January 2012 Commentaries (latest at the bottom)
“In golf lies our end” – Star, 31st December 2011
“When our grip on good values is the basis to our being, our delivery will be good in all aspects of our lives”
No, that remark is not made by me, or Tiger Woods!
That’s what Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia, said in his weekly column in the Star.
Looks like the good Tan Sri is a golfer, who not only understand the basic of golf, but also the basic of “service delivery”.
He also quoted the will of Michael Henchard, the Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), the fictional writings of Thomas Hardy!
The man certainly can write!
He touched on “service delivery” not only in the public sector but also in the private sector, and as he rightly pointed out, service delivery is not something Malaysian organizations take very seriously, and this is obvious from the many complaints one sees in the newspapers and blogs.
Of course, the service delivery in the public sector is the one that is always being scrutinized, as this is the one the ordinary man in the street is exposed to the most on a daily basis and that the taxpayers are the ones paying for it.
A lot of the time, you wonder whether civil servants even know the meaning of “service” and whether they are even trained at all! Just recently we read about the case of the Mufti of Perlis being told by the Immigration Department’s officer in Kuching that his daughter is not a Malaysian! Now, the poor child already has a Malaysian passport! How is she not a Malaysian?
Of course, in the end, the Immigration Department apologized and said that it was a “miscommunication”! How do you miscommunicate a simple fact like that?
Now, the good Tan Sri has been on a mission to improve the service delivery in the public sector, and he has succeeded in many areas. For instant, Malaysian passport applications and renewals are such a breeze now. You can even renew your passport on-line! Application for Malaysian Identity Card can also be done within a day.
Despite having improved many areas of service delivery in the public sector, Malaysians still view civil servants as dim-witted, lazy and corrupt workers. This is not really surprising, as every year the Auditor General Report never fail to mention some of the misdeeds of the civil servants, and in most instances the misdeeds are just simply unforgiveable, like paying 29 times the retail price of a pair of binoculars!
Not enough media attention has been spent on “marketing” the good part of the civil service delivery. Only once in a while we read of statements introducing faster services. So it is only natural for the media to give more attention to the bad part of service delivery! And as human beings, the bad parts always stay in our memory longer!
The good Tan Sri ended his article with, “I dare argue that the world that awaits us will be not be upheld by cutting-edge achievements, but it will be in how we revolutionize human values into connecting the dots of the parallel worlds. It will be defined by our acceptance that our own value system will define us, no matter where we work.
In the service industry, we are all ultimately judged by the court of public opinion. And so what we then choose as our value system will define our end!”
He is absolutely right. It is our “value system” that is in need of serious look. We have become a society with no values! And what’s worse, we are not teaching our children the right values! And if that value system continues to be bad, no one can help us improve our lives!
Well done Tan Sri!
“When bread has race” – 8th January 2012
“Boycott campaigns of products based on race and politics only shows the shallow mindedness of some Malaysians”
Who would have thought that Malaysians can stoop to this level in politics? But nothing is surprising anymore in Malaysia.
Shallow mindedness is an understatement in this case. It is pure bigotry, and pure immaturity. But when you asked for total freedom of speech, this is what you get! The problem is that the very people who wanted this total freedom of speech are the ones cringing! Well, you reap what you sow!
There will always be bigots in any society. But what is worrying in Malaysia is the fact that the bigots are the ones getting all the attention, and many of the bigots don’t even dare to show their faces while spewing all the bigotry!
“Bigotry and intolerance, silenced by argument, endeavors to silence by persecution, in old days by fire and sword, in modern days by the tongue.” - Charles Simmons
“Bigotry and judgment are the height of insecurity.” - Jasmine Guy
“Bigotry dwarfs the soul by shutting out the truth.” - Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Bigotry is not a new phenomenon, it is as old as time. Neither is it a new phenomenon in Malaysia either, except now it is out in the open.
Why, because Malaysians simply lack the maturity to handle freedom.
You see it everywhere, and since the internet has been the new way of communications and interactions, bigotry has become as ubiquitous as the internet!
Again, it boils down to education and proper upbringing, which unfortunately has not exactly been exemplary today.
Teachers who in the past are seen as the extended parents are no longer interested in educating. They are only interested in earning a living. Parents are too busy trying to earn a living too.
Discipline is no longer a virtue that is held closed to parents’ hearts.
It is a sad state of the world, and in Malaysia it will only get worse.
The riots, where the participants were mainly the younger generations, around the world, Paris, London, and the middle-east, are seen as catalyst for change. But are they really?
Has the quality of life in France, the United Kingdom and the middle-east improved? Hardly!!
Are we prepared to see our cities burned to the ground before we see the need to change, to return to the good old fashion value of discipline?
Are the purveyors of total freedom of expression willing to suffer immeasurably just for the sake of having the freedom to say what they want, irrespective of whether what they say is hurting others?
“Everybody's scared for their ass. There aren't too many people ready to die for racism. They'll kill for racism but they won't die for racism.” - Florynce R. Kennedy
Yes, these people are cowards!
