GE13: Quote of the Day


Malaysia's politician S. Samy Vellu speaks to his staff in Kuala Lumpur

(What amounts to a winnable candidates especially when the candidate has a long “interesting history” in Malaysia’s politics? With an increase call to drop the age-old dinosaurs, racial and corrupt politcians, Najib need to tread carefully when it comes to picking winnable candidates)

Finally, Najib have officially announced the dissolution of Parliament today and the blogsphere & news websites is buzzing with various comments, updates and announcements. But in the midst of it was this:-

“I am a winnable candidate, there’s no doubt about it. I am willing to re-contest the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat. Internal sabotage led to my defeat there in 2008 (general election).” This impassioned declaration comes from none other than former MIC president S Samy Vellu.

He said that BN had a good chance to wrest back Sungai Siput, provided the coalition fielded a “good and hardworking candidate” (note: huh, referring to himself?) who knew the people at the same time.

Touching on his defeat in the 2008 polls, Samy Vellu described it as “a sad history”, claiming that his “own people” had sabotaged him (note: so, it had nothing to do with people’s votes?).

On BN’s election preparations in Sungai Siput, the former MIC chief said groundwork began about three months ago, and some 65% of campaigning had been completed (note: ya right, why not? As usual, politicians would be “seen” and “working hard” only when elections are near).

(Source)

It does look like it will be a very interesting general election this year and just imagine the possibility that Samy wins the seat in Sungai Siput and the impact of it on MIC’s current president (who is no where to be seen lately).

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Political Public Fund Managers


Update 1: The advertisement below lists the criteria for the RM180 million fund

Back to the original post

There has to be a better way to manage our limited resources and public funds, right?

(How true! Sometime we forget that the money we get is actually from our own pockets and to make things worse, some of it ends up in the politicians’ pockets as well. Image source: http://www.sodahead.com)

First read this:-

MIC President Datuk Seri G. Palanivel has been given the task of managing a RM180mil special government allocation meant to help Indian entrepreneurs. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the decision for him to take charge of small and medium enterprise (SME) projects for Indians was made by the Cabinet last week.

“The RM180mil fund is intended to assist all segments of Indian entrepreneurs, including micro-enterprises,” Palanivel told a press conference yesterday after handing out cheques to recipients of Community Builders Foundation (CBF) pre-schoolers aid. He said his responsibility would be to monitor the loan applications as well as engage with the public.

“This is to ensure that genuine and deserving Indian entrepreneurs have access to finance to grow their business,” he said, adding that those interested to apply should contact SME Corporation Malaysia.

(Source)

In 2010, as part of reforms to be implemented by the Najib’s Administration, the Government introduced the Transformation Programme to address 7 key areas concerning the people of the country. They should have added one more – Elimination of Unwanted Political Hands on Tax-Payers Money.

I know it is not the first time we are reading these kind of nonsense in the papers but one need to ask why in the world, the Government want to trust millions of ringgit of taxpayers’ money to a political party to “manage it” when we already have a more effective of doing it by using the various departments of the Government? How can one be held accountable for the money managed? Yes, one may ask what’s new in Malaysia – the abuse of tax-payers funds have been going on for many, many years now. True I say but then again, for how long we want to allow this to go on where public funds somehow ends up as political party’s personal fund.

Same case here with the RM180 million fund – no doubt the final handling of the fund may be done via SME Corp (or some agencies or NGOs who has the proper resources, logistics and professional fund managers) but why the need for middle man for the so-call management of the funds? If it is an act of public relationship (in view of the general elections – i.e. to show that MIC is relevant and takes care of the community), how certain we are that:-

  1. All of the funds allocated by the Government will end up in real entrepreneurs’ pockets and not siphoned off under the disguise of administration charges and commission or phony entrepreneurs or worse – as personal funds for the up-coming elections and shopping? Remember that all these money comes from the tax-payers fund and must be held accountable for every cents used; AND
  2. Whether all the funds will be disbursed regardless of the political stand of those who need the funds? We have heard cases in the past where opposition supporters have been denied to certain benefits even though they are entitled to. With MIC behind the manager’s seat, will they be professional enough to ensure dirty politics and political affiliations biasness stays out from the management of the funds?

