Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I Not Stupid

Most politicians, particularly some of our Barisan Nasional Ministers like Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum or Datuk Zainuddin Maidin would like to tell you that they are the smart ones and you are the stupid ones.

Well, it looks like the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself has gotten round to admitting that politicians can be quite stupid fairly often, with the specific reference to the toll concession agreements.

Mahathir admitted that toll concession agreements were not well-conceived during his tenure as prime minister and added that he "suspected the highway operators were now reaping huge profits from the toll hikes."
“The cabinet is not made up of experts. They are made up by politicians and some politicians like myself can be very stupid. What happens when you have an agreement is that the officers make the agreement and the agreement is sent to the cabinet and usually the small print is not there. Cabinet merely passes on the basis of principle. They do not really study the implication of some passages in the agreement,” he said.
I'm not sure if Tun Dr M was trying to excuse his Cabinet and his own role in the entire exercise by placing the blame on incompetent officers who fails to highlight the small prints. If he was, then certainly that's no better than then Pak Lah's Ministers who blamed the civil service for poor delivery of "first class" policies.

The rakyat placed their trust in the Government and its leadership to protect and promote our interest. The fact that unbelievably lopsided toll concession agreements were signed by our government on our behalf, and without our knowledge or consultation, is clearly evidence of negligence and dereliction of duty.

Tun Dr M, while honest enough to admit that he had a cabinet full of stupid politicians which Pak Lah inherited, must accept the bulk of the blame without attempting to shift some of that responsibility to the civil service, however incompetent they may be.

The rot certainly starts at the top. The rakyat and I not stupid, you know.
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