Thursday, November 29, 2007

Apakah Ini Budaya Kita?

”Berdemonstrasi bukan budaya kita!”
Itulah kata yang empunya cerita
Tapi mereka ini semua sudah lupa
Ketika menentang Malayan Union atau Kesatuan Malaya
Dato’ Onn bersama rakyat telah membuat demonstrasi raksasa

Kata mereka ”ini dan itu” bukan budaya kita
Adakah politik wang budaya kita?
Adakah mengambil dan memberi rasuah budaya kita?
Adakah membantai tahanan sampai separuh mati budaya kita?


Adakah berdemonstrasi menentang kuasa luar sahaja budaya kita?
Adakah memberi permit berhimpun kepada anak menantu sahaja budaya kita?
Adakah mengamal double-standard budaya kita?

Adakah menyembor air berkimia dan pemedih mata budaya kita?
Adakah melucutkan kuasa raja budaya kita?
Adakah merasuah pengundi budaya kita?
Adakah membawa pengundi hantu budaya kita?
Adakah menggunakan media awam bagi kemenangan pilihanraya budaya kita?

Adakah menghadiah penyapu budaya kita?
Adakah menggertak rakyat dengan keganasan budaya kita?
Adakah menakutkan rakyat dengan huru hara budaya kita?
Adakah memaki hamun sesama Islam budaya kita?

Adakah melucut kebebasan mahkamah budaya kita?
Adakah menahan rakyat tanpa bicara budaya kita?
Adakah membunuh musuh politik budaya kita?
Adakah menyekat pergerakan rakyat budaya kita?

Adakah membuat jenaka lucah di parlimen budaya kita?
Adakah menghina wanita dalam parlimen budaya kita?
Adakah menghina orang kurang upaya budaya kita?
Adakah menaikkan anak menantu budaya kita?
Adakah menutup sebelah mata budaya kita?
Adakah menangkap bilis, melepaskan jerung budaya kita?

Adakah menyekat pertandingan sihat budaya kita?
Adakah merahsiakan tarikh pilihanraya budaya kita?
Adakah mengekang kebebasan SPR budaya kita?
Adakah ”gerrymandering” kawasan pilihanraya budaya kita?

Adakah menumbuk wartawan budaya kita?
Adakah menghalang pandangan alternatif budaya kita?
Bukankah menggalakkan bahas di sekolah budaya kita?
Tetapi mengapa membahas secara sihat di parlimen bukan budaya kita?

Mat Al-Jajawi

Friday, August 31, 2007

Malaysia a circular state

Malaysia a circular state (Reproduced from Malaysiakini.co)
Mat Al-Jajawi
Aug 30, 07 2:30pm

Malaysia is a circular state, not a secular or theocratic state. Why? I’ll try to elucidate my rationale for calling Malaysia a circular state.

Society is made of various social and ethnic groups. For example, the top strata in society are the royalty, judges, the cabinet ministers, members of parliament, and the politicians - don’t they all move around in their own circles? Judges are not supposed to be mixing or seen in public, the royalty is a group unto its own and seldom do we see them in the crowds. They have their own circles.

The cabinet ministers, no matter how ‘stupid’ (oops! dengan izin) they are, have their own circles; and mingle freely among themselves. The common folk of every ethnic group go about their everyday life in their own circles - the Malays with the Malays, Chinese with the Chinese, Indian with the Indians, Kadazan with the Kadazans and the list goes on.

In terms of administration of the country, there appears to be a lack of leadership and many people have suggested that the country in on auto-pilot. No one seems to be in charge. Government servants administer by circulars - one circular after another.

To control traffic flow, Malaysia is fond of having traffic circles, or what local folks here call ‘roundabouts’. Far from regulating traffic flow, these favorite creation of our civil engineers cause more traffic jams at peak hours. At traffic lights that seem to function quite well, we place policemen to regulate traffic flow.

These traffic cops aggravate, instead of ameliorate, the traffic woes of our cities, particularly in Kuala Lumpur. At traffic lights that don’t work, there are no policemen to regulate traffic follow. One guy complained that one traffic light that lies along his route to work hasn’t been working for at least four years. Perhaps our politicians were waiting for a by-election there before they notice the fault.

