An untalented team lacking integrity

by Tunku Abdul Aziz
The Malaysian Insider
11th April 2009

APRIL 10 — If you want my honest opinion, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s People’s Cabinet is totally uninspiring and insipid to boot. And that is being charitable. What a sad commentary on the paucity of proven talent and integrity within the ranks of Barisan Nasional that all Najib has succeeded in putting on offer is a team of recycled political expendables, many with personal records of integrity that will not bear close scrutiny.

Najib has done nothing more than a bit of tinkering. Is this the clean and honest team that he has promised the nation? Instead of calling it a Cabinet, a more accurate and honest name for it is surely “baggage room” because most of those who are our new ministers, including Najib, unfortunately, are perceived to be carrying oversized baggage into office. If this had been a team chosen by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, I should not have been surprised.

But subjecting his ministers to the discipline of the KPI or key performance indicators is an idea whose time has come. However, the danger with management tools like Long Range Strategic Forecasting and Management by Objectives, now long forgotten, and the new panacea, the KPI, is in the distinct possibility of their being more honoured in the breach than in the observance. That being said, let us see whether the new broom can keep up with a mountain of bureaucratic trash that has been generated in the corridors of Putrajaya.

As part of his whiter-than-white government, he should have said something, when he announced the Cabinet yesterday, about revamping the declaration of interests/assets regime for all those holding elected public office in his administration, i.e. his ministerial colleagues. The present arrangements are as effective as using a pop gun when confronting an armed robber. They are hopelessly inadequate and the whole exercise is a total waste of time. No one is fooled by it. I speak as someone with some practical experience in this area.

I was responsible in 2006, as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Establishment of the United Nations Ethics Office, for putting in place the Declaration of Interests (assets) and the Whistle Blower Protection programmes. It is interesting to note that when Dr Mahathir was prime minister, he proudly proclaimed that all his Cabinet colleagues should declare their assets to him.
To whom did the prime minister declare his assets? In the interest of curbing grand corruption in the Najib administration, I will be happy to share my knowledge with him notwithstanding the fact that I am a DAP man. Corruption should not be politicised. Anyway, if it is good enough for the UN, it should be good enough for the Putrajaya Mandarins.

The nation wants Najib to succeed in his “1 Malaysia” vision. He will if he keeps an eagle eye on key institutions such as the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the criminal justice system, including the office of the Attorney-General, not to interfere with their work, but to ensure that they do not abuse their power and authority.

Stupid police behaviour in dealing with public order, for example, can unravel any good the administration has tried to do. Najib must implement without delay the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission that Pak Lah did not have the stomach to put in place simply because the police top brass did not like it. Will Najib be prepared to put public interests at the forefront of all his actions, or will the police be allowed to dictate terms to our citizens?

Najib as part of his reform agenda must listen to what people are saying about the office of the Attorney-General. Rightly or wrongly, it is seen as having compromised its professional independence. Its decisions have in recent years lost the stamp of moral authority in a number of cases. Najib should consider seriously making the Attorney-General a ministerial and, therefore, a political appointee acting for the government on purely political issues.

Najib should, in the interest of greater public confidence in the criminal justice system, create a position, that of Director of Public Prosecutions. A decision whether to proceed with a case or not should not be made by the director alone, but a panel of his senior legal officers.

The problem with the present office of the Attorney-General is that the A-G enjoys what amounts to absolute power, and as we all know this can lead to abuse. Ours is a parliamentary government based on the Westminster model, and Britain has found a system of checks and balances to be absolutely vital to protect the citizens from arbitrariness in matters involving public prosecutions.

Najib can yet redeem himself by showing, by word and deed, that we have misjudged him. Has he the intellectual honesty and integrity to do what is right by the people of this country?

