Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Expensive Gifts

As Pakatan Rakyat formed the state government in Selangor, its elected representatives have received increasing demands from corporate entities ranging from property developers to slimming centres to be the guest of honour at their launching ceremonies.

Some of the younger assemblymen have asked for advice as to whether they should accept such invitations. I told them to use their discretion, and by all means, if it is a reputable company with no intent of "using" you to endorse their products, feel free to attend such functions.

Corporations and businesses form the backbone of our economy and it is often useful to hear what are the challenges which they face. If some of the requests are valid such as unreasonable delays in processing normal business applications (whether to approve or reject), then we must certainly play our role to assist them in expediting the process. However, if we are asked to help secure approval for a particular project as they do not fully comply with existing by-laws and guidelines, then by all means ask them to follow proper channels.

I was the Guest-of-Honour at one such function last weekend, to launch a commercial property development project in Petaling Jaya. I was asked to replace one of the state executive councillor at the last minute due to certain urgent matters arising.

While I must say that I'm not at my most comfortable position doing so, I took the opportunity to add in my speech that as a part of the local community now, the developer and its management must have more dialogue and consultations with the local residents to ensure a balance between development and livability. While well-planned commercial development promotes vibrancy, excessive development kills livability.

Typically in such functions, the host will present us with tokens of appreciation, often things like plaques, pens or pewter mugs. But after having reached home and opening the gift parcel, I was taken aback by what was given. Yes, as the picture above shows, I received a Nokia E90 Communicator, worth approximately RM3,500.

Make no mistake, I love the phone and have been looking at it ever since it was first launched late last year. But surely, receiving such a "gift" for attending a launching function and saying a few words is more than a little excessive!

Subsequently, I did find out however, that it's not uncommon for certain elected representatives to receive these gifts, which ranges from luxury cars to Rolex watches(!)

The question then is, do I return the gift to the developer with apologies? Or do I sell the phone and use the proceeds for community purposes?

I wasn't the only party who received the gift. Loh Gwo-Burne of Kelana Jaya received the same item for attending the function. I had a quick discussion with him on what's the next best step.

After pondering over the issue for a short while, we agreed to sell/auction off the 2 phones to the highest bidders and use the proceeds to fund our respective service centres. After all, the financing of our service centres (rental, staff, equipment etc.) comes not from the Government (unlike Barisan Nasional MPs, opposition MPs gets zero assistance to set up such offices), but from public donations and out of our own pockets.

So, for all of you out there who are interested in a (or two) brand new Nokia E90 Communicator at a discounted price, please feel free to email me @ tonypua (at) yahoo (dot) com with your bid. Cheques should be written to "DAP Damansara Branch". Its for a good cause too! ;-)

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

good for you, Mr Pua and Mr Loh. i hope your integrity remains intact for your entire term of office. young malaysians need to have real heroes.

rcchia said...

You have probably only scratched the surface of what has traditionally been deemed a norm among the people in the corridors of power. Imagine if you can receive just one gift for one event, how many gifts others have received in the past many decades?

As you say, it may not simply be an electronic toy, but could easily be a bungalow house, an apartment or whatever else they fancy. I would not even be surprised if the company actually asked the invited guest beforehand what they would like.

Good of you to be transparent. Please encourage your other colleagues to do the same, and you will certainly win our hearts and votes :-)

Anonymous said...

thank you for being so candid. Stay true to your calling in serving the people. We are enoourage to hear this and certainly convey the same to your colleague, Mr Loh.

Akar umbi UMNO Damansara Utama said...

Hie Tony,

Sincerely we have to commend your manner in dealing with this awkward issue.

Towards a better Malaysia yea?

Regards,
www.suaradu.com

candice said...

We have to go through a business ethics test each year in my company.

One of the question is about receiving expensive gifts. The required answer is - under no circumstance are we to accept such gifts.

I would suggest you return the expensive gift.

