Followers

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

REGAIN YOUR DIGNITY AS A RAKYAT – BE A RAPERA. [PART 1]

In my discussions and the talks I have delivered, I invariably insist that there is a big difference between a “rakyat” and a “Rapera”.

A “Rakyat” is one who is a citizen by law and he merely WANTS what he thinks are his rights. IN fact, on most occasions, he does not even know what his rights really are. Most of the Rakyat have, unwittingly, lost their dignity as a citizen and accept it as the natural state. Example of loss of dignity is: when they allow their elected leaders to talk down to them or plainly lie to them. Worse example is: when they allow these elected leaders to rape the Nation. And some of the Rakyat are divided by their narrow vested interests. We have allowed the mischief

“Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the deed) that the hands of men have earned, that (God) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil).” (Quran 30:41)

A “Rapera” is one while mindful of this rights, is totally aware of his DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES as a citizen of this Nation. He loves his country and his fellow citizens deeply. While he is careful to protect his rights, he is even more insistent in ensuring that he never fails to carry out his duty to the Nation. He wants to be counted as a citizen who is part and parcel of the total development and progress of this nation. He has dignity and protects it all the time. His dignity comes from the service of his Nation, without fear or favour. And the Raperas are united against evil.

“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. (Quran: 3:104)

“Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs: For them is a dreadful penalty”. (Quran: 3:105)

A Rakyat may be a ‘coward’. A Rapera is courageous in the struggle to create a just society where all of Allah’s creatures can have a dignified space. He is forever mindful that if he turns a blind eye to the injustices suffered by others, the injustice will visit him or his relatives one day. No one is exempt from the hand of evil, including the evildoer.

A Rakyat may see only problems and obstacles in the quest for a better society. He gives plenty of excuses. He insults himself by saying that he has no power, no influence, no money, no connections and that he is busy fending for his family. He has no time to give, only to take whatever crumbs that are thrown his way. Through this attitude, he loses all in the long run, including his dignity.

“Those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present, and those who heed not Our Signs, (Quran10:7)

Their abode is the Fire, because of the (evil) they earned”. (Quran 10:8)

“Those who believe, and work righteousness,- their Lord will guide them because of their faith: beneath them will flow rivers in gardens of bliss”. (Quran 10:9)

A Rapera sees events as tests put before him by his Creator – will he prove to be a scumbag or a person of dignity? He sees that in the quest for a better society, he has no option but to overcome evil that is placed in his path of life. He does it in the best way possible under the circumstances of his life. AT the very least, he refuses to be part of the evil or even honour it. A Rapera knows that many evil persons are glorified, honoured and placed in high pedestals in society. He refuses to recognize that honour and glory even if he is the only person doing that.

DO you not see those who claim sanctity (honour) for themselves? Nay-but God does sanctify (honour) whom He pleases. But never will they fail to receive justice in the least little thing”. (Quran 4.049)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Rakyat-Politician-Corporate Cronies Relationship

Yesterday evening, I was invited to a friend’s house. He is a professor in a local university. While having tea with very nice cup cakes in his house, we drifted into discussing the unholy alliances between politicians and corporate cronies. He suggested that I write something about this in this blog. Ok. Let me try to get the basic message across in a very light vein.

Once upon a time there was the Rakyat. They are simple people with simple desires in life. Their biggest ambition in life is to live happily with their loved ones.



All that the Rakyat wants is the opportunity to find food, clothing and shelter. Translated in modern terms means job opportunities that can enable them to get the money to buy these things. Also the opportunities to get these opportunities – like education, etc. Seen in a certain light, these are basic “bread crumbs”.



Then ONE day, the capitalist was spying on the Rakyats basic needs. He had other dreams!

He set about thinking – how can I make profits out of these essentials that the Rakyat is now getting for free or cheap in the market. He thought and he thought.



Then, he got a brilliant idea. His capitalist ambitions can only be achieved by distracting the Rakyat. He needed someone who can distract the Rakyat from the basic, important things in life. He needed someone who can pretend to serve the Rakyat and pretend to motivate the Rakyat. In short, someone who can successfully take the Rakyat for a ride. He found the Politician.



SO enters the politician. The politician meow, meowed here and meow, meowed there. Speeches here, speeches there. Announcements here, announcements there. Issues here, issues there. Promises here, promise there. Meow, meow everywhere. Finally the Rakyat got distracted with all the moewing.

