Friday, January 17, 2014

Kamalanathan punched by incompetence and arrogance


Last week, there was talk of Deputy Minister for Education, YB Kamalanathan being punched.

Our initial reaction was to wonder whether Kamalanathan got himself misquoted and mistakenly committed to say something before knowing the full picture again.

In the heat of the toilet canteen debacle and other mini controversies Kamalanathan had immersed himself into, we never had any doubt of him. He is not someone with bad or racist intentions. Just new to public office.

It seems the punch is real. It  missed his face and hit his neck. This time Kamalanathan did not get punched for saying something wrong but for the incompetence of civil servants and their system and attitude of arrogance of an UMNO member.

Arrogance

The matter is simple.

An UMNO youth member in his area was just employed as a teacher but got posted in Johor Baru. That is like what? 5 hours drive from Hulu Selangor.

The chap had his father, a known UMNO member and activist in the area to meet Kamalanathan to seek help for a transfer. As told to us, Kamalanathan said he will try to help.

Naturally and we would do the same, he said and that UMNO member should understand that he has to go through the process as per the system put in place by civil servants. That is how government and companies work but through a set of strictly determined procedures.

It seemed the father could not take the carefully qualified words of Kamalanathan and wanted an absolute guarantee. He became persistent and probably insisted that Kamalanathan helped his son jump the queue.

Malaysians have the tendency to expect their family or friends in high places or wakil rakyat or in Kamalanthan's case, a Deputy Minister to flex their muscle and bypass procedures as practised by civil servants for their benefit.

They refuse to be believe that a Deputy Minister must adhere to procedure. Since Kamalanathan and MIC is a minority and UMNO and Malays holds his political faith in Hulu Selangor, they expect him to abuse his position for their sake.

Those are the days of our father-in-law in which to get an international  passport, one need to know and insist on doing it through an orang dalam. Those days are gone and these days it is a simple as going through the queue at the Immigration counter.

Most politicians and wakil rakyat face the daunting dilemma of satisfying expectations of their supporters and party workers  and setting the example to adhere to rules and procedures. So they normally try to work up a good relationship to avoid being in that terrible spot.

The UMO youth's father may have got repetitous that Kamalanathan politely asked him to excuse himself so he can attend to other scheduled matters. Some people could  be so sensitive to wrongly interpret any tone of seriousness as shooing him away.

It could have been wrongly or simplistically conveyed to the son that he got the impression that Kamalanthan had been rude to his father or had turned arrogant since becoming a Minister. In a meeting with the local UMNO, which the young teacher attended, he tried to take matters in his own hands.

Quite sure many politicians had to face with that difficult situation. Lim Guan Eng is reknown to avoid meeting disgruntled subjects and chicken out from meeting angry constituents. But, he can be a rascal.

When he become brave, he becomes bold to the extent of lying and fabricating accusations. A recent example is how he react to call the Penang opposition in the State Assembly as racist for merely asking if there such plan to turn Pulau Jerjak into an island dedicated to a Chinese diety.

This is not defending a BN Minister. Should it happen to an opposition politician, it cannot be rationally accepted to get physical.

Supposedly the matter between Kamalanathan and the disgruntled party is settled. The young teacher's father had apologised. UMNO Secretary General had wrote an apology to Kamalanthan and a disciplinary enquiry is in the process.

Hopefully it does not stop Kamalanathan from continuing to be an obliging MP.

As far as we see, Kamalanathan had been professional and fair in his conduct. He cannot deny other more deserving teachers the transfer just to appease his political constituency. They too are his constituency of teachers.

It puzzles us as to the moral standing of one undeserving to be addressed as Chegu Bard to see the incident as humourous and something worthy of ridicule:


Is this the behaviour of aspiring future leaders of our country?

Incompetence

Our parents are teachers too.

Mother had always been a teacher in the government school throughout her working life and twice extended as "consulting" teacher till late age of 60. Father was a teacher but later became government servant. In his spare, he still teach classes and kuliah.

Our family had to move twice from our hometown to Johor Baru and after 15 years return back to our hometown. In both the two occasions of transfer, mother could get her transfer in sync with father's own transfer.

This is in the 60s and 70s when there is no computer. Everything is done on paper and typed using manual typewriters. The two transfers could be done seamlessly without a hitch.

Recently a government officer seeked our help to get a transfer for his teacher wife in Kuala Selangor so that she could join him in Kota Kinabalu. He was transfered there from Kelantan to KK.