Malaysia is a nice country, but its course is speedily turning out to be very bumpy. Everywhere we go, we have to encounter speed bumps. It shows that Malaysian drivers are incapable of using their God-given common sense to slow down their cars when passing through residential zones.

We have to be slowed down by speed bumps, which tend to replace our discretion. Those of us who have lived overseas will surely remember how scarce traffic bumps in our neighborhoods were. What we saw were speed limit signs warning us to slow down our vehicles. And we could do it. Why not here?

One more evidence I’d like to adduce (favourite lingo of the legal fraternity) to convince all and sundry that we are a circular state is the ‘run around’ we often hear from citizens when they go to a government office. The first person they meet at the office does not have the immediate answer to help. We are told to see another person - if not another department - who can help us. The second person turns out to be equally ignorant of how to assist us, and so tells us to see a third person, who then tells us to see the first person.

Well, compared to many lesser endowed nations we can consider ourselves lucky to be in Malaysia. We have fewer natural disasters - only man-made ones. Our road accident rate is one of the highest in the world. The number killed on our highways is not very different from that of those dying in war-torn Iraq. Every day we hear of accidents involving express buses. Who has been sleeping, besides the bus drivers of course?

Here, we again see the circular nature of our state. Our officials will be pointing fingers in a circular fashion. Imagine it. The JPJ points fingers at the Commercial Vehicles Licencing Board, who perhaps points fingers at the Police DiRaja Malaysia (or Polis Raja Di Malaysia), who in turn point fingers at the deputy minister of internal security, and the process goes on and on. But makes sure it comes back to the first party.

So Malaysia is neither an Islamic state nor a secular state. It’s a circular state.

Malaysia a circular state

Malaysia a circular state (Reproduced from Malaysiakini.co)
Mat Al-Jajawi
Aug 30, 07 2:30pm

Malaysia is a circular state, not a secular or theocratic state. Why? I’ll try to elucidate my rationale for calling Malaysia a circular state.

Society is made of various social and ethnic groups. For example, the top strata in society are the royalty, judges, the cabinet ministers, members of parliament, and the politicians - don’t they all move around in their own circles? Judges are not supposed to be mixing or seen in public, the royalty is a group unto its own and seldom do we see them in the crowds. They have their own circles.

The cabinet ministers, no matter how ‘stupid’ (oops! dengan izin) they are, have their own circles; and mingle freely among themselves. The common folk of every ethnic group go about their everyday life in their own circles - the Malays with the Malays, Chinese with the Chinese, Indian with the Indians, Kadazan with the Kadazans and the list goes on.

In terms of administration of the country, there appears to be a lack of leadership and many people have suggested that the country in on auto-pilot. No one seems to be in charge. Government servants administer by circulars - one circular after another.

To control traffic flow, Malaysia is fond of having traffic circles, or what local folks here call ‘roundabouts’. Far from regulating traffic flow, these favorite creation of our civil engineers cause more traffic jams at peak hours. At traffic lights that seem to function quite well, we place policemen to regulate traffic flow.

These traffic cops aggravate, instead of ameliorate, the traffic woes of our cities, particularly in Kuala Lumpur. At traffic lights that don’t work, there are no policemen to regulate traffic follow. One guy complained that one traffic light that lies along his route to work hasn’t been working for at least four years. Perhaps our politicians were waiting for a by-election there before they notice the fault.

Malaysia is a nice country, but its course is speedily turning out to be very bumpy. Everywhere we go, we have to encounter speed bumps. It shows that Malaysian drivers are incapable of using their God-given common sense to slow down their cars when passing through residential zones.

We have to be slowed down by speed bumps, which tend to replace our discretion. Those of us who have lived overseas will surely remember how scarce traffic bumps in our neighborhoods were. What we saw were speed limit signs warning us to slow down our vehicles. And we could do it. Why not here?

One more evidence I’d like to adduce (favourite lingo of the legal fraternity) to convince all and sundry that we are a circular state is the ‘run around’ we often hear from citizens when they go to a government office. The first person they meet at the office does not have the immediate answer to help. We are told to see another person - if not another department - who can help us. The second person turns out to be equally ignorant of how to assist us, and so tells us to see a third person, who then tells us to see the first person.

