didalam kajian ilmiah ini. Suka atau tidak, setuju atau tidak, saya berpegang kepada prinsip keterbukaan sebagai paksi kepada demokrasi yang matang. Prinsip keterbukaan inilah yang saya amalkan apabila didatangi dengan permohonan oleh para pengarang buku ini untuk diwawancara. Walaupun saya dimaklumkan buku ini bakal memuatkan rencana yang kritis dan ‘unflattering’ tentang kepimpinan saya, saya masih setuju diwawancara atas semangat keterbukaan demi perdebatan yang seimbang dengan mengambil kira semua sudut pandangan.
Sudah pasti pandangan-pandangan dalam buku ini akan mengundang reaksi-reaksi tertentu. Terpulanglah kepada semua pihak untuk membuat rumusan masing-masing. Prinsip keterbukaan bermaksud kita sedia memberi ruang kepada semua untuk bersuara. Tetapi janganlah pula ada yang membuat andaian bahawa buku ini ditulis oleh Pak Lah yang sudah bersubahat dengan pembangkang untuk menentang partinya sendiri. Itu sudah memesong fakta dan menjadi fitnah. Apa juga teguran yang diberikan dalam wawancara saya yang dimuatkan dalam buku ini dibuat kerana saya ingin melihat UMNO terus diberikan mandat dan kepercayaan oleh rakyat. Saya tak pernah meninggalkan UMNO dan Insya’Allah bila tiba masanya nanti, saya akan menghembuskan nafas terakhir saya di dunia ini masih lagi sebagai ahli UMNO yang cintakan negaranya.
First and foremost, it does not matter if this book was not written by Pak Lah himself. But the fact that he contributed his thinking in the form of specifically arranged interview session which in turn became the very first chapter of the book shows that it wasn’t just a case of ‘saya tidak menaja atau meminta buku tersebut diterbitkan’. Surely an agreement should have been made to ensure that he will be indemnified by the publisher should litigation suits were brought forward against him. Surely proper controls and mechanism have been made in order to publish a book which is beyond reproach and above suspicion.
What is more important is the fact that Pak Lah should have the awareness that this book might be used against Umno by the opposition leaders. Sure enough, you can see Anwar Ibrahim squeezing every ounce of it with glee. It is good to have ’semangat keterbukaan‘. But intelligent people should know that there is time and place for such ‘keterbukaan’. The last time he wanted to have this sort of thing, he lost 5 states and for the first time in history, the two thirds majority in Parliament.
If there is such written publishing agreement then surely there is a clause inserted by his team that the publisher must not let the book be exploited by politicians especially from the opposition in order to further their cause. The fact that Nurul Izzah is launching it proves that a) the opposition is politicising it and b) there is no such clause.
The inability to look further beyond the nose is a stark reminder of how ill-equipped and poor Pak Lah was as a Prime Minister. It is like the skillset did not match the job scope. Some people can wing it. Some will thrive in it. But most fail miserably. Today, we are living in his mess.
And he probably did more damage to himself and also to his son in law’s reputation within the party by using this opportunity to run with a pack of opposition figures.
Since the first chapter is a rebuttal of whatever criticisms being hurled (if any) by other writers in the subsequent chapters, then it will be opened to further criticisms and a trip down memory lane.
Already Terence Netto, a pro-opposition writer had written about it -
Here Abdullah missed out on a good opportunity to shed necessary perspective on a matter that dogs almost all serving politicians: how to counter the inevitable public perception of bias when the powerful are blood relations to underlings seen as wielding undue influence?
Abdullah’s response – conveyed in reflections that appear in a compilation of assessments of his premiership titled “Awakening: the Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia” – is flat denial that Khairy wielded “undue influence” on him in the five years and five months he was premier.
It was against this background of Abdullah’s vacillation on police reform that Khairy Jamaluddin’s transition from political novice to powerful presence behind the scenes took place.
The grapevine began to buzz with stories of Khairy’s influence on major decisions and even of his interference with the civil service.
Exasperatingly, Abdullah mixed vacillation over police reform with deafness to the need to decisively demonstrate that Khairy was not a power behind the scenes.
Khairy increasingly became a target of criticism even as public disappointment mounted against Abdullah over the latter’s dithering on reform.
It is disingenuous on Abdullah’s part to now say that Khairy had no “undue influence” on him. As well believe Wanita Umno leader Shahrizat Jalil when she contended that she had nothing to do with the scandalous way in which a national cattle breeding project was managed by a company run by her husband and children.
