Monday, March 10, 2014

When those entrusted to act fail

As mentioned earlier, this will be my last post for 2 weeks to a month. I have some important things to do including reading books I recently bought from India.

The following is my letter to the Forum in Daily Express.


Daily Express forum 9.3.2014

I refer to the letter from JL in Forum on 2.3.2013.
When I read it I felt as if JL was writing to me.

I also refer to the article in the Daily Express dated 25.12.2013 entitled ‘RM183M sewerage project queried’.

JL’s letter was captioned “Tolerance of dissent - a hallmark of good govt”.

I completely agree with him that it is everyone’s duty as a citizen of this country to assist the government in any way possible.

 But, how do you assist the government (JKRS) when some of the staffers are the culprits themselves? How do you help when the watchdogs drag their feet or seemingly collude with the people they are supposed to monitor?

I have written many articles in my blog, written to DOE, written e-mails and had two discussions with the National Audit Department Sabah, written to YB Datuk Joseph Pairin who is the minister of development and infrastructure, written to JKRS, written to Institute of Engineers Malaysia and have recently brought up the matter with some politicians.

 My blog was highlighted in the Daily Express as front Page news on 25.12.2013 and was in the Daily Express forum on 23.2.2014.

Last Friday following a news paper report in the Daily Express “Mayor regrets attitude of some” I wrote to the mayor as well.

I also wrote to State Development office director Datuk Matusin Sunsang  after reading another report in the Daily Express: “Carry out duties, contractors told”.

Yes, as JL puts it I have my story to tell of my less-than-happy encounter with civil servants in particular with PWD (JKRS). It is too early to say if my encounter with the politicians, I recently met, will also leave much to be desired. I hope my story will not remain a story without an end.

JL said that the A-G’s report plays the whistle blowing and pressing roles.  Undeniably the Auditor General has done his job well.

I wish I could say the same of the director of National Audit Department Sabah. His enthusiasm at our first meeting has evaporated after his meeting with the director of JKRS. If the audit department is unable to discuss documents obtained in an audit with a citizen (following the citizen’s request and explanation of the purpose of procuring that document) how can we say he has done his job well?

Talking about the hallmark of a good government I would have thought that ‘transparency’ should be high on the list. However, the director of the National Audit Department has just simply said that he can’t discuss matters procured during an audit procedure as the documents are of a confidential nature. Huh!

Doesn’t hallmark of a good government also mean making sure that taxpayers get value for money?

I am a tax-payer and I believe I have given the Audit Department good quality, credible and actionable information and it appears that no action has been nor will be taken against the culprits who I have identified.

JL also said that the government should take the necessary steps to ensure no wastage of funds because the money could have been used to curb inflation……

Hello, the cause of the wastage of funds is the government servants themselves. The question that begs an answer is as to who is going to take action against the malpractice of the government servants in JKRS?

What steps are being taken by JKRS to ensure that there is no wastage of funds? Why is JKRS protecting the culprits at the expense of tax-payers? 

JL also wrote However, the question that remains is: Are those concerned bothered about what the people say? This makes us repeat the question we have often asked. Or will the public forever be coming out with statements that the concerned simply don’t care? Is the government immune to public opinion?

To answer JL’s question, it is quite obvious that those concerned are not bothered about what people say. It appears that the government servants are immune to public opinion. Should the government servants not be made accountable for their transgression? The question I have for JL is: How do we ensure that errant government servants are made accountable for their misconduct?

I concur with JL’s “Stop corruption and massive wastage”.

Yes! With all the matters that I have exposed in my blog if JKRS is not prepared to take severe action against the culprits what conclusion can we arrive at? If the officers in JKRS are clean why have they not asked to meet the press, as suggested in the forum on 23.2.2014, and come clean of the alleged fiasco?

Our duty is to question corruption. Corruption is the enemy of the hallmark of a good government. It must be got rid of.

To keep tolerating the abuses would be tantamount to sending a wrong message to civil servants.

I am of the same opinion as JL when he says: the “rakyat” do not wish to see this country of ours go to ruin by people that are dishonest, lacking in integrity, corrupt and bleed this country for their own self-interest.

People are already upset at the way public money is being squandered. They are worried how come the wrong doers go scot-free while they struggle to make ends meet.

The message to the government is, uphold good governance.
...............

                                     A Nation of Sheep, Breeds a Government of  Wolves!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Another detour - Third Wave Motivation



I have been away from my books for far too long. I will take a two weeks break from my blog and do some reading. I bought many books on my recent trip to India. 

Tomorrow will be my last post until April.

On 3.3.2014 I attended a seminar on “Revive your Dream” at Promenade hotel. It was FOC. I even received an autographed book “Third Wave Motivation” by the author David Goh.