I believe the opportunity to speak to your voters is already gratitude enough for the evening. And a letter should be sent in replay to such invitations stating clearly Pakatan Rakyat's position on such practises.

Tanie said...

Good for you Mr Pua. I sure hope more politicians consult their conscience when faced with expensive gifts. Maybe a convention could be started here with gifts and tokens like these in the future. Get the ball rolling, so to speak. Surely conventions are soft law, if law at all, but once in place will have a measure of deterring effect, hopefully.

Richard Cranium said...

OK, call me a wet blanket.

I think you'd better protect your reputation by returning the phone. Accepting a gift subconsciously causes some synapses in your brain to fall into place the next time you are asked for favours couched in terms of an "advice".

So, why put yourself in a difficult spot? Why even have a whiff of anything?

Justifying it by comparing it to BN is a slippery slope you are taking.

Just my two sen.

ryansoh said...

Thanks for bringing this up, Tony.

Shouldn't there be common standards, either at the parliamentary (or certainly at least the party) level for what to do with gifts over a certain value?

Unless a strong case can be made that it is a gift on a personal level (e.g., not because you are an MP) it is transparent and beneficial that material amounts should be disclosed, and if too significant donated or returned.

It is not too hard to come up with something like this, for example in finance, standards exist for financial analysts in making sure the gifts they receive from the companies they cover are disclosed, etc.

If both sides are sensible and progressive about it, would be good for the rakyat and popular.

dahvid said...

*thumbs up*

You're a fine leader, YB.

Stay away from the 'dark forces' :)

int said...

"After all, the financing of our service centres (rental, staff, equipment etc.) comes not from the Government (unlike Barisan Nasional MPs, opposition MPs gets zero assistance to set up such offices), but from public donations and out of our own pockets."

The logical extension of that is for corporations to give Pakatan VIPs pewter mugs, and Barisan VIPs Nokia Communicators.

Richard said...

I would suggest that any gifts or souvenir above let say RM500 should be reported to a committee form by the state government.

The name of the giver and value be written and for which function.

The committee than must decide whether you can keep it, return or auction off and donate the money.

This must all be recorded and better still to post them in the state magazines or party newsletter.

This expensive gifts must be make known to the public. There may be frustrated businessman who after giving the gift find that they cannot get any help will report to the aca. Very complicated and headache. There maybe bn mole on standby waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

Be afraid, very very afraid.

Richard said...

To add to my earlier comment.

I just recall, many years ago in Penang, one Adun if the name is correct Khor Gark Kim was in big trouble for accepting a fruit basket.

I think that was arrange to fix him up.

Yeo said...

Tony,

Set your mark of good leadership-by-example by returning such in-appropriate gifts ... NO buts about it!

Accepting such in-appropriate gifts will lead to more in-appropriate gifts, currying for favors, temptations, corruptions, etc.!

I worked for Big Blue in the 1970-80's and we signed Business Ethics & Conduct Guidelines Handbook annually, whereby we would decline & return such gifts. If the Host / Giver refuses such returns, we would then donate or auction them off for charity causes ... but definitely a NO NO for personal, family or party benefits!

What would be an appropriate token-of-appreciation then? ... a bouquet of flowers, fruit-basket, book, cash-donations for charities or a momento-gift of less than USD100 ... anything more would cast in-appropriatness, suspicion or corruption!

Please share this 'golden rule' with with your PR colleagues!

Yeo Eng Khean
travelfon@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I think you should either donate or return the gifts. Using the proceeds for service center expenses still tantamount to DAP accepting soft bribes.

All MPs should have a clause that tells people that: DAP does not accept gifts. However, if you feel compelled to give, we suggest you donate to our service center. Our MPs would gladly accept it on behalf of our party.

Animah Kosai said...

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to comment on your dilemma. If you did some checking into the code of ethics that Malaysian and multinational companies are implementing you will find that gifts are an absolute no no unless they are of a nominal value. In my company that means under RM100. ExxonMobil for example, its RM25 - that extends to entertainment and meals.

