Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bad Apples

Datuk Noh Omar achieved international notoriety and placed Malaysia on the world map for public ridicule in November 2005 when he lambasted unhappy foreigners who were unhappy with the treatment they received in Malaysia triggered by the nude-squat incident. “If the foreigners think we are cruel, ask them to go back to their own country...” he said. He was then the Deputy Internal Security Minister.

After being chided by the Prime Minister, he argued that his remark was misinterpreted by the media and provided instead a qualified apology, “I openly apologise if the meaning of my comments was received negatively.” This was despite the fact that his remark was clearly recorded and shown on television.

However, instead of getting dropped as a deputy minister in the February 2006 cabinet reshuffle, he was rotated to be a Deputy Minister of Education. Very quickly, in September that year, he was at the centre of controversy once again, when he admitted in Parliament that there was no allocation at all for building new Chinese or Tamil schools in the 9th Malaysia Plan, despite the Ministry being accorded a record RM33.4 billion budget.

On Thursday last week, Noh Omar once again displayed his true colours in full view of the media and the public. When Selangor DAP chairman, Ean Yong Hian Wah submitted a fairly innocuous memorandum to the Deputy Minister with regards to violent conduct by a teacher in a secondary school on behalf of the abused student's parents, Noh Omar appeared to lose control of his faculties.

He verbally abused Ean Yong, crumpled the official memorandum and threw it away, before it was picked up by his officer. He accused Ean Yong and the DAP of interfering in a school disciplinary matter. Noh Omar even exclaimed at one stage that he will not handle any case referred via the party.

However, isn't it the responsibility of any political party, not just the opposition, to highlight the plight of the people, in this case a school which refused to take action against an abusive teacher to the relevant government officials? By refusing to accept the memorandum, Noh Omar has demonstrated his arrogance by prioritising politics over the concerns of the people.

Political parties and non-governmental organisations have regularly submitted memorandums of various issues to even the Prime Minister. These submissions are always met with decorum and respect even when opinions differ on the matters at hand.

Noh Omar's conduct is hence clearly unbecoming of a government official, much less that of a deputy minister. He was rude, crass and acted like a hooligan. The greatest irony is not lost on the people must be that he was given the responsibility to curb bullying and gangsterism in our schools!

It is high time for Pak Lah to clamp down on such un-ministerial behaviour not only be demoting Noh Omar come the next general elections, but to drop him as a candidate for UMNO altogether. Only then will Pak Lah demonstrate that the Government doesn't condone such actions and is serious about building a competent government with integrity and in touch with the people.


Anonymous said...

The only reason i can think of that this Noh guy is still in the cabinet is because of Kerismuddin and Najib. Obviously Pak Takpa-Lah has no authority of the government. He is just a vase for people to see.

Rather than enjoying his life with wife and oversea trips, please clean up the mess by your subordinates. Else step down and let Najib be the PM.

Anonymous said...

Sad to hear that. I have always thought Noh Omar too immature to hold such high posts. His arrogance appears quite unbridled. I do not hold that against him as a person as I think he is otherwise a person or energy(certainly in my view more energetic than Hishamuddin and Nazri put together) and could be an asset in the longer term if properly guided, but perhaps was put into positions way beyond his present maturity. Probably should "demote" him and give him time to mature. Ultimately, I see his reaction in both instances as a direct affront to his boss the PM; it is like, "I dont feel like it, and the boss can do what he likes to me", knowing well the boss wont be around to punish him. Nor to guide him. Our PM just dont care anymore about what is happening, I think. Sad.

Right or wrong, I do not perceive Noh Omar to be a rascist. Just that I think the tensions and the pathetic state of education system and structure in this country has gotten to his nerves, and that probably explains his accusation of others as rascist. He needs a rest, and I meant well.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say "a person of energy"

Anonymous said...

To anon who posted in7/15/2007 07:03:00 PM:

Our country has 3 ministries looking after the education portfolio. That is 1 person more than 2 developed nation added.

If he needs rest perhaps he should get a new career.

Anonymous said...

I was not too sure about the environment there when this memorandum was submitted but I felt that It was certainly a bad example shown to all students in Malaysia that Deputy Minister of Education throws some documents submitted by some citizens on the floor angrily. Please show courtesy to the citizens who had voted the government and we are the boss who empowered the ministers to administer the country. We do not want gangster ministers. Please do not promote gangsterism in the country!