Not so much ‘New M’sia Government, but one consumed by a shiok sendiri syndrome


Not so much ‘New M’sia Government, but one consumed by a shiok sendiri syndrome and groping in the dark

September 27, 2018 by R. Nadeswaran@www.malaysiakini.com COMMENT

Image result for pakatan harapan government

William Lyons, a senior lecturer at the Glasgow University argues that fear of the dark is usually not a fear of darkness itself, but a fear of possible or imagined dangers concealed by darkness. When fear of the dark reaches a degree that is severe enough, it is considered pathological.

Image result for mat sabu as pilot

 

Pakatan Harapan Defense Minister who became a Fighter Pilot overnight– A Case of Shiok Sendiri

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Imitating an UMNO Fighter Pilot

This is not a class on fear and darkness, but provides a fairly accurate description of how some Pakatan Harapan leaders – including ministers – are performing. After almost five months in government, they are still groping in the dark and this becomes inexcusable.

To put it more succinctly and concisely, they are not stumbling in darkness but tipping over each other in broad daylight. Offering none, or sometimes nonsensical, solutions to the problems facing the citizens, some of their utterances and actions have bordered on incongruity.

This is no report card on the government. We elected our Members of Parliament (MPs) for five years but transversely, the events since May 9 have been emitting a sense of hopelessness among the common folk. Not that the public expects the sky and moon, but would just like to see changes that would offer a better quality of life.

Let’s not beat around the bush – any government or a set of lawmakers will do better than BN– with closed eyes even if one does not try.  BN’s track record over the past six decades was so abysmal, appalling and dreadful, that even minor changes would look astronomical.

The (new) government was elected on the premise (among others) that it would root out corruption, cut out cronyism, promote meritocracy, address weaknesses in the  administration and revamp the government machinery so that the people will be the eventual beneficiaries of such changes. The people were promised improvements and reforms and doing away with nonsensical pieces of legislation.

Little of this has been seen. Take the much-talked about child marriages as an example. Why is there so much  pussyfooting over an issue that can be solved, just by taking away the jurisdiction given to religious courts.

Excuses after excuse have been given including one that there would be legal and social implications if the minimum age of marriage is increased to 18 years.

What legal and social implications, one may ask? For the previous regime, the escape-all clause when everything else failed, was to throw in the religious or the race card. It is ludicrous that a child is allowed to be married based on culture, religion and customs, which are actually excuses to    not accepting international standards in human rights. Ditto for the current set of lawmakers.

Parliament not football pitch

Image result for langkah port dickson

How and why should an elected MP resign? What is the co-relation between “Langkah Port Dickson” and parliamentary reforms?

The last time we heard of the  phrase, the then speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia got a new toilet and an expensive set of furniture for his office!

Parliamentarians are lawmakers. Parliament is not a football pitch were substitution is allowed anytime without any rhyme or reason – according to the whims and fancies of the coach or manager.

When BN put up posters before nomination day in the last election, they were accused of breaking election laws. Drive around Port Dickson today and you’ll notice giant banners and buntings. What reform, when the law breaker is seeking office?

And why should the Education Minister play a dual role as the president of a university? However one look at it, he is conflicted, but he is finding all kinds of excuses to justify his acceptance.

Elsewhere, intra-party affairs and disputes seem to be distracting some of the leaders. Instead of seeking to implement changes and ideas, too much time is being spent on politicking.

The former premier has adopted a “make-a statement-a-day” routine and our ministers are keeping him relevant by responding and making him important. He ought to be told the literal meaning of the legal doctrine of “those seeking equity must come with clean hands”.

‘No more political appointees in government-linked companies’ was the battle pre-May 9. The head honchos who made up the pancaragam which composed and sang BN’s campaign song found themselves out of their jobs. So, did scores of others, but who were their replacements?

On the administration side, there is little visible change. It still takes ages for some government departments to respond to letters; the “pegawai pergi mesyuarat” (the officer’s in a meeting) slogan is frequently used to avoid contact with citizens and other old practices. Self-appointed regulators of public morals are still imposing their values, including dress codes on visitors. They seem more interested in the length of the skirts than the issues they have to address.