So, the corporate crony got his way. He made his move while the Rakyat was distracted. He controlled what the Rakyat had before. All became his to commercialize and make profits!




And what happened to the Rakyat with all the politicians’ meowing and the corporate cronies taking away even the Rakyat’s “bread crumbs”?



Ah well, what else is new Yang Berbohong dan Yang Berlagak?
RAPERAS, regain what is yours - first your dignity as a citizen of this beloved Nation.

Friday, December 26, 2008

GROOMING FUTURE LEADERS .

Imagine the following scenario when the President of the party chairs a party meeting to choose potential leaders.

President: " we need to select 15 people to groom as the next generation of leaders. Ok. Lets start. Anyone with sons to propose?

[Five committee members raise their hands and hand over cards with their sons particulars written on it.]

President: Ok. Thats 5, anymore? none? Ok...how about daughters?

[Two committee members raise their hands and hand over cards with their daughters particulars written on it ]

President: Ok. Thats 2, anymore? none? Ok...how about son-in-laws?

[Two committee members raise their hands and hand over cards with their son-in-laws particulars written on it ]

President: Ok. Thats 2, anymore? none? Ok...how about daughters-in-laws?

[No one raises their hands]

President: Ok. I understand. We can't have our daughters-in-law in politics. Ok...how about nephews or nieces?

[Three committee members raise their hands and hand over cards with t particulars written on it ]

President: Ok. Thats 3, anymore? none? Ok...how about any relatives?

[No one raises their hands]

President: Ok. I know. We cannot have our relatives equally powerful and rich as us, What about friends or your cronies?

[Eight committee members raise their hands and hand over cards with particulars written on it]

President: Ok. We have more than enough. Next week we shall identify projects that can generate funds and set up these potential young leaders financially in poltics. Meeting adjourned.

Everyone reads some prayers and break off for tea.

TIGHTER CONTROL OVER CIVIL SERVANTS?

I finally heard some good news in Putrajaya. Two government MPs told me that there are serious plans underway to tighten the control over the exercise of power by civil servants, especially the top ranking officials. Apparently, the executive now finally realises that abuses by the civil servants are giving the government of the day a bad name. I have been saying this and whispering this into their ears for years! I suppose, this whisper of mine was never heard without the arrival of March 2008.

I hope the plans that the relevant body is going to unveil and implement vis-a=vis curbing abuse of power by civil servants and improving the delivery system will also consider amending the general orders to enable expeditious termination of seriously delinquent civil servants. Contracts of top ranking civil servants should also be reviewed against the backdrop of their productivity before renewal. I can never understand why some of these contracts are renewed when they have only one year left and the official had already had a good ride on the tax payers money for years.

There has been so much talk about the delivery system and the little napoleons. The Rakyat is waiting to see some "walking the talk".

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dr Rasuawahi from Juburti 0 Chapter 5: The Assassination Attempt.

“But fate always plays out unexpectedly to determine leadership”, he said slowly while his eyes looked far into history. I waited in anticipation.

Looking at me, he continued. “While the President was planning to take me out, something happened. Just three days after the politburo meeting to sack me, his son, Lepaki was implicated in an attempt to overthrow the President and to assassinate me. It turned out that he was leading a group of rebels. The President’s car blew up with a planted bomb and my house was attacked by armed rebels in the middle of the night.”

I interrupted him, “Wait a minute Sir. I did some research on the internet on this so called rebellion by the President’s son. Treason? Against his own father? The facts and news on the internet seem to doubt the entire incident as staged by someone else. There are even accusations from many parts of the world that it was staged by you”.

He retorted, “Absolute nonsense! For the record, I saved Lepaki from the punishment of treason against the President by using my Presidential power of pardon. However, the people’s sentiments were beyond control with all the photographs splashed on the internet.”

“That’s another thing, “, I said, “How did the photographs get on the internet so quickly and so conveniently to implicate Lepaki…even before he was arrested? And those people whom he was photographed with look like some young people he was having fun with at the pubs and various places”.

“Ah! But these very same young people were arrested outside my house by our police who arrived quickly the very same night of the assassination attempt on me. It is evidence of collaboration and knowledge. The police had also recorded confessions from the rebels that Lepaki is their leader”, he emphasized.

Pausing for a while, he continued’ “And a 100 day trial proved his involvement”.

