Sunday, August 30, 2009

DISTASEFUL INCIDENT THAT CAN FORMENT RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS DISCORD

I am ashame that some people of my race and of my faith have become so insensitive, uncultured and disrespectful of the race and faith of other Malaysians, that I see them act contrary to the teachings of the great prophet of Islam, Mohammed, peace be upon him. In short, they have disgraced and hijacked Islam, being the religion of peace and tolerance.

I am referring to the ugly and disgraceful incident of about 50 odd Malay residence of Shah Alam recently, who took upon themselves to place a severed head of a cow at the gates of the Selangor State Secretariat building in protest against the proposed construction of Hindu Temple in a reportedly predominant Malay residential area, knowing that the cow is a sacred animal of the Hindu faith, and also a creature that is the creation of Almighty Allah swt. And what is even more distasteful is that the incident was being gleefully observed by a group of FRU policemen without any sense responsibility, that the incident can cause a racial discord between Malays and Indians. Here, I observe double standards at its worse.

So much have been said and written about this incident in both the mainstream media and the new media. And I sense that there is a general consensus among peace loving Malaysian of the Malay race that what the 50 odd Shah Alam Malays did was entirely wrong, and is in total breach of our national philosophy and aspiration of a united Malaysia that practices tolerance, understanding and respect among all races and religions. And if PM Najib is serious in fulfilling the One Malaysia concept that he propagates, then it can only be achieved if Malaysians fully adhere to the aforesaid national philosophy and aspiration. Otherwise the One Malaysia will only remain a slogan, like many other slogans in the past.

If one of the many purposes of the One Malaysia concept is indeed about attaining unity among Malaysians of different races and religion, then I have no qualm about agreeing and supporting what Najib preaches. I recognise that Malaysians have no choice but to support the concept because the Malaysian society will remain in this form i.e. racially and religiously divided for many generations to come. And the key to a united Malaysia is tolerance, understanding and respect among all races and religions in this blessed country of ours. And it is for this very reason that I beg to disagree with the Ketuanan Melayu rhethoric that UMNO ardently preaches................and certainly not by the founder of UMNO Dato Onn Jaafar. Honestly, I do not know what it means and pardon me for my ignorance.

I had in my previous postings referred to my formative years and the multi-racial friends that I grew up with, that had influence me to view Malaysians of other races and religion as people that are no different from me. Being born a Malay and a Muslim, does not make me different from my Chinese and Indian friends. I abhor the talk that Malays are a preferred race, and I certainly grew up without the 'tongkat' under my armpit. I must say that I am not as fortunate as other Malays, and I am not denying that there are many Malays who by virtue of having born among distinguished families are more fortunate than most Malays. We have seen many of such Malays, and with some reaching top positions in society and have gotten rich at a very early age simply because they have distinguished parents or parent-in-laws.

Now back to the 'cow head' incident in Shah Alam. This has to be treaded well by both the Federal and State governments and to not let a similar incident occur in future. Let not have another May 13, 1969 tragedy ever happened again. And I believe most of the 50 odd Shah Alam Malay protesters were not even born or were mere kids in 1969 to fully understand the social and security impact of the May 13 tragedy. I certainly do not wish to see the country go through the racial turmoil once again and to suffer the way my parents did in kampung Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur.

PM Najib have ordered a full investigation into the incident and appropriate action taken against those who fomented racial and religious hatred and the utterance of highly seditious remarks. Such people deserve to be placed under the infamous ISA, and let us wait and see what will be the outcome of the investigations of this unfortunate incident.

Or is the incident a way of discrediting and embarrassing the PR state government as some people have reckoned?


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Saturday, August 29, 2009

AZIZAN IS NEW CHIEF OF DEFENCE FORCE

I watched the news on TV last night, and to an announcement that Jen Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin RMAF have been appointed the new Chief of Defence Force (CDF) with effect September 1st 2009., taking over from the incumbent Jen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal.

With this announcement, Jen Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin is the first RMAF officer to assume the appointment of CDF, that has predominantly been held by an army officer. This is the second occasion where the post is being held by a non army officer; the first being Admiral Tan Sri Anuar of the RMN.

Most Armed Forces of the Commonwealth countries practiced a system of rotation in the appointment of the CDF from among the three service chiefs i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force. And should our Armed Forces observed strictly the system of rotation, then the Armed Forces would most likely have the present Chief of Navy taking over from Jen Tan Sri Azizan when the latter retires.

I wish to personally congratulate Jen Tan Sri Azizan on his appointment to the exulted position of the new CDF of the Malaysian Armed Forces. And with the experiences that he has, I hope he can lead the Armed Forces to achieve new levels of professionalism, in keeping abreast with new trends in the development of a modern Malaysian Armed Forces.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Thursday, August 27, 2009

CHUA ‘DETHRONED’ AS MCA DEPUTY PRESIDENT

I have expected the sacking of MCA Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek by the party disciplinary board and was endorsed party presidential council. Chua was found guilty of tarnishing the party’s image for his sex DVD scandal last year. I believe the decision taken by the party is correct, and despite him being the party Deputy President does not make him immune to party disciplinary action.

MCA leaders have certainly set the right examples for its leaders to follow and makes no compromises. And this is where the difference lies between MCA and UMNO where the latter is known to have different set of disciplinary rules for different people who have committed a similar offence and is found guilty. This was evident during the last party elections where the party disciplinary board decision against those found guilty for money politics is different between individuals. Whatever the reasons given, it does not make sense to me.

We also had a case of a senior UMNO politician who was accused of fondling the ‘back’ of a lady waitress reportedly in a hotel, and although the victim did not launch a police report (for unknown reason), the case was therefore not investigated by the party disciplinary board. Yet the case was reported in several print media. And can we not see the difference in how MCA and UMNO treats a sexual related case involving its party member? And mind you, in the case of the MCA, it is the party’s Deputy President and in the case on UMNO, it is just a Member of Parliament. And what amuses me is that the UMNO member is being rewarded and is appointed to a prestigious diplomatic post in some foreign land. This UMNO member must be someone of great influence, as if there is no other better person to take up the diplomatic post. And let us hope he behaves himself while he is overseas.

