Muhyiddin is just being honest

By Rama Ramanathan | June 11, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 11 — Tomorrow my wife and I leave Malaysia so that I can take up a short-term assignment abroad. As I said in my last post, we struggle over whether, as citizens, we are doing the right thing. We are after all Malaysians. We don’t think of any other country as our home. Politicians in no other countries care about our votes.

After I paid a few hundred US dollars, India recognised me as a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) — this means I don’t need a visa to enter India. But this is only in order to encourage me to transfer funds to India, which I have not done. I don’t have voting rights in India. Why should I? I care more about Malaysia than I do about India!

I do have voting rights in Malaysia, and I am disappointed that the 13th general election in Malaysia will likely occur while I’m away. Fortunately, my member of Parliament is not Umno-BN, and it seems likely the seat will remain with the opposition even without the help of the votes of my wife and myself. But, with all the shenanigans the Election Commission and Umno-BN are practising, we can’t be too sure.

The Malaysian Insider reported that Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy prime minister, said the opposition is “skilful at spinning” and at using social media tools.

I wonder if other Malaysians share my sense of dismay every time I hear people speaking of the opposition. If Umno-BN, the ruling party, cares so much about getting votes, why doesn’t it recognise that the opposition are also elected representatives? Why doesn’t Umno-BN recognise that we, the people, have voted so many of the opposition into government because what Umno-BN considers “spin” we consider “fact”.

The ruling coalition in Malaysia spins stories just as much as the opposition; it’s well known that Umno-BN employs media consultants; they find “angles” to make bad stories sound good. That’s understandable. What’s “emphasizing” a point to one is spin to another. That’s politics. You call it “spin” if you can’t counter the facts. If you can counter the facts, you win credibility. That’s politics. Politicians who resort to calling things “spin” are empty shells.

For instance, we are asked to believe that ex-Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil isn’t in any way tainted by her husband and children being recipients of taxpayers’ money as seed capital to start a business.

We might believe this if the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) was a successful company. However, it’s not. Like PKFZ, it’s a disaster. Instead of investing the money in doing business involving cows, NFC invested the money in high-end apartments!

I have no trouble accepting that the spouses and children of ministers, etc. are just as entitled as others to get government awards, contracts, etc.

What I have trouble with is the lack of transparency in the award of contracts — which are often more like “gifts”. In the case of the NFC, my beef is not that it’s Shahrizat’s family who were the benefactors. My beef is that I don’t know why it was them. To get the cows off it’ back, all Umno-BN has to do is tell us why NFC was created, how potential leaders were selected and why Shahrizat’s kin (and not others) were granted the largesse.

Instead of doing that, the leaders of Umno-BN accuse the opposition of spin.

Curiously, we don’t hear of others who were in the running for the award and were denied. Are others quiet because they’ve received benefits they want to keep quiet?

Also, if a listed corporation had awarded the “loan” using a similar process, would it have been considered okay by the shareholders?

Our Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seems to think that according to current regulations, it’s okay. What conclusions should we now draw about governance in our listed corporations? Let’s not forget that a huge number of our listed corporations are government-linked. What’s Umno-BN proposing to do to prevent similar abuses in the future? Nothing!

Muhyiddin speaks of spin. Why not speak of honesty. Why not speak of his own blunt honesty? Why not speak of the encouragement he gives people to vote for Umno-BN, when he says that if his candidate wins, those whose votes contributed to the win will be treated as anak emas, or “precious children”, who get special treatment?

Why should anyone get special treatment? Answer: it’s the Umno-BN culture. Thus NFC and PKFZ. That’s not spin. That’s honesty.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 6:08 pm

    Isn’t the great spinning machine (Utusan Malaysia) owned by Umno? Muhyiddin should take the log out of his eye before trying to judge others.

  2. #2 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 6:24 pm

    Umno is supreme! Ask jib.

  3. #3 by PRmaju on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 6:36 pm

    Thanks to mamakthir, not only we the tax payers’ money are wasted by the millions on these useless , buffoon clowns running the country, many many more malaysians have to waste time scolding them or feeling angry or depressed by all their stupidity. Certainly , a waste of human energy !!

