Archive for June 26th, 2007

Rommel reminder – urgent need for overhaul of public service delivery system

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should not continue to defer a major shake-up of the public service delivery system as it has become a drag on the nation’s productivity and competitiveness because of its lack of efficiency and transparency.

More than three weeks ago on 1st June 2007, Abdullah had announced that he would be launching a new government delivery system on 14th June, 2007, and although he had instructed Ministers, Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers “to ensure that the government machinery is prepared to implement the new government delivery system”, two weeks have passed without any news about the launching of the much-awaited new public delivery system.

Has the launching fo the new government delivery system been postponed, and if so, why is there such a long postponement, or has the new public delivery system been aborted altogether?

In his controversial and critical speech to the EUMCCI (European Union — Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) last Thursday, “the capability of the administration to really be a public service delivery system, efficient, responsive, transparent and accountable” was cited by the European Commission Ambassador to Malaysia Thierry Rommel as one of the six factors undermining Malaysia’s productivity and competitiveness.

Was Rommel wrong and malicious in defaming Malaysia?

Not at all. Rommel was saying nothing new as patriotic Malaysians have been identifying these causes of Malaysia’s poor productivity and declining competitiveness. Malaysians do not need Rommel or any foreigner to tell them things that they do not know, but when Rommel or other foreigners make bona fide comments and criticisms of the country, there is no need for government leaders to fly off the handle, over-react or resort to crude and irrational responses.

Let us thank Rommel for reminding Malaysians what we all know every well as our own national weaknesses in international competitiveness, rather than pretending that Rommel is disclosing something which is totally unknown or unheard of previously. Read the rest of this entry »


Is Abdullah’s government on auto-pilot – strongest possible protest to PM

I have today faxed a letter to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lodging the “strongest protest possible” at the most unsatisfactory reply to a parliamentary question in Malaysian parliamentary history which totally evaded the specific query posed.

My protest letter referred to Abdullah’s written reply to my parliamentary question yesterday asking “why public confidence in government ability to ensure low-crime Malaysia has reached a new low despite earlier favourable public responses to Royal Police Commission Report and to report on implementation of the commission’s 125 recommendations, in particular on IPCMC”.

In the three-paragraph written answer, Abdullah, who is also the Minister for Internal Security, said the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) had implemented the Five Year Police Strategic Plan (2007-2011) to address the problem of rising crime and public concerns about crime.

Among the programmes of the RMP Strategic Plan were the setting up of a Crime Prevention Department that involved all police stations apart from having an Internet website to be more customer-centric.

To ensure the people’s continued confidence in the police to fight crime, other programmes have also been implemented including improving the beat and patrol functions with the cooperation of other agencies like local authorities, installation of closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) systems in high risk areas and having the Rakan Cop at all state police contingents.

Abdullah also said that although the crime rate had risen in terms of statistics, the solving rate for serious crimes had also improved from 58.88 per cent in 2005 to 60.11 per cent last year.

I told the Prime Minister that “it is most shocking and totally unprecedented” that the written answer completely ignored the second part of the question asking for a status report on the implementation of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission and in particular the key proposal for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

This is the first time in my 33 years as Member of Parliament where there has been a clear evasion of the parliamentary question asked — in this case on the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission and in particular the IPCMC proposal. Read the rest of this entry »


If not for people like Rommel, South Africa would still have Apartheid

by Richard Teo

South Africa would still continue to practise Apartheid if the international community had taken heed of DPM advice that outside parties should “not meddle in the affairs and domestic policies of the country”.Yet it was pressure from the international community which viewed apartheid with such revulsion that it eventually led to the downfall and dismantling of South Africa’s racist policies.

Yet in the same breath it was business as usual for our DPM and the P.M himself to offer unsolicited advice as to how southern Thailand should be governed in order to quell the daily violence. Not only were advice given unsparingly but it was open govt policy to provide sanctuary for Muslim militants who seem to have unhindered access to Malaysian borders.

Our leaders are always in a denial mode whenever there are legitimate criticisms levied at our govt or our policies while at the same time feeling they have a divine right to pinpoint the inadequacies of other less unfortunate countries.

Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein should learn to control his temperament and avoid making foolish statements that foreigners should not interfere in govt business without first knowing its history.

In this globalised, flat world we are living now no country can live in isolation and this borderless world will continue to invite criticisms if policies and governance are not in accordance with norms. Read the rest of this entry »