Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Thoughts from government talk

Over the last 1 month or so, I have been having lunch with a Korean, a naturalised Australian and 2 Indians. Naturally, after a month of eating together and with the recently announced General Election in Malaysia, I can't help but to bring up the topic of govt in our respective country during our lunches.

The Korean didn’t really talk much about his govt as he has been out of his country for the last 7 years or so. It is a well known fact that
India has a very corrupted government, something my Indian friends openly admitted. When it comes to the Australian, that’s when the talk became interesting.

With 4 of her cities in the top 10 most liveable cities in the world list, it is an undeniable fact that Australia is the number 1 migration destination for most Malaysians. Australia also carries with it a ‘clean’ govt image. But is Australia really that great?

If you think close tender is a trademark of our BN-led government, think again. Apparently, there are disputes in Australia too, where tender for govt projects were also made behind closed door --- with the tender amount not made known to public. There are also incidents where there were mismanagement of public funds where hundreds of thousands of AU$ were squandered or used for personal gain. Are you astonished?

Of course, I too shared about our beautiful country and how we have policies such as NEP, universities quota, govt projects, institutionalised racism, etc. etc. I managed to make all of their jaws dropped with my contribution in this govt-comparison conversation. Seriously, I let is all out; and it’s good to be able to practise absolute ‘freedom of speech’ without having to look over my shoulder here.

There is somewhat a conclusion that things are pretty much the same everywhere; to which I only partially agree. I know a lot of people out there share the same sentiment; thus the I’m-not-voting-cause-it’s-not-going-to-make-any-difference attitude amongst many of us.

Why I disagree?

Well, I do not deny that things are not exactly fantastic overseas, I do not deny that things can be somewhat quite the same everywhere… but…I strongly believe that things can be very much better here. Worse, our Malaysian govt is not only not doing those things, but openly deny that they do not need to do it… or… they put up some show and publish some nonsense in the press and make us look like fools. Tragically, most of us accept it, which really make us fools. Are you a fool?

Take the close-tender and mismanagement funds in Australia I mentioned above for example. Those perpetrators were prosecuted and brought to justice. What do you think will happen if it is in Malaysia? (Think Zakaria) Worse, perpetrators in Malaysia could also turn around and prosecute you if you dare bring them to justice.

We can go on and on doing comparison and defending our points on why we think the present govt should not take office again or otherwise and it will go on forever. And in the heat of the current election fever, I am sure we all can talk about a whole crap-load of things.

But… I just want to make one point, if you don’t mind.

I believe Malaysia’s worst woe at the moment is not corruption or racism or NEP-ism or whatever not. I believe Malaysia’s worst woe at the moment is “a total state of lawlessness”. It is frightening fact to me, and I think it should be frightening to you too.

10 years ago, this state of lawlessness caused the nation a lot of money but we are fine with it because most of us can still put 3 meals on the table and life as it is then, was still rosy. Now however, the state of lawlessness is causing not only the lost of money, but the lost of lives… a lot of lives… and it is frightening. Speaking of being frightened, how many of us live in fear?

I am terrified that there are people above the law, though they deny it. I am terrified that as a citizen, I can just be put in jail for no reason whatsoever (think ISA). It’s an absolutely state of lawlessness, though it’s ironic that ISA is a law.

As the nation walks towards the next polling date, I want to remind you that this fear which have gripped you so ever tightly in the past… is real! But I think there are bigger things to be afraid of, and it ain’t your rice bowl.

The question is; what are you going to do about it?

P/S: A big thank you to Kenny who gave me the “
excellent blog award”.
P/S/S: Thank you to Sooi2 who highlighted to me that my article has been plagiarised. A site by the name of more4u(dot)wordpress has been copying articles from all over the place without giving credit to the rightful author.


frostee said...

Well said. Lawlessness has reach a level where it is very hard for it to be tackled as the very people who have the power to bring things in check are lawless themselves.

At the rate things are going, we are pretty much doomed.

We need more checks and balances in this country to ensure that the ruling government does not do things under their own whims and fancies.

Melly said...