Pak Lah’s simple flat out denial in the book that Khairy had vast influence in his administration reminded us about an interview he made in 2006 denying that his son Kamal Abdullah had received any contracts from the government. A simple discovery later revealed that Scomi, a company which his son has a lot of interests in at that time, received huge contracts from Petronas and in other companies. Some of them are:
1. In March, The Malay Mail reported that KTM had in 2005 awarded a five-year RM50 million contract to Scomi Group ‘to overhaul and maintain’ as many as 1,000 wagons.
2. Also in March, Business Times reported that Scomi Group was going to submit a bid for a RM120 million contract ‘to make body parts for about 400 buses for state-owned Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd’. Which they eventually won.
3. In April, The Edge reported that Scomi Engineering Bhd is acquiring a 51% stake in MTrans Transportation Systems Sdn Bhd for RM30 million to provide it a platform to be a key player in urban transportation.
4. Scomi Marine Bhd received a letter of intent from TNB Fuel Services Sdn Bhd for a coal shipment contract for three years from Oct 1, with an option to extend for another two years, the company said. Scomi Marine announced to Bursa Malaysia on April 14 that under the contract, it would be required to transport 500,000 tonnes (with 20% variation) of coal from Australia, Indonesia and South Africa yearly. It said TNB Fuel Services would determine the actual quantity of coal to be transported and from which country upon finalisation of the contract, The Edge reported.
5. Also recently, Scomi Group Bhd, an oil services company, won a contract from Petronas Carigali (Turkmenistan) Sdn Bhd to provide drilling fluids and other services for exploration works in Block 1, offshore Turkmenistan.\
In this particular matter, he actually lied in a live TV interview!
There were more lies and examples of ineptitude which he had made throughout his career as the PM. Did anyone remember him saying on 13th February 2008 that the Parliament will not be dissolved? But he made an about turn and dissolved the Parliament on the very next day that he earlier confirmed won’t be dissolved! What kind of clowning deceit was he trying to do? A stupid one of course.
When the leader lies to the rakyat and doing stupid things, obviously the cabinet ministers will do the same. Anyone remember back in May 2008 his cabinet assured the rakyat that there will be no increase in petrol prices till September? Well, they increased it 78 sen to RM2.70 in August!
That was the single biggest jump in fuel price ever recorded in our history. To make matters worse, his minister said that they wanted to make a 50 sen increase but decided on 78 sen because they do not want to increase it twice later on. Wasn’t that a galactically stupid decision? In the mean time, the rakyat suffered inflation and all kinds of repercussions.
Back in 2007, he also quashed rumours that he had remarried but soon afterwards, it was revealed he was indeed married a few weeks before that. Talk about a natural born liar.
There were many many more mistimed and ill-advised decisions which were made during his time as Prime Minister. One of the biggest mistakes they made is the decision to create Iskandar Corridor in Johor. Many parties had warned his administration that opening up lands for sale to foreigners particularly Singaporeans will create damaging implications to the state of Johor.
Currently, the Menteri Besar of Johor is having headaches on how to curb the spiralling home property prices and how to curb influx of foreigners gaining properties there. All these negative implications have detrimental effects on the locals there particularly the malays; the largest BN vote bank in Johor.
But to the Fourth Floor boys at that time, wealth and quick money coming out of it was more important.
And the fact that he revealed he had a sleeping disorder called ‘sleep apnea’ which made him dozed off during meetings is prove that he indeed, was sleeping on his job. A responsible leader would have turned down the offer. But he felt that having power is more honourable than embarrassing the nation when pictures of him sleeping during meetings and public assemblies were circulating in media all over the world.
But miraculously, he revealed that his sleeping disorder was cured after he had stepped down. The fact that the illness could be cured easily is testament that all this was just an excuse. He was indeed irresponsible and had laid too much importance on other people to run this country.
Back then the monicker and popular phrases people had associated with him were – The Sleeping PM, Kerajaan Tiga Beranak, UnderLah Pak Lah etc’
Now this is the type of Prime Minister which after 2009, all the opposition leaders love to compliment. Even now all of them are heaping praises towards Pak Lah and his son in law, Khairy Jamaluddin. Again, when your political enemies are loving you, then something is indeed wrong. What sort of pact is going on here?
