Whenever the Government announces huge bailouts, 2 things are certain on everyone’s mind:-
ONE: It does not matter if it is cash, guarantee or promises on paper, one way or another, at the end of the day, taxpayers will be forced to bear the cost of the bailout. Taxpayers money that could have been used more productively for development of the country now goes down the drain.
TWO: Not all of the board of directors, management and senior officers who mismanaged the company will be arrested, stripped naked of their assets and sent to jail for years. At the most, some of them may be asked to tender their resignation without any punishment and some of them will be transferred to another GLC. And since there is no severe punishment given, the incompetence and mismanagement continues.
More interesting things especially on democracy and Malaysia are taking place on social media and in late nights when I do have the time, I usually spent it on surfing through Facebook instead of writing a post for the blog. Another is that I have gone “back to school” and I managed to get one of the certificate that I targeted to get this year. Unfortunately it is just a start and I have another target to meet in the next few months. So, it is back to doing revisions and the dreaded homework in the coming months. Image: Pinterest
And times are tough and times are not right for one to simply sit back and take things easy. Work too have been piling up over the last few months and the expectations from both in and out of the organisation have been very, very demanding.
(If you ask me, this is a better video to watch for the first time visitors to Malaysia and Asha Gill is lovely as usual)
I was flying in to Malaysia just the other day and yes, I was flying on MAS. It was kind of painful to see the good, hard-working people in MAS facing some uncertainty as MAS undergoes a major restructuring. But that did not stopped the stewardess on my flight from ensuring that service was and always first class.
(1MDB: A 42 billion time bomb that had already exploded on everyone’s face but a lot of people in this country are not aware of the blast – no thanks to a sneaky fat guy and a clueless PM. Until today, I am lost why they put billions of taxpayers money in Cayman Island unless it is meant for some shady deal. Infographic source: http://poskod.my/cheat-sheets/10-things-know-1mdb/)
(Never mind the movie, it seems like there are way too many of dumb people in this country. Image source: The Net)
It was rather “funny” to hear the old man to say this:-
“Malaysians are stupid. They don’t know how to manage aviation,” Dr Mahathir was quoted by news portal Malaysiakini as saying in comments over Christoph Mueller’s appointment as chief executive officer-designate of Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS NewCo).
Those responsible for the losses of the ailing national carrier were now trying to make things right, he said.
(Only in Malaysia this happens on a regular basis and it is not a laughing matter. After all this country is best of the best when it comes to corruption free Government and corruption fighting agencies, eh?. Cartoon source: http://johnnyongcartoons.blogspot.com/)
Whilst we are largely pre-occupied with MH370 tragedy and have been keeping up our hopes for some kind of closure, some Malaysian politicians have been having some strange itchiness and have been trying to outdo each other in making themselves looking like an ass in public. Hmmm, is this the real reason why that old man, if given a chance, wanted to censor the internet?
World’s Most Corruption Free Country: Malaysia
It’s very obvious that some people in the country still living in a cocoon (perhaps high on coconut water). It must be one hard cocoon that they are living in as evident from this:-
Malaysia antara negara terbersih daripada perbuatan rasuah, kata Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Shahidan menafikan dakwaan Malaysia sebuah negara yang kerap mengamalkan rasuah dan menegaskan dakwaan tersebut tidak wajar dikeluarkan kerana akan memberi kesan kepada pihak lain. Beliau berkata, Malaysia juga mempunyai sebuah agensi memerangi rasuah yang terbaik di dunia iaitu Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).
Translated in simple English – Malaysia is one of the most corrupt FREE country in the world and has one of the best corruption fighting agency in the world (referring to MACC). Ok, I will wait for you to re-read the statement (mind you, it is coming from a seasoned Minister) and wait for the hard cold reality to hit you. I know, something is not right, right? Done that? Ok great. Now I will wait for you to laugh your heart out.
That is what happened to me when I first read this statement. I was speechless. I was in shock. I do not know which version of Malaysia that Shahidan is talking about (obviously exists in a galaxy far, far away) but it surely cannot be the same Malaysia that most of us are living in. The Malaysia that we live in has been ranked as one of the most corrupt nations by Ernst & Young. That is not a big revelation! We all know that for a long time now and we also know that MACC (the so-called best of the best) is toothless (can’t blame them) when it comes to nabbing those in political power when it comes to corruption (otherwise we would have seen certain Chief Minister behind bars a long time ago).