This is because allegations of abuse of public funds by politicians or the manner in which the said money was disbursed have surfaced before:-

PKR today claimed that public money meant to fund activities of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has been channelled to pay for the activities of Wanita Umno . PKR Wanita chief Zuraidah Kamaruddin today said the funds were channelled to the Council of Women and Family Development under the ministry.

The council was established in 2001 during the tenure of Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as its minister. Shahrizat is also the Wanita Umno chief. According to Zuraidah, the council was initially made up of women state executive council (exco) members nationally. But she claimed that over time the membership of the council has been hijacked by Wanita Umno.

(Source)

And;

The government has promised millions of ringgit to upgrade Tamil schools in the country but one question still remains. Would the millions really be spent on the reconstruction of these schools or would it go to crony contractors; or be channeled back to the government? The lack of transparency in releasing the funds had raised heckles from non-governmental organisations, who wanted a system to streamline funds to ensure it reached the “target” group fast.

He said going by these estimates, in actual fact the government would only complete work amounting to RM33 million out of the RM100 million set aside under the 2012 Budget. “This is because the relevant authorities especially JKR has quoted three-fold prices. While work will be done for RM35 million, the remainder of the allocation will either go back to the government or into the pockets of contractors or cronies given the contracts,” he added.

(Source)

And whilst the “how” and “who” is being worked out, there is another question need to be considered – how and when MIC (or any other political party) will be involved in the management of the funds? Are they going to be the decision makers on who will get what? Are they going to be just managers on paper (for publicity sake) but the real work will be done by professional fund managers?

I am not accusing anything here but we want to know how MIC as the “managers of the fund” is going to ensure that the tax-payers money will be used for the right reasons and for the right persons. This is because whilst the objective and the creation of the RM180 million special fund is welcomed but the manner it will be disbursed and monitored may leave rooms for abuse and for that, we need to ask if we have the best practices in place to manage and deal with public funds? Have we addressed the shortcomings, plugged the leakages and improve on the end delivery in accordance to the objectives that it was intended to? And we should start by not allowing any politicians from one side of the political divide managing these public funds.

And whilst we have been talking about the management of existing funds, Rafizi Ramli from PKR raised another interesting point – where does the Government gets all the money for these ad-hoc funds? Certainly some of these ad-hoc funds has not been budgeted for in the last Budget presentation in the Parliament so where does these allocations are coming from?-

PKR’s Rafizi Ramli today slammed the prime minister for his heavy “vote-buying” spending of RM5.77 billion, saying that the money comes from taxpayers. Rafizi said the loss of yearly revenue from Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) proposed car tax cuts would be eclipsed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s unplanned spending.

“(T)he total sweets simply used by the prime minister in just the first six months (of this year) to buy the people’s votes is RM5.77 billion,” said Rafizi at a press conference today. He based his calculations by adding up the RM2.2 billion civil service bonus recently announced and various “one-off” spending by Najib’s administration which he claimed had reached RM3.57 billion. Under the RM3.57 billion “unplanned spending”, he gave examples of the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M), Bantuan Kembali Ke Sekolah 1 Malaysia and Bantuan Buku 1 Malaysia. He said these schemes respectively cost the government RM2.6 billion, RM530 million and RM260 million.

He also referred to “various schemes to buy votes under the 1 Malaysia brand, and various announcements of “instant noodle projects” throughout the Jelajah Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled Tour) estimated to reach RM180 million.”

(Source)

Considering the amount of money being spent on ad-hoc funds and being passed into the hands of politicians to manage the said fund, we are left to wonder when this nonsense will stop especially when same group of people who have doing this nonsense are bent on bringing in 2 pandas and pay millions for their up-keeping (for more interesting insight, read this as well – “15 Silliest Uses of Taxpayers Money“). We need more control and we need it to be done on an urgent basis before we end up bankrupting the country with unnecessary expenses and leakages of public funds.

MIC’s Take On One School System


Oh dear, after all these years, they still clueless on why they took a hit in 2008?