There are many things in his book which touched my heart. I have selected a few excerpts for your reading pleasure and hope they will touch you as they did me.


I remember how she (the writer’s mother) used to tell me that when you work for a man for a dollar, “then you shall render a three-dollar service!”

 If only 5% of the people in this country practice the above……!


What we need in this cut-throat world of ours today is for us to give more than we receive – giving is an act of generosity or benevolence.

Do things out of the goodness of your heart; do not seek a reward or do things to acquire things from people. When you give without expecting, the giving becomes an act of sincerity and an expression of your genuine concern and interest in others.


Yes, there are a few people in this world who do things without expecting anything in return. However, this is difficult for many to fathom in this cut throat world of ours.


Today, people want to be rich by all means and tactics; the snatch thief in our neighbourhood, kidnappers and the conmen in our midst.


The author forgot about the government servants who will not move their fingers without gratification. Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long-term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need and want for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pain.


…… “I want to be rich by this day!” This act of selfishness is a show of desire to put one first before all else.


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also".
                                                                                                                         The Bible


Welcome to the Third Wave Motivation. This is where it all begins, living for others which is quite a contrary to the first and second waves where it was living and struggling for ourselves.

You do not live just for yourself but you live for others i.e. your neighbour and even strangers.


"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"  Albert Einstein

There is only one way to achieve genuine happiness in life and that is by transcending ourselves; losing ourselves to find the real peace; where living for others is far more important than anything else. When you are able to do that – you would have found the true meaning of life.

 One way to transcend ourselves is to read motivational books like the ones written by David Goh.

I went to David Goh’s motivational talk only to meet him as he went to the same church in Port Dickson and we lived near to each other while growing up. I left Port Dickson in 1969 and never met David again until about 20 years ago when I attended his seminar in Kota Kinabalu also to meet him.

It is a great pleasure to see a Form 3 drop out (he obtained nothing more than 7 for each of the subjects he took) achieve so much. No one would have guessed that he would have turned out to be a Master Motivational speaker and written more than 20 books.

I strongly believe that most of what he is today is because of what he has been taught by his mother. The way he speaks about his mother – no one would have thought that she was his adopted mother. In fact I know that only because I read it in his book.

He does quite a lot of charity work in India and he is a pastor of his own church. Recently he has started working with ex drug & alcohol dependants in Russia.

Yesterday when I wrote to him to ask for his permission to copy some of his material he said, "..... while tending to the orphans in Myanmar I encountered a blast. Someone had planted some 11 bombs in Yangoon on 7th May 2005 (check the star papers) I was seriously injured but God spared my life. I had 2 choices then, to give up taking care of the poor because of humans wickedness or to trudge ahead to serve God...I took the 2nd option. God took care of the rest while I took care of some of his business".

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
                                                                        Winston Churchill

David Goh has definitely made a life for himself.
 
May God continue His Blessings upon David Goh and his loved ones.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

You cannot fool all of the people all of the time- Final part of Answer to a comment



This is the final part on Answer to a comment. 

                   There are only two mistakes one can make along the road;

                             not going all the way, and not starting.

                                                                        Buddha

You said, “This is to just to be fair to all parties including the JKRS, the CCTV contractor and the PLC. My suggestions apply when further CCTV work is required in order to find out the truth as you mentioned”.

I don’t quite understand your “to be fair to all parties” statement. I have been fair by giving enough time to the main contractor (PLC). I knew most of what I know by June 2013 but I wrote my first article only in December 2013, after getting the CCTV specialist to telephone the main contractor and after informing through their ex-employee that I have no hesitation in writing a blog on the crime committed.

The CCTV contractor has been fair in urging the main contractor to do the repair work and informing JKRS and providing a list of the defects in 2012 before CPC was issued. I personally had written to JKRS and will wait till the 16th of this month before writing to them again. I am being fair by giving JKRS enough time.

So, please explain what you mean by “be fair to all parties”? What can I do to be fair to the CCTV contractor? I look forward to your reply.

You added, “…. when further CCTV work is required in order to find out the truth… ”.

No! No further CCTV is required to find out the places where repair work need to be done or find out the truth as you put it. The CCTV specialist knows the areas where repair works need to be done. There is no need to re-CCTV to find out the exact location.

                            “You can fool some of the people all of the time,

                                 and all of the people some of the time,

                          but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
                                                                            Abraham Lincoln

You further added “1. Due to the 'very detailed' information you have, i presume that the information are supplied by the CCTV contractor which i find that it is undoubtedly very disturbing, the CCTV contractor SHALL NOT be involve in any of the CCTV work. There is a possibility that the CCTV contractor may have hidden agenda when they approached you. Best i could guess is either they really hate to see the PLC and want to see they suffer or the CCTV contractor is trying to make the PLC to re-perform all the CCTV work once again so they would be able to make money out of it. You did mention that the project is worth RM183m, CCTV on the entire pipe line would make millions out of it”.
I have answered the first part of your question- your presumption is wrong- the information I have was collected by me during my work with the CCTV Company. The main contractor and JKRS know that I did work for the CCTV Company for a few months. The main contractor knows that I was introduced to the CCTV Company by their ex-employee. Everything is transparent.

