Say No To Hudud

Monday, January 24, 2011

Interlok, Perkasa and Chin Kwai Fatt: Three of the major challenges for BN before GE 13

Dear Barisan Nasional Leaders,

Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek
Dato' G. Palanivel
Voting is sometimes an emotional decision, not just the act of voting itself, but the choice the voter makes is influenced by events or people that the voter feels strongly about.

PERKASA is not doing anyone any favours, and the fact that PERKASA can say what it wishes without fear of sanction, will drive some voters away from BN come GE 13.

Interlok is perceived to whack the already 'marginalised' Indians, and we actually feel sorry for the poor Indians because the Education Ministry seems to be able get away with any decision it makes without regard to who feels 'whacked' in the process.

Chin Kwai Fatt, and the fact that till now he seems to be above the law, and that no one can make him answer the allegations against him and his firm is going to help alienate a different group of voters.

While the issue with Chin Kwai Fatt is nowhere near as well publicised as the other two, it upsets voters who are more concerned with the investment climate in the country, who wonder about the veracity of the audits done by PwC in Malaysia, who 'dabble' in the markets, who would prefer to have some real standards of Corporate Governance and not regulatory bodies that are a mere shell of what they are supposed to be, who wonder how much credibility acronyms like ETP have, when there is no response from the ruling Government on one of the most serious regulatory scandals in recent memory; the sort of voters who also reach in to their pockets when things are not as they would like to be.

Is Mr Chin Kwai Fatt above the law in this country?

'Little things add up', that is a fact of life. And if the leaders of Barisan Nasional choose to ignore what they perceive as 'little things', do not expect that every voter out there will also think the same way. For some, the 'little things' are not 'little', but massive, and vitally important.

Just the number of GLC's that are audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers Malaysia should have raised alarm bells in the Corridors of Power with all the allegations against them, but the question is, have the allegations raised any alarms? When PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed to review Sime Darby's reporting structure, as external auditors, alarm bells did 'ring' after the findings were released.

What possible reason can there be for the Barisan Nasional Government to allow questions to remain unanswered regarding the sanctity of the Regulators and the soundness of the Corporate Governance framework in this country? It does not do anyone any favours, and can potentially leverage itself into an even more damaging state if there is another major accounting fraud involving a GLC or listed company, even if does not involve PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Some problems will go away with time, and some problems spread like infections that end up corrupting everything they come into contact with, and there is no way a problem involving the Regulators and a Big Four Audit firm can be considered as a problem that will go away with time.

It will keep coming back, getting more virulent with each wave, until the voters will have no choice but to punish those that chose to do and say nothing, when they should have been doing everything possible to cure the system of the disease(s).

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