WTF! WHO GRAB MY BUDU
Disclaimers: This is absolutely fictitious. If you believe it is true, you must be insane. But if you think it is relevant, please like and share :-)
Yeh, borrowing from the phrase who stole my cheese, but being Malaysian we preferred our Budu more then cheese. Yet, coming from the mouth piece of the architect, it is rather strange? Why am I saying this? Well, architect is in fact a very obscure profession that some may even misunderstood as synonymous to being the oldest profession on earth, yeh I quote Phillip Johnson the patriarch of American Modernist Architect,
"what's wrong if I am a whore?"
Strangely, have you ever reckoned such holistic profession has its own guild? Well, call it professionals. Well, WTF is this?
Being professionals mean you must undergo a lengthy duration of training and must be acknowledged by your peers to have at least gain sufficient skills in discharging your services to the public in return for a descent fee only to be paid by your client and nobody else. Here is the irony, as most corporate client assumed that architect does not need to pay its bill because idea is only value upon the ink and paper it is drawn. So, the most noble thing the professional guild has done is to pass an act in parliament to protect such fee and they proudly proclaimed it as the scale of minimum fee. Ironically, today as it stands, it is the maximum fee. I had the experience of client suing me for charging him beyond the minimum fee rule!
Okay, if that looks normal, the guild made it a point to drill upon young architect wannabe, how important it is to uphold the sanctity of the fee and you break the cardinal rule if you try to undercut your fee to gain commission. Ironically, it is the "oldies" and the "big boys" are doing the same in all forms and manners that is legally allowed. Yeh, I will tell you how that can be done but it is not the subject of this article. Some good souls who believed in this system, made their living better of not being an architect. Even in the market, was told the past president of the guild actually committing the sins when he swapped his T Square for the developer's hat. That is reality!
The guild realized such a problem but non has the "ball" to correct the situation as the office bearers are much keen on their very own status quo such as traveling business class in the expanse of the member's funds short of saying the opportunity to lobby for ex-gratia illegitimate sponsorships from suppliers and contractors a liked. See how many of these office bearer having their very own name-card being printed with who's who in the guild's line up? Perhaps it is also an express means to receive your very own Datukship, who knows?
The beauty of such doesn't really stop there. Our more advanced neighbor Singapore has always been the preferred location for international firm to set up their regional office. Even the the Singapore Big 5 has already landed on our shore not as illegitimate Design Firms but legitimate architectural practices spearheaded by the local architects. The guild is not very happy about it but what the F they can do beside dishing it out as an examination question for architect wannabe for a solution? Obviously, the big boys also marketed themselves as local counterpart for these international firms to lobby big project. Wallas! One fine day they also found themselves to be in oblivion when these international firms preferred "in-house" as compared to "out-sourcing" and the government is encouraging it through open competition!
Now the guild's "ball" is really being squeezed hard, almost explode! Yet the office bearer of such guild continues with their merry making and yet has the F face to ask a solution from its member? Especially so it's younger members of what their aspirations are with the onslaught of foreign architect on our land? WTF is the guild is thinking? They can't even resolve our Budu being taken away by another allied profession called town planner. They also cannot do away with the profession being the agent of GST for nothing in return. We can't even collect our mediocre fee in full and yet we are collecting GST on behaves of the government! Irony, irony....
Such forum, as far as a personal opinion is concerned remained another "wayang" or show to at least say, they have done something for the profession. The reason is simple, nobody is going to be heroic enough to guarantee a solution. The office bearer comes and go, there will still be continuous merry making and jet setting with knighthood and commission exchanges, it really doesn't matter if the even larger then reality "big boys" are already here. Wake up gentlemen! You cannot change them, joint them, eh?
The entire model of production of 1MDB is deeply rooted in the American model of “spending beyond your mean” and the Hollywood movie, “The Wolf of Wall Streets” truly embodied the essence of such, where if you need money, just print more “I owe you” bonds. After all, through the instrument of government’s guarantee, it is the public and the future generation of Malaysian that is going to pay for the sins of their “forefathers”. May God has mercy on us.
KLRCA (Kuala Lumpur Regional Center of Arbitration) is one of the government agency overlooking the matter of Arbitration that was less known for what they stood for until quite recently. With the newly minted Director who acted as the CEO, for the first phase, he wiped out completely any residues of its former regime from the staff to its Logo, upgrading the premises from a run-down 1970s office to its corporate look with top of the art conference and meeting facilities, brand new tagline with brand new vision and mission. Not forgetting with larger budget at his disposal from the Cabinet. The jet-setter Director is on his way to market KLRCA as the top regional center for Arbitration potentially overtaking Singapore. With such a high profile, he requires minions to work with him, if it is not - for him.
For the second phase, he brought in external talents to champion a cause. It has been for more than a decade, within the building industry, to adopt a highly controversial approach in law that state – Pay First, Argue Later! In fact this has been a new tagline for KLRCA, where with the new enforced CIPAA 2012 (Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012) since 15 April 2014, anyone within the construction industries including suppliers and consultants have had the avenue for mandatory Adjudication to claim for outstanding payment for work completed, within a relatively short period of 100 days. The outcome of such law has brought KLRCA to a whole new chapters and never in its history has KLRCA achieved such prominent role. With such high power lobbying, he was eventually decorated by the Supreme Ruler of the country.
