Take leaf from new British PM – Pak Lah should relinquish Internal Security and Finance Ministries

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should take a leaf from the new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and not hog the ministries of Internal Security and Finance but appoint Ministers who can provide full-time hands-on leadership to these two important portfolios.

Abdullah should give serious consideration to this proposal as in his 83 overseas trips in his 44 months as Prime Minister, five of them were to the United Kingdom.

On replacing Tony Blair as Prime Minister, Brown relinquished his post as Chancellor of the Exchequer to Alistair Darling who was moved from the Trade and Industry Ministry while appointing the first female Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.

In contrast, Abdullah is hanging on as Minister for both portfolios although the past 44 months have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he has neither the time nor temperament to be a full-time hands-on Minster for either Ministry.

What are the reasons for the Prime Minister to head another Ministry?

It must be to stamp his personal authority on the Ministry whether policies, programmes or personnel. As Abdullah is clearly incapable of doing this, whether in Internal Security or Finance, for the simple reason that he is unable to spare the time and attention, is it then the alternative explanation that he could not trust anyone else to head the two Ministries which he regards as either too influential or sensitive?

Whatever the reason, Abdullah should realize that after more than three years it is clear that his trebling up as Prime Minister, Internal Security Minister and Finance Minister is not working out, especially with the country facing the worst crisis of security with rampant crime and lawlessess making Malaysians feeling most unsafe in the streets, public places and the privacy of their homes.

Who is now exercising political authority and responsibility over the police, not in terms of theory but in actual operational terms? The answer is nobody!

Abdullah had been Home Minister since January 1999 after the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad relinquished the portfolio with direct responsibility over the police following national and international outcry and outrage over the Anwar Ibrahim “black eye” scandal.

Abdullah was stamping his personal authority as Home Minister after he became Prime Minister in 2003 when he announced the establishment of the Royal Police Commission to create a world-class police service.

He would have left a great legacy to the country and future generations by establishing the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), the most important of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission and which Abdullah had publicly committed himself to implementing.

However, Abdullah backed down in the face of police opposition and revolt, to the extent that the subject of IPCMC is being avoided altogether in Parliament.

Worse still, Ministerial, Cabinet and Parliamentary responsibility over the Police in the past two years suffered such grave and unprecedented damage to the extent that political authority over the police never seemed to have been so broken down now as compared to any other period in the nation’s history — which is illustrated by the open warfare between the police and the Internal Security Deputy Minister, Datuk Johari Baharum, the de facto “Police Minister”.

It is time that the Prime Minister put his Cabinet “house” in order — starting by relinquishing his two positions as Internal Security and Finance Minister.

  1. #1 by HJ Angus on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 8:52 pm

    According to BBC news reports, even Blair and Brown had their differences.

    What is noteworthy is that the new PM starts with his own program and is not tied to his predecessor’s plan.

    You can tell the PM what you think of his travels in a poll at

  2. #2 by MWong on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 8:54 pm

    ‘MASTER OF NONE’..worst bit, he’s not even a JACK..

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 9:04 pm

    Even greater intellectuals and much more physically robust men than AAB have found it challenging to hold down one ministerial portfolio.

    The question is not how many portfolios one can ‘pegang’; the question is how well one delivers on the individual portfolio that he carries.

    A small point: AAB draws 3 salaries for the 3 portfolios that he holds. That’s not fair if he is unable to deliver on all 3.

    But what’s more important for the nation is that an underperforming PM who holds multiple portfolios is sacrificing the nation’s wellbeing and competence by pandering to his personal fears or ego, refusing to trust others with strategic and vital ministries.

    There is also such a simple thing in management as ‘span of control’. Surely, it is obvious AAB neither have a 2020 vision or the V-man physique or intellectual prowess to cope with the vastness and complexities of so many ministries!

    Pak Lah, get real. Come out of yr dreams and touch the earth you walk on.

