And here’s the kooky explanation reportedly coming from the people who uttered the language at the Red Shirt rally last week: “For Malays to say babi we are sensitive because babi (pork) is forbidden but for the Chinese, it is their food, no problem.”
Oh dear. No matter how hard some of us try to deny it, I think we have a big problem here, especially when people who regard themselves as leaders have mouths that move faster than their brains.
Malaysia’s deficiency problem unfortunately does not end there because such quirks have slid so much into many facets of our daily lives that they have become a culture of sorts.
Like the numbed statement from Syabas three days ago about possible water cuts coming yet again. It is true then when a friend told me the other day that in a country blessed with rain, everything is taken for granted that when there’s rain our homes get hit by flash floods and just one week without rain, news reports become aplenty about the so-called dry season and water rationing. In this latest case,
Syabas, the water supply company in Selangor, has come up with a caveat so early. It is blaming the El Nino phenomenon and saying, based on the current situation, the level of the existing treated water supply reserve was under the one per cent level and would become negative when the demand peaked and could often cause supply disruption and low pressure.
“The El Nino phenomenon causes long droughts and shortages of raw water supply in rivers and dams, and simultaneously production of treated water would decrease. “If this situation takes place, consumers will face the possibility of water supply rationing, the same as the ones the Selangor government and National Water Services Commission (Span) were forced to implement in 1998 and last year,” said Syabas.
In the same statement, Syabas explained that currently, based on the capacity of the main pipeline system, the capacity of distributable treated water fixed by Span to be distributed by Syabas to consumers is at the average rate of 4,686 million litres a day (MLD), whilst the rate of output of treated water from all the 34 water treatment plants under normal circumstances under the four operating companies for August is 4,716 MLD.
That’s what you get when your fate in water supply rests on just one company. The images of mothers and old folk carrying buckets of water up to their flats mean nothing to it.
It is not Syabas fault, they say, it’s El Nino. Which brings me to the next irritant besetting us — the almost complete absence of accountability.
Whenever there was a rare one, like the case of former chief executive officer of Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid who offered to quit following the death of three workers in an incident at the company’s railway construction site in Kota Damansara a year ago, there were voices who insisted he shouldn’t.
And although Azhar did eventually leave many months later, that reminds us of very much the Malaysian way. Save face. Forgiving for the wrong reasons with scant regard for accountability.
Just like the Malaysian football mess we are witnessing. Everyone knows that international football is a competitive sport. And that means it has to be absolutely result-oriented.
So when the national team got clobbered in matches, made worse by the crowd fracas in a home game, people in charge must take the blame and be accountable.
No two ways about it. But when coach Dollah Salleh quit after the failures — though initially he had said he would not resign as he was no coward — there were people who actually tried to ask him to stay on. I couldn’t believe it.
And the same for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. He has offered to quit which is honourable of him but then it shouldn’t be “in phases” as he put it.
A failure is a failure. Make it clean. He should quit now especially in this season of sacrifice, not in phases because things could get worse and the national team could sink deeper. The bottom line is to show accountability in this mid-autumn rant from me.