Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

What a charade. And what tragic depths of professional incompetence the recent resumption of the coroner’s inquiry into the death of Teoh Beng Hock had demonstrated for the world to see. There is a lot to laugh at in Najib’s 1Malaysia, but sadly for all the wrong reasons.

As an observer, sometimes jaundiced, of the Malaysian scene, I thought I had seen it all, but I was totally unprepared for the complete and utter mayhem of the senses that developed when Abdul Razak Musa of the MACC’s in house legal talent began his cross examination of Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, the famous Thai pathologist. His attempt to trivialise and discredit her academic credentials was pathetic, to say the least. It backfired disastrously on him.

It showed the true measure of this sad figure of fun and ridicule who claimed to possess 24 years experience as a lawyer under the belt. I have never been impressed with experience, however long, for its own sake, not unless there is clear evidence of a string of successes to back up the claim.

Abdul Razak Musa has proved my point that years spent wallowing in the mediocrity of a professionally undemanding environment counts for naught.

But then this is 1Malaysia, and things could be infinitely worse. Abdul Razak Musa is just another of the numerous unintended victims of misguided racial policies.

Pack them in as long as they are constitutionally considered “Malay” and, with a bit of luck, a wink and a nod in the right places, we should all get on together famously.

Two decades of unfettered, blatant cynicism towards issues of governance engendered and encouraged by Mahathir, and continued by Abdullah Badawi and, now, Najib, has produced a civil service of uncertain reliability.

On present showing, it is notoriously ill-equipped both in expertise and integrity ever to give practical effect to Najib’s vision of a high income, and Mahathir’s unrealistic “highly regarded,” country that is Malaysia.

Politicians may spout all the rhetorical plans and designs their disingenuous minds can devise to take Malaysia forward, but, it is the quality of the civil servants on the nation’s payroll that will make or break Malaysia.

I have come across enough top Malaysian, for which read Malay, civil service officers, including diplomats and policemen, in my varied working life, to convince me that Mahathir may indeed justifiably congratulate himself on having succeeded, beyond my wildest nightmare, to turn a once proud and largely incorruptible civil service into a ragtag band of “elegant idlers” who are also, in the main, corrupt and bereft of integrity.

As long as the Malaysian public service remains an exclusively Malay ghetto or enclave, so long will it remain closed to new ideas and innovations that would give our country its much needed competitive edge to become an important regional player. Exclusivity, in the worst possible sense as represented by the current unspoken Malay favoured recruitment policy, has already had the effect of promoting intellectual isolationism.

Living with mediocrity is no longer an option if our twin goals of high income and competitiveness are to be achieved by 2020.

The talents of all Malaysians need to be actively nurtured and harnessed for the greater good of our country.

1Malaysia will otherwise remain a hollow slogan like all the rest of the politically motivated and inspired trash often dignified and legitimised with an appeal to national duty, loyalty and patriotism.

Abdul Razak Musa represents, in microcosm, the malaise inherent in the public service at large. If he is an example of the talent available to the MACC, then as I have said repeatedly all these many months that the war against corruption waged by an incompetent leadership will not make the slightest dent in the corruption equation. At best it will raise an eyebrow or two, and even with the additional five thousand officers, it will still remain the laughing stock it has always been except when under the command of Shafie who was a man of considerable moral and ethical courage.

Watching the video of Abdul Razak Musa in action in the palace of justice was surreal. I could not help but reminded of one of my favourite BBC comedies of the 70s, “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em” by Raymond Allen, featuring Michael Crawford as the hapless, well meaning, accident prone and clueless Frank Spencer.

There, I fear, the similarity must end. Frank Spencer was at least endearing and lovable and highly intelligent in real life. His timing was always perfect, a requirement for a successful comedy and he was a first rate actor. Abdul Razak Musa’s comedy of errors has succeeded, more than he could ever have imagined, in driving another nail in the MACC coffin and, by extension, that of the Malaysian public service whose reputation cannot be lower than it is at present, with or without the much touted KPIs.

Najib must stop tinkering at the edges and deal not with the symptoms but the afflictions that are crippling his 1Malaysia. Start with replacing a Malay-centred civil service and bring in talented Malaysians to help make a real difference in developing this country to its full potential.

  1. #1 by altantuyaghost on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 7:19 pm

    I have seen the video in MT and this 24 years experience lawyer, Abdul Razak Musa, is a shame to what they call Ketuanan Melayu concept. This shows that even if these guy are assisted and get the top job, they can’t be on par with those in the private sector.My friend kids who are in primary school can speak a million times better english than this nuts.
    But what I like to read is from this author and my idol. He is the most admired and respected man in Malaysia. A man of words,not like those who bluff all then time.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 7:23 pm

    ///The talents of all Malaysians need to be actively nurtured and harnessed for the greater good of our country.///

    Unfortunately, good talents are leaving the country to look for greener pastures overseas where a level playing field exists for them to further their career.

