The amount of funds wasted every year on useless projects is scandalous, reports our Thinking Allowed column.
The Auditor-General’s Report points out, year in and year out, the scandalous waste of public funds through corruption, mismanagement, abuse of power etc. etc.
Since independence, the Alliance and later the BN has wasted trillions upon trillions of Ringgit on so-called development projects which have benefited only the Umnoputras, their families, their business partners and cronies. This will continue until thy kingdom come and Malaysia’s desire to achieve a “developed nation” status will remain a pipe dream..
Talking of wastage of taxpayers’ money, Penang is in the news. Despite a lot of public disapproval, the Tourism Ministry constructed two ugly arches in the Botanical Gardens. One of these began to tilt and a decision has been taken to demolish them. The cost of constructing them is RM150,000. Cost of demolition was RM70,000.
Penang under the Alliance and later the Gerakan carried out two projects which were an utter waste of public funds. Penangites would remember “Berlin Wall” along the whole length of the divider of Carnavon Street to prevent pedestrians walking across the street. Owing to public protest the infamous wall was demolished just before an election.
Now the cobblestones on Pitt Street are in the news again. The Gerakan government justified the laying of the cobblestones along part of Pitt Street. The argument was that there are many jewellers along that street and cobblestones will prevent robbers from a quick get-away! What logic! Wouldn’t the cobblestones also prevent quick police pursuit of the robbers?
Recognising meritorious service
The thirteen states give annually hundreds of awards on the rulers’/governors’ birthdays to politicians, civil servants, public sector and private sector people.
With independence one would have thought feudalism would die and feudalistic practices disappear. But not so. Photographs of rulers, governors and political leaders adorn the walls of public sector departments. The frames are of different sizes in keeping with the status of the person portrayed! At official meetings chairs are of different sizes especially when political heavey weights are around. Then the Guard of Honour and the red carpet are a must for VIPs.
There are people who will go to great lengths to get a title, especially a “datukship”. Rais Yatim is on record as having said that in ten states titles are being sold! Obviously, some attempt to buy titles. Others even seek the help of the occult. Remember the chap who sought the help of the bomoh and his wife to become a minister and ended up chopped into eighteen pieces.
Obviously titled people get preferential treatment everywhere. So an obsession to get a title has taken root in the hearts and minds of many people. The Trengganu palace has not conferred any titles on anyone for the third consecutive years. There is bound to be much gnashing, grinding of teeth and tears among title seekers.
Meanwhile for the first time in the history of our country, Lim Guan Eng, chose 13 deserving men from the menial workers group. He generously paid for their official attire in addition to the RM500 that each received as a bonus. They were commended for their commitment and excellent service. Unsolicited comments from the public have been very favourable.
Come to think of it, when the head of a department is conferred a title, it represents the collective work of those under him. Justice works in strange ways. In the cases of recipients of awards, it is a case of the horse running but the jockey receiving the trophy.
Chameleons and leopards
Khairy called Anwar a chameleon because he claimed that Anwar speaks differently to different audiences. According to Khairy when Anwar speaks to non-Malays he champions their rights and when he speaks to Malay audiences he becomes the champion of their rights and privileges.
The fact is that Umno leaders had done the same thing successfully for over 50 years. Their forked tongues fooled a trusting electorate without fail in every general election and by-election until 8 March 2008. Even then 50 per cent of the electorate believed what the Barisan politicians told them.
Currently there is much ado about Najib’s 1Malaysia. His able deputy Muhyiddin threw a spanner in the works by claiming that first he is a Malay and only then he is a Malaysian. So much for the hype about 1Malaysia! Umno leaders and supporters have in the past used threatening language against the non-Malays. Below is a samplilng of some quotes which reveal true Umno:
• “This is a warning from the Youth movement. Do not raise any issues in relation to Article 11 …”
~ Umno Youth leader, Hishammuddin
• “Please don’t test the Malays; they know ‘amok’. We don’t want to reach that level.”
• “Umno is willing to risk lives and bathe in blood in defence of race and religion. Don’t play with fire. If they mess with our rights, we will mess with theirs.”
~The delegate from Malacca, Hansoor Sidang Hussein
• “Don’t test the patience of the Malays and don’t play with fire.”
~A Penang delegate,
Musa Sheik Fadzir
• “You have unsheathed the keris, waved it, kissed it, when are you going to use it?”
~A Perlis delegate
Malaysians remember what transpired when the Umno General Assembly meeting was telecast live. People had the chance to see what Umno truly stands for. It was the first and last time the Assembly was telecast.
So, dear Malaysians, how much can Malaysia believe the Umno chaps singing the 1Malaysia tune?
Can leopards change their spots?