Thursday, November 10, 2011

BN is the one short-changing us, not PR

Selangor Opposition leader Satim Diman is barking up the wrong tree. He accuses the Selangor State government of selling off government assets inorder to fund the Selangor State minimum wage policywhich is to take effect next year.

Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim explains that the money which they would use does not come from Perbandanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) but through savings from prudent fiscal management and the reduction of corruption within the state.

As Mentri Besar of Selangor, Khalid has led Selangor to post the largest state budget surplus in the state's history. By the end of 2010, the reserves stood at RM918 million, and increased state revenue by RM200 million in under six months.

The Pakatan state government has also shown their ability to practice good fiscal management. The state is being run effectively, with additional programmes to give assistance to the elderly, children of farm workers, a RM50 million micro-credit schemes and free water to name a few. Added initiatives but increasing revenue year-on-year? They must be doing something right.

Kedai 1Malaysia

The irony of the accusations levelled against the Pakatan-led state government is that Barisan Nasional are the ones who are inherently guilty of engaging in land swap deals to generate income. Further to that, they do not even bother to give the money back, but are quite content in keeping it to themselves.

Tony Pua and Nurul Izzah has shot down the whole Kedai 1Malaysia (KR1M)scheme. In the lobby of parliament on November 9th, they exposed the BN government of lying to the people that they could potentially save "up to 50%" on 250 items as compared to what one could purchase outside.

Although some items were indeed cheaper, the fact remains that you could get Tesco or Carrefour branded items at the same price or even cheaper. The RM40 million subsidy pumped into Mydin who operates the 85 stores cannot besubstantiated. So Satim Diman, who is short changing the public now?

Land Deals

Since you talked about land, let's talk about land. The federal government is very clever not to include certain allocations in the budget, sothe way to finance a crony project would be to do a land-swap deal.

In 2009, the Auditor General raised questions over the RM256 million Skudai 7th Brigade Army Camp project. This was awarded in 1997 but after 15years, is only 18.3% complete. The Kausar Corporation who was awarded thisproject had already collected the construction fee in full, and was given 153 hectares of land.

Records reveal that a RM465 million bank loan was paid out for the land,which would place the land valuation in excess of RM800 million in 1997. At todaysland valuation, it could potentially be worth more than double the Selangor State government surplus. This means that Kausar took RM721 million in cash, and 153 hectares of land. The government does nothing over all these years, and the people get nothing. Isthis how this all works?

So Tuan Satim Diman, when a company in which the government awards aproject directly through closed tender, who is given land worth 4 times theproject itself, takes all the money but does not complete the project, and walkaway, that is ok?

Minimum Wage

Even if the allegations against Khalid Ibrahim were true that he isselling off some PKNS assets to ensure that the lowest paid staff of government run companies received at least RM1,500 a month, that is fundamentally wrong?

Is it fair to say that the modus operandi of the BN government is that when things are done to enrich their cronies, that has to be defended at all costs, but when it benefits ordinary people it has to be protestedagainst? Is it a coincidence that the majority of Umno branch chiefs are Class F contractors?

Pakatan Not Perfect but BN Certainly Is Not

Barisan Nasional representatives have to get their act together otherwise they will be branded as hypocrites every time they open their mouths.They cannot win on the grounds of financial management, they cannot win on grounds of morality and they cannot win by saying they are a better alternative.

Pakatan Rakyat is far from perfect. They may not agree about certain issues, but they are able to successfully manage 4 states better than Barisan Nasional, and secure more than 53% of foreign investment in this country. The numbers speak for themselves.

For BN parties, especially Umno, the issue is not free and fair elections. It is elections in themselves. When the election years come around,they have to fork out money which they would have otherwise pocketed to give a token back to the people. Only once they are safely back in power, can theyignore the people once again and get back to plundering the nation.

In a country so blessed with natural resources, why is it that thisgovernment cannot eradicate hardcore poverty? How can this government allow incomesto remain so low? Why are funds not allocated and invested in our children's education so Malaysia wouldbe the leading nation in South East Asia rather than Singapore?

It boils down to greed. BN cannot afford for people to be educated. They cannot afford for incomes to rise up. The people have to be kept ignorant andpoor so that during elections they can receive a little bit of cash, be toldthat the BN government is wonderful and they have to be grateful.

When the Rakyat begins overcoming poverty and ignorance, this is bad news for the present BN government who may very well find themselves cast outonto the streets and given a dose of their own medicine. A new dawn awaits us. It is time for them to pay for their ingratitude towards the people theyare supposed to serve.

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1 comment:

  1. The People’s Last Stand

    The 13th G.E. may be the one and only time that Malaysians have any chance of replacing BN with another government. Such a chance may never come again as the goalposts will be moved after the 13th G.E. It should be noted that the present level of cheating will not work if Malaysians come out in large numbers and vote against BN.

    We should not waste any votes on so-called third force parties like MCLM, HRM and KITA. Such split voting will only help to BN retain its power. There is no such thing as a third force unless there is a two party system in place. Although the level of support for PR is high enough to be considered a two party system in theory this is only true if both parties respect the rules of democracy. If the ruling party continues to oppress the opposition, abuse its power and corrupts all the institutions of democracy to perpetuate its rule while depending on a compromised election system to win, it is still a one party totalitarian rule in practice. A two party a system will only be in place if BN loses power at least once.

    There are some who do not like BN but think that PR is not good enough to get their votes. They are missing the point because it is not about voting angels to parliament but creating a two party system. What can angels do in Parliament if BN is still the Federal power? MCLM which prides itself on selecting sterling candidates should answer this question. If PR does not perform we can easily vote them out but the same cannot be said of BN.

    Another type of voters fear change and prefer to maintain the status quo. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” is their adage. But they fail to understand that the status quo cannot be maintained if BN continues to rule. There is only so much economic plunder and uncompetitive racial policies that one country can take. Economic decline has a way of accelerating exponentially. When we become a maid exporting country everybody will suffer except the Umnoputras.

    The 13th general election represents a nexus of conducive factors which may just work together to push out BN. A united opposition, a power struggle in Umno, an alienated civil society and most important of all, an election system which isn’t totally corrupted yet. This is not only Pakatan’s last stand but also the People’s last stand against tyranny and economic mismanagement. The chance may never come again.