There is a government circular I believe, that deals with this too. I think its RM50, but I could be wrong.

In future you should return all gifts and instruct your people to do the same. This means you will not be beholden to the gift-givers.

Anonymous said...

By accepting the gift, you're just another politician. If you really want to see changes, make it happen. Have a standard ethics among all Pakatan Rakyat's member on how to deal with these issues.
1. Agree on what events you can attend and officiate
2. Agree on the amount and type of gift acceptable, eg cost no more than Rm300 or 500, no nightclub entertainment with GROs etc!!!

If you guys need funds to run your community service centre, again, make it widely known (you have blogs!) that the funds sent to your respective centres, with no strings attached. Simple, don't behave like BN!

donplayplay

CT Choo said...

I agree that both you and Loh should return the gift. In principle, the auctioning off of the gift means that you still receive a monetary equivalent. The fact that you use it for party purposes or charity does not negate the fact that you had accepted the gift and "utilised" it, even for an altruistic purpose. The correct thing to do would be to return the gift.

It will also send a clear message that Pakatan politicians set a higher benchmark of moral conduct than the BN ones. That would be a better message than to convert a gift from one form to another.

Tony P said...

Hi all,

Thank you for all the comments that came hard and fast ;-)

I'll certainly give due consideration to the call for the return of the gifts.

However, I'll just like to add a remark that a party which is not at all involved in commercial activities like DAP relies heavily on public donations - yes, and that includes supporters who are bosses of large corporations who often give sizeable (by our standards anyway) donations.

Does that mean that DAP will be beholden to these people? No. Hence, should the gift be converted into funds to be used for community purposes, then certainly, it's not going to make the party beholden to anybody but the rakyat themselves.

What is most important is that we are not using our positions to acquire personal gains - hence gifts received, if auctioned of for the benefit of the community or charity is not a bad idea.

Hence "Ethics" is actually a subject under philosophy - not easy to obtain a clear-cut black/white answer. But as mentioned, I'll give the suggestions serious thought.

Tony ;-)

Faridah said...

Tony,

Please please please return the phones! Don't get caught in the trap... it may have been laid by BN ppl.
If it's a donation then it's fine if you auction it off but in this case it was meant to be a "personal gift" by a stranger. There are certainly strings attached to it. They may call on you for a favor in the near future, so please don't get caught in a situation like that. You are very important to your supporters and we need you to be around for a long time to come. Stay clean and true.

artic turban said...

the right thing to do is to return the phones. I have worked in the corporate sector, and this is used time and time again, it is calle the hooking and reeling it in. first it will be small inoscious items. next will be something bigger till oneday you find yourself in the same shoes as umno and bn wallas. so THANK THE DEVELOPER AND RETURN THE GIFT. AND PLEASE BRING IT UP DURING THE NEXT PAKATAN MEET AND GET EVERYTHING TO RETURN THESE SO CALLED "GIFT" AS WHICHEVER WAY YOU CALL IT IT IS CALLED Bribery, for future favours, Haven't you learn't anything from the close one eye incident.

Anonymous said...

ALL the MPs of PKR should not attend the opening or ribbon cutting functions. Time should be spent in the visitng people and solving the people's problem. Hold press conference every morning at 10 a.m if there is something to release. Build a new image and be more professional. Don't s waste the time and it means wasting the time of the rakyat.

N95 said...

return the phone.

kean said...

very interesting but serious discussion. thanks for sharing. i am a doctor myself and i find myself in similar circumstances when facing pharmaceutical companies. my '2 sens' worth is to set a cap on gifts - ie. compulsory reporting on anything over say rm 200. anything less is ok as it is tedious to report everything and anything. at the end of day, we have to be practical and i do not believe in blanket bans on all gifts.

Tanie said...

The problem with returning the gift is that from now on, everything that they receive (and this is normal practices, for celebrities who lend their names to an event / functions too), they'll have to go on a drive to determine what's appropriate or not, the value, is it proportionate, too expensive..etc. That and yes, political parties need money to run too. So let's come back to the ground a little bit. I support the auctioning of the prezzies, for now and future too.

petluc said...