(In the picture – MIC on the wrong side of the Tamil schools. No doubt Tamil schools have been the key factor when it comes to MIC and its claim that it is fighting for the community and yes, that they have helped out the schools in the past with financial assistances and others allocations but are they playing the crucial role in the next evolution of the education system in the country by looking at quality instead of quantity? Image source)

From theSun:-

Question: Why are Tamil schools so important to MIC? You yourself come from a national school and the majority of Indians are in national schools.

Answer: Tamil schools are part and parcel of Indian culture – they go to Tamil schools not only to learn Tamil, but also to learn culture and religion. If Tamil schools go away, then tradition and culture will also go.

Question: Why are young professionals shying away from MIC?

Answer: They don’t see MIC as a fun party – the president has plans to rejuvenate the party with younger representation – we have also Putra MIC for the youths. The young must be patient – MIC has only four parliamentary seats and seven state seats.

Question: Is the concept of catering to only one race not attractive?

Answer: Yes and no. But only in MIC one can write, speak and talk in Tamil – but even for non-Tamil speakers, they are not left out as some of the meetings are conducted in English and Bahasa.

Question: How has MIC been preparing for the next general election (GE), especially after the bitter defeat in 2008?

Answer: MIC has stressed that we must win back what we lost and retain those we won. We are doing everything that we can to get the numbers we had in 2004, we know it is difficult, it may not be possible. Compared with his predecessor (Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu), MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel is not much in the news. You cannot compare the two leaders. It is not easy to take up the leadership at this time especially after the bad showing in the 2008 election. His style of working is different. We are reported in the Tamil papers. Yes, it is not enough, and we have also put MIC TV available on YouTube and are also communicating with urban Tamils.

I could have just ignored the interview but there was one thing he said that made me stop in my thoughts and wonder.

I am referring to Kamalanathan’s “reason” on why we still need Tamil schools in this country. Kamalanathan is saying that without Tamil schools in this country, the tradition and culture will also go. No doubt Kamalanathan is looking from his point of view as one of the MIC’s leaders but there must be reality check somewhere there. It is important  to understand the role of the school these days. Is it to encourage and propagate tradition and culture? Or is it another means to get good education with a different language as the main base (due to students’ background and mastery of language)?

I think we need to get the priorities right – education & discipline should be confined to schools and tradition & culture (and religion) confined to temples and cultural centers (like the Temple of Fine Arts). The moment you start to mix the both, you going to get in trouble and leave room for abuse and misdirection – certainly not with young innocent minds. It is downright unfair too – what about other races who does not share the same tradition and culture, are we going to built separate schools for them? Surely they want to preserve their traditions and culture as well.

And why we are continuing to break-up the schools into various sectors and race when it is crucial to have one school, one language for all? If the concern is losing the hold of the tradition & culture, then we should relook into how we can fuse tradition and culture in our temples (we seems have too many of them) or cultural centres (and perhaps with more tradition & cultural segments on public media like TV and newspapers). There are alternatives on how we can continue to maintain the tradition and culture without going through the schools. But please, let’s keep the race, tradition, culture and religion crap out of schools.

The reason for it is rather simple – it defeats the progress to greater unity as reasoned below:-

Historically, the British built separate vernacular schools to maintain racial divide and prejudice to lord over us. It is indeed expedient and shrewd and one of the things that should have been kicked out right after Malaysia gained independence from the British if our leaders truly want to see a united Malaysia turn up without jeopardising our national language, our official religion, our monarchy and our Rukun Negara.

Vernacular schools impede national unity at the primordial stage; there is no room for vernacular school in a multi-racial society.

(Source)

And if the concern is losing the hold of the Tamil language (still remember the controversy on the extra language SPM papers?), this is because not enough attempts made to provide alternative language classes at national schools – all we need is the classes & qualified teachers in national schools (MIC can play a strong role here) and not a whole school with different emphasis, language, structure and funding. At this juncture, I must recap what OutSyed the Box said on the need to have common language (hence different schools in the same country) – it makes more sense than what Kamalanathan is trying to say:-

The time has also come where we must seriously consider merging the school system into just one school system i.e. based on Bahasa Malaysia and English only. We need to abolish the Chinese and Tamil language school system. The Chinese and Tamil language heroes say that if Chinese and Tamil schools are abolished, their language and culture will also disappear. Wrong.