I don’t quite understand you saying “the CCTV contractor SHALL NOT be involve in any of the CCTV work”. Perhaps you care to explain.

Now, that I have explained that this blog is my own idea what hidden agenda do you think the CCTV contractor may have? I was not approached by the CCTV contractor. I was introduced to him by an ex-employee of the main contractor who did not want to do the job herself saying it would be a conflict of interest. With that kind of an attitude do you think she had passed me any confidential information (which she does not have in the first place)? Which information I have published, do you think, could have been divulged by her?

Many people will find it difficult to understand that there are some who do what is right just to do what is right –PERIOD. The ex-employee did not want to assist the CCTV specialist because of conflict of interest when in actual fact she needed the income badly as she had no job at hand. Why would it be a conflict of interest, I have no idea.

I spent money and wrote the blog on dyslexia for more than 4 years and maintained it for another 3 years, I wrote the blog on http://www.vemmaexperience.com for the people at large who trusted the nutritional information given by the company. I spent money and time and made zilch. You must believe that there are people in this world who do things for the betterment of society with no ulterior motive. You have said it yourself in the first paragraph: "this shows that there is still people in the country still understand their responsibility to be as a loyal citizen”.

There are many other things that I have done for the benefit of the citizens of Kota Kinabalu. I have also complained many times to the Head Mistress of Maktab Sabah, where all my 5 children graduated from, about some of the actions of the teachers which were subsequently corrected. I have written to Hotline on many occasions. We can talk about these over coffee if you care to telephone or e-mail me.

As I mentioned earlier, there is no necessity to CCTV all the lines. The CCTV specialist knows the exact location of the 242 points that need repair.

As for the CCTV contractor having the idea of re-performing the whole work ask yourself the question as to why the CCTV contractor will take the trouble to prepare a list of all the defects and pass on to JKRS, before the CPC was issued, despite having been warned by the main contractor not to divulge any information to JKRS. Is it possible that it could be to protect his good name? Did he not give enough time to the main contractor to repair what he knew should be repaired? Why is it that one, who does his job professionally and takes the trouble to inform authorities of crimes committed, is discriminated?

Why would the CCTV Company give the report on the 242 defects prior to CPC being issued? THINK!

If the CCTV contractor hands over the report after the CPC had been issued does he not stand to gain much more? Stop and think again.

After CPC and after the excreta is allowed to flow through the pipes the CCTV contractor will be able to charge more for diverting the shit and for working on a ‘Live pipe’. So, why would the CCTV contractor hand over the report as early as November 2012?

Your last statement reads: You did mention that the project is worth RM183m, CCTV on the entire pipe line would make millions out of it”.
RM183M is for the main contractor. I do not know how this figure was arrived at. What was claimed by the CCTV specialist for the CCTV works including re-CCTV and High Pressure Water Jetting is less than RM650,000.

2. CCTV work shall be carried out by other contractor which has gone through JKR approval. Now this will eliminate the possibility of item no 1 occurrence.
I don’t understand the logic of this statement.

If the repair works is now given to anyone other than the CCTV Company that first did the job wouldn’t you want to know why? Is it a crime to inform the local authorities (JKRS) that its main contractor has not performed its job properly?

Read my article on: Only in Malaysia people are rewarded for wrong reasons


3. During the CCTV work, representatives from JKR, PLC and consultant shall present on site to avoid any misconduct or alteration attempt by the PLC.
Dream on….. The PLC, JKRS and the consultants are hand in glove in this crime. I had written to the consultants and never received a response. I telephoned a number of times and left messages and never did get a return call.

I wrote to the engineer in JKRS and his reply on 16.1.2014 among other things (please refer to my e-mail to JKRS) was: “If our department find anything not in accordance to the condition of contract, we will surely take the necessary action accordingly”.

In a few more days it will be 2 months since he replied and what is the outcome of his investigation?
Should he not inform me? Don’t you think my readers ought to know the outcome of JKRS investigation? Would you not want to know the outcome of JKRS investigation? I will write in a few days when it is two months from the time he first responded.


4. Finally you my friend, with your determination, i believe you yourself could spend a little time to be present on site during the CCTV work is perform. Its good to have you on site as a concern loyal citizen as this would be a good example to the rest of our Malaysian fellow friends.