One of the sourest point in the search for MH370 is the failure for RMAF to correctly identify and intercept MH370 when it deviated from it’s original flight path. If this been done, we could have identify MH370 immediately and would not have wasted valuable time, resources and assets over the South China Sea for days.
Then the Deputy Minister of Defence revealed that RMAF assumed that the plane had turned back because the air traffic control had ordered them back. The part of RMAF “assumed” did not go well with many people – after all, we expect the military to be more precise and professional especially of those monitoring the air space above Malaysia. We expect them to be on high alert and track things out of the ordinary. We expect them to pick up the phone and give DCA a call. With all that technology and expensive military hardware, we had never expect them to work on assumption basis. That is why we were pissed off when the Minister said RMAF had assumed this and that.
Then we had a 180 degree turn:-
Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri today admitted he assumed that the Subang air traffic control had asked lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to turn back, adding his assumption was not accurate.
“In relation to my statement in the debate for the Royal Address yesterday, in which I said MH370 did a turn back probably because it received instructions from air traffic control, I want to clarify that it was just my assumption and one of the possibilities that could have happened.
“After making checks, I would like to stress that my assumption is not accurate,” Abdul Rahim said in a terse two-paragraph statement in Kuala Lumpur today.
Now the joker turns around and say that it was he who made the assumption and not RMAF. Didn’t he check the facts before he opened his mouth in the Parliament? Did he misled the MPs then with unverified facts and wild assumptions? Doesn’t this borders to lying?
If this is not the case, then what would be the real reason for RMAF not scrambling their jets to intercept the rouge plane? Even if they claimed that DCA did not inform them of the missing plane, wouldn’t that make an even more compelling case for RMAF to scramble and intercept the plane? Someone obviously had slept on the job and it is very unsettling to know that we may have huge holes in our defence system. We still want to know what really happened otherwise we may find ourselves with another plane deviated from its flight path.
44 Firearms Lost – A Small Matter Only
It may sound like they had only lost 44 soiled underwear so we have “nothing” to worry but it is not the case:-
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is satisfied with the explanations given by police over its loss of assets, including 44 firearms highlighted in the 2012 Auditor General’s Report, said its chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
“The amount is quite small and does not justify further investigation,” he said, adding the loss of assets in any organisation is normal and this included the police force. “We have to accept there will be some losses when the police are on duty, but in terms of the overall firearms, the number of losses is quite small.
“It’s not significant. In audit terms, it’s not significant for us to warrant further investigation,” he told reporters after chairing the PAC meeting today.
Well, I don’t know about you but for me, what is important is not the number of items lost but rather what was lost. If the police had lost say 44 key-chains, it is nothing to shout about. But if you consider that the item lost is a firearm, then even a lost of 1 is a big issue. The police had lost 44 firearms. It could armed a small army to its teeth. It could be used for armed robberies and assassinations. It is significant and it does warrant further investigation. At end of the day, heads must roll and that is what we expect PAC to do. We don’t expect PAC to trivialize the 44 firearms lost and then sweep it under the carpet. Sigh, I sure hope PAC did not buy into the “fallen into the sea” crappy explanation and decided to close the issue. The outcome is very disappointing.
Too many newspapers will confuse Malaysians
Well, too much of something is not good for anyone – I agree but making the same case on newspapers and news is simply dumb (especially at this age of the internet):-
The Home Ministry had rejected FZ Daily and Malaysiakini’s application for publishing permits to protect the public from the confusion of having access to “too much news”.
“The (number of) newspaper publications with approved publishing permits is sufficient considering the number of readers in the country,” Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in a parliamentary written reply Tuesday.
When the case was taken to the court, the High Court judge ruled that the Home Ministry’s rejection was “improper and irrational”. And the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision and thus reconfirming that the rejection was indeed “improper and irrational”. So telling off that having too many newspapers is a bad thing does test one’s logic. At the end of the day, it is all depends on the selling the right news (not the crappy & racial ones from you-know-which-newspaper) and having sizable readership to continue to run the newspaper. No one dies from having too much news. No one goes crazy from reading too many news. And at times (in Malaysia, make it “most of the time”), it makes more sense for one to actually read both side of the story and come out with the right conclusion.
At the end of the day, knowing what Malaysiakini published on the internet, it is nothing but a political laced decision to simply silence the critics and keep the truth on the wrongdoings from surfacing.
And to rub salt on the wound, here we go again – all knowing, charitable and most gracious, whiter than angel politicians wanting to protect the feeble, weak, dumb public from the great danger. If we need any kind of protection, there will be only one – protect us from dumb politicians and their propaganda. We all know why Zahid is shitting in his pants over the application for permit to publish by Malaysiakini. We are not as dumb as he wants us to be.