I inadvertently laughed when he mentioned the trial. All over the internet, the trial was denounced as the greatest shame to Juburti judiciary with all the three judges alleged to have very close links to Dr Rasuawahi. In fact, it is strongly alleged that the entire police team and the prosecution team involved in the prosecution of Lepaki were people indebted to him.

He looked at me displeased with my laughter. “You are not insulting our judicial system like the western press, are you? The West is the enemy of the developing and third world countries. Don’t you ever forget that. It was a fair trial and having defended himself with a team of the best defence lawyers, he was found guilty”.

Sounding like making a press statement, he said, “Yes. There was an assassination attempt against me in 1999 and a plan to overthrow the President. Anyway, as destiny wills it, I became president in the same year. Here look at this paper report. He handed me a newspaper cutting.

There were many things amiss in the alleged assassination attempt and the implication of Lepaki. One also cannot avoid noticing that the tables were very quickly turned against his very foes – the President and his son. I had a lot of questions to ask but since his voice had a tone of finality, I decided to just look at the newspaper cutting that he handed me.


“It says here you wife was in a coma? What really happened?”

“Yes. In the attempt to assassinate me, my wife Konveniens got shot by a stray bullet and she’s still in a coma until today…been 7 years now”.

I was perplexed. If indeed this was an event staged by Dr Rasuawahi himself, would he sacrifice his wife too? It is difficult to fathom to what length politicians will go in the quest of power.

“That’s horribly sad”, I muttered. “And when his son was charged in court and his daughter was in a coma, the President lost his will?”

“Yes, the implication of his son in the attempted overthrow of the Presidency and the coma state of his daughter ….. was simply too much for the old man. He slowly gave control of the State to me. Furthermore, it will be embarrassing for him to pardon his own son. I promised him that is the first thing that I will do as President”

“What happened to Lepaki after the pardon?”

“Well, we send him off to Sweden to live and undergo treatment in Sweden. However, he seemed to have contracted an unidentifiable disease that wastes his muscles while he is there”. Dr Rasuawahi took a deep breath as if he was feeling sorry for Lepaki.

I wondered, “eliminating the enemy?”.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Public Caning for Seriously Delinquent Civil Servants (“sedics”)?


The country cannot function without the civil servants. Every citizen from the time she is born is tied to the civil service (birth certificate) to the time she dies (death certificate). Every single aspect and step of his life will also depend on the civil service – the delivery system, implementation of policies, mundane approvals for licences, certificate of fitness for buildings, passports, etc, etc.

In short, the civil service is for all practical purposes and intent, the GOVERNMENT. The civil service actually governs the administration of the country AND administers it.

The Rakyat has always acknowledged this very crucial role and contribution of the civil service. Due to this acknowledgement, the Rakyat has given many perks, allowances, benefits, etc to the civil service. The civil servants are even allowed to enjoy almost total job security which the majority of the working Rakyat do not. It is not easy to sack a civil servant for inefficiency as it is in the private sector.

The civil service is in the position of a trustee for the Rakyat. The Rakyat TRUSTS the civil service and the civil service system. The Rakyat believes that the various heads of department that go by the titles of “Pen. Pengarah”, “Timb. Pengarah”, “Ketua Pengarah”, “Pen. KSU”, “KSU”, etc, etc are all responsible people who can uphold the TRUST of the Rakyat and perform their tasks as well as they possibly can. Obviously, the Muslim ones are expected by the Muslim Rakyat to perform their duties ever mindful that Allah is watching their every step.

The Rakyat makes no distinction between the “PTDs” and the “PTAs”. TO them, all are civil servants and are TRUSTED to do their job.

Trust is the highest relationship one can form. The opposite of TRUST is betrayal. In relationships, I think betrayal is the worst crime, even worse than murder. When someone trusts you, he gives up a certain something in him. He has lowered his defence mechanism. He holds you in high esteem. Betrayal is sometimes described as “stabbing you in the back”. Only a hypocrite can betray you, never a righteous person. Allah says the worst people on earth are the hypocrites, not even the disbelievers.

Many societies in history mete out the death punishment for murder. If betrayal is worse than murder, what is the appropriate punishment?

There are many in the civil service who are worthy of our trust. Many who work hard and righteously. But it appears there are many too that are Seriously Delinquent Civil Servants or SEDICS for short who habitually and happily BETRAY the Rakyat’s trust. You have to judge the tree by the fruits it bears. And the fruits are all rotten.