  1. #1 by owlz on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 7:58 am

    Assalamualaikum (in Malay it means “sejahtera ke
    atas kamu”) and good day to everybody.
    Owh, the writer of this article was Tunku Abdul
    Aziz… I just surfed to his site and waahh, he was
    one of the prime movers in setting up Transparency
    International Malaysia… Well, when we talk about
    integrity, it is also related to the wiping out of
    element which is contrary in practice and principle
    to meritocracy – I mean… CRONYISM. Cronyism is
    partiality to long-standing friends, especially by
    appointing them to positions of authority,
    regardless of their qualifications… cronyism
    describes relationships existing among mutual
    acquaintances private OR government organizations
    where business, business information, and social
    interaction are exchanged among influential
    personnel… Well, I think and I am sure that these
    dishonest business practices are frequently found
    in societies with ineffective legal systems… So, I
    hope Abang Najib will strength our legal
    enforcement first…

    p/s: Clean the current hell legal enforcement before
    using it to take an action at other people!!!

  2. #2 by owlz on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:04 am

    p/s: I think during next General Election, there will
    be more votes for DAP. Ahahaha… Especially from
    the youngsterz… Guaranteed.

  3. #3 by iStupid on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:15 am

    A lunatic is circling a well. He keeps repeating:


    Mr. Najib happens to pass by. The lunatic gestures for Mr. Najib to come. Curious to know what is inside the well, Mr. Najib bends over the rim to have a look.

    With a mighty push the lunatic sends Mr. Najib down the well.


    Poor Mr. Najib, if only he has seen what is clearly written on the side of the well: Corrupt Malaysian Ministers.

    The good news is: he has fulfilled his promise to give Malaysians a clean, corruption free cabinet. Albeit posthumously.

    Note: The above joke is based on Tun Dr. Mahathir’s comment that “Najib did very well by dropping most of the people who have been accused of corruption, although one or two slipped in.”

  4. #4 by Godfather on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:30 am

    Aside from corruption, we must also look at the level of competence. The minute Najib allocates his ministries based on political expediency, then his claim to transparency, accountability and meritocracy go out of the window.

    The key ministries are given only to the inner circle: Defence, Home, Education, Finance, Trade. The other component parties of BN are thrown breadcrumbs.

    The same principle will now apply to the GLCs and statutory bodies – word is that certain supreme council members (past and present) will get chairmanships of GLCs and statutory boards.

  5. #5 by mendela on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:30 am

    First thing first, Najib should clear his name first. He should sue the world media especially that French paper that tainted his “good name”!

    So is Rosie, pls go after the BBC and Aljazerra, sue them for 10 Billions USD!

    Without your names clear, how can you guys face the world? How can you see eye-to-eye with other world learders?

    Najib, where is your balls? Do you really have one?

  6. #6 by blablowbla on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:34 am

    i wish to raise few issues:

    -if UMNO dont even know how to govern itself,can we give them the mandate to ‘govern’ us?

    -why only listen to mamak kutty?he had successfully divert everybody’s attention only to CORRUPTION,what about those RACISTS in UMNO?(probably only a handfull ppl frm UMNO will be qualified as ministers)

    -BN’s controlled media keep-on giving good PERCEPTION to ppl that this new line-up is going to perform,my question is,how would they know?

    -too many ministry doesnt mean that they will be efficient,infact,when come to certain incident,instead of handling the problem,each ministry is pushing their responsilities to other ministry!

    -yes,you are absolutely correct,most of the appointed ones are incompetent,the MCA’s president always seem to be a ‘transport’ expert,and each person could also be transferred ro this ministry to that ministry,i can only think of one sentence:jack of all sports,expert of none!

    basically,if they think that economy is more important than politicking,for the sake of the country,they should appoint Tony Phua from PR to the cabinet as FM,what do you think?

  7. #7 by limkamput on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:49 am

    Najib should, in the interest of greater public confidence in the criminal justice system, create a position, that of Director of Public Prosecutions. A decision whether to proceed with a case or not should not be made by the director alone, but a panel of his senior legal officers. Tunku Aziz

    Another position, another panel. You think our civil service is not bloated enough yet? The solution of this problem lies elsewhere, not creating more positions and more bureaucracy.

  8. #8 by mendela on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:52 am

    Local MSM reported that yesterday good run on Bursa Malaysia was due to favarable response to Najib’s new cabinet line up from all sectors.

    Totally silly and bullshit!
    Pls tell me is there any world market index went down yesterday?