This place is becoming so crappy. Lawlessness to the extend that "people" becomes the law and the verdict is up to them. It is scary to even think that we are living in such a state. I have always believed that everything has its pros and cons and that applies to the countries we live in. However, it is your priorities that make one better than another. What this place is doing has definitely scrapped most of priorities. It is a disappointment. It is sad that some people still think it is alright and nothing is wrong when the fact is almost everything is wrong. sad place.

pavlova said...

well said, zewt. interestingly had a discourse over at People's Parliament (harismibrahim.wordpress.com) over the 2/3rd majority and also about "What change do we seek".

We keep wanting change, but what kind of change do we want?

I say, to be rid of the 2/3rd BN majority, the NEP has to slowly be eradicated. And I mean, SLOWLY.
But overall I think it needs to be an attitudinal change.

For starters, Msians need to be more active in politics and social issues.
You are right on the point in developed countries, be it US,UK, Aus, EU, NZ etc, there are problems ard, but the public make noise.
And I mean, A LOT OF noise. This leaves the government no choice but to "sack" the offending fella or bring him/ her to justice.

But a lot of Msians don't care.
The closest "uproar" that I've seen so far is the "Chua Soi Lek scandal".
The other politicians have had far worse misgivings but the public seems to be more "forgiving".

I think change has to start with this "baby step". Some sacrifice is needed, and it'll take more than generation to change things.

But are Msians ready? That's a question.

(Personally, I think the situation as whole is a basket case, but I hope that for everybody's sake I will be proven wrong.)

lynnx01 said...

I still regard politics as a dirty world. One cannot survive clean. I personally feel that chinese in general are very selfish people. We choose to ignore about the things around us (ie. politics) as long as we earn our bucks and breathe our air. That is why the chinese can survive almost everywhere in the world! It is time for us to do a change. Stop migrating to Australia or NZ. Start doing something in our own country.

Ah-Bong said...

Haha.. u wrote too well u're being plagiarised. innit a good thing? LOL. o wait.. u dun need to be told abt that. LMAO

won't comment much on govt stuff. hates them... nothing in them that could ever gets me to like them. nada nada. bleh. :D

Tunku Halim said...

I didn't realise Australia had 4 out of the world's 10 most liveable cities. But Malaysia surely would have 4 out of the world's 10 most eatable cities? :)

myop101 said...

well, i only know of this country in the world where the anti corruption agency requires the one who reports of a suspected corruption case to file an evidence as well to facilitate investigation.

tells you a lot on how things are done right?

as for lawlessness, it is becoming bolder nowadays. Even 10 years ago, things are done in secret so much so that one cannot differentiate whether it is a rumour or truth. nowadays, it doesn't matter if it is a rumour or truth...

myop101 said...

oh yeah ho... forgot to say 1 thing...

hehe...you know what i have been writing in my blog... my only answer is...

vote for anything that doesn't represent or allied with the scale logo...

myop101 said...
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myop101 said...
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-=SiN=- said...

IMHO...all "LAW" is corrupt to their core. The rule of law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law is a scam simply because the entity that enforces it is we.. Human.

To the common people "Law" is just a set of rules where everyone is vaguely familiar since born.

along the way people learned principles of 'Jurisprudence'; this is the part where "Law" is again first challenged and changed.

so long o.0.. my point is "Law" is a double edge system created by we human, which ever fraction wins also eventually be the same simply we human are fundamentally equal and that stringent laws and harsh punishments are required to keep us in order.

Huei said...

ughh! screw those who copy posts around and never give credits! disgusting!!

okok..stop hitting the guilt button already! i'm not registered! HAHHAHA *paiseh*

well..things are screwed up everywhere..but..there's grass right? i mean..in aus? cos, that will be my migration destination as well

i heard a comment in the radio this morning, this person was saying, that everything is only done prior to erection. just like kids..they only study when there's exam, these people only do "good" for the country prior to erection.
to those who got fooled, don't be so typical msian (we will not sell "potong" because it has been doing good for past month?.)
look at the bigger picture, it's not the month that we care about, it's the many years ahead

suituapui said...

Australia? Well...as long as that what's her name - Pauline Hanson stays out of the picture!!!!

P.S.: Wah! Celebrity now eh, zewt? Had a nice time in Gay Paree?? Was expecting u to post on ur honeymoon!!!

Anonymous said...

"...look at the bigger picture, it's not the month that we care about, it's the many years ahead..."

