Playing with Semantics


If you had blinked, they would have shoved it in your….oh, you get the idea

(Unbelievable! Sometimes you really, really need to read in-between the lines especially when it comes from the local politicians. Image source: http://rulingsnarl.wordpress.com/)

Never mind, just read these very slowly:-

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil will step down as Minister of Women, Family and Community Development when her term as Dewan Negara member ends on April 8. The decision was made after giving it much thought, she said. “I want to do the right thing. I think for me now, the right thing is to leave my post as a Cabinet Minister. The time has come.

(Source)

And

Despite overwhelming opposition against the controversial Board of Computing Professionals Malaysia (BCPM) Bill, the government is still convinced it has support. More than two-thirds of the groups surveyed by the ministry did not approve of the bill. “The number of official feedbacks was 70, received from both individuals and organisations. 29% supported the proposed Bill, but nonetheless, this number may not reflect the overall segment of the ICT (information and communications technology) community,” the ministry said in a statement.

(Source)

Shahrizat said she is doing the right thing and she said that she did this after “giving it much thought”. But is she? If you have read it well in between the lines, she is not really resigning. Do you voluntarily tender your resignation on the day you retire from work or the day you are fired from work? Yes? No? If you do that, don’t you think you would look incredibly stupid? And it seems like that is the same case here.

You want to resign? You resign immediately – not 1 week from now and certainly not 3 weeks from now. In the political world, you don’t have to give the usual 1 month notice. So, with the end of her Senatorship, her Ministership ends automatically as well. It is crystal clear – even her former boss echoes the same thing:-

Former Wanita Umno head Tan Sri Rafidah feels that Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s announcement of stepping down as Family and Community Development Minister sounds hollow. “There is no issue of stepping down or resigning!” Rafidah said. “There is nothing to step down from as she is legally no longer a Minister on April 8. “She is not resigning on April 8, it is just that her Senatorship expires that day and her Ministerial post automatically lapses.” Calling Shahrizat’s quit announcement as a “sham of a statement”, Rafidah said resigning meant Shahrizat should quit immediately – while she was still a Senator.

(Source)

And for a person who was somehow linked to the mismanagement of public funds amounting to millions of Ringgit and refused to accept responsibility and refused to heed the calls to resign immediately, what rights they to use words like sacrifice and doing the right thing.

Then there is the news that the Government still expecting full support on its controversial Board of Computing Professionals Malaysia (BCPM) Bill but hold your horses there. Didn’t they also said that “more than two-thirds of the groups surveyed by the ministry did not approve of the bill”? With almost 71% opposition to the Bill from the industry, would you say that there is support? I don’t know – the official 70 feedback was too small to be considered as a valid size, I may agree and perhaps with a wider scope of response, things may be different. But with 71% opposition, one should not make say that they have the support to continue – the opposition is simply overwhelming.

But then again, when is playing with semantics, anything is possible…

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PM Talking Cock


Another case of you help me, I help you?

(With elections around the corner, expect more incidents of talking cock to be sprouting out from the foamy mouth of the many half-past-six politicians around the country and on a more regular basis too. Image source: http://www.olx.com.sg)

In Malaysia, I think we have come to a point where we can take in usual talk cock from the politicians in this country on a regular basis but when it comes to the Prime Minister himself talking cock and even though you may say that you have see it all, heard it all, you should know that at this level, even talking cock has it’s limit

Datuk Seri Najib Razak today pledged to give more freedom to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the appointment of its officers if Barisan Nasional (BN) wins two-thirds control of Parliament in the next general election.

(Source)

I do not know what kind of “super-powers” that the BN Government intends to empower MACC in the future – perhaps that all important power to prosecute or perhaps able to throw witnesses from the windows legally, I don’t know but why wait until the next general elections?

Isn’t BN already running the show at the Federal level and despite oppositions and MP walking out, have easily passed two suppressive laws in recent times? I am sure that if the BN Government is empowering MACC with enough powers to hang those who commit corruption up on a high pole, Pakatan politicians and the rakyat would be very supportive as well. There is really no need for two-thirds control of the Parliament and no need to wait for the general elections (unless it is going to enact laws that make obvious incidents like NFC untouchable to anyone).

Voters are not dungus and they don’t like to be taken for a ride – it is easy to see clearly when one is talking cock – loud and clear

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NFC: When They Will Be Really Honest?


