Monday, November 25, 2013

Worsening crime, cronyism, corruption? No problem, whitewash them!



Last updated on 25/11/2013 - 11:10
OUTSPOKEN: A grand total of five politicians have been charged with corruption since 2010. That's right. Just five in four long years.

Ridhuan Tee Abdullah was promoted from lecturer to professor at the National Defence University although repeatedly accused of plagiarism. You heard right. Promoted despite being accused repeatedly.

A total of 565,000 MyKad have been reported lost or stolen. That's right. Out of that, 165,000 MyKad went missing in the last four years alone.

The Johor Baru City Council did not invent whitewash. Neither is it the only government institution to gloss over bad news and errant decision-making.

Truth be told, the consequences of poor governance in this country are given the perennial whitewash.

The Oxford Dictionary defines whitewash as a deliberate attempt to conceal unpleasant or incriminating facts.

It was Datuk Paul Low himself, a minister in the prime minister's department, who admitted that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission only arrested nine politicians over the past four years, and charged just five of them.

He offered no further details. To think that prior to his appointment to the cabinet, he had served as president of Transparency International Malaysia for five years.

In the case of Ridhuan, it was revealed that accusations he was plagiarising other people's writing for his academic work were actually investigated by the university.

DAP MP Teresa Kok said that Ridhuan plagiarised the work of Airil Yasreen Yassin for his 2010 academic paper.

She produced proof that the original article was posted on Airil's blog in 2009, and that Ridhuan's plagiarised version included the same grammatical errors which appeared in the original article.

DAP senator Ariffin Omar, who had taught at the same university, claimed that the vice-chancellor did not take the charges of plagiarism seriously, and instead Ridhuan was promoted. "It was like a big slap on the face of academicians."

It is no coincidence that Ridhuan happens to be a columnist at Umno's mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia. Plus, he is not the only Umno proxy given an extra long leash.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali was fined RM20,000 and sentenced to one day's jail for contempt of court.

Although taken to the lock-up at the Kuala Lumpur court complex, Ibrahim was seen in the cafeteria at about 4pm where he sipped teh tarik with his lawyer and others.

Asked why he was freed from the lock-up early, Ibrahim said he was allowed out after he had paid the fine. He was, however, told not to leave the court complex until 5pm.

PKR MP R Sivarasa, a lawyer, said he had no idea why Ibrahim was allowed to go to the cafeteria. "As far as I know, he should be kept at the courtroom for a day, even though he had paid the fine."

The disturbingly huge number of lost or stolen MyKad was revealed by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who said the figure had shot up from about 400,000 MyKad reported missing in 2010.

It could be one of the reasons why foreigners own the MyKad, he admitted matter-of-factly.

In fact, all 565,000 lost or stolen MyKad could well have ended up in the hands of illegal immigrants.

Official figures alone show that there are at least 2.8 million foreigners in Malaysia.

A total of 1.5 million foreign workers were given the temporary working visit pass, the immigration department said, while the number of illegal immigrants was 1.3 million as of August last year.

However, most Malaysians prefer to believe the estimates given by various NGOs of between two and five million illegals in the country.

The fact is that these foreigners have overtaken Indians as the third largest ethnic group.

The “transformation” of the New Economic Policy, a legacy of the post-May 13 racial riots, to the New Development Policy, then to the New Economic Model, and now to the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment is another exercise in whitewash.

Officially, this policy by any other name is meant to reduce the socio-economic disparity between Malays and Chinese.

The truth is that the multiple rebranding is nothing more than a desperate attempt at covering up corruption, cronyism and even malpractices as Umno leaders scramble to enrich themselves.

A tweeter friend describes the renaming exercise as Ali Baba and his 40 schemes.
So, what's the problem? Just give it a whitewash.

Tan Jooi Long resigned as an editor in Bernama to head the Asia Pacific operations of a U.S.-based newswire. He is a prolific tweeter.
~ The Ant Daily

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