Well, anyway have a great weekend ahead. Let’s just hope by chance, some of the politicians would start using their brains and we’ll finally hear more intelligent statements from next week onwards.
(Among the many funny things posted on Najib’s statement that the price of kangkung had gone down, this stands in my mind as the funniest bit. I just love Ronald’s face on the second photo – it looks like he had answered too many phone calls asking for McKangkung. Images source: Facebook)
If you have missed out on the joke on Najib, look again – it’s on the front page of BBC, rather cheekily titled “Laughing Stalk“:-
Malaysia’s prime minister is being widely lampooned on social media for a comment he made about the price of kangkung, or water spinach.
Food is a faux pas minefield for politicians, especially when it’s perceived as being used in a get-down-with-the-people kind of way – think of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s pasty moment or Chancellor George Osborne’s “posh burger” tweet. The almost inevitable response seems to be ridicule. That’s where the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak finds himself right now. With the government under fire because of price hikes in basics like fuel and electricity, he chose to push back by highlighting a reduction in the cost of the leafy green vegetable kangkung.
Kangkung – also known as water spinach, morning glory and Chinese spinach – is widely eaten in Malaysia, and is cooked as a stir-fry with a little garlic or chilli paste. But it’s cheap, grows wild alongside streams, paddy fields and drains, and is not considered a staple. Moments after a video of the prime minister was posted making the comments, the sarcasm and jokes began to trend on social media in Malaysia.
There have been hundreds of thousands of tweets, a Facebook page set up – with 10,000 followers already – a YouTube re-mix of his comments, the lyrics to popular and traditional folk songs have been re-worked, and “Keep calm and eat kangkung” T-shirts have been made and rushed to market.
Thanks to Najib, the whole world is laughing at Malaysia!
But certainly it is not a laughing matter. All items that was promised (during the election campaign) to cost lower went the other way around. And just when you thought that these idiots would have learned a thing or two from the whole kangkung incident, they decided to go on an overdrive and make a fool of themselves many times over:-
A special Cabinet committee formed to tackle the high cost of living will look at the root causes of price increases to check unreasonable or arbitrary hikes. The committee, representing various ministries, understands that not all price increases stem from government fiscal consolidation measures. Some are due to market structural issues, including supply and sale, with unscrupulous businessmen exploiting the situation, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
What, only now the Government want to set up some shit and want to find out “why” the cost of living had gone up!
You mean to say that they have been sticking their head in the ground all this time? Issue with market structural issues, including supply and sale, with unscrupulous businessmen exploiting the situation sprang up only now and without any warnings? Don’t you think it is a bit too late now especially the issue of price hike was actually raised and discussed in detail long before Christmas last year? Still remember one kangkung Minister telling off the consumer that if they feel that the price of chicken is high, then don’t eat chicken? Back then, this seemed to be the only best solution that they can come up with when consumers hit back at the Government on the drastic price hikes. One idiot went aboard with the “leave Malaysia if you don’t like BN” call which left many speechless. Perhaps all of them were aiming for the grand Kangkung of the Year award.
Anyway why you need a special (ahem!) committee when you know they are only going to waste time and a lot of taxpayers money and in the end would still be clueless on why there has been a drastic price hike of essential things? At the most, they will come back and say that the increase is justified, it cannot be controlled and thus the Government have done its best and should not be blamed for it. Perhaps they will even justify the kangkung statement from Najib. This is what will happen at the end of day. The reason is this is simple – we had a handful of committees all the way from Pak Lah’s time too but nothing positive came out from these committees.
It does not take rocket science to know that there is a cascading effect on the price of basic items once you hike up the petrol and toll charges. The other part that causes unreasonable or arbitrary hikes is corruption, unnecessary spending (what happened to that 2nd private jet that was rumored recently?) and lack of enforcement (if you say that the business owners raises the prices arbitrarily – then why they are not booked?). You still need a special committee to investigate the root cause? Why not entrust the related Government departments to do up the study and propose immediate action plan to the Government? Or this too has been curtailed by the billion ringgit consultants? Don’t you think with this, even the best kangkung jokes seemed rather pale?
