Sunday, 25 October 2009

Malaysian Comedic Association

MCA should just change its name from Malaysian Chinese Association to Malaysian Comedic Association.

How else you explain these:-

1. A man lost a Vote of No-Confidence (VNC), where he said it himself he will resign if he loses, but yet he stayed on. Then we have his supporters coming up with incredibly incredulous argument to support why he must stay on despite losing the VNC. I hope to one day see a World Cup Final game where the loser refuses to give up the trophy to the winner. The loser can always quote this MCA precedent. I dont even want to imagine if Parliament ever put a VNC against the Prime Minister (& loses) and we see the PM using this MCA case as precedent to stay on despite losing a VNC.

2. Then after a huge EGM on a so-call auspicious date of 10.10.09, big fight and all; the 2 fighting guys kissed and made up. What a joke?!

I actually dont really care much for MCA as I feel it is irrelevant to Malaysians, particularly to the Chinese. They have so few seats in Parliament, I dont even understand how they have any moral ground to claim to represent the Malaysian chinese. Though I always advocate politics along issues and not race, but if a party want to claim to represent a race, that party should at least have some say in PArliament.

But why am I writing about MCA here - it is the issue of example. The Malays have a phrase called 'Teladan' which is a word use to explain using an example as a guide. This MCA fiasco has created an unwanted 'teladan' of people losing a VNC and yet want to stay on, clearly defying the very essence of democracy and the sanctity of the power of a vote. If a President cant even respect that vote and instead cried wolf over some '3rd force', how is he going to make hard decisions which affects the People's welfare.

These kind of irresponsible conduct rubs off the people. Malaysians will have an additional reason to believe that in our country, it is ok to not have honour, it is ok to not have respect for democracy.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

If we are going to screw this country up, why not start at school?

The title of this topic and what I am about to write, may not sound connected at all, but I humbly request that you give me a opportunity to first state some issues and then explain why I call this article, what I called it. Thank you.

Today, the 22nd day of October in this year of 2009; whilst we were absorbed into reading the news about MCA's attempt to resolve it's internal fights, 2 major news were overshadowed by that MCA story. First, the decision of our 1 Public Prosecutor, the Attorney General to close VK Lingam's case despite the proposal of the Royal Commission held after that infamous video came out in the open, is extremely disappointing to say the very least.

Another case is going on in Court. Remember that 2 person from Parti Keadilan in Perak who left that Party and became independent State Assemblymen (ADUN) in February 2009? Well, they were charged for corruption before they left Pakatan, and there was always suspicion that they were enticed to move out of Keadilan due to that case. I have heard for many months of rumours that they will be spared in the Hearing in return of 'supporting' BN. Not sure of that rumour is true.

But today, reports are out where it is obvious that the MACC prosecutor seems to have created reasonable doubt in their own case. Just read the news at this link:-

When I read this, as a lawyer, it seems as if the Prosecutor himself is trying to create reasonable doubt in the Prosecutors own case. It is that blatant.

"You leave Pakatan, we help go easy on you MACC case", I can imagine those kind of words uttered to these 2 former Pakatan ADUN to entice them to leave Pakatan. How else do you explain the shoddy prosecution?

Now, let me come to the title of this article.

I feel sad, sad that our countries is engulfed by immoral people, selfish people and greedy for power people. This system continues to be manipulated and twisted for the benefit of the selected few.

I have some suggestions.

Let's just scrap subjects like tata-rakyat in school.

Stop all those religious classes in school.

Do away with history too.

Just teach all our children how to cheat, manipulate and lie, in school itself.

Just teach our kids that the Law is nothing more than the tool of the powerful and the rich, the immoral and the evil ones in Malaysia.

We can call this new subject; "Tata-BN".

Just teach our kids that there is no need to get degrees and score so many A's. After school, just join UMNO or MCA or MIC depending on the colour of your skin, and quickly learn how to abuse the system and waste all public funds.

Just teach the students that in Malaysia under BN, BN can do whatever they want.