  4. #4 by toyolbuster on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 9:18 pm

    83 trips in 44 months. wattaheck. Is he the PM of Msia or The Explorer wannabe on taxpayers money. So what does that translate into number of days that he is out of the country that he is suppose to be in charge of. Honestly, this guy is shameless and hopeless. Why can’t we just sack him for crying out loud.

  5. #5 by Winston on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 9:20 pm

    This is Bolehland and the more incompetent a minister is, the more portfolios he holds.

  6. #6 by justice_fighter on Friday, 29 June 2007 - 11:01 pm

    He does so in order to draw the salaries of multiple ministers mah, easy money for him….just to sleep everyday and no one in UNMO dares to challenge him.

  7. #7 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 1:09 am

    “There is also such a simple thing in management as ’span of control’. “HORNBILL

    It is not about ‘span of control’ as management students will say. But it is a simple case of having too much on your plate.

    Take a leaf from the new British Prime Minister??? Naaah! Don’t put too much roti canai or nasi and kepala ikan on your banana leaf – and don’t eat at that restaurant which was just raided. Bad PR.

  8. #8 by Jefus on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 7:06 am

    Let me put two passages here to contrast their goals.
    This one is the closing paragraph from Pak Lah’s speech to the Mass Media Conference 2007:

    “The value of the freedom to think and act is truly immense. But freedom is not a licence to live aimlessly. And freedom has its limitations. There is no absolute freedom to do whatever we like.

    We are a nation aiming for progress and success. We have our respective roles to play. We should always be mindful of that, so be careful. It’s also important to consult one another as this is encouraged under the democratic system.

    I hope the media will understand all these things just like how I have to understand them as we move together towards a progressive and successful nation. Let’s create history. Let’s move forward in a civilised manner”

    whole text can be found here:


    read a press release from the Bancrofts regarding their Dow Jones and Co. (with regards to sale to R Murdoch)

    ” including remaining independent. Accordingly, the Board of Directors, including representatives of the Bancroft family, will conduct further discussions with News Corporation relating to the proposal and will oversee the exploration of strategic alternatives. Representatives of the Bancroft family, which owns shares representing a majority of the Company’s voting power, reiterated that any transaction must include appropriate provisions with respect to journalistic and editorial independence and integrity. Any acquisition will require the approval of the Board of Directors and shareholders owning a majority of the Company’s voting power. There can be no assurance that any transaction or other corporate action will result from the foregoing or that the Board of Directors or the members of the Bancroft family will support any specific proposal”

    Now weep with the realisation of how backward we are.

  9. #9 by Jefus on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 7:07 am

  10. #10 by TruthEnquirer on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 7:51 am

    The ultimate redemption of a citizenry from the grasp of a corrupt administration lies in the unraveling of that administration from within – by implosion – a necessary condition of which is that such an administration must be led by a leadership perceived (whether or not true) as rudderless, autopilot and listless– also from within.

    It is only then that the little, medium size and big Napoleons from within the administration will crawl out from their woodwork, vie openly for power and influence for their own respective fiefdoms, slug it out and expose each other’s misdemeanors, crimes and corruption (which otherwise will not be publicly exposed), and in that process, discredit and bring about the destruction of the whole system from within, a process that will not even start if that administration is otherwise led by a strong and ruthless leader, whom rank and file fear, and who could keep a lid on all the shit well hidden under the carpet.

    In the premises, it will be to the interest of a citizenry, yearning to break from the shackles of a corrupt regime, to support such leadership precisely because it is perceived listless, rudderless and autopilot!

    Tolerating such a leadership is, to be sure, not without its cost especially to the country’s image and economy but it is a cost and a price that necessarily needs to be borne stoically and paid if the ultimate objective of facilitating the unwinding of such a regime – from within – is desired for the longer term benefit and redemption of the nation.