Well, compared to many lesser endowed nations we can consider ourselves lucky to be in Malaysia. We have fewer natural disasters - only man-made ones. Our road accident rate is one of the highest in the world. The number killed on our highways is not very different from that of those dying in war-torn Iraq. Every day we hear of accidents involving express buses. Who has been sleeping, besides the bus drivers of course?

Here, we again see the circular nature of our state. Our officials will be pointing fingers in a circular fashion. Imagine it. The JPJ points fingers at the Commercial Vehicles Licencing Board, who perhaps points fingers at the Police DiRaja Malaysia (or Polis Raja Di Malaysia), who in turn point fingers at the deputy minister of internal security, and the process goes on and on. But makes sure it comes back to the first party.

So Malaysia is neither an Islamic state nor a secular state. It’s a circular state.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yes the General Election is around the corner!

When a person gets bored, he either fantacize a joke or he sleeps. I like to try the former, with no malice towards anyone:
------------
The PM is chairing a top BN meeting to discuss preparation for the 12th General Election. The scene is at the PM’s department.

PM: So how’s the preparation for the GE? I’ll go around the table and please report your position. I start with MCA Chief Ong Ka Tim.

Ong: Semua ‘A-OK’, YAB. Taukeh-taukeh sudah janji 2 juta ringgit untuk Ang Pow kepada ‘voters’. Genting, 1/2 juta, Ananda 1/2 juta, Kuok 1/2 juta, GLC’s 1/2 juta.

PM: Thank you Kah Tim. Now let’s ask Semi Value. OK Semi, what have you got?

S.Value: Suma pun ada OK juga, YAB. Saya sudah minta suma Toll kompeni jangan naik itu toll selama anam bulan. Tiga bulan sebelum GE dan 3 bulan selepas. Kita beku suma kadar toll. Sikit pun tarak naik juga. Jika naik, kalu, semua agreement kita kensel itu jam juga. JKR kata suma steam roll sudah bersiap sedia tunggu nak turap suma jalan yang berlubang. Tunggu arahan saya saja.

PM: Bagus, bagus. Ya, thank you Sami. Now, back to UMNO. Kita mula dengan Khairy mewakili Pemuda UMNO.

KJ: Semua siap sedia Daddy. Setiap pemuda penggempur kita akan beri sebilah keris. Hishamuddin akan ajar silat gayung kepada setiap penggempur. Mereka akan mengamuk sebaik sahaja Daddy bagi arahan.

PM: Terima kasih Menantu beta, .... oops, maaf, menantu ku. OK sekarang bagaimana pula rancangan nak rampas Kelantan? Ini saya kena tanya Tok Pa.

Tok Pa: Semua dah beres, YAB. Kain pelikat sudah ditempah dari Madras, dan Jakarta. Mesin jahit ‘Singer’ sudah tiba di pelabuhan Kelang. Gula juga akan dihantar oleh Robert Kuok. Wang saku sudah dimasuk ke dalam envelop Maybank. Saya serah kepada Tan Sri Muhamad pula untuk menyambung...

Md Taib: Semua jentera siap sedia...minyak pelincir semua cukup...ai, tertidur pula orang tua ni...

PM: Zzzzzz........

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hendak jadi popular, hinakan Perkhidmatan Awam?

Berdasarkan satu tulisan dalam Utusan Malaysia:

http://putraon9.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/penghinaan-kepada-melayu/
ADALAH sesuatu yang tidak memeranjatkan apabila DAP sekali lagi membawa isu yang menyentuh tentang kepentingan dan sensitiviti Melayu di Malaysia.

Melalui laman web Malaysiakini bertarikh 23 Mei, Penasihat Ekonomi kepada Setiausaha Agung DAP, Tony Pua membuat kenyataan bahawa penjawat awam hanya terdiri daripada orang Melayu yang mengalami masalah pengangguran.


Saya amat bersetuju dengan permintaan Naib Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO, Khairy Jamaluddin bahawa kenyataan Tony Pua yang disiarkan di Malaysiakini semalam bersifat menghina dan sangat angkuh terhadap lebih sejuta kakitangan awam di negara kita yang tercinta ini.

