Wake Up, Wisma Putra: You are losing friends for Malaysia


February 12, 2012

Wake Up, Wisma Putra: You are losing friends for Malaysia

Bruno Manser Fonds call for resignation of Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK (Feb 10, ’12)

Bruno Manser Fund calls for the resignation of the Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK over racist remarks

(LONDON, UK) The Bruno Manser Fund, a charitable organisation based in Switzerland, calls on the Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Zakaria Sulong, to resign over racist remarks against the Penan, an indigenous community in Sarawak. In an interview with the Borneo Post, a newspaper owned by the Sarawak timber conglomerate KTS group, the diplomat compared the Penan community’s struggle for their native rights to other “petty issues” like animals in zoos.

“What we do is collect reports on all the good and bad things written or said about the country and send them back to Malaysia”, the diplomat said about his work in the UK. “Issues range from politics to petty issues like animals in zoos and the Penans in Sarawak”, the Borneo Post writes in today’s online edition. The diplomat complained about NGO reports on the Malaysian government’s malpractices and singled out the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) as “one of such NGOs actively involved in discrediting the Sarawak government in the UK”.

The Bruno Manser Fund is shocked by the racist tone of the Malaysian High Commissioner’s remarks. “How can this man claim to be representing Malaysia in the United Kingdom if he compares his own people to zoo animals?”, the Bruno Manser Fund wrote. “We are calling on the Malaysian Foreign Minister to replace Zakaria Sulong with immediate effect as he is obviously unfit for the post of High Commissioner to the UK.”

For three decades, the Penan, until recently South East Asia’s last nomadic hunter-gatherers, have peacefully struggled for their native rights and protested against the rampant destruction of the tropical forests of Malaysian Borneo. The Sarawak government under long-term Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud have consistently refused to grant them any rights over their traditional lands. Even well-documented reports about wide-spread sexual abuse of Penan girls and women by loggers failed to have any legal consequences whatsoever.

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has systematically abused kickbacks from logging for his own personal benefit. Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that the Taib family is holding stakes in more than 400 companies in 25 countries and offhsore destinations, worth several billion US dollars. In a letter to the Malaysian Attorney-General, BMF had called for Malaysian authorities to arrest and prosecute Taib for corruption, abuse of public office and other charges.

53 thoughts on “Wake Up, Wisma Putra: You are losing friends for Malaysia

  1. 65 reasons and counting …..why we MUST vote for BN this GE-13.
    Yes we MUST always vote BN so that they can keep sodomizing d Rakyats .

