Pak Lah: once a lame duck, always a lame duck

A helluva lot has changed since I last blogged.  My mind boggles at the events that have transpired and continue to transpire post 8th March 2008.  Since my last blog posting I’ve even managed a trip back to Malaysia.  It was too hectic to really be called a holiday but after nearly two years in the UK it was a long awaited trip home.

Yep, lots has changed.  Enough that I don’t even know what to believe anymore.  But one thing hasn’t.  And that one thing would be our lame duck Prime Minister.  Call me cynical if you wish.

Now, before anyone accuses me of harming the reputation of our illustrious Prime Minister without basis and thereby potentially falling foul of the law, let’s first look at the dictionary.  Dictionary.com defines “lame duck” thusly and I have bolded a few definitions that I (in good faith of course) believe apply to Pak Lah:

lame duck –noun

1. an elected official or group of officials, as a legislator, continuing in office during the period between an election defeat and a successor’s assumption of office.
2. a president who is completing a term of office and chooses not to run or is ineligible to run for reelection.
3. a person finishing a term of employment after a replacement has been chosen.
4. anything soon to be supplanted by another that is more efficient, economical, etc.
5. a person or thing that is disabled, helpless, ineffective, or inefficient.

I think we can all agree that he was ineffective before the elections.  The rising levels of crime and corruption would attest to this as well.  There was also the fact that he made like an ostrich and stuck his head firmly in the ground as far as the rakyat’s complaints were concerned.

Post 8th March 2008, he claims to have heard our “signal” and implores for the rest of UMNO to take note and act accordingly as well.  Since the elections Pak Lah has also said he will hand the reins over to Najib in two years bringing him within the first definition of “lame duck”.  But, as I will shortly explain, he continues to demonstrate that he is an ineffective leader.

In April 2008, in an attempt to persuade us that his head is now out of the sand Pak Lah dangled before the rakyat the propects of a Malaysian Commission on Anti-Corruption (MCAC) (intended to be a souped up, more independent version of the ACA) and the idea of a Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).  Promises like these are presented to us like carrots on a stick but before we utter “HEE HAW” and go galloping off in hot pursuit of these tantalising morsels let’s assess where we are and whether indeed Pak Lah has kept his word.

It’s pushing to close to 4 months since both the MCAC and JAC were proposed by Pak Lah.

First, the MCAC has yet to be set up but more importantly, it’s structure, appointment of top officials and the nitty gritty of it’s expanded powers has yet to be clarified.  Who cares if the MCAC has 20,000 or even 100,000 officers if it is not given adequate powers nor sufficiently transparent.  For that matter, it isn’t even clear what sort of a Parliamentary Committee the MCAC would be reporting to.  As a matter of good governance such a Parliamentary Committee should include members of the Opposition as well.

And now we turn to the JAC.  After something of a promising start the idea was shot down by ministers from within Pak Lah’s own party, UMNO.  Haris Ibrahim lists the reasons given as culled from a report from the The Malaysianinsider.  The reasons include fears over “loss of Malay control over a key institution“.  I don’t know about you but that statement infuraites me on many levels.  First, it implies that there are no brilliant Malay legal minds.  Second, it implies that EVEN AFTER 30 years of government assistance there are no brilliant Malay legal minds.  (UMNO Ministers basically suggested Malays are too stupid to be selected as judges in a merit-based environment! In fact, that seems rather seditious by inference – quick someone make a police report!)  Third, such a statement promotes a racist mentality that UMNO seems intent on perpetuating – this is evident from the fact that no other groups were making this point.  All UTTER BS in my view and Haris offers a very plausible suggestion why there has been a change of heart vis-a -vis the JAC.

The position now is that the JAC framework is to be “re-worked” before being presented to Parliament.  I wouldn’t advise you to hold your breath, people.  Remember the IPCMC?

And where is Pak Lah in all of this?

QUIET AS A MOUSE LAME DUCK!

Pak Lah, you’ve said you’re relinquishing the PMship in two years.  If that’s the case, what have you got to lose by fulfilling your promises to the rakyat?  If you can’t even do that, why bother waiting two years before throwing in the towel?

Makan gaji aje!

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One Response to “Pak Lah: once a lame duck, always a lame duck”

  1. hopefulpessimist Says:

    hi there,

    it has been a while since the last time you updated your blog and i have always been looking forward to read your thoughts.

    and again, i think your latest post is spot on. i do, however, still have faith in pak lah, even if it’s just a teeny weeny bit. i hope he will stand up, maybe for one last time, and do something that will make us remember him as a leader, at the very least.

    Thank you for stopping by and for your comments. I do apologise for not updating more regularly. Will try to do so more often!

    For a long time I too held out a lot of hope for Pak Lah but it’s all pretty much evaporated now. He’s proven himself to be untrustworthy – not only has he broken promises but he has lied to the public about things as important as when the Parliament was to be dissolved prior to the General Election. If his object was to maintain some secrecy, surely there were cleverer ways to do it than to lie!

    What does it say when a person’s first instinct is to lie?

    Personally, I don’t hold out any hope for Pak Lah any longer. He has shown time and time again that he is committed to the path of least resistance and that a leader doth not make.

    For what it’s worth I hope I am wrong and you are right. Perhaps your hopeful pessimism is rubbing off!

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