Archive for the 'Socio-culture' Category

Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) may have lost its appeal to the Muruts

Rumour has it that the once mighty Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) may have lost its appeal to the Murut people if the recent spate of declared intentions by some Murut professionals in Tenom and Keningau to form their own ethnic associations are of  any serious indication.

To many, their perception is that the present leadership are merely filling up the seats for their own glory and glamour on the basis that they are doing it by default as the required Annual General Meetings to elect new members of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi provided for in its constitution have not been held for many years.  They may have obtained tacit approval from the Registrar of Socities to postpone the holding of the said Annual General Meetings time and again but to the majority of the Murut people, it begs the question of morality on their part as they have long exhausted the mandate given to them in the last election of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi.  In fact,  they perceived that the failure of the present leadership to conduct a general meeting is a purported exerise to deny the majority of the members to elect a new and fresh composition of office bearers to rescue the Association from its present predicament. They are saying that the reason of the present leadership as being very busy with their official committment to conduct a general meeting is no longer tenable.

It is also alleged that quite a number of the present members of the top leadership are acting like elitists.  It is further alleged that when it came to organising the annual Pesta Kalimaran in Tenom recently, the Association was merely piggy riding on the back of the Sabah Cultural Board so much so that it was reduced to only giving speeches rather than contributing to making major decision in the festival deemed as one of the highlights of the state tourism calendar to showcase the beauty and uniqeness of the Murut traditional handicrafts and cultures in Malaysia.

However, as a former secretary general of the Association, it is unpalatable that they are actually true but then again, I have been out of the equation for quite sometimes now and people may have changed over time.

Nonetheless, it is very upsetting to hear from the ordinary Muruts on the street that while they are glad to have their own Association meant to preserve, promote and develop their cultures, they do still perceive that it had failed miserably in its responsibility to pursue many of the objectives laid down in its constitution.

I remember, in the early years when the current president took office,  there was so much hope of a new beginning.  Meetings of the then Ahli Majlis Tertinggi would last for hours to deliberate on many issues pertaining to improving the welfare and interest of the Murut people in Sabah. In fact, there were a lot of activities being organised by the Association to showcase its traditional and cultural uniqeness among the people of Sabah. We had the pleasure of being part of the main organising committee of the state level Pesta Kaamatan for two consecutive years. I am happy to report  the day the Association reached its height was when the whole members of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi were  invited to the Istana to witness the posthumous investure of the highest award of the state, the Seri Paduka Darjah Kinabalu (SPDK) to the late Murut warrior, Datuk Seri Panglima Ontoros Antanom and thereinafter, the erection of the Antanom memorial in Tenom by the state government of Sabah.

However, that was it. The journey began to stumble. The many promises to rejuvenate the Murut people by enhancing their participation in commerce and industry through advocacy, networking, information dissemination, mutual support and joint-venture cooperation with other enterpreneurs and businessmen of the other ethnic groups vide a proposed Murut  Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) as well as an Education Trust Foundation for  scholarships to bright but poor Murut students remain elusive. 

As such, I am really saddened but not the least surprise if the intentions to virtually set up the two new Murut associations in Tenom and Keningau recently  are already underway.  The present leadership may have bitten more than they can chew. 

Whatever it is, I am hoping that those people who are currently involved in the proposed set up of the two new Murut Associations in the interior would have come to their senses that there is in fact,  no viable alternative to the present Persatuan Murut Sabah. That any new association would only generate irreparable split and division within the Murut community. I am convinced that the present top leadership in the Association would have taken stock of the turbulence and be prepared to hold a general meeting cum election of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi in the very near future.  

Cheers!

The scourge of money politics?

Folks, please don’t get me wrong. I am not here to worship the virtues of money politics but rather to bring this much ostracised subject on the table for further deliberation as to its importance or otherwise in a political organisation and whether or not it is time that Parliament should legislate to partly legitimise to a certain extent the use of political funds as per practiced in America.

As of now, it is an offence for any election candidate be it in a political party election, a by-election or for that matter the general election as the case may be to use money to canvass for political support. In a party election, it is regulated by the Disciplinary Committee purportedly empowered under its constitution whilst in either a by-election or a general election, it is regulated by the Election Laws specifically under  section 10 (Bribery) and sections 19 (maximum expenditure) and 20 ( certain expenditure to illegal practice) of Election Offences Act, 1954.

In a party election,  a very glaring example of the might of the Disciplinary Committee is the three year suspension of a former vice-president of UMNO, YB Tan Sri Isa Samad of Negri Sembilan who was found guilty of indulging in money politics and the prohibition of an UMNO Vice-President and current Malacca Chief Minister, YB Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam from contesting the UMNO Deputy President post in the last party election. 

However, in both cases, there was no follow-up action taken by the MACC to further investigate and bring these very prominent UMNO politicans to book as it is now said that a political offence i.e  indulging in money politics is merely a technicallity. However, a technical offence or not, the victim of such an offence would be forever traumatised and very often than not, becomes a political liability to his political organisation unless of course, if he is Tan Sri Isa Samad. 

It is of course incumbent upon UMNO to show the good example to its fellow component parties in Barisan Nasional.   And its component members, whether big or small, prominent or negligible, one has to emulate the big brother in so far as taking action against indulgers of money politics in its respective organisation.

