Hornbill Unleashed

January 12, 2014

A chaotic year

Filed under: Human rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Lim Sue Goan

Instead of a new start, the new year is chaotic, indicating that 2014 is going to be a chaotic, difficult and depressing year.

It is chaotic because political leaders lack the ability to act decisively and they seem to have forgotten their commitments to the people. For instance, the seventh National Key Results Areas (NKRA) is a commitment to solve rising cost of living but the government has so far failed to curb price hikes. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also proposed the “national reconciliation” moderation advocacy but more disputes have been derived instead.

Firstly, the government cut petrol subsidies and allowed electricity tariff hikes without proposing measures to reduce business costs, causing rampant price hikes.

The government has not announced a clear timetable for subsidy rationalisation, causing the market to predict price hikes for necessities under the swelling administrative expenses, such as the rumoured 20 sen increase for RON95 petrol.

If political leaders can decisively reduce the administrative expenses by 10%, instead of announcing the 11 cost-cutting measures expected to bring only little effects, the market would have confident that the government can achieve the goal of reducing deficit without cutting more subsidies. It allows the private sector and the public to adjust their budgets and avoid over-tightening.

The rising government expenditure is the best example of the lack of political responsibility as cutting administrative expenses, including freezing civil servant recruitment, would affect iron votes of civil servants.

However, the country could not bear the more than RM60 billion salaries of civil servants for long.

Political leaders have also failed to save. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad questioned that the government might be much richer than during his time, that is why they upgrade the official aircraft. Over the past three years, the government has spent more than RM100 million on official aircraft expenses.

There are actually many ways to save money, including requiring open tender for all government projects and contracts to hire only those who are capable. For instance, the cost of the KLIA2 has been increased from RM2 billion to RM4 billion due to project delays. The public might have to pay higher airport tax to cover the additional cost.

The main contractor responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of state government hospitals in Selangor was reported to have changed sub-contractors doing the job, causing a shortage of cleaners and resulted in poor hospital hygienic conditions. The problem originated from the drawbacks in the government’s contract bidding mechanism. If the main contractor has the ability to perform the tasks, why does it need sub-contractors? The more contractors are involved, the more the government would have to pay.

If the federal, state and local governments are able to save, there will be no need to raise property assessment rates and business licence fees. Members of the public have been suffering from inflation and thus, they cannot stand for officialdom extravagance, corruption, massive lawmaker’s pay hikes and other acts.

National unity is expected to remain a distant dream in 2014.

The move of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to seize 321 Malay-language Bibles has undermined the national reconciliation plan.

The government must ensure that all parties comply with the 10-point solution developed by the Cabinet in 2011. How is the government going to maintain its credibility if no one is actually following the developed solution?

Political leaders must immediately instruct a discussion among various religious groups to seek for solutions, instead of trying to dodge the problem.

How could Jais ignore the instructions of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim? Political fight between the ruling and alternative coalitions and the practice of passing the buck have complicated the problem.

Another incident obstructing national reconciliation is, the government announced that the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) is an illegal entity as it is not registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

What is the purpose of the move? Is it to please right-wingers, or to suppress public opinion? Regardless of the reason, the country’s image has again tarnished.

The Home Ministry announced in June 2011 that the Bersih 2.0 formed by 62 NGOs as an illegal organisation and the instruction was later revoked by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. It seems that the government has not learned a lesson.

Other incidents causing the chaos in the new year include errors in teachers deployment for Chinese primary schools. Teachers who are supposed to be teaching in Chinese primary schools have been deployed to teach in national schools with teacher surplus, while teachers without qualification in teaching Chinese have been sent to Chinese primary schools.

Similar problems have been repeated year after year and the problems should not be simply attributed to administrative errors.

The laissez faire attitude and the lack of political responsibility will cause the country to become increasingly conservative. The internationally renowned chain restaurant Hard Rock Cafe incident and the online chatting issue involving Muslims have reflected that the conservatives are trying to dominate the discourse right.

After the 2013 general election, political leaders no longer mention national transformation and they dare not to reform due to internal and external political factors. Taking no appropriate action will cause the country be flooded by various problems. Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi’s administration should be taken as a lesson.

1 Comment »

  1. IF only the ruling leaders administrative personnels CAN READ THE ENGLISH articles ( similarly many ) like the above , Malaysia WOULDN’T experienced the negatives TODAY…BECAUSE OF GREED , MONEY to be exact , they FORGOT that it IS THE PEOPLE’S TOIL AND SWEATS THAT ENABLES THEM THEIR POSITIONS TODAY .

    By right the ruling government SHOULD TOIL AND SWEAT FOR THE PEOPLE FIRST BEFORE THEY EVEN THINK OF THEMSELVES ! I suggest that we as the rakyat INSTRUCT THE GOVERNMENT HOW TO DO THE RIGHT THING NOW – Toil and sweat for the people , that they CUT DOWN THEIR PERSONAL EXPENDITURES TO 50% (?!) ; that they EAT at warungs and kopitams (locals, NOT highends malls); that they ARE WHERE THEY SHOULD BE AT ANY GIVEN TIME , so that the rakyat can SAY WITH CONFIDENCE, `Yes, he IS HE BEST AMONGST THE WORLD (??!!!)’ ; that the leaders ARE HUMBLE , hardly takes a break because THESE HUMBLE LEADERS ARE PATRIOTIC AND PUTS THE PEOPLE FIRST (??!) most of them ARE WORKAHOLICS , so much so the rakyat are saying, `take a break ! Take a break ! UNFORTUNATELY for the government , the rakyat are SICK OF THEM !

    Comment by teres6842550 — January 12, 2014 @ 10:30 AM | Reply

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