The World Anthem




by nikon lensman, Donplaypuks® at intrepid correspondent for trafficking all fine country affairs

In the Yes Minister BBC TV sitcom series of the late '70's and '80's, a novice minister is educated on very precise and useful techniques by the Chief Secretary to the Government, Sir Humphrey Appleby (was there ever a more wicked civil serpent?), on how to answer difficult questions posed by journalists or opposition politicians. One such technique was for the Minister to say, "No, that's not the real question. The real question is.." and then go off at a tangent. And then of course, there's always that life-saver of all serving Ministers - "As it may have national and possibly, even regional and global, security and/or economic/financial implications, I am afraid I cannot venture a clear answer at this juncture. An independent government inquiry...'

It is clear that many of our Prime Ministers and Ministers must be great fans of the Yes, Minister series, given too that London is their favourite holiday haunt, notwithstanding a sterling:ringgit exchange rate of about 5:1 with London being one of the most expensive cities in the world! Within the space of a week, three Ministers have deflected embarrassing questions by answering question that were not asked.

In the $40 million unexplained money for which a Malaysian Currency Mule was arrested in Hong Kong, Minister Nazi answered that it was not illegal for UMNO to receive donations from foreign parties. Incredibly, the PM weighed in with the claim that the question of smuggling did not arise. No one had asked them those questions.

The real question was, given the fact there was grave suspicion that this $40 million was suspected to have been accumulated from illegal kickbacks from Sabah timber concessionaires linked to UMNO Sabah, why hadn't the MACC found anyone worthy of being charged for corruption? If it was not tainted money, why was it hand-carried and smuggled into Hong Kong, instead of being transferred officially into Malaysia by bank telegraphic transfer from Switzerland, where sat another $52 million? Very stinky, you say?

Zahid Hamedi, Minister of Defence, then followed suit by claiming that Navy morale and national security were undermined by the Opposition taking potshots at the operational capabilities of its Scorpene submarines. But really, lately, no one asked him that question. What many have been asking is, how after 6 years, neither PM Najib nor Polis Diraja Malaysia has identified and prosecuted the person(s) who ordered the murder of Altantuya?

But, sometime back (two years or more ago), it was the Minister himself who subjected the Navy and national security to ridicule by formally announcing that, "the inability of the $3.8 billion Scorpene submarine to dive will not hamper the sub's operations!" He also waffled something about the brand new submarines not having previously been tested in the warm waters of the tropics!

Not to be outdone, Kong Cho Ha, Minister for Transport, announced today that "The Silent Majority Want the Automated Enforcement System (AES)." No one asked him what the silent majority thought or wanted; and after all, if the majority were silent, how would the Minister know what they thought or wanted? 

Okay, let's first get rid of this $700 million AES price tag to be borne entirely by the concessionaires. The CCTV cameras were quoted at $350 million, and presumably, the balance of $350 million will be for software, installation, commissioning, processing, administration, staffing and finance costs. The 1:1 ratio for hardware:non-hardware does seem way too high. Even if the government is not paying for it, there's the question of the AES concessionaires amortising $700 million of costs before arriving at the profit sharing sum between them and us. So, is it not in the government's interest to carry out an audit to ascertain these costs are genuine and not inflated? How difficult is it for a nation of Ali Baba's and rent seekers to artificially inflate costs by appointing intermediary "buying agents", as alleged against certain parties in the Scorpene submarine fiasco?

But then, why is the contract wrapped around the Official Secrets Act? Once again, UNCONSTITUTIONALLY, the details and terms and conditions of a public contract are being concealed from public scrutiny. Why? What happened to PM Najibs' 1 transparency and accountability? What is the government really hiding from us?

The other real questions are:

1. Why would any government privatise traffic offence collection which has been doing nicely for its coffers for 55 years?

2. Why would it contemplate privatisation when the potential gross income from a new AES approach could be as much as a stratospheric $50 billion a year to the Treasury, making it possible to abolish road tax and tolls and buy out all the crony blood-sucking toll highway and city road concessionaires within a few years?

3. Why would the government farm out this contract, when with the huge potential income from the AES traffic fines, it could easily finance the project by itself, or if necessary, via bank loans? After all the traffic division of PDRM has been handling this issue since like forever!

 So, the collective stench from all these irrelevant questions, diversions and answers is solid proof that it is not the PEOPLE, their interests or safety which the rogue government of PM Najib and BUMNO/BN is giving priority to. Their not-so-subtle machinations are transparently geared to lining the pockets of croneys so that they can secure a steady cashflow to fight the coming elections and thereafter, and keep themselves liquid for their London, New York, Paris, Washington, Munich, Switzerland, Argentina, Tokyo and Sydney jaunts!

Donplaypuks® with fraud, man! We can smell you a mile away!