Posts Tagged ‘Pak Lah’

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

July 22, 2008

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. 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?


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!

Why Must the Pot Insist on Calling the Kettle Black?

March 14, 2008

UPDATE: This post was published as a letter in a slightly different form on Malaysiakini.

“Don’t create an atmosphere that can cause racial tensions,” Abdullah Badawi said to the Barisan Rakyat government in Penang.

Perhaps he should be telling that to his supporters who held a demonstration outside the KOMTAR complex in Penang. Badawi challenges the Penang State Government to show him “which community has been made poorer because of the NEP”. A better indicator would be to determine which segment of Malaysian society has been enriched by the NEP and from there determine who has not benefitted from the NEP.

Clearly, it has not sunk in to Badawi and his henchmen yet that significant numbers of Malays themselves didn’t vote for UMNO or BN because they know that the NEP has only benefited Badawi and his ilk. The recent elections have even been described by one prominent commentator as “a rebellion of card-carrying members [of UMNO]” which was brought on by their “plain disgust” with the Badawi administration. These are people whose grandmothers in the past reputedly “sold their jewellery to help set up UMNO branches” What greater indictment can UMNO face than this?

An end to or restructuring of the NEP in its present form will only disadvantage the elites who have benefitted from it to the detriment of all poor Malaysians. Conversely, it will assist poor Malaysians from all communities. This is plain as day – it is only UMNO that wilfully denies this.

The truth is that UMNO themselves betrayed the poor Malays. The results show that the Malays and everyone else have caught on to UMNO’s little game. Now UMNO is trying to stoke racial tensions in an effort to drum up support for themselves. As usual UMNO doesn’t give a damn if ethnic relations are further damaged in the process.

The Penang state government is not a Chinese government. Nor is it a DAP government. It is a Malaysian government and it must remain so.

Perhaps Pak Lah and most of the rest of UMNO don’t understand yet that the time for racial politics is past us. Pak Lah, when you said you wanted to stay on despite BN’s stellar losses I was willing to give you a second chance. I thought that since you had little to lose you might actually try and clean up UMNO and BN. That you might actually try and keep some of those broken promises and perhaps leave something of a positive legacy. Was I wrong to trust you again?

Lim Guan Eng’s statement expressing a desire to end the NEP is no different than statements made by Anwar Ibrahim or PAS. What all Malaysians want, irrespective of their race or religion, is a system that assists all poor Malaysians. And this is what the Barisan Rakyat parties have promised us. The sooner UMNO and Pak Lah realise this the better.

Pak Lah, are you still the leader of UMNO? You say that you are still the Prime Minister for all Malaysians. If you can’t control the racists and troublemakers in your own party perhaps you should just leave so that we Malaysians can get on with our lives. Malaysians are not going to be duped into falling for racial politics again.

Racial politics is out of fashion Pak Lah. Get with the times or get lost.

The same goes to any other politician who relies on the divisive politics of race to secure support.

Kissing A Sharp Object

It Ain’t…All ‘Bout The Money

October 31, 2007

It’s all ’bout the money
It’s all ’bout the dum dum…….
And I don’t think It’s funny
to see us fade away
It’s all ’bout the money
It’s all ’bout the dum dum…
and I think we got it all wrong anyway

Been a long time since I heard this song by Meja but having read the Malaysiakini report on Pak Lah’s chiding of the Bar Council I think he needs to listen to the song a few times.

Here are some of my immediate thoughts to Pak Lah’s comments as cited in the Malaysiakini article (subscription required):

PAK LAH: (The) demonstration gives the impression that a problem has reached an intractable impasse, even when in reality, it has not. I believe it has not.

ME: Where are you getting your info from Pak Lah? The paper tiger Investigative Panel that can’t even compel any witnesses to give evidence? The Law Minister who doesn’t even have a clue what Bills are being tabled in Parliament?

PAK LAH: (It also sends negative vibes to domestic and foreign investors, undermining the tireless efforts of industry and government in attracting investments (…) the creation of negative perception, through over-reaching and unfounded public accusations, is difficult to overcome.

ME: What turns away more investors is how our government sticks its head in the sand whenever the phrase “judicial corruption” is uttered. Unthinkable? Did I ever tell you what I was told when I mentioned my aspirations to practice law in Malaysia? No? He said, “Don’t you know that when you go to court in Malaysia you don’t pay the lawyers, you pay the judges?” This was way before any protest by lawyers…back when the only Lingam I knew of was Lingham’s chilli sauce (which incidentally is perfect for keropok).

PAK LAH: “Even on its own, these damaging perceptions can potentially be all that it will take for us to fall behind other countries in this increasingly competitive global environment.”

ME: OK…so apart from sweeping issues under the carpet what are you doing to correct these damaging perceptions? Don’t you think that a visibly rigorous and transparent investigation would do more to correct those damaging perceptions than anything else? In fact, such an investigation may even vindicate Tun Ahmad Fairuz by revealing that the suspicions raised about him are entirely baseless – defamatory even! What better outcome could you ask for?

You are right Pak Lah – it’s time to correct those damaging perceptions. So please do the right thing.

However, the need to ensure that we have a clean judiciary shouldn’t just be relevant in the context of how it affects our country’s international standing as an investment destination. In other words it shouldn’t just be ’bout the money. At a very fundamental level the courts are intended to regulate the relationship between the government and the citizenry. If there are allegations that judgements are skewed through the granting of favours or money to judges then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those allegations need to be thoroughly investigated immediately.

To Ambiga, I may only be aspiring to be a member of the Malaysian Bar but for what it’s worth you have my full support on this Madam President!

Finally, this song goes out to both Ambiga and Pak Lah…take it away Meja!