    The support for a leadership perceived incompetent for such contrarian objectives is justifiable if two assumptions hold equally true viz. that : (1) an incumbent corrupt administration flushed with money and in control of and vantage position to manipulate electoral rules cannot be easily dislodged by normal electoral process and succeeded by an alternative government, and therefore, its demise must necessarily be caused from implosion from within; (2) a corrupt system by definition will perpetuate corruption whether or not it produces from within its rank a strong and competent leader or a weak and listless one either of whom cannot and will not have the political will and means to eradicate corruption since their ascendancy to power is from within the system drenched in corruption that feeds all its processes, and therefore being forced to choose between the necessary evil of the two, the latter deserves support because it alone holds greater promise of accelerating the demise and unraveling of that system from within.

  11. #11 by mendela on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 8:41 am

    Simple logic:

    It would be easier for the boys at 4th floor to do things as they wish if Bad-awi is the head of all these key ministries!

  12. #12 by k1980 on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 9:01 am


    Pak Lah akan menerima nasib yang sama seperti Gus Dur … sepenggal sahaja….

  13. #13 by Taikor on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 9:50 am

    If Bedolah is to relinquish the two posts, he’ll be seen as jobless. The only job he has would be traveling around the world representing Malaysia. That’s not good.

  14. #14 by smeagroo on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 9:51 am

    Someone shld tell paklah the chinese saying, “Dont hv a big head dont wear such a big hat!”

    IF he wanted more positions, he shld take up the post of Shahrizat. AFterall he is good at that.

  15. #15 by madmix on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 9:56 am

    Mahathir started this nonsense as he wanted to control the most important cabinet portfolios himself: the purse and the guns. Now it looks like every PM after him want to do the same to consolidate and strengthen their own power.

  16. #16 by k1980 on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 11:38 am

    Follow the great Abdullah’s noble example, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should now become the new head of the World Bank and also the new chief of the UN Security Council

  17. #17 by WFH on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 12:41 pm

    I hope the “leaf” to which you refer isn’t a banana leaf, seeing recent happenings in Bangsar. Also because I think anything coming direct from the British Isles surely did not go through JAKIM’s certification process.

    PM had his chance in 2003 to purge the Cabinet of his predecessor, but he didn’t, simply because he was clueless what he needed to do as PM. After 3+ years he still wont be able to revamp the current Cabinet because he STILL hadn’t acquired any knowledge on good government, same as Oct 2003. So, no change lah!!

    Anyone can read PM’s tea leaves??

  18. #18 by Anti_NEP on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 4:43 pm

    You fellas have to understand the PM. First, his wife was so sick in the US so he had to travel often to visit her. Then when she passed away, he was so sad, he needed time to heal the broken heart. So he got to go somewhere in australia and turkey to try to forget the sad moment. Now he’s married with a new sweetheart, he gotta bring her somewhere for honeymoon what…. So 83 overseas trips were definitely justifiable

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 30 June 2007 - 8:44 pm

    Yes, but soon he’ll be a Prime Minister without a country.

  20. #20 by Count Dracula on Sunday, 1 July 2007 - 6:14 am

    “In the premises, it will be to the interest of a citizenry, yearning to break from the shackles of a corrupt regime…..blah blah” TruthEnquirer

    Let’s stop the rhetoric and offer some solution, shall we??

  21. #21 by rajanjohn on Saturday, 7 July 2007 - 6:22 pm

    PM is avoiding all outstanding issue’s and has no plans for the nation and for the country..so he keeps himself busy by running out of the countries.simple as that ma!

  22. #22 by pwcheng on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 - 4:33 pm

    Our mediocre PM is a good example of what NEP can do to a country. If we have the “Bestfit” system I strongly believe that we will be very much better even compare to our Southern neighbor and our currency will be RM1 to Sing 2.3 instead of RM 2.3 to Sing 1. If a Johnny comes lately Country like Singapore and without any natural resources can beat us hands down, what other proof do you want to tell the world that NEP is akin to throwing a spanner to the works and UMNO should be charge for sabotaging the economy of the country.

  23. #23 by pwcheng on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 - 4:36 pm


    for sabotaging the economy of the country, for benefit of a few..

  24. #24 by ktteokt on Monday, 1 October 2007 - 12:02 am

    Salute the multi-headed Multi-Purpose Minister of Kementerian Serbaguna!!!!!

You must be logged in to post a comment.