Why haven’t they been reined in? Yet again, the answer would be: “It is a sensitive issue.” Many are reluctant and refuse to adopt Transport Minister Anthony Loke’s diktats – those who find female flight attendants’ uniforms too sexy should turn their heads away and not look at them.

The only visible change is the move to do away with the sign-off, which means nothing. From “saya yang menurut perintah” (I’m just following orders), it has become “saya yang menjalankan amanah” (I’m just following the mandate). Everything else including mindsets remain status quo. How does it help improvise delivery?

The attitude and brashness of most civil servants has not changed. They seem stuck in the old culture, and continue to act as Little Napoleons ruling their own fiefdom.

Public opinion matters little to Harapan lawmakers, who now believe they can walk on water. The mainstream media which pilloried, denounced and humiliated them when they were on the wrong side of the divide, has suddenly changed tack. These days, the editors (and censors) are now lining up to “pay homage” to very same leaders they had once pounced on, like vultures devouring a carcass.

Instead of using its new-found freedom and being objective, it wants to continue its insalubrious role as the supporter of the ruling elite. There has hardly been a whimper on the weaknesses which are so visible. Every citizen including journalists has a right to demand explanations on expenditure and policies because this government promised transparency and accountability.

Asking questions and requesting for justification does not make anyone a lesser Malaysian.

R NADESWARAN has no party affiliation and believes that the it is not an offence to hold government accountable. A good government must priorities good governance. Comments: citizen.nades22@gmail.com

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

6 thoughts on “Not so much ‘New M’sia Government, but one consumed by a shiok sendiri syndrome

  1. This is a blistering criticism of the New Malaysia Government by Nadeswaran.

    Five months into the 14th election cycle, they have yet to get their act together. What is more disturbing than that is that it is beginning to look the UMNO way of running the business of governing the country.

    There is no sense of direction but lots of political football, platitudes, self righteousness, and feel good stuff . CLF, your take. I hope I am not being idealistic this time, although I am looking at Bolehland from a distance.–Din Merican

  2. Citizen Nades may not have party affliation but he is out critcizing for his own interest. No, it’s alright to criticize and I have my share of criticism. But, I don’t buy the points raised. Why? Let’s look at his rants point by point.

    1). Mat Sabu shiok sendiri – Well, what’s wrong with that? A new MINDEF Minister trying out MINDEF assets. Once again, what’s wrong?

    2). Five months on … nothing done. Well, after so many years as a reporter, Nades still fail to find the right timing to score a critical piece on the establishment! What is five months? LOL. BTW … he has conveniently forgotten about the Institutional reforms PH has set the wheels running. No?

    3). Child marriage. Frankly, it is sensitive and there are legal limitations on what Putrajaya can do as it is a State matter. Politically, frankly, it is not a priority. They didnt win because of reforming child marriage. BTW, do they have a mandate on reforming Muslim marriage laws? If not, it will come at a political cost. With this in mind, promising to reform marriage laws is good enough for me at this point. There so many battles, PH will be smart if they focus on the economy and institutional reforms.

    4). Civil servants – Well, Tun M had made the same complain, hadnt he? I am sure Tun will be all ears if Nades has any good ideas on changing the minds of civil servants.

    5). Mazlee and UIA – Yes, I agree. Conflict of interest. Perhaps Nades can write a piece on this issue and save us from his other rants? LOL.

    6). The media – Yes. Absolutely. They have don’t no justice to the new freedom rakyat have given them. Sub standard reporting, questionable sources leading to misleading or misreporting, sensationalising reporting, failure to drive issues for public discourse …. yes …. the media has been most disappointing! But, are PH Ministers responsible for the poor standards of Media too? LOL.

    Cheersz

  3. PH was elected because of kleptocracy. What has child marriage, forced by elections, lgbt etc ever got into the promises?

    Not having done anything? Go ask MACC officers or Transport Dept or Judges and officers on corruption cases.

  4. ‘ Instead of using its new-found freedom and being objective, it wants to continue its insalubrious role as the supporter of the ruling elite ‘ .

    There is bad and corrupt political leadership and a strong culture of kaki bodeh and kaki ampu. This is made worst by an environment of fear created by the previous corrupt government.

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