Tony,
No GIFTS from me here - but this comes from the HEART!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - and May the Good LORD Guide and Lead You....

A Malaysian observing and serving the nation from MACAO!

Anonymous said...

In HK and Singapore, the way it works for corporate gifts above a small amount (like RM100) was that we had to give it up, get first right to buy it at listed price OR it will be auctioned off and donated to charity. They even do it online!!!!

So you are on the right track...

prussiablue said...

Why tempt fate? I think Tony you should just return the gift. Using the proceed is equivalent to accepting the benefit of the gift. Better you have donation drive to collect money for your service centre. You are now in a privileged position to start the trend of MP/SA not accepting any gift. Let the people know you are working for them and their appreciation vide their vote is the best gift you can hope from them.

Emily said...

YB Pua,

50 years of patronage mindset, it is difficult for the rakyat to change overnight.

If i am in your shoe, I would sell the gift to a retailer and use the money to donate to a state endorsed charity orgainization (Makna, Montfort Boys etc) and donate the amount under the "DAP".

Full Time Mom said...

Tony

If it is a clear cut case of an "expensive" gift, then I suggest you return it, preferably with a note so that it is documented that you have returned the gift.

If they wish to 'show appreciation' for your attending / officiating their event, have them donate the retail value of the gift to a cause - children's home, SPCA, PAWS, etc.

Then maybe during the event, when the time comes for them to present a token of appreciation, it can always be mentioned that instead of a personal gift, the giver is giving on behalf of DAP to XXX cause.

Both you and giver will look good, too, doing that!

Full Time Mom said...

I forgot to add: if it's NOT a clear cut case of an expensive gift, and you're not sure whether it'd be classified as expensive or not, then I would stay on the safe side and return it.

:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony

I remembered even in Citibank, one is not allowed to receive gift and i'm sure many in the banking industry agrees that it is dangerous to receive gift (may not be in the form of money but can be converted in monetary form)and one day be accused of approving credit line/loan based on gift and returning favor.

if DAP and the rest of PR centres need money, just carry out donation drive and we rakyat will be with you to support you. let's learn from the americans if they believe in that party that will do good for the country, they will support them.

we will support DAP, trust us.

Shahrol said...

Same comment I left on YB Hannah's blog - I suggest that there is a clear and unambiguous policy in place for all elected (and appointed) officials in the State. Make it transparent and very clear on what to do. One simple way is to receive the any gifts graciously, and have it be known that EVERYTHING will be turned into an office that will catalog each gift (what it is, to whom, from whom, and what function etc) and periodically auction it off.

Proceeds can go to worthy causes like funding charity events, or even go straight into the State coffers.

The catalog information will be made public since it's in the public's interest to know who gives what to whom in expectation of what :)

Simple, transparent, and above board.

YB Gua Hantu said...

Dear YB Tony,

I would like to highlight you to the relevant circulars pertaining to receiving gifts. Please follow this link. Hopefully, your actions and words will be guided by your sincerity.

Andrew said...

Tony,

You should return the gift. By accepting the gift, you are indirectly encouraging the *culture* in Malaysia that one has to give expensive gifts to people in power to get things done.

I work for a MNC, and we have a very strict policy on gifts (and we go through case studies on when to accept, when not to, etc.). This case is a definitely no.

If you would like to fund your service center, the developer should formally donate money to the center (without "gifts"), and the center's books should be transparent for review.

Once you reject a few gifts, people will take note, and in the case of my company, our suppliers rarely offer us any gifts anymore; as they know our policy. It is my hope that Malaysia one day will be as clean as this, and your return of the gift will be a good first step.

I can't stress this enough; by accepting the gift, you are encouraging the *perception* that it is alright/normal to give these kind of gifts to YBs. What you do with the gift is irrelevant; simply by accepting the gift, you continue this distasteful practice in Malaysia.