Since they got married for three years and now have two kids, they have never lived under one roof. She had applied three times and made two appeals to join him in Kelantan but was turned down.

Perhaps Kelantanese have a tendency to prefer to return to their PAS-ruled state than live elsewhere. So she had to compete with the more deserving ones or those longer on the queue. This time around our friend realised that the e-Tukar system shows more than 300 teachers in Sabah applying to return to Semenanjung.

The officer identified few schools in the vicinity of his new assignment are short of teachers. To seal his chances, he asked for our help. We did helped in whatever way we could with the consideration that it must be done in accordance to procedure.

Alas it was rejected again.

So for that UMNO youth member to behave in such manner it is unbecoming of an activist in a political organisation. Compared to that young couple, he only worked for a year. For him to expect that his wishes be met is at his commend, it is unrealistic. Shouldn't he sacrifice himself demi rakyat didahulukan?

Quite sure it happens with other political parties. We are hard and strict with our own children than the children of other families. It applies to the party we support.

If that UMNO youth member bother to find out, there are cases of Indian teachers from Hulu Selangor and presumably MIC members who are working elsewhere. They had to wait for 15 years before their application for transfer is granted.

It is ridiculous to wait that long but that is the way it is. The reason made known to us for the rejection of our friend's wife transfer was because there are 20,000 applications to deal with. But sorry, we cannot buy that.

Don't tell us that the same number of staff and same set of procedures and red tape from the 60s and 70s is still in use. With more schools and teachers and the advent of office automation and computers, the same procedures cannot be in use and end up piling up into 20,000 outstanding cases.

Assuming we are wrong and it is only 2,000, that is still too much cases intentionally delayed or KIV. Ministry Directors, and officers must be too lazy to clear their work. They may have not be bothered to improve and update the system to meet the growing needs.

The civil servants screw it up, Minister get the punch and ruling party (BN or PR) get the blame from voters.

When the government leadership push these civil servants to buck up, they react by voting the other side. It seemed ironical for them to not agree and support the system and policies they are part of.

After getting even with the political master, they are back to their normal complacency and incompetence. Voters throw out the government for the mistake of the civil servants. An example of the sequence of events making a full cycle is in Kedah.

If the Government leadership refuse to repair damage from bad decisions, abolish bad policies and continue with wasteful new establishments like PEMANDU, it is a different issue.

Wishing Kamalanathan and Hindu followers a spiritual Thaipusam.


* Edited 3:40 AM

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sbb oran Hulu Selangor semua tahu dia boleh tolong guru India di SMK Kuala Kubu Bharu sehingga selesai.

Datang sini tanya layman yang tak berparti mengenai Kamakanathan. Melayu atau india.
Jangan buat andaian dari dalam bilik aircond

Anonymous said...

Bukan dia yang kena transfer tetapi isteri dia.
Kalau bini saudara di tukar jauh macam tu mcmana?

Anonymous said...

Siapa suruh jadi guru?

Tak suka, berhenti ler.

Ramai lagi yang duk tunggu jadi guru.

Anonymous said...

kalau ye pon tak payah la sampai bertumbo-tumbok. yang tanggung malu UMNO jugak, tak sebut pon nama dia. yang org tau dia pemuda UMNO. busok lah nama UMNO, KJ dan Najib....

azwan yasir said...

Salam.
D father was persistent indeed.
But yb kamal should have handled it better. I met d father n he told us that yb kamal refused to help him point blank. Not even a surat sokongan...

d father refused to leave d office, at which point He was told off by d ministers bodyguard.

Coincidentally, hsgor umno youth wing was there for a meetup with yb kamal. They saw what happened.

When yb kamal went into d meeting. He shook hands with all d umno youth wing members. Oncluding d fathers other son, who is also a teacher (not d one asking for transfer).

What happened was when they shook hands yb kamal told d guy
'U nak patahkan tangan saya ke?'
Which d youth member intrepreted as a provocation. He swing his hand n caught yb kamals neck.

Thus d kejadian tumbuk menteri

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:47 dan Azwan Yasir

Even if it indeed happened, the way it is told is most unconvincing and seemed more a hearsay.

No government works based on such presumptions but policies and procedures,

If Kamalanathan could not help, he must have strong basis. The young man just started work for 1 year, so he is justified to not give him the priority.

It is more likely that the father and son are the provocative one. Not the other way around.