(Countdown – 336 days to “doomsday”)

(An unexpected revelation of corruption involves the cows or an internal chess-play for the Pantai Parliamentary seat? Cartoon source: Zunar / Malaysiakini)

It could be just an hypothetical question but here’s one last post before the holidays…

This article by Citizen Nades on the NFC mess was a good one and if you had missed reading this in The Sun last Wednesday, here it is in verbatim (basically it nails the same thing that every tax payer has in their mind):-

Be honest and answer all questions
R. Nadeswaran

RULE No 1 in a calamity, according to the gurus of crisis communications, is that you should never run away from a problem as it will not bring about a solution. The more you try to hide, the more will be out in the open. You can never solve a crisis by remaining silent. The more you put a spin on a crisis, the more attention it attracts. The golden rule is: Be honest and answer all questions.

Today’s column is not an exercise in public relations or crisis communications, but three bulletins from Ghazalie Abdullah who describes himself as one who “counsels, writes, speaks, designs, articulates and steers corporations on using public relations to achieve their corporate, financial and marketing goals” provoked some thought into the whole affair involving the National Feedlot Corporation.

On Dec 23 last year, journalists received a statement from Ghazali which read: “As part of the ongoing investigations, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers visited National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd today. The management and staff welcomed the visit and extended their full cooperation. It is the view of the National Feedlot Corporation that this afternoon’s visit by the MACC was not a raid as reported.”
Really? Did they come for Darjeeling tea, muffins and scones or teh tarik and kuih? Perhaps a dictionary would have helped explain the meaning of the word “raid”. If they came a visiting like we visit each other’s open houses, would they be carting away CPUs and files?

The second followed a day later. It said that “NFC Chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail wishes to clarify to the media that the Datuk apprehended by the police recently, is not related to him or any member of his family.”

How did anyone know the identity of the Datuk when the police had not even produced him in court or charged him? Ghazali must be aware that the media in Malaysia never identify any suspect or arrested person unless he or she is charged with an offence. Surely, Salleh or Ghazali must have had inside information!

But what arrived in the inbox two days ago was something extraordinary. For starters, the statement said: “With police investigations on NFC reported concluded, NFC has today emerged to clarify the allegation that directors of the company have been receiving huge unjustifiable salaries.”

Who decides if the police have concluded investigations, and even if they have done so, it is for the police to say so. Emerged? From where – from hiding or from a taxpayer-funded holiday?

Executive director Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh clarified that the directors were earning nowhere near the overstated figures saying that the relevant authorities have the information on their payroll and the bank statements to match.

On a more serious note, I believe him because there has been no documentary evidence presented by the claimants to back the figures which looked exaggerated. But instead of facing the media and answering the questions, why has the company which has “emerged” hiding behind statements?

Wan Shahinur not only assured but “reassured the public should not be unduly alarmed by such postings in the internet that offered distortions and incorrect information.”

Thank you, but how can taxpayers be assured if the amounts have been distorted when the correct figures have not been presented?

He also says the expenses incurred on corporate credit cards were for business development. The business development expenses by the four directors, he says, reflect the magnitude of its multi-million ringgit sales.

But can he tell how much such expenses were. After all, it was taxpayers’ money to the tune of RM250 million that got the NFC going and technically, we are all stakeholders and have a right to know.

While the NFC can beat its chest and claim it has “emerged”, there’re only bits and pieces of information that are “emerging”. It has not denied the purchase of condominium units in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and would NFC care about telling us about the purchase?

Surely, if it was the figment of imagination of some anonymous writer in cyberspace, all right-thinking people will disbelieve him or her. But at media conferences, documents and photographs have been produced to substantiate the claims and the “emergence” of NFC has not seen it fit to tackle these issues.

As much as this writer wants to believe that everything is above board, it becomes painful when selected issues are addressed.

This problem will not go away with terse and selective statements. There’s a Tamil proverb which says that you cannot hide a whole pumpkin in a plate of rice, which is exactly what NFC is trying to do.

Once and for all, put all the cards on the table, come clean and put up your hands if you have done wrong. Only then will the whole nation believe anything that comes from NFC itself or through consultants and counsellors.

R. Nadeswaran says the public has a right to know how taxpayers’ funds are used when the government doles them out to entrepreneurs. He is theSun‘s UK correspondent based in London and can be reached at: citizen-nades@thesundaily.com

The allegations of misuse of public funds by NFC stakeholders has been mind boggling – from buying condominiums to settlement of personal credit cards. I am not sure where it will end. The authorities are investigating these allegations of course and the Minister in question has been asked to go on a long leave and NFC’s assets frozen. Now she is suing back too and this may drag things further, at least at the political arena. But basic and simple answer to questions raised is what we want at the end of the day

In the meantime, Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Holidays…

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