There are 1.5 billion Chinese in China who will make sure that the Chinese language, culture and the Chinese people will never disappear from the face of the earth. The same argument applies for the 1.0 billion Indians in India. This however is Malaysia. It is not and cannot be China or India.

When Chinese, Indians and anyone else migrate to Australia they learn to speak English in a jiffy. No one asks for Tamil or Mandarin to be made national languages in Australia. No one sings the Waltzing Matilda in Tamil or Mandarin in Australia.

The same logic applies to Malaysia. It is high time non Malays in Malaysia learn to speak Malay like a native Malay. Getting straight As for Bahasa Malaysia in the SPM does not mean anything if you still say ‘saya api kereta naik mari’ or ‘saya naik keleta api mali sini.”

It is not cute anymore. Actually it is quite embarrassing. Please, let’s speak the language the way it should be spoken.

Now, coming back to the need for Tamil school – it is not an issue of losing tradition and culture if the Tamil schools are closed down that we need to fear of (yes, there will be some impact but not to the point where the future generations would be clueless on tradition and culture). Just look at the Indians in US and UK who are doing well in maintaining their tradition and culture despite going to a non-Indian language based schools.

There is a greater concern when a politician from a race based political party insists on preserving the Tamil schools – we fear that attempts to breakdown this segregation and forcing everyone to go to the same school and speak the language will be derailed or sabotaged by race based policies and race based political party who hold them as the trump cards to be still relevant. And this is what is happening in our education system – it has been screwed up to a point we are still having different schools in the country.

Surely there will be specific issues that will face certain communities more than others from time to time but we need to consider which one is more critical. If it is on education and national unity, let’s fight for the good of the country and not just for each others communities. Do that and you will earn our confidence and our votes in the next general elections.

Race Based Resolutions


UPDATE: Here’s one with MCA in the main role

Back to the original post

Seriously we need less of it…

(Tamil schools in Malaysia often suffer from poor image, under funding and poorly equipped infrastructure and despite the improvement of exam results over the years and promised assistance from the Government and political parties, there is doubt why it has not been merged into national schools. Image source: http://www.makkez.com)

MIC may have gotten their 2nd Minister-ship back to entice Indian voters to back BN but here lies the danger of backing a race based political party:-

Housing, jobs, education and socio-economic concerns were among the nine resolutions passed by some 4,000 branch chairman and delegates during MICs 65th general assembly.

However, they sought a fair distribution of benefits under the transformation programs, in particular ensuring that Tamil primary schools are properly equipped with pre-school facilities in line with the 87% target set by the Government for all primary schools to offer pre-school classes. At present, only 17.5% Tamil primary schools offer pre-school classes with MIC seeking to ensure that the remaining schools are fully equipped by this year.

(Source)

Does this means MIC going to be the sole champion of Tamil schools again?

Are they only capable of representing and fighting for the best deals for one particular race? It seems to be case most of the time – MIC for the Indians, MCA for the Chinese and UMNO for the Malays. And at every general assembly, we will hear this year in, year out. Surprisingly during election period, the same blokes who pledge to fight for his race will turn around and tell you that they will do everything they can for the voters who no doubt will not be from one particular race. So, which is which now?

That is why the voters should be more vigilant and reject any race based politics. If there is a true 1Malaysia concept out there, the last it needs is a segregation of Malaysia by the color of the skin and beliefs at primary school level (and if one goes by MIC’s latest resolution, at pre-school level).

Malaysians segregated when still young at primary school level will likely to face problems when they are united back during secondary school level. This is because it will take time for them to interact, understand each other and accept the differences more effectively. Certainly things would be different if we start off early – 6 years before, at primary school level – when the mind is still young and innocent. This is what “one school for all” strives to achieve.

Now MIC is resolute to ensure that Tamil primary schools are properly equipped with pre-school facilities in line with the 87% target set by the Government for all primary schools to offer pre-school classes. But whilst it is good to have pre-school classes at primary level, this is wrong way to go about it. Because this is how the old, corrupt and hard-to-change MIC would be go about it. Besides, some of the existing primary schools are already in bad condition. Wonder how a pre-school classes is going to improve the school as whole?

