Tuesday, August 01, 2006

'Agony Aunt' rAPidah Calls Bureaucratic Officers 'Otak Udang'

Rejoice, investors! All hail to Agony Aunt rAPidah, you can always voice out your grouses to her.

Rafidah: Miti Always Willing To Listen To Investors' Problems

From Minggu Simon Lhasa

MELBOURNE, Aug 1 (Bernama) - Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) is always willing to listen to issues and problems raised by investors, said its minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.

Describing herself as 'Agony Aunt', Rafidah said: "If there is any problem, please let me know because we are the coordinating ministry for all these problems."

"There is no need to wait until you meet me. It will be sufficient for you to provide details of the problems to me or relevant officials of my ministry and we will do the follow-up," she said during a question-and-answer session at the "Seminar on Business Opportunities in Malaysia" held here yesterday in conjunction with Miti's trade and investment missions to three cities in Australia.

She recalled an incident of an Indian expatriate working for a foreign company who had his passport taken from him for renewal of work permit but only told her about it at a seminar months later.

"As a result, the expatriate, who wanted to go for a holiday overseas was unable to do so as he cannot get his passport.

"I made a check and discovered that the passports of the expatriate along with those of his wife and children were locked in a cupboard.

"The prawn brain* (officer responsible) got transferred to Taipeh and locked up the passports.

"The officer did not notify others before he got transferred," she said.

Rafidah said in a government department, sometimes there would be one or two individuals who would cause havoc and tarnish the department's image.

"I was even not spared the problem," she said.

She recalled about having to go to Latin America countries for a week with a passport identifying her as a male.

"I went to Latin America for a week and I was praying that nobody would asked me to strip. I didn't realise there is a 'prawn brain' in the country that wrote that I was a male. Not because I am famous, but there is my picture there.

"I call these people prawn brain*," she said, referring to officials who cause bureaucratic problems in their departments.

* Prawn brain=otak udang.

Now, now, if some 'investor' is salivating over a piece of imported posh sports car, she is more than willing to lend a helping hand, eh?

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