PM – slash frequent overseas trips unless he can do justice as Internal Security and Finance Minister

In a written answer to the DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan yesterday, the Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar revealed that in his 3 years 8 months as Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had made 83 official visits overseas (including his most recent visits to Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Italy) —

2004 – 22
2005 – 25
2006 – 20
2007 – 16

One message from the answer is that Abdullah has not only three portfolios of Prime Minister, Internal Security Minister and Finance Minister, he has a fourth portfolio as the traveling de facto Foreign Minister.

Malaysians do not begrudge Abdullah making overseas visits but it must not at the expense of neglecting his duties as Prime Minister, Internal Security Minister and Finance Minister and in particular his 2004 general election pledge to head a clean, incorruptible, efficient, just, democratic, people-oriented administration prepared to hear the truth from the rakyat.

Abdullah should revamp his time-management to ensure that his frequent trips abroad does not result in his neglecting his duties as Prime Minister, Internal Security Minister and Finance Minister as there are more and more disturbing evidence of this happening, viz:

  • The most important agenda of the Abdullah administration to wipe out corruption fizzling out, highlighted by the ignominous dismissal of the Eric Chia corruption case without defence being called because of the failure of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case but also by the relentless drop of Malaysia’s ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index from 37th to 44th placing from 2003 to 2006 and which is likely to plunge further this year;
  • The failure to launch a new public service delivery system which is efficient, responsive, transparent and accountable — an important pillar in enhancing Malaysia’s international competitiveness.
  • “First-World Infrastructure, Third-World Mentality” being replaced by “Third-World Infrastructure, Fourth-class Mentality, Ninth-rate Maintenance” instead of “First-World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality” — illustrated by the latest mishap at the RM290 million world’s second largest court complex in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, the sagging ceiling at the Commercial Division High Court.
  • The worst parliamentary answer given in the name of the Prime Minister in the 50-year history of the nation where the second half of the question on the implementation of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission and in particular the IPCMC proposal was completely ignored. Overall, the Prime Minister has not set the best example to all Cabinet Ministers in giving proper respect and recognition to Parliament as the highest legislative chamber in the land on Ministerial responsibility and accountability.
  • Malaysians feeling even more unsafe in the streets, public places and even in the privacy of their homes with rampant crime and lawlessness as compared to before Abdullah’s premiership.
  • The failure of the Prime Minister to meet even once with the MTUC leaders in 44 months despite repeated MTUC requests.

Such a list of failures of the Abdullah premiership from the hopes and expectations that he had raised when he became Prime Minister and which was responsible for the unprecedented Barisan Nasional landslide 2004 general election victory winning over 91 per cent of the parliamentary seats will be quite a long one.

It will include setbacks to nation-building process arising from worsening religious polarization because of the lack of political will and leadership to restore inter-religious dialogue as in the first three decades of nationhood particularly under the premiership of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn.

Abdullah should seriously consider cutting down his overseas trips until he has done justice to his responsibilities as Prime Minister, Internal Security Minister and Finance Minister — especially when the country urgently needs a Minister who is fully hands-on 24 hours a day on the important and critical portfolios of Internal Security and Finance.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 12:08 pm

    You gotta be kidding, Kit. He’s getting his new Airbus delivered on July 17th, and no one curtails their travels when they get their new car.

    The country is in the hands of the 4th floor boys who are busy deciding who should get what projects, and who should be nominated subcontractors to certain projects.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 12:33 pm

    Actually he is also the Minister of Nasi Kandar, the Minister of Jeans and Denims, the Minister of Honeymoons, the Minister of Yachting, the Minister of Visions and the the Minister of Afternoon Siestas

  3. #3 by kleptocrats on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 1:08 pm

    Well even back home he only knows how to zzzzzzzz…..around or not around makes no differences

  4. #4 by oct on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 1:25 pm

    Looks like he is the most traveled PM in the world. We don’t mind if his trips can bring back FDIs to the country. On the other hand, we hardly had any dignitaries visiting Malaysia. TDM also traveled alot. Our PMs seems to be very free to go traveling here and there. There is so much issues at home that needs his attention. Yet he chose to jet about. Don’t his priorities. Think the world knows that Malaysia has PMs who likes to travel rather than work.