I can't help but agree with Huei, that sometimes we do have a very limited view mindset. Isn't it true that most Malaysians can only see what's before them right now, and forget it all once the next news scandal comes along?

How many of us look back, and wonder about past cases that have yet to be resolved? Missing people, abandoned projects, environmental disasters, etc.

Some times I feel sad that so many of my friends are trying to figure a way out to migrate or get PR elsewhere, on greener shores. Will there be a Malaysia left if so many of us left? Or has that Malaysia we envisioned been long gone?

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

U know me! I don't talk! I POKE!!!Well in this case I will throw a starfish back to the sea! In fact I also ask my friends, family plus other to throw starfishes back to the sea! Oh yes! They r all qualified 'fishermen'!!! Pity u can't joint me! Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Well said zewt...

whoalse said...

Well written, zewt!

I had the same discussion with a few colleagues of mine and they were too aghast!

Every country will have the corruptions and mismanagement. One is too naive if he/she thinks there is a clean government. It's just how the perpetrators are dealt with upon being discovered! At least it will be reported by media using the Freedom of Information to obtain any public records.

For me, I think my fear is the state of lawlessness which has been worsening since donkey years. The lost of distinct separation of the 3 Powers or Pillars - Legislative, Judiciary and Executive has certainly created this mess.

Aleckii said...

Great post! I wished I had the galls like yours too. Over this holiday, I've been to over 6 countries, over 10 cities, and yea, Politics does come into light.

With the Americans for example, all the talk of 'stop the war' and anti-bush sentiments, It was quite shocking to see bush come into office for his second run.

I hope Malaysians are better than that, seriously.

And come on, I'm living in Russia and I go out of my way to register and CAST MY VOTE. Those of you who are thinking of not voting, come on la!

zewt said...

frostee - unfortunately, it is checks and balances that ppl are not willing to vote for...

Melly - yeah, they think it is alright cos nothing is wrong with their life yet... when something hit them... then they will feel the pain.

pavlova - i have blogged before about whether we are ready for a good change. unfortunately, many prefer to stay the way we are now.

lynnx01 - yup... all chinese care about is their rice bowl...until someone is dead... then they will wake up.

Ah-Bong - well, if u dont like them... then u should do something about it right? c'mon... :)

Tunku Halim - i would challenge that now... i think i will be blogging to challenge malaysia's food supremacy soon.

zewt said...

myop101 - and it's frightening isnt it? i just dont feel safe anymore. hahahaha... as for the logo... hahahaha...

-=Sin=- - but we still need a certain degree of law right? at least some form of enforcement, which we are seriously lacking...

Huei - indeed... chinese call it, going to die then only carry buddha's leg... well, whatever it is... we all need to act... now!

suituapui - will do that... after the election fever :)

kennymah - the malaysia that we are living in now is slowly but surely diminishing.... we just dont want to admit it... and our leaders continuously tell us everything is good... that sucks.

hor ny - hahaha...qualified fishermen!! well done bro!

mar - thanks.

whoalse - yup... in those countries, you do wrong... u pay.... here... it's the other way round... which is extremely worrying. if we dont do anything now, things will get worse!

Aleckii - well done my friend. yes, going around does gives us a bit of a light on everything, and we must apply that to our country.

Sharon said...

all hands and legs up in the air~ totally agree. I'm glad there are a lot of ppl around me that now realize we can no longer just sit and wait for things to happen but can actually do something about it.
the question now is, they're aware and said will do something bout it but will they really do so when the time really comes? i've heard stories of ppl bullshitting to vote for this and this but during election time, they chickened out and vote otherwise.. -.-

Lucius Maximus said...


there is no government, like NO government.

every government has it issues and limitations, the only difference is how efficient and good it is. yes u are right to say that for the malaysian government it definitely can be better than what it is now.

just FYI, zakaria deros will most likely going to be the candidate again for klang in this coming election. even if he did not the two other possible candidates to replace him might be his own son or daughter in-law. the umno of selangor said even though zakaria had caused several controversies before he is still adore by his voters and well known to be a leader who answer to his voters needs, so said MB khir toyo.

now u puke on that...

bongkersz said...

