Tap the best brains

When I was a houseman in Penang hospital, eon years ago, there was an episode which I can still recall  which involved the doctors and a state DPP.

As a houseman, I was required to help run the A & E Unit (Accidnet and Emergency Unit, unofficially called the Casualty department) once in a while, according to our rosters.

I still remember at that time, in that emergency department’s consultation room, there were 2 tables, one in the centre which was occupied by the medical officer on duty, the other table was at the side and would be occupied by the houseman on duty. There were examination couch which were divided by curtains to ensure some form of privacy for examining patients.

Government emergency unit was always packed, in those days as in now.

In those days, after 4.15pm, the outpatient clinics of the hospital would be closed, and all patients, whether emergency or not, all came to the A&E units. We of course would see the emergency cases first– those involved in accidents , bleeding cases, and cardiac arrest cases , asthmatic cases and so on–and the not so serious one would have to wait for these emergency cases to be managed first  before we could attend to them.

One night, when I was on duty, the medical officer was a CHinese lady doctor, known for her compassion and efficiency. She would not entertain whether a big shot’s child was having fever and waiting outside,; she would see the emergency cases first, as should be the case.

Suddenly, there was a commotion outside the consultation room, and not long after, a man barged in angrily and confronted the Medical Officer (MO). He asked whether the MO knew who he was. Of course the doctor answered in the negative. He then loudly claimed that he was so and so, a State DPP, and he wanted his kid who was having a very minor ailment to be seen first.

The MO refused saying that she would see emergency cases first, and other non emergency cases on a first come first serve basis, no matter who the patient was..A stand which I agreed totally, and  I chipped in to say so.

The man then became very angry, used abusive words, and then foul languages, and before he left, and made some threats as to ” make sure we tremble in our pants and that we would have our pants down and so on”…

The MO filed a complaint to the hospital director the next day, and i wrote a witness account too. To make sure that action would be taken against this DPP, all the MOs and Housemen signed a joint memorandum and submitted to the then DG through the hospital director. In fact, the DG came and visited and spoke to both the MO and myself as well as the staff on duty that night.

A formal complaint was lodged and the DPP was transferred.(whether there was any demotion or promotion, we were not told).

Even in those days, people tended to throw their weight around. This might  be human nature, especially those in the legal profession where they controlled the fate of whether to put people on trial or not.

In a way, those DPPs are like judges, since they have the power to decide on whether a case has sufficient  merits to be tried and whether such a case should be dropped.

That being the case, would it not happen that some of them might hesitate to put  top civil servants or  top private lawyers on trial? Especially those whom they have come to know well as Golfing partners or fellow club members?

That brings us back to the issue of prosecution. The Teoh Beng Hock’s case was prosecuted by a private sector lawyer , a former DPP. This actually started a good precedent.

Looking at the whole civil services, we have a perception that the standard of everything is not as good as before. In other words, there is a loss of excellence in all fields. In the Judiciary, many cases which were prosecuted were unsuccessful because of not ‘sufficient’ groundwork done, meaning that the case was not well investigated and prepared. So in many cases , justice is not done because of technicalities.

But there are a lot of expertise outside which can be tapped..

Malaysia still has plenty of good lawyers in private practices, some with 30 to 40 years of experiences, and many of them have gone through the golden age of our legal system in the 60s and 70s, when Malaysia’s judiciary was among the best and most independent in the Commonwealth.

So why not let some of these senior lawyers prosecute cases especially those involving civil servants and government GLCs and public funds?

Why not let these lawyers head investigative task force to investigate big scandals like PKFZ and the missing jets?

WHy not let Karpal Singh prosecute Lingam when he openly declared that he is willing to do so? Karpal is  very experienced and allegedly one of the best lawyers in the country, there is no doubt about it. Why not let him prosecute the case in his capacity of a competent senior lawyer?

I think Malaysia’s legal system needs to adopt new thinkings and new mindsets in order to nail down those culprits and perpetrators who are enjoying themselves because we did not use the best brains to tackle them.

As long as Justice is done and seen to be done, whether the rats were caught by the white mouse or the black mouse  or the brown mouse is really immaterial…


19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ahoo
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 12:36:30

    Dr, it is not easy to stand for one’s right. Many a time these “creatures” will threathen and try to throw their weight around to show their arrogance. Thank God that even in your early days, you already learned that meritocracy is the virtue for law and order.

