Government Flip-flopping again: Do They Ever Really Listen to the Rakyat’s Grouses?

Posted on August 4, 2011

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The Perbadanan Putrajaya government complex in...

The Perbadanan Putra Jaya government Complex in Putrajaya Image via Wikipedia

No comment. In fact there is nothing to comment about. Very self-explanatory. The government seems to know best. Let democracy perform and the people decide in the ballot box. I furnish in full the article “Government Flip flopping Again”  by Blogger Outsyed the Box of 2nd August 2011 and let the public read and  judge for themselves:

“Government Flip Flopping Again” by Outsyed the Box 2 ogos 2011

Here is a post by “Another Brick In The Wall” or ABITW : Has the Government and ruling party become afraid?

Brick laments a list of flip flopping by the Government. He includes the following :

.i. allowing the Bersih actors to meet the King. (Since when do illegals get to meet the King?)

.ii the Prime Minister, followed by Minister for Home Affairs, offering a stadium to Bersih. (Again the Home Minister had already said Bersih was illegal. So why offer a stadium?)

.iii Najib and Hishamuddin then realised the legal implication and started backpeddling to explain their offer.

.iv Election Commission made a blunder to engage Bersih. The Sinar Harian initiative only resulted in SPR Deputy Chairman being booed and heckled by the increasingly hooligan Bersih crowd.

.My view on iv. is slightly different. The EC is actually causing severe embarrasment to Bersih by boldly making these public appearances with them. It shows that the EC has nothing to hide and is willing to tolerate any number of boos and heckling and face the hooligans.

And here is a prediction I would like to make : Very soon the Bersih will say ‘No thank you’ to any more public appearances with the EC. Because the public will be able to see two things. Firstly the EC stands its ground and is not afraid to meet Bersih or the public. Secondly the public will see that the hooligans are resorting to more booing and creating a ruckus to prevent the EC from speaking. Just wait and see.

Never mind. I do hope that the EC will continue with its ‘meet the public’ sessions and let the public (including those perpetual trouble causers) ask all the questions that they want to ask. I hope the EC will also tell the public about the house in Permatang Pauh that has over 60 registered voters. Now how did that happen? The Bersih people are quiet about this house.

.You can read the rest of “Brick In The Wall”.

Sources say that the Police were also unhappy with the way the Government managed the Bersih. True to their responsibilities, the Police would have preferred more stringent methods. Apa nak buat? Pemimpin kita berani cakap saja, berani bagi amaran saja.

I want to highlight a few more cases of embarrasing flip flops – often involving the same Ministry.

The present huru-hara about the biometric registration of illegals and immigrant workers is causing major chaos. The Deputy Prime Minister has stated that there are now four million Indonesians in the country. Plus the Banglas, Nepalis, Filipinos, Rohingyas, Myanmars, mainland Chinese, Iranians and others, the number is possibly over five million.

Knowing that there are that many foreigners in our country, how can the Ministry allocate just two weeks to get everyone registered? I really sympathise with that factory boss who had to hire two buses to take her 60 Banglas to Putrajaya to have them registered, only to be given the run around by the Immigration people.

But there is a bit more to this story. The new biometric system cuts down on a lot of ‘cari makan’ activities. Here is how it works. Once an illegal, legal or anyone is biometrically processed, their two index fingers are captured in the computer. Then their passport and visa info is scanned (or captured) into the computer. Their photo is also captured. So now fingerprints, photo, passport and details in passport must all match.

This also makes the visa and permit renewal process quite mechanical. To renew their permits, they just place their index fingers on the computer again, and if the finger prints, photo and passport info matches (meaning it is not Sabiyar borrowing Sukiman’s passport for the day) then the renewal or rejection is quite automatic.

Very, very much less opportunity for ‘rundingan’. One source says that this is why there are people who “hate the biometric system”. So there is plenty of resistance to this biometric system.

N’theless, the Ministry should have planned things better. Everytime the Goverment flips or flops, it costs the people money. It costs money to hire buses and transport 60 workers to Putrajaya. They have to be fed too. And there is lost production time. The cost of doing business goes up. The business people will have no choice but pass the costs to the consumer through higher prices – to recover their higher costs. So akhir sekali, pengguna yang kena bayar harga tinggi. Kita yang jadi miskin dulu.