  5. #5 by Taikotai on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 1:50 pm

    Permanent Holiday Mood mah

    how to work like this?

    i wanna quickly earn some $$$ and gtfo of here liao

    5 more years down the road, you can easily guess what will happen here….

    NOTHING will happen, just deteriorating! haha

  6. #6 by Phat-kor on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 1:58 pm

    This is unbelievable. Uncle Kit, you and your members in the opposition MUST do something drastic NOW. We can’t just let this wayang kulit to carry on and on. I have no money to evict myself and my family away,,,,so, will still have to stick on here, but that does not mean that I should just sit and observe the wayang gamber.

    Please, uncle Kit.

  7. #7 by ContractorclassA on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 2:00 pm

    ,,,,me toooo,,, my pocket’s kosong, mau cabut pun tak boleh, so how????? Uncle Kit, we plead with you to do something now.

  8. #8 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 2:27 pm

    Maybe he has read the book “1000 places to visit in your life”?

    With the extra large XXXL Cabinet he still has problems trusting people to run the Home Ministry and Finance Ministry.
    I wonder if he appoints anyone as a proxy when he is busy touring?

    In the UK, Gordon Brown has become PM and no one expects him to keep control of his last post as by nature of the PM’s post he controls all other posts.

    The other thing we can learn from the UK is that the PM appoints the Cabinet and quite a few from the previous Cabinet will leave with Blair.

  9. #9 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 2:29 pm

    Sorry not Home Ministry but Internal Seurity Ministry.
    Does the PM draw the salaries of the 3 ministers?

  10. #10 by uliang on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 2:39 pm

    25 overseas trips in 2005 comes out to about one trip every 2.08 weeks.

    And AAB has racked up 16 trips by the first half of 2007, I wouldn’t be surprised if it reaches 32 trips by the end of 2007. That comes to an average of one trip every 12 days! Assuming an average trip takes about a week, the PM would be in Malaysia for at most 5 x 32 = 160 days or 43% at home in Malaysia.

    Nice…Talk about Visit Malaysia year 2007.

  11. #11 by pwcheng on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 2:46 pm

    There are 2 reasons which I can think of why he likes to be away from the country:
    i) To hide his deficiency and ability to rule the country properly and have a ready excuse that if anything goes wrong in the country, he will say tak tahu because he is most of the time away.
    ii) That he knows he might be able to a PM for long and so make hay while the sun shines.

    To hold so many portfolios and cannot manage it properly is somewhat like a dog in the manger.

  12. #12 by Cinapek on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 2:49 pm

    Averaging two trips a month, any time manager will tell you he will have to be a superman to manage three ministerial portfolio efficiently. And don’t forget half the time during this period he was courting his new wife.

    Before he go preaching and sermonising to the civil servants about delivery etc. blah, blah he should look at himself in the mirror and ask himself honestly what has he accomplished? Unless he is also lying to himself.

    His continued absence has spawn coordination problems and personality clashes in his Cabinet especially when it is made up of people with huge egos like Samy Vellu and Nazri which, if not kept in check, will run riot, which is already happening. Besides, his auto pilot and remote control style of management has encouraged the 4th floor chickos to run riot in the administration. The signs are all there. Bocors, rising crime rates, Immigration files deleted, failing GLCs like Proton, etc. all signs of a weak control. This man, if in the private sector, would have been sacked a long time ago for gross negligence and complete abdication of responsibility.

    The frightening prospect is he still wants to stay in the PM seat and with a new toy, the new plane coming in mid July, he will be away on trips even more. Besides the inherent laziness and to avoid work, I suspect he is also enjoying the attention he is getting as a PM when he makes those visits to foreign countries. It feeds his inferiority complex especially after TDM describes him as incompetent?

  13. #13 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 3:28 pm

    I wonder why he is not taking over all the other ministries as well and let all the deputies doing all the works and then he can draw salaries meant for the whole Cabinet!! I believe this is another way to make tons of money in a legal and halal way and no one will complain that the PM’s salary is too high if he tried to justify for higher pay to match Singapore’s PM’s pay!!!
    Guiness Book of Record or Malaysian Book of Record should list him as the most portfolios and most travalled PM (in terms of no. of KM/years of service) in the world!!! I wonder how he coup with jetlag problem? is he sleeping on his job when he is back to Malaysia after overseas trips????

