Highlighting issues, giving the facts, make up your own minds.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Mere lip-service to balm rakyat’s woes
By Jeswan Kaur
It is the rule of karma that life’s lessons have to be learned in one way or another. And it is here that politicians make the slip, refusing to accept the humility that life brings.
This is the case with the federal government politicians who are stubbornly set in their ways, declining any help from providence to better themselves.
And so the Barisan Nasional politicians remain corrupt, sexist, philanderers, and homophobic; regrettably with no rebuke coming from their boss, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
One would have thought the humiliating defeat in the 2008 general election would have mellowed the BN leadership – but far from it, with the politicians turning from bad to worse.
Take the case of Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi. A thorough let-down when it comes to “nurturing” the young minds, Puad seems confused between his duty as a deputy minister and that of a politician, often playing the role of the latter.
On Sept 20 this year, Puad started an “attack” on the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) of this country when he first agreed to launch a manual asking parents and schoolchildren to “beware” of “such people”.
He then followed it up, saying the ministry was committed in curbing the LGBT phenomenon and later said school counsellors could help weed out LGBT tendencies in students.
Recently, he commented that the Pakatan Rakyat alliance is akin to a “gay marriage”, clearly taking a knock at Pakatan’s de facto adviser Anwar Ibrahim’s alleged sexual orientation.
Clearly, Puad, the BN MP for Batu Pahat, is a self-proclaimed homophobic and one coming from the BN camp. Would the rakyat welcome such a politician in their midst?
Then we have the “I am influential and powerful” politician, Nazri Aziz who serves as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. He has no qualms that his son Mohamed Nedim, who was once involved in a brawl at a upscale condominium, has full access to an almost half-a-million ringgit worth Hummer belonging to the son of a controversial timber tycoon Michael Chia.
It was alleged that the tycoon had “gifted” Nazri and Mohamed Nedim a sports car each plus RM3 million to go with it. Would the rakyat consider Nazri for yet another term in politics?
Meanwhile, what does BN do in the face of such accusations? It simply acts dumb.
Refusing to mellow
The 2008 general election has failed to mellow the federal government under the BN flagship. On the contrary, the shocking defeat has made the federal government bitter and angry at having lost the “right” to continue to plunder the country’s riches.
Four years later and with the next general election looming, BN is beyond desperation in wanting to recover its “losses” and regain the prime states it lost to Pakatan.
That is all there is to BN’s struggle in wanting to win the 13th general election – extreme desperation.
The absolute decision on who is the best to lead this nation and its people rests in the hands of the rakyat and for the sake of their well-being and survival, the choice made has to be right if not perfect.
In this regard, there is little reason left for the rakyat to place their trust in the BN government; after all, it has been this very government that has been looting the nation’s coffers post-independence and continues to rob the country of its riches.
The daylight robbery by BN is endless and Najib continues to act dumb in the face of these accusations and that of his alleged role in the Scorpene submarines purchase.
With the national polls looming, Najib has made as many pleas as he has made promises of change, assuring the rakyat that corruption, nepotism and cronyism would be a thing of the past.
However, trusting BN to clean up its act would be foolish, given the crooked politicians in its midst that continue to cheat and lie to the rakyat. Onus on people to change
In October last year, Wanita Umno chief and former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil feigned ignorance when the role of her family in the National Feedlot Corporation scandal was revealed.
Now it is former Home Minister Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad who has denied any knowledge of the human trafficking offences carried out by the company, SNT Universal Corporation Sdn Bhd, of which he is a director.
The police suspect the company, ironically a government-appointed agent in the 6P amnesty programme, of exploiting and abusing hundreds of foreign workers, mainly Bangladeshis.
Just what gives such politicians the audacity to take the rakyat for a spin, using lies after lies to cover up their acts?
Would it then be worth the while to give the politicians under the BN banner the benefit of the doubt, hoping that they would have learnt their lesson and mended their ways?
Post-independence, the rakyat had placed its trust and faith in the BN leadership believing that it had the people’s best interest at heart. The truth, however, unfolded over the years, bringing with it the realisation that the rakyat was at best collateral damage in the political tussle for power.
To pin one’s hope on BN would be akin to committing hara-kiri, bearing in mind the dishonesty with which the party has ruled the country.
Change is imminent but unlike BN which relies on lip-service to balm the rakyat’s woes, the onus now is on the people to bring about the change, as they did in 2008 by putting BN “in its place” via a humiliating defeat in the national polls.
As for BN, it is pointless to go around begging for a second chance because judging from its incorrigible practices, the leadership has no plans to change for the better, what more repent.
Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.