Based on news reports from Malaysiakini, Star and various blogs.
Case I - Kalliste
I was flabbergasted to read in the Malaysiakini corner for bloggers that someone posted ‘Selangor is PKR country’ when the loose/informal coalition which aspires to govern the State consists of three parties, PKR with 15 state seats, DAP with 13 and Pas 8.
PKR wouldn't be able to present itself alone as the majority party.
The title of the post has been most insensitive and provocative, with the potential to cause disharmony amongst members of the still fragile informal coalition of DAP-PKR-PAS. It’s virtually a Kalliste* on the apple of discord, that one could expect only an UMNO cybertrooper, frustrated with his party’s loss, to toss in among the nascent alliance.
* meaning ‘to the fairest’, provocative words sinisterly designed by a goddess to bring about discord leading to the devastating Trojan War
And to prove my point, the Sultan of Selangor wants to speak to the other two component parties of the informal alliance before he would consent to Khalid Ibrahim of PKR assuming the MB’s post. Technically, PKR will head the government of Selangor in a minority rule with the support of the DAP and PAS. The Sultan wants to ensure that the coalition can be a stable one. Obviously he doesn't want his State to be run like Italy, where shaky minority governments are changed faster than underwear.
I recall the blogger as once a protem chairman of a supposedly apolitical association, who strangely led his committee on its initial outing, to visit of all people, Malaysia’s most controversial opposition leader.
That inexplicable visit was a bizarre and provocative action. Today we can do without any more of his provocative words or actions.
Case II - Ong Ka Ting in pseudo-repentance?
Star Online said Ka Ting won't seek Cabinet post, he wants to focus on rebuilding MCA. How self sacrificing, or is he?
In Malaysiakini Stanley Koh wrote in MCA drowns in ocean of disgust: “… cracks have already appeared in the MCA top rung and voices in the party ranks have become louder, calling for a revamping of the entire leadership echelon through an early party election.”
“Several MCA sources speculated that the president Ong Ka Ting, should he delay party elections, would raise more suspicions that he intends to serve a personal agenda. It would also strengthen widening allegations that such manipulation would be secure the position of elder brother Ka Chuan in order to succeed him before his term expires in 2012.”
“In addition, there is a growing collective sentiment that Ka Ting should step down to walk his own talk on the importance of a healthy political culture. He stands accused of lack of wisdom, poor leadership strategies and turning a blind eye to the ‘real’ election issues in the Chinese community.”
Though Ong stated he wants to dedicate his time and energy to rebuild and reform the party, I believe it is his attempted compromise to avoid being told by his party membership to leave because of his leadership failure.
Case III - RPK, keep my ombudsman steak medium rare please!
While I have the greatest admiration for Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK), sometimes I think he gets too carried away. For example, he wrote about instituting an ombudsman (or committee) for the 5 States under the DAP-PKR-PAS governments. But what took my breath away was his over-the-top proposal:
“The Ombudsman must be above the Chief Minister and Menteri Besar. It must have the power and authority to summon even the highest man in the state to come before the committee for questioning on anything at all that may be perceived as wrongdoing, transgressions, deviations, etc. And the Ombudsman must have the power and authority to recommend the removal of any public servant or politician who may have committed a breach of discipline, even if he is the Chief Minister/Menteri Besar.”
"... above the Chief Minister and Menteri Besar ..."? Then, power this and power that for the ombudsman?
This is going too far, putting an unelected person above the elected representatives of the people!
It’s not unlike the government of Iran, where the unelected clerical Supreme Leader and the Assembly of Elders in Iran ride shotgun over the elected President and the Majles (Parliament).
In fact, an ombudsman is no more than an official, usually appointed by the government or by parliament, to represent the public interests. He or she does this by investigating and addressing complaints reported by individual citizens.
The ombudsman is more interested in mitigating administrative injustice and correcting a system rather than taking punitive actions. An ombudsman does not have executive powers to sack or dismiss anyone. But in a democracy it would be the foolish government or private corporation which ignores his/her recommendations, which usually would be, as I mentioned, to right any administrative wrongs for the just benefits of the individual or the general public.
I certainly welcome the introduction of ombudsmen into our political and financial systems, and public and even private institutions (especially for Police and banking matters). But let’s not overcook the new meal by making him/her into a pseudo-Ayatollah with supra powers over the people's democratically elected representatives.
An ombudsman trivia – while the word (meaning ‘representative’) stems from Sweden, it seems prototypes of ombudsmen flourished in China during, strangely the draconian Qin Dynasty (221 BCE).
Now get this, it was actually Umar, the second Muslim Caliph (634-644) and his concept of the Islamic Qadi al-Qadat, which influenced the Swedish King, Charles XII. Poor Charles was in self-exile in Turkey when he learnt of the Islamic ombudsman concept. When he returned home in 1713, he created the Office of Supreme Ombudsman, which became the model for the world.
Maybe we could have an ombudsman for religion?