Sunday, August 10, 2014


By Mansor Puteh

Malaysia’s glamour-seekers who insist on hogging the media traffic by shoving away the experts they and their predecessors and system did not or could not or had failed to create or did not trust fully to allow them to do the jobs they were assigned and paid for.  

This issue concerns the real and true roles of the members of the cabinet of Malaysia and in other countries, and why they are different with each other. 

Why are the secretaries in the American cabinet behaving differently than those in the rest of the world particularly in Malaysia?

And there are also so few members of the cabinet in America than in Malaysia and where the American president picks the secretaries who did not take part in the elections, while in Malaysia they have to be full-time politicians and those who hold high office in their respective political parties.

In America they are taken from the public sector and who comprise of the seasoned professionals who are qualified in their chosen fields; yet, so few would venture to be in such a post in the cabinet, where they do not really exist in the public eye, except for the secretary of state.

In Malaysia a member of the cabinet can be moved from one portfolio to the other and each time that happens the person assumes the role of the thinker and also expert.

Yet, when he is removed from the cabinet, all the so-called experiences that he had acquired in all the years he has been in the cabinet holding the many portfolios do not really come in handy, as they are not recognized as experts in those fields.

None could be appointed to teach at the universities; and even if they are offered, they would not accept it as it does not pay much.

They would rather become chairmen of major companies or sit in the board, where they do not do much but still can earn a lot.

The so-called contacts they had while in the cabinet have thus proven to be useless ones as they were mostly their counterparts in other countries who may have also left their posts and who do not really have much or any influence in commerce.

So in the end the senior party officials continue to benefit a lot from the party without the party ever getting anything or much from them.

And no wonder, they like to cling onto their posts until death visits them or if they are inflicted by a major ailment, leaving them with no choice but to flee.

Yet, there are some who were trashed in the national elections, yet, they could still find employment and hence, some relevance by being appointed ambassadors.

This not only involves politicians but these days it also involves former inspector-general of police and other politicians who could not be absorbed into the cabinet or given posts as CEOs or chairmen in the government-owned public-listed companies.

In the end this is what most of them wanted to get from the party and for being in politics, and not so much on how much they can contribute to it but how much they can benefit from it.

And if they failed to get what they had aimed for, they will switch parties, to then start criticizing it as a member of the opposition now.

Some do get back into the limelight when they win in the general elections and for being elected to some posts in the new state government they now control.

So Khairy Jamaluddin and Leow Tiong Lai, the ministers of sports and youth and of transport, respectively, are in Glasgow attending the Commonwealth Games, and in Ukraine to oversee the post-MH17 crash, respectively.

But are they supposed to be there?

Are the ministers of sports and youth of other Commonwealth countries also attending the games to lead the national teams of their respective countries?

And did any minister of transport of other countries whose airplane had crashed in the past led the rescue efforts and post-crash of their airplanes?

America is represented by the officials from the NTSB or National Transport Service Bureau and not by their secretary of transport. This bureau has experts who know what they are talking about and they do not need to read from any prepared text. They have credibility.

Does Tiong Lai have any credibility to talk about airplanes? Don’t he and Khairy have better things to do at their respective ministries?

What are their roles as ministers? Do they know them? Maybe not.

What are their plans for the country, the strategy they have to achieve them? They don’t seem to have any; if they had they would have told everybody about them.

And what had they done and achieved in their earlier postings in the cabinet that we know of? Nothing!

And why were they thought by their masters to be good to hold the present portfolios that they do not know how to make full use of, to bring glory to the country in their official capacities?

If they knew them, they would not be in Glasgow and Kiev, Ukraine, respectively and allowed the officials from the respective bodies handle the matters. 

Malaysian cabinet members are mostly public relations officers of their respective ministries, they who like to hog on the media limelight to replace the real public relations officers they the ministries ought to have but did not seem to.

Even if they have such posts in the ministries, the officers concern would give way to the ministers to show their faces.

In the end the members of the cabinet in Malaysia are some of the most publicity-crazy people in the world; whatever they do must be given media coverage even if it is just a social outing and casual remark they utter.

No wonder, most of them could not find significant jobs or employment after they leave the cabinet or politics and still have to depend on the charity of Umno and the government to get honorary posts that give them some more media attention before it is too late for them to do that.

Malaysian politicians do not die; they just refuse to fade away…

And this includes those in the opposition too. 

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