  14. #14 by smeagroo on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 3:40 pm

    HE is a liability to the nation. Aside from draining the country’s kitty dry, he is not bringing in FDI and not helping at all in putting Msia in the world map. Oh yes you may argue that many know do know of Msia. ONe of the most corrupted country and no thanks to the Razak Baginda case.

    Average 20 vists per years. Each visit takes about 3-5days. Looks like he is spending most of his time in the air. He can hardly warm his PM seat each time he is back and he will be swept off his feet to enjoy the high flying lifestyle.

    And to think of it I am paying for my taxes so that some ppl can enjoy sightseeing.

  15. #15 by shortie kiasu on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 3:59 pm

    Abdullah should give up politics and be an ulama which is his specialty anyway, being trained in teaching religion and being a graduate in Islamic study from UM.

  16. #16 by Loh on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 4:39 pm

    The PM had to make those number of overseas trips to justify that he needs a new airbus to be delivered in 17 July, and with the new airbus, he would have to continue to make that number of trips to justify that the airbus is not wasted, or underutilised.

    AS AAB is holding three portfolios, and the most important ones, then he needed to have a big aircraft to carry his staff along, so that they can be on hand to respond to queries. We must have learned by now that the PM can obly find inspiration to answer to domestic issues. If he stays at home, then he would not be heard at all, and then he would be termed absentee PM. It is his absence from Malaysia indicates his presence as PM. Maybe he should stay in Perth the year round.

  17. #17 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 5:22 pm

    “25 overseas trips in 2005 comes out to about one trip every 2.08 weeks.

    And AAB has racked up 16 trips by the first half of 2007, I wouldn’t be surprised if it reaches 32 trips by the end of 2007. That comes to an average of one trip every 12 days! Assuming an average trip takes about a week, the PM would be in Malaysia for at most 5 x 32 = 160 days or 43% at home in Malaysia.”

    We will enter our PM in the Guinness Book as the leader who travelled the most during the shortest period.

    So much travel has probably caused chronic jet lag and that could explain his haggard look at times.

    He should get the Foreign Minister to do the minor countries and concentrate on our major trading partners – ie no more than 10 official visits plus 5 international summits until we get the ship of Malaysia away from the falls.

    If he just reduced his overseas travels by half, that will give him the time solve so many urgent crises.

  18. #18 by wizzerd on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 6:43 pm

    Make it 4 portfolios …AAB can take Tengku Adnan’s job as Tourism Minister also to promote Vist Malaysia Year 2007

  19. #19 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 7:03 pm

    This is a helluva Prime Minister!

    He should enter into the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘Most Travelled PM in the World – 2004 to 2007″.

    What has AAB got to show so far as PM?

    First 100 days as PM – NOTHING!
    First 100 weeks as PM – STILL NOTHING!
    First 100 months as PM – God forbid that should ever happen.

    Oh, one correction: He’s got

    2004 – 22 souvenirs
    2005 – 25 souvenirs
    2006 – 20 souvenirs
    2007 – 16 souvenirs

    for display in PAK LAH’s MUSEUM and HALL OF FAME when he retires!

  20. #20 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 7:05 pm

    wizzerd Says:

    June 28th, 2007 at 18: 43.25
    Make it 4 portfolios …AAB can take Tengku Adnan’s job as Tourism Minister also to promote Vist Malaysia Year 2007

    AAB already has. He has taken over from Michelle Yeoh as the face promoting ‘MAlaysia, Truly ASia’ on ASTRO TV!

  21. #21 by ihavesomethingtosay on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 7:42 pm

    go oversea if you must, but when back in bodohland, please stay awake. ok? or we will boot you and your croonies out.

    hmmmm, either way we will still boot you and your croonies out.

  22. #22 by karlmarx8 on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 7:54 pm

    He got to babysit the deputy for a number of years to come before the deputy can take hold the premier job. So, what do you expect him to do if not for travel? This also got to see the kerisguy who is able to run on the deputy without problem and the head of the youth mob-with the arising star SIL whom is forthcoming.

    Gazing into the crsytal ball it shall be another 4-5 years to come. Each department will have their own laws to govern -who cares? Radicals will digging deeper and the “cancer cells” reach even further into the mass of the easily misguided.