Shall we go back in time and read what Lim Kit Siang, had written about Pak Lah? You can read it here. Mind you that this is one of the ‘milder’ articles about our PM back then. Excerpt:
Abdullah should seriously find out why more and more people, including in government, the ruling coalition and the public, are talking in this vein about “a sleeping PM” when it was never said against the four previous Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the first 46 years of Malaysian nationhood.
One could disagree with the first four Prime Ministers, whether on government policies, measures or specific issues, but no one would attribute it to lack of focus, attention or interest by the Prime Minister.
Unfortunately, under Abdullah’s premiership, more and more people are putting the blame for many of the ills in government and country on “a sleeping PM”, which has not been helped by several factors, including:
- Abdullah’s trebling up as Minister for Internal Security and Minister for Finance when it is clear that he does not have the time nor temperament to be a full-time hands-on head for either Ministry.
- His 83 overseas trips in 44 months as Prime Minister;
- His “gate-keepers” at the “fourth-storey” in Putrajaya who have made the very personable Abdullah even more inaccessible to those who want to meet him when compared to his predecessor Tun Dr. Mahathir, who had the public image of being arrogant and haughty.
I have for instance stopped asking for an appointment with the Prime Minister after meeting him twice after the 2004 general election where he would invariably end each meeting with the polite standing offer to call on him whenever necessary. This was after my several requests to meet up with him were blocked by his “gatekeepers”.
I do not think Abdullah is aware as to who are asking to see him. In fact, I do not think Abdullah even reads or is informed of the gist of official letters written to him, for instance, my letter registering “strongest protest possible” to him on Tuesday at the most unsatisfactory reply to a parliamentary question in Malaysian parliamentary history which totally evaded the specific query posed — and the reply was in the name of the Prime Minister.
I do not think Abdullah has seen my “strongest possible protest” letter which had also asked for the missing answer to be furnished.
In contrast, I never had doubts that when I wrote a letter to Tun Dr. Mahathir when he was Prime Minister, it would be seen by him. There was one occasion when I wrote to Mahathir protesting against his public criticism of the DAP for not speaking up against the atrocities and genocide committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, telling him why it was baseless and untrue as he was victim of the media blackout of DAP. I immediately received a terse one-paragraph apology from Mahathir!
Although I am Parliamentary Opposition Leader, I do not want talk that the country has a “sleeping PM” to continue, as this is not good whether for the people or the country internationally.
Secondly, he must re-assert authority as Prime Minister and ensure that he is in control of the “gate-keepers” in the “fourth storey of Putrajaya” and not being controlled by his gatekeepers.
So Lim Kit Siang, who are the gatekeepers? Are they still running around creating havoc in this country? Are they your friends now?
There are a lot more we can write here but the most important thing regarding the book is this – it is just an effort to change what really happened during his years as Prime Minister.
- Ineptitude and stupidity are disguised as inability to reform Umno (Umno members are to be blamed here),
- Mismanagement and corruption of his cronies and family members are disguised as “Mahathir’s pet projects will make this country bankrupt”,
- Cronyism, nepotism and total control of mainstream media editors are disguised as ‘democratisation of society’,
- Wastage and unwise decisions are disguised as national projects,
- Dictatorial tendency where nobody within the party can criticise the Prime Minister is disguised as proponent of democracy
Perhaps the best way to look into how easy people forget what had happened merely 10 years ago is from the tweet of one called Lokman Adam. In the effort to defend Pak Lah, today he tweeted:
“Pak Lah pun pernah bawa kita menang besar PRU 2004, kita juga pernah hilang 2/3 tahun 2008.”
That is an erroneous statement. Pak Lah did not bring about the huge mandate in 2004. He wasn’t the main factor. He was barely 5 months into his term as the Prime Minister back then. What kind of reform has he done within that short space of time to garner such huge mandate? But the loss of 2008, yes we can attribute it mainly on him, judging from all the stinging vitriol by the opposition leaders as well as the rakyat’s loss of confidence in him. All those were resulted from his own undoing.
But of course, we have to forgive Lokman Adam because wasn’t even in Umno during that time as he was with Anwar Ibrahim in PKR. But now after he crossed over to Umno during Pak Lah’s reign and currently managed to become a Youth Exco, memory could be a little bit jarred.
There is no point defending the indefensible. It is a futile effort.
Nevertheless, people must remember what had really happened and since we could not rely on the opposition leaders to tell the truth about Pak Lah nor can we rely on the Umno Youth members in correcting the perception that this book could just be a pact between Pak Lah and the opposition, then we must use our own ability to search for the truth. Just use google and search its archives on all the happenings from 2004 to 2008.