Kenyataan Tony Pua yang disiarkan di Malaysiakini berhubung dakwaan bahawa perkhidmatan awam hanyalah ‘tapak pembuangan bagi penganggur berijazah golongan Melayu’ – sememangnya satu pernyataan yang bersifat sangat sensitif dari segi politik.

Bukan sekadar pernyataannya yang bersifat sensitif, bahkan satu penghinaan kepada semua kakitangan awam di Malaysia, terutamanya kepada golongan bumiputera.

Tidakkah beliau tahu bahawa sekarang ini, peluang kemasukan ke dalam dunia pekerjaan sektor awam sudah semakin sengit dan banyak persaingannya? Sesi temu duga, ujian dan sebagainya semakin payah dan susah.

Malahan yang telah lulus ujian bertulis kerajaan di kalangan bumiputera sangat ramai tetapi masih belum mendapat panggilan temu duga dengan sektor awam tersebut.

Sememangnya, kenyataan Tony Pua itu langsung tidak berasas dan perlu ditolak sama sekali. Ini kerana buat pengetahuan beliau, ramai kakitangan awam sanggup melepaskan tawaran kerja dengan gaji dan manfaat yang lumayan di sektor swasta disebabkan mahu berkhidmat dan berbakti kepada negara.

Apatah lagi sekiranya ditawarkan gaji yang cukup lumayan di sektor swasta tetapi seringkali dianaktirikan oleh diskriminasi kaum di sektor swasta itu sendiri.

Cuba kita lihat sahaja di dalam persekitaran pekerjaan sektor swasta. Seringkali dipaparkan, iklan-iklan pekerjaan hanya meminta calon-calon yang mempunyai keupayaan untuk bertutur dalam bahasa Mandarin.

Apakah niat dan maksudnya ini? Bagaimana dengan peluang calon-calon yang tidak pernah berpeluang untuk mempelajari bahasa tersebut, terutamanya daripada kaum-kaum bumiputera lain di Malaysia?

Pembaca fikirkanlah, walaupun surat ini telah disiarkan pun, mereka masih terus dengan syarat mereka itu. Ini kerana, kerajaan kita sangat berlemah lembut dalam menangani isu tersebut.

Acap kali ditegur berkenaan perkara ini termasuk oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Tetapi perkara tersebut terus berleluasa dek kerana kebiadapan syarikat-syarikat yang meletakkan syarat tersebut sebagai salah satu syarat wajib mereka, yang jelas tidak menjaga hati dan sentimen kaum-kaum lain di Malaysia.

Tetapi, mengapakah perkara yang sedemikian tidak diambil peduli pula oleh Tony Pua?

Seperti mana yang telah diperkatakan oleh Khairy, sememangnya amat nyata sekali, Tony Pua hanya memperkecilkan kebolehan, jasa serta sumbangan kakitangan kerajaan kepada negara.

Tony Pua secara tidak langsung telah melemahkan semangat kakitangan kerajaan yang sebenarnya telah memilih jalan yang mulia untuk berkhidmat kepada kerajaan dan negara.

Bahkan sangat jelas di sini bahawa, kata-kata Tony Pua itu juga telah menjejaskan imej perkhidmatan awam pada masa kerajaan bertungkus-lumus untuk memperkenalkan pelbagai langkah bagi meningkatkan lagi mutu sistem penyampaian perkhidmatan tersebut.

Lantaran itu, saya sangat menyokong supaya Tony Pua meminta maaf secara terbuka kepada semua kakitangan kerajaan disebabkan kenyataan beliau dalam laman web tersebut.

Sedangkan dua orang ahli Parlimen kerajaan boleh meminta maaf secara terbuka, apatah lagi orang yang bukan berstatus ahli Parlimen dari parti pembangkang ini, yang jelas sangat menyinggung hati semua kakitangan awam di Malaysia.

