Friday, April 21, 2006

A Bridge Too Far - Cabinet Muzzled

The Star Online reported:

The Cabinet has directed ambassador-at-large Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak to reply to all issues raised by various parties on the scenic bridge project.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz, who confirmed this, said the Cabinet felt that Fuzi was the best person to convey the points raised in relation to the bridge.

He said since Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had been named by Matthias Chang, former senior aide to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Cabinet felt it was only proper that explanations be made by those involved in the negotiations.

Fuzi, a former Foreign Ministry secretary-general, had headed the Malaysian side during five rounds of negotiations.

What this actually means is that the PM has muzzled the cabinet members, lest some accidentally or deliberately spill the beans. Obviously there is discord amongst them.

The fact that Matthias Chang had accused and challenged foreign minister Syed Hamid requires Syed Hamid himself to stand up and answer Chang’s accusations and insults. But of course we are reminded of Syed Hamid’s 180 degrees kebelakang pusing (about turn) immediately after the PM claimed that the cabinet decision to abandon the construction of the bridge was unanimous.

Then, the PM himself should respond to opposition leader Lim Kit Siang’s call for him to answer Dr Mahathir’s condemnation in which correctness of issues claimed by the government have been questioned.

But this is Boleh-land where PM Abdullah Badawi has shown he would lose patience when under persistent questioning, as had occurred in the fuel price hike issue and 9th Malaysian Plan criticisms. As the top politician he has shown a poor example by arrogantly brushing aside public questioning of his decisions. He fails to demonstrate that as an elected PM, while he does have the right to make decisions, he also has the responsibility to respond to public concerns over his decisions.

Rights and responsibilities – the inseparable twins of democratically assigned power. But in Malaysia, BN politicians have consistently demonstrated they only want rights but no responsibilities.

Related: The real Ahmad Abdullah Badawi

Note - the PM’s correct name is Abdullah while his father's is Ahmad, which in Malaysia, comes after the son's, as in Abdullah bin Ahmad or in shortened/informal form, Abdullah Ahmad (meaning Abdullah son of Ahmad), as blogger MENJ had kindly pointed out to me. As this is an old posting I will leave my mistake as it is, with a hugh apology to the PM.

1 comment:

  1. Brushing aside others opinions or questions is actually a common trait of person who portray themselves as religious or pious. Because they think they are only answerable to God because they do things in the name of God in order to be rewarded in hereafter. So what we think is not important.

    This is what I was told that in the past:
    The word "Bin" or "Binti" is used in between your name and your father's name is to indicate legitimate "son of" or "daughter of", respectively. If you ommit the word "Bin" or "Binti", then the legitimacy of the real father is in question.

    Now I think people are more flexible.