Then there is also the flip flop by the Ministry of Domestic Trade. This is the fracas over the Hire Purchase Act which killed off sales in the motorcar industry for two months. Here is the news:

.Government agrees to revise Hire Purchase Act

  • PETALING JAYA: The Government has agreed to revise the recently amended Hire Purchase Act 1967 (HPA) following the brouhaha it created since its implementation barely two months earlier.
  • Following a meeting with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry yesterday, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said the bulk of the amendments that were made to the HPA would be revised.
  • The meeting went well. Most of the MAA’s requests were accommodated,” its president Datuk Aishah Ahmad told StarBiz when contacted yesterday.
  • “The changes will now make it easier for registrations and will take effect immediately. The Government will issue a circular on the changes next week,” she said.

.So after causing chaos for two months, causing severe losses for car sellers, and causing losses for members of the public (your old cars lost their resale values folks) now the Government simply says : ok we will revise the whole thing.

I have written about this Hire Purchase Act fiasco a number of times. Things like these just wont work. I could see the problems coming – as clear as daylight. Now the Ministry has to eat their words and look foolish. Padan muka Pak. Kan saya dah cakap hari itu, benda ini akan menyusahkan orang saja. Perkara yang dibuat tanpa memikir panjang dan dalam. Common sense tak ada.

Why not talk to the factory owners and the labour agencies and the foreign workers about this new Biometric system for registering illegals and legal foreign workers? Apa susah sangat?

Why not talk to the car dealers and the industry players (talk means discuss and listen, not talk down) before implementing the changes to the Hire Purchase Act.

What happened to Pemandu, Pemudah, Pemadam, Pengintip and Penggoda? The Government is spending hundreds of millions of Ringgit on these con-sultans and yet we still have these major screw ups happening in the country.

Then I was recently invited to attend a meeting at the Ministry of Information. The Ministry wanted to discuss the setting up of a Media Consultative Council. Previously this idea was known as the Media Council. To give you the quick conclusion : this idea was quite thoroughly killed at that meeting.

I must congratulate the KSU of the Ministry of Information, Dato Kamaruddin Siaraf for being such a good sport, calling everyone for a meeting and taking all the bricks that were thrown at him at that meeting. It was a hot meeting. Tahniah Dato. I can feel your pain when the Minister asks you to do all these silly things. As if Dato tak ada kerja lain untuk dibuat.

The Media Council, Media Consultative Council etc was a bad idea. No one was in favour of it. You can read more about this at Nuraina’s Blog here : Media Practitioners Reject Information Ministry’s Proposed Media Consultative Council

Although the Ministry of Information went one step better by calling for a meeting with the media practitioners (newspapers, blogs etc) it was still a bad idea in the first place. I felt much sympathy for Dato Kamaruddin Siaraf who was given this silly task. Throughout the meeting I believe he wished he was somewhere else. No one supported the idea.

The crunch came (and I thought ‘game over’ for the meeting) when the Dato asked the ‘wakil daripada KDN‘ to back him up. He actually asked them for their support. But the ‘wakil daripada KDN‘ replied ‘we are here to listen first to what the industry has to say’. The Dato was left to fend for himself.

Then the Dato invited another wakil Kerajaan to say something. The wakil, my good teh tarik friend, said ‘the Ministry seems confused about what it wants‘. With this type of reply from these two wakil Kerajaan, the meeting was as good as dead. The poor KSU was at a total loss.

Folks, there is some serious anger building up within the Civil Service. Senior Civil Servants in Putrajaya are feeling left out or sidelined by the new ‘con-sultans’ who walk the corridors at Putrajaya. The Pemandu employs them, the Pemudah, the GLCs, even the PM’s office. These folks know little about many things but not much about anything. Then they tell the Civil Servants how to do their jobs. And these ‘con-sultans’ are paid anything from RM30,00 a month or more.

To justify their paychecks, they often come up with unworkable and strange ideas and then hoist it upon the Civil Servants to implement. When the silly ideas dont work, the ‘con-sultans’ disappear, leaving the Civil Servants to face the public and bear the blame.

