Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Lack of protocol or no manners?

Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh's long standing fiance, Dato Jean Todt rehearsing a royal ceremony with Dato Patrick Lim

If yesterday's posting was about the alleged questionable integrity of a senior government official, tonight's posting is about the most senior government official, i.e. Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, the Chief Secretary to the Government (or the Malay acronym KSN).

Just received the story this evening.

It is with regard to the swearing in of a Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT) as the head of a state. No details on the state, the name of the head of state and when it happened will be mentioned. Too embarassing to know the KSN has no common sense of protocol.

Protocol is both "the forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state" and "a code of correct conduct." It is also the way a certain tradition translate the proper manner to carry oneself for certain occasion.

After being in the civil service for so long and having moved high up in the ladder, does the KSN still not understand protocol or just do not have manners?

As the story goes, the swearing in of one state TYT was done at the state capital and made to the KSN on the pretext as the representative to the DYMM Yang Di Pertuan Agong (Agong).

Words reached the Agong.

His Majesty was furious and insisted the ceremony be redo again properly at the Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

The state had once tarred out of town a group of Indian Bar Council lawyers trying to seditously instigate the locals.

In one of their roadshow, the audience walked out confused.

There is only 7% Indians in Malaysia and less than 1% in the state. They asked, "What business is a group of Indians trying to tell them how their state should be and what to do?"

And, now this Indian Muslim behaving like a Raja Melayu. A Rajah is more appropriate but not a Raja.

The office of the KSN is at the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya. There is supposed to be a COP or Chief of Protocol on stand-by to refer on matters of protocol.

Even if there is none, common sense should tell us that the KSN is not high up there in the pecking order.

In any formal ceremony at the palace, the front rows would usually be for the royals and TYT head of states. Then only the executives of Prime Minister and Ministers, and then followed by the judges. Or perhaps the judges in front of the executives.

Senior government official would most likely be at the forth or fifth row.

Quite sure, Dr Ali Hamsa had been at several ceremonies at the Istana in Kuala Lumpur. Thus, he cannot not realised that he is not of higher or even equal in stature to the TYT. It just makes no protocol sense for TYT to do the swearing ceremony to him.

Despite not having any formal knowledge or experience in high level protocal, anyone with common sense knows that the swearing in must be to someone of a higher stature than a KSN.

Senior civil servants are known to be slick in their ampu mengampu. Yet the KSN cannot understand something so basic like this.

Maybe that is why these days they say common sense is not so common any more and the civil service is so screwed up.


Anonymous said...

Keling walaupun masuk Islam saribu kali masih keling lagi. Ni lah yang bangsa Melayu bodh tak paham paham!

Anonymous said...

I am not terribly sure what your point is here:

"In one of their roadshows, the audience walked out confused. There is only 7% Indian in Malaysia and less than 1% in the state but what business does a group of Indians have, trying to tell us what to do? And, now this Indian is behaving like a Raja Melayu. A Rajah is more appropriate but not a Raja."

Ali Hamsa is a Malay within the meaning of Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

Those who would claim to be staunch defenders of the Constitution must learn to embrace it in toto. This is not "pick and choose" legislation, it is the fundamental, founding law of the nation.

"I like 153 but not 160" is not a tenable position to take, but should you feel very strongly, even the Federal Constitution is not immutable - Article 160 can be changed via 2/3 majority in Parliament.

DNA testing can rule out future Ali Hamsas, perhaps, and the concept of "Malay" can thus be racially pure (if that is your wish); that, however is not the legal position right now.

Anonymous said...

Angkat sumpah ni adat istiadat bertunjangkan adat melayu.. Bila dah ambil yg bukan keturunan mengamalkan adat2 ni, inilah jadinya...

Sustainable Living Institute (SAVE) said...

Per civil service screwed up: SAVE's posting on:


The DG of Transport made a bizarre statement recently that his KPI is to reduce road accident deaths from 10,000 to 5,000 per year. It is a very simplistic target that renders accidents and hence casualties are just numbers.