Think about it and in the meantime, enjoy this video (ya, more kangkung jokes and it only shows that the Malaysians are always step ahead of the low thinking politicians):-
Have a good weekend ahead and make sure you take up a lot of kangkung (last I heard, it was cheap, very cheap)…
(Before I start with the post for this week, I just wanted to say this – if the old man is so concerned with the level of proficiency of English among graduates (no thanks to his own shortcomings when he was the Education Minister and the Prime Minister), why he did not join PAGE and give it the added creditability and force that it needs to push the change of policy (to teach Science and Mathematics in English). He instead joined PERKASA as its advisor and as we all know from how the Ibrahim the clown acts up and down like his backside was on fire whenever the opposition had raised critical issues, PERKASA and its main objective is nowhere close to the realms of improving proficiency of English in this country. Just wanted to get this out from my chest. That’s all)
(Whether it is a private jet or a public abuse of trust and power – such nonsense cannot be tolerated at any level even for a high ranking politician’s wife. Just because it is approved by the Cabinet, don’t these people who fly have some internal conscience or they are just corrupt to the core? They must be counting their blessings that they are not in China. Cartoon source: Zunar @ Malaysiakini)
Let’s get back to the post for this week and as a taxpayer, I am quite pissed off.
As you all know, there are only 2 things certain in life and it is not death and taxes. Oh sorry, let me rephrase it, there are only 2 things certain when it comes to a Malaysian politician – racial segregation and abuse of power.
Still remember Najib’s “pie-in-the-face” reaction when he faced the election results that was worse than Pak Lah’s time and realized that his wayang kulit with the Chinese voters had not worked wonders? He then squarely and conveniently blame it on the Chinese – one sick newspaper even asked “what else the Chinese wants?”. And till to this day, there are still people who is convinced that the Chinese had ulterior motive for BN’s worse performance in the electoral. They may have forgotten that 50.87% of the voters from all races did not vote for BN – that’s more than half of the voters in the country. They may have also ignored the fact that most people were not pleased and had deep distrust with the current administration for some time now – for obvious reasons too – there has not been enough work done curtail the main 4 political pillars in this country namely racial segregation, waste of taxpayers money, double standard enforcement & prosecution and abuse of power.
And it is just amazing to see how some politicians can put up a (very) thick face and trivialize the matter when they are caught red handed on the blatant abuse of public assets:-
Opposition lawmakers grilled Putrajaya on Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s use of the official government jet for a visit to Qatar last week to attend an international forum.
Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) started the ball rolling when he interjected Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban) during the debate on Budget 2014 at the committee stage, noting that Rosmah had used the jet. “How can the prime minister’s wife use the government aircraft? We want to know the cost involved and how come she is eligible for this,” Azmin asked. In reply, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Cabinet had approved for Rosmah to use the jet for this particular trip.
His reply did not satisfy the opposition ranks and Parliament turned chaotic with several MPs questioning the rationale of the Cabinet decision. “Isn’t the Cabinet headed by the prime minister? This is a conflict of interest, how can the prime minister give permission to his wife to use the jet?
And the more the opposition grill this deeper, the more it becomes clear that Shahidan Kassim is not only talking cock when it comes to answering serious question in Parliament, he also proving to be a liar. Which is funny because the more these fellows try to cover up the abuse of power and divert the attention, the more evident it becomes to the general public:-
Pengerang MP Azalina Othman, who accompanied Rosmah Mansor during a women’s summit in Qatar, which the prime minister’s wife had gone on in a private jet, admitted that the invitation to attend the summit was extended to Rosmah in her personal capacity and not to the government.
“The invitation was not on a government basis but on a personal basis,” Azalina admitted in Dewan Rakyat today while debating the Budget 2014 allocation for the Rural Development Ministry.
To this, PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad criticised the move, saying that a “wrong decision can’t be justified because cabinet made the decision”. “If you want to go, you go on your personal expenses,” Khalid said.
And read here to see the so-called Rosmah’s work for the nation. You may want to keep a vomit bag by your side when you read the so-called “work” for the nation and where we “suppose” to fall to the ground in appreciation and be grateful for it. Apparently she did not go alone either. Still think more than half of Malaysian voted for the opposition for no good reasons? Despite the implied response of the voters in the last general elections, they still don’t get the message, uh? They still think that hard-earned taxpayers money belongs to them and they can spent it as and when and how they deem it fit and they are unanswerable to anyone.
