Friday, June 30, 2006

Crooks Of A 'Feather' Stick Together.

Most of us would remember in school, when our teachers taught us that "birds of a feather stick together". Little did we realize then how often that proverb will be referred to as we grew older. The following is a classic example.

The Federal Territories Ministry is satisfied with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) explanation for organising the Corporate Grooming and Social Etiquette course as it is proper to shape the public servants image as provided under the Civil Service guidelines. The Ministry's Secretary-General Datuk Ab. Hakim Borhan said that the course was a good exposure to government officials on image building and etiquette while attending official functions. "In a nutshell, I am satisfied with the report submitted, and the issue is considered settled," he said in a statement issued Thursday.

Who is this nutcase, Ab. Hakim Borhan, who in a 'nutshell' dismisses the matter by saying he is satisfied and then pompously declares the issue settled? Is he a relative of Ruslin, a partner in white-collar crime or merely one civil servant looking out for another more 'stupid' one who unfortunately got caught while most of them get away scot free?

He said the course, held from May 5 to May 7 and June 19, was part of a DBKL's human resource basic training programme and involved a cost of RM102,583.50. The first series of the course costs of RM78,730, while the second one costs RM23,863.50 and not RM94,000 as earlier reported, he added.

The rationale for DBKL organising the 18-module course was raised by several parties, including those who accused Datuk Bandar Datuk Ruslin Hasan of using it to lobby for the extension of his tenure. Local dailies published Ruslin's statement denying the accusation and explaining that the course was meant to give officials the exposure on etiquette at official events.

Hakim also explained that the allocation for tuxedo suits for Advisory Board members and senior DBKL officers for black tie affairs are estimated at RM1,200 per suit and not RM2,500 as reported. "Actually this suits have not been issued yet as claimed," he added. He said the ministry was also aware that the management expenditure for City Hall was under the purview of the Datuk Bandar.

The Secretary General of a Ministry is the de facto 'boss' who successfully gives the minister the illusion that the politician is in charge. On this person lies the responsibility of seeing that everything is done efficiently, transparently and honestly. If when gross abuses of power or mismanagement is brought to his notice, it is his duty to rectify the error and ensure that it is not repeated. When persons like Ab. Hakim Borhan appear to condone such wanton abuse, then he becomes an ally and accessory to 'civil service crime'.

I now wonder if Ab. Hakim himself is clean. Has he declared his wealth as is required? I personally feel that when one of these senior civil servants over-enthusiastically supports the abuses of another and tries to justify those mistakes publicly, then he or she should be promptly investigated for past acts of corruption. Who knows what will turn up in an ACA investigation?

Ab. Hakim Borhan, be warned. This blog will be watching you closely.

**** Earlier related post: Oh, These Wasteful Bastards.


Blogger morris said...

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8:40 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Billy said...

I am a trainer by profession. Quite frankly, this is the first time in my 10 years of practice that I have come across a training programme, soft skill at that too, that contains 18 modules!!!!! What sort of grooming programme that will require 18 modules. Can the organiser please display this programme in the media so that we may scrutise it, and perhaps, do it in half the time (less modules that is) and with only a fraction of the cost. I suggest they go for open tenders, and as a trainer, I say something is definitely not right. I smell a rat. I can bet you that after the training, do a "mystery shopping" exercise and you will realise that what is learnt will not be put into practice.

9:00 AM GMT+8  
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7:31 PM GMT+8  

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