I was wondering what to write about when I came across this report in the Star newspaper of 2nd November.
|The Star Newspaper 2nd Nov 2011|
1st November 2011 or 1.11.11 was supposed to be an auspicious day but for a British couple on holiday here in Malaysia, it was the day they were trapped in a stalled monorail in Malacca for more than two hours because of a faulty door pump. The incident happened at 1.11pm. So it was perhaps a bad omen for the couple.
The couple were very philosophical about the experience. The husband described it as a great experience and the wife said that she understood that such a glitch was inevitable.
The chief executive officer of the monorail operator, Nasry Ahmad, was quoted by the newspaper to have said that he considered the incident a minor glitch as the service resumed after 3.30pm after the malfunction was rectified.
Now, Malacca is a small city by any standard and the monorail line is not even 1.5 km long, so if it was only a minor glitch, why did it take them more than 2 hours just to bring the trapped couple down by ladder?
According to the report the monorail service, which cost RM15.9 million, was launched on 20th Oct last year but was grounded shortly after the launch because of technical problems and glitches. The service only resumed some five months later!
I guess that too was a minor problem or glitch.
This kind of attitude is really symptomatic of the way Malaysians, especially the way our government departments, agencies and ministries approach and do their work. It reminds me of the just released Auditor-General's annual report for 2010, and of the many previous similar reports.
Of the case of a government agency that spent RM142 million for a remote sensing satellite apparently without ascertaining whether it could do the work for which it was bought, and indeed it couldn't for being 37 km off target! and the problem not being rectified even after a year!
Or of the case of another government agency that had bought RM64 million worth of new scientific equipment apparently without a laboratory to house them and the equipment having to be kept in their original boxes for more than three years and the agency needing to waste another RM18 million to extend the equipment's guarantee period!
Or of the case of another errant agency that had bought 23 horses for RM5.66 million without the approval of the Ministry of Finance and none of the horses having being used in two recommended international championships! So, why were the horses ever bought in the first place!
The way our government departments, agencies and ministries spend the rakyat's hard earned money is sometimes really criminally irresponsible if not reeking of corrupt practice.
But like Malaysians are fond of saying, "Sikit punya hal, brader!" which is Malay for "It's a small matter, brother!"