GE13: Manifestos, Fantasies & Imaginations

najib_sweets

(Santa Claus of a different nature – he seems to be promising a lot of things to many sector of the community but does that promise comes with a catch? Where the millions of ringgit is coming from and from who’s pockets?)

Malaysians will go to the polls on May 5 and it does not matter whether you will vote for BN or PR. What is important is that on May 5, you wake up on time and go to the polling station and vote someone. Remember it is your duty as the citizen of this country and it only comes once in 5 years.

Election Santa Claus

As we move closer to this date, the level of insanity seems to be increasing as well – more sex videos exposures (which seems to be more important than corruption by millions of ringgit for some morons) and Najib continuing his Santa giveaways – plucking millions from thin air and promising to deliver them only if people are “grateful” when it comes to casting their votes.

Some even get some last minute “miracle” granted by BN politicians:-

After 20 years of struggle, prayers were finally answered when an 85-year-old Chinese temple in Minyak Beku was granted ownership for the piece of land it sits on. The land title for the 0.696ha plot, including a 280m access road to Persatuan Penganut-Penganut Agama Buddha Ching Boo Tian in Jalan Segenting here, was approved by the Johor Government recently. “We could not have done it without MCA and the Mentri Besar,” he said at the thanksgiving dinner organised by the temple, which was attended by more than a thousand people here on Sunday.

(Source)

Should temple be “grateful” (Najib’s buzz word of the day) for the recent approval of ownership or more rightfully be angry that it took the Government over 20 bloody years to approve the ownership and it only happened because of the upcoming general elections and not for other matters?

And speaking about being grateful, did you read about Hindraf’s 180’ degree turn on their relationship with BN? P Waythamoorthy now insists that the community’s welfare will only be cared for by the ruling coalition BN and not Pakatan Rakyat. This is same man who just before 2008 blamed UMNO and BN led Government for the dire state of the Indian community and caused many to take to the streets to protest. This is the same man when things got more tricky (when the rest of the key leaders were caught under ISA), fled to overseas. Now he turns around and says only BN can take care of the community? That’s interesting. I surely hope that he has forgotten the fact that Najib have been longing for the lost Indian votes and will be willing to promise the sky as long he gets the crucial votes in the coming election – nothing more, nothing less. After all, if BN had been serious in dealing with the community’s issues, it would have acted on it a long time ago – after the Hindraf rally and not at the eve of a general election. Why it have come to a point where Hindraf have to come out with a blueprint for the community and asks both BN & PR for endorsement? As the famed comedian Goundami would say – “arasiyalila ithellam saatharanam pa” (it is all normal in politics), uh Waytha?

And looking at the bigger picture, doesn’t the very promise of goodies in return for votes contravene the law?

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) today chided the federal and state governments for enticing voters with cash handouts and other freebies in what the corruption watchdog said is a blatant breach of electoral laws. The local branch of Transparency International also criticised the election regulator and Malaysia’s graftbusters for failing to clamp down on politicians in Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) who have been giving cash and vouchers and promising perpetual aid such as bonuses, cheap homes and free water with their eye on the bottomline in the May 5 polls. “Caretaker governments and candidates are breaking the Election Offences Act 1954 Section 10 which states all these gifts, loans, offers, promises, pronouncements are to procure votes,” Josie Fernandez, TI-M secretary-general, said in a statement.

(Source)

Is someone sleeping on the job then? Or it is just business as usual in the Bolehland?

The Invisible Bogeyman

But in the midst of intensive campaigning, vote buying election promises and stiff fight for seats, it was not a surprise that we have this kind stupidity cropping up:-

A Lim Kit Siang win in Gelang Patah will result in racial confrontation, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, arguing that Chinese-Malay economic partnership will be ruined. With weeks left to Election 2013, the former prime minister continued his doomsday prediction by hammering on the opposition leader with his warning that Lim’s victory in the southern state would trigger racial clashes that would replace the existing cooperation between the Malay majority and Chinese community. “Kit Siang is going to bring about conflict and antagonism between the races, to wage the Chinese to dislike and hate the Malays,” Dr Mahathir wrote in his chedet.cc blog.

(Source)

As usual, Dr M is not far from talking nonsense and jumping on his dumb cheap antics of blaming the invisible Chinese bogeyman and culture of fear. When we will ever come to a stage that a vote for Chinese Malaysian (or a Malay or a Indian for argument sake) at end of the day is a vote for a Malaysian? Hasn’t the ghost of May 13 and culture of fear put to rest a long time ago? Why there will be racial confrontation when Lim Kit Siang is just one man and it is not like he has not run for Parliament and won many times before?

So, why need an invisible bogeyman to burn down the country when you can have the same with this kind of politicians going around promoting culture of fear and disunity? Najib has only kept mum on this which will not reflect well on his overused slogan “1Malaysia”. One thing is for sure – we will never achieve a developed nation status by 2020 – not when we still have this kind of people asking us to distrust fellow Malaysians. We must reject anyone who are willing to do anything just to win the elections and to remain in powers (even it means causing racial confrontations when there is none in the first). Dr M should look back into his dictionary and understand what the word retirement really means.