If indeed MIC has truly changed, it should change its paradigm as well. It should do something unthinkable, something very drastic.

It should think at nation’s level – not at community level alone. First thing it should resolute to do and certainly it will do the community (if it still insist) a great service in the long run, is to ABOLISH all Tamil Schools (or convert them all to national schools) and get all students to be enrolled in one school that unites all – fully subsidized, well equipped National Schools backed by highly qualified teachers.

And if MIC still intends to hold one for the community (for old time sake), it will resolute to ensure that the language Tamil should be part of the syllabus in all national schools and where one can take it as an optional exam papers (after all there is no harm having an option to learn additional language other than English and Bahasa Malaysia – India and China will be the two biggest economy powerhouse in the near future).

Tamil primary school ends at Standard 6 – these students at the end of the day need to be integrated back into the national school environment and the unfortunate part is these students will not be integrated immediately – they will spend another year in “remove classes” before the start of a slow, painful process of being united back with fellow Malaysians.

Can we cut to the chase?

Little Einsteins


(How Kohilan Pillay wants Malaysians to uphold the good name of the Government Leaders abroad? By taking expensive ads in foreign newspaper for their non-elected wives? Image source: http://www.thenutgraph.com)

Whilst we wait for the dust to settle down at PKR, listen to this “wise statements” from these fellows…

First from the Kamalanathan:-

The second issue i raised to the Ministry was with regards to a certain politicians who travel the world and discredit Malaysia. Not only they discredit Malaysia, but they also spread lies and damage the good name of Malaysia.

They go against the 2nd Principle of the country that was thought to all Malaysians since we were in school ‘KESETIAAN KEPADA RAJA & NEGARA’ or ‘LOYALTY TO THE KING & NATION’.

(Source)

Next from the Kohilan Pillay:-

The Foreign Ministry monitors Malaysians who go on tours or reside overseas to ensure that they safeguard the good name of the country and government leaders, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay said attempts by irresponsible people to tarnish Malaysia’s good name and spread a wrong perception of it breached loyalty to the king and country.

“The ministry monitors the behavior and actions of not only people from the opposition parties but also tourists and those who reside abroad,” he said when winding up debate on the Supply Bill 2011 at the committee stage for the ministry.

(Source)

This is the second time in a row that loyalty of Malaysians has been called into question by those who walk along the corridors of power. One talks about the “Rukunegara” whilst another talks about monitors the behavior and actions of tourists and those who reside abroad.

Certainly Anwar is not Aung San Suu Kyi but then again, we have not stoop that low to be compared to that country called Burma (fill in any backward, 3rd world country). Our democratic standards are certainly higher than those dictator run, military junta countries like Burma. And we all know why Anwar is making his case abroad. There are already doubts that Anwar will get a fair trial in Malaysia given how things are going in the courts lately and there is even a big question looming on whether Anwar will be free to organize Pakatan Rakyat’s election machinery in the next general election.

But is Anwar really condemning the country? Or is he talking about those who walked along the corridors of power? The Government may have embarrassed or taken back by Anwar’s antics “down under” but I don’t see the validity of the points made by the 2  fellows – picking on the Rukunegara and imposing controls on what can be said abroad.

When it comes to loyalty to the country and the King, does it mean we need to keep our mouth shut when those in power abuse their powers, pass condemning laws and promote corruption? It is in fact the other way around! If we really love the country, we need to speak up. We need to get those in the fault moving and kicked out from the administration of the country. We need to make enough noise so that when they are in fault, guilt will kill them. No, Kamalanathan, loyalty to political party and political leaders is not the same as loyalty to the country and a lot of “people” in this country are confused with this two.

Then there is this genius who wants to monitor “behavior and actions of tourists and those who reside abroad” – as how he is planning to impose local standards abroad and on some foreigners is yet to be seen.