  3. #3 by loveandgratitude on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 7:30 pm

    Really MALU for Malaysia Judicary to have such Officer with 24 years of Legal Expericence!

    The Youtube videos will be played around the globe for the whole world to see what an ASS of a Justice system we have.

    Acting more like a discipline Master to brow-beat the good Doc-another Mistake, your Mistake,another mistake, your mistake, etc

    Even the Judge, Lawyers, etc were smiling and shaking their heads at this comedy of questioning.

    That’s the standard we have NOW in the Palace of Justice”. Sigh

  4. #4 by altantuyaghost on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 7:39 pm

    Hey, he is not only a lousy speaker but also a damn lousy listener.
    His 24 years as lawyer must be spent in bed.
    The Bar Council must urgently look into his claim.
    I ask my friends in Australia to watch that video and they all fell on the floor and almost choke themselves. Imagine he is a DPP…..What! OMG.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 7:56 pm

    What MACC’s Abdul Razak Musa never expected – not even in his most frightening nightmare – is to have his trial ineptness in cross examining Dr Pornthip now publicly showcased as a paradigm model of all that is wrong in this country with racial politics, the NEP’s implementation and bloated public service steeped in mediocrity.

  6. #6 by HJ Angus on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 9:21 pm

    I thought filming was not allowed in the courts.
    Poor Musa! Not only is his English poor but he also cannot act.
    A poor version of Malaysia’s own Mr Bean!

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 9:29 pm

    Isn’t it weird for Abdul Razak Musa to ask Dr. Pornthip, “You have not experienced suicide?”

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 9:42 pm

    Very nicely written, very cheem too, pity loyar lazak n all elegant idlers baca pun tak faham
    More articles fr TAA plz n hv them translated 2 BM, Mandarin, n Tamil 4 all rakyat 2 read

  9. #9 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 9:55 pm

    The first time I watched those video clips was during the wee hours in the morning. And as I watched, I could’nt help laughing aloud, thus waking up my wife from her sleep. Out of curiosity, she joined me and we started laughing together. Then my mother came to find out why and we told her we were watching a funny movie.

    TBH INQUEST-Best Movie Of The Year.
    BEST ACTOR-Abdul Razak Musa

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 10:08 pm

    Dr Pornthip was amazed if not shocked or stunned that this clown calls himself ‘a lawyer with 24 years experience’ when she had to ask Musa “Are you really a lawyer”?

    She just had to confirm that this man is who he says he is and not the National Idiot. Yet Musa had the cheek and gall to say Mahidol University is ‘not recognised’ in this country.

    Dr Pornthip must have gone though hundreds of court cases and dealt with a lot of lawyers but this Musa is really one of a kind, a unique specimen. There must be more clones like him in MACC, the AG Chambers and the legal service.

    If this National Idiot is a graduate of a local university, the Bar Council and those who oversee legal education in this country must quickly go over and check the standards in all the local Law Faculties.

    If these graduates do not even have a reasonable command of English, then I wonder how they read all the law cases and journals. The former MU VC once confirmed that its law graduates have poor command of English and need remedial classes in the language. Yet its graduates are qualified to become full fledged lawyers without further examinations. No wonder we keep losing cases. Its frightening as they are then let loose on the general public.

  11. #11 by tunglang on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 10:14 pm

    It really started from education. Policies that avoid competition from within, false excellence, lowering of standards. The acid test begins at eventual entrance to either ‘soft’ work environment of civil service or to real life result-oriented private sectors that only the capable survivalists compete and thrive. It is no wonder a particular race cannot adjust well and fast enough in the private sector to reap the rewards of hard work and excel culture – valued work experience, excellent credentials and portfolios, never say die attitude, competitive traits, exposure to innovative ideas and willingness to sacrifice to learn new things and daring to innovate at work, motivated to invest in own expertise and knowledge, motivated by peer examples of success thro’ the hard way (no pull string, no unjustified promotion) and awarded deserved privileges – earned, not given.

    These realities of the private sector are no different in a globalised world. With the added necessity of: to change fast enough to keep up or be left behind.