The Government already paying external consultants RM7.2 billion of tax payers money through its noses for work that could be done by civil servants for free. To add further salt to the wound, they have just reduced the subsidy for petrol thus increasing the price to end consumers – with the very excuse that the Government is unable to bear the additional cost. They want to implement GST which many say will impact the lower class of people and soon we also see electricity tariff increase as well. Many more increases likely to be in the pipeline, trust me. And already people in KL are up arms over the substantial increase of assessment rates. All because this Government is unable to curtail unnecessary expenses and channel them based on right priority. Flying some fat ladies all over the world for private functions using taxpayers money is not one of them. We do not need wives of politicians to now waste even more millions of taxpayers money and abuse of public assets for personal trips and make everyone to look very dumb by trying to justify the abuse.
As taxpayers and as one who is facing ever increasing cost of living, don’t you get very angry with this over justification of wrong doing? We are not paying taxes so that politicians and their wives and family members can live a luxurious life and then show the middle finger when questioned! Where is the accountability? Where is the responsibility to the taxpayers?
I won’t say that the Government need to look into this or need to stop this blatant abuse of power and wastage. It will be a futile action – the voice of the ordinary people would remain unheard to those who walk in the corridor of powers. The year in, year out the lack of punishment on the wrong doers highlighted in the Attorney General’s report and a very poor enforcement record when it comes to catching & prosecuting corrupt politicians, speaks a lot for the lack of action. Plenty of opportunities to redeem itself in the area of fighting corruption and curtail of abuse of power have been wasted, intentionally most likely. Not a big surprise given that those who can make a difference are the same people who indulge in and perpetuate the very wrongdoings. The man at the top, obviously too weak to do anything and remains silent.
The only way to stop this blatant abuse of power and misuse of taxpayers money is by a complete change of the Government from top to bottom. A proper spring cleaning if you can call it to weed out the thrash, crap and unwanted parasites from the administration. It also should include those who are lazy and stupid. And once that is done, strict prosecution of the wrongdoers must be done – they cannot be allowed to get away with their past actions. Corruption by public servants and politicians and abuse of powers should be categorized in the same category as high treason and punishment is made very severe. For this, we need to vote in a new Government – the opposition are not perfect but they cannot be worse from the current administration – despite the limitations at Federal level, they already had set a fine example in Penang and Selangor.
Think about it as you eat the overpriced roti canai & teh tarik for breakfast whilst the fat lady goes for another trip around the world on her “private jet”.
To those who are not familiar with this expression, “tidak apa” may mean many things but for me it is loosely translated as “don’t care attitude”. Instead of saying that it is something unique to this country, I would rather say that it is the sick curse in this country. Some people are simply don’t care on their services, the work they do, the quality of products that they produce and on the impact of their shoddy work and attitude on others.
Let’s focus on the quality of goods – the reason for this post this week.
Quality of goods that we have in this country, generally is acceptable provided we are willing to pay the high price for it. There are several occasions when I had bought certain things, it had turned to be poorly made item. Quality control still lacking – either the manufacturer does not have the right quality control processes in place (are they that ignorant?) or they don’t take the trouble to pay that extra money or effort to produce high quality products. You go to any car workshop and when asked for the quality parts, they will usually quote parts from Japan (and sometimes from the US or Germany) but rarely from Malaysia. Parts from Malaysia is usually for those who want to buy things cheap and willing to compromise on quality, so they say and often there is some truth to it. This is the general state of the impression on Malaysian made goods and its quality although in recent years, quite number of manufacturers (such as Proton with their Preve’ model) and distributors have buck up on the level of quality considerably.
Here’s my case at hand:-
(Exhibit No 1 – Nano water filter that is made in or with Korean technology and conforms to international standards and member of a number of water quality associations as displayed on the box. Look at the condition of the sealant at the bottom and it is well made)
(Exhibit No 2 – the same nano water filter but distributed by a local company with no information as to where it is made and whether it conforms to any standards and it is not hard to see why. Look at the condition of the filter and you may wonder why this has not been rectified before it is sold to the public – lack of quality is too obvious)
I buy water filters for my portable water filters and I usually buy in a bigger numbers as I usually change the filters on a regular basis. Stocking up water filters is also part of my prepping strategy. The first image at the top is what I expect a good water filter should look like and the second image is a water filter distributed by a local distributor. You can see difference in quality immediately and since lately the hypermarket that I usually go to had stocked up only the locally distributed water filters and stop selling the one I usually buy (I seriously do not know why), for that instance I had no choice but use the local distributor’s filter despite the obvious lack of quality and being sold for the same price as the better quality made ones. At the end, it does not really do the job (and is a health hazard) no thanks to the shoddy quality of the sealant and I replaced it within the same day (and dispose off the water filtered). Money and time wasted – so I made my case with the place where I bought the filters and I was assured that the matter would be brought to the attention of the manufacturer. Whether things will change or not, I am not sure but I would not be buying any items from the same distributor until I see a real improvement of quality. But if this “tidak apa” attitude continues, rest assured that locally made products will be looked with grave suspicion.
