Consumerist: Respect Earned Not Demanded!

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‘My generation of Malaysians – yes, each and every one of them, despite the years gone by, still are locked together in a relationship of oneness, a comradeship and many can learn from us!’

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Consumerist: Respect Earned Not Demanded!

My dear school mates, yes, from every race and religion, even those who have embraced a new religion, is met with admiration, respect, we chat, joke, mingle as one, despite sometimes our political differences!

But, we are all upset, at how today, we see our beloved nation being torn apart by political shenanigans and adventurers, following the precedent set by others following the same mantra of race and religious baiting which has brought them positions in political hierarchy and racist media exposure!

This cannot go on!

The world is a global village today!

Have some respect for yourself and your caring and loving parents who brought you into this world!

How can you respect any who does not respect themselves by their way of life and behavior?

How can you demand respect by breaking all the laws of the civilized world and expect respect?

How can you demand respect if you cannot address issues brought up and discussing them with rationality, dignity and decorum?

How can you demand respect if you shout and scream racist and fascist chants?

How can you demand respect if you at each and every corner threaten life and limb, at those you perceived with your own tunneled and silo vision as wrong or evil?

How can you demand respect if you at each and every utterances and action, make fabricated, frivolous and malicious reports with a rent a mob, who then put fear into other members of the civil society and constituents by thuggish and criminal behavior?

How can one demand respect if it is initiated with malicious and demeaning stances and utterances?

My generation of Malaysians – yes, each and every one of them, despite the years gone by, still are locked together in a relationship of oneness, a comradeship and many can learn from us!

We do not need slogans, we do not need seed money, hand-outs, huge contracts, we are not anyone’s “bitch”, we are all one, despite our heavy commitments, leading a simple but valued lifestyle and the best thing we have done to date is to make certain that our children follow our philosophy in life!

We meet regularly at eateries have a great time, updating each other and sharing each others successes and failures!

We are now also planning overseas trips together too!

Ours is no rocket science – just this:

1. Respect others. Because respect is a two-way street, by respecting others, you will find yourself respected. This is also known as the “Golden Rule” or the “Yellow Rule” of treating others as you wish to be treated.

2. Don’t “bad-mouth” other people. That means that if there is a problem, try addressing it directly with the person instead of talking behind their back.
See the opposing viewpoint. Trying to understand the other human’s views, or world view, even if it’s different from your own- it doesn’t mean you are agreeing with them, but
it shows respect for their opinion.

3. Respect yourself. If you do not respect yourself, others will sense this and treat you accordingly.
Take care of your appearance by being hygienic. Being poorly groomed (kurang ajar) usually sends a negative message to others about your self-worth.

4. Stand up for your beliefs. Expressing your true feelings- even when they run contrary to the social norm- shows a sense of confidence in yourself. This is difficult to do, but a human with the courage to stand apart from the crowd and think independently is often regarded with respect.

5. Do your best at every task. Even the difficult or menial ones. Establishing your competency or even mastery of a field will help others realize the value of your efforts.
Keep your word. A human who honors their promises is considered trustworthy.

6. If you cannot keep your word, gracefully communicate why you can’t.

7. Be a role model. Conduct yourself professionally, and hold yourself to high standards. After all, actions speak louder than words. And sometimes, actions can even inspire others.

8. Be the change you want to see in the world-consider volunteering. My generation got involved in holistic change and money was never the motive it was commitment and dedication! Most people wait until their retirement to consider what legacy they will build. Start making yours now.

9. Do not abuse and use race or religion, to uphold or justify what you know is wrong!

Got our drift?

                           

Consumerist: Wisma Putra Advised To Be Fluent In Todays’ International Relations Posturing!

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‘But allow me as an expert of International Law, to now tell him/her that there is nothing these days as “interfering in the domestic affairs of any nations” as the world has become a global village where the acts, omissions and brutality of any regime has an impact on its neighbor and unlike post 1945 pussy footings, today the world reacts swiftly and immediately to both international and domestic terrorism of any forms!’

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Consumerist: Wisma Putra Advised To Be Fluent In Todays’ International Relations Posturing!

