Archive for September 18th, 2007

Why Malacca State Excos of MCA and Gerakan must resign from Ali Rustam government

The Cabinet tomorrow should censure the Malacca State Government and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Barisan Nasional Chairman should remove Datuk Seri Ali Rustam as Malacca Chief Minister for defiance of Cabinet decision on the formula to end the pig-rearing crisis in Malacca as well as spoiling the national mood and spirit of celebrations of 50th Merdeka anniversary in the whole country by all Malaysians.

It is shocking that Ali Rustam and his State Government were allowed to defy the Sept. 5 decision of the Cabinet that there should not be any destruction of pigs and the two-point formula to resolve the pig-rearing crisis in Malacca, viz: the Malacca state government to allow the pig rearers to change the use of the land and secondly, pig rearers allowed to get bank loans for waste disposal systems with the state government giving the guarantee that it would not revoke TOL to ensure security of the industry to justify such investments by the pig-rearers.

With such a Cabinet decision two weeks ago, why was the Malacca Chief Minister and his gang allowed to go through the charade and their “terror tactics” of forcing the pig rearers to comply with the unreasonable and impossible target to cull or reduce 97,000 heads of pigs in 17 days by Sept. 21, or face another “show-of-force” like the Sept. 4 confrontation in Paya Mengkuang against defenceless men, women and children by 2,000-strong personnel including fully-armed police FRU, enforcement squads from multi-agencies including immigration, state and local authorities together with personnel in “space suits”, tear gas, water cannons, and a hovering helicopter?

What is most shocking is that such arrogant, high-handed and coercive tactics employed by the Malacca state authorities violate every concept of a good and democratic governance, with the elected government shamefully treating law-abiding citizens making a proper and honourable living from the pig-rearing industry like criminals and even terrorists!

What is even more shocking is that the MCA was a party to the whole charade, as the actions taken against the pig-rearers in the state was not that of Umno Malacca State Government but that of the Barisan Nasional Malacca state government, comprising MCA and Gerakan state excos.

It is utterly disgraceful that 50 years of Barisan Nasional “power-sharing” has totally changed character from “equal political partners” of Barisan Nasional component parties to “UMNO political rulers and MCA and Gerakan subjects” in the State Government, with MCA and Gerakan state exco members denuded of any right to participate in the state government decision-making process.

It is very sad that 50 years after Merdeka and the “social contract”, MCA and Gerakan state excos in Malacca have been reduced to the status of “petition-writers” whose role is to appeal to the Chief Minister, Umno State Exco members, State Secretary and even Umno parliamentary secretary to try to modify harsh and unreasonable decisions instead of ensuring that such decisions are not taken in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »


Uphold integrity/fight corruption – Abdullah risks being compared unfavourably with Mahathir

When Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister in October 2003, he promised many things to the people of Malaysia, asking the people to “work with him and not work for him” — towards the objective of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, trustworthy, democratic, just, people-oriented administration which is prepared to hear the truth from the citizenry.

In less than four years, Abdullah’s report card on his many pledges is quite a blank. Even more serious, it runs danger of being compared unfavourably with the 22-year Mahathir administration even on the key planks of upholding integrity and fighting corruption.

I will give three examples.

(1) For the past ten days, the country has been revolted by the exposes of the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report about the pervasive corruption, criminal breach of trust and mismanagement of public funds running into tens of millions, hundreds of millions and even billions of ringgit.

I remember that in the early years of the Mahathir premiership, there was a similar public revulsion when the Report of the then Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin exposed the notorious “Instant Mee” scandal, where the Defence Ministry paid RM4.90 per packet when the average market price was only 14 sen a packet.

A quarter of a century later, nothing seemed to have changed — things have in fact got worse. The “Instant Mee” scandal was a rip-off of taxpayers’ monies with the government paying some 350 per cent of the market price, but what we have in the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report is a rip-off by over 5,000 per cent in the case of the Youth and Culture Ministry paying RM5,700 for a car jack worth RM50! Read the rest of this entry »


UPM more famous as Mat Rempit University than Research University

It is an academic disgrace that Universiti Putra Malaysia is more famous as a Mat Rempit University than as a Research University, a status it was elevated only last month together with three other universities — Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Just like last year, UPM has brought national and international shame to Malaysia academia with the Mat Rempit-antics of the campus security, acting in utter disregard of the fundamental rights of students in arrogantly and high-handedly seizing the laptop, mobile phone, MP3 player and 10 other items valued at RM6,000 from first-year UPM timber technology student Yee Yang Yang during a spot check of his hostel room on Friday night and questioning him about his involvement in student politics.

In 48 hours, there have been over 14,000 viewings of the Malaysiakini videoclip of the standoff between UPM students and the UPM campus security. The video clip has also been uploaded on YouTube in more than half-a-dozen sites in the past one day, with over 3,000 hits.

The UPM students must be commended for courageously standing up for their fundamental human rights and refusing to cow to a Mat Rempit-style of bullying by the campus security.

This is the second year that a disgraceful UPM episode has gone up on YouTube, which attracted over 200,000 hits from multiple sites on the video clip last year of unruly conduct of UPM student council leaders, condoned by UPM security, against “anti-establishment” student activists.

The latest Mat Rempit antics of the UPM authorities raises very hard questions as to how academic and research excellence can flourish in UPM when such Mat Rempit culture in the university administration is allowed to run wild without check.

Even more important, it raises the more important question whether the “Strategic Plan for Higher Education: Laying the Foundation Beyond 2020” launched by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the end of last month to create world-class universities has any hope of success when mediocre minds appear to have an upper hand in running Malaysian universities.

I call on the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed to condemn in no uncertain terms such Mat Rempitism in UPM and contempt for student rights and to send a clear message to the UPM authorities that they are doing a great disservice to the nation in bringing ridicule and dishonour to the Malaysian higher education system, undermining the national objective to turn Malaysia into one of the world’s education hubs. Read the rest of this entry »