That's definitely not what I had in mind when I voted for you guys...

On another note, perhaps someone in the PR needs to come up with some ethical guidelines/courses for all assemblymen/MPs. I'm sure some MNCs will be more than happy to donate their course material to you.

BiggerSchemeOfThings said...

To all you self-righteous, backseat driver commentors, you have missed Tony point's completely in your black-and-white world with no grey.
Especially those who say and do NOTHING when we get anally raped for far more in excess of RM3,500 (RM4.6 billion, and RM300 billion over the years, anyone?).

So if Tony gives back the phone. Now let's see you pony up RM3,000 to help fund his service center, that actually helps people. So the company gets the phone back, what the hell is the company going to do with the phone, hold a lucky draw? And then let Tony's center get underfunded by holier-than-thou, very brave only when your wallet is not involved "moral" people like you?

Li Peng said...

Tony,
If you personally feel that it is excessive or inappropriate to accept gift of this nature then you shouldn't accept, what you do with the gift is irrelevant.

For example, if one steals something and gives it to the poor, it doesn't make the stealing right. Of cos in the case you are not stealing, it's just a gift. So yes it's not black and white. But like I said, if you feel that accepting it is not right then just don't. Avoid compromising your core principles. Justifying otherwise is a result of falling into temptation.

Anonymous said...

simple, return the gifts

cy

Leedon said...

Tony,

Keep it, use it, give it to your wife, anyway you want to do with it. You deserve it. People pamper you, you pamper yourself, there's nothing to feel guilty about. Once again, I say KEEP IT!

As an MP, your sacrifices are worth more than than a handphone. What more when you have to deal with that Pasir Salak guy.

PL said...

Tony,

As a matter of courtesy to your host, you should suggest before hand that you are not to receive any gift. Should they insist, then it should not be anything more than RM200.00.
You could even suggest that the host make a donation to a charity of your choice instead of a gift.

Anonymous said...

Gift is for good gesture!

solidleong said...

Transparency is the best policy. The onus on you, yb.

showsomemercy said...

Just a suggestion. Why don't you auction the item off to the highest bidder.

From the money of the auction, donate it to the needy. :)

Just my 2 cents. Take care Tony and keep up the good work. You are my role model in live!

tHeRiSinG said...

Hi Tony,
Great that you guys are transparent and well done for what you guys are doing.
But i would think, it's better to just return the phone.

Kerajaan Rakyat said...

Dear YBs,

I am a Malay, what a shame to the
UMNO MPs, whos always say "berkhidmat
untuk rakyat", but they makan duit rakyat.

To both of you, my dear YBs, my hat off!!. I salute you.

Thanks my dear YBs.

http://www.kerajaanrakyat.com/

Anonymous said...

YB,
Clear all doubts, return the phone. These kind of things have a habit of coming back to you later... and for what? Whilst I commend you for raising this in your blog, the decision should have been easy enough for you to make... return the phone. You have even mentioned that one does not deserve a gift like this just for attending a function.

Rgds, Pengundi berdaftar...

peter said...

You can do this. When they give you the "souvenior", look around, pick up one unexpecting attendee who is sitted somewhere in the middle or back and give it to them. Then tell the host, "Thank You". and tell them, it is our policy not to recieve souveniors.

arifabdull said...

demi membersihkan Malaysia dari amalan rasuah, silalah pulangkan hadiah tersebut.

hantar balik dan buat kenyataan akhbar (sidang media) bagi menyatakan bahawa amalan memberi hadiah sebegini adalah rasuah.

kalau di negara Cina, dah kena hukuman gantung!

thamtk said...