It is true that the Chinese ambassador Huang Hui Kang paid a visit to Petaling Street on the eve of an anti-Chinese rally by Malay right wing groups and the inexplicable silence by those who claim to be statesmen and beholders of dignity and decorum!

And what was the sins of the former that required that stern response from Wisma Putra?

All this ambassador of peace stated was that his nation was against all forms of terrorism, as well as racism and extremism which target specific ethnic groups, his walkabout in the area known as Chinatown which inexplicably certain vernacular mainstream media barons or should I say bigots avoided?

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And who was this unnamed Wisma Putra source so fast on the draw but having no courage to go on record and will remain nameless?

But allow me as an expert of International Law to now tell him/her that there is nothing these days as “interfering in the domestic affairs of any nations” as the world has become a global village where the acts, omissions and brutality of any regime has an impact on its neighbor and unlike post 1945 pussy footings, today the world reacts swiftly and immediately to both international and domestic terrorism of any forms!

The honorable diplomat only stated what was enshrined in the laws and beatitudes of the UN – period that nobody – yes, nobody has the right to undermine the authority of the law or trample on the rule of law.

This must be strange to certain quarters who have their heads up so deep inside a camels ass to understand but this is international law and the law of the civilized!

Going further on the points raised by the Chinese Diplomat – he states quite rightly the following:

“the Chinese government has always pursued peaceful co-existence in international relationship and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”.

Come off the backsides of camels – is going for a walk-a-bout in the street in Chinatown distributing moon cakes (on occasion of the mid-autumn festival) an “interference in domestic affairs” now?

Are we now telling the world audience that a diplomat cannot spread a bit of goodwill to the locals?

Or is there another ugly dynamics at play here?

Let us always be mindful that China is now the world largest economy!

China is the second largest export partner for Malaysia with ~$29B (12.6%) in 2013.

China is the largest import partner for Malaysia with also ~29B (15.1%) in 2013, however this only contributed 1.23% export for China.

While one in their lust to suck deeply up can be upset with the Chinese envoy, can be get off our hobby horses and learn to look at the bigger picture?

They have learned from history and had swallowed much bitterness and humiliation.

Many say China is in trouble now but how many countries can still boast a growth rate of 7% per annum?

Go to China and see for yourself their vibrant domestic economy and the anti-corruption drive undertaken by President Xi Jinping.

Before any other moron or idiots in high and very low places have ideas let me inform them that like China, India has the second largest Diaspora in the world.

The overseas Indian community estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region in the world.

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And quite recently, beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 50,000 strong Indian diaspora at the Dubai cricket stadium where the crowd roared and cheered in approval when he said:

“If there is an Indian anywhere in the world, we don’t look at the colour of passports, the color of his blood, the relation with the motherland is enough.”

To me in this incident, and others prior, the street demonstrations, the racial profiling, racist chants and bullying, which must have been repeatedly picked up in the advisories and diplomatic chat – China like India, is responding sending a clear message to the world that no one is going to bully and humiliate Chinese diaspora anymore?

IF one is smart – they will get the drift!

                           

Consumerist: Will Indonesia Be The New Pariah Of The Neighborhood Due To The Haze?

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‘It beats me to ask how it was possible for senior politicians in the Indonesian government to issue such statements, without any regard for their people, or ours, the neighborhood, without any embarrassment, or a sense of responsibility?

For now – this repeated irresponsibility by Indonesia makes them the pariahs of the neighborhood!’

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Consumerist: Will Indonesia Be The New Pariah Of The Neighborhood Due To The Haze?

IF Indonesia thinks that ordering four companies to suspend operations for causing forest fires which have sent smoke across a swathe of South-East Asia is going to make her neighbors and ASEAN look the other way they have another thing coming!

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What is needed in immediate punitive criminal proceedings undertaken to put to a stop this repeated onslaught on the neighborhood which causes major health hazards, economic loss, displacement of communities and threatening lives!

Indonesia’s apathy and omission year in and year out has facilitated forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan islands that has blanketed the region in recent weeks, pushing pollution levels to great unhealthy levels.

There has also been the closure of primary and secondary schools as well as government-run kindergartens due to the haze which some countries have failed having no balls to admonish the bloody Indonesians!

