Archive for November, 2010

26
Nov
10

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MACC ‘S APPEAL

At a closed-door dialogue session with  bloggers yesterday, the MACC Chief,  Dato’ Seri Abu Kassim, made an earnest appeal for Malaysians who honestly want a corruption-free society to support the Commission’s efforts in eradicating the socio-cultural scourge. They must not be afraid to whistle-blow and must not turn into hostile witnesses in court.

Going through the MACC’s structure, functions and line of communication in some detail, Abu Kassim reiterated the independence and transparency of the Commission in its investigative role and the rigorous scrutiny imposed by the five committees that oversee its work. The MACC Chief and his officers are answerable to each of these committees culminating in their parliamentary accountability through the Special Committee on Corruption. The 2009 Annual Report is a comprehensive and detailed presentation of the Commission’s activities and the issues of public concern, including the relevant statistics and explanations.

Abu Kassim outlined the three-cornered structure of the official anti- corruption movement  involving the MACC, the police and the Attorney General’s office i.e. the government department vested with the power of prosecution. The MACC’s power is limited to investigating the information it receives from the public and/or the reports made with the police. It must establish that there is indeed a case for prosecution and sufficient evidence to recommend that it be prosecuted. However, it is the Attorney General who ultimately decides who or what deserves to be taken  to court. 

The MACC’s main problem seems to be the  lack of public awareness about its specialised role and responsibilities which leads to the poor perception of its efficacy in enforcing public justice. People’s expectations run high as they are better educated about the sins of bribery and corruption. They are more aware of what constitutes abuse of power and therefore want the corrupted to be tried and if found guilty, to be rightly sentenced.  Only then would the anti-corruption movement be seen as effective, and the MACC credible. The public are crying out for the “big fish” and are weary of the MACC’s track record of catching the “ikan bilis”!  

So the answer- begging question is ” Should the Anti-Corruption Law be amended to give the MACC  the power of prosecution?” If so,
  • Should the law be ammended to allow for oral or written confessions of corrupt wrongdoings to be used as direct evidence in court? This would solve the problem of witnesses turning hostile in court.
  • Should lawyers and judges be subjected to an oath of incorruptibility before each case is brought to trial This would prevent the “cohorts in corruption” syndrome that is fast becoming a culture in our society.

It appears that the MACC alone cannot wipe out the all-pervading disease of corruption in society. It must be admitted that everywhere favours are asked for and favours granted often with purse strings attached. It appears that in the business world especially, coffee money – whether it is passed under the table or straight into people’s bank accounts, in hard cash or its softer purchases, in conferrments of tenders or titles – is not seen as morally unacceptable.

 

It is generally accomodated as a way of (Malaysian) life! The argument offered is that everyone’s doing it so it can’t be wrong! For many people corruption is not seen as a sin and therefore as a crime against society. Corruption is not seen as an abuse of power and therefore as an infringement of human dignity and human rights.

Abu Kassim and his team have a lot on their plate and it is for us as concerned and dutiful citizens to give them a hand. They will not succeed if we ordinary citizens do not succeed in spreading the word – among our family and friends, in our own little community and among its leaders, in our work place and among our colleagues.

They will not succeed if the PM and his Cabinet, the Members of Parliament and ADUN, the teachers and educators, the corporate and business leaders, parents and elders do not echo the same message.

 CORRUPTION IS A SIN!

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21
Nov
10

 

CHAIRPERSON’S SPEECH

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS RAJA ZARITH SOFIAH BINTI ALMARHUM SULTAN IDRIS SHAH

YANG AMAT BERBAHAGIA TUN DR MAHATHIR MOHAMED

YANG AMAT BERBAHAGIA TUN DR SITI HASMAH MOHD ALI

YANG BERHORMAT DATO’ SERI SHAHRIZAT ABDUL JALIL

HONOURED GUESTS, LADIES & GENTLEMEN

WELCOME

 

GOOD MORNING AND WELCOME TO THE FORUM VOICES OF PEACE, CONSCIENCE & REASON.

IT IS SO HEARTENING TO SEE A  HALL OF BRIGHT FACES EARLY IN THE MORNING, EAGER  TO SPEAK UP FOR A CAUSE FUNDAMENTAL TO HUMAN SOCIETY  – THE RIGHT TO PEACE AND THE FREEDOM TO SPEAK WITH CONSCIENCE AND REASON.

