Yesterday in my post I mentioned the PM’s sublime message to the UMNO MPs to toe the line and not pick on a poor dear Mohammad Said Yusof, MP for Jasin, who had told Custom officers to ‘close one eye’ to illegal import of non-permitted goods. I suppose in his stern message of so-called ’discipline’, he wanted UMNO MPs to ‘close one eye’ to complaints about a brother UMNO MP’s improper behaviour.
Well, a Malaysiakini reader who called him/herself ‘Concerned’ wrote in to the Vox Populi box. He stated:
“It is alarming that the MP concerned, Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin), can even think that what he said was not an abuse of his power. He is as entitled to the protection of, just as much as he is eligible to be prosecuted under the same law, as any other citizen of Malaysia.”
“It is shocking that he can even consider asking the authorities concerned to break the law of the country; which 'close one eye' amounts to, and having the audacity to claim that he was not 'abusing' his power. Does he think that; as a MP, he is above the law? People like him are the ones who have tarnished the reputation of Malaysia due to the level of corruption that is rampant in Malaysia.”
“If Pak Lah is trying to stem out corruption and Mohd Said is encouraging it, then the prime minister has no option but to immediately dismiss him from the office he holds. If he is not dismissed; especially as he has admitted his guilt, then he obviously holds more power than the prime minister himself!”
Well, ‘Concerned’ would be even more concerned if he/she had read what Abdullah Badawi said in a press conference after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting night before. The Utusan Malaysia reported:
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mengingatkan pegawai-pegawai kerajaan jangan menganggap teguran daripada wakil-wakil rakyat sebagai satu gangguan atau cubaan campur tangan dalam urusan jabatan masing-masing.
Menurut Perdana Menteri, setiap teguran yang dibuat atau surat yang dihantar oleh wakil rakyat perlu diberi perhatian serius kerana ia melibatkan kepentingan rakyat.
"Apa yang mereka sampaikan sama ada melalui surat atau tindakan-tindakan lain yang berniat untuk membantu dalam menjalankan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan (RMK-9) perlu dilihat secara positif,'' katanya.
Rough translation [my comments in square parentheses]:
Abdullah Badawi reminded government officials [but we know he meant the Customs] not to treat an admonition/criticism from a MP [guess who?] as an interference or an attempt to influence departmental procedures/affairs.
The PM said every criticism or letter from an MP [of course he meant only UMNO’s] must be accorded due attention because it would involve the interest of the people [including any illegal importation of prohibited goods]
Whatever those [UMNO] MPs present to you [civil servants, particular those who have gotten too big for their shoes], whether by letter or action with the intention of supporting the progress of the 9th Malaysian Plan, it must be viewed in a positive light [I didn’t realise that prohibited sawn logs were vital to the 9MP – why not make importation of such legal?]
Abdullah diminta mengulas tindakan Ahli Parlimen Jasin, Datuk Mohd. Said Yusof yang mengakui `campur tangan' urusan Kastam berhubung eksport kayu bergergaji di Pelabuhan Sungai Linggi.
Semasa sidang Parlimen Selasa lalu, Mohd. Said turut menegur cara Ketua Pengarah Kastam menjalankan tugas yang disifatkannya bertindak seperti ahli politik dan bukannya sebagai penjawat awam.
Abdullah was asked to comment on Mohd Said Yusof’s admission he interfered or tried to influence the Customs regarding the export (should be import) of the prohibited sawn timber. Mohd Said had complained in the Supreme Council meeting that Director of Customs conducted his duty as if he was a politician rather than a civil servant.
Perdana Menteri berkata, hubungan wakil rakyat dan pegawai kerajaan perlu dilaksanakan dengan baik agar ia tidak disalah anggap sebagai campur tangan atau tekanan-tekanan orang luar yang tidak diingini.
Menurut Abdullah, pihak pentadbir perlu mengetahui peraturan yang perlu dilaksanakan, manakala wakil rakyat berperanan mengetengahkan masalah rakyat dan cuba membantu mereka dalam hal berkenaan.
“Apa yang penting, mesti ada kesefahaman antara kedua-dua pihak dan tidak berlaku tuduh-menuduh kerana itu tidak sihat dan tidak membawa kebaikan kepada rakyat keseluruhannya,'' katanya.
PM said any contact between an MP and civil servant should be properly conducted and not give rise to misunderstanding that there was undesirable interference or pressure [even if there were].
Then blah blah blah – motherhood statement
“What is important, there must be understanding between the two sides [collaboration would be good], and not accusations and counter-accusations because that would be unhealthy and counterproductive to public interest [the PM has decided that Customs behaving professionally would be counterproductive to …].
Obviously the PM believes that Mohd Said Yusof has been a good MP, fighting for the people’s interest, while bloody Shahrir Samad wasn’t. Thank goodness for the PM’s Islam Hadhari’s values. He has put the Custom bloke and Shahrir Samad in place – they had gotten too big for their shoes.