‘When I took on the cartels here which made headlines I received death threats as well.
There were advisories given me by powerful then state actors as well for my safety.
Now there are talks about Bangladesh security guards! Strange very strange!
Do these shenanigans first know why Nepal was first chosen?’
For far too long we have ignored that elephant in the room.
For far too long and in past cases
we have allowed politicians, brokers, even the VVIPs and their runners, which includes a singer to play a pivoted part in the foreign workers recruitment protocols end to end.
We have even allowed industry captains to lobby the issues.
Many of them are alleged to have received huge blanket approvals.
It was once joked that even a certain high powered badminton star, a then speaker and another VVIP was running around with a few thousand approvals.
And no matter what one says the truth is as far as the issue of foreign workers applications, recruitment and others go – it is crystal clear that it is one of the most abused sectors to date.
Everybody had a finger in it.
From the onset I had repeatedly addressed the issues and fallout from the 80s, with the late then deputy home minister Megat Junid.
During our tea sessions and satays, he agreed with my observations but felt it was losing battle and difficult to address or manage the greed and political pressures from many strange quarters end to end.
It was at that time we even had that ‘six million ringgit man’ story and the Bangladesh cartels working hand in hand.
Or that story of the one’s super powerful multi-millionaire civil servant whose wife wore two watches in a golf visit to Nepal – one with Malaysian time and another Nepal!
It was hilarious how she became the brunt of many jokes there and within the diplomatic community.
Back to the issue – Industry players and captains wanted super cheap labor to maximize profits, their human resource team had their fingers in the plum as they developed symbiotic relationships with the agents and runners, those expected to be the gatekeepers were no better!
Everyone enjoyed the ride and anyone who poses a threat to them are threatened, defamed, even dragged through controversies planned and planted.
But my conversations continued with successive home ministers, head of states of foreign workers sending countries and their diplomats, who all agreed that we needed an air-tight public policy which identifies real needs from the false, and isolates political and state actor shenanigans who act as conduits in the multi billion ringgit racket.
One’s I was part of the entourage of both the then internal security ministry and then the human resources select committee who visited Nepal to address issues from ground zero with the stakeholders!
My then conversations with the head of state in Bangladesh were also very positive but political ground tremors were very strong as well.
It was always disheartening that the victims were the workers eager to seek employment though they had not the skills, nor the education and many resorting to falsifying their qualification as ex-service men or with paper qualifications and paying the conduits to secure employment by selling what little they had.
The truth is the conduits in the transaction end to end all knew the weaknesses but the financial kickbacks allocated to them helped compromise their positions.
It was after all a numbers game.
When I took on the cartels here which made headlines I received death threats as well.
There were advisories given me by powerful then state actors as well for my safety.
Fast forward 2022 – the issue of foreign workers both legal and illegal has not be resolved but gone from bad to wicked!
Again we have Bangladesh politicians coming.
However, the Covid 19 pandemic has now come in as a savior and those who in the past insulated and tolerated these huge numbers estimated to be more than 6 million are feeling the heat!
There are still boats arriving from the Western Coastline carrying with them illegals.
The number of foreigners on our streets and community is still growing and does not make sense.
Our borders are compromised and the hard work of our security apparatus being hampered.
Locals must become the eyes and ears of the security apparatus that our borders are protected.
Go to any housing estate today and you will see foreigners gathering without following safe distancing, wearing the masks or abiding with the protocols.
There are many cases of infections where they are concerned and my fear is it is only a matter of time before the local population may turn against them, for not abiding to the Covid 19 protocols.
If this happens it will become a homeland security issue.
The Top Glove fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is my appeal that it is timely to set up a high powered task force with one aim in mind – the deportation of illegals and those “legal” – who attained approvals through falsification and fraud.
Remember Bangladesh workers are economic migrants. They come not just to work.
They set up family, business and an ecosystem to bring their next of kin here.
I will soon seek a meeting with both our Home Minister, the DG of Immigration and our professional and no nonsense tolerating IGP to see how the civil society can assist our security apparatus to keep Malaysia safe!


‘There has never been an audit either of past budgets delivery outcomes except the usual Auditor Generals reports which is a horror reading with filled with incompetence and villains but no arrests?’


Looking at the present Malaysian scenario which I have predicted will be challenged in 2022, I humbly believe any wild or ambitious argument that Malaysia should re-implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) because other counties already have is not right!

We were there once and it was chaotic!

‘Right hand not knowing what the left was doing’ much like what is happening currently?

First because the rates were high instead of just less than 3% which I had advised!

Then with the political backlash there was a hasty retreat like many other episodes initiated by unintelligent politicians and hangers-on?

May I point out that the UN conference on Trade and Development Report 2012 had revealed in its report that the GST was more regressive in developing and transition economies than in developed counties.

Basically, I am not worried about the gravy train followers, cronies or those politically connected to the powers that be, those leading bourgeoisie lifestyles – ‘kehidupan glamour’ – you know who you are – I am worried more so now of the low- and middle-income earners, the B and M40s, individuals like me, senior citizens, with no pensions, doing pro-bono work to keep body, mind and spirit alert in trying times, who will lose a higher percentage of their income, or limited savings in my case, to pay for the GST compared with high-income earners!

And hello the transformation ‘gurus and their mantras’ – that listed out countries such as Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Cambodia to justify GST in Malaysia is also completely unsuitable because those nations do not have a good income tax system in place and their production is low.

The fact remains that Malaysia’s operating Budget is like a runaway train and is unstoppable.

Year in year out the administrative expenses is going up by at least 10% or more!

There has never been an audit either of past budgets delivery outcomes except the usual Auditor Generals reports which is a horror reading with villains but no arrests?

