Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ong Ka Ting Kena Hentam?

Whoa! Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, the President of MCA, as well as the Minister of Housing and Local Government, got a rare front page public dressing down from the Prime Minister himself, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In simple terms, Pak Lah was just telling his senior cabinet minister that he's not doing his job.
People used to complain that the issuance of certificates of fitness (CF) was always delayed. The house is ready but it’s a hassle to get the CF. I promised to get this improved. For close to two years, people were still grumbling. I asked Ka Ting (Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting): "What happened? What is the progress?"

I told him: "This is an important matter. Find a workable solution, do not look for cumbersome solutions." I fail to understand why they (the relevant approving agencies) are still reluctant to do this.

I told Ka Ting again that I want these processes to be expedited. Why is it so difficult?
First, it was the fault of the civil serivce. After that argument proving ineffective, it's now the fault of his ministers. And the president of his largest coalition partner, no less.

A RM10 salary cut motion for the Minister of Housing and Local Government proposed by Sdr Tan Kok Wai, the MP for Cheras in the last parliamentary session received an angry reception from Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and his henchmen for apparently "distorting facts". Well, it looks like Datuk Seri deserved the pay cut after all. Given the public reprimand given by his big boss, Datuk Seri Ong should just volunteer the RM10 pay cut instead of suffering another embarrassing motion to do so.

What is interesting is that, of the many other inefficient and ineffective ministries to cite his example of poor leadership and weak implementation, the Prime Minister picked on his closest "ally".

Poor policy implementation is a hallmark of the Ministry of Education, but no, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein didn't get picked. Tender awards are still as opaque, but the Ministry of Finance didn't get highlighted. (Oh, sorry, Pak Lah's also the Minister of Finance). Even the incompetent Minister of Works who negotiated away the rakyat's weath doesn't get a mention.

If you ask me, I'll say that it's not as simple as the Prime Minister pointing out the defects in his government. Pak Lah is sending a stern message to Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting. The question then is, what is that message?
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