And in another case, the MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is now embroiled in a war of words over the controversial PKFZ project issue with an MCA Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing. Here again, we see that MCA makes no compromises in issues affecting the good name of the party, regardless of the parties involved. I just wonder if it is UMNO that is involved in the controversial PKFZ project; will the party leadership have acted the way MCA President did? Your guess is as good as mine.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ABU GHARIB AND GUANTANAMO – A LESSON FOR THE POLICE AND MACC

There is presently in the US an on-going criminal investigation into the harsh questioning of detainees during former President George Bush’s war on terror. We all have seen the horrors of Abu Gharib prison camp in Iraq and the inhumane interrogation techniques used by the US forces in Guantanamo detention facility. Most of those who have suffered the torture are mostly innocent, and their only crime was because they were Iraqis.

There is also a book authored by Philippe Sands titled “Torture Team – Uncovering War Crimes in the Land of the Free” that investigates into the people that prompted the use of unauthorized interrogation techniques on detainees in both Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, which apparently lead to top notch personalities having link to the White House and the Pentagon, notably the former Defence Secretary Donald Rumfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Both were said to be highly instrumental in devising and authorising new interrogation techniques on all suspected Al-Qaeda detainees.

There is no denying too that even former President Bush have had some knowledge of the cruelty and torture meted by the US prison officers upon the detainees, and including the people who are directly implicated in the authorization of such inhumane interrogation techniques. Wasn’t he the person to have recognised that members of the Al-Qaeda should not to be accorded prisoners of war (POW) status under the Geneva Convention? In other words, members of Al-Qaeda are deemed stateless people, and hence the Geneva Convention does not apply to them after the infamous September 11 attack on the USA.

What had taken place in Abu Gharib and Guantananmo reminds us of what might have taken place during the ‘interrogation’ of ‘detained’ Teoh Beng Hock by MACC officers, that subsequently lead to his death. I am not implying that the MACC is the cause of the death, but there has to be the element of unbearable pressure (physical or otherwise) exerted on him that may have cause his death. It is not easy for one to take his own life, for no obvious reason.

I am not quite sure if MACC have any documents or manuals that specifically outlines the procedures and methods of interrogation? I suppose there is such a document or manual and if there isn’t, then MACC will have a lot answering to do when the Royal Commission of Inquiry convenes later.

In the case of the US forces, Field Manual (FM) 34-52 that provides the procedures for interrogation of POW have been totally discarded for detainees under former President Bush dictum of ‘War on Terror’, that eventually resulted in the horrendous torture methods witnessed in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo.

Now, this takes me to question whether the Malaysian Armed Forces that runs a prison facility in Batu Cantonment Camp in Kuala Lumpur have a similar manual governing interrogation and question techniques of imprisoned soldiers. And if they don’t, they have better devise one quickly.

While in the service, I had excess to soldiers who had served their term in military prison, and they confess that they had gone through some physical manhandling by the prison guards. I am not aware of any death of soldiers while in custody in military prison, unlike what we hear of death in custody in police prison. In this instant, I think it is certainly much safer to be in a military prison then a police prison.

Since death while in police custody has occurred several time before, and now an inquest into a death while in MACC’s custody is currently being heard, it will not be wrong for me to assume that there is something seriously wrong with the questioning or interrogation techniques used by our police and the MACC on detainees. It is therefore in the interest of all peace loving citizens of this country to know what actually caused the detainees to die while in custody. And unless and until the citizens of this country knows the truth, public trust in both the police and MACC will remain at its lowest.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Monday, August 24, 2009

IT IS 'D DAY' FOR PERMATANG PASIR VOTERS TOMORROW

Tomorrow August 25th 2009, voters in Permatang Pasir will cast their votes to elect their new assemblyman for the Penang state legislative assembly. The by-election is held following the death of the former PAS state assemblyman Datuk Hamdan Abdul Rahman. It will be a straight fight between BN candidate Rohaizat Othman and PAS candidate Tuan Hj. Salleh Man, both being lawyers by training.

Ilham Centre, an independent field research organisation that ran a four days poll to determine the popularity of the two candidates, has found that the PAS candidate is ahead and is most likely to win the by-elections. However, there is still the 'unsure' category of voters or 'fence sitters' that can tilt the results to be in favour of the BN candidate.

It appears that PAS and its DAP and PR 'coalition partners' have fully exploited the disbarment and the second marriage denial of the BN candidate. Rohaizat seemed to have failed miserably in the 'integrity and honesty test', but BN is not rattled by the poll results and remained hopeful of a winning chance. BN attempt to cast the PAS candidate for embezzlement have little impact on the largely Malay voters.

Like in all previous by-elections, the pattern of campaigning has remained consistent i.e. candidate's character assassination prevails over real issues that will benefit the constituency and the rakyat. And having followed the campaigning issues by both the candidates in the print and electronic media, there is absolutely nothing worthy that I can say of both the candidates. I do not know what their visions and their aspirations are, and it is the party leaders and others that is doing lots of talking; but not the candidate.

Personally, I do not have any particular choice of candidate, and even if I were a Permatang Pasir voter, I will have difficulty in making a choice.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Saturday, August 22, 2009

ROHAIZAT HAS TO WITHDRAW TO MAINTAIN THE DIGNITY OF THE PARTY

The mainstream media and the new media (bloggers) is replete with reports on the on-going campaigning at the Permatang Pasir by-election and Rohaizat's case as a disbarred lawyer takes center stage in all of PR campaigning, which I am told attracted thousands of listeners. However, the appeal of the electorates is somewhat subdued and less enthusiastic when compared to the parliamentary by-election at Permatang Pauh in which Anwar Ibrahim stood as the opposition candidate.

As the days pass, more of Rohaizat's 'unsavoury past' is being exposed, and the latest concerns his second marriage to one Rafizah Mohd Ali who now lives in Jengka, Pahang. He was reported to have married Rafizah in 2005 while being an employee of Rohaizat. Rohaizat vehemently denies the allegation of his second marriage and claims that all is done to defame him of his reputation and to jepoardise his candidacy. .

Personally, I for one do not see anything wrong or scandalous in Rohaizat's second marriage if it was done within the confirm of the Muslim marriage laws. But I suspect that the marriage was one that had its 'trials and tribulations'; hence the brief marriage. It is only proper for PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hassan being the person to have brought to light this issue, to furnish evidence and proof that the marriage did occur; otherwise he should cease harping on this issue.

On the disbarment of Rohaizat by the Bar Council, Tun Dr. Mahathir had remarked that “if you give someone a good reason to sabotage you, then it will be easy to be sabotaged and it will be your fault”. And in this instant, he liken that BN has sabotage itself by fielding a disbarred lawyer and has itself to be blamed.