    Would like to share a message received via email ” Do you know who I am ?” and hope to add some laughters for the year end holidays.

    An award should go to the Virgin Airlines desk attendant in Sydney some months ago for being smart and funny, while making her point, when
    confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

    A crowded Virgin flight was cancelled after Virgin’s 767s had been withdrawn from service. A single attendant was rebooking a long line of
    inconvenienced travellers.

    Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, ‘I HAVE to be on this flight and it
    HAS to be FIRST CLASS’. The attendant replied, ‘I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these people first, and I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.’

    The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, ‘DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?’ Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address microphone: ‘May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please,’ she began – her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal.

    ‘We have a passenger here at Desk 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Desk 14.’ With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, ‘F… You!’ Without flinching, she smiled and said, (I love this bit) ‘I’m sorry, sir, but you’ll have to get in line for that too.


  2. klm
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 13:12:07

    That must a Malaysian VIP.


  3. Dr Hsu
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 13:46:34

    Yes, that must be a Malaysian. Remember the case of a VIP who was asked to take off shoes during the security check at airport?That fellow made big noises after coming back…

    It is quite common in overseas airport when they ask you to take off belts and shoes to be scanned. I have gone through that as well in the states. And many other travellors too. Those fellows manning the security is only doing their jobs.

    In Malaysia, people tend to get big headed since this is a country that stresses on ‘forms’ and ‘titles’. Datoship is everything to some.

    A title should be a recognition of service. It should be bestowed on recognition of achievement, and not lobbied.


  4. clearwater
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 15:31:24

    Dr Hsu,

    Your suggestion is good but that is not the way those in authority would want it to work other than in exceptional circumstances. I think the main idea is not to use the best brains where investigation or prosecution under the law is concerned. Only then does it allow much leeway for negotiation, for manipulation, trading of favors, selective prosecution and the like. Failure then becomes an accepted norm and easily explained away to a disillusioned public.

    Sorry to be so cynical but too many cases appear to have been compromised in our courts for an observer not to be suspicious. It has all become part of the system.


  5. A true Malaysian
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 15:46:09

    Hey guys and gals,

    Please go read a “must read” article of Susan Loone.

    “Recommended reading for non-Malays: I, too, am Malay by Zaid Ibrahim”


    and of course, her earlier interview with Zaid Ibrahim.

    As I always say, we are all victims of circumstances, our Malay brothers and sisters inclusive. For me, I always look Malays at Zaid Ibrahim’s perspective.

    Umno Malays are just one kind of their own, but they are victims of their own doing, or put it aptly, their masters’ doing, or should I say, victims of circumstances as well. We are witnessing “back-fire” of their own doing.

    It is time non-Malay Malaysians change their stereotype thinking of Malays.


  6. A true Malaysian
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 16:54:34

    Dr. Hsu,

    You commented “The Teoh Beng Hock’s case was prosecuted by a private sector lawyer , a former DPP. This actually started a good precedent.”

    I don’t see this as a “precedent”. I see it as “one and only” case that the government cannot afford to loose face, no one else in the AG Chamber is qualified to do the messy job. The government has no choice but to go for this former DPP. Again, this is a perfect “back-fire” case for the absence of meritocracy and emphasis on “Ketuanan”.

    Eventually, either way, justice will prevail for TBH case, “paper cannot cover fire” as the saying goes. They are facing tough time now. Look at the delay, it shows.


  7. QGX
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 17:01:58

    There are indeed a lot of great Malaysian brains out there:

    But some of these would never let their brains to be tapped – preferring instead to hunker down and keep to their own business, or run to another country – even whilst their house/country is being burned and looted…

    And then there are those who are waiting to be tapped… with an occasional hint or two of their intent in their blogs … but nevertheless not seeing much action… Some of these may even have given up hope of ever being tapped in Malaysia and so have gone to other countries…

    And then there are those who are clearly very qualified and who have volunteered to be tapped(like Karpal) and yet… no response from the authorities…

    The reality is that those people who are now in power will never want to tap into the great brains that Malaysia has.

    Indeed, the people in power would prefer the Malaysian brains to just disappear / get out of the country so that the have the country all to themselves – leaving only the zombies and the brain-washed. Those in power are allowing those still in Malaysia (arguably) just sufficient incentive to work so that they could continue to feed off them…

    And so if the Malaysian brains out there are to be tapped for the betterment of Malaysia – don’t expect those in power or anyone else to call upon you… The Malaysian brains out there should just look into the mirror and tap yourselves!


