Obama and Pak Lah – What a difference


November 5 saw Barack Obama voted as the next President of USA.  His acceptance speech continues to demonstrate his charimastic and inspiring skills to stir the masses.  He has since separated himself from other leaders previous to this by his consistent message of change and appeals to most of America as shown by the votes he garnered.  He further brings the vanquished opponents to work together for the changes needed in US.  He is both reconciliatory as well as setting the stage very well to move forward as a world leader, as the next President of USA.

November 7 sees Pak Lah making his announcement regarding the Cabinet approving the formulation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (SPRM) Bill 2008 in a move to further strengthen the national integrity agenda.  This is something he failed to do in his past 5 years as the PM.  Now, he is rushing for time to make good his promises of reform of the judiciary and the police.

Can we see a difference between Obama and Pak Lah?

Pak Lah is indifferent to Obama as he is the outgoing PM.  He has been forced into early retirement but he felt it was needed to push through his change before he leaves the political stage.

The setting up of the proposed SPRM, to replace the Anti-Corruption Act 1997, would be tabled for first reading in Parliament very soon, said the Prime Minister who arrived here after chairing the cabinet meeting this morning. <…>

As part of the measures to enhance and restructure the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), Abdullah said all efforts had been taken to ensure that the proposed SPRM would be truly effective and capable of meeting the needs and aspirations of the people.

The SPRM, modelled after anti-corruption agencies which are recognised as among the best in the world such as the Independent Commission On Anti-Corruption (ICAC) in Hong Kong and Independent Commission Against Corruption in Australia, would be supported by several “check and balance” mechanisms which were perceived to be more accountable, transparent and effective in carrying out their tasks, he said.

MalaysiaInsider (read here)

Even when the Bill is passed, it still leaves Malaysians the wonder if the enhanced ACA can operate without fear or favor to make Malaysia a better place.  So far, we have seen little results.  How will Pak Lah make good on his reforms?  Time is running out for Pak Lah, time is about to start for Barack Obama.

We should remain hopeful as Pak Lah continues to press for judiciary reform next.  We should only believe it when this commission for ACA takes shape and goes into action.  When Pak Lah will no longer be around, can Najib take this into making the ACA and Judiciary truly independent?

Today’s announcement by Pak Lah appears to be a good one.  It certainly gives Malaysians the chance to aspire to see the day our police and judiciary become truly independent to inspire confidence in foreign investors.  Yes, such independence will help foreigners to feel comfortable that the rule of law will definitely be upheld and they should not require the Court of Singapore to arbitrate as they do now.  We have gone down that far indeed.

However, Obama’s speech inspired not only the Americans but many of us around the world.  That’s how powerful a speech he made, one that will be truly remembered in time to come.  It has already given hope to many people, inspired millions, and stirred the hopeful that perhaps even in Malaysia that we may have better times ahead.

As for Pak Lah, it has been memorable that he has not been memorable in his speeches nor in his achievements to date.  For now, the impending Bills to pave the way for reform will be Pak Lah’s legacy if they succeed to pass through Parliament and then be implemented for the best of Malaysians.  Let all things done be for the greater good of Malaysia and not the few anymore.

We look forward to the reforms and we look forward to Obama taking office.  There’s a world of difference between Obama and Pak Lah but to each his own.  It’s in the legacy they leave, not how they start.  Now is Pak Lah’s turn first.

A little bit there and a little bit here will make Malaysia reckon with the truth about what we are truly all about!  Perhaps there’s still hope for reform, there’s still hope for change.  There’s still hope for a better Malaysia!


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