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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday 11 April 2009

The Measure or Mismeasure of Man.

The Measure of a Man is the title of a book written by one of my favourite actors- that of the West Indian Sidney Poitier. It is also an opposite title of a book written by a scientist on the fallacy of eugenics. The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen J Gould, I think. Readers can pick their choice here- whether to think it as a measure or mismeasure of a man the subject matter discussed.

Here goes:-

At one point, our thought space was inundated by calls from so many telling our PM to fill his cabinet with clean people. The term 'clean' is indefinable. It can mean free of money politics. In that way only a few will qualify. It can mean morally virtuous. That prompted me to ask whether we were asking for people to become committee members of a surau or mosque. In the case of other religions, that would be members of their religious committees.

But there is another material measure that is more practical. Let us call it the Mahathir Corruption Index. It would probably rank alongside the widely used measure like International Corruption Perception Index and Transparency Index.

The MCI is still in a state of infancy. Its origins were fairly recent. It is said to have come upon the scene just as the Pemuda UMNO contest was about to begin. It hasn't yet developed a rigorous methodology as to how to reach a quantifiable measure. That explains why its usage is seasonal in nature. In the meantime, the starting point is just the pronouncement from the Oracle.

You get classified under this measure if TDM has his sights on you. If he says you are corrupt, then you are. If he says, you are relatively clean, hey presto, you are certified sanitised. For example, when TS Muhyiddin was the MB of Johore, he would have certainly been classified as such. This time around, he is certified clean.

The first test of its application appears to have been made when our PM, DS Najib created his first cabinet last Thursday. When DS Najib unveiled his cabinet, TDM commended DS Najib that he had done well. How well? Well enough to prompt TDM to say that DS Najib has created a cabinet that is more or less graft free. The more or less or maybe half past six graft free measure has been achieved by dropping most of the people who have been accused of corruption.

Here is something tricky. With the pronouncement, then there is a strong presumption that those who were jettisoned from the 1st Najib cabinet such as:-

  1. Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (Home);
  2. Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Tourism),
  3. Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Rural and Regional Development),
  4. Senator Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz (Prime Minister's Department),
  5. Datuk Ong Ka Chuan (Housing and Local Government),
  6. Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed (Works),
  7. Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique (Federal Territories)

Two Deputy Ministers,:-

  1. Datuk Idris Haron (Higher Education)
  2. Datuk Noraini Ahmad (Human Resources).

are corrupt individuals.

If they are, what do we do next? Do we report them to the SPMR? But then the SPMR may get itself into a bind, because they haven't yet arrived at a methodology to make corporeal the new species of corruption. They will have to fall back on just a pronouncement from TDM which is just that- an anecdotal measure.

Also, by logical extension, those ministries from which the above were dropped represent places with the highest probability of committing corruption. This is an excellent predictive value and breakthrough arising from application of the MCI.

Probably because the science behind the MCI is still in its infancy, one or two individuals have managed to slip into Dato Najib's cabinet. Haiyya, sayy la. That would mean that Dato Najib's cabinet has not achieved top marks yet. It must be thoroughly cleansed. Maybe washed 7 times with dirt water to be followed by 7 times of wash with pristine spring water from the island of Langkawi. That's total immersion for you.

Curiously, a stringent application of this MCI is only mandatory on Dato Najib's cabinet. It wasn't that welcomed during TDM's time. Maybe the MCI wasn't even thought of then. It wasn't for self application. Indeed, during TDM's time corruption as he defines it was better tolerated. For example, Malaysia's ranking on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index fell from No. 23 in 1995 to No. 37 to 2003. That worsening measure on the ICPI could only mean that more than one or two corrupt Ministers and Deputy Ministers got into his cabinet. Yet it was tolerated by TDM. That could only mean, that the MCI was still able to preserve its integrity even after allowing MORE than one or two got through. Hence using the MCI, it would seem that Dato Najib's cabinet ranks higher on the more or less and half-past-six graft free scale than Dr Mahathir's cabinet then.

DS Najib is already better than Tun Mahathir.

So we ask, which measure did Dato Najib use when choosing members of his cabinet and deputy ministers last Thursday? It could not have been the MCI for that would have required Dato Najib to accommodate more than one or two.

So, if Dato Najib's cabinet has only allowed one or two to slip in, this cabinet is far more superior to TDM's cabinet where definitely more than two got though. Or, if more than two managed to get through the MCI, then, that could only mean the MCI wasn't enforced or if it was enforced, it was done lackadaisically.

