The MCA number game backfires

by Thomas Lee
My Sinchew

The revelation that the senior private secretary of ex-Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has asked for the vehicle registration numbers MCA 1 to MCA 9999 in Malacca be reserved for MCA members is clearly a reflection of the high-handed manner a small-time political administrator in the Barisan Nasional abused his little derived authority.

Current Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha has confirmed that such a request was contained in a memorandum dated 17 Feruary 2010 and addressed to Road Transport Department (RTD) director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan.

Tee Keat has denied that he had endorsed the memorandum written to the RTD director-general by his private secretary, saying that “I still remember, among the things that came to my attention which I rejected included this memorandum, although I had returned to duty in March after some health problems.”

Kong, meanwhile, said that the instruction would be rescinded.

“Nobody can reserve any number for the MCA. It is part of the sequence of the way that the RTD issues the registration number and according to the state,” he said.

This ignominious and scandalous incident is certainly more serious and shameful than that of the so-called Support Letters Scandal in Selangor, in which swift and harsh action was taken against the errant municipal councillor by the state government and the DAP.

During the height of the Support Letters Scandal in August 2010, the MCA leaders had showed their self-righteous indignation and wrath against what they claimed was the abuse of power by Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu in allowing his then aide Tee Boon Hock to issue letters of support to companies seeking contract jobs with the local authorities.

In a pace-setting benchmark for political acountability and transparency in the country, the DAP hauled up Ronnie and Tee, both senior leaders in the Selangor DAP, to face the party disciplinary committee over the allegations of corruption in the issuance of support letters to help crony firms gain contracts from the local authorities.

Ronnie was issued a severe reprimand and warning for failure to manage his administrative affairs properly, resulting in the abuse of the support letters. Tee was sacked from the party for abusing the support letters to endorse his son’s company. He was also removed as a municipal councillor.

In early September 2010, the DAP also issued an expulsion order on two members — Yap Hock Siew and Ong Chai Huat — for allegedly misusing a support letter for personal gain.

Yap and Ong were found to have committed direct conflict of interest in breach of party discipline when Yap issued a letter of support under the letterhead of the Pandamaran Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) in favour of a business where both of them are partners.

Yap and Ong were respectively chairman and vice-chairman of the Pasar Pandamaran DAP branch at the time of their alleged wrongdoing.

The DAP has shown that it does not condone or tolerate any nonsense and irregularities committed by its leaders and members.

The party has set a very good example of how good governance, with the virtuous moral trinity of competence, accountability and transparency (CAT) principles as its fundamental basis, should be practised, and it is here that the MCA should learn from and emulate the DAP and adopt its exemplary party discipinary model.

Tee Keat should not have just washed his hands off the issue without taking any fast and firm action against his smart alec aide, whose unilateral instruction to the RTD director-general is certainly a gross abuse of the transport minister’s office.

It is sad, but true, that we have many such obnoxiously self-assertive and impudent persons, who flexed their muscles and used bullying tactics, in the civil service. It was former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who gave them the notorious name “Little Napoleons”.

If the MCA considers the Support Letters Scandal as a serious abuse or even a felonious action, deserving of harsh punishment, then the MCA Vehicle Number Plates Scandal certainly demands more severe castigation.

The MCA leadership should immediately hold a disciplinary hearing on the fiasco, and ask its former president Tee Keat and his aide, if he is a party member, to explain the shameful episode. Appropriate action should be taken if Tee Keat and his aide are found to have abuse their office.

The MCA must also apologise to the RTD director-general and the people for the outrageous unilateral proposal to reserve the series of vehicle registration numbers for its members. Even if the instruction has been withdrawn, the intended monopoly is a betrayal of the people’s confidence in the government.

By the way, I think it is unnecessary to reserve those vehicle registration numbers as I doubt many people would want to have their cars or motor-cycles bearing those number plates. Also, my sympathy with the car sellers in Malacca. Not many people would want to buy new cars until the “MCA” number series is exhausted!

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 9:16 am

    Did DAP ask Kelantan JPJ 2 reserve vehicle registration numbers DAP 1 2 DAP 9999 4 DAP members?

    Did Pg reserve vehicle registration numbers PHD 1 2 PHD 9999 4 owners with PhD?

    What abt owners of JEW 1 2 9999?

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 9:29 am

    Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said the department had received an official letter dated Feb 17 from the senior private secretary of former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, which instructed that vehicle registration plates from “MCA 1” to “MCA 9999” be reserved for MCA members.

    “The instruction still stands as there was no new instruction otherwise from Datuk Seri Ong throughout his tenure as Transport Minister,” he said in a statement yesterday.

