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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The abuse of governance Part I



Governance is a privilege given to political parties with a commanding majority in any democracy; after a due process of a good, right, and fair selection and an election based on a choice of the people, by the people, and for the people. Some governments, nevertheless after the fact, deny even that choice, as is the case in Gambia currently. Whither then our ideal of a true-blue democracy?
When a government is formed, our democratic ideals, as ordained and agreed to by all other institutions of governance within a nation-state, are clearly defined by a constitution. It is never only the domain of two legislative houses in Parliament.
Our foundation and universal values are also embedded in that very framework through our Federal Constitution, and its history, as recorded traditions of that debate and dialogue. For Malaysia in the peninsula it was both the Reid and Cobbold Commissions.
In Malaysia therefore, our institution of the Conference of Rulers too agrees and so do all parts of the Judiciary,and all of civil society who are citizens. All public service institutions (including the ‘piratised’ and privatised ones) and commissions established by law also agree implicitly; otherwise there can never be a good transfer of power.
They are all defined by our system of the Rule of Law as defined by the Federal Constitution and all related legitimate laws.
Public services delivery
All public services in Malaysia are under the jurisdiction of the government of the day. All these services are bought, paid for, and are financed by public funds; and never only by private funds. Cooperation with private entities always involves a concession contract which declares all stated objectives and intentions.
Therefore, and thereby, they (all public officials) must act and should only act for the public interest (ie that of all citizens) and never only in the sectarian political interest of any political party or her members. The same is true of any government of the day.
Therefore, I find it totally unacceptable that some particular and specific public officials can be allowed to abuse individual citizens based simply based on their whims or fancy. Is not the law of our land their guiding light for all such knowledge? Is not such persecution an illegitimate prosecution if done outside of legal frameworks? Should not undue harassment of any selected citizen be considered illegal and mala fide?
I find no other way to describe what the police did over that weekend in the specific case of our ‘Tea with Zunar’ event. I am a Zunar fan and will always promote his cause, his right to draw, and his urging of the ‘real cartoons’ for wrongdoing.
I support Zunar simply because he puts his pen through art form on the pulse that beats wrongly and poorly in Malaysia. His focus is always poor governance in Malaysia. Lat’s cartoons were simply focused on cultural harmony. Both need to be equally appreciated.
Zunar’s complete and total focus is therefore upon the RM2.6 billion said to be stolen from public funds. The reason is simple; all licensed print media or newspapers have chosen not to highlight this alleged theft. Even Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers have chosen to close one or both eyes to such an allegedly criminal theft matter of public funds.
We then leave it to the rest of the world to establish and prove our crooked person wrong.
All delivery of public services, through use of public funds, whether from the Treasury through income tax collections, or through welfare lotteries, or even services that have been privatised, are all public resources. All public resources must be made accountable to the rakyat of Malaysia.
Therefore I find it rather amusing that public officials, like the police, or civil servants like the Registrar of Societies (ROS), or the mayor of KL, or the mayor of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) can behave and speak as if they are ‘the gods’ of this nation-state.
The police officer who arrested Zunar was not only allegedly abusive and pretentious of his false authority, but genuinely thought and believed he was God’s personal messiah assigned to save his bosses from their unfortunate predicament. In the process he abused my friend, Zunar, and therefore this is my column dedicated to Zunar.
Zunar’s love with Donald Dedak
If I am not mistaken, it was the inspector-general of police who first asked Zunar to draw Donald Dedak (now, we do not want Walt Disney suing me either). Zunar only complied with a request but may have even have gone the extra mile of excellence to spruce and spice up his drawings to capture well Malaysia’s poor governance story too well.
As a result Malaysians are buying his books about those cartoons that misgovern the nation-state and he was even been internationally recognised. But all this is simply to say; people who buy, read, and enjoy those cartoons about the Dedak cartoon characters are still only laughing. Our only wrong act was to buy the books.
But, the more important question to every Middle Moderate Malaysians: “belum kita malu lagi kah?” Why do we allow one innocent Malaysian with a healthy and good sense of humour be so bullied? Dear comedians, why do you keep quiet about Zunar; is he really not funny, in your funniest of dreams?
You see, it so happens that both Zunar and I know that ‘malu’ is a Malaysian four-letter word. The other super crony capitalist of politicians of ‘Dumno’ also had a four letter name. He allegedly mastered the fine art of public theft in Malaysia, and even allegedly taught it to the longest-serving PM.
Cheating, stealing, and lying or CSL cannot now become the fine art in ‘Melayusia’ (a Malaysia built on the Ketuanan Melayu Agenda) and Malaysians cannot feel ‘malu’ any more.
Neither do I apologise that I am a Christian with a 2,000 year heritage of ‘churchianity’, with a Protestant work ethic and a culture of good but wholesome performance. Therefore we, from the Mar Thomas Church even say we have “faith in our DNA”, just like McDonald’s people have ketchup in their blood, and the ‘dedakers’ love money more than God.
Therefore the word ‘malu or shame’does appears in the Bible from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden; from the very first failure of our genetic forefathers, after they disobeyed God’s simple instructions.

KJ JOHN, PhD, was in public service for 32 years having served as a researcher, trainer, and policy adviser to the International Trade and Industry Ministry and the National IT Council (NITC) of the government of Malaysia. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of any institution he is involved with. Write to him at kjjohn@ohmsi.net with any feedback or views.- Mkini

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