Many that I had talked to felt that fielding Rohaizat under his present circumstance was wrong, and UMNO/BN must admit that they too have made a grievious error. And as I have said in my previous posting, it is pointless for the BN leadership to argue that it is all right for Rohaizat to contest because he has not committed a crime. Is disbarment from practicing by the Bar Council for misconduct not a serious enough offence? Has he to be charged in a civil court, found guilty and sentence is the only means to satisfy the UMNO leadership that Rohaizat is wrong? I am not a lawyer, but to me the charge of misconduct by the Bar Council is enough for me to say that Rohaizat is unfit as a candidate. This is a question of a breach of integrity and honesty that is highly desirable in all legal practitioner. I now begin to realise the reason why UMNO finds it so difficult to mete the appropriate punishment for members found guilty for money politics (corruption). And I do believe, it is because of this that UMNO members have become so embolden in not fearing the affects of corrupt practices.

Having put across my reasonings above, and if UMNO/BN wants to redeem their error and remain magnanimous, I see no other recourse but to ask that Rohaizat withdraws from contesting. The impact to this will be great as UMNO/BN will be seen to be taking an unprecedented step to act on members with an unsavoury personal record, and is willing to sacrifice its members for the sake of the party. And I am quite sure the party will regain its lost respect from many; both from within and outside the party. There is no loss of face here, because what this means is that the party is only honouring and defending its moral obligation to remain truthful, transparent and intolerant to those who breach party ethics and rules.

In the military, I am reminded that as a leader one should accept full or total responsibility of one's doing. There is no such a thing as 'accepting responsibility but not accountability and vice versa'. Honestly, I do not know the difference and my understanding is that full responsibility means that there is no 'escape clause'. And if this is what UMNO/BN wants to preach, the leadership has to take full responsibility for their own breaches, and to withdraw gracefully from contesting. Will UMNO/BN take this honourable challenge?


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

WILL THE ANONYMOUS LETTER BE OF ANY MEANING TO THE INQUEST?

A letter purportedly written by a anonymous MACC officer that was hand delivered to lawyer Gobind Singh Deo has now taken the ongoing inquest into the murder of Teoh Beng Hock a new twist. The letter incriminates the Deputy Director MACC Selangor, Hishamuddin Hashim with the murder of Teoh Beng Hock and implicates former Menteri Besar Selangor Khir Toyo with attempts to uncover all possible wrong doing of the current ruling PR government with the view to toppling the Selangor government. The letter also reveals Hishamuddin's close collaboration with Khir Toyo throughout the latter's tenure as the Menteri Besar, which in turn had enriched the former with 'ill-gotten wealth'. Hishamuddin is also said to have covered up a dubious road construction deal at Sekinchan which was approved by Khir Toyo that far exceeds its normal costs. The letter also implicates Hishamuddin with an adulterous act with a subordinate female officer.

The accusation found in the letter is damning, and if it is found to be true, it puts to serious question the integrity and involvement of both Hishamuddin as well as Khir Toyo in acts that is not only limited to murder, corruption, abuse of power, but most significantly an act of treason against the current PR state government. Isn't a devilish and devious act to topple a legitimate state government an act of treason? That was what the writer implies, and if indeed both Hishamuddin and Khir Toyo collaborated to perform the act and is subsequently found guilty, isn't the act punishable by death?

The letter has been dismissed by MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Abu Hassan even before an investigation can be carried out. And from reports in the mainstream media, an investigation on the letter will be conducted by the police and MACC and what a folly, by these two agencies whose public perception, trust and confidence is now at its lowest ebb. This is a fact that both the police and MACC will have to accept and it will require a major public relations effort to redeem public trust and confidence.

The recent activities of MACC in Selangor points to the fact that there are some relevance to what has been revealed in the letter. Acts such as the aggressive and persistent raids on the offices of PR State Assemblymen and their subsequent questioning over their meager spendings of state funds. The lackadaisical action taken over the reports of abuses by Khir Toyo and the 'palatial KT residence' issue in particular. The excessive spendings of Khir Toyo and his family on overseas trips at the expense of PNSB, and the unresolve BALKIS issue. And remember too, how the issue of the 'Lembu and supposedly misuse of the unofficial car of the present MB' was so blown out of proportion that warrants immediate action by the MACC? What about the report on the RM500,000 spendings of each BN State Assemblymen that was exhausted within two months prior to the 2008 General Elections? How about the Bukit Botak land scam that occurred during the regime of the previous state government? The list is endless and are these non-issues in the eyes of the MACC? I must apologise to Khir Toyo for picking on him, and for all that he had done for Selangor, I still cannot trust him, and more importantly, I think I love Selangor more than him.

Let us all wait the outcome of the investigation on the letter (if there is to be one), and the view of most including me is one of a 'wash out' unless proven otherwise.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Thursday, August 20, 2009

IS THERE A WAY OUT OF UMNO'S PREDICAMENT?

There is a saying that “a liar will try to undo a lie by concocting another lie, and this will go on until he can no longer lie”. This is exactly the case of UMNO/BN Permatang Pasir by-election candidate Rohaizat Othman, who claimed that he was debarred by the Bar Council because of his partner's wrong doing, and surprisingly DPM Muhyiddin Yasin believed in him.

Now the facts of the case is out in a revelation made by Yusri Ishak, the legal partner of Rohaizat who claimed that it was the latter who had drawn out the money that was entrusted to their company, belonging to the Penang Rubber Smallholders Cooperative. And if the Disciplinary Board of the Bar Council having deliberated the case finds that Rohaizat is guilty of misconduct and was subsequently debarred, what other recourse can Rohaizat take to nullify the decision of the Bar Council. Drag the stakeholders of the cooperative and his legal partner to court? This I think will be silly of him to do.

Rohaizat is deemed fortunate that there was no complain being launched to the police by the stakeholders of the cooperative. And he is doubly lucky that his legal partner did not launched an official complain too. I now believe that Rohaizat knew that he was wrong and he was forced to concoct a lie in the hope of covering up his wrong doing What other lies will he now concoct to pacify the UMNO/BN leadership and to ease the embarrassment he had caused to the party.

I sense that there is a total failure in the UMNO/BN machinery to perform a thorough vetting of their candidate. How could they merely take the words of Rohaizat and his supporters. How could Rohaizat being a lawyer that he is, accepts the nomination knowing fully well that his case will be blown out, thus jeopardising his candidacy. Was there any effort to seek a legal opinion from among the many lawyers that UMNO has? I suppose Rohaizat was trying his luck hoping that his case will not be known, and should he wins, surely his case will be suppressed and silence. But unfortunately, luck was not in his favour.

