31 December 2021

Balak terjun dari kayangan...

Yet another horrible year...

 We thought 2020 was bad. Yet here we are, counting the last days of 2021 and not many can say that 2021 was any better. In fact, one could make a strong case to say that for Malaysia, 2021 was a worse year than 2020.

The year began with floods on the East Coast and it ended with even worse deluges in many parts of the peninsula, including in the Klang Valley. The government’s slow response to the worsening floods and insensitive and tone-deaf actions of many politicians have caused widespread anger, which has not abated.

Covid-19, especially the deadly Delta variant, ravaged the country. As it stands, 2.7 million people have been infected by the virus, and a vast majority of these cases occurred in 2021. Our current death toll stands at around 31,000 and again, most of these deaths occurred in 2021.

We were also subjected to lockdowns after lockdowns, with different variations and permutations and with ever-changing standard operating procedures (SOPs). There came a point where one SOP would be changed in a matter of days, causing confusion throughout the country.

These lockdowns have had a toll on the economic situation of the country, as well as the financial well-being of the people. At the same time, the movement control orders have also had a negative impact on the mental health of the populace.

Political situation

The political situation also did not improve from 2020. Sheraton Move resulted in a new government and a new prime minister, yet the Muhyiddin Yassin-led Perikatan Nasional government was brought down when several Umno MPs revoked their support for the Bersatu president.

Muhyiddin was replaced by Umno’s Ismail Sabri Yaakob in August 2021, yet many of the ministers and deputy ministers from Muhyiddin’s administration were retained.

The same members of the administration were heavily criticised for their handling of the pandemic and were labelled as ‘Kerajaan Gagal’ (failed government) by segments of the populace.

It is little wonder that despite their own glowing review of their first 100 days in office, many remained sceptical of these ministers. It is also why the Ismail Sabri administration was not given any ‘honeymoon period’, and shortly after their 100 days, they were roundly lambasted for the current floods situation.

These are just some of the reasons why 2021 was another annus horribilis. Yet, despite all these, 2021 has also given us some cause to be hopeful.

Silver lining

This year, Malaysians have shown that despite all our differences and fault lines, despite the tensions within our society, when it comes down to it, Malaysians will always put humanity first.

This could be seen during the Bendara Putih (white flag) period earlier this year. Some Malaysians were in dire need of help during the lockdown and had to fly the white flag as a sign that they needed urgent assistance. Other Malaysians quickly came to the rescue to give assistance to those in need.

Recently, Malaysians have again shown their willingness to aid their fellow countrymen and women. When the government failed to act fast to rescue many flood victims stranded because of the deluge, ordinary Malaysians launched their own search and rescue.

Malaysians then provided food, clothing and necessities to the flood victims, and helped to clean the houses after the waters receded. All done in the name of common humanity. Of course, this is not to deny the many, many instances of foreign nationals assisting Malaysians, as shown in the testimonies of many flood victims.

But the fact that the country can come together in times of crisis is the silver lining in this horrid year. As we go into another year with very little cause for celebration, any sliver of hope would certainly be welcomed.- Syahredzan Johan,mk

Our crumbling national institutions...

For an institution already struggling with integrity issues, the resignation of Professor Edmund Terence Gomez, a respected political economist and academic who sat on the MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, was the final blow. 

According to media reports, Gomez (pix,below) resigned after his numerous efforts to seek a proper investigation into allegations that MACC chief, Azam Baki, owns millions of ringgit worth of shares in a publicly listed company were rebuffed. Calls by opposition politicians and civil society groups for Azam to step aside and allow for a thorough investigation have also been met with stony silence.

It is not the only worrying sign that all is not well at the MACC. The mysterious disappearance of US$6.94 million confiscated in another case and held by the MACC has yet to be explained. Senior officers have also been implicated in crimes. As well, there have been persistent allegations that the MACC has allowed itself to be used as a political weapon against the government’s opponents.

Whichever way you look at it, the MACC now stands exposed as an institution bereft of credibility and integrity. It is hard to see how Malaysians can trust the MACC to do its job under the present circumstances. No doubt there are still many good officers within the agency, but poor leadership and an appalling disregard for integrity and honour have rendered the institution suspect in the eyes of the public.

And it’s not just the MACC that has let Malaysians down. The MACC has not one but five independent oversight bodies and yet not a single one of them has demanded a thorough investigation into what is without doubt the biggest scandal the agency has faced thus far. What it tells us is that for the most part, these oversight bodies are staffed by yes-men and cronies who are reluctant to rock the boat, who do not have the courage to do the right thing.  