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 6:41 pm

    To spin is to selectively interpret, skew and present facts to make one’s own side look good or at least not that bad and to make the opposing look bad. Of course politicians on both sides of the divide will spin. Intellectual honesty is not a tool of of political trade anywhere. However the difference is that whereas the playing field -before advent of internet and social media technologies- was not even, and BN had the monopoly of political spin then via mainstream printed media, it now has no such monopoly over public perception which increasingly especially of the young (whose votes are canvassed) read whats out there in the ‘difficult to censor’ blogs and alternative media afforded by the Net . BN already loses round one by the ground being levelled by the Net and social media. Round 2 is the fact that no matter how much and well one spins one cover the up and twist overt and abundant facts all over the place. One can’t call shit as cake. How to defend against opposition’s spins on corruption, abuse of power, racist policies when these are facts of an elephant in the room? People are not as naïve as before. For eg foreign minsiter Anifah Aman spins by euphemism in downplaying Scorpene probe as “not a serious matter”. How convincing is this in the face of revelations of hundreds of millions ringgit of commissions being allegedly paid, national secrets sold as disclosed in a foreign (French) forum (which basically is politically disinterested and has no reason to be politically partisan)? Who would one believe?

  5. #5 by niknik on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 8:10 pm

    For a clean & transparent government to function and succeed like any other corporate of business entity, there should be no conflict of interest. A government or minister must be seen to be “cleaner than clean”. In any better & proper civil society, government projects would not have been given to any family member of any minister whether they are qualified or not. It should be SOP. That way it leaves not room for question or doubt. What has happened in the case of the NFC tantamounts to cronyism and nepotism. But that has always been the SOP and ways of BN where it seems that most family members of BN politicians SEEM BETTER QUALIFIED THAN THE PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SERVING. How can the affirmative programs succeed if a very successful lawyer and minister like Shahrizat and her family can acquire such a projects while others are treated as outsiders even though they are better qualified at owning and actually running such farms? A PHD, heading departments and tending his family farm as a kid and selling them does not qualify him anymore than my serious collection of coins as a kid till today make me a coin curator or numismatist or financial advisor nor does it make my favourite professor of Business studies better at running a RM250 million ringgit college. And how do their kids fit in to the equation of being best qualified? Because they trust these 20-30 year olds as Directors and will nurture them so that they can keep all the money within the family? And you said it well on the issue of landed property. I think anybody using their own hard earned capital to run a business knows that it means properties directly needed in the operations or running of their business and not some fancy condominium in the sky. We’ve seen enough projects being handed to cronies and their relatives in our lifetime in well-disguised and legit assignments even with two or three parties called in to tender to complete the charade. Without being psychic, we all know who gets it in the end. They’ve been treating the rakyat for the fools we already feel like we’ve been for over 50 years! I hope and pray that there will be more than enough Malaysians that will finally stand up for a CLEAN & FAIR Malaysia for all Malaysians.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 8:40 pm

    If you have to go….just go…so sad ….so bad.

  7. #7 by Taxidriver on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 9:59 pm

    The current batch of half-past6 ministers learn and follow in the style of their sifu who is well-known for fabricating stories, turn facts into lies and lies into facts with the help of Malaysia’s junk mass media such as Utusan Melayu. Not really surprising as they say trees bear fruits according to their kind. And rotten trees will surely produce rotten fruits

  8. #8 by Dipoh Bous on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 10:08 pm

    May the Almighty ( Topa Samak Di’ Ayuh kiasa ) help Malaysia if this man ever become PM.

    Ini kalilah…

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 11 June 2012 - 11:33 pm

    Hello Muhyiddin, take up Anwar’s challenge. Disclose your accounts, your deals and side deals and Anwar will also disclose all his accounts and deals etc.

    Then at the end of the day, the Rakyat will know who are in a hurry to be new billionaires on the block.

    So Muhyiddin, take the challenge, man.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 3:24 am

    He revealed his bank accounts…he is finished.

  11. #11 by Godfather on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 7:32 am

    Moo says that he made his money from the Ketuanan policies. Who dares deny those opportunities to the Malays must be removed at all costs.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 8:23 am

    Champion spinner, d WWW15 bidder, who now wants 2 impress rakyat by spinning a new tall tale – I no want FREE WWW15, I GIVE UP, I surrender, numbers not impartant (though 15 is really my lucky number I love very much)
    Bentong VOTERS: Y such dumbo MP 1? KNOW what 2 do in GE13 lor

  13. #13 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 8:40 am

    Those who knows UMNO right wingers, know that they believe all Anwar is better at ‘skillful at spinning’..Muhiyiddin betrays where he belongs to by stating what they have always said in private about Anwar.

    Theirs and Muhiyiddin view of Anwar betrays the fact their minds are simplistic and more importantly obviously incapable of meeting the challenge of the complexity of what is happening be it Anwar but more importantly the challenge that this nation faces.