    Is gains in Bursa Malaysia yesterday better than other indexes?

  9. #9 by limkamput on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:53 am

    The problem with the present office of the Attorney-General is that the A-G enjoys what amounts to absolute power, and as we all know this can lead to abuse. Tunku Aziz

    You are wrong again. The AG does not enjoy absolute power; the government does. The AG, like most other important civil service positions, is just a tool and a “good” civil servant operating under an increasing absolute power government. The mother of all these started with the consolidation of power under the executive branch propagated and proliferated by none other than Mamathir. If we are not careful, the same problem will persist if PR takes over the government in the future. Instead of talking about the absolute power of AG, we have never asked why the PM is also the finance minister. Where does this come from (well, was it not Mamathir who acted as the PM, the home affair minister and also finance minister)? Who shall then act as the financial controller of the government? When the finance minister has made a decision on a project or programme, there is practically nothing other ministers or ministries would dare to object or comment. Got it? No wonder our national coffer, spending effectiveness, and value for money are all in the mess.

  10. #10 by yhsiew on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:58 am

    It makes one wonder whether Najib’s team was chosen by Najib himself or Tun Dr M, though we know, at least, Mukhriz Mahathir was chosen by Tun Dr M.

    If Najib is under the thumb of Tun Dr M (as widely perceived by the public), then we will have a proxy PM.

  11. #11 by limkamput on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 9:04 am

    You can almost predict the trajectory of power consolidation of a prime minister. First you keep more and more important portfolio to yourself. You then slowly subjugate the civil service by appointing your own henchmen to key civil service positions. You then subvert the judiciary and finally rubber stamping the legislature.

  12. #12 by owlz on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 9:25 am

    blablowbla Says:
    why only listen to mamak kutty?he had successfully
    divert everybody’s attention only to CORRUPTION,what
    about those RACISTS in UMNO?(probably only a handfull
    ppl frm UMNO will be qualified as ministers)


    Huhu… Abang blablowbla, I always keep hearing this
    phrase: “mamak kutty”… As a Malay, I understand what
    does it means by the “mamak”. But actually aaa…
    What does it means by the “kutty” that you mention
    right now? Im sorry… I swear I didnt know what does
    it means by the “kutty”… Is it just a name extension
    or what? Or it has other meaning? Oouuhh, here in
    Malaysia, there’s a lot of unique word. Huhu!!! Its
    Saturday morning, I just have my breakfast – as usual
    roti canai and teh tarik… Seeddaaappp wwwoo… How
    about you all, abang-abang sekalian? Breakfast already?
    Huhu. Morning…

  13. #13 by ALLAN THAM on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 9:27 am

    All Chinese minister are a bunch of yes man/women. They have achieve nothing. Look at the transport minister, he also being dictate by the big boss other wise why there is still no action on PKFZ. I wish I am wrong, let use the new tourism minister can clean up this tainted ministry, or she might be a another crony.

    When you have been in for so long you would have the urge to make changes. Therefor I predict this lady will also play safe and sit contented to be minister and keep her golden bowl.

  14. #14 by LG on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 9:36 am

    If we consider carefully even the process of PM’s choice and selection of ministers and deputy ministers are not cleaned.

    They are based mainly on the consideration of his survival and UMNO’s, being pressured by certain political parties, tainted by TMMs’ influence, tainted by his “Yes” men, keeping the key ministries (e.g. Finance, Defence, Home Ministry & even Education) under his control with selfish interest and UMNO’s.

    Quite a number of the ministers and deputy ministers are not even competent in their appointed portfolios (hope they are not offended as we acknowledged they may be competent in other fields of their specialities). Many are selected because they are in the high positions (presidents, deputy and vice presidents , etc) of their respective political parties.

    Hence it is not surprising that the number of ministers and deputies seemed to be slight larger than that of AAB’s administration (28/29 + 40 vs 32 + 35). This is not lean as promised by the new PM and is considered fat even obese when compared to many developed countries.

    Considerations should have been done purely based on national’s interest gearing towards national’s unity and integration, national’s economic and social development, progress and success. He should have considered persons with the right qualifications, relevant experiences, persons of high calibers regardless of any political based that can be found even in NGOs, private sectors and even in opposition parties.