    Ong Tee Keat sudah lupa kah?
    Let’s watch “MIC” yang akan datang

  3. #3 by SGPR on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 9:54 am

    I feel malu to sit in a car with number plate number MCA XXXX

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 10:13 am

    Reserve registration number MCA 4444 for OTK.

  5. #5 by Loh on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 10:21 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Mahathir’s words

    By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on September 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (37) | TrackBacks (0)
    ///1. How much is 4 trillion dollars? Star Business picking a report from foreign source says it is the value of Germany’s total output for one year.

    2. I try to imagine the figure 4 trillion and wrote it down. It is 4,000,000,000,000. It is a lot, a great lot of money. But it is just the amount of dollars traded by the currency traders in just one day.

    3. Yes, the currency traders are still at it, worldwide financial crisis notwithstanding.///– Mahathir

    The financial crisis experienced by USA and other countries since 2008 was not linked to currency trading.

    ///4. Four trillion dollars worth of business in Germany in one year creates millions of jobs; spawns businesses big, medium and small; move millions of vehicles and trains, support a rich and highly developed Germany and the people of the country and much more.///– Mahahtir

    The question of whether egg or chicken comes first might not have an answer. But the GDP of Germany came from the value added of all the business and activities summed together. It was not as though the government used all that money to generate those activities.

    ///5. But what does 4 trillion dollars in currency trade do? Apart from enriching a few players, nothing. No jobs are created, no businesses, big, medium or small spin off; no enhancement of international trade, no movements of goods or people, no sailing of ships or flights of aircraft, nothing.///– Mahathir

    The same question would be more relevant asking about the windfall brought to the country by Petronas. Does the country gain from it in terms of social and economic development? Was it not used to benefit a few players as decided by the Prime Minister?

    ///6. 4 trillion a day and there are 365 days a year giving a total of 1,460 trillion or 1,460,000,000,000,000 in a year. So much money. But can we estimate how many of the earth’s 6.5 billion people benefit?///– Mahathir

    Vow! We now hear the man talking about the welfare of 6.5 billion populations. Not long ago, he ignored the welfare of 10 million among 28 million Malaysians in the country.

    ///7. But currency trading can also do damage to millions and millions of people, destroy whole countries, bankrupt businesses and banks and cause recessions. We know because it happened to us in 1997-98. We know because currency trading is one of the causes of the current crisis.///– Mahathir

    Currency trading only involved those who wanted to gain. In 1992, Malaysia traded on Sterling Pound against George Sorros who took the counter position. In the end Malaysia lost a billion pound and more with Sorros making clean profit. Mahahir blames Sorros to deflect from taking responsibility for the loss to the nation.

    ///8. What kind of system is this that permits and protects a few people at the expense of millions of helpless people, their countries, their businesses, their societies and their well-being. Is this what capitalism and free trade is all about?///– Mahathir

    The more relevant question would be what type of democracy Malaysia has practiced whereby with trillion ringgit of revenue from Petronas in addition to other rich mineral resources the total GDP of the country at best equates that of Singapore. The per capita GDP of Malaysian is at most one-fifth that of Singapore, at currency exchange rate. What kind of government permits the Prime Minister the sole authority to utilize Petronas resources where the parliament does not have the right to oversee?

    Free trade is free for all to trades, if you have the means. That is equality with no respect for religion. .

    ///9. I saw Mike Moore’s latest film, “Capitalism – A Love Story”, and was appalled by the crudeness of people playing with money.

    10. People free from financial problems are persuaded by banks to mortgage their fully paid up homes so that they can have money to invest and make more money. The investments fail and there was no money to redeem the mortgaged home. The banks took posession of the homes and the previous owners were forced to move out. But they had no money left and could not even rent a house, Thus a house-owner is rendered homeless.///– Mahathir

    It is more plausible to believe that people approach the banks to take up new loans hoping to make a profit rather than banks persuading individual to take loans. That argument is similar to talk about Chinese in Malaysia not being interested in government jobs when the government policy of disassociating job with economic functions aka NEP over the past four decades increased the percentage of Malay government servants from 75% in 1970 to 99% now, if teachers are excluded in the computation.

    ///11. This did not happen to one person. It happened to millions, The banks now own millions of houses. But nobody has enough money to buy them, nor can they borrow money to buy. Simply put the banks cannot get back the money they had lent and the banks fail. That is part of the story of the subprime loan failure which triggered the current crisis.///– Mahathir

    The subprime loan system caused the current financial crisis. But that was not initiated by currency trading.