And that is not the end of “tidak apa” attitude that I recently encountered. One good place to see the “tidak apa” attitude at work on a regular basis is on Malaysian roads. It does not take long to see idiots changing lanes without indicating and jumping queues without any care of the rest of the motorists patiently waiting in line for their turn. And there is the mother of “tidak apa” attitude when you see a motorcyclist – not the one riding 250cc and above bikes but rather those 100cc – 150 cc puny bikes. A sudden change of lane, riding without any helmets (or license) and against the traffic by these bikers is nothing new and I have written a number of posts on this.
Just a couple days ago, I saw a black Audi driver (plate number WJJ ****) on the fast lane of the highway just after Seremban and was blocking an ambulance on its path. The weather was bad and despite the ambulance blaring siren and strobe lights (a clear cut sign of emergency), the idiot behind the wheels of the black Audi simply drove on the same lane as if he owed the road. Breaking the law and endangering the patient in the ambulance seemed to be last thing in the Audi driver’s mind. I just hope that one day when his loved ones (or himself) is in the ambulance, he will know how precious time is and the need for the ambulance to have its way without an idiot with a “tidak apa” attitude blocking its way.
Then the next day when we went to one of the fast food restaurant (which should have a better customer service than this), we were rudely reminded that despite that the restaurant is part of a global franchise and carries a well known brand, it is at the end of the day is manned by Malaysians with the usual “tidak apa” attitude. We went on a “working day” and before the normal lunch time so naturally the restaurant was not full but we had to wait for our tables to be cleared (it was only cleared when we came over). We ordered our food and we managed to get most of it but not the forks and spoons. We had to call one of the staff twice to remind on this and only then we got the utensils (whilst our food was getting cold). We did not get all of the food that we ordered so once again we need to remind the staff. Then I guessed that the staff do not understand English – which explains the blur look when I asked for the forks and spoons. And we were not the only one faced this problem. When I went to counter to pay, one of the customer was complaining very loudly and remarked that she had not seen service this bad in such restaurant. Instead of apologizing or assuring the customer that they will look into the quality of service, the lady behind the counter (the manager seems to be missing despite the loud voice of the customer) kept quiet and maintain her “tidak apa” look, making customer (and me) irritated even more.
The same “tidak apa” attitude is probably what causes the blatant waste of public funds as reported in the AG’s report on almost yearly basis. No one seemed to care that the money that they waste does not even belongs to them and the fact that they are expected to be responsible for the expenditures does not move them for the better. To make things even worse, the Government maintains the same “tidak apa” gesture towards the wrongdoers – remember the Home Minister supporting the lost at sea comment? By not whacking the wrongdoers, they actually condones the waste of public funds and corrupt way of doing business.
And speaking about the ‘tidak apa” attitude at Government level, it’s high time we relook into the “dump the dumb politicians” call. The next general election may be years away but it does not mean that we can close one eye (and ears) whenever an idiot takes the center stage and makes a fool of this nation & its people (never mind if he makes a fool of himself outside his official stature). After all, if a politician can come out and say that the recent increase of the price of sugar due to *cough* motherly concern on the people’s health and sex drive and not because failure to control expenses or because some one had screwed up the sugar import deal, something is not right (even for a die hard pejuang bangsa dan agama). But that is fine in a way – we don’t expect politicians to change their skin overnight (maybe except when elections are around the corner when they turn Santa Claus left right and center) and in Malaysia in particular, expecting them to be charged & punished for wrongdoings but we cannot continue with our own “tidak apa” attitude too. For start, for those who have not register yourself to vote (and probably don’t care which clown runs the country), try do something about it – go and register yourself to vote and then exercise the right to vote someone more credible. The country belongs to all and each one of us have a great responsibility one way or another in making sure it does not goes down the drain.