– AMIR SHAHRIZAT MOHD. AZIZAN, Seremban.

maka inilah komen saya
=======================

Saya juga merasa terhina dengan tuduhan Tony Pua ahli DAP ini--sebagai seorang Melayu yang pernah berkhidmat dengan sebuah badan berkanun (Kerajaan). Walaupun saya ada menulis dalam blog saya perkara-perkara yang boleh dianggap kritis (terhadap pemerintah) sebagai pembayar cukai dan rakyat, namun apabila bangsa (dan rakan sekerja) saya dihina begini oleh seorang ahli politik DAP, saya tidak boleh hanya berdiam.

Isu yang dibawa oleh Tony Pua ini adalah satu isu perkauman yang amat tebal. Dia memperlihatkan kebenciannya kepada orang Melayu yang bekerja di sektor awam. Seolah-olah semua Melayu di sektor itu "sudah tidak laku" di mana-mana sektor lain.

Tanpa sebarang kajian yang saintifik Tony Pua membuat kesimpulannya berdasarkan semata-mata kepada persepsi dan stereotaipnya terhadap bangsa Melayu. Dia sememangnya patut meminta maaf kepada Perkhidmatan Awam negara ini kerana menghina perkhidmatan itu yang tanpanya, jentera kerajaan akan tergendala.

Walaupun terdapat kelemahan di sana sini (seperti perkhidmatan awam di mana sahaja - termasuk USA, UK, dan PRC dll.) namun jasa perkhidmatan awam kepada semua rakyat - baik Melayu, Cina atau India - tidak dapat dinapikan oleh sesiapa. Ini Tony Pua kena tahu dan faham sebagai penasihat DAP. Jika pun hendak popular, janganlah menyentuh perkara-perkara yang boleh mencetuskan satu lagi 13 Mei. Belajarlah dari sejarah negara ini yang kamu menjadi warga negaranya.

MBA@64

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Angpows are not cheap, maa!

I refer to your news report (May 23, 2007) entitled ‘PM denies pay rise linked to election.’ My question is: Why would the PM want to admit that it is linked to the general election? No rational political leader would admit to such a na├»ve intention. The fact that the election must be held before March 21, 2009, and that signs are showing that it could be held much earlier, makes the denial seem so fragile that it can be likened to the act of the robber who buried his loot and put up a sign that says ‘There is no money buried here.’

Whether the pay rise is linked or not to the upcoming general election is not important. The PM can go on denying it until the cows come home. However, its timing tends to suggest that the BN government is enticing the government servants with goodies sufficient to induce them to give their votes to the BN in the general elections. Who have not heard of ‘election year goodies’ which are almost always given out by elected incumbent governments in an election year? It happens not only here, but all over the world. Besides pay increase for government servants, other goodies may include tax cuts or higher personal and dependant relief for tax payers. So, why are voters’ memories so short-lived? Or are they so gullible? Can’t they see that it is a way to obtain support in the election?

Of course, we should all hail this announcement by the government as it will definitely help many people, especially those in the lower strata of society, to face the rising inflationary pressures brought about by the hiked fuel and toll prices. The Cabinet has had their pay rise much earlier to the tune of 10%. Many trade unions cried foul over the move, which they saw as unjustifiable and indefensible. At that time it was not opportune enough for government servants to be given salary increases because the 12th General Election was still too far away. It is better to let them “suffer” the price hike a little bit, so that they will appreciate the delayed pay rise better! Now, even the pensioners will not be left out. It is reported that a rise of 7 1/2 percent is being planned for this group.

While Malaysians welcome the latest move by the government, they should also be aware that things are not that good in the country. We have been having too many ‘scandals’ which involve government assets such as leaking roofs in parliament building (notoriously known as the ‘bocor’ episode), bursting pipes in newly completed court complex in Jalan Duta (NST, May 24, 2007), etc. The poor workmanship in these works tends to suggest that there is some hanky-panky in the award of contracts in the public sector. It also suggests that corruption may be at the core of these dealings. Of course it is difficult to prove conclusively the occurrence of bribery or ‘close one eye’ accords. The cons are very pros at their jobs that they are able to cover their tracts, like wearing gloves to hide their finger prints, not leaving footprints, and the like.