Grow up and mature. Live by rules and stop flexing your UMNO emblem to get your way around. Continue to do so and your ship will sink eventually.

Anonymous said...

Not happy, please migrate. Ok?

Anonymous said...

Now you can see how certain parties in PMO have "cucuk" the PM to set up PEMANDU to somewhat override certain powers held by the civil servants. Perhaps Najib himself had to endure the deteriorating quality of the civil servants throughout the years till he got fed up.

So now, you have a bunch of lazy & incompetent civil servants and a set of hungry tapeworms of consultants devouring up the JPM budget.

This gomen is truly going to the dogs.

- Heart of the Sun

Dhanyaraam Chinathamby said...

There are many more teachers who are separated from their spouses. Many are working in Sabah and Sarawak. What will happen if everyone wants to punch Education ministers? Then I guess these Edu Ministers will be spending more time in hospital than their office.

There situation vary case by case. Not everyone can be transferred. No skin color involved. No race based quota available. Its all depends on availability and teaching option.

So what happen to the UMNO youth? Imagine if it was MIC or MCA youth punching UMNO ministers? I guess the comment at the very top wouldn't have existed at first place then.

Dhanyaraam

azwan yasir said...

Anon 4.49. Very true.

Thus d tindakan tatatertib was taken against d assailant. I am against whatever violence yg berlaku.

As I said. Yb kamal should have handled it better. Just give d surat sokongan. We know procedures r there. U cannot simply transfer arbitrarily. Should there be an opening. Yb kamal would be credited as helping. If not, theres always d official response. Why didnt yb kamal choose this option?

On being provocative. I believe that both sides are guilty.

dineshwaran said...

Thank you to the author for explaining the procedure of school transfer in order for everyone to have a better understanding on the issue. I would like to address some of the issues raised in the comments posted above.
The assault on YB P Kamalanthan should be looked at the way it is : an individual assaulting another person. This is not about a Malay going against an Indian, this is about the prompt and right action being taken against the conduct of the person who punched another, in this case, the teacher who punched YB P Kamalanthan. Let us refrain from associating this issue with racism and divert from the original issue.
With regards to the allegation that YB mainly helps Indians in his constituency, please take note that Hulu Selangor is a Malay majority area and YB has been the elected representative there for 2 terms. This is proof enough about his service, his calibre and the trust people have in him to fight for their rights. I am not blindly supporting YB but I know for a fact that YB is not the type of person to prioritize one race over another. Is this how one shows respect to their leader? Both the teacher and YB are members of Barisan Nasional. What example are we setting to others? This was not just a punch to YB, it is a punch to our party. How do we expect people to respect our leaders when our own people act in such a way?
As to the statement that with his words and action, YB provoked the person to assault him, there is one question to be asked. Is this how we Malaysians behave? Mere words can enrage us so much that we are capable of hurting others? Where has the sense of respect gone? This has indirectly tarnished the good name teachers have. The accused is a teacher, and in the teaching profession, one will encounter many incidents that tantamount to worse forms of provocation that this. If a student were to provoke him, would he then react the same way? One cannot go punching others just to get things done their way. Violence is NEVER a solution for any problem.
As the writer stressed, there are many applications for transfer received by the Ministry and there are strict procedures to be followed. If the Minstry is lenient to one person, all others will then expect the same treatment for themselves. It is not that the Ministry doesn’t take everyone’s request into consideration but is impossible to make everyone happy. It is to be remembered, being a teacher is a noble job. To educate the future leaders of this country, there are certain sacrifices to be made and I am sure every teacher is aware of this even before they graduate. Let us also not forget the effort and work that YB has been doing to improve the standard of education in this country in the short time he has been appointed as the Deputy Education Minister.
It is to be stressed here that the issue here is not about who is right and who is wrong. It is about justice. A wrong doer has to be punished, it is as simple as that. Let this incident be a deterrent and lesson to others.

Dineshwaran T.Rajagopalu said...