“If even bread can be equated to race and politics, I don’t know which God will help us” – Datuk Marimuthu Nadeson of the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Association (FOMCA)
“Coach: Don’t worry” – 15th January 2012
“Hockey team’s poor form is due to tough training, says Beng Hai”
That must have been the worst statement ever made by a sports coach in Malaysia!
And we are talking about the national hockey team, who were easily beaten repeatedly by the China’s national team in the two test matches between the two national teams.
Malaysian is ranked 13th in the world and China, 17th. Yet from the results, it looks like China is ranked in the top 10 in the world and Malaysia below 20!
And the situation is the same in almost every sport except for ten-pin bowling and squash.
The amount spent by the Malaysian government on sports is huge!
Yet, every time a Malaysian team is playing against opponents from around the world, it gets beaten easily!
Sports in Malaysia are not only overseen by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, but also by the Education Ministry, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the National Sports Council (NSC). And of course, there are also the many sports associations, who on most instances are more interested in sending officials overseas for sports meets than making sure that sportsmen and sportswomen perform!
What is happening to sports in Malaysia is symptomatic of the breakdown of society.
The lack of discipline is endemic. And without discipline, no sports can match the successes of sportsmen and sportsmen from other less developed countries.
Hard work is eschewed by most sportsmen and sportswomen in Malaysia. And when they achieved success at the international level, the successes are almost always just fleeting moments!
We have heard of how when parents get involved in their children’s sporting activities (at national level), when the training gets tough, the parents will be the first ones to complain about the coaching methods!
Perhaps these people have not heard about how the young are trained in China, where children as young as 5 are taken away from their parents and put in centralized training centres, where the children do not have the luxury of even seeing their parents on a regular basis!
Malaysia even have a Sports School, dedicated to training the young to reach international level besides providing them with education. But have we seen anyone that has become world beaters? No!
“I am not seeking perfection. It is unattainable. What I am striving for is professional excellence” – Tiger Woods
"Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly." - Shaquille O’Neal
"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence." - Eddie Robinson
The best example of what hard work and tough training do to an athlete is Nicol David, probably the best female squash player ever! She left her family behind in Penang to be based in Amsterdam. Not once has she complained. In fact every time she loses a match (which is very rare), all she says is the need to improve herself!
We will probably not see someone like her again for a long time.
“A ‘third force’ in politics soon” – NST, 26th January 2012
NEW PLATFORM: Group can help determine who will form the next government
It looks like the former PAS Selangor Commissioner, Datuk Dr Hassan Ali, is joining the bandwagon to form a “third force”, which he thinks will have a bearing on the outcome of the next general elections.
He is likening the role of the third force to the ones in Australia and United Kingdom, where both the Labor Party (in Australia) and the Conservatives Party (in UK) had to rely on the support of the third forces to form the respective government.
Whilst the Tory government of David Cameron is sitting happily with his Liberal Democrats partners, Ms Julia Gillard has a very dicey partnership with her partners from the Australian Greens Party and independent MPs.
According to the good doctor, “The third force arose because it was the people’s dreams they could analyze the current scenario in terms of benefits to themselves and also the nations”. Huh!!!
He also outlined the prerequisites for the third force leader, saying they must be “morally upright, do not indulge in adultery or flirt with young girls, do not engage in sodomy, are not corrupt or involved in criminal breach of trust and also do not abuse their power.”
That’s like ruling out 90% of the politicians in Malaysia!!!
“Politics have no relation to morals.” - Niccolo Machiavelli
“A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.” - Russell Baker
“Democrats always like to brag that their guys are smarter than the opponents and Republicans always like to brag that their guys are more moral than the opponents. But if you're looking for morals in politics you're looking for bananas in the cheese department.” - Harry Shearer
The good doctor also prefers them to be young and have good religious background.
Will the third force be the determinant of who gets to rule after the next general election?
Doubtful, but it will help with the “two-third” majority.
Let’s analyze the opposition logically.
DAP is not going to get the Malay votes despite having succeeded in bringing some so called “high profile” Malays into its fold. The Malays that they have got so far are irrelevant to the majority of Malays, and DAP is just doing it to shed its image as a Chinese party. Whatever they do, they will still be seen as a Chinese party, or at least voted in only by the Chinese!
PAS has sold their soul to the devil! Full-stop!!!
PKR is just a fan club for Anwar. He may be able to vow those who listen to him speak, but he has no substance whatsoever!
The BN government has been throwing money at everyone, from government servants to those earning below RM3,000 and to school kids!
Their support is eroding amongst the elite Malays, but the elite Malays do not decide on who gets elected! They just love complaining, and still keeping their homes in London and Australia!
The Chinese businessmen are scared that there will be trouble in the country if there is no strong government as their businesses will be affected! The Chinese only cares about earning a living. Don’t forget they are the only group in the world that prays to the God of Prosperity!
So, dear Datuk, in the immortal words of Darth Vader, “May the force be with you”.