Dear Tony

First of all, kudos for being transparent! However, I strongly suggest you handle the "gift" and "financing your service centre" separately. If a gift can be used to finance your service centre, don't you think it is (i) an excessive gift and in the eyes of the public can be view as "something else" (ii) to finance your service centre you require donations; not selling off gifts to get finance. Thus, my suggestion to handle gifts is:-
1) Agree on a maximum value of the gift for eg not more than RM200 in value is allowed for the individual. No cash is allowed.
2) If the gift costs more than the nominated amount, it has to be rejected to avoid any misintepretation and the penalty for not doing so.
3) Once you have these guidelines drawn out, it should be made known to the public (and ACA, hehehe!)to run a very transparent government. I hope by doing this, it will force those BNs reps to come in line too.

Anonymous said...

Accepting gifts for being present in a function as a MP would have your hands tied, if and when they ask for favours. Corporate personnels are very smart, they always start with small gifts and then gets bigger and bigger until you cannot resist any more. Temptations should be nipped from the very start. Your job as a MP is to help in what ever ways you can. Favours seek should be legal.
I voted for DAP, don't disappoint me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Saudara Tony Phua, you have my greatest respect for sure. Don`t let the demon swallow up you

omarqmohan said...

well tony n leo ..... u did wat a decent right thinking malaysian would do as an elected representative ..... please continue to spread n extend this approach to others

cheers

Anonymous said...

Tony, RETURN THE GIFT ! and any gifts, no matter what the price is.

The only reason you got the gift, is because of your "position"

I can Guarantee you that there are BN ADUN's who have never KEPT any gifts.

You have to be better than that. If cooperations want to contribute, they should do it officially in the open to the "party", be it DAP, PKR,PAS, UMNO, or whatever.

If you try to justify it in any way, then I can be assured that we Really have no future.

Disclosing this in public does not make it acceptable.

Do the right thing bro!

Then..... do the next right thing, and the next!

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony & Low G
You are fine outstanding Malaysians. We are so glad to have you as our elected representatives. Your honesty and integrity is commended and I hope it will remain throughout your political life.

There no doubt will be lots of temptations coming your way. Keep strong.

Anonymous said...

We will always support honest people's representatives. Well done.

NEIL said...

Yb, Leadership by example.As a public I think before you go for any function you have to be pre-inform about what this function is going to be about and what to say.When given any gift that you feel is not appropriate then you must not accept on the spot so that you don't create any unnecessary speculation.I think for the phone it's better to return it to the developer so that you won't own them anything.If you don't may be in future this developer will demand some favour from you and you will be in a awkward position to refuse.DON'T be held to RANSOM by material greed.A regret that will come back to haunt you in the coming days.Mark my words,I was in that situation not too long ago,with just accepting a pen ONLY

Anonymous said...

You are two fine outstanding young man and great people's representative. We are so glad to have you as our MPs showing such good example. I hope your honesty and integrity will remain all throughout your political career. Keep strong.
Temptations are many and will be comming.

Anonymous said...

When I was working, it was company policy that any gifts worth over USD25 cannot be kept. Anything worth more than USD25 can not be considered a souvenir anymore and must be thought of as a form of payment (or bribe).

I think that PR should consider their own guidelines for this, as many of the commentators have mentioned before. Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus urging you to return it.

Goostee said...

Mr Pua & mr Loh,

You really put me to shame as a Malay and a Muslim. Simply because the very thing you do are supposed to be part and parcel of our soul as Muslims, but obviously denigrated out of selfishness. We Muslims should learn a lesson or two from these whom we condemn as Kafirs to reedeem ourselves.

Johnathan said...

Hi Tony
One good practice is to set a cap for the gifts received e.g. RM200 and note that such gifts are NOT to be kept by the MPs or Reps but rather to be placed in the branch office and an official form to be completed to declare gifts received. Any gifts above the amount of RM200 should be rejected.

In HK, the ICAC would investigate anything/gifts above the price of HK500 (approx. RM250). Having this practice would help pave the way for the future when PR took over the government and set up a just and independent ICAC body in Malaysia.

Supposed that the company decided to contribute(out of free will and not a cover up)to support PR, they should only give it as a donation and such expenses are tax deductible too.

