A few intriguing situations 3

I was ‘pleasantly’ surprised that PM appointed TI Malaysia Chairperson Datuk Paul Low into the cabinet.

Even though I thought that PM might appoint some Chinese from NGOs, i thought the person(s) would most probably come from one of the Chinese NGOs. Some of the Tan Sris in those NGOs must be very disappointed.

I welcome the appointment and hope against hope that Low can do something to tackle corruption, check abuses, and promote transparency and accountability.

Note that I used the phrase ‘hope against hope’. It means that although i hope for this to happen, the odds of it being realised are slim.

This is not to pour cold water on Low.

Remember in 2008, the former PM invited Zaid Ibrahim into the cabinet as de facto Law Minister, hoping that he can reform the judiciary and some archaic laws. What happened to Zaid is now well known and I need not delve further.

I remember what a Minister from Gerakan (now deceased) once  told me  in jest. When asked why certain things were not brought up in cabinet, he answered that it was a case of one mouth against 20 over mouths..His voice was simply drowned in the chorus of  ‘warlords’ and sycophants  in the cabinet.  I myself had a taste of this when I was a lone voice seeking change in CC meetings of a political party, even though what I predicted would happen to the party  if no radical changes were carried out had now happened.

So as a lone voice, in a milieu surrounded by those with their own interest to be considered, I doubt Low can do much to tackle corruption. If  he is given a free hand– mind you,  no one would give him a free hand– most of the politicians inside   Big Brother including most ministers would have to go. That is simply not possible because PM has the party election later this year to think about.

I was also surprised by PM leaving only the Transport Ministry to MCA in case they overturn the decision not to accept cabinet positions. MIC has 4 MPs, and was awarded 2 full ministers. MCA has 7 MPS, but given only one full Minister’s post? That is a real slap on the face. But I suppose MCA has not much of a face left now, ever since it has elected a tainted person  as its president.

So  don’t blame anyone;  MCA can only blame itself,for choosing a president, who is instrumental in pushing through the resolution not to accept any cabinet posts if the party did badly than last time.

This strategy is like a blackmail.. You dont give me this, I will do that.. And like blackmail, this is highly dangerous. Now that it has really done worse, and has to call a EGM to overturn its former decision, the blackmail has actually backfired.

This is also political suicide. If a party which is part of the ruling coalition does not want to be in cabinet and does not want to operate service centres for the rakayt, then how does it expect to win the hearts and votes of the rakyat? By tagging on the coattails of the Big Brother?

The Big Brother might as well do it on its own without having to look after someone tagging at its coattails; it only adds weight to its coat and becomes a burden.

I think MCA  has expected 2 or 3 minister positions to be left vacant for its MPs in PM’s cabinet, as most people expected that the party would eventually make a U-turn and go back to the cabinet. Now even if its new leadership makes a U-turn, there is only one place left. Who fault is that?  Who was the one who gave up three seats even before the fight during GE 13? It is like hanging out a white flag before a battle.

With its poor strategy, it has now painted itself into a corner. There is simply not much of a choice left. Is there?


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kittykat46
    May 17, 2013 @ 13:49:51

    I’ve met Paul Low a number of times in the course of my work. I believe he is sincere and committed to the cause of ethics and transparency in governance in Malaysia.
    He is , however, very much an “establishment” person. He believes in the system and works within the system. That’s also why he is Acceptable to Najib in the Cabinet, while some other well known figures in T-M would not be welcome there.

    As things stand, that’s also why ultimately he will either have to heavily compromise and keep quiet, or ultimately get booted out of the Cabinet. I do not see any real will and sincerity with the BN government in tackling corruption.


  2. CYC
    May 17, 2013 @ 17:50:15

    Dr, you are proven correct. Low has publicly said he has no authority to act but only there to offer proposals. Then why not give him a post as advisor instead of minister? His credibility is at steak as he will be compelled to answer if he thinks GE13 was conducted in fair and transparent manner in view of so many irregularities reported. And by accepting the post in Najib’s cabinet, does he acknowledged the present government was elected into office legitimately without fraud? if his answer is yes, then what hope do u have on him? To me, he is not only a poster boy in the cabinet, but more of a reflection of his lust for minister post since he mentioned being a minister give him the stature to perform.


  3. Li Li Fa
    May 19, 2013 @ 20:07:52

    Maybe it is Najib’s idea that having Datuk Paul Low (an NGO rep) is better than having a MCA member. Afterall, this BN Chinese party has declared not to be in the cabinet.

    Datuk Paul Low has a Chinese face and he has yet to prove his mettle. Even if his efforts are doubtful, let us give him some time to show how he may throw some light into the darkness of BN. He will of course try his level best to assist his boss in making the cabinet as transparent as possible. If he believes in the system, then let us see how he can work within the system. The people will be most interested in his efforts.

    Is Datuk Paul Low going to represent the Chinese voice in the cabinet , or the Malaysian voice?

    Time will tell.


  4. Purple Haze
    May 20, 2013 @ 05:40:20

    The first thing that Datuk Paul Low should do is to review the EC’s porcesses and procedures and establish if the machinations of GE13 were proper. As it stands, the Interim Report of the consultants appointed by the EC themselves, ie. IDEAS and CPPS, state that the elections were “partially free and not fair”.

    Thereafter, if there is evidence of improper conduct, call for by elections in the respective seats. That would be courageous.


  5. Simple Sense
    May 20, 2013 @ 07:44:20

    If PM wants to solve corruption or transparency problems in his government, he must appoint himself as the one and only champion on this. Corruption is a behavioral problem, a moral compromise! It starts with the very top and cannot be delegated down or side way. This is a management 101 principle.
    The appointment of Paul Low is both a window dressing and also to compromise TI-M and whatever reputation it has built for itself. It is nativity to expect Paul Low to improve either corruption or transparency, perhaps some monkey shows like hauling another Tun into court.
    We shall expect to see continual racial overtone permeating over the next five years because this is the only governing recipe known ! As for Malaysian Chinese, get used to public bashing! Get used to be the whipping boy. Another five years of resilience training.


  6. ong
    May 21, 2013 @ 11:03:02

    The gist of this article can be summarised in a short but not sweet sentence such as “The appointment of Paul Low as minister is another BN bull-shit.”


  7. mycuntree
    May 24, 2013 @ 17:08:07

    The good doctor should by now be sadly disappointed about this. As Paul Low has admitted as such, he will be no more then some window-curtain frills in the house of BN. But what shocked me more is Paul’s acceding to his appointment after becoming aware of the actual role of his ministry. He is only exposing his up-to-now good name and reputation to sure fire odium with a lame duck post. Let’s hope Paul will not be so enamoured with the post of being a Minister, however an emasculated one it must be, but drop this hot potato sooner rather than later.

    Malaysians would need Paul to do his duty, to signal to Najib and BN, that such an appointment would be a farce in the demand of the rakyat by the BN administration to clean up its acts and its corruptions, by offering his resignation asap.


  8. klm
    May 28, 2013 @ 12:26:27

    As we speak, we are seeing the disintegration of TIM. I must say with admiration that Ah Jib is executing a beautiful dance step by plucking the head of TIM, aka Paul Low and creating chaos in TIM. There goes one of the thorn of the govt, always harping on corruption. Now it will be gone.


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