With this new Act, lawyers were said to have great funs in court, arguing on its merits and demerits until the cow goes home at the expanse of the industrial players. With more jobs for the lawyers and arbitrators as adjudicators going all round, the retinue of minions grew in leaps and folds. KLRCA even took a bolder stance to increase the Adjudicator Fee, feeling that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. It is time to see what has been installed for the third phase before he retires and move on to a higher pedestal.
On CIPAA, it will be great to note that in regardless of the contract one has entered into, the avenue to collect the unpaid fee, contract sum or due payment for work done through adjudication has been provided for by KLRCA within 100 days for lower fee compared to arbitration or litigation. Any awards issued by the adjudicator is enforceable in law. It placed the concept of “pay when paid” principle into oblivion and sub-contractors can now seek payment directly from the principal.
Phase 01 – When he took over the helm of Selangor, together with his “political minions” he expose plenty of corrupt practices that leads to the massacre of the former Selangor MB on corruptions, the “cow-gate” scandals and water concessionaire lopsided privatization schemes and the sort. Wide exposure from all media. He practically squeeze the juice out of non-performing contracts one being well known as the Talam Scandal. He continues to do so for every possible means his hand can lay upon that also include diligently going after accrued payments from quit rents to property assessment tax. The most remembered of all was his attempt to make Syabas to their knees for providing free supply to a ratio agreed in the agreement. It follows corporate maneuvering of tightening outflow.
Phase 02 – Where normal CEO will start disposing assets to get liquidity and pay off debts, his stingy approach in governing results in the increase of the Selangor coffer par excellent! Everyone is happy including the stakeholders – the people of Selangor. Such is deemed unconventional norm. Most MB will dispose state lands in favor of cash and increased taxes. State lands are assets. They will start making deals – you scratch my back and I scratch yours, it makes people from his party happy and the leftovers are distributed among the less fortunate as he continues to rob from the middle income via increase prices and no freebies. Unfortunately he is too late to do that and make his boss in the party very angry. States unlike company is supposed to be Non-profitable and charitable, Khalid makes it a profitable venture. Because of Khalid’s failure to do what is expected out of him from his own party, in the pretext of Kajang Move to allow his party’s boss to have a locus-standi in the State assembly, the following steps are the clear sign the he is no longer welcome not by the people but by his party.
Phase 03 – He moves hyper speed into last phase of reaping the State apart for his own political salvation. Among others are the water restructuring agreement, approving the construction of the highways and most notoriously, awarding state projects to the developer of his choice. Under the pretext of potentially CBT, his party moves in to destroy him once and for all. The most interesting point is he manages to get the support of the Sultan who is the pillar of the people – stakeholders. We are exactly at this juncture now.
Truly he was a corporate figure and his strategic maneuvering is par excellent and compared to Anwar Ibrahim who repeatedly dishing out empty promises proves one thing – Rafizi is very much a novice!
The Malaysian BOLEH legacy is not new. Almost all the national leaders want to be immortalized in some form or another, taking cues from the International counterparts for example, the ex-President of France Francois Mitterrand with his Pyramide du Louvre. The era of Dr. M is immortalized by the megalomaniacs of PutraJaya, Petronas Tower, KLCC and KLIA (The MSC Corridors). The era of PakLah was somewhat too short to be remembered. Currently, we are in the era of Najeeb and parallel with the concept of 1 Malaysia, it is important to be immortalized in some forms that will propel the socio-economy to the next level. Perhaps with such goodies dishing out, plenty of vacant offices around, underutilized first classed amenities, under maintained infrastructures, depleting reserves and high operating costs, do the Malaysian need another tallest building to feed our appetites? Want to know more... joint the movement at http://www.facebook.com/NoMegaTower.
The Malaysian Pavilion in the World Expo Shanghai is the mother of all “Sakit Mata” (Eye Sore), a terminology I borrowed from the now defunct “Sakit Mata” column of the Majalah Akitek. Not to say that I am biased towards Minangkabau Architecture, I believed such form does not in any way represent Malaysia as a whole, as it only represents Negeri Sembilan. Where the hell does the Architect or Designer have his idea from and please… lah, go back to the school of Architecture and brush up on the History of Malaysian Architecture.
There was no design competition for such an event. If Malaysian Architect has only this to showcase, might as well engage another Architect Celebrity liked Pelli to put another pair of “Jagung” over the replica of KLCC. The neighboring country has Durian, now we are stuck with the Jagung, for God grace. Yet, it is still better then the… oh shit! Oversized Minangkabau structure (sorry no offence to people of Negeri Sembilan).
Surprisingly, PAM (Malaysian Institute of Architect) with its all embracing 1 Malaysian Architectural Policy (MAP) is silence over such an outrage and does it means to say, silence means consent? I read from the news which among other, states:
“… Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who opened the Malaysia Pavilion yesterday, said the ministry was discussing with a local authority in Jiangsu province to move the pavilion to Wuxi city after the expo. Wuxi has a park that exhibits some of the most beautiful architectures and she sees it as a way to promote Malaysia further.”
What? Keep it for posterity? Please…lah don’t spoil the landscape of WuXi. Bring back the shit for all of us here to dissect. You will never know what you can get from it. Perhaps I must agree with one of the blogger who said, this is what you get when the Architect wants to be a politician and a politician wants to be an Architect. Perhaps PAM would initiate its membership drives together with the political parties. Not a bad idea at all!
It is strange that the iron lady of MCA (Malaysia Chinese Association) has nothing to say about her root which may have originated from Minangkabau or rather she may be confused with the term Minang as in MingRen, loosely translated from Chinese as the Ming Dynasty descendent, riding a “Kebau”, an oxen. Then, our history must be rewritten.