How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Debate on 1MDB: Tony Pua vs Arul Kanda

First, let's look at their resumes:

Tony Pua, according to Wikipedia:

Tony Pua Kiam Wee (Chinese: 潘俭伟; born 1 August 1972) is a Malaysian politician, currently the Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara. Pua was the former Malaysian CEO of Cyber Village Sdn Bhd, a SESDAQ (SGX secondary board)-listed company. In early 2007, he disposed of all his interests in the company and tendered his resignation to join the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

Pua graduated from Keble College, Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics under a scholarship from the MTC Foundation in 1994. Prior to that, he received Asean and Shaw Foundation scholarships to pursue his O- and A-Levels in Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, across the border.

In the 2008 general election, Pua won the Parliamentary constituency of Petaling Jaya Utara on a DAP ticket. He ran against the incumbent, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry for Women, Family & Community Affairs, and Deputy Chief of the Malaysian Chinese Association women's wing.[2] In 2009, Pua was appointed the DAP member of the Pakatan Rakyat committee on the Ministry of Higher Education, roughly equivalent to the shadow ministry in other countries.

Pua worked for Andersen Consulting (now renamed Accenture) as a consultant after he graduated from Oxford. Two years later, in March 1997, he started Cyber Village when demand for e-business consultancy grew.

In August 2001, Cyber Village became the first Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)-status company to list on the Singapore Dealing and Automated Quotation System (Sesdaq). Its public offer of 400,000 shares drew an over-subscription of approximately 2.7 times.[5] In January 2009, Cyber Village had successfully undergone a management buyout under the Koyo Group.[6]

Arul Kanda, according to Lim Sian See, a well known anti-opposition blogger, quoted Bloomberg:

'Mr. Arul Kanda is a senior management leader and investment banker, with extensive experience in structured finance, corporate finance, and restructuring across multiple markets including London, the Middle East, and Malaysia.

Previously, he served as an Executive Vice-President and Head of Investment Banking at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank P.J.S.C. Mr. Kandasamy had joined the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in July 2008.

Prior to this, he worked in several leadership positions at Barclays Capital and Credit Agricole. Mr. Kandasamy was the Director of Investment Banking and Financing Solutions at Barclays Capital plc.
He served as the Head of Islamic Financing Solutions at Barclays Capital, Dubai from September 2006 to July 2008. Mr. Kandasamy was the Head of Islamic Banking, London at CALYON from July 2005 to August 2006. He had earlier served as the Director of Capital Markets, Bahrain at the CALYON from June 2004 to June 2005.

Mr. Kandasamy was an Associate Director of Securitization, London at the CALYON from July 2003 to May 2004. He also served as a Securitization Analyst, London at the CALYON from January 2002 to June 2003. Mr. Kandasamy served as a Director of Global Investment House K.P.S.C. until June 04, 2015.

He served as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of RHB Investment Bank Berhad from July 2009 to May 10, 2011.

Mr. Kandasamy served as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of RHB Capital Berhad from July 20, 2009 to May 10, 2011. He served as a Director of RHB Islamic Bank Berhad.

Mr. Kandasamy served as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of RHB Bank Berhad since July 20, 2009.

He was raised in Machang Kelantan and attended the Maktab Tentera Diraja (RMC) Sungai Besi at the age of 13 and left after Form Five to further his studies in London.

Arul Kanda was known to be a top debater representing RMC, winning the Guinness Stout Effort Award for his achievements in an English Speaking competition in Melbourne, Australia.

He is a UK-qualified Barrister. Mr. Kandasamy received an LLM with distinction in Corporate and Commercial Law from University College London in 2000.

He also earned an LLB degree from the The London School of Economics and Political Science in 1998.

Mr. Arul Kanda Kandasamy has been the President and Group Executive Director at 1Malaysia Development Berhad since January 2015.'

Tony Pua is a member of Parliamentary Accounts Committee and he alone has been most vocal on 1MDB.

Depending on who you are or which side of the politcal divide you are on, it is either good or bad, that much information on 1MDB comes from Sarawak Report which got its information from Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo, an ex-staff of PetroSaudi.

While the opposition is keen on exposing illegal transactions, possibly corruption involving our Malaysian Prime Minister cum Finance Minister, it has been turned round into a witch hunt to find people who leaked official secret documents, forbidden under the Official Secrets Act. Those involved in trying to secure stolen data from PetroSaudi are being accused of attempting to bring down the present BN government under Najib Tun Razak.

To the public, what is most important is whether those claims of dubious transactions and huge borrowings guaranteed by our government are true and that we require satisfactory explanations.
In my opinion, so long as the information on wrongdoings are true, it should not matter where it comes from. But the government, instead of being transparent about the transactions, are actually trying very hard to prevent exposure, and in fact, going after those whistleblowers and their connections. For too long, we have been sheltered from the truth by the misuse of OSA which discourages whistleblowers who are likely to get into trouble  instead of those alleged to be corrupted.

The highly publicised statements against each other, by Tony and Arul, have now become so personal that they are challenging each other to a televised debate, but Arul set a condition that Tony must first resign from PAC, because he thinks it will be a conflict of interest if he remains as a member.
Having followed the 1MDB saga since the initial expose, can we be blamed for not believing public statements by our PM and his ministers? The company changed auditors twice over 5 years, and every year, its annual reports were delayed. If everything were above board, was there any reason for the undue delays and changes of auditors which would normally raise alarm bells?

Arul could well be an excellent debater, but this proposed debate or talk show is not the normal type of debate where one side proposes the motion, while the other side opposes. Specific skills in debating, like rebuttals can win or lose a debate. This is likely to be a Question and Answer session, with Tony asking the questions while Arul answers. The public are looking for facts and truth. If telecast live, there is no escaping public attention to any slip of the tongue, intended surprise questions, telltale signs in body language when a person is not telling the truth, and so on.

It is going to very interesting to watch, unlike the scripted one which appeared on television earlier. Expect the tv ratings to soar.

Looking back at how the debate was suggested: when Tony Pua challenged Arul, and then Arul accepted with the condition that he first resign from PAC, there is a real danger that during this unconditional debate, Tony might slip and then be accused of using materials from PAC investigation to date, and then used the breach as an excuse to drop him from PAC.

While there is no doubt the debate will enlighten the public on certain aspects of the matter, it cannot be expected to be the solution to stop further investigations into 1MDB. What is needed, after all that had happened to thwart the unravelling of the truth, are conclusive evidence to support reports by reliable auditors or investigators who should personally be held liable for any inaccuracies or fraudulent reporting.


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