    Malaysia don’t have another 53 years to change slowly and catch up.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 11:06 pm

  13. #13 by HJ Angus on Sunday, 5 September 2010 - 12:38 am

    My wife and I saw a car sticker that read:

    “UiTM – Hak Melayu dan Bumiputra Sahaja”
    that is what encourages the racists in Malaysia today. These people do not appreciate that all Malaysians have paid taxes for their benefit.

  14. #14 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 5 September 2010 - 9:00 am

    Uitm = untuk individu tiada maruah. who wants to attend local u anyway. all of them are low in ranking compared to dr ponrtip’s university. look at our excellent dpp. The way he is asking questions might as well go to TBH grave and ask him who killed him. Or get a bomoh to summon TBH from the spirit world to testify.

    for crying loud. 24 years gaji buta.

  15. #15 by good coolie on Sunday, 5 September 2010 - 10:52 pm

    How about this: a high-ranking civil servant expected her juniors to remove their shoes upon entering her room. “If someone enters your house, does she wear her shoes in? This is Malaysia, not England!”

    So, you have an example of the Mat Salleh’s health-based culture being unlearned and thrown away. How Malaysian.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Monday, 6 September 2010 - 7:26 am

    The blunder and gaffe of Abdul Razak Musa aside, even if MACC had engaged a better lawyer, his would have been an uphill task all the way to try exculpate the agency in the eyes of public from blame and fault in TBH’s death.

    The fact is howsoever he was killed by whosoever the fact is that he died within MACC’s precincts, and as he was, by virtue of that, under the dominion and control of the MACC responsible for his safety, there is really no way MACC could wiggle out of thisbresponsbility unless it could prove he committed suicide.

    But to do that is another almost impossible task.

    In the absence of medical history of depression and deathwish or mental instability, it is common knowledge that no one wants to die by commission of suicide especially an expectant father.

    Shaespeare through the eyes of Hamlet may contemplate the fear of death due to fear of the unknown – described (in Hamlet’s words) as that “undiscovered country from whose bourn (boundary) no traveller returns…” to tell the tale!

    But there is another important fact that we all know – that the other known and common reason even on the part of terminally ill suffering patients why they don’t want to die or kill themselves is nopt so much as there’s much to look forward in continuing life but more because they are concerned about what will happen to the people they leave behind whom they love…..

    MACC would find it impossible to convince the public that TBH will want to kill himself (by suicide) when he has a baby to be responsible for and look after.

    To expect the public to believe that he would want to kill himself – and wishing to take the final exit from, of all places, MACC’s office at the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam, is as convincing as a forced simile from a sour puss face!

    This is MACC’s biggest problem. Sometimes it is necessary to get real, cut loss (admit he could not have committed suicide) take responsibility – and move on from there – to salvage whatever residual credibility, if any, left than to press on with a line that is inherently and irrefutably ludicruous and incredible.

    Even if MACC had engaged the most competent lawyer in Malaysia to try discredit Dr Porntip’s version, he would fail to convince the public the highly improbable story of suicide, given these circumstances.

  17. #17 by House Victim on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 - 12:47 am

    Lawyers are cradled in school and “brought” up in courts and legal system, such as AG and legal sections of each and every of the administration both in the Public (Government) and social service (such as Bank and big firms). They are under Ethique and Practice Act to behave with Rules and Regulations as well as proceeding under the Court Rules. Bar Council, the Judges/Court and AG are to monitor, regulate or even to take disciplinary action. However, many of these “having Duty to protect” parties have failed to do their jobs or even “playing concert” with conflict of interest to the clients. Therefore, lawyers having connections are acting “wild” in this country without bothering any actions.

    In a case where Developer was to transfer Strata Title to purchasers,

    1. A younger lawyer acting for the Developer dare to cheat purchasers so as to get paid for an obligation of the Developer in getting State Authority Consent for the Transfer of Strata Title to the purchasers. In reality, the Developer was the one doing it but taking the lawyer to mislead and dragg the purchaser for more than 4 years.

    2. A Complaint was filed with the Complaint Section of the Bar. Instead of having the Respondent explaining, the Director of the Complaint Section was explaining on behalf of the Respondent and refused to provide a copy of explanation from the Respondent and refused to ask the Respondent to provide evidents on the Respondant purported to have done the application.

    3. Disciplinary Board of the Bar refused to provide copy of Explanation from the Respondent to the Complainant and drag the Complaint for more than 2 years. Without hearing or investigation, DB purported that a Boad meeting was held to dismiss the Complaint. However, providing only a list of the participants of the meeting as the “minutes” for the dismiss!!