    Oppositions can neither do much over the last 50 years. Both BN and oppositions are neither enlightening the populace as to their fundamentals, all are working on short term benefits. Just look at the case of the mamak restaurant “kind of bully” by the JAWI. There are just too many cases to be mentioned.

    The JB signatures campaign should far exceed 2,600,000 (10%)but just 350,000 (1.4%)and many thought this is a tremendous result (which is 250% of the target).

    It has less than 2% of the populace support and by JBrites themselves it resulted less than 50% of the support. The mass is shouting for help but is not putting their hands into it! Why?

    We kept complaining! What are the action plans? Any plan to enlightened the villagers? The urbanites middle, middle-lower and the all?

    End of the day, the mass will still chose the “safe governing” by BN and neither wish to see any “chaos” (as frequently shouted by MPs)created by the “wrongings”. “Upset the balance” of the society. We chose a more “peaceful” government. What are all these? [deleted] Is that bad? Is this political duress?

    What say you?

  23. #23 by shiver on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 10:13 pm

    PM kita bagus!, dia sudah menaikkan nama negara Malaysia yang kini begitu indah dan cantik! Kini masyrakat di Malaysia mampu membeli segala keperluan hidup kerana rakyat cukup makan dan ekonomi kini gasak sehingga semua rakyat malaysia telah boleh memandu kereta impot, khasnya dari Naza, yang menunjukkan bahawa rakyat Malaysia boleh maju selagi ada networking dan AP yang banyak.

    Proton begitu berjaya sehingga kini Volkswagon pun nak bekerjasama dengan Proton. Ini la bermakna jenama keluaran Malaysia sudah menjadi popular di kalangan rakyat dunia. Proton Wira sungguhpun sudah berada di pasaran selama 10 tahun lebih, tetap menjadi kegemaran pembeli kereta yang ingin kereta yang cantik, stabil dan selamat. Inilah matlamat negara Malaysia, supaya menjadi negara yang menuju ke arah kemodenan dan industri berat.

    Dengan jalan raya di setiap bandar yang begitu lebar khasnya di KESAS, PLUS, LDP hidup di Malaysia senang kerana rakyat boleh balik dari kerja pantas dengan adanya jalan jalan besar dan rakyat sangat bangga sehingga kompeni-kompeni terbabit di jalan tersebut boleh mengutip tol sehingga rakyat malaysia mati. ini semua boleh diatas prinsip hidup ” tightening the belt” ataupun dalam bahasa KEBANGSAAN “menggali kubur sendiri”

    Apatah lagi dengan semangat perpaduan antara kaum yang kini sudah mencapai ketinggian yang tidak pernah dicapai dan kemuncaknya di hari merdeka 31 ogos, PM kita akan menggunakan kereta Tunku Abdul Rahman,dan juga memakai baju,seluar,spender, kasut, stoking, dompet, topi, pen, rambut, dan misai yang sama seperti Tunku pada hari meriah 31 ogos 1957. Ini adalah untuk menunjukkan bahawa PM kita sudah mencapai matlamatnya bahawa kita sudah berjaya!

    Itu lah sebabnya visi 2020 pun dia sudah kata dah mencapai matlamatnya, dan kini sudah bergiat dalam visi 2057nya. Di katakan visi 2057 adalah pasukan bolasepak negara akan menjadi tim bolasepak yang terhebat di dunia, lebih bagus daripada brazil, liverpool ataupun real madrid. yang pastinya, PM kita tidak akan tahu jika hasrat itu tercapai sebab bila datang 2057, 99.99% kemungkinan dia sudah berada di bawah tanah 6 kaki.

    Ya, kita harus berbangga berada di Malaysia kerana kita kini “world famous”. Di negara manakah adanya kes bunuh dengan dinamit C4 keatas seorang gadis mongolia ataupun di mana rekod immigrasi negara boleh dipadam. Juga, di manakah adanya kes makhamah peguambela dan peguam cara sudah ada pakat diantara mereka. Dalam makhamah tersebut monyet ada, Badut Bozo the clown pun ada. Ada yang memanggil makhamah tersebut sebagai makhamah kangaroo. Ini kah maksudnya Sarkas Di Malaysia?

