Sunday, September 23, 2012

Attack on Suaram

When Suaram started to sniff around the deal relating to the Scorpene submarines, I knew there would be trouble arriving at their doorstep. After all, there were tell-tale signs of Najib’s thumbprints all over the transaction. [In case there are still Malaysians who are blissfully ignorant, Suaram had sought and is currently involved in a French inquiry investigating possible corruption in Malaysia’s multibillion ringgit purchase of two subs, which has been linked to the prime minister].

True enough, the state apparatus – involving at least 6 federal agencies – finally got their act together and went after Suaram with a vengeance. The six were the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Bank Negara, Registrar of Societies (ROS), the police and the Home Ministry. That it did materialize means that the allegations surfacing from the French Scorpene investigation are real and damaging to Najib.

I mean, Suaram has been around for more than 20 years and its legitimacy has never been questioned. Why now? It smells of yet another attempt to hound, intimidate and threaten the non-governmental organization.

Still, Malaysians must wonder if the same amount of zeal would have been put into companies that have previously been accused of improper practices, corrupt operations or money-laundering activities.

I visited Taylor’s University on Saturday morning to attend their Toastmasters meeting. I was pleasantly surprised that they started almost on time (three minutes late) and it was well-attended. I counted twenty people. The speeches were alright and so were the evaluations. I particularly liked the Table Topics session which was hosted by Isabell Zubinsha who used idioms as topics. Even better, after the round concluded, she took the time to explain their meanings. Good learning for those who didn’t know their idioms. Oh yes, Stephanie Yau from Monash Sunway Toastmasters Club was the General Evaluator and she gave some good pointers to the club. I would be happy to give this meeting a score of a 7.5 out of a 10.

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