  8. CYC
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 17:30:22

    Just look at the composition of National Economic Action Council members, there is hardly any new faces. This speaks volume on how progressive is our brain nurturing program has achieve.

    Our best brains already been leased out for free to S’pore and other countries.

    So, what is left? Only brilliant political brains in BN who specialise in looting the country’s wealth. Gerakan is one of them.

    Even the Bumi who are good will be sideline unless u work according to BN’s wishes. Remember the DPP, Sallehuddin who handle Altantuya’s case? Why was he suddenly replaced and where is he now? It is a million dollar question as he is deemed an experienced DPP on criminal cases. But he was replaced by someone less experience.

    Then u have Sakmongkol the blogger who are at least miles ahead of other UMNO warlords but he is not even considered for another term as Adun in Pahang. So, the malaysia culture is such that emphasize on “congruence in opinion” or ‘compromising for the sake of collective objective” rather than critical thinking. The Alibaba style of sharing looted wealth is flourishing.

    Najib, KTK, OTK …. and etc considered themslves as Brahmins and the rest of Pariahs, ….. and the story goes on in Malaysia with this clear division … and brain drain will be a planned policy rather than an issue that need urgent rectification. Just the same with clashes of views between rich and poor nation at the recent concluded Copenhagen Summit.


  9. romerz
    Dec 24, 2009 @ 04:36:00

    Dr Hsu,

    Sorry for being rude but you still don’t get it do you?

    What you and I wish for, meritocracy, no-racialism, trusting our democratic institutions DOES NOT EXIST!

    The BN system of power sharing does not allow for it when the “backbone” of BN depends on support by championing for a particular race and all their insecurities.

    Simply put, nothing good will come out from the present status quo unless the fucked system is retired!

    Power sharing amongst the various races no longer works when all it does is put ordinary Malaysians in conflict mode!

    Dr Hsu, when will you realize that we are living on a lie? When will you realize that Malaysia, despite what you say or what I say can’t change until the racism is buried once and for all?

    We have very difficult challenges ahead of us and you disappoint me. 2 years you told me. Well, we are close to that. But I will be patient.

    But I will hold you and KTK’s 2 years. In another 4 months, KTK will squirm because I will make pubic all that I know about his lack of courage.

    Do you want me to talk of silat and the 2 islands off the Penang bridge?

    Bloody useless Penangite and a poor example of a man!!!


  10. Meng
    Dec 24, 2009 @ 09:29:54

    “I will make pubic all that I know about his lack of courage.” Please don’t wait too long..let it out now.


  11. CYC
    Dec 24, 2009 @ 16:28:00

    Najib is tapping the like minded brains from Hua Zhong and Chong Hua Independent School to garner support from the Chinese community. He tried very hard to portray a open minded approach to impress those who prefer status quo whether in politics or economic system. But with due respect to the older generation, I think the younger generation will not buy this cheap publicity stunt.

    Perhaps Dong Jiau Zong and Hua Zong also need to tap fresher brain out there to reinvent themselves. They are also typically 50 years old as BN which need some overhaul to ensure it function well. Otherwise, the over glorified achievement of these chinese organization will continue to bloat without realising its limitation and mistakes made over the past decades.

    The key word to ensure best brains are tapped for the greater benefits of the nation is “RIGHT POLICIES”. In the absence of right policies which purely based on merits and needs, nothing to hope for and its destined to fail. Therefore, the policy making body must be smart, fair and efficient. To ensure this policy making body is trustworthy, we must vote smart to ensure only ppl with integrity and brain got voted in. So, do exercise care and mindfulness when u vote in the coming GE13.

    Vote ppl without integrity and guts OUT.

    Vote the corrupt warlords into KAMUNTING.

    Learn from Indonesia to practice democracy even in as infant stage with many flaws.

    Vote for a better tomorrow for MALAYSIA where u can celebrate Christmas, Aidil Fitri, Spring Festival, Deepavali, Wesak … etc together with a real sense of UNDERSTANDING and RESPECT of each others belief and culture diversity.

    Merry Christmas to Dr Hsu and all others.


  12. disgusted
    Dec 24, 2009 @ 22:16:22

    I am afraid I totally agree with Romerz. The present status quo is fucked and will be fucked up a long long time. It’s time we face the realities.