In these past week, we read with sadness, frustrations, anger and sheer disbelief that what happened in Bukit Antarabangsa could happen after so many past incidences of a similar cause such as Highland Towers. This could only have happened because the Rakyat had trusted the system and the civil servants who are involved in this part of the administration. Due to the TRUST now being BETRAYED by the Sedics, many of the families that lived happily in the Ulu Klang area are now living with losses and total uncertainty while the Sedics have a “secure” home to go to and write reports apportioning blame to the rest of the world.

Was it unforeseeable - the problem of landslides in Malaysia? Just one example. On 1st November 2007, the then Works Minister, Datuk Samy Vellu, in his speech made the following statement:

“In a country like Malaysia where there are more than 7,200 slopes, including about 1,200 major ones, I therefore strongly believe that together, we must do all that we can, to prevent such incidents from recurring. Irrespective of whether potential landslides are merely disruptive or both tragic and disruptive to the public and businesses alike, we must always be on guard. A proper slope management is thus without doubt a critical necessity.”

He said it right. He was part of the cabinet. Were not any of the Tan Sri or Dato KSU listening and taking notes? Was there any follow up by anybody in the GOVERNMENT? What the F*** ( = “fish”, for the avoidance of doubt) was anyone in office doing? Lives and the welfare of ordinary Rakyat do not matter anymore? Helloooooooo……!!!

RAPERAs, Bukit Antarabangsa is just ONE example of the betrayal by the Sedics. Look. Wake up. Open your eyes. Many things that can be done right are not done right. Many things are abused and $$$$$$, money and money has simply blinded the Sedics to the potential sufferings of the Rakyat arising from their BETRAYAL. After many years of continual repetition of betrayals by the Sedics, I am totally convinced that the political masters absolutely lack the political will to plug the problem.

Excuse the language please, but it is one big shit system that simply must be flushed out! Too much excreta is nauseating even for the compromising. RAPERAS, think about this.

The Quran uses the word “fasikuun” to describe people who know what is right but insist on doing the wrong thing for selfish reasons. SO what do you do with fasikuuns in this sense? What do you do with current Sedics so that potential Sedics will then know that it is no longer profitable/worthwhile to be a Sedic?

Dataran Merdeka has a sentimental meaning for me. It seems to remind me of the merdeka that we achieved. So how about public caning for Sedics at Dataran Merdeka? Hopefully that can merdeka us from betrayals.

What do you think?

Peace !

Sunday, December 21, 2008

PRIVATISATION OF IJN?

The entire episode is mind-boggling! First, the papers reported that the Government okeys the takeover of IJN by Sime Darby. Apparently, both the PM and the DPM are of the view that privatization will benefit IJN. But the next day, the papers reported that the DPM now says that in depth study needs to be done before a final decision is made. Does that mean no indepth study was done before the first announcement in the papers - I wonder how many new patients IJN had since the first announcement!

More mind boggling is that Sime Darby apparently will charge the same fees as is being charged now by corporatised IJN. Why would private sector Sime Darby want to maintain corporatised rates is indeed mind boggling in the economic sense. A private sector that does not want o make profits? What a heart!

DO you smell something foul somewhere?

Hmm..and they think the so called protest votes of March 2008 will not remain as votes of reformation in the future!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SIZE 10 SHOES FOR BUSH

An Iraqi journalist throws two shoes at President Bush calling it a "goodbye present". Bush was cool about it, saying that it is "size 10".

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are YOU still in the Malay-Chinese-Indian mindset??

[Norman Rockwell drawing]

We all have our experiences. We all have stories to tell. Most of these stories and experiences shape the way we look at our selves and the world. For the unaware, the unthinking and the one who does not do any self reflection, their experiences appear to be the truth to them.

I hail from Penang. I recall the prejudiced clichés I have heard of the various ethnic groups – Malays are lazy and stupid, Chinese are dirty and materialistic, the Indians are untrustworthy and drunk. But I continued to have friends from all these ethnic groups. In fact I have very good friends from all these ethnic groups. I am lucky because my family is not racially biased. My mother taught us that if you really believe in Allah, you must be aware that all are “makhluk Allah” ie the creations of God.

Of course I too had unpleasant experiences with people. I recall when my family shifted house somewhere far from my school, I approached a few Malay friends of mine and asked them if I could stay with for two months until my STPM examinations are over. They said: No. A Chinese friend of mine, overhearing my request, offered and I stayed with him and his mom. His mom became like my mother. She even bought special utensils to cook for me without me asking her to do it. She took good care of me. I thought wow, the Chinese are kind people. Not materialistic as I heard others say they are. And her house was kept very clean.