I will need Dr Watson to look for the one or two who have slipped in. That may not be elementary, Watson.


Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 08:30  

Dato' sak ni adaje idea nak tulis!
A very challenging and mind-boggling entry on a sleepy Saturday.

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 09:08  

huh, wtf, do you know that half of your article is filled with trash that is just irrelevant? and you can hardly write properly, and it looks like you continuously refer to a thesaurus when writing, kebanyakkan ayat yang kau tulis tak kena, memang tak kena... kau tulis belit2 ni untuk tunjuk terror kat orang kampung, tapi sebenarnya your English sucks.. big time.

Greenbottle 11 April 2009 at 09:18  

i disagree with you my case, the main reason why i come here is because sakmongkol's english is great! much better than most political bloggers...(don't be pedantic and complain about little typos and occassional carelessness such as the sentence about poitier above )
and his reasoning is fine. except that i don't agree with him most of the time!!!

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 09:28  

mamak bendahara,
kalau enlish sucks, macam mana dato ni nak tunjuk terror kat orang kampung. your english isn't spectacular either.
when you use i am gonna ...this and that, it shows you are still a kutu. and a kutu sucks blood. jangan marah you tak dapat follow mukhriz ke disneyland tamby.
adei, bonus ada dapat ka...

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 09:39  

Mamak Bendehara, kan semua budak sekolah kena belajar matematik and sains dalam BI sekarang. Kalau budak kampung tak faham BI Dato Sak, baik mereka belajar sekarang. Jangan malu dan segan kalau tak erti maksud perkataan. Guna kamus.

Saya nak syor jadi blog Dato Sak sebagai kelas belajar BI terror.

Idzan Ismail,  11 April 2009 at 09:40  

I tend to agree with Mamak Bendahara.
With an LCE education, who am I to judge if your writing sucks big time or you are Mr Malaprop,
All I can say it's fantastika, bombastika verbose.
Most times I fear posting my comments because I don't understand what you are writing.
I thought politicians are suppose to convey message to the masses in a simple easy to understand laguage.
Maybe I am used to concise journalesce language like Kadir Jasin or Rocky.
It's also I like Tun M because he speaks straight to the point as compared to Anwar when after listening to him, I wonder what is he trying to say.
p.s. In my part of Pahang we call uncle Mamak or Ayah something.

Abang Khalid.,  11 April 2009 at 09:44  

Hikayat Mamak Bendahara ni tulis macam dia bawak Ferari 150km/jam.. aku pun suka baca blog dia, tapi dia tak update. Banyak kali orang kat comment rockybru suruh dia sambung tulis, tapi dia busy kot.

Sakmongkol punya english macam Kancil burok pakai tayar lori, ekzos ikat pakai tali rafia, lepastu dia cuba nak pecut sampai 500km/jam. Kalau pakai kancil burok, bawak macam kancil burok.

dua sen,  11 April 2009 at 09:54  

Dato Sak,

I am in full agreement with your analysis.

In my view, DSN had a chance to show his leadership by doing the following :-
1) Omit Razali, Mukhriz. That will pacify all groups in the pemuda and let the reconciliation process takes it course. TDM can't complain because KJ is out anywhere. When his administration is on stronger footing, he can then admit KJ, Razali, Mukhriz in. Omitting ketua pemuda but appointing naib kp and the loser of kp election is creating unnecessary fire.

2)Appoint Kuli as FM and allow him revamp and reenergise economy. We've to get away from personality driven system and emphasize on institution. Allow intellectuals (rather than kaki-ampu) to free contribute in the institution. This will ensure that even if 'monkey' is the PM, the nation will continue to operate.

The other benefit is that Kuli will force PR to crack their brain to focus on the economy rather than politics (luring more frogs). We need more centralists lawmakers to create centralist policies to gain the confidence of apolitical rakyats who only yearn for common sense policies.

When he gains confidence from majority of the rakyats (he can't please everybody), TDM won't have the reasons to be watching his back. Give TDM the space and honour to perform more reverance duties like cutting ribbons and also, let him have more time to play with grandchildren (otherwise when the grandchildren grow up, they'll have to read books to know their grandfather. tsk tsk !)

3)Appoint Effendi Nawawi to replace Nor Yaakob. He has done enough damage.