THE CORE ORGANISING COMMITTEE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR  BEING WITH US TODAY, TO LISTEN TO OUR ESTEEMED GUEST OF HONOUR, OUR DISTINGUISHED PANELISTS, MODERATORS AND FACILITATORS.  MOST OF ALL, WE APPLAUD YOU FOR COMING TO LEND YOUR VOICE AND ENGAGE ONE ANOTHER IN MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION.

YOUR GESTURE OF SUPPORT IS REALLY MEANINGFUL AS IT COMES ON THE EVE OF AIDIL ADHAR, HARI RAYA KORBAN (SACRIFICES). IT SIGNALS PERHAPS THE SACRIFICES YOU ARE MAKING FOR YOUR BELOVED COUNTRY.

 

PARTICIPANTS

OUR PARTICIPANTS TODAY ARE INDEED A MICROCOSM OF MALAYSIAN SOCIETY, REPRESENTING VETERAN GROUPS AND YOUTH BODIES FROM DIFFERENT SECTORS AND STRATA OF SOCIETY. TOGETHER WE WILL IMBUE THIS GATHERING WITH A TREMENDOUS ENERGY OF SPIRIT, SYNERGY OF IDEAS AND UNITY OF THOUGHT AS WE CHART A COMMON PATH TOWARDS A BETTER MALAYSIA. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE NATION’S HOPE FOR ENDURING PEACE AND UNITY LIES IN THE WISDOM OF A PEOPLE WHO ARE ENLIGHTENED AND GUIDED BY THEIR CONSCIENCE AND REASON.

 FORUM CONTENT

IT IS THE FORUM’S OBJECTIVE THAT WE FOCUS ON THE CORE VALUES AND SHARED ASPIRATIONS THAT BIND, ON THE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS THAT NURTURE.   IT IS THE FORUM’S AIM THAT WE BUILD ON OUR STRENGTHS AS A SOCIETY WITH  MULTIFARIOUS RESOURCES.

THE TWO PANEL DISCUSSIONS WILL FOREFRONT CURRENT CONCERNS ABOUT LEADERSHIP, YOUTH, SYSTEMS AND VALUES  AND HOW TO EFFECTIVELY WEAVE NEW PATTERNS AND PARADIGMS.

THE TEN ROUND TABLE TRACKS WILL FOCUS ON THE INITIATIVES I.E. THE PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES THAT CAN BE ORGANISED AT 3 LEVELS – INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY & ORGANISATION.

FORUM GOALS

IT IS OUR HOPE THAT THE UNIFIED DISCOURSE, CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS AND PRAGMATIC INITIATIVES THAT ENSUE WILL RIPPLE FORTH INTO WAVES OF ACTIVITIES THAT WILL BE STARTED FAR AND WIDE AS WE SPREAD OUR MESSAGE AMONG OUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND ORGANISATIONS.

CALL FOR PEACE & UNITY

WE HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE THE UNITY WE NEED AND THE PEACE WE DESIRE BY CLOSING RANKS AND CONSOLIDATING OUR EFFORTS IN THE FACE OF MODERN CHALLENGES!

SO LET US GET ALONG WITH ONE ANOTHER AND AFFIRM OUR COMMITMENT TO MAKE  MALAYSIA A NATION WE ARE PROUD TO HAND ON A PLATTER TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.

A PRAYER

Let us assert

We are one family of people

Standing for peace – 

Peace for our communities

 Let us connect through our diversity

 Through our conscience and reason

 Let us be responsible

 For creating the change we want.

 

 

LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION

AT THE PERSONAL LEVEL, I FEEL COMPELLED TO BRING UP SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN BUGGING ME FOR SOME TIME WHICH SOME OF MY DEAR FRIENDS HAVE HAD EARFULS OF – AND WHICH I’LL PROBABLY WRITE ABOUT IN YET ANOTHER LETTER TO THE EDITOR. BUT DARE I SPEAK ABOUT IT HERE WHERE I MIGHT BE TAKEN TO IMMEDIATE TASK? I DARE SAY I DARE!