    1. PKFZ RM12 billion
    2. Submarine commission RM500 million
    3. Sime Darby RM964 million
    4. Paya Indah Westland RM88 million
    5. Posmalaysia (transmile) RM230 million lost
    6. Eurocopter deal RM1 billion wasted?
    7. Terengganu Stadium Collapsed RM292 million
    8. MRR2 repair cost RM70 million
    9. Maybank Overpaid BII RM4 billion
    10.Tourism -NYY kickback RM10 million
    11. 3 paintings bought by MAS RM 1.5 million
    12. Overpayment by Sport Ministry RM 8.4 million
    13. London ‘s white elephant sports complex RM 70 million
    14. MATRADE repairs RM 120 million
    15. Cost of new plane used by PM RM 200 million
    16. InventQ irrecoverable debt RM 228 million
    17. Compensation for killing crooked bridge —– RM 257 million
    18. Lost in selling Augusta RM 510 million
    19. Worth of AP given out in a year ———— RM 1.8 billion
    20. Submarines (future Muzium Negara artifacts)- RM 4.1B billion
    21. PSC Naval dockyard RM 6.75 billion
    22. The Bank Bumiputra twin scandals in the early 1980s US$1 billion loss (RM3.2 billion in 2008 ringgit)
    23. The Maminco attempt to corner the world tin market in the 1980s is believed to have cost some US$500 million. (RM1.6 billion)
    24. Betting in foreign exchange futures cost Bank Negara Malaysia RM30 billion in the 1990s.
    25. Perwaja Steel resulted in losses of US$800 million (RM2.56 billion).
    26. Use of RM10 billion public funds in the Valuecap Sdn Bhd operation to shore up the stock market
    27. Banking scandal of RM700 million losses in Bank Islam
    28. The sale of M.V. Agusta by Proton for one Euro making a loss of €75.99 million (RM 348 million) Same as No:20?
    29. Wang Ehsan from oil royalty on Terengganu RM7.4 billion from 2004 – 2007
    30. For the past 10 years since Philharmonic Orchestra was established, this orchestra has swallowed a total of RM500 million.Hiring a kwai-lo CEO with salary of more than RM1 million per annum !
    31. In Advisors Fees, Mahathir was paid RM180,000, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (women and social development affairs) RM404,726 and Abdul Hamid Othman (religious) RM549,675 per annum
    32. The government has spent a total of RM3.2 billion in teaching Maths and Science in English over the past five years. Out of the amount, the government paid a whopping RM2.21 billion for the purchase of information and computer technology (ICT) equipments which it is unable to give a breakdown. Govt paid more than RM6,000 per notebook vs per market price of less than RM3,000 through some new consortias that setup just to transact the notebook deal. There was no math & science content for the teachers and the notebooks are all with the teachers’ children now.
    33. The commission paid for purchase of jets and submarines to two private companies Perimeker Sdn Bhd and IMT Defence Sdn Bhd amounted to RM910 million. Expanding on No 2?
    37.RM300 million to compensate Gerbang Perdana for the RM1.1 billion”Crooked Scenic Half-Bridge”
    38.RM1.3 billion have been wasted building the white elephant Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities on cancellation of the Malaysia-Singapore scenic bridge
    39.RM 100 million on renovation of Parliament building and leaks
    40. National Astronaut Programme – RM 40 million
    41. National Service Training Programme – yearly an estimate of RM 500 million
    42. Eye of Malaysia – RM 30 million and another RM5.7 million of free ticket
    43. RM 2.4 million on indelible ink
    44. Samy announced in September 2006 that the government paid compensation amounting to RM 38.5 billion to 20 highway companies. RM380 million windfalls for 9 toll concessionaires earned solely from the toll hike in 2008 alone.
    45. RM32 million timber export kickbacks involving companies connected to Sarawak Chief Minister and his family.
    46. Two bailouts of Malaysia Airline System RM7.9 billion. At a time when MAS incurring losses every year, RM1.55 million used to buy three paintings to decorate its chairman’s (Munir) office. Expanding on No:11
    47. Putra transport system bailout which cost RM4.486 billion.
    48. STAR-LRT bailout costing RM3.256 billion.
    49. National Sewerage System bailout costing RM192.54 million.
    50. Seremban-Port Dickson Highway bailout costing RM142 million.
    51. Kuching Prison bailout costing RM135 million.
    52. Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam bailout costing RM8.3 million.
    53. Le Tour de Langkawi bailout costing RM 3.5 Million.
    54. Wholesale distribution of tens of millions of shares in BursaMalaysia under guise of NEP to cronies, children and relatives of BN leaders and Ministers worth billions of ringgits.
    55. Alienation of tens of thousands of hectares of commercial lands and forestry concessions to children and relatives of BN leaders and Ministers worth tens of billions of ringgits.
    56. Since 1997, Petronas has handed out a staggering 30 billion ringgit in natural gas subsidies to IPPs who were making huge profits.In addition, there were much wastages and forward trading of Petronas oil in the 1990s based on the low price of oil then. Since the accounts of Petronas are for the eyes of Prime Minister only, we have absolutely no idea of the amount.
    57. RM5700 for a car jack worth RM50
    58. Government-owned vehicle consumed a tank of petrol worth RM113 within a few minutes
    59. A pole platform that cost RM990 was bought for RM30,000
    60. A thumb drive that cost RM30 was bought for RM480
    61. A cabinet that cost RM1,500 was bought for RM13,500
    62. A flashlight that cost RM35 was bought for RM1430
    63. Expenses for 1 Malaysia campaign paid to APCO?
    64. RM17 billion subsidy to IPP
    65. USD24 million diamond ring for Ro$mah — cancellation of order — how much compensation???
    _____________
    Useful information, but not relevant to the topic here.–Din Merican

  2. Malsaysians are a funny lot of people. They elect BN repeatedly and get screwed . Go on keep on electing this monkeys who are fit to live like monkeys swinging from tree to tre.

  3. You don’t make friends by insulting people, be they our own citizens like the Penans or host countries. This High Commissioner does not understand that Malaysia is in the business of building relationships with all countries who choose to be our friends.

