Sunday, April 19, 2009

A YEAR AS A BLOGGER

I have been a blogger for almost a year now, and the more I write, the more I learn from the comments (for and against) made by my faithful readers. I had wanted to confine my writings initially to issues relating to the military. But I slow in getting 'up-dates' from friends within the service; hence I began writing about other issues that interest me, particularly social and political issues that is affecting the nation.

One particular issue that I wish to champion is the eradication of corruption in the Armed Forces, and to look into the social and economic well being of ex-servicemen, and to assist them in whatever way I can.

I thought that the Ex-Servicemen Association of which I am not a member, would be the right platform to champion the cause of ex-servicemen, but I am somewhat skeptical of their will and ability to assist. I may be wrong in saying this, but I succeeded in assisting a crippled ex-soldier obtained an increase pension as well as an ex-gratia payment, where the Ex-Servicemen Association could not assist when the association was approached in the first instant. I need not pay a single cent to seek the assistance from Army HQ, but it was only a letter from me that started the ball rolling. My letter would have gone into the dustbin, if it wasn't for the caring attitude of the officers that handled the case. For their assistance, I thank them all.

Fighting corruption and nabbing the culprit is not an easy thing to do. Even Tun Dr. Mahathir recognised this. There is now so much of talk circulating that armed forces personnel are into this 'trade' in alarming numbers. I was told recently that the modus operandi of the 'taker' is simple. Just handover one's car key to the 'giver', throw in the cash into the car, and then return the car key back to the 'taker'. That level of simplicity, that I find hard to comprehend.

Since there is already so much of 'market talk' regarding corruption in the armed forces, I think it is only appropriate that the armed forces come out with a policy to stop officers from having private dealings with contractors and business agents etc. other than in their official capacity. Certainly, to be seen with contractors and business agents on the golf course, and together on holiday trips abroad must be avoided at all costs.This seems to be the normal practice today, but if one is morally strong, this can be a way of reducing the perception that officers of the armed forces are corrupt.

I will not cease writing,.......not just yet. And only failing health will stop me from doing what I like most i.e. writing.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

7 comments:

mohamad said...

Dear Dato',

I salute you for sacrificing your retired life blogging for an honourable cause. Please "soldier on" Dato'.

There are many military retirees whom I know, some very senior, but due to reasons only known to them, would not come forward with bold views and comments like what you have done.

I have been following your blogg for past few months though only recently I have responded. I was never a soldier but my business involves national defence and many in my family have served and are still serving in the military.

Your "crusade against corruptions in the military" receives my fullest support and I am very sure many more do the same. I do not want my sons and relatives in the military to be led and commanded by corrupted seniors and generals!

I was informed by a retired military friend that there are already existing government and Armed Forces policies meant to reduce military officers being exposed to corruption and abuse of powers. However,implimentation and enforcemnt are much to be desired.

YB Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the new Defence Minister, MUST act and ensure following:

1. MINDEF PTD Officers and wives do not go overseas on defence contractors' funds.
2. All officers declare excessive gifts and company directors' fees from defence contractors.
3. The Mindef KSU and the
"Chiefs" do not sit on the boards of companies which have contracts with government...comflict of interests and open to corruption.
4. Senior officers are only allowed to be taken on board of
companies which have government contracts after three years of their retirement.
5. Military transports such as air force planes, should never be used by companies like AIROD to transport directors and wives for overseas board meetings.
6. Cars with military numbers, stars and flags flying do not go to golf courses, especially with defence contractors.

I know that LTAT has done a lot for the serving military and the retirees but more can be done.

Jabatan Hal Ehwal Veteran of Mindef
was established to serve the military retirees and they must have a lot more to do instead of just building the empire.

The PERHEBAT? One always wonders whether this organisation has been doing the right things to meet the challenging environments of human resources development. We hope the new PERHEBAT Chairman and his team read this blogg and take a totally new approach in preparing the retired miltary so that most of them will be successful in their second careers.

