By MARIAM MOKHTAR
Are Malaysian High Commissions (MHC) run like personal fiefdoms, with
the Malaysian government using its political influence to bring pressure
to bear on the diplomatic staff at these locations? Or are some
diplomats inefficient and abusing their overseas postings and taxpayers’
When the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform
visited the United Kingdom last week, Malaysians were optimistic about
the PSC’s engagement with relevant UK bodies to improve Malaysia’s
Another story has emerged from the shadows of duplicity.
High-ranking sources in London allege that another MHC incident is being
swept under the carpet. They say that the PSC did not keep an
appointment with a British cabinet minister, the day after they arrived
When the PSC turned up at the House of Commons (the parliament) in
Westminster, for their 11am meeting on Feb 22, they were two hours late.
It is alleged that our MHC staff had bungled the arrangements. As a
result, our MPs missed the opportunity to discuss matters with a British
Is this debacle a reflection of the High Commissioner, Zakaria Sulong’s
weak leadership and lack of professionalism? Or did he inherit a bunch
of uninspiring deadwood and demotivated staff?
A few weeks ago, Zakaria lacked sensitivity and diplomacy when equating
the Penan community to animals and thus belittling the suffering of
both. Neither Zakaria nor Wisma Putra has apologised for the
Nevertheless, the missed appointment only erodes confidence in our
diplomats and our diplomatic service. Will this incident be mentioned in
the PSC report which is due next April or will it be hushed up?
PSC chairperson Dr Maximus Ongkili, who is also the Science, Technology,
and Innovation Minister, led an 18-member delegation on a three-nation
“In London, the focus is to study the constituency delineation
principle. That’s why we decided to spend some time at the boundary
commission,” he said.
Can overseas voting be implemented in time?
At the press conference and dinner for the visiting PSC delegation
hosted by Zakaria, Maximus doubted if issues like overseas voting would
be implemented in time for GE13, despite measures introduced by the
Election Commission (EC).
Maximus said, “It does depend on when the election is to be called but
the EC says they will work within the next two months to come up with
the requirements on overseas voting.
“As for Malaysian students and civil servants, if you are already on the
voters list, you just have to apply for a postal vote and they will
mail it to you. You can then cast your vote and post it back. But for
ordinary Malaysians, we need more time.
“It is our job to find ways to make it as simple as possible for
Malaysians to participate in the democratic process of our country.”
Both the MHC and the PSC have failed overseas Malaysians.
did Maximus not arrange to meet overseas Malaysians and get their
views? Many of them have complained that the advice dished out by
diplomatic staff is inconsistent. In some cases, potential voters were
given wrong information on postal ballots. Others fumed about being
given the run-around.
Instead of a dinner attended by a select group of people, the MHC could
have held a public forum to enable Malaysians working and studying
overseas to meet the PSC.
When told that the PSC delegation would meet Malaysians in Denmark, one
Malaysian professional based in London said, “Was there a Bersih rally
in Copenhagen? In London, 600 Malaysians showed their support for free
and fair elections at the Bersih rally. The MHC is not paying
Another wondered if the Malaysian government had colluded with the MHC
to prevent engagement between the PSC and overseas Malaysians.
MyOverseasVote (MOV) UK has asked that a deadline be set for the
proposal of a new overseas voting system and for defining the criterion
for overseas voters. Other MOV concerns range from diplomatic staff
telling potential voters they were “awaiting instruction from Wisma
Putra, and/or the EC”’, to vacuous answers such as “You should register
A set of questions for both Wisma Putra and the EC
Last year the MOV prepared a set of questions for both Wisma Putra and the EC. They (the MOV) did not receive any replies.
Undaunted, the MOV posed the same set of questions to the EC, this time
via Ambassador Ho, at the Embassy in Geneva. She received a reply from
the EC which she then forwarded to the MOV.
The EC ignores the overseas Malaysians, whilst Wisma Putra responded only because an ambassador was involved.
Why is Wisma Putra not offering sufficient support and leadership? Why
does Wisma Putra function like a third-rate provincial civil service
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has spent millions on foreign public
media consultants to boost the image of himself and the country.
Overseas Malaysians have no need for expensive make-overs. They are
proud to carry the flag and are passionate about their country. They
make perfect mini-ambassadors for Malaysia and they are no less
patriotic than their fellow Malaysians at home.
These Malaysians have not abandoned the country of their birth,
whereas Malaysia and its diplomatic missions have failed them by denying
them their constitutional right to vote.
In an effort to improve his flagging image, Najib has vowed to carry out electoral reforms.
First. The London MHC failed to respond to the MOV’s queries.
Second. Was the opportunity, missed by the PSC, to meet the British
cabinet minister a result of genuine incompetence, or a subtle ploy to
prevent engagement? Did party politics interfere in Malaysia’s
So how sincere and serious is Najib in carrying out electoral reforms?
Is the High Commission in London serving Najib or the rakyat?
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a
bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak', this
translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects
culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(email@example.com) Thank you.
BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS
1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
2. Telephone Numbers:……….
3. Address and Location:…….
4. Amount in request………..
5. Repayment Period:………..
6. Purpose Of Loan………….
Email Kindly Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org