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Worst we had a Indonesian figures who made light of the problem which has long strained relations among affected countries including Malaysia.

This moron made waves in recent weeks by repeating comments he made in March that Indonesia’s neighbors should be grateful for good air quality most of the year.

“For 11 months, they enjoyed nice air from Indonesia and they never thanked us,”

It beats me to ask how it was possible for senior politicians in the Indonesian government to issue such statements, without any regard for their people, or ours, the neighborhood, without any embarrassment, or a sense of responsibility?

For now – this repeated irresponsibility by Indonesia makes them the pariahs of the neighborhood!

                           

Consumerist: The Need For Accountability In Public & Private Procurement!

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‘In the end – we are all a bit to blame because we have not insisted on real accountability, transparency, and competency of those to whom we entrust with such procurement function.

The best way to avoid the failures we have seen in these procurement is to determine whether our state procurement procedures are based on common sense business considerations and whether they conform to “Best Practices” in public contracting or worst we are giving great jobs to undeserving incompetent, foolish and bungling idiots in political expediency?’

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Consumerist: The Need For Accountability In Public & Private Procurement!

Everyone talks about accountability!

Perhaps we talk so much about it because we do very little to embrace it in our system?

One man, a politician who challenged me about accountability when he took office in a particular state at an inaugural Parents Teachers Meeting in that state, a decade ago or more ago, where I was a member of the PTA was today sentenced by the highest court in the land for corruption!

I am saddened by it all.

His wife was a dear friend!

Yes, I must state that accountability constitutes a central pillar of any public procurement system be they public or private initiative.

And again – Yes, without such transparent and accountable systems enabling governments, private agencies or industry and citizens to engage in a
mutually responsive way, the vast resources channeled through public procurement may end up elsewhere or having the danger of increased corruption and misuse of funds.

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Even in a nation with all kinds and forms of checks and balances be it in the US, UK in Europe or other capitals of the civilized world public and civic oversight can help identify inefficiencies, thereby increasing procurement efficiency and effectiveness

Any qualified procurement professional will tell you, the administration phase of a public procurement is equally as important as the solicitation phase.

The administration phase of a public contract is critical to success of the project.

It is during the contract administration phase that the government or private contract managers assess whether the contractor’s performance meets the government’s strategic objectives as expressed in the contract’s “Statement of Work.”

If the contractor is not meeting the Statement of Work requirements, the government or private contract manager has the oversight authority to demand corrective action that will ensure the contractor meets its obligations.

The contract’s Statement of Work is the manager’s key tool to evaluate contractor performance and ensure the contractor’s work accomplishes the purposes of the contract.

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The Statement of Work is a clear, comprehensive, and concise statement of the contractor’s obligations. It also delineates the performance measurements and milestones the contractor must meet to ensure full and timely completion of the contract Statement of Work.

Even small government or private sector failures in overseeing the contractor’s compliance with the Statement of Work can cause big problems.

Inadequate oversight and enforcement of the contract Statement of Work will lead inevitably to the kinds of failures.

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To ensure successful performance of every public contract, the government must do two things:

• First, the government or private sector must ensure its contract managers are fully trained and fundamentally competent in the “Best Practices” of public contracting.

• Next, the government or private sector must demand real accountability on all parties to the contract, including its own technical staff and contract managers.

The stakeholders commitment to competence and accountability must apply to all procurement steps from the drafting of the Statement of Work, the inspection and evaluation of contractor performance, and the final acceptance of the contractor product or service.

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If the government or private sector or owner does not ensure its contract managers are trained and competent or if the government or stakeholders does not ensure accountability, the risk of failure is high. Worse yet, there will be no meaningful way to determine who is at fault for the failure.

The result is often a dramatic waste of public funds and long delays in obtaining what the public needs.

In the end – we are all a bit to blame because we have not insisted on real accountability, transparency, and competency of those to whom we entrust with such procurement function.

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The best way to avoid the failures we have seen in these procurement is to determine whether our state procurement procedures are based on common sense business considerations and whether they conform to “Best Practices” in public contracting or worst we are giving great jobs to undeserving incompetent, foolish and bungling idiots in political expediency?

                           

Consumerist: Make Political Lies A Criminal Offense!