However, the perennial question is to what extent the maxim of procedural fairness in bringing the alleged politician to book before the Disciplinary Committee has been adequately complied with?  and whether or not certain aspect of the definition of fair campaigning and the expenditures involved have been adequately addressed by the Committee before a decision is handed down or meted out to the alleged politician? 

In a small component political party in Barisan Nasional for example, the maxim of procedural fairness has to be strictly adhered to especially so when the said party is trying its level best to portray its image as being multi-racial and all.  When I say to adequately adhere the practice of procedural fairness, it means the party has to follow an established practice that is indeed being widely accepted as fair by political parties in the United Kingdom for the greater good of the party concerned.

What is an established practice is not subjective but rather very objective and specific that should be followed barring any political complication on the face of the party concerned. For example, if a party member has lodged a complaint against an aspirant for a political post in a party election to the Disciplinary Committee, it must first take cognisance of the following factors:-

(1)  the time when the complaint is lodged. Is it inordinate?  Meaning has it been lodged after the time provided for lodgment of complaint and therefore, time-barred?;

(2) if the complaint lodged is within the time frame allowed aforesaid, How soon can the Disciplinary Committee convene to deliberate on the complaint  for the purpose of appointment of  its officers to do preliminary investigation;

(3) after preliminary investigation wherein the complainant and relevant witnesses are called to give their statments, the member being complained against must be informed and required to appear before the said Committee to enable it to hear his or her part of the story;

(4) when both parties have been given the opportunity to give statments, the said Committee will have to deliberate the evidences presented before them and if they feel that there is a case for the said member to answer, only then would they have to call him or her to answer the charges; and

(5) In the event that the said member failed to present himself or failed to rebut the charges preferred against him or her by the said Committee, then the proper penalty shall be meted out  after his or her mitigation (if any) has been adequately considered.

All the above must be strictly adhered to lest we will be perceived as being merely witch hunting or arbitrarily taking the law into our own hands.

Cheers!

of fake Ph.Ds and all

There seems to be no end to the subject of fake Ph.Ds and all.  Serious allegations have been thrown at some very prominent Malaysian citizens that they had resorted to buying online Ph.Ds for the sole purpose of proping up their social status.  Is it ethical?  Well. according to Royal Prof. Ungku Aziz, it is very unethical for someone to obtain their Ph.Ds the easy way.  But does anybody care?  To the ” DRs” concerned, definitely NOT.

But the Government?  There is an ongoing effort to curb this social problem from becoming malignant. The call to register genuine Ph.D holders seems to be very practical as a way to filter out those having fake ones. 

Even our local universities are not spared. Just last week there was report of a contract lecturer being expelled for having a fake certificate.  Imagine that folks!  How could a person had the balls to parade around campus knowing fully well that he was not the least qualified even to be a primary school teacher.    

Closer to home, I remember an old acquiantance, a woman whom I knew to have never gone to University but out of the blue, she was flashing her business card showing an LL.B qualification from the UK.  Being a qualified lawyer myself,  I asked her about a subject that all law students should be able to answer in their first year of  law studies. To my surprise, she was just mumbling.  I couldn’t even understand what she was saying as she struggled with her english. Funny world eh!

A couple of years later, I was again taken by surprise that this particular woman had assumed the prefix “DR” in front of her name and was actually involved in one of the natives’ cultural association recently.   Well. I thought this woman  must be one hell of a lady and therefore, I would love to have a very serious academic discussion with her one day.

Well. What say you folks. I leave it to you to judge.

Cheers!

Long time coming… Better late than never !

It was indeed a very special day for the Keningau Catholic Diocese when the Rev. Bishop Cornelius Piong received two brand new Modenas motocycles from the Member of Parliament of P182 Pensiangan cum PBRS President and current Malaysian Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup recently.

To the Catholic community in Mukim Seberang, the gifts would come in a long way to helping the Cathecists in preaching not only the Word of God amongst them but would also help them to render their services much more effectively.

In fact, Puan Sri Melinda Kurup was quite intrumental in effecting the delivery of the said gifts but due to some pressing procedural requirements that needed to be complied with, it was only recently that YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup was able to deliver them to the Catholic church in Keningau.  It may have been ” a long time coming but indeed the promise was fulfilled “.  Better late than never aye Folks!MTserah motosikal(clear pic)

Cheers!

Pesta Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) 2009

Miss Appey Rowenna Januin crowned as the state-level Unduk Ngadau 2009

Miss Appey Rowenna Januin crowned as the state-level Unduk Ngadau 2009

31st May 2009 saw the culmination of a month long kaamatan celebration in Sabah, Malaysia which was officially closed by the TYT Negeri Sabah, Tun Haji Ahmad Shah Abdullah.

Amongst the highlights of the closing day celebration was the crowning of Miss Appey Rowenna Januin of Papar as the state-level Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Festival  Queen) by the the TYT’s consort, Toh Puan Dayang Masuyah Binti Japar.

Folks, just in case, it slips from your memory, the national-level Pesta Kaamatan will be held on the 7th June 2009 at Padang Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Come one! Come all!

Cheers!


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