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M. Bakri Musa

Seeing Malaysia My Way

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Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri is also a regular contributor to th eSun (Malaysia). He has previously written "The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia" as well as "Malaysia in the Era of Globalization," "An Education System Worthy of Malaysia," "Seeing Malaysia My Way," and "With Love, From Malaysia." Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill. This website is updated twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5 PM California time.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Incompetence At All Levels

Incompetence At All Levels
M. Bakri Musa

Malaysiakini.com, June 4, 2009

Nothing demonstrates the perverted priorities if not plain idiocies of Chief of Police Musa Hassan when he sought the help of Interpol in finding Raja Petra Kamarudin. Then as if to remove any residual doubt we have of him, his senior officers questioned DAP Leader Lim Kit Siang over an allegedly seditious speech.

Unfortunately Musa Hassan reflects a more general and disturbing observation. That is, he, like all our other leaders beginning with Najib Razak and all the way down, is too incompetent to fulfill the obligations that we have entrusted unto him. Unable to execute their duties, these leaders resort to indulging themselves in silly things so they can keep themselves occupied and looking busy.

They are like the incompetent mechanic who cannot fix your car, so he busies himself wiping the dirt off the windshield. Meanwhile you still cannot drive your car out of his repair shop, and your bill for the ‘non-repair’ keeps piling up.

The chief function of a police force, its reason for being, is to maintain public safety. No sane Malaysian would consider Raja Petra or Lim Kit Siang posing a threat to public order. The only threat they pose is in exposing corruption and dereliction of duty at the highest levels of our government.

To average citizens, crime – from the violent purse snatchers to multibillion dollar corruption – is now the biggest worry. Obviously Musa Hassan and his senior officers were too busy interrogating Lim Kit Siang that they did not read the Port Klang Authority multibillion dollar debacle that reeks of corruption at all levels. Musa Hassan must also not have visited his many officers in hospitals who have been assaulted by criminals. If Musa had listened to his many subordinates who had been victims of violent crimes, he would know what is worrying Malaysians the most.

Musa Hassan’s calling in the Interpol is a particularly egregious example of his incompetence. Yes, the Interpol is an international organization to help police units apprehend fugitives. What the organization has in mind are fugitives that would pose serious public danger, as for example the recent case of Mas Selamat. With Raja Petra, the police already know that he is in Australia, specifically Brisbane. If that were the case, why seek Interpol’s intervention? A simple call to the local Australian embassy for assistance should suffice.

Musa Hassan is abusing his authority and wasting the expensive resources of Interpol to boot in doing what he did. Interpol’s constitution prohibits ‘any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.’ Musa Hassan has to be particularly ignorant not to know that Raja Petra’s activities are exclusively political, specifically exercising his rights of freedom of speech and to dissent.

I have yet to hear or read Raja Petra asking his readers to brandish their kerises or to have them dripped in the blood of non-Malays. That would be criminal – inciting hatred – especially in a plural society. Where was Musa Hassan when Hishamudddin did his race-taunting bit with his keris a while back?

Raja Petra’s pen (or more correctly, keyboard) has been more powerful than those ketchup-dripped UMNO kerises. He had in no uncertain terms declared his mission early to ensure that the incompetent Abdullah Badawi would not last long as our Prime Minister. Likewise, Raja Petra also single-handedly took on Malaysia’s political crown prince wannabe Khairy Jamaluddin very early on when his star was shining bright. It turned out not to be a star but a flicker from a cheap firecracker.

Having those trophies hanging in his den, Raja Petra is now on to his next hunting trip. This time the stakes are much higher, and the mission much nobler: to ensure that those who occupy the highest office in our land must have unquestioned moral authority and personal integrity.

Like many Malaysians, I support Raja Petra in this. Indeed, what he is doing should also be the duty of all Malaysians. Unfortunately, not many have his courage. Our nation should count its blessings in having a brave and tenacious citizen as Raja Petra. A lesser mortal would have given up a long time ago.

Yes, Raja Petra has made many serious allegations against our leaders, including and especially Najib Razak. However, to invoke the criminal statutes on such matters clearly demonstrates abuse if not corruption of the criminal justice system. If Najib Razak feels that those allegations are baseless or libelous, resort to the tort system. Hire your own lawyers and not have the public funds support your personal defense or private suits.

Raja Petra’s many articles pertaining to Najib Razak contain numerous specific facts, named many individuals, and cited precise locations that they could easily be corroborated or denied by resorting to physical forensic evidences. Raja Petra’s allegations are not of the ambiguous ‘he said, she said’ variety.

Malaysia could probably tolerate incompetence in one departmental head, but when that is the norm, then we are headed for the pits. Consider the head honcho, Najib Razak. With the country facing one of its severest economic crises, he saw fit to meddle in the local politics of Perak. It would have been commendable had he solved or in any way improved the situation. Instead, since his involvement four months ago, the political leadership in that state remains murky and unsettled. Now he is desperate to extricate himself from the mess. And Perak is an economically important state.

Najib’s deputy Muhyyudin Yassin is no better. With our school system continuing its rot, he has yet to make a decision on such simple matters as continuing the teaching of science and mathematics in English or limiting the ridiculously high number of subjects students have to take for their Sijil Persekutuan Malaysia examination.

The incompetence does not stop there. Three Foreign Ministers and a year later, we still do not have an ambassador to the world’s most important capital, Washington, DC. Obviously our leaders are too ignorant to know that America is, among other things, our most important trading partner. We also missed out on the most important moment in recent American history: the election of its first Black president. Of course our leaders are too incompetent to comprehend the significance of such an event.

Chief of Police Musa Hassan’s erratic and incompetent leadership would have been tolerable if it were the exception. Unfortunately, his is part of a general pattern, with no hope of change in the foreseeable future. That is the sorry and continuing mess Malaysia faces.


Blogger ICE - LIMITED EDITION said...

I like the way you write about Malaysia and what is rottening in our backyard, keep your yardstick and its stroke Musa....

7:43 PM  

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