    Does the new administration care for a cup that is clean (apparently) outside but actually filled with all kinds of dirt within.

  15. #15 by pulau_sibu on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 9:43 am

    removing the botak minister was certainly a good move.
    we don’t know until now who actually instructed the ISA.
    Abdullah? Najip? Botak?

  16. #16 by taiking on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 10:12 am

    Come on fellas. Cant you see what he is doing? Its in the interest of the country and the people. When you are bitten by a poisonous snake what do you do? Use the snake venom to treat the bite of course. In chinese we call this “using poison to fight poison”. Najib is doing exactly that. How do you get rid of corruption? You think good guys can do the job? Of course not. They would be too good the see the bad things bad guys do, too good to understand the tricks and deceptions by bad guys and too good to take bad actions against the bad guys. So the answer must be: Yes use bad guys to go after bad guys.

    I must congratulate cintanegara, kasim, zak the englishman, chengho and all the umno cybertroppers here for (finally) having a PM who makes sense and means business. Wow!

  17. #17 by monsterball on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 10:14 am

    Have we ever read or seen things done by any UMNO BARU ministers or by any powerful politician that are sensible……sincere and beneficial to Malaysians?
    It’s all talk talk talk ..empty promises…empty words…to con voters.
    Just look..oil is not reduced further…just making Petonas so filthy rich…..and we know who is holding the post on Finance..don’t we.
    Applying huge taxes on cigarettes and hard drinks/beer to stop children smoking or drinking is pure nonsense.
    At least hard drinks have compounded brandy or whiskey.
    I do not see any local brands selling in coffee shop…at much much lower prices than International brands… in Thailand or Indonesia. Why are we so smart…so special?
    Must have same bloody rules to discourage competitions and infact supporting International cigarettes manufacturers.
    What they are doing is making life difficult for fishermen…farmers and poor folks… to enjoy a little in life.
    In the name of protecting health or discouraging youngsters to smoke…these idiots are doing exactly what Mahathir get more money… to steal more.
    Tunku Aziz have said it all.
    By the way…I do not smoke cigarettes or drink hard stuffs….not even beer…..but I do mix with many many farmers and fishermen…who are silently not happy with UMNO BARU.

  18. #18 by boh-liao on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 10:17 am

    This should be in our school history text books:
    The most famous Malayalee to land in George Town was Iskandar Kutty.

  19. #19 by AhPek on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 11:05 am

    ‘…………or she might be another crony.’ Allan Tham.

    Ng Yen Yen cannot and also can never be ranked crony for being a crony simply means being of the same status.At best people like her (members of rest of the component parties)can be elevated to the status of lap dog subject to the beck and call of the that they can get some of the crumbs left by thier masters.

  20. #20 by Godfather on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 12:45 pm

    “Najib, where is your balls? Do you really have one?” Mendela

    I didn’t know he had lost the other one. Must have been cut off after the PD incident.

  21. #21 by Godfather on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 12:49 pm

    The mainstream press portrays Najib’s cabinet as the best thing since sliced bread. Najib is the messiah who proclaims that change is coming. Don’t forget the previous messiahs who also promised change for the past 53 years.

  22. #22 by PSM on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 12:53 pm

    Let’s face it…Najib is ALL talk just like AAB & TDM before him.
    He said judge him by his actions! Ya rite! So far his actions have shown otherwise!
    One Malaysia?! Start with abolishing Bumiputra & Non-Bumiputra from ALL official Forms! Change Race base to need base policies…but wait the UMNOPutras will never allow that!
    That will never happen as long as UMNO (MCA, MIC, Gerakan & PP are not worth bothering about!) is in power!

  23. #23 by taiking on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 1:58 pm

    Remember MACC? Remember how the press and the shallow umno politicians pronounced it a great success even before it had started work? Now that is umno punya style.

  24. #24 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 2:12 pm

    How is Hishamuddin who, while tolerant of more liberal policies, have never done anything radical either going to anything more than tinker with the ISA and radically alter the police and anti-corruption?

