Tota recalls his friend’s critical comments about the BN manifesto for the Permatang Pauh by-election.

I ran into my Malay friend, well-educated, knowledgeable and who studies Umno politics at the the tarik stall. He was reading the BN’s manifesto for the Permatang Pauh by-election.

Before I could settle down opposite him, he laughed loudly and exclaimed, “The crooks are at it again”. I summarise his comments below:

Economy

Penang state was under the Alliance/BN for about 50 years before DAP took control in 2008. Ten Malaya/Malaysia Plans have gone by. Why has Permatang Pauh remained undeveloped? Where did all the money allocated for constituency development go?

BN cannot boast about the economy. The value of the ringgit is going down. Bad governance and corruption is keeping investors away. In 2008 it was reported that RM28bn was lost through corruption. Last year it was RM27bn.

Now micro-credit facilities and help for small and medium-size businesses is promised.

Why did the Alliance/BN do nothing for the constituency for 50 long years? Since 2008, BN’s unjust practice of giving development funds only to the 133 constituencies they won has denied the rakyat their rightful due.

Does anyone believe the BN’s three per cent inflation statistics? The GST has added to the escalating cost of living.

Education

Our education system is an absolute disaster. People are distressed by the standard of English. The universities are churning out unemployable graduates.

Now after 50 long years help for national-type, vernacular and residential religious schools is promised.

Umno opposes the teaching of mathematics and science in English to the children of the rakyat. Many of the children of Umno ministers and Umnoputeras are overseas or in expensive local private schools.

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JPA scholarships also have allegedly gone to the children of ministers and their families. Is that why the names of recipients of JPA scholarships are kept secret under the Official Secrets Act!

Health care

The government hospitals are overcrowded and their limited facilities are overstretched. The waiting period is terrible. Now a promise to upgrade the Seberang Jaya Hospital and more 1Malaysia clinics is promised.

Private medicine is horrendously expensive.

Medicines were already expensive and with GST they have become exhorbitant.

Rural welfare

The Alliance/BN has promised this since 1957. A large chunk of the funds allocated to rural development has been siphoned off through corruption.

One only needs to look at the palatial houses Umno division and liaison chiefs live in, their lifestyle, the expensive cars they own, the overseas holidays they and their family members enjoy etc.

The NEP has been hijacked by the well-connected Umnoputeras to enrich themselves and amass great wealth, thus creating one of the widest income differntials in the Malay community compared to many other ethnic groups in Asia.

For example, Hishammuddin Hussein recently paid RM363,000+ in cash for his Audi. (He says he was able to pay cash as he had traded in his older vehicle.) Another Umno minister, whose wife and six children are in East Malaysia, reportedly acquired a trophy girlfriend in KL and allegedly splurged RM1.5m on her. (The minister denied the affair.)

Community development

A promise is made to upgrade public facilities, building sports facilities and aid for religious houses. Why were all these not under Malaysia Plans 1-10?

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Security

The crime rate is galloping. People are afraid to walk alone on the streets. Women are fearful of carrying handbags or wearing jewellery when outside their homes. Gated communities and the great increase in the sales of security services, cctv cameras and home alarm systems seem to contradict police claims that the crime rate is going down.

Dear Malaysian brothers and sisters in Permatang Pauh, the solution to your problems and those of other Malaysians in general is not in voting for the BN candidate. It has to be a snowball movement all over the country leading to GE14.

Permatang Pauh can start the ball rolling. Let’s put a stop to the corruption, the plundering and squandering.

Tota is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to our Thinking Allowed Online section.

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