Is he working in a robotic factory that precise quantity and quality of product can be attained? It would be better if he could have list the many measures the Transport Ministry are taking to reduce the number of road accident deaths.

The are so many factors that lead to road accidents:
1) Vehicle - condition, type (motorcar, lorry ...), speed, vehicle volume on the road, number of passengers/load
2) Road condition - straight, windy, repairs, road shoulder
3) Weather - rain, mist, hot
4) Driver - experience, state of mind, attitude
5) Traffic control - dividers, railings, police

With population increase we expect the number of vehicles on the road to rise hence tendency of more accidents to happen. I doubt he will meet his KPI, in that case he should be replaced for being clueless.

By right the person to be the DG should be an engineer by training and not just an arts graduate PTD

captainpicard said...


Don't you think that we have much more important things to worry about in Malaysia than breaches of protocol?

Where are your priorities, Sir?

Plunging oil prices and the impact on government finances, for one. Continued religious and racial tensions. The spillover of militant Islam (the latest attack in Paris by trained gunmen). The rebuilding of lives and infrastructure after the devastation caused by the recent floods. Governance issues aplenty.

Get real, Sir!

A Voice said...

12:21 AM, 1:16 AM

Do not get racial.

Since when do the word Indian became a taboo that one cannot even mention in a private blog without getting so legally worked up.

There is no racial intention but merely to tegur the KSN as to not be that ngok.

By the way, we corrected it as Indian Muslim.

We can rebut if we want to by disclosing the racial slur made by some prominent Indian Muslim agst Malays in private but was leaked by an annoyed Muslim covert Indian.

However, this posting is not about race.

Captain picard

There are time for serious issues and there are time for light weight issues.

If you are so worried about all that, maybe you should not do anything else but only discuss those matters.

Better still, you could also go to other non political and light and easy blogs, FB to tell them to talk of the matters you mentioned.

Not just pick on us.

Sorry, this is my blog and I am at liberty to write and express my thought in my private space without others to dictate.

You have the choice of moving on to ignore this and read other blogs.

For argument sake, consider this.

If a simple protocol which can be thought of by mere common sense cannot be understood by the highest officer in government (he could likely be doing on some higher instruction), what chance do civil servant have in having the common sense to deal with the many other more complex issues?

Like issue raised by SAVE.

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about this "fresh from the oven" news?

Tun Juhar reappointed as TYT

KOTA KINABALU: His Majesty Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah has reappointed Tun Juhar Mahiruddin as Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sabah for the second term.

Tun Juhar will complete his first term in office as the Head of State at the end of this year and expected to swear in on Jan 1 for the second term.

The scroll of the appointment letter was presented to Tun Juhar by the King's representative, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, who is also the Chief Secretary to the government, at the Istana Negeri, here this morning.

Present were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman and Federal Secretary to Sabah, Datuk Abu Bakar Hassan to witness the presentation of appointment letter.

and the following article?

Juhar kekal Yang Dipertua Negeri

KOTA KINABALU 1 Jan. – Tun Juhar Mahiruddin hari ini melafazkan sumpah sebagai Yang Dipertua Negeri Sabah bagi penggal kedua.

Beliau melakukan demikian sebagai memenuhi Perkara 4 Perlembagaan Negeri Sabah di depan Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Kota Kinabalu, Datuk Nurchaya Arshad.

“Saya akan melindungi dan mempertahankan Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia dan Perlembagaan Negeri Sabah,” lafaz­nya pada satu istiadat lafaz sum­pah jawatan Yang Dipertua Negeri Sabah ke-10 bagi penggal kedua di Istana Negeri, di sini.

Juhar, 61, yang dilantik sebagai Yang Dipertua Negeri sejak 1 Jan 2011, melanjutkan tempoh perlantikannya selama empat tahun lagi bermula hari ini.

