Friday, June 12, 2009

Brush with Bureaucracy

It took 4 visits to the Malaysian Immigration Department before I finally got my hands on a new passport on Wednesday. On the fourth visit, I spent nearly 3 hours and exactly RM300 for the said document to be ready. But the wait is finally over. And I can now plan for my UK academic jaunt. So if someone asks me if government bureaucracy has indeed improved, I would say that based on my personal experience, the results are somewhat mixed.

And with Gordon Brown facing a crisis, being confronted with ten ministerial resignations, amidst the expenses infamy – Daniel Hannan MEP had called UK’s Prime Minister, the devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government – I had hoped that the pound sterling would take a tumble this week, but it remained relatively steady: On Saturday, our money-changers are selling pound sterling at 1 GBP = RM 5.76; on Thursday, it was 1 GBP = RM5.77 I had hoped to stretch my ringgit, but alas, it was not to be… Perhaps, tomorrow?
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For those who are blur about this British public embarrassment, it is about how dozens of members of Parliament have been reimbursed for home expenses that range from the petty (dog food and light bulbs) to the extravagant (repairs to swimming pools and the cleaning of a moat) - these represent the excesses and abuses of MPs’ expenses, thereby undermining public confidence in the British political system. Political shenanigans are indeed commonplace - and not just in Malaysia!

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