Corruption is a difficult foe to fight, let alone eradicate. It is especially so when the winning political party in the land is perceived to have a high tolerance for this scourge. Otherwise, how did the term ‘money politics’ crop up? It is practiced in party elections as attested by the sacking of a few UMNO people by the party. Many corruption cases just fizzled away without further action. Then in by-elections (perceived as ‘buy elections’ among cynics) and in general elections people report that they are being paid to vote for the ruling party. I am told that General Elections are not held until UMNO has RM500 million to spare as ‘angpows’. Yes, elections are expensive affairs every where. They are linked to the rising cost of living! Angpows are not cheap anymore.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Government or Parliament Should Pay?

In today’s (May 20, 2007) The Star and Berita Minggu, the headlines on the front pages are: ‘Big job ahead’ and ‘Najib persoal JKR’ (Najib questions PWD), respectively. The issue is the ‘roof leak’ in Parliament—which keeps simmering unabated, contrary to the wishes of Minister Shahrizat, who wanted the ‘bocor’ issue be totally plugged.

I find it strange that Najib should tick off JKR (Public Works Department, PWD) since it is a government department directly under a cabinet colleague, S. Samy Vellu, Minister of Works. This guy has been central figure of many controversies involving highway toll hikes, highway cracks, and leaking roofs in the Parliament building. By ticking off JKR, Najib is indirectly telling off Samy Vellu to get cracking with his job. By extension, since Samy is in the Cabinet of Abdullah Badawi (Pak Lah) at the pleasure of Pak Lah, Najib is indirectly insinuating something at his boss.

I pity the Director General of JKR, Dr Keizrul Abdullah (no relation to Pak Lah) who has to suffer in silence, being a civil servant. In the past, JKR has been the butt of jokes, being dubbed as ‘Jabatan Keling Ramai’ (department with many Indians) during pre-Merdeka days, and a few years after Merdeka. Then, when the racial mix of the Department changed, it became known as ‘Jangan Kerja Rajin’ (“Don’t work too hard”, an attitude said to be solely in the Malay domain, I am sad to say).

Now, however, JKR has turned the tables around, and tag itself as “Jasa Kepada Rakyat”. You see this tagline at many government projects, side by side with the BN tagline “Satu Lagi Projek Kerajaan Barisan Nasional.” Obviously, you do not see this sign at the Matrade Building, or the MMR2 highway which had the most colossal number of cracks. For example, 31 of 33 pillars supporting the Kepong Flyover were reported to be faulty as they had obvious cracks. At some pillars and tiers, there were more than 7000 cracks detected. Of course, no one wants to claim something as faulty as the MRR2; fortunately there was no fatality involved.

There must collective responsibility of the Cabinet in matters that involve the public interest. It is not right for a minister to point fingers and blame a subordinate department for the forlorn conditions of government assets, like buildings and highways. They should not be passing the buck. Each minister must say the “buck stops here!” There is no need to drum up publicity for oneself at the expense of another cabinet colleague. All ministers are responsible in the end for the sad state of affairs of a country, for they are the ones running the country.

The fact that RM90 million was used to renovate the parliament building and that did not include the roof speaks volumes about the lack of checks by the authority on the proposal made by parliament. Why was it overlooked? Aren’t there people who are qualified enough to go through the proposal for repairs to know that the time was also ripe to maintain the roof? Why create another fiasco, another ammunition for the ‘opposition’ to lambast at the government? All these are giving a negative image of the government being led by Pak Lah.

Najib says that it has not been decided whether the ‘government’ or ‘parliament’ should pay for the extensive roof repairs, the cost of which was not revealed. My, my! What kind of distinction is this? To me, whether the money comes from the ‘government’ (meaning the Executive branch?) or ‘parliament’, the taxpayers are the ones to bear the brunt of the cost.

So, what is the point of wondering who will pay? Just say the tax-payers will have to pay. Period. Parliament is part of the governance of Malaysia, comprising the Agung, Executive Branch, Backbencers and Opposition members.

Yes, the opposition members are part of the government too, since they are part of parliament. Once this concept is understood, there might be more respect for non-BN members of parliament—including the female members of opposition MP’s. We should prevent another ‘bocor’ fiasco in parliament and save the nation the embarassment brought about by the borderless world.

- MBA@64