    Can you blame this High Commissioner for being what he is, that is, he is a racist? He is half educated at best and a Melayu Bodoh. Zakaria Sulong, I understand , was in the Protocol Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was posted to London mainly for the purpose of caring for visiting Malaysian VIP tourists and UMNO-BN politicians to do their shopping and what not. Building strong ties with the UK is probably of low priority to Prime Minister Najib and his wife.

    Yes, wake up ,Wisma Putra before you lose more friends and embarrass host countries by sending third rate people to represent Malaysia.

  4. Measured articulations is certainly not Zakarias forte. His strength is more in protocol matters ala Malaysia (country with the longest list of VIPs) longest list of titles , longer list of so called royalty,and longest line of entourage in any delegation , and tallest this and that. So forgive him if he speaks of Penans and Zoo animals all in one go!!! He got his protocol all wrong on this one !!

  5. Lemme see, during this interview Z was dreaming about how to sneak in his Lotus when he returns for ‘consultations’. Or he’ll try to leverage himself off his brother Zainal S name (again), the former goal-keeping KSU of FM. As long as he keeps his ‘image’ in the news and increases his profile, apa tu pun boleh!

    Whatever it is, the Penans should use him as target practice with their blowpipes and machetes, though i don’t advocate violence. This flur is a thoroughly BTN’ed racist and fascist, a pernicious habit that leads to degeneracy. What is known as an abomination.

  6. Domestically, we are in the shit-house. Now overseas, we are also in the shit house managed by a buffoon like this High Commissioner Zakaria Sulong.

    Just because Penans cannot defend themselves in London, he has to equate them with animals in the zoo!!!!! What is his religion, again?

  7. … Zakaria Sulong is an absolute disgrace to his religion, insulting people who are marginalised. He should go for rehab by Jakim to get his head reset.

  8. Dear friends,

    If casting aspersion on the character and on the words uttered by others is cathartic and makes you better able to reconcile the inequities of life then so be it.

    Just briefly, a comment posted after the offending article on the borneo post website alluded to a so-called freudian slip of the tongue on the part of the high commissioner…… Perhaps coupled with a case of bad punctuation in the offending sentence. That said, the high commissioner could have been more circumspect with choice of words.

    Please correct if mistaken, but i dont think the government has ever considered the bruno manser fonds (BMF) as a friend, dating back to the time when bruno manser himself was still alive – waaaaaaay back during tun mahathirs time. in this context, i think comments on the supposed impact on Malaysia-UK bilateral relations are a little off the mark.

    Then, perhaps as now, the government saw the BMF as interfering in the implementation of national development policies, including those aimed at uplifting the situation of the Penan. My understanding is that the government intended to give the Penan the choice whether to participate or not in the mainstream.

    Philosophically, i understand there is a difference between Malaysia’s approach towards her indigenous people compared to the approach of developed countries such as Australia and the USA. In the latter, the concept of indigenous ‘reservations’ (thereby isolating them from mainstream society) was and perhaps remains key.

    My understanding on the Penan situation is informed by the views of a native Penan lawyer who i was privileged enough to have met during the course of work. According to her, majority of Penan have over the years adopted a settled lifestyle over the traditional nomadic one.

    That said, the ongoing issue concerning the sexual abuse of Penan women and girls by logging company workers must continue to preoccupy and be addressed by the government.

    However, given the complexity and nature of the legal and policy relationship between state and federal governments, i am of the view that it is the Sarawak state government that must take the lead. Failing that, the federal government may wish to consider sending in the army to ensure the safety and security of the Penan.

    Lest we forget, NGOs too have their own constituencies and their own funding and outreach targets to achieve. Despite that, their contribution as effective check and balance on government is crucial.

    Apologies for bad punctuation in this comment but the ipad is not the friendliest of devices to work with.

  9. Most of our Embassies do not welcome us. They consider that every Malaysian visitor to the Embassy is a nuisance. Their most popular activity is attending dinners/parties, and of course taking care of VIPs.

  10. “..uplifting the situation of the Penen?”

    By rapine (both environmental and humanistic) and murder? Where did i hear that one before..? A refrain from all Octos. It’s timber, timber, timber and occasionally a useless mega-dam or two! The authorities at the very least, could have been done was a proper detailed strategy of relocation and compensation for their ancestral grounds. It’s the disenfranchised who need protection and native rights should be considered inviolable – as much as the “Bumi” status, which considers everyone else Alien and Other.

    Nobody, much less diplomats, can be as callous and un-punctuated as this HC, who has a lotus ssed for a brain.