Firstly thank you for calling me your friend. Secondly, I don’t think we should ask for the impossible!
I know, I know, positive thinkers like me should not say it is impossible, but some things are just less likely than others.

                   “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
                                                                                                          Leo Tolstoy

P/S - My friend, I have already mentioned that the PLC brought their own so called 'expert' (a third party private company) to the CCTV contractors office to get the CCTV contractor to alter the CCTV reports. (Bear in mind, I would not dare write such a thing if I do not have documentary evidence). The CCTV contractor refused to alter his CCTV reports. How did the consultants approve these reports? How did JKRS approve and issue the CPC?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Answer to a comment Part 2 - “The reward for work done well is having done it”.



This is part 2 of 3 of Answer to a comment.

Many of my friends have advised me against wasting my time on this blog, saying that I will go nowhere. I, on the other hand feel, that if all of us sit down and not question things that we know are wrong, this beautiful country of ours will only deteriorate further. This reminds me of a quote by Edmund Burke: 

                                    " All that is necessary for the triumph of evil
                                             is that good men do nothing".




We have inherited a beautiful country from our parents. It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world. It is horrifying that we have to fight our own local government to save the environment. Let us hope they wake up and do what is necessary for the sake of our future generations. Let us not forget that the earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.

                           “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return." (Genesis)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sewerage scam- Answer to a comment



This post is a response to a comment by ‘the experienced risk analyst’ on my article on 3.3.2014 entitled sewerage scam - 922 CCTV reports- True or False. 

I have decided to post it over 3 days as otherwise it is simply too long.

I have been asking myself as to why the analyst is so inquisitive. How is it going to make any difference as to where I get my information from? However, since he has been a follower of my blog I should answer him.

I think I should start, as in one of the songs in ‘The Sound of Music’: Let’s start at the very beginning……A very good place to start…..When you read you begin with ABC…..

A major portion of what I want to share in my blog has already been published. Now, it is a matter of writing to a few more people and pointing them to my blog.


               "Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you
                        are  doing the impossible".
                Francis of Assisi



I have been working as an accountant until 2005 when I decided to stop working as I hardly knew my first 3 sons who were in university. I decided to stay at home and spend time with my last 2 children.

To keep myself occupied I taught dyslexic children at home  on a one on one basis as I believe that it is time to give back to society for the many blessings nature has  endowed me with over the years. I hardly made anything by teaching dyslexic kids but I learnt a great deal from them. This reminds me of the Chinese proverb ‘Huo dao lao, xue dao lao” which loosely translated means ‘You learn till you die’.

To teach dyslexic children I took a correspondence course which hardly taught me anything. I learnt all that I know about dyslexic children from the children I have taught over the last 8 years or so.

Meanwhile, I started a blog to share with parents of dyslexic children on what I have learnt from my students. My blog became quite a hit with many parents from many parts of the world writing e-mails and commenting on my blog. I was fully occupied but at the same time I was able to be with my children at home, sending them to and from school and even cooking for them.

This blog on dyslexia which was at http://www.parentingdyslexia.com is about to expire as I had cancelled automatic renewal and do not know how to renew it manually.

I then started another blog under http://www.excellent-student.com which was also very well received. This was to teach students how to study and was done on the urging of a few of my friends. Fortunately this is still under automatic renewal. I have stopped writing in this blog for quite a while.

In June 2012 I had a problem with an international direct marketing company selling nutritional products under the name Vemma. I rang up the company in Kuala Lumpur and informed them that the nutritional values on the label of the product were inconsistent with the brochure. The manager in charge Dr.Abraham retorted “so what?” When I realised that he had no intention of righting the wrong I wrote to the HO in USA and when they left it to Kuala Lumpur I started the blog in July 2012 calling it “http://www.vemmaexperience.com”.

I was busy for almost 3 months writing to consumers’ organisation in many countries around the world. Finally after 3 months, with pressure from many countries, Vemma decided to take down the brochure advertisement in the internet. Their business would definitely have been affected though that was not my intention. I just wanted a wrong put right.I did not even receive a "Thank you" from anyone.

When I had this problem with the sewerage project I decided to change all Vemma posts to ‘draft’ (as the Vemma problem was already solved) and used the site for the sewerage project. Now, you know why the blog is called http://www.vemmaexperience.com. As I use paid sites instead of free sites I decided to save subscription money for a new site. I have to renew the subscription only in April 2014. I did not expect to have to post so many articles nor write to so many departments with regard to the sewerage scam. I had no intention of renewing my subscription to this site as the problem has been solved but now that I have used it for sewerage scam I’ll have no choice but to renew it unless ….. no, better not to expect for this matter to be resolved by April.

                              “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us
                                    from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” (Abraham Lincoln)

……………………………. to be continued…….