When asked why he had not responded to Gomez’s calls for an urgent investigation, the head of the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel simply said that Gomez had not mentioned any alleged wrongdoings by the MACC chief. Did he really need to wait for someone to raise the issue with him given that the whole country has been talking about it for months? Did it not occur to him that at the very least, he has a moral responsibility as head of an oversight panel to demand answers?

But this is part of the problem; wrongdoing succeeds because many of those in positions of responsibility do nothing in the face of egregious wrongdoing. An insidious culture of tolerating unethical behaviour, of covering up wrongdoings, of overlooking abuse of power now predominates. The 1MDB scandal, for example, would never have occurred if the senior officials around former prime minister Najib Tun Razak had done their job and acted with integrity. 

Azam Baki (pix,above) for one can learn something about honour and integrity from Gomez. Given the serious allegations that have been levelled against him, the honourable thing for him to do would have been to immediately step aside and defend himself against all the allegations. Silence, under such circumstances, is far from golden. But then such notions of honour, duty and public service are by and large distant memories now in our once vaunted public service. 

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri’s inaction is even worse. By failing to act decisively, he has made a mockery of the government’s commitment to combatting corruption, upholding the rule of law and preserving the basic tenets of good governance. His silence and his inaction create the impression that the system is protecting its own, that they are all covering up for each other. It is a shameful dereliction of duty; a terrible example for the rest of the country.

Make no mistake: this is another black day for Malaysia. Yet another critical national institution is now mortally compromised. It is another sign that the whole legal and constitutional framework that holds our nation together, along with the whole system of checks and balances, is crumbling before our very eyes. If there is no respect for the law, if some are above and beyond its reach, if integrity matters little, if people in power can act with such impunity, then what are we if not a failed state? 

In my recent book Paradise Lost: Mahathir and the End of Hope, I concluded that the war on corruption is over and we have lost. The MACC saga confirms that we no longer have the moral capacity or the political will to fight corruption; it is too deeply rooted, too widely accepted by those in power. We have lost our pride, our dignity, our honour. How has it come to this? - Dennis Ignatius 


29 December 2021

Ramai dah terkorban...


Why PM convoy given 
priority over ambulance?...

Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh has questioned why the prime minister’s convoy was given priority over an ambulance in an incident yesterday where the police had to force the ambulance to give way to the convoy. The incident in Hulu Langat, Selangor, was captured on video and widely shared online, drawing a public backlash.

The police have since explained that they had to have the ambulance make way for the prime minister’s convoy in the interest of safety. “It was said to avoid the risk of an accident and cause danger to road users. It seems we should thank the police for maintaining the utmost safety on the road. “But why was the convoy given priority and not the ambulance?” Wong asked in a statement posted on Facebook today.

He pointed to Rule 9(1) of the Road Traffic Rules 1980, which states that any ambulance shall “when on urgent duty have the right of way over all other traffic”. “Who was actually on urgent duty, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob together with his convoy… or the little ambulance that was seen at the site which was badly hit by floods?” he questioned.

While the rules may not be clear on who has priority in such a situation, Wong said there is no need for the law to govern something like this. “Basic logic and conscience will tell us, no one can take priority over some others who are rushing to save lives,” he said.

Dah jadi bahan ketawa seantero dunia...

The police also have control over the route and passage of the convoy, from the moment they leave their starting point until they arrive at the destination, he added. “Who needed more traffic assistance, the VVIP or the little ambulance?” Wong asked.

The video of the incident depicted a 4WD vehicle belonging to the Malaysian Red Crescent and an ambulance was stopped by the police at a junction as the prime minister’s convoy sped past.

Police have said the convoy was ferrying Ismail from Taman Sri Nanding to Batu 16, Hulu Langat. The district was hit by large-scale flooding last weekend. - mk

Netizens reject reason for giving PM’s 
convoy priority over ambulance in flood-hit areas...

While the police explained that asking an ambulance to make way for the prime minister’s convoy was due to safety concerns, netizens weren’t buying it.

Yesterday, a video of the incident went viral on social media, showing a four-wheel-drive and a Red Crescent ambulance waiting for a convoy of cars carrying Ismail Sabri Yaakob and others to pass through an intersection.

In a statement today, Selangor traffic police chief Azman Shariat clarified as the lead car of the convoy was approaching the intersection, a decision was made to prioritise the convoy on the main road to avoid a potential accident.