    ///12. It is now nearly three years since the current crisis began. Every now and again the experts will claim that the crisis has bottomed out. But then news came that the crisis is still on.

    13. Now there is talk of a double-dip, of the recession going on to another recession. This is very likely simply because nothing is being done to stop the activities which led to the crisis. As we can see currency trading is still going on, if anything, on a larger scale. Much of the bailout money, billions of dollars worth, has produced nothing worthwhile. The bankers and their people have used a goodly sum of the bailout money for hefty bonuses, the hedge funds are still active and so is presumably the “leveraging” and many of the gambling that lead to the crisis are still in place.///– Mahathir

    The dramatic growth in economic activities over the past decades had been made possible by financial derivatives. The financial crisis came about because those financial derivatives system ceased to function properly, for a while, just like firms experienced cash-flow problems. The economic activities would remain at the present level or worse had there been no financial derivatives system in place two decades ago. The argument should be whether the world should not have experienced the tremendous economic growth in the past and be contented with the slow growth without the advent of financial derivatives, or work to solve the antecedent problems associated with them. But these have nothing to do with currency trading.

    ///14. The leaders and their financial advisers in the great capitalist countries have learnt nothing. They continue to support the gambling and the manipulation. They are still influenced by their uncontrolled greed.///– Mahathir

    It is odd that the person who poisons the mindset of the majority of Malaysians to achieve personal aspiration to the extent of cutting tie to the Malayali race would criticize others as greedy. Well, currency traders were willing to bet, to win or lose and so far on loser blames others for the loss.

    ///15. The worldwide recession will not end until Wall Street ceases to control whatever Government the United States and the United Kingdom may have.///– Mahathir

    The Wall Street helps create economic prosperity of America and the world enjoys some fallouts. The world can only hope that Obama administration does not destroy it.

  6. #6 by k1980 on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 10:27 am

    Reserve registration number MCA 584 for CSL.

  7. #7 by undertaker888 on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 11:13 am

    These numbers also reserve for CSL:
    MCA 2626 (ji-lat ji-lat)
    MCA 5180 (wo yao park ni)

    This one for Kong – MCA 549 (wo shi gou – I am dog).

  8. #8 by k1980 on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 11:24 am

    mca, mic, ppp and other bn component parties are also going the way of gelakan

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 12:31 pm

    LGE, fr Melaka, shld drive a car with MCA plate, ha, ha, ha

  10. #10 by dagen on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 12:31 pm

    Sharks, bimbos and squids. I should have got a car not too long ago in kl for then I would surely have got for myself a registration number bearing WTF.

  11. #11 by dagen on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 1:28 pm

    No. Still am not commenting on any issue on, relating to or about mca and gerakan. They do not exist. But hey our expo pavilion in shanghai apparently also showcase an important facet of our country. Yeah. Leaking ceiling. That’s it. You’ve got. Drippy drooling ceiling. Dont believe? Terence Fernandez said so in The Sun (reproduced in Malaysia Today).

  12. #12 by k1980 on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 1:51 pm

    Will CSL present Angela Yam a car with the registration number MCA 720?

  13. #13 by Comrade on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 2:33 pm

    How childish
    How foolish
    MCA’s reputation gets more blemish
    More serious thing to accomplish
    Than to think of such petty rubbish
    MCA will be further vanquished

  14. #14 by Loh on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 3:34 pm

    It makes sense to reserve MCA plates only to MCA members so that none of those who have no party affiliation would be tainted as if they had MCA connection. Why did the new Transport Minister Kong make the issuance of vehicle numbers bearing MCA initials a big issue? Has Kong no other issue to prove that he might be better than Ong Tee keat? Was car plates bearing MCA initials the life-and-death matter affecting the Chinese community that the party portraying the wrong impression of looking after Chinese interest, the MCA have to debate in the press. Was it MCA new directive to talk about issue affecting all Malaysians since non-MCA members including MIC and UMNO members might be crying for being denied the opportunity to have their car bear the MCA initials. How childish? How come the internal memo in the Transport Minister has suddenly been declassified?

  15. #15 by Loh on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 3:36 pm

    MCA 967 should be for CSL

  16. #16 by boh-liao on Friday, 24 September 2010 - 6:10 pm

    Better still special 5 digit number 4 CSL’s car as a present fro MCA: MCA 11967

  17. #17 by tai kormeng on Saturday, 25 September 2010 - 8:32 pm

    No..No..No..I will never take a ride in a car, let alone drive one bearing the registration number MCA.. Besar Kemaluanlah..

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