    At a time when surgery is needed to the problems of crime, corruption and ISA, they send a nurse to do the job.

  25. #25 by zak_hammaad on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 2:26 pm

    “An untalented team lacking integrity”

    This phrase sounds very applicable to Pakatan!

  26. #26 by Ramesh Laxman on Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 9:16 pm

    Mendela, you touched on a very snesitive subject. I have been out there for more than 32 years. And I can assure you that there is no way you can prepare for what is going to come at you. Everybody will be talking about it at functions and when the Malaysian approaches they will change the subject giving the impression that Malaysia is a great country. And this will go on for years until you find one fine day that you have reached the bottom of the third world ladder.

  27. #27 by ringthetill on Sunday, 12 April 2009 - 4:25 pm

    Goverment ala Najib.
    You see, there are plenty of good ideas from far minded people to learn from. Would you open your eyes, listen, take a lesson and do some good for ALL?

  28. #28 by ringthetill on Sunday, 12 April 2009 - 4:26 pm

    I mean ‘fair minded..’

  29. #29 by ekans on Sunday, 12 April 2009 - 8:01 pm

    On 11-4-2009 at 14:26.56, zak_hammaad said:
    “An untalented team lacking integrity”
    This phrase sounds very applicable to Pakatan!

    While it’s fine that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion about PR’s lack of integrity, the majority of the Bukit Gantang & Bukit Selambau constituents obviously did not share the same opinion when they re-elected PR in the recent by-elections, more than a year after GE12…

  30. #30 by lopez on Sunday, 12 April 2009 - 10:06 pm

    Holland here we come….

    shadow hand, cabinet blakong,

    and what first lady….dowager rosa

    there goes my epf and yours too

    A small boy at the steering wheel our sampan

    Save yourself

  31. #31 by HJ Angus on Monday, 13 April 2009 - 8:11 am

    Ayoyo guys—-this is the best Cabinet line-up…..for losing the next General Elections!
    So to all those in the line-up, you have 3 years to take care of Numero Uno.

  32. #32 by blablowbla on Monday, 13 April 2009 - 8:16 am


    kutty is a very complicated mixed of blood,like baba,serani and the ‘kacukan’;ppl like obama,deceased altantuya,phua chu kang are the very good example.

    and if you want a full detail,listen to boh-liao above!

    selamat sejahtera!


  33. #33 by Ray on Monday, 13 April 2009 - 2:21 pm

    \\Mad Zak\\

    \Be a good Rakyat Msia>> Just Share the Open Reality\
    What is yr real intention of using this Unique All Malaysians Political Blog of LKS.
    Dont Be A GILA2 blogger!!
    >>> You are NOTHING AT ALL ….>> beneficiary of InHumane UMNO Treasury.
    Never try preaching TOXIC BN & UMNO falsehoods doctrines here.
    Pls refrain from your NONSENSE and Rubblish garbages.


  34. #34 by blablowbla on Tuesday, 14 April 2009 - 9:28 am


    it shows that this bolehland has plenty of devils!

    they only talk about 1 race n 1 religion!

    they do not want others to share their views,but they want to rob others wealth n put into their own pockets!

    let their almighty punish them to 19th level of hell (cos even 18 levels of hell cant even accept their sins),then only they realise how evil they are!

    zak hmd,dun tell me you dun know why BN lost 2 bukits,dis is the grand mother stories that started long time ago,plus the ‘rampasan kuasa negeri perak’ by PM,corrupt orientated by all of the UMNO’s MBs,including their wives too!

    more and more ppl are moving out from a corrupted party that represented by power crazy leaders,why are you so stubborn?

  35. #35 by blablowbla on Tuesday, 14 April 2009 - 9:41 am

    zak hmd,

    sometimes i wonder your leader is using brain or c#ck to talk!

    perak chinese disloyal to BN?

    how would he know those were chinese votes?got a marking there?
    secondly,you think your 1 million is very grand?even the frogs are requesting for more than 5 millions to support BN,thirdly,if the chinese support PAS or PKR,this 2 parties not majority malays?

    it shows that stupidity is inside your bones!

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