    4. This young lawyer then started a “Defamation case” for 2 millions RM on basis of Complaints to the Bar Council!!

    5. The first lawyer was engaged without telling the client that the case should be strike-out and refused to include any counterclaim. The Defense was badly written with denial and not rebutting many of the particulars which are not correct. He refused to provide opionion after he started his own company but had gone to case management without informing the clients when he had started new. He declines to act on the Dismisal from the DB claiming it will build up enemies in the industry!!

    6. A second young lawyer was engaged via the introduction of the Secretary of the Bar with promise to amend the defense plus counterclaim. But, using a case of irrelevant to say that no counterclaim and did nothing on rebutting but messing up the defense. Trying to input a bundle of document that was hardly complete and tell the cleints no need to comment on the bundle presented by the plaintiff. She skipped to ask and press the plaintiff for Summary of facts and Issues. Finally playing concert with the plaintiff solicitor in purporting that the summary of facts and issues was received on basis of a letter from the plaintiff solicitor that the summary was returned right after it was sent to the Defendant’s first solicitor. The Plaintiff then sent in a Statement of Issue in asking the court to try if the letters are defamatory with mention that it is for record only. She applied for discharge as Defendants lawyers when she cannot reasonably explained what she had done or should do. Her application was full of false statement. She got the order of Discharge after the Judge was transferred. But, there is no record that the Judge has approved the application!!

    7. The Plaintiff dragged on with the Statement s of facts and Issues. A senior lawyer of more than 30 years was engaged via a NGO website in Penang with promise to amend the Defense with Counterclaim including the Developer within 2-3months. Meeting were provided some 1/2 hours during alternative saturday with some absentee without notice. Draft of Amendment, Brief summary, Issue and facts were drafted by the Defendant, however, the lawyers only provide a draft of amendment on one to 2 sections of the Defense. It was either repeating or cannot go along with the main defense. The 1-2 page draft to sue the Developer and others was messy with wrong parties and laid-out no ground and offenses but claiming damages million!! He did not provide further draft but told the client to attending the court as hearing when it was only a mention date without even providing any advice on what to do. He never attend court for more than 2 years.
    The Judge said she will ask to show cause but she never did. The Plaintiff continued to drag the case without categorizing their Bundle and had include letter of Bar to the Plaintiff without including the said letters of “Defamation” from the Defendant to the Bar as included in the Statement of claim. The Judge tried to persuade the Defendants that the letters in the Bundle is the same as the one in the Statement of claim and refused to press the Plaintiff to categorise the Bundle and to allow the Plaintiff to relabel the Bundle as Agreed first Bundle.
    Reminders to the lawyer for the jobs were silent. After 1 year or about, the lawyer called the Defendant to ask if he should attending a mention the next day!! Even with confirmation from the clients, the lawyer did not go. When meeting at the entrance of the lawyer’s office, he claimed that some documents were ready in the office but blocking client to go in. With showing a copy at a distance, the lawyer refused to provide a copy to the client and called the Police to chase away the client.

    After hand-in the 18th reminder to the lawyer, the Defendents were assaulted in the lawyer office, with pushing down the staircase, with bumping and slapping and dragging the clients by the hair. The client was inhosptialized but Police/AG were silent without feedback on any investigation.

    The lawyer sent the client copy of application of amendment but with the wrong court and dismissed Plaintiff lawyer. The lawyer return copy of the draft of amendment prepared by the client without any input or amendment and claimed to have include a counterclaim which cannot be found anywhere.

    The lawyer refused to act for the Defendant but also refused to apply for Discharge.The Judge pressed the Defendant to do the Amendment and Counterclaim and press for the case for trial. The Judge continuously refused to reply on points raised by the Defendant nor ask the Defendant lawyer to apply for discharge. Suddently she termed a mention date to be the Final mention date and press to set a Trial date.

    The case was transferred twice without informing the Defendant in advance. The Judges refused to ask the lawyer for his applicaiton of discharge.

    The Defendant was called up 2-3 day before a so called Trial date without informing that the case was transferred again and the whole High court was to be moved during that 2-3days.

    The case cannot be located during the day by the Registrar and not on any of the Court list!! Cannot even trace in the file room as the racks were not ready…..The AR promised to send notice to the lawyer for application of discharge but never done.

    On advice of an Hindraf lawyer, complaints were made to the Chief of Justice and Chief Judge of High Court, but they were silent. Lastly the case was told to be “SETTLTED” without details of when and how and between whom!!

    In between, lawyers were consulted, including
    senior member of DB who advised the Defendant to run away and claiming the Plaintiff was one of his pupil! Some lawyers were paid but again no jop done or coming with draft without the right parties, cause of action or ground for the claim, etc..ALL REFUSED TO TAKE COUNTERCLAIM!!


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