Sunday, January 13, 2008

What's missing in Malaysian politics?

When I read in Malaysiakini about Visit Malaysia Year - The 'Korean scandal' where it has been alleged that director of Tourism Malaysia (TM) Seoul Abdul Mutalib Awang and TM North Asian regional director Ramzi Abu Yazid had abused their powers of management to embezzle funds meant for promoting Malaysia as a holiday destination to South Koreans - and mind you, with the whistleblowers furnishing Malaysiakini with documentary evidence - I was fairly annoyed but then thought, yawnnnnn, what’s new.

Afterall this is Malaysia Boleh mah!

And of course, in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures a la Malaysia Boleh, no action would be taken.

But I was truly mad when I read that Ramzi was promoted, yes, promoted after the disgraceful revelation. Malaysiakini contacted TM headquarters and receeived confirmation that Ramzi had been promoted as Senior Deputy Director of the North/East Asian Promotion Division. Well, Chua Soi Lek, eat your … er … whatever out!

It's truly the height of ignorance or arrogance by the Minister for Tourism to countenance such a promotion. But wait, read on ...

The whistleblowers also alleged Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was aware of the irregularities but chose not to act on the alleged scandal.

They lamented: “We were shocked when staff from TM Seoul confirmed that Tengku Adnan and his family went for a ski trip with Mutalib’s family when the former visited South Korea a few weeks ago despite knowing about the serious allegations of corruption against Mutalib.”

Needless to say, both Tengku Adnan and his deputy Donald Lim could not be reached for comments. They all have Big Ears and Thick Skins but buggerall accountability. I am utterly disgusted with PM AAB for daring to pronounce his government as having Islamic values whern he condones such shocking nonsense by his minister.

Yes, ‘lament’ is all we helpless citizens can do as the public coffer is being allegedly pilfered.

In a nation of proper governance, take for example, in Australia, Peter Reith, once a powerful Federal Minister in the previous Coalition government and a much touted potential PM favoured by former PM John Howard (he was then the PM's right hand man and chief head kicker), resigned after reporters found out that his son used his minister's phone card for private purposes.

By Malaysian standard, it would have been so mild an infraction that even a prime minsterial zzzzzzzz would be far more noticeable.

Let me provide another case of propriety where corruption was not even involved – just mere words.

John Brogden is a politician from former PM John Howard's Liberal Party but at State level. He was former opposition leader in the Australian State of New South Wales and therefore a potential State Premier (Menteri Besar). While having a 'few' at a bar one evening, he got a wee ‘high’ and did the incredibly stupid thing by making a verbal 'pass' at a female journalist.

He’s not a bad looking bloke but in Australia, what he did was the height of imprudence for a politician.

The next day after he sobered up from the effects of his drinks he resigned straightaway. Of course by then, the Aussie press had a wonderful day. Brodgen tried committing suicide when he couldn't take the media attacks on him, but fortunately his family alerted the hospital; he's now OK and even forgiven by the Aussie press.

There have been many such cases of State and Federal Ministers resigning over the most minor infractions which would be deemed by Malaysians as insignificantly minor or buggerall important at all.

I would say the Party’s 'fear' of public backlash (no doubt agitated by the feral Aussie press) would be the driving force behind such resignations.

In Malaysia, I would say the Party’s leadership 'fear' of internal challenges (agitated by feral avarice and nepotism) would be the manipulating force behind such resignations.

But what it does show is that the greatest driving force actually is the public opinion, which explains why the ‘agama, bangsa dan negara’ clarion call has been overused by the desperate, unscrupulous and ambitious to both provide, for example, 9.2 million Teflon-ing excuses as well as to marshal the faithful to the ethnic banner against the fabricated siege by the ‘nons’.

The usual candidate for the feared 'nons' would be 'Chinese communists', then 'Chinese chauvinists', but now supplanted by 'Indian terrorists'. The UMNO doctrine is that the 'family' that fears together sticks together.

We also know that the force to keep the public informed would be the press, a free press, which alas, other than for Malaysiakini, we sorely lack. Once the Star was the most reliable free press in Malaysia but thanks to the MCA, we are left only with Malaysiakini. I only pray (even as an aethist) that Malaysiakini will continue to be free from fear and favour and not be hijacked.

A free press and a well-informed public would be a good start to recover the democracy we once enjoyed, as we can no longer rely on the lost Triad.

KTemoc's No 1 priority - Fight crime!


  1. Enough of this spineless corrupted government. Time for a change. Time to kick BN out.

    Malaysia is full of wealth and resources. Due to the flawed system and corrupted practice the rakyat and the nation suffered.

    The wealths of the nation are for all rakyat.

  2. Yr highly analytical & informative postings get an A from us but can be significantly improved to A+ if you include some pixs as for eg Tengku A and cronies going for prayers in Islamic fare and then sking and womanising ( something like that )the very nights thereafter , at your expense and ours...and also the rest of the Malaysian Blo@$y suckers

  3. isnt he the same corrupt fella involved in the judiciary scandal.
    and this charlattan PM keeps on talking about working with him to combat corruption. his fucking ministers even sanction corruption within his ministry by giving the corrupt guy aq promotion.
    Badawi, stop being a hypocrite and go after the arses of your corrupt ministers. STOP TALKING AND START WORKING!