P/S TDM has two personalities ie emotional+politics and strategic thinking. The former I shut my ears but the latter I will stay up to listen

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 09:56  

saya pun heran. kalau dato ni punya enlis tak bagus, ngapa tengku razali, tun daim baca ek?
kalau tak bagus negapa hits dia banyak?
kepada izan ismail, boleh jadi blog sakmongkol ni bukan untuk orang yang mentally challenged macam hang dan mamak. cara mamak ni tulis, mesti ex journalist dari new shit times atau utusan meloya.

dua sen,  11 April 2009 at 10:04  

Kepada komen-komen yang kurang asam,

manalah nilai-nilai murni yang kerajaan paksa anak-anak kita menghafal di sekolah.

blog adalah seperti rumah terbuka, semua surfer dijemput baca. kalau tak suka tuanrumah tak payahlah mengunjungnya. buat apa maki hamun rumah orang!

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 10:06  

sekarang baru saya tahu mengapa tak ramai orang mahu baca kadir jasin..borrrring.
rupa rupa penulis yang lebih baik berada di luar profesyen kewartawanan.
thesaurus tu apa ek? saya sekolah atap je.
pukimak bendahara- selain dari kata tulisan ni trash, mengapa hang tak mahu rebut issue yg sakmongkol ni tulis? aku baca blog hang, patuit lah oghang tak nak baca. macam kadir jasin jugak.

Ariff Sabri 11 April 2009 at 10:16  

i am putting up an issue for debate. as owner of this blog, i am hosting visitors who are extended an overall invitation. but i do expect visitors to display a little bit of finesse and decorum.
i think it is customary for visitors not to abuse hospitality however disagreeable the host's ideas are. Mamak B, if you feel strongly about this subject, please put up an essay on yr own blog. then we can do a forensic exercise on it.
to those who find either the language or the issue raised in my blog not up to scratch, offer a better argument in the formof a full article and not in the form of hit and run comments and hiding behind anonymous.

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 10:16  


It does not matter if the graft free measures are half past 6. So long as it is past 6. Gradually it would be 7. We hope it would be 12. If it does not reach 8 or 9 by PRU 13, the rakyat might go 3.

Agree with you on the Corruption Index thing. We need to watch closely on the few who slipped in. I wish you and Dr Watson success.

We need to report the corrupt to SPMR. True, this must be done cautiously for fear of recrimination, victimisation - until such time as DSN ensures no such thing would happen and SPMR truly protects their sources. And DSN has promised a more open, transparent government operation.

SPMR needs to be given clear guidelines or policy as to carrying out their functions and responsibilities. Not just on opposition personnel like the Penang Dep CM - apparently very efficient, prompt and clear statements by the Penang and the HQ SPMR.

The ACA used to be directly under the PM's Dept., a huge Ministry with one division alone being even larger than a Ministry in terms of Division One officer staffing. Imagine the number of Divisions: EPU, ICU, ICDAU (if still there), ACA, Statistics, Research, Public Complaints, Bureau Tata Negara, etc. The PM, having so many other responsibilities, simply has no time to deal with ACA directly and ACA failed miserably.

Now SPMR is under a special committee comprising parliamentarians whose emoluments, terms of service etc Nazri said were being worked out by the Public Services Dept, a full-pledged government department. How independent can it be? Would there be a hang over of ACA, SPMR serving the Government in power? Naturally they have to be cautious on anti-graft actions planned on government and important UMNO personalities.

SPMR needs to have clear indications, beyond what are written in the documents of incorporation, as to the kind they can have prosecuted. Otherwise, many cases would continue to be "investigations not yet completed". The Special Committee needs to give them those guidelines but DSN must give clear indications as to what he wants done beyond saying catch the corrupt. P & C kind of talk. To expect SPMR to act without fear is unrealistic. They have their promotions, Datoships and Tan Sriships to think of.

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 10:35  

Ha! Dato yr English suck?

How could someone who quoted ' augutinepaul' can have bad England?

Only thing that come to mind is that's an ad hominem argument! That also show the 'intellectual' capability of these push-overs.

Dato, I dont share yr enthusiasm about DSN's cabinet.

The bloated cabinet membership is a political compromise used to protect HIS self interest, ie political relevancy; firstly within umno & secondary within BN.

Just like someone mentioned, by the time every cabinet members have had their say, the theme of the discussion has lost, never mind that the quality of the members is doubtful from the start.

Speed & sharp target-shooting r the prime requirements in solving problems, especially at time like this! Where r these qualities, now?

At the lighter side of the impact, we might ended up with another auto-piloting, while the captain, instead of sleepy is merrymaking with someone else!