  11. Johan R,

    I don’t think it is a freudian slip, if you read what is said, unless he claims he was misquoted.

    Till now he has said nothing about this issue. A diplomat always measures his/her words. A diplomat is always cautious what he says and how he says, especially to the media. A ciplomat is always conscious or fully aware of his environment and surroundings and his presence in it. Only buffoon will do otherwise. Zakaria Sulong has shown he is doing otherwise.

    In international diplomatic circles, you are not allowed to make any mistake especially a public relations mistake. It is a ONE STRIKE, AND YOU ARE OUT, especially if you are an ambassador or High Commissioner. He should be recalled and put into cold storage back home in Malaysia and made to push papers in some corner office.

  12. A democracy is measured in terms of how it treats its minorities. Lest it deteriorates into the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Malaysia has a poor record of how it treats its minorities large and small. The treatment meted out to the Penans in the state of Sarawak is just one. Why can’t we admit the obvious and do something about it?

    The Foreign Service is not a beauty contest. Ambassadors and High Commissioners are not beauty contestants. They are sent out to explain our policies on the international issues, work with host governments and international agencies and organizations; and are there to work to protect and safeguard Malaysia’s national interests wherever they find them.

    Have I missed anything?

  13. So forgive him if he speaks of Penans and Zoo animals all in one go!! — tune

    – February 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm —
    —————————

    A poor choice of words and an inability to string a sentence in a way that makes sense.

    An indictment of the country’s Foreign Service and the poor state of affairs it finds itself in? Should I be surprised?

  14. I don’t think the High Commissioner have ever met a Penan before and or even understood the issues raised by the Penans. He’s always been in an office either in WP or overseas and have not travelled into the hinterland of Sarawak. Best to send him as DO in the Penan district to take care of the “animals” (pardon the language) What an idiot. Wonder where he came from?

  15. Frank is right-an ambassador should be careful about words and howthw media would pick it up. It reflects badly in zakaria. He was schooled in the belief that all NGOs are evil. He should either be reired ir

  16. OMG ….this idiot make ashamed again to Malaysia !

    Malaysian official hospitalised over Iraq ‘anthrax’ scare
    Posted: 15 September 2007 1456 hrs

    KUALA LUMPUR: A box of sugar-covered Ramadan treats from the Iraqi embassy triggered an anthrax alert that put a Malaysian foreign ministry official in hospital, a report said Saturday.

    Fire engines and hazardous materials experts descended on the home of Zakaria Sulong, the newly appointed Malaysian ambassador to Germany, after he opened a parcel containing the “suspicious” powder, the New Straits Times said.

    The parcel contained the message “with compliments from the Embassy of Iraq” and had been delivered to his office before he took it home with him at the start of the Muslim fasting month.

    After opening the parcel Zakaria became alarmed, and placed it in a barrel outside his house while waiting for the authorities who then cordoned off the area.

    Zakaria spent Thursday night in hospital under observation before the misunderstanding was cleared up with the Iraqi embassy, which had sent sugar-covered pickles to several foreign ministry officials.

    “All the parcels contained the same thing — pickles. The surface was covered by refined sugar meant to preserve the pickles so that they will last longer. The pickles, which are very small in size, were underneath the sugar,” a police source told the daily. – AFP/ac

  17. The High Commissioner post in London is one of the most senior posting and if this is what Wisma Putra can put out, it’s high time Wisma Putra be overhauled. This Zakaria should be removed immediately and be made a zoo keeper at Zoo Negara or the orang utan sanctuary at Sepilok. He needs to spend time with the orang asli and be taught humility. Insensitive imbecile.

  18. Dear friends,

    If casting aspersion on the character and on the words uttered by others is cathartic and makes you better able to reconcile the inequities of life then so be it.
    Johan R

    Quite elegantly put and I agree. You have just nailed the art of putting across ( or Not) one’s point of view. To rise above that whom you criticse and do better. That is a rare quality you show.

    In this case, what was said by someone who is supposed to be quite sensitive to issues that surrounds his/her own country with issues that may offend, allow for misunderstanding, make for diplomatic problems cannot be tolerated, Cannot. He must be rebuked and exchanged.

    There are ways to say your point of view and the skill of Diplomacy must kick in. Some are naturally able to do so whilst others may need to be schooled in the Art thereof. However this is a NO NO. At all times the reply must be objective but firm. But never condascneding, arrogant or plain stupid.

    This is totally unacceptable of this position.