This trip down the memory lane will make us re-live the nightmares.
Following up with the previous article regarding the government’s ill-conceived idea of repealing ISA and Emergency Ordinance Act, below is an article regarding a similar issue happening in California at this very moment (my comment after the article)
Supreme Court orders California to release 10,000 inmates, despite governor’s protest
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday paved the way for the early release of nearly 10,000 California inmates by year’s end despite warnings by Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials that a public safety crisis looms if they’re forced to open the prison gates.
A majority of justices refused an emergency request by the governor to halt a lower court’s directive for the early release of the prisoners to ease severe overcrowding at California’s 33 adult prisons.
The decision was met with concern by law enforcement officials in the state.
Covina Police Chief Kim Raney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said the justices ignored efforts already underway to reduce prison populations and “chose instead to allow for the release of more felons into already overburdened communities.”
Brown’s office referred a request for comment to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where Secretary Jeff Beard vowed that the state would press on with a still-pending appeal in hope of preventing the releases.
A panel of three federal judges had previously ordered the state to cut its prison population by nearly 8 percent to roughly 110,000 inmates by Dec. 31 to avoid conditions amounting to cruel and unusual punishment. That panel, responding to decades of lawsuits filed by inmates, repeatedly ordered early releases after finding inmates were needlessly dying and suffering because of inadequate medical and mental health care caused by overcrowding.
Court-appointed experts found that the prison system had a suicide rate that worsened last year to 24 per 100,000 inmates, far exceeding the national average of 16 suicides per 100,000 inmates in state prisons.
Brown had appealed the latest decision of the panel and, separately, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to cancel the early release order while considering his arguments that the state is making significant progress in improving conditions. The high court refused Friday to stop the release but did not rule on the appeal itself. Corrections Secretary Beard said the state would press on with that, so the “merits of the case can be considered without delay.”
Lawyers representing Brown had argued to the high court that releasing 10,000 more inmates would mean letting violent criminals out on the streets and overwhelm the abilities of law enforcement and social services to monitor them.
“No data suggests that a sudden release of inmates with these characteristics can be done safely,” the state said in its filing. “No state has ever done it.” (Malaysia has)
The panel of federal judges has consistently rejected that argument. The judges, prisoners’ lawyers and others say other states have marginally reduced inmate sentences without sparking an increase in crime.
The governor said the state has already transferred thousands of low-level and nonviolent offenders to county jails, but that local officials in turn have been forced into releasing some inmates early to ease their own overcrowding issues.
The Supreme Court’s ruling rejected Brown’s plea over the objections of Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who all said they would have granted the state’s request.
Scalia, in a dissent joined by Thomas, wrote that the previous order by the three-judge panel was a “terrible injunction” that threatens public safety. Scalia said the state’s evidence shows it has made meaningful progress and that such reductions in the inmate population are no longer necessary.
In recent years, the special panel of federal judges accused Brown of attempting to delay and circumvent their orders. They previously threatened to cite the governor for contempt if he did not comply.
The judges waived all state laws in June as they ordered Brown to expand good-time credits leading to early release. They also directed the governor to take other steps, including sending more inmates to firefighting camps, paroling elderly felons, leasing cells at county jails and slowing the return of thousands of inmates now housed in private prisons in other states.
If those steps fail, the judges ordered the state to release by year’s end enough inmates from a list of lower-risk offenders until it reaches the maximum allowed population.
In its latest filing with the Supreme Court, the state argued that no governor has the unilateral authority to take the steps ordered by the three-judge panel. That would require approval by the Legislature or judicial pre-emption of California’s core police powers, the administration argued.
Brown has said the state is spending $2 billion on new or expanded facilities for inmate medical and mental health treatment. That includes seven new centers for mental health treatment and the opening last June of an $839 million prison hospital in Stockton that will treat 1,722 inmates requiring long-term care. The state also has boosted hiring and salaries for all types of medical and mental health professionals.
The state has already reduced the population by 46,000 inmates since 2006.
More than half of the decrease that has occurred so far is due to a two-year-old state law – known as realignment – that is sentencing offenders convicted of crimes considered nonviolent, non-serious and non-sexual to county jails instead of state prisons.
