Saturday, September 25, 2010

2nd Placing in Division B Evaluation Contest

It was a rather complicated journey but in the end, I did manage to locate Putra Intelek International College – the venue of the Division B Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contest. Thanks to Kay and Emil for giving directions. There were 5 contestants in each of the contest, with the Humorous speech kicking off first. I thought Emil Anthony had a strong chance to win although Anna Chin was funny too. But when the results were announced, it was Anna who won first place, with Mohd Syafiq Abdullah coming in second and Emil third.
In the speech evaluation contest, I was the first contestant and when I finished, I knew I didn’t do as well as I wished. Therefore, I knew deep down, I would not win. True enough, I came in second and Bernard Louis came in first place. Third placing was won by our Kuantan Toastmaster Burney Choo. Well, I am just not good enough! Today, I lost to a better evaluator. But I wish to record my appreciation to Kay, Chrristine, Alice and Choi Woon for turning up to give me support – and I am so sorry to disappoint fellow Indrahanians!
I keeled over and went into a 3-minute fit of hysterics when I read this bold statement made by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Sutinah Sutan who yesterday said that "Malaysia is seen as a role model as a nation successful in combating corruption”. And then she made another claim "They say we have managed very well to control corruption with our strong political will" (New Straits Times, September 25, 2010, p 7). This got me into another 3-minute spasm that eventually gave me a tummy-ache.
On both counts, Malaysians know this to be totally false!

Firstly, Malaysia is among the vast majority of the 180 countries included in the 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) scoring below five on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption). Our score was only 4.5 which was below-average, and this was our lowest CPI Score within the last ten-year period. So there’s no way we can be considered a role model! No way!!

Secondly, Malaysia’s CPI standing is getting from bad to worse. In 2007, we were in 43rd placing and this ranking slid further down to 47th placing in 2008, and slipped even more to 56th placing in 2009. So, how can we say we managed to control corruption?

But then again, Sutinah may not be intentionally misleading us because we have to understand the context in which she made those pronouncements. She did not identify who were the ‘they”. If “they” refer to countries that are sitting at the bottom 20 of the CPI – perhaps it is very understandable that they would be singing our praises. Or perhaps if everyone perceives Malaysia to be a corrupt country, the fact that we could still be ranked in the top half of the CPI table among the 180 countries that were measured, we did quite well. So perhaps, it is all about how you interpret this issue of corruption, isn’t it?

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