Learn the Indonesians way,ambulance first, bapak Jokowi second...

This did not sit well with social media users, who took to the net to express their disbelief.
In response to the police’s official statement, activist Siti Kassim tweeted: “Rubbish! Emergency vehicles take precedent”, tagging the prime minister’s official Twitter account.

User @ruziah also laid into the prime minister, posting: “Shame on you. You and your convoy can always stop and give way to the ambulance, but no, you must go first because you’re a VVIP.

“No amount of explanation can absolve you from this sin #NotMyPM #KerajaanGagalLagi.”
@anaszubedy questioned the action of the police in allowing the convoy to proceed.  “If it is true that an ambulance with its emergency sirens turned on had to give way to a VIP, we really need to relook our SOPs and practices,” he said. - Daily Express


27 December 2021

Menteri mana tau nak berlemoih...


Mail tiru stunt Rina Harun. Sodok Mail sodok...

Ini baru betoi bantu pembersihan pasca banjir... 

Why is PAS silent 
about the recent floods?...

Some politicians would invoke God’s name when criticising their opponents. They know that few Malaysians will dare to object. By using God’s name, they hope to silence their critics.

In 2014, when Kelantan experienced one of its worst floods in living memory, the MP for Pasir Mas, PAS’ Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said, “The floods remind Muslims to return to Allah and to avoid His wrath. It justifies the Kelantan government’s steadfastness in implementing the hudud.”

When Penang and Kedah were hit by the tail end of tropical storm Damrey and the island experienced its heaviest rainfall since records began, many areas were flooded and seven people died. The erstwhile deputy prime minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said: “What happened is a sign from God that this is the best time for us to retake the Penang government.”

A few months ago, mudslides and flash floods wreaked havoc in Gunung Jerai, Kedah. Energy and natural resources minister Takiyuddin Hassan told Parliament that the disaster was an act of God. He denied allegations of illegal logging in the area. The seemingly religious do like to blame God for a lot of things.

Sudden large water column incident in Gunung Jerai,Kedah...

During the monsoon season, some parts of the country will be affected by heavy rain, but in many areas, nature is not the only culprit. Humans are much to blame for flash flooding. The indiscriminate logging of our jungles accelerates soil erosion. The removal of trees exposes the soil to the elements. When the leaves and roots of trees are missing, excess moisture cannot be absorbed.

The resultant flooding may cause the natural habitats of certain species to be destroyed. With a loss of biodiversity, there is a possibility that some species of flora and fauna will become extinct. Because of uncontrolled development, some built-up areas do not have adequate drainage. Flooding is common in these areas.

Another problem is that monsoon drains and culverts are not regularly cleared of logs, branches, and other detritus. When rubbish is not cleared, the passage of water is impeded, frequently causing floods. Our rivers carry silt from upriver and if the rivermouth is not dredged, it stands to reason that flooding will occur along its course.

We learnt in school that our mangrove swamps act like sponges and any excess water from a tsunami or flooding is absorbed by the roots of the plants in the mangrove tidal estuary. If we continually cut down mangrove trees to convert the land into oil palm plantations or prawn farms, the natural soak-away qualities of the mangrove will be lost.

With the rapid pace of development, are we building on sites which are unsuitable for people to live? Are we building on floodplains or areas that are prone to flooding at certain times of the year? Sometimes, it is best to leave mangrove swamps and other floodplains alone to do what nature intended them to do.

Just by looking around us, we can observe that many people now pave their front gardens. Just one or two homes would not make much difference, but when row upon row of houses do the same, the rain cannot seep into the ground.

Our politicians often mention climate change, but mentioning climate change to appear knowledgeable is useless. Do they understand the science behind deforestation and climate change? Obviously not. However, if they do, then money is far more important to them.

Land clearing will release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but the effect of land clearing on the climate goes well beyond carbon emissions. It causes warming locally, regionally and on a global scale. It also changes rainfall by altering the circulation of heat and moisture.

Takiyuddin was disingenuous when he denied that development and logging contributed to the flashfloods in Kedah.

When will politicians learn? We could send them back to school, but would it make any difference? Surprisingly, no PAS or Umno Baru politician has mentioned God for causing the floods in Klang over the weekend.

Has God gone on a holiday? - Mariam Mokhtar


25 December 2021



How Noh Omar’s idiocy exposed more Govt incompetence after slaughtered by an angry Malay woman...