The USA shouldn’t go far to learn about the repercussions of releasing criminals into the streets. They can see the terrible effects Malaysia is currently going through after the 2,600 criminals detained under the Emergency Ordinance Act were released at the end of 2011.
For the months since April 2013 to 3rd August 2013 alone, there were 33 shooting incidents happening across the country already. Imagine if 10,000 inmates running loose in the west coast of USA.
There is a gross lack of empathy from the supreme court judges overseeing the case above. There is a phrase, ‘the law is an ass’; it means, an application of the law that is contrary to common sense.
Here, the judges were more worried about the rights of the criminals in the prisons in California. Their well being, their basic rights as human beings eventhough most of them had committed grievous and heinous crime imaginable. These fools, who were unelected by the people and all of whom are living in secured manors with bodyguards etc couldn’t care less about the consequences of their actions or directives. On the other hand, Governor Jerry Brown, who were elected into office by the people to safeguard the people’s interests and safety is more than correct in saying that “releasing 10,000 more inmates would mean letting violent criminals out on the streets and overwhelm the abilities of law enforcement and social services to monitor them”.
Even his police chief do not agree with the decisions made by the judges. The solution was simple – build more prisons and improve on the living conditions and reduce the abuses in prisons. Perhaps only then the lawsuits from inmates can be minimised.
The naiveté of these law practitioners are beyond comprehension. Do they really believe that should one of those 10,000 criminals went on and killing an innocent victim months after he was released, it wouldn’t be their fault? Is the life of one innocent human being less valuable than the cost to build more prisons?
Read what the Suaram had to say when they urged the government back in 2011 to repeal the Emergency Ordinance Act:
Repeal Emergency Ordinance: Report
KUALA LUMPUR: The Emergency (Public Order and Crime Prevention) Ordinance (EO) should be repealed and the country should just rely on criminal laws to prosecute criminals, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
“The EO was enacted in 1969 as a temporary measure to respond to the May 13 riots. But for nearly four decades, the government has used the law to detain criminal suspects without trial for lengthy periods as a shortcut when there is insufficient evidence,” said HRW Asia division researcher Sahr Muhammed Ally today.
She was speaking to reporters after launching a 35-page report “Convicted Before Trial: Indefinite Detention Under Malaysia’s Emergency Ordinance”, a result of a one-year research project she conducted.
The report documents how the Malaysian government has detained criminal suspects indefinitely without charge or trial, and subjected them to ill-treatment while in detention at the Simpang Renggam Behavioural Rehabilitation Centre.
It also highlights how detainees are re-arrested upon court-ordered release.
Sahr pointed out that the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police had also recommended for the EO to be abolished because it had outlived its purpose and violates civil liberties.
The Royal Commission had also said the EO was a “lazy way” for the police to lock up suspects without conducting proper investigation.
“However, nothing has been done about it (since then),” she said.
Sahr also called for an investigation into Simpang Renggam’s inhumane and degrading conditions where cells are overcrowded and unhygienic, and food inedible.
Suaram secretariat member S. Arutchelvan said the EO has been abused more than the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA).
He said while there were more than 100 detainees under the ISA as of last year and more than 100 under the DDA as of end of 2004, there were 712 EO detainees as of last year (2005).
Arutchelvan said there were EO detainees who were juveniles, and detainees who have been held for almost eight years.
The EO allows for detention without trial that can be renewed indefinitely every two years, after the first 60 days of detention.
Arutchelvan said the EO can be used against anyone.
“Many who are detained are left wondering why they were detained in the first place,” he said.
He noted that other groups have also called for the EO to be repealed, including Suhakam, the Bar Council and the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights.
Also present at the launch was former EO detainee Mohd Samsudin Mohd Ibrahim, who was remanded for a total of 143 days in several lockups in Kedah, Penang and Perak before being re-arrested and detained under the EO for 60 days.
He was later ordered to be in restricted residence for two years in Jerantut for robbery.
“I lost my business and I was cut off from my family,” Mohd Samsudin said.
Sahr and Suaram will be submitting the HRW report to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz on Monday (Aug 28, 2006) at Parliament.
Was that biased report from Suaram used by the government in deciding how the EO to be repealed? We can easily imagine how that report got its way into the hands of PM Najib’s many consultants and idiotic advisors and then after a couple of hours of discussing among themselves over coffee, they decided to advise the PM that the EO and ISA should indeed be repealed. That would certainly bring more votes for Barisan Nasional in General Elections 2013!