Avoid all sorts of gifts above RM200 as it is definitely exposing yourself to unnecessary problems in the future. Do not expose oneself to temptation or to be in a position to be tempted. In Indonesia where I used to work, the developer can even deposit $$$ into your account first and ask for favor. Think what the devil and temptor could do... its borderless!

Good work for the transparency Tony! I can see Malaysia having a better future with an extra soldier of justice and truth!

Anonymous said...

From one Tony to another, just auction off the gift and use the proceeds according to your proposal.

If you return the gift, the giver may feel insulted that you considered the gift as a bribe or it is "not good enough" this will sour good relationships between the business sector and PK reps.

If such gifts are considered improper, the giver must be given prior notice that you will not be accepting token above a certain value to avoid any embarrassing situations like this one.

Since the gift has been accepted, auctioning it off publicly and donating it to a charity/party of your choice is the best option.

I would also suggest a receipt in the giver's name for the amount received be given to the giver. :)

I think the ACA might make an issue out of this just to give you trouble.

Keep up the good work Tony

God bless

Tony

Anonymous said...

I am outside Malaysia, but I made a trip back home on March 8 just for the GE. It prove me right to elect you Mr Pua. I am a Financial Controller and I do always face with the situation like you where people will give you expensive gift for favour. My advise to you is just return this items to the giver. You will be respected by them and once you made it known of your policy you will face less of theses problems in future.

Regards,
TY

Purple Bastard said...

Dear Mr. Pua,

First of all kudos to what you are doing.

Just a short note to say that although the ideal response would be to return the gift with a note explaining your policy on transparency, I do appreciate the economic practicalities of life of which fund raising can be a major headache.

As long as the money goes to the DAP common fund (as stated in your post) and not to your own personal account, I don't think anyone can accuse you of double standards.

Towards a better Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

I am rather happy to read about the present given and Tony having the transparency to declare it for all and sundry to dwell. Good effort.

Let me relate to you what I encountered yesterday with a patrol policemen.

I saw them on the highway and went down a ramp to avoid these jokers. I thought I avoided them but No. My cellphone rang and I pick it up without answering. They saw me doing that and flagged me down.

They asked for money and I gave them RM 5. They say not enought and I gave them my Toto Mega wining ticket prize of RM 3.

They sped off and say thank you.

I think these brazen policemen and politicians are in the thick of us.

Tony, you are an angel.

Anonymous said...

Tony,

Just return the gift with a note of thanks. I'm willing to contribute to DAP. Strong supporter.

Doris Chen

chong said...

well, the test will be getting greater and greater with more tempting and bigger gift.

to me, it's alright to take the gift as long as you are doing your own job with integrity and responsibility. and you do not 'take' money from the government/rakyat.

ronlim said...

I have to be candid with my opinion about acceptance of "gifts" at functions officiated by politicians, in particular, an MP,Assemblyman or even Local Councillor. The only gift one should accept as an officiating politician or councillor would be the type that commemorates the occasion...a momento, e.g., a replica, photo or any souvenir of minimal value. I do not agree to the gift being auctioned for its value to use the proceeds for whatever noble purpose. The fact that the gift has been accepted already is an indication of the acceptor's pliability to the future needs of the giver.
Please therefore RETURN it and show to all and sundry (particulary the previous politicians who have been enjoying such treats) that the members of PR will not be placed in a compromising position.

Anonymous said...

Accepting such an expensive gift is like accepting bribe. To sell it and use the proceeds as funding your service centre is like receiving political donation and you should know what to do when the developer asks you to help later on. This practice is so common for BN politicians and is general knowledge for those businessmen requiring assistance from government departments.It is good that you disclose this but you are also tempted to accept it and sell it for your political fund. Slowly, you will receive more and more expensive gifts. Beware of the executive councilor who gave you the opportunity to receive expensive gift. He may have received much more expensive gifts and purposely get you involved to test you or for other agenda. Look at the PKR excos arrested by ACA Perak. BN is waiting for opportunity to arrest you for corruption. Beware and take care !