    Ya, begitulah nasib rakyat Malaysia yang selalu “blur” atau selalu ada sikap tidak apa dengan perkembangan harian di negara. Ada di kalangan penduduk kini sudah menunggu saat di mana PRU akan diadakan untuk mendapat jalan tar baru, mesin jahit, RM200 untuk pangkah diorang yang bayar, makan bufet di daerah mengundi, membuang air botol seperti di Ijok, lampu jalan raya baru, tandas awam baru dan sebagainya. Yang rakyat tidak kisah apa akibatnya kerana 5 tahun dikatakan jangka masa yang pendek. Ada yang mengatakan, cukup la ada makan, ada kerja, ada rumah, jangan tukar la, risiko tinggi. Ini la rakyat Malaysia, yang terus menjadi budak budak baik kepada Kerajaan Malaysia kini.
    Segalanya bagus dan ceriah. KLCI naik, Gaji tak naik. Minyak naik, Road Tax turun, kan bagus?

    Jadi, sokongilah PM yang kini tengah menjual Johor kepada Singapura, Malaysia kepada Bosnia dan Nasi Kandar kepada Australia. Malaysia begitu selesa sehingga kini kita dikatakan dalam gear “auto pliot”. Kan bagus begini? Kita tidak perlu risau kerana kita boleh menjaga sendiri dengan “gated community” dan polis yang sekarang dah dapat gaji naik bolehlah melancar program “road block at the lorong” untuk menangkap bangla-bangla yang telah memikat gadis melayu malaysia. Yang kes kes serius, biarlah rakyat Malaysia yang settle. Itu pun bagus, maksudnya kita ada la peluang untuk berjiwa untuk Negara.

    ya, 31 Ogos 1957. Kini 50 tahun. Bermegah aku hari ini melihat pencapaian negara. Singapura? Apa tu? Negri kecik, tak bagus, korupsi senang nak settle sebab rakyat dan tanah tak besar, tak macam di Malaysia. Kini, otomatic Sabah dah ada 1 juta residen baru yang telah diberi IC kad. Kita ramai, itu lah maksudnya Malaysia BOLEH!

    Jom, kita pergi Warung mamak minum teh tarik sambil bercakap kosong dan tengok ah moi jalan…

    Woi Macha…. Teh Ais Satu, Kurang Manis!!!

  24. #24 by Donald on Thursday, 28 June 2007 - 10:34 pm

    Let his deputy and somebody else do the work while he spends his time overseas promoting Malaysia and introducing his new wife. The present tourism minister should take over homeland security. Just read the number of big cases in the newspaper. No wonder you need 1 million government servants because the people who should do the job are off ” travelling ” and they need some more other people to do their job. And no wonder there is no efficiency in the service at all. One will be asking how to do the job. The other will be saying it used to be done this way. In the end, nothing is done. Wait for the boss to come back. Then we all sing cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang.

  25. #25 by fido on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 12:10 am

    Can the PM department tell the public how much $ does all this trips cost us so far? Talking about being transparent. Where is the leadership by example?

  26. #26 by somethingStirring on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 8:17 pm

    what to do? people out there (seemingly) wants to listen to his hadhari, while his own people doesnt give a damn. If he talks and works with more originality and spirit, maybe people will listen. Until then it’s best that his speech writer writes his written replies to the house while he travels and brags about Malaysia’s formula of success to unsuspecting foreigners.

  27. #27 by undergrad2 on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 10:06 pm

    Each time he travels overseas he has to delegate his duties to his deputy – not a good idea. I think this PM is bidding his time until he is ready to ‘step down’ and let his successor take over and that will be sooner than anyone here thinks.

    Has anybody done any estimate of how much it costs the tax payers every time these politicians accompanied by their posse of government servants make their trips overseas?

  28. #28 by WFH on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 12:25 pm

    Will it surprise anyone if his trips overseas are also to check out multiple properties for his retirement with his new wife, as well as for “friends-and-family”? If his present government’s legitimacy continues to wobble and becomes seriously threatened by international and domestic condemnation on its record of rampant, high-level official corruption and mis- and abused NEP, sooner or later (likely later rather than sooner), their past will catch up and they need foreign homes to scoot off to before that happens. Should such come to pass, Perth will be just a little garden shed in comparison, with the riches currently at his disposal. There is already the Cobra Sultan on standby, even if not really “owned” by him.

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