"For starters, Msians need to be more active in politics and social issues. "

Totally agree with pavlova. If they just keep on bitching at the side without really participating in the process, we are going nowhere. Should we blame the education system for the 'tidak apa' mentality? Or we blame the MSM for brainwashing us over the years? Or we blame ourselves for not putting enough efforts and initiatives to change things around us?

Maverick SM said...


You may not understand what is close-tender in Malaysia. It's not the same. Maybe you should ask some contractors.

Firstly, almost all tenders are "Bumiputera Only" and non-Bumis must partner with Bumi by giving them 51% control of their company shares and employ 60% Bumi staff. That's not a problem; but the Bumis want the share without paying; that's a problem. So, the Non-Bumis must be creative by creatively creating Trust Accounts, signing blank-transfer Forms, etc.

Secondly, for your information, almost all (99.9996%) of Design-Turnkey Contracts are negotiated with "top-ups" to be contributed to the oligarchy.

Thirdly, contractors must pay first; upfront money to participate in the tender. Massive payouts; which you could never believed. I am their consultants and I speak with empirical observations.

Dan-yel said...

Thumbs up mate!

stocktube said...

tracing the root of the problems, i think the worst woe is the stupidity of malaysian themselves in voting the same pathetic govn in and out despite their high education ...

i'm sure you couldn't access all the news locally since you're out of the local soil ... theSUN reported that "zakaria" dynasty will remains - flourishing forever, no matter what simply because the people thinks he's GREAT and his mansion controvery is a non-issue ... now beat that ...

cheers and have fun while you can practice freedom of speech there ...

ahjohn said...

Wish we have Mahathir back...

What hope we have when we are left to choose among a pimple face sleeping in cabinet meeting, a-pro-religion-son-in-law, and a noneducational minster that supports racial issues?

Sighhh, suddenly having a bisexual "Mr. Sodomize" sounds not that bad after all...
Bring back the sperm! open the court case again...

anyway, ANYONE BUT SAMIV***U. Or we will leak again - all to his pocket!

Anonymous said...

i have to admit that i voted for BN in 2004 cause i thought who can be worse than Mahathir.
i know i got it wrong,but now i realize why i should vote for opposition.

umno is only good at producing follower not leader.just like
pak lah following what mahathir been doing for the past 22 yrs.
And believe me this follow the leader game will keep going as long as umno is in power.
malaysia will be doomed if this game continued.

jEt said...

Yup...hope our eyes are opened widely after everything had happened and take the courage to vote wisely in the next coming election. Don't just talk, act as well. ^^

From young in school, we have been brainwashed to pro Gov. sad...I always thought gov was doing a great job in our country until i come to know what POLITIC is, i think they should start to change their policy.

Pray hard for a GOOD and EFFICIENT leadership in our country.

zewt said...

Sharon - and as the days go by...i hear more news about how some ppl will vote twice and how some ppl will be asked to vote in some god forsaken place.

Lucius Maximus - that guy has no shame... puke... i rather puke on alcohol than to puke on that.

bongkersz - i think we should not look at who to blame at the moment... just get into business...

Maverick SM - how much you get paid then? :)... ok ok... we must stop all that!

Dan-yel - cheers...

stocktube - dynasty... what a word to describe it... can we put a stop to it then?

ahjohn - hahahahahaha... i think we might not see the last o him....

anon @ 10.34pm - well, it's not too late correct that mistake.

jEt - hi there... welcome! yup... the time i was proud of my country... now... sigh.

warrior2 said...

I dont agree with most of what you wrote and/or I have a different view of things BUT I respect your views.

I wont touch on everything but just on ISA.

Let us agree that ISA is not spesific to Malaysia alone. After Sept 11, those who condemned ISA had enacted thier own version. But thats not my point.

You, me and many millions malaysian have lived these years in Malaysia. I have never felt threatened to be jailed under ISA because I have never done anything which can get me into ISA radar. I know I will never be jailed under ISA because I am a law abiding,civil, good, understanding etcetctec person. . Are you doing anything? I know millions are not doing anything because they are law abiding,civil, good, understanding etcetcetc persons.
Didnt the 5 hindraf do something? Didnt some religious fanatics do something? etcetc.

Thats my point!

zewt said...

warrior2 - well, if everyone is to do nothing... i think there will be no future... dont u think?