Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ronnie Liu's letter carrys too much weight - when it should not even be a practice in government

When letters from Ronnie Liu can cause peole/companies to get Selangor government contracts ....

When letters from Khalid Ibrahim can result in whether you get a contract or not...

When a letter from some politician in government or otherwise can influence a decision whether one gets a contract or not...

The sacking of Klang municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock's case by the DAP is receiving media attention, and the allegation against him is that he misused letters

On July 28, a day after English-language daily Star reported that a 'rogue' councillor had misused Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu's letterhead and seal to obtain contracts worth a total of RM1 million for 20 companies,....Malaysiakini, 4/8/2010, Tee lied to us, explains S'gor DAP over 'reversal'

The issue here, is the whole usage and impact of such 'support letters' ....and/or support by certain political personalities in ensuring that some get government contracts and others do not.

First, we need to have a look at the said letters....their contents....[Are there letters of support, instructions, directives/orders...?]

Second, we have to look at whether there were similar letters issued by the said Ronnie Liu (or some other PR politician) in the past...and the impact that such letters/support had in getting some people/companies getting government contracts...Why is such a practice still being followed by PR State governments?

Third, we have to really ask why the persons in these decision making bodies/committees are so influenced by such 'support' (or is it 'orders') from certain political personalities? [Is it because you are worried that if you 'disobey', then you may not be re-appointed (or may be dismissed immediately), and further marginalized  by the current government, party or political personality? Is it fear that made these persons to award the contracts to certain persons? Really, we need to re-look at the criteria used by the committee/body that decided to award the contracts to certain parties on the apparent 'orders'/'instructions' of Ronnie Liu (in this case). More importantly, we must look at the independence of decision making bodies, and the criteria being employed in coming to a decision? Does it matter whether one is a PR political party member or has some 'support' whether in a form of letter or 'phone call" coming from a politician of influence - like ...? If there is transparency and openness, plus accountability, surely all these kind of 'bad' practices will stop. Now, we are informed as to who gets the contract...or succeeds in a tender - Maybe we also need to know the "Why?" they got the contract...and why they did not? Really, the only consideration should be (1) the price/cost to do the project within time, (2) their experience/capacity & past record, (3) a policy to spread projects over a larger group of new local contractors/companies...maybe, if there is such a policy which must be if not only the same old companies/persons will get all projects because only they have past experience/achievements...
Tee, if he did use Ronnie's letterhead to get contracts for certain company is definitely wrong...

If Ronnie (or MB, some other prominent person) also used to give support, in the form of letters and/or otherwise, so that certain people get a better chance of getting a contract is certainly a bigger Wrong. [I do not believe, the use of Ronnie's letter would have had the influence it had, if it had not been used similarly before by Ronnie and/or other political personalities...]

Maybe, to ensure loyalty....and that they listen to the instructions of Ronnie (and/or others), be it through letters, phone calls, etc, that is why Local Councillors (and possibly others in other decision making committees/bodies) are appointed for short 1-year terms, and thereafter removed or retained at will by certain politicians in power. [Safeguards for independence of decision making bodies must be put in place, and this include fixed, certainly longer tenure, transparency and openess, election rather than appointments, etc...]

'Using cables... support letters... connections...' were things that we knew were happening when the UMNO-led BN government ruled the State/s, and as such to hear that a similar practice is still continuing when PR is ruling is really disturbing.

Has the only change that we have brought about since the last General Elections in 2008, been just a change in the ruling party/coalition and persons  in power, and nothing more? In Local Councils, previously they filled the post of Councillors with people from their not the same happening with Pakatan Rakyat?

2 years plus has passed, and the promised 'reformasi' has not really happened where it matters... or has it? One should spend time reading George Orwell's Animal Farm....and wnder whether the same thing has happened

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