    Anwar is obviously skillful at ‘spin’ (what any politician worth his salt isn’t?). While he has his fault and perhaps its true he lacks some critical thing, what is important is that the direction he has now chosen are those the people want at the expense of the pain to UMNOputras. There is no debate whether these are the right things – its actually irrrelevant. They are not the wrong things and UMNOputras don’t have a right to decide otherwise.

    And that is precisely the problem – the entitlement of UMNOputras – it just can’t be wrong to take them away..

  14. #14 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 10:26 am

    Why we must reject moo jib keris lembudin crazyO’mamak and umno.

    The guardian, 10 june 2012:

    ///All children are to be taught a foreign language – which could include Mandarin, Latin or Greek – from the age of seven under reforms to the national curriculum being unveiled by the education secretary, Michael Gove.

    In other reforms, children will be encouraged to learn science by studying nature, and schools will be expected to place less emphasis on teaching scientific method.

    The introduction of compulsory language teaching in primary schools is intended to reverse the dramatic decline in takeup at GCSE. Pupils will need to be able to speak in sentences, with the appropriate pronunciation, and express simple ideas clearly in another language.

    They will be expected to develop an understanding of the basic grammar of the language, and be acquainted with songs and poetry. Ministers say that teaching should focus on making “substantial progress” in one language.

    The science curriculum is expected to emphasise using the natural habitat around schools – learning biology by studying the growth and development of trees, for example.

    There will be less of a focus on doing experiments. Instead, children will be taught to observe their surroundings and learn how scientists have classified the natural world. One source with knowledge of the curriculum review said: “The idea of science being based around a careful observation of the world is a very important place to begin. The science curriculum in Japan has at its core the love of nature. In the past we put too much emphasis on how scientists found stuff out, not enough on what they have found out.”

    The curriculum reforms will result in more demanding lessons, and represent a return to the basics of each subject. In maths, the teaching of statistics at primary school will be slimmed down to make way for more mental arithmetic.

    Children will be expected to do multiplication and division with large numbers without the use of pen and paper. Pupils in the final year of primary school will be introduced to algebra.

    The new programmes of study, which are being published for consultation this week, are to be introduced in schools in September 2014. They follow a report on the future framework of the national curriculum in England drawn up by an expert panel chaired by Tim Oates, director of research at Cambridge Assessment, an exam board. One of the most far-reaching proposals is a plan to scrap the levels that children are awarded in Sats tests at the end of primary school. The percentage of pupils reaching level 4 is used to determine whether a primary school is failing. It is not clear what will replace Sats levels. Scrapping them may pave the way for schools to provide more specific details of pupils’ progress in subjects.

    In English, the curriculum will emphasise the importance of grammar. For the first time, the government will set a list of words that all children must learn how to spell. These will include bruise, destroy, ridiculous and tyrant.

    Pupils will be expected to learn poems by heart and recite them in public. They will also be taught how to debate.

    The new English curriculum will say that by the end of year 4, children should be listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction and nonfiction. There is also greater stress on learning to read through phonics.

    Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “There is no doubt these programmes are more demanding. It is appropriate to express high expectations in a statement of curriculum aims, but schools will need time and support to develop their teaching to reach those aims.”

    The shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg, said the government was “absolutely right” to make the learning of foreign languages compulsory from the age of seven.

    On BBC1’s Sunday Politics programme, he urged ministers to go further. “Children will get a love of learning languages if they get the chance to learn them younger. The government’s talking about seven. I would encourage schools to start teaching languages younger than seven,” he said.

    Twigg said he was opposed to the legislation that created free schools, but a future Labour government would not close down “excellent schools”. He said: “I have a different concern about free schools … At the moment there is a serious shortage of primary school places in many parts of the country and yet the government’s spending priority on schools’ capital is free schools.”

    The number of primary schools teaching languages has been increasing in response to a target set by the previous government., though school inspectors say headteachers’ monitoring of language provision can be weak. This is often because primary heads feel they lack competence to judge language provision, Ofsted says. Languages have collapsed at GCSE since they were made optional at the age of 14. In 2010, just 43% of GCSE candidates were entered for a language, down from 75% in 2002.///

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 11:00 am

    Now is not a race (to GE13) to just ‘spin’ how good one’s side is (esp in case of BN, there’s on the facts more bad than good). Its a race on mud slinging, to spin and tarnish opposite side max so that if one’s side does not emerge unscathed smelling like rose the other opposite side will equally be dragged down smelling like sh*t! Eg Mainstream going gaga over alleged Anwar’s RM3 billion war chest accumulated ala UMNO culture style during his years in the helm of the ruling party.