I was talking to a lawyer friend a few days ago regarding this case, and he fully concurred with me that UMNO had missed a golden opportunity to rid the party of unsavoury candidates. It is pointless for UMNO to continue defending a 'lame duck' in the person called Rohaizat. Any amount of justification will not redeem Rohaizat's honour as a clean, honest and worthy candidate, and should he win, the party will continue to be burdened by Rohaizat's unsavoury past.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

ARE MALAYSIANS SO IGNORANT OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NATIONAL FLAG?

Have anyone observed how the Malaysian flag have been bustardised and desecrated? It is the same flag that we in the Armed Forces salute during our periodic parades. It is the same flag that is raised during our National Day celebration and to be accompanied by the national anthem. But yet we have failed miserably to honour and maintain the sanctity of the Jalur Gemilang.

I have used the word 'bustardised' and 'desecrated' to describe how serious is the problem, and how idiotic some people are for not acknowledging the significance of the Jalur Gemilang. We all know that the national flag is being designed with a specified specification. It does not come in an oval shape. It does not come in a triangular shape. It does not come in a rounded shape. It comes in a rectangular shape with specified dimensions.

But what we see today is that the Galur Gemilang comes in assorted shape and sizes. Have you not seen people making a dress made out of our national flag? Have you not seen our national flag being plastered on cars. Have you not seen our national flag being made into large 'bantings' and dripping down on the sides of tall buildings. Are these our national flag that we salute and honour?

My answer to all this is that we have failed to understand the significance of the national flag. And do we not know that not a single nation in this world is without a national flag, and to recognised the reason why the national flag is so significant to a nation? If we are to know what the national flag signifies, then we would not have dared to bustardised and desecrate the Jalur Gemilang.

I will leave to my readers to comment if my arguments above are relevant and bears any meaning.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

NATIONAL DAY AND WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR THE NATION

In the next few days, Malaysians will commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the declaration of independence of then Malaya on 31st August 1957. I was then a 13 year old school boy in Kuala Lumpur, old enough to superficially understand what independence meant to the country. I knew that there was a flag raising ceremony on the eve of independence day at the Selangor padang, as it was known then. Since the ceremony was to be held at the stroke of midnight, I was too afraid to seek the permission of my parents to witness the ceremony. I therefore had to satisfy myself by listening to the radio broadcast (TV was not available then) of the events that unfolded on that momentous evening. Of course, it was not the UMNO Youth leader to raise the new Malayan flag and to lower down the Union Jack. Who it was, I am not quite sure.

52 years of independence is not a long period of Malaysian history, but one has to admit that the nation has gone through some startling changes, despite the tumultuous period of the communist resurgence beginning 1969 till their eventual 'surrender' in 1989. For members of the security forces that had endured throughout the period of the communist resurgence, there will always be something that they can tell their grandchildren about the meaning of independence and the importance of freedom and peace. There is nothing more noble than to sacrifice one's life for the nation, and the many fallen heroes of the first Malayan Emergency and the period of the communist resurgence certainly did not die in vain.

Commemorating independence in the past have always been to look back and to recall past events and to draw useful lessons from it. In other words, it is a recollection of the nation's history and glorifying our past leaders for their achievements in leading the nation. This has been the usual format and reminding the nation's past alone will be meaningless, if we willfully ignore or fail to ready ourselves for the future; and the latter to me is more important and significant.

What the nation needs today are leaders with a vision to propel the nation to new heights in the ever changing and globalised world. Such leaders are a scarce resource, but with the exception of Tun Dr. Mahathir who over the period that he was the Prime Minister, was at the forefront in the development of the nation. Most of the physical developments that we see today are attributed to the farsightedness and vision of Tun Dr. Mahathir. I know, many will have their reservations about all that I have said of Tun Dr. Mahathir, but that is the undeniable reality.

In our joyous mood to commemorate Independence Day, and which has now been renamed National Day this forthcoming 31st August 2009, let us not merely look back at history, but on the contrary to focus our minds to the future, as the future is where the concern lies for our future generation. The theme for National Day should therefore focus on what we want the nation to achieve and where it will lead us in the next 50 years or so. Our leaders today will therefore have to visualised what would it take to prepare the nation now if we are to be successful in the next 50 years. I would think that the entire spectrum of our political, social and economic life will change and this are the changes that our present leaders will have to focus, to ensure the well being of our next generation.

It is unfortunate that our leaders today are harping over issues that will only result in the disintegration of our social fabric that has been kept intact for the last 52 years. The rise in 'social ills' that has permeated those in power, the continuous abuses by those in authority and public agencies that is so mired in corruption, are but some examples that will eventually lead the nation to disaster. There is presently an inherent lack of a political will to undo the wrong, and there are many many examples to quote.

Be that as it may, the leaders of today must realised that the future of the nation lies in their hands, and if their hands are perpetually muddied, then the only recourse for them will be their final eviction. Please remember that leaders are not only answerable for their present actions and dealings on earth, but more importantly they will be questioned in the hereafter. And if the latter does not cause them any fear, I do not know what else need I call them.

Wishing all Malaysians a joyous and memorable 52nd National Day celebration.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SAINTLY QUOTE BY TUN HUSSEIN ONN

I was at the KTM Commuter Station at Tasik Selatan this morning and a quotation by former Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn printed on the top right hand front page of the NST caught my eyes. The print reads quote “The power entrusted to us is not to be used against others, not to improve our position and not to make us rich” unquote. These are ‘saintly words’ by our endeared and a forthright leader who is well known for his honesty, incorruptible, clear and principled attitude. I have ceased buying NST for more than a year now, but I was so taken by Tun Hussein Onn quote that I forced myself to purchased the paper.

Although I do not know him nor have I ever shook his hands, I have however been told of his forthrightness and honesty by some relatives of Tun Hussein Onn. He is a person who is known not to have enriched his own relatives and friends. Cronies wasn’t invented then, and even if there were cronies, Tun Hussein Onn was not the person to be linked with any of them. I was told that he even avoids meeting with relatives if he knew that they want to meet him to talk about business and favours. He discourage relatives from meeting him at his office, but would welcomed them to his house for casual talk.