BEING A LINGUIST, I’M CONVINCED THAT THE WAY FORWARD LIES TO A GREAT EXTENT IN HOW MALAYSIANS USE LANGUAGE TO COMMUNICATE AND INTERACT WITH ONE ANOTHER. A LOT OF THE MISUNDERSTANDING AND CONFLICTS WHICH STAND IN THE WAY OF PEACE CAN BE AVOIDED OR AT LEAST AVERTED IF WE USE LANGUAGE WITH MORE CARE. WE MUST UNLEARN OUR CARELESS COMMUNICATION HABITS AND RELEARN HOW TO EMPLOY LANGUAGE WITH GREATER FINESSE AND ACCURACY, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE CONSTANTLY IN THE PUBLIC EYE AND THOSE WHO REPRESENT THE RAKYAT AT FORMAL AND INFORMAL PLATFORMS, AT HOME AND ABROAD. THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN INFORMAL, COLLOQUIAL SPEECH AND FORMAL STYLES AND STRUCTURES HAVE TO BE TAUGHT AND LEARNED. WE MUST BE MORE DISCERNING IN OUR CHOICE OF WORDS AND CONCEPTS AND AVOID THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN STIGMATISED OR ABUSED THROUGH OVER – USE. WE MUST CREATE NEW CONCEPTS THAT PULL US TOGETHER TO REPLACE THE OLD ONES THAT PUSH US ASUNDER.

NO DOUBT THERE’LL BE MORE DISCUSSION ON LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION IN ROUND TABLE TRACK 8 AS THERE WILL BE ON THE OTHER  ENGAGING TOPICS.

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

ON BEHALF OF THE CORE ORGANISING COMMITTEE I’D LIKE TO THANK ALL THE KIND PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN US:

  • YAYASAN 1 MALAYSIA AND ASLI – THE TWO GIANT ORGANISATIONS WHO HAVE ALLOWED OUR FLEDGLING GROUP TO LEAN ON THEM.
  • PANELISTS, MODERATORS AND FACILITATORS WHO DID NOT HESITATE WHEN INVITED TO LEND THEIR VOICES
  • THE MEDIA FOR THEIR FANTASTIC SUPPORT
  • FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO GAVE FREELY OF THEIR TIME
  • KLGCC FOR THEIR FORUM MANAGEMENT

A HUGE TERIMA KASIH TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS AND DONORS FOR MAKING THE FORUM POSSIBLE:

  • TRADEWINDS CORPORATION BERHAD
  • WSA GROUP
  • SAJ INCLUSIVE & INCORPORATED
  • MAY TAK TERHAD
  • YATI & PARTNERS

MENJUNJUNG KASIH SETINGGI-TINGGINYA KEPADA YANG MAHA MULIA RAJA ZARITH SOFIAH BINTI ALMARHUM SULTAN IDRIS SHAH ATAS KEBERANGKATAN TUANKU UNTUK BERTITAH DALAM UCAPTAMA PADA FORUM SUARA KEAMANAN MENERUSI HATI NURANI DAN KEBOLEHAN MENAAKUL.

THANK YOU & MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU!

11
Nov
10

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FROM RIPPLES TO WAVES

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 2 (Bernama) — A forum to promote the voices of peace, conscience and reason in civil society will be held here on Nov 16.

 Organised by a group calling itself Pcore, the forum at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club is aimed at generating change in society and providing the necessary checks and balances to programmed development in the public and private sectors.

 According to organising chairman Datin Halimah Mohd Said, the forum was unique in that it would involve discussions by community leaders, government officials, academicians, corporate figures as well as journalists, bloggers and non-governmental organisations.

 The topics to be discussed include “Leadership and its role, functions and responsibilities in shaping a nation” and “Changing value systems and their impact on society”.

 “We feel that leaders and role models need to reassess their roles and responsibilities, a big part of which is manifested in they way they communicate,” Halimah said.

 She said they had a duty to refine their rhetoric and lift it to a more intellectual level and in the most constructive way.

 “There’s no doubt that in this, the media’s function as the most audible transmitter of information is crucial,” she said.

 She said the media must encourage meaningful discourses and present them in the most vibrant ways while media chiefs and journalists ought to focus on the issues that build rather than destroy.

 Halimah said the forum would produce a list of initiatives, programmes and activities that could be implemented on the ground by various groups in civil society.

 — BERNAMA

 KUALA LUMPUR: A forum for the voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE) will be held on Nov 16 to come up with initiatives to achieve these objectives.

 The forum is organised by citizens’ movement PCORE, which aims to be a channel of communication for diverse groups .

 Organising chairman Datin Halimah Mohd Said said the forum was supported by Yayasan 1Malaysia and the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute.

 The guest of honour is Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, the wife of sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar. She will deliver the keynote address.

 Ten topics, ranging from community networking and neighbourliness to building integrity and ethical standards, will be covered.The forum will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club from 9am to 4.30pm.

 For registration and details, email pcore2010@gmail.com.

NEW STRAITS TIMES  November 9




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