Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Importance of the word "IF". Jasin MP Mohd Said's SMSes.

By now, everyone who's not a total recluse has heard about the 2 "threatening" SMSes that Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof sent to Customs Director Adnan Ariffin. The latter has lodged a police report and Mohd Said has admitted to sending the two SMSes.

Full article here

Here's the first SMS as quoted by NST:

"Ass kum, ji. Kau nak ajak berjumpa, SiRomainor d mka tak habis habis mencari pasal dgn co aku. Kalau ni berterusan jangan marah kalau aku bangkitkan hal2 Kastam lagi. TQ."

("Peace be upon you, Haji. You want to invite me to meet up. Romainor in Malacca is continuously finding fault with my company. If this continues, don’t be angry if I continue to raise Customs issues. Thank you.") - Translation by NST.
Rumainor Sarif is the Malacca Customs preventive chief who refused to accede to Mohd Said’s request to " close one eye" over a consignment of logs belonging to a company for which Mohd Said’s firm served as a forwarding agent.

Everybody's harping on this sms as being "threatening" and "intimidating". But is it?!

I've got a different view of this.

Mohd Said "threatened" to raise Customs issues (in parliament). To me, how can this be a threat?! If the Customs Dept is guilty of any impropriety, Mohd Said (as a MP and law abiding citizen) has a civic and legal obligation raise this issue if he has any knowledge of it. He must make a police report or inform the ACA.

Actually, the problem with this sms, is not the "raising of the issue". The problem is the OPTION that Mohd Said offered (to the Customs Director) NOT TO RAISE the issue.

Read the SMS again. Does it not say that IF Romainor continues to find fault with his company, then... Mohd Said will continue to raise Customs issues?

Does that not mean that IF Romainor stops finding fault with his company, then... Mohd Said will stop raising the said issues?

Does that not sound like an offer of an inducement to the Customs director by Mohd Said to stop action being taken against his company? I'm not a lawyer nor am I a policeman. But it sure as hell sounds illegal to a layman like me. I don't want to use the C word without proof, but this absolutely reeks of it. Quit Pro Quo. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

Could this be why Mohd Said has steadfastly refused to report his "knowledge" of the "customs issues" to the ACA or Police? Because once you do that, you lose the option, the "IF" to "raise the issue".

The second SMS as quoted by NST:
"Assalamualaikum Haji. Sejak saya berniaga di Pelabuhan Melaka, hari ini baru saya jumpa kes bawa kayu besar sikit anak s/motor Indon masuk lokap. Tahniahlah, bahagian pencegahan. TQ."

("Peace be upon you, Haji. Since operating my business at the Malacca Port, this is the first time I have come across a case where Indonesian crew carrying big logs are thrown in jail. Congratulations, prevention division. Thank you.") - Translation by NST.
Sent by him two days after three Indonesians were arrested for allegedly ferrying an illegal consignment of logs to Malacca.

Here, nothing quite as bad as the first sms besides the obvious sarcasm. But NST's translation is a little lacking. The part of SMS which says "bawa kayu besar sikit" is translated as "carrying big logs". This is not entirely correct. It should be translated as "carrying logs which were a little too big" (there are customs regulations prohibiting the import of logs exceeding a certain size).

Again, I'm not making any accusations, since I don't have proof. I'm just testing my grasp of Bahasa Malaysia and making my observations as a concerned layman.

Does it sound to you like Mohd Said said that "it's the first time he's run into a case where Indonesian crewmen were locked up because the logs were a little too big"?

If it sounds like that to you... does the statement imply that:

(A) Mohd Said feels that it is IMPROPER for the Customs Dept to detain the Indonesian crew for logs which exceed the allowable size ie. ILLEGAL?

Assuming that the Customs Dept's standard operating procedures prescribe detainment of crew if violations of such regulations are detected... wouldn't that mean that Mohd Said reckons that CERTAIN ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES should not be enforced against? Or does he mean that enforcement should carried out, but just not against his company?


(B) Has the Customs Dept been ignoring such violations and illegal activities all along? Hence, Mohd Said's surprise that enforcement had "suddenly" been carried out? If so, why hasn't Mohd Said made the proper reports and disclosure of the dept's failure to discharge their duties, to the ACA and Police?

Mind you, everyone, that Mohd Said is a MP. I don't know about you, but to me, MPs are leaders of the people and elected to do a noble duty. As such, they should be held to higher ethical standards and quality of conduct, compared to the average Joe. When I read about his antics in the newspapers, it just seems to me like Mohd Said thinks the opposite is true.

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