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Thursday, June 14, 2012

BN's kiss of death

by Dean Johns | Malaysiakini

Of the dozens of comments on Malaysiakini’s story on the appearance of Najib Abdul Razak’s picture on the 100Plus can, the most telling I saw was from someone writing as ‘Patchen’: “Can you imagine putting your lips on Najib’s face as you drink?…It’s like kissing him…!”

Like Patchen and seemingly almost everyone else, I  have been racking my brains to think why F&N (Fraser & Neave) would defile one of its most popular brands with pictures of Najib.

Was it a ‘clever’ marketing concept gone horribly wrong? Or the company’s misguided attempt to get itself back into BN’s good books after Ambiga Sreenivasan committed the unforgiveable sin of kindly offering 100Plus to anti-BERSIH protesters outside her house?

Or was F&N’s use of Najib’s picture on the can of one of their most popular brands in response to a Mafia-style BN “offer that they couldn’t refuse”? Whichever, it certainly served to highlight the increasingly evident fact that, to multitudes of Malaysians, Najib, his BN accomplices, and all their works and words are the absolute kiss of death.

Terminal blight

They have even managed to terminally blight their own 1Malaysia brand by making it a by-word for suspect, shoddy or otherwise undesirable products and services foisted on an unsuspecting public by crony suppliers.

1Malaysia shops notoriously sold, and perhaps still sell, a whole range of illegally-labelled goods, many of them no more cheaply than the genuine articles available elsewhere.

And they even stooped so low as to cheat mothers and children by selling so-called “growing-up” milk powder completely devoid of essential vitamins and minerals.

The 1Malaysia email service was launched as a “free” link for citizens with the government and its agencies, yet outrageously paid the crony operators of this “service”, and may do so still as far as I know, 50 sen of public money for every message subscribers sent.

As for the BR1Malaysia “gift” of RM500 to every needy Malaysian, there’s been no accounting or auditing that I’ve seen, and so I assume at least some of those responsible for dispensing the cash kept a good deal of it for themselves in the notorious “I help you, you help me” spirit of 1Malaysia.

And recently we saw the launch of the 1Malaysia tablet, which was greeted by those claiming far more IT expertise than I have to be both under-performing and overpriced.

But surely the most insulting offering to date has been the book Menyerlalahkan Amalan Nilai-Nilai Murni 1Malaysia(Highlighting 1Malaysia’s values), which was launched by Information Minister Rais Yatim as an ideal gift for supporters of BERSIH.

 With a cover prominently featuring Najib Razak pressing the flesh with a member of his adoring public, this sickening exercise in hypocrisy proposes 21 “moral values” including patience, discipline, respect, meritocracy, cleanliness, education, integrity, humility, courtesy and loyalty.

Thus vividly highlighting the fact that the BN 1Malaysia gang practices none of the virtues to which it pays lip-service, and clearly has no intention of ever doing so.

Indeed, it can’t manage a morsel of morality even when its activities almost literally result in the kiss of death, as in the disgracefully-disorganised drag-race at its so-called “Millions of Youths” gathering in Putrajaya last month.

The Sports Minister had the extraordinary cheek to claim that there were “no grounds for the government to apologise” to the families of seven young people seriously injured when a car ran off the inadequately barriered track.

In fact he went so far as to claim that “the victims’ families understood that (had) their children not been there, they would have gone somewhere else and faced other mishaps,” and thus they “have foregone suing the government as had been urged by certain quarters.”

Catastrophic crash

I wonder if the Minister for Transport (MCA-BN) will be so callous and cavalier in his attitude to victims and their families if and when the allegedly defective 1Malaysia regime air traffic control radar upgrade results in a catastrophic crash.

Of course there’s always the chance he wouldn’t even notice, as these days he seems to be devoting most of his attention to trying to stifle public anger aroused by the antics of the lying Health Minister (MCA_BN) Low Tiong Lai over his alleged bid for a WWW number plate

And the Malaysian public would be shielded from any bad news about the 1Malaysia brand and its promoters, as usual, by the 1Malaysia “news” media, largely owned as they are by BN and its crony “communications” corporation, Media Prima.

But to judge by the sinking circulations of most of its so-called “newspapers” and the pathetic content, on-air-personalities and production values of its television stations, Media Prima appears to be succumbing to the 1Malaysia kiss of death too.

Though not as quickly, unfortunately, as many of us would like. Elsewhere the process appears to be speeding-up, however, with virtually instant calls for a boycott of 100Plus following the appearance of the number 1 promoter of 1Malaysia on its can.

So, considering the visceral revulsion of Patchen and countless others at the thought of pressing their lips to a lMalaysia-polluted drink can, I hope has plans for lots more crony-enriching 1Malaysia scams posing as products and services.

The opportunities are endless. From foodstuffs, or rather stuff-ups like 1Malaysia beef from the National Feedlot Corporation to a range of sub-standard 1Malaysia cosmetics featuring lipsticks with a picture of a pouting Najib Razak on their packs.

We can’t look forward to a 1Malaysia car, unfortunately, as the country is already stuck with the 1Mahathir Proton.But the Najib Razak administration has already floated the prospect of as 1Malaysia nuclear power. 

And if that comes to pass, and proves as much of a combined rip-off and stuff-up as most other BN projects, it could prove the kiss of death for millions of citizens.

Though by then there would likely be a chain of 1Malaysia undertakers, so surviving BN politicians and cronies could still go on making a killing.

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