Hornbill Unleashed

November 14, 2014

The auditor’s report and arrogance

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Lim Mun Fah

The Auditor-General’s Office has indeed accumulated for itself quite some level of respect and popularity in recent years through its many jaw-dropping revelations, although it has yet to fully shed its “toothless tiger” public image. Its annual reports have been seen by Malaysians as a sharp blade for the anti-corruption agency.

But this time the A-G’s Office appears to have shown its blade at the wrong target, hitting out controversially at the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia carnival, raising the irk of particularly the Chinese community of this country.

As a matter of fact, co-organisers the Federation of Malaysia Hawkers Associations and the Malaysia Selangor & Federal Territory Ku Su Shin Choong Hung Restaurant Association have decided to pull out from the 2014 event just because of the illogical statement by the A-G’s Office.

The 2013 A-G’s Report described the annual culinary fest as a sheer waste of public funds while accusing Chinese delicacies such as bakuteh, claypot red wine chicken, claypot pig’s leg and teppanyaki as non-Malaysian fares. At the same time, he also slammed the hawkers for selling non-halal food next to halal stalls without taking into consideration religious sensitivity.

As what we know, because of the accusations, this year’s event has come up with the new ruling that at least 70% to 80% of the food has to be halal, much to the frustration of the participating Chinese associations which have subsequently decided to pull out.

If irregularities on administrative and financial matters have been detected from the food carnival, the A-G’s Office’s advice and criticisms should have been most welcome. Unfortunately this time they even poke their fingers into what the hawkers are selling.

So, the 1Malaysia food festival is only allowed to sell Malaysian food. But how is Malaysian food defined? How to allocate the stalls at the carnival and is it really necessary to specify 70%-80% of halal stalls just to be religiously sensitive?

Noe of these problems seems to have anything to do with the A-G’s Office in the first place.

The A-G’s Office has done nothing but to poke the ethnic and religious sensitivity in the country, complicating things further and triggering unnecessary controversies.

The human society should have been a very diverse one where people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds mingle together in total harmony to give rise to a diverse and colourful human civilisation. The most precious things in the human society have often been produced through such mingling. The beauty of this country has also established upon the peaceful coexistence of all the major ethnic groups here.

I do agree that we need to be adequately sensitive when it comes to racial and religious issues. But such sensitivity must be built upon the foundation of mutual respect and tolerance, not by enforcing our standards on other people.

There is one single spirit that is indispensable in a multicultural society like ours: tolerance. We must be able to accommodate different cultures and protect the rights, values and lifestyles of people from other cultural and religious backgrounds. What we want to seek is common understanding, not the annihilation of dissidents. We must not attempt to pick the faults of other people in order to create contradictions and confrontation.

What is behind the latest controversy could have been the arrogance of narrow-minded nationalists, the single biggest threat to the government’s 1Malaysia aspiration.

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4 Comments »

  1. PM Najib proudly declared, “Malaysia is among the best economies in Asean in the past nine months and recently, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders told me that they think Malaysia is an up-and-coming nation, and that gives credit to BN.” Three months ago, my businessman friend lamented about his business dropping by a huge 50% during this year’s Hari Raya Puasa season compared to previous years while other businesses complained about being bogged down by slow collections. So we are not so sure whether our PM has been feeding the APEC leaders with truths, or half-truths or not-so-truths.

    Comment by Richie — November 17, 2014 @ 10:20 AM | Reply

    • Race relations will continue to deteriorate if those nincompoops in UMNO are still allowed to continue to rule Malaysia. No only race relations, but the economy will further go into a downward spiral under the same nincompoop’s rule.

      Comment by Ronraj — November 18, 2014 @ 5:04 PM | Reply

  2. AG is just a stupid bunch of useless quango. A waste of space.

    Comment by kancilmelaka — November 15, 2014 @ 3:11 AM | Reply

  3. Bak Kut Teh will never be fabulous if it is made halal.

    Comment by goo kang — November 14, 2014 @ 12:10 PM | Reply


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