Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Turning the Heat on Selayang councilmen

First, it was PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad hitting out at the 14 Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) councillors and 10 department heads for going on a RM240,000 trip to Mauritius, as well as to Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, funded by the council "in advance" (whatever that means, at the end of the day).

He summed it up best in the following manner:-

"Councillors and local authorities must have a sense of accountability to the voters in their municipalities, and not think that because they are appointed by the Mentri Besar, they are only answerable to him." ...

"As members, leaders and representatives of the ruling party, they are answerable to their voters and residents living in the local authority. They must show and explain how the study visit is going to benefit the voters."

and,

"Their conscience should tell them if what they had done was indeed beneficial in any way to the people they are serving."

Really.

Since when has "accountability" and "conscience" been the criteria for holders of public offices as well as some Members of Parliament from our Ruling Party?

The Selayang council is under the auspices of the developed state of Selangor Darul Ehsan, right?

Should not the MB of the only developed state of the country be held "accountable" too?

Or is it that his conscience is telling him that his boys deserve to be rewarded for all the hard work they do to keep him in office? Never mind that the rewards ultimately came from the pockets of tax-payers.

Read what the SUN has to say about this in its editorial here.

And today, Citizen Nades came up with a very scathing piece in his Opinion page, but unfortunately I am not able to put up a link to it as it has yet to appear in the web version of the SUN.

It was an Open Letter to the Selayang Municipal Council written "for and on behalf of disgruntled and disgusted ratepayers of Selayang" titled "Welcome home, heroes of Selayang."

I think some of the interesting parts of the letter deserve to be reproduced here:-

{Quote}

Dear senior officials, president and councillors of the Selayang Municipal Council.

...
... The deep-sea fishing must have been great. How many marlins did you land in Mauritius? And what about the golf? They have some great golf courses, including one on a private island.

... We heard you never got to meet the councillors of the Port Louis Municipal Council. If you had, you would have learnt about how they work for the people. They would have told you how the people threw out the previous lot in an election because they did not deliver what the people wanted.

You would have been embarrassed to tell them that you never have to face the electorate to be in office. Perhaps you were shy to admit that you are occupying your council seats because of political patronage.

By the way, did you buy enough cenderamata or cenderahati for your political masters? They would merajuk if you did not bring any. After all, your existence is at their mercy.

And don't forget that some of them have moved to their new abodes in the Exco Villa in Shah Alam. Surely, a replica boat from Mauritius would sit quite prettily in their living rooms!

In Cape Town, did you manage that meeting with the municipal manager of the metropolitan municipality, Dr Amos Mgoqi? ... according to your schedule, you had six days in Cape Town. The meeting with the Dr Mgoqi would not have taken an hour. So, what else did you do?

The five-star Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel (and it costs USD240 a night) where you stayed is in an excellent location - Cape Town's foreshore and most of the rooms and suites, with their fully glazed facade offer floor to ceiling views of the city.

One of you should have stayed in the Presidential Suite (USD1600 a night) overlooking Cape Town, which has its own sauna, fireplace, surround-sound entertainment lounge, study, fully-serviced kitchen and continuous butler service.

No, we never expected you to be locked up in your hotel rooms and we are sure you would have used the hotel's water taxi via the Roggebaai Canal to go to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront where there's plenty of shopping.

You would have gone up the Table Mountain or visited the nearby Blaauwklippen Vineyards. But please do not cut any hills in Templer's Park near Rawang to replicate the Table Mountain.

One of your councillors, Kohilan Pillay was quoted as saying that you were interested in looking at "investment opportunities." ...

By the way, we think that the word "investment" should not feature in the trip because it may anger some people. ... Rafidah Aziz and MIDA are spending large sums of money to attract foreign investment and by you wanting to invest in South Africa, it may be counter-productive.

By the way, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo himself has led several such missions overseas. Avoid the duplication, unless of course, you are unhappy with the progress made by these two personalities.

Having enjoyed your trip, can you please tell us more about how you plan to re-coup the RM240,000 that you have spent. ...

More importantly, how did your conscience allow you to take a holiday when services at the municipality are not up to the mark?

It is said that you don't respond to rate-payers' complaints and even ignore letters and reminders from the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

Under these circumstances, it is true that councillors and council presidents are little emperors. It is said that Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned, but all of you collectively did better - you were busy trying to hook a marlin or listen to the sounds of coins dropping into a machine when the administration of Selayang township was turning into shambles.

Now that you are back home, have a good rest, stop worrying about repaying the loan and plan for the next lawatan sambil belajar.

{Unquote}

Well folks, I hope you enjoyed reading (parts of) this very entertaining letter as much as I did.

Ah ... I just can't get enough of Citizen Nades!

Labels:

14 Comments:

Blogger carboncopy said...

Heat? In the end it is hangat hangat tahi ayam.

Nothing will happen.

8/2/06 20:19  
Blogger Maverick SM said...

You write great articles.

I will add you to my blog.

Keep the good stuff going.

Cheerio!

8/2/06 21:03  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

cc: The tahi ayam smell is getting stinkier, judging by the letters the paper received & published today.

And, do read the SUN today for the hilarious rebuttal by councillor Kohilan Pillay.
(I hope you can get this free paper where you live.)

And Citizen Nades broke from tradition by having another full page write-up today on this issue titled "Inspecting toilets in Cape Town", a tongue-in-cheek jab at Kohilan.

If I can't get a link to it in the web edition, I might just amuse myself and re-produce the whole thing here.

Maverick: Hi! Welcome and thanks for the compliments. You made my day :)

I like it that I am widening my circle of blog friends to include you now ... so that makes it worthwhile to plog on.

Hope you are going to have a nice day today as well. Cheers!

9/2/06 07:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going overseas to check on car prices

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/nst/Wednesday/National/20060208074707/Article/index_html

Hamidah Atan, NST Online
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 7:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Senior Customs officers will be sent to car-assembly companies abroad to
gain information on the value of imported motor vehicles.

This is to overcome under-declaration by car companies, which has
resulted in substantial losses in revenue to the Government.

Customs director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid said "five or
six" officers with the rank of assistant director would be sent to
Germany this month to check on the prices of some makes of cars there.

"They will be there for at least two weeks. They will then head for Japan
and other car-producing nations. They will also liaise with their Customs
counterparts and exchange information," Rahman said.

The officers will also liaise with Malaysian embassies overseas.

"This is one way to curtail under-declaration of the value of imported
vehicles."

He said that through this move, Customs officers at checkpoints would be
able to determine the actual tax to be paid by importers.

"The officers at our Customs Enforcement Liaison Office here will get
input from the officers sent overseas. We will be able to check the
actual prices of cars, which sometimes fluctuate.

"We want to be more proactive and be alert to changes. This way, they
(car importers) can no longer take us for a ride," he said.

Rahman, who took over the department in October, has targeted tax
collections of RM27.5 billion for this year, compared with RM25 billion
last year.

He said a few car dealers were involved in under-declaring the value of
their imported vehicles, while several smaller companies were bringing in
vehicles using fake Approved Permits.

"But all this will be history," he said. "We have come down hard on them
and they now toe the line. Fewer seizures of luxury cars are reported
these days."

In the war against smugglers and errant dealers, Customs officers have
gone undercover to check companies and factories. "I can’t reveal to you
our strategies but they are everywhere," he said.

In December, he had said car dealers had settled more than RM50 million
in outstanding tax due to the under-declaration of imported cars.
++++++++++++

Germany and Japan are great places to visit as well especially on taxpayers expense. Never heard of internet huh!

9/2/06 13:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, previous link seems to have been truncated

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/nst/Wednesday/
National/20060208074707/Article/
index_html

9/2/06 13:30  
Blogger H J Angus said...

cik amoi
What to do lah?
Our council members cannot be kicked out by taxpayers like you.

It is the cause of money politics and these councilmen are enjoying "pay-back" time.

Malaysian leeches. With apologies to leeches as they can be useful for medicinal purposes.

9/2/06 14:30  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Ya loh, HJ ... even leeches will serve us better than these worms. Oops ... maybe even the worms are more useful, eh?

Nades has been kicking and knocking furiously at these guys for quite some time and yet, our Mr Nice Guy is too lethargic to do anything to stop these brazen acts of fleecing public funds for personal pleasure.

Makes me wonder how he justifies the 92% support voters gave him in the last election.

I guess, small folks like us can still do our bit by supporting brave souls like Nades and cheer him on. I know I do by sending e-mails to the SUN, specifically to Nades to show my appreciation for his efforts on our behalf.

Yeah ... I have faith that if we, the taxpayers collectively raise the decibel of protests loud enough and not let up the pressure, maybe Mr Nice Guy can finally hear us. He has to, unless he is chronically deaf and playing dumb.

To anonymous: Citizen Nades further revealed that the Subang Jaya Municipal Council has unanimously agreed to allow its councillors to go on a "lawatan sambil belajar" trip to Europe.

And why not? After all, Selayang has gone to Mauritius & South Africa and last year, MPPJ went to China and Australia.

Must keep up with these guys what!

9/2/06 17:14  
Blogger carboncopy said...

Oh, did u know the National Registration Department sent ppl all over the world to get our rakyat overseas to register for MyKad?

Gee, I wonder what our consulate are doing?

9/2/06 22:22  
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