The Ex-Service Association? The PBTM, one of the nation's oldest NGOs used to be the credible platform for the military retirees to seek welfare services in the earlier days, but not anymore to-day. Unfortunately, I heard this organisation is plagued by questionable leadership(led by an ex-other rank ), loss of credibility, sense of direction and lack of funds to meet operational costs. There is also an on going "internal battle" between the President and dismised Wilayah Persekutuan Head, a retired Brig Gen, who has been reported to be responsible for the loss of a large sum of PBTM's funds.

Dato', I pray for your courage, good health and continued blogging for an honourable cause.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Mohamad,

I am indeed encouraged by your comments and your willingness to support me in my crusade against corruption in the armed forces. I note some of the valuable comments that I will use in my discourse with military officers, in an attempt to make them realise that as leaders of men, to be corrupt makes them worse than scum.

maurice said...

YB Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi should seriously consider our ideas on how to eradicate corruptions among the civilians officers in Mindef and uniformed officers in the MAF.He is the only one that could do it since he has the necessary power.

If he is really serious about building a an organization with high moral principles and practices with zero corruption index he must move fast to arrest the disease.History has shown that corruption in higher leadership will eradicate the fighting will of any armed forces.

We hope YB Dato Seri would not hesitate to do the right thing in the war against corruption.

mohd idris bin hassan said...

Yang Berbahagia Dato'
I read with interest your take on the grievance of a Non Bumiputra Christian Army Officer serving in the Malaysian Army. I always thought that the army would want within their ranks God fearing soldiers irrespective of what ever religion they practice. Is Islam as a religion so weak and unaccommodating that by mealy allowing those of the Christian faith to conduct catechism classes in their private homes in the camp can deem it to be a threat to Islam ? I certainly think not. Islam is a great religion and it thrives because it is accommodating and respects all those who practice their own faiths without hindrance.

I agree that on matters of religion of different faiths seniors commanders especially those who are not well informed should desist from being pro- active and and issuing instructions unilaterally based on their own interpretation's . They should seek council from religious authorities before reducing any thing in writing.

maurice said...

I recall YB DS Zahid Hamidi saying that his priority is to look after the welfare of serving and retired members of the MAF.

He could start the ball rolling by introducing subsidy scheme for the rank and file.Essential items such as rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil and baby's milk should be subsidized through PERNAMA.A control system could easily be introduced to avoid abuse.


Since LTAT is making huge profit every year, it should put aside some money towards the proposed subsidy scheme for the immediate benefit of the rank and file.

komando said...

Good Work General.
"Speak the truth, fear no man but GOD!"

Corrupted Generals and Senior PTD's are a plenty from those days till today, the only difference today is they are more sophisticated : KARAOKE
(COMPLETE PACKAGE), CLUBBING, CHINA DOLLS, FREE TRIPS, GOLF GAMES - (CONTRACTORS LOOSE ALL THE TIME & THEY WIN ALL THE TIME!)

No new tricks but variations abound !
"Logistics and Procurement Departments Heads" watch them and follow them...!

The ones caught are small fries to be fried and sent to jail, the big jaws, sharks, whales and jumbo fishes escapes...scape goats a lot!
Still they are corrupted !

HH said...

Dato'
As you have done me the honor of visiting my site - i thought i should visit yours. Its past midnight here and I am slowly winding down my day...writing about Kugan has been very stressful for me this evening - stressful because the images of him played too much in my head - and it was hard to write and be rational when I am fill with disgust and contempt for the people that did that to him.

There is an area of common interest for us - i think - corruption in the Armed Forces. If you are 65 then you might have come across the late Jalil Ali - who i believed was part of the tender board and an honest one at that - I myself have had experience in dealing with Mindef - during dato Zulkifli's time - the deputy Minister from sabah or sarawak...(if my memory serves me right)...anyway I am touching base with you and give notice to you dato', that i would be in touch with you again in the future.

Regards,

HH
steadyaku47