I do not know what is the reason for NST to print such a quote, but I do believe that such quotes must be read by everyone who aspires to be a leader, especially politicians and for Hishamuddin in particular. I am not implying that Hishamuddin is corrupt, but the words of his late father will haunt him if he decides to willfully ignore it. I certainly do not see Hishamuddin having the attractive traits of his father or his renowned grandfather Onn Jaffar, but certainly his face and his mannerism is unmistakably that of Tun Hussein Onn.

I would certainly like to invite all aspiring leaders and politicians in particular, to take serious note of the saintly words of Tun Hussein Onn, and if need be to print such quotes in bold and to have it plastered in their offices. I will certainly do just that.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

IS UMNO/BN SCRAPPING THE BOTTOM IN THE CHOICE OF A CANDIDATE?

Can't UMNO/BN find a 'cleaner candidate' than Rohaizat Othman for the Permatang Pasir by-election? Or is Rohaizat the best among the worse? In consideration of his past tarnished record as a lawyer, Rohaizat's nomination as UMNO/BN's candidate is indeed troubling. He is reported to have misappropriated money belonging to Koperasi Pekebun Getah amounting to RM140,000, and for this he was struck of the rolls of the Malaysian Bar. But UMNO/BN thinks differently; that such an offence is trivial and mind you, the offence is one of criminal breach of trust. I wonder why was he not charged in court, or was it because he had returned the money and hence pardoned for the offence?

It is troubling indeed because UMNO/BN seems to think that the offence that Rohaizat had committed can just be ignored. But one has to remember that we are looking at a leader in the making, and if despite his tarnished past, fits in the bill of a leader, than I say that Rohaizat's nomination is wrong. I seriously do not know what are the criterion or traits used by UMNO to elect a leader, but certainly Rohaizat's offence smacks off dishonesty and a lack of personal integrity. And little wonder UMNO has found it difficult to eradicate money politics cum corruption in the previous party elections, where we even saw those leaders who were found guilty of money politics were still appointed leaders; tarnished leaders to be more appropriate.

I am quite sure Rohaizat will be a target of ridicule by the opposition during the campaigning and there is nothing that UMNO/BN can do to deflect such ridiculing. And why allow the opposition the opportunity to mock and ridicule Rohaizat in the first instant? And going by UMNO Youth leader Khairy's criterion that Rohaizat being a local boy, young, educated and experience can draw the young electorates to UMNO/BN and to ensure a win in the by-election is far from the truth and a fallacy. To me, UMNO/BN has not learnt the lessons of the Kuala Trengganu by-elections where they claimed that their candidate was the best choice given his supposedly popularity, youth, educated and experience in government, but yet he lost miserably. Whereas for the opposition, fielding a fish trader during the Manek Urai by-elections can still ensure them a win, though marginally.

The upcoming Permatang Pasir by-election has given UMNO/BN the opportunity to cleanse itself of the perception that the party is filled with corrupt leaders. Fielding Rohaizat will only strengthened the belief that UMNO/BN is indeed corrupt and is unable to eradicate the scourge of corruption.

I do not wish to predict who wins and who losses in the Permatang Pasir by-elections, but suffice for me to say that given its poor choice of a candidate, UMNO/BN will find it difficult to clinch a clear win in this by-election.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Sunday, August 16, 2009

ARE WE SEEING A FAILED MACC?

'MACC MAN FED UP WITH POLITICIANS' reads the title of a report in NST dated August 16th, 2009. And it appears that MACC's head of investigation Datuk Shukri Abdul has decided to suspend temporarily several on-going investigations involving politicians with an excuse being that “his men felt that they could not carry out their duties effectively in cases involving politicians as they were being slammed no matter what they did”. This is a statement uttered by a defeatist, and if this were the sorts of statement uttered by a military field commander in the midst of battle, the commander would either be court martialed or even send to the gallows.

I am surprise that for a person who have served more than 20 years with the ACA and now MACC, he could no longer withstand the pressure of his work, that he has vowed execute. It would have been more honourable if he resigns, rather than to utter such a statement and be mocked by society.

I have somewhat watched the antics of MACC officers especially after the March 8, 2008 General Elections, and it is obvious to me that the MACC seemed to have practiced selective investigation, rather than to act as a neutral body free of any political interference; inferred or otherwise. Believe you me, this is also the general perception of the man in the street; the people that I meet and talked to daily. Most are not politicians, and some are vehement that the MACC is indeed a political tool. The MACC will never understand this because their outlook is so blinkered, and are oblivious to the pulse of the ordinary people. Honestly, power has corrupted them; hence they have lost sight of humility, humane, rational thinking, caring, patience and understanding that is highly desired of them in the performance of their duties.

Now with Datuk Shukri's statement, where will the ongoing investigations lead us to. What will become of the PKFZ investigations that is so serious and politically linked to the MCA, and by inference with the government? Will it be kept in wrap, only to be reviewed comes doomsday? What about the investigations of alleged corruption of the two former Perak PKR state assemblymen who jumped boat, and are now in the safe clutches of UMNO? What about the alleged corruption of former MB Selangor Khir Toyo and his multi million ringgit palace? What about the RM500,000 allocation spend by each former Selangor BN state assemblymen within 2 months prior to the March 8, 2008 General Elections? Are these not important cases that are clearly linked to the political parties of the present ruling government? And why the extreme silence?

I recognised that I am a retired government officer and that does not mean that I should remain blind and mute to the corrupt practices of those in power. I will not be doing justice as a loyal citizen of this country if I fail to voice my feelings regarding corruption to others who cares. If someone were to ask me as to why I should be seen to display an anti government stance. My answer would be that I am only taught to be loyal to the King and country; not to be subservient to any politician.

I have served the nation as a military officer and had seen duties with the United Nations in troubled Cambodia. I had been in the Malaysian jungles seeking out the enemy months on end, and only to return home awhile to see my little children running away from me. I have never been involved in corruption; nor have I taken a cent from any businessman. My father had once said to me that if ever he knew that I am corrupt, he will disowned me. I am glad that until the day he passed away, I was able to honour what he said of corruption.

I know my writings on corruption have hurt some people, and my only answer to them is that they should not be hurt if they are not in anyway involved in corruption. It is only those who are involved will be hurt by what I write, and my guess is that those who are hurt are indeed corrupt.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

A MEMORABLE REUNION OF FORMER 6th BATTALION ROYAL MALAY REGIMENT OFFICERS

Retired and serving officers who had seen service with 6th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment held their first ever reunion on Saturday, August 15th at Officers Mess 4th Infantry Division, Kuala Lumpur. Most were accompanied by their spouses, and in attendance too were a couple of wives of deceased officers who despite having lost their husbands, remain steadfast and loyal to the unit in which their husbands had once served. It is indeed a moving sight to see them at the gathering, and it at once struck me that the bond of friendship that had been developed among military officers does not remain among them only, but it also extends to their spouses as well.