  13. Liew
    Dec 29, 2009 @ 13:01:40

    Romerz is right


  14. lion
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 06:21:49

    I have read your blog for a long, long time, Hsu. You kept on talking, talking, talking, and hoping for a better tomorrow.

    For years you did that.

    While Koh Tsu Koon was selling out the Penangites, you never say anything about that. Instead, you told the world, via this blog that yes, Penang is getting better.

    Hsu, you are a liar. No matter if you are a medical doctor or not, a liar is a liar.

    You lied to us. You lied for BN. You lied for Koh Tsu Koon.

    It’s that spindoctor mode that you have do a lot of harm to Penang, and Malaysia.

    Stop talking as if you are the savior. Man, please look at yourself in the mirror. How can a damn liar become a savior?

    Who am I?

    Just a Penangite that is pissed off at you guys who have lied while BN was/is plundering the Rakyat’s coffer.


  15. Dr Hsu
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 10:08:31

    lion, so if i stop talking and ”harping’, i presume you will be satisfied. Is that the case? I wiill definitely go slow. In fact, I realise i have been talking too much, after someone advising me not to ‘harp’ anymore..

    After taking a 9 day holiday in London a few weeks back, I have decided to go slow on bloggings and let the younger people like you bear the arms to fight…

    first of all, to be credible, use your real name to fight. If you believe in a cause, you would not be afraid to go to Kamungting

    You write well in good English. SO start a blog, use your real identity and champion your cause.

    If you have the time, just tell me when did I praise KTK in any of the writings in this blog, or MI? I have written so much and if I am not consistent on my writings, I deserve to be bashed left and right ….


  16. Dr Hsu
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 11:07:59

    I also forgot to thank you for pointing out that my blog is telling ‘lies’. Which means that my attacks on bad governance are all lies. My asking for 2 party system is also lies and should not be listened to.

    This blog in fact has attacked component parties more than the opposition. I can hardly find anything talking bad about opposition, so to you , all these are lies?? interesting…

    So readers, if you think lion is right, just expound all my posts from your minds, do not believe that the present government is bad, since whatever i told are lies..If he is right, and he seems to be so firm that he may be right, then let the staus quo remain lah…

    That is one reason why ‘liars’ like us should stop political bloggings… so that the government and the component parties should have less people to attack them…

    Thank you for telling me and the readers these. And as I have said, I will go slow on political bloggings.


  17. A true Malaysian
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 12:25:24

    Dr. Hsu,

    Lion doesn’t know you well. Perhaps he was in the den for too long. Come on Lion, comment something more constructive.


  18. 3rd Force
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 15:47:27


    Try to be specific in the comment on the issue rather then by personal attack to this blogger. Please do not mislead and manipulate the true and the actual story. We know you are trying to play the role of a trouble maker for the some parties on behalf.


  19. Dr Hsu
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 20:43:10

    when did i preached patience for many years? I have been a member only since 2002, and as an ordinary member in KL , I had not even know KTK until 2006, when he came down for a dialogue with party member.

    I was elected a CC member in October 2008, way after 308, and that is because I advocated Gerakan as a third force and had been campaiging on that ground too. That was a position that enable me to voice out inside the party, but not a position with perk…

    When did I support KTK? I had never hold any government position, and I had never had any perk as CC member. In fact, for attending meetings, I have to leave my clinic and lose on my income.

    I started voicing out as an ordinary member in 2006, and in that particular dialogue KTK had with with KL members, I stood up and asked that the party should go out of BN and I gave reasons for advocating that . KTK at the end of the dialogue even suggested that if I was not happy, i could join opposition.

    I have started knowing him better since 2008 when myself and romerz engaged him in a debate about the third force, bringing the party out of BN. Ask romerz.

    I had no say and i did not know anything about Penang Gerakan until I was elected a CC member , and that was in October 2008, after Gerakan has lost everyhting in 308. You got your chronology all wrong and i think you are here to smear my name. I do not know where u are from, but i had tolerated u enough, and after this post , i am not going to allow any more personal attacks ..

    Show your identity and let us meet face to face. I can come up Penang to meet you to discuss how did I become part of the’evil’ that destroy penang, when I was not even in Penang Gerakan and not in national gerakan…If you label me as a devil, then it is only fair that i meet up with you to clarify..

    (I have deleted another comment by lion as he had continued his personal attack and called me devil)…


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