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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday, 31 October 2008

No Free Lunch in NEP

Sakmongkol has always held to this line of thinking. Notwithstanding article 153 of The Constitution of Malaysia, one cannot legislate the ‘want’ to work. The ‘want’ to work must come from within out of one’s consciousness. Having said that, the article 153 is a comforting thought.

But comfort alone will not get anyone far. Progress is the product of the old brick and mortar outcome- work and intelligence. Working the limbs and making use of the grey matter. Without these, all the comforting legislation can never nudge anyone to get off his butts if he does not want to.

You see, article 153 should not be taken to mean, Malays can get something as of right. Or it confers a short cut way to get riches. Nowadays as Malays in general become more conscious and more aware of the hitherto manipulations being done in the name of Bumiputeraism, the days of the layabouts and free loaders are thinning.

In any endeavour now, the Malays must realise they need to qualify themselves to secure those guarantees in article 153 and other legal provisions of such nature.

Take the case of land application, as a very basic illustration. There’s a provision in the land offices in Pahang that says, one can apply land up to 10 acres. This does not translate to mean, that when you apply, you will automatically get it. It says you can apply but subject to approval and due process. Its not something you get as of right.

Two- more often, applicants are given land on a TOL basis. In principal this is a good method to confer land on those qualified to apply. The TOL principle is a very simple illustration that in order to secure a right, you must qualify yourself for it. This is a practical interpretation of the saying, there is no free lunch or in Latin, Nullum gratuitum prandium. ( see A Tabib’s blog title).

Each year, examine applications in the land offices of Pahang, you will discover there are ten of thousands of applications to convert TOL to TITLED lands. Sakmongkol’s guiding principle when he was serving as an ADUN briefly, was this. In order to secure a right in the form of titled land, the applicant must qualify himself. Sakmongkol wasn’t looking for a sterling O or A levels passes, a university degree or even a purchased PhD degree!. The applicant must qualify himself by showing that he has worked the TOL land!.

And very often Sakmongkol will go to the ground and inspect the area concerned with camera in hand and took photos as evidence of work on the land. So when the applications were tabled in the usual Land Committee Meetings, Sakmomgkol was able, without having to talk, present the photographs to prove whether the applicant has the qualifications or not!. You see, applying for land must never be a as of right matter- you need to qualify yourself.

Providing visual proofs was also a means by Sakmongkol to expose laziness of errant settlement officers who would usually give attestations to applicants without ever visiting the site!. Sad and unprofessional, it is a common practice by settlement officers to write down, “the land in questioned is being worked” or “ tanah di usahakan dan cadang di lulus” , whereas in fact, the land is still jungle and has never been worked on.

The lesson to be generalised is this. Even if you have article 153 or any other mother of all legislation, in order to secure a right, one needs to qualify for it and work for it. Once again, there is no such thing as free lunch.

Nullum Gratuitum Prandium!


Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 08:46  

If you are an UMNOputra, it is different.

Not only free lunch. free dinner and supper too.....

Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 08:56  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 09:37  

these few jokers in land office or any other department that deals directly with kampung folks are just like mafias. when you try to correct them they will make life difficult for you. many ways they can sabotage you and the most popular one is by misplacing important files. that will cause important meetings be postponed several times. these are the officials that retard the success of nep. due respect to the genuine ones but the scores of them that serve as proxies to big taukes really make me sore. Your past effort in taking pictures for land approval in your constituency must be emulated by all YBs. I think not many are willing to do so. Cumbersome. That’s why nep fails.


Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 09:56  

during khalif omar al-khattab the ownership of agri land is based on utility. it’s yours as long as you utilise it and produce crops. once you leave it unproductive for seven continuous seasons the ownership will be automatically dropped. that’s to ensure the agri land serves its purpose in producing enough foods for the people. thus no free lunch here. if this principle applies here, you as x-yb guess what’s going to happen economically and politically?

man cotek

Ariff Sabri 31 October 2008 at 10:02  

man cotek,
if the principle applies, then land is given to those who actually worked the land while enforcement of the principle will increase productivity. orang yang ada tanah akan malu tak usahakan tanah. akan berlaku democratisation of land owneership. hasil kjaan bertambah. tapi majoriti dalam pejabat tanah semua puaka dan jembalang. DO duduk tak tahu apa apa. kadang2 pakat dengan mat lain S/O. semua patut kena firing squad.

walla 31 October 2008 at 11:00  

Maybe the big divide is caused by using different tools to look at Art.153.

One half looks at it using a historical telescope. The other half looks at it using a modern-day microscope. The telescope says there was a 'pact' made as an exchange. The microscope says there is no difference between all so why the differentiation, especially when the rationale given to apply the policy also applies to quite a big number of those who apparently don't come under its purview. The Galileo then says what was, is. The Leeuwenhoek retorts ..but what is, is, isn't it?

Yet there is another way to look at it. We ALL go through it one time or other. It's like this. After finishing our education, we apply for our first jobs. But the employer says you must have experience before we can give you the job. That is indeed an odd requirement because if you don't give me a job, how can i get the experience to apply for it or the next one? Macam tu, i will be forever jobless, betul tak?