Disgraced former Prime Minister Najib Razak said the Selangor state government, which is being ruled by the Opposition Pakatan Harapan, should not blame the federal government, which is being run by his own party UMNO, for the spectacular failure to manage the flood disaster. Najib argued that the state government has its responsibility too, in an attempt to shield Noh Omar.
Of course, there were reasons why he defended the indefensible. As a start, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Minister Noh Omar was Najib’s hatchet man, the UMNO gangster tasked to carry out dirty works like stirring up racial and religion sentiments among the Malays that the Muslims and Malay Rulers have lost power to the “Chinese, Christians and Communists”.
Noh Omar would take “his share” and outsource the dirty jobs to Jamal Yunos, a lower ranking UMNO thug, who would then take his share and pay RM50 and a pack of chicken rice as well as a T-shirt to gullible and unemployed young Malays to take to the street. That was how the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) rally for Malay supports for the last 65 years.

Secondly, Najib has to show some support for PM Ismail Sabri, despite the glaring disaster mishandling, because Najib still wanted the government’s interference to influence the Federal Court to acquit him from corruption charges. Thirdly, Najib understood that Sabri’s incompetence mirrors his own failure in handling the 2014-2015 flash floods, during which he preferred golfing with Barack Obama.
Anyway, Najib was clever enough to read the hostile pulse on the ground, hence his silence and absence on the flooding ground zero. Even on Thursday (Dec 23), 7 days since the flooding began on last Friday (Dec 17), the dust has not settled as the death toll climbs to 37 with 10 still missing. It’s a suicide mission to go down to the ground while pretending to be a caring leader.

UMNO president Zahid Hamidi, as well as Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Hadi Awang all realized that people are still madly angry and frustrated with the clueless and incompetent government. All the three presidents of the largest Malay political parties were “smart enough” to keep their mouth shut, leaving the people to pick up the pieces of whatever left.

Noh Omar - Confused, Clueless and Incompetent...

The only idiot who prematurely stepped forward was Noh Omar, who is also Selangor UMNO Chief. He thought he could score some cheap brownie points by visiting some flood victims, expecting some praises and gratitude that Malays would normally express out of respect for a minister. He carefully chose Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Abdul Jalil to deliver some aid to Malay flood victims.

But he was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he received an earful from a Malay woman instead. In a video clip that has gone viral, the woman was seen lecturing Mr Noh that zero action was taken despite numerous calls made to the government agencies. The most humiliating part was when she said it were foreigners – Indonesian citizens – who finally came to the rescue instead of the government.
The woman, one of over 70,000 residents displaced as a result of the flooding, said – “On the day of the incident, we were trapped from midnight until 4.30am. We called every government agency, but no action was taken when we were in a critical situation”. Caught with his pants down, the despicable minister tried to corner the woman, asking if she had called “bomba” (Fire and Rescue Department).
In response, the Malay auntie calmly told Noh Omar, who was visibly irritated even though he was wearing a mask – “We called the Fire and Rescue Department, the Civil Defence Force, and even Sungai Besi Army camp. I even tried calling a local TV3 producer for help. But none helped us, who were trapped in our house. No government agency came to help us”.

Continuing her frustration, the woman said – “Why do the help only come when the flood is already receding? When the water reached the roof, none of them came to help. We were in a critical state on Sunday, but no one came to help except JPAM (civil defence department). But JPAM only sent three boats for the entire Hulu Langat area. Three boats were not enough to rescue everyone”.

After allowing a few seconds for Noh Omar to digest her complaints, the woman appeared to shift to higher gears, mocking and insulting the minister – “This is common sense, right?” Unable to retaliate or retreat as the camera was rolling, Noh reluctantly nod. But much to the disappointment of the clueless and incompetent minister, she was not done with him.

Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming Rescuing Flood Victims On His Kayak...

Like a teacher grilling a lazy student for not doing his homework, the Malay woman asked – “Where were our armed forces? During the 2014 flash floods, the military was already helping when the water was only at thigh-level. It you really want to know, the only people who came to help us were the Indonesians, who came in a sampan to rescue children who were stranded on a rooftop from midnight till 5:30am”.

“They (Indonesians) were the ones who helped us – the foreigners. Where were the government agencies at that time? We even tried the Palace, but no one came to help us”. Noh Omar, one of Najib’s closest cronies, subsequently attracted massive criticisms after the video went viral. While some praised the Malay auntie, many agreed that the minister has failed miserably.