Just teach the kids that the Government of this Country is not bothered about the sanctity and soul of this Country.

Just teach them that in Malaysia; being immoral; is Cool!

I mean, if we are going to screw this country up, why not start at school?

1 Wrong Malaysia

I am going to write this based on what I see, heard and concluded. So at the end of this article, please tell me if I am wrong or correct.

About 2 years ago, a friend e-mailed a video link of a man on the phone mentioning names of people in the Judiciary. I instantly recognised the man as VK Lingam. (Much later, there was a second video link of the second half of the conversation.) But I am not a 1Video Forensic Expert, so I could be wrong.

In the conversation, I can hear discussion about getting a Tan Sri-ship to the receiver of that call. The man who looked and sounded like VK Lingam had insisted that the receiver of that tele-conversation should get his Tan Sri ship as soon as possible. But I am not a 1Video Forensic Expert, I could have heard wrongly.

Then as I walked out of my office room, I informed my other partners to watch the Video. We laughed at the amount of time this person who sounded and looked like VK Lingam, said the word ‘Correct, Correct, Correct’. But we were also very upset as the Video looked and sounded like a recording of a man fixing up Judicial Appointments of Judges in Malaysia. But then again, I am not a 1 Video Forensic Expert, I may have heard wrongly.

Later, I found out many members of the Malaysian Bar watched this Video, and the lawyers were so upset, that over 2,000 of us handed a memorandum to the Prime Minister demanding a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of this. I was part of that peaceful march and my friend Lee Shih and I were right at the back of that group that morning.

I also recall when a few of us were planning the walk, Lim Chee Wee, George Varghuse and I visited Putrajaya on the Sunday before the Walk, where the 2 gentleman walked from the Palace of Justice to the PM’s Office at Putrajaya, to gauge the distance so that to prepare the walk that week. I was lucky, I did not have to walk that Sunday - Chee Wee asked me to drive his car and wait for him and George at the end of their walk.

But the thought that lingered in my mind as we did our simulated Walk that Sunday was “Is it wrong for us to Walk?”

We then had the Royal Commission where I was asked by Lawasia, an International organisation of Lawyers based in Australia, to attend the Hearing on a watching brief. I watched and heard the testimonies of many people. Some were defensive, some clearly had something to hide, and some were just cocky and dismissive. But my feelings as I listen to the Hearing, was that something was definitely wrong, and that it was likely that the man in the video was in fact VK Lingam. But I am just 1 small Malaysian, I may be wrong.

I thought I was correct at that time. But obviously, I must have been wrong. Despite 2,000 of us who marched that day at Putrajaya, the thousands of comments and articles condemning the content of that Video and more importantly the damning hearing and eventual Report by the Royal Commission; our 1Government - through the 1 and only Public Prosecutor - have today announced that the VK Lingam case is closed and no prosecutions will be carried out.

So, now you can see what I said earlier, I made 1 too many wrong conclusions above. I must be wrong, wrong, wrong as I was clearly not correct, correct, correct.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Roger Tan: Tee Keat must honour his word

Even though I am a life member of MCA, I have always stayed out of politics, mainly because my wife finds politics to be nauseating. I must confess that to date I have not even attended any meeting of my MCA branch in Kg Baru Pandan, Johor Baru.

I doubt if the branch chairman or members even know of my existence! In fact, it was the late Johor MCA veteran, Michael Goh, who submitted in my MCA membership form in 2003.

In a way, I am happy that I am not involved in MCA politics, and so at least I can still say the current Johor MCA leaders from different factions in the party – Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, Tan Kok Hong, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong and Datuk Jimmy Low – are all my friends.

But in this tumultuous time facing the 60-year-old party, I am compelled to say something especially, after Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat’s refusal to resign after having lost the vote of confidence in the October 10 EGM (10-10 EGM).

Ong is now calling for another EGM to decide whether fresh polls for the Central Committee (CC) should be held. Under Article 30.1 of the MCA Constitution, the President can direct an EGM to be held.