I had a Malay uncle and aunt who will make drinks and food for the schoolchildren who pass by their house everyday – most of the children were Chinese. He was a school teacher and I recall him giving free tuition to quite a number of poor Chinese school children (yes, there were many poor Chinese around and I know there are many today too). I have Malay friends whose brains and their diligence which I admire. Not all Malays are lazy and stupid. If you look hard enough, you will find stupid, lazy people in every ethnic grouping all over the world.

Until today, I have a very good friend who is like a brother to me. When I came back from UK after doing my law, I stayed in his house for more than a year for free. He not only refused to take any rent, his wife cooked for me and he took good care of all the things I dumped in his house when I left for UK. I know that his house door is always open for me if I need to even live there. He does not drink. He is absolutely trustworthy. In fact, everyone who knows him will testify that he is an absolute angel. He is Indian.

I was dating a Chinese girl once. My parents had no objections. Her mother however, could not accept a non-Chinese son-in-law. I was a reject because I was non-Chinese. They engineered everything possible to make sure our relationship does not work. Was I supposed to hate her and think that ALL Chinese are racist? Just when my young mind was upset at the “racial rejection”, a few years later, I met another Chinese family which accepted me in totality. The parents are wonderful people. SO, there you go. Just because the first girlfriend’s mother may be a racist does not make all Chinese racists. She was probably ignorant or fearful of the "unknown" (a non-Chinese in the family?).

And sure, I have been “betrayed” by some “friends”. But they were, incidentally from the Indian, Malay and Chinese ethnic origins! I know some Chinese, Indian and Malay people who are downright racists. But hey, aren't the aware blessed?

The point I am making is this: we may have bitter experiences in the hands of some people from some ethnic groups…..but let us not make the error of judging the WHOLE ethnic group as evil or bad. There are a lot of good, decent human beings among them.

DO not let politics and politicians diminish our humanity. They are glorified scoundrels and thieves - most of them.

If we do so, we are the racist. There is something very wrong with our souls. Better fix it quick or we will be part of the problem.

What about YOU?

Peace !

Saturday, December 13, 2008

RETHINKING GOVERNMENT POLICY

[Image taken from New South Wales Government website]

RAPERAs have you thought about how government policies actually come into being and how often they are reviewed? Of course some of the policies are discussed at the cabinet meetings but most of these policies do not originate from the cabinet members. Occasionally you may have the PM himself proposing a policy such as Look East or Islam Hadhari. It must come various other sources – mostly from Ministries and government agencies (translated: civil servants again). Cabinet discussions of these policies surely cannot be conducted at great length and depth due to obvious constraints. What may be discussed is the general policy, its general effects and matters generally related to implementation.

SO this begs the question: who actually crystallizes the policies and gives meaning to it in its daily implementation? It is not uncommon in this country for policies to be misunderstood and wrongly interpreted by the implementers (again, civil servants). We have seen before several “Islamic” policies of the government to be translated to mean that Muslims cannot greet non-muslims and such.

The process of crystallization of the policy is important, assuming we have already crossed the first hurdle of evaluating the need and usefulness of the policy itself. Some policies are not only outdated but burdensome to the Rakyat and costly. One example is some of the official forms that one has to fill up at some of the government departments. It is thus important that qualified people both in terms of knowledge, diligence and attitude are involved in the crystallization process.

Having had some experiences with many of them over the past years, with respect, I largely doubt their credentials. The problem is their attitude. The younger ones that I had the pleasure of knowing over the more recent years are a breath of fresh air. They have shed this dubious Malay culture of “tatasusila mesyuarat” in place of the Islamic value of critical debate, evaluation and passionate involvement in the responsibilities at hand. (The older puny napoleons must really take a quick exit, especially those whose main priority in meetings is to hear themselves being addressed as “Datuk”, “Tan Sri” or “Tuan haji”)

Government policies need to be reviewed periodically, especially those that affect the Rakyat on a daily basis. In this review process, old laws may need to be repealed and new laws put in place. Datuk Azmi Khalid, for example, when he was the Minister of “Kementerian Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar”, made several very important observations and suggestions that relating to rivers, the Environmental Act and the roles of the PBT. Has there been follow-up by the new Minister or the relevant agencies?