How much can GST help the Malaysian administration fill up the coffer and at tail end of the day it will still be unable to stop this runaway train unless the government is dead serious is converting the civil service pension to EPF contribution and curtailed on the increase in manpower intake into the civil service/public sector workforce.

You cannot continue using the civil service in its current employment obesity as a vote base!

And we know that change or transformation will never happen based on the conversation for example the one on Malaysian Airlines despite massive losses and an embarrassment to the history of aviation and administration let alone of inflated contracts that cannot be challenged?

Sink or swim the old failed methodology seems still preferred by those incompetent?

Coming back to the civil service – we are probably one of the top nations in the world today with the highest number of civil service workforce against our total national population headcount.

We have yet to make or create jobs in the private and commercial sector by making our tax rate amongst the most competitive in the region or in Asia and the business environment more open, zero corruption and less bureaucratic and the invasion of religion into the day to day lifestyles of citizens irrespective of one’s racial and religious backgrounds!

Moderation seems lost in the current environment.

True – the GST may bring in an additional RM7.0 billion but the increase in the budget spending and other seepage had gone up many folds of the additional income to be generated.

Can someone tell me how can we balance the books?

In the present hostile, chaotic political environment and fragile threatening race relationships and attacks on minorities any myth of a high income nation is simply ridiculous.

More so with the imponderables all around us in the current pandemic eco-system and the worsening of race relations, possible capital flight and migration of our finest and best brains to a more democratic and merit based society abroad.

In many societies specifically in other jurisdictions like ASEAN and APEC there are serious discussions of brave and daring recalibration to face the challenges.

Many countries in the neighborhood are doing far better than us.

They have returned to their drawing boards on policy.

Most have embarked on a food security investment never seen before.

These governments know that at the end of the day hungry people must have access to value for money food!

And they were once behind us!

Here there is fear to face the truth and change!

Here everything is racial, religious and so politically mined.

There are attempts to take Malaysia back a hundred years to be like failed states Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, several West Asian and African states with serious hostile, radical violent even theological belief unsustainable in any moderate and progressive political Eco-system.

May the ALMIGHTY help us as we go into 2022!


An open letter to the political leaders of the United States Of America, Russia, the UK, Europe, Australia, ASEAN and APEC!
When you fight against corruption, corrupt systems and peddlers of corruption whoever they are, you are targeted, you will get death threats as I have – not once but a zillion times in my career in consumerism and as Malaysia’s lead consumer advocate!
But, do we stop in fear or should we be motivated to do more, showing the perpetrators, we fear no evil!
The report read – Medicines worth RM1.2 Million stolen from a public hospital!
Another report read Officer who stole RM1 Million let off and a third read A billion ringgit airport or swimming pool and a fourth RM12 million paid to dead army veterans!
And there are multi billions being stolen too through compromised banking processes, money laundering and the using of tax havens!
I can go on and on and I cannot but feel ashamed as we are not having a conversation on corruption – the elephant in the room but on pigs, cows, frogs, belittling minority religions, strategically attacking minorities their race, religion, culture, arresting members of the civil society, and blowing beyond rational and proportions issues for a narrow racist, fascist political agenda!
Worst when whistle blowers become the target instead of the corrupt!
My God and Lord – It is embarrassing, silly and stupid to put it politely and how did we get here?
Many world sitting and challenged governments are very far from winning the war against corruption within its ranks if details of its latest report are anything to go by.
The report by their respective Public Service Commissions (PSC) and watchdogs agencies shows that efforts to rid the public sector of corruption over the years have not shown any signs of success as evidenced by the high number of acquittals or more interestingly no further action despite initial big media show times?
We are advised that over 77 per cent of all those facing corruption charges over the last four years have been set free, the report says.
And theft of public funds is the most common form of crime among all corruption cases prosecuted between 2009 and 2013.
The many acquittals have been attributed to lack of evidence as witnesses decline to come forward.
The report which assesses national values and principles in government ministries, departments and agencies gave low marks to the efforts by the government to sensitize civil servants on the war on corruption.
It was all a political show, the denial and delusional ecosystem these people were in.
Instead in several countries the tables were turned when whistle blowers and civil society members addressing big time corruption were castrated instead of those powerful and seriously tainted!
In jurisdictions of high number of prosecutions, there were an equally high number of acquittals.
For example,  an average, 77 per cent of persons prosecuted for corruption between 2009 and 2013 have been acquitted, which is nerve wrecking!
The high number of acquittals means efforts to fight corruption in places and positions of concern has not materialized!
It is evident that reducing corruption through prosecution remains difficult.
We cannot deny that fighting high powered corruption in certain countries is a nonstarter when the politicians control the entire government machinery and there is no separation of powers which is part and parcel of real democracy!
In some jurisdictions there is conflicts between civil and religious laws and the total collapse of professionalism among enforcers bring disrepute to law and order issues and judiciary pronouncements when one’s personal religious belief clouds judgment and professionalism of public office!
The process in itself also has major hurdles in several jurisdictions from murdered and uncooperative witnesses, lack of original documents and delays in the conclusion of cases in court, of compromised or sympathetic witnesses, while others are accomplices, mainly due to the fact that they might have been colleagues of the accused.
Worst case scenarios are when the entire government is in itself corrupt and repressive and draconian laws are exerted to hurt, punish and frustrate the true engagement and dialogue to combat corruption at the top!
Fighting corruption has its rewards!
But the political will must be there.
When I asked a certain a high powered official  about corruption, its statistics, how deep whose involved, his reply was shocking.
“It’s easier to tell you whose not than who is!”
Will 2022 be any different?
Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year folks!