Malaysiakini

No surprise we 'beat' our competitors in graft game

FREE YOURSAY 'I've a few friends who are running a business and their experience is much the same - they have to grease palms to win business. It's endemic!'

Survey: Half of M'sian firms lost contract to bribery


your sayWhatsup: Bribery is a culture institutionalised by Umno, so eradicating it would be next to impossible without a change in government. Money changed hands at every opportunity or at the earliest opportunity.

A friend of mine lamented how he had to agree to give a significant percentage of the loan to the officer when applying for the SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) loan, and it's widespread.

Every SME has to give a percentage, and yet there is no action taken by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Such is the sad state of our Umno-run government, and these bunch of robbers talk about anti-corruption campaign and religious piety, etc. Hogwash!

Foo: Transparency International-Malaysia president Paul Low, what other "bold measures" do you suggest?

Just look at the laws we have, and our MACC officers in their fancy uniform. There are so many politicians and government officers whose lifestyles are obviously way beyond their means.

Have we seen any action taken? What we lack is the political will to combat corruption.

Peter Clement Goh: I'm not surprised by the findings. Whether it is a perception or fact, it is still a worrying problem.

I am in Singapore and I read this morning's Strait Times - Singapore is placed number 5 in the corruption index - same as last year, and they are so pissed because it did not go higher.

Malaysia, on the other hand, ranks way below that. So, is that perception or reality? Fact is, in many of the BN states, if you don't pay bribe, you don't get any contract.

I was asked to pay "extra" for my new Toyota Hilux for it to be released by JPJ (Road Transport Department) all because, although Sirim says it has a green engine, the manufacturer left out the green engine from the manufacturer's specifications. So is this a perception?

Bobster: It is standard nowadays that the government will simply award mega projects to vendors or contractors with no relevant experience.

Take the MRT contract, which has been awarded to George Kent, as an example. Just check their background - they cannot even qualified for the initial screening but still can win this mega project. Indeed, there are many more projects similar to George Kent's.

Blind Freddo: Developed or not, human rights are human rights, democracy is democracy... And you had all that at independence. The same as many other British colonies.

And the fact that you no longer have those rights are solely the fault of the voters. You simply cannot blame anyone but Malaysians for that.

Maybe you could tell all those optimistic educated people who voted PKR in 2008 that you are not demeaning them when you call them unsophisticated.

Finally, can you point out another country where politicians go on a witch-hunt rather than pursue important national issues.

Giudice: Blind Freddo, there is a flaw in your argument. You think all countries are the same and the rules apply equally. They do not.

I'm not claiming that all Malaysians are unsophisticated. I'm saying that many of the electorate are. Many in the rural areas have no access to alternative media and rely wholly on the biased MSM (mainstream media).

To some, and I daresay many, the GDP (gross domestic product) is meaningless. To them, the price of rice is more important. This is something that you cannot understand because you do not live here.

But the bottom line is this - BN has shown itself to be wholly corrupt, incompetent, racist, and the list goes on. We have to give Pakatan a chance to prove itself to be otherwise. What have we got to lose when BN is as bad as it gets?

If we can vote Pakatan Rakyat into government, we will be able to vote them out if we want to later. For you to suggest that we allow BN to continue just because to you Pakatan is potentially worse is plain ridiculous.

Especially since you yourself claim that BN is beyond redemption. I agree that it's Malaysians fault (at least those who voted for BN) that we are where we are.

But when we try to rectify that by voting for Pakatan, you claim we should not. How's that for madness?

Blind Freddo: Guidice, you really are living in a delusional world all of your own. You have known that Umno was not a viable government for at least 15 years. Yet they are still in power and in bed with MCA.

You demean yourself and your fellow Malaysians miserably when you say they are only interested in bread-and-butter issues and not in the more 'sophisticated' aspects of governance.

And you portray yourself as a very naive man if you think that a Malay-dominated government will reverse any of their vote-buying strategies once they have control.

Giudice: Blind Freddo, it is you who is delusional. You impose on us the ideals of a developed country with no thought of whether it is appropriate. You effectively claim we are to blame for allowing BN to govern and yet you disagree with us voting for Pakatan.

And how you come to the conclusion that Pakatan is no better than BN is beyond me. It is Pakatan that exposed so many scandals committed by BN. That in itself is a good start.

And you always talk about Pakatan being potentially worse, and yet support BN which has been confirmed as the devil. And you say I am deluded?

By the way, I am not demeaning myself and my fellow Malaysians. I am pointing out the truth, which is something that you do not understand because you don't live in this country.

It's easy to talk about ideals to a sophisticated electorate. But do you realise that Malaysians generally cannot be regarded as a sophisticated electorate. Thankfully, we are moving in that direction but we are certainly not there yet.

Wira: "I have never said that BN is better than Pakatan, but I have often said that Pakatan is no better than BN," said Blind Freddo.

The statement is oxymoronic and reflects the incongruous state of mind of the writer.

Not Confused: I don't think this is any great surprise, is it? I have a few friends here who are running a business and their experience is much the same - they have to grease palms to win business. It's endemic!

Rightan: Half of Malaysian companies said they lost contracts to competitors because of bribery, the other half did not lose the contracts because they have paid. So 100 percent?


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