Thank you to the author for explaining the procedure of school transfer in order for everyone to have a better understanding on the issue. I would like to address some of the issues raised in the comments posted above.
The assault on YB P Kamalanathan should be looked at the way it is: an individual assaulting another person. This is not about a Malay going against an Indian, this is about the prompt and right action being taken against the conduct of the person who punched another, in this case, the teacher who punched YB P Kamalanathan. Let us refrain from associating this issue with racism and divert from the original issue.
With regards to the allegation that YB mainly helps Indians in his constituency, please take note that Hulu Selangor is a Malay majority area and YB has been the elected representative there for 2 terms. This is proof enough about his service, his calibre and the trust people have in him to fight for their rights. I am not blindly supporting YB but I know for a fact that YB is not the type of person to prioritize one race over another. Is this how one shows respect to their leader? Both the teacher and YB are members of Barisan Nasional. What example are we setting to others? This was not just a punch to YB, it is a punch to our party. How do we expect people to respect our leaders when our own people act in such a way?
As to the statement that with his words and action, YB provoked the person to assault him, there is one question to be asked. Is this how we Malaysians behave? Mere words can enrage us so much that we are capable of hurting others? Where has the sense of respect gone? This has indirectly tarnished the good name teachers have. The accused is a teacher, and in the teaching profession, one will encounter many incidents that tantamount to worse forms of provocation that this. If a student were to provoke him, would he then react the same way? One cannot go punching others just to get things done their way. Violence is NEVER a solution for any problem.
As the writer stressed, there are many applications for transfer received by the Ministry and there are strict procedures to be followed. If the Ministry is lenient to one person, all others will then expect the same treatment for themselves. It is not that the Ministry doesn’t take everyone’s request into consideration but is impossible to make everyone happy. It is to be remembered, being a teacher is a noble job. To educate the future leaders of this country, there are certain sacrifices to be made and I am sure every teacher is aware of this even before they graduate. Let us also not forget the effort and work that YB has been doing to improve the standard of education in this country in the short time he has been appointed as the Deputy Education Minister.
It is to be stressed here that the issue here is not about who is right and who is wrong. It is about justice. A wrongdoer has to be punished, it is as simple as that. Let this incident be a deterrent and lesson to others.

Han2 said...

@azwan yasir
Mintak surat sokongan third world feudal mentality. Sepatutnya diharamkan semua jenis surat sokongan. Dah 2014 la. Buat malu UMNO mentality kuno. Ni belum cerita anak orang UMNO mintak anak sekolah kawalan (VI, EC, KGV, St John, SBU etc2) lagi. Datang jabatan bentak2 hentak2 meja, kaunter dan kerusi telefon menteri suruh on the spot pegawai masukkan anak serta-merta. Kurang ajar orang2 UMNO macam ni. Padahal ramai lagi anak orang lain yang lebih layak. Surat sokongan atau cable2 ni patut masuk dalam akta SPRM sekali sebagai kesalahan salah guna kuasa @ rasuah. Siapa mintak, siapa bagi sumbat jail baru negara maju. Pemintak surat sokongan tak tahu malu pemberi pecah amanah. Kalau YB Kamal penah bagi kat orang lain pun aku tak setuju. Tapi kena ingat two wrongs don't make one right! Marilah hapuskan surat sokongan dan jangan bela orang yang beli dan bagi.

Wenger Khairy said...

Dear Brick,
I think Kamalalanathan is to blame in this matter. He should have been more tactful in responding to a request. He only won in Hulu Selangor because UMNO grassroots sided with him, so he should at least show some gratitude.

Next time, vote him out.

Wenger Khairy said...

To Mr. Dhanyaraam Chinathamby,

I'm sorry but I think your talking nonsense. There is a MIC minister not because there is a majority Indian seat but because UMNO members supported Kamalanathan. That is the fact.

I am an Indian and I would rather support a dog than MIC. Anytime,

Anonymous said...

I wish other race could do it to UMNO member....and hope the same reaction goes....will that happen...by now all parties would have gone in to support,....the best the person who had punched to be sacked....I am sure the 1 person in UMNO is not all...if UMNO claims they have millions of members then why...

Anonymous said...

Wenger Khairy ...so vocal but an Indian still caught in a plantation worker psyche.

instead of the orang putih master, he is afeudel servant to UMNO 's own maverick, the corrupted mamak who thinks like an orang putih, Khairy Jamaluddin

School teacher said...

W. Khairy, In Selangor too PAS Adun won many seat in Chinese majority. PAS and PR govern Selangor and the Chinese respected their Malay Adun even though the Malay Adun is somestimes powerless. UMNo sahaja yang tak tahu menghormati Adun MIC yang mereka pilih sendiri!

Anonymous said...

Wenger Khairy, I hope you would for the Hulu Selangor seat come GE14.

School teacher 9:21, go visit Pulau Ketam one day off Port Klang. The Chinese there have been pro-PAS for more than a decade now.

- Heart of the Sun

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