If one may say, where the NEP has been found wanting is what happens to our jobless friend above after coming out of the interview hall. What does he do then? To get out of the rut, he applies for a lower job - one which doesn't call for his qualification. The second employer would be silly not to give someone the job who is slightly more qualified for it - because that candidate may be able to use his education to improve the method for the next candidate before he leaves. That's how HR progress is made.

And leave he will, after collecting some experience. Now that bundle of experience may not be exactly suited for the job he really has in mind but any open-minded employer will see that this candidate before him wants to succeed in life - and has made a personal sacrifice by not demanding he be given upfront things just because he thinks he's born to it as a right. That's a good attitude because to build that attitude, the candidate has to climb out of himself first. And that's altitude. In the harsh real kucing-makan-kucing world out there, just and not just is just a chimera. What matter are attitude and altitude, attitude by willfully changing one's own mindset, altitude by riding in the cockpit of a eurocopter (kekeke).

Now, those who use the microscopes will be seeing all this quite closely. Closely because they use microscopes lah. They see everything and ask how come? We also go through the no-first experience grindmills of life. If we can do it, you also can. And the fact that many of you have actually done so on your own only add more doubt that the whole shebang has not been applied correctly. Something's wrong.

The other side however worries about such thoughts. Macam ni we will be swarmed before we can be ready to co-exist, furthermore on our own turf. It's a catch-22 situation. If we don't do it, then we will forever not be able to participate in everything. But if we do it, we will end up feeling there's an invisible divide between us all, and that's the final objective which was the original intent to be achieved by the policy in the first place.

The leeuwenhoeks retort. Hey, Galileos, the earth circumnavigates around the Sun, and not the other way around. You proved that. And you also proved the Sun perambulates around the universe. So all this talk about turfs and divide is quite meaningless because out there the real world is much bigger than the frog pond you seem to be looking at only. If we both continue like this, habislah semua.

It's like the postman at the KL Post Office. He's standing there sorting the letters. He sighs and says 'mana ada harapan?' You understand that immediately. But you're in a hurry because the world demands you to be in a hurry and so he will miss the chance to hear you say, hey bro jangan putus harapan tu nanti kena laparan; you sort letters, saya juga; after ni saujana saya kerja sorting letters for a wage much less than yours; during lunch time, to save money, tidak makan tapi baca buku. Step-by-step lah. Baca dulu buku macam Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan to improve your english so that you can acquire more knowledge so that you can apply for better job, dan lain lain.

Everybody sighs and shakes punya kepala (or kelapa, if thirsty) - it's an impasse. So how to get out of the lockjam? When the lock is jammed, cut another key.

Make two parallel tracks. Look for best fit. Whoever, independent of race or background, fits most efficiently into one track, gets into it. Whoever, independent of race or background, fits most efficiently into the other track, gets into that too.

The Galileos will decry. This is elitism. It will divide.

The Leeuwenhoeks answer. But won't you rather the division be made upfront than it happening on its natural course because of human nature later where it really matters - in the places of production, investment, coexistence, nation-building, helping one another independent of artificial constructs?

After pondering this silently for a while, the Galileos say ah you make sense. We are family. It's like one bapa and his children at the dinner table. The Good One has supplied plentiful. Because this bapa has been somewhat productive, his children have different skin colours (cough). So they all partake the food. Ta'kan he gives one more than the other? All the same but some more than the others because they need the energy to toil the land more so that there be more food for the next dinner ..for everyone. But lately some of the children have seen how this bapa has started to, well, rove. He has been, how you say it, 'tarpauing(?)' some of the tastier morsels, and quietly at night when everyone is asleep, slipping out of the house to go and give to his, erh, other family. Like this, atap pun runtuh, betultak?

Anyway, one day because of this global thing lah, there is financial disaster in the country. The Leeuwenhoeks are just able to scrape through because they have saved for many years, and sacrificed a few generations for the future of later ones. The Galileos however because they had little when they started naturally enough didn't save that much, especially when the policy seemed to promise continued inflows. When the financial disaster strikes, the Galileos find that their assets vaporising by the minute. They are in a dilemma. What to do? They decide to firesell everything to the Leeuwenhoeks. We rather trust you than any others because we both played guli by the same frog pond. We know no one else. Take it, buy it from us even at impaired price.

So the Leeuwenhoeks buy the assets at impaired price. The Galileos say hey need to sign S&P agreement tak? The Leeuwenhoeks reply no need lah. After all brothers beat with one heart and if the heart is wrong how can the contract be right? So to cut the story short, after a few years of dire poverty by the Galileos, the Leeuwenhoeks one day appear. They smile and say brother we are back. Here're your assets plus hefty gains, interests, bonuses, dividends, what have you. We sell back to you. Now according to this invisible S&P agreement, you had sold to us at an impaired price. We now sell back to you at the same impaired price. In your kindness, you may want to add a small administrative fee. If not, also alright. But everything goes back to you.

The Galileos are shocked. But you suffer because of the policy and yet you can do this?

The Leeuwenhoeks reply. It's because you didn't constantly remind us that they weren't ours to have in the first place.

The most important things in life, after all, are honour and conscience, not some invisible agreement or, contract.

And the Good One looks down and Says 'Betul!'

Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 19:08  

Congrats, Datuk!!

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