I was also moved at the sight of Maj Manan Abas, a surviving recipient of the Military Cross (MC); a British gallantry award the equivalent of the Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB), who was awarded the MC for his gallantry exploits during the Malayan Emergency. Though frail, his presence with his beloved English wife is the hallmark of what soldiers truly are and true to the saying that 'soldiers never die; they just fade away'. And in the case of Maj Manan Abas, even fading away may not be his living wish at all.

Besides Maj Manan Abas, we also had Maj Gen Dato Rahman Khamis and Maj Dato Kamaruddin Jamal who are both recipients of the PGB, and had their gallantry award allowances increased by the government recently from a meager RM300 to RM 1500. To all that had served the Armed Forces and the police, the sum paid to our gallant worriers is not merely a representative of their sacrifice to King and country, but more importantly, a recognition to the fact that there will always be those who value the security of the nation more than their own lives. Such personal sacrifices has no set cash value, and society must remember that it is because of the existence of such warriors in our midst that the nation is at peace today.

And talking about the MC, I had on July 7th, 2008 posted an article regarding Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw of the Indian Army who was a field recipient of the MC for his exemplary gallantry in an offensive against the invading Japanese Army in Burma during the second World War. Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw is the only Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshall, and of whom I was previleged to have met when I attended my staff course at the Indian Defence Services Staff College in 1983.

Among the gathering too were a couple of former Army chiefs, notably Gen Tan Sri (Jack) Yacob Mat Zain, Gen Dato Ismail Hassan and Gen Dato Seri Azumi Mohamed, who in their own respective military career had contributed immensely towards the betterment of the Army. And Gen Tan Sri (Jack) Yacob was one of those who was invited to reminisce his past as an aspiring young army officer, and whom I am fortunate to have served as his Brigade Major, when he was the Commander 6th Infantry Brigade in Sg. Petani, Kedah.

The gathering too brought me to be with my first Officer Commanding Maj Gen Dato Dahalan Sulaiman, and reuniting for the very first time all the officers that had served him in B Company 6th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment; notably Lt Col Badrudin Yasin (Company Second-in-Command), Mej Gen Dato Aziz Mansor (Platoon Commander), Col Zaini Hashim (Platoon Commander) and Lt Col Syed Haider Syed Ahmad (Platoon Commander). I was also then a young Platoon Commander.
There are lots of stories to tell about all the officers of B Company that I hope to document one day.

I am exceptionally pleased to meet up with Lt Col Badrudin Yasin who excelled in athletics, and was the 100 yards sprint champion at the 4th Brigade Athletics meet in the 60's. He was my mentor of sorts, a strict disciplinarian and one whom I feared most at work, but a true gentlemen off duty hours. As a Company Second-in-Command, he set good examples that he is always the best among soldiers in the military profession, and at the shooting range he proves himself to be a marksman and nothing less.

Finally, the gathering that had brought together former bosses and friends that had served the battalion, could not have been organised more successfully, had it not been for the likes of Brig Gen Dato Hanif Taib, Lt Col Zainal Che Dan and their team of former officers and friends. Most whom I had talked to after the gathering is of the view that this reunion should be a yearly feature, and what better way can all those present relive their past memories in the army, other than a reunion like the one organised on Saturday, August 15.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Friday, August 14, 2009

SNIPPET

I wish to thank all my readers for their comments, arguments, discussions and views over the article that I last wrote titled “One Malaysia – It is hopeless until we decide to accept change”, posted on August 8, 2009. I wrote the article based on my personal experience; the association that I had with friends of various races during my formative years; the multiracial neighborhood in which I grew up; all these have a lasting influence on me to accept that my Malay race does change my acceptance as friends of the non Malay race. Nothing will change my views of them now, especially of the people that I have grown up with. In fact, when I get to meet them now, our bond of friendship gets even stronger. I know such experience is not felt by those who have grown up within their own kind, and it is for this very reason that I say that the One Malaysia rhetoric is hopeless, if we continue to play the race card; and playing the race card is so rampant among our politicians these days.

All would have noticed that I have laid off writing for almost a week now; not that I fear the internet filtering that Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim had earlier proposed, and was ‘thrown out’ by PM Najib so abruptly. It was just that I needed a bit of rest, and to ponder what need I do when I get 66 in a few months from today. Should I continue writing or should I bow out in grace. Should I keep my mouth shut, eyes and ears close when someone tells me that the corrupt practices among government officials has not abated; but gets even more vigorous.

And it was only yesterday that I read that the billions lost in the PKFZ fiasco gets more entwined in charges of an RM10 million cash being paid to a minister for unspecified reasons by the turnkey developer of the PKFZ project. Is this to bribe the minister for some unknown favors, or is it purely a gift or a donation to fill the coffer of the MCA party. If RM10 million can just be given away, I wonder how much profit is being made from the PKFZ project. The minister has since denied receiving any cash from the developer, and had launch a police report.

It has taken exceedingly long for PAC to get to the root of the problem, and one is not surprise that the deeper they dig into the case, the uglier the case becomes. And I can say with some certainty that some known political figures are at hand in the fiasco. But will they be roped in to face the music? My guess is that they will not, because there is already a perception being formed that the higher you are in society, the lesser you are from being prosecuted. In other words, some kind of immunity is being accorded to such highly privileged people. Proof me wrong in this regards.

And isn’t the CEO Dimensi Sdn Bhd, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, the developer of the PKFZ a politician himself and a wealthy person? And are we not seeing CRONYISM at play. And I just wonder where did the billions go to……..feeding the many cronies I suppose, and with little hope of ever recovering the lost taxpayers money.

And it was also yesterday that a friend called and ask me to view the Sun Daily of a report regarding the arrest of a ‘Datuk’ that is reportedly involved in a Mindef scam. The ‘Datuk’ had somehow managed to fleece a 40-year-old businesswomen of RM500,000, with pledges to secure her a lucrative contract with Mindef.