  19. p/s considering London has been Malaysia’s favourite playing ground, schooling ground for umpteen years do you not then think more sensitivity to our friends in London is called for? whether they be from the Government or NGO’s there? After all every holiday, Malaysians ( I don’t get this but that’s the way it is) go to London don’t they ? To cleanse their brains and systems of the hype back home? I presume. must be cathartic, excuse the pun.

  20. and of course for respect to yourself and your own fellow M’sians (Penans and others of different backgrounds).

  21. One more if you dont mind Johan R, are you apologising or attempting to explain away this person ‘s ineptness . Explaining away his inept behaviour is tantamount to glossing over the offending behaviour or shall I say rewarding this bad behaviour? This then perpetuates complacency and arrogance, don’t you think?

  22. As I have said before, some elements of the UMNO brigade think it is alright to collaborate with outsiders (foreigners) to insinuate our own citizens whilst foreigners are getting citizenships through back doors in Malaysia.

    They are thinking that will score points with the western society by sublimally projecting that the UK people are more civilized than the Penans or the Penans are too insignificant to considered Malaysians.

    This issue arose from the practice of only having Malays as ambassadors or high commissioners though there are some exceptions now.

    This news item heralds a unseen war against weak minorities at least encouraged by the current administration. Look at what happended to the Indians and their temples.

    Luckily for the Indians, most live in the peninsula, and any attempts to trouble them would receive istant coverage, and invoke instant reaction from the world, if not Malaysians.

    Penans, are not that lucky because they are in the thickest of forests even spy satelites find it hard to penetrate, not to mention journalists or reporters.

  23. i tend to agree with Frank, CLF, Kathy et al, that the ambassodor is ‘uncouth’ . Johan r is trying to be appologetic on his behalf that it may have been the ‘freudian slip of the tongue ‘ by not placing a proper punctuation ( a comma ?) reffering to the Penans in that same sentence with ‘animals in the zoo…’
    The categorisation is wrong on his part. The international issue brought by the Activist Bruno Manser is the neglect or marginalisation of an oppressed people, like if it had been the same reffering them to aborigines, murut or negritos….may have been ‘acceptable’…

    So his ‘intention’ is suspect when he categorised the Penans with ‘animals’ in the Zoo ‘ in the same sentence is to ‘equate’ the two, which really is demeaning, if not uncouth !
    It’s not a question of mere (“English”) language but intenstions….

  24. I will take it further and say that if we M’sians always apologise for , explain away,rationalise or attempt to subconciously find a reason for inept and offending behaviour of those who are supposed to take care of the countries interest ,How is M’sia going to be a first world nation?

    Havent we be explaining away, apologised for, rationalising,cover up for their ineptness for 50 over years . Look at where it has brought us?

    Its great to blame them for all their behaviours but WE enabled them by doing exactly what you have done there instead of demanding accountability which means in real terms, a demotion to the filing room.

    Have we not learnt anything from our past experience then if we keep doing this Johan R?

  25. What perhaps should be discussed is what the diplomat stated as the role of the High Commission: “What we do is collect reports on all the good and bad things written or said about the country and send them back to Malaysia”.

    So what is important is perception, perception, perception.
    When I first arrived to live in Malaysia some 18 years ago, I was often asked “What does XYZ country think of Malaysia?”. I found the question strange, and would typically answer, “they don’t”; as in – citizens of other countries don’t sit around thinking about individual countries unless they are a major nation, or have a direct relationship with your country.

    But the question tells a lot about Malaysian psychie I have found. That is Malaysians are very concerned with perception, how things look. Bad press gives bad perception; never say anything negative in a meeting; a new coat of paint and everything is OK, (does not matter if it is rotten inside). Always must appear nice and shiny!

    There is always a good excuse when things go wrong.

    The simplest and best way to improve perception is to improve the product! But rarely it seems, is this the chosen course of action.

  26. Bean suk,
    I believe you have heard this before or actually saw it personally in New York. If Wisma Putra folks has 10% of the dedication of these crew led by Sully, wow!

  27. Din,
    Come to think of it! This is pilot is far better as a diplomat as compared to the likes of Johan R. If folks like Johan shoots without even going through the whole 60 minutes transcript, Wisma Putra can go to be dogs

  28. Johan R,

    Kathy has said it all in the most polite way. If you still don’t get it, I don’t know what will.

