By Selena Tay | FMT
Compared with Anwar's ideas to solve the nation's woes, Najib's 1Malaysia This and 1Malaysia That are but small painkillers providing short-term relief
Soon 10 million Malaysian citizens will be able to enjoy the 1Malaysia Privilege Card and do online shopping at the 1Malaysia Privilege Portal. This may be a way of enabling the rakyat to obtain a bit of discount benefits but this is not solving the problem in the long run.
A friend of this columnist mentioned that 5% discount is given for purchases at a fast-food outlet but the discount is only limited to purchases of less than RM20. Do your math and see how little the discount comes up to!
Frankly, all these 1Malaysia ideas are not solving the problems at all. They are just little ideas yielding tiny gains for the rakyat. One of the biggest problems faced by the nation is corruption.
Is there any major effort by the relevant authorities to curb this crime? Forget the NKRAs (National Key Result Areas) and the KPIs (Key Performance Index) but has there been any real reduction in corruption? Zilch, nil, tiada.
Another major problem is the ever-rising crime rate. Any reduction? Not really. Snatch thefts and house break-ins are rampant and rife. Instead, the Najib administration comes up with 1Malaysia This and 1Malaysia That. These are not problem-solvers but small painkillers that provide short- term relief.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is not doing the big things to solve the big problems. Is there any idea or plan on how to curb the massive illicit fund outflow? Again zilch, nil, tiada. In fact, in the first place there is no effort being made to acknowledge that there exists big problems such as corruption, rising crime and illegal fund outflow.
Instead, attention and action have been diverted to giving small discounts and small cash aid here and there. Clearly, Najib is not a man of big ideas when it comes to benefiting the rakyat.
Just compare with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim who has ideas such as abolishing road tolls, reducing petrol prices and giving out taxi permits. Now these are big ideas.
In regard to taxi permits, so far the Najib administration has only handed out four new tyres. This gift amounts to only RM520 whereas the taxi permit costs nearly three times that amount at RM50 per day, which comes up to RM1,500 per month. That is the reason why the prime minister does not really understand the situation on the ground.
Making up for lost time
As for the RM500 cash aid handed out under the BR1M programme, curbing inflation is the better move in the long term. And curbing inflation can only be done with good management of the economy. By handing out cash aid, Najib is only applying the painkiller solution of instant but temporary relief unlike Anwar’s ideas which solve the problem once and for all.
In respect of this, Pakatan Rakyat’s promises are the better deal and we should put Pakatan in power to see if the better deal becomes the real deal. Let us see how Pakatan performs as the federal government and how BN performs as the opposition. Then and then only can real comparison be made between the BN era and the Pakatan era.
We need to see reforms in the public institutions such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Election Commission and a host of other public institutions. There should be a total overhaul of these institutions to enable them to recapture their integrity in the eyes of the public.
In addition, all politicians must declare their wealth, income and assets. That is the key to transparency and good governance.
We need great ideas and big plans to enable the citizens to put the nation right back on track to compete with the best in the world. We need to make up for lost time as this nation has great potential which has yet to be realised.
Therefore, we need to put in a mighty effort to get rid of the old, malfunctioned system and put in a new and far better functioning system.
Another matter of newsworthy interest, which is a digression from the above issue, concerns Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (People’s Uprising Gathering) scheduled to be held at Stadium Merdeka on Saturday (Jan 12).
As at the time of writing, the permit has yet to be given and if it is not given by Jan 11, it shows that Najib’s statement to the Bersih organisers and the rakyat in 2011 on using stadiums is not solid but simply being economic on the truth.
Also, according to Chinese metaphysics, Jan 12 is Remove Day in the Chinese calendar. Chinese businessmen use this day to clear away old, unwanted or spoilt stock from the warehouse.
This day can also be used for divorce, starting a diet plan, firing an inefficient worker, removing someone from the board of directors or ending an abusive relationship. Of course, it has to be tailored to the individual’s astrological chart but for general use the Remove Day is suitable for getting rid of old or spoilt stock.
Thus on Jan 12 we should voice out who is to be removed via the ballot box. We the rakyat should make this day to suit its purpose as it is a great coincidence that this day was chosen for Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat.
Selena Tay is a DAP member and a FMT columnist.