This businesswomen must be filthy rich to throw such amount of cash, and I just wonder who is she? And how on earth could this businesswomen be so na├»ve as to be taken by this smooth talking ‘Datuk’. And how easy is it to get a Mindef letterhead to prove the authenticity of the project, and to be taken around the corridors of Mindef to convince the businesswomen that the project offered is but real. And surely the ‘Datuk’ would not dare get into Mindef if he does not have accomplices to make the scene more realistic.

And this takes me to some of my earlier articles where I said that in order for the public service to be clean and incorruptible, the ‘heads’ must sorted first. Isn’t there the saying that the fish rot begins at the head? And I am told that there are many rotten heads within the public service today, and their activities are well camouflage.

Eradicating corruption is not solely my concern, but should rightly be the concern of all Malaysians. Reading from the many comments that I get from my writings on the question of corruption, there is an obvious lack of confidence and faith from among some of my readers of the MACC and the police. This is a perception that the MACC and the police has to shoulder; a perception that is the result of their own doing.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Saturday, August 8, 2009

ONE MALAYSIA – IT IS HOPELESS UNTIL WE DECIDE TO ACCEPT CHANGE

Last night, I was at a wedding reception of the daughter of a retired colleague, Lt Gen Dato Abdul Aziz Hassan whom I had befriended since my days as an army cadet. He was my senior though, and our friendship was to last till our final days in the army. Interestingly, he was to become my boss when he was promoted to a three star general to assume the post of the Army Field Commander, and I as his Chief of Staff Operations.

I remembered that on his first day in office, he called me up and the first thing he said to me was, “Arshad, you are still my friend”. I never thought that he would say such a thing because, I had always taken him as close friend, and never doubted that he would dismiss me, now that he was my boss. How else could I response, but to say that I appreciate his acceptance of me as a friend, and that I will truly serve him as my boss. Unfortunately, my tenure as his Chief of Staff was short, because I was due to go on retirement, and had willingly shorten my pre-retirement leave to only three months, instead of a six months accumulated leave, at the request of my boss.

The wedding reception was a reunion of retirees of sorts. I guess a majority of the guests were military retirees, a few serving military officers and close civilian associates of the General. But what amazed me is the mixed of the various Malaysian races; Malays, Chinese, Indians, Punjabi's, Caucasian and a number of Europeans.

I am struck by the harmonious excitement and friendliness of the guests that showed little to associate themselves with the on-going squabble among politicians concerning the issue of race, and the much talked about supremacy of one race over another. The guests that was at the wedding reception that evening have shown what Malaysians are truly like, and I would say without any inhibition that it is the military that has always been practicing the One Malaysia that PM Najib is now propagating. For those not in the military service will never understand what I have said, and we do not play a racial card in our service to King and country. All races are treated as one. We adorn one uniform, and we only speak one common language i.e the military language.

Having left the military service that I adore, it saddens me to witness how much the Malaysian society is so divided, and I attribute this to the narrow mindedness and self centered thinking of some selfish politicians who only think of themselves, perpetuating the needs of their own race, and never wanting to think that others are equally a part of a greater society, in which they are also a part of.

Honestly, I have little faith in the success of the One Malaysia that we now talk about, unless and until we break the 'taboo' that no one race is superior to another, and that all races begin to talk about wanting to help one another, live among one another and learn to respect each others racial and religious sensitivities.

At a time when I am already in my twilight years, it is the fear of my grandchildren more, that they will all suffer the consequence of the bickering of our politicians today, that will make them be part of a society that is constantly divided, and in endless squabble over the issue of race.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Thursday, August 6, 2009

DENIAL IS NOT THE ANSWER

Home Affairs Minister Hishamuddin Hussein has called upon the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission (MMCC) to investigate the video clip aired on a website, showing a man being brutally assaulted by a group of men that allegedly occurred at a police station. I saw the video clip only once, and I refused to see it the second time. And I do not think it was play acting, but a dastardly inhumane act against a fellow human being. One is reminded of the brutal act of the US soldiers upon Iraqi prisoners at Abu Gharib prison camp that has shocked civil society.

What amazed me is the statement made by Hishamuddin that “the investigation is necessary to identify those involved in the clip, and stern punishment must be meted against those responsible for putting it online”. My understanding of that brief statement is for punishment to be meted against those responsible for posting the video online, and not upon those who brutalized the man. This sounds funny isn’t it, or do I understand it wrongly and if so, I stand to be corrected.

I would have understood if Hishamuddin had said that the people involved in brutalizing the man will be severely punished if the investigation proved to be true. But to punish somebody who leaked out the truth is insane to say the least. And I believe the video clip must be an inside job.

It is pointless for the authorities to deny that it is not an act by the police or any other government enforcement agency. It is crystal clear that a dastardly act has occurred, and it is only appropriate for the authorities to investigate thoroughly the people behind the act, and if the act did occur, appropriate punishment must be meted. This is the only way for the Home Ministry to redeem the trust that the people has for the police and other government enforcement agencies, that is now lost due to their own careless and unwarranted acts.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

NAME CALLING MUST CEASE

A few days ago, Minister in PM's Department Nazri Aziz called Tun Mahathir Mohamed, Tun Hanif Omar and Tan Sri Abu Talib Osman crooks, and nobody in UMNO dares to reprimend Nazri Aziz for the thoughtless act. Now the DPM Muhyiddin Yassin calls Anwar Ibrahim as a 'pengkhianat perjuangan Melayu', and the former refuses to retract the statement he made. And this time around, Mukriz Mahathir have rallied behind Muhyiddin, but not behind his father when Nazri Aziz called Tun Mahathir a crook.

Politicians are strange people who claimed themselves to be leaders, but sadly they seemed to have the mentality of a child. Sorry for saying this, because when I was a child I remembered calling my friends names such as Manan Belacan, Mat Sampul, Kadir Beruang, Ali Ketayap and many others. But as I grew older, I realise that it was wrong on my part to be calling my friends by such names. And I am fortunate that as much that I know of myself, I do not have 'enemies'. And even if I do have enemies, I will not call them by names other than their own.

Muhyiddin is old enough to think for himself, and if he calls Anwar Ibrahim a 'pengkhianat perjuangan Melayu' to popularised himself as a truly Malay champion, he is wrong. Instead, he has made the Malays, especially my generation of Malays angry. He has set a bad precedence, and he will now have to accept what others will call of him later, especially by younger Malays.

My brotherly advice to Muhyiddin is to look back at himself when he was the Menteri Besar of Johore. He should ask himself whether he had done things that had angered the Johore Malays. I am sure he wasn't an angel, and I having served three tours in Johore, and am married to a Johorean lass, I have heard dissenting voices of Muhyiddin when he was the Menteri Besar of Johore. One only need to ask the older folks to know what Muhyiddin had done.