This is another thing: - some Ministers actually do make good public suggestions but nobody follows it up. Now, we see Azmi Khalid again as PAC chairman making good suggestions again in the aftermath of the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy. The more important issue is: who is going to follow it up? If there is none, then make someone responsible from today.

We need serious people to relook at many of the Government polices. We need serious people who will work to implement the policies well and in a way that will not unreasonably burden the Rakyat. This can be done if there is political will and if the politicians will start working for a change instead of making “syok sendiri” statements which insults the Rakyat’s intelligence.

Once again, I say this: we need radical leadership who are passionate about improving the country. It is not difficult really…start with removing deadwood and blockages and the standard of “average” will instantly rise!

What are your views on government policies?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Politicians - Heed the wisdom of HRH Sultan of Selangor !


HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has expressed the mind of the Rakyat clearly when he advised politicians not to harp on trivial issues. In an exclusive interview with Datuk Wong Chun Wai of Star, HRH says:

“They are harping on issues that have no relevance to the country. With the global economic crisis, I would expect them to focus their energy and resources on how best they could help Malaysians face this financial uncertainty. But the issues that these politicians have brought up are disappointing. I am concerned with the manner some politicians exploit racial issues for their own agenda”.

Read the full interview here.

This is clearly the period where wisdom seems to emanate from the palaces.

Daulat Tuanku !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ahmad Shabery Cheek: DONT JUST BLAME GOVT.

Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek is reported to have asked people not to blame just the government every time a disaster happens.

Datuk, you are right. The house buyers must be critical and evaluative when they buy houses. You are also right that the developers are equally responsible. They should look beyond profits and address the issue of ethical development practices.

But I really cannot bring myself to agree that “is was not fair to slam the Government for failing to act every time a disaster happens”… unless it can be proven conclusively that the Government did act and acted responsibly.

Datuk, this is how reality works: people believe that once a development project is launched it has the blessing of the Government. People actually believe that “blessing of the Government” means that the relevant authorities have done everything reasonably possible under the law to ensure that the project is generally safe. That the Government has ensured that the relevant existing laws are reasonably sufficient to ensure that foreseeable disasters do not occur. Hulu Klang disasters are not foreseeable????

The Government, I am afraid must bear the first responsibility for refusing to act radically to ensure that foreseeable mishaps in developments do not occur. Do some work. Go and inspect how the approving authorities are doing their job. Are they qualified? Are they honest and efficient?

Stop talking and giving speeches which people are tired of hearing. Meletihkan dan memualkan.

Developments are covered by a host of laws and involves a variety of authorities. All these are within the control and responsibility of the Government of the day, not the people.It is incompetency that causes disasters like these. Should the people be faulted in thinking that when a hill slope development is approved by the Government, it must be safe? The people should not trust the Government? When you want trust, you must accept responsibility.

People believe that the developers have utilized the relevant technology for the relevant development. Surely the relevant government authorities are more competent than the ordinary buyers to validate this belief? Kalau tidak, makan gaji buat apa?

The people are really getting sick and tired of ad hoc approaches by ad hoc minded politicians in power.

Get off your high horses and just get the work done – enough of jams caused by zero town planning, buildings collapsing, roads cracking, social problems compounding due to haphazd and clustered construction of low cost flats, approvals of densely populated high-rise condominiums/apartments without any thinking on mobility/transport/safety...and the list goes on.

This time it is on developments. Many times it is on lives being lost due to crimes, etc.

Simple. Some people in the Government are not working.

The Government is responsible first. Unless you do not want the Rakyat to trust you.

I have been saying this a thousand times – CLEAN UP THE CIVIL SERVICE !!!! They cost lives.

[Datuk, nothing personal]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A FATWA ON HILLSLOPES DEVELOPMENT?

I was wondering aloud yesterday. The religious authorities have issued fatwas on almost everything that touches on the personal life of Muslims. I am certain that they would like to issue many more fatwas, if given the opportunity and leeway – all in good faith.

The Ampang-Ulu Klang area has been prone to houses and rows of shoplots collapsing though what people seem to remember is only the Highland Towers collapse.

You can read a history of landslides in Hulu Klang area at mysinchew here

I too had handled a case involving the sudden collapse of a house in Bukit Antarabangsa way back in the 1990s. The whole house just suddenly cracked and collapsed in the middle of the night. Luckily, the parents and their children managed to vacate the house before the whole house literally sunk into the ground. This case taught me that the water table in the Hulu Klang area is high and hence, the soil there is unstable.