No nationwide research was done BY the government, no in-depth review was consulted from the police, no study were made to analyse the after effects. The only thing they did was – how to write a magnificent speech on the eve of Malaysia Day 2011 to wow the rakyat.
The rakyat was indeed shocked at that time. The opposition were smiling. And fast forward to present time, the rakyat is still shocked by the shortsightedness and by all the blundering mistakes made by this administration. Meanwhile the opposition is laughing so hard, they should not even say anything. The government of Barisan Nasional is tying its own noose without anyone’e help.
‘When the enemy is making a mistake, do not interrupt them’, we would imagine that is what Anwar Ibrahim is currently thinking.
To the clueless consultants and advisors in Prime Minister’s Department, Sri Perdana as well as in Pemandu, the Bar Council and lawyers are not the ones responsible for the safety and security of the rakyat. They are not the stakeholders. If we must tell you who are the real stakeholders for this, then this article is too intelligent for you to comprehend.
Recently, taking a swipe at the EO, they was a lawyer who said (can’t remember which one, or perhaps maybe a junior minister who said it) – ‘the laws in this country is already adequate to capture a criminal. There is no need for a preventive law.’
That person must be high on drugs or maybe just plain imbecilic when he said it. It is not about capturing or punishing a criminal that we are worried about. It is about preventing and reducing crime.
There is no point capturing and putting a criminal in jail AFTER he had committed a crime or worse, he killed someone. Will 20 years jail term bring back the life of someone he has killed?
What if during a robbery, his family member was murdered by that criminal. Will his words – ‘the laws in this country is already adequate to capture a criminal. There is no need for a preventive law,’ bring back his loved ones from the dead?
Prevention of Crime Act won’t solve anything too. First, it caters for crime suspects only in Peninsular Malaysia, and it only provides 28 days remand (not detention) for investigations and conducting an enquiry. After that, if there are no concrete evidence accepted by the magistrate, the criminal will be released to plot and conceive his crime another day. And sometimes, it’s not just the law that acts like an ass, the magistrate and the below par prosecutors can be asses too.
Some people with high position may look smart, but deep inside, they are nothing more than a shady nincompoop, disguising themselves with impeccable English and surrounded by equally idiotic yes-men.
Whatever it may be, prevention is always better when lives are at stake. If there are abuses in the preventive law, you correct them and reinforce it with better check and balance within that law. We do not abandon it just because Suaram said so. Whose interests is this Prime Minister is serving?
In the effort to outdo and hijack the label ‘reformer’ from Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak wanted to be a Reformer too. What he had successfully done was unbuckling the rakyat’s safety mechanism just to please a few segments of a larger population.
No wonder the street criminals have much to thank him for.
Since we the people know that the cabinet is running around like a headless chicken, what the PM should do is this – just follow what Seinfeld had advised his friend George Constanza; “if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.”
If your advisor and consultants are telling you one thing, just do the complete opposite. That should do the trick. You then will be fine.
Albert Einstein said something to the effect – ‘A problem cannot be solved with the same kind of brains that was used when the problem was first created’. We are paraphrasing of course. But the point we are making is the same…
Since the consultants and advisors gave the wrong advice to create this problem, it’s time to dump all them and get better ones.
We read with glee when the Prime Minister said the government will aid cops in improving effectiveness to tackle crime. Ironic because he was the one responsible to create the mess that the police and the public is currently nose-deep in.
PUTRAJAYA- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the government is prepared to give the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) whatever is needed within reason and affordability to raise the effectiveness of the force in fighting crime, particularly serious crime in the country.
The Prime Minister also expressed concern over a spate of killings using firearms lately, saying it affected public confidence and increased fear with regard to security and serious crime.
In this regard, he said the police must take immediate action to regain public confidence following the developments with regard to security lately.
“It is up to the police to ask from the government what they require in terms of enhancing the capability within reason and within affordability. We will provide the police (with the necessary tools) to fight organised crime and serious crime in the country.
“We are prepared to consider the request and requirements of the police as long as there is a guarantee to safeguard against abuse of power and human rights,” he said at a media conference after chairing the National Finance Council Meeting 2013 at the Finance Ministry, here.
For immediate action, Najib said the police would use the existing law to implement whatever possible in the fight against serious crime.
In addition, he said a sub-committee comprising several ministers including the Home Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department would be set up.
Najib said the sub-committee would discuss with the Attorney-General and Inspector-General of Police to determine additional provisions in the law that could strengthen the police capacity to act.