Please stop this name calling, especially to a fellow Malay, regardless of whether one is a political enemy or not. Surely Muhyiddin does not like to be called 'pengkhianat Melayu Johore'.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Monday, August 3, 2009

EXTENSION OF SERVICE......ARE WE NOT INDISPENSIBLE?

There is presently a raging debate as to whether there is a need for the government to further extend the services of the IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan. From the statements made by various quarters including politicians from both the political divide, there is an obvious split with one party in favour, while another is against an extension. The opposition is firmly of the view that Tan Sri Musa Hassan's services should not be extended, and the government has yet to to make a final decision, although rumours are abound of a probable extension.

The opposition alleged that Tan Sri Musa Hassan was involved in trampling evidences and miscarriage of justice in the Anwar Ibrahim's 'black eye' incident in 1998 involving former IGP Rahim Noor. But the investigation on the aforesaid allegation carried out by MACC in March this year, cleared Tan Sri Musa Hassan and AG Gani Patail of any wrong doing. Anwar Ibrahim who is now facing a second sodomy charge is ardament that Tan Sri Musa Hassan's extension of service may have influence the on going trial that would favour the prosecution; a fear that will normally be felt by someone who is likely to face a 20 years jail sentence, if found guilty.

Tengku Razaleigh in an article posted in his blog dated July 14, 2009 had claimed that the “extension of service is meant to be an extraordinary measure. It is in danger of becoming a norm. This is bad practice”. And he went further to list out 5 astonishing reasons for his disapproval, and the one that caught my attention was when he wrote that “Public servants owe their allegiance to King and country, not to politicians. It is by an accumulation of bad practices like this that the once independent ethos of the civil service has been eroded”.

I have no reasons to argue and to disapprove what Tengku Razaleigh had written that is wise, bold and truly a masterpiece of a statement that cannot be ignored by the government, and more so by the head of the public service. It is a strong and damning statement, but somehow politicians in their new found fame as the Yang Berhormat have forgotten that they do not own the civil service (Armed Forces included), and neither should the public service to be treated subserviently by the political masters. A conflict of interest between public servants and politicians have been known to occur in the past, but in the end it is the former that is to suffer the consequences. One has only to follow the consequences that led to the charges of bribery labeled against Tourism Board Director General Dato Mirza Taiyab, to understand what politicians can do to an innocent public servant, if the politician's personal interests is not served by the public servant. It is a demeaning act by a politician, to say the least.

The Armed Forces is now facing a similar predicament as with its police counterpart. It is rumoured that the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) who is presently on a year's extended service, and scheduled to retire in September, is said to seek a second extension. If this is true, the Chief of Air Force who is the most senior of the three service chiefs, and a likely candidate for the exulted position of the CDF , is most unlikely to get a promotion, and neither will it be the Chief of Army, since both are scheduled to retire next year. And if a second extension is indeed granted to the incumbent CDF, it will be the Chief of Navy who will most likely succeed the post of CDF upon the retirement of the incumbent CDF. This gives the navy a second opportunity to the exulted post of the CDF, and never once for the air force.

If someone were to ask me of my personal opinion regarding the above, I would just say that the practise of extending the services of the chiefs including the CDF must cease. There is no justifiable reason, nor does it makes any professional sense to offer an extension, because the post of the CDF could be taken over by either one of the three service chiefs who are competent and capable enough to take over the post of the CDF at any given point of time. And by virtue of their high ranking position, seniority and experience, it is absurd to now say that neither one is ready to become the CDF, as a justification to retain the incumbent for an extended term. In short, I would say that no one person is indispensable in the Armed Forces, regardless of the position one holds.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

ARMY WAR GAME SIMULATORS – FOREIGN PURCHASE IS NOT AN OPTION

I have been informed that the Phase 4 of the Gemas Army Camp Project is in its preparatory stage for implementation, and the launch of it will complete the entire Gemas Project that has taken more than 15 years to complete. Once completed, the Gemas Camp now named after our previous King, is reportedly to be the largest army camp in the country covering almost 38,000 acres with a total population of more than 8,000 soldiers and their families.

One of the project listed in Phase 4 is the construction of the Army War Game Training Center that is long overdue, and has been the talk in the army for more than 20 years now. While I was in service, I had the opportunity of listen to a number of product presentation by various foreign companies involved in the design and production of the Army War Game Simulator, but for some unknown reason, no deal has been struck.

The War Game Simulator is now being used extensively as a training tool by most modern armies, and our army has been late in acquiring the facility. However, I am told that there is now a serious bidding by local agents for the product to be acquired by army, and all are products developed by foreign companies. My concern is why is the army so enthusiastic in bringing in a foreign product, but is hesitant in offering local IT and engineering companies to undertake the development of the product? Are there no local expertise in developing a War Game Simulator, which is certainly not a ‘rocket science type of technology’.

I believe this country has enough expertise to even venture into rockets and missile development, and to most scientist, they say that developing a War Game Simulator is as simple as A,B and C. And surprisingly, I am told that the country already has the expert knowledge to developed more sophisticated simulators like the MIG 29 aircraft simulator presently in use by the RMAF in Kuantan base, that apparently was developed by a team of Malaysian scientist back in 1994 in Canada.

One need to realized that the continuous purchase of foreign equipments for the Armed Forces is no longer a favoured option, more so if the purchase does not come with a transfer of technology, or at least an option for the maintenance of the equipment. It is only good for local agents who will make a bit of money, but at the end of the day, there is little in terms of a technology transfer, let alone be able to satisfactorily maintain the equipment. In other words, it is purely a one off purchase where upon the purchase being signed, the local agents will be running off to the bank smiling.

As I have said above, this country already has the expert knowledge to design and develop War Game Simulators for use by the army, if indeed army is serious about developing an indigenous designed product. What is critical in developing a War Game Simulator (and I suppose army knows this) are the data to be used in the system. Data has to be realistic and conforms to doctrines and tactics used by the army, and such data can be categorized as restricted information.

Can we not see our stupidity, if we were to provide all our restricted data to a foreign company, when we purchase the product from them. What better way to protect our data, if we were to design and develop the product locally, and at the same time encourage the growth of our defence industry that specialized in the design and development of simulators for use by our Armed Forces, besides a huge saving of our foreign exchange.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION