Copenhagen Negotiators Bicker and Filibuster While the Biosphere Burns
George Monbiot despairs at the chaotic, disastrous denouement of a chaotic and disastrous climate summit
The Guardian/UK Saturday, December 19, 2009
by George Monbiot
First they put the planet in square brackets, now they have deleted it from the text. At the end it was no longer about saving the biosphere: it was just a matter of saving face. As the talks melted down, everything that might have made a new treaty worthwhile was scratched out. Any deal would do, as long as the negotiators could pretend they have achieved something. A clearer and less destructive treaty than the text that emerged would be a sheaf of blank paper, which every negotiating party solemnly sits down to sign.
This was the chaotic, disastrous denouement of a chaotic and disastrous summit. The event has been attended by historic levels of incompetence. Delegates arriving from the tropics spent 10 hours queueing in sub-zero temperatures without shelter, food or drink, let alone any explanation or announcement, before being turned away. Some people fainted from exposure; it’s surprising that no one died. The process of negotiation was just as obtuse: there was no evidence here of the innovative methods of dispute resolution developed recently by mediators and coaches, just the same old pig-headed wrestling.
Watching this stupid summit via webcam (I wasn’t allowed in either), it struck me that the treaty-making system has scarcely changed in 130 years. There’s a wider range of faces, fewer handlebar moustaches, frock coats or pickelhaubes, but otherwise, when the world’s governments try to decide how to carve up the atmosphere, they might have been attending the conference of Berlin in 1884. It’s as if democratisation and the flowering of civil society, advocacy and self-determination had never happened. Governments, whether elected or not, without reference to their own citizens let alone those of other nations, assert their right to draw lines across the global commons and decide who gets what. This is a scramble for the atmosphere comparable in style and intent to the scramble for Africa.
At no point has the injustice at the heart of multilateralism been addressed or even acknowledged: the interests of states and the interests of the world’s people are not the same. Often they are diametrically opposed. In this case, most rich and rapidly developing states have sought through these talks to seize as great a chunk of the atmosphere for themselves as they can – to grab bigger rights to pollute than their competitors. The process couldn’t have been better designed to produce the wrong results.
I spent most of my time at the Klimaforum, the alternative conference set up by just four paid staff, which 50,000 people attended without a hitch. (I know which team I would put in charge of saving the planet.) There the barrister Polly Higgins laid out a different approach. Her declaration of planetary rights invests ecosystems with similar legal safeguards to those won by humans after the second world war. It changes the legal relationship between humans, the atmosphere and the biosphere from ownership to stewardship. It creates a global framework for negotiation which gives nation states less discretion to dispose of ecosystems and the people who depend on them.
Even before the farce in Copenhagen began it was looking like it might be too late to prevent two or more degrees of global warming. The nation states, pursuing their own interests, have each been passing the parcel of responsibility since they decided to take action in 1992. We have now lost 17 precious years, possibly the only years in which climate breakdown could have been prevented. This has not happened by accident: it is the result of a systematic campaign of sabotage by certain states, driven and promoted by the energy industries. This idiocy has been aided and abetted by the nations characterised, until now, as the good guys: those that have made firm commitments, only to invalidate them with loopholes, false accounting and outsourcing. In all cases immediate self-interest has trumped the long-term welfare of humankind. Corporate profits and political expediency have proved more urgent considerations than either the natural world or human civilisation. Our political systems are incapable of discharging the main function of government: to protect us from each other.
Goodbye Africa, goodbye south Asia; goodbye glaciers and sea ice, coral reefs and rainforest. It was nice knowing you. Not that we really cared. The governments which moved so swiftly to save the banks have bickered and filibustered while the biosphere burns. ------------------------- http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2009/12/21/from-copenhagen-to-sabah-1earth-1climate-change-1najib/#more-6902
From Copenhagen to Sabah: 1Earth, 1Climate Change; 1Najib?
By Saves DK
From Copenhagen to Sabah – Does the threat of Climate Change ‘change’ according to Time Zones?
Dear Prime Minister Najib Razak,
Once again, we welcome your serious and determined efforts to reduce carbon emission to help halt global warming in the interests of our future generations.
Surely, the first important step to CUTTING (rather than increasing) carbon emission is to cancel the proposed coal power plant to be built in Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu, which is very close to the various pristine, precious natural paradise of Darvel Bay, Coral Triangle Initiative, Tabin Wildlife Conservation area and so on, which make the East Coast of Sabah one of the remaining natural treasures of the world.
You have asked for our views “on what more we can do to ensure a greener Malaysia, so that we can learn from each other.” Great! Here are some. We do not dream that you would actually ‘learn’ from humble Sabahans like us, but we would be very grateful already if you could at least be consistent in your position on climate change and coal.
You have asked Sabah to accept the “dirty, environmentally not friendly” coal power plant even though:
Sabah does NOT produce coal, and all the coal used for the proposed power plant would have to be IMPORTED all the way from Indonesia.
We can understand why countries like China and USA use coal — because coal is produced locally in these countries; but we are puzzled by why we are forced to import toxic trash like coal when we don’t need it nor want it here in Sabah!
Sabah has ALTERNATIVES to generate electricity without resorting to dirty coal.
As a major palm oil producer, we — especially in the East Coast of Sabah — have plenty of empty fruit bunches left over everyday, a natural waste product of cultivating palm oil, which could be easily used for generating bio-mass power. All it takes is for your government to take steps to tap into this abundantly and easily available resource of Sabah. Yet, it does not seem that your government is serious about taking any other initiative which would save Sabah from coal.
Or, we could either use the natural gas produced in Kimanis, Sabah itself or — if your government insists on depriving Sabahans of their own natural resources by exporting it all the way to Sarawak — then at least exchange the export of our natural gas to Sarawak with hydro-electricity power from Bakun Dam, Sarawak, which your government now plans to export all the way — across the mountains, forests and even ocean — to West Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. Anywhere but Sabah, even though it is feasible to supply to the East Coast of Sabah.
Basically, your government has:
forced us to give up our own natural gas from Kimanis, Sabah,
refused to at least give us clean hydro-power from Bakun, Sarawak in exchange,
exporting Bakun hydro-power to everywhere EXCEPT Sabah, and then
forced us in Sabah to IMPORT DIRTY COAL from Indonesia!!
Why is it that when it comes to DIVERTING clean energy sources AWAY FROM Sabah, your government is willing to leave no stone unturned regardless of how difficult it may be, but when it comes to POLLUTING Sabah with dirty, environmentally unfriendly coal, your government is determined to force it down our throats and even ask us to sacrifice?
This basically sums up Sabahans’ bewilderment with your decision to force us to accept coal:
“The bottom line is Sabah has alternatives to having a coal-fired power plant and the technology is available now, what we seem to have is a lack of will from certain parties who say that there is no alternative but this is not true, we have alternatives. Imagine what a great model for the world Sabah will be with this!”
Whether the proposed coal power plant passes the so-called “Environmental Impact Assessment” and whether there really is such a thing as “clean coal technology” are completely beside the point — because Sabah DOES NOT NEED COAL IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Therefore, we are still very puzzled by why you must FORCE us to accept coal, given your own apparently strong stand on climate change and dislike of coal whenever you spoke OUTSIDE of Sabah.
In Paris, when addressing the Unesco General Conference on 6 October 2009, you have said:
“…The forthcoming summit in Copenhagen must reflect a strong commitment and action to reverse serious deterioration of planet earth.
The tragedies in the region such as the earthquake in Padang, Indonesia, hurricanes in the Philippines, tsunami in Samoa and major floods in southern India “should remind us of how fragile the world we live in is, and how interdependent our world has become“.
Najib said that although the task of the policymakers and leaders in ensuring that these challenges were met was not easy, they could not afford the price of inaction.
“We need to do what is right even if it is hard. These are the challenges of our times. It can neither be left unmet nor unresolved.
“They must be addressed head on by the world community with a concerted will and common purpose drawing upon our reservoir of good will and collective experience.””
But how can there be “the next logical extension of the national philosophy would be the concept of 1Region and ultimately 1World” when you can’t even have a 1Coal Policy? (Or is this ‘anomaly’ only peculiar to Sabah — the only Malaysian State where ALL EXCEPTIONS APPLY?)
In Kuala Lumpur, on 31 October 2009, in your keynote address at Malaysia’s electricity utility monopoly (the parent company of those who are hell-bent on setting up the coal power plant in Sabah), Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s 60th anniversary celebration, you said:
“…The government needs to revise its energy policy, ..the current one [is] obsolete and in need of a revamp… was proven to be costly, both environmentally and financially.
“I don’t like the current energy policy. It’s not right,” he told some 1,500 TNB workers attending the event.
“…coal is what we call DIRTY technology, it’s NOT environmentally friendly,”
As revealed in Najib’s maiden Budget recently, the prime minister told the media that his administration had started studying sectors like renewable energy and green technology to replace the current policy.
“It’s not a short-term solution, it’s a long one but we need to make the first step,” he said.”
Surely, the ‘first step’ is NOT to build more coal power plant, certainly not in the State of Sabah which is heavily dependent on its natural treasures for its tourism business.
On your blog on 21 November 2009, you have said:
“With nations recently meeting to discuss a climate change treaty, ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December, I’m reminded that the environment is everyone’s responsibility, and that we must all change our mindset to give it greater consideration. We should do this especially as we are custodians for future generations.
New Malaysian initiatives unveiled recently leave me feeling ever optimistic that we are doing more to preserve what we have, in order that our children and their children may enjoy our unique, natural wonders for years to come.“
And on your blog on 14 December 2009, you then said:
“Climate change is probably the most critical issue facing mankind today. To underscore our concern and our commitment towards saving Planet Earth, I will attend the forthcoming UN Climate Change Summit. I will present Malaysia’s own position, and participate working to achieve a global consensus so that collectively, nations around the world will make a positive contribution towards reducing carbon emission and in turn save Planet Earth.”
And we believe you are rubbing shoulders with world leaders in Copenhagen this week, you would continue to maintain the image that your administration is serious about reversing climate change.
Yet, very disappointingly, when you came to Sabah on 8 November 2009, all your determination to fight global warming and reduce CO2 emission completely went out of the window and you have forced us ‘SACRIFICE’ UNNECESSARILY (including our natural gas from Kimanis) and to accept DIRTY coal:
“We have to accept what is good and we have to be realistic. If we understand and are willing to sacrifice we will achieve higher level of development for Sabah,”
Even though you yourself had said earlier that coal is NOT ‘GOOD’ — it’s DIRTY, and ENVIRONMENTALLY UNFRIENDLY?
Does it mean that all the “decisive actions” and “uneasy tasks” necessary to tackle climate change could be ignored in the name of “achieving higher level of development”? Is your ‘conviction’ on tackling climate change so feeble, after all? If so, why do you think in Copenhagen, the developing world should agree to the reduction of carbon emission and to sacrifice their goal of “achieving higher level of development”?
Indeed, you have forced us to accept dirty coal despite our State leadership’s collective strong stance in REJECTING this coal power plant earlier in April 2008:
“After weighing the pros and cons, the [State] Cabinet decided to SCRAP the proposed project, because we DO NOT WANT TO RISK the WELFARE AND HEALTH of the communities in the area [in Lahad Datu] as well as any ADVERSE IMPACT on the environment… I know some say with today’s technology, the proposed plant is safe and clean BUT some EXPERTS also DISAGREE.”
Nonetheless, despite your unfair treatments towards Sabahans on this topic, we still wish you well in Copenhagen and hope that you would “clearly demonstrates the importance that Malaysian attaches to the issue of climate change”, and make all of us proud — not just those in Copenhagen, but also those of us in Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Tawau, and Sabah as a whole:
– By being CONSISTENT, and having 1 Climate Change/ Carbon Emission policy (and 1 only) for your government, which does not change according to time zones or audiences, including when it comes to Sabah.
Please, CANCEL the coal power plant in Sabah — this would be the best leadership example and gift you could give to Copenhagen, and the future generations of the world.
Malaysia PM to offer CO2 reductions in Copenhagen Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:04pm GMT By David Chance and Razak Ahmad
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s government will offer “credible” cuts in its emissions of carbon dioxide at the Copenhagen climate change summit in a bid to halt global warming, Prime Minister Najib Razak told Reuters on Sunday.
Najib will be among more than 110 world leaders who will meet in Copenhagen next week to attend a summit to try to clinch a deal on deeper emissions cuts by rich nations, steps by developing nations to cut their carbon pollution and finance to help the poor adapt to climate change.
“We are willing to offer our commitment, I am not just going to call on the developed world I am going to commit Malaysia and I am going to commit Malaysia to very credible cuts which means we have to spend, which we will do,” Najib said in the interview.
Najib said the cuts were still being worked on.
The United Nations has said a full, legal treaty to expand or replace the existing Kyoto Protocol is out of reach at the talks, after two years of troubled negotiations, and is likely to be agreed some time in 2010.
UN data shows Malaysia’s carbon emissions in 2006 stood at 187 million tones or 7.2 tonnes from each Malaysian.
Although that figure is far less than neighboring Indonesia, which is the world’s third largest emitter with 2.3 billion tonnes or 10 tonnes per capita, according to Indonesian government data, Najib said all nations must contribute.
“It has to be predicated on the fundamental principles of the Kyoto protocol and the UN Framework on Climate Convention,” he said.
“Amongst which the most important being the common but differentiated responsibilities that the developed world must deliver against larger cuts in terms of carbon emissions and that the developing world should be assisted particularly in terms of finanancial assistance, capacity buiding and technology.”
TIGHT BUDGETS MUST ACCOMODATE CLIMATE CHANGE
Najib said that despite the current economic turmoil, which has seen the United States and Europe plunge into huge budget deficits, the fight against climate change had to take priority.
The United Nations wants to raise $10 billion a year from 2010-12 in quick-start funds to help the poor cope with global warming and move away from fossil fuels. But few nations have offered quick-start cash.
In the longer term, the United Nations estimates the fight against global warming is likely to cost $300 billion a year from 2020, largely to help developing nations adapt to impacts such as droughts, floods and heat waves.
“If we really talking about it we must walk the talk (on funding). Otherwise we are just going to face a very uncertain future and the effects will be quite catastrophic,” Najib said.
Wanita pada dasarnya paling suka disentuh dan dibelai dengan cara apapun. Namun, Anda bisa memaksimalkan kepuasannya dengan berkonsentrasi pada 10 titik ditubuh wanita. Mari mengikutinya mulai dari titik paling atas, hingga menjalar terus ke bagian bawah. Dijamin, cara ini akan membuat gairah cinta pasangan Anda bergelora.
1. Otak Jangan salah, ini adalah bagian paling erotis dari zona sensual wanita. “Walau tak terlihat, tapi otak adalah bagian paling sensual dari zona erotis wanita,” tutur Steve Cappelini, penulis Massage for Dummies, a Reference for the Rest of Us. Jadi arahkan jarijemari Anda menelusuri batok kepala pasangan. Belaian seperti ini akan membuat pasangan Anda merasa nyaman untuk mulai melakukan ritual bercinta.
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3. Wajah Wanita juga suka jika bagian wajahnya dibelai. Arahkan jari-jemari Anda ke kelopak matanya, pipinya dan juga bibirnya. Berikan juga kecupan-kecupan ringan di bagianbagian erotis tersebut. Lalu mainkan bagian rambutnya. Belai dengan lembut dan angkat rambutnya ke atas, sehingga leher jenjang pasangan Anda terlihat jelas. tlnda bisa mengeksplorasi bagian tersebut, dengan mengembuskan nafas hangat di leher pasangan Anda dan juga menciuminya.
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8. Perineum Selangkangan atau perineum adalah daerah highly sensitive wanita, karena berdekatan dengan anus yang dikelilingi oleh puluhan urat syaraf. Menurut Sari Locker, wanita akan terangsang bila distimulasi seputar perineum-nya. Lakukanlah stimulasi ini dengan menggunakan lidah atau jari-jemari Anda, dan biarkan pasangan melenguh manja merasakan kedahsyatan `aksi’ Anda tersebut.
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10. Paha Belai bagian paha pasangan Anda yang mulai menegang, dan silakan mengeksplorasinya. Gunakan telapak tangan atau ujung jemari Anda untuk membelainya. Kemudian jelajahi sekujur tubuh pasangan Anda, mulai dari mata kaki, hingga akhirnya berkutat di seputar buah dada.
GEORGE TOWN, Aug 9 – The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) dismissed today Utusan Malaysia’s report that traders were not allowed set up Ramadan bazaar stalls in Komtar, calling the Umno-owned daily irresponsible for suggesting Malays were being oppressed. In a press statement issued today, PDC officer Mohd Bazid Abdul Kahar said the Malay daily was irresponsible in playing up racial sentiments by saying that there was discrimination against the traders.
Bazid said Utusan Malaysia’s report was to cover up the Komtar Merchant Association’s (KMA) failure to manage the bazaar according to stipulated rules and and also its failure to pay rent to PDC. He explained that a discussion with KMA representatives was held on August 5 to discuss the association’s application to set up a bazaar for 27 traders at the concourse area of Komtar’s third floor.
“In that meeting, the need to limit the number of traders was already established because too many stalls cause congestion at the concourse area where the state government’s administrative office is located,” he said. “At present, there are 20 stalls at the area … to avoid congestion and inconvenience for visitors to the administrative office, PDC decided to allow only 10 additional stalls to operate at the area with a daily rental of RM50.00 for each stall,” he said.
Bazid added that the existing stalls were also paying RM50 per day. He pointed out that KMA had set up stalls at the area even before getting an approval letter from PDC on August 6. “Moreover, KMA set up 27 stalls at the area although approval was only given for 10 stalls,” he said, adding that it was unfair to shift the blame to PDC now when it was clear that KMA was at fault.
He also pointed out that PDC was not stopping the traders from setting up stalls in the area, but it was merely ensuring that KMA paid rental to PDC and manage the bazaar according to the terms and conditions agreed earlier. Bazid said to solve the issue, PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jafar agreed to increase the number of stalls at the third floor concourse area to 17. The traders were required to pay RM50 in rental per day.
Please remember, by 7th level this email will reach 1 million people and that is only when each of us forward it to 10 people.
Please do it for do sake of our future. This is a good deed that all Malaysians MUST do. It is our duty to save our nation, if you have not register as voter please do so this year. You are going to save 28 million Malaysians. General Election
We all know that once in a few years we are given the opportunity to vote. Why vote? If you think it has no effect on the outcome, you are wrong!
One vote alone may not change much but many votes together becomes a voice to be reckoned with, let your voice be heard.
This election, more so than others is a vital election because we are at a cross roads. If we get it right we will prosper; if we get it wrong we will suffer as we have seen in our neighboring countries.
To help you decide please ponder these issues:
1. Do you think our politicians in power are corrupt? 2. Do you think our civil service is corrupt? 3. Do you think they are incompetent? 4. Do you think the people in power sets themselves above the law? 5. Do you think our leadership has lost its way? 6. Do you think we are getting more & more divided by race & religion? 7. Do you think we have a questionable justice system? 8. Do you think that they are wasting our wealth? 9. Do you think we have progressing fast enough?Do you think we have & our children have promising future with BN? 10. Do you want to see change or improvement?
If you say yes to 3 or more of these issues, don't you think we need change? ONLY YOU & I CAN MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN!!!
Just send this to 10 other relatives or friends and ask them to do the same to 10 of their friends and so on. By so doing we are enlisting the power of multilevel marketing. Yes the math works and it is awesome. By the 7th level this message would reach 1,000,000 people. Yes we can make our vote count! Better believe it!! We owe it to ourselves and to our children and to their children.
Malaysia Boleh! make it happen for ours and our children's future
There will be voter registrations held on
a) 21 & 22 August 2010 - Digital Mall, PJ b) 27-29 August 2010 - Tropicana City Mall, Pj
Volunteers are needed for the above venues with the following time slots:- 9.45am to 2.00pm, 2.00pm to 6.00pm & 6.00pm to 10.00pm.
Those who are available to help, please contact : Tony Cheong at 012-5256008 or Evelyn at 016-2675006.
Malaysians will end up sleeping on the street too ....
Indonesia is one of the world's richest countries in terms of natural resources.
God has blessed Indonesia with gold, uranium, copper, oil, timber, beaches, seas and other wealth. The land is fertile with abundant rain. Stick a twig into the ground and it grows into a tree.
Yet Indonesians sleep in the streets..
Food is expensive.. The average Indonesian eats some rice, tempe, tauhu and may be some vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday.
An average Nasi Padang meal for four persons in a single star Indonesian restaurant can cost RM60(160,000 Rupiah). This is way beyond the income of the average Joko or Ketut in Indonesia.
Why is this so ? The answer is because the ruling elites in Indonesia do not care about the people. They have pillaged the country. They craft policies that only serve to keep the elites in power and the wealthly. The same thing is happening in M'sia.
There are also millions of Indonesians who go to school and university but do not learn skills that can help them survive in the real world. They are very poor in European languages like English or Dutch. All their education is in Indonesian. So they cannot keep up with the latest developments and technologies.. They cannot compete. They remain poor.
The children of the elite are sent overseas for their education.
An average Indonesian university graduate cannot bring world class skills to his employers. He or she therefore earns a pittance. This is happening in Malaysia. Bumiputra university graduates only strike it rich if they get Government jobs where they do not do much work but earn a good salary with a pension. In the private sector they may not get a job or earn only a pittance.
That is why 100,000 graduates remain unemployed in Malaysia.
Bumiputra university graduates are turning up for interviews as taxi drivers and shop assistants. What about those who flunk out after SPM ? They become Mat Rempits (Motorcycle Racers). Last Saturday I saw another Mat Rempit get killed at the road races in Shah Alam (near Section 7).
In Malaysia, just like in Indonesia, food is getting very expensive. But the wages and salaries of the people, especially the Malays, is not keeping up with the increase in prices.
Instead of developing the competitive ability of the people,the Government has been using the failed NEP to provide subsidies and dish out money on a plate.
Everything is subsidised, even cooking oil, flour, rice, sugar, fuel, etc.
The Government has been providing these subsidies so that the people will keep voting for the ruling party.
So it has never been to the Government's advantage to make the Malays independent. A Malay who is independent of the Government may not vote for the BN. It is therefore better to keep feeding with subsidies.. So, for the past 50 years, everything has been subsidised.
But now with 27million people in the country of which more than half are Malays, subsidies are getting more expensive.
There is also much much more thievery and wastage by the BN elites in Malaysia. But there is no bottomless 'well' full of money.
Everything has its limits. The money will soon run out. Without the subsidies for cooking oil, sugar, flour and petrol, how are the people, especially the Malays, going to survive ? Already university graduates cannot find jobs or compete in the private sector. What happens when the oil money runs out ? What happens when (not if, but when) the Government cannot simply spend billions of oil money to sustain its voting base any longer? That is when we may see people sleeping in the streets, just like in Indonesia. If that happens this country will go up in flames We will all be consumed.
In Indonesia, the Government has not mobilised its hundreds of millions of people (over 250 million Indonesians) with the competitive skills to grow enough food for themselves. Hence food is expensive. They do not even have simple survival skills like coming to work on time, organising themselves to do simple tasks, maintaining good hygiene and cleanliness and so on. They are poorly read and not informed about many things that are going on around the world. Their Government has failed in all these aspects. Hence the average Indonesian remains poor.
The same thing has happened in Malaysia. Our young people, especially the Malays, do not possess basic survival skills. We are not talking about competitive skills but just basic survival skills. The Government is not serious about giving them useful competitive skills either.
The Mat Rempits are being glorified by the politicians as saviours of the nation (Mat Cemerlang). Correction. they are drug users, gang rapists, snatch thieves and street fighters.
When an efficient Policewoman called Nooriyah Anvar was appointed Chief of Traffic Police she went after the Mat Rempits with a vengeance. Does anyone remember her? She confiscated their bikes on the spot. But soon the Mat Rempits called their political muscle and Nooriyah Anvar was kicked out. To date she holds the record of being the shortest serving Traffic Police Chief in Malaysia. She has been replaced by Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Hamza Taib.
So the Government is not serious about improving the position of the Malays. It serves the Barisan Nasional Government to keep the Malays down and out. Then the Malays can go to the Government for crumbs. This way the ruling elites get to keep the whole loaf to themselves. Go and visit Indonesia. This is what is happening over there. It is happening over here too. Does Malaysia have a problem ? Yes the Malays are not happy, the Chinese are not happy and the Indians are not happy.
They spoke out at the March 2008 polls and hope things will change for the better, now they have some oppositions who promised change. The Malays are being duped by their corrupted leaders by using the religion, the Chinese and Indians are being marginalised by the ruling elites..
Let us all Malaysians wake up and fight the corrupt system for the benefit of everyone. Let us all unite and stand together and change the system for once and for all.
We are not Malays, Chinese or Indians, we are Malaysians. Malaysians May End Up Sleeping in the Street if no change is made to the present corrupt and very selfish system.
The word “corruption” comes from a Latin word meaning “to break” or “to destroy”. Corruption is a cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fibre, and destroys trust. Although corruption exists in both the private and public sector, the corruption of the public sector is a more fundamental evil. This is because the public sector is the enforcer and arbiter of the rules that hold us together, the custodians of our common resources.
Corruption is the abuse of public office for personal gain.
• Corruption exacts a huge toll on our economy
o In a survey of more than 150 high ranking public officials and top citizens from over 60 developing nations, these officials ranked corruption as the biggest obstacle to development and growth in their countries.
o Corruption empties out the public purse, causes massive misallocation of resources, dampens trade and scares away investors
o The World Bank estimates that corruption can reduce a country’s growth rate by 0.5 to 1 percentage points per year. Where there is a lack of transparency and a weak court system, investors stay away.
o Corruption is a form of theft. But it is a form of theft that also damages what is not stolen. This is because corruption involves the capture of decisions involving public funds. Corrupt decisions mis-allocate public resources and cause tremendous waste in the expenditure of public money. Public money is poured down the drain when projects are selected not because of the value they deliver to the public but because of what can be skimmed from them.
• But corruption is more than an economic cost. It is a curse that attacks the root of the tree. Corruption destroys trust, which is nothing less than the glue holding a society and its institutions together. When it becomes rampant and is conducted with impunity, it also demoralizes even those public servants not involved in it. The common people’s experience with government breeds the expectation that they need to pay before things will move. Small businesses suffer as city hall officials come on their rounds to collect mandatory “donations.”
It is time we recognized corruption as the single biggest threat to our nation. In our economy, corruption is the root of our inability to to make the economic leap that we know we are capable of. There is no other reason why a country so blessed with natural resources, a favourable climate and such immense talent should not have done a lot better than we have.
In our political system, corruption is the real reason why our political parties refuse to reform. In the party I belong to it has debased a once noble nationalism and a concern with the welfare of marginalised people into a rush for the gravy train. The economic development we must bring our people is reduced to nothing more than patronage, and patronage is inflated into a right.
The root cause is in our political parties. It is an open secret that tender inflation is standard operating procedure. Within the parties and among politicians, it is already an understood matter that party followers must be ‘fed’. Politics is an expensive business, after all. Where else are we to get the funds? Thus theft of public goods is normalised and socialised among an entire community, and what we had planned to attain by capability is seen by some as something to be attained through politics.
Politicians are the villains in this piece, but they themselves the villains but they themselves are also trapped. The leadership is trapped because they are beholden to political followers who demand that they are looked after. They demand patronage, and the turn the party’s struggle for the welfare of a community into their sense of entitlement to that patronage. So they take their slice of the project. By the time they they and each person down the line all the way down to the contractor takes a lot and there is not enough left to do a decent job, bridges collapse, highways crack, stadiums collapse, hospitals run out of medicine, schoolchildren are cheated in their textbooks. Corruption may look to its perpetrators like a crime without victims, but it leaves a trail of destruction.
No domain seems safe. The humble school canteen is the domain of Umno branch chiefs. The golf course become a favoured way to pass the cash over. We can place bets for RM5000 a hole. For some reason one party keeps losing. And there are 18 holes. Money thus obtained is legal. It can be banked.
We spend billions on the refurbishment of defence equipment; on fighter jets, frigates and submarines. Whe a supplier lays on an exorbitant commission to some shadowy middleman, that commision is built into the price the government pays. That money comes from the ordinary Malaysian.
Military toys are very expensive. I remember from my time in the Ministry of Finance. Even then, patrol craft cost about RM280mil each.
We loved Exocet missiles. As Minister, I had to sign each time the military fired an Exocet missile for testing. Every time we test fired one of them, RM2mil literally went out with a bang. When the UK went to war against Argentina, the UK Government came back to borrow them from us because outside of the UK we had the most of them in the world. We must have been under some extraordinary military threat which I did not understand.
The list is long: procurement of food and clothing for the military, medicine for hospitals and so on. In all these things the Government has been extraordinarily generous. And paid extraordinarily high prices.
Government servants have to face pressure from politicians who expect to be given these contracts because they need money for politics. This corruption is justified because the party’s struggle is sacred. The civil servants can either join the game or be bypassed.
For every government job big or small that goes down, someone feels entitled to a slice of the pie, not because they can do the job, not because they have some special talent or service to offer, but because it is their right. They do not realise that what they demand is the abuse of power for the sake of personal gain, or party gain. They elect those leaders among themselves who are most capable of playing this game. So we get as our leaders people who have distinguished themselves not by their ability to serve the public but at their long proven ability to be party warlords, which is to say, distributors of patronage. And that is a euphemistic way of saying that because of corruption the old, stupid and the criminal are elevated to positions of power while young, talented and honest individuals are frozen out. Corruption destroys national wealth, erodes institutions and undermines character. And it also destroys the process by which a community finds its leaders.
The consequence of this is that the majority are marginalized. Government contracts circulate among a small group of people. Despite all attempts at control and brainwashing, the majority soon catch up to the game.
This game cannot last forever. The longer it is played the more people hate the government and the governing class. They vote against the government, not for the Opposition. They resent the government of the day. In 2008 we saw how the Malaysian people feel about the abuse of power and incompetence caused by corruption.
Since party funding has become the excuse and the vehicle for wholesale corruption, any measure we take to fight it must include the reform of political funding.
It is time we enact a law regulating donations to political parties. Donations must be capped. No donor is to give more than a specified limit, on pain of prosecution. This it to try to prevent special interests from dominating parties. Such money is source of corruption.
Let us limit political donations by law. On top that let the government set up a fund to provide funding to registered political party for their legitimate operational needs. This money can be distributed based on objective criteria and governed by an independent panel. This would close off the excuse that the parties need to raise political funding through government contracts.
Another idea is that we should freeze the bank accounts of people who are being investigated for corruption. Public servants and politicians are by law required to be able to demonstrate the sources of their assets. Those with suspiciously ample asssets should have these assets frozen until they can come up with evidence that they have accumulated them by political means.
This may sound harsh, but only because we live in a country in which almost no one ever gets nabbed for corruption. In China, those found guilty are shot.
In Malaysia we read about MACC investigating this and that but there are no convictions. No one has been punished. We are the nation with no consequences. The MACC finds no fault. The courts do not convict. And our newspapers do not have the independence and vigour to follow up.
We have an MACC with no results. It was a good idea to model our anti-corruption agency after one of the most successful in the world, Hong Kong’s ICAC. However we have taken just bits and pieces of that model. So really this will be no more than PR exercise unless we adopt the model wholesale.
We should repeal the OSA so that people can go to the MACC and the authorities with documentary information on corrupt practice. As things stand, any document which might be incriminating to corrupt public officials is stamped an Offical Secret. A whistleblower risks 7 yrs jail for being in possession of such documents.
We need to identify rot eating through our roots as a nation. It is corruption. We cannot expect the corrupt to embrace reform. It is time for our citizens to stand up and call corruption by its name, and demand reform.
KUALA LUMPUR: After three decades of mounting challenges for the Umno presidency, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has decided to give up the fight finally.
“I am too old. Too old,” he said when asked at the sidelines of the recent Umno special general assembly on whether he would consider contesting for the post with the quota system now abolished.
“I think it is time to give a younger person a chance,” he said.
However, the Kelantan prince will continue to be an active political commentator, providing insights into history as well as constructive criticism of both Barisan Nasional and the Opposition.
At the age of 72, he is the longest serving parliamentarian and Umno divisional leader but Tengku Razaleigh is likely to be featured in the annals of Umno history as the “nearly man.”
He came within a whisker of becoming party president at the infamous 1987 party elections, which eventually saw the party de-registered by the courts and the imposition of a quota system.
Tengku Razaleigh had also mooted a campaign in the recent party elections to contest the presidency against both Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and current president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He could only muster one nomination which was from his own Gua Musang Umno division.
The quota system was introduced to rein in excessive jostling for posts besides preventing the party from being taken to courts but instead, some exploited the loopholes for their own benefits and gave rise to the Umno divisional heads to become “warlords”.
Known as a “gentleman politician”, Tengku Razaleigh is someone who enjoyed ties with the who’s who among the nations politicians and headed Semangat 46, a splinter of the original Umno which broke up in 1987.
“I am a loyalist but if Umno does not heed the change for structural changes, I may reconsider (about the prospects of joining another party),” he added.