“This matter can be brought up to the next Parliament session.
“We cannot allow the situation to persist. Immediate and serious action must be taken by the authorities to bring back public peace and confidence,” he said.
The stupidity continues.
The reason why there is a spate of killings in this country is because of the sudden influx of mercenaries and drug lords. Where did they come from? You can bet they came from the 2,600 criminals being released when the Emergency Ordinance Act was repealed back in 2011 together with the ISA.
The reason why ISA and the EO were repealed because the Prime Minister, under the wrong advise given by his consultants, thought that ISA and EO are against human rights, because eventhough it is good for the country, there are bound to be abuse of power.
Therefore, if we repeal the ISO and the EO, we will definitely win more votes as the people will see that the government is having a first world country mentality.
Those were some of the words bandied about by the Prime Minister’s consultants and his myriad of advisers. All these liberals and so-called first worlders have this deluded perception that should the very laws and the social fabric of this country be reformed based at par with other first world democratic countries, the PM will get more votes than his predecessor. Two thirds majority even.
But in actual fact, that wasn’t what the rakyat needs. That is like putting the cart before the horse. You first need to win votes, then reform the country with the huge mandate you are given. Not the other way around. That would be as the malays say – “yang dikejar tak dapat, yang dikendong keciciran”.
What say you advisers and consultants? Busy counting money and driving Aston Martins?
You want the PM to be a reformer? Look what you have gotten the country into. And with an even fewer parliamentary seats.
And back in 2011 when the ISA and EO were repealed on the eve of Malaysia Day, they were repealed without the proper consultation with the police and the public.
If there were consultation, reviews and proper research, there wouldn’t be such lawlessness in this country as the result of that decision. And now, like an after thought, the PM is seen like a buffoon, chastising the police for being weak in combating crime when he himself had clipped their wings.
The only reason why the ill-advised move was made is because the PM was too busy serving the interests of the opposition leaders instead of the interests of the rakyat.
ISA and EO was repealed only due to its probability of being abused for political mileage.
So how do we deal with abuse of power? We punish the abuser! We do not repeal the whole law.
Yes ISA has the perception that it was abused every now and then but did the government do anything to curb the abuse? In the famous debacle involving a journalist being detained under the ISA by Syed Hamid Albar a few years ago, did Syed Hamid goes to court for it? Or at least being subjected to an inquiry? Was he ever penalised about the fiasco? No he did not. Not getting elected as a general election candidate certainly cannot be classified as a punishment.
Similarly, if there are dirty cops, do we disband the whole police force?
The same goes to the law. We do not repeal the law and then made the mess out of it and in the end tries to enact a new one which are similar to the previous one. Isn’t that foolish? Isn’t that stupid?
In the case of the EO, since when do we concerned ourselves with the human rights of drug lords and assassins? So what if these drug lords and gangsters were locked up without trial? Since when is the rakyat’s safety and security stand second to the rights of these criminals?
Is the government that daft? Do you know who are terribly afraid of prevention laws? Yes, the criminals and perhaps some politicians who are actively against it. Maybe they do not have loved ones. Or maybe they do not fear being randomly shot at by drug lords and their henchmen. Or maybe they themselves are up to no good.
This blog has written about the security issues of this country should the ISA be repealed nearly 2 years ago. It can be read here (please re-read it).
Given the severity of the issue and also the changing world environment we are living in, the abolishment of such laws will have a direct and quick impact on the citizens.
… the continuity of our nation’s peace and stability is paramount no matter what is at stake and as the US had shown us, even human rights to freedom has to take a backseat when dealing with dangerous elements within the country.
It is hoped that Malaysia will safely chart its course based on the same wisdom and the same experience that had made it relatively one of the most peaceful and successful country ever existed today.
And now yet another stupidity is about to happen. The repeal of Sedition Act. And in its place, the National Harmony Act or whatever.
PUTRAJAYA: The government’s power in dealing with any actions threatening national unity and harmony will not be affected by the decision to abolish the Sedition Act and replacing it with the National Harmony Act.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the new act would be guided by three key principles to deal with actions that could incite hatred and insult any institutions and existing provisions under the Constitution.
“(Firstly,) the new act will address any action that can incite hatred and raise disloyalty towards the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any ruler,” he said after chairing the 10th Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) council meeting and witnessing the signing and exchanging of four memorandums of agreements on developmental projects in the northern corridor worth RM1.96 billion.