Sementara itu, ketika me­nyam­paikan ucapan tahniah dan ikrar taat setia kepada Juhar, Ke­tua Menteri Sabah, Datuk Seri Musa Aman berkata, kerajaan ne­geri akan melaksanakan tanggungjawab memimpin dan mentadbir Sabah dengan penuh keikhlasan, berdedikasi dan amanah.

“Kita juga bersyukur kerana dalam tempoh empat tahun pemerintahan Tuan Yang Terutama Tun, Sabah terus menikmati keamanan, kemakmuran dan kemajuan yang semakin pesat berkat naungan serta bimbingan Tuan Yang Terutama Tun.

“Justeru, bagi memastikan momentum agenda pemba­ngunan dan kecemerlangan ini berkekalan, saya mengajak seluruh pemimpin dan rakyat untuk terus berganding bahu dan bersatu padu, mempertingkatkan semangat muafakat serta menyemarakkan semangat kerjasama di kalangan kita kerana itulah sebenarnya kunci kepada kejayaan dan kemakmuran yang kita kecapi selama ini,” katanya. – BERNAMA

So, are you gonna scold the Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Kota Kinabalu, Datuk Nurchaya Arshad for "breaking protocol" too?

Anonymous said...

Remember that you performed your Haj hasil belas kasihan another Keling don't you?

Anonymous said...


"Do not get racial" pulak.

I quote you direct, boleh tak?

"There is only 7% Indian in Malaysia and less than 1% in the state but what business does a group of Indians have, trying to tell us what to do? And, now this Indian is behaving like a Raja Melayu. A Rajah is more appropriate but not a Raja."

OK? Kindly re-read your own paragraph 5-6 times, please.

Sorry lah bro, macam ni, lah:

a) In what way was your original statement NOT racial?

b) How does adding the word "Muslim" ameliorate in any way the sheer crassness of the statement, or its racism?

If you think there was a lapse of protocol, then comment on that issue, lah. What possible relevance does the race of your perpetrator have to do with it? Why make an ad hominem attack?

"Do not get racial". Cerminkan diri sendiri dulu, OK?

Anonymous said...

It's rather amusing that you have a heading that says (I have corrected your grammar free of charge - you are most welcome):

"Plainly state your opinion, even if it differs. No hostilities, insults and bad language will be allowed release" (or "will be released" would be even shorter and better), and yet you publish this:

"Keling walaupun masuk Islam saribu kali masih keling lagi. Ni lah yang bangsa Melayu bodoh tak paham paham!"

I guess as long as the hostilities, insults and bad language are directed at other races and not at your good self, they pass muster?

Well, that's your right. Just an observation in passing...

Anonymous said...

Err perhaps the TYT should be blamed as well. He should have objected to it but carried on. Perhaps too much timber for one day,

A Voice said...

12:57 and 1:09

You are right but never mind, free for all on this one.

Giving the right to reply so that those people from that state knows how indians.

My call right?

11:23 AM

Thanks for reminding.

Just shows I am not racist agst Indians.

BTW it was a son and grandson of a jawa from parit besar, mukim bagan batu pahat that approved.

We are quite generous to give credit to those that help.

Finally, we should always learn to be sensitive of what other race feels and make the effort to learn the tradition and customs of other races.

How come the Indians can express their anger but Malays are deemed as racist when they express their unhappiness and promises made to them broken?

Anonymous said...

I wish your English is more readable. As it is, it cannot be understood well. This does not include your grammar which sucks real bad. I dont want to sound racist but many Malays suffer the same poor English. However they insist on writing in English. Perhaps to look good among other Malays who cant even read or write English.

You say "And, now this Indian Muslim behaving like a Raja Melayu. A Rajah is more appropriate but not a Raja." These are just racist remarks.

Put it this way, "You must be a Malay". I hope that does not sound racist.