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‘And those who seek to defend our political Pinocchio’s will argue that lying has always been part of political theater. But above heightened community expectations about truth-telling, they also conveniently overlook how the political lie has now gone into hyper drive.’

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Consumerist: Make Political Lies A Criminal Offense!

There is a simple way to reverse the spiral of distrust that is slowly destroying Malaysia’s democracy!

Yes, there is a way forward by making lying by politicians a criminal offense!

We cannot deny any longer that Malaysians are in the midst of a trust emergency – a terminal turn-off from our democratic system caused by a growing disconnect between what we hear politicians say and what we know to be the truth.

Let me be precise to what I am alluding to!

To be clear, this would not include the evasions and splitting hairs that pervade so-called “normal” political life.

I am referring to the malicious, calculated, blatant and outright lies – uttered to deliberately mislead the public – and these – need to be dealt with as swiftly and effectively as they are dealt with in other spheres of society.

To me addressing this issue of “political lie” illegal might seem a drastic step.

But, fellow Malaysians, we are facing a drastic problem.

Malaysia’s democratic system depends on trust and transparency to work effectively.

This is even more so in a world where citizens are far less likely to take what politicians say at face value.

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Thanks to the internet and the immediacy of hyper-networked information, facebook, twitter, and a host of other mediums and community expectations about our leaders and truth-telling have increased.

Malaysians expect more because we now know the difference between truth and lies much faster than ever, and with greater amounts of real-time transparency.

Despite that political life in Malaysia, as with many other democracies around the world, remains stuck in the dark ages.

This is a parallel universe where evading the truth through sophistry or spin remains one of the most saleable skills in the eyes of our political class.

But in contrast in the real world – hello – anyone who knowingly lies to a court of law risks going to jail.

A company head who lies about his or her business or the products it offers can be jailed, fined, or banned from business, or all three.

In comparison, lies told by a politician are usually about much bigger issues, and have more implications for the broader public than a controversial business arrangement.

I have always stated this as the lead Consumer Advocate that the ripple effect of the political lie – particularly election promises that are uttered with no intent to follow through – has the potential to impact on the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people.

But more fundamentally, a continual stream of political lies and quarter-truths corrodes our most precious asset – our democratic system. And the cost of that to our society and way of life is incalculable.

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And those who seek to defend our political Pinocchio’s will argue that lying has always been part of political theater. But above heightened community expectations about truth-telling, they also conveniently overlook how the political lie has now gone into hyper drive.

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So with politics no longer the art of the possible, but, the art of the dissemble, the problem of the political lie will only get worse.

And our democratic system and the trust needed to sustain it will continue to corrode to a point of no return. So drastic, punitive action must be taken. The question of course is how would it work?

Like a corruption commission, political truth-telling would be overseen by an independent integrity body (let’s call it the Truth in Politics Commission) with special powers to investigate and summon witnesses. To ensure it is not bogged down with the trivial day-to-day evasions of political speak, the standards of evidence and culpability would need to be high. Only the big lies would be fingered.

Its biggest challenge would be to establish whether a politician knowingly lied.

But the real point of the commission, would be the threat of criminal sanctions, as much as the sanctions themselves. Knowing there is a watchdog with a big “truth stick” would make politicians think twice before embarking knowingly on a lie. Of course, they could resort to denial that they knew they were lying.

But given the stark choice of admitting dishonesty and incompetence, how long would any politician last in the court of public opinion?

Certainly, the Truth in Politics Commission would have its hands full in its early days.

But once new honesty standards were enshrined and new accountability benchmarks made clear, the political world would find its balance.

Open and honest discussion – not the current unaccountable circus of spin and doublespeak – would become the new benchmark for political skill. This would be quickly rewarded by voters who would fall over themselves to reward honesty and plain speaking.

Did you know that there was a proposal to make lying to Parliament by politicians illegal was floated in Britain prior to national elections there this year.

And to date, more than 20,000 citizens have signed up to an online petition supporting the idea. It is early days but it’s an indication that the days of the political lie might be numbered.

An inconvenient truth for our politicians perhaps, but a very welcome truth for the rest of us.

May the ALMIGHTY save us from lying Politicians and their cronies!