Oh, These Wasteful Bastards.
To continue hearing horror stories of their abuse of power and taxpayers' money is enough to make blood pressures rise. Yet the government, still holding on to its untenable and foolish principle of not having elected officials, continues to practice masterly inactivity and more than benign neglect. It is at times like this that we need a strong and viable opposition to put the government on its toes and give a proper walloping to city hall and other squandering local authorities.
City Hall recently spent RM94,000 to train its top officials in the finer points of social etiquette and fine dining.
In an unprecedented move by Datuk Bandar Ruslin Hasan, 31 City Hall advisers, heads of department and their spouses were treated to lunch and dinner at a fine-dining restaurant at a five-star hotel here on June 19.
They let their hair down at the karaoke lounge later.
The officials were also given new tuxedos, which cost City Hall about RM2,500 each.
The move was to educate senior officials on how to handle themselves and portray a better image of City Hall when they attend official functions such as embassy receptions and other official functions.
A City Hall adviser who attended the mayor’s "etiquette course" felt that Ruslin was lobbying for his term of service to be extended. "His term ends in December. Why would he want to take us out for fine dining, karaoke and give us tuxedos now?"
Ruslin, when contacted by the New Straits Times, denied that he was lobbying for an extension by holding the one-day corporate grooming and social etiquette course. "The dinner was to guide my top officials on fine-dining techniques," he explained. "I have no intention (of lobbying). I will go if my contract is not extended."
Ruslin, whose term as Datuk Bandar ends on Dec 13, was appointed on December 2004. Before this appointment, the 56-year-old Ruslin had served City Hall for nearly 30 years, with his last appointment as the deputy director- general.
On the tuxedos given to the officials, Ruslin said they were to be worn during social functions. "Most of them do not own a tuxedo. They would wear all sorts of clothes during official functions. These do not look good on them." Ruslin said that City Hall senior staff were entitled to a tuxedo and to attend a course on social etiquette.
On the fine dining, he said: "Senior staff and advisers need this kind of dinner. "It helps them improve their confidence. In all my years of service here, I have seen most of them looking lost at formal functions. "The course on fine-dining and etiquette will boost their confidence. "As a mayor, I felt it would be best to give them lessons on the finer things in life so that they will be able to serve society better."
When asked about the timing of the course, Ruslin said it was also to give the officers a treat before his term ended.
**** Who is Ruslin trying to bullshit? What kind of fool does he think we are? Perhaps we deserve to be tagged as idiots and fools for repeatedly electing this government to power. All I can say is that after all this splurging of our money he had better go and go quick. Don't do a Termizi act on Klites as you did on PJ folks. Enough is enough.
**** Update on the above issue:
Minderjeet Kaur (NST)
KUALA LUMPUR: The RM94,000 grooming-and-etiquette course for City Hall’s top officials have come under scrutiny, with Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman promising to get to the bottom of it. Samsudin is expected to ask Datuk Bandar Datuk Ruslin Hasan to explain the unprecedented outing which included fine dining at a five-star restaurant and a karaoke session for 31 advisors, senior staff and their spouses. The officials were also given tuxedoes costing RM2,500 each.“I will check with him on the reasons and objectives of the outing,” said Samsudin when asked to comment on the outing which was reported in the New Straits Times today.
In yesterday’s report, Ruslin had denied allegations from a senior City Hall official that the one-day ‘Corporate Grooming and Social Etiquette’ course on June 19 was for the mayor to lobby for an extension to his term of service which ends on December 13. Ruslin had said that the outing was to educate senior officials on how to handle themselves and portray a better image of City Hall when attending formal official functions.
On the tuxedoes, he had said that they were to be worn during official functions as most of the officials did not own one and would wear all sorts of clothes for such functions.He had also said that the City Hall senior staff were entitled to a tuxedo and to attend a course on social etiquette.
Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, meanwhile, expressed shock over City Hall’s lavish spending and said that it was a waste of public funds.He urged the Government to curb such spending. “It is unfair to waste public funds in such manner. There are other ways for City Hall to educate top officials on social manners and grace,” he said. Although he agreed that senior officials should be exposed to corporate grooming and social etiquette, Shahrir said Ruslin should not have spent public funds extravagantly. “The whole function is questionable. There are other ways to teach senior staff on fine dining. Ruslin could have called in an instructor to teach the do’s and don’t’s of fine dining. “Why was there a need for a lunch and dinner treat at a fine-dining restaurant?”Shahrir also questioned Ruslin’s intention of giving away tuxedoes to City Hall’s senior staff.