    One thing must be said, I do! in all honesty,admire your calm and sober responses, but you do go off the bend and shoot off from the side of your mouth in your moments, something you need to address it. Having said that, I do learn a thing or two from your writings in this blog and I appreciate that.

    As for me, I can’t be as polite as I have been. I think I have exceeded my politeness to some highly stupid postings in here most times and restrained much worse vocabulary out of respect for the blog host who has to deal with a rainbow of opinions and difficult characters (including yours truly) in here.

  29. Just a thought-might zakaria be replaced by sharizat since past-the-shelf-life politicians seem to get sent overseas?

  30. You must be kiddin’, Observer.
    Angus cows, don’t prosper in these climes.

    And Kat, it’s not a personal thing – about 70% of our ambassadors/HC can’t even teach kindergarten – and as the HC above reiterates are merely image conscious Postmen. Why are you surprised? Wasn’t there a ‘crime-of-passion’ wrt the High Commission in your neck of the woods? That is basically the quality of folks that represent the country. In the States, they are usually confused with Hispanic maids and bell-hops.

  31. Johan R must be an apologist to Wisma Putra. Anyway, how do Wisma Putra choose people to fill important posts?

  32. Diplomat? HAHAHAH! typically diplomacy msian style. he was schooled in the grovelling art of ampu bodek to visiting so-called ‘leaders/ministers/’vip/vvip’ on shopping & ‘meliwat&belajar’ trips. Period. Diplomat? he is just a mat…like majority of those mats posted everywhere!

  33. Geez frank, thk you for that.

    I have known frank here and this is frank recognising Johan R’s potential here. Thats a compliment you know. He is tough to please but if youre not put off and speak up with sense (even though opposing to his view) he will acknowledge you.

    CLF, not personal yes? Everything M’sia does I take personally. Perhaps its time not to. Yes over here they sometimes falter and I always sigh and think if this occurs here what do I expect back home? But thats no reason to let those back home ,off! Just because others do wrong , its ok for us to do it? Is that really a leadership quality?

    Mr Hmax, you must have a great sense of humour. funny eh? (Not). I suppose laughter does help the sanity! schooled in art of grovelling/ampu bodek eh? This is serious Hmax.

  34. Cik Kathy,

    Thanks for posing some thoughtful questions and issues.

    Just to be clear, I am not trying to apologise for anybody.

    I made the ‘cathartic’ remark merely to put across the point that we could just as easily analyse the text as spoken/published without making judgement on the character of the speaker, i.e. by labelling the guy as racist, moron, bodoh, bangang etc…..that would be discriminatory and wrong, especially if we are making such judgement or observation based on secondary or unverified sources. This is also partly why i try to be very respectful of all comments and commentators on these pages.

    In any case, I believe that we must all be responsible for our thoughts and actions, including our words. The higher the position the greater the responsibility.

    On a separate note, I feel rather sad that you think that for the 50 years or so since independence Malaysia as a country has not achieved much. Whether by chance or design where we are now is directly related to the decisions taken by our forefathers.

    Some may feel even stronger that we could have been much greater if the country was led by others. Well, the opportunity has and continues to be provided every 5 years – with the next one just round the corner (some say). If so, the information provided by the first commentator on this thread is useful.

    Increasingly, it looks as if Malaysians are gearing up and ever ready for change. I look at such development positively as it signals that our society is becoming more politically mature and sophisticated.

    Also, if and when such change happens, I hope that we will all continue to scrutinise the incoming government as closely as we are scrutinising the present one.

    To clarify, the bit about freudian slip came from a commentator on the article on the borneo post website. Also, to quote pak frank’s observation there is a real possibility that the HC may claim he was misquoted.

    I understand how what the HC said – if taken and spun out of context – would be offensive. As mentioned earlier, I was quite privileged to meet a Penan who chose to join the mainstream, i.e. take up the opportunities offered by the government, e.g. in education.

    Those that chose not to are the ones most vulnerable.

    Even if it only a small proportion of the entire Penan community, it is this group that deserves protection and if the government (state and/or federal) is unable to provide it then it is right that organisations such as BMF assists.

    But, and as also mentioned earlier, the onus is on the Government, particularly the Sarawak state government to provide concrete evidence on how it has and continues to assist the Penan. For the record, I believe the BMF HQ is in Switzerland, hence my comment that it is not entirely appropriate to link the issue with Malaysia-UK bilateral relations.

    Lastly to Pak Frank,

    Tuan, I have noted the restraint which you have exercised when making your comments these past few entries. Please know that I am highly appreciative.

    I only hope that you could sustain it that much longer as i sincerely feel that more would come and join the discussion if they did not feel intimidated by the strong and forceful arguments and comments made on these pages.

    Of course, such exchanges would not be possible without Dato’ Din’s kindness in providing the venue :)

    p/s: to Pak looes74, not quite sure what your point is with the Captain Sully video? In any case, will take some time to watch it all as you suggested and revert, if relevant.

  35. 1. An Ambassador must be above all be excellent.

    2. An Ambassador must be eminent.

    3. An Ambassador must not be ignorant.

    4. An Ambassador must know when to give the other person his right of way.

    5. An Ambassador must know that once you fire the bullet you cannot recall it.

    6. An Ambassador must be able to express himself in five minutes what other may take only one minute.

    7. An Ambassador can consume alcohol but must know his limit so that he would not give too much information.

    8. An Ambassador is a honest man sent to lie for his country.

    9.. An Ambassador must always be aware that his Counsellor will claim that he knows more than him.

    10. An Ambassador must know when he should retire.

  36. Johan R, thanks you for the reply. Pls call me Kathy. I am glad you are not being apologetic but you do come across being apologetic since you really havent directly addressed what he said.

    As to what you meant by cathartic I fully understood your usage of the term. I agree with you that name calling or casting of aspersions on a person character is quite unnecessary and irrelevant as to countering their arguments . But there you have it ,some do it and others don’t and Dato’ is gracious to let us have a mature debate here. We will learn in time to focus on the argument and not the person.

    By not achieving much , I dont mean in the physical buildings or monetary terms but I specifically mean the malay mind set . It is largely undersiege, politically or via religion,yet they have enormous potential. They are their own worse enemies.

    However I differ, I dont think we are scrutinising the Government enough and if we are there are no results from it thus far.

  37. Its perfectly alright if the readers think that the Ambassador is inept, incompetent, or worse. As I understand it, the Ambassador was describing the work of his embassy to some visitors. Surely the relationship between Malaysia and its former colonial master MUST contain many other important aspects including trade, tourism, investment, science, students and others. He could have used any of these as examples to emphasize his point. His thoughtless remarks reveal the inappropriateness of the man in such a position.

  38. Johan R,
    I hope you do not watch from a strict legalistic view. Just watch how Sully carry himself & compared it with how your Malaysia UK High Commissioner, you would come to realise why Din lamenting on how teruk Wisma Putra folks have become
    You can’t see my point…..You are no better than those so called smart alecs ala kangkung professor. Do watch this too especially from 6 minute onwards. I think Sully can be 1000 times better that the Director General of the Malaysia. It would be a sad day if you can’t catch the drift

  39. They don’t need friends. Just give them fund. With fund they can buy friends and fun. This 1Malaysia philosophy. Buy news slot, buy 5 minutes tea time with Bush, buy cut and paste consultants, …. everything will be done with money……

  40. Johan R ? Could R be short for ‘respondeat superior’? He is condescending in his remarks. Disguised as ‘respect’ for readers’ views. Here’s the deal. You are allowed to be direct and honest in your comments. Of course, that is not the language of diplomacy.

  41. Malaysians especially those in government should learn not to be averse to criticism.

    The poor guy apparently has poor language skills. It comes with speaking off the cuff (without a teleprompter you may add) and a few gaffes here and there are only to be expected such as when Mitt Romney (the Republican candidate for Presidential nominee) says he is more concerned with the middle class and that he is less concerned with the poor who already have a safety net.

    Here the guy strings his sentence so badly, assisted of course by a poor choice of words, has obviously lent the statement to manipulation. But the criticism that the government of Malaysia has not done enough for the minorities in the country is nothing new.

  42. I suspect it’s Johan ariff abd razak, the special officer to sec gen. Perhaps, he was the one who wrote on behalf of the sec gen on consular matter. How interesting..go google his name..
    ____________
    If what you say he is, then Johan R is doing a good job trying to defend an incompetent KSU. But it will not work.You can perfume rubbish, can you?–Din Merican

  43. Johan R says that it is the primary responsibility of the state government and not that of the federal government based in far away Putrajaya. That some would say, tantamounts to hiding behind a false facade afforded by a legal fiction, if you will – almost, I would say. A sham defense.