(Here lies the problem – some people have no sense of responsibility whatsoever just because they are spending money that does not belong to them and they know that if they can waste the taxpayers money without any care or prudence, they will not be punished even if it was reported by the Auditor General. Image source: http://tarpon.wordpress.com)
I guess those who had voted for the Barang Naik (BN) politicians in the last general election must be regretting their decision now. You know, somehow, “I told you so” just doesn’t quite say it, ah? Already there are multiple news in the net on how some people in disguise of “consultants” have been taking the Government and the taxpayers for a ride but there have been only silence and inaction on the part of these politicians. The obvious ones are these:-
Hazmi sits at the top of the pyramid of greed and takes a 10% on each program cost
Under him, he has several assistants to identify runners to identify those contractors and suppliers with the right license or kepala (heading) to be main contractors or suppliers or just a mere front. At the assistants, runners, and front contractors and suppliers level, they rake in a cumulative of 20% of the program’s budget. The balance is likely to be for the real contractors and manufacturers doing the work.
To get themselves paid, Hazmi’s assistants take care of the payment but it is not paid direct but only to the front. The money due to the real contractors and suppliers is released by the front companies after deducting for everyone’s cut. It means there are paper trails everywhere. Hazmi designed the budget for programs to be usually few ringgit short of RM5,000 or RM100,000. Above that, the control system is stringent and manipulable.
If this does not make your blood boil, we do not know what else.
Two DAP lawmakers want the Education Ministry to explain why it spent RM20 million hiring a private consultant to prepare the National Education Blueprint when it could have been done by “capable personnel” within the government.
Describing the RM20 million as a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming and Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari said the management consultant, McKinsey and Co, should not have been hired as the company was a general management consultant and did not specialise in education.
And timing could not be better to dig up more crap from current Government’s total lack of transparency, enforcement and punishment of the wrongdoers. It has become a sheer wastage of taxpayers fund on a regular basis. The recent publication of the Auditor-General’s report was nothing new and only adds to the “good name” of the current Government. If the half-past six politicians are still under a delusion that everything is still OK in the Bolehland and they can sleep in peace at night, let me tell you that the AG’s report is very, very damaging. A responsible Government would have come in the open to admit the findings and announce strong measures to curtail them. Politicians who care about this nation will not sleep until they had made enough noise for the wrong doers to be caught and punished and existing laws & procedures tighten to avoid a repetition in the future. Unfortunately, in reality (and predictably), nothing have been said till now and everything being kept as hush, probably hoping the taxpayers and the opposition will soon forget about the findings.
The malpractices highlighted in the Auditor-General’s report keep repeating because of inadequate planning in procurement, poor drafting of specifications and lack of monitoring and evaluation, said Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas).
To address this, Ideas chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan has suggested that curbing political interference and using open tender systems would help in plugging the inefficiencies in government procurement which has resulted in millions of ringgit being wasted.
He cited examples in the 2012 AG report which had resulted in wasteful spending, such as the 20 wall clocks which were bought by for RM3,810 each when it cost RM100 each and the three A4 size scanners bought for RM14,760 each which was supposed to cost RM200 each.
He said Ideas was now conducting a study on transparency in how government agencies and department carry out their procurement. “These problems are repeated because there are inadequate procurement planning, poor drafting of specifications, insufficient use of competitive tenders and lack of monitoring and evaluation.
Shouldn’t inadequate planning in procurement, poor drafting of specifications and lack of monitoring and evaluation which have been highlighted many times before in the past AG reports been resolved by now? Don’t each Government departments have some kind of operation guide and standard operating procedures? Don’t they have their internal audit processes to follow and meet? Don’t tell me that we are going to pay millions to some foreign consultants to propose the same thing? And if nothing been done in the past, then what difference it makes now? As long we don’t see the wrong doers and those mismanaged millions of taxpayers’ money punished and held accountable, we going to have the same problems reported year in, year out.
To add further, Malaysia have now been named as the most corrupt country in the world – I am sure some thick skinned politicians would have been very happy with this kind of achievements (they probably have dismissed it as an opposition tactics instead of seriously looking into the possible truth). However it was not a big surprise though – it was just a matter of time before we got that title. The sooner the Government wakes up from its slumber sleep, it is better for the rest of us.
Despite Malaysia’s high-profile anti-corruption crusade, half of the corporate executives surveyed by a global corruption watchdog believe that competitors have obtained business in the country through bribery.
Transparency International said Malaysia scored worst in the 2012 Bribe Payers Survey. It asked nearly 3,000 executives from 30 countries whether they had lost a contract in the past year because competitors paid a bribe, and in Malaysia, 50% of them said ‘yes’. Second on the dubious honor roll was Mexico, which was at 48%.