Some people, including Najib Razak, have tried to push the blame to the Opposition, who is the ruling government in Selangor. Exactly what had the state government done to help the flood victims? PKR president Anwar Ibrahim had put on his yellow boots on the ground in Port Dickson. MP Ong Kian Ming had taken to kayaking, leading his team to help about 40 people. 

Sure, some may accuse Anwar and Ong of staging a political drama. But did any of the super bloated Cabinet of 73 ministers and deputy ministers pretend to help the people with kayaks? In fact, none of the three presidents of the so-called Malay political parties – Zahid, Muhyiddin and Hadi – care about dirtying themselves to help the Malay community during the flash floods.
Till today, all of them are as quiet as a church mouse, pretending nothing had happened. Like it or not, the Selangor Chief Minister did not have the power to mobilize the armed forces or the police. Why? Because apparently the clueless Prime Minister Ismail Sabri had stripped the Selangor Chief Minister Amiruddin Shari of his state chairmanship of the National Security Council (NSC) since November.

Two days ago (Dec 21), Amiruddin rubbished accusations that his administration had refused to rope in the army to assist in flood relief efforts. He said a call was made to the prime minister on Friday (Dec 17, 8:30pm), appealing for federal assets. However, PM Ismail played “tai-chi”, claiming it was under the jurisdiction of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).

Selangor Chief Minister Amiruddin Shari...

Amiruddin then contacted defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein (Dec 17, 8:45pm) to seek the army’s help, but to no avail. Neither the premier nor the defence minister dare to dismiss the Selangor chief minister’s claims – suggesting that he was telling the truth. It means Amiruddin did not have the power to mobilize the armed forces, but his appeal had fallen on deaf ears.

But why didn’t PM Ismail or Defence Minister Hishammuddin help promptly? That’s because either they were both equally clueless or they were trying to play politics by sabotaging the Selangor state government. Worse, NADMA also played tai-chi when its chief, special functions minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad, said his agency only manages victim compensation.
If NADMA’s role is just to disburse money, and not getting its hands dirty in disaster management like the flash floods, why was the agency established in the first place? Would it not be more efficient for the finance ministry to handle compensation? NADMA should be called NACMA (National “Compensation” Management Agency) instead, no?

There’s also a possibility that Abdul Latiff, a member of Muhyiddin’s party Bersatu, wanted to sabotage Sabri administration and UMNO with NADMA’s refusal to promptly call an emergency meeting and activate the armed forces for search and rescue missions. However, after a meeting on Tuesday (Dec 21), the PM announced that Amiruddin will return as chairman of Selangor NSC.

So, between November and December 21, Noh Omar was the chairman of Selangor NSC. Only when PM Ismail and Noh realized they were not capable of solving the flood problems that they quietly and quickly passed back the chairmanship to Selangor Chief Minister Amiruddin. Unable to save his face, however, the stupid Noh shot himself in the foot again.

The power-crazy Noh Omar now says that he is still the Selangor NSC chairman. He claimed that there are two councils under NSC – one deals with security and public safety while another deals with disaster management. Conveniently, he said he is in charge of security while the disaster management is under Selangor Chief Minister Amiruddin.

Special Functions Minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad – NADMA Chief...

Was Mr Noh trying to say there are actually two chiefs in the NSC? It was like saying a company has a CEO in charge of sales and marketing, and another CEO in charge of the operation. But if indeed Amiruddin has the authority to mobilize the military and police during disasters, what is the scope of power of Noh in his capacity as NSC chairman in charge of security?

Like the Malay woman who knocked some sense into Noh’s head, doesn’t common sense says that an NSC chairman in “charge of security”, as trumpeted by him, is the actual person with authority to mobilize the military and police? If Noh Omar was the one with authority to do so, it only means he hadn’t a clue that it was him that should mobilize the armed forces from the beginning.

Noh Omar’s contradiction of job functions in the NSC is both hilarious and pathetic. In the same breath, Najib was talking cock when he suggested that the Selangor state has its own disaster management hence it could solve the flooding problems on its own. After stripped of his power in November by the prime minister, the Selangor Chief Minister was effectively powerless.

After all, if it’s true that Amiruddin has the power to mobilize the military and police from the beginning, why was there a need for the prime minister to have a meeting to return the state chairmanship of NSC to the Selangor Chief Minister on Tuesday (Dec 21)? Can’t the PM announce that Amiruddin already possessed such authority? Noh Omar was a liar like his former boss Najib Razak.