There is much resentment building up now among the senior Civil Service, especially in Putrajaya. Good people are being turned into enemies. (Thinking aloud : is this being done deliberately to turn the Civil Service against the Government, to make sure the Government loses the elections?) Hellooo? Anyone listening?

Talk is that the Civil Service is now less ‘Minister’ friendly. Since Minister’s are the ones who often ask the Civil Servants to do all these silly things (implement and then retract the new Hire Purchase Act, call the meeting about the Media Consultative Council and then cancel the idea, and other things) the senior Civil Servants look at Ministers as trouble causers. I agree with them completely.

The Prime Minister is on record as saying that ‘the days of Government knows best are over’. YB Dato Sri, may I tweak this sentence a little bit. I think it should be ‘the days of “Ministers know best” are over’.

I have met and spoken to your Ministers. They certainly do not know or understand too many things. They depend on the ‘con-sultans’ who know even less to make their wild suggestions. Then they burden the KSUs, TKSUs, and the Civil Servants with the burden of implementing these silly ideas. Net result : the Civil Service now resents the leadership.

Please speak directly to the KSUs. Empower the EPU and the ICU again. The Fourth Floor is screwing things up again. Talk to the people. Talk to us lah, the Bloggers – we are people too. Bukan lah kita semua pandai sangat, but I think we can tell you some useful things. Most importantly we can help you avoid pitfalls, you know ‘Hang Tuah terjun ke dalam lubang . . .‘ type of situations.

Posted by Syed Akbar Ali at 1:22:00 PM

18 comments:

The Eugenist said…

Salam..

Brother, point well written.

But the main problem is, will these goombas heed to those things mentioned in your writing?

The 13 G.E is just around the corner, lebih kurang dalam tempoh terdekat la..

I hoped that the R.A.H.M.A.N theory will not become the present Government’s epilogue of ruling this country for more than 54 years..

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 1:54:00 PM

Anonymous said…

Atau pun sindrom AMARAN dah berjangkit dari Menteri kepada sepupunya ?

Atau pun ini percaturan para penasihat utk memastikan teori RAHMAN tu betul ?

Atau pun … we are loosing the battles (many already) … and we are loosing the war … GE13 … too ?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 2:17:00 PM

arcadia said…

All i want to ask is.. is there anymore vacancy to be one of this con-sultan? seems like easy job n easy money

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 2:19:00 PM

Anonymous said…

Blogger Bujai is for the MCC. So how come you said nobody is for it or are you saying Bujai the blogger is a nobody ?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 2:29:00 PM

Anonymous said…

the day consultants know everything has begun…hahaha…we want more money…let the civil service take the blame…wa chow!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 2:43:00 PM

Anonymous said…

bro,

PM is still surrounded by half past six advisors and seems to fall into sleepy head syndrome of ‘syok sendiri’.
His uncertainty in making decision allows his ministers to run their own ministry like their own house. case in point is the ministry of works. it is a well known fact the present minister hates the DG of JKR. so he manipulates the KSU and KSN to change the DG but they commited a blunder and now there are 2 DG’s in JKR. what an embarassment!

so look like the PM does not have enough ‘ooomph’ to keep his ministers on a leash!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 2:44:00 PM

devilmaycare said…

eerrr They changed the law again after I complained that I could not sell my 7 year old hyundai elantra under present law…..

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 2:46:00 PM

Anonymous said…

Tuan Syed …

With the exceptions of a few Governwmwnt’ Department – especially the technical dept like JKR, town Planning, Jabatan Penilaian etc – Con-sultants are needed b’coz government people, especiallly the administrators like the KSUs, TKSUs and the Pegawai Tadbir etc are not capable to carry-out their strategic functions and responsibility.

Words like Planning, Strategizing, vsualizing, control etc are alien to them.

some can’t even converse or write in English ..

so what to expect from them..?

Nagaria

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 3:05:00 PM

Rasputin Beliong said…

Syed,

You’re at your best on this one.

Lets look at the ministers. All quiet on the government front. Except, maybe, Nazri. And a little whimper here and there from the keris tumpul fellow and for the wrong reasons at that. In fact Rosmah’s presence is louder than all the cabinet members’ put together.