At worst? Prepare for a hard-landing not like Zimbabwe! The similarity is glaring, especially with the other-half in tolled.


Reverse Psychology Ka Dato?,  11 April 2009 at 11:22  

Mamak bendahara,

Please be rational.

1. You are portraying as if it's a sin referring to Thesaurus while writing English. Do you dare to own up the responsibility.

2. Most of us coming here search for thought provocation as therapeutic treatment to ease off from heavy daily doses of MSM news. Rubbish or not it's not up to you dude.

3. You are bashing for the sake of bashing...are you crazy or what??? Please check which kampung you come from....unless you come from Mars.

4. And please take off the hat of Mr. V, there's too much lices sucking the blood out of your head, you butthead!

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 11:48  

Mamak Bendahara

I once cheered you to continue writing in this blog because of your good comment at that time.

How I wish you not become petty and rude so that we all can enjoy reading worthwhile comments and not get distracted.

We have to be polite when in people's homes and be civil when we disagree.

Ree,  11 April 2009 at 11:57  

Ha Ha! Good one Dato! You cheered me up this Saturday morning.

I think this Mamak Bendahara is just jealous. Please continue writing. You are my fav "UMNO" blogger to date.

sunshine,  11 April 2009 at 12:18  

Hoi HKM, u want to be an english teacher go somewhere else stupid. Is ur english soooo terrible that u have to switch to BM half way thru ur unintelligent comment to this blog. We dont visit this blog to comment on ppl's english lah dumb bell!! We continue to visit this blog cos of the substance of the articles written. If u r short of ideas to write on ur blog then dont disturb n pass unconstructive comments on other ppl's blog. Just buz off!

Keep on writing Sak. As for KJ, it is my view that with or without his father in law, given time and once he has acquired the wisdom, the young man has got his own strength to succeed as a future leader!

DSN's generation

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 12:38  

Ngkau ni tak habis2 dengki kat Dato' sak. Agaknya ngkau ingat sebab ngkau ex-journalist writing ngkau mesti lebih terror! Gi lah balik ke blog ngkau.Tentulah dah cukup engkau gunakan blog Dato' untuk promote diri ngkau!
Bila nak bagi nama penuh ngkau sepenuhnya.Ngkau ada tuduh mak KJ buat rumah berjuta2 ringgit tu! Mana nama penuh?? TAKUT ke???????

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 13:23  

People will vote for us only if they understand the message we put across. It's for this reason that Khir Toyo got the second highest number of votes in the Pemuda Umno contest. It's clear to everyone that Khir Toyo is the second most articulate of the three candidates.

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 14:05  

So much about KJ, but I agree that KJ should be given a cabinet post by virtue of being Ketua Pemuda UMNO. This refusal of Najib to respect the decision of the assembly will hound him in time to come.

However, I am more concern on the exclusion of Kamelia Ibrahim, one of the few talented, brilliant, experience and clean leader which I think is more capable than Shahrizat or Rafidah.

If DS Najib really want to push his 1Malaysia concept, it should start with the finance ministry where non other than Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at the helm or the Justice ministry which should be led by Kamelia.

BTW, sorry for the bad english but I am relearning the english language by reading your blog with the help of online dictionary - hyperword.


Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 14:22  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 16:34  

Itu lah masalahnya. Kalau KJ buat report pasal buku "KJ Perasuah", polis akan siasat kandungan buku tersebut dengan objektif untuk charge KJ. Kalau Mukhriz buat report pasal buku "Mukhriz Perasuah", polis akan siasat penulis buku tersebut dengan objektif untuk charge penulis kerana menghasut. Kalau saya pergi balai polis buat laporan diliwat oleh Khairy, saya jamin merongkok dalam lokap Khairy. Tapi kalau saya buat laporan diliwat oleh Mukhriz, saya yang merengkok dalam balai kerana memfitnah. Benda terang bersuloh ini pun tak nampak.

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 17:36  


i may disagree with you most times but for this one, you are spot on.
I have never seen a public person who flips and flops and yet has the temerity to impose his thoughts on others and to those who oppose him, the end result can be darn miserable.

Ak,lets agree that we can disagree.

Donplaypuks® 11 April 2009 at 17:52  


Let's not Spin doctor on 'CLEAN'. Like good sex, we all know what it is and can define it if necessary. And we always have the Oxford English Dictionary if we need further reference and definition.