The fact that the Malay woman in the video clip kept blaming the absence of the Fire and Rescue Department, the Civil Defence Force, and even Sungai Besi Army camp clearly points the finger at the federal government. She did not once blame the state government simply because all along, the national assets under the jurisdiction of the federal government were used to help in time of national disaster.

The problem is easy – lack of coordination due to zero leadership, which led to confusion, despite having the biggest Cabinet in the world. The PM’s order just stopped at his doorstep, and was not followed through. That speaks volumes about the quality of the prime minister’s leadership. And it has the cheek to ask donations to be channelled to disaster relief funds organized by the confused and corrupt government. - FT


24 December 2021

Halal atau Haram Debate...

Frustration over govt's rescue 
response, 'publicity' visits boils over online...

Frustration and anger over the government’s poor rescue response towards the floods as well as some politicians’ perceived exploitation of the disaster for publicity are boiling over on social media.

Netizens have posted various videos of flood victims reacting negatively to ministers visiting the affected areas or pointing out the lacklustre rescue and relief efforts by the government, among others.

Some of the videos posted include one by Twitter user Farid Reduan, who said his one-minute clip was taken at Bukit Changgang, Selangor.

In the video (above), what appears to be a government official’s car convoy, escorted by police riders, was seen driving past several people resting under a blue tent.

A woman sitting at the tent is heard quipping sarcastically as the cars pass by:

“Thank you, you guys helped out so much.

“Wow, so many (cars) here to help out with the flood.

“Tomorrow, when the flood has subsided, come again yeah,” she is heard saying, with some laughing at her last remark.

Yet another video (above) on Twitter by user Haziq Asyraf Jr showed Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob sitting in a car speaking out of the car window to a woman who was standing in front of her house.

The woman is heard telling the prime minister that her house is on high enough ground and that there are worse-affected areas further in.

Meanwhile, a video (above) posted on TikTok depicts what appears to be Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz wearing a life jacket on a boat heading towards flooded buildings with only their roofs visible.

The boat was full of people, with several also wearing life jackets. As they arrived at the roofs, the minister is helped out of the boat onto a roof.

The caption of the video claimed that the boat was full of the minister’s officers, bodyguards, as well as cameramen.

There was also a picture (above) posted on Twitter by user Cen Polo, which showed boxes of supplies on the back of a truck. The boxes were printed with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) logo as well as a photo of Kuala Langat MP Xavier Jayakumar.

“Aid arrived late because they had to wait for the boxes with logos to be ready. No wonder,” the user tweeted.

Aside from that, “DO NOT DONATE TO GOVERNMENT” is trending on Malaysian Twitter, with over 34,600 tweets at the time of writing. It is believed the phrase started trending after the government launched the Keluarga Malaysia Flood Relief Fund on Monday.

Many tweets with that phrase were of users expressing their disappointment with the government and encouraged donations to NGOs instead.

Some also expressed doubt about what the donated funds will be used for. - mk

The worst government ever!...

If there’s one thing that recent heavy flooding in parts of the country has brought home, it is that we are now straddled with the worst government we’ve ever had. The way the government responded to the crisis exposed what many have suspected for some time now – the Ismail Sabri cabinet is not just horribly bloated; it is thoroughly incompetent as well. 

With each change of government, we seem to get a government that is even worse than the one before. It is not surprising though because the same incompetent ministers are frequently recycled. They give themselves high marks for performance but it doesn’t take much to expose them for the bungling, blundering and bumbling lot they are.

They have simply no clue how to govern leave alone lead. They don’t even know what their responsibilities are and what is expected of them in times of crisis. If they are not too busy passing the buck to someone else, they are trying to get as much publicity for doing as little as possible. For them, it’s all about politics; the welfare of the people is of little importance.  No wonder most Malaysians are so disgusted with them.

The civil service – one of the largest and most expensive in the region – too has much explaining to do. We spend so much money on all sorts of agencies which are supposed to respond to crisis situations, but they are so poorly led that they run around like headless chickens when they are needed most. 

While the magnitude of the storms that lashed the country might have taken the government by surprise, the failure to manage the simple things – keeping floodgates and water pumps functional, clearing clogged drains, protecting our forests from logging and land clearing, keeping emergency response teams prepared and their equipment well-oiled, timely weather alerts, etc. – have made the situation far worse. It is a sign of the slow degradation of the basic functions of government. 