Insurance companies do not insure such damages citing “act of God”. The Government approving authorities usually invoke the immunity from liability under the the Street, Drainage & Building Act 1974 (Act 133). Hence the house owner is left to solve his own problem without the help of the insurance companies, the government and of course the caring religious authority that wants to save your soul.


Surely it must be haram to continue to make profits from developments that are bound to fail and cause possible death? Surely it must be haram to approve projects that will harm the people? It may be interesting to know what the learned people at the Fatwa Council think. Or is good governance and good corporate practices not part of the “religious” jurisdiction of the religious authorities?

Isn’t it the legitimate expectation of property buyers that all parties involved in the development or construction have considered all aspects, especially that of quality and safety? Otherwise, the buyers are not getting what is due to them and their trust has been betrayed.

"And O my people! give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief” ( Quran: 11:85)

Just thinking aloud.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Excesses and Others of the 1970s onwards - some thoughts

It is important for us to understand and maybe even revisit some of the events in our country post 1970 to mid-1990 in terms of the culture of excesses that we have allowed to grow.

Since the 1970s, our government (read: civil service) has grown and grown but noticeably there was not even a hint that government should be accountable. It was then mostly a notion that being government, it can do anything it wants. Hence as far as the delivery “system” was concerned, the rakyat was at its mercy. You are simply expected to be grateful for whatever service you receive. The quality or lack thereof of the civil service reflects on those responsible for the thinking and planning (if any) of the civil service. For more than 20 years, the civil service grew into a powerful, non accountable, bulky, corrupt and inefficient body that burdens the taxpaying rakyat. Sadly, no politician appear able or willing to stop the rot in the civil service – for fear of losing votes.

There was also the DEB which, I believe had good objectives. Unfortunately while a small minority gained, the majority did not. I believe much of the DEB’s measures were hijacked by greedy, selfish individuals for their gain at the expense of the target groups. I also believe that the DEB was used by irresponsible, cruel individuals to enrich themselves using the most dubious methods at the expense of the larger target group. Hence, the Ali Babas, the numerous “projek terbengkalai”, the failure of many companies and the terribly sick state of many GLCs.

At the outset, I must say that it is totally unfair and inaccurate to blame the whole Malay population as appears to be the unhealthy trend today. It is as a result of unholy alliances of individuals from various ethnic groups thinking only of themselves that have landed us in the state we are in today. This, Raperas must be clear of, for should we not be tired of being bondaged in cliché thinking after all these years???

The other factor of course is that we totally lack politicians with radical thinking abilities and determined persistence to get done what needs to be done. Everyone was thinking not only within the box but within a small corner of the box. Everyone developed a “tutup satu mata” value.

It is under such circumstances that the culture of excesses among the government began to flourish and became the norm. It became a socially acceptable Malaysian culture to “pay something ikhlas” to the civil servants to make them do the very job they are supposed to do. If something “ikhlas” is not given, the task may still be done but may be done many months later or completely shoddily. Sometimes, without the “ikhlas” element, your work may be doomed. When the Rakyat still does not understand the importance of an independent judiciary and the rule of law, puny napoleons make their own laws wrecking your lives.

The power of the “gomen” is not something you may want to complain because of fear that you may end up the victim. For short term and personal gains, the few corporate rakyat who were in cahoots with the corrupt civil servants actually sold off your children’s future. It must be gotten back.

To compound the problem, accountability is not a culture in our society which unashamedly pays lip service to Islam and eastern values and such moralistic diatribe. The systematic exclusion by the relevant authorities of any intelligent discussion of Islamic and Asian values only prevents the opening of the Rakyat’s eyes. The teachings of the Quran, however is very clear. Accountability and responsibility for personal actions are pivotal to one’s faith in Allah. One such verse is as follows:

“Therein (in hell) will they cry aloud (for assistance): "Our Lord! Bring us out: we shall work righteousness, not the (deeds) we used to do!" - "Did We not give you long enough life so that he that would should receive admonition? and (moreover) the warner came to you. So taste you (the fruits of your deeds): for the wrong-doers there is no helper." (35.037)

A believer (mukmin) or a submitter (muslim) will have no choice but to undertake steps that will truly create a norm of true accountability in society. The task is not easy but certainly it is not impossible. In any event, the only existing alternative is to allow the rot to continue until the entire of civilized society collapses.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bar Council Elections -Thank You !

I want to thank everyone who placed their trust in me in the recent Bar Council Elections.