Ther is also a moral dimension to it, like a chief justice getting married in Thailand and then burning the marriage certificate or a Minsiter claiming 'I said shoo and not shoot' when dealimg with boat people!

Just as there is no half pregnant lady, there is no half, quarter or 'a little unclean' politician! You are claen or you are not and there's no two ways about it.

I also challenge your or any other proposition that we cannot find 20 or 30 clean and honourable men & women to form the political leadership and Cabinet of Malaysia from a population of 26 million!

All it needs is human will. Bumis like, perhaps Haris ibrahim, even Rocky etc you can effect these changes if you will think out of the box of 'UMNO or Nothing' and fight for it.

Our Govt is unclean because those leading it belong to a sustained culture of dishonesty and corruption. We should not fall into the trap of thinking that we should accept a compromise and can do nothing about it.

Ghandhi, Mandela and King have shown the way. And what about the Prophet Mohamad? Did he just walk away from the troubles of his time?

Anonymous,  11 April 2009 at 18:26  

oh saya ingat nama mamak bendahara- sajahan waheed. salah rupa nya. takper, kita tengok nanti dia terkencing dalam seluak tak

Ariff Sabri 11 April 2009 at 18:42  

if i understand it, mamak says what i write is trash. which part of the article is trash?.
obviously, mamak finds dissecting TDM's flip flop on corruption is trash. or it could be, saying that Dato Najib's cabinet is better than TDM's is trash. or extending the logic that those dropped are by implication corrupt is trash. or telling people the IPCI during TDM's time is trash. you pick whatever.

finaly when everything else fails, fault the English. i went over to mamak's blog- i feel like captain kirk- asking mr scott to beam him up quickly as there's no signs of intelligent life there.

now, as to the others who chorused mamak faulting my english, the test is in its impact.
simple: if what i write is not impactful, there is no cause for worry on the part of these people right?
those who ridicule my use of the English language or the style by which i convey my English, they are entitled to think as they do. it wont affect me. but they remind me of something found floating in the gutter- most revolting and unpleasant.
finally i am telling you, when you come into people's house, it is incumbent upon the visitor to be polite. do you see me going into mamak's blog and abusing him?

Reverse Psychology Ka Dato',  11 April 2009 at 22:23  

Spot on.

I agree that we can have conflicting view without abusing and belittling each and others especially the host.

Before, I've always sat at the other end of the opinion table from Dato' Sak but always remember where I came from.

Mamak just went too far this time.

Anonymous,  12 April 2009 at 09:59  

Salam Dato';

Saya enjoy baca blog Dato' Sak, based on your writing I think you are Pro KJ and anti TDM.

Saya rasa Dato' tak perlulah nak memperlekehkan TDM.Terlampau banyak jasa orang tua ni. Pandangan dia masih lagi bernas dan 'relevant' dan telah tebukti dalam banyak perkara 'He was proven right' again and again.

Anonymous,  12 April 2009 at 11:27  

Salam anon 9.59
Orang macam you lah dikata ikut membabi buta! Bila Dato komen pasal TDM and kebetulan menyokong KJ, you terus chap dia anti-TDM! You are a really a bloody idiot!

kuldeep 12 April 2009 at 20:53  

We forget that unless proven guilty ,one is innocent.And once a judgment is given it stays that way until it is reviewed n revoked.

None of those dropped hv been indicted of "not being clean".The perception derived from their lifestyle or snippets from those in the "know" may indicate otherwise but the fact remains that they're clean.

Similarly,those appointed may suffer the same perception.

Thus,in a real world we the rakyat have to accept and pray that they are clean and at worse myb not so clean but can perform their duties.It would be bad if a Mr Clean is a dumbo but worse if a Mr Not so Clean is a smart one only for his own benefit but a dumbo otherwise.

Essentially,our Ministers need not be too smart.Wats more important is humility,willingness to listen,common sense to separate the wheat from the chaff , the sincere spirit of service for the rakyat and love of the country.

I honestly believe that there is the right mix in the new cabinet that may just do the trick.

Anonymous,  13 April 2009 at 21:49  

sak, you're doing fine man.
definitely and absolutely better and refreshing as compare to that of kadir jasin and the lot.
i concur with the commenters that said kadir jasin's writing a bore. it is. and i thought to myself maybe i'm too demanding & the alien one, but no, there are people like me out there. and, they're here in your blog.

hey sak, we malaysians in the 40's and below are the new breed of people who like writings like yours.

gambate sak-san.

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