Wednesday, December 05, 2012
By comparing himself to Egypt’s Mubarak, Datuk Seri Najib Razak publicly admits that Barisan Nasional is running a corrupt and authoritarian regime
UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak first warned Malaysians against the Arab Spring during the UMNO Hari Raya Open House in September. “Look at the countries in north Africa and the Middle East. We can learn from them that change is not always good,” he said.
He repeated his warning against yesterday at the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Annual Convention, warning against “change” or “Ubah” propagated by Pakatan Rakyat.
“If we change, are we sure we’re getting something better? (The people involved in Arab Spring) are not enjoying the ‘spring weather’. They’re still in the winter of discontent,” Najib said.
By attempting to rally Malaysians against change as seen in the Middle East, is Najib not associating himself with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s corrupt and authoritarian 30-year reign?
Isn’t Najib not saying that no matter how corrupt, how authoritarian and how much abuse of power happens in the country, it is better to stick to Dr Mahathir’s “devil that you know” than to bring about “change” which is deemed “uncertain”?
What is different however, about change in Malaysia is the fact that it will be conducted through the ballot box to rid the country of a corrupt regime which has rule for the past 55 years, unlike the Arab Spring which was conducted to violent protests.
What is perhaps the critical differentiator between the impending change in Malaysia, which is so feared by BN, and that of the Middle East, is the fact that Pakatan Rakyat has already proven ourselves to be competent, accountable and transparent in our administration of the states we won in the 2008 general elections.
The recent BN land-grab expose by Sekinchan state assemblyman, Ng Swee Lim is a case in point. While BN component parties were alienated land by the Selangor state during BN’s reign from 2000 to 2008 worth an estimated RM200 million, BN leaders have shown absolutely no remorse in such corrupt practices.
Selangor UMNO Information Chief Abdul Shukor Idrus, who is also the state assemblyman for Kuang who argued that “what’s wrong with giving the land to UMNO” as reward for the “contributions by UMNO in fighting for indepedence and developing this country”.
MCA Selangor Secretary and ADUN for Kuala Kubu Baru, Datuk Wong Koon Mun agreed with is UMNO colleague, claiming that there’s nothing wrong with alienating land to MCA, by comparing the political party to “temples and schools” which were also given land on the cheap. He also insinuated that such land grab is justified by the effort of the party to register Chinese Malaysians to obtain their citizenship and “fighting for their rights”.
Datuk Seri Najib himself has chosen to remain completely silent over the scandal and refused to chastise his leaders for their “untransformed” feudal and corrupt mentality.
On the other hand, Pakatan Rakyat administration has made it a point not to alienate any land whether its component parties or its state assemblymen. In fact, the Penang state government made it an explicit point that all its leaders will be banned from applying for land from the state to prevent the abuses seen during BN administration.
The transparent and accountable administration by the Pakatan Rakyat state governments have resulted in repeated surpluses in both the Penang and Selangor administrations. Penang achieved a record budget surplus of RM138 million in 2011 after successive surpluses since 2008. Similarly, the Auditor-General has also confirmed a surplus of RM180.5 million in 2011, a 45% increse from RM124.2 million achieved in 2010. The finacial reserves of the Selangor state government has also increased from a mere RM400 million in 2008 to a whopping RM2.4 billion today.
Hence, the threat of a violent “winter of discontent” is nothing but an empty threat from an increasingly panicky Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional. The threat, repeated umpteen times by UMNO leaders and its delegates during the just concluded UMNO general assembly appears to be their only weapon left, that is to scare the Malaysian voters in to submission and to prevent the corrupt BN government from being toppled in the coming general election.