  16. #16 by Taxidriver on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 12:14 pm

    Where is Spin Doctor In The House? He has been unusually quiet of late.

  17. #17 by Taxidriver on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 12:14 pm

    Where is Spin Doctor In The House? He has been unusually quiet of late.

  18. #18 by Ray on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 2:20 pm

    MOOve has his right to ” Supremacy Big Mouthing
    thats his political gimmick.
    Doomed Failure,No Substances,merits to any Malaysian of right thinking and positive mindset
    A nation in dire strait with high unemployment,finiancial crisis, lack of FDI and RMoneytary policies trust

  19. #19 by Ray on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 5:13 pm

    Mooving is useless,continue to moove from dawn till sunset….
    If you can do something reform some policies benifit all Raykat Malaysians….>>> your immediate sincere honest acts will make a huge difference and make malaysia SHINES Brightly and

  20. #20 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 5:37 pm

    Spin Doctor in the House has taken my advice and retired himself out to pasture.

  21. #21 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 5:40 pm

    Ahoi Najib, RM 1.5 biliun just not enough for MPs lah.

    After all, somebody got RM500 million from Scorpene for nothing. Just sign some papers, attend some nice meetings with beautiful Mongolian Altantuya on the lap and probably sucking grapes and ice cream.

  22. #22 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 6:27 pm

    AhCHEATkor n UmnoB/BN MPs n ADUNs r using RAKYAT’s $$$$ 2 bribe rakyat n voters
    N they even dare 2 demand rakyat 2 b grateful 2 UmnoB/BN 促人民感恩支持国阵

  23. #23 by bennylohstocks on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 7:33 pm

  24. #24 by monsterball on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 9:07 pm

    Najib is throwing billions all over Malaysia.
    He is telling his potential candidates…..spend spend…. spend money..give money away and make all Malaysians happy.
    He is telling urban Malaysians to vote for him in 13th GE and he will deliver more goodies.
    He takes our money to do as he likes.
    For decades…UMNO b crooks do not behave like elected politicians at all.
    One hand give some out and the other hand keep the balance…all stolen money from Malaysians.
    Anwar said Najib is desperate to win 13th GE at all cost.
    Lim Kit Siang Mahathir….Diam….Rafidah….Thamy Chik all accused for corruptions years ago…no actions taken.

  25. #25 by monsterball on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 9:14 pm

    Now it is using money to buy hearts and votes by Najib again and again.
    “Trust me” is his word.
    Will it work?
    Remember Sibu miracle.
    Money must not to able to buy your loyalties and souls.
    If that can be done….then Malaysians have no principles in life at all.
    Crooks are like that.
    Do you want to be slaves to crooks?

  26. #26 by monsterball on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 9:25 pm

    How are all young Malaysians going to teach your children when they become parents?
    Do they want to live a life to succeed based on whom they know and not what they know?
    No skills and experience needed….just be yes men.
    Or fight off rouges and thieves devilish ideas and be totally free.
    Throughout 55 years and under few UMNO PMs…Najib is the worst of the lot…and he is not even elected by the people yet.
    Mahathir put him there to let Najib save his own skin from the gallows or prison….and this is how Najib is doing it.
    Give him a chance….he will create havoc..race clashes too.
    That is one part…he dare not do……for as bad as UMNO b crooks are…not all want to see blood or death to win.
    They can play dirty to the limit…but spilling blood is not our way of life.
    But you ca bet….it is Najib’s way of life.
    Atlantuya ghost is flying all over him and Rosmah.

  27. #27 by Loh on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - 10:00 pm

    ///With Putrajaya admitting it is unlikely to meet GDP growth projections this year leading to a larger budget deficit the opposition leader took aim at the Najib administration saying the move to hand each BN federal lawmaker RM1 5 million was “not proper ” “The PM also said they can spend in cash giving up to RM5 000 to their constituents This is not proper ” the PKR de facto leader told a press conference.///–MalaysianInsider

    Disbursing cash to individuals amounts to buying votes. It is illegal using party funds, and it is corruption using government funds which belong to the people. PR should make police report as soon as disbursement begins.

  28. #28 by Taxidriver on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 - 9:44 pm

    Throwing RM500 here and there is of little if the prices of essential goods keep going up, up and up again. Do what you are elected to do. Govern the country well like the PAP in Singapore. Take back the 2 perigi minyak AAB gave the Brunei Sultan. Get Moo and Spin Doctor to cough 30% of what they have taken from the rakyat. With the money you can give the poor rakyat free decent homes and free education for their children, regardless of the state they live in. Like that you will win 90% of parliament seats easy easy.

You must be logged in to post a comment.