Tuesday, June 26, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 12:23 pm

Another case of another politician who ought to have just kept his mouth shut than to open himself up for lambasting. I just can't help but to blog about this after reading the reports in the Malaysian Bar website and local news portals.

Which one am I talking about this time? It's Datuk M. Kavyeas, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

What issue am I talking about? It's about CTOS, short form for Credit Tip Off Service Sdn Bhd. Wonder what CTOS is all about? In a nutshell, they keep a database containing information on legal cases filed in Court. The information is obtained from advertisements or through some searches which CTOS makes. The database serves as a historical record for interested parties to conduct searches. Hence, it is no wonder that financial institutions rely heavily on CTOS to provide a historical record on a prospective customer. More often than not, if a prospective customer has a previous Court case which is captured in CTOS, the financial institution will either reject the prospective customer or subject him to further checks on credit worthiness. Recently, it was reported that one-third of the Members of Parliament of Malaysia have their names recorded in CTOS's database.

What riled me was the Deputy Minister's remarks reported by Utusan Malaysia that the government had never issued a licence to the company to conduct searches and store personal information of the public.

"What right does the company have to keep personal data of members of the public? Who gave the permission?

"The government is concerned by banks and financial institutions using the services of this company to obtain information on their clients and the public," he told reporters when asked about complaints by several people who found themselves to be on the CTOS blacklist as a result of their financial problems or having failed to make their loan repayments.

Come on! Are you saying that the government just knew about the existence of CTOS yesterday? Or are you only aware about it now? CTOS has been around for a couple of years now and it is not even a secret that financial institutions rely upon CTOS to conduct historical checks. If I am not mistaken, even some of the forms for banking facilities to be signed by prospective customers even empower and grant consent to the financial institutions to conduct checks through CTOS (or other credit reference agencies). Bank Negara Malaysia does not know about this? Who are you trying to kid?

Datuk M. Kayveas was a practicing lawyer before. I think his wife is still a lawyer and the law firm still has his name. Most, if not all lawyers, know about CTOS and its functions. If he had said "We will look into the suitability and desirability of CTOS keeping personal details of individuals bla bla bla", I would not have been as appalled. But to say "What right does the company have to keep personal data of members of the public? Who gave the permission?" suggests that he doesn't even know about this happening for the past couple of years. It is suggesting that CTOS has been operating in secret, away from the knowledge of the authorities, including the Home Ministry. Perhaps Special Branch is also unaware of this company and it's services. Or have they been keeping themselves wilfully blind all these while?

Totally shocking indeed!

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At 2:23 pm, Blogger Anak Merdeka

I know such blog postings are not very popular with the masses and you seldom do that but when you do - it's a real good read for me!


At 3:45 pm, Blogger Paris

Maybe someone should run his name through CTOS and see what pops up? Why the secrecy. Let him and his wife come out and say they don't use the service AT ALL and didn't know about it till NOW. *rolls eyes*


At 6:39 pm, Blogger zewt

this is exactly what i mean when i said that when a non-political blogger blogs about social stuff... it bears much sting... haha!


At 5:06 pm, Blogger pablopabla

anak : Yeah, I've got a lot of junk in recent months. Glad to know I still remain as one of your "fun" bloggers :)

paris : Oo.....Paris rolls eyes. Wow! Anyway, demonisation process is thought provoking. Very thought provoking.

zewt : Ouch!