Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Year of the Opposition

I have a good vibe for Opposition this year.Last year, the rakyat showed the government that the trust we placed in them has really , badly eroded.The rakyat took to the streets while an alarmed government tried frantically to stage a pathetic attempt at damage control, which I feel made it even worse.Datuk Seri Abdullah, in my humble opinion is a far worse politician compared to Mahathir.When Dr M was at the helm, the people always felt safe. We felt good and he managed to gets this sense of pride of being Malaysian instilled in the people so that no matter how haywired the country is ,no matter how undemocratic the means he does it, the general sentiment is that he had the government under control.No Minister ,much less, no son-in-law of a Minister were going around making statements as they like.No one were kissing kerises and the racial card was played at a minimal.

I feel the Opposition had a hard time under Mahathir, with the only exceptions in his 23 years being the Semangat 46 uprising and the Reformasi movement.Even so, he weathered the storm and survived two strong uprisings against him.Even as he declared Malaysia an Islamic state, the backlash from the non Muslim community was minimal, as he did so extremely tactfully and with good political calculation.

Now that he is gone, it is obvious how much the Government had relied on him.Soon after the feel good euphoria and hope had dissolved, we are left in a messier political situation now.Every Minister seems to speak as they like, and even BN party leaders openly take jabs at each other in the media.The worse thing about this administration is that they respond to Opposition remarks in such a lackadaisical way that gives credence to the Opposition!

The people roped in (but not very well trained) by Dr M like Zainuddin Maidin and Syed Hamid often fumble for answers while the more veteran politicians like Najib brilliantly maintain an elegant silence over sensitive matters.

There are very few like Kayveas and Bernard Dompok who dares speak out against the government now, while many like Datuk Vijayratnam who used to speak out seems to have mellowed down.In 2003, I remember reading an article in The Star from Datuk Seri Vijay, who wrote on the Islamic State issue.One particular line caught my attention... "I would like to ask the Opposition, do they feel any difference before and after the declaration by Dr M". Since that article, to name a few, Rayappan,Moorthy and Lina Joy was just a few cases while the latest was 2 days ago also in The Star involving a dead Chinese man whose body was taken by JA.I have not read anything from Gerakan on this issue since.

Elizabeth Wong wrote a nice article on the start of a the new year on the swing feeling by the rakyat and as a rakyat, I personally know many people who openly critisize the Government for their flip flop policies.I would say that personally,I feel the Opposition have an arsenal of political bullets to choose from.Each ministry has something to be fired with o.O

Trade and Consumer Affairs- Rising price of goods, flour shortage, flour,sugar and cooking oil shortage

Education - Chinese school and tamil school sidestepped, SRJKC Damansara,rising school fees despite zero fees policies,leaking exam questions

Works-Leaking government buildings including Parliament house,rising toll prices despite PLUS being the richest and most profitable GLC

Health-Privatization plan of healthcare facilities, Medical insurance, and of course Chua Soi lek video

Culture , Arts and Heritage- Lion dance festival still not under federal funding,Mazu temple, Christmas carols almost got banned couple of years back.Whose culture, whose arts and whose heritage?

Ministry of Defence- Purchase of brand new equipment and patrol craft and PLKN deaths

Energy Water and Communications-Rising telco,energy prices.Still no free water.Lousy broadband.

Entrepeneur and Cooperative- Not many funds despite the microcredit scheme.Haven't heard much about the "Kami bukan Along Kami mau Tolong" scheme either.

Federal Territories-Traffic jams, taking 50 years to declare Thaipusam a public holiday!

Finance-Malaysian banks still cannot compete globally, insurance premiums going up, interest rates still low.

Foreign Affairs-Half the world who loved us when Dr M was heading the country now does not like us that much anymore.Singapore issue still unresolved and do something about Myanmar!

Higher Education-No one's on top in THES.Anyone notice we've got way too many colleges?

Human Resource-Unemployment at a high,labour union voices being progressively lessened, foreign labour crisis, siding with PAPA instead of workers.

I could go on and on and on.That's not even going into the numerous scandals involving Government people.

We are supposed to be a 'negara membangun'. In the US,former President Bill Clinton got impeached over ONE sex scandal.We've had t least 4 in the last 4 years, not to mention sexist statements from Jasin and Kinabatangan, 'Tutup Satu Mata", "Bocor",Lingamgate, the HINDRAF issue, body snatching by an overzealous religious department,Christian books getting seized, the word 'Allah' getting copyrighted and made exclusive,screwdrivers being bought at thousands of dollars,pigs getting shot down, people getting shot at,crime is at an all time high and the economy is at an all time low.

Its time to tell the Government- your elegant silence is not so elegant anymore.I pity the good people in the government.May they find political peace.


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