Election Manifesto

And of course, you have political manifestos flying around with some claiming each other as unachievable. Fine, manifestos may not be contract cast in stone and to some, it is nothing but a convenient way to let the voters to know on what the party intends to do – ideal intentions that may change over time due to political pressures, financial constraints and of course, dirty politics. So, it was not a big surprise when Najib claims BN’s recently launched manifesto as a serious matter but turns around and say that Pakatan’s manifesto as a mere fantasy and imagination:-

Najib said as the manifesto or pledge was an important document, it must be launched at a gathering and broadcast live so that the people throughout the country could appreciate the content of the manifesto. “They can study what is the commitment of the BN to the people,” he said. “Let the opposition say that the manifesto is not a pledge, if it’s not a pledge, why present a new manifesto, what’s the point of presenting a new manifesto. “To the BN, the manifesto is a serious matter,” he said. On the other hand, Najib criticised the opposition and described their manifesto as a ‘fantasy and imagination’ by making all kinds of promises as they liked.

(Source)

Before we precede even further, bear in mind that manifestos – whether it is from BN or Pakatan, is nothing but a mere intention of the various political parties on what they may do if they are voted into power. It is not formal contracts that one can sue when it is not carried out – otherwise BN would have been riddled with lawsuits for all these years they have been power. Strip away the icing, sugar-laced thumbs up and “wow” statements (especially from pro-BNs sites & BN politicians) in the media and re-read BN’s manifesto in a bigger picture and you may find BN’s manifesto itself suffering from the same problem of mere fantasy and imagination.

Let’s take some for analysis:-

  • Increasing BR1M up to RM1,200 for households and RM600 for singles while maintaining it on an annual basis

(BR1M – is it a sincere safety net for the poor or a sweetener for the people to vote for BN? You tell me. The main contention of BR1M is a. where does all the money is coming from? The final damage is not small – the first BR1M cost the taxpayers about RM1.92 billion, while BR1M2.0 cost around RM3 billion and now Najib is talking about an annual BR1M of RM1,200 per person which will cost the taxpayers almost RM5 billion annually. and b. it is clear that RM500 is not much for a family to use in the long run. So what is the long term solution for the lower income citizens? Simply throwing money without any long term plan is wasteful and is bad governance.)

  • Expanding the Rapid Bus System to every state capital, complete with facilities for the aged and disabled

(Well BN has been at this problem for x amount of years now, laying down the same old solutions for same old problems but nothing has been so simple and nothing has been so straight forward. Deployment of RAPID buses is nothing new but will the control of the route and some part of management be allowed to be delegated to the individual state governments for greater efficiency? Will there be a decentralization of the public transport management in the country which also includes the grant of license and permits?)

  • Solving the treated water supply problem in Selangor, the Federal Territory and Kelantan. Extending the supply of clean water to another 320,000 homes throughout the country

(Then there is always of dangling the issue of water and electricity – the basic needs of any voters and is an issue where one could not afford to take it so lightly. But the question that needs to be answered is this – do we really have an issue to contend with or it is an issue played out for political reasons? What about investing on alternate source for electricity and backup plans for potential blackout?)

And lastly, probably the dumbest of all (worth to be classified as the mother of all fantasy & imagination)…

  • Empowering MACC through the establishment of a Service Commission whereby the power of recruitment and service matters will lie entirely with the commission. Giving equal emphasis on investigations into, and action against, bribe givers and receivers

(Why the “wayang kulit” on MACC? After Taib’s show of the middle finger to MACC and no action whatsoever on the highly corrupt even after Global Witness’s video revelation, it would have been more proper and acceptable if Najib had instead proposed to shut down MACC permanently. MACC simply lacks the independence and prosecution powers to be effective against corruption. And to maintain MACC toothless is simply means an endorsement on the corruption and abuse of powers. If Najib wants to salvage his past promise of fighting corruption in this country should instead granted MACC wider powers which includes prosecution powers)

Winnable Candidates

It’s too bad that Samy Vellu was not named as a candidate for up-coming election despite naming himself as a winnable candidate (something that theSun columnist labelled as a Bollywood comedy) – it would have been interesting to see what would have been the outcome – whether MIC have indeed regained Indians’ support to the party. And speaking about winnable candidates, as you may be aware, Najib have dropped some from the list – the one we are happy to see to go would be Shahrizat Jalil and Ng Yen Yen but I won’t be so cheerful if I were you. Najib still carrying a substantial baggage of candidate with tainted history and as we have seen in the past, there is a good chance of those dropped from the list coming into the limelight through the “back-door”.

And one that Najib promoted for this election is Zulkifli Noordin who will be running for Shah Alam. Yes the same fellow who insulted the fellow Malaysians who are Hindus. The same fellow who stormed the Bar Council inter religion discussion back in 2008. Is Najib truly serious about getting the Indians to vote for BN? If he can’t get a better character than Zulkifli Noordin for his winnable candidate list, then that says a lot of the quality of people running loose in BN. If this is the best he can do to show that BN have changed, it is clear that it does not deserves our votes. At end of the day, nothing but a complete change of the government is what this country needs to stop the high wastage, blatant corruption and more importantly to promote a greater unity and fair-play in this country. Make your vote count for the right reasons.

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