Thankfully, the people didn’t wait for the government. Malaysians of all ethnicities and religious backgrounds responded by reaching out to those in need. NGOs and religious groups too rose to the occasion in splendid form providing urgently needed food and shelter. A few dedicated members of parliament and state assemblymen rolled up their sleeves and got to work as well. The speed and scope of the response by these groups couldn’t have been more starkly different from that of the government. It a reminder that it is the spirit of ordinary citizens that keeps this country going.  

It is not the first time we have witnessed such an appalling lack of leadership in the face of a crisis. Remember the chaos and confusion that descended upon the nation when the Covid pandemic first struck? Conflicting rules and regulations, non-existent coordination, people caught in a lockdown without food and medical attention, etc. Very quickly, the whole country descended into disarray. We were still trying to recover from that colossal failure of government when the floods came.

Thanks to a series of corrupt, incompetent and pathetic leaders, our once proud nation has now been reduced to the sick man of Southeast Asia. People have grown so angry with and distrustful of the government that they have even taken to twitter to plead with both local and international donors to channel assistance through NGOs and other private organizations rather than through the government. People fear, not unreasonably, that any assistance channelled through government agencies will simply be purloined. It is a stunning and shameful indictment of the government. And a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Malaysia today. - Dennis Ignatius 


22 December 2021

Jangan sampai rakyat amuk...

Menteri mai penuh dengan orang2 dia...


Flood victims trapped on roofs, but Govt too busy playing politics and rescuing PM’s son-in-law...

At least 17 people have died and over 60,000 displaced, while some victims were still stranded on Monday (Dec 20) – three days after torrential rain triggered severe flooding in eight states of Malaysia. Yet, the clueless Ismail Sabri government appeared directionless, running around like a headless chicken as anger and frustration exploded over rescue efforts that were too slow.

Adding salt to injury, Halimah Ali, a politician from Islamist party PAS, blasted a shocking tweet – people should be grateful that “only a few people had died” in the flood, and told people to stop “maksiat” (vices) and minimize “sins”. Her tweet suggested that the flood and deaths were due to vices and sins committed by the people in all the 8 states in the Peninsula Malaysia.

Perhaps PAS, one of three Malay political parties in the ruling government, did not realize that Kelantan, the state under the Islamist party’s rule almost uninterrupted since 1959, has been hit with flooding almost every year. Does that mean the God was angry because the people of Kelantan and the Islamic government of PAS have continuously committed endless vices and sins?

Since PAS likes to play God whenever it suits them, let’s talk about divine retribution. One can easily argue that since the democratically-elected multiracial government of Pakatan Harapan was toppled by traitor Muhyiddin, who formed a backdoor Perikatan Nasional regime with corrupt UMNO and extremist PAS, the God has been punishing the governments ever since.
When Muhyiddin became the backdoor prime minister, his administration was plagued with Coronavirus pandemic. After Ismail took over from Muhyiddin, the new government is now being plagued with severe flooding. Are these not signs of divine retribution? If the current so-called Malay-centric government is legitimate and practise good administration, why didn’t the God bless it?
In truth, the damage and death toll in the flooding can be minimized, the same way the Covid-19 cases and the excessive death toll can be avoided. However, both Mahiaddin and Ismail governments were not only clueless and incompetent, but were too arrogant and busy playing politics instead of handling the pandemic, managing the economy and running the country efficiently.
People Trapped On Rooftops...

Whether it is Perikatan Nasional or Barisan Nasional (they actually haven’t figured which the current government belongs to), it is still old wine in a new bottle. After all, PM Ismail Sabri retained the super bloated Cabinet of 73 ministers and deputy ministers from the previous Muhyiddin regime. Worse, the turtle-egg Sabri has appointed 3 advisors – costing RM50,000 a month each.

Mahiaddin had cooked up his excuse to justify his mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic, arguing that the country had never experienced such a pandemic before. It was after all once in 100 years kind of pandemic. But what Ismail has to say about the latest flooding? Hilariously, the incompetent government also took the easy and lazy way out by claiming that it was also a 1-in-100-year flooding.

Actually, that was not true. Malaysia had experienced many major floods such as the 2014-2015 floods that affected 200,000 people and killed 21. It was described as the worst floods in decades, despite the RM2 billion SMART Tunnel designed to prevent disastrous flash floods in the city centre. It was also during this disaster that then-PM Najib Razak was busy golfing with Barack Obama in Hawaii.