It is obvious that his press statement was immediately uploaded to his 
blog last Thursday the moment he knew that the CC members were not with him. Had the CC stood by him by not asking for his resignation, I am quite sure he would not have called for another EGM.

What the CC did by asking Ong to resign was correct. The CC must be seen to be respecting and carrying out the decision of the supreme body which decided on Oct 10.

But what is the point of Ong directing another EGM when he himself has shown no respect whatsoever for the decisions of the general assembly?

The moment he and Chua were elected, he was bent on treating the latter as the 
persona non grata of MCA.

If only he had respected the delegates’ choice of Chua as the deputy president and learnt to work with him by giving his deputy the space and respect, MCA could have been rejuvenated into a formidable force with the talents of these two experienced 
albeit strong-headed leaders working in unison. But that was not the case.

On October 10, Ong lost the vote of confidence. He now says that he is not legally required to step down because Article 35 requires a two-third majority in the general assembly to unseat any party official.

But that was not the song he sang before the 10-10 EGM.

In an interview with 
The Sunday Star on Sept 20, he declared: “Once a simple majority is obtained, I will be left with no choice but to step down. Anyone who argues that I do not need to do so, that only a two-third majority is required to boot me out, I think that is a great lie.”

By resiling from what he had pledged to do before the 10-10 EGM, Ong’s honour, honesty, integrity, statesmanship and credibility as a politician and person have now become an issue.

If Ong had wanted to be bound only by Article 35, he should have made it clear in the resolution prior to the 10-10 EGM.

Instead, he not only jointly called for that 10-10 EGM, but also agreed to all the terms of the resolutions proposed by the EGM requisitionists.

In short, he has legally, politically and morally waived all his rights under Article 35 by his conduct and promise to resign.

Unfortunately, Article 175 of the MCA Constitution and section 18C of the Societies Act, 1966 prohibit the matter from being referred to the courts; otherwise he may just be declared to have lost his presidency.

In fact, he could have saved the party from further in-fighting and possible destruction by stepping down honourably last Thursday so that the vacancy can be filled by the CC. He did not, even though there are constitutional provisions to deal with it.

Since Chua has not been reinstated, Article 40 which promotes the deputy to president upon the latter’s cessation of office does not apply.

Therefore, Article 23 clearly empowers the CC to fill the vacancy. This is reinforced by Article 42.

Of course, the new EGM is to allow Ong to cling on to his position and to have a second bite at the cherry. Since Article 38 defines a CC member to include the president, Ong will remain as president if the EGM votes that no fresh elections for CC are necessary.

But I am not too sure whether such a route will finally resolve or only prolong and exacerbate the crisis. Time is obviously not on the side of MCA to recover as quickly as possible before the next general elections.

It is my considered opinion that the proposed resolution is unconstitutional. One does not need the general assembly to answer the question whether fresh polls for CC ought to be called.

The Constitution only provides two scenarios for fresh CC elections to be held. First, when two thirds or more of elected CC members cease to hold office, for example, by resigning en bloc under Article 41.

Second, when two thirds or more of the elected CC members have been removed from office pursuant to Article 35. Otherwise, even if the EGM decides that fresh CC elections are to be held, it is not binding upon the CC.

For this reason, the CC can stop the EGM by invoking Article 174 which provides that any interpretation by the CC on any provision of the Constitution shall be final and conclusive.

Ong may refuse to call further CC meetings until the next EGM, but one-third of CC members can always requisition for one.

I have no personal stake in this matter. It does not concern me whoever wins the MCA presidency as I am not beholden to anyone in MCA for my livelihood. I am writing this because I detest men who do not honour their word or have the courage to do so. 
A fortiori, I cannot accept my party president to be such a man.

In conclusion, there is nothing inconclusive about the 10-10 EGM as the vote of no confidence was not directed at the CC. Similarly, no impasse would have been created if only Ong had respected the 10-10 EGM decision.

It is pivotal that party officials must always put the interest of the party above themselves and uphold its constitution.