And this is where race based NGOs such as Perkasa show their sheer ignorance and dumbness. They jump like their balls been run over by a steamroller when common Malaysians question the need to prolong race based policies and “giveaways” in the name of “empowering” the community economy, knowing very well that such policies have been manipulated to enrich a few and their cronies in past and continues to this day. But the same NGOs had said nothing or jumped in protest when millions is wasted by lack of enforcement and corruption – doesn’t the same community set to lose a lot more if such leakage is not stopped and the wrong-doers are not booked to stop the repeated wastage? Or are they simply going to ignore this just because those who cause such leakages and do nothing to curtail the leakages are from the same community? It looks like that is the case many times over. No wonder whatever they say and do does not carry any sense of creditability and is a total waste of space.
And when the AG report bring the crap into the open, instead of accepting the hard cold fact and whack the wrong doers hard & ensuring that this will be the last time such incident happens, sadly, some politicians (never mind if they are dumb enough to be caught on video supporting criminal gangs and admission of breach of rule of law) now tries to even justify the wrong doing:-
On Friday, when asked by the press about the firearms mysteriously missing from the police armory, as discovered by the Auditor-Genera, Zahid was quick to pitch himself as the champion and defender of the ‘maligned’ police force.
Insisting that the weapons ‘lost’ by the police were due to human error and not foul play, Zahid rather high-handedly forbade any more discussion on the matter. He even picked on and publicly berated a reporter to emphasize his point.
“I think this is ridiculous behavior from a minister. It is blatantly self-serving. As the Home Minister, the police have to answer to Zahid in many matters but who is he to forgive their wrongdoings. Firstly, this was reported by the Auditor-General, not fabricated by the Opposition. Secondly, have the police carried out an internal probe, why are the findings not released,” Opposition MP for Batu Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
And it seems like the whole of the Government seems powerless (no thanks to their own shortcomings) to bring about the drastic measures needed to stop the rot for once and for all:-
The Auditor-General’s report for 2012 is alarming. And this is so not only because it exposed huge wastage committed by government departments last year, but also because nothing seems to have changed all these many years.
Year after year, the A-G tells us of cases of improper payment; of purchases made at astronomical prices; of unreasonable project delays; of poor asset management; of non-adherence to procedures, etc, etc. But year after year, nothing is done to address the shortcomings.
It seems as if our civil service just continues to plod on, continues to waste, continues to be inefficient, continues to make corrupt transactions. And the overriding controller – i.e. the Government – just lets it be.
The Government knows from the A-G’s reports that corruption is rife in the civil service, but it probably realises it doesn’t have the moral standing to haul in the culprits. After all, the civil servants are following the example of the country’s leadership. And since the Government has also not shown itself to be accountable for a lot of things, how can we stop the rot?
Worse, our civil servants seem to have acquired a tidak apa mindset because the money that is being wasted, that it being improperly used, that is going into the pockets of some of them, is not theirs. When I was in school, we used to characterise such an attitude with the jeering taunt: “You think this is your grandfather’s money ah?” It’s still applicable here and now.
I say this again and I have said it many times before – if the Government feel that they need to increase the taxes and reduces the subsidies just to ensure that they have enough to keep the country going, that is fine and fair. But what is the point of the people need to pay more of everything if the blatant waste and mismanagement by the Government itself on the other hand remains high and continues to bleed the nation of its resources. After all, if unnecessary expenses are not curtailed (spending RM3,810 for a RM100 clock for example), the Government will have no choice but to reduce the various subsidies, borrow more money and keep taxes high. At the end of the day, the rot must stop. The “tidak apa” attitude must stop. The blatant wastage of taxpayers’ money must stop. The super unbelievable leniency on the wrong doers must stop. The day of hiring thirsty vampires to guard our blood banks must stop.
Those who commit wastage and corrupt must be charged with criminal breach of trust, bank accounts frozen, their property seized and they are made to spent a good number of their years behind bars. Investigations on the paper trails must be made so that all those involved one way or another are caught and punished. Those politicians who allow (by action, omission or sheer stupidness) this to continue to happen must face the same consequences. Punish the wrong-doers at both ends without any fear or mercy. Malaysia does not need these traitors running the show – we are becoming champions of the world for wrong reasons. The AG have done a very good job highlighting the shortcomings in managing taxpayers funds. The only thing that is needed now is a change of attitude and political will power to take out the cane and start whacking the wrong doers hard so that the rest will be more careful when dealing with taxpayers money. If this failed, then it is evident that the Government itself have failed the trust of the people and is corrupt to the core and thus, must be removed in the next general election.
Can this be done now and without the “ifs and buts”?