Are these guys packing up for the impending change of power or what? Their silence is deafening!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 4:39:00 PM

Mullah TTDI said…

Dear Mr Syed

The current Minister of Information is a dinosaur from the past and not fit to become a Minister in this 21st Century. Media Council and Food Stamps are examples of bad idea from these con-sultans and even the Senior Civil Servants can’t counter these foolish ideas with their own idea.
Keep up the good work, Mr Syed. You are also one of us, Syed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 4:46:00 PM

Anonymous said…

Don’t need talk to bloggers lah. They also guessing-guessing only.

Talk to the people in MAS. They know what happen with the lab and the consultant and the managers set aside.

See where the company today?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 4:59:00 PM

Anonymous said…

Yes, Tuan you are back! This is the type of article we the rakyat would like to see or read, write without fear in pinpointing any weaknesses, be it from the government or opposition, nothing about race. That is why I’m addicted to your blog!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 5:27:00 PM

Anonymous said…

Salam,
Very well written. The ministers think they are very knowledgeable and as such they don’t trust govt.servants. So they employ con-sultans, thats where all the NKRA came from but implementation is topsy-turvy and actually fail. Govt.servants have no say but to follow directions,that’s why any govt servant who is outspoken is seen to be against the minsiters or govt.so they will be chopped off and replaced with the ones who will follow the wills of the ministers. Even civil servants are fedup.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 6:38:00 PM

Anonymous said…

Salam…
Penulisan saudara adalah benar dan begitu telus.
Ini adalah yang berlaku, bukan kita tak sayang yg merintah, pasal sayang lah nak kena beritahu.
Acapkali kerajaan membuatkeputusan tidak berunding dgn pihak yg terlibat, main ikut cakap budak pro. Pro ape aku pun tak percaya lah.They are so far intact with the ground situation.
Peniaga kereta mcm aku ni mengeluh lah yang amat sangat, pasal tidak ada kestabilan dalam polisi.
Tukar PM tukar polisi, tukarthink thank, tukar arah, tukar itu , tukar ini.
tolonglah kerajaan jangan pandang kami sebelah mata, kami berusaha utk meyakinkan rakyat untuk membayar cukai yg teramat tinggi didunia. berilah kami sdikit ruang untuk di ambil kira.
Siapa yang ingin mengikuti sistem dengan betul selalu di cari kesalahannya, wlau pun takde, tapi yg asyik buat durja lepas saje.
Tolonglah kami, kami pun penyokong kerajaan tapi jgn ANAK TIRI KAN kami.

Don Pedro

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 11:41:00 PM

Anonymous said…

what to do one of the minister also follow order from Mr. Lather man.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 12:30:00 AM

abu kuching said…

Ohhh well, it sound like you. Welcome back Syed. I wonder where you’re for the past two or three months. I can assumed that all the basi merapu meraban articles for the last few weeks were written by a ghost writer employed by you. Keep up with the good works.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 1:13:00 AM

Politicalamity9 said…

the way I see it.. some people like to ‘speak’ and make known that they ‘exist’. But in doing so, or more so often in a rush… they tend to make mistakes. No in depth knowledge of situations deteriorates things further…

I say more results we need, than press conferences.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 1:43:00 AM

LudiNamRom said…

Salam Dato,

This biometrics for Legal and Illegal workers things also from consultan cum vendorlah (politically inspired and appointed)..the technical civil servant people cannot say anything KSU know (jaga) everything (siapa bising pasti kena kuarantin)…What happen to the biometrics yang dah capture masa project 2006 (SPAD chairman time)? Looks like gonna be the same…akhirnya siapa yg miskin dulu (pinjam dato punya word of wisdom- diorg punya alasan “takpa bukan duit kita duit PATI yg nak balik raya)…

This is not about to stop ‘cari makan activities’ (this cari makan thing is only to justified the consultan proposal) its all about to collect money from Foreign Workers…dengan macam ni lah punya implementation mode, next 6-7 year another 7P lah pulak….

Menteri dan civil servant(top-top yang dok kenen nak sambung kontrak) 2 x 5 saja … Politiking dan bodeking is part of the working charter nowdays….

adios…

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 9:11:00 AM

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