Time for an Open and Accountable Government


January 1, 2014

Here We Are in 2014: Time for an Open and Accountable Government

We are in 2014. Dr Kamsiah and I were at The Royal Selangor Golf ClubFacebook-K and D with dear friends last night to usher in the New Year. It was a nice gathering of club members who sat together to chat about the good old times and discuss what 2014 is likely to be, given the state of our divisive politics. My friends and I at our table agreed that politicians on both sides should not play with the fire of racial discord and religious exclusivism. Instead we should be celebrating our diversity.

Read this: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/malay-muslims-and-religious-apartheid-zuhairy-fauzy

While we were partying, our fellow Malaysians at Dataran Merdeka were protesting the price hikes (toll and assessment rates, electricity charges and related matters) at Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square). It was a peaceful affair; and that was not unexpected. We Malaysians have shown time and again that we are a peaceful and responsible people. Due credit must go to Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, and his men and women of the Royal Malaysian Police forĀ  a good job of managing the traffic and facilitatingĀ  this democracy in action. It was only the Government which, as usual, had tried to stop this price hike protest.

My message to the Najib administration for 2014 is that it should learn to communicate. Don’t assume that we Malaysians are stupid and can be easily be misled. There is, therefore, a need for the Government to explain its policies more effectively. Communicating is not spinning. On the other hand, it is about putting your points of view clearly so that the public can understand what their government wants to do, and why. Feedback from the Malaysian public will ensure that protests are unnecessary when the government listens to people before it formulates policies.

With this in mind, I am prepared to post press releases from government ministries and departments. Their Press officers should feel to contact me if they wish to have their releases read by and commented upon by readers on this blog, at home and abroad. The social media has become popular to reach out to the public, since the mainstream media is deemed to be an instrument of government. Let us begin 2014 with an open and accountable government.–Din Merican

11 thoughts on “Time for an Open and Accountable Government

  1. That’s the correct new year spirits, Din. Yours is a good & positive offer which the Government should not dismiss as a waste of time & effort despite knowing the established majority opinion in your blog. The Government should not make any adverse or negative pre-judgement before at least making a few initial attempts to test the water in this blog. It would prove to be a good new medium free of charge, I suppose.

  2. It started by the 2 submarines bought by none other than our jib and later drama of baginda, rosmah, bala, deepak and others had contributed to this wonderful song of ” i am the devil above the law!!!”

  3. Dato
    Very noble effort. The response is obvious but I’ll wait and see on the outcome of your proposal.

  4. Look it’s much easier to maintain a vessel than to mend a broken pot.
    It is not that there are not enough laws, rules and regulations in the Administration – a majority of which were imposed by the Brits. But the vessel, that is Malaysia is broken and is currently being pulverized, by the fascist-apartheid nexus that is UMNOb. Do any one of you out there really think that there is a single solid ‘bone’ in their dear leaders?

    Oh yes, there still many who are taken in by the glamour and celebrity, by dropping names willy-nilly. Rubbing elbows and other parts of the anatomy in the hope of catching some morsels or debris. Principles? What’s that? Negotiated tenders and 20% kickbacks are still the norm. Monopolies rule. Vested interests become modus operandi.

    The contention is that a vast majority of the Civil Service are steeped in a culture of Bodekism and Pekak Tuli. Not only does their incompetence, denial, laziness and ignorance reign supreme, the tendency is to shift-shape-shaft hardwork, thinking and responsibility down the line. Even small time pengarahs become kings of their domain, because their superiors are to busy catching bigger chunks of the debris..

    As Legality does not necessarily mean Justice, similarly Competence, Accountability and Transparency does not mean good Governance. It requires a mind-shift from parochial, ethnic-religious-centrisms and political hubris.

    If you want efficiency, accountability and so on – cut off the dead wood. The time of rent-seeking and contemptuous hubris is over. And UMNOb needs professional psychiatric help.

    But to reassemble the Vessel requires a life-long dedication and energy that old ducks like us, no longer have. Welcome to the Abyss.

  5. Din, I’m afraid you are setting yourself up for something that is too big for you and your Mrs to handle in reality.

    Everytime you receive a copy of the press release from UMNO and Barisan Nasional, you will have to :

    a. ask the press officer(s) to explain what message the document is supposed to deliver. It sounds easy on paper but don’t be surprise if the press officer(s) does not have a clue, not because they are not qualified but because they are just executing the incoherent plan concocted by their UMNO / BN masters.

    b. re-draft the document because the grammar is bad.

    c. re-type the document because it was so badly formatted and contains numerous typing error.

    d. explain to the press officer(s) in simple enough language about the revisions you made.

    e. coach the press officer(s) to explain the press release to their UMNO / BN masters (this is the toughest bit especially if your master’s ego is trillion times bigger than the brain).

    Now, repeat the above process for each copy of press release you received …

    That said, your offer is a great one and I wish you every success. And I wish the relevant people are at least wise enough to try out your offer.

  6. I think Din’s offer will not involve him, as the blog owner, to perform all those tasks as envisioned at @Muthu January 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm. The modus operandi should remain as currently exercised with the moderating power fully retained by the blog owner. As to do what Muthu suggested may mean that Din is “employed” by the Government and hence somewhat “beholden” to it.
    The entrusted Government men should act like any ordinary bloggers here involved in debates (2-way interactive communications) but their full identities should be made known to the blog owner who can then apply any editorial control as he deems right – (freedom of expression is never absolute, whatever you wish to say otherwise). It’s up to the Government to choose the right quality in its officers to deal with Din Merican as the quality will reflect on the Government – so Din doesn’t have to bother with correcting typos, spelling, grammar etc.
    This is a good proposal by Din Merican and the Government should take it up. It is also in line with the Government’s declared intention to use cyberspace more to fight the so-called wrong perceptions held against it. After all without any doubt, the Government is already monitoring this blog like all other blogs – why not go a step further to join it and get involved in the debates rather than being mere observers (peeping toms).

  7. I, like many other Malaysians, would like to understand the Government policies & their implementations as what can be seen on the TVs are too brief and the printed media is only a one-way communication. I would like to know more details about reduction in General Subsidies and steps to address the needs of the have-nots, planned increases in utilities charges, the GST animals, the decreasing worth of our Ringgit compared to other currencies, our economic ups & downs, why we need to have more weight on the rural votes & not one-man-one-vote (is this practised in the USA & UK perhaps etc) and myriads of other day-to-day subjects that affect the people. This blog can be a better forum than the streets.

  8. Also, the most important subject to be specially dealt with separately, CORRUPTION ERADICATION EFFORT. Why the Government doesn’t appear to take strong and positive actions on the BIG FISH – or are they perceptions? We need detailed explanations via interactive debates here.

  9. Dato I certainly won’t give these goons the graciousness you seem to always accord them. NOT with Razi Rosmah’s C4 of a whopping US$333.5 to his name at 36! And that too with the unbecoming silence (is Golden) stand his step-father is taking!
    OFF with these two from S. Perdana is our only Option!

  10. Dear Datuk Din

    How about asking concerned and social-minded
    Malaysian macroeconomists and financial experts to
    voluntarily set up a non-partisan “National Economic Recovery Council” to come up with a plan to save our country from
    potential economic ruin (brought about by the most fiscally
    irresponsible Finance Minister in Malaysian history)?
    First organization to ask would be the
    Malaysian Economic Association.

    Then the rest of us concerned citizens can help by exerting pressure on the regime to implement the non-partisan plan.
    (I anticipate that nay sayers will pooh-pooh the above suggestions.
    But it is better than doing nothing at all).

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