Even before the modern time, the worst flash flood disaster happened in January 1971 when 32 people were killed and 180,000 people were affected. Obviously, the government lied when it said the disaster was a 1-in-100-year flooding. The lies were to hoodwink gullible people that it was not the government’s fault that it could not mobilize resources and assets to rescue the people.
In reality, the prime minister had no idea how serious the disaster was from the beginning. The heavy rainfall started on Friday (Dec 17), but it was only after the Mother Nature left a trail of destruction the next day, as well as heavy criticisms, for the premier to respond. The best part was, even after PM Ismail ordered the relevant ministries and government agencies to respond, there was still zero actions.

Ismail Sabri, who self-declared his administration had achieved 90% of the KPIs (key performance indicators) in its 100 days, subsequently self-proclaimed on Sunday (Dec 19) that the critical issues of inadequate food and stranded flood victims were fully solved. But more than 8 hours later, hundreds of people – old, young and infants – were still trapped on rooftops.

Fed-up waiting,Army rolls into flood reliefs...

Why hadn’t the Meteorological Department provided sufficient early warnings, despite knowing in advance that Typhoon Rai (Odette), which caused the crisis, had earlier pounded the Philippines? If indeed the government agency knew about the coming typhoon, why hadn’t the relevant authorities, especially the army, fully prepared for the disaster?

Senior and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been extremely quiet throughout the disaster. Exactly why military assets were not deployed promptly to rescue and assist the flood victims? Reports on the ground said army or police were nowhere to be seen for at least three days, leaving ordinary people – volunteer groups and individuals – helping their own kind instead.
For example, Kembara Kitchen was already in full swing in distributing hot meals and packed meals to flood victims when the government gave the lame excuse that the water level was too high hence preventing rescue work and food distribution. Don’t the police and military have assets like boats, helicopters and specialised teams trained to handle such disaster?

Interestingly, the police would have no issue deploying helicopters and drones to fight and intimidate protestors whenever there is a demonstration against government corruption and brutality. But when thousands of desperate people needed help after more than 24 hours without food, it could not even send a loaf of bread to the flood victims.
Of course, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s son-in-law Jovian Mandagie was allowed to use a government helicopter to escape the flood while hundreds remained stranded on rooftops. Taman Sri Nanding in Hulu Langat saw about 100 people, including pregnant women, babies and elderly, forced to climb onto the roof of a prayer hall – waiting for more than 12 hours to be rescued.

There was also the story of a paralysed man stuck in a house with rising water around him, and a woman and her child on the boot of a stranded car waiting to be rescued. The situation was so bad that hungry and angry residents of Taman Seri Muda, the area hit hardest by the flash flood, had resorted to looting several grocery chain stores for food and essentials.

PM son-in-law Jovian Mandagie helicopter rescued...

Obviously PM Sabri lied when he claimed inadequate food and stranded flood victims were fully solved because the looting, something that had never happened before, occurred on Monday (Dec 20) – 3 days after the flooding. To shut the Opposition’s mouth, the disgraced Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun was ordered to disallow debate on the massive flooding.
To make matters worse, while PAS Islamist party tried to link the disaster to God’s retribution over vices and sins, two of the biggest Malay political parties in the ruling government – UMNO and Bersatu – decided to proceed with their annual meetings, despite the disaster. Ismail Sabri only held a press conference at 11pm on Saturday night, after his party UMNO concluded its annual meeting.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu or PPBM), led by former PM Muhyiddin, had even ended the party’s meeting with fireworks. The party’s deputy president, Youth and Sports  Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu, on the other hand, was holding a grand ceremony – huge digital boards and lengthy speech – in conjunction with the launch of a “Volunteer Squad” to help the flood victims.

As expected, not a single member of the ministry’s squad could be found at any flood location. It was all about seeking publicity and wasting public funds. It’s a mystery how the ministry scored 90% in its recent KPI when its minister believed it was a jolly good idea to hold an official ceremony for a flood relief drive while thousands of desperate victims were crying to be rescued.

It didn’t help that state governments like Selangor allowed excessive development without a proper long-term solution for floods and drainage systems. As of Tuesday (Dec 21), the floodwaters in many housing areas have not receded although the rain has stopped for the past 2 days. Like it or not, at the end of the day, it’s always the civilians who can be dependable in time of disaster.

So much for “Keluarga Malaysia” (Malaysia Family), a political propaganda of Ismail Sabri to create a false perception of a caring government. The floods have shown that when disaster strikes, family members like his son-in-law will get the special privilege to be rescued. Even politicking takes precedence over saving the lives of ordinary people. - FT