The same genius said that they are going to ensure Malaysians safeguard the good name of the country and government leaders. All these while, whenever I am abroad, I have always spoken highly of my country. It is my home and I have always been prepared to go against anyone who has tarnished the good name of the country but I under NO obligation whatsoever to safe guard the good name of the government leaders. We are not North Koreans and the government is not The Great Leader. Who are these people? One thing for sure, they are not saints and they are not perfect (after all they are just politicians, some rotten to the core), otherwise we would not find ourselves struggling to catch up Singapore on progress and meeting the Vision 2020 deadline. Screw them – if they want to safe guard their good name, let them do it by themselves by setting good examples and ideal actions.

The above statement prompted this valid response:-

You claim that ‘irresponsible people are tarnishing the good name of Malaysia’. We beg to differ. In our opinion, the only one tarnishing the good name of Malaysia is the Malaysian government itself. The only traitors in this whole saga, are the politicians who have betrayed the citizens who elected them.

And this is why Malaysians abroad are standing in solidarity with their fellow citizens back home to demand good governance, justice, accountability and transparency. Till then, please let Prime Minister Najib and his Cabinet know that you are all under watch.

(Source)

At the end of the day, we do not want to end up as ball-carriers for those who tarnish their own names and (just because they are in the Government) the name of the country. We love this country too much to see it to be abused by those in power.

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United for what?


Oh, MIC still alive, ah?

(It is better for us if we are more united as a country instead as a specific race, controlled by political party. Image source: http://www.archives.gov)

Frankly I have not been following up on MIC lately – after all, it is nothing but a “gone with the wind”, one man show political party. What the head honcho of party says matters little these days especially when he is struggling to keep his hands on the president’s seat and opts to simply sack those who question him.

But this one caught my eyes:-

The MIC will spearhead the consolidation of the Indian community in a bid to strengthen the party’s power base and bargaining power with the government, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said on Monday.

He said the MIC, being the third largest political party in the Barisan Nasional (BN), has to lead the consolidation process to ensure that the party becomes “a much stronger voice” for the community.

“The time and political situation in the country demand that we unite or risk breaking up further into many groups which, in the end, will only make the community lose its strength,” he said in a statement here.

(Bernama)

Here is one good example of the past the shelf life ideology in work – that all Malaysians need to be categorised based on their racial make-up. And for each race, there must be a political party representing it. For the “Indians”, it looks like according to Samy, there is no other choice but MIC. Oh, you meant the fucked-up champions who played out the Indians in a mega scam called Maika? Great Samy great!

And why we should go back to MIC?

We have given the party plenty of chances in the past – long before we had the multiple race political parties like PKR & DAP. Samy Vellu has been a powerful Minister under 2 Prime Ministers and under Mahathir, he and MIC was rather “untouchable” when it comes to representing the Indians in Malaysia. But despite that, Samy and his powerful party must have done something “great” that saw the emergence of Indian pressure group called Hindraf and the unprecedented street protests by ordinary Malaysians.

Samy says “risk breaking up further into many groups which, in the end, will only make the community lose its strength”. That is bullshit.

It is high time we break this racial barrier (created and consistently enforced by politicians for dubious reasons) and be more united as Malaysians. This is because, we need to ask – are we Malaysians that disunited and now need, of all the people, MIC to unite us back? Or are we more aware of the bullshit that the party been spewing and how the community has been falling back in many areas since Samy took over the party?

We all can see the real intention to call for unity – we are not dungus. If the call for unity is indeed for the benefit of the community – Samy could have done something even better and simpler – gracefully resign and come clean on what he did on the Telekom shares.

Representing Majority


A letter by one Dato’ Vyran T Raj in Malaysia Today woke me this morning:-

The government’s decision to appoint Dato’ G. Palanivel as a senator to bring him back into mainstream politics of the Barisan Nasional fold received an overwhelming approval by the Malaysian Indian community

The words that woke me up were this – “overwhelming approval”. Is this guy thinking right?

Did he and Nammavar conduct some kind of referendum? Or probably they did a nation wide poll? If so, me and a couple of my friends must have missed it.

If I had done a poll among handful hardcore MIC members on the question – is MIC the greatest political party around? – I probably get an overwhelming affirmative answer from them as well.

Let me take that and tell the world that there is an overwhelming affirmative answer from the Malaysian Indian community.