    Malaysia is not a true federation. Sarawak does not have its own laws, its own courts, own state police and none of the infrastructure expected of a federation. For example, Putrajaya does not need the prior approval of the governor, chief minister before it could send troops and law enforcement personnel when needed to bring order to the state of Sarawak. And moreover, when the issue of the Penan tribes of Sarawak crops up, guess who is called to answer if not the Malaysian government.

  44. So this Johan R ‘s real name is Johan Ariff Abdul Razak, Special Officer to Wisma Putra KSU?

    What does a Special Officer do REALLY? Bag carrier? Tea boy for the KSU ? or office mistress of the KSU? OR to help the KSU’s wife on ordering groceries and making appointments for the KSU’s to go for facial massage and for clean toe nails? “Special” ?? Officer? Special to do what??? Office “pimp ” for the KSU???

    No wonder the taxpayer has to pay for our heavily bloated civil service.Now these fat cats at the top are given a ridiculous pay increase by this Najib regime as part of greasing the top civil servants in preparation for the coming GE.

    Really what work does the KSU do for himself? He doesn’t push papers because that is done those,junior officers. The only work the KSU does is to tripod the Minister and enjoy the perks when the Minister travels .

    If the Wisma Putra KSU really does a decent day’s work, we won’t be having a embarrassingly below par foreign service and having to read about a bunch of loose mouth insulting High Commisioners and Ambassadors.

  45. Dear Dato’ and Friends,

    Wah, speculation doth abound as to mine identity :) Perhaps bereft of substantive comments to contribute to the ongoing discussion, ex-wisma resorts to rummaging in the dark…….only to what end?

    I hope it is not so that others may be cowed into accepting the prevailing views. Anyway, lets entertain ex-wisma for a moment and pursue his/her train of thought.

    In doing so, I should like to ask whether my views would be less valid or my comments deemed worthless if i was indeed the person alleged by ex-wisma?

    If the answer to that is yes then perhaps our discussion here has served some unintended purpose after all. Again, if the answer is yes, then it shows that bigotry is well and alive on these pages – thus perhaps inadvertently yet irreparably damaging the credibility of this blog and its supporters.

    ‘Outing’ or even attempts at it is simply not cool – even more so if done by people who preach “my politics is better than yours”.

    To Pak Bean, i am sorry that you felt condescended to by my postings. It was never my intention.That said, you have your views and i mine.

    Lastly, to pak ex-wisma, just curious – after your (presumably) frenzied googling, would you mind sharing what you found? :)

    A demain chers amis.

    PS: Dato’ Din, noted you posted follow-up piece on HC to UK, will visit again once I’ve ploughed through some work that needs looking at.
    __________
    Johan R, the guessing game is common on this and other blogs. Only you know who you are. I am never bothered by that. I am always looking for intelligent and relevant comments that will enrich all who read this blog. Don’t worry. Let people guess who you are. I take that to mean that your views have an impact.–Din Merican.

  46. ” . . . The Bruno Manser Fund is shocked by the racist tone of the Malaysian High Commissioner’s remarks. “How can this man claim to be representing Malaysia in the United Kingdom if he compares his own people to zoo animals?”, the Bruno Manser Fund wrote.

    With all the Ketuanan Melayu and Malay-first rather than Malaysian-first conandrums swirling in the Malaysian civil service, it is not surprising that the pent-up attitude [invisible] purveys such behavior – to some at least.

    Are the HCs or Ambassadors supposed to represent all and any Malaysian? Are not the Penans Malaysians too? Do the words uttered by the HC represent a sneaky but overarching pronouncement that Penans are not Malaysian citizens or citizens whose rights are equated to animals’?

    We in all honesty will not know what other HCs and Ambassadors will say next? Do we? The rot must stop not that we are in different times but because it should not have been there in the first place.

    Maybe the Penans are a bit different because not a single one has travelled to the UK yet, and therefore are not recognised as citizens of Malaysia in the eyes of the HC to the UK?

    The Penans could sue the HC in his personal capacity as a Malaysian in the UK or European courts if apologies are not forthcoming because the degratory words were uttered there.

    Can the HC then claim ‘diplomatic immunity’ or ‘ignorance’ or ‘simply following orders’?

  47. You have a valid point TLK, no diplomatic immunity in UK 9r Europe, b’coz, The Utterance/s was done in one single breath, and the EU might be persuaded of the ” Insult” hurled at humans being compared to the ” animal in the zoo….” . They should ‘ win ‘ in the Damage/s claim.

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