Sadly, human greed and hunger for power often cloud their judgement, making them think that they are both indispensable and invincible when, actually, they are not.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The game of credibility

It seems to me, Malaysian leaders don’t care about their credibility, once they reach the level of leadership.


It seems to me, Malaysian leaders are thick and will go against their very own words, just to stay in power.


Credibility of a leader, may not be the most essential characteristic of a leader, but definitely a crucial factor is helping voters for this person. A person, who is more credible, will more likely get the nod.


We now see Ong Tee Keat going against his own words that he will resign if he lost the Vote of No Confidence Motion at the EGM last 10th October 2009. Tee Keat lost. Whether by one vote or by 1000 votes, a loss is a loss. Had he won by one vote, it is also the same, a victory is a victory irrespective of the margin.


Tee Keat’s decision to stay on as President of the MCA despite his clear and unequivocal words that he will resign is he lost the motion of No Confidence has made him less credible. How are we to trust a man who cant even keep his own words?


But this is a trait common among Barisan Nasional leaders. People who have lost credibility still have the thick skin to demand to stay on.


I recall Najib explaining that Isa’s suspension from UMNO for money politics is merely a technical matter and asked that Isa be given a second chance. Najib asked the people to give Isa a 2nd chance.


But I must say this Mr. Prime Minister - if a man is convicted of a crime, society should consider giving the man a 2nd chance, but when a politician holding posts which involves public accountability, public funds and public utilities, the person must be as credible as possible. Former involvement in corrupt practices will taint his credibility.


The same applies for Tee Keat. He lost the motion of no confidence, and he has said it himself that he will go if he lose. So, as far as I am concern, Tee Keat has lost his credibility by choosing this course of action.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

The enigma of democracy

The last 48 hours in Malaysia saw the power of democracy. At MCA's EGM on the 10th October 2009, Ong Tee Keat was knocked out by the no-confidence motion; but Chua Soi Lek was not reinstated as Deputy (though re-admitted as member).

Just a few hours ago, Mr money-politic Mohd Isa Samad won the Bagan Pinang by-election by a landslide. The people there have spoken. The people at Bagan Pinang wants development (ie money in their own pocket) without bothering the fact that the man they elected is a proven corrupt man. I must now say, (and I dont say with venom or anger; but with gentle assertion) - that unfortunately the people of Bagan Pinang has lost the moral authority to question the corrupt practices prevailant in Malaysia, particularly at that constituency. They have lost the moral right to question the Police Officer who would demand some 'coffee-money'. They have lost the moral right to demand a non-corrupt Land Office.

I suppose we deserve the Government we get. Despite the clear corrupt conduct of Isa Samad, he won. Pakatan Rakyat would have to study the situation and understand why they lost badly. But in fairness, this was a UMNO seat to lose, though the higher majority won by UMNO has raised some eyebrows.

If we look at the UMNO machinery, Najib announced Port Dickson located at Bagan Pinang constituency as an 'Army City' with incentive etc. Muhyiddin announced a new land for an Indian School. Najib attends Makkal Sakti Party inaugural Assembly. There was the usual promises of development etc, but the combination of Isa's selection & Najib's movement with the Indian community swung the votes to UMNO.

Pakatan's perceive in-fighting is not helping. PAS Selangor's antics in recent weeks have helped fueled talks that all in not well in Pakatan.

As for MCA, they are in deep waters. The members have ripped apart the party which in my view will take many years to recover. Perhaps MCA should just leave BN and join Pakatan, that would give them a little more credence with the Chinese community. But one must respect the courage of the MCA members to take this step and rid the party of 2 fighting men. They now have chance to start again, though (as mentioned earlier) I think will take some time before it gets back on their feet again.

We cant really complain about Bagan Pinang's decision to revive a corrupt man's political career, as even the Americans were dumb enough to vote in George Bush for the 2nd term despite him clearly lying to the Americans. Whilst I dont think the American are any better than us; but if the self-proclaimed world's-best-democracy can vote a man who lied, I suppose it's ok to vote in a corrupt man.