Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Malaysia Cocoa Board Killing its Own Baby

Just barely two weeks away from the first ever Malaysia Cocoa Fest, the body which is responsible to promote cocoa, Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB), shocked everyone by pulling out from the team of organisers.

The event was jointly organised by MCB, Tawau Municipal Council and the Teck Guan Group for the past eight years. MCB was the one who initiated the Tawau Cocoa Fest, then Sabah Cocoa Fest and now Malaysia Cocoa Fest.

MCB Director-General, Datuk Dr Azhar Ismail on Monday said the decision to withdraw was made after the board’s appeal to change the date of the festival was turned down by the organising committee at a meeting recently.

After listening to the excuse given by Datuk Dr Azhar Ismail, no one in their right mind would accept his childish and irresponsible excuse. It is similar to stepping the event from the back.

The dates were decided on long ago after the last cocoa fest which was held last year. It has also been publicised and promoted all over the nation and the whole world. Being a Muslim himself, Dr Azhar should have known it long enough that the dates fall on the holy month of Ramadan.

If he were to request for a different dates, why make it at the last minutes and not before everything was decided and started working on it? Why the last minute? It not for the reason of back stabbing and sabotage, why other motive could one think of?

If Dr Azhar remembers what our beloved Prime Minister has said before when he was asked about the complaint of Muslims about non-muslim eating at public places during fasting month. The PM said, Muslim should not blame others for not being able to perform their responsibilities during fasting month. One cannot just ban others from eating just because we are fasting. If our faith is not truely tested then the fasting itself carries less meaning.

For whatever reasons or excuses that the MCB may come out with, they could not stop the public from assuming that the MCB is irresponsible, selfish and arrogant.

Nevertheless, without MCB the event will be even more successful. The reason is that MCB has been very incooperative all these years. They involvement in the organisation of the event has been very minimum. Some of the top level officials were only know how to talk and complain without knowing what they are talking and complaining.

I think the government should review all the dead wood in MCB and get them retired earlier before the rod the whole board.

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