The KSN is not a Malay. Hence the KSN will not be that stupid to do anything so significant without checking his authority.

You also forget to mention that TYTs have been worn in in Sabah before. Without having to go to KL. This is not the first time.

Looking at it the other way, the Sabahans may ask, 'Why does our TYT have to go to KL to be sworn in'?

Maybe you have nothing better to do.

captainpicard said...

A Voice 7:44 AM

Au contraire, Sir.

This is your blog, but you have posted it in the "public space" on the Internet.

Further, you have apparently not invoked the restriction provision that allows only selected people to read your blog and post comments.

Putting it out in the "public space" implies that free-for-all comments are allowed, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

If you disagree, you can rebut or refute.

I reiterate my stand: what has the observance of "protocol" got to do with good governance or the many issues bedeviling the country.

Anonymous said...

Heard there was actually three ceremonies.

Boy JPM protocol really screwed up.big time.

Hj Jaafar said...

Salam Bro,.

Saya nampak muka KSN kita macam pelakon Ahmad Nesfu.

Ini dah jadi cerita Labu Labi.

Anonymous said...

"How come the Indians can express their anger but Malays are deemed as racist when they express their unhappiness and promises made to them broken?"

100% setuju.

Melayu celup berbontot hitam, buang aje.

Hancurlah Umno Pulau Pinang doh.

OK, settle.

A Voice said...

Anon 3:14

It is not racist but stereotyping. look it up.

I know my grammar sucks at times. Not bothered to MS Word-correct it.

But let that not diminish the main point I have taken and that is KSN does not bother about protocol.

Or he has no manners?

Or as one commentator said it is JPM protocol that sucks big time.


We agree to disagree.

Yes, I did not invoke the restriction since there must be the right to reply for the Indian remark from the particular state.

Since race can be an emotional thing, might as well open it wide enough.

Maybe something could be gain. be it for introspection or just venting out anger.

However, it will not be for all postings. Still prefer mature comments.

Anonymous said...

12:21 AM,

Melayu bodh tak paham paham tu orang yang melantik dia le.

Anonymous said...

3:14 PM,

Bit late, but I wanna state my piece against you.

How come you find difficulty in readung the post when I don't? Is it because you English comprehension is lacking?

Saying Malays suffer poor English is racist? I'm a Malay but I don't think it's racist saying that. Maybe it's your English again, your perception as well.

Yes, it's your small mindedness. The Malays constitute about 60% of he population and many have studied oversas. Surely there are very many Malays with a good command of the English language.

And have you heard people say it's the substance, not the form, man.

You sound so trivial minded that I wouldn't even want to counter you on the Raja or Rajah racist thingy. Enough with I've said so far.

Anonymous said...


what has the observance of "protocol" got to do with good governance or the many issues bedeviling the country?

Did you read your comment again before pressing the publish button?

Read it again, man. If you don't find anything wrong with it, think about what constitutes good governance. Btw, do you know what those words mean?

And the many issues bedeviling the country include people who think like you.

Anonymous said...

A Voice,

So you're saying this KSN is stupid enough even though he has been in the civil service for more than 3 decades & undergone countless trainings?

I have friends in the PTD and they have undergone various training programs in understanding how the government works, including the etiquette and protocol when dealing with Ministers and Head of States.

I can believe if this transgression was done by a politician appointed into a government post but what you're trying to propagate is malicious.

captainpicard said...

Anon 12:41 PM

"Good governance". Simple words. What's so difficult to understand, unless you are willfully refusing to understand?

Maybe it's something like what Jokowi is trying to do in Indonesia or what the new Sri Lanka president is trying to do.

And, yes, I read and reread my comment before I pressed the "Publish" button.

So, do you think that there are no issues "bedeviling" the country?

It must be wonderful to be so optimistic!

I must remind Fitch to reverse it's negative downgrade possibility for Malaysia's credit ratings, seeing as how there is plenty of good governance in the country!

My Say