Najib said, secondly, the new act would address actions to spread malicious intent and create racial tension among the different segments of the population in the country.
“Thirdly, it will deal with any attempts to question matters involving the rights, status, special privileges, sovereignty or fixed prerogative as stipulated and protected under the Federal Constitution or Articles 151, 153 and 181 of the Federal Constitution.
Referring to sex bloggers Alvin Tan Jye Yee and his Singaporean girlfriend, Vivian Lee, Najib said the young couple’s rude and disrespectful act towards Islam showed that abusing the freedom of voice and opinion could harm society.
“Although the government would like to guarantee the freedom of speech, it cannot be abused to the extent that it can harm national unity.”
The controversial couple had incurred the wrath of Malaysians over their Facebook posting of a picture of them eating bak kut teh with the caption “Selamat berbuka puasa” on Facebook.
The picture had a halal logo and the words “wangi, enak, menyelerakan” (fragrant, delicious and appetising) were used to describe the herbal pork dish.
It was reported yesterday that the couple could be charged under the Sedition Act 1948.
Najib yesterday also reiterated the government’s firm stand against attempts to incite hatred and stir racial discord. He said the nation’s main pillars of national unity and harmony could crumble if the government was not firm in dealing with actions threatening them.
“We must be firm on this. There cannot be absolute freedom at the expense of national interest and harmony. I have always stressed the principle of freedom with responsibility. The government’s position on this is clear and we will maintain and uphold the principle,” Najib said, stressing that the people must be sensitive to differences in religions and cultures.
Najib also said the government would look into views asking for a new law similar to the repealed Emergency Ordinance 1969.
He said the relevant stakeholders would be involved in the discussion including the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers on this proposal.
“We can get the views of Suhakam and even from the Bar Council.”
On whether the government would be seen as back-tracking should it come up with an act similar to the Emergency Ordinance, Najib said it should not be viewed as such.
“It is not back-tracking. We want to ensure that the fight against crime will be effective.
“At the same time, we must strike a balance to protect the rights of individuals and the interests of society by ensuring there is no abuse of power.“
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had earlier this month said he was discussing with Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail the draft of a new law following the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance.
Concerns were raised after it was revealed that many of the more than 2,600 detainees released from the Simpang Renggam detention centre after the Emergency Ordinance was repealed had returned to a life of crime.
There you go again, that word – ‘abuse of power’. Just because there could be abuse of power, the Prime Minister wants to repeal Sedition Act and replace it with an act so similar it could just be its clone. But of course, since the the lawmakers have nothing better to do, why not waste precious time debating about the same act in Parliament and waste further money and resources to pass it as a new law.
All this is beyond stupidity. Why is the Prime Minister too busy thinking about the human rights of the perpetrators and evil doers? Will this get him more votes? We are laughing as we are writing this. Yes, please seek more advice from the Bar Council. They are the best in defending the human rights of criminals.
Now let us look of what could happen to the new ‘ Sedition Act’.
Let us look at the Peaceful Assembly Act the government had triumphantly gazetted in 2012. This act replaces some of the provisions of the Police Act.
Penalty of up to RM20,000 is the maximum punishment for anyone who had broken the Peaceful Assembly Act above. There is no jail term. If the magistrate says – “You are sentenced to RM3,000 fine”, then Anwar Ibrahim would just have to ask the contractors from Penang to pay the fine on behalf of his rioting supporters.
This kind of act has lost its tooth. People are not afraid of paying fines. They are more afraid of being sent to jail. While the police act provided some jail term as one of its punishments, this new act has none.
The same fate could fall to the National Harmony Act when it is being debated by the opposition in Parliament. Opposition will surely fight for a no jail term clause. And since the Prime Minister will bend over backwards to please the interests of the Opposition leaders, this will definitely happen.
Advisers and consultants are nice to have if they know what they are doing. Being liberal and progressive is fine; but if you do not know the head and tail of an issue, please do not give the wrong advice. This is because the person is probably no longer capable of thinking straight.
“Science can explain a lot of things that I’ve always wondered about (go, science!). In this case, it explains what I’ve known for a long time but been unable to quite understand: Why do some folks who have a lot more money than others seem to be less nice and more evil to everyone around them?
At 0:50, someone actually takes candy from babies. No, really. At 3:00, we start to see the science unfold before our eyes. Entire management courses could — and should — be taught with the bit starting at 4:40.”