Ahmad Maslan’s call for Malaysians to ‘work two jobs’ stuns nation

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Ahmad Maslan - Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

Is Malaysia heading in the right path under Najib’s ‘transformation’ initiative with the calibre of ministers we have and the statements they make, wonders Farha Yusof.

At lunchtime on 27 December 2015, Ahmad Maslan sent a shockwave around the country with his speech advising people to take up two jobs in these tough economic times.

His statement sparked outrage among social media users.

Worse, he tried to defend it today by saying he does three jobs, namely, member of parliament, deputy minister and Umno information chief.

Adding icing to the cake, after defending his statement, he said Astro Awani twisted his statement.

This brings me to my main point, is Malaysia heading the right way? Is Wawasan 2020 four years away or is the destination still a long way to go?

It is for you to decide but let’s look at similar cases like Ahmad Maslan’s? Outrageous statements are being made by members of the cabinet almost on a daily basis.

Somehow some are wishing they would just shut up and not embarrass our beloved Malaysia in this social media age. Statements range from “wake up early to commute” to “there’s no GST at Mamak joints”. Where does it stop?

Yes, we may have many disagreements with Dr M, but at least his cabinet did not consist of merely ‘kaki bodeks’ and loyalists. There was some stature and pride in it with the likes of the capable Rafidah Aziz as our Minister of International Trade.

Well, it is fair to say Umno at least had better personnel in power back then. Anwar had his fair share of manipulating Malay politics during his Umno tenure. Crucially, however, till this very day, he is regarded as a noble intellectual who could discuss various global issues.

Is there anyone of similar stature in today’s cabinet and the current political leadership? That depends on your personal perception, for we all have our self-serving bias.

So much for the government. Is the opposition up to the game at the moment? Some are and some are not.

Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?

Pas is perhaps a ‘gone case’ by now in the minds of many Malaysians seeking change.

The PKR is recovering from the incarceration of Anwar Ibrahim and the silly mistake made by their elected vice president Nurul Izzah in being photographed with Jacel Kiram.

The party is also launching initiatives with Invoke, Politics for Professionals and the recently re-launched Mahasiswa Keadilan.

Impressive but it needs to live up to and put into practice the fundamentals laid down by the Reformasi struggle and not sway from principles and be complacent especially in Selangor. We still have many potholes, dear Azmin Ali, even in Shah Alam (not the roads leading to State Secretariat, though).

The DAP also has its fair share of flaws, but let’s hope Pakatan Harapan will form a formidable team to put up a tough fight, voicing out for Malaysians, united as one front.

So is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ‘transformation’ really transforming into anything good? Malaysians are expecting hikes in almost everything – except their wages.

Bracing for 2016, we can only pray hard and hope change for the better will arrive. How can we be neutral with the situation worsening in this manner? Take a stand, it’s our Malaysia – belonging to ordinary people like you and me who occasionally sip a frothy teh tarik while savouring a fluffy roti canai at our favourite Mamak shop.

Farha Yusof, currently pursuing his tertiary education, is involved in social activism in the Klang Valley. 

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