It’s way beyond foibles! ― Lee Yew Meng

JANUARY 25 ― Our BAM decided to slap a two-year ban on Lee Zii Jia for quitting the association. This means he can’t participate in BWF sanctioned tournaments under the BAM banner. But it seems he can still don Malaysian colours representing another BMF member association, after a service period. So it needn’t be a complete loss for our nation.

Could BAM have avoided the “tit for tat” reaction? Understandably the association would have felt grievous hurt and disappointment over their long term investment. The questions are: were there adequate self-reflections on why, seeing as this isn’t the first case? And, surely the BAM’s “honour and reputation” can’t have superseded that of our nation’s?

I suspect (more like wishing) that BAM will appreciate the opportunity from Lee’s appeal to reconfigure their original response.

Earlier our attention was drawn towards Asean Para Games champion (2001-05) Koh Lee Peng selling handmade tissue pouches along the streets of Kuala Lumpur. She had won her home state Penang Female Paralympic award in 2016.

Koh felt there was insufficient follow-thru in the financial assistance schemes as the help was mostly temporary in nature. Don’t we wish the officials involved address this instantly and share their perspective?

She was displaying true grit in making her statement, like I suppose when she was a participating sportsperson for the nation.

The MACC ‘debacle’

The absolute silliness of this continuing episode may be confounding to foreigners but is downright shameful for Malaysians.

On whether the MACC Chief Commissioner (CC) should have allowed his brother to use his trading account or whether he breached the RM100, 000 cap investment for public officers is for the correct authorities to decide. And then the rakyat can respond accordingly.

However many of us were startled when the ACAB (Anti-Corruption Advisory Board) Chairman announced that the CC had no pecuniary or beneficial interest in the shares and that there was no criminal conduct or “conflict of interest” on the part of the CC. To all and sundry it would have read as the CC was “cleared” by ACAB.

The other six ACAB board members must have realized the serious implications and shortly after, released a joint media statement which in no uncertain terms clarified that they hadn’t subscribed to what was announced by the chairman. They stressed that they are fully cognisant of the board’s terms of reference.

Then we had the joint media statement by the three deputy CCs expressing their support of the leadership of the CC. Let’s assume for the moment that the CC is an exceptional leader but didn’t it cross these deputies’ minds that protocol demands that due process must take place (without any sideshows), and besides, the post of the CC is not contingent on any kind of popular support.

These three officials represent the topper most management in one of the topper most public institutions and they make topper most level decisions on a practically daily basis. And they had felt it necessary to issue that kind of statement? Goodness gracious me! Isn’t it a little worrisome? Emotions must be subdued regardless especially when holding prominent and “delicate” positions.

Again it would help with more self-reflections. Come on, an overwhelming viewpoint from civil society cannot be completely wrong.

Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower are seen as the sun sets over the Kuala Lumpur skyline in Ampang July 20, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower are seen as the sun sets over the Kuala Lumpur skyline in Ampang July 20, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

Wasn’t GE14 supposed to be an awakening?

Many were amazed that PH managed to topple BN. Perhaps even more amazing was when PN toppled PH. And it wasn’t as amazing anymore that BN returned to topple PN. Neither was it amazing that the central players remained the same.

In the 22 months of the PH government the single most essential manifesto item i.e. Institutional Reforms wasn’t tabled. The composition of the IR Committee reflected one of the rarest occasions where every single member comprised personalities of impeccable character, experience and competency.

Imagine how Malaysia could have moved forward (and at the least stopped the regression) with regards to: the Parliament, Elections and Election Commission, Judicial Appointments, IPCMC, Term Limits, Separation of powers ― AG and Public Prosecutor, Anti-corruption measures and Appointment Process for key institutions.

But alas, the administration couldn’t or chose not to, see the acute urgency. What a lost opportunity!

PAS was with the BN for the GE4 (1974) and was a member of the federal government for that one term. Their electoral results have been wholly dependent on how Umno fared. In an Umno spectacular outing in GE7 (1986) PAS won only one seat and in GE10 (1999) when Umno had their major internal strife PAS won 27 seats.

Under the PN administration their cabinet member flouted home quarantine procedures and got off with a fine of RM1, 000. A source closed to the minister asserted that the minister was already tested negative and that it was a PM-approved trip to green zoned Turkey ― as if that “allowed the minister to flout”. After public hue and cry the minister donated a few months of his salary to the National Disaster Aid Fund. As further appeasement it was reported that he contributed RM50, 000 to his party during their 66th Muktamar. Did he actually realize he did wrong and made some restitution or did he just “settle the case” to hush up?

And for many days the “Timah” whiskey name took centre-stage in Parliament! But a motion to debate the flood crisis was rejected over a “notice period” issue.

Malaysians were feeling serious anguish with the earlier handling of the pandemic situation. And the overall slow response from the authorities during the recent massive floods was a horrendous letdown. It was in fact a tragedy!

We are way past mere foibles. I shudder to think that we are heading towards one disaster after another.

If GE14 was a useful awakening, then GE15 must result in a truly new political landscape. The winning coalition must have representatives with talent and integrity, and truly love Malaysia!

Postscript

It seems like anything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.

For the longest time civil society have decried about education being politicised and now we are inviting the teaching profession to partake. I’m nonplussed!

* Datuk Lee Yew Meng is the former CEO/MD of Genovasi Malaysia which ran the Design Thinking School and Genovasi University College. He has been involved in the communications industry for over 40 years with executive roles in The Star and theSun, and was also the StratCom consultant to Agensi Inovasi Malaysia. Presently he is the Corporate Adviser to several companies, including Greencom Biotech Sdn Bhd.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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