Thursday, December 29, 2011

Corruption? ‘I not stupid’

Selena Tay | December 28, 2011

As the government continues to 'make don't know' about the string of corruption scandals, it is time for Malaysians to make a firm stand.


Is the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) going to pieces? That seems to be what is going on as corruption and cronyism still rules the day.

Recall these instances: Umno and the Feedlot-cattle-caper, MCA and PKFZ and MIC with the Maika shares issue. And yet the culprits involved are going around smiling and thumbing up their noses at the rakyat as if to say “So what?”.

They go around acting in an arrogant manner best described in Malaysian English or Manglish slang as “make don’t know”. This shows that they also “make don’t know” about the Government Transformation Programme or the Key Performance Index (KPI). Indeed, the KPI Minister Koh Tsu Koon must have very little clout as many BN politicians seems to have failed their KPI.

Entering 2012 in a few days time, the sixth Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak still has no clear-cut policy on how to curb corruption and eradicate graft.

Wastages, leakages, uncontrolled spending, white elephant projects and failed projects are the norm as outlined in the Auditor-General’s Report year in year out.

More importantly, has Malaysia got a game plan to counter the volatile global economic crisis? In present times, no country can say that they are totally insulated and those who say so are merely hallucinating or deceiving themselves.

In Malaysia nothing seems to have changed since Najib took over the nation’s top job. Corruption is more rampant than ever, illegal money outflow has increased and the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index rating has fallen for the umpteenth time.

It is business as usual so much so that the rakyat have labelled MACC as “Mana Ada Curi-Curi” and its Malay acronym SPRM as “Suruhanjaya Pengurusan Rumah Mayat” – a mortuary due to Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini meeting untimely deaths at the MACC office albeit at different locations.

There has been no MACC action on the biggest crocodile in Sungai Rejang and even the Attorney-General’s Chambers have failed to charge the three MACC officers who interrogated the late Teoh Beng Hock right into the wee hours of the early morning.

As for Ahmad Sarbaini, a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is still pending while the cases of Kugan and Aminulrasyid have not been dealt with in a satisfactory manner. Ditto for the issue of the three boys who were shot dead in Glenmarie, Selangor.

And those were not the only cases wherein lives were lost. There were fatal bus accidents, most notably the Simpang Pulai bus crash which killed 28 passengers, many of them Thai nationals in December last year – the worst bus accident in history.

Doom and gloom coming

Looks like it is all doom and gloom in the coming year. The urban poor and the low-wage earner’s shortlived cheer are the one-off RM100 and RM200 book vouchers for their children and the RM500 one-off aid for the low-income household which will be paid between mid-January to mid-March next year.

These short-term one-off piecemeal measures to assist the poor are not the long-term solutions wherein concrete economic solutions are the answer.

In the meantime, the cost of living has gone up in leaps and bounds as the price of basic foodstuffs has sky-rocketted causing the poor and the low-income earner to be burdened further.

At this point in time, the BN federal government can be said to be bungling their way through the Malaysian economic malaise.

In addition to that, there are flip-flops in policies, for instance the teaching of Science and Maths in English and the fiasco in regards to whether the civil servants should be signing the Borang Opsyen or not. Due to protest by Cuepacs, the deadline has been extended to mid-January 2012.

However, the amendments to the Employment Act 1955 and the bulldozing through of the Peaceful Assembly Bill have been done in such a manner suggesting that the wider interests of the people have not really been considered.

And the year does not end on a happy note with the looming Eurozone crisis providing a backdrop to the year-end financial scene.

Elsewhere, the biggest disasters of 2011 was the tsunami and earthquake in Japan in March, continued violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle-East and cruel regimes being toppled in North Africa in what is referred to as the “Arab Spring”.

Bersih 2.0 and the cattlle saga

Back in Malaysia, the only bright spark was the Bersih 2.0 rally which succeeded in uniting the rakyat for a common cause faster than you can say 1Malaysia. But the year of 2011 will be remembered not just because of the Bersih rally but also due to the cattle-condo saga and the venomous racist remarks spewed forth at the recent Umno general assembly.

The top three Umno leaders who are also the nation’s top three leaders: PM Najib, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein seem to be dancing in the dark, all three of them sitting in a boat but no one is rowing. Needless to say, the boat is going nowhere. Dull!

Due to their aimless drifting around, perhaps it is time for the rakyat to take a cue from the Russians demonstrating against widespread election fraud who can be seen holding up a placard saying “We woke up, this is just the beginning”.

Can we hold up such a placard to give the same message to the BN federal government?

As the government continues to “make don’t know” on curbing corruption and cronyism, it is time for each and every Malaysian citizen to firmly tell the government: “I not stupid”.

Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.

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